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How to Look Hot for an Art Exhibit

August 6, 2009

AllyG: You know what I loved most about Charlotte on Sex and the City? The fact that she was the manager of a gallery. It suited her so, non? I also loved the episode where Carrie meets The Russian at the “live art” exhibit (the one where that woman lives in a glass box for a bunch of days without sleeping or eating).  She was wearing an art appropriate outfit in the beginnings of this clip here (the audio is off due to copyright, however, I would recommend humming “Stronger” by Britney Spears whilst watching. It always puts me in the right frame of mind. For anything).

Anythehoo, the reason I speak of such exciting matters as art exhibitions is because I am attending one this Friday night. And you can too!

News – Zero Dimensions: J. MacLellan & D. Hutchinson


Full disclosure, J. MacLellan is my brother. That’s not his only claim to fame. Here’s his bio (as well as the other artist):

Jamie MacLellan has earned an honours degree in Contemporary Studies from the University of King’s College (2000) and a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (2005). He makes paintings in Halifax and works for the Cultural Affairs Division of HRM as the public art coordinator.

MacLellan has shown at the YoYo Gallery (2005) and in group shows at the Elliott Louis Gallery (2005) and several alternative venues in Vancouver, notably an exhibition featuring a juried selection of ECIAD graduates entitled, Picture This (2005).

Daniel Hutchinson studied at McMaster University, Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (BFA 2004), and NSCAD University (MFA 2008). He is currently producing work in Halifax and teaching in the Division of Fine Arts at NSCAD University.

Hutchinson’s work can be found in public and private collections, and has been shown nationally and internationally, including in group exhibitions at the Sydney College of Art, Australia; Galerie Push, Montréal (QC), the Mezzanine Gallery, Vancouver (BC), the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Khyber ICA and the Eyelevel Gallery (all Halifax, NS). Hutchinson recently received honourable mention for the 2009 Halifax Mayor’s Award for Contemporary Visual Art and he has also been short listed for the 2009 RBC Canadian Painting Competition opening at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in October 2009.

So, Jamie has informed me that it is tres hot in the Khyber and wanted me to inform our readers that they should wear something “cool”. First off, where does he get off telling me what to “inform my readers”. I don’t tell him which colours are pretty for his paintings. Ok, I do. But I’m usually right. Anyways, it is going to be humid, so we are going to help you figure out the best outfit to wear. What goes with a fine glass of Pino Noir? Where to begin! Let’s start with looking at’s party page!

kanye girl

Ok, this is more what not to wear. While I’m feeling the dress, I’m not feeling the accessories in combination with one another. Too much. I believe this is Kanye West’s current lady friend, AKA “TRYING TOO HARD”. Fail. Do not wear this on Friday.

Ann Dexter-Jones

You know I’m obsessed with the jeans/blazer combo lately. Obsessed. This is Ann Dexter-Jones (she’s the mom of the Ronson clan…Samantha, Mark and Charlotte…I think there’s another one but they aren’t famous so they don’t count). I like her. She seems smart. Cute flats too! See, ladies? FLATS.


I am so in love with the Calvin Klein dress on the left worn by Kristy Hinze. I would absolutely wear this if I had the money and wasn’t a “cargo ship of life”. Stunning colour, stunning texture. Love!

You might be asking yourself (if you talk to yourself, which is totally cool), “But, I wonder what Sienna Miller would wear to an art exhibition?” Let me put your mind at rest.

american apparel

Sienna would wear this American Apparel dress (which I own and is currently a “crop top” on me) paired with some funky jewels and simple sandals.

Perhaps she would pair the dress with this beautiful Jose & Maria Barrera turquoise necklace worn by Megan Fox at the something something premiere.


I have a BRILLS idea. As I am going to be attending (and I am hoping L-A is attending!), I think some of our local readers should show up and we can take some photos for a Monday blog post. Do you love it? There will be cocktails ladies!

L-A: So, I googled “what to wear to an art show” in hopes of finding some inspiration (I know, I may as well have googled “how to write an interesting blog post”). Instead I found this little gem from Toothpaste for Dinner:

Hilarious. Although, to be serious, this is not me making a comment on artists statements at all. I am totally excited for this show now that I’ve seen the invite. I was excited before that because I totally love a good art show and getting to dress up. Favourite event of last year? Nocturne. That was good times. Although, the dress code for that was all about staying warm while walking around Halifax on a cold October night. But for this one, I get to ponder the “what to wear” question and the answer is this: The Little Black Dress.


