Designer Spotlight | Justine Brooks

Justine-Brooks_Jewelry

Photos via Justine Brooks

Blending international intrigue with familiar nature-inspired motifs, Justine Brooks has built a name for herself in Canada and around the world for her eponymous label which combines precious metals with raw stones and ultra-realistic shapes (think anatomically correct hearts, pine cones, cedar leaves and succulents). Justine launched her brand in 2005 after graduating from both the Emily Carr Institute Of Art & Design and Vancouver Community College’s Jewelry Art and Design Program. Beyond her love for design and jewelry, Justine is a passionate traveler and has explored the globe from top to bottom, visiting breathtaking places throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa and more. In fact, this globe-trotter first fell in love with jewelry and design in 2005 while learning traditional jewelry-making techniques in India. This passion for travel is evident in Justine’s designs. Sometimes it’s a stone, sometime’s its a colour combination and sometimes its a shape or technique, but there is always an international feel to Justine’s designs and multiculturalism is woven into the core of her brand and her vision. I have loved her designs since I first discovered her pieces in Forsya (a lovely but now closed boutique that used to reside on Vancouver’s eclectic Main Street. You can still shop them online though!). I loved the way her pendant, earrings and charms resembled items found in nature in such a realistic way. Her itty-bitty silver pinecones and acorns looked just like the ones I would find while walking through Stanley Park. Her pieces have such a stunning simplicity to them and can be worn with anything – from weekend wear to a wedding dress. These are pieces that are meant to be worn and treasured, everyday. While it’s hard to pick favourites, scroll on to see 10 pieces that are on my wish list!

 

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MY PICKS

1 // Tiny Cedar Earrings

2 // Rose Double Deer Antler Pendant

3 // Hammered Wave Ring

4 // Moonstone Charm Bracelet

5 // Tiny Pinecone Charm Necklace

6 // Fiddlehead Fern Necklace

7 // Anatomical Brain Pendant

8 // Wave & Sunshine Necklace

9 // Raw Opal Studs

10 // Moon + Star Opal Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

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Designer Spotlight | Vestige Story

Photos via Vestige Story

If minimalist silhouettes, rustic fabrics and earthy colours are your go-to, then Vestige Story is sure to become one of your favourite indie labels! This Vancouver-based brand was created by Aileen Lee in 2015 with the aim of offering simple, easy-to-wear pieces with subtle yet unique details. Sustainability, craftsmanship and a deep appreciation for timeless quality are at the heart of this brand. The best part? Everything is made locally, in Vancouver B.C. using minimal waste techniques! Most of their pieces are made with natural fabrics and some of the fabrics are even crafted out of recycled materials like water bottles. Specifically designed for the creative individual – the sculptures, artists, crafters, designers of the world – these pieces are flowy and comfortable. They breathe and move with the wearer. Season-less. Timeless. Made for makers. They let the wearer steal the show. As somewhat of a fabric snob, I immediately fell in love with their beautiful textures and insane attention to detail. Scroll on to see my top ten favourites from their latest collection!

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MY PICKS

1 // Washi Blouse in Mustard

2 // Saya Culottes in Navy

3 // Bushi Jumpsuit in Rust

4 // Milieu Double Weave Jumpsuit

5 // Ashura Dress in Navy

6 // Dahlia Coat in Tan

7 // Kana Coat in Gold

8 // Kensho Coat in Navy

9 // Earthen Sweater in Earth

10 // Priori Top in Cream

xoxo,

Alicia

A Bite Of A Poison Apple

Ruby red lips, waist-cinching tea dresses, a cute little bob adorned with a silk bow – Snow White may have been the fairest of them all but she also had style more wicked than the queen who sought out to have her killed. Lately a matte painted lip has been my go-to beauty look, inspired by sweet miss Snow White. Take it from me, there is NOTHING that will make you look more glamorous or put together, even if you are rocking second day hair and a sweater with bleach stains like I am today. Lush velvet, intricate brocade, ornate embroidery and oh-so-delicate lace – these are the staples of fairy-tale fashion. Need a few examples? Scroll on for elegant ensembles that would make Snow White herself swoon and Prince Charming want more than a kiss.

