A compendium of the latest store openings, hottest parties and runway shows and all the buzzy fashion gossip. Sign up for the Style newsletter for weekly updates
This spring, UK retailer Reiss will open its first Canadian store on the top floor of the Eaton Centre. The brand, made internationally popular by Kate Middleton (she sported a cream-coloured Reiss dress to meet Michelle Obama), is known for selling chic, work-appropriate ensembles and pretty party outfits. J. Crew and Ann Taylor shoppers will be fans of the silk blouses and well-fitting blazers, and we’re particularly into this edgier metallic-and-leather look for spring. As for guys, they’ll also be able to snag professional-looking suits and laid-back casualwear. Torontonians can expect most items to clock in around the few-hundred-dollars mark—affordable by princess standards, at least.
In fashion, there’s a fine line between seriously stylish and just plain weird. Runway watchers at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, the biannual menswear extravaganza that took place last week, were confronted with quite a bit of both. The best looks included crisp, tailored suits with flamboyant details, like Garrison Bespoke’s boldly patterned blazers and Christopher Bates’s velvet tuxedos, as well as wearable, layered outfits from designers Andrew Coimbra and Koller Clothing. And then there were the avant-garde ensembles, some of which we loved—like David C. Wigley’s edgy, androgynous man-kilt—and others that left us scratching our heads (e.g. head harnesses, Dr. Seuss–inspired eyebrows). Here, the coolest and most confusing looks from three days’ worth of runway shows.
Toronto Men’s Fashion Week—better known in some circles as TOM—took place last week, attracting some of the city’s most sartorially minded males. In between runway shows from designers like Andrew Coimbra and Garrison Bespoke, we spotted off-duty models, boldly dressed bloggers and suited-up professionals milling about the Carlu. We chatted to some of the best-dressed guys about their style philosophies, strategies for standing out in a crowd and, of course, how to stay warm and look sharp at the same time.
In December, First Capital Realty announced a massive revamp of Hazelton Lanes shopping centre, with plans to transform the space, and a big chunk of the surrounding neighbourhood, into a fancy new “entertainment complex” called Yorkville Village. Most of the mall’s anchor tenants—Whole Foods, Equinox, TNT—are staying put, but there will be at least one fashionable new addition: according to Retail Insider, Montreal-based label Judith and Charles (the descendent of Teenflo) will be opening in the space this coming fall. It’s a logical fit—the brand’s tailored work staples (pretty blouses, pleated skirts, great-fitting pacer pants) consistently hit the sweet spot between professionally polished and extremely on-trend. Case-in-point: this impeccably tailored culottes pantsuit.
It looks like uptown outdoor enthusiasts can finally look forward to a sprawling new Mountain Equipment Co-op location of their own at Sheppard East and Leslie. Though the Vancouver-based active lifestyle company bought the former Sheridan Nurseries plot in November 2012, the development plans only just received final approval last week from the Ontario Municipal Board. (According to InsideToronto.com, a bylaw technicality delayed the process.) As of now, the only Toronto MEC outlet is at King and Spadina, and for anyone not living in the downtown core, it’s a pretty inconvenient trek to pick up camping supplies, thermal socks or running shells. The green light is happy news for the brand’s North York members—a number that the company boasts is 100,000 strong—who can expect the new 42,000-square-foot store to be up and running by summer 2016.
Spring merch may be hitting stores, but Torontonians still have a few more months of layered looks to go. Winter-weary shoppers in need of a wardrobe refresher can head to Tiger of Sweden on Saturday, where the Oscar-worthy outfitter will be selling off its cold-weather styles—think pared-down pantsuits, tailored blazers and fuzzy knits—at up to 70 per cent off. The discounted items include a floor-length cocktail dress for $135 (marked down from $299), a chic bomber jacket for $225 (regularly $499) or fierce studded pumps for $92 (originally $229). Deliciously free coffee from Sam James Coffee Bar will also be on offer, and big spenders who shell out over $500 or $1,000 will be rewarded with $50 or $100 gift cards. For anyone already in a warmer mindset (Bueller?), the label’s latest collection has just arrived, and it’s full of on-trend designs like this perfectly paint-splashed suit.
