This doesn’t happen in Ottawa

October 23, 2014

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You may or may not know that yesterday, the nation’s capital experienced a dramatic security threat that has us all a little shaken up. Around 10 a.m., a gunman shot and killed ceremonial soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo who was standing guard at the city’s war memorial. Shortly after the gunman, who we now know to be Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, ran up to Parliament Hill and managed to get inside the main building called Centre Block, firing several rounds before he was shot and killed by the Sargeant-at-Arms, Kevin Vickers.

The downtown core was completely locked down until late yesterday evening. All government buildings, schools and hospitals were also on lock-down and every military base in the country was secured. There were helicopters circling above the city, police cars stationed at major intersections and armed officers scanning the streets and securing buildings.

It is safe to say that I had never experienced anything like this before and I think I speak for most Ottawans when I say that we never thought this would happen here. My thoughts and prayers are with the loved ones of Cpl. Cirillo and I am very grateful for the Ottawa City Police, RCMP and everyone else who helped to secure the city.

I’m back at work today and wanted to write this post to recognize the tragic death of Cpl. Cirillo and to thank the men and women who acted so bravely yesterday. The city is still on alert and although everyone is back to work, things feel a little different. I know that the fear and violence we experienced yesterday is something that many around the world experience on a daily basis and on a larger scale. Canada is used to its role as a peacekeeping nation and as a country that sends its soldiers abroad to help others. To have this violence come to our shores is very unusual and it certainly has woken us up to the reality that we may not be so immune to these attacks.

We have perhaps naively always believed that everyone loves Canada and no one could ever attack us, but it just takes one person (as we witnessed yesterday) to wreak havoc on an entire city and to cause pain and sadness in others. I certainly don’t want this event to change the face of our city. I don’t want to see barricades and armed guards every where, but I expect we’ll see new security measures put in place for at least a little while. I hope we can continue to attend Yoga on the Hill every Wednesday come spring and I hope that we can still pay tribute to our fallen soldiers with ceremonial guards at the war memorial.

I don’t want this event to be blown out of proportion and used to manipulate us with fear, and I don’t want this to encourage other violent people to act out. I think this is a common fear at the moment, taking into consideration the fact that just the day before, Montreal experienced a violent act as well.

It’s difficult to know what to say today. We must be a little more cautious in the coming days but we should also just Stay Calm and Carry On, as the old saying goes. I can now appreciate more than ever the importance of that message when it was first produced in 1939 to rally the British public in the fear of air attacks.

So I’ll carry on with things here on the blog, business as usual.

Malorie xo

 

Cool coat roundup #2

October 10, 2014

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So wouldn’t you know it, just as I’ve launched yesterday’s fall coat guide, I spot a few more beautiful ethical & sustainable coats that I want to share with you. What can I say, ’tis the season!

Wintervacht is a Dutch design duo of Yoni van Oorsouw and Manon van Hoeckel. They make their signature coats out of recycled Dutch woolen blankets and curtains. They’ve since expanded their line to include tops and shorts, as well as longer coats. Each item is one-of-a-kind and made in the Netherlands.

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Reformation is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now. I did a post on them not long ago. Everyone and their mother, including model Lily Aldridge and Hollywood celebrities are wearing this L.A.-based company’s trendy collections made out of material scraps from manufacturers. I’m thrilled to see an ethical and sustainable company be so widely embraced in North America and abroad. I personally can’t get enough of their achingly stylish dresses but they’ve really done a number of the casual fall coat.

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HUMANOID F/W 2014-15

October 10, 2014

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Probably my favourite f/w 2014-15 lookbook so far. If I had to sum up the look and feel that I ATTEMPT to achieve with my wardrobe (sometimes), it would be this season of Humanoid.

I’ve noticed two very clear streams of ethical and sustainable (E&S) fashion developing over the past five years or so. One is smaller-scale, homemade, typically focused on reusing materials and catered towards mothers with young children. Its aesthetic is crafty, playful, comfortable and approachable.

