Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bonus Round: Lady Gaga vs. The Eurythmics!

Image by Mariel Ashlinn
I'm not going to lie to you: I love Lady Gaga. Not enough to buy tickets to see her in Ottawa in March, and not even her music really, but I love the spectacle that her life is. I love that she takes fashion risks, that her whole life is a performance.

I spent a big chunk of my last Sunday morning watching the video for "Bad Romance" over and over again...

And then The Boy pointed out that it is bears distinct similarities to video for The Eurythmics' "Missionary Man".

It's interesting: the same medical/monster themes, but while the Gaga video is much cleaner and visually sanitised, it is definitely much more sexually charged.

Although Annie Lennox in that catsuit? Yes please.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lunchtime Lookup

Photo by D. Sharon Pruitt
While I often love the photography at The Sartorialist, this girl and this girl both blew me away with their beauty.

Ari at Advanced Style shares Rose Sachs' Top Ten Ways to Stay Stylish and Look Great at 98. I love her lorgnettes! I want a pair!

This K. Beaton cartoon made me laugh so hard it's not to be believed.

The CRAFT blog has this great tutorial on making Halloween shoes. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to make a bunch of pairs just for wearing! I would make these devil horns to go with, of course. I also love this kid's costume for an old-timey strongman. His name is obviously Phinneas. AND OF COURSE THEY HAVE GAGA COSTUMES I LOVE HER.

CRAFT also had these gorgeous tatted ankle corsets; I would love to learn to tat just to make some! Also, a how-to on ruched leggings. And one on what looks like a very labour-intensive felt applique technique on a cardigan. That one looks like too much work for me.

More my speed: Mark Montano's Amazing Lace candle holder.

Before You Were Hot is my new favourite timewaster online. Celebrate your ugly duckling beginnings!

Still don't know what you're going to be for Halloween? Thread NY has a fashion-conscious top ten.

This photo of Christ Elliot as Terry Richardson totally made my day. (I know that it's not very PC to like either of them, but I can't help but enjoying the antics.)

Cyanide and Happiness share my love of a good punctuation joke.

The Budget Babe tries out some eco-friendly laundry detergent.

Angie at You Look Fab talks about layering jackets over dresses. (Via Already Pretty.)

Nubby Twiglet wears (and somehow rocks) a whackadoo Rick Owens jacket.

The Fashion Tribes Blog had a little "what to wear" for London Fashion Week, but it translates to Ottawa as well!

Finally, the Verhext wedding invitations that make me never want to get married. Not because they're not beautiful, but because I could never compete! (Via Gala Darling.)

What's turning you on this week on the internet? (Get your mind out of the gutter, you.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things I Love Thursday (TiLT)

My new Freecycled candles!
Following the advice of Gala Darling, I've decided to start showing gratitude in my life for all the little things that make my days brighter. I've started keeping a list in my DayRunner and whenever I think of something lovely that I like, I write it down. 

So, we've got ourselves a nice little new feature—every Thursday, I'm going to post a list of things I loved, found wonderful, and was thankful for this week!

Let's jump in!

Things I love to do: building outfits for Ottawa Fashion Week; getting caught singing in the elevator; bringing my lunch to work; feeling organised; ironing; cleaning; being a lady

Silly activities with The Boy: making up fake slam poetry; The Boy in my tiara

My amazing friends: drinking tea with and getting clothes from Mariel; Katie's amazing green tea and coconut vegan ice cream

Little luxuries: having my back washed in the tub; cream soda in champagne glasses; sandalwood incense; stickers on calendars denoting special days; red heart-shaped candles scored off Freecycle; people who are good sports; red shoes; socks with heels; animals with people names; heart-shaped accessories; maps; lavender linen spray; watercolours; sunset light on camera-turned faces; big sunglasses; teacups; flocking; The Boy being warm; opening new toys; new books; the art of Maurice Sendak; young adult literature; art supplies; field guides; tarot cards; puzzles

Food: sandwiches made with two potato patties and guacamole; cupcakes for dinner; cupcakes for breakfast; President's Choice Black Olive Tapenade (I am putting that sh*t on everything); sushi; Good & Plenty; tea; grenadine; root beer; Bottlecaps

Cosmetics: Avon Glazewear Shine Lip Gloss in Mauve Moment; Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey

This great NFB short: The Egg

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Questionable Moments: Le Château Window, Rideau Centre

Seriously, what?
OK, I've held off on posting this for quite some time, hoping maybe it would grow on me.

