The Mustard Man

I decided to add another feature to my blog where i can instantly share some interesting fashion finds that i encounter on the go. I figured its the best way to really involve my readers first hand with the spontaneous energy of New York City. This post’s interesting fashion encounter was “The Mustard Man”.

Spotted in Chelsea’s art gallery district rocking a monotone outfit composed of varying textures of mustard brown shades. This composition consisted of a tailored loose fit cropped trouser worn effortlessly with a jersey T and a suede bomber jacket.

I am automatically drawn towards the shoes among other details. He is attiring an extravagant pair of statement loafers embroidered with my observation of an eastern ethnic print.

He finishes off the look with a simple brown leather man bag in conjunction with some chilling Ray-Bans and a Fedora hat.

I would like to finish off this post with a quote from the Great Gatsby the entices similar feeling as i do towards a random well dressed stranger ( with methodical expectation that he dresses this spectacularly the remaining 364 days of the year). “Ah” she cried. “You always look so cool”, speaks Daisy Buchanan as she complement Jay Gatsby’s chilling attire.

-Mona Hamid





The Skies Collection

This week’s post celebrates one of my favorite hobbies as a cloud enthusiast- sky watching. Cumulus, Stratocumulus, Cumulonimbus and the list continues. The sky has an art of its own and it is rather stimulating to deviate from out daily tasks to give nature’s gigantic cotton balls some undivided attention and appreciation. “ London based Designer Kirsteen Stewart shares my enthusiasm for clouds in her latest “Skies Collection”.

Kirsteen had created rich graphic prints for the “Skies Collection” from pictures she had taken herself of the Scottish skies at sunrise and sunset. She designed a series of structured dresses to flatter the female form. Here I am rocking the Nimbus Dress with a bold monochrome print of the Scottish skies as rain clouds begin to build on the horizon. I styled the Nimbus dress with the Cloud Pendant – also designed by Kirsteen, to play off the theme. The cloud necklace is my latest accessory amusement and had proved to be a very good conversation starter in many of my outings! I finish off my look with a scooped high bun and suede, leather, bow-string court shoes from Zara.

My lovely accomplice Arianna Miskel is rocking the Floccus Dress with a bold print inspired by the Scottish sunset. She accessorizes with the silver Mini Smile Necklace also designed by Kirsteen Stewart. Arianna finishes off the look with the Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tar, Sephora’s latest long lasting lippy.

Mona Hamid


Photography by Amanda Schulman

Writing, Editing and Styling by Mona Hamid

Modeling by Mona Hamid and Arianna Miskel

Outfit Details:-

Nimbus Dress: Kirsteen Stewart, available here.

Floccus Sunset Dress: Kirsteen Stewart, available here.

Mini Smile Necklace: Kirsteen Stewart, available here.

Cloud Pendant: Kirsteen Stewart, available here.

Leather Bow-tie Court Shoes: Zara, available here.


Vintage Daze

stilettosandsubstance.comOn a recent trip to Austin, Texas along with some of my fellow fashion bloggers, we made it our mission to visit some of Austin’s many unique vintage stores. The list was endless, however we managed a cover a decent amount of stores and I managed to find some enticing vintage finds to add to my archives.

Here I am rocking a black sheer loosely fit vintage top that I bought from a really cool store called Feathers Boutique. Feathers Boutique provided a modern twist to vintage clothing. It was one of the stores I spent the most time in. I was amused with vintage clothes that have been altered in-house to modern day silhouettes – a fantastic idea. This sheer top is an ideal throw on with denim shorts during breezy summer days and is ideal for effortless bohemian-esque music festival attire.

Here, I decided to pair the blouse with a pair of black pants and suede booties, which were also a vintage find from my trip. I never owned cowboy boots and not sure yet if I can pull them off, however in spirit of ‘Texas’ I managed to find an intermediate- cowboy booties!

Last but not least, I accessorized with a brown vintage leather bag that was one of my lucky random finds from Room Service Vintage, and two golden string necklaces from Frock on Vintage. Our Austin vintage shopping trip was ultimately a success!

