Mutts and Co. know how to put on a pop-up
Mutts and Co.'s organizers, Muttonhead Collective, have found themselves a perfect formula for the fashion pop-up. Following the success of their previous ventures (such as spring's Traveling Market), they're becoming a perennial, and anticipated, occurrence in the local fashion scene, and they've now planted themselves in the former home of Ossington's Paramour restaurant.
A few hours into their first day and the space looks as though it was always meant to house a carefully-chosen selection of local designers. Even a quick stroll through the space will immediately highlight a diverse range of impressive design talents--failing that, the MyPakage support briefs display near the coffee station is worth a few good chuckles.
This is greatly helped by the return of wood handiwork maven Jamie Miller, who has turned an old barn into stunning custom displays, and whose repurposed wood creations helped showcase the pieces at Mutts' Traveling Market. And in case you get peckish, Brandon Olson from The Black Hoof is making homemade ice cream bars.
You'll find scarves and silk, hand-painted tank tops from Scout and Catalogue near jams and chutneys from Stasis Preserves. Hand-crafted TwoRibka kitchen utensils made from salvaged wood and featuring natural luster and grain mingle with a trifecta of independent Canadian magazines.
Particularly unique are the handcrafted bats from Garrison Creek Bat Co. and inspired by Trinity Bellwoods, and illustrated maps of some of Toronto's best-loved neighbourhoods.
If you enjoyed my piece on 10 Toronto fashion upstart brands, now's your chance to see many of them for yourself. But although the clothing, from brands such as Label, Muttonhead Collective, and 18 Waits is certainly worth a visit, it's the jewelry, craftwork, and art that sets it apart.
The occasionally risque art of Toronto illustrator Kathryn MacNaughton (the lady's a "y" short of naughty, after all) lines the walls, and original prints are for sale. You'll be hard-pressed to find the collaboration between menswear company Metsa and illustrator Jim Mezei--which consists of hand-printed bandanas--or Cuchara's boldly-hued necklaces elsewhere.
I become instantly and head-over-heels enamored with the moody designs of Nathaniel C. Brown, whose bone-based jewellery sees the jaws, hipbones and teeth of small animals suspended from delicate chains (around $50) or shellacked onto ornate brooches (starting at around $30). Some say uber-goth, I dub it mildly eccentric.
At tonight's official launch party, you can expect to have your photo taken in the red-hued back room and have it become part of the photo gallery hanging on a laundry line, by Matthew Crisp and Beau Partlow. Then, cozy up to Paramour's bar for some gin while you enjoy music from DJ Parasol. I've always thought fashion should meld together many different art forms, and it looks like Mutts and Co. agrees.
Pop-up shop hours are between 11am-9pm, closing Sunday at 8pm.
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