A Royal Dress Code: A Style Guide to the Royal Wedding

 Meghan Markle in  Stella McCartney .

Meghan Markle in Stella McCartney.

Adhering to the criteria of the crown, social media is “frowned upon” at the Royal Wedding. Therefore, the world will be on the edge of their seats until after the I Do’s for the inevitable “Instagram” moments. Until then, here is the 4-1-1 on the styles and etiquette considered at St. George’s Chapel on May 19th, 2018.

With a spring wedding, the invitation calls for simply “formal day dress with hat”. Anyone seen sporting outrageous red carpet duds will be criticized without a doubt. How dare you try and upstage the bride! Although, the Royal Wedding was deemed to be slightly more informal than the last, this definitely did not mean it was appropriate to wear wedges or open-toed shoes. It was key to find the “regal” middle ground. Guests could be seen wearing shoes like the new Legiralia pump from Aldo.

 The Legiralia pump in Bone Nubuck. A modest heel to walk from garden to church -  Aldo

The Legiralia pump in Bone Nubuck. A modest heel to walk from garden to church - Aldo

The Ladies of ET sported head-to-toe Canadian fashion as commonly worn by the bride herself. Cheryl Hickey wore Aleks Susak, Greta Constantine and Velvet Ave while Sangita Patel dressed in Narces and Greta Constantine. The Hosts looked understated yet feminine and elegant while they graced the crowds to cover the most anticipated event of the season.

 Sangita Patel in  Narces  with a  Lilliput  fascinator.

Sangita Patel in Narces with a Lilliput fascinator.

 Cheryl Hickey in  Aleks Susak  and a  Lilliput  hat with Ross Matthews in a  Gotstyle  blazer,  Brooks Brothers  pants and  Aldo  Loafers.

Cheryl Hickey in Aleks Susak and a Lilliput hat with Ross Matthews in a Gotstyle blazer, Brooks Brothers pants and Aldo Loafers.

Much like other traditional weddings, white is off the table.  Female guests assembled amongst the pews in  “delicate” pieces, wearing pastels, soft florals and respecting their environment by covering shoulders and showing minimal cleavage. The trends exuded many characteristics of the label, Ted Baker; known for its feminine prints and lady-like cuts, Ted is a perfect choice for a wedding guest.

Although it is spring, men were expected in a more formal attire. Suits over linen, black over brown when it came to shoes and belts. However, the opportunity was not missed to add a splash of colour with ties and pocket squares. A bowtie from Matty’s Fab Avenue is a must. Be sure to check out their selection of unique accessories that add excitement to any classic look.

Men's fashion for the Royal Wedding was inspired greatly by London style exhibited on the Toronto Blog, The Debonair Dude. Men sported classic morning suits similar to Ross Matthews’ Gotstyle blazer and Brooks Brothers pants. The final touch on his look, a paisley Ted Baker pocket square. For London style, men can always rely on Ted.

 This look by  Verona Suits  was the inspiration for Ross Matthews Royal Wedding Look

This look by Verona Suits was the inspiration for Ross Matthews Royal Wedding Look

For accessories, the key was to keep it simple – do not overdo it. Links of London’s Hope Egg Earrings in White Topaz are the perfect look-a-likes for this modest occasion. Kate Middleton has worn these earrings from the "Hope Collection" on multiple occasions, as the brand is a true favourite of hers.

  Links of London's  Hope Egg Earrings in White Topaz

Links of London's Hope Egg Earrings in White Topaz

 This  Thomas Sabo  “Light of Luna” bracelet in silver is the perfect compliment to any Royal outfit.

This Thomas Sabo “Light of Luna” bracelet in silver is the perfect compliment to any Royal outfit.

Most fascinating about Royal fashion - the opulent hats that are a staple at the most important occasions. To no surprise, Lilliput Hats is a go to as one of Canada’s preeminent milliners for a variety of innovative modern designs. Experts such as owner Karen Ruiz can help you make an eye-catching statement. But, be aware. Fascinators are hit and miss. If you block the view of the alter with an over-the-top headpiece, you will be committing a serious fashion faux pas.

 Sangita Patel in a  Lilliput  Fascinator at Windsor Castle Park.

