Sunday, January 30, 2011

... And With The New

Cardigan and dress, J.Crew. Blouse, Banana Republic. Belt, vintage/mom's. Sunglasses, Winners. Flats, Ralph Lauren.

I hate to paraphrase but I don't remember where I read something along these lines: "Every woman's favorite outfit, if she's being honest, is her newest." Another thing I loathe is this type of generalization (see also: all women love romantic comedies, gay men are effeminate, all Asian people are smart) and fancy myself a unique sort of egg, but this orange cardigan is my newest purchase and I want to wear it all the time. What? No! All right, guy-who-wrote-that-phrase, I'll give you this one. But just so you know, I don't collect shoes (big feet), eat ice cream when I'm sad (lactose intolerance), and have never fantasized about my wedding day (cynicism). Bam. Bam!

P.S.: The über chic Lisa of Archives featured me here. I'm not worthy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

In With The Old

Blazer, Club Monaco. Jeans, Banana Republic. Sweater, J.Crew. Belt, Eddie Bauer. Purse and sunglasses, street vendors. Wellies, Hunter.
Photo by Seda U.

Back in October, I deemed this photograph unacceptable for the blog: too dark, rainy, and blurry (all due to the elements, not my obliging photographer and friend). The old camera worked decently only in bright daylight, up-close, and it was preferable that I wear bright colors, at least around my face. Now that I've been spoiled with the new camera, this photo doesn't seem so terrible anymore, strangely enough. It looks like a Polaroid or a vintage find from the late 70s or early 80s. Perception is a silly little thing, isn't it?

I'm Getting Better, I Think

My photographic skills have improved, which can only mean one thing: I'm ready to don a beret and wield a painter's palette. Luckily, my oddly-shaped head only looks good in berets so I already own several in black, white, and olive green. AND I'm already living the life of a starving artist! Done and done.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Retro Role

Sweater, Banana Republic. Skirt and necklaces, thrifted. Belt, Holt Renfrew. Flats, Ralph Lauren.

You wouldn't know it by my elated expression, but I'm slightly out of sorts today. I threw something on out of obligation (minors might read this!) but am not crazy about it. My congestion is also making it tough to brave the rain in search of better lighting - so the gym had to do. I was going for that 70's furniture look and I think I eventually became a couch (which would've made my acting teacher proud back in the day). All those in favor?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Love You, Meg Carter

I was building a virtual outfit (for virtual ventures) around these dreamy pairs of earrings when I realized that they deserve a post of their own. Aren`t they absurdly beautiful? I rarely wear anything other than my simple pearl studs, but I would make an exception for any of these.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Obstruction (OR "Why I can't come out and play")

Coat, Tommy Hilfiger. Tights, Hue. Pumps, Nine West.

I apologize for having disappeared the past three days, yet have nothing to show for it except these recycled photos (December was a good month for posing). Until I can resolve the turmoil (=deadlines) in my life, I'm afraid I'll have to deprive you of any new visuals, friends and lovers (yeah, you). I could technically find the time to pose but I guarantee you won't like my (seemingly) constipated face. Nobody does, I checked.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Seven Things

After Marie of Watch Me Dress tagged me to write 7 things from my wonder years, I resisted and tried to postpone it as long as possible. I don't respond well to being told what to do, and my poor mother will vouch for that. But then Jen HaHa of Jen Hemming and Hawing Again gave me a Stylish Blogger Award and subsequently put more fire under my you-know-what. So when Monkeyface of Hello, Monkeyface! also tagged me in a seven-things thingie, I wanted to run for the hills and move in with a pack of wolves (who I assume wouldn't ask me to do anything except hunt and lick various wounds, so I'd be stress-free). In the end, etiquette won because I guess I like civilization after all (now I have to RSVP to a bunch of things and I'm yearning to be with the wolves again). So here are my seven secrets, both scandalous and pathetic.

1) I'm scared of crossing the street. I only proceed when a "fresh" little white man has been lit, so as to get the maximum amount of time to finish.

2) It would be safe to assume that I love to shop, but most of my dispensable income actually goes toward... food (restaurants, picnic fare, wine!).

3) I slightly resent Michelle Obama for praising J.Crew, my favorite brand. I mean, I'm happy about their increasing sales and all, but a little peeved that everyone might want to wear it now. On the other hand, it would be sweet if they opened some stores in Canada so maybe I should get Michelle to back me up on this.

4) I don't drive. The few times I practiced on rural roads in Vermont (silos and cows and barns, oh my!), I did a dangerous amount of "eye-driving." This technique refers to seeing something (or someone) you like, having your hands involuntarily drive toward it, and not knowing when to stop. Targeted friends don't appreciate these near-death experiences.

5) I've never broken a bone or been hospitalized for anything. Okay, maybe diarrhea when I was an infant, but that was de rigueur, as the French would say.

