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



2 thoughts on “Spring Trends With Holt Renfrew’s Lisa Tant

  1. Just what I needed this morning, an awesome round up of spring fashion to chase away the “is it still winter/” blues.
    The advice about dressing for your audience is spot on. People shouldn’t judge our ability by our appearance…but we all DO!

    Thanks for adding a little spring to my day!

    Hope your time zones sync soon.