As quickly and abruptly as my time in France’s capital began, it has ended – it’s hard to believe that this is my last post from Paris, at least for the foreseeable future. In both circumstances, I had no idea I would be leaving one country for another so suddenly, but as I’ve learned recently with life, it’s all about going with the flow and seeing what new adventures await. I guess it’s fitting then that my last post comes from one of my favourite areas of Paris – Le Haut Marais. Home to my favourite restaurants and favourite stores, if there’s one area of Paris I’m going to miss dearly, this is undeniably it. For a lazy, rainy Sunday, I decided to revisit pastels, a sartorial element I’ve experimented more with in recent years after categorically shunning them all together throughout my teens for fear of looking too girly. I found this Topshop sleeveless utility duster in London’s Westfield mall a few weekends before and felt drawn to the structured crepe in such a pretty lavender shade. Never one to give up my monochromatic staples, I decided the duster would be a great feminine, spring compliment to my favourite Balenciaga and Alexander Wang pieces. Here’s to observing what new sartorial evolution – or revolution – awaits me in London.
Sometimes I think that living in Paris has made me forget that fashion can be fun. While fashion is absolutely a serious pursuit for me and many others who call the City of Lights home, sartorial expression doesn’t always have to remain so severe. It’s been ages (or rather, almost 3 years) since I wore this sequinned shirt from Editorial Boutique in Montreal – and quite frankly, I’m not sure why I haven’t worn it since. Can I not be serious about pursuing fashion while wearing fun details? Must I always dress in monochromatic shades to emphasize how serious I am about my future in fashion? I guess the simple answer to this question is that with (very slowly) rising temperatures, I’ve been getting into a more playful and cheerful spirit with my wardrobe, mixing up my usual leather pieces with some chiffon and brighter details. I’ve been a fan of the quintessential Zara skort since it first came out two years ago so much that I purchased it in both black and white. Sadly though, I missed out on snagging the cobalt blue version from Zara and it always remained rather elusive from my wardrobe. Fast forward a few years, and I found a nearly identical version of the skort from my favourite Aussie online retailer, Hello Parry. Maybe there is some credence to the whole “good things come to those who wait” adage…
Some days, slipping into an all-black look is the easiest way to kill two birds with one stone, sartorial speaking: it looks effortlessly chic and requires minimal time to coordinate and plan. So on one lazy Sunday two weeks ago, I couldn’t resist resorting to my beloved cashmere beanie and leather pants combo. While I’ve made a concerted effort as of late to break out of the leather pants and all-black look I often find myself often gravitating towards to, I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider any variation of this outfit as one of my “signature” looks. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with anything as long as it’s in moderation, right? In an attempt to add a bit of variety, I decided to pair this leather-heavy, monochromatic outfit with one of my recent coup-de-coeurs – the iconic Kenzo Tone on Tone Tiger Sweatshirt. I never thought I would be attracted to something as bold as this Kenzo sweatshirt, but seeing a black and silver version that appeared more muted than the coloured versions changed my mind. Maybe I’ll change my mind and add a coloured version of the sweater to my closet come summer, but right now I’m more than happy with this black version (surprise, surprise).
One of my fondest memories of Paris will always remain visiting Jardin du Luxembourg for the first time: it was the end of summer, people were lounging around eating, sunbathing, and simply enjoying life. Despite living in Paris for over six months now, I only got to return to this stunning park a few weeks ago. While the ambiance in winter felt completely different from what I remembered, the historic stone statues and staircases still remained as beautiful as ever under cloudy January skies. Unlike my favourite park in London, walking through Jardin du Luxembourg feels akin to stepping into a time machine and taking a walk through French history from bygone centuries. While I wish I could hop into a time machine and be transported to warmer seasons, I took the more practical approach and got into the spring spirit with my favourite Rag & Bone Jean Dash Distressed Low Rise Skinny Jeans and my all-time favourite Forever 21 denim shirt. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned since moving to France is that it may be impossible to change the circumstances (including the weather!) around you, but it’s always possible to modify your perspective and attitude. Away with the heavy coats and dark clothes – I’ll make spring happen in my closet regardless if it happens in Paris.
Is there a fashion blogger out there that hasn’t been influenced by the rampant sportswear trend that has taken hold and slowly made inroads into our daily lives? Quite frankly, there couldn’t have been a better for the fashion industry to bestow sneakers as the footwear du jour, as I’ve literally spent my days running between classes and appointments as of late. For a long time, I was a dedicated Converse enthusiast, but recently I’ve expanded my scope of stylish sneakers to include wearing (several pairs of) Stan Smith’s and the Nike Lunar Flyknits that I wear to the gym! I always thought there was something rather gauche about wearing the same style of shoes to the gym as on the city streets, but with a bit of sophisticated polish thanks to my beloved Sandro blazer and these supple Muubaa leather pants, I feel like sartorial balance has been restored. Given that I’m often seen wearing some shade of blue interspersed by black separates, texture is a critical element to making an outfit featuring much of the same colour palette more interesting. Mesh isn’t exactly an abundant fabric in my wardrobe, but maybe it’s time to integrate a few more pieces in this athletic texture to juxtapose my perennial denim and leather favourites.
