Love/Leave July 2010

Last month I really wanted to see what you guys thought of the recent redesign at Chatelaine. The cover reminded me of a vintage version of the mag. The model on the cover appeared happy and carefree. I liked that the image wasn't of a celebrity or a plate of food. But I know that the Chatelaine reader is extremely well defined. I may not read it every month, but I'm always interested in the development of the mag since it's such an iconic Canadian brand. On that note, I decided to step away from Canadian mags this month to comment on the way different international versions have designed their July covers. This version of Love It or Leave It involves Vogue (US) vs. Vogue (UK).

After seeing Marion Cotillard on the red carpet and in Nine, I became a big fan of hers. This face of Dior has turned heads and had people talking about her fashion risks (Andre Leon Talley described her SAG Awards look as a "coconut macaroon reject"). When I initially saw this cover, I thought I'd like to read more about her. However, must she look so lifeless? I feel like Cotillard and Rachel McAdams were both aged in their Vogue covers. Perhaps a look like this one might have been more appealing in the winter months, but in July I feel like something a little less rigid would have grabbed my attention. As for the cover lines, Cotillard, Oprah and Lady Gaga are the things that pop. To Oprah and Gaga, I simply roll my eyes wondering if I'm supposed to take this as a controversial mash-up. Fall is my favourite season for fashion, so the larger text in the bottom corner peaks my curiosity. 

What do I like to see in my summer issues? Vogue UK knows. While I am not interested in reading about Cameron Diaz, this image has movement, life and she looks happy (I know that's not common in fashion mags but I appreciate it in the summer months). The styling here is fun, not fussy. Most of the cover lines are equal weight, so nothing really jumps out. I'm not interested in reading this year's interpretation of ageless style, however I'd love to learn more about Alexa Chung and Grace Coddington. I never expect much from summer issues. Maybe it's because they're usually brimming with beauty stories, or because I've never been extremely inspired by summer fashion. But when I want something to read in the sun, this is what I'd typically go for. When I asked my sister to take a look at these two images side by side, she immediately chose this one. What do you think? Do the Brits have it right?


A Book of Quotables

Before I started working, I went out and finally picked up Kelly Cutrone's book, If You Have to Cry Go Outside. I was hesitant to pick it up but ended up loving it. Her blend of ambition, tough love and spirituality make this book one that I will re-read again and again. In relation to my blog, it's a book that is filled with ideas for Quotable posts like this one. 

In University I was extremely intimidated by the staff at the campus-wide newspaper. The first time I wrote for them, my article was so heavily edited that it was barely recognizable. I was so embarrassed that I didn't contact them again for months. When I decided to try again, I was assigned my first interview piece for the Arts section. I was really happy with how everything went. Though my editor made some changes, I thought my writing had improved. I was proud of the article when I saw it, and encouraged my friends to take a look. Unfortunately when this particular article was posted online, the first comment made was one that didn't say anything about the topic, it was just making fun of me. I feel silly admitting that I never forgot that, but it's true. That's why I flagged the following quote while sitting in my backyard on a sunny afternoon, reading Cutrone's takes on the word bitch, defining your brand and how to fake it till you make it. 

"The more successful you become, the more people will write lies about you on the Internet...This has been a harsh pill to swallow at times, but ultimately I'd rather be the one living the life than observing and making catty comments about it." -- Cutrone, 165.


Buon Viaggio

Remember last summer? Remember this? Well I've already said goodbye to my sister, and soon my friends and my parents will be off to Italy too. Okay, so I'm not (nor will I be) alone. But I'm slowly beginning to prepare myself for their respective departures. Of course I'd love to go. Of course I'll miss them (my sister has only been gone 2 days, miss her already!). But most importantly I am excited for them, and for what they'll see. Here are some pictures I found from my previous summers in Italy. I promise it won't be the last time you'll see them. How else am I supposed to get through a summer in Toronto?

One Small Step

After a year of brainstorming, writing, perfecting and pitching, I finally received some feedback but it was too little too late. Let me tell you what happened. Last year, the goal of all of the hard work my classmates and I put into our assignments was to pitch them to editors and get them published. We cheered each other on, and congratulated those who made it to the masthead, or at least got a byline. I loved every minute I spent working on a particular profile assignment. I wrote up my query letter and pitched it to a city magazine, a fashion magazine and even a newspaper. I travelled, I studied and I kept working and eventually that particular piece was forgotten. Until recently.

So I finished school, got a job and got swept up in my new schedule. Then I got an email response from a new Canadian fashion mag in response to my profile pitch from months earlier. After chatting with my boss I learned that because of my new position I couldn't really go through with the offer (that was not paid, might I add). I wasn't terribly sad about the loss of that opportunity, but it certainly wasn't the best feeling. The editor was completely understanding and even asked me to say hello to my bosses who she used to work for (small world indeed). At the end of the day it was another reminder that freelancers are tough, they need to be. That one small email exchange had my emotions shifting back and forth from elated to anxious. I've never really had the desire to be a freelancer. But in the brief moment that I considered the chance that my story could be published, I appreciated the freedom that freelancers have. They go after what interests them, tell those stories and then become inspired by new ones that need to be shared.