6) I am stickler for correct grammar and spelling, so a little part of me dies when I spot errors in writing that is meant for public consumption (menus, ads, notices). Before I started this blog, I was debating writing a grammar blog and while a few like-minded friends loved the idea, I didn't know how to do it without sounding holier-than-thou. Like I do now. And then the fear that I'd slip and make errors myself and hypocrisy would reign free... Forget it. Don't expect perfection, mkay?

7) I prefer that people sit to my left. Yes, it is my better-looking side, but it also involves less ocular strain. I have one good eye, okay? At some point in the future, my descendants will mutate into cyclopes.

And now that I'm done, I will pay this curse forward to seven unlucky yet stylish gals. You will resent me later!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The City of Woe

Cardigan and tank, J.Crew. Jeans and pumps, Banana Republic.

In college, this silk tank was a life-saver at impromptu parties with no dress-code or theme (most had themes though, phew). It cleverly disguised both the Freshman 15 and the Junior Minus25 (What can I say? I was an emotional kid). It has been hiding in the back of my closet, on a hanger under more desirable tops for years now, but no more. I am now emotionally ready to don it again. You don't scare me anymore, beautiful green-brown-and-petal-pink print!
Do you ever keep clothes that you can't bear to wear because they are too entrenched in the past? Although I'm by no means a clotheshorse, my closet is a minefield of memories, some that need to be erased and some that just need to take a sabbatical. Sometimes I abandon all hope and enter it, only to find an old friend that looks as good as new! I guess that's what they mean by "Shop your own closet."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Tangerine Dreams

Cardigan and shirt, J.Crew. Skirt and pumps, Banana Republic.

I took a big leap of faith in buying and wearing what I used to refer to as stripper heels. I see now that they are not meant for the exotically inclined, but you have to understand where I was coming from. I have three pairs of shoes that I wear on a daily basis: all ballet flats, all patent leather (for practical reasons), all conservative and severely judgmental. These ladies who lunch have excellent pedigrees but very little tolerance for overt sexiness. They might be persuaded to respect a kitten heel, but a platform pump? Let`s just say she won`t be invited to any of their living room trunk shows.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On the horizon: Sunset Years

Today my mailbox gifted me with a special introductory offer for GO girl!, "the only Canadian magazine that celebrates women over 40." How they found out my real age I'll never know. Was my cardigan collection a dead giveaway? The fact that I pet my neighbors' pets without prior permission? (by that rule, I could also be ten years old). Hm. The letter itself is very positive:

"Dear Fascinating Woman,
     You've arrived!
     Smack in the middle of the banquet of life. Mixing it up. Figuring it out. Redefining yourself as you go. (...)"

I don't know about you, but I sure would like tickets to this banquet of life. Or any banquet, really. Sipping apéritifs and digestifs, enjoying canapés on sofas (think about it), feeling like the world is one's oyster (ooh! oysters on the half shell!)... What? It's not that kind of banquet? Never mind. I'm busy that night anyway. Those dogs in the elevator aren't gonna pet themselves.

Vancouver sunsets, as photographed by your very own Fascinating Woman.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poetic License

My main photographer (who wishes to remain anonymous) is back tomorrow night, which means that on Friday I will work hard to provide you with an outfit that will defy low temperatures, color theory, and possibly the laws of Physics (you never know what audaciously small frock I'll manage to sausage myself into). Regular outfit posting will resume and everything will be all right again.

My vacuum cleaner disfigured this poor globe. Should I be worried? Do you think he was trying to make an example out of her?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Winter Of My Discontent

 Sweater, Banana Republic. Skirt, J.Crew. Scarf, Brooks Brothers. Tights, DKNY. Wellies, Hunter.
Photos by Ravi U.

Shooting after dark: a sad reality this time of year. The flash gave me one glassy eye only, just for fun. I didn't realize the tag on my scarf was sticking out until I was home alone, in sweatpants, sans photographer. But then it started snowing, the fairytale kind of snow, and I was grateful for my sweatpants and access to large windows, so all the discontent just went away. Until my next photoshoot anyway.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Giddy Up

Sweater, J.Crew. Jeans, Gap. Scarf, Macy's. Wellies, Hunter. Coat, Tommy Hilfiger.
Photo by Vanessa A.

It's been unseasonably and unreasonably cold in Vancouver the past few days, so I don't have to tell you how that has done victimized my skirts and dresses. Luckily, the holidays have generously added to my layers of insulation - it looks like I'm gonna make it through the winter. Not as stylishly as I'd like (see: the doubly equestrian outfit above), but if wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Provence Marinaside

Provence Marinaside is one of my go-to restaurants for brunch in Vancouver, partly because of its aesthetically and gustatorily pleasing variations on morning eggs and partly because of the view of, you guessed it, the marina. Should you find yourself in Vancouver in need of a midday combination meal, stroll through trendy (and yes, yuppie) Yaletown in search of this Provençal-style destination.

