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Beauty & Style

Doll Parts: Courtney Love X Nasty Gal’s Second Collection

Courtney Love of Hole

Courtney Love was one of my earliest style icons. I was a huge Hole fan, and very much part of the Grunge and Riot Grrrl scene during its heyday. A lover of costume and vintage clothing, it’s easy to see why Love’s aesthique really appealed and resonated with me back then.

I still remember the thrill of finding similar vintage baby doll dresses as worn in the “Live Through This” years when I was a 90’s teenager visiting the UK. Portabello Road, Camden and the sadly long gone Kensington Market in London were absolute treasure troves to dress my restless suburban self.

Such finds now can be harder (and more expensive) to come by, so it was an absolute treat when Courtney Love’s Collection with Nasty Gal launched last January. With its mix of baby dolls, satin slips and crystal tiara’s its no surprise it sold out so quickly.

So I’m super excited to see that Love is soon launching a second collection with Nasty Gal on November 3rd.

While there are still nods to the iconic baby doll dress, Vogue says it best when these describe this collection as a “transhistorical reimagining“. It’s still feels like 90’s Love, but there’s an evolution with its rich velvets, hand beading and “a kind of Jim Morrison pirate blouse,” as Courtney calls it.

From the collection previews I’ve seen so far, the vibe is total Rock N Roll Witchery which I’m loving.

GAH. Hi. Take my money!

You can sign up for exclusive access to Nasty Gal’s x Courtney Love’s latest collection now.

And here are a few of my favourite pieces (so far):

Courtney Love x Nasty Gal - Black Pirate TopCourtney Love x Nasty Gal - Velvet Baby Doll DressCourtney Love x Nasty Gal - Velvet Frock CoatCourtney Love x Nasty Gal - Pirate TopCourtney Love x Nasty Gal - Leopard Print Coat

Beauty & Style

Hit the Pool – Vacation Swimwear

Hit the pool

We’ve slowly been packing up the house for the upcoming move, so I took the opportunity to go through my wardrobe again while doing so. With an upcoming girlie trip to Vegas in June, I decided to try on my old swimsuits in advance and I’m glad I did because – Boobsapoppin. ARGH. They fit *everywhere* perfectly except in the bust, so time to try and find some new swimwear.

I hate shopping for swimwear. And not because of any supposed body issues but just because the whole process is so awkward and uncomfortable. I always find myself falling over in the change room or panicking as I somehow get myself stuck in a swimsuit or any number of cringe worthy Seinfeldesque type scenarios.

The options at the local mall here are pretty slim but I decided to give it a go.

The first place I headed caters to an age demographic probably 10 years younger than I, but they have nice stuff with a bohemian/beachy vibe so what the hell. I found several different options, off to the change room I went and so the pain began.

Again nothing fit, their cuts were too young and apparently for women without boobs it would seem. I think I shocked the sales girl – who most definitely was born AK (After Kurt) – when she came back a third time to “see how I was doing and whether I needed a different size”, I flat out told her my tits were escaping all the swimsuits and that I had the largest size, so no go.

Cue tumbleweed and awkward “Oh, uh, uhm ok” from said sales girl.

I was dying with laughter at this inside the change room while simultaneously wanting to launch the bikini’s into the air sling shot style. But I’m Canadian so of course didn’t do this.

Onto several other shops, equally frustrating and no luck. The final place I hit I knew catered to more mature women so I excepted would have cuts suited to bustier figures, but the styles and designs were beyond matronly and I’m not dead yet so I finally exited the mall, accepting the ‘Faily McFail Fail’ of the day.

To the interwebs then…

I decided after trawling through reviews to try an Esther Williams swimsuit. ModCloth currently have a promo on now for 30% off all bathing suits – Use Code SUNDERFUL (Ends 05/19 @ 9 am EST) and they stock a ton of different Esther Williams swimwear so I ordered from them.

I haven’t received my order yet, but will post a review later on once it arrives – I picked up an Esther Williams Bikini as well as a one-piece. Hopefully both are awesome, but at this stage I’d be happy if just even one of them worked. Fingers crossed!

I tend to like prints for my swimwear – not exactly the most goth – but give me a floppy hat and a margarita poolside any day! Here are a few of the Esther Williams one-piece swimsuits I’m  currently digging.

