gEttiNG tO kNOw stylist, MicHElle AdDiSOn

Welcome to the “Getting To Know You” Segment with Stylist Michelle Addison of Jesse Carlson Wardrobe. I met the gorgeous and talented Michelle a few years back in an acting class and then frequently at one of my all time favorite Gastown boutiques. I am always fond of our random chats and was excited to learn of Michelle’s exciting new adventure.  I hope you all enjoy – Christina XO

RARE LITTLE BIRD- “Getting To Know You” Segment.

WHO: Michelle Addison
WHAT: Personal Stylist
COMPANY: Jessie Carlson Wardrobe

€    Mini Eggs OR Maltesers? Mini eggs

If you had your own reality show what would it be called? “have style will travel”

€    You were store manager at: A. One of a Few B. Urban Behavior C. Tim Hortons. How did this role as well as past experiences inspire you to become a personal stylist? I loved working at One of a Few. I got to meet some great people, wear amazing clothes from great designers and work with Michelle Rizzardo who has really helped me define my own sense of style.  She always encouraged me to do personal styling and suggested I help people with their closets and I guess that gave me confidence to just go for it. And then I found Jessie and things just fell into place.

€    Describe a typical day in the life for you as a wife, mother, actress and personal stylist?
Well a typical day I wake up at 6am, not by choice, but because my daughter refuses to sleep in!! We usually get to spend the morning together playing in her playhouse, going to gymnastics etc., and then I will work with a client in the afternoon for a few hours either “cleansing a closet” or going shopping. On the rare occasion that I have an audition as well, I usually spend the morning talking to myself (practising my lines) which Stella thinks is just the weirdest thing and then dragging her to an audition. Luckily I haven’t met anyone who wasn’t willing to sit with her in the waiting room while I went in for my 5 minute thing. I am home for dinner which is very uninspired except if my husband is home in which case he cooks and it always tastes amazing. Stella goes to sleep at 7 so then I try to catch up on some emails. Is that exciting enough for you?
Hahahah Yes! Busy Bee.

€    Flashback to the 90’s. What would YOU be wearing on a  “Girls Night Out?” Oh God… it depends if it was early 90’s or late 90’s…early nineties I would be wearing big star jeans with green doc martins and a guess jeans t-shirt (at around 14) and late 90’s I would be wearing some sort of black turtleneck with a scarf and a short skirt. I loved the turtleneck plus the scarf in theatre school. AND I always wore a short skirt whether it was appropriate or not.

€    What is your personal style and how has your fashion sense changed throughout the years? Oh my fashion has changed big-time. I think that when I was younger I experimented a lot. Being an actress for so long you get really into the bohemian thing which isn’t always that cool. I would say that i have gotten less spontaneous over the years and have started investing in some good quality pieces that will stand the test of time. I am not so into buying so much bulk anymore. I am much more choosy, that’s not to say that I don’t buy any of the trendy things but maybe one or two and I will only wear the things that look good on my body type. Most trends aren’t for everyone.  It wasn’t until I started working in retail and working with my clients that I found my niche which I would say is classic and comfortable with an edge. I also think becoming older and more confident in my own skin has worked wonders on my sense of style. I can firmly stand behind all my fashion choices.

€    There are a lot of personal stylists in Vancouver, Why Jessie Carlson? And how do both of your personal fashion tastes balance one another? I honestly can say that working with/for Jessie has been such a gift. I totally admire her sense of self and her sense of style. Our styles compliment each other because both of us ultimately believes in less is more and we always sway towards timeless and classic…but I think that I bring a little edge to the company and I adore  accessorizing which I believe can really set you apart for personal style. On the whole we agree on most things except maybe bows…i like them! Jessie just had a baby a few months ago so it has been great sharing a career and motherhood with her.

€    Some women/men dread putting together outfits, are critical of themselves and often get frustrated with knowing “what’s in” or “what makes them feel special”. Describe your relationship with your clients and how you gain their trust in meeting their needs and making them feel comfortable in their skin? I would say that I gain their trust because I really know clothes, I have a good sense of what looks good with what. I try to use what my clients have in their closet to help them put together outfits that they might not have thought of. But I find that most people are lacking the basics, a good heel, a coat, a great pair of jeans- the boring stuff really- but if you don’t have those things it’s really hard to find an outfit to go with your neon shirt that you may have picked up on sale!! I also find that being a mom helps too because I am constantly bending and rolling around on the floor I need things that work for my lifestyle and so do other moms yes, you can be stylish and be a mom!!

€    Rachel Zoe, Nicole Chavez OR Andrea Lieberman? Nicole Chavez… except that I love Andrea’s clothing line A.L.C too!!

