Thursday, March 29, 2012

Summer Suited

I don't think anything could have prepared Vince for the "Ooohing" and "Aaahing" he received from the women in the office the day he showed up in this pinstriped suit.  It was one of the unseasonably warm days we had a couple of weeks ago, and it seemed like the perfect time to break out the "summer suit".  Unfortunately, the stripes look like some sort of crazy optical illusion in the full length photo, so I've added the closeup below.
He's wearing a freaking pocket square, people!   A pocket square!  Most people his age don't even know what a pocket square is.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


So, I got a new pair of glasses, specifically to wear at work when I'm staring at my computer screen, which unfortunately, is what I do for the greater part of my day.  My optometrist and our IT guy have been suggesting this for quite some time, as my bifocals are not computer-friendly.  I had found these vintage frames (made in France, no less), at The Sentimentalist, and I thought this was the perfect excuse to use them.  I'd never seen frames this colour with rhinestones (which are all there), and the uptilt on the frame was a shape I hadn't seen before; kind of a squared-off cat's eye.  The word that everyone, including the staff at my optometrist's office, has used to describe them is "unusual".  When I wear them, my friend Heather calls me Madge. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Canadian Style Bloggers are Awesome!

Especially the tres chic Ariane, from Montreal, who graciously posted a wonderful tribute to the Forest City Fashionista on her blog, Style Montreal Sud-Est .   Thank you so much Ariane, and I hope I can meet you at some point and give you a hug!  Check out Ariane's standout style that includes candy-coloured Doc Martens, fierce glasses and a love of thrifting!

The other Canadian style blogger I have discovered is Melanie, who lives in Vancouver and is the author of the street style blog Culture Serf, and her own personal style blog, Bag and A Beret.  If you think that eye-catching, eclectic style can only be found in New York and Paris, check out these two creative, fabulous women whom I consider kindred spirits.

If you have a favourite Canadian style blogger, send me their link in the comments section and I'll be sure to check them out!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"The Garden of Hedon" at Dollirium

On March 18th I went to the opening of the latest exhibit, titled "In the Garden of Hedon", at Dollirium Art Doll Emporium.  The exhibit celebrates the studio's one year anniversary and the work on display features more sculpture and fewer dolls than previous exhibits.  The works are also more risque in theme and the show is advertised as not suitable for younger viewers.  There may well be some older viewers who find some of the works somewhat disturbing, but then again, the shows at Dollirium are generally a bit unsettling, which is part of their appeal.  Unfortunately, this limits the number of images I can post on my blog, as I try to keep things "family friendly" here, but there were still some very cool stuff to look at...
including Jacqui Gallant, who always wears something fabulous to her exhibit openings.  She found the skirt, and the hoop beneath it at Goodwill.
This young woman (my apologies for neglecting to get her name) sang during the opening.  Her voice was quite lovely, but I was more intrigued by her hair, which was done up in braids woven with feathers (see closeup below).
One of my favourite local artists, Anthony Veilleux, has a number of sculptures in the show, including the woman's torso in the photo above.
This sculpture, by artist Nefer Kane, is titled "Seven Deadly Sins" and is approx. 8" in height
One of the few dolls in the show was "Corpse Bride", created by Kamla Mlynarczyk that was a much more realistic and therefore creepy-looking version than Tim Burton's.  The detail that Mlynarczyk put into the doll was quite amazing, as seen in the photos above and below.
To see the doll in its entirety, you'll have to go to the exhibit
One of artist Tom Taggart's three dimensional paintings
Dollirium is carrying bags, comics and t-shirts that feature drawings by London artist Sarah Legault.  I love the finely detailed dark "cartoons" that Sarah creates and I think they look amazing on the black handmade bags.  Check out Sarah's website for more details.

The exhibit, "In the Garden of Hedon" continues until April 22nd.  Dollirium is located at 1 Cliftonvale Ave., behind True Love Tattoo, and is open Tuesday - Saturday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Boots, Bag and Bugs

The warm weather has meant that there have been more interesting outfits out on the street (as well as a few gasp-inducing ones too).  There are so many things that I love about this particular outfit -  the main one being that she's paired her feminine pleated dress with a pair of victorian-style lace up ankle boots.   She found her glorious embroidered bag at a market on one of her travels (I can't remember where, it may have been Iran?) and she is also wearing a stunning pair of brass earrings in the shape of what looks like a cicada.  I tried to take a photo of them without much success (see below).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

First Day of Spring, or Summer?

I know that the first day of Spring has now moved to the 20th, for reasons I still don't understand, but in my mind, the season changes will remain firmly rooted as occurring the 21st, so for me, today was the first day of Spring.  Except that with the 26 degree temperatures (that's Celsius by the way) we had made it feel more like the first day of summer.  Anyway, this sudden heat wave has made dressing for work a bit of a challenge--it's too early for the university to crank on the A/C, so it's been warm inside and outside.  I got this dress last year at From Mars, and the fabric and shape make it comfortable to wear when the mercury soars and I was attracted to the unusual shape of the hem.  I paired it with a scarf I found recently at Winners, and my green El Naturalista shoes.  I think the colours set off the ghost white of my legs quite nicely, don't you?

