Friday, February 27, 2009

All Hail The Sale: Peekaboo Wilcox bids adieu!

I can't get the skinny on WHY, but Le Marche Montreal is saying good-bye to its signature jewellery line, Peekaboo Wilcox. This bling has been immensely popular - I see it danging from the ladies all over town - and apparently it has made appearances on Sex & The City and other celebrities. So I don't know if it's the end of the line, or it just got too popular for our little hometown boutique... but in any case, it's time to grab the piece you've been eyeing for the last six years. The prices are HALF OFF which is crazy talk, so go! Stop reading! Go!

Le Marche Montreal
24 Pins ave E.
Montreal, Tel: 514-907-2482

DISCLAIMER: It's still a recession, so only spend if you have a little bit of 'fluff' money put away. Let's not go into debt for the sake of accessorizing!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Things That Go Bling: Big Pinky Ring

I have never seen as many big-ass pinky rings on men as I did this past week.... and I'm lovin' it.

The rings: silver, gold, set with stones... it's all good.

The dudes: young, old, thugged out, in a three piece suit... it's all good.

Let's see if we can start a big-ass lady pinky ring phenomenon.

(This is one of the rings that came out of the Luis Vuitton - Pharrell Williams collaboration)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Spring Fashion Forward

Maybe it's pre-emptive but I'm starting to smell spring and it smells good. The thought of ditching my down-filled coat excites and inspires me... And so I turn to Chanel in order to "chanel" (ooh, bad word pun... sorry!) that energy into awesome outfit.

First a word about Chanel. Coco Chanel was one damn rad dame. She hipped us to short hair, the mini-skirt, the powersuit and pants when women's fashion was still in the dark ages. A lot of people have a real hate-on for the fashion industry, justifiably so, but I just want to remind y'all that at the heart of it, Haute Couture is about Art and Craft. Artists envision and design the wearable works of art that are then brought to life by highly skilled and trained artisans like embroiderers, beaders, seamstresses, etc. Though the final product tends to be unwearable and unaffordable, its essence trickles down to become mainstream fashion. I think we could benefit by returning to the idea of custom-made clothes made by local artisans, but I'll say more about that later and over and over.

Karl Lagerfeld, who aside from being damn hilarious, is the head of the Chanel House, is making sure that Coco's legacy lives on - and The Spring/Summer line is no exception.

Let's break it down:

Skinny Pants. This doesn't mean low-rider jeans that simultaneously give you plumber butt and muffin top. We're talkin' well-tailored trim pants, not just jeans. They can bunch the tiniest bit at the ankle for a more casual look.

Cropped Jacket. Finally, I can pull out my boleros from the summer of 2005 and not get funny looks from the fashion unconscious. Careful not to wear it over a pouffy dress - make sure there is space between the bottom hem of the jacket and where your dress or skirt starts to 'pouf', about the length of the black band in the photo. Otherwise, the look will be round and not tidy-tailored.

Belt Band. A fabric belt or belly warmer worn around your natural waistline, with your top tucked in but not tightly so you have fabric hanging over the top edge of the band.

Headgear. I don't expect the Montreal ladies to be sporting large floral and bird-themed headpieces this spring, but we can borrow Chanel's essence here: when we shed those toques this spring, tuck a brooch, flower or dollar-store bird in your tresses. Tresses. I can't believe I just used Cosmo slang instead of saying "hair".

Blousy Tops. What happened to shirts with little capped sleeves, thick hems and room to breathe? Hopefully this signals their return. This look is also great for dresses - look for a thicker band of fabric around the waist that the top will hang over.

Cautionary Tale. Maybe try to stay away from wearing all these items at once. Unless you're getting married - which seems to be the new youthful hipster trend these days - in which case you have my permission to wear whatever the hell you feel like.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Brooch Is Back

For the un-pierced, accessory-timid, or over-accessorizer, The Brooch can be the perfect way to cinch your look. The latest in brooches? The Chain Brooch. A Chain Brooch has two pins that can be clipped where you want, with chain connecting- and dangling between - the two. For dudes, the equivalent look is pinning a chain brooch or cloak clasp to your lapels over a tie.

The pictured brooch is Chanel, and like everything Chanel, over the top and yummy. Chain brooches aren't the easiest thing to find, especially vintage, but I did spot one recently at Local 23 for a mere $20. Or keep your eyes peeled for a Brazen Design Chain Brooch this spring!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Top 5: Jewellery Stores in Montreal

Here are my top 5 favourite jewellery stores in Montreal.

Technically they aren't all jewellery-only stores and sure, my line is carried at some - but they are still my favourite places to go for a kick ass piece of bling.

