Local business and consumer news. Openings, closings, deals, sales, what to buy and where to buy it, we round it all up and give you an insider's shopper's special on small business in Halifax. Contact shoptalk@thecoast.ca to send a tip.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Custom-fit fashion at 180 Moda

A chance to star in your own version of Avatar

Posted By on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Smile! Custom formalwear is a scan away.
  • Smile! Custom formalwear is a scan away.

As anyone with a slightly different-than-average body knows, shopping for clothes can blow. Oh, do you have a longer torso than most? Here’s a romper that will almost certainly give you a perma-camel toe! Enjoy! So, sometimes the only way to get properly-fitting clothes is to go custom. But for the less genetically blessed among us, tailor-made clothes are lofty dream fit for the one percent.

180 Moda (5571 Cunard Street) hopes to change that and, after five years of doing private consultation and military contracts, is opening up their first public showroom later this week right here in Halifax. The local company uses body scanners which plots 400,000 data points (there’s no hiding that extra winter layer here) in a grand total of 30 seconds to create an your unique avatar. The 180 Moda design team then drafts digital patterns custom to your exact measurements, before the pieces are sewn to your style preferences and tastes. Despite all this technology and amount of work involved, owner Taura Lee, insists their pieces are very affordable.

“A shirt can range from $89 to $169 depending on the fabric, but then you’ve got something that fits you perfectly and will last. We can do custom wedding dresses for less than $1,000 and if you want silks, satins and crystals those cost about $4,000 to $5,000. Other places that would be $12,000.”

180 Moda works with designers in the body scanning community around the world in such places like Spain, Brazil and USA, in order to create stylish designs that fit and flatter the different body types. “We do a lot of consultation work too, with mostly men, giving advice on what looks best on them and what to wear for different scenarios.” But if you’re not in the market for new clothes, they also do fitness consultations—they layer before and after scans to track progress and plot gains and losses. Useful post-summer training, scary post-Easter binges.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Halifax street style: Queen Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 4:00 AM

Elsie's owner, Maureen Court - MEGHAN TANSEY WHITTON
  • Elsie's owner, Maureen Court
  • Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Maureen Court
Age: 53
Spotted: Queen Street
Wearing: (all second-hand) coat, vintage Issey Miyake; cashmere scarf; vest, 70s vintage suede; floral dress, Free People; boots, Blundstones

How would you describe your style?
Eclectic layering of as many natural fibres as I can wear.

How do you maintain your sense of style in the winter?
I actually prefer my style in winter, layers are perfect for this. Summer is when I struggle with my style.

Who/where do you derive inspiration from when putting together an outfit?
The day, the weather, my mood all inspire me to choose certain pieces. My favourite things can be put together in many different combinations. This winter cashmere has inspired me!

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with?
I've always enjoyed seeing the trends come and go over and over. My clients can make everything look great! Anything made of cheap synthetic fabrics has always been a pet peeve.

Local hotspot for gems?
How can I not say Elsie's?

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Halifax street style: Quinpool Road

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Thu, Oct 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Carole Rankin, featuring dream hair
  • Carole Rankin, featuring dream hair

Name Carole Rankin
Age 28
Spotted on Quinpool Road
Wearing shirt, second-hand; scarf, Joe Fresh; leggings, Costco; backpack, Harper Ave; boots, Nine West

If your clothes could talk, what would they say about you?
They would say they barely know me and only see me twice a year.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
I'm watching the third season of Lost, I'm reading The Importance of Being Earnest and I'm listening to First Aid Kit.

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with? I can get on board with anything really. I'll wear anything once.

Local hotspot for hidden gems?

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Halifax street style: Grafton Street

Scouring the streets for the city's most fashionable

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 1:47 PM

  • Photo by Meghan Tansey Whitton

Name: Sam Hatfield
Spotted: Grafton Street
Wearing: Sunglasses, Ray Ban; Lipstick, Heroine by M.A.C.; Top, Free People; Shorts, American Apparel

If your clothes could talk, what would they say about you?
She's not afraid to take risks and doesn't care what people think about her.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?
Right now I'm reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, watching Master Chef and listening to STRFKR.

Name a current trend that you just can't get on board with?
Probably the whole running sneakers craze. I understand the mass appeal and I do like them on some people—but if I want to be walking in comfort, I'll stick with my Chucks.

Local hotspot for hidden gems?
I do the majority of my shopping at Biscuit. If I'm looking for something vintage, you'll probably find me at Lost and Found. I've gotten some real keepers there.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Have a Hart Republic

Halifax's newest online boutique pops up on May 20

Posted By on Thu, May 15, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Check out Hart Republic's pop-up for these pretty little things
  • Check out Hart Republic's pop-up for these pretty little things

"I’m living a little bit of a double life,” says Kaylyn Monk, owner of Hart Republic, the Halifax-based online shop that launched May 1. Working as an engineer by day means her browsing time is limited and her shopping experience lacking. She's busy, and then some.

