Featuring: Okie Dokie

We all know that accessories can make or break an outfit. In fact, the clothing items I invest in most are great outerwear, bags, shoes, and jewelry you can wear every day. Enter Okie Dokie – a socks and accessories company created by sisters Cassaundra and Rebecca Kaiser that will add a splash of style to your existing wardrobe without breaking the bank. Based in Parkdale, Okie Dokie was originally launched in response to a Shopify contest and now sells a line of super cute socks which, are available on their website (www.shopokiedokie.com) and select stores in Toronto and Montreal (Victoire and Subrosa Vintage). My personal favorites are the boo-boo, cotton candy, and over easy socks, all of which are available for $11.

 

While I often admire those with good sock game, I usually find cool socks difficult to style. Not so with the socks from Okie Dokie. Cute and ankle length, they look great styled with just about anything. From jeans to dresses these socks add personality to even the simplest of outfits. For spring I recommend a cute graphic tee or Bardot blouse tucked into mom jeans or overalls, a pair of Okie Dokie socks, and Converse.  If you want to add some extra polish to your outfit why not try injecting some sparkle with Okie Dokie’s new glitter socks? I am personally really excited to introduce some fancy socks into my wardrobe and know that I will be adding some Okie Dokie socks to my collection soon. Not only are they super stylish, but my recent commitment to shopping local makes me feel particularly good about supporting a Toronto-based company that uses quality materials and oversees the entire production process.

If you are interested in getting a cute pair of socks for yourself be sure to check out Okie Dokie’s  website as well as their Instagram (@shopokiedokie) for their Spring’17 collection and for the newest addition to their accessories line: reusable totes!

With lots of love and sunshine xx

Caroline 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Della Chiu from Air-Row Jewellery

 

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I shop and where I purchase my clothes from. In our search for convenience and fast fashion, it seems that a lot of traditional craft practices are beginning to get lost. For me, it has become increasingly important to purchase fewer pieces for my closet by buying items that are well-made, that I truly love, and that will stand the test of time. Consequently, in my search for quality craftsmanship, I have set out to find artists in Toronto who are making beautiful clothes and accessories and maintaining traditional artistic practices. I will be featuring these artists and small business owners on my blog and I hope that it will inspire you to shop locally as well.

In March, I spoke with Della Chiu who is a certified Jack of all Trades and the founder of Air-Row Jewellery (“Air-Row”). After receiving a degree in Media Studies specializing in Photography from the University of Guelph-Humber, Della started working at Risque Clothing in the Annex where she has worked for the last six years. She now serves as their General Manager, Head Stylist, Assistant Buyer, and Visual Merchandiser and is responsible for many of the photographs behind their Instagram account. Della’s style represents minimalism at its best: clean and simple without being boring. While not professionally trained in jewellery making, Della started Air-Row five years ago as a creative outlet. After searching for the perfect necklace, she was inspired to create her own jewellery line which led to the birth of Air-Row and her pieces are now sold at Risque Clothing as well as through personal commissions.

Specializing in wire-wrapping jewellery with a focus on crystal and gem necklaces Della gains inspiration from social media, fashion bloggers, people watching, art galleries, and other jewellery lines. She believes that it is important for artists to expose themselves to other creative practices outside of the medium they are working with by watching films, reading, and going to galleries. While Della would like to expand her jewellery line and currently promotes it through social media and word of mouth, she is primarily focused on her current client base. By avoiding catering to a mass market, Della has been able to make connections with the people who appreciate her craftsmanship most. By taking the time to use traditional techniques and quality materials, Della hopes to use her jewellery to add to women’s wardrobes and create an outlet to expose the amount of artistic talent that exists in Toronto. Her work is proof that you never know what you’re capable of achieving until you try and the importance of using style as a way to please yourself instead of others.

Della certainly inspired me to appreciate the work and dedication that goes into hand making jewellery, to streamline my wardrobe, and to be more confident in my own personal style. I hope that her jewellery line will also inspire you to shop local and to look within yourself and around the city of Toronto for further fashion inspiration. If you are interested in checking out Air-Row, you can find Della’s work on Instagram @airrow_jewellery.

Hello Again

I originally started this blog to create a space where I could record my hopes and dreams and write about the things that I am passionate about. Since that time I have made some of those dreams come true like living in New York and Paris and going to graduate school. However, once again, I find myself in a transitory stage of my life. I must admit that not knowing where my life is going has often proved quite daunting and I often find myself questioning the future. I hope that in the coming months I will be able to announce that once again, I am on my way to accomplishing the goals and dreams I have set out for myself, but in the meantime, I hope that this blog will serve as a small source of inspiration for both my readers and myself.

With lots of love and sunshine,

Caroline 

 

 

LIFE UPDATES AND WARDROBE CURATION

It’s been almost a year since my last post and I wanted to update you all on my life and make more of an effort to post regularly on here. If you read my last post you know that I moved to New York for graduate school in August. Being in school feels like a magnificent dream that I’m not totally sure I want to wake up from.  I just turned 26 at the end of February and am happy to say that for the first time I am actually happy with where I am in my life. For a long time after completing my undergraduate degree I felt completely lost. I was working in environments where I felt completely unfulfilled and often questioned where I was going with my life and if I would ever amount to anything as a person. I often wondered “is this what the rest of my life is really going to be like?!” Needless to say going to graduate school has always been a goal of mine and I still can’t believe that I have the opportunity to make this particular dream come true. I feel like I am living out a total fantasy and am determined to graduate with my Master of Arts degree in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design next spring. One thing that I’ve learned over the last few years is that hard work definitely pays off. It may not seem like it in the moment but if you are willing to work hard there is no reason why all of your dreams can’t come true.  I love being in school and am constantly inspired by my classmates and this amazing city that has become my second home.

