Styling / Mode Laboratory

3A few months back I was given some pieces from Mode Laboratory’s SS ’15 collection to shoot, and since their pieces have a whimsical, surreal feel to them, I thought Gerald would be the perfect photographer to capture them in the best possible light. I wanted to share a few of the final images with you, so here we are!

Photography: Gerald Larocque
Model: Emma Pilon (Anita Norris Models)
Styling: Alex Spence (me!)
Art Direction: Annya Karina
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Artist’s Blouse

I’m having a bit of writer’s block this morning. I’ve been non-stop thinking about content I want to shoot for this blog and I presume it is hindering my brain’s ability to think of anything else at the moment. Any creative will tell you that sometimes you are struck with an abundance of inspiration and it can often feel quite overwhelming – too much to hold in your mind, too much to be left for another day, and so you have a desire to do it all once, right now, for fear of losing that feeling to create. That’s how I’m feeling today – that taking this morning at a slow pace is just not going to happen because I’ve got ideas buzzing around my head and I want to make them tangible. I guess it’s fitting that I’m wearing this peachy, ruffly blouse for this post. For some reason I liken it to an artist’s blouse…I’m not really sure why. Maybe I find the connection between an artist and this blouse because of the sleeves. I just imagine these sleeves moving back and forth over a canvas, or bouncing up and down while strumming or becoming an extension of your movement, telling a story of their own. Hands and arms have always been a part of the body that intrigue me…I really try to connect with them when I dance (and maybe it’s why they often find their way to my face in photos), so anything that adds character and a bit of detail to them is something I am quite fond of…even if it is something as simple as ruffles.
photo (41)Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetBlouse: vintage via Public Butter
Pinafore: ASOS (old)
Socks: H&M
Shoes: thrifted

Orla Kiely Fall 2015

orla-kiely-038-1366Orla Kiely has a remained a favourite of mine for what seems like years now, and this is about the umpteenth time I have shared a collection by this UK based label. Orla, time and again, creates impossibly cute yet sophisticated pieces that beckon the style of decades past, while making them relevant again (okay, they were probably already relevant). This particular collection seems absolutely fitting in a library setting with models browsing books, wearing what feels like the attire of a supremely fashionable scholar. This collection is making me wonder why I don’t button my cardigans more often, and why I have not found myself an amazing pair of patterned cropped trousers.

View the whole collection here.
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Belle Vie / 34

photo 1 (2)photo (18)1. Last weekend I styled and modeled Act Three’s AW ’15 lookbook, and this was one of the looks. Sarah’s dresses are seriously to die for and I can’t wait to be able to share the whole lookbook with you guys. She is so incredibly talented and I think you guys are really going to love her designs.
2. We shot the lookbook at this amazing loft here in Toronto. How people find spaces like this is beyond me! The tenant has done a ton of work to make the space liveable and it’s really inspiring.
3. A beautiful illustration of me by an instagram follower @jennydiekaiserin – it’s so lovely and flattering when artists are inspired by my photographs. I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude when people share their work with me.
4. A super gorgeous watercolour of me by another instagram follower @ina_ritar – again, I feel so lucky that such talented people are inspired by my portraits. (i added the border cause I have a problem with photos not lining up, fyi.)

Beauty / 1940s Pigtail Loop Braids

Today I’m going to share a tutorial on how to do 1940s pigtail loop braids. I will say, I honestly feel this hairstyle works better for hair shorter than mine. I say this because I personally think it looks better when the loop holes aren’t so large (they mostly just get in the way when they are as big as mine) and it’s easier to get them to sit comfortably and closer to your posterior hairline at a shorter length. But, as you can see, I made it work, so this hairstyle works for many lengths. Okay, blahblahblah! The tutorial!
STEP ONE: Start by separating your hair just the way you would to make pigtails and then braid each section of hair. Simple as that. If you can braid your hair, then this is a cake walk. If you have shorter hair, you can set your braids a bit farther back, behind your ear, this way your loops won’t get in the way as much.
Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetSurprise surprise, doing something weird with my braids…this time I made a braided beard.
Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n1 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n1 presetSTEP TWO: Take the end of your braid and fasten it to the base of your head with bobby pins – you can do this either on the inside of your hair, closer to your ear, or the outside, which I have done here because my hair is so heavy and it was nearly impossible to pin on the inside. This step is way easier with shorter, light hair, in my opinion. I needed a ton of pins to hold my braids in place, which doesn’t look very aesthetically pleasing, but oh well. If you choose to do the outside, you can clean the look up a bit by hiding the ends of your hair inside the rest of your hair and fastening it with pins.  To finish it off tie a bow around your loops to achieve a more pulled together (and adorable) look.
Processed with VSCOcam with n1 presetAnd bam! Done! Another easy and cute hairstyle for all. If you guys have any hairstyles you’re interested in learning, let me know. I’d be happy to oblige!

Jeremy Scott Fall 2015

ONP_6129Is it really a surprise that I absolutely love Jeremy Scott’s Fall 2015 collection? No, not really. It embodies all things I truly adore and have made abundantly clear by now – the 60s, colours, playful femininity, dresses, matching sets, mary janes…the list could go on. As I had mentioned, I recently styled a shoot for a new designer and I used a lot of fun, coloured tights to play up the dresses and give that awesome (and ever popular) 60s french new wave vibe. So bright tights have been on my mind and even more so after seeing this collection. I’ve always shied away from personally wearing colourful tights, yet I own a ridiculous amount of brightly hued ones. To me, it has to be done right or it looks insane, so I guess thats where my hesitation comes from. Bright colours and a lot of colour can seem scary, but if done right, it can look so visually striking, it’s nearly impossible to look away. Jeremy Scott did this for me. I can’t stop scrolling back and forth and wishing these outfits were my own.
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It’s what’s on the outside…

Until very recently, it felt like I hadn’t been thrifting in ages. I used to thrift at least once a week for my shop, but I’ve sort of put shop updates on the back-burner for a bit while I try to find a better schedule for photographing items and figuring out the overall aesthetic of my shop – do I use a dress form? do I continue modelling the items? should I just hang them?…I digress…all this to say, my thrift store hiatus ended recently because in preparation for a new designers first lookbook I styled and modelled for this past weekend, I headed to a few thrift shops last week to pick up some accessories for the shoot, and of course I found myself getting side tracked and looking for things I’d like to purchase for myself (I’m so bad for this). Sometimes you go thrifting and come away with nothing, and other times it feels like a gold mine. This time around it was a gold mine. I found this vintage houndstooth coat and these shoes (not very weather appropriate, but we weren’t going far and they matched my tights…so sue me) for what felt like mere pennies. It may seem silly to be buying coats this late in the winter game, but I almost never ever say no to a coat if I love it, no matter the season. I truly believe when you live in a climate like this, where it’s cold more often than not, one can never have too many coat options. Since my coat normally covers my outfit, I’d like for my outer layer to speak for itself and reflect my personal style as best it can…and wearing the same thing everyday gets boring, so, coats!!!

What items can you never say no to? What articles of clothing feel like essentials where you live?

*photos by Ryan
Processed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with n3 presetCoat: thrifted vintage
Sweater, hat, purse, tights: H&M
Skirt: Common Sort
Blouse: vintage via Penny Arcade
Shoes & scarf: thrifted