Monday, January 31, 2011

Dining by design

I had already heard about the Dining by Design events a few years ago but never really researched it. After finding this picture i did a little research and figured out that Dining by Design is actually a traveling event around the States that benefits AIDS research. 
The concept is really cool : a large event space is found and subdivided, each section is assigned to different designers and party planners who have the sole task of making the most fabulous temporary space for a dinner party. People buy tickets for the event and are treated to a huge dinner prepared by renowned chefs and i believe there is a vote to crown the favorite dining space.
I wish i could go to one of these events, they must turn out to be quite the party...

Dreaming of springtime

I hate winter with a passion. I can only have fun for so long wearing the same outerwear and boots all the time. Today I cannot stop thinking about when I will be in Venice and the Amalfi Coast during the last week of April with my friend Audrey. Its probably going to be like a spring break eurotrash version. Of course I am already thinking of what to wear since I am packing and leaving Montreal in exactly 2 weeks (scary). 
So here is what I think would be perfect for a stroll along the Mediterranean in Positano. I would start by politely borrowing Audrey's new Yves Saint Laurent sunglasses that look amazing on me, slip on the ultra light see thru shirt that I just ordered online in brown (On sale! I also got a charcoal tank top in the same material, I just love the lightness of it), add my cutoff jeans shorts version 2.0 (out with the ghetto Parasuco's and in with the ghetto True Religion's! Recycling dated jeans is key) and put on my suede loafers that I got in Italy over the summer (I actually have them in forest green and dark blue) and we have a casual Italian resort chic! If its still a little chilly I think my new Rudsak would look badass.
Only 3 months to go!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


When I go out, nothing bugs me more than having to take care of somebody. You know, the super drunk one thats falling over everywhere, losing her shit, and being a general embarrassment.

I have had so many bad experiences with girls not able to take their alcohol (or other things...); girls falling down flights of stairs, girls falling over velvet ropes, girls losing their clutches, phones and keys, girls with full out tits hanging out, flashing their crotch, grinding up on anything, crying in the fetal position, spilling drinks everywhere, girls sitting in flower pots trying to smoke cigarette butts, girls puking up everything everywhere, girls crying hysterically and of course, my favorite, girls blacking out.

Once their hangover has come and gone, I make it a point to tell them how drunk and stupid they were. Then I tell them all the embarrassing things they did. And then I tell them that this is the only time this year that I take care of them like that, everybody gets one free pass for total drunkenness a year and if they ever go over that limit, I will simply NOT go out with them anymore.

Renee is very aware of this and makes use judiciously of her yearly pass. Last year's incident involved being woken up at 4 am on a school night...Anyways, back to my point. Last night I spent the most entertaining hour watching FOUR party buses from Ottawa pull up on Crescent to unload childishly dressed (read : tacky) and inebriated 18 year olds. The cherry on top of the sundae was the last two girls to exit the bus. They were officially the drunkest, most disastrous girls I have ever seen. Lets just say it involved asses hanging out, walking barefoot in the street, stuffing sweatpants in cleavage and almost knocking over gas torches. It was the definition of Hot Mess.

I am just so glad that my friends have matured and that I rarely have to take care of them. They know not to wear shoes they can't walk in, they dress weather appropriately and usually know how to manage their booze... Well at least they manage to make it to destination. Thank God for small favors. 

Fantasy vacation home

This house in Singapore is almost dreamy. Built on a compact lot it really aims to maximize exterior space. Indoor/outdoor areas, multiple levels, terraces, sliding glass walls and green roofs help create a stunning contemporary oasis. I want. 

Images via

The club to shame all other clubs

Well its not a night club... It's a country club in South Korea that would make the most amazing James Bond location. The Ananti Club actually tore down its former neoclassical clubhouse (formerly the Ritz club) and went all out with an underground space-age compound. 
The dramatic porte cochère entrance that seems to lead nowhere... but surprise! 92% of the facility is actually underground. 
Instead of going up a typical grand staircase at the entrace you go down into the earth. the monoliths and the wooden curves really remind me of the Prada Store in Soho. 
A stunning copper clad pavillion.

