Fashions displayed in “Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics” at the Design Exchange. Photos courtesy of Design Exchange.
TO JANUARY 25 It’s universally acknowledged that the clothes we wear, in addition to being purely functional, offer insight into our personal identity. More broadly, fashion trends can also be a reflection of social mores and political values. This season at the Design Exchange, guest curator Jeanne Beker peeks into the wardrobes of iconic fashion designers and pulls out pieces that have made important political statements over the past 50 years. The striking garments—ranging from disposable paper dresses with portraits of Bobby Kennedy and Pierre Trudeau to androgynous designs by Montreal’s Rad Hourani to the famous identity-subsuming masks of Maison Martin Margiela—lend both style and substance to longstanding ethical debates, gender issues, anti-war activism and more. —Craig Moy
• Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., 416-363-6121; dx.org
• Map and reviews
Flanked by charming character homes and stately elm trees, Academy Road is as distinguished as its namesake, St. Mary’s Academy for girls, which still anchors the east end of the strip today. Begin your sun-dappled stroll just before Beaverbrook Street at Sue’s Fashions, where you can snap up a coveted pair of curve-flaunting Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. Fashionistas will go mad for the colourful collection of dresses (pictured) just down the street at trendy Mad About Style. Rustic whimsy is what you’ll find at Lake Life, just a short walk east. Pick up a serene gel firepot for the deck before heading to cottage country. Treat your feet next door at European Shoe Shop. Everything from utilitarian Birkenstocks to sky-high Stuart Weitzman stilettos can be found in this well-edited store. Those in pursuit of one-of-a-kind fashion finds must check out Redeemed. This consignment boutique’s best kept secret is its quirky shoe collection.
Personal shoppers at Topshop pull chic clothes to suit your style
Want to be on-trend but don’t know where to start? Make a free appointment with Topshop’s personal shoppers in The Bay downtown. After an interview to find out your fashion goals, they’ll pull together an array of head-to-toe outfits in your size for you to try on. The shoppers know all the fashion gems hidden in the 3,700 sq m (40,000 sq ft) of floor space—the second-largest Topshop in the world—and they’re ready to share their sartorial secrets.—Sheri Radford
By Phil Birnbaum
There's nothing like the bespoke pieces and hard-to-find labels that boutiques offer. From beautiful pieces for your home, or curated fashions, boutiques offer a unique shopping experience. Enjoy this slideshow of ten boutiques we love across Quebec. (more…)