My Style: Lisa Tant

Portrait of Lisa Tant

Photo: Courtesy of Holt Renfrew

What are the rules in the way you dress?

Number one is dressing for my body type. I’m curvy so I know that body-skimming silhouettes work best for me. Number two is to avoid an overload of trend or fad. I pick one key piece and then build my outfit around it. Number three is accessories. I believe in great shoes and a great haircut.

Please describe your style in three words.

Colourful, eclectic, timeless. The idea of timeless may sound like a contradiction when paired with colourful and eclectic — it’s often code for “boring” — but I like to buy statement pieces that I’ll wear for a long time.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Ignoring what works for you — your body, your lifestyle, your personality — in favour of dressing to look trendy.

Do you believe in role models?

Absolutely. Other people have influenced how I dress, but I always make sure I translate those ideas. In the past, I’ve been inspired by women as diverse as Diane Keaton, Gwen Stefani, and Victoria Beckham.

What are your favourite fabrics?

I love any fabric with stretch — it makes garments fit better. And nothing feels better than cashmere during a cold Canadian winter.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Too many trendy items in one outfit.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

Style isn’t based upon geography. I’ve seen beautifully dressed women everywhere from Vancouver to Paris and every stop in between. I love the quirkiness of London, the street-smart edge of New York, and the chic simplicity of Paris.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I tend to wear conservative shapes in bold patterns and colours. I love the wackiness of street-style stars but I never want to dress like them — or a politician.

Celebrities and style...

Are created by great stylists. I admire the stylists behind many of the up-and-coming red carpet stars including Lupita Nyong’o, Carey Mulligan, and Rooney Mara.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

A pair of outstanding shoes. My favourites are by Prada, Valentino, and Manolo Blahnik.

A woman should always look like...

Herself.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I’ve absorbed everything that I know about style by being around stylish people my entire career. I love working with stylists, hair and makeup talent, and photographers. Their creativity inspires me.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

It depends upon how I feel first and foremost. Then I’ll consider what my day is like — my corporate schedule, a TV appearance, or meeting customers and special guests.

What is your biggest regret?

Nothing.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Confidence — great style is always paired with confidence. Fit is everything — a little tweak by a tailor makes all the difference. Style has nothing to do with age, size, or price.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

I prefer to shop by myself. I know exactly what I like and I don’t have a lot of patience.

We will never see you wearing...

Vintage. I admire my friends who look amazing in vintage but I can’t bear the thought of wearing someone else's clothes. I am the youngest of three girls so I was always wearing their hand-me-downs. My mother presented me with a pair of purple velvet knickers that my oldest sister hadn’t worn in at least six years. “They’re still perfectly good!” she told me when I howled in protest.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

I always have my radar up for new design talent. One that has impressed me lately is Canadian Tanya Taylor who is now based in New York City. Her designs are feminine without being girly.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Madonna. She owns every statement she makes one hundred per cent.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her face. A woman can be beautifully dressed but her life experiences are reflected by her face. If she lacks confidence or looks unhappy, then everything else fades.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

A diamond and emerald ring that I had made more than twenty years ago when my mum died. She loved emeralds. I wear it every single day and think of her every time I look at it.

The one image that defined your approach to style...

One that stood out was Harper’s Bazaar September 1992 cover of Linda Evangelista. It marked the first issue of their new editor-in-chief, Elizabeth Tilberis whom I’ve always considered to be one of the best.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

I’ve had to trim this list way down! I follow so many designers for different reasons. Here’s a handful: Dries van Noten, probably my most favourite for his eclectic combinations of pattern, colour, silhouette, and cultural inspiration. I buy a piece every season and wear it for years. Prada, always dancing to her own quirky tune. Chanel: Lagerfeld’s razor-sharp wit and youthful thinking always update their classic signatures. Mary Katrantzou: I love her play of colour and pattern. I’ve been following her from day one. Peter Pilotto, another collection that I love for the colour and pattern play.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Her coat. In Canada, a wardrobe of great coats is essential to get you through the long and often dreary winters.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Never. I love the new lower heels and “man repeller” flat sandals. The major heels that we wore for years now look ridiculous to me. I’ve cleared them out of my closet and will never look back.

Who would you like to recommend for €œMy Style€?

Mary Katrantzou, Tanya Taylor, Pat McGrath, Dita Von Teese.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

Be yourself.

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