Mini Bags

Several designers have down-sized their handbag offerings this season. The French fashion houses in particular love the idea of a mini. You may think that a mini bag is decorative but useless. I have changed my thinking after purchasing a beautiful aqua leather mini bag in Como. First, a la francais.

French Design

Louis Vuitton delicate, pretty mini pink and burgandy Capucine can be handheld or worn crossbody. It comes is variety of leathers or skins and many colour combinations. The mini Viv by Roger Vivier is bold and structured in black and white with 2 compartments and pockets inside to organize your small stuff. Finally the Hermes mini Halzan in sapphire. The bag of a thousand forms. When you see how many ways this bag can be worn and how stylish it looks you will want to save your cash for this investment bag!

Italian Design

My mini bag has the width to hold a full size wallet, iphone, keys and lipstick. For social occasions not much else is necessary. My mini bag has 2 handles as well as a detachable cross body strap. When I use my mini bag for work it needs a companion tote. I use my Longchamp tote for all the work week necessities.

Favourite Look

Do you have a favourite or a go-to look? An outfit you keep going back to?

My favourite look is dresses over pants. I have a passion for the 70s so of course I love this look. Every few seasons this look resurfaces with different cuts and lengths but the feeling is always the same for me.

I have several combinations of this look and I’m drawn to it for a couple of reasons. Comfort – the pants underneath the dress make this outfit very comfortable without all the trappings of hosiery. Unexpected – the pants worn with the dress make it very unique and I like being an original.

This look popped up in a couple of collections for SS2016. Chanel layered wide leg trousers over wide skirts and flowing dresses. Marni showed matching tunics and pants.

MY STUFF

I bought this red, print tunic at Ross Dress for Less for $8 and I love wearing it over jeans with boots or wedges. For me it has a laid-back 70s vibe. For going out I have this black and white Banana Republic dress that I pair with narrow black trousers.

THE DOLL

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Here she is in a print-on-print combo of jeans and an off the shoulder dress. I love the neutral colours of this paper with the jeans. It reminds me of my red tunic and jeans. The paper is from Italy and wrapped a hand-made sketch book from Venice that I use when I’m writing or sketching for modacarta.

What’s your favourite or go-to look? As always I love to hear from you.

 

 

Kimono

The traditional Japanese kimono is designed to show-off the fabric or the intricate embroidery. It’s an artistic canvas that wraps the body so you should keep this mind when purchasing one. Because it is a loose cut with more volume make sure the pattern stands out and it not a small design or a plain colour.

The kimono is the perfect summer topper because it is lightweight and feels luxurious against your skin. It can be dressed up or dressed down or wrapped and belted like a dress. the possibilities are endless. In my blog on Japanese influence I presented many more options for the kimono.

Ermanno Scervino and Jonathan Saunders both presented beautiful kimono designs for SS2016.

I love the long over short of this Ermanno Scervino red and white design. The outfit is so summery and perfect for day or night. The patterns in this Jonathan Saunders go so well together and make the outfit unique. The kimono wrap jacket is definitely something I’ll be looking for.

rose_kimonoI picked up my kimono at Saks Off 5th. The brand is Romeo + Juliet Couture and it’s available at most high end US retailers. At first glance I didn’t like the rose pattern but then it reminded me of the Dolce & Gabbana esthetic so I tired it on and knew it was perfect. I have some summer parties coming up so I will wear the kimono with a bright orange tank, black leggings and my Prada peep toes. Very chic.

PAPER ART

Finally the doll is back! Since she has been away for a bit, I decided to create 2 kimono looks. One is wrap jacket inspired by the Jonathan Saunders one I featured. The other is long coat worn over a skirt and top. Japanese paper is so suited to creating kimonos because of the intricate patterns.

Are you planning on wearing a kimono this summer? How will you wear it? Share your ideas with me!

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Movement

The movement theme for SS2016 encompasses shimmery silver dresses, flamenco ruffles and off the shoulder tops.

SHINE

This trend is all about the movement of light. These 2 dresses from Lanvin and Tom Ford show how a simple form and sequins can turn heads. The Lanvin dress on the left sways and catches the light as the model moves. The colour blocking on the Tom Ford dress creates its’ own movement. Both are highly wearable styles.

FLAMENCO

Rhythmic, passionate and and exciting. Flamenco encompasses all of these. Many designers showed ruffles on long skirts or dresses. Here are two looks showing evening and daytime versions of this trend. On the right we have a Ferragamo design with multiple ruffles and colour blocking. Perfect for going shopping or out to brunch in the summer. This evening look from Oscar de la Renta reminds me of the Flamenco shows I saw in Seville. Bright red lace and flowing print skirt will definitely make the best dressed list of any summer soirée.

SHOULDER SHOW

It’s time to learn of to shimmy in these great Spring styles. Perfect for hot days and dancing the night away. It’s so great to see the Sonia Rykiel back. Julie de Libran has brought new life and such great dresses to the brand. This ruffled dress has many variations – long, short, over pants. It’s the perfect summer dress! Proenza Schloer showed this wonderful eyelet off the shoulder dress. A very modern and sexy way to do eyelet.

 PAPER ART?

