Friday, February 5, 2016

Still Talking About Couture Week

If you missed Couture Week, you're in luck. I am about to review the top five must-watch shows. Are you paying attention? Good. Right before you sit back, relax, and sign in to Vogue Runway (you're ultimate fashion week guide) to keep tabs on Fashion Month, you get to enjoy Couture Week and fantasize about every look you wish you had hanging inside your closet (or about attending the Oscars in one of those dresses). From the romantic Giambattista Valli to the spectacle at Chanel, Couture Week is a dream-like experience featuring such a wide selection of looks that it becomes almost undefinable. Couture is a runway of artwork and unlike ready-to-wear, it possesses the magical powers to seduce each and every one of us. Every dress invites you to discover its details with wonder and bewilderment as you become immersed in the catwalk. Now, are you ready to review?

JEAN-PAUL GAULTIER
It may be almost 30 minutes long, triple the time of your average runway show, but when it comes to Jean-Paul Gaultier, every minute is worth it. While I still feel nostalgic for the days of ready-to-wear, it's undeniable that Gaultier's strongest asset is la Haute Couture. Every runway show he presents tells an elaborate story and if you've ever seen one of his shows, you'll know that the spectacle is directly related to his own fun-loving personality. Now, let's get to the point, shall we? This show began with a wide array of models in fancy sleepwear for the rich. Some of the features included gold lame and traditional bedtime stripes, but the show was anything but traditional. It gleamed and sparkled like the two-piece outfits on the runway and show-pony chapeaux to match. The models walked down the runway with sass and a bag-girl attitude only suitable at a Gaultier show. It was all very "rock n' roll diva who stayed out very late at a Studio 54 party", demonstrated by the models with cigarettes hanging off their dramatic pouts. Everything was loud and vibrant with 70's deep V's and bralets that added much sex appeal. How do I score this one? I'd say 8/10. I've seen wilder Gaultier, but this definitely kept his fervor intact.

FAVOURITE LOOK: 36
via Vogue.com
VALENTINO
What can I say about Valentino that hasn't been said before? It is the definition of romantic, demure, and totally nostalgic for a time where high necklines and an elegant bodice were what people wore every single day. It perfectly encapsulates the mood we're all currently feeling by taking us back to the past, to a time where living in a castle was totally legit. It felt like an episode of Game of Thrones with Medieval headgear and velvet galore. There were several deep-V necklines, but somehow it came off as innocent and majestic rather than provocative in a Jean-Paul Gaultier type of way. For the most part, the colours remained earthy with some Roman goddess white numbers to take note of (notably looks 43 through 46). While the collection may seem dated to you, it's traditionalism is exactly what makes it fit so well with our nostalgia. Just turn on your television and you'll see that it's all about our history, an escape from selfies and smartphones. And I must say, even though I watched the show on social media, my mind was fully in tune with Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, the brains behind the collection.

FAVOURITE LOOK: 4
via Vogue.com
 CHRISTIAN DIOR
We may have lost Raf Simons at Dior, but the brand is still true to the original designer with an underlying feeling that Raf's influence is still very much present. The collection was feminine and sweet with flared hems and colourful prints that embodied the strong artistic influence at Dior. One of the dominant Spring 2016 trends made an appearance throughout the show: bare shoulders. Is it safe to say we may be spotting this one during awards season this year? Jennifer Lawrence, I'm looking at you. A few other characteristically girly touches were the ruffles, sheerness, and giant bows tied at the feet. Nothing captures Dior better than a classy stiletto heel with a hint of ooh-la-la. While most of the collection portrayed a strong sense of femininity, the oversized jackets and vests added some masculine edge to the collection. But rather than appearing out of place, they felt empowering in contrast with the softer looks. Raf may be gone, but his legacy lives on and so does Christian Dior's. This was only a hint of what's to come and I'm eager to discover the new touches that will be introduced to the brand during Paris Fashion Week.

