This month’s fashion and beauty news, buys and curiosities.
The fast and the fabulous
Puma is no stranger to speed and performance. The brand’s DNA is firmly ensconced with early champions in soccer and track and field, including Brazilian soccer hero Pelé who wore Puma King boots during the 70s. Now, the company has won the coveted rights to sell F1 fanwear and fanwear of all ten teams around the race circuit starting 2024, a major coup considering the fevered pitch accompanying the sport (it currently attracts over 1.5 billion viewers). This partnership is no happy accident. Since the mid-80s, Puma has developed racing performance products (such as fireproof overalls and racing shoes) and to date, they have partnered with Mercedes AMG Petronas F1, Scuderia Ferrari, Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake, BMW M Motorsport and Porsche Motorsport. This spring, race fans can indulge in Puma for Scuderia Ferrari – June Ambrose, a streetwear collection for women designed by Ambrose, the brand’s creative director who has collaborated with hip hop heavyweights such as Missy Elliot, Busta Rhymes and Sean Combs.
Vancouver-based luxe lingerie brand Christine is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and to mark this milestone the company has unveiled a limited-edition collection inspired by some of its most iconic and timeless pieces. Over the years, the lounge and sleepwear label’s reputation for intricately stitched, classic designs made from the finest silks and laces in the world has attracted a steady stream of A-list celebrities including Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Fonda, Cher, Oprah, Cameron Diaz and Anne Hathaway. The Limited Edition 50th Anniversary Collection gave founder Christine Morton the chance to revisit her archives and bring back pieces that are truly unique, including a peignoir set – available in August – in a silvery pink silk called Whisper and a nightshirt, first introduced in 1980, of Swiss embroidered lace. The company will also introduce the Black Label Collection – releasing one piece each month such as May’s Eydn Gown ($670) – that will include a dual-purpose silken-wool robe that taps into the current trend of wearing innerwear as outerwear. “My designs are about empowering people to feel beautiful inside and out,” says Morton, whose line is available online (christinelingerie.com) and in boutiques in Canada, Australia, the U.K. and the U.S.
Are diamonds forever?
Couples are moving away from the traditional diamond engagement ring and buzzy alternatives, like vintage or lab-grown diamonds, have become increasingly popular. One small Canadian company owned and operated by women is taking it a step further, calling into question why diamonds still reign in the world of engagement rings. “It’s 2023,” says bluboho’s VP Natalie Westlake. “We wouldn’t want a marriage from 1947 — so why are we still holding engagement rings to a standard set by the men who came up with De Beers’ campaign back then?” The sapphire engagement rings from bluboho offer modern designs and new one-of-a-kind collection every two weeks (releasing May 22 is the ‘oh how I love you’ collection, pictured above). Couples who expect higher ethical standards from jewelers, like traceability and sustainably sourced stones, will be attracted to the company, which works closely with their vendors to hand-select each Montana-sourced sapphire. Available online (bluboho.com) or in-store at their Ottawa, Calgary, Muskoka, Oakville and two Toronto locations. Prices range from $3,998 - $26,998.
Meet the expert
A local wig prescription
Whether it be due to hair loss, alopecia or purely for self-expression, there’s a growing demand for natural wigs and extensions, predicted to reach US$9.12-billion market value by 2028, according to the latest market report from Grand View Research. Unlike synthetic hair, human hair wigs can be dyed, washed, styled with hot tools, and essentially treated the same as the user’s own hair. Toronto-based founder and CEO of The Wig Pharmacist, 26-year-old Callene Pennant, is tapping into this booming industry with hand-crafted, custom wigs made with ethically sourced natural hair from Indonesia and India. Every wig is made in-house and customized to the wearer’s head measurements and preference of hair texture, style and length (which can range from 12-40 inches). “I often help men who are dealing with hair loss to find high-quality, comfortable wigs,” says Pennant, adding that their most popular wig is a toupee, which nowadays is known as a ‘man weave.’ As an e-commerce company, The Wig Pharmacist sells around the world online (mkkhair.com), plus Pennant currently operates a salon out of her house in Brampton and offers mobile custom installation so she can meet her clients wherever they choose. This September, she will be opening an official storefront in Brampton. Prices range from $250 to $1,300, and installation is $100.
Reversal of fortune
Last year, The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported almost 75 per cent of their members witnessed more patients under 30-years-old requesting cosmetic surgery or injectables. Yet Blac Chyna and Kylie Jenner (notable influencers among Gen Z) are reversing their cosmetic enhancements. Jenner has been seen with less plump lips, and Chyna broadcasted a video showing the process of deflating her cheeks on Instagram, and declared, “I removed all my face fillers. I’m so happy.” Dr. Ron Somogyi, a staff plastic surgeon at North York general explains: “Celebrities focus on being better than the average person. This has forced celebrities to push the boundaries of ‘natural’ and ‘attractive’ to looking ‘different’ or ‘better.’ In the end, they look worse and now have to ‘reverse’ to become natural again.” He adds, subtle cosmetic enhancements, also known as tweakments, continue to be popular among the under-35 set at his cosmetic practice, FORM Face + Body. The most requested treatments are Botox and Skinpen microneedling, which involves making microchannels of tiny holes in the skin to help boost collagen proteins and lessen the look of wrinkles and acne scars.