Styled By Nelia: Summer Trends from Forever 21 +

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Ever since Forever 21 opened their new store at Yorkdale, I’ve been obsessed! Huge selection spread out across the 27,000 square foot boutique – what’s not to love?! Well, last month, I got to check out the brand’s plus size collection, aimed at the curvy girl who loves trendy clothes. While most fashion-forward brands don’t carry plus sizes, Forever 21 + collection goes up to size 3X, and carries a wide selection of cool girl essentials season after season. On the latest episode of Styled By Nelia, I helped Andria to incorporate a few key trends for the upcoming summer season.

Joggers
While skinny jeans are a staple for many curvy girls, wearing tight jeans in the summer may not be the best idea, which is why I am such a huge fan of tailored joggers. These versatile pants come in a variety of prints and fabrics, can be dressed up or down, oh, and the super comfy stretchy waistband doesn’t hurt either! If you’re looking for a cool alternative to your trusty jeans, give these pants a try.

All White Everything
White on white is a huge trend this year, and is a fashionable way to keep summer heat at bay. Curvy girls can get in on the trend by choosing figure-flattering silhouettes, loose layers, and a mix of shades of white for a fresh and fashionable look.

Boho
This trend is a summer staple, and is the easiest to incorporate into your wardrobe. Pick up a brightly-printed maxi dress, a fringed caftan thrown over a pair of flared jeans, or a flower-child crochet lace top…your options are limitless!

So tell me, do you love Forever 21 + selection at Yorkdale? What’s your fave trend for the summer? Share in the comments!

Photo and Video by Max Kopanygin

Discover CHANEL: Breakfast at CHANEL, Brasserie Gabrielle, and Back to THE Apartment

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*If you are catching up, you can read the first Discover CHANEL installment here

Every season, despite dozens of fashion presentations happening from New York to Tokyo, CHANEL runway show remains one of the most highly-anticipated collections and shows to see. Not only to check out the next masterful/curious/intriguing collection, but also to admire the setting that Karl Lagerfeld and his team dream up season after season (icebergs, demonstrations, supermarkets, oh my!). What I’m trying to say is…CHANEL shows are never ever boring, which is why I was so excited to finally be able to attend one in person.

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Arriving at the Grand Palais early in my “something borrowed” CHANEL outfit, I saw street style photographers milling about, stylish (and not-so-stylish) peacocks walking back and forth, hoping to catch photogs’ eyes, security vans patrolling the perimeter, people handing out promotional breakfast packs to the hungry attendees (Macarons for breakfast? Don’t mind if I do!). Sensory overload, even before I set foot inside the grand venue.

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As part of the Discover CHANEL program, my fellow bloggers and I got to go inside at the same time as the photographers, and before anyone else, so that we could check out the interior as it was intended. Welcoming us into the Brasserie Gabrielle, were impeccably-dressed “waiters”, and as I stepped into Coco Chanel-inspired French brasserie set at the Grand Palais, my jaw practically dropped to the floor – it was overwhelming. Attention to detail was immaculate – Parisian bar stands stocked with all of the usual breakfast accouterments from boiled eggs to Viennoiserie, fully-functioning coffee machines, where I totally ordered a cuppa since I didn’t have time for one before the show, reserved tables for the VIPs (of course, the first thing I did was find Anna Wintour’s table), mosaic-tiled floors…it was all perfect!

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I resisted going to my assigned seat, hanging out around the bar area to people-watch, as one would at an actual brasserie. I spotted Grace Coddington’s red mane, Patrick Demarchelier settling into his booth, Giovanna Battaglia talking to friends excitedly, Carine Roitfeld posing for photographers, Hamish Bowles snapping photos of the bar with his cell phone, I even saw Karl Lagerfeld surrounded by a sea of black suits before the show.

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I also snuck a photo of Anna Wintour mid-interview, hiding behind her signature shades; I felt like a naughty child or a stalker, but if Anna minded, her face didn’t show it. Before I knew it, the ushers were gently, yet firmly asking us to take our seats, and so I did, ready for the main event.