Vacation Swimwear

Vacation Swimwear - Beach Blanket Bingo One-Piece Swimsuit Vacation Swimwear - Modcloth One Piece Swim Suits1. Polka Dot Beach Blanket Bingo One-Piece Swimsuit  2. Midnight Garden Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit 3. Tropical Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit 4.Swirls Bathing Beauty One-Piece Swimsuit

Photo Credit: ModCloth

**This post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. For more on this please see my disclaimer.**

Beauty & Style

Gypsy Warrior Review

YRU Laso Boots from Gypsy Warrior

I was first introduced to Gypsy Warrior a few years ago by a work colleague with killer style. I’ve followed the company ever since – part professional interest (back when I was an E-Commerce Manager) and part personal interest – but had never ordered from them previously.

I’m always a bit nervous with online ordering from a company whose fit are an unknown to me, regardless of all the detailed size charts or what have you. But a recent “Curvy Warrior” blog post on Gypsy Warrior caught my attention and I decided to hazard an order.

And I’m very glad I did!

Confession time – as soon as I get home I strip off and jump into jammies. This isn’t a new thing, hell my friends at Uni used to call me ‘Jim-Jam-Jamie’ because of this. I don’t know what it is, but something about getting home, into my own house, makes me want to launch my bra across the room and fling my jeans out the door.

Subsequently because we’ve become homebodies living out of the city, I’ve been in my jammies a lot more and it’s been making me feel kind of down for being so sloppy (yes I know I could easily put my bra and jeans back on but honestly screw that). SO! I’ve been on the look out for comfortable weirdo stuff to wear at home. Enter stage left Gypsy Warrior’s joggers and muscle tanks.

I’m curvy and spanning the L-XL-1X clothing range these days so really had no idea how I’d fare with ordering all Larges for the following:

Gypsy Warrior Haul

Snake Eye Joggers | To The Extreme Hi Low Top | Laso Harness Bootie | Hell Bound Muscle Tank

But everything worked out excellently. For reference, I’m normally an XL, these Larges fit fine!

Also, I’m not really a fashion blogger, as you can probably tell:

Not a Fashion BloggerGypsy Warrior Clothing Review

Anyway – the muscle tank and joggers fit perfectly – ridiculously comfortable and weirdo-rific with no sense of wearing jammies. The Hi Lo Top is great to wear over sleeveless dresses so as to be work appropriate and cover tattoos. And I can’t squee enough over the YRU Laso Booties which are vegan and hella comfy as well. I range between a size 7-8 as I have wide feet, and I ordered an 8 and these fit excellently.

Vegan YRU Laso BootsGypsy Warrior Snake Eyes Joggers

The joggers do tend to attract a ton of cat hair (but whatever), the fit’s great, love the design and no complaints. Overall, an excellent experience, love the products, great customer service and quick international shipping (I’m in Canada). I’ll be ordering for sure again in future! And this is *not* a sponsored post, I paid for these products with my hard earned loonies! So top marks for Gypsy Warrior – and keep at it with the fantastic Curvy Warrior posts, they’re stellar!

Gypsy Warrior Relaxed Style

Beauty & Style

Folk Florals In Bloom

Folk Florals Vest

I’ve always been drawn to odd florals, often embroidered, often vintage, and often treading a fine line as to whether they were garish or not. The same thing as well with weird patterns and prints. I have a shirt (at least I think I still do) buried somewhere deep in storage from the 70’s that I LOVE. It’s quite hideous to most eyes (ok really all) but I love it to death. It’s slinky and feels cool on the skin and looks like something Billy Corgan would have worn in 1993. It’s also several nauseating shades of green, brown and white in an incredible zig zag pattern that looks like some sort of psychedelic double mint gum packaging; the kind that would have been pulled from the shelves for inducing seizures upon opening to it’s minty delights. That kind of top.

But of all the pieces of clothing that have rotated through my never-ending wardrobe, my favourite was a folk florals dress. It was a 70’s vintage find with an empire waist and long sleeves. The cuffs and the neckline were an array of folk florals embroidery, and the dress itself was long and made of a lush, rich blue velvet – soft and bright (or maybe it was velveteen given that it wasn’t very thick). I had to wear it with platforms because I’m a hobbit and also was too inept as a teenager to have it taken up. I remember my boyfriend at the time *hating* it with a passion. It only made me wear it more. I loved it and how it made me feel like some wild witch-fairy queen.

