Thursday, 29 September 2011

Mary Queen of Shops

Hands up if you've seen this show! Mary Queen of Shops is a BBC2 program (so it should air on BBC America/ has aired on BBC Canada) starring retail guru Mary Portas as a savior to failing shops all over the UK. Mary started out just doing window displays in a shop called Harrods, and she now has a fashion marketing company called Yellowdoor, travels the world as a famous and successful retail consultant, has a television show (well, two. Mary Queen of Frocks airing next month of Channel 4. edit:// there's also Secret Shopper, so lets just say that Mary has a shit ton of shows), a book, as of August has her own STORE, and is currently touring with her shoe collection from UK brand Clarks Shoes. Jeeze, anything this woman can't do? If you are aware of her show, you know that Mary is on a mission to pump some much needed life back into the British high street ("With consumer confidence weakening for the third straight month in August, economists caution that retail sales will continue to wane in coming months." via Wall Street Journal), and she's giving it her all.
Mary's own line is on the 3rd floor of House of Fraser on Oxford street, and has a niche audience of women around their 40's to cater  to the disappearing venues for older women to shop for classic pieces at affordable prices and in a wonderful setting (from the sounds of it, its going to be closer to a lifestyle shop then a clothing store. Everything from housewares to wine will be available for purchase. I highly recommend checking out the telegraph article linked below for the details and her vision.)

Alright alright, enough of the talky talky, here are some pics of her first collection. Do you think she hit the nail on the head?

And now Mary's Autumn/Winter 2011 Clarks shoe collaboration!

nice to thick sturdy heel-- will be more comfortable then a thinner heel and will keep you steady on ice and other A/W weather surprises.
colour blocking is a huge trend.
gorgeous colour, loving the jewel tones. haha i think my nails are that colour right now actually.
texture completely ruined these for me, and wedged booties are my favourites. le sigh
relatively low and thick heel, tiny bit of a platform. everyday glam for the practical woman.
oh that colour again, and doesn't that fabric just scream autumn. 
these are wonderful, I'd love them for myself.

So, do you guys think its all age appropriate? Is this step in the right direction for the high street? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
I'll leave you guys with some rules from Mary making getting dressed in the morning easy as pie. (via telegraph)
1) Avoid dressing like a teenager; 2) Edit your trends; 3) Work with your proportions; 4) Keep it low maintenance; 5) Don't buy crap


All photos from the Mary Portas facebook page:
Todays Wall Street Journal article on the British high street's financial woes here:

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Fashion tag

Hey guys, it's Raghda. We're working on some great posts here at Styleground, but until those are up, I'll leave a little tag here. I saw this one on and decided to give it a whirl.
Also I TAG ALL OF YOU, you lovely readers, you! Link yours in the comments, I'd love to check 'em out.

What is your favourite fashion accessory?
Headbands. The rare day I'm not wearing a headband, it's because I'm wearing a hat. Sometimes I'm wearing a headband under my hat because I plan on taking it off indoors, lol. They help keep your hair in place, flyaways are minimal and bangs stay pretty neat. I usually don't wear many accessories, but I'd like to think that  headbands are an extremely easy way to take an outfit from ..meh... to cuuuuute.

Who's your fashion role model? (In real life and YouTube/Blogging)
I don't have fashion role models, but Trish (Britpopprincess) and Shirley (
meek~n~mild) have become my fashion conscious as of late.

What do you always carry with you?
Pocket mirror. It's not about vanity it's just a sort of safety blanket. Especially back when I had braces, I was always afraid that I had something caught in the brackets.

What would you describe your style as?
God that's difficult, I don't know if I can. How about I leave that to you guys :P

Favourite: jeans, sunglasses or heels?
Jeans. Dress them up/dress them down and you could wear 'em all year round. /impromptu poem

What inspired you to blog about fashion?
Watching my favourite bloggers on youtube, and wanting an outlet to share my own opinions.

What is your favourite fashion store/shop?
H&M is the love of my life.

