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Introducing Duval artisan handbags

Duval handbags

Duval handbags may be relatively new on the scene, but it’s a dream come true for designer Esther Hempel.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Esther and hear how she designs and manufactures her collection of handbags by hand.Duval tools of the trade

Yes, that’s right – everything is hand-crafted by Esther: hand-punched and hand-sewn.

These are gorgeous bags, made of the finest Canadian-sourced suedes and leathers. Esther’s care and attention to detail means that each bag takes about 14 hours for her to make. How did she begin her business?

 

“I learned to never settle,” says Esther. “Always go for your dreams.”

Duval handbags was launched in June 2016 and now includes a collection of eight handbags in styles including tote, cross-body, shoulder bag, wristlet and clutch.

“My collection is inspired with timeless styles, but with an edge,” said Esther. “They are versatile and go anywhere, from day to night.”

Esther also believes in giving back. “If we all do a little bit, we can make the world a better place,” she says. Esther donates 10% of her profits to the charity, A Better World Canada, which is currently supplying textbooks to Kenya.

Please visit her website, www.duvalcanada.com for more information and to purchase her well-crafted bags.

Another Edmonton fashion success story!

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Effortless style

Reading fashion magazines, listening to Nina Garcia or Diane von Furstenberg, “effortless style” is the most desired state to achieve. It is hailed as perfection.

But, exactly what is “effortless style.”

If you are thinking about it from pure semantics, “effortless” means without effort. In the context of fashion, it means looking pulled together and chic without looking like you tried to hard. While this advice may be clear to fashion insiders, interpreting it for the every day can be confusing.

I believe effortless style is about ensuring each element of your look is simply and stands on its own without a lot of embellishment. Let’s take a look at this, from head to toe.

anne hathawayHAIR

Soft, easy styles that don’t need a shellac of hairspray to hold in place. For many French women, for example, this means a chic bob or mid-length hair, loosely styled with movement and shine.

MAKE UP

The natural, no-makeup look is polished and clean. Too much foundation, heavy eyeshadow or liner, or bright lips (or, worse, all of this together!) is overdone. Not effortless. Anne Hathaway, right, shows what this total look is all about.

Marc Cain navy blazerWAIST UP FASHION

Tops and blouses should fit easily, with shoulder seams in line with shoulders, buttons done up without pulling or stretching the fabric, and sleeves that hit at the wrist. Jackets should be able to button easily, be fitted through the sleeves, and suit your silhouette.

WAIST DOWN FASHION

Trousers and skirts should accent the silhouette. Knowing your body type is critical to choosing lines that make the most of your shape. Skinny pants on women with wide hips just make your hips look bigger. Women with tummy bulges should never wear pleats. Always go for clean lines.

ACCESSORIES

Some women feel naked without earrings (I’ll admit, I do). Tiny earrings paired with a statement necklace can work, but large or dangly earrings with a statement necklace is too much. Add a cuff bracelet and a large watch, and now you’re way beyond “effortless.” Also consider your nail polish in your total look. Go for balance, and use a light touch.

SHOES

I have said this before, but shoes make the outfit. Jeans with athletic shoes look very christianlouboutin-militante-3151010_bk01_1_1200x1200_1434712192casual and should only be worn outside of work. Those same jeans with high heels and a blazer are acceptable in most workplaces. Pumps are dressier than sandals or open toes. I actually own these Louboutins, at right.

PULL IT TOGETHER

Here’s how you can shine with effortless style. Either of these looks show a polished work look, with options for accessories – you may not want to wear them all, but there some choices to consider. Simple is best.

 

pink and greenpulled-together