A Weekend in Split

Diocletian palace

We drove to Split, in Southern Croatia, with Klaudija and Ante, friends who acted as our awesome tour guides (thanks dudes!).  What a beauty place!  Centered around the 4th century Diocletian Palace and right on the Adriatic riviera, Split has culture, beaches, beautiful weather and hundreds of people-watching cafes from which to drink delicious lattes.  We were happy there.

Below is our trip in pictures.

Cute Simon on our “street”.

our street

The stunning Split riviera with the Diocletian palace as its backdrop.Split riviera


Exploring the palace.

In the windowpurple flowers

A hole in the ceiling – or a planet from afar?


A very relaxed Simon on the riva (boardwalk).

Split day1

Sitting down for our first, and much-anticipated, all-seafood meal.  My stomach is smiling.Outfit


The mesmerizing palace at night.split night

Chilling.Chilling - Split


A maze of beautiful ancient streets.Night time in Split


Down time.Drinks

Happy bosses.haps

2 Days in Zagreb


For some reason, I rarely talk about the city of Zagreb on Superfora.  Yet, it is where most of my immediate family lives (3 brothers + dad).  It’s where I’ve spent many Summers and Christmases and therefore where a lot of my memories originate.

Plus, it’s lively and beautiful (my poor photo-retouching skills aside).

Zagreb10Zagreb9SimonZagreb4Zagreb3Zagreb2Zagreb7 Cute Simon

Next up: Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik and a better camera!

Styling Jillian Harris – Pt. 2

I spent my weekend laughing with dear friends, going to the symphony and listening to records I bought in NY (La Bamba, The Temptations, General Public).  The weekend’s festivities may be over but the goodness continues…

The last of four outfits I styled for Jillian Harris is up on her blog!  I think this retro babe on a bike look might be my favourite one on her.  Who can resist the vintage head scarf & bicycle with basket combination?  Adorable.

I can’t reiterate enough how incredible it was to work on this project.  Jillian is exceedingly photogenic and happy, and the photos below attest to Janis Nicolay‘s photographic genius.

Today’s retro bike babe outfit, plus the boho chic outfit Jillian featured 2 weeks ago, are below. Which of the 4 outfits is your favourite?  Smart, high tea, boho chic or retro bike babe?

Read Jillian’s take on the two looks here and here.

RetroGlamRetroGlam5RetroGlam6RetroGlam7RetroGlam4RetroGlam8boho chic 2boho chic1boho chic3 And one behind the scenes shot of me hard at work picking bluebells. BTS (Photos by Janis Nicolay)

The Diamond A Girl Really Needs

white clutch

I’ve been gushing over one of my favourite accessories – a diamond clutch – for almost a year now. I could try to be subtle about it but when it comes to things I love, subtlety is not my strong suit.

A local designer and fashion student, 25-year old Sherry Chen is the creator of the diamond clutch, which is quietly growing a pretty large following.  A cute and clever design coupled with fully customizable fabrics and trims makes this diamond clutch the perfect accessory for…well, anybody.  Affordable pricing is icing on the cake.

I recently interviewed the charming Chen, originally of Chengdu, China (the city of pandas!), about where the diamond clutch originates from, who her style inspiration is and what she is planning for the future.

diamond clutches

(Superfora) Hi Sherry!  I appreciate you taking the time to let me interview you, in between classes and running your own business.  What prompted you to make your first diamond clutch?  What was your inspiration?

Sherry Chen (SC): Exactly one year ago, I finalized my decision to transfer from economics to fashion school.  I knew I needed to make something related to my new major but I didn’t have any basic knowledge of making clothes so purses were the easiest starting point for me.  My original inspiration for the diamond clutch came from the quote “pressure makes diamonds.”  The quote is also one of my tattoos now.
Screen shot 2014-06-11 at 7.50.46 AM
(Superfora) Learning to deal with hardships builds character and makes a person shine.  A timeless quote.  How/where did you promote your first clutch?

