The Mlle Pages
En Pointe – Cotton Candy Come to Life
Last night, I was thrilled to attend mon première Montréal fashion event: En Pointe. A runway show and silent auction. Outside, it may’ve been slushy, but inside the classy W Hotel, the fundraising fashion event was Romantically Spring.
Montréal based couture designer, Astri, joined forces with custom jewelry designer, Tracy Gartner of Trink Jewelry to raise funds for Concordia University’s Centre For The Arts in Human Development. Having W Hotel host the event was a grand idea as the solid wood backdrop enhanced the light & airy feel of the show by providing the dual side of nature. Think a fairy nymph lounging on a grand oak tree while enjoying macarons and decadent cocktails.
To commence the evening, a young woman from the Concordia AHD program came out to sing two jazz standards. She walked into the room in a custom satin red gown by Astri with her shoulders back accompanied by a beaming smile. Opened her arms wide and shared, “I love my dress!” Her innocent admission resonated in every woman’s heart as we all truly feel EXACTLY the same way when wearing a robe we adore.
And then, the show began! Baby Pink & Diamond White floated down the runway. Tulle. Lace. Ribbons. Feathers. Crystals. Sequins. Every piece was flirty & feminine. If cotton candy had legs, it would have sashayed down the runway with these belles. Simply a pretty & whimsical show.
A special treat was having Grammy Award Winner Jennifer Gasoi not only walk down the runway, but also treat us to a song! LOVED!
Tracy & Astri put on a fashion event every year to raise money and awareness for a specialty cause. Every. Single. Year. I KNOW! These are two lovely women, indeed. Plus, they have scads of CUSTOM DESIGN talent to boot.
Pen in their event next year as it is most definitely an elegant evening out in la belle ville. I’m already booking my Astri & Tracy appointment now to get my “I LOVE MY DRESS!” ensemble ready for 2015. See you in the design studio ; ).
Mlle Fab à la Mode
Icône – Chef Bocking. Icon of The Mouth.
I’ve spent my fair share of time on the road due to shows and to pass away the moments while stretching, I watched the Food Network. (Oui, Giada is my BFF.) Numerous programs I loved, but I was hooked watching real life chefs duke it out like Rocky, except with very expensive knives on Top Chef Canada. And, to my delight, YYC food guru Dan Clapson introduced me to first season contestant, Montréal’s very own Chef Derek Bocking !
Not only is Chef Bocking a ridiculously CUTE gentleman, he is also the NEW Executive Chef at la belle ville’s Icône Restaurant. So, when I received an invitation to taste his new menu of creations, I pretty much showed up on Icône’s doorstep before the day’s prep had even begun. A lady should never be late ; ).
Upon first entry, the resto is a cool eclectic mix. Urban Art Deco meets Don Draper’s Lounge. Stainless steel chairs, plush banquettes for tête-a-têtes, pops of red and shiny glass EVERYWHERE. If I bring the Fab Fam, there will be a ‘sm-eyes off’ in every surface available. Luckily, there is KILLER live music on Sundays, so that’ll keep our attention for most of the evening.
Speaking of attention grabbing. Um. Chef Bocking’s dishes. Shut your face. Just shut it. His focus is on using LOCAL Québec ingredients. He excitedly shared with us that he found a local distributor for his protein. And, the proof is in the taste. SCRUMPTIOUS. His platter of canapés: Squash & Chorizo Arancini, Porc & Plum Croquettes avec Cranberry Apple Sweet & Sour sauce, Oysters avec Sherry Marinated Golden Raisin and Toasted Sunflower Seed and the classic, Buffalo Wings. Complete delight for the senses. Tickled my aesthetic bone as well as teasing my tastebuds.
Upon hearing mon amie was vegetarian he sent out a DELICIOUS Risotto aux Champignon Sauvages/Wild Mushroom Risotto. Après tasting, mon amie exclaimed, “Being a veggie, I have had A LOT of risotto, but THAT?! Oh my goodness: AMAZING! Every bite was different and decadent”. Le secret? Besides the array of wild champignons, a pickled mushroom AND the québécois touch: cheese curds. Plus, j’adore pretty and the presentation was TRÈS JOLIE.
We all know ‘the closer’ to any evening is the main event. Let’s just say that towels should be sent out with the desserts. OH. MAH. GAWD. Duo de Gateaux de Fromage aux Noisettes & Sortilége/Hazelnut & Maple Whiskey (QC specialty) cheesecakes and Gateau au Chocolat Mi-Cuit et Glace à la vanille/Molten Chocolate Cake. No words. Just send me seconds. With a towel, svp.
Montréal has many choices for an exquisite night out, but if your tastebuds do not experience Chef Bocking’s creations? You’re basically abusing your mouth. I didn’t try the entire new menu as a lady still has to fit the same dress she wore that evening. BUT, based on my sampling, you’ll be treating your bouche to a night it’ll never forget. Meet me at table three. Just follow the trail of towels ; ).
Mlle Fab on Appétit
Reflect Jewelry – wear heart on your sleeve, literally
syn·chro·nic·i·ty ˌsiNGkrəˈnisitē/ noun noun: synchronicity the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection. “A cleanse to put her insides in balance & a beautiful chakra necklace by Reflect to put her energies in balance: the synchronicity of the moment calmed Mlle Fab when she realised there would be no café for 3 weeks” I LOVE me my food, especially mon café. Needless to say I was a tad trepidatious to begin the journey to clean living until I met Tracy Gartner of Trink and her new line Reflect! Montreal based designer, Tracy, has been making custom jewelry since she came out of the womb. She started learning from her grandmother, “It’s amazing: I make a living from what my grandmother taught me when I was 7”. Jewelry is in this femme’s blood. It’s apparent from her beautiful pieces. She started sharing her creations with the general public from the ripe age of 16 in her cousin’s shoppe. And thus, the custom jewelry & bridal line Trink was born, which was recently seen on Grammy award winner Jennifer Gasoi! Après the ‘granny lessons’, this talented femme went on to study everything from business admin to fashion marketing to gemology to jewelry making. Oui: smart cookie. Fast forward to 2 years ago, when her love of jewelry making began to break down her body. Tracy was encouraged to begin practicing yoga to realign her posture and strengthen her wrists. And, voila the baby sister line was born: Reflect. Reflect jewelry is meant to be worn to balance or enhance the chakras. Perfect for any mover as there are rings, earrings, bracelets or multi-wear necklaces. They are made with swarovski crystal, so the glitter factor is substantial. Crystals are said to embody healing characterististics. I was skeptical, but curious as to what effect the pretty jewels would have. I AM BLOWN AWAY. I have the full chakra balancing necklace (95$). The first weekend I received it, I had a funeral of a dear friend to attend. I put on the multi-wear necklace as a bracelet and the entire day I was at peace. One time occurence? Alright. On this cleanse journey, I have had ups & downs, which is part of the process to cleansing the mind of toxins along with the body. Whenever I felt mentally challenged be it sad, frustration, fear or anger, I tried putting on the necklace and felt better instantly. Coincidence or psychosomatic? Perhaps. All I know is I do not want to take the jewelry off as I feel multiple moments of grace when I wear it. Plus: works well with Tiffany’s ; ). I became Tracy’s stalker as I would email her often to rave about the piece and ask questions. In terms of the necklace’s special capabilities, she shared, “I’m usually happiest while making jewelry so I hope it gives off good energy”. Speaking of good energy, Tracy believes in supporting those around her. Along with Montréal based couture designer Astri, the two ladies are producing ‘En Pointe’ – a fashion show benefitting Concordia University’s Centre For The Arts In Human Development. With cocktail in hand, expect to see Tracy’s beautiful jewels walking down the runway while giving to those in need. Giving to others is wonderful, indeed, but one does need to replenish their own cup, so to speak. Lucky for you, Ms. Gartner is here to make your cup over floweth! She is graciously offering the same chakra balancing necklace to ONE OF YOU! 2 simple ways to enter: #1 Tweet the Following B’bye blue days: @tracygartner & @immllefab make me sparkle inside & out. http://wp.me/P1mskh-2Sc RT to enter! #mtl #immrfabulous #contest #2 Follow the FAB team via Twitter @immrfabulous and/or @immllefab A winner will be randomly selected on Feb. 10th Cleanse or not, Reflect jewelry has me a believer. Wear yours and tweet me your thoughts. I look forward to the experiments! Bisous, Mlle Fab alanced Believer xo
Mon père is Scottish. As in, born in the land of kilts, scotch & the meilleure cookies EVER. That said, in junior high, instead of bagpipes, I was awoken every Sat AM by reggae & ska.
Ben: I brought all the boys to the yard avec my hemp shake & Mr. Tosh’s musique.
Needless to say, my inner 12 year old threw on her rasta tam when she heard that the Skatalites were coming to le Rialto!
The Skatalites were THEE ska band of their time. The band formed in 1963, took a break and then reformed in 1983 to continue playing to this day:
FOU! Oui, some new musiciens joined, but a couple of the founding members are still around & can KILL IT.
Highlight: Ms. Doreen Schaffer. Just regardez, svp…
One must give credit where credit is due. This ska band is still around because of leurs killer skills. The brass section is SICK. I dated a trombone player aka the handsomest homme alive according to my gay père, so I’m obviously well versed in such things ; ). (Embouchure. Les filles, you can thank moi later.) Super tight: Difficult licks performed with ease…*cough*…Think Tom Ford sketching his newest collection avec one hand while massaging your foot avec l’autre…perhaps that’s simply a personal fantasy…I digress, but Skatalites got SKILLZ!
Love ska? Throw on your best red, green and yellow & light up the night with Skalalites!
Mlle Fab ollypop xo
A Little Wiggle Room
Mon maison is finally in order, this fille now requires fun. Attend the Grand Opening for Montréal’s newest nightclub, The Wiggle Room aka TWR? Oui, svp! Upon entry, I was impressed with the aesthetic feel. Salut, Speakeasy! Think Al Capone’s private night club for after-hours affairs. Hand-painted cocktail tables, Victorian wallpaper, Velvet banquettes, Tuxedo’d staff & a Vaudeville inspired stage which included the classic seashell footlights. Right up my alley: old school glamour. Have a pair of spats or evening gown sobbing from the back of your closet? Steam it out & slip it on, as the dress code at TWR approves. Aprés one of the lovely owners, Patrick, escorted me to my front table, I perused the cocktail menu as obviously that long treck from the front door caused me to become parched. Walking in a pencil skirt & heels is hard. *cough* TWR hosts a delightful array of classic cocktails – ‘Dark & Stormy’ was delicious, but perhaps ‘The Mlle Fab’ next time? (Oui svp,TWR!) Finalement! The “Signature Burlesque Saturdays” show began! Les femmes were polished, classy & surprisingly, TRÈS funny. Two in particular impressed moi: Lady Josephine as Bitsy & Kitty Vanderbilt. They had my fab fingers snapping in the air like mad. A pretty visage is a jolie face, but display your wits? J’ADORE! May’ve been when Bitsy as a 50s waitress licked her own leg or possibly when Kitty squatted down at the front of the stage & prayed in her southern drawl, “little baby Jesus, up there in heaven, let this sh*t go good”. Props, les filles! (Side note: the headliner, Roxy is a burlesque purist & it is simply a treat to watch her skillful work of the beautiful costumes. Cotton candy come to life!) Billy L’amour. Ooh la la! Incroyable as host. Hands down one of the best drag queens I have ever had the pleasure of watching. Clever, beautiful & QUICK! Highlight: his one-liners. “I’m 7′ tall. I like my men to ride me like a tractor.” “Burlesque is all-inclusive: taste the rainbow!” “I’m Mtl’s sober drag queen. I’m allergic to alcohol – I drink & I wake up in handcuffs.” He is my fav. Plus, he sang LIVE…granted, the mic was down the birthday boy’s pants, but he still SANG! Burlesque not your thing? Pas de problème! Choices galore: Improv, Live Music, Open Stage & Wild Card Fridays where ‘Anything Goes’. Bievenue à Montréal, The Wiggle Room! Keep two stools open at the bar for the Fab family, svp. I realize space will be tight, but I’m certain you could wiggle us in ; ). Bisous, Mlle Fab solutely keeping her clothes on xo ps Mr. Fab, TWR offers burlesque classes to develop an act. May I propose ours: ‘No Fab-ing Way’?
