Prepare yourself for a little deep sea diving into Spring’s most aquatic influence: the ocean. As seen on the ready-to-wear runways of Versace, Alexander McQueen and most notably, Chanel for Karl Lagerfeld’s reconstruction of the ocean floor, under the sea style is sure to make a splash this season.
Found 20 legions under the sea, this trend gives a nod to the mermaid siren, using iridescent sequins and fabrics to recreate the glimmer of the sea, adding a touch of sparkle and shine to your outfit. Incorporate Spring style by using aquatic touches like coral and aqua tones, oceanic embellishments and detailing like starfish, seahorses and shell accessories to create your own ocean chic.
Keep in mind, sea Goddesses, to use pieces sparingly. You don’t want to end up looking costume-y by adding too many “on trend” elements. Choose a key piece – sequin, iridescence or sea print – and build from there. Now what are you waiting for? Dive in and take the plunge!
1. Style Inspiration: Versace Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear collection, image courtesy of Style.com
2. Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti Paillette Dress, $1,295 USD, available on Net-A-Porter
3. Kenneth Jay Lane Coral Enamel Branch Cuff, 120 Euros, available on Pret-A-Beaute
4. Celestina “Marciel Soriano” Large Paua Shell Minaudière, 525 Euros, available on Browns Fashion
Spring rain can be refreshing and romantic…or it can seriously ruin your look. Navigating the city streets can be dangerous when wet, so arm yourself with some practical rain gear to protect your hair and clothes. A fitted trench, sophisticated rain boots and colourful accessories help you stay dry without sacrificing style, so you might even welcome a wet and rainy weather forecast.
1. Marc by Marc Jacobs What A Spectacle Printed Umbrella, $58, available on net-a-porter.com 2. Sophie Jelly Bag – Blush, $85, available on nastygal.com 3.ASOS Hooded Quilted Jacket With Spot Lining, $88 4.J. Crew Matinee Trench, $206 5.ModCloth Rain And Shine Boot, $53 6. Aigle Ecuyer Boots, $155, available on shopbop.com
Bangles, bracelets and cuffs, oh my! Accessories are a valuable styling tool and this season the focus is all on the wrist. Think signature statement pieces as you build your bracelet collection – gone are the days of the delicate as we make room for vivid, unique, eye-catching designs perfect for adding a touch of personality to each of your Spring/Summer looks. Can’t decide on just one? We love a little layering and in keeping with the attitude of the season, we say the bolder, the better, fashion goddesses.
Spring shopping is in full effect and should be getting busier in your stores! Here are some tips on how to make each day a success:
1. Be flexible. Busier times can be stressful times for management: remember to take care of your employees. Even though you have blackout periods, try to be flexible with your employeeʼs availability. A happy employee will work even harder for you because they want to. Be flexible in what can be a hectic time.
2. Reward employees for a good job or sale. If an employee makes an amazing sale, how are you rewarding them – besides the commission they may be receiving? I’ve mentioned this before…I used to buy a Starbucks card, or a MAC gift certificate to show my appreciation…or even the odd lipgloss or chocolate!
3. Add to the sale. Donʼt let a customer go into the fitting room with just one item. Itʼs not about being pushy. The customer doesnʼt know the stock as well as you. Maybe a top they might love is hidden and they just didnʼt see it. You also know what looks great on – as we know, many things look better off the hanger! Gauge the customerʼs style and choose a few other items you think theyʼd like. Theyʼre already in the fitting room, whatʼs another few items? Is there a great pair of pants that would look good with the top and help sell it? Donʼt forget to top off the sale with matching accessories!
4. Be passionate, excited….and remember to smile. Itʼs all about how you come across to the customer. Are you excited about the item youʼre selling? This will make them excited, too. Choose items to add to the customerʼs fitting room that you yourself love so your suggestion is genuine…”We got this really great top in yesterday and it looks amazing on!” or “I have this top myself and get tons of compliments when I wear it!”
5. Store atmosphere. When you walk into your store, is there good music playing, dust bunnies removed, finger prints from your glass entrance door and fitting room mirrors removed? Are customers being greeted?
I hope youʼre able to take a few pointers! Here’s to an amazing spring shopping season to you and your teams.
