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Where do you shop?

Christmas decoration on defocused lights background

Happy Holidays

Shopping season is in full swing. As you prepare for Christmas or Hanukkah, I’m interested to know where you shop for friends and family.

In most cities, the really interesting boutiques are the small, independent shops in trendy (or not so trendy) areas. Here you will find unique brands and lines that don’t dominate the mall. You’ll also find knowledgeable help to select merchandise that fits your needs – especially if you’re gift shopping.

Online shopping is a game changer. I find there are really good online offerings at some of the US’s major chains, especially specialty shops for plus size and big & tall. Canada’s selection in these categories is very limited. Check out Macy’s for a great selection of reasonably priced clothing. Saks and Nordstrom are strong contenders in designer fashion. All ship to Canada using Border Free – a service that calculates exchange, duty and taxes which you pay at checkout. It’s hassle free!

While I can’t compile a list of independent shops for every city, here are some thoughts for the Edmonton area:

124 Street

  • Shades of Grey
  • Floc Boutique
  • Pear Tree
  • Vespucci Ladies Consignment

Downtown

  • Who Cares Wear?
  • Workhall Studio

Whyte Ave

  • Gravity Pope
  • Bamboo Ballroom
  • Lola’s
  • C’est Sera
  • Galibelle (for interchangeable shoes)
  • Avenue Clothing Co.

St. Albert

  • Bella Maas Boutique (also in Sherwood Park)
  • Cerulean
  • Modern Eyes

Southgate Centre has a great mix of chain and independent stores.

West Edmonton Mall has a luxury row that includes Tiffany, Kate Spade NY, Marc Cain and others.

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Who are fashion shows really for?

runway

The September fashion shows have come to an end. This is the time when designers showcase their new looks for Spring/Summer 2018. Well, most of them do. Some showed “see now, buy now” looks ready for immediate purchase.

As the fashion industry contemplates the future of fashion weeks, the shows, and the guests, I think the styling of looks has, in many cases, gone beyond aspirational and is now so “artsy” that as they appear, these looks are not wearable.

I have been a Burberry fan for years. I love the tailored looks, heritage and quality construction that the House produces. In an attempt to push the envelope this year, creative director Christopher Bailey took show attendees on a wild ride. In my opinion, too wild. It was difficult to think this is the same House who brings us the well-crafted, highly coveted trenches that have been the Burberry staple for years.

This September’s show was received with high praise from the fashion industry, however I wonder how many women really felt inspired to rush out and make purchases.

Burberry FW 2017

Burberry, September 2017

The looks had way too much going on to really see the offerings clearly. This look (left), for example, shows four different prints under a plastic raincoat. Firstly, I don’t know anyone who could pull off this look as is. Secondly, I’m sure each piece is exquisite, but so many things are piled together, it’s difficult to really appreciate any one piece. It’s a big jumble. A hot mess, really – the kind of look that would have landed the wearer on “What Not to Wear.”

Contrast this with the elegant Sonia Rykiel House, and their Spring/Summer 2018 show in Paris, just a few weeks after Burberry.

Sonia Rykiel SS 18 2

Sonia Rykiel, Spring 2018

This look also uses multiple patterns, but the styling is more refined and focused. This is a look that most women I know could pull off. It’s easy to see the top and skirt, and they look cohesive.

Not that anyone from these houses care what I think, but I’m hopeful that as the fashion industry considers the future of fashion weeks, they think about staying in touch with their customers.

I’m much more inspired to look to Sonia Rykiel than Burberry.

How about you?