STYLE MAP: Love of Mine

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Love of Mine (781 Queen St. W., 416-368-4999, loveofmineboutique.com)

Anna Damelin’s infallible inner compass has made Love of Mine the coolest place to buy jewellery in Toronto. Her multi-faceted store is a collection of her favourite things from her heart to yours. Upon entering, a wall of colourful ceramic butterflies welcome you, while Alexis Bittar and Wendy Nichol pieces sparkle delicately in the distance.

A few of my loves? The kitschy pop-up, pavé diamond skull and bowtie rings that Anna brought back from New York, along with a pair of golden chicken feet by Swallow that are absolutely useless and irresistibly charming.

What’s the idea behind Love of Mine?

“I’ve always liked so many different things, and I just decided to put them all together. In Love of Mine, everything is curated—everything in here is hand-picked by me. I only pick things that I would love and cherish, and would have hanging on my own wall at home, or would wear on myself. It’s very personalized here.”

What are the most exotic and unexpected pieces currently in stock?

“The pieces by Swallow are phenomenal. She does the gold-plated heart paperweight, but not a cutesy heart, it’s like an actual biological heart. Stunning. The most unexpected piece I have in store right now is also from her collection. My husband thought I was completely crazy for having ordered them—they are two chicken feet, dipped in gold. That’s it. They don’t have a function; they don’t hang, they’re too light to be paperweights, they’re just there. And you know what? People love them! I keep selling out of these chicken legs. Who would’ve thought!”

How do you choose which designers are represented in the store?

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STYLE MAP: Independent Designers Outlet

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Independent Designers Outlet (1418 Dundas St. W., 416-238-7045, shop-ido.com)

The term “outlet shopping” usually conjures up images of frenzied women coming home from Buffalo, wearing five layers of Rodarte for Target dresses in an attempt to evade those tenacious Canadian customs officers. Back in Toronto, Lara Stephenson has, thankfully, given a whole new meaning to the word “outlet.”

The designer of Revolve Clothing, Stephenson is also the owner of the Independent Designer’s Outlet (IDO), which offers customers chic, reduced-price items from a wide range of local designers. And, although the clothes are overstock from last year’s collections, Stephenson selects only classic items that are easily re-invented, like the timeless LBD or a silk, patterned tunic from Dagg and Stacey. It’s a win-win: Shoppers get sweet deals on high-quality, non-outlet pieces and independent designers finally have a space into which their closets can overspill.

When people hear the word “outlet”, most of them think about rummaging through racks of ripped clothing—the word carries negative connotations. IDO is a totally different experience. Why did you choose to call it an outlet?

“I always wanted ‘outlet’ to be in the name of the store, but my intentions for IDO were different from what the term makes people think of. I think the main difference is quality. I wanted IDO to be a place where designers could sell their overstock, but at the same time, all the brands we stock make really high quality stuff—and we won’t have a gazillion XXS’s or one sample size of something. We usually get in a full range of sizes from our staple brands like Juma.”

What’s the hidden gem that’s in-store right now?

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TOP SPOTS: Marika Brose

Marika Brose has the equivalent of a fashion phD. Check out a snapshot of her CV: Brose studied design in Paris and merchandising management in New York. She worked in design for Chloé, AlexSandro Palombo and Pink Tartan, then as a buyer for retailers like Bloomingdales. She tested her marketing mettle at Holt Renfrew and at Prada’s Milan headquarters. Now, with Brose, her own line, she’s among the head of the class of Toronto fashion designers. Made up (mostly) of chic and sexy cocktail dresses, Brose is for “women who like to go out.”

Marika shared a few of her own favourite spots to go out in Toronto with The Style Notebook.

Favourite place to go for a drink during the week (and what’s your drink of choice?)

“Our rooftop patio. My boyfriend has transformed it into Mykonos—or, at least, our version of Mykonos. We’re hoping it will tide us over until we retire there. Drink of choice is Prosecco.”

Go for a drink on the weekend

“The Thompson’s rooftop patio.”

Top brunch spot

“The Granite Club makes a mean Eggs Benny, and who wouldn’t enjoy the view of the ravine and red-clay tennis courts?”

Place to buy books or magazines

“I have too many magazines—I’ve been collecting Vogue since 1982.”

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STYLE MAP: LAB Consignment

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Ian Warong.

LAB Consignment (in the studio behind Silver Falls, 15 Ossington Ave., labconsignment.com)

The first time I went to LAB was for the store’s launch party: K-OS was spinning, flashbulbs were popping, and celebrities from the invite-only guest list were forming in cliques around the consignment merch on display. On my second LAB visit, things were much more low-key. I chatted with Lauren Baker, LAB’s owner and no-big-deal It girl on the backyard patio, which was complete with a ruby red BBQ and empty bottles of Veuve Clicquot.

