Metallic Mayhem

metallicsIt’s hard to think spring when winter is right on our heels but sometimes looking forward makes the cruel weather ahead more bearable.  As with every fashion season, there are trends we love, trends we don’t and trends that are timeless, and the metallic craze shows no signs of slowing down.

This white-hot trend continues into the spring with everything from sunglasses to nails getting a bright makeover.  In my books, versatility get bonus points so this one’s a winner; gold silver and rosegold compliment all skin tones and whether it’s an accessory to add a jolt of colour or a matte pair of jeans it’s easily worn from day to night. Combine these with the textures we’ve also seen (think brocade, sequins and lace) and it’s a no-fail way to make a statement.
Whatever your taste, there’s a metal for you:

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Office Dresscode, The Holiday Edition

We’ve all been there, the annual office holiday party and someone shows up in something a little less than PG-rated. There’s no bigger fashion faux-pas than being inappropriately dressed for this event. This season don’t make that embarrassing mistake by following these simple rules:

  1.  If you can see your cleavage, they can see your cleavage. A lower neckline is allowed to show off your jewelry but never low enough to show anything else off. Balance is always important, either your neckline is low or your hem is short. It’s one or the other.
  2. If you’re questioning your hem length, it’s too short. The tried and true school girl rule applies: your fingertips should, at the minimum, hit the hem. Anything shorter is out.
  3. The first two rules are the most important but it’s also good to keep in the mind the fit. Ill-fitting and specifically tight-fitting is also inappropriate. As Edith Head (Oscar-winning costumer designer) said “a dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman and loose enough to prove you’re a lady”.

It’s always best to play it safe and air on the conservative side when in a work environment. Regardless of whether your party is a formal cocktail event or drinks at the local pub, you still have to see these people on Monday. Its best to keep your outfit simple and classy, jazzing it up by adding bold accessories like a statement necklace or drop earrings. Slip on some jewel-toned heels, grab a fantastic clutch and you’re sure to be the belle of the ball, or at least the water cooler.  Happy Holidays!

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  1. LBD, $119 www.ustrendy.com
  2. Skirt, $22 www.choies.com
  3. Shoes, $235 www.zappos.com
  4. Necklace, $35 www.aldo.com

Your holiday fairies,

M & R

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A Victoire-ous Story

Storyboot display at Victoire

Storyboot display at Victoire

Not that we needed another reason to love our local Victoire anymore than we already did, but we found one. Known for their loyalty to Canadian designers, our favourite Eve Gravel and Valerie Dumaine (just to name a few) stockists have now taken that same community dedication one step further by partnering with the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project.

The Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot Project is a new profit sharing initiative whose goal is to promote and support artisans from our Aboriginal communities. This initiative is a collection of mukluks and moccasins designed by Aboriginal elders and artisans and aims to encourage self-sufficiency by “ensuring the sustainability of traditional Aboriginal arts”.

Manitobah MukluksCombining fashion and tradition, these incredibly intricate Storyboots are handmade using the methods and materials that have been used for hundreds of years. In a world where manufacturers value quantity over quality, it’s refreshing to see the craftsmanship and care that goes into every single pair. However, not only does the attention to detail show in the quality but also in the delicate beading, elaborate embroidery, various furs and R‘s favourite, the bold colours; not your ordinary boots.

It seems a natural fit for The Storyboot Project to choose Victoire as the first retailer to showcase these beauties given their love of all things Canadian.  You can find these boots at their Wellington St. W. location, prices range from $250-1200.
Strong communities are what we are made of and partnerships like this can only do great things. Stylish and sustainable while supporting Canadian women? It’s a win-win and we always love a good storyboot ending.

We know what’s going on our Christmas list…

Your fashion fairies,

M & R

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Femme Fatales

Our love for Mad Men is no secret (as seen here and here) but with the finale of Season 6 behind us, and what a season it was, let’s take a moment to reflect on how the fashion has evolved through the seasons.

Betty Draper, Joan Harris, Peggy Olson, Megan Draper; while some of them we hate to love and others we love to hate, there is no denying that the women of Mad Men have style. The highly acclaimed AMC series about advertising executives takes us on a journey of fashion through the 1950s and ‘60s, from Betty Draper’s Betty Crocker’s A-line frocks, to Megan Draper’s psychadelic paisley two-piece bikini.

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Fashion has always imitated life, and the radical changes happening during these tumultuous decades in America is well documented throughout the show. In the first seasons of Mad Men, the repression of sexuality and feminism can be seen through the demure evening frocks, layers of undergarments (girdles, anyone?), and cleavage as rare as Don Draper’s soberness.

Betty Draper was the quintessential housewife, flouncing through life with pearls, headbands, cardigans and a pack of Lucky Strikes. A shining fashion star during these seasons is Joan Harris, office secretary and sexpot; she highlights her curves with tight knit sweaters, nipped in pencil skirts and sky high heels. Her fiery red hair and matching lipstick amp up her femininity and, dare we say, swagger?

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As the seasons progress, and the 50s blends into the 60s, Don’s choice of wife isn’t the only change. The political and social movements loosen up fashion rules, allowing pants, shorts and mini dresses-who could forget Megan’s rendition of “Zou Bisou Bisou”, while wearing a short black mesh-paneled dress and enough eyeliner to make Cleopatra blush?

