Tuesday, 1 April 2014

So, last month I was lucky enough to attend a few shows at World MasterCard Fashion Week! Now before I go on, let me assure you: I am a completely NORMAL person.  There is nothing special about me.  I am in no way notable or important in any "scene" in Toronto.  I am just a regular 20-something Torontonian that works the daily 9 to 5 grind at a digital marketing agency in the downtown core of Toronto (typical..).

I'm sure I'm not the only one that's been curious as to "what types of people" attend these things.  Now, don't get me wrong I DID have some sort of an idea from my experience volunteering (back then it was called L'Oreal Fashion Week) at Toronto Fashion Week back in 2010, and even then I wondered who all these fancy people were.  Last Fall, my sister bought tickets for us to go see Mackage and Joe Fresh, and let me tell you: STANDING in the very back is not at all glamorous OR worth a $50 ticket.

Anyway, I had the serious pleasure of being invited to attend 3 shows during the FW2014 WMC Fashion Week: Line Knitwear, gsus, and Farley Chatto.  The reality of being invited as a designer guest at WMC Fashion Week is that your seat will still be first-come-first-serve.  Designer guests have the 4th to 8th rows in a lettered section, and sometimes designers invite more guests than seats.  I was lucky enough to sit 4th row for gsus and Fareley Chatto, but sadly I was standing in the back for Line Knitwear.  I salvaged what I could of taking zoomed-in iPhone photos in the dark lol.  Details below!

This was my favourite look for the entire Line Knitwear show.  It is perfect.  The smokey grey/black monochrome, the silhouette of an oversized top, and legs - LEGS FOR DAYS.  Love.  I want to be her.

Stacey McKenzie opened and closed the show at Farley Chatto.

I was absolutely blown away by the Farley Chatto show.  Honestly, I didn't know what to expect.  I knew there would be a lot of fur, but OH MY GAWD.  Everything. Was. Beautiful.  EVERYTHING.  During the show I came to this logical realization that I clearly need fur-everything.  I am currently on the hunt for the PERFECT faux fur vest (faux because we all know the real stuff ain't cheap).

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get any "good" snaps of the gsus show, but what I CAN tell you is that women LOVE wearing gigantic hats to fashion week.  Let's hope that someday I can avoid the back of heads and hats and sit in the front row! Overall, I had a lovely time watching these three shows at Toronto Fashion Week, hope to eventually attend more!

In other news, the sun has finally broke through the polar vortex cold here in Toronto!  Bring on the Spring style!! <3

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, 13 March 2014

This long-*** Canadian winter is killing me.  No, really - it is.  I think I have S.A.D.  You know, the disease of depression from lack of living in the sunny state of California?  Why, mother nature - WHY?!  Two short days ago we were basking in Spring bliss!  I was wearing sunnies and strolling around in Converse sneakers!  Yesterday we were hit with a mothaflippin snowmageddon, and today my disgusting fake 'uggs' (disclaimer: I got them for FREE with a JustFab order…don't judge me…) are soggy from the mounds of brown slush everywhere.  EW. EW. Ew…ew..ew.  Anyway, this post is a throwback - an ode to the season of sun, summer, and style (duh).

OMG I could almost FEEL the warmth while I was editing these photos.  I love this outfit, and I really want to wear it again!  Preferably now, but I'm assuming I'll have to wait since it seems hell has frozen over.  Completely.  And FYI - I love this button down printed short-sleeve!  I found it whilst scouring through my mom's closet of olde.  She actually has a matching skirt, but I thought long and hard and knew that adopting the matching skirt would be pushing it.

Anyway, behold one of my go-to bags.  I used it throughout Summer, Fall, and am still using it now during this (flipping cold) Winter!  Like I mentioned in my last post about wisely investing in leather handbags, this was definitely a wise investment.  I got it during ZARA's summer sale last year, and it was an absolute steal!  I think it was marked down to $39 or $49 (I really can't remember anymore) - for real suede it was an incredible price!  I love how it's roomy enough to carry EVERYTHING, and even has a closure inside to taper the top of the bag.  

A shoe shot for your viewing pleasure!  I snagged these during the same ZARA sale for $20! By now, though, I've kind of worn them to death and am on the market for a new pair of espadrille flats!  I've been so in love with the Chanel black and white lambskin espadrilles, but let's be honest, they're a BIT out of my price range.  Luckily, Little Black Bag recently released these Pour La Victoire Bailey Flats! They're not leather, but I am loving the colour combo and the price point!

