Charlottetown: Meet the Island It Girl

Photography by Leigh Elliott
Photography by Leigh Elliott

“It Girl” is one of those ubiquitous phrases that gets tossed around a lot, but can be difficult to define. So, on that note, I’m going to propose that an It Girl is a young, fashionable woman who gives back to the artistic community.

Based on this new, unauthorized definition, Prince Edward Island is teeming with these grassroots versions of indie starlets—women who are as quirky as possible and have zero fear when it comes style. The most visible of these Island It Girls is Charlottetown’s Savannah Belsher.

Belsher is everywhere in the Island fashion industry. For one, she is a freelance makeup artist–her work has appeared on CBC’s ZeD, at last year’s PEI Catwalk and at the Fringe Urban Festival fashion shows, which she also helped organize. But her main contribution to the scene is Panache (panachepei.com), a quarterly magazine that covers Island culture, arts and fashion, which Belsher founded and where she currently oversees almost every aspect of production. The magazine has profiled some of the biggest local talents, including the designers of Sunsets on the Eastside, Krista Cousins of Rosebud Beads and well-known Island-based writer Louisa McCormack.

“Prince Edward Island has an incredible arts community,” Belsher says when asked why she started the mag. “I was raised by two musician/entrepreneur parents and I think that being born into this community has instilled a loyalty to it and a passion for feeding it.”

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