Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Farewell to the Queen!

As the Queen heads out of Halifax, we breath a sigh of relief that the city will return to normal (following the insanity of Canada Day). Although I missed out on seeing her during her visit, I am sure she wore some dashing hats and bright colors.

The Queen's history is tightly linked to fashion. Following her coronation as Queen, she embarked on a six month tour of the Commonwealth. She enlisted the help of Norman Hartnell, influential designer and dressmaker to the Queen, to create over 100 new outfits for the trip! The clothing sent subtle but deliberate messages about the queen's status, and paid homage to the places she was visiting.

Although she moved from fairytale ball-gowns, to crisp tailoring, and back to softer lines depending on the decade, the Queen can't be described as a slave to fashion. Another of her personal designers, Hardy Amies, revealed in his autobiography that he often tried to persuade her to wear shorter skirts, but that she always made her decision based on what she might be doing in her travels - while visiting Pakistan she was once asked to ride an elephant! A short skirt simply would not do!

Both designers described her as a woman who listens to advice, but who has a keen sense of what suits her and is not swayed by the fashions of the day.

Of course, her fashion challenges are much different than those that we deal with in our everyday lives - she was once presented with a ceremonial feather cloak (above) from the Maori people of New Zealand - imagine accessorizing that!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

When stars expand into Fashion

On my fashion radar today: celebrity fashion lines. Madonna and her daughter Lourdes are soon coming out with a potentially fabulous, potentially disasterous line of clothing mixing tough and feminine pieces. (Check out Paris Mode for a glimpse at Madonna's style.)

Why do so many celebs want to design clothing? I think the truth is, we all wear clothing (hopefully), and we all have our own preferences about style and what we wear. When you have enough money to really do anything you want, it makes sense that so many want to share their own style... sometimes successfully. Sometimes not.

Mary Kate and AshleyOlsen's line Elizabeth and James seems like a departure from their baggy boho style, but the pieces are romantic.

Victoria Beckham, of course, can design fabulous dresses in her sleep

What celeb would you like to see come out with a fashion line? Lady Gaga? It is so hard to tell these days - I personally was totally excited for Nicole Richie's Winter Kate line, but I don't really enjoy all of the patterns. The designs, though, really are true to her style.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Out of the Blue: A Letter from Lesotho

When Emma Fitzgerald told me about the projects she was working on with repurposed denim, I eagerly offered up my scrap denim pieces from hemmed jeans. I only really fully understood the purpose behind the project when I visited her at the Artists' Quarter on Agricola St. this week.

Emma was born in Lesotho, the small landlocked country surrounded by South Africa. She recently spent some time at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts working on her art, and now she is showing pieces inspired by the impact of the denim industry on Lesotho. The country produces 26 million pairs of jeans every year, in factories criticized for poor wages, mistreatment of staff, and pollution of waterways.

Although I absolutely love fashion, and a good pair of jeans, Emma's exhibit is important in reminding us of the potential costs of the clothing we wear. After leaving the exhibit my friends and I had to comment on how striking one image was, of the blue denim dye washing into a river in Lesotho.

Tomorrow is your last day to see the exhibit! I hope you can make it down to support Emma and learn about Lesotho.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fashion Focus

Things I have learned this year:

1. Making your own clothing is easier than you would think (check out NSCAD Extended Studies courses to learn to sew - thanks Anne!)

2. Shopping is even easier. Living in the South End has been dangerous for me - Joanne David and Allie's Boutique are both on my block! If you're not lucky enough to live in my prime location, you can always check them out on facebook to see what's new!

3. Vintage is in! It is unbelievable how often I hear people talking about their latest vintage find, and people seem to be getting more into the trend. Whether you love vintage because its good for the earth, good for the pocketbook, or just plain good style, you are in the right city - Elsie's Used Clothing, Dressed in Time, and The Clothes Horse are bursting with great finds, along with many others!

4. Halifax is a fashionable city. I began this blog thinking that perhaps I would run out of things to write about and have to expand, but it has opened my eyes to such a huge fashion community in the city. Thanks to fellow fashion bloggers like Perry Paris and local designers like Lisa Drader-Murphy, the local fashion scene is booming!

5. Style is alive and well. It's easy to become disheartened by everyday appearances of pajama pants, or the "come-back" of shoulder pads, but the truth is stylish people still rule the world! I see stylish people in all aspects of my life these days, and it is fabulous.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Whole Year of Fashion Complete

Today marks the one year anniversary of A Fashionista's Guide to Halifax! I can't believe I have been writing the blog for a whole year, and honestly it has taken me to so many fun events and pushed me to do so many fun projects. I didn't expect it to become such a part of my life!

Here is a recap of the year:

I began the blog talking about my favorite trends for summer: bright dresses, bright nail polish, and Alfred Sung. The summer held some longing for Montreal, and lots of love for the fashion world. In the fall I exposed my love of Rachel Zoe’s book “Style A to Zoe”, and of various fashion blogs. I also attended my first Atlantic Fashion Week and fell in love with designs by Sunsets on the Eastside and Veronica MacIssac.