February 21, 56 Ossington Ave., 416-588-4437, tigerofsweden.com
Torontonians are obsessed with fancy kitchen appliances: Aga cookers and Miele dishwashers have become serious status symbols. It figures, then, that a plastic Little Tikes play set might not cut it for the offspring of the foodie generation. Instead, there’s the work of Mike and Kelly Collier, the husband-and-wife duo behind Kid-Chen Co., a local company that hand-crafts complete kitchen sets for fussy future chefs. Our favourite is this mint-hued, vintage-inspired model, which looks just like the real-life retro kitchens we spotted at this year’s Interior Design Show. Made to order from sustainably sourced maple plywood and non-toxic paint, the fridge stands about 30 inches tall—and contains some unusually sophisticated faux foods, including a whole roasted salmon with asparagus and lemon. $1,100
Kid-Chen Co., 647-999-5241, kidchenco.ca
For 25 years, Lori Morris has designed fantasy-inducing estates all over the world—a sprawling mountain lodge in Montana, an ancient house in Jerusalem, an oceanfront beach property on the Gulf of Mexico. The hectic, travel-heavy lifestyle made her crave a waterfront retreat of her own. Walking around her Etobicoke neighbourhood in 2003, she came across a terraced neo-Georgian row house on the lakefront and had to have it. Problem was, it wasn’t for sale. She waited five years for it to come on the market and scooped it up the moment it did. In February 2008 she took possession and got to work turning the 2,500-square-foot property into her own private escape. She was inspired by French châteaus she’d visited on buying trips and indulged herself with the same luxuries as her clients: custom furnishings; antiques collected from France, Italy and England; ornate chandeliers; and enough rococo gilding to make Marie Antoinette blanch. She also updated the look to satisfy her 21st-century tastes. She stripped the house down to the studs, added grand archways to open up the space and crowned the rooms with custom millwork she designed herself. The result is an over-the-top hideaway that serves as her own Petit Trianon in Mimico. Her favourite room is her bedroom—she calls the rest of the house “the long hallway to my bedroom.”
Ten years ago, it was yoga. Now, the voguish wellness crazy is meditation—tranquil, incense-fumed, cross-legged sessions that melt frantic millenial minds into a calmer state of being. The latest prescription for strung-out suits is a five-minute breathing session in a Bay Street boardroom turned ashram, or a 10-day silent retreat in a remote rural sanctuary. Here, an essential shopping list for serious serenity seekers.
Siberia is the latest venture from Stacey Collrin, one half of the sister duo behind the Bloordale general store Odd Finds. The new Queen West shop sits between Ossington and Dovercourt, and like Odd Finds, sells a small but smartly curated selection of vintage clothing and accessories. Visitors can browse through fur capes and retro sunglasses, as well as pointy cacti and animal skulls (they just have to get past this guy first). But Collrin’s second spot also showcases fancier items and more modern pieces. Currently, shoppers will find cocktail dresses, long coats from the ’70s and ’80s and plenty of like-new leather footwear, including this pair of sturdy stomping boots ($90). Prices range from around $15 for soy candles or rings, to $120 for some of the more luxurious outerwear. Though there’s no tea shop at this location, there is a quaint little courtyard out back that Collrin plans to fill with picnic tables and racks of clothing once the ice thaws.
Siberia, 1048 Queen St. W., 416-476-5152, facebook.com
For Torontonians, winter typically means bundling up in style-sacrificing parkas and waterproof boots. But for the city’s fashionable dogs, it’s a chance to flaunt their cute canine clothing. We wandered around Rosedale on a snowy weekend to see what the neighbourhood pups were sporting and found—unsurprisingly—that they showed off more cold-weather flair than their owners: we spotted a Golden Retriever puppy in a seasonal sweater, a Westie in bright booties and a Boston Terrier in a fur-trimmed hood. Here, ten of Rosedale’s on-point pooches.
In addition to selling pretty party dresses and quaint housewares, Anthropologie’s new Queen West location is also consistently decked out with elaborate fresh flower displays. The bouquets are the work of Toronto florist Sweet Woodruff, and typically they just add to the vintage decor or highlight the perfume selection. But on February 14, the flower shop will be hosting a mini boutique within the retailer’s 19th-century church, offering up artful arrangements of peonies and lilacs. Guys and girls can pick up a simple bouquet for around $40, or spend up to $200 on something more centrepiece-worthy. Either choice will score more style points than the standard red rose.
February 14, 12-5, Anthropologie, 761 Queen St. W., sweetwoodruff.com
Choosing the right Valentine’s Day gift can be a delicate business. Most long-term beaus expect more than just a funny card, but a Tinder date might get spooked by a dozen red roses. For gift-givers who need a little assistance, we’ve decoded the subtext of over 25 great gifts—from low-key tokens of admiration to ultra-extravagant gestures of love and devotion—to make sure the message you intend to send is the one that’s received.
Target shoppers tell us about their liquidation “deals” and why they think the American big box flopped
When the news hit that Target would be closing up shop north of the border, there was one teeny tiny silver lining: liquidation sales. Discounts started yesterday, and customers flooded Targets around the city to maybe, finally, score some deals. We caught up with shoppers sifting through leftover product and braving hour-long checkout lines at the Stockyards location to see what they’re so keen to buy, and why they think the American retailer couldn’t cut it in Canada. Here, twelve Target shoppers share their thoughts.