LAB used to be synonymous with monthly pop-up sales that would cause spontaneous buzz and happiness in unsuspecting areas of the city. Now that Baker has opened her first-ever, permanent location, the waiting is over for deals on gently used, almost new designer fare like vintage Trussardi handbags, Rich and Skinny jeans, or a knitted Marc by Marc Jacobs summer sweater. The bad news? We may never want to shop retail again.

What does it take to make it into the LAB closet?

“The piece has to be contemporary, within two years, and it has to be in impeccable shape. The only mall stores I’ll accept are Club Monaco, Banana Republic, Aritzia (no TNA), and of course I accept major labels and designers. I’ll take vintage if I feel it’s on trend.”

What’s the difference between vintage and consignment? You chose to put a consignment store in the back room of a vintage boutique. Would someone walking through the space, going from Silver Falls into the LAB notice a transition of sorts?

“I’m so happy you asked that question. People have been calling LAB a vintage store because there’s a misconception that vintage is synonymous with resale and consignment, which it’s not. Vintage is a garment that is 20 years older or more. So the ’90s wouldn’t be vintage but the ’80s would. Consignment is just another term for resale—the majority of clothes in LAB are contemporary; most are less than two years old. [Silver Falls and LAB] have got a bit of everything in this space—furniture, vintage, and consignment. [laughing] We’re like a mini mall between the two of us!”

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TOP SPOTS: Tatiana Read

Tatiana Read in front of Mark Fast’s Luminato installation. Photography by Dave Chang.

As one of the city’s favourite publicists, it’s Tatiana Read’s job to know everybody, but few make networking look so effortless. Less than a year ago, she struck out on her own, founding Knot PR, a boutique PR agency. Her clients are a stylish mix, encompassing fashion (Mark Fast, Plutino Group, and Red Canoe, to name a few), design (Templar Hotel) and nightlife (Parts & Labour).

She’s active on the philanthropy circuit too, serving on committees as diverse as Paws for the Cause and the Arnold Party, the glam gala for the Business of the Arts.

Tat shared a few of her favourite places in Toronto with The Style Notebook.

Favourite place to go for a drink during the week (and what’s your drink of choice?)
“Little Italy. Most places. I like Giancarlo’s or Il Gatto Nero (720 College St., 416-536-3132).”

Go for a drink on the weekend
Parts & Labour! The sea bass carpaccio is my fave app.”

Top brunch spot
The Senator, or my sister’s place where I get to eat chocolate croissants with my niece and nephew. Oddfellows always hits the spot too.”

Place to work out
“I joined Totum Life Science on King Street and train with Nicole. I’m new to the gym but I’m quickly learning that it makes a big difference, especially where stress management and keeping focused are concerned.”

Pho, dim sum or both? (And top spots for both)
“Pho Phuong (1603 Dundas St. W., 416-536-3030), for sure. I’m not big on dim sum, but my sources recommend Bright Pearl at Spadina and St. Andrews.”

Place to buy books or magazines
“I always like to read magazines at Indigo in the Manulife centre before catching a movie at the Varsity but I buy them at Presse Internationale (622 College St., 416-535-9666). I don’t buy books so much as borrow them from well-read friends and better-read siblings.”

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THE CALENDAR: May 10 to 14

Your weekly guide to style and shopping, compiled by Anne Pringle. Want to tell us about something? Get in touch: calendar@thestylenotebook.com.

Monday, May 10: TFI Seminar: Develop the Right Product Line for your Clientele

Where: Toronto Fashion Incubator, 285 Manitoba Dr., Pod 3, Exhibition Place

Time: 5:30 p.m., doors open for coffee & networking; 6 p.m. seminar

Admission: TFI members $35, Student members $20, Non-members $60

Michel Côté is a product strategist who has been part of the fashion and lifestyle industry for over 20 years. Soak up his wisdom on fashion management, marketing, buying and developing.

Tuesday, May 11: Precious Metal Gala for Rethink Breast Cancer

Where: Fermenting Cellar at the Distillery District, 55 Mill St., Building #58, Suite 200

Time: 6:30 to 10:30 p.m.

Tickets: Available at www.garageparty.ca

The Precious Metal Gala, hosted by Harley-Davidson Canada, promises to deliver the “ultimate girls night out.” Explore the glamorous side to motorcycling in the biker-chic themed venue by having your hair and makeup done for an action-style biker photo shoot on a brand new Harley. The best part? The proceeds support Rethink Breast Cancer.

