Archive for February, 2011

…it’s time to dress up right…

Okay, so there is nothing new under the sun to say about last night’s snooze-fest.  M and I stayed to the bitter end (I was THRILLED that Colin Firth and The King’s Speech won!) and our final summation was that Anne Hathaway tried too hard and James Franco did not try hard enough. Anne looked lovely in the archival Valentino gowns, though I think I liked le smoking best.

I sure hope she is eating something RIGHT NOW– she looked like she has been eating celery with a side of air for the past six months…

Even the gowns (the Red Carpet is my Superbowl) were a bit…. meh.

Trend stories?
Lace, lavender, green earrings, trains, messy “undone” hair. Blushes and nudes hang on, but the Black Swan-inspired ballet trend was left to the younger set.

The most interesting dress was probably Livia Firth‘s– I am not sure I love the final product, but it was made by “ethical designer” Gary Harvey from 11 recycled dresses, all from the era of The King’s Speech. The project was part of The Green Carpet Challenge.

Otherwise, I liked the really classic ones:



Dior-- so much better than a Gap T-shirt and ball skirt!

Marisa Tomei’s vintage 1950 Charles James had sublime seaming on the bodice and it looked great when she was standing still, but I am not sure the fabric of the skirt worked as well as it could have when she moved. I also thnk she needed a vintage bra to make the bodice fit more accurately. But I am über-picky. What I love best about this dress is that you can tell she feels beautiful in it– because beautiful is how vintage dresses make you feel. There is just something about wearing history… Also, her hair is great– just messy enough, but still sleek. The more I think about it, the more this is tied with my other top pick of the night (keep reading!).

Gwynnie always gets slammed, but I thought she looked lovely and all-American in her Calvin Klein:

Loved Jennifer’s dress, but felt that her boobs were hiked up into a weird and rather distracting position.
The pleating on the hip was sublime, but I can’t find a good photo of it, alas.

Halle looked gorgeous (does she ever NOT?), and I loved Hilary’s dress, too.

Amy’s gown was a great colour, but that necklace just seemed out of place.

Nicole (and Sharon) wore Dior, in spite of the controversy.
I thought Sharon looked great, but I am not certain this dress works on Nic, are you?



I really liked the decolletage on Mila’s dress, though it was a tad reminiscent of curtains…


In Elie Saab.

Scar-Jo missed the boat, in my opinion– her dress was so tight she couldn’t walk and the choice of a black bustier and boy shorts underneath just caused a distraction. Also, Scarlett is short-waisted and boob-ed and I just don’t think this overdyed tablecloth does her any favours. She’s so sultry and can look so great, but her hair did not hold up and, I dunno, this outfit just left me cold. I feel terrible for her, because I know she LOVES clothes, so this is a bit disappointing.

I loved this totally age-appropriate look on the little girl from True Grit:


Wearing Marchesa.

(The shoes are a bit much for a 14 year-old, but it IS Oscar night, after all!)

I also thought the gorgeous Annette looked fantastic– best of all, she appears to have had no bizarre plastic surgery. Go, Annette!

And, of course, here is my controversial pick for best non-vintage dress:

In Givenchy.

Yep, Cate is a risk-taker. Not many people could carry off this bizarre Grecian Space Goddess/Victorian picture frame dress, but somehow, Cate made it work. I know most of you will hate this dress, but I admire her fearlessness, her consistently off-beat colour combos and her poise. Also, unlike Scar-Jo’s hair, Cate’s looked great.

My pick for classiest chick in the room is, of course, the divine Ms. M:

In Vivienne Westwood.

Dame Viv does it again! And how about the bod on Helen Mirren? She is so fabulous. Always.

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YYZ: Tell Me Why

…when Garance wears a giant, wrinkly duffle bag-masquerading-as-a-coat, socks she clearly stole from Scott‘s “camping gear” box, shabooties, floods and a designer bag covered in ostentatious logos, she looks all funky and fashion-forward and effortlessly it-girl and über-cool, while the same outfit on me would be akin to my holding a sign over my head reading:
“I have 500 cats and am a hoarder whose house is so full of junk that you have to navigate narrow pathways between the perilously tall stacks of newspapers to get from one room to another”?!!???

Photo from here.

Oh, right.
I forgot: Garance is French.

And that, my friends, makes all the difference.

