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.


  1. On-the-spot blog vetting! Amazing!

  2. I thought "bobo" was a clown, but apparently not.

    I like the look of that neighborhood. When can I move in?

  3. So: who makes the black cut-out booties at the very fron of the photo? I want them.

  4. I love it and I am imagining myself as "hanging out" at said gallery and restaurant happenings; sans nose ring. I love that she checked your blog! But what I really want to know is; did the guy on the mobility buggy in the background drive over after you took the picture to fill his plastic stripey with minimalism?

  5. Wendy: Isn't it a crazy techno world?

    E: So did I till I was advised it's short for bourgeois bohemian. You can move in right now! And come for dinner this evening.

    Miss C: They are by the Swedish line Why Red (don't know if this is one word) and they cost $499CAD.

    Hammie: LOL. You would have a ball along this stretch of road. We could do all kinds of fun things that moms do when they leave their kids with the dad!

  6. How cool that you could take the pictures and that the manager checked your blog.
    How I wish I could go there...


  7. I remember hearing about this place; been wanting to check it out but this post is the next best thing!

  8. Blog rules! People do respect bloggers it seems. How cool is that. I would like to move in too? any affordable housing as Perth is fast becoming the most expensive city on the planet. More expensive than New York!

  9. Thanx K.Line, Am going to see what I can find online ;). By the way, have you read Bobos in Paradise? It's a really funny and biting cultural critique (the author "reads" the NYT wedding page, for instance). I don't agree with the author politically, but this book is an "academic" one that I comfortable have on my "theory" shelf.

  10. hmm...where exactly is this store? Like, address and intersection wise? (longitude and latitude coordinates optional).

    I really hope the area doesn't get too too expensive. I've lived here all my life and don't want to have to move because I can't afford it anymore...

  11. Wow, I, too thought bobo was Spanish for clown. Thanks for learning me, K.Line.

    The shop looks insanely beautiful and I wish we could go shopping there together this afternoon.

  12. Seeker: Ain't it wild??

    Y: Next time we go out we have to check it out. But I don't think much of it is in our comfort price range.

    Miss C: I haven't read it but I have heard of it. I'll have to check it out.

    Hi Marina: Thanks for your comment. It gives me an opportunity to check out another good TO blog! J + O is at Rebecca and Ossington - about a block north of Queen on the east side. I wouldn't worry about the prices. Stores like these are hardly a trend (yet) and, as long as you already live there, your rent (or mortgage) is safe.

    Sal: I wish that too.