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
Jogging during a Toronto winter takes determination, but it also takes something else: proper gear. Fortunately, shelling out for fancy leggings and insulated shells makes it possible to pass on expensive gym memberships, so the cost has a way of balancing out. Here, some of the best cold-weather running pieces for those who refuse to hit the treadmill, no matter how chilly it gets.
Natasha Wittke, founder of camping brand Norquay Company, designs beautiful paddles that would look equally at home in a rustic living room or a cedar-strip canoe. Handcrafted from Northern Ontario cherry wood, the paddles are stained, branded and painstakingly painted by Wittke in her Montreal studio, creating what the designer calls “collectible pieces of functional art.” You may not want to risk the paintwork on a rugged back-river canoe trip, but a special varnish finish makes them sturdy enough to withstand a leisurely cottage paddle (just be sure to wipe them down afterwards). In the meantime, we suggest hanging a particularly bold piece—like this one, dubbed “Hunter”—anywhere in your house for an artful, outdoorsy look. $275–$380
Available at Tuck Shop Trading Co., 1226 Yonge St., or online at norquay.com
For Toronto women, appearing even remotely stylish in the dead of winter usually involves a stiff trade-off: do you put comfort first in a cozy North Face or Canada Goose (or any other ubiquitous winter parka), or brave the chill in a fashionable peacoat or menswear-inspired piece? It’s a lose-lose scenario. That’s why we’re thrilled about this jacket from Montreal label Soia and Kyo. It manages to satisfy winter warmth requirements—generous hood, down filling, durable outer layer—while ensuring its wearer doesn’t resemble an arctic explorer. On less blustery days, the fur trim can be removed for a simpler look. A bonus: the lower sides zip open to allow for a wider range of movement, should you need it (spontaneous ice-skating, perhaps?). $545
The One of a Kind Show, a twice-yearly shopping extravaganza dedicated to Canadian-made goods, kicks off its 40th anniversary tomorrow at Exhibition Place. The massive hall will once again be crammed with stalls selling all kinds of unique gift ideas—including gourmet food, quirky toys, artful kitchen accessories and statement jewellery—from over 800 designers and artisans. It’s the closest you can get to a one-stop-shop for Christmas gifts, and well worth a trip or two. That said, navigating the hundreds of sellers can be overwhelming, so we’ve nailed down the coolest products you won’t want to miss. Here, our 17 favourite items up for grabs this season, including leather baby moccasins, a hand-blown glass Scotch set and ultra-luxurious facial masks.
Nov. 27-Dec. 7. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., oneofakindshow.com
Toronto-based company Toofifteen has created a beautiful new way to use Tyvek, a sustainable material used to make protective coveralls. The new business, launched by design duo Ashley Botten and Nina Jones, consists of three simple products: a pouch (that you can write on and decorate yourself), a multi-purpose bin and a “pouf” (essentially a square ottoman), each of which is recyclable, durable, mold-resistant and extremely easy to wipe clean. We particularly love the versatility of the bin, which comes in three sizes and can artfully contain a variety of household things, like floor plants, bathroom towels and fruit. It’s also the most affordable option, with small bins priced at $23.
Available at Augustina Boutique, 138 Cumberland St., or toofifteen.com
It’s around this time of year that most women realize they’ll have to ditch their favourite sneakers for something a bit sturdier. Cue the tedious task of finding that perfect pair of boots—because chances are, if you’re planning to drop a few hundred dollars on footwear (well-made boots never come cheap), you’ll want something that works with every kind of outfit. With that in mind, here are 17 pairs of extremely cute all-purpose boots, from functional Chelsea booties to elegant two-toned knee-highs.