Over time I stopped wearing much colour (or any really). Shying away from things I liked for fear of not conforming to my chosen subculture. In hindsight, aligning myself to a subculture didn’t set these limitations. Sure they’re present, but you can always choose to ignore such things; I just opted not to.

Colours other than black are starting to make their way back into my closet. It’s been a bit of a trial and error as I figure out how to blend in decidedly goth elements with these eclectic pieces. My fear is looking like a cracked out children’s performer with some of the clothing I’m drawn to. But I suppose that’s part of the process with evolving style. Or hey maybe I can start a side business as Kranky-the-Klown. Anyway! Here are a few things I’ve stumbled upon as of late…

FOLK FLORALS

Folk Florals Embroidered Tassel Maxi Dress

Embroidered Tassel Maxi Dress from ASOS

Folk Florals Bloom Cardigan from Mod Cloth

Bloom Service Delivery Cardigan from Mod Cloth

Folk Florals Embroidered and Print Midi Dress

Embroidered and Print Midi Dress from ASOS

FP One Marishka Blouse

FP One Marishka Blouse from Free People

folk florals vintage embroidered cape

Vintage Embroidered Cape from HOV U.K.

Anna Sui Folk Florals Dress

Worth Your Beguile Dress from Anna Sui

Boohoo Plus Embroidered Smock Dress

Boohoo Plus Embroidered Smock Dress from ASOS

Folk Florals Vintage 60s Tapestry Cape

Vintage 60s Tapestry Cape from Gisela & Zoe Vintage

Alice & You Embroidered Off The Shoulder Folk Top

Alice & You Embroidered Off The Shoulder Folk Top from ASOS

ASOS PETITE One Premium Embroidered Swing Dress

PETITE Embroidered Swing Dress from ASOS

Folk Florals Ukrainian linen dress

Ukrainian Linen Dress from Embroidered Dream

ASOS Embroidered Cotton Midi Dress

Embroidered Cotton Midi Dress from ASOS

Art of Folk Embroidered Waistcoat

Art of Folk Embroidered Waistcoat from Kiss The Sky

Beauty & Style

Saint Laurent Palladium Collection Fall 2016

Saint Laurent imperial couture embroidered coat

Luscious velvets, embroidered details, rich brocades, sequins and gold glitz – I can’t get enough of the Saint Laurent Palladium collection for Pre-Fall/Fall 2016. It’s a retro-glam-rock-n-roll extravaganza. The silhouettes, the glam boots, the wide belts just *everything* (ok maybe not the furs, can we just go faux already please?); is pretty near perfection if you love reimagined vintage looks paying homage to music style history. Bowie vibes throughout and unisex/androgynous elements, paired with mixed prints and a rich colour palette of red, black, and gold – can it be Fall now please? Below are a few favourites, you can view the whole collection at Vogue, or watch the show at the Palladium on YouTube.

Saint Laurent Gold Dress Fall 2016YSL Fall 2016 DetailsYSL Ziggy Stardust inspired dressZiggy Stardust inspired hand embroidered lightening boltcomic tuxCosmic TuxFall 2016 YSL Red Velvet CapeRed Velvet CapeFlorals and wild prints from Saint Laurent Fall 2016

Beauty & Style Musings & Life

Less Is More: Tales From a Recovering Clothes Horse

Less is More - Minimalist Fashion

It’s been a few years now since I wore the same little black dress everyday for a month as part of the LBDD Challenge. As someone that tends to overshop it was a pretty eye opening experiment that helped me a lot in parring back what I was buying.

My goal after the challenge to try and shift where I spent my money, from fast-fashion giants to independent businesses has been successful for the most part.

However I do have a bad habit of holding onto things, and though I’ve drastically changed how I shop, I’m still hauling around a ton of stuff that though pretty, is rather impractical for me now.

Impractical BeautyIt makes me think about what my brother once said:

“It’s a sunk cost”.

Meaning – ‘a cost that has already been incurred and cannot be recovered. Sunk costs should not affect the rational decision-maker’s best choice‘.

The context for this comment was that we had met up to see a concert together that we’d bought tickets for months ago (ohGr for the curious). However on the day, the weather was so humid it triggered migraines for both of us. We felt clammy, nauseated and like knitting needles were being poked into our brains with any little sound.

