Shoe Artist

I recently visited the Bata Shoe Museum to see the Manalo Blahnik Exhibit and I was not disappointed. I saw the work of a true artist and I understand why these shoes are sought after with such fervor. The craftsmanship that goes into every design is why the price tag is so high.

Fun Fact – Manolo Blahnik designed the footwear for the movie Marie Antionette by Sofia Coppola.

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He was influenced by his Spanish and Czech roots. Check out the Pom Poms on these shoes which are a reminder of National Czech folk costumes.

 

My favourite piece was this boot. Totally my style!

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Definitely worth checking out! The show is on until early January 2019.

Italian Heritage Month

June is Italian Heritage Month in Canada so of course I’m celebrating!

Italy is known for fashion and luxury brands. My favs are Gucci, Prada and Fendi for accessories. From Prada I have a vintage nylon cross-body that is my “go-to” on the weekends. My “hack” to make this bag useful is by inserting a organizer so my stuff doesn’t tumble around in there. I also have a pair of espardrilles and peep-toes. When buying designer shoes (even on sale) always lean toward the classics. You want to get your money’s worth and wear them for many seasons.

Fendi is all about vintage for me. I have had this backpack and circle bag for many years. I love the double FF pattern.

Gucci is a recent love for me. These bags are pure Italian luxury for me.

Italian style without the hefty price tags? It’s possible but you need to look for it. This patterned bomber jacket was a steal at Winners for $59 and this jumpsuit is a collab between Missoni and Anthropologie. $170 vs $1160.

Taste of Italy is super easy to find in the6ix. My fav spot for a quick bite or an after work prosecco is Sud Forno. Try it! For arancini and polenta fries CIBO is my “go-to” to get my fix.

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J’adore DIOR

Recently I visited the ROM to see the J’adore Dior exhibit. The exhibit celebrates Toronto’s connection to Dior couture and Dior’s 70th Anniversary.

It featured the ROM’s collection of Dior dresses donated by Toronto socialites. The show was small but well curated. It told the story of Toronto’s love affair with Dior dresses. The entire design process was explained so you could see a garment from start to finish. One outfit was a strapless dress for evening that came with an buttoned vest for daytime. So practical for a busy 1950’s lady.

So many favourites…

I loved this pinstripe taffeta with the pink sash. It has a very modern top and the menswear inspired fabric with the feminine full skirt is a great contrast. This blue and grey ribbon dress has so much detail and embellishment and yet it was such a simple cut. The dress to the left and behind is made up of white cotton ribbon and black linen. Both are studies in embellishment and simplicity.

These 2 black dresses are so chic. The draping of the gown on the left takes a lot of skill and would have needed several fittings with the client to make it perfect! The tailoring of the black day dress on the right screams sophistication. All that’s missing is the big black sunglasses and cartwheel hat.

When I saw this black dress on the right I knew I had some pieces in my closet that to make a Dior look. This skirt has a tulip flared bottom similar to the Dior dress and the fitted jacket with the belt cinches my waist like this dress and several others in the collection.

This show is must-see for all fashionistas but hurry it ends April 8.

Tweed the Season

Coats are a “must-have” in Canada and multiple coats are a necessity in Toronto. Fall can bring rain, wind, cold, damp –you get the picture. As the cooler weather sets in it’s good to have various choices for outerwear. That’s why I added this Sisley Tweed Coat to my outerwear wardrobe.

I picked this coat up at the outlet just outside Udine for 47 euros ($70 CAD). STEAL!!!! The colour and retro shape of this coat are what attracted me to it. Burgandy has been a hot colour for Fall for the past 2 seasons and it works well with my skin tone and hair colour. This tweed also has grey and pink in it so the possibilities for looks are endless. The high collar of this coat provides protection against wind and cold. I can tuck in a silk scarf that peaks out of the collar or wrap a long scarf around the outside. The bracelet length sleeve shows off my leather gloves.

 

 

Fashion Motives (IFS)

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Motivi (Motives) is a clothing brand that is part of a larger apparel group from the 1930s. So many of Italy’s brands started in the early 20th century as family businesses which either grew into bigger groups by acquiring labels or becoming luxury brands like Prada, and Bruno Cucinelli.

Motivi is a casual/work wear brand for women. The clothes are elegant with great detailing. I purchased 2 tops from Motivi because I couldn’t decide between them and  they had a BOGO promotion going on.

CREATIVITY HAS NO BORDERS

I love this saying. I live by this saying because I don’t allow my creativity to get fenced in.

I styled 2 monochrome looks for these slogan tops.

The black sweat top has cold shoulders with lace detailing. I love the ultra feminine lace with the slouchy, athletic top. Black leggings and high lace-up moto boots complete the look.

The burgundy tee also had lace cutouts and frills to finish the shoulder. My cousin Sabry preferred this top because of the colour and way it fit me. I paired this top with bordeaux jeans and my rose gold Superga sneakers. I love the way the sunlight hits these sneakers.

Italian Fashion Series (IFS)

I’m dedicating my blog to my recent trip to Italy via the purchases I made.

I shopped some great brands in Northern Italy’s hotbed of casual wear. Then selected some beautiful artisan pieces in the heel of Italy – Puglia.

1st Stop – Citta Fiera, Udine

This shopping mall is the biggest in the area. It had some great stores like OVS, Benetton, Zara, Motivi – to name a few. The food court had a great bar that served gelato. If you’re a follower of modacarta you know from reading 25 Days 25 Looks I recently went through radiation treatment for Endometrial Ovarian Cancer and it caused some changes in my body. The main one is a sensitivity to dairy. Very sad news when you’re in Italy and surrounded by gelato. Lucky for me I rediscovered my love of lemon gelato.

