This story category covers fashion trends, clothing and accessories—plus shopping and shops.

Jane Birkin straw basket

Our 6 Favorite Straw Handbags For Summer

Nothing says summer like a straw carryall. Here are six we’d love to take everywhere from the office to the beach. (LOOKBOOK)

Jane Birkin straw basket


CHEAP & ICONIC | According to Wikipedia, the infamous Hermès Birkin handbag, which retails for a minimum $9,000 and has “ultimate fashion indulgence” written all over it, was conceived in the early 1980s after a chance meeting between then Hermès CEO Jean-Louis Dumas and singer/actress Jane Birkin on an airplane. She was travelling with a bag she’d already made famous, a wicker market basket she employed as both a handbag and weekend luggage.

This original Birkin, the Jane-invented one (pictured above as she carried it in the 1960s), was a holdover from her hippie chick days, when proletarian peasant sacks and straw bags of all sorts were in fashion—as they are again today.

Here are six cool straw totes—priced from $18 to $60—we’d take along to France (where Birkin still lives), or anywhere else for that matter. —Annabel Lee Read more


Get The French Preppy Look For Waay Less

We love French preppy as much as the next fashionista. But is Altuzarra for J. Crew’s interpretation of it worth the money when you can pull together an equally acceptable version for an absolute rock bottom price?



THE LOOK FOR LESS | “Steal of the Month” is a feature—actually a double page spread—that appears at the very back of Vogue magazine every month. In the current issue, the steal is the top from Altuzarra’s capsule collection for J. Crew pictured above, and it’s been paired with wide leg jeans from Acne ($350) for an overall look Vogue editors have labeled “French preppy.” Joseph Altuzarra’s tops start at around $800 (on Net-A-Porter), so, of course, the J. Crew pullover seems shockingly inexpensive at $85—and it would be an absolute steal if it looked less basic J. Crew and more quirky Altuzarra, but it doesn’t.

What we are trying to say is that wardrobe pieces this iconic and familiar don’t need big label validation. To prove it, here’s our version of French preppy for a quarter of the price. Read more

Salma Hayek, and Daughter Valentina in Redfish Kids butterfly Dress, $55

Redfish Kids Store Opens In Vancouver

It’s about time Canada’s most original children’s wear designers/manufacturers set up their own shop made of brick and mortar.

Salma Hayek, and Daughter Valentina in Redfish Kids butterfly Dress, $55CULT SHOP OPENING | There are any number of interesting clothing designers in Vancouver, but when it comes to kids’ apparel, one company in particular stands out: Redfish Kids. Their clothes for girls and boys are not inexpensive, but they are great value when you consider that they’re impeccably made (in Metro Vancouver) and not about to wear out (think coveted hand-me-downs). Still, qualities like durability don’t begin to explain how Redfish Kids came to achieve a cult status, with celebrity moms such as Salma Hayek (pictured above) outfitting their offspring in the label. Read more

Joe Fresh Maxi Skirt + Tee

The Latest Joe Fresh Fashion Is Here—Yeah!

The fabulous Fresh Off The Runway collection has landed at Joe Fresh boutiques—quick, check the sofa for pocket change!

Joe Fresh Maxi Skirt + TeeTHIS JUST IN | We write so much about our love of all things Joe Fresh that you might think the company pays us to chat them up (they don’t, btw); it’s just that we remain perennially impressed by the fashion coolness that surrounds everything this brand creates.

We don’t care who you are or how much money you have to spend on your wardrobe, you are going to want to have a few pieces of Joe in your closet because they are just that interesting—and fun. Here’s what we’re loving (our own mini lookbook) from the limited edition SS2012 runway collection, which is in select Joe boutiques (in Vancouver that means Granville Street) right now.

Read more

Roma dress - Icebreaker

Icbreaker’s Roma Is The Ultimate LBD

The perfect little black dress will take you from dawn to dusk, office to dinner—oh yes, and even around the world.

Roma dress - Icebreaker


BUY RIGHT | The perfect little black dress is to women what a well-tailored suit is to men: a garment that works in a range of situations. And the most perfect little black dress of all may be the Roma wrap dress from Icebreaker. Read more

Hermes Scarves - Hermes

Our Favourite Scarf Tying Tutorials (VIDEOS)

With more than 23 million Google entries for how to tie a scarf, here are the ones we found most useful.

Hermes Scarves - Hermes


WHAT THE PROS KNOW | If you, like me, have been tying all your scarves with the same two or three knots for years, and you want to add new and different twists and loops to your repertoire (I know I do), then this Frugalbits post is for you. Read more

Tory Burch + FEED bag - Holt Renfrew

Grab These Tory Burch + FEED Bags At Holts

These totes amazing burlap bags designed by Tory Burch are priced to fly off the shelves.

Tory Burch + FEED bag - Holt Renfrew


LOOK GOOD/DO GOOD | As someone who considers herself (at least somewhat) socially conscious, fashion forward and value minded, I’m excited for Holt Renfrew’s April 30th launch of limited-edition totes by Tory Burch + FEED. Not only do these casual cross-body bags look good, but buying one of them will do some good too, for the Tory Burch Foundation, which supports the economic empowerment of women, and for FEED, American model Lauren Bush Lauren’s charity dedicated to eliminating world hunger—one child at a time. Read more

DVF Gap for Girls

DVF’s Fashions For Girls Are At The Gap

Diane von Furstenberg’s new collection for wee-to-tween girls are now at two Gap locations in Metro Vancouver.

DVF Gap for Girls


NEW NOW NEXT | If the economic downturn in the U.S. has proven anything, it’s that diffusion collections, clothing lines by top fashion designers for less-expensive off-the-rack shops, are good for business. Witness the recent mad rush to purchase Marni’s collection at H&M or the near panic buying that ensued when Missoni for Target launched last September.

With all the advanced hype, Diane von Furstenberg’s cute-as-a-button collection for wee-to-tween girls, which launches North America-wide today—and will be available for purchase at 8 a.m.  (yes, that early—they promise coffee and sweets!) at the Gap in Park Royal and Oakridge Centre—will undoubtedly trigger a similar outbreak of shopping fever. Read more

Tiffany Rings

How & Where To Buy An Engagement Ring

Here’s the formula for buying a diamond engagement ring—and—where to get maximum bling for your buck.

Tiffany Rings


SHOPPING AROUND | We like to think that it isn’t the size of a diamond engagement ring that matters—but let’s face it, that’s what most people notice first. Still, what really draws you to a diamond and holds your attention is its visual performance—the brilliant, sharp flashes of multicoloured light that give it “life” when it’s moved. This has nothing to do with a diamond’s size and everything to do with its cut and clarity. Read more

Marni H&M

See Marni’s New Collection For H&M

In a little over two weeks, women will be lining up at H&M around the world for a chance to snag Marni’s spectacular fashion at a bargain price.

Marni H&M


SAVE ON CHIC | With a lookbook that surfaced online only days ago, Marni’s new collection for H&M, which will be available in 260 stores worldwide on March 8, has the blogosphere buzzing, and it isn’t just because the international luxury brand, founded by Italian fashion designer Consuelo Castigilioni, has produced the next big high-style low-end line.

Marni’s diffusion collection is considered to be as sophisticated and idiosyncratic as the original fashion, clone clothing and accessories that mimic the Marni you see on the runway. All of which is died-and-gone-to-fashion-heaven news for the arty, discerning, Sofia Coppola types that make up the brand’s fan base. Read more