Alright I’ll admit it, I’ve relapsed – relapsed into a full-blown sartorial leather addiction of sorts, that is. In fairness, I only promised to break out of my leather pants rut, not forgo leather jackets and skirts as well. Besides, I like to think this leather skirt adds diversity to my wardrobe: the beautiful grey/slate blue colour of the All Saints Olvera Skirt is a welcome addition of (a bit of) colour to the many hangers of black leather in my closet. But now that the junkie has justified her vice and we can collectively establish that avoiding leather all together seems nearly impossible for me, I thought I would at least continue to make an effort towards dressing more femininely. Sandro silk blouses are a tried and true favourite of mine to instantly dress up any outfit, so I went with a classic white style to emphasize the beautiful colour of my All Saints skirt. Perhaps this isn’t the most wow-worthy outfit I’ve ever produced, but the various monochromatic tones – especially this gorgeous, new petrol one – felt like the perfect look for wandering around London’s Russell Square many weeks ago in the middle of February.
When I was in high school, I adopted as much of an edgy style as possible while attending a Catholic school with a mandatory uniform. Along with heavy black eyeliner, one of my first designer acquisitions – an Alexander McQueen skull scarf (the pink one here) – subsequently became part of my daily look for several years. While I’ve ditched the heavy eye liner and wear a much wider variety of scarves than just this skull version now, there’s something about a good leather jacket, dark eye make-up, and Alexander McQueen’s iconic scarf that just feels so me. Speaking of good leather jackets, after much satisfaction with All Saints leather skirts, I decided to add another leather piece of theirs to my closet: the All Saints Hemming Biker Jacket. With so many buckles and so much quilting, it creates the perfect contrast with any feminine top or skirt. Or you know, it can also be paired with an (almost) all-black look and a skull scarf when you want to exude ultimate bad-ass biker vibes.
I vividly remember the first time I came to Paris and saw the Louvre: after a few hours of perusing the area, I fell in love with all of its beauty and history, both inside and outside its majestic walls. But as with anything in life, the more times you are exposed to a stimulus, the less novel it feels with each successive exposure (please excuse my neuroscience background creeping into this blog post). With the Louvre being only a stone’s throw from my apartment, I’ve definitely grown accustomed to passing it on a near daily basis. It seems only when I have visitors in town that I am reminded of how lucky I am to live so close to such a famous landmark. So when my parents came to Paris a few weeks ago, I took them for an obligatory tour of the Louvre’s expansive grounds. Being in the presence of foreigners, I seemed to catch my parents’ fascination with the grounds and once again grew appreciative of the Louvre’s beauty. While there is much beauty surrounding me here in Paris, my parents brought me a kind of beauty I had been missing from Canada: the gorgeous Mackage Pacey White Leather Structured Bag from their Spring 2015 collection. I didn’t actually plan on shooting this monochromatic look by the Louvre, but as soon as I started walking across its grounds, the combination of a rather neutral outfit against Paris’s neutrals – brown, cream, and grey – it felt like a perfect match. After a winter of too much black and too many layers, it felt liberating to walk around (almost) comfortably in a silk blouse and leather skirt.
One of my favourite things about London is the amount of beautiful parks can be found within its city centre. While I couldn’t be happier to be living in Paris this year, I do miss being able to escape the chaos of an urban environment for some greenery and tranquility every now and then. Out of all of the pretty parks in London though, St. James’s Park has quickly become one of my favourite hideaways. With its sprawling lawns and trees set against backdrops of both the London Eye and Buckingham Palace, it feels like the perfect compromise between city and country living. For a lazy Sunday wandering aimlessly through the park, I decided to wear one of my favourite winter coats from Zara with my latest purchase with my edgy All Saints Mast Grey Slashed Jeans. I’ve had my eye on a pair of slashed jeans for many months now, but felt it was rather silly to buy a pair of pants that had holes in them already. But like most items by All Saints, after several weeks of lusting after them, I gave in. To round out the outfit and give it a bit of a more edgy vibe on a cold January day, I finished off my outfit with lots of Zara accessories, including my favourite cold weather scarf and chained booties.