School Days Filled with Scenes and Dreams

I've always written in a journal. I've even gone back and re-read them. Part of having the desire to turn those pages is knowing that deep down inside, I've always been someone who looks back and idealizes past experiences. I've only been in the working world for four weeks, and though I do not wish I was in school, I feel like it has taken me this long to appreciate my year at Ryerson. Last year was filled with emotional ups and downs, as I didn't know where I was headed or when I would find my perfect job opportunity. My sisters urged me to savour the present, since technically I was doing everything I loved to do. I had finally found a program that really catered to my interests, I was writing, blogging and had plenty of free time to negotiate it all (note: too much free time = major procrastination on my part). However, the important thing is that I was writing about topics that interest me. Now I have a small portfolio of assignments that I genuinely love, and know that I put my heart and soul into them. One assignment that kept coming up was to write a scene. We read countless scenes in my classes. Some moved logically, others presented images that the reader had to put together. Either way I'll never forget knowing that the writer behind each one was deeply passionate about the subject. The 'writerly' details and carefully chosen words made the classes on scenes my favourite of my writing courses. I recently went through all of my Magazine Publishing assignments, and though I didn't enjoy working on all of them (my description of how a Polaroid camera works was particularly mind-numbing), here's one that was a treat.

Tucked away from the designer storefronts that line Yorkville is a hideaway best known for it’s indulgent menu and Parisian-inspired décor. MoRoCo, a chocolate-lover’s paradise, is both a specialty shop and bistro. Steps from Yorkville, the entrance leads to the boutique, a white space lined with glass shelves of signature confections. The truffles, macarons and gift-wrapped boxes provide pops of colour throughout the room. Inside, a woman browses the selection. Her black heels click against the sparkling, white floor as she steps from one display case to the next. She's dressed in a black pantsuit and a camel-coloured coat. She tops off her classic and tailored look with the simplest accessories, a pearl necklace and matching earrings. Her shoulder length blonde hair has been styled into loose, face-framing curls. She’s been invited to an event, and is looking for something special to bring the hostess.

A young man dressed head-to-toe in black appears from behind the counter to assist the woman with her choice. From butter toffee with roasted almonds, to chocolate-dipped orange peel, each option sounds delectable. She nods as he describes each treat, considering whether or not her hostess would enjoy it. Finally the man turns to face the glass cases in the centre of the room. They peer over the glass at the rows of pastel-coloured cookies inside. These macarons, a French specialty, are meringue-based cookies that resemble little sandwiches. Each row is marked with a lilac label. As he opens the case, the faint smells of vanilla, lavender and caramel rise from the macarons. She immediately points to the salted caramel, and then stops. It may be her favourite flavour, but she isn’t there to treat herself. With that in mind she opts for a box of the vanilla flavoured cookies. In a clear case tied with a lavender ribbon, the gift is presented in a way that is simultaneously simple and chic, not unlike the guest who is bringing them to the party.
ps. I'm no foodie, but LVS is. Check her out at www.buttercupdays15.blogspot.com


Suddenly Swinton

I've never been intrigued by Tilda Swinton, until I first heard about her upcoming performance
in I Am Love. Is anyone else into this? Beautiful, isn't it?


Bag Lady

Remember that little shopping detour I mentioned earlier? Well, let's just say I had Givenchy Spring 2010 in mind. Sometimes I can't find exactly what I'm after, but there's a method behind my speedy shopping. See that girl who is carrying multiple bags (purse, change of shoes, lunch, etc.) and trying not to bump into people? Yep, that's me. Today I picked up a nautical striped blazer, a metallic t-shirt and a black and white patterned sundress. After a major debate involving some perfectly chunky Zara heels seen on The Blonde Salad, I had to leave the store. There's always tomorrow's walk through the mall. See? There is an upside to being a commuter. (source)

Rainy Day Recap

Today was surprisingly lovely. When my alarm went off this morning I had no idea I'd end up skipping home with a smile on my face and a shopping bag in my hand. I skipped the gym this morning to work on a presentation I thought I had to do at tomorrow's meeting. I thought getting an early start might help to ease my anxiety. Sitting at my kitchen table with eggs and a stack of magazines, I decided to turn on TCM for background noise. Seeing that an Esther Williams film was on should have been my first clue that the day was looking up. The workday included research, a meeting and more research, and I was prepared to spend the night at my desk. The only time I left the online world of pop culture happenings was for a brisk walk to and from my favourite organic eatery for lunch. And yes, it felt as if the clouds had parted for me to grab that vegan meal. Hours later I was the only one left at my desk, that's when my co-worker informed me that I won't be presenting for a few weeks because we're not currently on schedule. Weeks? I felt as if I was just given an extra few hours of time. Time to do whatever I wanted. I immediately decided I would do some quick shopping. But before that, I had to check in on my former boss who I still hadn't run into.

I quickened my pace when I turned the corner and saw the office door open. A year ago I was the intern. I remembered my closing interview with this editor and how he had been so encouraging. We spoke about writing, traveling and my new position. Was interning worth it? Ooooohhh yea. Interning showed me a world that I always wanted to be a part of, gave me the experience school didn't and helped me get to know the different editors. On my way out I was reminded to stop by anytime. Interning may end, but mentoring certainly doesn't.(source)


Dreaming Again

The past few weeks have been extremely hectic. There have been a lot of long days, tiring commutes and a flurry of family parties. So far 2010 has been treating me quite well, but there are still a few things on my wish list. A look like Viviana Volpicella's is certainly on it. She's an assistant fashion editor at Vogue Nippon. Her look is always classic, well-tailored and accented with pops of colour. Maybe I'm just longing for Italy, or maybe I'm longing to go shopping. But I thought some shots of Volpicella were fitting for a blog post. When I started working full time I thought I'd have more time to go shopping, not less time to fit it in! Here's my inspiration, for whenever I get around to it.
images from thefashionspot