Inspirations: Anu Raina

Sartorially speaking, this time of year is a confusing one. It has been as the mildest winter I’ve ever experienced north of 49th parallel. But even as we barrel through the last few weeks of it, Toronto temps are not quite ready to pop out the petunias (yet). As someone recently expressed on Twitter – and I paraphrase – “I really love my red wool coat, but I am sick of wearing it!”

Well, if we can’t yet wear it, at least we can soon buy it. Anu Raina‘s latest line comes to our fashion rescue with a cheerful, color splashed collection. Inspired by chandeliers in the glass-making capital of Murano, Italy, Anu Raina deferred to the masters’ glass making techniques in using movement to achieve similar results digitally with color and dye. Fabrics range from silks to viscose to linens. The result is a vibrant, energetic collection fit for work and play at an incredibly reasonable price point of $70 – $399. Look for pieces at Shopgirls boutique, Studio Fresh and Distill Gallery in Toronto and The Velvet Room Boutique in Vancouver.

Check the website for full collection and retailers.

Cappucino shorts, 95% Viscose, 5% Spandex
Swirl dress, 100% silk
Ivory jacket, 100% linen; Swirl long skirt – 100% silk
Starburst t-shirt dress, 95% viscose, 5% spandex
Petunia jacket, 100% silk
Impressions Long Dress, 95% viscose, 5% spandex and & 100% linen

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?)