Book Review: Goddess of Love Incarnate

After finishing the book last night, I thought it was due time to get rolling with my late review. (I have a new respect for Kindles’ though – the book was heavy to cart around on transit). All the stories and the photographs included in the book made for an interesting read. Lili had lived and Leslie Zemeckis did a fantastic job capturing her roller coaster of a life.

Before the book, I had never heard of Lili St. Cyr and the differences between us are obvious. But after reading Lili’s bio I couldn’t help but to pull some similarities:

  • We both have affection for white roses, pearls, and champagne. I know Instagram accounts built on this love.
  • Fans of great fashion designers like Balenciaga and Dior (Although my goal is to actually wear the clothes one day like Lili – My Dior espadrilles are magnificent. The perfume they sprayed on them at Le Bon Marche in Paris lingered all the way home).
  • We like to keep busy, are disciplined and are always working on something. Lili was continually trying to improve and worked hard to be stand out.
  • We don’t like the feeling of being claustrophobic or tied down. Lili did have 5 or 6 marriages by the time she was my age, which seems like a lot – but I figured she was into the euphoria of romance rather than a lifelong commitment.
  • We like adventure. I seem to enjoy international travel more than Lili did but then again I’m also not carting around vintage trunks when travel either.
  • We both have been to the Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood and the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco (it’s now the Westin St. Francis – but it’s kept it’s charm) and Bergdorf Goodman.
  • She spent a large amount of time in Canada – Montreal to be exact. I’m from the west coast of Canada.
  • Lili made a Love List (sort of)! On page 329, I was delighted to read that for an interview she broke down her lovers/friends and the qualities she admired about them such as wit, sex appeal and generosity.

At the high point in her career, Lili was pulling a 6-figure salary (maybe the equivalent of almost a million now?) but sadly spending through all her earnings at a rapid rate. Like a bad business case, if she only invested a small portion of her millions she wouldn’t have to sell her beloved house. A collaboration with a company like Agent Provocateur or Dom Pérignon would have been a lucrative deal (this is easy to propose as an outsider!). She did have her own lingerie line at one point. It’s a shame her club in NYC, Boudoir never made it. I’m sure the décor and design was amazing. Many opportunities sadly lost.

I enjoyed reading this well written biography full of details and packed with research. And although her demise was tragic and unpleasant, the story of the stripteuse can live on in The Goddess of Love Incarnate, as glamorous, passionate and full of joie de vivre as Lili St. Cyr herself.

ELENA:) ps: I had a short 5 minute 5 question interview with author, Leslie Zemeckis posted on my News & Events page.

 

LeslieFinalKelly Rutherford, Leslie Zemeckis, Susan RockefellerBook cover

NYC Photo shoot

Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. I’m actually enjoying catching up on old TV episodes and sleeping. I have finally finished the Lili St. Cyr biography I have been reading as well (read all about it in a future post).

Back in NYC, I teamed up with my friends from Flytographer to shoot in the streets of Soho. This time, the fabulous Mayleen was behind the camera and we had a lot of fun. She schooled me all about Miami, shooting notable clients and how to be fearless in a “coat that looks like a shag bear that didn’t stand a chance.” Here are some shots with hair and makeup by Bianca and Anthony. As you can see, I’m a fan of the profile shot;)

ELENA:)

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NYC in December

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I can’t believe that there is 5 days until Christmas!!!

I used the last of my vacation time to venture off to NYC in early December and I thought you might want to know a little about my adventures. This is a short summary with more details to follow!

TUESDAY: Checked into The Renwick, (a cool new boutique hotel on east 40th in between Park and Lex) and went to visit my friend Nizim from Labeling Men and had dinner at Bill’s Food & Drink on 54th. Bill’s Food and Drink is one of Chef John Delucie’s restaurant. Bedford & Co is his latest venture at the Renwick which is slated to open very very soon! (Comment: Actually it’s not going to open until spring 2016) Things to note – my room had a lovely floral arrangement from Uprooted Flower Truck (NYC’s first flower truck) to brighten my stay and I got to snack on some yummy ginger people made by Sweets by Olivia (which only lasted a night!).IMG_8612IMG_8602

WEDNESDAY: Hair and makeup with Anthony and Bianca for a Flytographer shoot in Soho. I got to wear my new Christmas/Birthday present to myself, a Proenza Schouler cashmere coat which I love. (More photos in a future post). Uber was crashed when I needed to rush to an important meeting at the Surrey Hotel but I managed to get there eventually after walking 20 blocks in heels and paying $30 for car service. Sheesh. Dinner at Marta with a friend from BluBird Vancouver.

