There is little from designer Calla Haynes’ FW 12 collection that we don’t covet. The designer’s take on “relaxed luxury” is effortless cool, with a girly-sense of sophistication that is both charming and intriguing. From her modernization of the pant suit — a printed youth-in-revolt number done with a cropped blazer — to flowy printed dresses that flirt in style and breeze, this is a brand designed for a women who knows her feminine charm, as well as she knows how best to flutter rather than to flaunt.

A Parson School of Design alum, Haynes’ elegant CALLA line carries the mark of time spent working with Olivier Theyskens at Rochas and Nina Ricci. Her signature prints carry a french whimsy to them; bright and youthful, each piece is another possible outfit to wear to a screening at Le Reflet Medicis in Paris’ Latin Quarter.

Below, the Paris-based Canadian ex-pat shares a look at her personal style, including her wardrobe picks for the holiday season.

How would you describe your personal style?

During the day, there is definitely a tomboy vibe — jeans and a T-shirt, and a boxy coat…and I always wear moccasins. When it’s time to dress up, I like to be very feminine. I love cocktail dresses!

What’s the oldest item in your closet, something that you just can’t bear to throw away?

Most of what I own has been around for a while. I really hate disposable fashion. It’d like to think that each piece in my wardrobe is essential. The oldest is probably a vintage Saint Laurent Rive Gauche printed sundress, which I would guess is from one of the first collections, 1966 or 67. It’s very special.

Who is your favourite designer, and what is your must-have item from their current collection?

Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel: a super warm tweed coat.

What beauty items can be found in your purse at all times?

I am so low maintenance! Blistex Lip Medex and M.A.C. Studio Fix, and Moroccanoil hairspray to keep my bangs looking smart.

Which do you prefer, hair up or down for special occasions?

Hair down and messy.

What is your perfect head to toe outfit for holiday cocktail parties?

A CALLA cocktail dress in a fun, festive print, like this one; Michaela Buerger handmade crochet collar necklace for a crafty touch; Falke Opaque Tights to stay warm; a Chanel Purse; and Charlotte Olympia Peacock Blue Heels if we’re taking a taxi, Chanel flats if we’re walking!

Published December 18, 2012