BY ALLISON ONYETT
Although Calgary’s malls boast hundreds of well-known chain stores and are destinations in their own rights, the city also has a thriving boutique scene. In trendy neighborhoods like 17th Avenue, Kensington and Marda Loop, find independent shops carrying wears by local designers as well as international labels.
We enlisted the help of fashion and commercial stylist Leah Van Loon for her favourite boutiques to shop at for this season’s trends. In addition to knowing Calgary’s fashion scene inside and out, she has done styling for fashion magazines and international ad campaigns. She also provides image consulting, and personal shopping services. For more information email her at email@example.com.
“Look for rich colours and jewel tones,” says Van Loon, who recommends pairing them with neutrals like mustard yellow, olive green, and grey. “Fur, whether real or faux, is still a strong trend, as is leather and suede. Skinny jeans are important, but women should try the new wide-leg pant.” For an easier transition, she suggests the low-rise version.
Leah’s Top Pick: Leo Boutique. This cutting edge gem is a one-stop shop. Here you’ll find both men’s and women’s directional designer labels including Acne, Opening Ceremony, and L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani.
|Leah Also Suggests:|
|Coco and Violet|
|Forman’s Fashion Group|
|Riva’s – The Eco Store|
|Joints … Everything But The Dress|
|Used – House of Vintage|
“1970s style is still popular with maxi dresses to the floor and A-line skirts,” Van Loon says, remarking that, “everything is still body conscious, but accomplished with loose flowing fabrics.”
Leah’s Top Pick: Mealan. Carries exclusive New York brands like Susana Monaco and Beth Bowley, and local names like Caitlin Power. This boutique is near the trendy area of 17th Avenue.
Van Loon suggests wider stacked heels that play off the ‘70s theme, and boots reaching to the knee. “The ‘90s are also playing a part as shoes get clunkier.”
Leah’s Top Pick: Gravity Pope. Find boots, wedges and pumps by brands like T&F Slack, Frye, and New York’s Rag and Bone.
“Menswear styles are getting more relaxed in shape,” notes Van Loon. She recommends looking for work wear items like twill and cotton duck fabrics, or biker and punk themes. She also advises adding a workboot or leather jacket to keep you current.
Leah’s Top Pick: Understudy. Carrying trend-setting items and brands like Marshall Artist and APC, this new store is stocked with plenty of casual menswear items.
When shopping for jewellery this season think, “gold with accents of leather and fur,” Van Loon says. Also keep in mind that, “accessories are getting larger with cuffs for wrists and collars for necks.” For handbags and totes, Van Loon leans towards messenger bags.
Leah’s Top Pick: Rubaiyat. High-end, one-of-a-kind jewellery by local designers like Dean Davidson and NYC designer Alexis Bittar, among others.