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For the 2022 edition of The Globe and Mail’s annual Canada’s Best Dressed List, standout trendsetters highlight the sartorial potential of an eco-friendlier closet

Sophie Blumenthal

Repurposing materials is in Sophie Blumenthal’s DNA. Her father has been in the recycled scrap metal business since he was 17. It’s a career that Blumenthal has also stepped into alongside selling vintage furniture through the Instagram account @sbexchange. “Everything – from the furniture I sell and furnish my home with, to the metals and electronics I process at work, to my car and my clothes – is recycled.”

Splitting her time between Toronto, New York and Los Angeles, Blumenthal says her outfits always begin with her accessories, a highly personal collection of vintage pieces that includes her late aunt’s Chai pendant, a Rolex Day-Date wristwatch from 1962 and her engagement ring, a gold band inlayed with diamonds that dates to the 1970s. Her daily uniform consists of black Maison Margiela slacks, Raf Simons-era Calvin Klein boots (she has three pairs in different colours) and one of her favourite shirts, from Bode, 3 Women Co., Thom Browne or her local corner store. “I think with good accessories and the right shoe, you can wear a T-shirt from the dollar store and jeans and look polished.”

To Blumenthal, sustainability in fashion means investing in high-quality pieces that are pre-owned. “Our parents aren’t joking around when they say things just aren’t made like they used to be,” she says.

Sophie Blumenthal, photographed at DEN Los Angeles in Los Angeles, wears a 1970s vintage suede jacket with a Bode T-shirt, Gucci trousers and footwear by Raf Simons for Calvin Klein. Her wristwatch is a 1962 Rolex Day-Date and her vintage gold and diamond engagement ring dates back to the 1970s.

Photo of Sophie Blumenthal
Photo by Gemma Warren
Photo of Sophie Blumenthal
Photo by Gemma Warren

Sustainable advice:

“Find a good tailor who won’t turn down any project because, with vintage, sizing options don’t exist. If you fall in love with a garment, you can make it your own.”

Sophie Blumenthal, photographed at DEN Los Angeles in Los Angeles, a Gucci coat, Thom Browne sweater, Maison Margiela trousers and Bottega Veneta clogs.

Sara Camposarcone

With a TikTok following of some 380,000 users, Sara Camposarcone’s rainbow bright approach to fashion has attracted attention the world over. A marketing associate and social media manager who lives in Hamilton, Camposarcone attributes her sense of style to her creative spirit as well as time spent interning for a fashion blogger in Italy, where she was tasked with reviewing archival runway collections and documentaries. “I wore a uniform every day in school growing up, so I love having the freedom to wear whatever I want in my adult years,” she says.

To that end, her wardrobe is an eclectic explosion of colour that she describes as “chaotic,” “unhinged” and “joyful.” To find deals on bold vintage wares, Camposarcone scours thrift stores and online platforms such as Depop, Poshmark and the RealReal. Some of her favourite pieces include a 1980s Gunne Sax dress she discovered while digging through piles of used clothing. “They retail for hundreds on eBay, so finding this one for free made it super special,” she says. There’s also a Franklin Jay dress handmade out of vintage Care Bear bedsheets and a pair of gold Molly Goddard platform boots, her staple shoe for all seasons. “Always wear what makes you happy,” Camposarcone says.

Sara Camposarcone, photographed in Toronto, wears an oversized collar handmade from vintage bedsheets gifted from Sisu Susie and a 1980s thrifted Gunne Sax dress. Her tutu and deadstock Vivienne Westwood tights were both found on Depop. Her handmade top was gifted by Madison Chamberlain and shoes were gifted from Circus NY. Her earrings and green and lavender rings are by Dollchunk, the pink scrunchie on her wrist is by Room Shop and her silver ring was thrifted.

Photo of Sara Camposarcone
Photo by Brandon Titaro
Photo of Sara Camposarcone
Photo by Brandon Titaro

Sustainable advice:

“I love supporting small, up-and-coming designers who repurpose old or deadstock fabrics into something new. Even I have gotten into creating new garments from random things around my house!”

Sara Camposarcone wears a top by Franklin Jay and trousers by Makmak, both handmade from vintage bedsheets, with Molly Goddard platform shoes. Her hairband is from a vintage market, her earrings are by Laser Kitten and her ring is by Dollchunk.

Malania Dela Cruz

For Malania Dela Cruz, learning where and how her clothing is made is part of the fun of fashion. “I am way more conscious of what I’m buying,” she says, explaining that she looks into a company’s manufacturing processes and materials to inform her purchases.

