Sunday, December 22, 2013

Starts with Inspiration: Winter Gear from Raindrops Toronto

Happy Sunday! Hope you're all keeping safe and warm with the icy weather outside!

I was kindly invited to visit the Raindrops Toronto last week to check out some of their new winter coats. 

Don't let the name fool you, Raindrops is just as stylishly stocked with diverse winter gear ready to prepare you for the colder winter months ahead as they are with stand-out rain gear to withstand a torrential rainfall. 

With winter coats ranging from $196 to $700, there is literally something for everyone including ladies, men, and children.

The leather details and cinched belt on this Aigle Cuckmere Down Parka ($575) drew me immediately. A perfect city coat for those seeking a warmth while looking chic. The added bonus? It's machine washable.


The practical pocket details and luxurious fur hood on this Quartz Nature (Canadian-made!) parka stood out as a great choice for weekend errand-running. Trust me, after trying this on for only a few minutes, I can attest it delivers serious warmth.

Finally, the duffel-style coat also from Quartz stood out as a more elevated piece that one could wear during the week for colder trips to the office.

And last but not least (I couldn't resist!), check out these fiercely bling-bling umbrellas by Pasotti Ombrelli. Perfect for any stylish rain-hating man in your life :)

Have a lovely week and happy (and warm!) holiday season!

Images: Starts with Style

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fashion News: Manitobah Mukluks partners with Holt Renfrew

The sudden cold spell and snow storms this week have brought along longings for warm feet and toasty toes. As if on cue, Manitobah Mukluks, a Canadian company that produces internationally-recognized authentic Aboriginal mukluks, moccasins and accessories, has announced a unique partnership with Holt Renfrew.

The Storyboot Project, featured as as part of Holt Renfrew's H Project, Holt's in-store shop featuring unique products, will showcase a collection of artist-made mukluks. 

Featuring hand-crafted mukluks by Aboriginal artist Annie McKay (Cree Nation, Grand Rapids), this special project offers a 50/50 profit sharing agreement with the artisans, truly exemplifying the company's commitment to ensuring a positive community impact. 

Holt Renfrew is the first national retail partner for Manitobah Mukluks, and will carry the core collection (ranging from $60-$1,500 CAD) nationally. The Annie McKay Storyboot mukluks are $800 and are available in all H Project in-store shops.

Warm feet and a good cause? This is surely another item to add to the holiday wish list. 

For more information visit the company's website

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Wish List: Coach Borough in Retro Glove Tan Leather

Back in October, I was waxing poetic about Coach's new Borough bag. This week they launched new colours to this already to-die-for collection. This warm grey version in retro glove tan leather is absolutely scrumptious and a perfect seasonless alternative to classic black. Other colours include camel and vermillion, making it that much harder to pick just one colour.

Free shipping on orders $150+ on now for those looking to add one of these beauties to their collection.

Image source: Coach

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Starts with knee high boots...

The search for the perfect knee-high boot can often be difficult for girls on the petite side. Usually the difficulty is finding the ideal fit in the shaft - either it's too wide or too tall. I've also purchased boots before and brought them to a cobbler to narrow the shaft, but this can be a pricey and time-consuming endeavour. 

For those on the hunt for their go-to boot this winter, here are some things I keep in mind when shopping:

Is the shaft too wide? Consider how these boots will be worn. Will these be worn mostly with jeans tucked in or with tights under a dress? Either way, a form-fitting shaft ensures a streamlined look (i.e. not like a pirate) and that the boots won't be shifting around while you walk (very uncomfortable, trust me)

Is the boot too tall? Unless the boot is an over-the-knee boot, the top should end just a few inches below the knee. Too low on the calf and it'll actually appear to widen and shorten the leg, too high on the calf will make it look like you're being swallowed by the boot.

Is there enough grip on the bottom? One of the downsides of most high-end boots is that the soles tend to be leather. While this is a luxurious touch in the summer months, leather soles will hardly withstand the salt, wet sidewalks and cold streets. This can easily be remedied by bringing the boot to a cobbler to have them resoled with weatherproof rubber. This will also protect you against potentially dangerous (and embarrassing) spills on the ice.  

In terms of design, I personally prefer relatively unadorned boots with as little embellishment as possible. This helps ensure longevity in terms of style, and the most versatility with my wardrobe.

Happy hunting!

Boots: Loeffler Randall

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Starts with Inspiration: 2013 American Music Awards

Holiday party season is around the corner, and if you're like me and still looking for inspiration for what to wear this year, look no further. Tonight's red carpet for the American Music Awards offered some serious food for thought. Clearly, there was a clear lean towards bling, metal and shiny. Perfect for the red carpet and a holiday shindig, right?

Taylor Swift in Julien Macdonald dress and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Nicole Richie in Emilio Pucci dress, Casadei shoes, and House of Harlow clutch.

Alicia Silverstone in Nicole Miller

Emma Roberts in Lanvin dress and Casadei shoes.

Ariana Grande in Dolce & Gabbana.

