Designer Spotlight | Nicole Bridger

It’s pretty much impossible to talk about eco-chic and sustainable fashion without talking about Nicole Bridger. Hailing from Vancouver, Canada, Nicole has been in love with garment construction and nature from an early age. She graduated from Toronto’s Ryerson University in 1999 before interning with Vivienne Westwood. In 2006 she launched her own label and since then her self titled brand has become one of my favorite clothing companies in fashion today. Born and raised in Vancouver, a place renowned for its natural beauty and active lifestyle, Nicole has always designed her clothes with the well-being of the environment in mind. Her pieces are made locally out of natural and sustainable fabrics, so you can rest assured knowing that every piece you wear from her line is not only gorgeous, but karma-free. What I love about Nicole’s line is that every piece is made with attention to fit and detail. There’s nothing overtly trendy about her pieces. They aren’t avante-garde and they don’t reek of trends or fads from the latest high-fashion runway shows. They are made with real people and real life in mind. These are clothes that you put on and you feel comfortable and beautiful, whether you are heading to the grocery store or for date night with your sweetie. The magic is all in the quality and subtle luxury of her pieces. And really, it doesn’t get any better than that! Scroll on for a few of my favorite finds from her Summer/Spring 2017 Collection. 

NICOLE BRIDGER PICKS

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1 // Soulful Dress

2 // Honour Dress

3 // Journey Dress

4 // Appreciation Pant

5 // Bliss Shorts

6 // Flex Dress

7 // Inspire Dress

8 // Bliss Pants

9 // Honest Blouse

10 // Be Tank

xoxo,

Alicia Arruda

An Ode to Coral

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One of my favorite colours for summer is juicy coral. Not quite orange, not quite pink, this exotic shade instantly warms up the complexion and makes me feel like I’m beach-ready! Nothing looks better against a summer tan than this tropical hue. Whether it’s a swipe of coral gloss or a floor-length coral maxi-dress, adopt this gorgeous shade into your own wardrobe and beauty routine and pretend you’re vacationing in Tahiti (or a tropical destination of your choice)! So with that in mind, here are a few of my very favorite fashion and beauty picks in this sunny summer shade. Hello, sunshine.

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CORAL PICKS

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1 // Caroline Svedborn – Örhängen Alexandra Light Coral Earrings

2 // Kate Spade New York – Flights of Fancy Grapefruit Leather Crossbody Bag

3 // Wear All – Chiffon Gypsy Off Shoulder Top

4 // Sam Edelman – Rochester Flats

5 // Yves Saint Laurent Beauty – Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick in Color 36 Corail Legende

6 // Fitbit – Alta HR Wireless Heart Rate & Fitness Tracker

7 // Gucci – Bold High-Gloss Lacquer in Crushed Coral

8 // Suzanna Dai РOmbr̩ Gumball Necklace

9 // Nordstrom Rack – Beauty Sleep Pillow

10 // Pretty Little Thing – Charis Coral Floral Embroidered Shorts

xoxo,

Alicia

5 Piece Summer Wardrobe

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I recently finished a very entertaining novel called Elegance where the protagonist aims to pick up the pieces of her messy life and failing marriage by following the advice of a book (also called Elegance) that has been written to guide women on the ways that they can become more poised, stylish, and confident, improving their lives in the process.One of the chapters in the book focuses on the idea of having a small but carefully curated wardrobe of only a few well-chosen, high-quality pieces. I don’t know about you guys, but my wardrobe is completely cluttered with pieces I haven’t worn in years, whether it’s because they no longer fit, they are out of date, or they are falling apart (but I have the delusional idea that I will one day have them repaired). The idea of trimming down my wardrobe to a handful of beautiful, well-made items intrigues me. Rome wasn’t built in a day so I doubt that I will be tossing out half my closet anytime soon, but I will be going through my clothes and donating pieces that no longer serve me. My new mantra going forward is that I will only choose pieces that truly bring me joy. For me this means beautiful cuts, luxe fabrics, with just a touch of contemporary sex appeal. I want my clothes to make me look and feel good regardless of the occasion. With this in mind I have selected five key pieces for a summer wardrobe. I’ve picked three options for each item with the idea that (almost) all of the pieces could be mixed and matched. The five piece wardrobe equates to effortless elegance and light packing – two closet characteristics that are perfect for the hotter months of the year.

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SUNDRESSES

Breezy sundresses are so ideal when the temperatures rise. Simply step in, zip up, and throw on some sandals before heading out. They are easy to dress up with a statement necklace and a pair of heels or dress down with some espadrilles and a denim jacket. 

