A new store called Litchfield is set to open later this afternoon at 38 Water Street in Gastown. Earlier today, the very personable owner, Jonathon Litchfield (above, right), unlocked the doors so I could take a quick peek while he and his boyfriend, Philip Turley (above, left), continued to stock the shelves, sweep up, and generally prep the space for its first customers.
Litchfield, it turns out, is the former President of Martha Sturdy’s namesake company, Sturdy (a fact that wasn’t volunteered as a boast, but rather discovered via Google). He took possession of the long, high-ceilinged rectangular space – which housed the Ishara boutique for some five years – on October 1st. It’s been a pretty quick turnaround.
The eponymous shop is geared towards men, particularly – I think – those who dig high quality projections of clean-cut masculinity. Expect everything from Juniper Ridge’s “Trail Crew” soaps and Burroughs Beard Oil to titanium camp cups and wood-handled Opinel folding knives. “It’s a concept store,” Litchfield says. “It was inspired by my family and how we lived when we were growing up.”
That makes sense. Jonathon is the oldest of five kids who were raised in a small city outside Osaka. The Japanese aesthetic/influence comes across loud and clear throughout the store. “We like well-crafted things that are made by nice people.” he said while waving at the stock around him. “Nothing is just decorative. Everything is as beautiful as it is useful.” This is well-evidenced by all the axes (made by Litchfield’s own brother), slingshots, bold ceramics, and so on. It ain’t just pretty.
It’s a precisely curated shop; I suppose a sort of retail expression of Litchfield’s own self. I don’t know him from Adam, but I suspect the shop’s tag line – “How We Live” – is likely super apt.
Check it out and say hi for us. The hours of operation aren’t firm yet, but it’ll probably be 10am to 6pm or 7pm.
If you’ve ever walked through the atrium from Water Street to Blood Alley in Gastown you’ve probably been a little seduced by Neighbour, the sweet-looking men’s clothing shop next to Boneta. The good folks at the brand new website Make Directory just directed us to a video they made that profiles the beautiful store and the tastes of its charming owner, Saager Dilawri. Give it a twirl.
by Robyn Yager | Menswear fashion label, Wings + Horns, opened their first retail space on November 1st in the industrial nook of West 5th Avenue. It’s a modern, minimalist looker of polished concrete, 100-year-old reclaimed fir, metal detailing and glass.
In addition to showcasing the W+H goods, it serves as a concept space for local line Reigning Champ. Right now, a pair of signed giclee prints shot specifically for the shop by Vancouver photographer Colin Adair hang as part of a dsptch collaboration that launches later this month (the 36” x 24” prints are available for purchase either framed or unframed in an edition of five).
Wings + Horns is a brand that epitomizes West Coast men’s fashion. Its clothes can be found in several shops around Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal, as well as in the US, Korea, Japan, London, and Switzerland. Founded in 2004, the line blends Canadian and Japanese fashion elements with clean, crisp results. The Fall/Winter 2013 collection was inspired by the 1950′s modernist youth movement in London with outerwear, tees, shirts, vests, knit sweaters, and trousers in customized knits, textured wools and tartans all coming together in classic style with a utilitarian edge.
Check it out at 133 West 5th Avenue between Manitoba and Columbia.
by Robyn Yager | Do you ever find yourself standing in front of your closet, staring at clothes that seldom make the rotation? Do they haunt you because you know you have the need to get rid of them, but you just can’t find it in your heart (or your wallet) to simply give them away or donate them? Have you had previous problems with consignment shops, returning to the store only to find that only a portion of your items have sold and the gamble you took on lugging all of your old items in feels barely worth it? Well, we have found a store for you that can cure all of the above concerns.
Jigme Nehring is the founder of the new Mine & Yours Co., a carefully curated women’s resale shop (not to be confused with a consignment store) located at 1060 Hornby Street. What sets it apart from other stores is that they offer 30% up-front in cash on your items.
After spending the summer collecting inventory, they opened just a few weeks ago. Pieces in their current collection range from low-end to high-end (ie. from Topshop to Chanel). In addition to offering an extraordinary assortment of garments, they also get the community involved creating and fostering relationships with Vancouver’s talented stylists, bloggers, and local celebrities.