Images via

Expensive Bi****s

Spring 2011 couture week just wrapped up and things are just fabulous. The focus is also shifting from creating over the top costumes to making wearable finery of the highest quality.
Bouchra Jarrar
Extremely modern and strong, these are not clothes for a girly girl looking for a princess dress but more like power-dressing for the world's fiercest business woman. I would totally see my friend Audrey pull this off. 

Givenchy Haute Couture
Givenchy's Ricardo Tisci couture revival is still in full force. I think it is the most progessive and cutting edge couture collections, and that it is probalby the only one that actually influences trends (hello sheer). The goods for spring were obviously influenced by asia, birds and the angular symetry of origami. This is definitely what a female Japanese super hero would wear to a ball. 
What really stuck me was how the dresses really gave an impression of flying, the movement created by the tailoring, the fabrics, the duality between light and heavy really gave and incredible depth to the collection.
Elie Saab Haute Couture
Elie Saab might as well be a synonym for glamour. The Lebanese designer knows how to bring it. Every single dress in the collection would look at home on a red carpet, at a ball or even as wedding dresses (Yes, we often talk about wedding dresses. I blame TLC's Say Yes to the Dress).

Images via

Want for boys pt 1

The menswear collections for fall just finished showing and there is some seriously amazing stuff out there. I love how runway collections are becoming more and more about wearable clothes instead of being ridiculous "in your face" presentations. 

Balmain Homme 
The menswear by über-fabulous French fashion house Balmain just keeps getting better. Each and every piece is so desirable I just cant wait to find cheap knock off's! Its obvious that Christophe Decarnin designs collections to fill his own wardrobe and I'm absolutely loving it, I would do the same thing!
Only one thing bugged me in the styling of the accessories: the keffiyeh-like scarf that was in half the pictures. I am probably aversive to it because I am from Montreal and that ridiculous scarf trend was WAYYYY overplayed and I automatically associate it with tacky.

Alexander McQueen
Sarah Burtons collection for Alexander McQueen was of course very... McQueen. It had all the elements of whimsy and drama that the label is known for. I got a kind of creeper-royal feel from the collection. If you look at the whole thing you can basically divide it in two parts: a very regal, polished look that you could very well imagine a sartorial Royal wearing and the clothes that said royal would wear to do very creepy things.
My favorite looks were of course the ones giving off a Mad Men vibe, although I loved many other pieces I feel like my small frame would be overpowered by most of them. 
Bottega Veneta
At Bottega Veneta, Tomas Maier stayed committed to innovating in the use of textiles and technology in fashion. The fabrics are ridiculously posh and unique, an once again he showed a collection filled with must-haves for the very discerning world-traveler that I imagine being his key customer base. The tailoring was very sharp and allot of attention was given to the looser fitting pants that I myself am starting to play with. I also loved the layering effect created by untucking and unbutonning a dress shirt and cardigan under a blazer.
Ps: I would just die if I could put my hands on a black woven leather tote bag by BV.  
Burberry Prorsum
If it were even remotely possible, my big-ticket winter coat next year would be by Burberry Prorsum. Unfortunately these go for at least 3000 clams so that would not be a wise investment in my dire financial situation. Christopher Bailey (yummy) delivered a collection centered on what the British brand does best : outerwear. It was all so perfect, i especially loved the use of fur (hey, men want to look expensive too) and the beautiful heavy knits. 

Images via

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Best Surfing on the Web

Ever feel like you spend hours on the Internet with nothing to show for it? Sometimes Google is like one big maze and you're the mouse stuck without the cheese; you know what you want, but not where to find it. Even if you're just trying to waste time, why not waste time efficiently? You want the best content and you want it before the teacher dismisses class. Stop stalking random Facebook albums or Googling your own name and check out these websites:

- College Humour: If YouTube and Saturday Night Live had a lovechild, it would be College Humour. You'll curse this article when you waste hours browsing their videos or curse yourself for not doing so until now.