I’m already back to the daily grind here in Paris, but at least I have the fond memories from my trip to Amsterdam over the Christmas break to reminisce upon as the onslaught of projects and exams resumes. Amsterdam was definitely one of my favourite trips I took within the last year – and that’s saying quite a lot, given I traveled to Italy, Washington D.C., New York, London, and Berlin all in 2014. Maybe it was the laissez-faire attitude of the city, the beautiful ringed canals, or the unique architecture of the townhouses, but Amsterdam definitely left a profoundly positive impression on me. For my second day exploring Holland, I stuck to possibly my all-time most comfortable and most prized pair of boots: my beloved Alexander Wang Anouck boots. I’ve been obsessed with wearing these boots (as well as the Kori version) so much that I’ve had to get them resoled three times within the six months that I’ve owned them. As for the rest of my outfit, I decided to add a pop of colour to my typical monochromatic uniform by adding this bold reptile print & Other Stories bag. I always become hesitant when I incorporate anything overtly flashy and animal printed into an outfit, but the purse felt like the perfect pop to an otherwise clichéd Parisian look.
Around the end of November each year, I inevitably fall into a unintentional blogging hiatus. Despite my best efforts to manage school, friends, time for myself, and this blog, by the end of the year, one or multiple areas tend to fall by the wayside. This year has been no exception – and I would dare say, the worst – what with several trips to London, finishing off my first semester of graduate school in Paris, and a quick weekend in Amsterdam before coming back to Canada for Christmas.
Chunky knits, leather pants, and black booties – there is truly no outfit formula more perfect to me than this for any fall day. But when a fall day also happens to include a rare, clear blue sky over one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world? Moments like these from Berlin leave me utterly speechless. After a few stereotypically grey, cold days in Berlin, the sun came out and the skies turned bright blue, transforming all of the breathtaking architecture in Berlin, including the Brandenberg Gates, into something even more incredible and beautiful. For a casual day of sightseeing around Berlin, I decided to stick to my tried-and-true sartorial formula and include this gorgeous and super comfortable All Saints Quinta jumper. While I’ve definitely been going through an All Saints obsession of sorts over the last few months, I had this item on my fall wish list primarily because of its intricate, chunky knit and substantial weight, making it the perfect compliment to my seemingly endless number of pairs of leather pants. And with the Quinta jumper being released in two new colours recently…I can’t say for certain that this will remain the only one in my closet.
There comes a time in every 20-something’s life when you can either remain complacent with your day-to-day goings, or take a bold leap of faith and do something radical to shake up your existence. I decided to do the latter in the middle of July, when I was feeling quite disillusioned with life, and applied to graduate school in France…and was accepted. So tomorrow, I’ll be relocating to Paris where I will begin my MSc in International Luxury Management at L’Institut Français de la Mode (IFM). I’m both equally parts terrified and elated about this whole experience ahead of me, and have succumbed to just about every emotion possible regarding leaving behind friends, memories, and my life here in Montreal. But quite honestly, life hasn’t been what I have wanted within the last year. Sure, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to visit New York, Italy, Washington, and Toronto all within the last 12 months, but there has been quite a bit of pain and struggle over career ambitions, relationships, and just a general feeling of being stuck and not accomplishing much in life at the same time. I’ve never been one to enjoy wallowing, so whenever I see a problem, I like to come up with solutions and take action. My Master’s application to IFM was one of those solutions to being extremely frustrated with the limited career opportunities in Montreal, and a desire to break out of what became an all too monotonous life. It was absolutely an impulsive decision, but it’s also an impulsive decision that I have absolutely no regrets about making and a program that I am truly looking forward to beginning on Monday.
Whenever I’m in New York or Paris, All Saints always at the top of my list of places to visit. While it’s possible to shop online, there’s nothing quite like visiting one of their stores and taking the time to feel and stare fondly at their beautiful silk and leather offerings. Renowned for doing minimalism and quality wardrobe staples oh so well, All Saints always offers a couple of standout pieces that veer into more edgy territory each season. For spring/summer 2014, one of those items included this stunning All Saints leather skirt that I couldn’t help but gravitate towards during my last trip to New York. I had been rather smitten with its bold zippers and thick buckles well before I laid my hands on its buttery leather, but seeing it in the flesh and with a giant “50% off” sticker next to the price tag sent me running to the cash with it. Sure, it’s been called everything from “the lovechild of a tire and a purse” to “a bit too edgy for my liking” by various friends and family members – but at the end of the day, I’m still completely obsessed with its design and quality. And ain’t nobody gonna change that (said in obligatory Honey Boo-Boo voice).