Summer Party Style: The Roaring 20’s and The Great Gatsby

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Photo Credit: Danani Handmade Adornments

Now that were are officially at the start of summer, it’s easy to notice how full the event calendar during the months of June, July, August and September soon become. Weddings, graduation celebrations, garden parties, BBQ’s, patio soirees…the list goes on and on, but one thing is certain: finding something chic, event appropriate, yet also unique for each event turns into a conundrum. If you’re like me, recycling the same three party dresses over and over again gets boring pretty quick, so my solution? How about injecting an elegant and classic theme to your outfit? One of my favourite vintage-inspired themes is the roaring 1920’s and The Great Gatsby. Thanks to the recent Baz Luhrmann cinematic revival of the F. Scott Fitzgerald literary classic staring Leonardo DiCaprio, the runways in the last few years have taken on this trend, offering flapper-esque ensembles in both ready-to-wear and evening wear, transporting the look to the 21st century. The key with putting a 1920’s/The Great Gatsby-inspired look together is to not make it too costumey. Leave the over-the-top fishnets, plastic pearls and cigarette holders for Halloween…achieving an elegant yet modern version of this look is to just inject the different elements of the era, such as textures and silhouettes. Here are some suggestions to achieving the look:

  • Lots of sequins, tassels and beadwork, in both clothing and accessories
  • Drop waist dresses that are loose-fitting
  • Three-piece suits for men, in both dark and light colours such as beige or white.
  • Delicate hats, headbands or fascinators for women, straw or light felt fedoras for men
  • Loose waves pinned up if you have long hair, (or worn down if you have a bob hairstyle) and for the men, slicked back hair with a side-part.

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Tiffany and Co.’s gorgeous The Great Gatsby Collection:

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Brooks Brothers‘ Great Gatsby collection:

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

Actress Charlize Theron wearing Great Gatsby-inspired hair on the red carpet:

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

The original 1974 The Great Gatsby film starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow:

Summer Party Style: The Great Gatsby

If you are eager like me to try out some of these looks this summer, then I have the perfect occasion for you. I am pleased to announce that I have partnered with the picturesque Pretty Estates Resort in Harrison Mills to give away 2 tickets to their 2nd Annual Great Gatsby Garden Party held at Rowena’s Inn on the River on Sunday, July 6.

Summer Party Style: The Great GatsbyInspired by the Hollywood film, The Great Gatsby, this 1920s-themed poolside gathering will feature live music, swing dancers, and a craft fair showcasing local artisans. Established in 2013, the first event was a big hit with locals and out-of-town guests alike, with about 200 attendees in their finest 1920s attire. This year’s event will be even bigger and better than the last, with local jazz musician Jennifer Hodge leading the musical entertainment. Here’s a taste from last year’s festivities:

Party guests are encouraged to dress in their favourite roaring 1920’s/The Great Gatsby attire, and will enjoy an Afternoon Tea menu, including savouries and dainties, prepared by Executive Chef, Jonathan Gee, and his team.


  1. Follow @stylebymana on twitter (1 entry)
  2. Retweet the following on twitter (2 entries):

Show off your #summer style by winning 2 tix to @RowenasInn’s #GreatGatsby Garden party via @stylebymana RT to enter

Contest closes Wednesday, July 2 at 12 pm. Winner will be chosen at random.

Tickets for the Great Gatsby Garden Party at Rowena’s Inn on the River are available by phone at 604.796.1000 or by clicking here.

Style Your Home: Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

My home featured in Framework Magazine, photo by Jeremy Jude Lee.


I have a confession to make…I am a huge sucker for home décor. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore fashion and beauty know-how, dedicating much of my professional career to uncovering the best in fashion in our city (which I still very much love doing), but late at night when I’m scouring Pinterest before bed, it’s “brass and glass” or “Hollywood regency” or “marble countertops” that seem to go into my search box more often. Decorating my home and injecting my personal taste throughout it these last few years have become real passion projects of mine, and after having lovely opportunities to share my home in Framework Magazine and on my friend Randa’s blog The Unprecedented (in addition to my own), many readers have emailed me asking where I source my items.

Mixing up my favourite cocktail inside my home for Framework Magazine, photo by Jeremy Jude Lee.

Mixing up my favourite cocktail inside my home for Framework Magazine, photo by Jeremy Jude Lee.


