The fashion stork has finally delivered GapMaternity to Canada. The collection, which has been available in the United States since 2003, mirrors styles offered by Gap's regular women's lines. Maternity jeans come in the same denim washes, and sweaters and T-shirts have the Gap sensibility but with room for expansion. Stretch flares come with a demi-panel designed to make you look and feel great. You'll find this latest addition to the Gap family at BabyGap stores -- three in Ontario and one in Calgary. For more info, visit www.gap.com
Vancouver unleashes another design guru
After flitting through some of the top fashion houses in the world, such as John Galliano and Nina Ricci, Afshin Feiz has finally alighted. The Art as Flirtation and Surrender collection of the Iranian-born designer is inspired by 13th-century Persian poet Rumi. By incorporating images of classic English tweeds and the patterns of butterfly wings, he had created a feminine line of curvy suits and flowing tops and skirts in silk georgettes, chiffons and velvet that is romance and poetry incarnate. Available and Leone in Vancouver; 604-683-1133.
Liz Claiborne gets real
YZZA, a new concept store created by Liz Claiborne's Montreal office, is trying to tempt women aged 35 and up who want to dress the way they feel. "She doesn't feel old," says product director Jamie Lee Goulakos, "so she doesn't want to look it." YZZA has adapted the trends to flatter a curvier body. A shrunken jacket is a little longer, for example, and the tweeds -- the fabric of the season -- are lighter, so they don't add bulk. Price range: $50 for skirts and pants; $49 to $89 for blazers. Nothing is priced over $100. Four stores: one in New Westminster, B.C., and three in Ontario (Toronto, Vaughan and Kitchener).
Pucker up Gaultier!
Jean Paul Gaultier (Assouline), by fashion historian Farid Chenoune, documents the designs of the former enfant terrible of the fashion world. Since the end of the '70s, when he debuted his first collection, Gaultier has used his tailoring skills to create astonishing and irreverent send-ups of fashion, walking a tightrope -- like with his bum-baring jeans and Madonna's cone bra -- between beauty and the beastly, elegance and outright lewdness. $23.95; available at Holt Renfrew and bookstores across Canada or at www.assouline.com.
Photo courtesy of the Gap