Okay, I never call it an LBD as I’ve seen elsewhere, but this dress is the thing of cocktail party dreams and nightmares. Either you’ve got your perfect little black dress (or ten, depending on your budget and luck) or you’re still on the hunt for that perfect dress.  And admit it, you kind of love/hate Holly Golightly/Audrey Hepburn because she made the little black dress so damn iconic. I mean, hells, the girl lived in an unfurnished apartment with only “change for the powder room” and delivering Sally Tomato’s weather reports as an income source and yet she always looked so good doing it.  I don’t know about you, but I wish I could look half that good in a black dress.

But moving along. The black cocktail dress. You know you want it and you know you need it. So let’s look at some examples of some gems that I’d love to get my hands on for Friday night:

rmrolandmouret_netaporter mouret1_stylecom

Oh, Roland Mouret! may not have loved loved loved your F’09 Ready to Wear collection, but I get it. It’s a recession and you need to sell those dresses if you’re going to stay afloat. And those dresses are sellers. The look like they walk off the hangers on their own accord and into the closets of well dressed women and become cocktail staples. I may not love your use of giant, industrial strength zippers on your otherwise loverly dresses, but I’m going to forgive you. Mostly. Not completely, because those zippers are cropping up on dresses for the rest of us and ruining perfectly cute and mostly affordable dresses.

But maybe the simple black dress is not so much your thing. A little too cliché for your style.  What do you wear then to an art gallery?  Simple. You wear a variation on the little black dress theme. Like the following Mouret dress, a pretty sexy number from Vivienne Westwood Anglomania, or maybe something completely different with a tuxedo jacket (in case the dress/skirt isn’t your thing. Although, save the jacket for slightly cooler weather. Sweating profusely in the name of style isn’t exaclty fashionable).

mouret2_stylecom westwoodanglomania_netaporter pauljoetuxedo_netaporter

Or perhaps you feel like being a bit more daring, a bit more sexy. If this is the case, then check out this sexy number from one of our favourite local designers, Deux Fm (available at Love, Me Boutique, one of our Tall Ships sponsors):


Hott, n’est pas? It does require a girl to be on the daring side, but the bamboo cotton will probably feel like heaven if we get the humidity we’re promised. And if you’re not quite that daring, you can always pair it with a tank and some leggings. You’ll still look hot.

And before wrapping this up, I’m going to give you a few celeb examples of how to work the black dress at a fancy function. Now, I don’t care if Lainey hates her, but Jen Aniston is a woman who knows how to wear a black dress:


A little Chanel never hurt anyone wealthy enough to wear it. It doesn’t really matter who the designer is, Jen practically has the black dress down to a science.


I don’t really get Peaches Geldof, but sometimes I have to join the Peaches Parade and admire her style.


Leighton Meester is definitely an actress who is on her way to being a little black dress style icon. I like her shoes, even if the toes do look like pandas to me.

And a do/don’t courtesy of Hermione Emma Watson:

74343955LS050_The_Raisa_Gor 4119

The kid gets props for making bold fashion choices at such a young age, but that gold/black number shouldn’t even exist in the first place, let alone on a teenage girl.

You can wear colour. I’m not saying no to colour. I’m just saying that with a bit of luck and imagination, you can do just about anything with that little black dress. Like take over the world. You could totally take over the world if you had on the right black dress.  But, colour is great, especially if your companion is a Russian artist:


What? Carrie not dressed like a bag lady? Carrie almost as adorable and impeccable as Charlotte? I know. Must be the influence of the handsome Russian ballerina. Although, what up with the baggy tuxedo pants? No tailors in all of New York or Paris or wherever this scene is supposed to be taking place? I think Mikhail’s face says it all. It says: I would never wear a baggy tuxedo and I can’t believe Patricia Field has dressed me in one. This does not say Important Artist, this says Rented a Tux for the Prom at the Last Minute. (p.s. despite the rabid devotion SATC fans have to the show, do you know how hard it was to track down photos of outfits from Season Six? All we wanted was to show you the outfits of Carrie and Charlotte at an art show. Is that really too much to ask?)

