RAPP OPTICAL 788 College 416-537-6590 www.rapplimited.com Rating: NNNNN
Mel Rapp thinks drag queens are under-served by the eyewear market. The city's reigning glasses geek (Rapp references anti-war activists when recounting the history of the aviator shape and mourns the sale of boutique brands to big, shady manufacturers) has launched a limited collection of acetate frames that are hardy enough to be tossed onto the rowdiest Church Street stage but still stylish, with filigree cutouts and tendrils squiggling out from Dame Edna cat eyes.
For those of us with (slightly) meeker personas, Rapp stocks trays of statement sun specs, from matte black Cutler & Gross 80s-looking aviators to titanium models that twist and turn to show off high-tech joints and hinges. Partner Julia Rapp scouts frames from high-quality, design-savvy labels like Mykita , Beausoleil and ic! berlin that offer optimal sun protection and coverage.
The shop's pride and joy is the in-house, handmade-in-Toronto collection that has already built a strong fan following among frame shoppers who like to look as good as they see.
Rapp picks: Brown-to-amber gradient lenses fit sleekly into ic! Berlin 's stainless steel take on an oversized aviator, $520; a Theo pair in pearlized raspberry titanium has sharp outside angles but references a rounder, retro shape, $480; the drag queen collection delivers big drama, prices on request.
Look for: A Mykita (www.mykita.com) trunk show Friday and Saturday (June 1 and 2), where the entire efficiently designed German line will be on display and available for pre-ordering.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 9:30 am to 6 pm, Thursday 9:30 am to 8 pm, Friday 9:30 am to 7 pm.