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Fashion & Style

8 places to get a custom cocktail dress in Toronto

Posted by Staff / February 15, 2012

Custom dress TorontoEvery woman should have the luxury of owning a custom cocktail dress; one that makes her feel like the only girl in the world (or at least the hottest in the room). I find the most surefire way to achieve that deep level of sartorial satisfaction is to order a custom dress-- one that's made to measure and one of a kind.

A good custom dress will suit your personal style, be event-appropriate, and fit like a teenage dream. Although custom work can be more expensive than buying off-the-rack, it doesn't have to break the bank. Select stores and designers around town offer this fantasy-to-frock service. Here are some of my favourites:

Breeyn McCarney
A master of embroidery, knitting, leathercraft, and roasting the Fords on Twitter, Breeyn designs whimsical frocks that dare to flatter the female form - just don't call them "fairy-style prom dresses." Seriously. She hates that. With a focus on ethical and eco fashion, her custom dresses (anywhere from $500-$3000 depending on the design) are easy on the conscience and wallet. Turnaround time is typically three to four weeks.

Peach Beserk
A little punk rock princess and a little 50's pinup, Peach Beserk is full of tulle temptations and sassy silkscreen prints with names like "I'm a Natural Woman," "Ick," and "What Would Jesus Print." Colour options include "Commie Red," "Crusin for a Brusin," and "Dirty New York Taxi." Full of funk and flirt, their custom work is the same price as buying off-the-rack (around $500). Up the creative ante by designing your own silkscreen.

Brandon R. Dwyer
This Project Runway Canada alum recently parted ways with the label formerly known as Basch by Brandon, which frees him up to design the elegant eveningwear he does best. Starting at $2000, his dresses are what fashion industry folk refer to as "investment" pieces (he may not know YSL, but he can certainly charge like YSL). His turnaround is quick at two weeks, with three personal fittings in that time to make sure everything's just right.

Champagne and Cupcakes
Bad news: there's actually no champagne or cupcakes to be found here. Good news: the dresses are as cute as the store's playfully misleading name. This is the land of bows, ruffles, and satin. Custom dresses sell between $200 and $329 (yes, exactly $329) for a full-length gown. Turnaround is a little longer at six to eight weeks; so make sure you plan ahead for any special occasions.

Hoax Couture
Founded in 1985 by a lawyer and architect, this unlikely duo has dressed the likes of Diana Krall, Daria Werbowy, and Alanis Morissette. They can make your dream dress from a picture and work with any fabric you bring in (although they have tons of their own). Most dresses range between $650 and $1200 and take about a month to go from drawing board to your closet.

Fashion Crimes
This store is a haven for potential dress hoarders. Covered from floor to ceiling in a seemingly endless jungle of glam gowns, it's where the wild (and wonderful) things are. Choose from a vortex of design details and fabrics to create an original dress that fits to perfection. The process takes between one and six weeks and costs 50 per cent more than the dress would off-the-rack.

Jessica Biffi
Another Project Runway Canada alumnus (a runner-up this time!), Jessica has designed everything from Fembot-worthy frocks to plus-sized power dresses for Addition Elle. So chances are she can meet your needs, whatever they may be. Bespoke Biffy numbers start at $250, plus the cost of fabrics. Orders are usually completed in less than a month.

Carrie Hayes
Carrie's edgy architectural cuts and precise tailoring are inspired by science, history, and mathematics (someone paid attention in high school). A true artist, she uses everything from photography to tablet sketching and painting to create prints. Custom Carrie dresses go through multiple revisions before being cut in their final fabric and start at $1200.

Writing by Sabrina Maddeaux. Photo from Breeny McCarney's lookbook on Facebook



Meredith / February 15, 2012 at 11:03 am
The link to the Breeyn McCarney site set off my Spyware.Nice.
Denise / February 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm
Also check out 'DeLish by studio d' Great Boutique!

2116 Queen Street East Unit G, Toronto, ON M4E 1E2 · Get

1 416.698.6784


Local Boutique, selling the label 'studio d' which is proudly canadian... made right on-site. A collection of edgy imports in addition to fashion shoes including Steve Madden... Jewellery, fashion watches, purses, delightful home decor, pillows, amazing candles and accessories... Custom work available.
Catering to the Dance and Entertainment industry providing Custom costumes for stage and performance alike. Private off-site fitting available for large orders.


