Monday, 26 August 2013

guest blogger alyssa wilson: white lace dress

ASOS lace dress, Cropped denim jacket purchased hereMichael Kors watch, American Apparel stud earrings, gold rings purchased from a local boutique, essie nail colour in fifth avenue, two tone sunnies from eBay & BCBG thrift store find brown leather heels. 

I am not usually one to only wear a dress once (even my wedding assure I will find a way to wear it out again!) but I do admit it can be challenging to find ways to re-wear a piece that is meant for special occasions or events. Over the years I have found ways to easily take a fancier dress and make it more every day appropriate. I also quickly realized that there is no reason why items purposely bought for a wedding or a special outing can't be recycled for another special occasion instead of becoming "that dress I only wore once..." but refuse to get rid of so it ends up hidden at the back of the closet and ignored (that's not very nice!)

 I purchased this lace dress from asos for our wedding rehearsal dinner. I paired it black tights and a simple black wool cardigan at the time but decided that it was too pretty not to wear out again. The strapless cut and lace overlay made it easy to wear during any season yet I wanted a more casual approach to it. Paired with a cropped denim jacket, brown leather heels and easy hair this outfit can easily be worn during the day and never has to fear the back of the closet again.

Photography by Justina Phippen

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Nina Bitton Collection Launch Party

Nina Bitton Launch Party
Sienna Vittoria, Toronto.
August 21, 2013

From left to right: Hanna Amar, Model, Model, Muriel Amar, Model.

The sister design duo, Muriel and Hanna Amar, have proudly released their new plus-size apparel line, Nina Bitton. While the Amar sisters are primarily self-trained, they have fashion in their blood. The collection is named after their grandmother, a designer, who passed the craft on to their mother, and eventually to them. Guests of the launch party enjoyed mingling with the models, local photographers and media members, while sipping on chocolate martinis.

From left to right: Sienna Vittoria, Model, Hanna Amar

The label is targeted towards women who are looking for well-tailored clothing that is appropriate for a professional work atmosphere, yet still maintains a sense of youthfulness. “I’ve been a plus size all my life, and it is so hard to find clothing that fits. So if I’m not finding it, neither are other people,” explained Hanna. They set out to fill this gap niche with clothes that are “cut to fit” rather than merely made with fabric that “stretches to fit”. This differentiation was recognized by several of the models at the event, as they happily vouched for the clothing’s flattering fit and comfort. “This clothing is comfortable and constructed with curves in mind. It’s professional, but still youthful,” one plus size model said appreciatively.

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Model and blogger Adam Goldberg

The Nina Bitton garments were paired with striking jewelry made from bold coloured crystals by designer Rebekah Price. With a background in womenswear, Price eventually transitioned into accessory design after taking a break for her children. “I came across some vintage crystals one day, sat down at the table, and began picking and poking. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, but I loved it.” The moment Price felt she had reached her goal was a year later when her collection was picked up at Holt Renfrew. Since then, her jewelry has graced the covers of fashion magazines such as Flare, Fashion, and Vogue. The collaboration between the Amar sisters and Price is fitting as both design teams share the goal of “making a woman feel beautiful instantly.” Price uses colour theory to lift her customer’s mood, as she acknowledges that specific colours correspond with positive energy.
From left to right: Muriel Amar, Rebekah Price, Hanna Amar

Read on to read my interview with the Amar sisters.

Why did the two of you decide to design together as partners?
Hanna: well, we’re both fashionistas, we love getting dressed up, we love handbags, we love makeup, so we thought why don’t we put our passions together, and make something amazing. At the base we have the same style, but mine is a little more rocker chic while [Muriel’s] is more classic. Combined, it gave us this wonderful collection.
Muriel: There wasn’t much out there in plus sizes for the everyday girl. They should have the same kind of clothing as everyone else: cut well and made well. Not just a stretch.

What is your background in fashion? 
Hanna: I did a little bit of fashion at college, and a few fashion shows, but no real training.
Muriel:  I’ve been drawing my whole life, and I’ve always loved it.

This is your first collection, as you mentioned, so what’s next for you?
Hanna: the next season is rocker-chic! Leather jackets, and a little more nighttime.
Muriel: this season is more city-chic, so there is a focus on the transition from work to an evening out.

Tell me about the jewelry designer you’re working with?
Muriel: Her name is Rebekah Price. All our pieces are paired with her jewelry. They are beautiful pieces and we are so happy to be collaborating with her.

Where can we purchase your clothing?
Muriel: We have a few stores in Toronto carrying our line such as Sexy Plus, and several others that will be announced soon. Additionally on our website.

Check out their spring/summer‘13 collection at:

-Sienna Vittoria
Twitter: @SiennaVittoria

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

guest blogger alyssa wilson || watermelon vodka

I have been trying to come up with a light and refreshing cocktail this summer. I remembered on several occasion of people who would inject vodka into a whole watermelon and so I thought this would make a lovely summer drink. Since I like the idea of having fruit pieces in my drinks I decided watermelon and vodka was the way to go. After making up something with what I had on hand in my kitchen I began researching actual recipes on Pinterest. They are pretty similar and easily altered to your own taste. See this recipe as well as this one {with gin and grapefruit} that I cannot wait to try. You can also make this a sweeter cocktail by adding one of your favorite syrups. I love the flavors that Torani offers.

One. Cut up watermelon in small cubes and place in a mason jar or any other jar that can be sealed.{not quite half full}.
Two. Fill with vodka {just enough to cover the watermelon cubes}.
Three. Let sit in fridge for at least an hour before serving or even better for a couple of days.
Four. Once it's ready to drink fill with sparkling water or club soda and enjoy. C'est simple non?!

The best part? Eating the watermelon at the end. Enjoy!

Photography by Justina Phippen