Men: 24 Hour Countdown to NYE

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Ritchie Po of Knotwerk enjoying the champers at Lao Feng Xiang opening.

By the end of the December party season, it is very likely that every man’s basic wardrobe needs a bit of sprucing up to transform into a New Years Eve look that is chic, comfortable and re-wearable in the new year.

It is inevitable that each November, the media onslaught starts with advertising for big blow-out parties with uber high ticket prices, usually taking place in a hotel penthouse or on beautiful yacht. These parties are so extravagant and extra hard on the wallet, especially after the holidays.

A quick poll of fashionable friends informs me that ringing in 2016 in Vancouver, most likely means sipping champagne or a perfectly aged whiskey on an associates high-rise terrace, spending the evening with a handpicked group of friends at a secluded patio downtown or even reminiscing on an overstuffed couch in a dark corner of a newly discovered hole-in-the-wall somewhere in Railtown.  But…where ever it is, remember this is not an evening to get slouchy with your style.

This piece is for the gents on how to do a top to bottom spruce up in Vancouver, even with only a couple of days left to plan.

rolls royce, John Heil, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

18th Amendment Photograph by John Heil

Start at the top with a quick trim – head and beard touch-up’s are a must – but definitely not a good day to try mustache waxing or beard shaping. Gastown is flush with great barbers, many who have created their own cruelty-free products to keep you looking sleek and well groomed. Try top-rated 18th Amendment Barber Shop (77 E Cordova) for your trim or if you hair is long, curly or needing extra styling care, pop into Drybar at the new downtown Nordstrom’s for a 20 minute wash and blow-out. Drybar is an equal opportunity hair service; their products are all organic and named after adult beverages. The TripleSec spritz is light, fresh and fantastic on loose locks.

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image credit: Helen Siwak

If there is no time for the full service, opt for a hat to tame that look. Hit Goorin Bros by the Yaletown skytrain and check out the American Felt line which contains almost two dozen classic shapes in soft textures that quickly add mystique and draw the focus to your expressive eyes. At the counter get Devin or Sarah to assist with customizing your new piece with a classic pin or feathers or both.

goorin bros, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image credit: Helen Siwak

Over your dressier wardrobe staples – such a earth tone button down and dark denims or even black waxed jeans – add an affordable casual jacket with classic lines or a structured cardigan from the newly launched Frank & Oak (316 West Cordova) line. Whether to tuck or not depends on your journeys end.

Frank & Oak, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image: Frank & Oak

Frank & Oak, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image: Frank & Oak

There are even a couple of barber chairs by Man Cave Barber Shop offering services just in case you are time crunched and need a shave, shirt and accessories in the same place!

Frank and Oak, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image credit: Helen Siwak

Frank and Oak, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image credit: Helen Siwak

Now footwear is just as important to a man’s appearance as it is to a woman’s look. An ankle boot works with jeans, trousers, with an all black layered androgynous look and even a cuffed dress pant. These boots from Rowan Sky (334 West Cordova) in Crosstown, come in many lush colours and with a change of laces can go from everyday to racy.

Rowan Sky, Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Rowan Sky, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Image: Rowan Sky

Now how you arrive can either make or break the evening. If it is going to impossible to resist the bubbly or the signature drinks, pre-book a taxi, but for those with a taste for temptation try a super car rental. Vancouver is spoiled with companies waiting for you to roll off their  lots in a matte black Aston Martin or Lotus, a growling candy coloured Lamborghini or with a driver in the sumptuous luxury of a Rolls Royce, just call ahead to ensure availability.

New Years Eve can be as pricey or as heartfelt as you wish to make it but no matter how it goes, ensure you look fantastic in the photographs as we all know the internet is eternal.

Best wishes and ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Knotwerk by Ritchie Po: Reworking the Knot 2015

Like the Hobbit, I took an unexpected journey in 2015. Having known THECloset YVR’s founder Helen Siwak through personal shopping, I learned the fringe benefits of ecoluxury living and the value of great couture through luxury resale. But perhaps one of the most unexpected delights of the year was in writing KnotwerkByRitchiePo and earning the privilege of attending several great events with (and without) my statuesque editor in Vancouver.

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

In revisiting some of the blog posts, here are the ones that stood out the most for me in 2015:

TELUS Garden: Shooting my beloved Seigo Katsuragawa limited-edition cravat in a downtown Vancouver landmark made me better understand how corporations can not only be eco-friendly, but also a thought leader in sustainable living. It is heartening to see more great companies be such great citizens and leading the charge on issues like these.

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

2015 Vancouver Luxury & Supercar Weekend: I look forward to every James Bond 007 film, and having the chance of shooting in an Aston Martin was a giddy boyhood dream come true. It was such a great event, we had the pleasure of meeting the bi-provincial couple Darcy Kaser and Randall MacDonald, and had to write two posts about it!

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

John Fluevog / #StepUp4CTYP Fundraiser: My lovely and talented friend Danielle Lemon put together another successful venture for local theatre. I did not get to see the BalmainxH&M capsule collection mass-market launch, but I did get to rock my vintage Balmain at this event instead. I look forward to the third edition in 2016.

