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May 2017

Inspired By | Kentucky Derby Style

Written by , Posted in Dresses, Fashion, Gloves / Hats / Scarves, Women

kentucky derby style

Img src kentuckyderby.com

Odds are that when you hear the words “Kentucky Derby” you think just as much (or more) about the fashion than you do the horse races.

The Palmerston & District Hospital Foundation gala is only three days away, and this year’s theme is a “Run for the Roses” — Kentucky Derby! Did you know that the red rose is the official flower of the Derby?

Here’s a little history for you: The Kentucky Derby’s been running at Churchill Downs racetrack since 1875, and the Derby is widely considered to be the most famous race in the U.S. as well as the longest running sporting event.

The Derby was founded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, grandson of the infamous William Clark (yes, that Clark, as in Lewis and Clark). Since 1875, the Kentucky Derby has been a staple spring event, even throughout the Great Depression and the First and Second World Wars. Fun fact: In 1970, the Derby saw its first female jockey ride.

kentucky derby style

Img src kentuckyderby.com

If you’re headed to the gala this weekend, or to the Derby & Oaks next May, here are a few suggestions when it comes to what to wear:

  • Ladies, let your headwear stand out! If you’re planning to style an elaborate hat or fascinator (thanks to Kate Middleton for popularizing the fascinator), make sure your dress isn’t competing for attention. If your hat is a loud colour or patterned, keep your dress more low-key.
kentucky derby style

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  • While the dress code at the Derby isn’t set in stone — you’ll see everything from lightweight cottons in bright colours to more formal satins in muted tones — the Derby is the day women everywhere (Southern belle by birth or not!) go all out to express themselves with their clothing.
kentucky derby style

Img src kentuckyderby.com

  • Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. You’ll be spending plenty of time on your feet, and the last thing a lady needs is a limp because of blisters.
  • For men, hats are not a necessity, though the bowler or fedora in a solid colour are a classic throwback to the early Derby days.
  • At the Kentucky Derby, many men choose to style a traditional necktie, however bow ties are just as acceptable.
kentucky derby style

Img src kentuckyderby.com

Looking for more Kentucky Derby style inspiration? Head over to my Pinterest page and check out my Millinery: Hats & Headgear board!

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May 2014

Charles James: Beyond Fashion

Written by , Posted in Arts / Culture, Biographies / Style Icons, Dresses, Fashion, Women

Charles James, 1952: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Michael A. Vaccaro / LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Look Job 52-1129 Frame-18

Charles James, 1952: Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph by Michael A. Vaccaro / LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Look Job 52-1129 Frame-18

Tonight is the highly-anticipated Met Gala, the annual fundraiser ball for the Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. Besides the amazing (and sometimes over-the-top) fashions displayed on the red carpet, what I love about the annual Gala is that it signifies the commencement of another exciting exhibit at the Museum. This year’s exhibition is entitled Charles James: Beyond Fashion, and is an examination of the illustrious couturier’s career, as well as his often-imitated design methodology.

Charles James "Taxi" Dress, ca. 1932, Black wool ribbed knit The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Alan W. Kornberg Gift, 2013 (2013.309)

Charles James “Taxi” Dress, ca. 1932, Black wool ribbed knit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, Alan W. Kornberg Gift, 2013 (2013.309)

Charles James was born in 1906. He attended Harrow School alongside Cecil Beaton (the famous photographer). James’s designs first caught attention during at a showing in Paris in 1947. He was the father of many firsts in fashion design, including his taxi dress innovation (made first in 1929, given the name “taxi dress” because, according to Costume Institute curator Harold Koda, it was “so easy to wear it could be slipped on in the backseat of a taxi”. Interestingly enough, James had no formal training in fashion design, however he is to this day regarded as one of the most innovative designers of his time.

Charles James Evening Dress, 1948, Black silk satin and black silk velvet The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1949 (2009.300.734)

Charles James Evening Dress, 1948, Black silk satin and black silk velvet
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Millicent Huttleston Rogers, 1949 (2009.300.734)

Charles James: Beyond Fashion will be exhibited in two locations: Both at the Anna Wintour Costume Center as well as on the Met’s first floor. According to Metmuseum.org, the exhibit will include approximately seventy-five of James’s most iconic designs.

I am particularly eager to check out the exhibit this summer, not just because of this years subject, but also because this is first exhibit at the Institute since its renovation. Some of my favourite exhibits from the past several years include the American Woman collection, Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty”, and “Impossible Conversations” with Schiaparelli and Prada.

For more information on Charles James: Beyond Fashion, visit the Met’s official website.

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October 2013

Joe Fresh E-Commerce Site Launch!

Written by , Posted in Dresses, Jackets / Outerwear, Pants, Shirts, Women

Joe Fresh black striped dress.

