School of stitching
Craftsters ready to make the jump from do-it-yourself to expert sewing should check out Studio Opal's (1184 Queen East, 416-264-6725, www.studioopal.ca) first clothing design program. Through projects and a design studio internship, the six-month, full-time course taught by stitching pros introduces students to the skills they'll need to work in the fashion or costume business. Spaces in the fall session starting in October are limited to eight students. Log onto Opal's website for application details before the September 1 deadline.
Key chain gang
Propaganda (686 Yonge, 416-961-0555) owner Regina Sheung is swooning over her new collection of String Doll Gang key chain characters. The army of miniature figures made with wire and one continuous piece of string is created by a collective of Thai architecture students. Kooky characters (sold for $12 each) include Collin the Pirate, featuring a black bead eye patch, sneaky Jo Ninja and the masked Super Piggy. Log on to www.kamibashi.com to see the whole crew.
The third season of our guilt-free pleasure Project Runway debuted on U.S. TV last week. Life Network will air the episodes here in September, but the folks behind Canadian Idol have a Canuck version of the show in the works. We got wind of the concept on the train to Montreal Fashion Week in March when we eavesdropped on Idol judge Jake Gold suggesting judging candidates for the program (Club Monaco creator Joe Mimran 's name was dropped). No matter who gets the call, we can't wait to see our own fashion kids put through the runway ringer.
MADE at the Gladstone
Queen Westers escaped Sunday's (July 16) 34° heat by browsing the expertly edited selection of designers and artists filling the Gladstone 's ballroom for the Modern Art Design Exhibit (www.modernartdesignexhibit.com). New finds included Sarra Tang 's Hoibo collection of carved leather clutches (available at Delphic , 706 Queen West, 416-603-3334) and Dawn Petticrew 's clay confection butter dishes, plates and tumblers (www.dpceramics.ca). We couldn't resist picking up a pair of co-organizer Hoi Tang 's (www.mehoi.com) cheeky gold diamond-shaped cufflinks. The brilliant-cut graphic will also be featured on tie clips this fall.