Style Counsel

Deanna Fitzmaurice shows us that high fashion isn’t limited to the big city.




February 1, 2019


Photography by Colin Way

Kekoo Germany jumpsuit; C’est Moi bamboo tank; UNOde50 necklace and bracelet; Anne-Marie Chagnon earrings; Miz Mooz shoes from Shoes at 149

Ligne Roset Flax armchair, solid walnut back with upholstered seat and back cushion, $4,307; Ligne Roset Biplan wall shelf in matte grey lacquer, walnut, $632; Ligne Roset Dedicato square low table, $2,254; Ligne Roset Ploum medium high back sofa, $7,867; Flos Guns Table lamp, $2,095; Vitra Asterisk clock, $710, from Dwell Modern


Deanna Fitzmaurice always had a dream of opening a boutique — however, she ended up in the world of education, working as a teacher in Edmonton and raising her family in Sherwood Park. When she got divorced, she realized she wanted a big change in her life — and set her eyes on finally achieving her entrepreneurial goal. She spent five years running the adult program at Metro Continuing Education, gaining invaluable experience, then finally decided to open her store, Virtu Boutique.

What sparked your interest in fashion?

I was raised in a farming community, Valleyview, and one day, when I was 12 years old, my dad said, ‘why don’t you come with me to the grain elevator, I need to take a load of grain in.’ [Then] he took me shopping, it was probably a Saan store, and he bought me a pair of plaid baggies. I was the first person in my school to have them and it started this absolute mad passion. I went and got part-time jobs since I was 13 so I could just buy my own clothes. Growing up in a farming community, you really don’t have access to stores. The Eaton’s catalogue and Sears catalogue would come in, and it didn’t matter that I might never be able to get it. I would literally circle and try to mimic everything that I loved in it, so that was kind of my thing.


Link tunic; UNOde50 ring; C’est Moi leggings; Sarah Pacini necklace; Anne-Marie Chagnon earrings; eyeglasses from Smith & Wight Opticians

Ligne Roset Clouds, Pack of 24, $1,442, from Dwell Modern


What does style mean to you?

I think it’s an expression of one of the many facets of our personality… We play all these different roles and put on all these different faces so for me, style is being able to walk on my own personal runway that day and feel good about myself.

Do you have any style rules?

I think that we have to have all of the basics in our wardrobe but we need to know that we are worth enough to splurge on that one piece. If I had a rule, it would be, if you fall in love with something and it makes you feel great, do it. Get it. Spoil yourself a little bit.


Kekoo Germany coat; Elsewhere pants; UNOde50 ring, Sarah Pacini ring; Anne-Marie Chagnon necklace; As98 boots

Bonaldo big table, solid walnut wood top and Corten steel base, $8,290; Ligne Roset Bend dining chair, $912 each; Nelson bubble saucer suspension lamp, $744, from Dwell Modern


How did you decide on Beaumont for your boutique’s location?

I started looking at a few communities, Sherwood Park, St. Albert, and then I did some research on Beaumont and found out people from there really shopped locally, but it had only one boutique that catered to a younger demographic. So, I thought, there’s my market. I came out here when it was 40 below, there were three spaces for lease. I sat outside and watched traffic for an hour. I counted people, looked at what they wore, what they were buying, and they were stylish! And I ended up where I am now.

You travel a lot for buying trips — where do you like to go for fun? Do you have a favourite vacation spot?

Oh yes — Turkey. I love Turkey, I’ve been there twice. I went to Macchu Picchu a couple years ago and that is just ethereal, I cried when I went through the gates, it was just outstanding. Australia, I’ve been there a few times. My boyfriend and I went to Dubrovnik, Croatia; we went to Croatia and went from the top all the way down to the bottom and that was a blast. Now we’re trying to book Greece because I’ve never gone to Greece. I try to take a good trip every two years or so.

What’s been the best part of owning a boutique?

I think the most pleasant surprise for me is getting to know my customers. Every one of them has a story and every time that they come back it’s just so rewarding.


Lu.eL jumpsuit; Anne-Marie Chagnon jewelry; eyeglasses from The Observatory Opticians; Sticks and Stones Amsterdam bag

GAN rugs Canevas abstract rug, $4,008, from Dwell Modern


What are some of the trends to look for this spring?

Spring is crazy. Regular denim, I bought four pieces, and the rest of the jeans are painted, embroidered, bejewelled. They are so cool. Pattern on pants is absolutely insane — really bright and bold. There’s still the soft, feminine pieces… Embellished jean jackets, really fitted, are going to be back in again.


UNOde50 jewellery; Nixon watch; Sam Edelman boots; Kedziorek jacket and dress

Vitra Alcove loveseat, $11,500, from Dwell Modern


Favourites

Vacation spot — Turkey

Designer/brand — Link

Restaurant — Chartier

Hobby — Gardening and reading

Guilty pleasure — Chocolate

Activities — Going to see Broadway plays and playing with my grandchildren

Movie — American Beauty

Fashion Era —  The 1920s

Drink — Pinot Noir

Dish — Gourmet burger and hand-cut fries

Accessory — A great necklace


 This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Avenue Edmonton. Subscribe here.


 

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