While I’m all for walking on style’s wild side if the spirit moves you, there’s something comforting to be said about classic, no nonsense good taste. And while we can all usually learn something from the examples set by others, most often, great taste is an inherent thing—something your mother can help you cultivate perhaps, but you either have it, or you don’t. Hertha Scholz definitely has it. I met the 68 year-old, self-described “perfectionist” at a concert at Massy Hall recently, and was immediately taken with her charm and elegance. Hertha radiates happiness and positivity. Her enthusiasm for fine fashion, the pride she takes in sporting it, and her expertise when it comes to knowing what works for her gives her an appealing confident edge. Hertha, who immigrated to Canada from her native Germany in 1972, and worked in the fashion industry at one time, is now married to Toronto music impresario Bernie Fiedler, who owned Yorkville’s legendary Riverboat back in the day. Actually, the late ‘60s and early ‘70s is the era that resonates the most with Hertha—the time that she first came into contact with real fashion. “Back in those days, whenever new fashions came out, I always thought, ‘This is the best!’ I really do like contemporary style,” she told me. These days, Hertha has the luxury of being able to travel to Europe on a regular basis, and even tries to have her hair cut in Berlin when she can get there. Otherwise, she goes to Toronto’s Exit Salon, where Rob Pizzuti colours her hair. But despite her European fashion jaunts, Hertha still loves shopping here at home, especially at the Escada store on Bloor St. She also cites Andrews, Holt Renfrew, Luisa Cerano in Bayview Village, and Brown’s, and Ron White as some of her favourite local style emporiums. She believes in quality first and foremost, but her bottom line is the fit. And she keeps fit herself by practicing yoga three times a week, along with meditating on a regular basis. The night I ran into her, Hertha was dressed in the epitome of casual chic, wearing Escada jeans that fit her beautifully, and a $1300 zippered tweed Escada jacket teamed with a simple white T -shirt she got at the St. John boutique in Beverly Hills. When it comes to the question of flats or heels, Hertha prefers a heel. Her $400 Stuart Weitzman shoes had a moderate little heel, and showed off her perfectly pedicured toes. And a silver ring by Vancouver jewelry designer Susan Fiedler, her husband’s daughter, graced her perfectly manicured hand. Because style is all in the details, Hertha swears by Toronto’s Chi Spa at 1 Balmoral Ave. when it comes to getting her nails done. She was also wearing gold hoop earrings that had been hand-made in Germany. But her piece de resistance was the little black Chanel back that was slung over her shoulder, a special gift from her loving hubby.
Define your personal style, in 3 words:
Classic, chic, comfortable.
What is your fashion philosophy?
Go for quality material. That’s what I learned as a teenager, from my mother. She always said it was better to by one expensive blouse than three cheap ones. That way, you’d always be wearing a good blouse!
What’s your idea of a fashion faux pas?
Wearing an elegant outfit without stockings.
Who is your style icon?
Coco Chanel. She always brought elegance to women, and showed us how to wear a pantsuit. I always longed for a Chanel suit—which I could never afford. I also always found Jackie Kennedy to be inspiring. She always looked elegant, even when she was casually dressed.
Best fashion advice?
Dress for yourself. And don’t put on a masquerade. If in doubt, always play it safe. But do remember to dress for the occasion.