Can you hear the beat? Yup, Coachella is just around the corner. It’s music festival season ladies. This isn’t the time of year to pack on a whim and see what happens, although here you probably could get away with it. Careful planning is often taken at this event, where next to the music, fashion rules the stage. Crochet away, and prints galore. Keep colour vibrant and accessorize, accessorize, accessorize! More is more in this scenario. A general boho quality of feathers, flowers and such is the mainstay. Don’t be shy, let your fashion freak flag fly. This is where clothes take on a theatrical quality. So go on you bohemian queen…shine on.
Before I started Style Nine to Five, one of my jobs was a Store Manager for 4 years for a top Canadian Retailer at their busiest location downtown on Robson Street. During busy seasons, I’d have up to 25 staff—many of them part-timers. Some would stand around twiddling their thumbs, call in sick and just really not want to be there. I tried to relate and think…what would make me want to come in for a 4 hour shift twice a week? How would I make things fun? Yes, there’s a job description they’re supposed to do, but sometimes just telling someone to do it, isn’t enough.
I found ways to motivate my employees and here are some tried and true tips that made my store work like a well-oiled machine and be the top in B.C.
1. Lead by example. Don’t manage from ‘the backroom’ or ‘cash register’. I got out there and folded tops, put away clothes, removed gum off the floor, helped customers, the list goes on. Get out there and show your team what’s expected. After all, how can you ask them to do something when you’re not willing to do the same?
2. Have fun all while keeping things professional. When I first started managing at 18 years old, I was an ‘Ice Queen’ and wasn’t open to any fun whatsoever, and just expected employees to perform to their best abilities and to give 110% like I did. If you loosen up a bit and become approachable, that gets you a lot further than fear. I learned you have to earn respect, even as a manager.
3. Ask for employee input. Make your employees feel like their ideas matter—because they do!
4. Recognize their achievements—a good sale or a customer compliment.
5. Find out their passions and strengths. I made one part-time employee in charge of the accessory department, the other one shoes—this included making sure the shoe display was freshly merchandised, no dust on the shelves, and all styles were out. Another was the ‘Part Time Trainer’ for new employees if I saw leadership qualities in them. Delegate small tasks to your employees to make them feel important (because they are) and in return, they’re more invested and want to please you.
6. Empower with fun roles above the job description. Consider having an employee make trend inspiration boards of magazine cutouts of styles that are similar to the items in your store. Maybe another could be in charge of changing up the window display every shift. You’d be surprised how many of the same people walk by your store every day to go to work, a window always changing is important. Do you have fit sessions, where they get to try on all the new arrivals to see how it fits so they are able to sell better to a customer? Would be great to tweet new arrivals too. Maybe one could be in charge of taking a walk in your area on a regular basis to visit the other stores to see how they’re merchandising, etc. It’s good to see what’s going on in your neighbourhood. There’s nothing wrong with healthy competition.
7. Weekly sales contests. Who sold the most items? Who got the most customer compliments? Make it fun. Reward them with a store gift card, cool nail polish, Starbucks gift card, etc.
Find out what your employee’s strengths and interests are and implement those to improve your business!
Special thanks to all my mentors in my career in retail.
Flowers: bright, cheery, and hitting retailers again this year. Florals are here to stay, and there are some specific tips for those of you who aren’t big into pattern but are willing to change things up this spring/summer.
Tips: Here’s the thing about floral print, not all prints will be right for you. If you’re bottom-heavy, try to avoid floral denim unless it’s in dark tones. If you’re top-heavy, you should avoid bold printed floral blouses. The 70s inspired floral pattern is the ‘It” floral this year. A few of years ago it was all about the ditzy floral print, but these days, the bolder, the brighter, the better. Always remember to keep it simple ladies, a bold floral means simple accessories and not too much pattern mixing, soft stripes and small polka dots will work, in small doses!
Have fun with the bright colours this year, and check out the listed retailers for a beautiful arrangement of floral patterned pieces. Green thumb not required, but your eye for style is!
1. Citizens of Humanity Floral Thompson, $185, available at Anthropologie
With a mid-March heat wave in full effect (in Toronto, that is), it’s hard to resist a spring shopping spree. Make it worth your while with pieces that will work when it’s cool and when it’s warm. Keep an eye out for flirty details, bright colours, and lightweight fabrics in pieces you can still incorporate into your winter wardrobe—that’s just smart shopping.