Fluevog

Harry Rosen L’Arte Dell ‘Eleganza Italiana Event: Where better to wear my vintage Zegna and Dolce & Gabbana than at a national menswear institute’s fall launch? I can’t wait for the delights they will bring in spring.

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Goorin Bros in Yaletown: Haberdasheries are increasingly rare, but this hat maker’s Vancouver location is a favourite haunt if only for the distressed couch and incredible displays.

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

Joey Dimz: I’ve always admired fellow Filipinos who, like me, have migrated and made something of themselves. Mr. Dimz’s Atelier truly delivers state-of-the-art men’s fashion in a current yet ever-timeless style. A bespoke suit by Joey Dimz – who has a very select but discerning clientele – is truly a lifetime investment.

Knotwerkbyritchiepo, Ritchie Po, EcoLuxLuv, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist, fashion, blogger, style

And my ultimate post of the year was the biggest retail event in Vancouver for 2015: the Nordstrom Fundraising Gala. We were given the privilege of shooting the blog post in the JWS private shopping suite, by Nordstrom’s PR Director John Bailey. I have been privileged to attend multiple clientele-only events in this international flagship several times since launching.

Ritchie Nordstrom

I especially want to thank Alnoor, Chris, Ramir and Carlos for always taking care of me every time I am there. It is always a pleasure to take family and friends to this glorious luxury retail vanguard time and again, and a daily visit to the eBar café is part of my daily morning ritual.

Thank you to everyone for supporting Knotwerk and THECloset YVR in 2015. I look forward to attending more events and continuing to style write for Eco.Lux.Luv blog, helping you dress for success in 2016.

Happy New Year!!

Luxury Legend Chanel Set to Expand from Concession to Flagship

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Holt Renfrew as seen from Granville & Dunsmuir Streets.

The speculation is true and the chic European themed hoarding within Vancouver’s Holt Renfrew confirms that the legendary luxury brand Chanel (LMVH) will expand by relocating its concession to a larger, ground-floor ‘flagship’ location.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Main floor European themed hoarding, announcing Chanel, where the salon and spa once were.

According to Retail-Insider, the move is the latest within Holt Renfrew, as it continues to expand and renovate its CF Pacific Centre store to address competition from the mall’s recently-opened and wildly successful Nordstrom flagship.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Chanel beauty concession on corner of Granville and Dunsmuir Streets. Focal point of walk/drive-by traffic.

Chanel will vacate its current 1,900 square foot, third-level Holt Renfrew concession space for a larger street-front location within Holt’s, in space formerly occupied by Holt’s salon and spa. The new Chanel store is under construction, and sources say that it will open mid-2016. A separate source in Holt’s menswear department implied a café component will be included with frontage on Dunsmuir Street, and that Chanel may gain a dedicated Howe Street entrance as part of the expansion.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Holt Renfrew entrance on Howe Street next to currently unoccupied space formerly housing SportChek / Atmosphere.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Potential Howe Street entrance of Chanel expansion.

When Holt Renfrew relocated its Pacific Centre flagship in the spring of 2007, Chanel opened an accessories-only concession on the store’s third floor. The concession expanded in 2010 to include ready-to-wear.

Holt Renfrew is in the process of spending millions to renovate its Vancouver flagship. Currently, Holt’s is 147,000 square feet and the store will annex an additional 40,000 square feet formerly occupied by Sport Chek/Atmosphere, with renovations expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Image credit: Holt Renfrew via Retail-Insider

This past September, Nordstrom opened a 230,000 square foot luxury designer-heavy flagship a block south of Holt’s and industry insiders questioned whether Vancouver could sustain luxury level boutiques. The ‘Luxury Zone’ at Alberni and Thurlow Streets are at commercial capacity and 2015 saw newcomer CICINO opening in the ‘The Heritage District on West Hastings’ possibly with hopes that the ‘Luxury Zone’ would spill over. One cannot help but feel as 2016 approaches, there is no doubt that there is a steady influx of discretionary income from affluent locals and tourists interested in and purchasing luxury items and this luxury shopping trend is going to continue.

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Menswear department in the lower level of Holt’s will be reorganized. The Paul Smith concession to be relocated to accommodate Chanel expansion.

Chanel has a long history in Vancouver, and the mere mention of its prestigious name brings anecdotes of first purchases and, ultimately, its inability to gain a foothold in Vancouver. Chanel began with the first freestanding location, measuring 1,300 square feet, which opened in 1991 at 755 Burrard Street (now occupied by Coach). Several years later, it relocated to a 5,000 square foot, two-level store at 900 West Hastings Street, which closed in the summer of 2010, apparently due to poor sales.

Who else is counting the days until we can relax in the café, enjoy an strong espresso, French petit fours, and people watch on a revitalized Howe Street devoid of ‘For Lease’ signs?

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Chanel, Holt Renfrew, Helen Siwak, Luxury Zone, VancityBuzz

Snowflake Furs on Howe street on the move again most likely due to industry decline and weekly protests against animal cruelty.

(This article and photographs by Helen Siwak was originally published in a shorter version in VancityBuzz).

