Friday, December 31, 2010

The Flower Seller

The whole time I was talking to this young woman I kept thinking she reminded me of someone.  There is something about her look that suggests she belongs in another era, with the dark bobbed hair and oversized 'spit curls', the beads against the white shirt, the feminine cardigan and rose pin.  I realized she reminds me of the actress Maria de Madeiros in her role as the writer Anais Nin in the film Henry & June.
This is my last blog post for 2010.  I wish all my readers a very Happy New Year, and hope that 2011 finds you in good health and good spirits, pursuing the things you wish and hope for.  In addition to an end to famine, war, the continued destruction of our planet, and more compassion for our fellow man, I also wish that those of you who have admired the style of someone you've seen on my blog, or on the street, but think you would never have the nerve to carry it off, take a small step outside your style comfort zone.   Buy, and proudly wear, that leopard print coat you've been secretly desiring (that's for you, Catherine).  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Leopard Print Hat

I've been happy to see so many winter coats in colours other than black this year.  Here's another one with a vintage look, with what seems to be "the accessory" this year--the red shoulder bag.  The thing I love most about this outfit is the adorable leopard print hat; it looks great on her, and the unusual shape makes a great style statement.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Classy Black With a Flash of Colour

So, it's back to business for me...hope you all survived "The Day" with spirits (relatively) intact.  Here's a man who takes pride in his appearance, and uses bright coloured accents to offset an otherwise rather sombre, but elegant outfit .  My eye was first drawn to the bright flash of the yellow print silk scarf, then the tie, and although you can't tell in the photo, his shirt is a nice black and white pin-stripe.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bundled Up for the Holidays

For my last blog post before Christmas, I thought I'd continue with this week's theme of vintage winter wear.  I've always liked Eskimo-inspired wool coats, especially when they are a great colour like this one.  I've seen them in red, but never green.  The addition of leather gloves in a rich shade of brown, and Sorel boots, make this the perfect combination of practical warmth and unique, eye-catching style. 

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you choose to celebrate), and a very Happy New Year.   Surround yourself with people whose company provides joy and inspiration, share a meal, tell stories, and remember the many things we have to be grateful for.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In Full Swing

Another great vintage coat in a completely different shape than the one in the previous post.  I think this would be considered a Swing or Trapeze style, a shape that was popular in the 1940's.  The coat was fitted on top, and then cut from the shoulders so that it would "swing" wide over the hips.  Love the oversize shawl collar, the echoes of tiger-stripes pattern, and how amazing her red bag looks against the coat!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fitted and Feminine

As we have been plunged into full-on winter over the last couple of weeks,  I understand the difficulties inherent in trying to express any sort of personal style when all you want to do is be warm.  However, some people still manage to look their best even when the climate is against them.   I caught one of my favourite stylish women in this very feminine vintage coat--I think the shape might be called a "princess" (if not, one of you vintage-savvy people can correct me).  The cut suits her tiny frame perfectly and the fur collar is an elegant, but not overwhelming accent.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Fracshion of the Regular Price...

When I was in Toronto I stumbled on a store called Fracshions, which is the outlet store for Balisi, home of stylish clothing and footwear by Jump, Eject, El Naturalista and more.  The sign in the window said "All Footwear 70% Off" (this was a special sale), and I believe my heart may have stopped for a moment.  In addition to the fabulous pair of apple green El Naturalista wedge heels I picked up for a song (see photo below), I had a great conversation with the young woman who was working there.  In addition to being very friendly and helpful, she had her own cool style--the belted sweater dress topped with a blazer, cute two-tone shoes, and the statement piece necklace that she wears every day.  It was a stellar shopping experience all around, and if you're in Toronto, I would recommend a visit.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the Bus - Orange Laces

I couldn't figure out what the pattern on these shoes (boots?) is--it looks like large flowers, but it's also got a comic strip feel to it.  Either way, they were an unexpected burst of colour on a bus filled with people in black, grey and brown.  I like the clear rubber toe caps and soles.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Red Jacket

I followed this man into a store in order to take his photo.  He was very gracious about it, considering that he probably wondered who the crazy woman was who had cornered him and was going on about how freaking amazing he looked.  There is not one thing about this that I don't love, and the next time I have a party I'm inviting this guy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

BeeHives Bubbles & Bows!

