Introducing Gigi’s House of Frills

One of the things that I cherish most about the vintage community is how it is an open door to meet such wonderful people from around the world. Many of my friends and valued professional relationships are with fabulous women that are located in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, USA and of course Canada. Since vintage businesses in our neck of the woods are almost non existent, it is rare that I have an opportunity to shop local or meet similar like minded vintage fashionistas. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the owner of Gigi’s House of Frills asking if I’d be keen to visit her lovely lingerie shop in Toronto…and of course I said yes! I was totally unaware we had such a local gem located within driving distance and could not be more excited to check it out.

In preparation for my visit, I did a little research about Gigi’s House of Frills to see what brands they stocked. I instantly became super excited when I saw they carried the new Bettie Page Lingerie from Playful Promises. I have been dying to try their overwire bras and having the opportunity to try them on in person was now before me. Everyone knows, bras and intimates are one of the most difficult things to shop for online due to the importance of a great fit. In addition, Gigi’s carries lingerie staples from What Katie Did, local designer With Love Lingerie, authentic Vintage Lingerie, Swimwear, Besame Cosmetics, and more!!!

Upon my arrival, I was greeted by the lovely Gigi who was the vision of a vintage fashionista; rockin’ a fabulous poodle do and wearing a classic vintage day dress. My first impression walking into her shop was awe and in total amazement. Who knew this little vintage lingerie mecca was right here this whole time; Gigi’s has been around for over 1.5 years now and in this location for 6 month. Immediately I had to ask the burning question…how did she get into vintage lingerie? Gigi admitted that she fell in love with lingerie at the very early age of 5, when she got lost in a circle rack of silky slips at a local department store. Of course her family thought that she was just playing around and didn’t realize the impact that moment would have on her decades later. She immediately spotted my Remix shoes and we found ourselves immersed in conversation for the next few hours about lingerie, the vintage community and everything in between.

Gigi has a darling location in a quiet area off Bloor St. in Toronto, you instantly feel like you are taking a step back in time into a glamorous vintage haven…I was totally smitten! Browsing the various designer collections and vintage offerings, I have never felt so comfortable and at ease shopping for lingerie. The average customer spends up to 2 hours in Gigi’s House of Frills and I was there for well over 3! Gigi had pulled a few of the Bettie Page pieces in advance for me to ensure she had my sizes. In addition, I decided to try some What Katie Did bullet bras that I had been dying to try for years (yes years!) along with Gigi exclusive designs from With Love Lingerie. The dressing room area is simply exquisite, a vintage inspired boudoir that will have you oohing and aahing.

As I tried on each style, Gigi assisted in checking for a good fit and fetching additional sizes or styles that might be better for my shape. Quickly we realized some styles were just not suited for me but others fit like a dream. Surprisingly the one style of bra (Maitresse Nouveau) I thought I’d love from What Katie Did was simply okay but Gigi suggested another (Cone bra) that turned out to be amazing! We confirmed I needed the next size up in the band which was currently out of stock but luckily the shop is able to order in individual customer requests from WKD. Although Gigi’s House of Frills doesn’t have an online webshop, they will happily ship to customers everywhere and regularly do so for their loyal customer’s in the US and elsewhere in Canada. Simply contact them through Facebook or Instagram, Gigi is a one woman operation that does it all! She also prides herself on carrying only ethically produced lingerie (sweatshop free) along with local designers.

After a wonderful evening at Gigi’s House of Frills, I left with gorgeous pieces from Bettie Page Lingerie, With Love Lingerie, What Katie Did, and some Besame Cosmetics along with a heartwarming experience with the delightful Gigi. You will have to stay tuned to the blog to see what all came home with me that fateful visit…

 

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Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman

One thing that I know for certain, my adoration for all things floral came at a very early age. My mom dubbed me a natural green thumb as she always knew where to find me when I was a kid…out in her gardens planting and watering the flowers. Every year I would find new species that I would fall in love with, they are all so beautiful in their own special way. The memory that I will never forget is the anticipation her only rose bush to be in full bloom; it had the most beautiful rich deep pink roses I have ever seen. It should come as no surprise that my love of floral prints has only grown over the last few decades and can easily be seen in my vintage wardrobe collection.

  • Dress – Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman
  • Shoes – B.A.I.T Tessa Wedges in Cornflower Blue
  • Jewelry – Vintage rhinestone bangles

The greatest thing about collecting vintage floral prints, is that there are endless possibilities out there to discover. It is no surprise that the classic rose was very common in the 1950’s. Fashion designers captured their beauty by making them center stage in their designs. Often we will see the same prints being used by different designers, each one utilizing their creativity to make theirs unique.

In recent years, I have come across the Vintage Long Stem Roses print in red and yellow in a variety of styles but they always eluded me as they were much too small in size or WAY over my budget. This past May, I stumbled upon an IG sneak preview photo from Swanee Grace of the most elegant Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress but this time in purple, blue and yellow roses! I was even more excited when I saw the size was my exact measurements but expected a very hefty price tag. Luckily the shop owner posted the exact time it would be listed on Etsy so I was refreshing every 10 seconds in anticipation. Needles to say, I didn’t hesitate when I saw it was withing my budget and sped through the checkout process like a madwoman.

Never before had I seen this stunning colourway and I truly adore it more than the red/yellow version. The Vintage Long Stem Roses Dress by Roy H. Bjorkman is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I didn’t even realize the background colour is a soft powder blue, usually you only see it in white. This definitely made the dress even more unique and extra special. The bodice features gorgeous diamond rhinestones scattered throughout. Miraculously, the dress is in pristine condition…barely worn over the past 6 decades.

When it comes to collecting vintage, the best piece of advice that I can pass along is to be patient. Vintage can be an incredibly frustrating passion at the best of times but those who are patient, often find the most amazing treasures when they least expect it. Do not lose hope…those special treasures will find you when the time is right.

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