Project Runway Canada is obviously required watching for local fashion fans (and after a sneak peek at season two, we can assure you the designer drama only gets better), but if there's one show the designers themselves should watch, it's CBC's Dragon's Den. Cat fights and time-pressured sewing competitions have nothing on weekly expert tips on how to pitch, market and sell your product.
Retail times are tough, and the usual post-holiday slowdown is only going to make them tougher. Instead of putting up lamppost banners and other street-branding clutter, BIAs across Toronto should encourage shops to extend weekday opening hours. Why only do business between noon and 6 when most people are at the office?
We've got nothing against falafel, but watching Common Cloth's former Parkdale store space, designed minimally and beautifully by Commute Home, turn into a fluorescent-lit shawarma joint broke our heart. We also miss other closed-in-08 shops including House of Vintage, Ukula and Boutique Le Trou.
Photo By Kathryn Gaitens
MADE's Julie Nicholson and Shaun Moore
Photo By Michael Watier
DUNDAS WEST A-Okay
Contrary to BlogTO's Deadpool retail grim reapers, the stretch of Dundas between Bathurst and Ossington hasn't expired. It's true that tenants like Model Citizen and Melanie's Closet have moved off the strip, but recent openings like Bookhou, very good vintage at Marylou Flamingo and weekly Can-con furniture arrivals at Made proves Dundas West is alive and kicking.
Look for Le Petit Beret lids at Shopgirls.
Of all the upstart fashion labels we profiled this year, Danielle Suppa's Le Petit Beret was the most parfait! Pick through downsized discs available in a variety of colourful felts, wool tartans and cheetah spots at Ewanika and Shopgirls.
One fashion blog won our hearts, chuckles and click-throughs above all the rest. Anonymous Auntiefashion.com simultaneously roasts and boasts about Canada's style past (retro Fashion Magazine covers are judged with "What would Tyra say?" zingers), present (daily birthday wishes for fashion icons and footnotes) and future (her Moosejaw Fashion Week initiative is on track for 2012). She claims we have a crush on her, and we've never argued that assumption.
In these stylist-saturated times, best-dressed lists are a bore, but one Torontonian was so well put together in 2008 that she is worthy. Her name is Sarah Nicole Prickett, and her contributors shot is easy to spot on Torontoist's staff page. She out-outfitted celebs at TIFF, editors at Fashion Week and will probably make your attire feel horribly inadequate at some point, too.
HOT FOR HELDER
Like pink patent leather, we love Fritz Helder and the Phantoms forever. We bow down before the foursome's fashion-forward look and appreciate how a song like Lagerfeld Lady makes us dig through our closets for something sparkly to wear on Saturday night.
Pardon us for straying into restaurant critic territory, but we proclaim OddFellows 2008's most style-friendly meal. Built and run by interior and product designers Castor, the quirky Canuck space has as its centrepiece a schmooze-friendly communal table. Time between bites is best spent shopping the room's rubber chairs, reclaimed-bulb chandeliers and sweet suspended fireplace.
Trend reports are best read and forgotten. Otherwise ,that "black is the new black" prescription starts to sound a little repetitive. Surrealism, lace, jumpsuits and shoulder pads all had minimal to no closet penetration this year, but that doesn't mean we're not chomping at the bit to share our list of 2009 gotta-have-it buys.