Saturday, September 20, 2008
Jonathan + Olivia = Discourse on Urban Refinement
A while back, though for the life of me I can't remember how, I learned about this shop going in on lower Ossington (the new happening zone in TO, now that every other place is too expensive). Lower Ossington manages to be both hip and gritty. We bobo Torontonians go for that. Pls. note, I'm more bo than bo :-)
At any rate, today I walked by and noticed it is now open and it really is a trip. Like to all the places in the world with great designers. (You know, it's sort of a subscription feed to Europe.)
Georgina, the manager, advised that the store is actually named for the neice and nephew of the owner, a Vancouverite who's originally from TO. The buying philosophy is simple: Get cool -read: minimal - stuff from respected diffusion and small design lines. There's some beautiful Alexander Wang leather, Vanessa Bruno knits. It's a veritable mecca of Acne denim.
When I asked to take some photos, at first I was politely rebuffed. They have a "no photo" policy. Happily, that changed after Georgina vetted my blog. On the spot. Not joking. So if you go in there cuz you read this post, please let her know.
I have high hopes for this boutique. I think it's going to raise the profile of (and add a new pricepoint in) an area that supports some fantastic local artistry (modern fashion, painting, installation art, vintage, cabinetry and carpentry). Lower Ossington is the last bastien of industry-meets-residential working class in the west-end of downtown. It is vibrant and complex. But it could use a little shot of minimal upscale to support the upmarket hipster restaurants and galleries everyone with a tasteful nose ring is hanging at these days.
No doubt, a whole raft of people will disagree - esp. those benefiting from the heretofore reasonable rents. It'll wreck the grubby sublime, they say: Roach infestations next to light industry meeting chic after-hours bars and galleries. To which I respond, whatevs. Time marches on and things change. The only recourse is to work to change them in the most attractive, read: suitable and holistic way. And what's more suitable than gorgeous fash, I say? (But maybe that's the bo in me.) You decide.