One thing that I have been working on outside of completing my school work is pairing down my wardrobe so that it only consists of key essential pieces and things that I truly love. This means only buying things that I really like. That might seem obvious, but I have a tendency to buy things on a whim since I find retail therapy extremely relaxing (before the stress from working out my credit card sets in.) My new goal is to really think about what I’m buying and to get away from paying so much attention to brands and focusing more on the garment itself. Is it love at first sight? Will it work with other pieces I already have in my wardrobe? Will I want to wear it five years from now?  I hate to admit this but for awhile I thought that in order to look good I needed to buy strictly designer pieces. While I can’t ignore the fact that I have a weakness for designer bags and coats being a student has made me recognize that while some things may be worth splurging on, other things aren’t and that what you buy should be about how much you love the piece and how well it’s made rather than the label in it. I’m not saying I wouldn’t love to have a wardrobe filled with Chanel, Oscar de la Renta, Lanvin and Celine…but I also recognize that at this point in my life that’s not always possible. As a result, my new goal is to focus on only buying things I really like (and can afford) and saving up money for those really special pieces. Hopefully that way I will be able to build a more timeless and sustainable wardrobe.

So here’s to a New Year of continuously working towards my goals both on an academic and personal level and looking chic while doing it.

xx

Caroline

GRADUATE SCHOOL!

I know I haven’t written a blog post in a while but I wanted to save my next post for something really special. I am INCREDIBLY happy to announce that I will be starting my Master of Arts in Fashion Studies at Parsons The New School for Design this fall.  I have no idea how I got so incredibly lucky but anyone who knows me knows how much this opportunity means to me. After receiving my acceptance letter in March I haven’t been able to think about anything else and I can’t believe that I will be starting school tomorrow. 

All i can say is that with hard work, passion, perseverance, a great support network and a little bit of luck dreams really can come true. I am over the moon about getting the chance to complete my Masters and go to graduate school and I couldn’t think of a better place to complete my studies than at Parsons.

So to those of you that do read my blog my message to you is NEVER give up on your dreams. As cliche as it sounds, I think it is extremely important to trust your intuition and follow your heart. Life is full of possibilities if you are willing to take some risks, work hard, and open yourself up to the opportunities that are made available to you. 

Moving to NYC for school has been an incredible change for me and I can’t wait to start the school year and see where this new adventure brings me.

xx

Caroline 

New Year’s Resolutions

So I am a little late to the game with the New Year’s Resolutions. However, seeing as today is Chinese New Year, I figure it’s as good a time as any to set my goals for the rest of the year. I feel like the past couple of years have been an extremely transitory time for me and I hope that this year will bring me even closer to achieving the goals I have set out for myself. My main resolution for 2014 is to get into graduate school. I have always dreamed of pursuing higher education and completing my Master’s and I hope that I will finally get to do that this fall. I have already submitted one application and have two due in the near future – so keep your fingers crossed for me. 

In addition to getting into graduate school, this year I would really like to learn to be more comfortable in my own skin.  I have always been extremely self conscious and as an Asian-Canadian I have always been acutely aware of the fact that I look different than my peers. Although I think Asian women are beautiful I have never felt that way about myself and as I head into my mid 20’s I would like to finally be able to accept the way I look and love myself – flaws and all.

I also hope to be a kinder, more positive and loving individual. It is my sincere hope I will be able to work hard towards achieving all of my goals and that I will be able to successfully create the life I’ve always imagined for myself. Nelson Mandela once said, “There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” and I hope that 2014 will be the year that I finally get into graduate school and pave the way for the future I’ve always wanted. 

What are your New Year’s Resolutions?

Cheers to a year filled with love, happiness, success and personal growth. 

xx

Caroline 

MY CHRISTMAS WISH LIST

Seeing as Halloween is over it’s obviously time to start thinking about the holidays. Or at least that is what almost every retailer would like us to believe. So I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and begin compiling my Christmas wish list. This year, above all I would like to get accepted into graduate school and be able to pursue a Master of Arts degree in Fashion Studies starting next fall.

However, if you’re going to ask me about the material things I would like this holiday season please see my list below:

1) I have always had a penchant for a great handbag. These are the ones that I’m coveting most this season:

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Salvatore Ferragamo Flap Bag $966.46 CDN 

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Salvatore Ferragamo Large Vera Flap Bag $910.44 CDN 

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Miu Miu Madras Cross Body Bag $1386.67 CDN 

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Fendi 2Jours Elite Small Leather Shopper $1918.37 CDN 

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Mulberry Lily Textured Leather Shoulder Bag $1300 CDN

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Chloe Medium Elsie Shoulder Bag $1560.71 CDN

2) A great pair of black flats and am loving this pair from Salvatore Ferragamo:

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Salvatore Ferragamo Varina Classic Bow Flats $490.18 CDN

Of course, Christmas isn’t all about the presents. Even though I love giving and receiving gifts, for me Christmas has always been about spending time with those that I love most.

So here’s hoping that I will be able to live out my dreams this year/next year and get into graduate school and be able to pursue my masters degree, and if I’m very lucky perhaps I’ll get one of these items on my wish list as the extra cherry on top (Santa do you hear me?)

xx

Caroline

P.S. Let me know what you guys are coveting this holiday season!