I remember holding an ice cold pop-can to my head trying to will myself better, he looked at me in this state and suggested we should really forget the concert.

Yes we had spent money on concert tickets, but why force ourselves to go when we were sick and wouldn’t enjoy it? The best choice was to go home and hide in dark rooms until we felt better.

Searching for styleHis words have stuck with me since. Applied to the situation of an overflowing closet, rationally the clothes are a sunk cost. Why hold onto them when I won’t wear them, they’re taking up space, creating a mess and making it difficult to cut through the clutter to get to what I’ll actually use.

Enter a minimal wardrobe.

I’ve followed along with Xandra Burn’s adventures in minimalism on her blog. Delighted by her commitment and creativity in expressing her personal style with interesting outfits, all the while liberated by leading a minimalist lifestyle.

She proves a limited wardrobe is far from boring.

I’ve been intrigued by the idea of a minimal wardrobe for some time, but never thought I could manage it. It’s funny how much emotional weight physical possessions take on. I always had a romantic notion of having an incredible wardrobe of costumes to pull from at a moments notice, but in reality I was just building a collection of things doomed to hang like museum pieces in my closet for the rest of eternity.

Dark desert styleMy subsequent lazy go-to became black jeans & band tees, a long way from my once upon time spooky thrift shop & vintage style.

So, I finally started the process of really decluttering and creating a capsule wardrobe with what I currently have as a way to dip my toes into the minimal world. This was 3 months ago now.

Dressing from a capsule wardrobe the past three months has been pretty awesome (of course not without some challenges but I’m still figuring it out). My style has been evolving over the past while and it’s felt so refreshing overhauling everything. Don’t worry though, I’ll always be a weirdo no matter what. Weirdos forever right?

Weirdos Forever(Off topic, but how awesome are these enamel pins from Louise Androlia? Love, love, love them!)  

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure where I’ll wind up with this and just how ‘minimal’ I can go, but it’s a positive start in becoming recovering clothes horse. I’ll be posting a bit in future about the experience and things I’ve found useful in building a smaller alternative wardrobe.

If you’re interested as well, the following posts are immensely helpful:

Minimalist Wardrobe FAQ: Common Pitfalls + How To Get Started

How To Pare Down Your Wardrobe ~ Getting Started

What Is A Capsule Wardrobe

How To Create A Capsule Wardrobe

And in particular this is a great piece from The Minimal Closet about how to be realistic with all the capsule wardrobe hype, and some tips on how to effectively work with a capsule wardrobe – What’s Wrong with Capsule Wardrobes?

Do you dress with a minimalist approach? Or are you considering doing so to combat a shopping hangover? I’d love to know what works well for you!

Image Credit: Edie Campbell by David Sims for Vogue March 2014, Weirdos Forever by Louise Androlia

Beauty & Style

Ovate FW15 Poèmes Oubliés

Ovate Poemes Oublies

Ovate FW15  Poèmes OubliésOvate  Poèmes Oubliés FW15If you’re a regular reader here you’ll know of my love for Ovate.

Their Fall 2015 collection – Poèmes Oubliés, launched today and is now available for purchase online.

Above are a few of the absolutely breathtaking editorial shots by Ellen Jane Rogers. You can view these in full here.

And a few of my favourites from Poèmes Oubliés below, though quite frankly I’m coveting the whole collection!

Ovate FW15Ovate FW15  Poèmes Oubliés Pieces

Image Credit: Ellen Rogers for Ovate

Beauty & Style

Fade Into You – Desert Dreaming

hold the hand inside you

My mind has been in the West lately. Desert dreaming – romance & road trips, just hurtling across the highway watching the dry and dusty landscapes go by. When I was a teenager I was obsessed with Mazzy Star’s ‘Fade Into You’, both the song and the video (the version shot in the Mojave Desert & Joshua Tree). I was born in Western Canada but we left for the east coast when I was 3, so my memories of the desert and prairies are fleeting. I wonder if that’s why I’ve always been fascinated by those areas – like something inside of me is calling me back.

And though I’m no longer a 14 year old fantasizing of escape from suburban wastelands, ‘Fade Into You’ still evokes that feeling of dreamy wanderlust in me. It’s an absolutely hypnotic and beautiful song.

