Flat Lay Spring – Part 3

The Whole Look

For this final installment of flat lay spring I laid out some outfit choices. These are my favourite apparel colours because all of them work well together. Orange with navy, turquoise or grey is unexpected and I find it softer than red. It also is amazing with my skin tone.

From Left

This navy blazer in heavy pique cotton was a steal at $8 from Ann Taylor Factory Store. IT was on the clearance rack with additional mark downs. I love the polka dot lining! The skirt is also Ann Taylor and I bought it New York. The pattern is very graphic and surprisingly it goes with a lot because of the neutral beige background of the print. These turquoise jeans are my favourite for spring. They are Not Your Daughter’s Jeans and fit me perfectly. I have had them for a couple of years and they have slightly faded but also become super soft. The t-shirt is Joe Fresh and the print caught my eye because I just recently started pairing orange and grey.

Putting it all together

Here’s how the 3 installments look together. I’m wearing the taupe comfort sandals from Part 2 with this outfit.




Flat Lay Spring – Part 2

This flat lay image represents the shoes I can not wait to wear this Spring.

Clockwise from 12 o’clock

Michael Kors ballet flats in tan and black. I love the quilting on the body of this shoe and the black patent trim. These are classic and perfect for commuting into city center. I’ll be  wearing them with skirts and narrow pants. Tres chic!

These black laser cut boots add a bit of edge to skirts and cropped trousers. I love wearing them with dresses and jeans. The stacked heel is super comfortable and the open toe plus the cut outs keep my feet cool.

Believe it or not these taupe patterned, perforated shoes are comfort sandals -with style. I can wear these all day, walk 10,000 steps and still have energy left to go out for dinner.

No these are not Valentino Rock Studs but pretty close. They are the BCBG knock-offs and I can not wait to wear these. I purchased them in late fall and didn’t get a chance to show them off before the weather turned cold. As spring approaches I will be wearing these kittens heels with everything from jeans to cropped trousers, skirts and dresses. Studs forever!

My final installment of Flay Lay will be some great wardrobe pieces I’m looking forward to wearing. Don’t miss it!


Flat Lay Spring – Part 1

This week on modacarta I explore a fashion photography style called Flat Lay. There are many instagram superstars who specialize in this style so here is my contribution.

Part 1 – Accessories

The red small hobo bag, I purchased in Paris about 10 years ago. The brand is Mandarina Duck from Italy. The line includes handbags, messenger bags, laptop cases, and luggage. Select pieces are available at Taschen in Toronto. The statement necklace is Ann Taylor and I found it in the clearance bin. I always get compliments on it. The scarf is from Italy and I picked it up at Winners. I love the colours and the soft cotton wrinkles with wear for a boho look. The earrings are vintage Monet. Gold hoops are a classic so don’t get rid of them. If you have a pair, just move them to the back of your jewellery box. The bracelet is BCBG -another fab clearance find. I love the word Bella. Very Italian!

Stay tuned for Flat Lay shoes up next on modacarta!

Fashion ARTographer

Recently I watched the documentary “The Man who Shot Beautiful Women” about Erwin Blumenfeld. He was a fashion photographer for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar starting in the 1940s and 50s in New York. His approach to fashion photography was artistic, graphic and original. His influence can be seen in contemporary fashion photographs.

This cover for Vogue 1950 tells the viewer straight away that this issue is about beauty. The use of white space and over exposure of the face create a mystery about the model and pace the emphasis on the lipstick and eye make-up. Another great Vogue cover is visorBlumenfeld4also a beauty issue, from May 1945. This time Blumenfeld used a visor shadow to create visual interest and make the model’s lips pop. Again we see the use of white space. This graphic approach can be also be seen in Blumenfeld’s self portraits like this one.


My favourite Blumenfeld image was one he shot in Paris when he lived there before World War 2 and before immigrating to the U.S. The model dangerously swings off the Eiffel tower in her full skirt. towerThere is so much energy and life in this photograph. It has been copied many times.

