Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kansas Vs Oz

  She had lost all her energy, motivation, and creative inspiration.  The world had become colourless and drab 

AND THEN........

There, in all its jewel-coloured glory was....THE JACKET.  Not just any jacket, mind you, but the magical, multi-coloured jacket of joy

With this jacket, all was possible.  Purpose and energy restored, she raced off to her next adventure!
Jacket of Joy - The Sentimentalist
grey and black striped top - 69 Vintage in Toronto
black skirt - by Simpli, retail
leather converse - From Mars

Many thanks to the collage queen, sassy Sarah of Misfits Vintage, for inspiring me to get creative with Photoshop, and to Melanie of Bag and a Beret, who is unafraid to throw herself into a character to better show off an outfit, for inspiring me to break out of my posing rut.  Check out these two wonderful blogs, authored by 40+ creative, super-stylish women with oodles of personality and  wicked senses of humour.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Graffiti, Lime Green Knickers, and Kick Ass boots - The Summer Roundup

Aside from a nagging cough, I'm getting back to normal (well, MY normal).  Thanks so much for all your well-wishes, and hopefully soon I'll have photos of someone's cool outfit to show you.  In the meantime, I thought I'd do a post of photos  I had taken over the summer on some of my day trips, along with a couple of gratuitous shoe shots

 cool graffiti near the Ontario College of Art in Toronto

This gorgeous vintage (late 50's) dress by a designer by the name of "Cornelia", was on display at Divine Decadence, a high end vintage boutique in Yorkville, Toronto.  I spent over an hour browsing among the museum quality vintage dresses, coats, jackets, skirts and accessories.  I adore the mix of pale pink with various shades of green, and one of the most fabulous things about the dress was hidden beneath the flowered skirt...

... beautiful silky, pale green knickers, with buttoned cuffs, attached to the dress

This flowered fantasy of a hat is also by the same designer

I had never seen french macarons in these colour combinations!  These ones in the cafe at the AGO  were more appealing to my eye than to my stomach

Grey sky and steel-coloured water near dusk at Bayfield, Ontario

My friend Heather's new kick ass Fly London boots (half price!!)

My old kick ass Swear boots, that I had packed away thinking that I was somehow "past the age" of being able to pull them off.  I was wrong.

Ahhh Summer, we hardly knew ye....

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blossoms, Beads and Fur

I've been home with the flu (fever, cough and ache-all-over) for the last two days, and consequently have no street shots, or outfit posts.  In between naps and throwing back advil, neo-citran and oil of oregano, I took some photos of the swell thrifted finds I have acquired in the last few weeks, all of which were priced at $10 or under.  Unfortunately,  we don't have regular car boot sales where it's possible to score something fabulous for 50p (yes, Vix, I'm referring to you) but these days, I consider it a bargain at $10 if something is well made, and I know that no one else is going to have one.

A home-made wiggle dress, found at the Sally Ann on Bloor St. W. in Toronto, which originally I thought was made out of silk, but was corrected on that by Melinda, she of the awesome fabric knowledge.  It came with what I first though was a lovely gathered short cape (and it still could be worn as one), but it was decided that it had been made to wear around the waist of the dress to add a "bustle" effect.  The dress is a bit tight and if I'm going to wear it, a trip to a seamstress will be necessary.

Someone had stuffed this made in India beaded silk jacket in with the winter coats at my local Goodwill store, perhaps thinking they would come back later and get it, but their timing was bad, as I scooped it.  The thing weighs a fracking ton, and of course, can't be cleaned, so it's not going to be  worn often.  I'm thinking of getting some dress shields to put in it for extra protection. 

Back view of the ridiculously heavy jacket - the design is all beading and 95% of the beads are still there.

I can't claim credit for discovering this knit fur poncho - that goes to my friend Heather, who was trying it on at a Value Village in Hamilton, at the same time that I was trying a tapestry fitted jacket.  We looked at each other, and immediately Heather said, "let's switch".  The jacket went home with her, and I got the soft and cozy poncho.  Not to rush the seasons, but I am looking forward to being able to throw this over pretty much every outfit when it gets cooler.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

And They Call It Puppy Love....