I take pride in the fact that many of my treasures are thrift. Although this gives new life to previously discarded items, it unfortunately doesn’t allow for many duplicates. So instead of going through where I sourced each and every item, I’ve complied a list of my top 5 favourite shops in Vancouver for you to check out (both new and thrift) so that you too can find you own special treasures.

1. Lofty Living – 610 Columbia Street, New Westminster

Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

Inside Lofty Living, photo from Instagram.


This gem in the heart of New West’s heritage downtown district is full of wonderfully chic and carefully curated accessories and furniture for the home. The aesthetic is glam but with touches of modern, seen in such items as mirrored bedside tables to ceramic stag heads. Lofty Living also has a great selection of customizable, made-to-order furniture pieces from headboards to couches. Did I mention it’s only a short minute walk from the skytrain? BONUS.

2. The Main Sellution – 3206 Main Street, Vancouver

Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

Inside The Main Sellution.


The Main Sellution is a second-hand consignment furniture shop that specializes in antique, vintage or highly unique pieces. They have a really good selection, and often add to their inventory every few days, if not everyday. I find that for the most part, their prices are reasonable, and they do offer affordable delivery for larger items. They also recently started offering painting workshops, so you can now learn how to refurbish your antique find from them as well.

The Main Sellution’s Facebook Page

3. L’Atelier Home – 452 West Cordova, Vancouver

Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

Inside L’Atelier Home, photo by M’c kenneth Licon.


I first came across the new and upcycled furniture and accessories shop L’Atelier Home on a walk in Gastown when they were just opening. The paint was still drying, but owner Linda still made sure to introduce herself and chat about her passion for home décor and design. Since then, the shop has really made its mark in the neighbourhood, even expanding into a larger retail space next door. Moroccan poufs, French provincial settees, Voluspa candles and frame-worthy prints (including a selection from Randa’s I See Noise Prints) line the walls of L’Atelier Home. But it doesn’t end there. Linda also provides more selection to her customers through their online site.

4. Value Village- ALL LOCATIONS

Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

Value Village on Victoria Street.


I have been going to Value Village since my teenage years, but more recently I’ve stocked up on home goods just as much as funky belts and purses. The key with shopping for home décor at a thrift shop is to be open-minded. Going there with a specific shopping list will leave you disappointed, as it’s almost impossible to find exactly what you’re looking for since items are so varied and diverse. So it’s best just to be patient and allow yourself a lot of time to discover new treasures. A lot of people ask me which Lower Mainland location is my favourite, and that I can’t answer as I’ve found great things at all of them. Just don’t go on a weekend!

5. Homesense- ALL LOCATIONS

Top 5 Vancouver Shops for Home Décor

The vast selection at Homesense.


Homesense to me is like drugs to an addict (I don’t mean to be crude, I mean that in the most honest and sincere way!). I crave, obsess and fantasize about my visits, and when they do happen, it’s like a sick high when I find a Lucite tray for $29 rather than the $100 it costs at other retailers. Not joking. If there were Homesense Anonymous I would be their honourary member. “Hi, I’m Mana and I’m a Homesenseoholic”, here’s why: great deals, new stuff every week in all home departments (furniture, lighting, bed, bath, home accessories, kitchen, and garden), and it takes care of my need for treasure hunting. Because that’s what is key, Homesense, just like thrift shops, needs patience, time and a good eye. Don’t expect to find the perfect item each visit, but when you do BUY IT, because it won’t be there tomorrow…or in an hour. Did I mention I was at Homesense too? 😉

Meet Lise Watier’s Jessica Kruger, Canada’s First Quadriplegic Beauty Ambassador + Product Giveaway

Lise Watier Beauty Ambassador Jessica Kruger

Lise Watier beauty ambassador Jessica Kruger in the print campaign for the line’s fragrance, Something Sweet.


There are certain members of our community that are an inspiration to many, including myself. Coquitlam, BC’s Jessica Kruger is one of them.

Last year, the 21-year old quadriplegic won a nation-wide competition to be the face of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet perfume. After a friend encouraged Jessica to enter the competition, community support and online voting got her to the top 5, but it was when she impressed the judges with her enthusiasm, positive energy and eloquence at Lise Watier’s Montreal headquarters that she won the coveted title.