The Mine & Yours team is made up of three extremely smart and stylish women – Jigme Nehring (founder), Joanna Chaffin (buyer), Courtney Watkins (partner) – and each of them bring a broad knowledge of art, fashion, and business to the table. Check out the shop for some super nice wares that have been edited and pared down to only the best of the best. The prices are friendly, too, plus buying preloved and knowing you can swap it out later for something different is motivation in itself.
“We don’t really have any criteria when we take clothes from people, but of course we like things to be on-trend and in season,” says Chaffin. ”We also encourage people to come in with an accumulation of clothing, as opposed to one or two things. That way, as the seller, you get your money’s worth.”
The shop is open Tuesday to Sunday, 11-7pm.
Vancouver designer Stephanie Schneider works with waxed cotton and leather. The minimalist style and quality workmanship of her line, Glasnost, is timeless and strong and totally built to last. “Inspired by necessity, and designed to be practical and functional”, Glasnost coats, aprons, back packs and wallets are handmade in a little East Van studio. Scout took a short tour of the Glasnost workspace this week and immediately fell for a navy waxed cotton Parachute coat ($400), a small and simple snap wallet ($50), and a new line of Roll Top Backpacks ($225). Because Stephanie makes everything by hand, batches are small and get snapped up quickly. If you’re interested in checking Glasnost out, make a stop in to see Stephanie at Circle Craft this weekend or visit her at Make It at the end of the month.
by Robyn Yager | If you don’t have a trusty fall coat by now, have no fear – there’s still plenty of time and places to find one. Sourced from some of the best boutiques and shops around town here is an all-encompassing list of must have outerwear for the season. This list features coats all across the spectrum, from the trench coat to the leather jacket as well as a few more unusual pieces in between to keep you dry, toasty, and looking awesome.
1. Coloured Statement Jacket | Pink is having an unusual moment in this season’s fashions. And not just any pink. We’re talking about the pale blush variety that we’re more likely to associate with early spring. In a sea of dark colours that we’re prone to see walking the streets of Vancouver this time of year, what better way to stand out than to wear something less solemn? This Maison Scotch wool throw coat found over at Cordova’s Today You Are Special is the perfect piece to pull this trend off. The shape is reminiscent of those large, over-sized felt jackets Rei Kawakubo designed for Commes Des Garcons, but they’re more approachable. The lovely peach pink colour is on trend, but it holds some warmer tones, which makes it a little more appropriate for fall. It’s also the perfect length with exaggerated shoulders so you can wear it over layers and still look graceful.
2. The Parka | A Canadian classic, this jacket is not for the faint of heart. It will always keep you warm. People turn to it when all else fails and your patience with trying to layer and still look great has diminished. Thankfully, all style doesn’t have to go out the window when choosing to wear a parka – there are lots of great looking options that will make you feel like you’re living in a sleeping bag without looking like you are. Still Life on Main Street has really great options with brands like Canada Cross, Ganni, and Fjall Raven. I love this Canada Cross Miramichi parka with its contrasted fabric detailing on the sleeves and hood. It’s a puffy jacket without being too much of a puffy jacket (due to the cargo jacket-like front). It also gives off the mild impression of a Soviet spy, which is dead sexy. Still Life also carries parkas for men like this beige and black Dawson jacket (also from Canada Cross), which is similar to a standard down jacket but with more structure and sophistication. Feel free to wear this type of jacket over anything. If it’s really that cold, no one will judge you!
3. Boyfriend Jacket | Men can officially stop worrying about us sneakily (or not so sneakily) “borrowing” their cozy outerwear. Since the inception of “boyfriend-style”, this look has been available in nearly everything from button-up shirts and jeans to even last summer’s loose-fitting oversized shorts. For this season, we’re coveting the “boyfriend jacket”. Its allure is its casual quality. It can be worn with everything. It suits an everyday look or can be thrown over something more formal. The effect is chic insouciance, only heavy on the warmth. You can find some great pieces at Gravity Pope, particularly the Chalayan wool-blend, thigh-length coat. The trick with such exaggerated outerwear is to pair it with something slender and sleek on the bottom like slim fitting pants with a minimal boot.
