Luxury Steals the Show at WMCFW F/W '13
With snow still on the ground and icy cold winds still blowing at our backs, imagining yourself in the fashions of the Fall/Winter 2013 season is not all that difficult. So when World MasterCard Fashion Week took over the downtown core of King Street West in Toronto, onlookers could truly picture themselves donning the items sent down the runway.
After attending last season's fashion week, I raved about Joe Mimran's ability to bring affordable, everyday clothing down the catwalk in style. However, while I enjoyed the earthy tones of the new Joe collection, Mimran's wife, Kimberley Newport Mimran, was the one to steal the show this year with her line, Pink Tartan.
The Pink Tartan show opened with an obvious femme fatale theme that captured the audience instantly. Models wore identical, mod-inspired blond wigs and black headbands, giving the allusion that they were all the same woman on the verge, as pictured in the opening video of the show.
The line consisted of furs, long gloves and plenty of jewel tones, pink and black. My favourite pieces were the A-line dresses the collection is famous for as well as tailored suits with bold patterns. I loved the way the line worked long gloves and 3/4 length sleeves together to create a modern version on a classic Breakfast at Tiffany's look.
As many of the globe's major fashion weeks are coming to an end, you can surely predict some major trends for the Fall/Winter 2014 season. Fur and decadent fabric were seen on most major runways for the season, embellishing even the simplest of cuts. Long gloves exude elegance, and were a main accessory for most major designers.
With all these gorgeous pieces shown at this season's WMCFW, I cannot wait to wear some pieces myself. On the other hand, I think I can wait a little bit longer for another chilly season!
You can find the current Pink Tartan collection at The Bay or at pinktartan.com
Fall 2013 Trends from NY Fashion Week
Sitting at home dreaming of spring makes it pretty difficult to wrap your head around NEXT fall’s fashion, but when designers like Marc Jacobs and Jason Wu are sending their latest designs down the runway, you know it’s about time! New York Fashion week marks the start of the big four fashion weeks of the season (New York, London, Milan, Paris). Judging from New York’s shows, here are the top trends spotted on the Fall 2013 runways.
Jewels, fur and feathers screamed indulgence with this trend. Decadent details appeared in both evening wear and casual clothing for Fall 2013. J.Crew embellished classic coats with rhinestones and designers like Jason Wu and J. Mendel added fur to casual outerwear.
Back again, winter white is an excellent way to look effortlessly chic. This trend was mainly seen in pieces like sweaters and outerwear, as well as in head-to-toe combinations. Fashion houses boasting the best execution were J. Crew, BCBG Max Azria and Tommy Hilfiger.
A trend that won’t quit; cargo pants, military green and camo could be seen on high profile runways belonging to designers like Calvin Klein and Donna Karan.
A decade that has often been remarked as the worst in fashion history has come back into high fashion for Fall 2013. Of course, from every bad fashion decade comes a lesson. This season, designers added bold fabrics (such as velvet and leather) to differentiate the looks, and dressed models monochromatically. Beanies were also popular on runways—hipsters rejoice!
The structured bag
Structured bags were seen everywhere from Rebecca Minkoff to 3.1 Phillip Lim, and editors everywhere are already calling it the new “it” bag. This flashback trend from the 50s adds sleekness and sophistication to any outfit, and you won’t need a flashlight to find your lipstick!
A Near 10 Years: The Best Designer Collaborations
It’s hard to believe that one of my favourite dresses that currently resides in my closet was purchased when I was a mere freshman in high school. Importantly, this dress was designed by Karl Lagerfeld—THE Karl Lagerfeld—and is not Chanel couture. I was fourteen and the world was my oyster, as long as I wore my edgy A-line LBD by one of the world’s most cherished, and eccentric, designers of all time.
When H&M debuted its collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld back in 2004, the fashion world went crazy. Finally, couture designs at an H&M price. Initial inventories were sold out in less than an hour in major cities across the world.
Karl Lagerfeld for H&M 2004
Since that collaboration, stores like H&M and Target have joined forces with some of the world’s most esteemed fashion designers, like Stella McCartney and Martin Margiela, to create collections accessible for all—as long as they can run to the nearest location fast enough. However, recently critics have been predicting an end to such collaborations due to a slowing in sales. The bottom line is that these collections just aren’t selling out at the lightning speed that designers anticipate. The success of the initial collaborations were perhaps largely due to the newness of it all. With these lines becoming more frequent, the designer collaborations are becoming too available.
