For years now, I’ve considered grey and black to be my go-to neutrals: regardless of the garment or material, I can always throw on some combination of the two and instantly feel put together and chic. Other so-called neutrals like tan, white and silver though? These colours still feel challenging and daunting to me – which is exactly why I’ve been experimenting with them more frequently as of late. I’m happy to report that I’ve been making slow but steady progress with said closet diversification: white jeans have transitioned from an occasional summer favourite into a wardrobe mainstay, while most recently, I’ve been craving dashes of silver accessories. These Zara metallic platform bluchers are a prime example of a new metallic favourite that I can’t wait to pair with black leather shorts later on this summer, but for now, I decided to give them an inaugural spin as part of an entirely neutral outfit. I guess when you’re in a city as colourful as Barcelona, it’s not surprising that one would gravitate towards neutrals to contrast its exquisite scenery. Or maybe perhaps this is more permanent progress to a more tonally diversified wardrobe. Either way, the combination of old and new neutrals felt perfect for a lazy day wandering around Barceloneta again during my trip to Barcelona over Easter.
As many of you witnessed via my Instagram account, I spent 4 glorious days in Barcelona during my Easter break. Honestly, I can’t think of a better location at a better time: lots of clear blue skies and sun was exactly the cure I needed after weeks of grey and dreary weather in Paris. This trip marks my first time visiting Barcelona, and I can say with absolute certainty that it won’t be my last. I’ll always have a soft spot for the emerald green waters of southern Italy’s Adriatic coast, but I now equally appreciate Barcelona’s bon vivant attitude, delicious cuisine, and aquamarine coastline. Sartorially speaking, I’ve been heavily relying upon lots of leather in both London and Paris as of late, mainly due to the cooler temperatures and being rather consumed with course work and applications. But a dramatic change of scenery and seasons provided the perfect catalyst to shake up my outfits and embrace bold colours again. I guess it’s safe to say that I was not-so-subtly influenced by the marine scenery in choosing to wear both my Hello Parry Space Aqua Blue Mesh Top and & Other Stories Oil Reptile Bag. Call it fisherman chic, but while packing for Barcelona, I couldn’t resist throwing in these two pieces to pair with my all-time favourite Rag & Bone jeans.
Last week, I had the opportunity to return to Italy as part of my master’s program at IFM. While it would be a gross understatement to describe our week-long sojourn as anything but a whirlwind (hello 5:30 AM call times and midnight bedtimes), it was one of the most fascinating trips I’ve ever taken. Splitting our time equally between Milan and Venice, we had a few once in a lifetime opportunities of gaining exclusive access into the production facilities of Louis Vuitton shoes, as well as ceramic and textile factories. Given the study-related nature of this trip, I didn’t have much free time (or energy) to take my DSLR camera around with me all the time, so my photos from this trip are a mash-up of DSLR photos from Venice and a few of my favourite Instagram snaps from Milan and Venice. While I typically find myself visiting southern Italy more than the north given my family’s roots, thinking about wandering the cobblestone streets around il Duomo and feeling the cold breeze rolling off of Venice’s canals at night is definitely making me eager for a more relaxing trip back to these two cities soon.
If I had to pick my favourite new city that I explored in 2014, I would have no hesitations in saying that Amsterdam claimed that title. From the kindness of strangers to Amsterdam’s beautiful canals and architecture, I quickly discovered after mere hours in the city that I had fallen head over heels for Holland’s capital. While I didn’t take as many photos for an Amsterdam Photo Diary as I would have liked to, there’s no doubt in my mind that I will be returning sometime soon – hopefully in time for tulip season in May, perhaps?
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.
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.
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.
Traveling induces an almost fugue-like state in me, meaning that even after being back in Montreal for a mere week, trips to Toronto, Italy or New York feel as if they were a part of another life. This time, the feeling is a lot less exaggerated, as it has been quite some time – two months, to be exact months – sine I left for Washington, D.C. After a week of sightseeing and visiting with family, a trip to Friendship Heights, one of D.C.’s upscale shopping districts was in order on my last day in America’s capital. While I did much more window shopping than actual purchasing, I had a wonderful day exploring another neighbourhood of D.C. and soaking up some warmer weather. With the weather in mind, I decided to pair two items that haven’t seen in the light of day in Montreal for many months due to our inclement winter weather: my Balenciaga cut-out boots and my favourite Sandro blazer. Two months later, I’m still waiting and growing increasingly impatient to wear both of these items on this side of the border. Here’s to hoping that this arduous winter also becomes a distant memory – sooner rather than later.
I’m well and woefully aware that this photo diary is being published at a nearly unacceptable delay, given that I traveled to Washington, D.C. almost two months ago. I took only a mere fraction of the number photos compared to the amount I took while in Rome, mostly due to the inclement, wintery weather that plagued D.C. every day I was there…until the day I left, naturally. Regardless, it was quite interesting to visit America’s capital and spend some quality time with my extended family. Hopefully next time return though, the weather is in my favour for some more photography and exploring.
Has it really been a month since I left for Washington, D.C. already? Apparently so, even if it feels like I was only there yesterday. Expecting milder weather south of the border, my favourite Zara burgundy jacket was the heaviest piece of outerwear I packed for my week-long sojourn in America’s capital. Dressing warmly with my limited clothing options while away was definitely challenging, and rather repetitive by my final day, but it also forced me to break some of my own fashion rules like leather-on-leather-on-leather-on-leather (that’s right, four leather-like pieces worn at once). While some bloggers seem to be able to pull off this combination effortlessly, I’ve always had trouble doing it myself. My personal tip to wearing a plethora of leather, real or fake, all at once? Different textures and colours of leather interspersed with knits, silks and woollens.
Missing like crazy Piazza Venezia, the beautiful Pugliese countryside, and the winding streets of Lucera right now as I huddle under a pile of blankets in the dead of winter here in Canada. I tried my best to make up for last year’s unfortunate mishap of forgetting my DSLR camera charger on the other side of the Atlantic by building a much more detailed photo diary this time around in Italy. Soon I’ll be off to another destination, albeit much closer to home, but nonetheless it’s another city that I can’t wait to photograph.
To say I have a slight obsession with anything Balenciaga – prét-a-porter, accessories, footwear – would be a gross understatement. From these covetable boots to the classic Balenciaga motorcycle bag, some Balenciaga accessories have gradually been incorporated into my wardrobe over the years, while others have remained mere longings on my Pinterest boards. Like many young girls, I was first introduced to the signature rivet, buckle and zipper combination of the brand’s bags and accessories on the arms of young celebrities in my favourite tabloid magazines. While it took several years for one of those timeless bags to be incorporated into my own wardrobe, it is unquestionably the most utilized bag I own, with a cost-per-wear soon approaching multiple decimal factors. While in Rome and wandering around Via Borgognona in December, I couldn’t resist falling fast for these purple and gold Balenciaga accessories. It might have made more sense to opt for a more traditional black and silver version of the Giant Arena studded wallet, but my gut instinct was unrelenting in its bias towards the bold gold and purple colour combination. Maybe it’s my subconscious trying to combat the winter blues, but this bold colour combination is sure to liven up any outfit this winter and for many years to come.
If there was ever a time for me to flee Canada to avoid some rather atrocious winter weather and impending, anxiety-inducing life decisions, it was over the last two weeks – which is exactly what I did. Even though 2013 was a great year for me, it was quite an emotional roller coster, primarily fuelled by uncertainty in a variety of areas of my life: uncertainty about what follows graduation, what industry I want to build a career in, and uncertainty about people and their roles in my life. That’s why I’m so grateful I was able to escape life in Montreal and go back to living a bit simpler with limited internet access, eating fresh food, spending time with my family, and oh yeah, wearing normal clothes that don’t include either of these. Truth be told, I was more excited to wear normal footwear than to shed my parka while overseas, wholly due to these boots that I picked up at a pre-Christmas sale by a new favourite shoe line of mine, To Be Announced (as already seen in a different colour here). I had been eyeing this colour for months, but couldn’t justify buying a duplicate of a shoe I already owned without a severe discount. There’s something about this iridescent leather in a classic boot cut that just seems to elevate any boring, monochromatic look like this one to a new level or sartorial achievement. No accessories needed in this look – no purse, no jewelry, no scarf, just the basics, the way I was intent on living life for those glorious two weeks away from the mayhem of Montreal life.
I’ve been back in Montreal for a week and a half since my week long trip to New York, but quite frankly it feels as if a lifetime has passed since I was in the Big Apple. I’m back into one of those inevitable phases of life where it seems as if there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished, regardless of how much one cuts back on socializing, sleeping and all those other great things in life. Add to that mix about 9 hours of sunlight and increasingly frigid temperatures and life can easily feel overwhelming and and dreary. Fortunately, I have lots of fond memories from my second stay in Midtown where I was able to forget about life in Montreal and comfortably wear what I presume will be my last jacket-less look of the year. One of the many things I enjoy about fall from a sartorial standpoint is the necessity of reinterpreting summer pieces to work for cooler temperatures. As much as I loved wearing this crop top this summer on its own, throwing a blouse with a geometric pattern underneath it gives it a completely new feel that I will definitely be repeating throughout winter.
Hello, Toronto, it’s been a while since we last saw each other! While I have definitely become a Montreal girl at heart since moving there four years ago, Toronto injects a kind of invigoration into me that I rarely find in La Belle Province. Maybe it’s the skyscraping condominiums and office towers, the palpable buzz of being in Canada’s biggest city, or just being reacquainted with a city that I’ve spent years traveling back and forth from, yet never permanently living in. Regardless of the root cause, I’m extremely thankful for said buzz to have kept me moving yesterday after a hectic day of academic presentations, promptly followed by rushing for a plane in order to get me to the shows five hundred kilometres away and on time. It was all a rather deja-vu feeling from last year at this time…
Are we really into the second month of 2013 already? Apparently we are, according to dates for Montreal Fashion Week, midterm exams, and meetings that stare back at me from my February page of iCal. Time seems to be passing at a record speed over the last few months, so I guess I shouldn’t exactly be surprised that it feels as if I left Italy three months ago, when in reality I left three weeks ago. All of those smells, sights, and sounds seem so far away – it was if my two week stay was just a dream in another lifetime. It almost feels like I’m coming to the end of a lifetime, quite frankly, as I start to think about the future outside of being an undergraduate student, which is a fairly difficult reality to put into words. Italy, or at least Europe, will hopefully be a part of that new life after this degree, but not quite yet. Montreal will always entice me into staying in this beautiful, crazy, disorganized, yet lovable, creative and charming city.
I can’t believe that I’m leaving London tomorrow! I’ve had a fantastic time here in England, but my time here has gone by all too quickly. My overall impression of London can be summed up in the following words: edgy, historic, friendly, and alive. While it’s true that London is very expensive (I used up all of my cash on taxis in just two days), I can already tell that this will be a city I will be coming back to in the near future…
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.
There’s truly nothing more refreshing than getting a repose from the hustle and bustle of everyday life by escaping to somewhere you’ve never been before – whether it’s a few hours away by car or three connections over three continents, I personally believe getting away is one of the best things someone can do for themselves. Last week I had the opportunity to go out west into British Columbia’s interior and snowboard on some of the best mountains in the world. Since I managed to pack everything I needed for this trip in a snowboard bag and carry-on bag, there wasn’t much room for exotic style but of course I took along my trusty Mackage leather jacket while my friend wore my Canada Goose jacket (I talked about how we switched jackets here in my last post and the benefits of it).
|Crazy Bangladesh Restaurant off of 1st Avenue|
|The Upper West Side (from Central Park)|
|Picasso, at MoMA|
|The ceiling of the Bangladesh restaurant!|
|Inside the Metropolitan Museum of Art|
|Shoes and Clutch: Urban Outfitters; Book: Metropolitan Museum of Art: Scarf: Aritzia|
|Josie Maran Argan Oil Lip Treatment; Jurlique Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer; Laura Mercia Tinted Moisturizer in Bare Radiance – all from Sephora in Times Square|
|Dress: Artizia; Black Tank: Artizia; Everything else as cited above|
Just got back from NYC at 5am this morning, then slept 6 hours in my own cozy bed (buses are worse than airplanes to sleep in, in my opinion!). I had a wonderful 5 days in New York, but at the same time I’m glad to be back in Canada – New York is so loud and busy! Not to say I won’t be busy in the next 2 weeks…in fact, my posting might become infrequent as I have several important exams coming up soon!