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Curvy Canadian

Curvy Canadian: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Line: Attitude Jay Manuel for Sears Canada

Hey everyone,

If you are as avid a fashion magazine reader as I am, you will have seen the new campaign for Jay Manuel's new line, Attitude, with Sears Canada - Sorry to the US peeps on here, it has launched in Canada first, with possibilities of expansion into the US stores at some point in the future - when does this ever happen? Usually it's the other way around!

For those of you who didn't know, Jay Manuel (also known as "Mr. Jay" on the show America's Next Top Model), is actually Canadian - born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario. Gotta love homegrown talent!

Anyways, I've seen a picture of this amazing coat in a campaign in this month's Flare, Elle Canada, and Fashion magazines, and I was like, woah, that's an amazing coat.

But like I do with most things I see in fashion magazines, I looked and passed over it, assuming it would not be available in my size and be way out of my price range. Well, I was wrong on both counts. For once, I am happy to admit it! The line actually goes up to a size 18. The most expensive piece in the range is actually this coat, which retails for $229.99, and is currently on sale online for 40% off (until tomorrow). Trust me when I say I am having the hardest of times not breaking out my credit card right now.

How did I find all of this out, you might (not) wonder... Well, I actually was fortunate enough to win tickets to an event where I got to preview the line and meet Mr. Jay himself, courtesy of Fashion Magazine Canada! I have been very lucky through twitter! Up until now, I have not won many things, but I keep getting goodies by retweeting things! I love it!

Jay talked about how he was pleased that he could offer the line to a wider size range of women, and explained that if a piece wasn't going to look good on women at any size, then he simply wouldn't put it in his collection. He also reiterated one of Coco Chanel's oft quoted design principles; that fashion is not about size, but about proportion, and that a woman can be stylish at any size. Have I mentioned that I <3 him? The presentation of the collection was really wonderful, and a montage began before a short (5 look) runway show. The montage showed Jay working with other designers, models, etc., and Billie Holiday's song, "I'll be Seeing You," set the mood for the nostalgic collection, which evokes 1970s luxury. I was very excited to see the collection, especially after finding out the garments would fit and hearing Jay talk about it. The collection is really lovely and I am hoping I will get to see a full fashion show of the collections Spring 2012 looks at LG Toronto Fashion Week in October.

Here are a few pictures I was able to snap while watching the show...They are a little unclear since I was a bit far back and because the models were moving... But you get the idea.

Aren't all of the looks pretty? I really love that Winter white suit, and I am also loving the pink and black jackets! After the runway show, I actually got to meet Jay and get his autograph. He is such a nice, down-to-earth person! We talked about the line, and how I was really happy to see a designer step outside of the ends-at-size-14 business model. He was really receptive to everything I had to say and he was totally nice. The first thing he did when he saw me was say "look at you! So chic!" and said he really liked my outfit, and that he especially loved my hat. I was totally blushing, because that means like, a lot, you know? Coming from him...! Anyways, I did put a bit of extra effort (read: I pulled every piece out of my closet mixing and remixing and ended up with clothes strewn all over my room) into my outfit that day because I knew I was meeting Jay, and the fashion context allowed me to be a bit more bold with my choices. I decided to go with a monochromatic look because monochromatic dressing was quite pervasive on the Fall 2011 runways (and is actually carrying over into the Spring 2012 collections). Think of it as the antithesis to colour blocking! You can see some pictures of what I'm talking about from Lanvin's, Blumarine's, and Michael Kors' Fall 2011 collections. You don't have to worry about being all "matchy-matchy" anymore - it's in this season!

I was a bit nervous to try this look out for myself, because it is kind of dramatic, and I was wondering how people on the streetcar would respond to it. It was fine. I think I added the touches of brown because I couldn't fully commit to everything being one colour. Baby steps... LOL.

Hat, Belt, and Earrings - Thrifted/Dress and Bracelets - Forever 21/Purse - CBX/Shrug - Dots/Tights - Addition Elle/Shoes - Payless

And I finally got to meet Jay, which you can tell from my expression in the picture below that I'm really happy about... LOL. It was a great event. Thanks to Fashion Magazine for giving me the wristband!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Squeem Miracle Vest Review and Giveaway

Awhile back, I was browsing on the Ashley Stewart page, and I came across this fantastic shapewear product called Squeem, modelled by the beautiful Denise Bidot.