Chic, sophisticated and glamorously demure, preppy fashion has long been a timeless style influence on designers, socialites and aristocracy around the world. Ideal for Spring, when clean lines, crisp color blocking, and light accessories drive the style must-haves of the season, prep influence has evolved to blend long-standing staples of the look – sleek pants and skirts, oversized sunglasses, elegant handbags and lady-like tops – with the modern fashion trends, colors and prints of the moment. The result? Classic, preppy elegance with a current, updated feel perfect for uptown, downtown, all-over town wear. Are you prepped for Spring?
Paisley print is one of the biggest statements for Spring/Summer 2012. Whether it’s Jil Sander‘s (1,2) minimalist bright color combinations of paisley or Stella McCartney‘s (3,4) electric-blue paisley pyjamas, many designers have reinvented this 70′s swirly teardrop and transformed it into a vibrant and more appealing print.
Will you experiment with paisley? Whether you choose a vibrant silk scarf, or a paisley print bottom or top, try not to overindulge on the swirls. Blend it with some bright pop of colors like neon pink, cobalt blue or citrus yellow.
In Fall 2011 we were given a sneak peek of what was to come in the world of denim. In fact holiday time brought upon us flashes of bright red and cobalt blue denim. Though the initial look was shocking, it didn’t take long before retailers couldn’t keep them in stock.
Looking forward to the spring and summer of 2012, it would be safe to say that coloured denim is here to stay!
Intimidating at first, there’s enough shades of denim this season to suit everyone. The colour trend for spring this year is driven by pastels which translate to denim perfectly. If you like to try new fashion forward pieces but are slightly more reserved check out stores for the lighter versions of coloured denim.
For those of you who rather stand out in a crowd your options are endless. Neon denim is making its mark in a big way. Think of a colour in the rainbow, change it to neon, and guaranteed you will be able to hunt this hue down at a number of retailers this season.
If you’re somewhere in the middle and are not quite sure where to begin with coloured denim, there are options for you too! Dark shades of purple and orange, or the original red or cobalt blue are perfect options for the gal on the fence over this trend.
Fly away with the style season’s most prominent animal influence – the bird. From the ready-to-wear runways of Kenzo, Marc by Marc Jacobs and Commuun, the fashion world is alive with swans, finches, doves and the like for Spring/Summer 2012, and they are high style through and through. In small, delicate doses, all-over prints and dramatic artistic renderings this trend is a fresh and chic choice for fashionistas looking to add a unique point of visual interest to their looks and reflect the most popular designs from the runways. After all, birds of a stylish feather flock together.
1. Style Inspiration: Marc by Marc Jacobs Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection, image courtesy of Style.com
2. Free People “Flock of Birds Maxi Dress” ($142), available at Shopbop.com
3. Paul & Joe Sister “Piou Piou Printed Cotton-Blend Shorts” ($235 US), available at Net-a-Porter
Denim just got a dose of high fashion. Jean lovers rejoice. The tried and true denim line, J Brand has launched its first ready to wear line. An upscale branch off of the clean, slim lines known by J brand users, but touching on a bit of an edge. Sumptuous leathers and silks give way to a clean, modern, chic and perhaps more importantly, wearable looks. Any of these pieces could flow through your wardrobe with ease. Even if you’ve always wanted to stay a jeans girl, now you can always be one. I know I am. Available in Vancouver at Basquiat and nationwide at Holt Renfrew.
RETAIL: the after-school job that turned into a rewarding career. The retail industry is not just about selling clothes, and it’s definitely not just an after-school job anymore. Retail is an industry that fosters many successful creative and leadership careers.
If you see yourself wanting a career in a retail environment, I have some tips and tricks for you to succeed in a world of cropped tops and skinny jeans.
1.Accept the retail schedule: If you want to get ahead in the retail world, your hours of commitment every week will not be consistent. Is that such a bad thing? For myself, over the years, it has allowed me to organize my time off, and make the most of it. Does that mean you should give up your life to sell t-shirts and hoodies? Nope, it just means that you should not expect your retail job to be a M-F: 9-5, which is not what you want anyway is it?
2.Be a leader: Even if you are not in a management position, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a leader. This is the number one quality when I hire anyone at any level. Do you have a sense of leadership? Will you try to find a solution before quickly asking? Will you use your resources to solve a problem, before bringing it to your supervisor?
