OBAKKI DREAMS OF BETTER FUTURE

Canada is a land of opportunity to many. It is incredibly fulfilling, joyous and touching to learn of a foundation with a cause, passion, talent and desire to give back because we live in a land of opportunity that only a fraction of the world’s population gets to indulge in.

OBAKKI FOUNDATION is a Vancouver-based, fashion forward foundation that uses creativity and insightful story-telling as the driving force behind raising funds towards clean water and education in third world countries. 100% of their proceeds go directly to the cause (I have requested information from CharityIntelligence.ca to confirm). OBAKKI DESIGN, the creative extension of the foundation, produces truly exceptional and statement-making clothing used to fundraise. “Obakki Designs absorbs all of the administrative fees, from business cards to travel expenses, so that 100% of all public donations and 100% of net profits generated from Obakki sales can go directly to our humanitarian projects.”

Whether you buy Obakki product or make a donation to the Foundation, you know your money is going where it’s needed right now.

F/W 2012 Obakki Collection inspired by their efforts to drill water wells in South Sudan

F/W 2012 Obakki Collection inspired by their efforts to drill water wells in South Sudan

I highly suggest checking out OBAKKI F/W 2012 lookbook modelled by a Sudanese stunner and a captivating story narrating beautiful and flattering clothing.

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Obakki Signature Scarf. Purchase it through Obakki webstore for $29.00, send a pick to @Obakki with hashtag: #Create4Change

TO LEARN MORE, DONATE OR PARTICIPATE, VISIT OBAKKI WEB-SITE.

All images from Obakki web-site

BEST OF CANADIAN STATEMENT NECKLACES

Christmas season is my favourite time of the year and when it’s over, unlike many others, I refuse to forget about the glitz and the glamour. To avoid winter blues, I suggest continuing wearing your extravagant and precious jewels!

Over the years, I’ve written about a number of glamorous Canadian precious, semi-precious and costume jewellery designers and here are my Top 5 picks along with my favourite statement necklaces.

1. ANNE SPORTUN FINE JEWELLERY

Who says a statement necklace needs to be big? A tasteful and unique pendant makes a BIG statement when worn with a classic outfit. ANNE SPORTUN knows how to make a dainty piece of a precious stone make a large impact.

Anne Sportun

The PARAIBLA NEBULA necklace is a one-of-its-kind and would look fabulous with a black tee, blazer and fitted jeans; as well as a clean-cut suit and a white blouse.

2. MARYAM KEYHANI

Another designer pushing boundaries in statement necklaces is MARYAM KEYHANI with her namesake label established in 2011. There isn’t one necklace I’m not in love with but I’ve never seen anyone use fabric within a necklace like her. Absolutely to die for!

This beautifully crafted fabric and leather necklace with a unique & versatile choice of colour will make any fitted dress or a blouse with trousers stand out.  AW 11 'Foliage'

This beautifully crafted fabric and leather necklace with a unique & versatile choice of colour will make any fitted dress or a blouse with trousers stand out. AW 11 ‘Foliage’

3. CHARLOTTE HOSTEN

The Montreal based designer calls her unique and admirable pieces of neck art Colliers. By combining everything from brooches, beads, leather, feathers, fabrics and metals, I’d say CHARLOTTE HOSTEN is the ‘it’ designer of affordable and fabulously gorgeous statement necklaces.

This vintage pink collier makes me smile from ear to ear. It's a perfect statement piece for a bride, to wear to a gala or to walk around the house and feel like a princess

This vintage pink collier makes me smile from ear to ear. It’s a perfect statement piece for a bride, to wear to a gala or to walk around the house and feel like a princess

4. REBEKAH PRICE DESIGNS

When you hear Rebecca’s story behind her jewellery line you won’t only fall in love with the designer but with the grit, passion and modernity of the label. The most up-and-coming name in costume jewellery, it’s not a surprise REBEKAH PRICE is one of my absolute favourites.

Bring some edge to your look with this Achilles collar necklace that will transform you into an instant fashionista

Bring some edge to your look with this Achilles collar necklace by Rebekah Price and you will be instantly transformed into a fashionista

5. REDSOFA JEWELLERY

A necklace speaks a thousand words, that’s what I say. And I like to wear jewellery that represent me. A statement necklace doesn’t have to be big or sparkly or made of the most expensive metals and stones, as its name states, it is a statement. REDSOFA JEWELLERY creates necklaces that I instantly connect with and that make me smile!

This understated statement necklace is ideal to wear everyday, all day. 'La storia di un viaggio' from the 'on the move' collection by RedSofa

This understated statement necklace is ideal to wear everyday, all day. ‘La storia di un viaggio’ from the ‘on the move’ collection by RedSofa

* All images from the appropriate labels web-sites.