FAVOURITE LOOK: 6
via Vogue.com
CHANEL
Chanel would have to be one of the most highly anticipated shows at Couture Week. First of all, Karl Lagerfeld always manages to deliver nothing short of perfection regardless of how many collections he's scheduled to present. While Valentino brought a Game of Thrones touch to its runway, Chanel inspired itself from Star Wars with Princess Leia hairdos to compliment dramatic stage makeup. Though the beauty presentation may have been intense and theatrical, the clothing was anything but. Keeping the Chanel vision alive, Karl had his models walk the runway in classy suits in sophisticated colours like navy blue and white. The necklines were high and the hemlines were low, drawing attention to the details on each elaborate garment. Some of those details included Karl's customary fanny packs and flower motif buttons. As the show progressed, the materials got flowier and softer, appealing to our romantic side. What remained the same was the class and sophistication of every look, whether it contained a feathered skirt or a hint of sparkle. As per Lagerfeld style, comfort was key when it came to the footwear. Rather than put the models in sneakers, this season, they wore the black and white Chanel shoe with a grass-friendly wedge for your neighborly garden party. Now, I don't know about you, but I am ready for some hors d'oeuvres in the garden right about now.

FAVOURITE LOOK: 68
via Vogue.com
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI
While Chanel may be the most well-known and consequently, sought after, Couture collection, Giambattista Valli speaks to my soul and his collections, ready-to-wear and couture alike, never fail to capture my heart. Each piece is consistently beautiful with ruffled accents on sweet mini dresses and floral prints that can only make you think of a field of flowers on a bright sunny day. The textures at Giabattista Valli make you want to reach out and touch them through your computer screen as you watch each model cascade down the runway. While the show began with shorter hemlines, it took a turn halfway through with a few longer and fuller skirts (namely looks 16 and 18). At this point, we entered into the realm of black and white juxtaposed to create an image of a sweet girl with a hint of edge. The black cape dress on look 24 was a personal favourite of mine because it encapsulated the dark and romantic theme perfectly. And of course, it wouldn't be a Valli show without some extravagant tulle dresses at the very end that have developed into his personal signature.

FAVOURITE LOOK: 9
via Vogue.com
Eager to watch the full shows? Don't forget to check them out via YouTube along with Vogue.com. Then, I'd love to know which was your favourite. Was it Valli or Valentino? Or maybe it was Versace?

Ponder it,

Bella

Friday, January 22, 2016

What Does Your Preferred Heel Height Say About You?

Sometimes, choosing a pair of shoes has nothing to do with need and everything to do with feeling taller. It's been shown that a pair of stilettos can make us feel elevated, literally and figuratively. When you're as short as me, this tends to be the case. But even the shortest among us want to lower the heel every once in a while to give our feet a break from the blistering pain. Naturally, we still have a preference. While some of us feel our best in a pair of 6 inch pumps, others are perfectly confident in pointy-toed flats. It's time to decide which one you identify with. Here is a (totally made up) quiz to help you out.

If you prefer...

FLATS
Is Alexa Chung your style icon? Do you have a pinterest board featuring all of her best looks? If so, it could be because flats are your jam. Your motto? Who needs the pain of a heel when you can look just as chic in a pair of brogues? Whether you're feeling the menswear look or the classic ballet flat, you almost always opt for a comfortable shoe that allows you to move around easily. You're an easygoing person whose favourite activity is to Netflix and chill. Don't get me wrong, you love a good social gathering every now and again and your warm personality makes you a winner in a crowd. However, cuddling up with a good book suits you just fine as well.

via fashiongum.com

KITTEN HEELS
You're a classy lady with an exuding confidence that draws people towards you. You love a chic little heel because it projects elegance and grace no matter the occasion without drawing in too much attention. When looking for the perfect shoe, you don't seek height, but rather a demure heel that breathes femininity. You enjoy brunch and tea parties with your gang of girls and love a good chick flick. Your sophistication is what makes everyone wish they were just like you because let's face it, not everyone could pull off a kitten heel.