Joe Fresh black striped dress, $29.

Joe Fresh Cocoon Coat, $169.

Joe Fresh Cocoon Coat, $169.

Joe Fresh red ponte skirt.

Joe Fresh Red ponte skirt, $29.











I have been waiting SO LONG for this! How exciting that the Joe Fresh E-Commerce site is live and AMAZZZING! It seems like rumours have been swirling for a long while now about the Canadian brand’s online boutique, and the wait is finally over. Just in time for Fall, you can now officially purchase your favourite — affordable — Joe Fresh pieces online.

My favourite pieces thus far? I’m loving…


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November 2010

Hope Hearts: Haider Ackermann’s Asymmetric Designs

Written by , Posted in Dresses

So, I’m getting in touch with my high school self when trig was my favourite subject.


To be honest, I’ve never been one for calculating angles, unless they’re in the form of some luxe designer clothes.

Case in point?

Check these genius designs at Bergdorfs by Paris-based designer Haider Ackermann. Recognize them? You’re probably familiar with his designs even if you don’t know it. (Tilda Swinton is a fan and friend.) Admittedly, I only became familiar with the structural genius back in June, when he presented his Fall 2010 collection at the ROM. It was his first ever runway show in North America, and an impressive debut at that. Ackermann’s designs are almost poetic; he uses simple fabrics like jersey and silk to create the most romantic clothing. Ironically, even his most androgynous and structured designs drape on the body in an incredibly feminine and sensual fashion.


  • My favourite looks include Ackermann’s liquid luxury blue satin asymmetric tie-shoulder blouse ($2070, Bergdorfs). Featuring a serious front drape, this is a blouse you could style day or night. The wrapped front creates a cowl neck effect which highlights the silk satin’s steel blue colour. Made in Belgium, the quality’s all here.
  • I’m also loving Haider Ackermann’s leather zip-slit skirt ($1295, Bergdorfs). The rich tobacco lambskin is sliced at front and back with zippers. It’s classic pencil shape means you could easily wear it to the office, then segue into evening. It’s an edgy and elegant piece that would make a fantastic addition to any wardrobe.
  • Want something with a little more shimmer? Check this Tilda Swinton-worthy Serra open-front blazer ($1660, Bergdorfs). Done in a metallic chalk satin, this blazer is all about edges. The front is open, the sleeves are long, and the cutaway front hem definitely adds detail. Whilst I’m not usually a fan of square styling, I do find the box fit of this blazer appealing.


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November 2010

Inspired By: Giambattista Valli

Written by , Posted in Dresses

Whether it’s Twiggy’s tiny frame, thick doe-eyed liquid eyeliner, or cozy cocoon coats, I pretty much love everything from the late 50s/early 60s. And I can’t really think of anything that embodies that time period more effectively than Giambattista Valli’s F/W 2010 RTW collection. Seen last Spring on the Paris runway, Giambattista Valli’s Fall collection was full of thick cashmere, black tights, and kitten-heeled slingbacks. And not one to short-out on beauty — check the Brigitte-esque bouffants, the Twiggy-like eyeliner, and nude lips — Valli’s models really brought the 60s to life.

As far as 50s/60s era-inspired makeup, I’m a fan of L’Oreal Voluminous eyeliner and also Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto liquid liner, although it’d be a dream to have a professional make-up artist to apply it for me. For nude lips, my choice is Trish McEvoy classic lip colour in natural ($23, Neiman Marcus). It’s a semi-matte and works to condition your lips.

For comparable style, check J.Crew’s wool-cashmere capella coat (on sale $198, J.Crew). Available in four classic colours, the capella coat features a rounded body with a slight bottom taper, bracelet sleeves, a traditional collar, and two huge front pockets. What sets it apart is the dainty detailing at the neck.

From the Giambattista Valli F/W 2010 collection, I’m a fan of said designer’s bow suede pumps ($895, Net-A-Porter). These heels are effortlessly elegant and definitely office appropriate. The toe is covered in midnight navy satin, and the body of the shoe is black suede. The three-inch tall heel features quirky-chic black and white colour blocking. And that bow? Darling!

So, what do you think? Are you inspired by 50s and 60s style, or what era speaks most to you?

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August 2010

Chelsea Clinton’s Married!

Written by , Posted in Dresses

img credits: Barbara Kinney Photography, de Manio Photography via People.com

Well, folks, she did it: Chelsea Clinton is officially married. The former first daughter married Marc Mezvinsky on Saturday night. The wedding was held at Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, N.Y. and was well-attended by family and friends.

The months of mystery spent guessing which designer Clinton would choose for her wedding gown are over: Clinton walked down the aisle in a custom-made Vera Wang strapless gown. Vera Wang also designed the bridesmaids’ dresses for Chelsea’s ladies in waiting.

