Showing 12 posts tagged style

Decorate your body

If you’re not dressing up during the holiday season, you’re doing it wrong. Snow flurries and rain downpours are no match for the sparkling dresses, twirling skirts, dapper suits, and shiny shoes showing off in houses, restaurants, and hotel ballrooms across the city.

Get inspired with some of our favourite holiday looks that have blown through holidays past and present.

Where will you find your holiday threads this year?

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Images (left to right, top to bottom): Free People dress 2013; Anthropologie dress 2013; Vogue Spain December 2012; Vogue December 1997; Dolce & Gabbana FW14; Vogue Russia December 2010

Sustainable Style

Vancouver is rampant with designers of covetable fashions. But our eyes are drawn to those who create with the planet’s best interests in mind. Enter Nicole Bridger.

Her sustainable, ethical clothing line is modern, chic, and defies all assumptions people may have held about eco-friendly clothing in the past.

The Nicole Bridger Fall 2013 collection has us all dreamy-eyed. Visit her boutique at 2151 West 4th Avenue or shop online at

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

90s Replayed

The 90s may have occurred forever and a day ago, but the fashions from that decade doused in hip hop and grunge are still repeating themselves today. Neon reminiscent of the Fly Girls and plaid once reserved for Seattle bands have been rejuvenated for 2013. Time to dig deep in your closets and watch old episodes of My So-Called Life, In Living Color, and Beverly Hills, 90210 for inspiration.

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Fashions in Yaletown

Checkered amongst the deliciously scented restaurants and desirable bars of Yaletown, there lie a selection of boutiques carrying treasures for your body and trouble for your wallet. Window displays will lure you in against your will and clothes will leap off the racks and into your hands.

You may find yourself leaving one of these fabulous Yaletown boutiques juggling a cluster of shopping bags:


Upon entering this spacious and bright store, your head will become woozy with fashion intoxication. Beautiful items from A.L.C., Barbara Bui, J Brand, Jenni Kayne, Line, and Preen will want to be yours as you float from hanger to hanger and shelf to shelf.

1189 Hamilton Street

Fine Finds

When in need of a gift, it is known across the city that one will snap up that perfect trinket at Fine Finds. Shiny jewelry, unique clothing, baby accessories, and quirky cards fill the shop. Warning: You’ll leave with more than a gift.

1014 Mainland Street

The Cross

Once you cross the threshold of this décor boutique, you may not emerge for hours. There are too many items of fancy and picturesque books to fondle and eye… ideal for satiating your curiosity.

1198 Homer Street

Brooklyn Clothing Co.

Men (and girlfriends) will have all of their denim dreams answered at this trendy store on the edges of Yaletown. If it’s made of denim or goes with denim, you’ll find it here. Don’t be scared by the huge selection of brands and styles… the staff will pull out exactly what you’re looking for.

418 Davie Street

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Glamour is back

We love old Hollywood glamour. Those days when women spent hours on their hair and makeup, and always left the house looking like a lady. They were femme fatales, mysterious and coy, and wore their sultry curves with pride. Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, Bette Davis, and Ingrid Bergman defined that era of strong women with their attention to detail and confident appearance.

Who wouldn’t want to channel their bewitching energy for a night?

Set your calendars for July 19th or 20th to revive the look of those alluring ladies with a vintage hair do. On both Friday and Saturday nights, Rock, Paper, Scissors, a pop-up hair salon, will have a booth at the Vancouver Chinatown Night Market, where stylist Michelle Grimm, a New York native who has worked with the likes of Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga, can add some glamour to your life.

Think Betty Boop, Dita von Teese, Marilyn Monroe, or Rita Hayworth as you let her set your hair into bouncing curls and shiny waves. Dress the part in a vintage frock, draw on liquid liner, paint on red lips, and order yourself a classic cocktail at The Keefer Bar.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Legend of film: Sofia Coppola

Responsible for the fanciful scenes in Marie Antoinette, the trauma of The Virgin Suicides, Hollywood hotel living in Somewhere, and the connection of strangers in Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola has wooed us with her cinematic eye for years.

