Formally Informal






Velvet is a fabric that I do not wear enough. I wore a ton of velvet when I was a kid, in the form of frilly, itchy flower girl dresses and headbands but haven’t worn it much since. In the last few months, velvet has recently seen a resurgence in popularity and this luxe fabric has transcended from being strictly used for formal attire to something that can be worn casually as well. Think velvet smoking slippers, cropped tops, and shorts. The line between high-end and low-end is blurring and I love the idea of adding a bit of opulence to an otherwise humdrum ‘jeans and tee’ ensemble. Velvet is a surprisingly versatile fabric and can be edgy or prim and proper depending on the way it is styled. If you’re not quite ready to fully adopt this trend but want to give it a try, accessories are a great place to start. I bought a pair of black velvet loafers recently and they make every outfit feel a little more special and luxe. With that in mind, here are a few of my favourite velvet pieces that I can’t wait to add to my own wardrobe. 


VELVET BUYS

1 // Pretty Little Thing – Tasmine Blue Velvet Choker Bralet 

2 // Mango – Velvet Top

3 // Jon Josef – Gentry Black Velvet Smoking Loafer

4 // Rose Gal – V Neck Velvet Tunic Dress

5 // Emilio Pucci – Velvet Shorts

6 // Kc Jager – Jenner Velvet Shoulder Bag

7 // River Island – Green Velvet Deep Frill Bardot Crop Top

8 // Steve Madden – Carrsonv Pink Velvet Ankle Strap Heels 

Xoxo,

Alicia

Six Swimsuits That Are Bringing Sexy Back 


I haven’t worn a one piece swimsuit since I was 12 years old. As soon as I entered my teen years it was bikinis only for me and until recently I associated one pieces with my awkward, gangly, elementary years. One piece bathing suits are having a major moment right now though, with major designers (Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Mara Hoffman) and celebrities like Taylor Swift bringing them back into the spotlight. My rule with fashion has always been ‘never say never’ and while I used to think of one pieces as frumpy and hopelessly uncool, I am now ready to hop on this trend train. So with that in mind, here are six swimsuits that prove you don’t need to show a lot of skin to be sexy in the surf.

1 // Lisa Marie Fernandez – Sabine Polka Dot Ruffled Strapless One Piece Swimsuit

This retro piece instantly won my heart. It has a 50s vibe that I love and the sweet heart neckline is super flattering. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a black and white colour palette.

2 // Oasis – Tropical Print One Piece Swimsuit

Tropical prints are everywhere right now and they have a tacky tourist feel that is so wrong that it’s right. That being said, the water colour motif classes it up a little and the soft shades would look amazing with a sunkissed glow. Finally, the plunging neckline adds just the right amount of sex appeal. 

3 // Lilliput & Felix – Amaranthus Hot Coral Swimsuit 

This may just be my favourite swimsuit of the bunch. Where do I even begin with this one? The high, ruched neckline looks as though it could be on an evening gown. The gorgeous coral hue compliments all skin tones and the itsy-bitsy cutout just under the bust lends a flirtatious sexiness to the piece that still manages to be elegant. I feel like Audrey Hepburn AND Marilyn Monroe would like this swimsuit. It’s the perfect blend of sweet and sultry.

4 // Rose Gal – Yellow Off The Shoulder Ruffle One Piece Swimsuit

Open any fashion magazine or scroll through any blog and it will be immediately apparent that the off-the-shoulder look is trending hard right now. I’ve always loved that look, even when my dad would tease me and ask me if I thought I was starring in Flashdance. The ruffle at the top of the swimsuit adds some ladylike sweetness while the loud lemon hue screams for attention. I feel like a lot of people are afraid to wear yellow, but it can be very flattering and it totally pops against a tan. 

5 // Mara Hoffman – Classic One Piece Meridian White Swimsuit

This sporty piece reminds me of something that a competitive swimmer would wear while practicing laps around the pool. The silhouette is streamline and free of fuss, but the pastel graphic print adds some nostalgic 80s charm that makes it striking and unique.

6 // Rose Gal – Ruffle One Piece Swimsuit in Black (Plus Size)

I’m just going to go ahead and channel my inner Archie Andrews (I’m rediscovering my love for the iconic comic series because of my new TV addiction Riverdale) and say va-va-voom to this one shoulder stunner. If Veronica Lodge was a swimsuit, she would be this one. This black number provides some extra coverage for voluptuous figures which I love. I have a smaller bust with curvy hips so it can be hard to find a swimsuit that ticks all of the boxes. This piece absolutely does and it has a classic feel that is timeless and elegant. Also, the ruffle at the bust and the tiny bows at the hips are a cute little touch and draw attention to all the right places. In love. 

How do you feel about one piece swimsuits? Do you have a favourite? Let me know your thoughts!

Xoxo,

Alicia

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April Beauty Picks

So I really had quite the opportunity to discover new beauty products this month. Why? I lost my entire bag of makeup in a cab on the way home from my friend’s house. Cue the violins. So after I had a good little cry (kidding, not kidding) I had to go out and stock up on all new beauty essentials. The silver lining of my taxi tragedy was that I found a few gems that I absolutely love. From a mascara that can withstand sweat, rain, tears, and naps, to a luxe serum that has pearls in it, these are my five favorite beauty finds of the month.


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1 // Artistry – Ideal Radiance Illuminating Essence

First things first, this serum is a freaking godsend. My cousin Marina actually introduced me to Artistry when she began selling the line and I instantly became intrigued by its quality and cult-like following (Sandra Bullock and Jennifer Lopez are fans). It was difficult to choose which products I wanted to buy, but I ended up settling on this one. My skin is pretty clear but I have always been prone to blotchiness and dullness. With antioxidant packed ingredients like acerola cherry and skin-soothing pearl protein and flower essences, this oil free serum has already made my complexion brighter and my skin tone more even and fresh looking. It’s a splurge at $133 but I think it’s worth every penny.

