THE IT: J+O tops up its Topshop connection

Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling

Jonathan + Olivia expanded its specially-selected Topshop line last week, adding another layer of accessible high street chic to the Ossington Avenue store-within-a-store by launching the label’s final Kate Moss collection, along with additional items from Topman menswear and the new Topshop Make-Up range.

Check out some scenes from the media preview below, including the panther dress made famous by Ms. Kate herself!

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SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At a very stylish sample sale

Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

With a flurry of audacious patterns, primary colours, and ’80s explosions, the Beckerman sisters—Caillianne, Samantha and Chloé—held one of their occasional sample sales this past weekend, bringing a stash of their own designs as well as a curated selection of vintage finds to a pop-up shop at the north end of Toronto’s Fashion District.

Also on board was handbag creator Andrea Brueckner, who supplied a selection from her line—New York-made and sweatshop-free—which typically hangs from the shoulders and arms of L.A. starlets. Check out our favourite looks and pieces from the event!

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STYLE MAP: Shopgirls

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Shopgirls (1342 Queen St. W., 416-534-7467)

Lately, the fashion industry has been abuzz about supporting Canadian designers and local brands. So it’s quite fitting that this edition of Style Map should feature the brilliant boutique, Shopgirls and its owner, Michelle Germain.

Located in the heart of Parkdale, Shopgirls is more than just a store where you buy things, go home content, and possibly visit again. Shopgirls is a bustling community centre for designers, artists, and fashion lovers alike. With over 80 Canadian designers on hand, a newly added Home section and a gallery hallway space showcasing original pieces by local artists, Shopgirls is quickly becoming a leading lady of Toronto’s fashion scene.

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CONTEST: Win a $1,000 custom jewellery wardrobe!

The amazing Ziomedi bracelet from Anne-Marie Chagnon’s Pial collection.

Anne-Marie Chagnon knows how to make a statement. The Montreal-based jewellery designer creates pieces that get noticed, asked about, coveted. We love her dramatic, textural bracelets (like the Ziomedi, above) and her elegant Zitta necklace, which gracefully transforms into a darker, sexier piece. Anne-Marie’s new Pial collection features her most exciting work yet.

And guess what?

We want to give it you.

The Style Notebook has teamed up with Anne-Marie Chagnon to give one lucky reader the chance to win a $1,000 customized jewellery wardrobe. The winner will choose their favourite pieces, which Anne-Marie will make to order and send off in time for holiday gift-giving.

To enter, fill out a ballot after the jump, and bring it to Anne-Marie’s booth (#H44) at the One of a Kind Show, which runs from November 25 to December 5. We’ll announce the winner right here on December 6.

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STYLE MAP: Coco’s Closet

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Coco’s Closet (413 Jane St., 647-981-6870).

Nadia Trelle, a former associate buyer at Holt Renfrew, could easily become any girl’s new best friend. Not only is she très enthusiastic about all things fashion, she’s also a girl’s girl—which becomes clear within just a few minutes of watching her interact with her customers. She wants them to find the perfect dress, the perfect bag, or the perfect shoe, and she makes it her mission to help them succeed. (With a few Chanel bags on the shelves, how could she steer you wrong?)

Nadia’s consignment boutique, Coco’s Closet, is one of the first to pop up in the Bloor West Village area, after the recent success of shops like Fashionably Yours and LAB  Consignment in the Queen West and Ossington neighbourhoods.

What strikes me most about the selection at Coco’s is the quality. The Postcard winter jacket with fur trim has surely never seen a Canadian winter, and a beautiful pair of Burberry rain boots have certainly never splashed in a puddle. The finds that particularly caught my eye were a Balenciaga Giant clutch and a Missoni knit twinset that I had to reach out and touch. You know, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

What can we find in Coco’s Closet?