4. Trench Coat | Such a classic piece! The trench coat is often advertised in the spring, but it’s a coat that can be worn year round. What’s tricky about the trench is the warmth that it typically provides. Generally, they are made with a lighter fabric which is great for those warmer rainy months. However, you can find ones in heavier fabric that lets the wearer indulge in this classic shape for both spring and fall. A perfect example is this wool-blend trench in a gorgeous beige colour by Steven Alan at Oliver & Lilly’s. It’s a hybrid of trench coat and classic camel coat. Wear it over a pencil skirt and a white button-up with a pair of classic black pumps. Alternatively, try it with a pair of wide-legged denim pants and some Converse All-Stars.
5. The Varsity Jacket | The varsity jacket is for someone who enjoys a more casual style, doesn’t mind layering up, and has an appreciation for retro looks. It’s an iconic piece associated with high school athletics. The style has come back around but has been tweaked and updated for a more modern look, yet it’s still highly reminiscent of the original. For the guys, Board of Trade offers this cool varsity jacket by Mark McNairy. It’s modern yet vintage and an all-around great option in terms of casual outerwear. The piece uses the classic fabrics of tweed on the body and suede on the sleeves, yet the structure still remains largely inspired by sportswear. Ladies: see “boyfriend jacket”.
6. Camo Jacket | The camo jacket is something that never seems to go out of style. We thought it would back in the early 2000′s, but it has yet to leave our minds or our closets. The camouflage print offers a unique pattern and can even be considered a neutral (like a leopard print). According to Leighann Boquist of Oliver & Lilly’s, “you either love it or you hate it”. We’re pretty much loving it. When worn over a heavy knit sweater with a pair of jeans, the look is complete for a day grabbing coffee and heading to and from work. On the other hand, when paired with a little dress and tights, it dresses down the outfit making it appropriate to go from place to place, like a style passport. Check out Oliver & Lilly’s new location right next to Beaucoup Bakery for this fun women’s APC Army Jacket, as well as Gravity Pope for this Maison Kitsune option for men.
7. Rain Jacket | Everyone needs a good rain jacket in Vancouver. Unfortunately, few fit the style bill. In fact, rain jackets are notorious for compromising aesthetic for function. Finding something that can perform well under wet conditions and still look great should be a no-brainer, and it is with Dace. The fashion brand is a favourite in the city as the line is both designed and manufactured locally plus it’s the perfect expression of West Coast style. This Thomas waxed cotton rain coat is perfect for wearing over a cable knit sweater and jeans on the dampest of days. It comes in three colours, but our favourite is this deep green.
8. Leather Jacket | The leather jacket is a staple in the fall closet and it’s the most bad-ass of all your outerwear options. It typically alludes to motorcycles, rock and roll, and rebellion, but it can also keep you super cozy. Mackage is Canada’s ground zero for the ultimate leather jacket. It has become one of the most prestigious outerwear brands in North America. Based in Montreal and New York, the company prides itself on creating pieces that are sexy, modern, and chic. Blubird on Alberni carries a variety by the label, from the classic leather motorcycle jacket in black to pieces that are more along unconventional lines. A personal favourite is this bright orange number with shearling lapel. The colour is spot on for fall, plus it adds some much needed colour in a cold weather wardrobe that usually leans towards darker hues. Although the colour is a bit tricky to pull off, the shearling lapel tones down its intensity. Wear it with dark denim, a basic white t-shirt and a pair of sneakers and you have the perfect weekend outfit.
9. The Fancy Blazer | Sometimes you just need that stand-out jacket that will keep you warm indoors when heavy outerwear is just too much. Consider an embellished blazer with a metallic pattern. Metallic fabrics are back this holiday season and have been seen in dresses, trousers, and shoes (even make-up). What better way to incorporate the trend into your wardrobe than in a fine smoking jacket by Canadian label Smythe? This gorgeous metallic jacket with velvet lapel is the perfect piece to layer over your party dress or used to take a day outfit into the night. Although it’s not likely to keep you warm walking around town, it’s light enough to be worn underneath at least a few of the options listed above. This one is purely for looks and it’s available atBlubird.
