Thursday, July 29, 2010

Summertime Struggles

comptoir des cotonniers
Every year, around one month into the season, summer leaves me struggling with an exhausting case of sartorial confusion. While I begin the summer like any Canadian, exceptionally grateful for the warm sunshine, I soon find myself hot, sweaty and discouraged by the remarkable downsizing that appears to have occurred in my closet. While I may be the proud owner of oodles of tank tops and a growing collection of sundresses, after thirty days I find myself sincerely bored and deeply disappointed by my wardrobe. I subsequently go through the motions of trying to boost my selection with new purchases only to realize that, for once, shopping is not the solution.

This year, I have finally realized what the problem is: I have yet to find my summer style amongst my summer clothes. Tank top after tank top, sundress after miniskirt, the problem with my wardrobe is that it BORES me. When the humidity makes you feel like your body is begging for a starring role in Sweat Stains R Us, the idea of accessorizing with a belt, cute new blazer or, heaven forbid, closed toed shoes is totally unreasonable. Belts bring clothes closer to the body (oh god), blazers end up wrinkled beyond any acceptable degree because you pry it from your sticky shoulders about 20 times in one day (the horror!), and closed toed shoes? Sure, try it for a week and tell me how many friends still invite you into their homes, or if they do, insist you keep your shoes on. They are not doing this because your new flats are cute. They are doing this because you have no socks on your sweaty, dirty feet and a fresh pedicure cannot even fully cover up the smell.

This is why in winter we say we have ‘staples’ from which we can make any fantastic number of varied, gorgeous outfits through the long-practiced art of mixing and matching. I, for one, am partial to my JBRAND skinnies, Bloch ballerina flats, Vince cardigan and whatever happens to be my scarf of the moment. The recent return of wool tights has allowed the incorporation of (tasteful) shorts and skirts into cold-weather wardrobes. Fantastic boots immediately add class to any outfit. Dressing exclusively in grey, navy, black and the occasional jewel tone does not make you look depressing, it makes you look sophisticated! It’s wonderful. Plain and simple.

Yet summer is the season of the ‘uniform’. How often do you hear phrases similar to, ‘I honestly LIVE in my cut-off denim shorts, oversized tanks and havianas during July.’ Of course you do, because your body refuses to let any more clothing touch its sweltering surface. I don't mean to sound angry at the people who say this, if anything, I am simply jealous. Because there are plenty of people who look GREAT in their summer uniform. The simplicity works for them and they absolutely revel in it. Some way, some how, they turn tanks and shorts from basic to awesome and I am completely envious that this is their reality. Of course, just because you like summer dressing does not mean you succeed at it. For example, the ‘bikini as top’ look that far too frequently turns my expression into one of horror every time I encounter it on the street is NOT a reflection of someone fully in demand of their summer style. It is a reflection of someone who has been misled by Britney’s paparazzi pictures.

But back to those who achieve fashion wonders in the heat. How do you do it? Where do you get your flair? How do you make it interesting? How do you avoid looking like a hawt, frizzy, mess? Because as desperate as I may be for September, this desperation is fiercely matched by my plea for summer style help.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tokyo Tutorial

One of my most beloved besties is leaving for Japan in less than a week to rock the country's ESL system as the best dressed English teach to ever touch its shores. While I am sure he will give his credit card a workout so mean it will have trouble sitting down, a pre-Japan shop is definitely in order. So what does a fiercely fantastic academic wear for his first day as 'Mr. McCanada'? It all depends on your mood of course, but first let's set the dress-up tone with one of my favourite scholarly hits...

Handsomely Home-Sick:
 Michael Kors

Smashing in Sportswear:
Paul Smith
Viktor and Rolf

Rough and Refined:
Burberry Prorsum

Willy Wonka Wonderful:
Simon Spurr
Paul Smith

Lavish and Lounging: 
Viktor and Rolf
Victor Glemaud

Darling Dandy:
Paul Smith

I don't think back to school has ever looked so cool

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ready to be a beach bum

I leave Paris in a week for ten days of much needed beach time. I know, I know, I can hear you all already - 'Oh pleeeeeease! How can more vacation be 'much needed' when you are ALREADY on vacation?!' Let me break it down for you. Yes Paris is beautiful, but as a Canadian girl it is becoming increasingly hard to ignore my desire to escape this amazing cosmopolitan landscape for one filled with muskoka chairs, docks and BBQs. Obviously this desire has been subdued by the food, shopping, museums and gorgeous people this city has to offer but my Canadian cravings are starting to take over and while Europe may not have a cottage country, I will certainly take a beach. 

That said, my Parisian shopping excursions have definitely done their bit to help me prepare for my seaside chaise lounge. Between the vintage flea markets and specialized boutiques I am a firm believer that this city can put you on the best dressed list for any occasion. Even if that occasion is lounging. 

