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The Goods

Culture

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Swap a sweater with Sheila Heti—and read her new book, too

From left: Sheila Heti, Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits, editors of Women In Clothes. (Image: Gus Powell)

From left: Sheila Heti, Leanne Shapton and Heidi Julavits, editors of Women In Clothes. (Image: Gus Powell)

When a book happens to be co-edited by Sheila Heti, its claim to be “a book unlike any other” instantly becomes more believable. With 2012’s genre-defying How Should a Person Be?, the New York-via-Toronto writer, playwright and semi-celeb startled readers and won the praise of critics. Now, with Women in Clothes, she’s done it again. Alongside Heidi Julavits, an award-winning author and founding editor of The Believer, and Leanne Shapton, a New York based Canadian illustrator and author, Heti curated the 500-plus-page collection of text, photos, essays, illustrations, interviews, poems and thoughts that, at its core, is an anthology of responses to a survey completed by women around the world. Among the 639 contributors are the famous (Lena Dunham, Kim Gordon), the anonymous (soccer moms, female artists, a five-year-old) and everyone in between. (The evolving list of 80-odd questions included things like “What are you trying to achieve when you dress?” and “Do you think you have taste or style?”) To continue the conversation, the editors are throwing a book launch and clothing swap at Gravitypope on Queen West. Choose up to five items from your wardrobe and safety-pin a note to the fabric with your name and the story behind the garment—and prepare to never look at a blouse the same way again.

Sept. 18, 7-9. Gravitypope, 1010 Queen St. W., 647-748-5155, womeninclothes.com.

The Goods

Quoted

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HBC’s CEO explains why Target botched its Canadian launch—and why Saks will do better

Saks

In hindsight, maybe Target should have hired Richard Baker to oversee its foray into the Canadian marketplace. In an interview for the Globe, the CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company pinpoints no fewer than nine mistakes made by the big box retailer, including not having an office and spending enormous amounts of money on leaseholds. He says he’s planning a “very low risk” approach for Saks Fifth Avenue’s north-of-the-border launch:

I’m opening up two stores, not 100-and-whatever stores. They paid $1.8-billion for leaseholds, then they paid $10-million per store to fix them up. They had no office, they had no buyers, they had no planners, they had no distribution centre, they had no POS [point-of-sale] system, they had no IT backbone. They created everything from scratch while we’re coming in very quietly opening up two stores with existing infrastructure.

Hopefully, this means shoppers will find Saks’s shelves plentifully stocked when the department store opens in spring 2016.

The Goods

Best Dressed

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Toronto’s Best Dressed 2014: our annual list of the city’s most stylish people

Twenty-three Torontonians, from shopkeepers to enterpeneurs to heiresses, who paint a portrait of a supremely stylish city

Toronto's Best Dressed 2014: our annual list of the city's most stylish people

Chloe Rogers (Photograph by Norman Wong)

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The Goods

Stores

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Sunrise Records is closing its two Toronto locations
(Image: Sunrise Records Burlington Mall/Facebook)

(Image: Sunrise Records Burlington Mall/Facebook)

Sunrise Records is closing both of its downtown Toronto locations (the company has two stores on Yonge street, one south of Bloor and the other just north of Dundas). After Reddit users noticed an alarming sale, store employees confirmed that the indie music chain’s new owner has decided to focus on the brand’s London, Barrie, Brantford and Burlington outlets. The Etobicoke shop will also remain open, but both downtown stores will close their doors on November 15. In the meantime, record buffs can stock up on vinyl, CDs and pop merchandise at up to 40 per cent off.

The Goods

Shopping

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The Find: an asymmetrical umbrella that’ll stand up to wind tunnels

Senz Umbrella

In a world dominated by flimsy round umbrellas, the beautifully asymmetrical Senz is your best bet for staying completely dry this fall. Designed specifically to combat the annoying features of traditional brollies (which have a tendency to turn inside out at the slightest breeze and take out the eyes of unsuspecting pedestrians), the streamlined Dutch model can withstand 100 kilometre-per-hour winds and has eye-saving patches at the end of each point. It’s also won a ton of international design awards. If you’re not convinced, check out some of the demo videos online. The red ikat print makes for a chic autumn accessory, but you can also hunt down some other snazzy variations. $85

Raindrops, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-203-7246, raindropsto.com

The Goods

Shopping

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The Bespoke Club

The Bespoke Club

At Louis Vuitton’s VIP salon, bag buyers get to choose the shape, leather, colour and hardware. From $8,100. 150 Bloor St. W., 416-968-3993.

