toronto

“Chromaliving”

The Harridge’s Women’s-Wear Store

It seemed like revenge and a return of the repressed all at once when the abandoned Harridge’s department store, formerly home of the classic pump and little black dress, was taken over by more than 150 artists swarming up from the warrens of Queen Street West. They brought with them all the makings of a Home Show at the edge of history: chairs and chesterfields, furniture, lamps, ashtrays, tables, screens, portable boudoirs, paintings and scruffy sculptures for the fallout shelter, entire bathrooms and even confessionals, fantasy rec rooms to suit every taste in rec, wearable metaphors (including a wooden bikini, alta moda fashions whipped up from furriers’ throwaways, and General Idea’s venetian blind frocks), and many gala hats going light years beyond Carmen Miranda.

And these artists brought much stuff for an on-site renovation of the emporium’s Cold War interior: the large murals and

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