(Style Diary) Carolina Herrera

November 30, 2010


I truly believe that fashion has no age-limit, and no one proves that more convincingly than Carolina Herrera. The New-York based Venezuelan fashion designer is seventy-one years old, and shows no signs of slowing down. In my opinion, she is one of the best dressed women of any age, anywhere. Her signature combination of a white oxford and ballroom skirt is a statement of true style.

(Outfit Diary) Sequins and Sweats

November 29, 2010

 H&M sweater, Urban Outfitters skirt, Aldo heels, Sara Designs bracelet

This look was inspired by a shot of Clemence Poesy in the November 2010 issue of Glamour. The stylist paired sequins and sweats, with fabulous results. I've been wanting to imitate the look for weeks, but finding a decent sequined skirt was surprisingly hard considering how in style they are right now. I finally came across this one at Urban Outfitters... It's not exactly comfortable. The sequins were sewn on before the hemming was done, so the hemline is quite, well, sharp. But it looks amazing, anyway. I'm going to Toronto on Friday, and I can't wait. I haven't been there in almost ten years... I know it's only Monday, but I'm already counting down the days until my visit to the Bata Shoe Museum, and Mango!

(Style Diary) See you in Sweden

November 27, 2010


Minimalism is a style I strive for, but always manage to just miss. I am easily distracted by shiny things. I love sequins. Glitter is one of my guilty pleasures. If I see something fabulous in a shop window, I just can't resist, even if it happens to be bright purple and matches nothing I own. Because I'm impulsive, I live my minimalist dreams vicarious through my dear blog-friend Rebecca of See you in Sweden. She was a Chictopia sensation when we first met, and after one visit to her blog, I was officially hooked. Rebecca knows what works for her- particularly her trademark bold lipcolour- and she sticks with it [unlike some of us :)]. It is her signatures that set her apart from other bloggers... who but Rebecca would think to wear a long ribbon as a belt? Or a tie? But what keeps me- and so many others- coming back for more is the effortlessness of her style. A white oxford shirt, which would be plain on anyone else, becomes perfection when she puts it on. And it doesn't hurt that she's one of the sweetest people I know :)

See you in Sweden is one of my daily reads, and should be one of yours, too. When she isn't posting photos of her fabulous outfits, Rebecca also does amazing fashion inspiration posts showcasing her favourite looks from anywhere and everywhere... Shots I've seen on her blog have inspired my outfits more than once. See you in Sweden is a blog that must not be missed.

(Outfit Diary) Pretty in Pink

November 26, 2010

Coach coat, Hudson jeans, Aldo boots, Vintage bag

Pink is a polarising colour; some women adore it, obsess over it, decorate their homes with it and buy their mobile phones in it and always wear it on their lips. An equal number of women avoid it entirely, and I am one of them. I don't do pink. This beautiful trench coach has been languishing in my closet for months, abandonned because the pink piping made a serious wardrobe staple seem cutesy and twee. Since the weather has turned cold and gray, I find myself looking for colourful accents to brighten up my wardrobe. Suddenly, the trench coat with pink piping seemed like an obvious choice. It turned out it wasn't really warm enough for the sub-zero temperatures, but it was a nice change of pace. (I have since gotten my heaviest coat out of storage... it will probably make its blog debut soon.) There are some perks to the chilly weather, however- mainly the fact that it's acceptable for me to drink hot chocolate everyday. What are your favourite cold weather treats? Stay warm, lovelies!

(Required Reading) The Audrey Hepburn Treasures

November 25, 2010


The Audrey Hepburn Treasures isn't just a book. Compiled by Ellen Erwin, the executive director of the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund, and Jessica Diamond, the archivist/curator for the Audrey Hepburn Estate, it is a 200-page pictorial encyclopedia of all things Audrey Hepburn, from her childhood in Brussels, when she dreamed of becoming a ballerina... through the beginning of her stage career and her most brilliant moments on film... to her equally brilliant, although less famous, work with UNICEF.

This book is an essential for any fan of Audrey Hepburn. Anything you might have wondered about the brilliant actress can be found among its glossy pages. In every chapter, there is a folder full of copied photographs and playbills... old letters written to Audrey, and by her... baby pictures of her children and thumbnail movie stills. There are anecdotes from friends- and rivals. One of my favourites is a complaint from one of Audrey's fellow dancers when they performed together in Cecil Landau's Sauce Tartare. "They're all looking at bloody Audrey," she moaned. "We don't stand a chance."

There are also many, many stunning fashion photos.

