Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Favorite Show

Earlier this summer I read If You Have to Cry, Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone. She's the owner of a fashion PR company in New York called People's Revolution. I thought it was going to be dumb, I guess because I read a review of it in a fashion magazine, and because I had only heard of her because she was on The City. I've never seen any episodes of The City or The Hills, so I assumed it was all kind of fakery. Anyway, it was a fun summer read and I liked it more than I anticipated because of her honesty, snide wit and lack of pretense. She had a pretty crazy young life and worked incredibly hard to build her business, and while she has a reputation for being really harsh she also has this sincere earth-mother protectiveness that is inspiring. Her advice for aspiring fashion slaves seemed pretty accurate.

Soooo... she has a show on Bravo called Kell on Earth. Karl downloaded the first season for me and it's so entertaining. It follows her and her company through the process of promoting and organizing fashion shows for fashion week. There's all the interpersonal drama, as well as the stuff that really goes on in the fashion industry. I'm always bothered by the glamorous facade of the business and it's nice to see some reality. Beyond the glossily edited air-kisses, gift bags and over-sized sunglasses, backstage is at best barely functioning madness and at worst a shitstorm of failure, and it makes for compelling TV.

It's so refreshing to see a smart, ballsy, bossy woman running the show and yelling at incompetent underlings. She looks like the last person you'd imagine living and breathing fashion all day everyday: no makeup, hair undone, floppy black layers and schlumpy sweats, but it does help you believe that she works really hard. She also seems like an awesome single mom and someone who cares really deeply about her integrity and about raising her employees into powerful, smart women.

She makes a point of stressing how difficult and demanding the fashion industry is, and how important it is to have very high standards. I worry that the logic that leads some people to pursue a career in fashion is "I like to shop = I should work in fashion". No and no. The highest up and hardest working women on this show are the most bedraggled and haggard looking ones. It's the cute young things with glossy lips and hot clothes that are getting bitched out and sent packing. I love my job, but I put in long days and I work hard the whole time. And I get paid peanuts. Tell is like it is, sister.

I'm going to be pissed when I finish the last episode!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweet Spring

I set up this scheduled fashion show post, because I'm not home - had to go to a real fashion show. For someone who works in the fashion industry I have disappointingly little patience for most fashion shows in Vancouver. I won't go into my complaints, but I'm bucking up and going to the VCC grad show. If I can see and it starts relatively on time we're well on our way to success.

Anywhooo, I'm such a freaking girl. Give me flowers and lace and pretty dresses and I'll be your friend. Erdem, I'll be your friend. It may not be groundbreaking (is anything really?) but it's so wearable and I think there's always a place for fresh femininity.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Looking Forward

It was my birthday this weekend and I think it was the most low-key one in thirty-one years. It's just kind of a blah number, and I kept thinking about the celebration options and didn't really latch on to anything. Nothing sounded better than tea and sweets with my girls, and I'm glad that's the route I went. No hangover, no sore feet, no empty wallet. It all sounds too sensible in hindsight, but I love just hanging out with my friends and maybe next year with inspire a party.

I also had some time this weekend to sift through some of the spring collections and pick a few favorite from my photo files. Was it just me or was there a lot of boring stuff on runways? Oh, I guess it's called minimalism, but it doesn't do it for me. I guess in the 90's I respected the Jil Sander/Helmut Lang vibe because it was refreshing and clean and some lines were really exceptionally well made and tailored. Now it looks a little flat and at times lazy, but I'm always more interested in colour, prints, volume, details, femininity etc., so that's just me.
Anyway, pretty pretty Etro. I love the colour combinations and the cut of the pants and the kinda late 70's sophisticated ethnicity and softness.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Perspectives

My parents gave me my birthday present a little early, because they where in town for a couple of days. Part of the gift was a new little tripod - it's super cute and has bendy legs so it can go anywhere. My mom said it was time for some new angles, and I fully agree.

I really didn't mean to wear two zebra prints today. I just grabbed the sweater on the way out the door, and didn't even make the connection until much later. I made this stretch lace top at work the other day; don't be surprised if it shows up a fair bit this fall. The lace has a great 70's feel and it's perfect for layering, and I like long sleeves but I'm usually hot at work, so ventilation is key.

Friday, September 24, 2010


photos by Ellen Rogers

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


We loved Portland! We went down the day before the wedding so that we could have some time to check out the city, and it was well worth it. Our hotel was right downtown, and the core of the city is so convenient and walkable, it's amazing. The streets are all quite narrow, and the blocks are really short, so what looks like a long walk on a map is really just a quick jaunt. We ate some great meals - huge portions! - and visited lots of neat shops in some very cool neighborhoods.

