The Fashion Conspiracy

Felicia Ann Ryan

#REALLIFESTYLISTADVICE

Real Life Stylist Advice
& Other Amusing Things

Current Mood

   

 

Difficult is not synonymous with burden. Everyone has things about them that are hard for other people to navigate. There’s not a single person on this planet that is easy and wonderful to be around 100% of the time. So it’s not fair to expect yourself to be some uncomplicated, paragon of perfection every moment of every day either. You’re human and you’re imperfect and wired to be a pain sometimes and it’s okay. You are okay.       – Daniell Koepk

This is something I came across today.

It hit hard. I felt every word as I read them. You know that feeling, the words are an equivalent of a stone being thrown into your body and the electric ripples that spread from where the words land can be felt. I almost hear the “PLUNK” as they sink in and fall deeper to where they need to be realized and the electric ripple that spreads outward like a skipping stone.

 

“Difficult is not synonymous

with burden”

 

 

I felt that these images from a recent editorial I styled, titled “Current Mood”, photographed by Leah Vlemmiks and published by Toksick Magazine, were such a clear communication of how one person can feel many ways in a span of a day, or in this case the span of a few short hours. And that this is okay. Damaris captures what it means to have diverse moods with no shame in reflecting authentic feelings.

I love how we were able to truly capture the transformative power fashion can have on a person – no matter what their mood.

Be you in everything that you do, even if you’re moody.

 

Photographer // Leah Vlemmiks

Model // Damaris, BNM Models

MUAH // Rachel Laura Lee

Styled by me // Felicia Ann Ryan

 

 

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Brooching the Subject

Brooches are not for your grandmother; they’re coming back with a vengeance and getting the attention they deserve. Or at least that’s what I would like. With my hands over my crystal ball (hopefully a crystal filled with wine will do) I predict the resurgence of Nanna’s favourite accessory. The trends’ already here, it’s starting with the saucy little pins that are out there getting some well deserved attention but let’s hope it moves on to a wider availability of mini works of semi-precious art. Something that can be handed down through the generations until the next cyclical outbreak of vintage fashion. Because, there is no other accessory that is as versatile, able to be worn in and on multiple areas and garments and equipped with the ability to transform a look with the click of a pin. So start it now, make my prediction a reality and get out the brooches hiding in dusty jewellery boxes everywhere. Or you could always get a new one and pop it on something. I borrowed a few of my favourite brooches from jewellery designer Karen McFarlane (http://www.jewellerybykaren.com/) and I’ll show you what I did with them.

 

EPAULETTES

 

Don’t assume both brooches need to be the same. Pin a brooch to one shoulder and then pin a brooch to the other. POOF! Tee transformed. And yes, I’m always tired (tee by Canadian Designer Sara Duke)

 

HAT

    

Now try it on a toque …. like this editorial I styled for Smart Magazine

 

OR A HEADSCARF … 

 

(Obviously this isn’t me, it’s a model named Hinson Chaplin and the pic is from an editorial I styled for Chloe Magazine)

 

PURSE

     

Why not, it just works. But don’t go shoving pins into leather or their teeth are going to leave a bruise.

 

SOCKS

My personal favourite unexpected little brooch nook

 

SLEEVE

COLLAR

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Old Country Charm

Unlike the twinge of deep annoyance I feel when faced with shelves lined with Halloween candy come mid July, or the offered too early pumpkin spice latte when all I want is the sweet taste of sangria on my lips, it is never too early for a glimpse into what Fall fashion has in store. Do I still want to live in the illusion that warmth is something I can enjoy without 18 layers and a parka? Sure. But in the meantime, I don’t mind sitting in my denim cut offs under a scorching sun complaining about the heat while looking at how to fully clothe my body and keep from the chills in the coming months. Hopefully you don’t either, or just like the coffee shop advertising anything with a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg before the masses are mentally prepared for a change of season, this post will be getting the stink eye from those not ready to deal with the reality of life on an Earth with changing climates. Fashion is how I am able to deal with this climate changing reality.

