|Canadian Fashion & Chic
The Fashion eZine - Canada
When you think of iconic Canadian style, the Hudson's Bay blanket, toque, mukluks and plaid shirt come to mind. As classic and enduring as they are, we propose a stylish new Group of Seven, consisting of brands and items that have the hallmark of quintessential Canadiana.
There is a bag boom in the fashion world. And with the multitude of designer bags, there is one you are sure to encounter on any urban street in Canada – the Roots Village bag. This flat bag is a bestseller, and Roots reissues it each season in different colours. Its sturdy, long straps make it perfect to sling across your chest and go about your business hands-free. It's low-maintenance, practical and yet stylish – so just how Canadian is that, eh?
Village bag in super lux leather, $158, Roots
Not all Canadian jackets are puffy. Some, like Smythe jackets, are chic and tailored. This Toronto label, designed by Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe, focuses on jackets. The classic silhouettes, like the pea coat and equestrian blazer, are recognizable for tailoring, bright colours and nostalgic heritage fabrics, such as buffalo checks, frontier plaids, large-scale herringbones and ticking stripes. The duo say their designs suit all aspects of Canadian lifestyles – in the city, a trip to the mountains or coast, or to wear to work followed by an evening out.
Smythe worsted wool red Pierre jacket, $595, at Holt Renfrew, TNT The New Trend
Canada is not exactly a birthplace of cool jeans. That would be Denmark, Japan and Los Angeles. But we have one label that has the makings of an inductee into a denim hall of fame. Jeans by Fidelity, founded by Vancouver-based designer Jason Trotzuk, have gained a reputation for not only the quality of their fabric but that elusive characteristic of denim – superior fit. And the credit for that goes to their "bra for the butt" technology, which gives your rear a boost. And since Halle Berry, Eva Longoria, Demi Moore and Jessica Alba have all been seen sporting Fidelity jeans, there just might be something to that uplifting claim.
Fidelity's Tiger Lily, $165, fidelitydenim.com
CANADA GOOSE EXPEDITION PARKA
Canada Goose has been quietly manufacturing its outerwear in Canada for more than 50 years and selling it in over 30 countries. The iconic Expedition Parka has been used at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica for 20 years and is also used at the U.S National Science Foundation division of Polar Research. But while the name has been synonymous for years with the warmest, most durable down-filled parkas, it recently crossed over to fashion territory. Stylish hipsters have been snapping up the coats and jackets, which can now be found in some of Toronto's fashionable boutiques.
Yes, you can feel warm and look cool at the same time.
Expedition Parka, $610, canada-goose.com
POLAR BEAR DIAMOND
If you were not aware there is a thriving diamond industry in Canada, well, that could be because it's relatively young.
Polar Bear was one of the first diamond companies in Canada, founded after the first diamond mine opened, in 1998.
Each Polar Bear diamond comes with a government-issued certificate of authenticity, which guarantees your diamond is 100 per cent Canadian, conflict-free and was mined in accordance with strict environmental policies and labour laws.
Polar Bear 0.75 carat diamond necklace, $3,999, at fine jewellery retailers
LA CANADIENNE BOOT
While mukluks will always be part of our heritage, wet and slushy city streets call for something more waterproof. And patent. These can easily be wiped clean.
La Canadienne is the rare shoemaking company that still manufactures here.
Located in Montreal, the 47-year-old, family-owned company prides itself on its eco-friendly workplace. Known for insulated, waterproof boots and materials like shearling, waterproof suede and leather, the line also features insoles anatomically engineered to support the foot and soles that provide traction against icy sidewalks. This quality Canadian brand can be also found in luxury U.S. department stores such as Bloomingdale's and Neiman Marcus.
La Canadienne Pulley Patent boot, $245, at Ron White
DANDI MAESTRE JEWELLERY
When Dandi Maestre moved here from Colombia five years ago, like most immigrants, the graphic artist faced the prospect of starting over. But she used the opportunity to switch gears and design jewellery with natural materials such as wood, bull horn, bone, amber, driftwood and antlers, all abundant in her new homeland.
"I always liked natural, raw things," she says. "Things that you can take and show the beauty of how they really are in their most natural form."
And then there is the eco-friendly aspect, such as the antlers she uses, from Alberta. "The animal is not harmed. They shed their antlers and each piece is different and unique."
2 shed antler necklace, $345, dandimaestre.com
Canadian Fashion Designers
Canadian twins have catapulted to fashion fame with their Italian-based DSquared2 label, created in the mid-1990s.
Born in Canton China, moved to Vancouver where he studied graphic design, photography and fashion merchandising, at the Vancouver College of Art. He has built a veritable fashion empire.
Born and raised in Toronto. He has enjoyed tremendous media acclaim and been recognized as one of the leaders in the Canadian fashion scene. Inspiring clients, media and colleagues since he began designing, David is a Canadian fashion leader.
Yumi Eto is Vancouver-based and designs with the picture of uber-femininity and elegance in mind, and the result is ethereal and whimsical couture line.
This Calgary-based fashion designer made his meteoritic rise to fame when he showcased his first collection about two years ago. Hardy graduated from Ryerson University in 1997, and went on to study in London and New York.
Self-taught, he debuted his collection in 2003, giving fashionistas insight into tropical flair with hints of St. Tropez and Rio De Janeiro. The rising star has been dubbed Canadian fashion Wunderkind and placed on "to watch" lists.
Born in Canada in 1976 and grew up on the island of São Miguel, Portugal. He completed his degree in fashion design at Ryerson University in 2002 and was promptly employed as an apprentice by NYBased Design in New York and subsequently by established Canadian designer, David Dixon.
She was raised in a family of fashion designers in Vietnam. By the time she was twelve years old her designs were admired. Nguyet studied fashion design in Hong Kong. Having mastered the art, Nguyet continued her career in Canada.
Occupies a privileged place in Canadian fashion, not only for the quality of his ready-to-wear collections but for his constant involvement in the industry. He grew up in Montréal, and obtained a diploma in fashion design from the École des Métiers commerciaux in 1969 and a second diploma in graphic design from Studio Salette in 1971.
Creates clothes that emphasizes both comfort and refinement and ultra-feminity. Montréal-based.
Born in Montréal, Saint Pierre studied fashion design at Collége Lasalle, graduating in 1986. She got her start in business with a limited collection of two coats which she "shopped around" to retailers. Her first official collection was in March of 1987.
Canada's # 1 portal to beauty on the Internet, with makeup tips, skin care advice and the latest hair styles.
An informative cosmetics site.
All about Aveda's mission statement of 'Connecting beauty, environment and well-being'. Locations in Burlington and Oakville.
Canadian Weddings and Formal Wear
The latest designer fashions, haute couture and signature wedding dress collections. A very nice site for the bride to be.
An informative site for all brides to be.
Fairytale bridal designs, inspired by Medieval, Renaissance and Victorian periods, adapted for the comfort and freedom of the modern bride.
An informative site for wedding questions.
Men's formal wear for weddings as well as graduating students. Many locations in Ontario and across Canada.
Men's formal wear with locations accross Canada.
His bridal collection comprises select gowns, ranging in silhouette from classically elegant to sumptuously romantic.
Bridal fashion styles, wedding preparation information and tips, honeymoon suggestions and much more.
Canadian Fashion and Style-makers
Toronto street fashion photos, fashion news and trends, fashion industry forum and Toronto event listings...
Articles on fashion trends and beauty tips for women.
Shows fashion coverage from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver runways.