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1st Purchase

The very first thing I bought was Rose Gold Superga sneakers. Superga is an Italian sneaker brand that recently went through a resurgence through collabs with The Row and other fashion brands. Rose coloured and embellished sneakers is a huge trend for fall 2017 and these were a steal at 44 euros or $62CAD. The fabric is canvas with a rose gold varnish which makes them water resistant.

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DIY Project

I wanted these sneakers to be more on trend so I decided to add satin ribbon laces. It’s super easy!

Buy some satin ribbon in a colour that matches the sneakers. Measure the ribbon to the laces and add about an extra inch. Tape the ends of the ribbon to make it easier to thread. Remove the tape once the ribbon is threaded and dip the end into some clear glue. This will seal the end and keep it from fraying.

Here’s how they turned out. I love them!

Up next – Motivi

Black & White Study

This week’s inspiration came from a  number of different sources. Year of the Rooster had me thinking about plumage and Chanel’s Haute Couture Show gave me ideas on how to create fantastic dresses aceented with feathers.

Chanel showed floaty, feathery, uber feminine dresses in a very monochromatic palette of black and white. I decided it was time to use up the feathers I had from the fascinator project int he summer.

I think the dolls look elegant in their feathery gowns. What inspires you to create?

 

Italian Haul

I’ve been back for a couple of weeks from my trip to Italy and as always I was depressed to leave la dolce vita and return to my everyday vita. That being said, my everyday vita allows me to live la dolce vita for short periods of time. On to the fashion and the shopping…

ITALIAN STYLE

Having visited both the North and South on this trip I can say the style language is very different. The North boasts Milan – fashion capitol of the world and mecca for modern art and design. Northern Italian woman love their jeans and even if they are ripped to shreads, they are styled with lovely ballet flats or neat, clean sneakers + a blouse or crisp white shirt. You won’t see a pair of dirty, grungy Converse anywhere. You see neat, tidy Converse or Stan Smiths.

The South is totally different. It was still full summer in Sicily. Women were more bohemian in dresses and frilly tops paired with flat sandals and high heels.

THE HAUL

Shopping was not the number 1 priority but I did take advantage of every opportunity made available. My primary shopping was done at Foxtown in Mendrisio, Switzerland. It is about a 40 minute drive from Milan and on every Asian Tour of Italy package. It is no Great Lakes or Sawgrass or any other big outlet Mall you can think of, but the quality of high end designer stores is what makes it famous.

I focused my attention on handbags and footwear. Specifically Gucci. img_2935I wanted to celebrate the completion of my certificate in Digital Strategy from U of T with a Gucci Bag. I did my research so I knew what styles I liked and I definitely wanted the double GG canvas. I love the rose gold trim and fold over closure on this bag. It holds a ton and also has a cross-body strap. It’s the perfect Forever Gucci bag at less than 1/2 price. This style has been updated for 2016 but the fine straps and hint of pink add a touch of elegance and femininity to this bag.

 

I scored on img_3199ballet flats at Tods. I love Tods shoes. Their driving loafers are famous for comfort and pedal to the metal grip but I’m not a loafer girl – I’m a ballet flat girl. I chose a tri-colour suede and leather combo in royal blue, charcoal and black as well as a deep rose patent leather. These were marked down twice so I basically payed for a regular pair of no-name leather flats but got Tods quality instead.

If you’ve been reading my blog you know I have been searching for a dark green blazer. My favourite Italian brand Benetton came through. This blazer is soft and drapes well. I know it will look great this fall. Especially when I pair it with the chunky stone necklace I bought in a local market.

FASHION DOLL

I couldn’t leave her at home. I had fun shooting the doll in Italy. Thanks to Elena for your patience and help setting up the shots.

 

 

Shoe Story

Once upon a time I ordered Superga sneakers from Shoeme.ca. The delivery went awry and Canada Post couldn’t help me. So I reached out to Shoeme customer care and WOW! was I impressed.

Ivy tracked down my shoes in record time and arranged for them to be re-delivered the next day. I no sooner had tried them on (LOVE THEM!) when I received an email from Ivy telling me they had been signed for by Mike in the mailroom.

I am extremely impressed with the level of customer care Shoeme showed in this situation. They allowed no time to lapse in dealing with this issue.

I will now enjoy summer happily ever after in my new Supergas!

M for Missoni

The colourful zig zag pattern has represented the house of Missoni since it was started by Ottavio and Rosita Missoni in 1953. They first sold their iconic knitwear in America at Neiman Marcus. Italy has always been known for knitwear and innovation in clothing manufacturing and the Missoni brand is a testament to that.

Season after season Missoni delivers colourful knitwear and accessories that add flare to your wardrobe. They also have a targetHome line with pillows, throws and towels all with iconic zig zag pattern. Missoni did a collab with Target a few years ago and on launch day the Target site crashed because of the demand for this brand! Here is an ad from that collab featuring Margherita Maccapani Missoni modelling some of the pieces from that famous collection.

 

 

 

For SS2016, Missoni featured tons of stripes in multi-colours or black & white like these outfits below. I love the use pattern and solids – it makes black & white so interesting.

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Looking at Fall 2016, colourful sweaters and over-sized blanket scarves were featured.

 

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I have several Missoni scarves and I love the pattern and colours. I also have this adorable bear from Christmas 2013 when Missoni partnered with Holt Renfrew to raise money for African relief efforts. I spent an hour looking at every bear until I found one with the cutest face and placement of the pattern that I liked.

Check out my post on scarf tying. The video uses Missoni scarves to demonstrate the techniques.