a style blog

Saturday, August 13, 2016

CF Rideau Centre Expansion Party + Simons Opening // Chat

Bloggers at CF Rideau Centre in Ottawa

I'm exhausted. The good kind, but still. What a week it has been! So hold on to your hats, this is going to be a long one!

On Tuesday I was lucky enough to have been invited to a media preview of the new Simons department store, as part of the major expansion project at the Rideau Centre. If you're not familiar with Simons... well... you've been missing out! It's a 176 year old family-run business, catering to the budget friendly, high end, and everything in between. It was always at the top of my "must see" list every time I went to Montreal! They carry a huge variety of designers and brands, but my favourites are their Icone and Contemporaine house brands, as well as their vast accessories section. I'd say their hat game is pretty strong right now, to be honest... 

Simons Ottawa hat

CEO Peter Simons media preview Simons Ottawa
CEO Peter Simons 

Cool Twik bomber jackets at Simons Ottawa

Cool hat with eyes at Simons Ottawa

Chloe xochloegordon and Chantal Chantsy at Simons Ottawa
Me with fellow blogger Chantal! Photo by Julie @trysmallthings

CEO Peter Simons took us on a private tour of the new two-storey, 100 000 square foot store, and he seemed equally as excited as we were that this was finally happening. He told us that he's been wanting to get a store in Ottawa for 15 years! Granted, there is a new-ish store in Gatineau, but it's kind of a hike from our side of the river, and the mall that it's in isn't that big of a draw. This new location is stunning, with beautiful art installations and that crisp white interior that I know all bloggers love ;) 

Photo courtesy of Simons

Photo courtesy of Simons

Photo courtesy of Simons

Somewhat related (but mostly not), this store IS lacking in a cool, neutral-but-architectural exterior conducive to outfit shots, since it's in the mall and they had little control over that part of the design. For example, the Simons in Gatineau is a prime blogger OOTD spot, as its exterior wall is a cool textured white. Granted, there is a big white wall on the fourth floor at the top of the Centre Court escalators that isn't terrible, so all is not lost!

OOTD at Simons Ottawa

It was at this event that the lovely Chantal of Mode XLusive offered to add me as her plus one to the CF Rideau Centre "The Reveal" party - I guess my invitation had gotten lost in the mail ;) They actually ended up sending me an invitation the morning of, so I guess Chantal's email to the PR firm made them say hmmmm.... All of a sudden, I had less than 24 hours to figure out what the heck cocktail chic meant! I went with a dress from Boutique 1861 that I've had sitting in my closet with the tags still on for at least a year now. Finally, somewhere to wear this gorgeous dress! I arrived kind of early (my Uber was unexpectedly efficient) and had to make small talk with strangers, something that is getting a bit easier for me (thank goodness!). Eventually, some familiar faces showed up, and I spent the evening chatting with them, meeting some new faces, and wandering around on my own. 

Entrance to the VIP area... so pretty!

With Emilie from DearEmilieG, Kay from Country Meet City, and Daniele from DMKontrast

#zaradrunk with Emilie

With Emily from What Emily Said, Emilie from DearEmilieG, and Kay from Country Meet City

Dominique from Style Domination, Emilie from Paremilie, yours truly, Jessica from Bytown and Bloor, Emily from What Emily Said, and Coralie from Coralie's Closet

Highlights of the expansion include a two-storey H&M, Anthropologie, a two-storey Zara, the candy store Squish, Massimo Dutti, NYX Cosmetics, and my new favourite shoe store, L'Intervalle. At the launch party, we had the opportunity to roam around through all the stores, and shop if the mood struck. It was also an open bar, so I fully value and will never forget the first (and last) time I got to drink red wine while shopping in Zara.  

I have to say, this is a massively exciting development for Ottawa. Ottawa is a huge tourist destination year-round, especially the downtown core. While it has majorly improved in the past five years or so, I have always felt a bit of embarrassment that the Rideau Centre was all we had to offer. To finally have our downtown mall be the "it" spot to go is wonderful. We're on our way up, friends!

Now to share the love - please go say hello to my blogger friends, some new, some old:

Emilie from DearEmilieG
Julie from Try Small Things
Chantal from Mode XLusive
Kay from Country Meet City
Daniele and Michel from DMKontrast
Emily from Best of This Life
Katie from YOW City Style
Dominique from Style Domination
Emily from What Emily Said
Emilie from paremilie
Jessica from Bytown and Bloor
Coralie from Coralie's Closet
Symone from Screativestudios
Marilou from Twenty York Street
Kristina from Kouture Kitten
Jenn J on YouTube 

A huge thanks to CF Rideau Centre for putting on such a great party, and to Simons for such a great media preview! 

xo Chloë

Monday, August 8, 2016

'90s Chic // OOTD

Toronto Island OOTD ft. Forever 21 floral dress, Zara backpack, and Adidas sneakers

I went on a bit of a roadtrip last week - just a few days in Toronto - and ended up on Toronto Island for the first time. What a cool place! I think I'd be there all the time if I lived in Toronto, even just to sit in the shade on the beach and read. My outfit for this outing ended up being completely 90s inspired, and I'm fully okay with that. 

Toronto Island OOTD ft. Forever 21 floral dress, Zara backpack, and Adidas sneakers

Toronto Island OOTD ft. Forever 21 floral dress, Zara backpack, and Adidas sneakers

This dress is Forever 21, and I think I've already worn it into the negatives in terms of cost per wear. So comfy, so flattering. I'm pretty sure I actually owned a kids version of this dress in the 90s, so it's definitely consistent with my lifelong aesthetic... 

The backpack is new from Zara, and cost me only $35. Super roomy, and really nice quality. I've been looking for a leather backpack similar to the Mansur Gavriel ones, but this will certainly do for now!

Details are my usuals - Adidas Miss Stan sneakers (though these are being retired soon in favour of a new pair), cheap eBay tattoo choker, Daniel Wellington watch, Strut Jewelry opal necklace, my usual rings... you know, my old standbys. Although I don't think you've seen these sunglasses yet? They're Celine and I got them at Saks Off 5th a while back. I love the frame on them! 

Stay tuned to my blog and YouTube channel for more posts - I'm planning to be around a lot more! 

xo Chloë
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