A 1 Year Journey Worth A Million Years in Memories

It was exactly one year ago today I walked across the stage at the University of Calgary, and two years ago today that I had the pleasure of breaking my foot in a foreign country, but ill leave that story for another time!

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There I am!

When I walked across that stage I had no idea what the next year was going to look like, which was both terrifying and exciting all at the same time! I was leaving that auditorium with a degree and a full sense of accomplishment and motivation to go out and conquer the world. I still have that drive, but throughout the past year it changed, I changed, my path changed – basically everything changed. Some for the good and some not so much, but life would be pretty boring if it was all smooth sailing.

Needless to say, I followed a very different path than I ever could have anticipated and every experience I have had along the way has led me to where I am now. I still don’t know where I am headed, but this year has given me the confidence to be able to say that I am excited and ready for the adventure.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have spent some serious time reflecting on the past year, looking at what I have accomplished, what I haven’t, what I feel I have fallen short on and on the person I am and who I want to be. In reality, I am just winging it, crossing my fingers and my toes, hoping that I come out somewhat smoothly on the other side – but let’s be honest it won’t be graceful, nothing ever is with me!

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Who am I, Kristy Archibald

Well, I am not too sure, but I am looking to find her! The past year showed that I am a creative being and I need to capitalize on that and pursue life in a creative way, in both my work and personal life. Sitting down and reading a great book, going for a beautiful walk or watching a documentary on the legends that created the world as we know it, feed my soul and inspire in so many ways. Yes, I am aware I sound like an incredibly old lady, but I love seeing how things were started and what it took for people to truly ‘make it.’

What does this look like for me? I have no idea, but I know that in every documentary and story I have read it’s very obvious that you can’t follow the crowd. I know that sounds incredibly cliché and cheesy, but it’s true! Bill Cunningham didn’t just photograph someone because they were the present ‘it girl’, he photographed them because they had true style and if they didn’t, he didn’t bother. This was something that at the time had never been done, but he paved the way for street style to be what it is today!

As much as I love my alone time, I am a true extrovert and as a result, I also value and cherish the time I spend with my friends and family. Checking out the newest local hotspot, going for brunch and being a tourist in my own city with the people that I love is extremely valuable to me. More importantly, having that network behind me to support me and encourage me in everything that I do and vise versa.

I am an avid adventurer, passionate learner and I try to embrace every new opportunity with open arms in order to experience everything around me. I think I can truly say that over the past year this has been the key to aligning myself onto the right road.

I also learned that: I am still late for life – 24 years later, I don’t need to shower every day, but every second day is a must, good quality skin products are not a hoax, I can cook more than just cupcakes and mac & cheese, I still love fashion, I love to write, I am an ‘entrepreneur’ – scary, I still don’t like bananas, olives , mayo or mushrooms and I will never stop learning – my education didn’t end when I finished school that’s for sure!

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Creativity: from crafting to creating new ideas

As a creative you must always be looking for the next way to become inspired. I had no idea that I was already doing this until this year. Since I was a little kid I have always enjoyed looking and experiencing everything around me, finding a way to document my experiences in some way shape or form.

Working from home has proven to be a huge challenge for me over the past year. It’s something I never thought that I would do and it can be tough some days to become inspired. Trust me it’s not easy to work in your PJ’s, naps are a serious problem! Here are just a few ways that help me keep that creativity flowing and work to give my brain a refresh!

  • Working out: usually, I go to Barre Body Studio. It’s a full body workout that only takes an hour and it leaves you feeling refreshed and energized for the day.
  • Traveling: This is a big one! I tend to get antsy every 7 or 8 months and I have a strong urge to see new things, experience new cultures, learn about people and discover AMAZING foods I never knew existed. I visited Montreal, Toronto and New York last year, 3 of the best cities to venture to if you are looking for any sort of inspiration within your work or in your life in general.
  • Drives & long walks: these work to clear my head and help me to become focused when I get too many things on the go – which is often!
  • Collaborating: whether this be with like-minded people or not, working together with passionate individuals allows me to discover new things and develop different perspectives. I truly believe that we work better when we collaborate and build each other up, rather than compete against each other. I always find it amazing when I bounce thoughts back and forth with someone else, as we always end up brainstorming things I would have never thought of on my own – it’s a magical process. As I said we are better together people!
  • People watching: I know it sounds creepy, but I love to see how others interact and how they are unique when they are put in a position to truly be themselves.
  • Writing about new things: when I receive an assignment from one of my editors to write about something I know nothing about I get giddy! This is an opportunity to research and learn about something I would have otherwise never known about and find a way to creatively put it together for a client.