Prada Prepares to Launch in ‘Luxury Zone’

Prada, the luxury zone, helen siwak, fashion, blogger, stylist, made in italy

As reported earlier this year, and the topic of much haute speculation, Vancouver’s soon-to-launch Prada flagship is coming to the corner retail space of The Carlyle – a luxury complex at the southeast corner of Alberni Street and Thurlow Street.

The construction hoarding on the new Prada reflects the European elegance of this legendary brand and is perfectly situated across from the newly launched cashmere-centric Brunello Cucinelli and Medusa branded Versace. The legendary brand will also locate next to upscale brands Tory Burch and De Beers, as well as a number of other luxury brands which are associated with Vancouver’s “Luxury Zone.”

Prada, Luxury Zone, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, ecoluxluv, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist

Prada, Luxury Zone, Helen Siwak, theclosetyvr, ecoluxluv, vancouver, yvr, vancity, fashion, stylist

On the south side of Prada is a 2 storey space which is completely unbranded. An insider source puts Saint Laurent there in the future.

The immediate area features luxury stores, including the newly opened 7,000 square foot Dior and Dior Homme, Burberry, Escada, Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Montblanc, and jewellers Lao Feng Xiang.

The Vancouver store is designed by Italian architect Roberto Baciocchi and will feature men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, as well as footwear and accessories. Prada has declined to provide official comments regarding this store, except to say that more information will be revealed closer to the Vancouver store’s opening date.

Best wishes to all and ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Versace Launches with Vogue Intl in Vancouver

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak

Sue Randhawa with sisters Sara Rose and Kris McKenna. Image: StreetScout.Me

This past June, Vancouver media and fashionistas were abuzz with the news that Versace was planning a free-standing boutique adjacent to the newly opened Brunello Cucinelli.

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak

12 hours before opening! Image credit: THECloset YVR

This week, Versace finally opened its 1,875 sq. ft. store at 745 Thurlow Street with a private invitation event sponsored by Vogue.

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

The interiors are the brightest whites, highlighted with golden glints from the iconic Versace medusa medallions which surrounded everyone. The boutique had on display primarily items in their accessories lines, for men and women, plus a niche selection of women’s clothing including a stunning structured leather jacket that was a magnet for style bloggers.

DJ Christa Belle spun a broad selection of music that kept everyone cheerful and champagne glasses clinking. Exquisite hors d’oeuvres circulated and conversation swirled around Versace and its legacy, Vancouver luxury fashion climate and international fashion weeks.

The Italian luxury fashion brand was founded by the late Gianni Versace in 1978, and it is seeing a resurgence as it opens stores around the world. Upscale Vancouver-based fashion retailer Leone currently features a Versace shop-in-store, and Versace Home opened last summer in Vancouver’s Gastown area.

We got a little snap happy at the event – enjoy these pics from the opening night event:

 

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

Clockwise: Host Sue Randhawa & Helen Siwak, Marti Crampshee (Versace) & Joshua Langston; Host Jessica Luxe, Sabrina Fenster, Randa Salloum

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

Image credit: StreetScout.Me

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

Clockwise: L: Zvezdana Djordjevic Bankovic, Maja Djordjevic; Jamie Mann, Jorge Ramos; Sabrina Fenster, Andy Chu

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak

L-R: Host Sue Randhawa, Helen Siwak, Liam Randhawa.

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

versace, vogue, luxury, vancity buzz, helen siwak

Stevie Nguyen & DJ Christa Belle.

“I played music that reflected the most recent Versace collection. Strong, feminine, and iconic with a uplifting romantic edge. By spinning music along with the theme of the fashion line I felt there was a playful and creative energy in the room that was on point all night. It was wonderful to work with Versace and Vogue on the event and I hope to do more so in the future.” DJ Christa Belle

Congratulations to Vogue, Versace and the four hosts for such an amazing night of casual chicness. A wonderful group to spend a few hours with conversing about fashion, the industry and how joyous 2016 will be for all.

Best wishes to all and ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Knotwerk by Ritchie Po: Zegna with Tulip Knot

Ritchie Po Wide HeaderNothing makes a dapper man feel more assured in his skin than in a made-to-measure suit and a commanding tie. The ultimate luxury is in creating a statement outfit that announces the man to the world, which we don’t always do in Vancouver (but we should do more frequently). We photographed this week’s Knotwerk piece at the atelier of Joey Dimz at which I tied a vintage Zegna in a Tulip knot (created by Jelmer Pijnappel, and with a tutorial by Alex Krasny).

ritchie po, joey dimz, kj sims, helen siwak, atelier, bespoke, menswear

Suit: Maxwell Clothiers (MTM); Shirt: Calvin Klein; Shoes: Browns; Socks: English Laundry

The Tulip knot is noted for its resemblance to the namesake flower. It is tied with the narrow end, so start with the wide end your left-hand side, with the end at the beltline. Bring the wide end to the centre and cross the little end to the left. Create a spiral on that side. Bring the little end around the back and create another spiral on the right. Cover the two spirals by wrapping the little end around the centre, then bring it over the top over the front loop. You will then bring the little end to your right, and around the back. You will notice a triangle has now formed to your right. Finish the knot by looping the little end around the front and through that triangle, up and over and tuck it under the rest your tie.

