Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday Party: Special Occasion

Holiday Party: Special Occasion
Holiday Party: Special Occasion by lisalovesculture featuring a slip skirt

For those times when you really have to dress up, you can never go wrong with rich jewel tones. Play with textures and fabrications for the perfect combination.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Wishlist by lisalovesculture featuring a kate spade handbag

Everyone has a holiday wishlist, even if they keep it inside their head. Here's mine. Some of these (MBT boots, Kate Spade bag) are more wishful thinking than others. But this is a wishlist, after all, not a practical list!!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Lisa Loves Colours!

I have always hated tights. Itchy, ill-fitting, crotch-at-your-knees tights.

But I recently discovered the wonderful world of plus-sized tights. Not 'queen size' (ugh) or a generic 'plus', but properly sized tights.

Probably the best place on the internet for solid colour tights is We Love Colors. With over 50 colours, you'd be hard pressed not to find the colour you need.

I recently picked up the splash metallic tights as well as some solid colour ones. Note: try to store your splash metallic tights separately! I have silver sparkles on all my tights now.

I love these tights. They're so unique looking. They fit a little more snugly than the solid colour nylon-lycra tights, so keep that in mind.

These are the hunter green tights. Look at how opaque they are, even when using flash on my camera!

For my fellow Canadians: We Love Colors is offering free shipping to Canada until November 10th! Enter WELOVECANADA at the checkout.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Easy Halloween Costume: Lady Gaga

Easy Halloween Costume: Lady Gaga
Easy Halloween Costume: Lady Gaga by lisalovesculture featuring fishnet stockings

When I saw Lady Gaga in concert, she wore a 'base' costume consisting of bra, panties, fishnets and high heeled booties.

This is a great costume base - you can add accessories or layers depending on what you have and it will still be Gaga-esque. I'm showing this with a one piece body but for those of you that are more daring (and live in warmer climates!), you can definitely try the bra and panties.

Suggestions: fishnet shirt, big sunglasses, pop cans in hair, temporary tattoos, bold make-up.

Easy Halloween Costume: Active

Easy Halloween Costume: Active
Easy Halloween Costume: Active by lisalovesculture featuring layering tees

It's 2 weeks to Halloween and I'm sure some of you are scrambling for costumes.

Here's an easy one. The sadly departed TV series Dollhouse featured 'actives'; blank dolls who were programmed with personalities and identities for the highest bidder.

During their down time, the actives wore simple, plain yoga-type clothing in calm colours. The key to this costume is your manner. Act slightly puzzled at complicated questions. Revert to a childlike innocence.

Key phrases: "Did I fall asleep?"
"I always try to do my best"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Elvis dress

A quick outfit post from last week when I went to get my hair done.

I added my new snakeskin corset belt to my striped dress (my boss said I reminded her of Jailhouse Rock in this dress). I was pleased with the results! Rust coloured tights finish the whole thing off and add a nice autumn pop.

Dress and corset belt: Torrid
Tights: We Love Colors

Here is my new hair, in case you were interested. I love the way it curls!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Exciting Giveaway!

Monique of Curves and Chaos is giving away some awesome swag in anticipation of Full Figured Fashion Week(end) in Los Angeles.

Swag includes goodies from Torrid, Size Appeal, Cosabella and more! And it's open to Canadians too (yay!)

For full details, rules and how to enter, click here!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Autumn Knits

Autumn Knits
Autumn Knits by lisalovesculture featuring asos tops

Autumn is my favourite season: falling leaves, crisp weather, McIntosh apples, pumpkins, Thanksgiving, I love it all! What I love more than anything is curling up in a cozy knit sweater. Here are some of my picks. I'm disappointed in the lack of oranges and cranberries on offer, but it's early days yet. Perhaps they'll pop up later!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Vampire Pam

Vampire Pam
Vampire Pam by lisalovesculture featuring plus size skirts

Pam is my favourite character on True Blood and here's a set to capture her signature style. In the books, Pam is described as a 'twinsets and pearls' sort of woman, so here are a few picks for those who want to emulate Pam's style. Mostly pastels and neutrals, very 50s housewife and keep the silhouettes as tailored as possible.

