Celebrating Spring Trends with a Look Back at Sunday Occasion

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Today is the first official day of spring, and for my fellow Iranians around the world, the spring equinox also marks the beginning of a new year, known as Nowruz. I love this time of the year, it’s not only a happy celebration full of yummy food and warm visits from family and friends, but it also means for a renewal and a refresh of our homes and closets, something I always look forward to.

My love for the spring season was fully realized when I was asked by Pacific Centre to host and style Sunday Occasion, their charity spring fashion runway show, just held last week. It was such an honour being involved with this event; in addition to having the chance to inspire attendees on incorporating the hottest spring trends using mall retailers, 100% of proceeds went to an incredibly vital organization in our community, Coast Mental Health. I am happy to say that the event was a complete sell out, with 150 fashion-loving guests being treated to an afternoon of delicious food, cocktails and three runway shows from Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen and finally, Pacific Centre retailers (styled by me)!

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Coast Mental Health Foundation’s Board of Governors Chair, Shirley Broadfoot, addresses the crowd.

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To celebrate the arrival of spring, here is a breakdown of some of my favourite looks from my runway presentation, along with which Pacific Centre retailers I used to create them. My inspiration was simple: I wanted to show men and women simple ways to recreate the hottest spring trends from international runways (Paris, Milan and New York), while using a variety of accessible price points.

Look #1: A Men’s Dressy Look

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This look was inspired by mid-century modern styles we saw in men’s runway shows, think 1950’s, 3-piece suits with fluid lines and softer fabrics. We saw that in the men’s Armani runway show and now we see it in a 3-piece khaki suit from Le Chateau. I paired it with a navy polka dot dress shirt from Banana Republic, a brown leather belt from Coach, Ted Baker brown leather loafers from Town Shoes, Tom Ford wafer-style sunglasses from Eyes Inspire, finished off with a fun men’s umbrella from Coach, to be prepared for when the Spring showers hit.

Look #2: A Women’s Dressy Look, Perfect for the Office

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This look was inspired by floral and neon trends we saw from Oscar de la Renta and Michael Kors. Don’t be afraid of incorporating neon hues for the office, in a sea of black and grey, adding pops of colour in your work attire is a great way to freshen it up and make it fashion-forward. Here I have put the model in a hot pink and black floral blouse from Banana Republic, a hot pink blazer from Ever New, pencil leg dress pants from Judith and Charles, a black leather handbag and gold pointy-toe pumps from Miss Sixty, finished off with a classic pair of Dolce and Gabbana cat-eye sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.

Look #3: A Casual Men’s Look, the “Jet-Setter”

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After a long workweek, it’s time to have fun on the weekend. Casual wear is a perfect chance to experiment and play with fashion. This casual look was inspired by the floral prints we saw (even for the men!) in menswear shows like Prada and Dries van Noten. Gentlemen, if floral is a bit intimidating for you, do it in more subdued tones like Navy and blue (another big trend), seen in this shirt from Le Chateau. It’s put together with pink khakis pants and matching canvas and leather belt from the Gap (pastel hues are also another major Spring trend, more on that in another look), a denim jacket from Mexx, brown leather loafers (no socks!) from Geox, a brown leather duffle bag from Coach (perfect for any spring getaway, and then finished off with Gucci aviator sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.

Look #4: A Casual Women’s Look, “Weekend Sparkle”

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For this look, I was inspired by the embellishment trend we saw on runway shows like Marni and Balanciaga. Casual pieces that are transformed with sequins, studs and crystals, either all over or on select places like collars and cuffs. To showcase this I put our model in an embellished denim shirt from Ever New, which can be dressed up or down. I paired the denim shirt with Kelly green trousers and a hot pink thin belt from Banana Republic and finished with Kate Spade + Keds sneakers from Town Shoes that had a fun polka dot pattern and hints of hot pink.

Look #5: A Casual Men’s Look that Screams the Navy Colour Trend

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Stars like Kevin Spacey opted for navy suits rather than the traditional black at this year’s Oscars red carpet, and here I’m showing you different ways to wear navy in a more casual look, starting with a lightweight linen navy shirt from Banana Republic. It’s paired with striped navy and cream Bermuda shorts and a cream belt from RW&Co., a red and navy nylon bomber jacket (a bomber jacket is the perfect spring alternative for layering), Ted Baker brown leather loafers with contrast laces from Town Shoes, and finished off with Prada sunglasses from Eyes Inspire.