Roberto Cavalli for H&M 2007 Lanavi for H&M 2010
Versace for H&M 2011
The fashion industry prides itself on inaccessibility for the masses; once the majority of the population is wearing a particular trend, it is no longer considered to be in vogue. So once everyone and their dog are sporting a coat designed by French fashion house Lanvin, or shoes by Jimmy Choo, these items simply become less desirable to the fashion elite.
In honour of the decade in which these collaborations were available to us, I give you a few of my favourite pieces brought to market by chain stores throughout the years. Here’s to hoping that the critics are wrong and that the fashion gods will once again smile upon those whose wallets are not constantly overflowing. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing an Elie Saab collaboration sometime in the near future.
World MasterCard Fashion Week – The Canadian Catwalk
As the blustery cold had just settled onto Toronto, fashionistas were a
David Pecaut square in the downtown core. The tents were up, the champagne was ordered, and the models were ready to walk. Canada’s premier fashion event of the season, World MasterCard Fashion week, was the affair to attend from October 22-26, and I was one of the fortunate media that was going to get a glimpse of the major Canadian talent that would showcase their Spring / Summer ‘13 collections.
Opening the week was Canada’s favourite department store, Holt Renfrew, celebrating its 175th anniversary. As usual, Holts showed the stunning and bold pieces featured in stores across Canada. My favourite look was a jaw dropping Tom Ford white cape gown.
Pink Tartan SS13
Next was a label I have grown to truly love
- Pink Tartan. The label is owned and designed by Joe Mimran’s wife, Kimberley Newport-Mimran, so I am led to believe fashion and good taste runs in the family. Pastels and metallics were very visible in her collection, along with playful patterns featuring butterflies and even alligators. Some of my favourite pieces included her use of long, full skirts. This was a trend we saw at Paris Fashion Week, and remains both elegant and ladylike.
Tuesday's highlight at WMCFW was definitely the Mercedes-Benz Start Up show. Mercedes-Benz Start Up is a national initiative that supports up-and-coming designers, holds competitions around Canada, and eventually chooses designers to show what they’re made of in Toronto. Back in August I had the opportunity to attend the Ottawa show and was floored by some of the local talent.
Caitlin Power and Christopher Bates won in Ottawa, and I was excited to see what they would be displaying in Toronto. Power’s line was chic and bold, reminding me of big name labels Prada and The Row. Bates, who caters to men’s fashion, proved that he could design a mean suit
- I especially loved a lilac coloured one from his Spring 2012 collection.
Bates and Power showed alongside Lauren Bagliore, Pure Magnolia, Dreamboat Lucy, Nicole Campre, Malorie Urbanovitch and DUY. The conclusion of the show announced the overall winner of Mercedes-Benz start up by Editor-in-Chief of FASHION Magazine, Bernadette Morra. Congratulations to DUY, a stunning collection.
Following the jam
The evening included Montreal favourite Mackage- a label famous for decadent leather jackets and beautiful coats, as well as Joe Fresh. Mackage showcased light colours in leather for the spring and luxurious trench coats. Joe Mimran’s Joe Fresh seemed to be the event of the evening and kept the night light and airy with whites and upbeat music.
Soia & Kyo on Thursday rocked the runway with coats in vibrant colours and a wonderful use of mix-and-match. By watching the show, one would never be able to tell that the line specializes solely in outerwear!
Arthur Mendonca stole the show on Thursday night, celebrating his 10th year as a label. The line debuted some elegant creations and the fabrics were lux, showing everything from tweed to silk. Colours popped on the runway in robin egg blue and apricot.
The pressure was on for those designers showing on the final day of WMCFW. They were given the incredible task of following an almost flawless four days. Some highlights included Travis Traddeo, whose white leather made me melt, and who wowed the crowd with a show
While he also showed his original line, golden cone
Major trends spotted throughout the week were the colour blue, white, white and more white together with bold fabrics.
As I left World Master Card Fashion week, Madonna’s “Justify My Love” was ringing in my ears. This was probably because it was used in the Vawk show I had just left, but maybe it was because there is no way to really justify my own love for the vast amount of Canadian talent I was able to witness that week. I can only hope that the next season includes the same high calibre
innovation and style, and that runways continue to rock out to such amazing tunes.
From the Produce Aisle to the Catwalk: The Evolution of Joe Fresh Style ®
Most Canadians are familiar with the grocer’s household name Loblaws. Not only is Loblaws
a grocery store that has taken our nation by storm with their wide variety of foods, but the Superstores seem to be home to everything one could possibly need. While one might associate this grocery store titan with the likes of Walmart, there seems to be quite a bit more Canadian pride invested in the label. This is largely due to one stylish label that resides in Loblaws Superstores and has now found its way onto high fashion runways.
