winter whites

Posted on Wednesday, 31 December 2014


This was a fun year, with still it's many challenges I learned so much about myself and definitely built the foundation and learned how to own who I am! That was a huge thing for me as for so long I felt like life was happening to me instead of the other way around. Recognizing that I could contribute to what happens to me through a spiritual practice of meditation, a positive thought process and visualization has really changed the game for me. This was the year of planting the seeds, I wrote and finished my first feature film script, I discovered a new styling passion and worked with some incredible talents (which I will be showcasing soon on the blog!) I satisfied my wanderlust and went on three road trips, I took chances on love and let people see me for the first time, I started to practice what I preached with environmentalism and continue to look for ways to help in the fight against climate change, I became a teta (aunt) to the second beautiful baby of my best friend Natasha and her daughter Eli always asks for me and it's the best thing ever! I made new friendships with the best group of girls when travelling to Nashville, we have a group text message going on that is constantly filled with funny memories and so much love, one of my best friend's Andrea moved in with me and its been the greatest roommate year ever!! There is so much more but it's pretty cool to really look back at your year and realize that it was actually pretty great, no really great.

For this styling post I wanted to show a different kind of holiday outfit especially if you are just doing a casual New Years celebration. I love this romper from Bicyclette because you can pretty much wear it all year round. I paired it with a white felt hat (surprisingly really hard to find) from ASOS and my new favourite purse from Grace Design. I will be posting so much more in the New Year and especially this week with an amazing continuation styling post from my Nashville road trip!! Happy New Year and cheers to 2015 - the best year yet.


Jordan de Ruiter bridal shoot BTS

Posted on Tuesday, 9 December 2014


"Well, we got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout' 
And we've been talkin' 'bout Jackson, ever since the fire went..." Johnny Cash

If a photo shoot were to ever embody a song this would be it, this right here. Our fictional couple escaped to their family's hunter's cabin, got married "in a fever" and celebrated their love with a homemade cake, some local beer and a spontaneous jam session in the attic. This type of union is all about freedom, the freedom to express your creativity, to wear whatever the heck you want and the freedom to be completely who you are with the one you love. Now that is my kind of union. 

We were like a band on the run, our creative collective consisted of Scarlet O'Neill our pint-sized fiery photography wizard, she bounces around and affectionately calls her male model subjects 'bud' and she commands a photo like no other. Then there is the mama bear genius designer Jordan de Ruiter who I always knew was a super talented visionary but totally surprised me by being able to make anything, like ANYTHING I suggested she whipped up right before my eyes. Fun fact Jordan created all of the jewellery pieces that we used in the shoot. She was born for this. The band would not be complete without our super cool and detail oriented makeup artist Alison Sharp. I have told her on many occasions that she is one of two of my all time favourite makeup artists to work with (two being my always love Sherry Vanstone). Another fun fact Alison and Sherry met in Edmonton and are still besties. Alison just understands story and cam make any look come to life, even from my weird notes like "you know messy braid with like smokey eye and shimmery face" haha she just gets it. And our models Jarret Allan and Sara Smith are just gorgeous and incredible people who were up for anything, even braving the great outdoors and some hanging deer (we were at an actual hunter's cabin, and we got the full experience). Sara's grace and elegance shined through and she's just the nicest, coolest person to work with. Jarret had a blast hanging with the ladies all day, made friends with Jordan's mom and was a good sport when we started to call him crocodile dundee. 

All of Jarret's looks came from the super gracious people at Philistine. I cannot praise that shop enough, the owners are some of the nicest people and their aesthetic and style is incredible. They mix vintage and new perfectly and their shop is so Canadiana and cabin feeling, so naturally they had the exact pieces I was looking for. I am always amazed at how much talent and collaboration we foster here in Toronto, it's been such a blessing to be a part of it. 

Oh ya and I styled the shoot and organized it and worked on the set design, I am pretty proud of this one and so grateful to have my band with me. Now we just need to come up with a name...

