From October 19 to October 24, fashion notables from around the world descend on Toronto, Canada, for the city’s biannual LG Fashion Week, which attracts nearly 25,000 people, from designers to media buyers to consumers. Within the last decade, the event has launched and/or showcased Pink Tartan, Missoni, Buffalo by David Bitton, Betsey Johnson, and DSquared2. This year, under the theme Wear Love (designated by the Fashion Design Council of Canada), spring 2010 collections will be previewed at a variety of venues located throughout the city’s venerable Fashion District, a 35-block section in the King-Spadina neighborhood that’s rife with culture, trendy boutique shopping, hip teahouses, foodie delights, and the like. If you can tear yourself away from the runways long enough, we recommend checking out your surroundings, including the following five spots (maybe we’ll see you there).
At GIRL FRIDAY’s second store (which owner Rebecca Nixon opened in 2004), the clothes are sourced from many American and Canadian apparel designers and include several from Nixon’s own dress line (think clean lines and ultrafeminine) under the Girl Friday label. For evidence of how tapped into fashion Nixon is, look to her clients, which include Courteney Cox Arquette and Rachel McAdams. 750 Queen Street West, (416) 364-2511, www.girlfridayclothing.com
The Drake Hotel’s DRAKE DINING ROOM dishes up a meal constructed from mostly local, organic, and in-season foods, and the on-site café offers a weekend brunch that is served until four p.m. The hotel dates back to 1890 and has undergone many name changes and owners, leading up to an extensive renovation in 2004. It now exudes 1940s-era Hollywood Golden Age decor (think tufted bar fronts, custom-made mica chandeliers, and green leather banquettes). 1150 Queen Street West, (416) 531-5042, www.thedrakehotel.ca
Selling jewelry that’s made by artisans from around the world, EKO has a light and bright interior with little clutter other than the jewels on display. Come to think of it, it’s actually reminiscent of a museum, which is really quite fitting, given what’s being shown. 288 Queen Street West, (416) 593-0776, www.ekojewellery.com
BRIAN BAILEY’s claim to fame is designing gowns for Oprah Winfrey and Rosie O’Donnell. Working with cashmere, silks, wools, and natural fibers from top-notch European mills, Bailey dresses Canada’s most stylish women too. 875 Queen Street West, (416) 516-7188, www.brianbaileydesign.com
Kingi Carpenter, a silk-screen apparel artist, displays her wares in her shop PEACH BERSERK. She also hosts workshops for the DIY-type of shopper and has fans in the United States and Canada for her custom-designed party dresses. 507 Queen Street West, (416) 504-1711, www.peachberserk.com