 Vintage straw clutch from Thanx God I'm A V.I.P.
60s vintage YSL scarf from La Jolie Garde Robe, the BEST vintage store in Paris as far as I'm concerned. I cannot wait to come back here in 20 years and buy all the beautiful items I could not afford.
Reading material: British Vogue. After my frustrations concerning American Vogue's April issue I started buying British Vogue monthly and I absolutely ADORE it. While still a fan of Anna and the gang, the layout, articles and shoots in the UK version are impeccable. You can count on me purchasing a subscription as soon as I return to T.O.
Princesse tam tam bikini! The dream has been realized. It's gorgeous, fits beautifully, and considering the last one in this style was in my size, I would like to take this moment to thank the SOLDES Gods.
Sunglasses: Persol
Sunscreen: Life Sunthera 3. If you are a Canadian and have yet to try out our trusty Shopper's Drug Mart house brand sunscreen, go buy some now. It smells so good you will actually want to stay indoors slathering it on 20 minutes before sun exposure (well, maybe you will want that I think about it, does anyone actually follow that rule?)

Blouse: Anthropologie
The final look. xoxo and hope you are all having amazing summers!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Two posts in one day! (I know this never happens...)

But BEFORE I got my partypants on, Friday was also the day I got to do a little 'modeling' for a few of my classmates! I'm such a ham for the cam so obviously it was waaaay up my alley. Dressing up in gorgeous frocks and working on my poses?? AB.SO.LUTELY! Here are a few behind-the-scenes pics I stole from my friend K, hope you like them!

So THIS is how they party in Paris

Last Friday we did it up French style at the Diesel Fluo Party. The theme was neon - complete with glowstick bunny ears and sunglasses. The club was Bagatelle. The drinks were Goose. And the music was everybody's version of amazing. Sorry I didn't take many photos, but you can tell it was unreal, right?

 Dress: vintage. Shoes: Vince Camuto

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Well la dee da who could that be??!

It's like, such a mystery right? 

ps, the photo looks a little elongated....not on purpose! I promise!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pretty Please....Princesse tam tam Swimwear

I am a total lingerie girl. There is just something so delightful about putting on a gorgeous lingerie set that fits just right; because let's be honest, having your girls in a beautifully made, properly fitting bra is the ultimate confidence booster. Swimsuits, however, are not really my thing. Even the size large is often somehow teeny tiny and I am frequently left wondering if I accidentally stumbled into the Juniors section. Lucky for me, many lingerie companies are offering up their own swimsuit lines, and a personal Parisian favourite of mine is the gorgeous summer collection from Princesse tam tam.

I first discovered Princesse tam tam when I was 14 and visiting Paris with my family. It was my very first 'grown up' bikini (for the record, it was grown up because it was NOT a tankini/sports bikini/other types of bikinis that aren't really bikinis.....aka this one said 'watch out world, in the next few years I'm gonna be a LADY'). So now I'm back in Paris, a lady for REAL this time (at least I think so) and Princesse tam tam is still delivering the goods when it comes to that perfect fit in both swimsuits and lingerie.The sales are hot so hopefully I'll find a fabo new bikini to purchase sometime soon, but until then let's all swoon over a few of my favourite shots from the summer swimwear collection.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's cool on the playground, but I really wanna see her on the weekend

With Paris Couture week all wrapped up and my disappointment over the fact that I was unable to go to a single show softened by the offerings at the local boulangerie, I am finally able to write about the haute haute fashions. 

If there's ever a time to call fashion an 'art', couture is it. The time spent on each piece is incredible, people either have a very strong love or distaste for what they see, and owning a couture piece is more or less the sole privilege of members of the billionaire's club; unfortunately a recession makes us crave Topshop and H&M over $100,000 gowns. 

So WHO dear readers are wearing these things?! Well, one mass market is the ladies of the annual Crillon Ball, a Debutante ball held in Paris each year and if you're interested, the 2010 festivities will take place on November 27. Just dying for a place amongst the (approximately) 25 young, hella rich and hopefully fabulous? Well first you must fit the following requirements: fantastic parentage, fantastic wealth, fantastic accomplishments, oh, and a fantastic figure....couture doesn't exactly cater to the fast food nation (I am still processing this final one too - does this mean some poor little rich girl out there was told 'oh honey no, a size ten just won't do'? BLECH).

But I digress, I have found the perfect couture ensembles for our soon-to-be ladies of high society. C'est super, non?

Miss Baby I'm Selfish: She wants the biggest and baddest dress. Let's face it, the more space you take up, the more you get noticed.
 Dress: Christian Dior
 Dress: Valentino

Miss Gothic Glam: Just because you're rich doesn't mean you can't be a moody teen
Dress: Jean Paul Gaultier
Dress: Givenchy

Miss Sexy Can I: C'mon, you remember what it was like when the curves started to show up.....who DIDN'T want to show that off?!
Dress: Elie Saab

Miss All That Glitters: The sparkle trend isn't going anywhere. These ones just happen to be hand stitched. 
Dress: Alexis Mabille
Dress: Armani Privé

Miss Cute Couture: Why act older than you already are? Dakota Fanning is proving that acting your age is SO hot right now. 
Dress: Chanel
Dress: Valentino

And finally, let's not forget Mommy Dearest! We all know how hard she worked to make this happen, surely she deserves a little couture herself!

Armani Privé
 Jean Paul Gaultier
Bouchra Jarrar
Alexis Mabille