Enjoy the behind the scenes photos!! xo


cabin fever

Posted on Tuesday, 2 December 2014


I am one of those people who love weddings. Everything from the white dress, to the live band, to the hand-made calligraphy name cards...it's where my creativity would shine, as my obsession with the perfect blush coloured peonies flowers would go wild. This past year was an exploration of what a loving relationship really is, of the modern day courtship (due in part to my script research) and witnessing my friend's loving relationships around me, an amazing reminder of it's real existence. This new focus had me thinking about the wedding ritual in a different way, letting go of the need for an elaborate and showy party, a return to the essence of who you are as a couple. The beauty of two whole people coming together to join their lives, that should be celebrated in whatever way feels right to you and for me (one day) it will all be based on my unique personality, most likely eloping in a cabin in the woods (so yes I am pretty much living out my dream with this shoot haha).

When Jordan de Ruiter approached me to style her lookbook for the launch of her bridal collection, I felt instant excitement and creativity run through my veins. We discussed various themes and ideas but decided a laid-back, bohemian elopement would bring out the essence of the fun, creative and wild hearted woman that would wear one of Jordan's pieces. Jordan's collection is very versatile and can really be worn for any type of wedding. But it was fun to dream about our shoot couple:

A wild and reckless couple eloping in a kitschy hunter’s cabin in the winter. Laid­back, bohemian with a rustic charm. The couple’s nature is impulsive and free, living life in the moment and living in their own daydream. Their spontaneous nature doesn't deter from their appreciation of art and the classics, traditional silhouettes styled with a bohemian edge. Music, adventure and nature are their callings...opting for an intimate elopement filled with joy, ritual and blissful union and probably a dance party in the kitchen.

Here is some styling inspiration....I cannot wait to create and release the full shoot! xo

 

Photos from The Lane, Free People, For Love and Lemons 

field of dreams

Posted on Sunday, 23 November 2014


"When it is time for us to go forward in our lives, we simple GO and it is effortless - retrograde or no retrograde, isms or no isms. When life decides it's time for us to step into our 'next phase,' there is absolutely nothing that will stop that forward momentum. Nothing. When it is time - the very ground beneath our feet will move to get us wherever we need to be." Danielle Egnew

I discovered Danielle's book by accident when I was searching for a different book I had read on a recent trip. This is one of the daily lessons she writes about in the book. Timing was an essential element to our Nashville trip. The four of us stepping into new chapters of our lives and perfectly aligned at the moment to take a trip together, to know each other, to create with each other. For me it felt like familiar grounds, this field we found at a dead end, the camper where we slept under the stars and our adventures in Nashville, there was a strong familiarity to it all and I knew the timing was just right.

Present and still, lost in nature and wandering about this new land, I felt the power of being fully alive in a moment. You know that bliss that people talk about when your mind is clear and at ease and when you can just look around you with wonder and awe, I felt that bliss. It's the moment where life flows effortlessly in and you feel connected to your souls calling. Something about this place and about this creativity is a part of that. Scarlet O'Neill captured that essence beautifully, she was also connected to her calling, and that is the beauty of timing.

 

Photos by Scarlet O'Neill
Styling by Ana Alic
Genevieve, Sarah, Scarlet and Ana 

farewell, bicyclette

Posted on Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Bicyclette is more than a clothing store...it's a family. I have been a part of the Bicyclette family for a couple years now and although we are saying goodbye to the store, the family will live on. I remember the moment it all started, I was at an audition and saw Emily (store manager and muse) and asked her who was at the store while she was there? She told me she closed up shop to go to the audition and the idea came into my mind right then, I could offer to watch the store whenever they needed! And that is how I started working there. And if it wasn't that occurrence I know it would be something else, because I know I was meant to be a part of this family.


Imagine a group of stylish and insanely creative girls all hanging out together, working together and being each others champions, THAT is the essence of Bicyclette. A group of women who believe in collaboration over competition, who help each other, who love each other and who want to create beautiful magical moments, usually involving glitter. Paige created a community that made you feel incredible and at home when you walked through the shop doors, it is a fairy-tale oasis where magic is real and it is encouraged. She also supported us and always believed in our dreams and was always kind and thoughtful, the characteristics of a great leader. Paige would always bring back something special from her buying trips that made her think of us, she has a compassionate heart and cares deeply about the people in her life. It was an honour to work alongside these women and its a privilege to call them my friends.


We created so many special projects together, it was always "what can we dream up next?" One of my favourites was the "90 days" short film project. Including our favourite creatives we set out to make a short film that celebrated summer love and our city. That short film was our love letter to our community and to each other.