If you have ever admired Audrey's inimitable combination of style and whimsy, The Audrey Hepburn Treasures is an indispensible collector's item. (It's a little hard to find, but there are a few copies available from Amazon.)

Happy Thankgiving to all of my American readers!

(Beauty Diary) Lancome's Hypnose Drama Mascara

November 24, 2010


It isn't exactly a secret that I'm obsessed with eye make-up. A few of you have even asked to know my favourite products. Based on how (obnoxiously) I've been lamenting that I can't wear it this past week, you would think that mascara and eyeliner had been a life-long passion of mine. The truth is, I didn't even start wearing mascara until I was almost twenty! I have naturally dark eyelashes, so the idea of colouring them never crossed my mind... until I started working at a department store. I got my formal make-up education from a series of matronly Lancome ladies who only wanted the best for my skin. There was a time when I had a whole arsenal of Lancome products- thanks largely to my employee discount. These days Lancome is a bit out of my price range, but there is one product I will always, always splurge on...

Hypnose Drama Mascara. There is simply nothing better than the stuff that comes in that curvaceous black tube. It lengthens and thickens lashes... and, for those of you who have straight lashes like I do, it also helps to curl them!

That said, Hypnose Drama is in no way economical. When you can buy thick Covergirl mascara at the drugstore for seven dollars, I understand how hard it can be to justify a thirty dollar tube of French-made product, especially when it's the kind of thing you can't exactly try before you buy. But this mascara is, in my humble opinion, worth even more than the sticker price. Not only does it work miracles, but it lasts forever, and as long as you close the tube tightly, it doesn't ever get dry. It's a little indulgent, but it's also an investment in beautiful lashes. For me, it's a staple. Even if I put on no other make-up, I never leave the house without a few coats of Lancome's Hypnose Drama.

(Outfit Diary) Watercolour

November 23, 2010

H&M sweater and heels, Zara tee, Club Monaco Shorts, J. Crew headband

I went through a brief phase in my late teens when I was obsessed with painting. I spent hours furiously mixing colours and entertained passive thoughts of having my own art exhibits. My artistic ambitions ended as quickly and unexpectedly as they had begun, but I still have a soft spot for anything watercolour. When I saw these shorts, it was love at first sight. I went into Club Monaco with the intention of buying a white blouse and came out with these instead. That was three months ago, and the love affair is still going strong. Late last week I promised that I had some exciting news, and here it is; I've been chosen to be a part of Teen Vogue Fashion Click! You may have noticed the Teen Vogue Fashion Click Blogger badge on the sidebar. I bought the first ever issue of Teen Vogue when I was still in high school. Gwen Stefani was on the cover. I read every issue of the magazine until long after my teens ended, and still pick it up at occasionally for plane rides (or long car trips.) When I found out that Teen Vogue was starting a style blogger project, Fashion Click, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it. After all, the magazine and I have history. My lookbook blog posts will now be featured on the Teen Vogue website. Fashion Click officially launched yesterday. They're still looking for great bloggers to be a part of the project, and I know that many of you fall into that category :) To get involved, visit Fashion Click.

(Style Diary) Clemence Poesy

November 22, 2010


It's no secret that I admire the enviable je ne sais quoi that French women have... their ability to put on any old piece of clothing and look fabulously chic. French actresses are no exception. Unlike their North American counterparts, who start dressing in head-to-designer the second their careers begin to bud, French actresses retain their simple aesthetic and effortless chic. Clemence Poesy is a perfect example... She's part of a multi-million-dollar movie project, but she wears high street dresses on the red carpet. She does her own (limited) hair and make-up. And she always looks breathtaking.

(Style Diary) Jolie Marche

November 21, 2010


 Since I've started experimenting with indoor photography, several of you have asked me where I got my curtains... And I'm absolutely in love with them, so I wanted to share the wonderful little shop that they came from. Jolie Marche sells beautiful handmade, French-inspired home decor, including curtains, pillow shams and bedding made of lovely and unusual fabrics like burlap, grain sack and linen. If you want to decorate your home in a unique wayand you like the antiqued or vintage look, Jolie Marche is the perfect place to start shopping! They ship internationally, and the shop owner is a pleasure to deal with. Happy browsing, lovelies!

(Outfit Diary) La neige...

November 20, 2010

H&M jacket, Zara dress, Aldo boots, Goorin Brothers fascinator, Scarf from Turkey

... sort of. I grew-up in a veritable winter wonderland; a place that is extremely picturesque at Christmas and intolerably cold for a big chunk of the year. I live in a much milder climate now, and I can't help finding it a little funny when- and if- we get our first snow of the year... because as you can see in the pictures, it's barely a dusting, and it melts almost instantly. It was still sort of fun to play around in it. A few of my neighbours made small, lumpy snowmen covered in wet grass and leaves. I stuck with a little pretend figure skating then went back inside, where it was warm, like any sensible person would do.

