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Yours to Discover: Day Six

Winter’s on its way out; it’s time to get a head start on exploring. Guide yourself with our specialized itineraries, or contact one of Toronto’s many tour operators to delve deeper into this multifaceted metropolis. And don’t forget to check out previous Yours to Discover posts, here: Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four.

Harry Rosen

Get kitted out and catwalk-ready in Toronto’s most fashion-forward locales.

CANUCK COUTURE The touring fashionista’s must-visit strip, Bloor Street West, between Yonge Street and Avenue Road, is home to a bevy of Canadian-owned retailers with global cachet, including Holt Renfrew—Toronto’s answer to Saks Fifth Avenue—fine menswear mecca Harry Rosen, and distinguished beaver-emblazoned brand Roots.

INTERNATIONAL ICONS Bloor Street also showcases standalone shops representing world-famous fashion houses, including French favourites Chanel, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, Italian labels like Gucci and Prada, as well as German stalwart Hugo Boss. Be sure to accessorize your new ensemble with baubles from Birks, Cartier or Tiffany & Co.


SINGULAR STYLE Moving north from Bloor into tony Yorkville ensures encounters with boutiques offering personalized service and unique, on-trend attire. Ladies are encouraged to try 119 Corbo, Eleven, Hugo Nicholson and the Pink Tartan store Seventy-Seven. Finery for fellows is found at Nicolas Men and Anti-Hero, among others.

INDEPENDENT SPIRIT On Queen Street, west of Bathurst, you’re sure to make a contemporary fashion “find.” For women, Robber is one of many inspired indie shops that curate new looks by emerging and established designers from Canada and abroad, while Preloved offers more relaxed garments made from reclaimed fabrics. Modish men stride into Green Shag for bespoke shirts and suits, and attention-grabbing stores like Ruins, which stock exclusive labels in gallery-like settings.

The professional image consultants of The Refinery offer a variety of weekly shopping tours that take you to chic boutiques throughout the city.

Fashion Week, Day Two

Calling all fashionistas! Strap on your stilettos and strut your way to the city’s most stylish event, LG Fashion Week. This season’s jam-packed schedule is bursting at the (very chic) seams with designer runway shows and exclusive parties. All week long Where Toronto brings you highlights from the hottest spring 2010 collections and tips on where to shop right now for all your wardrobe must-haves.

Bustle designers Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow.

Bustle designers Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow.

Designers to Watch
Performance meets sex appeal at the VATA Brasil show, where athlete-turned-designer Ananda Gomes presents functional, form-fitting apparel inspired by Brazilian beachwear. With more than 100 styles of tops and bottoms in a variety of vibrant colours, it’s not surprising that this label is one of the fastest growing in Canada’s activewear market. Fashion Week mainstage, 1030 King St. W., 2 p.m.

Founded by former Bay Street lawyers Shawn Hewson and Ruth Promislow, trendy label Bustle is notorious for its cheeky and well-tailored leisure aesthetic. Each season the brand offers fresh designs inspired by a new sportif theme, giving a modern edge to classic menswear silhouettes. Fashion Week mainstage, 9 p.m.

Shop the Shows
Sporty fashionistas can pick up VATA Brasil’s sexy pieces at the ultra-exclusive Adelaide Club‘s athletic pro shop, or head uptown to the Figure Skating Boutique, which also offers the label’s apparel for yoga.

Bustle clothing and similar hipster-chic designs at Yorkville’s Anti-Hero, a high-end menswear boutique that stocks street couture from a variety of international brands. The brand is also available at Queen West clothier Jacflash, where the youthful in-crowd shops for upmarket rock ‘n’ roll couture.

Hot Tickets
One of Fashion Week’s most coveted invitation-only events is a showcase for Andy The‐Anh. Known for his stylish and elegant creations, the Vietnam-born Canadian designer presents his unique luxury aesthetic in an intimate off-runway show for VIPs and fashion insiders. By invitation only. The Showroom, 1030 King St. W., 8 p.m.

As ever, the Ontario College of Art and Design has its institutional finger on the pulse of modern life. Tonight it hosts an  opening reception for Fashion Forward, its innovative exhibition exploring social responsiveness in Toronto’s fashion community. Free admission. 100 McCaul St. 10 p.m.

TIP! For more Fashion Week coverage, visit Toronto Life‘s Style Blog and FASHION magazine.