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Lessons Learned at my First Fashion Week

 

 

oxblood, leopard print coat, pink chai, j crew bauble necklaceoxblood, leopard print coat, j crew bauble necklace, pink chaioxblood, leopard print coat, j crew bauble necklace, pink chaioxblood, leopard print coat, j crew bauble necklace, pink chai

Coat: Paris Hilton via Winners (2009) | Tee: Gap | Jeans: BlueNotes | Boots: Spring  Necklace: J Crew Knock-off via Winners

It’s been a little over a week since I got back from World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto and I’m still trying to process the whole experience (hence the unscheduled blogging break). It was a whirlwind week with fashion shows, after parties, and a lot of deep revelations for me. To be perfectly honest, it was the complete opposite of what I was expecting. 

Obviously there were shows – amazing shows, moving shows and, some questionable shows; but there was also a lot of learning moments for me. The first was on opening night as soon as the Pink Tartan show began. When those models started walking down the runway I could feel that little knot in my throat welling up. There is nothing I want more than to one day present a collection of my own under the tents and being there live for the action just gave more fuel to that desire.

Then there was day two; a lot of scrambling for seats at shows, trying to connect with other bloggers, and a whole lot of people watching. I have to say the second day was really disheartening for me (not because of the shows, they were awesome), but watching all the different fashion bloggers in the media lounge it was very evident that I was a bit of a dinosaur in this industry. In the real world I only just turned 32 but in fashion blogging years that might as well be 70. (Don’t believe me, check out this article about fashion bloggers expiring at 35) So there I was, on the other side of the country spending days away from my kids, possibly chasing an impossible dream – not a great feeling.

Thankfully though, there were two shows that put things right back into perspective for me. The first was the Mercedes-Benz Start Up finals which featured designers from across the country competing for a year long mentorship and an opportunity to show at Fashion Week next year. The energy in that room was amazing, so many family members and friends cheering on their favourites. These designers weren’t just sitting around thinking about what they wanted to do, they were doing it! A great kick in the pants for me. 

Equally impacting for me was the Allistyle show. This show featured a line of plus size clothing developed by a mom (Pam) to carry on the vision of her daughter Alli who lost her fight with cancer in 2006. Although I was unimpressed with the attitudes of some of those in attendance at the show, I was moved to the core by this concept. Only a mom could jump in feet first to a completely foreign project and make that vision come true, how could she not, it was for her little girl. Watching those clothes come down the runway made me feel proud to be a mom and motivated me to go after my big dream.Thank you Pam for making Alli’s dream come true and showing me the way back to mine.

So to sum it all up, what I really learned at World MasterCard Fashion Week is that I do belong in the fashion industry, impossible dreams can come true, and most importantly; I’m not 20 something but I am a mom blogger, and I need to own up to that. I know there are other moms out there like me that want to hold on to their identities after having kids and still care about how they dress. So in this new chapter – I’ll be looking for you! 

PS: For those readers that aren’t moms – don’t worry I’m not having another baby and this isn’t going to turn into a parenting blog. I hope I won’t lose you!

 

So I totally neglected talking about my outfit today! Let’s just say I’m kind of obsessed with this beautiful cranberry colour and leopard print right just like everyone else:)

 DON’T FORGET TO JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FASHION TIPS!

What I’ve Been Wearing – Sort Of….

pink chai style, plum clothingDress: Plum Clothing | Cardigan: Van Heusen | Shoes: Payless

The last few days have quite possibly been some of the craziest days of my life. I flew into Toronto on Thursday afternoon for the She’s Connected Conference, and have been attending Fashion Week events since Monday. It has been non-stop action. Unfortunately, since I’ve been travelling on my own it’s been pretty difficult to get outfit photos. These are a few that I managed to grab over the weekend during the conference.The dress above is what I wore to day one of She’s Connected.

merona dress green, target, pink chai styleDress: Target | Shoes: Aldo | Clutch: Rachel Zoe

