Street Style: East Van meets awesome for a cause

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The East Van cross pendant was created by local jewellery designer Susan Fiedler. $25 from every pendant sold will be donated to Pivot Legal Society.

This week we are taking our style feature from the streets. Literally. As in Clark Drive and East 6th Avenue.

Vancouver has many notable installations, one of the most recognizable being Ken Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver sculpture. Inspired by a long-lived local graffiti symbol, the East Van cross is a representation of both hope and defiance.

Recently, this symbol has crossed over from its roots in street art and entered the realm of fashion. The City of Vancouver has, for the first time, extended it’s support through a licensing agreement to local jewellery designer, Susan Fiedler, to bring the symbol forward as an element of personal adornment.The collection currently is reserved for a pendant style necklace, with a larger range of jewellery featuring the Monument coming this spring. Available in two sizes, the East Van cross pendants created by Fiedler not only turn city pride into a wearable statement, but also take a stand for community involvement.

As a reflection of the monument and what it stands for, the pendants achieve a balance between softness and edge, making them an ideal “everyday” piece that will suit any attire. Like the play on positive and negative space that the design offers, this accessory allows the bearer to add a stamp of personal style while simultaneously speaking up for and supporting social change.

This is a feel-good piece that leaves your pursestrings intact and happy as well; at a price point ranging from $175 to $325, the pieces are as approachable as the message. $25 from every pendant sold will be donated to Pivot Legal Society.

Fiedler has teamed up with Pivot in a fundraising initiative to help support the many social and human right causes the organization strives to protect. Pivot is leading the fight to improve conditions for marginalized members of our community; since 2002, Pivot has seen great success with victories for sex worker’s rights, police accountability, and affordable housing.

Katrina Pacey, executive director of Pivot, shares her excitement for the collaboration with Fiedler: “We are so excited and honoured that Susan has chosen our organization and the community we work with as the beneficiaries of her amazing art… The Monument for East Vancouver is an icon of the neighbourhood. It represents the place so many of our clients call home. Susan’s generosity will help us to continue to fight for the rights of marginalized people in this community.”

Fiedler is no stranger to supporting social change. In 2008, she launched F Cancer Embrace Life, a campaign to offer support and appreciaton for those who are fighting the battle against the disease/ Fielder, a cancer survivor herself, raised over $200,000 for the cause with her initiative. She’s now teaming up with Pivot to put her awareness skills back to use with the pendant project.

The East Van cross pendant is set to make it’s debut later this month. The first pendant will be available for auction at the annual Passion For Justice, a fundraising event hosted by Pivot, held on Thursday Nov. 13 at 7pm at Ironworks Studios in Railtown.


Street Style: Tiffany & co. still unapologetically modern

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Tiffany & Co. is so much more than a name. The brand has, over the course of it’s 177 years, grown to become not just stylish, but rather the symbol of style. Tiffany is universally synonymous with glamour and grace, with women of the world vying to receive the treasure of that ‘little blue box’.

The iconic company has been able to create a status symbol with their collections; not status primarily based upon monetary value (as the pieces range over a broad spectrum of price points), but moreover a status of educated elegance. The Tiffany clientele understand the unspoken statement behind wearing designs that represent both sophistication and refined exuberance.

As a girl, I remember coveting and saving for key pieces from the Tiffany sterling silver collection: The classic Return To Tiffany charm bracelet and keychain were my most valued  possessions, able to make the adolescent uniform of jeans and a tee seem beyond fabulous. As a young woman, the quintessential Tiffany Diamond Engagement Ring was the be all and end all of any proposal story. There have been Tiffany and Company pieces to accompany many different times, budgets and memories in my life – something the brand has managed to excel in is offering timeless pieces that not only represent, but last, a lifetime.

Now, as Tiffany & Co. enters a new chapter under the leadership of a fresh design director – Francesca Amfitheatrof – we see a collection that puts a modern twist on the New York roots of the company. Tiffany T embodies the edge and energy of NYC to become the icon for a new era – graphic lines for the strength of the city’s architecture, combined with the chic minimalism that leaves the pieces open for interpretation in the eyes of those who revel in the arts and culture.

