If a redundant 140-character invitation is construed as harassment, I must be on the most wanted list. Luckily for me, dealing with a group of good and noble readers such as yourselves is every blogger’s dream. Without you, patience would cease to exist.
As you’re well aware by now, I will be attending an event next week that has the undertones of a Diddy-approved shindig: #allwhiteeverything is the new black and Bash En Blanc plans to pull all the stops to have OTT revelers show up in their Sunday best. I get to attend as part of the media (gracias, Knock On Wood Communications & Events!), but I must admit that the thought of ”dolling” myself up tout en blanc has been nailing me to the proverbial fashion cross.
I feel fairly confident putting my best foot forward when it comes to intimate celebrations and business photoshoots, but I still consider myself to be on the learning curve when it comes down to pulling off white well. Case in point: I made the unfortunate faux-pas of wearing a white, lacy dress in my teens at a wedding and egotistically shucked other guests’ dirty looks to jealousy. It wasn’t until many years had passed that Etiquette 101 boomeranged the oh-no-she-didn’t moment back to me while I was at the helm of my own event planning company – NO ONE should be wearing the #lightshade at a wedding other than the blushing bride herself. If exception prevails, it is expressed by the bride and groom in a formal invitation. “Oops! Did I do thaaaaaat?” Urkell has since left the building.
White, to me, as always been something I felt could only be pulled off in small doses, like the must-have classic dress shirt. The thought of it in abundance, however, has long conjured up the image of a woman named “Tonya”, clad in skin-tight and not-so-white shorts and tee, with hair sprayed down to tinfoil shine, Edward Scissorhand claws adorned with French tips, rotating hoop earrings that spell Ghetto Fabulous and a bevy of fatherless children named LeVonshay, Laquanisha and Travonisha in tow (disclaimer: any resemblance to real people, dead or alive, is purely coincidental). It may also have to do with the fact that I’m a happy graduate of the Magic Tricks for Chicks University, of which Mr. Colour Black is the headmaster. But with time being an open window for change and experimentation, and thanks to the fantastic all-white looks that strolled down the red carpet earlier this year (read: only Charlize mattered), I’m ready to embrace the look of non-wedding purity into my life.
So how does one pull it off? By taking a cue from the One who is known to hit the Hollywood circuit in the shade du jour, of course! Jessica Biel (or Mrs. Timberlake for ya’ll who can’t get the hint that he’s off the market) is the chosen muse. Below are some of my favorite Jessica
Rabbit looks and the different personalities I think they are best suited for.
Which Jessica are you? Leave me a comment below, or better yet, show me your style at Bash En Blanc! If money is a problem, this giveaway won’t be!;)
*All photography credit: usmagazine.com*
I’m back to the grind of every day life and for my first Monday back, it was pretty uneventful. However, having my evenings to myself to relax and blog to my heart’s content is what makes the days less tedious.
A few days ago, I mentioned that I would be unveiling the giveaway details to scoring a pair of tickets to Bash En Blanc, the upcoming June 21st all-white event that is so #whitehot that VIP tickets are already SOLD OUT. If you don’t know, you better ask som’body (said in my Vivica A. Fox “guuurl” voice).
Now, on to REAL business. I’m an absolute pop culture fanatic and for that reason, I’ve decided on a trivia-style quizz that consists of answering three questions which all include the word “WHITE” in the full answer. All participants who successfully answer all three questions will be entered in a random draw that will take place on Friday, June 14th. Now, drum roll!
Question 1: This nonagenarian had a role on a popular 80′s sitcom and has seen her career resurrected in recent years. Who is she?
Question 2: A well-known children’s tale was given a new theatrical spin in 2012 featuring an A-list cast. What is the name of the movie?
Question 3: This male performer recently contributed a track to The Great Gatsby soundtrack, but is most known for being the frontman behind this defunct rock band. What is the name of said band?
Send answers by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: #WhiteHotBash Contest
Tweet the following after sending your email: “I just entered the @BashEnBlanc contest at whoisarlette.com. Gimme those #whitehot tickets!”
