Editor's note: Three Fates has moved to 1573 Dundas St. W since the time of this review. Please note that some info may have changed. Always call ahead to ensure what you are looking for is still available.
Three Fates just set up shop in Philistine 's old home in Parkdale - and it's picking up right where the previous tenant left off, packing the narrow storefront at 1394 Queen W. with a California-cool mix of vintage clothing and new designers.
Robin Vengroff, the proprietor of Three Fates, is a friend of the owners of Philistine. When the new stock/vintage boutique decided to move up the road, it was "now or never" for Vengroff, who had finally decided to take her fledgling vintage business full time.
"I started selling vintage because my grandmother had a very large collection of clothing - she never threw away anything in her life," she said. "When I was about 18, I started going through her closets, and started selling stuff."
Meanwhile, she worked as as a stylist, in some retail stores, and as a trend forecaster for Sears. "It was always my side project - it was the thing I was doing on the weekends. And then after a while, I didn't want to do it on the weekend anymore. It's been a long time coming."
Now packed with Vengroff's library of vintage finds, the store features rows of structured skirts, floral prints, and kimono-esque jackets, with new pieces and vintage pieces hanging side-by-side. Vengroff says she wanted the stock to be a reflection of her own personal style. (On the day of our interview, she's wearing a vintage fringed navy jacket with rhinestone accents with skinny jeans and black boots.) "I always had this dream of having a closet that people could shop in. That's exactly what I wanted. "And that's kind of how I think it turned out, which is really lovely."
Vengroff's picks are surprisingly budget-conscious. "Fifty dollars is my magic number," she says; sure enough, vintage dresses hover around $35, while new pieces generally don't go past $55, including Bea & Dot's matching crop tops and skirts ($38 and $48, respectively.) One standout, a Gentle Fawn floral blazer, is $130 (but she says it's been a favourite of shoppers anyway).
What else has been selling? "My plaid shirts are just flying out of here," Vengroff says. "I have a lot of those '90s floral dresses that are doing well. A ton of kimonos - these new ones that I've been carrying," she adds, pointing out a fringed cream kimono-style jacket by Must Have ($55).
The store's eclectic, boho-inspired aesthetic is a reflection of her travels. "I've been going back and forth to California a lot to visit friends, and I noticed that their vintage there is really good quality and easier to come by. I started picking up a lot of my quirkier pieces from there."
Meanwhile, the new stock, from indie lines like Gentle Fawn and Mustard Seed, was chosen partially to give shoppers something that could place those crazy vintage pieces in a more modern context: "I wanted things that I could pair with the vintage. You can have a crazy, printed, fun Hawaiian shirt, but I wanted a really cute skirt you can put with it." Many of the contemporary brands, she adds, are also from the west coast, adding to that beachy, relaxed vibe.
The jewelry, meanwhile, is straight-up Parkdale; Vengroff carries a number of local brands, including Odd Bird , Sugar Rush and Nelle Han . "They're all girls that kind of live nearby, as well, which is nice. If I sell something, or if something is doing well, they can literally just run down the street and bring me more."
Just as Vengroff's embraced the neighbourhood, Parkdale's embraced her store, with plenty of passers-by stopping in to welcome her to the area. Vengroff adds that people seem to be enjoying what her gigantic, shoppable closet has to offer. "I sell more vintage stuff on weekdays to the locals, and then on the weekends, with the brunch crowd, I sell more of my new stuff.
"It's a bit of a blend, which I kind of like."