Style expert Susie Wall dishes on the best of Vancouver fashion
Whether she’s covering the red carpet or dropping off her kids at school, Susie Wall does it in style. Inheriting her mom’s appreciation of fashion at a young age (“It was impossible to get $40 out of our mom for dinner and a movie but she’d say yes to a $400 cashmere school blazer”), Wall kicked off her glamorous career in the film industry in the ’90s. Since then, the mother of two has built her brand as a fashion insider, interviewing Hollywood’s hottest stars for eTalk, appearing as the weekly style editor for Chatelaine on Breakfast Television and writing a weekly column for The Province newspaper.
Most recently, Wall has signed on as a fashion personality for national TV talk show Cityline and will serve on the nominations committee for the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards. BCLiving caught up with the style maven to get her picks for Vancouver’s best shopping, the hottest local designers and the most stylish Vancouverites (spoiler alert: they’re guys).
Susie Wall's Favourite Places to Shop in Vancouver
“I’m a style ambassador and blogger for Oakridge Centre so I spend a lot of time there. I also love misch, Basquiat, Rebecca Bree, One of a Few, LYNNSteven and Gravity Pope. My absolute favourite shop is Bacci’s. A friend and I joined owner Andrea Molnar at Paris Fashion Week a couple of years ago and she'd never admit it but she has rock-star status in that city. It was amazing to see someone so humble be so appreciated beyond South Granville.”
Favourite Vancouver Fashion Designers
“Mandula, Dace, Obakki and Isabelle Dunlop. For jewelry, Shereen de Rousseau and Liselott (co-owner of Basquiat) and for leather goods, Erin Templeton and Lloyd & Wolf. They’re all visionaries, no question, but they’ve also learned how to thrive in a super unique landscape when it comes to their craft. They live and work here for the same reasons we all do – for the love of this lifestyle we have going on, which is an exchange for not necessarily being in a fashion epicentre.”
Up-and-coming Vancouver Designers to Watch
“I think the Party Skirts girls are adorable, but they also have serious gravitas. A lot of start-up brands could learn from their business model. I would also include swimwear designer Beth Richards, as well as Parsons grad Taran Cheema, Wing Yau of WWake, Eliza Faulkner and scarf aficionado Mona Sultan.”
Vancouver Celebrities with the Best Style
“Well, style is really a combination of overall cool factor. It’s clothing, but it’s also character, so I’m going with Michael Bublé and Steve Nash on this one.”
On American Stores Like Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret Entering Vancouver’s Retail Market
“You know what? I think it’s fantastic. Competition keeps us sharp. And while I’m not anti-U.S. shopping in any way (some of my most coveted pieces were bought in L.A. and New York), at least we’ll be heading downtown instead of down south.”
The Perfect Vancouver Shopping Day
“I’d cruise around Gastown, Railtown or Crosstown and hit shops like One of a Few, Oak + Fort, Inform, Provide, The Block, Old Faithful. I’d have wine at Salt Tasting Room and then do dinner at L’Abattoir, or I’d head over to Hawksworth. David [Hawksworth] told me he’d let me intern in his kitchen, and I’m holding him to it. He warned me I’d have to wear kitchen whites. No giant heels and drama tops? It might be a deal-breaker.”
Susie’s Style Secrets
- A Piece Every Woman Should Have in Her Closet: The absolutely perfect party dress. Pull that baby on and you feel beyond fantastic in a flash.
- Fashion Rule You Break: I don’t dress for my size. I’ll wear a giant gender-bender men’s overcoat one day and something much more tailored the next.
- One Must-have Trend for Fall: Just one? No! I’m super into the borrowed-from-the-boys message. And thanks to my Scottish DNA I’ll forever be in love with tweeds and tartans – whether they’re hip or not.
- Best Closet-organizing Tip: Black, slim-line flocked hangers from London Drugs. They look sleek and you’ll double your hanging space.
- Best Christmas Shopping Tip: Go it alone.
- Best Boxing Day Shopping Tip: Easy. Don’t do it.
Susie Wall on online shopping, shopping for kids and style advice for busy moms
Styling: Luisa Rino Makeup: Cindy Leyland Hair: Joyce Pong at Suki’s Location: Misch Boutique. Susie wears Carven sweater and Boy pencil skirt both available at Misch boutique. Browns ankle boots from Browns boutiques. Necklaces by Liselott available at Basquiat. Maria Rosa rings from Bacci. Cause We Care wood bead and turquoise bracelet at causewecare.org Shereen de Rousseau bracelets at shereenderousseau.com
For more outfits from Susie's cover shoot check out our slideshow.