Established in 2011

The 'studio d ' label has been manufacturing private custom Dance costuming for the competitive dance industry since 2004... now branching out into a full retail store, still offering custom, but now with the addition of jewellery, home decor, and ready wear, both day and evening clothing sure to stand out! Everything from head to toe to make you look and feel fabulous! A touch of home decor, ranging through the seasons with many unique gifts for that special someone... Many one of a kind options to dazzle both you and your home!! 'DeLish by studio d' ... where everything is 'DeLish'!
Gina Farrugia / February 15, 2012 at 04:05 pm
Honestly - I went through half these sites...no ability to navigate on my ipad whether it was because the site was Flash driven or just plain clunky -- small business owners take note - if you want us to buy your wares, we need to be able to access them!

If you aren't programming in HTML 5 or something similar don't bother with a web page!
Breeyn replying to a comment from Meredith / February 15, 2012 at 04:14 pm
I'm so sorry Meredeth. The server got hacked. They're working on it now. I'm really sorry.
Amelia Steinbargain replying to a comment from Gina Farrugia / February 15, 2012 at 04:30 pm
Maybe you should be using a device other than a proprietary remote control to surf the web, hmm?
Breeyn / February 15, 2012 at 04:54 pm
Issue has been fixed. Very sorry for the inconvenience.
jane / February 15, 2012 at 08:57 pm
There is an amazing custom studio that my friend recently got her dress made at called Labl studio in Parkdale.
My friend Jamie had her mother's wedding dress and the designer Elizabeth studied it, redesigned the dress, took it apart and created the most amazing dress for Jamie.

Labl studio has been established in Toronto since 2002 and Elizabeth has been doing great work since then. I am very proud to post this, as I was her client when she first opened and I am proud to take my friends there. I am guaranteed amazing skill and wonderful service.

416 504 1504
Meredith replying to a comment from Breeyn / February 17, 2012 at 11:51 am
It is fixed now. Thanks! You've got pretty things.
John / November 2, 2012 at 02:18 pm
One more place where you can get a custommade dress for a very resonable price.

Mykki Cameron / February 11, 2013 at 02:22 pm
If you are looking for unforgettable shape-shifting designs, custom fitted to your body and big event, than check out my facebook business page ... Beauty Kissed.

I have extensive experience in working with unique fabrics such as PVC, leather, lace and for creating the most amazing, boned corsets. Having worked with a few rock'n roll legends, I enjoy custom designing a style for you that is unforgettable when you step out.

Check out my designs on facebook.

browning firearms 12 150th anniversary / May 7, 2013 at 02:57 am
Howdy, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam remarks?
If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can
advise? I get so much lately it's driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.
www.miracledkc.com / October 31, 2013 at 09:18 am
Mua, ha, ha, ha! Stonefist Traps: Summon two" Stonefist Traps" from beneath the ground, but a riptide washed him to
a distant sea, where he spent his time ice surfing, eating snow
cones, and sculpting amazing ice statues. But I wanted to talk to you today about great gifts
for spinners one of the earliest examples iss Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure surprisingly!
Though skylanders level 7 his friends except Eruptor are just too fond of thhe Gillman to tell Gill Grunt the truth.
Hannah / June 16, 2014 at 03:06 pm
If you need a really good taxi service to get you to that event or cocktail party in your new dress then try www.york-taxis.co.uk

Every girl may need a new cocktail frock! But we don't want them also drinking and driving so get a cab!

Hannah replying to a comment from Hannah / June 16, 2014 at 03:07 pm
Sorry I meant http://www.york-cars.co.uk

Thanks again!
Alison / March 22, 2015 at 01:32 pm
If you're looking for a custom wedding dress designer, I highly recommend Kim over at Valencienne. She and her team will give you the best experience a bride-to-be can possibly ask for. They also create custom evening and formal wear dresses.
Amy / October 12, 2015 at 05:24 pm
hello! What do you think such a drapery on the red dress more fashionable? http://aerlf.org/cocktail-dresses-for-women/
a friend gave me similar to a dress. I do not know what to do with him
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