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Met Gala heavenly fashion

One star-studded event I look forward to each year is the Met Gala. No, I’m not an attendee, and I just observe from a distance via social media, but I won’t deny that I often imagine I’m at the extravagant soiree elbow-to-elbow with the world’s  fashionable elite.

Each year guests do their best to dress in alignment with the given theme. This time around, it was  Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination which meant that radiant stars, dazzled in angelic and unique couture.

Blake Lively looked heaven sent in Versace. The mother of two paired her embellished and form-fitting gown with theatrical makeup and a headpiece of jewels.

Rihanna always makes sure to standout. The musical sensation opted to arrive in a sparking silver Pope outfit that was a little more revealing than what the religious leader wears in his day-to-day. The star turned heads and talk about her Margiela ensemble has carried on since the event this past weekend.

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Hailey Baldwin looked radiant in a soft Tommy Hilfiger gown. Usually Baldwin has opted for heavier attire at the annual gala, but this time stunned in the flowing frock. The model and daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin, spoke about the gown she wore to Vogue:

“When they announced the theme for this year I was actually really excited because I am a church girl. I’m not Catholic but I identify with religion and the church so I was super excited…There is always a lot of build up getting there and then everything just sort of magically works out.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BihodxOAJJZ/?taken-by=haileybaldwin

One of my favourite fashionistas and actresses is Sarah Jessica Parker. The Sex and the City star brought her A-game in a standout ensemble by Dolce & Gabbana at this year’s gala. SJP drew criticism last year when she chose to wear a simple pantsuit to the artistic event. She obviously redeemed herself at last weekend’s occasion.

#metgala #sarahjessicaparker #sarahjessicaparkermetgala #metgala2018

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The Met Gala celebrates fashion as art , and an exhibit following the same theme is now on display, which features pieces by Coco Chanel and John Galliano. Donatella Versace, Amal Clooney and Rihanna hosted the event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan which launched the opening of the exhibit in an exquisite way. The gala certainly is a reminder that the creation of fashion is a respected art form.

 

 

Get on trend this spring

The  weather leading up to this week was terrible, and I have not had the usual inspiration to update my wardrobe because those winter blahs are still sneaking their way in. Alas, the sunshine and warmer temperatures seem to be on the horizon, which makes me want to wear brighter colours and put a bit of pizzazz in my attire. The top trends for Spring and Summer 2018 will help to do just that:

The runways were filled with sparkle and sequins at all major fashion event for this season. Glitz is not only reserved for evening wear anymore. Sequins in a light sweater, can be the perfect transitional piece from day to evening. Marc Jacobs, Dior, Gucci and Bottega Veneta all showed fantastic pieces to bring the shimmer to your spring.

I usually have reserved the checks for fall and winter clothing, but this year designers went all out with flirty spring versions and variations of this pattern. Runways were filled with this trend in light and radiant hues. Again, the checked pattern can work as a casual sweatshirt for day time and is seen in more formal jackets meant to complement evening wear. Belenciaga, Victoria Beckham, and Burberry all gave a sneak peek of this hot trend for the months ahead.

Fringing is a trend that keeps being reinvented. It returns for the season but is popping up in a more elegant and sophisticated way . Fringe is also showing up on boots again. Celine, Bottega Venetta and Loewe, demonstrated how this trend is to be worn.

#LOEWESS18 as seen in Paris Fashion Week #PFW
photography by @cris.fragkou

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I often opt for brighter colours in the spring and summer. Although bold hues are also still on trend, pastels are huge for the seasons, too. Just like in home décor trends for spring, mixing and matching these gelato-inspired colours, is all the rage. Celine, VB and Preen mastered this trend.

Enjoy spicing up that closet this season. I know my inspiration to do that has now kicked in and I plan on heading to the shops on Queen immediately.

Woman of the Week: Katrina Turnbull

There are some women I’m quickly drawn to and I easily become friends with. Usually this has to do with their willingness to be real and open about who they are and about their own failures and successes. I immediately connected with Katrina Turnbull.