1 // OUGES – Halter Neck Floral Casual Summer Sundress 

2 // Gamiss – Flower Printed Sleeveless A-Line Sundress 

3 // J.Crew – Off The Shoulder Tie-Waist Dress 

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JERSEY TROUSERS

Unlike a pair of jeans or distressed cut-offs, trousers made of lightweight cotton or silk jersey are suitable for casual and formal occasions. They look polished and feel comfy – a must when it comes to summer dressing. Pair with a slinky cami and a pair of stiletto sandals for a night out with your favorite ladies. 

1 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Chiffon Pajama Trousers 

2 // Fleur Du Mal – Fox Silk-Lined Pants 

3 // 3.1 Phillip Lim – Silk Trousers 

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SILK T-SHIRT

Instead of throwing on yet another wrinkled, cotton tee, why not upgrade to a luxe silk or satin version? Pick one in a neutral colour (think pearl grey, taupe, navy or blush) and you’ll be have a piece that you can wear with literally everything. Plus, as far as clothing goes, nothing feels better on a hot, muggy day than a breathable silk shirt. 

1 // Reiss Ki – Silk Front T-Shirt

2 // Equipment – Prescott Striped Silk T-Shirt 

3 // CLU – Pleated Organza Trimmed Silk Jersey T-Shirt 

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LINEN SHORTS

Stay cool and chic in a crisp pair of linen shorts. This plant-based fabric is incredibly light and breathable, making it the perfect choice for summer. While I adore bright colours, a loose-fitting pair in an earthy hue will take you everywhere, from brunch to an office barbecue. 

1 // Zimmerman – Zephyr Striped Cotton & Linen Blend Shorts

2 // Vince – Linen and Silk Shorts 

3 // Venroy – Lounge Drawstring Shorts 

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BREEZY CARDIGAN

One of the best things about summer is not having to lug around a heavy coat or jacket. That being said, a lightweight cardigan or poncho (for cool summer nights) is an absolute essential. Choose two or three options – at least one in a luxurious fabric (think silk or thin cashmere) and one casual poncho for camping or hanging out on the beach. Right now I’m loving pieces with nautical stripes and oceanic colours – navy and pale periwinkle blue go with everything! 

1 // Mat Blue – Cream Striped Open Cardigan 

2 // French Connection – Milano Mozart Cardigan

3 // Outdoor & Country – Barbour Harewood Cardigan 

What do you think of these pieces? Would you ever adopt a five piece wardrobe? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Callahan

If cozy sweaters and Cali-girl inspired slouchy fits are your jam, you are sure to fall in love with this L.A label. If you’re anything like me, the word ‘knitwear’ bring to mind cuddly pullovers and the thick, wooden sweaters your grandma would knit you. And while you can find these cuddly pieces in a Callahan collection, you’ll find them alongside more contemporary styles – think an edgy batwing dress knit out of super fine yarn, or a fringed crochet maxi. Designer Michelle Callahan created her eponymous label with the desire to offer women beautiful, versatile knitwear that they can wear all year long. Each piece is made to transition from season to season, and although the brand’s aesthetic favours the odd sexy detail here and there (cut-outs, dropped waists, scooped backs), each collection stays true to Callahan’s signature penchant for clean lines and classic silhouettes. Whether you’re on the hunt for a breezy and lightweight sweater dress or a cute pair of crochet shorts, look to this label for those kind of easy-to-wear wardrobe staples that California brands seem to do so well. Here are ten pieces from Callahan’s Spring 2017 collection that I am seriously in love with.

 

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CALLAHAN PICKS

1 // Crochet Maxi

2 // Fringe Column Dress

3 // Enzyme Batwing Mini

4 // Open Weave Off The Shoulder Top

5 // Stripe Off Shoulder Dress

6 // Fringe Crop Sweater

7 // Slinky Mini Tank

8 // Enzyme Shortie Short

9 // Crochet Fringe Top

10 // Stripe Crop Off Shoulder Top

xoxo,

Alicia

On The Boardwalk

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Long days that turn into late nights walking along the boardwalk are some of my most cherished summer memories. I live pretty close to the beach (not to brag), but even if you live smack dab in the middle of the city, you can still capture that carnival by the sea vibe with a few well chosen pieces. The magic formula includes bright colours, stripes, and a general disregard for subtlety or conventions. Accessorize with a head turning pair of shades and a cone full of cotton candy and you’re good to go! With this theme in mind, I’ve chosen 10 pieces that will help you channel your inner carnival girl instantly. Lana Del Rey would approve!

