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Kansas City Photo Diary

It’s been over a month since I witnessed a legendary baseball game (Royals vs. Toronto, but sorry TO…I’m a loyal Royals fan) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. I’m finally getting around to rifling through countless photos and places that I’ve visited so far on my travels this summer, and think it’s best if I just start recounting this entire adventure from the very beginning.

At the end of June 2017, I went to Kansas City for a baseball game, but we spent a lot of our time hanging around the Country Club Plaza, where our hotel was. To Canadians who may have not been to a place like this because of our six freaking month long winters, this plaza is like a giant outdoor mall the size of a small town. Think Shops at Don Mills, only bigger and better.

Here’s a breakdown of the trip, including all of the outfits I wore and favourite places I went:

Outfit 1

Leotard: Brandy Melville (similar here) | Shorts: DIY cutoffs

T.Loft

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Amidst all the BBQ that Kansas City is famous for (other than fountains?), T.Loft is one of the few healthy eating spots within the country club plaza. Their menu is extensive and absolutely delicious! Check out their website here.

Kaldi’s Coffee

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Coffee culture is slowly but surely gaining a following in Kansas City. Kaldi’s Coffee has reaaaally good espresso and tea (multiple cups of tea come with an order!), as well as a variety of healthy and baked goods (something for everyone). Check them out here.

Kansas City River Market

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One of my favourite things to do is visit a food market! There’s so much fast food and generally unhealthy food (see aforementioned BBQ) associated with Kansas City, and this place defies that stereotype. The entire market is crowded with vendors, visitors, and places to get food! I recommend the Hippie drink at City Market Coffee (pictured). It’s an iced coffee with almond milk, lavender, and just a little bit of honey. The market is located in downtown KC, and there is even a street car that operates for free that shuttles people from one end of downtown to another.

Kauffman Stadium

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This game kicked off the summer to an amazing start. Not only did the Royals pull through at the bottom of the ninth inning to beat the Blue Jays 5-4, but there was a celebrity softball match before the game that we had no idea was happening! I can now say that I’ve come within respectable distance from Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, and the guy that voiced Flynn Rider in Tangled.

Outfit 2

The hotel across the street had all these pink walls! I was told to pack lightly (only a carry on!) so I cut this shirt in half 🙂

Shorts: Levis

Bench Heritage Collection + Summer Picks!

Bench is the pinnacle of my early years experimenting with brands. Every girl in my class as a young girl wanted an iconic Bench hoodie that boasted the label name either on the sleeve or arm of whatever it was they wore. Even back then, Bench evoked a certain level of status.


In today’s age, logo wear by non-high end designers (Gucci tshirts?) hardly have an audience. Or maybe I’m just not a part of this audience. Either way, Bench maintains a certain quality to their work that allows them to appear timeless. Yes, their logo tees are still in existence, but their latest 90’s inspired heritage collection takes the whole fad of logo brandishing to a trendy yet nostalgic level. My top pick from the collection are these track pants that repeat the Bench logo up the sides. A little more modest, yet decidedly 90’s with the turquoise and purple colour combination, these pants mould to the street wear/athleisure trend that’s stormed the east coast.

Shop the pants here.

Another item from Bench (non-logo related) that was perfect for my summer travels is this black maxi shift dress:


It was perfect for unbearably hot Tuscan summer weather because of the loose, breezy silouhette. It could also easily be dressed up for dinner or down for traveling on the plane. My sister and mother even ended up stealing this dress from me!

Shop a similar style from Bench here

Sasha x Ellie by Segev

I had the privilege of working with one of my favourite photographers and friend from high school, Segev Opher. He’s an unbelievably talented visual artist whose talents extend from the easel and illustrations to graphic design and photography. An eye for the urban jungle as a vast, sprawling, uncontrollable landscape, Segev’s photos (especially in this series) capture an grand, industrial downtown Toronto.

Check out his work here, and his Instagram here and here.

Here are some of my favourite pics from the shoot, wearing Brandy Melville

June Swimwear

I’ve done collaborations with labels like Triangl, where I received amazing swimwear and could say, assuredly, that the product was great quality and fit well according to the size guide.

