Articles Tagged ‘fashion’

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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!)

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

STYLE PROFILES: The Dharma dude, a Brachic babe, and more stylish citizens from our Shopping annual

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

Akash SInha is wearing a Mexx shirt; Guess vest; pants by Brooklyn Industries; a belt from a ByWard Market vendor; Clarks shoes; and a custom bag from Photo by Rémi Thériault.

Earlier this month, we introduced you to Dina Renon, the cover model from Ottawa Magazine‘s Shopping annual. Of course we never give away the whole story — to get all the details in the profiles by Victoria Abraham and the stunning Rémi Thériault photo spreads, you have to buy the guide.

But we can’t help but bring our stylish ambassadors of fashion into the digital realm. Here’s a glimpse of five folks that caught our eye this season. From an up-and-coming stylist to a seasoned entrepreneur, we love their personal flair and worldly tastes.

Take Akash Sinha. He brings a spiritual approach to community building with his green building company, and uses a wide variety of ways to make sure he’s always having fun. It all translates into fostering positive relationships, exploring the arts, and having fun.

“We definitely want to be a part of what makes Ottawa cool.”

Read the rest of this entry »

WEEKENDER: Comedians talk relationships, musicians pay homage to Nick Drake, and local opera star Armine Kassabian plays Cinderella

Ottawa's Armine Kassabian plays Cinderella in the rags to riches tale presented by Opera Lyra.

Opera Lyra Ottawa is staging an English adaptation of Cinderella by Gioachino Rossini. This English version of the famous story, which has captivated generations of people around the world, was adapted by opera and theatre director Ann Hodges and features the award-winning local sensation Armine Kassabian as Cinderella. Not only is Kassabian a recent graduate of McGill University’s Schulich School of Music, but also the winner of the Brian Law Opera Competition. See this shining star on the stage in O-town before she takes her talents to China next June with Montreal’s Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyrique. Friday, November 9, 9 p.m. Adults $25, kids $15, families $60. Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Ave.,

The Après Dark series is a set of live music events meant to expose up-and-coming local artists. These lounge-style shows give these artists a way to show off their talents at the Richcraft Theatre at the Shenkman Arts Centre, a venue with magnificent sound and atmosphere. Not only will those attending be treated to a night of top-quality spins from local sensation DJ Illo and emceeing and interviews by Kwende ‘Memetic’ Kefentse, but the performers get a chance to gain more experience playing their music in a unique space with the best equipment. Memetic will speak with DJ Illo about his life growing up in Orleans, his experiences becoming a DJ, and the process he goes through to create his music. Friday, November 9, doors at 8:30 p.m. $10. Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd.,

Read the rest of this entry »

MODEL WATCH: Ottawa beauty Amanda Nimmo wears Versace, Dior in FASHION Mag’s 35th anniversary issue

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

Amanda Nimmo appears in a spread in FASHION Magazine called "A Canadian in Paris."

It’s been over a year since we first reported on Ottawa model Amanda Nimmo. Back in fall 2011, she was featured in an 8-page spread in LOULOU Magazine and was jet-setting around Europe doing the fashion week circuit. This season, the hometown beauty added runway walks for Diane Von Furstenberg, DKNY, and J. Crew in New York, as well as long list of others in Milan, Paris, and London.

Plus, this month’s edition of FASHION (part of our St. Joseph Media family) has Amanda cloaked in couture by legends like Gaultier, Dior, Versace, and Chanel (sigh). Shot at the historic — and luxurious, bien sur — Hôtel de Crillon, it’s FASHION‘s 35th anniversary issue, and Amanda’s feature is but one of the gems in the hefty book. Get thee to a newsstand and pick it up!

For now, check out this video of Amanda talking about getting scouted in Ottawa, her career so far, and being a Canadian in Paris.

THE INSIDER: Hussein Rashid on moving Ottawa Fashion Week to Preston Street

OFW founder and executive producer Hussein Rashid says the Sala San Marco venue allows more space for creativity.

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

When we first heard that Ottawa Fashion Week (OFW) was moving to Sala San Marco, we were confused. Sure, we could pull up an image of the Preston Street hall in our mental map, but it involved memories of lunch dates, not runway shows.

So, as OFW takes their presentation out of the downtown core for the first time in its history, we chat with one of the original visionaries behind the show: founder and executive producer Hussein Rashid.

“It’s all about really getting more involved, it’s about taking the event to the community,” explains Hussein. “We wanted a space that people live near.” The venues available downtown, he says, have restrictions that his team found difficult to work around.

Read the rest of this entry »