Bonnie Leyton is far more than a fashion plate, she is a fashion institution in this city. With more years behind her of looking amazing than I have behind me of eating solid food, she has a critical eye, an understanding of detail, and knows what she likes in no uncertain terms.
Bonnie runs the Leyton Gallery of Fine Art, works as a painter and potter, and is known as a mentor to emerging artists. She sees her gallery as a community space, having opened it when her own art dealer went out of business and she felt no one else at the time was carrying new and experimental artists work. We sat down in the midst of the beauty in her gallery to talk style.
Folk Art Inspired Pieces (From Hempware)
The embroidered blouses your aunt brought you home from her vacation in Guatamala have found a home in couture this season. Global folk art prints are being reimagined a million ways, from power suits to relaxed beachwear. This colourful bag, and woven bracelets from Hempware are an accessible way to get in on the trend. Bonnie finds it very ‘crafty,’ which is clearly something she promotes, and says “they are beautiful, and the sort of thing I love to see around me and on others. I don’t think I wear this look a lot, but I really love it.”
White Sundresses (from August and Lotta)
White is hot every summer, but it’s huge this year, and you just can’t go wrong with a simple, pretty white sundress, this one from August and Lotta. Bonnie agrees. “I’m really into white these days, and this is stunning. You could do a lot with that dress, depending how you mix it with shoes and jewelry. I could wear it a million ways.” For bonus points, the eyelet fabric is also hip right now, replacing lace for the freshest feminine look of summer.
Fringe (from Twisted Sister)
Everything ‘summer of love’ is big for 2016, but Bonnie was born before the hippie days and associates fringe with cowboys.“I see it everywhere but just can’t get into it” she says. However for these gently fringed boots from Twisted Sisters she has a bit of a soft spot regardless. “I do love the style of the booties, and boots in general are what I wear most often. The colours here are great.”
Skinny scarves (from Lush Consignment)
Out with the blanket scarf, in with the slick and sophisticated accent of a skinny scarf, a trend breaking from the boho feel of much of this summer’s fashion. This treat from Lush consignment boutique mixes a skinny scarf in burnout velvet with a newspaper boy hat for a mod look, and Bonnie thinks it’s lovely. “I like scarves, but I’m bad at knots so I don’t know if I’d wear this. I would if I could make it look like it does in the picture. What I really like is that hat,” adding that she appreciates the British feel of this pairing. Viva Austin Powers.
In this series, fashionable local folks weigh in on the offerings of local retailers.