Hmm maybe forget the terrifically painful pump this year for New Year’s and go for the bejewelled flat instead?
Exactly a year ago I did a piece on my blog on Topshop and Topman’s Pop Up Shop in The Bay at 176 Yonge Street Toronto ((416) 861-9111). It was quite the popular hit on my blog. I loved touching the goods from overseas finally on my home turf. Voila http://thirtyfourflavours.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/topshop-comes-to-the-bay-toronto-yonge-queen-and-yorkdale-mall-review/
At the time, I thought the pieces were very European. Chic and Sexy! I felt the more quality goods had been left behind in a chest in the UK – whereas we Canadians were left with the cheap and cheerful items to make up for the duty charges incurred sending the pieces overseas.
I kept an open mind upon popping into Topshop’s (19,000 square feet of space) Grand Opening at The Bay on Queen this past Thursday October 4, 2012. My mate and I arrived around 5 p.m. during our dinner break and the floor was heaving. There were young ladies queued up with armfuls of clothing, light appetizers were being passed around by dreamy boys laden with Topshop branded uniforms and cups overflowing with chips and pop. There were girls trying on makeup, stepping into new flats and heels and friendly staff who were helpful without the ‘push’.
The Bay is really bringing their game with this stylish addition of Topshop and Topman’s brand into their retail space. The shiny metal awnings, peacock blue walls, plaid tops and bottoms, flirty cargo prints, miniskirts for miles, fluorescent denim, styling and profiling bags and a shoe wall that will make any shoeaholic crumble at the seams. The overall space felt very Cavalli.
I appreciated the floor’s British explosion meets Canuck traditional feel and the sporadically laid out clothing and accessories. There is a lot of space to move on the floor unlike Topshop in the UK where the floor is simply jammed with product.
The pricing is another issue. Topshop and Topman clothing is pricey. I thought that would have changed a tad from last year. I had my eye on a few bags, accessories, a pea coat – I’m not sure I’d pay full price for some of these pieces. But a lot of people in the Queen Street store were buying product. It felt very cultish. I wanted to buy something but the frugal fashionista in me kept my purse firmly in my bag. When I lived in the UK, I’d wait for Topshop sales days. I’m wondering what the sales will look like in the store after the grand opening week has passed. I’m going to need a reason to check in on Topshop.
I also found the pieces were pretty ordinary to what is currently selling at Forever 21 and H&M down the road. Hmmm…does Topshop think us Canadians won’t go for the daring pieces they brought over last year? Did those pieces sell well?
The quality of some of the bags were not as stellar as the leather good bags found in Topshop UK. Looking at the layout of bags on a hanging shelf on the floor – it felt like the more economically priced pieces were sent over for sale with a lot less va va voom. Purses ranged from $64 to $150. Some of these bags could not be found online on the Topshop link on The Bay’s website when I returned back to the office. I really wanted to be able to take advantage of their Thanksgiving weekend online sale offers – BOO!
That said, the holidays are upon us and Topshop already had some cute cocktail dresses, fitted tuxedo jackets, multicolored tights and brassy jewellery up for offer. It may be worth a looksy when you need a few options as we slide into Holiday Season dressing.
Nevertheless, it’s neat having the Topshop brand in Toronto settling in for a long term relationship with Canadians. It’s nice to know we have some English options in hipsterdom available to us to add a more polished and refined look to our existing wardrobes. The times are a changing in Canada’s retail landscape – make sure your pocket books are ready.
Check out Topshop and Topman’s online store at The Bay here:
Rarely do I ever find shoes at Anthropologie that I really like. Have you found that a lot of their shoes are kinda ‘oldy worldy’? I don’t get it. They have the cutest outfits but va va voom is a rarity in their shoe line. Perusing their site this morning I found the above Coy Rain Wedge. Sexy? Oui. Cute? Oui. But a rain wedge? Hmmmm…can you imagine toppling over or slipping with a patch of rain underfoot. Hmmmmm….thoughts? Again – weird choice for Anthro. That said I could wear these wedges with a cute skirt or maybe even jeans for a night out. The colour choice for me is ho hum. I’d like a cobalt blue please. Here’s the deets on the Coy Rain Wedge. Interesting note…this shoe only has size 9 left online. Melissa’s rubbery peep-toes face down a storm with a demure blush.
