Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Pre-fall shopping

We’re about to get into a funny time in the fashion calendar. The experts call it “pre-fall,” and it’s pretty bang on. Warm days and chilly nights. Too sunny for wool and too unpredictable for light silk. We’ve always thought this was the most impossible time of the year to shop for. But then, five years ago or so, we discovered Margitte Schweden, the creative mastermind behind Cologne’s Margittes line.

This year, it’s like she knew about pre-fall in the spring, because of what she’s come up with for this season. We love everything about this German collection, starting with how on-trend she always seems to be.

This year’s three big pre-fall trends are glitter, athleisure and jersey fabric. Surprise, surprise, Ms. Schweden’s right there with all three - in fact, one of our favourite pieces from her 2017 line integrates them all. Check out this glitter-heavy hoodie we have in stock right now. A hoodie’s about as athlete-chic as you can get, but with the shimmering outside and silk-lines inside, it’s less Saturday afternoon in and way more Friday night out.

Another piece we’re really into is this jogging suit. No, you’re not hitting the town in this number, but look at the conscious choice to move the running stripes a bit forward on the leg. We call that a slimming effect, and it’s pretty rare for a jogging suit. Most designers err on the side of comfort across the board in this category - but not Ms. Schweden.

And then there’s her cheeky side, which is probably what she’s known for the most. We talk above about jersey fabrics. Fairly boring, right? Not so when they’re coming out of the Margittes studio. Check out the lipstick and the pug. Not necessarily something you’d expect from the fashion capital of Germany, but then again, neither is Ms. Schweden.

Now, if you’re coming here to augment your kinda boring closet with something, you really should save a spot in your wallet for Margittes. But fair warning: Ms. Schweden’s mind is among the most popular in the store. So if you don't want to find yourself wasting away without Margittes-ville, swing by for pre-fall and let us show you the funkiest German in all her magnificent glory.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Travelling in style

We travel a lot for the store, mostly to Europe. So when our clients ask us for travel tips, we’re happy to share some of what we've picked up over the last two decades.

Pack something sexy.
You should feel your very best when you’re on vacation - it makes you appreciate the money you spent so much more. So make the first thing that goes in your suitcase something hot. Right now, this piece is on holiday with a few of our clients. We’re hoping for pictures.

Bring a jacket with a hood.
Anything can happen to your umbrella: the wind could break its arms, you could leave it on the metro or in your room because the day started off so sunny and lovely. A handy hood will keep your head dry and your hair looking the way you want it. This is one of our favourite travel pieces because it’s as pretty as it is practical.

Accessorize smartly.
Other than a wedding ring, you really shouldn’t bring your good jewelry on vacation with you. Too much can happen to it, and losing your most sentimental pieces will ruin your trip and a whole lot more.

Costume jewelry was made for travelling, and we recommend going basic so whatever you bring will work with any outfit you have. Check out some of the better pieces we have in the store these days.

Wander aimlessly.
Too many people try to pack everything under the sun into their days. Sure, it’s great to check off all the sites, but nothing about that is relaxing. You know what is, though? Strolling without a plan. You'd be surprised how much you can learn about a new place on a simple walkabout. The smells, the sounds, the random cafĂ© you stumble upon that makes the best biscotti you’ve ever had in your life. That’s what it’s all about.

Spa it up.
Every major city has a good one, and there’s nothing better than unplugging for a few hours and letting the professionals go to work on you. Facials. Massages. Pore-cleansing and a good soak. Fantastic. You'll leave walking on air, and in the right head space to take in more of what's on offer wherever you are.

And finally…appreciate the differences
This is your opportunity to experience life from a different angle. Instead of comparing it to home, let the familiar go and immerse yourself in your new surroundings. With the right clothes, you should have no problem. And with the right attitude, you’ll have the time of your life.

Bon voyage!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

One piece of clothing for every province

Canada Day’s always a good time at Bay and Bloor (especially the years it coincides with Pride). But this year’s particularly spirited around here. We’re chalking it up to the 150th and the pride it’s bringing out in everyone - including us.

So as we got to thinking about how to celebrate Canada’s momentous birthday (and how to do it in a uniquely Petra Karthaus way), we thought we’d pick one must-have item from our store for a visit to each of the 10 provinces.

As you can imagine, it wasn’t easy - every part of Canada is so diverse, which is what makes Canada such an amazing place to be. But we’re confident that if you have an in-Canada trip planned this summer (which we highly recommend), we’ve literally got you covered.

The left coast is wet - no two ways about that. So if you’re heading out there, you’ll need a good rain coat. Fortunately, the climate is fairly similar in Holland, Belgium and northern Germany where we spend a lot of our time. This piece is exactly what you'd need for a day in Victoria, a night in Vancouver or a weekend in Kelowna.

Toronto people still have a cowboy image of Alberta, which is only half true. Yes, you’ll see more stirrups and boots than you would here - especially in July during Stampede.  But the Albertans have raised their style game. Last decade’s oil boom definitely had something to do with it, and the recent correction hasn’t changed the way people dress out there. This Bogner woven belt will help you fit right in whether you're in Calgary, Edmonton or Banff.

Grain, grain and more grain. That’s SK for you, and what better way to show Canada’s heartland a bit of love than with this wheat-coloured purse from Eric Javits. He’s one of our signature designers, and definitely worth a look.

You don’t have to wait for winter to see the ‘Toban Polar Bears. In fact, a trip to Churchill to see them in their natural habitat is one of the best Canadian adventures you can have. But if you’re going to visit them, bring along this stunning white cotton-blended jacket. It’ll make them feel much more comfortable in their coats.

If you’ve never been to Ottawa before, you’re really missing out on one of Canada’s real gems. People talk about going in the winter to skate the Rideau Canal, but the summer is just as fab. The hopping Byward Market, the gorgeous parks and maybe a Justin sighting? If you’re there for the celebrations happening basically all summer, show your pride in this Red Diana Gallesi Blazer.

Everything’s sexier in French. That’s just a fact. So if you’re making it out to La Belle Provence, look the part in this franco-styled J.J. Garella Lace Outfit. On the boardwalk in Quebec City, along the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal or out of town in the Laurentian mountains, J.J.’ll have you looking and feeling magnifique.

Now we’re into the Maritimes and the gorgeous blue Atlantic waters. If you've ever been to Saint John or Fredericton, you’ve probably felt the breeze so a pair of stylish walking pants would serve you well - and specifically these Blue Magics, perfect for a stroll through town on a summer’s eve.

From Halifax to Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia’s the place to see and be seen. And when you’re seen wearing this aquamarine crystal and pearls necklace that pairs perfectly with a walk along the pier, you’ll draw stares from everyone you pass. This piece goes just as well with beachwear as it does with a dinner outfit.

The red sands of PEI are a sight to see for anyone, as is the drive over the Confederation Bridge to get there. And in this Aldo Martins top, you’ll be comfortable, stylish and just chill enough to belong in Canada’s most laid-back province.

Whale watching is THE thing to do out there. You’ll want to be as warm as you can so you can wait them out because missing a giant jump out of the water just isn't an option. This Devernois scarf is exactly what the ship captain ordered. Maybe the rich colours will even entice the whales to come up for a look?

We talked about Eric Javits earlier, and we’re bringing him back for our summer jaunt north because of his stylish travel hats. They can bend any which way for cramming into a suitcase and pop right back without losing form — perfect for 22.5 hours a day of glare from the sun.

Whatever you do this summer, enjoy it and enjoy the greatest country in the world. Happy Canada Day from all of us at Petra Karthaus.