Why I like Charli

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I try to find the perfect combination of macro-trend designs in great fabric, at a reasonable price. Charli is one of those lines where the value is high because the fabrics are fantastic and they are on trend but not in the “fad” zone. One example is their Camden coat (left). 100% Lambswool, it’s the real deal.  Soft, warm, light, amazing hand. It’s the same fabric you might find at a luxury designer down the street (see the beige jacket top left) at approximately 1/3 the price. The Charli Camden jacket is far more trendy with the unfolded notch collar.  Luxury fabric without the luxury price.


AG Jeans – Farrah high rise in 360 contour


We started carrying AG Jeans in the spring. It is one of the world’s best selling denim lines. It made a list of eco-friendly denim a couple years back. I wore my white boyfriends a lot in the summer. But then THIS pair showed up and I can not get them out of my mind. I tried them on and found I needed to size down twice and I love how I look in them. Which means I love how I feel in them. I could probably do yoga in them. They’re like butter. I might be ruined for any other denim.

A moment of hope

A little tee I made a few years ago
A little tee I made a few years ago

She walked in with a halo over her head and sunshine radiating all around her. If this works out, she will be my newest best friend, my hope, my angel. Introducing Melissa.

Melissa is a pattern maker and seamstress. She was referred to me by my favourite tailor Lanni, one of the sweetest people in the world.  Because Lanni was amazing, I have hope for Melissa. She showed up on time so we were off to a good start. I showed her my pattern block, my dress form, my progress to date. I told her how difficult the process has been so far to find a good pattern maker and production team (here or overseas). She took one look at my pattern and knew where the dart would end, ½” from the awl hole. Yayyy! Inside of 10 minutes, I could tell she knows what she’s doing.  The lingo, the pitfalls, she didn’t miss a beat.

I tore 2 meters of muslin (inexpensive fabric that designers use to make samples to test for fit and design accuracy), rolled up my pattern block (the pattern template that all future patterns will be based on)  and asked her to make a sample so we can test the block on the mannequin (you’ll hear my jaw hit the floor if it doesn’t fit, because I got 100% on that pattern in school).

I asked her if I should order my labels. It was a direct question of her confidence in getting production done. With the perfect balance of reflection and confidence, she said yes.

Stay tuned for the next episode ….

The Many Faces of Denim

I can’t remember a time where so many different silhouettes were on trend in denim. On the one hand it’s great to be a denim girl because you can find pretty much any style you like.  Here are a few examples:

Stilt Roll UP
Stilt Roll Up
Boyfriend Distressed White
AG Boyfriend Distressed
Saffron Flare Retro
Saffron Flare Retro








But on the other hand, the silhouette variety can demand some attention to style each out out properly. For each pair of jeans, we like to find you 3 different tops to give you the range you need to make your wardrobe work for you.

One rule of thumb is variety – if you have a skinny bottom, pair it with a loose top not a tight fitting top. If you have a loose bottom, try a fitted tee or blouse.

Come in any time and we can show you lots of options to wear the silhouette (s) you love.


We’ve Moved: 2843 Granville Street

KATE FRENCHGranville Street12th Avenue2843 GranvilleNAlmost four years ago now, I opened my door on 4th Ave West in Kitsilano. That door was closed a week ago today. And on Friday, we opened our new door on 2843 Granville Street.

Being the sap that I am, I want to take a moment to thank Kitsilano. The people I met, the experiences we shared, the outfits we created, the puppy treats we handed out, I will be forever grateful for your warm welcome and personality. I will miss my wonderful neighbours and wish them all the best in their relocations.

We hope to see you soon at the new location. It has a completely different feeling, a little more French Contemporary, thanks to Ally Spino Designs. Fresh paint, floors, sconces etc. Not to mention all the new clothes that we put out over the last few days.

Frank from L’Atelier Patisserie made us some welcome chocolates. I hope you can stop by to say hello very soon and have a little bonbon. Don’t make me miss you for too long.

