At least one of the Fs in TIFF unofficially stands for fashion. For around 10 days, Toronto is awash in the styles of the rich of the famous—and, more importantly for us, that of the partygoers, hangers-on, and film festival rubberneckers. The stars are impeccably styled—usually having settled on their outfits du jour weeks in advance—but what about the rest of us on-the-scene cinephiles? With more parties and film screenings than you can shake a stiletto at, and most of us dealing with Toronto real estate-standard closet space, what’s a girl or guy to do?
Unless you’re keen to spend a fortune dressing for each party and/or screening—or have seamstress Cinderella-style birds at the ready to do your bidding—here’s Vv Magazine’s guide to how to dress for TIFF on the cheap.
Rent, Don’t Buy
Rent Frock Repeat is genius. This Canadian answer to the U.S.’ Rent the Runway carries a slew of true stunners from designer brands available for rent (that’s up to 90% off the retail price). Before you turn your nose up at the prospect of renting, consider this: How often do you really wear a gala dress? It’s designed to be memorable, meaning it will be remembered—particularly the next time you’re seen wearing it. For those concerned about fit, rest assured—you can schedule a private fitting if you’re near a showroom, set up a Skype consultation, or just order backup size for $10. Best of all, Rent Frock Repeat is offering special pricing for TIFF: rent any 2 dresses for $245, 3 dresses for $295, or 3 dresses for $345.
Vintage is always a great choice for guys or gals looking to make a big impact without leaving a big hole in their wallet. For those with a funky edge, try Kealan Sullivan’s long-time shop, 69 Vintage, which is now located across from Trinity Bellwoods. Its curated selection runs the gamut from of-the-moment styles to timeless pieces. If you’re seeking old-school glam, look no further than Queen West’s Cabaret Vintage. Sure, you can spend $600 on their selection of (beautiful) modern evening gowns from Mignon, or you can score a 1950s dress (pictured below) for $325 or a cocktail dress for $165. Their sparkly jewelry offerings include a vintage pale blue necklace and earrings set for $95.
The Winners‘ Circle
If skulking through vintage stores isn’t quite your scene, Winners is always reliably fashion forward at up to 60% off department store prices. However, every September, something extra special happens: Winners debuts their Runway Collection, which is comprised of gala-worthy, red-carpet-ready looks fresh off the runway at affordable-by-regular-human-beings prices. This year, the collection will hit stores on September 10, coinciding with the opening of TIFF. Translation: you’ll want to be there bright and early.
Bring on the Bling
According to fashion and beauty commandments, you’re not meant to show both leg and cleavage, or sport both a bright red lip and heavy eye makeup. By that logic, you can splurge on your dress but keep it frugal (and tasteful) when it comes to your jewelry. Fortunately, there are many affordable jewelry lines to choose from, including made-in-Toronto and utterly adorable Foxy Originals. Try the Peacock earrings—plated in 14K gold, they ring it at just $26.
If you’re in need of a bigger statement, check out Montreal designer Charlotte Hosten, whose layered pieces combine silk, metal and rhinestones, or the newly-launched collaboration Jenny Bird by Indigo featuring the Toronto designer’s signature style at truly affordable price points (all under $100).
Fast Fashion Fix
If all else fails, fast-fashion retailers such as H&M or Zara will often have unexpectedly glam finds and refreshingly low prices. Make a splash with this draped tie-waist jumpsuit, retailing for just $89.90. With the Fall collections just now trickling into stores, it’s unlikely that your favourite piece will already be hanging in everyone’s closets. Remember: dressing up is fun, but the key is to stay true to your own style, and be comfortable.
Guys, don’t think we’ve forgotten about you. We know: it’s hard to have to coordinate so many parts of your look, but the key to affordability is mixing price points. The so-called “Comfortable Suit“—they sure do like to hit the nail on the head with their monikers—from Zara Man rings in under $200 for a suit jacket and pants. Slim-fitting and lightweight, this is a perfect canvas for a Ted Baker shirt and accessories from Loding‘s first Canadian shop—find your favourite pair of shoes’ soulmate by choosing from Loding’s selection of belts ($80).
Did we miss any affordable TIFF fashion options? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.