Introducing LG Denim DIY Winner Dora Lee

Remember when I posted about the LG Denim DIY Contest a while back? Well, the competition has run its course and I'm happy to say that a Vancouver contestant took top prize. Theodora Lee, or Dora, beat entrants from across the country to win the coveted opportunity of designing jeans for Sears's nationwide Nevada line. Not too shabby for a girl who's just graduating from Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Fashion Design program! Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dora.

Solo Lisa: How did you first become interested in fashion design?
Dora: My mom used to make my brother’s and my clothes when we were little. When I was a little girl, I used to draw pictures of dresses for my Barbies and my mom would bring the drawings to life by making the little dresses for me. Throughout high school, I excelled in home economics class in textiles. It was in grade 12 where I realized I wanted to pursue fashion. As typical Asia parents, mine wanted me to enter UBC/SFU to study sciences, accounting, or medical. After much convincing from Kwantlen’s community liaison, my parents finally let me do what I wanted. That was how I got into Kwantlen’s fashion design degree program.

Solo Lisa: What prompted you to enter the LG Denim DIY contest?
Dora: I didn't know about this contest until Evelyn, the coordinator from Kwantlen, told me about it. This happened at the same time as my grad year, where we had to design a niche collection. I was a bit reluctant since I was pressed for time with my own collection. But she insisted that it would be a great opportunity and the prize was so striking.

Dora's winning entry in the LG Denim DIY Contest featured crisscross details on the pockets, back belt loops, and the pant legs.

Solo Lisa: There are some really interesting X details and crisscross lacing on your winning entry. What was your inspiration?
Dora: The whole concept was related to my surroundings--the multicultural society in the city of Vancouver. It’s a big part of our lives, and therefor, the details with the strips intertwining and weaving within are my representation of that idea.

Solo Lisa: What are your long-term professional goals in the fashion industry?
Dora: I plan to work as a designer for other companies for a while and move to Europe to begin a career there. Ultimately, my goal is to launch my own label and company.

Solo Lisa: Are there any people you look up to as style icons or industry veterans who inspire you?
Dora: Designers that I love are Cavalli and Galliano for Dior couture. Tiger of Sweden really inspired me with my menswear line, and Andersen & Lauth (from Iceland).

Solo Lisa: Can you give readers an idea of what they can expect from your Nevada denim line?
Dora: I actually don’t know the exact details yet. From what I know, the winner will help Sears rebrand their Nevada line and help redefine their market.

Solo Lisa: How did you celebrate your win, and how will you celebrate when your jeans finally hit stores?
Dora: When I found out that I won, I jumped up and down with joy...something I thought I would never do! It’s too amazing!!! This victory really boosted my confidence and brightened up my future in the fashion industry. A lot of my friends are waiting to buy the jeans, so that’s already a great celebration itself!



SHOW OFF (Friday April 17th at the Roundhouse) promised to showcase street wear, high-end denim, and urban and contemporary fashions alongside the lifestyle that this sort of apparel represents. It certainly delivered in terms of entertainment value. The Tito Deville Band opened with an energetic performance and a talented b-boy troupe provided a lively intermission show. Proceeds from the event benefited Family Services of Greater Vancouver.

A plethora of local labels and retailers put on fashion show segments, including:
I'll be upfront here and say that I'm the wrong person to be reviewing a streetwear show. Not being a sneakerhead or a denimhead, I really didn't appreciate the details as someone more knowledgeable might have. Now, that being said, here are some of my favourite fashion highlights from the evening. (All pictures are by Yvonne Chew.)

From Paris Angel, the striped armwarmers, minidress with a black cutout overlay, and silver leggings are on trend but just unique enough to set you apart from the black latex legging-clad crowd.

Channel a bit of Moulin Rouge glamour in high-waisted satin shorts with suspenders, also from Paris Angel.

Hawks Ave showed a collection of comfortable-looking streetwear separates embellished with signature hawks and chevron patterns. This teal hoodie dress with dolman sleeves is stunning.