THURSDAY: A breakfast meeting at Le Pain Quotidien followed by an amazing tour of Ciner manufacturing (future post coming up) was on the schedule. In the evening, I surprised the creative fashion illustrator Elaine Biss at her French Connection event. After, I got to meet Alexis Bittar at his holiday meet and greet. Then finally, to my trainers delight, I got to eat a chicken burger at Fuku.

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FRIDAY: A breakfast meeting at The Smith (I totally recommend) and a stop in with Editor-In -Chief, Courtenay C. Hall from Bella New York Magazine. I made a pit stop at Century 21 of course and had a few moments uptown to take some photos of beautiful Bergdorf window displays before heading downtown to dinner at Hundred Acres.

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SATURDAY: A stop into Creeds Collective Pop Up Shop which was conveniently located across the street from the brunch spot Santina under the High Line.  I managed to pick up some salt water taffy from Salty Road from Brooklyn. With an hour to spare to leave to airport, I went to & Other Stories new 5th avenue spot and bought a pair of booties.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week (Sept 29-Oct 7)

And just like that, Paris Fashion Week is over. Here are some highlights…Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.51.30 PMScreen Shot 2015-10-07 at 7.51.44 PM

Dries Van Noten

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Rochas

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Vionnet

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Carven

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Balmain

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Lanvin

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Christian Dior

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Balenciaga

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Elie Saab

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Zuhair Murard

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Giambattista Valli

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Chanel

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Valentino

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ELENA:)

 

 

 

 

 

LFW (Sept 21-22) and MFW (Sept 23-Sept 28)

Tomorrow starts Paris Fashion Week! Here is my final two days of coverage of London Fashion Week with the entire Milan Fashion Week. Again, calendar for reference….

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London Fashion Week….

Erdem

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Burberry Porsum

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Peter Pilotto

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Milan Fashion Week…

Stella Jean

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Fendi

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Dolce & Gabbana

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Giamba

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Giorgio Armani

 

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ELENA:)

 

 

 

 

LFW SS16 (Sept 18-20)

Just for the record London Fashion Week runs until the 22 but I thought that I would post a glimpse of some of the fashion finds I have found. Here is the calendar again for reference…Screen Shot 2015-09-20 at 7.52.54 PM

Edeline Lee

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Simone Rocha

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Temperley London

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Issa

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Mary Katrantzou

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ELENA:)

 

NYFW SS16 (Sept 14 – 17)

This concludes my NYFW fashion finds. Loving Delpozo , Marchesa and Reem Acra! Can’t wait to see what London Fashion Week (Sept 18-22) brings!

Rachel Antonoff

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Carolina Herrera

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Maiyet

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Reem Acra

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Rodarte

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Oscar de la Renta

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Anna Sui

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Delpozo

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Marchesa

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Marc Jacobs

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ELENA:)

 

 

 

NYFW SS16 (Sept 8 – 13)

Just in case you couldn’t catch any shows in person here are some of my favourite looks from a few designers. I always think – what would look good on a 5″2 hourglass girl with an endless budget? This is collection of fine fashion finds. Photos from Vogue.com. Here is the Fashion Calendar to keep you up to date too!

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Red Valentino

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Zac Zac Posen

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M Missoni

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Sachin & Babi

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Lisa Perry

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Tadashi Shoji

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Tanya Taylor

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Zimmermann

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Jason Wu

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Christian Siriano

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Mara Hoffman

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Monique Lhuillier

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Public School

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Diane von Furstenberg

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Jenny Packham

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ELENA:)

 

Orox Leather Co. Review

When I finished grad school, I vowed to
upgrade certain well-utilized belongings that screamed undergrad/high school
student. My laptop sleeve was one of these items. Months passed as I searched
for something that was C-suite worthy and combined both fashion and function.
Alas, I could not find anything that I loved without breaking the bank (Chanel
came out with a great notepad holder which I thought could serve dual purpose –
but the price tag made me feel queasy).

 

As an avid traveller, I find myself appreciating
the dual function of items; like a laptop sleeve that could also serve as a
clutch. If you’re a shopper like myself, you know that having extra room in
your luggage for new purchases is key. In the case of my Paris trip – this
meant my new jacket, shoes, sunglasses and gifts for colleagues/friends could
easily fit in my luggage and I did not have to say a small prayer when my
luggage was placed on the scale at Charles de Gaulle.