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1 // Dynamite – Off-The-Shoulder Crop Top in Snow White

2 // NARS – Semi-Matte Lipstick in Jungle Red

3 // Alexander McQueen – Gothic Fairytale Mini Skirt

4 // R&M Richards – Nightway Sparkle-Embellished Tulle Gown

5 // Stella + Ruby – Rose Drop Earrings

6 // Masscob – Floral Brocade Trousers

7 // Xerjoff – Alexandria li Eau De Parfumerie

8 // Kemekiss – Mary-Jane Pumps in Red Suede

9 // St. Xavier – Damask Velvet Clutch

10 // Macy’s – Lab-Created Ruby & White Sapphire Sterling Silver Ring

xoxo,

Alicia

Fall Fashion Favourites

Ahh, autumn. The coziest, chicest time of year for fashion. There is nothing that delights me more than trading up my shorts, tees and sundresses for blanket scarves, floppy felt hats and boots galore. While the weather is still a touch too toasty for all my favourite seasonal staples, cooler days are approaching fast. Get ready for brisk autumn days with this capsule wardrobe. Menswear inspired tailored pieces. Rich jewel tones and earthy neutrals. Cuddly knitted pieces. These items capture all of my favorite fall trends!

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1 // BB Dakota – Jack By Say Anything Sweater

Is there anything better than curling up in a chunky sweater with a spicy latte in hand? I think not. This rich pumpkin hue screams fall as well!

2 // P.A.R.O.S.H. – Rioyshoe Bass Boots

Practical yet pretty, these utilitarian boots are effortlessly chic with a military vibe that is just the right amount of edgy. Plus they are sooo comfy.

3 // Dorfman Pacific – Autumn Leaf Felt Hat

I’m a hat girl through and through (there is nothing better for covering up Kramer-esque bed head). Splattered with the colours of fall leaves, this Indiana Jones inspired style will lend a boho babe flavour to any outfit.

4 // Out From Under – Autumn Striped Sweater Bodysuit

Slip this cozy number on for a perfect fit with your favourite skirt or pair of trousers. The chunky stripes and earthy palette have a 70s flair that is on-trend without being over the top. You’ll want to wear this with everything!

5 // Vero Moda – Silje Windowpane Jumpsuit

One and done – my favourite way to get dressed! This subtle windowpane print is an elegant way to wear plaid. This figure flattering jumpsuit is a little more ladies who lunch than lumberjack and will take you from brunch to the boardroom with ease.

6 // Vince Camuto – Plaid Tie-Waist Pencil Skirt

Forget the stuffy librarian-approved pencil skirts of books and movies! A high waist and feminine tie adds a girly sweetness that freshens up this prim and proper style. Pair with pumps for an elegant occasion or with studded flats for a British punk-inspired edge.

7 // Helmut Lang – High-Rise Wool Twill Pants in Autumn

Are supermodel long legs on your wish list? While these gorgeous trousers can’t alter your genetics, they will create the illusion of mile long gams thanks to the ultra high waist and wide leg style. This camel hue is also incredibly versatile and can be worn in your rotation through fall and winter and well into spring. It’s one of those classics your mama told you to invest in. She was right.

8 // Clare Vivier – Simple Tote in Army Suede with Navy, Marigold & Red

Stash all your stuff in this roomy tote reminiscent of an Ivy-league book bag. The colourful stripes add a collegiate flare that I love and the buttery soft suede is simply too luxe to say no to. It’s simple, stylish and perfect for everyday. It’s got everything that I love about Clare Vivier’s bags. It’s timeless with that quirky je ne sais quoi that makes it stand out from the pack. The perfect blend of preppy, pretty and practical!

Which piece is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

Edwardian-jewelry-romance-editorial-moodboard

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

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