So how did you spend the last daze of summer and the first touch of Autumn crispiness? It’s almost sweater weather, Halloween stuff is in the stores, and people are ready to bunker down and love the one they are with.

While it would have been fantastically magical to dance naked around a bonfire with a bunch of Pagans and howl at the moon, I did something a little different this year.

The last day of summer I spent cruising in my Dad’s boat, which makes me feel like a dog with his head sticking out the window. I always want to yell “I’m the king of the world!” The wind rushing through my hair and the sun kissing my flesh is absolute exhilaration. Drinking some cold beers and enjoying life on a boat bitch. The best way to end the summer. Ever.

cat and dad

Now to bring in the fall. First of all I woke up and was made aware that it was Bisexual Visibility Day. I never know where I fall in the sexuality spectrum, I’m probably more pansexual than bisexual to be honest, it’s all so fluid and ever changing.

I remember being in the university LGBTA and the “B” was always scrutinized and torn down. As though liking both sexes was somehow unacceptable. Choose one, don’t be a greedy slut.

I always thought it was strange how much of a disconnect there was between each letter. The Bs and the Ts definitely have a much different experience than the Ls and Gs. But enough on that for now, that can be its own blog.

So then I triked to work and after went on a short road trip to Rochester to see the incredible band Alt J. Hands down my current favorite Pandora station, I even own most of their stuff on vinyl. The whole ride down we listened to Crazy Sexy Cool by TLC.

I picked up the CD for only $1 the day before at a thrift store. This album was my first cassette tape that I picked out myself in 1995. I was 9. These songs are much more provocative than a 9 year old should be into, but I turned out alright.

The song Waterfalls was my all time favorite. It has so much more real meaning to me now that I am an adult and I have people in my life that live with a positive HIV status.

Things have changed so much in the 20 years since this album came out. Left Eye is now hanging with Biggie and Tupac in the sky. I remember taping TLC videos and clips off of MTV. I accidentally taped over my first communion. My mom was pissed! I’d love to watch that shit now. It would be super funny projected during a punk show.

On to Alt J. Fuck yes! So incredible! It was almost a religious experience, very hipster Beatles with pretty ambiance. Felt almost like the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, suuuper eerie. Worth every penny of the $39.50 plus fees (when did concerts get so expensive?).

The lights were trippy, I had almost wished I was on drugs but didn’t feel like being utterly irresponsible. The crowd was interesting. Lots of extremely tall guys with extremely short girlfriends. There was one couple in front of me and the guy got on his friggen knees and was as tall as her.

Alt J Alt J 2

It was pretty adorable actually. I photo bombed their Instagram selfies. I wonder how many unrealized photo bombs I was in last night? It was a sea of phone cameras trying to capture the moment.

All I saw for a while was a giant beefy bro douche spilling his tiny cup of Labatt Blue Light all over the damn place or the old guy doing some sort of drunken interpretive sign language dance to each song. Put your freakishly long arms down sir!

security guardSecurity was in full force. One puff and out. The smoke didn’t even get a chance to rise from their lips. Busted people for weed instantly. Not worth it.

People must have had joints up their asses because every pocket of my fanny pack was ransacked. There was a constant caterpillar of glowing security shirts weaving through the crowd accusingly flashing us all in the face with way too bright flashlights.

One woman looked like the sassy black lady cop on Reno 911! She was all fun and games when checking my ID earlier and then total game face bull dog as soon as the lights were out. They ran a tight ship. This is why we can’t have nice things.

All and all I had a great time. Felt like the worlds youngest old lady when I wanted to drive home after the show though.

I was feeling slightly bummed. Tis the season for cuddly wonderfulness and Netflix. Everyone seems to couple off and I’m still wishing for You specifically at 11:11, pulling pop can tabs, asking the magic 8 ball and tarot cards over and over again, and getting “he loves me not” with each daisy petal.

I ended up raging on, getting slightly brown out drunk, and feeling pretty darn irresistible. I wrote the majority of this blog in my car while smoking a corn cob pipe outside of the bar.

Happily ended my first day of fall having a platonic slumber party with a beautiful man I’ve known since Myspace. We watched these really awful/wonderful videos of porn bloopers. The worst. 🙂

Summer, go home, you are drunk. Bye Felicia. I’m ready for the fall of summer sadness into the autumn of beauty and possibility. Great music, killer adventures, and cute humans. Life is great.

