There’s exactly one more week till Christmas and I know you haven’t bought all your presents, let alone wrapped them all. And if you have, then hats off to you for winning at life. For the rest of us, it’s crunch time.
Wrapping gifts may seem like a chore, but it’s just an opportunity to get creative. In the end, it really is worth the extra effort. Your loved one will appreciate the thought that went into the details. It’s like Instagram aesthetics or food: presentation is key. So grab a cup of hot chocolate, put on Elf, and make a day of it. Here are seven ways to package your presents that’ll bring out your inner Martha Stewart:
When using twine or ribbon, string an ornament through that speaks to their personality or interests. An ornament that reminds you of them or an inside joke makes it more sentimental. Not only does it look good, they can actually put it on their tree rather than throwing it out. You can also customize the package by adding the first letter of their name or cutting their name out of printed paper and sticking it to the wrapping paper. Gluing photos and memories of the two of you on there is a guaranteed tug at the heartstrings.
2) Keep it Natural
We all love the classic brown paper, doilies, and twine look. Take it to the next level by adding fern, pine, and bits of foliage. Venture into your backyard and grab a couple of free pinecones that will make your wrapping job look like a million bucks. Keeping it natural will add that nostalgic, comfy cozy cabin feel without losing the aesthetics.
3) Rustic glam
If you want to glam up the natural look, go ahead and buy some glitter spray paint to give the pinecones a makeover. If you can’t find spray paint, regular paint or simply covering it in liquid glue and then glitter will do the job. Cover some leaves, twigs, and acorns in metallics and give it the ultimate luxe feel.
Chalkboard wrapping paper is a classic. Once you’ve wrapped your present, it becomes a canvas you can draw on, or leave notes. This is a fun idea, and if you’re into calligraphy, a chance to showcase your craft.
5) Smells like Christmas Spirit
Keep it organic and add the smells of Christmas into your wrapping. Cinnamon sticks and cloves are a great way to do this. Dried orange slices are also a visually appealing touch to any package and really simple to make! Just slice up some oranges, (not too thick) and lay them on some paper towels so it can absorb the juices. You can flip the orange slices over or just place another layer of paper towel on top of them until most of the juices are drained. Then put them in the oven for about 2-3 hours on a low heat, around 180 degrees fahrenheit until they are dried out. If you have any extra, they can be used around the house as decor, and it smells real festive!
6) Mixed metals
One of the biggest Christmas tree trends this year is mixed metals. Translate this trend into your gift wrapping this year. Get ahold of some silver wrapping paper, champagne ribbon, and little copper ornaments to make the trendiest package of them all. Personally, copper and gunmetal is my favourite combo. If you’re a fan of the mixed metals trend, you can go to town with this one.
I understand all black is a lifestyle, even at Christmas. There’s the classic black and white but I like to keep it sophisticated with either an all black or all white “colour” scheme. You can play around with the textures and finishes; as in matte wrapping paper with a satin bow. You can also play around with different shades. Although, nothing is worse than wearing all black and the shades don’t match, amiright? Is it the same for presents? I don’t know. Either way, this nordic way of wrapping will give you that festive look without trying too hard.
Ad campaigns have long been a brand’s first line of offence when it comes to exposure. Unlike social media advertising and TV spots, print campaigns aim at catching the attention of specific groups of people, usually fashion lovers or potential clientele. This strategy is called the rifle strategy. Rather than using a shotgun strategy to shoot out your content for everyone to see, like social media media advertising does. Rifle strategies aim at eliminating wasted resources by targeting people who are more likely to buy what they see in the magazines they’ve bought or skimmed through.
But enough about the technical about the technical side fashion ads. Let’s get to the part we all love; the fashion! Now brands, their designers, and their holding companies don’t spend a ridiculous amount of money, time, and effort to just for fun. There’s an artistic vision behind every photo that’s taken. It isn’t just about slapping something pretty on a pretty model. It’s about telling a story, painting a complete picture of the collection that will make you want it so much, you’ll buy it! With that said, not all campaigns end up being works of advertising art. Sure they make get the job done, but in the end, they just end up being ads. However, there are some ads that do much more than just sell a brand’s product. They transcend traditional print ads and become works of art on their own. Here’s a list of some of 2016’s greatest print campaigns.
