Happy holidays! There are only 13 days until Christmas and you’re likely running around to multiple shopping malls trying to find the perfect presents for family and friends, while making an effort from self-gifting yourself and going over budget. Annabelle Cosmetics and I have a solution for you – a holiday giveaway where you can win more than $100 worth of cosmetics! Giving gifts are great but receiving them is even better.
With more than 40 years of giving Canadians cosmetics in bold colours and a wide variety of products for eyes, face and lips, Annabelle and I want to help you get glammed up for the holiday season by winning these items:
Shoppers get your credit cards ready! Ellehas recently published the first look of PETER PILOTTO’S budget friendly spring 2014 capsule collection for Target and my fashion senses are all a fire. I haven’t been this excited for a design collaboration since H&M and Vogue Japan’s Editor-at-Large Anne Dello Russo teamed up last year.
British designers Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos, the dynamic fashion duo behind the PETER PILOTTO label, are renowned for using complex patterns and intricate designs to create visually-stunning clothing that is coveted in fashion closets all over the world. Their collection with Target will consist of approximately 70 items; women’s wear clothing and accessories such as dresses, skirts and mix-and-match swimwear for as little as $14.99 up to $79.99 – do your happy dance right now!
So far, the picture published in Elle (see above) reveals a youthful looking collection reminds me of the mod-look from 1960s London. While PETER PILTTO for Target Collection looks good online I can’t help but wonder if the quality will meet fashion’s high standards – the clothes may not last through 100 washes but at least make it through five.
The collection will be available February 9, 2014, in Target stores for American and Canadian customers, and on NET-A-PORTER for international customers.
You can find more than a crisp white tee and an affordable pair of blue jeans at the Gap. Gurrl… you can also pick up a decent shoe that won’t break your bank. Check out my Shoe of the Moment pick below!
Heel height, N/A
Why I chose this shoe: the boyfriend dress trend is here to stay; well, until the next big fashion trend pops up. For now I’m enjoying wearing looser fitting jeans and footwear that doesn’t require me to teeter four inches on my tippy toes above ground level. How about you? If you said yes then feast your eyes on this classic blue suede shoe from the Gap – cue Elvis Presley song. This loafer screams comfort and for $59.95 you can’t go wrong. Buy online.
Weeks after fashion month in Toronto has ended Canadian label Greta Constantine sprung – pun intended – their spring/summer 2014 collection on the city. It’s become the norm for of the label’s creators Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, they’ve always exercised strict control over the look and feel of their label from showing outside of the official fashion week schedule, to the premium lifestyle brands they partner with and the tightly curated invites they send out.
I recently attending their preview and for the upcoming season the design duo looked to deconstruct the ideals of female beauty by showing it through opposing silhouettes and fabrications consisting entirely of dresses, with the sole exception of a white two-piece ensemble. The first half of Greta Constantine’s collection showed-off day-time looks in brightly coloured, lady-like dresses such as a shirt-dress with full-skirt in salmon pink and body-con frocks in tangerine and electric blue. The focus here was to show the beauty of their designs with use of minimal decoration and embellishments but with the addition of asymmetrical necklines, bows and flared hemlines to add detail and interest.
To contrast the minimalistic day-time looks, the label presented evening wear which was dramatic and oozed sex appeal. This second half of the collection was definitely my favourite with the appearance of metallic lace and lamé materials fashioned into body hugging gowns. Greta Constantine’s strength lies in its creators’ abilities to create dresses which give its wearers long and lean figures to wow an audience.
Tired of your old black shoes? Do ballet flats bore you? Shellys London has given the classic oxford design a twist – take a look below!
Outer, pony hair (aka: calf hair) and suede
Heel height, 3.81 cm / 1.5 inches
Why I chose this shoe: I’ve seldom been attracted to footwear that incorporates pony hair, but when I received the Vikova oxfords from Shellys London I was delighted to see the company combined the material with a suede basket weave turning this preppy design into edgy shoes with an attitude. Buy online.
It’s been a really long time since I last wrote an outfit post, but here I am months later and with a new pair of leather pants to show off.
I purchased this pant from Danier when my $300+ Theory leather pants ripped after three wears. It happen while attending a friend’s engagement party, everything was going fine and I received compliments on my the pants. An hour into the shindig I felt a cold breeze coming from the back – you know where – realizing what happened I ran into the bathroom to see the damage. The rip went up the seam of the butt and into the leather, it was completely unfixable.
With a damaged pair of leather pants I once again began to search for a replacement. Not too long into my online search, results showed that Danier had a similar pair but for a fraction of the price for $99 – thank god! The construction of Danier’s leather pants are more sturdy and durable; the front is panelled in cowhide and the back half consists of French terry knit, no way will these pants rip on me!
Interviewing Elizabeth Semmelhack, Senior Curator of the Bata Shoe Museum, has been on my to-do list for a very long time, actually ever since I started this blog. Last month, I had the opportunity to sit down with Elizabeth and talk shoes, her experiences at the museum and work with footwear throughout the ages – it felt like I was back in university talking to one of my favourite history professors.
Plus, she took me where few fashion bloggers and shoeaholics have gone before – a tour of the museum’s world renowned archives! I saw all kinds of shoes such as Egyptian sandals from 1400 BC to Tiger Woods’s golf shoes – it was unbelievably awesome!
