Articles Tagged ‘fashion’

SHOP TALK: Spooky chic outfits for fall

This article was originally published in the October 2014 print edition of Ottawa Magazine.

Photo by - Christian Lalonde. Styling by Sarah Fischer.

Photo by – Christian Lalonde. Styling by Sarah Fischer.

Step out of the shadows in this statement jacket. Made of Italian silk twill bonded to Italian wool, the J. Crew floral coat will bring warmth and drama to your fall wardrobe. Plus, the neutral colours of ivory and black work well with autumn’s dark palette. $1,114. J. Crew, Rideau Centre50 Rideau St., 613-563-7349.

Featuring trendy cut-outs and a gold-coloured back zipper, these leather Louise et Cie Sarimenta pumps ($200) are an excellent investment for the fall season. Pointy toes and a slim 3½-inch stiletto heel will make them your go-to date-night shoes. For a day-to-evening bootie, look to the Vince Camuto Klayton peep-toe ($180). Simple yet on-trend, this glamorously structured shoe is embellished by the statement zipper. Town Shoes, Bayshore Mall100 Bayshore Dr., 613-596-2378, and two other Ottawa locations.

This versatile Montgomery coat by Maestrami is made in Italy exclusively for Ottawa retailer Armen. The toggle fastenings and dark navy colour lend the coat a casual, rugged look. And with 80 percent wool, this is one topper that will work well into the colder months. $650.
Armen, 100 Murray St., 613-244-3351.

Read the rest of this entry »

MY LOOK: Matt Carson

This article first appeared in the September 2014 issue of Ottawa Magazine. Sign up for a subscription or order back issues here.


I hear you’re having a lot of success as a model. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment so far?
My most recognized work has been for Le Chateau, RW & Co., and Tristan. But I also did a video for Bon Jovi. It was the weirdest casting call ever: I had to stand in front of a camera with no shirt on, eyes closed, and scream like I was drowning.

Matt is wearing a Z Zegna suit and tie, a Hugo Boss shirt, a vest by Diesel, and Terra Lite work boots. Photo by Andrew Carson

Matt is wearing a Z Zegna suit and tie, a Hugo Boss shirt, a vest by Diesel, and Terra Lite work boots. Photo by Andrew Carson

What did you do before modelling?
Handyman work. I still do it — it’s how I support my interest in modelling. About four years ago, I was looking to get away from being an employee. I was losing interest in working for someone other than myself. Also I wanted to travel more. Things started to get successful last year, and I went to Istanbul, Kilimanjaro, Nashville … there’s no way I could have done those trips while working for someone else.

What would you be doing if you weren’t modelling?
I’d be a musician. I play drums and want to learn guitar. My most recent trip to Nashville really opened my eyes to what I think is my true passion: music.

What do you listen to when in transit? Read any good books lately?
I like classic rock, like Led Zeppelin, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, and The Tragically Hip. And I read a lot of biographies of successful people, like Donald Trump, and books like Think and Grow Rich and How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Read the rest of this entry »

SHOP TALK: ByWard Market gets a boost with the opening of two hip stores

This week, SHOP TALK welcomes guest blogger Ashleigh VanHouten. Ashleigh is a freelance writer and editor, as well as the force behind lifestyle magazine, milieu.
Drake General Store.

Drake General Store.

Beautiful, bustling, and full of eclectic local shops, the ByWard Market also has the reputations among locals as a bit of a tourist trap. We get it — it’s easy to ignore some of the more charming offerings in the area when you’re stuck behind the crowds at the Beaver Tails stand. But two new boutiques opened recently that will give visitors and locals alike a reason to revisit the area.

Canadiana items like this blanket are sold at Drake General Store.

Canadiana items like this blanket are sold at Drake General Store.

The Opening: Drake General Store
The first non-Toronto outpost of the uber-Canadian Drake General Store is located in the back of the main floor of Hudson’s Bay. It’s a big, beautiful space, chock-full of Canadiana finds from lifestyle brands like Arborist, Held In Common, and Malin & Goetz. The shop has that hipster-welcoming mix of high-end modern and rustic-chic design, and its offerings reflect the same tongue-in-cheek style: baconaise, maple-scented candles, and novelty mugs sit alongside luxury skincare and high-end sweatshirts. Tourists can pack bags full of Ottawa-themed t-shirts, gourmet Drake-branded granola, and toffees, while locals will find great gifts in handmade jewelry, coffee table books, and cocktail accoutrement.

