Photostory of the day: Sylvia Mantella’s Style


Dress, Ava Adore; Belt, Céline

Jackets, Valentino

This red kimono is an incredible piece, and very special to me. It was from the last collection which McQueen himself designed. The bell sleeves are actually attached to the bottom of the dress so when you lift your arms it looks like you have these beautiful red and gold wings. I custom ordered it from Holt Renfrew and I understand that only seven were ever made.
Kimono, Alexander McQueen; Red Brocade Shoes, Louis Vuitton; Red Spiked Shoes, Christian Louboutin

This coat is like no other coat I own, one of a kind! The coat weighs a ton, the fabric is gold threading embroidery. The front is a short fitted bolero style yet the back of the coat puddles into a long black train. It’s quite breathtaking from behind. I was in NYC in the Meatpacking District when I came across this piece and it took about a minute to decide it was coming home with me. I have yet to wear it!
Coat, Alexander McQueen

The baby Birkin was a runway piece, I attach it to my standard size Birkin and use it to hold my Blackberry and car keys, its so practical yet so adorable, who would have thought?! The miniature replica armadillo shoe was a gift I received from my private tour of the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met in NY.
Bag, Hermès; Shoe, Alexander McQueen Replica

This jacket is a classic, but with a bit of an equestrian twist. I love it and it looks fabulous with the cream Mary Jane knee high boots… In fact Anne Hathaway wore this jacket in the The Devil Wears Prada.

Boot, Alexander McQueen; Shoes, Nicholas Kirkwood x Rodarte

I love to wear color! The pink and red dress is a stunner, I just love that big ruffle along the shoulder. I wore it when I met Giambatista Valli at the R.O.M. The pink ruffle coat is such a headturner and is beautifully made. It’s all you really need to wear. And it doesn’t get much better than Alaia . Coat, Jason Wu;
Dress, Giambattista Valli; Shoes, Alaïa

Bags, Hermes

This is exceptional piece was originally designed as a coat, however I just felt the workmanship and incredible details in the piece deserving enough to be front and centre, so we made a few adjustments and turned it into a dress. I wore it the evening I attended the private viewing of the McQueen exhibit at the Met in NY. The exhibit stirred a variety of emotions in me from haunting to compassion and ultimately understanding. It was an intimate evening hosted by Daphne Guinness, she was very refined yet so humble and shared wonderful stories of her very special friendships with both Alexander McQueen and Isabella Blow. When I met Daphne, her first comment to me was “I love your dress, who is it?”
Dress, L’wren Scott; Shoes, Christian Louboutin

Coat, Givenchy

Theseare so precious and feminine. Only two pairs were ordered by Holt Renfrew into Canada. With the delicately applied flowers and the blue crystal covered heels these shoes feel like pieces of art. I think I’ll save their ‘coming out’ for the next time I see Brian, he’s a very sweet and a very funny gentleman.
Shoes, Brian Atwood

Coat, Alexander McQueen


Shoes, Miu Miu

Dress, Monique Lhuillier

These gorgeous shoes were purchased without hesitation. Any shoe that can rock a pink mohawk and look that good is a must-have for me.
Shoes, Bruno Frisoni

This red jacket is an edgy military style jacket but the white ruffles give it such a softness. I have worn it with jeans over a white t-shirt during the day and in the evening with a skinny leather pant and a Balmain bustier. These triple platform shoes are beyond amazing to me. I would wear them everyday if I could, I love them that much.
Jacket, Alexander McQueen; Shoes, Chrisitan Louboutin
Shoes, Various Designers

Shoes, Various Designers

The blue coat is truly spectacular, I still have yet to wear it. I felt like a princess in the cream dress which I wore to Toronto’s Luminato event one summer. I also have a dress from that same collection in a beautiful buttercup yellow, which I wore when I met President Clinton at a One x One event in Toronto.
Coat and Houndstooth Jacket, Alexander McQueen; Cream Dress, Giambattista Valli

Dresses, Various Designers

Shoes, Various Designers

Shoes, Various Designers

Keeping my closet organized comes rather organically as I have a mild case of OCD so I genuinely can’t help myself but to keep it this way. My thought process on the design of the white and mirror closet is that I love the clean and simpleness of it, let the clothes do the talking…
All, Various Designers

Dress, Marchesa

Oscar is an undeniable icon and it is such an honor to know him, he has the energy and the glow of a twenty-five-year-old, seriously, he’s an amazing man. When he came to Toronto for the SRP charity event in 2010 his schedule was non-stop, I could barely stand up by the end of the night, but he looked fabulous! The flower dress felt to me like I was looking at a burst of spring, I couldn’t resist something so beautiful. Dress, Oscar de la Renta

