Spring Fashion Week kicks off in Toronto’s David Pecaut Square and by the time the cherry blossoms open in High Park, a tour of Toronto’s hottest shopping spots will get you runway ready.
By Lori McNulty
1) Your window to the soles
From the Derby swirls of Fluevog (worn by Alice Cooper and Madonna) to the whimsy of Imelda, Toronto takes its heels and kicks seriously. Try on the envy-inducing boots and pointy-toe pumps at Gravity Pope and Young and Tae. LeatherFoot welcomes the well-heeled man.
2) Longing for lingerie?
Billed as intimate, not intimidating, Sophia’s Lingerie in Greektown is where to take your best friend to find the perfect bra. Sexy Tryst Lingerie and Change, plus luxurious Avec Plaisir and Linea Intima will put you in mood for pleasure. Melmira’s personal stylists are second to none.
3) Local, indie and one-of-a-kind designs
Browse some 200 indie Canadian designers at Fashion District. Curated Canadian collections also adorn Oak + Fort, while chic, upscale JoshuaDAVID celebrates some of Quebec’s finest designers. Victoire does both edgy and all-Canadian classics proud.
4) Quirky and casual gifts
Get a true taste of quirky Canadiana at Outer Layer and Drake General Store. Good Neighbour features awesome street wear and anything-but-ordinary home wares. Artsy, affordable and modern, the AGO gift shop is fabulous for jewellery, books and prints. Cute trinkets and clothes adorn the infinitely playful Beau and Bauble.
5) Vintage finds
Actress Samantha Michelle’s Treasure Chest is Old Hollywood resurrected, from flapper dresses to “Mad Men” dress-up. Cabaret Vintage will doll you up in pre-1950 glamour. Check out Three Fates for everything from little black dresses to smart sequins. Go upscale for vintage Dior at I Miss You Vintage.
6) Exotic, expansive Chinatown
The second largest Chinatown in North America features exotic trinkets and hand-crafted ceramics, great tea and herbs. Try B&J Trading Co. for cheap home décor. Tap Phong Trading is a chef’s cookware fantasy cabinet come true.
7) Kensington Market
If you’re looking for vintage, artsy and unusual, try the fine batik and vintage clothes at Dancing Days, or legendary men’s fashions at Tom’s Place. Blue Banana Market celebrates the uncommon, from tie-dye cake mix to French-Canadian themed stoneware shaped like a birch-bark canoe. Shop vintage at Exile and Courage My Love.
8) Exclusive and luxury lines in Bloor-Yorkville
Exquisite Canadian-designed haute couture along with European chic styles reside at this exclusive address. Try ultra-luxurious Kiton for men’s suits and Anthropologie for more accessible handmade designs with a dash of boho-chic. Don’t leave without running your fingers through the silks and scarves of Kumari.
9) Go on a food journey at St. Lawrence Market
Re-energize after all that shopping with the edible gourmet delights and handmade crafts at one of the world’s top 10 food markets, according to National Geographic magazine.
10) Historic and happening – the Distillery District
Wander amid old brick buildings and the scent of roasted coffee at heel boy for fine shoes, and to sample the small-batch delicacies at award-winning Soma Chocolate. Local favourite Blackbird Vintage is a must experience, too.