290 ION380 Queen East, 647-283-5321 www.290ion.com
In 1983, Sanghun Oh was inspired by the city’s booming new-wave fashion scene to open her original 290 Ion boutique at Queen and Soho and fill it with upstart local lines including Comrags, Hoax Couture and Xiphotex. In 1996, Queen West’s popularity with big-brand retailers lusting after the strip’s indie cred forced her to close shop. On March 1, 290 Ion made a quiet return to Queen Street, opening its doors on a sleepy block east of Parliament.
Oh’s Canadian fashion loyalty is still intact, with lines like Marie Saint-Pierre, Joeffer Caoc and Rosa Costanzo filling her racks. Sophistication and simple lines characterize international collections from Copenhagen’s Casch and Spain’s Muchacha, but no matter what a garment’s provenance, unique details and fine fabrics raise it above basic.
290 ION picks: Marie Saint-Pierre’s shirt-dress is made from signature pleated and wrinkled crimson silk, $680; dresses are going full-lengthy for spring, and Casch’s black halter style is au-courrant-ly maxi, $525; a Joeffer Caoc skirt hides side ruching and a diagonal fold of fabric in its simple pencil silhouette, $245.
Look for: Pieces arriving soon from Montrealer Véronique Miljkovitch, Oh’s favourite find of the country’s contemporary designer crop.
Hours: Thursday to Saturday noon to 6 pm, Wednesday and Sunday by appointment.