Style Experts’ Top Shopping Picks
July 2, 2008
Click on the names below to see which must-have items are their top shopping picks…
Heather Huntingford has come a long way since her fleece-wearing days as a Capers cashier. In 2004, she and her sister, Julie Blanchard, opened the cheekily named Kiss & Makeup cosmetics boutique. The store’s status as a purveyor of high-end and, in many cases, exclusive skin-care lines quickly made it a go-to spot for product addicts—many of whom happily brave Lions Gate gridlock for pretty-smelling lotions and potions.
For over 20 years Ross Bonetti has showcased
cutting-edge contemporary furniture and home décor at Livingspace, a mecca for high design. Many of the lines carried there—Minotti, MDF, Ligne Roset, and Flou—are exclusive to the shop. How did he celebrate two decades in business? “My favourite gift I bought for myself from Brian Jessel BMW. My black 328xi touring wagon carries my dog Kiley, my bikes, and the occasional piece of furniture.”
The focus at Comoglio (the namesake company that Dante founded in 1992) is concept design and envisioning sessions for projects ranging from small homes to large commercial centres (12,000 acres being the largest to date). You can find Comoglio lecturing on design essentials at Emily Carr, where he’s taught since 1995. Naturally, his shopping philosophy is about finding specific items that fill a need. “Good design solves a problem. Aesthetics are a bonus, but when you’re dealing with talented designers, the two go hand in hand.”
Since opening her first boutique, One of a Few, in 2005, Michelle Rizzardo has been at the forefront of Gastown’s transformation from dishevelled tourist trap into style centre. Pieces by French vintage-inspired label Manoush, Aussie frock maker Lover, and house label Nine proved so popular with the area’s young, fashion-conscious clientele that Rizzardo opened a second store last summer, the aptly named Two of a Few, in the space next door.
Vetrina, celebrating its tenth anniversary, is an upmarket boutique carrying exclusive European lines and statement making women’s clothing. Owner Rachel Kapsalis keeps a tight edit on her merchandise. “I don’t buy big ranges and most of the eveningwear I bring in is one-offs.” Twice a year, Kapsalis travels to Milan to handpick the pieces. “I don’t settle for fitting in—my clients are used to being admired!”
Since immigrating to Canada from Denmark in 1955, Uno Langmann has become the city’s premier antique dealer. His daughter Jeanette, now vice president of the Art Dealers Association of Canada, traces her interest in the family business back to humble beginnings polishing silver for five cents a piece. When not at their South Granville gallery, the Langmanns père et fille appraise attic finds and family hand-me-downs on CBC’s Canadian Antiques Roadshow.
Emile Shams can readily explain all the newest trends and must-have items for the season, but his styling philosophy is far from trend-based. “For my client, comfort is very important. I like dressing up people. It’s all about personality—not about age or size, but about them.” In the fashion industry for 11 years, with Holt Renfrew for five, Shams regularly works with celebrity clients like A-listers Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry, and Nicolette Sheridan.