Fashion

Balmain x H&M

So I can finally say that I attended one of the H&M collaboration launch. Last Wednesday, November 5, 2015 as the clock striked five I dashed my little butt out the office to catch the subway as quickly as possible. Toronto was only given three locations to choose from that carried the Balmain x H&M collection. I first called the location closest to work and I was told that people started lining up around 6:00am. I knew I could not chance it so I decided to visit the location closest to home, which is located inside Yorkdale mall just north of downtown Toronto. I didn’t have much time to waste when I got home so I just quickly changed into something comfortable and that showed off my personal style because in my mind you just never know, Olivier Rousteing may very well show up. I mean, a girl can dream right!

 

I arrived in line at 6:45pm and the line was reasonable for the time it was. Right away I put my bags down, set-up my chair and started chatting up the people ahead of me. Not too long after the line started to grow and the person behind me happened to be a friend of a friend so it was good to have a familiar face too. After surviving just over seven hours – getting up ever so often to stretch my legs, warm up in the mall lobby entrance, Snapchatting, snacking on lunchables, chatting with new friends, at 2:00am the H&M security came outside and started to hand out numbers. You would think this was a very simple process, but everyone in line got a bit anxious and started to walk towards the front of the line hoping to snag a number closer to the front. The security guards not knowing who was standing where in line just started to hand out numbers to those closest to them. This obviously started to infuriate a lot of people in line (including myself) as those at the back of the line somehow made their way to the front to obtain a number closer to the front. Finally both the H&M security and the mall security got the crowd under control and the numbers were dished out accordingly – with the exception of those who snuck up to the front to obtain a closer number. I’m pretty sure I would have been at a much closer number to the front, but I ended up with a reasonable number at 191 in line. Quite frankly the security guards could have cared less about this entire ordeal as this was not their highest of priorities to hand out tickets to people standing in line to buy clothes.

 

After another four hours passed, both the H&M security guards and the H&M staff came outside to hand out the bracelets to those who held a number in line. As one of the first 420 shoppers in line we were given a coloured bracelet; there were 14 colours with one for each group of 30 people. This process took another hour and then we were finally let inside the mall where we formed another line in front of the store. My group was given an orange bracelet which had the Balmain x HM stamp in black ink on it. Underneath that was written in black permanent marker our time slot of 9:30am-9:40am. This was definitely the most exciting time in line as we all felt a sigh of relief that it was finally confirmed that we will be shopping the collection. We anxiously watch at 8:00am as the doors opened and the first group of shoppers were let in. Our time slot made us the 9th group in line to shop between 9:30am and 9:40am. H&M did not let everyone in the store at once, for obvious reasons. Not only were there a line in front of the store, but there was also another line formed inside the store just before the section where the collection were displayed. This was where the next group were waiting their turn while the group in front shopped the collection. We had only ten minutes to shop the collection so you can imagine the anxiety and excitement building up. In that ten minutes period we were only allowed to purchase two of each style per customer. Our group was pretty calm for the most part though and we actually talked it out in line to get a sense of what everyone wanted to buy.

 

When it was our turn at about 9:20am, as we were walking in the store to line up, it was announced that the mens collection was sold out. One male shopper in our group immediately started to curse outloud and stormed out of the store, girlfriend left behind. At about 9:30am we finally passed the ropes to shop the collection; there was almost nothing left, a lot of the items on the floor were ones being returned from the changeroom. Blazers, dresses, shoes and the t-shirts were all sold out, with the exception of a few blazers being returned to the floor from the changeroom. Surprisingly there were about eight of the red draped silk skirts remaining on the rack. A lot of the ribbed bandeau tops remained and a few other tops as well. For me, as time past by in line I knew I had to make a plan B for the items I will buy because the t-shirts and blazers being hot items sold out almost immediately. I was actually surprised that the polo-neck jumper was still available so I immediately grabbed that off the rack in sizes 2 and 8. There was one of the suit trousers in silk satin remaining in a size 6, but it was not my size but I grabbed it anyways because I knew the sizes fit a bit smaller. Luckily while I was waiting in line for a changeroom a staff was walking by with the suit trousers and it happened to be my size so I switched it with the one I had in my hand. I also brought with me the drapped skirt in sizes 2 and 4 and the shirt jacket in size 8, so six items in total. The changeroom area was really a panic zone, shoppers yelling at each other for sizes, staff yelling at shoppers to stop switching items as they must be returned on the floor for the next group. At that point there was just no time for me to panic. I just wanted to get in, try on what I had and get out! I quickly tried my items on and the polo-neck jumper fit perfectly in a size 2, while the suit trousers fit nicely in a size 4. Even if my items did not fit I knew I had the option to receive a full refund by November 8th or a store credit after that date.