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I found my seat just in time, as models began walking through the revolving doors, entering the brasserie, but after doing the obligatory runway walk around the room, some models would settle in at the bar to grab some OJ, while others would pile into the comfy booths for a chat or a selfie session. It felt fresh and unexpected to see models laugh together, order food, and basically show off the collection in action. As the show came to an end, models did not leave their various perches, but stayed behind for a sort of an installation presentation, where attendees could grab photos of the models up-close, as well as sit down next to them for a minute of make-believe – breakfast with supermodels at Brasserie Gabrielle, anyone?

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As for the collection itself, this was one of my favourite CHANEL collections in a while. Dubbed the “French Collection”, it had all the staples that are expected from CHANEL – emblematic tweed, exquisite little black dresses, to-die-for bags, spectacular coats, but in line with the setting, there were also cheeky plate minaudieres, fork and spoon bags, pencil skirts in a fabric reminiscent of those brasserie mosaic floors, bomber jackets adorned with bows, skirts that looked like they were made out of folded white napkins (surprisingly cool!). While some pieces were very tongue-in-cheek, others were simply chic. Even the kookiest of pieces were still wearable and covetable, and very much in line with the spirit of CHANEL.

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Being able to see many of those pieces up close after the show was a pleasant (and a very welcome) surprise. While Karl jumped behind the bar to serve orange juice and answer questions, many of the attendees (myself included) jumped at the chance to snap close-ups of the stunning collection, admiring both the models and the clothes in front of us. Most of the photos in this post were snapped by me, so you can probably see just how close we got to the models and to the sublime clothes.

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After the show, our chic crew piled into a van to be whisked away to Coco Chanel’s rue Cambon apartment. Having visited the apartment in the past, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be able to go there for the second time! You can read my post about the first visit here. Once again, I could almost feel Coco Chanel’s spirit in the lavish surroundings. The place felt more familiar the second time around, but the visit was just as special as the first time. This time, I took some videos of the apartment, which I’ll be sharing in the original post soon.

Giddy from our visit, the bloggers and I headed back to rue Cambon to do some shopping after lunch, excited for next day’s visit to the CHANEL handbag factory! (to be continued)

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More photos after the jump!
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NYFW Spring 2015: Street Style Hair Trends

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As the latest season of NYFW is coming to a close, I want to revisit some photos I took at the tents last September. As I was shooting, I noticed a trend – fun hair colours! From platinum, to grey, to red, to pastel, to rainbow, people were making loud fashion statements with their hair colour.

Perhaps I was biased and only captured what I wanted to see, since at the time I was freshly platinum, but after shooting for a couple of days and spotting dozens of fun hair shades, I knew I wasn’t imagining it. With spring and summer just around the corner, I thought I’d share these photos in case you needed some hair inspo for those warmer days ahead. Enjoy!

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More after the jump!
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Styled By Nelia: Mad for Plaid

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Ever since 424 Fifth arrived at Hudson’s Bay, I’ve been obsessed. Ladylike silhouettes, high-quality finishes, and a touch of quirk – sign me up! Well, last month, I got to introduce Yorkdale’s latest lucky shopper Emily to the brand and show her three ways of wearing plaid this fall.

More after the jump!

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Styled By Nelia: Dressing for Spring

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It may be March, but it looks like Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo just yet. If you live in Toronto, tights and coats are still a sad necessity, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t start adding some fun spring pieces to our wardrobes! And that’s exactly what I did on the latest episode of Styled By Nelia.

Thanks to the beautiful new arrivals from Ted Baker, I was able to show Loretta how she could infuse a few cheerful spring pieces into her wardrobe to wear now, and when the weather finally warms up.

From the classic and oh-so-chic floral full skirts, to colourful ladylike dresses, Ted Baker’s spring collection is full of timeless elegant pieces that can be styled in a multitude of ways. If you’re eager to pack away your winter clothes, and start wearing your new spring pieces instead, all you need to do is throw on some tights (fleece-lined ones are my fave), put on a pair of ankle booties, layer your outfit with a cute cardigan and an even cuter coat, and you’re good to go! And once the temperatures warm up, ditch those cold weather essentials for a pair of pretty pumps, and enjoy the sunshine! It really is that easy.