THE GOOD: The entrées are large and prepared with fresh ingredients; Omega-3 eggs come with a selection of fruit you`ll actually eat, unlike at most other restaurants. The excellent menu is one that will leave you torn between, say, the Croque Monsieur Eggs Benedict (poached eggs, black forest ham, gruyère, sundried tomato butter on foccacia, $14.00) and the Seafood Crêpes (salmon, baby scallops, shrimp, spinach, velouté, $16.00). The French sky is the limit. Besides, there's nothing like leisurely lunching on the heated patio (both artificially and naturally heated, on sunny days) in January, looking out at some rather impressive yachts.

THE BAD: This spot tends to be pretty busy on weekends, so the service lags and lacks that je ne sais quoi, if you will (I`ve never been one to care about this, but it can be a deal-breaker for some).

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you want something special for your Brunch Bucket List, Provence Marinaside is the place to go - and return to again and again. They also offer gourmet picnic baskets, ideal for out-of-towners, and frequent exclusive promotions for return customers (I have been known to take advantage of these culinary temptations). In (fittingly French) conclusion: Allez-y, goûtez!

 Vegetarian Eggs Benedict (poached eggs, artichoke and bell pepper spread, arugula, on baguette, $14.00).
Provence Panini (goat cheese, pesto, sun dried tomato, prosciutto, $13.00)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It Doesn't Hurt To Look, Does It?

1. Kate Spade Washington Mews Large Marcela, $345
2. Tory Burch Color Block Scarf, $95
3. Marc by Marc Jacobs Yolanda Sweater Skirt, $158
4. J.Crew Candy Wrap Dress, $395

My usual photographer is out of town and unless you want pictures taken by yours truly in the mirror, I have no choice but to take a little break from posing (it's hard work, being a poser). But look! Pretty things! If money were no object, would you obtain any of these?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Joan Harris (née Holloway)

Sweater, J.Crew. Skirt, Club Monaco. Scarf, H&M. Pin and earrings, vintage gifts. Tights, Hue. Pumps, Nine West.

When my friend and former co-worker read about the Joan follow-up yesterday, she quipped: "You'll have some major stuffing to do." Unless she was referring to stuffing my thighs into a tight pencil skirt, I will do no such thing. These emulations are of style only, with a modern twist and a personal touch; I'm not dressing up for Halloween here. There will be no wigs, no padding, and possibly no Betty (no offense, Betts, but I can't seem to find you in my wardrobe). I did, however, choose the most "bodacious" of poses, which wasn't easy (there were some lovely but completely unusable profile shots where my curves just kind of disappeared). Christina Hendricks is 5'8'', 150 lbs. and very generously endowed; I am merely 5'6'', 120 lbs., and the rest is pretty obvious. So I guess this means I'm more of a Betty in the body type department which dictates that I scour my closet for a suitable outfit now. You can't argue with logic, folks.

The real McCoy
SOURCE 1                                                          SOURCE 2

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Peggy Olson

Cardigan, J.Crew. Skirt, Banana Republic. Headband, Claire's. Belt, Eddie Bauer. Pumps, Nine West.

You guys are probably sick of seeing me in this pink belt but I'm not! Seriously, it goes with everything, such as this outfit that I fancy Peggy Olson would wear (when taking a break from checkered dresses, that is). Before you jump up and say you love Mad Men, I have to tell you I am the biggest fan. Bigger than you. Yeah, I discovered it first. I was watching TV one fateful day in 2007 when it occurred to me that I had stumbled upon the most perfectly restored classic movie. Really, it took me while to figure out what was going on! (and hit the info button on the remote). So what do you think? Would Peggy be seen in this?

P.S.: I'm doing Joan next.

Monday, January 3, 2011

One More Day

Since there is only one day left before my birthday, I reckon some cityscapes will increase your anticipation until you're begging to see what I'm wearing. Everyone knows you look best on that day - a combination of unusually great hair and an extremely flattering outfit. Get ready, folks, it's gonna be epic. As for you real-life friends, you'd better not upstage me! Consider yourselves warned and come get the puffy-sleeved purple dresses I've picked out for you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

At First Sight

Jacket and jeans, Banana Republic. Tank, Tommy Hilfiger. Headband, Forever 21. Flats, Ralph Lauren.

In the spring of 2008, I purchased this raw silk jacket on an absurd sale at Banana Republic. Many jokes were made at my expense on account of its boxy shape ("Where did you park your DeLorean?" hurt the most), but I was in love. Structured silk with a stiff bow - what's not to love? And even though I only wear it a few times a year, it always makes me feel like a Park Avenue lady, circa 1963. Now I'm afraid I'll have to beg off, go downstairs, and see if I can scare off a cab.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Dress, Milly. Cultured pearls, shady little shop in Paris. Belt, Eddie Bauer. Pumps, Nine West.

2010 was the worst year I've ever had, so here's hoping that 2011 makes up for that (the fact that it's a prime number can't hurt - we haven't had one since 2003 and will not encounter one again until 2017). New Year's Eve provided me with the perfect opportunity to whip out my brown dress and rebelliously pair it with black peep-toes (that, or I only own one pair of heels). Take that 2010! More risks will be taken from now on, whether style-related or otherwise. Stay tuned.