Spring Trends With Holt Renfrew’s Lisa Tant

Last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa Tant, Holt Renfrew‘s first-ever fashion editor. The former editor-in-chief at both Flare and Chatelaine. Lisa is tremendously accomplished, friendly, smart and — as you’d expect from Holt Renfrew’s fashion editor — very stylish.

I wrote a story for the Calgary Herald about Lisa’s visit. Check it out, then read on below for a few more tidbits from our conversation.

First up: Lisa’s picks for spring 2013.

  • Modern Geometry

Think big stripes, dynamic checks and geometric patterns. Black and white is popular, said Lisa, but we’ll see plenty of bright colours, too. Here’s a great striped maxi from Micheal Kors.

Michael Kors striped dress

  • All-White

Lisa’s take: Instead of a black suit or a little black dress, it’s white. To make it not look like a uniform, mix in lace, a different texture or a little bit of sheer. Look at different shades: cream, snow white.

Lisa suggested looking at street style looks for inspiration. I love this one:


  • Show Some Skin

Look for sheer insets, cut-out details, crochet or lace details. There are elegant ways you can make it work for the office. Lisa’s advice on sheer pieces in the office:

All-sheer isn’t going to work in the oil and gas boardrooms. I love the idea of sheer in a neckline or a sleeve. Wherever you want to direct attention to, that’s where the sheer or the bright colour or pattern should go. If you want to direct attention away from your hips, wear something bright around your neck. Draw attention to your neck and shoulders. If you have great legs, wear a sheer skirt. 

This Diane von Furstenberg dress with the sheer back is so elegant, don’t you think?

Diane von Furstenberg

  • Print Remix

Designers came out with all kinds of vibrant colors and wild prints this spring. If prints are outside your comfort zone, Lisa suggests easing in with one bright piece — like a great neon handbag. If you’re bold and want to mix prints, go for it! The key: keep the hues in the same family like this outfit below:



  • Make-Up

A couple of key themes are popular this season: more bright red lips (three cheers for that!) and a’60s factory girl style (think heavy brows, dark eyes and light lips).

  • Accessories

Add these to your list: ankle strap heels, smaller handbags and anything candy-coloured.


Finally, some great advice on wearing runway trends in everyday life:

You don’t want people staring on you and not respecting you based on what you’re clothed like. Clothes should empower you and take you where you need to go versus standing in the way.

If someone is very conservative, maybe it’s about bringing in a touch of colour that’s a brighter colour than normal. Maybe it’s a shoe or handbag in a colour or a wonderful statement necklace with a black dress or a grey flannel suit. A gorgeous statement necklace is a way of asserting your personality without scaring or intimating people. I dress for who my crowd is.


PS – I’m in Orlando for work this week. I’m so tired! The spring time change and I’ve moved two time zones ahead. Oof!

 Photos via here, here, here and here




New time, New watch

The fact that my new Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Lady arrived the day before we sprung ahead for Daylight Saving Time was purely coincidental, but I like the idea of celebrating the new time with a new watch. Daniel Wellington pieces are known for their preppy and clean style — a look that is very appealing to me these days. Behold, my new timepiece:

Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield LadyI’ve worn a metal watch for so long that it feels strange to wear a leather strap, but it’s growing on me. I intend to wear this watch until the strap is good and worn, which, I think, is the sign of a timepiece that’s had a good life.




Spring Break Swimwear

Proof that spring is just about a-sprung? The sudden influx of swimsuit-related press releases to my inbox.

I’m not lucky enough to escape on a spring getaway this year. If I were, I’d be packing a few of these beauties from California girl Monica Wise and her L*Space label. It’s a bit chic, a bit surfer girl and a whole lot stay-in-place comfortable.

I guarantee this first bikini will be in my possession by the time I’m a resident of California. Four more months to go!

L Space By Monica Wise - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 - Show


Adia top (multi) $103 and Olivia classic cut bottom (multi) $85

L Space By Monica Wise - Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim 2013 - Show

This year, Wise launched her new MAIO label, a demure little collection that pays homage to the fashion icons of the past. Here’s my favourite:

Peek a Boo - Backyard Garden

In Canada, L*Space is available at Holt Renfrew.

What about you guys? Any fun escapes coming up?


Photos courtesy of L*Space

Cinder & Sage Designs

I got home late Monday night from Newfoundland and I’m still not sure what time zone I’m in. So I’ll keep it short and sweet today.

Meet one of my favourite local brands, Cinder & Sage Designs by Lindsay Saunders. Lindsay makes vintage and vintage-inspired jewelry using recycled and vintage materials. The collection includes things like locket necklaces made with pages of old dictionaries, antique copper hair combs, cufflinks, rings and bracelets. Because she uses vintage materials, many of her works are one-of-a-kind.

I love the dictionary necklaces (I have the travel one) and the travel-inspired lockets, especially the ones using old Alberta scenes. They’re awesome going-away presents for friends or gifts for bridesmaids. Have a look…


This Old House vintage locket

viewfrom our tentprairie twigs necklace


You can purchase Cinder and Sage Designs online or at the following Calgary boutiques: Krickets, 27 Boutique, Rewind Consignment Clothing and Queen Boutique.


Photos via Cinder and Sage
PS – Congrats, Jen R.! You won the gift basket. We’ll send you an e-mail this morning. 

My Favourite Winter Workout Gear

I came home from California in the wee hours of Sunday morning. It was a beautiful perfect blue-sky Calgary day, my favourite kind of day for a winter run. Even though I was operating on no sleep, I set out for a jaunt and rattled off seven glorious miles that afternoon.

Great weather makes me run faster. The other thing that always works? New workout gear. In my hippie-weirdo way, I make a point of working out extra hard so I can infuse my new belongings with a really good workout spirit that can carry me through future workouts. Weird, yes; Effective, unquestionably. It’s a good trick for the end of January when New Year’s resolutions are wearing thin.

In case you’ve money burning holes in your wallet, here are my favourite things for right now:

Nike Pro Hyperwarm Printed Tights. I love patterned tights lately. They’re fun. And, believe me, nothing inspires you to get moving like seeing your ass in patterned spandex.



I’ve been ogling Lululemon’s Run: Bundle Up Jacket *Reflect jacket since Christmas. I keep talking myself out of it as I’m not going to need it in California next year. But every time I run outside, I regret not owing it.

Lululemon Bundle Up Jacket

In three out of the four seasons, I hate socks extend above the tops of my trainers. Winter’s the exception. I like my ankles covered for outside runs. I stick to my favourites, by Sugoi, in this tall version shown here.

Sugoi 1/4 Sock


I hate carrying anything in my shirt or jacket pocket when I run. It’s not comfortable to have anything banging against your chest or your back while running. I like the these Banjee Wrist Wallets. They’re big enough for an ipod and keys.


I’m eager to try the new Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris, one of the company’s new minimalist shoes. Lighter shoes have been easier on my Achilles as I increase my training after last summer’s injury.

Mizuno Wave EVO Cursoris

And, because it’s 10,000 degrees below zero tonight, I’m all about hitting up hot yoga tomorrow. This tie-dye bra from Free People nails it.

Free People Tie Dye Bra


That’s all, folks. Stay warm. Remember, all these things work well if you just feel like staying in and drinking hot chocolate, too. I won’t judge.