Entrance to 686 College Street, Aria Boutique
Yesterday I was in Toronto to discuss a design project with Tammy Beltrami, owner of Aria Boutique on College Street in Little Italy. Tammy’s flagship Aria Boutique is in Regina, Saskatchewan, and remains popular 9 years along. The Toronto location is 7 months in and gaining stride. Tammy curates a beautiful yet creatively edged collection of designs from Montreal, Vancouver, Los Angeles, and Europe.
Kooi Knitwear at Aria Boutique
There’s a great introduction to Tammy and Aria Boutique from Natalia Manzocco on blogTO here. I was meeting with Tammy to discuss illustration work for a line of clothing she has designed herself. I love her concept and am thrilled to be illustrating for garments, a new challenge for me. At this point I won’t say too much about the project.
London Brolly (AriaB) and Liana Trench (Mackage)
While there I took some photos and played with filters in Snapseed. They don’t do justice to the colours, textures and shapes found in the gorgeous scarves, Brave Leather bags and belts, Kooi Knits, Cecile Benac Knitwear, Mackage coats……I could go on. I’m not a spiffy dresser myself, but I do love fashion and textiles as another form of art & expression.
Novaki Bag (Mackage), Painterly Clutch (Mary Rich) and AM Momentum Pump (Anne Michelle)
Bombay Fold Mid Bootie (United Nude) and Base Pump Bordeaux (United Nude)
The store is elegant yet funky. Fabulous music played all day. It was great to talk about fabrics, trends, sample making, printing processes, and beyond. (A lot of women came in to try on the IT Collective jeans and DAV rain boots – note to self).
I was given two special gifts! I made an illustration to show them off – a sketchbook selfie of my footwear, rendered in watercolour & ink.
Fauna scarf (AriaB) and Sailor Shoes (SuperTrash)
It’s rare for me to have a fashion moment (and post), but this was a creative and energizing experience. Thank you Tammy!
*update: Aria Boutique on College Street in Toronto has closed, but the Regina, SK location is running strong, as is the online shop. Tammy is currently in production of a line of clothing designed by herself and various illustrators, including moi.