F as in Frank walked the fine line between pure fun and campy 80s nostalgia with lots of acid-washed denim, neon, and candy-coloured rompers.

Christopher Bates's ULTRA collection at Vancouver Fashion Week SS09 was inspired by Depeche Mode and Eurotrash. It seems as though he's still in thrall with this design inspiration, although his SHOW OFF collection is more Anglo-philic and less continental. I enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek references to the Union Jack, chavs, and British schoolboy uniforms.

I love this hoodie: the national colours of Brazil plus an all-over hexagon pattern...can you say "soccer"?

This dapper slim-cut suit reminds me of Johnny Depp in From Hell.

This post is also cross-posted on Stylefinds.

Style Advice: Packing For A Mediterranean Cruise

Photo by eugene

Last week, I received this lovely email from Natalie:

Hey Lisa,
So I stumbled upon your blog and wanted to tell you that I absolutely love it! My reason for writing is to ask if you have ever blogged about mixing and matching outfits or packing light when travelling?? I am from the US (Florida) and will be travelling to Europe for a two week Mediterranean cruise, but I have no idea what to pack and with all these luggage weight requirements I am starting to panic! I have researched the web a lot, and the tips I get are 1) pack around a color scheme or 2) layer pieces to achieve different looks. This is great but I feel that since the advice is coming from people in their 60s it's impossible to achieve with a 20-somethings wardrobe(more styles, more colors, more variety, etc.). Any advice? Any recommended posts?

Aw Natalie, thanks for the kind words about my blog! Although it's warming up in Vancouver, I can't help but envy you your 2-week Mediterranean cruise stint--what a wonderful-sounding vacation. It sounds like you've already spent a lot of time researching and thinking about what to pack, and with good reason! After all, you've got to fit 2 weeks' worth of outfits in your suitcase and leave enough room to take home anything you buy. Working around a colour scheme and layering will definitely help conserve luggage space.

I suggest packing versatile pieces that will do double-duty, transitioning from the beach to the pool to the cruise buffet or a night of dancing. Here's a Polyvore set to get you inspired!

Some notes about this Polyvore set:
  • I followed a colour palette inspired by images of Santorini sunsets--blues and oranges mixed with neutrals. Having 1 or 2 accent colours adds a dash of excitement to your holiday ensembles and ensures that your outfits don't clash. But don't feel like you're stuck with blue and orange if it's not your cup of tea! If you already own a lot of summery pieces in beloved colours, go with those.
  • Bring a couple of bikinis in complementary colours and prints and mix and match. The 3 bikinis in this set can create 9 different poolside and beach looks.
  • A nude strapless convertible bra is the most versatile useful undergarment you can have. Wear it under camis, tank tops with tricky necklines and straps, and cute sun dresses.
  • Knee-length sun dresses in easy breezy fabrics can be thrown over a swimsuit as a cover-up or worn when sightseeing, having dinner or drinks, or going out for a night of dancing.
  • Keep the metals in your accessories consistent: Go with either yellow or white metal, but not both (fewer accessories to pack overall!). Stud earrings will look cute and casual during the day, while dangly earrings and a thick bangle add glam shine to your evening look.
  • Flat metallic sandals are comfortable for sightseeing and transition well into the evening if you don't feel like packing heels on this trip. Make sure the metallic hue matches your accessories for no-brainer dressing.
  • If a chilly ocean breeze strikes up, keep warm with a light scarf, black wool cardigan, ankle-length denim capris, and simple black flats. Bonus: This outfit is also terrific for your flight to the city from which the cruise is departing, so wearing it on the plane means you're packing less in your luggage!
  • For daytime wear, pack one pair of shorts and one denim mini, and lots of camis and tanks to mix and match.
  • A cross-body bag with multiple pockets is practical for venturing into the port towns, while a clutch stashes your essentials for evening. You may also want to bring along a beach tote for all of your sunbathing essentials.
  • Don't forget your sunglasses!
Bon voyage Natalie! I hope you have a great time.

