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DESIGN and style


Sock Slippers by Collegien

collegien slippers illustrations

Isabelle of Accro de la Mode captured the warmth that I felt when I laid my eyes on these French-made sock slippers. They seem so comfy and perfect to keep my feet warm right now. Collégien, the French maker, produces pairs made of cashmere for the colder months. I wish that we could buy here somewhere in North America. Here are some of my favorite patterns.

+ Ireland – Flake Slippers by Collegien $45.99 USD
+ illustration by Accro de la Mode


What to Do in Montreal: The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk

animated mannequin

animated mannequin

Tomorrow will be the last day that you can see Jean Paul Gaultier’s exhibit at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I went a few weeks ago and I really enjoyed the visit.

The animated mannequins add a wonderful touch to the exhibit. Dressed by Gaultier, the figures soliloquize, observe in silence and sometimes even break into song. The technique involves the projection of a video onto a mannequin head. It engages us further into the universe by providing details about why and how Gaultier created those outfits or styles.

men suit dress by jean paul gaultier

The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk exhibit explores the signature styles of Jean Paul Gaultier through five galleries: Boudoir, Skin Deep, Punk Cancan, Urban Jungle and Metropolis.

extra long jeans by jean paul gaultier

There are plenty of wonderful creations to see. I selected a few details to show you the extent of his artistic genius. I like this men suit dress. And I wish I could buy extra long jeans for my baby, just to replicate this style. Sadly, they would not fit him at the waist, if I do.

elaborate hairdo :: urban jungle gallery

Have a look at the intricacy of the hairdo. The Urban Jungle gallery was filled with amazing detailed works.

metropolis gallery jean paul gaultier

If you live in the States, you weill be happy to know that The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk will travel to Dallas and San Francisco before going to Europe.

Dallas Museum of Art
November 13, 2011 – February 12, 2012

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, de Young
March 24 – August 19, 2012

See More Photos on my Facebook page.

+ The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier. From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
+ photos: Kim Vallee – excuse the picture quality, I only had my iPhone with me


Textile Field Installation by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec

Textile Field installation

Textile Field installation

The Bouroullec brothers have designed an art installation that democratizes a visit to the museum. For the London Design Festival, the Victoria & Albert Museum invited them to intervene in any space we wanted within the Museum. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec decided to create a huge textile platform on which you can sit or lay down in any way you want. The idea is to bring comfort and to not feel intimidated by the art pieces displayed at the museum.

Textile Field installation by ronan and erwan bouroullec

Made in collaboration with Kvadrat, Textile Field is an installation 30 meters long and 8 meters wide which takes over 240m sq of the floor of the famous Raphael Cartoons Gallery. Their design would translate well in a cosy couch for a home theater room or become a mat for playroom.

Textile Field installation at Victoria & Albert Museum

The installation will be on show during the London Design Festival, from September 15th to September 25th 2011.

Victoria & Albert Museum
Cromwell Road
London SW7 2RL
Opening hours: daily from 10am to 17.45pm and on Friday from 10am to 22.00pm

+ Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec


What to Do this Weekend: The exhibitIKEA 2011 in Toronto

david dixon dresses exhibitikea 2011

exhibitikea 2011

I attended the opening gala of the exhibitIKEA last Wednesday night. It showed IKEA under another eyes. It is inspiring to see how four renowned artists transformed everyday products and furniture. I truly enjoyed three installations out of the four that are presented.

Bruno Billio’s Chair Columns

ikea fabrics and cushions on a bench exhibitikea 2011

As you enter the gallery space, you will notice the chair columns. Bruno Billio stacked 400 black and white identical IKEA REIDAR chairs under a big mirror to create his piece. Honestly, I only care for that piece because it created zones for the party. The nice fabric of the cushions on the long bench caught more my eye.