“I shop online out of pure convenience and I'm left a little bored from the experience. It doesn't feel personal and unique.” That’s where Hart Republic—a collection of designer transition pieces for working women in their 20s and 30s—comes in to play. Though it lives online it lives for the experience, hence why next Tuesday, May 20 will bring its first pop-up shop to Obladee, a wine bar (1600 Barrington Street) to turn online shopping into a social event from 4pm-8pm. RSVP early and your first glass of wine is free! And keep tabs on the latest looks here.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pop goes Zafira Apparel

Conni Zafiris' handmade fashions are at the heart of a summery pop-up shop

Posted By on Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Pretty pretty pantsuit
  • Pretty pretty pantsuit

Shorts and pants and dresses, oh my! Zafira Apparel is having its first ever pop-up shop tomorrow (Friday July 5), in the old jane's on the common space (2394 Robie Street).

Owner, designer and creator Conni Zafiris—who currently sells her fashions online through Etsy and in an artisan boutique in Oakville, Ontario—thought the idea of a pop-up shop would be a fun and interesting way to gather her current customers together while gaining new ones. Originally from the Halifax area, Zafiris has been going to school in Montreal the last few years and saw this as a great opportunity to create a relationship with Halifax’s fashion industry.

“It’s going to be a nice display of the fashion and art in Halifax,” says Zafiris. “I’ve never seen a pop up like the one we’re planning.”At tomorrow’s sale Zafiris will have her men’s bowties for sale, women’s accessories such as headpieces and flower headbands and her women’s wear summer collection which includes, pants, tops, rompers, dresses, shorts and a few blazers. Plus art from PrinceFuze and clutches courtesy of Mo Handahu's Clutch Culture line.

Zaifirs describes her women’s fashion as a bohemian style for a care- free girl. She uses transitional pieces that you can wear from day to night for women that are on the go.“The designs are not overly detailed because I like to speak with the colours and prints,” she says. “I look to a lot of Australian fashion blogs because that’s what I can relate my clothes to the most, the Australian lifestyle and look.”

The pop-up shop has been no small undertaking for Zafiris, who does all of the patterning and sewing herself.“I have a seamstress hired on just for this event but generally speaking I do everything from start to finish myself,” she says.Zafiris says she would love to do another event at the end of the summer depending on the success of tomorrow’s pop up shop, which runs from 4-10pm.“If they’re popular I would like to continue as long as I can."

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Darklands lights up

A pop-up shop brings dark and sleek ladies vintage, and vinyl from Electric Voice Records, to an unassuming spot on Barrington

Posted By on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Black is the new black.
  • Black is the new black.

From out of the shadows of Barrington Street comes Courtney Rafuse's badass vintage line Darklands. Sunday (from 11am to 5pm) marks the first of what will hopefully be a monthly series of pop-up shops out of 1665 Barrington Street (just above Little Mysteries) that’ll show off her meticulously collected pieces of women’s clothing, that until now were only available on the internet. “I focus on quality materials and good cuts, and other flattering and versatile garments that are still totally relevant now. I'm not going for any sort of look per se, but what I like is the versatility of black. And silk,” says Rafuse who'll have pieces that haven't even made it online yet available on Sunday. “People can expect a lot of blacks and neutrals, although I do have some colorful garments as well.” Alongside Darklands’ sleek styles will be some vinyl to thumb through---feast your ears on records from the Electric Voice catalog and distro. Rafuse says she hopes to bring handmade jewellery, and beauty products into the picture in the future. Here’s to more shopping on Barrington!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Indie Boutik to close, designers have a sale

Independent designer conglomeration splitting in June, Laura Chenoweth sale at her studio

Posted By on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 4:00 AM

We'd reported on changes happening at Indie Boutik Collective (1542 Queen Street) last week and recently, indicating that things were in flux at the Queen Street shop, a great retail idea that allowed for storefront visibility to a collection of talented designers.

Unfortunately, the experiment is coming to an end. "I really wanted to see it continue but I could not find anyone to take my place as the lease holder so I have no choice but to let it go," explains host designer Katherine Munro of Dakini Silks, who is returning to her graphic design career. The store will remain open until June 1, and starting May 1 it will be having a huge closing out sale. "Everything must go!" says Munro.

Indie Boutik member Laura Chenoweth has chosen to have her first big sale of the year of organic apparel and fabrics at her Creative Crossing studio location (5-2526 Agricola Street, 877-9062), May 4 to 6. Everything will be $20.

UPDATE Friday, April 20, 1pm:
The date of Laura Chenoweth's sale has been changed to May 25, 26 and 27 at her studio.
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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Boutique Joliette showcases bridal jewellery designers

Downtown shop welcomes spring with showcase from two local artists

Posted By on Thu, Apr 12, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Brides-to-be, get your wallets ready. Boutique Joliette (1870 Hollis Street, 405-4057) owner Alexis Mahoney has rounded up two local designers to showcase their bridal wares at her shop on April 21. Tara Andrews of Vive Jewelry will be presenting the sparkly side of bridal bling with a variety of items made from products such as cultured fresh water pearls, sterling silver and Swarovski crystals. Lyndsay Hubley of Loulou Bell Handmade will also be in the shop, selling her floral-themed bridal accessories such as fascinators, garter belts, ring pillows and feathery broaches.

