You’d be forgiven for seeing nothing but charcoal skies on the holiday shopping horizon, but you also wouldn’t be looking quite industriously enough. But, don’t fear; that’s why we’re here! The past week has brought joy to our spendthrift hearts, with creative retail outlets, more like niche markets than stores, popping up all over the place. Looking to spend like it’s 2007? Scope out the trio of cool new addresses atop our shopping list.
1. Ministry of the Interior presents Jaime Hayon (162 Cumberland Ave). At Wednesday night’s opening of MOTI’s newest pop-up shop—this one in Yorkville’s enclave of exclusivity—we clung uncomforably to our cocktails long after we’d lost interest in the so-last-season pomegranate mix. The reason was simple: where would we dare to put the half-empty glasses down? Displayed on white-washed antiques were Madrid designer Jaime Hayon’s baroque-and-roll table lamps, looking so gorgeous that to place a common receptacle on the same table (let alone within veneer-scratching distance) would have seemed sacrilege. Even finer were his signature figurine-sculptures, created in collaboration with Spanish porcelainier Lladro—with prices from $990 to $2200, the “Fantasy Collection” makes Royal Doulton look like peasant pottery. If you’re thinking bigger, take a seat in Hayon’s black lacquer-and-leather armchair (from the “Josephine” series), a piece that somehow manages to evoke the words “sleek” and “voluptuous” in the same covetous sigh.
2. Philip Sparks showroom in the Burroughs Building (639 Queen Street West, Suite 5005, 5th Floor). To the recent spate of Queen Street menswear shops, add one very welcome Philip Sparks. The dapper designer’s studio and showroom opened last weekend in the loft-like Burroughs Building and will be shoppable every Saturday from noon til 6 p.m. from now on. This year, render the striped tie a thing of Christmases past and buy Dad a tuxedo-front dress shirt (around $250) instead. Or, for a very good boy indeed, splurge on a perfect plaid peacoat (around $1600), available with or without fur trim.
3. The Drake General Store (1144 Queen Street West). From boutique hotel to hotel boutique? The Drake’s new outpost opened officially last night, with a spiked-lemonade launch party, but it’s been quietly peddling curiosities to cool cats for a couple of weeks now. Designed and directed by Joyce Lo and Carlo Colacci (the entrepreneurial pair who brought us Shared t-shirts), the General Store specializes in fancy kitsch and faux nostalgia. Supremely givable wares include: a Malin + Goetz apothecary travel kit ($42); a Hudson’s Bay striped throw blanket ($150; smallpox not included); and a Gossip Girl-ish bow-and-chain necklace by In God We Trust ($125; lesser baubles by the Williamsburg jewellers range from $60-100). Reward yourself with a little something, too, such as a $3 bag of Ontario-grown, organic apple chips or a $2 vintage matchbook.
Photo of The Drake General Store by Justin Adams.