Katrina was named one of Ottawa’s “Top 25 Influencers” by Ottawa Life Magazine for good reason. Thousands of readers view her mommy blog Oui C’est Chic , for honest, clever advice from this mother-of-two. Katrina also joins the morning crew at CTV Ottawa often for live segments, where she unveils the latest trends for kids and busy women on the go. She also hosts Bell Fibe’s Capital Style Files, which showcases the fashion sense of influential figures in the nation’s capital and contributes to the Huffington Post.

Katrina gives off the sense that she has it all together – in part because of her fashionable clothing and perfectly applied makeup. Yet, Katrina is the first to admit that her busy schedule- parenting, blogging, and preparing T.V. segments- can get overwhelming. She explains how she tries through her work to assist women with their own daily struggles by offering advice.

“Working women and mothers are always taking care of other people’s needs before their own. It’s an unsustainable model, which is why so many women feel burnout and are unable to devote time to their own self-care. I want women to know that not only is it okay for them to put themselves first once in a while, but it is necessary in order to fuel their minds and soul, so that they can be more productive and nurture others.”

It’s obvious that Katrina is someone who wants to support and empower women. While grabbing a coffee, she was attentive, respectful,  and offered helpful advice to me about starting and maintaining a successful website. She demonstrated how she is doing her best to build other women up. Katrina said this is a critical goal set in her work and in her personal life, adding that she was “fortunate enough to have met strong, confident women” who wanted to help her succeed, while imparting lessons from their own lives. She is set on “paying it forward.”

 Katrina  admires a number of high profile business women who have inspired her. Designer,  Diane Von Furstenberg is at the top of her list of women she most wants to meet, because “she is a champion of women and believing that women are allowed to shape themselves into the type of person they want to be.” Katrina admires her because the designer came from humble beginnings and “hustled her way into a dream career by” carving out her own spot in an industry that was  male-dominated.

Despite her success, Katrina admits that roadblocks and challenges are a part of her journey. She is all too aware about how some women can be more focused on competing than supporting and empowering one another.  She also shared how the MeToo movement couldn’t come at a better time. Despite not feeling there is a clear answer to fixing the issue of harassment in the workplace, Katrina spoke about feeling undervalued simply based on the fact that she is a woman and not a man.

Katrina was the victim of harassment  as a young server in Ottawa and she shared her #MeToo story with me:

“We were forced to wear skimpy uniforms, flirt with customers to get bigger tabs and tips, etc. Complaining about a customer grabbing or propositioning you led to the bar managers taking away our best tables and punishing us by giving  bad shifts for the next few weeks.”

The overall mentality passed down from the head honcho at the nightspot was that women working at the establishment, were mainly there to look good- Katrina added that when such sexist rules come from the top, it’s very difficult to stand up for yourself and change the setting. She eventually had enough and quit.

Her belief now is that Canadians will continue to make a societal change because of the nation’s progressive nature.

Katrina has her sights set on continuing to be a positive influence on women by way of her entrepreneurial projects. For more about Katrina, visit her site.

Photography provided by Valerie Keeler

Galia Lahav Fashion House: Art in fashion form

For the first in a long time, I do not have a number of weddings to attend this upcoming spring and summer. Usually, my mailbox is full with invites beckoning me to celebrate the matrimonial bliss of friends and relatives, thereby causing me to head to designer boutiques and snag a stunning gown. I’m still, however, entirely enthralled with the bridal designs and evening wear designs of the season, which is why I had goosebumps when offered the opportunity to interview and feature ultra-talented and internationally-known bridal and evening wear designer, Galia Lahav.

It has often been said that fashion is a form of art and that clothing is art that we live our lives in. Designs by notable haute couture designer Galia Lahav of the Galia Lahav fashion house, prove this statement to be absolute truth due to the sheer pleasure each intricately-made piece brings to the eye. The care with which each piece is crafted and the wonderful unique appeal, reflect an aesthetic and beauty that deserves to be showcased like a piece of art in La Louvre.

