Saturday, 20 December 2014

Travel Attire

When traveling, I like to keep my apparel as comfortable as possible. Thinking specifically of air transport, here's what I wore on the plane over to England. A sweater as I am always cold on planes, stretchy, loose fitting pants for comfort onboard, my Kate Spade purse as it's huge and can fit everything in it, and a pair of flats that are easy to slip on and off during security screening. My flight over was smooth, and I made it safely to Londontown. So far it's been great! More updates to follow. 

Charmaine xx 

Saturday, 13 December 2014


Hey guys and girls, 
 After a gruelling month and a particularly crazy week - I'm freeeeeeee! Just a few minor errands to run for work and then I am gone, gone, gone to England on Tuesday afternoon! Excited is an understatement. I am spending the next few days relaxing with my parents and watching kitschy holiday films. 

Lately I have definitely been reflective of my consumption habits. Black Friday sales turned me into a crazy person; the temptation was just too high! With a transatlantic, European trip on the horizon, the last thing I needed to buy was more clothes. I only bought one thing! An Andrea Diodati dress that was super crazy on sale! Nonetheless, all those sales got me thinking about what my "thing" is as a consumer. Some people are purse people. Shoe gals. Make-up lovers. I am an everything person. I love clothes. I love lipstick. I love doing my nails. I love good quality shoes (particular favourite brands are Fluevog and Jeffrey Campbell), cute vintage bags, cardigans, DRESSES... all of it. This realization was somewhat horrifying. While I don't drive a car, buy second hand items frequently, and try to buy as sustainably and ethically as possible, a serious new years resolution of mine is to consume less in 2015. I plan to "shop my closet" more by mixing and matching items, and making a point to wear all the items in my wardrobe. I want to buy less fast fashion and really make an effort to start properly investing in wardrobe staples. I am pretty good about this, but could be waaaaaaay better at it. I have enough clothes to last me a life time. I let my personal style fall little to the wayside since starting school due to 8am classes, a long commute, and from gaining weight over the summer, but dressing up makes me happy, and makes me feel like I've made an effort. Winter will not get me down! 

Here's an outfit from this weekend. Channeling my Slavic roots with my furry hat, a vintage Hudson's Bay Company make from way back when they sold fur. Bought it from a Ukrainain lady at the super flea market on the north side. The bag is my first "designer" bag I've ever owned. A surprise gift from Mama Lowe, this Kate Spade beauty is a joint Christmas-Birthday gift she found on Black Friday. The joy of a birthday three weeks after the holidays. I am not a very label obsessed person, but over the last year where I made an proper, adult, full time wage at a major corporation, I've definitely splurged on a few nicer items. My rules generally with designer/expensive stuff is a) it has to be extremely unique and original design-wise, or b) practical, basic, and well made where it will last me ten years. This is such a bag. It's a great size, made of the softest leather, and built to last. Perfect for traveling and carrying school books!

Stay cool, comrades! Next post will probably come from across the pond 

Charmaine x 

Monday, 8 December 2014

Style Cramping

Hey pals, 
Over the weekend I took a study break and took some photos for my friends Mel and Raj. These fabulous and fashionable ladies are starting a blog called Style Cramping! Keep your eyes peeled for their page when it's up and running - not only are Raj and Mel two of the best dressed gals I know, they are also two of the coolest. Here's a sampling of some shots from our photo walk. 


Charmaine xxx

PS One week and I am in London!!!!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

U of A Remix

Hey pals, I am knee deep in preparing for final projects, and in the spirit of academia, I thought I'd share a remix of blog photos taken over the years on the campus of my alma mater. My family home is a few minutes drive from the U, so taking photos here over the years always made sense. Though I am currently a student at MacEwan, the University of Alberta will always be my true love! It's old, pretty and huge, with main campus taking up forty city blocks, and with 38 000 students. I am enjoying my experience at a smaller teaching university, but I've also come to realize I am one of the few people in the world who loved going to a massive research university... I like being a number! To each their own, I guess. Although, as an English and Art History major, my classes were always very small. Fun fact, Margaret Atwood taught at the U of A English department when my mother was an undergrad. 
Anyhow, here's a little remix of photos from posts with the U of A as a backdrop:

Enjoying high tea at the Arbor Room at Rutherford house. I used to go all the time, but Rutherford House has sadly stopped their restaurant service, cry! From this post. Wearing a favourite cardigan thrifted in Edinburgh. 

These photos were taken in late 2011 with my pal Chelsea and my mom's 80s Minolta. One of my FAVOURITE photo shoots ever. From this post. I seriously STILL wear this outfit all the time. 

Arbor Room x 2 on my last day of classes in 2012, from this post. My massive wool coat is from value village. So warm! 

One of my favourite posts was also this one, taken in Rutherford South, my favourite library on the U of A campus, and where I usually study even to this day. It's a dreamy space built in the 1930s, with the most amazing reading room! It is warmly called the Harry Potter Room by students - that's even its instragram hashtag. Dress from Modcloth and heels, vintage. 

These were taken early this year by the admissions building, and before I went to an annual craft sale. Dress by Karen Walker! I am in love with the apple print. 