Attention ladies! If you're looking for something to do tomorrow (that would be Sunday, December 12th), why not check out "BeeHives Bubbles & Bows" at Weezi Design Studio at 204 Albert Street?   From 1 pm - 7 pm, you can get a Beehive or some Victory Rolls (retro hair styles, for those of you born after 1980) courtesy of Scissor Kitty, for the ridiculously low price of $15 - $20, pick up some yummy eco-friendly bath products from Batty's Bath, and check out some of the latest retro-inspired girly-goodness at Weezi.  Sounds like a great idea for a girl's afternoon to me.  For more info, check out Weezi's website.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

The Un-Puffy Puffy Coat

This is one of the best coats I've seen so far this winter.  It looks warm, but the horizontal quilting keeps it from having that "Michelin Man" look that so many down-filled puffer coats have.  The high neck is both stylish and practical, and she completes her cold-weather look with a pair of Sorels.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Vintage

This woman knows how to mix vintage and modern--vintage leather coat and small carry case used as a purse; new turquoise leather gloves and sleekly elegant hat.  The hat was a gift from her mother, and the designer solved the dilemma of how to keep your ears warm with a fedora style hat by adding discreet earflaps--brilliant!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

I recently spent a few days in Toronto celebrating my birthday, and as usually happens when I'm there, I met some interesting people with unique personal style.   This adorable young woman was working in the Fairies Pyjamas store located within Black Market on Queen West in Toronto.  She made her furry hat and wrist warmers, and her asymetrically stitched jacket is from the store.  I came away with a pair of brown, cropped, wide-leg pants with green leaves appliqued on the back on sale for half price!  Nothing like finding cool stuff on sale to make your day a little brighter.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

From Mars Fashion Show - Style Off the Runway

There was great style on the runway at the From Mars Fashion Show, but some of the spectators were also incredibly style savvy, such as these two women who were both working some fabulous layering and kickass boots!
Devoted From Mars customer and a woman with knockout personal style, Shelly has appeared on my blog in the summer here
  Her daughter's first fashion show

Thursday, December 2, 2010

From Mars - The Fashion Show

On November 27th, From Mars on Talbot Street had a fashion show/customer appreciation night and I was asked to take some photos.  The show was incredibly entertaining--great clothes, funky music and models who knew how to have fun while showing the outfits.  Above and below are some of the looks from the "runway".
Recognize this guy under the hair?  He's been on my blog a few times
I loved the hair on the models - from big and teased to gigantic afro

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

An Eye For Colour

On the day I took this photo, I saw this woman riding her bicycle downtown when I was checking out a Christmas Bazaar with friends and noticed the beautiful green coat she was wearing.  Then a while later we go to the Wearable Art Show at Museum London, and who should I see, but the same woman.  London is a very small town sometimes; you see the same people over and over at different arts-related events but then you realize that you've never had a conversation with them, so you only think you know them because of how often you see them.  Fortunately, I had the opportunity to have a great conversation with this woman, who is a local artist.  She looked so elegant in the green wrap coat worn with the very cool leather belt, and I was delighted to see that underneath she was wearing a leather mini-skirt.  We decided we definitely had a similar style sense!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Got Your Ears On?

This young woman in the adorable hat is Ira Rott, a Crochet Designer who makes some of the cutest baby hats and footwear I've ever seen (not that I spend a lot of time looking at those things, but if I knew someone who was having a baby, I would have bought them a pair of the too-cute-for-words booties).  Her designs for babies and children can be found on Etsy here.  Apparently some of her hats, such as the one she's wearing here, also come in adult sizes.

