FRAMED: THE DEBUT

I’ve previously written about my excitement for my clothing’s debut in FRAMED Fashion Show, a production hosted by jnet, which took place in Ottawa last night; but now is the final reveal. I provided the committee with 12 original pieces, of which they chose 7, to completely rock in an awesome display of Ottawa’s local talent.

The show was comprised of clothing from 8 stores/designers, most of which were an eclectic mix of stores around the area, including up and coming jewelry boutiques. Most notably, True Bijoux, a store that I’ve also written about on this blog for its unique and fresh take on costume jewelry. I felt completely honoured to have been able to partake in this event by supplying my own clothing designs for a cause, The Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation and iPromise, a division of MADD.

My segment of the show was different from the rest, to my surprise, because as soon as Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind” came on, the girls started dancing on the runway the way that I would at a club. It was an amazing and refreshing take on a fashion show, and I loved every second of it! But seriously, could anything have been more me?

So, as promised, here are some images of Chelsea Pascal’s first debut:

The Feather Trimmed Vest:

I particularly love this vest because it was probably the most impulsive piece I’ve ever created. I was cleaning through my closet one day and noticed I skirt that I had never worn. I had bought it because of the feathers, but the skirt itself was nasty. I ripped the thing apart and took out the feather trim, looked over at the plain black vest I had hanging, and just put 2 and 2 together. It is amazing!

The Velvet Bodysuit with Studded Epaulettes and Studded Shorts:

Jewelry by True Bijoux.

This bodysuit was a late addition to my growing collection, but I’m surprised the idea hadn’t struck me before the show was nearing. It’s now one of my favourite pieces I own, and I’ll definitely be rockin’ it out on the town sometime soon. Sam, the brains behind the execution of FRAMED, completely blew me away when she came out dancing in this number. Owned it!

The Blazer with Studded Lapels and Studded Gloves:

Not too shabby for my first piece ever made, right? This blazer took about 4 hours by hand and is comprised of over 150 individually placed studs. It looked amazing paired with the lace dress this model was wearing, and the studded gloves to match.

The Turban and Studded Jean Shorts:

All the way to the right are my jean shorts that are studded at the back, and a turban with golden studs. There’s no picture with a closer look, so ones of me will have to suffice:

Kudos to any girl who can confidently rock a turban!

And finally, those who made it possible for me to have the confidence  to share my designs, there to support me in person at the show:

Some girl threatened to murder me at the show… I think it was because she was jealous of this awesome red blazer and my good looking friends. It’s ok though, I’d kill for fashion too!

Janelle is becoming a regular feature on this blog, it appears. She’s wearing one of my studded tops with miniature golden studs, and jewelry to match from True Bijoux. The cuff and the necklace go so nicely with the rest of the outfit.

Thank you girls, for an incredible night!

When in doubt: Wear Red.

Livin’ the Dream,

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What Shall we do with You?

Some may call me a hoarder; I like to call it ‘keeping my options open’. I like to hold onto things that I haven’t worn in years because I somehow know that “one day” they’ll come in handy. Well, prove me wrong guys.

I bought this necklace about 5-6 years ago from Forever 21 and never made use of it before tonight. It’s the most awkward looking thing when you wear it around your neck. As I was getting ready to go to Synagogue after our day of starvation, however, I took a look at my outfit, which needed a little pep, and I spotted this necklace that would be seemingly perfect for the outfit. You know, aside for the fact that it’s awkward.

So for fun, I just tied it around my waist as a belt.

Skirt: Renuar, Israel, Top: American Apparel, Necklace/belt: Forever 21

What do you think? Pretty cute for a makeshift belt, right?

So, I completely agree with those of you who do a quarterly closet cleaning, but at the same time, I think it pays to hold onto the things you’re unsure about.

At least for half a decade…

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some prayers I won’t understand to go listen to…

CP

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Outfits: The Middle East and Europe

Sorry for my blogging hiatus. I just got back from Israel and Europe at the beginning of September, and one thing I made sure of when I left was to pack some amazing outfits to match the beautiful views I’d see. My first stop was Israel, where it was almost impossible to wear anything too fashionable because of the heat and all the physical activity our group was doing.

Somehow, between the cobblestone streets and the 3 hour mountain climbs, I managed to dress pretty fashionably during my trip, you know, when I wasn’t sweating my ass off in Lulu gear.

Here are some of the outfit highlights from my 3.5 week long trip to Israel, London, Greece, and Turkey!