ritchie po, joey dimz, kj sims, helen siwak, atelier, bespoke, menswear

The final look is achieved by adjusting it, so loosen the two flaps on the front to create a three-dimensional look to the knot. The finished product is like at tulip. Do not tighten up the two flaps or the shadowy effect is gone. It looks far better with the two flaps a bit loose, and works well with both wider and skinnier ties. As you can anticipate, this isn’t a tie suited for business and would be better-suited to a holiday occasion or cocktail party, where it is sure to stand out as a conversation piece.

ritchie po, joey dimz, kj sims, helen siwak, atelier, bespoke, menswear

Speaking of conversation pieces, let’s talk about Joey Dimz and his quaint yet functional atelier. Located at the edge of Gastown and just before Crosstown in Vancouver, Joey Dimz’s process requires collaboration between both the client and the atelier from start to finish. Bespoke here truly means that every piece is customized and not just a matter of taking measurements (he does take twice as many as a conventional tailor), but also cutting and putting the final product together by hand to ensure the highest quality and the perfect fit for the discerning gentlemen.

DSCN2891

Dimz Colllage

ritchie po, joey dimz, kj sims, helen siwak, atelier, bespoke, menswearHe has access to an impressive catalogue of the finest in suit-making cloth, including Cerrutti 1881, Scabal, Cloth Dormeuil, Fratelli Italia di Delfino, Harris Tweed and Zegna. Every last piece is down to the client’s specifications, including buttons and finishes. In fact, Joey has exclusivity to Huddersfield Cloth – the fabric provider to the television series Kingsman and Downton Abbey. More than a matter of suit-making, it is making suits specific to each individual client which will include an expanded line including footwear and women’s wear.

ritchie po, joey dimz, kj sims, helen siwak, atelier, bespoke, menswear

Originally from the Philippines, Joey Dimz descends from many generations of tailors. When he arrived in Canada in 2003, he started his business modestly and from there grew it organically. His designs are now so sought-after that he not only works with Vancouver style icon Jason Sarai, but also with a number of institutional clients who covet his state-of-the-art designs.

DSCN2889

Joey Dimz Collage 2

Being Filipino myself, it was refreshing to discuss the crafting of a more formal traditional barong worn at Philippine events, and most recently as seen on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on his latest visit to Manila.

Thank you to KJ at SIMScomm for assisting with this interview, Joey Dimz for sharing his world with us and hope that you look dapper this holiday season and well into 2016!

ritchie po, joey dimz, kj sims, helen siwak, atelier, bespoke, menswear

Tie carefully, yours in knotwerk,

Ritchie Po
IG: StyledLegally

To view additional #BTS photographs by Helen Siwak of the Joey Dimz Atelier – CLICK HERE

Kimoto Gallery: Winter WonderWalls

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

On South Granville there is a gallery tucked away off West 6th that has a reputation of hanging thoughtful, irreverent, whimsical and insightful art of various mediums. No pay to hang at Kimoto Gallery – all the artists have an elevated skill level with their medium that allows you to see past the process – and enjoy the vision of the piece without encumbrance of flaws.

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

Artist: David Wilson

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

The Kimoto Family in front of Katsumi Kimoto’s artwork

The new Winter WonderWalls exhibition will hang until January 16, 2016 and what began as a holiday group show continues with fresh pieces as the artwork is sold. Cash and carry is this seasons theme.

Some of the artists completed a series of small works, while others have laboured over one piece to show one in their space. And, for some other artists, it also became about the installation itself – and how the pieces relate to each other.

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

Found art Artist: York Graham (@YorkGrahamDotCom)

In the spirit of the holiday season, this exhibition is cash-and-carry. As the artworks find new homes, new artworks will be brought in. Exhibition will continue until January 16, 2016.

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

Artist: Jason Dussault (@jason_dussault_art)

The exhibition features a number of our best local artists, along with some new faces to our stable. Jason Dussault, a BC born, New York based artist, known for his beautiful and colourful mosaic paintings and the piece that is pulling people into this exhibition is his newest piece featuring Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, the recently elected Justin Trudeau.

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

Artist: Kevin Boyle (www.KevinBoyleStudio.com)

Kevin Boyle is the sole photographer in the group and has hung haunting imagery of Canadiana in this exhibition and when he gave his artist statement, he spoke from the heart and held attendees spellbound with his personal story. One that started a decade ago as a police officer with a beat-up old camera documenting violence and destruction rampant in his career, then continuing with the death of his father and a road trip to Winnipeg capturing the last breath of small towns and buildings. Powerful and engaging.

Veronica Plewman

Artist: Veronica Plewman

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

Artist: Christian Nicolay

Wine was by donation to the Food Bank, jars of chocolates and peppermints kept the children and adults happen and Happy Planet smoothie’s were perfect on a rainy afternoon.

Michael Soltis

Kimoto Gallery, Winter WonderWalls, South Granville, Kevin Boyle, Vancouver, Vancity, YVR, Helen Siwak

The final dart by David Wilson.