Points to anyone who can identify what I'm referring to in the title of this post--it probably means you're over 40.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Bold Red at the Wearable Art Show

The woman in the photo above is Cynthia Cadogan, a clothing designer whose company is called Laurent House of Fashion.  I thought she looked stunning in her red knit dress and red leather hat; she definitely had the height and personality to carry off the bold colour.  Two of her designs are shown below:
The scarf is the star here
This outfit is something I would wear--I like the extra-long turtleneck on the fitted top, paired with the multi-layered skirt.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Captured at The Wearable Art Show - The Hat

I'm about a week behind in my posts as I was away for a few days celebrating my birthday, so my apologies for the delay in showing off the amazing style of the women I photographed at The Wearable Art Show held at Museum London last weekend.  I love, love, love this hat on her--the flower, the echoes of a 20's Cloche, and the great coordination with the rest of her outfit.  Those are also some wickedly awesome over-the-knee suede boots.  More photos of some of the eye-catching vendors and customers to follow.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Buttoned Burgundy Boots!

This woman and I share a love of funky, comfortable footwear, so when I saw her in these beautiful dark red Miz Mooz boots, paired with argyle tights, I knew she was going to have her blog moment.   See the photo below for a close up of the great button detail on the side.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Forest City Fashionista - The Autumn Version

In an effort to work with the new hair colour, I have tried to incorporate more "autumn-like" colours into my wardrobe.   In Exhibit A, I'm wearing a brown corduroy Juicy Couture jacket (from Value Village), green skirt from The Fairies Pyjamas, brown DKNY boots, scarf from the May Court consignment shop and knit flower from Weezi.  Thanks to Pauline for her photography assistance!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Late Post from "Wear Purple Day"

 Given that the woman in the photo didn't know it was "Wear Purple Day", and was just wearing what she would usually wear, it removed some of the urgency to post this last Monday.  There were some people on campus wearing purple, but overall, I found that few people were aware of the "Shine A Light on Woman Abuse" campaign, which was disappointing given that Western is a community where getting people to wear purple should be a pretty easy thing.  The campaign runs for the month of November, so there is still time for you to get your purple porch light bulb or purple t-shirt from the London Abused Women's Centre and show your support.   So, back to the outfit--love the distressed purple/pink leather jacket, with the large plum coloured scarf and striped skirt.  She looks very comfortable and casual, but with a creative flair.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Catching Up With Another Downtown Style Icon

Pauline, who has appeared on my blog several times, is another downtown style icon, and when I stop by to say hello, I can almost guarantee she'll be wearing some fabulous outfit.  On this particular day, it was a funky body conscious dress with a green and white pattern that happened to coordinate very well with the green swirls on the front door of her business.  Her style aesthetic is very modern, clean-lined, and definitely plays up her height and slim figure.     

Is there someone you think qualifies as a style icon here in London?  Someone whose style reflects their personality and consistently stands out from the crowd?  Send me an email with a photo, and I'd be happy to feature them on my blog.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Blaze of Colour

I saw this woman in the Covent Garden Market and my eyes were drawn to the great combination of colours she was wearing, particularly the ones in her argyle tights (or socks).  Everything she's wearing is very practical and weather-appropriate (hat, flat comfortable shoes, warm jacket) but the colours (the bright yellow that is also echoed in her scarf and tights), and shapes (her funky shoes and hat) make a unique personal style statement.  I didn't realize it at the time I took the photo, but the orange leaves on the tree behind her set off her outfit nicely!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Autumn Layering - Shades of Grey

I like that she's combined different shades of grey in her dress, ribbed tights and lace-up oxfords, and that she's topped it off with a classic black leather bomber jacket. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the Street - Basic Black with Bright Accents

One of the things I don't like about the cold weather (and there are many, I assure you), is that many people abandon the cheerful colours they have been wearing all summer and adopt a warm cocoon of dark colours, primarily black, to shield themselves against the elements.  As most of my winter coats are black, I can sympathize with this tendency, but I try to do what this young woman has done, which is to add some brightly coloured accessories to offset the black.  The bright red belt and shoes are a fun splash of colour, and I love the purple glasses against her dark hair.