The second stream works at a larger scale using renewable textiles. It is catered to the more “style conscious” consumer, usually a younger demographic that will buy ethical and sustainable fashion so long as it is stylish, “au courant” and adaptable. This is the stream that I fall into. Although I support both branches, you’ll definitely see more of the latter here on EF. Humanoid is an E&S brand that successfully merges style and comfort with quality and affordability. This is no easy feet but they are on the right path.

*All photographs from Humanoid.

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Five fall/winter coats

October 9, 2014

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When you ask people what their favourite thing about fall fashion is, many of them say layering. And what do you need most to top off a warm, layered outfit? Why, a fall coat of course! I scoured the interweb for five cozy, comfy, stylish and slightly quirky coats that would fit into any wardrobe.

These coats can also transition you into winter with a nice sweater underneath, but maybe not the trench unless you live in a milder climate. When I look for a fall/winter coat, I’m drawn to soft, natural fabrics, warmth and a big collar (I like having my neck covered). This season’s coats are offered up either tailored with a belt or boxy and long.

Style tips: If you’re a wider-shaped person and you want to define your silhouette, avoid the boxy coats and stick to a knee-length one with a belt to cinch in your waist. If you want to opt for a shorter coat, pick one that either falls at your hip bone or no further than the middle of your behind. Any lower and you’ll widen your derriere, any higher than your hip bone and you’ll have the most useless coat of all time.

1. Ilana Kohn Lisa trench coat

2. Humanoid Wink coat

3. Stella McCartney Clara coat

4. Humanoid wep coat

5. Stella McCartney Federica coat

 

Post-vacation blues

October 7, 2014

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The fall is always a great time for reflection. As the leaves turn and fall to the ground, we look inwards, stay home more and contemplate. This is what this post is all about today.

I landed back on Canadian soil four days ago and I’ve been hit with the dreaded post-vacation blues. You know what I mean, right? After however many days/weeks abroad, sleeping in, sightseeing and soaking up other cultures, you settle back into your home routine and wonder why you live the way you do. You wonder what you can do to change your lifestyle to match those you witnessed abroad. Why can’t my day be so laid-back? Why can’t I live in a small apartment downtown and work a part-time job in a cute flower shop or boutique? Why have I tied myself down with responsibilities and bills to pay?

Oliver said to me yesterday that a lot of what we do is just to pay bills. We work to pay bills. He’s right, you know. But we also have choices we can make to change our current state of affairs. We can downsize, simplify and prioritize. We can, but it’s scary to make such changes sometimes. Have you ever been faced with this dilemma of wanting a different lifestyle but not knowing how to go about it? Another part of me wonders if it’s just too easy to get caught up in the “American Beauty” syndrome of hating the mundane only to realize after having destroyed your life that what you had was pretty darn good.

Can you be grateful for your life but still want to improve it? I think so. At least I hope so. I’m grateful for what I have and am wary of being too greedy for something different. After all, the grass is always greener on the other side. So how do we go about this? I’ve been thinking a lot about it. Baby steps is the way to go, along with a clear list of goals. I think counselors would advise me to envision my life the way I’d like it to be, and then make a list of the necessary steps to get there. It’s important to know that life will never be exactly as you had planned, and thank heavens! Often times when you make changes to get to one destination, life throws you a curve ball and you end up somewhere completely different but even more beautiful than you had ever imagined.

It’s important for me to say this: if my life stayed exactly the way it is now, I’d be happy. I’d still moan about wanting a more creative, fashion-filled career, and the morning commute would still suck out my energy before the day even got started, but I’d also still have my weekends off, lots of holidays, the security of a job that supports me if I’m sick or in need of time off for personal reasons. I wouldn’t bring my work home with me, leaving my mind open to relax and enjoy evenings with my loved ones. I have my health, a loving home, wonderful family and friends and I live in a free, safe country. I don’t have to worry about where my next meal is coming from, or fear that I’m going to be attacked. Life is pretty damn good.

So while I ho and hum over how to be grateful for my life but to take hold of it more and redirect it, I’m going to enjoy this rainy day at work and put on some jazz. Regardless of where you’re at in your life right now, you’re meant to be there and the best thing you can do is to live in this moment now.

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