The Backstory: The original Drake General Store opened in 2008 as a gift shop in Toronto’s hip Drake Hotel. Founders Joyce Lo and Carlo Colacci began collaborating with the Bay after selling the retailer their now-popular Caribou throws featuring the iconic Hudson Bay stripes, and the Ottawa shop is their second retail space in the Canadian department store (they’re also in the Bay’s Yonge Street location). 

Isabelle on Dalhousie sells

Isabelle on Dalhousie sells

The Opening: Isabelle
At 238 Dalhousie St., in the former Wunderkammer space, visual artist and all-around renaissance woman Isabelle Gauvreau has opened a luxury women’s boutique featuring classic, feminine clothing and jewellery from Italian designer Sarah Pacini and French clothing outfit Saint James. She’s making the most of the small, cozy space, opening it up for an almost gallery-like feel with clean white walls and black highlights. Isabelle is decorated with Gauvreau’s own paintings; the gorgeous, textural pieces made with ink, charcoal, and gold leaf often explore the female form.

The Backstory: Gauvreau is excited to be in the ByWard Market, saying it’s where she likes to spend off time with her family and that she enjoys the eclectic mix of visitors. She’s confident that Ottawa is a good market for her decidedly European sense of style: “People in Ottawa are very international. They’re well-travelled. I’m excited to introduce even more people to these quality designers.” A personal stylist as well as an artist, Gauvreau hopes to introduce more young women to higher-quality clothing, as well.

Gauvreau says customer response has been wonderful so far, and hints at more to come: a German clothing brand next spring and more jewellery, as well as special events like wine tastings, charity jewelry sales and art shows starting this fall.


MY LOOK: Inspired by Courtney Love


(Previously published in Summer 2014 edition of Ottawa Magazine)


Fashion plate Lisa Strueby is wearing a Band of Outsiders blazer, LaMarque leather shorts, a camisole from J.Crew, Chanel glasses, and Chloé sandals. Photo by Remi Theriault


What do you think about when you get dressed in the morning?
I like to dress up for work, but I’m not in a traditional legal role anymore, so I’m not putting on suits all the time. I like to look good, but I like to be comfortable.

How do you stay creative working in an office environment?
I’ve always kind of marched to the beat of my own drum when I get dressed, so I’ve never felt constrained by a dress code. I like to be dressy, so for me, it’s just about exploring different ways to incorporate a professional look while still having fun with it. You can be feminine or masculine, and women have so many options compared with men.

What influences your style?
It’s not just individuals — and for sure there are individuals — but I do read a lot about fashion. So I do look at fashion shows and what’s happening in the fashion world. One of my biggest influences at the moment is the Man Repeller.  She’s probably my favourite fashion interpreter of the moment just because she uses humour, brings intelligence and feminism into fashion, and doesn’t take herself very seriously. She’s not afraid to try things, and to me, that’s really an inspiration. She incorporates everything, and that’s kind of my approach — that fashion isn’t just about clothes per se, it’s how you’re expressing yourself. Music, literature, movies, art — to me, that’s what it’s about. So whatever your creative interests are, fashion is just one aspect. My influences are everything, including travel. I find it very intellectually stimulating to follow fashion these days.

How has travelling influenced your style?
It’s kind of the whole lifestyle. So in Brazil, for example, people’s lives gravitate around the beach and being near the ocean. But people don’t take towels to the beach — they take sarongs. You can whip the sarong around your body and then use it as a towel. To me, that’s just genius: incorporate what works practically in your life and bring it into your style. Your fashion should fit into your life. It shouldn’t be separate.

What particular artists influence you?
I am still a big Courtney Love fan. I think she’s a great example of someone who is irreverent and feminist in her fashion. She wasn’t looking for cues or approval from other people, and now, all of a sudden, she’s in the front row at shows and designers are referencing her.

You’ve mentioned a few times how feminism plays into fashion. Is that important to you?
Very important. There will be arguments that feminism and fashion are polar opposites, but I really feel strongly that the opposite is true — fashion is just another area where women really do things for themselves and express themselves in different ways. If you’re dressing for the male gaze constantly, then that obviously is not really a feminist take on fashion. But if you go in the opposite direction and really do things for yourself, it can be a very empowering thing.