Monday, March 19, 2012

In Bloom

This woman reminded me of a bouquet of spring flowers - Daffodil yellow, Tulip pink and Crocus purple!  I love the metallic gold accessories.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Road Trip - New Wheels, Cute Dogs and Pink Skates

The weather forecast of sunny and 20 degrees seemed like today would be a perfect day for a road trip.  A couple of my friends who play roller derby and I had planned a visit to the Cardinal Skate Co. in Toronto to get new roller skate wheels, etc.   The awesome Kim at Lovesick found a pair of secondhand skates for me, and while the skates themselves are in good shape, the wheels were toast, as were the toe stops.   So much for the weather forecast--it was so foggy when we left London that we couldn't see more than one car length ahead of us, and when we got to Toronto at 11:00 am, it was 7 degrees, and pretty much stayed that way until we left at 4:00 pm. Apparently it was nice here, figures...
Cardinal also sells skateboards, as you can see on the wall. The sales staff were incredibly helpful; I didn't ask if this guy owned the shop, but he spent a lot of time replacing the wheels, bearings, bushings (cushiony bits) and toe stops on my skates.
 In addition to different styles of Roller Derby skates, gear, and street skates in basic black or white, the shop also had these "Squee-worthy" leopard print skates.
There were also these very pretty ones in pastel pink suede
In addition to cool skate stuff and nice staff, they had the most adorable dog, who would come over for an ear rub while we were waiting for my skates to be overhauled.
My refurbished skates!
The surprise score of the day was this funky tapestry suitcase that Heather spotted at Value Village on Bloor Street West (I can't pass one without wanting to stop for a quick snoop) for $6.  It's got just enough room for my skates and pads, and a little zippered pocket on the side to stash your keys and lipstick.  Despite the disappointing weather, it was a successful trip.  Oh, and a Happy St. Patrick's Day to all of you who spent the day here on a patio getting hammered on green beer!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Smile is Always The Best Accessory

I always shoot my subjects full-length, and it was frustrating to have to crop this gorgeous young woman's legs off, but I discovered when I downloaded the photo that there was a rather large smear of something on my camera lens and her lower half was just a blurry blob.  This is why I don't have a $1,000 camera - mine gets dropped, thrown into my bag, and sticky stuff on the lens.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand--the young woman in the gray spring coat.  She said she purchased it at H&M, and I think she is a perfect example of how the right details can make an inexpensive item of clothing look like a million bucks. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sunny Days & Sassy Stockings

It's been sunny and warm (well, warm for March) the last couple of days; the perfect weather for these patterned fishnet tights I found at Winners this week for $6.   At work, a guy wanted to know what I had on my legs, and I said, "they're tights", and he replied, "no, those are stockings" - apparently "stockings" has a different connotation in the mind of men than "tights".  Maybe it was because I had paired them with my pink ankle boots. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Red Riding Hood

This young woman made a welcome splash of colour against a grey morning landscape.  She said she found her coat at TJ Maxx in the states and we both lamented that there were no TJ Maxx stores in Canada.
I made sure to get a photograph of her with her hood down - such pretty eyes! I like the contrast of her blue cuffs against the orange-red of her coat.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sometimes a Good Outfit is the Best Medicine

After feeling pretty crappy for the last two weeks between a stomach bug and a cold, I finally felt a bit more like myself yesterday, and put on some fun, furry stuff to go to the farmers' market yesterday.  The faux fur cuffs hadn't made it out yet this winter as it just wasn't cold enough, but they make me smile when I wear them (and other people too!).  The black/red/gold print pants are from Lovesick, and the black fur vest came from Mesh.   And then it was Sunday, and I was out in a t-shirt roller-skating in the park.  "Spring?", or "Winter?", that is the question.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Matt and His Pants of Many Colours

Remember Matt, the man in the red pants here?  Well, on this particular day, he was definitely inspired by spring and the fresh green of new leaves.  Apparently this is the toned-down version of the pants, as the colour after the initial dye job was so bright, even he couldn't wear them.

Monday, March 5, 2012

1980's Redux

This leather jacket, found at Talize for $15, inspired a recollection of the angst-filled punk rock/new wave girl I was in my 20's.   Although I'm channeling the spirit, the look is definitely more polished this time round (back then I favoured over-sized men's shirts and suit jackets with skinny black jeans and army boots), but the hair is about the same length.  These pants are my new favourites, purchased at From Mars; it's hard to tell from the photo, but they are black, with a pattern of blue flowers with a bit of a sheen that almost looks like brocade. And then there's the bling...
definitely not punk rock at all - necklace and multi-coloured flower ring from Frankly Scarlett in Port Stanley, other rings picked up here and there.  I rarely ever paint my fingernails because they are always a mess after about an hour, but I fell in love with the blue and green nail polish from the European brand Gosh, that Shoppers Drug Mart is now carrying--it definitely shouts Spring! don't you think?
Don't get in my way, or I'll stomp all over you with my thick-soled docs (did I mention that I'm a huge fan of the comic book/movie character Tank Girl?)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Not Your Grandfather's Cardigan

Pity the poor cardigan sweater, saddled with the stereotype of being the go-to coverup for librarians, grandfathers, and hosts of children's television shows in the 1970's.  I personally love cardigans, and own a number of them, and have found that working in an air-conditioned office, there is no better layer to toss over a summer dress than a three-quarter sleeve, fitted and patterned cardigan sweater.  In general, North American men do not embrace the cardigan, even though their European counterparts wear fitted versions and look incredibly stylish (just look at the blog The Sartorialist if you don't believe me).  Thankfully, there are always men who are willing to put themselves out there, style-wise, and Vince, in the photo above, is one of them.  He almost always wears a suit to work, or at the very least, a jacket and dress pants, so this is a bit of a dress-down for him, but I think it looks casual, but still sharp and put-together.  Lesson?  Men, do not fear the cardigan.