Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inflence: It doesn't suck!

Oh me, oh my

On Friday I went to the library in search of books on YSL for my French ISU. After finding what I went looking for, I decided to browse the stacks because a) I was bored and b) I had half an hour to kill. During my browsing what should I stumble upon but 'Influence', a book written by the Olsen twins, the girls who brought us such hits as 'Passport to Paris' and 'New York Minute' (well, maybe 'hits' isn't the right word). With a smirk, I checked it out, eager to see what these skinny rich girls who I didn't really think much of could put together. I was expecting a half-assed group of essays written by them with the help of several high-paid writers explaining their love of shopping or the downside to being billionaires. I expected the worse, and I was wrong.

The Truth

'Influence' is a great coffee table book. The interviews and personal without sacrificing relevance and the photographs are impeccable. The Olsens are clearly very well connected young women!

What stood out to me in this book was the survey that the twins filled out themselves. Titled 'The Proust Survey', its questions actually required some soul-searching and thought. I'll try to write it out, but for now, I'm too lazy.

What can I say? Buy it, borrow it, steal it. Whatever. Just read it. It has its appeals.

To the Olsens: I am sorry for misjugding you. Forgive me.

Topshop NYC (it's about time!)

Something wicked this way comes!

Whenever I go to Europe, I'm constantly on the lookout for a Topshop. Since my first visit (it was to the location in the Plaza del Sol in Madrid) I've been drawn to their selection of eclectic and feisty merchandise. The store just reeks of a youthful sass that is unlike anything else I've ever experienced. But it always made me sad that my only Topshop experiences were European because, sadly, they haven't opened any stores on this side of the pond. Luckily for me, that's all about to change.

After numerous delays, Topshop will finally be opening its first North American store on on April 2nd ie 9 days from now. Yes, it's in SoHo, NYC ie hours away from Toronto, it's a hell of a lot closer than their next closest location in the UK. Fortunately, I will among the first to break in the new store because I'm going to NYC for the opening! Yessir, in little over a week I will be lacing up my most comfortable pair of Chucks and strapping on my elbow pads to fight through the crowds of hipsters and fashionistas desperate to share part of the dream.

I'm terribly excited, but none of that means anything without you there to share it with me. Haha. Right.


EDIT: God damn this recession! Won't be making the voyage down south due to lack of funds. Merde!

Friday, March 20, 2009


University Bound!
Today I got into Ryerson Journalism School ie my first choice. I accepted the offer today so yes, I will be going there next year. Phew. This whole university process is out of my head - that is, until I need to apply for residence. Now, if only the scholarship fairy would come by...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Local Shit: Neogami Origami

Good Samaritan

So recently I was cruising on Craigslist and randomly came across someone's plea to have something translated into French. Seeing as I'm bilingual and the woman worked in fashion, I figured I may as well help her out. I quickly translated the text for her and emailed it back.

The woman in need turned out to be Maggie Krawczky, the Toronto designer behind Neogami Origami Jewellery. We've been corresponding for a bit, and I have to say, her stuff is incredible. Here line of necklaces, earrings, and even those cute things that dangle from cellphones are quirky and different, incorporating natural and at times surreal elements into unique pieces. Here's a small preview of her work. If you'd like to see more, check out http://www.neogami.com/.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ay, joder...

Dios mio!

I'm having way more trouble than I would ever have anticipated finding a travel partner for this summer. I mean, I've found a few friends that can spend a few days with me when our paths cross, but no one with whom to spend 41 consecutive days. This is not good.
Maybe it's wrong of me to expect my friends to be able to travel. I mean, with university looming so close ahead, is it not reasonable for them to be trying to scrimp and save? Reasonable: yes. Convenient for me: not so much.

I myself am fine with the idea of traveling through Europe alone. I don't intend to be involved with any nefarious activities or stalk through the slums late at night. It's just that my father has absolutely forbidden me from going sans partenaires de voyage, alors je suis un peu fucked right now. Hopefully someone will turn up, and I will not have to enjoy Europe through the pages of a Lonely Planet book.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This is a beautiful picture of Zurich, Switzerland: home of the Dada movement, and one of the cities that I hope to visit during my Epic European Adventure this summer.

According to www.coolcapitals.com, it's a pretty hip place to be. In fact, since the early 1900s, Zurich has been a significant hub for intellectuals and creative types looking to pursue discussion and thought. Unfortunately, it hasn't been a hub for fashion designers and fashionistas, but I can see past that. It's the history that I'm there for.