Sangita Patel in a Lilliput Fascinator at Windsor Castle Park.

In the end, the Royal Wedding was all about classic looks, that just like the Monarchy, will never go out of style. 

 Myself with Cheryl Hickey wearing  Velvet Ave  overlooking Windsor Castle.

Myself with Cheryl Hickey wearing Velvet Ave overlooking Windsor Castle.

Behind Closed Doors - Everyday Valentine Fashion

  #OOTD La Vie En Rose                                                                                            Photo @milohere

#OOTD La Vie En Rose                                                                                            Photo @milohere

February 14th, the day of love. Leading up to this romantic holiday, millions of roses will be imported to Canada and billions will be spent on wine, candy and jewellery. Of course, thousands of men and women will also be shopping for something sexy… Lingerie! Yes, Valentine’s Day is the time to break out the garters and that red, lace teddy that you’ve been saving.

We wear underwear every day, so why do we only bring out the sexy skivvies on special occasions? What we wear with our lovers, to bed, and at home should be just as much a priority as what we wear out on the streets.

The Lounge

After the 9 to 5, comfort is key but you should never sacrifice style. You won’t be cooking dinner in a power suit or a bodycon dress, but what do you change into? Worn out leggings? Your boyfriend’s varsity jersey? We love the home and strive to keep it beautiful, doesn’t it deserve more than old sweats? Loungewear is just as important as that LBD, it’s only what you wear most of the time.

With Athleisure on runways all over the world there’s no shortage of stylish, comfortable, loungewear options. Not content with your current go-tos? Check out the “La Vie en Lounge” collection at @lavieenrose. They have coordinating separates in charcoal, light grey, and baby pink that are sexy and affordable. Long sleeve tops with cold shoulder cut-outs, shorts, camis, drawstring pants, and hoodies. Get it girl! You can be a couch potato and make it look seemingly chic.

PJ Party

Whether you prefer to dream in fleece, lace or simply in the buff, curating your sleep attire is a must. Opt for a pair of capris and a classic graphic PJ tee; simple, cute, and flirty. The Colette sleep shirts @blushlingerie are perfect for your next “Netflix and Chill” date or guilty midnight trip to the fridge.

For the classic silk Mayfair wearer, Kip Sleepwear @kip_sleepwear, is encouraging women to invest in Egyptian cotton pieces with customizable designs. Whatever you choose, may you sleep soundly. It’s exhausting when you slay all day.

Lingerie for Life

Looking for something sexier? Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day to update your "old knickers." For some self-love inspo, creep the Instagram of Charlie Paille @charliepaille. The next time you hit the hay, treat yourself to a risk-eh one of a kind piece designed by the model herself and you may discover improvements in your relationships, including the one with yourself. 

If sexy firemen came knocking on your door, would you be looking calendar worthy? Whether you’re committed for life or dabbling in the dating pool, your after-hours wardrobe should be given the same amount of effort as your everyday style. For an overall undie overhaul, trust the Canadian designed and ethically made lingerie by Mary Young @itsmaryyoung.

Staying home solo this V-Day "bumbling" with a bottle of wine? All the more reason to throw on something that makes you say, “daayyyum,” when you check yourself out in the mirror. From sleeping, to TV binging or sexy-time with your boo, these lingerie brands will have your bottom covered or uncovered - Literally!

FASH-ON MOM from Day to Night.

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Don't ask me how I do it, just watch. Yes, its insanely hard to look my very best and stay on trend as a single working mom of a 5 year old. Rule of thumb, always have your makeup, hair, lashes, and nails DID, and keep your wardrobe simple. 

Stick to black when it comes to looking chic when you're on your feet all day. This faux suede shirt dress from Mendocino is the perfect starting point and price point at only $58.

Pair your little black day dress with black and white Gazelle's for comfort and ease while working or playing in the park.

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It's just as important for your little one to dress the part too. Here, Markus is wearing a Zara camo shit and distressed joggers with an HM bomber jacket and sneakers.

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Headed to dinner or a party with your little one? Dress up this look with these stretchy over the knee boots from Aldo and the Mackage Keeley cross over shoulder bag.

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With clothes like this, call a babysitter and get out on the town. 

