Allow me to introduce a new feature that I will be posting every Monday: the Be-spoken Questionnaire. Twenty-five questions to delve deep into the psyche of the stylish. Sometimes I look at people and wonder, "what makes you tick... why do you dress the way you do?" Now, dear readers, I will know, and so will you!
The first subject for the Be-spoken Questionnaire is Natalie Dawes. I can honestly say that Natalie is one of my closest friends. We've done everything together. One of my most vivid memories of our adventures together is the day we packed up my Toyota Tercel and moved from our small prairie town to Toronto. We didn't have jobs — or housing — lined up, but we followed our dreams and had so much fun along the way. During those years of friendship I've seen Natalie's sense of style blossom into a full-fledged fashionista. One of my favorite shopping pastimes with her is to sit back and watch her SPEND!
Natalie and I dressed up to dine at The Asiate in New York. Note Natalie's exquisite makeup application!
2. Claim to fame: Umm. That's a tough one... I'd never claim to be famous, so how about what I'm proud to be: daughter of Jack & Jeanette, aunt to Kaylee, a true friend, mom to Louis Arnold and an up-and-coming communications professional.
3. If you could wear any designer exclusively, which one would you choose (money is no object)? Why? I'd have to say Michael Kors. His pieces are beautifully made, suit my aesthetic and stand the test of time. Although Chanel wouldn't be all that bad either!
6. Which aspect of the entire outfit head-to-toe do you pay the most attention to? Accessories, for sure. Bag, shoes, jewels, scarves.
7. Which current trend has jumped the shark? Or, which current trend should be fed to the sharks? What does jump the shark mean? I don't get the first part of this question. Fed to the sharks...ankle boots. Absolutely detest them. [Editor's note: I will be taking out the "jump the shark" reference in future questionnaires — both people I've shown it to had no idea what I was talking about.]
8. Look into your Swarovski crystal ball. What do you think the next big trend in fashion will be? Elements of the 80s...cardigans, bright colours in outerwear.
9. What’s the most beloved item in your closet, dresser, or shoe rack? My Louis Vuitton wallet. It goes everywhere with me.
12. Biggest style blunder (merely saying you lived through the ‘80s doesn’t count, I want details: Where to start? Or end? Let's just say my entire high school career...blue, oversized framed glasses; teased bangs; a NKOTB t-shirt that made entirely too many appearances. I could go on. I just had no clue. In fact, I didn't have a clue until you and I moved to Toronto and you became my personal stylist available 24-7.
13. Where do you go to get your fashion or style-related information (blogs, websites, magazines, television shows)? First and foremost, Rick Zayshley and Be-spoken; Vogue; the Sartorialist.
14. Favorite department store(s): Bergdorf's, Macy's, Holt Renfrew (although I wish most of the sales people would get over themselves) and The Bay...who doesn't love Bay sales? Boutique(s): Right now, Lola & Gigi.
16. Style-wise, are you more London, Paris, New York or Milan? Why? New York — no nonsense, serious style. I love the city and I love New Yorkers' style.
17. Word association time: Shoes — Christian Louboutin. Leather — I've got nothing. Basics — The Gap? Bags — Louis Vuitton. Jewelry — Chanel...I'm currently lusting after Chanel pearls (specifically the ones Anne Hathaway wore in The Devil Wears Prada). Sunglasses — I love my Louis. Underwear — hmmm. Often wish I didn't have to wear it. Makeup — MAC.
19. What fragrance(s) do you wear now? Cheap and Chic by Moschino; Daim Blond by Serge Lutens; Marc Jacobs by Marc Jacobs
21. Can you recall the scent your father/grandfather wore? What was it? Describe the impression it gave/gives you? Neither my dad nor my grandpas wore any scent. When I remember my grandpas and when I think of my dad, I smell honest, hardworking, real men.
22. Is there a movie, an album, or some sort of creative work that inspires your style, or at least goes hand-in-hand with it? Rene Russo's wardrobe in the Thomas Crown Affair — I LOVED it. It was all Michael Kors. And I loved her kicking-ass-and-taking-names attitude and unashamed sensuality.
23. Past or present, real or fictional, famous or not, who is your style icon? Why? Is there an iconic look or photograph that comes to mind when you think of him or her? Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. Clean, classic, elegant, beautiful and confident.