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Lady Bossin! 

My career is my baby and the thing I live and breathe, without it I would be lost! This is probably the main thing that has affected my entire life and steered me down an incredible journey. From starting this blog, to becoming a freelance writer, to working in social media, to joining a professional association board, to meeting a whole slew of new people, the learning, growth and self-discovery that has taken place is a whirlwind. Such as, apparently I love to write – seriously who knew!

I have learned so much on how to create my own work schedule, work independently, prioritize projects and create my own deadlines – I would be a pro- University Student now. Before I began freelancing I struggled with online courses, let alone being my own boss!

“It’s very important to take risks. I think that research is very important, but in the end you have to work from your instinct and feeling and take those risks and be fearless.” – Anna Wintour

Taking risks has been huge for me over the past year. Going from a 9-5 job to contracting within the span of a couple weeks was both exhilarating and scary- lets just say I have had more than one stressed out sleepless night. Beginning my blog was also a huge risk that I took. Putting yourself and your skills out there is tough and has been something that I really struggled with at first, and I still do occasionally. However, through time, experience and having an incredible support system behind me, I have developed the confidence to feel good about putting my work and who I am out there for the world to see!

Give them what they never knew they wanted! – Diana Vreeland

My version of success does not mean making a lot of money – although it would be nice in order to sustain my shopping habits and severe travel bug. I value quality and hard work. It doesn’t matter how many people know your name, if you don’t produce something that makes people stop and go WOW, then you haven’t arrived yet. I decided a long time ago I want to be known for the quality of my work, not how many events I can attend. It’s so easy to get caught up with social media, perusing people’s Instagram’s and comparing yourself to others, but something I have learned is that you can’t look at someone’s success and compare it to your own, especially if you are just starting out.

Social media, friend or foe?

We are millennials, so therefore it’s a natural habit to obsess over followers, likes and posting the right things to give our life a glazed over look that is not true to who we are. The social media marketer in me fights me on this, but regardless I believe that whether you are working for a company or on your personal brand, authenticity is most important. Why live in a world that is completely fake when you can be out exploring and experiencing everything first hand, and thus sharing these amazing adventures with your following. My social media is me, and what I post is who I am. If you follow me you’ll get the sincere pleasure of seeing the good, bad and the ugly – enjoy!

thumb_IMG_4716_1024Personal Style 

“Create your own style. Let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” – Anna Wintour

Fashion is something I have loved since I was 12 years old – before that I just wore overalls! If the past year has taught me nothing, it has taught me to be even more confident within my own personal style and embrace my love for eclectic pieces and to push the boundaries. Through my research and getting the opportunity to attend various fashion events since starting this blog, I have molded my style into something that is much more true to myself. If I am going to talk about the style to others, I must have an identifiable one of my own! My hemlines continue to get longer and my necklines higher. I have spent more time this year playing around with different prints, color blocking and bold accessories, while adding some sporty, boxier and more edgy pieces to my wardrobe. The one rule I have when it comes to my style is to always wear something that allows you to be comfortable in your own skin. Don’t wear something because it’s “in,” wear it because it makes you feel like a better version of yourself. As Bill Cunningham said, “If you like it, wear it!”

Relationships 

I have learned a TON about myself over the past year and I have done that through learning about others. I have learned to cherish the relationships that are already in my life and to take the time to nourish them and allow them to grow. Sometimes this means growing apart and sometimes this means growing closer. I have dated, networked and introduced myself to some extraordinary people over the past year and through every interaction I have learned or experienced something new that has given me years worth of great stories and valuable memories.

Be in love with your life!

Without fun, life doesn’t have substance. Spending time laughing, gathering moments and being truly happy is most important. I always have some sort of photographic device on me to capture moments as they are happening. I honestly think the older I get the more fun I have!

