Designers with an artier take on clothing don't always get the warmest reception from the style council in the front rows at the city's big-name, mass-market-friendly semi-annual Toronto Fashion Week. Toronto Alternative Fashion Week kicked off last September to provide young, trailblazing talents the chance to show off their work in the company of equally fresh visual artists and music acts. The deadline for getting in on this fall's fartsy fabulousness is July 20. Log on to www.getfat.ca to download an application.
Clothing boutique Boga Moda (10 Wellesley, 416-964-6395, www.bogamoda.com) has opened at the corner of Yonge and Wellesley. The shop features up-and-coming Canadian designers and transplanted Argentinean and Colombian fashion folks living and stitching in Toronto. We love Chic Chain 's hand-painted moccasin-style loafers ($88-$125), and chunky stone and crystal jewellery by Beau Bijou . And we dig that they carry Hilton sister Nicky 's Chick collection of skimpy tanks and neon mini-skirts. What's more fashionably Canadian than cheekily mixing it up?
Fashion can be a flash-in-the-pan profession for newbie designers struggling to find their wardrobe voice. Canadian designer Linda Lundström has had a very clear style statement since she started her career, and it's called Laparka . The kimono-inspired coat turns 20 this year, and a one-of-a-kind version called the Okichitaake , featuring embellishment by fibre artist Juno , is on display at the Design Exchange (234 Bay, 416-363-6121) until the fall, when it'll be auctioned off on eBay to benefit Lundstrom's Kiishik Fund to build awareness of First Nations culture. www.lindalundstrom. com.
This weekend, stop in to Ma Zone (63 Jarvis, 416-868-0330, www.ma-zone. com) to wish Armin Martiros 's design shop a happy eighth birthday and check out Theresa Macpherson 's Pooch Parade glass exhibit. On June 3, local designers fill up Gypsy Co-op (815 Queen West) for the Shopgirls sale from 2 to 6 pm (www.shopgirls.ca). And that evening at 6 pm, the brainy among us will be at the InterAccess Electronic Media Arts Centre (9 Os-sington, 416-599-7206, www.interaccess.org) for the opening of the Scale exhibit (part of the Subtle Technologies festival), featuring nanotechnology-based works by local architects, designers and science smarties.