And on that note, I bid adieu for today and declare that Ally’s idea for readers to come to the show and meet us and do some “street style” pics is a genius one. Just look for the pregnant lady shooting death rays at everyone who has a cocktail or glass of wine in hand. It’ll be a good day when BabyG finally makes his/her appearance as it’ll be the day when MommyG finally gets a glass of wine again (oh, and it’s also the day when the miracle of life happens and Ally and El Jeffe get to be parents. But that goes without saying).  The things people will do for their future children! I tell you, this pregnancy thing really is an act of love and devotion – giving up the sauce completely for nine months? I salute all of you pregnant ladies who are out there and jonesing for a glass of vino.  I will drink a glass for you.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 6, 2009 10:15 am

    Ooohhh ….an art exhibition! I LOVE a great excuse to buy a new outfit!

    As luck would have it, Club Monaco’s new collection is in stores today (so their e-mail tells me)…and their feature? “Beyond the little black dress”!

    Visit (look under “Monthly Must Haves”) to find some perfect gallery-going little dresses. Also check out the Fall 2009 Lookbook for their take on some great trends – including metallics, polka dots and pearls!

    I know they are not local, and unless on sale, a little pricey, but my heart will always belong to Club, even without Joe (Fresh) Mimran …

    • allygarbs permalink*
      August 6, 2009 10:50 am

      NICE! Thanks, Jo! So we can expect to see you on Friday?

    • L-A permalink*
      August 6, 2009 10:59 am

      I was there just last night and admiring some dresses and some Blair-worthy headbands. There was a lot of cute going on. (also: I love their emails).

      Not that I was there to buy anything (boo student budget. even with their student discount), but I was disappointed to see that just about everything was sized 0 or 00. It was like they only brought in limited number of other sizes and lots of the 0s. Even if I had been willing to drop some cash, I wasn’t getting into most of the dresses. The friend I was shopping with even had trouble and she’s usually a size that retail stores love.

      • August 6, 2009 3:02 pm

        It sounds like they still have issues with their size assortment.

        I think it’s the same for every market – each store gets “bundles” of each item, and a bundle consists of so many of each size. Back in my CM days, we got, like, 2 x “0”, 4 x “2”, 6 x “4”, 6 x “6”, 2 x “8”, 2 x “10”, 1 x “12”, 1 x “14”… there was no “00” in my day…

        This is probably not exactly right, but you get the idea…it’s pretty out of whack. It’s not hard to see that the staff could get the 8/10/12s before they even hit the floor!

        For places like Toronto and Montreal, where there are larger Asian populations (a big market for them), this assortment makes sense. We tried to tell them what “normal” was for our markets (Atlantic Canada), but this was how they did it across the board.

        It’s very unfortunate. And very frustrating. And sometimes depressing.

        • L-A permalink*
          August 7, 2009 12:31 am

          It was more baffling than anything. I know that a store like CM (which I find tends to run on the small side anyway) isn’t going to ship in only bigger sizes. But there was definitely a disproportionate number of 0s and 00s there last night (peppered with the occasional size 2 or 4).

          I’d like to get rid of the vanity sizing that calls for a 0 or 00 to be a size. Let’s just call it sizes 1 and 2, as opposed to nothing and nothinger. Even if this pushes me up a size or two, I’m okay with it.

          • allygarbs permalink*
            August 7, 2009 9:33 am

            TOTALLY agree. How can you be size nothing? IT IS UNPOSSIBLE! : )

          • L-A permalink*
            August 7, 2009 10:40 am

            This is what I’m saying. I once sort of pissed off a petite person when talking about this. I don’t care if you’re little or skinny; skinny happens. But you still measure something. So a Double Zero? What is that?? Less than zero? My math skills have always been pretty sketchy, but I always thought zero meant nothing and I’m pretty sure your clothing size cannot be a negative integer (first time I’ve used the word integer since high school!).

          • allygarbs permalink*
            August 7, 2009 12:17 pm

            Can you explain what a negative integer is over cocktails sometime? That would be fun!

          • L-A permalink*
            August 7, 2009 3:15 pm

            I could, but I’d totally get it wrong. I’m not kidding when I claim to have some kind of math dyslexia.

          • Eden permalink
            August 11, 2009 10:59 pm

            Word UP on this (yes I am reading back entries).

            I bought a wonderful dress at the Sally Ann while Rhia was here that is exactly my size, probably made in the early eighties, and is labelled size 10. In twenty years what was once a 10 has become a 0. WHAT THE HELL.

            (ps if you ever wander over to LJ, I made a post all about my recent adventures in shopping and trying to dress like Charlotte!)


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