Nothing Short of Chic


Personal Style: This Is A Menswear's World

An outfit like this is such a satisfying response to the incomprehensible non-functionality of our typical womenswear options. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Combining feminine garments with masculine cuts for a wholly functional travel ensemble.

As an active woman not living a life of leisure, I've often envied the relative simplicity of menswear – one can look exquisitely elegant and sophisticated while still retaining breezy freedom of movement (also, bowties). An uncomplicated ensemble with a sharp coif, sans makeup, reads lazy on a woman and effortless on a man.


Personal Style: Patent Juxtapositon

Being unexpected with accessories is not just a sartorial choice – but perhaps a lifestyle? | Nothing Short Of Chic
Being unexpected with accessories is not just a sartorial choice – perhaps it's a lifestyle?

As it turns out, wearing something as outlandish as a striped green skirt suit with 4-inch patent-leather boots and leopard faux-fur in fact attracts a lot of attention. Especially when wearing it while running back and forth between wet bleachers and your tripod situation. It's an interesting concept to take self-portraits in a public place, and nearly always leads to an internal conversation about vanity and ego, specifically in our digital-centric time. But I digress.


Polar Impressions: Astrid Fiverson

Ringing in the new year with vigour, featuring Astrid Fiverson and a gown. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Model cum polar bear swimmer ringing in the new year with vigour.

Astrid Fiverson, model, photographer, and actress extraordinaire, also happens to be my partner in crime. Together, we have a shared history of approximately sixteen years, and with that, as you can probably imagine, a great pile of memories, inside jokes, and traditions. One such annual event is our January 1st polar bear swim, which usually involves ocean water, old bathing suits, and a lot of, shall we say, high-pitched communication of the rather low temperature of the sea. Though I can't remember when exactly I first decided this was a good idea, I believe I've been doing this swim for six years consecutively. I've even done it whilst be-flued, which was a bad idea but not so much so that it was worth breaking my streak.


Chic Hallowe'en 2017: A Paradoxical Pirate Queen

A pirate queen costume not fit for the faint of heart, just in time for All Hallow's Eve. | Nothing Short Of Chic
A typical outfit of mine that doubles as a costume for the less outlandish.

It's late February, though I still consider it to be the beginning of 2017. I'm in rehearsal prepping for the upcoming production of Pirates of Penzance; opening night is in less than three weeks. Chaos has not yet set in within my makeshift costume closet, which also serves as the green room – most of the cast is on stage running through the complex choreography – but I know that I have approximately twenty-three minutes before rehearsal ends and every single costume piece is either on the floor, in the bathrooms, or somewhere abandoned backstage. I have two other people with me: my costume assistant and the actress playing Ruth. Just days ago, she was playing another major part, a little stressed but confident with her character. With opening night around the corner, her predecessor unexpectedly left the production for health reasons, leaving poor Ruthie to learn an entirely new batch of songs and choreography – and poor me to pull two entirely new costumes, three sizes and half a foot smaller, out of goodness knows where.


Personal Style: Dressing In Personality

A fall look with personality and history in each one of its garments. | Nothing Short Of Chic
A bold, classic-meets-eclectic look with an identity all its own.

I strive for a closet that's meaningful. I collect garments and pieces with a story and a personality; that's part of the reason why I prefer secondhand or vintage items. They come with history and character. I love putting something on and remembering where I got it, or the person who gave it to me, or an experience I had while wearing it. This outfit is a perfect example, because it's made up of items that all have a story. This blouse is the hero piece of the ensemble. A good friend of mine gave it to me. It was his grandmother's, whom he called his best friend. I am honored to wear it and to carry on her sartorial legacy – and I'm honored that he trusts me enough to allow me to be its caretaker, so to speak. This is not the only garment that he entrusted to me; I also have a sparkly sweater set, a crop-sleeve jacket with huge shoulders, and a completely sheer blouse that my mother panicked at when she first saw it (among other things). It's amazing to hear his stories about her and then see her wardrobe and be able to get a sense of the kind of person she was. When I get back home I will do a full editorial shoot with all of the gorgeous, unique pieces I have from her varied, fascinating closet.


