A Hint of Paris

Travel to 19th- and 20th-century Paris via Montreal this spring. Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ expansive new exhibition, opens on March 28 and features over 500 pieces from a private collection on display together for the first time. Stroll past the largest collection of works by Paul Signac (who helped develop the pointillism technique) as well as those of other masters, like Monet, Degas and Picasso, for a brief and beautiful reprieve from the modern day.

An Online Curated Boutique

After struggling to find products that suit their hair, skin and style, London- based Torontonians Samantha Newell and Alesha Bailey co-founded Yard + Parish. The curated online boutique features independent Black-owned brands from across Canada and the U.K. From fashion to lifestyle, the lineup includes homegrown picks like leather bags from De Lovet, boldly patterned silk scarves by artist Yaw Tony and ethical jewellery from Omi Woods (yardandparish.com)

Hand-Woven Flats

Moroccan designer Zineb Britel launched footwear brand Zyne with a mission to merge the craftsmanship of her culture’s traditional shoe—the babouche—with contemporary style. Each flat (or heel, if you’re looking for extra height) is hand- woven using materials like deadstock leather or biodegradable raffia. Whether they’re glammed up with beads and sequins or delicately embroidered, they’re the perfect shoes to pack for a spring getaway. ($378, zyneofficial.com)

An Inspiring Podcast

Hands up if you, too, have repeated “This is fine” to yourself over and over again when it was, in fact, far from the case. Enter Everything Is Fine, a new podcast made by women for women about life over 40. Hosted by Canadian documentarian Tally Abecassis and Lucky magazine founding editor Kim France, the pod goes in deep on the identity shift that women must navigate in this new stage of life. The show features guests from across the media and entertainment industry tackling fears, health, career, self-care and how they feel about being called “middle-aged.”

A Site Dedicated to Women-Made Art

Considering that only 2 percent (that’s not a typo) of art sold at auctions globally is created by women, supporting female artists is more important than ever. That’s why you should head to Mrkt, the first e-commerce platform that’s dedicated exclusively to women-made art. Toronto illustrator Nuria Madrenas started the site after realizing how much more difficult it is for women to sell their work than men. Once you’re on the site, select one of the platform’s exclusive prints made by from artists all over the world before choosing one of the custom-made Italian frame options. (From $100, mrktgallery.com)

Statement Accessories

Growing up in the suburbs of Winnipeg, Mangie Chan always felt a bit cut off from the world. It was through pop culture that she found a connection and what would later be the inspiration behind her jewellery line, Sunday Feel. Bold and whimsical, the collection features brass and silver pieces, like classic signet rings etched with smiley faces and playful fringed star earrings, that evoke nostalgia for a ’90s childhood. (From $80, shopsundayfeel.com)

A Highly-Anticipated Return to the Ballet

The National Ballet of Canada has a surprise in store for us this season. Award-winning and internationally acclaimed Canadian choreographer Crystal Pite, renowned for her riveting, deeply human work, returns to Toronto with a much anticipated world premiere. In fact, the details of the production are so under wraps while the B.C. native works on it that it’s simply being referred to as New Work. Catch it while you can, from February 29 to March 7.

A Gripping Novel

It’s been about six years since Canadian author Emily St. John Mandel captivated us all with her haunting dystopian novel Station Eleven, but she’s finally back. The Glass Hotel (out on March 24) is a time-twisting tale about two siblings, Vincent and Paul, who move in and out of each other’s lives, from their teen years in the ’90s to working in a luxury hotel in the Vancouver wilderness to Vincent’s mysterious disappearance from her job on a container ship.

