Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP
Making the case: After years of chatting with Arnie Santos, my favourite barista at the Richmond-Adelaide Starbucks, he knew me pretty well — so well that, when I had the Advocates’ Society dinner coming up, he knew I needed a dress. And, since he’s a designer by trade, he asked if he could create a custom gown for me. I said yes, and a few weeks later, voila! I had a gorgeous dress that fit like a glove, for less than I would have paid for one off the rack.
Where to find it: Arnaldosantosdesign.com (or talk to Arnie while he’s whipping up your latte).
How much you’ll pay: $400–$1,000, depending on the cut and material.
The extra touch: Arnie lets clients collaborate on the dress, so you get to help choose the colours and fabric — then he’ll have you in to get fitted, so the dress fits perfectly.
This story is from our Fall 2015 issue.
Runway photo by Victoria Simpson. Photo of Monique Jilesen by Ryan Johns.