I'm not a fan of paisley at the best of times. But it's alright if it's an all-over paisley in an interesting colour scheme.


What do you think?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Wishlist: October

Photo by J. S. Zolliker
Here's a brief rundown of things I'm lusting after at the moment (Yes, I know, conspicuous consumption and all that, but a girl can dream, can't she?):

I'm trying to be more organised, so I'm using my DayRunner again. I'd like a mirror for the inside of it, like one of these locker mirrors, which I could easily hack to attach to the inside back cover. I could also use another business card holder for the inside of it.

I love these pink heart rhinestone studded iPod headphones!

As I mentioned on Twitter, I am seriously lusting after this sterling silver and cubic zirconia skull ring... I can see it with so many of my outfits!

I'd like my own tripod for outfit photos, so I don't have to keep borrowing The Boy's.

With winter coming on (whether we like it or not), I need a lip balm to put in my coat pocket. My choice this winter is The Body Shop's Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick.

Legwarmers! I like skirts! I walk to work! I hate being cold!

Star Girl, by Jerry Spinelli. Because I no-so-secretly adore young adult fiction.

Salon/spa gift certificates. I'm trying like mad to save money at the moment so I can quit my job and do the fashion and style thing full-time, but I miss regular haircuts and pedicures!

Tall black Michael by Michael Kors boots. Swoon. These boots need to be in my life and in my closet. Dear beautiful boots, please come home with me and be my forever loves.

I love Lula magazine. Subscription? Yes please!

A well-stocked liquor cabinet! I've been consuming, but not replacing. I'm even out of plonk wine!

My closet seems to be expanding exponentially lately, and it looks like I'm going to need some more pants/skirt hangers.

What are you lusting after lately? Tell me in the comments!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Preview: Ottawa Fashion Week

Anna Wintour face.
Well, let's call it what it really is: Ottawa Fashion Weekend. I am doing my best to reserve judgement, but I'm going into this whole thing with my skeptic glasses on. It takes a lot to wow me (what can I say, I'm very particular), and from what I can tell so far I just might be wearing my Anna Wintour face.

Here are my initial thoughts on the designers who are showing this weekend...

Emilia Torabi: Clothes seem matronly at best. Web site is strange to navigate, no information on where to purchase or ability to purchase online.
Keera Sama: There's definitely something interesting going on here. I'm curious as to what she's sending down the runway for S/S 2011.
Trive by Modasuite: Very cute indie rock boy wear. Nothing exciting or groundbreaking, but it should be a nice little bit of eyecandy at least.
Nixxi: Simple, wearable knitwear with a bit of excitement. Think American Apparel with some edge.
Karen McClintock: A jewellry designer, I'm particularly fond of her Hepburn Collection. Again, curious to see what S/S 2011 will hold for her.
Micalla: More jewellry - GORGEOUSGORGEOUSGORGEOUS. I am dying over her stuff, especially the orchid cuff. DROOL.
Elroy Apparel: Sustainable clothing, which usually makes me yawn. From the look of previous collections, it could go either way, I could be really interested or really, really bored.
GoldenFish Swimwear: Clothing and swimwear, from the looks of their website. I'm actually excited about this show.

LABEL: I was so bored looking at their website I can't even tell you. Also: don't try to emulate American Apparel's photography style. It's tacky.
Courtney Flood/Julianne Robichaud: There's no website for this pair, which is too bad. Their stuff from last season looks pretty cute, it could turn out to be very wearable business wear with a modern edge.
Andrew Majtenyi: Very cool dresses in interesting prints, from what I can tell from his website. Could be a good one to watch.
Jana Hanzel: More than nodding, Hanzel's pieces point wildly towards Mad Men-era glamour. Which, to be honest, I'm kind of sick of seeing everywhere. Something new please!
Judy Design: Whoa. If you insist on having music play on your website, please don't have the f-bomb in the first line of lyrics! I mean, I'm no prude, but come on, this is your public image here. I couldn't look at the clothes without thinking "trashy/clubby", and I think the music had a lot to do with that.
Rachel Sin: Underwhelming, and the Nelly Dress reminds me of something from JWOWW's (now canned) Filthy Couture collection. (Note: this is not a favourable comparison. See above for Anna Wintour face.)