(Style Diary) Swedish Love Affair

November 20, 2010


One of my favourite parts of working on Coco and Vera actually has nothing to do with Coco and Vera itself... Blogging has lead me to discover countless fabulous blogs I might never have otherwise stumbled upon. I'm the type of girl who can't help sharing her enthusiasm with the world. When I get excited about something, I talk more loudly. I use my hands to illustrate my point. I tend to get repetitive, and probably a little annoying :) Since my blog exists only in print, you're all getting to miss out on my performance. But there is no denying that there are a lot of blogs that I'm excited about... And every Saturday, I'm going to share one with you.

The first is Swedish Love Affair.

Swedish Love Affair is written by the lovely Antonia, a twenty-two-year-old university student from Sweden. She dresses in a colourful,classic style and her collection of handbags (including a bordeaux-coloured Marc by Marc Jacobs shoulder bag) is extremely enviable. But her trademark is her nails... they are always immaculately polished in the most unusual and whimsical colours.

Antonia is also a talented artist. You can see examples of her beautiful watercolour painting on her blog, and she recently posted a tutorial about how to make your own fascinator... very inspiring!

Make sure to visit Swedish Love Affair... It's on my list of daily reads, and is well worth adding to yours!

(Outfit Diary) Lipgloss Addict

November 19, 2010

Zara blazer, Forever 21 blouse, H&M jeans, Aldo boots, La Vie Parisienne necklace

I briefly considered calling this blog Lipgloss Addict. It's a name I've had in the back of my mind since I was seveteen... in the end I decided it made me sound a little too much like a seventeen-year-old, and settled on Coco and Vera. My addiction to lipgloss in all of its forms has abated somewhat in the past few years. I can live without lip colour... my staples are black eyeliner and mascara. Sadly, due to a very unpleasant eye infection, I will have to suffer without eye make-up for the foreseeable future. This is the first time I have appeared publicly without eyeliner for years. When I look at myself in these photos, I feel like something is missing from my face! (My eye still doesn't look very pretty, so I've tried to hide it in these shots as much as possible.) Since my make-up routine is severely limited at the moment, I decided to indulge myself with a new lipgloss from Dior's holiday collection - Black-Tie Plum. It's a bit bolder than I would normally go for, but without eye make-up I feel like I can get away with it. What make-up items are essential to your daily routine?

(Required Reading) Entre Nous by Debra Ollivier

November 18, 2010


My dear friend Mila sent me this book for my birthday and I wanted to share it with all of you. Entre Nous: A Womans' Guide to Finding her Inner French Girl by is a quick, light read- perfect for a day at the beach or a rainy weekend. Debra Ollivier, the author, is an American who lived in France- and learned firsthand from French women- for ten years. She offers tips on everything from intellectual life, to cooking and entertainment, and, of course, the French girl's enviable sense of style... the je ne sais quoi.

The book works hard not to bend to stereotypes, but it isn't exactly a philosophical treatise on what makes a French girl French. There is limited, if any, meaningful exploration of French culture and how it moulds its daughters into French women. A significant amount of emphasis is placed on the importance of family, eating as a ritual (not a habit), and discretion in personal relationships. The collection of personal anecdotes is amusing and mildly insightful, even if the advice they offer isn't completely sound- or applicable to life in North America.

The fashion tips, however, are indispensible. Olliver underlines the importance of feeling comfortable in your own skin before concerning yourself with how you cover it. She recommends streamlining your wardrobe - after all, most French women have limited closet space - and explains how to go about it by offering an exhaustive list of the essential articles of clothing found in the closet of every stylish French woman. Those pages alone make the book worth buying!

Entre Nous is available from Amazon.

(Wishlist Diary) Philosophy for the Holidays

November 17, 2010

I can be a bit of a grinch around Christmas-time. As a four-year veteran of retail (in stores where Christmas began on October 15), I still regard crowded shopping centres decorated with glittering faux trees with a certain amount of trepidation. There isn't a Christmas carol that my retail experience didn't ruin in for me. But there are two things that I just can't live without during the holiday season. The first is the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer TV special. The second is Philosophy's Christmas-scented bath products. With scents like candy cane and cinnamon bun, gingerbread and peppermint, Philosophy brings the joy of the holidays to bodycare. Every year I buy a Share the Joy giftset and give one of the special scents to each of the ladies on my Christmas list. What makes the holidays special for you?
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