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Peggy Olson also comes out of her shell, both literally and figuratively, in the later seasons. Her usually prim fashion choices (turtlenecks, low heeled shoes, bangs) start to evolve to include sleeveless blouses and (gasp!) trousers. Her sex appeal is demonstrated in a more subtle way than other characters, with hints of cleavage and differently styled hair accentuating her fashion risks.
Peggy-OlsenIt’s been a fashion roller coaster thus far, and it’s not stopping anytime soon; season 7 brings promise of the feathered hair and platform heels of the 1970s. Here’s to hoping Joan rocks bell bottoms.

Style for style,
A
Toronto-based guest contributor

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Breaking News: Ottawa Shopping Expansion Shrinks Savings Accounts.

The time has come! Ottawa is finally being noticed by big name retailers and department stores and we’re starting to feel the love. Our little city has BIG changes coming to the shopping world and we’ve rounded up a list of what’s to come. We’ll continue to add and update as news is revealed. We can barely contain our excitement, but can you blame us?

Here is what’s announced so far:

Bayshore Shopping Centre: Our favourite west-end mall is expanding by an astronomical 300,000 sq. ft. This $200 million renovation is going to feature an additional 50 stores with an expected completion date of 2015.  If you’ve been to the mall lately (confession: we were there shopping today), you’ll notice the renovations are well underway.  While Bayshore already houses some stores that you can’t find elsewhere in the city, there are lots of exciting new stores confirmed including H&M and Target (which will occupy the old Zellers location) in addition to the highly anticipated Victoria’s Secret which is scheduled to open this coming Fall.

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Rideau Centre: This already mid-scale sized mall is also slated to have a $150 million, 180,000 sq. ft expansion, estimated to be completed in 2015. There isn’t too much listed as to what’s to come but this one is extra exciting as this will be the location of the famous American department Nordstrom as well as a future Simons and H&M.

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Tanger Outlets:  The anxiously awaited Kanata outlets are expected to be completed by 2014.  The 350,000 sq. ft, 70+ store shopping centre has confirmed the following stores: Nike, Gap, Banana Republic, Coach, Guess, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors, DKNY, American Eagle, Aldo, Nine West and Aeropostale.  Worth the drive? We’ll happily wait and see.

Your Fashion Fairies,

M & R

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The Comeback

We’ve been off the radar for awhile as we got caught up in newlywed bliss, new jobs, travel, another Ottawa Fashion Week season and all the little bits in between.
We’ve realized how hard keeping up a blog can be and while we tried to balance and manage it, Twitter, and Pinterest alongside our daily indulgence of magazines, fashion websites and other blogs our little MaisonStyle fell quickly to the wayside.

We did not give up on our love of fashion. In fact, it’s only grown as we’ve discovered the informative websites Retail Insider and Style 9 to 5, dived into the world of The Coveteur, and have been brewing over the excitement of Ottawa’s shopping expansion.

It’s been an exciting few months in the fashion world and we can’t wait to share what we’ve come up with to feature for our comeback. We’ve missed you!

Your fashion fairies,

M & R

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Ford goes further…to the runway.

FordPlanning is well underway for the upcoming season of Ottawa Fashion Week so we felt it was only appropriate to write a piece about runway fashion… but with a twist. We all know that it takes immense inspiration and a clear vision to create a collection and a runway show, but sometimes we forget how much inspiration is then taken from those shows into our everyday life.

The famous scene in The Devil Wears Prada in which Miranda Priestly chastizes Andy for calling the clothing “stuff” reminds us just how influential runway fashion can be. We see current trends in clothing, accessories, home decor, and even art; however, what you might be missing is seeing it in cars. Believe it or not, even the automobile industry is influenced by today’s hottest trends.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Susan Swek, group chief designer, Colour & Material design at Ford Canada for a little Q & A:

1. When did Ford start looking to the runway for inspiration for their car interiors?
We have probably always used fashion as a source for inspiration for future design work and ideas, but also as a confirmation before we launch a new colour or material into our vehicles.

2. What trends taken from the fashion industry can we expect to see in upcoming Ford vehicles?
Trends taken from fashion would be more exploration of different colour spaces for our exteriors and interiors, and more wide-reaching use of textures and executions of different types of textures working together in harmony to create a fresh appearance.

3. As we are a fashion blog and you are a designer, can we ask you what your favourite trend is currently?

Our favourite trend today (and this could change tomorrow or even next week) is the colour trend of pastels and blushes. It provides a fresh approach and new look and a softness to any product.

4. What is your favourite thing about vehicle design?
The best thing about vehicle design is how complex and multi-faceted the process is. We work together with our suppliers, scientists, engineers, marketing, program teams, research, and purchasing counterparts to name a few. And, we work on everything colour or material that the customer sees, touches, feels, interacts with. Colour is in everything, and a material or surface material is on every part of your vehicle. We have to think and design for each and every part the customer interacts with and ensure it meets our DNA, our design language and communicates in harmony the message we want it to.

And there you have it our fellow fashionistas. The next time you go and pick out your biggest accessory,  remember that Ford knows it’s more than just a transmission and wheels.

Your fashion (and beyond) fairies,
M & R

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