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


Summer Photo Shoot Pics Are Up!

photo shoot

Today, I’m super excited to share with Superfora readers a photo shoot that I styled back in July! Now this isn’t just any styling gig.  It’s my photo concept come to life.  And I’m hella proud of the way it turned out.

The idea came to me while working at Topshop, when it occurred to me that TOPMAN’s clothes, which had an abundance of traditional feminine prints like florals and animal prints, would look incredible on glam females.  With a concept in mind, I scouted the location on one of my bike rides home from work.  The famous uphill ride from the seawall to Broadway, although borderline gruelling, offered colourful residential and industrial backdrops.

So I teamed up with a talented photographer and together we engaged amazing models as well as hair and makeup artists.  I feel so lucky and so grateful that the day went off without a hitch.  We worked hard, had fun (see behind the scenes photo above) and in my biased opinion, did amazingly well.

Allow yourself to be transported back to a hazy Summer and let me know what you think!

Special thanks to the models, Avery and Ripley, the photographer, Rachelle Simoneau, hairstylist, Alicia Rollins, and makeup artist, Marlayna Pincott. xo

Ripley-dinosaurRipley-houseAvery-yellowStanding-swingsSwingsCandylandBushesRipley-crownRipley-motelAvery-necklace

(All clothes are TOPMAN, accessories are Topshop and my own, green shorts c/o Simon)


Summer Saturdays: Laneway Markets in Mount Pleasant

My lovely friend Jess told me the other day that she wants to get married in an alley.  With string lights and unlimited booze.  I love the idea of creating an unexpectedly beautiful space with an area that we associate with garbage bins and stray cats.

When I returned home from seeing her in NYC last weekend, I found a poster on our building entrance announcing Livable Laneways‘ night market initiative Paths to Plazas.  In an effort to improve public space in Vancouver, the alley west of Main just off Broadway will be transformed into a bustling public space with local businesses, urban farmers, artisans, hula hoop demonstrations, installations, musicians and more.

Every Saturday has a different theme; from this Saturday’s Art Market to next Saturday’s Smoking Sausage BBQ Cook-Off.  Swing by between 5pm and 10pm for some food and good times.  Look out for me…I’ll be in the one who is over dressed and overly loud.  xo


New Faves

My girl Tiyana flew into town last weekend.  We were super excited to see each other and as expected, she and I got mom loud and mom drunk pretty fucking fast.  On Sunday before she caught her flight home, we showed her around various neighbourhoods, parks, beaches and of course, the inside of my favourite boutiques.  Along the way, I acquired these weaved bad boys in a split second decision in Gastown’s One of a Few.  They have a pretty great vintage selection upstairs.

A cross between Hugh Hefner’s famous velvet loafers and a white picnic basket, I anticipate these guys will go well with pretty much any outfit I wear this summer.

Let the compliments from 50-something European gigolos begin.

(Photos by Simon)


Concert Announcement: Coeur de pirate

For those of you who haven’t heard of Quebec-born singer/songwriter Coeur de pirate, the talented 22-year old hit the scene in 2008 with her self-titled debut album.  In 2009, the album was both nominated for Francophone Album of the Year at the Junos and a Polaris award.  Winner of a Victoires de la Musique award, the French equivalent of a Grammy, for Comme des Enfants, she is a star not only in her home province but also in France and Belgium.

Her 2011 sophomore offering, Blonde, addresses the many phases of a relationship.  Its catalyst, Place de la Republique, was the first song she penned after her debut album.

Singing exclusively in French until 2010, she wowed me last July when I heard her cover of The Weeknd’s Wicked Games, a pretty balsy move given the popularity of the Toronto artist’s original song.  This could have gone wrong in so many ways but I think she NAILED it.

I’m probably partial to Coeur de pirate because of my French Canadian schooling during which musicians such as Mitsou and Vanessa Paradis were popular.  But it’s undeniable that she has a kickass voice, even if you don’t understand what she’s singing about, and mad talent on the piano.

She’s rolling through Vancouver on May 27 with a performance at Venue.  Tix are only $20+ applicable fees at Red Cat Records or Zulu.


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