Monday, March 29, 2010

ROM PROM's Best Dressed

In last week's post 'A Major Fundraiser Goes Glam,' I interviewed Tao Drayton of Cabaret Vintage who helped described how to create a fabulous Old Hollywood Glam look for both men and women.

This weekend I attended the ROM PROM where Toronto's philanthropically-minded, social set came out in droves to enjoy a night of live Big Band music, fantastic Lindy Hoppers, beautiful decor, bevvies and even a Choose-Your-Own-Candy Bar!

My picks for best dressed of the evening:

Kara Wood, in a gorgeous vintage Hong Kong style dress

Kimberly Hu & Chris Lo - A charming couple that's made to match

Susie Love, Staunton Bowen & Holly Hendershot
Lucky man! These two dames pulled out all the stops with their fun '40s ganger moll looks

David Servinis & Sarah Bywater
Understated Hollywood elegance

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Major Fundraiser Goes Glam...

Saturday evening marks the 5th annual Gala Fundraiser for the Royal Ontario Museum. Known as the ROM PROM, this fundraising even is a cornerstone of the Toronto Philanthropic Social Calendar.

I'm thrilled to be attending this year - and will be letting you in on all the best fashion there! The theme this year is NOIR - dark glamour, vintage Hollywood looks and all the fatalism that goes along with it.

Gloria Swanson & William Holden in Sunset Boulevard

So: What to wear?? I paid a visit to my friend Tao Drayton of Cabaret Vintage, tried on a bunch of amazing dresses both pristine vintage as well as from their newly designed vintage-inspired line (you have to try on the Soiree, and they're all made to measure!) and asked him to share his thoughts on the theme:

1. What does Noir or Old Hollywood Glam Mean?

I see Noir style as bold, sexy, moody with emphasized tailoring and detail. The films were often in black and white so people usually think of a grey palette, but the marquis posters showed the vibrant colours of the actual wardrobe, so don't be afraid of colour.

2. What are the hallmarks of evening wear style for women when dressing in the Old Hollywood Style?

The hallmarks to me are luxury, decadence and out of the ordinary. Women wore dresses and gowns of exceptional quality, jewelry that dripped with glamour. Go for lavish, but avoid sweet.

3. What are the hallmarks for men?

For men, I think it's about the suit and a hat if you can! Think Humphrey Bogart, Pinstripe suit, Fedora and Trench coat. For the suit, I recommend a dark colour and a wide lapel.
Humphrey Bogart & Mary Astor (Right) in The Maltese Falcon

4. If you had to make a Top Five List of fashion and accessories to pull off a great Old Hollywood look, what would they be?

1. Fabulous Black Dress
2. Sexy neckline
3. Bold Hat (men and women)
4. Bold Suit (men and women)
5. Attitude!

Thanks for all the great tips, Tao! Can't wait until Saturday night!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Always Nice to Get a Compliment!

It's always nice to receive a compliment, isn't it? Some of us have a really difficult time accepting them; especially when we've made significant lifestyle and personal style changes. So here are a few tips to help you perfect your compliment Ps & Qs.

Accepting Compliments Gracefully:
1. Recognize when you are being paid a compliment! Compliments can come in many forms, some of which might look like:
"You're always so....(put together/polite/dressed up!/kind/thoughtful/etc)"
"WHERE did you get that (fill in appropriate item)?"
"When I think of (positive quality), I always think of you"
"Great job on (blank)!"

2. Say "Thank you!"/"Thank you very much!" Ps & Qs are timeless classics and they always work, even when you're caught off guard.

3. Smile! It's ok to enjoy a compliment. In fact, the sole purpose of paying a compliment is to validate the recipient and make her feel good! So, be gracious and allow the Complimenter the pleasure of knowing you appreciate that they noticed you.

4. Return the favour. Provide a genuine compliment right back! Saying something like "Thank you! That means a lot coming from you!" is a nice way to recognize that the Complimenter's opinion counts to you.

5. Pay it forward. If it was a group effort, for example in a work setting, give the compliment to the group and let the contributors to your success know that you couldn't have done it without them.