 

Orox Leather Co., owned and operated
by the Martinez family in Portland, Oregon handcrafts beautiful leather goods. The
name Orox, is derived from the fusion of the Martinez family’s origin from
Oaxaca, Mexico to Oregon. I had the opportunity to take an Orox laptop sleeve
and a couple cord minders on my recent trip to test out the quality
craftsmanship first hand.

 

When the products arrived at
my house pre trip, I was blown away at the oil tanned tan leather. To say it is
beautiful is definitely an understatement and like most things, I expect it to
get better with age.  There is something
to be said when your flight neighbour in 14C asks you, “Where did you get
that?!?”

 

Classic and elegant, the
style of the laptop sleeve is so timeless and clean – I couldn’t help but to
double it as my clutch as I roamed the streets of Montmartre. It served well,
both protecting my laptop throughout the trip and giving my shoulders a rest
from my cross body bag. I was so impressed that when I got home, I immediately
checked out the belts and other fabulous accessories.

 

Speaking of accessories, the
cord minders proved to have multiple uses as well.  A solution for those unruly computer/phone
chargers; the cord minders are so strong you can even secure a dress or pants
to hanger (using the clothing straps) after a steam. Brilliant.

 

It’s safe to say the Orox
Leather Co
. offers something rare in the mass production of leather goods –
quality products perfected with rich traditional techniques, which will, just
like the Martinez family last for generations to come.

 

Be sure to follow Orox Leather Co. on Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr: oroxleatherco and ‘Like’ them on Facebook.

ELENA:)

Orox Leather Comment

oroxleatherco:

Thanks to @elenamurzello for sharing how you’re using our products. We love how you’ve used our Citus Cord Minder as a pencil holder – we hadn’t thought of that. And in the background is our Macbook Pro sleeve.

http://www.oroxleather.com/collections/tech-goods/products/macbook-13-sleeve-pro-air-tan

Yay! I can’t wait to put everything to good use!

ELENA:)

NYC Trip

This was my fifth time this year to head over to NYC. And i definitely had fun but full schedule. I checked into the lovely Ace Hotel  and for all the places I have stayed this year, I would actually stay there again. Great Flatiron area, Stumptown coffee and the Breslin. Although I was unable to eat at the Breslin (it’s definitely on my list for a future – that actually is one criticism I have for they Ace – they need to have tables for people staying in the hotel!).

I managed to check a few holiday parties including one for the Centre for Social Innovation NYC and BellaNYC Magazine. Also some great new restaurants including Rosemary’s (where I had brunch with the funny,talented and sweet Alex of What’s Bakin’ NYC) and Chalk point Kitchen which was the most vegetable filled meal I have EVER had in NY. And it wasn’t the normal lame veggies either. I would definitely make sure to put them back on the list for a revisit.

ELENA:)

Old Joy Gift Box Review

I travel a fair bit and when I meet someone new they always ask me, “What’s Vancouver like anyway?” I never struggle in saying it’s calm and clean. I mention the trees, the mountains, the ocean and the rain. All things environmental.  Now, thanks to Old Joy Gift Boxes – I have an answer that captures both the atmosphere and the flavor of Vancouver.

Melissa Mills has taken the best of the best of Vancouver artisans (Woodlot, Vancouver Olive Oil Company, Lissu Linen and Minimocs to name just a few!) and thoughtfully curated her gift boxes with an accent of an old joy – a vintage item that ties whole box together. She painstakingly handpicks her products to align with the interest of the recipient (like a cool vintage camera for my friends at Flytographer).

Melissa has a keen eye for aesthetic and design and don’t even get me started on the ribbon she uses! I lust after this classic black and white grosgrain ribbon that I feel Coco Chanel would use in the early days making her hats (Note to Melissa: Find more of that ribbon!).

The boxes themselves are made out of reclaimed wood and lined with an OLFCO flower arrangement (dried flowers in shipped boxes) which make the boxes very west coast.

After ordering a number of boxes, I began to realize that the real secret behind the boxes – is actually Melissa herself.  Mother of a beautiful girl, she is always with a smile and a sunny disposition. Melissa is the true definition of joy and the passion she has for her craft radiates like the sun in every box she delivers – much like a glorious day in city of Vancouver.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week

My final post today is Undercover, Maison Martin Margiel and Maiyet.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week

Lanvin, Loewe, Dior and Isabel Marant for PFW.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week

Nina Ricci, Barbara Bui and Zadig et Voltaire for PFW!

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week

Carven and Balmain.

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Paris Fashion Week

Vionnet, Alexis Mabille, Balenciaga and Roland Mouret.