So apparently, these days, the typical “mom” look of 2002 is back again. You know the type, people – just think sitcoms like Will and Grace or the lower budget, bad laugh-track types with the lead female role acting overly cute and awkward with exaggerated hand gestures and flippy hairstyles with streaks and butterfly clips (remember those?).

Fall 2013 has been so confusing in terms of what’s been hot and what’s been not. It seems to me that local magazines will say whatever they want to say about what’s currently “in” and “out”, but I found that the best discoveries I’ve made were by observing people around the city. And the conclusion? Raid your mom’s closet, ladies.

Mom jeans (a.k.a. bootcut) rolled up at the ankles, plain cotton t shirts, tanks, whatever – (basics), Kimonos, dust-sweepers, and loose, long, button-less cardigans. I remember wearing a similar outfit last winter to a family function and my sister wrinkling her nose and turning up an eyebrow at me sneering, “that’s a little too 2002, don’t you think?”

Not going to say “I told you so,” but I was right about Kimonos, wasn’t I?

Something I was NEVER expecting, however, was the heeled ankle boot craze. A couple of weeks ago, I felt so confused and stubborn about the fate of shoe fashion, that I actually went out and bought a pair of leather wedge ankle boots that would have been fine in 2010 – but when I took them home, they looked like they belonged on Minnie Mouse’s feet. Seriously. All I needed to complete the look was a garish pair of white gloves and a ridiculous red polka-dotted dress.

I had a difficult time accepting the heeled look, even though the preferred heel is nothing extreme, I just kept thinking back to this specific pair of ankle boots my mom has in her closet and wears religiously around the Fall. I was never crazy about those shoes, but now when I think of them, they seem kind of cool. I actually want to borrow them next time I visit home. This thought scares me a little.

IMAG0008-1I’ve come to realize, though, that it’s all about pairing. After I came to my senses (and was more than halfway done with my antibiotics, curing both my fever and temporary delusion) I returned the ugly, out of date shoes and used the refunded cash to update my look a little. It took some research and hunting, but I ended finding these reasonably priced gems at Spring. In my opinion, the sister store to Aldo and Little Burgundy offered an impressive selection of the new style at the most realistic prices. My choice was the ideal ankle boot that I had made peace with in my mind.

After accompanying other friends to find their ideal ankle boot, I had constructed these guidelines to consider:

1. Imagine the ideal outfits you would want to wear your ankle boots with. Picture accessories, hairstyles, and general attitude as well. What kind of vibe or silhouette are you aiming to create?

2. Black, brown, greyish green, burgundy. What’s your flavour? (I personally chose black because I figured it would go with most of my eclectic choices, and I believe that black shoes always make my legs look longer when paired with tights and mini skirts.)

3. Lace up or side zipper?

4. Texture is very important! Not only because we live in a city with harsh climate, but because you’re going to be stuck with these shoes. Due to the economic crisis (again.) we should all consider a level of frugality when adding a new trend to our wardrobes. Can you make peace with the fact that studs and spikes may be tacky by next fall and you won’t ever want to see them again? In my opinion, go for something classic and timeless, like leather or suede.

2013-10-06_14-22-22-15. Watch out for that thick, elastic-looking material. It makes your shoes look cheap.

6. Make sure they’re comfortable! If they ain’t comfy, they ain’t worth it – but remember, they will break in beautifully after a week of wearing them. New boots tend to pinch!

That being said, I love my new ankle boots. After giving the trend the real college try, I’ve come to accept the mom look that goes along with it. It just… works. It’s also really comfy, low maintenance, modest, and conceals those extra added pounds that don’t want to be advertised. Perfect for the upcoming holidays!! 
Happy shopping!

It’s all in the family and all about fun and quirky fashion at Le Caniche Noir. The Montreal born online boutique that has been buzzing on peoples’ newsfeeds is all about “not taking yourself too seriously” but exploring the “elegance, independence and intelligence” of the modern woman.

coraltoplaceWhen I met with Dilara Dzafic, the birth mother to the brand, I knew right away that I could relate to her style. I absolutely loved her outfit. The Eastern European/Middle Eastern Poodle was rocking this moderately 80s inspired Power Look with a twist: a beautiful white ruffled cropped sleeve top that was paired with flared trousers I have always wished I had enough guts to pull off, and those mid 90s, slightly pointy toed, classic black heels that looked just like the kind Corporate Barbie would wear. Dilara’s butter blonde hair was chopped and cropped into a modern pixie cut and she sported gorgeous, black cat eye glasses. She exuded non threatening, natural glamour. “Fashion is my escape! I’ve been doing it forever.”