       

Coat // WRKDEPT     Top + Skirt // Andrew Majtenyi     Socks and Shoes // Aldo

          

 

More than I like most things, I like Fall Fashion. And even more than that, I like the unexpected. The moment that somebody naturally tries to label you, their mind systematically categorizing each aspect of your being so as to be filed into the appropriate folder and placed in the corresponding bin of how to perceive you, is thrown out because of the unexpected. A spontaneous witty line or unexpected piece of inked art or in the case of fashion just a detail that feels different than all other details. A print that so obviously doesn’t match – and yet it does. A casual knit sweater over an elaborate evening gown. Fish nets hidden beneath layers of tulle. Something unexpected; something that doesn’t fit – and yet it all fits together. Just like the complex layers of a personality.

 

 

     

Knit Sweater // House of Knot     Leather Gloves // Urban Outfitters     Evening Gown // Lesley Hampton     Hat // Wildhagen

 

“Unlike the twinge of deep annoyance I feel when faced with shelves lined with Halloween candy come mid July, or the offered too early pumpkin spice latte when all I want is the sweet taste of sangria on my lips, it is never too early for a glimpse into what fall fashion has in store”

 

     

Floral Gown // Ryan Alexander     Fur Vest // Gerry Weber     Knit Sweater // Hilary MacMillan

Knit Dress // WRKDEPT     High Slit Dress // Lesley Hampton    Hosiery // Calvin Klein     Platform // Nine West

Coat / WRK DPT    Dress / Andrew Majtenyi

Photos taken behind the scenes on an editorial shoot as well as fina images featured in JUTE MAGAZINE

All Looks styled by Felicia Ann Ryan and Worn by Skyler Curtis from Elite Toronto @skyler_curtis / images photographed by Lenaic Sanz @sanzlena / makeup and hair by Jennifer Reyes @the.facecollector

 

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Effortlessly Chic Vacation Style

Be Effortlessly Chic the Next Time You’re Whisked Away

An Editorial Explained

I have this thing that I want style to be attainable. For everyone. I know that the looks I put together for magazine spreads seem stretched as far as attainable style goes. But, it’s not always the case, sometimes an editorial comes along that can be easily translated into every day style, and because I want you to not just see pretty pictures of pretty clothes and not know how to take it from a picture on a page to 3D reality, I am going to take this editorial I styled (Chloe Magazine Cruise Edition) and step by step translate the ideas behind the images. And although it may seem unrealistic to be sailing, looking effortlessly you while coming into port, in reality, it is a very attainable feat. The icing on the cake for me as a proud Canadian is that all styles included are by Canadian designers, allowing you to get chic close to home, if you live in your home on Native Land.

                                                                                       

 

Layers and a Large Tote can do Wonders for

Comfortable Style Abroad

Denim has morphed its way into a versatile classic over the years and what better than a voluminous denim maxi skirt to don on vacation. This denim set by Toronto based International designer, Adam X Atelier, can be worn individually or together for an effortlessly comfortable and chic look, that reads somewhere between casual wave watching and let’s go out to dinner. Take a crisp white tee, like this one from local Designer, Sara Duke, and do a quick knot at the waist if you’re looking to share a bit of your newly acquired sun kissed glow. You can’t see it here, but this playful tee reads “Fatigue” which is just the reason why you needed a vacation in the first place. Minimalist accessories, like the ones pictured, by Caroline Neron, are versatile, can be formal or casual and are easily worn with a variety of looks, which means you won’t need to bring much jewellery. A bonus if you’re like me and would rather not travel with an abundance of high cost items that can get lost or stolen. Be sure to pack one large tote, not just a tote that you would bring to the shore filled with beach gear, but one that will see you through an entire day of sightseeing and adventures while also being stylish enough to be carry into the evening. For me, the leather dual coloured Bianca Tote by Koda Nivoli fits the bill perfectly and is stylish but rugged enough to get through weeks abroad while roomy enough to fill with all the days necessities. Hat is optional, however, I chose this oversized fur by Nobis because of its dual purpose; fun and function. Depending on where your destination is, whether an Alaskan cruise or a sail in the Bahamas, your choice of hat is up to you but packing one is a must! Sail out into the middle of the ocean and you’ll soon find out why, winds can be on the cool side regardless of where you find yourself. This look is even perfect for a local sail in the infamously bi-polar Canadian weather.