Missoni Fall/ Winter 2016
Have you ever wondered what a modern day water sprite would look like? Missoni must have wondered the same thing too. In their fall 2016 campaign, model Frederikke Sofie stars as a delicate, yet completely intimidating free spirit that seems to just rise out of the water like pure magic. Sofie’s curly hair blowing in the wind, mixed with the easiness of Missoni’s iconic knits, only helped add a sense of ethereal beauty to the campaign.
Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/ Winter 2016
Who knew a static portrait could be so alluring? Model Ming Xi is accompanied by Ine Neefs and Valery Kaufman in this photo by photographer Craig McDean. The photo depicts all three women posed towards the camera in a stately photograph. What’s special about the photo is it’s simplicity. It manages to ease the uptight-rich-European woman vibe that Ferragamo is known, with an airy lightness that creates a sense of timeless elegance. Like a dominant, yet caring matriarch watching over her high fashion family.
Louis Vuitton Les Parfums
Luxury leather goods giant Louis Vuitton is probably the most recognisable brand when one thinks of luxury travel wares. So it came as no surprise that Louis Vuitton wanted to showcase its perfume as being “beyond perfume.” The Vuitton team chose to create a personal paradise for its fans. The campaign, shot by photography legend Patrick Demarchalier and starring top actress Lea Seydoux, encompasses everything that Louis Vuitton is about. Travel, the destination, and the invocation of luxury that goes beyond what traditional fashion brands can do. The tropical setting, with its dark – cascading stone waterfalls set against Lea’s ethereal perfection, create a fairy tale of a princess set free in the untamed wild.
Jacquemus Fall/ Winter 2016
Simon Porte Jacquemus has been an innovator. Since it’s debut, Jacquemus has been able to push the boundaries of what’s expected in the fashion industry. His designs are exactly the type of high fashion avant garde clothing young women want and they’re also surprisingly affordable compared to his competitors designs. And it’s in this surprisingly fresh take on design where everything else falls into place perfectly. For its fall campaign. Jacquemus sought the help of artist Willi Dorner to create a quirky and striking ad campaign that completely encompasses what Jacquemus as a brand is. The setting is simple, a park bench located somewhere is Paris or a in a small French town maybe. The backdrop looks very pedestrian, until you see what’s on the bench. Just like Jacquemus itself, the seemingly normal is made abnormal. A jumble of models wearing Simon’s designs are seen huddled together to create a human ball. And that’s the fun of it. That’s what Jacquemus stands for. Understanding the love people have for things that are beautiful, yet slightly off.
Gucci (All of them)
It seems that Alessandro Michele’s influence at Gucci extends far beyond the clothing and accessories. This year, fashion lovers were treated to a surprise at Gucci. The iconic brand, once known for its mature and distinctly Italian flare, underwent a total overhaul. Designers were changed and brand images were reworked, resulting in a fresh and whimsical take on the brand that’s won over the hearts of young luxury enthusiasts around the world. But it didn’t stop there, if Gucci had to change order image, it had to change everything about its image. In turn, the fashion world was treated to a year long ad campaign that fused 70s style camera work with the sugary perfection of a Sofia Coppola movie. Models posed alongside slot machines and Japanese geishas with the words “relentless buzzing sound” and “whispers lost in wind” as subtitles, while other models danced among a sea of bubbles (“pop”) and a pair of Gucci pumps on a motorcycle (“sirens in distance”). Which created the perfect atmosphere for Alessandro Michele’s Gucci. Like a daydream that may have been reality. Gucci encompasses the dreams of the here and now.
