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Francois Nars

It’s hard to imagine that what started as a humble collection of 12 lipsticks could translate into a private Polynesian island, but that’s what happened for François Nars. Famous for being the makeup man who helped give Madonna her signature ultra glam look, Nars, who was born in the south of France, moved to New York in the mid 1980s …

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Elizabeth Hurley

“A real lady must always wear powder on her nose and stockings on her legs!” Estée Lauder declared when I interviewed her back in the eighties. “Oh, God – I fail on both counts today!” Elizabeth Hurley, who has been the global ambassador for Estée Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign for the past 20 years, laughed when I recounted the …

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Betty Halbreich

Women speak of retail therapy as a way of lifting themselves out of the doldrums. But the high that shopping provides is often short-lived – unless you’re 86-year-old Betty Halbreich. The legendary personal shopper, who is known for her stellar if unsentimental service at Bergdorf Goodman, New York’s famed luxury department store, has worked in retail for 38 years and …

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Arthur Elgort

Until the early sixties and long before street style took off, fashion photography was largely confined to studio spaces with controlled lighting. Then along came Arthur Elgort, a Brooklyn-born art student who pushed the perimeters of the fashion photography of the day by capturing his subjects on the move and in natural light. His snapshot approach revolutionized the art form …

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Betsey Johnson

Most designers claim to truly love what they do, but, on the runway, none has ever exhibited the pure, unbridled joy that’s become Betsey Johnson’s trademark. Still turning cartwheels at the age of 68, the spry and spirited grandmother has been catering to legions of cross-generational fashion fans since the late 1960s with her whimsically feminine, rock-and-roll sensibility. A breast …

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Ali Hewson

It’s debatable whether fashion can really provide an effective platform for social change. Still, for the past 6 years, Ali Hewson has made it her business to create clothes that will make a difference. And while most fashion brands aim simply to make the wearer look and feel good, the Edun label, which Hewson started with her husband, U2 frontman …

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Coco Rocha

The term “poser” has gotten a bad rap. According to most dictionaries, it has negative connotations and refers to a person who either pretends to be something he or she isn’t or acts in an affected manner in order to impress others. But Toronto-born, Richmond, B.C.-raised model Coco Rocha would likely take offence to those definitions. Her new book, Study …

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Carmen Dell’Orefice

In the trenches of fashion, beauty is traditionally defined more by the height of one’s cheekbones than by the depth of her character. But every once in a while, you come across a creature so breathtakingly exquisite, that you that you know the physical is in perfect synch with the spiritual. Meet Carmen Dell’Orefice. For over six decades now, Carmen …

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Yasmin Warsame

As much as the dark side of fashion’s underbelly has been exposed in recent years, with tales of the pressures of the business putting some players over the edge, other use the industry spotlight as a platform for awareness, and end up shining far brighter, and imparting more inspiration than any glossy style image could ever hope to. Toronto’s Yasmin …

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Viktor and Rolf

Once upon a time, the fashion that really made the world go ‘round—got people talking and dreaming and just plain excited—was the over-the-top fare that was presented in sensationally theatrically ways, by creative souls that were as much story-tellers as they were dressmakers. 20 years ago, when Dutch duo Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren burst onto the scene, the notion …

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Dara-Lynn Weiss: THE HEAVY

  What would you do if a doctor told you your seven-year old child was obese? Would you shrug it off, hoping your kid would eventually just grow out of the problem, and that the excess weight would somehow magically disappear? Or would you take charge of the situation, enforce a strict diet, and mercilessly police your child’s food intake …

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Sandra Bernhard Interview

Brash, irreverent, oddly beautiful, and outrageously hilarious, Sandra Bernhard has been tickling funny bones for decades with her astute insights and unbridled chutzpah. The Flint, Michigan native moved to LA at the age of 19, and went from filing nails at a swish salon to becoming a regular at the Comedy Store. Her first big break came in the early …

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Rodarte INTERVIEW

The first time Kate and Laura Mulleavy visited Toronto back in 2007, I ‘m not sure what surprised me most: Their gossamer, couture-quality garments, or the fact that these sisters, then in their mid twenties, were so refreshingly unaffected and delightfully grounded. Raised by a botanist father and artist mother, the self-taught designers, who began drawing as little girls, grew …

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Oscar de la Renta

I’ve had the privilege of hearing designers philosophize about fashion for over a quarter of a century now. But it’s when they philosophize about life that I’m really moved, remembering what it is that drives them. Deep in conversation with Oscar de la Renta at The Bay last week, I again savoured the realization that far beyond their love of …

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Nora Ephron

In the fall of 2010, I had the privilege of appearing in a show at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre, penned by the Ephron sisters, Nora and Delia, entitled “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”. It was a compilation of monologues about the sentimental attachments we have to certain pieces of clothing, and how we often see others, and define ourselves, through …

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Narciso Rodriguez

Despite the painstaking efforts designers put into creating their collections, they rarely get to watch them come down the runway: They’re usually ensconced in the backstage pressure-cooker, fretting over details, dealing with the dramas. That’s why I so savoured the delectable opportunity of sitting next to American designer Narciso Rodriguez at the Arcadian Court this week, as his much lauded …

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Monique Lhuillier

Whether it’s hitting the red carpet, or coming down the aisle, a Monique Lhuillier gown never fails to wow, oozing the kind of glamour and femininity that have become this L.A.-based designer’s signature style. The 40-year-old launched her first collection in 1996, and before long, started to attract a strong celebrity clientele. Having dressed the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese …

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Michael Kors

As much as I can understand what gives a label its allure, I still marvel at just how excited some people get over certain brands. I recently did a make-over segment on the Marilyn Denis show, in which I took a couple shopping to Vaughan Mills. The woman, who had a strong penchant for style, but couldn’t afford to buy …

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McMichael’s Victoria Dickenson

A bra made from two dream-catchers and a raccoon jockstrap may never have surfaced on any Canadian runway yet—but if you’ve got a penchant for the ridiculous to the sublime in fashion, you’re going to love these outlandish accessories by Canadian artist Kent Monkman which are part of mesmerizing exhibit at Kleinburg’s McMichael Gallery. Entitled “Fashionality: Dress and Identity in …

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Marisa Berenson

Fashion visionaries have been romancing the ‘70s with their collections these past few seasons, celebrating a long-gone era of innocence and optimism, when we all believed anything was possible, and dressed like we were ready for it. The iconic girl in the eye of that ‘70s style storm—“The Girl of the Seventies”, as Yves St. Laurent called her—was Marisa Berenson, …