DIY: Sandal Embellishments

I will be the first to tell you that I am not generally a flip-flop lady! However, this past week during a continuous period of high-heeled struts and elevated standing I needed to pull out my ballerina flats to come to the rescue. 

Then, one day after work I went to rest in the nearest Queen Anne chair to "cool my heels" by trying to find my luxe slippers for comfort. They were nowhere to be found or I quickly gave up searching for them due to exhaustion. 

My only sole solution within arms reach was a pair of flip-flops! They were incredibly comfortable and exactly what I needed at that moment. So, happy feet they were!

This triggered the idea of embellishing a pair of dull flip-flops ... sans flowers or puffed adornments,  just sparkled and beaded trimmings! I decided to buy a pair of flip-flops at an arts and crafts store, then I used studs, beads, and antique colour gems for a dust of dazzling style, which gave the rubber flats a whole new look. Here's the result:

    Materials: Flip-flops, metal/gem craft glue, Trim: studs, beads, and rhinestones.

The Makeover:
First, figure out what design you want to create. Then, insert studs by piercing them into the rubber. It works best if you gently semi-close the studs as you pierce them into the rubber.  

By using beads carefully glue them on the flat part of the thong of the sandal. Let dry. Next, I also used rhinestones as an addition to the design. (At this point, if you have matte beads you may dab a sealant over the beads to add a finishing luster.) You may also use a spray to have a glossier finish. I wanted a combination for this version.
That's it! Now, you have fashionable flip-flops with a touch of edginess!


Sheer Summer Impromptu

OASAP Blogger Style Vintage
After my short trip away we had planned to take the train to surprise my parents on our way back from a charity auction. But, our plans had to be shortened abruptly after a major work related situation needed to be dealt with … so, instead of being aggravated I found a spot to take a snapshot. You know, improvisation can often be an uplifting cure for a day full of random push and pulls.  

Afterward, the day became far better and I changed (for an early dinner) into this sheer mother of pearl lace dress. I figured, hey, it was packed with me … why not take a blogger opportunity and do a quick photo!  

Right, occasionally I’ve found it best to try to be content and think fashion in situations like theseespecially, if you’re on-call for a special project. A dose of fashion can be just the inspiring prescription needed.

As for the dress, it actually fits better than expected, and I love its romantic simplicity. I chose this delicate colour because it reminded me of a shorter version of a vintage slip that I had seen long ago.  
Decades ago, faux pleats, a crochet neck trim, and a very short hemline would have unsettled me for an attempted look of vintage-modern elegance. However, after adding a ruffled lace underskirt as a necessary petticoat my confidence was restored immediately! Precisely, I think the ruffled lace underskirt made this dress more like my style. The skirt's extra poof of feminine enchantment made all the difference!
 Do you have impromptu fashion moments of inspiration?

The goods: Ivory crochet dress-c/o Oasap, Belt worn backwards-Ladyofashion, Lace skirt-seen here, Sandals-Consignment shop, Earrings-Maylee's Jewelry, costume pearl necklace worn as bracelet-Thrifted


Accessories: Parks and Recreation

I wore this to a fun outing with friends as we strolled off to the park. It was a pre-holiday event for our close friends before they went off for a two month trip of leisure. But, I'm excited for them ... between a few of us we're also taking a rotation schedule to pet and house-sit for them during their expedition.
Blogger Festival attire

Each of us were to make a dish or prepare hor'devours, so we decided to make grilled zucchini as a side with roasted red pepper and broiled eggplant sandwiches with goat cheese, and homemade pesto generously spread across fresh baked crusty bread. Everyone knows that bread selection makes all of the difference! It was easy to make, yet an entirely satisfying and savoury plate.  But enough about the food!

I was in an accessory loving mood so I paired this summer dress with stacked bangles, then added a gradated bandana that I had forgotten about, and used my vintage silk scarf as a high-waisted belt.

Summer Arm Party Style

The goods: Dress-Target, Vintage-Silk striped scarf, Orange leather belt-flea market, Braided belt-Love culture, Leather sandals-Mia, Bandana-Art market, Jewellery: necklace-F21/bracelets/bangles-Consignment, Charity shop,Gifted, Nordstroms. 

