June 2008


Triumph Bonneville

WHAT A TRIUMPH What cooler way could there be to celebrate a birthday than with a bespoke Belstaff-designed motorbike? This summer the Brit-Italian label known for its chic leather outwear has collaborated with motorcycle manufacturer Triumph to help mark its 50th anniversary by creating a particularly special Bonneville bike.

If you’re venturing across the pond, you can check out the limited edition birthday bike on display in the Harrods windows and in Belstaff’s London flagship stores until the end of the month. It will also make its way through Rome and Milan later this year. Aya McMillan


Hermes Toronto
Photo: David Whittaker

A STORE IS BORN Just in time for the Ascot races, Hermes unveiled its new stable on glittery Bloor Street in Toronto. Courtesy of architect and longtime collaborator Rena Dumas, the luminous boutique perfectly captures the luxe sophistication of the Parisian lable, with its sky-high ceilings and rich décor (think crystal lights, mosaic tile and gorgeous cherry wood fixtures and furniture flooring). Upon entering you’ll find the first display area dedicated to all the accoutrements to satisfy any accessories addict. Further on, an open leather workshop with House leathers and saddles harkens gracefully to its equine history. Shelves are stocked with enough treats to tempt the more purebred of fillies (twilly scarves anyone?), beating the stampede for fall’s full-on equestrian extravaganza. So trot on over for cashmere jodhpurs or, for the more skittish, opt for a pair of metallic espadrilles and a silk shift – the perfect ensemble for sitting out the race and what will no doubt be a photo finish.

Hermes 130 Bloor St. W. 416-968-8626

Aya McMillan


Louis Vuitton

FAMILY TIES Louis Vuitton has found a new muse—or rather muses—in the shape of Sofia Coppola and her father, Francis Ford who star in its latest ad campaign. The Oscar winning directors were shot by Annie Leibovitz for LV’s Core Values campaign, which highlights the house’s heritage in luggage and travel. Louis Vuitton is also promoting the environment with this campaign by making a donation to Al Gore’s charity, The Climate Project, on behalf of the Coppola clan. Aya McMillan



INDIAN SUMMER With the first day of summer just a few days away, chicettes across the country need a way to stay cool in the sun. Enter Laleeta, a caftan collection created by Toronto BFF’s Jessica Fenton and Alana Konopny. With their pretty colour palettes and luxe fabrics these cover-ups will have you feeling haute no matter how hot it gets outside.

Visit to purchase.


Patricia Field for Payless

FIELD OF DREAMS Six seasons and a movie have you wishing Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field would help liven’ up your wardrobe? Here’s your chance: Field’s summer line for Payless is chock full of fabulous flats, heels and clutches. The collection hit stores last month but a selection of super-exclusive looks are can be found at Toronto’s Payless Fashion Lab. Strut quickly.

Payless Fashion Lab at Fairview Mall is located at 1800 Sheppard Avenue East (416-494-509)

Katie Gordon



A GREEN FUTURE H&M is continuing to take its ethical commitments seriously, announcing “a big venture” into organic cotton for fall, as well as a plan to source other sustainable materials, including organic and recycled wool and polyester.

“We are now using organic cotton in all departments,” adds H&M’s head of design, Anne-Sofie Johansson. “We’re proud that we’re able to meet increased interest from our customers and at the same time contribute to the increased demand for organically grown cotton.”

The upshot? Green-minded chicettes will be able to sleep easy with their purchases; T-shirts aside, kimono jackets, jodhpur-style trousers, tulip skirts, wide leg jeans and anoraks made from recycled fabrics are among the fall collection.

Aya McMillan


ATTENTION SHOPPERS Thread Social is going on sale!


Kate Moss

KATE’S NEW FROCK La Moss’s new label of choice has a Canadian connection. The supe was seen out recently in an LBD by Poltock & Walsh, a London based brand that was started in 2006 by Canadian-born Fiamma Poltock and her BFF Katie Walsh. With a dash of Canuck cool, Kate totally rocks the frock.

Go to for more information.

Aya McMillan



EYE CANDY Even shady dealings require a bit of disclosure. Which is why you’ll want to head to Ilori, the swanky new shades shop that’s finally making it’s way north of the border (they’ve got locations everywhere from Soho to San Juan, don’t ‘cha know). On the shelves you’ll find gorgeous sunnies from all the best brands (think Chanel, Lanvin, Prada, Dolce, and Tom Ford) as well as brand new—and blessedly logo free—specs from Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, Tiffany and Proenza Schouler.