(SC) When I first finished my Tiffany blue diamond, I was so excited and posted it on Instagram.  My friend immediately texted saying she wanted to buy one.  That’s when I decided to produce and sell it so I kept posting my designs on Instagram and Weibe, a Chinese twitter.
(Superfora) I’ve witnessed your long list of purse orders!  Did you imagine the response to your diamond clutches would be so positive?  Was it difficult to keep up with demand?

(SC) When I first started to sell the diamond clutch, I had a lot of Chinese social media followers from my time in retail.  They all loved the diamond so it sort of became the symbol of my brand.  And their positive response helped me believe that other people would love it too.  I am the only one working on my products and all of my bags are handmade so it’s a challenge to keep up with demand.  But I am managing!

(Superfora) When did you decide to drop out of the economics program you were in to pursue fashion school?

(SC) My family always wanted me to study economics or a business-related program before I decided to study abroad.  I therefore went to the SFU economics program.  However, during the past 4 years, including 2 years of working experience at a local retailer, I felt that the fashion industry was my path. I love it.  I grew up in a chic family; my mum loved styling me when I was little and she trained my fashion sense.  I started reading Chinese Vogue when I was 12.  But fashion was my daydream, I never thought I would be part of it.  I decided to leave SFU economics when I was in my last year.  It is never too late to do something [new].  I was afraid that I would regret not following my heart so I transferred programs and schools.
sewing desk

(Superfora) My mom definitely influenced my style and love of patterns and colours and, I can obviously relate to being an economist turned fashion junkie.  You’ve expanded your purse line to include standard envelope shaped clutches in fun prints such as zebra. Which of your purses is your favourite?

(SC) The diamond clutch is of course my fave because it represents the beginning.  It’s the most meaningful to me.zebra clutch

(Superfora) How is living in Canada different from how your life was in China?  Do you think Vancouver has been very receptive to your designs despite being a laid back city?  Do you see yourself staying in Vancouver?

(SC) I feel Canada is more free and relaxed than China.  And I appreciate that Canada gives me more of a chance to promote my handmade bags and jewelry, which is so hard in China if you are nobody. I love Vancity but I’m not sure that I will stay here after I graduate.  I want to go to UK to learn more or move to Montreal to see if there are any new opportunities for me.
Screen shot 2014-06-15 at 7.29.09 PM
(Superfora) I would hate to see you leave, Sherry, but I understand why you are eager to experience new places.  I imagine fashion school has helped you dream up many new ideas.  What can we expect next?

(SC) Clothing!  As a fashion design student, my major courses are leading us to make clothes.  It’s been difficult to learn but I am trying my best to explore myself.  My goal is to be an independent designer in the future and create my own style brand.

(Superfora) Your fans can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve Sherry, literally.

For pricing and purchasing inquiries, email Sherry at sepetstudio@gmail.com.  To stay abreast of her new designs, follow her on Instagram.

(All images via Sherry Chen)

Styling Jillian Harris – Part.1

BTS Jillian Harris shoot

It’s a holiday today and we are on the cusp of Summer in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. I’m feeling pretty lucky today.

My work situation ain’t too shabby either; my colleagues make me laugh all day long in a great work environment and I have personal projects that keep me challenged and inspired when I’m not crunching numbers at my desk.

Case in point: the photo shoot I am sharing today, which I alluded to in an earlier post.  Some background: I was approached by Jillian Harris, host of Love It or List It Vancouver, to style a Spring photo shoot with her and all-star photographer, Janis Nicolay.  Saying no to this would be like saying no to rum slushies at Third beach on a sunny day.

To stay true to Jillian’s style, we opted for preppier looks, complemented by an abundance of colour and prints. Every outfit was very distinct yet still very her.  Working with Jillian and Janis could not have been easier.  Nor sweeter!  They are lovely.  And so are the photos.

To read Jillian’s take on the two looks, read here and here.

