Friday, February 29, 2008

The Antidote

Now that my bitching is out of the way (see below), I must share these pictures of Akris Fall 08 RTW. I will not intellectualize this collection. I love practically every piece. It looks luxe, comfortable, wearable and a just the slightest bit off-kilter. And I am so enjoying it's sophisticated vibe. Like a woman of a certain age, or her entirely hip daughter, could work from the same closet. Those skins (fur, suede) give some dazzle to the austerity. And the colours - or shall we call them neutrals - really appeal.

Consider This The Backlash

A couple of days ago, Balenciaga showed its Fall 08 RTW collection in Paris. I considered reviewing it until I realized that, as far as Balenciaga is concerned, I've got a major bone to pick and I'm just not going to be able to move on till I speak my mind.

I recognize that I am in a miniscule minority - and I'm really not the kind of person who likes to dwell on the things she doesn't personally appreciate - but I feel compelled to write that I am one of the 10 yahoos who absolutely loathes that (now iconic) Balenciaga Spring 2008 RTW collection. Those awful gladiator sandals, those over-constructed, puffy-shouldered florals. I do not see how they're even remotely wearable - much less as an ensemble - for your average (nay, above average) woman. I mean, there are about 3 practical shapes in the entire runway collection - and they're all in pastel satin!

I've been trying to warm up to this collection for months now. Every magazine I open, lauds its engineering and the technology that underpins it and the beautiful, contradictory shapes. Well, I'm sorry, I don't care. I have no idea what these clothes cost. I'm sure it's a hideous fortune - hideous being the operative word. I don't care if it looks just like what everyone speculates Mr. Balenciaga himself would have designed, were he still alive today. I don't care if it's designed as a clever play on fashion as armor. If it manages to make even Jennifer Connelly seem wan, angry and ugly, it's just not worth the cash. (I do realize the photog had something to do with that...)

Having unburdened myself so snittily, I'll revisit Ghesquière's latest offering and get back to y'all. In truth, on quick review, it's infinitely lovelier. Something tells me someone's gonna give me what for, over this post. I'm a smidgy scared, really.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hell in a Handbag

I loved that what's in your handbag meme I saw going around a few weeks ago... While I do want to believe the majority of tagees simply carry gum, cell phones, compact arts and crafts projects, PDAs, keys and lipbalm, I'd like to know where they're stashing the tampons, unpaid bills (still in half-opened envelope), umbrellas, full-on mountains of makeup, tubes of handcream, and mushed up muffin leftovers in a greasy napkin. Honestly, is that just me?

I like to call myself a minimalist and, if you saw my colour-coded closet, you might agree. But the handbag is the last frontier of the tchotchke, the thing containing the thing you might need at any moment, the portable analog of that crap-drawer you have in your office that you're constantly throwing stuff into and pulling stuff out of 'cuz you need it. Really.

Having apprised you of my bag-as-container philosophy, I should give you a head's up about how I feel about the bag as status object. In short, I think every woman should follow her heart's desire in accordance with her budget, but I'm not into spending 3 grand on a patch of leather with a logo. For me, the fun is in the find and in the relative uniqueness of my purchase.

Bags are a super way to approach vintage, for example, if you're not quite sure about how you feel about reusing old stuff. When well-preserved, leather is very durable and it ages beautifully. And, in truth, if you're set on that Chanel quiltie, you're going to find it for half a fortune on consignment. Also, the likelihood that anyone's going to have your specific snake clutch or patchwork hobo circa 1972 is slim. Which makes it that much more undefinably chic.
Soon, I'll do a post of my own purse collection. Till then, I thought I'd show a few bags (or affordable brands) I enjoy.

For the Stylish Vegan In You

I really like Matt & Nat, a brand out of Montreal that's readily available in TO. The shapes are lovely, the pleather frequently indistinguishable from leather. My mother raves about the M&N bag we bought for her on a recent visit, which gets loads of compliments in Charlotte, where she lives.

The blueberry Japanese Paper bag (bottom) is the one my mother owns...

Roots used to have better design, but the leather is quality

Banana Republic does very nice lady bags - with room for all the crap

M0851 is not inexpensive - but it's phenomenally gorgeous

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I'll Tell You A Secret

I love Rick Owens. I am even fortunate enough to own something by Rick Owens (Lilies) (purchased at 70% off from my best kept secret - other than that I love Rick Owens...) He's so Jil Sander on a bad drug trip. And by bad I mean good.

Maybe it's 'cuz I'm a Canadian Girl, but I love the fur with the neck ties. LOVE. And his asymmetrical zipper thing, so delicious.

