I have some exciting stuff coming up before the end of the year including a regular guest speaker from the fashion and design industry as well as some eBook buzz! Stay tuned.
For once it’s about time that people focused on clever costuming for Halloween rather than trashy or vulgar ones. Yes, dressing up as a cat in a piece of spandex that leaves nothing to the imagination is sexy and tempting but it’s also passe. Why not try something thought provoking or uncanny instead? Wouldn’t you rather someone say: Wow that is the best idea for a costume I’ve ever seen! or even, Do you remember that one girl dressed as Princess Diana last night? She looked just like her! It’s far nicer to look good AND get a compliment for your cleverness than to just have people staring at you because you’re nearly naked.
Although, as adults, trick-or-treating is not a reality – unless you are chaperoning your children – the adult Halloween party is. In the past I have seen some amazing costumes that left me jealous and bitter because I felt incredibly unoriginal. The costumes that have topped my list as show-stoppers were:
1. Beetlejuice – for a moment I honestly believed Michael Keaton was standing in front of me.
2. Cloudy with a Chance of Rain – A man in a blue jump suit with cotton balls stuck to it was running around the room with a squirt bottle, spritzing everyone who asked what he was suppose to be. It was a great play on words.
3. The Scottish Duo – A man dressed as a traditional Scotsman (Kilt, viking beard and all) and his female companion was dressed as a sheep. Yes, it’s vulgar to some degree but it was incredibly funny when you discovered they had arrived together and many people needed the costumes to be explained. Even better.
A great Halloween costume can be a good way to break the ice with people and get a conversation going. Turning a phrase like “Cloudy with a Chance of Rain” into a costume is brilliant and seven years later – I still remember it! The more creative you get the better your chances of winning a contest or making a splash at a party. While dressing up as C3PO or a Star Trek away team will look neat, it’s pretty common. Think outside the box. Consider imitating real people (past or present) or consider going as a duo or group.
Some great duos or teams you could imitate are;
- The Scooby-Doo crew or any combination of the characters
- A Matador and his/her Bull
- Prince William and The Duchess (Kate Middleton)
- The Avengers (their true selves or the superhero versions)
- Bella and Edward
- The Harry Potter Kids or Teachers
The options for Halloween costumes are only limited by your imagination and I think it’s time to really put those imaginations to work. You are not five years old anymore, being a witch, cowboy, vampire, cat or zombie is no longer acceptable unless you plan to step it up a notch. If you insist on being a vampire than you should go all out and model yourself after the Volturi (creepy red contact lenses, long hair and all) or if you insist on being a Witch then you better be going overboard in your resemblance to Angelica Houston in Witches or Michelle Pfiefer at her worst in Stardust! Make it memorable and have fun.
Halloween has become an excuse to dress inappropriately and act inappropriately – it’s lost all sense of it’s ghoulish nature and I think that is sad. Bring Halloween back to it’s true splendor by really dressing up in a fantastical way. Having children is no excuse either; kids like to go out and if you are going with them then you should get in the spirit and enjoy it with them. You may think a young child who is unable to walk is a hindrance to getting costumed or taking your other kids out – this is not so. Incorporate your infant into your costume. If you have ever seen the original Total Recall film then you can turn yourself, your infant and a baby harness into that freaky being “Kuato” that is coming out of the man’s guys chest and whispers “Quaaaaaaaid.” It’s really easy if you put your mind to it and it doesn’t have to be expensive.
The road map to deciding on the perfect costume.
1. Decide if you are going solo or as part of a duo/group.
2. Choose whether your goal is to be frightening, clever or funny.
3. Stipulate your budget.
4. Do some research that includes shuffling through proverbs, character lists, literary characters and figures of speech. See what you like and then run with it!
Good luck and Happy Halloween!
Fall is coming up and it’s always a great time to introduce a new dress or two into your wardrobe because the selection in stores right now is huge. Skip over picturing yourself in the classic LBD because that’s not what we’re talking about today! Great styles to consider for the fall are long-sleeve jersey dresses, either a wrap-style or fitted and sweater dresses. Jersey dresses are amazing because they are thin but warm and you can get them in a variety of lengths with many different collar and sleeve styles. A jersey dress can be easily paired with a big comfy sweater and stylish boots or for warmer fall days a nice scarf would be the perfect accessory.
Sweater dresses are going to be a huge hit this season, the variety of styles has doubled in the last year and you can find almost any shape imaginable. There are fitted turtle-neck styles in both cocktail and knee-lengths, fit in flare scoop necks or, my personal favorite right now, the simple elongated cable-knit sweater with a cowl neck-line that doubles as a hood. These dresses are perfect for any boot; ankle, knee or thigh-high and when spring rolls around they are still usable and pair great with a fashionable sandal or demure heel.