How else can I some up my feelings about Zurich? It is only fitting that I do so in a Dada-inspired poem.


Tall buildings of
Broken porcelain
Conversation hearts munching
Seedy cafes
The best
Fish in the big pot
We call
On the telephone

Insert tongue in cheek now.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Ooo baby, baby b-b-b-baby

Yikes! Talk about unfaithful!

I've been so busy these past few weeks with my Ryerson Fashion Design portfolio that I've not had the time to update. Tres, tres desolee. But I'm here now, and ready to write, write, WRITE!

Well, not really. I'm quite sleepy.

University Updates

I've handed in both my Journalism and Fashion Design portfolios. Already, I am starting to think that I've made dozens of mistakes on both of them. I'm honestly on pins and needles...I think I included items in my journalism portfolio that don't count as journalism. I think I mislabeled something in my fashion portfolio. The anticipation of my rejection/acceptance is killing me softly.

On a brighter note, I was given an early offer of admission to Queen's!! Hazaa! I have somewhere to go now if Ryerson doesn't work out.


I have started planning my route through Europe. I will fly into Paris and take the train to Hamburg, Vienna, Zurich, Bern, Florence, and Rome in that order. It will be a trip of decadence and thrift. All I need to do now is find someone to go with because my father will not let me go without a partner. Grr! The life of a child is never an easy one.

Smells like School Spirit

So last week I went to my school's semi-formal. The music was terrible and the company wasn't on par to last year's (a lot of my good friends couldn't make it/were smart enough to save their cash), but I didn't let that ruin my time. Why? Because I was in one hell of a dress and would not let the crappy atmosphere rain on my parade. Here's a picture.

Dress by Betsy Johnson. Shoes by Guiseppe Zanotti.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Artsy Fartsy

Blurry evidence that awesome patterns and checks do go well together. 

All's not so quiet on the Ryerson front 

Today I finally got my letter in the mail telling me when my Fashion Design portfolio is due in at Ryerson. It's due on the 20th. This means I have 17 days to get everything finished (can't leave things to the last minute, can I?). I need to speed the @#$% up if I want to be done on time. Agreed? 

Every hot chick with a camera thinks she's a photographer 

Today I stuck myself into that box once again by taking profile pictures of several members of the Juice, my school's e-zine. I have to say, they were looking pretty incredible after I was finished editing them. I'll need to seek permission from my subjects if I wish to post them, but I don't see why they should object. 

I do love photography though. I couldn't care less for taking classes or learning all of the technical stuff though. I just like coming up with cool ideas for pictures and fooling around with my DSLR until I have just the shot I want. 

Writing News 

I got my short story back from Writer's Craft yesterday and, much to my pleasure, I received a near perfect mark (29.5/30 aint bad!). This just thrilled me because writing fiction is sort of my thing, so I was really worried that I wouldn't do well. I don't want to start tooting my own horn so I'll just stop now. 

Sunday, January 25, 2009

No, Rodarte, I don't think you're sexy

For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few seasons, this is Rodarte.

Now, am I the only person into fashion who does not consider Rodarte to be anything special? It's like everywhere I turn they're being lauded for their amazing fashions.

The designers seem adorable, the style is definitely unlike anything I've ever seen, but the clothing makes me want to gag myself with a toothpick.
Here's the truth: I hate Rodarte.

New project on the block

I went to Fabricland (Canada's source for commercial patterns and overpriced fabrics) in search of a fun pattern to work on. I mostly waded through page upon page of trendy garbage until I found this lovely pattern. I'll be making the blue one in the back. I bought this HAMAZING orange fabric (grrr...I can't remember what it's called). I hope to have this thing done by the end of next week. Why the end of next week? Because I'm lazy and busy: the worst combination for any wannabe seamstress.

The fabric wasn't cheap ($30/m? WTF??) so I'll need to be super careful and, more importantly, not waste any of it. This will be my magnum opus...or so I hope.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Frocks for Spring

Though winter shows no sign of ending soon in this God-forsaken country (I mean this jokingly--- I'm sure God's still kicking around here somewhere), I can't get on to a computer without browsing longingly at dresses that won't be practical until the warmer weather comes around. Here are some of the ones I was lusting after today...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Evidence that fashion is not just a way of occupying idiots

Fashions come and fashions go, but style reigns eternal. Or something like that. Ughh excuse this lapse in memory. I'm usually pretty good with quotes. Anyways, I'm all for the classics, but there's something so deliciously decadent about indulging in the passing trends that we all know are born to die. This is why there is a fashion industry, but no style industry.