Le sigh…

To be French is to look good in anything you put on, to always be comfortable because, even when you are wearing a giant duffle bag, you manage to look effortlessly chic. The great thing about Garance is, she seems to be just as insecure as the rest of us about what she wears and how she looks.
And that’s why I love her, folks. So, I say,
“Go, Garance– rock your groovy, inimitable French style!”


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LHR: Viva Las Vegas

… or as these fashion atrocities show, perhaps muera is the right sentiment.

There's no place like home.

Juicy Couture Bag - What's the appeal?

More handbags Vegas-style. Oh dear.

Shoes that I can definitely do without

Studs and Sequins

Even the baseball hats do sequins in Vegas

Imagine what rest of the jeans looked like

The ultimate Las Vegas Gambler Clutch - $298.00 later

Why did I feel compelled to share all this heinous wear with you? Well, I just thought we could remind ourselves that no matter how bad our bad clothing days may be, they can never be this bad.

And, where is my outfit?  I was planning to post my Vegas outfit from our last night out when we went to the super duper cool new hotel – the Cosmopolitan However, by the time I made it home my feet were killing me.  So, all I have for you is a shot of my shoes sans feet and sans outfit.

Michael Kors Shooties

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Back to school last night and back to this year’s favourite stand-by– the denim “drunic.”

Drunic & Belt: H&M
Leggings: Nicole Miller
Boots: Winners
Necklace: GYE Airport
Bracelets: All gifts (from Mum, MIL and MK)

How thrilled was I to find this video of Cat Stevens singing one of my favourite songs (and the source of today’s title lyric)?! (And, yes, he will always be “Cat Stevens” to me. And, I suspect, to LHR and YVR, too.)


Just found this terrible article! This is AWFUL.
I LOVE Galliano— I am sick if this is true. SICK.


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… and gettin’ caught in the rain, then Ecuador’s coast in rainy season is the spot for you!

A truly wonderful holiday was had by my mum and I. Lots of fresh shrimp (um, daily…), fresh fruit, a couple of piña coladas, heat, beach days, humidity and sunshine, along with a few crazy tropical rainstorms and, most importantly of all, time with friends.
It was great to return to Ecuador after 16 (!) years and to see both how much and how little it has changed.

The new president appears to be making life a lot better in this lovely little country; he seems to recognize that the best resource, even in a country wealthy in natural resources, is people. To that end, he is paving the roads (seriously– many are much better than roads here in Canada!) to provide people with greater access to their country, he has made education free all the way through the post-graduate level, and he is creating a climate of possibility that is quite unlike the Ecuador I remember. Beautification projects abound: the medians in front of the house where I lived in Portoviejo have been turned into lovely, luscious parks— no more rotting garbage in piles.  The parks in every town we passed through have been turned from barren, dusty, empty wastelands into lush, green sanctuaries where kids play, old men play chess and couples stroll.  In Guayaquil, the malecón has gone from a down-at-the-heel boardwalk along the river’s edge to a stunning stretch of museums, shopping, play areas for kids, botanical gardens and concert venues. Ditto the estuary.  The airport in that city is one of the nicest in which I’ve ever been.

National pride has turned to a quiet civic pride and confidence:  I even saw guys picking up garbage on the streets in several villages, a sight/concept unheard of in the past.  Most bizarrely for me is that this time, most things in Ecuador actually seem to WORK.  The parks and public spaces are well-used and well-maintained. Telephones work and so do computers. The university where I worked has not only expanded, it looks prosperous and each of the many buildings is equipped with (working!) air conditioning!  Even the photocopy shop no longer looks like it got its machines from the Flintstones— we used to say there was a little bird inside each one, dipping its beak in ink and pecking out the copies…

I was a bit sad to see that, like everywhere in this world, so far this revolution seems to hold up as its ideal much of what is unpleasant about American culture: fast food, giant shopping malls (full disclosure:  you know I love me a giant shopping mall!), gated communities for the upper classes. I have faith, however, that Ecuadorians will recognize that they do not need to copy the U.S. to be successful, rather that they can create their own economically stable success and have it reflect Ecuadorian culture, too– they are just beginning this journey.

At some point, I will get my photos up on Flickr so that you can take a peek, but for now, here are two Ecua-outfits from our time south of the equator.