And then, mama A will handle the rest!
Make sure your friends, acquaintances and neighbours get in on the action – after all, sharing is caring;)
So until then, have a fantastic night daydreaming of #allwhiteeverything gloriousness.
The past few days in Toronto have been interesting: I came to the city with the hope of connecting with some of the people whose careers I’ve admired from afar, but alas, no such magic took place, leaving me feeling a bit unsure about a possible move. As it stands, I’m learning to be more receptive to life’s own calculated timing: it sometimes falls in line with your own actions and hard word and adversely, it sometimes stalls you to teach you how to master patience. Right now, life is thrusting me into its Waiting Room, where silence is the ultimate companion and alertness is the biggest teacher.
While TO opportunities are delaying their grand entrance into my vida loca, I decided to forget my worries yesterday and headed out to my favourite Toronto neighbourhood: Yorkville. On the menu: getting to my hairstylist so she could perform a miracle on my growing shaggy mop of hair before it morphed into Medusa territory, and abiding by a code of spontaneity. As soon as I stepped out of the hair ressurection mothership, feeling fresh to death with the wind at my back like a strutting Travolta, curiosity led me to the brand new Kate Spade New York stand-alone store, which had piqued my interest earlier in the week. To my ultimate surprise and delight, the store front windows now showed signs of life. Ah, chère vie - you’re always at work…
“Welcome to Kate Spade!” said a stunning brunette who I later find out goes by the name of Megan and who looked lovely in the Picnic Mariella dress. Welcome, indeed! Yorkville’s newly opened retail gem is a site to see: from every angle, pops of colours burst from well-stocked vignettes, shiny shelves and glass displays; faceless mannequins, dressed in brightly jeweled-toned sheath dresses, are coiffed à la Deborah Lloyd, the brand’s own revered president and creative director. The salivation quickly intensified and the heavens parted as I was given the green light to shoot the space at my leisure. Say no more: you had me at “hello”!
To understand the Kate Spade New York girl is to be versed in the language of Girly Meets Pretty and Chic Meets Poise: in her world, beauty is not just a state-of-being, it is a way of life that trickles down to her penchant for a life well lived…beautifully. Every nook and cranny in her nirvana is interpreted as an invitation to sensory enjoyment, and should she lose her way through life’s wilderness, she has at her disposal apropos catch phrase reminders to help her get back to Woman On Top form.
Details do not elude Kate Spade New York: in fact, the brand’s signature bow gets center stage in the form of a one-of-a-kind wallpaper that adorns the changing rooms’ walls; soft light descends from starburst vector-shaped light fixtures, bathing the encoves of intimacy in a warm glow. Miscellaneous fashion-driven images and quotes are framed and grouped along the staircase, bringing north the spirit of New York City, while a few strategically-placed neon signs take a cue from the brand’s FW Fall 2013 show set. If the devil is in the details, heaven is in the execution.
By then, my mind had already drafted up a list of must-haves (read: everything) when I happened to come across the wall, the one where “Sparklies” (as I affectionately dub beautiful footwear) induce bouts of shoegasm from even the most conservative of human beings. It’s in moments like these that one must court the prettiest one of the ball and entertain a little tête-à-tête away from prying eyes. The flirtation lasted but mere seconds, but the connection couldn’t be denied – just as Maroon 5 sang: She Will Be Loved.
Even in the presence of such drool-worthy goods, my favourite moments consisted of interactions with managers and customers alike, who shared their excitement for the latest retail candyland. Store manager Ashley, a doppelganger for our favourite Washington heroine Olivia Pope, expressed her happiness at being at the helm of Yorkville’s newest kid on the block, as well as her gratitude for her outstanding team, a statement I can endorse thanks to my lively exchanges with the friendly salesgirls. One of them even hinted that that the outdoors’ scorching hot temperatures was a telltale sign that one of their frocks would find a better home with me; for a split second, I considered reinventing myself as a street performer with the sole goal of acquiring a piece of Kate Spade real estate – a fantasy, might I add, that ends with me drowning in a sea of multicolored dresses, with Sparkly Lover by my side. Luckily for all parties involved, dreaming is free.