- Fits true to size
- Adjustable buckle
- Synthetic upper, insole, sole
- 4″ synthetic wedge; 0.75″ platform
A big adidas fan, not to mention a massive football fan, Noel Gallagher released his own soccer-terrace style shoe in 2011 that featured a gold foil ‘Endorsed by Noel Gallagher’ logo on the tongue in a simple white and satellite colour-way.
I bought these wooden red leather sling backs from Anthropologie last summer in Chicago. That shop is one of the few that actually sell their shoes in store. So I was happy to try on loads of shoes and just marvel like a magpie.
They are super sleek on with a mini skirt or skinny dark denim jeans. The only one quip I have about them is that the heel can be a bit wobbly if you are high tailing it for a train or running up stairs to ensure you aren’t late for work. It’s a fine shoe for once in a while and super stylish. I guess I’m not the only one with the same thoughts. But I’m guessing, Taylor never has to run anywhere.
;) Mel xo
It’s an early Spring so that means it’s time to bust out a spring shoe. Of course I can’t afford a beautiful Christian Louboutin Lillian Mary Jane Platform on my salary – but I can certainly swoon after one. I was just looking at my wardrobe today and realized I was rocking a lil classic Courtney Love-esque Hole type look. Ruffled striped t-shirt, denim pleated mini, black tights and a Mary Jane pump from Aldo. It’s a clean but pretty look for work. Very comfy. I love how a Mary Jane can make a statement – professional but still preppy cute. If you are not into a Mary Jane Pump – try a flat. My friend T is a fan and has a lovely flat that she bought in the UK which I would love to get my hands on. I think they may be Clark’s. J’aime.
I found a pair of MJ flats at Zara a few years ago in L.A. for $20. They are perfect for a mini skirt, jeans and even a legging/mini combo. Be it for work or for play a staple Mary Jane is a good investment. Classic or a wedge can be somethings to consider as a good transition shoe from spring to summer be it on a bare leg or with tights.
Yours in fashion,
I honestly thought the wedge bootie would only make it through one season. Sure enough I was wrong. I adore Sarah Barthel’s from Phantogram wedge booties. I have no idea who the designer is but I’m sure it must be an expensive brand because it just looks so lush. Louboutin? Dior?
The funny thing about these booties is that they look unstable and you could potentially fall over like a domino if you were to chance wearing them. I tried on a pair a few month’s back and they were super comfy. The height took some getting used to but they were solid.
So it’s time to play – ‘I wish upon a star for a pair of swish Leather Wedge Booties’. After some much deserved research time on the net; I found this Costume Nationale Wedge Bootie number on a fellow blogger’s site. She acquired them from a Barney’s Warehouse sale in NY.
I’m swooning. They are a perfect mix of sleek, sexy, not too high and easily transferrable between skinny jeans, leggings and miniskirts.
I love the detailing and the stitch work on the front of the bootie and sides. The small intricate buckles and slim wedge make it a simple look but also classic/timeless. I usually go for black but this gun metal/slate colour is unique.
What? The Clothing Show
Location? Queen Elizabeth Building, Toronto’s Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Blvd., Toronto, Ontario.
Dates and Times?
Friday September 23: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Saturday September 24: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Sunday September 25: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Adults, $8 online, $10 at the door.
Students 13 – 17 yrs., $7 at the door.
Seniors, $5 at the door.
Children under 12, free with an adult.
It always seems when I go to the Clothing Show here in Toronto, be it in the Spring or Fall, it’s always pissing down and I mean pissing down. But I never let that detour me from getting dressed, getting my umbrella out and trekking down to the Queen Elizabeth Building on the first day of the show. I like being there promptly for 5 p.m. when the doors open. I’ll be honest, I look forward to the spring and fall shows every year – it’s one of my favourite rituals.
I have got so many friends and family onto the show – sometimes I think perhaps I need to be their ambassador. For the past 3 shows, Prisca and I have been going together. We make a good team. We know what we like and can quickly edit each other’s purchases. We bargain together and also laugh at ourselves. It’s always a great time!
