Friday, July 30, 2010

Bird's Nest

Banana Republic blouse, H&M shorts, Nine West Wedges, LV tote, Fossil Bangle

Birds often never return to nest once they've learned to fly. I, for one, love visiting Beijing - my birthplace and my "original" nest. I spent 5 years of my childhood in the capital of China. But now, I find it hard to keep up with Beijing's constant progress when the humble landmarks I used to recognize seem to be overshadowed by the waves of trendy shopping areas and skyscrapers being built every 2 years. From the famed Forbidden City to futuristic highrises, Beijing is a true blend of traditional and modern, and is home to nearly 20 million people! J and I fully embraced both the old and the new by playing nerdy tourists for most of the trip. This was my first time at the National Stadium, aka "Bird's Nest" since it was built for the 2008 Olympics. Despite the hazy weather condition, the structure more than impressed me. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be there during the summer games.

I love packing shorts during my travels for the endless options. Pairing them with different tops can create multiple looks, whereas one dress is often just one look and it takes up a little more room in the suitcase. I paired these neutral H&M shorts with a much needed pop of color in a breathable silk to avoid disappearing into the infamous Beijing haze. Although I'm not a huge fan of monogram, this Louise Vuitton Palermo GM tote was a gift. I've grown to love it for its practicality. The size and shape is perfect for everyday use, and it's also an iconic print and a "forever" bag. I could definitely see my future granny self wobbling down the street sporting this!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Holt Renfrew Vancouver Launches New Chanel Cosmetics Counter

Honey, I’m home! I spent 14 quality days in Beijing and Hong Kong and my lack of blogging was due to the inconvenient ban of BlogSpot, Twitter etc in China. I have yet to sort through the gazillions of photos taken from the trip but new posts will be coming up this week, I promise ;)

Vancouver may not be the fashion capital but the number of events happening every week can rival any other fashionable city. Last week, Holt Renfrew invited media to preview the new Chanel Cosmetics Counter. Since I was an ocean away, my good friend Lisa of Solo Lisa offered to attend on my behalf and guest write about the event. I was more than thrilled as she’s a wonderful writer – yes it’s her day job! Not only do we share the love of Chanel handbags (bag twins!), we’re also avid fans of Chanel cosmetics – visiting the counter together and never leaving empty-handed! Without further ado, enjoy Lisa’s coverage on the event:

By: Lisa (Solo Lisa)

Carolina and I are both huge fans of Chanel. From quilted 2.55 purses to their breathtaking runway shows to the must-have nail colours each season, everything that the infamous couture house does is infused with class, elegance, and luxury. So when she offered me her invite to the Holt Renfrew Vancouver launch of Chanel's newly renovated cosmestics and fragrance space, I immediately said yes. After all, what fashion blogger in her right mind would say no to Chanel? Other bloggers and media personnel evidently thought the same thing because the launch party was quite well-attended. Guests sipped champagne and nibbled on hors d'oeuvres as they admired the space and sampled the cosmetics. I spotted fellow bloggers Christie Lohr, Heidi Hofstad, and Niki Blasina chatting and enjoying themselves.

As beautiful as the entire space is, the crowning centrepiece of it all is the Espace Parfums and Olfactive Bar. Designed as an inviting place in the midst of a large department store, the Olfactive Bar raises the experience of choosing a perfume to another level. Customers seated in Chanel tweed chairs are told the histories behind different fragrances as they sniff ceramic blotters proffered by a fragrance expert. (The blotters are dipped in fragrance once a week and stored in test-tube-like vials embedded in the counter. Unlike spritzing a paper strip, which can create a "wet paper smell" that interferes with the light top notes, the blotter lets you have a more accurate impression of what the fragrance smells like.) To relieve fatigued olfactory senses, customers sniff ceramic blotters suffused with the smell of coffee at regular intervals. I watched as May Globus, a writer for and The West Ender, had her fragrance consultation.

Something else that caught my eye? The wall of Chanel No. 5 bottles and the flat-screen TV playing a short Chanel film starring Audrey Tautou.

A big thanks to Holt Renfrew and Chanel for hosting such a wonderful event, and to Carolina for allowing me to cover it in her stead!