Melinda, owner of The Sentimentalist, with the object of her affection, Sophie.  Sophie was a rescue dog and is a mix of boston terrier and pug ("bug" for short).   Melinda's customers adore Sophie, and she gets more than her share of attention when she's in the store for the day and has made many appearances on the stores Facebook page.

  Don't Sophie and E.T. share a rather strong resemblance around the eyes and nose?  Separated at birth perhaps?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Better Red (and Purple) Than Dead

 A couple of my fellow bloggers have recently used the poem, Warning, (known more commonly by its first line, "When I am an old woman I shall wear purple"), by Jenny Joseph,  as inspiration for an outfit (visit my UK blogger pal Curtise to see what I mean).  It just happened that last week I had worn this red and purple combo to work, and thought I would get on the bandwagon, so to speak.
Red - Chinese pyjama top (thrifted) and pencil skirt (Mesh Consignment store
Purple - T-shirt (the Gap), Converse (retail), hair (my fab hairstylist)

Why wait til you're old to give the proverbial finger to society's rules about what colour goes with what, and mixing patterns, and wearing short skirts after 40, and for heaven's sake, are those sneakers you're wearing with that skirt??  Yes, yes they are.  Didn't you know that Converse go with everything?  That's MY rule.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Swishy Pants

As soon as there is a whiff of autumn in the air, I immediately start to gravitate towards the "Black" section of my closet.  Even though it is still technically summer and temperatures are still warm, by the middle of August, my brain is already thinking of fall.  Maybe working in an academic environment does that to you - you begin to think of September as the start of your new year, rather than January.  The temperatures have become more conducive to wearing what I call "real clothes" and I took the opportunity to get out one of my pairs of swishy pants.  Swishy pants, for the uninitiated, are pants that are loose and flowy, and "swish" dramatically around your legs when you walk (or when there is good breeze).  
Polyester double layer swishy pants - May Court Consignment shop (5 bucks!)
t-shirt - Fracshion 
Belt - Goodwill thrift stores
textured silver earrings - University Hospital gift shop
shoes - El Naturalista purchased at From Mars

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Prints Please!

Lili, in the photo above, has the most wonderful collection of dresses.  They are bold in print and colour, and all have a slightly vintage look about them in their cut.  When she came back from visiting New York wearing this beautiful one she had picked up in a shop in Brooklyn, I had to put it on my blog.  She is also the only person I know who can make Birkenstocks work with a cute dress.
You can see Lili in some of her other beautiful dresses here and here.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Making Friends and Influencing People

Today's mission was to make friends with what one commenter referred to as "the ugly jumpsuit with magical powers" (please see my previous post).    They say (whoever "they" are) that you can completely change an outfit simply by adding different accessories.  The addition of a bright scarf, leather belt and cuff and some sandals seemed to cheer it up a bit, and I felt less like a guerrilla solder looking for the rest of my unit. 

Friday, August 10, 2012


So this is not the outfit I was wearing when I left for work this morning, but it was the outfit I was wearing when I got home.   I decided to stop at Lovesick on my way home from work, just to say hello to Kim, and before I knew what was happening, I was trying on this batik print jumpsuit.  That's not a sentence that I would have thought I'd say, but here it is.  I think it was a combination of the colours, which coordinated with my hair, and that I've become oddly attracted to jumpsuits over the last year.  And it has deep pockets in which to keep my hands!  I didn't realize until I saw this photo that the combination of the hair, the jumpsuit, and the docs makes me look like a member of some rebel force responsible for defending a small tropical country.   I think I'll change the footwear the next time I wear it...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Girl With the Violet Eyes

A while back I posted about the funky jewellery created by a talented young woman, Mallory Knox;   you can find that post here.  Knox sells her work at Lovesick, and through the website she shares with another artist.  She will also do custom pieces. 