10. The Unconventional Jacket | Aside from all the fall trends of this season, one way to express your style through outerwear is to completely throw all popular styles out the window and try something unusual. Capes, for example, are fantastic pieces to have in one’s wardrobe. They are old-fashioned, beautiful, and elegant, plus they allow for more movement than a traditional jacket. Board of Trade carries their take on the cape, but this one by A Kind Of Guise incorporates some athleticism into the design. The German brand focuses on providing and manufacturing products that are “long-lasting with original ideas and great quality”. Their Cape Cool jacket is a double-faced navy blue wool garment inspired by the cape but with the addition of a high-rise collar, zipper closures and three-quarter length sleeves that make it a bit more contemporary while maintaining the traditional silhouette. Wear this over a neutral coloured thermal and a pair of black denim pants finished with your comfiest pair of durable boots.
The GOODS from Cavalier
Vancouver, BC | Morgan Carrier and Shira Laye are the couple behind the LACAR label. Shira studied jewellery in NYC in 2007 and has since been producing work out of Vancouver. Shira’s motto for her jewellery has always been “my jewellery will make you cry”, but what was really making her cry was supplying the demand for her personal collection. So, she did the most logical thing…recruited her boyfriend Morgan – a theatre and film designer and soon-to-be, in-studio labourer. After more than a year of sanding and polishing his fingers to the bone, Morgan began contributing his creative input to the designs. The couple decided to team up. LACAR–a mixing of their surnames–was born. LACAR draws inspiration from modern design with a look to the great jewelry eras of the past. From the dark side of Victorian mourning jewellery to the architectural shapes of art deco, LACAR upholds fine jewellery traditions infused with wearable street style, creating piece so desirable your boyfriend will be jealous. Learn more about the collection and the charity Shira and Morgan have chosen to support after the jump… Read more
We visited the first ever retail location of Lifetime Collective at 4386 Main St. yesterday with company founders Reid Stewart and Trevor Fleming. The new 800 sqft. shop – formerly Abe’s Furniture – will showcase ‘Lifetime Collective Men’s’ and ‘Uniform Standard by Lifetime’ Holiday 2013 collections, a selection from their ‘Lifetime Collective Women’s’ Fall/Winter 2013 line, along with a curated selection of magazines, books and housewares (including a ceramic mug collaboration by local Lindsey Hampton). The address will also house the company’s head office.
On opening night (tonight), the space – aka “Little Mountain Workshop” – will see cedar planters given life by our good friends at Victory Gardens, flanking window displays showcasing new wares, a modular feature wall (engineered by Trevor), mural works by Mark Warren Jacques, a photography installation by Jennilee Marigomen, a live musical performance by Reuben Bullock, and good times galore.
The brand, which has been in existence since 2002, started off – in a basement suite – as a collaborative group of artists and friends designing t-shirts for Vancouver’s skateboarding and snowboarding scenes. Today, they design clothes from head to toe for men and women around the world, all while maintaining the same collaborative ethos that drove them to where they are today. “We always wanted to have a shop but the circumstances never permitted,” says Stewart, who was also happy to show us (and share) lovely bottles of Lifetime’s collaboration with Tofino Brewing Company (label by Mark Warren Jacques).
Considering Lifetime’s success, they could have opened just about anywhere, so it’s great to see them right in their own wheelhouse, in a neighbourhood that several of their collaborators call home.
Opening hours will be 11am to 7pm, Monday to Saturday, and Sunday 12-5pm. We wish them well.
