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Canadian fashion + the best, most affordable fall collection award goes to…

September 5, 2010


At last I have finally been understood. This fall at Old Navy three essential requirements of my wardrobe have been met. Color? Check. Argyle? Check. Stripes? Check, check and check!

Can you tell I’m overly enthused??

No seriously, when these polos hit the racks at the store a few weeks ago in my hometown, there was actually a struggle to get the ones I want quickly before other people scavenging the pile came, grabbed and conquered. So without further ado, here are my favorite picks from old navy this fall. I am now the proud owner of several of these colored polos and the purple argyle sweater.

So a polo is a polo. I know, but a polo is so much more cool if its done right, and these are among the best I’ve ever seen, namely because the underside of the color is a bright splash of contrasting color! I’m one of those annoying matchy-matchy people, so I could totally imagine going all the way with colorific-ness and pairing the polo below with a periwinkle skirt and some green ballet flats.

Oh, and a warning: these shirts are not for the color shy! …But really, who couldn’t use a gigantic dose of color in the fall when everyone else is delving into their usual toned down wardrobe mix of brown and maroon? At least for now, they are the perfect thing for transitioning from summer to fall. I wore them all over Montreal. 🙂
And speaking of Montreal, while I was there for three weeks of french speaking awesomeness, I tried to observe some trends and see if there was anything particularly special about Canadian fashion, and all I can say is…I sort of came up negative…fashion is more universal everywhere nowadays because of the ‘net. Plus, we have indie style which is all about “individualism” etc, so everyone wears whatever the heck they feel like! And the eighties trend is everywhere…But, that being said, I did notice an unusual amount of pullover-hoodies with loose-fitting turtle-neck collars, and I think the overall vibe of Montreal was really trendy and driven by whatever styles are new and fresh.
BUT, that said, Montreal has AMAZING shopping, with lots of brands I hadn’t ever heard of. I found a lot of fabulous shopping for those of us like myself who can’t afford Ferragamo and all that good stuff. Rue St. Catherine in Montreal is bananas, because unlike Newbury Street, you can actually afford to shop in most of the shops! Rue St. Catherine caters to the wallets of the middle class…and an extra bonus: if you take a stop in Indigo, the Canadian Barnes&Noble, you will find three entire shelves filled with fashion books–unlike the wimpy half-shelf that Barnes&Noble has!

Above: My birthday splurge…a lovely little handbag
in dark vintage-look leather from Roots!

I discovered a few brands in Canada that are not here in the states! …There aren’t a ton, but my two favorites are Roots and La Maison Simons, Simons for short. Roots is mainly a handbag company, and Simons is a huge department store that has oodles of amazing articles of clothing!!
So basically, that was part of my Montreal experience in a nutshell. I better get back to doing my readings this weekend, as I am taking five classses at Uni, but I will post more about Montreal (and photos, of course!) quite soon.
Have a lovely, day night or whenever it is you are reading this!


• Choubelle •

Images courtesy of, Roots Facebook page, Old Navy and Polyvore



August 26, 2010

And I’ve totally neglected posting anything for waywayway too long. Between having a three week French immersion program in Montreal, visiting family from Florida and getting a new doggie (a rescued greyhound named McCoy…he’s beautiful!), summer’s been jam packed. Now school’s about to start and fall is just around the corner…golly time is flying!

So anyway, super sorries about post slacking!!! But yep, I’m back home now and settled, and more is on the way.

As always, have a lovely day!


• Choubelle •

Three hundred fifty.

June 15, 2010

Thats the number of threatened or endangered sea turtles that have been reportedly been found washed up dead on the the gulf coast. And that doesn’t count the number of sea turtles that have perished at sea.

BP's happy green logo sure is a lot prettier than the oil that is currently coating many real life sea turtles!

I hope that wherever you are, the spill hasn’t had a gruesome impact on your community. Although, seeing as we are all interconnected…that is virtually impossible!