Joe Fresh Style ® is a label started by renowned Canadian designer Joe Mimran, popularly known for his co-founding of Club Monaco. Mimran launched the fashion label in March of 2006 with the ideal of creating pieces that could be easily mixed and matched. The brand is fondly known to many Canadians as fashionable, and yet highly affordable, making its way into the wardrobes of everyone from stylish soccer moms to Holt Renfrew-shopping socialites.
In the brand’s step outside the grocery store aisles and onto the catwalks, Joe Fresh Style ® opened its first standalone store in Vancouver in 2010. The store is now also in Toronto and recently opened its first flagship international store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The brand’s ability to succeed has often been attributed to Mimran’s commitment to Joe Fresh Style ®, as he has been said to oversee every step of the process—from the design table to the marketing process. The U.S. will soon see more of Joe Fresh Style ® as the brand recently teamed up with JC Penney to offer affordable and stylish clothes to North American consumers.
This month I had the opportunity to attend World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, where Mimran debuted his SS13 collection.
As to be expected, the show opened with pizazz and had a fresh and upbeat mood. Mod was the theme of the collection, and was it ever; shift dresses and boxy fits were all the rage on the catwalk. Jaw dropping colours of the evening were white, blue, and metallic silver—metallic as can be. Pieces that garnered gasps from the crowd included a metallic silver raincoat and shift dress. A list of my favourite looks comprises blue-pattern shorts, the abundance of white used in suits, blouses and jackets, and a textured cream cape and matching skirt.
Beauty throughout the show was very consistent but thoroughly pleasing to the eye. The make up consisted of coral lips on and fresh faces and hair was done in a middle part low ponytail. Male models rocked James Dean inspired coifs.
Overall, the show was bright, entertaining and, most importantly, fresh. By the time the lights went down the crowds were ready for fall and winter to be done with so that they could once again sport head-to-toe white in some of Mimran’s latest pieces.
As a rule, one of the best ways to style on top of trends without busting your wallet is to combine high and low price points. Joe Fresh Style ® gives us all the opportunity to do so. The clothes and accessories are simple, classic and on-trend, and can easily be integrated into any kind of wardrobe. Fashionable, creative and home-grown—sounds like a certain website we all love, right?
Dressing to Impress: Styling Tips for the Interview
While most of us would like to believe that beauty is on the inside, and that the reason a person is hired is 100% based on qualifications and suitability for the job, to say so would be naive, and such a point of view may create a roadblock in the way of achieving one's dream job.
I am a personal believer in first impressions, and as a young female trying to break into the PR world I can appreciate that putting yourself together for that big interview is a necessary step. However, this does not mean you need to look stuffy or boring and not feel like yourself! You can find tons of blogs, magazines and books that will give you advice on how to dress to impress for that make-it-or-break-it meeting. Here are a few of my favourite tips—because after numerous internships and part time professional jobs, I am no stranger to interviews!
Coiffed and confidant should be your motto here. Whatever hairstyle you choose, make sure it is one you are comfortable with; if you are not you WILL nervously play with it and fidget during your interview. My favourite interview hairstyles include a low bun or ponytail and the half-up half-down look. These styles are soft and approachable, but also keep hair out of your face and you looking professional.
One thing that I tend to preach to every young person looking to break into his or her career is the need to invest in a basic black or navy suit. Even though you may never wear it all in one, having a high quality neutral skirt or pair of pants and blazer is a necessity when those interviews come rolling in. Play up this basic look by mixing and matching different suits, say by pairing a black skirt with a beige blazer, or vice versa.
If you are going with a skirt, make sure you sit down in it while trying it on. Most interviews will be conducted in a sitting position and you want to make sure you are comfortable with how high that skirt rides up!
When entering a very formal business environment, a safe bet is to always go with a white or subtly coloured, crisp button-up shirt under your suited attire. In any other situation what you wear under your suit is the best way to show your personal style and personality! As my style tends to be more feminine-chic, I usually gravitate towards bows, lace and delicate detailing in my blouse, or a basic camisole with a statement necklace.
Accessories are a great way to show off your individual style for an interview. That being said, make sure to go with something that is more subdued, as you'll want your interviewer to pay attention to what you are saying and not the shiny golden hoops that are dangling beside your face.
There is a lot to be said about a really good work heel. While I am not a huge fan of kitten heels, anything more than three inches can work its way into another kind of job interview. Also, do not write off the flat as an option; this season has brought us a variety of gorgeous and work-appropriate flats that can keep you looking sleek while making sure your toes and arches are sitting comfy.