Alas, all good things must come to an end and it was with sadness in my heart, but a smile on my face that I bid the ladies goodbye before resuming my La Dee Da journey. A huge thank you goes out to Melissa, Ashley, Megan and the rest of the Kate Spade New York team for being gracious hostesses.
I may have gone in as a simple woman, but I definitely came out feeling every bit like a lady.
Ottawa has been surprising me A LOT lately – this little city of ours that usually conducts itself like a small town has been growing some wings and breaking away from the shadow of its former self, and by that I mean, Boredom Central. The capital has been keeping tabs on its growing generation of young and stylish professionals by pulling all the stops with ‘see-and-be-seen’ events; at last, OTT is having the last laugh as it undergoes a transformation from sinister Ugly Stepsister to bonafide Hot Stepper. I now find myself gaining unwanted pounds from all the humble pie eating that life is serving me for having vilified the city for so long. The Ugly Stepsister in the mirror now? Yeah, hi.
As you may recall, I attended a fantastic fundraiser a few weeks back, which admittedly, was my first social invitation resulting from this little blog. No sooner had the affair come to an end that I was already wishing for another evening of eats, beats and treats. Christina Aguilera may deem herself a Genie in a Bottle, but my own wishful thinking is embedded in more realistic pursuits; thankfully, wish granter, Knock On Wood Communications & Events, has extended me another invitation, this time to Bash En Blanc, an extravaganza that will benefit The Snow Suit Fund, an Ottawa-based charity that raises funds for the purchase and distribution of snowsuits to needy children under the age of 15 within the community.
Anyone who knows me intimately knows that I strongly believe in philanthropy: most of that belief stems from my parents’ influence, who have nurtured thousands of people throughout their lives as a pastoral couple. Part of said belief also stems from witnessing poverty firsthand during my childhood years in Haiti, where exists a great divide between the rich and the poor. But in this particular case, it is my love of the littles and my utter hatred for our unforgiving winters that drives my desire to see this community care for our young people the right way. Ever stood at a bus stop during a harsh winter and felt the cold creep up your spine and paralyze your limbs? Then you’re well aware of the discomfort and miserable feeling one experiences from being exposed to the deep freeze. If we cannot fathom the idea of our loved ones suffering the consequences of dismal weather and possible frostbite that results from a lack of proper coverage, children in the community should be the last ones to suffer such a horrible fate. Save a child this winter by given them the gift of adequate winter wear – the cold does not discriminate. I want to be in the company of those optimistic souls for whom this issue is a catalyst for action and influence; the biggest danger lies not in turning away, but in nurturing idle hands and minds.
I’m so excited to attend this promising night of live entertainment, succulent bites, down-it-down drinks and fashion wear coveting while contributing to a great cause. Did I mention this event has an all-white dress code in effect? Of course you already knew that: all those years of French immersion are not lost on you, you smarty pants, you! So do not miss out and get your tickets here today so that on June 21st, you can Diddy-it-up with hundreds of your best dogs; and if for some unfortunate reason, your budget this month spells out broke-as-a-joke rather than struck-gold-bloke, I’m granting Aguilera-style wishes by giving you a chance to score a pair of tickets to this #whitehotaffair courtesy of Knock On Wood Communications & Events. Stay tuned for more details!
If you already are the holder of one of the fabulous “golden” tickets, tweet your good fortune like a Willy Wonka neophyte @BashEnBlanc and let the late bloomers know how you live with #IveGotMine. Sounds very Diddy-ish to me!
