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Fall into fashion

Halifax Magazine asks local fashion experts about fall style, the season’s best and worst trends, and style they’d love to see in the city. This is the first in a two-part series

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Allison Garber (right) and co-blogger Lesley-Anne Steelworthy. Photo: Brian Larter

Allison Garber (right) and co-blogger Lesley-Anne Steelworthy. Photo: Brian Larter

Allison (Ally) Garber

Blogger at Fashionable People, Questionable Things with colleague and fellow blogger, Lesley-Anne Steeleworthy (L-A) since 2009. Named one of top blogs in Canada by Chatelaine.

Personal style: “Right now, I am really rocking the yoga pants because I am on maternity leave. But in my head I go to the Coach outlet every day. I really love the relaxed bohemian look, something that looks thrown together, but that takes a lot of time. I love mixing pieces.”

Favourite fall style: “One thing that drives me about fall is when people start tweeting, ‘It’s leggings and boots weather!’ But in all seriousness, I love leggings and boots. I love them paired together with a long shirtdress. L-A would throw up if she heard me say that. Both of us are really into the new oxford men’s wear shoes that everyone is wearing. L-A likes the flat version, and I like the style of oxfords in the booty. So those are making their second appearance. They were popular last season as well. And we really love the dark nail polish, the navy, the burgundy that people are wearing. And one thing I love every fall is the chance to go darker with your hair colour.”

Trend that drives you nuts: “Those short shorts! I can’t deal anymore. If want to wear them, go ahead and wear them. But put your bum away for style reasons. That is a trend I looking forward to seeing go away. L-A would say leggings as pants. We both agree: at home? Totally OK. But if you’re leaving home, throw a dress on or a shirtdress.”

What style do you want to see in Halifax? “I wish people would dress up more, when you’re going out for supper, you know. I find it’s different if you go to a larger centre like Montreal or Toronto where people put more effort into going out with girlfriends or going out on a date. It’s not just a dressy pair of jeans; it’s a dress. One thing I love is dress shorts paired with a blazer. Gwenyth Paltrow does that really well.”

How would you describe Halifax style now? “I think we’re really influenced by the artistic community that we have here. L-A has mentioned before that with NSCAD we are quite lucky to be able to have kind of a really quirky sense of style. We’re very flexible. We have to be with the weather. We are able to layer up. Will we wear chunky knits and then we have T-shirts underneath.”

Best fashion investment: “A few good pairs of tights. You can pair those with a long shirtdress or a cute shirt, especially if they are coloured tights or patterned tights. That has been consistent for the past few years. And especially with Halifax weather, that is a fantastic investment. Another thing, too, a good haircut. That goes a long way as well.”

Anneke Jans Henderson

Clothing designer and textile artist. Studied at Dalhousie, NSCAD, Ryerson and George Brown. Currently teaches costume studies at Dalhousie.

Favourite style: Tailored clothing: “That certainly is my passion and the designing I get the most pleasure from.”

Favourite fall style: “Anyone who mentions the word coat and I just do a backflip … especially when it’s pieces we absolutely have to own to survive in our climate. Not every culture gets to indulge in outerwear like we do, so we really have to embrace it. And for me a coat is the most amount of fabric you can wear on your body outside of formal wear. They can really be dramatic and luxurious and stylish. That’s the fun part of it. And the practical side of it is they are protective and everything else. It’s the drama of what a coat is but it’s the tailoring aspect of it. A really interesting collar design or a really beautiful piece of wool. It doesn’t have to be in a shocking colour; it’s just the quality of the cloth. There’s a certain subtle luxury in that.”

What are trends you don’t like? “Oh, about 50 per cent of what’s out there! I teach tailoring at Dal, men’s tailoring, and that’s been a part of my design work for decades, so I am drawn to the more classic investment pieces that will sustain you over a number of years. For me, that type of dressing makes so much more sense. It really is sustainable type of dressing as opposed to the cheap and cheerful stuff that comes out. I know the industry has to be supported, but there also has to be a balance. So I guess it’s the fleeting, that idea of ‘what’s hot, what’s not,’ that drives me insane.”

How would you describe Halifax style? “There is a percentage of the population that are aware of what they are putting on, have put in some sort of thought. On a personal level, I don’t think we should have to dress to impress others. I think we always dress to always please ourselves first. You can always tell there has been a conscious effort to find that balance of what you have on in proportion and a style and colour sensibility. And then there’s a whole chunk of people who don’t care. It’s whatever is closest to their hand and whatever is the most comfortable. I would never sacrifice comfort for anything else, but you can put a little tiny bit of thought into it and just make it that much more satisfying.”

Is there a style you’d like to see more of in the city? “Just more of those really subtle classic cuts. I love the interesting silhouettes. The ‘50s silhouette is so much fun, with the sort of close-fitting bodice, the torso is slim, with the fuller skirt. I find that is a flattering style on a lot of different body shapes. Again, it doesn’t have to be out there on the edge. You can be professional, but have fun with it.”

Best personal fashion investment: “I really dress to be able to physical side of what I do, so I think probably black leggings. I have them in multiple lengths and weights. The patterned ones are so much fun. They are super inexpensive, but they are a really good base. Strategically, you can wear them with a heel and make them dressier or, you know, have your work shoes on and get down to it. It’s that versatility; it’s just a very clean foundation to start with and build on. And again, it’s the idea of layering, for me that is a forever trend.”

Jen McGrath and Stacey Thompson

Owners at consignment store Crimson and Clover, which offers dresses for any occasion, separates for work or play, as well as designer shoes, boots and hangbags. Labels include Tibi New York, Alice + Olivia, Milly, Rebecca Taylor and premium denim. “We have it all under one roof!”

What is your personal style? “We’re anything goes girls; if you love it, wear it. Stace is a little more rock and roll to my boho fem but that can change as quickly as Halifax weather. A few things we agree on? A well-tailored blazer can dress up your worst pair of jeans, fur vests-real or faux-can take the frill out of your girliest dress and a good pair of boots can take you anywhere. Oh, and leather. We love leather.”

Favorite trends for fall? “Prints! Paisley? Plaid? Houndstooth? All four, maybe all at once. Love the bold jewel tones we’re seeing everywhere. Winter blues? Yes, please.”

Worst trends? “While we are everything goes girls, tights are not pants, destroyed UGGs that have been worn through the slush and high-waist denim shorts that somehow show a little too much. And all of those at once. Happens far too often in this fair town.”

Describe Halifax style: “Casual; perhaps a little too casual. Wearing a dress and heels at noon will get you a few stares in a city full of oversized tees and jeans.”

What style would you love to see in Halifax? “Dresses and heels at noon.”

 

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