What Should I Wear? – The Eternal Fall Weather Dilemma

Monika from Monikova Design shares with us how she feels about fall, and what she keeps in mind when dressing for the season.

fall coloursI enjoy fall. I embrace the change of seasons as it is a most wonderful thing; as change is good, and all things can be considered new and refreshed.  It reminds me of a rebirth, of youth and energy, which are all positive.  This change alters the fashion scene big time.  I embrace fall fashion changes, and fashion always changes – so play with it. I love the chance to change it up with sweaters, boots, and the drama you can create with layers of clothes, shawls and hats.

So what are the rules for how you should dress this fall?  No rules, please!!! In this area we don’t like rules.  I suggest you build on your own individuality – as individuality is the biggest trend this past decade.

We are all unique and different, so embellish it.  Do what suits your needs. Don’t be afraid to mix, play, and combine colours, textures and prints – you never know what you may come up with!  But remember – never be afraid of layering, fall is sometimes tricky, with the warmth of the day, and the cool of night, which also makes the mornings freezing.  We’ve created our blouses so they’re perfect as a part of this layering, perfect for the warm weather during the day and easy to fit under a sweater, vest, or the fitted jackets that we love this fall.

Monika from Monikova wearing the Ivy blouse paired with a waist cinching belt from Susana Erazo and the new Lonna Shooties from Hush Puppies

Monika from Monikova wearing the Ivy blouse ($190.00) paired with a waist cinching Kimono belt ($160.00-$185.00) from Susana Erazo and the new Lonna Shooties ($137.00) from Hush Puppies

So as you play and layer, try to stay true to your curves. There can be a tendency to look boxy or to lose your shape when it comes to fall layering.  Whether you are young, middle aged or mature everyone looks good showcasing their curves.  And as with all fashion, trendy has its limits, and not all trends are for everyone. So choose what the best look is for your body type.

Another big part of looking good is feeling comfortable in what you are wearing.  This is one of the main reasons why I always choose natural fabrics for the Monikova line, which feels nice next to the skin. So when choosing, pick something that feels nice to wear.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to play with colour, and the brightness of colour as the season progresses. Perhaps a royal blue or gold sweater or dress may brighten your fall day and those around you with your originality!


This is a new season, see it as new start. Be yourself, and play with it, you will be amazed at your own unique creations.  Flaunt your sense of style and send me pictures of your creations at info@monikova.ca.



FC Designer Spotlight: Odd Bird Designs

Odd Bird jewellery is decidedly quirky yet fun to wear.It is a collection consisting of random items such as game pieces, geometric shapes, lockets, cuffs and whatever else catches the designers eye.The pieces will get noticed, therefore perfect for those who want to stand out from the flock! The Odd Bird is actually a human named Tara who is a long-standing member of the Fresh Collective and also works in the animation industry.


Brass cuffs featuring Alphonse Mucha’s zodiac lady and a greyhound. I chose the Mucha art image not only for the Zodiac signs but because the lady is a red head (us red heads stick together!) The other cuff is a vintage star map image of a greyhound (or maybe a whippet?) representing the Canis Major constellation. I’ve always been fascinated by the stars ever since I was a kid and the dog star was always one of my favourites.


The Star domino necklace features the classic tarot card image hand-printed & coloured on the back of a large domino piece. The card is the 17th Trump or Major Arcana in most traditional tarot decks. It represents renewed hope, inspiration and discovery.

Q&A with Tara of Odd Bird Designs

How long have you been designing/where did you get your start?I’ve always been creating things ever since I can remember but it wasn’t until about 5 years ago I got serious about it and founded Odd Bird Designs as a registered business.

Where did you find your inspiration for this collection? For this Fall one of my themes is “Follow the Stars”. It’s inspired by constellations, astrology and divination….all things that have always fascinated me. Plus my name means “star” in Sanskrit so it seems appropriate 🙂

If you could dress any celebrity who would it be That would be my favourite red head, Christina Hendricks. I love her Joan character in the Mad Men series!

What is the most rewarding part about having your own line? I love seeing people on the street wearing my jewellery…it’s tempting to say “Thanks for liking my work!” to them!
What has been the best part of your Fresh Collective journey thus far? Getting feedback & suggestions from both customers and FC designers….they all have contributed to help Odd Bird become what it is now and I am very grateful for it.

What to Wear Wednesday – Study Break

Todays WTWW is inspired by my best friend Jessica, who has just gone back to school. Sadly for me, it means her social calendar is far less open for girl talk, wine dates and gossip, but I’m proud of her – she’s worked like a maniac to get where she is!

Jess and I are the total stereotype when it comes to friends. If life were a romantic comedy – she would play the classy leading lady and I would be the kooky but charming best friend. While my wardrobe is filled with loud, patterned, often vintage statement pieces, hers is filled with neutral tones, streamlined designs, classic pieces. If we go out for ladies night, she’ll wear a little black dress, simple necklace and a red clutch, and I’ll be wearing a white top, black skirt, sequin suspenders and about 8 pieces of jewellery, including at least one ring the size of my fist (true story). She’s Calvin Klein, I’m Emilio Pucci…

I have always envied her effortless style so today I thought I’d put together a little FC outfit just for her!

