Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Silver Linings .... and Tassels

So on the way home today, THESE happened. #nocontrol #shoeaddiction

If you know me, or visit the blog often enough, you know I didn't buy the Alexander Wang versions but that doesn't mean I can't take inspiration from the tasseling trails of Anh and Leandra

~ Thank you for visiting today...I hope these silver soles made you smile. ~
~ Photos via Man Repeller and 9 to 5 Chic ~

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Solange Knowles is my Sartorial Spirit Animal

Hello lovely people, it's been too long since I last posted but I was hiding from the Godzilla of winters that we just experienced/survived. 

Today's post was inspired in part by actress and comedian Mindy Kaling who reminded of me something: Solange Knowles is my sartorial spirit animal. Kaling posted this compilation of photos on her Instagram feed and I felt inspired to share it with you; along with few other savoury Solange stylings.

Recent TMZ videos of family disputes with brother-in-law Jay-Z aside, year after year, Solange Knowles kills it with her daring and fearless outfits. You have to notice her. You have to pay attention. You have to take an extra minute to absorb the saturated, joyful colour, or the disorienting mix of patterns, or the hot pink lips framed by a head of wild, untamed curls. 

I know in the past few months I've been waxing poetic about the merits of minimalism, less is more, and a subdued palette. But you know what...it's summer. And after the winter that we (Canadians/North Americans) just endured (thank you polar vortex) I think we're all entitled to boldly go wherever our summery spirit takes us. Be fearless.

~ This post is dedicated to my colleague Meg ~
~ Thank you for visiting. ~

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Building a Minimalist Wardrobe: Pencil Skirts

Happy 2014 Guys!

Yes, it may be more than a week into the new year, but who decides the statute of limitation on New Year's greetings? I say the first two weeks of January as the safe zone for a "Happy New Year" and after that you're treading on awkward ground.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas, New Years and Holiday. I worked... a lot. But I did manage to squeeze in my annual Boxing Day shopping session. Most of us ate too much over the holidays, even though we promised we wouldn't. Well, I shopped too much, even though I promised I wouldn't. Remember the whole commitment to buying less, and only buying what I needed? Well, I fell off the wagon. Damn those post Christmas sales! 

However, in my defense the pieces I did buy do fit into my minimalist docket. One of the things I picked up, and had been looking for a while, is a charcoal grey pencil skirt. It's midi-length (which only works on me with high heels), with lots of stretch, and it'll be perfect all year round. Here's some more pencil skirt inspiration.

Pencil skirts can be tough, especially for women who have wider hips, but that just means who have to find the right fabrics, or a good tailor. Pencil skirts can be universally flattering. I have two black ones that are in permanent rotation, especially when I'm working in television, they just make getting dressed simple. 

In the coming weeks, I'll post other pieces I/we/one needs to invest in to build a minimalist wardrobe.

~ Thanks you for penciling in this visit to the blog and I wish you the best for year to come. ~

All images via Glamor Magazine and Pinterest

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Carrie Mathison's style....and mentor.

During the Fall, I discovered and fell in love with the show 'Homeland.' It seems I was late to this party, like three years late. Nevertheless, I'm only at the end of Season 2, with no idea about what happened in Season 3, so don't tell me. And, while she might seem like an unlikely style icon, in my new minimalist world, Carrie Mathison (played by Claire Danes) is a source of inspiration.


The me of a year or two ago, would have been bored stiff by Carrie's strictly utilitarian uniform of suits, and neutral colours. I would have favoured Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) to Carrie Mathison any day. But CIA Carrie's understated, polished style even inspired this spread in Vogue Magazine earlier this year.

Aside from the story-line and the writing and even the style of the show, it's the relationships between the characters that are the most compelling. And while I'm rooting for Carrie and Brody to work out (again: don't tell me what happened in Season 3), the real relationship I love, and am rooting for, is between Carrie and Saul.

The complex and invaluable relationship between mentor and mentee...or protege...or pupil, is seldom represented thoughtfully in Hollywood. It is either sexualized, or romanticized, becomes competitive, or turns into a bro-romance or the long-lost-father-figure that the pupil never had. These portrayals minimize the real gift of having a good mentor in your life.

