Toronto Vintage Society’s KITSCHMAS CABIN!

10849868_1501533426796396_1296356340448560908_nEarlier this month the Toronto Vintage Society gathered together to celebrate all things MERRY, KITSCHY and BRIGHT by turning the Cadillac Lounge into a winter cabin!

But what the heck do we mean by “Kitschy”?  Good question!

“Kitsch”, according to Wikipedia, is;  (/ˈkɪ/; loanword from German) is a low-brow style of mass-produced art or design using popular or cultural icons. Kitsch generally includes unsubstantial or gaudy works or decoration, or works that are calculated to have popular appeal.  Click here to read and see more about exactly what this means 🙂

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The Event:

$5 at the Door got you entertainment galore!!  40s/50s themed decor and suggested dress code with Best (and kitschiest) Dressed prizes to be won!  Along with vintage cocktails flowing all night and home made treats, handmade kitsch and vintage chachkas for sale!

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The Cadillac Lounge transformed into our Kitschmas Cabin

The Toronto Vintage Society never does anything half-assed …. always FULL ass! 😛

Not only were we able to transform the Cadillac Lounge into a wintery holiday cabin, there was all kinds of fun entertainment all night long to get everyone into the festive spirit no matter what your ‘thing’ was.  There was even a Nail Artist: Strawberry LIPs n TIPs creating one-of-a-kind holiday art one nail at a time!!

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Loving my amazing Rudolph nail art – outstanding!!!

This party was non-stop entertainment which included…vintage vinyl and holidays classic movies played all night long by our very own DJ Tarana Pete…

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DJ Tarana-Pete spinning vintage vinyl & holiday movie classics

PLUS Performances by ELVIS and his burlesquing alter ego – Blue Suede Sue.  Then the adorable Miss Kitten Monroe.

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Me with the talented Tia Brazda and delightful Kitten Monroe

AND performances by the Tia Brazda Swing Band with her hit song Christmas in Mexico!! Take a listen and get yourself a copy… Tis’ the season for this catchy toe-tapper of a tune 🙂

Ooooh…and there was plenty of swing dancing too!!!

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Me with my skirt all a-twirl!

As you can see…..We PACKED the place!  It was a spectacular night!!!

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I’m pretty sure I managed to sell raffle tickets to every single person in here!

And to top it all off…..we even had an amazing Winter Wonderland of a photo booth setup with SANTA!

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Click here for the full TVS Photo Booth album — each picture just jumps off the screen with happiness and joy!

If you didn’t make it out to the event, you can relive the fun – prepare to smile your faces off 🙂15863724779_c6e16886d9_k

Dancing went on until the wee hours of the morning …. AND there was even karaoke in the backroom!!!

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Collage-o-Fun captured by my iPhone …

I’m not gonna lie, due to all the liquid courage (who knew apple cider and rum would be such a delicious combination) I may have gotten up on stage to belt a tune or two.  There is evidence of this on someone’s phone…dun dun dunnnn 😮

 What I Wore: 

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Photo Credit: Val Soo

I picked up this Alika Circle Polka Retro Dress during Tatyana‘s BOGO event – yup…Buy One, Get One FREE!!!  This dress comes in a variety of solid colours that are just as lovely.  But I really, really, really loved this black, white and red polka-dot pattern.  And was determined to xmas-ify for THIS holiday event!

With an amazing lattice style around neckline and sleeves you really don’t need any accessories to jazz this frock up! The waist features a bow at the center that leads to its full circle skirt. There’s a three-eye-hook closures above the back zipper…which requires a buddy’s help, at least in my case 🙂

The Alika Circle Polka Retro Dress
The Alika Circle Polka Retro Dress WITH crinoline

The dress on its own is quite lovely with the full circle skirt.  But it gets even for amazing with a puffy red crinoline underneath! Plus, it hides any additional lumps & bumps that may have resulted due to vintage cookie eating the weeks before….click here to see what I mean. 😉

And I’m happy to say that EVERYTHING I’m wearing in this post came from Tatyana Boutique on West Queen West, in Toronto.  To read more about Tatyana’s new Toronto location click here.

