SCOUT & CATALOGUE spice up

S&C

One of my beloved accessories brands originally based in Toronto, SCOUT & CATALOGUE, has moved to Vancouver. The lovely Breanna, who established the label after returning from Mexico in 2009, has decided to move back home and

I want to wish her utmost success, happiness and inspiration in one of the most mesmerizing cities in Canada and the world.

Scout & Catalogue

I always found SCOUT & CATALOGUE  an organic, peaceful yet playful label that’s perfect for women who enjoy, crave and demand freedom. I connected with it right away! Beyond the freeing aspect of S&C lies true passion and dedication to quality, design and uniqueness.

S&C

Every S&C scarf is an understated statement piece that will make any woman look like a million bucks without making her feel uncomfortable. For those who live in black, these accessories are a great way to stand out and spice things up .

S&C

Right now there’s a SALE online for many may products. Be sure to visit! Also, check our my original post on S&C here.

7758195 BS.BS.05

* All images from S&C web-site.

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DUY innovative fashion

DUY is a Montreal based label known for innovative, clean as well as sharp tailoring and design that translate into some of the most stunning luxurious ready-to-wear pieces. Duy Nguyen, the designer, was born in Vietnam and raised in Montreal where he is also headquartered.

Hello gorgeous! SS 2013, DUY

It’s simple to see why DUY is a world-class designer and label. Since its establishment in 2001, DUY has continuously evolved, delivered, maintained its key attributes, and shocked. His collections have been inspired by a wide and somewhat random selection of everything from seductiveness of the night to Daphne Guinness to youth and passion of the ocean. Personally, I’ve admired the recent incorporation of feminine and fluid patterns mixed with DUY’s traditional seductive and edgy cuts. The colour palette also seems to have gotten lighter and more diverse with the mix of pastels and brights.  

Stunningly strong silhouette inspired by Daphne Guinness. FW 2011, DUY

I would love to see more of DUY online, in magazines, and on the racks. The stunning and edgy ready-to-wear collections deserve to be flaunted by women and men in Canada and around the world. It would also be of great help to contemporary customers for DUY to become more involved in today’s influential social-media. Check out all of DUY collections since FW 2011 on the site.

From work to a party, can rock this anywhere.            SS 2012, DUY

“This time around, I pushed my boundaries by stepping outside my Femme Fatale comfort zone.” Duy Nguyen FW 2012, DUY

I can’t stop staring at this stunning outfit.          SS 2013, DUY

Flattering, elegant, sophisticated and unique.                  SS 2012, DUY

Images from www.duycollection.com.

PS – Montreal is a serious driving force of Canadian world-class fashion design. Montreal Fashion Week sure is one of my fav hidden gems.

JOHN FLUEVOG crème de la crème of shoes

JOHN FLUEVOG is known around the world, yet, so many are unaware of the brand’s existence and have no idea that it’s Canadian, based in the wonderful city of Vancouver. None the less, I kind of understand, because the brand has been around since the 1970’s and it’s a staple and a cult … of awesome. I’m convinced that I can be friends with anyone who wears and likes JOHN FLUEVOG shoes because only the crème de la crème wear them. True story.

What amazing detail! John Fluevog

I can proudly call myself a regular at the JOHN FLUEVOG Queen West boutique in Toronto. It’s a bit of a custom of mine to visit JOHN FLUEVOG boutiques in the cities that I visit not only because of the possibility of getting a new, unique pair of shoes but also because, somehow, the best, most fun and personable people work there. So it’s a great way to make friends in cities you don’t know. Also, true story.

Class with pizazz for men

Going beyond the amazing designs, shapes, colours and styles of the shoes, JOHN FLUEVOG is a company with amazing culture, fun marketing flair and lovability. For example, the Jobs section of their web-site reads “You’d have to be insane not to want to work for John Fluevog” and rightfully so, because the company supports its talented employees through “The Fluevog Artist Grant  [that] makes $10,000 available to eligible Fluevog staff every year, and may be split between candidates based on merit as decided by the Committee.”

I adore how these look in pictures! Yet, I tried them on at the store and they’re just a wee-bit too narrow. Very stunning still

They also have a fabulous online store, although if you have a wider foot (guilty!) I would strongly suggest, if you can, going into a boutique and try a few styles on as some fit quite snug.

I feel LOVE

These look gorgeous with jeans and one of the most unique pattern I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately for me, they have a high arch and I couldn’t fit my foot!

NEW Queen Transcendent Elizabeth design by John Fluevog

All images from www.fluevog.com and there’s so much more.