Do any of you have additional packing advice for Natalie?

Two Of Hearts Mother's Day Contest!

Straight from the Two of Hearts crew...

Tell us why your mother is special contest:

Stop by Two of Hearts Boutique (3728 Main Street) and let us know how much you appreciate your mother by telling us know why she is special to you! The stories that touch the hearts of our crew most will win amazing prizes!

1st prize: $ 500 value
$200 gift certificate to spend at Two of Hearts Boutique
$150 hair service by Antonella at Clover Earthkind Salon for cut and colour
$150 styling consultation by Tanya King of Koo Koo Ka Choo Fashion Services

2nd prize: $ 250 value
$150 colour hair service by Jen at Clover Earthkind Salon
$100 gift certificate to spend at Two of Hearts Boutique

3rd prize: $ 105 value
$55 pedicure service by Jeanna at Clover Earthkind Salon
$25 lash tinting with Michael at Clover Earthkind Salon
$25 gift certificate to spend at Two of Hearts Boutique

4th prize: $ 60.00
$60 hair cut by Andrea at Clover Earthkind Salon

The first 12 customers to enter will receive a Two of Hearts change purse or pencil bag and a coupon for 20% off regular price clothing. Contest starts April 20th, 2009, and ends May 2, 2009. Winners will be announced May 3rd.

Good luck!

This post is also cross-posted on Stylefinds.

Translated: Bacilos

Thank you for your wonderful messages and wishes last week! I was in a slump personally and needed some time away from everything; this also happened to coincide with a bad case of blogger's burnout. Unplugging from Twitter, Facebook, blogs, email, and MSN for a couple of days was the best idea ever. I feel so much better.

I've got some good posts coming up this week, but in the meantime, how about some wistful Latin pop to go with your morning coffee? I love song lyrics that tell a story, and this song makes me think of a sailor who missed his chance with the love of his life in a port city.

Viejo ("Old Man")

I can roam the streets all night
only because I know that you're in the city
how do you say it, this song
and yes I saw you and you're not alone
and so it goes
you don't know what I feel...all that I feel

And you, and a November breeze, like the vast sea that carries me
And I know, I know that life doesn't end without you here
but when you're here I live life

I will be returning an old man
Resting from my roaming
I have your lock of hair...between my fingers
but I'm afraid to venture any further
I will be returning an old man
left with no more cards to play
I have to swallow all that I feel, girl
I'm sad but you will never know it

You revive all these old illusions
of living the life that you always dreamed...that you always dreamed
and I don't know what you feel when you are near
When you are near, girl, what I would give
to have more time to play

And you, and a November breeze, like the vast sea that carries me
And I know, I know that life doesn't end without you here
but when you're here I live life

I will be returning an old man
Resting from my roaming
I have your lock of hair...between my fingers
but I'm afraid to venture any further
I will be returning an old man
left with no more cards to play
I have to swallow all that I feel, girl
I'm sad but you will never know it

Just A Heads-Up...

I'm not feeling like my usual self and will be playing recluse the next few days--no blogging, Twittering, Facebooking, and very little in the way of being online. Expect delays in email replies. See you all next week when I'll feel better hopefully.

Metamorphosis Fashion Show & Fundraiser

"This event is a fashion show and fundraiser for a dynamic group of medical students who are traveling to Nicaragua in July to aid in a global health initiative. In the spirit of wholeness and that of naturopathic medicine, this fashion show is going to focus on highlighting the beauty that is all around us...naturally. I challenge you to think what true beauty really is and how it manifests in your life."

-Caitlin Kolbuc, organizer

Help out a great cause while viewing clothes by Two of Hearts, Cici, Togs, and Sidual! Tickets are available in advance at the Two of Hearts Boutique (3728 Main St).

For more information, check out the event's Facebook page.

