Best of the City 2012: eight fashionable finds, from a high-end tote to retro wristwatches
PRINTED SKIRT BRIDESMAID DRESSES RETRO WRISTWATCHES
BEACH TOTE WINDBREAKER
359 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-538-8580
Walk into any upscale eyewear boutique, or cruise any online eyewear emporium, and witness a revival of classic early- and mid-century motifs: round acetate frames, keyhole bridges, tortoiseshell. Most of these frames are reproductions. But at Phila Optical, Roncesvalles’ exposed brick showroom, real vintage glasses rule the day. Old frames are sourced from Europe and across the United States, and painstakingly refurbished. Not only does the store have some of the best-looking vintage frames in town, it also has one of the best selections, with drawer upon drawer full of them. $240–$350.
880 Queen St. W., 416-532-8048
Brightly hued jeans are a twist on the most significant of wardrobe staples—and inescapable this summer, whether you like them or not. We do, especially the candy-coloured collection from Joe’s Jeans (pastel purple, light blue, coral and ultramarine) available at Bicyclette boutique. The company makes a classic skinny pant with just the right amount of snug and a perfectly placed waistline that holds in love handles, but doesn’t go past the belly button. (Because, unlike coloured jeans, the high-waisted denim trend wasn’t doing most of us any favours.) From $210.
KIDS’ COTTON T-SHIRT
795 Queen St. W., 647-348-5883
You don’t like T-shirts with obnoxious slogans or loud patterns, so why should your wee one? That’s the concept behind this line of baby and infant basics in faded blues and purples, made from 100 per cent organic Fairtrade cotton that’s farmed in India and woven in Toronto. Alyssa Kerbel, a fashion wholesaler, created the company after searching unsuccessfully for cutesy-free, no-logo togs for her infant daughter. Parents love the Ts, onesies and adorable bloomers because they’re well made. And kids love them because they’re as soft as a velveteen bunny. From $25.
The Room at The Bay
176 Yonge St., 416-861-6251
The Taiwanese-Canadian designer Jason Wu is known in the fashion world for his impeccable tailoring, romantic flourishes and classic Hepburnian shapes. It’s no surprise, then, that he nailed the perennial must-have summer garment: the printed skirt. He dreamed up the elegant silk number on a trip to Puerto Rico, where he was inspired by Old San Juan’s brightly coloured Deco buildings. The swirling coral, navy and chartreuse floral print is lightweight enough to wear during the sticky August heat but structured enough to provide that universally flattering A-line silhouette. $1,730.
Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Rd., 416-975-1810
The tyranny of taffeta is over. These days, many a magnanimous bride allows her attendants to pick their own dresses, leading to
a dramatic decline in Kristin Wiig–ish uprisings. For these lucky bridesmaids, TNT’s Hazelton Lanes flagship—recently expanded to sprawl over 18,000 square feet—is packed with hundreds of gowns in a Crayola box of colours. Our favourite is an ethereal French blue muslin frock from Sandro ($350) that’s as perfect for a rustic country wedding as it is for a refined affair in a ballroom at the new Four Seasons. The shop also carries draped jersey shifts from local label Greta Constantine ($495), a plethora of demure LBDs, and, for the scene-stealer, a lipstick-red spangled mini from Alice and Olivia ($635).
1518 Queen St. W., 416-536-6521
Studio Brillantine, Parkdale’s cornucopia of household goods, is where you’d go for a designer statement kettle or a cartoon corkscrew. It’s not, in short, a jewellery store. It does, however, carry the only watch you’ll ever need. Braun has been making this model since the early 1970s. They’re functional, durable and handsome. Simple black face, readable white numbers, black leather strap. It’s perfectly understated. From $200.
753 Queen St. W., 416-803-7754
Everyone has dozens of reusable grocery store tote bags capable of lugging crackers and Coppertone on the ferry ride to Hanlan’s Point. But if the bag is going to carry a $200 bikini (see “Hot Suits for a Cool Dip”) shouldn’t it be a bit nicer, too? Fleabags are made in New York by fashion designer Shira Entis and ex-lawyer Alex Bell. Their very purpose is to elevate the humble—but eminently useful—canvas tote to an elegant design item. Don’t believe us? Just check the $490 price tag.
12 Trinity St., 416-413-1410
The Hunger Games, although not particularly good, marked the first—and, likely, only—time a movie’s heroine spent almost all of her screen time in a windbreaker. And not even a nice one, at that. A better option is this bright yellow Duvetica Acanto jacket from Lileo. It’s made of wind- and rain-resistant polyamide, stuffed with down and lined with T-shirt-soft jersey cotton. And it’s hip enough that when you’re finished walking the dog (or battling to the death or whatever) you can wear it straight to late-summer patio drinks. $700.