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fashion

Hot Shopping: Affordable and Trendy Fashions at Forever 21

Find Ottawa's Forever 21 downtown at the Rideau Centre.

In September, fashionistas’ wishes were granted when Forever 21 opened its first store in Ottawa (and a two-storey one at that!). Known for carrying runway-inspired fashions, it’s a favourite amongst hipsters, bargain hunters, and girly girls. With a price range that spans $1 to $65, you can try out trendy pieces without breaking the bank, so you don’t have to worry if they only last a season. With plenty of ruffles, animal prints, and vibrant colours in their arsenal, this is just the place to pick up your New Year’s Eve outfit. Rideau Centre, 50 Rideau St., 613-233-0423.

You Are Here: Old Strathcona

Image courtesy of Noel Zinger

With over 600 eclectic, independent and alternative shops and services to explore, it’s little wonder Old Strathcona is regarded as the place to experience Edmonton’s finest live theatre and music, boutique shopping, dining and nightlife. Read on for some of our top spots in this historical district and then visit www.oldstrathcona.ca for even more. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Cool Canadian Fashion

Ooh la la, a cashmere travel set from the HBC Collection.

Show off your Canadian pride (whether you’re Canadian or not) with the HBC Collection. This signature line from the Hudson’s Bay Company offers a range of high-end items that boast the multi­coloured stripes synonymous with the brand (we love this cashmere travel set, $350). The collection also features collaborations with a variety of designers, such as Smythe, Steven Alan, Caroline Fur, and Harry Barker, for products that range from apparel to fur accessories to pet products. The Bay, Rideau Centre, 73 Rideau St., 613-241-7511, and St. Laurent Centre, 1200 St. Laurent Blvd., 613-748-6105.

Hot Shopping: Top 5 Sassy Suits

Top 5 Sassy Suits

Black and white suit by Nanette Lepore at Swank.

Unless you’re trying to revive Annie Hall, no woman wants to look like a man, even when she’s wearing a suit. Thankfully, today’s professional female can dress the part without forfeiting her femininity.

At Swank (pictured), the suit gets a flirty makeover with a Nanette Lepore retro-inspired pencil skirt complete with back-panel pleats in knobby black-and-white wool. Pair with a matching jacket with 3/4 length-sleeves. 1170 Taylor Ave, 475-1671.

Inside Danali, sharp shoulders, leather detailing at the collar, and cuffed, wide-legged pants by Robert Rodriguez mean business. Wear it with a bordeaux-hued blouse for another twist. 100-530 Kenaston Blvd, 489-0577.

An eclectic mix of Canadian designer wear populates the racks at Girl Candy Shop, where edgy separates make the working woman. Think cargo pants, leather skirts, and sweaters and tops embellished with beads, bows and a smattering of sequins. 918 Grosvenor Ave, 975-4605.

Every woman dreams about a Chanel suit. At Second Sensation those dreams come true at a fraction of the price. This upscale consignment store stocks designer office duds by Anne Klein, Armani and Nygard, among others. Pair with Prada or Coach shoes to complete the look. 725 Corydon Ave, 475-0457.

At Luxe Label, the “Jackie O” dress by Black Halo, with its figure-flattering front panels, skinny belt and asymmetrical collar, is the definition of office chic. 1693 Corydon Ave, 451-1415.

Notes from an Ottawa Fashion Blogger

Marilou Moles is the founder and creative director of Twenty York Street, a local fashion and lifestyle blog. Here, we get her thoughts on Ottawa’s style scene.

Marilou Moles from Twenty York Street. Photo credit: Jose Perez-Alvarez.

What role does fashion have in shaping a city?
It inspires creativity and self-expression! Fashion is global; when you take home pieces from different parts of the world — whether through travels or local stores — it enhances that city’s identity, if only through the medium of fashion.

What are your favourite places to shop?
I’m a huge fan of Banana Republic and the Rideau Centre. I also love local brands Kania and Miikali, and accessories from frAsh by Isobel Walker!

What’s your favourite neighbourhood for shopping?
I love the ByWard Market. It has everything, including clothes, shoes, gourmet food, seasonal fruits and vegetables, and — when you get hungry after shopping — lots of cafés and restaurants to choose from. Though the Glebe also houses fantastic spas and stores like Thann.

What Ottawa store is a hidden gem?
Everyone is gushing about Roadtrip right now because it has a fantastic selection and most items are under $100!

How would you describe Ottawa’s style to someone who’s not from here?
Evolving. The city’s style is definitely a superb representation of its multicultural and multi-disciplinary citizens. Though the weather — especially in the winter — is a huge factor, Ottawa has its own unique style identity. You’ve got the classic dressers, preppy, sexy glam, hip-hop, eclectic street style, and the downright wacky!