Look #6: A Casual Women’s Look, “Perfect Pastels”

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As mentioned before, spring 2014 runways screamed pastel hues, from accessories to evening wear to coats. This pastel look, also has another major trend I saw on the spring 2014 runways: leather biker jackets in pretty much any pastel colour, not in traditional black! Versace gave us pink pastel biker jackets for women and here I’m giving you one from Club Monaco. The rest of the look played on other trends as well, floral shorts from Ever New, a cotton white tee from RW&Co., white leather wedge sandals from Le Chateau and an Inzi black and white striped faux leather clutch from Town Shoes, demonstrating how easy it is to mix print on print!

Look #7: A Casual Women’s Look, the On-the-Go “Sports Lux”

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In Vancouver we love to be active and comfortable, be it walking on the seawall or running around doing weekend errands. But that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice style for comfort or functionality. This is what I am calling my sports lux look, inspired by the rise of chic sporty elements in high fashion. It all starts with this comfortable stretchy zip black and white graphic patterned dress from Club Monaco. I put it under this fabulous, water resistant black polyurethane trench coat from Banana Republic, a neon green baseball cap from J.Crew and neon pink and green New Balance sneakers from Town Shoes. Being sporty never looked so good!

I hope you can take some of these trends and incorporate them into your spring wardrobe. A big thank you to Pacific Centre for their amazing partnership, and to Holt Renfrew Vancouver for dressing me for Sunday Occasion in a Peter Pilotto dress and Jimmy Choo nude heels.

Happy Spring everybody!

Animal Instincts

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_IGP3611OUTFIT DETAILS || Urban Outfitters hat, Forever 21 leopard-print coat, H&M sweater, J Brand Oxblood Coated Skinnies (bought at Hudson’s Bay), Dolce Vita leather booties, Banana Republic gold chain necklace, Stella and Dot “Renegade Cluster” bracelet, Michael Kors watch and 3.1 Phillip Lim “Pashli” satchel. Photography by Mitra Mansour.

When the sun comes out in Vancouver, just like a caged animal that’s given it’s first taste of freedom, I can’t wait to go outside. I am not a rainy weather person at all (I blame my Middle Eastern blood), and after living in Vancouver for 27 years, you’d think I would have adapted to our wet West Coast winters, but it’s quite the opposite. That’s why when the sun peered its glorious head this week,  I had to take full advantage with a stroll in my Kitsilano neighbourhood, which also meant a chance to ditch my scarf and gloves for the first time all year- yes! In keeping with what seemed like a caged animal mindset for weeks, I pulled out my favourite coat purchase from this last season to finish off my outfit of the day: an affordable leopard-print coat from Forever 21 that’s actually quite light-weight, perfect for the changing seasons. Spring is on its way folks!

 

Interior Design Trends with Décor Expert Janette Ewen

Visiting Janette Ewen's favourite booths from the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Visiting Janette Ewen’s favourite booths from the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

 

Now that we are in March, this is the time of the year where “spring cleaning” takes on full force, but not necessarily in the traditional sense. After months of grey, dark winter weather, we long for more of a spring renewal than just a spring-clean of our homes. To add that extra bit of spring punch in our home décor, along with tips on how to incorporate the hottest design trends, I sat down with the talented Janette Ewen at the recent BC Home and Garden Show. You may know interior stylist and décor expert Janette from her work on television with some of our favourite home renovation shows, but she also is a working designer running her studio Parker Barrow with her business partner Jef Hancock.

Janette Ewen and I discuss Spring 2014 design trends at the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Janette Ewen and I discuss Spring 2014 design trends at the BC Home and Garden Show’s Living Melodies Garden exhibit. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Janette Ewen and I at the Living Melodies Garden Exhibit at the 2014 BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Janette Ewen and I at the Living Melodies Garden Exhibit at the 2014 BC Home and Garden Show. On Mana: Prabal Gurung for Target sweatshirt, H&M skirt, Pour La Victoire suede booties and vintage costume jewelry.  Photo by Mitra Mansour.

 

It was so fun spending the afternoon with Janette getting inspiration and ideas from the BC Home and Garden show, where her and Jef were presenting on the main stage. We visited some of her favourite booths that encapsulated some of the tips and trends she shared with me in our interview, while having some laughs along the way. Here are the highlights:

Janette and I sharing laughs at the Lumin Concepts booth at the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Janette and I sharing laughs at the Lumin Concepts booth at the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Upcycled decor from Lumin Concepts at the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

Upcycled decor from Lumin Concepts at the BC Home and Garden Show. Photo by Mitra Mansour.

 

What are your top 3 interior design trends for 2014?

