About us

We specialize in custom tailoring and dressmaking.  We are consistently voted Best in Toronto as fashion designers, tailors and dressmakers. We create fully bespoke fashion for any occasion.

For MEN we tailor fit suits in beautiful Italian woolens, giving you a modern but timeless elegance. We specialize in the extra touches that make a custom suit very special.  Hidden pockets – embroidered linings, and unique details.

For WOMEN – we can design your custom wedding gown, or your entire wedding party – bridesmaids, groomsmen and flower girls or ring bearers. If you just need the perfect Little Black Dress, we can also do that.  Our team of dressmakers can also hand craft suits and outfits for the career woman who knows what she wants, and can never seem to find it.

We can make anything, and we can fit anyone.  We aim to be  Toronto’s best dressmakers, and our reputation for quality, fit, on-time service and attention to detail is unsurpassed


Years of Experience

You want to trust your custom project to someone with experience.  We have been making clothing for discerning clients for 32 years.  With clients as diverse as The Ritz Carlton, The National Ballet of Canada, The San Francisco Ballet, Singers Jason Derulo, Molly Johnson, Gord Downie as well as countless not-so-ordinary people, we can bring your idea to a spectacular finish.

Advice when you need it

Clients  value the advice we can give on everything from he right cut of a neckline, to the right accessories to the right undergarments for their outfit – we are not just dressmakers, but we are two of Toronto’s most recognised and awarded fashion designers – all part of the standard fantastic service that we offer.

What we do

Call us now for a free consultation.


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Mens Suits / Shirts

Fully bespoke men’s suits from Italian woollens, or any other fabrics.  We can accommodate your style and design requests and execute it flawlessly. Read More…


Womens’ Gowns and Dresses

Custom fit and styled the way you want.  Thousands of fabrics available! Read More…


 Women’s Custom Clothing for Work or Leisure

Looking for the perfect suit?  A way to duplicate your favorite pant?  or maybe a great linen sundress?  All easy – save time by getting them custom made!


Costume Design and Build

We have worked for large and small Theatre, Dance and Athletic organisations, including the National Ballet of Canada, Coleman Lemieux and Compagnie, The San Francisco Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet and the World Champion Synchro Skating Team: Nexxice.

Working from your photos or sketches

We are specialists at creating designs from a photo or sketch – all patterns are created in house to suit your idea and figure.  We  are one of the only companies in Toronto that can create beautiful recreations of dresses from photos or drawings.  See how this works…

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House Calls available

You are a busy person! – Let us come to you.

We can do fittings at your home or office.  Call us for an appointment now

Our Team

Designer Chris Tyrell

Chris Tyrell

Chris has fashion in his blood – his mother was a dressmaker.  Leaving law to pursue fashion was the best decision Chris ever made.  Over 35 years experience creating custom garments.


Jim Searle

Jim is an architect,  and is self taught as a designer and tailor with 32 years experience  custom tailoring for a wide range of clients.

Tired of trolling the shops for the perfect outfit?  Come in today and get it made the way you want.

We can create clothing from photos, sketches, or garments that you already own.



Men’s Wear

Bespoke Tailoring – jackets, pants, and shirts



Custom Gowns – get the perfect dress!

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Women’s Cocktail Dressing

Cocktail,  Gala, Bridesmaids and Prom


Womens Career Wear

Suits, Coats, Day Dresses – Jackets and Pants



Work by Hoax Couture

Kids copy

Custom Children’s Clothing

We can meet your budget


Theatrical Costumes

Our Specialty

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Skating Costumes

Featuring Nexxice



Recent posts

Verified Reviews

All reviews are from verifiable clients – we would be happy to give you references.  In addition to private clients we also do custom designing and dressmaking and costume building for clients such as The National Ballet of Canada, The Ritz Carlton Toronto, Oliver and Bonacini Restaurants, The San Francisco Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet, the Joffery Ballet and BalletMet in Columbus Ohio.


From Facebook:

Alicia Mae ★★★★★

Incredible team! Their ability to design structural modern couture is nothing short of brilliant. Jaw’s dropped at the masterpiece they made for my NYC wedding! Such a breath of fresh air to work with. Thank You!

Evie Adele ★★★★★
This was a truly exceptional experience on all levels. From the interpretation of my vision, to the brilliantly executed and precise final product, I have nothing but the highest regard for this outstanding and talented team. Additionally, they were prompt in returning all messages, strictly on time with each deadline, and the courteous service was impeccable.


