Fashion and style how I see it. Not dictated by the masses, rather what inspires me. I'm multi-faceted. A writer. A photographer. A Cypriot born Lebanese living in Toronto and traveling the world capturing style on the street. My style? Geeky Chic. Your style? That is what I aim to uncover because every style has a story behind it. I want to uncover stories.
Leave it to style maven June Ambrose to knock us off our feet with shockingly amazing garb. Spotted at New York Fashion week last February, June was wearing a pair of Skeletal Heels made by Toronto darlings DSquared from their Fall/Winter 2010 collection. Untrue to form, June ditched her signature turban for a bowler hat.
Speaking of bowler hats, how chic does June’s daughter, Summer, look with a bowler hat of her own? June and Summer were not the only fashionable mother daughter duo during fashion week in New York. Remember Tessa? Watching mothers and daughters bop around fashion week to catch the shows reminded me of my mother taking me with her to all her social functions. It wasn’t a pain as one might think. Quite the contrary, actually. I would assume my own little world and interpretations amidst all the movement and noise. I suppose this also applies to the young girls who accompany their mothers to the shows. It would be such a marvel to become intimately acquainted with how children interpret what they see at the runway and on the street during fashion week, and what it means to them. Take note, Moms.
This is exciting! I have been published in the Toronto Standard! Please check out the article by clicking on the title above, and let me know what you think. This is a big feat for me because I am a loyal reader and fan of the Toronto Standard. The writing that comes out of that publication always amazes me. I’m so honored to be a published writer there!
I noticed Emily’s cool, assured stride as she was walking along Spring Street with her mother. It is apt to echo Mona’s sentiments here about sounding like an old fart. As I listened to Emily tell me with such poise about her years of experience in the fashion world, I was surprised to learn that she was still in undergrad. I firmly believe that the confidence with which one wears their outfit will make (or break) it and Emily illustrates my point.
Emily described her style as “do-it-yourself” and “whatever happens”. She made me laugh when she noted that her necklaces were her re-incarnation of “tacky gold belts” (yes, I remember those from the 90’s) and hand-made feather details. Turning to street style as inspiration and stores such as Forever 21 that are on trend but wallet-friendly, translates into a large canvas on which Emily can experiment. With her confident approach to style, I look forward to see what she comes up with next!
New York and Toronto Street Style: Summer Delicates
White on white is definitely a colour matching situation that is hard to pull off, at least in my books. Safer circumstances in which women can go full on white is typically in the summertime and even then you’d be hard pressed to find an outfit that does not look tacky. Not in this case, not even close. Both Angela and Irene look spectacular in white.
The linen shorts on Angela (above) and Irene are incredibly summer chic, and this is a measurable attribute, people. Amidst the scorching heat we seem to be enduring, these shirts and knitted shorts make their owners look breezy and comfortable next to their hot and bothered neighbours. The cool (pun intended) trick to both Angela and Irene’s white outfits is they feel delicate, but their materials, which are made of heavier fibres, feel comfortable and practical at the same time. Notice how both their tops have longer sleeves! And the only glisten to be had is of the variety that seeps from their style. White, comfortable outfits are in full throttle here, and I need an encore.
Photo credit: Irene Kim
Shirt, The Gap
Shorts, Club Monaco
Dog, King Charles Cavalier (my favourite!) named Finn
I have some exciting news for Geeky Chic. On Wednesday, Geeky Chic became Geeky Chic, Inc. Yes, people, we’ve gone corporate. This is not to be confused with the suit wearing, stuffiness that is often associated with the word. In fact we incorporated Geeky Chic to start making magic, the kind that will take the street style blog to a whole new dimension. I cannot divulge much at this point because we are in early stage development of this exciting new venture, but I will tell you some. First of all, who is this “we” I speak of, you ask? Quick story behind that: on a fine winter’s day I spotted a beautiful tartan wearing woman whose picture I had to take. So I did, and immediately after that we forged a friendship based on almost identical outlooks in life(style), ambitions and dreams. Months later I approached her to become an integral part of this idea I had for a business and through a series of conversations she joined me. She is now a partner and driving force behind Geeky Chic, Inc.
So why Geeky Chic, Inc? Well, it started with the blog. The one differentiating factor behind it are the stories and depth of content behind every picture I take. It’s what you all like about the blog too. So I took that notion and ran with it towards an idea that extends it in scope and scale. I decided to start a global online magazine based on niche, quality and in depth fashion journalism. Up until this point, I cannot reveal more but believe me when I say, this is something I am over the moon about. I’ve put a great deal of thought, planning and HEART into this, and i’m beyond excited to launch and reveal it. This won’t happen for another two to three months.
I’d like to close by saying that a substantial portion of my inspiration to go forward with this idea is the feedback and love you all have given me behind the stories i’ve endeavoured to tell on Geeky Chic. This blog is not going away for the time being, and when the magazine launches we will find it a home in the magazine.
