AMAZING GRACE Hermes fans may never be able to get their mitts on the original Kelly bag once belonging to the late Princess Grace of Monaco, but a unique version of the iconic bag, screen printed with an image of her, will be up for grabs next Monday, June 2, as part of a vintage Hermes sale organized by auction house Artcurial in Paris. The bag, donated by HRH Princess Stephanie, was produced for the “Grace Kelly Years’ exhibition last year with proceeds gong to the Fight Aids Monaco charity. Aya McMillan
Victoire’s vintage-inspired racks
OTTAWA FASHION WEEK: SHOP TALK A sure sign of style is a city’s shopping scene, so while on assignment covering Ottawa Fashion Week, I of course had to check out the much-buzzed-about Dalhousie strip.
My first stop was the newly opened Young Janes (203 Dalhousie), where after going gaga over owner and jewelry designer Mika Lemm’s collection of vintage attire and accessories, I settled on a gold-and-black Burberry-style studded belt. Across the street at Daya Spa (200 Dalhousie St.), I instantly regretted getting my digits done in Montreal when I noticed the organic manicures and pedicures they offer using only all-natural, handmade Éminence products. A sour-cherry manicure-and-pedicure combo ($60) would’ve been sweet, but my time was limited and, besides, I had plenty more shopping to do!
At Abacus Trade (204 Dalhousie St.) I spotted a hand-painted silk top from Thailand (perfect for the beach), along with loads of fabulous fair-trade accessories from faraway places like Pakistan, Indonesia and India. Onto Workshop (242 ½ Dalhousie St.), a boutique/studio specializing in unique clothing and accessories made from previously used pieces and found objects. Next I popped over to Milk Shop (234 Dalhousie St.), where I found racks and racks of fun-loving labels including Alex + Chloe, BB Dakota, Vero Moda and Soos. A few doors down at Victoire (238 Dalhousie St.), I felt as though I was perusing a super-stylish friend’s closet—namely a super-stylish friend with a penchant for Canadian designers (Anastasia Lomonova, Dace and Passenger Pigeon to name a few) as well as vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry and accessories.
With a little more time to kill, I dashed through the ByWard Market over to Sussex Drive, where I found two great pre-party stops: Schad (527 Sussex Dr.), for contemporary labels such as Milly and “K” by Karl Lagerfeld, and its hip sister store Schad Blü (521 Sussex Dr.), for cool labels such as Diesel, Miss Sixty and Rock & Republic. At Trustfund (493 Sussex Dr.), I eyed rainbow racks packed with cute knits and dresses, and although tempted by the table-loads of denim, I picked up pair of safari-inspired shorts by Splendid instead.
Spent but satisfied, I headed back to fashion-week headquarters.
Paul Lishman Fall/Winter 2008
OTTAWA FASHION WEEK: DAY 2 and 3 Three days and 29 shows later, Ottawa’s first fashion week has come and gone. Highlights from Friday’s and Saturday’s shows included internationally renowned Paula Lishman, whose runway, like most of the majors’ this past fall, was crawling with fur. Lishman’s unique twist, however, is the fur yarn she uses to craft her luxurious collections, which this season included sheared-beaver coats and capes the Olsen’s would flip for, and a très chic Chanel-style skirt suit made from white sheared-beaver knit yarn and black-lamb-fur trim.
We also saw the knockout debut collection from Ottawa’s Me et Moi. The three-woman team behind the label, fresh out of school, only found out about OFW in April, but in two months they pulled together an absolutely adorable ’60s-inspired collection (lots of high waists, polka dots and flower power) that garnered a standing O from smitten spectators.
Lingerie designer Jen Graham closed the week with an ultra-sexy show filled with swingy silks and lots of luscious lace. My favourites: a caramel-coloured chiffon-and-floral-lace cross-halter top and a slate silk cowl-neck top with cascading chiffon down the back. Put simply, it was hot (trust me—I was close enough to smell the baby oil on the models).
Throughout the event, I saw lots of diversity on the runway—and I’m not just talking about the clothes. It was perfectly fitting: multicultural models on the catwalk—how Canadian!
There were also a few trends that emerged, including rich fabrics (silk, taffeta, velvet), shine, ruffles, bows, obi belts and one-shoulder tops and dresses.
Of course Ottawa Fashion Week cannot compare to what FLARE’s editors see in Milan, Paris and New York, but the important thing is it happened, giving local designers a stage to showcase their work and a taste of the fashionable life to all those involved.
Yum, I say.