Yelp reviews:

The Following review excerpts are from Yelp:

Note:  All yelp reviews are 100% verifiable and references are available

Sheeva J: ★★★★★ “I came to Hoax with a picture as my prom dress inspiration, and Jim brought it to life as perfectly as I could have imagined! “

Kit M: ★★★★★ “My experience with Hoax Couture was incredible from start to finish. I went to them for my custom wedding dress and I can say with confidence that there is no one else in the city of Toronto who could’ve done such a perfect job creating what I dreamed of.”

Holly S.: ★★★★★”I just picked up 4 beautiful custom made linen shirts from Jim and Chris at Hoax Couture … The shirts are timeless and so flawlessly constructed  I’m sure i will still be wearing them when I’m 80.”

Gillian S.: ★★★★★I contacted Jim at Hoax two months before a major event.  I only knew the type of fabric I wanted used for a new ball gown, and nothing more.  Timelines were tight, and expectations were high.  Jim set up a time to meet and we worked beautifully together to design the entire look.  The craftsmanship, quality and beauty of the finished product took my breath away.   It was an incredible pleasure to work with Jim … I look forward to more creations in the years to come!!

Maire L: ★★★★★I brought a picture of ‘the dress’…a very complicated pattern,and they made it up perfectly.   Extremely skillful, great eyes for detail, and welcoming your input …  I never had a moment’s doubt,and they more than fulfilled my expectations.  Not only that,they work very efficiently and they are on time and they are really nice people as well.
I couldn’t recommend them more highly.

Made of Bathroom Tissue!
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Jersey Gown

From NOW Magazine:

Winners – Fashion Designer of the year – 1999, 2001, 2002 (category no longer supported)

FromToronto Life:

From Toronto Life:  “Getting into the store itself feels like and illicit adventure: dial the studio’s number and someone will fetch you from the corner, leading you swiftly down a graffiti- splattered alley, through an unmarked door and up a narrow staircase until you reach a rooftop patio – the perfect setting for your two-on-one consultation with designers Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell.  Some of their recent bespoke confections include show-stoping reversible fox fur coats, Gucci-esque suits, wedding dresses and a slew of party frocks – from $750.”  Toronto Life Stylebook March 13, 2012

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AG Toronto    ★★★★★
“Meticulous, funny, and inviting, Chris and Jim are craftsmen of the highest order. They designed and made a custom 3-piece suit for my wedding which fit like a glove. I was a bit nervous at first but they made the entire experience very relaxing and painless. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for amazing work.”  AG Toronto

Chantel Collado       ★★★★★
loved working with Jim and Chris ! Jim did an amazing job creating my prom dress for my 2015 prom back in June. I went in to meet up with Jim back in April and showed him a picture of what i wanted to design…. he drew the idea in front of me, and exactly how that picture was drawn, was exactly my prom dress turned out !!! i would recommend anyone to work with both Jim or Chris for future dresses if you would like it custom made. My dress fit like a glove and every time id go for a fitting, my dress slowly started to look like my dream dress! I was absolutely thrilled to work with Jim and for the price of my dress, i would work with him again for future special occasions!!!!! Very talented and kind and their studio makes you feel at home !!! thanks again for making my dream dress look perfect on me!!! <3

From www.n49.com:

“If I may, I might suggest that you consider HOAX Couture. My experience with them has been outstanding. It’s a cool place with a very interesting history. Chris & Jim are wonderful, down to earth, attentive, and attitude-free. And the first time I bought a dress from them (I fell in love with it in their window!), I had to do it on a layaway plan–& I was not for a moment made to feel like anything but a respected customer; they were happy to see me so happy when I stepped out of the fitting room looking like a princess. That’s what it’s all about..”  TEENATUNER Toronto


From USA Today:

10BEST Says

Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell design unique clothing for discerning clients that include celebrities and society mavens, as well as people who just prefer to dress with a bit more pizzazz than you find off the rack. One-of-a-kind jackets, gowns, shirts, trousers and skirts for work, gala dinner parties, high school proms, weddings and even everyday wear. If you have a picture, they can make it, but they can also custom design items for you.










Our studio

From Google Street View

Here is a 3d view of the Hoax Couture Studio – in this gorgeous light filled studio you will be personally assisted by one of the two Hoax Couture designers to realise your custom creation. Your appointment is personal and private.

Contact Us


Mon – Sat

10:00AM – 6:00PM



Feel free to email us



515 Queen St. W.

(at Spadina)


Use this convenient form for your questions:

Where to find us - Green symbols are parking lots - NOTE: TOWING STARTS AT 3PM On QUEEN ST.