Looking to snag Kate’s Smythe blazer? Get thee to Holt Renfrew immediately, if not sooner! | yohana

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge haven’t even reached our shores yet and Kate has already nailed the Canuck fashion connection. Spotted at Heathrow boarding a plane to Ottawa earlier today, the Duchess donned her signature colour in a knee-length dress by Roland Mouret and a blazer by Toronto’s own design duo Smythe. Hoping to get your hands on the same thing? Get thee to Holt Renfrew, fast! The blazer is available at locations nationwide, but word on the street is that they’re selling out fast.

Luminato ups the cool-factor with a new creative director (who may or may not be married to our/my favourite singer on earth!) | yohana

There’s some new blood in the building! And by that, we mean our building. Our office neighbours over at Luminato announced this morning the welcoming of a new creative director: Jorn Weisbrodt. Why is this especially exciting? Having worked with The Watermill Center, La Scala di Milano, the Spoleto Festival, the Barbican Centre in London, the Bolshoi Theatre (!!!), the Lincoln Centre Festival, and the Manchester International Festival, the German-born and currently New York–based director brings lots of new blood to the festival. Why is this even more exciting? Well, selfishly speaking, we (as in I) are huge fans (we/I mean huge!) of Weisbrodt’s husband, Rufus Wainwright. The two became involved with Luminato after Wainwright’s opera, Prima Donna, made its North American debut during last year’s festival. As a career stalker of the Ruf (ah yes, I was a card carrying fan club member of his internet fan group during high school, once waited in the cold for him to sign my purse… really), having him almost next door means our love affair might just continue… whether he likes it or not!

Day 1 brings Gucci, Alberta Ferretti, N°21, Francesco Scognamiglio, and of course, spaghetti rosa! | yohana

Was it my imagination or did the maître d at the Charleston Restaurant light up when he saw me coming tonight, hugging me and my pasta partner in crime, Newsweek/the Daily Beast’s Robin Givhan, and proudly declaring “spaghetti rosa for you!”
One of the things I marvel about in Milan is the flawless service from a loyal cast of shopkeepers, hotel concierges, restaurant owners, and wait staff who lovingly keep the same job year after year, and have become my Milanese family away from home when I touch down twice a year. But enough warm and fuzzy. You want to hear about the clothes!
Let’s rewind. I hit the ground running from airport runway to the Gucci runway, where Frida Giannini dazzled with an art deco–inspired collection of androgynous luxe/tux looks—big on embellished, tiny spencer jackets and lean trousers—and  ‘20s flapper drop-waist dresses whose geometric prints were defined in sequins and beads. Zebra prints and graphic patterns leant a vague tribal whiff.
Next, to Alberta Ferretti where Milan’s queen of chiffon continued her reign, this time using sheer insets to create swirling tattoo patterns in shades of melon, magenta, chrome yellow,  and a pretty aqua green. A touch of tribal was felt in camp shirts, tropical-print long skirts, and intricately beaded, colour-block knits.
Alessandro Dell’Acqua‘s N°21 was next, and the designer used many signatures he’s known for, from lace to sexy pencil skirts, mixed with boyish basics. Highlights were silver paillettes, on collars and covering pencil skirts, and a Gauguin-esque black-and-white print of a nude woman that covered everything from skirts to iPad cases.
Try saying this one fast: Francesco Scognamiglio. SCO-NEE-YAH-MEEL-EE-O.
You’ll want to practice. (Not since early-’80s Azzedine Alaïa have fashion peeps tripped over a name like this.) However you say it, he’s one to watch right now in Milan. His are glamorous, figure flaunting, racy, lacy clothes for brave, all-out-woman women, this season cut almost exclusively in lace—either back, white, or peach—and if Lady Gaga, Madonna and Rihanna (all have been sporting him of late) have their way, it will be a household name faster than you can say… well, Scognamiglio!

black style | yohana

The ladies have spoken, and it’s leather they’re after to fill their closets this fall. Not just for biker babes anymore, the season has us swimming in feminine options that are equal parts naughty and nice. From body-con dresses to pencil skirts, the new way to wear leather is all about ladylike silhouettes, mixing fabrics, and layering luxe textures like cashmere and fur.

