28 February 2012

Literature 101: Book Clutches

Just when you thought I was going all shallow on you with my last posts about reality tv and hot actors in porn 'staches I'm going all literary on you instead!  I recently came across some pictures of celebrities with adorable book themed clutches from French accessories designer Olympia Le-Tan.  The handmade clutches have been seen on the likes of Michelle Williams and Natalie Portman.

Clemence Poesy and Natalie Portman with their Olympia Le-Tan clutches (via The Style Agenda)

It takes the right type of outfit to pull off a clutch like this.  I don't think they work particularly well with fancy gowns, but with trousers and a quirky blouse or simple shift dress, it is a really cute way to add some interest to an outfit.

Keri Washington holding a Kate Spade clutch (via InStyle)

Not ready to invest in one of these fancy bags?  You can make your own if you have a bit of time and the right tools.  See Kate Sew has a great tutorial, or if you're a Comic Con fan you could opt for a comic book clutch (via Lemon Lime Glitters). 

Real Housewives of Vancouver: Premiering April 4th

A few weeks back, I shared my excitement in hearing that the Real Housewives of Vancouver would be premiering soon.  Slice TV has now announced the exact date (April 4th!) and finally shared who the 5 housewives are, though the cat was out of the bag on these ladies long ago.

From left: Ronnie Negus (mom of 5, winery owner), Christina Kiesel (twice divorced self described jet-setter), Jody Claman (businesswoman and mom), Mary Zilba (former pop singer, divorced mom of 3) and Reiko MacKenzie (mom of 2, luxury car aficionado)

In honour of Canada's first Real Housewives franchise (sorry Toronto!), I will be live tweeting the premiere as well as posting a full recap on this blog.  Stay tuned for more RHOV!

27 February 2012

Last Award (I Promise!)

Most Eff-able Actor in a Porn-stache:  Bradley Cooper

Porn-stache or not, this man is still hot!

26 February 2012

And the Oscar Goes To...

The Oscars are now wrapped up, which means that it's time to reveal the winners of Miss M's first annual post Oscar fashion awards!  Like the Oscars, there is no glory in being nominated, despite what people might say.  Either you win or you lose.  So congratulations to the winners and to the losers:  better luck next year!

Best Princess Who Can't Hide Her Boredom:  Charlene Whittstock, Princess of Monaco

Princess Charlene looks like she's just been dragged somewhere she doesn't want to be by her overbearing but loving father.  Sad thing is, the man beside her is actually her husband, Prince Albert of Monaco and clearly his new bride has to go back to princess finishing school.  A true princess always looks happy to be there!  Right?

Best Desperately Trying to Look Sexy Actress:  Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace.  Yes Angie, we know you are hot, but what is with the leg?  Really? Really?
 I have to say one of the best moments of the night was when winners of the award she presented mocked her stance.  Priceless.

Best Dressed Actress You've Never Heard of:  Judy Greer

Judy Greer has played the best friend in every romantic comedy made in the last 5 years.  Ok, not every single one, but practically all of them yet most don't know her by name.  Judy was also in the Descendants (not a romantic comedy), and looked fantastic in this sexy futuristic Monique Lhlullier dress.

Best Dressed Couple:  Kermit and Miss Piggy.  Obviously.

Miss Piggy in Zac Posen, Kermit in Brooks Brothers.  Aren't they cute??

Best Arm Candy Doubling as an Oscar statuette:  Stacy Keibler

Maybe Stacy Keibler had a sixth sense that George Clooney would not win an Oscar and picked this gold Marchesa gown with that in mind.  That's a very supportive thing for a temporary girlfriend who probably won't spend another summer at Lake Cuomo with Georgie-boy to do isn't it??

Best Supportive Undergarment: 3 way tie - all 3 pairs of Octavia Spencer's Spanx 

No I'm not being rude...Octavia actually admitted that she sometimes wears 3 pairs of Spanx on the red carpet!  However many pairs she was wearning, she did look great when accepting her Oscar in this Tadashi Shoji gown.

Best Dressed Comedienne Who Used to Make Fun of Hollywood:  Tina Fey

Tina Fey is forever my girl crush.  I love how regal she looks in this Carolina Herrera gown and Bulgari jewels.  The earrings are to die for.  But it all kind of makes me sad because she seems a bit too Hollywood now.  I miss the days when she was the smart, sexy host of Weekend Update on SNL, a hidden gem instead of a big movie and tv star.

Best Instantly Aging Couture Gown:  Shailene Woodley in Valentino

I don't know who this girl's stylist is, but they need to be fired STAT.  This Valentino gown is incredibly aging for someone who is in their early twenties.  Cut off the sleeves, make it a halter, then call it a gown fit for a 21 year old!

Best Bun and Pleats Combo:  Jennifer Lopez

Love her or hate her, J-Lo can rock a bun and a pleated gown like no one's business!  Add in her almost nipple slip and this girl's night just gets better and better...

Best Gown that Controlled the Girls:  Viola Davis

Viola Davis's cleavage has had quite a bit of press this awards season - from the Golden Globes (no pun intended) to the SAG awards, we've seen a lot of Viola's girls lately.  Not sure I love this gown but the colour is gorgeous on her and she's revealing just the right amount of cleavage.

Best Dressed Bridesmaid:  Rose Byrne (2nd from left) in Vivenne Westwood
(Honourable Mentions to Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper and Kristen Wiig)


Best Hair:  Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain's hair was simply pretty.  This is a hair-DO my friends (sorry couldn't help it!).

Best Dressed:  Penelope Cruz in Armani Prive

Penelope Cruz is effortlessly beautiful in this gown.  I love the colour, cut and her hairstyle is a perfect complement to the dress.

Best Worst Dressed:  Sandra Bullock

This Marchesa gown would actually be passable if it didn't have that strange draping effect around her mid-section.    But sadly, Sandra's stylist did not demand for a re-fitting and let her walk out the door looking like she wanted some extra room for a big dinner instead of going to the Oscars.  Another stylist that needs to be fired, STAT.

Hey Sailor!

My dream job is to create names for nail polishes and other cosmetics.  Don't you ever look at the bottom of your nail polish, giggle and think "damn, I want that job!".  I do!

Anyway, I just received my first Loose Button Luxe box...kind of like the Glymm beauty box but with different products that are more customized towards you...and I was delighted to see a full size China Glaze nail polish called "Hey Sailor!".  How fun is that name?  It really made me want to quit my job immediately and embark on a career as a nail polish namer.  It sounds like an amazing job where you can travel the world, getting inspired for next seasons colours.

Pretty colour, huh?  Can't wait to try it out.

If you're interested in signing up for the Loose Button Luxe Box, you can sign up as a friend of mine here.  My February box contained the full size nail polish, a great scrub from Dermalogica and a full size sample of one of my all time favourite perfumes, L'Air Du Temps by Nina Ricci.  Totally worth the $10 plus tax!

24 February 2012

Weekend Project: DIY Sparkly Headbands

Via a great website called Flax and Twine, how to make these adorable sparkly headbands:

You can use irridescent beads (inexpensive) or rhinestones (pricier), but either way these headbands are a chic way to dress up any outfit, day or night.  Happy crafting!

Favourite Oscars Gowns

The last 10 years of the Oscars have had their fashion moments - the safe, the good, the bad.  Those who take risks sometimes get slammed (poor Gwyneth...what was she thinking?), but sometimes they are applauded (like Zoe Saldana in a purple people eater gown).

Anyway, I'm sure you all know the Oscars are a mere 48 hours away and it got me to Googling like crazy to recall looks from years past.  So after my afternoon of searching, here they are in no particular order, my favourite 10 Oscar gowns from the last 10 years.  Enjoy!

Cate Blanchett in custom made Valentino.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have one of history's most talented designers custom make a gown for you?  Sigh.
Charlize Theron in a beautiful tangerine Vera Wang.

Emily Blunt in a sparkly blue column dress from Calvin Klein.