Today's Outfit: Spring Blossoms

I'm proud to say I haven't worn this dress the same way twice since I bought it in London! (See here and here for my other looks.)
  • Blazer (Gap)
  • Dress (Topshop)
  • White tee (Suzy Shier)
  • Wedge sandals (Vasanji)
  • Squirrel necklace (Wendy Brandes)


Quoted: Valerie Steele

Ages ago, I borrowed Paris Fashion: A Cultural History by Valerie Steele from the library. Steele's book was enjoyable, instructive, and well-written. I kept smiling to myself when I came across quotes that resonated with me; I marked them with Post-Its so that I could share them with you. Enjoy!

On the transcendent, transformative power of fashion in the 19th century:

"The people who were best placed to exploit fashion to alter their apparent identity were often those who belonged to new social strata, people whose class positions were ambiguous, because people like them had not really existed before. The new white-collar workers, people like office clerks and shop assistants, entered into the fashion game often more wholeheartedly than the members of the old bourgeoisie. Although deep class divisions still existed, individuals had far greater freedom to present themselves as they wished to be seen. Fashion served both to maintain the hierarchy and, subtly, to weaken it--as anonymous individuals were increasingly judged on the basis of their appearance, of who they appeared to be."

Harem pants and pajama looks aren't new to SS09:

"By the Twenties, Oriental robes had led through harem pants to lounging pyjamas, providing another prototype for women in trousers. In this respect, Poiret was far more radical than Fortuny, since Poiret scandalized Paris by showing his harem skirts on the street and at the races."

On clothing as a means of expression:

"The idea of a language of clothes may be too simplistic. Some types of clothing (such as, perhaps, the business suit) communicate a fairly direct message. But most clothing messages are more like music: They are expressive in an indirect and allusive way. Indeed, it may be embarrassing if clothing messages could be easily decoded and observers could identify exactly what the wearer was trying to say: 'I am rich,' for example, or 'I am sexy.'"

Links à la Mode - The Evil Fashion Boss
3stylelife - Microdesign F: Chalk
A Few Goody GumDrops: - A Few Goody Gumdrops is “Inspired” by Handbag Designer, Katherine Kwei and Her Eternity Knot
Being High Maintenance, not Bitchy: - Getting to know… designers of Be & D Handbags
Breakfast at Saks: - Brand Love: Ellery
Broke & Beautiful - ECIG: JaJo Couture
Daisy Fairbanks Vintage: - In Your Easter Bonnet - The Art of the Hat
Debutante Clothing: - Thrifting Words to Live By - Search High and Low - A Tale of Prada
dramatis personae - Beach Blanket Bingo! Kiss & Dashing Diva Beauty Giveaway
fete a fete: - Eminence Biodynamic Collection
Independent Fashion Bloggers: - Top 5 Traffic Yielding Social Networks for Fashion Blogs
Instant Vintage - Lil Shop of Horror: Urban Outfitters
Munique Fashions: - Organizing Carrie Bradshaw’s wardrobe
Retro Chick - Totally Clueless
shopfair: - Fair Trade Jeans Special
Solo Lisa: - From Shanghai With Love: An Interview With Helen Lee
Super Kawaii Mama - Being Joan
SwanDiamondRose: - ~the SWANclothing TINY ROSE purse~
The Coveted: - This Old Rag? Our Lurking Treasures
The Curvy Fashionista: - Top Fashion Do’s for the Plus-Size Curvy Fashionista
The Demoiselles - Birds of a Feather: Lady Smaggle

The full version of Links à la Mode is in the IFB forums...there’s a lot of great posts there too.

Baby Phat Fab Photo Contest

Baby Phat isn't really my thing, but I have the utmost respect for a strong woman of Asian descent like Kimora Lee Simmons, someone who's transitioned from being a top model to calling the shots as head honcho of Baby Phat. If you're a fan of the label, though, you might be interested in entering the Baby Phat Fab Photo Contest (April 8-22) to win a $500 Baby Phat gift certificate!

Here's what you have to do to enter:
  1. Become a fan of the Baby Phat Facebook fan page. You must be a fan to enter.
  2. Submit a photo of yourself (in .jpg, .pdf, .tiff, or .bmp format) wearing your most fabulous Baby Phat outfit to, along with your name, email, and phone number.
All photo entries submitted will also go into Kimora's personal fan photo album.