For a work dinner I went for comfort with a stretch jersey dress and flat shoes. I even converted a travelling jewelry box into a clutch because my shoulder was sore from lugging around my bag all day! The only reason that my hair looks so done up is that the girls from the Blo Bar were on site at the conference doing hair. 

pink chai style, blo barThe real “blo-boss” was the lady working on my hair!

red pants,black blazer, pink chai stylePants: Banana Republic | Top: Gap | Blazer: Plum Clothing

This is what I wore on the second day of the conference when I was a presenter. This blazer is my new favourite piece of clothing, seriously, I can’t get enough of it. Ironically, there was another blogger at the conference wearing nearly the exact same outfit!

pink chai styleSeriously – what are the chances?

pink chai styleBallerina Skirt: Thrifted | Tank Top: Old Navy | Blazer: Plum Clothing

And of course, no weekend away would be complete without my pink ballerina skirt. Technically this was not even on my packing list, but at the last minute I threw it into my suitcase. I ended up wearing it for a dinner out with some girlfriends and later changed it up just a little for dessert at the Ritz. (That sounds fancy but scroll down to find out how you can be a girl on a budget even at the Ritz Carlton!)

pink chai styleHonestly, I had never been to the Ritz before and was expecting the desserts to be pretty pricey; surprisingly they were very reasonable. The best deal was this giant bowl of candy floss that was only $2. That’s right, you can be luxurious on a budget, I did it! 

PS: A big thank you and virtual hug to my friend Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch for taking all these pictures for me.

World MasterCard Fashion Week: Day One

Yesterday I attended day one of World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, also my first fashion week ever. I have been anticipating this day since I first took the plunge and bought my ticket to Toronto this summer. It’s a long a way to come (and a lot of days without my kids) to pursue a passion. 

After weeks of obsessing over the perfect dress for opening night, I put on my outfit got all dolled up and headed out to the tents. Then I finally mustered up the courage to ask a beautiful young girl if she would take my picture only to realize there was no SD card in my camera! Earlier in the day I had decided to delete all the pictures that were no longer needed to makes space for all the snapping I would be doing at the shows, and you know how the rest of the story goes.

Luckily for me, I found a moment and a willing iPhone photographer to take this picture:

plum clothing, simone, world mastercard fashion week, toronto fashion weekSo it’s a little blury, but it’s better than nothing. The dress and the blazer are from Plum Clothing, and I love how they came together. I will definitely wear this outfit again for a proper round of photos. 

Once the shock of being unable to take pictures wore off it was time to focus on the shows. The first show was by Holt Renfrew and seemed like it featured pieces that were currently in store. It was a bit disappointing since it was the opening show of the Spring/Summer 2013 collections, but still a delight to watch. It’s not often that I get to see pieces by Gucci, Prada, and Burberry come down a runway so it was a feast for the eyes.

The show that really stole my heart though was Pink Tartan. It had a very 50′s feel with full skirts, high-low hemlines, and Victorian inspired pieces. They really lived up to their tagline of “from day to dinner.” I was smitten by the pastels, pink, and butterfly prints – it doesn’t get better than that.world mastercard fashion week, toronto fashion week, pink tartan spring 2013

 

Charlotte Free for Pink Tartan – Image Courtesy of BeautyConnexion.com

Then they took it up a notch by having Charlotte Free walk the runway with her signature pink hair and carefree attitude. I loved her energy and the  touch of sass she brought to the very lady-like line, it was the perfect marriage. (Charlotte is also the face of Maybelline Cosmetics who are a sponsor of World MasterCard Fashion Week).

The final show of the night was by Pavoni, and it was stunning. Beautifully fitted, sequin covered, lace and cut-out details; every gown that came down the ramp was red-carpet ready. I was so mesmerized by the show and the intricate details on the dresses that I didn’t even try to capture a blurry iPhone pic, thankfully; the Huffington Post took some.