MUSH! MUSH! AUTHENTIC CANADIAN PARKAS

My whole life I’ve lived in countries with proper winter i.e. below zero weather lasting over one month. Few things I’ve learned when it comes to coats:

  1. A coat should be made from lasting fabric and materials
  2. It has to be below your bum and longer
  3. Stay away from white, unless it’s a fancy coat
mush!mush! dressy parkas

mush!mush! Glamorous Dressy Parka comes with a wind-resistant outer shell to wear for the extra-cold days, or to keep snow or freezing rain off the wool.

Canada is the home of anoraks or more commonly known as parkas, and rightfully so. One of the most popular parkas today is Canada Goose, made in Canada and sold all around the world in high-end fashion retailers.  But, what if you want to look different from everyone else? I highly suggest MUSH!MUSH! custom-made parkas for women and children.

How adorable?!?! mush!mush! for kids

How adorable?!?! mush!mush! for kids

MUSH!MUSH! is a Canadian brand that designs and produces authentic Western Canadian Arctic parkas that date “back to the missionaries’ arrival in the region in the mid-1800s.” When you order a MUSH!MUSH! parka online, you will receive a custom-made, elegant, winter-appropriate and long-lasting coat that will leave everyone asking where did you get that from?

mush!mush! wool winter jackets are light enough for early spring with just a t-shirt underneath, fantastic for the fall with a long-sleeved shirt and perfect for most winter days along with a chunky sweater.

mush!mush! wool winter jackets are light enough for early spring with just a t-shirt underneath, fantastic for the fall with a long-sleeved shirt and perfect for most winter days along with a chunky sweater.

One of my favourite things about MUSH!MUSH! is that they are ethically produced and 100% made in Canada by women of Northwest Territories. Additionally, handcrafted and made-to-order fashion is better for our planet over the mass-produced stuff. When you compare cost-wise, a mass-produced Canada Goose will cost you around the same as a handcrafted, durable, and gracefully stylish Canadian MUSH!MUSH!  The brand also meets my three requirements for winter jackets.

mush!mush! traditional parkas fit close to the body for a flattering line with soft fur at the hood and cuffs to keep the wind out.

mush!mush traditional parkas fit close to the body for a flattering line with soft fur at the hood and cuffs to keep the wind out.

* All images from mush!mush web-site.

SCOUT & CATALOGUE spice up

S&C

One of my beloved accessories brands originally based in Toronto, SCOUT & CATALOGUE, has moved to Vancouver. The lovely Breanna, who established the label after returning from Mexico in 2009, has decided to move back home and

I want to wish her utmost success, happiness and inspiration in one of the most mesmerizing cities in Canada and the world.

Scout & Catalogue

I always found SCOUT & CATALOGUE  an organic, peaceful yet playful label that’s perfect for women who enjoy, crave and demand freedom. I connected with it right away! Beyond the freeing aspect of S&C lies true passion and dedication to quality, design and uniqueness.

S&C

Every S&C scarf is an understated statement piece that will make any woman look like a million bucks without making her feel uncomfortable. For those who live in black, these accessories are a great way to stand out and spice things up .

S&C

Right now there’s a SALE online for many may products. Be sure to visit! Also, check our my original post on S&C here.

7758195 BS.BS.05

* All images from S&C web-site.

PAVONI will leave you speechless

PAVONI….PAVONI….PAVONI….PAVONI

If you haven’t heard of PAVONI, shame on you! The Montreal-based designers, Gianni Falcone and Mike Derderian, create art. After constantly noting PAVONI gowns on red carpets and in magazines, it took a bit of time to figure out that the couture fashion house is Canadian. The elegantly revealing gowns are delicately sharp and superbly fitting. Most of the gowns remind of something Miss Marilyn would wear.

For the first time, I believe that pictures speak louder the words. This is the perfect way to dream and be mesmerized.

Pavoni

Pavoni

* All images from Pavoni Facebook page.

CLAUDIA SCHULZ precious hats

During winter time, having a good hat is precious. However, having a precious hat is difficult. In the last 4 years and since I’ve had short hair, I refused to wear hats because I couldn’t find one that didn’t make me look like a boy. That search is finally over thanks to CLAUDIA SCHULZ.

Claudia Schulz, the milliner behind the namesake artisan hat line, is based in Vancouver but is originally from Berlin, Germany. The second I laid eyes on a  CLAUDIA SCHULZ, I knew I finally found the hat of my dreams – it screams art deco but is contemporary and has an element of humour. As soon as I got one, I loudly and excitingly said “I friggin’ love pom-poms!”… my pom-pom is cheetah print!

All the hats are elegantly designed and crafted, as well as have unique flare and enticing accents. A CLAUDIA SCHULZ hat will make your winter so much sweeter.

All images from Claudia Schulz website.

DOM REBEL THREADS state of mind

DOM REBEL THREADS is a Montreal-based men’s fashion label established in 2003 by Don Nguyen and Justin Svatina. The brand’s stance is certainly appealing to men who don’t take no for an answer or care what you think. Intuitively, DON REBEL stands for “Freedom of Mind – Liberty of Thought”, something that the men they cater to certainly relate to.