ELENA:)

Paris Fashion Week

PFW! Here we go…..Dries van Noten, Rochas and Sonia by Sonia Rykiel.

ELENA:)

Milan Fashion Week

The last from Milan Fashion Week from MSGM. Now on to Paris!

ELENA:)

Milan Fashion Week

Dolce and Gabbana’s Spanish influenced Sicily for Milan Fashion Week.

ELENA:)

Milan Fashion Week

More Milan fashion week finds…Canada’s Dsquared2, Moschino (Barbie influenced) and Emilio Pucci. Can I just say – I’m super excited about these Pucci dresses! Can you tell I have thing for volume!?! Love!

ELENA:)

Milan Fashion Week

Here are my finds from Milan fashion week from Stella Jean, Gucci and a new line debuting by Gambiattista Valli called Giamba Paris.

ELENA:)

London Fashion Week

The last of #LFW finds: Erdem, Peter Pilotto and Christopher Kane.

Next up…Milan Fashion Week

ELENA:)

London Fashion Week

My LFW finds (so far!): Marchesa, Matthew Williamson, Temperley London and Mary Kantrantzou

ELENA:)

London Fashion Week

SHRIMPS! A Faux Fur line that is making headway on both sides on the pond. Hannah Weiland had her first presentation at LFW on Friday with some fun finds which were inspired by the Flintstones. The accessories are fun too! – my fave is the mauve and grey stole!

ELENA:)

New York Fashion Week

My NYFW finds: Oscar, Jenny Packham and DELPOZO

ELENA:)

Tiggy Ross Review

The art theme continues with the introduction to Vancouver artist, Tiggy Ross. I have to say – Instagram is perfect for connecting people via hashtag.

I’m intrigued by Tiggy’s use of watercolour combo’s and can’t wait to see what other elements of nature Tiggy uses in her art.

I’ll be waiting along with everyone else for the big reveal of her website on July 30!

Don’t forget to follow her on Instagram: @TiggyRoss and ‘Like’ her page on Facebook.

ELENA:)

Janelle Burger

It wouldn’t be fair to showcase artists and not highlight one of my favourites –  Janelle Burger. She does fabulous fashion illustrations, stationery, iPhone cases and even shirts. Check out her online store. I was lucky that she was able to do illustrations and the cover for my own book, The Love List.

Located in Paris, I had the opportunity to meet up with her early this year and visit one of her favourite places, Le Bon Marche. It was fantastic!

Don’t forget to follow her on twitter: janelleburgers and instagram: janelleburger  (ps: that’s not her real name:)

ELENA:)

Dolch Designs aka IMPAPER.CO

There is a definite theme emerging on my blog right now….art. Coming up in the next few weeks, I’ll be showcasing some great artists (emerging and established) and I can’t wait (there is something that makes me smile about great design)! Plus, it will give you the excuse to exchange those tacky office prints (or dated Children’s artwork)  for something modern and inspirational.

Dolch Designs is a company created by two current university students specializing in typography and graphic art prints. First of all, they are in school. I know I wasn’t running my own business while studying – I was folding jeans at the Gap.

And second – it’s great art. Sure you can get something massed produced  at your local Chapters or IKEA, but it’s always nice to know that you are purchasing something unique/limited (custom orders are available). As an aside – you get the prints in the mail (I love getting mail!) which is always a nice treat.

Here is a promo code so you can get 20% off your entire purchase: elenam

Don’t forget to follow Dolch Designs on twitter/instagram: @DolchDesigns and ‘Like’ them on Facebook too!

ELENA:)

Cookievonster for Brandee Buble

I love my talented friends! My friend Evon, (Cookievonster) has been making me cookies like crazy for years! It all started with a cookie for my birthday and most recently she has made cookies for my book The Love List.

Not only has Evon made cookies for my book, but for Brandee Buble as well. Brandee (sister of Michael Buble) has written a cute kids book entitled, O’shae the Octopus (available everywhere). And of course, Evon captured the book perfectly in a a stellar cake!

Fabulous work Evon and can’t wait to read your book Brandee (we should do a book swap)!

ELENA:)

Pierre Torset Photo Shoot

Some great shots from the Pierre Torset shoot in Paris (Flytographer).

It was rather chilly and I did have to wake up early, but all in all great shots around the Louvre and Pont des Arts.

Enjoy!

ELENA;)

The Plaza

The plaza. #newyork

Paris Opera

Phantom of the Opera #paris #pariswalk #thelovelist

Paris Walk

I don’t know what kind of building this is – but very cool. #paris #pariswalk #thelovelist