Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

Tatiana Read

Photo: Tanja Tiziana.
I like to stand out and err on the side of whatever’s not the norm.

Director, Knot PR

Model: Bridget Hall, Stephanie Seymour – too hard to choose. David Gandy. Personality: Christian Bale (actor), Ricky Gervais (comedian), Edith Piaf (singer). Album: Depeche Mode 101. Designer: Dries Van Noten. Architect: Mies van der Rohe. Colour: Red. Astrological Sign: Virgo w/Libra risings. 

A grad of the U of T Fine Art History program, volunteer stints at the Royal Ontario Museum and Bata Shoe Museum, co-chair of New Collection at the Toronto Public Library Foundation's Young Patron Group, fluent in french and a world traveller, it is fitting that today her public relations firm serves a roster of cultural institutions including the Canadian Opera Company, Luminato Festival, Canada's National Ballet School and Canadian Art Foundation among its varied client portfolio. A presence on the Toronto social scene, the fashion choices of this PR maven always excites and leaves photographers and bloggers clamouring to snap her latest outfit. I asked Tatiana to share her favourite style moments with The Style House, here are the deets about what makes her style tick.

Do you prefer to dress for an occasion or for everyday?

Daytime dressing is fun for layering and trying out different combinations of your favourite pieces. Dressing for an occasion is fun because it's something to mull over and you think more about the total "look".

Would you rather be overdressed or underdressed?

I like to stand out and err on the side of whatever's not the norm. 

Do you have a signature style or do you prefer to keep 'em guessing?

I definitely have signature style elements but style is something (to me at least) that evolves. I'm into jackets, flats, gamine style pants, knitwear, t-shirts, interesting silhouettes and volumes. I rarely accessorize and love neutrals. I love signature elements like a varina flat or bright red Miu Miu bag.

Your all time favourite outfits:

1a. Dolce & Gabbana navy lace sheath dress – borrowed from my mom's closet – she's a huge style influence for me; my mom's a bit of a fashion collector and the breadth of her style is incredible (as in: unbelievable). I wore it to Operanation in 2011. 

Photo: James Lourenco.

Photo: James Lourenco.

b. Blue Wedgewood Dolce I wore at Butterfly Ball (Gwyneth Paltrow had this one back in the day) also from my mom's closet. 

2. Navy pant from Ewanika, Marni blazer, Arthur Mendonça belt, leopard print Stuart Weitzman heels. 

3. Calla dress shirt, Ewanika pant, Stuart Weitzman patent shoes – could easily do a flat – example of a classic outfit.  

Your top three celeb style moments:

1. Jennifer Lawrence in Calvin Klein at Oscars [2011]. 

2. Rihanna in Armani anytime. 

Tatiana (R) in Dolce & Gabbana with friend.

Tatiana (R) in Dolce & Gabbana with friend.

What would you buy with an unexpected windfall?

Put in orders with all my favourite Toronto-based designers: Ewanika, Jeremy Laing, Horses Atelier. I book an emergency appointment with Jeanne at Holt Renfrew Personal Shopping. I do a quick shop online at Mona Moore, they have an original array of shoes, lots of Dries and Jérome Rousseau. A big shoe shop with Greta at Specchio and Miraille at Davids. An Hermès treat or three would definitely be in order – a 40cm Birkin, a watch and some riding boots. I would splurge at The Room: Balmain and Alaīa gowns, some Erdem printed dresses and blouses, some Proenza Schouler and 3.1 Phillip Lim and lots of shoes. The entire Missoni and Marni collections – no matter the season. For accessories I go in for a consult with Bob Karir at Karir Eyewear (client). Get lots of arm candy from Biko and Carole Tanenbaum collection.

Heels or flats?

Day: flats, Ferragamo varinas, Lanvin flats or riding boots from L'Autre Chose. Night: heels, Jimmy Choo or Pierre Hardy. 

Will you suffer for fashion or should it be comfortable? Is there an occasion that you will break this rule?

My notion of style excludes anything uncomfortable. 

Always stylish or does even fashion need to take a break?

I rarely stray from classics and investment pieces – so being "stylish" is more about wearing the things I love. Since I've built this into my style credo, I'd like to think I can always be stylish. 

Team Anna (Wintour) or Team Carine (Roitfeld)?

Carine! I'm a francophile and have many incredibly stylish French women of influence in my life.

In Rotation: Jason Trotzuk, Fidelity

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