As the vice-president of Nine Point Agency, a PR and creative office in Vancouver, Dela Cruz says her day-to-day wardrobe ranges from power suits to motorcycle jackets, with plenty of black staples that offer easy layering options and a sleek head-to-toe look. Dela Cruz says she loves supporting Canadian fashion companies, adding in vintage finds and investing in contemporary pieces from boutique brands. “I am a dress-for-the-moment type of person,” she says. “I start with the mood I’m in, how I want to feel and the energy I want to exude for the day.”

Some of her favourite pieces include a hand-me-down studded belt she’s had since she was 19, a bespoke suit by Canadian tailor Philip Sparks and a pair of gold hoop earrings by jewellery brand Biko. “To me, sustainable dressing means investing in timeless pieces that you can wear over and over again and that are made with quality and care to stand the test of time.”

Malania Dela Cruz, photographed in Vancouver, wears an Amomento cardigan with a Rachel Comey skirt and About Arianne Martin sandals from One of a Few. Her green Bri Williams glass rings were handmade in Vancouver and the rest of her jewellery is by Obakki.

Photo of Malania Dela Cruz
Photo by Alan Chan
Photo of Malania Dela Cruz
Photo by Alan Chan

Sustainable advice:

“I really believe that the key to living more sustainably is to become more educated, conscious and compassionate consumers – not just with fashion, but with all things in our lives.”

Malania Dela Cruz wears an Abel Wear blouse handmade in Vancouver with a Rachel Comey skirt, Suzanne Rae heels from One of a Few and a belt by Maryam Nassir Zadeh. Her earrings are by Biko, her necklace is by Lisbeth Jewelry and her bracelets are by Obakki. Her makeup was done by Gentille Umubyeyi and her hair is by Trina Redgwell.

Maya Gohill

Calgary’s Maya Gohill uses her artist’s eye when getting dressed. A painter and multidisciplinary design professional (and the co-owner and designer of the Calcutta Cricket Club restaurant), she says that she dresses for variety and creative expression. “In adulthood, really honing my aesthetic has been a slow and gradual burn, and in the past decade I have taken a real interest in having a well curated wardrobe,” she says, adding that she resists any urges to impulse buy the latest craze. “Following trends is less important to me than following my inner stylist’s voice.”

That voice has led her to an edited closet full of eye-catching favourites including a red printed blazer by Italian fashion designer Stella Jean, a pair of peplum pants by Dries Van Noten bought at a consignment store and a Nili Lotan wool poncho. For a personal touch, her ensembles are completed with jewellery collected on her travels as well as family heirlooms passed down from her grandmother and mother. “All have a special place in my heart and wardrobe,” she says.

Maya Gohill, photographed in Calgary, wears a Marques Almeida T-shirt from consignment boutique, The Revente, with Dries Van Noten trousers found on The RealReal and Jeffrey Campbell boots. Her earrings are by Caralarga Mexico, her bangle is by Iker Ortiz and her eyeglasses are from EyeBuyDirect. The necklace is from Nordstrom and her ring is vintage.

Photo of Maya Gohill
Photo by Meaghan-Baxter
Photo of Maya Gohill
Photo by Meaghan-Baxter

Sustainable advice:

“Questioning our intentions for why we shop has a huge role to play in making fashion more sustainable.”

Maya Gohill wears a top from Banana Republic with Mango trousers made of recycled polyester. Her Gucci platforms and Monies earrings are from Vespucci Consignment and her jewellery is vintage.

Myriam Laroche

Myriam Laroche’s career in sustainable fashion dates to 2009, the year she founded Vancouver’s Eco Fashion Week, which showcased environmentally conscious fashion for eight years. Now based in Quebec City, Laroche consults as an apparel and textile sustainability strategist, sharing her expertise with companies looking to improve their environmental impact.

It’s a thoughtful approach she believes consumers can also take on by considering the effect their personal clothing purchases have on the planet, people and animals. “Before the internet, we could be blind to the damage we were causing,” she says. “Now, there is absolutely no excuse to ignore it.”

Laroche says that some of her most treasured pieces of clothing are thrift-store finds, including a Christian Dior jacket and a 1980s cashmere sweater from Simons. Preferring a muted palette, Laroche combines basics with boho influences and references to the 1970s and 80s. “I like to layer and mix textures, patterns and colours to create contrasts, even with shapes and silhouettes,” she says. “It all balances out in the end.”

Myriam Laroche, photographed at Auberge St-Antoine in Quebec City, wears a Harris Tweed men’s blazer and Steilmann dress, both from Value Village, a Peter Storm wool sweater and torsade necklace from La Boîte à Fripes and Aigle rubber boots purchased seven years ago at a sample sale. The rest of her jewellery belonged to her grandmothers.

Photo of Myriam Laroche
Photo by Stéphane Audet
Photo of Myriam Laroche
Photo by Stéphane Audet

Sustainable advice:

“Find your own unique eco recipe following your values and based on your financial, material and human resources.”