I have been coming to the Clothing show since I was a teen when it was called The Old Clothing Show and Sale and was held in The Automotive building at the CNE. Now in its 34th year the show is now known as The Clothing Show.
Back in the day I remember the vintage section would be busting at the seams and the new, young and hip designers would be steadily dealing with customers and modelling their wares. I’ve found in past years the show has gotten considerably smaller and a lot slower on the Friday afternoon. The vintage section is segmented to a quarter of the room. The young designers are still there but not as varied in products as it used to be. Recessionary times? Perhaps. But I do miss the flea market/stall like atmosphere from years past.
There is even as fashion show which showcases the local designer stock and a beautifully set up back drop which adds a nice polish to the pieces. It runs over the weekend as well as adds for a nice break to your browsing schedule. Plus you can see some designers frocks on that perhaps didn’t read as well when they hung on the hangers.
Back in the day, we would get these amazing swag bags full of free samples, razors, magazines and the like. These days you will still get the free The Clothing Show shopper bag but its empty and the only way you can get a free magazine is by giving a food donation. Which hey, why not? You have to spread the wealth here right? That said I gave in my cans of Heinz soup and picked up a bilingual KILL magazine which is packed with articles on Alexander McQueen, the latest make up and accessories for the fall and some lovely haute fashion shots.
The prices of the sales items have also considerably gone up, it’s funny. But the admission hasn’t. I love hitting ‘I miss you vintage’ as my first stop when I get to the show. They have the best vintage bags, boots, shoes, scarves, belts and accessories. I have bought many a bag from them in the past and picked up a pair of vintage Cole Haan boots for $25 2 years back. The amount of times I have been asked about those boots when I’m out and about and have told people what I have paid for them – they make people instant believers in the show.
I noticed this weekend that ‘I Miss You Vintages’ prices have all gone up quite considerably. I’m not sure why. In the spring I picked up a vintage Coach Bucket bag for $10! Yes $10! On Friday, I scrambled through the bags filed by colour like books on a shelf and narrowed my purchase down to one vintage Coach Bag in blue for $39! $39 in one shot at their booth indeed was well worth it but really it’s not what I am used to paying for a vintage bag with ‘I Miss You Vintage’ – it was pricey. I made sure I loved it before I handed the cash over to the lovely Brandon. (By the way, Brandon is always so sweet and patient with us. Plus he always rocks this super sweet lady bag that makes him look super-hot. ). It’s too bad they don’t leave any room for bargaining. ;( They could have got some more cash out of me if they brought the pricing down a lil. Maybe next year guys? (I Miss You Vintage, 63 Ossington Avenue, Phone: 416-916-7021).
The thing I love about The Clothing Show is that the staff, sellers and patrons are always so friendly. Seriously! I have never met anyone that was a curmudgeon. Even as I walked around with Prisca and asked ladies if I could take their photo they happily obliged and the sellers were super excited to have their pieces showcased. It’s a very familial and chilled space to browse, try items on, haggle and chat to other shoppers up to see what they bought and what they scored.
Another fav seller to hit is Foxy Originals. Again we have been hitting them as our next stop at every show. They have great offers on jewellery. Buy three items for $5 and get the third for free. It’s a sure win for quick trendy items for you for work and play. I love buying lil pieces to give to friends for Christmas and birthdays. This time we didn’t spend an hour and a half there like we usually do. I only bought 3 pieces (plus one free) and packed it in. Honestly, it gets addictive and tiring searching through the bins but at the same time it’s so much fun to see what goodie you can find every show. If you look at Foxy’s website and compare what you bought from them at the show – you can see instantly the deals you have got. A savings of $25 – $30 is sometimes always guaranteed. (www.foxyoriginals.com)
So on a scale of 1 to 10, this show was a high 8 for me. We always end up staying for 4 hours and leaving exhausted. This time was no exception. Our feet were tired; we were hungry and just wanted to get home. That darn Bathurst streetcar was waiting for us as we walked past BMO field like our chariot. Luckily the rain had stopped too.
Stay tuned for pix of the items I bought at The Clothing Show in the next blog post.
Yours in fashion,