Bicyclette Boutique has found its permanent home on West Queen West near Trinity Bellwoods, offering its unique selection of urban-meets-whimsy clothing. Though I'm not much of a gusher, especially when it comes to clothing, I was rendered paralyzed upon walking in and spotting a gorgeous white cocktail dress with pearl bodice, thin straps, and sweetheart neckline.
"What is that?" I asked owner Paige Boersma. "And I want it."
"Oh, it's like every girl's dream," she says, picking up the One Teaspoon dress ($228). "It's very sweet."
Sweet, but not too sweet. That's the impression I get from most of the items displayed around the pristine white boutique. "Everything is sort of street style meets fairytale," Boersma says. "And there's something special about each piece, made with a lot of detail."
Boersma, who graduated from Ryerson's Fashion Communication program, started Bicyclette as an online shop in August 2010. From there she opened two pop-up shops; one in Kensington Market and another further west on Queen Street.
"I wanted to open here because I live in the area and there's such a great sense of community," she says. "And I want this store to reflect that; I don't want it to be exclusive--unique pieces, but affordable."
The items in Bicyclette range from about $12 for some accessories to up to $300. "I only buy small quantities of each item," Boersma says, "so you know you're getting something special."
The boutique carries both local and international designers. Boersma showed me some of the pieces by local jewelry designer Lauren Elan , many of which carried the same sort of messy yet romantic vibe embraced by the shop's clothing. "Her cousin," she says, picking up a Midsummer Night's Dream-esque scarf ($50), "also hand-dyes silk scarves. They're just gorgeous, and each one is different."
Even the seemingly basic items in the boutique have a romantic edge. Some Wild Fox tees have a mesh lace back, and there's lots of lace overlay throughout.
The name "Bicyclette" was meant to encapsulate the style of the clothes, Boersma tells me. "Riding your bike is very downtown, very urban," she says. "In Europe, women ride their bikes everywhere, but they're always dressed to the nines. It's just a great image, and that's the idea I want to convey through my clothes."
Photos by Dennis Marciniak