Attention, shoe lovers. Normally when you put "high" and "shoes" together in a sentence, it has to do with retail euphoria or heel height. In this case, it's a bit of both. Join curator Elizabeth Semmelhack at the Bata Shoe Museum (327 Bloor West) tonight (Thursday, January 27) at 6 pm for a slide lecture on the social significance of high heels from the 17th century to today: High Style: Cultural Politics And The History Of The High Heel. That's right, "cultural politics" - and your friends thought you just had a shoe fetish. To keep the evening's soundtrack on the retro theme, musicians Emma Elkinson and Jon-Michael McLean will demonstrate the unique sounds of the theorbo and the baroque flute with 17th-century sonatas and solos. Free. 416-979-7799 ext 226, www.batashoemuseum.ca.
If you can't get enough of the sweatshop-free separates at American Apparel 's Queen West location (499 Queen West, 416-703-5146), rejoice. AA (founded by Montrealer Dov Charney ) just opened its second Toronto storefront in Little Italy (533-535 College), just in time to feed your comfy cotton cravings. Monday to Wednesday 10 am to 8 pm, Thursday to Saturday 10 am to 10 pm, Sunday noon to 8 pm. 416-920-7007, www.americanapparel.net.
We're so proud to announce that vegan bag line Matt & Nat (based in Montreal and founded in 1997 by Inder Bedi ) has been recognized by PETA with a Proggy Award (proggy is short for progress, natch) for best cruelty-free purses and wallets. Check out the news release at www.peta.org/feat/proggy/2004/winners.html#wallets. Astoundingly popular, thanks to a perfect pairing of animal-friendliness and fierce style, their bags are available in more than 1,500 North American locations and online. Always keeping the flame of ingenuity burning bright, Matt & Nat recently branched out into a broader range of accessories, including sandals, slippers, gloves, toques, scarves and place mats. And the best part? A full shoe line for men and women is in the works. 1-888-304-2334, www.viavegan.com.