BCFW SS 2010 Day 1: Jacqueline Conoir Collection

RozeMerie Cuevas, the creative mind behind Jacqueline Conoir, designs each collection around an imaginary persona, a "confident, sensual, sexy, [and] elegant" woman who is constantly moving forward and relentlessly modern. (Read more about the Jacqueline Conoir woman in the interview I did with Cuevas for Vancouver Fashion eZine here.) In this collection, the JC woman seems to have evolved, embracing youthful exuberance and rock n' roll edginess alongside her signature bohemian bourgeois glamour.

Monday's show at Fortune Night Club began with suiting done in soft gray and creative cuts (cropped sleeves, boxy and hip-length jackets, wide-legged and skinny trousers). Since the label's inception in 1985, JC fans have come to expect impeccably tailored and detailed suiting, but this season's surprising twist lay in what the suits were paired with: white jersey tops, sometimes off-the-shoulder, always drapey, screened with a black-and-white image of Edie Sedgwick wearing chandelier earrings. The effect was rock n' roll but unabashedly feminine at the same time.

Other pieces stood out as well: a high-waisted cropped pant (surprisingly flattering with heels), a slinky gray halter jumpsuit, skirts and dresses with pockets. Ensembles were styled with asymmetrical lightweight ponchos and cardigans made from jersey or loose knits and statement necklaces by Isabella Diamond.

After the suiting came flowing gowns in silk chiffons--some with open backs, others with halter necklines. Unlike the oversized floral prints on the gowns from the spring/summer 2009 collection, these frocks featured surpisingly earthy washes of colour with bright jolts of green, electric blue, and fuchsia. The fact that they were styled with leather boots proves that these gowns are versatile enough to transition between seasons. The show finished with cream-coloured gowns cinched at the waist with strands of pearls and chiffon sashes...so flowy and free-spirited, I'm sure I wasn't the only one who thought these dresses would look right at home in a beach wedding.

RozeMerie Cuevas came out on the runway at the end of the show dressed in one of her own Edie Sedgwick white jersey tops.

This post also appears on Stylefinds, where you'll find more comprehensive coverage of BCFW shows and events!

All photos in this post courtesy of Harry Leonard.

50% Off At Wear Else (Richmond Centre)

I think this sale speaks for itself.

Today's Outfit: Birthday Girl

After several weeks of fretting and planning, last Friday went off with only a few hitches and a lot of fun! First up was dinner at Charm Modern Thai, where we were served one of their delicious function menus. Stomachs stuffed, some people went home while the rest of us went on to Ginger 62 and danced the night away. As the birthday girl at the club, I was (ahem) more than a little inebriated. It was definitely a night to remember! A big thank you to all the friends who came out and helped me celebrate, and kudos to a special someone who showed up at my door with a bouquet of red roses and made sure I got home alright.

Next up: BC Fashion Week. The opening gala occurred on Sunday night and last night I attended the first of several shows, the Jacqueline Conoir Collection. Stay tuned for coverage here and on Stylefinds!
  • Dress (American Apparel)
  • Jacket (Target)
  • Ring (Babe Belangere Boutique, Yaletown)
  • Heels (Seychelles via Urban Outfitters)
  • Clutch (Chanel)

"Lisa, It's Your Birthday"

Every year someone brings up this song, and every year it never fails to make me smile.

As you can probably tell, I've been taking it easy on the blogging this week. I narrowly avoided being sick today by taking yesterday afternoon off and popping loads of chewable vitamin C tablets. Here's hoping this day will be wonderful as it unfolds!

Today's Outfit: Monday Blues (And Reds)

Do you ever have those "I give up" days where you can't even string together a coherent thought, let alone put together a decent outfit? I've been having quite a few of those lately because of a hectic schedule and lack of sleep. More often than not this results in shirt-and-jeans ensembles. I built Monday's outfit around my Kitson sneakers because I was dying to wear comfortable shoes. After having danced five times in the eight days preceding Monday, my feet deserve some spoiling.
  • Top (Forever 21)
  • Jeans (Whistles, from London)
  • Necklace (Coach)
  • Sneakers (Kitson, via Sterling)

Lisa's Most Coveted List

It's time for a long overdue edition of my Most Coveted List! Here are the 5 things I'm loving and/or lusting after right now.

