Saturday, August 16, 2014

August Randoms

This summer has been the hottest in a long time so there's been very little time to chill for lap top dates to update all things SOAF.  But here are little tidbits...

Is that astroturf on the cafe table?!?

Another H-Clic Clac to add to the family. This one is a belated Momma's Day gift!

They seriously named these shooters Iguana something..
What's trippy is that my friend's clutch was the some colour!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Quirky & Colourful - Paris HC Street Style

Paris Haute Couture week is in full swing and the street style photos so far give the impression that some of these fashionistas are trying to out-do each other in the quirky category, non? Not that I mind, I love eclectic and experimental ensembles. The fun is in the mixing!

All photos except top right are by Tommy Ton courtesy of

All photos by Tommy Ton courtesy of

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Found: Seasons old Celine

A couple weeks back I joined other suburban moms and scoured Winner's. There on the clearance rack was a Celine skirt from Spring 2011 Runway. Still pricey by Winner's standards, but it was in near perfect condition. If the pattern looks familiar, that is probably because a well known self-worshipping rapper wore a women's shirt from that collection to perform at Coachella that year. He made headlines in the fashion world.

Anyhow, here is the skirt next to its runway presentation at Paris Fashion Week. Of course it looks completely different on me. I need to finish altering the waist and figure what to pair it with.. when I have more time!

Photo on right: Monica Feudi/

Phoebe Philo's choices of patterns and colours made a few pieces from that collection fairly distinct that season. Here is my style crush, Australian Vogue style director Christine Centenera, in a pair of S/S 2011 pants:


Style Inspiration

Leave it to life to get in the way of all things fun! Since going back to work after mat leave I haven't had much time to stalk social media or my favourite fashion resources.. so I allowed myself to slip into fashion apathy. Sad. Then I saw an Instagram photo of my friend KK at an event and it woke me up from my stupor. The photographer's hashtag of #stylelesson sums it up. She's a momma of 3 and General Director for Austrian-based Neft Vodka and can (and always did) effortlessly rock a her own unique style.  Who else would consider lace and leopard print?

Instagram photo by Artforma/Nina Tseleva

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Belated Western Canada Fashion Week Spring 2014 Follow up

We nabbed some front row seats with sponsor Belvedeere Vodka!
Wow, where did April go!?! I know why I flaked out on writing any SOAF posts- I returned to work after mat leave, that's why. Everyday I want to walk into the house and just crash. But I suppose it is a necessary adjustment for all working moms, especially new moms. And free time has gone by the way of the dodo bird.. that means less time catching up with most things online. Oh well, many parents manage so I am sure we'll figure things out and eventually whine less.

I have been meaning to post photos from my first outing to WC Fashion Week. It was a great experience and the spring collections were impressive. It sure taught me a lesson to pay more attention to local design talent!

L: My favourite look from the Stanley Carroll collection, Photo by Kelly Rosborough
R: Prints by Impair, Photo by June Nino Chua
A look from Jessica Halabi. Left photo's mine and right photo caught me taking it!
R: Photo by June Nino Chua

French-inspired looks by Grady Bleu. Photo by Ferd Isaac

A captivating gown by Melanie Rowe.. and moi caught texting. :)

And to answer my own question from my previous post about what to wear... I went with a 3.1 Phillip Lim dress, Chanel jacket & clutch, and Balenciaga glove booties!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Western Canada Fashion Week Spring 2014

A peek at the Odain Crowther Creations show, which ran March 28, 2014
Photo: Simply Captured Photography c/o WCFW Flickr photostream

It has never occurred to me that I can support the local fashion scene and attend Western Canada Fashion Week. It is open to the public! I've looked into volunteering a few years back but was deterred by the idea of going through auditions- to provide unpaid services behind the scenes it shouldn't be such a process, really. Well, we are finally taking the plunge and going to attend this year, which runs March 27 - April 3, 2014.

My friend and I are going to be in the audience on the final evening, April 3. Here's the designer lined up:

Collection – Stanley Carroll Men’s and Women’s
Collection – Jessica Halibi
Collection Melanie Rowe
Collection – grady bleu Kathleen O’Grady (Saskatoon, SK)
Nina Athanasiou (Munich, Germany)

We are pretty excited and hope to see some cool clothes. The question is... what to wear?!? 