I went #madlove crazy yesterday, tweeting, facebooking and instagramming my love and appreciation for mi amor as we celebrated our second year wedding anniversary. While the “drive-me-mad” second year of a toddler’s life is known as Terrible Twos, I’ve luckily found myself enjoying a much more tolerable journey in my marriage which I’ve dubbed the Terrific Twos – full of ups and downs and spin it all around, but an exciting rollercoaster ride nonetheless complete with twists and turns that moved me, spoke to me, surprised me, and most of all, always brought me back to love.
When I think back to my courtship with the Mr. and the fateful day he asked me to marry him, there’s this feeling of sugary sweetness that resurfaces, and I do not mean just figuratively. For those of you who are not familiar with the story, hubby commissioned some special cupcakes from a very talented Toronto baker whose creations I had discovered through one of my favourite lifestyle blogs. The delectable goodies were presented to me by Linda Modern Thai‘s owner at the end of a festive dinner attended by some our closest friends. My fixation on receiving the treats almost negated the surprise and it took coming back down from HeliumVille for me to notice that each cupcake spelled out a word which, once the riddle solved, plucked me from the Single Ladies bench and gave me a prime seat in the Engaged arena.
On a day like yesterday where the sky had the sweats, I asked the hubs grant me an usual, but anniversary-centric request: the chance to revisit that feeling of sweetness and surprise from years prior by paying a visit to the lady who had been instrumental in making my engagement a memorable one: Adjoa Duncan. Enter ps by prettysweet, Ms. Duncan’s crowd-pleasing bakery outpost on King Street West.
Setting foot into the cozy shop likens itself to the religious experience a bubbly Elle Woods and her cheerful sorority cohorts would enjoy on an all-girls group date: frothy pink-colored walls surround an alcove of prettiness, which no doubt meet Ms. Wood’s standard of “something pink that gives a little something extra”. Multiple vintage frames in a glossy white corral 50′s-style kitchen bakeware and porcelain tea saucers for a diva at home vibe. Clusters of tables and chairs, as well as a communal bar and stools by the store front window, make for easy seating and even easier eating. Desserts of all kinds abound on the counter under glass domes and lead sugarholics to question whether limitation is a sound raison d’etre or a blatant insult to all the delicious offerings.
Every element in the shop is the result of Adjoa’s great eye for the eclectic, from the inherited commercial frigidaire repurposed as a serving station and which is replete with various fixings for those steamy cups of coffee, all the way to the diner-style dessert display, which she painstakingly sanded, primed and painted herself. While the cosmetic changes to the aforementioned pieces may seem like an easy undertaking for any DIY-er, one must simply look to the shop’s piece de resistance, a brass chandelier acquired at Sam the Chandelier Man and later bejeweled by Adjoa with vintage utensils, to understand that doing it yourself is a skill, but dreaming up a piece’s modernization is ingenuity. As if this single transformation wasn’t enough of an hommage to her quirky creativity, Ms. Duncan has turned industrial-sized whisks into light fixtures, proving that Martha Stewart is not the only inventor of “Very Good Things”.
Adjoa greeted us with her thousand-white smile and warm hugs, which instantly made us feel at home. Once we revealed the purpose of our visit, Adjoa’s reaction proved to be one of the greatest displays of joy I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing in my life: her genuine enthusiasm gave me the warm fuzzies and it became clear to me that this is a woman whose joy is not entirely centered on her confections, but on the memories that are born from her contributions. In fact, when I questioned Adjoa about her plans for the future, her response was simple: she doesn’t want to overthink anything and chooses rather to learn and grow as she goes. This tidbit is one of humility mixed with a keen understanding that life is what you make it. The hour-long conversation had me laughing and thinking about my own life – the recipe for success is not always a straight one, but the bitten paths always lead one to where they’re meant to be in order to fulfill their true life purpose. The exchanges, along with Adjoa’s infectious laugh, would have prompted me to overstay my welcome and indulge in more caramel cheesecake, but the fear of snagging a parking ticket jolted me out of my sugar coma and back into rainy day reality.