Lisa’s outfit


SHOP TALK: Etsy Roadtrip comes to LeBreton Flats

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.

Photo courtesy FASHION Magazine.

Photo courtesy FASHION Magazine.

Cascais dress by Tangente. The local eco-friendly designer Tangente will be at the Etsy event on Monday, Aug. 4.

Cascais dress by Tangente. The local eco-friendly designer Tangente will be at the Etsy event on Monday, Aug. 4.


We’ve been hearing a lot about the revitalization of LeBreton Flats, but other than Bluesfest the area still seems like a bit of a dead zone. But what’s this … the Etsy Roadtrip is coming to town, and setting up shop at the Flats? And since we also hear that the online shopping site is planning world domination, perhaps the time has come for this storied part of the city to shine.

With The Merry Dairy, Streetside Curry, and Bridgehead on board, it’s certainly worth checking out. Another nod to the event is the involvement of Campy Home — that’s the new endeavour by Handmade Harvest co-founder Emily Arbour. Cute candles, nice packaging — seems like a good hostess gift for that next barbecue!

And there’s music! Kelly Sloan and the Claytones. We’re just getting wind of this event now, so not sure about the schedule of events, but it seems like a reason to take a bike through that part of the Ottawa River pathway.

Read more about the tour from our sister mag, FASHION.

Etsy Roadtrip pop-up shop. Monday, August 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Lebreton Flats






SHOP TALK: Arrive in style with lightweight layers and colourful accessories

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.

Photo by Marc Fowler.

Photo by Marc Fowler/Metropolis Studio/


Panama via Oahu
Keep cool and stylish this summer with a deLux Panama hat ($44.50). Made with eco-friendly ethically sourced materials, it’s a timeless topper (that happens to be on trend right now). Stand out while you sit back: this RJC Hawaiian shirt ($69.50) was made on the island of Oahu and promises a touch of aloha.
Fab Gear, 1112 Wellington St. W., 613-725-1964.

On Deck
A modern update on the classic deck shoe, the Ecco Eisner ($195) features a flexible sole and breathable lining that absorbs moisture — say bon voyage to sweaty feet! Rich leather uppers make it a perfectly acceptable choice for almost every summer outing.
Letellier Shoes, 146 Rideau St., 613-241-6557.

In Vest
This long sleeveless vest is a simple and avant-garde way to add a splash of colour to an outfit, making it a hot commodity for jet-setters. Made of Egyptian mako cotton, the Toni ($295) is substantial without restricting movement — in short, a perfect layering piece.
Ça va de soi, 459 Sussex Dr., 613-789-2828.

Take Note
Inspired by rare finds in the American Museum of Natural History Library, this Natural Histories journal ($15.95) is sure to make writing that next poem (or to-do list) an act of grace. In addition to the eye-catching owl cover, the diary features 192 ruled pages and a ribbon bookmark.
Paper Papier, 18 Clarence St., 613-241-1212.

In Bloom
This colourful Silk Route scarf ($128) is a light wrap that’s sure to brighten up any outfit. Printed with flowers and butterflies, as well as the season’s ubiquitous black-and-white stripes, it’s a versatile accessory that protects shoulders from the sun on hot days and offers practical warmth on chilly evenings.
Clothes by Muriel Dombret, 1258 Wellington St. W., 613-798-0167.

MALL MADNESS! The details behind Rideau, Bayshore, and St. Laurent renovations

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.

With the opening of the Rideau Centre food court Dining Hall later this month, and the excitement buzzing around such openings as Express and Victoria’s Secret at Bayshore, SHOP TALK surveys the big players — and fine details — in Ottawa’s mall scene.

Rideau Centre - Exterior

Rideau Centre

How much will the renovation cost:
Total value of the redevelopment project is $360 million, including Nordstrom (opening March 2015), the new Dining Hall (opening August 2014), interior and exterior renovation, and the expansion area that is due to open August 2016.

Size of redevelopment in sq. ft:
Adding 230,000 sq.ft. of new leasable area in the expansion

What big brands will you be bringing in:
Simons, Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom, J.Crew, Zara Kids and Zara Home, Massimo Dutti, Express, Purdy’s

What’s cooking in the new food court? 
Dining Hall will feature 16 units and 850 seats, as well as a new design. Environmentally friendly features include reusable dishware, cutlery, and glasses, and full recycling facilities, including organics.

Fancy details:
All new Italian quartz flooring in the common area. Tile imported from Verona, Italy

Any environmentally friendly aspects to the new building?
In addition to the Dining Hall features mentioned above, the expansion will be LEED Certified

Things you won’t find anywhere else:
9,000 sq.ft. of original artwork commissioned for the building exterior, installed on three facades and illuminated at night

Any new parking spots?
Approximately 550 new underground parking spaces below the expansion

MOST WANTED: The Ottawa Fluevog

Photo by Luther Caverly

The Ottawa Fluevog. Photo by Luther Caverly

When celebrated Canadian shoe designer John Fluevog opens his first boutique in the national capital, one style is sure to sell out fast. The Ottawa shoe (above) is sensible and sophisticated, with an ankle strap and a short heel. Only 30 pairs will be made — and they’re available only in the new ByWard Market store at William and George streets. And to make the scramble just a little nuttier, that store opens its doors on Canada Day. Serious shoe lovers and city devotees, mark your calendars.

$270. 61 William St.


SHOP TALK: Pink Palladium shoes for summer

Shop Talk is written by Ottawa Magazine editor Dayanti Karunaratne and Sarah Fischer, Ottawa Magazine account executive and fashion maven.


Love this look! Check out more Flex Collection stylings at

Let me say off the top that I’ve always been wary of colourful shoes. While I have yet to do the Middleton nude pumps, I always figured that black, brown, or metallic shoes offered more bang for your buck. At my desk I keep my “work shoes” — right now I’m looking at three brown heels and one pair of black flats. (Can you say bo-ring?)

Flex Lace Palladium shoes in Pink Lemonade

Flex Lace Palladium shoes in Pink Lemonade

So when the kind people at ZOI agency offered to send me a pair of the new summer canvas kicks from Palladium, I balked at the colour choices. I admire people who have the guts to embrace colour, I just question how to wear colourful shoes. Do you try to match? Do you make them the highlight of an outfit? It’s the kind of wardrobe detail that makes one late for work! So I put them aside.

That was, until I broke my toenail. I won’t bore you with the details except to say it didn’t happen in any cool way and I swore a lot. But the darn thing didn’t fall off, and I’m not one for self-inflicted pain (unless, perhaps, there’s a prize to be won). So I bandage and soak — and walk carefully to prevent the whole thing from falling off.

Pink and green feels like spring!

Pink and green feels like spring! Photo by Sarah Fischer

In this case, physical pain overrides wardrobe anxiety and I looked to my pink Flex Lace Palladiums. With a nice big toe box I was even able to do some lunges without bashing that tender big toe, and they put a smile on my face. (In truth, having  a little girl to dress has endeared me to pink.)

And, as often happens when we’re forced out of our comfort zone, I found these shoes added a skip to my (albeit cautious) steps. They made me feel like a kid again — I grew up at a time when canvas shoes were the thing to wear in those perfect last weeks of school. And most of all, I found they went with everything from girly summer dresses to jeans to shorts. Sure, I take a moment to colour-check, but mostly I’m having fun pushing the envelope with these fun flats.

See how my pink shoes match so nicely with my kid's hoodie-dress? She's wearing off on me.

See how my pink shoes match so nicely with my kid’s hoodie-dress? She’s wearing off on me.

MY LOOK: Dancer and choreographer Natalie Gelman

This feature appears in Ottawa Magazine’s April 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe to the print or digital versions.



Natalie Gelman makes her own costumes, which are influenced by world music, both contemporary and traditional (Photo: Lucyna Bakowska)

For the past 10 years, you’ve been a dance instructor, choreographer, and performer in Ottawa, fusing an urban dance style with global dances. How did your interest in dance first come about?
Born and raised in Ottawa, I went to college in Toronto, and one night I heard drums coming from my basement and I discovered an African dance class being held in my building. For the first time, I got to explore the fusion of masculine and feminine energy — the athleticism and sensuality that is African dance. Prior to that, I had been exposed to drum circles, breakdancing, and belly dancing.

Read the rest of this entry »