Month: February 2012

Mini make-over

I have a confession to make. My house is a big ole mess. Between the repair work on the flood damage and the human tornado that is my son, my house is currently in a sorrier state of affairs than it has been since … ever. For a neat freak, that’s a difficult thing to admit, or live with. Deep breath. So I try to make the most of any area that is relatively untouched by the madness, and even vaguely resembles the home I used to know. At the moment, my oasis of calm is the dining room.

Of course, because this is a relatively new house, the dining room is actually more of a “dining area” – open concept at work in a small space. Because we rarely enjoy the “luxury” of a sit-down meal these days, the dining area is fairly clean and un-cluttered. [The sink and stove – both of which now double as our “eating area” – are another story.] It is also one of the last areas of our house that is in the process of being upgraded, style-wise. We just never got to it before our son was born, and now we have been forced to extend the timeline of our plans a bit. So, we are taking it one bit at a time: lighting fixture, chairs, table. 

Although this is one area for which we have promised ourselves to wean off our IKEA addiction, the first step in our makeover is brought to you … by IKEA. Although we have been looking high and low for a new lighting fixture to replace our old “builder basic” – and incredibly ugly – one, we came across our eventual pick on a recent, random trip to IKEA. The irony was not lost on us, but we loved the piece and the price was pretty irresistible too. Here is a quick peek:
And here is our new dining room chandelier in all its glory:
Admittedly, my husband thought it was a bit “frilly” at first, but we came around to a compromise – our future chairs will fit his preferred modern minimalist aesthetic, and the contrast will be (in his words) “interesting”. For now, the chandelier joins the rest of our dining room set … also from IKEA. But just for the time being, I swear! It also joins another new addition – an totally awesome-sauce collage painting created by our friend, Edmonton artist Adriean Koleric.[You can check out his other work on his website, THINKITEM]
It’s all starting to come together, and thankfully without any further drama. Although … hmmm, something seems to be missing from this picture. Ah, yes! The element of chaos.
That’s more like it!

OSCARS!!

This yar’s awards season has been “meh” for me, fashion-wise, so I’ve given it a miss … until now. The Oscars are too big too miss, no matter how snooze-worthy its red carpet. And while last night featured a slightly more interesting style line-up than recent awards shows, there were very few truly “wow” moments for me, and quite a few disappointments. Let’s take a look!

Best Dressed

The sleeper hit of the night, for me, was Stacey Kiebler. Every time I have seen her on red carpets before, I was underwhelmed by her choices; it’s almost as if she had been given a memo not to outshine her date, the Clooney. [I’m mostly being facetious, but seriously – can you remember a dress worn by any of his past girlfriends that was in the least bit memorable?] But she brought it last night! Her gold sculpted Marchesa was flawless; who needs an Oscar when you have a golden goddess by your side?

Sandra Bullock also hit it out of the ballpark with a stunning column gown. Love the white and black contrast, and I love the jewelled detail at the waist. She looked positively regal. Brava!
I am always interested to see what Michelle Williams wears on the red carpet, and last night she did not disappoint! Her red Louis Vuitton dress is red done right, in my opinion. The jewelled bow brooch is the perfect finishing touch.

Best Colour

Part of the reason why the Oscar red carpet was just so-so for me was the relative lack of colour. Lots of black and neutral shades, but apart from red, not much else. The two stand-outs, colour-wise, were Viola Davis (in gorgeous emerald green) and Penelope Cruz (in ethereal slate blue). 

The Helen Mirren Award

I loved Glenn Close’s choice of a sexy mermaid dress paired with a tux-style jacket by Zac Posen. She looks phenomenal! Dame Helen would approve.
Biggest Disappointment

Sadly, even some of the ladies I would normally expect to bring the drama to the red carpet let me know. Gwyneth Paltrow’s white, caped gown by Tom Ford was minimalist to the extreme, and a bit of a head-scratcher. A superhero costume that got over-bleached in the wash? A futuristic hospital matron uniform? Who knows. Ford is famous for the sleek sexiness of his designs, but this missed the mark for mer. At least it kept her warm, right?
Okay, I may be a bit biased on this one, because she is reportedly dating my “boyfriend” Andrew Garfield, but Emma Stone was a big disappointment for me. Her Giambattista Valli dress reminded me of the gown worn by Nicole Kidman at the Oscars a few years back, and it lacked any detail to make it memorable in its own right. I normally love Emma’s style – and she often takes successful risks on the red carpet – which is why this was a bit of a surprise. It seemed to me that she played it safe … and missed. I preferred her Golden Globes dress by a mile.
Natalie Portman looked so stunning at last year’s ceremony, that I was surprise by how underwhelmed I was by her choice this year. Don’t get me wrong – Natalie looked gorgeous as always. I don’t think she could ever look anything but. But her vintage Christian Dior dress was boooo-ring. Seriously, look at it … zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Worst Dressed
I know that this might be a controversial choice, but I hated Jennifer Lopez’s dress. More specifically, I hated those cut-out sleeves; her Zuhair Murad dress would have been just so-so without them, but with – ugh! Jennifer has looked stunning on countless red carpets, so I’m going to blame this one on Casper Smart. 
What were your favourite, and not-so-favourite, looks of Oscar night?

Manicure of the week: May

The second offering in Chanel’s spring 2012 Harmonie de Printemps collection, May is a flirty, bright pink creme. I’ve been waiting a long time for my perfect Chanel pink creme; recent past releases, like Rose Insolent and Rose Exuberante, were a bit too “neon” for me, manicure-wise (great pedicure colours, but at $27 a pop, alas not in my budget). May comes closest to my dream pink – though I wish it was a bit more faded – so I’m happy for now.

The application was pretty good. I was a wee bit worried after the first coat, thinking that I might have problems, but the polish mostly self-leveled after two coats and was fairly opaque. If I were super picky, I might quibble that three coats would have been better, but … alas, I am far more impatient than picky. This was not an out-and-out creme, but rather more of a jelly-creme hybrid (a “crelly”), which explains some of my application issues. It did have a lovely finish, though a touch less blindingly shiny than April.

For my inspired outfit, something about May screamed “polka dots” to me. Maybe because both seem so happy-go-lucky? Anyway, my first attempt was kind of safe – cropped pants, a pink belt (and pink brooch). Very ’50-ish silhouette … but a bit, hmm, blah.

So I decided to take a bit more of a risk by pairing prints – polka dots and floral. What could be spring-ier? A solid black belt separates the patterns, and works to ground the outfit. I think it kind of works!

What do you think?

Happy Friday!