The Vancouver Magazine Best Dressed List 2016

Our first annual Best Dressed List shines the spotlight on five of the city's most stylish people—here's a look at what they're wearing and what inspires good style.

October 14, 2016

By Amanda Ross / Photo: Evaan Kheraj

Style Notes. Satin bomber: Comme des Garçons spring ’84 team jacket; shirt: Akris Punto; pants: Akris Punto; shoes: Prada; jewellery: “Mine.”

The Chameleon

There’s hardly enough room on Diane Gagne’s business card for the litany of fashion titles to her name: model, photographic stylist, fashion-show producer and runway coach, among others. As well, this Montreal-born longtime Vancouverite has honed her local chops with designers like Ron Leal and Zonda Nellis (in roles from fitting model to merchandiser), created a mentorship workshop for models and now also works as a stylist at Holt Renfrew. “I really love fashion’s transformative power—when someone tries on a dress and their face just lights up and their energy changes, that’s the power to empower!”

  • How would you describe your style?
    I’m a pretty eclectic dresser—I like being a stylist in my own closet and will rarely wear the same pieces the same way twice.
  • Earliest fashion memory?
    Fashion was a big part of my childhood. I remember loving to watch my mom get ready for her evenings out and parties. She had fantastic style, and I was mesmerized by the ritual of her taking the time to do her hair and makeup and putting her outfit together.
  • Most days you’ll be spotted wearing . . .
    I’ve had short hair forever and I like to decorate that space between my ears and shoulders I’m a big fan of statement earrings.


Style Notes. Earrings: DIY; blazer: Topshop; blouse: Zara; leather trousers: vintage Prada; shoes: No. 21 by Alessandro Dell’Acqua.

The Original

“I love that clothes can transform you and give you a sense of confidence that few other things can,” says Liis Kearney. Kearney’s in the business of providing confidence. By day, the 30-year-old works with Topshop/Topman at Hudson’s Bay as national product merchandiser; by night, she parlays her style acumen into consulting: wardrobe overhauls, personal shopping and event styling. Clothes are always the common thread: “They allow you to express yourself without ever having to say a word.”

  • How would you describe your style?
    It can go from super-clean and minimalistic to a mash-up of patterns, prints and textures.
  • Your fashion advice?
    Don’t wear it if it doesn’t fit perfectly.
  • If you could change one thing about Vancouver’s style, what would it be?
    The notion that you need to be going somewhere or doing something noteworthy to dress up.
  • What’s your guilty pleasure?
    Putting on sweatpants as soon as I get home.
  • Who inspires your style?
    Jenna Lyons, Leandra Medine and Law Roach, who styles Zendaya and now Céline Dion (she’s killing it!).
Style Notes. Purple suit and pocket square: Indochino; shirt: Uniqlo; tie: Club Monaco; shoes: Christian Louboutin.

The Trendsetter

Indonesian-born Viranlly Liemena calls himself a “menswear enthusiast,” which is really just an understated way of saying he lives and breathes clothes. He works at Vancouver’s own Indochino, handling the upstart brand’s social media, and then can often be found moonlighting as a fashion authority (like judging this year’s Deighton Cup Style Stakes). “I’m that guy you see running around in a suit, making my way from the coffee shop to the office to happy hour and occasionally a spin studio”—all in effortlessly sharp garb.

  • How would you describe Vancouver’s style?
    It’s a work in progress.
  • In your opinion, what “makes” an outfit?
    The shoes! You wouldn’t believe how many times a bad pair of shoes has ruined someone’s otherwise impeccable outfit.
  • If cost were no object, what is one wardrobe piece you’d buy right now?
    A Brunello Cucinelli suede jacket.
  • The littlest you’ve ever spent on a style piece?
    I once spent $30 on vintage Allen Edmonds burgundy loafers that I still wear now.
  • Where’s your favourite place to shop?
    I have an unhealthy obsession with Uniqlo these days.
Style Notes. Blue herringbone suit: Indochino; watch: vintage Omega; leather and crocodile shoes: Magnanni.

The Sophisticate

“Appreciation for sartorial quality and craftsmanship (along with food, wine, art and music) is what got us out of living in caves,” says Tim Ellison. “Looking good elevates everything.” Ellison should know a thing or two about elevating tastes—or taste buds, that is: he’s spent almost five decades honing his skills as a chef de cuisine and certified sommelier, and now dovetails those roles as director of food and beverage service at the Vancouver Club. One of his greatest passions? Travelling to the world’s best wine regions—provided there’s also a fashion centre nearby.

  • Your style in a nutshell?
    Savile Row business professional.
  • Accessory you can’t live without?
    A good pen. Imagine you have a killer outfit with all the bells and whistles, someone needs to borrow a pen, and you hand them a Bic!
  • What inspired you to head down the fashion path?
    When Salvatore Ferragamo opened a store on Robson in 1988, I went to buy a tie. The store had a locked door and security guard (something new for Vancouver at the time) and as I was in jeans and a T-shirt, he didn’t really want to let me in. I went home, changed into a suit and then he opened the door and greeted me warmly. The only difference was the clothes.
Style Notes. Jacket: Marc Jacobs leather moto; top: Phillip Lim tank; skirt: Mary Katrantzou; heels: Miu Miu.

The Storyteller

“Your clothes can tell people so much about you in a split second,” says Shannon Heth. “I like to make every second count.” One of Vancouver’s most notable PR mavens, Heth definitely has her own signature style that turns heads every time she walks in a room. But it wasn’t always this way: before starting Heth PR in 2008 (recently rebranded to Milk Creative Communications), she was unsure of which career path to follow after finishing an undergrad in history. Turns out, sartorial savvy would be the key: she soon learned that “in good clothes, the shy me became a sociable storyteller.”

  • How would you describe your style?
    A little bit rock and roll, a little bit LBD, a whole lot of attitude.
  • Most days you’ll be spotted wearing…
    Last week I wore a black leather pencil skirt with chunky-heeled sandals and a crisp white linen shirt by Eliza Faulkner because it seemed like something a sci-fi female superhero might wear.
  • Your go-to comfy-day outfit?
    Mom jeans (yep), a sweatshirt that reads “COFFEE NOW please” and Adidas sneakers.
  • If you could change one thing about Vancouver’s style, what would it be?
    Can we just press reset and go back to a time before yoga pants?


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