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Red Crinoline,  Harlow Heel red shoes and Audrey red purse  courtesy of Tatyana Boutique – Toronto.
The Alika Circle Polka Retro Dress
Photo Credit: Val Soo

As lovely as everything looked all together,  my outfit was incomplete.  It was missing the much needed “Kitschy” factor.

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED…..a fabulous Poinsettia fascinator!!!    Hand-made by the crafty curator of TVS, Miss Jacquie – isn’t it amazing?  Totally helped perfect my look for the evening’s event! 🙂

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Handmade Kitschy Poinsettia Fascinator …. I’m told that there are some available for sale at Damzel’s East location, FYI 😉

 

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Earrings from Your Big Sister’s Closet; Hair flower made by Jacquie Jeffery

And ….TA-DAH!  My vintage kitschmas look was complete!

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IMG_6001 Blurry end-of-the-night selfie

Extra Bonus to those reading this right now!!!  Tatyana Boutique will happily give you 15% off until December 31st by mentioning this blogpost friends >>>>

Merry Kitschmas to you!!!  Ho! Ho! Ho!

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Tiki Lani Lanai with TVS and Ginger

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Bands.  Vinal.  Videos.  Burlesque.  Hula Dancers.  Signature Cocktails.  Door Prizes.  The Limbo. Swimsuit Contest.  What more could you ask for at Toronto Vintage Society‘s 2nd annual sensational-end-of-summer tiki party.

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I got there early to help my TVS Sistas set up the Cadillac Lounge into a Heavenly Tiki Patio…then I ran home to change before the could fun begin…

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Me along side a few of the lovelies of the TVS Events Team

Me in my tiki-taskti dress, my wicker aqua clutch (Aldo), simple brown ankle-strap sandals (Payless), aqua drop earrings (Reitmans) and my  too-tiny-to-notice hair flower (Forever21)…..

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Y’all know I’m not a big make-up wearer …. but I tried my hand at bright eyes and loud lips with Almay’s intense-i-colour trio for greens and Rimmel’s In Vouge lipstick

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Clearly a dress like this needed a much more substantial hair flower!  Lucky for me the lovely and talented Shermy of Shermette was on hand selling her Fruits of Bali.

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You can follow Shermy and her lovely hair flowers on Instagram: @miss_shermette

She’s got an etsy shop:   Frutis of Bali by Shermette   … just sayin’ 😉

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Want more pictures of the TVS Tiki Party … click here

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Now….let’s talk about MY DRESS!!!!  🙂

I was introduced to world of Cherry Velvet last year via Damzels store on Roncy in Toronto…and since have picked up two lovely dresses that fit my measurements (size 0X) like a glove flattering my curves with different, unique necklines.  And best of all: your bra straps will always be covered and your hands, phone and lipgloss will always have a home in the convenient pockets in ALL of their dresses!

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Click here and here for details on the above Cherry Velvet Dresses.

I’ve been coveting this tropical number for months….drooling over their Instagram post this amazing Tropical Taupe number that would be PERFECT Tiki Party attire for Toronto Vintage Society’s TIKI LANI LANANI.

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Sadly I never found this in store…so it seemed this frock was only going to become a apart of my life and wardrobe if I bought it online. Now, I’m not 100% comfortable buying something I’ve not tried on before, especially when it comes to spending at these particular price points ($100+ per dress).  Sigh…

But, since I own two already I felt fairly confident that my measurements and their sizing chart would make any online purchases a ‘success story’ 🙂

Truth be told that, outside of a German Beer Girl halloween costume (stay tuned for a reappearance of this getup as I just bought tickets to Toronto’s Oktoberfest – woot! woot!)   I have never purchased clothing online before.  My biggest concern or deterrent from online shopping:  Returns and Exchanges if something doesn’t fit right —- aka “The Shipping-Back Hassle”.

