Rac Boutique looks and feels like a Yorkville boutique, but the only thing Yorkville about it is the address. Co-Owner Faith Orfus tells me that the plan was always to open on Queen West, but the neighbourhood posed issues with competition between lines. "We brought a Queen West vibe to Yorkville." Granted the Yorkville crowd will still find some big-designer familiarity in some choice high-end brands. And for the rest of us? We'll have a reason to head north of Queen for cutting edge fashion.
Faith and partner Glenna Weddle have hit a nice high-low balance that makes the shop accessible. Even on my (sadly) meager wardrobe budget, I found a few amazingly unique pieces that top my practical must-have list. I may be back for the oh-so-high-waisted Ravishing Mad denim skinnies at $150, a Verameat Terrier Ring at $165 (yes, it's a gold dog head for your finger), or an Ashley Rowe splatter-print jersey dress at $150. You are now in privileged possession of my holiday wish-list. Shop wisely.
I also love the Tomoko Igarashi statement necklaces constructed of clustered and knotted strands of plastic beads ($145-265). Each piece is numbered, much like a set of limited edition prints, so you know you're getting a truly one-of-a-kind item. Making the in-my-wildest-dreams list, is a pair of J.Dauphin leather-paneled leggings at $520. Clearly, these would be grounds for divorce.
Rac has exclusivity in Toronto (and in some cases, Canada) on a few of the in-stock lines, including Peter Jensen, Mara Hoffman, RGB nail colour, and French perfume line Etat Libre D'Orange. The duo has also made efforts not to buy too deep in any particular style. Call it safeguarding against running into some other girl wearing your dress at a party. (Like, don't you just hate that?)
Rounding out a small selection of lifestyle items near the cash is a curated collection of Arts & Crafts albums (vinyl and CDs) and magazines. Faith shares plans to expand lifestyle, if only for the holiday season, and patrons may see more books and candles in the mix very soon. The focus, however, is apparel and a smattering of soon-to-be-expanding shoes and accessories.
On my way out, I am intimidated by a $1,000 parka, but Faith points out an alternative (just as nice and Canadian-winter-ready as the first) at half the price. Touché. These girls are pros. They also offer private shopping appointments and styling services. Check out their adorable blog for a glimpse at their styling expertise, and to get the skinny on new lines and upcoming promotions.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak.