6 Trends & 6 Bags for Spring 2017

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Fashion trends change faster than the weather and it’s not always worth it to splash out on a whole new wardrobe filled with the season’s latest ‘must-haves’ and fads. I rarely buy a piece simply because it’s trendy. Style is such a personal thing and just because magazine editors are telling you that you need something, it doesn’t mean it’s going to look good on you (I learned that the hard way with culottes). If you’re unsure if a bold new style is for you, accessories are an easy way to test the waters. As we are now officially in spring (the first day of spring was Monday), it’s time to revamp our wardrobes. With this in mind, I have rounded up six designer handbags that encapsulate six of the season’s hottest trends. Scroll down and take a gander at some serious arm-candy.

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1 //  TREND: Reptile Patterns & Patchwork

I am not someone who wears a lot of animal prints. If done wrong they can look cheap and trashy. When done right i.e. with a bit of discretion, they add just the right amount of primal sexiness to what might otherwise be a humdrum outfit. Reptile prints have been making an appearance in clothing, shoes, and accessories the past few seasons, and while I don’t have enough Rhianna-like swagger to pull off a python print dress, I would be more than happy to tote around this slinky leather hobo bag. It’s subtle enough to carry everyday, even to the office, but packs a sultry punch that makes me want to channel my inner jungle girl.

Badgley Mischka – Taryn Snake Print Panel Leather Shoulder Hobo Bag

2 // TREND: Colour Blocking

When I look at street style photography, what always grabs my attention is the way colours are mixed in a way that is totally unexpected. Colour blocking is a ‘trend’ that is definitely prevalent this season, but never really seems to go away. It’s also a quick and easy way to reinvent your wardrobe without having to buy anything else. Instead of pairing your coloured pieces with safe neutrals, mix your brights for a look that is fresh and striking. You’d be surprised at how often bright colours complement rather than compete with each other – yellow and cobalt blue is one of my favorite combos. If you’re not quite ready to break out all of your brights, a colour blocked bag will help you dip your toe into this bold trend.

Lana Marks – Frozen Chain Top Handle Ostrich Bag

3 //  TREND: Backpacks & Applique

It’s always a magical thing when function and fashion go hand in hand. Backpacks have been huge lately, with every major designer, from Chanel to Gucci, creating their own luxurious versions of this practical piece. Applique has also been prevalent in the collections of a string of heavyweight designers such as Roberto Cavalli and Giambattista Valli. Put these two bold trends together and you get this masterpiece from Carrie Bradshaw’s beloved Fendi (‘It’s a baguette!’). I wouldn’t be caught dead carrying a canvas number from Herschels unless I found myself hiking, but this bad boy? Take. My. Money.

Fendi – Embellished Floral Applique Mini Leather Backpack

4 // TREND: Fanny Packs & Nautical Stripes

For eons fanny packs have been terminally uncool and associated with judgement impaired tourists, hipsters, and socks and sandals wearing dads. Like everything else in fashion though, what goes in style must go out of style and vice versa. It’s the basic law of fashion physics. While the only one who can truly look good wearing a fanny pack is Leonardo Dicaprio, designers have been doing their best trying to make the dorky style less geek and more chic. This bag from Clare V. is the best version I’ve seen so far and earns extra style points for its nautical navy and white stripes – a timeless print and another huge trend this spring.

Clare V. – Supreme Striped Fanny Pack

5 // TREND: Top Handle

Quintessentially lady like styles have been given a major reboot this season, with movies and TV shows like Carol and Downton Abbey inspiring the collections of couturiers such as Lanvin and Jil Sander. Designers have been breathing new life into prim and proper styles – think asymmetrical cuts, luxe fabrics and edgy embellishments – and I am loving it. Top handle bags are THE it bag this season and they instantly lend a polished, demure feel to any and every outfit.

Givenchy – Real Trapeze Crocodile-effect Leather Tote

6 // TREND: Embroidery 

Did you know that February was National Embroidery Month? Embroidery is HUGE this season, with designers like Naeem Khan and Tanya Taylor splashing stitched patterns all over their couture collections. Let me tell you, this ain’t your granny’s needle point. From sweet florals to punky candy skulls, unexpected motifs are being stitched onto denim, clothing, outerwear, shoes, and handbags. This gorgeous piece from Gucci combines two of this season’s biggest trends and has a feminine, Old Hollywood-esque glamour that evokes images of Marlene Deitrich and Katharine Hepburn. Swoon.

