Inspired by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun’s “Madame Mole-Raymond” (1786)

Madame Mole-Raymond (1786) by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun.  We found this image here.

Vigée Le Brun had quite the life. According to Whitney Chadwick, author of Women, Art, and Society, she was, “[…] industrious, beautiful, and socially in demand […] the Queen’s [Marie Antoinette] favourite painter.”  Vigée Le Brun often had to deal with catty and sexist gossip; folks of all genders during her life accused her of everything including sleeping with her painting subjects, being a bad mother, being jealous of her contemporary painters, and acting inappropriately for a woman. She ignored such petty rumours, and even wrote in her memoirs later on that, “[…] the day she went into labor with her daughter, she took pride in not allowing incipient motherhood to interrupt her at her professional activity and continued to paint between labor pains,” (Chadwick 171). Badass.

inspired by elisabeth-louise vigee lebrun
Dorothy Perkins royal blue dress, 43 CAD / Miu Miu , 2,220 CAD / KORS Michael Kors pointed toe pumps, 270 CAD / H&M , 21 CAD / Emilio Pucci square scarve, 205 CAD / Jacques Vert bridal hair accessory, 46 CAD / Mulberry brown glove, 275 CAD
If you love this opulent glamour, then def take a peek at Ulyana Sergeenko’s Fall 2012 collection. It is everything we loooove about style influenced by period costumes adapted to modern sensibilities.

A Blue Shoe New Year’s Eve

By: Nikil Kaiyote


We found this image on Chictopia, here.

There’s nothing that quite says playful and sophisticated like a pair of blue heels. Blue is a colour for any season, but works especially well in winter, when much-needed colour can be sometimes hard to find. Often people go straight for holiday reds, but don’t be afraid to go against the grain and stand out. Dark blue heels paired with anything black always looks killer. Throwing on a nice high pair of deep blue heels with your favourite black skinny jeans, a white tunic style tee, top it off with a black leather jacket and you’re equal parts edge and class. Modcloth has blue shoes in enough styles for any occasion and is a great place to start for styles a little more interesting than your standard shoe store fare.

LBD, Meet Blue Shoes.

Black and blue is always classic and fun. You can don a strappy pair of blue heels with a black party dress and I guarantee you’ll outshine the vampy red dress at a New Years’ party every time. If you’re not feeling the heels and want to stay more understated, try a pair of dark blue ballet flats. A nice black-capped pair of blue flats will still keep you classy and looking great. Something with a bit of embellishment, like the pearled pair of flats below, will make you feel even better and catch people’s attention as you show off your wonderful self.

You don’t have to despair and dream if you think blue is just for the ladies, there’s enough unisex shoes out there and blue is probably the safest acceptable colour for guys. Tom’s (below), which I’m not a super huge fan of, can be thrown on with a pair of black skinny jeans again and achieve more or less the same effect as our first example. Remember, just because you’re not a girl, doesn’t mean you can’t play with colour. In fact, your feet are a great place to start and all but ensure people will notice you for your bold fashion sense when you step out at the next gathering or party.

Well Dressed, Well Read: ‘Sonya’ by Tatyana Tolstaya

“So, Sonya sewed…And how did she dress? Most unbecomingly, friends, most unbecomingly. Something blue, striped, so unflattering. Just imagine: a head like Przewalksi’s horse (Lev Adolfovich noted that), under her jaw the huge dangling bow of her blouse sticking out from her suit’s stiff lapels, and the sleeves were always too long. Sunken chest, legs so fat they looked as if they came from a different person’s set, enormous feet. She wore down her shoes on one side. Well, her chest and legs, that’s not clothing…Yes it is, my dear, it counts as clothing too. You just have to take features like that into account, some things you just can’t wear at all….She had a brooch, an enamel dove. She wore it on the lapel of her jacket, never parted with it. And when she changed into another dress, she always pinned on that dove.”

-from ‘Sonya’ in White Walls: Collected Stories by Tatyana Tolstaya

Well Dressed, Well Read: ‘The Wilds’ by Julia Elliott

“I crouched in the bushes in Mama’s green chiffon evening gown, wearing my crown of bird skulls. I’d collected the skulls for two years, spray-painted them gold, and glued them to a Burger King crown, along with fake emeralds and glowing shells of june bugs. Thin, long hair tickeld my spine. My Barbie binoculars were crap, and I’d smashed them with a rock. I was on the lookout for Brian, the oldest Wild, who sometimes left his den to smoke. I was deeply in love iwth him. Every time I saw him, reclining in his plastic lawn chair, pouting in dark sunglasses, my heart twisted like a worm in the cocoon of my chest.”

– from ‘The Wilds’ by Julia Elliott in Fantastic Women: 18 tales of the surreal and the sublime from Tin House (ed. Rob Spillman, 2011).

Weekend Round-Up Dec.24-28th

If your week has been full of too many Christmas sweaters for comfort, and excessive layering for celebrations in colder Canadian climates, this week’s Weekend Round-Up is sure to inspire you. Some of our picks for this week provide an escape to warmer destinations via amazing fashion photography. Alternatively, if you’ve been watching too many holiday specials on tv and have a desire for some intellectual stimulation, we’ve got some good stuff on media literacy and fashion advertisements.

1. Closet Visit

Jeana Sohn curates this beautiful site, with polished, precise insights and photos of stylish folks whose je ne sais quoi translates well through the sparse, intricate photos. Read if you are as fascinated with It Girls as we are.

2. How I Met Your Style

Based out of Hong Kong, photographers Carmen Chan and Ken Wu manage to create intimate portraits of fashionistas of all backgrounds. The general aesthetics of the site will make you think of that cool sort-of acquaintance you see out and about, but don’t really know but would like to know more about.

3. Ms. Magazine’s “No Comment” archive

Sick of sexist, inappropriate, and just plain weird fashion advertisements? So are we, and so is Ms. Magazine. Their ongoing effort to call out and critique sexist advertising by simply posting their ads together regularly features fashion lines and stores with incredibly offensive campaigns.

BONUS: Joanna Chiu, an awesome journalist based in Hong Kong and hailing from Vancouver did an excellent series about sexist advertising practices on the Battered Women Support Services blog. Check it out here to learn more about media literacy!

ANOTHER BONUS: Have you seen Miss Representation, a documentary about presentations of women in the media? Watch the trailer or learn more here.

4. A Bevy Of

Courtney Burgam of A Bevy Of is one of our favorite bloggers out there!! She frequently blogs about feminism, and has amazing style. What has caught our eye in particular is the  series of posts about her recent engagement and how that relates to her feminist views. A sampling of her precise and approachable writing includes, “What does it matter that I have glittery nails or purple hair? I do not allow men to walk over me in the office or in my personal life, I do no allow anyone to make me feel bad for being a woman, I am proud of my gender, I am a very self-confident person. So how is my love of kittens turning back the clock on feminism?”. Yea, we’re pretty obsessed.

5. Broadist

The stylish broads behind Broadist, Caroline and Roxy sum up this awesome blog in their own words stating, “Broadist is a personal style blog that aims to promote radical self acceptance by addressing broader bodies and minds – starting with our own. We want to continue to learn how to value ourselves, and help others to do the same. We want to look and feel maddddd fly. Most of all, we want to be a part of the conversation.” Expect lots of body-positive style inspiration and wise words.

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