1. Sephora Cuticle Care Pen. This product is an absolute godsend for the dry, brittle nails I have as a result of constant nail polish wear. If I'm planning to redo my nails on any given day, I'll remove the polish immediately when I get home, then paint a layer of cuticle oil on my cuticles and nails for an ultra-moisturizing treatment. The click-and-paint brush applicator makes applying the perfect amount of oil on each nail a cinch, eliminating waste and mess. An hour or two later and my nails look healthy and hydrated once again.

2. Ceci Korean magazine. For me, Asian fashion magazines are fascinating because they seem so accessible yet foreign and exotic. I can pick one up and flip through the pages and see faces, models, and bodies (kind of, sort of) like mine. However, I can't read a word of it (well, I can read the Chinese ones if I have a dictionary in hand and a lot of time) and the products, celebrities, and fashion are quite different. My new favourite Asian fashion glossy to flip through is Ceci Korean. I borrowed the summer issue from the library, which was so big it made the September issue of Vogue look like a lightweight. Page after page of pretty hairstyles, beauty products with high SPFs, adorable outfits--yay! The only thing I wasn't so crazy about was the 20-odd pages of plastic surgery ads at the back of the issue, but then again, I've heard eye and nose jobs are pretty prevalent in Asia these days.

Image from celeble.com

3. New birthday handbags. Remember when I was drooling over the Coach 'Sabrina' satchel and the Chanel camellia-embossed lambskin wallet clutch in this post? Well, I'm getting them for my champagne birthday, which is coming up at the end of this week (turning 25 on the 25th!). I already bought the 'Sabrina' in gray as an early present of sorts and have been using and loving it the past month. The clutch is coming soon hopefully.

4. Francis fall 2009 collection. Truly these are clothes that can put a smile on a girl's face! You can see the entire fall collection on Francis's Facebook fan page here. It was so difficult to narrow down my choice to 1 or 2 pieces, but in the end I went with the mixed menswear skirt and sleeveless argyle applique dress. According to the folks at the Francis studio, my order is set to ship sometime this week, so here's hoping it gets to me before or on Friday. I love this feeling of anticipating a special birthday parcel in the mail. :)

5. Greg Laswell. I've been listening to him on repeat since an acquaintance tweeted a link to one of his songs, "Days Go On." Click the player below and have a listen. Enjoy!

Two of Hearts "I Love Local" Fall Fashion Show & Party

Two of Hearts designers and boutique owners Jenny Yen and Tabitha Savoie really heart local. In fact, they declared their love of local fashion and design proudly (in T-shirt and cake form!) at their "I Love Local" party last Saturday evening. Friends, well-wishers, and members of the fashion industry gathered at the cozy Main St. boutique and browsed the racks while waiting for the fashion show to begin. Bargain hunters, take note: The front of the store is stocked full of spring/summer merchandise marked down to ridiculously good prices. I spied a belted teal tank dress from the CiCi line that looked so good when I tried it on, I bought it on the spot and wore it for the rest of the party.

My perusal of the store yielded other treasures as well. That's one of the things I love about visiting the Two of Hearts Boutique: Aside from being the place to find CiCi, Togs, and Two of Hearts apparel, their selection of jewelry, accessories, and handmade goodies constantly changes.

Handmade glass earrings by GroovyGlassGirl

These pouches and bags by Big Rock are an intriguing concept. Made from colourful and punchy fabrics, each pouch/bag features snaps and buttons. You can combine them into a completely unique, one-of-a-kind bag with compartments that suit your needs. Neat eh?

The show featured clothes from the Two of Hearts, CiCi, and Togs fall/winter 2009 collections styled alongside locally made and designed accessories from the store. Expect to see a lot of ladylike polish this season combined with the playful and sporty aesthetic that Two of Hearts is known for. Tops and sweater dresses featured interesting neckline details like ties and cowl necks. A belted waist was the look du jour, showing up on fitted skirts and a trench-inspired sleeveless dress. Screened details and coloured fabric insets added visual interest to dresses and sweaters. Jenny and Tabitha also remade some perennial favourites such as the Gigi dress and the Kendra hoodie dress in new fabrications. With every new look that came out, the crowd murmured "Ooh I like that!" and "That is cute!"