Mona stilettosandsubstance.comPhotography by Sairinah Smith

Styling, Editing and Writing by Mona Hamid

Outfit Details:-

Top: Feather Boutique Vintage.

Leather Bag: Room Service Vintage.

Cowboy Shoes: Buffalo Exchange, Austin TX.

Necklaces: Frock on Vintage.

Tocca Fall/Winter 2014

stilettosandsubstance.comThrough my internship with New York city based Fashion House Tocca, I had the opportunity of witnessing the design process and the collection of  Winter/Fall 2014 in-the-making. Tocca was initiated in 1994, named after the Italian word for “Touch” creating intricate embroidered outfits that are uniquely styled. Tocca’s design esthetic took a new turn for a more modern sophisticated approach when brand visionary Emma Fletcher became creative director in 2011. The Fall/Winter 2014 Tocca collection was constructed with beautiful floral prints and a variety of different fabrics and textures. When watching the collection across the runway for New york Fashion Week, one can see the transition of the mood and the elements in the collection from being more structured to getting more and more fluid and free.

Having the best seat in the show backstage where all the excitement takes place i was able to capture some beautiful shots of the garments and the models. As an appreciator of various esthetics of design and a lover of florals  my infatuation with  the world of Tocca comes from the beautiful simplicity and the romantic palette setting the mood of the clothing, the simplicity of the style lines and the delicacy and flow of the fabrics used. The collection emits a sense of nostalgia portraying vintage silhouette and fabric elements in a modern form.
Model wearing navy suede “Kerouac” Coat
Left: Dot Burnout Velvet “Fuzzbox” Top paired with the pink wool “Sound” skirt
Right: Burnout velvet “Icicle” Silk Dress
Dot Burnout Velvet “Haze” Dress in Black
Backstage Excitement: Post runway, model pulls skirt off in a rush to change to the next outfit! #actionshot
Model wears “Manifest” Top with Lace and “Surreal” Skirt Model Wears
Model wears “Fantasy” Dress

stilettosandsubstance.comThe collection was styled by John Vertin. The approach of the makeup was a simplistic one. The models’ makeup is to look undone, the hair middle parted and tied in a low bun covering the ears. Velvet ribbons tied around the neck and hair left to drape down the back. When styling, John  utilized the pieces from the fall collection  in fun combinations – suede skirts with pops of velvet bra tops and colorful underpants, mix and matched shoes, and layered different print combinations together.

Creative Director of Tocca Emma Fletcher seeks endless inspirations for the floral prints of the collection. She expresses in reference to the “Blossom” print below,  “This is a flower print that i have wanted to do for a long time. I have an old vintage piece of fabric that i bought from London years ago and it dates back to the last century. For this collection we redid this print in a less classic and more free form.”
“Cap” Jacket and “Stem” Pants in “Blossom” Silk Blend Velvet Print
“Mystic” Dress in Blossom Print

One of my favorite pieces of this collection is the “Morphine” clutch. This two-toned mink fur clutch is EVERYTHING. It is the perfect accessory to complement any simple outfit, acquiring it that extra chic and  “demure” factor. It is styled in the runway with an A-line midi skirt and a the burnout velvet bra top making a what might seem like an incomplete outfit oh so very complete!
Mink Fur “Morphine” Clutch

This navy mohair  “Soaring Cape” is also one of my favourites from the collection. Fashion lovers, I forecast a whole lot of capes making a comeback during the next fall season. I can invision capes over knitted turtle neck sweaters , over dresses paired with long gloves, over skinny fitted pant jumpsuits, the list goes on..
Post show celebration backstage: Emma Fletcher with stylist John Vertin.



Photography, editing and writing by Mona Hamid

Tocca RTW apparel can be purchased at,, Couverture London, Montaigne Market Paris, and Blood Orange in Sydney.

