Hope Reflected

Hope - Inspiration - Fashion - Style - Books - Interior Design

Women Archive

Wednesday

24

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

Img src kentuckyderby.com

  • 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!

Share Button

Monday

5

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.

Share Button

Wednesday

15

January 2014

The Way You Wear Your Hat: Famous Hats Through The Years

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

Happy Hat Day! If you follow me on Pinterest, you know I’m a huge fan of hats and the art of millinery (check out my Millinery Pin Board). In honour of Hat Day, I’ve compiled some of my favourite examples of fine millinery.

  • Vivien Sheriff fascinator as worn by Kate Middleton: In her first public appearance after her engagement, Kate Middleton styled a Vivien Sheriff fascinator adorned with various feathers and a cameo brooch. Although considered a classic statement in the UK, this was the fascinator that launched a trend across the pond. After Kate, girls everywhere in the US and Canada started wearing fascinators as accessories to summer weddings and formal ceremonies.
Kate Middleton wearing a Vivien Sheriff fascinator. AP Photo.

Kate Middleton wearing a Vivien Sheriff fascinator. AP Photo.

  • Philip Treacy hats as worn by the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton:  Based out of London, Treacy is an incredible milliner, an artist in his own right. Each of his designs features intricate details and weaving, and quite often a fanciful bow. Although famous the world over, worn by everyone from Sarah Jessica Parker to Lady Gaga, it’s his designs worn by the Duchess that have really caught some serious attention.
Philip Treacy beret-style hat worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Philip Treacy beret-style hat worn by the Duchess of Cambridge.

Black Philip Treacy hat worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

Black Philip Treacy hat worn by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

  • Custom Givenchy jade green velvet hat worn by Audrey Hepburn: Worn for a shoot in Vogue magazine, Audrey’s Givenchy chapeau was a luxe domed jade-green velvet number with tassels. The photo, taken in 1964 by Cecil Beaton, made the Givenchy hat famous.
Givenchy velvet hat worn by Audrey Hepburn

Givenchy velvet hat with tassels worn by Audrey Hepburn in Vogue (1964). AP Photo

  •  Halston Pillbox hat worn by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy: It was the pillbox hat he made for Jackie Kennedy that solidified Halston’s reputation as a designer. Made to wear for President Kennedy’s inauguration ceremony (along with a beautiful fur muff, hello), Halston’s pillbox hat was copied several times over for ladies across the nation wishing to embody just an ounce of Jackie Kennedy’s elegance.
Halston pillbox hat worn by Jackie Kennedy.

Halston pillbox hat worn by Jackie Kennedy.

Eisenhower greeting President and Mrs. Kennedy

Eisenhower greeting Jackie Kennedy (wearing Halston pillbox hat) and President Kennedy at the inauguration.

  • Bailey Hat Company Fedora made famous by Humphrey Bogart: Before Sinatra was Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart was the king of cool. Not only is he considered the greatest male star in the history of the American cinema, Humphrey Bogart was a style icon before there were style icons. From the Maltese Falcon to Casablanca, his custom fedoras designed by George S. Bailey are often imitated.
Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart in a Warner Bros. publicity shot around 1941. Warner Brothers/AP Photo.

  • Lock and Co. Fedora worn by Frank Sinatra: Hands-down, Frank Sinatra was one of the most stylish men of his generation. The fedora was at its coolest when worn by Frank. It took me some research to find out who the designer was behind many of Frank’s hats; as it turns out, many of the designs Frank wore came from James Lock & Co. Ltd. (the same company that holds the royal warrants for the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh).
Frank Sinatra was the epitome of cool in a Lock and Co. fedora.

Frank Sinatra was the epitome of style in a fedora.

 

Share Button

Tuesday

15

October 2013

Hope’s High / Low: Jimmy Choo, Ivanka Trump, Aldo Shoes Suede Pumps

Written by , Posted in Fashion, Shoes / Boots, Women

An essential item in every woman’s wardrobe, I love a pair of plain, simple, sophisticated suede pumps. In a neutral colour, an elegant pair of pumps can wear with just about anything (particularly well with slim leg crop pants or a sheath dress). And to find the right pair? While I’m a fan of real suede, there are several synthetics out there for less than half the price (and with synthetics you don’t need to worry so much about care, wear, and tear).

Here are my favourite suede shoes, priced high to low:

Jimmy Choo Agnes Pumps

Jimmy Choo Agnes Pumps, $575, Net-A-Porter

  • Jimmy Choo Agnes Suede Pumps, $575, Net-A-Porter: Jimmy Choo’s ‘Agnes’ pumps are the perfect pointed toe pumps. With a heel that measures a modest 3.5 inches tall, these shoes are safe for both the office and after-hours.
Ivanka Trump Suede Pumps

Ivanka Trump Suede Pumps, $130, Amazon

  • Ivanka Trump Natalie Pumps, $130, Amazon: I’ve recently become an Ivanka convert. Most of her designs are classic, and to purchase a pair of Ivanka Trump shoes, you don’t have to break the bank. Case in point? Her ‘Natalie’ pumps. They fit true to size, they’re well-made, and comfortable. The heel measures 2.75 inches, which again, is fair game for the office and after-hours.
Aldo pumps

Ulundi Pumps, sale $29.98, Aldo Shoes

  • Synthetic Ulundi Pumps, $60 $29.98, Aldo Shoes: These pumps are not real suede, but the beauty of synthetic materials is that you don’t have to be concerned with proper suede care. These pointed toe pumps are low (or no) maintenance, feature a straight, 3-inch heel, and a pleated detail on the front of each shoe.
Share Button

Monday

7

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…

(more…)

Share Button

Tuesday

10

July 2012

Jane Austen Ring Sells at Sotheby’s

Written by , Posted in Jewelry / Timepieces

Jane Austen Ring for Auction at Sotheby's

A gold and cabochon blue stone ring, once belonging to Jane Austen, sold for £152,450 (about $241,800 CDN) at Sotheby’s. A real deal, right? Indeed. There has been lots of talk surrounding the Jane Austen ring auction, including who would win the coveted piece of jewelry. Evidently the winning 6-digit bid was more than 5x the estimated pre-sale value of the ring.