Beth Ditto for Evans Wishlist

Beth Ditto for Evans Wishlist
Beth Ditto for Evans Wishlist by lisalovesculture on

These are my top four picks that I wasn't able to buy. I hope they're still in stock in my size when I can get them!

Beth Ditto for Evans

Beth Ditto for Evans
Beth Ditto for Evans by lisalovesculture on

What I bought from the new collection!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

True Blood Vs. Mad Men: A Rebuttal

Earlier today, while visiting my parents, I saw this article in the Globe & Mail and it made me angry. Not because I think Mad Men sucks and "OMG TRUEBLOOD 4EVA!" but because I think the author gave True Blood short shrift. In fact, I wonder if the author has actually ever watched True Blood. So I present to you, people of the internet, my rebuttal.

I won't go into nitpicky things about TV 'pedigree' or 'awards' because those are established.

Let's start with Cash in potential:


* True Blood – The show’s success has bumped up sales of the book series it’s based on (The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris), but nobody is racing out to buy True Blood lunchboxes. Earlier this week, the series was launched as a comic book, in both print and digital formats.
* Mad Men – Quite a little cash cow, the series has spawned Mad Men edition Barbie and Ken dolls, a Banana Republic clothing line and several pop-culture tomes, including Mad Men Unbuttoned: A Romp Through 1960s America.

Advantage: Mad Men, by far. But why no Pete Campbell doll?

No one may be racing out to buy True Blood lunchboxes, but they are buying Tru:Blood blood orange soda, and of course the requisite 'Team Bill' or 'Team Eric' t-shirts. And these are only the official licensed goods. Looking up True Blood on garners 1853 results; everything from rip-offs of official shirts to favourite lines from the latest episode.


* True Blood – The show has yet to reach the mainstream level attained by The Sopranos, but its profile should rise now that the first two seasons are syndicated (the first season currently airs on Space in Canada). Probably worth noting that Mad magazine has done its parody treatment on Twilight, but not True Blood.
* Mad Men – Firmly entrenched in the American zeitgeist. Magazine covers on People, Vanity Fair, Esquire, et al. Support player Crista Flanagan graces the current issue of Playboy (and appears sixties-style naked inside). And it has been parodied on both The Simpsons and Sesame Street.

Advantage: Mad Men. No contest

Allow me to point you to the wonderful Snoop Dogg tribute video he did for True Blood:

True Blood also appeared in the pages of a recent Playboy to promote season 3 and some new apparel. Plus, the fact is that True Blood really cannot be parodied on Sesame Street: it's an intensely violent and sexual show. Not suitable for tots.


* True Blood – Telepathic waitress Sookie (Anna Paquin) is one tough cookie. She was the rescuer of her eventual vampire beau Bill in the first season and has done so again since. This season has brought more screen time for Sookie’s teen vampire charge Jessica (Deborah Ann Woll), which is a good thing.
* Mad Men – For a show set in the early sixties, the Mad Men ladies are corkers. Once-naive Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) had a baby out of wedlock, but continues to mount her ad career; Don Draper’s trophy wife Betty (January Jones) walked away from her philandering husband; and watch and see if zaftig secretary Joan (Christina Hendricks) doesn’t do the same with her chauvinist hubby.

Advantage: Mad Men. You think it was easy being a woman in the 60s?

This one really bothered me because the author completely ignored one of the best characters on the show. Tara Thornton (Rutina Wesley) is a smart, savvy woman who has to deal with being a black woman in a town where they still raise the Southern Cross flag. She's taken care of her abusive, alcoholic mother and been best friends with a telepath her whole life which can't have been easy. And that's not even touching her relationships! Tara creates a lot of walls and she can be frustrating and abrasive but she's a wonderfully complex character that shouldn't be overlooked.

There are other great women on the show too. Look at Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten), Eric's second in command who just loves being a vampire. There's Maryann Forester (Michelle Forbes), the maenad who gradually takes over Bon Temps in season two. The women of True Blood are just as complex and nuanced as their compatriots on Mad Men.