“They’re quite different from each other but they both complement because they’re both feminine and classic, but also have a bit of a contemporary twist to them,” Mahoney says. “People think of pearls and flowers as being kind of traditional but they’re not stuffy and old fashioned. They’re very modern, fresh and light.”

Prices range from $10 for Hubley’s flowers or brooches, to about $200 for multi-strand pearl necklaces by Andrews. Vintage jewellery specifically selected for brides will also been on display.
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Monday, April 9, 2012

Makenew leaves Indie Boutik

Anna Gilkerson to show at Love, Me

Posted By on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Indie Boutik Collective (1542 Queen Street) has lost one of its members. We reported recently that the store, a collective of local designers sharing rent on a retail space, was looking for new members, and now local designer Anna Gilkerson has informed Shoptalk that she's moving on, having decided to show her spring/summer collection at Love, Me Boutique (1539 Birmingham Street, 444-3668), with a sidewalk sale coming soon. (Watch this space for an announcement on dates for that.)
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A year of Penelope's

North end vintage boutique thrives, offers sale

Posted By on Tue, Apr 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Penelope’s Boutique (5685 Cunard Street, 420-9164) is celebrating its one year anniversary from April 10-15 by giving you the chance to get 5 to 50 percent off your purchases, with door prizes to boot. You can find a fine, eclectic selection of vintage footwear, clothing, accessories and jewellery in this little place. The store has gained a steady following over the past year, with 98 percent of its business coming from street traffic or through word-of-mouth. Shoppers are often surprised at how much there is to look at in this little boutique: Store owner Penny MacAuley recalls a girl coming in recently, exclaiming to her mother that shopping at Penelope’s was an "adventure."

As a sample of products available: Henry Allen Montreal (c. 1960) dress w/ belt, $34.95, Gold “Olympic” necklace, $8.95, Jones New York purse, $24.95 and Splash Fashion Footwear, $25.95.
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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Indie Boutik Collective looking for new members

Are you a fashion designer or craftsperson? Pay attention!

Posted By on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Indie Boutik Collective (1542 Queen Street) is looking for new members.

For those who don't know, the hotspot offers a retail space smack in the middle of fashion-boutique row, just off Spring Garden Road, Atlantic Canada's busiest shopping street. The labels already part of the collective are Orphanage Clothing, Dakini Silks & Things, Laura Chenoweth Organic Apparel, MakeNew Vintage, Blue Ladybug Design and Jere Brooks.

Spaces in the store start at $150 each and members may (or may not) share time staffing the store and helping out with promotions and events. It's a month-to-month lease arrangement with consignment considered.

For more information, call Katherine Munro at 880-5662.

One other thing: IBC is having a winter clearance sale. Out with the wool and in with the silk: The sale is store-wide with discounts down to 70 percent off and $5 sweaters.
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Aflame at the Seaport

Local jewellery designer stakes claim upstairs at the market

Posted By on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 4:00 AM

Aflame Creations, the handmade designs of jeweller Megan Archer, can be found on the weekends at the Seaport. Her pendants and earrings are made of enameled copper, with different-coloured glass powders applied to the copper and then fused in a kiln at 1500 Celsius. She will do custom work by request, and this is just the beginning of her efforts: check back soon for rings and brooches. "My work has a sort of antique, organic feel---lots of trees, leaves, birds, feathers, some ocean-y/nautical stuff, as well as a yoga-themed collection," she explains. All pieces are between $25-$35. For more info, check aflamecreations.ca or aflamecreations.etsy.com.
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Put Me On moves

Fashion boutique in former Back Pages space by April

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 4:00 AM

After three years in business, Pamela McInnis's boutique Put Me On is moving just down the street, from 1532 Queen Street to 1526 Queen Street, the former location of Back Pages books. It's "giving us a bigger, brighter spot and [we] will be welcoming lots of new local designers as well as consignment clients," says McInnis. For those who don't know, McInnis designs clothes with the label Cranky, which will soon have out a summer collection of fun dresses and skirts, as well as screen-printed tees. If that wasn't enough, she's also a musician, Pamela Underwater, who is working on her third album, entitled Electric, and is keen to offer more local music and merch at her new location, so Halifax musicians, drop on by.
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Foreign Affair "Now or Never Sale"

Downtown twin fashion boutiques offer big savings on end of season stock

Posted By on Mon, Feb 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM

If you go down to Spring Garden/Barrington today you're in for a big surprise. Foreign Affair (1705 Barrington Street, 429-1407 and 5639 Spring Garden Road, 423-6676) is having a sale, up top 70 percent off the fall and winter stock. The thing is, the spring fashions are coming in and they need the space, so the sale is liable to continue until the space is made. Consider the sportswear, coats and dresses that are on "final markdown" or the premium denim, reduced to $50 per pair of jeans, including the brands Seven, Citizens of Humanity and Hudson.
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