Posts in Style

Fashionate: Goes to New York… And Experiences a Natural Disaster

My vision of writing about NYC involved all of my amazing one of a kind purchases from cute old second hand and vintage stores, paired with a designer dress from a one-of-a-kind boutique found nestled in Greenwich Village or Soho. Unfortunately my experience in New York was far from my vision, although still an amazing experience.

NYC has this energizing pulse when you walk through the streets, even with a hurricane approaching I still felt more alive than I have in years. As I explored Central Park, Times Square, and 5th Avenue on Saturday I had no worries in the world, except what pair of shoes I should choose (I went for animal print ankle boots). As we sat on an outdoor patio in Soho enjoying the warm fall breeze and a glass of full bodied red, we had no idea our easy-going trip was about to take a turn for the worse. I woke up on Sunday morning and the air had changed, it was eerie out with a dark cloud looming over us. I arrived at my L’Oreal Professional course to do advanced cutting, expecting to join about 30 other peers. Only 3 people showed up, we were all from out of town! They announced shortly after the course would be cancelled due to the expected Hurricane to hit. At this point I was beginning to think we were in for the greatest adventure of our lives. They followed up with the announcement letting us know the subways were shutting down at 7:00pm that evening. I thought to myself, the whole city is shutting down because of Sandy. My dreams of skipping through the cobble stone streets of Soho were shattered.

We walked through the empty and eery dark streets to reach Little Italy to find a couple of restaurants still open, and enjoyed a very large and delicious Italian meal. After stocking up on wine, snacks, and water we headed back to the hotel. The buzz in the lobby was overwhelming. Everybody you met, or spoke to had a different story or theory of what we were to expect 24 hours from now.

As Monday came into full swing, it looked like a typical autumn day outside; rain and slight winds. Unless you looked at the sky you would never have noticed a looming darkness headed our way. A glance down a regularly busy street to only to find it completely empty, store fronts boarded up, sandbags hugging tight. We waited with the other hotel guests in the lobby, the energy was positive and there was anticipation and excitement in the air.

Then the power went out.

This was the moment I realized it was actually happening and we may in fact be in a slight amount of trouble. The winds picked up and we sat in darkness and waited. You could hear it howling and blowing anything in its way down. Water rushing into subway systems and flooding any building in its path. 4 million people lost power, thousands lost their homes, businesses were shut down indefinitely. The next morning with the power still out and no food left we were advised to find other accommodations where there was heat, power and water up town. ‘Anything above 34th street’. We were now in a race with 4 million other people to find a place to live. A task normally made easy with the aide of technology, but when all our amazing technology fails suddenly becomes a difficult and daunting task. We hailed a lone gypsy cab and overpaid by about $30 to head into the light. After a very, very long process a total stranger helped us get a hotel room and for a moment we were pleased. Our next task was getting a flight out.

Seeing the damage, having been in the middle of it, the surreal experience started to fade and I realized that at the very least I still had a home to fly to. A job to return to. I felt terrible for being so selfish, for not thinking of the millions still living in darkness (not enough hotels), the thousands homeless and jobless. Central Park had extensive damage, a crane that was hanging by a thread threatened hundreds of businesses. Even with all of this, the air and energy was still liberating. NYC can make it through anything.

It was a life experience and I came away feeling so inspired and I can’t wait to go back!

Why I Invest In a Tailor

Alright, I’m about to get real with you and your potential frustration shopping (people like that exist, right?). Prêt-à-porter, also known as clothes-off-the-rack, aren’t meant to fit your body. No, there’s nothing wrong with you. Ready to wear clothes come in many sizes, most of them approximate, and meant to fit a variety of ‘mediums’. A Medium in one brand is often very different from a medium in another brand, even styles within brands have variances in size. It’s the nature of industrial, mass-produced clothing that there will be slight differences. We can’t all afford haute couture, so stop feeling bad about how wide your shoulders are and how svelte your waist may be in comparison.