Friday, November 12, 2010

On November 15th, Wear Purple to Raise Awareness of Woman Abuse

One of my work colleagues sent me the following information, and I was surprised it was the first I had heard of this.   November is Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention month in Ontario, and the London Abused Women's Centre is running their "Shine the Light on Woman Abuse Campaign" to raise awareness of woman abuse by turning the city of London purple for the month of November.

The following is from their website:
Monday, November 15, 2010 has been designated “wear purple day”.  We are asking the City of London to come together to show support by being creative and wearing purple clothing, purple accessories, purple makeup and more. Buy your Shine the Light on Woman Abuse purple t-shirt at the London Abused Women's Centre for $15.00 by calling 519-432-2204. 

So, dig out your purple sweaters, pants, skirts, dresses, hats, etc. and proudly parade your purple in support of Woman Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month.  Your photo may just end up on my blog!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What's Old is New Again - The Cape

This woman was headed to our office, and I'm sure was not expecting to get her photo taken at the same time she was requesting information, but I couldn't miss the opportunity for a shot of her beautiful cape.  I've seen a lot of capes shown for fall this year and they are perfect for this type of weather.  They can be a bit tricky to wear, and unfortunately don't allow for an over-the-shoulder bag, so one is forced to adopt the more "lady-like" method of carrying your purse in your hand.  This one has such a striking colour combination (set off by the purple leather gloves) and is a light wool, woven in Wales (according to the label). The wearer picked it up at Talize, which, like Value Village, can be a great source of unique, inexpensive clothing if you have time and patience.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Roller Derby - Th-Th-Th-at's All Folks for This Season

This past Saturday was the last home game of the 2010 season for the Thames Fatales Roller Derby Team.  They played against the Mid-Michigan Derby Girls, who were no match for the speed and strategy of the Fatales.  Just to show there were no hard feelings after the game, everyone posed for a team photo.   Below are a few photos of some of the spectator style in evidence at the match.
There was orange leather...
Classic black leather, paired with ruffles and buckles
and this very cool hat, which the wearer purchased directly from the hatmaker

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Joel - Covent Garden Market's Style Icon

There are times where I will walk through the Covent Garden Market just to see what Joel is wearing that day (c'mon, admit it, there are others of you out there who do the same).  He takes the concept of individual style to a whole new level, and it was suggested that for Halloween, he should show up in a suit and tie.  He has a great eye for how to put together colours, fabrics, and accessories, and what's more important, he has a great sense of humour and knows how to have fun with his clothes.  Personally, I wish there were more people in London who allowed their inner selves to be reflected in their sartorial choices, because it's people like Joel who make London a more interesting place to live.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the Street - The Forest City Fashionista

Caught on one of my Saturday afternoon walkabouts wearing my very comfortable and funky pants by The Fairies Pyjamas (they make noise when you walk because of all the zippers, etc. on the legs!), grey jacket, From Mars, blue backless turtleneck vest thing, From Mars, worn over another turtleneck shirt, and necklace from Forever 21.  Thanks to Sophie at From Mars for the photo.

