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Romance In 1912

Stolen kisses under a weeping willow. Gloved hands clasped tightly while going for a midday stroll. Picnics spent laughing by the river, wrapped in each other’s arms. Fervent passion and love restrained literally and figuratively by tight corsets and the modesty of the time. There is something about vintage romance, the idea of falling in love a century ago, that has always captured my imagination. Why? I don’t know. Were we less cynical about love back then? When dating apps, ghosting, and cat-fishing weren’t even phrases let alone everyday realities? Or maybe I’m just looking at the past through a rosy veneer cast by Hollywood movies and romance novels. It’s also very possible that I’m a cliche who wants to be swept off my feet while wearing a pretty dress and gloves. Either way, I’ve rounded up a selection of photos, clothing and accessories that pretty much capture my Elizabeth Bennett meets Rose Du Witt Bukater-esque mood. So much lace. So much love.

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1 // LONNA & LILLY – Enchanted Lace Stud Earrings

2 // Le Chateau – Lace Illusion Dress

3 // Tome – Leaf Print Edwardian Skirt

4 // TheRealReal – Platinum & 18K Edwardian Diamond Brooch

5 // Tibi – Cropped Edwardian Rib Knit Top

6 // Lilly Sarti – Velvet Trousers

7 // Liveinu – Vintage Beaded & Sequined Evening Clutch

8 // Lovestitch – Vintage Inspired Clutch

9 // Miu Miu – Vintage Suede Loafer Mules

10 // Eugenia Kim – Georgina Wool Fedora Hat with Panne Velvet Trim

xoxo,

Alicia

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Designer Spotlight | Samantha Pleet

If you haven’t yet heard of Samantha Pleet, then you’re in for a treat. Seriously, this Brooklyn-based designer is one that you definitely need to add to your list of must-shop indie-designers. So how would one describe her unmistakable style? Think one part hipster babe meets two parts Alice in Wonderland with a splash of preppy uptown chic. I fell in love with her eclectic aesthetic instantly and her latest collection, centred around musical symbols and concert motifs, is no exception. Launched in 2007 after graduating from Pratt Institute, her eponymous label has since earned itself a cult following of loyal fans who adore her whimsical themes and beautifully constructed pieces. She even counts A-list celebrities such as Lorde and Tilda Swinton as fans. And let’s be honest – what Tilda Swinton says, goes. Her style is totally rad. Still not convinced that you need plenty of Pleet in your life? Keep scrolling to see a few of my favourite pieces from her harmonious spring collection – shameless pun totally intended. I think you’ll see the light.

MY PICKS

1 // Bell Dress

2 // Backstage Overalls

3 // Vista Dress

4 // Lute Bodysuit

5 // Prima Donna Jumpsuit

6 // Grand Piano Skirt

7 // Solo Shorts

8 // Concerto Swimsuit

9 // Cello Jeans

10 // Petite Four Shirt

Which of these pieces is your favorite? Psst.. I can’t get enough of the Vista Dress. Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Parisian Chic Style Guide

I, like so many others, have always been inspired by the idea of the french woman. She’s stylish and beautiful without much effort. She eats what she wants (butter, pastries, and cheese included). She drinks wine everyday and she stays slim and fresh. She makes no apologies for living a life of decadence and yet she glows with good health. The allure of the french woman has spawned hundreds of books and articles and it doesn’t seem to be fading away. And for good reason! After all, don’t we all want to wake up with glowing skin and perfectly mussed up hair, maintain our health and still indulge in everything good life has to offer? Unfortunately, as someone who has never lived in France, I don’t have the secrets to mastering this paradox. I do, however, have a pretty decent grip on french style (if I do say so myself) and in this blog post, I’m focusing entirely on the main principles of it. From the must-have spring accessories to the beauty essentials that will give you that oh-so-alluring je ne said quoi, here are my tips and picks that encapsulate French style.


A C C E S S O R I E S

The french approach to fashion is all about the classically elegant capsule wardrobe that is punctuated by luxe extras. Tie a silk scarf around your neck and slip into a beautifully crafted pair of velvet loafers and watch your neutral cashmere sweater and cigarette pants ensemble go from zero to a hundred, just like that. When it comes to accessories (and everything really), buy fewer pieces but make them count. Sure, that designer bag may seem like a ridiculous amount of money now, but if it’s taken care of, it will last and look beautiful from season to season, year after year. Like a fine wine, a Chanel 2.55 flap bag only gets better with time.

1 // Barneys New York – Small Straw Tote Bag

2 // Tiffany & Co. – Sterling Silver Elsa Peretti Bean Necklace

3 // Nine West – Huff Women’s Smoking Slipper

4 // Polo Ralph Lauren – Callie Raffia Smoking Mule

5 // The Cambridge Satchel Company – Cloud Shoulder Bag

6 // The Met – Monet Sunflowers Bangle

7 // Mulberry – Square Silk Scarf

O U T E R W E A R

When it comes to your coats and jackets, look for timeless silhouettes and high-quality fabrics. Once you’ve got a flattering style in mind, keep your eyes peeled for eclectic details and unexpected colours to breathe new life into basics. The mainstays of your spring/summer outerwear arsenal? A lightweight linen trench, a buttery soft cashmere cardigan, a waist-cinching leather jacket and a weekend-casual denim jacket.

1 // Vero Moda – Cool Trench Jacket in Pink

2 // Iro Luiga – Cropped Leather Jacket

3 // (Pre-Owned) Chanel – Striped Knit Cardigan

4 // Rebecca Taylor – La Vie Floral Embroidered Jacket

T O P S

The essence of french-girl chic is looking like you rolled out of bed in a striped Chanel boat neck and Dries Van Noten trousers, swiped on some lipstick and finger combed your hair before strutting outside with all of the confidence in the world. It’s effortless yet stunning. It’s put-together but not too polished. So how does one achieve this tricky balance when shirt-shopping? Look for well-made tops in beautiful, natural fabrics. Subtly sexy, unexpected details are oh-so-French as well. A deep, cleavage-baring v-neck? Non. But a plunging back in your linen sweater or an off the shoulder ruffled cotton tee? Oui. P.S. never underestimate the versatility of a silk t-shirt. It will take you from day to night with ease.

1 // H&M – Ruffled Open-Shoulder Blouse

2 // WtR – Sonnet Belted Silk Wrap Top in Emerald

3 // River Island – Petite Pink Striped Crop Shirt

4 // Chicwish – Focus On Lace-Up Back Sweater

5 // Patrizia Pepe – Silk Blouse in Fuchsia

6 // Mango – Floral Embroidered Striped Shirt

7 // Banana Republic – Cropped Ponte Shell

8 // Galvan London – V Neck Camisole in Black

B O T T O M S

Creating a well-rounded, french-inspired capsule wardrobe definitely requires a few essential pieces. For example, a perfectly worn-in pair of blue jeans for casual-wear is a must – I mean, how many of us live in denim? Also, a pair of dressier trousers that you can wear to work or to a fancier event. Don’t limit yourself to plain black – a classic print like stripes or houndstooth is a little more interesting but still goes with everything. Finally, make sure to have a collection of skirts that can take you from work to play. A lace or silk number is a sexy choice for a night out, while a fluttery knee-length piece can take you anywhere, from a wedding shower to a Sunday brunch. Like with everything else, never skimp on quality and pick pieces that are unique but not trendy – for example, a wide-legged pair of high-waisted blue jeans is ultra-modern but also timelessly flattering.

1 // Dries Van Noten – Velvet Culottes in Mint

2 // Weekday – Ace Wow Blue Jeans

3 // Daily Look – Lily Lace Trim High Waist Shorts

4 // River Island – Beige Paperbag Button Front Pencil Skirt

5 // J. Crew – Okinawa Striped Wide-Leg Silk-Twill Wrap Pants

6 // TOPSHOP – Heart Ruffle Toe Mini Skirt

B E A U T Y

French women are renowned for their simple yet extremely effective approach to beauty that centres far more around skin and hair care than makeup. Forget contouring or gluing on false lashes. French beauty is all about embracing your uniqueness and enhancing your natural beauty, while also taking excellent care of your complexion. Invest in top-shelf skincare and hair care items and stick to your regime everyday. Treat yourself to a bit of pampering as well – a monthly or bi-monthly facial and massage will keep your skin glowing, while also allowing you to gain professional insight on how to keep your face looking it’s best. Also, never forget to wear a bit of perfume. Find a scent you love and wear it until people associate it with you. Finally, go easy with the makeup. A bit of red lipstick and a smudge of eyeliner is all you need to make your beauty look really pop.

1 // Yves Saint Laurent – Rouge Pur Couture The Mat

2 // Byredo – Velvet Haze Eau De Parfum

3 // French Girl – Lumière Huile Pour Le Corps in Moonlight

4 // Avène – XeraCalm A. D Cleansing Oil

5 // Bobbi Brown- Long-Wear Liquid Liner in Carbon Black

6 // Peter Thomas Roth – 24K Gold Pure Luxury Hair Mask Treatment

I hope you enjoyed this post! What does french-style mean to you? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Valentine’s Gift Guides For Him & Her

Have some last minute V-Day shopping to get done? I feel you. But don’t fret – I’ve rounded up 22 pretty gorgeous gift ideas that are sure to please the special lady or gentleman in your life. Simply scroll, click, and pick up the perfect gift for your beloved or for numero uno – you.

FOR HER

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1 // Vivienne Westwood – Tamia Earrings

These sparklers are just the right blend of sweet and edgy, for the lady who likes a little bling in her day-to-day.

2 // Marc Jacobs – Daisy Eau So Fresh Kiss

If she loved the original, she’s going to gaga for this spring-fresh blend of cherry blossom, blackcurrant and creamy sandalwood. Plus, how gorgeous is this bottle?

3 // Godiva – 24 pc. Signature Chocolate Truffles Gift Box

This stunning collection of mouthwatering dark and milk chocolates is almost too beautiful to eat. Almost.

4 // Tiffany & Co. – Elsa Peretti Open Heart Small Necklace

There is truly no better way to tell her she’s got your heart than with this minimalist open heart silver pendant. After all, jewelry is worth a thousand words.

5 // Côte Noire –  Pink Roses in Black Glass with Gift Box

Proving that faux can be fabulous, these artificial roses look like the real thing but last forever! They also smell gorgeous, thanks to the 10ml spray bottle of rose petal scent. Choose from ivory, blush, pink or crimson (the pink is my favourite).

6 // Jennifer Behr – Velvet Bow Hair Clip

Crafted out of luxe velvet, this sweet yet simple hair clip lends a touch of romance and femininity to an otherwise simple outfit.

7 // Tod’s – Women’s City Gommino Nubuck Penny Loafers in Pink

For the woman who is tired of traipsing around in toe-crushing stilettos, these hot pink loafers are super comfy and oh-so-chic.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Scented Foam Bath

Make bath time all the more indulgent with this creamy bubble bath, scented with Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle. Pair with a glass of champagne and oodles of candles.

9 // Olivia Burton – Moulded Floral Bouquet Watch in Blush & Rose Gold

This breathtaking time piece is seriously like a wearable piece of art. Guaranteed, anyone who wears this will be punctual, because they won’t be able to stop staring at their wrist.

10 // Pink Poodle – Collectif Heart Shoulder Bag (from Glasgow)

A little cheesy, a lot adorable, this statement-making bag will add a playful hit of colour and kitschiness to any and every outfit. The chain-link strap also keeps hands free!