So tell me, how do you deal with this year’s neverending winter? Do you live in your parka, or are you starting to embrace spring collections? Share in the comments!

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Photos and Video by Max Kopanygin

Toronto Fashion Week: Joe Fresh Spring 2014 Collection

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If there’s one thing that is certain during WMCFW is that Joe Fresh show will always draw the biggest crowd. This season was no exception. With a packed front row that included actress Elisha Cuthbert (I miss Happy Endings!) and her beau Dion Phaneuf, his Maple Leafs teammate Joffrey Lupul, Joe Mimran’s designer wife Kimberly Newport-Mimran, among others, and Canadian beauties Alana Zimmer and Heather Marks strutting their stuff on the catwalk to Britney’s latest and super catchy “Work Bitch”, this one was the best show for people-watching. And people-watch I did, from my front row seat…in the photographer’s pit.

I put my new Canon Blogtography skills to good use, and snapped away as models walked down the runway, showing off what seemed like an endless lineup of looks that will be in stores come Spring 2014. While the majority of the collection was heavy on the navy (colour, not naval warfare), my favourite pieces (aka what I’ll be stalking next spring) included the red floral dress with plenty of slits to show off the gams, silver leather (pleather?) two-piece skirt suit, red leather dress and pants, shiny black (but also iridescent) tulip skirt, Japanese-print pajama-like ensemble, and a Chanel-esque black and white jacket.

Denim was also ever-present this season. Far from plain and boring, Joe Fresh Spring 2014 denim looks included lace applique, jumpsuits, frayed hems, acid wash, as well as camo, stripe and floral print. The rest of the collection was more restrained, and delivered what most Joe Fresh customers expect from the brand – classic suiting, and work-appropriate blouses, dresses, and skirts. And while I can’t resist a new pair of simple Joe Fresh slacks each season, I do hope that most of the more intriguing runway pieces make it into production. Fingers crossed!

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More after the jump!

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Zara Woman Fall 2013 Ad Campaign

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Even though I don’t feel like summer has even begun here in Toronto, I can’t help but start thinking about fall clothes. Yesterday, on August 1st (!!!), I even bought a pair of leather leggings and a grey sweatshirt. What’s wrong with me?!

Seeing Zara’s new Fall 2013 ad campaign certainly doesn’t help with my fall cravings. I am in love with everything in the first photo – leather jackets, cami dresses, wide-brimmed hats…I want to buy it all, and wear it exactly as pictured! The rest of the ad campaign is kind of a snoozefest (just me?), but I definitely see a few pieces here and there that I’ll be picking up as soon as the temperatures start to dip…which could be tomorrow.

So what do you think of Zara’s Fall 2013 ad campaign? Are you looking forward to shopping for fall clothes or am I crazy? Share in the comments.

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More after the jump!

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Shopping: Stylish Cat Lady Essentials

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Judging by the multitude of cat Instagram photos, cat videos, and cat-related Buzzfeed links, among a multitude of other cataphernalia, being a cat lady has never been trendier. Every day I see adorable cat pics all over my social media, and you know what? I freaking love it! As a cat lover and part-time owner of an adorable black kitty, I’m all over the cat lady trend. So if like me, you just can’t get enough of cats, and aren’t afraid to show your feline pride, this post is obviously for you. I scoured the internet for some awesome cat lady essentials, and this is what I came up with! Kitty espadrilles, kitty ring, kitty hat, kitty tights…the only warning I have – don’t wear these all at once, unless you are THIS cat lady, in which case…carry on.