Have you had a summer foodie gathering recently?

Fashion Clicks, and Insta-Pics

Since I am out working, and enjoying surprise visits from loved ones, (plus a few friends) I have prepared a small visual token just for you in Insta-form.

Here are a few random snapshots of ... what I wore the past few days, well, accessories mostly a delicious blueberry breakfast snack sans the candles, because ahem ... none is better than 32 atop perfectly sized indulgent biscuits you know!

Minor digression aside, there's also a wonderful tin that I found at an old art/book store during my weekend excursion. With a delicate scrub and patient cleaning this tin will be looking absolutely fine! Oh, and I will have a chance to bring out a few forgotten gems as well.
Florals Trends Brights
 DAY LOOK 1: Bows + Florals: Ultra feminine touches embraced by an earthy hug of basket woven heels, accompanied by nostalgic pendants.

Instagram Fashion Tales
  Real love: When homemade-to-order is done just for you! Blueberry and almond biscuits with a vanilla-almond paste infusion.

Vintage Hat boxes
 Bring out the goods! A fun gifted box that I use to store special jewelled clutches. I may bring one out tonight!
Vintage English Tea Tins
  Old treasures acquired: A nice shining bath will do the trick!

Orange Beaded jewellery
  DAY LOOK 2: A Bite of colour: Tangerine orange and sky blue hues to start a very casual brunch.

Evening outfit Styles Elegant
   EARLY EVENING LOOK: Romantic Notes: Plum and slate colours as a smart prelude with silver sparkling accents to set the evening's lasting melody.

NIGHT LOOK? Still to be determined, however the shoe of choice will likely be a fabulous black stiletto.

How's your week going so far?


Complementary Combinations

  Fashion Tales Style
I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! Well, I took a short stint off last week, because I was taken out for an early birthday retreat, although my actual birthday is on Wednesday! However, since having to work away on an assignment I was quite happy to be fairly whisked away for revitalising moments. 

Though, it was only a couple days of rest, I do feel completely rejuvenated. And now, back to normal. 

I have also been actively planning a dinner party (for a friend), and trying to wrap things up soon as other important summer tasks approach. Lately, my event planning and negotiating abilities have been very useful ... this specific event is of a smaller magnitude than preparations for my parent’s anniversary gift, yet still a lot of work, so my attitude has been to just go with the flow!

This is an outfit that I actually wore not long ago to a fun outing with visiting family. I pulled out my DIY collar to pair it with this scarf printed dress as a unique accessory addition. I like scarf prints and other border-styled motifs, and I'm normally very selective with purchasing them.
 Scarf Prints
I acquired this dress in the Bahamas, essentially for a fraction of the price of a cocktail! It was during a period when it was beyond humid, of course, and one of those times when an easy pull-on silhouette (that wasn’t typically my style) spoke to me. Other than the striking yellow colour in this print, I was immediately drawn to the richness of the purple as well. The result: simply a couple years later becoming fond of scarf prints even more!
 Summer Scarf Prints

The goods: Dress-random store in the Bahamas, Collar-DIY, Sandals-Love culture 

*Lastly, I'm happy to be featured as photo of the week on Streets & People even though they got the city wrong!


Fashion Cassettes Side B: Getting Through The Storm

Both literally and figuratively speaking there are certain types of fashion selections that help me get through those stormy days. You know what I'm talking about! Whether it be a day filled with an incessant downpour or even those moments of feeling slightly irritable from mere situations of life. There is always something about fashion and art that I take away with me making it my own style-inspired demo. 

Sounds like ...
The beat would drop in an in your face Swarovski way of course, and punchy soundbites of platform struts would slowly fade in ...
Oh yes, a soul-lifter, a smile maker, and sparkled embrace it would be: I would grasp it and let the style potion run its course! The result is typically an inspiring air that radiates throughout whatever room I am in.
So, I thought that I would be so kind to grace you with a few fashion pick me ups, which are diverse types of inspiration that helps me get through the storms. A partial ode to followup from my fashion cassettes mixtape if you will. Enjoy!

For those times ... 

