A stylish fashion ensemble without accessories is like a decadent layer cake without the buttercream icing. Sure you have a solid foundation but you absolutely cannot overlook the necessity to build on it.
Adding those finishing touches, those thoughtfully placed accoutrements, those little bits of personal flair takes something great into something undeniably fabulous in the blink of an eye.
For women, adding pizzazz to an outfit is easy-peasy -- there are so many accessory stores to choose from that fashionistas never need to worry about finding the perfect bauble or bangle. For men? Not so easy.
One brand/designer totally devoted to accessorizing men is Ken Diamond. A former Winnipegger, Diamond specializes in high-quality leather goods such as wallets, wallet chains, cuffs, bags and even a line of casual moccasins.
His classic and simple designs bring an air of understated sophistication and style to the basics, marrying fashion and functionality.
Based out of his Vancouver studio, Diamond incorporates traditional leather work with modern techniques to create pieces that can be worn by the one-speed bicycle-riding hipster to the hospitality industry urbanite to the savvy professional.
Recently, Diamond collaborated with Winnipeg's Oak and Oar on a classic leather belt in camel featuring hand-stamped logos and an antique nickel buckle as part of the Mark Stuart Collaboration (Yes, that's Mark Stuart from the Winnipeg Jets).
I've been aware of Diamond's leather belts, wallets, billfolds, wallet chains and beer cozies -- a great gift for those on the hard-to-find presents for list by the way -- for some time, but new to me are his line of men's moccasins.
Again, the shoes are simple in design but incorporate bits of modern flair in the detailing such as leather straps fastened with brass rings, fringe and coloured laces. They also come in a rich oxblood hue that I haven't seen for ages.
You can find select Ken Diamond pieces here in Winnipeg at Normandy Shoppe, 791 Corydon Ave., or Style Bar, 470 River Ave. You can also check out the entire collection online at www.kendiamond.com.
Got a suggestion for a future column or a fashion trend worth following? Email Connie Tamoto at firstname.lastname@example.org.