Rock ‘n’ roll chic for young dolls at Queen St. dress store

Finding the perfect dress is sometimes easier said than done.

There is no shortage of Toronto dress stores catering to every style and body shape, but searching for a dress that meets all the requirements — including its ability to be worn at multiple events — isn’t always an easy feat.

But fashionistas needn’t fret, as the search for the perfect dress has just got a whole lot easier — and more enjoyable — thanks to the opening of Doll Factory by Damzels on Queen St. East.

Opened in late November and owned by local style mavens Rory Lindo and Kelly Freeman, Leslieville’s newest clothing and accessories stop carries a wide range of frocks.

If you’re picturing dresses made out of crinoline or polyester and in sickly colours such as lime green or baby’s breath blue, then you’re sorely mistaken.

Rather, rock’n’ roll chic mixed with sexy and stylish gothic influences rule supreme at the boutique. Lindo and Freeman carry dresses by their own label, Damzels in this Dress, as well as dresses and other clothing items from top designers such as Philadelphia-based Sailor Jerry and EC Star — a line of vintage inspired punk rock clothing.

“We have a lot of items that are great for going out on the town,” Lindo said over the phone from Doll Factory, which is located between Pape and Jones avenues. “Out stuff is fun, funky and forward.”

Deep purples and blood reds mixed with black come in a variety of styles and shapes at the east-end store.

While the clientele range in age from 18 to 35, the dresses and other items in the store can outfit anyone, no matter their age, Lindo said.

“It’s about the spirit of the customer as opposed to the age of the customer,” she explained.

The longtime friends, who met at fashion design school, launched their own line in 1993. It received praise when it was shown at Toronto Fashion Week, and during its heyday was worn by the likes of celebs Kate Hudson and Kristen Dunst and bands Feist and The Arcade Fire.

Two years ago the self-proclaimed “damzels” took a year-long hiatus in order to focus their attention on their Spadina Ave. wholesale Doll Factory Studios, designing a collection of record-sleeve-packed camisoles and lingerie.

The two who have collectively lived in Leslieville for four years — Lindo for three years and Freeman for one — chose to open both a wholesale design studio and retail store in the neighbourhood last year.

Running both gives the gals a chance to design and sell their creations all onsite, said Lindo.

And like every fashionista knows, accessories can make or break an outfit. Doll Factory by Damzels carries a wide range of baubles and beads by such lines as Foxy Originals and Barbie’s Basement Jewellery.

The colourful boutique is also stocked with clothing and shoes for babies. Brands like Sour Puss and Sailor Jerry offer rock’n’roll onesies with AC/DC and tattoo-inspired motifs, proving that you can doll yourself up whether you’re bouncing cheques or still breastfeeding.

About this article:

By: Lorianna De Giorgio
Posted: Feb 28 2007 2:30 am
Filed in: Business
Edition: Toronto