When your loved one is away: If you have an ultra busy schedule like me then you may not be able to spend as much time with your significant other as you want, so cherishing precious and playful moments are even more important. However, when they're away there is still plenty of fun things to do!
Vogue Japan Nyasha Matohonze Fashion
 Vogue Japan: (Source)

Pull out a spectacular outfit from your closet and round up the girls for a night on the town! Every lady needs a fun party dress or even an over the top style that's perfect for such an occasion! This is truly a winner and an excellent mood booster! Especially, if all of your best gals don't get a chance to hangout very often. My friends and I generally have a fun dinner party twice a year where we come together from whatever location we're in, dressed glamourous and with no time constraints!

When it's raining outside: perhaps a cold chill is in the air, and you feel like it could not be more relaxing. Your eyes are engrossed in your favourite book, you're covered with a luxurious blanket, and the sound of raindrops hitting the window pane simply gives you that good ol' cuddly feeling inside. You know special tunes are required. Create your custom playlist or get inspired with soft melodies of rainy days.

 -In the middle of difficulty lies      opportunity.
                              -Albert Einstein   

When you're going through a life storm: one that seems like everything is impossible, try reading inspirational words and center yourself around positive people. This is definitely easier said than done, but I will tell you it truly works! We've all been there ... in times of turmoil or feeling a bit dispirited. There may be moments when it merely feels like it's pointless!

These daily affirmations and uplifting words will create a powerful shake of inspiration and soon you will be the one inspiring others during their moments, and without even trying to. Go ahead, embed optimism in your life! 
Inspirational Quotes 
 (Image), Words of Theodore Roosevelt

Note: Also, don't forget to check out my interview with my friend, celebrity costume designer Andrea!


Plaid Placements

I  bought this dress several years ago thinking it would be the absolute choice for a friend's dinner party that I went to, but I ended up wearing something else and the dress stayed in my closet for another year until making its fashion debut. Since then, this tiered "plaid cupcake," (as my best friend calls it) has been through a little history of its own—i.e., my "I don't know what to wear" phases, spontaneous shopping sprees, and even date night!

Lady of Fashion Miss Selfridge Dress

When I wear this dress one thing is certain ... it always seems to find itself a perfect placement to be worn in my life. Of course, I tend to love patterns, tartan/plaids, prints and bold colour anyway as you may have already observed. However, timely ensembles like this brings more than a smile to my face. And it just seems to exceed its initial worth with each wear. Needless to say, I feel that I've definitely gotten my money's worth!

Fashion Tales Top Plaid Styles

Do you have any outfits or patterns that gives you that special feeling of happiness?

The goods: Tiered dress-Miss Selfridge, Necklace-gifted, Geo sandals-Local boutique (Canada)

Spotlighted Innovation: A Dynamic Trio

Every place has its own special characteristics, whether it be unique types of cuisine, prime real estate, distinct art techniques, or even fashion influence! There are also cities where architectural inspiration encompasses you from a multitude of angles. Berlin is one of those places to me.

Although it's been a long time since I've exchanged greetings with Berlin, a couple friends and colleagues of mine are presently there for fashion events. After briefly catching up with them (via the blessings of Skype) it triggered personal influences and inspiration of the past, so I wanted to share with you a few fashion labels that have been under my radar for a little while.
German Fashion DesignersXess Baba Eco Fashion 
 Photo: xessbaba

Xess + Baba 
Swiss label Xess+Baba is known for their uniquely designed reversible garments and knit creations. They use high quality yarns in their design process with a focus on sustainable objectives upheld by Oeko-Tex standards, a certified system which tests the production levels of (textile) raw materials. This also includes processes and manufacturing conditions to ensure no harmful substances bear as a risk to the consumer as an end result. You may view their current lookbook here.
German Fashion Designers

House of Boing
You've likely heard of House of Boing or perhaps seen creations from them without even knowing. In case you haven't here's what you have missed out on: Based in Austria, House of Boing masterfully provides artful and edgy garments stemming from kinetic attributes. Imagine your personal fashion expressions being brought to life in a playful, yet wearable way and with one's changeable nature being taken into consideration.


