One hit wonders
They may design only one signature item, but these top 10 Canadian brand offerings are most worthy of our wardrobes.
|1. Jackets – Smythe Les Vestes
Celebrating their 5th anniversary this year, Smythe has elevated a simple wardrobe staple – the jacket – to new heights. Success has come through combining modern menswear-inspired tailoring, luxe fabrics and vintage-y prints. Life long friends Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner started out with a clothing rack in Smythe’s living room in Toronto and now sell their garments as far away as Hong Kong.
Smythe Boyfriend Blazer, $475.
Available at Holt Renfrew (select locations); TNT Blu, Toronto & Montreal; Canopy Blue, Toronto; luxelabel.com.
|2. Swimwear – SHAN
Chantal Levesque of SHAN has been creating glamourous swimwear for men and women since 1985. Known for its fabulous fabrics, flattering fit, bright colour and daring prints, SHAN stands out at the more than 400 doors it retails at around the world (including a brand new free standing store in Miami). The collection is still hand-sewn by experienced seamstresses in a factory outside of Montreal.
SHAN Marion bikini top, $165, and bottom $110.
|3. Parkas – Canada Goose
Recently voted the warmest coat by the Chicago Tribune, and worn by Antarctic explorers, mountain climbers, big city bouncers, and movie stars (they Mystique style was created for Rebecca Rojmain while on set shooting X-Men) a like, there really isn’t anything better than Canada’s Canada Goose. And we at Ellecanada.com can certainly vouch for the fact these parkas have saved us on frosty days.
Canada Goose ladies Porter Jacket $595.
Available at Sporting Life; www.canada-goose.com.
|4. Lingerie – Blush
It’s not often that you find gorgeous lingerie that rivals some of the most luxurious brands from around the world, yet priced to sell. And made in our big back yard to boot. Blush was founded over 20 years ago in Montreal by Edward Ajmo and is still a family run business today. The original goal to create beautiful, affordable lingerie using the highest quality fabrics has been more than met. Each season, the styling is sexy, yet sophisticated and definitely made to make him blush.
Blush Enchanted strapless bra, $32 and hipster, $18.
Available at specialty stores across Canada; The Bay; 1-800-682-5874 x 236, www.blushlingerie.com.
|5. Bags – Jessica Jensen
Jessica Jensen uses luxurious leathers in washed out hues for her new pleasantly logoless and completely timeless handbag line. With only two seasons under her belt Jensen is already garnering a ton of buzz and flying off shelves (within a week of arriving at Takashimaya on 5th Avenue in NYC they had placed a replenishment order). This label is one to watch.
Jessica Jensen Market Tote, $458 and Mini-Market Tote, $398.
|6. Jewellery – Dandi Maestre
With a penchant for natural materials and a rustic aesthetic, Dandi Maestre’s jewelry is not for the shy of heart. Her pieces are big (and seem to be getting bigger), bold and grab attention. Maestre is also a favourite of fellow designers has created jewelry to accompany the collections of Greta Constantine and Project Runway Canada contestant Lucian Matis.
Dandi Maestre antler bead necklace. $500.
Available at www.dandimaestre.com.
|7. Coats – Mackage
For more than 10 years, childhood best friends Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan have been designing much loved (and much copied) outerwear under the label Mackage. Though the idea started much earlier than that – the duo began sketching ideas together at the tender age of 12. Now the brand is recognized around the globe and has been spotted on everyone from Halle Barry to Jessica Biel. Plus has had its own cameo on Gossip Girl. xoxo Mackage!
Mackage Ebony trench, $410.
Available at Holt Renfrew; Mendocino, Toronto; www.mackage.com.
|8. Shoes – Jerome Chouinard-Rousseau
After graduating from the same school as Jimmy Choo (London’s
Jerome C Rousseau pump, $750.
|9. Dresses – BROSE
Brand new to the Canadian Fashion game and off to a fabulous start is BROSE – a chic new line of cocktail dresses. But designer Marika Brose is no novice – she’s worked for some of the top labels around the world including Prada and Canada’s own Pink Tartan. Plus this multi-talented designer daylights as Women’s Fashion Direction Manager at HBC. The debut Spring-Summer 2009 collection features beautifully constructed dresses with sophisticated tailoring and a flirty, feminine aesthetic.
BROSE Jodi dress, $595.
Available at Holt Renfrew, Yorkdale, Toronto; Jacflash, Toronto; Finishing Touches, Toronto; any by special order at www.marikabrose.com.
|10. Jeans – Fidelity Denim
We’re a country know for quality denim but we at Ellecanada.com are especially partial to the fabulous fits and clean lines of Fidelity Denim. Designer Jason Trotzuk has jeans in his genes – he began hand-painting denim in his parents basement at the age of 18, then worked on fun jean brand Dish before launching Fidelity in 2005. For Spring 09, Trotzuk has lightened up the line with plenty of worn-in “sun-kissed” denim washes in easy wide-leg fits.
Fidelity Denim Honeysuckle jean in Bondai wash – $198