* True Blood – A continuing carp against is the show is that the central male character of Bill (Stephen Moyer) is a wuss. It certainly doesn’t help a vampire’s rep when your fiancée has to repeatedly come to your rescue. Bloodsucker sheriff Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) is a stronger dramatic figure, as is bar owner - and shapeshifter - Sam (Sam Trammell).
* Mad Men – The full spectrum of sixties alpha males. Handsome Don Draper (Jon Hamm) shifts between charming and detestable - his entire life is a lie, we’re learning; aristocratic ad veteran Roger (John Slattery) is ruthless in business and weak in his desires; ambitious account executive Pete (Vincent Kartheiser) is the most obnoxious, though occasionally pitiable; and art director Sal (Bryan Batt), who will reappear later this season, is a portrait in closeted gay angst.

Advantage: Mad Men. You may not like these fellas, but they’re never boring.

One of the things I love about True Blood is the different masculinities presented in its characters. There's Jason Stackhouse (Ryan Kwanten): a ladies' man who was cruelly but somewhat accurately described as being 'as dumb as a box of hair' in season one. His hypermasculinity is contrasted with his feelings of guilt and grief over the deaths of the women in his life in season one and his desire for a life of meaning, which he's explored in the past season and a half.

There's the aforementioned Bill, who isn't a wuss exactly; he's a vampire living in a small, conservative town who is trying to 'mainstream'. This means he doesn't have the sexiness of Sheriff Eric. He is, basically, a big ol' undead dweeb. And there's nothing wrong with that.


* True Blood – The show exists on a fantasy plane, with casual story nods to synthetic blood and nobody really taking much notice of vampires and shapeshifters wandering among normal folk. The entry point was the murder investigation involving Sookie’s brother Jason (Ryan Kwanten), but the story has since ambled off into several directions, with creator Ball simultaneously balancing several plotlines.
* Mad Men – Over three seasons, Weiner has stuck rigidly to juxtaposing his characters against a timeline of real-life events. His stories are rife with references to Bob Dylan, Richard Nixon, Allen Ginsberg and the like. Last season closed in November, 1963, paralleling the takeover of Sterling-Cooper by aggressive Brits with the blanketing gloom that came over America following the assassination of president John F. Kennedy. The new season picks up one year later.

Advantage: Mad Men, if only for period detail. Then and now, those beehive hairdos defy physics.

Actually, what Ball is doing is using the books as a guide for plotlines and storypoints. Not all of them, but most. So yes, there's a method to the madness.


Mad Men, though not for the usual populist reasons. Yes, True Blood wades into deliciously dark territory -- this is not Twilight, kids -- but Mad Men is more stylized, and gets right into the skin of the people who virtually spawned the advertising industry. To older viewers, it feels real, and younger viewers should realize this was exactly what North American culture was like only a half-century ago. As happened with Six Feet Under, people will forget about True Blood the moment it stops airing. Mad Men is the sizzle, and the steak, and will be analyzed by TV historians for years.

See, I completely disagree. What the author fails to grasp is that True Blood already has a cult following. It will continue to have a cult following 30 years down the line. New generations of readers will find Harris' books and they'll find the show. Genre doesn't die, folks. Good or bad, genre lives on and I am absolutely certain that True Blood will still be around long after it goes off the air.

Which is the better show? It's a draw for me. I like them both for different reasons. And I think that they are too different to be compared on a simple listing basis, especially if one show is given short shrift. All I know is that I'm going to be watching both shows for years to come.

Friday, June 11, 2010

LucieLu will make me broke

LucieLu have some of the most beautiful dresses around in sizes up to 5X! I've listed these alphabetically because I can't pick favourites. I think I'll be scooping up the Tatum and Eau Claire dresses once I have the fundage. So gorgeous!

Antoinette Poppy Dress, $62

Boho Maxi, $49

Eau Claire Dress in Dusty Lilac, $59

Frankie Dress, $64

Lucia Dress, $62

Margeaux Dress, $46

Pippa Dress in Coral, $62

Tatum Dress, $56

At the Theatre: Mamma Mia (3.5/5)

I bought tickets for my mother and I to see Mamma Mia as a mother's day present for her. She had seen the show with the original Toronto cast (some of whom went on to become part of the original Broadway cast) and the movie and was a big fan. I was raised on ABBA and the Beatles, so all the songs were familiar to me.

