On Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent — two of Montreal’s trendiest streets — there exists a true girly-girl’s dream; the romantic, vintage-inspired and feminine Boutique 1861.
You cannot help but drag yourself into this boudoir-style shop, especially with its one-of-a-kind clothing, which are all so carefully
displayed on their mannequins. Whether it is the accessories, dresses, skirts or blouses, every item is placed in a particular fashion.
Owner Castle Ho says that since she was a child, she has always adored Victorian decoration, and has been attracted to intricacy, which inspired her to share such elegant and classic creations with others through her shops.
“It was like a dream, I wanted to make these dreams come true, and bring some magic to life,” said Ho. It comes as no surprise that a woman like Ho, with so much class and elegance, would open these two stylized stores.
Upon walking into 1861, you truly feel like you are in woman’s closet in the Victorian era. You could spend hours simply admiring interesting accessory pieces and hand-selected garments. The comfort and design of the store, with its stylish carved loveseats, mirrors and shades of pink and white, all reflect the clothing and accessories in the boutiques. You immediately get the feeling that you are in the Rococo period.
They carry pieces from local and international independent designers such as Arti Gogna, Coccolily, Toronto-based designer Jordan de Ruiter, Pink Martini, Californian label BB Dakota, MINKPINK, Darling from the U.K. and much more.
When searching for clothing and accessories with a vintage touch, the goal of 1861 is to make sure that customers always find the most affordable and unique items for their clients. They make a constant effort to satisfy their customers and ensure they will leave with something special, without having to worry about breaking the bank. Every piece in this store is so magnificent and chic, priced between $50 to $250.
Ho and sales associate Sophia Trozzo insist that building a relationship with their customers, and ensuring clients leave the store with an outfit in which they feel confident is the most rewarding part of their job.
“Our clients are mostly women that love and appreciate fashion, and enjoy being a woman,” Ho said.
The glamorous store has many loyal, and fashion-savvy customers, along with many new clients who are lured into the boutique by their breathtaking and out-of-the-ordinary window display.
“My favourite part would be playing dress-up with the clients,” explained Ho. “I had always known that I would not stop loving playing dress-up since my first Barbie doll.”
1861 has exclusive and retro-chic designs to suit every woman out there, from more sophisticated pieces to old-world glamour.
1861 is located on Ste-Catherine W. St. and 3670 St-Laurent Blvd.