Sugarbum Designs: I own a Sugarbum piece, and I love it a lot. Ashley Parsons has a very artistic eye for clothing and is probably the closest to anything remotely couture we'll see at OFW. I wish she constructed her things better though, it seems she doesn't really know how to fit clothes on bodies.
Yola Couture: Humdrum snooze yawn. ANGRY yawns.
Soltys & Snajdr: Another sustainable line, but being positioned as a luxury brand. From what OFW posted on their site, I'm not seeing it.
Adrian Wu: I'm pretty stoked about this. I could see ingenues on a red carpet in this stuff.
Birds of North America: I am SUPER EXCITED about this show. SO PRETTY.
Kania Couture: While her pieces are cute and wearable, I don't see any difference between this and stuff you'd see at maybe Sirens. "Couture" it isn't. (Wow. I'm not trying to be mean! I just have very strong opinions about fashion!)
Jessica Biffi: A Project Runway Canada alum, I'm curious to see what she's bringing to the dance.

Friday, October 29th:
Saturday, October 30th:
Sunday, October 31st:
Ottawa Fashion Week runs from October 29th to 31st. You can buy tickets here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grandmere Gaby, 1912-2010

Friends, I apologize for my lag in posting lately. My beloved Grandmere, Gabrielle Lacasse (Morin), passed away recently at the age of 97.

I have been doing a lot of family things and have not had much time for blogging and life stuff. I will be returning to blogging next week.

Please, no condolences - Grandmere Gaby was one of my style icons and the reason that I became the stylish person that I am. She will be missed, of course, but mostly she should be remembered for the sweet, giving, wonderful woman that she was.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It Was a Naked Lady Party!

On September 26th, I opened my home to 11 ladies and their cast-off clothing.

I had five garbage bags of clothing to get rid of (hooray for drastic unexpected weight loss!), so I decided to invite some ladies over to root through the clothes, bring their own things to get rid of, and generally just have a great afternoon.

As I sorted the clothing, I was concerned with how cold my apartment was–I was in a sweater and jeans with wool socks on and was still freezing! I shouldn’t have worried. Half an hour after the ladies arrived, we were all down to our underwear and the windows were fogged over! My apartment is small and there was a lot of giggling.

Favourite quotes of the afternoon: “All of my favourite ladies are in their underwear. It’s a good day to be Lauren!” and “I never thought I’d be giving someone my card in my underwear.”

We ate. We drank. We tried things on.

For the whole week following the e-mails and Twitter messages came pouring in–people couldn’t stop telling me what fun they had, and how many great clothes they ended up with!

I’ll be holding another one at the end of January. It looks like every four months or so is going to be a good frequency for this.

Do you hold or attend clothing swaps? Tell me about your experiences in the comments!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Street Style: Marie Michell

The boots were what grabbed my attention.
Meet Marie Michell. I ran into her on my way to work yesterday, and I had to stop her to ask about her boots. They were the perfect shade of grey, with a tiny bit of cute corset-style lacing at the top on the side.

She told me she found them, at all places, at Sears in the summer. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Sears is definitely not the place I was expecting her to tell me she found this fabulous, fashion-forward fall footwear!

She was also wearing an absolutely darling little hippie-print dress* and tights. She told me she had just dropped her kids off at school and had taken the day off. If more moms made the effort to look this cute to just drop off their kids, I'd be out of a job!

Marie is a very sweet and stylish woman, and we have plans to meet up for drinks in the near future.

What do you think?

*Marie, if you're reading this, please tell me in the comments where your dress is from!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nina Garcia's One Hundred: #2 Animal Print

All photos, Andrew Alexander Photography.
I have loved animal print since I was a kid. It was the eighties. My mother was horrified. But man, did I ever want leopard-print everything.

In high school I had a leopard-print belt and headband. I wore them with a black turtleneck and tight black jeans (what would now be referred to as "skinnies"), and I thought I was the chicest thing in the school.

I have to admit, most of what I own in the way of animal print is in the leopard variety; it's my favourite skin pattern (followed closely by zebra).

Oh dear. Those shoes are too big. It's hard to be a stylist for yourself!
Hooray to Nina Garcia for acknowledging that animal print is chic (of course, only in the colours that nature intended and only in small doses)! Now I can prove it to my mother!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Huge Thank-You!

