Tag Archives: friends

Bad Dancer/Good Living

I’ve been in a rut. A style rut, a blog rut. I feel like everything I have to say has been said by someone else, better, more quickly. Daunted by all of the things that should be written about, that deserve to be written about, yet never finding the (quality) time to actually put pen to paper (but I’ve tried to articulate this dilemma before).

To top that off, my sartorial documentation skills have fallen to the wayside… it is hard to believe there was a time, not so long ago, where I could be bothered to take decent photographs of my outfit for one hundred days straight (!). I still having been able to put my finger on why it feels… almost boring to take photos of myself now.

But messages from long-time readers and friends have reminded me: I didn’t carve out this online space for anyone but myself, and that’s part of what makes it special, and why it keeps drawing new readers month after month. A space to share my ideas, whether they be half-baked or fully sussed out. A place to share photos of myself, my outfits, my ideas about our relationship to fashion. Every post doesn’t need to be me slamming my fist on a pulpit, perfectly articulating complicated debates and issues. Shaking off the feeling of never being quite up to snuff is something I try to do in my day-to-day life, but it’s been challenging in a different way when it comes to applying the same ethic to à l’allure garçonnière.

Accept this post as a long-winded apology for my absence, and take away this token of my own way of motivating myself. Lately I’ve been trying to kick myself in the butt (not literally, because that would be far too complicated) to at least share something in this space.

And who better to inspire than Yoko Ono?

I watched this video probably 10 times the first day it was released.

The same week, on a Friday night, my friend Annemarie and I decided we needed to kick our less than great feelings to the curb, get decked out to the nines, and go out dancing. Can you tell who inspired my outfit?

Julia dancing with Annemarie and Yoko








Also, Annemarie wrote a great review of the bands we saw that night. Follow her blog A house down the road for wonderful music reviews.

Oh, and of course, I can’t leave you without a photo of the shoes I topped this outfit off with. What are short shorts without a pair of silver glittery tights and shoes to accompany it?


Treat yourself to a living room dance party, would ya? The world needs all the levity it can get these days.


Filed under music, personal, quebec city, Uncategorized, what i wore today

new look at à l’allure garçonnière

guess who needed a change around here? i was getting a bit bored with my year-old layout, so i decided to jazz it up a bit. the header features a portrait of me taken by one of my best friends, salima punjani. we met in québec city back in 2009, and even though our lives have taken us in different directions (including some ups and downs) since then, we have always made our friendship a priority. from her traveling all the way from ethiopia to be at my wedding, to sending each other encouraging emails or letters whenever we can, we’ve kept the fire alive even when separated by oceans and borders.

a photograph i took of my friend salima pujani

salima in montreal, october 2012

not only is she a fantastic friend, but over the past few years she has been carving out her own space as a photographer. i’ve been lucky enough to see her talent grow firsthand, to receive cards featuring her latest vibrant photographs, and hang prints on the walls of my home. when we last saw each other this october, she asked if i was interested in participating in her portraits of potential series, since i had raved to her about what a great idea it was. of course, i jumped at the chance!

fueled by a desire to “help people realise their potential” through portrait photography, salima launched this project this summer:

These portraits are meant to reflect that what we desire already exists within, we are what we want to be. When I came back to Canada, I noticed people were feeling very disempowered by the economic crisis, giving up their highest goals out of fear.

My hope is that people will use these portraits as motivating factors, as reminders and reflections of their potential.

i do think they successfully accomplish that. while salima was taking these portraits of me in my walk-in closet, i was typing away on my typewriter in between trying on some of my favourite garments. why was i choosing to put on my very professional 1940s suit jacket, instead of a playful neon 1960s dress? how do the ways i choose to present myself relate to my goals and aspirations? which books did i want in the frame, explicitly feminist ones, or more fashion-oriented ones? the whole process really got me thinking about what i have achieved so far, what specifics are standing in my way, and how to overcome those roadblocks.  it didn’t feel staged, or posed: it felt like processing a lot of my conflicting feelings with a good friend.

portrait of julia in her walk-in closet/bedroom, taken by salima punjani as part of her portraits of potential series

in the end, this black and white one was salima’s favourite. some of the books stacked underneath my remington rand typewriter include:

shortly after our shoot, salima shared this image with me since i couldn’t make it to her opening in montreal. a huge blown up version of her favourite portrait from our shoot, alongside eight others. kind of surreal, to say the least!