What is your favourite fabric in clothing?
Cashmere and wool. Though since wool can sometimes be uncomfortable, usually only if its in the form of an accessory or outerwear.

Who is your favourite designer?
Viktor & Rolf, their stuff is always imaginative, beautiful and fun.

Who/what inspires your style?
People who love fashion inspire my style. People who don't take it too seriously, people who mix weird patterns and wear that odd pair of shades and that really bright shade of lipstick and those completely inappropriate shoes. People who have fun with fashion inspire my style and I dress for them as much as I dress for myself.

What would you choose to do - buy something in high quality or make it yourself if you could?
Ooh, that's a toughie. I really really dislike sewing, I also really dislike dropping a load of cash on one item. I'm not one to buy something just because of a name brand, but if it's extremely well made not a simple diy and is an investment (not something I can only wear for one season), I'd buy the high quality item. 

I'd like to tag:

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Clothing Show

Hey, it's Raghda! So starting today and continuing throughout the weekend in Toronto is The Clothing Show! As the website states, "Celebrating its 34th year, The Clothing Show has been a draw for local Toronto shoppers for generations. For those in search of independent, original and unusual designs, it has become a seasonal resource. Runway fashion shows add to the mix.". It's a great event that fills your day with vintage shopping, one of a kind finds, and fashion shows, all while supporting independent designers and your local industry.

Personally, my favourite way to approach any fashion event for the first time is to volunteer for it. This way when you actually attend it, you'll know all the ins-and-outs. So a few years ago I had my first encounter with The Clothing Show. I was a general volunteer that ended up doing everything from ticket handling to working at the fashion show in one weekend. When the event came around again, I promptly volunteered for specifically the fashion show. Working in a fashion show is a rush that I cannot even begin to describe. Maybe it's feeding into the part of me that loved stage crew in high school, or maybe just the part that enjoys the fact that the show cannot go smoothly without your 100%. Anyways, ego aside, let me tell you about the event this past spring when I attended solely as a consumer.

Once you pay your $10 (unless you're a smart cookie that paid the $8 online), you're greeted with a tote usually filled with information and samples (though they ran out when we arrived), your hand is stamped, and you're off! It's still great for "window" shopping if you're not set on spending money, and when you're ready to rest your feet, you can grab a seat for the multiple fashion shows scheduled throughout the day. That day in particular there was a vendor selling vintage hats and accessories that I kept returning to. Some of the hats were a bit extravagant, in the style of big old church hats, sun hats and pillbox hats with attached veils, but the luggage really caught my eye. One case in particular, actually. It was powder blue with golden yellow stitching and key locks on either side of the latches. The inside was a beautiful powder pink with a mirror on the inside lid and quilted stitching pattern in the bottom with pouches on the side. It was only around $20, it wasn't even a question, it was mine. I'd like to believe that it belonged to a fashion savvy woman in the 60's who flew Pan Am frequently (the great thing about vintage pieces is that you can dream up story lines of previous owners). But I digress..Once I purchased the case, I continued "window" shopping, only to be stopped by another vendor who stated that she and her friend bought cases from the same woman to store their makeup. It was obviously a popular item at such a great deal and the vendor was almost sold out within the day! This is the sort of reason you go to The Clothing Show. Currently that case sits on my bookcase holds my illustration supplies, it's easily the cutest thing in my room.

On previous trips to the clothing show, I've purchased a pair of striped high waisted Cheap Monday skinny jeans, a bunch of vintage stuff (I will write a post on vintage items soon!), even a great headband for my high school prom oh so many years ago. :P

So get out there and find something adorable to tide you over until the next show! For more information, check out the site


Tip: If you arrive on the last day, sometimes vendors will give you amazing deals because they dont want to haul a ton of merchandise back. ;)

It's Raining Rings!

On the same day of our MAC private party I had arrived early to exchange a ring I bought from Aldo Accessories. Now let me start from the beginning. I love rings! I don't know why or how or when or whatever but rings has always been my favourite out of all the forms of jewelry and adornment invented. There are so many different kinds out there, it's just as amazing as shoes. Except rings are more portable :D

Not all of it but some of my favourites.
I don't really have a lot of rings, at least compare to many of the other beauty bloggers out there. But I'm proud of these babies.