Photo by Andrew Alexander Photography.
Wow! I have been receiving an incredible response to my new column, More Fashion, Less Victim, over at Apartment 613! Thank you so much, everyone! Particularly, thank you François for the go-ahead and my dear Andrew for the push in the right direction and to get moving. Big ups to Andrew Alexander for taking such great pictures.

I am just completely overwhelmed by all the kind words and responses. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to continue this adventure.
Next month I cover menswear. Please feel free to e-mail me your questions! Check back here tomorrow for the continuing series on Nina Garcia's One Hundred.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Colour Theory For Non-Artists

I was recently asked about combining colours in outfits. How is it done? How can I do it? How do I avoid looking like a douchebag?

Many people find colour intimidating. There are so many colours out there! If one doesn’t have an art background or a good eye for such things, how does one know what goes with what?

Luckily, there is a ton of information available online, and I’m going to do my best to dispense some wisdom as well.

When you first start playing around with colour, you might do well to try out neutrals with a “pop” of colour. Think brown pants with a red top, a white summer dress with an aquamarine belt, or a navy suit with a deep indigo dress shirt. It’s a simple way to incorporate colour into outfits without having to worry about whether or not it “matches”. It doesn’t have to match, it just “goes”. Neutrals (black, brown, white, navy, grey, tan) go with everything.

It seems deceptively easy, but a more challenging ways of dressing when it comes to colour is to dress in a monochrome outfit. This is probably easiest to pull off with all black–because of variations in manufacturing, not all navies, browns, or other colours are the same, and often don’t even have the same base colour–but can be done with any colour. Just be careful of looking like Grimace in all-purple! With monochromatic looks, remember that you’re not just looking for one saturation* or brightness of the same colour. A red dress can look very stunning with burgundy tights and a pink bag. It is, in the words of Tim Gunn, a lot of look. Tread carefully in monochrome outfits that are not neutral.

Not a fashion icon.
Complementary colours are colours which are directly across from each other on the colour wheel. Examples would be red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. Again, a little tough to pull off, but totally doable. Let’s say you have a purple sweater dress. Like, exactly the purple that’s above in the colour wheel. Look at the yellow directly across from that–would you wear tights in that colour with that purple dress? Probably not. But if the tights were a toned-down version of that colour, it would work. Like, if the tights had more grey in them. Mmm. Mustard-y.

So, you’re managed neutrals with a pop, monochrome that’s not black and complimentary colours. “Challenge me, Jes,” you say. Fine. I will.

Split complementary.

A split complementary is when you take one colour on the colour wheel (let’s say for the sake of argument in this case, amber), and rather than pairing it with its complementary colour (indigo), you use the two colours on either side of its complementary (blue and purple). That’s right, this outfit has three colours. For example, an amber top with a blue suit and a purple bag and shoes. Hot.

As a side note to the split complementary, you can also combine colours that are one jump away from each other on the colour wheel–take the amber out of the last combo and put blue with purple. (Or red with orange, or yellow with green, etc.)

On the colour wheel, you’ll notice a triangle in the middle. You can draw this triangle between any three colours equidistant on the colour wheel. Drop one of those three colours, and you’ve got yourself a two-thirds colour combination. Blue and red for example, or purple and orange. Again, make sure that it’s not all very saturated colours!

A few other things to remember when it comes to colour theory:

* Light colours emphasise, dark colours de-emphasise. Big butt that you want to hide? A black skirt will be better than a white one.
* Warm colours emphasize, cool colours de-emphasise. Still want to hide that lovely booty? Put it in a navy skirt, not a red one.
* Play around with colour. If you don’t know if things go together, try them out! Be bold in your experiments! If it doesn’t work, there’s always tomorrow!
* If you really don’t know what colours go together, look at existing colour combinations. Look to magazines to see how ads combine colours. Use store windows not to tell you what to buy, but to figure out the colours that they put together. Even nature is full of inspiration!

For more information on this topic, Academichic has four fantastic posts (lessons one through four) on this subject, with awesome illustrations. Do check them out!

Are you experimenting with colour in your wardrobe? Let me know how it’s going in the comments!

*Saturation has to do with the amount of white in a colour. The more white, the less saturated a colour is. Red would be saturated compared to pink. Basically, the purity of a colour.