This month, she continues the affair with The Bling Ring – a tale of celebrity obsession, the extravagances of youth, and a true-life burglary gang. The real criminals stole over $3,000,000 of cash and belongings in 2008 and 2009 from the homes of Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom, Lindsay Lohan, and Megan Fox.

In case you need more reasons to love Sofia, here are a few…

1. At the tender age of fifteen, she interned with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. And went on in later years to be Marc Jacobs’ muse.

Letting everyone down would be my greatest unhappiness. ~ Marie Antoinette

2. Continuing a love of fashion, she launched a clothing line, Milkfed, with friend Stephanie Hayman, and in cooperation with Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon. Stop searching… it’s only available in Japan.

The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you. ~ Lost in Translation

3. She directed Natalie Portman in a Miss Dior Cherié commercial – a short story depicting a young girl’s dreamy life.

We knew the girls were really women in disguise, that they understood love, and even death, and that our job was merely to create the noise that seemed to fascinate them. ~ The Virgin Suicides

4. She appeared in Madonna’s indulgent Deeper and Deeper video as one of the Material Girl’s friends.

For everyone, there are those moments when you have great days with someone you wouldn’t expect to. Then you have to go back to your real lives, but it makes an impression on you. ~ Sofia Coppola

5. Filmmaking is in her blood and her family tree reads like a list of Oscar nominees… Father: Francis Ford Coppola. Brother: Roman Coppola. Cousins: Nicholas Cage and Jason Schwartzman. She’s also the granddaughter of Oscar-winning composer, Carmine Coppola. One can only imagine how her young daughters will express their creativity.

Everyone in my family is in the film business; I knew I wanted to be creative and it was important in my family to be artistic. ~ Sofia Coppola

6. Making a mark as a woman in a Hollywood man’s world, she was the third female ever to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards, and won Best Original Screenplay for Lost in Translation. Not to mention, her films have appeared at Cannes, Sundance, and Venice Film Festivals.

That’s the way I work: I try to imagine what I would like to see. ~ Sofia Coppola

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider


Our Top Picks: Statement-worthy sunnies

The time is soon arriving in glowing, orange-burnt splendor – sunglasses season.

Not only do we need to shield our eyes from the sun, but sunglasses allow us to keep an eye on lustful pursuits without anyone being the wiser.

Sunnies define our personality, state our mood, and make fashion statements.

They are the most important accessory of summer, and the styles revealed for 2013 will make you want to commit the greatest fashion crime of all… wearing them at night.

Foundry by Grey Ant (via Oak NYC)

Dita Magnifique (via Styleblazer)

Noir Catwalk by Miu Miu (via Styleblazer)

Thunder by NEFF (via AskMen)

The J’s Gold with Blue Croc Leather by 9Five (via AskMen)

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Rain Can’t Stop Glamour at Cannes

The Festival de Cannes is a majestic ten days of remarkable films, parades of fashion, endless schmoozing, and Mediterranean sun. This year, three out of the four variables are present on the rain-splashed, umbrella-covered red carpets for films like The Great Gatsby, The Bling Ring, Behind the Candelabra, and Only God Forgives. Add a jewelry heist and a gunshot scare, and this year could be one of the most memorable festivals yet.

Galoshes may be favoured over stilettos, and duffle coats desired over frocks, but the attendees of the famous festival are still putting on brave, water-streaked faces and showing off their style prowess. Not even a torrential rain storm can stop the glitz and elegance of Cannes from adorning itself on the bodies of beauties such as Nicole Kidman, Carey Mulligan, Sofia Coppola, and Emma Watson.

We’re no stranger to rain in Vancouver so we added in some drizzle-worthy fashion for off the red carpet in Cannes (see above).