Bicontinental Dilara, who has a background in marketing, commutes between Germany and Montreal, and has worked for brands such as L’Oreal and Nivea, launched the business in 2007 after completing her MBA… and it was an instant hit!

“We would have photoshoots to market the clothes, and they would sell out before we could even post them on the site!” chuckled the site’s marketing manager and brother, Dzaner. Thankfully, the Dzafics don’t have to worry about that anymore, as they have a warehouse in Montreal and everything on their site is ready to order. Dilara designs the “first draft” of many of the pieces, others are bought in straight from Europe.

Though Le Caniche Noir is proud to be a Canadian brand and is situated in Montreal (plus offers same day deliveries, no customs shipping within Canada, and free returns), their apparel doesn’t only cater to a North American consumer audience. With influences that trace back to the founders’ roots, their sales skyrocket in other continents and their international style is apparent with concepts that wouldn’t necessarily be overly marketed in North America.

“European style is sleek and simple, but very powerful,” dishes Dilara, “the point of our clothes is to empower women, especially those behind the work force. There are a lot of powerful women out there who want to look classy and feminine but fun business casual attire is more difficult to find.”

At the end of the day, Le Caniche Noir’s ultimate objective is to inspire the lady behind the desk to think outside the box when dressing for success. They want their ladies to look good, feel good and be original!

blackpearldressTheir website is super comprehensive and helpful, dividing their apparel into sub categories that relate to the browser’s mood. Femme Fatale, Weekend Glamour, Dare to Bare and Gypsy Queen are only a few to mention.

Notable pieces in their collection that I personally covet are this beautiful red cross back romper, a silken middle eastern inspired tube maxi dress, this backless, black mini dress with a pearl studded design at the shoulders (for that edgy 21st century look) and a piece that was named as the season’s best seller (and was generously gifted to me by the designer) this absolutely stunning, flawless coral button down blouse with a lace back.

In my opinion, these pieces sum up the theme Le Caniche Noir tries to convey in their clothing. They are versatile and classic pieces with a twist, that can work for any occasion.

Le Caniche Noir is definitely different than anything else out there. The Dzafics are all about adding the extra “oomph” and personality to their pieces. As Dilara puts it, “the average girl could wear a long black dress and keep it simple. Our girls would wear that long black dress with a big red hat!”

They’re also harmlessly kooky, yet tasteful: “We love to have fun, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We were bored at work once, so we made a sex tape.” I tore my sides in laughter as she immediately pulled out a masking tape that had the word “Sex” scrawled across it in red marker.

The quirky Dzafic quality is illustrated all over the brand, with their entertaining photoshoots that could initially raise an eyebrow, but would bring a smile to even the most prudent person’s lips at any time. Concepts that are so cheesy yet so charming, like Fashion Addicts, or Fashion Crimes, turned into photoshoots to promote their product. “We’re even having a Christmas party… on September 21st! Since Fall is like, Fashion Christmas,” Dilara said with a cheeky smile.

Why Le Caniche Noir? I think this boutique sets a positive example to women today. Even the concept behind naming the brand is inspiring. I originally thought it was named after Dilara’s adorable black poodle, Kiki (who is also the mascot of the brand), but there is a lot more to it than that.

“To us, Le Caniche Noir translates to a fashionable black sheep,” explained Dilara, “a woman who gets a little extra attention in a good way. The poodle, like our consumers, is elegant, and they are the second smartest canine breed. We aim for our clothes to cater to a strong, smart, elegant, and independent female audience.”

Caniche NoirWhat’s next for Le Caniche Noir? They don’t plan on marketing men’s clothes, but “we’re thinking of making doggy clothes! Ones that would match some of the outfits we sell!” Isn’t that just the cutest thing you’ve ever heard?

They also daydream about opening up an actual flesh n’ blood boutique, but maybe somewhere in Europe. “Actually, we want to open up four different boutiques that cater to different moods: Office Look, Party Girl, Hangover Chic and Look at Me. This would probably be done in Europe, but the idea expresses how eclectic the brand really is, and how it encourages it’s buyers to shop for their mood!”

Become a Caniche Noir girl and visit or, call them at their adorable phone number 1-855-7-POODLE (I just love it, I don’t even know why!!)