Life is about moments – don’t wait for them, create them. 

However, when it comes to having fun something I have learned one too many times is that I am no longer 18, therefore I can’t party like I am and frankly I don’t want to. It takes less to feel worse the next day and unfortunately I have yet to find a cure or remedy for that. Maybe I will have that for next year’s blog post!

Things I am still working on: 

  • My work life balance
  • Becoming a morning person – I am attempting at least!
  • Creating a career I love while also being monetarily secure
  • Always finding something to laugh about – even on Tuesdays
  • Juggling a million things at once
  • Letting the little things go and not being such a perfectionist
  • Continuing to nurture my relationships and make room for quality time spent with family and friends
  • Being a leader, rather than a boss

What’s next? 

Life the life that people write novels about! 

Some very exciting things! I still don’t know what my entire future looks like, let alone a 5-year plan, but I have a rough idea on how I want it to go. Frankly, I am just along for the ride!

  • Traveling to Europe for just over a month – I am beyond excited for this adventure! The ideas, inspirations and the stories I plan on creating and bringing back with me are going to be amazing I just know it.
  • I plan on enhancing my blog and molding it even more to who I am and what I envision it to be.
  • An entrepreneurial venture – STAY TUNED!
  • Then who no’s- but I can tell you this it won’t be boring!

Cheers to a new year full of fresh starts, new experiences, memorable adventures, grand opportunities, new friendships and growing into the woman I am meant to be. I am extremely excited to see where life leads me next!

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Work hard, stay humble and be kind!

xoxo Kristy

Photo Credit: Jenna Cavanagh

Outfit 1: 

Shorts: Club Monaco

Shirt: Oak and Fort

Shoes: Steve Madden 

Necklace: Coutukitsch

Outfit 2: 

Dress: Aritzia

Necklace: Coutukitsch

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PARKSHOW 2016 YYC

Once again PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture) blew everyone’s expectations out of the park with their two-day Miami themed, fashion event featuring an array of Canada’s best artists and fashion designers. The event was held at CF Chinook Centre right outside of Nordstrom’s and as you walked up you were greeted with a lively red carpet, photo-op and glass of rose champagne – talk about fabulous!

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Photo by: Chuck Szmurlo

Usually my girlfriends and I opt in and just get general seating tickets, but this time we decided to splurge and go with VIP – they were more than worth it. The VIP lounge had a variety of different appetizers and drinks, with an exclusive photo booth and large sitting area to take a break from the crowds. All-in-all I highly recommend going all in and spending a little extra on your tickets for the full fashion-night-out experience, especially if you get the chance to sit front row like we did!

One of the things I love about the PARK fashion shows is that they are not merely a show, but a collaborative creative experience. The walls were decorated with artwork done by David Brunning, a former graffiti artist turned fine art abstract artist, highlighting pieces from his latest show “Lost in Translation.” You could even take home a little piece of this event by purchasing one of his paintings after the show was over.

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Artwork by: David Brunning, Photo: @ourparkonline (Instagram)

Another neat aspect to this event was the partnership that PARK formed with Microsoft and together they created the PARK x Microsoft Illustrator Project. The project aimed to combine art + fashion + technology by having a few very talented artists, such as Michelle Hoogveld, roam the floor throughout the night and live sketch the event it as it happened on Microsoft Tablets – they even had a few tablets set up for party goers to try!

As per usual they had designer pop-up-shops set up throughout the event space, featuring designers that had walked on both nights, which was nice if you missed one or the other. In-between the designers were other great partners that that were set up, making it almost like a trendy night market. Some notable vendors that I personally enjoyed were Fiasco Gelato featuring a delicious new gelato flavor, Ollia Macaroons featuring their signature Lavender Lemonade and sweet macaron treats, Barre Body Studio, Saje Natural Wellness and Nespresso Coffee who provided me with a delightful shot of espresso to keep me going!

The adrenaline rush that I get when the first model steps onto the runway is indescribable! Although I was only able to attend Saturday night’s show, I was pleased at the line-up of designers that were being featured. I found it to be a good combination of designers from past shows mixed with some new names that introduced some fresh talent and looks to the show. There were so many different looks that I absolutely adored, here are a few of my favorites!

