Philip Sparks has left the pop-up life behind to open a new, permanent shop on Ossington at Foxley.
The Toronto designer has moved just up the street from his temporary home adjacent to I Miss You, where he showcased his mountain-sheep-collared winter wear among other trunk show gems. But with the change in seasons comes a change in venue, along with a new collection inspired by '30s-era beach photographs.
The new spot seems tiny (and easy to miss, since the entrance is off Foxley), and first impressions fail to reveal a fairly spacious lower-level store. Granted, the room is indeed rather snug, but the light materials and minimal decor give the impression of more free space.
Sparks is at the studio (offsite) when I come by the check out the space, but a member of his team volunteers to show me around. The top floor of the former garage offers a rack of select pieces, though descending the stairs reveals the entire collection along with the odd vintage nick-nack.
With room for two change areas, a repurposed vintage trunk (once owned by Sparks' grandfather) and a salvaged table from a metal factory showing off a select few woven belts ($120), the lower level is thoroughly "spring" with sun-kissed men's yellow Oxford shirts ($235) and custom-printed sateen women's blouses ($250). My favourite piece of the collection is a yellow leather accordion briefcase ($595), which offers a burst of colour among subtler hues. For men, this season at Philip Sparks is about linen blazers, stripes, and plaids, with flowing fabrics and lots of prints for women.
Curious about how the shop might attract new customers now that it has lost its Ossington visibility (though Sparks is such a well-known name in local fashion, I'm not sure if that will be a problem), I'm pointed to the gigantic green arrow fixed outside the shop's entrance. Perhaps more visible alit at night, the salvage Junction find directs Ossington wanderers to the Foxley entrance. And since the new Philip Sparks shop is here in this spot to stay, you'll only need guidance finding your way on your very first visit.
Photos by Morris Lum