-Askmen Magazine: The best online magazine - and definitely not just for men. Listomaniacs will love the daily top 5 stories, top 10 how-to, top 29 cities, top 99 most desirable, etc. "Mr.Mafioso" gives advice on making money while "The Player" gives advice on how to score. This should be required reading for every girl. 

-Reuters News: One-spot Global news on a simple, no frills site. Unlike other news websites, Reuters' stories are organized so that you can digest what you really need to know before all the rest. 

- OneSpout Deals: Who doesn't like saving money? Check out all of the local daily deals in one place. High-end spa packages, kart racing, restaurant vouchers and more - at least half off. Tip: If you're planning a date for Valentine's day, find something extra-classy without breaking the budget.

-Redtag Vacations: What if you could bake in the sun on spring break for under 800$ all-included? After extensive comparison, Red tag has the best cheapie vacations on the web. Even if you're not booking anytime soon, you'll be tempted to start planning your next trip down south.

-Makeup Alley: Product junkies, never waste time or money at the makeup counter ever again. Need a new face wash, lip balm, hair spray, self-tanner? Search the top-recommended cosmetic products from thousands of votes and reviews. Let's face it: products always work better when everyone else says they do.

-Urban Dictionary: Be a pioneer -  learn a new word and try to incorporate it into your social circle's vocabulary. Try "PHOBAR", an acronym for "Photoshopped beyond all recognition". Log on to Facebook and use as needed.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Renee's Review: Blue Valentine

I had the chance to see Blue Valentine (Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams) in theater last week. Verdict? I wish I had waited to rent it. Not that it isn't worth seeing on the big screen, but personally, it's the kind of tear-jerker that I like to watch alone, curled up on the couch and cuddling the cat. At least I wore waterproof mascara.

With such talented actors, it's almost uncomfortable how genuine the on-screen couple (Dean and Cindy) argue and interact. Their relationship is gritty as they take stabs at each other and then try to smooth over the wounds. As characters, they are so tragic from the moment the appear on screen; maybe it has something to do with Ryan Gosling's unforgettable character in The Notebook, or Michelle Williams' real-life loss of ex-lover Heath Ledger? Either way, they are both heart wrenching.

In the movie, the couple's past is a picture of infatuation from Dean's side and desperation from Cindy's. While Dean lacks the ambition for personal success, Cindy has plenty, but is missing the affection for her husband that she never had to begin with. It's an intense and emotional film that can be summed up in a line from Ryan Gosling's serenade: "You always hurt the ones you love".

Watching Blue Valentine is like hearing a sad song that makes you tear up, and then putting it on repeat: satisfying in a masochistic way.

Speaking of music, the soundtrack is noteworthy, so be sure to download some Grizzly Bear for the best Brooklyn-based folk rock you've never listened to.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Indulgence is bliss

I also just got a black leather bomber from Rudsak. It fits me like a glove... can you imagine my shock finding a XS a month after sales started!
I love it's simplicity and smart detailing. It is the perfect basic black jacket. 

New fancy glasses

I finally ordered the eyeglasses i have been yearning for for over a year. These Persol's are one wonderful bundle of Tortoise shell and polished metal heaven. 
They basically look exactly like my Ray Ban tortoise shell New Wayfarer's but with clear lenses and a little more bling. I considered getting the special lenses that darken in the sun but I have this fear of looking like a freak when I walk in from outside and the lenses are kinda medium dark... I feel like I would look like a creeper no?
Anyways they are amazing and classic and timeless, just as expensive basics should be. 

Our Dynamic Duo

Behind every great woman is a fabulous gay man - Dave Singleton

I couldn't agree more, except mine is never behind me; Alex, my roommate, is always two steps ahead of me...looking back to check for stains on my shirt and make sure I'm wearing the right heels.

Living with Alex is like having a live-in chef, cleaning lady and personal stylist - all in one well-groomed package who sleeps in the room next to mine. But he isn't only good for the superficial. When the makeup comes off and the sweatpants don't (sometimes for a couple days), he's still one of the people I trust the most. And not only because I have dirt on him as collateral. Hint: he's been known to turn straight boys gay - straight boys who sometimes have girlfriends. Girls, get your A-game on before this stylish redhead home wrecker does. Just kidding. Sort of.

