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Archive for August, 2011

YYZ: Fashion

More evidence to support my devotion to Lanvin with Alber Elbaz at the design helm.
(His cameo at the end is delicious.)

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YYZ: Blue Monday

Well, Gentle Reader, today was The Day.
Doomsday? 
It certainly felt a lot a bit that way….
Today was Back To School Day.
(Insert ominous music here. The more ominous, the better, really.)

Remember the stress/fun of planning what to wear on your first day back to school in the fall? I have vivid memories of sweltering and coming well-nigh to melting in my back-to-school clothes on the first day of school. Invariably, I would be so keen to wear something new that I would don my FALL sweater and cords, despite the fact that, in my neck of the woods, the temperature on first day of school was likely to be in the high 20s or low 30s….

Today, I had the added pressure of having to choose an outfit befitting of the return of someone who has just had an Entire Year Off. The stakes were high.  Very high.  I had to look rested, renewed, rejuvenated.  In the end, it all got the better of me and I ended up just wearing something simple and plain and comfy.

These (blurry) photos were taken in our new bedroom mirror*.
The new mirror is pretty. It is the perfect size, the perfect style, the frame is the perfect colour.
But, despite Vigorous In-store Reconnaissance on my part to ensure that it was NOT, it has turned out to be that most dreaded, most duplicitous of creatures: the Skinny Mirror.


Yes, Gentle Reader, it is one of those funhouse mirrors that make you look svelte and slim and fabulous, despite all evidence to the contrary. Oh, it’s a seductive creature, the Skinny Mirror; it makes you believe what you see (even though you can hear in your head the sound of  Marvin singing, “Believe half of what you see”) and soon, like Snow White’s evil stepmother, you are a slave to the Skinny Mirror.  Your trousers can be so tight that you need the jaws of life to get you in and out of them, but once you look in the Skinny Mirror, you are lulled into a false sense of svelteness. Obviously the dry cleaner has shrunk your trousers (you tell yourself), as you can plainly see in the (skinny) mirror that you look just great in them, so clearly the fact that they feel several sizes too small has nothing to do with YOU, right?
Few things are more hurtful or shocking than encountering a REAL mirror once you have become dependent on the siren song of the Skinny Mirror, ladies.

Dress: You’ve seen it before. Suzy Shier
Wooden Cuff: Can’t remember…
Shoes:  Payless
Earrings: Ten Things 

 *The bedroom update will be the subject of a future blog post, as it was precipitated by a dire, not to say life-threatening, need to organize my wardrobe storage. Sadly, as BMad points out, “Ikea” is Swedish for “sold out”– and so I wait for the shelving brackets that form a central part of the new organization scheme, leaving the makeover unfinished and unfit for the eyes of the Interweb.

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I know I have not yet finished posting the photos of our England walk (more swell hiking fashion!), but I thought I would do the final post from my final trip of this Most Wonderful Year.

Olympic Village. Complete with scary giant birds...

I have been back at work this week and my soul is sore– I can’t believe my year of freedom is at an end– and so I need to look back on something fun.

Delicious feast, chez YVR. Crostini, heirloom tomatoes, smoked salmon, rosé.

Once back in Vancouver, YVR & I did what we do best: we ate and we shopped.

And then we ate and shopped some more.

Pink Cherry Chocolate Cake. Music to my ears, Gentle Reader.

I scored a number of finds at Anthropologie, where, awash in self-pity at having to go back to work, I broke my One And Only Anthro Rule: Never Buy Anything Not On Sale When Shopping At Anthropologie.
You know what I mean, Gentle Reader.  There is no way to put this diplomatically: the place is extortionately over-priced. BUT, they do have a pretty rockin’ sale room, where a girl can, with a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance, get a steal of a deal. YVR was stronger than I– she held out and got herself a bargain online from the website!

Silly glasses at Anthro.

Yeah, I pretty much ignored my One And Only Anthro Rule and just splashed out on crazy-expensive pretty things. They will appear over the next few weeks, but here is one. This dress feels so great and is such a flattering cut that I could not resist, despite the truly bilious shade of, erm, “gold” in that stripe.  (Who are we kidding? It’s the colour of vomit.)

Yep, I did it. I bought this dress, despite the vomitous shade of mustard/gold/green that makes me look dead and that, sadly, MATCHES MY HAIR COLOUR!

 We saw some fun signs in and around Vangroovy.

