Journalist, editor, writer, blogger, fashionista – and now, apparently, I’m an influencer.

Rockland Centre, which I have frequented forever, picked five women of influence to headline its fall campaign. In this ever-changing media landscape, it’s people with a personal sense of style and their own niche in cyberspace – social media numbers are key – who draw in the shoppers, in real life and online.

So when the call came, I was a bit surprised – after all, after 30 years and counting as a journalist, 15 or more as style editor at the Montreal Gazette, I am not accustomed to being a spokes-anything, let alone model.

The concept: for the five women to dress themselves in key pieces for the fall season. A photo shoot of all five of us is on display at the mall, as below, with favourite places and things in the mix of photos.


The display at Rockland.

The display at Rockland.

Obviously, I love fashion, and Rockland has a coterie of local brands I am happy and honoured to champion. There’s Marie Saint Pierre and Judith & Charles on the higher end of the local spectrum, as well as the retailers – RW & CO, Le Château, Aldo, Tristan, Laura (for my mom), Mélanie Lyne, Rudsak, Bikini Village – and the list goes on. And let’s not forget Browns and Stuart Weitzman, for pretty much the best shoes in town. And what’s not to like about a hit of Massimo Dutti (Zara’s high-end sibling) and Swarovski for a bit of sparkle?

So I said yes.

The process began with a shopping-styling spree at Rockland – with a videographer following me. EEEK! Camera behind me and I was not wearing my best look. Whatever.

But before the “official” shopping escapade with crew in tow, I scouted out Marie Saint Pierre and Judith & Charles for the right pieces.

As it turned out, the MSP boutique was missing many key pieces in my size – but a stretch leather jacket with organza ruffle was spectacular. In my styling haul, I also chose a pink oversize sweater, tank top and multi-chain sautoir.

At J&C, I chose the Vaughn slip dress (easy, I had spotted it earlier, and considered it for my runway debut at the Festival Mode & Design: read that post here), and an impeccable grey cocoon coat, the Charlie. For some reason, I thought I would wear those two pieces together.

Dressed to frill: at La Société in Marie Saint Pierre leather jacket with sautoir, and Judith Ch

Dressed to frill: at La Société in Marie Saint Pierre leather jacket with sautoir, and Judith & Charles dress.


Outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts In Judith Charles

Outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Judith & Charles coat, black top and J Brand jeans, with Stuart Weitzman boots. Chokers, my own from Club Monaco with vintage French crystal buttons. Earrings, some of the bracelets, Swarovski.


Also coming to the shoot from the Judith & Charles boutique: a pair of stretchy black pants, basic black silk top, burgundy velvet blazer, striped shirt and J Brand jeans.

What you need to know is that in a fashion shoot you need to bring many choices. Because things don’t always work out as one thinks. 

Over to Browns and Stuart Weitzman.

At Browns, I picked a pair of sparkly booties, chunky Chie Miharas, and just to be on the safe side, a sexy (but low-heeled) pair of strappy pumps by none other than SARAH JESSICA PARKER!!!! They were fabulous, comfortable and, good thing I took them, because they were the ones that worked with what turned out to be an evening outfit – J&C dress, MSP leather jacket and sautoir, and those fab shoes.

At Stuart Weitzman, I picked a pair of sparkly metallic loafers, short suede booties (pointy toe, chunky heel as is the trend du jour) and tall suede boots, with the same shape. The tall boots were the finishing touch on the casual outfit that won the day – black jeans, black top, my vintage French button crystal chokers (yes, I was allowed to accessorize with my own stuff), Swarovski bracelets (plus my own – you can never be too rich, too skinny, or wear too many bracelets) and earrings, all topped off with that great grey coat. And for the boots, may I add that in real life I start dressing from the shoe up – if I will be doing a lot of walking, I need comfy footwear. So we could call the boots the starting touch.

The pictures of me – outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the coat, and at La Société for the evening outfit – are all over the internet, on Facebook, Instagram and on the Rockland Centre web site. There is also a display and video at the mall itself. 

What’s the verdict? Are you influenced?

And by the way, my co-influencers are: Jessica Concannon (Westmount Fashionista); Lolitta Dandoy (Fashion is Everywhere); Katia Hanine (Lapiz of Luxury); and Karolina Jez (Breakfast Television).