Israel

Skirt: Golf (Israel), Tank: Banana Republic, Bag: Longchamp

Skirt: ZARA, Tank: Forever 21 Basics

Dress: Forever 21, Belt: H&M

 

 

Top: Forever 21, Skirt: Suzy Shier

 

London

Baroque Top: H&M

 

Camden Locks Market

 

Collars at Camden

Top and Vest: Forever 21

 

Scarf and Knit Sweater: Camden Market, Shoes: Topshop

 

Greece and Turkey

Cover-up: Marshall’s

 

Dress: Topshop 

 

 

 

Pashmina: Turkey, Dress: Forever 21

 

 

 

Scarf Necklace: Turkish Market (my favourite purchase of the entire trip). Deep purple silk cord with turquoise and gold beads and detail, Dress: Forever 21

 

 

 

Hat: Vravrona gift shop in Greece, Collar: Camden Locks, London, Top: Forever 21

 

Necklace: so amazing I wore it twice, Dress: Forever 21

 

 

So as you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune on clothing that really pops. The most expensive items in these pictures were the Longchamp bag for 60 Pounds and the rest of the clothing costs under $40.

The highlight of my time in London was visiting Camden Locks. It’s a market that literally goes on for miles and you can find anything there. I went in guns blazing and bargained my little heart out for the knit sweater: 15 pounds, two collars for 15 pounds, the leopard scarf for 8 pounds, a cute white sailor dress for 20 pounds,  and the chevron Topshop dress for 8 pounds. It was an incredible day and I could have bought way more if my budget and suitcase had permitted!

Although I have no pictures from Crete, the shopping there was actually amazing. I bought a two great tops and an embellished circle scarf for at a really cute store called Stradivarius, and some cute and clussy studded Zara pants.

Overall, I hadn’t intended to shop that much but obviously, I couldn’t resist London’s amazing fashions and deals. Definitely need to go back soon, probably when I have about 10k to drop in Topshop. I wanted the entire store!

Sedentary for now,

CP

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Big Things Poppin’

Wow, has it been forever or what? I just got back from Europe, which is an entire blog in itself once I decide to sift through the best outfits, but I have something even bigger than that going on; A FASHION SHOW!

FRAMED will take place Saturday, September 29 at Mansion Nightclub in Ottawa. The show will benefit the Ottawa Cancer Society and iPromise, a campaign that partners with MADD. The show, presented by Arnon Corporation and jnet, will showcase some local talent, so I can’t wait to see what/who else is in store for us all!  Tickets are available here if you want to support and donate!

 

So, a lot of you may know that I don’t take this hobby of mine too seriously, and others may think that it’s just a pretty cool passion that’s not going to go anywhere. Well, regardless of what happens, I think it’s important to take time out of a busy schedule to do something you absolutely and purely love to do. For me, that’s taking clothes I already have and embellishing them to create new and more creative designs.

Sometimes I’ll take a piece apart, like when I ripped apart a skirt that had feather trim all around its bottom so that I could embellish a vest with it. Other times I’ll just take different studs and start studding away. For me, it’s all really out of spontaneity.
I was walking in Toronto while my friend Sarah, with whom I was staying, was at work. I was actually going to pick up some ginger for the meal we were going to cook for dinner, and I stumbled upon an army supply store. I walked in and checked it out, and I found this really cool army jacket for $10. The store owner told me he had sold 50 that day, and they were just flying off the racks. So, I bought it. Not with the intention that I’d look super cool in my new army gear, but that camo and the military look are pretty in style this fall, so why not work some magic on it? I think it looks pretty badass.

And Michael will kill me for posting this but, it’s equally versatile for a metro man, I think…even though it’s not quite his style. Sorry dude.

 

I have some other pieces I haven’t put up here yet, so I’ll show a few.

 

Nothing like a good shoulder to cry on, right?

Turban times.

For the rest, you’ll have to purchase tickets to what’s sure to be an excellent showcase of creativity, talent, and dedication.

For now, I’m in the market for a name for all these clothes. CHELSEASWAG is my blog’s name, but it definitely doesn’t suit a clothing line.

Big things poppin’

CP

 

 

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Inspired by Jef: For the Homies

It’s been over a year that I’ve been blogging, but I’ve failed to cater to my underground audience: the men. These days it takes a while to get inspired, but after watching the season finale of The Bachelorette, I’ve decided that Jef doesn’t only have the perfect ingredients suited for the husband and father role; he’s also the prime example of metrosexual male fashionisto.