1. Moschino Cheap and Chic Kitty Dress
2. ASOS Cat Suspender Tights
3. Brian Lichtenberg Feline T-shirt
4. Eugenia Kim Cat Ears Beret
5. Charlotte Olympia Capri Cats Espadrilles
6. I Like Cats Sweater
7. Black Cat Eye Sunglasses
8. Cat Ring
9. Black Leopard Cuff Bracelet
10. Black Score by Simeon Farrar Black Paw Cat Raglan Tee

Toronto Fashion Week: Pink Tartan Fall 2013 Collection

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The  morning of Pink Tartan’s Fall 2013 show, I read the interview Flare’s Emily Ramshaw did with Kimberly Newport about the new collection, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that Pink Tartan’s president and head designer is a fan of American Horror Story. Such a fan in fact, that her entire fall collection was inspired by one Constance Langdon. If you watched the first season of AHS, you already know that Constance (played by the glorious Jessica Lange) was one classy lady. Well, a husband-murdering lady, but classy nonetheless. And Pink Tartan’s fall collection was spot on Constance – elegant, with a vintage flare, and just the right hint of mischief. The collection definitely felt older than spring’s Charlotte Free-inspired butterfly-printed line-up, but it also felt more timeless. Classic (and flattering) silhouettes, and statement outerwear dominated the fall show, and I found myself drooling at the sight of some pieces…like the blue fur coat, which sadly, I won’t be able to afford, but can certainly daydream about.

The wigs seemed to cause a bit of a controversy among the show-goers I spoke to, but as a huge fan of AHS, and Jessica Lange, I loved this particular styling choice, and was delighted at the sight of an army of Jessica Lange lookalikes strutting their stuff. If I squinted hard enough, I could almost imagine that it was the real deal.

All in all, I really enjoyed Pink Tartan’s Fall 2013 collection, but hope that the next show isn’t inspired by the second season of AHS, because asylum chic might be a little too much, even for a die-hard fan like myself.

What do you think about this collection? Are you a fan of AHS? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!

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Spring 2013 Trends: In Living Colour

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After being introduced to the new Nokia Lumia 920, and the amazing range of colours these phones come in, I was reminded of New York Fashion Week (NYFW) and all the amazing spring trends I spotted outside of the tents. Naturally, this prompted me to jot down my personal spring shopping list to make sure that I’m ready not only for Toronto’s own fashion week, but for the warmer weather ahead. Not surprisingly, my list included a lot of colour. Here are some fun spring 2013 trends that I can’t wait to try this season, and hope you might like as well!

1. Graphic Black and White

Stripes, checks, dots, you name it! Graphic black and white prints are certainly having their moment. And as someone who’s obsessed with stripes in general, this trend feels mighty refreshing to the usual pastels that inevitably come each spring.

2. White Pumps

For the last few months, it seems that every stylish person out there has been obsessed with white pumps. Celebs like Kerry Washington, Carrie Bradshaw…errr…SJP and Rihanna, among others, have all been spotted wearing this trend on red carpets everywhere, and why not? Classic white pumps are just as easy to pull off as the boring black ones, but feel a lot more current.

3. Mirrored Shades

Another trend I spotted during NYFW was mirrored shades. In vibrant shades of blue, orange, yellow, pink, [insert colour here], mirrored shades come in every colour imaginable, and look cool and refreshing. I love classic Wayfarers as much as any other person out there, but this spring I will be mixing it up with a fun pair of blue mirrored shades.

4. Colourful Bags

While I may not be able to afford a Chanel bag in every colour of the rainbow, this spring I am planning to pick up a colourful clutch or two to inject some much-needed excitement into my wardrobe. If your budget allows it, Chanel spring 2013 bags are exceptional! Lego-inspired whimsical clutches and colour-blocked quilted flap bags; this is what dreams are made of!

5. Statement Outerwear

Whether you are a leather-jacket girl or a peacoat lady, this spring is all about statement outerwear! Red leather jackets, fuchsia muppet-hair coats, metallic blue trench coats – pick a fun topper, and wear it with confidence.

Whether you are into graphic prints or love a little pop of colour in your accessories, spring trends are only a guideline, not a rule. Start small, with a fun yellow phone or perhaps with a funky blue clutch, and make each look your own.

What are your favourite spring 2013 trends? Share in the comments.

Finally, a phone as colourful as you are. The new Nokia Lumia 920, available exclusively at Rogers. Express yourself with your choice of four vibrant colours – yellow, red, black and white. Visit rogers.com/nokiacolours for details.

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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Rogers Wireless via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Rogers Wireless.