I tried to push Ginger (the name of the dress) outta my mind and continue living my life…to find an alternative Tiki outfit for this event.  But I just couldn’t.  I was in love!  Upon revisiting their site last week, turns out Ginger was on sale, a clear signs from the shopping-gods…and the ADD TO CART button was clicked and she was on her way to me 🙂

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I ordered via http://www.cherryvelvet.com on August 1st and by August 8th a Canada Post deliver arrived with my name on it!!!!!  Clearly I was excited as you can see from my Facebook post below…

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Seemingly in my zeal to bring Ginger home to me, I ordered a size 1X, instead of  the needed 0X…and instantly my “Shipping-Back-Hassle” fears were realized.  Lesson Learned folks:  double check, and triple check sizes you selcted and return/exchange policies before clicking ‘checkout’ … le sigh.

Lucky for me, minor alterations were needed to make this dress wearable for the big event were made,  without having to send this beauty back to Vancouver (that’s where Cherry Velvet is based), allowing Ginger & I to have a fabulous time at TVS’s TIKI LANI LANANI Party!

Are you thinking to yourself…. “But Irene, there are TWO lovely new dresses that hang in your closet… tell me more about the other cutie-pie frock?”

Stay tuned for that friends, in an upcoming blogpost 😉  xoxo

 

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Deep-V Faux Wrap

I have to say that I’ve been really, really good about NOT making too many additional outfit purchase since my Cross Boarder Shopping Extravaganza earlier this summer.  Buuuuuuut, every now and again, usually when I finally make it into the office downtown, I maybe find an amazing piece or two that is simply too lovely to pass on.

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Like this amazing sleeveless deep-V faux-wrap dress I saw hanging in a Winners rack just as I was leaving.  There isn’t much of a plus-size selection at many of the locations in the downtown core, or so I’ve found.  This dress that I fell in love with for instance, was a XL in straight sizes.  Dun dun dun…..

I didn’t even have time to try it on – just held it up against my body.   I decided that the DBA (designated-boob-area) was ample enough, the pattern and fabric forgiving enough, that I just ran it over to the checkout and hoped for the best.

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Later that week I found myself running errands in The Duffrin Mall (who, I must say, have really stepped-it-up from the frightening array of shops it housed from my memories as a teen), and discovered these fab booties on sale at Reitmans…… regular price $60 — marked down to $14.99!!!!!!

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A little accessories love: Suede Booties from Reitmans; Jean jacket from Old Nay; Bow earrings and vintage purse were gifted & thrifted.
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New Sunnies!!! My first Aviators…from ElleHardware

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And like that a country line-dancing outfit was born! 🙂

I rocked this outfit and made my way to Boots N’ Bourbon for their Thursday Night lesson + 1/2 priced appies and $5 beers!

Happy to say I wasn’t a complete disaster on the dance-floor.  Thank goodness for all the vid clips from my previous blogpost: Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy!

Giddy Up!

How I Got The Look:

Dress from Winners (Wellington/Yonge); Jean jacket from Old Navy; Booties from Reitmans; Aviator sunglasses from Elle Hardware (West Queen West); Bow earrings were a gift and vintage suede purse thrifted/gifted.

 

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Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy!

I’m a huge line-dancing fan!  Unfortunately there aren’t many places within Toronto that have line-dancing regularly or at all…which meant I’d have to wrangle like-minded folk and travel out to Oshawa or Georgetown (total opposite ends of the city via GO Train.  And upon finally getting there, cowboy hat, boots and all, I’m typically I’m the ONLY brown face on the dance floor.

Sigh…But that has all changed friends as Toronto has opened two new watering holes specifically for country-line-dancin’-lovin’-cowpokes like moi!

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Rock ‘N’ Horse Saloon (formerly London Tap House, right in the heart of the Entertainment Dist) and Boots ‘N’ Bourbon (on Queen St. East) … both I’m told have fab food, drink specials, often live music for line-dancing and best of all a mechanical bull!

Here’s the outfit I’ve lined up to wear…to Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy…Giddy Up!

