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Store Guide: Da Zoo, a King West boutique with an impressive lineup of avant-garde designers

Store Guide: Da Zoo
Name: Da Zo0
Sells: Avant-garde menswear, womenswear, accessories and shoes
Contact info: 613 King St. W., 416-792-5050, da-zooo.com
Hours: M-W 10-6, Th-F 10-8, Sa 10-6, Su 1-5
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Da Zoo, the new store from habitual boutique owner Peter Halpin, exemplifies the kind of cool, eccentric vibe that independent boutiques excel at and corporate-owned stores can never quite pull off. For the King West shop, Halpin teamed with another Toronto style stalwart, Jakub Szczepaniak, to find the right medley of established designers (Rick Owens Drkshdw, Vivienne Westwood, DSquared2) and lesser-known labels (Undercover by Jun Takahashi, Alexandre Plokhov and the insanely exclusive Geoffrey B. Small). A somewhat more reasonably-priced in-house line, 613 King, rounds out the mix.

Our favourite pieces have unique design details that, coupled with the taxidermy and oddities lining the walls, give the store a playful vibe. A pair of Maison Martin Margiela boots, for instance, have subtle reflective perforations that light up in flash photos ($1,250) and a rope-like scarf tapers into ends that looks like horse tails ($250). With Zeppelin pumping over the speakers and Bay Street wild-card Michael Wekerle as executive director, the shop exudes the swagger of an aging rocker—in the best way possible.

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Shopping

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GALLERY: 30 Maison Martin Margiela for H&M looks going on sale November 15

The November 15 launch of Maison Martin Margiela’s collaboration with H&M is less than two days away, which means it’s time to prepare both a mental shopping list and a strategy for the long wait in line. Unusually, instead of newly designed looks, the collection consists entirely of re-editions of iconic pieces from the French design house’s 23-year history (tags will indicate when the piece was originally designed). The 104 garments and accessories, therefore, are completely true to the label’s experimental aesthetic, with oversized shapes, traditional tailoring, visual illusions and a palette of white, black, nude and silver. Our favourites for women are the oversized peacoat and the draped black dress (paired with a whimsical clutch with a strap made of a glove); for the fellas, we like the distressed-looking boots and glorious hipster Canadian tuxedo. The pieces range in price from $49.95 to $399 and will be on offer at the Eaton Centre, Yorkdale Mall and Yorkville locations.

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Random Stuff

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Watch a dizzying take on Paris Fashion Week through the lens of Toronto photographer Liam Goslett

Toronto Fashion Week doesn’t bring out the big street style names like Vogue Japan editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo or Nick Wooster, the men’s fashion director of Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, so sometimes it’s fun to take a look at images shot outside the more glamorous Paris Fashion Week shows to see what outfits people are wearing. Twenty-year-old Toronto-based photographer Liam Goslett understands this need for street style voyeurism, so he stood outside this year’s spring/summer 2013 Paris shows, capturing a variety of looks and familiar faces (there’s an amazing trio in coordinated Thom Browne). The video is about five minutes long, and it’s got a jittery, stop-motion style, but once you get past the Blair Witch Project–like nausea, it’s an interesting take on the hustle and bustle of an international fashion week. Which of course means there’s a tremendous number of shots of glamorous people smoking.

The Goods

Stores

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Maison Martin Margiela is about to become more affordable

H&M just announced its latest collaboration, and it’s a doozy: Maison Martin Margiela, designer of $765 T-shirts and $1,925 cardigans, is the next celebrity design house to create fast fashion versions of its typically high-end offerings. In a press release, Margiela lists its “values and ideas” as “anonymity, whites and ambiguity,” and we presume this means the collection will include an assortment of slightly unconventional white T-shirts. The collab will launch on November 15.

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