What to Wear Wednesday - Study Break

A simple long-sleeved jersey top – perfect for fall with a flattering cowl neckline in navy (one of Jess’s staple wardrobe colours). Mandala Designs (available in our online store!)
Neutral skinny jeans – our beloved Yoga Jeans in this fantastic sand colour, are a versatile option that’s a nice change from basic blue.
ONE long and simple necklace – this message-in-a-bottle long necklace by Curious Oddities is the perfect piece to dress up a simple outfit without going over the top.
A carry-all tote – I love this Alice in Wonderland tote by Aether Gallery – great for carrying school books!
Statement shoes – Jess has a bit of a shoe addiction (what girl doesn’t?) so I made sure to add a super fun pair of Miz Mooz ankle boots for a pop of colour!

There you have it – classic, simple, comfortable – a great outfit for a day of studying at the library or your favourite coffee shop!

Fresh DIY: Merlot and Gold Fall Manicure

I decided to experiment with my nails since nail art is through-the-roof on the trend scale right now. There are some awesome colours and trends for fall. Rich plums and burgundy, metallics and it seems, the crazier the nail art, the better!

I decided to try my hand at the classic french manicure, but with a fall twist! To do this I chose 2 of the seasons hottest colours, a metallic gold and a rich merlot.

Gold: Revlon Brilliant Strength Collection #110 – “Hypnotize”
Merlot: Revlon #570 – “Vixen”

STEP 1: Prep your nails with a thin, clear base coat to help keep the nail strong and to avoid staining your natural nail.

STEP 2: Paint one coat of gold. Allow that coat to dry for about 1 minute then add a second coat to amplify the gold colour. Allow to air until nails are dry to the touch (to avoid polish movement when you apply the tip colour).

STEP 3: CAREFULLY brush merlot colour from one side of tip to the other in a natural curve motion. Do not worry about getting colour on the finger – in fact, it’s easier if you do! Start at the very edge and work your way down until you get the shape you like. It’s much easier to add than remove so start small! Allow nails to become dry to the touch before the next steps!

STEP 4/5: Add a clear top coat to even out the polish surface and add shine. Then take a cotton swab, soak it in polish remover and remove the excess colour from fingers. I like to use 100% acetone because it requires less scrubbing and therefore less room for error, but BE CAREFUL not to touch the nail with it!

Merlot & Gold
 Dresses, Skirt and Cowl tee: Mandala Wrap Top: Melow Jeans: Yoga Jeans in Mustard & Merlot Boots: Miz Mooz Flats: Hush Puppies Jewellery: Odd Bird 

What to Wear Wednesday – Lunch Date

 So he asked you out to lunch! Great! Easygoing, informal – a lunch date is a great way to get to know someone. Then your mind starts spinning about wardrobe choices – you want to look sexy, but not too sexy (it is DAYTIME after all), you want to be comfortable but still polished. The whole “accidentally sexy” look is one I’m personally always striving for!

What to Wear Wednesday - Lunch DateWhat to Wear Wednesday – Lunch Date by freshcollective featuring china glaze nail polish

Here is a little outfit I threw together that is casual and feminine but with a little rock and roll edge (my favourite thing to add to any outfit) that is sure to turn heads.

Base your outfit around a dress – one that’s comfortable but flattering with a fun pattern. The dress above by Mandala is a great option, not too low-cut, not too short, but still very flirty and in a great fall pattern/colour combo (available online now!)

Add some boots and a leather jacket – I’m not talking lace-up, vinyl thigh high boots with a 6in stiletto heel or a beat up biker jacket with chains – just a nice pair of knee-high fall boots and a classic leather jacket to add a splash of sex appeal that’s still daytime appropriate. (Boots in set by Miz Mooz – available at FC Roncesvalles, Jacket available at Joie.com)

Keep makeup and hair simple – a nude or pale peach lip gloss and a simple cat eye (think Christina Hendricks, not Amy Winehouse) will do the trick!

Finish with a touch of sparkle – a pair of earrings with crystal or rhinestones and some metallic nail polish (fall trend alert!) will add just the right amount of shimmer and sparkle to balance out the leather accessories. (Earrings by Sugar Rush – styles available vary by location)

Beautiful Burgundy For Fall – FC Ambassador Guest Blog

Here’s another FC Ambassador Guest Blog by the lovely Nicole Wilson of DaintyGirl.ca

There’s always at least one trend each season that I fall head over heels for! In Spring/Summer 2012, it was the peplum that emptied my bank account and rocked my wardrobe. I also splurged on some embellished collars which took the accessories world by storm and they’re still going strong!

The Fall/Winter 2012 trend that has me in a fashion frenzy is hands down, the hottest colour of the season – BURGUNDY!

I absolutely adore this this colour and all variations of it: maroon, wine, berry, eggplant… OH AUBERGINE! It’s flattering to every skin tone, but I especially love the way it complements my fair skin and brings out the red in my hair!
This warm autumn colour first stole my heart on the fashion week runways, in light and dark variations and all kinds of textures: silk chiffon, tulle, lace, leather and even fur (faux for us, of course)! Swoon!

