This weekend the Toronto Vintage Clothing Show will set up shop for its 10th biannual edition. Running March 3 and 4 at Exhibition Place, independent boutiques from Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa will be selling thousands of garments from as far back as the 1920s and as recent as the 1980s, with an emphasis on the famously groovy fashion of the 1960s.
In addition to showcasing garments with a unique past, this edition of the show offers visitors a chance to brush up on their style knowledge. The Fashion History Museum of Cambridge, Ont., will be in attendance, presenting styles from the '60s. Assembled by Jonathan Walford, the museum's curator, the Summer of Love installation will highlight two diverging forces in mid-20th-century dress: looking forward with futuristic designs like miniskirts and metallics, and the hippie movement, which favoured a more natural aesthetic and international influences. Key pieces will include a paper dress printed with an oversized photo of Bob Dylan, a dress handmade from fabric featuring images of former prime minister Pierre Trudeau and a colourful terrycloth beach cover-up accented with peace-and-love slogans.
At a time when vintage continues to heavily influence contemporary designer collections from the likes of Gucci and Dior, sparking trends that trickle down into more mass-market attire, the exhibition says as much about how we dress today as it does about fashion 50 years ago. "For the last 20 years, we've been living in a giant vintage-clothing store. There's a few people breaking out of vintage references in fashion, but the vast majority of designers are almost more like stylists, looking to the recent past for inspiration," says Walford. "They take these pieces and mix and match and style them differently. It's a good look, but vintage allows the opportunity to buy the real stuff."
This week's style happenings
Ikea has collaborated with fashion activist Bea Akerlund, a costume designer who has worked with performers like Madonna, Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. For sale beginning March 1, her limited-edition Omedelbar collection reflects a theatrical aesthetic with glass hats and lip-shaped pillows. For more information, visit ikea.com.
Clean-beauty specialty retailer The Detox Market has opened a third Toronto location at Union Station. The new store is located in the station's new Front Street Promenade and is part of a historic revitalization project. For more information, visit detoxmarket.ca.
Paris-based Canadian footwear designer Tanya Heath has relocated to a new Toronto flagship. Located at 126 Cumberland St. in Yorkville, the new location includes a 14-foot wall display for the brand's more than 400 mix-and-match heels. Artist John Coburn was commissioned to create murals for the boutique, and also designed a limited run of heels available exclusively at this location. For more information, visit tanyaheath.com.
Gap and Sarah Jessica Parker have teamed up for a collection of limited-edition boys' and girls' clothing and accessories. Inspired by the actor's childhood heirlooms, the collection is focused on prints and textures, including gingham, stripes, floral prints and eyelets for kids, as well as two dress styles for women. For more information, visit gapcanada.ca.
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