ELLE (Canada) - - StoryBoard - Noreen Flana­gan Edi­tor-in-Chief Fol­low me on Twit­ter and In­sta­gram @noreen_flana­gan We love hear­ing from you! Please write to us at ed­i­tors@ el­le­canada. com.


We’re proud of our “made in Canada”-themed is­sue. Ev­ery time you see this maple leaf, you’ll know we’re giv­ing props to fel­low Canucks—people like B.C. rocker Kan­dle Os­borne (page 54), Smythe de­sign­ers An­drea Lenczner and Christie Smythe (page 38) and our gor­geous cover mod­els, Kayla, Pamela and Sophie (page 40). Be sure to check out the world-class fash­ion from top Cana­dian de­sign­ers (page 80) and spread a lit­tle love for in­die beauty brands like Skinlove (page 92) and Leaves of Trees (page 98).

e’re used to mak­ing all the “best coun­tries to live in” lists; it’s a point of na­tional pride. Take this year: We ranked fourth be­hind Nor­way, Den­mark and Switzer­land. What Cana­di­ans aren’t used to is be­ing cited as trendy out­liers. The Kore­ans and Brazil­ians tend to wear that badge of hon­our, says Lidewij Edelkoort, a Paris-based trend fore­caster who makes her liv­ing track­ing so­cio-cul­tural move­ments for her var­i­ous clients in the fash­ion, cos­met­ics, re­tail and au­to­mo­tive sec­tors. I had an op­por­tu­nity to in­ter­view her re­cently when she was in Toronto to launch a pop-up show­room for Sam­sung. She’s one of those women who com­mand your at­ten­tion. It’s partly her ab­stract style (Issey Miyake skirt, Eskan­dar top and Cé­line slipons) and strict beauty uni­form (grey bob and red lip­stick), but mostly it’s the lan­guid yet au­thor­i­ta­tive cadence of her voice that pulls you in. Dur­ing our 40-minute chat, the topics ranged from the death of ec­cen­tric­ity to why we’re crav­ing “or­di­nary spir­i­tu­al­ity” to an emerg­ing trend she calls “bland” or “be­yond ba­sic.” And, no, that’s not the trend in which Cana­di­ans ex­cel. Be­ing happy, as it turns out, is what we do re­ally well. The Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co-oper­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment’s Bet­ter Life In­dex only ranks us as the fifth hap­pi­est, be­hind Den­mark, Swe­den, Nor­way and Aus­tralia. But ac­cord­ing to Edelkoort—who trav­els ex­ten­sively—we’re right up there with the Aussies. “You’re a bit like Aus­tralia; you’re an out­side-in­sider,” she said. “You’re a world coun­try, yet you have pre­served your own iden­tity. I have been com­pletely se­duced by the open­ness, friend­li­ness and hap­pi­ness of people here. That’s not hap­pen­ing in the rest of the world so much.” At least not yet. Edelkoort told me that so­ci­ety is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing what she calls an “em­bry­onic mo­ment,” in which people are re-en­er­giz­ing them­selves in prepa­ra­tion for a re­vival or re­nais­sance. “We’re fed up!” she said. “We need to go bonkers! We want to be happy.” “So are we early adopters of this trend?” I asked. “Yes, I think so,” she replied. “I do be­lieve the life­style here could be an ex­am­ple. There’s no sense of ur­gency. It’s not that there’s no am­bi­tion, but there is not blind am­bi­tion. I think that’s very cool and con­tem­po­rary—be­ing able to de­sign your pace.” Take that, Den­mark!

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