Ps. Check back soon for part 2.  Woo!

Midi skirt2Midi skirt 4Midi skirt and clutch

Midi skirt5

Floral pants1nicolay-harris2Floral pants closeup

(All photos by the very talented Janis Nicolay)

Zebra clutch by local designer Sherry Chen.  Follow this talented little import on Instagram: @littlesherrybigchen

J. Crew Diversifies its SS14 Offering with Sophia Webster Collab

Screen shot 2014-05-08 at 7.27.10 AM

(Photo via Net-A-Porter)

Although I can appreciate J. Crew’s classic design, it’s typically too preppy for my style.  Enter Sophia Webster, the British accessories designer who made butterflies, peacock feathers and 3-D flowers shoe worthy and my neck is hurting from all the head turning this collaboration is causing!

Webster’s collection for the American retail giant boasts 13 pairs of heels that represent Webster’s playful shapes but embrace J. Crew’s prints and colour palette, according to Metro UK.

According to Ms. Webster, the collection for the J. Crew brand was a collaboration in the “truest sense”.  “Jenna and the team picked their favourite styles and [...] I was given the freedom to interpret the J.Crew look and blend it with my own.  I felt like a girl in a sweet shop!” (Jcrew.com)

Below are some of my favourite styles from the collaboration.

Screen shot 2014-05-08 at 7.59.26 AMScreen shot 2014-05-08 at 8.01.44 AMScreen shot 2014-05-08 at 8.03.21 AM

(Photos via JCrew.com)

Kickin’ It for Spring

Fun florals

I’m grateful and excited to be styling an amazing Spring photo shoot in a couple of weeks (juicy details to come!).  So it’s fitting that I post a few Spring outfits to get me in the mood.

I guess not a lot has changed since February 2011 when I blogged about Wearing More Patterns. Layering patterns is now more widely embraced than even a couple of years ago; they evoke nods of approval instead of stares of confusion.  I love this fashion shift; beige on beige was killing my soul.

The key to mixing patterns is to ensure each print contains a common colour; this is what adds cohesiveness to the outfit.  Below are three Spring outfits that demonstrate how to pull multiple patterns off.  I’m a big proponent of elastic waistbands so these outfits aren’t only head turners, they’re comfortable too.

Mix and match metallics.  A hot gold blazer, silver joggers and metallic green heels are definitely a winning combo.  Add a clean black purse to complete the outfit and you’re good to go.

MetallicsShoes and purse










(Blazer from Ark and Co via Citizen Grace, joggers from TOPSHOP, purse from Erin Templeton and shoes from Sergio Rossi at The Room).

Multiple floral patterns keep it fresh.  The cherry blossoms have painted Vancouver pink, the tulips are blooming and you’re layering floral prints in support of it all.  Here, fuchsia ties the blouse and skirt together quite nicely.  Tuck in the blouse to emphasize your waist and anchor the ensemble with solid-coloured pumps.

Flowers top and bottomAccessories - Floral

(Blouse by Mary Katrantzou for TOPSHOP, skirt from ZARA, clutch from NastyGal, pumps from TOPSHOP, flowers by the wonderful Eve).

The multi-patterned shift dress.  Don’t feel confident mixing and matching quite yet?  Let the dress do it for you.  This shift combines multiple colours and varying pattern sizes.  The riskiness of the multiple prints is offset by the dress’ simple shape.  A blouse collar in a similar leaf pattern adds depth to the ensemble.  Solid black heels and a painterly envelop clutch take the outfit from sweet daytime picnic to sultry night-time stumble home.

Shift dress

AccessoriesShift dress from ZARA, blouse from TOPSHOP, purse from & Other Stories, shoes by Diane von Furstenberg.

Now, if you don’t know where to start in terms of pattern mixing, do what I do: throw on a few pieces at random and see how they make you feel.  Your clothes, and not playing it safe with them, just may surprise you!

(All photos by Superfora)



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