Good luck!

EvelineCharles Cut & Colour Special

Like a thorough spring cleaning of your house, a good haircut can make you feel like a new person as you face the warmer seasons! The folks at EvelineCharles (1495 W 11th Ave and South Granville) very kindly notified me of their Cut & Colour Special on until April 30th. Print out this coupon, mention it when you're making your appointment, and receive $25 off your new 'do. Now might be a good time to take the plunge and see what you'd look like as a redhead with a blunt fringe...

Quoted: Two Bloggers On A Thursday Afternoon

Lisa says:
my gawd, nickelback really blows
Lisa says:
i don't like their music
Lisa says:
and just now when they sang "shoot for the stars" it sounded like "shit for the stars"
Lisa says:
enunciate ppl!!
MizzJ says:
MizzJ says:
omg and Chad has the WORST hair possible
MizzJ says:
bad enough he used to look like jesus
MizzJ says:
now he just looks like old jesus with a straightener
MizzJ says:
it bugs me alot

-MizzJ and me on MSN

Product Review: ELF Top Sellers Kit

One perk of fashion blogging is that sometimes you get the chance to try out products you wouldn't normally buy for yourself. Case in point: Paulo from ISTYLEU received men's and women's beauty product kits from ELF Cosmetics, an American company notorious for products that only cost $1 or $2. While he sampled the men's products, he passed on the women's Top Sellers Kit ($25) to me. Yay!

For me, this product review wasn't just about the quality of the ELF cosmetics themselves, it was also a litmus test for this question: Can products priced so cheaply maintain a high level of quality? The answer to this question is yes and no.

Me sans makeup. I'm just about to try out the ELF cosmetics. Exciting!

The Hits:
  • The Brightening Eye Color eyeshadow palettes and eyeliner pencils performed well. Even without primer, the colours in the Butternut palette endured a sweaty night of salsa dancing without creasing or smearing. Also, I love how the pencils all come with their own sharpeners.
  • The Therapeutic Conditioning Lip Balm in Strawberry Creme is a great alternative to your standard cherry Chapstick and smells just as yummy.
  • Confession: I've been afraid of eyelash curlers ever since I got my eyelid caught in one when I was 17. However, I've been using the Mechanical Eyelash Curler and loving it. It's just your basic eyelash curler, but the $1 price tag can't be beat!
  • While the Wet Gloss Lash & Brow Clear Mascara didn't satisfy my desire for flirty dramatic lashes, it did do a great job of grooming my brows.
  • The Shine Eraser blotting papers are very effective--one sheet does the job of 3 of my standby Daiso blotting papers. Plus they were powder-free, just the way I like my blotting papers (it doesn't clog your pores).
  • I love the Eye Makeup Remover Pads and Nail Polish Removal Pads! These pre-moistened cleaner wipes come in little portable cylinders. They don't take up a lot of room on my dresser, and I can just imagine how convenient they would be for travel.
  • The Liquid Eyeliner is comparable in quality to ones which cost $10+ but is only $1.
  • The Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder provides a subtle glow.

Applying the Butternut eyeshadow palette with the ELF eyeshadow brush

Using the clear brow grooming gel

The bronzing powder and brush

The Misses:
  • Having never tried false lashes before, I was psyched about the Dramatic Lash Kit but ultimately disappointed. The glue was really hard to squeeze out of the tube (I think it dried out at some point) and in the end, as much as I (and my photographer) tried to squeeze the glue out, there wasn't enough to stick on one false lash.
  • The Eye Widener white eyeliner pencil claims it'll make your eyes look wider and brighter if used along the lower rim of your eyes. However, the first time I used it, the pencil crumbled into little white bits along my lower lash line--not exactly ideal for a contact lens wearer. Once I got the hang of it, I didn't notice a difference in how big or bright my eyes look.
  • The Earth & Water Mascara Duo features waterproof mascara on one end and regular mascara on the other. While a great concept for travel, I found that the wands didn't perform as well as other types of mascaras I've used. My lashes didn't look noticeably different from the way they look sans mascara.
  • I was disappointed with the quality of the ELF makeup brushes in the kit. The Blushing, Bronzing, and Blending Brush and Total Face Brush kept shedding bristles with each use. Also, when I washed the brushes, they emitted an unpleasant toxic smell.