Myriam Laroche wears a 15-year-old Tara Subkoff for Bebe duster coat and 10-year-old Aritzia slip dress, both swapped with friends. Her turtleneck, by Twik, and scarf are from Value Village and her BCBG sandals were bought in 2014.

Greg Ntore

“Styling the same pair of shoes or coat multiple times on my YouTube or Instagram doesn’t bother me,” says Greg Ntore, a senior online personal stylist at Montreal fashion retailer Ssense. It’s an outlook that stimulates Ntore’s creativity but is at odds with influencer culture, where showing off ever-new clothes typically means more likes. “As a stylist or content creator, there is always a pressure to provide more outfits with different pieces. But to me, as long as I’m creating, styling and finding new ways to wear a specific piece, I find that more appealing,” he says.

He encourages the approach in his clients at Ssense. “As I develop relationships with them, I’m able to gauge what they actually need, not want, in their wardrobe,” he says. For his own outfits, Ntore, who was born in Marseille and spent time in South Africa, Congo and Zimbabwe before moving to Ottawa to study economics in 2010, begins with his trousers before choosing three tops to layer. “I love layering. In most cases it will be a white tank top – always a white one because I find black doesn’t accentuate the outfit enough – a shirt or crewneck and, to finish it off, a long coat or bomber,” he says.

His last touch is a selection of rings. “I like big chunky rings that stand out,” he says. “Especially during the summer when my style is a bit more minimal.”

Greg Ntore, photographed in Montreal, wears a Rick Owens coat and shirt over a Calvin Klein tank top with Bode side-tie trousers and Bottega Veneta shoes. His necklaces and rings are a mix of vintage finds and designer pieces by Gucci and Bottega Veneta.

Photo of Greg Ntore
Photo by Royal Gilbert
Photo of Greg Ntore
Photo by Royal Gilbert

Sustainable advice:

“The objective is to have a select number of pieces that are consistently being rotated and to find different ways of styling them. I prefer it this way because it forces me to be creative.”

Greg Ntore wears a Bode blanket stitch quilt jacket and side-tie trousers with Bottega Veneta shoes and Calvin Klein socks. His rings are a mix of vintage finds and designer pieces by Emanuele Bicocchi, Bottega Veneta and Gucci.

Ceilidh Sutherland

Growing up in Tatamagouche, N.S., in the 1990s, Ceilidh Sutherland and her sister would bring home second-hand clothing from Guy’s Frenchys to transform with their mother’s sewing machine. “I guess I never ever lost my love for the thrifting hunt and I think this really has informed how I feel about clothing,” she says.

Today, some of Sutherland’s favourite vintage finds include second-hand Levi’s jeans and blazers, which she pairs with band T-shirts borrowed from her musician boyfriend’s extensive collection. When she’s not shopping second hand, Sutherland looks for versatile staples from local boutiques, such as the puffed sleeved floral-print mini dress by Canadian brand A Bronze Age, which she bought at Halifax shop Slowly Slowly as a birthday gift to herself. “I absolutely dress for functionality in my day-to-day life, something I’ve had to learn through a lot of outfit trial and error,” she says.

A restaurateur, Sutherland is the co-owner of Halifax hotspot Field Guide, which is known for incorporating ingredients from local farmers and producers, and Fawn Restaurant, scheduled to open later this spring. Having fun with sartorial expression, Sutherland is never afraid to take a risk. “Exploration of self can be so fun when done through clothing if you can just be open to trying new things,” she says.

Ceilidh Sutherland wears a vintage Sag Harbor blazer from Habit Vintage, a top by Riot Swim, thrifted Levi’s 517 Orange Tab jeans from Elsie’s Vintage and boots by Ivylee.

Photo of Ceilidh Sutherland
Photo by Meghan Tansey Whitton
Photo of Ceilidh Sutherland
Photo by Meghan Tansey Whitton

Sustainable advice:

“Borrowing, especially for special occasions, is a great way to save money and be more mindful.”

Ceilidh Sutherland, photographed in Halifax, wears a thrifted Andrew St. John sweater from Dear Sunday Vintage over a second-hand dress found at a Shop Farputz closet sale. Her Frye boots were bought second-hand over 10 years ago and her vintage San Marcos belt is from Ana + Zac. Her rings in bother images include her grandmother’s wedding ring, one she made in a workshop with local jeweller Sarah Sears and a knot ring by Caitlyn Rose Jewellery.

Scott Wabano

With a blossoming career as a fashion stylist and designer for his namesake gender-neutral brand, Scott Wabano brings equal passion to his advocacy work in improving mental health resources for 2Spirit youth in Indigenous communities around the world. Born and raised in Moose Factory, Ont., on Treaty 9 Territory, and now based in Dish with One Spoon, Treaty 13 Territory known as Tkaronto, Wabano’s Eeyou Cree identity intersects with his wardrobe, which is filled with meaningful pieces by a range of Indigenous artists and designers.