From minute 1 of the show, Jef Holm epitomized the full meaning of swag. He was confident, he dressed well, his hair had some serious flow, and well, he’s not the conventional type who wins this kind of thing, but it goes to show how being your own person pays off.

As I was always a fan of his signature style, he completely sealed the deal for me (and Emily) with his final outfit.

Unconventionally dressed Jef proposed in a navy blue tailored suit, black tie, crisp white shirt, and luxurious looking brown shoes and belt to match. Most guys would stick with black, but not Jef!

So what is it about this wannabe bad boy that is so attractive? Personally, I think it’s a combination of not giving a mother-eff what anyone thinks about his metrosexual style, which combines an awesome haircut and the usual skinny jeans (coloured at times), and confidence that falls just short of arrogance (his best accessory).

So how do guys capture this look without breaking the confines of their own personal style? Well, let’s start with Zara Man.

Most of us don’t have the money to adorn ourselves in Gucci, Prada, and Armani (all three of whom excel in men’s tailoring), so understandably people go to stores where they can buy a variety of suits and shirts for a reasonable price. While Zara’s quality is sometimes questionable to me, I feel that their style for men is right on point, and that you get what you pay for. The average pant will likely be around $80.00 and will last a while. The cut is rather slim-fit, but a lot of guys can work with it.

What would Jef-with-one-f wear if he walked into Zara, then? Here are my picks for the homies with style.

Blazers with a slim fit, contrasting lapels and pockets, and with a sleek satiny finish are definitely a staple in a metro-man’s wardrobe. These can be worn to work with a dress shirt, or dressed down with a t-shirt for a more casual vibe.

Cotton and linen blazers take the work appropriate blazer and make it versatile. Also, small details like piping really make a difference. I was sitting on the bus yesterday and looking at the two men in front of me. One was wearing a tailored suit that looked like it would be from Zara, and the other like it would be from Moore’s. Instantly, I could tell which fabric was higher quality just by the stitching at the shoulders. The ‘Moore’s’ suit was puffy around the shoulders and the ‘Zara’ one looked like it had been tailored to fit the better dressed man. The fabric was shinier and kept together too, as opposed to the cheaper suit where I could see the fibers stretching.

I was shopping with one of my brothers around this time last year, and I lured him into Zara, as he was a little turned off by the European style. My brother has a small waist, though, and it seemed that every single item of clothing he  tried fit him perfectly. He tried on this one pair of jeans that had sandy brown leather suspenders attached to them, but unfortunately he thought it was too much.

Zara’s jeans are amazing and often have smaller leather embellishments or lots of pockets. The three pairs of trousers above are all unique because they either have a satin finish, some embellishment, or come in a variety of colours that make one’s wardrobe versatile. They’re also super chic and don’t look grungy, which I find a lot of the male species struggles with on a daily basis (outside the office). If Zara doesn’t fit well, I find Buffalo also has great jeans for men.

You can tell how confident a person is by the way they walk, but what about by what they choose to walk in? I think that a person’s shoe choice is directly related to how adventurous they want to be with their style. That doesn’t really mean people who wear plain shoes aren’t adventurous, but there are subtle details that can make all the difference in a shoe.

For example, the colour of the perforated oxfords on the left (Soooo Jef) is amazing. The shoe is detailed but not too over-the-top, and the light shade of brown can be paired with tons of different coloured pants. The middle sneaker shoe is perfect for any type of jean, and the oxford with the contrasting sole (right), is an awesome casual alternative to a dress shoe. Note to the men out there, the first thing a girl might look at are your shoes. I used to judge people based on them when I was  younger, #sorrynotsorry.

With fall coming, keeping the heat in won’t suffice with just your chest hair. There is nothing more attractive than a man who can pull of a sweater vest or a cardigan, however. I love this look for men, and the contrasting piping and lines earn extra bonus points. I especially love the subtle contrast of grey and black stripes, as seen on the right. These three are infinitely better alternatives to the American Apparel classic zipper sweater, or some other grungy piece of cotton that makes you look like you’ve packed on the winter 10 even before you have. Go with these more fitted sweaters instead of buying something slouchier.

And finally, what is more Jef than these bow ties? When I think of bow ties I usually think of a wedding or a fancy affair. Lately, however, they’ve become a staple in every metro man’s closet. Now, I will say that American Apparel does have a great variety of bow ties, and even some more casual ones than these that can be worn every day.

The beautiful thing about Zara is that their clothing is moderately priced to start with, and then when the store goes on sale (like right now), you can pick up items for ridiculously cheap!

