Shoplisted: Vancouver’s Hot Retail Spots

Last month I mixed business with pleasure during a week in Vancouver, discovering a plethora of great fashion spots in the process. Eco-fashionista Nicole Bridger just opened her new flagship store (2151 West 4th Avenue) in Kitsilano. Staying true to her environmentally conscious roots, the shops boasts green design (think elegantly reclaimed, recycled) by Vancouver’s New Leaf Interiors.    
If you’re a Nicole Bridger fan don’t miss her photo contest by submitting a photo wearing your favorite Nicole Bridger Design and why you love it by July 31st. The best picture and answer (creativity and originality rule) will win a $100 NBD gift certificate.    
Malene Grotrian welcomed me into her studio for a tour of her latest collection and a glass of bubbly. The super friendly designer, originally from Denmark, is quite effervescent herself. But it’s clearly her expert knack for draping and fit that keep her clients coming back. Bring your girlfriends to Malene’s studio for one of her upcoming Style Soirees or hit her upcoming Open Studio on July 24th (Suite 910 – 207 West Hastings Street, in The Dominion Building) from 10am – 3pm. 
Two retail shops worth checking out: The Velvet Room Boutique (2248 West 41st Avenue) which exclusively supports Canadian designers like LOVAS, Sarah Stevenson and Karamea. They have a wide selection of apparel, accessories and leather goods. And you don’t have to be in Vancouver to enjoy Charlie and Lee (223 Union Street). Luckily, for those of us who are geographically challenged, they sell online. I’m currently coveting accessories by Moon Raven and shoes by Jeffrey Campbell
Finally, Stuart Weitzman recently opened a new boutique at the Oakridge Center. That’s all. (Since when do I need to say more about great shoes?)

Disco Night Dilemmas

Once we make it through the Christmas wrapping and leftovers, the talk turns to New Year’s.  For some New Year’s Eve is the year’s hottest ticket of the year and for others (and sometimes, for me) it’s a night preferably spent in the comforts of your own home.
This year, however, we’ve decided on the Thompson Hotel‘s NYE 2011 party.  Now the talk turns to what do I wear?  Here are a few ideas:
Carlie Wong Holiday photographed by Mike Chatwin
  • Go to the experts: For sparkle perfection, check out Carlie Wong‘s holiday 2010 collection.
  • Go custom:  No one will be wearing what you’re wearing if you’re wearing Pam Chorley’s Fashion Crimes.  Dresses are made-to-measure from a wide selection of styles and fabrics.  Order in person or online. 
  • Go for what’s left:  Take advantage of Greta Constantine’s sample & moving out sale this Wednesday, December 29th, 11am – 5:30pm
But if planning ahead isn’t your style, you can always go with a reliable staple of any wardrobe: the little black dress.  How you wear it depends on where you wear it, and on New Year’s feel free to go big.
LOVAS by Wesley Badanjak, photographed by Peter Lytwyniuk
Embrace elegance with elbow-length gloves.  Holt Renfrew carries a wide selection and the Winter Sale could net you up to 70% off.  Feathers and fur are everywhere, so throw on a fur collar or feather headband.  To finish it off, I recommend a fantastic set of earrings (like those carried by ukamaku) and a patterned pair of tights with heels.  Remember the simple rule – accessories make the LBD whatever you want it to be.
Above all, it helps to be comfortable and warm.  It makes that search for a taxi after midnight much more enjoyable.
Happy New Year’s!

Is that a Bookmark in Your Pocket?

Toronto Public Library Foundation hosted its fifth annual Book Lover’s Ball Thursday night at the Fairmont Royal York, complete with gala dinner, silent auction and a fashion show. Eight Canadian designers sent creative interpretations from their Spring collections inspired by popular fiction works like Twilight and Sherlock Holmes. The literary crowd lost its vocabulary when the Northbound Leather boys hit the runway, resorting to hoots and hollers. And who could blame them? Half naked men tend to put the “fun” back in fundraiser. It’s no wonder this is one of the best events of the season.

From top: Evan Biddell – Twilight; Marie Saint Pierre with Northbound Leather – Spartacus; Lucian Matis – Water for Elephants; LOVAS by Wesley Badanjak, featuring David Rocco – David Rocco’s Dolce Vita; Ines DiSanto featuring Lilliput Hats; Farley Chatto – Sherlock Holmes