€    Choice of “relaxation” beverage? Mint tea

€   What is your favorite event to dress a client for? “The not-trying-too-hard first date” Oh and I would love to dress someone for the Toronto Film Fest..So Christina get on it!!

LOL  I WILL! BELIEVE ME! It’s on my goal list and I’ll know who to hire!

€  Weather it be a celebrity, anchorman, political leader or Christina Sicoli, Who would you love to dress and Why?
Other than you… I guess it would be nice to dress celebrities for the sheer fact that they go to so many parties and I love dressing women for parties…but I also like dressing everyday women just as much. It gives me great joy to watch women and men’s confidence soar when they feel good in what they are wearing. We have just launched men’s styling and I absolutely love dressing men. They are way more daring than you would think. So…maybe Brad Pitt? I would like to dress him.

€  Tell me about the HIGH-END-RE-SALE that is being held on March 19th  from 2-5pm at The Center For Peace. Why should we come? Well you should come because it will be amazing clothes from amazingly stylish women’s closets. Michelle from One of a Few, Dace, Isabelle Dunlop, Jessie and myself and some other VERY fashionable people. Lots of different sizes, designer brands and new and hardly worn clothing. It will be like going to a consignment store except it won’t suck. AND it will be really cheap…did I mention that I am selling my Prada heels for $60?? I mean seriously it is a fashion lovers dream come true. I suggest coming early because the great stuff will go fast. We are planning on doing it every year. Partial proceeds will be going to Avalon a center for women who are struggling with addiction.

€    What “tools” or “themes” do you use to identify a client with helping them create their own unique sense of style? For example, personality, first impression, the music they listen to, magazines they read. That is a good question!!  I would say that entering into someone’s closet and bedroom gives me a great sense of what kind of person they are. I get to see what they have picked out for themselves and what they have held on to for years. And when we go shopping together I can tell right away whether they are going to go for an outfit or not. I would never put someone in something that they didn’t love. Some might be afraid of an outfit because it takes them out of their comfort zone but all see the possibility for themselves…you can’t argue with how good you look.

€    How often do you purchase magazines? (Which ones are they) I purchase a ton of magazines- first Canadian ones- Fashion and Flare- because it is important to know what we have in Canada, and I have a subscription to Vogue of course, i like nylon(for accessories), Bazaar, British Vogue and I actually read a lot of the fashion blogs now… I appreciate funny commentary.

€    We all indulge in retail therapy from time to time OR most of the time. YIKES! You are doing this most days. How do you cope with a fussy or demanding client not to mention being around clothing (for yourself too) ? (the fussy or demanding client) I have never had one. I have had the pleasure of working with very open-minded people. Some people might be stressed about the pressure of an event or trip and need to get it exactly right but as long as they stay open-minded it goes very smoothly…mainly because someone else is helping them with the decision making. AND my retail therapy? yes, I do shop a lot for other people and i can’t help eyeing certain pieces myself. If I am completely obsessed with something it will usually find its way into my closet. But luckily I do so much research for other people who I am not really an impulse buyer anymore. I have thought long and hard when it comes to putting down the plastic.

€    If you had a choice of only three items of wardrobe. Ok four items of wardrobe to bring with you on a trip to Hawaii (No, I’m not taking you…sorry). What would they be?
Oh…thanks for the invite but I can’t make it anyway. I always find my wardrobe so satisfying when I am away because you can plan each outfit in advance, don’t you? I usually over pack 😦
€    Hawaii:
€    a long or short strapless jersey dress (for the beach and perfect to throw on after the beach),
€    brown strappy flat sandals,
€    jean cut off shorts(will be very popular this summer),
€    a pair of flats
€    a great black sun dress(to wear with flip flops or dinner out)
€    at least two white tank tops (get new ones – you’ll like them really white with your tan)
€    I think i might be packing your whole suitcase now…

€    What’s the best advice you can give to any of your clients? If you don’t think you have a good sense of style- don’t worry- you can always hire someone- and take the credit.

€    Shakespeare OR Anna Sui’s latest book? I like going to see shakespeare I don’t necessarily like reading shakespeare so I would say the anna sui book…although i didn’t know she had a new book…

€     How would you dress “Michelle Addison” for an Awards Gala if she came to you with “nothing to wear”?
Head to toe Stella Mcartney or Isabel Marant

Occupation: Actress/Comedienne/Super Cool Chick
You get to dress me for a Film Festival Gala.
I would put you in this Rachel Gilbert Dress- how amazing would you look in this dress…to die for!!!

I LOVE IT!!!!!  Let’s Do It!