11 // Cosabella – Jolie Printed Tall Triangle Bralette

Sweet and sexy, this floral-printed lacy number is as comfy as it is pretty. The crushed raspberry hue is also guaranteed to look gorgeous against all skin tones.

FOR HIM

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1 // Komono – Gold Winston Watch

If Cary Grant was a watch, he would be this gleaming beauty from Komono. From the cognac leather straps to the black face and gold hardware, everything about this watch says old-school dashing.

2 // L:A Bruket – 166 Grooming Kit

Think it’s just us ladies that like a bit of pampering? Think again. This fully-equipped shaving set makes it easy for your man to stay primped and polished with luxe products and ingredients that are selected especially for your man’s skin and hair.

3 // Mulberry – Mother Of Pearl Cufflinks

Like in relationships, when it comes to style, it’s the little things that make all the difference. With real mother of pearl, these sleek cufflinks are a luxe way to say ‘I love you’.

4 // Guerlain – L’Homme Ideal Eau de Toilette

This woody oriental is so lush and sexy that I want to wear it myself. With notes of almond, incense, leather, woods and just a hint of vanilla, this sultry cologne will keep her leaning in.

5 // The Nikka Whisky Co. – Whiskies in Tube Tasting Set

Indulge his love for whisky with this sleek and stylish tasting set! It’s a great way to find out which one he loves the most and will make cocktail hour a lot more exciting. After all, variety is the spice of life!

6 // Electric Av2 – Polarized Gold Sunglasses

Help him channel Tom Cruise in Top Gun with these sexy sunnies. They cost a pretty penny but who can put a price on protecting the eyes of the one you love right? Exactly.

7 // Burberry – Check Cotton Oxford Shirt

There’s nothing like a well-made Oxford shirt to make a man look put together. This crimson gem is made out of high-quality cotton fabric and can be dressed up or down for date night or weekend wear.

8 // Scotch & Soda – Velvet Slip-On Loafers

These plush velvet loafers will make him feel like Sonny Corleone (without the crime family) and will keep his toes toasty during February’s chilly mornings and evenings.

9 // Beats by Dr. Dre – Studio 3 Wireless Headphones

Music just sounds better with Beats. Make his morning commute a little better with these luxe headphones. You can’t buy love but Beats is pretty close.

10 // Jack Black – Mint Lip Balm and Double Duty Moisturizer

Keep his lips kissable and his complexion smooth with this refreshing duo from Jack Black. My boyfriend loves their lip balms and I have to say, I borrow his minty formula all the time.

11 // Thom Browne – Penguin Mohair & Wool Jacquard Scarf

There’s something about gentlemen in scarves that just gets me. It’s that extra touch of style that not all men add to their ensembles but they should! I remember when I went to Paris, all men wore scarves and it just looked so polished and fabulous. This quirky piece will keep him warm and stylish with cozy mohair and wool.

Which gift options are your favorites? Make sure to pick up a Valentine’s treat for yourself!

xoxo,

Alicia

Sweet Mint

Maybe it’s the dessert fiend in me, but I’ve always had a soft spot for sugary sweet pastels. Though I love periwinkle blue, soft peach and cotton candy pink, soft and creamy mint is a particular favourite of mine and instantly reminds me of my favourite flavour of ice-cream – mint chocolate chip. Aside from giving me a sweet tooth, mint is just a gorgeous, effortlessly flattering hue and captures the light-hearted playfulness of spring. However you wear it, whether on your body, on your face, or on your nails, it instantly breathes new life into a subdued winter palette of dark hues and pared down neutrals. I don’t know about you, but come February, my eyes are starving for a little bit of colour. So go ahead – put down that black and slip into something a little sweeter.