I think the one aspect of dresses that gets over looked the most is how simple and easy they are. Choose the dress and your outfit is mostly complete! You don’t have to fret over mixing and matching tops and bottoms, especially for the office which can be a pain depending on your body shape. If you select the right length and cut of dress it will flatter your figure and elongate your body with minimal effort in the planning department. All you really have to do is choose some complementary accessories; scarves, foot-wear, jewelry or bag and you are set for the day. Dresses also translate well from day to night so if you have a function in the evening you don’t have to plan a new out fit and you’ll save a lot of time.
The places I would suggest shopping for fall dresses are Victoria’s Secret online, H&M, RW & Co and even Ricki’s. They all have a great selection of casual dresses but Victoria’s Secret by far has the most to choose from and very reasonable prices and you don’t have to go to the mall! If you really want to get a good deal and dip your toes into the dress pool without investing a fortune in something you may not care for – go to Walmart; I’m not kidding. They have great quality jersey dresses for under $15 CAD; while their sweater dress selection is minimal and far from stunning what they do offer is cute and affordable.
1. Don’t assume that just because it’s cooler and the days shorter that you can’t still be colorful. Whatever the colors are that you’ve fallen in love with; you can transition them into the fall by moving down the color-palette and choosing more subdued tones. If you love lemon yellow, consider a butter yellow or even mustard. Gem stone purples make perfectly pretty lavenders too.
2. Black, tan, grey and white are always excellent staples but don’t limit yourself to neutrals. If you have a hard time making the transition from bright summer time colors to the more understated fall selections, try wearing neutrals with a pop of summer time color! A camel pea coat with a vibrant scarf or hand bag is one good way and you can also dress up your day wear by pairing neutral trousers/skirt ensemble with a colorful blouse.
3. Fall is a great time to incorporate metallics into your wardrobe – if you were thinking of purchasing a pair of nude heels, consider a gold pair. If you are inclined to wear grey, consider silver or a deep gun-metal hue with some sheen.
4. Accessories are easy to showcase this season because you spend a lot of time covering your outfit with a jacket. Focus on choosing a jacket with interesting details, like a peasant hood or a high collar; even ornate buttons are a great detail choice. As well, choosing boots with great details is another way to let your style shine this fall. You can’t always get away with rocking boots that are intricate but the fall and winter are the season to try something daring.
5. Finally, your hair! You can go one of two ways; interesting updo’s that incorporate something like a bow constructed from your hair help soften the darker side of the season. However, if you like to embrace the darker inspirations of the season then now’s the time to try a new hair color or cut. A sharp angular cut that draws attention to your features is one great option and if you are looking to change colors, consider skipping the highlights/low-lights altogether and choose a warm solid tone.
Here’s the thing about scary movies; there is a right and a wrong way to do them. Many horror movies go too far and by that I mean, they start with scary and then push it too unbelievable. Once something exits the realm of “Possible” it no longer retains the scary factor because our ability to suspend disbelief is compromised. You can’t plant a story-line in the real-world and then part way through switch to fantasy or supernatural and expect the audience to stay with you.
Good examples of this would be, Jeepers Creepers, the first one has you believing that this sadistic very creepy man is chasing down two teens. It’s very scary because it’s possible, completely plausible in our every day lives – there are murders everywhere. However, half way through the film you discover that it’s not a man but a winged demon. This ruins the initial fear the film instills because it just exited real and became supernatural so we no longer feel that we are actually in danger. This does not apply to the second installment of Jeepers Creepers because we know he is a demon and the film is based around that supernatural concept – it does not flip-flop between two different planes.
Another film that blows it in this way is Insidious. Insidious had the potential to be a very scary movie but once they crossed over into the unbelievable insanity of the dream world or “The further” the movie began to skirt the borders of ridiculous.
The key to a brilliant and effective scary movie (horror/thriller) is to make the audience feel like it could happen to them. This is where Intruders really hit the nail on the head. The film focuses around a little boy and a little girl in two different parts of the world but both are dealing with the same scary figure named “Hollowface.” Depending on the copy of the movie you see there may or may not be subtitles; the little boy’s story is told in Spanish but what I came to appreciate was that the conversations going on in Spanish are not relevant. The movie wants you to focus on the atmosphere and the scene its self – not the dialogue. It is easy to determine what is generally being said anyway, so don’t fret when you find that you cannot keep up with the dialogue.
This film sort of plays on your typical imaginary boogeyman figure, which may not seem scary, but the fear really comes into play when you realize that adults see it too and you start to wonder if Hollowface is a real person or not. This film never gets too crazy, although there is plenty of spooky imagery and it plays on many natural fears; like being afraid of the dark, having your home burglarized while your in it, losing a child or having a child attacked etc. This film consistently keeps it’s feet planted in reality which, in my opinion, makes the film actually scary.