“There are so many unique stories to be shared from many diverse Nations and you can see that through the designs of each designer,” he says. One standout is a printed windbreaker by Jamie Okuma, a Luiseno, Shoshone-Bannock, Wailaki and Okinawan designer. Wabano describes it as the “a perfect representation of the balance of both worlds urban Indigenous people often find themselves in.” Another is the Hampton x Wabano jacket, a collaboration with designer Lesley Hampton, which Wabano credits with jumpstarting his career in fashion.

Favouring head-to-toe black, Wabano takes inspiration from fashion designers such as Riccardo Tisci and the late Virgil Abloh, as well as the intricate regalia worn at powwows and ceremonies.

Scott Wabano, photographed in Toronto, wears a one-of-a-kind, upcycled jacket by Cree streetwear brand Mobilize purchased at Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week in 2019. His embroidered Wabano T-shirt is made of bamboo and worn with pants from Value Village and Aldo boots. His earrings were gifted by Pandora and his rings were gifted by Vitaly.

Photo of Scott Wabano
Photo by Brandon Titaro
Photo of Scott Wabano
Photo by Brandon Titaro

Sustainable advice:

“Miyo-pimâtisiwin, the Good Life. We do not take more than we do not need, we always do our best give back to our Earth and our people, and we all help participate in ways that can help preserve things for our future generations.”

Scott Wabano wears a borrowed Babylon shirt and Aldo shoes. Made in collaboration between Wabano and students in LaSalle College’s Fashion Design Product Development class taught by Lucie LaPierre, his upcycled turtleneck is by Frank Sun and Laila Vinton and his upcycled trousers are by Antoine Rochon, Jade Thérien, Audrey Blais and Ariane Roy Geromin. His beret is from Awessah Store, an Indigenous-owned company located in the Cree Nation of Mistissini in Eeyou Istchee, Que., and his sunglasses were thrifted at Black Market Clothing. His earrings were gifted by Pandora, his ring by Vitaly and his necklace is from U3. His hair is by Israel Garcia Jr. at Palm Sunday salon.

Maya Amoah

The founder of contemporary fashion label Batik Boutik, Maya Amoah has been working with pattern makers and tailors from West African countries to produce her Montreal-based brand’s hand-dyed cotton garments since 2017. She’s also a full-time student at Concordia University, where she’s pursuing a degree in journalism, political science and human rights.

Hailing from Hamilton, Amoah favours an eclectic mix of prints, layering necklaces and scarves or winterizing a summer piece with tights and a turtleneck. “I generally scan both closet and dresser drawers to look at everything before making my decision, then throw the things I think will look good all on the bed and try it on in front of the mirror to see if I was correct,” she says. “I usually am.”

Some favourites in regular rotation include a turtleneck from Canadian certified B Corporation Kotn in mustard yellow and a thrifted leopard-print fleece zip-up jacket Amoah unearthed at a church basement charity shop, both of which match her current hair colour . She also gravitates to pieces with longevity, including a rib-knit, scoop neck dress with blue flowers that was a hand-me-down from her mother. “It’s the perfect short length, fit – everything,” she says. “I’ve worn it every summer for over a decade.”

Maya Amoah, photographed in Montreal, wears a Sakumono wrap top and Volta pants by Batik Boutik. Her black sandals are thrifted and her rings are from a since-closed shop on Saint-Denis in Montreal.

Photo of Maya Amoah
Photo by Royal Gilbert
Photo of Maya Amoah
Photo by Royal Gilbert

Sustainable advice:

“Recognize that you can’t have everything you want in life. The planet can’t take it anymore.”

Maya Amoah, photographed in Montreal, wears Batik Boutik’s Teshie jumpsuit. Her earrings and bangles are from a Renaissance thrift store in Montreal.

theglobeandmail.com

HOW WE DID IT

To compile this list, a group of Globe and Mail editors and contributors (Caitlin Agnew, Benjamin MacDonald, Nadia Pizzimenti, Andrew Sardone and Maryam Siddiqi) reached out to their networks of wardrobe watchers, dug deep into their social-media feeds and surveyed 2021′s honourees to create a roster of candidates from across the country. After narrowing the nominees down to the final list, photographers in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Halifax and Los Angeles were commissioned to capture the subjects’ signature styles. Have a best-dressed suggestion of your own? Post a photo of your fashionable contender to Instagram and tag the picture @globestyle and #GlobeStyleBestDressed.

Additional credits: Editing by Andrew Sardone. Art direction and design by Benjamin MacDonald. Fashion editor: Nadia Pizzimenti. Digital design and development by Christopher Manza.