One of us…one of us! I LOVE all things Playdead Cult – fashion, furniture, art – all done by artist & musician Stu Andrenelli who I’ve known for many years since buying one of his original paintings right off the wall of the old Shanghai Cowgirl diner on Queen Street W back when the neighbourhood was still groovy and the hipsters were still….well, hip.
Since then, I’ve added numerous pieces to my collection of original edgy art and watched Playdead Cult grow from a niche fashion and art boutique into a thriving design business, bringing a real sense of edgy cool to Toronto’s indie culture. Stu (pictured below) is also an accomplished musician – he’s the drummer of Toronto alt. rock band A Primitive Evolution (A.P.E.).
Playdead Cult was originally headquartered in a vintage auto body shop near Queen & Dufferin where Stu and then-partner Bean created art and fashion designs using the Playdead Cult logo/brand as the key element. Playdead then moved into a Kensington Market store where they built a loyal following among the artsy-fartsy market set, as well as attracting numerous recording artists and TV personalities such as George Stroumboulopoulos who is frequently seen sporting a Playdead Cult t-shirt.
Last year, Stu decided to bring Playdead Cult back to Queen West and found a great (and much larger) store at 1696 Queen West, just East of Roncesvalles, and after a grand opening party, has steadily been building an even more fascinating, engaging and intriguing identity….as soon as I walked in today I felt at home in this playful pandora’s box of a store/gallery surrounded by a riot of art, clothing, re-purposed furniture, toys, nic-nacs and even customized guitars. Check it out…..
One of my favourite art groupings are these insane customized Playdead Barbie heads (below) – d’you remember back in the80’s when little girls would style Barbie’s hair on these things? Yikes.
Speaking of hair do’s….Playdead Cult also has a very comfortable vintage shampoo chair and cut’n’style work station on-site (below) for any last minute ‘dos, too.
Stu has recently designed and decorated a local hair salon and diner so he’s now set to give Colin & Justin a run for their decorating dollars!!
Playdead Cult offers so many unique art pieces – great furnishings for your loft, condo or mum’s basement! Look at this sexy coffee table (below) which started out life as a old fashioned luggage trolley – Stu refinished and polished it up and made it into something a little less “in yer face” for the more conservative buyer. The skulls and stripes kerchief makes a great doily, dontcha think?
I just had to pick up one of Stu’s miniatures (pictured below) to add to my collection – it’s the middle heart & skulls on the bottom row, and it’s now hanging happily on my wall at home.
Big thank you to Stu and his colleague, Brett (pictured below L to R) who showed me around the new store. I suggest you allow yourself at least an hour to go thru all the shelves, looking at every little treasure in every nook and cranny. Check every inch of wall space for the unusual original artwork and definitely go thru the clothing racks
Playdead Cult Boutique & Gallery
Clothing, art and events for the black collar worker!
1696 Queen St West