The GOODS from Still Life For Him & For Her
Vancouver, BC | Still Life For Him & For Her – the newly-opened boutique at 2315 Main Street – is looking for an experienced, full-time Assistant Manager. All interested parties are invited to forward their resumes (with a cover letter) to shop [@] stilllifeboutique.com. Candidates should have the following: a minimum of 1-3 years retail fashion management experience; a strong background in sales; experience in visual merchandising; proficiency in MacOS & Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.); and a passion for product knowledge and exemplary customer service. Learn more about this position after the jump… Read more
I saw a blanket at Old Faithful today. It came from The Woolen Mill on the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota, which for some reason made me think of this Will Ferrell beer commercial. I don’t know if it was Robyn’s last article about tartans or Michelle’s gallery of this morning’s fog that did it. Either way, I want it
$159 | 320 West Cordova St. | Vancouver, BC | 778-327-9376 | www.oldfaithfulshop.com
by Robyn Yager | In Canada, plaid has long run especially rampant in Fall, but it’s also making a high fashion turn this season (see Hedi Slimane, Dries Van Noten, Stella McCartney, Celine, et al). As a “look”, it has traditionally been associated with lumberjacks, bros, Judd Nelson and Jordan Catalano, but it has roots that run much deeper than any contemporary trend or champion. Its origins are actually wrapped up in identity politics and fierce (and not so fierce) rebellions.
By definition, a “plaid” (from the Gaelic: “blanket”) is a garment worn as a singular piece of tartan fabric around the waist with one end tossed over the shoulder and fastened at the front. In North America, the descriptor is used interchangeably with “tartan” in reference to particular textile patterns. The word “tartan” is thought to come from the French word “tiretain” (from the verb tirer – “to draw”). The plaids/tartans that we’re familiar today consist “of cross horizontal and vertical bands in two or more colours in woven cloth”.
Tartans can be found in many cultures across the globe, but in Scotland, their specific colours and patterns represent clans, sects, families, and institutions. They were such a part of Highland identity that the English banned them as part of their strategy to bring the Scottish clans under their rule. The tartan was actually made illegal for an entire generation (1746-1982) via the infamous Dress Act. In the modern era, they are used to differentiate events, governing bodies, military groups, and so on, evoking pride and a sense of belonging.
Plaid and Canada are of course very close friends. Like it or not, from Bob and Doug Mackenzie to Don Cherry’s awful suits, the pattern is entrenched in our DNA, much like the toque. Canada even has an official tartan, as do each and every province (you can find those here).
In today’s fashions, tartan has become commonplace, usually in the form of button-up shirts, pants, skirts, or accessories (hello Burberry), but it first re-emerged as an expression of personal style in the rebellious and very anti-fashion punk subculture of the 1970′s, when the Royal Stewart tartan was worn in ripped shreds – a figurative middle finger to the civility of high British society. Vivienne Westwood is largely symbolic of this movement and has been incorporating tartans (as well as safety pins and bondage gear) into her designs since the beginning of punk. The pattern simmered in the 1980′s, particularly in film, alternating from prep (Sixteen Candles) to rebel (The Breakfast Club), before Marc Jacobs brought it back to the high-fashion forefront in 1992. He was no doubt inspired by the Pacific Northwest’s grunge movement, sending Doc Martens, flannels, and thermals down the runway. And so it seems that plaid will always says something about identity, and because of that it is one of those fashion facets that will always return with new meaning and something new to say.
Finding plaid in the city this time of year is easy. Walk down any fashion-forward, boutique-heavy street in Vancouver and you’re likely to cross a window display featuring the pattern in some form or another. For really great selections of plaids and flannels, check out Community Thrift & Vintage on Cordova for men and the Frock Shoppe on Carrall for women. Who knows, maybe one of the shirts you find belonged to a legitimate Canadian lumberjack at some point, with his best girl at his side…
by Robyn Yager | Tuesday night’s Young Oak + Park show at Eco Fashion Week opened with a stunning model whose hair was set in a high pseudo-French twist with long bangs pinned to the side. Her lips were painted bright red – head to toe old Hollywood mixed with femme fatale – and her sleeveless light grey double-breasted jacket was something Lauren Bacall would wear while strolling alongside Bogey after a day of shooting the next film noir. The outfit was paired with a black mid-thigh skirt and a pair of black opaque knee high stockings by Park. Oh, and black pumps. Wow! This outfit was the perfect way to start off another show at Vancouver’s 7th annual Eco-Fashion Week.