Excellent driving advice in YVR's neigbourhood.

LOVE this sign!

I'd like to hang that last sign over my desk and just light out for parts more interesting... Who's with me?

I know, I know-- this one is NOT funny. It is in a very urban area, though-- a very chi-chi bit of the waterfront, in fact. And people wonder why I don't live in B.C.... Sheesh!

I know, I know-- this one is NOT funny. It is in a very urban area, though-- a very chi-chi bit of the waterfront, in fact. And people wonder why I don't live in B.C.... Sheesh!

We also went to our friend K’s gooooooooorgeous new house, to have dinner with her, her cute hubby and their delightful little K.

Prezzies!

Yep, she's her mummy's daughter-- knows how to work an accessory, this girl!

M & YVR with the latter's insanely yummy brownies. Mmmmm.

This is the ONLY photo of the two of us and we took it about 10 minutes before I left!

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YYZ: Islands In The Stream

Part III of MRT 2011 involved a drive across astonishingly-gorgeous Washington state to beautiful Whideby Island, home of YVR’s darling beau. Once there, we were wined and dined and I was given the royal tour of the island.

Fort Casey is no longer in use as a military base, but the fortifications are still there.

The above advice is posted at Fort Casey, where there are few railings or safety features to keep kids from falling and breaking limbs– we loved that! I mean, how many places are there these days where kids are not swaddled in bubble wrap and styrofoam?  For the record, despite YVR’s flagrant disregard of the (lone) warning sign, no one was injured in the time we were at the Fort. Imagine that, Gentle Reader– kids running around, having fun and not getting hurt, despite the lack of safety devices…!  Sort of of like the 1970s….

There was home-made fried chicken (oh, yes, there was!), local salmon, deeelicious wine, merlot sorbet (I swear, I am not making that up!), veggies from the garden, crab cakes and, did I mention the wine?  The island is gorgeous– a little jewel, surrounded by blue ocean and misty mountains, covered in rolling farmland, driftwood-covered beaches, cliffs, pines, wildflowers, some lust-inducing real estate and views– oh, the VIEWS!  A little piece of Pacific paradise, folks.

Patriotic flowers.

While were out and about, we ran across a shop selling all sorts of interesting items:

No, thank you.

Sally Draper, here you go!

I fell in love with this house on R’s street. The antique iron furniture with red and white ticking cushions on the porch just stole my heart!

Oh, I just LOVE this dear little house!

And here is the shed that goes with the darling yellow & turquoise house-- green roof!

I do not understand this, er, sculpture(?). It was in the park in Oak Harbour, where R lives. I forgot to ask him WHY...

Of course, sight-seeing works up an appetite, so we had to stop for some lunch and (duh!) some wine.

U.K.-sized portions of vino!

Great signs in the restaurant/bar where we had lunch.

Dang, they are cute!

I even got an outfit post on the day we headed back up to Vangroovy.

Dress, Shades & Bag: H&M
Shoes: Target

On our way back to the Great White North, we stopped in Edison, WA.

A telephone pole cosy in Edison.

The desire to drop out of the rat race and just be a hippie, living in a funky Craftsman-style house, making art and furniture and pretty things out of salvaged old crap, eating organic food and wearing flowing, flowery dresses with bare feet was pretty overwhelming once I’d laid eyes on Edison, let me tell you.
(Okay, true confessions: that desire is pretty strong lately in any case, but Edison just about made me do it!)

Done and DONE!

In Edison, we met Monroe.

Monroe was old and skinny and super-friendly and just plain gorgeous. Just look at that face!

Apparently, Edward R. Murrow came from Edison.

OMG! A store after my own heart! Sadly, not open when we were there...

In addition to cat-scritching and art-admiring, you can lay your hands on some pretty yummy stuff in some mighty pretty packaging in Edison.

Chocolate!

Maybe don't eat these WITH the key lime pie...

Naturally, window-shopping in gourmet shops meant we needed a snack! We tried to go to Tweets, but they were closed. Well, there were people in there, but we weren’t invited…
So, we headed next door and had a delicious lunch, and, in a truly Herculean display of willpower, resisted the lure of the desserts on offer.

Can you IMAGINE!?!

Mmmmmm....

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Last year I wrote about a site that was right up my street – upperstreet that is. You can design your own shoes – material choice, colour, style, heels, embellishments. The works – it’s yours to decide.