Check out the WCFW site for more event info and tickets.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Post MJ Louis Vuitton

LV Fall/Winter 2014 RTW
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/ Getty Images
Monica Feudi
LV Fall/Winter 2014 RTW
Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/ Getty Images

Leave it to Nicolas Ghesquière to breathe some edginess to Louis Vuitton RTW after 14 years of March Jacobs-isms. His much anticipated debut collection for LV was presented yesterday with positive reviews thus far- the clothes are wearable and have a touch of the NG flair that was much missed at Balenciaga. Most critics commented that they haven't been this excited over LV accessories in a long time. There is a definite fresh shift brought by the diamond stripes on bags and boots. I may be a convert yet. Nicole Phelps wrote "Few designers are as beloved, respected, or copied as Ghesquière is.." in her review. A resounding success of a first collection, I would have to say.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Prairie Chick walks for Paris Couture

Four creations by Melany Rowe Designs Spring 2014, Paris
Photo: The House of Road Photography

My world has been topsy-turvey recently so getting this story together has been an uplifting distraction. I am tremendously proud of our friend, Kimberly Hanna, who had the dream opportunity to model at this year's Paris Haute Couture Week for Melany Rowe Designs. Kim is also a fellow prairie chicken (sorry, inside joke) and she has plenty of local modelling experience with an impressive portfolio. Not only that, those longs legs gracefully carry the most exuberant, down-to-earth person with a genuine heart of gold. There's no faux buttering here- she is a fantastic gal. Since I could not accept the insanely tempting invitation to join the team in Paris this year, I asked Kim if she could put together a fashion diary for us. I'm sure there are one or two other prairie (and beyond) fashion bunnies who won't mind joining me in living vicariously through Kim just a wee bit!

Here is her diary....


Living in a small city in the prairies, I never dreamed, as a thirty year old mother of two, that I would have the honor of modelling in up and coming designer, Melany Rowe. Nor have I dreamed that I would be walking in her debut show at Paris’ Spring 2014 Haute Couture Fashion Week. The preparation for this journey came fast and furious and it left me feeling nervous and excited throughout the entire journey. I was ecstatic when I was asked to keep a journal of my experience for S.O.A.F Digest…so here are some of my favorite moments of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 
Day One… 
So it begins...
Photo: Kimberly Hanna
After two sleepless days, I arrived at the Calgary Airport where I met two complete strangers with whom I would be sharing my journey- and bunking with. The final event was confirmed at the last minute. Thanks to our marvelous travel agent for pulling a great itinerary together, the three of us managed to include three additional days in London before getting to Paris. You can only imagine the trouble a model, makeup artist, and photographer can get into while traveling together! Our journey began just as interesting as the rest...whenever we asked for something, somehow fate delivered. When one of us commented that a bottle of wine would be the icing on the cake for our journey, it happened. For instance, I am a nurse and an emergency required my skills during our flight. As a thank you for my time, the airline gave me a bottle of wine! Needless to say every day on this journey something similar occurred. 
Day Three… 
We will blame jet lag, not the cider, for not seeing day light until the third day of our journey. We stayed in a quaint village close to the airport and visited London by train. We did a photo shoot in the city and we got quite the looks while on the train with me wearing full boudoir hair and makeup. Thankfully, the clothes I did not change into until we arrived at the famous London Victoria train station. We took our time walking through the streets of London, soaking in all the historic buildings and views until we arrived at our photo shoot destination, the Buckingham Palace. The entire shoot was extremely surreal. The British were shocked to see me being photographed and it did not take long until more people were taking photographs of us instead of the palace. 
London shoot
Photo: House of Road Photography

