June 5th, 2013
If you're a sucker for bridal blogs, you'll know that vintage weddings are still popular with brides in long lacy veils, heirloom frocks and jewels that sparkle from another era.
In Toronto, gals sans stash of inherited gems turn to Carole Tanenbaum for a deco comb or two. With a pop up shop at White, (May 30–June 13) brides-to-be can peruse a larger than usual selection of vintage cuffs, collars and chandelier earrings to complete her outfit.
Not heading for an alter? Splurge on a string of pearls, anyway. —Athena Tsavliris
By appointments only. White, 19 Hazelton Ave., Toronto, 416-849-9196, www.whitetoronto.com
October 16th, 2012
Trust the seamstresses at As You Like It to take a piece of clothing from drab to fab. And what about those precious pieces you’re too scared to let anyone tinker with?
Case in point: an intricately beaded '60s cocktail dress that belonged to a great aunt (with curves and ample bosom) that they managed to alter ($80) to fit my little frame without compromising its original style.
Quick fixes, hems and adjustments have a fast turnaround, but no job is too big. Brides hand over frothy ice white frocks with confidence and many of the best vintage stores in the city send dresses to her for refurbishing.
Oh, Cindarella, you shall go to the ball.—Athena Tsavliris
As You Like It, 92 Avenue Rd., Toronto, 416-962-4167, www.asyoulikeitfashion.com
September 14th, 2012
Secondhand children’s wear is great in theory, but trawling through crowded used clothing stores with poorly labeled goods makes a bargain seem less valuable.
At A Size Too Small, you’ll find the opposite problem. The curated children’s clothing and toys site features a mix of stylish new items and secondhand pieces that are so beautifully presented, it’s tough to believe they are used. Our favourite new pieces include Little Dace dresses ($70) and this unbelievably stylish Nico.Nico blue trench (pictured, $130.) Their “found” garments include a ridiculously cute worn denim shirt ($12), and an amazing pair of red and white retro baby shoes (pictured, $20.)
Of course you had better get in there fast, the found pieces are one of a kind, and in one size only. So prepare to be the one shedding those tears if you miss out on something fantastic. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
August 8th, 2012
Is your penchant for silk scarves in Grace Kelly proportions? Do you sort of wish for a broken arm so could wear an Hermès scarf as a sling?
Anyone with a fetish for foulards should come find Jan Marriott at The Brickworks on Saturdays. Her collection of vintage silk scarves (sourced at markets, brocantes and charity shops) is divine, and spans the decades from the romantic scarves of the '50s to the bright, clashing colours of the '60s.
Quilt devotees will fall in love with her blankets, quilts and textiles too, dating as far back as the 1800s. Her prices range from $28 for a small baby quilt (perhaps made by a ladies church group) to $500 for a 19th century showpiece.
You’re bound to find the perfect wedding/baby gift here: You just won’t want to let it go. —Athena Tsavliris
Find Jan Marriott at The Brickworks every Saturday 8 a.m.-1 p.m., http://ebw.evergreen.ca/farmers-market
July 13th, 2011
Seems we've got a touch of the Bollywood fever—suddenly, crazy-patterned sari shorts look good enough to make us stop wearing cut-offs. (Welllll, almost.)
New on the shelves at Holt Renfrew, these brill silk shorts are made in collaboration with the reworked-vintage boutique Preloved. They're miles away from patchworked khaki, though, and thank the gods for that. Sourced from local clothing recyclers in the GTA, the variegated and multi-ethnic prints (think ikat, think paisley) differ from short to short and store to store. Depending on your body/style, wear them at the natural waist or lower, to emphasize hips in—let's just celebrate stereotypes here—a belly-dancing kinda way. —Sarah Nicole Prickett
$175 at Holt Renfrew, 55 Bloor St. W., Toronto, and locations across Canada; www.holtrenfrew.com
July 7th, 2011
Her collection of vintage frocks and baubles attracts Toronto's top stylists and designers and her window displays are known to stop traffic. It’s no surprise then that The Cat's Meow Louise Cooper’s blog is an attention-grabber too.
With tips, trends and the latest additions to her store, this vintage portal is a fun place to escape to while dining al desko. Have a look at me wearing full-length vintage Valentino skirt in Cooper’s Out and About section.
June 22nd, 2011
Tin letters that light up, whimsical circus cutouts and a table-full of tarnished silver trophy cups— Blackbird Vintage Finds is a mini marché aux puces in the heart of the Distillery District.
Owner Paula DiRenzo hunts far and wide for unique treasures like the handmade ferris wheel ($325) we couldn’t resist snapping up. Also on our wish list are some pressed glass goblets, ($12.95) ideal for two or three dollops of ice cream.
A smattering of candles, cards and pretty jeweled accessories make this a perfect little gift shop for the hostess, soon-to-be-marrieds, or indeed, you. —AT
Blackbird Vintage Finds, 55 Mill St., Building 57, Toronto, 416-681-0558, www.blackbirdvintage.com
June 8th, 2011
It's an easy, breezy, seventies-y summer. For the maxi to match, swing over to primo vintage e-boutique Shrimpton Couture.
Cherie, the beauty and brains behind Shrimpton, loves all things '70s best—and the best is all she stocks. There are Christian Dior caftans and op-art Lanvins and signature-printed Puccis. To spend less, seek out-of-print cult labels: a rose-and-porcelain John Kloss dress (intended as a slip, but whatever) is $350, while a gorgeous geisha-print Paganne is $425.
Just add wooden platforms and an overblown silk flower in your hair. —SNP
April 19th, 2011
One of our favourite vintage shops has expanded—all the way into your living room.
When you next go a-window shopping along Queen West, linger a little longer at No. 1080, now the home of Silver Falls Antiques. A cool big sis to Silver Falls Vintage on Ossington, the recently-opened shop shares space with Katharine Mulherin's Art History and has the same recondite vibe. Its specialty: unexpected “objects of interest” from Victorian days to just-the-other-days. You can find a book on Picasso's cubism next to your Aunt Fran's punch bowl and a vintage beauty ad atop a Mennonite workshop unit ($395).
Pick up a spool of antique deadstock ribbon ($20), a female nude paint-by-number ($85), or any number of odd things you suddenly need. One of co-owner and curator (plus, artist) Jay Isaac's favourites this week? A black wooden flower display ($325), apparently snatched from a funeral home. We agree: it deserved life. —SNP
Silver Falls Antiques, 1080 Queen W., Toronto, 416-588-3500. Check out their galerie d'objets at www.theironchic.blogspot.com
April 11th, 2011
At Magwood, “vintage” is returned to, well, its vintage definition.
Once upon a time, vintage clothes were at least thirty years old, a whole generation; belonging to your mother's prime, or her mother's. Lately, “vintage” has come to mean any old thing. Your sister's turn-of-the-millennium low-rise flares? Sure.
Not so at Sarah Magwood's parlour-like new shop. Pieces range from the late 1800s to the late '80s, and she makes exceptions only for brilliant '90s pieces, like a highly beaded Karl Lagerfeld corset ($950) or a Versace safety-pin belt. A black, beribboned 1950s dress is very Oscar de la Renta, but inexpensive by compariaon ($450). Loose silk blouses ($40) and deadstock Ray-Bans ($100) are easy, sun-happy buys. —SNP
Magwood, 1418 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 416-818-3975; shop online and read Sarah's blog at magwood.ca