The false lashes were a definite miss because of the bad glue.

Applying the mascara

The shedding Total Face Brush

Me after the makeup. Here I'm wearing the Butternut eyeshadow palette, the Coffee eye pencil, Eye Widener white pencil, bronzing powder, lip balm, duo mascara, and brow gel.

A special thanks to my friend Felix for taking these pictures for me!

Have any of you ever tried ELF cosmetics and products? What do you think of them?

From Shanghai With Love: An Interview With Helen Lee

Just before my interview with Helen Lee last Tuesday, I was hit with a serious case of nerves. Sure, I was looking forward to talking with the Shanghainese designer about her work while sitting on a sunny Starbucks patio in Yaletown, but more than anything I was awestruck by the quality of the AW09 collection she presented at Vancouver Fashion Week. Interviewing someone so talented is an intimidating task.

The last of my nerves disappeared when Helen showed up alongside her husband Chris. In oversized shades and a black cotton tunic, she was all smiles as she greeted me and sat down to talk.

Helen's interest in fashion can be traced back to her childhood, when her mother--a talented knitter and seamstress--made unique clothes for her which earned many compliments. She initially studied finance to please her parents, but after a friend invited her to attend a student show at a Shanghai fashion school, she decided to pursue a career in fashion. She enrolled in the La Salle school in Shanghai for 3 years, then worked in Japan and further honed her craft for 2.5 years. In 2003, Helen moved back to Shanghai and founded her casual high-street label, INSH ("In Shanghai").

With INSH, Helen explained, she sought to create a "fashion culture for Shanghainese": "I thought it was interesting to have a really local brand." She characterizes Shanghai as a fast-paced, busy, work-oriented, multicultural metropolis. The youthful INSH label provides casual and smart separates that transition seamlessly from a work day to checking out the Shanghainese nightlife.

INSH was so well-received that Helen founded a second line in 2007: The Helen Lee label provides fluid, more formal pieces to a clientele who have become accustomed to INSH, and as they grow older, demand more sophisticated pieces.

Although Helen loves Chinese culture and incorporates traditional Chinese design into her clothing lines, she shies away from being pegged as a regurgitator of Asian motifs. "Most people think of Chinese fashion as traditional qipao," said Helen. "I like to re-invent traditional elements."

Indeed, she is just as inspired by modern China as the history, art, and operas of China's past. Her SS09 collection for INSH pays homage to the construction workers--many of them poor migrants from the countryside--who are building and transforming Shanghai's urban landscape. Helen used blues and grays to evoke the workers' uniforms, and dip-dyed clothes to create ombre gradients reminiscent of workers sweating through their shirts.

INSH's graphic tees feature foil-screened details meant to evoke the reflective safety strips on uniforms, and tongue-in-cheek phrases like "I would rather cry in a BMW than laugh in a Santana [a type of cab]"--an ironic jab at middle-class aspiration. For one tee, Helen's husband Chris (himself an artist) took photos of the Shanghai skyline on a daily basis and super-imposed the images to show "Shanghai in construction."

Currently INSH and Helen Lee are only available in Shanghai and Europe, but that may change if Helen moves to Vancouver and she and Chris pursue more North American opportunities. Regardless, it's clear that Helen loves her native city. I wrapped up the interview by asking Helen and Chris the best way for foreigners to experience Shanghai. The couple came up with a slew of suggestions--visit the artistic Soho-type district of TaiKangLu, go clubbing, eat xiao long bao. But according to Chris, to really experience modern Shanghai, the best thing to do would be to "just take a walk" and soak in the vibrancy of the streets.