Please keep in mind that my advice is based on a corporate interview and apparel that tends to be more business formal. If you are applying to a creative office or to work in the world of fashion, you have a lot more liberties to push the style envelope!
Bundling Up: Your Guide to Fall Jackets
Yesterday I saw a leaf fall from a tree just outside my window. This single leaf reminded me of the yellow, orange and red painted landscapes headed my way, the tremendous amount of pumpkin spiced anything that will be sold, the overly chilly mornings, the countless blankets that will be pulled from my top shelves, but, most of all, this leaf reminded about the fall fashion that will surface, and that has surfaced, throughout the city.
No fall ensemble is complete without a jacket, because with Canadian weather having a mind of it’s own, one has to dress for any kind of weather that might come your way. Let the layering begin! Here are my picks for some must-have jackets for the season.
One of my personal favourites for fall. Military style jackets can be paired with almost any style. The military trend, —one typically reserved for edgier and more masculine -dressed trendsetters, —is appealing to even the most feminine females this fall. Designers from Victoria Beckham to Salvatore Ferragamo have shown an inclination toward this trend on the runway in their collections. The designs and shapes are still simple and true to military roots, but the fabrics are softer and able to adapt to a woman’s body in a perfect way.
For a fun way to wear the military trend as a jacket, pair combine over it with a sleek pair of skinny jeans, or belt it over a dress.
The trench can work its way into almost any outfit, but it is a must-have for any working girl. This piece of clothing would also fit into my Wardrobe Staples series, but I think the piece speaks for itself. Invest in this jacket in beige, black or blue for a go-to for years to come and something that will go with almost anything you wear. A pop of colour on a trench is also an item that is bound to grab attention on whatever street you choose to strut. As the trend of oxblood red is something I adore, I would say the season calls for a trench in this colour, but I have spotted green, blue and even yellow, and all seem to hit the correct note.
Don’t be afraid of detailing when it comes to a classic piece like the trench; leather trim and alternative buttons can add a hint of sophistication or speak to your personality.
When purchasing a trench, make sure you know what looks good. If you are short in stature, don’t reach for a coat that will hit below your knee. Trench coats come in many different shapes and sizes and it is up to you to choose one that looks best and that you can keep forever.
A hot trend we saw on Fall/Winter 2012/2013 runways was oversized coats, something I 100% approve of if done correctly. This trend is reminiscent of the 50s era for me, as many coats come belted or with dainty detailing that adds and extra amount of refinement.
Labels such as Chloé and Balenciaga were responsible for some of my favourite executions of this trend; their designs included both soft and bold colours in the coat, truly making them statement pieces.
The oversized coat is a great pairing for a night out or an excellent solution to a work overcoat. Make sure when shopping that you are picking something out that still flatters you, as this style can very easily look hobo-chic if worn without much thought!
Who doesn’t love a great leather jacket to add an extra “umph” to their fall wardrobe, and you do not have to be a biker chic to indulge in this staple item. Leather is everywhere this season, and if you aren’t quite ready for leather pants, a good way to dip your toe in the waters is to start with a jacket for fall. Leather coats come in many different shapes, colours, textures and styles. My personal favourite is the bomber; I love it in a camel colour due to my hair colour and complexion.
The best thing about a go-to leather jacket is its ability to meld into almost any outfit. Bring your summer maxi dress into the fall by throwing a bomber over top, or slide one over a silky shirt and jeans to give your fancy bar outfit a tough rocker chic edge!
In the end, the best piece of advice someone can give you is to look for something you adore and feel your best in because you aren’t just going to be wearing a jacket once. One has to look chic and cozy while gulping their pumpkin spiced latte!
Wardrobe Staples: The Blazer
One of my favourite styles is the use of menswear for women; a style that was started by fashion guru Coco Chanel and hasn’t slipped through the cracks yet. Although some trends in menswear go in and out of vogue, the one item that seems to stay on the top of every fashionista’s list is the blazer. This is because the blazer is a piece of clothing that has managed to transcend gender and become a wardrobe staple for both men and women.
There are so many different cuts and shapes in which a blazer can take form: tuxedo, boyfriend, peplum—the list goes on. What is really important is to know what to pair with these closet staples, and the appropriate occasion for wearing them.
Your basic blazer will typically come as a part of a suit—perfect for any type of office setting. While sporting a matching suit screams “power”, I do love the idea of a mix-and-match with colours and patterns. Try pairing a black blazer with a grey skirt or coloured dress pants. Investing in a basic neutral blazer is a great idea and it will become your go-to for those big meetings. For casual Fridays, the basic blazer can also look amazing with a pair of dark wash jeans.
