2012 May

Monday, May 14, 2012
• 12:11 AM •

Dot & Lil Open House!

Dot & Lil Open House!

When it comes to certain things, I can be pretty set in my ways and wary of change. If you’d entered my bathroom 10 years ago and again today you’d notice that my assortment of bath and skin care products have remained the exact same. These would consist mostly of your standard pharmaceutical brands such as my Lever 2000 soap (i’m immune to its smell at this point), and multiple Vaseline body lotions. When I find a beauty product that does the job, I tend to stick with it… forever. If you’re looking for loyalty, i’m your gal!  Despite this hard-headedness, when Dorothy and I heard that Dot & Lil, a Montreal based bath product company, was hosting an open house tea party for mother’s day weekend we thought we should stop by and check things out.

I should probably mention that Dorothy and I are notorious for arriving un-fashionably late for events. Not noticing until the very last minute that our camera battery was dead, we were forced to let it charge for a couple of hours before heading out. This resulted in us getting to the Dot & Lil studio at 6:55p.m. The open house was set to end at 7. Oops! Good thing Dot & Lil founder Anne was happy to receive us and show us her amazing selection of natural handmade bath products.

Besides ridiculously cute packaging and a variety of great smelling soaps, perfume oils and lip balms, Dot & Lil’s appeal lies on its straighforward simplicity. The company prides itself on product transparency, letting customers know exactly what they are using on their bodies.

If you asked me what ingredients are used in my Lever 2000 soap, I couldn’t answer you. Truth be told I never had any inclination to find out until now. Seeing and smelling the Dot & Lil soaps had me wondering why in the world I would settle for anything but the best bath and body products for myself. I don’t think i’m about to ‘go natural’ in all aspects of my life any time soon, but when it comes to what we put in and on our bodies we should do our best to aim for top quality.

 Besides the merchandise, we were treated to some delicious drinks, cupcakes and sandwiches! Among my favorite discoveries of the evening- ginger beer! I normally hate beer. I think it tastes bitter and smells terrible. Ginger beer, however, I can get with.

By the end of the night i’d purchased two soap bars, a lip balm, and received a loot bag of free samples that I can’t wait to try out!

…Being late also had its perks…Dorothy and I took full and unabashed advantage of the photobooth. Cheers!

Monday, May 7, 2012
• 7:30 AM •

Grand Opening of Quai 417 in Old Montreal

Grand Opening of Quai 417 in Old Montreal

On Wednesday of last week, I attended the opening event of a high end boutique in the old port by the name of Quai 417 (I know…I really suck at posting on time.  Don’t hire me as a journalist, please.).  Main designers of the boutique include Philippe Dubuc of Québec and AF Vandevorst, a Belgium label.

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AF Vandevorst’s latest collection is inspired by a hospital setting – patient’s room, doctors’ attire and medical symbols.  It kind of creeped me out (even though I gave a very generic, “oh wow…this is so nice”. as my first impression.  I realize that the creepiness of it all is what catches your attention.

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The clothes were a mix of neutral palettes such as black and military green, but bright colors weren’t needed in order to make a serious statement.  One of my favourite items of the collection was a strappy leather shoulder brace accessory (model to the left).  Very bondage and very edgy.  This item would be extremely daring for the streets of Montreal and I would love to see someone pull it off.

Philippe Dubuc himself was at the event to represent his own collection.  I could see that he is a man of elegant and modern tastes! He does the color black so well, because he masters the cut and texture of each item.  Cut and texture is what often separates designer clothing from normal clothing, so you’ve got to respect the man for his work!

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See Dubuc’s full collection here.

Other items sold at Quai 417 include Japanese labels L.G.B and Mihara Yasuhiro, English designs by Antoni et Alison, fine silk wear by Ilaria Nistri, Italian label Goti, Parisian wear by Jean Colonna and Richard de Latour, and finally scented products by Mad et Len.

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This cutie was hanging out under a rack of clothes and didn’t mind posing for me.  A fashionista in the making!  <3

Photo Credits:

Boutique Quai 417 (photo#1) By Hicham Eid
Installation AF Vandevorst (photo#2) By Vandevorst
Models for AF Vandevorst (photo#3) By Guillaume Pelletier)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012
• 7:06 PM •

Do It Like A Dude- Androgynous Style

Do It Like A Dude- Androgynous Style

I would rather be handsome for an hour than pretty for a week“. Those are the words of Tilda Swinton, the British actress famous for her penchant for androgynous fashion. Swinton is seemingly handsome for a lot more than an hour a week and her striking attire has me pondering on my own venture with gender-bending style.

When I first got my short haircut, I immediately loved it. It was different (for me), simple, and (relatively) easy to maintain. However, despite my fondness for my new hairstyle, I was a newbie to the ‘boy-style’ hair club. My immediate instincts misled me into overly ‘feminizing’ the rest of my look to compensate for the very short hair. I bought countless ‘girly’ headbands, replenished my makeup supply, and stuck mostly to wearing skirts and dresses. All I was missing was a huge cardboard sign held above my head reading ‘I am a girl!’.

Luckily, after getting used to my hair I grew out of that mindset (I will spare you the social gender construction manifesto) and I realized I was limiting myself immensely by sticking to just one ‘look’. So, I dusted off my pants, got rid of some floral- and admittedly unflattering- hair accessories, and embraced my cropped do to it’s fullest potential. Over a year later and it would appear i’ve done a 180 as I find myself obsessing over masculine and androgynous looks. There’s something about the balancing act between femininity and masculinity that often creates a perfect harmony.

 

Keeping jewelry basic and minimal, polished suits, shapeless and boxy silhouettes, key accessories like suspenders, ties, and wingtip shoes are some of the characteristics that make up an androgynous look. However, there aren’t any strict rules since androgyny implies a look that is partially male and female. So basically any look that incorporates hints of both sexes will work.

 

Actresses such as Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn mastered the androgynous look in the early 20th century. Both women sported this look after the fashion industry’s dramatic change in the 1920s that had women experimenting with new forms of freedom and assertion of self.

 

I’m still a big fan of so called ‘girly’ clothing, but when my clean laundry is running out, my dad and bro better watch out. No one’s closet is safe. 😉