Fashion Photography as Art

Staying with this week’s theme of art, I am adding my 2 cents worth to the age old conundrum, “is photography art?” Further expansion – “is fashion photography art?” If we are speaking about Richard Avedon then yes it is! He has been called the greatest American Photographer. His images have been published in all the big magazines Vogue, Harper’s, W. Recently Harper’s Bazaar published Models, which features the best fashion photography over the last 60 years. DovimaDovima and the Elephants was photographed by Richard Avedon in 1955. Dovima wore a Dior gown with an obi sash. This image has been sold as posters, cards and prints. Making a strong case for it being art.

Hermes-Fall-2015Currently I am loving the Hermes Fall 2015 campaign that was shot in Venice. The city is a photographer’s dreamland. In the campaign, model Othilia Simon strolls through shadowed filled alleys in stylish clothes and accessories. The photography is wonderful -bringing the moodiness and light contrasts of Venice to life.

New York Report

Modacarta was in New York this past weekend for a shopping and culture break. The posts did not continue live from New York because of crashing into bed as soon as I returned to the hotel after dinner. Blog breaks could not be accommodated in this jam packed itinerary.

Here is my shopping list and how I faired:

  • 7th Avenue Junk Jewellery – I didn’t get to 7th avenue but scored this fab African inspired bracelet and this adorable, simple cat ring. Total $15.IMG_0786
  • Dark Green Blazer – Green is definitely a top colour for Fall but it didn’t come in any blazers. Bloomingdales had a great display of mannequins in shades of green clothes but not one was wearing a blazer. The search continues…
  • Boho Dress – Zara had it! Direct trend from the FW2015 runways and a steal at $70.


  • Century 21 – Do not go to this store at mid-day! It was such a gong show but the deals are always worth the line-ups!
  • Frye Boots – Problematic.
  • Burgandy is also a hot colour for fall so I splurged on this fabulous Longchamp bag. IMG_0780Waterproof, foldable, lighweight and roomy with French style. Love it!

Paper Art

Could not resist the opportunity to take the modacarta doll on the road and snap some touristy shots. Here’s the results of the photoshoot at Rockefeller Center. Evidence below that I can take crappy, touristy shots if I try. Hailing a cab is the quintessential New York moment that I had to capture.

IMG_0769 IMG_0773 IMG_0775Photo Credits

Whitney Museum of American Art – Lori Tonizzo

Zara Dress – Zara website

All other photos by Lori Tonizzo

Interview with a Stylist – Part 1

Annie Aldworth has been a stylist and photo producer in Toronto for 20+ years. She’s worked with some great fashion photographers on some outstanding brands and for all the big city Unknownretailers. I got together with her for drinks and biz chat.

modacarta: When and how did you get started as a stylist?

Annie Aldworth: In my last year of Fashion at Ryerson University, we had a co-op stint where I met Marilyn Toombes, a freelance stylist. I asked her what a stylist was and from her description, I knew I had found my career. She was a wonderful mentor.

mc: What brands/retailers have you worked for?

AA: When I started out I did a lot of catalog work for Eaton’s, Hudson’s Bay, then gradually moved on to more editorial work for WedLuxe and advertising work for Sporting Life. I have also done Pro bono work for the Herbie Fund. They published The Oceania Magazine.


SCAN019mc: What’s changed about the business?

AA: When I was starting in the business the client (brand or retailer) directed the look and the clothes were super styled – extremely severe. We had to stuff everything to create a smooth appearance – they didn’t let anything drape or flow. Now it is far more free – the client still directs but the styling of clothing is freer­ garments flow.  To gain recognition a stylist needs to have a presence on social media. Frequent posting photos of your work especially on Instagram.

mc: Tools of the trade?

AA: One of the most important things a stylist must be able to do, is notice what no one else will. Every small detail.  You have to be open minded but focus on a finished look.

mc: Is there a photo or image that you saw that you never forgot? That really made an impression on you?

AA: Not one particular image but collectively the work of Avedon. He made beautiful pictures. There was an elegance to all his images. Very graphic.

mc: What’s a trick of the trade to taking a good photo?

AA: Holding a white card at chest level to reflect light onto your face. We call it Œ”Phil”

Read Part 2 with Annie on Fashion, the Costume Institute at the MET and style.


Annie – personal photo

3 images from Annie’s portfolio