My exchange with Galia reminded me that even the most successful and world-renowned individuals, started from nothing and needed to put the wheel in motion while taking necessary risks.

Lahav relays that she has always been an art enthusiast and actually even taught art for 15 years. This led Galia to designing couture bridal, beginning in her 30s, and  the talent identifies this industry as creation of “art itself.”

“From a young age I had a strong passion for couture because my mother taught me how to sew and I learned to observe every inch of every detail. I’d love to think that our brand’s style is original and innovative. ”

Galia explains that her work is set apart from other bridal-wear because she and her team pay attention to “body contouring and fitted silhouettes.” The designer also adds that they are able to offer “both beauty and comfort,” and are very “committed to both client and worldwide fashion trends, so the product is eventually a blend of unusual and a sometimes very unique point of view.”

The Galia Lahav brand is one that appeals to women worldwide. Lahav explains as to how she and her team manage to achieve this, stating, “The common thread of our designs is geared towards character, to a wide range of the ‘fashion forward’ lovers. In the end, statistically, women have more in common and they know it. So do I.”

Ms. Lahav admits that her point of inspiration when designing and fabricating her luxurious collections involves “everything from great art, music, great books, humanity and even sexuality.”  Galia adds, however, that the biggest inspiration comes from the brides’ wants and wishes.

 

 

 

That signature allure found in each design by Lahav has succeeded in drawing in the masses to hail Galia Lahav haute couture fashion house as a leader in bridal and evening wear. For more about Galia Lahav and to find out about upcoming North American trunk shows, visit www.galialahav.com .

5 tips to pack light on your travels

Travelling can be exhausting, especially if you are going on vacation solo. The biggest source of this fatigue is packing. You need a certain number of outfits for each day, and then you need options for if the weather is cold or hot, or if you are spontaneous and decide to go out for the night. And then there are the killer shoes — one is good for walking, one for dancing, one for rain, one for snow, and one for the beach.

It’s not just the act of packing either. It’s the weigh-in at the airport, baggage claim, lugging your suitcase around the city for half a day while you wait for your hotel room to be ready. And then there are the extra fees if you do any shopping while abroad!

Don’t stress too much. There are ways to pack light while travelling that will allow for plenty of shopping space and a lot less hassle. Here are five tips:

Pack outfits, not options: This will save you so much room in your suitcase. Do you need a pair of pants for every day of your trip? Probably not. Choose a minimum number of bottoms and one or two shirts per bottom. While packing, you can sometimes fall victim to the “options” mentality, in which you pack numerous tops with numerous bottoms so you have a lot of choice. While choice is great, it is not prudent for light packing. Outfits are complete looks, and therefore you only bring what you know goes well with other items in your bag.

Bring laundry detergent: Who says you can’t do laundry on your trip, especially if you are away for over a week? Bring some detergent that is sink-friendly so you can wash undergarments midweek if you need to. I travelled through Europe for three weeks and this saved me! It meant I just had to pack a few outfits, wash, and re-wear!

Sorry ladies, limit your shoes: Shoes are the hardest part about packing for a trip. On the one side, you want something practical and comfortable if you plan on doing lots of walking. But, what if you want to go to the beach? What if you want to dress up for dinner? What if it rains? This is a constant problem, and my only advice for you is to choose two, and then add flip/flops if the beach life is for your. It seems impossible, right? But honestly, no one is going to look at your feet while you are on vacation – so go with comfort first. Invest in good walking shoes that are waterproof. This ticks off two boxes. Then, choose a pair of nice shoes that you can wear with both jeans and a dress. My go-to is a cork-heel sandal, as it is relatively comfortable and works with everything.

Bare minimum makeup: Hair products, foundation, brushes, and jewellery are some of the bulkiest items you can put in a suitcase. Go minimal — either purchase mini bottles of these items or get a travel pack from the drug store for shampoo and soap. Think about what you will be doing. If you are spending time on a beach or in the water, you don’t really need much makeup to begin with. Bring foundation or concealer, some mascara and eyeliner, and a lipstick for the evening. Eyeshadow will melt if you are going somewhere hot and there is no need for blush if you are wandering through a cobblestoned town in Amsterdam. In terms of jewellery, pack easy to match items like stud earrings or simple necklaces. If you want something funky for a fancier night out, that’s fine, but limit it to one look.