OTTAWA FASHION WEEK: DAY 1 Hello/Bonjour from our nation’s capital! I’m here attending Ottawa Fashion Week, which kicked off for the first time ever yesterday. I know what you’re thinking: Ottawa? Fashion? You don’t often (make that almost never) see the two words together, but that’s exactly what the Canadian International Modeling Agency, host of the three-day event, hopes to change. The CIMA is aiming to not only shine a spotlight on the city’s small but burgeoning fashion scene but also inject some style into O-town and its residents.
The first to hit the square-shaped runway at downtown’s Arts Court was Kania, which featured plenty of giant-collared hoodies and wrap dresses in designer Stacey Bafi-Yeboa’s signature sexy-meets-street style.
Over the course of the night I saw loads of ruffles, lots of ruching and many moody hues (black, natch, but also burnt orange, mustard, maroon and ink), and so I was delighted to see Zena Fares’ fearless use of deep pink for everything from bowed-cumberbund details to full-on fuchsia skirts with matching bright bustles.
The night ended on a rather rowdy note when models paraded out in the edgy swimwear from Gatineau’s One of Us. The brightly coloured bikinis and one-pieces (some fit with buckles at the midpoint—solution to strange tan lines, I’m guessing) all featured playful patterns and provocative cuts, but it was the Pucci-esque styles that closed the show that stole my heart.
Sure, the scene is small and the “week” only three days long, but like the best of ’em, you gotta start somewhere! I’ll be checking out all the shows to bring you the highlights, so stay tuned!
CALL TO AUCTION Brad and Angie might be holding court at the Cannes catwalks but we have our eyes on this little number. A luxe combo of black alligator and bling, Chanel’s special edition handbag has 334 brilliant diamonds set in double Cs. Sharon Stone will be hawking the special edition handbag at tonight’s AMFAR gala at Le Moulin de Mougins during the festival. We can’t think of a more glam way to raise money for aids research. Aya McMillan
HAWK EYE Geren Ford has always been our go to label when it comes to travel-friendly, effortlessly cool, wear-it-to-death kind of clothes. Given the economy is—how can we put this politely?—not what it used be, we’re thrilled that the LA based label has hooked up with Urban Outfitters to create a cheap & chic new line. HAWKS by Geren Ford is chock full of flirty frocks, sweet jumpers and femme-and-flattering camis all at wallet-friendly prices. The fresh wares arrive in stores this month so get there fast! Aya McMillan
SO LOVERLY Care to partake in a fashion makeover? Then head to the new production of My Fair Lady. Direct from London, the musical stars the lovely Lisa O’Hare as Eliza Doolittle, the ever-talented Christopher Cazenove (aka Ben Carrington from Dynasty) as Henry Higgins and, in a fan-pleasing touch, legendary screen actress Marni Nixon (who was the original voice in the movie starring Audrey Hepburn) appears as Mrs. Higgins. You’ll sway to I Could Have Danced All Night, stomp your feet The Rain in Spain and belt it out with A Little Bit of Luck. But the highlight of the show are its gorgeous costumes—Eliza’s purple peacock-ye Ascot hat being one. So grab an LBD and your chicest chapeau and head up to the Toronto Centre for the Arts to check it out. It’s what Audrey would have done. Aya McMillan
My Fair Lady runs until May 31 at the Toronto Centre for the Arts located at 5040 Yonge Street.
CARRIE THIS Kafi Dubli, owner of Montreal boutique Le Marché Mtl, recently nabbed an exclusive for her shelves: Timmy Woods’ Eiffel Tower bag. The architectural wonder, $395, is featured in the Sex and the City movie, and toted by Carrie Bradshaw herself. If you want to carry “Carrie’s bag,” get in line: the waiting list is bigger than Carrie’s Choo collection. Le Marché Mtl is located at 24 Des Pins Ave. E in Montreal (514-907-2482). Katie Gordon
NICK & CLICK Online shoppers rejoice: Nicolas Ghesquière wants you to get clicking with the launch of the first Balenciaga e-commerce site. Beat the waiting lists (not to mention Holt Renfrew’s severely limited selection) with a choice offering of the label’s most coveted bags, baubles, scarves, shoes and sunglasses. They’re still pricey but it’s cheaper than flying to New York or Paris. Aya McMillan
ECO CHIC Toronto is feeling green as two Yorkville shopping locales recently unveiled new eco-friendly totes. Hazelton Lanes and fair-trade company Freeset have designed the “Freedom Bag,” available now for $14.95. The re-useable fair-trade bag is made from sustainable jute fibre, with net proceeds going to impoverished women in India. Think it can’t get any better? Chi-chi boutique Hazel has also created an enviro-loving carryall. Available with purchase, Hazel’s creation is a bag made from stone by-product with ribbon handles produced from recycled pop bottles. Who knew that being fashionable could help the earth so much?