However, I’ve completely neglected the nightmare that is shipping anything international into Canada. There’s crazy protection laws that not only require the mark up of all foreign products by something crazy, anywhere between 10-50 percent, which results in a ridiculous price gap even on items taken for granted, like painkillers. Living in Canada is expensive. It’s supposed to protect local brands. Can anyone tell me a national pharmaceutical company that patented its own painkiller? I’m not an expert.

I can’t forget about the duties, either.

I bought a pair of sunglasses from Shevoke (before they became available in boutiques such as Zane in Toronto, and Editorial in Montreal), and the total cost became nearly twice as much as the original online price. That’s because I was charged nearly $30 in duties, $25 in international shipping (because even though we are on the same chunk of land as the U.S., anything shipped a little further north takes $15 more effort), and an AUS to US to CAD dollar conversion.

My point is, online shopping is messy in Canada.

Unless it’s within Canada.

Limits suck. However, I feel that paying so many extra fees for something like swimwear is so risky, because they’re usually unexchangeable or can’t be returned, and what if it doesn’t fit? There’s all these hygiene issues that make secondhand swimwear akin to used underwear. The sunglasses were a little bit different. I was obsessed, and the style looked great on me. People keep borrowing them too. If I didn’t like them, they’d be easy to re-sell.

Unfortunately, the variety of swimwear labels in Canada just doesn’t begin to compare to Australia and the U.S. We just don’t have enough summer. Finding a swimwear label with my aesthetic is difficult.

I’ve managed to round up a few:

June Swimwear

image: https://juneswimwear.com/blogs/journal/lookbook-april-2017

This is an earthy label that specializes in simple, wanderlust-inciting pieces that fit well and are made in Montreal. Shop here.

 

 

 

Tea You

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picture: instagram.com/tea_you

This label is just too good. It reminds me of La Hana swimwear, only way more affordable and free from all the messy duty costs that La Hana surprises its Canadian customers with. Bonus: they make clothing too!

 

Shop here.

 

 

 

 

 

Mimi & August

For a slightly more vintage vibe, Mimi & August is another Montreal-based company that’s got adorable prints and reasonable prices. Fruits, stripes, succulents, faded colours, cottage country…

Shop here.

 

Brandy Melville Haul Pt. 1

It’s terrible – I feel like I’m fourteen again. Of course, that wasn’t actually that long ago, but for years I regretted the generic connotation I associated with all Brandy Melville clothing. It wasn’t my idea to reincarnate the brand within my wardrobe, I’ll admit. It was @vanellimelli. She mixes American west coast casual with girlish, Parisian taste, and it’s something I could hardly conceive as possible until recently.

So here I am wearing a dress.

Not the remainder of what’s left of the Vetements craze on the east coast, either (especially after Gvasalia snubbed Paris as a “creativity killer” in his move to distance Vetements shows from the city…not exactly a move that inspires support from sensitive Parisians, I’m guessing).

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I was set on buying a similar dress from Realisation Par a few months back. Then it occurred to me (again): I am a broke student on a budget. Not only did I gratefully accept this dress as a gift from my mother with good taste, I felt I couldn’t really promote something that I didn’t feel could reach my audience. And, to me, posting a $200+ simple black dress deserves an occasion. Especially when the dress pattern can be copied, but apparently I shouldn’t go into detail because fashion law now exists and I can’t get into any debate about stitch copyrights.

Aside: this opinion is likely to change when I acquire a full-time job.

Anyway, Brandy Melville seemed to solve all of my problems by pricing this dress at CAD$40. See, if you get past all of the MALIBU sweaters and overpriced jeans probably picked up from Value Village (I can literally find the same thing for $5 at a vintage store, yet this seems to be the only item in the store that strays from the “one size fits all” – or, most – concept that seems to turn so many people away from the store. Half their clothing is sweatpants and hoodies, anyway, but I understand both points of view), then you can find some pretty fun pieces from the store. This will hopefully be further substantiated in my later Brandy haul posts.

All rambling aside, you can shop the dress here

Le Chateau June Picks

This summer I’m in love with knit tanks, yellow shades, and wedge heels!

I hated wedge heels until recently…it wasn’t until I was inspired by French trendsetters like Anne-Laure Mais (@adenorah) and the “Almost French” collection by Reformation that I started to change my mind. Who knew I could ever come around to espadrilles?

