Monday, February 23, 2015

The Last of the Red Carpets: Oscars 2015

There were several lovely dresses on last night's Oscar red carpet, many boring dresses (I'm looking at you, Cate Blanchett) and surprisingly nothing terrible. All in all it was a pretty good year, but I expected a lot more from the big stars; after all, the Academy Awards are the place to bring out your very best dress!! There were a few fashions that I'm sure the so-called "experts" will love which I don't, such as Naomi Watts' "backsplash" dress and the pearl dress worn by Lupita Nyong'o. Those gowns, designed by Armani and Calvin Klein respectively, got no help from the famous designer labels - I  wasn't impressed.

Let's talk about my favourites. Looking at my list, I realize that when it comes to fashion I'm a fan of simplicity and fit. The perfect fit can make the difference between an average dress and a fabulous one. Most of my picks have very little embellishment, but the fit is impeccable and the fabrics are luxurious. So without further ado, my best dressed list for Oscars 2015:

Gwyneth Paltrow is the best of the night. A simple dress, perfectly tailored in a shade of soft pink that suits Gwyneth's complexion. Designed by Ralph & Russo Couture, that shoulder flower is everything. Her sleek hairstyle and statement earrings are just right.

Zoe Saldana in blush pink Versace. Wow! The fit is amazing, emphasizing her curves in the best possible way (less than 2 months after giving birth to twins)!! My fellow party attendees and I thought maybe the skinny straps were a bit too casual, but I can overlook that because the fit of the dress is perfection.

Another perfectly fit gown, this time in a slightly more vibrant shade that suits Anna Kendrick perfectly. The Thakoon design uses a tonal belt to emphasize her tiny waist. The necklace detail adds just enough sparkle to the simple design.


I only caught a quick glimpse of this Romona Keveza dress during the E! red carpet coverage, and I love this column dress on Jennifer Hudson. The fit is amazing, the length is perfect and the thin gold belt adds a touch of style. Plus I love butter yellow!!

Image via

Rita Ora looks beautiful in this midnight blue Marchesa mermaid dress. Lacy gold details at the bustline and a gold accent at the waist make this an absolutely stunning gown. Rita keeps the rest of her look simple with sleek hair and a dazzling pair of Lorraine Schwartz earrings. 

Image via Daily Mail UK

Rosamund Pike finally got it right on the red carpet with this strapless Givenchy Haute Couture gown. The white Vera Wang dress she wore to the Golden Globes was a disaster and she followed that up by wearing a black Dior to the SAG Awards that did not flatter. Thank goodness she got it together for the Academy Awards!! This perfectly illustrates my point about the importance of a good fit.

Images via Star Magazine

Rene Russo still looks ah-mazing at 61, and this J. Mendel dress is another impeccable, figure flattering fit. I love how the layers of gauzy fabric draw the eye to her small waist which is accentuated by a tonal belt. Her only fault are those dark leather bracelets on her right wrist, she should have left those in the town car.

I'm a bit on the fence about this one, so I left it for last: Emma Stone in Elie Saab. I'd be willing to bet she was the only one on the red carpet wearing chartreuse, it's such a tough colour to wear, but she makes it work. I like the fit, I like the fabric, I like the sparkle, they are all good things. I just wish I loved it.

All photos via In Style unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Party Time: Academy Awards 2015

The fancy invitations were sent out to arrive just as this year's Academy Award Nominees were announced in January. RSVP's were received and party plans were made. The big day is finally here, party prep is in full swing and guests will be arriving soon. We'll watch the red carpet arrivals and cheer for our favourites during the ceremony.

^^ This is the beverage station - this year's theme is pink and gold, so I'm serving up cream soda & PC blood orange italian soda (so good!!). Guests are free to pour their own which takes drink duty off the shoulders of the hostess.

^^ And this is the ballot station, we don't mess around - ballots are available for $2.00 each. I think we can all admit that viewers at home don't have a vested interest in who wins for best sound mixing, but the small wager keeps things interesting. Whoever guesses the most categories correctly wins the pot!!