And that’s not all. Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey — who apparently doubles as a BFF of the newly-wedded couple — designed the tuxedo for groom Marc Mezvinsky and ties for the groomsmen and former President Bill Clinton. Classic choice, really.

But back to the gown. The photos are beautiful. Chelsea Clinton was radiating light in her silk organza Vera Wang wedding gown. It featured an embellished belt which cinched the waist. The skirt of her dress featured dramatic cascades of chiffon. Gorgeous, yes, but am I the only person who’s over strapless gowns? They seem to be the style of choice for almost every bride these days….



img src

photo credits – de Manio Photography; Barbara Kinney Photography

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July 2010

Hope Hearts: Victoria Beckham

Written by , Posted in Dresses

Hope Hearts VB

I know, I know: There was that brief moment in 2008 when I strayed, wondering what went wrong in VB’s mind. And there was her #fail denim line. And then there was that time — or two — that she wore flats. But really, what’s not to love about Victoria Beckham?

More specifically, what’s not to love about Victoria Beckham’s namesake clothing line?

Full of structured designs and clean lines, VB’s collection of signature dresses is perfect for the classic, minimalist woman. Victoria Beckham dresses are both elegant and edgy. Every piece in the collection — save one or two — is solid in colour, sensibly tailored, and completely chic.

Whether you’ve got your eyes open for a cut-to-calf-length sheath, or you’re looking for a full-length gown, the dress collection by Victoria Beckham features items that both the adventurous and the modest.


Victoria Beckham collection, Net-A-Porter

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June 2010

Sandro Hammered Silk-Satin Mini Dress

Written by , Posted in Dresses

Ah yes, the silk dress. There’s something entirely elegant about silk – perhaps it’s the way silk falls over the female form; perhaps it’s the femininity and softness of the fabric. Additionally, silk is one of the most cool fabrics you can wear in the summer heat, although unfortunately it’s not very breathable.

That being said, I love this Sandro hammered silk-satin mini dress. Done in a beautiful blush shade with black accents, this drop-waist dress by Sandro is a terrific transitional piece. Wear it from work to play, day to night. The silk sheath features black satin lapels, black fabric-covered button fastenings and piped trim (boudoir-inspired, I think), ruched cap sleeves and subtle ruching at the bust.

The skirt is fully lined and the dress slips on. It’s a delicate dress that needs little or no accessories. You can wear it alone or pair it with a comfy cardi or your favorite boyfriend blazer.



Sandro hammered silk-satin mini dress, $360, Net-A-Porter

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May 2010

Banana Republic Crinkle Shirt Dress

Written by , Posted in Dresses

BR shirt dress

Military-inspired looks are everywhere this season, from army-green military jackets to skinny-pant fatigues, therefore it’s fitting that Banana Republic would take the trend and create some seriously chic summer styles.

Check Banana Republic’s crinkle shirtdress. This dress has a button front, chest pockets, and roll-up sleeves. So what makes it stand out? Spun just so for a feminine feel, the crinkled 100 percent cotton is what makes this dress unique.

This shirtdress also features a sash belt – I love the idea of replacing it with a leather belt from your own collection – and short, mid-thigh length. Perfect to show off your gams and some sweet wedge shoes or clogs.


Crinkle shirtdress, $120, Banana Republic

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March 2010

Hope Hearts: Spring Florals – Single, J.Crew, H&M

Written by , Posted in Dresses

Hope Hearts Spring Florals

Spring certainly is in the air, so it’s fitting that I should have my eye on some feminine, floral prints to style in the season. I’m loving these bright dresses, for every budget.


  1. Single – Printed Jersey Strapless Dress: My absolute favourite for the season. Strapless with a figure-sculpting bodice, this dress is a gem. The bodice is pleated, the waist is dfined. The bright graphic floral pattern is printed on a lightweight jersey material. Check the contrasting faux suede brown belt with stud details. ($295, Net-A-Porter)
  2. J.Crew – Sunshine Peony Coccinelle Dress: More feminine and light than the other patterns featured, this dress by J.Crew is 100 percent cotton to keep you cool. It’s strapless, and features a slight A-line skirt (figure-flattering), and back zip. The dress is fully lined, so you won’t have to worry about see-through cotton in the summer sun. This easy pattern works best with those fair in features. ($138, J.Crew)
  3. H&M – Garden Collection V-Neck Dress: LOVE the fluttery folds of this dress. The perfect answer for Spring. Bold blues, yellows, and reds, this dress features a deep v-neck that’s complemented by some feminine frills. The waist is cinched with an attached tie, and flows out into side billows. It hits well above the knee, so the pattern won’t overpower you. And the price? Can’t be beat. ($49.95, see HM.com for store locations)


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