I was intrigued by it, and so I contacted the people at Squeem to see if I could try it out. They very generously sent me their Miracle Vest. I was excited to try it on, and I wore it to the Addition Elle Customer Appreciation Event. It is AMAZING! I can honestly say, that out of all the shapewear I've tried in my life (and that's a lot) (including Spanx), this is the most effective product that I've ever worn. Because the outside is made of rubber (and the inside is lined with cotton), I thought that it would be very restricting. But the Miracle Vest allowed freedom of movement, improved my posture, took some pressure off my back, and (my favourite part) gave the girls quite a nice boost. There are a number of health benefits also associated with Squeem's Miracle Vest too, including lymphatic drainage and the easing of back pain. Some people actually use it to help recover post-op. The rubber on the outside helps keep clothing in place too, which I LOVE. I hate having to pull things down or up and fussing over my clothes. It just makes you feel less confident when that happens, you know? With Squeem, everything stayed put! I whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking for shapewear, and I am very pleased to announce that Squeem is sponsoring a giveaway here on Curvy Canadian, so you have a chance to get your very own Squeem Miracle Vest for free! It`s available in size XS-5X, so they have sizes for almost everyone, and that means that everyone can enter, even you straight size readers (I know you`re out there!). Enter below! REMEMBER to click the green "I did it!" button beside each task that you complete so that all of your entries are registered with rafflecopter. Otherwise, you won't be entered! :(


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Addition Elle Customer Appreciation Day

Hey everyone!

So a little while back I posted about a customer appreciation day that was being held by Addion Elle. Sarah from Garters and Stockings invited Sasha from Flaws of Couture and I to come out to this event at Square One in Mississauga to meet some of the customers and help with some styling advice. I wanted to look my best so I put this outfit together and it was a major hit! I was getting all sorts of compliments on it and I even got hit on in the mall a couple of times, LOL! Eat your heart out, boys! xoxo

Cropped Jacket and Purse- Thrifted/Dress, Bracelets, Earrings, and Necklace - Forever 21+/Shoes - Torrid

Yea, I painted my nails florescent orange. This is China Glaze colour "Japanese Koi" - Love it!
I absolutely adore this shot because Peter inadvertantly took his own picture in the reflection of my mirror necklace. The man behind the scenes... Love you so much!!!
Outside the Addition Elle in Square One

The best part of this event is that I got to see my blogger friends from the Addition Elle Blogger Styling Challenge. This is Sasha from Flaws of Couture!
Me hanging out in front of the display rack of the new MICHEL Studio Collection. There are some pretty awesome leatherette pieces. You should definitely check it out!
SWAG bags! Yay!
Sasha from Flaws of Couture and Sarah from Garters and Stockings
Some lovely women I met at the event! The three girls (one of whom is missing here - she had to go to work) were helping their mum pick out some new clothes, and it totally reminded me of me and my sisters and mom, so I had to go and say hello! If you're reading this, drop me a comment and say hi! It was great to meet you!
So all in all, it was a pretty fun day. I took a video of Sasha and Sarah talking about the new MICHEL studio line, but you might have to turn the volume up because a) my iPhone is not the best camcorder, and b) because there is a lot of background noise! But enjoy!

All day, I was wearing a new shapewear sent to me by Squeem, and let me tell you, it was fantastic! I will be doing a complete product review that I will post either later on tonight or tomorrow morning, but in my opinion, it is the best shapewear product I have seen on the market. I will also be hosting a fantabulous giveaway of a Squeem Miracle Vest, so be on the lookout for that soon! I am going to use rafflecopter for this giveaway, so that the process is a bit more streamlined than the last giveaway we had.

So what do you guys think of my outfit and/or Addition Elle's new MICHEL Studio line? I'd love to hear your opinions!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

So many updates, so little time! 4 Outfits of the Days...!

Hey everyone,

You know how time can just get away from you sometimes? Well that's totally what's going on with me at the moment! I have several outfit posts in the works, along with coverage of some amazing events (I attended a meet and greet at Addition Elle Square One, met and chatted with Jay Manuel, met Karyn Johnson, amazing Canadian plus size model and winner of the wellies giveaway, visited Gussied Up and met with its owner Victoria, went to The Clothing Show in Toronto, and received several new items that I am really excited to tell you about... So much to tell you, where to begin?!

I think this post is just going to focus on some outfits I've worn to teach class in. I can't take pictures outside anymore because it's still dark outside in the morning when I am leaving to go in. :( That's one way you can tell that Winter is rapidly descending upon us.

The first outfit I think I actually wore out for dinner with my in-laws last weekend. It's pretty simple, but I like the small details. I got the print top from a thrift store, and it's a size small. It just goes to show that you needn't always look at the size on the tag to see if something fits. When I'm thrifting, I typically just pull stuff of the rack that stands out to me, and then I eyeball it to see if I think it will fit my body. A size small is different in the 80s and early 90s (when really oversized tops were totally cool) than a size small now. Just use your judgment. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable!

Top - Thrifted/Cami - Forever 21+/Jeans - Swapped at Big, Fat Toronto/Shoes - Dorothy Perkins/Hair Bow - Ardene/Necklace - Was attached to a top I got at Forever 21/Earrings - A gift from my sister/Purse - CBX

This next outfit is one I actually did wear to teach in. It's nothing special, really, but I definitely think career wear is important. And it's not totally boring... The hat adds a bit of uniqueness.

Cardigan and Necklace - Courtesy of Penningtons/ Top - Ricki's/Skirt - Giant Tiger/Purse - CBX/Hat - Thrifted

I also wore this one to teach in, but it was a Friday, so that explains the jeans. I wanted to do something a little different with my hair so I did a big bun right at the front of my head. What do you guys think?