One of my favourite movies this year was The Grand Budapest Hotel, it is a beautiful film and is a shoe-in for Best Production Design. I also loved Whiplash, and I can guarantee that J.K. Simmons will win Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Fletcher. 

Watch for my red carpet fashion roundup tomorrow!!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Trinket Tray

So, how many of you are "thrifters"? Do you stop into every Value Village, Salvation Army or Goodwill store whenever you get the chance? I wish I had endless hours to poke around, but luckily I'm close enough to a few good locations that some evenings I can hit 3 or 4 on the way home from work. I haven't found too much lately; either people are donating less or thrifting has become so popular that it's just slim pickins for the evening shoppers.

Yesterday I had a bit of luck. Here is the long version of the story: Just before the holidays I saw these beautiful porcelain trays with artwork by Caitlin McGauley. You may also remember that Caitlin is one of the talented artists featured on the Tiger Flower Studio website which I blogged about last year. (I also love her leopard wallpaper!!)  At $185, the trays were beyond my budget, but I loved the idea of a gorgeous trinket catcher on the bedside table.


Fast forward to yesterday at my local Value Village. I found an ashtray to use as a "seat filler" until my fairy godmother brings me that zebra^^^. Now I know the word "ashtray" sounds rather icky, but this one didn't look as though it had ever been used for such a purpose. With two fierce cheetahs and a touch of green trim, I thought it could be just the thing to hold a bauble or two on the bedside. Made in Italy by Borghi, I would even venture a guess that it's made of porcelain and that the trim is hand painted. Not bad for $1.99.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Another Red Carpet: BAFTA Awards

I've really been enjoying this year's awards ceremonies, particularly for the red carpet fashion. Today the BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) Awards were held in London, England, and although they weren't televised here in Canada, the good old interwebs kept us up to date. Check out my faves below (click on photos to enlarge and zoom in for details).

Amy Adams in Lanvin.
Simple, sleek, stunning!
Photo via Hello Magazine

Reese Witherspoon in Stella McCartney.
The deep purple seems appropriate for British royalty.
Photo via Hollywood Life

Julianne Moore in Tom Ford.
She looks amazing in this dress, and it's appropriate for the cold London temps.
Photo via Hello Magazine

Jenna Coleman in ??
I don't know her, but she looks beautiful, and this dress is possibly my favourite.
Photo via UK Daily Mail

Gugu Mbatha-Raw in Prada.
This shade of pale lavender gets me every time.
Photo via BreakingNews

For a change, I'm including the gents in this little fashion roundup, since they really brought their fashion A-Game to the BAFTA Awards red carpet.

Michael Keaton.
Love the charcoal grey jacket, and check out those velvet loafers.
 Photo via UK Daily Mail

Benedict Cumberbatch with fiancee Sophie Hunter, both in Alexander McQueen.
All class.
Photo via Hollywood Life

Eddie Redmayne in Giorgio Armani with wife Hannah Bagshawe in Valentino.
Navy velvet, oh yeah!
Photo via UK Daily Mail

David Beckham in Tom Ford.
He's not an actor, so I'm not sure why he's there, but I'm gonna let it slide...
Photo via Hollywood Life

Douglas Booth.
I don't know him, but I like that he took a minty green velvet fashion risk.
Photo via Hollywood Life

Monday, February 2, 2015

An Argument for Antiques

In today's National Post online, I've been quoted in an article about buying antique furniture vs. new. The article, written by Alexandra Lopez-Pacheco, talks with Enric Rose, a former antiques dealer; Barry Gordon, founder of MaxSold; Cripsin Butterfield, of Urban Theory Interior Design and myself. We all share the same view: that antiques can be incorporated into a modern home as long as the combination is in balance. In fact, as I've stated on this blog many times, antiques are extremely affordable when found at estate sales and auctions, both live and online.

"...That’s exactly what Pamela Graham, the Gen X blogger and interior designer behind Cherish Toronto did recently for a young client on a limited budget. She looked at the lines — and imagined the possibilities. “We bought two antique bedside tables for a lot less than we would have paid in a big box store. They weren’t fine antiques, but they were solid. We painted them white and changed the hardware to make them look more modern, and they were gorgeous...”

Read the full National Post article here.