Canadian Designer Alert

As you may know, I keep the tourism industry of Quebec afloat, and this is in no small measure due to the gorgeous, affordable design available in La Belle Province. One of my daily blog reads, Montrealcentric Dualite, has alerted me to an interesting e-zine, Gloss wherin I found these great photos of the Spring/Summer '08 White Label collection.

Designer, Evelyne Dupuis, has created a wearable, sexy series of interchangeable pieces that capture the whimsical yet architectural, sexy vibe of the Montreal culture. A votre plasir:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

If You Have $275-odd Sitting Around...

...You should really take 5 minutes and surf this site: Donna Marquit Lingerie.

For a girl who thinks she knows everything (about underwear), can't say this brand has been on my radar until now. Methinks it's very NYC / Patricia Field circa Sex and the City.

If your assets are a pert mini to moderate, have fun getting with your inner leopard, neon sign or dominatrix. (I've never actually seen this brand up close, but the models are not buxom and the cut seems best suited to smaller breasts.)

Note to readers who think spending $175.00 on a vinyl bra is absurd: The vinyl bra costs $175.00. (And the panties are $85.00?!)

Monday, February 25, 2008

Full Disclosure

Could my fundamental exhibitionism be more evident?! Here are the new glasses - and the tiniest part of the H & M shirt I bought. FYI - There is so not enough fabric on that shirt if you eat one Oreo cookie. What was I thinking?

BTW - This is one of the first shots with the new Canon SLR. I'm am not joking when I tell you that this camera is so awesome that it will cook your dinner and pick up your dry cleaning in addition to taking your picture. The resolution on the photo above has been converted to web quality so that it isn't the size of a small application. And still it is so much clearer than anything else to date. Gotta love technology - even if you have no idea of how it works!

Sunday, February 24, 2008


Thank you generous Bronwyn, of FashionAbility, for giving a blogger newbie such a terrific thrill!

When I started this blog recently, I could not have imagined a) the amount of creative energy and contentment it would inspire in me and b) the awesome community of like-minded bloggers I'd have a chance to connect with. For this alone, I would be incredibly grateful - but here it's just got better...
S0, here are the participation rules:

1. If you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.
(Oh, I'm so about the proud display!)

And apparently, I - and those I tag - have to answer the following:

What is the story behind the name of your blog and nickname?

My husband is one of those people who can come up with a perfect (fake) name for anything i.e. a fictitious pet store, new product etc. I must have run 100 choices by him before he said "Why not k-line? It's got the first letter of your first name and it's a straightforward fashion reference." Seemed good to me. My nickname is the same as my blog name to keep it simple...

What has been your best or worst blogging experience?

I have so many little best experiences each week with this blog. On a macro-level, I'd have to say the best thing is being motivated to write and share my love of fashion. On a micro-level, it was pretty exciting for me when I got linked to for the first time by, Lady of Lacquer, a blog I really respect. Oh, and having the chance to comment on the great ideas of others - and to receive comments on my own posts - is a recurrent best.

What do you want to happen to your blog in 2008?

If only Bronwyn hadn't taken world domination, this would be a no-brainer! :-) What I'd love is to increase my readership as a way to enjoy more meaningful communication with bloggers around the globe. I'd also love it if the blog inspired some planner at L'Oreal Fashion Week in TO to get me a couple of tickets to a show :-)

Blogs that Inspire Me to Think (Who May Well Have Been Tagged Already):

Agathe at Style Bytes makes me think about the act of dressing in a totally new (theatrical/young/foreign) way.

Riz at Mode et Utopie is, like, the thinkiest person ever.

WendyB deserves this simply for her knowledge of British history - never mind her business acumen and gorgeous design!

Suzanna Mars at Style Sauvage helps me to contextualize the collections, along with Riz.

Stopping at 5 is going to be seriously tough but I'll finish with Dreamecho, a woman who brings her personal philosophy to her style.

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Do you ever get new glasses and try them on with the prescription lenses for the first time and look at yourself in the mirror and think who the hell is that woman and my lipstick colour is so all wrong and did I just make a huge freakin' mistake?

And then your husband tells you that you look softer and more feminine and all you can wonder is whether or not, in some backhanded way, that means less edgy and intellectual-seeming.

Just curious.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Both Sides Now

Is it the economy, the time of year, the time of man? Or is it just coincidence that a number of posts have cropped up over the last few days examining the role of fiscal restraint and it's sassy counterpart, careful acquisition? Two of these posts (specifically) have really got me thinking.