Pavoni Spring 2013, Toronto Fashion Week, Pink Chai StyleImage via – Huffington Post  

When I woke up this morning I was still in shock from the amazing evening -even with the epic photo fail, it was such an inspiring night! So many well dressed spectators, big names in the front row, and my own run in with Canadian fashion royalty – Jeanne Beker. I’m still giddy over the fact that I got to chat with the lady that brought fashion to my living room for years and gave me the first taste of what would become my life long passion. 

Printed Dress and Oversized Cardigan

Floral Dress Gap, Oversize Cardigan, Pink Chai StyleFloral Dress Gap, Oversized Cardigan, Pink Chai Floral Dress Gap, Oversized Cardigan, Pink Chai

Daily Outfit:

  • Printed Dress: Gap (2011)
  • Oversized Cardigan: Van Heusen Factory Store
  • Shoes: Payless Shoes (2011) 

Printed dresses are a real staple piece in my wardrobe. I love to wear them casual in the summer, dressed up with a blazer for work, and layered with cardigans in the fall. This oversized cardigan is one of my new fall pieces and I think it will be great everyday piece. 

In other news, I went to see my hairdresser on the weekend and she informed me that the bottom of my hair was extremely damaged and dry, and convinced me to take off three inches. She also insisted on “cleaning up” my bangs – which never ends well. Let’s just say this look hasn’t exactly grown on me yet, and it won’t be long before I’m growing out my bangs again. 

Floral Dress Gap, Oversized Cardigan, Pink Chai The same dress worn with brown accessories for a work even last year.Floral Dress Gap, Oversized Cardigan, Pink Chai JOIN ME ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FASHION TIPS AND OUTFIT IDEAS!

Ballerina Skirt: My Birthday Suit

ballerina skirt, sequin tank, black blazer, pink chai styleballerina skirt, sequin tank, black blazer, pink chai style

  • Ballerina Skirt: Thrifted
  • Black Blazer: Plum Clothing
  • Sequin Tank: Old Navy
  • Shoes: Aldo Shoes

Birthdays are the perfect excuse to get dressed up and  rock your favourite ballerina skirt! This skirt is one of my best finds ever, and I’ve been thinking about different ways to style it for fall and winter for weeks now. Finally it came together with my new black blazer and a pair of black hose. 

Sometimes we can be a bit premature in labelling a certain piece as only for summer or fall, but with a little creative styling you can wear your favourite pieces all year.

 

PS: In case you are wondering it really is my birthday today!

ballerina skirt, sequin tank, black blazer, pink chai styleHere’s the same ballerina skirt worn in a summer outiftballerina skirt, sequin tank, black blazer, pink chai styleJOIN ME ON FACEBOOK FOR MORE FASHION TIPS AND OUTFIT IDEAS!

Daily Outfit: Time Out

Blazer: Joe Fresh | Tank: Old Navy | Pants: Banana Republic Factory Store | Shoes: Aldo

Today’s pictures are actually a left over set of photos from last month (pre-haircut of course). These never made it onto the blog because my friend that took them was in the middle of moving, and it just didn’t seem right to bug her for pictures when all of her belongings were still packed up. And as you’ll see from reading my story below, I’ve been a little too grumpy this week to take fresh photos….

Today’s post is kind of deep for me. It’s something I’ve dealt with before and even touched on in previous posts but haven’t really explored. The last two weeks have been really up and down for me. It seems like everyday I’m worked up about what to wear, stressed out if it’s “good enough” for the blog, and freaking out about pictures. Are the locations good enough, is my hair out place, is there a wrinkle in my skirt, and other general nonsense. My husband would gladly testify how not charming my attitude has been!

The irony in all of this, is that Pink Chai Style is supposed to be a personal style blog – an online diary of my daily outfits. As much as I love it being an inspiration source for other women (especially Moms), I don’t want my blog to become fake. This is a real life blog, what I wear everyday is what I take photos of. Sometimes that means my outfits might be a little plane Jane, or basic – but that’s the real me; dressed up to the nines one day and jeans and a t-shirt the next.

