Monday, January 25, 2010


My first experience riding a horse was quite memorable; mostly because the reason it was memorable was why it was also my last time on a horse. Let's just say it involved a fat horse called "Salt & Pepper" and me, a 10-year-old Girl Guide, flying off the saddle straight into the mud.

But that incident hasn't stopped me from loving horses and all things equestrian, especially where fashion is concerned.

John Galliano's haute couture collection for Dior today pulled from many references including equestrian dress with riding hats, nipped-in bright red blazers, ruffled blouses, long tartan skirts and even riding crops. Instead of riding boots, the models wore high leather boots with stiletto heels.

The second part of the show was less about riding and more about old Hollywood glamour. Lots of lace, pouffy taffeta and bows.

Maybe it's time to get back on that saddle.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Take a ride on the Orient Express

I've always loved trains; partially because when I was a kid I read Agatha Christie's "Murder On The Orient Express" and immediately wanted to hop on board. I also enjoy traveling by train more than any other mode of transportation. They're a smooth ride; they have people who serve you yummy treats; you can sleep on them and you always see interesting scenery out of the windows.

When I went to France for the first time a few years ago we rode on the train a lot to get across the country. One trip took 10 hours but I barely noticed. Why? Because I was on an awesome train!

One of the other things I love about trains is that you can get up and walk around fairly leisurely. A plane is too small and cramped to take long walks and you can't walk around in a car or on a bike. But because trains have quite a bit of hallway space; it's easy to get around and stretch your legs. You can also meet interesting people while taking these walks.

But I digress.

Annie Leibovitz shot P. Diddy and my favourite model, Natalie Vodianova, for Vogue in a train setting called "Brief Encounter." It sets such a romantic and yet erotic mood; you can actually feel the sexual tension coming through the photographs. It reminds me of those old school English movies where the dashing young man has to leave his lover behind on the platform, but not before one more romp in the train car.

You should also watch the Chanel video starring Audrey Tautou having a fling on a train.

Now I have even more reasons to love trains.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The triumph of the 12s?

Last week I got a free copy of Elle Canada in the mail. I usually don't buy that magazine but the editorials were really pretty.

I came upon one that really caught my interest; the model was gorgeous but I knew something looked different. Her leg and thigh seemed to be bigger than usual but I thought it must have been the angle; as I flipped through the editorial I realized that I was looking at plus-sized model, Crystal Renn.

What was astounding to me was that the magazine didn't proclaim "Plus-sized model here!" in any of the headlines or captions, as is usually the case when fashion mags feature plus-sized models. It was integrated as a regular editorial without all the pompousness and the facade of being an equal opportunist.

Usually plus-sized models are only featured in major fashion magazines as part of a yearly "shape" issue or as a publicity stunt to show that they "care" about women who aren't stick-thin.

It made me realize that editorials with plus-sized models could work seamlessly side-by-side editorials of thin models. But is this success a triumph for us non-models who are size 12 and up?

I thought about my reaction to the photos; I realized that although Crystal Renn is larger than a typical model, she still has a "perfect" body (hour-glass shape, flat stomach, symmetrical, perfect proportions and luminous skin) whereas many women who are size 12 and up aren't so lucky.

But that's why Crystal Renn is a model, and us mortals are not. Even though she is plus-sized, women still envy her because she is beautiful and has an enviable figure. I didn't feel better about myself looking at Crystal Renn's gorgeous body. I don't see how having a plus-size model is better for the self-esteem of women. But then, women's fashion magazines aren't around to help with self-esteem or body issues; they are there to present beautiful clothes on beautiful women.

I believe that plus-sized models should be featured more in fashion magazines not to make women feel better but to show more variety; frankly, I love looking at a plus-sized model's body. They fill out the clothes so well! And there would be more models to choose from rather than the same ones (Kloss, Zimmerman, Sasha, Trentini, etc.) It would be great to see some new faces and different body types to keep the magazines fresh.

The New York Times ran a profile on Renn the other day which trumpeted "The Triumph of the Size 12s." Renn is probably the most prolific plus-sized model in the business.

While I would call Renn's spread in Elle Canada a triumph, I wouldn't call it a triumph for size 12s everywhere. Regular women will always be envious of models no matter what their size.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Globes: My picks

Tonight is the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards; where TV and movie actors come together to celebrate the best of 2009 (according to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.)

To quote Taylor from The Rachel Zoe Project: award show fashion is about "pleasing the masses." As a result we don't see many fashion-forward dresses on the red carpet.

However I have come up with my fantasy list of what the actors should wear on the carpet, masses be damned!

Carey Mulligan

I still haven't seen An Education (blasphemous, I know) but I have seen her rock the red carpet in quirky, fun dresses. She has an ethereal elfin look about her; so she can get away with wearing more avant garde clothing.

I chose her to wear this fun S/S '10 Gianfranco Ferré dress. Because Carey has such delicate features, I thought she should wear something a bit more edgy with strong shoulders and a cool print. It's not overpowering but it makes a strong statement.