This film deserves more recognition as a horror-masterpiece and I really recommend it to those horror film skeptics out there – like myself. The film stars Clive Owen and he always delivers an impeccable performance; this film is no exception, so buy it, rent it or eh um – download it 😉
So I’ve been holding off discussing the Fall/Winter Fashion Collections, mainly because the actual shows happen in the summer and it just feels like were asking summer to “get lost” a little too early! I realize we are in the middle of summer still but if I wait much longer this won’t really be news anymore will it? So without further ado…
Black is back this winter but really, it’s a classic that is always in style. This season Yves Saint Laurant had a parade of women who looked eerily similar to the “Addicted to Love” Girls – in a good way of course! Masculine inspired suits paired with vibrant red-lips and sleek hair completed the look du jour. The most wearable aspect of this show were the suit pants and I think this will carry over to the mainstream quite well. Highly tailored black suit pants with a masculine cut can give any outfit that dash of attitude it might be missing. Aside from looking chic, it’s also an incredibly comfortable get-up for a day spent at the office or even if you are traveling.
Givenchy had a Matrix meets Samurai feeling about it. Once again it was all about black but Givenchy amped things up by pairing feminine blousy tops with leather jackets and loose fitting slacks. Also keeping it girly were the bob-cut hair-do’s that made the dark color scheme seem less heavy. The trends that I think will be catching on from this show are dark lips in shades of plum or maroon and the ever fabulous full length leather gloves.
Dolce has taken it’s own path this season with the vast majority of their pieces incorporating heavy laces. The overall feel of the show was bohemian with old-world gypsy inspire hair and hair-pieces. Dolce chose to keep fall/winter feeling a little less cool by utilizing warm neutral makeup but on the flip-side they tried to offer a little more coverage from the cold through Victorian-inspired collars. While artistically visionary and well placed in the show, the Victorian collar has a matronly air about it. Will it mainstream? Perhaps we will see some interesting variations on the turtle neck or even some wearable versions in wedding gown designs but I can’ say this is a likely candidate for every day attire. I very much enjoyed that Dolce kept some whimsy about them and didn’t get too heavy or dark in the way some of the other designers did this Fall/Winter season.
Valentino portrayed a great mix on the runway encompassing the black color scheme, leather and a bit of a Victorian inspiration. While the Valentino show was not exclusively in black, it was monochrome and black and white leather were featured predominantly. The Victorian era permeated the hairstyles with intricate braided up-do’s and long sleeve dresses, comprised of sturdy materials but refreshed by a modest-length. Crop trousers were a popular choice here as well and all the ladies were sporting the always in-style smokey eye. Solid colors prevailed here with very little pattern but occasionally a splash of red would brighten the runway and it was always welcomed. Interestingly, accessories were not that prevalent this season. A few purses were present here and there but overall it was pretty bare. Not to say that’s a bad thing, sometimes accessories can overshadow a look as opposed to enhance it so, I must admit, I liked seeing the purse as the star accessory!
I was very skeptical about this film but I decided to go see it because I was less skeptical about Ted than I was about the Amazing Spider-man. I was not disappointed! I laughed out loud several times at the inappropriate jokes, weird situations and awkward moments. The dialogue is just insane and routinely points and laughs at it’s self, which is something few movies do….it really makes fun of the obvious flaws in the plot and the uncanny similarity between Ted and Peter Griffin.
The humor in this film is inappropriate in the way that Family Guy is inappropriate, it’s socially/politically incorrect and dares to comment on situations that, most of us, purposely avoid discussing. The novelty of this profane insanity coming from a stuffed animal never wears off! You never really get use to the adult attitude, voice or mannerisms…nearly every scene is surprising, solely because it’s such an absurd concept. The plot is a classic romance scenario in which a friendship is broken up in favor of an increasingly serious romantic-attachment. This traditional storyline is shaken up by an interesting kidnapping scenario (enter Giovanni Ribisi – who plays an EXCELLENT CREEP) and is ended with a reverse-reverse Velveteen Rabbit, which is bastardized by even more political incorrectness. The ending, which is initially sad and uncomfortable is quickly rerouted into something hilarious and awkward. This R-rated Pinocchio-like tale is all-in-all a really funny film for those out there who do have a crass sense of humor or who can at least appreciate one. Many aspects of this film are offensive and derogatory so perhaps keep that in mind if you are planning to see it and remember – yes, the main character is a Teddy Bear but, no, it’s not a children’s movie. This is as much of a children’s movie as Pan’s Labyrinth is….and I know several parents that made that mistake o.O