Anne B Accessories

The fashion show begun with this big, bold and beautiful accessory line that made a large statement – literally! These unique and timeless handmade accessories are made from a variety of natural elements, such as wood, shell, resin, cow horns and stone. From large chains to wooden neck braces, these accessories are diverse and different, which adds originality to any outfit and completes your look with confidence and personality – taking your outfit from good to great!

Anneke Forbes

This line of quality, stylish outwear stole the show on Saturday night! Each jacket that we saw on the runway is carefully curated, designed and handmade by Anneka Forbes herself, right here in Calgary! I have had the pleasure of getting to know Anneka a little bit at past shows, and her passion and energy for creating these jackets is incredible and is reflected in the detail in each and every piece. These jackets are figure flattering and come in both colorful and neutral options making them great for a casual lunch date, or night out on the town. They are an investment piece that act as a great staple for any season and will be part of your wardrobe for years to come.

Malika Couture

Designer Malika, grew up in India, which has been one of her main sources of inspiration. As a result, her line is filled with vibrant colors, luxury fabric and stunning embroidered details created around 3 core values of quality, affordability and social consciousness. On the runway, we saw primarily suede and leather pieces done in dresses, tops, skirts and jackets. Some of the leather looks had patterned cutouts in them, which added an element of complexity to the level of detail that was displayed in the design of each garment, giving them a charm of modern elegance. I loved the entire line, but my favorite piece was a suede top that had fringe from the waist down. Paired with high waisted shorts this would make a great trendy stampede outfit!

House of Nonie

This luxurious ready-to-wear line has hit the Calgary fashion scene with a bang within the past year. Founder Nina Kharey, draws inspiration from her Eastern roots and men’s suit-wear, creating pieces with minimalistic lines and light flowy fabric. On the runway we saw a variety of looser fit dresses, light jackets, tunics and wide leg pants, with flattering waistlines and a neutral color palette. Each piece is a great basic staple for any wardrobe, perfect for a chic office look or attending a fancy cocktail party.

Other great looks from the show:

My look: 

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xoxo Kristy

Somethin’ Bout A Truck

Revealing Ford’s all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor SuperCrew and Super Duty

Being a bona fide country girl, naturally and true to the cliché, I do enjoy a shiny pick-up with a little mud on the tires – and a man in a plaid shirt sitting in the driver’s seat doesn’t hurt!

Growing up it was a well-known fact in my household that you were either a Chevy or a Ford family – there was no in between. I have fond memories chumming around with my dad at car shows, or admiring a vintage beauty in the parking lot of the supermarket. I would also play the “mechanics’ assistant” and hand him a wrench or hold the flashlight as he changed the oil or did maintenance on our vehicles. As a result, I picked up on a bit of the lingo and can semi navigate my way under the hood – however let’s not put that knowledge to the test!

Needless to say, my family are true Ford fans through and through, so when I got the invitation to attend the unveiling of Ford’s new 2017 trucks I was definitely giddy!

The unveiling was held at the WinSport event tent at COP and was done particularly well. They had the crowd waiting in suspense as they cued the Jurassic Park theme song to build up the anticipation as they announced each truck. We also had the chance to hear from Ford’s Gerald Wood and Mike Sinuita who shared some of the special new features of each truck!

F-150 Raptor SuperCrew

Ford is calling this a “beast off road and on” and trust me, they’re not kidding! The all-new Raptor is built tough for the off road and is relentless on any terrain. Some features that make this the number one pickup are it’s fully boxed frame made from high-strength steel, all-new EcoBoost engine technology, 3.0-inch FOX racing shocks, 10-speed transmission, torque-on-demand and an improved power distribution between the front and back wheels that works to enhance the Raptor’s off-road agility. The performance on this pickup is incredible – I would kill to take one of these for a test drive!

F-150 Super Duty

#BuiltFordTough North America’s work truck is back and better than ever! The new Super Duty has a new look this year along with a ton of fancy new features making it the toughest, most capable Super Duty yet. What I found incredibly interesting about this truck is that it comes equipped with 7 cameras on its exterior, four of which are HD and work to give the driver a 360-degree view of their surroundings. This feature is there primarily to put your towing fears at ease, but I can imagine it would make driving in general a breeze, as this is no small toy truck

Drugged and Driving – one of these things doesn’t belong!