Thank you Michelle! Everyone go and support a great cause at the High End Re Sale on March 19th! And hire Michelle if you need an amazing personal stylist! – Christina XO


Getting To Know Oliver and Lilly’s

I hope everyone had a Happy Turkey weekend!  It’s been awhile, I took a slight hiatus with my blog, but I am back! One of my favorite things about fall is the cool crisp air and the change in colors of the leaves. Every night reminds me of Halloween. There is always something in the air. I look forward to checking out fall collections and frequent my favorite stores in search of something new or used. And here is one of them for my “Top 20 Getting To Know You”.
A few years ago I discovered a hidden gem in the South Granville Area. A little boutique called Oliver and Lilly’s owned and operated by the ever charming Leighann Boquist. There is never a moment when I’m not greeted with a warm smile and friendly demeanor. I always look forward to chatting with Leighann about the latest pieces she’s brought in  and the cool vintage items she has placed around her gem. It has now become one of my favorite Go To shoppes when I am looking for something for an event, audition, or everyday wear. It has something to offer for the fashion forward gal. Whether it be casual or dressy, Oliver and Lilly’s offers a unique selection and a few of my personal favorite labels such as “Something Else” by Natalie Wood, Charlotte Ronson, Steven Alan and Alternative Apparel. I had the pleasure of learning a bit about Leighann and her fabulous store in my TOP 20: GETTING TO KNOW YOU. Enjoy! – Christina XO

Name: Leighann Boquist
Title: Owner/Buyer
Shoppe: Oliver & Lilly’s
1. Hot Chocolate OR Coffee with Bailey’s? Ooooh, for sure Coffee with baileys.
2. What inspired you to open Oliver & Lilly’s, and WHO are Oliver & Lilly? Oliver and Lilly are two names I came up with for a college project, and the names stuck with me when I decided to open a shop.  As for what inspired me to open Oliver & Lilly’s…  A little of everything really; I always wanted a shop to call my own and truly the timing was right.
3. What makes your shoppe stand out from the rest in the South Granville block? The bright red balloons and our approachable price range.
4. Describe a typical day for you? Lately it’s been… Wake at 5:30am pour myself a massive mug of coffee, head out to meet my friend for a run on the seawall. Home for coffee & breakfast, then start the workday which usually wraps up around 7 or 8 pm. Come home, throw on some comfies make or order in some dinner then just enjoy the evening. (Most days)
5. VOGUE or NYLON magazine? Vogue
6. How should a woman feel when they walk into your Shoppe? My hope is that everyone feels welcomed and comfortable. The shop has a lovely vibe to it, and we really hope others feel it too.
7. What are your 3 favorite words? ‘I love you’ and ‘hi auntie Lanny’
8. What are some of the brands in your store? And tell me why you chose these particulars. To name a few: Steven Alan, Heidi Merrick, Demylee, Ali Ro, James Jeans, Eze Sur Mer, Alternative Apparel (and more) All chosen because they’re the perfect blend for everyday wear.
9. If you were allowed only 3 items from your Shoppe to bring with you on a tropical island what would they be? Hmmm… well, a Cuche bikini for swimming, a Rocky Hoodie to keep me warm, and then a long Heidi Merrick dress for the tropical evenings; all worn with bare feet of course.
10. Describe your style: T-shirt meets cardigan meets jeans meets flats.
11. Do you believe white to be a faux pas after Labor Day? Not at all.
12. What have you learned from opening up your own business? I’ve learned the value of sleep and exercise.
13. Any advice for inspired entrepreneurs? My advice for inspiring entrepreneurs is to work in the specific industry that you are interested in. Get a taste for it; see if it’s really for you.  Make a plan, do your research, and then just take the leap.  Follow your instincts and you’ll be okay. Every day you’ll learn more efficient and effective ways to work the operations of your business.  The biggest step is just getting started. It all will come together.
14. Who are your fashion influences? I’m presently inspired by Kerri Russell and Gwyneth Paltrow.
15. Rolling Stones OR KISS? Rolling Stones.
16. What is the most important piece of advice u give to a customer when they are trying on items in your Shoppe? I always express that it’s important to be comfortable in the items and to not have to fuss much with it. Who wants to always be adjusting / fussing with what they’re wearing throughout the day.
17. Tell me a little bit about your background. Did you go to Business OR Art School? I went to college for general studies and then to Blanche Macdonald and studied fashion. For the past 10 years I worked in the visual side of retail with smaller boutiques to large national chain stores.  Come 2007 the American company I was working for was issuing layoffs and my department was one of them. It really was the perfect jumping point to begin considering starting my own business…. and well, now we’re here! And super happy to be here at that!
18. What did you want to be when you were a little girl? I wanted to be a choreographer for music videos. And then maybe Madonna, Debbie Gibson or Stacy Q (remember the song Two of Heart’s?) YES!!
19. Pretty In Pink OR Pretty Woman? Pretty Woman
20. Do you travel for work? If so, where is your favorite destination city? If not, where do you love to go for a weekend of fashion and fun? Right now we travel to Los Angeles for work. As for favorite destination cities for fashion and fun, I have three; New York, LA and San Francisco. Three completely opposite places, each with their own distinct vibes.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!   GO AND CHECK OUT  OLIVER AND LILLY’S!!! You Won’t Be Disappointed. I never am. Well only when I can’t buy. That’s one big BOO.