DOM REBEL means business. Freedom, individuality, rebellion

DOM REBEL also, thankfully, caters to women with the same state of mind. I’m at least one of a million gals who would make DOM REBEL THREADS the clothing of choice after a day’s work. Change into DOM REBEL and you’re that rebel you always knew you were. What caught my attention to the label, other than its rock-edge, was the visible comfort and imperfections of each piece of clothing. Nothing is more attractive than a well put together but carefree guy or gal wearing a tee that’s attention grabbing, humorous yet laid back and doesn’t look anything like the mental (and unattractive) Ed Hardy Miami design.

* All images from DOM REBEL fb.

ANASTASIA LOMONOVA a fashion design rock star

ANASTASIA LOMONOVA has a unique story and a unique namesake label. Born in Ukraine, raised in Cyprus and now lives in Montreal, ANASTASIA is an enigma that’ll keep you guessing fashion show after fashion show.

One common thread since the establishment of the namesake label in 2007, has been dedication to showcasing a creative vision that’s independent of popular trends. For example, both SS and FW 2012 collections lack the widespread inclination of the overwhelming use of colour. As much as I enjoy including colour in everyday wardrobe, there’s something to be said for an impactful dress in a neutral palette that can be worn casually or dressed up with statement jewellery pieces for a night out.

ANASTASIA LOMONOVA also brings a lot of unconventional structure to her collections, mixing fabrics, playing with shapes and different shades of neutrals. Her work seems contradicting when romantic influences are combined with dark colours and flowy shapes are actually superbly structured designs. That said, the collections still feel emotional, elegant, stimulating, and created for ambitious women.

Check out the online boutique, or contact Anastasia directly for custom order pieces through her web-site.

All images from Anastasia Lomonova web-site.

CHARLOTTE HOSTEN: breaking rules, maintaining tradition

I truly can’t imagine anyone not appreciating, enjoying and loving CHARLOTTE HOSTEN jewellery. The Montreal-based designer captures imagination with original, boundless, luxurious and distinctive pieces.

When I saw CHARLOTTE HOSTEN colliers, I was reminded of a few quotes by Alexander McQueen, a man I admire because of his humble, brilliant, honest and self-proclaimed blemished nature. He’s been quoted stating: “I spent a long time learning how to construct clothes, which is important to do before you can deconstruct them”*and “You’ve got to know the rules to break them. That’s what I’m here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”**

CHARLOTTE HOSTEN pieces, to some, may seem overwhelming but they are perfectly balanced with unique beads, chains, ribbons, charms, fabrics, leather, pearls, jewels, and feathers. Each piece has a lot going on but it’s exceptionally designed and balanced because of the designer’s intimate knowledge of the basics, and innate desire to push boundaries as well as emphasis on imagination and creativity. To create prominent pieces that will be cherished for generations on end, one first has to know the basics, and then work within those basics but with progression to achieve new greatness and evolution.

To note, CHARLOTTE HOSTEN colliers are the perfect gift you can gift yourself or a friend. They will make any and every simple dress or outfit stand out. You can find certain pieces on Etsy.

* Bolton, Andrew, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, pg.30, Yale University Press, New Haven

All Images from Charlotte Hosten web-site.

JOHN FLUEVOG crème de la crème of shoes

JOHN FLUEVOG is known around the world, yet, so many are unaware of the brand’s existence and have no idea that it’s Canadian, based in the wonderful city of Vancouver. None the less, I kind of understand, because the brand has been around since the 1970’s and it’s a staple and a cult … of awesome. I’m convinced that I can be friends with anyone who wears and likes JOHN FLUEVOG shoes because only the crème de la crème wear them. True story.

What amazing detail! John Fluevog

I can proudly call myself a regular at the JOHN FLUEVOG Queen West boutique in Toronto. It’s a bit of a custom of mine to visit JOHN FLUEVOG boutiques in the cities that I visit not only because of the possibility of getting a new, unique pair of shoes but also because, somehow, the best, most fun and personable people work there. So it’s a great way to make friends in cities you don’t know. Also, true story.

Class with pizazz for men

Going beyond the amazing designs, shapes, colours and styles of the shoes, JOHN FLUEVOG is a company with amazing culture, fun marketing flair and lovability. For example, the Jobs section of their web-site reads “You’d have to be insane not to want to work for John Fluevog” and rightfully so, because the company supports its talented employees through “The Fluevog Artist Grant  [that] makes $10,000 available to eligible Fluevog staff every year, and may be split between candidates based on merit as decided by the Committee.”

I adore how these look in pictures! Yet, I tried them on at the store and they’re just a wee-bit too narrow. Very stunning still

They also have a fabulous online store, although if you have a wider foot (guilty!) I would strongly suggest, if you can, going into a boutique and try a few styles on as some fit quite snug.

I feel LOVE

These look gorgeous with jeans and one of the most unique pattern I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately for me, they have a high arch and I couldn’t fit my foot!

NEW Queen Transcendent Elizabeth design by John Fluevog

All images from www.fluevog.com and there’s so much more.