 

Think of Your Surroundings, the Mood

and How You Want to Feel

When packing for vacation think about your surroundings, the colours, the mood, even the weight of your garments and whether the wind will dance amongst the layers playfully for a memorable photo or lift them up entirely for a constant peepshow. It all matters, because the way you feel, so far from the comfort of familiar surroundings, will translate into how much you enjoyed the trip. Garments that can work double duty are coveted; choosing items that can be worn multiple times with different looks are a must, both for the ease of

getting ready and to keep down the weight of your case. If styled right, nobody will notice that anything has been on repeat and even the photos won’t tell the truth. Another trick is choosing one piece garments such as a pantsuit, romper or maxi dress, anything that doesn’t need to be paired with something else like a top or a bottom, which means less to pack, less to coordinate and more time to play. Be sure to physically coordinate your looks before hailing a taxi to the airport. Physically take out all of the clothing you would like to bring and lay it out on your bed or other open surface to be able to visually take in all of the outfit possibilities. Put outfits together, repeating staple key pieces (any item that are easily manipulated into a totally different look) such as a button down Oxford shirt or wide legged trouser. Think about what you will be doing and go as far as to match each look for a day in your itinerary. A majority of vacations are rather planned and at the very least you should have an idea of the events, excursions and adventures you will be partaking in, if not the actual days they will be occurring, allowing you to choose accordingly. This way you won’t get stuck wearing uncomfortable or inappropriate clothing that isn’t functional for what you’re doing, because although looking fabulous is the goal, nobody wants to do a 5k hike in 4 inch heels. Once all of the outfits are coordinated, take photos and save them to a specific folder on your phone so that they are easily found, removing the stress of getting dressed once you have reached your destination.

 

 

Don’t Underestimate the Power of Head Wear

 

Doing my hair is not top priority while vacationing; I’d rather spend the time exploring than messing around with flyaways, so cue strategic head wear. A sunhat covers what I didn’t bother to smooth out (while protecting), a headband keeps hair out of my face, and a scarf that doubles as a head wrap is perfect for protecting locks when I did take the time to straighten. Instead of letting it all hang loose, gathering hair into a head scarf can keep it tangle free when the wind blows. Once the scarf is removed, you will be amazed at how in tact your tresses will be, just as smooth as when they went in. Once wrapped, add some broaches along the side of the scarf for extra glam coming into Port.

 

 

                     

                                     A Vacation Must Have : “The                                                      Oversized Scarf”

The oversized scarf is a must have. It will be your shawl on a cool night, a towel when confronted with unplanned (but welcomed) beach visits, an impromptu clean bit of space to rest your bum on for a moment when there is nowhere else to sit, a blanket for unexpected picnic meals enjoyed in the park rather than a restaurant, or a quick sarong when you forget your cover-up. This grey tasselled scarf by Sara Duke, peeking out of the knitted bag made by House of Knot, is sure to exceed expectations.

 

 

                                                                                           Choose Swimwear Wisely 

How great is it when you can throw a pair of denims over your swimsuit, toss on a couple of necklaces and call it an outfit. Pretty great, and if you choose your swimwear wisely, you may be able to do just that. Being able to utilize your swimsuit as part of an ensemble will mean less trips to a change room, or even worse, the hotel, when constant stops to the pool or beach are going to be the norm while vacationing. Take some time to choose a swimsuit that can double as a top so it is easy to throw on a bottom, such as a maxi skirt, wide legged trouser or pair of jeans when it’s time to grab a bite to eat or explore nearby sights. Swimwear has been transformed! It’s not just bikini’s anymore; there are an array of designs that include details such as cutouts, mesh, inserts, sleeves and zippers that when paired with the right garments can pass as anything but a swimsuit.