Not Just Any Ol Violet

About two years ago I was strolling (window shopping) along South Granville (as I tend to do…ALOT of) and stumbled upon Violet Boutique owned by the sweet and talented Genevieve Allen. As I walked into the brightly lit boutique inspired by decadent french decor, my heart started to pound as it usually does when I am surrounded by exclusive labels, colorful fabrics, delicate patterns and unique designs. I basically have A.D.D times two when I enter Boutique land and/or Vintage stores. Actually, anything with bright colors to be honest with you. I am a huge fan of independent designers and boutique owners, especially when they carry one of a kind items that you won’t find in other mainstream stores. I was pleasantly greeted by this young proprietor and her very friendly puppy, Beatrice who accompanies her to work every day. Well o.k, she’s actually the official “greeter” or “sniffer” of the boutique and the perfect employee at that. What a delightful space. I could live there! Seriously, one could fit a bed in the upper loft space. From the dressing rooms adorned with pink cushioned vintage chairs, the very large vintage mirror and the old blue dresser/display case filled with  jewelry from France and local Vancouver designers it is the perfect set up for an apartment. O.k, o.k enough with my imaginary silliness. But, I would move there in a heart beat. A girl can dream of being surrounded by such luxuries, Right? Sigh. Inspired by her many travels abroad, Genevieve has a distinctive eye for fashion and no problem putting together an eclectic package of goodies in this lovely shop called Violet.

I had a fun time chatting with the gals of Violet, Genevieve and Stephanie.  They allowed me to snap some shots and play dress up for them as I asked them to dress me in three different outfits. Here are,

The Getting To Know You Top 20

Name Genevieve Allen

Title Owner/Buyer

Boutique Violet Boutique

Mint Chocolate Chip OR Raspberry Sorbet? Both! But if I had to choose it would be mint chocolate chip.

1. What is the first thing you do when you get home from work? Take of my shoes, put on something comfy and take my dog to the park. Or make dinner, I love to cook.

2. How was “Violet” conceived and tell me about the origin of it’s name? – It was between one of three names, Blanche, after my Grandmother, The Library, after my love of books, and Violet, because the saying “shrinking Violet” was the endearing term my Mom used to describe my shyness as a child. I’ve always liked the phrase because it turned my awkwardness into something pretty and abstract. Not to mention Violets are one of my favorite flowers.

3. How long have you owned your store and what inspired you to open it?It will be 2 years in October. I’ve always wanted to have my own little store where I could bring my dog to work and be my own boss. The travel and clothes are a nice perk too.

4. Who is your hero? That’s a tough one; She-Ra Warrior Princess was my child hood hero so I think I’ll stick with that.

5. When someone walks into your boutique, How do you want them to feel?Comfortable, inspired, excited, beautiful.

6. Are you a lover Or a fighter? – Probably more of a lover, but I have a bit of fighter in me when necessary!

7. If you opened a sister store would you call it “Rose Boutique”, “Lily Boutique”, “Wild Flower Boutique” or None of the Above? – My favorite scent is rose… so maybe Rose Boutique, but I’ll have to get back to you on that one.

8. How many hats do you own? – One.

9. Favorite 80’s movie? – Dirty Dancing and The Little Mermaid.

10. High collard blouse OR Crop top? – Definitely high collared blouse.

11. When you put together your outfits, Do you base it on  A.) The weather  B.) Comfort  C.) What everyone’s wearing – A combo of A and B and also a bit of the seasons trends.

12. What is the theme of your boutique? – It’s very much about dressing beautifully, comfortably, individually and with a bit of an edge. The concept came from the idea of walking into a beautiful Paris apartment of a good friends. One with an amazing wardrobe, where all the best pieces have already been selected for you.