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It's Toronto, so keep warm with this Mackage leather jacket found at Mendocino. The perfect piece to take your look from daytime Mummy to, well, whomever you want to be. 

AOC.Photography

New York Fashion "48 hours"

Four cancelled flights, three airports, two delays, and one mechanical issue. Sitting front row New York Fashion Week… Priceless!

NYFW fell in between the dates of the biggest snowstorm of the year. My trip was cut short, my Uber bill came in just under a millions dollars, and an uninvited ex showed up to profess his love. But to be fair, there were no shortage of “pinch myself” moments. A stay-at-home single mom to a three year old, only 365 days ago, NYFW was nothing short of incredible. Here are the key highlights:

#1: #StyledByWendy

“Who dressed you?” is a question for celebrities. When Wendy Bannerman, owner of the luxury fashion retailer North 42 Fashion, asked me this, my initial response was “my own closet”. Luckily, she took over and took me under the #StyledByWendy wing. As a jetsetter and regular at fashion month (the weeks in New York, London, Milan, and Paris), Wendy understands the importance of dressing the part.

Though I’m used to sporting my regular short and tight getup, Wendy encouraged me inside a skirt completely out of my element. The brightly patterned Moschino skirt with the “Caution” banner hugging my waist definitely turned heads on Day 1.

#2: My Kardashian Moment

Day two, #StyledByWendy went beyond a couple of stares. When I climbed out of my Uber black Escalade, in front of the New York Plaza Hotel for the Christian Siriano show, I was overwhelmed by paparazzi and street style photographers: an obvious result of the combination of my gold bodycon Moschino dress and Stuart Weitzman thigh-high boots. Don’t they know I’m not Blair Waldorf? It was definitely more of a Little J moment. Whoever they thought I was, I felt like a Park Avenue Princess.

#3: Backstage at Jenny Packham. Seriously!

NYFW is not inclusive. It’s for the Olivia Palermo’s of the world. Surprisingly, it was quite accessible. Of course, my position as the wardrobe stylist on a hit entertainment show solidified my accreditation for the shows. Even then, the crowd was a combination of students, fashion enthusiasts, writers, stylist, and who knows what. Walking amongst the models getting made up and dressed backstage at the infamous Jenny Packham evening wear show, was nothing short of a “pinch me” moment.

#4: Anything Goes, It’s NYC.

Design rebels Nan Li and Emilia Pfhol truly delivered on my last show at Skylight Clarkson with fabric patterned with the male phallic symbol I dare not say and cutouts showing off the models’ behinds. Painted models and mermaid tails in Hell’s Angels fashion, this show was a commentary on unconventional female empowerment.

Backstage was filled with more surprises as entertainer Cardi B showed off her custom holographic gown adorned with the female unmentionables. Shock value aside, having a look at the garments up close and personal showed masterful craftsmanship and actual wearability when styled correctly.

My first NYFW experience was riddled with extraordinary moments, like hanging out at Soho House, and scoring a table at the fully reserved CATCH courtesy of the owner himself.  Best of all, I got to share my New York experience with my best friend Brian, the celebrity hairstylist who took two days and a reroute to Philadelphia just to join me… Unforgettable.

 

 

New Year. New You. Old Wardrobe.

Staying current with fashion can be exhausting, even for a stylist. Admittedly, dressing myself is the hardest. With all the access and practice, staying focused on one style is arduous because I want everything. With the democratization of fashion making “shiny and new” affordable, along with the constant streaming of images on social media, it’s hard not to give in.

This year, my resolution is to spend less money on fashion. Taking cues from my girls, who in the last year had a preference for costume jewelry at red carpet events, I reassessed my need to sport designer handbags and accessories. I’m not going to lie, I love my Balenciaga, but this year if I need a gold or nude clutch to go with a particular dress, a clutch that I will most likely wear just that one time, I’m heading straight to Aldo.

The same goes for shoes; this fall, I bought the Leggy Lady in velvet Stuart Weitzman boots, easily sold to me when I learned they were just worn by Gigi Hadid. Right now, to my uttermost frustration, they are on sale for HALF OFF. Worst part, I gave away the Sam Edelman replica to a friend back in 2011. Sure, Weitzmans are well made classics, but trends are so fickle and temporary that it’s just not reasonable to spend that kind of dough on thigh-high boots that cannot be worn in the snow, rain, sleet, or quite frankly, any time in Canada.