 

After leaving the changeroom I headed to the checkout upstairs and witnessed one of the girls in my group breaking down because she did not get the blazer she wanted. Oddly enough while this was happening her girlfriend was cashing out with two blazers. I felt her pain. Even though I did not get any of the t-shirts I’m pretty satisfied with my purchases. I never had any intentions of spending a ridiculous amount of money so spending just over $200 is a score for me. I also wanted to purchase pieces I know I can wear more than once and mix and match with what I already have in my closet. I felt like I accomplished a goal and another item crossed off my bucket list.

 

This entire experience also had me thinking, when you don’t have access to things before the masses or given free stuff, you have to go out and get it yourself. We live in a social media world where it’s cool to announce and (humble) brag about receiving free stuff and getting access to things before the masses. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people who do this are getting paid and it is their income, so it is a job for them. The problem is we forget what it is like to work for what we want, it’s become much easier for us to befriend those in power to gain access to the things we want. It’s no longer cool to get excited to line up for a big event launch or to meet your favourite music artist etc. anymore. People will spend all the time in the world trying to figure out who they need to know to attend a certain event or gain access to product private viewings. Rather than actually going out there and wait in line to pay for the product.

 

I also want to touch on the social uproar from people talking crap about shoppers (myself included) who stood in line for hours. As crazy as it may sound to stand in line for over 14 hours to buy clothes, it really just comes down to being ‘different strokes for different folks’. Everyone has their thing and if standing in line to buy clothes is someone else’s thing, let that be their thing. My question is why does it bother people so much that someone else is willing to do something that they will never do? I mean, people wait in line for Jordans, iphones and video games so it’s totally okay right! – laughing out loud. But, it’s safe to say that this has been H&M’s most controversial, most talked about and possibly the most successful collaboration to date (waiting for the numbers to come in). Go Olivier!

 

Sending virtual high fives to those who still tough it out in lines for shopping events and music artists. If you also stood in line for hours just to even purchase a toque, I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below and tell me about your experience at the Balmain x H&M launch event and what you purchased.

 

Now get style inspired and see two looks I styled with the pieces I purchased from the Balmain x H&M collection.

  

  

  Photography by Shantel Rousseau

 

Balmain x H&M Polo-Neck Jumper, $69.99 CAD

 

Balmain x H&M Suit Trousers in Silk Satin, $119.00 CAD

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MFW SS16 Runway Rundown

If I lived in Milan I would only wear Dolce & Gabbana. But girl, then I saw the Fendi collection and I literally screamed out loud.  Note, this was 5:30am in the morning. A little crazy, maybe, but that’s what great fashion does to you. When I think of Milan, I think of luxury fashion that women actually wear everyday. They don’t alter the runway looks to suit their everyday lives. They wear it as is, and make no apology for it.

No surprise here, some of the top designers put it down on the runway this season. Fendi with the satin draping and woven detailing. Versace with military tailoring and dresses slashed in all the right places. Gucci with a sophisticated and sexy spin on prairie dressing. To Missoni with the black and white mosiac prints. Peter Dundas produced a collection fit for Ciara, as she is the face of Cavalli. I can see her rocking every piece on the carpet and I hope she does. He gave us eighties fever, from acid wash jeans, tie dye dresses to glitter denim. Oh and bedazzled blazers and super short mini dresses.

Hope you have your napkin with you because these collections are mouth watering. See my picks for some of the best looks from Milan Fashion Week below.

