Retailers have caught spring's rebirthing fever, and new shops have opened up to catch out-and-about crowds. After a major renovation, the Showroom (278b Queen West, 416-318-2696), has reopened on the Queen and Spadina mall. A new double-height space is packed with designer denim buys from Diesel , True Religion and Rock & Republic .
In her former Park Gallery space, Julia Burton has partnered with three other local designers to open Cheeky Boutique (1036 Queen West, 647-999-7494). The shop features Alyssa Rushton 's overstitched retro ties, Iza Mok-rosz 's bird-appliquéd vintage china, Alex Leikermoser 's "Kiss My Asana" screen-printed Yoga Gurl wear and Burton's own White Squirrel Club Fidel caps and Ts.
Itsmade to support locals
And out Parkdale way, Itsmade officially opens tomorrow (Friday, May 19) at 1604 Queen West. Designer Karen Friis has compiled local labels including Ooogli and Amie Scott into a chic collective store. 416-844-9193, www. itsmade.ca.
Two other shop discoveries have us feeling bookish. Type has opened at 883 Queen West (416-366-8973, www. typebooks.ca). The store stocks a smart book and magazine selection, but it's the children's nook where we discovered a set of placemats featuring kids' recipes for concoctions like dinosaur soup ("Take four dinosaurs. Add water") that has us cooing. And for the past two months, the Monkey's Paw (1229 Dundas West, 416-531-2123) has been luring in vintage book buyers with its intriguing collection of pulp fiction and retro typewriter displays.
Under a rain-soaked tent at C Lounge on May 11, Bacardi showed off the winner of its first design award. Tara White created a kerchief that wraps around a bod six different ways. These kinds of cross-promo opportunities are a smart marketing tool for indie designers who piggyback their lines on big corporate budgets. The kerchief will be available at special events this summer, and White's own Embody collection is on the racks at Itsmade (see left).