Read more from Marilou at www.twentyyork.com.

The Ottawa Style Files

Shopping is an essential part of exploring a new place, so WHERE gives you the scoop on five top shops. Whether you’re from a big city or a small town, Ottawa’s got just the store for you. By Misa Kobayashi.

Pretty dresses abound at Victoire.

VICTOIRE
At the downtown location, an old dresser displays knickknacks and vintage jewellery, while pretty party dresses line the wall. This girly shop boasts clothing lines with classic designs that flatter a woman’s body, while still offering a bit of edge. Nearly all the stock comes from within Canada, and popular items include Laura Langford leather bags (made locally), Preloved clothing made from recycled materials, and walls of funky jewellery made by Ottawa artists. Prices range from $5 for quirky greeting cards to $220 for a dress or coat.
246 Dalhousie St., 613-321-1590, and 1282 Unit B. Wellington St. W., 613-421-0089. www.victoireboutique.com

Workshop highlights local, female designers.

WORKSHOP STUDIO & BOUTIQUE
This is the home of the handmade. Workshop carries more than 180 small designers — half of whom are local, and nearly all of whom are Canadian — with an emphasis on startup women designers. One such brand is Twiss & Weber, a line that features eco-fabrics and great hats and scarves for fall. While higher-end items like dresses could go for $200, you can also find a range of delightful and inexpensive gifts, such as $2 fabric brooches, hilariously raunchy soaps, and cards. Check out the selection of fun print bags, unique stuffed animals, and jewellery (there’s plenty in the $25 to $50 range).
242 1/2 Dalhousie St., 613-789-5534. www.workshopboutique.ca (more…)

W Hotels Hires a Fashion Director

W Montreal. Photo by Henry Faber

W Hotels has hired a fashion director to help the chain partner with members of the industry on fashion shows and to forge relationships with up-and-coming designers who W would like to attend their events. (more…)

Hot Shopping: Fitwear

Bhavana Yoga Lifestyle Store on Quinpool Road.

What do you get for the yogi who has everything? Odds are good you’ll find it at Bhavana Yoga Lifestyle Store on Quinpool Road. It boasts Canadian made yoga clothing, books, mats, yoga inspired jewellery and clothes, aromatherapy services and earth-friendly gifts.

Hot Shopping: Lookin’ Smart

In Halifax, discerning gentlemen find their fashions at Dugger’s Men’s Wear. Located on Spring Garden Road, the popular shop offers the latest styles from Canali, Hugo Boss, Diesel and many others.

Hot Shopping: Shop Talk: Walk-in Closets

A move to Wolseley in 2005  inspired The Closet Chick and The Closet owner Lorraine Hay to abandon the rat race and opt for a more sustainable lifestyle. Armed with 30 years of fashion industry experience, Hay simplified her life and opened a previously-loved clothing consignment boutique. The Closet Chick’s two floors offer current (one year or less) and true vintage (40s to 80s era) fashions for fierce females.  Based on its success, four years later Hay launched second location The Closet in Osborne Village, which also stocks styles for men and some of the sweetest vintage leather in town. Create a Mad Men-inspired look by plucking a sleek sheath dress and a curve-hugging cardigan from the racks of chicly displayed mint-condition garments.  For someone with enviable first dibs on numerous pieces of coveted vintage, Hay’s personal closet is remarkably small. “At home I have a tiny closet–I’ve got my own little look,” Hay says. Instead, Hay gets her fashion fix styling customers. The Closet Chick,  938 Portage Ave, 204-774-2442; The Closet, E-470 River Ave, 204-233-2442.

Hot Shopping: Simon Says

Simon Chang is one of Canada’s most innovative fashion designers, creating bold, innovative looks that set the bar high. Check out his latest styles in Halifax at The Wardrobe Too in Spring Garden Place. The boutique specializes in “designer fashions for the discriminating woman,” also offering lines by Sarah Paeini of Italy, Canadian Ellen Margaret Moody and Nova Scotia’s own Heather Dennis.

Hot Shopping: Fashion Forward

Unicorn

•    Renaissance, Barrington Street: Casual clothing and footwear for men and women; lines like Converse, Chuck Taylor, Mexx, Dept and Matinique.

•    Unicorn, Lower Water Street: Fashionable boutique for women offering the latest European and North American ready-to-wear collections; also boasts footwear and jewellery by Canadian designers.

•    Big Apple, Barrington Street: Women’s fashions for varied lifestyles; career and casual collections from Montreal and New York.