• Choubelle •

Bil Donovan

June 11, 2010

I discovered the beautiful illustrations of Fashion Illustrator and FIT illustration professor Bil Donovan when he left a wonderful comment on my blog a few months back. Needless to say, when I found out he had also illustrated the cover of a book that I have been wanting “The Dress Doctor: Prescriptions For Style From A to Z ” written by my favorite and ever popular costume designer Edith Head, I was tickled!!

Donovan’s illustrations are the perfect combination of color, simplicity and surprise, and they give off a classic vibe…which explains why he was the perfect choice to illustrate Edith Head’s book adaptation! Donovan has mastered the art of fusing controlled movement with free form in his watercolors —something many a fashion illustrator is pressed to figure out.

Donovan also has a distinctly Parisian/European ethos to his work, which is likely from spending seven years working in both Milan and Paris. According to his bio page, “Donovan credits this invaluable experience in shaping his sensibility and style, and returned home to New York to test the waters and established a working relationship with the Advertising, Beauty, Editorial and Fashion markets.”

As for the the notion of an American in Paris? Choubelle can certainly relate! (In terms of influence I mean…I’ve still yet to actually go…but how badly I want to!!)

Donovan has illustrated with many big names in the fashion and advertising industry, from Saatchi & Saatchi, to Vogue, Barney’s and most recently as Beauty Ambassador to Dior.  Hope to see much more of your wonderful work in the press soon Mr. Donovan!

For more fantastic illustrations, check out Bil Donovan’s website and blog here.

As always, have a lovely day!


• Choubelle •

Nantucket Daffodil Festival

March 22, 2010

You know how Holly Golightly had Tiffany’s? Well I have two places: Nantucket and Barnes and Noble.

B&N will do in a pinch when the long drive and ferry ride to ‘Tucket can’t happen, but I prefer Nantucket, hands down. With its marvelous old cars, cobblestone lined streets, quaint shops, kind people and a view of the sea at every turn,who wouldn’t?

I never realized it before, but Nantucket is a little bit like Amsterdam. There is a daffodil festival every April (as opposed to Amsterdam’s Tulip Festival) and Nantucket even has a windmill of its very own!

A little pup swaddled in Daffy's! Image courtesy of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce.

Baguettes, gingham, an old fashioned car and miles of daffodils. Image courtesy of Nantucket Chamber of Commerce

When I was little, my Dad bought me a book called “Comet’s Nine Lives” by Jan Brett. It is a sweet and beautifully illustrated tale about a Nantucket cat named Comet who over the course of summertime on the island bids adieu to eight of his nine lives.

Little did I know that years later I would get to see the places in the book in person!

Even the inside pages of Jan Brett's children's books have borders! I can only imagine how much time she must spend crafting each beautiful illustration...

Here is Comet! And Brant Point behind him. My favorite thing about Jan Brett books? The borders on each and every illustrated page are interesting and incredibly detailed. Image Credit:

Next time I go on island dear readers (which has been far too long), I will be sure to bring my camera, because the beauty and charm of  Nantucket is something to love!!


• Choubelle •



March 15, 2010

Can’t resist the cuteness of this little cupcake? Neither can I!!

Where else but the wonderous could you find a Frenchy little website that shows us the culinary wonders of the world such as baguette shaped macaroons or double scoop ice cream cones?

yum, yum!

Check out the macaroons French lesson at Versailles. I haven’t seen such an adorable blog post in ages.

Kudos CakeSpy! You are too sweet. I will be sure to vote for you to win in Saveur’s best food blog awards!!


• Choubelle •

Fashion lllustrations

February 3, 2010

So I thought I’d post some of my stuff…I haven’t really sat down and watercolored since this summer, but I really love it. It makes me SoOoOoOoOo ridiculously happy. I hope these make you smile as much as I did when I painted them!


 • Choubelle • 


Below: A profile or a half of a face? You choose.



Above: This was a face that I found in a magazine in black and white…I sort of free styled it at the end and made the watercolors very opaque because of mixing the grays…its fun limiting colors and playing with contrast! I love painting in black and white. Its more freeing. 

Last but not least my favorite to paint: Accessories!! Making up little jewel-like sized pieces like these (they are less than two inches each!) and adding colors is the icing on the cake. Bisous!