Next was a gorgeous over-sized wool houndstooth jacket with leather detailing on the lapel. Its three-quarter length sleeves allowed gave it elegance while the enormous pockets looked perfect for warming cold hands. Worn with a pair of white tights, the look was young (consistent throughout the collection), evoking something of a childish quality that was offset by the maturity (even masculinity) of the heavy jacket. Hitting just around mid-thigh, the jacket would be ideal on a cold winter’s night (no bulky layers).
I also loved the luxurious black velvet outfits that ranged from jumpsuits to cocktail dresses. Their billowing sleeves – some lace, others sequin – made me long for those dark days of December when holiday/cocktail parties dot the calendar. The pieces were demure but with just the right amount of sexy, the styling allowing for slivers skin by way of crop tops or a deep scoop neck in the back. Each was fitted to flatter.
As the last of the velvet outfits made their way down the runway, a battery of shine and glitter took their place, starting with a metallic gold sleeveless a-line minidress with an empire waist. A shimmering gold shift dress followed with an Art Deco-inspired pattern and tassel falling beneath the bust. It was a dress that the Daisy Buchanans of the world would desire, revealing Tammy’s inclination towards the classics – all simplicity with touches of glamour. Sequins travelled down the next three dresses where one black shift with sheer overlay on the skirt was embellished with a burst of gold and black sparkle at the neck that extended down in vertical lines like the tail ends of falling fireworks.
I’m not sure if the outfits were inspired by the Jazz Age (a style shockingly not yet tired by this year’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby) or if it was just a case of Tammy’s immense assortment of collected vintage coming from that era, but one thing was very clear: her ability to reinvent old clothes by incorporating traditionally glamorous materials was enough to make one want to cover up, slather on the best red lipstick, adorn cold shoulders with fur (or faux) and fantasize about being in the company of Fitzgerald and Hemingway.
The show ended with a white sequinned dress that could only be described as exquisite. The top of the dress was vertically beaded, the effect gradually dissipating down the length of the skirt in lines that dropped off the long skirt in clusters. Paired with flats (a charming complement to the dress’ ankle length), it conjured visions of Marlene Dietrich or Lilian Gish. That dress – moving wispily down the runway – was the perfect last look.
STILL LIFE Vancouver
2315 Main St. | Vancouver, BC | V5T 3C9 | 604-876-5659
STILL LIFE For Him
551 Johnson St. | Victoria, BC | V8W 1M2 | 250-386-5655
STILL LIFE For Her
550 Johnson St. | Victoria, BC | V8W 1M3 | 250-386-5658
Matt Jensen – Owner
Kim Jensen – Owner
Alex Chichak – Vancouver Manager
Jordan Stout – Media
Everyone can be emailed at: shop [at] stilllifeboutique.com
About Still Life
Still Life opened the doors to retail fashion on Victoria, BC’s historic Johnson Street in 1984. Offering locals and tourists a wide variety of vintage and modern fashion for more than two decades, Matt & Kim Jensen took ownership in 2007 breathing new life into the iconic business now nestled amongst a growing community of locally-owned retail shops.
Upon taking over the business Matt, an expert woodworker from Vancouver and Kim, a former product developer for a major retail fashion chain began work on renovations at 551 Johnson Street. What became of the original location was now Matt & Kim’s vision of the new Still Life, filled with quality modern retail brands from smaller, international fashion labels.
In the summer of 2011 the newlywed Matt & Kim expanded their reach, opening the beautiful, new Still Life For Her at 550 Johnson Street, directly across the street from the original Still Life, freshly rebranded as Still Life For Him.
Two short years later, in the summer of 2013, Still Life For Him & For Her opened up a brand new location, just blocks from where Matt & Kim first met in beautiful Vancouver, BC at 2315 Main Street.
With thirty years in business serving the needs of the fashion savvy of Victoria, and now Vancouver, the Still Life brand has never looked better. Continually striving for the absolute best in customer service, brand individuality and quality retail fashion styles from around the globe, Still Life For Him & For Her stand tall as a testament to hard work and quality goods.