Although not a print ad, there really wasn’t any other option than adding this gem of a campaign from H&M. What do a lot of people do during the holiday season? They travel of course. And H&M and director Wes Anderson want you know that they get that. They understand the dread of driving hours on end to see your parents or having to hop on a train to visit loved ones. So why not make the dreaded holiday commute a fashion wonderland. Like a quirky polar express, fans of the Swedish fashion giant are treated to candy coloured locomotive paradise. The walls look like candied chocolate; the outfits, like sparkly little cake toppers. The beauty of this campaign is it not only feed into shoppers need for holiday outfits, but it also subconsciously feeds into our need to want the cutest and sparkliest things we can buy for the holidays, and all for H&M’s famous affordable prices.
Prada Candy Kiss
Leave it to Prada to pick one of the most in demand models of the moment to be the face of one of their best selling fragrances. Lexi Boling stars in this year’s Prada Candy Kiss campaign, which started off as an adorable take on femininity in its first run of ad and quickly blossomed into and ad made perfectly for a modern vixen. She’s sweet, yet intimidating, alluring, yet distant. She’s the woman you want, but will never have. The campaign, which was shot by famed photographer Steven Meisel, conjures up a quote from one of the greatest female poets ever, Sylvia Plath. “If the moon smiled, she would resemble you. You leave the same impression of something beautiful, but annihilating.” Which who the Prada Candy Kiss woman is, beautiful, but annihilating.
Louis Vuitton / Square Enix
Louis Vuitton appears a second time on the list with their Square Enix collaboration for Louis Vuitton’s SERIES of ads. Which aim at involving multiple artists to show their personal take on the brand in Louis Vuitton’s marketing strategy. For the Louis Vuitton SERIES 4 ad campaign. Tetsuya Nomura of Square Enix used Final Fantasy 13’s protagonist Lightning as his model. The ad campaign aimed at embracing the growing relationship between fashion and technology, while also helping further showcase the new face of Louis Vuitton. Rather using a traditional print ad, Nicolas Ghesquiere incorporates his love of technology into the global market by presenting his designs as digital renderings. Showing the global where luxury fashion may be heading.
Raf Simons Spring/ Summer 2016
Sometimes fashion isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes bright colours and energetic photoshoots can’t encompass the story that’s being told. That must have been what Willy Vandeperre and Raf Simons had in had in mind when creating the brands spring ad campaign. The overly bleak atmosphere of the ad felt melancholic. But as many artists know, some of the most beautiful moments in art aren’t happy ones. The ads, which feature an emotionless Luca Lemaire staring off into the distance, accompanied by three different dark and brooding backdrops that seem surreal, yet eerily present throughout the campaign. There’s also a sense of freedom (or escape) within the photos themselves. The barefoot model seems animalistic, like a man who’s run from everything that the world forced him to be, but he’s far from that now. He’s one with nature and no one can take him back now.
It can be so easy for one to feel bombarded with unexpected obligations at the beginning of December. Sure, work schedules are dying down as people begin going on holiday breaks. But then you also remember that your aunts and uncles are going be calling you any day now, wondering when you can find time to visit. A surprisingly cumbersome task, considering you’re also in the throes of the busiest shopping time of the year. But even though it may be more difficult to find time to head back to your favourite restaurant or bar, there are still plenty of ways to find inspiration regarding new foods and drinks to try in the comfort of your own home. Plus, as this time of year can get unexpectedly stressful, it is important to remember that a night out with those closest to you is still needed. So here is a list of holiday gifts for the foodies you know and love, which they will no-doubt appreciate.
The 24-Hour Wine Expert by Jancis Robinson
We have all had those early dating experiences where you go with a special someone to a bar that you have carefully picked out, only to feel completely lost and out of your element when the time comes to choose a wine that will hopefully impress that person. With every confused look you make towards the wine list, your true ignorance begins to shine through that crumbling false confidence. Fortunately, British wine expert and journalist Jancis Robinson has done those helpless singletons a huge service by writing about all the essential knowledge one needs to have for an in-depth understanding on wine in this easy to read, compact book. From common tasting terms, to good food pairings, and even outlining the main differences between wines from different regions, this is a fantastic beginner’s guide for that person who wants to broaden their horizons from the cheap stuff they bought in college for $15 dollars, and develop a more masterful palette.