But 'Homeland' has managed to illustrate this particular kind of relationship with thoughtfulness. I'm lucky to have a "Saul" in my life. He's a brilliant, creative guy, whose integrity I admire and whose judgement I trust. I turn to him for advice and guidance and sober second thoughts about life and career. The relationship is mutually respectful, (or disrespectful depending on our moods and humour) and we both gain from it. Although, truth be told, I definitely got the better end of the deal in our friendship. 

It's nice to have someone in your life who understands and accepts (maybe even encourages) your particular brand of crazy. Who gets your vision when nobody else does. Thanks to the "Sauls" out there. Is there a Saul in your life?

~ And thank you for visiting today. ~
Photos via herehereherehere  and here.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Minimalist Solutions: Black and White

Hi friends, happy Monday. 
Every morning I stare at a closet bursting at the seams and still I suffer the same affliction as millions of other North American women: I have nothing to wear. Actually, the problem is: I have too much to wear. Too many choices, too many options, too many items that I need to justify owning. (Spoiler: There is no justification.) Part of the move towards minimalism is about streamlining the morning process. And one of the ways to do that is to have a simple colour palette. So on this day, I went to a reliable, and polished combination of black and white.


I keep googling "minimalism" to get a better sense of what this style is about -- not just aesthetically. Like 'Impressionism' for example, it must have been born of a political or cultural or artistic movement. One of the articles I read suggested that minimalism was really about being focused. Eliminating obstacles from one's life, eliminating the clutter, (physical and otherwise) that keep you from getting things done. About being really thoughtful about what you're surrounded by and what purpose those things serve. I'll share more minimalist revelations as they present themselves. In the meantime, have a great week guys.
~ Thanks for visiting today. ~
Photos by Dagna.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pharrell Williams told me to be "Happy"

So an odd thing happened yesterday. While I was getting ready for work, I had the TV on in the background, and I heard the song "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. It's the first time I'd heard it, or even of it. And of course, I loved it. It doesn't hurt that Pharrell displays his phenomenal style in the video -- hey, this is relevant for a style blogger. Anyway, a few minutes later, my husband Chris changes to another channel and there is "Happy"-- again! Let's face it, how often do we actually see music videos on TV? Not too often. So that's a bit of a coincidence on its own.

But here's what I think is the odd bit: yesterday was also my birthday. It's a day where I would hear (and did hear) the word "happy" more than any other day of the year. As in: "Happy Birthday!" I decided to see the double viewing of the "Happy" video and my birthday as some sort of mission statement for the year to come: Be Happy.

So as we move towards Christmas and a New Year, I hope you'll be Happy too. Because "happiness is the truth."

~ Hope you enjoyed the video and thanks for visiting....you made me happy. ~

Monday, December 9, 2013

Old Habits/Patterns/Problems Die Hard

Hi guys, so my quest for "minimalism" got me thinking that this would lead to less thrifting. Less time at second hand shops. Because fancy, schmancy, well dressed, minimalist women don't go looking for loopy, over-sized, "artistic" finds. The kind of pieces that I used eat up at thrift shops. Well, last week I decided to pop-in to my favourite second hand store, Double Take. After all, what harm could it do? I'll just take a quick look I thought. It's not like I'm going to buy anything, right? Well, I walked out with a new (and I do mean new) pair of Zara cap-toe heels, and a suit that fits like a glove from Tristan & America. See my thrifting finds below:

I know this suit doesn't look much lying on the floor like that. Limp and lifeless. But trust me, it was great when I tried it on. Plus, I always get a little extra joy when I find a piece from Tristan. I worked at Tristan during my undergraduate degree. That's how I paid for school, had an un-Godly number of "business suits" for a teenager, and helped countless upper middle class women get dressed for work. 

Well, it seems clear that my mission to break away from thrifting is not going to happen if I keep getting "finds" like these. Like my husband Chris said "You're never going to shop full price, are you?" No, my friend, I am not. Well, at least these pieces still fit into the minimalist mantra. And here are some inspiration ideas on how to style them.