My mother—who would literally kill me if she read about me talking about this online—has always had problems shopping due to strong shoulders (thankfully something she passed on to me) and large bosoms (I’m uncomfortable saying ‘breasts’ when I’m talking about my mother to strangers). She’d shop for items that fit the top of her body and swim in the rest of the fabric hanging around her midriff before giving up entirely. Find a nice piece of clothing that fits in the important areas like waist/shoulders, maybe a bit longer than you’d like and have someone take it in where you need that little additional love. My mother, a bank manager, would extoll the extra cost involved in an already stressful process like shopping but having a great and affordable tailor can actually save you money in the long run if you plan it right.

Given your new private army of sewing soldiers, you can really branch out from the regular shops you may visit and take in more vintage or second-hand options.

I’ll be the first to say after purchasing $110 dress shirt I’m not interesting in shelling out another $10-$20 to get it taken in. Those $285 Nudies better effing fit ‘cos I’d rather go for lunch or a coffee then get them hemmed. But when you expand your shop visits to include second-hand or consignment stores, all of a sudden a trench coat that might have cost $1,450 from Burberry is only $29. For another $15 you’ve got a one-of-a-kind, fitted trench for under $50. I just saved you $1,406, go get something nice for yourself but don’t spend it all in one place.

It’s been a long time since I had someone for proper alterations; quantities of items to be altered (they collect over time) and money being factors. Another factor was my previous tailor got really popular. Waiting weeks or months for alterations became absurd. I just recently switched to Anna’s Alterations at 2415 Pandosy Street, but there are at least a dozen places in Kelowna you can go.

Honestly, the main reason I picked Anna’s was superficial; 2415 was the first house I lived in when I moved to Kelowna back in November ’04. I’ve got some history with that place and I’ve always liked the idea of visiting a place you lived in long after you’ve left, just to see how it looks these days. I couldn’t have been more pleased with Anna’s, the turnaround (dropped my suit off last Thursday, got it back Monday), or the quality of work (I can’t even see where she moved the buttons up on the blazer’s sleeves). Finding a tailor can be scary. I always take one test item to judge quality. Something I could potentially live without or write-off if a huge mistake was made. Thankfully Anna’s did a wonderful job. If you’re looking for a recommendation, mine is for Anna’s.

Here’s a list of other alterations places in Kelowna:

  • Ankas European Tailoring – 555 Bernard Ave (been here as well, good quality)
  • Make It Fit Alterations – Suite 1210-2271 Harvey Ave
  • The Sewing Shop – Suite 3-616 K.L.O. Rd
  • Sew Me the Dress – 1161 Cerise Drive
  • Okanagan Tailoring – Suite 38-2070 Harvey Ave
  • Lily’s Tailoring – Suite 106-2121 Ethel St
  • Jenny’s Leather & Alterations – 565 Gramiak Rd
  • The Sewing Shoppe Boutique – 863 Anders Rd
  • Capri Alterations – Suite 146-1835 Gordon Dr

Having hand-tailored items in your closet takes a piece many other people may have and makes it your own. It turns inexpensive, previously-loved clothes into a unique item made for you. When something fits great, you look great. When you look great, you feel great. Assuming your weight doesn’t fluctuate and you’re already passed your mid-twenties, these can be items you invest in for years to come.

Fashionate: Cozy Up with Frakas

Walking through the doors of Frakas Boutique I was instantly transformed. It has a bit city feel with small town attitude, the girls are beyond friendly and the clothing is trendsetting and fashion forward. We all want to feel cozy and comfortable as the darkness sets in and the air chills our bone, yet we don’t want to compromise our signature style, whatever that may be.






Frakas has something to warm every Kelowna girl from head to toe.  When you set foot inside, neat and   organized racks will greet you, with only one size of each garment!  The warm winter wear Frakas is carrying this year, is runway worthy with warm cropped knits, or long over sized sweaters to pair with your favourite pair of printed leggings, A seasonal must have is your favourite Aztec, or animal thick cotton legging. Pair it with a contrasting printed top, or a muted coloured sweater. Deep burgundy, ox blood, or ruby red are your choice ‘red’ tones for winter. The darker hues with purple undertone can be paired with hunter green, royal blue, mustard yellow or your classic black, giving you many wearable options. Colour block knits are plentiful at Frakas this year, carrying the ‘mod’ look into the 2013 fashion season.






