Power Couture

Fashion will not wait. Four words Calgary native and Toronto-based Caitlin Power self-motivates with. The petite powerhouse has created quite the stir within the local fashion community as well as nationally over the past few years. And with a self-motivator like that, Caitlin has not waited around since graduating from Lethbridge College with a Diploma in Fashion Design and Merchandising. She has already produced three collections and a fourth much-anticipated F/W collection is to be released later this month.

Caitlin’s self-titled high-end women’s ready-to-wear brand appeals to the sophisticated, independent, and powerful woman looking for a polished look with some rock ‘n’ roll edge apparent in the classic silhouettes with a twist inspired by distinct architecture, superior tailoring that combines feminine and masculine lines, and leather elements that mark all the collections.

F/W 2011 is inspired by Victorian Goth and foregoes the obvious colour blocking, cut, and detailing of previous seasons for a darker palette with quiet hints of green to target and showcase subtle details on an ensemble of dresses, shorts, skirts, bustiers, and dress shirts. Although the collection is described by the designer as the most wearable collection to date, it is by no means a boring one. The signature leather details are more lucid while the silhouettes of dresses and blazers are more precise. The piece that epitomizes the collection is the black sheath with leather shoulder panels that is beautifully detailed with individual flower pieces set with a black bead much in the style of paillettes.

The fashion scenes in Calgary and the rest of Canada may be evolving at a snail’s pace as the mass slowly absorbs fashion culture, but with major talents like Caitlin Power emerging, it is worth anticipating and nurturing the development of Canada’s fashion industry.

Caitlin Power F/W collection will be available mid to late August at Mealan (Calgary), TNT Boutique (Toronto), Homegrown Boutique (Toronto), and online at Ukamaku.

Caitlin Power will also be featured at PARKLUXE, a fund-raising initiative by PARK.

“I don’t consider myself a very fashionable person, I just like to create.”

Caitlin Power F/W 2011 lookbook images by Jason Eng from Caitlin PowerPhoto of Caitlin Power by Jessika Hunter.

 

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Secret Rooftop

I must divulge a secret. Ok, maybe it’s not top secret because I’ve already told many people and I’m not the only one in a city of roughly one million that knows about this place. It’s my own (or I like to think it’s my own) rooftop patio oasis at the Mission Starbucks in Calgary, complete with music and heat lanterns for chilly summer evenings. I love to go to this hideout to enjoy an Americano, study, hang out, and people watch (extreme people watching available with zero creep factor!).

Cardigan: Banana Republic; silk tank: Club Monaco; linen pants and belt: Zara; patent flats: Maria Sharapova for Cole Haan; watch: Michael Kors; necklace: Heart Oiseau.

Since I’ve divulged my secret rooftop patio, won’t you tell me where your secret hideouts are?

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The man ring

There is renewed interest in fellow Canadian Ryan Gosling these days and it doesn’t involve his on-off-on and now very off ex-girlfriend (and also Canadian) Rachel McAdams. Crazy, Stupid, Love has women going gaga over his chiseled abs and good looks, but more than good looks and a good movie is Jacob Palmer’s wardrobe which is simply amazing. While I could write an entire post on his perfectly tailored suits and black sweater that has just the right amount of sheer, I want to steer away from suits to focus on jewellery for men. When I noticed Ryan Gosling’s character sporting a couple of sizeable baubles on his fingers throughout the movie, I was intrigued. Why don’t men wear more jewellery? I suppose there is a stigma of sorts attached to certain men who wear a particular style of jewellery, but just as the right necklace or earrings can add a level of refinement to a woman’s outfit, so can a man’s jewellery take the suave level up a notch or two.

As such, I take a cue from Jacob Palmer and introduce you to the man ring. Women wear right-hand rings and cocktail rings  in addition to engagement and wedding rings. There is no rule saying men can’t also wear fashion statement rings. When choosing a ring, I suggest you focus on simplicity, details, or overall “art” appeal. Also, experiment with which finger you sport the ring. A ring you might never wear can have a different feel worn as a pinky ring and vice versa.