I can say that for an anniversary that was not spent in the south roasting in the sun, it ended up being one of those very fortunate encounters that brightened up a grey day. I anticipate each new year of marriage to be better than the last and the beginning of my new life to resonate loudly with my purpose. Somewhere in the world, a fortune cookie is crying and Adjoa is smiling.
I’ve taken one week off of work to come explore the “possibilities” in Toronto, otherwise known as our Canadiana version of the Big City. Yes, I’m aware my beloved Montreal or even West Coast template Vancouver could be considered close contenders for the title, but judging by the numerous polls indicating which Canadian city foreigners believe to be our nation’s capital, T.O. stands as most people’s first guess. Canadian History 101: it is not Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver; it’s a blip on the map called Ottawa. Class dismissed.
This coming week also welcomes Mr. O. and I’s second year wedding anniversary, so we’re hoping to strike the right balance between city slickin’ and job hunting. After all, if no premeditated murders were committed in the last couple of years and the love connection has managed to shine bright like a diamond, it should be cause for celebration, no matter how modest the said celebration. So, we’re going to explore the city like spies and flirt our little hearts out because I’m a woman who enjoys being continuously courted until the day I turn to dust.
In other news, I wanted to thank you all for the love and kind words regarding me and hubby’s post on the Great Gatsby’s fundraiser – we felt so humbled by your tweets, retweets, comments and the new follows. We hope to bring you more of these types of reports in the future. I’ve always said I’m too much of a blabber mouth and he’s too much of a voyeur for us to keep the good things happening in this world to ourselves, so bottle us up and add us your reading feed or follow our totally bogus adventures through Instagram @whoisarlette and @dreams2photos.
Now, to my Tdot people, what’s good in the city this week?
The Jazz Era is undergoing a strong revival thanks to the dreamy cinematography of Baz Luhrmann, who is delighting audiences with his latest take on an American classic: The Great Gatsby. The movie has been touted as the most anticipated movie of the year and with good reason: the first theatrical trailer, revealed last year to Jay-Z’s ‘Lost in The Wild’, had cinephiles, music aficionados and fashion lovers adding to the video’s view count on YouTube from constant replays. Though the movie was initially set to be in theatres last December, the powers that be in Hollywood decided on a summer release instead, with Luhrmann himself citing Mother Nature’s bad girl behavior for the delay. I suspect the real reason may fall under the evident role that rising temperatures play in the return of shorter hemlines and thus, “loose morals”, as
Spiderman Tobey McGuire’s character states in his narrative. With Twitter abuzz with numerous invitations to Gatsby-themed events and contests across the country, and major brands riding the opportunity train to Ka$h-ing City, it was inevitable that the water around these parts would soon turn to wine like Jesus operating his first miracle. The very evidence of “les années folles” took place at last night’s Great Gatsby event hosted by St. Laurent Shopping Centre, a fundraiser I was graciously invited to by the fine folks of Knock On Wood Communications & Events. While it would be easy to file this one under another rager of booze and babes, one must remember that Ottawans abide by a code of social consciousness: we may live in a conservative city governed by a Conservative party and bite the bullet every day for being so vanilla, but when it comes to caring for thy neighbour, we come out in full force in our Sunday best with the intent of giving back to the community. Last night’s show of support from the city’s bons vivants benefited the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.
Upon our arrival, the Mr. and I were greeted by the lovely Elyse, to whom I owe the personal invitation. No sooner had the doors to the former Aldo store opened that the Mr. was off to explore the setting and capture the opulence of the 1920′s carefully replicated by Lee Ann Lacroix & Associates, who had transformed an otherwise bare retail space into a magnificent Jay Gatsby-style abode dripping with lush florals, Old World details and an array of patterned fabrics that adorned everything from furniture to walls and floors. Smiling bartenders, sporting quintessential bowler hats, bow ties and suspenders, were stationed on both sides of the entrance, enticing guests with glasses of champagne. Charming waitresses, donning flapper dresses and feather and jewel-encrusted headbands, catered to the growing crowd with trays of spiced popcorn in paper cones, shrimps in beet sauce, oysters in open shells and partly sweet and tart apple and endive bouchées. On the far end of the space appeared Hollywood’s original Jay Gatsby on a flat screen, played by a debonair and much younger Robert Redford who gazed admiringly upon the object of his affection, Daisy, portrayed by Mia Farrow.