Peplums could not be more on trend, and it’s a shape that is flattering for almost every female figure. When looking for a peplum-style blazer, look for something with one button, as you'll want to accentuate the smallest part of your waist. Ideally, pair with a slim shape below, like a contrasting, coloured pencil skirt or a slim pair of pants.
For a more formal look, take a crack at a tuxedo jacket. This jacket can easily be added to most cocktail dresses for a professional edge, or paired with a slouchy pair of dress pants for a high fashion office look. I love subtly coloured tuxedo jackets because the difference in texture from the collar to jacket really stands out. The tux jacket is also perfect with a pair of jeans and over-sized accessories, like a watch or statement necklace.
Finally, the boyfriend blazer—shoulder pads optional. The boyfriend blazer acts as a great light jacket for those cool fall months, but it is also a great piece to throw on top of a casual outfit in an effort to look pulled together. This blazer is worn best with skinny jeans or leggings; too much over-sized clothing can run the risk of making you look over-sized yourself! In the warmer months, boyfriend blazers paired with shorts is a comfortable look that never fails to impress. Pair this over-sized blazer with a short and tight dress for a sultry yin and yang approach.
I stand firm by my opinion that every girl—working or not—needs a good blazer as a staple piece in her wardrobe. Whether you are hitting the town, taking charge in a boardroom or simply going to brunch with your girlfriends, a quick way to spiff up any outfit is to throw on a blazer. This year, fashion has seen the rise of colour on staple pieces like the blazer, so why not mix it up? Play around with colour, fabrics and texture and you are sure to never look stuffy or boring.
Ottawa’s Local Fashion Fare: viens avec moi
While walking down the fashionable Wellington Street West one is presented with children’s stores, pasta shops and interesting boutiques, as well as what I view as one of the most unique concepts for a boutique that Ottawa has to offer. viens avec moi, which opened last December, is a quaint little house with a front and back porch. Inside you'll find a variety of themed rooms, a gorgeous array of clothing and accessories and some places where you can simply hang out and enjoy the awesomeness of this incomparable store.
Childhood friends Renée Morra and Sophie Beaudoin—who also own and manage the modeling agency Models International—opened viens avec moi in the hopes of exposing Ottawa to a different kind of fashion experience. I got a chance to sit down with Renée and Sophie to chat a bit about their store, the fashion they love and their favourite trends from the upcoming season.
What was your inspiration behind opening viens avec moi?
We have travelled quite a bit together, and visiting places like the South of France, New York City and California really inspired us to open a store and fill it with clothing we love. The concept behind the store came from Venice Beach in California. There are so many stores there in the forms of houses and places to hang out; they are really a place that customers enjoy being.
What do you keep in mind when buying pieces for the store?
We pick out pieces based on what we would wear ourselves, but we also keep our customers in mind. One of our big concepts is the mother and daughter dynamic. We love having a store where mother and daughter can shop at the same store and there is something there for both of them.
Favourite part of owning a boutique?
Picking out the clothes—it’s shopping! We love going places like New York City and California to look at collections. Seeing someone on the street wearing something they bought from our store is pretty cool too!
If you could style one celebrity in your store, who would it be?
Emily Haines from Metric would be awesome, and any musicians that come to Ottawa to perform. We would also like a chance to style local broadcasters and TV personalities. Kate Moss wouldn’t be so bad either, everything she touches turns to gold and almost anything looks amazing on her!
How would you define your own personal style?
Sophie: Classic feminine with an L.A. feel.
Renée: I am really a chameleon, my style changes with my mood!
What are your favourite pieces in the store for the fall?
Some fall trends you are dying to try?
Asymmetrical structured items—like our BB Dakota blue coat (below), oversized pieces, and winter whites.
Who are your favourite big name fashion houses?
Diane von Furstenberg, Stella McCartney, Donna Karen and of course Chanel for classic bags.
What accessory could you not live without?
Jewelry. (Sophie and Renée are both wearing a bevvy of gorgeous Jenny Bird bracelets, a designer sold in store.)
Story behind viens avec moi?
We were sitting on a beach one day while traveling, and began to discus what we would name a bathing suit line if we ever had one. This was before we seriously considered opening a boutique. While playing around with names we came up with viens avec moi. It is just very playful and fun. (Viens avec moi in English means “come with me”.)
Next time you are in the mood for some great fashion, a great atmosphere or simply to meet these fantastic ladies, head down to viens avec moi and explore all the glory that Wellington Street West has to offer.
