Everyday Opulence

Fashion, to some, may seem like an indulgence. Something impractical that takes too much time and effort to be bothered with. But if I contented myself with merely being covered, I don’t think my head would be carried quite so high or my hips carry as much sway. I believe that a little bit of  opulence has a place in everyone’s lives.

Styling has become my chosen artform. When discussing your art with like minded people,  ideas and visions of fantastical proportions blossom! Fellow stylist, Tara Cole-McCaffrey, Patron Of Dreams and I decided to collaborate on a shoot and our creative minds couldn’t help but manifest something lavish and over the top. Using Marie Antoinette as the ultimate inspiration for decadence was organic.

Every day we are given the opportunity to express ourselves through what we wear and what we do. Even putting in a little extra effort helps to give each day an element of celebration. Giving ourselves some extra attention immediately adds value to how we are perceived. Perhaps in other people’s estimation of us but most importantly in our own. 

Now I can’t expect everyone to become a full on, over-the-top, attention grabbing, always on point fashionista or even desire to be. It is, after all, our differences that make the world so fascinating. But I will encourage you to experience what it’s like to do something for yourself, everyday, that feels a bit decadent or daring.

Maybe it’s buying the shoes you need in gold instead of black and wearing them every time the black ones would have been. Trust me, a metallic neutral will still go with everything but make you feel way more fabulous.

Maybe, instead of removing an accessory like “they” say you should to be classy, you add 3 more and make a bold statement.

Wear that necklace your grandmother gave you on a regular day and don’t wait for the extra special occasion. Enjoy memories every time you pass a mirror and not just when you look in the jewelry box. 

Buy the dress that feels so sumptuous on your skin and purposefully enjoy that feeling the whole evening you wear it. Being present and in the moment can even come from your clothing! I’m going to call that fashion meditation. You’re welcome.

Create a space in your home that reflects who you are. A space that is not about your kids or your partner but only you. Be it candles and flowers or clean and crisp make it a special spot where you are the queen and will linger whenever possible. 

Stepping out in something that makes you stand out from the crowd will always generate lots of positive attention but not from everyone. Don’t feel discouraged! Your fabulousness can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Your best defence against the nay-sayers is your most confident smile and a sashay across the floor. 

Don’t forget to send out some love along the way. When you see someone and think, “goodness, I love her skirt” DO TELL HER! It’s so true that a random compliment from a fellow woman holds much more weight than the same from a man. There’s a genuine bond-of-sisterhood smile that appears and grows, then gets spread around. You can never know how your positive words will change someone else’s day but they are guaranteed to make yours better! There is definitely opulence in kindness! 

Remember being a little girl and wearing all the pretty things? Remember how fabulous and twirly you felt? Being an adult doesn’t have to be boring. Wear the lace, wear the ruffles. Let yourself be a princess again! 

Give yourself permission to indulge, but not really for indulgence’s sake! Focus on what truly brings you joy and savour each moment. Especially with the holiday season approaching all of the choices can get overwhelming. But if you intentionally enjoy each taste of your favourites you can come crashing into the new year with a smile on your face.

Occasionally, set a beautiful table, even if it’s just for yourself. Flowers and china aren’t very practical, but if they make you smile then what’s the harm? There are amazing treasures to be found at the thrift store so you can afford to switch it up. We wouldn’t want your opulence to become boring, would we?

Pick up some macarons on the way home from work while you’re at it. 

Make your holiday parties an opportunity for brighter choices. Even soft shades of colour stand out in a sea of little black dresses. They will look great with your new gold shoes too! 

Put some new colour in your hair. Let your hairstylist take you vivid or simply wear a fascinator or flower. And yes, you can pull it off! Truly, having brightness by your face really adds a glow to your skin and eyes. Plus feeling like a mermaid is pretty magical!

Huge thank you to the many Winnipeg talents that joined to make our love child come to life! 

All of the beautiful and delectable desserts were supplied by Pinky’s Bakeshop

The incredibly crafted, laser cut bustier on Madeline was created by designer, Rebecca Johnson

The exquisitely refashioned jewelry was all from Vintage Bling (special thank you to, owner, Dayle, for lending me her most perfect boots to complete my look). 

To drag queen extraordinaire, Pictorial Secreet for lending us piles of crinolines to play with. 

To Tara’s grandmother, Judy Cole for graciously allowing us to take over her extravagant and elegant living room for our shoot. 

And Angela Brandt for helping in all manner of ways that day. 

Special thanks to photographer, Dano Tanaka for ensuring the beauty of our vision was going to be realized. 

Fashion styling and artistic direction: Monique Andrew, Style Hunter Fox and Tara Cole McCaffrey, Patron Of Dreams

Models: Monique Andrew, Tara Cole-McCaffrey, Madeline Brandt 

Hair: Style Hunter Fox

Makeup: done by each model

And finally, we ate cake.