Runway Fashions

“I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” — Ralph Lauren

Stepping into Runway Fashions shop reminds me of mainland European clothing shops.
At first glance, I couldn’t readily see any items that beckoned me.

But Eun, the owner, remedied that in no time at all.

She showed us her Danish clothing lines, French-made clothing, and her own designs.


The dress, above, is one designed by Eun.  Lauren Vidal is  line from the UK that Runway carries.

Eun studied fashion design in Germany before moving to Canada.


Linda was drawn to this sweater with the geometric buttons.




She continues to design, produce, and sell her own designs alongside unique pieces from European designers, including shoes and accessories.

Runway is located right in the heart of the Inner Harbour walking district, at the rear of the Empress Hotel block.

And the best part?  In addition to Eun helping her clients find items that truly suit them — perhaps pushing the boundaries just the right amount! — the prices are happily affordable!


I’ve already been back for a second must-have item!
Let Eun help you find your “new look” too!

Runway Fashions
702 Douglas Street

Mon – Sat 10 -6, Sun 11 – 6

Mercedes Lane Too

Luxury is the ease of a t-shirt in a very expensive dress.Karl Lagerfeld

No matter how good the piece of clothing looks, it’s got to FEEL good when wearing it — usually for hours on end!
My confident recommendation to find look-good / feel-good pieces are at Mercedes Lane Too on Cook Street.

The storefront is like a siren, beckoning me from down the street!
There are dresses,


tops for leggings,


more dresses,


pants from Up! — made in Canada  — in different colours and patterns and all oh, so flattering!,


and coats.


The owner, Tina Robson, has years of experience sourcing her products and carries varied clothing such as silk and linen items from Italy, for example, but she’s proud to note that about 65% of her wares are made in Canada.

For example, Mode de Vie clothing (left) is made in Canada, as is Gitane (right), below.


Besides the amazing Up! pants, Mercedes Lane Too also offers Canadian-made lines such as Neon Buddha, Mode de Vie and Pretty Woman, among others.

And while it plays only a supporting role, there’s art available too!

Tina doesn’t have an advertising budget — she doesn’t need to!
Every time I’m in her shop, I see women browsing, trying on the clothing, and they range in age from teens to my Grandma! No advertising budget means more economical prices for us! Maybe that’s why I never see anyone leaving the store empty-handed!
(…….or it could be the no-pressure help Tina and her staff offer us………….this is actual customer service!)

I bought these bernie mev shoes two years ago and they’re perfect when it’s wet underfoot, plus they’re the lightest footwear I own! 

There’s also bling and boot toppers,


hats and other accessories.

On this visit, Linda was partial to black-ish choices:


I had to have a shorty sweater and an airy-floaty dress, both in green, on this particular day………..


It’s truly worth a stop at Mercedes Lane Too — a different store with different stuff!
Great, irresistible stuff!


Mercedes Lane Too
325 Cook St, Victoria

Tue – Sat  9:30 – 8, Mon 9:30 – 6, Sun 10 – 6


Needle in the Haystack — European Tailoring & Alterations

“North Americans as a whole need to embrace having clothes altered to their body. I hear it all the time: why do the Europeans always look so good? They have a relationship with their tailor and spend the time and money to make their clothes look their best.”
—  Michael Kors


And so I found my own European tailor in Victoria!

Lilia is always busy.
There’s no shortage of work for one like her who is dedicated to good quality work.

I had a special occasion with the perfect dress, except that the dress needed a few nips and tucks here and there to fit perfectly.  Plus I explained my time constraint.

Lilia told me to put on the dress and she immediately said, “You need to fix this.”
She inserted a few pins and told me to return in an hour.

The dress was perfect!
Truly, Lilia was a magician with that dress.




Lilia sews clothes from scratch besides making excellent alterations.

She learned to sew at a young age in her native Latvia.

Springtime is especially busy with bridal party outfitting, plus grad gowns.

And Lilia is seemingly always smiling, despite the demands on her time.


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Of course, I have returned with more items since my initial visit……..but now I ensure I allow plenty of time for Lilia to work her magic!


Needle in the Haystack — European Tailoring & Alterations
1581 Hillside Avenue, Victoria
(250) 590-1094

Tue – Fri 10 am – 6 pm,  Sat 10 am – 3 pm


Verve Consignment

Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it.  – Yves Saint Laurent

Following a recommendation from a friend who loves to shop well, we visited Verve Consignment.


The shop is very well organized so we were able to easily navigate our way to our particular clothing styles and sizes.

Verve       Verve8

Margot, the owner, knows every item in her shop and helped us find little gems that we might have overlooked.  Here she’s wearing a Vince cashmere sweater and gorgeous Valentino shoes, holding a coveted (by me!) Louis Vuitton bag — close-up on the right.

Verve6      Verve1

Linda chose a perfectly fitted blue dress (of course, blue!) and this sweater — a classic!



I was rather partial to this pair of adorable, casual shoes.


Tip:  On September 24, 2016 Verve is celebrating the one-year anniversary of Margot’s ownership.  She’ll have Greek food, cake, refreshments — and of course, great items on offer!  Can’t miss it!


With new items coming in frequently, from local sources to the Hamptons on the east USA coast, I know I’ll need to return regularly!

Verve Consignment
2013 Government St.

Tues – Sat 10 am – 5 pm

Marmalade Tart Boutique

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”  — Mark Twain

Wander up the main street from the seaside wharf — that’s up Beacon Avenue — and you can’t miss the Marmalade Tart Boutique.
Marmalade Tart Boutique
HAD to check it out………….oh dear, this is MY kind of shop!

Wonderfully unique accessories, including belts, handbags, scarves …………….. ooohh, the scarves! Sourced in India at fair-trade prices and fair-labour practices, these 100% cashmere beauties are one-of-a-kind luxury wearables!

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Marmalade Tart features clothing from Neon Buddha, Yest with its generously long arm and leg proportions,  Chalet, Rock N Karma, Fidelity jeans and shoes too.

Contemporary, unique jewellery………..okay, it was calling to me!

Marmalade Tart Boutique necklace

Besides the bling and the scarves, the item that I recommend to every woman is the Lissette pant.  Yes, the one made in Canada, the one that’s Oprah’s fave!  Lissette pants make every woman look good!  The cut and fit are truly flattering, yet so comfortable.  Really, I should be the poster girl for Lissette!  Love ’em!  Look at them all!
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The low sun hitting all the blingy items caught my eye.  Did I mention, there are belts……..?!

Marmalade Tart Boutique 3

Yes!  Had to have it!


Marmalade Tart Boutique
2506 Beacon Avenue
Sidney, BC
Mon – Sat 10 am – 5:30 pm, Sun 10 am – 5 pm




House of Savoy

“If you wear things you adore, you just look better.”  — Margherita Missoni

Walking into the House of Savoy consignment boutique, immediately our eyes were drawn upwards and all around, as there are eye-catching gowns presented everywhere, even high up on the walls.
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The boutique is well organized and offers good quality and name brand clothing, shoes & boots, jewellery, accessories and even vintage pieces.

Lili had to try these “sensible boots”, nearly brand-new.
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Linda found the perfect fit in a blue coat – and it’s reversible!  Completely unique and gorgeous!

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Great finds at amazing prices!  A definite gem!

House of Savoy
1869 Oak Bay Avenue

Mon – Sat 10 am – 5 pm.