Did I mention it is HOT in Ecuador? Not pretty– we Celts don’t do well in 40 degree heat and 30000% humidity, so hair and make-up were pretty grim. Also, there comes a temperature at which one just does not care at all about how one looks and the very idea of coming up with a cute outfit is exhausting beyond reckoning. I won’t lie: there were fashion crimes committed. Pretty well daily… And so, no outfits worth recording on most days.
I did snap these on our last weekend in Guayaquil.

Outfit for a day out in Salinas:


Nope, not a fancy resort, just M's fancy back yard!

Dress & Belt: Femme de Carriere
Shoes: Report
Cuff: H&M

Out for dinner with the family (everyone who was in town, anyway) in Samborondón:

The whole room is wallpapered with scenes from "Cars."

Dress: Anthropologie
Belt: from dress above
Bracelet: Made of tagua, purchased in Sosote
Shoes: Winners
(Photo taken in the bedroom of M & D’s new baby, the darling little A.)


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YYZ: Beautiful South

A frantic few days of packing, shopping, getting anti-malaria pills, re-packing, second-guessing… My mum and I are off to Ecuador on Thursday, to see my “Ecuadorian family” for the first time in 16 years!

Yes, that is right– our flabby, pale Canadian bodies will be soaking up the sun on the beaches here and here by this Saturday. (Oh, the poor Ecuadorians– I am not sure they are ready for the sight…!)
We will also be eating seafood so fresh that it was swimming 10 minutes before it hit our plates and getting all caught up on the latest salsa and cumbia hits. Oh, and don’t forget Latin pop music!

Here is what I wore to run some of those errands listed above.
A mixture of silver and gold (of necessity: gold sequins on top, silver shoes).

Cardi: Ann Taylor Loft
Bedazzled Tank: Target
Jeggings: Joe Fresh
Belt: Vintage, from Grama
Bracelets: Gifts from two lovely ladies in my life, both named “Margie”
Earrings: Ten Things
Oxfords: Office, via Top Shop

(Hopefully LHR will take up the posting slack, as I am pretty sure there will be limited internet access for me over the next two weeks. Feel free to use the comments function to “nudge” her into posting!)

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At long last I can use a lyric from my favourite Bowie song EVER
(and one of my two favourite songs of all time)!

LHR is hitting the slopes in Switzerland this weekend (she really is a jet-setter, isn’t she?), so hopefully we will see some ski bunny outfits. (Hint, hint…)

In the meantime, here is what I wore to hang out with LHR and BMad while the former was in town last weekend on a whirlwind visit. It started out as wine, gossip, Chinese food and laughs with besties, but ended up as movie night/dance party hybrid.
Awe. Some.
(Thanks, BMad– you throw a wicked party!)

Just when you think I couldn't POSSIBLY take a worse photo...

Blazer, T-shirt, Cuff, Bedazzled Leggings: H&M
Studded Sh-booties: Winners
Necklace: Ardene

I wanted to be comfy, but also cute and, given that we ended up watching the über-stylish (yet-oh-so-campy) 80s Bowie/Deneuve/Sarandon classic B-movie, The Hunger,

I was glad I aimed to be a bit fashion-y.

The movie was AWFUL, but GORGEOUS.

This photo should be called "The Luckiest Girl in the World"! Or, "Why am I not HER?!!"

I lost interest a bit once John Blaylock met his not-so-untimely end, as the object of my nearly life-long obsession hadn’t had his wonderful, sexy, snaggly teeth “fixed”yet at the time the film was made and so I was really enjoying the scenery up until that point…

WHY??!!!! So much sexier with the snaggle-teeth...

If you like “shamelessly arty and a bit pretentious in a way that looks pretty silly in retrospect” in a film, I recommend this one. Does it make sense? Not much. Is the final scene either stolen from or the source of the balcony scene in Bladerunner? Check.
(The directors of the films are brothers. In fact, they are basically the same film, the more I think about it…)

Seriously-- I want to wear that hairdo and make-up every day! Of course, it would look better if I also smoked. And were a French vampire.

Is it TOTALLY 80s  and wildly stylized and murky and full of gorgeous, film-noir-y clothes, make-up, lighting and interiors? Hell, yes! Did I love it? Absolutely.
LHR and I realized that the reason we’d never seen it was because it was waaaaaaaaaay too risqué and, even had there been the opportunity for us to see it in our blue-collar little town (insert scoffing sound here), we would NEVER have been allowed to go!

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