David Dixon’s Dressing Room

David Dixon's IKEA-inspired collection

The dresses created by fashion designer David Dixon were my favorite part. It is not surprising that he designs everything around a large dressing room.

david dixon dresses exhibitikea 2011

Dixon really demonstrates that, with a proper eye, you can take mass-market fabrics and produce a refined product. Like he does for his own collections, he selected a color palette for his installation. I never thought that they were as many fabulous grey and white fabrics at IKEA.

dress room exhibitikea 2011

It is also a nice lesson on how to match patterns to create an individual look. I might steal his fabric choices for a chair that I wish to reupholster with several fabrics. Grey and white is the palette of my living room.

art photos and dresses exhibitikea 2011

George Whiteside’s Still Life Photos

photography gallery exhibitikea 2011

Influenced by the work of Italian painter Giorgio Morandi, he layered vintage papers as his background and created soothing combinations with IKEA vases, pots and objects.

photography details exhibitikea 2011

His photographs were all framed in white IKEA ODBY frames.

Thrush Holmes Shack

rustic house exhibitikea 2011

Holmes built the outside with the nondescript IKEA flat boxes. The graffiti style exterior contrasts with the refined interior. He staged a cozy guy bedroom, that does not scream IKEA.

rustic bedroom exhibitikea 2011

There is still time to see it in person. exhibitIKEA is open to the public today until from 10am to 6pm and on Sunday,  August 21 from 12 to 6pm. It is located at 363 King Street West, Toronto.

Disclaimer: I was invited by IKEA, who paid for my flight from Montreal to Toronto and my hotel. Besides showing up at the media event, they asked nothing else from me. I wrote about the exhibit because I think that it is worth a visit.


Tools at Schools Taught Eight Graders about Good Design

tools for school desk chair locker

tools for school desk chair locker

I believe that design should be a part of every step of our daily life. Therefore, I can only applaud this initiative by Design studio aruliden and Bernhardt Design. They conceived Tools at Schools to teach the eighth graders at The School at Columbia University the value of design as a problem-solving tool.

tools for school study desk

The project involved designing a student locker, chair and desk. I think that they did a brilliant job. They addressed the needs of the different classes through a set of accessories. This is a cost-effective and practical solution since the core of the desk stays the same for all classes.

tools for school art desk

Each locker is identified with the kid’s name. The inside of the locker contains multiple storage units for books and school supplies, a message board, hooks for clothes and a large bottom drawer.

tools for school lockers

The students have been taught what is design but most importantly, they experienced the process on a concrete manner. Good design enhances our life at many levels. It provides comfort since it is fitted for a task and it should be aesthetically pleasing. We are never too young to appreciate good design.

If you wish to learn more about this fabulously inspiring project, watch the 6 videos that cover the processes.

+ Tools for School


I’m in Fashion Magazine

kim in fashion magazine of May 2011

kim in fashion magazine of May 2011

Just a quick note to highlight the fact that I participated in an article where two dermatologists assess the daily routines of 5 women and give advice on aging gracefully. We each represent one decade.

This involved a photo shoot when I was 38-week pregnant. I was glad that it was only for a portrait. You can discover little facts about my life in the May 2011 issue of Fashion magazine. The photographer was Coey Kerr. My hair and makeup was done by Andrew Ly.

+ Fashion Magazine – May 2011 issue


Do not miss Cupcake Camp Montreal 2010!

cupcake camp Montreal 2010

cupcake camp Montreal 2010

The biggest cupcake sale in Montreal will happen in two weeks. Cupcake Camp Montreal 2010 should be awesome. The event will be hosted by two MCs and has an impressive panel of 10 food personalities to judge the cupcake competition. Amongst the judges, there are 3 Food Network hosts and 2 established pastry chefs. The food TV hosts are Chuck Hughes of Chuck’s Day Off, Ricardo Larrivée of Ricardo & friends and Nadia G of Bitchin Kitchen.

There is no need to be a professional baker to contribute. Amateur bakers can donate their own cupcakes. The minimum amount is 24 regular size cupcakes but it is recommended that you donate at least 48 cupcakes.  If you wish to donate your own cupcakes, fill up the online form.

By attending Cupcake Camp Montreal you will also help kids in need and food banks. The proceeds of Cupcake Camp Montreal 2010 will be split between two charities: Kids Help Phone and Tablée des Chefs. Their goals are to raise $15,000, to have 2000 attendees and 10,000 donated cupcakes.