The first, by Dreamecho, is a beautiful memoir of adolescence, the relative poverty that often goes along with it and the lust that often goes with wanting things one can't afford. Dreamecho details her clever strategy for purchasing only the most desirable of an everpresent list of must-haves.

This sentiment is eerily echoed by Enc of ObservationMode, a woman at a different stage of life who finds herself, similarly, making lists of desirable objects in an attempt to bring consciousness to her shopping and spending habits.

Two worthy pieces, to be sure.

Both of these women bring global resonance to personal choice in intimating that, when one spends unconsciously, one diminishes the quality of the act itself (nevermind the fallout associated with unnecessary acquisition).

Contrast this with me, a usually restrained character who's been on a buying spree lately the likes of which might put Posh Spice in her place (ok, not really, but I'm using drama for effect...) I'm inclined to believe that, if everything new is a rebound consequence, I'm on the flipside of Enc and Dreamecho's metaphoric coin.

I mean, I've started hitting the high-street stores - really not my scene - and I'm not exactly hating it... To wit: Today I did some window shopping over the lunch hour at Zara. Dear Reader: If my fantasies took Visa, the creditors would now be at my door. I didn't purchase, restraint mechanism did kick in, but I could have bought 7 things that looked great (IMO) and were interesting and rather well-made (esp. for disposable clothing) that, let's face it, would have cost less than one pricey pair of pants. Scarily, this exhilarated me. Concerned me gravely, for sure, but in an excited way. I sense that, somehow, I am not on the road to high ideals here.

The yogic concept of bramacharya is apt as relates to this subject, in that it prescribes conscious constraint. The sanskrit term, which generally refers to celibacy, can be broadly applied to any act of mindful continence. By their action (or inaction) my blogger comrades are admirably practicing the purest form of yoga, go figure. Each unspent dollar, another exhale in the breath of their careful repose. I, on the other hand, am about to join a support group. Just one more a-line jacket and I'm there. I promise. Really. For true.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I Knew if I Just Looked Long Enough...

... I'd find a pair of wide-legged, high-waisted trouser jeans. I just didn't think it would be at H & M.

Note: I am not that person who hangs at H & M, snapping up delicious, fiscally-prudent finds like skinny teen. My overriding opinion of the chain is that they should use a bit more fabric -on everything. I also find the bulk of it kind of disposable - if extremely au courant - in a way that doesn't work for me. Point is, I'm not the demographic. So imagine my delight and surprise (another one of those overused phrases of mine), to discover a workmate was wearing these:

When she told me she'd just bought them for $29.00, I knew a shopping venture was nigh.

Now, in truth, they aren't that high-waisted. Which is fine, as far as I'm concerned, 'cuz I'm not that long-waisted. Their moderate rise (though the label says low-rise, it's not true) is perfect for my shape (short and curvy) and the price is right.

Furthermore, look at all that fabric - this must be where they've been stashing it all :-)

PS - With all the money I saved, I somehow managed to buy a top ($29.00) too:

This photo is only to highlight the shape and does not do it justice. For starters, I bought it in a totally different pattern (a slate background with lilac and black leopard print) which I can't seem to find online. Also, it looks fab with tits, something the model above does not possess.

Once the pants are hemmed, I'll take a picture of the combo for y'all to see.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sure Hope Boys Make Passes...

... at girls wearing these:

Face a Face - Pinup

Meet my latest purchase. (Can't talk about cost, still adjusting...)

So glad I can justify these on the basis that they a) enable me to function in the world and b) they will give my day-to-day image a real refresh.

Fun and Games!

OK, I totally love this. Yesterday I posted about basics, vis a vis a great post I read on Style Bubble (see below). At the end of that post, I suggested that some of the fashionable bloggers I read daily might want to write about what constitutes a basic according to them.

Today, wonder of wonders, Lady has responded to that question with a great follow up about her own wardrobe essentials. And, also game (pun intended) is the delightful Curella, who has decided to turn this little musing into a full-fledged activity.

In brief, Curella has institutionalized the question "what is a basic wardrobe to you" in a fun game of tag. I, Rumi from Fashion Toast and Selina of Flying Saucer are Curella's 3 tags. (Believe it or not, I've never actually visited Flying Saucer, but that's about to change stat.)

As per Curella's rules, I'm to write about what comprises a basic wardrobe for me. I think I've summed that up in yesterday's post here. Then, I'm to tag 3 other bloggers to do the same thing, in the interests of learning more about the personal style of some favourite style sistahs.