I have a sincere appreciation for things which carry history or have a story as well as things of beauty. Whether it be a one-hundred-fifty-year-old French antique door in my backyard or pieces of art in my home or that one-hundred-year-old desk chair in my office. I imagine who may have touched it, sat in it or walked through it and it just fascinates me. The cream skirt hanging on the vintage door is like wearing a sculpture, it has a small fitted waist and a structured skirt. It moves very little even when you do.
Dress, Giambattista Valli; Skirt, CHANEL

Pants, Balmain

All, Balmain

Jacket and Pants, Balmain; Shoe, Christian Louboutin

This amazing jacket definitely received a lot of attention the night I wore it, its very cool and bordering on ‘over the top’ but I love that! All those individual badges are actually removable pieces but really, why alter perfection?
Jacket, Balmain; Fan, Louis Vuitton

This angelic white dress is a little deceiving. From the front it is perceived to be a rather ladylike dress with a little black bow at the neck, yet the back has this big sexy bustle which you would not expect to see, very sweet yet sexy. I collect Charlotte Olympia – her collections are so diverse. She uses amazing fabrics, she is so creative in her designs and the quality is excellent, she certainly never disappoints with her killer heels either. Truly a designer after my own heart. She’s definitely in my top five favorites and a designer to watch.
Dress, Roberto Cavalli; Shoes, Charlotte Olympia

I just adore these pink shoes with the puff on the back, so special and sweet. I bought them in Paris, they were a runway shoe and were sold out in only days of their release so I feel very fortunate to have them. The gorgeous beige wedge and was purchased in New York, they are surprisingly comfortable, so much so that I wore them everyday for the remainder of my trip, in fact, I even wore them on the plane home.
The striped booties were an NYC buy. I didn’t have anything in mind to wear them with but they’re just so cool and unique and I love the black and white combo. How often do you come across a bootie that’s both so original and super fun? My 16-year-old daughter loves them too! The clutches I collect, this particular clutch was a birthday gift from a dear friend. Clearly she knows me well…
Shoes, CHANEL; Clutch, Alexander McQueen

All, Various Designers

If my shoes could talk, they would say, «It’s been a wonderful life so far, let’s keep going, perhaps just a little slower now… still so much to see and experience.»
All, Various Designers

In my bag you can always find: my iPhone and my Blackberry, passport, hand sanitizer, Bausch & Lomb eye drops, MAC Underage Lipglass, an Armani pressed powder compact, and always a little sweet treat to nibble on to get me through that mid-afternoon crash.
Bags, Various Designers

All, Christian Louboutin

Shoes, Christian Louboutin

Shoes, Christian Louboutin

There is no question that I am a very loyal Christian Louboutin collector. The Louboutin Mary Jane Daf in any number of colors is a must have. However, I’ve been loving Brian Atwood’s recent collections. His use of beautiful, soft colors and applied delicate flowers, combined with a very high heel is so feminine. My favorite style from his last season is the Shina, and from this season my favorite is the Rocyce. It’s very sexy.
Shoes, Christian Louboutin

L to R. Shoes, Christian Louboutin, Christian Louboutin, Brian Atwood

Shoes, Various Designers

Shoes, Various Designers

All, Various Designers

All, Various Designers

Shopping in New York is never a disappointment! Of course, the Upper East Side is always a wonderful experience. As a vintage collector, I would highly recommend What Goes Around Comes Around in SOHO. Also, Kirna Zabete!
Jewelry, Various Designers

Jewelry, Various Designers

I adore vintage jewelry, particularly the larger pieces. Several of these were purchased in France over years of travelling, and through relationships I’ve developed with several vintage shops in Los Angeles, New York and Paris. I think it’s so special to own a piece of vintage that has its own story. Some of my vintage brooches were gifts from my children and husband and are very sentimental. To me, those are priceless.
Jewelry, Various Designers

All, Various Designers

I love fashion and I love color. I respect and appreciate all styles even if it is not my own. Personally, I am most confident when in a sleek and edgy look, and whenever I wear it, it must always be a great fit. That’s non negotiable. Patterned Boots, Dolce & Gabbana; Heels, Louis Vuitton; Jacket, CHANEL; Skirt, Alaïa

This dress is truly a work of art on every level. It’s Giambattista Valli Couture and only one was made. The gown arrived in a massive crate from Paris. I have never worn it out to an actual event, the only time I had the dress on, other than the fittings, was for a photo shoot with master photographer Patrick Demarchelier last summer in Torono. It was an incredible opportunity to be shot by such an icon, at the same time benefiting the wonderful organization, Artists for Peace and Justice.
Dress, Giambattista Valli

I love to mix different textures, fabrics and even styles. For example, I wore a runway Versace gown with gladiator boots to a charity gala this past June in Toronto, and I think it worked very well!
All, Various Designers

Clutches, Olympia Le-Tan

L to R. Shoes, Kanye West x Giuseppe Zanotti, Giuseppe Zanotti, Erdem x Nicholas Kirkwood

