Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Digging for a Diamond in the Rough

Torontonians peruse the city’s vintage havens looking for the greatest deals on time-honoured pieces of fashion history.

A large number of Toronto’s fashion crusaders have taken a liking to antique-like clothing and accessories, practically living by the phrase “what’s old is now new again”. Whether looking in classic vintage areas like Kensington Market, or trendy areas like Queen Street West, Fashionistas all over the city are sure to find precious gems in the great vintage shops that Toronto has been harbouring.

One of Toronto’s greatest vintage shops is located in none other than Kensington Market, a staple community for renewed classics. “Courage My Love”, located at 14 Kensington Avenue in the heart of the market, has been opened since 1975 and has accumulated great pieces from around the world, along with a great reputation. “Courage My Love” is famous for exotic beads and jewellery, along with classic gowns and vintage casual wear. The owners also construct their own felt and cashmere sweaters, showing a great collaboration of old and new pieces.

On the West end of the city, Torontonians swear by “Public Butter”, located at 1290 Queen Street West. This Parkdale shop is one of the newer vintage locations, recently created by the owners of “Black Market Vintage”. This store has an array of vintage merchandise ranging from retro clothing to rare pieces of furniture and its own collection of classic bicycles; displayed in front of the store. “Public Butter” even has silk screen custom printing, located in the back, giving customers an opportunity to create their own unique designs. Looking around the store there are paintings and photographs courtesy of local Toronto artists, allowing Toronto’s art scene to mesh perfectly with the vintage clothing craze.

Vintage brand names from well-known designers can all be found at “The Paper Bag Princess”, located at 287 Davenport Road. This vintage destination harbours the creations of high end designers such as Jimmy Choo, Prada and Chanel. Definitely the fanciest vintage in the city “The Paper Bag Princess” has a Parisian feel to it, allowing all customers to feel like they’ve hopped on a plane to Europe. The boutique also has a sister store in Beverly Hills which also carries out the Parisian feel, catering to everyday shoppers and celebrities alike. Both locations do appraisals and have private purchasing appointments available, setting them apart from quite a few vintage shops.

Whether looking for a vintage lunch box, an antique bicycle or even a designer gown, “Courage My Love”, “Public Butter” and “The Paper Bag Princess” should definitely be at the top of the public’s to-do lists during this vintage craze. Re-inventing classic items have really given these establishments their time to shine and to show the public that what is old can be made new all over again. Checking out all of the these stores will give anyone interested in classic clothing the perfect vintage shopping experience.

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