The Essentials To A Stylish Lifestyle : An Interview With Diana Taborsky, Boutique Owner Of Les Étoffes

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I had planned for this interview to last an hour. Two hours and a half later, I was still there, trying on my 8th piece by Christophe Lemaire. Diana Taborsky, co-owner of the boutique Les Étoffes, is as passionnate as she is fascinating.

Seven years ago (already!), she opened this oasis full of curated brands with her partner, Christopher Girard. Since then, numerous labels have found homes in this space designed by Antonin Sorel: some stayed and some have been replaced.

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The reality of renting an old space: the floor was too beveled to put regular clothing racks. Every problem has a solution: the clothes are hung from the ceiling.

 

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Everyone tries to get their hands on Mansur Gavriel handbags, but they’re sold out almost everywhere. Hint: there are a couple left at Les Étoffes.

Today, a luxurious amalgam of local stationary, Australian cosmetics, candles from L.A., jewelry from Munich and intricately fabricated clothes fill the store. As you can see, the shop takes care of your beauty cabinet as much as your closet. Here are a couple of names you should know if you’re into a simplified, balanced and cool lifestyle.

Grown Alchemist: organic skincare

“I heard about that brand during a trip to Australia, about 6 years ago. I became obsessed with their body cream! After that, I would write to them every four months to convince them to export their products to Canada. Last September, they finally hit our shelves”, tells Diana.

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Equally pleasing to the eye and to the skin: the Grown Alchemist products.

The line, launched by two brothers, is strictly composed of natural ingredients (no shady chemicals!). Their elixirs, scented with geranium, chamomile or sage extracts, are bottled in minimalist containers that are also… biodegradable! Oh, and they don’t test on animals.

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Let’s not forget about their beautiful lookbook, done in a newspaper format.

Atelier Mÿm: the art of the notebook

Maya Assouad’s journals are not made for boring notes such as your grocery shopping list. Handmade in Montreal, they make you want to write a poem or draw a portrait of your friend.

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“The cover is made with lamb skin and the paper is from G.F Smith, a premium quality company located in London. From beginning to end, the process is thoroughly researched”, shares Diana, who also happen to be a big fan of those meticulously pieced notebooks.

À Détacher: the best of slow fashion

“Mona Kowalska, the designer, doesn’t follow trends. She’s a dreamer with an extravagant side”, explains Diana, visibly a supporter of Kowalska’s creative approach.

Personally, I’ve known about the brand for quite a while, but I truly became an admirer after reading that interview with the designer on Fashionista. Even though Kowalska presents at every New York Fashion Week, she preserves an ethical production and a slow-paced and intricate way of creating her garments. She wants her brand to remain at a human scale, unlike many other designers.

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À Détacher also creates bathing suit for those who are stylish on the streets and at the beach.

With two philosophies so alike, the New York brand and the Montreal boutique were meant to create a union.

Saskia Diez: precious metals

Straight from Munich, the jewelry line has made its way to the boutique. “I discovered her pieces in New York. She produces so many collections, we only have a fraction of everything she makes”, says Diana.

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“If I’m going to only wear one, why not pick the biggest one?”, as I clearly told myself when trying on that earring by Saskia Diez.

I totally fell for the lonely earrings, made with 18 karats gold or sterling silver. You can buy them separately to create a unique asymmetrical look.

Linda Farrow: a golden sight

I’m such a sucker for a nice pair of sunglasses. First, my blue eyes are blinded by the weakest sun rays. Second, every tiny detail in a frame just amazes me.

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I hope one day to be a proud owner of a pair of Linda Farrow sunglasses. The rest of the outfit is by Protagonist, a brand that specializes in soft basics. And I mean super soft.

The brand Linda Farrow puts a great deal of attention in the subtle ornaments used in its timeless designs. “The golden studs on each side of the frame are actual gold”, shares Diana.

That’s it. I want a pair. What?! It’s to protect my eyes from the blazing sun, I swear ;)

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Neutral tones take over at Les Étoffes, but here and there, some pieces stand out (in a good way), like those pants by Suzanne Rae. I kept the rest toned down with a Lemaire t-shirt and Common Projects sporty shoes.

 

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This Lemaire jean, cut in rigid Japanese denim, has a boyfriend silhouette, but “worker from the 1940s” type of look. The boxy coton top is by Yune Ho, a Korean brand. On my feet: the (beautiful) Ancient Greek Sandals I got for my birthday, also available at the store.

Photos by Justine Paquette

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