So here’s a little manspiration for the day: Jef Holm’s got swag and he’s not afraid to let us know about it!

CP

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True Bijoux

At some point almost two weeks ago, my friend Janelle had a +1 to go to a PR event for Kinki Sushi’s 11th Anniversary. While I was reluctantly going to try and sandwich the event between my two jobs, I figured what better way to network with Ottawa’s likeminded fashionistas and partygoers than this invite. I had just bought an emerald green Diane Von Furstenberg dress at Holts the week before, and I was dying for a solid occasion to wear it; you know, where it would be appreciated…

The event was definitely very segregated at first; the hairstylists stayed together, the pole dancers put on a show, and the store managers from each of Kinki’s sponsors were keen on amping up their products to the rest of us. So, as Janelle and I were diving into what seemed like endless amounts of sushi and Asian-inspired appetizers (and complimentary drinks of all sorts), I noticed a lady in the crowd that I had once met at Michael Kors. I immediately engaged in a conversation with her, and suddenly, Mandy, Janelle, and I were chatting like we had known each other for years. Mandy had moved on from Michael Kors to a fairly new store that she told us so passionately about: True Bijoux.

So firstly, what’s my stance as the writer of this blog? My mantra is to find people something different, something out of the box, and to link others to stores they might not have found on their own. So when Mandy was telling me about True Bijoux, a jewelry store I had only vaguely heard of, I was immediately intrigued by what possibilities would come of my visit to a store whose platform is to deliver Ottawa something different than the store you’d walk into at the mall. That ‘something different’ is expressed through the variety of costume jewelry, precious gems, internationally imported pieces, and designs made in-house by Lindsay Howard, the owner, and her in-store jewelry atelier.

I’ve walked into the store twice before being able to sit down and write this post. Both times, I’ve been absolutely stunned by this piece. On my last visit with Janelle, I was enlightened as to why the price was a whopping $700 for this piece of costume jewelry, aka work of art. Lindsay, the owner of the store, travels around the world looking for unique gems, stones, full and partial pieces to work with. She brings them home, and once she’s inspired, starts creating artwork from that statement item she’s found. In this case, it’s a stone from Arizona that literally looks like crystals and diamonds are fused into its rough turquoise surface. Pictures can’t even do justice to how beautiful the stone is in person, but I tried…

Stunning right? I am absolutely in love with this piece, and I’ve barely walked you through the door!

The genius behind this gem of a store, Lindsay Howard, greeted us at the door and brought us over to her newly finished desk. The desk looks like a mirrored door, and as you can see, it contains inspiration from around the world within its panels. She had just received the glass top for it that day. With this, we began to understand the method behind her madness and how fiercely passionate she is about creating and delivering eclectic and one-of-a-kind pieces to a fashion industry in its developmental stages. Passion for jewelry, both fine and costume, is in her blood as True Bijoux has become the sister store to the fine jewelry empire of Ottawa: Howard’s.

Here, Janelle is sporting a Turkish designer’s scarf-inspired necklace that can drape down the back for that extra glamorous detail. It’s such a unique piece and definitely a much better quality take on the adorned scarf than I’ve previously seen.

Stunning pavé rose earrings with a hanging forest green pendant.

When I was in the store I turned to Janelle and said “these are really you”, but the more I look at them I think, wow, these are really me too. When I’m not being edgy and dressed in all black with metallics, these are totally my style. I absolutely love the contrast of these bright pastels against one another, in addition to the vintage-inspired design. Definitely will go back for these soon…

A lot of people wouldn’t think this, but I am a complete sucker for vintage design when it comes to fine jewelry. These Edwardian engagement rings were just posted to True Bijoux’s Facebook page, and I cannot get over the craftsmanship of some of these estate jewels. I especially love the ring with the saphire; it’s unique and reminds me of royalty!

To like this one, you have to appreciate its rarity. Lindsay went to Bangkok and happened to stumble upon designer, Michangelo, who combines costume design with genuine gemstones. Lindsay fell completely in love with this bumblebee piece; its eyes are made of peridots and the heads are made of rubies. I love the playful design!

Silk wrapped costume jewelry by Montreal designer, Charlotte Hosten. Amazing pieces featuring real silk.

A unique costume jewelry piece I picked up on my first visit at the store on 206 Sparks St. Ottawa. The green is vibrant and the 2nd and 4th stones are clear! Looks absolutely stunning paired with anything.