Best wishes to all and ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Moncler Launches Luxury Ski Wear as the First Snowflakes Fall Downtown

moncler, vancouver, launch, luxury zone, retail-insider, joshua langston, helen siwak

Moncler is a brand originally established at high altitude which now boasts a presence in all of the world’s most important cities, and most exclusive ski resorts. Vancouver is a city known for it’s skiing, lodge and spa culture, and for those who insist on taking it to the extremes, Moncler is the label you source.

moncler, vancouver, launch, luxury zone, retail-insider, joshua langston, helen siwak

It is without a doubt that such a gorgeous invitation to a private opening sets the tone for the evening.

moncler, vancouver, launch, luxury zone, retail-insider, joshua langston, helen siwak

A large window marks the entrance to the new store on Thurlow Street, also known as the ‘Luxury Zone‘ of Vancouver, a first-class destination for luxury shopping in the city. The premises are true to the Moncler code of sourcing the highest quality materials and we were stunned with the detailing of the embossing within the womens collectionand the creativity with the Thom Browne line of outerwear in grey wool.

The result is a unique interior, with elegant French wood panelling in chêne fumé wood and grigio carnico marble inserts used for the floors and walls which adds movement to the space. The interior has once again been entrusted to Gilles & Boissier, an architecture studio which has worked alongside the brand for many years.

A complete range of product is offered in the new boutique, with the Moncler Gamme Bleu and Moncler Gamme Rouge collections featured alongside the men’s and women’s Moncler and Moncler Grenoble ready-to-wear and accessory collections.

Moncler is located at 743 Thurlow Street and regular hours are available through their website.

DSCN2827

All photography by Joshua Langston.

Knotwerk by Ritchie Po: Borsalino with Eldredge

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswearWith the passing of the last surviving cast member of the original cast of the classic BBC series Are You Being Served?, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about haberdasheries. They do not appear to be a mainstay of the more upscale luxury department stores, but even if they aren’t being worn as a matter of custom, they will always be elegant and classic.

Dedicated independent, specialty and vintage shops seem to corner the market on hat-making and selling these days, but one cannot deny the pleasure of trying on a witty chapeau as a topper to one’s outfit. This week we tried on some classic hats in Yaletown’s Goorin Brothers location (the name an inadvertent nod to Grace Brothers on AYBS) and tied a distinctive Borsalino cravat in an Eldredge knot (click for video tutorial).

eldredgeknot_1280One of the more complicated knots, the Eldredge starts with the wide end on your left, with the tip at your belly button or a bit below. Leave lots of room on the narrow end on your right. Make a dimple on the left and cross the little end over the front, making a triangle and drawing it to your right. You will then wrap the little end over the front, on the lower side of the triangle, keeping everything tight. This is design demands a compact design, and therefore everything should be tightened. Draw the little end over the centre to your right to create a loop, and you will then circle the little end over the front and through that first loop to your right again. Tighten that up by tugging at the wider loose ends you’ve just created. Then that is sufficiently compact, wrap the little end over the right, and re-create the design by repeating this step. Eventually you’ll realize that you’ve used most of the little end, but it also means there is minimal opportunity for loose fabric. This almost looks like a variation of the Diamond knot, which we showcased at this past fall’s Lao Feng Xiang opening.

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswear

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswear

Feather are beautiful editions. Goordin Bros only sells those collected from the food industry and regularly shed.

A note on the tie to use: I’ve experimented this knot with several of my favourite cravats, but I’ve learned the hard way not to use anything wide or that has a thick fabric. It is very difficult to create this look with anything except a thin necktie with a relatively thin fabric. The good news is that lovers of skinny ties (hello hipsters) are perfectly suited for this.

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswear

We shot this week in Yaletown at Goorin Bros. on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Although we don’t get to see many hats being worn these days (not even with the Mad Men revival), the place was full of customers and virtually everyone walked out with a purchase. The connoisseurs included hipsters, stylish fashionistas, and a more distinguished crowd, none of whom were to buy them for costume or fancy dress balls. With such classic styles as fedoras of differing brims and fabrics, flapper hats, porkpies and the Indiana Jones variety (I’m thinking of Star Wars a lot lately), Goorin Brothers know exactly the type of customer who would best appreciate classic style.

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswear

Shirt: Hugo Boss; Vest: Mexx; Trench: Banana Republic; Pants: Topshop; Boots: Kenneth Cole

It gives us hope that wearing hats, even on occasion, can help elevate the tone of fashion locally. I attended their Gatsby-themed party in October 2013 during the annual Taste of Yaletown event and can attest that this isn’t a mere shop, it has vision, great vibe and energy. Everyone in store this weekend to buy was in good spirits and the mood infectiously playful, even if on a drearily rainy afternoon.

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswear

My publisher and photographer Helen Siwak, putting a power spin on the male chapeau.

