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.
London’s expansive collection of perfectly manicured gardens have become a favourite hideaway of mine from the stress and smell of Paris. Every weekend I’ve been to London within the last few months, I’ve found myself exploring a new one and gaining some peace of mind before being throttled back through the Chunnel to reality. Thankfully, those days have come to an end as I’ve relocated to London for good. While I don’t regret moving to Paris 9 months ago - I learned an exceptional amount about myself and dealing with various personalities – I couldn’t live, let alone survive there anymore. I just wish I had remembered that good things come to those who wait…and work hard. Another thing that I waited what felt like ages for? Adding the gorgeous Givenchy Antigona Medium Bag to my wardrobe. I’ve been lusting after this glossy baby for well over a year, what with its sleek structure and timeless appeal. I’ll always love my Balenciaga motorcycle bags, but sometimes a girl needs a more grown-up and professional bag. What perfect time too to acquire such a bag, as I officially begin my career in fashion.
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.
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.
(From Clockwise): Givenchy Laura Leather Ankle Boots // Jimmy Choo Marlin Leather Ankle Boots // Valentino Noir Rockstud Short Motorcycle Boots // Salvatore Ferragamo Nagoya Patent Leather Ankle Boots // Balenciaga Ceinture Leather Derby Boots // Senso Blake VII Cut Out Detail Leather Ankle Boots // Chloe Suzanna Studded Leather Bootie // Alexander Wang Black Leather Notched Heel Anouck Boots // Rag & Bone Harrow Leather Boot
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.
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…
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.
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.
To anyone who takes a quick look through my blog, it becomes evident rather quickly that I’m extremely fond of blue: navy, cobalt, denim – I love every hue. However, certain other colours – especially red – are a lot more challenging for me to integrate into my wardrobe. While I’m not sure you’ll ever see me wearing anything firetruck red on this blog in the near future, I have grown rather fond of burgundy recently. Come the end of fall, there’s something about the richness of this shade that feels oh so comforting and appropriate when the temperatures begin to hover around 0. When I first saw these Zara faux leather biker trousers with zips in early November, I was so fond of both the burgundy and black version that I knew I had to get both. While I love the edginess of the pants in black, I also like the more unique and softer nature that the burgundy version conveys. On this quiet, sleepy day in between Christmas and New Year’s when I was back in Canada, I was completely focused on comfort: comfy cashmere sweater, comfy leather pants, and comfy Stan Smiths. Maybe it’s not my most fashionable look, but it’s always possible to remain somewhat chic and comfortable at the same time.
When I first came to Paris five years ago, I quickly fell in love with Le Marais. To me, it represented the idealized vision I had of Paris: a plethora of outdoor cafés and brasseries, some of the best vintage stores in the city, and crumbling, yet charming pre-Haussmann architecture. While I’ve visited Paris many times since then and now live here, Le Marais has remained my favourite area in Paris. In addition to revisiting some of my favourite areas in Paris, I’ve also been revisiting an item of clothing that I haven’t worn much of recently: dresses. While I always love a good shirt dress, I’ve kept my distance from more overtly girly pieces like this Jessica Buurman Anato Color Block Dress out of fear of looking too much like a girl. But what’s to fear about looking like a girl, one might ask? I guess that’s something for me to further ponder, but I do know that a bold pop of cobalt interspersed with leather paneling is the perfect way to get me back into a feminine, flared dress.
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?
The most striking difference I’ve noticed about fashion in London versus Paris is unquestionably people’s willingness to experiment with their personal style. While Paris will seemingly forever be dubbed the fashion capital of the world, I personally find the street style of London much more interesting and thought provoking. From punks and goths, to Eurotrash and WAGs, freedom of sartorial expression feels considerably stronger north of the English Channel. After many months of falling into that codified, quintessentially monochromatic Parisian look, I decided to embrace a much wider variety of colours with great gusto on one grey January day in London. While this COS Crossover Wool Coat has often been the only pop of colour in my wardrobe over the last few months, I decided to switch things up with a few bold pops of purple and yellow. I never thought I would be one to wear a lemon yellow cashmere sweater with a cobalt blue coat, but that’s the great thing about living in and exploring different cities: you never know how a city will end up influencing your attitudes, including the sartorially concerned ones.
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’ve always been an individual who thrives on extremes – after 23 years of analyzing how I work and react, I know for certain that it’s my modus operandi. Naturally, my sartorially inclined feelings regarding simpler matters, such as wearing colour, are no exception to these tendencies. Case in point: In the final weeks of 2014, I took great comfort in wearing monochromatic outfits with the occasional bold accessory here and there. Other times though – most notably in Berlin, or as seen here when I was back in Canada at Christmas – I shunned colour all together and would wear only black. Not only is all black easy to put together, but it also allows the finer details and textures to become more noticeable. I picked up this gorgeous & Other Stories Scuba Skirt several months ago with the idea of pairing it with a paradoxical texture to create an interesting contrast without colour. To bring a little more liveliness and edginess to the outfit, I added a few dashes of metallic gold here and there to avoid a potential “Who Wore it Better?” with Wednesday Adams.
I’ve never really been big on wearing prints – I often find that they can overpower and take away from the finer details of an outfit. Despite my adoption of an even more monochromatic, Parisian sartorial style over the last several months, plaid has managed to remain ubiquitous in my wardrobe. Blame it on my Anglo-Saxon heritage, or the seemingly endless variety of beautiful swatches, but I truly can’t get enough of these colourful pieces. After six months of contemplation about purchasing this gorgeous Sandro Rosy Plaid Shirt Dress (and trying it on no less than three times in three different cities!), I finally took the plunge and purchased it at 50% off last week. And what better place to make this dress’ long awaited debut than in the United Kingdom? Granted, I decided to pair the plaid shirt dress with a few of my favourite minimalist pieces from COS for a day wandering around London, but something still felt deeply appropriate about wearing plaid on the other side of the Channel.
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.
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.
(Clockwise): Diana New Womens Faux Leather Biker Gold or Metal Button Zip Crop Ladies Jacket Coat in Blue // Alexander McQueen Cropped Biker Jacket /// River Island Dark Yellow Zip Waist Biker Jacket // Topshop Belted Leather Biker Jacket (similar) // Drapin Red Motorcycle Jacket (similar) // Giorgio Brato Snake Textured Leather Jacket // Muubaa Blue Leather Biker Jacket // Moschino Biker Jacket // Forever New Trudy PU Biker Jacket (similar)
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.
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
Photos by Mikey Laviolette
It’s funny how vividly I can remember all of the circumstances around each series of photos I publish on my blog: my thoughts and emotions at the moment the shutter snapped, what I planned to do after the photo shoot, and so on. These photos however are especially vivid and emotional for me, as they were the very last ones I shot before moving to Paris a little over a month ago. After wandering into IIIMNKYS for the first time in early August, I couldn’t believe that such a gem of a boutique had been under my nose during my 5 years in Montreal, completely unbeknownst to me. After a few quick emails and Instagram comments back and forth mere days before I was set to leave Montreal, the store and I decided it would be a great idea to collaborate on a series of photos and an Instagram contest. Given my unrequited love for Australian womenswear labels, I jumped at the opportunity to show off the latest offerings at IIIMNKYS from Cameo The Label. For this shoot, I decided not to fight my monochromatic inclinations. Instead, I embraced them, specifically in the forms of interesting textured additions to various dresses and sweatshirts in the form of leopard print, quilted appliqués, and embroidery. I like to think this series of photos is further proof that black and white outfits can prove to be anything but boring – and Aussie designers sure know how to validate that point.
(Clockwise) Vest: Barney’s New York Fur Vest // Slip: Sandro Richa Silk Plaid Slip Dress // Bag: Givenchy Antigona Medium Smooth Leather Tote // Jacket: Muubaa Belted Leather Jacket (similar here) // Shoes: SENSO Ava VIII Monochrome Hi Shine Croc // Sunglasses: Miu Miu MU 09PS 54 Sunglasses // Coat: Alexander Wang Wool Blend Twill Coat It took me a long time to appreciate having a fall birthday. When I was in elementary school, I always envied the kids who had birthdays in the summer and didn’t have school interfering with their special days. As I’ve grown older though, I’ve developed an appreciation for having my birthday on October 1. In Canada, the beginning of October often coincides with the leaves changing colours, Canadian Thanksgiving, and oh yeah, it’s also conveniently timed with the release of fall’s most coveted items. So what better a time of year to (somewhat) justify purchasing one (or five) of fall’s most coveted items? For Fall 2014, these items include: the “new” classic – the Givenchy Antigona tote, a blue biker leather jacket, and Alexander Wang’s bold wool blend twill coat, to name a few. So today on my 23rd birthday, here are my seven favourites that perfectly encapsulate my favourite fall 2014 trends – and top my wish list, should a Fairy Godmother (or my actual mother!) happen to be on the lookout for something that would tickle my fancy…
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.
(Clockwise) Dress: ModCloth Red, White and Cute Dress // Necklace: ModCloth There’s a Map for That Necklace in Gold // Boots: ModCloth Three-Band Bill Bootie // Purse: Cambridge Satchel Upwardly Mobile Satchel in Red – 14 inch // Jacket: ModCloth Through the Foliage Jacket
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).