Chloé sunglasses
Chloé sunglasses found at Ilori

The décor’s a sight too: The store was designed by Craig Nealy, an architect who’s worked with the likes of Louis Vuitton and Vera Wang, and features a VIP space (‘natch), plush seating and Lucite cases to show off Ilori’s chic wares. The store opens in Toronto on Friday—just in time for hot weekend weather—but we’re hoping future locations are planned. Either way, the future is certainly looking bright.

Ilori is located at 95A Bloor Street West or go to for more information.

Aya McMillan


Jessi Cruikshank

SPLURGE VS. STEAL We couldn’t help but notice the super cute ensemble that Jessi Cruikshank was sporting at The Hills finale in LA earlier this month so we had to ask her who it’s by. The MTV VJ told us that it wasn’t designer at all but a DIY—she designed it herself out of an old vintage frock!

If your own sewing skills aren’t up to snuff you can find a similar version from 3.1 Phillip Lim (shown above). It’s gorgeous, but not exactly wallet friendly, which is why we tracked down a similar style of shoes as Jessi’s gold Gucci heel, courtesy of Nine West. Aya McMillan

to get the look!


Hollywould Wicker bag

SOMETHING FISHY Remember that scene in the Sex and the City movie, the one where Miranda uses a wicker bag in the shape of a fish to hide the rose petals from Carrie’s bed to save her from heartbreak? How fun was that bag? Turns out it was a one-of-a-kind design designed by Hollywould that was created especially for the film. The New York based label has been inundated with requests from SATC addicts wanting to buy the bag, but the only one in existence is the one that was shot in the movie. So, the clever folks at Hollywould have decided to put it up for auction, with 100% of the proceeds going to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Bidding begins today, so get your charge cards ready!

Go to for more information.

Aya McMillan


Jean Paul Gaultier Ma Dame

PORTRAIT OF MY LADY What do you get when you mix a dash of 80s punk with the world’s hottest (and quirkiest) model and cheekiest fashion designer? A blockbuster fragrance that was launched last night in Paris. Ma Dame is the name of Jean Paul Gaultier’s latest scent but it’s not an old lady “madam” perfume. This fizzy scent—think of how a bottle of cherry pop might smell when you twist the cap off—will land on Canadian shores in the fall. And the model in the campaign is none other than irreverent Brit, Agyness Deyn, who showed up at the party last night held in the Marais neighbourhood of Paris. Attended by international press, friends of Gaultier and Deyn (including hot Brit designer Henry Holland), and Parisian fashion addicts, the party was a madcap dress up event. Somehow I ended up covered in sparkly makeup and a fringed mask! I’ll tell you more about the crazy night and the playful new scent in the October issue.

Lisa Tant


Sofitel Trocadéro Dokhan's
Sofitel Trocadéro Dokhan’s
117, rue de Lauriston
75116 Paris

CHEZ CHIC IN PARIS I’m often asked for hotel recommendations in Paris, my favourite city. Hotels are tucked in every block and you can pay a little or blow your year’s travel budget on one night (think the Ritz or George V). On this trip, I’m back at one of my favourites—the Sofitel Trocadéro Dokhan’s. A baguette’s throw from the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, this former mansion (once owned by a count) is now a boutique hotel decorated with an 18th century flair. Think Regency stripes, antique mirrors and romantic engravings. My room is a mix of navy and white stripes (the settee and bed canopy) with dots and stars (the fabric in the drapes and on the walls). Might sound a bit dizzy but it’s a super chic mix of Jean Paul Gaultier cheekiness and Chanel dash (so Spring 08). Downstairs, you’ll find one of the few champagne tasting bars left in Paris. I love how Parisian the hotel feels—so much more charming than the slick modernity of New York hotels. And the best part of the hotel? The tiny two-person elevator that’s a Louis Vuitton trunk. That’s right—an actual LV trunk, complete with the classic monogrammed walls, makes up the elevator.

Check in at

Lisa Tant


Agyness Deyn

SPOTTED: IN PARIS “Look! Over there!” My friend hisses and nods her head sharply. I’m still reeling from the effects of a shopping spree in Paris—a whirlwind that included YSL, Lanvin and Mui Mui—that I fail to notice the quirky platinum blonde model du jour, Agyness Deyn. Like us, she’s enjoying a late lunch at Hotel Costes. She’s dressed in a studded cream jacket accessorized with an emerald green pocket pouf and men’s oxfords with white ankle socks. She’s in town for tomorrow’s launch party for Ma Dame, Jean Paul Gaultier’s new fragrance – of which she is the new “face”. Quelle surprise! So am I! I promise to be on my game tomorrow—NO ONE is a better celeb spotter than me—where I’ll try to track her down for an interview.

