An Affordable Luxury Though the boutique along Queen West retails neither items detailed in its name, Champagne & Cupcakes does sell affordable luxuries. Hitting the Toronto fashion scene in the spring of 2008, the shop showcases frocks for the girl’s girl at under $200 an item. Champagne & Cupcakes is operated by designer Caroline Lim (of Kity Clothing), who espied a neglected market niche of pretty dresses that are both original and inexpensive. Geared toward women of all ages, Lim concocts and creates the whole dress line from her studio in the store’s basement. And if you desire something not on the racks, Lim can customize an existing outfit (changing fabric and colour for a mere $40 extra) or design a whole new dress based on the client’s needs, starting at $300.
The Whole Gamut of Style The boutique offers a sleek space of whitewashed walls, over-sized mirrors, a wall of colourful lingerie, jewelry by Foxy Originals, and a table full of “cupcake” bubble bath bombs by Open Sundaes that look good enough to eat. Racks of dresses take the cake, however, and Lim adds new designs every couple of weeks (ensuring there’s always something original to don). Styles range from professional chic (like the herrringbone tailored frock, dubbed “Ms Mad Men), just plain pretty (pleated and embroidered taffeta), showy (disco-esque gold jersey dress), simple (strapless in silver paisley), edgy (sand floral printed kimono wrap), and fun (jersey dress with one shoulder ruffle).