When we met up with Aldona B for the first time, she’s easy to pick out in the crowd at Art Central’s Deville Coffee House. Dressed to impress in primary colours, stripes, a clever pair of frames and bright red lips, she has that arresting fashion sensibility that would be right at home in SoHo or Williamsburg.
Stylist, reporter, fashion photographer and blogger are just a few of the things on Miss Barutowicz’s plate these days. Known as the Street Style Huntress, Aldona covers Calgary street style for Swerve Magazine and two BRZ districts, bringing the spirit of the Sartorialist to Calgary with her brilliant eye for chic self-expression.
Between finding the best in street fashion, she also contributes to the style section of Avenue Magazine, styles clients by request, and runs her Beauty By The B page, an online resource for all things beautiful. This last project holds special importance to Aldona, allowing her to collaborate with talented make-up artist Kate B, who also happens to be her sister.
An Early Introduction
According to Aldona, nothing turns your day around like putting on a little lipstick. Growing up in Poland, she was inspired by the classical sense of feminism and beauty that she first learned from her mother and grandmother. She fondly recalls watching her grandmother religiously applying lipstick for her two-minute walks to the bakery.
The Hunt for Fashion
In the past five years, Aldona has photographed thousands of people. During each session downtown she describes her process of finding subject matter as instinctual, being naturally drawn to colours, mixing and matching, and classic looks like the hot black leather jacket. To her, it’s a fascinating art form.
Most Interesting Subjects
Over the years, she’s captured a fascinating collection of individual style and loves how many of the people she encounters through street fashion have become friends. If you were to sort through her portfolio you’d find shots of people that range from toddlers to 95-year-old grandmothers (the latter actually being one of Aldona’s favourite subjects, who was completely open to the idea of being on Instagram).
What to Wear
With the summer months now here, Aldona is all about the maxi dress but is still very much of the attitude that anything goes. She explained that Calgary is finding its fashion groove, but there is so much variety and people shouldn’t be worried about limiting themselves. The variety here keeps her job interesting, which is why she can photograph the raw look of punk rock one week and the finer attributes of the suit and tie the very next week.
Notable tip: if a stylish woman with a fabulous pair of glasses, red lips and a Cannon chats you up on the street, stop and have your photo taken.
Aldona’s Three Must-Have Accessories:
1. Jewellery (the more layers the better)
In particular, anything by CotouKitsch or Wolf & Sadie
2. Stylish Glasses
This is how people recognize me!
Shades of pink, orange and red are staples.
Images: Lori Andrews