Most fashionistas can dash off the names of their favourite European and American designers, but it’s usually only the fashion diehard that can include a Canadian name or two in there. We’ve put together a quiz for you to find out what Canadian designers are a good fit for your style so that even the crazier-named faves – from Caoc to Mendonça – will roll off your tongue … and into your closet!
1) You wouldn’t be caught dead wearing:
A) Anything boho
B) A sensible wool blazer
C) High-waisted jeans with ballet flats
E) Chandelier earrings
2) Your dream designer dress would emerge from the atelier of:
A) Giorgio Armani
B) Alber Elbaz for Lanvin
C) Dolce & Gabbana
D) Stella McCartney
E) Rick Owens
3) Your haute heroines include:
A) Actresses Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie
B) Actresses Cate Blanchett and Sarah Jessica Parker
C) Actresses Scarlett Johansson and Elizabeth Hurley
D) Designer Margherita Missoni and model Jacquetta Wheeler
E) French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld and model Agyness Deyn
4) The loveliest way to spend your Sunday is:
A) Following your personal shopper around Holt Renfrew, Starbucks Americano in hand
B) Checking out the new pop-surrealism exhibition at the contemporary art museum
C) Being pampered head-to-toe at the spa-pedi, massage, Brazilian and all
D) Strolling through the farmer’s market for organic veggies and fresh local blooms
E) Hopping on your Vespa for a jaunt to your favourite out-of-the-way thrift shop
5) When not flipping through Elle Canada, you turn to:
A) The Economist
B) The New Yorker
C) Vanity Fair
6) Your online DVD rental queue is filled with:
A) Old black-and-white classics (bring on Bogie and Bacall!)
B) Musicals and 1930’s screwball comedies
C) Erotic European dramas (subtitled, not dubbed)
D) Documentaries from Errol Morris, Barbara Kopple, and Michael Moore
E) Sci-fi (the sleek space-age ensembles inspire you)
More questions on the next page! 7) If you were to move to the United States, the city you’d land in would be:
A) Washington, D.C.: fast-paced and filled with history
B) San Francisco: beautiful and plenty of culture
C) Los Angeles: parties, beaches, and shopping
D) Seattle: lots of green space and laid-back people
E) New York City: always something to do and lots of vintage stores
8) When no-one’s watching, you sometimes can’t help:
A) Obsessively checking your stocks online
B) Touching up your lipstick while on the train or at your desk
C) Making sure your double-sided tape and nipple pasties haven’t gone astray
D) Throwing away your teabag instead of bringing it home to compost
E) Catching a matinee of the latest Frat Pack comedy
9) Your make-up routine generally consists of:
A) Foundation, black eyeliner, neutral shadow, a classic red lip, and a hint of blush
B) A sprinkling of powder, plus a pink lip and bronzer
C) The works – you’d never go out without your “face” on!
D) Lipgloss and a sweep of clear mascara from fairly-traded, eco-friendly companies
E) A smoky eye and a nude lip
10) If pressed, you’d admit a schoolgirl-style crush on:
A) Harrison Ford
B) Ethan Hawke
C) Clive Owen
D) Leonardo DiCaprio
E) Johnny Depp
11) If your life were a song, it would be:
A) “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” by Aretha Franklin and the Eurythmics
B) “La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf
C) “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado
D) “Revolution” by The Beatles
E) “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol
12) If you had one wish from The High-Fashion Fairy, you’d ask for:
A) A Chanel 2.55 bag
B) The $79,000 seafoam couture Versace “dress of a thousand layers” worn by Carrie Bradshaw in the Sex and the City series finale
C) Any Tom Ford-era Gucci
D) A 100 per cent eco-friendly, fair-trade, animal-cruelty-free wardrobe
E) A year’s supply of Helmut Lang t-shirts and tanks
13) The perfume that won you over recently was:
A) Ha! You’re a “Chanel No. 5” girl to the end.
B) The sweet, fruity scent of Gwen Stefani’s “Lamb” and Kate Moss’ “Kate”.
C) Tom Ford’s “Black Orchid,” for its deep, musky aroma.
D) Lavanila’s antioxidant-packed, fewer-chemicals vanilla scents.
E) “Elle” from Yves Saint Laurent, with its slight, oh-so-YSL air of masculinity.
14) The eighties movie heroine you relate to the most is:
A) Melanie Griffith in Working Girl
B) Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink
C) Kelly LeBrock in Weird Science
D) Mia Sara in Legend
E) Grace Jones in A View to a Kill
How did you score? Find your answers on the next page!