Helen and I would like to thank Goorin Bros. and their lovely staff (Devin, Chris and Sarah) for allowing us to shoot this week.

knotwerk by ritchie po, ritchie po, goorin bros, yaletown, helen siwak, mad men, menswear

Tie carefully, yours in knotwerk,

Ritchie Po
IG: ritchie.po

(All photographs by Helen Siwak of THEClosetYVR)

Holt Renfrew Cheers the Season at Fairmont Pacific Rim

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVRThe Holt Renfrew annual holiday party has consistently read like a who’s who of Vancouver, featuring the latest in musical talent, the bubbliest of champagne, delicious cocktails and scrumptious over-sized chocolate cake pop’s.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Image credit: Fairmont Pacific Rim

The Fairmont Pacific Rim was the cozy setting for the 2 hour event (sincerest thank you from everyone with multiple invites that evening), where cocktail attired guests had the option of sitting around the runway, in the warm lounge with oversized modern art fireplace or the well lit mingling area off to the side. Many a gent were caught doing business while their dates reclined in the lounge with friends and made new friends with the many recognizable personalities who attended.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Holiday Choir performance

Ladies like CTV News anchor Colleen Christie, multi-talented go-getter Jill Killeen, the multi-talented Dawn Chubai (jazz singer, television personality, actress and marketing manager) and Canada’s original famous television personality, mother of four and actor, Monika Deol, who lives Vancouver and so gracious and humble.

Holts Collage 1

Clockwise starting Left: Jill Killeen overseeing last minute touch-ups, Host and cozy fireplace lounge.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Clockwise Right: The Vancouverite Blogger Cyndi Yu in a crisp emerald green and cream skirt, TDF Valentino rockstuds and bubbles; model Asli with Jorge Ramos and Trish Rouge of prestigious Wilhelmina Canada; hair styling pioneering Jon Paul Holt and friend.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Dawn Chubai, television and music personality

Between bubbly sips and admiring the runway gowns, I discreetly conversed with Dawn (as the two of us were exhausted from event attending and as she said ‘holding up the wall’ during the presentation), about her plans for the holidays. As with all professional women this season, her life is about work, work, more work and then making time and memories for her family.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Canadian media/broadcasting legend Monika Deol in stunning red ribbon dress with silk crepe trim.

Monika Deol sat directly in front of us and attended the soiree with her husband and real estate developer Avtar Bains and it was easy to see they were inspired by the runway show. Not only with the beautiful fashion from Holt Renfrew (Valentino, Jenny Packham, Tom Ford and Oscar de la Renta), but with the swing/jazz dancing duo’s and the full choir provided by Siegel Entertainment.

I spoke with Monika as she was preparing to leave and she was charming, composed and in a great spirits. She spoke of her 4 boys and keeping busy with her acclaimed role in ‘Beeba Boys‘ which took TIFF by storm in September. The story of notorious Vancouver crime lord ‘Bindy’ Singh Johal movie will be released soon and is high on Vancouver movie-goers list of must see’s.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Reimagined holiday tree topper by Versace Home with hanging Grecian scrolls as stars.

Holt Renfrew, Fairmont, Pacific Rim, Helen Siwak, EcoLuxLuv, THEClosetYVR, runway collections, Vancouver, YVR

Lower half of Versace Home’s reimagined holiday tree surround by sumptuous gold and silver pillows and ceramic puma.

Versace Home was given the Christmas Tree to reenvision for the event and it was so gorgeous and opulent that it is doubtful that the Fairmont would ever have it removed.

Many hugs were given and gifts exchanged by attendees and soon if was off to stand in the frigid taxi bank to get to another event.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Hey Jude X Evan Ducharme – EcoFriendly Capsule Launch

Hey Jude, Evan Ducharme, Gastown, Nesters, Vancouver, YVR, Helen Siwak

A brilliant Friday night should always start with a smooth showcase of local design. Drop-in, say hello, give and receive hugs, have a drink and a nibble, and then peruse what your favourite shop has been up to.

We’re passionate about sustainability and supporting local makers and that can be felt and seen in the space we’ve created. We want to challenge the stereotype of what shopping vintage means by showcasing our pieces in a minimalistic and modern setting and hopefully help more individuals open up to the idea of shopping recycled clothing.

This week Evan Ducharme announced a collaboration with contemporary vintage clothing company Hey Jude (created by Lauren Clark and Lyndsey Chow). Nestled in an all white chic boutique, Hey Jude finally has a permanent home and their patrons are pleased.

Hey Jude, Evan Ducharme, Gastown, Nesters, Vancouver, YVR, Helen Siwak

Evan’s limited edition jersey capsule collection features three unique dresses and are exclusive to Hey Jude. Three versatile pieces – wrap dress, tunic dress and a tank dress. Three pieces that are lightweight and in black, plum and ochre. For those of us who went black and grey this Fall/Winter season, these colours are so complimentary all of them will work their way into your fashion psyche.

There is a unique factor to the capsule collection collaboration in that all the dresses are made of eco-friendly bamboo jersey. The dry goods for the pieces were purchased, cut, sewn and made available for purchase within a 1 km radius of their inception.