I took advantage of a Groupon offer before Christmas. However, I only got around to designing my shoes in June. Given there is 6 weeks lead time, I created shoes for winter. It was rather tough to decide what to do. I think I created about 10 different pairs before finally ordering this one. I knew I wanted some navy shoes.  However, I couldn’t keep it just to navy. So, I went a bit crazy and decided on navy + fuschia suede.

“Oh dear”, you say. Yes, a bit over the top. However, more on the shoes later. I need to focus first on the brilliant branding and customer experience

As you will quickly see Upper Street’s attention to detail is unparalleled. In fact, it makes me dedicate the rest of this blog post to the unboxing experience. They thought of EVERYTHING. As a marketer/product person, I am a little bit envious as they got it all so right. Congrats Upper Street team!

Now this package looks exciting

A hand tied bow makes them feel very special

A peak inside the box

A hand written note and a velvet bag to carry my new shoes

Promotional material which I'll happily share. Only one downside is they didn't use MOO Business Cards (shame.)

They think of everything - cushions. I also got a lovely keychain.

The SHOES: Navy and Fuscia Suede Mary Janes

They make my feet look a little squished, but that's not their fault.

Now while, I think the women at Upper Street totally delivered on the product experience. I don’t love my design choice. I don’t think they are quite right, but I know I’ll wear them and tell everyone about Upper Street anyway. So, they did get that right.

By the way, their customer support is superb. Initially, there was an issue with the colour of the first shoes. They sent me a note and asked me if I wanted them at a reduced rate. I was happy to wait for the correct shoes. However, they handled it brilliantly and really thought about how it might affect me.

What I wore today ...

What I wore today?
You wouldn’t have seen it as it hardly warrents space on this blog. However, my shoes prompted me to write the post so

Shoes: Steve Madden, (bought in NYC a few years back)
Skirt: Black mini from Jacob (I didn’t realize Jacob was a Canadian brand)
Shirt: White wrap around (bought in Toronto a few summers back)
Necklace: gold
Earrings: Big gold hoops from NYC

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YYZ: Mellow Yellow

Our house looks like an episode of Hoarders at the moment, due to renovation-induced chaos. As a result, there is nowhere to take a photo of my outfit. Which is a shame– there have been a couple of cute ones lately.

Today I figured out that I might be able to be get a photo by stacking the radio & several other items precariously on the bed to serve as a “tripod” for the camera and, if I were very clever (and even more lucky), I might be able to get enough distance between the camera and I to fit an entire head-to-toe photo into the frame.  Not entirely successful, but at least there is some proof that I have not abandoned my blogging responsibilities, Gentle Reader.

This outfit just kinda…. happened. I didn’t think about it too much. But I like it! It solves some awkward problems: what to wear with this t-shirt? What to wear with this skirt, besides my stripey t-shirt? What to wear with these shoes, now that my favourite white jeans have gone to denim heaven?

No lipstick. Yep, that is the bed you can see in the lower, left-hand corner.

Shirt: Jacob, YEARS ago– never been worn, as I had nothing to wear with it that didn’t make it look too prim.
Belt & Cuff: no clue….
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Target

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A few weeks back, the team at work decided to bring back Fancy Shoe Friday. I first talked about Fancy Shoe Friday on my personal blog a few years back (before Fashion IS Danger was conceived). However, this is the first time I’ve introduced the concept here.

It is fairly basic. Similar to Casual Fridays, we introduced Fancy Shoe Friday. Working in a Shoreditch-based internet company, casual dressing is the norm and there aren’t tons of high heels and fancy shoes. So, a special day for fancy shoes is greatly welcomed.

Now, I usually wear fairly fancy shoes so I had to think hard about which shoes I chose to wear. As you will see, I had a co-ordinated set of silver fancy shoes. You’ve seen them before. However, you may not have seen this top in the past.

I wore my comfortable shoes enroute to work

The Star Fancy Shoes

The daytime shoes --- Fancy!

A detail on my shirt

What I wore?
Shirt: De-constructed (my favourite look) shirt from a shop on Queen West in Toronto. YYZ, do you remember which one? I bought it about 8 years ago and there aren’t any tags
Shorts: Black Shorts from Van Heusen (some weird store in San Francisco)
Shoes (walking): Silver Brogues by Office
Shoes (Fancy): Gucci (bought at a second shop on Stoke Newington Church Street
Earrings: Silver earrings from YYZ
Cuff: Going-Away present from my boss and his wife when I lived in Prague

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