Tara Jarmon has fond memories of growing up in Vancouver, but after she visited Paris during a modelling gig in 1980, she said bonjour to the City of Lights permanently. “I was infatuated with the French way of life,” says Jarmon. “I thought the women were so chic and put together.”

Now, Jarmon is in the business of chic, having traded modelling for fashion design in the mid-’80s. With no formal training, she started small. “The first season, I only made four pieces,” she says with a laugh. Now, she has 37 stores across Europe and Asia. In Canada, her lines are carried at Studio Labiri in Toronto, Rococo in Montreal and Gravity Pope in Vancouver
and Edmonton.

tara-jarmon-1.jpgWhat was the inspiration for your spring collection? “I worked around a make-believe scenario called ‘When Loulou Meets Bianca.’ Loulou is a girl from a good family, and Bianca is a flamboyant seductress.”

What’s your favourite fashion film?
“Luis Buñuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie. It’s pure cool and class.”

What’s your earliest fashion memory?
“Watching my mother dress up to go out. It was at the end of the ’60s, when clothes were fun, sexy and full of colour.”

What’s your favourite fashion trend? “The return of dressing up.”

What do you think is the worst fashion trend of the last 10 years? “Wearing a jogging suit when you’re not working out!”

What songs do you know all the lyrics to?
“A lot of ABBA, and I’m currently listening to Amy Winehouse non-stop.”

What’s your favourite book?
Candide by Voltaire. One must cultivate one’s garden.”

What’s your favourite comfort food? “Roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with horseradish, of course!”

If you could come back in any era, which one would it be? “Being a woman, I don’t think that I could live in a better time. However, I wouldn’t mind being Madame de Pompadour, living in Versailles in the 1700s."

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“The cherry blossoms on Marine Drive are one of my fondest memories of Vancouver.”

“Natalie Portman is one of my style icons. She’s as elegant as Audrey Hepburn.”

“My ideal Sunday afternoon? Playing — and winning — a competitive game of tennis.”

“I love The Wizard of Oz. We could all learn from the characters.”

"Brad Pitt was fantastic in Burn After Reading. I didn’t know he was such a good actor."