We’ve been fans and friends of Evan’s since we both presented at Eco Fashion Week a few years ago. We were all chatting in the shop last month and the idea of creating a capsule for December came about. We wanted to keep it simple with 3 designs in an organic cotton jersey that could be dressed up for the holidays and also styled year round. We love how Evan sourced the fabric and designed and sewed each dress within a 1km radius of the shop. It doesn’t get much more local than that! – Lauren & Lyndsey

Hey Jude, Evan Ducharme, Gastown, Nesters, Vancouver, YVR, Helen Siwak

The new boutique offers a gorgeous selection of, not only clothing, but of apothecary and beauty products, leather good, found objects, textiles and accessories. Hey Jude, Evan Ducharme, Gastown, Nesters, Vancouver, YVR, Helen SiwakHey Jude Collage 5 copy

Hey Jude is a contemporary vintage clothing company that specializes in unique, trend forward pieces that are used as is or modified to modernize. They present beautiful seasonal collections complete with Look Books.

Hey Jude Collage 4 copyHey Jude, Evan Ducharme, Gastown, Nesters, Vancouver, YVR, Helen Siwak

Hey Jude, Evan Ducharme, Gastown, Nesters, Vancouver, YVR, Helen Siwak

“We hope to inspire others to make eco-conscious decisions in all aspects of their lives and to express their own unique styles.” Lauren & Lyndsey

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

To view additional #BTS photographs by Helen Siwak of the Hey Jude event – CLICK HERE

Vancouver Artisans Build Versace Legacy

Growing up in central Alberta, as the daughter of a carpenter renowned for his finishing work, I am drawn to the scent of freshly shorn pine, the olfactory sharpness of arborite glue and the soft tap tap tap of a rubber tipped hammer against finishing nails.

Which leads to my fascination with the interiors of the luxury boutiques I find myself spending so much time in as an adult, and their almost complete lack of smell. I often wonder – are these interiors manufactured in some foreign city and shipped to ensure the maintenance of the image of the brand? Packed tightly into the back of semi-trucks rolling down the highway? Pounded by storms, wind, and heat?

This week I noticed an odd interaction on my Twitter account and found that someone named Darrell Morrison had been re-tweeting my Versace posts. A quick investigation informed me that his company Decorative Painting & Plastering Inc had done the interiors for newest Versace and had documented the whole process using modern technology to capture old world artisan ways.

Enjoy as the mystique unfolds and Vancouver’s Versace becomes a place of age old tradition.

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak

12299170_1192720640741336_4561363654715250202_n copy

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell MorrisonVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

11202112_1192720674074666_7359464064202456772_n copy

12311326_1193689550644445_3562105534579863312_n copy

12311246_1193970437283023_4935890920967063446_n copyVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell MorrisonVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell MorrisonVersace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace, Vogue, Vancouver, Bentall, Helen Siwak, Darrell Morrison

Versace 3 by Helen Siwak copy

On opening night all the precision work blends into the background as the evening belongs to the Versace legacy and the party-goers.

Click here for a gorgeous Vimeo view of the Versace store in its bare gorgeousness.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Knotwerk Social: Chateau Latour @ Winestains

Latour Wines, Alice Zhou, Knotwerk Social, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, private party, vancouver, yvrDo you ever watch a couture show and wonder who buys them? Of course we know they’re the rich, but did you know that the pieces are already spoken for before they hit the runway? At trunk shows happening all over the world, designers present their newest lines before they hit the public eye, and so you technically cannot buy most of what you see.

12358397_10156306553590273_761265822_n

It’s the same way with certain wines, as I learned when I attended the Winestains Wine Academy’s presentation of the Chateau Latour’s most select wines, months before they hit the Vancouver market in March 2016, for a select group of buyers. Wine is like vintage couture that way: they do get better as they age (but watch that waistline).

Latour Wines, Alice Zhou, Knotwerk Social, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, private party, vancouver, yvr

Winestains is a collective of wine connoisseurs, started in 2015 and housed in an unassuming location not too far from the River Rock Casino & Resort. According to Winestains Wine Academy Director of Education Keith Nicholson, the group’s mission is to gather appreciators to partake in the most sumptuous wines of the world. Membership is still burgeoning, but they hope to attract more new wine lovers at events such as the Chateau Latour presentation this week.

A collaboration with the Broadway Wine Shop and Lifford Wine & Spirits, Portfolio Ambassador Nicole Campbell led us through a brief history of the Chateau Latour before presenting the collection. Working backwards, a selection of Latour wines from as recent as 2011 and as far back as 2000 were presented. Admittedly, as someone who has an intermediate appreciation of wine, sampling five of the most coveted vintages in the world in reverse order was a palette-opening experience. Starting with a simple 2011 Pauillac De Latour at $119, we ended up with the celebrated 2000 Grand Vin De Chateau Latour, a vintage so luxurious and revered in reputation that a single bottle goes for $2,700! It was so exciting, to savour it with cuisine was almost too déclassé a notion.

Latour Wines, Alice Zhou, Knotwerk Social, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, private party, vancouver, yvr

To say this was a select audience is not an understatement. I was one among just fifteen people who received the coveted invitations, including Boulevard Magazine’s Harry van Hemmen. I could hear whispers among the crowd talking about their summer homes and other secret locations to find amazing wines. The small but moneyed crowd lapped up the opportunity to snap up a few bottles, and my drinking companion eagerly snapped up two each of two vintages in the $500 a bottle ballpark. With access to luxury wines like these, Winestains will surely be attracting more connoisseurs in the future.

Latour Wines, Alice Zhou, Knotwerk Social, Ritchie Po, Helen Siwak, private party, vancouver, yvr

Keith Nicholson, Director of Education for Winestains & Ritchie Po

We’d like to thank Winestains Keith Nicholson, Barry McNabb, and Social Butterfly Club’s Alice Zhou for inviting us to partake in this event. We hear there will be more events over the holidays, and look forward to them!

Sipping and sampling my way through life,

Ritchie Po
IG: StyledLegally

(Thanks to access of the photographs by Ritchie Po & Alice Zhou)

Van City Vogue Holiday Soiree at LBV

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

House of Harlow box sets

Van City Vogue is known for their intimidating Instagram presence (38.5K but who is counting!) and for being on top of the fashion game with the latest looks and styles from the most internationally stylish people.

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

Kristin greeted us in this amazing French inspired look.

Sharon of VCV invited THECloset YVR to an exclusive Van City Vogue Holiday Soiree on Wednesday, December 9th 2015 at the newly opened LBV boutique in Gastown. Unfortunately we were unable to attend the official opening but heard it is definitely that place to shop for unconventional and uber-artsy and eclectic homewares.

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

Gold flecked cake balls, deconstructed cupcakes in vanilla and chocolate, and golden Bottega. Cakes by Arjan & SweetPetiteCin. Champagne served by Liquid Lavish

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

VCV has had a longtime relationship with LBV (originally from Kelowna) and have taken it upon themselves to spread the word super about the opening of this stylish new hot spot in the city.

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

Rimpy Sahota wearing one of her stunning two piece party dresses

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

Designer Jason Matlo with one of his designs; lamps and accessories

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

Guests included Joshua Langston of The Social Life, LBV Lifestyle Owner Tracey; Ed Sylvan & Michelle Phaneuf of La Biosthetique

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

Guests: Stylist Dominique Hanke, Designer Rimpty Sahota & Secil Turhan; Beauty Blogger Britta Bisig and friend.

With invitations to their favorite fashion influencers and the promise of champagne,prizes, live music by Phoenix Lauren, desserts as well as discounted shopping, the location was packed and everyone was besides themselves with the amazing selection of beauty and oddities.VCV - Gift Collage 2

LBV, VCV, VanCityVogue, Helen Siwak, Gastown, Retail therapy, Vancity, YVR

The selection of giftware is eclectic and slightly eccentric and wickedly awesome.

To read more about Van City Vogue check out their previous online magazine on issuu.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Knotwerk by Ritchie Po: Lanvin with Linwood Taurus

knotwerk by ritchie po, mancave barbershop, sam mancave, helen siwak, ritchie po, vancouver, vancity, yvr, yaletownFeeling bullish going into the holiday season? We’ve been seeing a lot of red lately, especially from holiday décor. Maybe it’s the time of year to cocoon and watch old musicals, like one of my personal favourites Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Perhaps that’s why we were inspired to create a look inspired by the film in the middle of a barber shop, minus the Tim Burton-Stephen Sondheim bloodlust but keeping the aesthetic as fresh as the blood vampires crave. For this week’s Knotwerk, we tie the Linwood Taurus Knot in a vintage Lanvin tie, shot on location at Yaletown’s Man Cave Barber Shop in downtown Vancouver.

knotwerk by ritchie po, mancave barbershop, sam mancave, helen siwak, ritchie po, vancouver, vancity, yvr, yaletown

Tie: Vintage Lanvin; Shirt: Maxwell Clothiers (MTM); Vest: John Varvatos; Pants: Hudson

The Linwood Taurus (click for tutorial) begins with the little end choked up, just a bit below your neck. Cross over the front and create a traditional spiral on both sides of the tie. Don’t tighten up the loops, keep them slightly loose as you will need to work with them. Take the wide end and, going from right to left, feed the cravat through both loops through. Do this gingerly or the entire knot will unravel. Wrap the wide end up and over the centre, over the front. You will notice that underneath, you’ve created a central loop between the two side loops. Feed the wide end down the middle of the centre loops. This is a tie that looks bolder and better when loose, so even if you’ve tied this rather tightly, loosening the two side loops and just a little of the centre will give you an illusion of a bull or Taurus. It’s a little like the Viper Knot, where you use the tie to give an appearance of an animal. Our editor loves animals here at THECloset YVR, so playful knots like these always tickle her fancy.

Knotwer - Brush copy

This week’s shoot took place at Man Cave Barber Shop. Formerly housed only in Yaletown and Metrotown, Man Cave recently added two chairs to the new Frank & Oak flagship that opened last week in Gastown. Where else in town can dapper men get groomed, shop for the latest fashions, and emerge whole again?

knotwerk by ritchie po, mancave barbershop, sam mancave, helen siwak, ritchie po, vancouver, vancity, yvr, yaletown

We discussed the recent expansion with owner Sam, who looks forward to a long-lasting collaboration with Frank & