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Fashion Stores

Studio 1686

Posted by Joseph / Posted on July 30, 2008

Studio 1686Maybe we need a new term: what's vintage, if it's only a year or two old? Or less? Used clothing, I guess, but, for me, that conjures up images of boring shops filled with worn Lucky jeans and stretched-out Costa Blanca tanks. Gently loved? Preowned? Both don't exactly fit right.

Studio 1686 makes it simple: they sell used designer clothes of a recent vintage. Tucked away at the far end of Parkdale, the shop boasts pieces handpicked by co-owner Marya Duplaga and her sister Irene who source their duds from the movie and TV sets where they work (including the upcoming The Time Traveller's Wife and Max Payne), and other vintage sources. This means deeply discounted prices on covetable names like Marc Jacobs and D&G.

Studio 1686 Toronto

The store, thank god, has none of the snobbery that usually goes with those names - Marya is down-to-earth and friendly, and enjoys offering up her "funky, colourful" pieces so that the masses can take home a quality piece, but without the heinous pricetag.

The eclectic offerings aren't really my cup of tea--they feel like the clothes often worn by the funky, bohemian middle-aged woman: the art teachers, the gallery owners, the hair stylists, the non-profit administrators. The pieces have a fun-loving feel, but the pieces do feel a little more suited to that age group, rather than youngsters looking for a cutting-edge, unique piece.

Studio 1686 Parkdale

(With all the carefree fabrics and daring cuts in the store, it wasn't surprising that, in her 20 years working on movies, Marya loved dressing the stars of silly teen films like Getting Over It and How to Deal best!)

There are tons of shirts, including an Issey Miyake gauzy black-and-white striped top ($235), a silk and linen Tara Jarmon shirt ($35), and a Jill Stuart flowered blazer with a pink lining ($195), along with ultra-femme-y pieces like a yellow tiger-print Milly frock ($165) and an ivory brocade skirt from Holt Renfrew ($95).

Studio 1686 Queen

The store also has a solid showing of power pieces that would definitely be work-appropriate for a wider range of people, like a gray pinstripe Valentino suit ($1700), black dress pants from Junya Watanabe and Costume Nationale ($65--$165), a tweed Diane von Furstenberg blazer ($165).

I actually found myself gravitating toward the men's side of the store, which, to me, was the stand-out--Studio 1686 has a lovely collection of brand-name suiting and shirts, pants, and blazers, often in interesting colours or patterns, like a Polo Ralph Lauren madras blazer ($125) or even a lilac corduroy suit ($250).

Studio 1686 Queen West

There are staples like Hugo Boss pants ($125), a navy blue cashmere sweater ($65), and an Armani blazer ($245), sure, but the slick, crisp dress shirts in hues of pink, yellow, black and gray stripes, red check, and tweeds or a fitted leather jacket would be the perfect way to add a little pizzazz to one's workaday world.

I may be a bit young for some of these styles, but it's good to know that they're there in case I need 'em down the road--no matter what they're called.

Studio 1686 Clothing



SabrinaJBall / September 17, 2008 at 01:54 pm
Ye gads, those green wing tips are fabulous.
Gloria / September 17, 2008 at 03:54 pm
You haven't told us what age/social groups would be found wearing or coveting the men's fashions. I need to needlessly pigeonhole!
magda / September 18, 2008 at 02:24 pm
Good thing the store speaks for itself, because the reviewer did a horrible job.

Who dictates how age groups should dress? And how many times does it need to be repeated? It seems like the reviewer had a quota of words to fill and had to grasp at redundancy.

I agree with Gloria. ;oP
Briony / September 18, 2008 at 05:08 pm
I'm not saying that any age-group should dress a certain way, but merely what I saw as the style of the store. Sometimes, describing an article of clothing doesn't give you enough of an idea of who it might suit: for instance, I could say, a "lace-trimmed dress", but that could mean something sassy from a more youth-oriented chain, or it could mean something that an older lady would prefer.

In this case, I thought the description of the clothes by their lonesome might set forward more of a young, street-wear feel (albeit with big brand names), when, in reality, I thought that the actual pieces would seem often more at home on an older demographic.

Obviously there are younger folks who'd dig the women's pieces here (as there are some lovely clothes at the store), just as there are older women who don't dress the way I describe.

And I don't think I was padding the word-count: I stated the style of the clothes, how it tied to the owner and her sensibilities, and then popped it in the outro for continuity.
Marya Duplaga / November 16, 2008 at 02:58 pm
Thanks for the article...I'm not sure what you mean about the age group... fashion and style have no age limits... Marya and Irene/Studio 1686
Stephanie / January 21, 2009 at 05:34 pm
Hi's me Stephanie Guess what? Another PArkdale reunion coming up this MAy 23...will you be going?
Call me..905-458-4806
This time I'll bring my kids maybe and mother and or brothers..
Hope to talk to you real soon...Love your clothes..I'll have to buy something ...Bye Stephanie

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