Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Vancouver Couture

Vancouver is a city that gets attention for its beautiful scenery, cosmopolitan eateries, and, of course, being the 2010 Winter Olympics host -- but who knew it had amazing shopping? Dear readers, I spent a long weekend with the BF for a holiday getaway that ended up as 80% shopping, 20% everything else (ouch! my wallet is still hurting). It didn't hurt that our hotel, the Hyatt Regency, was located two blocks away from Robson Street -- the premier shopping district for high and low shops all jumbled together (Tiffanys, LV, Hermes, Payless, Roots, Gap, etc). You know you're having a perfect shopping experience when you love everything in the store -- on sight -- and everything fits beautifully? That was so me in Vancouver. Canadian designers must get more love and I intend to delve into that. So who gets to be the beneficiary of this retail run down? You, my dear readers. Here's my favorite Canadian shops (and designers):

Aritiza @ 1110 Robson St. Vancouver

Aritzia, founded in Vancouver, was my favorite shop due to introducing me to unknown Canadian brands I wasn't aware of: Talula Babaton, its house brand (surprisingly top-shelf quality!) and Mackage, a Montreal outerwear brand. It doesn't hurt that it collaborates with artists and plays excellent music inside (Lykke Li, the Ting Tings were in rotation at the store). Lucky me that Aritzia's been branching into the US (*cough* Seattle *cough*). I was in the mood to shop for outwear (as I had none since moving from home). Between selecting Talula Babaton's winter peacoat over Mackage's winter coat, I ended up deciding on:

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It cost me a pretty penny but I figure its worth the design + function investment -- I will at least look sharp in my cold weather gear. Beautiful tailoring from the coat's dramatic details in its oversized collar and buttons to its A-line waist flair. When I came home, I googled Mackage and WHAM! it was like falling in love all over again. Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy are the design duo behind Makage and I love their vision for Mackage's brand: darkly romantic, gothic militarism, and, above all, structured fit. I wanted to take everything from their website home with me but since I don't live in (oh I don't know, Mother Russia) I doubt I could wear them all. I highly recommend checking them out. 

Plenty at 1107 Robson St. Vancouver

Right across from Aritzia is Plenty. Here, it's all about Plenty's in-house brand, Propaganda here. I loved walking in, grabbing a bunch of items, and not recognizing any of the named labels. How unique is that? Trendy, urban, and minimalist sums up Plenty in Vancouver.  Plenty's Propaganda line had a pretty nice peacoat also (in grey charcoal) that I nearly bought (it was more affordable then Aritzia) but, for a first coat, I figure I'd prefer black over gray. 
 It's weird how Seattle and Vancouver have similar climate/weather yet Vancouver's retail shops carried waaaaayyy more winter coat selections over Seattle's. Vancouver's definitely a shopper's delight and I can't wait to go back again. 


Chin said...

I am sooo loving the jacket. Earlier, I thought I'd die if I don't get these Schandras but now I've changed my mind. I'll die if I don't get this jacket. Lol!

devlo said...

Hahaha, I totally get what you mean. I'm more of an accessories rather then clothes lover but the Mackage coat is out of control. It's a must see in person.

_empathy_ said...

OMG! I actually bought this Isa coat too! I loved it when I was trying it, the collar and everything... So, I grabed it. But when I brought it home, my mum was like "why is this thing at the back is so high? What shoes are you gonna wear with it? Why are the pockets made of leather?" So, she decided it didn't worth the money I paid for it, and I had to return it to the store. But I don't know... It wasn't like I was totally in love with it too, after a couple of days especially))) I couldn't get over these leather pockets. Just don't like them at all. Plus a 500$ coat for Vancouver rain? Probably its not worth it for me...

devlo said...

After wearing the Mackage coat for a month in Seattle's damp, drizzly cold...I am very happy that I bought this coat from Aritzia! I don't feel the cold at all when I wear it (and I'm super sensitive to cold being from Florida!). I love the silvery metal buttons and the leather trim on the coats are a nice detail ~ between a traditional style peacoat or the Mackage Isa jacket, I'll choose modern over tradition :)
I feel and look so good in it.