Shake. Stir. Sip.: More than 50 Effortless Cocktails Made in Equal Parts by Kara Newman
This is the perfect gift for that friend who’s an expert when it comes to hosting memorable soirées. And it also shows that just because you make something yourself, it doesn’t mean it can’t rival something you had at your favourite bar. Kara Newman is no slouch when it comes to her expertise on the subject either, as she contributes food and drink articles to publications like Wine Enthusiast and The Wall Street Journal. The cocktails inside are mixed with alcohols of equal parts, which means they are a breeze to measure out, especially for those larger get-togethers. If you plan on inviting your closest confidantes over for New Year’s, ditch that rum, coke, and plastic cup nonsense, and surprise them with something more adventurous.
Anything and Everything from Nadege Patisserie
Chocolates and sweets can be a pretty safe bet when it comes to wooing those extended family members you don’t see very often or the in-laws you’re desperately trying to impress even though you don’t know them very well. And when it comes to impressing people with sweets, you really can’t go wrong with the collection at the Nadege Patisserie. It offers the widest selection of macarons in Toronto, which can be purchased in different assorted boxes. And their selection of cakes are works of art. Their French Vanilla panna cotta, the Marie Antoinette, is particularly eye catching, so much so that you kind of won’t even want to eat it. For a more varied assortment of things to try, you can also go with one of their gift boxes, comprised of the different bon bons and chocolate tablets. Get something here for your significant other’s parents, and you will be ingratiated into the family in no time!
Lets be honest with ourselves: when you go to a nice restaurant with one of your closest friends, you can only wish the conversations you have are as effortlessly witty as the ones in The Trip, starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. The film is mostly improvised and centers around the two actors playing themselves as they visit different restaurants in the English countryside on behalf of a magazine. The more time they spend together, their petty rivalries and the begrudging affection they share begin to show through conversations that can only be had in the closest of friendships. Don’t have much time to see your friends over the holidays? Cuddle up at home and watch what is, I think, the funniest food porn you will ever see. This film, along with its’ equally funny sequel, The Trip to Italy, are available for purchase on iTunes either separately or as a bundle.
Dinner at Brothers
Hypothetical situation: I meet a friend from out of town who wants me to show them some places around the city that I think are examples of the kinds of restaurants and bars that are representative of the city’s culinary scene. To be honest, I would probably end up taking them to Brothers, located at 1240 Bay Street. It encapsulates the laid-back unpretentious vibe that is characteristically common amongst the most popular and highly regarded establishments in Toronto — such as those owned by local food celebrity Jenn Agg (The Black Hoof, The Cocktail Bar, and Rhum Corner) or Grant van Gameron (owner of the widely popular Bar Raval, Bar Isabel, and the El Rey Mezcal Bar) — offers a rotating menu selection that feels entirely its own, with a uniqueness that can only be the result of tireless passion. The dishes are largely made from ingridients produced in Ontario and cooked with slight Italian and Greek touches. Want to show you know a thing or two about good places to eat in Toronto? Bring your loved one to this lesser-known establishment that is certainly deserving of attention.
Surprise Date Night at Archive
As the beginning of December sets off that internal clock that makes you try to get your holiday shopping done as quickly as you possibly can, it can be easy to forget to make quality time for just you and your significant other. If you and your boo are big wine enthusiasts, surprise them with an intimate night out at Archive at 909 Dundas Street West. With more than 200 bottles of wine currently on their list, theirs is surely one of the longest and the most impressive you will be likely to find in the city. The minimalist, cozy atmosphere also makes for quite the low-key romantic setting. The chance to warm up with someone while escaping the stresses of the holidays is something that should not be taken for granted.