Editorial Photo Credits:

Models: Kimiko Yoshida, Fei Ren, Kaitlin Sullivan, Mireille Urumuri
Makeup: Tomomi Sakagawa
Hair: Kimiko Yoshida, Sharon Sullivan

Clothes: Helen Lee label
Lighting: Stanley Lau
Photography: Yvonne Chew

Top photo: Helen Lee at VFW Opening Gala. Photo by Yvonne Chew.

This post is also cross-posted on Stylefinds.

PLEN+Y Of Easter Goodies!

After paying off my Visa bill and my taxes, I decided to put myself on a mini shopping ban: no clothes and no accessories for 6 weeks. 6 weeks turned into 2 months as I became swamped with writing assignments, salsa, and work, but I finally indulged in some long-awaited retail therapy over the Easter long weekend.

First up was the PLEN+Y warehouse sale (60-90% off), which I attended with MizzJ.

Although I already have a knee-length black-and-white plaid coat, I couldn't resist this boxy swing jacket with cropped sleeves ($40, formerly $150). The lightweight wool fabrication makes it perfect for transitional weather, plus the sleeve length shows off cute arm warmers!

This blouse made of sheer green material ($5, formerly $50) would look fantastic with a beige cami underneath.

This fleece blazer ($25, formerly $65) combines the sharp lines of a blazer, the comfort of a cardigan, and the soft coziness of a beloved hoodie. I like the ruching details and the loose androgynous cut.

I also swung by Urban Outfitters and finally satisfied my Panama hat craving with this straw fedora.

This wasn't a purchase, but I wanted to show it off anyway because it was the sweetest gesture ever: Justine Brooks sent me a beautiful pair of beaded earrings as her way of saying kudos for my Vancouver Fashion Week coverage! I wore them clubbing on Friday night and they were the perfect finishing touch on my outfit. Thanks Justine. :-)

I know it sounds like all I did over the weekend was shop, but I did so much than that: I went clubbing for the first time since January, took a long walk around my neighbourhood and admired the cherry blossoms, saw I Love You Man (such a cute movie), went salsa dancing, and blogged furiously. Stay tuned over the next couple of days because some good posts are coming!

Links à la Mode

39th & Broadway - 39th & Broadway breaks down fashion and the economy
A Few Goody GumDrops - Handbag give-away & Designer Scoop from Jalda
Capitola Girl Jewelry Blog - Sassy Sparkle with Joy Cutler Jewelry
Clutch 22 - Love Your Legs in Denim Shorts + Discount Code!
Consume or Consumed - Consumed by a quest for Moschino’s Trompe L’Oeil Pieces
Culturistas - Get Kate Moss’s Style without Breaking the Bank
Fashion File - When a super fab Tolani scarf at Fashion File
FashionMind - Fabulous DIY Hair Accessories
Hello Outlaw - The Outlaw 1970’s style crush: Edwige Belmore
Hong Kong Fashion Geek - Zipper dee doo dah with Hong Kong Fashion Geek
Independent Fashion Bloggers - IFB Launches LittleBirdie to help bloggers find the right content…
Public Personae - 30 days of style with Sarah X
Star Fashion Addict - New iPhone app let’s you be iFashionista!
Studio Purpura - Studio Purpura’s Hong Kong Shopping Hot Spots
Style Symmetry - A Chat with Glamourai -The Sensei of Glam
Style With Anna - Anna digs on hottie Johnny Depp’s style
STYLEMOM - Is Michelle Obama REALLY the First Lady of Fashion???
Super Kawaii Mama - Vintage beauty tips from Super Kawaii Mama
The Coveted - Lady Coveted styling debut with Beautiful Dolls
The Curvy Fashionista - Designer Anna Scholz & her “curvalicious” fashions
The Fish Tank - Easy on the eyes & easy on the pocket: Fresh beauty looks for Spring
Work Chic - Work Chic dishes the skirt chic

The full version of Links à la Mode is in the IFB forums...there’s a lot of great posts there too.

