French designer Roland Mouret’s iconic Galaxy dress has been spotted on pretty much every female celebrity, including Victoria Beckham and Cameron Diaz. Now, thanks to a chic new collaboration with Banana Republic, the designer’s signature looks will be available to a much wider audience. Anyone who admires Mouret’s flattering paneled dresses, pencil skirts and cropped sweaters—but balk at the multi-grand price tags—will be pleased to learn that the new line is very affordable, with most items priced between $75 and $185. The collection doesn’t hit stores until August 7, but it’s always best to shop with a game plan. Here are our 15 favourite looks.
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Preview: Roland Mouret, designer of the iconic Galaxy dress, launches an affordable line for Banana Republic
In May, we reported that Jacob was going out of business, but now it looks like the Canadian chain is getting a brief reprieve. According to the Financial Post, the Quebec Superior Court has agreed to give the company one extra month of creditor protection, meaning it now has until August 22 to come up with a brilliant comeback plan. (Keep in mind that Jacob has been under creditor protection since 2010, so it’s somewhat unlikely that the additional month will be its saving grace.) According to a company spokesperson, the bonus time will be used to complete a restructuring plan and secure new financing, in the hopes of keeping at least a few stores open. If Jacob doesn’t come up with something amazing by this time next month, it’ll be curtains for real.
Cherry Beach has one of the best—and certainly most scenic—dog parks in the city. Unlike the small enclosures in many other parks, the off-leash space is enormous and rugged. For rambunctious pups, there’s plenty of forested area, long grasses and, of course, the lake to explore. (You won’t find many chihuahuas in pink sweaters here.) We wandered the area on a bright July morning and found that the same group of dog owners come here so consistently that their pooches have built lasting friendships. Among the playful pets were a trio of energetic borzois, some gorgeous huskies chasing after sticks, a few rescue dogs with heartwarming stories and a four-legged cancer survivor who had just grown back his fur.
Bathurst and Bloor is about to become even more of a hub for local bargain hunters—at least for the next couple of years. The Star reports that this November, Lastman’s Bad Boy Superstore will open up a 12,000 square-foot location inside Honest Ed’s, filling the space previously occupied by Sonic Boom Records. The relationship between the two discount retailers is destined to be short-lived, though: Honest Ed’s was bought by real-estate developer Westbank, and only has its lease until 2016. Until then, Bad Boy CEO Blayne Lastman (son of former mayor Mel Lastman) says shoppers can expect the cheapest deals: “It’s going to be power-buys only—the best prices.”
Beloved top model Coco Rocha, who happens to hail from Toronto, has designed a cosmic-themed jewellery line in collaboration with online boutique BaubleBar. Full of eye-catching pieces like oversized chainmail bibs, sharp-quilled necklaces and winged ear cuffs, the entire collection has a bold, high-fashion feel. But—in keeping with Rocha’s down-to-earth reputation—the pieces are delightfully affordable (prices range from $24 to $120). Our favourite bit of decoration? These jewelled galactic drop earrings, which would be perfect for dressing up an outfit on a budget. $40
Available at eluxe.com
With all the buzz surrounding Kleinfeld’s grand opening at the Bay earlier this year, it seemed like only a matter of time before Canadians got a spin-off of Say Yes to the Dress, the American reality show that pushed the New York–based bridal emporium into the spotlight. Now, it looks like Toronto fans of the show are getting their wish, but it’s not happening at Kleinfeld. According to the Star, a Canadian version of the drama-filled reality series will air next winter on the W Network. Surprisingly, though, the show’s producers have decided to bypass Kleinfeld’s sprawling downtown location in favour of a Woodbridge bridal boutique called Amanda-Lina’s Sposa. Apparently, the Woodbridge shop is a longstanding family-run institution with a diverse clientele. (Diverse enough, we hope, to include at least a few Bridezillas—regular meltdowns are an essential component of the show.)
Toronto menswear brand Sons of Odin is hosting a summer pop-up sale this weekend—perfect for guys who like to flaunt their fashion-forward personalities, but who’d rather not spend $350 on a hoodie. The two-year-old label is one of the local brands showing at next month’s Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, and its “joggers” (a tighter, drop-crotched version of sweatpants) are already popular among rappers like 2 Chainz. At the two-day event on Queen West, pieces from the label’s most recent summer collection will be 35 per cent off, while last fall’s collection will be marked down by 60 per cent. Items up for grabs include chic net polos for $140 (originally priced at $215) and luxe moto sweaters for $244 (down from $375).
Jul. 18–19. 884 Queen St. W., sonsofodin.me
Garrison Bespoke, the local suit maker responsible for Drake’s recent Raptors-themed novelty jacket, has another sporty client: Toronto FC players, who unveiled a distinguished new look yesterday in their first team outfit—a custom three-piece number based loosely around the team’s signature black and red. Captain Steven Caldwell helped design the look, complete with a rose-hued shirt and bright red tie. Perhaps he was thinking ahead: if the team doesn’t do well, at least the suits will get some extra wear on Valentine’s Day.
Garb, a new consignment shop on Queen West, is more discriminating than most. (Case in point: its website lists over 100 labels that it absolutely refuses to carry.) Shoppers can stop by to browse the high-end designer stock, which includes silk Hermés scarves, cute Kate Spade backpacks and chic Erdem frocks. Most items are steeply discounted—by up to 75 per cent, depending on the condition (Garb has comprehensive rating system starting with A++, meaning the item is new with tags). We spotted some great deals, including a Vera Wang top for just $45, a Vince cocktail dress for $115 and never-worn Valentino kitten heels for $215. The menswear stock is surprisingly impressive, too: there are sharp dress shirts from brands like Paul Smith and Hugo Boss alongside sophisticated accessories like this printed Giorgio Armani tie. For those who’d prefer to purge their closets, consignors receive an impressive 50-per-cent commission on each item sold.
1046 Queen St. W., garb.ca
Fans of African-inspired trends this season (think: statement chokers, bold prints and colourful headpieces) may be interested in scoping out the new looks at African Fashion Week Toronto this August. The three-day event at the Marriot Yorkville will include workshops, seminars, a student design competition and runway shows from over thirteen African designers. Show-goers can expect to see a few local brands (like the chic, pattern-heavy Fenix Couture), but the scene will be mostly international, with distinct styles from over ten African countries. There will be elaborate looks from popular Senegalese designer Eva Gabarra, on-trend pieces from Zimbabwean label Shadow by Sidumiso and luxe, sustainable dresses from Eritrean brand Farida’s Style, some of which will be available for purchase at the show. We’re also looking forward to plus-size womenswear from South African designer Siviwe Ntleki and plenty of Moroccan caftans from Smail Adkim Couture. Click here for tickets to individual events throughout the week.
Aug. 7-10. Marriot Yorkville, 90 Bloor St. E., afwt.ca
Toronto shoppers will soon be able to acquire the refined, polished look of Giorgio Armani at a fraction of the cost. Retail Insider reports that the high-end label will open its first Canadian outlet at Toronto Premium Outlets, the Halton Hills outlet mall that also boasts Polo Ralph Lauren and J. Crew stores. The new shop will peddle past-collection pieces from Armani’s various lines, including the posh Emporio Armani and the slightly more casual Armani Collezioni (to put potential discounts in perspective, a simple black Emporio Armani blazer regularly sells for over $1,500 at Holt Renfrew). The outlet is slated to open at the end of August. Until then, budget-conscious fans will have to make do with Toronto’s A/X Armani Exchange locations, which carry the company’s least expensive label.
This week, the TTC launched a new online shop for transit-themed merchandise. The selection is pretty slim at the moment (just six posters and two maps), but apparently “big ideas” are in the works. In the meantime, we love this print from Toronto artist Jerry Waese, who’s known for his abstract graphic style and has a penchant for making the TTC look a whole lot better than it does in real life. The image, which was actually commissioned for the cover of the new TTC Ride Guide, perfectly captures that melancholy feeling of staring out a streetcar window on a rainy day—a potentially traumatizing commute reminder for regular streetcar riders, but also a nostalgic tribute to the iconic cable cars, which won’t be around for long. $15
TTC Online Shop, shop.ttc.ca
Collab Collections is a new fashion boutique on Queen West stocked with cute summery clothes and vintage designer accessories. Like its name suggests, it’s the combined effort of two Toronto institutions: the relocated Deluxe Boutique (it used to reside up the road at 793 Queen West) and e-store Sewnmates. Deluxe brings in items from international labels that are tricky to find elsewhere in Toronto, like footwear from China-based JNBY, or silk shorts from high-end European brand Designer’s Remix. The Sewnmates stuff consists of reasonably-priced summer essentials like rompers from Australia brand Bardot and flattering bikinis from Californian swimwear maker Lspace. We particularly like these colourful jelly flats from UK label F-Troupe. While clothing ranges from around $65 for a Bardot crop top to $295 for a fitted Designer’s Remix frock, shoppers should expect to shell out much more for the vintage handbags—a black Chanel tote goes for $650.
For three days this week, Toronto menswear brand 18 Waits will host a dedicated pop-up shop on Queen West. Although the ruggedly refined casual wear is usually stocked at boutiques like Gerhard Supply and Uncle Otis, shoppers will now be able to browse the label’s entire range of locally-made clothing—and at great deals, too. Past-season apparel will be marked down 60 per cent, while the most recent summer collection will be selling for 30 per cent off. For those thinking ahead, pieces like this Aztec-printed button-down will transition nicely into fall. Plus, the brand’s timeless style means past-season stuff won’t look outdated. Lucky customers may even be able to nab celebrity-endorsed accessories, like this feather necklace recently sported by rock legend Ronnie Wood.
July 10-13. 955 Queen St. W., facebook.com
As we’re sure you already know (it was, after all, the most tweeted-about sports event in history), Brazil took a beating from Germany in yesterday’s semi-final World Cup game. On Dundas West, loyal Brazil fans remained glued to television screens, and though the atmosphere was certainly somber, most were willing to offer up a smile and share their thoughts on the match. As one fan pointed out, “Brazilians are never bitter about a loss”—a noble claim, albeit one that’s not entirely consistent with the photos on this blog. Not everyone was on Team Brazil—we spotted at least one set of Germany fans in the area (they respectfully stopped cheering after goal number three). Here, the best of Dundas West’s World Cup style, including DIY beading, animal hats and team-supporting kicks.