The room quickly grew to include more Bo’s and Betty’s, turning into a melting pot of playful young professionals and impeccably dressed Ladies Who Lunch, who no doubt could give The Real Housewives franchise a run for its money. Bopping along to DJ Andrew Carter’s remixed playlist of jazz era instrumentals, I set out to peruse the silent auction wall replete with alluring possibilities in the form of gift cards, a Moet-Chandon champagne bottle and tickets to Cirque du Soleil among other things, with the most impressive takeaway being an iPhone Gramophone that is sure to serve as a conversation piece in one lucky bidder’s home. As I greeted friends and proceeded to make new ones, it became evident to me that photo opportunities were l’ordre du jour, with guests turning handheld devices on their fellow revellers, or taking cues from Gatsby’s three distinguished guests portrayed by MIM models, who were the picture of perfection in intricately-beaded evening gowns and an era-appropriate gentleman suit. The hubs, never shy of snapping the #beautifulpeople, somehow didn’t find it far-fetched to have me flanked by two seductive Glamazons for a quick snap, though doing so made me feel more like a Hobbit than Too Legit to Quit. Thankfully, the bar served as the perfect go-to place to erase traces of humiliation from my existence…
For some reason, I anticipated that a dip in energy might eventually occur as a result of an increasingly hot room, but no sooner had the thought crossed my mind that JT’s ‘Suit and Tie’ anthem livened up the place, revealing an energetic hip-hop dancer that had been masquerading as a guest all night and who was soon joined in tandem by other “attendees”. A mini flash mob? This…is…EPIC! Guests looked on admiringly at the stylish foursome, causing curious shoppers to gather outside of the party to take in the scene.
With the auction later taking place and revealing the winners (one of which struck gold twice!), the event came to a close. Guests retired from the festivities with a small swag bag, leaving behind them the few who live by the adage of “Last One Standing”. As the organizers gathered around the lounge area to kick up their feet and land their smiling faces to some final shots, I succumbed to the sweet calling of a few macaroons that had been teasing me from afar all evening. As we walked to our car with friends CJ and Katherine, I felt grateful for the opportunity to have witnessed good will in action. To be the One and Only Daisy must be nice; but to roll as one of Jay Gatsby’s VIP is not too shabby of a vie.
This is the LAST (“say you, say me”) post referencing the #PTLSpring13 campaign for I can clearly see the milk curdling and I must give the littles a fair chance to live and see tomorrow.
You may have noticed that in a previous post, I have made a roll call of all the team members from the shoot and one of them got the elusive title of videographer. Then, if your mind wasn’t floating on a purple haze cloud, your next question would have been: “Video? What video? I don’t see a damn thing!?” Yes, there is one, which was shot and edited by Seita Goto, one-part graphic designer extraordinaire, one-part videographer ninja and all around human transformer.
The thing is…one must take a trip to Paper Trail Life’s Facebook page to view this MTV (Magical Tour Visual) masterpiece. So, find your way to Oz here and leave your comments and impressions.
Watching it makes me relive a lovely day in the company of great folks. If video killed the radio star, Seita must be the #1 suspect…Arigato, Seita.
Happy Hump Day!
How’s everyone doing? Over here at WIA, I’m doing mighty swell considering the fact that I scored my second feature on another amazing blog. I am the third entry of a week-long mother’s day series over at Milk ’n’ Honee, which is the brainchild of my dear and fashionable friend, Charlotte Betts. Bonus: my mug is not the only one featured - my son Jamal also makes an appearance!
So, let me see that momma didn’t raise no fool by going where it’s at! While you’re at it, please show the other featured mothers some love too.
Lastly, go, Sens, go! That is all!