Day Four… 
It was an interesting day of transit on trains from using the Eurorail to the Paris metro. This was my first taste at being in a country where English was not widely spoken. Every moment I was secretly thanking my teacher, Madame Hawryliw, for my years of French immersion. This was the perfect time to put her hard work to the test. The Paris metro left me in tears, but that frustration dissipated when we finally arrived at our destination.  After exiting the metro station and a short walk later, I looked to my left and saw the breathtaking beauty of the Eiffel Tower. Lit up in all its glory, it seemed to have made the troubles we had encountered all worthwhile. 
Once we settled in to our nice hotel, the Best Western Premiere Trocadero, we caught a cab to our fitting. The cab skillfully wove through the cobblestone streets to a stop at large blue door- I must note that hidden treasures can be found behind almost every door in Paris. We entered the door and found ourselves in a beautiful courtyard. We then went up an incredibly large staircase to the top floor suite, in which all the treasures one could desire where found.  It was an evening of trying on extravagant gowns and getting them fitted perfectly. This was also my first meeting with the amazing Melany Rowe and her dream team which included her first hand assistant and jewelry designer, Sandy Woodhead. I also had the pleasure of meeting Dany Dombi and Maya Haraghi of the M&D Agency.  I was fascinated at the calmness of this group of people, especially since they were diligently searching for a missing suitcase that had been “lost” in transit. This lost luggage just happened to contain the prized show piece as well as all of the main jewelry accessories. 
Day Five… 
The day of the main event has finally arrived! All of the models that have joined us the evening prior and although they had very little sleep, they all looked effortlessly fabulous. I started the day off with a journey by foot across the city with Jordie Hennigar, from the House of Road Photography, towards the famous Avenue de Champs-Elysees with its luxury shops, cinemas, and cafes. As you walk around the streets of Paris you cannot help but soak in the historical sights and the smells of amazing bakeries that line every street. We were in search of a new card for her camera and a place to print off my modeling cards. I am pleased to say neither of us were disappointed and we found what we needed. 
That afternoon we all arrived at the famous Hotel Napoleon, which was the perfect setting for Melany Rowe’s debut show. In fact, the show was such a well-kept secret that even the hotel itself was not aware of the event. This is a common practice that keeps the paparazzi at bay, in attempts to protect the famous guests attending. I was quite thankful for my French skills, as half the models and almost the entire hair and makeup team did not speak English. Somehow we all managed to find ways to communicate. It turns out that smiling may be indeed the universal language that all Canadians seem to be equipped with. 
I was lucky enough to have the most talented Murielle Hairstyle Coiffure to perform what only can be compared to a modern day hair miracle on my hair. In a matter of minutes, she whipped my hair into a miraculous piece of art that echoed the Marie Antoinette era. Next I was given what I can only describe as a makeup facial by the very talented Karissa Makowecki, from Edmonton’s own Karissa Brynn Makeup. 
The part that viewers miss out on about most fashion shows is the sweet sights and sounds of the organized chaos backstage. Women of different ethnicity, speaking no language in common, came together, helping one another adjust, and perform finishing touches on the creations we were privileged enough to wear. 
The scene was set. A beautiful ensemble of slow, sensual music played Melody Gardot’s “Baby I’m A Fool” while a collection of beautiful women in the most extravagant gowns one could imagine floated through the room. They all glistened in the sea of flashes that captured the beauty of each beautiful ensemble. Melany Rowe, Canadian designer and full time mother of four, dazzled the audience with her glamorous collection at her premiere showing at Haute Couture Fashion Week. The majority of the gowns were sheer masterpieces with strategic lace and intricate bead placement, and were adorned with phenomenal beaded accessories designed by Sandy Woodhead. The only way I could describe being able to wear one of these masterpieces is nothing short of getting to live out every little girl’s fantasy of being a glamorous woman.

Behind the scenes and on the runway, Melany Rowe Designs Spring 2014, Hotel Napoleon, Paris
Photos (Clockwise from left): The House of Road Photography, Marc Augustin-Viguier, Oliver Guyot

The show itself was short and sweet sweet, followed by a very intimate champagne social. The guests had the rare opportunity to mingle with models that donned the beautiful gowns so that everyone could see the intricate designs up close. Countless influential fashion people from around the world, too numerous to name them all, were present. I had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people I hope to have the pleasure of meeting again.
One particular guest that stood out for me was the fabulous Tanya Drouginska, who has aged finer than wine. She is a very sought after actress and top model in Europe and she has helped redefine the world of modelling by showing the world that beauty is not restricted to age. Her work is always thought-provoking and inspiring, and I was honoured to have been in her presence. 
The evening was nothing short of spectacular and it finished off with a champagne toast in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate the fulfillment of the first of many dreams for everyone involved, including the amazing designer herself.
Day Six… 
After enjoying a delightful breakfast in bed of amazing pastries from a local bakery just down the street from our hotel, we received an invitation to meet the famous Ann Li, of for lunch at the highly sought after Kong Restaurant. This amazing restaurant has been highly featured in the media, including “Sex and the City”. The food was just as spectacular as the panoramic views and the entire experience from start to finish was worth every euro! If you have the option of splurging just once on your journey, I would highly recommend spending the money to dine at the Kong. 
Our group was then joined by a rather famous photographer, Saul Aguilar of Saaggo’s Photography and his friend Alistair Wheeler, who is presently transitioning from architectural photography to portraiture photography. They offered to be our personal tour guide of Paris, where we eventually ended up at the Notre Dame Cathedral. I cannot begin to describe the intricate designs in the architecture of this church that was built in 1160. It was an unforgettable experience, and I was so thankful that we happened to have two very talented photographers to capture our excursion there. 