And on the theme of old habits and patterns....

I wanted to thank you guys for being supportive about my return to the blog. When I shared that initial re-entry post a few days ago, the response was encouraging and I thought "why did I ever stop doing this?" And within a couple of days, I remembered why: The Pictures! Who is going to take the damn pictures? 

When I first started the blog, my friend Mark took my pictures regularly, and did it with enthusiasm and never once made me feel embarrassed about asking. And I was living with my sister at the time, she always helped out. But Mark and I no longer work together and Nazia and I no longer live together. And when those two things happened, that's when the blog started to dwindle. A small of group of friends always came through when I asked, but I hated asking them because let's face it, it's a hassle for them. And it's embarrassing to say "Can you take pictures of me....and my outfit....for my ... ahem...style blog?" and think in my head 'oh God, are these words actually coming out of my mouth? Do I sound like an idiot?'

I never enjoyed the timer and remote controlled selfies. First of all, it's not nearly as fun as taking the pictures with someone, and they're just not as good. I prefer even a so-so photograph taken by a dear friend, than a decent one taken by me.

I feel very vulnerable asking people to help with the pictures. And I've had to do this again, after a long time, this past week. And it's not been easy (thank you Dagna for saying yes...those pictures I'll post in a few days.) 

So, here I am again, facing a challenge that I faced more than year ago, and feeling that same stinging embarrassment. But, I'll sort it out. The universe always provides a solution. Worst case scenario: There's always the iPhone selfie.

~ Thanks for stopping by and reading guys. Have a great week. ~

Monday, December 2, 2013

1 weekend, 2 events, 1 dress, 2 outfits

I recently bought this colour-block dress from Romwe.com. Which is unusual for me, because despite the obscene amount of time I spend on the internet, I don't do very much shopping online. I mostly stick to online window shopping and online lusting and drooling and admiring other people's stylishly composed blogs. But anyway, that's not the point of this post. This past weekend I had two very different events to attend. Friday night, a birthday party. Saturday night, a family get together. I decided to wear my recent acquisition to both events but try to achieve different looks. Here's what I did: 

Above is the Friday night outfit. The birthday party was actually a murder masquerade
party and my character was a Latvian pop singer. Actually, my character was just a pop singer, I added the Latvian bit. Whatever, it came to me, and I went with it. Much to the delight one of the party guests who is ethnically Latvian and then wanted to have a conversation. Awkwardness ensued since I speak no Latvian. So any way, I treated the dress as a dress, paired it with a statement necklace and tougher heels, and voila: Latvian pop star....the mask was provided at the party. But you can see it on my instagram.

And this was the Saturday night outfit. My nephew Noah was born on November 14th, and on my mother's side of the family we have a cultural custom to throw a naming ceremony. So all my family gathered together to officially name Noah, we talked about the meaning of his name and what we hope for him, and of course ate a lot of good food. So for this event, I wanted to treat the outfit more like a tunic or a Indian "kameez", wore it with grey jeggings, a blazer, more subdued shoes and accessories and voila: proud aunty Natasha.

So what do you think? Do you have any ideas for how I can restyle this dress for the next event? Let me know!

~ Thanks for stopping by, and see you soon. ~

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Rewriting The Fashion Songbook

Hello beautiful strangers, after a very long hiatus, I'm compelled to return to the blog and share some sartorial musings with you.

For the year that I was sharing daily outfit postings, the mantra of the blog was about being creative, and whimsical, and pushing boundaries, and not being defined by other people's rules. I still believe in these tenets but that mantra was representative of a specific time and place and a certain series of life events. And in the past few months, I find myself gravitating towards a very different fashion style, and it's not one that I've embraced before: Minimalism.

 For several weeks this summer I was doing work that necessitated a certain rotation of simple blouses, pencil skirts, blazers, understated accessories and black pumps. Initially I felt frustrated about having such a narrow framework to work within. But, after a while I found it liberating. I had developed a work uniform, and it made life (and getting dressed in the morning) a lot simpler. The kind of pressure that came with constantly making a bold statement with my clothing was gone, and being able to rely on classic pieces to always look and feel polished was surprisingly fun. When I had the opportunity to return to my quirkier style this Fall, I found I was no longer interested. So I'm rewriting my fashion songbook. 

