About Sarah

 

Sarah Francis is a fashion addict with a serious shoe fetish and a penchant for shiny things.  She's the Director of Real Life Runway and Official Stylist of Vaughan Mills. Her work has appeared in some of the country's top magazines, newspapers and TV shows.  Oh, and she loooves to shop. Obviously.

 

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Thursday
Nov012012

Le Weekend 

Photos courtesy Roots

I have a love/hate relationship with winter.  I used to ski but since I no longer live a snowball's throw from a ski hill, I currently have no winter hobbies. Unless you count eating or shopping?  I generally (okay, fine, exclusively) prefer the warm to the cold and if I do venture outside, I'm usually thinking something like "How many days until spring?"  But the clothes - oh how I love the clothes.  The fur-lined boots, the down-filled coats, the pretty scarves and cozy sweaters make me not only accept the fact that the cold weather's here to stay but actually get a little excited about it.  On the days when I dress properly for the weather, I can marvel at the beauty of freshly fallen snow and revel in the fact that drinking liquid chocolate is suddenly acceptable. And of course, I can't help but adore the twinkly lights and the snuggle-up-by-the-fire weekends when Christmas is just around the corner.  This year, instead of fighting it, I plan on embracing every chilly minute. You with me?

This season, I'm loving the chic winter looks from Roots and hopefully these pics will inspire you the next time you look out the window and think, 'Ugh.'  And if you're feeling a bit of wanderlust lately, be sure to sign up for this super fun Pinterest contest for your chance to win your Ultimate Canadian getaway! One lucky winner and a guest will be on their way to a private ski chalet from CottageCountry.com, decked out with Roots leather luggage and hooked up with a $500 Roots shopping spree. How amazing would that be?! Enter here and start pinning your way to a winter paradise x

 

Wednesday
Oct172012

Wild Ones

Lily Donaldson gets catty for Harper's Bazaar

cou.gar (/ˈko͞ogər - see also hunt, prowl, corner, pounce). Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the "hunt" for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar...waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. "Man is cougar's number one prey" (Urban Dictionary)

 

I'm of the opinion that a cougar is born, not made.  My husband and I often have marital 'discussions' about cougs;  He believes that the simple act of throwing on a spotted scarf means you've bought yourself a 1-way ticket to Cougarville.  I, on the other paw, see it differently. From Paris to New York to Milan, chic girls everywhere understand the power of animal print. A leopard belt here or a python clutch there can spell the difference between boring and sublime. The cool-girl key?  It's all about small doses (ie. no more than one stand-out piece, with very few exceptions) and of course, the right print.  Oh, and if you're single and just happen to score a hot young thing while you're at it? Bonus. Just sayin'...

Click through for my top spotted picks from Danier, ALDO, Le Château, Dynamite, American Eagle and Cleo at New Sudbury Centre.  MEE-OWW!

 
Friday
Oct052012

Friends with Benefits


Greta Constantine SKIN images courtesy: Danier

Everybody loves a good designer collab, allowing those of us who  a) don't live in a big city or b) don't have an unlimited budget, gain access to some of the world's top designers.  This season, there are plenty of ways to do just that at New Sudbury Centre with a slew of covetable capsule collections.  Here, some of our current faves....

The Store: Danier

Friends w Benefits: Greta Constantine & Philip Sparks

Collab Deets: Danier's ever-impressive list of designer collabs continues this Fall, with new capsule collections from Canadian designers Philip Sparks and Greta Constantine SKIN, as well as the release of Meagan Johnston's DANIER DESIGN CHALLENGE winning jacket (recognize any of this year's judges?)  Each collection reimagines leather in beautiful ways - from Greta Constantine's sexy, modern take to Sparks' decidedly nostalgic flair.

Available: Greta Constantine SKIN items are available now at danier.com with Philip Sparks for Danier to be released later this fall.

The Store: ALDO

Friends with Benefits:  FLARE Magazine‘s fashion director, Liz Cabral

Collab Deets:   Liz Cabral has teamed up with ALDO Shoes a second time for Fall 2012.  The editor, internationally admired for her flawless taste, has designed 2 pairs of covetable shoes for fall; an oxblood colour-blocked shootie ($155) and a lace stiletto bootie ($175, not pictured) as well as a roomy faux croc bag in red or blue ($70). 

