Thursday, 29 March 2012

Zara April 2012 Lookbook

I can't believe it's already been a week since my last post - time's just flying by. I just wanted to share a few of my personal favourite outfits from Zara's latest lookbook featuring Liu Wen.

The dress has such a dreamy aquatic print and a lovely silhouette that I'm surprisingly drawn to even though my wardrobe has enough dresses as it is. 







(Left) I'm a little bit of a Goldilocks when it comes to dressing - I can't stand to be too hot or too cold. Layering a jacket over an otherwise summery outfit is exactly the kind of thing I'd do and I like the contrast of texture it adds here especially with its raggedy, almost-unfinished looking edges. (Right) The studs on the shoulder of the floral shirt adds a little bit of visual interest to the simple and sweet print - I'm always such a sucker for these small details





 (Left) The soft, feminine monochromatic outfit is just so seemingly effortless and yet ironically, it's what I strive for. (Right) Such an easy and impactful way to wear neon without becoming a walking highlighter. 

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Playlist

1. Zola Jesus - Hikikomori; I'm loving her Conatus album. Is anyone else reminded of this outfit from Styloretic when they see the album cover? Keeping the outfit monochromatic but playing with sheer and solid is such an effective combination.
2. Lana Del Rey - Dark Paradise; I know she's inconsistent with her live performances but if you get past that, you won't be disappointed. :)
3. Metric - Collect Call; One of my favourites off their album, Fantasies (2009). I've been listening to a lot of Fantasies in anticipation for their new album, Synthetica which is set to be released June 12 this year. 
4. Death Cab for Cutie - Transatlanticism; I love listening to their older songs - if only their more recent material was as good... 

Just a quick post today. The next little while is going to be quite busy for me so I'm not sure how often I'll be posting.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Eyecandy: Mulberry Spring/Summer 2012

Mulberry Spring/Summer 2012 Campaign
Shot by: Tim Walker
Featuring: Frida Gustavsson, Lindsey Wixson





Thursday, 15 March 2012

Butter Avenue Patisserie & Cafe














white chocolate strawberry





















sea salt caramel
earl grey
Butter Avenue Patisserie & Cafe
3467 Yonge St. Toronto, Ontario
Macarons $2.25 each
Flavours (11 available at the time of visit): dark chocolate, cafĂ© au lait, sea salt caramel, chocolate hazelnut, white chocolate strawberry, earl grey, matcha, cream cheese passionfruit, lemon, raspberry, and cassis

It was love at first bite.

The delicate eggshell of a crust offered only the slightest resistance as it gave way to the soft, chewy interior. And it all melded with the smooth filling into a surprisingly light yet delightfully clear flavour in my mouth. Across a number of different flavours, this texture remained relatively consistent - no easy feat for these finicky pastries that are notoriously difficult to perfect.

In terms of flavours, if you only try one of their macarons, sea salt caramel should be it. (I literally left Butter Avenue dreaming about getting my grubby hands on another one so surely that alone must say something.) First of all, the rich and sweet caramel is perfectly tempered with the sea salt. Combine that with the amazing texture and melt-in-your-mouth quality of the macarons in general, and you have what dreams are made of. Utterly heavenly.

I also enjoyed the chocolate hazelnut and matcha macarons as well. The chocolate hazelnut was (unsurprisingly) sweeter than the dark chocolate macaron and the hazelnut added a welcome layer of depth to the cocoa flavour. As for the matcha, it was light and not too sweet - letting the earthy green tea flavour speak for itself.

Overall, Butter Avenue's combination of wonderful service and well-crafted pastries won me over. I look forward to visiting again.

And for those of you in Toronto, Macaron Day is being celebrated by a number of patisseries including Butter Avenue which will also be expanding their offerings to 20 flavours that day. Some of the new flavours include peanut butter jelly, oolong and - the one I'm most excited about - rose. With one free macaron per person and part of the proceeds going to charity, there’s nothing to lose no matter which flavour (or patisserie) you try.

Butter Avenue on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Power of Game of Thrones

In collaboration with HBO, TIFF is currently hosting a free Game of Thrones exhibit consisting of various paraphernalia including costumes, props, a dragon’s egg and of course, the Iron Throne (which provides the perfect photo opportunity for any fan). It's on until March 18th so check it out if you have the chance (and the Iron Throne is in the lobby for your photographing convenience even if you don't have a ticket to the exhibit). 

So what exactly is this television series, Game of Thrones, about? The most concise (and ultimately, inadequate) description I can provide is that it’s an epic tale of a kingdom's power struggle, complete with complex storylines, realistically flawed characters and bleak situations for all involved. The television show is actually based on a series of books, A Song of Ice and Fire (note: A Game of Thrones is the title of the first book and is not the name of the entire book series itself). The first season of the TV show deals primarily with the contents of the first book and from what I understand, each subsequent season will deal with each separate book in relatively chronological order. However, as I mentioned before, there are many intertwined and complex storylines so we’ll have to see how the actual seasons turn out.