Product Review: Mary Kay TimeWise Night Solution

Lack of sleep often means ashy haggard faces and puffy eyes the next day, and while we can't bottle time and sell it to the sleep-deprived, the Mary Kay TimeWise Night Solution is the next best thing for chicas who don't clock the requisite 8 hours of beauty rest a night. When I bought this stuff at my Mary Kay session, consultant Angela Murphy told me that the formula--which combines collagen, vitamins, and natural extracts--fights the signs of aging while clarifying pores and rejuvenating skin.

I think I'm a bit on the young side to appreciate the anti-aging benefits of this product; however, I've been using it for a month now and I can honestly say I'm hooked because of its other benefits. My skin feels softer immediately after application, and when I wake up in the mornings it looks more even-toned and rosy. I just look like I had a really good night's sleep even if I wake up feeling less than refreshed.

To my surprise and delight, the TimeWise Night Solution also lived up to Angela's claims that it would clarify my skin and reduce blemishes. I usually get breakouts on the sides of my face around the same time every month. My skin has been much clearer since I started using the TimeWise Night Solution, and when blemishes do occur they're not as noticeable and they go away a lot faster. In fact, the solution works so well I've stopped using the Garnier Anti-Blemish Pen spot treatment altogether.

At $51 for a 29 ml bottle, the TimeWise Night Solution is pricey, but one squirt is enough for my entire face and in the last month I've barely made a dent in the bottle. I imagine this product will last 6 months at the rate I'm going.

Today's Outfit: Sunshine-y Day

Confession time: I fantasize about certain outfits I want to wear and just wait for the right weather conditions to wear them in. This means that long before the leaves change colour in autumn, I know which skirt I want to pair with boots and tights on the first crisp day of the season. I know the dress I want to wear when the first scorching summer day dawns. And I can't wait to pull out a certain scarf or coat in the dead of winter.

This outfit was born out of said fantasies. I thought of it over the weekend after hearing that sunny skies and a balmy 16 degrees Celsius (albeit with a brisk wind) were forecast for Monday, and on the morning of, I couldn't resist donning 3/4 sleeves, capris, and peep-toe shoes. It balanced my desire to wear something a little more spring-like with a need to stay warm in case the weather report had been too optimistic.

  • Top (Two of Hearts)
  • Capris (American Eagle)
  • Blazer (Gap)
  • Wedges (Karen Elise, from the Army & Navy shoe sale)
Do you plan outfits in advance in anticipation of the first day of the season? Please 'fess up if you do--it'll make me feel a wee bit less neurotic. ;-)

Today's Outfit: VFW

Unlike diehard Vancouver fashionistas, I only managed to go to a few VFW events--the Opening Gala, A Night In Shanghai, and the Saturday shows. I spent Sunday plastered to the couch with the TV on and nodded off throughout the day, thereby missing Closing Gala due to sheer exhaustion and the thought of work on Monday. If this sounds pathetic, it's nothing compared to how I felt when Miranda told me about how she partied until 2am, schmoozing with George Stroumbolopoulos and the cast of Twilight in the VIP area.

Here's what I wore for each VFW event I attended. Enjoy!

Opening Gala

Me talking to Kerianne Taves of Innergypsy Design. Photo by Yvonne Chew.

  • Dress (Narcissist; I blogged about it in this post if you want another view of it)
  • Shoes (O by Oscar de la Renta)
  • Purse (Nine West)
  • Necklace and bracelet (Howling Dog; worn coiled together on my wrist)

A Night In Shanghai

  • Scarf ,worn as shawl (Blubird)
  • Dress (CiCi)
  • Tights (H&M)
  • Shoes (Next--from London)
  • Purse (Chanel)
  • Earrings (from Taxco, Mexico)

Saturday shows (and Miranda's birthday party!)

  • Cardigan (Banana Republic)
  • Tee (Suzy Shier)
  • Dress (from Mexico)
  • Tights (H&M)
  • Belt (Buffalo)
  • Shoes (Vasanji)
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