A Frenchy Festival
After listening to my voicemail… I had to help Fab, but how?: je suis à Quebec. Sending vin or fromage won’t help… Of course! Take his mind off of the Stampede-induced stupor with some francophone fun: Le Festival d’été de Quebec.
A festival de musique for 11 days in Quebec City featuring a mélange of artists such as Weezer, Coeur de Pirate, Solange Knowles & the amazing Monsieur Stevie Wonder.
To begin, one promenades through the beautiful downtown of Quebec City in order to get to the festival. The sites include stunning architecture, stupendous street front life & SO MANY beardies. EVERYWHERE très GRANDS hommes!
As a dear friend clarified for me, ‘Quebec: the original land of the elusive Lumberjack’ and who doesn’t love a little logging from a furry face gent?
I digress, back to le Festival: a choice between 2 mainstages. Besides real poutine, what could be better?
Maybe you want Bruno Mars to woo your petite amie out of her petites vêtements or perhaps crossing your arms and nodding seriously to MGMT while that cute fille adjusts her Toms & ’80s framed glasses is more your style.
Le choix is yours.
The outdoor venues are perfect, lots of beers as well as places in mother nature to sit, stand or shake your groove thang.
Now if you looking for healthy food, you may want to eat before hand; inside the fences it is nothing but a carb-party. And those french belles be skinny, so Mlle Fab tries to resist the fromage, frites & fresh vin: you’re deliciousness… but you’re cruel!
11 nights of music + amazing line-up + $77 = ba*sez-moi aka a KILLER steal. As RiRi says, “Please don’t stop the music!”
Mlle Fab d’été
nb un petit cadeau: may your Lumberjack always drive the log
*mobile vibrates* Out. OUT. Spellcheck, why you gotta make my friends look dim? Après my grammatical tantrum, I mentally thanked my lucky stars for mon ami who gave me the invite for the evening, and google mapped my way to the suggested spot du nuit. Why bonjour, Korova! Like the divorce kid, this bar equally splits two pop yul areas: the Plateau and Mile-End. It’s frequented by many a tourist – a home away from home. Think of your uncle’s basement with $5 bevies. Oui. 5 loonies can get you a bourbon Limonade OR a pabst big boy AND a shot from 10 pm-11 pm. White girl wasted, indeed. Though to combat the potential slur-fest, the establishment is thoughtful by offering free bowls of popcorn. And if you know me, you know that I made besties with the bar keep to keep my bowl full! (my first born may end up working the door.) So, you have your bev & some snacks, but it’s a straight up carb party. What’s a figure conscious fille to do? The solution: dance the night away under the mirror ball, work the wrist at the foozball table OR, my personal fav, have an old school hockey table tournament. And if you’re worried you won’t remember what happened? Pas de problème: take photographic evidence of the evenings progression at the photobooth provided! Werrrrrk those angles, sweety! Korova isn’t just for nights of debauchery, it also expands one’s cranium. Bartender Ben began best ballin’ bad *ss brouhaha based by belle boulevard. Translation: The charming ‘tender created ‘Trivia Night’ on sunday nights. All trivia is based on what he finds interesting. Wanna win? Tip well and pick his brain. (Les filles, be warned: he’s bright, charming and CUTE. Did I mention that he’s finishing a doctorate in english lit? You’re welcome in advance.) Dear Korova, I leave you with this thought: Butter. Layered. Think about it! Bisous, Mlle Fabst big boy xo
Ladies’ Afternoon Tea Noir twist, eh? …ah, oui: Grey Goose Cherry Noir Pour Masters competition! The beloved liquor is introducing a sexy twist to amp up summer nights. What better way to say ‘bonjour’ to Canada than by having 12 mixologists duke it out ‘Cocktail’ style in YYC, T dot, MTL & Van-city– bring on the flare, les garçons. I was escorted to a booth full of yyc twitterati: ladies who lunch, indeed. Even baller Misty Hamel was in le maison and may I say, that lady is one sweetheart – la ‘bomb’. The Living Room hosted the afternoon fête, providing magic glasses that seemed to never run dry accompanied by a delightful array of canapés. 2 words. Marian. Beke. Mixologist extraordinaire originally from France (ooh la la), is one of London’s best loved bartenders at Nightjar. He graciously shared some of his creations – magnifique. Gorgeous & délicieuse. And his threads were spot on: très bien, monsieur – give yyc hommes some leçons, svp.) Après the mini ‘Marian Sir Mix-a-Lot’ section, the local ‘tenders got their game faces on. 5 minutes to make their original cocktail for Marian & Grey Goose Ambassador Ludovic Miazga. The deets: Grey Goose Cherry Noir. 1 ingrédient local. 1 ingrédient français. The inspiration and a story; AND, they are not allowed to taste it prior to judgement. PLUS, the competitor has to schmooze the judges akin to a customer. Beaucoup de PRESSURE: winner of ALL Pour Masters competitions (Canada, USA & France) gets their specialty cocktail featured at the Grey Goose sponsored OSCARS party! QUOI?! Ummm my passport is up to date, gentlemen! 😉 Shots were poured, peels were shaped and biceps were flexed – merci to ‘Suspenders’. Les garçons did Calgary proud. Les ingrédients locals ranged from evans cherry mead to organic avocado purée to specialty blended lager to Phil & Sebastian’s coffee to mon favorit: wild rose petal infused simple syrup – reminders de Paris. Beaucoup of interesting creations. Standouts for taste: Cherrocado (“Hey, I just went to the gym, I can drink an avocado” Jody – Lounge Burger. Dee-lish alcoholized green tea latte), GGCTA (“To be a good bartender it’s all about the guest” Franz – Añejo. Savoury summer bevie that’s ‘lady friendly’.), Vanille Noire (Braedon ‘Suspenders’- Black Betty Burger & Winebar. He had moi when he used the word ‘remiss’. Plus, he could crack almonds with his pecs after pouring mon beverage, which was akin to caressing a lady’s hair while touching her lady parts: layered sexy – oui, svp.) & Par-asian (Jimmy – soon to open Cube Cocktail Lounge. He filtered the vodka through P & S Kenyan roasted café & served along side paté jelly infused with raspberry alcohol – INSANE & 2nd time WINNER of the yyc portion.) . Honorable mention for Mlle Fab’s Très Belle Bevie: South of France. (Nathan – Milk Tiger. Ex-wife is an antiquer and found the glasses. Truly a pretty drink to behold – the lemon rose: très charmante.) All of the femmes present will agree that every libation possessed the cocktail trifecta: treat for the eye, tasty for the tongue and tantalizing for the date. IE #letmoiputmyboucheonyourbouche. Canadian patios: prepare for a summer du sexe. Grey Goose, you certainly know how to throw an afternoon tea party: merci beaucoup! Apologies for the underpinnings on the floor. I blame it on the Cherry Noir… Bisous, Mlle Fab Noir
Ding Dong! A delivery for me!!! An amazing gift basket from my friends at Jameson Whisky! As I worked through the delicious cocktail book, I finished with my favourite: Jameson on the rocks!… Smooth sipping perfection! But then I saw it… Hidden in the bottom of the basket; an invite to a party! With the event mere hours away and me serving up ‘hot mess’, I needed back up! And I knew just the right person to call! Frenchy Fab to the rescue! Here’s what I missed: So what does one wear to a ball? Specifically, the Jameson Bartender’s Ball? Luckily, cette femme has a fairy godmother. The style maven – and namesake of the boutique, Mealan – took pity on this ragamuffin and dressed her appropriately… Minus the glass slippers. (Beaucoup des bisous à vous, Ms. M!) No pumpkin, no steed, but donning a silk number with ghetto gold, Mlle Fab-erella was ready for
