May 12th, 2009
If deciding what to pack—whether for a week in Venice or a weekend in Vegas—sometimes seems as difficult, complicated and time-consuming as international relations, we give you Diplomatic Immunity.
Catering to the jet-set man and woman, the new South Granville store has all kinds of sojourns covered with its four-in-one collection that includes nautical-inspired Cruise, khaki-driven Safari, city-ready Cosmopolitan and comfy-chic Airport Lounge. Owned by a Vancouver architect, designed by a Parisian and fashioned locally in European fabrics, the line is inherently international. Walking through the gorgeous space with its intricately carved white wall, artful window display, and ogee arches is a trip in itself too.
We honed in on a classic lightweight knit top with ties aptly called the Jacqueline ($255) that definitely befits a first lady of fashion.
Diplomatic Immunity, 2956 Granville St., Vancouver, 604-734-0060.
May 5th, 2009
You can’t put a price on a mother’s love, but you can show her you love her at any price point. Herewith, Vitamin Daily Vancouver's top 5 prezzies (from $25 to a splurge) to make Mom feel posh this Mother’s Day:
Send her to see smoky songstress (and super mom) Diana Krall perform ballads and bossa nova standards from her new album Quiet Nights at the Orpheum on Thursday, May 14. From $69.50 at www.ticketmaster.ca
Have her smelling as young as she feels with a bottle of Ageless perfume—its notes of pink grapefruit, mango, pomegranate, jasmine and vanilla musk have been clinically-proven to make you smell eight years younger to others (but no matter what your age, the scent is delightful). $98 at The Bay, www.agelessfantasy.com
Give her a dash of timeless Italian style with a lovely, lightweight summer scarf by Faliero Sarti, fine fabric supplier to the likes of Giorgio Armani and Ann Demeulemeester. From $231 at Misch, www.misch.ca
March 24th, 2009
We asked five fashionable ladies behind some of the best boutiques in town what one item takes top spot in their spring wardrobe. Herewith, their picks:
Genevieve Allen, Violet
“The piece I can't live without this spring is the elle dress ($628.00) by Sachin and Babi. It's effortless and beautifully detailed. It's also featured in the April issue of Vogue—and what girl could resist that!”
Katrina Wright, Blubird
"I can’t wait to wear Single Dress’ floral patio dress ($555). I love its vibrancy, femininity, and flirtatiousness. I’ll wear it with my flats or wedge heels, at work or play.”
Veronika Baspaly, Lark
“My spring pick is the stand collar pullover ($338) by Chimala, because it's made with the most amazing fabric that feels like nothing else. It layers under sweaters easily, and on its own will take me into the summer in a style that I love.”
Natalie Tersigni, Gravity Pope Tailored Goods
“My must-have this season, and well beyond, is Alexander Wang’s leather and suede classic motorcycle jacket ($2,065). His luxurious designs and fabrics are the talk of the fashion world right now and so worth the splurge. I tried it on and fell in love.”
Michelle Rizzardo, One of a Few
"The Minimarket zipper wedge boot ($360) is my absolute must have. The boot is comfortable, edgy and really sexy. I can throw them on with pants, skirts and dresses—in other words, I won't need another shoe all season."
March 17th, 2009
There may be Irish blood coursing through our veins, but we don’t do head-to-toe leprechaun.
Rocking a subtle shamrock pendant by Pyrrha however, we can do. Gorgeous enough to wear well beyond St. Paddy’s Day, the sterling silver dangler is cast by hand with an authentic 19th century wax seal and features the Gaelic-derived “Erin go Bragh” which means “Ireland Forever” (weighty and well-made, it will truly last you that long).
It’s crafted in Vancouver too, so getting one will make you green in more ways than one.
$85 at Blue Ruby, www.blueruby.com for locations.
March 3rd, 2009
If we had our own genie in a bottle, he’d look like Jake Gyllenhaal and he’d grant us these three things from the new Wish.list Boutique in Kits:
1. The sporty Jamie handbag ($260) from Elise Caarels—an Aussie line you’ll only find here.
2. A glam Swarovski velvet headband ($62) by celeb favourite Michelle Roy.
3. Gorgeous scented stationery ($38) from the Soap and Paper Factory.
There are also cute gifts for baby and bridal showers, mod housewares from Torre & Tagus and brilliant body products by Whish. Guess the rest of our list will have to be left up to loved ones (hint, hint).
Wish.list Boutique, 2811 W. Broadway (at MacDonald), Vancouver, 604-676-8070, www.wishlistboutique.ca
January 22nd, 2009
We headed to the Land of the Rising Sun for a frenzied week of shopping, sushi and sake.
