Friday, October 24, 2014

#IconCity: I Know It's Cliche, but Kate Middleton The New Jackie O

This biggest feat I've ever had to surmount was to select my favourite Kate Middleton looks because she may just be a Duchess in England, but to me, she is the Queen of fashion. Ever since Kate entered the fashion sphere, we've been enviously ogling at her brilliant style choice and aspiring to attend galas simply to justify dressing with that much elegance every day. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that Kate wears jeans every now and again, but in my book, her pyjamas consist of a selection of Oscar de la Renta suits. It's clear to see that Kate is the new icon in the monarchy as she invades social media platforms every time she leaves the White House. She is the epitome of chic in every circumstance, whether a golf course or a derby. And don't even get me started on those fabulous hats.

Here are five of my favourite Kate Middleton looks.

Kate knows how to take a simple look and make us all swoon. From the Charleston hat to the sleek pastel coat, this outfit is nothing short of perfect.
Let's all marvel at Kate's incredible taste in coats. She pulls off military chic better than any of us.
Kate Middleton looks ravishing in pastel purple. Clearly, pastel is her shade of beautiful.
Amazing coat number three. Can I please steal all of Kate Middleton's coats please?
Yet another coat I'm in love with. I'd like to place an order.
What do you think of Kate Middleton's style? How many coats of hers do you dream about every night?

Ponder it,



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How To Prepare For Winter And Avoid Hypothermia

Caution: This will not be a scientific analysis on cold temperatures or hypothermia.

As a Canadian, I am inherently qualified to give advice on how to dress for winter. For some, it seems basic, but you'd be surprised at the curve balls this season might throw your way. In the summer, all you have to worry about is the sun and the rain. In winter, there could be a snowstorm at any given moment, hail, a rainfall, sub-zero temperatures, and above zero global warming temperatures. It really is the luck of the draw. So, how do we prepare? Runway collections teach us how to dress for fall, but what happens when winter comes along? Essentially, if it goes down to 10 degrees, we're ready to face it. Unfortunately, Canada is the land of igloos and a cute wool coat often won't suffice.

Here are some style tips for the winter snow angel (aka YOU).

TIP 1: Wear a parka.
I know you want to look stylish and a parka makes you look like you ate your doppelganger, but it is essential to winter survival. Recently, fashionistas have been spotted wearing these monsters on the streets at Fashion Week. Designers have integrated them into their collections and we could all breathe a sigh of relief as they come to be recognized as fashion staples. These two looks from the Diesel Black and Gold Fall 2014/2015 collection are ideal for those chilly winter months. However, I wouldn't advise wearing them without pants.

TIP 2: Add some furccessories.
Fur is all the rage in the fashion world and the only reason we can all proclaim our love for winter. This season, fur takes on so many forms that you don't need the fluffy coat to feel glamorous. Whether a fur trim on your gloves or a Fendi fur stole, there are enough options to keep you warm and chic.

Option 1: The Fur Hat
For the bolder type...
Option 2: The Fur Scarf
For that subtle glamour...

TIP 3: Opt for REAL winter boots.
Lies fashion people tell you: you can wear leather boots all winter. At a certain point, those thermal socks probably won't cut it. You'll need something a little warmer for days where it hits -30 degrees. Get yourself a pair of insulated winter boots. Tommy Hilfiger knows what I'm talking about.

TIP 4: Embrace the hat.
Lucky for us, hats are currently a major trend. Keep your ears warm with a cozy wool hat. It can be stylish. I promise.

TIP 5. Wear pants under your skirt or dress. It's high fashion.
This may seem quasi-crazy, but all the designers are making it acceptable. Just when you thought you could never do such a thing (in public), it becomes a fashion statement that we're all secretly dying to try. This was definitely a shout-out to Canadians.

TIP 6: Invest in thigh high socks. They can be SO chic.
If pants under skirts is just not for you, try a pair of cozy long socks. Worn with the current mod trend, this look reminds us of the best part about high school uniforms. If Tory Burch did it, why can't you?

TIP 7: Don't forget your gloves.
Your extremities can make you freeze faster than your average ice cube. Cover them. They will improve the state of your body in a matter of minutes. Try long gloves for added warmth as shown at Vera Wang, Altuzarra, and Christian Dior during Fall 2014 Fashion Week.

TIP 8: Buy a large variety of oversized sweaters
Oversized sweaters are my favourite winter piece. They're cozy AND stylish, which makes them a seasonal must-have. Buy a few in wool or acrylic to make sure you stay warm under your parka.
Ready for winter yet? Follow this list one step at a time and you'll be prepared to face December in head-to-toe style.



Tuesday, October 21, 2014

In Memoriam: 10 Oscar de le Renta Gowns That Made Your Jaw Drop

Oscar de la Renta passed away last night at the age of 82 and the whole fashion world erupted in tears. Yet another legend has left us too soon and we can only look back at his legacy with nostalgia as we peruse through each of his previous collections. Oscar was a man who knew what women wanted. His designs always conveyed elegance, glamour, femininity, and that wow factor we all yearn for when award season comes along. Any celebrity wearing an Oscar gown knew she'd be on a best-dressed list in a heartbeat because Oscar knew how to make everyone fall in love with his designs. To commemorate this iconic designer, let's take a look at some of the best Oscar dresses that graced a red carpet in the last few years.

Lea Michele was a vision in pink at the 2011 Golden Globes. The intricate folds of the dress enhanced its feminine appeal while the fitted bodice highlighted her curves. This was the ultimate girly dress and it embodied the essence of Oscar.
Golden Globes
Back in 2012, Carrie Underwood wore the famous cloud dress, named for its fluffy skirt and misty colour. This dress may be reminiscent of a stormy night, but it was probably a romantic one from a Harlequin novel. Oscar's dresses had that mystical effect on us all.
Billboard Music Awards
The expression "fit like a glove" probably came from celebrities wearing dresses like these. Alba's mermaid gown from the 2013 Golden Globes was one of her most memorable looks due to the gorgeous colour and elaborately pleated skirt. Simply looking at this dress, you knew that it had to be Oscar's work.
Golden Globes
Kerry Washington ALWAYS looks amazing, but at the NAACP Awards back in 2013, she looked breathtaking. Of course, she wore Oscar. The lovely lace detailing and long elegant train instantly give it away.
NAACP Awards
Remember when Amy Adams wore this to the Oscars and you were completely dazzled? Remember when she won an Oscar in this very gown? Knowing that you're up for an Oscar is always the perfect indication that you MUST wear Oscar.
The Oscars
Sarah Jessica Parker was the belle of the ball at the 2014 Met Gala. Every aspect of this dress was reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw from the long white gloves to the full skirt. Though the black and white made it a classic look, the design was anything but simple. Oscar knew how to take classic elements and transform them into a drop-dead-gorgeous gown.
Met Gala
For the Noah Premiere, Emma Watson decided to go gothic chic in this stunning Oscar de la Renta gown. Though the long sleeves and full skirt are conservative, the deep V at the back gives it that sexy wink to complete the look. Oscar knew that overt sexuality is not always the key to a beautiful dress, but rather, subtle sex appeal.
Noah Premiere
Taylor Swift looked pretty in pink at the 2014 Met Gala. The deep V at the back and fabric manipulation at the tail are typical of Oscar de la Renta. You can tell that this man LOVED beautiful fabric.
Met Gala
Natasha Poly killed it at the Cannes Film Festival in this gothic, yet feminine, Oscar de la Renta dress. One of my favourite pieces from that collection, she gave it all the attention it deserved with pulled back hair and minimal jewelry. Everyone knows that an Oscar dress has to be the centre piece.
Cannes Film Festival
Finally, who can forget the most recent tribute to Oscar: Amal Almuddin's wedding gown. This very picture was taken at her fitting with the designer himself. That had to have been magical.
R.I.P Oscar de la Renta. You'll always be remembered as the man who knew how to dress a woman in a way that made her fall in love.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Do You Have To BE Athletic to LOOK Athletic?

Images via

Karl Lagerfeld introduced the concept of sneakers on the HAUTE COUTURE runway.
Donna Karan had her DKNY models wearing NYC baseball caps to showcase their pride in their city.
Mulberry's new Cara Delevingne backpacks lean towards chic practicality for the average school girl.
So, it shouldn't come as a shock that Alexander Wang's H&M collection consists entirely of sportswear. From casual wear to athletic street gear, gender lines are getting more blurred by the minute.

"Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous but it is how people dress in their days off that are the most intriguing." No truer words have ever been spoken by a wise 30 year old designer also known as Alexander Wang.

As stilettos are getting replaced as cool shoe of the moment by Adidas Originals, casual, nay sporty, becomes the new chic. It's the beginning of a new fashion era where comfort dominates the streets and feminism is a term being swooshed around like a hockey puck. While the mod movement remains the trend du jour and 90's nostalgia is all the rage, sportswear is taking centre stage, as it becomes the cool new kid on the block. In light of society's growing obsession with the gym and kale, everyone's talking about staying fit and taking up a sport has never been cooler.

But what if you aren't the athletic type? Does that mean Alexander Wang's new H&M collaboration isn't for you? OR are you allowed to fake it? Is wearing a gym getup on the street the equivalent of Drake saying he's from the street?

In the fashion world, your outfit is a reflection of your personality and you are defined by your ability to express your individuality through your personal style. If that is the case, how can a girl wear basketball shoes if she doesn't play basketball? Is it possible to pull off sportswear without looking like you're trying too hard to be someone you're not?

According to Alexander Wang, the collection is NOT just for the athletically inclined. Phew. Despite the sporty themes, these pieces are meant to be transitional looks that can be worn in other settings. In fact, it sounds a lot like he's telling us to wear these items #fothesakeoffashion and not purely for recreational purposes.

Many moons ago, sportswear was only meant to be worn when playing sports. Often, it wasn't very stylish, but merely a necessity with the right qualities to suit the game at hand. Soccer shoes were for soccer because they had cleats. It was a given. No questions asked. For this reason, fashionistas were appalled at the thought of being caught in their sports attire. 

But what happens when we start loving our sportswear? 
What happens when the fashion world decides that being athletic can be fashionable? 
What happens when your Nikes become a fashion statement rather than just a sports shoe?
And what happens when you're choosing your Nikes over your Louboutins?
Will this inspire some of us (myself) to take up sports? 
Does it even have to?

Ponder It,



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

QUIZ TIME: Which Young, Flourishing Fashion Model Are You?

We all know about the Supers: Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Kate Moss, Christy Turlington, and Cindy Crawford. If you don't, I urge to check out immediately as you lower your head in embarrassment. Today, we've got a new batch of ladies everyone's talking about and I'm about to tell you which one is your soul sister. But wait. First you have to take this quiz. Find out if you're a Cara, a Karlie, a Joan, or a Soo Joo.

1. Pick your favourite fashion brand.
b) Oscar de la Renta
c) Missoni
d) Chanel

2. Which of these words describes you best?
a) Goofy
b) Friendly
c) Fierce
d) Non-Conformist

3. What's your best physical feature?
a) Your eyebrows
b) Your swan neck
c) Your lips
d) Your cheekbones

4. What's your motto?
a) Life's a playground. Don't take it too seriously.
b) Don't worry. Have a cookie.
c) Beauty is about diversity.
d) Uniqueness is the emblem of success.

5. Time to make a change. What do you do to your hair?
a) Dye it dirty blond
b) Chop it all off
c) Change my hair? NEVER.
d) Bleach it

6. What's your spirit animal?
a) A bunny
b) A puppy
c) A lion
d) An iguana

7. What's your favourite fashion trend?
a) Sneakers
b) Minimalism
e) Grunge

You love to have a good time no matter the place and people are attracted to your youthful spirit. Some say you're a bit wild, but you just like to live life to its fullest. Every day is a party and you're ready to celebrate the good times. Come on.

Everybody loves you because you're the sweetest person they know. You're a major philanthropist and live to help others reach their full potential. People are addicted to your laid back personality and nonchalance, but let that not be mistaken for laziness because you are anything but.

You're a strong woman with solid values that guide you through your decisions. With fierce determination, you know how to get what you want. Your attitude and presence may be intimidating, but it makes you a better person and someone that others look up to.

You live to be different and play with the various assets of your personality. People consider you to be unique and envy your propensity to take a risk and set yourself apart from the crowd. You're the girl that stands out in a crowd and that no one can miss because of your infectious personality and killer style.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Skinny Jean, Where Hath Thou Gone?