Leading up to Christmas, I embarked on the 25 Days of Fashion, during which I posted my outfits for each day and gave everything I didn’t wear in those 25 days to charity! It was a great way to get into the holiday spirit. In honor of the new year, I also posted my top 5 charitable causes, because being charitable is always fashionable.

The Winter also had me signing up for my first sewing class at NSCAD, and planning a trip to Toronto! My crazy fashion new years resolutions included gaining 25 blog followers (and other things like meeting Jeanne Beker, which likely will not happen, but one can dream). While mourning the death of Alexander McQueen I posted about my adventures in Toronto, giving you the scoop on Forever 21, Leigh & Harlow, Fresh Collective and Katie.

In the Spring I challenged myself to make fashion fun – I dressed as my favorite cartoon females for a week! With a little help from friends, I think I pulled off some great looks inspired by the likes of April O’Neil, Daisy Duck, and Daphne from Scooby Doo. I posted my thoughts on many fashion events in Hali in the Spring as well, from Atlantic Fashion Week, to the Dress for Success Tea Party/Fashion Show, to NSCAD’s Wearable Art Show (my highlight was definitely the Pheonix Dress, by Derrick Dixon). All were fabulous and represented the diverse world of fashion in Halifax.

Recently my posts have focused on more events in the Hali fashion world, including networking events at Urbanity and Turbine. It is gearing up to be a busy and fashionable summer, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Wild Party

Happy Birthday to Moi!

To celebrate my 23rd, we held a costume party to celebrate the fact that we can be party animals no matter how old we get!

Fabulous times with fabulous friends! Who can ask for anything more?

Clearly, I was a bird. A bit over-the-top for the everyday, but there are plenty of animal-esque styles that are in fashion, like this delightful cardigan from Forever 21:

Thursday at Turbine

On Thursday night I ran to Turbine after work for their "Kick off your Weekend" event. We drank some lovely bubbly, and Cindy Wheeler of Customizing Wardrobes dished out fashion advice. It was a totally fabulous way to spend the night before my birthday!

I picked up one of Turbine's signature belts, and a pair of sunglassses. Perfecto!

Thanks to Lisa, Cindy, Kyle and Emily for throwing a great event!

Here are my top 5 must-sees at Turbine right now:

Great professional skirts with fun texture and colors

Delightfully shiny tops in bright colors, with the ruched necklines!

The sunglasses - perfect for summer, with great designs (I picked up a pair with bright blue designs on the sides)

Professional, pinstriped shorts with the ribbon-tied waist. I first saw these at the Dress for Success fashion show, and they looked totally fabulous.

Bright dresses that can go from day to night. Totally cute.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Fashionista's Birthday in Hali

I spent today doing loads of things worth doing on one's birthday, including visiting Dressed in Time, Elsie's Clothing, Clotheshorse and Sweet Pea Boutique. Obviously, vintage and new clothing makes me smile.

Now, I am off to clean and tidy our apartment before a birthday bash tonight! Stay tuned for a post on the Kick Off Your Weekend at Turbine event last night, and the Letter from Lesotho exhibit that I will be checking out sometime this week (you should too!)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fashion a la Mode

ELLE Canada is looking for the country's favorite fashion blogger of the moment (the next Tavi - I blogged about her ages ago, hopefully you remember!) and I know who I am voting for -

Tons of people have voted for Perry Paris already, really putting Atlantic Canada on the fashion radar. Perfecto!

Check out his blog, watch his recent appearance on Craigness, and show some support.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Check out Rosslyn's new blog to help us Halifax fashionistas keep our hair looking fabulous!

Monday, June 7, 2010

More Upcoming Fashion Happenings

Kick Off Your Weekend at Turbine!
June 17

The boutique will be showcasing new fashions, and Cindy Wheeler of Customizing Wardrobes will be showcasing how to change your outfit quickly from business to evening.

Plus, it's the day before my lovely birthday!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The price of denim

From June 17-27, visit The Artists' Quarter on Agricola St. for Out of the Blue: A letter from Lesotho.

I had the chance to meet the artist behind this exhibit, Emma Fitzgerald, during a sewing class at NSCAD. Her work examines the denim industry in Lesotho, a small African country, and its impact on the environment and the social fabric.

Here are some snippets from her artist statement:
"...the landscape it is blue, piles of denim, and it is burning, and it is sharp... blue, it is the colour of the sky, both in Lesotho and here in Canada. out of the blue i write this letter to you, and to Lesotho."

Soaking up Halifax Culture

Schmooze and Mingle at Urbanity

I spent Monday night at my favorite local salon, mingling and networking and tasting some delicious international treats.

Fashion items of note: Rosslyn made the dress she is wearing in this photo (although you can't see the whole thing) - putting our sewing class to work!

The June Event! for the Centre for Women in Business

Revisiting my past-life as a CWB co-op student, I volunteered at this event for women in the (very fashionable) business community.

I made some great connections, dished about the blog, and got to wear a fabulous black and pink ensemble like Krista and Jenn in this photo.

You have to love a color-coordinated team!

Stay tuned forthe CWB's fall event, a whole new kind of tailgating party.