Don’t get me wrong. Nothing can really replace pure wools, silks, and cottons, but from what I’ve observed, a cache of new textiles are quickly becoming just as commonplace as our old standbys. Designers have turned their attention toward new, hi-tech fabrics such as neoprene, casein, lurex, silicone, and tencel. Sounds fancy, sure, but what the heck does that really mean?
Instead of head scratching in the fitting room, I’ve asked a textile expert who helped translate the jargon. Introducing five fabrics that are making beautiful garments more wearable, sustainable, and some, more affordable than ever.
When it comes to fragrance, I love a good floral. Jasmine, lilac, verbena—I can’t get enough. But truly, I’m a gourmand through and through. Chocolate, raspberry, orange, cinnamon, coffee, caramel and cognac, I love the deliciousness of these notes. Researchers have already confirmed that our memory and sense of smell are connected. Making gourmand scents a completely hypnotic and hedonistic experience.
That’s why when the new cologne collection from U.K.-based brand Jo Malone landed on my desk with its notes inspired by English Tea, my stomach started to growl. Ginger Biscuit, Redcurrant and Cream, Elderflower and Gooseberry, Bitter Orange and Chocolate—simply divine dahling.
In my past life, I must have been British. Now, why would I come to this conclusion? Well, aside for being quite good at mimicking the London lilt, having a serious penchant for tea at any time of the day and being a really (really!) big fan of argyle print, I just can’t get enough of that quintessential-yet-preppy-yet-edgy-yet-punk sense of style that the English seem to create so naturally.
I just bloody can’t!
Ted Baker’s latest Spring 2013 collection is just that: posh little shift dresses, lacy little frocks, stately-looking floor-length gowns, belts with bows, really great short suits (the new and hot item to have in your closet), perfectly-tailored suit jackets in punchy Creamsicle orange, lime sherbet and strawberry-ice-cream pink. How fitting that the brand is celebrating 25 years of style. Indeed!
That paired with Jo Malone’s Sugar & Spice collection of scents inspired by English Tea that landed on my desk this week and I’m having a very Brit summer.
Vancouver is known for its laid-back, carpe diem kind of lifestyle. Oh, and its stunning mountain view. But the city’s true charm lies in its culinary clairvoyance, supreme sense of style and penchant for luxe west coast living.
The original home of Canuck retail success stories Aritzia and Lululemon, Vancouver is a street style hub (locals mix patriotic plaids with edgy leather knits and sheer layers), celebrity watering hole (Hollywood types frequent the city while filming) and the hometown of some of the world’s most notable fashion faces (model Coco Rocha).
Tenacious, eco-obsessed and just darn beautiful, Vancouver and its residents have a balanced spirit that’s down-to-earth and also a bit big city.
I’m already on the edge of my desk chair just thinking about how amazing The Great Gatsby movie is going to be: Roaring 20s glamour, gorgeous costumes designed by Prada and Broadway costume maven Catherine Martin, and Leonardo DiCaprio. I can’t wait to see how Baz Luhrmann executes this high school English class favourite of mine. I still have my copy of the original F. Scott Fitzgerald book (now dog-eared and dusty!)
To add to the anticipation, Lana Del Rey released her “Young and Beautiful” video, part of The Great Gatsby soundtrack.
I love her beauty look: Pin curls, gorgeous pink-red lip, two ironic teardrops and her trademark drowsy lilt.
Rachel Royis a mother of two, she’s got a sprawling apartment in New York that’s stylishly decorated with saris and all kinds of stylish tschockes. She’s got stacks of vintage National Geographics, not to mention she’s, well, drop-dead gorgeous.
Or so I thought. Roy’s Fall 2013 lookbook hit my inbox this month. After writing, tweeting and editing spring and summer things for months now (while it was still snowing) I’m channelling all of the real-time summer I can. (I, like, DO NOT want to think about fall).