Torontonians are suddenly clamouring for personalized shoes, hand-sewn jackets and one-of-a-kind accessories. A primer on the extravagant rise of made-to-order fashion

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The Goods

Culture

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Vogue declares Queen West the second coolest neighbourhood in the world

(Image: Vogue/screenshot)

(Image: Vogue/screenshot)

Queen West is the geographical starlet of the summer: first, the New York Times declared it an area like no other, and now Vogue has ranked it the second hippest neighbourhood in the world. Coming second only to Shimokitazawa in Tokyo (and beating out Brooklyn’s Bushwick and London’s Hackney), the magazine notes that Queen West is enjoying newfound popularity among international tastemakers, and dotes on the area’s “indie patisseries, homegrown labels and hidden-from-view galleries,” with special mention given to The Drake Hotel, Bicyclette Boutique and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Recognition from the world’s style bible has to be the greatest, most validating thing that can happen to any collection of streets. No comment yet from Dundas West, which doesn’t care about awards and barely ever Googles itself.

The Goods

Stores

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The Cure Apothecary brings all-natural perfumes and organic scalp oils to Queen West

The Cure

The Cure Apothecary, a new natural beauty boutique at Queen and Palmerston, is stocked with everything an eco-conscious product junkie could want, including luxe scrubs, organic haircare products and natural perfumes. After years of personal research, local skincare buff Nitasha Goel opened the store as a way to introduce the public to her favourite brands. Goel is clearly a fan of the haircare label John Masters Organics—there are two shelves dedicated to the company’s lavender rosemary shampoo, unscented detangler and scalp-purifying serum. Indeed, haircare enthusiasts will find plenty of essentials, including luxurious dry wash from Vancouver–based Barber and Fritz and hydrating hair oil from F. Miller. There are products for men, too: skincare basics from guy grooming brand Triumph and Disaster, which makes stuff like Rock and Roll Suicide Face Scrub and No Dice Sunscreen; shaving soap from beard-oil makers Brooklyn Grooming; and locally made pomades from Parkdale label North Standard. Shoppers looking for a cute gift may appreciate Old Factory Soap Company’s adorable handmade soaps, which resemble elaborate desserts and come in enticing scents like “Field and Flower.”

719 Queen St. W., thecureapothecary.com

The Goods

Best Dressed

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at our 2014 best-dressed list

Toronto Life Stylebook, which features our annual best-dressed list, is for sale today on newsstands and online, and our invite-only Most Stylish Party happens tonight at the Four Seasons. (You can follow along with the hashtag #TLMostStylish.) If you didn’t make it to the guest list and don’t want to pony up $8.95, you’ll have to wait till later this month to see who we chose and why—but until then, here’s a sneak peek: two behind-the-scenes videos of the photoshoots we did with the 23 Torontonians with inimitable sartorial vision who we’re featuring this year.

The Goods

Street Style

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Street Style: Ryerson students head back to school in floral trousers, sultry kimonos and cool kicks

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

(Images: Kayla Rocca)

University students returned to school this week, and Ryerson’s tucked-away downtown campus (just east of Yonge and Dundas) transformed into a buzzing hub of loud beats, student club booths and spontaneous dance performances. Between rushing to class and eating free hotdogs, a few students stopped to chat with us about the upcoming school year and their (clearly) meticulously planned outfit choices. Enrolled in programs like Fashion Communications, Urban Sustainability and Design Management, these kids have serious style: we spotted guys in floral pants, girls in sultry kimonos, and of course, a whole lot of vintage-inspired backpacks. Here, 28 shots of Ryerson’s extremely fashionable student body.