A Modern Mermaid With Astrid Fiverson: Bells & Whistles Part II

The first high-definition photographs of a British Columbian Semipuella Marina, or Mermaid, have been captured exclusively by Annika Cleland-Hura for Nothing Short Of Chic.
A glamorous photoshoot on Canada's western coastline with BC's most extraordinary native species.

Although I have yet to see a unicorn, British Columbia, Canada, has many fantastical native species that you won't find anywhere else; take a hike in the woods a bit to the north and you might come across a Spirit Bear (the proper name is Ursus americanus kermodei), or Kermode bear), our provincial mammal. You also could spot the two-headed Rubber Boa (I once found one in my yard) or the Jesus Shrew (Sorex bendirii), though admittedly, they can also be found in the northwestern coast of the US. Another native of the Pacific North West is the excruciatingly stylish Western Skink (Plestiodon skiltonianus), a lounge lizard frequently found in exquisitely tailored pinstriped suits with striking electric blue coattails. But the most breathtaking of all is, of course, the Semipuella marina (direct translation: demi-mademoiselle of the sea) – commonly known as the mermaid.


The Green Dress Duo With Astrid Fiverson: Bells & Whistles Part I

Two friends' different takes on the glam combination of a green gown, black heels, and pearl earrings. | Nothing Short Of Chic
All dolled up in matching gowns and nowhere to go.

"Hello, Anna? Do you happen to have a gala we can attend? See, we have these gorgeous green dresses and... there isn't really any place on the Sunshine Coast for us to wear them!" Remember Astrid Fiverson, aka Jasmin, my cousin-slash-best friend who secretly models and photographs for my blog? She just so happens to wear all my clothing better than I possibly could, which is both endearing and frustrating, and when we're together, she somehow ends up trying on a good portion of my wardrobe. Of course, I then have to dress up too, and here we are. DJ Cleland-Hura was kind enough to photograph for us, which was amazing because we don't have too many posed photos of the two of us together, so mille mercis!!


Estée Lauder x Refinery 29: Rest, Repair, Repeat ft Astrid Fiverson

Estée Lauder x Refinery 29's chic skincare kit is a dream come true for these beauty lover best friends. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Estée x R29 meets Astrid + Annika.

Estée Lauder is the luxury makeup & skincare company. Refinery 29 is an extremely well-known digital women's magazine. And the two of them together? Magic, for a beauty-obsessed fashion blogger in need of an at-home spa day – with my best friend, Astrid, along for the ride. EstéexR29's partnership produced an extremely classy makeup bag (emblazoned with the words "Rest. Repair. Repeat" in bold gold lettering) filled with samples of Estée Lauder's Advanced Night Repair skincare line. The adorable robin's-egg blue packaging, again lettered in gold, inspired us to pull on our similarly-hued pajamas, bring out the video camera, and pose together.


On Wednesdays We Wear Ethical: Vaçide Erda Zimic

On Wednesdays we wear ethical. Sporting a Vaçide Erda Zimic neckpiece and some doodles. | Nothing Short Of Chic

One of my most treasured pieces: wearable art hand-made in Peru from recycled materials.

I recently discovered the hashtag #OnWednesdaysWeWearEthical, run by @FashionDebates, on Twitter. Today's Wednesday so I was inspired to create a post centred around my favorite ethically-made item: this beautiful neckpiece from Vaçide Erda Zimic. A friend of mine, Aïda del Solar, gave it to me after visiting her native country of Peru, where the company is located. I wanted to craft a photoshoot around it right away, but I didn't have a vision that I felt was strong enough for such a beautiful piece of art. But today, I was simply going to take a few images for Twitter, when the idea to illustrate the images and edit them to be edgy and grainy and desaturated sort of evolved in my head. I thought a more unique form of photography would be more interesting and appropriate, and here are the results.