The top 7 must-have trends from Paris fashion week that you don’t have to wait until spring to wear | yohana

Fashion peeps never play by the rules. Just because the calendar says fall doesn’t mean you can’t get a jumpstart on your spring wardrobe. Here’s your shopping short list. Game on!
1. Fringe, fringe, and more fringe. Barbara Bui showed shaggy cropped jackets with row upon row of the swingy stuff.
2. Midnight blue. No, it’s not navy, people. It’s midnight blue and it looks fabulous paired with black à Nina Ricci.
3. Lace effect cutouts. Whether you choose lace or leather (like Balmain’s tough n’ tender take on the mini) this romantic accent has leapt out of the costume history books and onto spring’s hottest finds.
4. Mixing brights and prints. Carven painted a pretty chic picture for spring with its candy coloured explosion of graphic lines, florals and more.
5. An impeccably tailored jacket. Dries did magenta, Rochas opted for sky blue with a subtle sheen and Carven went for the wow-factor in white. However you choose to wear yours, it will be a great investment for seasons to come.
6. Something sheer. Ok, so you’re not going to prance around town wearing a see-through skirt (although you really ought to consider it based on the extreme gorgeousness of Nina Ricci’s ethereal ballet skirts) but you can work this trend into your wardrobe without getting arrested. Look for peek-a-boo panels on tops and dresses that still leave lots to the imagination!
7. Bright trousers. Take your cues from Balenciaga who showed a fiery pair of high-waisted trousers fit for any modern day fashion goddess.

We visit Chloé Comme Parris for a sneak peek of the Spring 2012 collection | yohana

Next up in our studio invasion series, we stopped by the temporary studio belonging to sister designers Chloé and Parris Gordon (they rented the space from photographer Francisco Garcia) while they were busy putting the last touches on their Spring 2012 collection. While Chloé whipped some selects off the rack to show us, Parris was busy in the jewellery studio crafting more splendid silver pieces for the collection. Check out our slideshow for a hint of the Victorian-inspired wears as well as the inspiration behind the Chloé Comme Parris collection that the duo will be showing tonight during LG Fashion Week.

Arthur Mendonça takes Liz Taylor’s Cleopatra underwater | yohana

Is there a better inspiration than Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra? We thought not, until Arthur Mendonça set the vision for beauty at his Spring 2012 show: Cleopatra emerging from water. Eddie Malter, official makeup artist for L’Oreal Paris, used H.I.P. High Intensity Pigment Eyeshadow Duos “224” and “207,” blending layers of blue, turquoise, and silver to achieve the effect of water reflecting on the face—a look certainly worthy of modern Egyptian goddesses. Brows were left natural and lips subtle, done in a beige Infallible Le Rouge lip colour (“814”) and covered with gloss.
Even glossier, however, was the hair; Eric Del Monaco, official hair artist and colourist of L’Oreal Paris, styled it in sections, applying water and Studio Line Special FX Radical Gel in layers. “We kept it nice and neat, so the hair doesn’t wave when walking down the runway,” he explained. To ensure this straight look, hair was pulled from the temple into a hidden ponytail, neatly secured behind the sleek tresses.

Baby Steinberg’s vision was clear, but her execution faltered | yohana

Baby Steinberg Spring 2012
I have to commend designer Baby Steinberg on her unique portrayal of Spring 2012. It’s not often we see clothes made out of remnants of old fabrics and reprocessed materials. Her vision to create “something from nothing” is creative, however, when boundaries are pushed too far, there often comes a downside. Rather than looking like a runway collection, Steinberg’s execution felt like an episode of Project Runway, in which contestants are challenged to create clothing from scraps. Looks such as an unzipped skirt with a cropped fringe black and white top came off too sloppy, and a long black woven one-shoulder dress proved to be too difficult for a model to walk in. I cringed at times, just hoping these pieces wouldn’t rip apart at the seams, especially a stencil-cut top made of tissue paper. More like art pieces than couture, this collection is hardly practical, except for, maybe, the skin-tight knitted red mini dress with pink and white roses.

Micalla brings glitz, glamour, and Swarovski | yohana

Micalla Spring 2012
For her Spring 2012 jewellery collection show, Micalla designer Camilla Jorgensen brought on the glitz and glamour. The larger-than-life pieces sparkled with Swarovski crystals, which had obvious undertones of: “Look at me!” The oversized, chunky, and bedazzling pieces may not be your everyday jewellery, yet the models could have easily persuaded us otherwise. However, there was one notable concern—I had to constantly remind myself that these pieces were designed for spring, not for winter. A heavy necklace embellished with frost-like crystals seemed fit for a snow queen, and the lack of bright colours left me confused. These winterized pieces seemed better suited for women accessorizing for the Christmas holidays or a New Year’s bash.