See all 28 shots »

The Goods

Shopping

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Pop-Up Pick: Made Inland, a marketplace selling clothes and accessories from over 80 Canadian designers

Pop-Up-PickFor patriotic locals who’d like to escape the TIFF frenzy this weekend, there’s Made Inland, an enormous marketplace at 99 Sudbury that will be packed with tons of stylish clothing and accessories—all of which happen to be made in Canada. There will be stuff from over 80 Canadian designers, including rugged menswear from 18 Waits, stylish jewellery from the Dundas boutique Armed, comfy loungewear from Skinny Sweats and feathered hair pieces from Headmistress. (The entire lookbook is available for download here.) Tucked between the booths, shoppers will find service and demo stations, including a sustainable-style hub and “The Make Den,” a sewing studio with info on upcycling, monogramming and custom fittings. When you factor in the mini-makeovers, sewing lessons and fully stocked cash bar, it seems like a pretty comprehensive shopping experience—one that’s totally worth the $10 price tag ($12 at the door).

Sat., Sept. 6–Sun., Sept. 7. 99 Sudbury St., madeinland.ca

The Goods

Stores

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Pop-Up Pick: eBay partners with local shops Crywolf and This Little Piggy

bay-popup

In an effort to connect eBay fanatics with local boutiques across Canada, the website has launched Boutiques on eBay, a virtual space that carries small capsule collections from select shops for short periods of time (its spring collaboration was with popular Queen West boutique Coal Miner’s Daughter). For the month of September, eBay will be peddling merchandise from Ossington boutique Crywolf and Queen West baby store This Little Piggy. Crywolf’s online inventory will include a selection of silk-screened shirts, including a baseball top depicting the shop’s signature cheeky fox. From This Little Piggy, parents can pick up adorable handmade Ollie Jones leggings and graphic tees from Mini Souls (some of which also feature a fox, for those who’d like to match their offspring). In the true bargain-hunting spirit of eBay, all products will be priced under $40.

Sept. 2-Sept. 30., ebay.ca/boutiquess14

The Goods

Stores

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Holt Renfrew is closing outlets in Ottawa and Quebec in favour of Toronto expansion

HR1While Holt Renfrew fans in Toronto have been enjoying the store’s flashy new Yorkdale renovation (and anticipating a soon-to-open menswear boutique), well-to-do shoppers have been less fortunate in Ottawa and Quebec City, where the upscale retailer has decided to shut down two of its smaller stores, according to the Star. Apparently, the brand wants to focus resources on expanding within key luxury markets. (With increased competition from incoming Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue, Toronto certainly makes the cut.) Case in point: the company has revealed plans to completely re-do its Bloor Street flagship (à la Yorkdale reno) by 2017, including adding an entirely new façade and private shopping suites.

The Goods

Stores

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Luxury furniture destination Elte is opening a massive, market-style store aimed at younger shoppers

(Image: Elte/Facebook)

(Image: Elte/Facebook)

Toronto-based furniture store Elte, purveyor of $5,000 wing chairs, is bringing in a new brand to compete with its existing high-end locations, which currently include the original Elte home furnishings store near Dufferin and Eglinton, and nearby bath-and-kitchen spin-off, Ginger’(both extremely popular among well-to-do Toronto moms). Come October, the family-owned company will open Elte Market, a market-style store aimed at a “younger, more contemporary” crowd—a.k.a those who aren’t ready to spend over a grand on an end table. Located at the corner of Castlefield Road and Caledonia (just west of the other Elte locations), the 40,000-square-foot space was designed by local interior decorators Burdifilek to resemble a refined factory, with stylish rugs, furniture, bedding and accessories (sourced from countries like India, Turkey and Belgium) laid out in an enormous open-concept space. And, unlike Elte, most products will be available on the spot. Shoppers can expect prices to be a notch or two below Elte or Ginger’s, but it still won’t be cheap—according to the owners, they’re looking to appeal to “first or second time home buyers” (which, in Toronto, is a pretty exclusive group of young people).

The Goods

Stores

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Polish makeup chain Inglot, creator of Freedom Systems, is coming to Toronto
(Image: Vincent Desjardins/Flickr)

(Image: Vincent Desjardins/Flickr)

Inglot Cosmetics, a Polish makeup chain with an extensive colour collection (the range boasts over 1,500 different shades), is opening its first Toronto shop at Yonge and Dundas, according to BlogTO. The brand is largely known for launching Freedom Systems, which let customers create completely personalized lip, eye or face palettes. (It also carries a breathable, “halal certified” nail polish that’s popular among Muslim women.) The cosmetics purveyor is affordable, and will be a welcome addition to the downtown neighbourhood—particularly for anyone tired of shelling out $20 (or more!) at Sephora or MAC for a single lipstick or blush.

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