There’s no way I can afford couture (yet), but my wallet won’t be safe from this trend for long…burgundy is showing up EVERYWHERE! All of my favourite retailers are stocked up on burgundy for fall/winter, including Fresh Collective!

Fresh Collective Loves Burgundy

I recently purchased the Mandala Designs Serena Zig Zag Dress (far left); I love the burgundy paired with black and grey and the Missoni-like style!
All it takes is one trip to the mall and you’ll find burgundy jeans, dresses, blouses, handbags, shoes and more! Talk about temptation!

I love my burgundy skinny jeans this season and I have my eye on a pair of burgundy ankle booties too!

This stunning colour is compatible with a variety of other colours too – try it with gold, heather grey or cream for a neutral look or go bold and colour block with blue, purple or orange combinations! This trend also pairs well with some other fall trends:
Black & White is hot for fall/winter and burgundy is the ultimate complimentary colour for a classic and elegant look.
Geometric Prints stand out against this rich solid colour and give way to an exciting range of possibilities for edgy accessories too!
Animal Print in classic black and white Dalmatian or black and tan Leopard look great with burgundy, but you’ll also find sexy animal print jeans in burgundy – I recently saw a python print on a pair of burgundy skinnies and I’ve been dreaming about them ever since!
Leather is hot this season but full-on leather may not be for everyone. Never fear – there are some incredible leather accent pieces in-stores and stay on the look-out for coated/waxed denim. It’s comfortable and gives your basic skinny jeans a sexy leather look! I’ve seen them in burgundy and a variety of other jewel tones this season.
Go out and get some bargain burgundy for fall and splurge on a couple versatile and statement making burgundy accessories, like heels, handbags and jewellery.

The burgundy trend extends to beauty too! My must-have fall makeup includes a rich burgundy lip stick and lip gloss. These vampy deep red lips look amazing with clean, pale skin and minimal eye makeup for day or smoky brown/copper eye makeup for night. Picture these two runway looks combined…RAWR!

Some of my recent burgundy beauty buys include NARS Larger Than Life Lip Gloss in Rouge Tribal, MAC Crème Lipstick in Media and the Urban Decay Naked Palette to achieve that smoky brown eye.

Don’t delay ladies, get out there and shop the burgundy trend…it’s not going away anytime soon and items purchased for fall will transition beautifully to winter! Start your burgundy shopping spree at Fresh Collective at Queen West, Roncesvalles or Kensington Market!

Happy Shopping!


FALL…ing for Fresh pt.2

Greetings from sunny California, FC fans!

I shouldn’t be complaining as it’s gorgeous and hot out here and I spent yesterday on the beach, HOWEVER… reading Facebook updates about it being “crisp” back home, I couldn’t help but be a bit jealous. I mean, my birthday dress is just not going to look as amazing without the cropped black leather jacket I brought to wear with it… *sigh*

I packed a denim jacket, a leather jacket, a blazer AND bought another blazer at a great thrift shop in Ventura while here… and they sit in my suitcase, neglected.

Fall is a wonderful time, so don’t mourn summers end! Embrace the joys of boots, jackets, layers and jeans! Go grab a cute pair of Hush Puppies (but leave a pair in size 9 for me please) and enjoy the crisp fall air!

I’m off to work on my last sunburn of the year as I celebrate my birthday here in LA, but there’s a part of me that can’t wait to come home and enjoy the wonders of fall with FC! On that note, I leave you with some more stunning photos of fall goodies from our talented and wonderful team of designers!

xo – Allison



We have been excitedly receiving fall items from our incredible family of designers over the past month and despite the hot summer temperatures, could hardly wait for fall to arrive – and at last here it is!

It’s the most exciting season for fashion and we’re happy to help you prepare your wardrobe accordingly. Below are some beautiful photos from our recent fall shoot of new items that are either already available in-store or are on their way! Which items are you most excited about for this season?

Call or pop in to your favourite FC location today to find a new fall treasure!

What to Wear Wednesday – Miss mustard

Today’s WTWW is based around one of my favourite pieces. MUSTARD SKINNY JEANS! Now to some these may seem alarming, but I promise they are a staple of the season.

We’ve got these great mustard-coloured Yoga Jeans in store right now at our Roncesvalles and Kensington Market locations and I wanted to put together a fun outfit with them!

You may think “what on earth do you wear with pants this colour?” but you’d be surprised at the number of combinations you can pull off! Obviously a basic black or white top will work, but pair it with an unexpected splash of colour (a royal blue or rust orange perhaps?) or a bold print to really stand out!

Below I paired them with a loose fitting bohemian white tank, a long necklace (Sugar Rush), stackable bangles (Odd Bird) and a great plaid blazer. Statement blazers in plaid or brocade are a big trend this fall and can take a casual outfit and turn it professional, while maintaining a high fashion edge and stand-out style. Finish your outfit with a pair of flats (in a colour that ties in the blazer) OR on a cooler day, try a pair of knee-high boots in a rich brown or black to complete the equestrian look!

What to Wear Wednesday - Miss Mustard

What do you think? Are you brave enough to try this fun fall colour?