Once you have your tops and bottoms you can dress them up or down with accessories. Frakas has some of THE BEST jewellery in Kelowna when you are looking for affordable pieces to make your outfit unique. Adding a collar necklace to your favourite sweater to give a preppy look, or a spiked bracelet with an oversized cocktail ring to bring out you inner rock goddess.

Don’t forget November 23rd is their annual shopping night! Stay tuned for more details!!

Wild Heart

We make assumptions based on what we see on the surface, will we ever know our true Wild Heart?

Awesome Okanagan is thrilled to be working with fresh, local salon Loyal Hair Therapy to present “Wild Heart,” a 2012 Fall/Winter Fashion Show with heart. Including a local clothing store like Man + Woman and supporting a local charity like H.O.P.E. Outreach is a no-brainer when showing off what the Okanagan has to offer. Come early for the Jail Bird Art Show (which will still be hanging during the event) and stick around for all the excitement when we mix a touch of 1960’s class (think Twiggy, Mad Men, Bridget Bardot) with the primal energy within us all (you like leaves, antlers and real twigs, right?).

If you missed our last party you won’t want to miss this one! Save the date, November 16, 2012.

Where: Habitat (248 Leon Avenue, Kelowna)
When: Friday, November 16th – 8:00 PM
How Much: $10
Tickets: Leo’s Video (2680 Pandosy St), Mosaic Books (411 Bernard Avenue) & Loyal Hair Therapy (102-2106 Harvey Avenue).
For: 19+

Fashionate: Beauty Trends 2012

As the leaves change colour and the air cools down, our fall fashion trends take a turn into warmer deeper hues. From clothing to boots to new hair trends Autumn is in full swing. These are my top Hair/Make-up trends I am loving.

The ‘NEW’ Ombre: Ombre hair is one of the fastest growing hair techniques ever and we are not going to see it go away anytime soon. Staying on trend with the changing of the season we are seeing warmer hues on the ends with balayage being brought up closer to the root.



Bold Lips: Fresh faced make-up paired with an intense bold lip is all the rage this season. Make sure you choose a hue that suits your skin. Just because you see a deep plum does not mean you can pull it off. The undertone of the lip colour should compliment your skin tone.  Try some different tones on until you find the one for you!



Sketched on Lashes: This is a BOLD look and I would not recommend it for everyday wear, but to glam up for your Christmas party this look is too chic.




Hair Jewelry: I LOVE this trend. Bling for your hair will glam up any outfit or hairstyle. Just make sure you don’t over kill it with cheesy diamonds or have to much going on within your piece.










Try one or all of my favourite trends this season and you will be sure to wow the crowd!

Fashionate: The Fashion Show 2012

On September 22 the Kelowna Community Theatre held the 2nd annual ‘Fashion Show’ hosted by the Centre for Arts and Technology events and fashion students. I had the opportunity to attend both last year and again this year to view the collections of the creative graduating fashion students. Each and every girl has a unique style that sets them apart from the rest.

Nicola Treat, Jill Setah, Andrea Witschen, and Johann Kreiger showed their collections along side local boutiques; Ashpalt Shoes, Raw 69, Bella Clothing, The Wardrobe, La Belle, and the newly relocated Dlux boutique.

Nicola’s inspiration for her collection comes from nature. Each draped dress is hand dyed and beaded by Nicola herself. She makes truly beautiful garments and you will find the perfect maxi for a stroll along your favourite beach front this winter!

Andrea’s collection had the most edge of all the collections. Her line showed off a stunning quilted leather skirt along with an edgy floor length silk gown, just to name a few! Her badass vibe paired with natural elegance is the perfect style to dress yourself up for a night out on the town.

Jill has a passion for her Native Canadian culture and she expressed that through her clothing on Saturday. She took her inspiration from her heritage and transformed it into fashion forward pieces that tell a story. Truly amazing work.

Last but not least we were presented with Johanna’s collection. Specializing in one-of-a-kind wedding gowns, each dress tells a unique and interesting story.