I've read many a fashion blog, but very few have totally absorbed me. This is mostly because they individuals writing them usually spend all of their time critiquing different collections from a pretentious eye or carefully breaking down what's in style. Where's the fun in that? No where. Because it doesn't exist in these worlds. I believe that fashion, though temporary, is about more than what we see on the catwalk. Fashion is what you wear on your back, what you see in the streets, or, if you're in a position similar to my own, what you see walking past you in the school hallways. It shows a feeling, a mood, a statement. It shows a piece of you to the world without opening your mouth. Fashion is not just art or an expensive luxury. It's a part of life.

And herein lays my passion for fashion, if you will. Fashion is something artistic that carries you through life. Fashion is what people first see when they see you; what changes your mood when you're down; an integral part of your memories. Why else would first-day-of-school frocks and wedding gowns have to be so carefully selected? Fashion defines moments in our lives and, on a grander scale, moments in history. Fashion can tell one so much about different periods in time. The pencil-skirts of the forties remind of the rationing periods of WWII. The sack dress dictates the carefree sentiments that followed WWI. The bold patterns and extremes of the sixties weave the tales of rebellion, freedom, and change that shook the world.

So to all of you who believe that all of us who love fashion and want to dedicate our lives to it, think twice before you call us 'stupid' or 'superficial' because in calling us these things, you are only affirming your own ignorance.


Never put off to tomorrow..

...what you can do tomorrow :P I'm sure you can put it off longer than that. But today I decided to something different. I actually did today something that I could off until February 2nd. Today I handed my application to Ryerson's School of Journalism early. Impressive, non? Bien que je sois contente de l'avoir fait, I can not help but feel a bit nervous. From what I've read, 1500 students apply and only 135 students get in. If this didn't make me feel nervous enough, I also found out that the number of applications to Ontario universities is up by something like 10% this year. Can you spell competition? F-U-C-K.

Silly girl in vintage pearls

From the minute that I got home this afternoon, all that I could think about was finding an internship for the summer. In both the fashion industry and the world of journalism, she who hesitates to intern is lost, so I figure that I might as well start interning as soon as possible. I actually have interned before though. Last summer I worked as a faithful, unpaid "assistant" at House of Spy, a Toronto clothing company. After a summer of cutting, cleaning, tracing, and sewing [on buttons], I really grew to appreciate exactly what it means to work hard!

As I interned at a fashion design place last year, I'm trying to find a magazine to intern at this year. The only problem is that in Toronto, fashion journalism internships aren't exactly springing up like dandelions and I refuse to work for any other type of publication. Luckily, I have family living in NYC (family who, might I add, I didn't know about until last month), so I can also apply for internships there. I know the odds of me getting accepted anywhere without a single year of university experience are slim, but hopefully what I lack in experience I can make up for with moxy (Do people still say 'moxy'? Is 'moxy' spelled 'moxie'??).


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Year in Flats and Sharps: The Top 5 CDs of 2008

This year (well, last year) I picked up a ton of CDs. I'm actually not too sure why I continue to buy them, seeing as it's cheaper to buy them online and cheaper still to download them on Limewire. I guess I'm just a sentimental at heart, trying to savour these remaining days before they go the way of vinyl and Betamax. Anyways, here are the top 5 CDs of 2008 that, after listening to them, I think you should check out too.

Lykke Li - Youth Novels

I'll have to thanks iTunes' new Genius function for recommending this brilliant album. Lykke Li, who's real name is Li Lykke Timotej Zachrisson, has a voice unlike any other that I've heard. It's almost childlike with its vulnerability and purity. Youth Novels, her debut album, is unclassifiable. It's not quite electronic, not quite pop, and definitely not your typical indie album. Her sound is completely and refreshingly unique. There are songs to dance to, songs to cry to, and songs to just hum along with. I can't wait to see how this cute, little Swede will follow-up.

My top songs would have to be "Dance, Dance, Dance", "Time Flies", and "My Love", but her single "Little Bit" seems to be getting rave reviews across the board.

