This week in local fashion retail: Danforth style outpost Tabula Rasa, Canadian flash-sale website The Peacock Parade, and Blo Blow Dry Bar adds express manis.
■ The Peacock Parade, a Canadian flash-sale website offering clothing, shoes and accessories at up to 70 per cent off retail prices, launches on July 20. The members-only site is run by Jan Gandhi, a former lawyer for MTV, and Nancy Sahota, a senior strategist at a marketing agency. Each Wednesday at 11 a.m., The Peacock Parade will launch its weekly sale of limited-quantity designer pieces from 14 international luxury brands that include Prada, YSL, Gucci, Vivienne Tam and Cynthia Rowley. Supplying Canadian content are Greta Constantine and a clutch of accessories brands, including Jenny Bird and Biko jewellery, C’est Jol and Claudia Accessories. Registration at thepeacockparade.com gets you a free membership, access to the site’s style blog and $15 credit toward your first purchase.
■ This week, local fashion designer Chinedu Ukabam of Chinedesign launches the exhibit and pop-up installation Supafrik: Urban Contemporary Africana. It will feature his Afrotropolis collection of bold men’s and womenswear separates that are influenced by his Nigerian heritage, along with an assortment of objects that re-contextualize style and design from an African cultural perspective. The showcase includes art, music, housewares, textiles, sneakers and graphic tees made by African expats hailing from Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Togo and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Ukabam acquired the items during his travels to New York, Paris and London. The opening party is on July 15 (7 p.m.–11 p.m.) and features a performance by electronic-afrobeat band Bend Down Boutique. Upcoming programming events will feature silk-screen workshops, book readings and a “1960s photo studio with Afro-themed styling.” The exhibit runs July 15–31 at Kensington Market’s Hotshot Gallery (181 Augusta Ave., 416-979-7574). #KNM
■ Blo Blow Dry Bar is already known for its $35 blow-outs and a quirky branded culture with its own “blocabulary.” Now select GTA locations are adding two new temporary services for the month of July. The PATH shop (Exchange Tower, 130 King St. W., 416-777-2569, #DTN) is offering express manis ($20) and polish changes ($10–$15) using celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann’s quick-drying nail lacquers. And the 2594 Yonge St. (416-440-4256, #MID) and 626 King St. W. (416-703-1256, #KGW) locations have added the Brazilian Blo Out Zero service. The two-hour smoothing treatment promises to add shine, eliminate frizz and tame curls for up to 12 weeks ($239–$289, depending on length). While the original straightening treatment sparked much controversy for its use of formaldehyde, which prompted its withdrawal from the market last year, the active ingredient in Blo’s Brazilian Zero is keratin, which is safe enough for stylists to apply by hand.
■ Tabula Rasa (745 Broadview Ave., 416-465-4450, #DAN) is a little outpost of style in Toronto’s east end. The store offers a mix of modestly priced clothing, a sweet collection of accessories by local artisans, handmade cards and a selection of collectable housewares, all reflecting owner Jennifer Park’s sensibilities. Alongside the Tabula Rasa house label (Park’s collection of wearable, modern-looking re-worked vintage pieces), the former Le Château designer stocks youthful girly labels from L.A. like BB Dakota, Jack and It Jeans, and Australians like Mink Pink, One Teaspoon and Evil Twin. Style vignettes are grouped either by colour or theme and mix together pieces both old and new, providing clients plenty of inspiration for how to combine them.