Fendi
  

Versace
 

 

 

Gucci

  

Prada

  

Dolce & Gabbana

 

Missoni
  

Bottega Veneta

 

Roberto Cavalli

  
Elisabetta Franchi
  

7 Ways Living In Toronto Transforms Your Style

 Photography by Shantel Rousseau

Living Toronto is one of the best life moves you could ever make. This city will toughen you up, take you outside of your comfort zone (or bubble) and introduce you to things you never knew existed. I mean, if you can drive in Toronto, you can drive anywhere in the world. Let’s not forget about the fashion, it’s insane! Each neighbourhood (or subway stop) has it’s own unique style of dressing, something you can’t help but notice. With the changing seasons, it’s a wonder how we get  through life here. Come to think of, commuting is our favourite sport. This fast-paced, trendy and oh so busy way of living is not for the faint of heart. So if you’re planning on moving to Toronto anytime soon, I’ve rounded up a few ways living in this city changes your style. For the better of course! Plus some of Toronto’s very own street stylers to prove it.


In this city, you’ve got to learn how to layer like a pro because spring, summer, fall and winter can happen in one day.


Booties are your go to transportation shoes because let’s face it, heels are not practical in these streets.


Carrying a tote bag everywhere because you just never know when an outfit change is needed. You start your day out at the office, then an after work catch up at dinner happens. Then who knows, you end up at an event. Things just come up!



Wearing sunglasses on the subway because it’s your main source of protection from awkward human conversations.


You’re not chic until you’ve mastered homeless chic. You dress this way because quite frankly, you’re tired of wondering eyes when you wear a shorter hem.



Wearing way more black, because that same person you see on the subway every morning will never know you wore those pants already this week.

 

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I mean, who says you have to stop wearing shorts and skirts during the cooler months. These lifesavers should be on your top five things you cannot live without.


Style Crushes Of The Week – September 14, 2015

  
See the round up of my picks for best dressed celebrities on and off the red carpet last week. Also shop a more affordable version of each look.

 

 

Gigi Hadid wearing a Balmain x H&M dress

 

Gigi posing for photos at the Harper’s Bazaar Icons event in New York City. The Balmain x H&M collection has not yet been released to the public, but being the model of the moment she got first dibs ahead of the rest of us. Definitely got us excited for the official launch on November 5, 2015.

 

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Balmain x H&M (not yet available)

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Geometric Print Long Sleeved Bodycon Dress

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Multi Strap Heeled Sandals

 

 

Rita Ora in Vera Wang

Rita Ora photographed front row at the Vera Wang SS16 runway show in New York during NYFW last week. She arrived wearing look #36 from the collection, but ditched the skirt that went with the look. She completed the look with Dsquared2 strappy sandals.

 

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Topshop Metallic Striped Midi Dress

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Nasty Gal Lace Up Heeled Sandals

 

Kourtney Kardashian wearing  Balenciaga leather leggings

Kourtney was spotted out in New York looking like the hot mamma she is. Black is a happy colour and she sure does look happy.

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Bandeau Top

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Satin Bomber Jacket

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H&M Leather Pants

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Steve Madden Sandal Heel

 

Shay Mitchell

 
The brunette beauty attended VH1’s 5th Annual Streamy Awards on Thursday, September 17, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. This was a great example of how a black and white look is done well. Her bone straight hair works so perfectly with her dark pout.

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Nasty Gal Crossover Knit Halter Top

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Palazzo Pants

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Aldo Leather Pump

NYFW SS16 Runway Rundown

So that’s all folks! New York Fashion Week has come to end. Okay cheer up! Fashion week is not over just yet. We have three more weeks of non stop fashion coming up. So if you’ve been following fashion week over the years you’ve noticed the huge role social media has played in making fashion accesible to the general public. Not actually being at fashion week is not so bad these days, with almost every show being live streamed either on the designer’s website or nyfw.com. I mean don’t get me wrong, gettting all dressed up, being photographed, sitting front row then jetting off to the after parties is every fashion gal’s dream. But if you’re not so lucky to get in on all the action, sitting at home in your pjs, right front and centre of each show is pretty sweet. If you did not catch any of the shows this week, lucky for you guys i’ve rounded up some of the best looks from the most talked about shows. See the new looks and trends below to get you excited for Spring 2016.