Also loving Keltie Knight's funky feathered creation - any clues on who the designer is?

Image credits: People Magazine

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wish list: Saint Laurent Chyc Clutch

My beloved black clutch (last seen here) has finally seen its end. After many years of devoted use, the clasp has fallen off. As such, the search for a timeless go-to piece is on. 

Top of the list is this Saint Laurent Chyc Clutch. It is unequivocally classic Saint Laurent and will never go out of style. With holiday party season fast approaching, it's also the perfect accessory to tote all your event-going essentials. Have I convinced you yet? Get yours here.

Image credit: SSENSE

Monday, November 11, 2013

Starts with a fresh glow: Diorskin Nude BB Creme

My last post about make-up was written in the late Spring, as temperatures were rising and the air much less dry. Now with Winter well on its way, I've had to change my face regimen slightly to avoid dryness while still faking a fresh summer glow. 

Enter Diorskin Nude BB Creme. After reading rave reviews about this product I decided to give it a try. I must say, after only a few uses, I'm already hooked. A little goes a long way with this. A few dots blended onto the face (I wear it on top of a bit of moisturiser) imparts a subtle rosy glow while erasing redness. Add a swipe of bronzer, and I can barely tell it's not sandal season.

Image credit: Sephora

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fashion News: Nicolas Ghesquiere is the new Artistic Director at Louis Vuitton

Confirmed today, Nicolas Ghesquiere, formally of Balenciaga, will be joining Louis Vuitton as Artistic Director. Hot on the heels of Marc Jacobs' departure announced last month, this appointment is sure to mean some exciting new changes for Louis Vuitton.

Ghesquiere is set to debut his new collection for the fashion label in March. 

Image credit: Wall Street Journal

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Starts with Inspiration: Leather A-line dresses

High-med-low: Leather A-line dresses

Proper lady meets rock-goddess. Love. It. 
Need some inspiration? Here are my top three picks for what is sure to be a Fall wardrobe staple.

Left to right: Rag & Bone washed leather and crepe dress; Nicholas leather/knit zip-up dress (exclusive to Intermix); French Connection Feather Ruth dress

Image source: Polyvore

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Starts with Black and White...

Happy Thursday! Doesn't it seem like the cold weather just crept up and surprised us?

Despite the colourful leaves outside, something about Fall evokes images of monochrome ensembles for me - maybe it's because I'm a summer girl at heart, and winter always feels gloomy and grey.

On the bright side however, the great thing about a monochrome ensemble is the freedom to play with patterns and textures. This also helps elevate the outfit and prevent it from being too flat.

For a friend's engagement party last weekend, I layered a soft patterned silk shirt underneath a leather-trimmed cape. Cropped trousers and a croc-print clutch helped further tie the pieces together.

My trick to monochrome dressing is to add subtle pops of colour to provide visual interest. For this evening, I chose a sparkly neon-accented necklace and my trusty cobalt pumps (I seriously can't get enough of these!).

It's been a while since my last post, but I hope you're doing well! I'm really trying to not let work take over so much :)

Have a great day!

 photo Oct20-5_zps77484cfe.jpg photo Oct20-6_zps677b95dd.jpg

Top: Joe Fresh shirt (available here), Barney's Co-op cape (old)
Bottom: Gap
Shoes: Zara
Clutch: Danier
Necklace: J.Crew

Friday, October 11, 2013

Wish List: Coach Borough Bag

Despite having purchased my first Coach bag close to a decade ago, admittedly over the years I've become less attracted to the brand. Maybe as I've matured I've became less attracted to logos (the only monogramed bags I own now are a sturdy Louis Vuitton Damier Ebene Neverfull and a classic Fendi baguette), or maybe it was because of how available they became. Afterall, it wasn't unusual to see long serpentine lines outside every Coach outlet I came across and scores of woman exiting with logoed bag upon logoed bag. Unfortunately, it was also because of this jadedness that I lost sight of what Coach was truly known for - quality leather pieces at relatively accessible prices. 

Enter this Fall's Borough bag modelled by both Karlie Kloss and Liu Wen in Coach's newly launched campaigns. These simple, streamlined totes are practical, classic, sleek, and exemplify Coach's new business model to go back to basics and deepen its hold on the luxury market. 

I, for one am a reformed Coach fan - I simply cannot wait to see these bags in person. Available in smooth glossed (marobox) leather and pebbled leather, these chic totes come in oxblood, black, and alpine moss colour (my fave). The price ranges from $378 for a small peppled version up to $1,198 for a leopard print marobox version with calf hair. 

What brands do you find yourself returning to?

Image source: Teen Vogue

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Starts with Inspiration: Grey pieces for Fall...

Grey is a go-to colour for me. In light cotton for summer or richer textures like leather, cashmere or wool for cooler weather, it's the perfect neutral. Combining various shades and materials provides dimension and is anything but boring.

This ensemble is perfect for a weekend dinner with the girls or a casual Friday at the office.

