Beginning in reverse order, at number 3, the Balenciaga Papier Tote. The Papier collection comes in a range of materials and enhancements—this one being a mixed material of lambskin on a very plush wool felt. Our favourite as shown, what we like to call a "power lime green" with black contrast. We consider it the perfect tote—small enough for everyday use, large enough for a travel carry-on piece and very light. Well placed pockets inside and out plus a long enough strap for either shoulder or arm. There should be no surprise this bag made our top three list.

my friends went wide-eyed and almost into a trance-like state.
Coveting this bag began more than a year ago. (Still as clear a memory as if it happened yesterday.) I was sitting at a window table in a Starbucks with two friends. Mid conversation, both of my friends went wide-eyed and almost into a trance-like state. I turned to see what the fuss was about. A lady had just turned the corner and was heading towards the coffee house. There it was, Papier in its full glory. As I look back now, it seems appropriate that they were drawn to this particular bag, more specifically, this colour...because there was a lot of envy on display that afternoon. —editor

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For more on the Papier collection, www.balenciaga.com | Pin or reblog it from here.
Part Two, our second pick, coming in the Summer issue.



























































A SHOE THING


Our Press Director discovered her kindred spirit...another "shoe-aholic." Might there be a 12-step program in their future?




Hi, my name is Tonya and I am addicted to shoes. ("Hi Tonya.") There, I said it. Even as a small child, I was obsessed with shoes. I would admire the shoes of ladies passing by as I sat in the grocery cart while my mom was shopping. I once cried when my mother bought me a pair of brown pleather boots from the local discount store. I was a brat when it came to shoes (and I still am).


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At the age of four, I decided to make my own pair of shoes...out of Kotex pads. Picture the huge super-sized pads from the mid seventies. While my parents had a dinner party downstairs, my cousin and I created some fashionable feminine product footwear. We were so proud. We sauntered downstairs and shocked our parents and their guests with our innovation. Unfortunately, there were no cellphones to capture this hilarious moment.

My love affair with shoes continue to this day. Fortunately, I have come a long way from discount store pleather boots and Kotex pads. Thirty-something years later after the "Kotex incident," I made my first trip to a shoe lover's mecca...the shoe department of Bergdorf Goodman in New York. I remember stepping off the escalator and hearing angels sing as I laid eyes on the largest collection of designer shoes I had ever seen. I
was in heaven.

After a thorough search, I became captivated by a pair of Miu Miu Mary Jane peep toes. These beauties were truly unique but they were a bit out of my comfort zone...still, I was debating whether or not to purchase them. My husband was on the fence too. And then, another customer sealed the deal. I was giving the Miu Miu a once (or twice) over in the mirror when a gentleman passing by noticed the shoes and remarked to his wife, "Those shoes are hot!" My husband and I looked at each other...SOLD. Thanks to the couple, these brown suede beauties are now among my favourites.







See more of Tonya's obsessions here...