3.Dress to impress: How will you ever convince anyone to give you a promotion if you wear that sweater with the seam coming undone, and a pair of Uggs to work? The answer is, you won’t. Make sure you put thought into your own outfitting. Just like financiers and lawyers wear suits to work, you must embrace the trends and dress to impress. This tells your peers, and your supervisors that you are serious about your role. You do not have to spend big bucks to achieve a professional but trendy look (see my example below).
4.Ditch the break-room gossip: No seriously, do not say a single negative word about someone else, that is just not productive in the slightest. If there is a valid issue, take the time to address it with a supervisor. Never complain to peers, that gets you nowhere.
5.Have fun: working in retail means you get to socialize with people all day! Have fun with it, be genuine with your customers, get to know them, you never know what kind of amazing connection you’ll make! I have made great friends, just by getting to know my regular customers.
Striped Long Sleeve Dress $29: Joe Fresh – Joe Fresh Vancouver located at: 540 Granville Street; Joe Fresh Toronto (one of) located at: 589 Queen Street West; Joe Fresh Montreal (one of) located at: 395 Jean-Talon Ouest
Sans Collar Blazer $98: Anthropologie - Anthropologie Vancouver located at: 2912 Granville Street (South Granville) Anthropologie Toronto located at 80 Yorkville Ave, or 19 Clock Tower Road
Kimchi Blue Ditsy Floral flats $29: Urban Outfitters: Urban Outfitters in Vancouver located at: 830 Granville Street; Urban Outfitters in Toronto located at: 481 Queen Street West, or 235 Yonge Street; Urban Outfitters in Montreal is located at: 1246 Ste. Catherine Street, or 4301 St. Denis Street
Skinny Studded Belt $30: Gap - Gap Vancouver (one of) is located at: 1121 Robson Street; Gap Toronto (one of) is located at: 3401 Dufferin Street; Gap Montreal (one of) is located at: 4210 St-Denis
What: Budget-friendly basics with trendsetting fashion favourites.
When: March 14, 9pm
Why: With ultra-wearable designs that are infinitely more accessible than anything else on the runway, Joe Fresh nevertheless packs the house with editors and celebs who want first look at the every-expanding Loblaw’s brand.
There are many fashion highs to look forward to in the coming months – shorter hemlines, breezier fabrics, brighter hues – but none balancing the fine fashion art of practicality and style content more than the Spring jacket. Ideal for the not-quite-cool, not-yet-warm weather of March and April, these coats keep you from shivering your way in to the summer season, yet they are also immaculately fashionable pieces designed to add a chic sense of style to your transitioning look. With a Spring jacket for every look you may find yourself hoping that this year, the summer sun takes its’ sweet time.
We recently attended Vancouver jewelry designer Sancha‘s launch preview party at the new Hawksworth restaurant in the Georgia Hotel. Quickly becoming a go-to jewelry designer with stylists and wardrobe designers, Sancha Tatlock’s pieces are frequently seen on screen such as The CW’s Life Unexpected, The Secret Circle and The Haunting Hour, as well as See If I Care starring Patricia Arquette.
Sancha’s resort collection features lavish hues of gemstones and exudes golden light and warmth of a tropical winter seascape. Amongst her collection the focus is always global design with an elevated sense of social responsibility, so naturally the outcome would be sophisticated jewelry with a sustainable and ecological conscience.
Her newest project is The Love Love Project inspired by the work of Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto. She believes in the power of all natural elements and incorporates gemstones and precious metals in her designs, with the healing properties of pure water. This project is dedicated to aiding water related causes around the world. Some of the proceeds will be donated to Oxfam Canada in aid of the drought in East Africa.
H&M’s latest designer collaboration is with the sought-after Italian label Marni, and it may be their best yet. Perfect for spring, the collection of clothing and accessories from designer Consuelo Castiglioni features Marni’s quintessential bold, bright aesthetic with eye-catching prints and silhouettes. Check out our top picks or browse the complete gallerybefore the March 8 launch date.
