Casual Fashion on Queen Street in Toronto
By Yanna, Miss Teen GTA 2017
Fashion comes and goes, as all things in life. One style of clothing, hair, or even behavior fades away and is replaced with another, however, what I see is eternal is our personal styles that defines and creates each of us unique. One’s said by Coco Chanel,
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
With these ideas in mind, I was constantly contemplating what street in Toronto truly expresses both diversity and chic, but also allows each individual to be free in their style and choices without social strains – Queen Street. Form all of the other fashion districts in Toronto, I felt that Queen Street is one of those chic streets, where you can literary find anything you are looking for. It has been part of the Toronto Fashion District, as a result of the large garment industry in the area, where numerous textiles, fabric factories, and warehouses were close to many rail lines making it easy to ship the garments throughout various cities. Although there are still numerous garment warehouses and clothing outlets on Queen Street, today it has been refurbished into a street full of musicians, artists, small galleries, condos, lofts, and murals. It is also one of those streets that has both old Victorian and new glass buildings, that inspire magic and creativity.
Walking down Queen Street and you will see all sorts of styles, from the elegant to hipster locks that truly reflect the diversity of the street. Below is a selection of a group of individuals I found in some of the pockets on Queen Street and side streets full of murals, where I have demonstrated their unique styles and personalities. I have interviewed and photographed each individual, who among their differences all use fashion to express themselves.
Christina is 17 years old student going into her last year at Humberside Collegiate Institute. She loves being involved in various student run clubs at her school, and she is on various sports teams throughout the year. She loves shop thrift shopping and to recycle clothing and incorporate it into today’s fashion trends. Just recently she has turned recycling old clothes into a small business with her best friend and hopes one day she can create it into a large production and design brand. She also loves Queen Street, because of its diversity and is one of her most favorite hangout locations with her friends.
One-day Christina would like to travel the whole world, since she loves discovering new places and pockets of various large cities. She is a very creative person and one day she would like to build her own house by the beach and live luxuriously enough to continue enjoy her fashion.
Get the look
- Top – Thrifted (around $5)
- Shorts – American Eagle Outfitters ($29+ tax)
- Necklace – ALDO ($8+ tax)
- Shoes – Vans ($59+ tax)
What does Christina think about today’s fashion?
She believes that modern fashion in Toronto is very bold and “trail blazing”, and she absolutely loves seeing all the fun prints and cuts. With the humid summers in Toronto, she finds breezy clothing most appealing, and with this season tube tops and off the shoulder shirts that seem to be very popular, she has recycled many of her old clothing to make it fit with today’s trends. Christina also finds that Toronto’s fashion is much more laid back, and many Torontonians tend to rely on sporty apparels that are easily incorporated into today’s trends, as “my classic white vans that go with everything”.
Kat is 17 years old and enjoys writing posts on her blog O SO VOGUE, and she loves photography. She is also very passionate about leading an active lifestyle and goes to the gym around four times a week mainly focusing on weight training and calisthenics. Her dream is to travel the world and experience as many new things as possible, most importantly to embrace life’s beauty. Next year she is planning a huge backpacking trip around Europe.
Get the look
- Top – Forever 21
- Pants – Hollister
- Flannel – Forever 21
- Shoes – Converse
What does Kat think about today’s fashion?
Kat created her O SO VOGUE blog to share her opinions, tips, and tricks about fashion, make-up, fitness, and beauty with the world. On her blog there are many recipes, fitness tips and pictures, make-up and beauty posts, but mostly fashion. Although she enjoys today’s fashion, she is displeased with the poor choices students have with backpacks. She believes that over the past years nylon backpacks are unpractical and easily rip, so now on her blog she has been trying to promote leather and many of its qualities and use in the fashion world.
Marko has just finished high school and is determined to pursue a career in music. He regularly creates music videos and has his own YouTube channel. Beside his music passion and spending time in the recording studio, he plays basketball or watches movies. His life goal is to be able to live off being an artist, who is able to share and express his ideas about the world to the public.
Get the look
- Top – Thrifted (no-named brands)
- Pants – Thrifted (no-named brands)
- Shoes – Adidas
What does Marko think about today’s fashion?
“To be honest, I know nothing about fashion, I have no idea about designers or brands or any of the stuff.” Even though, Marko does not have many ideas about fashion nor does he wear any brands, since most of his clothes are bought through thrift shopping or no name brands (except for some Adidas sneakers or timberland shoes). Nevertheless, he represents a perfect example of the diversity of styles that can be found on Queen Street.
Although, no name brands to some might not constitute as fashion, I would argue differently because it is important that individuals are not defined by brands or modern fashion trends that undermine their character. Which I believe Marko was trying to state with his style choice in choosing no named brands, since with no named brands “I am able to express myself in a more creative and personal way, that truly reflects me as an individual, which I also try to do through my music.”