As I look back at all the Bicyclette adventures I had I can see that I was exactly where I needed to be. I was a part of a community that was so cherished and loved, that brought me some of my dearest friends, that gave me skills and expanded my creativity, that introduced me to so many incredible women! I was also able to create a blog series with Paige called "Girl Crush" in which I interviewed inspiring women that are passionate and have a zest for life. This was one of my favourite things that I was able to create for the blog, to learn from women all over the world and to introduce them to the Bicyclette community. Here is a couple snippets from these intelligent and insightful babes:

"Listen, I’m a pisces, an English major, a dreamer, whatever you want to call it. I worked a super corporate job for three months once where I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans to the office and it was my personal form of hell. Truthfully the one thing I think I’m pretty good at is being a lazy, uber-casual, boundary-less good for nothing who just wants to talk about boys, clothes and feelings.  I guess that comes across in all things SFB…" Molly Guy of Stone Fox Bride
"Life is not a straight life. Which makes me (& all of us) ever evolving works of h’art. Wabi sabi. Perfectly imperfect. Always changing. It’s really about learning to love the process, and that’s what h’arting and living is all about to me." Kate Durie, creator of 'The Gratitude Kit'
"DON’T GIVE UP.  DON’T FORGET WHO YOU ARE.  DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT YOU NEED.  Be whole hearted in your love for your life and the service you know you are here to give and then just keep giving. Give what you got till you bleed. Life will give back once life knows you are serious.  Then, watch the glitter come rushing in. Confusion will occur, but a strong full-hearted belief in what you love will shine through it all." Tiffany Pratt, designer, stylist all around creative guru
There will be many more goodbyes as we end this chapter with an incredible sendoff and a holiday lookbook. More from me in the coming months about my special boutique, Bicyclette.
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Winston Churchill

Photos 1,2,3 Sarah Shreves
Photos 4,9,10,11 Scarlet O'Neill
Photos 5,6,7,8 Sian Melton 




grace design

Posted on Saturday, 15 November 2014


This new styling journey seemed to sweep into my life, an extension of who I am and what I love. I love the process of creation, taking a single idea and even an inkling of an idea and dreaming of it coming to life. I love to be a part of the process, my strengths in finding the perfect location come from intuition and my attention to detail, then combining all the other elements to make a cohesive story. After my Nashville styling adventure I knew I wanted to do more...

Alison Gledhil, the designer and creator of Grace Design, had a strong vision. Her design skills, appreciation of tradition, her incredible collection and clear intentions made it so easy to see that vision. We discussed the themes of the lookbook shoot: folklore, nomadic, tradition, bohemian, and mystical. These ideas pulled me in and we started to craft the landscape of this vision. I knew location was essential (I always believe location is essential) and a horse ranch I have always wanted to visit jumped into my mind, on purpose I believe. It was decided right then, we needed a horse and we needed to use that ranch. I was able to book the ranch and everything else seemed to flow into place. Scarlet O'Neill (my always collaborator) was excited to create this vision and was perfect for it, Murphy MacDonald-Rea's beauty and mystery not to mention her crazy amazing long hair was the perfect choice (and she has the coolest name) and Alison Sharp killed it with the makeup and hair design, she understands story and her talents are unparalleled. The dream team was set, each of us having the right skills for the right part and everything blended in the most perfect way that I knew this shoot would exceed my expectations, and it did in a big way!

Alison's collection was heavily influenced by her trip to Morocco. She incorporates vintage fabrics from Morocco and other exotic locations to her purses. She weaves history and ancient tradition into all of her designs, making each purse unique with their own story. Her passion and expertise is seen in the quality of her line, rich with texture and has tradition woven into its seems while remaining the perfect companion for any modern look. To witness this passion and to be able to work alongside people who truly love what they do is such a gift to me. I also couldn't be more grateful to have worked with such incredible women. Celebrating women, collaborating and complimenting each others talents is what it's all about, it's what makes these projects extraordinary.

Designer and Creative Director: Alison Gledhil www.gracedesign.ca
Photography: Scarlet O'Neill
Model: Murphy MacDonald-Rea
Makeup Artist: Alison Sharp
Styling: Ana Alic