Portraits of Potential by Salima Punjani on display at the launch of E-180 this October at La Cenne in Montreal. Photo credit Louis Lavoie

Portraits of Potential by Salima Punjani on display at the launch of E-180 this October at La Cenne in Montreal. Photo credit Louis Lavoie

all of this to say, i feel incredibly lucky to not only have people who support me no matter how lofty or unrealistic my goals are, but who will challenge and encourage me along the way. as lonely as i sometimes get now that a lot of my quebec city friends have moved away, it’s great to have moments like these where i remember how valuable they are, even if they don’t live down the street from me anymore.

check out her website for more of her great photography!

what do you think of the new design? check out the new links, tell me if you think i’m missing anything! love your feedback, as always.


Filed under politics, quebec city

champagne birthday: twenty six on the twenty sixth

champagne_starthis year, i decided i wanted to pull out all the stops for my birthday. you see, i tend to be a little grumpy about my birthday, namely because of when it falls – the day after christmas. this has often meant either not celebrating it on that day, or not feeling like it was “special” enough. obviously this was a bigger deal when i was six. i always moped about having to invite friends to come over either a week before or a week after, and knowing many couldn’t make it regardless (i was kind of a sensitive kid). my loved ones spoil me rotten though, like last year when my parents threw me a murder mystery dinner with friends! but overall, something about being a boxing day baby always rubbed me the wrong way. this year would be different, i said. i’m turning twenty six on the twenty sixth! some refer to it as a golden birthday, but my friend iris always called it a champagne birthday. i liked the sound of that, and an excuse to live exorbitantly (my favourite). champagne birthday it would be!

after talking to my best friend lots, and having ambitious plans of perhaps celebrating my birthday in montreal, or ottawa… it became very clear that many of the people who i wanted to be there couldn’t regardless of where i celebrated it (hey, it’s the day after christmas, and i live pretty far). to top it off, if i really wanted champagne on my birthday, there would be no way i could afford that at any bar or restaurant… aside from the fact that very few of them are open on december 26th… especially when it falls on a tuesday.

all planning kerfuffles aside, i decided it would be at my house. if you could come, great! if you couldn’t, oh well. champagne for all! good food for all! and dancing. i started tagging things on tumblr as “champagne birthday” to figure out what i wanted. i brainstormed on livejournal. it became clear: debauchery, laughter, dancing, masks, sequins, sparkle.

champagne_me2later, when i saw this dress at hank & co., i stopped in my (online browsing) tracks. now, i don’t have very much pink in my closet… aside from maybe one hat and one scarf. even when i found great pink vintage dresses, i sold them instead of wearing them myself. for the longest time, i had a strong aversion to pink… namely because it was associated as very feminine. nicolette mason talked about this recently over at her blog, and i left a bit long comment about my own relationship to the colour traditionally imposed on girls and women. i think it was a combination of internalized misogyny and fear of the unknown, but lately i have crossed that line and am loving pink. so! hot pink sequins? fuck yeah! when i saw that it was my size to boot, i knew i had to snap it up.

and here are the tons of photos from my birthday celebration. enjoy!

champagne courtesy of simon’s recent trip to france!

bashful birthday gal

my wonderful guests!!!

simon et karina

get ready for some grub! millet stuffed bell peppers from get it ripe.


champagne_me champagne_glass
post dinner champagne, anyone?

my decadent cake, courtesy of annemarie


champagne_karinabedroom glamour7
i love these gals.

simon, his sister ély and his brother patrick!


now it’s time for a little bit of dressup.

bedroom glamour 2

annemarie playing with my glasses (hey! look at my awesome lucky jackson print from iris last year)

bedroom glamour6
annemarie and i have a bit of tall gal-big feet solidarity going on.

bedroom glamour 3
bedroom glamour 4
some glamour shots…


and we’re ready for a break outside! followed by…



corinne et karina

i’m a bit of a diva. how can you NOT be in this dress?


aaaaaaaand a little bit drunk.

happy belated birthday to me!


Filed under fashion, personal, vintage