Twenty years after the release of So Tonight That I Might See (the album Fade Into You is on), the band reformed and put out Seasons of Your Day in 2013.

The first single? California. Hope Sandoval’s voice as ethereal and magic as ever, the first line “I think I’m going back to California…”, strikes such a chord in my heart. It’s so far away.

Stills from Mazzy Star's 'Fade Into You' music video.

I’ll be westward bound again soon, till then this album is on heavy rotation. Below are a few haus & fashion finds for fellow desert dreamers, whether you’re headed there yourself or like to have something reminiscent of those wild lands close by.

Fade Into You - Desert Dreaming Style InspireFADE INTO YOU: DESERT DREAMING STYLE & HAUS INSPIRE

[TOP TO BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT ]

1st COLUMN: 1. Marlowe Carryall 2. Handmade Wooden Sunglasses 3. Bronze Solstice Cage Ring 4. Handmade Boot Straps
2nd COLUMN: 1. Succulent Seeds 2. Ceramic Hands Planter 3. Plaid Flannel Shirt 4. Vegan Lipstick – SIREN
3rd COLUMN: 1. Vintage Floral Skirt 2. Desert Smoke Perfume Oil 3. Cactaceae Boyfriend Tee
4th COLUMN 1. Joshua Tree Print 2. Brass Chevron Necklace 3. Joshua Tree Pouch 4. Mojave Soy Candle

Beauty & Style

Morph Knitwear – Infinite Abyss – SS15 Collection

Infinite Abyss Morph Knitwear

Morph Knitwear have just launched their new collection for SS15 – Infinite Abyss, and it’s stunning! Each piece is hand made to order in Portland, OR, USA. And if you knit yourself, Morph Knitwear also sells patterns for their popular Nix Vest and Rib Knit Half Gloves. I’m still slowly, slowly working away at knitting my own Nix Vest!

About Infinite Abyss from Morph Knitwear:

Many of the designs in this collection are un-gendered, exploring the use of texture and silhouette to create garments that are versatile and flattering on bodies of all types.

Morph Knitwear Khaos Sweater DressInfinite Abyss Net SkirtInfinite Abyss Net TankMorph Knitwear Infinite Abyss Silk Wool VestView the full collection at Morph Knitwear.

IMAGE CREDIT: Morph Knitwear

Art & Culture

Friday Film Pick: Advanced Style

Advanced Style ocumentary

Documentaries are an absolute favourite of mine to watch. As much as I love disappearing down a rabbit hole of spectacular Sci-Fi/Fantasy, nothing beats an insightful doc – unraveling life stories and allowing us an opportunity to take a glimpse into others realities.

I knew (and am a fan) of Advanced Style, a fashion blog unlike any other documenting street style of the over 60 crowd, showing indeed that ‘old is the new gold’.

Tziporah Salamon in Advanced StyleStumbling over the documentary on Netflix the other night was an absolute treat and a perfect Friday Film pick.

Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohen’s famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western’s culture’s increasing obsession with youth.

One thing I really liked about this doc, was that it didn’t focus on old images in their “hey-day” of the women featured. Too often when a doc has a person of a certain age in it, photos of them in their youth are heavily relied upon.

Jacquie Tajah Murdock - Advanced StyleAnd though employing old images can help give a frame of reference to a story or insight into a person’s history, I’m glad that any photographs of the women from their youth were used sparingly and very much underplayed. The focus of the doc totally celebrating the creative, vibrant style and lives of these women now.

A very uplifting doc, and a refreshing look at how we view and expect women of a certain age to behave or dress, Advanced Style is the perfect thing to watch if you need some fashion inspiration or even a kick in the ass about how your own style ages with you.

Advanced Style - Joyce Carpati QuoteThe past few years I’ve struggled with how to adapt my fashion sensibilities to suit my age. And herein lies the problem – this isn’t Logan’s Run and life DOESN’T end at 30. And watching Advanced Style only further hits this home for me.

Ones dress sense will change and evolve, but if anything the wonderful ladies of Advanced Style have reminded me of, it’s to have fun – wear what you want, be happy, and rock your weird.

Advanced Style - Ilona Royce Smithkin QuoteI hope when I’m older, I’m as badass as some of these ladies! What incredible, interesting lives the women of Advanced Style continue to lead!

PHOTO CREDIT: Advanced Style