Off the top, Liana Hunt was a big disappointment as Sophie. She opened the show very weakly and for a while, I kept thinking 'what is all the fuss about?' And then Tanya and Rosie showed up and I said 'Aaaaaah'. Rachel Tyler (Tanya) and Kittra Wynn Coomer (Rosie) were definitely the highlight of the show for me. They had the best voices and such wonderful comedic instincts.

Another disappointment was Michelle Dawson as Donna. Sometimes she was great ('Mamma Mia' and 'The Winner Takes it All' stand out particularly) but sometimes she was so weak. I'm not sure if the numbers weren't in her range or if she was fighting a cold or losing her voice. It was a very uneven performance.

The dance routines were great fun as were the three (three!) encores. 'Waterloo' is my favourite ABBA song of all time, so I was pleased to see it done.

I found it interesting that the show is billed as a 'family' show, however. There were lots of kids in the audience and there was lots of sexual and drug humour on stage. I wonder how parents react when they actually see the show. It's interesting to consider.

I think Mamma Mia would be a great show with a stronger lead cast and my mother said she loved it when she saw it originally. With the high energy music and dancing, it's hard not to clap along and bop your head.

Mamma Mia remains in Toronto at the Princess of Wales theatre until June 20. The next stop on the tour is Vienna, VA.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

At the Ballet: National Ballet's Summer Mixed Programme (3/5)

I was fortunate enough to attend opening night of the mixed programme last Friday. It was a touch intimidating to be surrounded by obviously wealthy and influential people when I am neither, but I did get to meet one of my favourite people in the world - Rick Mercer. That had me riding on a bit of a high for the whole evening.

Pur ti Miro was the first ballet of the evening. I'll admit it: I just didn't 'get it'. Perhaps that makes me a philistine. Everyone else seemed to love it. I could see that it was technically difficult and I could appreciate the dancers' talents but it didn't move me. I don't go to the ballet often, so maybe if I were a more frequent patron, I would have been more affected by the performance.

Opus 19/The Dreamer. I thought this ballet was beautiful and lyrical. Sonia Rodriguez was stunning; I couldn't take my eyes off her when she was on stage.

West Side Story Suite was definitely the big draw for this programme. I think the dancers must have enjoyed themselves a lot, being able to vocalize their performances with dialogue and singing. Yes, they sing! Most of the performers were solid singers, but Stephanie Hutchison was not. She played Anita (my favourite!) and not only was her singing poor, but she fell while she was dancing. It was very disappointing.

I also felt that the soloist they chose to sing 'Somewhere' wasn't appropriate. It's such a simple, hopeful song and it needs a clean, crisp voice. Instead, an operatic soprano did the honours.

Overall, I enjoyed the evening, but I think with a few tweaks, the performance could definitely improve. As for Pur ti Miro, well, that's just my ignorance shining through.

The Mixed Programme is on stage at the Four Seasons in Toronto until June 13.

For those of you more fashion-minded, I dressed up (as one should!) for opening night:

I apologize for the blurriness; I take all my outfit photos with my iMac since I don't have a tripod/personal photographer.

Dress: Torrid, Bolero: Penningtons, Lace leggings: Torrid, Shoes (not seen): Geox, Jewellery: Torrid, Headband: H&M.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dress me up, dress me down

Here are some dresses I've been eying lustily:

Old Navy:

Tube dress, $24.99

I love simple dresses like this for summertime. All you need are flip flops and a light sweater and you're good to go.

Gauze broomstick dress, $32.50

I like the playfulness of the florals on this dress. It screams carefree July.

Floral print maxi dress, $34.50

I've been besotted with this dress for a while; unfortunately it's no longer in my size. But it's a great dress than can be easily dressed up or down depending on the accessories.


Flannel tank dress, $19.99

Buffalo plaid has been trendy for about 2 years now, but I love this take on it. Maybe because I'm Canadian and my parents actually own those heavy, Buffalo plaid flannel shirts. I especially like the little feminine touches like the grosgrain ribbon and the tulle that peeks out at the hemline.

Bubble hem floral print dress, $68.00

I love the pattern on this dress! It's almost too busy but it works. I would skip the jewellery with this one and just grab a white cardigan for when the temperature cools off.

