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Welcome.

My name is Margot Austin and I am the editor and founder of The Design Edit, a collection of the best design stories I encounter in my life as a stylist and design communications specialist. Meet top talents, get inspired by beautiful spaces, get a first look at innovative new products and maybe even try one of my dead-easy DIY projects. 

Essential Greens, Fall Wardrobe Edition

Essential Greens, Fall Wardrobe Edition

photo: UniQlo

photo: UniQlo

Here's my look inspiration for Fall 2016. It's a press image from the Inès de la Fressange collection for UniQlo. Inès has been a source of style inspiration for me for decades. Her collection for UniQlo brings a chic ladylike edit to one of my favourite shopping destinations. It's not just the clothes specifically that I like here, it's the entire palette of mossy greens, grey, black and dark denim. The styling is modern but also a bit retro and mod. And of course the whole business unfolds on some quiet rainy street in Paris. I first laid eyes on the image when I was lucky enough to attend the grand opening of the first UniQlo store in Canada (hurray!) at the Eaton Centre, and this was just days before we took off for our Euro adventures to Paris, Antwerp and Amsterdam. I was fairly determined to return from the trip with a few new additions to my fall wardrobe inspired by this image, and in particular those green tones. (Because it's not just green kitchens I'm loving.) Here's a peek at some of my recent acquisitions.

Ribbed Wrap, UniQlo, Eaton Centre, Toronto

Unique green scarf wrap

I picked up this ribbed moss green wrap at the UniQlo opening before jetting off. I thought it would be a great travel companion since it can be worn as a scarf or a wrap, but as it turned out the weather was a bit too warm for that so I left it at home. I'm still waiting for a good cold snap to give it a whirl.

Green Plaid Wool Scarf, Monoprix, Paris

Monoprix wool scarf

In my books a girl can never have too many scarves or plaid so this thing called my name from the racks at Monoprix, my not-so-secret Paris shopping source. Monoprix is a bit like the Marks & Spencer of France. Prices are very affordable (because even in Paris I'd rather spend my money on wine and cheese and croissants). There's a mix of older lady things and fashion forward pieces. I always find a few good items. In fact, I still wear a couple of great pieces I bought there back in 2008 that still feel quite Parisian chic 8 years later. This scarf is a square with a bit of self fringe so it offers lots of styling possibilities — I'll spare you the "40 ways to style a scarf" Youtube tutorial. The scarf is made of very fine wool so it's not too bulky around my neck (short-neck girl probs) and is warm but not too hot. It will be an easy way for me to introduce some green into my classic all-black-everything getups. It'll also be a three-season standby for this Canadian.

Wide Neck Wool Dress, COS Store, Paris

Wide Neck Wool Dress, COS Stores

I used to have a pact with myself that when I travelled I wouldn't shop in stores that we have at home. I'll break that rule for some of my favourites and COS is definitely one. Last fall I got great stuff at COS in Brussels and one of the best purchases was this Wide-Neck Wool dress in navy. 

Wide Neck Dress Navy COS || The Design Edit

If you saw me at an event last fall or winter you probably saw me wearing this. I mean, it got a bit crazy how often I wore it. Talk about effortless! This thing doesn't even have so much as a zipper to fiddle with. Literally pop in on over your head, choose your footwear and go. I had a lot of fun mixing it up though. I'd wear if over worn jeans or slim black cropped trousers (love me some navy-on-black — so Frenchie!). I wore it with black tights and pointy patent flats, or studded mid-heel booties or with riding boots. I tried it with a single artful pendant necklace or a scarf wrapped around a million times. I also, of course, did the COS minimalista thing — no accessories and chunky loafers. 

Wide Neck dress Green COS || The Design Edit

But back to Paris and my new green dress...After one our longest walking days in Paris — the day we climbed all the way to the top of Sacre Coeur and then walked to see the Opéra Garnier and the Madeleine (my favourite church in Paris) — I couldn't resist a visit to the COS Store near the Madeleine at the very end of our day. While my husband and Dad took a load off and got comfy on a sofa, I scanned the racks like a hawk. I am a professional shopper after all — even after a 15,000-step day! I tried on about 8 items, set myself a mental purchase limit of 3 items but then settled on just this green wool hero! I've already worn it several times and it hasn't even been cold enough in Toronto yet for a wool dress. My navy and green COS dresses are perfect for my freelance life wardrobe. I wear them at my home office with black leggings and pretty flats, but then I can easily switch out the footwear and add accessories for a client meeting or press event. 

Oversized Green Buttoned Top, & Other Stories, Antwerp

Oversized buttoned top, & Other Stories

As you may know COS is owned by the H&M people. Well, the other sister brand in that company is & Other Stories. I first found the store via Pinterest links and made my first store visit last fall in Brussels (where, btw I bought a deep green wool scarf —surprise!). This year in Antwerp I picked up this Oversized Buttoned Top in dark green. It's easy breezy and boxy to wear. I like it with jeans and my waxed cotton black moto or over leggings with a blazer. 

Who knows, maybe I'll pick up a black leather mini to wear with it. Hahahahaha. Probs not. But never say never...

Lookalikes: Tan Leather Butterfly Chairs

Lookalikes: Tan Leather Butterfly Chairs

Behind the Scenes: Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year 2017

Behind the Scenes: Benjamin Moore Colour of the Year 2017