Available: In select ALDO stores now, online later this month

The Store: ALDO

Friends with Benefits: Preen & Patrik Ervell for ALDO RISE

Collab Deets: ALDO RISE, ALDO’s fashion week collaborations program, gives designers the chance to create and showcase the footwear they envision for their collections at accessible price-points.  For London-based design duo Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen, the current crop of shoes is reminiscent of an English Garden, featuring striking butterfly and botanical prints in lush suede and rich leather perched atop a skyscraper heel.  Meanwhile, Patrik Ervell combines various materials such as classic leather with utilitarian rubber soles and technical fabrics like nylon to create functional/fabulous footwear for both men & women. The ALDO RISE collection retails between $180 - $190.

Available: Now at select ALDO locations and online at aldoshoes.com

 

The Store: ALDO (again..I know)

Friends with Benefits: Manhattan's ultra-chic shop, WARM Boutique

Collab Deets: Taking a cue from The Shops at Target, The ALDO BOUTIQUE is a new collaboration program that seeks to discover great partnerships amongst ALDO's global network of talented tastemakers (think artists, musicians, architects etc.).  Winnie Beattie and Rob Magnotta of WARM worked alongside ALDO's in-house designers to design a plush suede bootie for all seasons, available in taupe, camel & black ($125).  Says Beattie, “I love this style because it can be worn with a runway dress as much as it can be thrown on after a surf on a cool day at the beach. It is cool, casual, and reminds me of something a girl from the Marais would wear if she was on her way to Biarritz for the weekend."

Available: At select ALDO stores and online at www.aldoshoes.com 

The Store: People's Jewellers

Friends with Benefits: Vera Wang

Collab Deets: For Vera Wang, simple, classic, elegant designs come naturally. The designer, best known for her luxurious bridal frocks, has created an extensive diamond ring collection, Vera Wang LOVE, available at People's, a next-to-foolproof way to thrill any girlfriend, wife or bride-to-be.  The collection launched last year but it's worth a shout-out because sometimes, if you mention it enough, somebody (nudge, nudge) might get the hint.

Available: NOW, at People's Jewellers :)

Jay Manuel works his signature silver-fox smize

ATTITUDE Jay Manuel Long Sleeve Peplum Top, $25, Sears

The Store: Sears

Friends with Benefits: Jay Manuel of ANTM Fame

Collab Deets: A few years back, silver fox Jay Manuel was appointed Creative Director of ATTITUDE Jay Manuel, Sears Canada's private label collection, which includes current, cool and (since it's Sears) blissfully affordable women's apparel, shoes, and accessories.  This season's collection was inspired by the best of Britain - imagine colour-blocked cobalt blue and poppy red, plus studded Peter Pan collars and of-the-moment peplum accents.  

Available: Now at Sears or online at sears.ca

LINE Knitwear x Roots Maple Intarsia Crew, $128, Roots

Preloved x Roots Mitts, $25

The Store: Roots

Friends with Benefits: LINE Knitwear and Preloved

Collab Deets: Roots always chooses the most interesting partnerships and this year, the collabs are especially cozy.   Haute label LINE Knitwear is a go-to for celebs like Jennifer Garner, Kate Bosworth and Taylor Swift. The LINE Knitwear x Roots collection features iconic Canadian prints (beavers? check. maples leaves? ditto.) worked into cozy-luxe sweaters at an accessible price ($128 for a sweater).  Next up? Preloved, a Canadian design co. that cleverly reworks vintage sweaters and fabric into pretty new pieces like cozy toggle scarves, and homepun-looking mittens. Devotees of the brand include Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst.  Oh, and yours truly.  Does that count?

Available: LINE Knitwear pieces available now at Roots and roots.com. Preloved in stores mid-October.

The pretty, party-ready MARTIN LIM for Reitmans collection

The designers' inspiration board and collection sketches at last night's launch event in Toronto

The Store: Reitmans

Friends with Benefits: Danielle Martin and Pao Lim of Martin Lim

Collab Deets: Partners in both love and business, Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, founded their label, MARTIN LIM, in 2010.  Ever since, the fashion industry and customers alike have fallen for their sleek, sophisticated designs.  The just-revealed MARTIN LIM for Reitmans capsule collection comprises 10 gorgeous dresses in regular, petite and plus-sizes, perfect for dancing your way through the upcoming party season.  I'm most excited about the plus-size body-con dresses - such a welcome (and flattering!) change for curvy girls.  Oh, and the video above? A hilarious must-see.

Available:  Online Nov 1st at reitmans.com.  In select Reitmans stores Nov 2nd.