It has come to my attention that street style bloggers and fashion moguls alike are foregoing the skinny jean. At first, I struggled to determine whether or not this was an actual pattern, but as I flipped through all the street style photos taken during fashion month, I knew a revolution was about to take place.

Yesterday, I discussed the desire for designers to combine comfort with sophistication by reintroducing the fanny pack. Once again, this thought crosses my mind as more fashionistas are wearing flowy pants or mom jeans over skintight pants.

What is going on?

As much as I love a flare and a harem pant, I can't help but think about the short girls (aka me). Can short girls even begin to consider giving up the skinny jean?

When I discovered skinny jeans, it changed my life. Gone were the days of slouchy pants that made me feel sloppy. I finally had a rear end and I learned that defining the shape is essential to dressing well. Today, I question this belief.

Do we even need to wear tight clothes to feel attractive? Is fashion trying to counter social norms or redefine them? Is this a response to uncomfortable experiences with prior trends? Is it about feminism?

As I look at these women with their new pants, I feel inspired to experiment myself. If petite women like Miroslava Duma are wearing them, why can't I?

At first I wondered how I can possibly remain proportionate with a looser pair of pants. Won't I just drown in the fabric? After all, that is every short girl's biggest fear. After giving it some thought, I realized that it wasn't the skinny fit that gave me height, but the waistline. If you make sure your pants are high waisted, you can get away with the flowy pant. Jackpot.

And that got me thinking: is there anything a short girl can't wear? Is it all just in our head?

Women constantly condemn aspects of their body, but the magic of fashion is that it always finds a way for every girl to wear any trend in a manner that suits her body type.

Maybe I can finally purchase that perfect pair of baggy leather pants.

I guess you'll have to wait and see!

Follow me on Instagram: @fashnbella 

Ponder it,



Monday, October 13, 2014

Who In The World Is Fanny?


Wikipedia offers 15 variations of the term we recognize in Canada as "The Fanny Pack".

Before I get into the nitty gritty of this farcical lexicon, let's try to decipher the meaning behind this name.

I'd like to begin by asking you a question: who IS Fanny?

Is she your sister?
Is she your great-aunt's maid?
Is she your second cousin twice removed?
Is she your mother?

Once you've answered these questions, I have another one for you:

Would you name your child Fanny?

I'm guessing no.

Unfortunately, the name Fanny has negative associations. It makes us think of Fanny Hill, the 18th century prostitute, or Fanny Price, the passive character that inhabits the world of Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. And for those of you out of sync with literature, it might make you think of a rear end.

Ding Ding. Right answer.

History says that fanny packs were originally worn behind you (facing your rear), but due to pickpocketing, people decided to turn their wallet purse around. In theory, Fanny packs are a wonderful invention. They allow us to travel handsfree with every little need wrapped around our waist. Today, we have cross-body bags. So, why return to the fanny pack?

Recently, the trend has reared its ugly fanny at shows like Chanel and Alexander Wang as well as around the waist of some of our favourite celebrities. Each of these designers are bringing fanny back with a chic twist.

A few years ago, many would've unanimously agreed that the 90s was the worst fashion decade. Today, every trend we once hated is coming back to haunt us.

Overalls? Check.
Mom Jeans? Check.
Scrunchies? Check.

As a child of the 90s, I admit that we did some pretty strange things such as avoiding bras and putting coloured braids in our hair. Fanny packs were one of those things. I suppose with fashion leaning towards practicality, it was bound to happen. From the sneaker revolution to the pursuit of looser pants, fashion has taken on a new persona: #IWokeUpLikeThis.

What do YOU think of the Fanny pack? Should it even be called "fashion"?

Ponder it,



P.S Check out the list of other terms for Fanny Pack (according to Wikipedia) below and pick your favourite.

Waist Wallet - Canada
Belt Pack - US
Belt Bag - Philippines
Belly Bag - US
Chaos Pouch - US
Buffalo Pouch - US
Hip Sack - US
Phany Pack - US
Waist Bag - US
Hip Pack - UK
Bum Bag - Australia, Oceania, UK
Kangaroo - South America, Ireland
Butt Pack - US
Moon Bag - South Africa

Want one yet?