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"Shit Talk" tee by Wawa, available from Victoire. Photo: Apt613.

Wellington West Social Distancing Street Style (and Silent Auction!)

By Katie Marsh and Karen Diepeveen on July 26, 2020

Our silent auction in support of the Parkdale Food Centre opens July 27 at 7am and runs until July 31 at 5pm. Find out more and place your bids now.

Need to beat the summer heat while keeping six feet apart? Wellington West has quietly emerged as one of the best neighbourhoods in Ottawa to shop at unique, independent retailers, many of whom work exclusively with Canadian designers. Apartment613 has teamed up with four independent fashion retailers to get their vision of street style in the summer of COVID-19.

The outfits featured in the video have been donated by these small businesses as part of a silent auction Apt613 is running for the Parkdale Food Centre. Click here to place your bid! Winners will be contacted by email with instructions for how to pick up their item.

Flock Boutique: Small-scale Canada goods that supports the community

1275 Wellington Street West, Ottawa

In a story common to many of the Wellington Street West shops, Flock owners Bridget and Christina started off in the ByWard Market, selling their wares under a tent back in 2004. Seeing a gap in the local retail scene for handmade, locally crafted goods, they ran up their credit cards to open their first store on Dalhousie Street.

Their love of small-batch, Canadian-designed and fabricated clothing, accessories, and other objects stems not just from the beauty of these items, but their impact. Small-batch designers tend to put a lot of thought into their garments and how they are made, often sourcing materials and labour locally, meaning that one garment supports a chain of people throughout the community.

In addition to shifting sales to their online store, Flock is experimenting with new types of retail experiences. Shoppers timid of crowds can book in-person experiences for 30 minutes to an hour, making the joys of browsing less stressful in the era of social distancing.

Laguna Top by Cherry Bobin and Jaf skirt by Fig Clothing, both from Flock Boutique. Photo: Apt613.

We chose this outfit because we wanted something colourful, comfortable and versatile. (Isn’t that what we all need right now?!) We chose separates so these pieces can adapt to our ever evolving lifestyles in these times. Many people are staying close to home these days and the Laguna Top by Cherry Bobin is cheerful and breezy for summer days in Ottawa. The Jaf skirt by Fig Clothing is stretchy and comfy, and as a bonus it’s wrinkle-resistant and has sun protection, so it’s perfect for travel. Whether you have a Zoom meeting, you’re going to a patio with a friend, or in the backyard with family you’ll be looking and feeling good. The necklace, well, it just adds the finishing touch to any outfit! — Bridget & Christina

Victoire: Made-in-Canada wardrobe to reflect your ethics, your ideas and your beauty

1282 Unit B. Wellington Street West, Ottawa

When Victoire set up shop, its mission was to provide a place to showcase the small, independent, and most importantly, Canadian, designers that owners Katie Frappier and Régine Paquette knew from the local craft-sale circuit. A core part of the shop’s approach is to make the garments accessible to all shoppers and budgets, and to make boutique shopping less intimidating and more welcoming. Fourteen years later, it is one of the best-loved shops in Ottawa, and a must-visit for anyone interested in Canadian brands.

“Shit Talk” tee by Wawa & swimsuit bottoms by Minnow Bathers, both from Victoire. Photo: Apt613.

Victoire’s e-commerce business was well-established before COVID-19 shutdown and this, along with support of their regulars, has kept the business going. Katie and Régine donated a “Shit Talk” tee by Wawa and swimsuit bottoms by Minnow Bathers, both made in Toronto.

Trove Fashion: Fabulous consignment that is gentle on your wallet, and the planet

102-1000 Wellington Street West, Ottawa

Opened in 2017, this trendy consignment shop has quickly become a top stop for local fashionistas. The store’s colourful decor and carefully curated stock of gently-used contemporary and vintage pieces offers shoppers the thrill of bargain-hunting in a high-end boutique setting. It is also sustainable, giving new life to items that, while not fresh off the runway, will still freshen up your wardrobe.

Like so many, the COVID-19 crisis has helped owner Kelly Gawargy start thinking digitally about her business, stepping up her online store as well as offering unique pieces for sale directly on Instagram at @trovefashion. She isn’t abandoning brick-and-mortar retail, however, and recently opened Trove Designer and Vintage around the corner from the original shop.

Spell and the Gypsy Kombi sundress, Below thebBelt leather bracelet, beach hat, all from Trove. Photo: Apt613.

The outfit we are donating is a Spell and the Gypsy Kombi sundress. This boho-inspired dress is the perfect go-to outfit on warm summer days. We have paired the outfit with a fun beach hat and Below the Belt leather wrap bracelet to complete the effortless beachside look. I chose this outfit for many reasons, the most significant being the efforts made by Spell and the Gypsy towards sustainability and minimizing their impact on the environment. Through tracing supply chains and implementing sustainable fibres, their goal is to become one of the most eco-conscious brands on the planet. The second most significant being that I think it is BEAUTIFUL!

Allegro: An Ottawa staple for classy contemporary clothing

1283 Wellington Street West, Ottawa

Allegro’s origin story stretches back to Europe in the early 1980s, as owner Anne-Marie Bergeron toured the continent’s vintage clothing stores. Noticing on her return that Ottawa lacked similar shops, she opened the first iteration of Allegro in 1983 in the ByWard Market. Like Anne-Marie herself, the store has wandered around Ottawa before settling into its current home on Wellington West.

Sundress from Soya Concepts, available from Allegro. Photo: Apt613.

Allegro has evolved over time from selling vintage to selling classy, contemporary women’s clothing. Anne-Marie has also been evolving so regulars and newcomers now have the option of shopping online. True to the store’s European inspiration, Allegro provided a yellow sundress from Danish brand Soya Concepts for the silent auction.

The Wellington West Social Distancing Street Style silent auction in support of the Parkdale Food Centre opens July 27 at 7am and runs until July 31 at 5pm. Find out more and place your bids now