In L.A., Maxfield is an absolute must experience. I’m obsessed with this place! I also love Sielian’s Vintage Apparel. I picked up the most incredible gown from Gucci’s runway collection when Tom Ford was still the creative director just prior to his 2004 departure. It’s one of my most treasured pieces. L to R.
Shoes, Charlotte Olympia, Brian Atwood; Skirt, Giambattista Valli; Dress, Christopher Kane

Balmain and Alexander McQueen are still some of my top designers for runway, but lately I’ve been adding Fausto Puglisi to my collections as well as Canadian designers. Canada has such talented fashion designers, from sexy Greta Constantine, to the impeccable construction of Mikhael Kale. L to R.  Dresses, Mikhael Kale, Giambattista Valli, Balmain

My staple shopping spots in Toronto are always Holt Renfrew and The Room. They are a prêt-a-porter paradise for Balmain, Dolce & Gabbana, Tom Ford, Christopher Kane, Charlotte Olympia, Naeem Khan and so many more. L to R.
Shoes, Christian Louboutin, Nicholas Kirkwood; Necklace, Lanvin

Striped Boots, Giuseppe Zanotti; Snake Print Boots, Christian Louboutin

My advice is simply: if it feels good to you and you love the way you look, then you’re doing something right. I have fun with fashion and great accessories finish the look. That’s the icing for me. L to R.
Shoes, Nicholas Kirkwood, Giuseppe Zanotti, Charlotte Olympia

Shoes, Rochas
Shoes, Various Designers

Jackets, Louis Vuitton

All, Various Designers

Skirt, Tom Ford; Shoes, Versace

Revival Couture in Toronto should not be missed. You would shop there to find pieces from previous designer collections that you missed out on and are no longer available in stores. For vintage clothing and vintage accessories, on my radar is always The Cat’s Meow, I Miss You, and Shrimpton Couture. L to R.
Jackets, Balmain, Balmain, Mary Katrantzou, Acne

The Hermès construction hat was actually provided to each guest at the re-opening of the newly renovated Hermès store in Toronto. I thought it was a very witty marketing tool.
Clutches, Alexander McQueen

The CHANEL Lego clutch is definitely one of my favorite pieces. Not only is it beautiful, but the construction is incredible. It’s deceivingly heavy when considering the little package that it is. I have yet to wear it, but I will!


L to R. Chloé, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent

Jewelry, Various Designers

The CHANEL hula-hoop bag! What a story! It’s such a collectors piece. When I saw this bag making its way down the runway, I had visions of taking it to Saint-Tropez this summer. My husband and I chartered a yacht and took our family to the south of France and Italy. However when the bag arrived in Toronto prior to my trip, I realized that I had seriously misjudged the size of it, and it didn’t fit into my luggage. Not even the largest one! It now sits beautifully at the head of the table in our dining room – like a piece of art.

Clockwise. Yves Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix

I attended the Alexander McQueen show in Paris and fell in love with this dress. It’s so flirty and sweet, and the detail is absolutely beautiful. The lilac fabric was originally used on another runway dress, however McQueen made it for me regardless, so this dress is truly a one of a kind piece.
Shoes, Christian Louboutin;Dress, Alexander McQueen

Shoes, Jimmy Choo

Second Time Around in L.A. has an amazing selection of vintage accessories. It’s where several of my rare CHANEL pieces came from and they also have a location in New York.
Jewelry, CHANEL; Clutch, Roger Vivier; Shoes, Thierry Mugler

I love this dress. The gold hand stitching on the bodice is outstanding in person. I wore it to the final Fashion Cares event in Toronto last year. It’s Alexander McQueen Resort 2012, and I believe it was the only one ordered in Canada.
Dress, Alexander McQueen

This is a Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2012 runway coat. It was made with gold tinsel and I wore it all through December and called it my «Christmas Coat.» After all, I did look like a six-foot Christmas tree in it. But it’s a fun piece and I love it!
Jacket, Louis Vuitton

Christian Louboutin used matted materials to make to give these heels the illusion of green fur. I don’t wear real fur.
Shoes, Christian Louboutin

My interior design style definitely reflects my taste in fashion. I will often mix opulent pieces in my look of the day. My homes are decorated very much in the same manner; a mix of luxurious textures, fabrics and colors, yet still maintaining very little clutter and nothing too fussy. I’m obsessed with chandeliers, in fact we one in every room in the house. Clockwise.
Shoes, Charlotte Olympia, Nicholas Kirkwood, Charlotte Olympia
Dress, Alexander McQueen
I fell in love with this dress in that gorgeous blue, which turned out to be made in very limited production. Gucci’s Canadian locations had only ordered the dress in white. The Gucci store in Toronto was tenacious to my benefit, and after several weeks they found my dress. It turns out there had only been two of the blue gowns ordered by Gucci North America in my size. I feel so fortunate to have it.
Shoes, Christian Louboutin; Dress, Gucci


Dress, Ava Adore; Shoes and Belt, Céline




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