At home, he makes the best risotto I've ever had - and doesn't judge me when I devour it without chewing.

Everyone should have a live-in gay..Or wait, am I the live-in fruit fly? Either way, my GBF is a boyfriend minus the breakup, a girlfriend minus the catty, and a fancy meal minus the bill.

Green with envy for glowing skin?

I thought I'd share a little bit of green beauty advice for anyone suffering from skin issues due to cold weather. Winter generally leaves me with dry & angry skin, and I think I've finally figured out how to deal with it. Something I've learned? Minor acne in the winter is likely caused by dry skin building up in your pores. The natural urge to spread nuclear-strength pimple poison all over it will just make it worse, trust me.

Get yourself an oil-free moisturizer, and don't just use it on your cheeks! Even if your T-zone seems greasy, it might actually be thirsty and overcompensating by getting shiny. My new favourite is called Garnier Moisture Rescue gel-cream. It's got natural antioxidants like vitamin E and grapeseed, both of which are helpful when you've got last night's alcohol seething out your pores. Bonus? I will definitely re-use the cute glass jar it comes in.

I definitely recommend washing your face only at night, and with a gentle cleanser. Again, it goes against the instinct to wage war on troubled skin with scrubs and acne wash twice a day, but sometimes you gotta show your skin the "iron fist in a velvet glove" kind of discipline. That's where I turn to Lush's Mask of Magnaminty. I've been a huge fan of Lush's no-packaging beauty products since high school. Used once a week on clogged zones, this mask does a serious clean up but doesn't over dry - just make sure to follow up with the moisturizer.

I've never really considered eating a special diet for my skin. I love food too much to change my habits, and I'm generally more of a hands-on type (I'd rather pop or slough away the top layer of my epidermis). I have found one food that really works miracles, though : avocado. I promise you, the healthy fats and vitamins in a ripe avocado will have your skin clear and glowing faster than you can say "guacamole". This remedy is worth trying, even if only for the snack value!

2 ripe avocados, mashed

1 lime, juiced

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup salsa or chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon coriander


Skip the Supermarket

We’ve all been there - your stomach is growling but the clock is ticking, and you’ve got better things to do than cook. Your homework is piling up but your fridge is emptying out. Here are some quick and curiously delicious meals you can make from almost anything in your fridge that isn’t furry yet.

- Condiment sandwich: Toast two pieces of bread (or use a panini machine if you're fancy like us). Spread on some cream cheese and add olives, pickles and salsa (or old mushy tomatoes). Push the bread down so it makes a gooey mess, and cut the sandwich into an X – it tastes better that way.

-Ten minute stir-fry: With any flavour Ramen noodles, add some frozen veggies (or whatever greens you have that are about to expire) and chopped up breaded chicken nuggets/hot dog/tofu. Add soya sauce and cook in a pan for 7 minutes or until meat is heated through. 

- Frugal fried spaghetti: No sauce needed. Toss some plain pasta (even leftover) in a frying pan with basil, oregano and olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes until slightly crispy. Enjoy, and wonder why you’ve never tried frying spaghetti before.

- Stale Pita crisps: Revive some hardened pita bread in the back of your pantry. Brush on some olive oil, salt and pepper and garlic powder and tear the pita into pieces. Bake in a heated oven (400 degrees F) for 7-10 minutes. Delicious on their own, or keep some cans of hummus/baba ghanoush on hand for dipping. 

The only problem with these snacks? They may not impress if you’re cooking for a first date (save it for the second). Oh, and you might not want to let your roommate know how good they really are – you’ll end up back at square one.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mugler goes big

So here is the actual link to the Mugler show with the new Lady Gaga remix... its amazing.

It isn't an actual song but I am pretty sure you can hear a few chorus lines that we will be hearing A LOT of in a few months...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dates for dummies

Here is the second video on how to make prosciutto and basil wrapped &goat cheese stuffed dates demonstrated by the lovely Dana and her friend the banana.

Please note that the subject in question is clueless in a kitchen and has a phobia of plantain-like fruit. 