In addition to showing off their two new pickup’s, Ford also brought with them their all-new “Drugged Driving Suit.” This unique suit has been engineered to give users the effects of being on illegal drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine and heroin and show them the harmful effects of driving under the influence of any of these substances. The suit simulates certain side affects of these drugs, such as distorted vision, hand tremors, poor coordination and slower reaction time, all of which are the causes of many motor vehicle accidents.

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Photo Credit: Brookline PR’s Doug Self

According to NHTSA, approximately 18 percent of all motor vehicle driver deaths involve drugs other than alcohol, such as marijuana and cocaine.” – This is a scary number and it is amazing to see such a large and influential corporation taking this kind of initiative to tackle this important issue.

Ford had this suit set up for everyone to try at the event and I must say it was incredibly eyeopening to see how it affected people in different ways and how limited people were when they had the suit on – there is no better way to spread a message than to let people experience it first hand!

Styled

One could never expect me to attend such an event and not include fashion in some way, shape or form! This was a tough one, as I had never been to the unveiling of a new truck before, therefore I had no idea if everyone would be in blue jeans and plaid shirts, or dressed up cocktail style. I saw this as a great opportunity to do neither and went with a more edgy in-between look. I wore my new favorite black high-waisted Levis ($80 from Artizia!) that I rarely leave the house without these days, along with a heather gray, long sleeved crop and my classic Mackage leather jacket. A simple, comfortable yet chic look!

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XOXO Kristy

A Fashionable Perspective: Kaleidoscopic Animalia

Kaleidoscopic: made up of a complex mix of elements, multifaceted

Animalia: animals are organisms within the kingdom of Animalia – Latin

Currently, the Glenbow’s Artist in Residence is a Canadian-born, internationally acclaimed fashion designer, Paul Hardy. His collection, Kaleidoscopic Animalia, brings a new layer of complexity to Calgary’s ever evolving and flourishing fashion + arts scene. It transports you back to significant eras of time within a whimsical metaphoric dimension, addressing man’s complex relationship with animals and it’s societal and cultural influences.

The exhibit is laid out to represent a metropolitan city street with 15 unique window installations for viewers to stroll past and ponder, such as one of Tiffany’s or Bergdorf Goodman’s window displays on 5th Avenue in New York. Each window is labeled with a witty pun and contains elegant couture, historical artifacts and animals juxtaposed in a cultural setting representing a powerful symbolic connection between humans and animals as art, fashion and culture. Some of the different themes that Hardy explores and plays around with in his work is Pop Culture, the Fur Trade, Children’s Toys, Hunting game and Fashion Accessories.

Hardy does a fantastic job of pulling from his Canadian roots in this exhibit, taking the term ‘multiculturalism’ to a whole other level. You begin with the exhibit “Trapped in Tradition” which includes a map of Canada, products produced in each province/ territory and a mannequin dressed in an elegant gown created out of the classic Hudson’s Bay wool blanket. Through his exploration of different time periods and cultures he always ties in Canadian heritage to each window and theme, representing our diverse and unique traditions that have been crafted over time.

At the heart of each story that is told, is a beautiful piece of couture fashion; designed and curated by Hardy himself. Each fashion piece helps to tie the story together through the material it is made out of, the print on the textile or even the way the mannequin is positioned within a plethora of rich colors and textures. Hardy used many different types of textiles to show the influence that animals have had on the fashion industry and how they have been utilized in items, such as a beaver top hat, leather moccasins, skirts made out of feathers and fur jackets. The amount of detail that is accounted for is incredible, making each look luxurious and chic as if the mannequins just stepped out of a time capsule and onto the runway.

What I loved most about this exhibit, other than the stunning couture fashion pieces, was each exhibit’s ability to tell a different story, sparking different conversations and prompting challenging questions about time and culture. It was exhilarating to stand in front of each window and be taken on a thought provoking journey to a different time and place.

