Between all of my train and plane hopping around Europe since September, some posts like my Berlin Photo Diary have gotten lost in my drafts folder. I might have traveled to Berlin almost three months ago now, but like many of my travels within the last year, I can still fondly remember certain moments, like standing under Brandenburger Tor, biking around Tiergarten, and exploring East Berlin. Here’s to hoping we meet again soon, Berlin.
Three months into my new life here in France, it seems I’ve fallen prey to many of the trademark French girl habits of dressing: black blazers, cashmere scarves, and Stan Smith sneakers all day, everyday, for just about every occasion. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that some rendition of this outfit – perhaps with a pair of leather pants in lieu of black jeans when I’m feeling fancy – is what I’ve been wearing day in, day out. While this look is often one I wear to classes, it also proved quite comfortable and perfect for wandering around my favourite streets of Berlin on my last day. I decided to go for a dressier look (#gradschoolproblems) by pairing it with a Wilfred Aritzia silk blouse (also seen in burgundy many months ago here), continuing to stick to my shunning of nearly all colours in favour of monochromatic ease. While I definitely won’t promise to ditch my beloved oversized Wilfred Aritzia silk blouse anytime soon, here’s to making a more concerted effort to at least wear something without a button fly and vulcanized sole more often.
If I could only wear one colour combination for the rest of my life, I would choose black and gold, time and time again. Sure, wearing everyone’s favourite slimming shade and this classic metallic tone would get tiring after a while, but there is something undeniably classic and luxurious looking about wearing this combination together. Purely out of convenience, I’ve been wearing a lot of black recently, as well as recently re-integrating gold into my closet after being scared into aversion for many years (I blame it on seeing an abundance of ostentatious southern Italian gold jewelry as a child). A few items have helped me fight said aversion, including this Club Monaco sweater I picked up last year before I went to New York last year, as well as these adorable Senso Quincy II ankle boots. By integrating zipper details in this once feared metallic of mine into my outfits, I’m slowly growing to love gold’s classic colour after much experimentation with rose gold and silver in the past. Oh, and the fact that both this sweater and these Senso boots are two of the most comfortable items in my closet helps a little bit, too.
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.
I never understood why so many of my friends raved about Berlin until I visited it myself three weeks ago. While I’ve been known to experience a few coup de coeur moments with fashion and accessories, no city has ever captivated me the way Berlin did. Maybe it’s because I’ve been feeling rather homesick for Montreal, but I couldn’t help but see so many similarities between the two cities: from the hodgepodge of different styles of architecture, to the strong youth culture and attitude, I think I found Montreal’s European sister city. After several gruelling weeks in Paris completing my Master’s degree and falling into one serious fashion rut, I decided to bring along some of my more girly fall favourites to Berlin, including my Sandro Janet skirt from the Fall 2014 collection. I’ve been trying to expand my wardrobe’s colour palette lately, and the deep evergreen and velour nature of this Sandro skirt kept bringing me back to the store to try it on multiple times. I’ve also been trying to wear more gold as of late, so the skirt proved to be a perfect compliment with its gold zippers to the hardware on both my timeless Miu Miu purse and my oh-so-comfortable Senso booties.
One thing I was told by fellow expats that I would miss immensely upon moving to Paris was Canada’s beautiful autumn. Having grown up with the familiar backdrop of leaves seemingly ablaze for just a few short weeks every year, as the saying goes, “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone” couldn’t be truer. While Paris is beautiful in innumerable ways, it lacks this form of perennial beauty that graces Canada every October. Luckily, while I was in Berlin last weekend, I got a small reminder of what I’ve been missing over the last month back home while visiting the Tiergarten gardens. While I love looking at and being surrounded by warm fall colours, I prefer sticking to a neutral palette of white, blue, black and navy (in case that’s not obvious enough already). I had been on the hunt for a bold cobalt blue coat since early spring, and couldn’t have been more elated when I found this reasonably priced COS crossover wool coat at Galleries Lafayette. Sure, it’s definitely a bold choice for dreary Parisian fall and winter days ahead, but without a bit of yellow and red dotting the sky, I have to find some way to bring some colour to my surroundings.