Technically, I already tagged Lady to do this yesterday. But worry not, I can easily come up with 50 more people to tag. However, in keeping with the guidelines, I will limit myself to 3 others: my fellow Canadian, Miss Cavendish, Norway's Ladybird, and someone I read frequently (and would like to know more about), the talented Wendy Brandes.

I so hope they take up the challenge so that we can all be enlivened by their excellent style. And, if they do, can't wait to see who they tag.

PS: Lady, if you are reading, feel free to tag 3 of your own faves - if you would like, bien sur.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Basically, me...

Susie B. began her latest post by advising that she's not about dispensing style advice. But, as no one's actually asking me for advice, I feel I can be quite free in illustrating the basic underpinnings of my own wardrobe:

From the ground up

For me, as you may know by now, it all starts with the lingerie. I'm probably at my most individual on this layer of dress. From pink and baby blue leopard print to yellow florals to corset style balconettes, I like to know that I'm not phoning it in. I also love the constructive power of well-made undergarments. They make the rest of my clothes look that much better, which gives me confidence. Here are a couple of styles I wear:

Freya Matisse (left)
Freya Lola (right)

I've become one of those jeans freaks...

So what if it's Wednesday. If you wear dark, well-fitted denim while floating a "trouser" vibe, it's amazing what liberties you can take. I always dress it up with luxe accessories, cashmere and chic jackets. Then I pretend I work as a creative at an advertising agency. Looks I like:

Sass & Bide Misfit Slim (left)
Genetic Denim Mutated Twisted Seam (right)

Boots are de rigeur. Low wedges aren't bad either.

On a daily basis, throughout the winter, I fall back on my La Canadienne's to keep my feet toasty and dry - and to navigate the icy terrain.

However, when the snow is at bay, I love pointy-toed, sabrina heel boots like these:

Anne Klein, Ginger Boot

And this is the style of shoe I tend to wear:

Fly London, Tyne Shoe

Slim T / Long Cami

You know, James Pearse, Club Monaco, Jacob do a zillion varieties of a piece that functions (for me) as a perfect layering garment. I like to wear muted jewel tones (greens, blues, burgundies) as well as black - but I steer clear of white because I am the palest girl that ever lived and white tends to make me look dead.

Just call me "sweater girl"

There is no low micronaire I don't love to bits. Ca Va de Soi, Line, Theory, Laundry, Bloomingdales on sale, Holt Renfrew house brand (when you can find it) - I can't get enough of the slim, fitted sweater, as the base layer for a jacket (or other sweater) on top. I also love floaty, top layers that span the gap between structured jacket and cozy cardi...

Temperley London

The deconstructed jacket (which is often a sweater masquerading)

Hamish Morrow (right)
Rick Owens Lilies (left)

Wouldn't it be fun if other bloggers decided to work this idea? I'd love to know what constitutes a basic wardrobe for, let's say, Lady (over at Lacquer) or Rumi at Fashion Toast or Curella at Curella Says...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Basic Training

Just read a super enjoyable post by Susie, style genius. It was in response to the routine comments she gets from fans / novice fashion dolls driven witless by her innovative ways and motivated to get all Bubble-icious. Thing is, there's nothing very basic about Susie's style. It's a veritable collision of Asian influence, British eccentric, youthful and that special something that cannot be defined.

No doubt, there is very little obvious intersection between Susie's style and mine. Where she is daring, I am safe. Where she's a DIY tour-de-force, I outsource. There's that little matter of (I reckon) 15 years between us. We're just different girls. Having said this, I read her blog religiously. I love it, and not because I love everything she throws together, not because I could ever imagine myself walking out the door dressed that way. I love it because, in her work, I feel the sheer joy of the creative spirit. She is no imposter, and yet a populist. Her blog says to me: Go out and do your thing. Do it all out.

So I completely understand why her readers itch for instruction, though she's the first to say that's not what she's about. Her latest post however , the one to which I've linked above, is a concession to the inspired. It provides an extensive photo breakdown, with commentary, of the many daily go-tos that sustain the Bubble wardrobe.

And as an homage - and fun exercise - I intend to provide in a near future post, my own list of basics. Can't guarantee they'll come with pictures because I appear to have a miserable cold and can barely stand to be looked at, much less photographed. Please stay tuned.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is Marks & Sparks?!?!

Don't get me wrong, it was a sad day for me when M & S decamped Toronto, lo those many years ago. I loved their butter chicken, black current candies with licorice toffee centre (sounds gross but wasn't) and their bras weren't bad. I guess Lily Cole can make anything look great but I'm enjoying these wearable - and seriously affordable - looks.