Calgary: Fashionable friendship

Prada in the Prairies by Bonnee McLachlan

Some women in this world never cease to amaze me with their ability to throw together stunning outfits with ease (cough: Rachel Bilson). More often than not, I forget there’s a celebrity stylist behind their glamorous look and give props to the star—tisk, tisk.

Truth be told, Hollywood has gifted style visionaries like Rachel Zoe (of the Grecian goddess dresses and oversized handbags) to thank for the innovative and eye-catching looks draped on our favorite celebs. Designers love to oblige this crew: Who could turn down all that publicity?

Hien Huynh (shown, left) and Helen Nguyen, the brains and crafty brilliance behind Calgary’s new Coco & Violet (2500 Fourth St., SW. 403-244-6234, are self-proclaimed media junkies. Striving to deliver the fresh trends we see on A-listers, they keep a watchful eye on what’s turning heads in Tinseltown. With their shared passion and retail experience, not to mention a 20-year friendship, it was a no-brainer for these two to open their own shop.  They took a big chance and opened their chic boutique within six months of hatching the idea.  And, if that’s not enough, this dazzling duo met when they were eight years old, so yeah, if you do the math, they’re not even 30!

Located slightly off the beaten fashion path, Huynh and Nguyen took another risk in choosing the store location.  Not wanting to be lost amidst the riddle of shops on 17th Avenue, they were pleasantly surprised when Urban Barn moved in next door to their Mission area location.

Melding street and chic is what makes Coco & Violet my new favorite boutique for original finds.

Prada in the Prairies appears every other Thursday. Read Bonnee’s bio here.