I had an opportunity to take a tour of the Tiffany T line, chat with the team about how Amfitheatrof’s vision is taking a bold approach to the established traditions, and explore the pieces for myself to discover the endless possibilities. What I found most striking about the collection was its versatility. The pieces, while strong, are streamlined – allowing for a mix-and-match approach to how they are worn. While I definitely have fun with over-the-top statement pieces, I’m a huge fan of simple yet stunning jewellery that can be worn everyday without ever looking tired.

With Tiffany T, the designs encourage layering, creating an opportunity for each individual to reflect their personality within the line. Simple silhouettes combined with an array of finishes make stacking the geometric rings and bracelets look chic in a cinch.

Despite coveting the collection in its entirety, there were a few pieces that stood out and spoke to my own style. Whether for fashion, accessories or home decor, anyone that knows me can attest to the fact that the white and gold palette combo is my weakness. I love it.

So it’s no surprise that the 18k gold Tiffany T cuff with a white ceramic face stole my heart.  It is a substantial piece that can be worn alone as a stunning  bold statement, or I’m picturing it mixed in with the Tiffany T bangle and the Tiffany T (chain) bracelet to create a boho-meets-glamour rock ‘n roll effect.

My other fave is the Tiffany T ring in 18k rose gold. Sleek and simple, the ring is delicate enough to be worn in multiples without appearing too heavy, yet it has the strength to be worn solo and still catch eyes.

Tiffany T is a rich mix of options, making an ultimately chic appeal ridiculously easy. Strong yet sensual, this collection – in the words of the brand itself – is unapologetically modern.

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Images courtesy of © Tiffany & Co.

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Street Style: the perfect dress for ‘day’ to ‘date night’

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I decided to head over to our local designer style source Wear Else to see what’s hot – and not – for Vancouver fall fashion.

The super adorable Alanna Kuznetsov, who has been a stylist with the boutique for the last two years, walked me through its top-sellers and trends as we played around with key items to create a versatile fall look.

Vancouver fashionistas’ biggest ask for the season has been for a stellar dress – we’re not ready to hide our summer legs just yet – but local women are looking for an option with longer arms as we transition into cooler weather.

The top choice so far is an ultra chic Obakki piece; it has the desired arm length, and is figure-flattering with side ruching and a feminine scoop neckline. This fab find, priced at $380, is the ultimate “Day-to-Date” dress for fall. We played dress-up with the piece and a few other hot trend items to pull together our fave transitional looks for the dress.

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 Look 1: Day

  1. The trend: basic  black layering piece // The item: Pink Tartan Power Stretch Blazer, $325
  2. The trend: gold // The piece: Michael Kors black pumps with metallic detailing, $168
  3. The trend: structured pieces // The piece: Rebecca Minikoff carry-all bag, $495
  4. The trend: beading // The piece: Tadessa Starlight sterling silver bracelet, $175

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Look 2: Date

  1. The trend: faux furs // The piece: Alice + Olivia Andie coat, $450
  2. The trend: exposed zippers & hardware // The piece: Stuart Weitzman booties, $598
  3. The trend: minimalism // The piece: Ela Clutch, $221
  4. The trend: geometric shapes // The piece:  Merx Dagger necklace, $80

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Street Style: Time to Consign

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As with interior design, some of fashion’s best elements are repurposed. 

As a stylist, I take pieces from seasons or eras past, and work them into my current wardrobe to give a fresh take on today’s street styles. I love new fashions, but I definitely don’t love to look like a walking billboard for one store or another, or to be caught wearing the same outfit as anyone else. To create a look all my own, I’m a huge fan of shopping consignment; not only am I able to find unique pieces, but designer names can be scored for a steal. 

When I work with wardrobe clients, they often ask how they can achieve a runway-worthy image yet keep a realistic outlook on budget. Many people see fabulous designer fashions gracing the pages of glossy magazines and, although they are inspired and covet what they see, they often dismiss the idea that these items could be a part of their own attire due to cost. One of my most  favourite parts of my job is showing clients how they can achieve the look for a fraction of the cost. 