Not only did these 4 up and coming designers showcase their best work, Kelowna’s hottest boutiques boasted their favourite fashion’s of the season. Check out their websites and then head down to location to find the best in fall fashions!

Fashionate: Meets Man + Woman

I have to admit, when I initially heard about a new store opening in the mall I figured it was just another chain filling up space. When I met up with my fashionista girlfriend who is a stylist for the new and stylish Man + Woman I was over joyed with the chic new store that has come into our lives. The stylish owners wanted to introduce us to a lifestyle insipred store that blends both Men and Women’s wear together. They have everything including; furniture, one of a kind housewares, and unique jewellery that will have you coming back for more.

This is your ‘staple’ headquarters, boding pieces for your wardrobe that will last multiple seasons and go with endless outfits. Blouses that can be dressed up or down and denim that has converted even the most skeptical man.  Although you will find many timeless pieces when you walk the doors, as you make your way over to the accessories, or jewelery counter you will find unique one-of-a-kind pieces that your friends will be begging you to borrow. Re-finished antique necklaces or resin sealed Bamboo braclets are just a few of the OTT cool jewels they have in store. The perfect gift or just a regular Friday you will find a piece for anybody.







Man + Woman believes in supporting local business and boasts many designers direct from Vancouver. This is just one of many reasons to check out the chic new store.

Whether you want to stop traffic, set a trend or have a simply look the part there is something for everyone in store. Stop in and see one of the experienced fashion stylists for all your lifestyle needs, located next to Sears in Orchard Park Mall.

Fashionate: 5 Items you Must Have this Autumn/Winter

Summer 2012 is coming to a close, and the ONLY positive thing I can make of these sad times is the fact that Fall/Winter 2012 fashion is taking us by storm and the trends are to die for this year. Fall/Winter 2012 is all about statement pieces with your staple wardrobe. There are SO many to choose from, but these are the TOP 5!

1. Leather: How To wear it: Make sure it’s REAL. Pair a leather skirt with a light chiffon blouse, or cropped structured blazer.  Where: This look can be dressed up or down, pair it with tights and Italian booties, or a sleek pair of pumps for an autumn get together.



2. Abstract/Geometric prints: Who- Anybody that dares to make a statement, I have seen everything from leggings to tops and I believe in this trend less is more. If you are going to wear this trend make sure you commit 100% and wear a complete look. Get the look: Pair a geo-T with your favourite pair of (now staple) coloured skinny, a pair of calf lace up boots and your favourite arm candy. A chain link strapped bag would perfect his look.

3. Burgundy: SEASON FAVOURITE- When I started noticing this colour trend I was ECSTATIC. This colour looks fantastic on literally ANYBODY, and it can be worn in so many different pieces. A maroon sheeth dress with a shade lighter tights and lace up italian booties is beyond chic and sexy this season. Fashion Tip** Coming two 2012 trends into one and wear your XL structured coat in a deep burgundy colour to get you through the cooler days.

Where to find this look: Joe Fresh has a FANTASTIC XL trench coat this season, or check out Blonde for the latest dresses and accessories.

4. Baroque: This is a tough look to pull off; if you can do it without looking like your grandmothers blinds it will be a fall favourite. How: Less is ALWAYS more with baroque, keep the colours neutral and the pattern to a minimum, do NOT wear it on more than one piece of clothing at a time. The safest way to integrate this into your wardrobe would be with a blazer paired with a VERY neutral, even black outfit underneath.

Where to find this look: Check your favourite vintage/thrift stores for a classic baroque jacket. Tweaked and Yummy, Frock or the Salvation army are all fabulous places to search!

5. Boots: There are SO many different boots to choose from and you can almost follow your instinct and your personal style for your boot choice, but a new favourite of the season are textured boots; leather and suede, or fur and patent. They will go with any outfit and can take you from running errands to a vino night at your favourite wine bar. Where to buy this look: Ashfalt shoes is your Kelowna shoe head quarters. You can also check out downtown shoes for your favourite fall finds.

Add any or all of these pieces to your wardrobe and don’t be afraid to experiment. A splash or a statement, however your style speaks, remember to enjoy, experiment, and have fun!