A votre service,


Rose Quartz & Serenity

press_coy2016Double thumbs up endorsement go to Pantone for picking two colours;  colours that go together and; two colours that are make a bold statement in spite of their low saturation. That’s a big order for any colour!

Ethereal, quietly joyful, sunny, sweet, feminine, flowy. Just some of the adjectives I think of when I see that image

I have always, always, always loved faded denim with baby pink tops. So this is an easy first outfit. Next, I keep seeing a minimalist coat in Rose Quartz with some Serentiy colour blocked sleeves, with a matching Serenity pencil skirt. Blue tapered dress pants with a ….

‘kay, gotta go now… i have to draw …

k : )

A Modern Approach to Function

shapeimage_1 (2)The Fall 2015 Matt and Nat collection is now available at the store. I love this line for many reasons:

  1. The design. modern, sleek, minimalist, with a twist
  2. Clean conscience. Vegan leather.
  3. Quality. I have seen 10 year old bags waltz in with their owner and they are still in great shape.
  4. Canadian. ‘nuff said.

Come in and tell me what you think of the line. It’s always nice to get feedback from you.

Happy Long Weekend!


shapeimage_1 (1)I had lost touch with drawing over the last few years. So it was pretty nice to sit down at the drawing table, with fabric swatches and actually draw with a line in mind. Three and a half years of retail in Kitsilano has given me some insight into your fashion requirements. Together we have discussed the hits and the misses, the holes and floods, the fits and the misfits. Thank you for taking the time to discuss what you like and dislike, it helps immensely.

So this is just a little glimpse of what I have been working on. Stay tuned for more updates.

Happy August 2015.

Birthday Gemstone #11

It was my birthday this weekend and I am reflecting on my birthstone, the Topaz. Some topaz fun facts:shapeimage_1

  • it’s available in almost every colour although the warm tones (yellow-red) are most common
  • the purest form is clear
  • scores .8 on the Moh’s scale of hardness (that means it’s quite hard)
  • may have been first discovered on St. John’s island in the Red Sea
  • can be found as large as boulders
  • commonly found near granite
  • facilitates the balance of emotions and provides protection from greed

The other gemstone for November is the Citrine and offers the following healing powers:

  • supports vitality and health
  • encourages guiding hope, energy and warmth within the wearer

Thank you American Gem Society! And happy birthday to all the November babies out there!

Is it Time to Update your Style?

BQxxI0PCIAEbxHZ (1)If you haven’t updated your wardrobe in a few years, it may be time to look critically at your wardrobe and see if it needs an update. (I’ll give you one hint, if you are still wearing boot cuts … ). I recommend you start with one entire outfit. One new outfit will do a lot to make the most of what you currently have more trendy.

  1. Buy a new pair of every day shoes. Something that you can wear with a skirt, jeans and dress pants. My favourite is the Miista ankle booty that should arrive this week. A pull-on with a nice modest almond toe, good quality leather and flat (no heel) should work with most of the bottoms you throw at it.
  2. Move on up to the bottoms. Right now we’re on pencil midi skirts, below the knee and high-waisted. Or skinny jeans with a little ankle roll (optional on the roll). If you don’t want to spend money on new jeans, have your bootcuts tailored. Office-bound? Think tapered dress pant, not straight leg, again, back away from the boot cuts.
  3. Get a blouse. Not a tee-shirt. A nice georgette crepe would be great. I prefer a boxy button up with a stand up collar that I can layer with sweaters but a simple crew neck that supports a necklace is equally good. Your new blouse will work the same way, bringing some of your other bottoms into the trend zone.
  4. Hair: short-mid length hair for fall 2014 is all about the bob. And it looks consistently like a reverse cut (shorter in the back). Long still seems like a flowy easy curl or a loose bun on top. Sheryll at Opus in Yaletown is amazing for new styles and really reasonable. Tell her Kathryn sent you, to get $20 off your first cut.

As budget allows, you can layer in accessories and more options in each category. Let me know how that extra bounce in your step works out for you!