It would be absolutely impossible to write a comprehensive post about the contents of this store, so you’ll just have to go for yourselves and find that unique piece that’s right for your own style! There is an incredibly wide range of prices, and whether you like costume, local, fine jewelry, or designer brands like Pandora and Thomas Sabo, True Bijoux has something that you won’t want to leave at the store!

A picture of Janelle and I at the ‘Everything Kinki’ 11th Anniversary event. Was a blast!

Be a True Bijoux,

CP

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THANN SKINCARE

Did you know your skin is the largest organ of the entire body? Odd to think that our skin lives and breathes as we do, but also that it endures the hardship of everyday living. Our skin faces the elements like wind, heat, and cold, in addition to dirt and oil buildup, makeup, and germs. When it comes to replenishing your skin, THANN has the perfect solution: nature.

Companies these days are increasingly making the shift toward more natural products as technology and studies reveal that parabens (preservatives) and chemicals used in most makeup and skincare products are actually doing the skin more harm than good. Using these products is like eating canned or pre-packaged food; yes it’s easy, quick, and does the trick, but it doesn’t promote long-term health in any form. THANN Skincare is dedicated to going into nature and finding ingredients that improve the quality of skin and hair, in addition to promoting relaxation through aromatherapy with its Asian zen influence.

When you walk into the only THANN in North America, on Bank Street, Ottawa, you instantly feel that zen feeling intended by the boutique’s decor. You can tell that the minimalistic, modern, and cleanly presentation of the store embodies the value of purity that is THANN. The staff are knowledgable about the product lines, of which there are not an overwhelming amount.

THANN has a little more than a handful of skincare and hair product lines and emphasizes the quality of their products over an overwhelming plethora of choices. Catering to both men and women, the lines each offer different scents; a by-product of the natural ingredients used in each skin/haircare line.

I’ll start with my favourite line in the store: Sea Foam. I am usually very sensitive to scents and picky with what I use for myself, but I’ve always been one to love everything about the use of Mint. Mint for me is the epitome of clean and natural in smell and taste. When I first smelled the shampoo above, I instantly fell in love with the product. Additionally, the melange of Rosemary (which isn’t too strong) and Eucalyptus (a more powerful scent) adds the perfect pep and freshness to the product. I obviously didn’t get down to using the shampoo in the store, but Janelle was kind enough to have me sample a few items from the different lines.

Once I used this Sea Foam Aromatic Salt Scrub, I was immediately sold on THANN as a whole. Not only was the scent so fresh, but the feeling of simultaneous hydration and cleanliness was paramount for me. Very often you find soaps and scrubs that will exfoliate but dry the skin, whereas this one, with its oily and rough texture, will exfoliate and hydrate at the same time. And it doesn’t leave a greasy feeling either!

Onto anti-aging and skincare, Janelle showed me products that use Shiso, a Japanese super plant which improves and promotes generating collagen in aging skin, in addition to being an anti-oxidant.

From what I am told, the Shiso products are amazing for combination skin, which a lot of people have. Combination skin is when some parts of the face are oily, while others are normal or dry. The Green Tea Extract helps with finding a balance for the skin without drying it out or making it oilier.

THANN is really proud of their innovative products that use Shiso because “in the midst of extreme droughts and fluctuating climatic conditions, Asian herbalists have noticed that Shiso plants have the ability not only to survive the most but also help the surrounding plants to grow. As a result, Shiso has become not only the jewel of Japanese culinary art and the macro biotic food revolution but it’s also making its mark as the ultimate miracle ingredient in skincare.”

In other words, dry and weathered skin (just like droughts and climate change) need the extra boost of something strong enough to overcome the after-effects of these conditions. It’s a flawless concept that Shiso should be incorporated into skincare for this property alone.

Oatmeal Face Scrub with rice bran and marshmallow to strengthen and calm skin.

Rice Extract Moisturizing Cream for dry skin.

In addition to its products, THANN offers Asian-styled household items such as tea pots and cups, hand-woven boxes, serving plates, etc. There are some really good sales going on right now on these items and a promotion for skincare products, as well.

These products are available at THANN locations worldwide, including the Ottawa (829 Bank Street) store, and online at http://www.thann.ca/.

I was sent home with an excellent little care package which included the Aromatic Wood Shampoo ( a bestseller), Aromatic Wood Bath Salts, and the Aromatic Wood Rice Grain Soap Bar, which was the perfect exfoliant!

Overall, it was a very pleasurable and eye-opening experience, and I encourage my readers to research THANN Skincare and skincare ingredients in general in order to promote health and wellness to the most exposed part of your body!

CP

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