13. Favorite Designer? – Dries Van Noten, Rachel Comey, Lanvin, Sachin & Babi, Paul & Joe Sister

14. Independent Or Mainstream? – Independent.

15. If you had a tag line for your boutique what would it be? – Dreamy eccentricity.

16. What clothing/shoe lines do you carry in your store? Why these? – Alice By Temperley, Cotelac, Dace, Des Petites Hauts, Fiorentini & Baker, MIH Jeans, Paul & Joe Sister, Rachel Comey (clothes & shoes), Sachin & Babi, Shereen de Rousseau, Sita Murt and Tucker By Gay Basora. Because each of these designers works with beautiful material and creates unique and intelligent fashion that tells a story.

17. If you going to Hawaii and were only allowed to pack 3 items in your suitcase, What would they be? – Sunscreen SPF 60 –I’m a burner! A bikini and sun hat.

18. Which statement is True OR False: Genevieve hates dogs. Genevieve LOVES dogs.

19. What did you want to do when you were 5yrs old? – I’m pretty sure I wanted to be Dolly Parton. Clearly, I did not have my priorities in order!

20.  Describe your store – Feminine meets modern meets French ingénue.

THANK YOU GENEVIEVE!!!! Christina xo

Miss Beatrice: Not For Sale.

Beautiful Genevieve and Miss Beatrice. I love Genevieve’s heels. If you ever give them up! I will adopt those pretty pink heels.

Yes a Sale. And yes, I kept my wallet at home.

The Gals at work.

Beautiful pieces.

Love this teak table. It would fit perfectly in my living room.

There’s no place like home.

TUCKER DRESS -Silk in “The Silent Spaces” print.

RACHEL COMEY – “Farer’s Suite” in check print.

TUCKER blouse– “Light Footed Genies” print/DACE “Coco pant”, Black high-waisted cigarette pant (local)/ REMINISCENCE necklace (Paris)/My own vintage lace up shoes. All three outfits would look great with booties or wedges too!

I’m a fan of the candid shots! Oops! Holding up the ta ta’s.


The Soap Show

This Monday July 24, 2010 the naive and weird hostess/spoken word artist, Miss Halle Barry returns to The Soap Show” for Season 1 of “Jour du Jour’. I  had the pleasure of interviewing this odd little gem. Here are a few questions in our

Getting to Know You”  TOP 10.

Name: Halle Barry

Title: Hostess/Spoken Word Artists

Where: Jour du Jour

Romance Novel OR Judy Blume? Romance Novel(s)

1. What did you eat for breakfast this morning? – Hemp seeds and cottage cheese plus 3 coffee’s. But I didn’t eat the coffee, I drank it. HA.Hahahahaaaaaahahhahahah.

2. Describe your perfect date. – He picks me up and we go back to his place.

3. That’s it? – That’s perfection.

4. I noticed you have a slight lisp. It’s very charming,  Talk about it. – I actually had a stroke when I was 6 years old. I woke up from a terrible nightmare and jolted my body somehow. The doctors still aren’t sure the cause but I think I was so scared that I pulled something that ultimately affected my speech patterns. I also stuck my tongue to a pole in the winter and had to pull it off. My tongue has never been the same. I think that may have contributed to it.  Then there was the time when I-

5. Alright. I think our readers get the point. Many people don’t know you are a spoken word artist aside from hosting duties . Are you working on a specific piece of spoken word? – As a matter of fact I am.  I started a piece on WOLVES. Here is a sneak peek:


You drown me with your cry furry beast. Die.

I just wrote that this morning after I got out of the bathtub.  A lot of my inspirations come from the bath.  I think it’s the water that gives me ideas or the fact that my cat Nikki passed away last week. She got killed by a wolf. I release a lot of tension through my writings.

6. Tell me about a typical day at “Jour du Jour”. – Hmmm well I show up to work and then they close it down due to health inspections. It actually has never really been open. So I usually dance around barefoot, practice my spoken words on my co-workers there, polish cutlery over and over again. Tons of things to do. Sometimes I just stare of in space. I love when I do that.

7. You share the same name with the famous actress, Halle Berry. Do people get you two confused? – Not at all. Her’s is pronounced Halle Berry (as in blueberry). Mine is pronounced Barry as in (ballet Bar.) The odd time people get mixed up but it’s no biggie.

8. Milk or Cream? Sheep.

9. What is something our readers don’t know about you? – I tend to dabble in witch craft….Oh…And I steal the odd thing. But only things that are under $5.00.

10. Tell us about your personal style? – Hmmmm I think it’s Boho chic meets Carni gal. You’d be surprised at how many treats you can win at the Carnival. It’s my favorite place….Well one of them.

Thank You Halle Berry. – Anytime. Tootaloo Bubaloo.

– Christina

Please check out the improvised soap show. Monday Nights at the Firehall Arts Center.