What defines great style in Vancouver and beyond? This is the primary question that led AIV to contact great style thinkers and trendspotters who could respond to just such a question. Over the next few months look forward to this series under the heading Great Style Profile with interesting personalities working in fashion, publishing, journalism, literature, arts and culture.
Sarah Bancroft is the co-founder and editor-in-chief Daily Dose Media which publishes vitaminv.ca, a daily style supplement about Vancouver, now with editions in Toronto and Montreal. She was the Western Editor of FASHION Magazine for 6 years, Associate Editor of Vancouver magazine, and started her career as a fashion buyer for Aritzia.
Many people use the terms fashion and style interchangeably. Is there a difference between fashion and style?
Sarah Bancroft: I find the people who are most into fashion are the least fashionable. They follow trends too religiously. People with true style wear what they want and are so good at picking up cultural cues from their travel, the books they read, film, art and their other interests, that they end up looking the most forward and unique and trend-setting. It sounds cliché but style is innate and fashion can be learned.
What is great style?
SB: It’s a fallacy that people who have a lot of clothes, shoes, jeans, handbags, etc are the most fashionable. It’s actually the opposite. The truly stylish person has few clothes but they are beautiful and fit her properly. Stylish people buy three of the same perfect black sweater, while “fashionistas” will buy 30 things a season.
Who are your great style icons?
SB: French women in general are great at understated, easy elegance. They had the whole rich-hippie vibe nailed well before the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Hudson. Think of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Carla Bruni, Vanessa Paradis and Emmanuelle Beart as the new generation of Gallic style icons.
Bancroft's Photo Caption: Vanessa Paradis, the French chanteuse, wears vintege-y, chanel-type looks without looking too costume-y, or she might show up in a peasant dress, you never know. It also doesn’t hurt that she has the best fashion accessory a girl could have: Johnny Depp.
What is great style in Vancouver?
SB: The best thing about Vancouver is how easy it is to be stylish. Walk into an art opening in a gorgeous painted floral maxi-dress and Grecian flats and you can pretty much guarantee you’ll be the only one there in anything similar. And everyone will go nuts for it. It’s fun to take risks because you’ll be amply rewarded.