Upcoming events for viens avec moi? Taste of Wellington West will be taking place September 15th and will offer street sales and plenty of other exciting things to see. viens avec moi will be participating with their neighbours on the street!
viens avec moi is located at 1338 Wellington St. West, Ottawa.
Fashion Columnist Joanne Pitkin
Wardrobe Staples: The Shift Dress
There are very few items of clothing that a girl can simply throw on and look put together. Wardrobe staples include your go-to items that always look classic. I would include the shift dress in this list of items. This fall we will be seeing this classic shape take on many different faces. From simple, single-colour frocks, to bold patterns, these go-to dresses are a must have in every girl’s closet.
The shift dress has a reputable name, having been made famous by the flappers of the 1920s and proclaimed sophisticated by the designs of Lilly Pulitzer worn by style icon Jackie O in the 1960s. Whether the shift dress’ classic shape is covered in tassels or made of tweed, it has surpassed “trend” status and is respected as a wardrobe staple.
From the moment I watched the legendary opening scene in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and caught a glimpse of Holly Golightly’s elegant threads, I knew a classic black shift was in my fashion future. The thing I love most about the shift dress is its ability to mold to any occasion. Whether you are wearing it for a stroll in the park or a cocktail party, a shift dress can be worn on almost any occasion.
For a casual scene, pair a sleeveless shift with flats and a bright bag. This dress can also be worn well with tights. Go ahead and pair a long-sleeved shift with a scarf, tights and boots for a pulled together outfit that has the comfort of sweats.
Depending on your work’s dress code, you may want to add a bit of length when sporting a shift dress in the office. Classic black with an accent blazer is perfect, and can be carried into every season.
Elongate your legs by pairing a dress with heels to get that true Twiggy look. I like shift cocktail dresses to be enhanced with beading, texture or lace—to add an extra amount of pizzazz to your outfit.
Whether you're hitting the town or running to grab a bottle of shampoo, you can always turn to this timeless piece for a quick and chic outfit. The best part about the boxy, loose shape of this dress: indulging in a big lunch!
Burberry London Fall 2012
The Row Fall 2012
Phoebe Couture by Kay Unger
Ottawa's Local Fashion Fare:
Moving from the Greater Toronto Area to Ottawa was a big adjustment for me; most people spoke French, the buildings seemed older, and there was much more snow. Above all else, I was having separation anxiety from Queen Street—I couldn’t find a boutique to save my life. It wasn’t until I ventured past the Rideau Centre that I found the amazing shops that resided in the ByWard Market.
Walking into the depths of the Market, you are soon faced with a neat row of shops beginning on Dalhousie and St. Patrick. At the start of this row is a little store named Victoire, where you will find everything from dresses to shoes to jewelry—most of which are homegrown in Canada.
Owners Katie and Régine opened Victoire in 2006, wanting to develop a store in Ottawa that offered edgy renditions on classic pieces. Today, they are the proud owners of two stores—the other one being on Wellington Street West—and a jewelry line named Steel Magnolia.
This summer I caught up with Katie to discuss how Victoire came to be, the store’s fashion inspiration, and some of her favourite trends of the season.
Where did you first get your inspiration for the store? Régine and I felt like it was really difficult for us to buy items that were 100% Canadian. We wanted to provide this to the Ottawa community. We also felt the need to open a store that had a community feel, a store where you felt you were getting honest advice and buying pieces that were really special. Never in a thousand years would we have thought that six years down the road we would have two stores and a jewelry line.
What are some of your favourite sources of inspiration? Lou Lou Magazine, Frankie magazine from Australia and Worn Fashion Journal based out of Toronto and Montreal. We also gain inspiration from concerts, books and literary characters.
If you could dress any celebrity with pieces from Victoire, who would that be? I think that comedians like Maya Rudolph or Tina Fey would be a lot of fun to dress in our store. I also love the fashion sense of stars like Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams; they pose very 40’s inspired looks.
What are some upcoming trends that we will be seeing in Victoire? Fall will feature a lot of bold prints and large patterns. A lot of black and white bold prints on pretty girly dresses, for the traditional girl with a twist. Shift dresses are also big for the fall.
What was your favourite trend for the summer? I loved cut outs for the summer. I also enjoy the fact that you can dress down, like you’re going to the cottage, and it’s stylish.
What is your favourite piece currently in store? Our Minnow Bathers from Toronto; I love the idea that these suites can make a female feel really good about herself. She can be sexy and confident without showing off too much skin.
