Two hours, five purchases, a whole lot of money...

No sooner had I posted my blog entry about not shopping with two thirds of the month gone then I went shopping — in a big way. I went to Any Direct Flight, a carefully curated boutique on Queen Street East with mostly Canadian and European labels, and for nearly two hours, I tried on everything I liked – from the front of the store, not the sale racks. I tried not to pay attention to the prices (though to be honest I couldn’t bring myself to try on anything over $250; I’m just not there yet).

"Waiting for Something" dress by Aventure des Toiles

I’ve bought a few items here before — a Nougat dress, a ça va de soi sweater (on sale) — and they’ve achieved most-worn status in my wardrobe, so I knew going in that while the clothes at Any Direct Flight aren’t cheap, they really earn their keep. 

Still, I never imagined that I’d be able to go in and buy anything — really, everything — that I loved, but that’s what I did. 

And I loved a lot of stuff, starting with this unbelievable dress by Paris label Aventure des Toiles. ("Art à Porter" is their motto.) (See all my purchases here.)

The label buys rights to artworks and turns them into textiles; my dress is based on the painting “Waiting for Something” by Jérome Bauduin. Even as red dresses go, it’s exceptionally loud and eye-catching and I’m a little nervous about wearing it. (Can I even wear it to the office?) But I couldn’t resist it; the dress reminds me of glamorous/seedy city nights, Last Days of Disco, cocktail bars and driving around in New York City.

On a less daring front, a black tunic by Canadian designer Melissa Nepton appealed to me immediately. It looks like something Lady Mary might wear on Downton Abbey. I bought a sleeveless top designed by Any Direct Flight’s owner, Margot Allin, won over by the burnt-orange colour and unusual neckline. 

Margot herself brought me a summery dress – again, by her own label – from the sale rack.  With a ruffled hemline and silky, dreamy pattern, it’s more hippie and floaty than the tailored clothes I usually wear, but I’m trying to break out of my usual habits. And…I’m still a sucker for 50% off. Finally, I bought a necklace by Canadian label Liana Marie. I love the shape — it's feminine, but has the footprint of a man’s tie.

I felt a little sick and shaky as I paid my bill. My haul couldn’t be more different from the clothes I usually buy. There are no “staples” — no grey cardigans or black trousers that go with everything. These are statement clothes. So, it’s time to wear them and start making a statement.