Getting fit is on everyone’s New Year’s Resolutions list, including mine. Ok, so maybe I don’t need to get fit, but I have made the connection that when I’m not happy with my workout and diet regime, or lack thereof, I spend money unnecessarily on new clothes. This is insanity. We all already have that dress or those jeans that would be killer if we just watched what we ate for two weeks, we wouldn't need another in half a size bigger. This is the majority of my wardrobe and I know that I am not alone. So this year, instead of heading to the mall when that invite arrives, I vow to stay fit and rock what’s already in my closet.

Women only wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time, but we claim our closets are filled with nothing to wear. In order to shop within your own wardrobe, the first thing you must do is strategize your closet. Organization is key, and a classic rule to follow is to throw out whatever hasn’t been worn for over a year.

Get to know your tailor. Have your local alterationist sew darts into a shift dress to make it bodycon. Those stretched out jeans, for just a mere ten dollars, can be resurrected at the dry cleaners by having them dart your pair for a perfect fit. Shorten a midi into and mini, open the neckline on a dress to show off more cleavage (my personal favourite trick) - the possibilities are endless.

No funds for a tailor? Get crafty yourself! Thread a needle to attach a lace trim on the hem of a slip or sweater dress to revamp an oldie into a goodie. Grab sandpaper and a stitch ripper and slaughter an old pair of jeans for spring. Turn an old belt or necklace into a choker. Cut the collar off a sweatshirt or t-shirt for some off-the-shoulder action. Worst case scenario? You ruin it and it becomes pajamas or beach clothes.


Whatever your creative juices employ, turn to your own closet this year before you buy anything new. Trust me, you don’t need it.

Tis the Season to Wear Tinsel

The best thing about “the most wonderful time of the year” is getting dressed up. From decorating the tree to dancing on New Year’s Eve, anything goes when it comes to fashion for the holidays, including your tackiest Christmas sweater. However, the holidays are the best occasion to put forth your personal style and show off. For the style-conscious ladies, here are a few tips to stand out this year:

Wear White: it’s long enough past Labour Day that you can get away with adding white to your winter wardrobe. From a long-sleeve bodycon dress from Fab.foxx to cozy snow bunny sweaters from Mendocino, you’ll be the epitome of White Like Snow.

Smooth Like Velveteen: I’m not just talking about lazer hair removal. Velvet, velour, and all things plush are a must have this year. Show off your texture in a burgundy velvet strap dress from Shop M Boutique or rock the trend with a choker for the not-so-brave. Truth: this fabric actually hides imperfections so you can get away with that dress you might barely squeeze into.

All That Glitters: Ok, don’t pull a Mariah, but the holidays are the time to wear head-to-toe sequins. Head-to-above-the-knee, actually. There are countless mini dresses (from sleeved to strapless) to choose from, and for this, Topshop and H&M have an option for everyone.  Tinsel is for everyone, especially since the thick sequin-covered fabric will hide any part of your worry areas, including your push-up bras and Spanx. In fact, you can hide an entire turkey dinner underneath a great sequin dress. So this season compete with your aunt’s Christmas tree, and shine on!

Feeling Lazy: Cozy up to the fireplace in this year’s hottest trend, the pajama. No longer just for sleeping, Kris Kardashian brought wearing your silk two-piece PJ’s to mainstream fashion. Even Kenzo x HM included a set in their much-anticipated brand collaboration. From silk kimonos trimmed with Hugh Hefner piping to baby doll slip dresses, tis the season to show off your most intimate style.

Not feeling festive this year? Forgo the holiday glam and look chic and by wearing the trendiest colour combo of the year, pink and yellow. No holiday theme song is needed since this palette screams Screw the holidays! in true Fashionista flare.

Whether you want to stand out at the party, or choose to sip on your spiked eggnog in the shadows, there’s a fashion option for everyone. Go wild, or stay low-key; but don’t forget to accessories with Aldo shoes and a pair of hoops. Cause you know what they say, the bigger the hoops…

Make Like TOM* and Follow Suit.