Mostly A’s: Everyday Elegant
You gravitate toward tailored, elegant pieces that are cut beautifully and will stand the test of time. You care about craftsmanship, cut, and fine fabrics, and the occasional stunning colour accent or statement piece. You see classiness as the ultimate goal, and you relish getting dolled up for work every day, using the professional domain as an opportunity for a style statement. Canadian designers: Lida Baday, Todd Lynn, Comrags, Common Cloth
Canucks can definitely do class – try on Todd Lynn’s “Rock and Roll meets Savile Row”-style pieces, whose “slick, sharp tailoring with a dark romantic edge” will keep you looking put-together and professional, without being dowdy. The woman who wears his stuff, he said, is “determined and direct: her inner strength comes through the way she carries herself. Clothes are tools, women letting their fierce femininity crash through a tailored look.” Comrags designer Joyce Gunhouse, too, sees her denizens as “creative and independent with a strong sense of herself and her style. She is living her life engaged in the world.”
Mostly B’s: Feminine Funster
Your style is feminine and fun, with a love of colour, flounce, and a variety of styles, from sheath dresses and a great safari trench to platform pumps and a massive alligator bag. You dig following the various trends so that you can enjoy all fashion has to offer, but you also enjoy wearing vintage frocks and ladylike pieces to give a nod to the fabulous feminity of decades past. Canadian designers: Greta Constantine, David Dixon, Pink Tartan, Andy Thé-Anh.
When going girly and going Canadian, there’s plenty of femme fashion purveyors from which to choose. Over at Greta Constantine, girls can get confidence from their designs, said designer Kirk Pickersgill, while Pink Tartan sees its “preppy chic” suiting customers that are “both fashionable and elegant, with sophisticated style,” according to label founder Kim Newport-Mimran. And, if you colour yourself “a modern thinker who values tradition that is elegant, feminine, and confident,” David Dixon’s line might be for you, he said.
Mostly C’s: Glamazon
People say that you are bold and sexy, with a wardrobe that includes plenty of satin, feathers, big silhouettes, and tight pieces. You’re not afraid to show some skin (albeit in a classy way), and revel in showing off your best (ahem) assets. Dressing down is not an option-it’s all about glamour, baby! Canadian designers: Joeffer Caoc, Izzy Camilleri, Arthur Mendonça, Nada Yousif.
Canadian designers clearly say winters be damned and are bringing the hotness for all seasons. Red-hot new designer Arthur Mendonça sees his clothes, he said, as “bold, sexy but also sophisticated,” and befitting of “any woman who is confident and stylish!” Style is the name of the game in the house of Nada Yousif, where shoppers can seek out “unpredictable elements such as bold prints or youthful shapes” to stand out, said Yousif, in a sea of black.
Mostly D’s: Green Global Goddess
Caring for the earth is important to you, so you seek out clothing and accessories that are eco-friendly. But you also know that sustainable doesn’t mean sad-sack, and you embrace a wide variety of green designers to get your fashion fix. Global- and ethnic-inspired fabrics, cuts, and pieces also appeal. Canadian designers: Juma, Thien LE, Project Runway Canada winner Evan Biddell, Preloved, Passenger Pigeon.
Green chic is bursting into the spotlight, with many designers doing eco-friendly accoutrements that are stylish and stunning. Thien LE said he uses bamboo, soy, and peace silk in his “classic yet modern with a twist” collections for the “educated and worldly woman.” According to co-owner Wendy Traas, Passenger Pigeon runs their business in a sustainable fashion (including recycled tags and donating fabric scraps), and uses organic cotton, soy, lyocell and bamboo to make their “clean, easy cuts with a cheeky edge.” And if you need more edge? Try on what designer Jamil Juma calls his “downtown look [with] an elegant street sensibility.”
Mostly E’s: Tough Chic(k)
Tough yet put-together, your ever-so-slightly-androgynous style is all about rough, individual chic, with asymmetrical cuts, interesting detailing, and sleek, tailored items high on your list of must-haves. You dig vintage and the occasional punk-ish accessory to keep your look one-of-a-kind. Canadian designers: Jeremy Laing, Erdem, Paul Hardy, Desperately Different, Dace.
Canada seems tough on bad style these days, with many designers producing sharp, slick pieces that work on the street and ooze rocker-calibre confidence. Jeremy Laing puts it best, when describing his own clients: “the kind of girls and women who wear my clothes don’t need rosettes and ruffles to feel pretty.” They can flock to Katya Revenko’s Desperately Different for “enduring art to wear”, or the “clean and classy” lines of Dace Moore’s pieces.
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