I changed my warm-weather-loving tune thanks to this collection. Inspired by past fashion eras, it has all of the cool autumn textiles you desire: knubby knits, washed velvet, heavy macrame lace, metal embellishments, leather and embroidery—it’s a texture-lover’s dream. And while it may be a little fashion-backward to some, I love the way the models are styled: too-long trousers, sweaters tucked in.
Now fall is all I can think about: Give me that October chill, the turning leaves, give me layers, layers, MORE layers! #Ahhh
Canadian born, Paris-based designer Calla Haynes has been a fashion darling for a while now. She designs under her eponymous brand Calla, collaborates with brands like Samsung, April 77, Honest By, and 3 Suisses, designs textiles for many others, and continues to steal our hearts with her bodycon silhouettes and eye-catching digital prints.
She’s got that something: She experiments with androgynous codes, prints—she’s got cool couture down to a science.
Plus, her accolades speak for themselves: Haynes was a finalist for the prestigious ANDAM award, the highest award in France for young fashion designers. She nabbed that title in 2010, 2011, and 2012. No big deal. She was also a finalist for the Dorchester Fashion Prize in 2012. She’s been referred to by Style.com as the “Lindsey Wixson of up-and-coming designer brands: Cute as a button and sweet as pie, but check out that body.” Couldn’t agree more.
Naturally we’ve been counting the hours and days until her collaboration with another cute-as-ever French brand, Comptoir des Cotonniers. The two have come together to create a spring-y, floral-inspired, feminine collection of denim, T-shirts and tops with peplum finishes and dresses and separates priced from $95-$300.
What would you wear if you were about to meet your fashion spirit animal?
For a few agonizing minutes, I had absolutely no idea. Michael Kors: the genius brain behind those cult Saffiano leather day totes and wallets and the style domino that started the boyfriend-watch trend was travelling from his office in New York to touch down in Toronto for a ”special evening of cocktails and shopping.”
Cue fashion panic.
Throughout the day I got frantic texts from my friends in media. They too, needed to know what they would wear. One heard that someone was buying a whole new outfit for the occasion. A bit much, but when MK comes to town, fashion sacrifices have to be made.
While I wasn’t about to dip into my savings for this fashion affair, one thing was for sure: if I was going to meet my American womenswear idol, I needed to dress for the occasion. Here’s what I came up with: An Elizabeth and James white blazer, Ela Editor’s Pouch in rose gold and Tabula Rasa kissing fox cuff. I pulled the look together with black—a Joe Fresh top, Zara pleather leggings and Michael Kors heeled suede sandals—and gold accessories, then added a bit of geek-chic and wore my Warby Parker Huxley frames (not only for style, I need them to see!)
How’d I do?
My showcase pieces for the Michael Kors Party.
Me and fashion designer Michael Kors at the Bloor Street store (131 Bloor Street) near Yorkville.
Photos: (Off-figure outfit and Michael Kors) Glynnis Mapp, (head-to-toe) George Pimentel
This year has been hailed The Year of Queen B and Grammy Award-winning Beyoncé isn’t letting us forget it. Her campaign for H&M this summer launched last month: filled with highlighter-bright bathing suits, eternally flowy sarongs and the once ironic and now oh-so-new, the belly button ring. My friends at Refinery29noticed the navel sparkle and so did the girls at Fashionista. Will people jump on the trend again? Only she can bring back a no-no from the 90s and make it feel brand new.
What’s is so appealing about Beyoncé you may ask. It’s a question I’ve asked myself after writing (and tweeting) about her like I’m on auto pilot for months now. She’s an SEO miracle worker. Absolutely everyone is Googling her. And it seems that every single person on the planet needs to know about her skin, her hair, her voice (then the the lip-syncing), her dance moves, her clothes, Jay-Z, Baby Blue, The Superbowl. The world is officially obsessed with her.
In the latest music-video-meets-commercial called “Beyoncé as Mrs. Carter in H&M,” she (“Mrs. Carter”) sings her new song “Standing On The Sun.” Only Bey can make us love the belly ring and let her refer to herself as “Mrs. Carter” without batting a false lash.