Tag Archives: collar necklace


Amsterdam Fashion Week – Day Two: Streetstyle

Today, I headed to Amsterdam Fashion Week.  Unfortunately, I came to early to catch Grazia Magazine’s show by Elise Kim, but I met a few people there and snapped some pictures of fashionable attendees.

I could not get over this Givenchy handbag! It had beautiful structure and contrasting details. I could only dream about owning a showpiece like this!

One trend that popped up quite a bit was the colour orange. Tangerine tango is the it-colour of 2012, according to Pantone, and it is without a doubt, the Netherlands’ signature hue. The colour popped up on accessories, from boots to scarves.

There was only a light drizzle today, but this umbrella is more about drama than functionality. His sunglasses were unlike anything I’ve seen before, and he’s got layering down pat. I’m starting to learn from Dutch people, layering is essential in this dampness!

This model-off-duty caught my eye. Very casual chic, and she’s brave to wear nylons in this cold, wet weather.

I’m in love with her rose gold collar necklace… and her simple, black Prada bag.

People in the Netherlands dress pretty different than what I’ve seen in North America. Nothing is begging for attention, and a high-quality designer handbag is the centrepiece of any outfit. I guess I’m used to seeing Torontonians decked out in crazy attire (myself included), gasping for attention when the red carpets roll out for Fashion Week. There’s a simplistic, nordic refinement to everyone’s look here.

Tomorrow, I’ll watch the Green Fashion Competition, I’m so excited to see Dutch fashion in action, so check back for more AFW coverage soon!


Profile: Darlene Martin

Figure skating and jewelry have a lot in common.  They can both be elegant, breathtaking and shining.  For Darlene Martin, she believes that her premiere line of jewelry, The Shine Collection, brings out those qualities.  While she may not take inspiration directly from her previous career as a figure skating coach, this mother and entrepreneur is trying to balance creativity and brand success, which can be as difficult as landing a quad combo.

Martin left her 17 year career as a figure skating coach to found her own line of jewelry, and have flexibility to spend more time with her family.  She received some advice from Arlene Dickinson (of CBC’s Dragons’ Den), who told her to focus on one thing 100%.  Martin enrolled at the Queen’s School of Business Executive Development Centre, which she describes as a pivotal experience.  Her time in school made her focus on launching her signature line and The Shine Collection.

The line itself is comprised of Japanese and Czech glass, sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, and semi-precious stones.  But Martin’s attention to quality and lust for high-end materials is present in the pieces.  “It took me over six months to source the semi-precious components of the collection.  It took me that long to find the quality that I was after,” says Martin.

The Shine Collection consists of eight necklaces, eight bracelets, and eight pairs of earrings will soon be added to the lineup.  The number eight is significant in figure skating and present in her designs as well, since a few of her necklaces feature eight strands of beads. Martin adds, “Figure skating is all about presentation and intricacy and layering of elements and I think that that’s in my jewelry.”

Presentation is an important aspect of her brand, and customer service is as important as well. Soon to be launched, the gifting section on the online shop will provide customers with gift suggestions, gift wrapping, and note card services.  Martin’s goal is to make shopping on her site similar to the experience in a luxury department store.  There will even be a service to prompt a customer to buy a gift for that special someone before a birthday or anniversary comes up.  This service is appropriate considering Martin’s main clients are men buying gifts.

But when you buy a gift for someone this Valentine’s Day, a gift will be given to charity as well.  Darlene Martin will be donating 10 per cent of the proceeds to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation.  Martin says that giving back is important to her personally, and to her brand.  She is working on teaming up with a few other charities in the future as well.

Fashion might be focused on the future, but Martin believes her products are timeless, “Although my jewelry will be considered fashion, I don’t ever think it will be considered fashion forward.  It will maintain an organic but deliberate elegance to it.  It will never be trendy.”

Right now, Martin is focusing on creating brand awareness, in order to continue establishing her line as an iconic luxury brand.

Martin adds, “When you work for yourself, or you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you tend to work very long hours. And it is difficult to juggle family and work, I think for anybody. But you take on these kinds of projects with the thought that it will eventually get to the point where you’re providing for your family and doing something you love.”

Images courtesy of Darlene Martin. Read this article on the Women’s Post.

All that Glimmers is Gold – My Christmas Wishlist

Every year, I draw up a wishlist for Christmas, and eagerly wait for Christmas to arrive.  Since I’m Russian, I have to wait until January 7th to see what Santa has in store. But If you’re still looking for a gift for that special someone, here are some of my picks…       They’re golden.

The Cambridge Satchel is a sartorial staple for any fashionista.  All summer long, bright and fluorescent school bags swung off the shoulders of fashion’s elite. Made in England out of durable leather, these bags will be cherished for years.  While I love my deep purple satchel, but this Gold Metallic Satchel from Asos stands out from the [back]pack.

My second must-have item is an oversized gold watch from Michael Kors.  My gold watch broke recently, and I’m looking for a replacement, and this one came onto Shopbop just in time!  I love the classic white face, as well as the roman numerals.  While I love the rosegold and espresso-coloured watches in the new collection, a classic gold watch is still a thoughtful gift that will be appreciated when I make it in to work on time!

Ditch the ugly Christmas sweater and don this gold-lame sweater from Zara. Metallic knits are very trendy right now, and it would look great paired with jeans or a flowy maxi skirt.  Why not give one to grandma too? She’s always complaining about being cold!

Another accessory I can’t stop thinking about are collar necklaces.  Add some oomph to a plain button-down or wear it against bare skin and an LBD for a glamourous look.  This collar necklace from Dannijo is made of oxidized brass, and each piece is handmade in New York City.  I love the feminine design of this collar necklace, accentuated by the chainmail bow.  But what seals the deal for me is its name – the Stella.

I think the necklace would look darling on my cat, who shares the necklace’s namesake.

A young woman’s Christmas wishlist wouldn’t be complete without a dainty bauble wrapped in a light turquoise box.  This year, my wishes are locked in.  The Tiffany Locks emblem lock pendant has a vintage, classic feel, adorned with four round diamonds and the classic Tiffany & Co. engraving.  I’m not one for overpriced, overhyped precious metals, but certain pieces will always be timeless.

So much for silver belles, I’m a golden girl.