Estee Lalonde visits the ELLE Canada closet. Credits: Danielle Campbell
A few weeks back we had Youtube sensation Estee Lalonde into the ELLE Canada Closet to play a little game of Fishbowl Frenzy! Don't forget to pick up our January 2017 issue to see an exclusive portrait of the Internet star...and now IRL author of a new memoir / life advice book, Bloom.
A look from Khaite's resort 2017 collection.
Although Alessandro Michele makes a compelling case for more-is-more, some of us will always be drawn to restrained, clean designs. These labels are proving that minimal style doesn't have to boring or unimaginative.
This LA-based label shows that minimalism and ruffles aren't mutually exclusive. Everything is crafted from deadstock vintage fabrics, giving the clothes a nostalgic feel.
For those of you who prefer your bikini free of palm fronds and hibiscus blooms, there's Aussie brand Matteau Swim, known for basic maillots and high-waisted swim bottoms in a palette of black, grey and white.
Launched this year by Catherine Holstein, Khaite is a balance of the masculine and feminine. Fans of the capsule wardrobe concept will find that pieces in the line, from structured shirt dresses to fitted denim, compliment one another perfectly.
Alnea Farahbella's label Toit Volant is made in the USA with a commitment to sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices. The pre-spring 2017 collection is full of reworked takes on shirting, like this striped jumpsuit with a high collar.
This Montreal-based label keeps production local (the clothes are sewn in Montreal and some of the fabrics are printed in North America) and its ethos is similar to most of the other brands in this list: to let the individual add personality to the clothes.
Another L.A. brand with a dedication to North American manufacturing and sustainability, 5-year-old Shaina Mote is known for architectural, un-adorned basics and fluid silhouettes. If you could live your life without ever donning a polka dot or cheery stripe, the neutral colours in this line are made for you.
Founded by Tokyo-to-L.A. transplants Alexander Yamaguchi and Momoko Suzuki, brand Black Crane is an edgier, more street-wise take on minimalism – think cocoon dresses and wrap trousers with subtle origami and kimono inspiration.
Credits: Getty Source: Elle Canada
It's all the rage for a reason.
The word “stopover” generally does not elicit excitement. That’s because they typically involve trudging, jet-lagged and crumpled, through the airport of a city you are not visiting, standing in yet another customs queue and then killing time by buying coffee and overpriced snacks before the scrum to get back on a plane, score some space in the overhead bins and squeeze into your economy seat.
Not so with Icelandair. I’ve had what could be referred to as the opposite of aversion therapy. Conversion therapy? Yes, I’m a convert to stopovers. Especially when they involve magical landscapes, quirky customs and good food.
The airline offers free stopovers for up to seven nights to customers flying between North America and Europe. Seems like a no-brainer for those of us (and we are many) who’ve long had Iceland on the travel wish list but kept demoting it in favour of more cosmopolitan cities or multi-destination European tours. Plus, Iceland is having a moment, so you should probably get on it. Here’s why.
1. It is highly Instagrammable
Iceland is beautiful in a dramatic and varied way. Where it’s not fairy-tale-like, with vivid green landscapes and frothy rivers and waterfalls, it’s dark and brooding and rough. And when you see the moss-covered lava fields and columns of steam and gas rising from fumaroles (holes in the earth’s crust), it’s easy to see why some Icelanders still believe in elves.
The perfect setting for an insta. Credits: Ciara Rickard
2. You’ll eat really well
Although some Icelandic delicacies are not so appealing to Western palates (I wimped out on tasting their much-loved hákarl (fermented raw shark) after one whiff; think pungent, fishy Windex), most of the food I had in Reykjavik was up to the standard of that of any world capital. A meal at Fiskfélagi (Fish Company) was so good I hit “full” and kept going – which is saying something for someone who doesn’t usually love fish. Other great restos: Slippbarinn (one course here was a mini frying pan filled with melted cheese topped with honey and pine nuts – a bold move but oh so good) and Friðheimar, a tomato farm that serves tomato-themed food, from soup to cheesecake and ice cream.
3. “Swimming” is more fun here
When Icelanders talk about “going for a swim,” they often mean taking a dip in one of the country’s many outdoor geo-thermal pools – basically giant natural hot tubs. The famous Blue Lagoon is a beautiful example, but if you’re not into hoards of tourists (and, really, who is), there are plenty of quieter, more remote options. I had a restorative soak, Icelandic beer in hand, in the Secret Lagoon, which is about an hour and a half away from Reykjavik. Surrounded by bright-green fields and the hollowed-out remnants of the old stone-walled changing house, you literally feel like you’re in a secluded steamy pond full of just-the-right-temperature water. Hot tip: Get a drink at the little bar inside, and take your beer or wine into the pool for extra heavenliness.
Taking a dip in one of the country's many outdoor geo-thermal pools is a must. Credits: Ciara Rickard
4. Their music game is strong
For a tiny country (population: 332,529), Iceland has produced an impressive number of international acts – from Björk to Of Monsters and Men. One expat told me that almost everyone she met while living in Reykjavik either played an instrument or had friends and family members who did. Live music – in bars, living rooms, campsites – is part of the fabric of life here, while various music fests throughout the year attract fans from all over the world.
5. You can get a “Stopover Buddy”
Icelandair offers a free “buddy” service – a local who can act as your personal host for a day. The buddies are all airline employees and offer insider intel on where to eat, drink and frolic. I had the pleasure of hanging out with five buddies – all charming, fun and knowledgeable. They were also full of fascinating facts about their homeland – like, did you know that there’s an app there so people can check whether they’re related to someone before they start dating? Because it’s a small population largely descended from the same group of settlers, there’s a good chance someone could accidentally smooch a second cousin. Now they can just bump phones, and if no alarm goes off they’re good to go. (The Stopover Buddy service is available until March 31, 3017.)
Tell us who you need to find a gift for then tune in to our Facebook Live for a chance to win The Body Shop Beauty Advent Calendar ($99 value).
And we'll find one.
The holiday gifting struggle is real. Start by taking a look at our holiday gift guide. Still aren't quite sure what to get someone? Tell us who you can't figure out a gift for (and be as specific as possible: BF of 6 months or 6 years? Sister who spends all day watching makeup tutorials? Workplace Secret Santa? etc.) using the hashtag #TellELLECanada and tagging @ELLECanada on Instagram and/or Twitter. Then, tune in to our livestream on the ELLE Canada Facebook page December 9 at 1:30pm to see what we've picked!
We will randomly select one entry to win a beauty advent calendar from The Body Shop ($99 value).
Tell us who you can't figure out a gift for (and be as specific as possible: BF of 6 months? Sister who spends all day watching makeup tutorials? Workplace Secret Santa? etc.) using the hashtag #TellELLECanada and tagging @ellecanada on Instagram and/or Twitter. Then tune in to our livestream on the ELLE Canada Facebook page December 9 at 1:30pm to see what we've picked! We will randomly select one entry to win The Body Shop Advent Calendar ($99 value) 🎄🎁🎀 #holiday #gifts #giftguide