Cocktails, fashion show, and a good cause? It had all the elements of a perfect girl’s night out and what better way to celebrate this than the LOVE HER event in support of Ovarian Cancer Canada. Local personalities such as ET Canada’s Erin Cebula (picture 1) and CTV Morning Live’s Norma Reid (picture 2), strutted their stuff on the catwalk escorted by the uniformed and dapper VPD. The evening was hosted by Canadian funny girl Jessica Holmeswho added light and humour, beautifully. Fashioned in Judith & Charles, the models glowed in brights and spring swing—-light, colourful, and completely feminine. What a great and successful evening in celebration of survivors, honour in those lost, and hope for what the future brings in ovarian cancer research.
This season the hottest hues are pure pretty, straight-off-the-runways wonderful. C’est sorbet, s’il vous plait! Crisp yellows, soft greens, bright blues, delicate peaches and perfect pinks, Spring style has never before been so delicious. Ideal for your versatile warm weather wardrobe, fresh, flattering sorbet hues are stunning accents for your neutrals, yet they mix-and-match flawlessly with one another for a flirty, feminine look. Need further convincing? Sorbet tones have long been the signature colors for some of history’s most prominent fashion icons - think Jackie O., Princess Diana and now… you! How sweet it is.
1. Parker Ruffle Side Dress, $205, available at Shopbop
2. Tibi Tapered Silk-Crepe Pants, $350 US, available at Net-a-Porter
Joe Mirman’s Spring collection, which debuted at Toronto Fashion Week in October, is gearing up to hit stores in April. Bright hues of blue, yellow and neon orange in contrast with stark whites will certainly get you in the mood for the new season early. We’ve got our eye on the leather detailed collars and the bright orange maxi skirt worn by Canadian’s favourite supermodel Coco Rocha of Flare’s February cover. Proof that Joe Fresh is maturing, away from predictable cutesy skirts and dresses and those supermarket staples, making itself known in Canadian and international fashion and retail.
90% of the runway collection will be in standalone Joe Fresh stores in April.
As any true fashionista knows, great style is in the details. Fortunately for us, the details this Spring include chic hair accessories guaranteed to flatter, highlight and even tame your tresses the whole season through. Ideal for drawing the eye upward and completing a look, these sleek and polished style accents are available in enviable designs for each hair type, color and length. From playful ponytail scarves, to must-have headbands, to chic pins, clips and hats, such impeccable hair accessories are sure to leave you craving a few new fashion details of your own.
Designers like Stella McCartney, Giambattista Valli, Marc Jacobs, and Proenza Schouler embraced peplums in 2011, and this feminine shape is sure to be a major trend heading into spring. Celebrities like Emma Stone and Jennifer Hudson have flocked to peplum dresses for walking the red carpet, but this curve-loving style is also easy to wear during the day. Just choose a peplum top! Thankfully this trend is flattering on all figures, because the hourglass silhouette can both camouflage a tummy and highlight a teeny waist. Try a flowy blouse for a subtle take on the trend, or choose a more structured fabric for a high-impact look.
1. Parker Strapless Top, $130, available at Shopbop
2. Marni Contrast-Trimmed Silk-Blend Top, $227, available at OUTNET
3. Colourblack Peplum Top, $22, available at Forever 21
4. ASOS Top With 40s Peplum, $45.69, available at ASOS
5. Carven Cotton-Jersey And Silk-Organza Peplum Top, $265, available at Net-a-Porter
Glossy leathers, waxed suedes, and lacquered tweeds – these were all various textures involved in Alexander Wang’s newest collection. It’s been deemed one of his most luxurious collections to date; all the hardware is gold, and the fabric custom developed – but is it wearable?
As one of his loyal fans, It’s a definitive yes. The collection was full of true utilitarian shapes that he is so well known for, including a few too many must-have jackets and knee-high boots that are soon be in every street style photo next fall.
And those mesh turtlenecks that remind you of post-apocalyptic ninja bike messengers? Well sign me up for some jiujutsu because I’m sold.
You might start feeling a pinch nostalgic while viewing this hot list of denim for spring. Subtle reminders of the glory days of 90’s 90210—-Kelly and Brenda’s jeans and bodysuits. This time around it carries a heftier dose of chic than previous with flattering cuts and nods to the 50’s. If it’s feminine and floral you’ll be on point.
And although it can be busy, a simple white tank and a pair of heels makes it simple and fun. It might not be for everyone, but if you don’t try it you’ll never know. All our local department stores and boutiques will be stocking up on a fresh bunch so watch out for them. Spring has sprung ladies.