I have treated myself to a ride on the fashion merry-go-round in the three weeks since I left the Montreal Gazette after more than 27 years as  a copy editor, assignment editor, Review editor, Fashion editor and Business reporter.

It is great fun to do the town as a blogger – or even as a fashion journalist: a canapé here, cocktail there, gift bag everywhere – amidst the requisite Instagram and Facebook posts.

Bloggers have a hashtag – #ilovemyjob – that cynical journalists don’t use. (Though journalism is a great job, I love it and have no intention of hanging up my reporter’s hat.)

 

Payam Tavãn and Mike Mitto at the relaunch of their St-Laurent Blvd. boutique.

Payam Tavãn and Mike Mitto at the relaunch of their St-Laurent Blvd. boutique.

Day 1 of my new-found freedom, I hit Tavãn & Mitto’s boutique on the Main in Mile End, rebranded as the Life-Store, with capsule collections of wearable basics, and objects from local designers. As always,Payam and Mike continue to create enviable custom designs for women who know what they want.

Then it was a quick visit to Harricana/Bilbouquet on Sherbrooke St. W., where Mariouche Gagné came up with the brilliant notion to offer up her recycled fur pieces at an ice cream parlour. Talk about cool.

 

Angelica Koinis with a key piece at her Très Chic boutique launch

Angelica Koinis with a key piece at her Très Chic boutique launch

The next night, the inspiring Angelica Koinis hosted a bash at her new street-front Très Chic Styling store on Laurier Ave. W. Koinis built up her business from scratch – I remember visiting a small loft on the Main, where I would peruse off-price designer items and sell many of my pre-loved clothes. She stayed on the move, opening a boutique for gala and cocktail wear, which remains in an upstairs location on Laurier, and now this: a store with clean, grown-up fashion for businesswomen, at prices that are not stratosopheric. Kudos to Koinis.

The following week it was lunch at Holt Renfrew with Edgardo Osorio of Aquazurra, the killer shoes that don’t kill – my blog post is here – and a cocktail that evening, where Carrie MacPherson snapped a fab photo of me, which is also the feature pic for this post. Yeah Carrie! It’s not easy.

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Aquazurra flats. Yum.

And heels.

And heels.

The next night, I roused myself, rustled up yet another cocktail outfit – not that I remember what – and headed to Ogilvy en Fête, the fundraiser for the Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation that has become a rite of passage for the holiday season, drawing crowds in the thousands to shop and feast for the cause. The champagne flows, the best restos in town bring on the treats and shoppers are treated to a 15 per cent discount on their purchases. (Though one insider whispered to me – “Let them stop eating and start shopping already!”) The foundation reports that this year close to 2,500 guests raised $250,000 for the cause, bringing to more than $1.25 million for children’s care in the five years since the event was launched.

And on it went,  with Tuti Do of Rev Communications celebrating 10 years in the biz with a bash at Rosalie’s, Caroline Néron marking 10 years of success at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel opening its doors to the public to view the event rooms and the princely Royal Suite. Here’s a profile of Néron I wrote for the Gazette.

A word to the wardrobes: Tuti was adorable in a tutu, and really could not have worn anything else. And Néron rocked a black lace dress, bare on the legs, with moto boots.