Friday, 30 October 2015

Costumes Compilation

Photo by Kimmie Hoang


Halloween affords an excellent excuse to sew something different from the usual and to adopt a new identity so long as it's not grossly offensive. Honestly, I am not a fanatic when it comes to this day, but when there's reason to dress up I will take up the opportunity. One of my best friends, Lauren, suggested I write a post about costumes I have designed or made in the past. So let's get started!


Frida Kahlo 
I was planning on just letting Halloween slip me by this year. However, my dear Lauren decided to host a Halloween extravaganza, and I absolutely must be there for the Polyjuice Potion. With only a couple weeks remaining, a mild panic attack surfaced as I tried to devise an interesting yet easy costume. Who shall I impersonate this year? Inspired by the Pirate Lass in the 01/2013 issue of BurdaStyle, I used some of the elements to make a peasant blouse and ruffled skirt for Frida. The floral crown was made by attaching faux flowers onto a plastic headband with wire.

Photo by Kimmie Hoang
Photo by Kimmie Hoang


Patchface (2014)
Last year, I had the honour of creating a costume, for my friend Evan. He created the concept of Patchface, and my role was to take the drawings and bring the elements to life. The many pieces meant many fittings and many sleepless nights trying to figure out how to construct all seven of them - the jester hood, collar, mantle, doublet, shirt, pants, and it wouldn't be complete without a generous codpiece. When I got to see him truly bring that sinister jester to life, was that ever worth the insomnia.

Photo by Tye Eldridge
Photo by Tye Eldridge


Snow White (2009)
This costume was made with the pattern, Simplicity 2813. (There's one for Cinderella in there as well.) At the time my hair was in a short bob, and I really wanted to don a cape. The photos, here, were taken a couple years later for my working dossier, so my hair would have naturally grown out by then.


Photo by RJ Jimenez
Photo by RJ Jimenez


Mulan (2004)
Growing up, I had a madness for Mulan as she was the only relatable Disney princess. Without question, I had to be her! I designed the costume and picked out the materials while my mother drafted the patterns and assembled it all together. This costume also received some wear from my cousins and my sister over the years. To this day (as pictured), it still fits except I am now tall enough to fill the skirt without the hem trailing on the ground.

Photo by Kimmie Hoang
Photo by Kimmie Hoang

What will you be for Halloween this year?


xo Ann


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Tuesday Thoughts: Get to Know

                             

1. What’s your favourite thing about fall?
I love that you can layer up and wear cozy (DIY knit) scarves and also wear cute boots! Also fall is when you can go on walks and breath in the cool, crisp air, while you hear the crunch of the fallen leaves under your feet.

2. What’s your favourite store? 
I honestly don't really have a favourite store. Usually, I shop online or when I travel overseas. But if I do have to select places in Edmonton I'd say Aritzia, Oak+Fort, and Forever 21.

3. Where do you get your style inspiration? 
Hmm... I don't really know to be honest haha. I wear pretty much anything I feel comfortable in! 

4. What’s your favourite quote? 
My favourite is from Proverbs in the Bible.
5. What do you appreciate most about Edmonton? 
I love how Edmonton is such a peaceful city, and how everyone is super chill and knows how to take things easy! =]

6. What’s your favourite place to travel?
I love Korea and Hong Kong in terms of shopping! OH, and CALIFORNIA!!! I didn't ever got a chance to get through the entire Disneyland yet!!! I also really enjoyed visiting Florida, Hawaii, and the Caribbean! The crystal clear waters totally made up for the unbearable heat. They also have outlet malls, which I like spending time at. I'll be visiting the U.K. soon, and also maybe Alaska within the next year, so I'm excited to see how they will be like!

7. What’s your favourite blog post so far?
I'm going to have to say the RIMLEY blog post as well. I enjoyed doing the makeup and directing some of the photography!

8. What did you enjoy about the Human Ecology Program?
I learned more about myself, and also how to manage with a variety of different personalities we will have to encounter in the real world. 

9. What’s one goal you plan to accomplish before the end of 2015?
To finish my first semester of my studies in the Dental field, and to hopefully grow and have more creative content up on my Youtube account. If you haven't already, come visit me at my personal channel and Facebook page!