“I take things that are a year or two old, unless, of course, they’re classic pieces. An Hermès scarf from 20 years ago is still relevant, right? Ideally, I’m a mid-to-high end store. I have a Christian Dior dress, Armani, Prada, Gucci, Robert Rodriguez, but I also have some Theory pieces, as well as premium denim like Sevens and Citizens. I also carry the odd piece  of Banana Republic. I’m really looking for up-to-date fashion. The boutique is 70 percent on the higher end of things, but I’m always looking for that fun fashion piece. If something comes along that I think is right for me, I’ll put it in the store.”

Why consignment versus retail?

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SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At Nada, Joeffer, and Dmitri-Chris

A look from Nada, Spring 2011. Story and photography by Marq Frerichs.

The Brickworks were all a-buzz last Thursday night at the Art of Progression fashion show, presented by Audi. The designers? Nada, Joeffer Caoc, and Dmitri-Chris—all important names in Toronto fashion, and examples of an interesting (and undeniable) shift of the fashion scene away from the official action at LG Fashion Week.
Here are some of our favourite looks from the show.

SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At the Mexx opening

Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté, principal dancers at the National Ballet of Canada, at the launch of the Mexx flagship (2529 Yonge St.).

Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Last week, Mexx celebrated the launch of a fabulous new flagship near Yonge and Eglinton. The party took place over the store’s two levels, as media and celeb guests, including Heather Ogden and Guillaume Côté, browsed the fall collection to the tunes of DJ Abeille Gélinas.

Click through for our favourite looks— both in the crowd and on the mannequins.

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THE BUY: Our favourite fall boots

Strutting into fall with Joe Fresh Style ($159, joe.ca). Story by Caitlin Agnew.

Full length, half length,
Fully fashion calf length,
Brown boots, black boots,
Patent leather jackboots,
Low boots, high boots,
Lovely lanky thigh boot,
We all dig those boots.

—Patrick Macnee and Honor Blackman, “Kinky Boots”

We’re digging these boots, an eclectic selection featuring fall’s hottest trends: shearling lining, military embellishments, and ’90s throw-backs (hello, Doc). This week on The Buy, we travel the world over, from Kathmandu to Munich, to bring you 12 of our favourite fall boots, all available in Toronto. In the words of Nancy Sinatra, “Start walking!”

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STYLE MAP: Ruins

Josh Reichmann and the amazingly named Mikey Apples, co-owners of RUINS. Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

RUINS (960 Queen St. W., ruinstoronto.com, info@ruinstoronto.com)

For those who don’t call a dog a dog and a spoon a spoon*, you probably don’t call a blazer just a blazer. Well, neither do Josh Reichmann and Mikey Apples. Their new concept boutique, RUINS, is the closest thing to shopping for clothes in an actual gallery space—minus the “do not touch” signs and the attitude. In Reichmann’s words, Ruins is “an ever-mutating, creative project that is finely curated.” Whether you shop at RUINS to pick up a rare vintage piece, to enhance your music repertoire, or to get your hair cut in the single-chair salon out back, the duo promises to deliver an aesthetic experience that will linger long after you leave the store.

*”The passion of an aesthete is absolutely inaccessible to the man of ordinary concept who calls a dog a dog and a spoon a spoon.” —R. Huelsenbeck in En Avant Dada.

How do you two know each other?

Josh: “We both come from the music world in Toronto: Mikey in the capacity of managing touring bands like Crystal Castles. I was in a touring band so our paths were always crossing. Every time we talked, we found out that we had common interests in aesthetics, design, art, and music, so we kind of jived on those levels. Touring and recording is one thing for me, but I’ve always wanted to station myself and get involved in clothes and branding this whole world that I had envisioned.”

How does one go from envisioning this world to taking the plunge and opening a store?

Josh: “I had some connections to the fashion world from the music world, through labels in New York like Assembly and Opening Ceremony. The main questions were: What lines do we want, what lines can we get, and where do we want to be? It was really tough to locate the perfect space on Queen Street—over here, it changes block by block. We totally lucked into this place even though—unluckily—it needed tons of work. We spent the next couple of months rebuilding it into the space we envisioned.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this from skeptics along the way, but really: Another indie Queen West boutique? Continue reading