Local artist and textile designer Virginia Johnson’s colourful hand-painted prints have been a fixture of Toronto’s shopping scene for 14 years. Unfortunately, the designer is halting production of her clothing collections, saying in a note to customers: “I’ve decided to refocus on my art and textile designs through creative projects and collaborations.” But there’s still a chance for shoppers to score Johnson’s perfectly summery apparel—like this tribal caftan or versatile beach tote—before the line wraps up for good later this month. Her latest collection, Le Weekend, is particularly affordable with patterned one-pieces coming in at $50 and breezy beach coverups at $30. Everything else, even shawls and frocks hand-painted in watercolour, is 30 per cent off with the promo code “summer15.” June 28 is the last day for online sales, so fans of these playful picks (or anyone planning a tropical beach vacation) better act quick.
Let’s face it: part of Pride is wearing as little clothing as possible, meaning a proper outfit really depends on the details. Anyone can find a few rainbow decals to temporarily tattoo themselves with, but real Pride style comes from finding that limited-edition swag. Here are four pieces to keep you looking fab all week long.
Toronto designer Taessa Chorny’s first clothing line consists entirely of jumpsuits. The collection includes boho versions, fancy numbers that can pass for cocktail attire and even comfy jersey deals. Practical and totally cute, the OCAD grad’s onesies are an easy antidote to what-do-I-wear-today stress, saving those precious morning minutes spent coordinating skirt-and-shirt combos. Our favourite is this extremely versatile piece, made locally from soft tencel denim. Throw a white T-shirt on underneath for an overalls-inspired look, or jazz it up with jewellery and heels for a dinner out. $445
Available online at taessachorney.com
For anyone tired of their go-to triangle bikini, local designer Leilanni Todd’s eponymous swimwear collection is a refreshing summer wardrobe update. Dubbed the “Yes! Project,” it’s a series of playful collaborations with up-and-coming artists that combine bold prints—including graphic touches and even some cheeky #freethenipple nudity—with Leilanni’s handcrafted suits and bikinis. Our favourite is Berlin-based Maiko Gubler’s artsy one-piece, which showcases broad brush strokes on a peach or black background. Universally flattering, the suit can pass for a regular leotard when paired with denim cut-offs, making for an extremely easy hot-weather ensemble. Plus, a super-low scooped back means you won’t have to worry about any weird tan lines. $200
Available online at leilanni.com
After years of less-is-more maintenance, the male preening routine now goes way beyond a bar of soap and a washcloth. Behind bathroom doors, guys are layering musky fragrances, using fancy badger-hair brushes and slathering on soothing botanical creams. Whether you’re fully bearded or freshly shaven, here are eight manly grooming products to help you appear naturally refreshed.
Shielding your eyes from the sun doesn’t have to be a subtle practice. This season’s sunglasses are bolder than ever, showing off reflective lenses, funky shapes and detailed embellishments. We selected some our favourite frames—translucent rose, oversized leopard-print and retro cat-eye—that’ll have you ditching those well-worn Ray-Bans. Here, 12 pairs of sunglasses that are guaranteed to make a stylish statement this summer.
The new male primping regiment goes way beyond statement socks—it includes enough swank accessories to out-glam Beyoncé. All over Toronto, bow ties are becoming bolder, cufflinks are getting quirkier and lapels are popping with day-glo rosettes and feathered pins (like these ones from Hook and Furl). Here, ten flamboyant finishing touches for the city’s snappy dressers.
Surviving spring’s spontaneous downpours doesn’t have to mean trading chic sneakers or flats for a pair of old wellies. This season, there are a ton of great waterproof boots—and wearing them won’t involve sacrificing personal style. Our favourite ones barely resemble traditional rain gear (some can even pass as regular footwear), and show off seasonal prints, minimalist designs and sturdy heels perfect for puddle stomping. Here, 10 of spring’s best boots that will keep your feet dry and stylish at the same time.
The Find: 14 items from the spring One of a Kind Show to get you geared up for (finally!) warmer weather
The One of a Kind Show kicks off its spring edition this week, bringing together hundreds of Canada’s most talented makers for a gigantic shopping fest. This season, the show is full of all kinds of summery goods—colourful ceramics, breezy linen clothing and campfire-scented candles—for getting warm weather–ready. It’s always a jam-packed event (there’ll be over 450 vendors this year), so we’ve chosen some items you won’t want to skip over, including a brand new clothing line from Hoi Bo, chic backpacks from College workshop Opelle and cutely packaged, artisanal ghee. Here are 14 of our favourite things from One of a Kind’s spring show:
Mar. 25–29. $12 online. Direct Energy Centre, 100 Princes’ Blvd. oneofakindshow.com
Hudson’s Bay has just launched a new clothing line with its American counterpart, Lord and Taylor. It’s called Design Lab Lord and Taylor, and its inaugural collection for spring is packed with perfectly on-trend pieces like leather mules, printed rompers and fringed kimonos—all of which are priced under $100. Our favourite item is this canyon-red faux-suede dress, which exudes a carefree Woodstock vibe. Come summer, it’ll be an easy, no-fuss number to throw on with white sneakers. Until then, feel free to channel Stevie Nicks by pairing it with an oversized denim jacket, cowboy boots and a bowler hat. $98
Available at Hudson’s Bay locations, or online
For stylish guys, custom-made shoes are always something of a status symbol. There’s certainly no shortage of high-end options in Toronto, but local upstart Rogues Custom—currently based out of Ryerson’s Fashion Zone—makes shoe shopping a little more convenient: in addition to booking appointments by request, the brand also travels around to downtown offices, events and menswear stores (they recently hit up Gotstyle), peddling its entire collection from a retrofitted 1920s steamer trunk. (Eventually, their website will be able to take online orders without an in-person visit.) Shoppers can choose from eight hand-crafted styles, including classic oxfords, intricately woven brogues, tough-looking worker boots and tasselled loafers. All shoes can be upgraded to a winter-friendly Goodyear sole, and are hand-painted in your preferred colour palette, whether that’s a subtle two-tone grey or an attention-grabbing orange. We’re partial to the extremely versatile Johnny Chukka boot, which would look equally cool with a crisp spring suit or a plaid shirt and jeans combo. From $545
Rogues Custom, 10 Dundas St. E., 416-655-0711, roguescustom.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
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.
Carl Hansen and Son’s Wishbone chair, named after its delicate Y-shaped backrest, has been beloved by furniture buffs and design aficionados for decades. Created in 1949 by Danish furniture maker Hans J. Wegner, the chair’s simple design—which only uses sustainably sourced hardwood and paper cord—is an ode to the Danish Modern movement of the mid-century. To mark more than a half-century of production, the company is now selling the famous seat in 25 bold shades, including fire-engine red, deep purple and Easter-egg blue. Fans of the look can go for a monochromatic seating plan, or snap up the entire rainbow-hued range for an ultra-playful dining experience. $660 each
Available at Bulthaup, 280 King St. W., 416-361-9005, toronto.bulthaup.com
To achieve ultimate zen this year, Toronto yogis should consider trading their worn-out rubber pads for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing. L.A.-based wellness label La Vie Boheme creates beautiful yoga mats inspired by Navajo art and ancient Buddhist symbols. At a quarter-inch thick, the eco-friendly pads are sturdy enough to support the most advanced inversions, stretches and balancing postures. And the kaleidoscopic colours are sure to stand out against lush grass, a sandy beach or—more realistic, maybe—the pale wood flooring of your local studio. $83
Available at Ardith, 373 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-878-1412, ardithstyle.com