Fashion show photos by Eric Deis

Congratulations to Jenny and Tabitha on reaching the 6-month milestone with their boutique and continuing to promote Vancouver fashion! For those of you who don't live in Vancouver, good news: Two of Hearts is launching their online store this fall, so you'll be able to shop the collections from the comfort of your own home.

P.S. If it seems like all I've been doing lately is going to events and parties, well, you're half-right. September is shaping up to be a busy month!

This post also appears on Stylefinds.

Fashion's Night Out @ The Bay

Bold black-and-white on a classic wrap dress

When you're reading recaps of New York's Fashion's Night Out--the shopping, the swanky department stores, the parties, the celebrity sightings--it's hard not to feel envious of those lucky enough to be in the Big Apple on September 10th. Here in Vancouver, The Bay tried valiantly to step in and fill the void by putting on its own Fashion's Night Out. Its downtown Vancouver flagship location remained open until 10pm, allowing customers to shop its beauty and fashion departments. The high point of the evening consisted of fashion and accessories presentations, the former hosted by established stylist and freelance fashion writer Luisa Rino.

And now on to photos of my favourite looks from the fashion presentation. Enjoy!

Such a lady in a perfectly tailored cranberry sheath with a sleek polished ponytail

Lizard-print liquid leggings and ankle booties make this all-black outfit far from boring

I love red-and-black plaid for fall--as if you couldn't tell from this post

P.S. I was supposed to meet Luisa Rino ages ago for an informational interview; a former coworker of mine used to work with Luisa at a magazine and introduced us via email. The interview unfortunately never happened, but I guess the universe works in mysterious ways because I got to meet Luisa after her presentation!


GUESS by Marciano Fall Cocktail Reception

"Glitz, glamour, and GUESS" pretty much sums up the cocktail reception co-hosted by GUESS by Marciano and TheStyleSpy.com at Metropolis at Metrotown last Wednesday evening. The store was packed with well-heeled girls scooping up party tops and dresses to try on and eyeing the new bags and shoes for fall. Media and fashion industry personnel caught up with each other over a glass of white wine or a raspberry-garnished cocktail. Servers circulated with delicious appetizers by Culinary Capers, including lemon cheesecake and strawberry-flavoured marshmallows--yum! Design director Alejandro Blanco was present and in high spirits as he greeted guests and customers.

Alejandro Blanco (who flew in from LA) with Lindsay Lorimer, project manager (marketing & special events), from Toronto

I wasn't on the lookout for anything in particular, but I did have good time browsing around and catching up with some familiar faces, including Erica Lam of The Style Spy and Marilyn Wilson of Vancouver Fashion eZine.

Marilyn pointed out the 'Anouk' leather drape to me. This gorgeous leather rendition of the ubiquitous draped sweater features buttery soft leather and stretchy fabric insets in the sleeves, and has appeared in Elle magazine.

Multiple shades of gray, pyramid studs, a dash of neon yellow, and just the right amount of hardware make these handbags so on-trend for fall.

The purple-and-orange watercolour gradients are bold enough to make this dress transition between seasons seamlessly. It'd look equally good with metallic wedges at a patio party or with opaque black tights, a thick cardigan, and chunky-heeled T-strap shoes in the fall.

Malene Grotrian Presents "A Bite Of The Big Apple"

As a Vancouver fashion blogger, it gives me immense pleasure to see talented individuals from our fair city get recognition for the amazing work they're doing. Malene Grotrian is one such talent. I've been a huge fan of her work since meeting her at Blushing Boutique in February and watched delightedly as she received more and more recognition in the past year and made her Vancouver Fashion Week debut. And now she's showing at New York Fashion Week, the only Canadian designer to do so!

