October 2013: Letter from the editor

Summer 2013: Letter from the editor
Photography by Vanessa Heins. Hair and makeup by Grace Lee for Maybelline New York Canada/Plutino Group

I own 25 coats.

And this is after two major culls for charity sales. Some women can’t stop buying shoes. My thing is coats. My toppers include a black-and-white windowpane check, pea coats both snug and loose, a ski jacket that has never seen the slopes and more shearlings than I want to admit. And I just bought a croc-stamped moto jacket (at 77 per cent off!).

Every piece of outerwear serves a different function—car coats for shuttling the kids, a ruffled cape for cool-weather galas, a studded leather trench for fashion week photo ops. I even have a vintage purple Chloé coat reserved just for funerals.

The pieces in current rotation take up half of our tiny hall closet, so my husband and two teenage boys must squish their jackets into the other half. By mid-winter they usually tire of the struggle, and I find their puffy bombers piled in a waist-high heap.

I find it easy to rationalize every purchase (“I’m Canadian! It’s cold!”). But there’s an even better reason for us all to add a new coat to our closets. In the 20-plus years I have been writing about fashion, this is the most exciting outerwear season I have ever seen. From Stella McCartney’s checkered chesterfields to Burberry Prorsum’s latex rainwear, from Carven’s pastel cocoons to Michael Kors’s camo mink, the runway imaginings seem endless.

To help you shop, fashion market editor Caitlan Moneta has rounded up the best of the season (“Hot Commodities,” page 100), and in “Strike a Pose” (page 238), four of FASHIONMagazine.com’s Style Panelists show how they plan to wear the key looks. Western editor Joy Pecknold speaks to Canadian designers who have built their businesses on coats (“Top Coats,” page 60). And in “Reach for the Top” (page 208), stylist George Antonopoulos and photographer Gabor Jurina capture the texture and movement in the season’s most dramatic designs.

While the statement coat is a hot trend, for some the statement lip is an enduring signature. In “Lipstick Diaries” (page 126), Kari Molvar speaks to six women who explain their passion, including one who recalls her mother driving her to school dressed in a nightgown and Revlon’s Persian Melon.

Finally, I had a rare chance to “go on the record” with Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s director of brand strategy. Weston is one of the loveliest people I know, not at all a self-promoter, but a stealth force who operates with quiet elegance. In “Home and Away” (page 74), we talk about her love of travel, which she has spun into H Project, an area devoted to “humanity, health and habitat” in four Holts stores. Many of the items carried in the H Project have a charitable component, an expansion of a program the retailer launched in 2010. Since that first fundraiser (a portion of the proceeds from a $48 limited-edition Marc by Marc Jacobs tote bag was donated to provide low-cost eyeglasses in the developing world), Holts has raised more than $600,000 for a variety of causes. And there’s nothing more stylish than that.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Weston’s venture and more at [email protected].