I am not sure why, but I have never quite outgrown my fear of Dalhousie street. When I was fifteen, I used to walk down the street with a limp, cross my eyes and stick my tongue out to avoid confrontations or even eye contact with the charismatic crack vendors. (Two kinds of crack: the crack one buys to smoke and crack one can buy, wash and sell again…if you know what I mean). Perhaps my desire for maple syrup products, fresh produce and henna tattoos initially had me making my way into the market but now I have a better reason. I mean, once you get over the smell of spoiled milk and learn the art of refusing to fund transactions that usually result in possession; it’s not that bad. Perhaps things are shaping up around there or maybe the pot of gold at the end of the strung out, grey, and decrepit rainbow is just the glittering incentive to get me where I am going.
The pot is Victoire and damn it’s golden. The first time I entered, trying not to smudge my Holly McNarland inspired dream catcher tat; I instantly fell in love. I kept thinking it was so worth the walk. Going through the doors felt like sneaking into the dressing room of a modern Betty Hofstadt (now Francis, formerly Draper) in the heart of her youth. If the esthetic of the boutique doesn’t instantly grab you, sit you down and talk to you about the birds and the bees then the whimsical, eclectic and stunning collection of jewelry, accessories and clothing will. With a main focus on Canadian designers, the boutique delivers on so many levels and is constantly raising (if not setting) the bar for local, independent shopping. One of my personal favourite brands carried is Roadkill. A cheeky jewelry line designed by Montreal’s Elaine Ho. The line features pieces like dead rabbit silver rings and a variety of stunning antler necklaces. It’s designs like this that give Victoire their edge. Fasten your pin curls and perfect your ruby red pouts because the entire cast of American Apparel, hipsters and trendsetters alike are making the pilgrimage and you should too! Referred to as a “rock n’ roll tea party”, Victoire is always on trend and ridiculously darling. Every gentlewoman in town should be sure to stop by and wet their whistle with all that Victoire has to offer.