I take many clients (and friends!) to the fab roster of consignment boutiques we have here in Vancouver. It seems as though almost every neighbourhood has a hidden gem for gently used designer garments, a seemingly exclusive spot for locals in the know. Kerrisdale has Dragon & Phoenix, which is definitely my first stop when scoping out second hand designer handbags; Main Street’s claim to fame for consignment is the consignment-meets-new hotspot, Front & Company. Main Street also just landed a new location of Turnabout (in the old blockbuster video building) and it offers perhaps one of the largest selections for consignment fashions in the city.

I recently spent some time chatting (over a serious peruse through delicious finds – which ultimately led to scoring my new fall jacket for this year!) with Azura Cook, owner of one of my fave stops for high-end consignment fashions: Timeline Boutique. She filled me in on all the fun surrounding her shop, her style and how it all got started. 

Tell me a little bit about your shop and how it all began.

I began Timeline Boutique for the love of a great deal, the love of all types of clothing, and the love of recycling! We have such a broad product range of designer women’s consignment, from Forever 21 to Chanel. Our clients love that they can pop in to consign with no appointment necessary and I offer cash up front.

What do you love about your location?

We are excited to be at the corner of Davie and Seymour in Yaletown – there are so many people walking by with Emery Barnes Park right across the street! Plus I love that my friend has the What’s Shaken milkshake, smoothies, green drinks, protein shake bar next door. 

Finish this sentence: the average person who walks through the door is…

Surprised that the prices are so good, or that it’s consignment at all! There are many items on the floor from businesses or people who bring in new items with the tags for consignment. We’ve had Chanel with the tags on many times.

What would you say is your most popular item?

Party dresses and great heels! 

What colour best describes your personality?

Purple! And if it can be a sequin, that’ll sum it up. 

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?

Designing shoes is on my life list. 

What are some style trends we can expect to see in 2014?

Tassels, fringe, and I’d like to predict stirrup pants. They just have to come back!

Street Style: Shellac Attack with Charm Nail Studio

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When the warm weather hits, Vancouver’s vibe transforms into that of an urban oasis. Our streets are infiltrated by blinged-out beach cruisers and vintage rides with tops down, rolling slow past our plethora of sun-soaked patios (packed from morning til night, of course). Every beach bunny is out strutting the latest in stylish swimwear, and our street fashions jump from Westcoast casual to fresh, flirty and fun.

While many of us just can’t wait to ditch our cooler weather duds in lieu of summertime styles, the key seasonal beauty detail comes into play before the shopping begins. No matter how cute your fringe-trimmed sandals are, unkempt toes steal the show; the perfect mani/ pedi combo sets the stage for your Summer fashions to shine. Pretty nails are the ultimate Summer accessory.

A long-time gel nail fiend myself, I’ve spent what seems like forever on the hunt for a nail spa that offers  the services I need (read: gel nails with shellac polish) in a great environment; I’m big on customer service and, as a designer, decor plays an important factor in my overall experience. However, it seems that when you find a pretty salon that appeases the eye, the price point is a bit of a killer to the wallet; on the flip side, affordable salons tend to be lacklustre when it comes to ambiance.

When I stumbled past a new little nail spa, Charm, while on a neighbourhood jaunt in Fraserview a few years back, I popped in with no expectations; I was super excited to see a salon in this neighbourhood (the Main Street corridor has always been the hot spot to find nail spas in the area) but wasn’t sure what I’d find once I walked in. I was totally blown away with what I saw: a fresh white space with chic black and white feature wallpaper, girly glitter accents like a hanging crystal room divider and statement chandelier, and stylish furnishings that somehow blend minimalist modern with feminine traditional decor.

I was warmly greeted immediately by a super stylish receptionist  (seriously, she’s always got on a killer outfit that makes me want to dash home and put on something way more fabulous!) and when I inquired about services and pricing I couldn’t have been more impressed. Charm offers a full range of nail services for both natural and artificial nails, as well as a roster of waxing services. All at a reasonable price point! Naturally I booked an appointment and I’ve been ‘Charmed’ ever since. I stop in to let Rose work her magic on my nails every few weeks and I walk away with hands that attract compliments every time. My current colour crush – Bombshell – is by a new, Canadian gel polish line called Akzentz and is the best version of a neon pink shellac colour I’ve ever seen.

I chatted with Rose about how the concept for Charm all got started and she shared her vision from concept to its fabulous completion.

1. How long has Charm been in business? What made you choose to join the emerging Fraser neighbourhood?

Charm was established in 2012. The choice of opening within the Fraserview community was an easy one for us; since I first moved to Vancouver, I’ve always lived up and down Fraser Street. I’ve owned a salon before and, with my experience within that, I thought that Fraser would be best in terms of competition. Fraser has traditionally been the least sought after area according to many Nail Salon owners, but as a resident of the area I knew the potential. The bright corner unit of a new building was very attractive, so when our unit became available it seemed like an ideal fit.

2. Tell us a bit about yourself/ your team and how the concept behind Charm was formed?

I’ve been doing nails for over 10 years now.  Honestly, learning to do nails began as a way to get out of the house, as I was a stay at home mom. I love doing creative things, and being quite artistic myself, I discovered that I could do nails quite well.

We are mostly a family business. Charm is owned by my brother but he has asked my to build the business for him, considering my success with my previous nail spa. My brother does not live here, so his daughter, Chau, his daughter, has stepped in and works with my in handling reception and all the things I’m too busy to do. As for the Charm team, they are all a mix of good friends and family; I really enjoy working with them and it keeps the environment fun and personal.

3. You have a super chic decor, graphic meets glitter. How did you pull together your design?

The salon is quite small so I decided to whitewash it to open up the space. White also acts as a good base to throw in different colours when we want to change it up. Of course the spa has to have a girly touch, too, so I added some glitter to give it sparkle – the crystal wall acts as a separation between the pedicure chairs from the main space, but adds the glam we were looking for.  As for the pedicure chairs, we opted for the sinks because we thought it was most sanitary and it didn’t look as tacky as the all in one pedicure thrones at other salons.

4. What was the biggest challenge and biggest reward opening your own business in Vancouver?

My biggest challenge was finding employees willing to come and work on this area. Like I said, Fraser  has previously been known as the least sought after location – the staff was concerned that we wouldn’t get the clientele to remain busy. Im glad they trusted my vision a it has definitely paid off. Of  course, being head of my business is also rewarding. I decide everything! This all me and I express myself here. The clients in this area are the best I’ve worked with. Love this area!

5. What are your top services? For colours, which ones are reigning most popular in the city?

Top services would be Gel manicures (shellac). It’s the best thing that has come out for nails. Long lasting and beautiful shine, combined with zero drying time. It’s amazing.

The trendy colours range according to season but surprisingly our most popular colour to date is a soft, natural pinky white. It suits everyone and looks good for any weather and any occasion. Our top picks are “Faint Pink” and “Ballerina” by nobility. I don’t know how many bottles we’ve gone through. Countless!

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Street Style: Jessica Karalash

Personal Stylist Jessica Karalash’s Lace Love look recently earned her the Vanity Fair International Best-Dressed users’ choice award online.

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Vancouver has often flown under the fashion radar when considering global style. We have, by comparison, a laid back lifestyle and wardrobes to suit. Recent years, however, have seen an uprising of fashion-forward trend-setters that have raised our local fashion awareness and helped carve us out a solid spot on the world’s style map. Our city has always had a seemingly underground collective of talented industry creatives, and now – combined with the fresh and hungry new generation of fashion stylists, designers and enthusiasts – we definitely have ourselves a note-worthy “scene”.

Not nearly as unattainable as it may seem, personal style is not just for the who’s-who of Vancouver fashion. We have seen an influx of entrepreneurs offering creative services to the public in efforts to amp up personal confidence through fabulous style. One of the forerunners in the industry doing just that is the lovely Jessica Karalash, founder and creative force behind KurateStyle. Not only does Jessica offer personal wardrobe services, she also hosts and speaks at many events around the city, offering her expert advice.