2 // CoverGirl – LashBlast 24HR Mascara

If there is one thing I never leave the house without, it’s a few coats of mascara on my lashes. My biggest pet peeve however, is when it flakes under my eyes and I look like a raccoon at the end of the day. This is one of the few mascaras I have found that looks as fresh at 7 pm as it did when I applied it at 7 am. It makes my lashes full, long, and lush and doesn’t flake at all. The only flaw? It’s a bitch to take off. I find coconut oil does the trick though, and it’s a small price to pay for fresh, fluttery lashes all day long.

3 // Revlon – Kiss Balm in Berry Burst

I’m more of a lipstick gal than a balm girl, but this tinted formula is kind of like a hybrid between the two. It’s super hydrating and leaved a pretty wash of colour on my lips that brightens my whole face. It’s also SPF 20 which is an extra bonus. I love this for when I don’t want to have a dramatically bold lip but I still want a little colour.

4 // Marc Jacobs – Highliner Gel Eye Crayon in Blacquer

I love this eye liner for the same reason that I love CoverGirl’s Lashblast 24HR Mascara. It. Lasts. All. Day. Long. I truly hate when my eye makeup smudges and this highly pigmented gem never fades. Unlike the mascara, this is super easy to wash off. It glides on easily and can make my eyes look subtly defined or sultry and dramatic. It’s pricey at $33, but I love, love, love it.

5 // Artistry Essentials – Pore Cleansing Masque

My favorite thing to do after work is as follows: light a few candles, switch on Netflix, apply this mask. My face always feels a bit greasy at the end of the day and this deep cleansing mask is perfect for soaking up excess oil. With mineral clay, brightening ginseng, and nourishing copper and zinc, this reaches deep into my pores to pull out dirt, debris, and sebum. It also tingles in a very satisfying way that makes me feel like it’s really working. I use this two or three times a week depending on what my skin needs, and it leaves my complexion soft, smooth, and matte. It also doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin, but as always, you should always spot test a mask before slathering it all over your face.

Have you tried any of these products? What did you think? Let’s chat in the comments!

xoxo,

Alicia

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Designer Spotlight | Eat Me Do

Foodies, rejoice! This Aussie line of quirky clothes celebrates all things delicious, with each collection centering around, you guessed it, food. Designer Lara Ivachev first launched her brand in June of 2012, with the goal of creating a line of clothing that was unabashedly playful and eccentric. Discarding the idea that clothing should be classic and understated, Lara believes getting dressed should be as fun as it was when we were children playing dress up in our mother’s clothes. Flashy prints, loud, in-your-face colours, and pop-art inspired motifs are this brand’s mainstays, along with accessories and jewelry modeled after your favorite childhood snacks. Just a warning, the gummy bear, and sour worm earrings look so much like the real thing, you’ll have to remind yourself not to eat them! With each collection, Lara manages to connect the dots between food and fashion. This concept feels SO right now, with many popular Instagram feeds showcasing food photographs that are as meticulously and creatively styled as Vogue editorial spreads. In today’s social media-driven age, you will be hard pressed to find a restaurant where someone isn’t taking multiple shots of their meal before they allow themselves to indulge. Eat Me Do takes this concept of food as an accessory and runs with it, creating mouthwatering confections that combine avante garde style with a culturally aware sense of humor. From fashion to food, this lighthearted brand ties these two worlds together, celebrating above all, pleasure, beauty, and fun. Tasty.

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Designer Lara Ivachev.

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EAT ME DO PICKS

1 // Rainbow Breakfast Skirt

2 // Sunny Side Up Dress

3 // Baked Bean Clutch

4 // Sour Worm Earring

5 // Tiny Teddy Brooch

6 // Ice Scream Dress

7 // Mini Gummy Bear Earrings

8 // Krilling It! Clutch

xoxo,

Alicia

Sorbet For Days

It’s officially a new season, so it’s time to hit refresh on your winter wardrobe. I don’t know about any of you, but I am dying to replace winter’s dreary palette of grey, navy, and black with sweet sorbet shades that evoke thoughts of delicious treats and carefree days spent in the sun. From pale mint and cotton candy pink to lemon chiffon, pretty pastels are this season’s style indulgence. If the runway shows of haute designers like Emilio Pucci, Bottega Veneta, and Valentino are anything to go by, it’s clear that Spring 2017 will be saturated with candy-inspired colours and lady-like details. And after what felt like an eternity of rain jackets, heavy sweaters, and somber hues, I am more than ready to binge.

sorbet-style-pastel-fashion

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1 // Lack Of Color – Sunset Palms Fedora

2 // Sydney Evan – Small Ice Cream Cone Pink Sapphire & 14K Yellow Gold Single Stud Earring

3 // Casadei – Minorca Leather Pumps

4 // Double Woven Sea Grass Pom Pom Belly Basket

5 // Crown & Glory – Not a Lotta Rosie Headband

6 // Cosabella – Sweet Treats Dots Bralette

7 // Deborah Lippmann – Pastel Set (Chasing Pavements, Lilac Wine, Peaches and Cream)

8 // Le Specs – Flashy Matte Cat-Eye Sunglasses

9 // George – Ice Cream Sequin Jumper

10 // Na’ara – Teen Ice Cream Color Skirt

xoxo,

Alicia

6 Trends & 6 Bags for Spring 2017

6-bags-6-trends

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