(Minnow Bathers Swimsuits)
Who is the “girl” that you keep in mind when selecting items for the store? Our choices for the store are still very much based on what Régine and I would pick for ourselves. We also rely on our amazing staff; they each represent a different side of Victoire.
How would you define Ottawa’s fashion? Ottawa is a city that people like their lives in. With so much to do in the city, people lead very dynamic lifestyles—and they dress for this. I would say Ottawa is a “feel good” city.
Lastly, why the name Victoire? Naming a store is so difficult; it’s like naming your child! After much thought, one of our best friends said to us “What about Victoire?” Immediately it stuck; Victoire has such an old-time feel. No one knows someone named Victoire, the name is romantic and soft; it’s the name of a store where you bought the dress for that amazing date you went on.
So if you are craving some truly Canadian threads, or a funky twist on a work dress, check out this boutique. It'll add a breath of fresh air to your wardrobe!
Victoire is located in the ByWard Market on 246 Dalhousie Street, Ottawa, and in Wellington Village at 1282 Unit B. Wellington St. West, Ottawa, Ontario.
Their summer sale is currently in session, so stop by and check it out!
Courtesy of Darcy Boucher, contributor for The Black Sheep
Runway Report- Paris Fashion Week
Being one of the four major fashion weeks worldwide, Paris Fashion Week is a much-anticipated event. Major designers from all over the world come together to display their latest and greatest masterpieces. This summer’s Haute Couture and Menswear fashion shows had designers stepping up and thinking outside of the box. Here are some of my favourite trends emerging from the June/July runways.
Boardrooms catch a break with this year’s spin on traditional outfits for men. Primary colours are still very hot with menswear, with red being the highlight of choice for Kris Van Assche at Dior Homme. It was statement suiting that was the darling of this year’s menswear shows, with designers using a variety of colours to accent a brilliant cut. Top dog fashion label Gucci set the tone by opening their show with an apple-green suit.
Hollywood stars even seem to be taking to this trend as we saw Andrew Garfield step onto the red carpet for The Amazing Spider Man premier last month in a cherry red suit. What a great shift from the basic black!
Another trend seen in Paris this summer is the use of bold prints for men; a trend that goes hand in hand with the use of courageous colours. Everything from printed pants to Hermes’ printed cardigans has fashion begging men to be a little bit braver and more daring this upcoming season.
The Couture shows at this summer’s Paris Fashion Week were the main events, with people on their toes to see what the industry’s most outrageous and luxurious fashion houses would display on their runways. Fall 2012 Couture did not disappoint, with everything from Givenchy’s earth-toned sweeping gowns to Maison Martin Margiela’s beaded facemasks, designers were pushing the envelope with this season’s hottest couture. For me, the two labels that took centre stage were arguably the fashion industry’s most notable and long-standing front-runners, Christian Dior and Chanel.
Dior went back in time, presenting designs reminiscent of the original Christian Dior pieces. The label is recovering well from last year's embarrassing incident surrounding lead designer Jean Paul Galliano. Now designing for the fashion label is Raf Simons, formerly creative director of Jil Sander, who is breathing fresh air into the timeless designs of Dior.
Dresses were consistent with styles of the 40’s and 50’s; skirts were full and modest, hitting the middle or lower shin. Shorter skirts were worn over a pair of slim black velvet pants. The overall look was elegant, feminine and distinctly Dior.
Karl Lagerfeld has wowed fashion show goers consistently for years, and this season was no exception. Lagerfeld revamped the original Chanel designs with modern cuts and sparkling fabrics. Glitter was strewn across the classic Chanel suits, but also appeared on the models in the forms of leggings and edging. The collection, entitled “New Vintage”, made great use of light pinks and creams woven into moody pieces in shades of grey. My personal favourites were the revamped tweed suits; they were classic Chanel with a modern and girly twist.
Overall, Paris fashion week lived up to the drama and brilliance generated by a glitzy event in a dreamy location such as Paris.
Bravo mes amis!
Do black and blue clash? What colour does pink mesh well with? Do you ever get tired of pairing colours and worrying if they're actually compatible? Well, allow me to give you the answer to all of your problems: Monochromatic Dressing.
A quick way to look polished and put-together is to indulge in this timeless technique. Dressing monochromatically can ease your morning panic by limiting your outfit choices while still allowing you to look chic, as it involves choosing one colour palate for your day and sticking to it.