Whiskey cock… pardonez-moi, whiskey cocktails. 6 yyc bartenders were asked to create a specialty drink featuring the Jameson libation. And, to make the fête even more fantastique, the Jameson brand graciously invited some of yyc’s movers and shakers to celebrate and sample the creations. It must be said, je n’aime pas le whiskey, but quelle surprise: thoroughly enjoyed the specialties! The Frisky Sour shaken by Bartender Ben: mon favourit. The liquor of honour made it sweet, while the lemon gave it just the right about of tartness. The drink was good but watching BB’s biceps flex made it even better… peut-être! Commonwealth was a great choice of venue as it is spacious, specializes in killer DJs, and shares space with Tubby Dog. (Speaking of, a dog was downed and we’re not talking about a Mission hipster: the veggie cheetah was wicked bon!) 2 main highlights: The free freshly pressed tee. Upon donning, a realization occurred: top is multi-purpose. Cool decal on the back, good for easy access breastfeeding or in as Mr. Fab commented apon receipt of the photo, “slutty deliciousness: bar hoe!” Jameson: has your back while displaying the goods. And secondly meeting 2 Edmonton femmes who were looking for their host for ce soir. All they had to go on were ‘creative’ selfies. Et voila, like any good fairytale, he magically appeared: c’est fou! Moral: Jameson helps you find ‘family’. And alas, when the clock struck past midnight, even though the live band plays on, any good fairytale princess knows: it is a must to return home before the gentlemen all turn into rats. Ma première ball. One to remember. Jameson, you’ll always be my first… Bisous, Mlle Fab erella xo
Mr Fab: “Mlle Fab, I have a mission should you choose to accept it…” Mlle Fab: “Je l’aime! Hit me, but watch the face.” Mr. Fab: “Le Belle Arti grand opening – don’t embarrass me.” Mlle Fab: “Accepted – my pumps are freshly heeled.” Le Belle Arti may be the oldest furniture boutique in Canada, but the decor is anything but. La vita è bella! Or at least the furniture in the new Calgary Inglewood location is synonymous with the Italian cliché. Originated by 3 brothers, Orlando Milite is the youngest sibling, who travels between the Edmonton and Calgary shoppes… As quality of service is of high importance to him – is there any other way? Orlando is the quintessential European gentleman: handsome, charming and with a swoon-worthy accent. He graciously led cette fille through his shoppe, sharing stories and pointing out specificities of his beautiful wares that one might not notice at first glance. For example, the above stunning cabinet is engineered sans metal hinges. Keep the martini set hidden and make nary a sound until you shake one up for Mr. Bond? Oui, svp! Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the full moon, but Orlando shared his favourite piece with moi: a Black Walnut table by Riva. Gorgeous! Riva produces tables that are almost 40′ long using a single plank from one massive arbre. It is the only company in the world that does 1 single slab for an entire table. Incroyable. Now a special shout out for the event itself. The Italian themed soirée checked all of mademoiselle’s boxes: sophisticated, satiating and scrumptious with a side of my sicilian seduction: pancetta – sì! Le Belle Arti: where furniture becomes art, indeed. Mr. Fab, I would like to request one of each for my office at the Fab headquarters, svp.
Mademoiselle Fab elle