The token sight-seeing shot and lunch at Kong
Photos: Kimberly Hanna
Day Seven… 
Being a model, you figure out how to make the cobble stone streets appear as though they were designed for stilettos… and that the wet, dreary weather was no obstacle for wearing a sheer, extravagant gown that provided no shelter from the elements. Our day of shooting Melany’s gowns may have cost one motorist his back tail light, for I’m afraid he was in awe of Melany’s creations more than he cared for his vehicle. 
The streets of Paris were charming and provided a beautiful background for these gowns. One of my favorite locations that we used was a beautiful carousel that’s within view of the mighty Eiffel Tower. It was such an unforgettable evening. Tourists and locals stopped to take photographs of us being photographed. The images I’m certain shall be supreme and I eagerly wait to see how they will turn out..
Last day... 

Our group is now back to our original three… and we returned to our little town of Horley on the London outskirts that we have now come to love. We were delighted to hear that a small pub in a neighboring community had arranged for a going away party for us. This trip was nothing short of amazing and we have all been offered an opportunity to return to Paris in the very near future. So rather than saying goodbye, we assured the party-goers that this was a mere ‘Until We Meet Again’ party <3  

- Kimberly Hanna

My Favourite Things...

The last member of the von Trapp family, Maria, passed away last month at 99 years of age. The von Trapp family story was portrayed in the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic "The Sound of Music". Since I've been singing "Do-Re-Mi" and "My Favourite Things" to my little guy since  he was little-r... here's my tribute of sorts with a snap shot of a couple of my favourite things. :)

(Perhaps only handbag junkies will understand!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Style on the slopes

Our little family just spent the weekend in the interior BC Rockies where we had to split our riding time between two awesome mountains, Kicking Horse and Revelstoke, due to avalanche road closures. Thanks to the greatest father in law who joined us, our little guy had some grampy bonding time to give mommy and daddy a chance get out on our snowboards.

The point of this post is simply to share a three observations I noticed at both places...

1) Almost everyone (95-98%) wore helmets!! Great to see people riding and skiing responsibly. Even 4-5 years back, quite a large crowd were still, like..uh.. too cool to wear proper head gear! Or maybe they are still lurking around Sunshine & Lake Louise, closer to Calgary where we used to go? who knows?

2) If you are on a mission to have a snowboarding jacket or pants to stand out so that your riding partners can spot you from a mile away... never fear being bold. There is always someone sporting something more brighter and ostentatious, and they are still so cool. The most rad plaids are perfect for the hills! My age-old teal was fairly neutral in comparison. And with the Sochi Olympics going on, we saw lots of Team Canada jerseys. Bright with pride!

3) Gone are the days where Burton snowboards have a monopoly slope side. Don't get me wrong, I used to be a Burton girl head to toe. They make great gear. However, we noticed every second rider was strapping into Lib Tech or Gnu... everywhere we turned. Hurray for the little Mervin worker elves in Washington who still hand-make every single board! My hubby has a Lib TRS, my bro has a T-rice and I have a Gnu B Street from a couple seasons ago. We have no shame in being sheep in this sense. Baaaahhh...

That's just my 3 pennies worth... if you haven't been to Kicking Horse or Revelstoke, I'd recommend Revy because the snow was just sooooo fluffy I could die!! *Copyright "Despicable Me"*

Friday, February 14, 2014

Fantasy Getaway: Orient Express

I’ll have to credit my sweet hubby for telling me about a retro train that you can take from London to Venice via Paris. What he discovered is actually the Venice Simplon-Orient Express which offers luxury train journeys to Venice, Paris, London, Brussels, Bucharest, and Istanbul. The trains cars are works art in the Art Deco style and they are restored original cars from the 1920’s and 30’s. Throughout history, the Orient Express is the transportation setting for aristocracy, royalty, spies, and artists- in fiction and reality. A journey across the European continent would be a delightful experience with a romantic step back in time to the golden age of travel and the panoramic views of the ever changing landscape enroute. Such a journey does coutte trop chère for the train ride alone, so it will have fall into the fantasy category for now and it makes for a perfect fantasy get away post. 

As the travel literature states “you can never be overdressed aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient Express”. Music to my day dreamers ears! The fine dining and exquisite wines served are "uncompromisingly luxurious" and would make you forget about the 2 star Air Canada service you got on your way to catch the train.. only if you counted pretzels and beverages service. Wardrobe for all occasions on board? I picture Audrey Tatous’s style in her Chanel #5 commercials or Marion Cotillard in Dior’s Lady Blue Shanghai mini movie… and of course, this jacket as worn by my hero, Christine Centenera. Just lovely...