I'm not all together certain what having a minimalist wardrobe means, but I think it comprises of having simply, but beautifully tailored pieces. The wish list includes: Silk and cotton blouses, pencil skirts, lean/skinny pants and jeans, classic shoes, accessories, purses, neutral colours, and classic, even masculine shapes. And that's the direction I want to move in. I no longer want to have a closet bursting with items that seldom get worn, but I feel emotionally attached to. The focus is on having less, but better pieces.

It's so nice to be writing a blog post again. It's the first post in 6 months. And the first fashion related posted in more than a year. Friends, wish me luck in this new direction, and share your thoughts.

~ Dedicated to RMH ~
You can get more details about the images posted above on my Instagram and Pinterest accounts.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

CBC News Network: The week of April 15th

Hi friends,

Recently I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to work with CBC News Network's Breaking News Desk. The desk is managed by an incredible team of producers, writers and reporters who work really hard, and make this incredibly challenging work look easy. I thank them for letting me join their team, and I look forward to working with them again soon. 

In the meantime, I'd like to share some of the work I did at the desk with you.

 ~ Thank you for visiting and watching. ~

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Documentary: Muslim in Mumbai

In November 2008, a group of Islamist terrorists attacked the Indian cultural capital of Mumbai. The coordinated attacks killed 164 people, and wounded at least 300 more. When Mumbai began to heal, an old wound cropped up again: The division between the Hindu majority and Muslim minority. This is a story about being Muslim in Mumbai. Broadcast in 2009.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Documentary: Only For a While by Natasha Fatah

Today is World Autism Awareness Day.

Chances are you know someone who has or is effected by autism.
And for that reason, I'm sharing the very first piece of radio I ever made several years ago. It's my short documentary called "Only For a While" about my relationship with my sister Nazia, who has autism.

I hope you enjoy it and thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Take Malala's Hand

Dear friends, please sign the Change.org Petition to nominate Malala Yousafzai for the Nobel Peace Prize. And share it with your friends.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Swirls and Wood: A Post For Umbreen

Blouse thrifted || Anne Klein pants: thrifted at Double Take || Shoes: Urban Outfitters || Earrings: Stella and Dot || Necklace: Ettika.com || Bracelets: Trustan & America and gifts from Mom

I haven't been very consistent with blog posting this week. 
And I was thinking that maybe I'll take a break from the blog for a while. Maybe forever?
But last night, I saw my cousin/friend/doll-face Umbreen and mentioned this thought to her and she said "But I look forward to your blog posts."
And so this post is for you Umbers.

You never know how meaningful simple words, or a kind gesture or a sincere smile can be to the person on the receiving end. Since blogging often feels like a very solitary venture, I imagine that nobody is really interested if I don't post regularly. But Umbreen's sweet remark inspired me to fire up the laptop (something I haven't been doing these past few nights - uh, my laptop is pretty heavy - must downsize - anyway) and post this post for her.

Thank you for visiting and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.
~ Photos by Chris ~

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Days of Summer & The Occupy Anniversary

A simple last-days-of-summer outfit I sported weekend before last.
The real star of the show are these spike earrings from InPink.com that I've been totally obsessed with since they arrived at my door. I illustrated my desire for spiky baubles in this post.

Dress: Winners || DIY Aldo Shoes || Bracelets: from Mom || Earrings: InPink.com || Sunglasses: Forever 21

One year ago this week the 'Occupy Wall Street Movement' kicked off in New York City. Subsequently cities all over the world adopted their own Occupy Movements.
A year on do you think the Occupy Movements made a mark on history? Or will they soon  be forgotten? 
Have they forced us to re-evaluate how we distribute wealth? Or has nothing changed?
It was a brief but moving moment in our near history and I'd love to know what you thought of it.
Thanks for visiting today.
~ Photos by Nazia ~
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