10. Fun Fact:
I love creating, and I love working with my hands. Hence, my dream full time career is to be in the cosmetics field! I also have a thing for sweets - especially anything with white chocolate.




xo Carmen

Friday, 23 October 2015

Boots to Fall For



Boots:

The mode of footwear that bears the most versatility and character. Generally, we create an outfit and then select the appropriate shoes to go with it. In this style post, we are switching it up by creating a look based on what we feel reflects the "personality" of our boots. 


Classic 

Knee-high black boots are a staple to any wardrobe for their versatility. They make being chic in the fall/ winter an easy feat. Sarah keeps it classic with a woven coat draped over with a plaid blanket scarf. A pop of bright blue adds a touch of vibrance to an otherwise classic autumnal palette. Needless to say, we know that the true showstopper here are Sarah's plush lips!




Edgy

Steph's strappy ankle boots are dying for a rebellious look. She does so by building her outfit in a jacket rampant with leather and hardware details. A pair of shorts worn over black tights, a slouchy beanie, and flaming lips finishes off this evocation of allure and aloofness. And of course, what could be edgier than a smiling skull?




Dapper

A pair of patent leather, tasseled Chelsea boots afford a sense of whimsy. Ann plays that up with a menswear-inspired getup complete with a shirt, blazer, trousers, and a felted bowler hat (naturally). A shiny trench coat highlights the sheen from the boots and breaks up the matte look. Playful it may seem, but the lady means business.




xo Meraki Connexion

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tuesday Thoughts: Get to Know

                                    
1. What’s your favourite thing about fall?
I love that this season is the lead up to winter, where it's all about the boots, scarves and coats. Nothing beats drinking a cup of freshly brewed tea while wearing fuzzy socks and reading a book!

2. What’s your favourite store? 
There are so many how can I just choose one?! Currently Abercrombie & Fitch or Sephora

3. Where do you get your style inspiration? 
I'd like to think my style is inspired by people like Lauren Conrad, Zoella and the cast of Pretty Little Liars, but I'm not sure that gives off a very defined style. 

4. What’s your favourite quote? 
There are so many times while reading a book that I've found myself feeling moved by a phrase written by the author. I read The Twits by Roald Dahl numerous times as a child and will always remember this quote!



5. What do you appreciate most about Edmonton? 
This city has so much potential in development and our local businesses. This summer I found myself appreciating more of Edmonton's city attractions, events and great scenic sights.

6. What’s your favourite place to travel? 
My heart belongs to London. That is all I have to say.

7. What’s your favourite blog post so far? 
The Rimley Collab - I loved wearing Rachelle's jewelry!

8. What did you enjoy about the Human Ecology Program? 
Although I am the person you would expect to answer this question with "nothing, I hated everything", I have to confess I did learn a lot through the variety of courses in my degree. I am happy that I have a background that involves design, marketing, and textile science, which not a lot of others can claim. I also am so grateful to meet these lovely girls in Human Ecology!

9. What’s one goal you plan to accomplish before the end of 2015? 
To own a dog. Ha okay that's not realistic. How about to drink more water?

10. Fun Fact: 
Chocolate is one of my least favourite foods. I only have love for white chocolate, although many would argue that isn't even real chocolate. I just don't understand why people have such a craving for it; don't even get me started on chocolate cake - yuck.




xo Steph

Friday, 16 October 2015

Fall Beauty

Fall is my favourite season of the year mostly because it signifies the months leading up to the winter holidays. There is something about walking in boots, layering knits and adoring darker colours that get's me all too excited! You might want to grab a cup of tea, cause this is a little longer post :)


If you know me, it's not too often I have bare finger nails. As the seasons change, so do my choices of nail colours. In the Fall I like to go for more neutral tones. If it is a brighter colour I tend to choose more rich jewel tones.
These are some of my top picks:

Julep: Briana, Rooney, Ellis
Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy: Perfect Pair, Queen of Hearts, Double Down
Essie: Sable Collar, Cashmere Robe, Penny Talk

Inspired by manicures found on Pinterest, I attempted a couple of nail designs. The first look features an accent finger simply drawn on with a sharpie, followed by a clear top coat. Fun fact: if you make a mistake makeup remover removes the sharpie without ruining your polish!

