Tag Archives: style

Vancouver’s Best Menswear Boutiques

It’s fascinating to watch a city evolve.

Since returning to the wet, west coast in the fall of 2007, after a several year stint in the artiste/fashionista haven of Montréal, I was pleased to discover some excellent additions to the menswear landscape which had previously been somewhat of a Wasteland de la Snooze.

As others have noted, the cobblestone streets of Gastown have become the de rigeur neighbourhood to hunt for independent designers and labels in the city — although Main Street’s hipsterati run things in their own fixie-fied way — and I wanted to share some of my favourite places to get a fashion fix.

Roden Gray is a tiny, hideaway menswear boutique on Cambie, between Cordova and Water St, that embraces a minimal, slyly avant-garde aesthetic that’s hard to resist. They’re the retail cornerstone for supplying local boys with their regular dose of Wings+Horns wear and they’ve collected an excellent mix of high-end couture from Robert Geller, Comme des Garçons, and Michel Berandi, as well as more accessible price point pieces from the likes of Top Man, Nice Collective, Filson, and Band of Outsiders. The staff is warm, friendly, and knowledgeable — and they’ve got a dedicated clientele (myself included). Read more on Roden Gray’s brands.

Around the corner, on Abbott Street, you can trade your Dayton boots for designer sneakers.

Livestock is one of the city’s top spots for fly kicks. Boasting a highly selective assortment of fresh footwear, tees, hats, hoodies, and a few modest accessories, the boutique knows how best to serve the upscale urbanite who’s still got love for some street swagger. Their apparel selections runs from Nike, Adidas, and Vans to ALife, Fresh Jive, and The Hundreds — and the boutique has been so successful that they’ve expanded to a West 4th location and a sister store in Toronto. Oh, and the Livestock kids are also deeply involved in promoting art and music, the store supports and throws down regular concerts, art openings, and even a few full-on block parties. For more, check the Livestock blog.

One block east there’s more refined menswear goodness to be found on Carrall.

(Funny, I just noticed that each of these stores is in almost exactly the same position — on the west side of the street, in between Cordova and Cambie, and just one block apart — when travelling east from Cambie to Abbott to Carrall.)

Illustrated Example

Illustrated Example was a quiet, dark fireplace of a store that carried an elegant assortment of couture pour les garcons. Stylistically set in a decidedly NYC & European-infused environment, the store stood in stride with contemporary style-savvy fashions and stocked excellent brands including: Maiden Noir, Surface to Air, Maharishi, Acne, Rag & Bone, and Cassette. The pieces were few, though, and exclusivity came at the expense of availability, so don’t expect to see your IE finds around town. It’s sad the store had to close so soon. It will be missed!

Elsewhere in the city there are more menswear gems to be had, but I’ll save those for another post. In the meantime, here’s a preview.

Honourable (Mostly Main St.) Mentions:

Stüssy Vancouver [formerly Boneyards]

Jonathan+Olivia

Eugene Choo

Komakino

Dutil

The Block

ALife

Sharks+Hammers

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The Best ‘Best of’ Lists of 2007

Without further ado, here’s a quick compilation of some of the most interesting ‘Best of 2007′ lists I’ve come across during the frantic media recap of ‘What Was in 07’, before the manic, mad dash to xmas seasonal insanity, and the consequent post-holiday crash into 2008:

  1. Best of 2007 Lists (the definitive meta-list by Fimoculous)
  2. Master List of Online “Best of 2007” Music Lists (a meta-music list by LargeheartedBoy)
  3. Updates to the Master List of Online “Best of 2007” Music Lists (updates to #2 by LargeheartedBoy)
  4. 40 Best Raps of 2007 (top hip-hop tracks by CocaineBlunts)
  5. 15 Best Candies of 2007 (delish sugar treats by CandyAddict)
  6. 50 Best Websites of 2007 (multiple categories list by Time & – oh look – who’s a top news site?)
  7. 30 Best Albums of 2007 (top rated by the critics and aggregated by Metacritic)
  8. 25 Best Careers of 2007 (so choose wisely, my friends, by BizTech)
  9. Most Hated Companies of 2007 (the most widely & heavily criticized, by BloggingStocks)
  10. 100 Best Products of 2007 (because there can never be enough products, a list by PC World)
  11. 22 Best Music Videos (some silly choices by MusicForKidsWhoCan’tReadGood)
  12. 25 Best Books of the Year (fiction, non-fiction and more by Publishers Weekly)
  13. 100 Best Films of 2007 (a mix of new and re-releases by TimesOnline)
  14. 18 Best American Hospitals of 2007 (a incredibly paradoxical list by USNews)
  15. Best Global Brands of 2007 (aka the biggest brands in the world, by Interbrand)
  16. Best of NYC 2007 (best of the Big Apple, by the VillageVoice)
  17. Best Biblical Books of 2007 (a “completely objective” book list by BiblicalFoundations)
  18. America’s Best Restroom of 2007 (congrats to Jungle Jim’s, by ABR)
  19. Best Parks of 2007 (for the adventure seekers, by National Geographic)
  20. Best Industrial Design Products of 2007 (with slick imagery by RedDot)
  21. Top 10 Depression Blogs of 2007 (a useful, if sombre, list by PsychCentral)
  22. 2007 China Best Call Centre (the best operators ‘who will be with you shortly’ by CallCentres)
  23. Top 100 Luxury Blogs of 2007 (an elite assortment by International Listings)
  24. Best of What’s New in 2007 (products, inventions, and gadgetry compiled by PopularScience)
  25. Top 60 Japanese Buzzwords of 2007 (vernacular awesomeness by PinkTentacle)

For additional comments and posts also check out: NowPublic.com

Global Street Style

Paris Legs

There is a fast-developing web movement to reclaim style for the masses by simply illustrating the everyday outfits worn by stylish people from around the globe. In increasing numbers, street style blogs have sprung up in far flung corners of the planet to provide a daily lens into what people are wearing wherever they are. One of the most notable (and celebrated) of these style blogs is The Sartorialist – a well-shot compilation of fashionistas taken by the no longer amateur photographer Scott Schuman. Schuman’s blog offers a taste of aspirant couture looks as sported by men and women in attendance at fashion events, outside of runway shows, or simply strolling the streets of New York, Paris, Milan and beyond.

The Sartorialist has spawned a host of imitators and while some are professional, stylish, and well-shot, others offer little more than collections of poorly framed, low-grade digital snapshots of outfits few would be interested in wearing. Nevertheless, these style-savvy sites – when considered en masse – have created a truly global, virtual lookbook of contemporary street styles that would be difficult to amass in printed form. Just as fashions, styles and looks are constantly in flux, so too do these blogs reflect the very effervescence and mutability of how style is produced. It cannot exist within the confines of fashion rags, celebrity sites, and couture runway shows alone. Style must be actively produced. It is worn and shaped in real time, in daily life, in the street.

Here is a select list of global street style blogs. If you know of others to add, please let me know.

Street Style Sites:

  • Face Hunter (Paris)
  • The Sartorialist (NYC & beyond)
  • Hel Looks (Helsinki)
  • Manila Style (Manila)
  • Mujeres con estilo (Barcelona)
  • Prada and Meatballs (Milan)
  • Still in Berlin (Berlin)
  • Street Fashion Moscow (Moscow)
  • Style Arena (Tokyo)
  • São Paulo Style (Sao Paulo)
  • The Clothes Project (Singapore)
  • Toronto Fashion (Toronto)
  • Visions of Warsaw (Warsaw)
  • Further Reading on Street Style:

    http://fashionminute.blogspot.com – great Montreal site w/ video & photo content

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