Fashion Overdose:

Paisley print tube dress, $30.00

This pattern is great and I think it's a steal at $30!

Blossom dress, $70.00

This dress might be too cute for most people, but I love it. It reminds me a bit of Betsey Johnson.

Asymmetrical dress, $35.00

The colours on this dress really pop.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

At the Opera: Idomeno (4.5/5)

Idomeno (Paul Groves) in anguish. Photo Credit: © 2010 Michael Cooper

Idomeno is set after the fall of Troy and takes place on the island of Crete. While the people of Crete wait for King Idomeno to return, his son Idamante has fallen in love with the captive Trojan princess Ilia. Elettra, the princess of Argos, is mad with jealousy as she loves Idamante and planned to marry him. Meanwhile, Idomeno's ship is caught in a ferocious storm at sea; the god Neptune agrees to spare him in exchange for a human sacrifice: the first person he sees when he arrives in Crete. So naturally, who is the first person he sees? His son. Idomeno cannot go through with the sacrifice and tries to send his son away. Neptune becomes enraged and summons a monster to attack Crete. Eventually, Idamente slays the monster, but lots of people (and tiny, tiny babies!) are dead. Idamente and Idomeno say a tearful farewell as father prepares to sacrifice his son, but Ilia rushes in at the last minute and offers herself instead. The Deus Ex Machina chorus appears and declares Neptune is satisfied by the display of love (d'awwww). He orders Idomeno to step down as King and give the throne to Idamante and his new bride Ilia. Everyone is happy except Elettra who curses their happiness and kills herself.

This was a great and powerful opera performance. I thought the four leads were magnificent, but my absolute favourite was Elettra.

Elettra (Tamara Wilson) plans to seduce Idamante. Photo Credit: © 2010 Michael Cooper

How can you not love a girl who smears blood on her face, calls on the gods to perform her vengeance, laughs maniacally and then rolls around on stage? And later, she tosses her red leather gloves aside and fixes her make-up while planning her seduction. She's beyond awesome.

As well, the role of Idamente is often played by a woman since it was written for a castrato. So there were three wonderfully powerful female leads and when they all sang together, it was shiver-inducing.

Idomeneo, re di Creta by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
performed by the Canadian Opera Company at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.
May 9 to 29, 2010.

Idomeneo: Paul Groves
Idamante: Krisztina Szabò
Ilia: Isabel Bayrakdarian
Elettra: Tamara Wilson
Arbace: Michael Colvin

Monday, May 10, 2010

Clothing, clothing, clothing

I love dressing up. When I was little, different outfits had different characters and personalities which I would then adopt (but usually in an internal monologue-y sort of way since kids already thought I was weird).

Now that I'm an adult, my outfits don't really have characters, but moods. Sassy outfit or grumpy outfit or schlepy outfit, for example.

I was just looking at the new arrivals on Lucie Lu and I began creating characters in my head.

Varuca likes drinking chai lattes and reading musty leather-bound books about lycanthropy when she's not rehearsing with her band. (I really watch far too much Buffy for my own good.)

Kiara is a dancer. She trains at the ballet school but moonlights as a salsa instructor on Wednesdays for spare cash. On Saturday nights, you can always find her in the middle of the dance floor, drenched in sweat while the vibrations of the bass hum through her body.

Isn't it fun? I ordered the whimsy bow tee and the zipper tee. As soon as I get them and try them on, I will tell you their stories.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


This year has been a big one for going to see cultural type stuff. I decided that I wanted to infuse my life with more culture, and I think I'm succeeding. I also have only one year left until I turn 30 and I lose some wonderful discounts. I will miss the days of $20 opera tickets and the like.

Here is a quick listing of everything I've seen thus far. I'm not including movies or books because then the list would get unwieldy:

RENT (National Tour) 4/5
Assassins (University College Follies) 3/5
Kiss Me Kate (Stratford Festival) 4.5/5
The Flying Dutchman (Canadian Opera Company) 3.5/5

Tickets purchased for:
Prima Donna (Luminato)
Lady Gaga (Monster Ball Tour)
Maria Stuarda (Canadian Opera Company)
Idomeneo (Canadian Opera Company)
Evita (Stratford Festival)
Momma Mia (Mirvish Productions)