As the weather cools down in Berlin, I'm finding myself drawn to chunkier jewelry. I couldn't have been introduced to Nektar de Stagni's "Serpents + Pearls" collection at a better time. The collection is a dramatic mix of crystals, pearls and heavy rope.
I love how simple these mirror brooches are, but I imagine they add quite the flare to any outfit.
Visit: Nektar de Stagni or shop shop here.

Eco fashion designer Tara St. James (former creative director of Covet) is in the process of producing her first independent collection under the newly formed creative collective StudyNY.

The Square Project is a study of shapes in relation to the human form starting with the square. Each style will be made from a different number of squares. Style 1 uses 1 single square. Style 2 uses 2 squares and so on.

The Square Project will launch during New York Fashion Week as part of the Green Show. Until then, you can follow Tara's daily progress through her blog. And, if you're impressed with the concept and would like to support independent fashion - you can contribute through Kickstarter. Your donations will used to train young new designers and employ stylists, make-up artists and models for the show.

See, you can be part of New York Fashion Week!

Visit: The Square Project or contribute at Kickstarter.
I have loved Valerie Dumaine's designs since the first time I laid eyes on them years ago. But Valerie's AW'09 surpassed even my wildest expectations. It is a collection I'd love to own in full - every piece as spectacular as the one before it. The strong silhouettes, beautiful choices of fabric, and smart touches of colour make it a stand-out collection.
I will not rest easy until the Tess, Cairo, Jean, Logan and Ines are hanging in my closet.

The full collection is now available to purchase online at Valerie Dumaine's online boutique.
Many of us working in the indie fashion industry are trembling in our boots at the current economic crisis. (Are we all tired of hearing those words yet?) However, as customer shopping habits change, there is space for creativity in the retail world. One example is Studio 5in1. Founded by Norman Rabinovich, 5in1 is a collaborative studio / retail space that is run by eight designers.
The store is open Friday to Sunday. Each weekend, a different member of the collective works and curates the space. How the space is used is up to on duty designer. Current members include Helena Fredriksson, Mary Meyer, Rebecka Froberg, ULURU and Study NY.

Located in Williamsburg, 5in1 should definitely be on your shopping destination list this summer if you're planning on being in NYC.

60th N. 6th Street
Between Wythe & Kent
During a recent trip to London, I stopped off in the Oxford Circus Topshop megastore. Amongst the thousands of designs, the dress that popped out at me was a beautiful colour-blocked bodycon number by tu.tu.blu. It is very exciting to see a label we've gushed about on Paper-Doll get the widespread recognition of being stocked in such a popular store.
Ignoring the trend to tone things down for Winter, tu.tu.blu's AW'09 collection is an explosion of colour and print. The form fitting silhouettes and impeccable colour-blocking that we loved so much from last season are thankfully still featured strongly.
As a side note, I have to mention the actual lookbook from this collection. The changing illustrated backdrop is so incredible, and perfectly supports the playfulness of the designs and the label as a whole. In my ten years in fashion, this is most definitely my favourite lookbook to date. Keep an eye out for the AW'09 Designer Database - where we'll feature the complee tu.tu.blu lookbook. You'll love it!
Designer Arielle de Pinto was raised in Toronto and studied Fine Arts and Textiles at Concodia University in Montreal. It wasn't long after her graduation in 2007 that Arielle started receiving international recognition (and awards) for her work. Arielle does what most of us would never consider possible - she uses metal chains as thread to knit and crochet amazing jewelry.

A beautiful video from Montreal based designer La Fete showcasing their latest collection.
I'm really excited to see a label that so perfectly sums up the wonderful style of Montreal women.

Visit: La Fete
Shining a spotlight on independent Canadian fashion.