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20140519-105011-39011880.jpgSunday nights at Boots n’ Bourbon Toronto’s Country Music Line Dancing hosts beginner lessons at 7pm.   Jeff is the patient and handsome instructor who took us through a variety of dances to make us look good on the dance floor …which works out perfectly for us to bust out our newly learnt moves once the live band gets on stage for the rest of the evening! Plus, half priced appetizers and drink specials don’t hurt either 🙂

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There were a bunch of names for the dances learnt that night — super fun and easy to do, with a bit o practice.  Here are few clips of the ones I remembered the names of – in case you’re looking to get a your country line dancing on in your living rooms:

 

Dance #1: Cowboy Charleston

 

Dance #2: Lil’ Yeller’ Blanket (that’s cowboy for “little yellow blanket”)

 

Dance #3: Country As A Boy  Can Be

 

Dance #4: Copperhead Road

 

The live entertainment this night was RORY GARDINER  — *hubba hubba*

Ladies, my distant iPhone pics don’t do him justice…check out his site…Meow indeed!!! 😉

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Overall….what a fantastic way to spend a Sunday night in the city during long weekend!

Yee Haw!!!

Now that you’ve got a few steps under your belt with this post — would you OR have you ever try Country Music Line Dancing yourself?

What did you wear?

How I got The Look:

Flowy short-sleeved dress from Damzels, Doll Factory by Damzels (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Short brown cowboy-ish booties from Payless

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Photo credit: Rebecca Northcott, Rebecca Northcott Photography

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#TVS: Electro Swing TO with Good Co.

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We were at it again folks – Toronto Vintage Society was invited to judge the Best Dressed at Electro Swing TO’s March event this past Friday!  And that meant I got to get all dressed up in 1920s inspired look to mingle with fabulously dressed people and dance the night away to big band electro swing vibes with my friend Liz, a fellow TVS member and blogger at The Vintage Inn.Toronto Vintage Society

Here’s all the pieces of my 1920s inspired look for Friday night’s Electro Swing party:

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I finally got a chance to see the remake of The Great Gatsby flick …. and totally fell in love with that glam and glitter of all the dresses and headpieces. 

In fact, I’ve been playing around to see how I could incorporate more headscarves into my wardrobe.  And then on one of “window shopping only” walks home from the office … I saw the most gorgeous headchain in the window of this little shop specializing in ladies accessories in the P.A.T.H. of Commerce Court downtown.  Needless to say it came home with me … and this Electro Swing party was the perfect reason to wear it…FINALLY!

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Richard aka MedicineMan, Revival Bar’s event organizer, met us at the door, we pow-wowed quickly about how the event would roll out, how the contest and prizing would work.  And then the fun began with Charleston lessons by Lindy Hop Revolution.   Believe it or not, I kicked up my heels pretty good for a first timer – I was lucky to have a strong lead partner.   

Check out Liz doing her thang.  Oooooo….. I can’t wait to start taking lessons!

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And so we mingled and schmoozed around the room with the fabulous attendees to chat up what  Toronto Vintage Society was all about and how they could join/get involved AND of course, tapping those who were on our short-list of BEST DRESSED for the night!  I even bumped into a few familiar faces I met at the last Electro Swing shindig 🙂

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Here are a few colloages of all the fun that was had …

20140322-151154.jpg Dashing Doll went to Loryn and Dapper Dude went to Teddy … both were winners of a $50 gift certificate from Doll Factors by Damzels! 

 goodcomusicGood Co. was the fantastic Electro Swing Band that came all the way from Seattle to party with us at Revival, keeping the crowd dancing with their own renditions of Macklemore’s hit and The Four Season’s “Beggin'” tune were my personal faves of the night!  Their performance ended with each member of the band climbing up onto the bar and toasting with shots – divinely outrageous! 

I was fortunate enough to bump into them in Revival’s green room as I was leaving and they were kind enough to take a few ‘Ellen-inspired’ selfies with me.  Weeeee!

Be sure to visit the Electo Swing TO’s FB page in the next few days, where professional shots of last night’s event can be found, taken by D.Tom … his camera & skills totally trumps my iPhone.  🙂20140322-151145.jpg

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How I got The Look:

Layered dress from DressBarn  + Black sueade Mary-Janes from Payless

Accessories: Black diamond cocktail ring from Jaipur, India; Necklace gift; Earrings from Swarovski; Headchain from…I forget the name of the shop (will find out and update soonest)

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Girls Night Out + Spa Day

With Valentine’s taking place over Toronto’s first long weekend since Xmas holidays –  I’ve allowed myself a few extra days off work to just enjoy being single in the city. My plan was to combine lots of ME time with at least one day of complete indulgence at a Spa + a fab dinner + good wine, where we have an excuse to get all dolled-up and paint the town red…or pink, my fav!

With all the love that’s in the air….spa’s were offering tons of couple deals. Sooo a gf and I decided to take advantage of Elmwood Spa’s $299 deal:

 Elmwood Spa

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I’ve been to this spa many times – it truly is an Urban Oasis right in the heart of the city.  Best part about getting any service here is the unlimited access to their Water Therapies! Hot Tub! Steam Room! Pool! All. Day. Long.

We purposely booked this pampering-day-of-bliss on a Sunday…which meant we could spend the Saturday night before with copious amounts of cocktails!  Since neither of us have ever been ‘clubbin’ girls’…our plan for Saturday night was simple: meet at my place for some pre-outting libations, then walk along Queen W towards Ossington to see what sort of happenings we could encounter.

First stop was The Midpoint – this unpretentious little spot that boasted drink specials and cheapy tacos!  The tunes were amazing … early 90s hip hop & RnB! Totally my vibe….unfortunately after a while we realized how young all the other patrons were…apparently this was “Old Skool Night”….sigh.  So we finished our drinks and continued down the street for another happening!

Second stop was quickly found when we discovered $3.50 tequila shots at The Savoy.  I’ve been here a few times for a quick afterwork drink especially on Wednesday: $5 martini friends!  Boom!  Also the lovely bartendress, Heather, often hooks a girl up with this price-point martini any day of the week …cuz I’m charming like that.  😉

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I’ve never been to this spot on a Saturday night where this casual diner spot transforms into a hot-spot, complete with giant bouncer at the door and duelling DJs spinning a terrific mix of old + new.  It was perfect for us …so we drank and danced like nobody was watching in our hot gal outfits and stumbled our way back to my place around 2am! {Insert Cindy Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” tune here}

For Saturday Night….here’s what I wore:

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Y’all may remember these over-the-knee/thigh-high boots from my recent shoe haul last week from AdditionElle, finally got to break them in on the dance floor. And I’m happy to say that after spraying them they are still in fantastic shape even though they encountered an evening of salty-slushy streets of Toronto.  I also unveiled one of my dresses from Doll Factory that I picked up at their Epic Sale – this shear long-sleeved Winter Forest dress.  Now being a curvy girl, this dress quickly becomes uber short once all my T&A gets into it. But by pairing it with solid black leggings and these thigh-high boots, I think the dress moves from the scandalous category into the chic-hot-gal category, don’t you think? 🙂

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Originally I wanted to wear this dress with the black lace leggings I picked up from the Sears closing sale at the Eaton Center, sadly the weather wasn’t cooperating. Buuuuuut my freind Bexx captured a few fancy shots of this look as an alternative …see below friends.

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Our massage appointment was booked for mid-afternoon, allowing us a much-needed late-wake-up and a lazy do-it-yourself brunch before we walked our way into the downtown core to begin our day of pampering.  We got there around 2:30pm so that we’d have a nice long soak in the exclusive women-only whirlpool/hot-tub before our full body couples massage with handsome, giant German men with big hands (or so we imagined) whist the knots were rubbed out of our necks and backs.  Then back into the hot-tub + steam room for a few more hours – I was determined not to leave until I looked like a raisin!  Then we got dressed and had a splashy prix fix dinner at the Bangkok Garden.

Upon reflection and further investigation, I’m not entirely sure this Elmwood Spa deal was a “deal” at all….but it was still a fantastic day … money well spent in my books!

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How I got The Look:

Nighttime Forest print dress from Yumi, Doll Factory by Damzels  (Roncessvales & Dundas W Sts.)

Solid black leggings from Old Navy, Toronto Eaton Center/Black lace leggings from Jay Emmanuel, Sears (Toronto Eaton Center)

Over-knee/Thigh-high black boots from AdditionElle (Queen & Yonge Sts)

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Photo credit: Rebecca Northcott, Rebecca Northcott Photography