Pho Pa, 698 Queen West, 416-979-9444
Alexia Lewis picked her store's punny name (a Vietnamese take on the French phrase for a major style mistake) to fit in with the noodle-joint neighbours around her original Kensington Market location. The soup slurpers followed her downtown when she hopped hoods to Queen West eight months ago and still eat up Pho Pa's hot clothing and accessory picks.
Lewis stocks Toronto-designed goodies that go against the fashion grain. While on-trend shops are pushing neutrals for spring, Pho Pa is bursting with a fresh mix of kelly greens and bold metallics. Local labels on her roster include patchwork-perfect Las Valentias , Dagg and Stacey 's textile-collage separates and Pho Pa's own line of chic'd-up staples.
Creative-type customers dig boosting homegrown talent, but Pho Pa snags us with its classic cuts and easy-to-swallow price tags.
Lewis's picks : Dresses galore, including House of Spy 's black cotton wrap screened with hot-pink dance lesson silhouettes, $160; Wonderlust tube dress that does 50s with its full skirt and 80s with its oversized floral print, $170; inside-out-look Pho Pa patch dress in beige, chocolate or baby blue, $149.
Look for : Golden lariats and other trendsetting jewels by 14 local designers; the arrival of Montreal labels Eve Gravel and Dinh Bá for spring.
Hours : Monday to Saturday 11 am to 7 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm.