Nathalie-Roze & Co., 1015 Queen East, 416-792-1699, www.nathalie-roze.com Rating: NNNNN
If you're stumped about how to define Toronto style to inquisitive visiting cousins and fashion-snooty tourists, get a crash course on Canuck couture by visiting the new Nathalie-Roze & Co. shop at Queen and Pape. Crafternoon Tea hostess and style writer Nathalie-Roze Fischer has collected 70 clothing and accessory designers (80 per cent homegrown) who practise a handcrafted take on wardrobing. The DIY spirit thrives in lines like Jack & Marjorie 's shoulder bags and waist packs made from olive green army tents and SLO 's sweater remnant tea cozies. Fischer didn't want her shop to be an east-side outpost for the usual west-end indie merch, so she hunted down exclusives by labels like Ghetto Couture (retro fabrics reworked into bandeaus and dresses), Dirty Skirty (pillowcase-fabric wrap tops) and rare women's screened Ts by dandy fave AKA .
Behind the shop is a studio where make-and-take classes on jewellery design, soap making and hand sewing will transform you from a shopper into one of Fischer's fashion entrepreneurs. Nathalie-Roze & Co. picks: Ghetto Couture's scarf-dress layers vintage silks onto a lacey slip, $120; illustrator Kim Kutner 's pillows get patched with original drawing transfers, $32; clip on a ceramic bird pin by Vancouver's Horn of Plenty , $36.
Look for: Weekend tea service in the back garden starting this Saturday between noon and 4 pm.
Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday 11 am to 6 pm, Thursday and Friday 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Sunday noon to 5 pm.