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.

Online Shopping is Fun & Festive

Aria Boutique

Aria Boutique is a happy discovery for any online shopper.

Where else can you find Mackage’s Trixie coat, Fluevog’s Listen Audrey black patent pump or Comrags’ Ripper shirt? Aria Boutique has a sweet selection of Canadian and international labels.

Its CLUB RED membership program is perfect for a frequent online shopper who wants deep discounts and opportunities to win merchandise. For $20 a month a CLUB RED membership makes you eligible for generous giveaways ($1,500 in prizes awarded so far), valuable discounts through its 48 hour sales and invitations to private events only for CLUB RED members.

This holiday season why not treat yourself to a year’s worth of savings? Sign up for a one year subscription and receive an instant $50 gift certificate to use at any time on regular priced items (reducing your cost of membership to $190.00).

Congratulations to @melissabernais from Waterloo, Ontario who won a three month introductory
CLUB RED membership in our “Follow and Retweet to Win” contest on Twitter!

UNBOUND in London

Thursday the F-list skipped town to guest judge UNBOUND, a student fashion competition at Fanshawe College, Brandon R. Dwyer’s alma mater (photo, with Fanshawe faculty Loren Carriere). We hopped a train to London with some great company – one half of the Comrags label, Joyce Gunhouse, National Post fashion writer Nathalie Atkinson and fashion guru Marlene Shiff (photo, with Joyce and Fanshawe student Donald J. Procunier). London is a college town and they know how to party. In mid-afternoon, the patios were overflowing with beer-swilling students. With a few hours of our own to kill we hit Saffron Road (a retail success, now celebrating 20 years) to say hello to owner Gail Lynn (photo, with David Dixon) and check out the racks. If you’re in the area be sure to check out their massive Basement Blowout Sale Thursday, May 7th.

The evening’s show took place at the Museum London and we joined ranks with six other judges including Thien Le and David Dixon. Twenty students sent five piece collections down the runway in a maddening display of everything from ready to wear to formal. Who was the most UNBOUND of them all? Jessica Steever’s cocktail dresses made the biggest impact, taking the prize for Best Single Piece and Best Collection. Look for Jessica on season three of Project Runway Canada (Maybe? Just a hunch).