Reserve the afternoon of November 21st and bring your sweet tooth. It is a nice family event. Tickets at the door cost $10. Your ticket gives you three cupcakes and a coffee. For a small donation, you can bring home more cupcakes. I hope to see you there.

Nov. 15th, 2010 update: To be able to accommodate all of you cupcake lovers, the event will be held at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth!

+ Cupcake Donation Form and Competition Form
+ Get all the details at Cupcake Camp Montreal 2010


Hermes’ Store Windows Go Comic Book Style with Fred Harper

hermes store windows on madison and 62th street in NYC

hermes store windows on madison and 62nd street in NYC

One thing that is fun when you visit New York City is to admire the wonderfully styled window displays. One that caught my eye is Hermes’ store windows on Madison and 62nd Street. Their agency, Twoseven Inc. asked Fred Harper, who was a comic book artist in early 1990s, to create the drawings.

details of F. Harper illustrations for hermes store windows on madison and 62nd street in NYC

The illustrations captures the spirit of Hermes. I like it! I was glad that I got my camera with me. There were not many pedestrians on Madison when we passed by last night but almost everyone stopped by to admire the store windows.

+ Fred Harper Illustration


Yumi Dresses | Getting Ready for the Baby series

yumi dresses

yumi dresses

I am starting a new series called “Getting ready for the Baby” where I will share how you, your life and your home can stay stylish during a pregnancy. The topics will be inspired by my experiences as a first-time pregnant woman.

Wearing What You Like During Pregnancy

I told you Monday about how maternity clothes lack style and even look depressing. Many of you gave me wonderful advices in your comments. My most important conclusion was to try to find clothes from regular collections. After all, there are several styles that would allow for an increasing belly.

Let’s face it, leggings are way more comfortable than maternity jeans. And unless you are willing to spend top dollars, maternity pants look cheap. One practical solution is to find long tops and dresses to create nice outfits. And we are lucky because they are plenty of those in vogue this year.

That was my plan as I stopped by my favorite local boutique, Boutique EXTC at 19 Prince-Arthur Street, earlier today. Boutique EXTC sells trendy clothes at a reasonable price. I have a been a loyal customer since a decade or so. I often find cute dresses and tops there.

And they continue to serve me well. I left the store with two cute dresses by Yumi and a pair of dark grey knitted leggings by C’est Moi. If I can find a fall coat and a few tops in New York this weekend, I will be happy.

The top picture showed two dresses from Yumi’s Intarsia collection. I like the small details. Sadly, the other dress that I bought is not yet online. They describe the Intarsia collection in those terms:

With Nordic and North American roots, intarsia knits combine colourful yarns to create kitsch and cosy outfit options for the cold months in 2010 and 11. Think Alpine chic, warming by the fire and ski lodges!

It suits me. Yumi is a London based clothing company. Yumi draws inspiration from London street style, combined with emerging trends and offers a liberated collection that appeals to the style conscious consumer with an eye for intricacy, creativity and quality.

+ Yumi Lucy Wave Lace Dress in Pink €84.99 – $155 CAD at Boutique EXTC
+ Yumi Amera Pom Pom Dress €75.99


Big News: I’m Pregnant!

i'm pregnant

i'm pregnant

My husband and I decided that it was time for us to expand our family. Therefore, Jerome and I are happy to announce that I’m expecting a baby boy. I can’t wait for the end of February to hold him in my arms.

As you can imagine, I already know which stroller I want, which furniture and bedding will decor the nursery. Where I need more help is with clothing. There are not many maternity stores near downtown Montreal. I do not wish to shop in a suburb mall because I will waste 1 or 2 hours driving in a car for the return trip.

I was thrilled to hear that Mexx launched a maternity collection but frankly, I was very disappointed. Boring style, no patterns. They do not seem to recognize that being pregnant is a happy time and that we also wish to wear colors and patterns.

What are the Best Maternity Stores in New York?

I will be in New York next weekend. I already know about Macy’s, Gap Maternity (which is not available in Canada) and Motherhood (which are only in the suburbs). Therefore, I am asking you for suggestions. Where should I look for fun, reasonably priced maternity clothes? I’m looking for a warm knee-length fall coat, a few dresses, tops and pants.