Danier, the Canadian mall-based leather house, have always been hit and miss for me. The stores squash over-embellished, mainstream mall garments next to occasional impeccable items.
But this season they offer some undeniably elegant choices. Someone took a holiday and returned chanelling Céline.
I found a small collection of such refinement and design quality that I a) pinched myself, and b) bought something.
A chat with the knowledgeable store manager revealed that the exceptional items are a test of the new Black Label line, available only in certain stores– and selling madly.
Here's one of the jewels, a fitted leather tee that's darted at the bust and waist, with a tiny side zip to ease at the hip (should you need it) and long-enough short sleeves, not the unkind cap. The front is melty Italian lambskin, the back a substantial techno knit. Price, $229. (Prices in $CDN, which is almost equal to $US).
The same capsule collection includes a leather and knit sleeveless sheath (left, $299) and a sleek long-sleeved tee ($250) with leather front and back that extends to the upper bustline. At that provocative point, a barely-opaque mesh knit takes over to form a graceful neckline and is also used for the long sleeves, very Helmut Lang ($249).
These pieces are of a quality priced three times as much in Paris, which is why my GF Daniele heads straight to Danier for a leather pencil skirt when she visits.
There are other treasures, too: an espresso vegetable-tanned trench– shown at the top of the post– $699, soft yet substantial, well-cut and finished.
A luxurious fox-trimmed bomber, ($599), has a Thinsulate liner that makes it toasty, for a short jacket. Both the coat and jacket are sold on the web site.
But those Black Label lambskin tops and dress, genius! I predict resounding success with this restrained, chic line. (And sell it online, please.)
Stores that carry the Black Label pieces include Toronto (Eaton Centre, Sherway, Yorkdale) Vancouver (Robson Street) and Montreal (Le Carrefour Laval); look for store contact info on the web site's Store Locator. You could also try the site's Help Centre, which provides customer service by phone and e-mail. The short-sleeve tee is style #111050003.
It's worth a little legwork to pick up one of those lambskin lovelies.