WE HAVE THE TALENT, PROMOTE IT MORE

ASHTIANI is an emerging, award-winning, luxury fashion brand that, since it’s inception in 2011, showcased four distinctive and on-brand collections that deserve international praise. In contrast, during the SS 2013 Toronto Fashion Week, ASHTIANI’s collection was presented to a select few on one of the small runways. Despite the space limitation and lack of influential eyes, ASHTIANI’s SS2013 collection got some of this year’s best reviews by Evan Biddell of The Star calling the designer “truly one of the undiscovered gems of the Toronto Fashion Week”. The Globe’s Deirdre Kelly named Golnaz Ashtiani “as the one-to-watch”. Although the designer has been featured in mags and blogs, overall, not many fashionistas, bloggers or editors truly rave about it, not to mention the common Canadian.

ASHTIANI AW12, SS12, AW12 looks

Although marketing and PR teams are of vital importance to grow and expand a label, the costs associated with them are sky-high and, most of the time, unaffordable for emerging designers. As such, for the first few years, just like in every start-up, the owner is the head chef and the bottle washer. Point in case, Bojana Sentaler, the Creative Director behind Toronto-based SENTALER luxury coats, is just beginning to expand her one-person shop after three years being in business and achieving doubling revenue year after year! 

It’s incredibly admirable for Bojana Sentaler, Creative Director behind SENTALER luxury coats, to achieve success doing everything on her own for the past three years.

Of course, part of the responsibility of becoming a publicly notorious fashion house, brand or label is that of the designer. But, the designer’s true calling lies in creating the life-style that the rest of us envision.

Designers are visionaries, first and foremost.  Twice a year, they create and showcase a direction in style and fashion for the rest of us, before we even realize it’s what we want. I believe that’s tough enough.

MICHI, a luxury lifestyle brand, has been designing and producing rule-bending active wear in Toronto. Looks from Fall 2012 collection.

Radio and TV stations in Canada must broadcast a certain percentage of Canadian Content, as defined in the CRTC regulations. According to Fraser Institute, an independent Canadian research and educational organization, annual broadcast content quota on Canadian TV stations must consist of a whopping 60% Canadian programming, and at least 50% of prime-time programming (6:00 pm to midnight). For radio, MAPL regulations require 40% Canadian Content. Although such policies are  a burden and a cure, supporting Canadian talent is important and beneficial for the talent, and, at the very least, it’s also good for the rest of us from the entrepreneurial and economic perspective.

From Mark Fast’s Faster luxury basics line. Not sure how to wear this but Christian Aguilera pulled it off.

I can’t help but wonder why don’t Canadian personalities, hosts and other public figures promote Canadian fashion designers to help, globally, showcase our talent? Canadian magazines should consistently and independently feature Canadian designers and fashion. This would greatly help the designers grow and remain Canadian. MARK FAST, a Winnipeg-born designer who made  knit wear internationally popular as well as sexy and racy, has been based in London since he started his label. Mark, studied in Europe, made his connections there and it makes perfect sense  to start-up shop there. DAVID DIXON, somewhat of a Canadian fashion veteran, was quoted in a March 2012 article on CBC, stating that “Over the past few years, Canada has become a little hot spot, and a lot of these designers … Jeremy Laing, Erdem — even though [they’re] not based here — still represent Canada.” They certainly represent Canada but does Canada support and assist in representing them as much as, say, London or New York?  Golnaz Ashtiani, graduated from London College of Fashion and moved to Toronto. A brilliant talent that we can only hope will stay in Canada.

ANASTASIA RADEVICH is a Montreal-based luxury shoe designer with an incredible knack and passion for modern and futuristic shoe-design.

I would love to challenge Canadian editors, stylists, bloggers, self-proclaimed fashionistas and PR professionals to continuously search out and promote unique Canadian talent that will help those fascinating and risk-taking creative minds grow, expand, stay Canadian, and gain global brand recognition. JOE FRESH will always be featured in the news because they have the knowledge, reputation, and resources. And, most certainly, Louis Vuitton is going to get the best ad space in a glossy but when will ASHTIANI, SENTALER, ANNE SPORTUN, ANDREW FLOYD, MICHI and ANASTASIA RADEVICH become international names? The longer we wait, the more these designers fall into the possibility of being mimicked, tempted to move their brand elsewhere or be offered the fame of working under an already established fashion house.