Janette: The first thing I would say is WELL TRAVELED. Almost like archaeological, fun things that you would find that kind of have a vintage look but look like they come from somewhere foreign and fabulous. Marrakesh is a big design inspiration. It’s about taking things back from those travels; think of the Nile, or Paris in the 1800’s.

An example of the Well Travelled look. Design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard via Georgiana Design.

An example of the Well Travelled look. Design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard via Georgiana Design.

Another example of the Well Travelled look. Design by  Isabel López-Quesada via Habitually Chic.

Another example of the Well Travelled look. Design by Isabel López-Quesada via Habitually Chic.

 

Next, MODERN AND HOLLYWOOD GLAM MIXED. I know we’ve seen Hollywood Regency and mid-century modern but we’re seeing now a great combination of both. Very Palm Springs, designers like Jonathan Adler is leading the way…it kind of got over glam for a while, but it’s come back down now.

The Modern mixed with Hollywood Glam look. Design by Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent via Domino.

The Modern mixed with Hollywood Glam look. Design by Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent via Domino.

Another dose of Modern mixed with Hollywood Glam. Design by Lorenzo Castillo via Domaine Home.

Another dose of Modern mixed with Hollywood Glam. Design by Lorenzo Castillo via Domaine Home.

 

My next big one is BRASS IS BACK. Brass and navy are two of my big colour and material trends, think masculine, James Bond films/nautical. I think for a long time it was that 80’s/90’s brass and we just didn’t get it, but now the way it’s being repurposed is really amazing.

Navy and Brass, Janette's top colour and material trends. Design by Lee Ledbetter, via The Visual Vamp.

Navy and Brass, Janette’s top colour and material trends. Design by Lee Ledbetter, via The Visual Vamp.

A Navy and Brass kitchen. Design by Sarah Richardson.

A Navy and Brass kitchen. Design by Sarah Richardson.

 

What’s the easiest way to transition your space for Spring?

Janette: First thing I would do is wallpaper your ceiling, especially if you are in a small space or high up, it gives you kind of an escape. And wallpaper comes off really easy now so it’s non-committal. All of sudden your eyes goes up, it feels more open. Then, swap out your throw pillows, bring in some bright shots of colour, I love chartreuse for spring it’s so beautiful and fresh. I would even look at swapping out your accessories, get rid of your heavy rugs; bring in an outdoor rug or a sisal rug instead. Switch out heavy, dark woody accessories for glass and a little bit of sparkle.

If someone wants to incorporate some of your tips on a budget, what advice can you share?

Janette: First one is DIY- something like sowing a pillow is just four seams, and even Jef can sow a pillow! Use bright fabric scraps from other projects, and one side can even be a flat colour. Second, make your own stuff! I made a light fixture at our studio in LA with tree branches we found and LED lights, which became an amazing hanging light fixture, and it has that very eclectic feel. Also, look at garden stores out of season, you can find those big sculptural looking pieces or pieces that have that well traveled look which are for the outdoors but with some spray paint you can transition them for inside. Shop salvation army, Jef is really into going to scrap yards to find treasures. It just takes a little more digging and a little more elbow grease but I really think there’s nothing you can’t do, plus you’ll love it more because you’re not just looking for the trend, you’re making your trend.

A big thank you to Janette Ewen, Lumin Concepts, Reformation PR and the BC Home and Garden show. Also, thanks to the talented team behind the Living Melodies garden for allowing Janette and I an up close and personal look at this gorgeous exhibition, detailed post coming soon!

Oscars Red Carpet Recap on CTV Morning Live

Highlights from my CTV Morning Live post-oscars segment.

Highlights from my CTV Morning Live post-oscars segment.

 

The 2014 Oscars did not disappoint, there were a lot of memorable moments…Lupita’s supporting Oscar win, the now infamous Ellen selfie shot, and of course, the fashions we saw on the red carpet. Old Hollywood was in full force, as my actresses and even some actors paid homage to Tinsletown’s golden age with their ensembles, hair and make-up. I was once again invited to dish out my fashion hits and misses on CTV Morning Live Vancouver immediately following the Oscars, but I have to admit, choosing my lists this year were a bit of a challenge. There weren’t a lot of awful outfits, and for the most part, everyone looked decent across the board. But I decided that only a few actresses were able to give that extra “wow” factor, making my coveted hits list. To see exactly who, along with my entire list of misses, click on the below picture:

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A big thank you to the lovely Keri Adams and the entire production crew at CTV Morning Live for having me on the show. And last but not least, thank you to my amazingly talented friend Jacob Rozenberg from Moods Salon for my Sandra Bullock inspired hair, I truly felt like a Hollywood screen siren!