SWABY 187A Queen East, 416-367-1333 Rating: NNNNN
Shernett Swaby is bracing for the publicity push that comes from being one of the 10 designer hopefuls on Project Runway Canada (premiering Monday, October 8, at 10 pm on Slice). She's been fashioning her Swaby clothing line and boutique since 2001 and realized a little shameless self-promotion was all she needed to build her brand. So she signed up to cut and sew her way through design challenges put forward by show host Iman.
The gorgeously detailed and wearable clothing hanging in her Queen and Jarvis shop suggests Swaby is ready for her couture close-up no matter if or when she gets snipped from the Project Runway cast. A Designer Picks collection includes tailored everyday pieces like a khaki satin blouse with a ruffled ribbon bib, and a cropped jacket riveted with collar snaps, priced between $90 and $255.
Her clothing chops really shine in the high-end couture collection. Swaby creates volume and an artful three-dimensionality on tulip skirt and topcoat pieces by tucking, rusching, pleating and building layers of fabric and matching ribbons.
Swaby picks: A navy blue wool blend dress is accented with an asymmetrical, open cowl collar, $175; accessories include one-off handbags created for runway presentations, starting at $250. Swaby's choicest choice is a stretch chiffon baby-doll dress with bands of raspberry ribbon around its skirt, $1,259.
Look for: Swaby's pre-Fashion Week spring show October 17 at 6:30 pm at the Berkeley Church (315 Queen East). Call the shop to get on the list.
Hours: Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Thursday 10 am to 7 pm, Friday 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.