What's your go-to seasonless colour? 

Grey pieces for Fall

Clockwise from top: Rebecca Taylor split neck pullover sweater; Saint Laurent Y Ligne Medium Cabas tote; Manolo Blahnik Nausikaba Scooped Patent Leather pumps; Les Chiffoniers Velvet-trimmed stretch-leather leggings

Image credit: Polyvore

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Fashion News: Marc Jacobs is leaving Louis Vuitton

It's was confirmed today that Marc Jacobs will be leaving Louis Vuitton after 16 years. It's truly the end of an era.

Image source: New York Post

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Starts with Fall Basics...

Hello! Fall officially arrived last week and this mild weekend was perfect for bringing out my Fall basics.

A casual draped sweater, skinny jeans classic, statement scarf and classic black bag
are all seasonless pieces that will easily take you from early Fall days to cooler winter months by adding a few layers.

To add some pop to an otherwise neutral ensemble, I added a pair of lovely calf-hair ankle strap heels in an Autumn-appropriate berry hue.

Next on my Fall shopping list? A versatile camel pea coat (I'm eyeing this one here). What are your Fall basics?

Top: Smart Set
Bottom: Paige
Scarf: Alexander McQueen
Bag: Chanel 
Sheos: Sam Edelman "Okala" heels (available here)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fashion News: Joe Fresh confirms online shopping coming soon!

It's true! Joe Fresh confirmed today via Twitter (#FreshOnlineShop) that an shop will be opening soon and ship everywhere in Canada. 

Until then, it's time to start building the wishlist. For starters, this laser cut top would be perfect with a pair of casual skinnies for the Fall.

These affordable leather ankle strap ballet flats complete the pairing. What are you looking forward to?

Image source: Joe Fresh

Monday, September 23, 2013

Starts with Inspiration: Classic Black Totes

A black tote is the quintessential staple on any Fall must-have list. A classic bag in always-chic black is worth the luxe price tag as it will inevitably always find a place in your ensemble.

Despite the fact that my own wardrobe already contains two classic black bags, I still find myself undeniably drawn to timeless black pieces season after season. Note however, that despite the classic hue, each bag below has distinctive hardware that serves not only for function but iconic detailing as well. 

After all, there’s no such thing as too much black, right?

Classic black totes for Fall

Clockwise from top: Saint Laurent "Chyc" Tote; 3.1 Phillip Lim large "Pashli" satchel; Prada Saffiano leather tote; Balenciaga "Le Dix Cartable" Black; Balenciaga Classic "City"

Image source: Polyvore 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Starts with Inspiration: Emmy Awards 2013

Emmys night! What a perfect way to help me forget the inevitable chill that accompanied the first day of Fall - the dresses were hot, hot, hot! In typical fashion, it was hard to narrow down the list to only a few favourites, as such, here are all the dresses that wowed me tonight.

Julie Bowen in Zac Posen. This perfectly accentuates Julie's petite frame and the ruffled mermaid skirt  is dramatic but not overwhelming. If I were to be getting married this year - this would surely be a silhouette at the top of my dress list.

Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang. Red. Hot. Need I say more?

Allison Williams in Ralph Lauren. This simple shape is instantly elevated by the stand out cobalt blue, this colour has always been and still remains one of my favourites.

Cobie Smulders in J.Mendel. This is yet another wedding dress contender. A simple sheath with a dramatic train - this is a dress that works perfectly when you want to make a statement leaving the room (or walking down the aisle/red carpet).

Emily Deschanel in Houghton. Although an unconventional shape, the textured dove grey of this dress really called out to me and truly makes Emily's eyes pop.

Laura Dern in Naeem Khan. This coral confection is stunning on Laura, I especially love the lace detailing and the illusion neckline. I also appreciate that she chose to go accessory-less to really let the exquisite pattern shine through. 

Linda Cardellini in Donna Karan Atelier. This mauve masterpiece reminds me of an intricate origami flower. The folds on the fabric perfectly swirl around her and work perfectly with her simple side-swept hair and minimal jewels. 

Malin Akerman in Marchesa. The texture on this gown was what really wowed me. Again, another list to add to any bride's wishlist. The classic shape is made edgier by the dove grey, and of course the aforementioned texturing and pattern.

Maria Menounos in Zac Posen. It's amazing how a simple dress in a classic blue is instantaneously elevated by a stand-out necklace and feminine side-swept do. This dress fits Maria like a glove, and I can imagine many a head turning when she walked down that carpet in this.

Padma Lakshmi in KaufmanFranco. The very simple sheath with hint of skin detailing is perfectly accentuated by a statement gold cuff. This is the true epitome of effortless elegance. 

Finally, Sarah Hyland in CH by Carolina Herrera. The lace overlay on emerald green is a stand-out choice for the red carpet and the young Ms. Hyland. This dress is altogether chic, classic and age appropriate at the same time. I'm especially admiring the lace neckline, no statement necklace needed here.

What were your faves of the night?

Image source: All photos from