Angel is 17 years old student going into her last year at University of Toronto Schools. She believes that she is your basic teenage stereotype with a “Starbucks addiction, gimmicky Instagram food, and Netflix binging problem”. Besides all the basics, she loves to dance, write, go to debates, and she is an avid supporter for many social justice issues. Above everything, she loves to shop, even though she believes that she “spends way too much time and money on clothing”.
Get the look
- Top – Hollister Cop.
- Shorts – Abercrombie & Fitch
- Belt – H&M
- Shoes – Adidas
What does Angel think about today’s fashion?
Angel believes that fashion is a perfect way to express yourself for the world to see. She believes that today’s fashion is quickly expanding and feels things that people would have dissed in the past, such as mom jeans or slides, are making a comeback. However, what she particularly adores about today’s trends is that “now more than ever people can make choices about clothing that suit them, that’s why I like Queen Street because it has many unique things to explore”.
Nevena is 17 years old and is also going into her last year of high school. For the past ten years she has been going to Serbian folklore at SCA Oplenac (Mississauga, Ontario), in order to preserve the traditional dances from her native country. Besides her passion for dance and music, she loves helping people and regularly volunteers in her spare time. She hopes to study law and pursue her passion to defend educational rights and freedom of children in various countries around the world.
Get the look
- Top – s.Oliver
- Shorts – Pull and bear
- Necklace – Accessorize
- Leather Handbag – Coach
What does Nevena think about today’s fashion?
Nevena loves to follow fashion trends and believes each era of fashion, as today’s fashion has its own unique magic. She is always open to new things, so when it comes to fashion there is almost nothing she does not like. With today’s fashion and bright colors, she feels that it gives her an opportunity to express herself even more, by combining different things together. Even though she follows regular fashion trends, she chooses clothes that reflect her, thus allowing her to create a slightly unique style of her own, as she states “I first want to feel comfortable and reflect my character”.
Vilde is a first-year university student for international relations, Vilde is aspiring to be a diplomat, specializing in global health that will primarily focus on children in South and Central America. She enjoys to read, write, hike, dance ballet, and embroider. She also has many other interests and is an exceptional song writer and singer. One day, she wishes to discover and help as many suffering people in this world.
Get the look
- Top – American Eagle
- Pants – Zaras
- Shoes – Nike
What does Vilde think about today’s fashion?
In today’s fashion, Vilde believes that it allows a lot of self-expression and it allows many to explore and find their perfect style. She feels that “fashion of today is perfectly portrayed on this street [Queen Street]”; as Queen Street she feels todays trends are a mixture of the old and the new, and as music and art they have become very expressive and individualized.
Jovana is 17 years old and is also going into last year of high school. Jovana is passionate about languages and she is currently learning French, Italian, and Persian. In her spare time, Jovana loves to dance salsa and tango and a few years ago she played water polo for over three years. Jovana also enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her friends, and listening to rock music, as David Bowie, Elvis Presley, Metallica, Guns N’ Rosses, and many more. As well, Jovana has recently started her own business where she creates and sells her handmade jewelry.
Get the look
- Top – Forever 21
- Necklace – Handmade
- Glasses – Dolce & Gabbana
What does Jovana think about today’s fashion?
“To be honest, I don’t really like today’s fashion trends, so I have stopped following it.” Jovana does not like today’s fashion, since she believes it isn’t very innovative. Jovana feels that many of the styles have already been seen (particularly trends in 2016 and 2017) are merely imitating fashion of the 90’s. Jovana instead follows things that she likes, and she would say that her style is more “sport-rocker elegance”, since she loves wearing boots and leather jackets.
Hristina moved to Toronto from Macedonia as a child, and loves playing basketball and soccer, as well as listening to music and watching movies that are mostly musicals. She also tries to promote a healthy and active lifestyle and to stay fit. In order to preserve her countries traditions, she is part of the KUD Biljana Macedonian folk dance group in Markham, Ontario. Above everything, she loves her family and friends, and constantly strives to be the best person she can be.
Get the look
- Top – Ardene
- Pants – Old Navy
- Bracelet – Pandora
- Necklace – Hand made
What does Hristina think about today’s fashion?
She loves today’s fashion and also enjoys to follow popular fashion trends. She is very happy with today’s fashion, primarily because it allows her to freely express herself and her personality. As it is seen in her fashion choice, she likes to combine dark colors with light colors that accent specific details of her outfit, in this case the bright colored flowers. Because of the hot summers in Toronto and this year’s fashion, she is able to enjoy the over the shoulder tops, which she believes add both elegance and chic to her personal style.
Wonderful writing! I just love it, love it! Vanna, you did an excellent job!