Built in the ’70s, Hotel Okura in the Akasaka district is old-school Japan at its best. The ultra-attentive staff (including kimono-clad elevator assistants) can help you get to the best shops or book a bullet train to Kyoto. Pressed cotton kimonos are laid out on the bed every afternoon: Call up for a soothing in-room massage (¥6200). Hotel Okura Tokyo, 2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-0001, Japan, + 81 (3) 3582-0111, www.okura.com
The question is, where can’t you shop? In a city where Louis Vuittons are as prominent as Starbucks, you’ll need the self-discipline of a samurai not to spend, spend, spend. Walk along Harajuku street, lined with avant-garde shops and teens dressed in wild anime costumes, and at the end find a Marc by Marc Jacobs shop carrying Little Marc, men’s clothing, sunglasses, and an extensive selection of bags, shoes and watches. 4-25-18 Jinuumae Shibuya-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, +03 5772 5561, www.marcjacobs.com
For trendy yet practical pieces at a decent price point, we headed to Beams, a Japanese lifestyle chain. We scooped up a house label plaid top (all the rage in Japan right now) with a cinched waist for ¥15000. www.beams.co.jp
Located in the ultra modern Conrad Hotel (the abstract lobby sculptures alone are worth the visit), we headed straight to the 28th floor for a table at chef terrible Gordon Ramsay’s casual brasserie, Cerise. The three-course menu with wine pairings (¥8000) had us feasting on crab salad with whipped avocado, braised lamb and a rich chocolate torte with salty caramel gelato.
For a calming afternoon activity, visit the pristine East Garden at the Imperial Palace (the Emperor and his family reside on the grounds). With its meticulous landscaping, Bonsai trees and soothing Koi fish pond, you’d never guess that thousands pass through this garden everyday. Free admission, closed Mondays and Fridays, access from Otemachi Station and Tokyo Station.
January 13th, 2009
Is it wishful thinking to want garments that look good, do good and withstand the elements? Not when you have Nau.
The triple threat clothier out of Portland is getting big buzz for its stylish designs fit for city streets and ski hills, and it’s business practices. Utilizing organic and recycled fabrics, Nau meets strict green standards and gives back, with two percent of every purchase going to a social or environmental cause of your choosing.
We love their Modus Trench ($425) for its fresh, modern detailing, and Down Vest ($145) made urban with an asymmetrical zipper and diagonal baffles.
The label is still under the radar in Canada, so rest assured you’ll be trend setting and so very now.
January 6th, 2009
In a parallel universe we’re besties with Carine Roitfeld and she lends us haute frocks from the French Vogue fashion closet. In the universe we actually reside in, there’s DuJour.
The ingenious new boutique acknowledges that not all of us can justify owning floor length Gucci and lets customers borrow designer dresses for a fraction of the cost.
You get a little black D&G for three nights and they do the dry cleaning. And the more the dress is borrowed, the more its purchase price descends, so if decide you can’t part with that Prada number, you don’t have to.
With this season’s Cynthia Rowley and Betsey Johnson, and past season picks from Emporio Armani and Calvin Klein, it’s a frugal fashionista’s addiction du jour.
DuJour, 628 Abbott St., Vancouver, 604-688-3524, www.iwantdujour.com
December 12th, 2008
1. The Crayon Keeper (comes with crayons) is a kid’s—and mother’s—dream come true. $12.95 at Style Kid.
2. This wooden caterpillar rattle doubles as a Christmas ornament! $16.19 at The Ecochic Baby.
3. Doodle all Year: big, creative colouring books by cult illustrator Taro Gomi, $14.40 at Chapters.
4. For the ACDC wannabe, Chuck one-stars are always fit, $20 at Modern Kid.
5. For the tiny chef, Andrey Durbach’s (Parkside, La Buca, Pied-a-Terre) whimsical new one-recipe book Delicious Chicken Soup, will have them on dinner duty in no time. $20 at Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks.
6. A Red Devil racecar made of bamboo for the fast-track enviro-kid. $16.99 at RaspberryKids.
7. Let them draw on their clothes with a chalkboard T-shirt. $35 at Red Poppy.
8. Happy campers will love the kid-sized sleepover bags from Mountain Equipment Co-Op. Off to grandma’s now! $33-$38 at MEC.
9. Personalized stationary for kids from Vancouver’s Haute Note ($24/8 cards) for the budding socialite.
10. The Little drummer boy will go crazy for a wooden drum kit (noise canceling headphones not included) $46 at Lavish and Lime.
December 9th, 2008
We love a park full of foliage, but one teeming with new frocks we’re more inclined to camp out in.
At brand new boutique Vincent Park, there are many reasons to stay awhile. Other than the clothes, which range from delicate silks by Graham & Spencer to affordable staples by Sweden’s Dr. Denim, and the cute curios like artful Poketo plates, fragrant Illume candles and sassy Sailor Jerry pint glasses, there’s the place, run by two stylishly down-to-earth sisters and adorned with resplendent old relics. At the entryway, an antique grandfather clock turned display case greets you and at the end of the corridor, a restored vintage photo booth will capture you in Amélie-like black and white before you duck into the dressing room.
And Vincent Park outfits both sexes, so no need to feel bad about dragging your other half along on this walk in the shop—especially if you’re both happily hipster.
Vincent Park, 4278 Main St., 604-879-6665, www.vincentpark.ca