I had an opportunity to chat with Jessica (who, by the way has single-handedly put a huge waving flag in Vancouver’s spot on the world style map – she was recently featured on the Vanity Fair International Best-Dressed Challenge – User’s Choice in May for her Lace Love look) and get a sense of how and why KurateStyle got started.

If you’re like me and can’t get enough of this girl, check her out June 12 at TOPSHOP where she will be hosting a Summer Stylin’ trend talk from 6-8pm.
JS: What is KurateStyle and how did it all begin?
JK: KurateStyle is an online personal styling platform for men and women. It began from a love of fashion, technology, and entrepreneurship. I’ve always loved fashion and helping friends choose outfits. Growing up, I always had friends, and even strangers, ask how I put outfits together. I created KurateStyle as a way to help people live their best lives and feel amazing about themselves. I love seeing how my clients light up when they build their personal style. Whatever stage of life they are in, whether it’s a new job or becoming parents, it’s amazing to see how their wardrobe can change how they feel about themselves.

Can you describe your services? Do you have a most popular service?
My most popular service is the personal style package for clients. We go over their entire lifestyle, style goals and dreams and even their fears. Then I customize and tailor a package that is unique to them. It has a celebrity style match, colour and body shape analysis, do’s and don’ts, wardrobe-building lists, and techniques and real outfits that they can purchase online from our partner stores that will build their new style and wardrobe. It is a very in-depth process and is all done online.
I also do in-home consultations for special clients – a wardrobe makeover and detox, which completely sets the stage for a new wardrobe and look – and editorial-type style shoots with models and clients that want photographs for their portfolio or as keepsakes.
I am also launching a new website (very soon) which will have additional services and a robust online styling system for my clients.

What are your fave style tips as we move into summer?
There are a few I’m in love with right now. Play around with patterns and prints, and mix and match them. I love to keep some polish in the summer. Always be deliberate in your choices – this goes for guys and girls.

How does Vancouver’s fashion scene compare to other Canadian cities?
Vancouver’s fashion scene is very lifestyle focused, and it’s growing! I think Vancouver is a very active city, and it has a warmer climate than most Canadian cities, which is reflected in our style. We have some big names here, like Aritzia, Lululemon (who is branching into lifestyle, along with their classic yoga looks), and Indochino is growing quite rapidly. There is a great scene of Vancouver fashion bloggers and stylists who are absolutely amazing, supportive and collaborative as well. I also love the boutiques here.

What are your favourite local Vancouver fashion boutiques?
There are so many! If I forget any, because I might, please feel free to email me with questions! Violet Boutique, Oliver & Lilly, The Block, Secret Location, Oak & Fort, Rebecca Bree, The Latest Scoop, Wear Else, Lynn Steven, JennyfleurLoves (who is now online, but does pop-ups), Eco Diva Beauty (for beauty products, also online, but is Vancouver-based).

What are the top three must-have items that each a man and woman should own?
For men and women, surprisingly, they are the same. Fitted black blazer, white V-neck tee, perfectly fitting jeans (and a great pair of shoes – bonus for this!)

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Street Style Haute List: April 10


Easter hits us full Spring ahead. I spotted this week’s fashionista, Sara,  walking out of The Fairmont Vancouver after enjoying Easter brunch with family and friends. Her fresh tangerine dress is perfect for such an occasion, celebrating spring and all it’s colourful creations. Sara’s light grey cotton button-down, vibrant orange dress and turquoise belt are all from Oak & Fort in Gastown. Her add ons include a Marc by Marc Jacobs classic percy bag accompanied by ankle boots from Aldo. Hope you all had a great long weekend!

If you loved today’s street-style finds, here’s the link’s:
Cotton button-down, orange dress, turquoise belt – Oak & Fort
Marc by Marc Jacobs Percy bag – Aritzia – $198 (See in stores)
Ankle boots – Aldo

– Chelsesa Jackson