Nothing Short of Chic: 2017


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.


Amalie Olesen: La Garde-Robe Schizophrène

Amalie Olesen is stylish, unique, and above all, true to herself. | Nothing Short Of Chic

Meet Amalie Olesen: Champion of juxtaposition and coherent incoherence. 

Upon hearing that I run a fashion blog, Amalie Olesen, already a fixture for her high heels and vinyl skirts in Århus, Denmark, invited me into her bedroom/wardrobe hybrid and proceeded to dazzle me. She has the looks of a grown-up Serena van der Woodsen with fashion It-girl style sensibility à la Pandora Sykes. Her style is hard to pin down, but is made up of an eclectic mix of thrifted treasures, vintage designer goods, and high-street pieces that look expensive but really aren't. I fell in love with her style as soon as I laid eyes upon a cream hat worthy of Kate Middleton, and I knew I had to feature her on NSOC once I spied her thrifted Miu Miu blouses and red patent-leather heels.


What I Wore: Canada Day #150

Celebrating Canada's 150th birthday in style with a chic red-and-white outfit. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Happy 150th birthday to the world's most beautiful country!

My beautiful Canada celebrates its birthday today, July 1st, 150 years after Confederation in 1867. Everyone, of course, is celebrating – there are many different kinds of celebration here, of course, because of the diversity of cultures. On the Sunshine Coast today we had a parade, with music, celebration of our servicemen and women, and overall rejoice of our incredible nation. And, of course, anyone attending (bar anyone in uniform, such as the Cadets and military) wore the national colors of red and white. Of course, I had to as well! So here's my simple but patriotically chic look I wore to celebrate Canada Day.


Personal Style: Preppy Summer Sweater Vest (From The Archives)

A fun summer outfit mixing a preppy top, a flippy skirt, and mod accessories. | Nothing Short Of Chic
A fun summer look (from the archives) playing off the preppiness of a lightweight sweater vest.

I have to be honest, lately, my blog has had to fall to the wayside a little bit to make room for the more pressing matters in my life, which sadly don't include dressing up and taking photos of myself. Oftentimes, I'll take photographs of my outfit of the day and never find the time to post them. Such an example of a post from the archives published much later is one that I put up only a little while ago, when bored with my travel capsule wardrobe and wanting to post a look that inspired me (read it here). Those particular photos are almost a year old at this point (note the longer hair); so are the ones in this post! I'd completely forgotten about these photographs until just recently, so now that the weather is warm again, I hope this preppy-but-modern look can inspire you to have a bit of fun by pairing a flippy skirt with a preppy top and mod sunglasses.


Personal Style: Springing For All-Black

All-black is the perfect neutral look for posing in front of insanely colorful walls. | Nothing Short Of Chic
"Women who wear black lead colorful lives."

There's no denying that black is a magical color (value, you know what I mean). It exists everywhere, and is, arguably, the most powerful neutral. It's the result when you combine equal amounts of pure primary colours. You could reach, blindfolded, into a bin of black garments and end up with a perfectly cohesive ensemble. It flatters most skin tones and is elegant, slimming, lengthening, and sophisticated. 


Personal Style: Pin-Up Polka Dots

Polka dots and retro sunglasses mixed with denim add up to a modern, casual outfit with a touch of pin-up glamour. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Polka dots, denim, and red accessories give a bit of a retro touch to the most modern of outfits.

Pin-up style – the classic, glamorous fashion, not the raunchy stuff creepy guys have stuck to their walls – is a huge influence on my personal taste. I love how it's both flattering and flirty, which means you look elegant and put-together but you also get to have a bit of fun with your clothes. Today, Who What Wear put out their spring 30-day outfit challenge for this year and the first task was to add sophistication to casual denim with polished accessories. I instantly thought of my trusty denim jacket and these fabulous cat-eye sunglasses, and bam, my outfit of the day was chosen for me. The retro shape of the glasses plus the fun polka-dot print and the denim give this casual outfit a bit of pin-up flair while still being plenty modest and modern.


Personal Style: Spring Spots (From The Archives)

From the NSOC archives (previously unpublished), a transition-weather outfit that is chic, classy, and fun. | Nothing Short Of Chic
An unpublished series of outfit photographs from last summer that is, in spring, relevant again.

I never published these photos. I remember styling, finding a location, doing my makeup, and shooting the images last September, but somehow (probably a distraction from some more important assignment) they never made it to "print," in a sense. (You can tell it's an old shoot because I still had long enough hair to wear a chignon here.) When going through my photographs from Copenhagen and simultaneously organizing my library, I rediscovered this shoot and thought, September and April have similar weather, and this feels like a spring outfit. 


Personal Style: Retro Snow Day

Polka dots and faux fur in the snow – there is nothing more fun than a snowy photoshoot! | Nothing Short Of Chic
Not the best outfit to take on the snow – but awfully cute nonetheless. Also, snow!

I was so happy with my cute, retro-with-a-modern-twist outfit yesterday – until it started to snow. And snow... So I ended up stuck in town with no way of getting home, with my duffel bag of  costumes for the musical, for which rehearsal was cancelled because of the weather. And, of course, an outfit not meant for trudging around in the snow (at least I had my cozy faux-fur coat!). So I did the only logical thing – a photoshoot! (Don't judge me too harshly – snow is a rarity here so I always take advantage of photographing it whenever I can.)


Personal Style: Cobalt, Red, & Classic Stripes

Primary colors, bold stripes, and retro accessories make for a chic, classy outfit that's eye-catching, colorful, and fresh. | Nothing Short Of Chic
Primary colors, bold stripes, and retro accessories make for a chic, classy outfit that's eye-catching and fresh. 

I had a realization today: I hadn't posted since last year. Which, technically, was only ten days ago, but even so, the holidays and the start-up of work, etc., means I haven't posted in awhile. So I enlisted the help of my brother to shoot some cool, dynamic, dramatic photographs of this colorful, many-layered outfit, intended to showcase my fabulous new sunglasses. I got them as a Christmas present, and nearly all of my outfits since receiving them have been centred around them. Perhaps I'll post a couple others in the coming weeks – though I'm sure you'll see a lot of these glasses regardless.