Old Boston

Morning light and cobblestones are two combinations for a moment of inspiration and at this moment I was inspired by color and color combination- my favorite creative exercise.  This ensemble consisted of a tan, white & black color-blocked silk top from one of my desired English stores Hobbs, and was paired with a box pleated A-line skirt and a netted waistcoat. The skirt was created as part of my fashion collection “La Femme Juvenile”- a collection inspired by childrenswear for adults as indicated by the dotted lace overlaying the soft power blue. The ensemble was accessorized with vintage earrings and a pointed suede shoe from Zara. The early hours of the morning capture the articles in their natural essence with the soft light and the cobblestones bring a sense of nostalgia in one of Boston’s oldest landmarks Faneuil Hall.

Mona Hamid

Photography by 1000Lotus

Styling and Modeling by Mona Hamid

Writing by Mona Hamid

Location Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA

Outfit Details:

1. Top: Hobbs

2. Skirt: Monzlapur (La Femme Juvenile by Mona Hamid)

3. Waist coat: Vintage

4. Suede Point Pumps: Zara

5. Earrings: Vintage

Bon Voyage!

www.stilettosandsubstance.comKeeping a creative mind-set when it comes to your look can help you create unique outfits that tell a story. This ladylike take on summer day dressing evokes the glamour of old Hollywood starlets and was inspired by scenes of sailors bidding adieu to their impeccably dressed paramours at the port.

The elegant, loose-fitting cream dress is made of a lightweight material that is perfect for a summer day and features a subtle ruffle detailing on the neckline. The belted waist on the dress adds definition and creates a feminine silhouette, while the longer sleeves and below the knee length keep things demure and sophisticated. Chic accessorizing is all about keeping it simple with statement pieces that tie the look together. Here, a maroon hat acts as the focal accessory and gives another glamorous vintage aspect to the outfit. The complimentary bangles add a contemporary feel and accessorize the look without overwhelming it.

Low heels are a comfortable footwear option for glamorous daytime dressing. These navy blue suede shoes continue the nautical colour palette and also add colour contrast. To finish things off, dark red lips compliment the deep tones in the look and add a glamorous touch.

Reem Buhazza


Photography by Nelly Karim

Styling and Modelling by Mona Hamid

Writing by Reem Buhazza

Outfit Details:

  1. 1970’s Ivory Dress: Encore Vintage Store (Portland, Maine)
  2. Maroon Hat: Reiss
  3. Navy Suede Pumps: Madewell
  4. Lipstick: YSL (Rouge Por Couture/Shade 206)
  5. Chunky Gold Bracelet: Encore Vintage Store (Portland, Maine).
  6. Half Baked Sunglasses: YSL.

Personal Style: Citrus Hues

www.stilettosandsubstance.comSpring brights aren’t just for colour blocking – they can also be incorporated into a monochromatic ensemble for an understated take on colourful dressing. Here, bright citrus hues like lime and yellow are paired with monochromatic black and white for a fresh take on trans-seasonal spring dressing.

This whimsical look was styled around a pair of patterned statement tights. Their intricate pattern attracts the eye and gives the look visual interest, and the lime green accents inspired the outfit’s colour palette.

A lightweight cover-up such as a blazer is a great option for trans-seasonal layering. This white blazer compliments the freshness of the outfit’s lime green elements, and its texture keeps things interesting. The yellow printed blouse underneath gives a complimentary pop of colour and is buttoned up all the way and tucked into the black skirt for a prim and proper feel.

Midi heel shoes are a great option for spring if you like your shoes to be comfortable and wearable.  These lime green suede heels provide a good amount of height but are also comfy enough to walk around in for long periods of time. A quirky chocolate bar bag provides the finishing touch to this whimsical and colourful look.

Reem Buhazza

Photographs by Nelly Karim

Styling and Modeling by Mona Hamid

Writing by Reem Buhazza

Outfit Details:

1. Blazer: Reiss, available here.

2. Blouse: Diane Von Furstenberg (Beacon’s Closet, Brooklyn, NYC).

3. Skirt: Ted Baker, available here.

4. Tights: H&M.

5. Shoes: Madewell, similar here.