If you haven’t gotten into the series yet, I’d highly recommend it even if you’re not one for reading – the HBO series is a fairly quick marathon with only ten episodes in the first season (and each episode is an hour long). So, there’s more than enough time to catch up before season two begins airing in April.

When I first began to read the series way back when I was a teenager, I never could have imagined it would become such a large part of mainstream culture. Don’t get me wrong – I knew the books were popular (and rightly so) in certain crowds but it was not well-known in the sense that something like Harry Potter was.  No one I knew had heard of it at the time and it was only through my brothers that I was introduced to it in the first place. However, after the TV adaptation premiered on HBO last year and rose to critical and popular acclaim, those days of obscurity are long gone. After all, Game of Thrones was the recent subject of a wonderfully well-done intro spoof on The Simpsons.

And if The Simpsons spot isn’t enough, Game of Thrones has even managed to permeate into the fashion consciousness. (Although in a season where Ralph Lauren was influenced by Downtown Abbey, it seems that rather than travelling the world, designers only had to travel as far as their living rooms to find their inspiration.) 

Courtesy of Yannis Vlamos (GoRunway.com) via style.com; HBO
When I first browsed through the Helmut Lang RTW F/W 2012 collection on Style.com and saw this outfit on Aline Weber, something about the cut and attitude of it reminded me of Daenerys Targareyn (as portrayed by Emilia Clarke in the HBO series). And, I was pleasantly surprised to later discover that this connection was in fact intentional. The Game of Thrones influence is only particularly prominent in some pieces like the red leather outfit above and the layered outfits below but I appreciate that they weren't too heavy handed in drawing their inspiration for the rest of the collection.

Courtesy of Yannis Vlamos (GoRunway.com) via style.com

Model Moment: Montana Cox

backstage at Lanvin; via StyleBistro

Although Sarah Murdoch’s major blunder in announcing the winner made international headlines in 2010, many of you are probably still unfamiliar with Australia’s Next Top Model, a derivative of Tyra’s reality TV show. For those of you who are disappointed and fed up with how ridiculous America’s Next Top Model has become, I suggest checking out the versions in other countries. I’m particularly partial to the Australian version. It consistently delivers quality photo shoots, relatively reasonable challenges and manages to make the show entertaining while still taking the fashion industry seriously. And of course, it doesn’t hurt that the show has actually produced winners who have what it takes to be successful in the real world.

Case and point: Montana Cox. Just seventeen years old when she entered the competition, she was a clear frontrunner from the start. Crowned Australia’s Next Top Model in October 2011, she has done well in Australia’s commercial market with campaigns for David Jones, Lovisa, Bett’s shoes, and Witchery among others. However, it’s her recent international debut that’s the most exciting.  

Although she did not sign with NEXT as many expected her to (a trip to New York to meet with NEXT Model Management was a part of her prize package), frockwriter reveals that it was Montana’s choice and through a family connection, she was able to sign with IMG instead. Making her runway debut halfway through the Fall/Winter 2012 fashion season and missing out on the New York and London shows, Montana made a strong entrance into the scene in Milan by booking shows like Bottega Veneta, Etro, and Pucci.
via StyleBistro, unknown, Nowfashion, StyleBistro, style.it
Her momentum continued into Paris where she walked for the likes of Kenzo, Mugler, Christian Dior, Lanvin, and Chanel. Immediately after Chanel, she had to jet back to Australia for the David Jones show at the L’oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival (LMFF) and I can only wonder what other shows she could have booked had she been able to stay  - she may well have had a shot at walking for Louis Vuitton or Elie Saab. 

via Nowfashion, vogue.it, style.it, StyleBistro, Catwalking,vogue.ru
However, although the runway season is over for now, there’s still more to look forward to. The Daily Telegraph reports her return to Australia will be short-lived and she will be flying back to Milan on Sunday – one can only speculate what she will be up to but keep an eye out for her because I sense big things for her.  

Show List:
Milan
Jo No Fui (2 looks)
Etro
Bottega Veneta
Pucci
Aquilano Rimondi

Paris
Felipe Oliveira Baptista (2 looks, closed)
Mugler
Carven (2 looks)
Christian Dior
Lanvin 
Cacherel 
Andrew GN (3 looks)
Kenzo 
Sacai 
Vanessa Bruno (2 looks, closed)
Chanel  

TOTAL: 16 shows

Christian Dior show, via StyleBistro
via Nowfashion and vogue.it


Pucci show, via StyleBistro

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Patisserie la cigogne


1419 Danforth Avenue (Another location at 1626 Bayview Avenue)
Dream of China (strawberry mousse with passionfruit coulis and coconut biscuit; the mousse was delicious but I wasn't so impressed with the coulis and the biscuit)