Julep: Ellis 

This second manicure takes a little more precision and patience. I first painted my nails with a neutral shade and let them dry. Then I used scotch tape to block off the top half of my nail (Pro tip: painter's tape/washi tape makes the removal process much easier!) and painted the bottom half with another polish. When completely dry, remove the tape and finish off with a clear coat.

Julep: Margit and Nails Inc. London: St Martin's Lane

Not only have I changed up the colours of my polish but I've also changed up my everyday make up look. I've recently become a little obsessed with berry and rose toned lip colours. I'm still trying to convince myself to become brave enough to wear these on a daily basis... For now I'll pull them out once a week. 

NARS satin lip pencil in Rikugien, Revlon colorburst matte balm in Sultry, Hikari lip gloss in Merlot

Wearing a bolder lip leads me to tone down the intensity of colour used on my eyes. The Urban Decay Naked Basics eyeshadow palette is my everyday holy grail. (I really rely on this too much.) In the looks below I went for a neutral matte, a soft plum, and a rosey copper to compliment the lip colours worn.

Hikari lip gloss in Merlot
Clinique different lipstick in A Different Grape
NARS satin lip pencil in Rikugien

I've been recieving gorgeous eyeshadows in my subscription boxes and am way too stoked to crack them open to experiment! I hope this post inspired you to maybe try out a new colour for your nails, or a new lipstick, or maybe change your entire make up look for the fall. Whatever it is, I hope you all are enjoying fall as much as I am!


xo Steph




Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Tuesday Thoughts: Get To Know


                         
1. What's your favourite thing about fall?
Hands down it's the changing of leaves because of how special and short of a time frame they last. In a blink of an eye, we are welcomed by the transformation of trees into an array of fall colours, and in another blink, they disappear without a goodbye. 

2. What's your favourite store?
Zara.

3. Where do you get your style inspiration?
I love reading fashion blogs and being inspired by what I see on other people. There's a genuine authenticity to seeing real people make use of what they have as I see their unique expression of personality and individuality in what they wear. I am also inspired by juxtaposition with the mixing of high vs. low price points, feminine vs. masculine styles, rustic vs. edgy pieces, and how contrast can bring out the best of both worlds. 

4. What's your favourite quote?
So many! I adore quotes.. this is hard... but if I had to pick one and only one, this would be it:
This quote is thought provoking and challenging because I never want to hide beneath the risks it takes to not do something. I want to continually grow and strive for my passions and goals and this quote captures that beautifully. To never stop dreaming big and to never give up when times do get tough, because they will, but it's what you do despite the difficulties that showcases what you can achieve. 

5. What do you appreciate most about Edmonton?
The supportive community has truly been astounding to me. The way new businesses are able to thrive via startup pitches and crowd funding, the way local foodies venture to every new pop up or food truck location, the way we just share ideas, talk about ideas, and make ideas happen is such an inspiration to this city and what Edmonton is growing upon. 


6. Where would you love to travel?
Uyuni, Bolivia to see the salt flats! 

7. What's your favourite blog post so far?
Our first feature together, Wedding Guest Looks. Not only was it our first photoshoot together for the blog, but the planner in me adore weddings and dressing up to celebrate a couple's special day. The location of the shoot was a beautiful gem we stumbled upon in the University area and though it was a quick shoot, we had tons of fun and it spiraled a quick desire to collaborate more often.  

8. What did you enjoy about the Human Ecology program?
I really liked the community and ethics aspect of it. As a smaller program, I connected with and befriended many classmates, such as these lovely ladies I get to blog with on this platform. The values system of Human Ecology also hit home as they were closely relatable to those of my own. 

9. What's one goal you plan to accomplish before the end of 2015?
I hope to cut down on eating out, be wise in my choices when I do eat out, and make an effort to cook more and explore the possibilities of what I can create in the comfort of a kitchen. As the temperatures dip, this shouldn't be too hard, but we shall see!

