With fall upon us, now’s the time to check out fashions for impending cooler temps at some of North Toronto’s boutiques.
It’s been a good year since I’ve shopped Yonge Lawrence Village, and I’ve never surveyed the ladies’ fashion shops there.
There’s a new fashion kid on the block with the recent opening of Tique, a Jones Apparel Group company that carries Anne Klein New York, AK by Anne Klein, Nine West and Jones New York clothing brands for women.
What I like about this store is, though corporately owned, it has a boutique vibe that far exceeds the typical department store experience where I’m accustomed to seeing these brands.
Translation: you can go in and find comprehensive collections, not just bibs and bobs dragging on the floor and interact with actual salespeople.
The Anne Klein sections are lovely — comprised of suiting, separates and outerwear. Colour groupings range from brown and burnt orange to bright yellows and teal blues. A velvet orange jacket with burnished gold buttons, $475, is fab.
Detailing on the suiting like cross-stitching, bright silky lining and tailored bows and belts add refinement to the suit ensembles, available in either two piece or three-piece combos and ranging from about $350–370.
The Nine West section is more hip and will no doubt appeal to the younger set. The wide leg cuffed pants in “mahogany” have subtle glitter detail in them and are on my wish list for $109.
Purple, on trend again this year, is going strong here, as are luxe details like ruching, pleats and panels and stud detailing. A purple cardigan with ruching on the sleeves is $99, as is a sleeveless chunky knit cowl neck top in forest green and dark purple checks.
Cocktail dresses, like the black silk ruffled panel cocktail dress for $235, are in abundance and more glittery outfits are coming in for the holidays.
I find the Jones section that carries mostly Jones Signature separates a bit too mature for my style, but a wool shawl, $225, does catch my eye.
Jag Apparel group retail marketing and visual manager Ron Racicot is installing disco balls in the window the day I drop in, in preparation for the Sept. 23 Fall Soirée event with style expert Lisa Rogers of Cityline TV.
Too bad some of those lights can’t find their way into the store. I find it a bit dark — kind of like the Fairweather stores of the 1980s and ’90s — but then again it’s better than department store glare.
3281 Yonge St., 416-482-8096
A few doors over I’m amazed to discover Repeats Women’s Resale Boutique. I had no idea there was a consignment shop in the ’hood.
Associate Laura helps me see the error of my ways: Repeats has been around for over 30 years.
I’m a bit of a deal diva and am familiar with many of the resale boutiques in the city. Repeats rocks because it’s goods are current — within the last year — well-priced and in good condition.
Need a pashmina shawl to zoot up your wardrobe this season? That’s my cheapie style solution when the pocket book has been pinched and you can find ’em here for less than $100. A cashmere shawl in a water weave pattern by Amicale is $65.
And if you’re not quite ready to let go of summer, a leather Roots handbag in that royal blue hue that’s been so popular is $100 — betcha you can stretch that look into fall.
There’s lots of designer labels: Max Mara, Etro, Nanette Lepore, Michael Kors, Teenflo and more. There’s also a Roberto Cavalli animal print jacket made in Italy is $240, a rich blue velvet blazer by Nanette Lepore, with boho embellishments, $200 and a Pucci shift dress — a mere $300.
Designer handbags like Gucci and Fendi come in, though they go fast, as do designer jeans like 7 For All Mankind.
Funnily enough considering this summery weather, the winter coats have been going strong, I’m told. A thick green winter coat by Teenflo — thankfully not in my size or else I’d be tempted — is $310.
Shoes are in impeccable shape. Some snakeskin inspired ones by Thierry Rabotin, $88, look brand new.
I can’t resist a purple, brown and teal paisley clutch by Banana Republic for around $20.
3313 Yonge St., 416-481-2325
I couldn’t resist popping into La Vita as the handbags in the window plus the big post office sign looked too intriguing to ignore.
True, there’s a post office in the back, but in the front of this shop there’s jewellery, handbags, accessories and hand-crafted silk clothing.
The jewellery is offbeat and some like none I’ve ever seen. A silver tone necklace from Africa has long silver leaves emanating from the chain and is about $125.
Gemstone pieces from Italy sparkle in one tall case, while in another the funky boho designs of Israeli jewellery artist Ayala Bar are beautiful.
Her rings and necklaces that incorporate fabric and beading are about $85.
My must have: the rings and pendants by an artist in Greece that are wholly original with huge faceted crystals with gold-tone hieroglyph designs shimmering under them. The ring I want is $115 and I may go back soon to get it as they don’t appear to be getting more of these gems in, alas.
A lady who’s been shadow shopping me — that is, picking up everything I do — asks me if I want the $5 floral fabric pin with feathers swirling out from the rose that I had fingered five minutes earlier.
I decide upon another pin made of eggplant and brown hued silk, with pearl-like beads sewn into the folds. It’s only $5 and the proceeds go to the disabled people who make them in Korea.
We both walk away happy with our flowers.
3409 Yonge St., 416-483-7878
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