Vancouverites who aren't lucky enough to see her NYFW debut (myself included) can purchase a ticket for A Bite of the Big Apple happening Thursday September 24th, 7:00pm, at Canvas Lounge (99 Powell Street). Attendees will be treated to a show featuring the same spring/summer 2010 fashions shown during NYFW. The first 20 people to show up will receive complimentary handbags from Friis & Company.

Want to do some background reading on Malene and her incredible designs? Check out past posts on Solo Lisa, in which I:

This post also appears on Stylefinds.

September issue of Vancouver Fashion eZine is out!

Check out my interview with Obakki, which just also happens to be the cover story(!), and the summer events round-up I contributed. Ooh ooh ooh, and to celebrate its two-year anniversary, Vancouver Fashion eZine is putting out a glossy print edition! The print issue collates the past two years of designer, fashion student, accessories, industry veteran, and retail profiles into a beautiful 200+ page volume full of articles and impeccable photography. Think of it as your encyclopedic guide to the Vancouver fashion industry. If you're interested in ordering a copy, click here..

Crème de la Crème & Cupcakes Present The "Wedding Cake of Your Dreams" Contest

Wedding showcase Crème de la Crème (November 15th, 2009, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver) and Cupcakes by Heather and Lori have teamed up to give one lucky winning bride the cake of her dreams! Is your cake going to be a towering four-tier affair with fondant icing snowflakes suitable for a winter wonderland wedding? Decorated with palm trees and hammocks in honour of your Hawaii nuptials? Feature Homer and Marge cake toppers because you're both huge Simpsons fans? Whatever your dream cake is, sketch it out and send it in.

The Rules:
  1. Email a picture and description of your sketch to creme@countdownevents.com along with the following info: your name and contact information (email & phone number); wedding date and theme; and your inspiration. The contest closes November 2nd, 2009.
  2. Post a picture of your sketch on Crème de la Crème's Facebook event page and get people to vote for you!
  3. The contest closes November 2nd, 2009. The top 5 sketches as decided by votes will be selected, and the winner announced at Crème de la Crème on November 15th, 2009.
Good luck and start sketching!

This post also appears on Stylefinds.

Fashion's Night Out @ The Bay

Join the Bay Vancouver Downtown on September 10th, 2009 for Fashion's Night Out. Hosted by Nira Arora (the Beat 94.5FM), this event will feature fall's hot trends in beauty and fashion and brands such as BCBG Generation, Barbie by David Dixon, Kensie, Pink Tartan, DKNYC, T Tahari, Calvin Klein, and more.

For more information, call 604-689-2178 or email exclusiveshoppingnight.vancouver@hbc.com.

Fall Beauty Gala –Main Floor, 12pm-10pm
Women’s Exclusive Shopping Night – 3rd Floor, 5:30pm – 10pm

This post also appears on Stylefinds.

Wear Else/FLARE Magazine Fall Preview Event

The event

Last Tuesday, stylish women from across the city gathered at Wear Else in the Park Royal Shopping Centre for a fall preview event and fashion show. The event was co-sponsored by FLARE magazine and hosted in part by FLARE's editor-in-chief, Lisa Tant. Guests chatted as they sipped on wine and cocktails and nibbled on appetizers.

Looking elegant in a one-sleeve silk dress with a bold floral print, Ms. Tant kicked off the evening with a presentation summing up the major trends for fall/winter 2009, rife with runway photos and illustrated examples. The trends she cited included:
  • strong Balmain-esque shoulders
  • neon brights
  • the colour red
  • statement necklaces
  • denim leggings
  • bold, architecture-inspired shoes
  • over-the-knee boots
The show

Wear Else showed quality fall classics that would transition from this season to next year without looking too dated. Ladylike pieces such as wool jackets, 3/4 length wool coats and sleeveless sheath dresses graced the runway, accessorized by high-heel boots (some over-the-knee) and oversized slouchy handbags. Scarves added a jolt of colour. Although dresses featured relatively conservative cuts, a slightly higher hemline, and bold florals taken straight from the art world, lent a more contemporary vibe; these were dresses that would transition into fall well with some leggings or tights and a pair of boots or T-strap heels. Indeed, it was the accessories and little extras that stole the show: legwear, highly covetable boots, bags, chunky necklaces, and a sparkling cocktail ring.