These are what I had purchased not too long ago and the two on the left are from the day of the MAC private party. I tend to veer towards big or oddly shaped rings. I've also been into the diamond look. Rich, sparkly looking but FAKE diamonds :D Who says you need a man to put a ring on it? Buy it yourself, is what I like to say... when I have money to buy it with  -_-;

If you  have any knowledge on where I can get more wondrous rings to add to my small collection, please, do let me know.


Thursday, 22 September 2011

MAC Cosmetics Fall Collection Private Showing

On Sept 20th, we were able to attend a private showing of MAC Cosmetics' new fall collection before it was open to the public. It was quite exciting for my first MAC private party. I’ve seen it on youtube and I have read blogs about it but never witnessed one first hand. 

When I first saw the store, the glass doors were closed and a black rope extended from a guarded entrance. There wasn’t really a line but inside the store was already quite crowded. Not as crowded as what I thought it would be but pretty close to what I expected. Raghda and I lined up and a woman with a clipboard asked for our name. Raghda gave hers and we entered. We were offered food by these male waiters, who clearly looked like hired models, (I took none since I wasn’t hungry at the time) and a piece of paper and pen to record our purchases. We were told that once we checked off what we wanted to purchase, we should talk to MAC worker to get it for us. Everything seemed well organized and I was impressed.

I had no idea what I was supposed to do. I started to walk around and noticed there was a female model with some body art in a skin toned bikini, but I couldn’t tell which collection she was modeling for. From what I remember, there were three collections presented in the private party: Posh Paradise, Styledriven and the Fall Collection. The Posh Paradise (PP) collection seemed like it was out before so it wasn’t the main attraction of the private party. I say this because I noticed on the website, the PP collection was already there while the Fall collection wasn’t there yet. Styledriven was the same as the PP collection where it was already presented on the website, and it is becoming a permanent line.

The Fall collection was quite interesting. The photos that advertised the collection was a bit odd. Not really Fall oriented and the makeup looks on the models were really “clown” like and bright. The colours varied from light pink to neon orange to dark purple and back to traffic light yellow. At first, I felt that the collection didn’t fit the fall season. I couldn’t imagine those bright lipsticks, eyeshadows, and multi use liners on people in the fall where it's mostly cold with dying leaves on the floor! .... But I stepped out of that sad little box. Purple would be very compatible in fall yet i tend to like purple all year round. I always thought orange was a spring/summer look but it works with the changing colours of the leaves. Reds and pinks work all year round too depending on the shade and the person.

I mainly focused on the lip-wear of the collection, probably because I had no intention of purchasing eyeshadows since I already had too many. I ended up buying a Pro Longwear Lipstick in Soft Sell that was part of the Styledriven collection (which is going to be permanent according to the lady with the two-toned purple lipstick in the store) and a Pro Longwear lipliner in Staunchly Stylish. 

Left is Soft Sell and right is Staunchly Stylish. Looks darker in the pic compared to what you'll see in person. Glides on  smoothly.
The colour is close to a dirty nude colour, perfect for my skin tone but there isn't much difference between the colour of the lipstick and the colour of my lips. I find that it just even the colour out. I also had been planning on getting a long wear lipstick from somewhere but I didn't plan for it to be so toned down. My lipstick collection consists of bright colours and light colours, nothing toned down as this (actually I lied, I have one lipstick this toned down). I quite like what I purchased but I'm planning on going back to get an orange lipstick and maybe that blue liner.

On the topic of what I wore... I did not take a picture of that. Sorry. I was lazy and forgot. I could describe it to you but that would be boring no? Well, either way, I hope you enjoy the new Fall collection when you get your hands on it and let us know what you think about it. Do you like the colours? What about the make up looks? Let us know what you think.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

MAC Fall Collections Event!