Jason Wu

  

Givenchy

 

Rodarte
  

Vera Wang

  
 

Alexander Wang

  

Rebecca Minkoff

  

Zac Posen

   

Brandon Maxwell

  
DKNY

  

Proenza Schouler

  

Boss

 

Calvin Klein

   

Style Crushes Of The Week! – September 6th 2015

See the round up of my picks for best dressed celebrities on and off the red carpet last week. Also shop a more affordable version of each look.

 

 

1. Freida Pinto in Vince Camuto top and bottom

Rocking a red pout, Frieda was seen leaving the A List 15th Anniversary party in a super comfy shorts set. She continued the casual look with black sneakers. The best part about this look is how affordable it it. Shop this exact look below plus a similar sneakers.

 

Dash-Eyelet Body Top

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Dash Eyelet Shorts

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Nike Air Huarache

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2. Camila Alves in Geroges Hobieka

 

 

Camila Alves spotted at the 2015 Couture Council Awards Luncheon. This is such a sexy and sophisticated jumpsuit, with the cutouts in just the right places. I love the high neckline to help balance this look because of the lengthy hemline. Camila kept her accessories to a minimum and finished the look with a sleek bun. Shop the look for less below.

Nasty Gal Chulo Jumpsuit

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3. Olivia Culpo in Public School

 

Olivia Culpo striked a pose front row at the Public School SS16 fashion show in New York City. The beauty queen is wearing a classic black and white combo of buttoned up blouse, black trousers and barely there heels.

Nasty Gal Mademoiselle Pussy Bow Blouse

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Zara Loose Fit Trousers

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Aldo Sandal Heels

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4. Ciara in Fausto Puglisi

 

Ciara spotted arriving at the ABC studios for her performance on The View. This is a pretty daring look as the star decided to go braless. What I love about this look is that the thigh high boots fell right under the pleated skilt style skirt, keeping the rest of her body covered up. When it comes to style, it’s all about balance and Ciara always does this well.

Vince Camuto Solid Pointelle Mesh Crewneck Sweater

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Nasty Gal Asymmetrical Skirt

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Nasty Gal Thigh High Stiletto Boots

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Style Crushes Of The Week! – August 30th 2015

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See the round up of my picks for best dressed celebrities on and off the red carpet last week. Also shop a more affordable version of each look.

 

Happy Sunday!

In addition to providing outfit ideas and style tips, I thought it’s only fitting to add some of my favourite celebrity looks to the site. Afterall, I do get some of my style inspirations from some of my celebrity style crushes. Style stalking is a hobby right! To make it a little challenging, only all black (sometimes with white) looks will be featured in this style round up. In addition, similar more affordable versions of each looks will be included. So let’s get right into it – here are my favourite looks of the week!

 

 

1. Selena Gomez wearing Gabriela Cadena

 

 

ASOS Boohoo Cutout Maxi Dress

 

 

2. Kylie Jenner wearing a Balmain cutout bandage dress

 

A&N Boutique Cross All Over Me Dress

 

Posh by V Harlem Dress

 

 

 

3. Lily Aldridge wearing a Dolce & Gabbana sheer ruched dress

 

Missguided Mesh Ruched Bodycon Dress

 

 

4. Emily Ratajkowski in a Primark skirt

 

ASOS Turtle Neck Crop Top

 

Missguided Thigh High Split Scuba Midi Skirt

 

 

5. Kendall Jenner wearing Blk Dnm blazer; Etienne Marcel pants; Victoria Beckham blouse; Manolo Blahnik loafers; Céline sunnies

 

Square Flat Top Wayfarer

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ASOS New Look Tall Tailored Blazer

 

H&M Cotton Shirt

 

Zara Skinny Trousers

 

 

Nasty Gal Open Case Leather Flat

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Alexander Wang For H&M Lookbook Plus Live Show

AW x HM

AW x HM

 

The Alexander Wang for H&M lookbook is finally here! With less than a month away from the launch date (November 6th) the anticipation has been building as fans cannot wait to get their hands on the collection. Tonight Alexander Wang will present the collection at a track and field space in Washington Heights at 8:10PM EST. As an added bonus, fans will be able to live the stream the fashion show as well here. The collection is super sporty with some influence from Wang’s past collections. The collection will hit 240 H&M stores worldwide and hm.com on November 6th, with select pieces available on alexanderwang.com. Peep the looks from the collection below.