Overall, there was nothing shown in clothes that I haven't seen before, but then again, in a stagnant economy filled with skittish consumers, classic pieces that aren't overly trendy will always be a solid investment.

All photos except the one below by Peter Jensen. This post also appears on Stylefinds.

P.S. By the way, did I mention I got to meet Ms. Tant after the event? She was so gracious and kind, she even signed my September issue of FLARE.


Product Review: Kiss Me Mascara

Although I tend to stick to tried and true beauty products, I can be a fickle girl when it comes to mascara. Mascaras only last for about 3 months until they have to be thrown out for sanitary reasons anyway, which provides the perfect built-in reason to try a new brand every time I buy. I've been unfailingly loyal to Cover Girl Lash Blast for the past 6 months, but when my last tube reached its expiration date, I reached for the Kiss Me Mascara sample that I got from Wink Beauty Lounge to tide me over.

Kiss Me promises to form smudgeproof, stay-put tubes around your own lashes to make them look longer and fuller; essentially, it will give you the look of lash extensions without having to go to the salon. The tubes stay put all day until you use warm water and gentle pressure to take them off. I've tried tube-forming mascara before and was unimpressed with the two-step process and how quickly the formula dried out, forcing me to throw it out after only a week.

Kiss Me lives up to most of its claims. The mascara did indeed form tubes around my lashes that slid off easily as soon as I pressed a washcloth soaked in water to my lash line for a few seconds. I liked the fact that it was a one-step application process and the formula didn't dry out in the tube. My lashes looked longer and more fluttery when I used it--in fact, they were so long I could feel them graze the lenses of my sunglasses when I blinked!

The downside? Kiss Me didn't fulfill its 100% smudgeproof promises. Little black lines of dye would wick away from my lashes onto the undereye area and I found myself checking for minute smudges throughout the day. The brush applicator rarely clumped, but when it did, the quick-drying tubes made clumps difficult to comb out. The high price tag (about $24-30) is a bit off-putting as well considering what a short shelf life mascara has. Overall, though, I give a thumbs-up to this product and definitely recommend trying it if you have the chance!

GUESS by Marciano Cocktail Reception

GUESS by Marciano is one of those reliable standbys you can always turn to when you need a smokin' hot clubbing outfit at the last minute. Stop by the Metropolis location on Wednesday September 9th to ring in the fall season with cocktails and shopping! (Click the invite image for further details.)

Event: GUESS by Marciano
When: Wednesday September 9th, 6:30-8:30pm
Where: GUESS by Marciano (Metropolis at Metrotown, Burnaby)
Details: RSVP by emailing guessrsvp@guess.com before Monday September 7th.

This post also appears on Stylefinds.

Stylish Awards

The blogosphere has been showing me a lot of love lately: I received two awards this month, one from Haute World and one from Wendy Brandes Jewelry! Thanks ladies. :)

Haute World gave me the Stylish Blogger Award along with a tag: I have to list 10 things that make up my unique style.

Here goes...
  1. To keep from showing too much skin, I layer white tanks and tees under strappy sun dresses and revealing tank tops.
  2. I prefer silver jewelry to gold most of the time.
  3. My perfect outfit is a combination of fashion, function, and comfort. I have to feel confident and comfortable in it; it has to keep me cool or hot depending on the weather; and it has to be cute!
  4. Friends describe my style as "classic with a touch of whimsy and a love of detail."
  5. Favourite colours of the moment: black, gray, cream, white, cobalt blue, turquoise, hot pink.
  6. My Chanel 2.55 has become something of a style signature. I've actually been recognized by readers as "Solo Lisa" because of it!
  7. I'd rather have a few quality handbags that are versatile and stylish and get a lot of use than lots of cheaper handbags I can only use on very specific occasions.
  8. Jackets and coats are my biggest weakness. The perfect little blazer or jacket over a tee and jeans elevates an outfit.
  9. Most days, I either put my hair in a ponytail or leave it down.
  10. My uniform on salsa days: a cute top, dangly statement earrings, jeans, and ballroom shoes.
Wendy awarded me her seal of approval. Thanks Wendy!

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