In other news - it's World Master Card Fashion Week here in Toronto next week!  I couldn't be more excited because GUESS THE *FRICK* WHAT?!  I got invited.  I got invited to my very first runway shows!  Yes, showS!!  Multiple!  I'm over-the-moon with excitement and can NOT WAIT!  I'll definitely be posting my experience here on the blog :).

Hope these throwback summer photos warmed you up!

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Image via Pinterest
Now that I'm morphing into this thing that people call "a grown-up", my style tastes have very much changed. I've never liked out-there colours, or too-loud prints, but I've frequented a brighter colour palette and some geo and floral prints in the past.  It's not that I am abandoning colour and print all-together, but I've found that I'm becoming more drawn to textures rather then prints - and I am very much sticking to a more neutral colour palette as of late.  For the past few months the only colour I've been wearing is the blue of blue jeans!

Gone are the days of frivolously spending on trendy-wear - I'm moving on to pieces that will last over time and season-after-season.  Don't get me wrong, I will never abandon my penchant for the likes of Forever21 and H&M; all I'm saying is, I'm focusing more on investing on pieces that I know I won't want to get rid of in the next few years to come.  I'm just like every other girl when it comes to handbags - I hoard them.  I don't even want to think about how many stupid purses are in my closet right now.  Recently, I've been awakened by what I like to call leather-snobbery - haha!

Image via Lyst
I haven't gone rogue, and my utmost respect for vegans and vegan-friendly faux leathers remain.  It's just that the thought of spending more than $20 on a purse used to make me cringe, but now I'm open to it. I've completely expunged the novelty of a cheap faux-leather designer-inspired handbag.  I'm over it.  Buying imitation purses never used to bother me, but out of respect for hard-working designers, I refuse to do it anymore. I'm ready to graduate and move on to becoming a smarter shopper when it comes to investing in higher-end fashion pieces - BUT this certainly doesn't mean I can afford the gorgeous Chanel in the first pic of this post! I'm still a crazed bargain hunter!  Always have been, and always will be.  This past month I've invested in 2 small leather bags and I couldn't be more excited for them, or more happy about the deals I scored!

I got the Pour La Victoire Alsace crossbody in black and gold through an amazing transaction/trade through Little Black Bag, and I scored an "almost new" MICHAEL by Michael Kors Bedford Gusset crossbody in black and silver from Trend Trunk.  I have yet to receive my shipment of either orders, but I am going crazy waiting for my new babies to arrive!  If you can imagine how giddy a faux leather purse can make you feel - now times that by about a hundred (apologies if you are a vegan-friendly faux leather activist...I just can't hide the way I feel).

Image via Pinterest
If you're a handbag connoisseur, you'll know that luxury brand handbags cost a pretty penny no matter how tiny they are (uhhhh Celine Trio, I'm talkin' 'bout chu!).  I have yet, to this day, ever paid full or regular price for a luxury designer piece - I simply can't afford it on my puny salary.  So what are us little people supposed to do?  The ones that make the small bucks, but want the real thing?  You scour. I scored both the Pour La Victoire and the Michael Kors for just a fraction of their retail costs!

3 Things to Consider When Investing in Leather Luxury Goods:

  1. The first thing to consider is its worth.  When it comes to investing in a leather/luxury piece you  need to really think it through - is it worth it?  Are you going to use it for years to come?  Is it going to last?  Are you getting it in a colour and style that will stand the true test of time?  If you're paying origial retail price, you really want to make sure your dollar is going as far as it can.  (Spoken like a true cheapo haha!)
  2. The second thing you can look into is alternative options to avoid paying full-price.  You can try places like ebay or even your local kijiji, but always be cautious and thorough to avoid purchasing conterfeits!  Another great place to check is your local designer consignment stores.  In Toronto places like Haute Classics and Fashionably Yours are great places to check, and both stores provide online shopping (woohoo for all us Internet hobbits..what is real life?).  My most recent favourite place to scour has been Trend Trunk - this website is exclusive only to Canadians, but it is great for both buying and selling!  And lastly, it never hurts to check out your local discount stores like Winner's or Marhsall's, or websites like Little Black Bag to score a good deal on leather goods.
  3. The last thing to consider before you make your purchase - can you afford it?  You've decided the object of your affection is WORTH it to you; you've found the perfect deal - now, can you really, truly, madly, deeply afford it?  This can be a little bit controversial, but I say if you won't be late on rent or skipping meals for it - you're in the clear! Haha.