Definitely, we have an Orient Express journey on our bucket list or just for kicks, I may suggest it to my friends for our 40th birthday trip... if one of us wins the lottery! hehe :)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Happy St Valentines!

I must say this heart is much more appealing than any Valentine's confection ever!

Photo: Fashionphile Instagram

Friday, January 31, 2014

A Stylish German Affair

Photography: D Meyer & H Günther

My dear friend Nadia tied the knot with her sweetheart, Niclas, last month with a small, intimate wedding in Braunschweig, Germany. As a designer, Nadia's career has given her opportunities to study, work, and live in Milan, Moscow, and Shanghai. I always admired her free spirt and sophisticated sense of style since meeting her. She also introduced me to that delicious seabuckthorn tea at Vogue Cafe in Moscow! So it's only natural that her choice in wedding gown would emanate her poise and elegance. I loved the subtle details in the sheer sleeves and even the discreet hair adornment was sublime. And well, a handsome groom perfectly completes the setting, too!

Photography: D Meyer & H Günther

The two lovebirds met while they were both living in Shanghai and will now call Berlin home. Best wishes and much happiness for the lovely couple.. xo

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Street Store.. and how you can host your own

Printable signs from

The first ever pop up charity "store" hit a street in Cape Town, South Africa this past Tuesday. The premise of this novel idea is to allow the neighbourhood homeless to browse donated clothing, pick out what they like.. all the while enjoying a retail experience without a cash transaction. There are assistants to help them and package up their "purchases". It dignifies the experience for the recipients rather than having clothes just thrown at them.

The beauty of of the idea is one does not need to be a small or large charitable organization to host a Street Store. So long as authorities are notified and permission granted to hang up posters, the "retail space" is rent-free. The founders of the concept, art director Max Pazak and copywriter Kayli Vee Levitan, opted to make the idea open sourced so that anybody anywhere in the world can print out their own cardboard "Street Store" posters and hang up their collection of donatable items and help someone stay warm and keep their feet dry.

I would encourage you to visit The Street Store to be further inspired!

Friday, January 10, 2014

DIY Project - Leather leggings

It has been a long time since I completed my last sewing project. This time I have my sights on reviving a couple of old old pair of leather pants that have been collecting dust in my closet. The going price for a good quality, genuine leather legging is anywhere between $500 - $2000 retail so buying a pair is out of the question. There are other wants higher on the wish list. The mustard/tan coloured one I picked up while backpacking in Italy many moons ago and the black ones I have sported, however they are too loose on my now. Unless you are wearing the hot-as-of-now leather jogging pants or if you prefer the western look, leather pants need to be ultra fitted and skinny otherwise.

Here are examples how they are supposed to look- on two very petite ladies, too!

 I was so close to throwing away the tan pair a while ago, but what a waste of leather. And the black ones I was going to sell... so here goes nothing, right? An update of the completed project may take a while or never at all if I should happen to snap a needle on my sewing machine and take out an eyeball! Hahaha

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Get to know Khujo

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had a happy and joyous holiday season. It's a brisk and nippy start to 2014 where I live. We go through this every year so there is no use in complaining. If we can't beat the cold, we might as well bundle up and look good, right?

Before the holidays, my girlfriend was on a winter coat hunt. Who better to abet a coat obsession than yours truly? I still cocoon in my treasure-of-a-find Moncler S, even after three seasons (including one third trimester of pregnancy, mind you) and I still get lots of compliments on it. And, I am always eyeing up dream coats without fail!

We found a couple lovely navy houndstooth options from both Soïa and Kyo and Cinzia Rocca which were nice... However by chance, she stumbled across a one-off cream coloured single breasted 3/4 length one while browsing at Simons and it screamed "The One". It would have been love at first sight for me, too! It's by a brand I've never heard of before: Khujo. And there are no lacking in details with a  faux fur collar (removable), lace trimmings (removable), bow-tied belt (removable), inner jacket (removable) and cuffs (you guessed it, removable). Stylish and classic.. and you can personalize it! For less than $300, that's a fairly democratic price point for a decent, warm coat.

Here is the beautiful C modelling her awesome coat:

I am guessing the brand name must sound like the nick name of the NHL goalie, Curtis Joseph and despite having a maple leaf as an emblem, the brand is based in Germany. There's not much to read up on the company itself, but I found from a European online retailer that Khujo was established in 1997 in Hamburg, Germany. The designer, Tobias Schneider was inspired to do cool, vintage looking jackets from old movies. Well, we like it already and hope to see a bit more of their stuff around!

Photo: from Khujo's Facebook page