Gywneth Paltrow has had some Oscar gown disasters in her time (remember the pink Ralph Lauren "prom" dress?).
She finally got it right in this Zac Posen gown.

Julianne Moore in a gorgeous emerald Tom Ford for YSL gown.

Kate Winslet in a red dress from  little known designer Ben de Lisi.  
She has a great eye for what looks good on her body type and it shows with this curve flattering choice.

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Proenza Schouler.  Navy and black never looked so chic together!

Marion Coitillard in a sexy mermaid style Jean-Paul Gauthier creation.

Michelle Williams in Vera Wang.
I'll admit at first I hated the colour of this dress but now I think it complements her so well.

Beautiful Penelope Cruz in a frothy, feathery Atelier Versace design.

The New "It' Girls: Heiress Edition

It seems like ever other week there is a new "it" girl in fashion/celebrity circles.  They can be the model of the moment (Karlie Kloss), the up and coming actress (Jessica Chastain), the fashionista (Anna Della Russo of Italian Vogue),  the socialite (Olivia Palmero) or...becoming more mainstream in the last 10 years...the heiress.  Think Paris and Nicky Hilton, Tori Spelling (her dad Aaron was a huge Hollywood producer) Aerin Lauder (granddaughter of Estée Lauder), Ivanka Trump and Dylan Lauren (daughter of Ralph Lauren).

Paris Hilton, Nicky Hilton, Ivanka Trump
Heiress "it" girls have the right connections to money and power to do whatever they please.  They can design their own fashion line (like Nicky Hilton), come out with "music" (have you heard Paris's new single "Drunk Text" yet?  Do yourself a favour and do NOT listen to it. Horrid!), work for the family business (like Ivanka and Aerin), or have their own business (like Dylan Lauren's candy bar).  Whatever they decide to do with their lives, heiresses don't have to worry about actually being successful.  Unlike the rest of us, their families' deep pockets almost guarantee that a) they don't have to work and b) if they do have a career and fail at it, they don't ever have to worry about paying their bills.  Even if they go to jail (hello again, Paris Hilton).

So who are the new heiress "it" girls?  According to The Cut blog from NY Magazine, it's the heiresses of the Clarin's beauty empire:  Virginie, Jenna, Prisca, and Claire.  These four very chic ladies (so chic that Anna Wintour herself demanded to meet them) are born and raised in Paris, have very definitive ideas about style and mostly suprisingly possess more than a shred of gratefulness.  It's rather refreshing, and hopefully being away from celebrity obssessed America will help them preserve this.  All four work at their grandfather's brand in some capacity and are helping keep Clarins one of the top beauty brands in Europe and beyond.  

Claire, Virginie, Jenna and Prisca (from left).  Via NY Mag.
I found Prisca to be the most impressive after reading a bit about her.  She owns a chain of nail salons and claims to not have any financial backing from her family to keep the business going:  "I wanted to be independent by creating my own company, starting from nothing. I wanted to prove myself and show that I could do it without the help of my family. Every day I learn more and that experience is priceless, with all the difficulties that everyone knows who builds a company."   Intriguing words from an heiress to a $1 billion dollar fortune, indeed.

21 February 2012

He's Back Baby!

Y'all know I have been counting down to Mad Men's season 5 premiere so I was very excited to see a little teaser this week.

Ladies and gentlemen, Don Draper is back:

20 February 2012

Spring Trends

Looking forward to spring is one of my favourite pastimes in winter.  I know, I should totally get a hobby, but I can't help it!  Spring's arrival means summer is not far behind, and I truly, truly love everything about summer.  I have even tricked myself into thinking that Vancouver is going to have a sunny, rain free spring this year!

I've been interested to see what the trends are for spring, and here's some of what I've found that seems wearable and fun.  You can also check out my "Spring Inspiration" Pinterest board as well as last fall's breakdown of New York Fashion Week Spring 2012.  

Prints are funky, flowery and full of colour:

Dress from Mango

Patterned clutch from Aldo

Pleats are hot for dresses and skirts:

BCBG skirt (via the Globe and Mail)
Talbots pleated dress

Neon colours are big, but an easy way to wear them without being over the top is in your makeup.  Think hot pink gloss, neon hued eye shadows & eye liners and bright nail polishes like Chanel "June".

Stila Caprice lip colour (available at Sephora  
Funky platforms from Ruthie Davis


19 February 2012

Currently Obsessed With: The Hunger Games

Every so often, I fall out of the habit of reading every night before bed.  As a kid, I was a voracious reader and I could never get to sleep without reading for a bit.  I would read anything I could get my hands on - books, magazines, even newspapers.  I was probably the only 13 year old in my school that read the daily newspaper on a regular basis.  Truly it's a miracle I still have 20/20 vision!  So it is kind of weird that I have to be "inspired" by a really good book in order to pick one up before I go to bed...guess it just shows that as an adult I value my sleep so much more than I did as a kid.

Anyway, I am currently totally obsessed with the Hunger Games.  I just started the first book of the trilogy and cannot put it down.   The premise is fascinating...I don't want to give too much away, but basically the world ends and North Amercia is reborn as a dictatorship with 12 Districts being punished by the "Capitol" for attempting to overthrowing their rule.  The Hunger Games are a yearly event where each district has to essentially sacrifice two young adults to fight to the death in order to win a year's worth of much needed food essentials for their district.  Last person standing wins.

I'm not the only one that is wayyy into this book series.  In anticipation of the the first of four feature films inspired by the books out on March 23, there are Hunger Games inspired nail polish collections, a major soundtrack featuring songs from Taylor Swift and Maroon 5, and even hairstyles modeled after the main character Katniss Everdeen.    I am very excited to see the movie and hoping that it does justice to the excellent books unlike so many book to movie adaptations (hello Memoirs of a Geisha!).
Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark

17 February 2012

Spring Cleaning

Spring hasn't officially "sprung" yet, but already on my mind is how I'm going to transition from the cardigans, long sleeves and boots that make up my daily work wardrobe to the skirts, dresses and sandals that will make up the spring/summer fashion season.  I know, I know...this is the biggest thing on my mind right now you say?  Well, in essence, yes because as a mega-type A personality, everything must be planned and in order in my life for me to be truly happy.  And you do want me to be happy don't you??

All kidding aside, the transition from seasons whether in fashion or food or gardening or home projects almost always takes some careful planning and reorganization.  You need new tools and the old ones have to go somewhere.   So, to go back to my original problem: how can I pack away all my winter stuff, bring out the spring/summer clothes, shoes & accessories, AND go through everything to ensure it still fits/is in good shape/is relevant without losing my mind?

BIG problem, indeed.  I've been reading about spring cleaning/preparing for a new season over the last few days and I've narrowed it down to three key tips:
  1. If you haven't worn it/used it in the last year, give it away if it's in decent condition.  If it's not, throw it away.  Personally, I give some items away that I know I didn't pay a lot for at least every 6 months.  Everything else, I sell to a consignment shop, which leads me to point #2...
  2. Don't under estimate the value of a piece that doesn't fit or you don't wear anymore:  sell it to a consignment shop.  You will never get the full price back, but you will get something for pieces that are in good condition and in season.   And who doesn't love a little extra cash in the pocketbook?
  3. What you do keep, arrange in a way that you can actually see what you have to wear.  Group together items of the same type (ie: dresses, blouses, shirts) and invest in hangers that you can hang multiple items like skirts or slacks on.  There are lots of great products out there like belt holders, purse hangers, shoe hangers, etc that also help you organize multiples of the same type of item easily.  If you are really keen on organizing, you could invest in some divider tabs for your closet:

Last, but not least, if you want to stay organized once you are organized and not have all that hard work go to waste...put things back where you found them!

Fashion Blog Alert: Frills and Thrills

I am totally loving a blog I recently came across called Frills and Thrills, so I thought I'd share it with y'all.      It's written by a lady named Sam from South Africa (how cool!  always dreamed of going there).  Her most recent posts about NY Fall Fashion Week 2012 (she's got loads of pictures!) as well as a great post on "Anti-Valentine's Day":

There shouldn't be just one day in a year that permits you to be an impassioned, affectionate swashbuckling soul. Sometimes the sweetest of gestures are most surprising and appreciated when you least expect it. Anti-Valentine's Day should happen just once a year, but the essence of 'Valentine's Day' should be celebrated everyday. 