Simple and beautiful, the yellow gold ring features a large cabochon blue gem stone in a classic setting. While items belonging to famous writers and historical figures are typically sought-after, many Austen fans have taken particular interest in this piece of jewelry, perhaps because they’re imagining who gifted Jane the ring, or how she came to own it.

An article on the Sotheby’s website gives a couple of suggestions to who could have given Jane Austen the ring, but the truth remains a mystery.

One thing that’s not a mystery? Jane Austen had impeccable taste when to came to jewelry: Classic and colourful, just like her writing.

Share Button

Wednesday

4

July 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012

Written by , Posted in Trend-Spotting

Paris Fashion Week Elie Saab Couture Fall 2012

With a title like “In Constantinople’s Wake”, I expected nothing less than heavy fabrics and rich textures from the Elie Saab Couture show for Fall 2012. And he delivered that and more. A huge fan of Saab’s, I was in absolute awe at the intricate detailing put into each one of his Fall 2012 Couture creations. Thousands upon thousands of beads and sparking crystals covered various runway to red carpet-ready gowns. The richness of each design was offset by feminine fabrics like silk and lace — even Saab’s jacquard prints (a true nod to the Byzantine Empire) were surprisingly light.

A collection that started out drenched in darkness (check Karlie Kloss strutting her stuff in that plunging-neck, floor-length number black gown) was balanced with soft hues of pink, blue, and gold. The bright pops of teal were vibrant, but it’s the pastel shades that really complement the beauty of Saab’s creations.

Accessories at Elie Saab’s Couture presentation for Fall 2012 included skinny belts, t-strap sandals dyed to match each design, and hair that was braided back both sides.

If I wasn’t convinced of it before, I certainly am a believer now: Elie Saab is a designer who creates with the feminine form in mind. Nothing crazy or over the top needed here to catch attention. Just pure design talent.

Share Button

Wednesday

4

July 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Givenchy Couture Fall 2012

Written by , Posted in Trend-Spotting

Givenchy Couture Fall 2012 Collection

Audrey Hepburn was one of the biggest advocates of Hubert de Givenchy, after meeting him in 1953 while shooting Sabrina. And it’s no wonder. The house of Givenchy has always been well known for its intricately designed gowns built with clean lines and attention to detail. And now, — almost sixty years later, — with Riccardo Tisci in his seventh year at the helm of Givenchy, we’re experiencing a resurgence of those intricate designs, but this time in the form of a floor-length cape with hand-strung beaded fringe, and a structured gown with a mink bodice and cashmere balance.

Tisci’s got a fair balance between minimalist chic and bohemian gypsy. The colour palate for the Givenchy Couture Fall 2012 collection was earthy; the makeup was natural.

And my favourite look? That gorgeous, subtlety glamourous nude-coloured gown with a sheared mink bodice.

Share Button

Tuesday

3

July 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Versace Couture Fall 2012

Written by , Posted in Trend-Spotting

Versace Couture Fall 2012

Best worn by a bombshell: You’d think Donatella Versace designed with herself in mind when she upped the glam factor for Versace’s Fall 2012 Couture show at the Ritz Paris. Set a top strappy high heels, Donatella showed her affinity for pastels and metallics in the form of body-baring mini dresses, girly trenches, and floaty floral gowns.

Versace celebrated the female form with plunging necklines, cinched waists, and high slits that hit at the hip. Each design was highlighted with Medusa emblems, intricate beading, and Veronica Lake hair.

An ode to 70s glam, the Versace Couture Fall 2012 show was just that — a completely glamourous celebration.

 

Share Button

Tuesday

3

July 2012

Paris Fashion Week: Dior Couture Fall 2012

Written by , Posted in Trend-Spotting

One of the most hotly anticipated Couture shows this Paris Fashion Week was Raf Simons making his debut at the helm of Dior. And he didn’t disappoint. Simons’s first Couture collection for the famed fashion house was a beautiful fusion of classic 1940s elegance and modern, minimalist glamour.

The Dior Couture Fall 2012 runway was heavy on slim, cropped trousers, peplum trim, and ladylike cover coats (which doubled as dresses). Amid the more serious shades of black, midnight blue, and grey, Simons infused several pops of colour in the hues of yellow, red, and even a vibrant fuchsia. And, not one to shun pattern, there were blasts from the past with hints of historic Dior patterns making their way into Simons’s designs.

Each look was properly accoutred with pointed toe pumps and the occasional pearl necklace or afternoon gloves. As far as beauty, lips were red and hair was slick with a centre part.

Raf Simons for Dior is — in my opinion — the start of something magical.

Share Button