Now that we have that covered, here’s the other side of the equation – I also want people to visit my blog, and for that to happen I need to produce unique fresh content. No one wants to come back to a blog to see the same outfit everyday. This is where it get’s tricky. Suddenly you are dealing with the desire to be your authentic self while trying to come up with all these great new outfits that your readers will find inspiring and want to tweet, pin, and share. 

Honestly, I’m still working on how to find the balance between complete authenticity and interesting content. I wondered if I should even talk about this here in the open on my blog, but I figured why not – it is my personal space. I also feel like it’s an issue that a lot of women can relate to whether they are fashion bloggers or not. Have you ever started a new job and wondered if you should dress how you love to, or if you need to fit into an office standard (even if it’s below your standard). Or maybe you got married and suddenly felt pressure to dress a certain way to fit into the norms of your new in-laws. How we dress has a huge effect on us psychologically, and if we aren’t happy about it, it shows in other areas of our life.

In my case my frustration with my wardrobe has mainly shown itself through my grumpy behaviour with my husband. So in the interest of my mental health and relationship, I’m putting myself in time out this weekend. I will take some time to refresh and recharge, and also work on being a little easier on myself when it comes to the blog. And I promise to go back to light-weight easy to read writing next week:)

Sparkle tank also worn earlier this year for a girls night out

Pink Chai Television?

Rather than sharing an outfit picture today, I’d like to introduce you to my other little hobby…filming fashion segments! Yup, Pink Chai also has a You Tube Channel.

Here’s one of my recent videos. Check it out and let me know what you think!

Also, if you haven’t done it already….would love for you to vote for me in the Open Road Auto Group Vlogger contest. It’s super easy to vote, just log into Facebook and hit vote next to my name. It is a daily voting contest so you can go back as many times as you like before July 31st. Thanks!

Here’s the link: http://bit.ly/LylJeI

Win a Beautiful Elephant Bangle from Pondicherry!: CLOSED

 

Elephant Bangle from Pondicherry Shop

*Update: This give away is now closed! The winner is Tiffany from Have Breakfast with Tiffany.

This week you have a chance to win this beautiful elephant bangle from Pondicherry. It’s perfect to wear alone, or paired with an arm party of favorites! What do you have to do to get hooked up? It’s simple:

  1. Visit Pondicherry on their Facebook page and hit like
  2. Come back here and leave me a comment telling me that you did it

Giveaway open until Monday July 2nd and 8pm PST. Open to Canadian and US residents, only, winner will be decided using random.org. 

Can’t wait to shop? Pondicherry is offering 15% off to readers of Pink Chai Style on all purchases – just use the code “APPRECIATE15″ at checkout.

Pink Chai featured on IFB Links A La Mode!

I’m so excited that one of my posts has been selected for the weekly Links A La Mode feature over at Independent Fashion Bloggers! Be sure to check out all of the other amazing bloggers that were featured below.

 

Summer starts here!

Edited by: Emily of Sugar & Spice

My first week editing Links a la Mode and so many amazing posts to choose only 20 from! Today marks the first day of summer for the northern hemisphere and judging by my choice below, I am willing summer to start in earnest in the UK! In the meantime, there’s tips on keeping stylish in the rain. One of the things I love about the fashion blogging community is the creativeness that it breeds and this week is no exception with a few brilliant and on-trend DIYs for your to try at home. If DIY-ing isn’t your thing but you still like to save your pennies there are posts for splurging or saving too.

LINKS À LA MODE: THE IFB WEEKLY ROUND UP: JUNE 21ST

    • Law Moda: Ikat: a history of this summer’s print

 

SPONSOR:

New Bags ShopbopFerragamo, Gucci, YSL, Totes, Addition, Chloe, M. Williamson, Valenentino Bags, Rachel Comey, Tucker, Hindmarch & Margiela Bags

If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode group will be published later today. ~Jennine

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