An Ultra-Hydrating Lipstick

Older skin needs extra moisture, which is why L’Oréal Paris’ Age Perfect makeup range features creamy textures and skincare benefits. The standout is Flattering Lipstick, which has a pro-vitamin B5core that deeply hydrates and prevents feathering. “I also like to use it as a cream blush,” says Jodi Urichuk, Canadian makeup artist for L’Oréal Paris. ($13 each, at drugstores and mass-market retailers)

A Must-See Remake

Here’s a remake we can get behind: the reimagining of Disney’s animated classic Mulan. The new version still follows a young Chinese woman who disguises herself as a man to take the place of her father in the army, but don’t expect a shot-for-shot retelling when the live-action epichitstheatresonMarch27. Instead, director Niki Caro has put her own spin on things—and has become the second woman (after Ava DuVernay) ever to helm a Disney movie with a budget of over $100 million (nbd). †

Luxury Skincare

Hit “refresh” on a winter-weathered complexion with luxury-skincare brand Omorovicza’s latest innovation, The Cure. With a blend of concentrated ingredients, the nine-day ampoule program is designed to improve texture, tone and elasticity. Apply every night after cleansing to experience the three phases: The first contains exfoliating glycolic and mandelic acids to resurface and brighten; next is a blend of sandalwood, ginseng and caffeine to reduce inflammation; and, finally, replenishing Barbary-fig-seed, Kahai-nut and chia-seed oils combine to restore the skin. ($362, omorovicza.com)

A Coffee Table Book

Clear some space on the coffee table for decades’ worth of sneaker history in The Adidas Archive: The Footwear Collection. The massive tome—it’s over 600 pages—highlights 357 pairs of shoes, including original and vintage models, never-before-seen prototypes and designs from frequent collaborators like Stella McCartney and Yohji Yamamoto. The best part? You won’t have to stand in line for the drop. ($200, taschen.com)

An Angsty EP

Some things just seem destined to be, like 17-year-old singer-songwriter ren’s burgeoning music career. The Torontonian, who hails from a family of musicians, racked up over seven million streams on just two independently released songs before signing a record deal. Make room on your playlists for her catchy indie- pop hooks (which she describes as “tastefully weird”) when her debut EP, teenage angst, drops this month.

A Fresh New Scent

When we asked brand ambassador Jared Leto to describe the scent of the newest iteration of Gucci Guilty, his response was succinct: “It smells like Gucci Guilty.” To be more specific, the limited- edition Gucci Guilty Love for women brings together notes of fresh grapefruit, narcissus and intense yet soft musk and patchouli to evoke the brand’s continual celebration of freedom. ($116 for 50 mL, gucci.com)

The Perfect Beach Bag

Keep all your seaside essentials in one place with Vilebrequin’s tropical totes. The beachwear and accessories label, founded in Saint-Tropez in the ’70s, offers a variety of easy-to-transport sizes and styles. Choose from vibrant jungle prints and colourful ocean-inspired patterns and make packing a breeze. (From $100, vilebrequin.com)

A Debut Album

 

If you didn’t catch the live version of Jeremy Dutcher’s Juno Award and Polaris Music Prize-winning songs the first time around, here’s your chance. The tenor and composer—whose debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa, won the accolades in 2018—kicks off his spring tour, which will stop in various cities throughout Quebec, this month. Dutcher turned long-lost Indigenous phrases and melodies from century-old Wolastoq songs found in the Canadian Museum of History’s archive into 11 classically influenced tracks, carrying the past into the present.

Your New Anthem

After impressing us with her debut music video for “wtv, its cool,” Canadian R&B singer-songwriter Phé has dropped her newest video for “Worst Days.”  The song and video are an invitation to take a deeper looking into the relationship you hold with yourself, exploring the duality that many millennials face today. With hopes of shining a light on healing your trauma and gritty self-care, it’s definitely worth a watch.

An Acclaimed Canadian Film

Last month, Anne at 13,000 ft was nominated for four Canadian Screen Awards (including Best Film, Best Direction, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Now, you can finally see what all the buzz is about when the film hits Canadian theatres on March 20th.

A Thrilling Page Turner

Stephanie Wrobel’s latest novel Darling Rose Gold is a dark and shocking story that you probably won’t be able to put down.

A Moving Memoir

Toronto-based writer Eternity Martis’ debut memoir, They Said This Would Be Fun, is a revealing, in-depth recounting of her experience as a woman of colour who is a student at a predominately white campus. Linking systemic issues to her own experiences, Martis’ memoir is an uncomfortable but necessary must-read.

 

This article originally appeared in the March 2020 issue of ELLE Canada. Subscribe here.