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…


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.


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.


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.



Accessories Rule

One of the key rules to great style or unique style is adding one more accessory to your outfit. Today I doubled up on bracelets and rings.

I wear a Fitbit (almost) everyday because it reminds to move more during the day. I have several Fitbit bracelets in different colours so I can change it up to match my OOTD. Today I chose lime green to go with my dress. I also added 3 Cloisonée bracelets from a set of 7 that I purchased at Art Institute gift shop in Chicago. Museums and art galleries are always great places to find unique jewellery. The ring (not clearly shown) is multi coloured crystals.

On my other hand I kept is simple – all Swarovski tones of blue.

Keep this tip in mind before heading out and add one more accessory to your outfit.


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!

Vintage Show Report

On Sunday I attended the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show at the Queen Elizabeth Building at the CNE. There were tons of vendors with really great finds.

IMG_1282I found that jewellery and handbags had a large share of the show floor. One booth in particular had an large selection of brooches. The vendor mentioned it took her 6 hours to set up the display. Vintage pins are a huge trend for Fall.

This vendor also had a huge selection of necklaces, bracelets and rings. They also had $5 craft bags jammed full with stuff.


My favourite piece was this Moschino dress. Perfect for a holiday party or date night.

IMG_1284Handbags were definitely the find of the day. My friend and I both got great deals on vintage bags. We spoke to one vendor who had very fine leather and skin bags from Italy. IMG_1285She cleans all bags inside and out and makes any repairs before they are part of the collection for sale. The selection of Gucci, Fendi, Prada was wide and hard to choose a favourite. Prices ranged from $150-350. Most styles were from the 1980s and 1990s.


bags IMG_1300

Cognac embossed leather Salvatore Ferragamo handbag. 70s style and in perfect condition. $50

Black suede with gold detailed Paloma Picasso small handbag. This bag was a great buy at $30 and it was also in perfect condition.

Black Fendi mini Knapsack. The straps of this bag identify it as 1990s when Fendi used this logo. $45.

The next Vintage Clothing Show is coming up in Spring March 4,5, 2016.

Coming up on Vintage Thursday we’ll look at other vintage bags.

Family Jewels

Vintage jewellery is always appealing and it doesn’t have to be a family heirloom to be cherished. There are many great markets and vintage clothing & jewellery shows to hunt for special pieces no matter where you live.

The necklace in the lead photo I purchased at a Toronto show previously the Old Clothing Sale, now called the Toronto Vintage Clothing Sale. The show will be held October 3 and 4, 2015 at the Queen Elizabeth Building at Exhibition Place. I’ll definitely be posting my treasure from the sale.

prda_broochbroochBrooches are a huge trend for FW 2015/16. I especially like the plexiglass and crystal ones from Prada. The brooch to the right was my grandmother’s. She purchased it in Toronto sometime in the 1950s. It’s very fine and elegant with pearl accents. I like to pair it with the more edgy looking double chain link necklace.

Another interesting piece from my collection is this mosaic cross IMG_1122pendant. I love the colours and the detailed lettering of the word ROMA. It was possibly someone’s souvenir purchase on a visit to that city. I attached it to a string of coloured and jet black beads I had from other necklaces. It reminds me of the Dolce and Gabanna esthetic with their use of black lace and iconography.


The Prada brooches provided the inspo to try a paper idea. I took a couple of brooches with unique but recognizable shapes and created a paper background for them. Don’t know how they’ll hold up on a lapel all day but it’s worth a try.

paper1Here’s another cool paper option. I pick these pins up at The Paper Place whenever I’m stocking up on japanese paper. paper2They look really cool on jean jackets and add a pop of colour to suit jackets. They’re a very unexpected accessory.


Lead photo and brooch photo – Lori Tonizzo

Prada image – Prada website

Cross pendant, Paper Art photos – Lori Tonizzo

Jewellery to Love

Luxury jewellery maker Cartier has created a new collection celebrating love in Paris. This necklace from the Nouvelle Vague – new wave – Collection captures the look of Pont des Arts where couples go to lock in their love and throw away the key – literally. imagesThe lattice design with whimsical jewel pendants is reminiscent of the laser cut skirts and dresses from the SS 2015 collections.

There is also a film promoting the collection.

Locally, just behind Toronto’s Mink Mile in Yorkville several jewellery designers are housed at Craft Ontario. I recently stopped by to look at the collections with manager Yusun Ha. Here are some stand out pieces. jewelsThe bracelet and ring set of mixed materials is from Bandes des Quatres.The earrings are from GOSS Design Studio.  The ceramic necklace is by Julie Moon. There is so much more to discover in store so it’s worth a visit. I ordered a pendant made from 3D printing which will be on the blog when it arrives.

jewel_dressPaper Art

I first saw the Cartier Nouvelle Vague necklace in an editorial in Marie Claire, August Issue. Immediately this dress design came to me. The modacarta publication schedule was full I had to wait to create this dress. I love it so much that a visit to my seamstress may be coming up. Shoes are the doll’s own.

Photo Credits

Cartier Necklace – Cartier website

Jewellery from Craft Ontario – Lori Tonizzo

Doll – Lori Tonizzo

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