Toronto’s Best Dressed: Deena Pantalone

Toronto’s Best Dressed: Deena Pantalone

This week’s pick donned the perfect party frock, which nails all the right balances: classic, but not boring; bright, but not blinding; youthful, but definitely not for teenybopper set. We spoke to the diva behind the dress, Toronto developer Deena Pantalone, who explained her approach to recessionary fashion that, incidentally, doesn’t involve skimping on shoes.

(Photo by Emer Connon)

Your vibe is sort of Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina. Is that what you were going for?
Exactly. I even got my hair done to complete the look. My style is more sexy and elegant than it is trendy.

Who designed your dress?
Well, me, sort of. It’s a really old vintage dress I’ve had lying around the house for years. My cousin is a stylist in New York, so she helped me decide how to alter it, and then I just took it into one of those tiny mom-and-pop seamstress shops on Queen West.

You’re quite the recessionista. Do you find a lot of people are repurposing clothing because of the economy?
Sure. Or they’re wearing the same dress but getting a great bag or a great pair of shoes to make the outfit.

Sort of like how guys are buying new ties rather than new suits.
Yes. It’s all doom and gloom out there, but it’s still nice, if you can, to get dressed up and have fun.

What about your accessories. Are you a big shoe person?
Oh God, yeah. These are Louboutins. They’re a splurge, but it honestly feels like you’re walking around in bedroom slippers, so they’re worth it.

How much is too much to spend on footwear?
I don’t even want to say. In my business, we’re all singing the blues, so expensive shoes are really over the top. For some reason, it’s OK to spend $2,000 on a Gucci purse, but people make a big deal over $700 shoes. You wear the hell out of shoes!