Above: Bodysuit by Bazzul | Gold Chokers by Karen McFarlane | Leather and Gold Pendant by Caroline Neron

 

Always Pack “The Showstopper”

Whether you think you will need it or not, a showstopper outfit is always a must. Take this outfit up a notch and make sure it’s formal, because it’s better to be over dressed than under dressed. Trust me. Like this vacation ready neoprene showstopper by Lesley Hampton (jewellery by Caroline Neron).

There you go, a magazine editorial explained with real life stylist advice, not just pretty pictures of style inspiration, but something that you can actually apply to everyday (or at least vacation) life. So don’t let your wardrobe dictate your feelings during your next trip. Use these tid bits of advice and you’ll find yourself in the right outfit at the right time no matter where adventure leads you. Happy packing stylish jet setters.

 

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#REALLIFESTYLISTADVICE | Edit Your Closet Like A Pro & Never Say “I Have Nothing To Wear” Again

Do you know that only 20% of garments in a majority of closets actually get worn? That is a crazy statistic, but according to chief design officer for California Closets interviewed in The Wall Street Journal, 20% is a very real percentage. Think about it for a second. Really visualize the pants, blouses, jackets and scarves that your eyes barely focus on as you brush past them each morning, thinking “not today” as you narrow in on your ol’ faithful pieces. It’s not done on purpose, you fully intend to wear each and every item you buy, given there is a specific purpose for it, or you lose 5 pounds or emerald green suddenly becomes your most flattering colour…… Sure, clothing and the very idea of fashion are important to you (that’s why you’re reading this article), but sometimes, ‘for the love of fashion’ can lead to an over abundance and a crowded closet, making getting dressed even more difficult, despite the number of items available. Pair the need to have multiple styles for different occasions with the pressure of keeping up with new trends and the result can be catastrophic – a big investment into pieces that are never actually worn. Read on to find out how you can manage your closet, put money back in your wallet (cha ching!) and ensure you only purchase items that work for you while having a quality closet that consists of nothing you would ignore. Let’s stand together and declare to never say those dreaded words again, “I Have Nothing To Wear!”


Services Background

Step One : Turn it Around

 

The very first step to editing your closet like a pro and discovering what you actually wear is simple. Each time you wear something, when returning garments to the closet, turn the hanger to face the opposite way as your other hangers. This will give a clear visual reference of what was worn instead of jogging your memory for a recall on each and every outfit. Continue to do this for 6 weeks, which should be enough time to have gone through most occasions that you would wear an item, and after, you will clearly see what gets worn and what doesn’t.

 

Step Two : Be a Detective, Find Clues & Take Notes 

 

The next step? Take a close look at what doesn’t get worn. Lay it out so you can visually see it. Eye up the unworn items with a detectives eye, look for clues as to why you don’t wear the items and notice patterns.  Are there recurring colours that you’re purchasing but not wearing? I know for me, I love the idea of wearing a sexy form fitting red dress (which by the way is a man’s favourite colour on a woman but we will talk about that later) however, the colour just doesn’t do it for me and despite the fact that it fits snug in all the right places, I don’t like what I see in the mirror so I won’t end up wearing it. The fantasy of wearing it overtakes the reality that I continue to buy red dresses that I don’t wear.

Now go beyond the colours and patterns and focus on repeat styles. Are there multiple items with the same design detail? Maybe you have a pile of high waist jeans or scoop neck tops. You like the design, but never feel one hundred percent comfortable wearing it. Be truthful with yourself on why you don’t wear something and accept the possibility that the styles you like most may not work for your body.

Next, notice if items are too worn or outdated and if you are merely keeping them for memories sake. Sure you used to love that sweater, but is it really serving you any longer or just taking up precious closet space. Holding onto items that are overlooked because they are too worn or stained is like keeping a car that doesn’t drive – it’s not getting you anywhere. If it cannot be mended, get rid of it or frame it if it really means that much to you.