Gift Baskets from Cheese Boutique
If you’re coupled, it’s a very likely scenario that you will really want to make time for a date night at some point during the coming months, yet you will struggle to muster up the courage to brave the unrelenting cold weather. As such, make it a special night in by giving bae a gift basket from the Cheese Boutique, located at 45 Ripley Avenue. These baskets are specially made to the customer’s liking and budget, with the available cheeses from a wide variety of different countries — you can view their extensive selection here. A nice bottle of wine, exotic cheeses, watching Love Actually for the twentieth time in the comfiest sweatpants you own — the perfect night in to escape the winter blues.
Christmas will officially be upon us in only a few short weeks, so it’s crunch time if you haven’t already put a dent in your holiday shopping. Everyone needs a little help when it comes to gift giving. If you’re unsure what to get the beauty guru and makeup junkies on your shopping list, have no fear, Novella is here to help. From makeup to skin care, to scents and body treatments, we’ve got gift or stocking stuffer ideas for everyone on your list. These treasures are sure to please the beauties in your life.
Mèreadesso Clear/Tinted Lip Treats
These are an awesome gift for someone who loves lip colour and chap sticks. Not only are they lightweight, but they are also a great primer for any lipstick, gloss, or liner. Plus, they’re perfect for the winter because they are super moisturizing! Can someone say mistletoe?
This little bag of body treats contains the perfect variety of soaps and body care to give your special someone the chance to dabble in a variety of Good Bar Soap products (so they can pick their favourite). Not only are The Good Bar’s soaps handcrafted, and all-natural, but they are also made in Toronto.
Available at The Cure Apothecary in Toronto or at TheGoodBar.ca: $12
L’aromatica perfume “Dapper” Eau de Toilette
This is the ideal gift for the tomboy in your life who doesn’t necessarily wear a lot of makeup or use a lot of beauty products. This unisex scent is one of L’aromatica’s most popular. This fragrance is masculine, woodsy, and spicy, but sexy nonetheless.
Since it is made from alcohol in Oregon, it can’t be shipped to Canada. However, you can find it at The Cure Apothecary in Toronto: $30
Doe Hair Pact “Bora Bora” hair mask
For the person that is always colouring and changing their hair, gift them with this moisturizing mini escape. The “Bora Bora” hair pact mask contains coconut and avocado oil and is meant to nourish the driest and dullest of hair. Plus, it smells like a mini vacation.
Known as the “green smoothie for your face,“ this organic vegan face mask is perfect for the health conscious, all natural, beauty lover. Its gentle formula combined with wheatgrass, neem, spirulina, sea kelp, and Canadian bentonite clay is great for all skin types.
I know drugstore mascara seems like a rather unconventional gift for the holidays, but mascara is arguably one of the most important items in any girl’s makeup bag. This mascara is the gift that keeps on giving, but without the scary price tag.
The Holiday Season is lurking just around the corner and stores are now beefing up their stock to introduce new and exciting products for the rush of holiday shoppers who will be charging stores in the next few weeks. But even with all the gift ideas being put forth this season, it can still be an extremely frustrating task to find the perfect gift for your loved ones — especially the picky ones. With that said, Novella is here to help! We’ve compiled a gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for the fashion lover on your list.
CHANEL: Collections And Creations
For the fashion lover, coffee table books are some of the most coveted and cherished items on their wishlist. This coffee table book is a must have for the Chanel lover on your list. With a breakdown on the 5 cornerstones of the Chanel house (the suit, the Camellia, Chanel Joaillerie, Chanel Parfum, and the little black dress) this book is bound to have every Chanel enthusiast falling in love all over again with the iconic brand.
Sofia Coppola’s iconic retelling of the young French queen’s tragic time at Versailles is as saddening as it is glamorous. With shining moments of happiness and heartbreaking ones of sadness, and topped off with Oscar-winning costumes by Milena Canonero, this gem is sure to please any die-hard fashion lover on your list.
A musical comedy where Audrey Hepburn is swept away by Fred Astaire and turned into a larger than life fashion model. Enough said.