10. Fun fact.
I can count to ten in ten languages, and I say this with a grateful, loving, and cultured heart.


xo Sarah

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Thanksgiving Thoughts

From us to you, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

It's so nice to have a long weekend to enjoy and spend time with loved ones. In light of this weekend, we want to share what we're thankful for with all of you. We hope that Thanksgiving serves as a reminder to express thankfulness more often than we tend to do. A heart of gratitude makes all the difference!

Ann
I am grateful for the patience of my family. Even though they aren't very expressive, they show me their support in other ways - quieter ways. I'll be honest, these are the people I have taken for granted. I have placed them in the background because I saw them everyday for so many years. It reached a point where it basically became a nuisance to me. Even though we do not agree on a lot of things, in times of sorrow they are shining examples of a persevering love. I guess it's really not all that bad living with them. For one thing, free delicious home-cooked meals.

Moreover, I appreciate the support of my friends. It's easy to collect friends or followers, but how many can say that they have truly valuable companions who will stand up for you? Although few, I am blessed to have friends who genuinely care for my well-being and who encourage me to keep trekking on.

"It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people that are happy." - Anonymous

Steph
I am thankful for all the great opportunities I have experienced this year so far. Being an introvert getting to know others or placing myself in new situations do not come easily. I am grateful to have the ability to travel to explore new places and meet new people. This might sound strange but I am also thankful to live in an era where technology and the internet so readily exists. We might not even think of how reliant we are on this. Without it I may not have developed the great friendships I have today or even know of the infinite possible opportunities that exist! Now let's be honest (you can interpret this however you like), many of my life choices and opportunities are given thanks to the existence of boy bands. 




Carmen
I am thankful for a family that loves and sacrifices for us. Families are very significant in the role that they play and sometimes valuing them is easier said than done. I am also thankful for good health as that is a tremendous gift and shouldn't be something we take for granted. Lastly, for all the blessings I've had and all the mistakes I've made in the past as these things has allowed me to grow and learn from them. 

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Sarah
I am thankful for all the experiences I've been able to persevere and learn from. This year has pushed me out of my shell in various ways. It has been a huge learning curve from taking a step back from an eventful schedule to better my own self care, travelling with not so like minded travel mates to be aware of selflessness, and welcoming and appreciating faces in my life that I may have been reluctant to accept. I praise God for being so fruitful and pushing me to seek growth despite the obstacles that came my way. Lastly, I'm so grateful to have this creative outlet to venture into!




There is always something to be thankful for. What are you giving thanks for today?


xo Meraki Connexion

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Tuesday Thoughts: Get to Know

                       
1. What's your favourite thing about fall?
Layering and boots. There's just a level of sophistication with autumnal wear when you look like a cozy lump.

2. What's your favourite store?
Anthropologie.

3. Where do you get your style inspiration?
If we're talking icons, then I draw my inspiration from the classics such as Audrey Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich, Ava Gardner, and Grace Kelly. Their manners were elegant and their styles tasteful. When building my wardrobe, I seek out items that are unusual in their shape or texture. I also love mixing multiple prints in a single outfit. All the same, I make an effort to wear my clothes for years and years. I'm still wearing garments I've had since high school, but then again, I have grown very little since.

4. What's your favourite quote?
I will admit though, I still greatly struggle with the discipline of forgiveness. It's one of those things you know you should but you don't. When I am able to forgive freely and generously, I know it will take away a huge part of that anger and bitterness I harbour in this petite frame. It's honestly the most difficult thing to do.

5. What do you appreciate most about Edmonton?
The growing cafe culture and how the Edmonton Public Library has made it so much easier to access resources. I love being able to put my requested items on hold online and then have them sent to my preferred location.






6. Where would you love to travel?
Spain. Am I allowed to say pretty much everywhere?

7. What's your favourite blog post so far?
The "Fall Layering" post. I chose this post not necessarily for its content but rather because of how quickly I was able to find joy with these ladies. That day the weather was gloomy, and my heart was in turmoil. Having spent time with them, I was able to focus on more productive activities and enjoy myself whilst in their company. 