Links of London 20/20 XL ring and Tiffany Paloma Zellige ring

Asos BLACK stainless steel ring and Louis Vuitton Stand By Me ring

David Yurman Petrvs Horse ring (similar to one worn by Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love) and Tiger’s Eye Chevron ring (also worn by Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love)

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Accessorize the Accessory

After gawking at the one-too-many accessories that I have piled on for the day, many of my friends often comment that they prefer to stay away from jewelry as they “don’t know how to accessorize”. To this I guffaw and simply state that there’s no “know-how” when it comes to sporting jewelry, just simply pile it on! Although it’s safe to stick with one metal, even that “rule” is not steadfast… but for those who are still weary when it comes to “throwing it on”, here is a tip to help you wear that latest sparkly acquisition of yours…

Try choosing the jewelry first (especially statement pieces) THEN pick the background outfit. For instance, I really wanted to sport this hand-cut Labradorite stone pendant from Stella & Dot’s latest fall collection (get yours here) and so I used it as my starting point to build my look around the piece. I stayed neutral with the color palette to highlight the stone’s earth tones and made sure my top was a simple canvas that would not compete with the pendant. From here, I added a few more pieces (one will never do for me!) to compliment and complete the look. What do you think?! Next time if you are unsure how to accessorize your look, try choosing the jewelry first and treat it as you would with an accent/focus wall/art in your home where you build around that particular piece of inspiration. Jewelry should complete your look not compete with it. If your top or dress has a busy neckline, opt for a pair of drop earrings or stick with a cocktail ring and give the necklace a rest. Or, enhance the tribal feel of that summer maxi dress with chunky bangles made of wood. Just remember, the power of jewelry goes a long way; you can instantly spice up a plain black ensemble with a long stranded necklace and avoid looking like a stagehand. There are so many selections of beautiful costume jewelry on the market today that for a nominal investment, you can really enhance your wardrobe without purchasing any new clothing items! Check out Forever 21 for cheap and funky designs (don’t expect it to last long but with the bargain prices you can experiment without fear!) or Banana Republic for a more serious but still very affordable investment. And of course, I highly recommend checking out Stella & Dot online OR contact me for information on where to attend a trunk show.

Fedora from Aritzia, sunglasses by Chanel, silk tank by DKNY, skirt from Zara, Blazer from Club Monaco, purse by Marc Jacobs, gold spiral bangle and pendant by Stella & Dot, oversized ribbon ring from Forever 21.

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Mellow Yellow

I find casual blazers and boyfriend blazers to be versatile and handy elements of my wardrobe. They work well in the office without being too stuffy and in the evenings and on weekends, well, the options are pretty much limitless. The blazer pairs well with virtually all styles of jeans (boyfriend, trouser, skinny, etc…) for a chic, pulled together look. When worn over a flirty and feminine dress (long or short), it brings a casual element that allows you to wear that fun dress on more occasions than a formal one. We’ve seen the black, grey, and white boyfriend blazers, but now I am in love with the great splashes of colour in green, red, yellow, and pink.

Colourful blazers

floral jacket, 437 Theory jacket, $215 Drape jacket, $360 Alice by Temperley cropped jacket, $340 TopShop floral jacket, $118 H M pocket jacket, 13

Blazer: Topshop; dress: Urban Outfitters; wedges: Banana Republic

Happy weekend, everyone!

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Snapshots of London

Last shots of my trip to Europe– these ones are mostly touristy photos from London where I discovered men dress much better than women. Although I didn’t get any street style photos, I did notice that men were much more thought out and creative when it came to fashion. I was enraptured by the history and architecture of the city, enjoyed some traditional pub fare and Pimm’s, oooh-ed over the magnificent vintage shops, and was shocked that pubs shut down at 11:oo p.m. London is an intricate city that I would love to explore over and over again.

Happy Wednesday!

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Norge foto dagbok

Words cannot describe how much I enjoyed my first adventure to Europe. Discovering new cultures, new languages, new foods in addition to meeting new friends and seeing new things is always inspiring. In Hamar I met lovely people, attended a beautiful Norwegian wedding set among old church ruins encased by glass, tried brown cheese (surprisingly sweet and delicious), got astounded by the ostehøvel (really ingenious invention!), drank lots of delicious Norwegian water (think Voss), and admired the lush countryside. Oslo welcomed me with interesting architecture (a great mix of old and modern), a bustling boardwalk (patio central!), the beautiful Vigelandsparken, a street named after Henrik Ibsen, and a wild Thai beach bungalow restaurant named Yaya’s (also surprisingly tasty). I could travel for a living! And because words can’t describe it, here is a small Norway photo diary to share my experience with you.

Have a great weekend!!

 

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