Images (from left to right, top to bottom):

Emma Watson in Chanel; Cindy Crawford in Roberto Cavalli; Nicole Kidman in Dior Couture; Carey Mulligan in Dior Couture; Tobey Maquire at The Great Gatsby premiere (Esquire); Cara Delevingne in Burberry Prorsum (Vogue UK).

Burberry Prorsum trench; DKNY coat, Rag & Bone pants; Helmut Lang jacket and pants; Sandro jacket & pants; J.Crew.

~Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

The Punk Aesthetic

Whether or not you listen to The Clash, Ramones, or Bad Religion, followed Sid Vicious, and dream of long gone, hot-blooded nights at CBGB in New York, the punk scene has influenced your fashion choices.

Rows of studs, worn-out leather, haphazard safety pins, scuffed work boots, ripped t-shirts, tattered peacoats, and body piercings are all elements of the often-thought nefarious movement. And it’s almost guaranteed that your closet holds bold details from the milieu.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s annual extravagant celebration honoured the aesthetic this year with its PUNK: Chaos to Culture exhibit running from May 9 to August 14, 2013. It was an opulent affair for a cultural era that favoured anarchy and opposed the brazenly affluent - a dichotomy if there ever was one.

At the gala benefit, co-chaired by Rooney Mara, Lauren Santo Domingo, Riccardo Tisci, and Anna Wintour, punk-inspired designs by Givenchy, Giles Deacon, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry Prorsum, Gucci, and Marc Jacobs ascended the grand, crimson staircase.

Above: Christina Ricci in Vivienne Westwood Couture; Madonna in Givenchy; Sienna Miller in Burberry Prorsum; Sarah Jessica Parker in Giles Deacon.

The exhibit is an excuse to pause and appreciate one of the greatest examples of culture influencing fashion.

Rodarte, Versace, Spiked cuffs.

Kate Moss for Vivienne Westwood, Vivienne Westwood, Vogue Paris.

Balenciaga, The Clash, Balmain.

Alexander McQueen, Sex Pistols, Versace.

~ Sandra O’Connell


If there’s one thing girls like to do, something that has stayed with us throughout the decades, it’s twirling. Seriously. From lush, green meadows to clothes-strewn bedrooms to resplendent ballrooms to gritty street corners, we spin to feel the wind whoosh through our hair and fingers, to blur the world around us into a dream-like state with a smile plastered on our faces.

But twirling is not truly twirling without the appropriate miniskirt swirling out around us - capturing the breeze under the hem and thrilling wandering eyes with a glimpse of flesh.

PARTYSKIRTS by Skot Apparel, the latest fashion fever out of Vancouver, are made to be twirled. The brilliant silk skirts designed by stylish and business-minded sisters Lauren and Mariel Armstrong are the most desired party companion in the city (and soon to be many more cities). Flirtatious, eye-catching, and, most importantly, fun, the skirts meet exploring and desirous attention from men and women alike, and make every night something to celebrate.

Meet Lauren and Mariel…

What kind of woman wears a PartySkirt?

Every woman! We love to see a PARTYSKIRT on a girl with a t-shirt, jean jacket, and flats and a lady length on a girl with a fitted blazer and heels. One skirt, one million ways!

What’s been the most exciting moment since starting your company?

We have two moments - hosting our own PARTYSKIRTS party at Blubird for our spring launch. AND our Teen Vogue online feature - it has been a whirlwind ever since!!!

Do you have plans to expand to retailers in the US?

Absolutely! Stay tuned to hear about our PARTYSKIRTS events we are planning in the US, hopefully for Fall 2013.

Favourite PartySkirt?

Lauren: Magenta (there is something about pink that makes you feel fabulous!)
Mariel: Poppy red (it is girly and stands out!)

What fashion icons inspire you?

Lauren: I love the 1960’s and Hitchcock movies for fashion inspiration. Grace Kelly has always been my favourite.
Mariel: I am inspired by street style. And I don’t believe in fashion rules, I always make my own.

Get your own pretty PartySkirt online here and give it a spin at OPUS Bar.

~ Sandra O’Connell