Hey, its Raghda! So last night Mila and I headed over to the MAC fall collection event, there were drinks, food, and loads of wonderful makeup. This being our first MAC event, I didn't quite know what to expect. Would part of the store still be open for business? Did we have to RSVP because there was a guest list, or did they just want to know how many people they should expect? What should I wear!? Well it turned out that they devoted the entire store to the event, there was a fancy guest list/bouncer system at work, and I'll answer that last question in a bit.

Once we entered, we were met with a list of the 3 collections (posh paradise, styledriven and the fall collection) and all of the new items which spanned from brushes to bronzer. When we found something we wanted to purchase, we'd take note of it on the list. The collection that stood out the most for me was the fall collection. It was broken up into 3 groups, the last of which were full of bright colours like creamy cyan eyeliner and neon orange lipstick. The middle was full of a lot of dark and pale neutrals, and the first was nothing to write home about. That night I was set on purchasing a lipstick, and definitely something to stand out from my collection of pinks and reds, and I found it! It was from the bright colours of the fall collection... *drumroll*..Violetta! I tried it on in the store and fell in love..only one problem, where would I possibly wear it?! It's an amplified shade and is shimmery and metallic but all in such a powerful purple. It's definitely not everyday wear, but I kept it on throughout most of the event thinking about it. I finally decided to just get the darn thing, I mean I did want to get something different that night after all. On our way home, I dabbed Violetta over top some toned down lipstick, just in the centre of my lips and it gave the shade a bit of a pop while allowing it to be still very wearable. yay!

And now back to the question from the beginning, what did I wear? Well I was mulling this over for about a week. I knew I wanted to wear a dress, black tights, and some form of outerwear since its getting cooler at night. For a while I was set on a dark blue dress with white polka dots with a navy babydoll coat, but at the last minute I completely changed my mind. Don't you just hate when that happens? I ended up grabbing my sister's Forever 21 dress and paired it with a simple black boyfriend blazer from Dynamite. Added Urban outfitters black tights, favourite black bowler hat via H&M, tan satchel from Pull & Bear, and an old pair of pointed toe flats. On my nails I have H&M's purple with a topcoat of Traffic Stopper Copper from Sephora by OPI. 

**On another note, I've been drawn to purple a lot lately. An old fashion teacher of mine once said that when you see a lot of purple in fashion, it means trends will see a big change. Keep your eyes peeled!

Here's MAC Amplified Violetta in all it's glory, sorry about the lighting


Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Introduction #2

Hi! It's Mila here, reporting for duty. We've been planning on creating this blog for a while so it's exciting to see it in action, no? As Raghda stated before, we are by no means experts and if anything seems to offend you or you have a different opinion on something, please do send us a word or two (hopefully polite words, I might add). Whatever we write about is based on our personal experiences and our tastes in style.

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy and stick with us. I'll warn you before hand, grammar is not my favourite thing in the world and it's not really the first thing you worry about when writing a blog about beauty so if ya'll see typos or mistakes just forget them... especially in the blogs written by moi. I tend to type without looking at what I'm writing, if that's even possible, but I'm staring at the screen, I swear I am. So please don't mind it.

Other than that, I think that's all. Updates from either of us varies but since I'm in school full-time and working part-time there's no guarantee there'll be a blog popping up on a regular bases. Once again, enjoy and have fun!



Hello Internet, it's Raghda! With this blog, my best friend Mila and I will be embarking on a journey of making fashion and beauty fun and accessible. We hope that we can help steer some of you in the right direction, inspire you to try new things and not take it too seriously. Neither of us are professionals, so this blog will also document the growth in our own knowledge.

I have been interested in the fashion industry for years, so I will be mainly contributing to the fashion side of this blog, as Mila runs the beauty/cosmetics side. Of course there will be moments where we switch it up because we do each lovingly embrace both.  :)

This blog is based in Toronto, Canada. We will attend events that we feel stick in line with the direction of this blog, and we hope that you enjoy it!

The next major post should be covering MAC's autumn 2011 collection and event.