Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Paris, London, and Me

It's been a while, but I'm officially back on the blog and ready to go straight up diary of a fashionista this season. With summer coming to an end (sad face emoji), I'm way more excited for fall than I should be because fall fashion is my absolute favourite kind of fashion. I'm thinking bulky sweaters, sexy over-the-knee suede boots, and a faux fur fall coat. Just the thought makes my heart jump a little bit.

This summer, I traveled to Paris and London, two of my favourite fashion capitals. Of course, I couldn't help but explore every single shop I spotted from the corner of my eye. From the Stella McCartney near my hotel to Chanel's flagship in Paris, I finally reached my own personal heaven (a healthy blend of the two cities) and was reluctant to come home.


During my short stay in each city, I learned a few things. For one, everything they tell you about Parisians is true. Simplicity is the key to true elegance, and let me tell you, those Parisians are the masters of elegance. As for England, 'tis the land of sweaters and rock n' roll.

While dressing light was essential in Paris due to the warm summer weather, the constant London drizzle made it imperative to get those fall clothes out immediately. Thankfully, London is amazing, so don't let that weather discourage you.

My favourite part about Paris and London is that their personalities are so distinct (as seen through the weather alone). Though crowded with tourists at this time of year, the locals remain recognizable solely based on their garb. Neutrals tones and classic cuts are the epitome of Parisian chic, while Londoners remain intent on breaking the rules by mixing prints and fabrics with each look (faux fur was a popular choice).

Zara London
While one may criticize the other, whether for being too minimalist or too eccentric, their opposing personalities is exactly what qualifies them as fashion capitals of the world (other than the abundance of luxury fashion in the vicinity).

Though I personally identify with the unruliness of the British, I appreciate that je ne sois quoi possessed by most Parisians. There's nothing more liberating than the no makeup makeup look and Parisians do it best while dressed to the nines. Unfortunately, effortlessness is not in my DNA, and my outfits in Paris were some of my most thought out ever. Clearly, I'm no match for a true effortless Parisienne.

London was even more of a challenge due to the unpredictable weather conditions (or rather, constant rainfall) that seemed to mimic British style. In a land where sweaters are often worn with shorts and boots are a summer staple, my ignorance was certainly my downfall. Thankfully, matching is unnecessary when in London and one good sweater can be worn with just about anything. Though wearing the same thing every day may seem boring and repetitive, the challenge to create multiple looks with that one piece adds a little thrill to dressing up every morning (or maybe I'm just telling myself that for reassurance). Next time I go to London, I'll be sure to pack accordingly.

121 Regent Street - Burberry Store
If you're unsure of how to pack for a summer trip to Paris or London, here are some tips I picked up along the way.

When in Paris:
1) Less is more. Make that your mantra.
2) Neutral tones are everything.
3) Let your femininity shine. Dresses are the preferred look for summer, so scrap the shorts.
4) Bring a cute hat to protect yourself from the sun and look good doing it.
5) Bring comfortable footwear, but also, a chic pair of heels for your nights out.

When in London:
1) Be prepared for every possible weather condition.
2) Also, bring your sexiest outerwear (it will be your main look).
3) Sun hat is to Paris as rain mac is to London, so accessorize wisely.
4) Pack more than one pair of pants (I learned my lesson).
5) Matching is not essential. You're in a fashion capital and a foreign country. Let your creativity run wild.

Ponder it,

Bella

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

#ForTheSakeofFashion: Booties In The Summer?

If you live in a warm country (which I do not), you may be faced with the following dilemma. Can I still buy a pair of boots? What if they're cute Chelsea boots? Is this purchase justifiable?

Your answer is most definitely yes.

Though it may seem like an illogical purchase in every way, little booties have become a style statement. Even those of the over-the-knee variety can now be worn with a mini dress for a different effect altogether.

via breakfastwithaudrey.com.au

We've all seen the Mileys and Caras of this world sport some combat boots with a pair of shorts. Depending on whether or not you live in L.A, this can be permissible. In fact, it's almost encouraged, especially when combined with an edgier outfit.

Whether a pair of peep-toe booties for a night on the town or combat boots for your daily shopping excursion (or monthly, depending on your level of addiction), boots have transformed into a year-long versatile look that never goes out of style. Sometimes you're not in the mood to wear a sandal, possibly because you haven't had the time to redo your pedicure. No matter. Boots are here to rescue you from a chipped nail fiasco.

Sure, the sneaker is the most logical alternative, but as I always say, fashion should (almost) NEVER be about logic, but rather about playful creativity. In other words, you should be wearing booties #forthesakeoffashion and not because it's cold outside. In fact, the cold should not dictate how you dress (for the most part). You should control the weather by wearing what you please, when you please. That may be our only way of coping with our weather woes.

So, next time you're considering wearing those little black boots in the summer, don't let warm weather get in the way of your decision.