Gucci – Sylvie Embroidered Leather Top Handle Satchel

What do you think of these trends? Do you have any favorites? Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

made-of-plastic

Made of Plastic

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Although so many of the products we buy are made of plastic, it’s not very often that we see that as being a plus, especially when it comes to fashion. When I think of plastic, it conjures images of landfills and trash heaps. I don’t associate synthetic materials with luxury or style – instead the words that come to mind are ‘cheap’ and ‘tacky’. And yet some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world (think Givenchy, Chanel, and Marc Jacobs) love to use it in their collections, crafting clutches out of translucent plastic, heels out of Lucite, and jewelry out of candy-like beads that are so far from the elegant strings of pearls and diamonds that we normally associate with couture, that it’s like the designers are playing a joke on us all. There’s something that is kind of perverse about a plastic bangle costing more than most people’s rent but there is still a certain charm about it. It’s almost so vulgar and tacky that it becomes luxurious and desirable. Although a lot of us turn our nose up at man-made materials, plastic has its merits as well. Because it’s synthetic it can take on textures and finishes that natural materials simply cannot. A lot of the time plastic can be recycled as well, so it’s not the total enemy of the environment that we often think of it as. I have to admit, I am kind of seduced by this season’s love affair with plastic. It pays homage to the bold mod looks of the 60s while also looking ahead with a futuristic, spacey feel – all in all a combination that is refreshing and relevant. This trend is all about contradictions, much like fashion itself. Plastic as a material can be thought of as both old and new, it’s cheap and luxurious, its tacky yet elegant, it’s disposable but is also sustainable. While my heart will always prioritize leather, silk, and real gems over their synthetic substitutes (the real thing is always better in my opinion), plastic definitely has its place in fashion and in my closet.

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1 // Go Jane – Beyond Clear Chunky Lucite Heels

2 // Valley City X – Zero UV Mod Oversize Sunglasses

3 // Alex Bittar – Lucite Faceted Cocktail Ring

4 // JAPONESQUE – Alligator Hair Comb

5 // Moschino – Metal and Lucite Floral Necklace

6 // Go Jane – Call Me Maybe Square Lucite Clutch

7 // Kate Spade New York – Rumsey Plastic Strap Watch

8 // Armani Jeans – Plastic Mesh Shopping Bag

9 // LaVieHippie (Etsy) – Vintage Marbled Lucite Earrings

xoxo,

Alicia

 

Floral Fare

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I’m a shameless girly-girl in every possible way, so I have always loved florals. Whether it’s a bouquet of fresh blooms, an ultra-feminine flowery perfume, or a floral printed fabric, I am more than happy to incorporate flowers into every aspect of my life, from fashion to home decor. And while flowers for spring might seem like a cliche, classics are classics for a reason. Even if you’re not willing to wear a sugary sweet floral dress, anyone can channel their inner flower child by toting around one of these gorgeous handbags. Florals have been given an edgy update this season with stylized pop art-inspired motifs and tough-as-nails studs and metallic hardware. These styles are fresh, fun, and anything but frou-frou. Before you dismiss spring flowers as being saccharine and boring, take a gander at these 9 pieces of arm-candy. In the words of Miranda Priestley from The Devil Wears Prada, ‘Florals for Spring? Groundbreaking.’. Minus the sarcasm.

1 // Dana Buchman – Lucille Tote

2 // Orla Kiely – Giant Flower Leather Fairfield Bag

3 // Go Jane – Flower Walk Quilted Chain Bag (only $32!)

4 // Lavani – White Flower Emblem Crossbody Bag (only $25!)

5 // Calvin Klein – Saffiano Leather Tote

6 // Orla Kiely – Summer Flower Canvas Zip Around Purse

7 // Go Jane – Vintage Vibes Floral Faux Leather Clutch (only $35!)

8 // Yasbukey – Embroidered Flower Patch Flap Bag

9 // Coach – Embroidered Flower Crossbody Bag

xoxo,

Alicia

Sweet Sakura Dreams

Nothing makes it more clear that spring has finally arrived in Vancouver than when the first few cherry blossoms start to bloom. The streets are lined with rows of pale pink flowers and petals float around the city like falling snow. We still have a few weeks (at least) until these beautiful blooms start making their appearance, so right now I’m bringing spring to me with sakura (the Japanese word for cherry blossom) scented beauty products, cherry blossom decor, and accessories. Wake me up when spring arrives, and until then I’ll be having sweet sakura dreams.

SAKURA BUYS

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1 // Britney Spears Fragrances – Fantasy in Bloom

2 // Oblong – Graceful Hanami Cashmere & Silk Scarf

3 // Swag Style – Cherry Blossom Giclee Shade Plug-In Chandelier

4 // Small Le Pliage – Neo Fantasie Tote

5 // Nike – WMNS Roshe Run “Cherry Blossom”

6 // OGX – Heavenly Hydration Cherry Blossom Shampoo

7 // Michael Michaud Jewelry – Cherry Blossom Bracelet

8 // Chairish – Van Gogh Inspired Cherry Blossom Linen Pillow

9 // YourLaMode – Cherry Blossom iPhone Case

10 // Timeless Pearl – Cherry Blossom Pearl Brooch

11 // Ecoya – Limited Edition Reed Diffuser in Cherry Blossom & Tuberose

xoxo,

Alicia

February Beauty Picks

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So, I have been trying my very best to cut back on my spending this month. Why? My boyfriend and I went to Jamaica last week and stayed at the Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall. It was an absolutely gorgeous and luxurious trip but it was all insanely expensive. Seriously. Beyonce and Jay-Z pricey. I don’t know who I thought I was. I’ll be paying off this trip for the next couple of months and so my favorite little indulgences have to be sacrificed for the time being. Goodbye $6 matcha lattes, sushi takeout, and perfume binges. That being said, my monthly subscription to Ipsy‘s Glam Bags is one treat that I will be keeping. For $14 a month I get five miniature beauty products from luxe brands like Tarte and Too Faced and that is simply too delightful to pass up. I honestly haven’t bought a tube of mascara in ages because they keep sending me different ones (and despite being samples, the sizes are pretty generous!). If you haven’t already signed up for a beauty subscription service like Ipsy (Birchbox is another good one), I highly recommend it! You get a lot for your money and it’s a fabulous way to try new products and colours that you normally wouldn’t have access to or think to buy. A lot of the products I have received have become favorites of mine and are ones that I will definitely repurchase when I run out. So without further ado, here are five products that I have absolutely fallen in love with this month.


 

1 // Trust Fund Beauty – Nail Polish in $12 Latte

Okay, so I have never in my life thought to buy a brown nail polish. I just thought it was a dull colour and I generally like my finger nails to be fresh, clean, and simple. I normally lean towards pale petal pinks, nudes, and french manis. When I received this in my Ipsy bag I was actually kind of disappointed because the deep brown/purple hue was such a departure from my signature style. I loved the cheeky name as someone who enjoys her overpriced coffee. After giving the colour a try I quickly changed my tune. It’s very dark, almost black, but seems to change subtly from deep coffee brown to dark purple depending on the light. It’s not at all goth and has a subtle sophistication that I love. I won’t wear it much longer – it’s too dark for summer. It’s the perfect moody shade for fall and provides a striking contrast against my silver rings.

2 //  Tarte – Amazonian Clay 12-hour Naughty Nudes Blush in Sensual

If your favorite bronzer and peachy blush had a baby, this would be it. It’s a beautiful shade that instantly warms up the complexion and lasts a crazy long time (12 hours is absolutely accurate). It’s great for the winter months and brightens up a pale visage. It also enhances my newly acquired Jamaica tan and looks beautiful against darker complexions.