The Freedom Bag available at Hazelton Lanes Guest Services on the upper level. Hazel is located at 116 Yorkville Avenue (416-513-0333).
“LITTLE” NAME, BIG EXPERIENCE Spring calls for new beginnings—or at least new footwear. Aldo’s sibling, Little Burgundy, is opening its trendy Canadian doors this season in order to bring you over 80 brands of shoes, including Betsey Johnson and Miss Sixty. And after you’ve shopped, you can drop into Little Burgundy’s store lounge to rest those tired soles. Check out littleburgundyshoes.com for store locations. Katie Gordon
CASE CLOSED Don’t like wasting time fishing your Blackberry or cash out of your purse? Enter Toronto-based company Celi’s Celicase—a wallet, a cell phone case, and a fashion statement all rolled in to one. Fashionistas will appreciate the detachable strap and clip, letting you wear it five different ways. Ranging from $95-$110, the Celicase is available online at celicase.com, and comes in 11 different colours (one for each outfit perhaps?). Katie Gordon
CHARITY BEGINS ON THE RUNWAY This Saturday, Toronto’s chicest philanthropettes will be flocking to FLAUNT, a charity catwalk show taking place at Peridot Resto Lounge at 9pm. The event will feature haute new looks by fashion’s up and comer’s newest names with proceeds going to Life to Life, a non-profit organization working to establish women’s health clinics in Honduras. Tickets are $20 and the dress code is Victoria Beckham meets an inner Angelina charitableness.
HAUTE BAUBLES Still looking for that perfect Mother’s Day gift? Check out everything from necklaces to earrings at Bijouxbead’s spring sale and exhibition on May 10TH in the William Lea Room at Leaside Memorial Gardens from 11am – 7pm. Part of the proceeds benefit The Canadian Women’s Foundation (a gift that will make both you and your mom proud!). For more info, go to bijouxbead.com.
Located at the William Lea Room, Leaside Memorial Gardens, 1073 Millwood Road (Millwood and Laird) in Toronto. Click here for directions.
THE NEW FACE OF CHANEL On the 5th day of the 5th month, CHANEL announced the new face of CHANEL No. 5. French Actress Audrey Tautou will play lead in CHANEL’s next film directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet. The pair collaborated in “Amelie” and “The Long Engagement”, making this their third on screen tete a tete. Watch the director and his muse dazzle in a love story between the cinema and No. 5 in 2009. Zdenka Turecek
The Olivia bag
BEGINNERS LUCK Like accessories? You’re gonna LOVE Gryson. After scissoring out designs at fashion power houses like Coach, Calvin Klein and, most recently Marc Jacobs (where she held the design director of accessories), FIT graduate Joy Gryson struck out on her own. Her line of handbags and shoes have a downtown edge but with all the craftsmanship of an uptown house. The Korean-born designer sat down to chat with FLARE about her designs, her inspirations and why the it-bag is dead. READ THE INTERVIEW
LET THE GAMES BEGIN Hudson’s Bay Company unveiled the much–anticipated Beijing 2008 Olympic apparel collection last week. As the chosen designer for Canadian athletes competing in this year’s Olympics, Hudson’s eco-friendly collection is made with materials such as bamboo and organic cotton and fuses Canadian and Chinese symbolism for a visionary uniform inspired by the five elements of Chinese astrology: Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Metal. Watch for replica wear in Bay and Zellers stores across Canada, as well as online at hbc.com. Zdenka Turecek
HARLEQUIN ROMANCE While we loved the decadent minxes and modish harlequins that made their appearance at Miu Miu’s spring collection (and on Kirsten Dunst, seen above), we’ve been struggling to figure out just how to wear them without looking like actual court jesters. Well the arty look just got way easier with the label’s new limited edition print t-shirts (penned by Swedish illustrator Liselotte Watkins) in Miu Miu stores starting this month. Aya McMillan
A BRIEF INTRO Contrary to your current panty beliefs, some unmentionables are worth mentioning—such as Araks’ new Organics line. The intimate’s collection (a fave of stars like SJP and Chloe Sevigny) includes 8 silhouettes from delicate bras and breezy tap pants to an adorable romper, all crafted from 100% organic cotton and comes with zero packaging. Totally eco chic! Go to araks.com for store listings. Aya McMillan
SCISSOR SISTERS Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s new fashion line, Elizabeth and James, is now available in Canada! The finger-on-the pulse fashion savants named the line after their younger brother and sister and were inspired by the boy-meets-girl mix—think boyfriend blazers, shrunken leather jackets and glam sequin and feather frocks. Click here for a few of FLARE‘s fave pieces.
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