Articles Tagged ‘fashion’

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


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: Stand-up paddle boarding instructor Harmony McGrath shares the secrets of her laid-back look

This story appears in the Summer edition of Ottawa Magazine, on newsstands now. 

Harmony is wearing a bikini top by Local Honey, Level Six Slipstream shorts, and a handmade SUP girl necklace. She is riding a Rogue board and using a Kialoa paddle with Crown grip. Photo by John Rathwell.

Is Harmony your legal name?
Yes. Harmony Dawn McGrath.

You run courses in stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) all summer on the Ottawa, Mississippi, and Rideau rivers. SUP has exploded in the past couple of years. Why do you think the sport is so popular?
It’s fun and it’s easy to do. It attracts people of all ages and abilities, families — even pets! I paddle with my dog and my cat. And there are so many disciplines, from flatwater to racing and whitewater.

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URBAN HIPPIE: A trip to Green Tree Eco Fashion in Westboro — enviro-friendly and fashion fierce

Urban Hippie by Jen Lahey is published every second Tuesday at Follow Jen on Twitter ‏@Jen_Lahey.

Organic cotton collection by Feral Childe

The stereotype of eco-friendly clothes (the hemp-heavy, crunchy-granola kind of stuff worn by the hacky sack crowd) is something that Sarah Barr is out to change.

She’s the owner of Green Tree Eco Fashion,(358 Richmond Rd.) a boutique for those with a bent for both the environmentally friendly and the fashion-fierce.

The passionate fashionista, who has worked at Chanel and Holt Renfew, amongst other notable companies, describes the clothes at her store as “edgy, modern, current, and funky,” and one gets the sense that she wants customers to feel that way, too, when they’re done shopping at Green Tree.

Barr clearly wants women and men to look outside their pre-conceived notions. She encourages people to dress for their body type — which often results, she says, in customers having a new, more positive, perspective on how they look.

Barr, who grew up sewing, and still does the tailoring for the shop, says that fit is key when it comes to clothes. “Tailoring is very important,” she explains. “If it doesn’t fit perfectly, it’s just a piece of fabric.” She often fine-tunes items for customers so they fit just so.

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TREND WATCHING: Our take on see-through Oxfords, Technicolour pythons, and other spring shoes

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

Three unique trends were recently identified in FASHION Magazine’s spring accessories report: see-through plastic inserts, bright python prints, and woven natural fibres in a range of colours. While clutches are cool and bangles a bold way to add bite to an outfit, let’s face it, shoes are where it’s at. Herewith, our take on these three trends — and where you can step into some of this style right here in Ottawa.

Stuart Weitzman, $195. Available at Holt Renfrew.

Clear panels: We’ll pass on this whacky look. FASHION calls it a way to “lend lightness to polished metallics and patent leathers” but it seems clunky and confusing to us. Plus it reminds us of the coveted pair from the infamous “Shoes” vid. Or maybe we are biased because there is still so much grit on O-town streets to even consider such slick kicks. But there’s no denying that the Stella McCartney wedge featured is a winner.

In town: Stuart Weitzman has a similar style, and in nude this shoe would be both versatile and trendy, so a wise choice for the savvy shoe-aholic. $195, Holt Renfrew.

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ON THE PLUS SIDE: Mode & Distinction, EDIT by Jeanne Beker offer trendy options that celebrate the female form

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

With the inaugural London plus-size fashion week that took place earlier this month, and the launch of EDIT by Jeanne Beker for Addition Elle, there’s plenty of action in the double digits of the size charts. Bold prints, silhouettes that celebrate the female figure, and on-trend colours are all part of the growing options available to those shopping for plus-size clothing.

Mode & Distinction creates an intimate shopping environment.

Here in Ottawa, a unique independent store in Gatineau brings together great names in fashion like Spanner and Neon Buddha — all carefully chosen to flatter different body types. And because Mode & Distinction is a smaller store, customers can expect individual attention. Owner Johanne Cadieux has created a quaint, homey environment, and aims to help women find clothes that not only flatter their figure but also suit their personality and remain on-trend.

“Right now, the tunics are trendy and they look good on many body types,” Johanne says. “Also, the colours are vibrant for next summer, which gives a punch to women’s apparel — we try to encourage women to wear bright colours instead of wearing only dark colours.” (Amen to that!)

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DESIGNER WATCH: Olena Zylak and Laura Langford, coming to a craft fair near you

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

Even just a few years ago, the term ‘craft fair’ might have conjured up images of Popsicle stick candle holders and other such kitsch. But these days, events featuring handmade goods are where it’s at — they are the perfect place to find unique gifts, not to mention one-of-a-kind treats for your own closet!

Olena's 20s Ruffle Hat is made with merino wool, kid mohair, and nylon.

While there are too many outstanding artists to mention, this week SHOP TALK chats with a couple designers that caught our eye this season: Olena Zylak and Laura Langford.

Worn by such A-listers as Prince, Juliette Lewis, and Olivia Newton-John, Olena will celebrate 15 years with her knitwear label when she sets up shop at Originals Ottawa (Dec. 6-16).

“I love the large-scale texture of knitting as opposed to using fabric. I have an emotional response to knits that I don’t get from ready-made material,” Olena says. “And of course, I love wearing knits. I find that knits make people happy.”

MY LOOK: Capital Fashion Consulting’s Rosina Mahlangu chats winter wear, healthy body image, and upcoming events


Above left: Rosina Mahlangu is wearing a floral blazer from Rikochet Resale in Westboro, and her dress is from Forever 21. Her jewellery was bought in Barbados, and her shoes were purchased in Toronto. Above right: Mahlangu sports a pinstripe blazer from H&M and a white pleated Moon Collection dress from Milk Boutique. Her vintage jewellery is from St. Vincent de Paul, and the black shoes she purchased in Toronto. Photography by Lucyna Bakowska.

Interview by Vanessa Ortynsky

Originally from Zimbabwe, you grew up in Toronto. What made you decide to establish yourself in Ottawa?

After graduating from Carleton University in business law last spring, I thought, What am I going to do with my life? I’ve always been passionate about starting my own business, and if there’s ever been a time, this is it. People are often surprised that I’m pursuing fashion in Ottawa, but there’s potential here.

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