3 //  The Balm Cosmetics – Meet Matt(e) Trimony Matte Eyeshadow Palette

I am kind of obsessed with this palette. I rarely wear colour on my lids and almost exclusively opt for play-it-safe neutrals but I can honestly say that I adore every single one of these shades and they work great for day and night. Each shade is named after a different Matt – i.e. Matt Lopez, Matt Reed, Matt Evans. My favorite colour is Matt Moskowitz. It’s a lovely dark purple that is subtle enough to work for every day while still providing a fresh pop of colour. I’ve been wearing it every day lately instead of my usual brown and taupe shades.

4 // NYX – Butter Lipstick in Ripe Berry

Creamy, moisturizing, highly pigmented, long-lasting – this HG of a lipstick seriously ticks every single one of my boxes. The satin finish is gorgeous and is a refreshing change from the over saturation of matte options out there. I honestly cannot get enough of the juicy colour which is reminiscent of raspberry wine. It’s very sultry without being super dark. I’ve been wearing it every day since I got it and I doubt I will be tucking it away anytime soon. Love. Love. Love.

5 //  Be Fine Food Skin Care – Gentle Face Cleanser

If any of you have read my other posts, you will know that skincare is one of my (many) obsessions. No amount of makeup can truly cover up unhealthy skin and so I make it the main focus of my beauty routine and I do my best to use quality products and a consistent regime. Whatever your skin type, I can pretty much guarantee that this lovely cleanser would be a happy addition to your own routine. This soothing cleanser whisks away all traces of makeup, oil, sweat, and gunk without leaving my face feeling parched. It also manages to remove my waterproof mascara without any problems – a difficult feat. True to its name, this nourishing cleanser is packed with vitamin-rich ingredients such as oat bran extract, wheat amino acids, and sugar cane. Sweet.

xoxo,

Alicia

Elevated Sleepy Essentials

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If you’re anything like me (and most people I know) you tend to forgo traditional pajamas and instead retire to the sack in an oversized t-shirt you’ve had since high school and a worn out pair of sweatpants or shorts. I currently own TWO sets of pajamas and they are less than glamorous (one set is made of fluffy zebra print fleece and the other is a Cat In The Hat printed onesie). There is nothing wrong with going to bed in something comfy – in fact, it’s a necessity. Lately, I’ve been watching a lot of old movies and I couldn’t help but notice that not one leading lady goes to bed looking like she just came back from the gym. They look just as lovely as they did when they were out to dinner, swathed in silk and wrapped in an elegant kimono. I just love the scene in ‘Breakfast at Tiffanys’ when Audrey Hepburn first meets George Peppard’s character and is wearing that ethereal white nightgown and fabulous turquoise sleep mask. She looked so effortlessly fabulous that it inspired me to invest in my own little collection of beautiful sleepwear. There will be plenty of times, no doubt, where I resort to wearing my saggy shorts and Beatles tee to bed, but I love the idea of going to bed feeling stylish and lovely even if it’s just for myself (and my boyfriend). Here are six sets that are currently on my sleepy time wish list.

1 // Roses Are Red – Sundays Are Forever Silk Sleepwear Set in Coral

This set is absolutely perfect for summer. The colour is gorgeous, the silk satin is luxe, and the silhouette is modern with just the right amount of sexiness. It’s just the thing I will want to wear come July when the temperature gets to 30 degrees and I can’t even have a blanket on my bed.

2 // Neiman Marcus – Monogrammed Silk Sleep Masks

I absolutely LOVE sleep masks. I am the type of person that needs total darkness to fall asleep. Even the tiniest bit of light creeping into my room will keep me awake. I love the feminine ruffle at the edge of this mask and the monogrammed initial seems like the kind of glamorous detail that Audrey Hepburn would have had on her sleep mask.

3 // Olivia Von Halle – Coco Plum Silk Pyjamas

It’s official: Olivia Von Halle has some seriously strong sleepwear game. Every one of her sleepwear sets is just gorgeous – almost too beautiful to wear to bed. I love this set because it feels so classic. The retro white piping provides a pretty contrast against the rich plum hue. Plus the airy silk fabric would be just as comfy as my cotton t-shirts, while still looking polished.

4 // Olivia Von Halle – Bella Silk Satin Pyjama Set

Oh look, another gem from Olivia Von Halle. I almost feel like you could wear this pajama set during the day, out in public, with a pair of sandals or mules. The matchy-matchy, head-to-toe, monochrome look is really on trend right now after all. I think the spaghetti straps and racerback are super sexy yet still comfy, something that negligees/lingerie in general never seems to be able to accomplish. And the raspberry hue? Perfection.

