Toronto: One of a Kind round-up

mymommadethat.com
A dress from My Mom Made That. Photography by Nadine Spizzirri

Despite living in a fast-paced city, the concept of craftsmanship isn’t something that exists only at the pioneer village. To wear and produce handmade goods in a mass-produced world is a bold statement, which is why the D.I.Y. aesthetic is often referenced by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Marc Jacobs. Handicrafts have never been trendier and highlights from my latest visit to Toronto’s One of a Kind Show (oneofakindshow.com) provide an up-to-date snapshot of the city’s arts and crafts scene.

Though it was quite large, the show was a very intimate shopping experience and was filled with North America’s most talented artisans, all gathered to showcase their work. The show had everything from traditional quilting, birdhouses, furniture and fashions from a new breed of local designers who are embracing the old-world traditions of arts and crafts and translating them into sleek, modern designs.

I found well-known names like House of Spy (houseofspy.com) and Desperately Different (desperatelydifferent.com), as well as a few discoveries: mother-daughter duo My Mom Made That (mymommadethat.com) creates unique dresses made from unused vintage fabrics and buttons, which means not only are the dresses eco-friendly, they are one-of-a-kind. Customized dresses are available online.

One of my favourite finds was by Hoi Bo (hoibo.com), a Canadian label with a sense of humor. It was an oversized canvas bag inked with an illustration of the Hermès Kelly bag with braided rope for the handle. The line is available at Delphic (706 Queen St. W., 416-603-3334).

As for the guys, what about adding a bit of cartoony humor to a sharp outfit with a pair of 2D diamond cufflinks by local artist, Mehoi (mehoi.com)? You’ll find the line at Propaganda (686 Yonge St., 416-961-0555, shopaganda.com) and Magic Pony (694 Queen St. W., 416-861-1684, magic-pony.com).

Both Mehoi and Hoi Bo will also be attending the upcoming Made Show (April 24 to 26, themadeshow.com). If you missed One of a Kind, seize this opportunity to catch up with local talent.