Lisa Tant


AN UPDATE FROM PARIS I stopped by the YSL boutique on the rue due Faubourg Saint-Honoré this afternoon. Other than a TV crew waiting outside, it’s business as usual. No one says anything about Yves Saint Laurent’s passing and a brief nod is the only acknowledgement I receive to my condolences. It seems strange how his passing seems to be ignored. Maybe it’s too soon for the store to react? Odd.

The funeral is scheduled for Thursday. In addition to President Sarkozy, attendance is expected to include his wife (and former catwalker) Carla Bruni, muse Katherine Deneuve, business partner Pierre Berge and countless luminaries from the French fashion industry.

Yves Saint Laurent will continue to be fondly remembered for years to come as a new generation of designers are inspired by his passion and creativity. His death marks the passing of an era.

Lisa Tant


Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent

MEMORIES OF A MASTER I was sitting in the departures lounge of Toronto’s Pearson airport waiting for a flight to Paris when my Blackberry started buzzing. News flashes from my various daily websites declared that Yves Saint Laurent was dead at 71. Then the calls came from outlets like Canada AM and City TV—would I comment on the designer’s death?

Yves Saint Laurent
Flanked by model Laetitia Casta (left) and long time friend French actress Catherine Deneuve at the end of the end of his retrospective haute couture show at the Pompidou Centre in Paris in January 2002

How can one sum up a master’s life in a few short sentences? As I woke from a troubled sleep on board, I recalled the last collection I saw of his—the last one he showed before retiring in 2002. It was classic YSL— a jewel toned collection of blowsy silks with full pants and big bowed blouses. Similar to what I might have seen on last season’s runway except that Yves would have shown his vintage look on glorious models from around the world.

Yves Saint Laurent with model Claudia Schiffer
With model Claudia Schiffer after presenting his Fall/Winter 1997 collection

He was known for his love of exotic beauties—Asian, African, classic Parisian. He would have avoided today’s super thin Eastern European models—they just aren’t womanly enough to project his brand of French sensuality. And that’s what Yves was known for—womanly designs that were grown up, glamourous and sexy. Highlights over the years that are still widely copied today include his safari look, le smoking tux and his wildly successful Ballets Russe collection. He loved to explore other culture’s fashion and always gave them his signature Parisian stamp.

I found his last show to be almost quaint. His parade of chicly dressed Amazon beauties seemed sadly out of step with the deconstructionism and post atomic avant garde looks that a new group of maverick Japanese designers were showing. It was time for the master to bow out gracefully.

Yves Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2008
Yves Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2008

Since Yves retired, his label has continued with mixed success under other designers. Alber Elbaz (now celebrated at Lanvin) was given a brief shot before being unceremoniously dumped by Tom Ford who had just revived Gucci. Ford added YSL to his design roster. Yves disliked Tom Ford for the audacity and flash Ford gave to the tired collection. While it was a commercial success, fashion critics often savaged Ford’s version. In recent years, Stefano Pilati has had more success. His first collections of tulip skirts with wide belted waists were mocked but surprisingly quickly copied. Today his Muse bags and Tribute pumps (worn by every fashionable celebrity) have updated and energized the old look. His coming fall collection features a severe femme fatale look with all of the models sporting dark banged custom fitted bobs and purplish lipstick. The reaction: one of respect. Pilati has advanced the YSL aesthetic for the 21st century.

If you want to learn more about Yves Saint Laurent’s spectacular career, check out the retrospective currently held in Montreal at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until September 28, 2008. For a fascinating read about his fragile health and career path, pick up The Beautiful Fall by Alicia Drake that explores his battles with drugs and mental illness. It’s a great read about his life and contemporary Karl Lagerfeld.

Lisa Tant
Lisa Tant

Runway photography by Anthea Simms


Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

Robert Marc sunglasses

Robert Marc sunglasses

SHADES OF GLORY A slew of celebs like Uma, Reese and Julianne Moore have been spotted wearing luxe sunglasses from Robert Marc, but then again, these colourful frames will make anyone do a double-take. Hand-crafted from the luxest materials on the market, they effortlessly mix classic elegance and modern design. With a small signature hinge instead of a glaring logo and a wealth of styles and colors Robert Marc glasses have become the go-to styles for chicettes far and wide.

FLARE recently sat down with the Robert Marc to chat about his designs. Click here for the interview.


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