With her background in styling and costume design, Nicole Manek knows exactly what works and what doesn’t. Though opening a boutique wasn’t originally in her life plans, when a space on Dundas West popped up, she simply couldn’t say no. Life of Manek offers up goods for the ladies plucked from near and afar, with Manek using her insider status in the film world to suss out goods from movie sets and more.
Filled with vintage items and new items, bold names and no-names, Manek has styled her boutique the same way she approaches a client: head to toe. Currently decking out hosts on HGTV in addition to styling for The Listener, Manek has access to a wealth of sources.
Pieces range from Bonnaroo-ready fringed boots to dead-stock shades from the likes of YSL, Dior and Gucci. Manek also carries jewellery from Brooklyn-based designer Jaclyn Mayer, whose Orly Genger line is gaining momentum thanks to its unique rope-dipped-in-resin pieces.
Below are our top picks from the shop.
1. The swimsuit. Perfectly on-trend, the photo-print swimsuits from Aussie line We Are Handsome will have you well kitted-out for the beach. We like the one-piece starring a leopard ($260).
2. The jeans. While Manek carries the well-loved J Brand, her other line sits at a lower price-point and won’t be spotted as frequently at Trinity Bellwoods. Based in L.A., but hailing from Denmark, land of the eternally stylish, SkarGorn denim has a subtle rocker feel and a wonderfully soft finish ($120).
3. The sequined dress. Don’t be deterred by the unfortunate brand name (G-lish). Designer Gabrielle Hoffman cut her teeth embellishing for Valentino, Roberto Cavalli and Escada before heading out on her own. Our pick is the Kelly green number, featuring a bold tribal-style pattern ($350).
4. The floral blazer. Everyone’s doing the jean, so why not switch it up and do the top? Manek’s vintage version is well-priced at $40.
5. The sheer dress. A cream-coloured vintage ribbon dress — sourced from L.A. — can be layered over a slip-dress for day, or, for those who dare, paired with some bold lingerie for a night on the town ($190).
6. The coat. We fell for a lemon-yellow topper from the ‘60s, featuring stunning pleats at the back and a V detail at the nape of the neck ($195).
Life of Manek, 1504 Dundas St. W., 647-347-2635