Hope this was helpful to some of you!  I'm going to go clean out my closet now and put my cheaper handbags up for sale on Trend Trunk!  You can shop my closet here!

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Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Follow me on Instagram @thelittledandy :).
Naturally, when the weather gets cold, my vigor with scheduling OOTD 'photoshoots' with the boyf slows down because....well, it's damn cold outside in Canada.  I know - I really know, I should get around to setting up a well-lit indoor space to do decent style-shoots, but with my recent move I'm still not quite settled in yet (I'm still on the hunt for cute storage solutions to free up some floor space!  Should I get the IKEA Expedit shelving??  Gah...).

Anywhoo, for that reason there has been a lack of outfits going on, but I haven't been sitting around like a scab of...life...(??...sometimes, I don't even know...).  I've been keeping myself pretty busy with home decor DIYs (videos are in post-production!), and taking up a a new hobby: crochet.  OMFGzzzz I am obsessed. I am a real 'Little Old Lady', I promise you.  Growing up, my mom taught me how to knit.  It was something that I was able to do, but never really enjoyed doing; knitting is time consuming and frickin' stressful.  I was always in awe when I watched my mom crochet because it looked like a perfect rhythmic motion - like a dance routine I really wanted to learn.

Anyway, fast forward about a hundred years into the age of 'everyone can do anything thanks to Pinterest and YouTube' - I've taken up crochet with serious gusto; so much gusto that I've gone as far as taught a few friends and started a Facebook group and Tumblr page called 'Little Old Ladies'; SO much so that I've gone and created an Etsy shop to sell my wares.  And here's the real kicker; I've taken up crochet with SO much gusto that I've even signed myself up for my first vendor experience at the upcoming Annex Flea in Toronto on February 9th.

Tell me, do you crochet?  Do you love knits?  I freaking love it all!  Maybe it's  my die-hard love for Scandinavian design, or mid-century interior decor, or maybe it's just my true inner spirit of a little old lady (umm, I'm still waiting on a hair appointment to dye my dark locks grey) - whatever it is, I am alllll about crocheted-everything!  I haven't sold any of my wares yet, but coming up with new projects just gets me giddy.  I've perfected the hat, the scarf, the mitt, the basket...I'm ready to move on to more home decor items like rugs, throws, and poufs.  I really hope you all enjoy my creations!

For those in the Toronto area, I hope you'll stop by my booth at the Annex Flea on February 9th!  The Annex Flea Market will take place at the Centre of Social Innovation at 720 Bathurst Street from 10am to 4pm.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Over-the-knee boots are something I've wanted for years - but we all know how difficult it is to find the perfect pair of boots.  There are so many things to consider, especially when you're deciding to invest in real leather.  Not only did I have to find a style that I liked, I had to make sure it fit well throughout the leg, and that it wouldn't break the bank.

When I found these Eliot Boots from JustFab's Luxe line, it was like the heavens had opened up and finally answered my prayers - it was too good to be true!  Typically, when you go to shops like ALDO or Brown's, a true leather over-the-knee boot will set you back somewhere between $200 - $300 bones.  These Eliot Boots were on sale for $89, PLUS JustFab was having a 'Fuzzies' promo, and I got a free pair of their 'Fuzzies' boots, too!  A serious steal!  Now, I'll admit that they're not my 'dream boot' (those would be either a pair of Alexander Wang's or Stuart Weitzmans…), but they've been serving their purpose quite well!  I've got an 'okay-fitting' real leather over-the-knee boot for under $100 - that's a serious score in my books!

Contrary to what some might think, these boots really do add an extra layer of warmth to your legs - not to mention, they keep you looking terribly chic during the cold season!  By now, you all know my go-to fashion get up: Oversized top + slim bottom.  The combination of bundling up on top, and then slipping on these boots has been working out quite well for me this winter!

The perfect accessory to complete this icy season has got to be this perfectly fun gems ring by VINCA. If you haven't checked out their line of accessories, I suggest you do!  Everything is perfectly witty - just the way I like..everything! Haha.  Lately, I've been on a heavy rotation of white/grey/black everything in terms of wardrobe and accessories.  New year, new style I suppose!

Hope everyone has been surviving Janauary - especially if you're in the cold like me!

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