My definition of a great blog is something with style and substance.  We all love looking at fashion and being up on the latest trends, but you have to "keep it real" sometimes with a post about real life.  Will definitely keep reading this great blog!

15 February 2012

Knock, Knock, Knock-offs

They say that imitation is the best form of flattery.  If this is true, then the designers behind luxury label Celine should feel very good about the love that J. Crew is showing them.  On the left below is a bag from Celine's Spring/Summer 2012 collection.  On the right is the J. Crew "Tillary" tote from their Spring collection.  Curiously the both have similar handles and shape.  I wonder who copied whom?!?


The fact of the matter is, there are lots of middle of the road labels that "knock-off" styles from luxury designers.  Case in point is Ivanka Trump modeling her shoe collection after Derek Lam's designs or the Kardashians biting on Balenciaga's moto bag (and others!) for their Sears collection.

As much as I love that us "regular folk" can enjoy goods that look designer but don't cost as much, I was taught from a young age (as many of us were) that stealing is wrong.  This goes for stealing someone's math homework as much as it applies to copying designs that cleary take a lot of blood, sweat and tears to come up with.  It is opportunistic and just plain wrong.   Personally, I will never buy anything from Jessica Simpson or the Kardashians...they aren't real designers, they just pay people to create cheap knock offs so they can make more money.   And what do they do with that money?  Well...they likely go out and buy from the same designers they steal ideas from.

13 February 2012

Trashy TV Alert: RHOV

Most people who know me know that I love my reality tv shows, especially the Real Housewives franchise.  They've also often heard me say "you gotta watch RH of _______!  Those bitches be crazy!!" (In case you're wondering...I use the term "bitches" with affection!  I call many of my close friends "bitches".  So hopefully y'all are not offended and if you are, I mean no harm at all).

Anyway, you can imagine my reaction when I heard that Bravo/Slice were taping a season of the Real Housewives of Vancouver.   I'm very curious to see how this all goes.  So far, the cast seems a little blah to me:  a former mildly popular Canadian pop singer named Mary Zilba, a few socialites and well...that's about it.  I was hoping for some real local "star" power like a tv host, hockey player's wife or someone whose name I had actually heard around town before!

Vancouver is a pretty laid back place, so RHOV won't likely have the flashiness of New Jersey, Miami, Atlanta or the OC.  Vancouver doesn't have the big money vibe like New York or Beverly Hills either, so I kind of wonder what kind of bling these ladies will be sporting.  Being a Real Housewives franchise cast member is not guaranteed money, but it is fame and the opportunity to "brand" yourself.  Just look at Bethenny Frankel.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in neither flashy nor overly wealthy Vancouver, but if there is drama to be seen, you know I will be watching it!


12 February 2012

Outfit Battle: Gold Gowns

Taylor Swift's outfit at the Grammys tonight reminded me of the Alexander McQueen Gown with headdress that Lady Gaga wore last year, and it got me to wondering...do famous people call each other when they have similar outfits and make sure it's ok to wear in public??  My friends and I at times have bought the same clothes because, well, sometimes something is just too cute to leave on the rack.  We always do the check in "hey, are you wearing that dress from that time? you know the one we both have?" to make sure it's all good and no one shows up in the same outfit.

I wonder if Taylor called up Gaga and said "Hey Gaga, it's Tay-tay.  Mind if I wear a Zuhair Murad gown to the Grammys that is kinda biting on that McQueen you wore last year?  You know, the gold one with the head thing?"

These are the things that go through my head at the Grammys...cause besides Chris Brown's pretty rad dance moves and thet incredible night Adele had, the rest of it was pretty much a snoozefest.  I did think Jessie J looked fabulous - the dress is kinda like a disco ball but her hair and makeup were a really pretty way complement to the flashiness of it.