Culture Prince George meets butterflies; is wonderstruck

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George meets butterflies Prince George meets butterflies; is wonderstruck

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? (Image courtesy of Getty).

It finally happened. For the first 11 months of his life, Prince George, despite having travelled the world, lived in castles and met many wonderful and fantastic creatures, had never seen anything that impressed him quite so much as his own chubby-cheeked reflection. And then he went to the butterfly conservatory.
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Fashion Editor’s pick: Life’s a beach for bathing suit designer Amahlia Stevens

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croppedtop vitaminA 716x1024 Editors pick: Life’s a beach for bathing suit designer Amahlia StevensSporty sailing-inspired striped bikini from Vitamin A. #want
Image courtesy of George Pimentel Photography

It hasn’t exactly been a summer that inspires one to put on a bikini. I think we’re all still suffering from post-polar-vortex syndrome, so we naturally gravitate toward wool sweaters and cashmere sweats when the temperature dips below the seasonable norm. But in a fantasy world, where it’s actually 30+ºC, sunny and deliciously humid, I know what we’d all want to wear: either a chic caftan or sporty-chic two-piece from Vitamin A. I had a chance to meet Amahlia Stevens, the brand’s designer, when she was in Toronto recently for the debut of her latest collection at the Shangri-La Hotel. The pieces are sporty, modern and chic.

Caftan vitaminA 716x1024 Editors pick: Life’s a beach for bathing suit designer Amahlia StevensCaftan-cool. Perfect for cocktail hour. Image courtesy of George Pimentel Photography

“I was inspired by the glam shots that Slim Aarons took of socialites lounging around pools in the ’60s,” explained Stevens. “I wanted to capture this idea of the jet set being on vacation feeling relaxed and happy. It’s not Parisian glamour–it’s more laid-back California style.” It’s a mood that comes naturally to Stevens, who is based in Laguna, California. When I inquired as to whether she remembered her first bikini, it was like asking a woman to recall her first crush. “I have been obsessed with them since I was a little kid,” she says, smiling. “But the real obsession started when I was a teenager. I remember buying my first swimsuit with my own money. It was the teeniest little bandeau top and Brazilian-cut bottoms in a tie-dye ombré print. It was a hot red, pink and orange. I would love to have it now.”

leopard sport vitaminA 716x1024 Editors pick: Life’s a beach for bathing suit designer Amahlia StevensSpot-on. Leopard-print two piece. Image courtesy of George Pimentel Photography

Joseph Campbell once wrote that if you follow your bliss, “the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” Stevens is a compelling example of how that approach to life can eventually pay off. For years she ran her own design company, creating sportswear for other companies. As a former bathing-suit model, she wanted to design bikinis, but no one would hire her because she didn’t have experience in that field. So, she started designing suits for herself. “I was a smaller top than bottoms, and separates didn’t really exist in those days,” she recalled. “The only choices were giant American cuts, which I would never wear, or teeny-tiny Brazilians—I didn’t mind that they were tiny, but they were set too high on the waist. I wanted something to sit across my hips. That’s why I created what I call the ‘California cut.’”

sporty vitaminA 716x1024 Editors pick: Life’s a beach for bathing suit designer Amahlia StevensPutting the sporty in chic.
Image courtesy of George Pimentel PhotographyS

Stevens said that friends started asking her to make pieces for them and then clients soon followed. She credits ELLE U.S. with kick-starting her career. “My big break came when the magazine’s stylist, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, started using my pieces in her editorials,” recalled Stevens. “She would pair one of my bottoms with designer looks, like a Prada top or an item from Missoni. Carlyne really launched my career. I’ve never met her—one day it would be nice to thank her in person.”

Stevens reveals the real secret to wearing a bikini—regardless of your body type—as well as her three favourite beaches in the world. 
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Culture #flowermonday: La Primavera Farms

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la primavera farms #flowermonday: La Primavera Farms

Lovely and local: this week’s bouquet from La Primavera Farms.

This week’s Flower Monday takes us on a journey to where flowers come from (you know, before the stork delivers them to florists). This colourful bouquet came to us fresh from the fields of La Primavera Farms, a Dundas, ON flower farm!

La Primavera Farms has over 40 acres of cut flowers growing on their property in the Ontario green-belt (just imagine how amazing that must smell, people). They hand-cut each bloom when it’s ready, and then send their (beautiful) crop out to local farmer’s markets, which includes the Toronto Flower Market (next held August 9, make it a date).

We chatted with Joanne Feddes, the third generation of her family to work those green acres (they’ve been doing flowers for the past 17 years, FYI), about life on the flower farm, what her favourite flower is, and her most cherished flower related memory.
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