Many may view this classic way of dressing as “boring”, or too “matchy-matchy”, but when done properly the look can range from risky to positively poised. The best way for anyone to dress in monochromes is to put varying shades of the same colour together in one outfit. Wearing a navy skirt? Pair it with a sky blue blouse and midnight blue pumps for a look that’ll make it seem like you’ve fallen from the heavens. This style of dressing can even be brought into the office; grey suit with a black blouse anyone?
One way to tote this simple yet polished look through any season is to change the colour palate you are working with. Try taking a page from my book on summer pastels and work an all white or light green outfit. I would advise against any colours that are too florescent, though, as you may end up looking like you are directing traffic rather than stopping it.
For a fun twist on dressing all in one shade, add an accent piece for a pop of contrasting colour. Sporting an all-grey monochrome look? Try a coral clutch to add some life, or a mint coloured statement necklace for a playful perk.
Monochromatic dressing is an excellent way to look fashionable, sophisticated and coordinated at the drop of a hat. It even has a pleasing way of making you look taller and slimmer. But remember, not all shades in one palate complement each other; use your discretion.
Theiconicblog.com & Google
The Season’s Favourite Trend: The Peplum
With the month of June comes flowers popping up everywhere, but this season’s flowers have something different about them—these flowers adorn some of the street’s most fashionable females. The peplum trend is back, and it’s better than ever.
Peplums can be dated back to the 1800’s, when they were worn as yet another layer atop lots of volume filled with skirts and petticoats. They were then refurbished and brought back to life in the 1940s and 1980s, while the modern day peplum takes the stage as the main act in any outfit.
There are several ways in which this waist-defining trend can be worn, changing a plain ensemble into something fun and feminine. Here are some tips for how to maximize your wearing pleasure.
The Peplum Shirt
There are many ways you can wear a shirt with a peplum. My personal favourite is wearing the top with a pair of skinny jeans or straight-legged pants, and accessorizing with one large piece of jewelry, be it a necklace or earrings. This is a simple way to look chic and trendy at the same time. Careful not to overdo the use of accessories, or you'll run the risk of making the look too busy.
If you want to pair the shirt with a skirt, like Blair Eadie did here (photo), you have two choices: full or pencil. A full skirt should come together with the lines of the peplum, whereas a pencil skirt should hug your body to accentuate the peplum. If you choose a skirt, I favour a contrasting colour for the shirt in order to accentuate the ruffle around the waist.
The Peplum Dress
One word: simple. A ruffle in the middle of your body can speak volumes about your style, so you should avoid pairing it with much else. Try to wear this dress on its own, adding only jewelry, shoes and a bag. If you add a sweater or jacket you may overshadow the main feature of your outfit, which is the peplum itself. Bright colours and pastels are great for this season and really add to the feminine cut.
Jackets with a peplum can be a fun twist on a professional outfit. The same standards often apply when wearing this piece as they would to any normal blazer. The cleanest look is a fitted top underneath with slim cut pants or a pencil skirt.
So, as January’s issue of Vogue put it, “DARE TO FLARE” this summer and give this trend a go. Always keep it feminine, flirty, and fun, because that’s what trends are supposed to be!
Until the next trend,
Spring/Summer 2012 Trends: Pastels
With the months of April and May behind us, Canadians can look forward to the hot and humid weather which will surely be rolling in (if it hasn’t hit you already). With temperatures rising, I am reminded of the spring and summer fashion that I look forward to wearing. As we all know too well, some trends can only be worn when the weather is warm (ahem, white pants).
This spring, we are seeing everything from contrasting patterns to jungle wear, but one spring trend which never seems to go out of style is the use of color into our wardrobes. The hot pallet of colors this year appears to be in the pastel family. I admit, I have been known to use black whenever possible; its flattering, goes with everything and nearly always looks chic. However, I do love to see the replacement of a dark clothing staple with the bright and colorful pop which results by combining a good pastel.
For instance- the blazer: it’s a necessity for anyone, working or not. This summer I have had the privilege of investing in a light beige blazer, but why stop here? Stores everywhere seem to have a bevvy of beige, light pink, baby blue, yellow and mint colored clothing. How about daring to incorporate a mint colored pair of shorts into an outfit of white? What could possibly be breezier?
Pastels don’t only have to come in the shape of clothing; due to the lack of snow and other guck in the summer months, bags, shoes and other accessories are a definite possibility. I always like to make sure I have an off-white or light colored bag to tote in the spring and summer; it is an accessory that can make your whole outfit come together!
So bring back the 90’s country club style and sport a little bit, or a whole lot, of pastels this summer! You will be sure to feel light and airy and attract some attention while doing so!
What do you think?
What is your favorite pastel item of the season?
Jill Stuarts Spring/Summer 2012