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BOARDWALK BUYS

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1 // Bond No. 9 – New York Coney Island Eau De Perfume

2 // RMS Beauty – Lip2Cheek Colour in Beloved

3 // New Directions – Ivory Floppy Sun N Sand Hat

4 // Red Off Shoulder Top & Black/White Striped Highwaisted Bottoms (Swimsuit)

5 // Deborah Lippmann – Walking on Sunshine & Lara’s Theme Set

6 // Lilly Pulitzer – Boho Beach Earrings

7 // Betsey Johnson – Boardwalk Sweets Candy Bracelet

8 // Tory Burch – Castaway Mismatched Espadrilles

9 // Solid & Striped – Cropped Striped Cotton Top

10 // Zimmermann – Roza Striped Cotton Shorts

xoxo,

Alicia

Made Of Straw

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Straw handbags, baskets, and clutches are everywhere this summer and they really do lend a farmer’s market chic vibe to any outfit. This season’s styles have been given a trendy update with geometric shapes (retro circle styles are my favorite), intricate beading and bohemian-inspired embroidery. And we couldn’t even talk about straw handbags without also mentioning pom-poms. This fuzzy fixture from your first grade art class is here to stay and is a favorite of streetstyle fashionistas and bloggers. Bonus points if they come in rainbow hues and are accentuated with dangling tassels. Whether you prefer the country casual look with a plain and simple straw tote, or you instead take cues from high fashion with flamboyant embellishments, one thing we can all agree on is that straw bags are the summer accessory. I have a couple, but I can’t help but want to add a few more to my own handbag arsenal. Because really, when it comes down to it, can you ever have too many purses? Clothes yes, bags no. Afterall, accessories are such an easy and fun way to change up the hum-drum outfits you’ve worn dozens of times. So if you’re still on the fence about adding some wicker to your wardrobe, check out these nine drool-worthy totes.

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STRAW PICKS

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1 // Sundry – Sea, Sun, Salt Straw Bag

2 // Sun ‘N’ Sand – Natural Straw Mini Crossbody Bag

3 // Filippo Catarzi – Striped Bow Straw Tote

4 // Lilly Pulitzer – Riviera Straw Tote Bag

5 // BaubleBar – Lemonade Straw Tote Bag

6 // T&J Designs – Straw Pom Pom Clutch

7 // Le Sera – Daybreak Multicolour Straw Tote Bag

8 // Alice + Olivia – ‘Stace Face’ Embellished Straw Tote

9 // Patricia Nash – Levanzo Straw Satchel

xoxo,

Alicia

Brand Spotlight | Matt & Nat

I, like many other ladies, am always on the hunt for the perfect handbag. The word ‘perfect’ in regards to purses means different things for different people, but for me it means spacious (to carry my toiletries and all of the things a nomad like myself needs), well made, durable, stylish, and made out of eco-friendly materials. Montreal-based brand Matt & Nat knocks it out of the park on all counts when it comes to their line of vegan totes, backpacks, and purses. Even their clutches fit more than some of my shoulder bags! Their aesthetic is exactly my style – timeless, streamlined, with just a touch of quirk. And just when you think that it can’t get any better, not only does this brand dish out a mean selection of arm candy, but they also design some of the cutest shoes I’ve ever seen. And that’s saying something because shoes are kind of my thing. Since 1995, founders Indi Bedi and Manny Kohli have stuck to their vision of designing gorgeous accessories that are ethically made out of vegan (and often recycled) materials like nylon, cork, and rubber. Their pieces are beautiful inside and out, both figuratively and literally. Sure, the linings are almost as pretty as the bags themselves, but they are also designed with the belief that the well being of the environment and animals should never be sacrificed for fantastic style. And as someone who has decided to forgo animal products from her diet, I hold those values close to my heart as well. It makes sense for me to support brands and to buy products as frequently as possible that do not harm our furry friends. There are a lot of great vegan brands out there and Matt & Nat is one of the best. If you haven’t yet heard of this Canadian label, get ready to drool over your screen. I know that I do every time I peruse their selection.

MATT & NAT PICKS

1 // Jasmine Bag in Glass

2 // Obe Bag in Quartz

3 // Blake Weekend Bag in Olive

4 // Abiko Clutch in Coral

5 // Chanda Backpack in Azur

6 // Drapeau Slide Sandals in Black

7 // Suave Slide Sandals in Quartz

8 // Villeray Sandals in Tan

9 // Orford Tote in Koala

10 // Griffintown Mule in Tan

xoxo,

Alicia

Photos via Matt & Nat