If you have not had the chance to check out this glorious exhibit I suggest you do before September 5th, 2016 you will definitely not regret it.

Trapped In Tradition

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Artificial Tundra

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Beyond The Looking Glass

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Everything Isn’t Always Black And White

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Harvie’s Blue Plate Special

On With The Show…

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Homestretch

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G’ma’s Curio Cupboard

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“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”- Edgar Degas 

xoxo Kristy

Photos by Kristy Archibald

To write this article I used different documents and descriptions provided by the Glenbow Museum. Read more on each individual window and the exhibit overall here.

Learn more about Paul Hardy and the other unique fashion lines and collaborations he has done here.

There Ain’t No Party Like a DJD Party

I have had the sincere pleasure of working with Decidedly Jazz Danceworks for over a year now, initially as a student intern and later as their social media manager through Social Sesame. DJD is a company that pours their blood, sweat and tears into everything that they do, from their performances, to their events and their deep involvement within the Calgary arts community. It’s their goal to infuse jazz and different aspects of dance into everyday life for everyone, no matter their age, ability or skill level. Life is better with dance – and how can you argue with that!

The Black and White Ball is DJD’s annual fundraiser gala, held this year at the Fairmont Palliser on Saturday, March 5th. Funds raised at the 2016 ball went towards reaching the final fundraising goal for the brand new Decidedly Jazz Dance Centre opening in April!

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What I love about this event is that it’s like no other Calgary fundraiser! The ball embraces the eclectic style from the roaring 20’s, bringing out the gentleman and lady within us all. From the minute you walk into the event you are met with a variety of stunning artistic presentations – from Acapella singers, living statues and opera singers, to DJD company performances and the amazing live band, Penguins on Broadway that keeps the dance floor bumping till late in the night. The event is always a spectacle to behold – straight out of the 1920’s jazz era!

This was my second year on the Black and White Ball Committee and I got the opportunity to work with the other committee members and DJD staff to create different promotional and marketing tactics for social media. Here are some of the neat projects we worked on over the past month to help promote the ball:

Two Week Social Media Take-Over: For the two weeks leading up to the ball we decided to post content, such as fashion inspirations, beauty looks and dance moves, all true to the 1920’s theme, to get Calgary hyped and excited for the event. Needless to say this resulted in more than a few hours spent pursuing Pinterest, which I thoroughly enjoyed! 

 

What to Wear Fashion Photo Shoot: We teamed up with Coco and Violet Boutique in Mission to help give partygoers some local wardrobe inspiration. We choose 3 very different, yet classic looks from the boutique for Sabrina Naz, DJD’s Company Understudy, to model, which we then used to create a look book and video to post.

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Prepping for the Black and White Ball: We worked with the Kent of Inglewood, a local men’s boutique specializing in grooming supplies, bow ties and shaving tools, to create a guide for men on how to prepare for the Black and White Ball. Nathan Gareau, the store manager took us step by step through the process of a classic shave, how to tie a bow tie and what is required when styling or conditioning your beard + moustache, staying again in step with 1920’s event theme. See the whole guide here!

The Grand Finale!

Aside from being so much fun to execute, all of this ended up being great research for my own prep for the ball. I ended up choosing a mid-length, silk maxi from Wilfred, accessorizing with a string of my mum’s pearls and a pair of classic pumps. The main inspiration for my outfit was ‘Downton Abby,’ as I absolutely adore the looks they sport on the show, so I decided to use this event as my opportunity to try it out!

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Erica Morgan, Kelsey Berntson, Kristy Archibald

DJD has more big and exciting things coming their way this year – be sure to stay in the loop and follow them on social for information on upcoming events and the opening of the new DJD Dance Centre!

xoxo Kristy

Style Profile: Mia Loiselle “A Vintage Affair”

 

Mia, a fellow yyc communications/PR professional, is an avid world traveller, and an adventure enthusiast at heart. Her personal style is bold, vibrant and fresh, as she is constantly experimenting with the latest vintage find that she has acquired. What I love about her style is that there are no boundaries to the eclectic and creative looks’ that she puts together. Whether we are going for brunch, or out for drinks at a classy speakeasy, Mia is always showcasing her personality through chic, original, attire with an added vintage flare!