Backpack it: If you plan on doing any exploring or long adventures, make sure to have a small backpack to bring with you. This way, you can pack a few granola bars or a bottle of water with you for easy travel. You can purchase small locks and use it for your big pockets so that when you walk through large tourist hubs, you don’t have to worry about theft. It’s a lot easier than keeping your passport or wallet in a purse that is easy to grab. Having a backpack also gives you a little more freedom if you, let’s say, want to ignore my rule on shoes and truly believe you need an extra pair. Simply put it in your backpack and when you get to the hotel, remove it. This saves on any extra weight limitations you may have and allows you to pack an extra towel or necessity in your suitcase.

Bonus: roll, don’t fold! You can fit more if you fold your clothing in half and then tightly roll them up. You can fit double the amount of clothing in your suitcase this way.

Remember, that if you don’t have enough of something, you can always go to the store!

Macy’s embraces diversity with modest line for Muslim women

Macy’s announced their intention to sell a modest clothing collection that would target Muslim women. The Verona Collection will feature “versatile, ready-to-wear pieces including maxi dresses, tops, cardigans, pants and hijabs in a variety of colours and fabrics.”

“Verona Collection is more than a clothing brand. It’s a platform for a community of women to express their personal identity and embrace fashion that makes them feel confident on the inside and outside,” said Lisa Vogl, founder of Verona Collection, in a statement. “Macy’s has been an amazing partner, helping us strengthen the foundation of our business through The Workshop at Macy’s and now introducing our brand to their consumers through this collaboration.”

Vogl said she converted to Islam in 2011 and had difficulty finding both modest and fashionable clothing in regular outlet stores. She invested $7,000 in her own online company, selling her own line while acting as businesswoman and photographer. Vogyl is a graduate of Macy’s The Workshop, a retail vendor development program supported by the department chain.

“Through The Workshop at Macy’s, we want to nurture and support minority- and women-owned businesses to build their capabilities and become the next generation of retail partners,” said Shawn Outler, Macy’s executive vice president – Licensed Businesses, Food Services and Multicultural Initiatives. “We are truly encouraged by the successes of our graduated businesses, including Verona Collection, and look forward to hosting a new class of participants this spring.”

Not everyone is thrilled about the decision. Feminists are torn — with some applauding Macy’s commitment to diversity in fashion and others criticizing the oppressive background of the hijab. The latter is causing a number of people to boycott the department store.

Verona Collection ranges in price from $12.95 to $84.95 and will be available at macys.com beginning February 15.

What do you think of Macy’s decision? Let us know in the comments below!

Toronto holiday trends to ditch this weekend

I love the holiday season in Toronto — the smells, the decoration, the winter activities, it all makes me smile! But, it can also make me laugh. And no, this isn’t the kind of mutual laughter you may see when people share a mutual joke or watch a scene from Elf. I mean the kind of laughter that may hurt someone’s feelings or make someone feel embarrassed.

I feel bad about this, but some of these holiday trends circulating the Internet are just plain silly. Laughable even. The good news is that this laughter is preventable. Simply avoid these five tacky and over the top trends this holiday weekend!

Bulb beards: This trend pops up every year — and every year it gets a little more ridiculous. This hipster style involves hanging small bobbles from facial hair. It looks fun, but it’s also incredibly weird. If you go to a party with little ornaments hanging from your beard, it’s all people will look at. I wonder if these men will jingle when they talk? Or if their beard’s bounce when they walk down the street. If you REALLY want to attempt this, go for it – but be warned! Your beard must be thick enough to handle the bulbs and if you decide to dip your hair in colour powders, glitter, or to experiment with tinsel — that shit gets everywhere!