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MY MINT PICKS

1 // John Allan’s – Women’s Mint Invigorating Hydrating Conditioner

2 // Kate Spade – Peacock Metro Watch

3 // Sail to Sable – Mint Green Stretch Cotton Sweater

4 // Chicwish – Creamy Pleated Midi Skirt in Mint

5 // Ruby Rocks Accessories – Aqua Rose & Gem Stretch Bracelet Set

6 // Manu Atelier – Mini Mint Pristine Cross Body Bag

7 // Steve Madden – Saunders Sandals

8 // Piloh – Bryophyta Mint Vase

9 // ALC – Scherning Arrow Mint & Gold Stud Earrings

10 // French Girl Organics – Menthe & Romarin Sea Polish Scrub

xoxo,

Alicia

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Breezy Spring Layers

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Dressing for that awkward period between the holiday season and when spring officially arrives is a challenge if you live somewhere with actual seasons and a temperamental climate. As someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve gotten used to Mother Nature’s mood swings and I know that between winter and summer, I simply cannot go outside in less than three layers. In the morning it might be sunny but come lunch time it may be dumping rain and in the evening it very well may be snowing. Enter the cardigan. If I’m cold I put it on, if I’m hot I take it off. Easy. Simple. I’m not freezing because I only wore a tee because the sun was out when I got dressed that morning or sweating buckets because I decided to wear my extra toasty cashmere sweater and now the sun is blazing through my office window.

Aside from the functional aspect, layers add gorgeous depth to what otherwise may be a pretty basic ensemble. For example, I have a black and grey geometric patterned poncho that I throw on over pretty much everything and it makes even my most half-hearted attempts at getting dressed look decent. Like shoes or purses, it’s crucial to have at least a handful of cardigans in your closet, depending on your mood and the occasion. These six caught my eye. From the perfect grandpa knit for wandering around on a lazy Sunday to a sleek, polished trench for days when you want to feel a little more fan-ceh, they tick all of my boxes in terms of wardrobe requirements.

MY PICKS

 

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1 // Royal Robbins – Tupelo Falls Cardi

You know what they say – sometimes simple is best. This lightweight cardigan is woven out of airy linen yarn for a soft, breathable feel. The best part? It can be worn as a drape front or cowl neck style, depending on your mood. Versatility and comfort – two qualities   I truly value in clothing.

2 // Alice + Olivia – Ruthy Rainbow Staceface Appliquéd Cotton-Blend Cardigan (Splurge!)

If you’re feeling sassy, than this head-turning piece is exactly what you’ll want to wear when you’ve got shade to cast and salt to sprinkle. It’s bold and statement making and sooo comfy you’ll want to fall asleep in it. It’s a little pricey but hey, truly great things don’t come cheap.

3 // Burberry – House Check Reversible Cape (Splurge!)

Burberry is one of those brands that effortlessly exudes old-world class and elegance and this sophisticated trench is no exception. It’s made out of ultra-luxe merino wool and the casual cape-style shows just a peek of the brand’s iconic check fabric. It’s the kind of timeless piece you’ll want to wear again and again, to low-key and upscale occasions.

4 // Monse – Hudson’s Bay Striped Wool-Felt Blanket Coat (Splurge!)

I don’t know why but I’ve always adored Hudson Bay Company’s classic blue, red, yellow and green striped wool fabric. I have a blanket in this fabric but I love the idea of wrapping myself up and wearing it as a coat. It costs an arm and a leg but is the kind of wardrobe investment that, if treated well, will last for years and years. This lightweight wool coat will keep you warm without being too heavy – perfect for those slightly chilly but sunny spring days!

5 // Chicwish – Knit Your Love Cardigan in Hot Pink

Punchy and playful, this sweet shade of bubble gum practically screams spring and has a kitschy vibe that I love. Pair it with an airy slip dress for warmer days and a lady-like feel or with a body suit and leather leggings for a look that channels Michelle Pfeiffer in Grease 2 (my girl-crush forever and ever).

6 // Chicwish – Comfy Day Diary Cable Knit Cardigan in Mustard

And finally, the cozy, chunky knit grandpa cardigan that I (and every other girl in the world, let’s be honest) needs in their life. This cable knit pattern is so pretty and the colour is just gorgeous. It’s a great everyday kind of sweater and at only $61 (Canadian), it’s an absolute steal. I would get three just in case.