5 // Fleur of England – Mint Silk Pyjama Bottoms

As I have mentioned before, I have a weakness for sweet pastels and sorbet hues. This mint stripes are so pretty that I know I would be tempted to wear these out in public as well. Just beautiful.

6 // HVN – Cherry Print Silk Pyjama Set

I adore quirky prints and so this boxy set emblazoned with juicy looking cherries immediately stole my attention and my heart. Again, I love PJs that have a retro vibe, and the red piping gives these a 1950s feel that I simply adore. I can totally picture Rosemary Clooney wearing these while riding a train to Vermont in ‘White Christmas’. I love. I need. I will buy.

xoxo,

Alicia

January Beauty Picks

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A brand new year – that means it’s time to buy a whole new slew of beauty products right? There is nothing more invigorating than the first few weeks of January. Sure, it might be a cliche, but at the time of year it feels like the slate has been wiped clean and that all of the bad habits (excessive caffeine, not enough sleep, procrastination etc.) of the previous year are gone. It’s also a great time to refresh one’s beauty routine, whether it’s trying a new hairstyle or colour, switching up one’s daily makeup look, or adopting a more luxurious skincare regime. Right now my focus is on being healthy (eating clean and exercising regularly) and pampering my skin into perfection. I don’t plan on totally changing my look – I want to look like me. Only better. Behold, my five favorite beauty buys this month, all of which have been doing a great job keeping my strands soft and shiny, my skin clear and dewy, and my makeup on point.

1 // Fresh – Sugar Face Polish

My boyfriend got me this for Christmas (he’s a delight) and I am obsessed with it. It’s a multitasking hybrid between a scrub and mask with nourishing ingredients like grapeseed, macadamia, and strawberry seed oils, as well as skin softening brown sugar. Simply smooth it onto your damp, clean complexion, leave it on for ten minutes, and then gently slough off dead skin cells, dirt, and debris as you rinse it off. Voila, a glowing, balanced complexion.

2 // Revlon – Ultra HD Matte Lip Colour in Addiction

This has been my go-to lip colour for the past two months. It’s a gorgeous deep fuchsia hue that instantly brightens up my face even if I am wearing no other makeup. The matte finish is striking but doesn’t leave my lips parched the way other matte lipsticks or liquid colours do. This is a stunning colour for day and night and has become a mainstay in my makeup bag!

3 // LUSH – Daddy-O Shampoo

I recently dyed my hair balayage and bought this shampoo after my colourist recommended that I buy hydrating products to maintain my colour and minimize damage. After trying a couple of different shampoos, this one has become my favorite. I love that it is all natural with luxurious, hair-nourishing ingredients like seaweed, citrus juices, and rose and bergamot oil. It keeps my newly blonde tresses bright and fresh and my hair is even softer than before I coloured it. Plus it has a lovely violet scent – soft, powdery, and feminine.

4 // Nars – Blush in Angelika

I have to admit it – I have been cheating on my trusty bronzer with this awesome blush from Nars. While I love the warm, glowy look that a dusting of bronzer gives me, a soft wash of petal pink blush is so refreshing and looks so pretty against my much paler, winter complexion. Although this blush looks very bright in the compact, it looks natural and subtle on my skin. Pair this with a few coats of volumizing mascara and a slick of rosy lipstick for a flirty, flushed look that rivals that of Disney princesses. Dear bronzer, it has been swell but I think it’s time we took a break.

5 // Tarte – Maracuja Oil

A lot of people find facial oils to be intimidating. After all, oily skin is the enemy right? Never fear – this hydrating elixer, rich in fatty acids and vitamin C sinks in almost immediately, leaving the skin quenched, plump, and silky soft. Since I’ve been using it (morning and night under my moisturizer) my skin tone has become more even and smooth with a dewy glow and I find myself reaching for my concealer and highlighter less frequently. This is a pricey product but if you give it a try I think you will find that it is worth every single penny!

xoxo,

Alicia