via manrepeller.com
3 INCH STILETTOS
You may be chic and elegant, but you're also someone nobody can mess with. You have an inner strength that is exhibited in the most daunting situations. You always have your friends' backs and will stop at nothing to get them justice when they are wronged. And you'll do it in your 3 inch stilettos. You love a good party, especially the cocktail kind, surrounded by all of your closest friends. On your quiet nights, you enjoy watching old movies, preferably the tearjerkers.

via pinterest

5 INCH PLATFORMS
Whether you're a little on the short side or you simply lust after Rachel Zoe's closet, platforms are your shoe of choice. When you walk into a room, you'd like people to know that you mean business. Some people may view you as intense, slightly dramatic, and occasionally, a loner, but none of these things bother you. You know who you are and you love to announce your presence in a room. You can be a little rebellious, but you almost always have a cause.

via 5inchandup.blogspot.com

Which shoe is your favourite?

Ponder it,

Bella

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Golden Globes: Who Did It Better?

It's that time of year again. A time when you can no longer step out of the house without worrying your fingers might fall off. But also, awards season. It began last night with the 73rd Annual Golden Globes. The evening started awkwardly enough with Ricky Gervais claiming he won't be offensive which was, of course, a lie, or a joke (whichever you prefer to believe). From a borderline inappropriate comment about Caitlyn Jenner to a severely inappropriate comment about Jodie Foster, Gervais knew no limits. Though I may have missed the last hour of the show, I managed to catch the full red carpet and that's where all the excitement lies anyway. Am I right? Apparently, a few people had similar ideas this year and nobody consulted each other. Though in some cases, this may be an unfortunate mishap, in my book it's a chance to compare and contrast. I may have been less than impressed with the selection of dresses, but I had much more fun because of it. Here are my style awards for the evening.

BEST GOLD (half-naked) DRESS
CANDIDATES:
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Atelier Versace
Brie Larson in Calvin Klein

WINNER: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. For the sexy cut.

via celebmafia.com
BEST BLACK VELVET
CANDIDATES:
Lady Gaga in custom Versace
Kirsten Dunst in Valentino

WINNER: Lady Gaga. For tastefulness (coming from the lady who wore a meat dress...)

via peopestylewatch
BEST LADY IN WHITE
CANDIDATES:
Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton
Laverne Cox in Elizabeth Kennedy
Taraji P. Henson in Stella McCartney.

WINNER: Alicia Vikander. Though a close tie, Alicia Vikander chose a much more romantic look, which won her the spot above Laverne Cox.

via popsugar.com
BEST RED
CANDIDATES:
Natalie Dormer in J. Mendel
Emmy Rossum in Armani Prive
Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Couture

WINNER: Jennifer Lawrence. Minus the cutouts.

via indianexpress.com


BEST BLACK GLITTER
CANDIDATES:
Uzo Aduba in Talbot Runhof
Taylor Schilling in Thakoon

WINNER: Taylor Schilling. Because pants always win.

via vogue.com

BEST PRINCESS DRESS
CANDIDATES:
Gina Rodriguez in Zac Posen
Amy Schumer in Prabal Gurung

WINNER: Gina Rodriguez. But Amy came close.

via popsugar.com
BEST DEEP PLUNGE
CANDIDATES:
Jaimie Alexander in Genny
Olivia Wilde in Michael Kors
Jenna Dewan Tatum in Zuhair Murad

WINNER: Jaimie Alexander. Because of her eyes.

via eonline.com
BEST GIRLY GIRL
CANDIDATES:
Leslie Mann in Monique Lhuillier
Amber Heard in Gucci
Kate Bosworth in Dolce and Gabbana

WINNER: Amber Heard. For those floral appliques.
via vogue.com
HONOURABLE MENTION:
Julianne Moore in Tom Ford

via indianexpress.com

Though there were several other memorable dresses last night, these are my top picks. What are yours?