Are you excited for spring? Which of these is your favourite?

xoxo,

Alicia

Extra Luxe Holiday Gift Guide

‘Tis the season to be fan-ceh! Channel your inner Elizabeth Taylor and give your besties and favourite family members presents that ooze luxury. Or get them for yourself, because it’s been a crazy year and you totally deserve it.

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1 // Hudson Bay – 1940s Striped Wool Camp Blanket

I don’t think there’s anything more indulgent than curling up under a cozy blanket with a glass of wine and the person you love. Unless maybe said blanket is crafted out of 100% wool and has an iconic, ultra-chic Hudson Bay striped print.

2 // Charbonnel & Walker – Milk Sea Salt & Caramel Truffles

Sweet and salty is my absolute favorite flavour combination and this luxurious truffle box is the front runner when it comes to indulgent treats. The perfect blend of caramel, creamy chocolate and sea salt, these are dangerous and it’s easy to eat the whole box in one go.

3 // Archipelago Botanicals – Fragrance Diffuser

Fragrance is (obviously) very important to me. As our sense of smell is intrinsically linked to our memories and emotions, home fragrance can really have a big impact on your life and overall well-being. This elegant diffuser disperses beautiful essential oils throughout your home, creating a mood that uplifts, energizes, or relaxes you, depending on your mood.

4 // Crabtree & Evelyn – Pear & Pink Magnolia Deluxe Gift Set

I absolutely adore running myself a hot, luxurious bath at the end of an exhausting day. This gift set comes with everything one needs to give themselves some much needed pampering. Plus the sweet floral scent of pear and pink magnolia is absolutely to die for. It’s like a spa day in a box.

5 // Olivia von Halle – Lila Crystal Pink Silk Pyjama Set

Think that satin PJs are too indulgent? You’ll be whistlin’ a different tune after you run your fingers along this buttery soft lavender pyjama set. Plus, look how pretty! If Audrey Hepburn was a pair of pyjamas, she would be these.

6 // Virgin Wines – Bordeaux Duo in Wooden Gift Box

There are a few things in life we can never have too much of: love, laughter, friendship and bottles of wine. Wine is one of the true loves of my life and I’m sure if you’re reading this you are nodding your head in agreement. Bad day, good day, wine just gets me. So give your favorite person this delicious Bordeaux duo to show just how much you care. If you love someone enough to share your wine, there is no greater love.

7 // Byredo – Bibliothèque Candle

This ultra-chic candle from everyone’s favorite perfume brand encapsulates the smoky, mysterious smell of a library. With sultry notes of violet and leather, this bad boy is just the thing to set the mood and make your most stylish friend’s day.

8 // Chanel – Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum

The fresher, more fabulous version of the original Coco perfume, this oriental gem is an oldie but goodie. With crisp florals such as orange blossom and jasmine alongside juicy citrus fruits and earthy patchouli and vetiver, this energetic yet elegant scent is the perfect balance between masculinity and femininity. And let’s face it, everyone needs more Chanel in their life.

9 // La Mer – Crème de la Mer

I’ll be honest – this sh*t ain’t cheap. But if you want to glow like the moon and age as freakishly slowly as J.Lo (a loyal fan), then invest in a jar of this miracle cream, infused with all of the best essences of the sea. And if you really, really love them, snag a jar for your most treasured fellow beauty fiend.

10 // Philips – Viva Compact Pasta Maker

Much like pizza and wine, I’ve never met a bowl of pasta I didn’t want to immediately stuff my face with. Pasta is even better (like much, much better) when it’s homemade. This sleek little gadget makes it super easy to create delectable homemade noodles in no time. Your foodie friend will go gaga for it and you can benefit by sneaking over for dinner whenever they feel like using it. Win-win.

xoxo,

Alicia