8. What did you enjoy about the Human Ecology program?
I enjoyed dabbling into the various facets of this field as there was more to clothing and textiles than what I knew. Although, I do still prefer the design aspect. I also liked being able to identify fabrics and learning the correct names for specific garments. 

9. What's one goal you plan to accomplish before the end of 2015?
To master extreme contouring. Also, there's ample time to build a collection for next spring's fashion week.

UPDATE: Ann has now moved to Calgary for work. Consequently, she will be taking a hiatus, from her sewing ventures, as she delves into her new job, adjusts to a new city, and takes on the massive responsibilities of becoming an independent woman.

10. Fun fact.
My chompers would have never looked like this now had it not been for a combination of braces and jaw surgery. The procedure was intended to help me have fewer problems with eating, but it's nice for me to feel more comfortable with my smile. 



xo Ann

Friday, 2 October 2015

Western Canada Fashion Week: Collection Favourites


It was a celebration of the local designers and the incredible talent found right here in our city. This year we played audience (with the exception of Carmen, our bustling makeup artist) to simply enjoy watching the show. September 23rd was when we attended, and below are selections of our most-adored ensembles from each collection.




Evocative of the 90's minimalist aesthetic; an elevated reinvention of casual wear

Ann's Pick
I have chosen this for its textural difference observed in the top and cropped soft pants. The satin sheen, in conjunction with the matte bottoms, adds to the elegance portrayed throughout this collection. Also, may we please take a moment to gush over the metallic "brown bag" bags?!


Sarah's Pick
This two-piece just screams ultra comfort and makes me want to lounge in them at home. Dare I say for running errands as well?! "C" for chic and "C" for cozy!


Stephanie's Pick
I love this look as it's a fresh take on the matching crop top and skirt combo. The wrap front on the skirt and hi-low cut of the top give the outfit an edgy vibe while still being classic and minimalist. The best part of Alyssa's collection is knowing that these trendy pieces are environmentally conscious and ethically produced.


Carmen's Makeup
This season, I had the great privilege of being part of the makeup team for New Classics Studios. Working along the premise of the company's aim for sustainability and minimalism, the makeup had to reflect those values. It was kept very nude and simple with a focus on clear, dewy skin. A gleam of gold heightens this radiated look.





Fierce and feminine street style; unbridled details

Ann's Pick
The long tunic with the high slit and pants is reminiscent of the Vietnamese ao dai. The look is slenderized by the tie belt accentuating the waistline as well as the fitted pants. When in motion the chiffon tunic bounces and flows with the wearer, creating an ethereal aesthetic. I also desperately want the model's gold shoes.


Sarah's Pick
I love this feminine versus edgy juxtaposition with the floral top and the strategically placed sheer panels and "skin" space (negative space). The garment was well-tailored to suit the model, and the proportions were just right.


Stephanie's Pick
There are so many pieces in this collection that I love and can see myself wanting to purchase. It made choosing my favourite piece rather challenging! However, these denim cropped pants stole the show for me. I'm all about the high-waist and loose, flowing style.





A celebration of Aboriginal motifs; high-contrast design lines and unique draping

Ann's Pick
There are just so many interesting features on this dress - the asymmetrical neckline, the colour-blocking, and the draped side to name the most notable ones. Sometimes incorporating all these into one garment can appear overwhelming; however, this dress demonstrates that they can work harmoniously to create a striking yet marketable garment.


Sarah's Pick
I love the black and white high-collared dresses, in the print of arrowheads, worn by twins as they entered the catwalk. It was as though I was seeing double, and that left a strong impression. In doing so, it brought out the boldness and parallels in the design – very sharp and attention grabbing.


Stephanie's Pick
This was my favourite look because although the front is sleek and simple, the other side of the dress features a beautifully draped low back. It was a great twist on the classic black dress. Even though this collection displayed great fashion, I was most taken by the immaculate braids and sleek ponytail combination.


For additional photos from this event, check it out here via Western Canada Fashion Week. Which collections were your favourites? Indeed, we are very looking forward to the next season come spring!

& Carmen backstage doing makeup!

xo Meraki Connexion