When I took these photos, a group of frat boys were taunting me from across the street. What you get for taking out your tripod on campus in the middle of the day! Taken just outside one of the engineering building. Dress is by Kate Spade. 

These photos are super recent! Snapped by a classmate just before some ballet earlier this year

A casual outfit taken in HUB from this post. Jockey boots and J Brand jeans.

This coat. A wardrobe staple! And my most complimented item. Thrifted at the Junciton Flea in Toronto for a mere $20! 

Portraits in convocation hall at the Old Arts Building. I looooved having lectures in this building. Dress by Cinder and Smoke, a local Edmonton designer whose dresses I have a weakness for. 

In the vein of school, I am very seriously giving a masters in museum studies some thought again. I've talked about school and career goals a ridiculous amount on this blog, because I am a huge nerd who could happily be a student forever if I could. I love learning! 
While I worked hard and finished my B.A with distinction, I felt my academic C.V for graduate school wasn't competitive enough regarding work/industry experience. A high GPA isn't always enough. Now, two years later, I have two internships in the arts under my belt, a job coordinating a gallery, several years volunteer experience including sitting on a committee at a reputable gallery here in Edmonton, and as a docent at a major museum in Toronto. I am committed to finishing the program I am in, because I do feel I am learning really practical skills that will translate into the industry on top of great connections and instructors, but heading back to university to specialize in curation, archiving, and programming is definitely something I wish to pursue. The schools I have in mind are University of Toronto, as it guarantees funding to all successful applicants and it's an amazing university, but also University of Glasgow! Their program is outstanding, and Glasgow is a city I've always wanted to live. It's also where my gran is from. I won't be applying this year, but hopefully the year after. If anything, life lately has reaffirmed my career choice is the right one for me, which feels good after so much hustlin' and hard work. 

Until soon, friends! 

Charmaine x 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

See You Soon, London!

Greetings, pals! This space has been dead as can be lately. November has been kicking my ass. Just today I had an accounting project, an essay due, and a final in my fundraising and development class. This lady is TIRED! This weekend I finally have no obligations or deadlines, and, of course, there's a blizzard predicted and it's supposed to be -30C/-22F from tomorrow through Sunday... lucky me. 

But it's not all doom and gloom! Life is great! Just a balancing act. I am kept on my toes by exciting topics and projects, and the lack of social life has helped me save up for my trip. I'll be back in London three weeks from today! And overseas for almost an entire month. It is finally hitting me, having booked this trip five months ago. SO EXCITED! I cannot wait to see friends, meet new babies and fiances, see both Book of Mormon and Matilda in the West End, peruse markets, wander around museums, visit National Trust properties, walk along the South bank, people watch on the tube, eat sunday pub roasts and all the Cornish cream teas, enjoy old haunts, explore new places, take a million photos, and shop until I drop! 

Not to mention visit Budapest and Belgrade. Our Budapest Air BNB looks like the set of Saved By The Bell meets an Alfonso Mucha Art Nouveau print in one... yes, try and imagine it. 

Here's a photos from before it snowed. All vintage except for the Hey Day blouse from a million years ago; probably my most worn item on this blog. 

Ps, for reference, for those who do not know and may be interested: I lived in London for ages 20 and 21 in the years 2007 and 2008 on a commonwealth working-holiday visa, and went back every summer after that until 2012 when I moved to Toronto. London is my second home and first love. I CAN'T WAIT TO BE BACK!!! 

Stay well, friends! Hoping to post more once I have a life outside of school and work again. 

Saturday, 22 November 2014

The Fine Art of Schmoozy

Long time no talk! I am currently in the midst of end of term deadlines hence the absence on this space. Currently writing about the economic benefits and impact on society, and revising for a fundraising final. In the mean time, here are some photos of the event I helped organize! I have newly joined the Latitude 53 special events committee, just in time to help plan the gallery's biggest fundraisers of the year  - The Fine Art of Schmoozy. All of our planning paid off as the event went off without a hitch! It was absolute madness but all-in-all a stellar evening! Sadly I was too busy to take any photos, but here are a few from the event taken from the gallery Facebook page. Everyone dressed to the nines. Colour me impressed! 
My outfit, a dress with watercolour nudes in Klein blue by Spanish designer Heinui. I LOVE it. Sadly didn't get any photos in it - more to come when I have time. 
Some of the art up for auction. This light was my favourite piece! 
My classmate Sheridan who volunteered at the event. SO much love for my classmates who came out to support us! 
My friend Chaka engrossed in conversation. He had a painting at the event! It was nice running into so many people I rarely get to see. 
My awesome pal Nicole and her man Brad! Nicole is on this blog a whole lot, because she's the bomb. I loved her dress she made! Nicole is a mod maven and I love it. She's currently designing her own 60s inspired line plans to show this spring! 
Photos by Karen Hamel and lifted with love from the Latitude 53 Facebook Page

And these by Jack Bawden, also from from the L53 Facebook page. 
Me taking a break for all of two minutes to chat with Sarah and Elizabeth. 
The lady on the right is my pal Morgan, who also had a piece in the silent auction. 

And lastly, our dreamy mayor and his wife. 

Great night! Can't wait to get planning for Parka Patio in January.