The Souls of My Shoes: How did you become Senior Curator at the Bata Shoe Museum?
Elizabeth Semmelhack: I’m an art historian by training and have always been interested in researching things that are made to be consumed at the moment of their creation. Here, I found the perfect playground for what I like to do which is making cross-cultural connections, look at constructions of gender and look at the brute economics behind fashion. When this job opened, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into, but I come from a long line of entrepreneurs and for me it was the wild west of scholarship – it was extremely appealing.
Can you think back and describe your first day on the job?
The Bata Shoe Museum is a very small, tight-knit team and Mrs. Bata is a very strong presence here. On my first day I was warmly welcomed, but it also was intimidating to go down into the archives and realize how long was it going to take for me to get-to-know every single pair of shoes in this place, it was a lot to absorb on the first day.
What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned, to date, being with the Bata Shoe Museum?
I think it’s something I felt before I came here, but I feel firmer in my conviction which is that fashion is not frivolous. Fashion is central to our economic structure and it has been central to economic structures throughout time. Clothing is incredibly nuanced and discursive, and is essential to establishing everything from gender to status. Every day we put on our bodies a selection of items that say something to those around us and that something is worthy of study. I’ve felt very rewarded, over the last 14 years, with how much cultural information can be teased out of looking at what some people still consider to be a non-essential aspect of culture.
After seeing footwear from all over the world and throughout history, what are your criteria for well-constructed and well-designed shoes?
I will often say this; there is art appreciation and art history. Art appreciation is something we can all engage in and be very opinionated. Art history is about trying to find out why certain objects captured public imagination at any given moment. I try not to let those two ways of looking at an object overly influence one another. If a shoe came in (to the museum) and it was unattractive to me or I felt it poorly constructed, but had an incredible history behind it or cultural importance I would feel obligated to investigate it and research why it has this hold on history.
If you could slip on one pair of shoes from the collection and wear out which one would it be?
I’d pick Beth Levine’s Kabuki shoes. I think they’re very streamlined – I love them – and unusual but you could walk down the street in them without stopping traffic.
You’ve had various exhibitions at the museum, which one are you the most proud of?
That’s another difficult question because they’re all my children! I’m very grateful that we were able to do the chopine exhibition, On a Pedestal, because it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring these 16th and 17th century artefacts together from 11 different institutions. I feel that it was a game-changer for me in terms of what we could accomplish as a small institution, but also by focusing on their history and unravelling it.
How often do you acquire new pieces for the collection?
Shoes come to us in a wide variety of ways; from an e-mail or somebody walking in off the street, to a dealer or an auction – there is no formula. It’s my responsibility to remain open and curious about every type of donation or acquisition I hear about.
Do you have wish list of shoes you want to acquire for the collection?
Yes, I definitely have pieces that I would like to see in the museum or certain designers whose pieces I’d like to add. We do have finite space and now it’s a matter of Tetris, making sure we have absolutely the right fit.
Who has been the most interesting character to visit the museum’s archives? Christian Louboutin visited the museum and he was fascinated with a lot of the Inuit materials – that was surprising! But more often it’s people who don’t know the history of the shoes and it’s that gasp you hear when they first see and learn about them.
Every where I turn people are talking about the new Hunger Games movie Catching Fire. Before the very first movie came out in 2012 I read the books and liked it so much that I breezed through the entire trilogy in a weekend. In honour of the second Hunger Games movie, which I’ll be seeing this weekend, I chose a shoe that is too hot to resist.
Heel height, 12 cm / 4.73 inches
Why I chose this shoe: the wide burgundy straps is what first caught my eye. The thickness of the straps gives off a masculine feel, but the spacing between each one is strategically placed to allow hints of skin to show through and entice the eye. Buy online.
With just 80 days to go until the XXII Winter Olympic Games takes place in Sochi, Russia, Hudson’s Bay recently unveiled an uber stylish Canadian Olympic and Paralympic team collection, and I must say our athletes have never looked better.
Team Canada has a long-standing reputation of being the best dressed Olympians in the world and these retro-inspired designs incorporating colour blocking (red, black and white), iconic symbols (the maple leaf) and indigenous animals (the polar bear and loon), will make other athletes green with envy.
Like past Olympic clothing collections, the public can purchase the replica uniform online at thebay.com or in Hudson’s Bay stores. There’s no doubt in my mind that the red duffle coat, inspired by HBC’s iconic point blanket, will sell out quick especially priced at an affordable $275.
I’ll be glued to my TV from February 7th-23rd to see Canada’s Olympians compete in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and make their grand entrance into Olympic Stadium in their – yet to be revealed – opening ceremony uniform.
When people refer to themselves as ‘feeling blue’ they’re usually in a state of sadness, but in my case it means I’m obsessed with blue shoes and this heel from Zara can cure any shoeaholics’ feelings of woe.
Heel height, 8 cm / 3.15 inches
Why I chose this shoe: when I first saw this shoe I said to myself “This heel looks familiar. Did Zara create a Pierre Hardy knock-off?” After a few Google searches my suspicions were confirmed (via Refinery 29) and while I’d rather buy the real thing not every one can afford designer shoes. Zara makes it especially difficult to resist this mid-heel goodie by pricing it at $59.90 CAD – resistance is futile. Buy online.