No paper this time. I decided to crochet a dress for the doll in silver and black. Of course -I made an off-the-shoulder tube dress. IMG_2120

The 3 Themes of Spring

This week on modacarta I’ll be posting about the 3 themes of spring, what the designers presented and top wardrobe additions you should consider. Also, how to get the look from existing pieces in your wardrobe and of course I’ll explore these trends in paper.

ROMANCE

Florals, 50’s sweetness and lingerie designs make up the Romance theme for Spring.

MOVEMENT

Silver, flamenco frills and ruffles + off-the-shoulder looks make up the Movement theme for Spring. I included off-the-shoulder in this theme because it reminds me of shimmying and shaking your shoulders when you’re dancing.

COLOUR & TEXTURE

No catchy title here with Denim, Tie-Dye and Stripes making up this theme.

Stay tuned for the next post where I’ll explore the beautiful world of ROMANCE.

 

Crazy about Tiffany’s

Film Review

I recently saw the documentary Crazy About Tiffany’s by Matthew Miele at Hot Doc cinema in Toronto. It was an excellent brand profile that included the history of the brand, designers and creative directors, the special Pantone 1837 that is a heavily guarded secret and of course the celebrities associated with Tiffany.

TiffanyI enjoyed learning about Gene Moore an innovative window designer at Tiffany. He would break crystal glasses and unstring pearls all in name of creating dynamic, interesting and ground-breaking window displays.

It also went into the detail about the deal with Paramount pictures for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Audrey Hepburn was required to promote jewellery for the brand in exchange for using the store in the film.

I enjoyed the behind the scenes glimpses of artisans setting diamonds and sapphires in a bracelet. The Creative Team working on the blue book and watching it come to life. As well as the making of the Lombardi trophy. Who knew that was Tiffany’s?

I’m proud to say I own 2 pieces of Tiffany jewellery. I have an Elsa Peretti initial “L” and Somerset diamond ring. Both are cherished pieces and they are stored in their lovely Tiffany blue sleeves when I’m not wearing them. Wish list – The bottle pendant that holds a tiny flower and the T ring!

If you love Tiffany this film is worth seeing!

Florals Revisited

My very first blog post was about the dark floral trend from SS2015. I was inspired to write about this topic after reading about the acquisition of this painting entitled Wisdom of the Universe by Christi Belcourt at the AGO in Toronto. I took this photo of it when I was visiting during the holidays.

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It’s now been a few months and many blog posts later but florals are still on my mind as we approach Spring 2016.

IMG_0078The shoes in the feature image I purchased at DSW over the holidays and thought they would be great for Spring and will add visual interest and colour to almost any outfit from jeans to skirts. These shoes reminded me of the Dolce & Gabana esthetic. Bright colours and flowers like this photo.

Here are 3 floral looks from Spring 2016 that really caught my attention. Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen and Erdem both showed romantic floral maxi dresses. I love how free and flowing these dresses are.

This pantsuit from Escada is bright and unexpected. The great thing is you could wear the pieces separately and create a mini floral wardrobe for spring.

 

I also wanted to design something unexpected in paper so I created a white shift dress and added light and dark floral panels to each side. I love the black, white and pink combination and might have to plan a visit to the fabric store!

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Clothes Lines

I recently discovered a new line Monse out of New York by Laura Kim & Fernando Garcia formerly from Oscar de la Renta. The write-up featured this b&w striped jumpsuit and it reminded me of several other striped pieces I recently came across like this stripe mash-up on a Kate Spade tote bag. It is a modern and graphic approach to stripes.

This Banana Republic midi-skirt in pin-stripes looks fresh for Spring and you can wear it now with tights and a sweater. I featured this J Crew top and coulotte outfit in the Colours of 2016 blog post. Pale blue will be a big colour for Spring and this outfit can be broken up and paired with other pieces in your wardrobe. The ultimate classic and quintissential striped top is the Breton made famous by Coco Chanel. It is the easiest and possibly cheapest way to get that French “je ne sais quoi” look.

 

I found this Fendi outfit flipping through a vintage issue of Elle Italia from 1993. Stripes are always a good investment and addition for your wardrobe.

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Japanese paper does not usually come in what I’ll call plain, linear stripes. I did have this striped paper bag from a paper store in Michigan. So I had some fun shooting the doll.

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Movie Wardrobe

Over the Fall season there were lots of references to Margot Tanenbaum from the movie The Royal Tanenbaums 2001. Her wardrobe or style was a jumping off point for many of the Pre-Fall and Fall 2015 collections. It wasn’t the content of her wardrobe as much as Margot’s style and look.

If I had to choose a movie wardrobe for content, I would pick Renee Russo’s wardrobe from The Thomas Crown Affair 1999 where she played Catherine Banning an art insurance investigator. Her entire wardrobe would still be relevant today. It is still classic and elegant almost 20 years after they were selected from Celine’s 1997 collection. That collection was designed by Michael Kors and has a lot of his signature style cues in it.

The wardrobe in this film was what Catherine took with her from Switzerland to New York. It leaves me wondering what her full wardrobe was like…

Paper Art

Catherine Banning wears a lot of shift dresses in the film. She has dinner with Thomas Crown several times and wears a different dress each time. She also has several of wool coats that match the dresses or suits. I chose this pale blue printed paper because I just completed the Resort Report and wanted to carry the feeling into something new. I also created a white coat to go over the dress.

What movie wardrobe would you choose? Are you Margot or Catherine?