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Fall’s best foot forward

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Even though I know that fall precedes winter, it’s still my favourite fashion season. The colours are rich and luxurious, with golds, rusts, wines and browns flooding our closets. We are also able to dig into new footwear styles, leaving open toes behind for another year.

With fall/winter, so many footwear styles come into play. Pumps, of course. Booties, naturellement. Knee-high boots, de rigueur. And trending this year, over the knee styles. For formal evenings, delicate strappy heels add bling to formalwear. Sigh. It’s shoe heaven!

Poppy Barley front window

I stopped by Poppy Barley‘s new flagship store in Edmonton this past weekend. I’ve always ordered their footwear online, but I must say it’s delightful to be able to slip on new styles before you buy.

I love the rich colours and lux leathers that Poppy Barley is using for its F/W18 collection. The craftsmanship is superb.

If your size or colour is not currently in stock, you can order a pair in store or online.

I couldn’t resist these new soft oxford flats in matte black (left)… and the heeled loafter in black were begging to join my wardrobe!

Poppy Barley flats and oxford heels edit

The soft oxfords are just that – incredibly soft and easy to wear with a solid subber sole. They’re like wearing slippers! I highly recommend them if flats are your thing. These are versatile enough to be worn with jeans and casual looks, or with smart casual attire.

The heeled loafer will be my 2017-18 go-to to pair with business trousers and suits. Again, soft memory foam insole means incredible comfort, while the styling is on point with this year’s trends.

Poppy Barley has set the highest standards for ethical and sustainable operations. This means paying a good wage to workers, properly handling chemicals, and reducing the impact on the environment. Read more.

It’s the whole package. Artfully designed, on-trend footwear, made in sustainable factories by employees paid a fair wage.

And, comfy too!

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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!