Totheme, 68 Fairmount West

Specialty: Custom orders, dirty-dirt cheap accessories, lots of it made by local artists.

Budget: Like I said....dirty-dirt cheap.

General 54, 54 St Viateur West

Specialty: Urban armour. Accessories for the discerning hipster.

Budget: Affordable to Pricey, but reasonably so.

Freitag, 3762 Boulevard St Laurent

Specialty: Variety of edgy sterling silver creations, lots of local stuff.

Budget: Affordable to Pricey, but reasonably so.

Argent Tonic, 138 Laurier West.

Specialty: BIG BLING. Amazing ring selection. Exclusivity.

Budget: On the higher end but not out of the budget.

Noel Guyomarc'h, 137 Laurier West

Specialty: This is the real deal. Noel carries only "Art Jewellery", meaning incredible wearable works of art.

Budget: Save up for a real special piece.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ethical Bling

This is something upon which I have been recently doing a lot of ruminating and research. Despite this "Age of Eco" there is surprisingly little information out there and the precious metal industry is only just beginning to make changes and discuss certification standards.

What I have gathered so far is this:

  1. Mining is evil, no two ways around it. We just can't pretend that wearing precious metals will ever be removed from a process that destroys the earth.

  2. Precious metals are never wasted. They can be endlessly recyclable by being refined and melted back down to their pure state - even the tiny filings when you are sanding a piece. I mean, you wouldn't throw out a piece of gold, right?! Just like "green" and "eco" get tossed around in order to market a product without meaning that they are sustainable or eco-friendly, "recycled" is the mythical term in the precious metal world. When you buy silver or gold, it is rarely ever made entirely with "newly mined" metals. The same companies refining it and producing the plate, wire, grain and ingots are always buying people's old gold and silver and adding that into the mix.

  3. The process that really has room for improvement is in the refining of precious metals. There are a couple of companies that use far less water than the industry standard and capture the chemicals used in the process in a more eco-friendly way.

Well, those companies don't exist in Canada yet, as far I can gather (I'm looking into that more closely). Making ethical bling would mean no longer purchasing my precious metal locally, paying US dollars (which ain't a pretty scene with our weak Canadian dollar right now), leaving a carbon footprint by having it shipped, and raising my prices which affects my local customers in a big way.

It's just like eating organic... until there is a major shift in the industry and in demand for ethical precious metals, there is a major price to be paid by the pioneers. But maybe it is time to blaze a brazen trail in that direction... In the meantime I will continue to build my studio with found and recycled objects, while encouraging the industry to make progress in any way I can.

Check this site out for more info:

note: I haven't touched on diamonds and precious stones...I know there are more standards for ensuring that you aren't buying "blood" diamonds, illegal and endangered coral, etc - but as I rarely use any of these, I haven't done a lot of research in that area.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Ultimate Winter Coat: Canada Goose

There is one item in particular that I am keeping my eyes peeled for as retailers start bringing in their spring lines and reducing their winter inventory: The Canada Goose Kensington Parka.

Canada Goose coats go for $400 - $700 but nothing will keep you warmer and they seem to last forever. This particular model is a new addition, and happens to be an exact replica of the Triple 5 Soul coat that revolutionized winter coat fashion five years ago.

Though it has probably been too cold a winter to get a good deal on one, I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, February 6, 2009

All Hail The Sale: Marie Saint Pierre

Is it payday for ya? Well, if you have money to burn after responsibly allocating 20% of your paycheque to a savings account, go nuts at the Marie Saint Pierre annual solderie...on until Feb 15th!

Both locations:

Rockland Centre


2081 De La Montagne

Monday, February 2, 2009

Injury Bling

My latest accessory has been a ring finger swathed in rolls of gauze. An edgy look I dare say.
Despite that, I would caution all out there to stay away from this kind of painful fashion statement. Watch those knives!

Craft Fair this weekend: Reine de Coeur!

This weekend, Feb 7 & 8, there will be at a craft fair in the Mile End. There hasn't been a craft fair at this time of year for quite a while so it's very exciting. The creator of the newly resurrected Rusty Plum Holiday Craft Fair brings us Crafty Bazaar Affair! Le Carnaval Artisanal de La Reine de Coeur!

Friend's birthday? Check out the wares of many talented Montreal creators!

Gift for your loved one? I will have a few of the new Loved Necklaces on display.

Single Lady? Celebrate your fierce self with one of the latest Brazen Design One Offs!

Here are the deets:

Crafty Bazaar Affair | Le Carnaval Artisanal de La Reine de Coeur
Saturday February 7th and Sunday Feb 8th
11:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.
St. Michel's Church ( corner of St.Urbain and St. Viateur)