Reacting to the news in July that Toronto Fashion Week was cancelled due to lack of local support, the fashion crowd made a point to celebrate TOM*. It was not void of glitches with the new venue and perhaps too close to Tiff for those already in prep. Present however, was a sense of pride for our community! The most enjoyable Men's Fashion Week experienced to date, TOM SS17 was both emotional and entertaining.

Favorite moment's: Backstage at Zane Barlas, where I was mistaken for my own intern.  Rolling out with the #ETCGlamsquad, and watching former colleague and TV personality, Jake Mossop deliver at Gotstyle's Men's Fashion for Hope.

Design highlights: The Brazilian influence on colourful athletic wear at Joao Paulo Guedes, titled "Tropicalia". The lightweight fabric in hues of blue at Finezza, reflecting the style of designer and classic gentleman, Ivan Lehec. Finally, and most notable, the Arabian influence on the premium collection of contemporary suits presented by Zane Barlas.

The moment that overshadowed them all, was the announcement that TOM* would take on Toronto Women's Fashion Week this Spring. Roger Gingerich, Advisory Council member,  promised a surprise at the close of the last runway presentation, and he delivered.  A tear provoking moment, our community supporting...our community.

Canadian Fashion needs more support. The cancel and revival of Toronto Women's Fashion Week is an opportunity to create something new. Local support is integral.  This year set an example yourself by wearing Canadian designers,  local boutiques and brands. Tag #ISUPPORTCANADIANFASHION to follow suit. Supersede the example set out by TOM*, participate, create, and promote our industry in a greater capacity than before.

For highlights and all things TOM

http://tomfw.com/

Twinfish Lux Style Profile

Name: Alicia McNamara

Occupation: Wardrobe Stylist

How would you define your personal style?: Classy. Chic. Sexy. I like to be feminine, but comfortable at the same time. It may appear effortless, but it’s NOT!

What are your wardrobe staples?: Agent Provocateur undergarments. AG skinny jeans in every colour and wash. Onesies, onesies, onesies!

Where do you find style inspiration?: Other women inspire me. 20-somethings. Watching people in the city. I like to go into all of the stores and see what’s new.

Who are your style icons?: I actually dont have one. I look at all women of all ages and take ideas from everyone.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve worn?: The ladies of The Store On Queen threw a ‘panty party’ at Candyland a few months ago. I wore the full ‘Chiki’ range by Agent Provocateur, with garters and pantyhose… Covered only by a sheer black and nude skirt that I designed.

Which item in your own jewellery collection do you cherish most?: A pair of David Yurman earrings. I bought them for myself at an event where the proceeds benefitted Artists for Peace and Justice.

What are your favourite pieces/products available at TwinfishLux?: The Oscar de la Renta Russian Gold Ribbon Cuff, the Karine Sultan Basketweave Half Hoop Earrings, and the Bounkit Lemon Quartz and Moonstone Ring. They can be worn together, too!

Novella Magazine: What I Wear to Work

Wardrobe Essentials

For the Summer, my jumpsuit from Mendocino is my go-to essential at the moment. I love it because it’s so easy to slip into, you can look chic instantly, and there is no styling required. For Fall, I love wearing a sexy long sleeved dress from M Boutique When I’m styling my own outfits I like to throw on  pieces that don’t require too much styling since I’m always on-the-go.

Uniform

Admittedly, I have conformed to the Toronto stylist uniform- AG skinny jeans distressed in every colour from Over the Rainbow paired with a black or white tee from LNA, and a Rudsak leather jacket.  I’m on my feet all day, so I tend to gravitate towards a pair Converse for comfort. It’s difficult to look chic everyday so I find myself falling into a cycle of dressing in what works best.

Favourite Item in her wardrobe

Silk and lace shorts that I sewed myself

Favourite Accessory

Kindness

Wardrobe stylist at ET Canada, self-proclaimed youth expert, mother, designer, and teacher. Prior to being the sole wardrobe stylist at ET Canada, Alicia worked in costume design in the film industry for eight years. She earned a B.Ed. and Masters at the University of Toronto while working on her passion, drafting patterns and designing eveningwear. As a self-taught sewer, her styling je ne sais quoi comes from a keen eye for design, understanding proportions and fit.