Just Opened: Evan Biddell’s Oz Studio Boutique

Just Opened: Evan Biddell’s Oz Studio Boutique

The interior of Oz retains a raw edge (Image: Glynnis Mapp) 

From the outside, Oz looks like another one of Ossington’s trendy watering holes, but inside it’s clear that’s not the case. Instead, this new showroom-meets-art space will be home to live model photo shoots, new media installations, art shows and jam sessions.

“I wanted something different from just a flagship store. I wasn’t done being an artist,” says Evan Biddell, part owner and curator of the space, which opened on Tuesday. After being crowned the winner of Project Runway Canada’s first season, the Toronto-based designer has been prodded by fans for a store where they could find his clothes.

After setting up several small ateliers in British Columbia, Biddell decided he would try again, this time in Toronto. He and photographer Joseph Fuda, his business partner, donned hard hats and went to work aided by stylist Peter Papapetrou. “Creating the space was a complete DIY,” says Fuda. “We totally gutted this place. We did the walls ourselves and left some rough patches unfinished just to keep some of the history.”

For Biddell, the 120-year-old building is the perfect mix of old and new, with its crumbling 17-foot ceiling and antique copper radiators. The knotty hardwood floors are treacherous for stiletto wearers, but Biddell is considering hosting his fashion shows there.

“Actually, we really pushed to have our fashion week show here instead,” says Biddell, but the FDCC said no to the idea. Biddell is considering upping the ante for his catwalk display on March 30. “I’m thinking digital installations, live streaming, something crazy,” he says. “Maybe like a 1920s feel… I’m thinking black and white, I don’t know.”

Oz Studio Boutique, 134 Ossington Ave., 416-792-5511.