Christmas tree eyebrows: Everyone can thank Canadian beauty blogger Taylor R for this one. Apparently, the latest thing in holiday fashion is to dress up your eyebrows with sparkles and tiny accessories. The idea is to spread your eyebrow hairs outward to create what many know as the “feathered brow”. Then, you add glitter, sparkles, and rhinestones. First of all, this is a lot of work for fancy eyebrows. The cleanup alone would be atrocious. I bet half of that glitter ends up in your eye ball at the end of the day. Can we please just not attempt this weird fashion trend and stick to regular mascara and eyeshadow?

Sweaters that light up: I love a good ugly sweater, but the ones that light up are just too much. They are distracting when you are trying to have a conversation. Imagine talking to someone and seeing flashing red or white lights blinking at you. Not to mention the dry cleaning bill because you can’t put that thing in the laundry machine! Just stick to a pleasant green or red coloured sweater and thinking of some interesting conversation starters instead of relying on your clothing.

Mac and cheese: There is turkey, stuffing, and potatoes — do we really need another starchy food for Christmas dinner? To me, macaroni and cheese is something I have on a cold Monday night, when I am craving carbohydrates and want to binge watch Stranger Things on Netflix. Instead of mac and cheese, why not come up with a different side dish, maybe something with a vegetable?

Exclusive holiday office parties: To clarify — I enjoy a good holiday party or luncheon. I think every office should have one. It’s the perfect opportunity to actually get to know your coworkers and enjoy snacks and drinks without having to pay an arm and a leg. What I don’t like is that employers only treat their employees during the holidays. There are 365 days in a year, and showing your employees you care only once in that time span means that the formality of the “office holiday party” is merely that, a formality. Step up, and how your employees you care a few times a year.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

5 hair trends you need to leave behind in 2017

We’ve talked about beauty, fashion, and food that have all become a hot mess in 2017. This week we are going to close off the trends series by talking about some wacky hairstyles I’ve seen this year. Here are five hair trends you need to leave behind in 2017:

Unicorn Hair

This one should not come as a surprise! We are living in a culture that seemingly obsessed with a mythical and magical creature. Unicorn hair, or hair in layered pastel colours, is not uncommon to find, especially during the summer of 2017. There were lots of millennial pink heads out there in addition to the rainbow hair styles.

Silver Hair

At one point silver hair on a younger person became all the rage and it’s still present in 2017. Maybe in 2018, we should try not chemically stripping our hair for the sake of fashion and embracing our natural hair. Colourful styles can we fun, but by all means get highlights and stop layering in bleach and dye.

Chunky Highlights

Speaking of highlights, back in October of this year, a hairstylist from New Jersey posted a few pictures of her clients wearing this 90’s trend in 2017. It was well liked and many started to consider bringing back chunky look. Think Kelly Clarkson peak 2003 the Thankful album cover. While we have seen some embarrassing styles in the 90’s (I’m not afraid to admit I was once a lover of chunky highlights too), I think people should return to the preferable the thin, blended or ombre effect for 2018.

Half Shaved Head

It’s the classic ‘badass’ look. Having one side of your head buzzed and the other with a flip of luxurious hair. This look has been popularized in the pop music industry by people like Cassie and Rihanna. It also made its way to Hollywood. However, shaving half or even a bit of your head is a big commitment. If you really want this style you have to stick to it and maintain it, or deal with having uneven hair for a very long time afterwards if the look doesn’t please you.

Excessively Long Extensions

Long hair can be a lot of work, but it sure looks great.  However, if you’re a lover of wearing hair extensions, the excessively overdone look can be bit much. Celebrities like Kim and Kylie Kardashian have been known to switch up their looks ever so often using this trick, but half the time they are using some really good quality wigs. Earlier this year, Kim was known to switch up her looks from blonde to short to extreme 32 inch extensions. It was her “Cher’-inspired beauty look. This Rapunzel type look has been a favourite of celebrities to express drama and luxury — but that doesn’t mean it works for the regular everyday person.

Here is hoping you can leave all the excess baggage and negativity in your life behind for 2017 and focus on better things to come for the New Year!

Leave a comment below!

Try these holiday inspired beauty and fashion looks

Christmas and New Year festivities are real opportunities to dress with a slight touch of elegance. Think glitter, shimmer and shine. It’s the one time it’s acceptable to look like you stepped off the set of a glamorous Hollywood movie instead of rolling out of bed, throwing on a pair of jeans and a sweater. Here are some holiday inspired beauty and fashion looks

Headbands with style

A simple and put together look can be completed with a perfect headband. During the holidays, it’s fine to add a bit of shimmer and bling to your accessories. Every queen needs her crown, right ? Try a tiara-inspired headband to pull your holiday look together.

Red Lips

Thanks to Fenty Beauty and Rihanna’s newly released Lip Stunna, lip paint in Uncensored, red lips will be plentiful this holiday seaosn . I love a classic red lip and Rihanna’s universal red works for every skin tone. Red, after all, is the colour of love and celebration.

Glitter eyeliner/ eyes

The glitter eye look will be popular this holiday season. Fenty Beauty’s Galaxy Holiday Collection presented products like glitter eyeliner and a glitter eyeshadow palette. Put your creativity to use and explore different festive eye looks, think gold, silver, green, copper, and even burgundy. A smoky eye with some glitter eyeliner also works. These looks will certainly match your sparkly dress.

Glossy Lips

If you don’t want to be over the top with heavy eye makeup and red lips, there is the choice to keep it minimal on your lips with a simple gloss look while you play up the eye makeup. It’s a more neutral look, but you will sill look polished.

Glitter clutch

If you will be pulling out that little black dress for the holiday party, you need some bold and bright accessories! Consider adding the glitter and glow to your choice to party clutch or shoes. The perfect glitter and holiday-inspired accessories will help your look come together. Just remember to go classy rather than trashy. Too many bobbles your hair will ruin the work you put into your dress and makeup.

What will you be wearing to ring in the New Year? Let us know in the comments below!

5 fashion trends you need to leave behind in 2017

If you have been following with the trends to leave behind in 2017, you would have read my list of five food trends and five beauty trends that should be tossed in the garbage before you ring in the new year. This week, after a well-tested Instagram poll, I am tackling fashion. Sometimes, fashion trends stick around for way too long, and these five items are no exception!

Fluffy footwear

A little bit of faux fur on your feet —no problem. In fact, there was some cute Steve Madden pumps with a bit of  fur trim that was quite popular this year. I am talking about the extremely obnoxious full fur slippers that have been spotted on celebrities around Hollywood. The ones that look like bedroom slippers, but are worn in public for some reason. I get they are comfortable, but some things just need to be left at home (or behind) in 2017.

Bucket hats

After being a popular hit in the 90’s, these hats made a brief come back in 2017. I’ve seen Kanye West, Justin Beiber, Chris Brown, Pharrell, and even Rihanna wearing these hats. Maybe it’s my personal preference, but I just don’t find the bucket hat quite appealing. Maybe it comes in handy for a fishing trip though.

Off the shoulder/shoulder robing jackets

I’ve seen this look a lot in 2017, the “effortless throw off your bomber or oversized jean jacket and let it hang off your shoulders” trend. It has slightly replaced shoulder robing. It’s just that suggestive approach of showing off the right amount of shoulder. Popular on celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner, this caught on fast. The jacket is never fully on, it’s just hanging there…

Coachella-inspired fashion

Have you even noticed, especially around the start of summer, the common look in stores, year after year is the kind of boho-chic festival style. It’s that carefree, wild child with a flower crown, in a distressed tank top and short shorts kind of look. We have seen her —we have been her, but it’s time to retire this Coachella look every single summer. Unless you’re actually going to Coachella then thats fine … I guess.

Over the top nail art

I love getting my nails done or doing it myself, but when I explore some of the nail design pages on Instagram, I am shocked that many people still get their nails done with over the top and elaborate designs like studs and flowers. I understand wanting to show off your creativity, but this can be a bit much. Did anyone see the fidget spinner nails? Yes, those happened.

What else should we leave behind when it comes to fashion trends. Comment below!