Take note of what you have discovered. Like actually take notes; quickly jot down the recurring reasons you see as to why you don’t wear something so you can avoid these same mistakes when shopping. Include specific colours, design details, something you already have enough of and don’t need more (ahem, scarves) or specific skirt lengths you don’t wear. It can be as easy as a note in your phone titled “When Shopping” with a ‘Don’t’ list and a ‘Do’ list that you can quickly glance at to remind yourself and stay on track. Knowing your buying habits will ensure that you are not making the same mistakes over and over again and will enable you to target the wardrobe you need and want. 

 

Step Three : Divide & Conquer

 

Now that you have made visual closet notes, it is time to try on the garments and divide your unworn items into separate piles.

Pile #1Discard – These are the items that you didn’t wear, possibly never wear and (if you’re being honest with yourself) do not foresee yourself wearing. They may be outdated, stained and worn out beyond mending, or simply not your taste any more. Give them away, donate them, have a garage sale but do not put these items back in your closet. It will only lead to more indecision and clutter.

Pile #2Consignment – What items in your discard pile are worth a few bucks? If you have designer threads that aren’t serving you any longer, somebody else may be interested and willing to spend a few bucks to get them. Consignment shops will take gently used garments of high fashion designer brands and some will even take lesser designer brands such as labels from Urban Outfitters, American Eagle and J.Crew as well as vintage finds, given they are not overly worn and have been well taken care of (no missing buttons or broken closures, no rips or stains). What won’t they take? Overly worn or damaged items and disposable fashion such as Forever 21, H&M and Zara. Yet another reason to invest in fewer quality pieces rather than large amounts of fast fashion finds. Go on-line and do some quick research and find which consignment boutiques are available in your city and what their standard practices are. Then bring in your things and let the shop take care of the rest. The consignment shop that I frequent takes 40% of the item price once sold and reserves the right to decide and alter the price of garments for sales or clearance. A few weeks after I drop off my items, I return and am paid cash for what has sold. I also have the option of taking my unsold items items back or having them donated on my behalf. Make sure that you know the specific consignment process before to ensure that you know how you will be paid.

Pile #3Alterations – While trying on items you haven’t worn or are discarding, it is important to remember the power of tailoring. When purchasing off the rack garments which are made to a universal measurements rather than your specific body measurements, slight alterations (even for brand new clothing) can be made to ensure a proper fit. If you don’t wear those pants because they’re too long, get them hemmed. Jacket that you love but the shoulders just aren’t right or are overpowering? Take out the shoulder pads or have the tailor take up the shoulders. Little tweaks to a garment cost much less than buying an entirely new piece and can transform garments from something you almost like into something you love.

Pile #4Keep – There are going to be things you didn’t wear that you will wear or at least will try to wear again. And that is ok; the idea isn’t to get rid of everything and buy an entirely new wardrobe, but rather to remove the items that are not serving you and make room for items that do. For everything that you keep, try to visualize a real life scenario that you will wear it to ensure that it actually gets worn. If there are things you didn’t wear because a key piece is missing, like a dress that needs a slip – add the needed piece to a shopping list to reference when in the thick of things while shopping.

 

Fool Me Once, Shame on You, Fool Me Twice Shame on Me

 

Often times, we get into buying ruts, shopping for fun instead of with a purpose and not paying attention to our buying habits, making the same repeated mistakes that create a closet full of clothes with tags still on. It is time to make peace with the fact that at times, what we want and what looks good are two separate ideas. Deal with this reality and move on to something fantastic. Also, try not to purchase items on sale just because they are and make an attempt to limit over shopping of cheap, fast fashion and disposable clothing. An abundance of inexpensive fast fashion will only feed into the cycle of buy, don’t wear and give away or buy, wear once and throw out. Can you sneak a few items in, sure, but avoid making it a bulk of your purchase. Like a cookie here and there while dieting, sporadic shopping slips aren’t going to add unnecessary weight to your closet, but, don’t make a habit of bad binge shopping or you will see the effects. Stay focused and take the stress out of getting dressed by following these steps to simplify your closet and you will be left with a strong wardrobe that you can rely on for every occasion, that although may consist of less than before, has more to offer.

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