In the relatively short period of time that I’ve been living in Paris, I’ve already found myself developing a list of favourite spots. From restaurants to bars, places to people watch and my favourite stores, I feel like I’ve been living in the City of Lights a lot longer than just 7 weeks. One of my favourite areas to indulge in many of life’s great pleasures - eating, drinking, shopping and observing – is around Place de L’Opéra. Anchored by L’Opera National de France, situated in possibly the most beautiful building I’ve ever laid eyes on, this area represents all of the best qualities of Paris to me: opulence, beauty, romance, chaos, and timeless. One of my favourite places to stay in the area is at the W Paris Opéra, a hotel that I had the pleasure of staying at while setting up here in Paris. Blending classic Haussmannian style architecture with modern glass and chrome interiors, it provided all the right kinds of dichotomies to create a totally unique hotel experience in Paris. And what better way to create yet another contrast between the beautiful, timeless architecture of the W Hotel than against the raw, edgy nature of my favourite Mackage leather skirt? I found myself gravitating to wearing an outfit that mixed many different materials – silk, leather, and oil-slick coloured booties – all in dark tones, as a way of creating an interesting, stark contrast against the brightness of the W’s rooms.
(Clockwise) Blazer: Balmain Navy Fitted Twill Blazer // Dress: Diane Von Furstenburg Gabby Jacquard-Knit Dress // Jeans: Philipp Plein Lace Insert Skinny Jean // Sandals: Jimmy Choo Vantage Sandals // Bag: Givenchy Medium Antigona Bag // Shirt: ONLY Fitted Shirt (similar here & here) // Boots: Alexander Wang Women’s Gabi Leather/Rose Gold Hardware Ankle Boot // Skirt: MSGM A-Line Skirt
In a very abstract way, I feel a bit like a human Petri dish as of late - an experiment in progress, one could say. What happens when you transport this living organism into a new environment? Will it thrive, or will it die? Will it mutate, or will it remain exactly the same, despite the change of conditions? While this is of course a gross exaggeration of moving to a new country, my relocation to France has been by far the biggest environmental change I’ve experienced in my almost twenty-three years. And being the hyper-aware individual that I am, it’s interesting to watch how my personality, including how I dress, is changing along with embracing a new way of living. Blame it on taking with me only three suitcases of clothes, but I’m finding a great amount of both literal and sartorial comfort in the basics as of late: aviator sunglasses, leather jackets, white tees, good ol’ blue jeans, and crisp white Converse. After months of searching for the absolute bluest jeans possible, I found this amazing pair of Diesel Grupee Jeans mere days before I left Montreal. Sick of super dark and light washes alike, I was in constant search of a pair of bottoms that truly epitomized the meaning of “blue jeans” for what felt like eternity. While this is a more relaxed outfit than what I wear typically as of late (welcome to business school!), this look is one of my favourites for when I want to put in minimal effort while still remaining presentable. When life gets complicated, unpredictable, and full of new experiences, going back to wardrobe basics can provide some much needed stability and comfort in a new environment – blue jeans and white tees, included.
Remember how I said that I was sure that my style would be somewhat influenced by my recent move to France? Well, almost three weeks into living in Paris, I’ve already become cognizant of the sartorial ramifications of relocating across the pond. While I still adore wearing leather anything, I’ve found myself gravitating towards more feminine pieces as of late, including lots of silk tops. One of my favourites as of late is this beautiful piece from the Jessica Bell x Aritzia collaboration, which launched across Aritzia retailers in early August. Before leaving Canada, I rather obsessively stalked down this shirt in Montreal and made sure it would accompany me on my new adventures in Paris. While the colours may have been inspired by artist Jessica Bell’s travels across Canada, I find the colours are very reflective of life in Paris. From the beautiful pink sunrises and sunsets, to the grey cobblestones of the ancient streets and the deep blue of the Seine at night, this shirt feels like the perfect compliment to my new environment. Check out the other equally gorgeous four pieces in the Jessica Bell x Aritzia collection here.
Have you ever visited a place for the first time, only to return to that same place a few years later and realize how different everything seems and how much has changed? I definitely experienced that feeling two weeks ago, when fresh off of my flight from Montreal, I decided to visit my new school’s campus. I came here almost exactly two years before, just to visit the interesting architecture and get a bit of information on L’Institut Français de la Mode (IFM)’s programs. At the time, I had absolutely no intention of attending the school – it was in fact my ex-boyfriend who encouraged me to investigate their programs. Who would have known that I would actually end up here and pursuing fashion as my career, not just as a hobby? For such a busy day of running errands and combatting rather brutal jet-lag, I decided to layer up for the decidedly cooler weather here in Paris with a denim shirt from Forever 21 and my favourite Sandro white jacket. I don’t wear this Sandro white jacket enough, mainly because being the klutz that I am, I’m so fearful of staining any of the beautiful fabric or ecru leather (it ended up happening anyway, sigh). Sometimes you just need to take a risk, whether it’s with wearing a white jacket while being an extremely clumsy individual, or pursuing your true passion in a different country (after all, I Bleed Fashion).
As the only child of a rather international family, I’ve been fortunate to spend a fair amount of time on airplanes over the years. Ever since my very first flight at only 4 months old, I got rather accustomed to all of the components that accompany traveling: think line-ups, security, waiting around and the like. Naturally, you would think this same person has also a tried-and-true packing routine, but alas that couldn’t have been further from the truth until recently.