What Novella Loves — Spring Edition

Our content team is a motley crew, each member with their own quirks and stories that define our stranger than usual weirdness in the ways they clash and meet over pitches and wine at every meeting. But if there is a consistency in the diversity, it is our impeccable — yes, impeccable — taste in all things stylish and beautiful. What Novella Loves showcases these two defining qualities of our team.

It’s April, and for those of you who’ve been bemoaning the lack of definitive Spring signs, we bring to you this Spring Edition.

Even though I don’t own one, I believe it’s a must-have accessory. I am obsessed with the timeless and chic design by Chanel. What I love most about a classic black Chanel bag is its versatility. It can be worn with anything and never go out of style. I love the chicness it can bring to an edgier look like we saw on the streets during NYFW. A real original, the classic Chanel flap bag is something every girl should own.  Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor

Victoria Beckham which has recently announced her new collaboration with Target with a cool graphic T-shirt from her collection in LAX that was printed with the slogan “Fashion Stole My Smile”. I found this tee fun and amusing, as it shows a sense of humour concerning her poker face that has become her trademark. This shirt comes in black or white and is available for around $150, which might be a bit expensive for a graphic T-shirt but a reasonable price for a designer one.  Liat Neuman, Fashion Contributor   

I have to convince myself that it’s actually spring everyday. With the still inconsistent temps, if I am forced to bundle up, why not still be stylish. Montreal-based designer Xian’s wool blend coat with 4 snap detail closure can keep me warm and still looking good on the days where we go from sunny to grey and chilly in one day to the next.  Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief

My pick for my spring must have is definitely going to be The Enchanted Forest by the Vagabond Prince.  The unisex scent comes from a very niche perfumer, so it isn’t the easiest scent to get your hands on outside of the US. However, I’m hopeful that one day I’ll be able to snag a bottle of this mysterious blackcurrant fragrance that has reviewers mesmerized by its fairytale scent!  Chris Zaghi, Fashion Editor

I love my Mer Bag. As our editor-in-chief likes to point out, I can fit my studio apartment in my backpack and still have room left — the smallest size available for a basic backpack is H24 W12, so you can imagine the possibilities. It’s waterproof, weatherproof, and made with industrial materials to last. The highly functional bags come with simple designs best suited for any purpose other than a gala dinner, unless the gala dinner involves cycling, bmx, or skateboarding, in which case, it’s even good for that. Every time you order a Mer Bag, Rob Nelson, who founded the company back in 2001, hand makes it himself at his studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Rob is also a really nice guy with an adorable dog the size of a bicycle.  — Hoon Ji, Managing Editor

The best bags are the ones that keep getting better with each wear. For the past two years, my go-to has been the Mansur Gavriel bucket bag. The New York based company started with these iconic bags in 2012 and became the instant must-have items on social media. The bag comes in different variations with a wide range of colours for exteriors and interiors. The materials used in the bag are high-quality leather crafted in Italy. Over time the leather becomes buttery soft and makes you want to wear it more.  I love throwing everything in my purse rather than digging through compartments to find my keys; this bag is just effortless cool. — Michelle Cheung, Social Media Coordinator

ICYMI: Paul Jacobs ‘Human Emotion’ Video


Psych pop reinventionist Paul Jacobs has just released a new video and it’s part nightmare, part lucid daydream. “Human Emotion” spins a web of confusion from everyday trivialities. And it’s sort of hard to describe.

With videos like this, it’s easiest to refer to LSD and other chemical psychedelia. “It’s like a two minute acid trip, maaaaan!” But that’s pretty boring and, in reality, the video has more going for it than that. Devoid of colour and spatial perspective, “Human Emotion” is effectively drab, but still pretty mesmerizing. The constant VCR-referent glitches make it feel like an alternate universe that’s been super-imposed onto itself a dozen times over. Yeah, it’s trippy, but in a way that’s totally haunting. Once more, those masks have become something of a trademark for PJ, who’s always integrated his music with a signature visual style—hand drawn tape covers, comics, t-shirts, kick drums and whatever else.

The song itself comes from his fifth album, I’m Into What You’re IntoPreviously a one-man-band—a psychedelic wunderkind of sorts—PJ’s latest record features a full backing band. And if “Human Emotion” is any indication, the group has successfully honed their abilities to craft wacky pop music for wacky people. Watch the video. See what wacky looks like.

The video for “Human Emotion” was shot by bandmates Matt Menard and Meagan Cullen, and edited by The Attic Video. Check it out below.



Designers José Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Bélanger are the faces behind UNTTLD, a luxurious womenswear label based in Montreal.

After wining the Mercedes-Benz Start Up contest for emerging designers, the future of UNTTLD is discerned full of exciting projects. However, this success didn’t happen overnight as these two talented young designers are ‘true workaholics’ – as they define themselves -.

Timeless elegance and the sexiness of masculine femininity is definitely what defines their signature and what they carefully project in each piece.

First of all, congratulations on your well deserved Mercedes-Benz Start Up Prize for emerging designers. Is this something that you were expecting?

UNTTLD: We gave it our all! The rest was up to the judges.

I’m curious on how did you feel when you heard your name. How was the atmosphere backstage?

UNTTLD: There was a lot of tension in the air. Our hearts were in our throats…

How is this going to impact into your career as fashion designers?

UNTTLD: We want to grow and be more present on the fashion scene outside of our hometown, Montreal.

How did you celebrate this after the show?

UNTTLD: We went to a drag show on Church, just the two of us.

What happens after fashion week? Do you typically take a couple of days off or you have to go back to work right away?

UNTTLD: There is never a day “off ” for us. We are true workaholics.

Does a fashion designer even have some time to rest?Do you actually have days where you don’t think at all about your next collection, show, presentation, etc.?

UNTTLD: No, our life is our work. We put everything into what we do.


What is fashion week for you? Why it is important to showcase your collection in a runway format?

UNTTLD: Runway shows are exciting because they are like going to a celebration. It’s like going to church for the people in the fashion industry.

Have you considered other formats such as private shows, parties where your friends wear your clothes so the rest of the attendees can see them, etc.)

UNTTLD: Yes, we also have a very private sense of beauty and sophistication which is best showcased in a close setting.

If you had the chance to have coffee with one of the ‘big names’ of the fashion industry, who would you pick? (A model, a designer, a style icon, an editor, etc.)

UNTTLD: We would have loved to meet Diana Vreeland, sadly she left us a while ago. Alber Elbaz is always delightful, and we were told Haider Ackermann is very charming. Also we would love to pick the brains of Dries Van Noten and talk about photography with Steven Meisel.

What’s next for you?

UNTTLD: Lots of made-to-measure for several events, an online store, the fully produced Mercedes-Benz Start Up show in March, and much more.


Coop Coco product review

Organic and raw products are what a lot of beauty fans are into these days. Coop Coco, a Montreal raw material brand is perfect for supply essential oils for your daily needs! Here are a few of their top products:

Damascena Rose Hydrosol

Perfect for all skin types especially for mature or sensitive skin! You can use this hydrosol as a way to brighten up your complexion or to treat your rosacea. The best part of hydrosols is that you can use them to replace water in certain ingredients. You face cleansers, make removers or toners! It’s a great way to get more nutrients from these products.


Argan Oil Hydrosol

Also known as liquid gold, argan oil is perfect for your hair, skin and nails. It’s not a heavy oil and seeps into your skin and hair pretty fast. The scent of this oil is mild as well and is great for anyone with acne or scarring.



Lavender Oil

Do you have trouble sleeping or feeling a little anxious? Try putting a few drops of lavender oil in your bath or on your pillows. It will naturally put you at ease and help you get a good night’s sleep. Lavender oil is also great for healing bug bites and wounds.


Coconut Oil

Another beauty junkie favourite! Coconut oil is known for its hydrating properties as well as being multipurpose. It can be used as a natural deodorant or an over night hair mask. Coconut oil is also great during the winter months for our dry hands and skin.

Natural and vegetable-based–Check out Coop Coco!


Based in Montreal, Coop Coco is an organic enthusiast dream! Started in the kitchen of Co-owner Alysia Melnychuk, Coop Coco was first a soap line that was used for gifts for her family and friends. After receiving great feedback, Melnychuk decided to bring the dream alive and start her own business as well as producing new products.

“We have the largest line of organic ingredients in North America- as far as I can find,” said Sarah Hunter, Co-owner of Coop Coco. “We also sell to a lot of small businesses and we also have individuals buy our products as is,”

Coop Coco sells a lot of essential oils such as Argan and Lavender oils for your every day needs. Speaking of their products, they range from oils and butters to shampoos and shower gels. What makes them great is that they are not tested on animals but are actually tested on their neighbours and friends.

Spread mostly by social media or word of mouth, Coop coco has a great range of selection and they make sure their products are reasonably priced. If you love raw materials and want to try something new, Coop coco is for sure the way to go.