Louis Vuitton Twist cross body bag – Cruise 2016
Louis Vuitton is known for making some of the most amazing — and the most expensive — bags in the fashion industry. So it’s no surprise that one of the most coveted bags comes from this years Louis Vuitton Cruise Show. Nicolas Ghesquiere took the already coveted Louis Vuitton twist and injected a fresh aquatic spirit into the bag, making it all the more desirable for this coming summer.
The Little Dictionary of Fashion: A Guide to Dress Sense for Every Woman By Christian Dior
Filled with tips straight from the iconic couturier himself, the Little Dictionary of Fashion is the fashion lifestyle guide that every fashion aficionado needs this holiday season. Whether you need tips on what to wear to certain events or how to walk with poise and grace, Monsieur Dior has you covered from A to Z in this fantastic pocket guide.
GRACE: Thirty Years of Fashion at Vogue
As one of the fashion world’s most beloved icons, Grace Coddington has captured the hearts and inspirations of fashion lovers around the world for decades. In this coffee table book by Phaidon, Grace fans can indulged in the many dreamlike fantasies she has created throughout her illustrious 30 year career at Vogue and Vogue UK. I mean, who wouldn’t want to spend a cold winter day tucked into bed, reminiscing on the best that Grace and the fashion industry has to offer?
La Dolce Vita
Nothing says glamour like a Fellini film. In this iconic black and white movie, fashion lovers can watch as a tabloid reporter falls in love in midst of the rich and the wealthy of Rome. Packed full of romance and drama, this film is sure to have the fashionista on your list re-enacting all the glamorous moments from this iconic blockbuster.
L’Occitane En Provence: Cherry Blossom
Sometimes designer isn’t always the way to go if you’d like a unique gift for the holiday season. If you’re looking for a particular fragrance that isn’t already sitting on everyone’s beauty vanity, it’s often better to aim for more niche perfumeries as opposed to the big names. Cherry Blossom by l’Occitane En Provence is the perfect scent to accompany a chilly winter day. With the soft and delicate aroma of cherry blossom, freesia, lily of the valley, and more, this scent manages to combine the sweetness of spring, with the delicateness of a soft winter snowfall.
The Fashion Book
As one of the most iconic and beloved coffee table books in fashion, the Fashion Book is the perfect gift for the curious fashionista. Filled to the brim with information regarding the best designers and brands in the industry, it’s no wonder this book has been dubbed “the fashion bible” by Vogue magazine.
Fashion Makers Fashion Shapers: The Essential Guide to Fashion by Those in the Know by Anee-Celine Jaeger
The perfect gift for the entrepreneurial fashion lover on your list. With page after page of interviews and bios on some of the high fashion and retail world’s most successful designers, this book is sure to inspire any would-be designer to pursue their dreams!
The Neon Demon
If you happen to have a lover of horror and fashion on your list, this is the movie for them. Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, the man behind the widely praised movie Drive,the Neon Demon takes viewers on a wild ride where the glamorous lives of fashion models meet with the horrors that lie behind the cameras. Be careful though — this movie isn’t particularly meant for the faint of heart!
Gucci Metallic Leather Pumps in Platinum
Every holiday outfit calls for the perfect shoe, and this year Gucci delivered. This platinum leather fringed pump is the perfect shoe for the holiday season. Whether you need a subtle pop of bling for the office or a bright flash of sparkle for a night out, this pump will surely have you covered.
Fashion Designers A-Z
The most expensive of the fashion books on this list does come with its perks. Filled with information on the most celebrated pieces from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s permanent museum and the iconic designers who created them, this book is perfect for the die-hard fashion historian on your list.
Starring a young Angelina Jolie, this biopic about 80’s supermodel Gia Caragni is a drastic change from the fashion related movies we’re used to. Following her iconic rise and fall within the fashion industry, Gia dives deeper into the world of fashion and asks some very serious questions regarding fame, love, and success.
Pat McGrath Labs: Metalmorphosis 005 Everything Kit
After years of begging and pleading, fashion heavyweight Pat McGrath has released an opulent makeup collection inspired by all things shiny and excessive. With colours ranging from gold to copper, McGrath has created an eyeshadow so rich and pigmented that it takes on a life of its own.