For some dumb reason I wasn't really on my photography game, but here are a few. The first four are from the Lan Su Chinese Gardens. It's such a beautiful oasis in the centre of Chinatown. I'm so glad we went in, though I've never even been to the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden here in Vancouver.

This picture is taken looking back at downtown from the Burnside Bridge. Portland is a city of bridges; it makes Vancouver look skimpy. Also a city of cyclists. Almost every street has a full bike lane, and there are bike racks everywhere!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Voodoo Wedding

A wedding is one event that I think people want to be dressed appropriately for, in general. Even the most free-spirited dresser might want to show their respect by dressing in a way that cultural conventions have deemed acceptable, and most of the time the location plays a role in this. Garden wedding: sundress. Fancy hotel ballroom: men in ties. Doughnut shop: ??? Polka dots and purple tights felt right, and I think most of the guests set the tone well. The onlookers above in jeans were innocent bystanders caught in a wedding as they were going about their Saturday doughnut shopping.

My little brother and his lovely bride Ashley tied the knot this weekend in Portland at Voodoo Doughnuts (it's kind of a cult thing) before a dozen friends and family, curious doughnut connoisseurs, and a black velvet painting of Voodoo patron saint Kenny Rodgers presiding above it all. We ate glorious fried pastries in celebration and had a fantastic dinner that confirmed the theory that portion sizes in the US are colossal. Congratulations you crazy kids, and thanks for planning a truly unforgettable and slightly surreal wedding!

Monday, September 13, 2010


I wore this on Saturday, and wanted to take pictures after work, but my camera wasn't home, so I had to recreate it yesterday. The problem was I had just spent four hours cleaning, hadn't had a shower, and was in a hiding mood.

Anyway, the outfit: I figured that it might be the last shorts-day of the year, and I wanted to wear these green ones from that great thrift store in Chemainus. It also turned out to be the first shearling vest-day of the year. And I just kept throwing stuff on. More green, black lace, ancient sheer socks with hearts, leopard heels... it kind of made sense to me.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I loved each individual shot in this editorial: the colours, the styling, the cute dresses and shoes. The problem was that looking at the whole long spread, I was feeling a little dizzy. Every picture is shot like these ones - she's upside down, and it spun my head around. I wish I had the magazine so I could flip it over and look at it the other way around!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Borscht Night

Beet harvesting outfit

The vegetable garden didn't have the best year. It was so cool and rainy for so long, then it switched overnight to hot and dry; I think it shocked the plants. But a few things made their way to our plates: zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, and yes, beets tonight. Deep purple borscht with dill and creme fraiche! Worth dressing up for...

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Crush

I've never had a pair of loafers fill me with love like these do! I think I had black loafers in junior high and high school, but they were too plain to move me like these do. For one thing, they are (were) really high-end and great quality. They fit so well, like it's been my feet in there for a decade and not someone else's! And they have great details: the brown croc suede, the gold buckle, the top-stitching.

The turquoise and silver earrings are a new thrift score too. They were originally screw-back, but I have a jewelry connection who soldered on regular posts -thanks Elsa! I feel like I could wear them every day. When I look at this outfit I feel like I've admitted that fall is on it's way!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

blue glow

A bunch of my recent thrift finds: blouse, skirt, belt and shoes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fall Cleaning!

Perhaps fuelled by a rare afternoon coffee, I did a whirlwind closet cleaning last night. It was long overdue and felt very therapeutic. For months now I've been shoveling through my drawers and making a mess of my closet and it feels so good to have gone through everything, tried things on, and done some serious sorting and organizing. Fall cleaning is just as important as spring cleaning; I always think of September as a sort of New Years anyway. Now my drawers have some breathing room, my closet is controlled chaos, and I have two boxes of clothes to hide away at the back of the closet until I can really commit to getting rid of them. I'm a little sentimental and a little thrifty, so it's hard on several levels to say goodbye to "perfectly good" clothes.

One of the most satisfying things I did was the "hand-wash, iron, mend or alter" sort. It feels so good to know that all my clothes are ready for action. I hate pulling out a blouse to wear only to notice a mark or an odor or the fact that it's obviously been crunched at the bottom of a pile. I took a bag of things into work today, and with a few quick stitches I extended the life of some good basics and restyled a couple of questionable thrift store finds. Yay! Now I feel worthy of all my great clothes. I think it was sunk into my head in childhood that if I wanted all these clothes I had to take care of them. I try, but sometimes I get a little bit behind!