Mia’s Style Philosophy

“It’s all about contrast! I love to pair pieces that wouldn’t traditionally go together. I generally try to have one piece that stands out and can maybe spark a conversation, paired with something that shouldn’t really go with it, and just make it work!”

Something Mia plays around with a lot is masculine vs feminine looks. She is inspired by menswear and will typically pair something with a more masculine shape with something very feminine and girly.

One thing that I love about Mia’s style is her ability to take a piece, experiment with it and find 100 creative ways to wear it, pairing it with different lengths, color combos and accessories. Her wardrobe is a complete collection of signature, one-of-a-kind pieces that she has acquired throughout her travels, from vintage shops, high-end retail stores and local boutiques.

“Generally when I find a piece I love, I will wear it till I am either extremely sick of it, or I find a new piece that I am inspired by.”

Minimalism is Mia’s current jewelry standard. Very simple chains and studs are all she uses to complete a look. Her current obsession is rings, as her fingers are covered with numerous dainty to larger chunky bands.

Mia’s Style Inspiration

“I find my style inspiration mainly through Instagram, as well as just creeping people’s street style. I love to people watch, especially when I travel and I usually incorporate something from every place I go into my current style. Right now, I am living in Copenhagen and everyone here wears a lot of black and grey, so I find myself stepping away from colour more and more.”

Artsy to Local Grunge

This is a great look for a night when you are attending multiple events, each with a bit of a different dress code! It’s girly yet relaxed, demonstrating Mia’s love for opposition. You would typically see Mia wearing this outfit at a gallery opening and then later at a concert.

“With the hat I was looking for something that had a little more structure + character to it than the classic floppy felt hat. This hat from Anthropologie caught my eye immediately. It feels like something I might steal from an especially stylish boyfriend, sort of menswear-inspired, with the beautiful ribbon making it more feminine. 

This original vintage Levis vest was a fantastic find. I found it perusing a tiny vintage store in Victoria a few years ago. The best part – the sleeves were ripped off by its previous owner, giving it so much more depth and character than a regular Levis vest.  

I paired the vest with a Wilfred Free, pale purple baby doll dress to create that contrast and make the look more feminine.

These black pointy, leather boots are one of those accessories that can complete just about any look and are one of my favorite accessories right now. I found them at Fond Vintage Boutique right here in Calgary.”

Casual Before 3pm

Juxtaposing elements of different lengths, textures, patterns and shapes are what make this look unique – the perfect combination of casual + chic street style. Each piece is inherently different, but layered together they compliment each other, making each piece stand out. This is the perfect look for a coffee date or a lunchtime catch-up with friends.

“The hat was simple, I picked it up from H&M, in the men’s department of course.

The jeans are a pair of Levis Originals that I picked up on a recent trip to Vancouver. I had been searching for the perfect pair of 80’s/90’s Levis for years, so I snatched these up when I saw them at an adorable vintage shop hidden within Gastown. Unfortunately they are a little bit big, but nothing a belt can’t fix. This lavender belt is a classic staple from American apparel.

Impractical (for Calgary) is the word that best describes this coat, but I love it! I found it at Anthropology and originally bought it to wear in Vancouver in the fall. However, it has become one of the staples in my wardrobe and I will wear it in any season, regardless of the temperature.

Both of these are bold pieces, so I paired them with a rose colored, classic Wilfred long-sleeve crop-top that balances out this look.

These are beautiful flats – I love the pattern! They add character and stand out against the lighter pastel colors in this look. The best part about them, they were $20 at Forever 21!”

Girls Night Out!

Everyone needs that one outfit that fully embodies their personal style and makes them feel beautiful and confident! This edgy yet stylish look is one of Mia’s favorites, and not to mention versatile, working for dive bar drinks or classy cocktails.

“This classic knit was a great score from Banana Republic on a summer trip to Portland. The high neckline makes it incredibly versatile and can be easily dressed up or down. The loose knit texture makes it great for summer or winter and is an easy travel piece because it doesn’t wrinkle.

These are a pair of basic black, high-wasted jeans from Urban Outfitters that I ripped myself. It started off as an accident and I liked the look so I did it on the other side. Also beats paying the $200 for Rag & Bone’s ripped jeans!

