For almost every question there’s always a condition: it depends what you want. That’s why we take the time to find people in the city who can talk about what they like and help you discover what you might enjoy as well. We want to know where to go shopping in Vancouver so we asked fashion and personal stylist Jessica Karalash, founder of KurateStyle, where does she find the best things in the city.
Jessica, originally from Saskatchewan, started this business with a background in finance and marketing combined with her passion for fashion and technology, with the objective of helping others find and create their personal style. She has been able to travel the world to learn about international trends, has attended New York Fashion Week, won Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed Award, was chosen as part of the Editor’s Pick by this same publication, and worked with Girls Raising to help women in tech to develop a successful career.
She describes her own style as feminine, elegant and sophisticated and about Vancouver’s fashion style she says: “Vancouver is definitely lifestyle driven when it comes to fashion. Because people are so active, workout gear becomes commonplace. Vancouverites style can also be very eclectic, as we do have a fashion scene that loves to experiment and try new trends.”
Jessica, in your opinion what are some must-have accessories for Vancouver?
An Umbrella that matches with everything. I go with a simple black umbrella that fits into my handbag, as you never know when it might start raining. A go-to handbag is a must-have. One that you can wear with any outfit, and that can fit all of your essentials, even your laptop. I suggest going with one that is simple, black and has a shoulder strap and a short strap option for versatility.
Another must-have is a pair of flat boots or shoes (depending on the season), that you can walk in for longer periods of time. Because we are so active in Vancouver, this is definite must. I am always walking from meetings and a good pair of shoes will save you.
What’s your favourite season to dress for?
I LOVE Spring/Summer. Anyone that knows me, knows I love colour, floral and everything about the spring and summer months, and my style reflects that. There is something beautiful and luxurious about dressing for Fall/Winter seasons. Layering and using different textures is something to look forward to (even if you aren’t as excited about the weather).
If you could trade closets with one person, who would that be?
Olivia Palermo, her style is flawless and always perfectly put together. Close seconds would include Jessica from Tuula Vintage, Kristina from Kayture and Aimee from Song of Style, who all have a beautiful and unique sense of style.
This is Jessica’s list of favourite stores and designers in Vancouver. Check the map below to discover her selection and you can also save this list clicking on the SAVE icon right beside the heart. All links are included in this map.
What are your favourite place to discover new things?
- The Latest Scoop is the perfect place to find new items. They are constantly bringing in new items and are always on point. DO check their website, as they are a “pop-up” store and do close a few times a year.
- I also love Jennyfleur Loves for their one-of-a-kind pieces. They are an online store based in Vancouver, but often have pop-ups around the city.
- Mine and Yours is a great place to take your clothes (they actually purchase the clothes you no longer wear, like consignment, but better), and they always have amazing finds at great prices. Everything from Louis Vuitton to H&M.
Favourite go-to place?
- Zara and Topshop. If I need something for an event, or simply need day-to-day pieces, these stores will always have what I need. I must give a shout out to the Personal Shopping at Topshop, where I am treated like a princess. Who doesn’t like that? Aritzia and Oak and Fort are great for staple items as well.
Where do you go when you need inspiration?
- Holt Renfrew and Secret Location. I love the window displays at Holt Renfrew, as well as browsing through the high-end brands to see the luxurious finds of each season. Secret Location is a beautifully curated store, with high-end designers from around the world. It’s really like going to a showroom in Europe, and is such a gorgeous experience.
Which place has the best sales of the year?
- The Hudson Bay, they have great sales, not just on clothing, but accessories like watches and handbags.
Your preferred spot to buy summer outfits?
- Everywhere! I love BCBG on Robson for the perfect summer dress to wear to weddings and special events.
- Zara is the perfect go-to for winter coats and layering pieces.
A store where you would spend all your money if you could?
Holt Renfrew and Secret Location. Online Net-a-porter has a beautiful editorial site that I love to visit.
In which place do you always find cool things?
- Violet Boutique just off South Granville is beautifully curated, sophisticated and feminine and caters to all ages with its classic pieces as well.
- Nouvelle Nouvelle in Gastown is great for one of kind pieces.
- The Cross in Yaletown is perfect for jewellery, gifts and home décor items.
Favourite shoe store?
- Brown’s Shoes has a fantastic selection of high quality shoes – flats, boots and heels – they have it all.
Favourite accessories store?
- Leah Alexandra jewellery has stunning pieces, I love all of her designs. They are gorgeous for layering and for stand out pieces. You can find her in several boutiques across the city and you can also purchase online.
A place where no one would expect to see you but you love?
- I have the ability to find pieces everywhere – regardless of location. Forever21 and H&M are places that I have found items that you wouldn’t expect to be from their stores. I was also recently in Palm Springs where I found the perfect pair of crystal earrings at an outdoor market (so perfect, I bought 2 pairs in different colors).
Now that you are expecting your first born, where do you find stylish maternity clothes?
- Asos is hands down the best for maternity wear. They have modern, in-season pieces for really great prices. As for local, I have gotten away with shopping at all of my regular spots, and finding pieces that can work for after-maternity wear as well.
Favourite men’s stores?
- Indochino is a Vancouver-based company that caters in made-to-measure men’s bespoke suits. One of the best investment for a man’s wardrobe is a tailored suit.
- The Hudson Bay is a great one-stop store for head-to-toe looks.
Favorite local designer?
- Connally McDougall has lovely silhouettes and I’m particular in love with her pieces from the September 2014 season. I recently wore them for a shoot with Vancouver Fashion Week and fell in love with her designs.
‘Vancouver Guides’ is an exclusive series of interviews created by Hayo Magazine for Vancity Buzz to discover the city through the eyes of its people. We have selected personalities from various disciplines to show us what Vancouver is like for them. If you’d like to be part of this, contact us at info[at]hayo.co