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HBC Goes From There…to Here

Above, a model wears an original HBC point blanket coat.

Above, Comrags’ designer Joyce Gunhouse poses with their sculptural re-creation.

Above, Jeremy Laing took a modern approach with a cinched waistline on an A-line cut.

Above, Smythe’s take on the HBC point blanket coat.

If you felt a slight breeze in the downtown air last night, it could have been a new breath of life blowing across the floor of the Queen Street Bay store. The retailer is again making great use of their past with the launch of the Hudson’s Bay Company collection, 120 deliciously Canadian items including their classic point blankets, coats and scarves along with everything from boxed maple sugar cubes to scented candles, hand-knit sweaters to made-to-order canoes.

Ten Canadian fashion designers were hand-picked to create one-of-a-kind coats using a Hudson’s Bay Company Point Blanket in the colour of their choice. The participating designers include Comrags, Erdem, Harricana, Jeremy Laing, Klaxon Howl, Krane, Lida Baday, Pink Tartan, Smythe and Todd Lynn. The showpiece coats were on display for the fashion VIP crowd last night and will be part of a national exhibition, as well as a feature installation in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

The iconic stature of HBC’s point blanket came up in conversation frequently throughout the short launch party. The coats were a huge hit, but we think the entire collection has legs to move beyond 2009. Stylist George Antonopoulos shared an interesting thought on its future. “This is our Burberry. [This collection] needs someone to take the helm, to come and lead as head designer of…well, the House of Hudson Bay.”

We can dig that. How long ’til we see the House of Hudson Bay at LG Fashion Week? Not long, we hope! Not long.