Ponder it,

Bella

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Let's Talk About Metallic Nails

A traditional manicure generally consists of a red, pastel pink, or nude polish. The boldest amongst us will occasionally try the color of the moment like a turquoise or baby blue for summer and navy or burgundy for fall. For special occasions, a french manicure is a popular look and the reverse french, even more so. Some fashionistas are inclined to go for nail art. I am not one of them. But what ever happened to metallic nails? Have they been forgotten in the mix?

via styleblazer.com
While I am generally inclined to choose a matte colour that suits my skin tone, I've been contemplating metallics and to my consternation, I can't seem to decide whether or not I could "pull this off". Are metallics tacky? Or are they fashion?

When it comes to our jewellery, many of us have a favourite metal, be it silver or gold. Some of us will even opt for a chic rose gold. When it comes to our timepiece, the metal you choose is everything, so you must choose wisely. While we tend to prefer metal for our jewellery to plastic (which can be perceived as cheap and tacky), why is the reverse true for our nails? Perhaps the new chic is metallic gold or silver. 

Now, as someone who is willing to try almost anything when it comes to fashion, I'm tempted to dig into this further and explore the metallic nail. Who knows? It may become the next fall trend to hit the runways and before you know it, bloggers will be promoting it everywhere.

So, next time you hesitate with the tacky vs. non-tacky debate, try it out. If it doesn't feel right, you don't have to do it again. When it comes to your nails, there's always a good polish remover to save you from an awful mani.

Ponder it,

Bella

Monday, July 20, 2015

Five Easy Ways To Improve A Basic Outfit

This may look like your average style guide, but it's actually your average style guide simplified. Ever wonder how your favourite model-off-duty (Cara Delevingne) pulls off her basics without deviating into boring territory? Ever wonder how fashion editors stay unique all the time without busting their budget? Ever wonder how you can turn your white t-shirt into a style statement? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have stumbled upon your perfect list. This basic guide is here to help you pick out the best accessories to compliment your white-tee and jeans. Let's face it, some of us don't have the patience to pick out an elaborately extravagant look every single day and need a little help finding that one piece that can take our outfit from simple to every photographer's dream. Are you ready?

NUMBER 5: The Vibrant Scarf
When trying to figure out what to wear, take your tips from Giovanna Battaglia. This woman knows what she's doing. This may look like a basic grey sweater dress, but Battaglia transforms into a fashion editor extraordinaire with this vibrant printed scarf.
via whowhatwear.com
NUMBER 4: Show Stopping Shoes
If it's alliterated, than it's most definitely true. A pair of killer shoes will transform any outfit. Don't be afraid of a wild color (no more black!) and even dare to try a print, because sometimes a crazy shoe is even better than a crazy outfit.
via dailymail.co.uk
NUMBER 3: A Statement Necklace
Your plain white tee will never look better than with a statement necklace. If you're planning a casual day and have no time to change for your night out, this might be just what you need to prepare yourself for a 5 a 7 with the girls.
via glamradar.com
NUMBER 2: A Printed Handbag
Preferably, an animal print. Nothing says "I know style" better than a bold handbag. While most will opt for their basic black, some of us prefer to make a statement with a bright pink or some stripes. If your wardrobe consists of basics anyway, who wants a black purse?
via nadyana.com

NUMBER 1: A Killer Hat
Nothing makes a statement better than some wild headgear. Not sure if you're ready to walk out the door? Add a hat to your look that suits the season. Trust me when I say that this will turn you into an instant fashion girl.
via bloglovin.com
Are you ready for your close-up?

Ponder it,

Bella

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

An Ode To Summer Hats: The Accessory That Protects You AND Looks Cute

via bestcelebritystyle.ca
If you walk down the streets of Montreal, rare is the day you spot a girl in a hat. In the winter, it's a whole other story, but that's by mere necessity. Why don't we see hats in the summer as a necessity as well? Let's face it. It's hot outside and my head gets sweaty. A hat just makes it worse. Or does it? While sunglasses project cool vibes (whether worn indoors or out), a hat is a style statement that many are reluctant to make. That's exactly what makes it such fun.

While in some cities, hats may be all the rage. This one needs a hat awakening. When a girl walking down the street in a wide-brim hat becomes too much of a fashion statement, you know the masses haven't yet embraced it. It sets the fashion girls apart because of its ability to draw in everyone's attention and is perceived as a look associated with hipsters or artists.

While this is all true, it's also true that hats protect us from UV rays. While tanning is still rampant, the fashion industry continues to encourage skin protection in the best way they know how: turning it into a style statement. What better way to get everyone on the bandwaggon than to transform a necessity into a playful fashion trend?

While wide-brim felt hats were all the rage last fall, summer is all about chic berets, straw hats, and cool baseball caps. Gone are the days when hats were merely associated with athletes and farmers. With the wide selection of hats our favourite stores have to offer, there's a cute hat for fashionistas with all kinds of inclinations.

So, next time you think you don't have a "hat head", experiment a little longer. After all, the benefits make this one worth it.

Ponder it,

Bella

Monday, July 13, 2015

Let's Review Couture, Shall We?

As per my usual custom, I'm ready to offer you a full review of Paris Couture Week AKA The Greatest Fashion Event of the Year (after the Met Ball). Couture is my absolute favorite because it revives the fashion fantasy and reminds us why it's not all about spending money, but about dreams of luxury. This week, as I was watching Jean Paul Gaultier's couture show, my father stepped into my room and scoffed, asking me who would wear any of that? What did I answer? Probably no one. But then again, are museum artifacts for sale? Are they meant to be used in people's homes? No. They are works of art. Just like a painting, an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown is meant to be ogled at, admired, and analyzed. For the models on the runway, wearing these pieces is a dream, but in reality, that's all it's meant to be. People don't make art for money, but for the passion that flows through their veins. This year, we saw some beautiful tulle at Giambattista Valli, a brand new fur-based collection at Fendi courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld, and old school opulence at Valentino. My absolute favorites? Read more to find out.

NUMBER 5: ZUHAIR MURAD
What's not to love about Zuhair Murad? Some sparkle, some high slits, and deep Vs ideal for the J.Lo's of this world, Zuhair Murad fails to disappoint and always succeeds at making a woman feel glamorous. In his case, this collection is not only reserved for dreams, but for the celebrity Red Carpet. It's for the woman with a princess inside of her who wants to externalize her spectacular personality. This collection showcased some bright reds, turquoise, and the newly popular navy. It was sexy and showstopping so, if you're not a diva, you should probably search elsewhere for your next party dress.
My Favourite Look: 28
via style.com
NUMBER 4: SCHIAPARELLI
Nothing excites me more than the revival of an old house of couture from the times where fashion was just a burgeoning seed. Newly appointed Bertrand Guyon tried his hand at couture after the abrupt departure of Creative Director Marco Zanini and took us all back in time while adding a modern twist. There were midi skirts, plaid suits, and classic blouses for the career woman. Of course, there were also gowns fit for a queen topped with gold accessories for added drama. It may not have been from this time, but the nostalgia factor is exactly what made it special.
My Favourite Look: 15
via style.com
NUMBER 3: CHRISTIAN DIOR
Would it even be couture week without a breathtaking Dior show? Angelic white gowns, oversized cloaks, and sparkly dresses adorned this runway taken straight from your fantasies. It was a collection of dresses alone and projected a strong femininity and innocent sensuality. Let's not neglect to mention the beautiful set that served as a backdrop for the models. It was a fairtytale come alive with colours fit for a rendition of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. You just wanted to enter Raf's world and never leave.
My Favourite Look: 31
via style.com
NUMBER 2: GIAMBATTISTA VALLI
I absolutely ADORE Giambattista Valli. It's undeniable that the man knows how to perfectly correlate our girly side with our dark side by combining chunky platforms with florals and infinite tulle. This collection was all about female whimsy with round sunglasses being a focal point accentuated by colourful beads on the frames. Puffy skirts were also a big part of this collection whether on a mini dress or a gown and the pop colours made every piece come to life from the not-so-mellow yellow to a pretty coral. It was a wardrobe made for the flirtatious 17 year old or a young women with an affinity towards the Lolita look. Bravo, Valli.
My Favourite Look: 11
via style.com
NUMBER 1: Chanel
As if it wasn't obvious that Chanel would be the number one show at Couture Week. It may be a predictable choice, but somehow, Karl always delivers (whether he has one or two couture shows on his plate). While the luxurious furs at Fendi were fabulous, Chanel still reigns when it comes to couture. We were taken back to the days of Coco Chanel with elegant tweeds in a variety of cuts. The setting featured A-list celebrities playing poker center stage while models in cropped brown wigs and their best pastel tweeds walked around them. It wasn't all work and no play though, because at the end of the show, fluffy skirts and overpieces made their way down the runway to add some pizazz. Everything about the show screamed Parisian chic.
My Favourite Look: 53
via style.com
Which was your favourite this couture week? 

Ponder it,

Bella

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Adapting VS Adopting: How Do You Know When You've Taken Trend Guides Too Seriously?

For those of us who read an abundance of magazines (myself included), how do you know when you've taken a trend too far?

What does this mean, you ask?

It means that you can't tell the difference between adopting this trend and adapting to it.

Let's go over some definitions here (taken straight from my computer's built-in dictionary)

Adapt: to make something suitable for a new use or purpose; modify
Adopt: to take up, start to use, or follow

Now, which one do you want to fall under? Well, let's say you see Man Repeller's Leandra Medine in a pair of round frame sunglasses. Subsequently, you see a trend report on round frames in your latest issue of Elle. Instantly, you get this urge to buy a pair because you want to be just like her (subconsciously, of course). This, my friend, is adopting. Now, if you arrive at the store and try on the same pair as Leandra, only to find yourself disappointed with how they look on your face, don't fret. You may not have the same face as she does, but this doesn't mean you can't experiment with round frames. Therein comes adapting. When you find a pair of round frames with wide rims that suit your big personality, you know you've found the ones. They may be different from the ones written about in Elle, but at least they feel like a version of the trend that suits you.

via vogue.com
The idea is to pick and choose the trends you want to follow. Now, I'm not asking you to stop experimenting and limit yourself to your classic favourites, but rather, to experiment the right way. What does this mean? It means that it's important to find an item that makes you feel most like yourself while taking a fashion risk. After all, trends are simply guidelines. It's up to you to make them your own.

Ponder That,

Bella