This knit tank looks perfect with just about any high waisted denim. It’s longer than one would expect, but tucks away and is just baggy enough. I used a rope as a belt here (a slightly regrettable choice) only because I was frustrated with other belts I’ve owned. It’s a budget solution, in my opinion.

 

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Once again, Le Chateau has anticipated my trend needs, all for a most reasonable price!

Shop the look: top | shoes ($60!!)

Bench Sheer Bombers

Bench Canada is known for their relaxed, athleisure style. They’re ideal for everything comfortable, and have amazing workout clothes. I can testify.

But what is little known about Bench is that they have a number of innovative, trendy pieces that look fierce and can translate to both the fashionable realm and casual, everyday world.

How can you not get a translucent bomber jacket? Especially when it’s available in teal, pink, black, AND white?

Here’s the bomber jacket two ways: from the gym (pictured on Odessa), and casual (on me)

Photography: Archie Lokesh

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Shop the piece here

Le Chateau May picks

My favourite time of the month is when I get to pick my favourite items from Montreal-based Le Chateau. This usually occurs at the beginning of the month, but in case you missed it, I leave the links for shopping my favourite pieces here.

This month I decided to hop on the flat mule bandwagon (still hoping to discover a pair of woven ones in Italy this summer), in addition to lightening up my 90% black wardrobe with a black jumpsuit that has colourful prints on it (baby steps).

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I know I said I’m going to look for more mules in Italy, but these Le Chateau slides are also made in Italy! Shop them here.

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This jumpsuit is super flattering and LOOSE, which means I can eat all the ice cream I want and no one can tell. Shop it here.

The Big Three: Cruise Season Reviews

Chanel, Dior, and Louis Vuitton all presented particularly exoticized collections for their Cruise 2018 collections, and everyone (according to the authority that is social media) absolutely adored it. Chanel transported the audience to some form of ancient Grecian ruins, complete with pillars, cragged rocks, golden headbands fit for a goddess, and gladiator sandals. Dior decided to revive the romanticized colonial times and suggest that there is, indeed, some beauty to be found in history (suggesting anything there, Maria Grazia?). Louis Vuitton took the cake for grandeur, holding their Cruise show at the Miho Museum just outside of Kyoto to reflect the Japanese landscapes that inspired the designs. I guess we all need a little bit of escapism in this day and age. There’s a kind of anywhere-but-here, anytime-but-now theme that recurs within these three collections.

Here are my favourites from each:

Photos (voguerunway.com)

Chanel

(Photos: voguerunway.com)

Sometimes I get a little confused with the concept of Cruise collections. It’s an inter-season collection that keeps fashion lovers satiated in between FW and SS mayhem, but, like any fashion show, I like a little bit of external practicality. Lagerfeld’s collection for Chanel is most likely to be channeled in any trip to the south of Europe. Click on the images to enlarge.

Dior

(photos: voguerunway.com)

I can’t help but be confused in what this collection reminds me of. Colonial America? Spanish influence? #myCalvins? It’s an interesting blend of past and present, and the boots are not something I’d wear in 30+ degrees Celcius but that sheer dress sure is.

Louis Vuitton

(photos: voguerunway.com)

This collection was made for staycations, or for the adventurous hiker who manages to wear designer for 7km portages and still look flawless (hike up those skirts). This is for those days in-between jetting off to some lavish location to go AWOL. Might as well make a statement first.

Guess x A$AP Rocky

I posted a photo of this top on Instagram, and two minutes later I got a text from my mother: Did you buy this shirt?

Yes I did!

My mum is a fashion queen who used to work for Guess in the 90’s. My birth kind of got in the way of her fashion career.

Sincerest apologies, though.

Anyway, she replied, saying, “Too funny. I remember how popular it was during my Guess days”

And they’re still popular! To all those who thought Guess was going Gina, they should have seen the line up for the A$AP Rocky x Guess collaboration launch. I didn’t see it. But apparently it was loong. By the time I got to the store they only had a handful of pieces left on a single rack, but I’m happy to report that quite a number of pieces from the collection are still available online here. I stuck with the classic mock-neck logo tee, but I happen to be a sucker for marketing and think that the GUE$$ dollar signs make this top worth so much more.

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Shop the tee here.