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,