Grace Erasers:
There are some things you should avoid while accepting a compliment....
1. Arguing the compliment. There's no need to protest or object!
2. Filling in empty air by adding in extra words. Try to keep your response brief and genuine.
3. Fishing for more compliments...
4. Being negative, braggartly or regretful

So go out there and enjoy your limelight!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thank you, Boa!

A quick note of thanks to Daphne of Boa who has posted me as her style Snap of the Month on her shop's website. Boa is a great little shop Uptown that has a fab selection of priced-just-right on trend items.

This pic was snapped at the Launch Party for The White Space....just goes to show, you never know who's looking! ;)

Thanks so much for making me your pick Daphne!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ask Tamara: Cracking Wedding Dress Codes for Men

While on a recent Shopping Field Trip, a client asked me how to know what kind of suit would be appropriate for a wedding. He wanted to feel appropriate for the occasion without compromising his unique stylish flair.

So, what does a guy wear to a wedding?

The answer can be as simple as a classic dark suit, but for those who want to bring some personal style to their attire, there are many options that give men the chance to have just about as much fun getting ready for a joyous event as women do!

Many invitations will have the expected dress code already stated on the invitation. Classic dress codes include: White Tie, Black Tie, Black Tie Optional/Formal, while others become more creative (and confusing) by inventing their own. I've seen dress codes that have included: "Country Club Casual", "Beach Formal/Beach Chic", and "Festive Attire"... these ones usually illicit confusion and a collective "WHAT?"

The first step to decoding this language of dress codes is to note the season, location, and time of day of the wedding. These factors should help to narrow down the parameters of appropriateness. If they don't help enough, it is always OK to ask a member of the bridal party for help. The Bride & Groom are under enough stress, so try to accommodate that by feeding requests through their party who are there with the mission to help.

In the case of this client, the wedding is for a member of his immediate family. While he may not be in the wedding party, he will be a part of the event, and will have a certain amount of attention paid to him throughout the evening. The wedding is in summer, and will be a small evening affair, with a semi-formal feeling.

We decided to go with a linen blend suit in chocolate brown with a double black stripe, a lightweight black woven with woven tone-on-tone stripe shirt and chocolate brown tie with a black and white repeat pattern. A fantastic pair of cognac wingtip shoes and a matching cognac belt complete this funky formal look. While the outift fits the dress code, it will be anything but stuffy or boring! This is a suit look that can dance!

While the wedding is a few months away yet, the outfit ready to go and all that's left is to enjoy the celebration!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Elevate Reader Make-Over

It's out, it's finally out!

I've been waiting to share this with you, and now I finally can! The March/April issue of Elevate Magazine has finally hit the stands and within its pages is a fantastic Reader Make-Over featuring Reader/Winner Anna F. whose make-over gifted her to receive a variety of non-invasive cosmetic enhancements including smile whitening, hair treatments, dermatological facial treatments, and a full make-over session with Yours Truly.

Anna looked and felt terrific - a shining example of what 50 looks like today: modern, confident, and naturally sexy.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The White Space @The Bay - Contemporary Edge in a Canadian Dept Store!

I had the pleasure of going to the launch party for The White Space @ The Bay last Thursday night. It was a veritable Who's Who and What's What! Hosted by FASHION Magazine, the evening was full of excitement - dancing models showing off some of the new lines available, signature cocktails and candy, and an opportunity to meet the designers of some of these great new lines (Brandon Svarc of Naked & Famous, and Yara Flinn of Nomia, below).

For my clients a few of these lines truly stood-out:

I'm looking to McQ and Ian for great twists on suiting, the great dresses from Tracy Reese and Issa London for date nights, and Nomia, Naked & Famous Denim (a great line proudly made in Montreal!), and ADAM for off-time.

With 7,000 square feet, there is SO much more there to explore!

One of my personal faves:

How could I resist this Frock! by Tracy Reese dress? It's just so exuberant!

You know how much I love building versatility into a wardrobe. I love this dress because: it will work on it's own now with a black long sleeve T, opaque black tights & leather boots, in the Spring/Summer with a linen blazer and nude pumps for business, and on it's own with bright heels for evening.

Alas, I couldn't take the cute Trademark green chair home with me, since it belongs to The White Space's fitting room, so I've captured it here, for blog-posterity...