There's a dramatic spirit of performance and fine art also captured in many of the pieces, which are worth an appreciative study all on their own. You may view more extraordinary works from House of Boing here, as well as the sister site from designer, Sandra Bamminger here.

Steinwidder fashion German design
 Photos: (Source)  

I first heard of Anita Steinwidder when I was visiting my sister who was living in Austria. Steinwidder's ecological ethos is expressed in her clothing interpreted by visual and tactile blends resulting in handmade upcycled creations. Previously an architect, Steinwidder evinces the alteration of shape and modular formulas as the base for (three-dimensional) creations produced. More works can be seen here.

Photos: (Source) (Above) From Trespass collection: Collaborative works of Steinwidder and visual artist, Matthias Winkler.

What artists or designers influence you, but aren't necessarily direct translations into your style of dressing? 


Sean McGirr: Street Spirited With a Fresh Gait

Often the cover of a magazine catches my eye and I peruse through pages, and decipher just within a few seconds whether or not I want to know more about its contents.

There's also a moment when I'm on a call and the decision to press hold comes when another call is intercepted ... unaware of the details! That's exactly what happened when a friend of mine phoned me to view the work of emerging talent and designer Sean McGirr. 

After taking a brief look at McGirr’s pieces an expressive and wearable tale was utterly apparent. But, this time it was quite singular to your typical men’s apparel. The intrigue and preface was made in a glance, chapter skipping was unnecessary and I had to find out more. So, I spoke to the source himself to fill in the pages.
Shun Watanabe Stylist
     Vogue Hommes Japan

For menswear and accessories designer McGirr, creating an initial line that told his fashion story was paramount to achieve a collection that he was not only proud of, but garments that had a very personal touch. With two collections under his belt in a year’s time he’s already garnered a notable résumé having worked with acclaimed fashion editor, Shun Watanabe (Vogue Hommes Japan), and no stranger to the fashion scene, designer, Charlie Le Mindu.

Currently based in London, the Dublin native designs garments with a curve of freshness for the young man who is consciously upstanding in the midst of fashion’s commercial high of … sameness. Who is this slender aficionado wearing his garments? “He’s someone who’s very sick of street wear,” said McGirr.

London is totally saturated with street wear … I wanted to make a collection that was still relative in the street, but in a more grown-up sense.”
London Emerging Designers

In McGirr’s line inspired by Battle Royale, the influence of school uniforms was the setting for his style narration of what was later to come. It’s quite like a first chapter offering for the progressive lad, who in time evolves as a contemporary gent, all without too many quivers of direct mainstream persuasions. 

Pieces from McGirr's first garment assembly also had influence from his own style, music, and growing up as a teenager. “It was almost like an overview of my garment experience until that (teenage) point. The first collection definitely felt like it had to be made, because there was just a really strong sense of adolescence,” said McGirr.  

In his current collection, Stand and Deliver you’ll find a much more mature and tailored look, including double breasted jackets, and pieces with a more refined and modern sensibility than his first collection. “I was kind of inspired by how school uniforms can fit very badly, and I wanted to use the same aesthetics, but make them fit perfect in places, and quite loose and fun (in other places). There’s a lot more details in the fit in this new collection,” said McGirr.
Sean McGirrLondon Fashion Week Menswear Designers
Stay tuned, his style book has only begun! You may see more from Sean McGirr headed for London Fashion Week this September.

What do you think of McGirr's designs?

For more information visit:
Images: Courtesy of Sean McGirr.

Getting to know Sean McGirr:
Do you have any favourite designers or artists at the moment?
Salvator Dali, especially at the moment I’ve been looking at his work a lot, because there’s surrealism, fantasy, and modern thinking. 
I look to Shun Watanabe … I love his attitude toward clothes! I also love Japanese label, Undercover.

A work that you’re most proud of:
Last year, I did a collection for Charlie Le Mindu, we raced against the clock, churned it out and it was shown during Paris Fashion Week. I was really happy with it.

My personal style described in a mere three words is …
Loose. Tailored. Boyish.

Any words of wisdom or advice you would give to an aspiring designer?
Know who you are, it takes a while sometimes to learn it: understanding what you’re made of, what’s your signature style, and what you bring to the table.

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