 

H&M Celebrates 10 Years Of Collaborations

Wow! Can you believe it’s been 10 years and 14 collaborations for H&M already! I mean, I remember only becoming an H&M fan since about 2007 and only following the collaborations since 2010 when a Lanvin was announced as the new designer to collaborate. Looking back at the first collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld had me feeling like I was living under a rock at the time.

The collaborations has become so popular that it’s considered one of the top most anticipated announcements in fashion today. Many rumours are usually started to guess who the next designer will be; then you have insiders who leak the news ahead of the official announcements and of course the tease here and there from the designers themselves. Once that announcement is made, its immediate countdown until the collections hits stores for fans. H&M has done something so unique in the fashion world that has never been done before. They have given fans of high end luxury brands the opportunity to afford these designer pieces. Retailers have sure caught on as you can see with Target’s success down this path, having collaborated with popular brands themselves. We’ve seen them collaborate with Prabal Gurung, Phillip Lim and most recently TOMS.

Some of my favourite collaborations included Lanvin, Maison Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant and the upcoming Alexander Wang. It will be interesting to see who the next designer will be, but I’m crossing my fingers for Celine.

Take a trip down memory lane and you may be surprised to see who the past designers were, see all 14 H&M collaborations to date below.

 

H&M

Karl Lagerfeld 2004

H&M

Stella McCartney 2005

H&M

Viktor & Rolf 2006

H&M

Roberto Cavalli 2007

H&M

Commes des Garcons 2008

H&M

Matthew Williamson 2009

H&M

Jimmy Choo 2009

H&M

Lanvin 2010

H&M

Sonia Rykeil 2010

H&M

Versace 2011

H&M

Marni 2012

H&M

Maison Martin Margiela 2012

H&M

Isabel Marant 2013

H&M

Alexander Wang November 6, 2014

Five N’ Dime – A Collective Pop Up Shop

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With summer surely on its way, what better way to kick start the warmer season than a little thrift shopping. Over the years thrift shopping has become quite popular and is often confused with vintage shopping. To clear the air a little, thrift shopping is not the same as vintage shopping. In fact thrifting is buying something for less than its original value. Vintage is a piece of clothing or an object bearing a time stamp of 20 years or that illustrates a particular era in history.

With that said, you can consider Five N’ Dime a shopping experiencing where you’re thrift shopping, but also buying vintage at the same time. Expect this event to bring out all the vintage lovers, followers and admirers. Not to mention, how affordable the prices are.

Founders Danielle Evans and Tinesha Richards specialize in new school vintage; modern trendy pieces with a mix of unique one of a kind vintage items. With a year and a half of pop-up shop successes under their belts, their aim is to transform the definition of thrift. They want to give new meaning to your general understanding of what it means to “thrift shop” by providing shoppers with the opportunity to browse through items selected carefully from some of their favorite places to shop such as New York and Toronto. More importantly, Five N’ Dime encourages and promotes affordability so all items are priced reasonably and nothing is over $25. Yes, you heard right, nothing is priced over $25.

“As students we understand that it is difficult to keep up with the latest trends when you have text books to buy, tuition to pay for, and all the other expenses that comes along with being a student. Because of this, everything sold at Five N’ Dime is $25 and under”, says the ladies.

In addition to offering trendy clothing and accessories at a discount, the ladies are also concerned with charitable matters. “We are also strong advocates for helping out our community; and therefore each year we find new ways to give back. This year we will be donating 20% of all earnings to the Urban Arts Toronto, Girls Group”.

Nothing like a shopping experience that also gives back. I’m all for it!