Cat Power - Jukebox

I was really hoping to get Cat Power's (nee Chan Marshall) The Greatest for Christmas, but this one made for a pleasant conciliation prize. I sort of expected that I would like this album before I even tore it out of it's plastic covering. I'd heard many of Cat Power's songs before, and had fallen in love with her lazy, breathy voice and minimalist style that reminded me of a matured Feist (though she's only 4 years Feist's senior). Jukebox, mostly a collection of covers, really makes for easy listening. I've listened to the CD from the first song to the last without once feeling bored. One thing I will say is that, after the first 5 tracks, the songs just start to blend into each other, which is a definite turn-off, albeit a small one.

I'd have to recommend "New York", and "Ramblin' (Wo)man" which are, funnily enough, the first two tracks on the album.

Lady Gaga - The Fame

Our hair is perfect while we're all getting shit-wrecked.

No, this isn't an obnoxious Paris Hilton quote. It's a line from Lady Gaga's "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich". These are the types of lyrics that characterize this first album from Lady Gaga, the voice behind last summer's mega-hit "Just Dance". The song topics are superficial and crass, referencing riding on a guy's "disco stick", making out in the bleachers, and getting wasted among other things. Anyone would assume that these would make for an awful album but, surprisingly, The Fame manages to be very listenable and even got me to sing along unabashadely with it's shallow lyrics. Maybe it was the awesome, pop-electronica melodies, but what I think made the album so bearable was the fact that the lyrics were so absurd. They were just fun and, in this world of deep, profound lyricists, they offer a welcomed escape. Oh, and Lady Gaga, or should I say Stefani Joanne Germanotta actually has a pretty good voice, something that is really rare in this day and age. Who knew?

Check out "Pokerface" (as if you haven't already), "Just Dance", "Boys, Boys, Boys", and "Money Honey" for some campy, decadent fun.

The Black Keys - Attack and Release

Top record all the way. Attack and Release, which is the band's 5th album (7th if you count EPs), delivers the same blues-rock sound as its predecessors while still differentiating itself from them. Lead vocalist Dan Auerbach delivers on every song with the same emotion, and skill that characterized their past recordings. You could put this CD on and not have to press skip once because, as familiar as the sound is, the songs are not all the same. There's a healthy mix of faster songs ("Strange Times", "Oceans and Streams"), slower songs ("All You Ever Wanted", "Things Ain't Like They Used to Be") and those songs that make you just want to drift off to another place ("Psychotic Girl" does it for me).

My top songs would have to be "Strange Times", "So He Won't Break", and "Psychotic Girl". This is an album that I strongly recommend to any music lover.

Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty

Robbers and Cowards was probably my favourite CD of 2007. For that year I was hooked on this indie rock band from California. So when I heard that they were releasing their sophomore album, I was both excited and hesitant. I was hungry for more from the boys from Cali, but I was worried that their second effort wouldn't live up to their first. Luckily, I wasn't disappointed. Loyalty to Loyalty is just as intelligent and, to put it simply, just as good as its predecessor, though it is markedly more raw in terms of vocals and melodies. The album's best quality is that it tells stories that aren't usually told is music, which is what I liked most about Robbers and Cowards.

Best songs? "Dreams Old Men Dream", "Welcome to the Occupation", "On the Night That My Love Broke Through", and "Relief". I must also give honourable mention to "Golden Gate Jumpers", which showed me that yes, it is possible to mention crabs "having their way with you" in a serious song. Poetry.

Honourable Mentions

Shad (rap) - The Old Prince
Hits: "Old Prince Still Lives At Home", "I Don't Really Like To", "Exile"

Britney Spears (pop) - Circus
Hits: "Womanizer", "Blur", "Kill The Lights"

Uh Huh Her (electropop) - Common Reaction
Hits: "Dreamer", "Away From Here", "Explode"

Fine in '09

Happy (belated) New Year!

I know I've been terribly unfaithful to thing blog and, trust me, nobody regrets it more than me. In the end, it's only my writing that suffers, and my credibility that gets questioned. I've never been one for commitments, but I'm trying.

University Update

Well, I've officially applied to university. It was tough deciding, but I narrowed my choices down to three programs: Journalism at Ryerson, Fashion Design at Ryerson, and French at Queen's. I was really considering applying to Waterloo as well, but in the end I decided that the whole "vibe" there was not for me.

Fashionista Diaries

My Ryerson portfolio has been coming along very slowly. Honestly, I had no idea how much work went into doing the simple things requested, like completing a garment or making good sketches. Like my internship over the summer, working on my portfolio has given me a greater respect for the fashion industry. Hopefully I'll get into the program and be able to learn how to do all of these things more efficiently and, ya know, better.