Nicosia, the last divided capital in Europe is commonly characterized as a pastiche of old and new. One of the world’s oldest cities, Nicosia has rapidly been playing catch up ever since Cyprus has joined the European Union in 2004 along with Malta. Developed infrastructure such as chic resto-lounges, wider streets, a newly renovated airport and of course a blitz of Café trottoires, of which you’ll find the majority of the Cypriot population at all hours of the day, are among many indicators that this once sleepy island is now turning into a maturing European hub.
But what about the pockets of Nicosia that have remained intact and untouched by cosmetics? Incubated within Nicosia, they are not within a proverbial wall, but an actual one. Old Nicosia lies within the Venetian built walls, initially constructed in 1567 to protect it’s people from imminent Ottoman attack. Much of the wall remains, as does the culture and lifestyle of the Cypriots within it.
Old Nicosia is a time warp in it’s finest form. Narrow streets and old houses with ornate balconies extending from sandstone walls, and craftsmen in small workshops practice trades unchanged for centuries.
As for street style, the divide between old and new Nicosia is eye opening. Instead of running into brand hugging, trend following Cypriots most notably found smoking cigarettes and drinking frappés at modern cafes, I found types who prescribe to counter culture and alternative (life)styles.
They call him Butterfly (below). He is a political philosophy writer whose personal style is in such conflict with the growing establishment of Euro chic Cyprus.
My guide, Pascal (below), who also happens to be my brother in law, lies at the intersection between the inner and outer layers of the wall. He is tired of the hoi polloi of the “new Cypriots” as I like to call them, so he retreats every once in a while within the walls for some authenticity found in the people and the tiropita. He often marvels at the people he sees among him on the street, often asking himself where these people come from?
My sojourn within the Venetian walls of old Nicosia was an adventure in time, culture and style. In my first 16 years of living in Cyprus, I had never ventured this deep. Although I was pleased that such a micro world existed within Nicosia, and that almost 100% of it was preserved from centuries past, I was hoping for it to be less isolated from Nicosia at large. For one, i’d like to see more modern boutiques set up shop within the walls, while maintaining and respecting the cultural and architectural integrity of the area. I saw few examples of this within the more outer layers of the wall, bordering new Nicosia. I definitely think it would sprout a whole new dimension on a fashion front as an inspirational backdrop for burgeoning Cypriot designers.
It was only a matter of time before I ran into the quintessential North American style, and documented it, given I live in North America. Perhaps i’ve been subconsciously avoiding it due to its prevalence. Nevertheless, Mr and Mrs boat shoe have appeared before me and I have to say, they are what I will call North American chic. So what comes with being North American chic? You have to have all the essentials: J.Crew, boat shoes (preferably from Sperry Topsider), at least one item from the Gap and a Starbucks coffee cup in hand. Check, check, check and check. Alana and Dan radiate the warm, and inviting side of preppy. And yes, there is such a thing. Plus, i’m a sucker for the nautical look, mainly because I have a non- participatory obsession for boats and the seafarer way. I hope Alana and Dan belong to a yacht club, it would render the image complete!
Scotch takes downtown chic to a whole new level. I’ve never seen denim shorts worn over cycling shorts. I don’t know much about Scotch, except that he’s a stylist and model. Although my men in denim series has expired, Scotch would make an excellent honorary subject with those denim shorts, presumably cut by his truly.
If I were to trace my knowledge origin of American Workwear, it would lead me to Nicolas. This former model, who could be plucked out of a Hedi Slimane campaign during his âge d’or of menswear at Dior Homme, epitomizes the workwear style and takes me on a journey as to why.
What inspires Nicolas most is how classic the pieces are. He stands by the notion that he will be able to wear some of these clothes when he’s older (without them seeming dated or out of style). Of course, at the crux of his desire for workwear is the craftsmanship that accompanies the heritage. With workwear, there is quality manufacturing that is too often overlooked in the fashion industry.
This fact alone has me all over the style from a journalistic point of view. I’m all too comfortable exposing the nuances of fashion that are buried, which brings me back to Slimane. Even though workwear was not the focal point of his vision, the London rock band look was. It’s exciting to see those effeminate influences mixed with the man’s man workwear look on Nicolas.
This week, Geeky Chic salutes men in denim. I will include chambray as a sister fabric. I think there is something to be said about denim worn right. In fact, scratch that. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to wear denim these days. It’s become such a staple in our wardrobe that I feel we ought to play with it a bit more. Like Peter, for instance, whose outfit stands on the periphery of a Canadian tuxedo. Denim on denim never looked this chic.
The interplay between denim, and accentuated by leather, is a visual experience. Had Peter worn white denim pants, it’s likely I wouldn’t have felt this provoked, but the cream is something else. It goes so well with the blue denim, and even better with the leather belt and loafers. Peter, an advertising executive from Toronto, says he bought his belt from Lucky Jeans in Miami. Suffice it to say, he’s brought back a whole lot more Miami than his belt. This includes the sun. We need more Miami!