I was first introduced to Jessica’s story while I was reporting for Global BC. She was in studio doing an interview to promote her campaign to win the Lise Watier competition and I remember how poised, determined and positive she was, especially when sharing her journey. When Jessica was 15, she fainted and fell from a ladder while painting a house for a summer job. As a result, she fractured four neck vertebrae, which deprived her from having full use of her arms and legs. Since then, Jessica has learned to accept her condition and lives her life to the fullest including becoming the youngest female wheelchair rugby player in Canada, all while finishing her undergraduate studies at SFU. She also speaks on behalf of Worksafe BC and the Rick Hansen Foundation. Now she can add beauty ambassador to that impressive list!

I recently had a chance to chat with Jessica during the London Drugs launch of the Something Sweet fragrance, and I left feeling so inspired, not only by what she has had to overcome but also by what she’s trying to instill in others. Here are some of the highlights from our interview:

Lise Watier Beauty Ambassador Jessica Kruger

Jessica Kruger and I at the London Drugs launch of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet fragrance.


How does it feel to come this far?

It’s kinda hard to describe the feeling, I’ve kept saying it’s going to sink in and suddenly I’d able to tell you how it feels but it still hasn’t sunk in. Obviously it’s been an incredibly humbling journey to get to this point, and just realizing all the support that I had behind me to get me to this point has been incredibly exciting.

Let’s go back to when you first started your journey to become the face of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet fragrance, why was it so important for you to enter this contest?

Obviously the big thing with this contest was that they were looking for a model, and when people think of “model” they don’t think of someone with a disability. Just entering it took a lot of courage on my part because I didn’t expect people to be behind me like they were, and then once I realized I had that support, it became this opportunity to educate people about what people with disabilities are capable of…what the definition of beauty is capable of being. It doesn’t have to be the stick-thin model that we’ve traditionally looked at, it CAN be somebody with a disability or people of different sizes- it’s the next step.

What are some of the misconceptions you’d like people to know about people living with a disability?

The biggest thing for me is that when people look at someone with a disability, they see them as less-than or incapable. For myself at least, I can do anything anybody else can do, just in a slightly different way. I don’t need people to look down on me, I don’t need their pity. I just want them to see me for myself. I want them to see that people with disabilities are just as capable as anyone else.

You’ve had a whirlwind adventure this year as Lise Watier’s beauty ambassador, from getting glammed up for photo-shoots to traveling across the country speaking to fans and the media. What are your favourite Lise Watier beauty staples to get you camera-ready? 

Something Sweet perfume of course! I love the smell, it’s so pretty and feminine and it’s the perfect start to getting glammed up. I have also fallen in love with Lise Watier’s Eden Tropical Eyeshadow palette from the Summer 2014 collection. It’s the perfect combination of neutrals as well as bright colours for my eyes. Plus I love the shimmer the colours have, perfect for summer!

You’ve already become such a great role model for so many women and girls as Lise Watier’s beauty ambassador, what’s the next goal you’d like to conquer?

I don’t know where life is going to take me but I am one of those people that say yes to any opportunity that comes to my door.  I am hoping that I can continue to say yes. I really didn’t believe that people were ready for someone with a disability to be seen as a model but I was completely wrong. It’s all those people who voted for me who got me into the top 5, it’s Lise Watier, a major cosmetic company who believed in me that all gave me this opportunity, and now I can spread the message that beauty has so many definitions.


Now for the even more exciting part! I’ve partnered with London Drugs to give you a chance to win Jessica’s favourite Lise Watier beauty staples.

Lise Watier

Lise Watier’s Something Sweet Perfume and the Eden Tropical Eye Shadow Palette from Lise Watier’s Summer 2014 collection.


To enter to win a bottle of Lise Watier’s Something Sweet perfume and the Eden Tropical Eye Shadow Palette from Lise Watier’s Summer 2014 collection, do all of the following:

  1. Follow @StyleByMana on Twitter
  2. Retweet the following on Twitter: 

The inspiring story of @lisewatier #beauty ambassador Jessica Kruger & how to win her fav products via @stylebymana

Contest closes on Thursday, June 26 at 11:59 pm. 1 winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!

Lise Watier Beauty Ambassador Jessica Kruger

Lise Watier’s full line of cosmetics and skincare can be found at London Drugs. Be sure to also pop in to see what’s in store!