Top and Bracelet- Forever 21+/Jeans - Swapped at Big Fat Toronto/Shoes - Dorothy Perkins/Necklace - Courtesy of Penningtons/Purse - CBX

This is yet another teaching outfit. I was talking about feminism, and since a large part of our current understanding about feminism comes from French cultural theorist, I thought I would pay homage to them by wearing something a bit inspired by French style.

Jacket and Skirt - Thrifted/Tights - Legs Beautiful/Shoes - Redress NYC (originally from Target)/Purse - CBX/Necklace - Courtesy of Penningtons/Earrings - Courtesy of Pixics/Hat - Le Beau Chapeau

Make sure you keep checking this page for coverage of all of the events I've gone to and the products I've worked with. There is a giveaway coming up very soon! So which outfit was your favourite?

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Addition Elle Blogger Styling Event

Hey Everyone!

So back in August, I was invited by the lovely people at Addition Elle to participate in a blogger styling challenge. I, along with 8 other top Canadian fashion bloggers, were challenged to create two unique looks from Addition Elle's AW2011 collection for a Facebook contest. It was an amazing event with professional models, hair, makeup, catering, and photography. AE even hired a stylist to come in so we could make use of all his shoes and accessories to help put our final looks together! They even shut down their flagship store early for the photo shoot!

The delicious spread at the shoot! I borrowed this picture from Alison of 'Round Raglan Road - I hope she doesn't mind!

Me at the "Step and Repeat" AE backdrop at the beginning of the event

Me and all the other lovely bloggers with the VP of Marketing for AE

Sasha and Garcia from Flaws of Couture

Alison from 'Round Raglan Road and Sarah from Garters and Stockings having a chat!
Alison from Round Raglan Road being interview by AE

Once we all got acquainted and had a few munchies, it was time to start pulling pieces off the rack to use in our looks. This event took place at the Addition Elle flagship store, at the corner of Yonge and Temperance in downtown Toronto, so any of the pieces you see in the looks can be picked up there! There were nine bloggers there, and we each put together two outfits, so the photo shoot was pretty briskly paced! There were 3 models there who got to work with three different bloggers each, and I got the beautiful Zara Hemmings, who totally turned it out! 

I decided to do one casual look and one more formal outfit. When I saw the red leopard waist length jacket with the draping in the front, it was love at first sight, and I built my first look around that piece, adding simple, casual pieces that would allow the jacket to make its own statement. I chose Apple Bottom Jeans, a simple black tee with lace detail at the neck (to add some texture), a faux snake skin belt (which I thought would go nicely with the leopard because it's kind of animal inspired as well), the model's own shoes, which are purple with red piping (and which sort of bring a lot of the different elements of the outfit together), and I topped it off with some stunning jewellery from the stylist's collection, which was gold with deep green hues. There was a whole dressing room filled with the stylist's goodies that we were allowed to play with!

Here are a couple of pictures of my first (red leopard) look. This is the look Addition Elle has chosen, out of the two I put together, for the competition.

They even made me get in front of the camera! LOL... Here's me with Zara in the look I picked out for her. The cheetah and the leopard, friends at last! MEOW!

My second look came together after I came across the most stunning Joseph Ribkoff jacket on the second floor. It has a very deep hood, kind of like a hood that you would expect to see on a cape, but the actual jacket itself is very structured. It is fitted through the bodice and has a flared, bubble hem, pouffy skirt, which you all know I am in love with. Honestly, I would say it was my favourite piece to work with. I really want it! I thought it might be nice to style a formal wear look with the jacket, since Winter is coming (sorry, but it is!) and people will have Christmas parties to go to. I absolutely love the deep aubergine colour of the strapless satin dress, and I decided to style it with a lot of silver jewellery because I wanted extra shine. I love seeing looks where the stylist has piled on loads of bracelets, so I decided to try it for myself, and I must say, I really like how it turned out. We took some shots with and without the jacket, so you can see all elements of the outfit clearly. Here they are!

So all in all, I had a really great time styling Zara for this shoot and working with some of the amazing stuff from Addition Elle. I think the looks turned out really nicely and I'm quite happy with them! 

So remember how I said this was for a Facebook competition? Well it launched just two days ago, and I NEED YOU ALL to VOTE for me!!!! LOL. It's just a few clicks of your mouse away, and I'll love you forever! As an added incentive, if you're based in Canada, each time you vote you will be entered to win a $150 Addition Elle gift card that you can put towards some of the items you've seen here, or something entirely different! You can vote once per day, and I would love it if you did!!! Click here to be redirected to the Facebook contest.

Another great thing about this event was getting to meet all the other fabulous bloggers hosted by Addition Elle. You should check out their blogs too, if you get a chance. Here are the links to them. Meet Robyn of Fashionista514, Sarah of Garters & Stockings, Alison of 'Round Raglan Road, Sashagai and Garcia of Flaws of Couture, Kristania of Monochroma.Chic, Sunny D of thatshardcoreKendall, and Isabelle of La Vie C'est YeYe.

So my dears, what do you think of the outfits I styled? Did you see anything that has you running to Addition Elle? Remember to VOTE!

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