This 50’s silk scarf is near and dear to me, as it is from my Grandma’s beautiful scarf collection. The intricate and detailed pattern is beautiful against a neutral palette and easily dresses up a look at a moments notice.

Together the scarf and the knit top create a more dressed up look. The ripped jeans take the outfit down a notch, making it more interesting and bar appropriate, rather than high-tea attire – again contrasting between shapes and textures!  

Impractical seems to be a trend in my style, but it makes looks’ more interesting – so I always commit! These ridiculously high heels are a pair of never-worn Jeffry Campbell’s from a thrift store in Portland.”

Tailored Dinnertime Chic

Layered with a bold standout skirt, this outfit is a fresh way to do dinner! The busy, bright pattern on the skirt, layered with a delicate lace ballerina long sleeve, makes for a scene-stealing look.

“The top is a Free People that has survived many closet deep-cleans. I love it mainly because of the delicate lace and the crisscross details in the back. It is the perfect top to pair with a brightly patterned or textured bottom.

I was attracted to the big, bold, overpowering pattern on this skirt in a vintage boutique in Chilliwack. Originally it belonged to the owner of the shop and was a beach cover up she had purchased in Hawaii, some years before I stumbled upon it. I folded down the top and secured it with the drawstring to create a bold and structured maxi skirt.”

xoxo Kristy

Photographed by: Kristy Archibald

Styled by: Mia Loiselle

ParkShow – Edmonton

Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture (PARK), is a non-for-profit organization that I discovered a couple of years ago. They work to open up creative communities, raise awareness and help promote local artists and fashion designers in Calgary, Edmonton & Saskatoon – so naturally I was immediately interested! Bright lights, amazing art work and stunning style, they go all out when it comes to their fashion shows and the experience of the shows themselves is a spectacle.

Since discovering PARK I have volunteered and attended numerous shows, watching the organization grow immensely throughout the years. I recently attended PARKShow in Edmonton at the empty Target location in West Edmonton Mall. The PARK team did an amazing job of transforming this empty area into a luxurious space, which made for a beautiful event. Here are just a few of my favourite designers that walked in this show:

Kazz Clothing 

The best part about this line created by Canadian designer, Ashley Kasdorf was it’s versatility. Each piece is a fundamental staple, with the ability to go from day to night with the addition of a simple pair of heels or leather jacket. The line consists of a selection of dresses and skirts that are comfy, practicable and modern, yet perfect for those days when you’re running 20 minutes late for work and need to look polished + put together – my life!

 

Anneka Forbes

A handmade line entirely of outwear, designed and created right here in Calgary by Anneka Forbes herself. The jackets in her line are the perfect addition to any outfit, whether it be for a lunch date or a night on the town. I had the pleasure of not only seeing her beautiful jackets hit the runway, but I got a chance to chat to Anneka and even try on one of her luxury jackets. Speaking with her I learned a little bit about the road that brought her to where she is today and what it takes to create such an intricate line. Her passion and energy for what she does is demonstrated through the details in each garment that she creates – by hand! I tried on the Shearling Collar Bomber Jacket, made with 100% Lamb Suede and Shearling – the fit was absolutely unreal.

Barclay Clothing 

One thing that will never go out of style is a classic blazer! This chic London inspired brand, created by Margaret Barclay consists of stunning, versatile jackets that are made to go from a day at the office to a night of drinks & cocktails. This is a timeless investment piece that I think every girl in Calgary should own with our city being such a corporate culture. I can’t wait to invest in one of these pieces for myself!

Workhall 

Workhall is a fantastic brand that I grow to love more each time I see them on the runway. Each garment in this line is creatively designed and minimalistic, hugging the natural curves of each model and made to flatter any body type. This line accentuates a woman’s natural beauty and each piece looks good simply on it’s own, without too many accessories. This brand is not only local, but socially conscious as they heavily promote their “1 for 1 program.” The slogan for the program reads:

For every one garment you purchase we’re sending one to your local women’s shelter.” 

Beautiful clothing supporting a great cause, you cant get much better than that!

xoxo Kristy

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