From Spanish soles to Japanese soap, spring style goes global

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      New in the Neighbourhood

      Two Vancouver neighbourhoods are getting a fashionable boost this month. In Kitsilano, Judith & Charles (2207 West 4th Avenue) has opened its first street-front location. Headed by partners Judith Richardson and Charles Le Pierrès, the Canadian womenswear label already has locations in Oakridge Centre and Pacific Centre, as well as eight more shops across Canada, one in New York, and franchises planned for Asia. Best known for tailored, modern cuts and wardrobe staples, Judith & Charles is a go-to spot for crisp blazers, feminine blouses, and office-appropriate dresses. Meanwhile, on South Granville, Max Mara has relocated its flagship boutique to 3025 Granville Street. The new, 3,950-square-foot space includes a Max Mara Bridal shop—a first in North America. The luxury fashion label known for sophisticated outerwear and modern, tailored womenswear was founded in Italy in the early 1950s. Max Mara has two other locations in Vancouver.

      Experience cupping therapy at Collective Skin Care as part of the new Clarity Facial.

      Healthy Glow

      Since launching Collective Skin Care (1268 Pacific Boulevard) in summer 2013, owner and esthetician Kathryn Sawers has expanded the range of services offered at her boutique wellness spa to include aspects of eastern medicine. Dr. Mahsa Ahmadi, a registered acupuncturist, provides acupuncture, cupping therapy, herbal remedies, and massage in tandem with facials and skincare treatments offered by Sawers. The Clarity Facial ($164 for 105 minutes, of which $65 may be redeemed through extended medical coverage) is a new treatment that combines traditional Chinese medicine and professional skincare treatment. After a brief assessment, Ahmadi applies acupuncture and cupping to help relieve muscle tension and remove impurities from the body. Both of these therapies are believed to be even more effective when performed during or immediately following a dietary cleanse. After the acupuncture and cupping section, Sawers provides a complementary deep-cleansing facial tailored to the needs of each client. A face, neck, shoulder, and scalp massage to end the treatment activates lymphatic drainage and increases relaxation.

      This bold red pump by Spanish label Hispanitas adds the perfect pop of colour to spring outfits.

      Spanish Sole

      Jenny and Jorge Rodriguez believe that comfort should never be compromised for style. The owners of Ella Shoes (2546 Granville Street; 640 Granville Street; 750 Park Royal North, West Vancouver) are passionate about helping customers find the right fit by bringing in top brands from Spain—their home country—that focus on quality workmanship as much as the latest European trends. Find Hispanitas, a near-century-old family-run footwear company unafraid of colour and funky details, at all Ella Shoes locations. As the weather warms up, swap your boots for a fun pair flapper-style Testa Brown Leather T-Strap Heels ($242) or bold red Guinda Two-Buckle Patent Leather Pumps ($232). While both pairs feature about a three-inch rise, the sturdy stacked heel and rubber sole on Hispanitas ensures comfortable, day-long wear. Chie Mihara, an on-the-rise label focused on comfortable-but-cute footwear, is also popular at Ella Shoes. The brand takes its inspiration from vintage fashion, as seen in the Majestic ($455), a mid-rise oxford with brocade detailing, and Razzle Dazzle ($425), an eye-catching royal purple heel with a slightly shimmering finish.

      Vancouver's Ayala Moriel Parfums has launched two artisan soaps, Bon Zai and Film Noir.

      Triple Clean

      Local artisan perfumery Ayala Moriel Parfums has released a collection of three-in-one soap bars, made in collaboration with Oregon-based Open Source Soap. Each bar is made of all-natural ingredients—including oils of olive, palm, coconut, castor, and jojoba—molded in discarded milk cartons, hand-sliced, and wrapped in vegetable-based wax paper. Add to that Moriel’s 13 years of experience creating luscious fragrances, and two bars—Bon Zai and Film Noir—are born. The soap bars are both cleansing and moisturizing, producing a lather that is rich enough to be used as soap, shaving cream, and shampoo. Bon Zai is inspired by Japanese bonsai trees, with notes of juniper, lemon verbena, vetiver, and shiso leaf; while, Film Noir evokes mystery and seduction, with cacao, myrrh, and patchouli at its centre. The Ayala Moriel soap bars are $12 for 113 grams and available at Dream (356 Water Street) and Giving Gifts & Company (4570 Main Street).

      This electric blue and iridescent plum eye shadow duo is part of NARS' new High Seize collection.

      Hot Tropics

      Even if you are not surrounded by sun and sand this season, NARS’ spring 2014 collection will have you feeling like you are on vacation. Appropriately named High Seize: the Colour Collection, this high-impact set takes its inspiration from shimmering aqua seas and tropical fruits.  Play with blue and purple eye shadows (that do not veer anywhere close to what we saw in the 1980s) with the China Seas Duo ($39), a daring combo of iridescent turquoise and gold-infused plum. The colours can be worn alone, or layered on top of one another—and highlighted with the Khao San Road Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner ($28), a creamy pencil eyeliner in metallic aquamarine. With all the attention on the eyes, lips get a sheer coat of Bimini Larger Than Life Lip Gloss ($32), a sheer pink guava. For a more matte finish, we like the Timanfaya Satin Lip Pencil ($32), a bright orange-red hue on a chubby crayon that is easy to apply and long-wearing. Find NARS products at Sephora (various locations), Hudson’s Bay (various locations), and Holt Renfrew (737 Dunsmuir Street).