Ponder it...

Bella

Friday, January 8, 2016

It's 2016 And Suddenly I Like...Nail Art?

I've always hated nail art. Read post, "Apparently Nail Art Is Dead. I Never Thought It Was Alive". It has always seemed to me like a kindergarten art project gone wrong, a way to get rid of your holiday decorations, an accident with the glitter, or just plain tacky.

The other day, something strange happened. I broke my two thumb nails. It was a horrendous experience I wish to never recreate, but alas, some things cannot be avoided. This predicament led to a slew of after-effects. For one, I decided that I had to cut my other nails to even them out (they were beyond nail file repair). Once that was done, I knew that certain colours would not work on my new short nails. The long and short of it is that I decided to paint one of my nails a different colour. Don't ask me how I arrived at this conclusion. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time. I knew that my elegant long-nailed manicure was flushed down the toilet and that I needed a refresher to make my hands feel alive again.

I decided to paint my accent nail in flashy metallic silver. Though I've never been a fan of metallic nails, the New Year inspired me to try something new. After painting that single nail silver, I opted for a dark grey mani to compliment the nail. Unsatisfied with the results, I started to draw all over my nails with silver nail polish like a child left alone with a box of crayons and something magical happened. It looked a little bit like this:

Dare I say it? I may have actually tried nail art. Intentionally and partially, unintentionally.

I can't say that I'm fully committed to this trend nor can I confirm that I absolutely love it. However, I may experiment with a Pinterest tutorial or two. We'll call it my New Years resolution.

Have a great weekend lovelies!

And ponder this...

Bella

Thursday, December 31, 2015

#ForTheSakeOfFashion: Starting 2016 With The Hair Tuck

With the New Year rapidly approaching (it's tomorrow, in case you hadn't heard), it's time to start thinking about the trends that will jumpstart 2016. Rather than looking back at the most popular trends of 2015 such as Addidas Stan Smiths, fringe, and floppy hats (to name a few), let's look deep into the future and attempt to predict the next fashion trend to plague the (non)fashion world.

Based on my deductions, it seems that "turtleneck hair" may be the next mind-boggling fashion look of 2016. What is "turtleneck hair", you ask? According to several well-versed fashionistas (such as my personal favourite, The Man Repeller), turtleneck hair is the act of tucking your hair into your turtleneck. Though this isn't new within the fashion world, it has recently grown in popularity for some unbeknownst reason.

via honestlywtf.com

Could it be the faux bob it creates that allows us to change our hair without cutting off those beloved locks?

Could it be the cozy feeling it gives us by keeping every strand on our head snuggled inside our sweaters?

Could it be that our hair just needs a safe haven from that tumbling snow?

OR could it be that there is no reason at all?

Is it possible that we, the fashionistas, are doing it, "just because (it looks cool)"?

Whatever your reason for contemplating this trend, don't overthink it. Sometimes it's best to give it a shot and see if it feels like you. The benefit of looking just like a fashion girl? Well, that's just gravy.

Happy New Year!

(and ponder it),

Bella

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

All I Want For Christmas Is Boxing Week

via raredelights.com
The inevitable Christmas post is finally here and although the holiday is not in my Jewish family heritage, I can't help but get in the spirit. There are sparkling lights adorning the streets, a jumbo snowman on my street corner, fifty different versions of "Last Christmas" replaying in my head, and Christmas movie promotions all over Netflix. It's unavoidable. Christmas is everywhere (except on the ground in the form of snow and for once, all Montrealers are mourning over it). While it may be a green Christmas this year, there are still certain things that Mother Nature cannot take away from us (like Christmas-themed cupcakes). So whether we receive a little sprinkle of Christmas dust on Friday or nothing at all, people will still unite with their families in honour of the much-commercialized holiday, ideally giving it deeper meaning than the association with shopping it has come to represent. I, myself, will be spending time with my family since it is a national day off and everything is closed anyway.  While mine may not involve Christmas trees and presents, the end result of family unity will be the same. This year, I have chosen to define Christmas in my world.