NYE is never perfect

Renée and I are seasoned experts at throwing parties in our little 800 sqf apartment. We have been known to stuff up to 30 people inside which is allot considering that we can only sit 12...

This past New Years we decided to have a pre-party at our place. The idea was that everybody comes over around 8 to have a drink and a quick bite before running off somewhere else for the countdown. However, our guests were (of course) all late and a bunch of us ended up staying here past midnight and dispersed afterwards. Next year we will just do a full out NYE party, it was way better to have an intimate party at home than going out. Staying in = less drama. 

Just like the birthday party the week before I organized everything and made all the food. We had of course plenty of cheese, olives, pickles, assorted crackers and dips. These 5 alone could be considered as being a basic cocktail party spread, because come on, who does not like all these delicious things?

What I believe played an important role in the success of the party is the fact that everything was planned out in advance; we had all the ice and cups you could need. Also, I completely repurposed all the furniture and created new seating areas that were more "party friendly".

The highlight was the paninis we were making throughout the evening: prosciutto, arugula, parmesan, balsamic reduction and tomato on a ciabatta bun. Delicious. Our panini grill is now our main source of nourishment, its just so fast and easy and fun and healthy!

Oh also, look at our awesome outdoor bar! We live in Canada so might as well take advantage of the shitty weather. This is called a Canadian fridge!

Attempted first foodie video

Here is a little video I made before Christmas with my friend Dana while preparing  for a cocktail party I was throwing for my best friend's 21's birthday.

And yes, I was slightly intoxicated... you just can't say no to a bottle of bubbles.
We were having the party in her brand new loft so i wanted to match the party with the fabulous locale. We had champagne cocktails, plenty of cheese and cold cuts, smoked salmon and guacamole on cucumber, home made pita crisps, delicious cake, outdoor minibar... etc. But what excited me the most was preparing these delicious bite sized Prosciutto and basil wrapped, goat cheese stuffed dates baked in the oven. 
They were like little bites of heaven, crispy and salty and sweet and savory and creamy. It was pretty badass. All you have to do is put them in the oven at 375 for 10 minutes and voila!

Menswear goes gaga

People who follow Lady Gaga closely know that her stylist, Nicola Formichetti, was appointed creative director of Thierry Mugler, a very legit french fashion house. Back in the 80's and 90's Mugler was the hot ticket item. With bold designs and a super flamboyant namesake designer, the brand was über successeful and launched the iconic Angel perfume. Then, Thierry became obsessed with body building and basically left his own brand to concentrate on perfecting his body. Oh, the things rich people can do.

Fast forward to 2010 and Nicola Formichetti is put in charge of reviving the brand, which had pretty much become obsolete to the newer generations. Months before the announcement was made, both Lady Gaga and Beyonce have worn multiple vintage Thierry Mugler outfits... that was probably a hint of things to come.

Today Nicola presented his first collection, F/W 2011. From what I can tell he's off to a good start, he showed extremely sharp tailoring that would look amazing on skinny lads like me, as well as interesting coats. The model casting was quite interesting to say the least and the only negative I could find was the odd fabric clouds covering certain models, but I guess Fashion is supposed to be a "show"...

And now the BIG kicker for GAGA enthusiasts like me... she created an exclusive soundtrack for the runway show which will be available for viewing online tomorrow at 6pm. I know, I know its hard to wait that long but head over to THIERRY MUGLER and listen to the mood music... I am PRETTY sure it is a remixed snippet of Lady Gaga's new material, and I think it's just so dreamy and wonderful! I honestly think her new album is going to be out of this world. 

New Art Mojo

So I used to paint a lot before I moved out. Back then I had a whole basement for myself and I could spread out my stuff and not really worry about the mess. In the apartment however, I barely have enough place to spread out my bills. Randomly, yesterday, I purchased four colors of paint and three canvases. The kicker though is that I got all that at the Dollorama for about 11$! In one night I completed a painting for the first time in two years!
So here it is, a little "triptique". Renée thinks it looks like a sparkly cocktail. Try to figure it out!
Hopefully it will go in my friend's loft that I am decorating.