Jonathan + Olivia
Jonathan + Olivia is an Ossington staple. Having been open for six years in Toronto after a successful debut in Vancouver, the boutique has established itself as a go-to for fashion-savvy men, women, and children alike. Hard-to-find brands and must have pieces from the coolest of cool runway shows litter the stock - this season, Alexander Wang's embossed leather bomber ($2175) is at the top of the It List, and it's no surprise it can be found here.
Like many times before, a leisurely stroll landed me in the gallery-like space, perusing the plumbing pipe clothing racks and custom-made display units. There's so much to see at Jonathan + Olivia it's easy to spend more time than expected within its stark white walls. I, myself, am always enchanted by their selection of minimal-yet-bold garments, especially when siren-like music (you know, the kind you'd hear at a fashion presentation or fancy hotel lounge) is playing in the background.
The cash desk further down the room is an island of other treasures - lifestyle goods like unconventional room sprays by Archer and apothecary by Malin + Goetz line one end while sunglasses, wallets, and bracelets line the others.
The men's shop is in its own space past the shoe wall and change rooms. It teems with keepsakes like raw denim jeans and flawless button ups, but the more dramatic pieces are what make Jonathan + Olivia stand out from the rest. A Rag & Bone t-shirt printed with a hand-drawn floral ($145) and Rick Owens DRKSHDW drop crotch pants ($495) are prime examples of their statement-making stock.
During my visit, I met Nic Jones, husband of owner Jackie O'Brien and the boutique's director. Unfortunately, we had a rather unpleasant talk that seemed to go further downhill when I asked about the semi-new sale section in the basement. "Some people only shop sale," he scoffed as I descended to check it out.
Plenty of funky clothes, shoes, and accessories are packed inside, for the most part marked at 50-70% off. I was pleased to find remnants of Kenzo's fall 2013 - but the above-mentioned conversation thwarted any potential purchase.
Truly, Jonathan + Olivia is one of the most cutting-edge shopping spots in the city, harbouring a whole slew of exclusive brands and wonderfully picked pieces. Whenever I decide to drop in, the staff are always welcoming and helpful in a non-pushy way. It's a shame this time around left a bad taste in my mouth.
Photos by James C Lee.