I've been a devoted Elizabeth Taylor fan since I was a little girl.  With her violet eyes and raven hair, she was the walking embodiment of all that was glamorous and beautiful, at least in the eyes of a skinny kid from a small town.  I thought she would be a perfect subject for one of Knox's pendants, so I made a request, and behold, the finished product:

I left it up to Knox to choose what photo to use, and happily, the one she selected is one of my favourites, depicting Taylor in her "Cleopatra" days.  I can't wait to wear it!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Man And His Toys

The cheerful smile on the sidewalk welcomes you to Chris McInnis' new store, Uber Cool Stuff

Just make a left at the sign, and there it is!  It officially opened this past weekend, and McInnis celebrated the occasion with a little in-store soiree on Friday evening

The store is a realization of a dream for owner, McInnis (standing in front of his "Ubercade" which was very popular at the opening), who used to have a booth set up at the now defunct Metropolitan Artisan's Market.  The stock carried in the store is inspired by McInnis' "life-long love of geeky things"

There was a Candy Bar, and yummy cake pops, made by Veronica Schemel of Schemel's Sweet Temptations.  I had never had a cake pop before - these were marvelously moist and came in Uber Cool colours!

McInnis also had these "U" shaped pretzels made by a baker in Kitchener for the occasion, and there were blue "Ubertinis" with which to wash them down

McInnis' store stocks cool designer toys, art, cards, books, games and other items sure to delight everyone's inner geek.   What guy would not enjoy having a Ninja coat hook or two in his hallway?

Business was rather brisk as people who came to see the store and wish McInnis well also did some shopping.

It's possible I would eat more salads if I had a "Salad Bunny" with which to toss them...

With apologies to all my friends who have children, and their children..... I must confess that this was my favourite item in the store

I was completely won over by the droll tone and illustrations, and of course, the sentiment.  Which explains why I have no children.

The main entrance to Uber Cool Stuff is at 123 Carling Street, at Talbot, opposite Chaucer's Pub.   You can also enter the store from 122 Dundas Street, through the Home Decor store.  For more details about the store, and the opening hours, visit the website

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Altered States

I had seen this Lanvin dress in The Sentimentalist a while back and admired the bold pattern, but at that time, it had long sleeves, and frankly, it was a whole lot of blue and white fabric for one person to carry off successfully.  After a few people tried it on, but it remained unsold, a seamstress took the sleeves out of the dress, and Voila!  I fell in love with it immediately.  

I know some people are purists when it comes to altering designer vintage (ie. "don't do it!"), but I'm of the mind that if changing the length, or removing sleeves, makes an item of clothing look better and get worn more often, then I'm all for it.  I certainly don't think it changed the character of the dress; in fact,  I think it made it just a little more sassy!

I was experimenting with some lighting effects that came with my new Photoshop Elements software, and I think this one suited the retro vibe I was channelling with my red bandana and Madge glasses.

So, what do you think?  Should designer vintage be preserved in it's original state, or, should we feel free to alter it to make it wearable?  Keep in mind, I'm not advocating that you hack up a pristine Chanel or Schiaparelli.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Pride Comes in Many Colours - Part 2

This was my favourite photo of the day.  I noticed the woman wearing the rainbow lei (in the centre of the photo) sitting by herself in front of a senior's residence on Queens Ave., watching the parade, and went over to chat with her.  I told her how nice it was that she had come out to support the parade, especially when it was so hot, and she replied, "Not bad for 93, huh?"  I immediately ran back into the parade and pointed her out to the Derby Girls, who cheered, and then ran up to her for a photo.  She loved every minute of it, as did the Forest City Derby Girls!

 Wonder Woman was there to provide some bubbles

Pink and green is one of my favourite colour combinations!  This participant had the good sense to bring a parasol for protection from the blazing sun.

 Mother and daughter, skating with London's Loco (low contact) Derby group

There was certainly no missing this man's pride colours!   He travels to various Pride celebrations during the summer, selling rainbow-coloured merchandise to raise money for charity.