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THE BUY: May flowers

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Illustration of the Reality Bites cast (sans Ben Stiller) by Cleo Kendall.

The Buy is celebrating the arrival of May flowers with a look back to our favourite ’90s flower child: Winona Ryder as Lelaina Pierce in Reality Bites. A hopelessly romantic Gen X-er, Lelaina chooses passion and poetry over Porsches and prosperity, all in the name of love and good conversation. (Who could forget “You, me, and five bucks?”)

This spring’s floral-print craze is a welcome throwback to mid-’90s hippie-chic, with delicate blossoms sprouting everywhere from Prada to Betsey Johnson. A patterned dress, an embellished shoe, even a lipstick case—adding a floral piece is an easy way to inject seasonal colour, femininity, and trendiness into your wardrobe.

We’ve chosen our top 10 floral pieces, all of which are blooming right here in Toronto.

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SOME LOOKS WE LIKED: At the H&M party

Photography by Natalie Castellino.

On Wednesday night, the H&M at the Eaton Centre held a big, shiny party to celebrate its revamped space. Media mixed with preferred shoppers, and everyone enjoyed both a 25 percent discount and some serious people-watching. We’ve narrowed down our picks for the night’s top 10 looks, and our favourite elements within each ensemble.

Favourite elements (left): The proportions of the silhouette—the long jacket, high waist, and just a touch of floral shirt showing; (right) The amazing turquoise jacket.

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STYLE MAP: Chasse Gardée

Story by Justine Iaboni. Photography by Natalie Castellino.

CHASSE GARDÉE (1084 Queen St. W., 416-901-9613, chassegardee.com)

Named after the French term for private hunting ground, Chasse Gardée is as well-curated as its name suggests. The boutique specializes in recherché brands, such as Mona Kowalska’s private label, A’Détacher, and LD Tuttle, the masters in layered-leather footwear. Fans of Jeffrey Campbell’s popular line—and men who have a thing for Belstaff, the Italian military brand—will be pleased to find both resting on pedestals against the brick wall. Yet the most unexpected, made-my-heart-skip-a-beat find were the grey Jules Power sweatpants I had seen only a few weeks earlier on the runway. I’ve put them on my shopping list along with the candy-coloured oxfords by Dieppa Restrepo and the stunning yet understated black leather Belstaff doctor bag that called to me from one of the highest pedestals.

As I chatted with owner Daniela Bosco on the big comfy couch in the “living room” area of the store, she confessed that, aside from offering excellent accessories, what she really wants is to envelop her customers in the warm, hearth-like atmosphere of Chasse Gardée amid the area’s austere warehouse aesthetic. Her wish appears to be coming true. During our conversation, the sun shone in through the glass storefront, Daniela’s sweet dog, Max, lounged in the corner and friendly neighbours dropped in to say hello.

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TALK TO ME: Sarah Nicole Prickett, part I

Illustration by Ayalah Hutchins.

Sarah Nicole Prickett is a fashion writer—most frequently for EYE WEEKLY and FASHION, and formerly for Torontoistwho gives as good a quote as she gets. She’s as opinionated and complicated as you might expect from a style-conscious rebel who grew up in a born-again Christian home in London, Ont.

Recently, SNP answered The Style Notebook’s “Talk to Me” questionnaire.

Who are your favourite writers, fashion and otherwise?

“Fashion: Lynn Yaeger, Hadley Freeman, Sally Singer, Guy Trebay, Harriet Walker (really, just her ‘In the Cut’ column for AnOther’s blog). Otherwise: Kitty Kelley!! Just kidding. Zadie Smith, Ariel Levy, Joan Didion, David Rakoff, Sloane Crosley. (Note my real love for women writers, beginning with L.M. Montgomery at age 4.5, and never ending. Also note these are all names of the living; the dead are too many!)”

Do you have a favourite fashion memory?

“Yes. Oh—you want to know what it is? OK, so I went to London Fashion Week three seasons ago. I didn’t have a hard invite to Christopher Kane, and I didn’t know if I was on the list, but I went anyway. I wasn’t on the list. If Jasmine from Relative PR is reading this–hi Jasmine, I love you and your Pantene commercial hair. Thanks for winking me in. It was jammed, so I stood on a mezzanine at the back of this cavernous room—the Topshop venue—and watched the show unfold below me. It was the collection all done with velvet ribbons, and it really did unfold, like a flip book of felt-tip artwork. It was dazzlingly methodical, and moving, seriously. I had the kind of moment after which you realize you’ve been holding your breath.”

What inspires you, in the fashion world and beyond?

“Surprises and silences, the two rarest things in any world.”

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