Here is what it means to me:

NUMBER 1:
Michael Buble's voice radiating through store windows, singing "All I Want For Christmas Is You", serenading every window shopper around. All I want for Christmas is you, Michael Buble.

NUMBER 2
Elaborate Christmas displays in department store windows. If you don't stop and stare for at least a minute, you may in fact be a fashion grinch in disguise.
 
NUMBER 3
Endless shopping, just because I'm on holiday. Even though you aren't shopping for gifts, you can justify every purchase you make as "getting in the Christmas spirit". Nothing could be more wonderful.

NUMBER 4
Fluffy Santa-themed lingerie merely meant to get you in the mood, screaming "try me, try me".

NUMBER 5
Sequins. So many sequins. All day, every day.

NUMBER 6
Love, Actually. But actually, the film.

NUMBER 7
Friendlier people. This may be the only time of year when your grumpy next door neighbor will wish you happy holidays filled with Christmas cheer.

NUMBER 8
The last hurrah before the year comes to an end and you can make some resolutions you'll most inevitably break by February.

NUMBER 9
Chinese food.
Just kidding.

AND FINALLY:
NUMBER 10
BOXING WEEK: The seven day reward for your non-stop spending in December. Even though you thought you were all shopped-out, you just can't resist another sale, can you?

Happy Holidays, lovelies!

Bella

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Magical Third Element

Hello lovely readers,

I'm back after a four month hiatus with a deep and heartfelt apology. Due to foreseen circumstances (school, work, and other highly significant stress inducers), I put the blog on hold and am full of regret and a powerful new craving to write. Hopefully, this powerful new craving will translate into something magical in today's post.

Speaking of magic, for the last few months, I've been trying to determine what sets a fashionista apart from the rest. Don't get me wrong. I think we are all equals and that was in no way meant to place the fashionista on some kind of pedestal encrusted with Swarovski crystals (if it must). What I am inferring is that there is something special that makes one look at a girl on the street and exclaim (in our minds, of course), "that girl is a total fashionista" (perhaps in more natural-sounding words).

The question is: what is it? What is that magical element?

After much contemplation and a tad bit of research, I discovered that it must be her "third element". While my foray through Paris led me to believe that less is more, Montreal is all about "a little bit more is better than less". Allow me to explain.

When I get up in the morning, I have my outfit planned from the basic blue jean to the little black dress. However, once I am dressed and ready to go, I often feel like there's something missing. That feeling should not be ignored, my friends. Sometimes it's a sign that your outfit is incomplete and requires a little extra something to make it capital f Fashion. While anyone can throw on a pair of jeans with a basic white-tee (i.e sweater), it takes a fashionista to find that one extra piece that can attract onlookers and lead them to believe she is worthy of the title.

Here are some examples of pieces you may add to make your look go from regular to fashion girl (if those are indeed your aspirations):

1) A belt (preferably one with some fringe or some elaborate buckle)

via fashiongum.com
2) A statement necklace (for those times when you have no clue what to add)

via dvf.com
3) A fur vest (it's almost winter and you know you'll thank yourself later)

via thefashiontag.com
4) A scarf (because all the cool french girls are doing it)

via daisysullivant.com
5) A hat (if you claim to have a hat head and nobody has told you otherwise)

via wardrobelooks.com
6) Funky socks (only when appropriate and can be shown off)

via beirut.raghunter.com
7) A headband (if you're feeling a bit nostalgic for Blair Waldorf)

via blog.jelanieshop.com
So, ladies and gents (but probably mostly ladies), I challenge you to add a third element every day for one week. And believe you me, this is a challenge because I have tried it myself. If you can pull it off, you may put on the fashion girl crown and prance around the streets like you own the place (respectfully, of course). Have a lovely week and ponder it.

KISSES,

Bella