Marion Cotillard

I recently became a huge fan of Marion's after watching Public Enemies last week. She is so gorgeous and an amazing actress. I'm in love with her. She has a great body so I think this S/S '10 Valentino jumpsuit would look really chic. She could let her dark hair fall around the shoulders and wear lots of diamonds. She would own the carpet. Anot many actresses would dare to wear a jumpsuit at the Globes (except for Tilda Swinton.)

Penelope Cruz

Penelope's obvious beauty usually outshines her dress, so I wanted to pick something a bit more subtle that would compliment her big eyes and that big, dark head of hair. This S/S '10 Nina Ricci is an interesting choice; I like the one-shoulder sleeve with the diagonal ruffle. And the slightly see-through dress make it sexy but not obvious. It's beautiful without being prom.

Nicole Kidman

Nic always wears figure-hugging, show-stopping dresses and this S/S '10 Miu Miu takes it one step further. It will show off her slim figure but the puffed up shoulders make it more fashion forward. I really love the blue, scale-like sequins.

Kate Winslet

I've always wanted to see Kate Winslet in something less matronly. She always goes for restrained glamour; and though she always looks amazing, I feel that she should go for something with more va-va-voom. This S/S '10 Lanvin dress has tons of glamour but also sex appeal with that slit down the leg. Lanvin was one of my favourite Spring collections and I think Kate embodies the sophisticated but fun woman the collection stands for.

Cameron Diaz

Cam likes to take chances with her clothes. Who could forget the hot pink Chanel from last year's Globes? This S/S '10 Nina Ricci would look banging on her body. I like the floppy bows, and the cute shoulders. It's quirky but glam.

January Jones

I've recently become obsessed with Mad Men. I bought the first season last weekend and became a hermit all week because I couldn't stop watching it. I just bought season 2 yesterday. God help me. January Jones (who plays Betty Draper) is a knock out. On the show she exudes old Hollywood glamour but in real life, she is more of a vixen. Last year she knocked it out of the park with a geometric Versace gown at the Emmys. This year I am also choosing Versace because I love the colour purple but I also like the cool sci-fi-ish pattern. It's a bit futuristic but sensual.

Tilda Swinton

Never one to conform to trends, Tilda Swinton can be counted on to wear the unexpected. Most people usually don't understand her style; but that's what so great about her. So I chose this S/S '10 Roland Mouret jumpsuit. The shiny blue will work well against her pale skin and peroxide blonde, short hair. And it just looks like so much fun to wear.

Olivia Wilde

I am one of those people who think Olivia Wilde > Megan Fox. She is a great actress and is super sexy but in a more natural way. She also wears hot clothes. I think this S/S '10 Alexander McQueen dress would be perfect for her. It's all about showing off the legs and the waist. It's futuristic but romantic. I think she would have a lot of fun wearing it.

Kate Hudson

Gold + Kate = party. We all know that woman loves to have a wild time, and she would have a ball in this sexy piece by Zuhair Murad. When I saw it, the first thing I thought of was Kate. It's young, it's flirty, it has a lot of cutouts to show off her body and it's not a prom dress. Perfection!

I am excited to see what the actors will actually wear to the Globes. Here's hoping it won't be too boring!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Anna, how could you?

When I found out that actress Jessica Biel would be on the cover of February American Vogue, I was devastated. Ok, that's a bit dramatic; I was more disappointed.

Let me count the ways in which Jessica Biel is not deserving of a Vogue cover.

1. She doesn't have a lot of fashion sense (see the MET gala, all of her movie premieres).

Let me elaborate: Her style is boring, matronly and predictable. Nothing to write home about.

When there are actresses such as Diane Kruger leading the way in fashion, Biel can't even compare. Diane Kruger is way more deserving of a cover.

2. She is a bad actor (see Powder Blue, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry, The Illusionist, etc.)

3. She has, on numerous times, complained that her beauty has hindered her career. Snort! What an insult to the likes of talented and beautiful actresses such as Emily Blunt, Marion Cotillard, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.

4. She has never been in a movie where she is not the girlfriend/sexy love interest. In other words, her roles are boring.

And this is the woman Anna Wintour chose to be on the cover of Vogue. It's insulting to all the other amazing actresses out there. True, Biel is beautiful; but that's only skin deep. There is nothing else there. Trust.

And really, when was the last time anyone really cared about her? Exactly.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Girl crush

Diane Kruger came onto my radar last summer when she was promoting the brilliant film Inglorious Basterds at the Cannes Film Festival. She wore a long white and silver dress with a train and a revealing back.

Ever since then I have been watching her sartorial choices and have been happily pleased with what she has worn.

Her style is usually edgy yet feminine, like the Karl Lagerfeld mini dress with the metal breast-plate paired with thigh-high black leather boots.

She can pull off everything from flannel shirts to flirty jumpsuits. She always seems to be just ahead of the curve; always beyond the trends.

This woman takes chances and never plays it safe.

Cheers to you, Diane Kruger, and to a fashionable 2010!