Bridge + Bardot
Bridge + Bardot - the newest boutique to settle down on Dundas West - is something of a paradox. The minimalist white walls, enormous dreamlike mirror, and embossed aluminum ceilings had me feeling like I'd just stepped into Alexander Wang's SoHo flagship or a more compact version of The Room at The Bay.
But delve into the price tags, and instead of the typical burn-a-hole-in-my-already-charred-student-pocket associated with Wang and The Room's freshly designed and imported pieces, Bridge + Bardot's vintage clothing is surprisingly affordable and given the same amount of (if not more) love.
Owners Gurjeet Bassi, Gagan Bassi, and Rose Broadbent handpick each piece to ensure it fits with the collection as a whole. The girls also pay close attention to any alterations needed to make the garment relevant again - adding buttons, shortening hemlines, and sometimes even changing the cut entirely.
As if that's not enough work, everything is organized by colour on hanging bars, or paired with decorative tree trunks and cat statues in cubbyholes by the cash. All this customer-oriented preparation made it easy to discover pieces like the handcrafted flower pins ($10), a simply studded skirt ($25), and an intricate sequin cardigan ($45) during my visit.
One particular full-length tie-dye jumper ($40) had me wishing I wasn't too short to fill it. Aside from their house brand, Bridge + Bardot makes it a point to sell locally-made accessories by brands like Cuchara, Muttonhead, and Varsity Brown.
Luckily for me, I knew exactly what to expect product-wise since first hearing about the brand - long before its days on Dundas West. Regular weekend-long pop up shops occurred once a season at Bridge + Bardot's studio space on Bloor, and their participation at collective sales like OTM Zine's Vintage pop-up ultimately prepared them for the permanent space.
Gurjeet tells me that they would love to watch Bridge + Bardot flourish, and be able to sell their house brand outside of Toronto. For now, the three girls are content with what they have, and customers like me are more than happy to be pleasantly surprised by the paradox that is Bridge + Bardot.
Photos by Jesse Milns