Friday, October 03, 2014

Land of Oz

Click your heels! It’s time to shop Toronto’s lower Ossington – the strip that has quickly emerged as the city’s most sought-after destination of exclusive, designer fashion and stunning boutique gems.

Hidden within the heart of the West Queen West neighbourhood, the southern edge of Ossington Avenue boats an impressive, cultured collection of high fashion emporiums, cultivated art galleries, and fantastic food. Once an ageing, degraded strip, Ossington has begun to flourish anew with the arrival of young artists and ambitious entrepreneurs who have flocked deeper west as Toronto’s city centre continues to grow. Gallery-like designer boutiques now flourish in the area, mirroring a new culture of high fashion on Toronto’s affluent west end. So where should you shop to find that one-of-a-kind designer piece?

Au Petit Paris

Founded by passionate industry veteran Annie Mesenge, Annie Aime aspires to deliver exactly what the name itself promises – style that Annie loves. Functional, unique, and creatively designed pieces are showcased in an atmosphere that sits in parity with art itself – framed by the whimsy of a vivid, splattered mural over bright, canvas-like walls. Fashion here is about quality, function, expression, and European inspiration – merging the decadence of Parisian taste with the wearability of big city practicality. It is the perfect destination for the on-the-go, creative individual seeking unique designer looks from celebrated international artists. Notable names include Majestic Filatures, Crea Concept UAE, Herno, and European Culture. (42 Ossington Avenue).

Old World, New Man

            Nestled into an intimate, rustic space at the corner of Bruce and Ossington, I Miss You Vintage Man sits modestly next to its more famous sister store – I Miss You Vintage – which focuses solely on womenswear. The eclectic boutique is a beautiful and memorable reflection of the spirit of Ossington – a blend of taste and refinement in a package that is equally classic and current. Rare, high-end vintage finds are the norm in this treasure chest of stunning menswear; built to attract those interested in the details of fashion – from intricately engraved buttons and rings to exceptionally-designed wool coats from decades long past. It is the ideal Ossington gem for the tailored individual who values both the history of iconic design and the necessity of refined urban taste. Notable brands include vintage Givenchy, Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. (63 Ossington Avenue).

From Runway to Retail

            What exists as perhaps the mecca of contemporary fashion on the Ossington strip is Jonathan+Olivia, an expansive, airy showroom that houses some of the most famous international designers of the modern era in an organized, elegant space of understated super-luxury. Grand ceilings and bare white walls do little to compete with the massive collection of clothing this famous Toronto boutique has to offer – direct from the most current runways of Paris, London, Milan and New York. Regardless of your own personal taste, if you love fashion, your favourite designer is here. Housing a men’s section as well as an addictive sales area in the basement, Jonathan+Olivia is an invitation to ultimate fashion prestige – merging the culture of money with the culture of art. Notable collections include Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Jacquemus, Opening Ceremony, and Helmut Lang. (49 Ossington Avenue).

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