Monday, November 1, 2010

From Mars, Not Venus

It's a rare occasion that I can convince Diane (on the left), co-owner of the store From Mars, to let me photograph her for my blog, but I managed to catch her and a stylish friend when they were willing to pose for a photo.  Diane's wearing a very funky pair of pants that were a gift brought from Barcelona, with a jacket and boots from her store.  Since her friend is also a fan of their store, I can assume that at least something she's wearing is a From Mars purchase.  By the way, From Mars is having a fashion show on November 26th!  I'll be posting more info soon.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I went out today thinking that even though Halloween is not officially until tomorrow, that there would be some people in costume roaming about.  The only one I could find was this more-cute-than-scary Tiger, so she's my official Halloween post for this year.   Have a Grrrrrrrr-eat Halloween!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Talbot, on Talbot

I met this man, whose name really is Talbot, in From Mars (which, as most of my regular readers know, is where I spend a lot of my time, and money).  He likes hats, and I liked the hat he was wearing, so I asked if I could take his photo.  He's a stained glass artist, and, as evidenced by how well the rich fall colours of his hat, sweatshirt and plaid jacket go together, he's obvious got an eye for mixing colours.

Stupid %!$#@ Facebook!

Apparently I've been locked out of my blog's Facebook Fan page until I agree to provide them with my phone number in order to prove I'm a real person.  Yeah, right.   This is unfortuate as I've managed to garner a different set of followers to my blog on the Facebook Fan page, some of whom only access my blog through Facebook.   Until this issue is resolved, I won't be posting any updates on my Facebook page, but my blog will continue business as usual. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

At the Bus Stop - An Unexpected Colour

I don't think I've ever seen a guy wearing coral/salmon coloured pants before this.  I like the colour, and I think it works well with the rest of what he's wearing, especially the plaid shoes.  I'm curious as to whose face is printed on his shoulder bag.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

At the Bus Stop - Houndtooth and Checks

This is a great combination of menswear inspired houndstooth-patterned accessories (at first glance I thought the pattern on the hat and scarf was a check, it is a houndstooth) with the checked pants.  Add purple headphones and classic converse, and you've got eye-catching style with no sacrifice of warmth or comfort.  This is one of my favourite looks I've seen on campus so far this year.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Autumn Blues

We've all been stricken by the autumn blues as the lack of light in the morning is making it harder and harder to get out of bed.  And then there is the added inconvenience of having to pile on more layers of clothing to cope with the drop in temperatures.  This woman does it right, with an interesting mix of textures and layers topped with a classic jean jacket.  The cool bag in the same colour family as her sweater, and the laced-up ankle bootie are the perfect accessories to complete her cozy, autumn-friendly outfit.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cuffed and Rolled

When you're tiny, like this woman, it's often difficult to find jackets that aren't too long in the sleeves, but fortunately, when you're wearing a blazer (that's really what it's called - check it out on Wikipedia) that looks like you might have swiped it from a teenage boy in private school, rolling the sleeves is part of the look.  Menswear jackets look great on women, especially when paired with a feminine top, colourful sunglasses, and cuffed jeans as she's done here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Bag Lady - Purveyor of Delicious Food & Retro Kitsch!

Almost a year ago, I posted a photo of Jane, the owner of the funky Variety Store & Cafe, The Bag Lady" on my blog, and since then, I receive at least 10 - 20 hits a week from people looking for information about the restaurant, so I decided it was time to do a post about the place itself, since it  definitely has a style all its own.  I hadn't eaten there in ages and a friend treated me to a delicious lunch there this weekend, topped off with one of their amazing brownies.  The decor is a mishmash of the delightfully quirky and vibrantly coloured, and fans of 50's decor will think they've died and gone to vintage heaven.  The menu consists mainly of homemade soups, salads and sandwiches, made on the premises daily, and they serve breakfast!  You can eat there, or get it to go.  The Bag Lady Variety & Cafe is located at 474 Pall Mall Street at Maitland, and is open Tues - Friday 7:30 am - 4:00 pm, Saturdays 9:00 am - 3:00 pm, and Sundays 9:00 am - 2:00 pm.  You can find more info and other photos (not by me) here.   Head on over for some good eats,  and tell Jane that the Forest City Fashionista sent you!
Curl up with a coffee and the paper in one of these comfy chairs