Some of the looks from Joe Fresh SS 2013 collection, from https://www.facebook.com/joefresh

SENTALER luxury coats

It is just right to have luxury coats designed in a city that lives for fall and winter, Toronto. SENTALER luxurious outerwear specializes in stunning, quality driven and perfectly crafted coats that are hand finished with alpaca, one of the world’s finest fabrics.

As much as I am a rock-n-roll type-a-gal, more so than not, I am drawn to elegant staples. Coats are a staple that I splurge on for a few reasons, including:

  1. it lasts longer than a season
  2. it has to complement what’s underneath and thus, should be versatile and elegant
  3. it’s worn a lot
  4. it can make you feel and look like a powerhouse.

Of course, no one says you should only have one coat but my rule of thumb is that YOU SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE QUALITY COAT, and that means putting up a bit more cash than usual. If you’re in the market for a beautifully tailored coat that will make you happy, contemporary and confident, I highly suggest SENTALER.

Along with the beautiful designs of the Sentaler coats, comes a beautiful and intelligent designer, BOJANA SENTALER. It is truly important in any industry but in fashion especially, to have the right personality, smarts and creativity come together to form a successful business. Bojana has now been featured in a lot of magazines, TV shows and blogs but what I find most endearing about her is her personal sense of confidence and sophistication. She is a great role model for young women.

All images from Sentaler web-site.

ANNE SPORTUN EXCLUSIVE, part 1: drawing inspiration

ANNE SPORTUN creates a world beyond jewellery design. This world entails exquisite pieces of luxury, vintage glamour, distinctive taste and fine exclusivity. The talented and successful Torontonian and a fine jewelry designer, together with her business partner, Barb, have built a mini empire of talented goldsmiths, marketers and PR members that all share passion for stunning, nature-inspired and unique rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.

Wrap Bracelets have been incredibly popular with Anne’s customers.

It is highly admiring that Anne has created thousands of pieces of jewellery, and to this day, her every ring, bracelet, engagement ring, earrings, and necklace are as creative, contemporary, and wearable as the very first one. The shapes are organic and inviting, the precious and semi-precious stones are cut with care and delicately placed in their setting such that you don’t ever want to take ANNE’s jewellery off. The talent to connect with elegant and progressive women speaks volumes about Anne’s creative vision and ability to connect with her customers.

I haven’t seen earrings this stunning, elegant, intricate and unique in a very long time. My short hair would adore to accompany these pieces of art!

Unlike most designers, ANNE does not design and produce jewellery ‘collections’ in the traditional sense of the term. She wants to ensure that her stunning designs captivate the customer’s imagination in the same way that she felt when she was inspired to design a specific ring, earring, bracelet, and necklace. In this respect, her marketing team certainly have a challenge on their hands, none the less, her creative, untraditional approach ensures the pieces are at their best each and every time.

The closest ANNE has to a ‘collection’ is a number of pieces that share a cohesive idea and a vision. For example, the FLOW COLLECTION was designed with the following inspiration:

The Flow collection is smart, simple and distilled. The collection’s elegance reveals itself in a natural form with a delicate movement and sparkle, denoting the preciousness, and flow of everyday life.”

ANNE SPORTUN

The Flow Collection

The Flow Collection

Images provided by Anne’s lovely marketing team.

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MANDULA

I’ve always been the type to go against what’s popular in fashion. Currently, colour blocking is one of my biggest pet peeves. I love colour, don’t get me wrong, but when an orange top is combined with green pants, blue shoes, neon yellow bag and a fuchsia pink belt…. I want to poke my eyes out.

On that note, I am now more attracted to neutrals, shades and earthy tones. I also jump onto clothing that’s grungy and mysterious. Mandula, a Vancouver based label with a flagship store located in the historic Gas Town, is one of my latest favourite finds.I love MANDULA for a lot of different reasons.

Firstly, the all natural fabrics feel absolutely wonderful against your skin; a brand new shirt is already comfortable. Secondly, it is mysterious, independent, unique and creative. Thirdly, it’s timeless.

To become fascinated by Mandula is extremely easy, especially if you have a chance to visit the flagship store. I spent a couple of hours browsing and trying things on. The accessories that are made from reclaimed leather and such, are an absolute treat and a definite attention grabber. The baby clothes are also spectacular. They feel like an extension of mom’s skin: soft, warm and comfortable.

One bright colour makes a bigger statement than a rainbow of colours

Mandula reclaimed leather accessory

I love this shirt, the colours, the V-neck and the cut of the fabric are wonderful

A dress I’d wear everywhere and anywhere

This is the punk rocker in me…stared at this outfit for a while

* Images form Mandula’s web-site