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Check out the fashionable femmes I found at this year’s festival.
Alexa Chung‘s international style persuasion is undeniable. What is it about this long-legged model-turned-MTV personality-turned street blogger obsession-turned brand ambassador? She wears something, I want it. It’s a fashion influence that we wish we could bottle!
Here’s Chung in her latest campaign for Madewell, looking effortlessly chic, her trademark. I’m all caught up in the frilly polka dot and printed blouses, beanie hats, sweaters, animal print shoe-boots and transitional shorts. Not to mention, the cute purses. Oh, Alexa you’ve done it again.
Using bold colors, daring patterns and appliqués; Camille Roman–the founder of label Tour De Force–is no stranger to high quality fashion. The Central Saint Martins graduate has previously worked with Lanvin and Zac Posen, so it’s no wonder that her label reflects an effortless feeling of style. Roman’s motto is to create women’s fashion that is directional, feminine and flattering by creating sculptural forms that are innovative and have intricate and eye-catching details.
Roman is a Gibraltarian designer at heart and her own range of bespoke accessories and womenswear are all made to order in the UK-based atelier in East London. From geometrical and gigantic headdresses and hats, to après-five cocktail dresses and separates, the designs behind Tour de Force are shameless and unabashed, much like the muse behind the line!
“The Tour de Force muse is a fearless feminine creature with a furrowed brow and a sense of humour who lives amongst orphaned artifacts and invents her own history,” says Roman. “Her friends are abstractly powerful in presence, united by the common inability to hold tongues. We focus on creating innovative cut and surface manipulation using luxurious natural fibers. The label aspires to marry both traditional associations with luxury with futuristic details.”
From low-end to high-end, here are some Holiday shopping picks sure to keep your stockings stuffed and gift-getters more than happy come December 25th.
THRIFT: Courage My Love
‘Tis the season to be frugal! A niche for stylists, trend-setters and tourists, Courage My Love is a family-owned business right in the heart of Kensington Market: a bohemian collection of shops and boutiques. The vintage shop opened in 1975, after Pat Roy and Stewart Scriver quit their teaching jobs on a whim. Since, the store has completely charmed the stylish set with its eclectic and worldly collections. Textiles are pulled from around the world (the family takes a trip across South America, India and East Asia almost annually) and redundant textile stock is whipped together into shiny new-looking frocks and statement pieces. Daughter, Cece Scriver is the buyer and designer of the truly unique vintage wares: 1920’s bakelite bangles, intricate necklaces, an array of hats, rings, full skirts, delicate négligées, $2 scarves, long cigarette holders, crystal hair-clips and pieces dreamed up by Scriver herself. It also has an ample selection of quirky items like Luchador Mexican wrestling masks and El Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) figurines. Courage My Love offers more than used clothes or nostalgic Halloween costume options, it opens customers to a world of fashion inspiration. www.peanutbreath.com/courage/courageindex.html
*photos by: Glynnis Mapp
THRILL: Lilliput If there’s such a thing as the hereafter, this is where all good hats go to heaven. Situated in Toronto’s Little Italy district, Lilliput is a go-to shop for anyone looking to deck the halls and their heads with a one-of-a-kind topper. The hand-made hats are whipped up by the store’s own dedicated seven-person team. Lilliput constantly has a tempting array of chapeaus on display, beckoning like so many exotic birds–one in every jewel-toned colour you can imagine. So when Karyn Gingras, owner of Lilliput, tells me her story about almost trading her craft for a career in social work, it’s hard not to thank her–hug her, even–for choosing her Plan B, instead. Lilliput is the millinery of millineries: each hat takes about seven hours to make and a basic cap starts at about $70 and can go as high as $300, sometimes more. Hats can be as simple as a one-stitch half-turban or as grand as a My Fair Lady inspired bonnet. Despite the steep price tags, Fedoras and feather caps continue to fly off the shelves. Whether you’ve got big stockings to fill this year or need something new for that Holiday party, Lilliput is a shop that pleases even the most skeptical of hat-wearers. www.lilliputhats.com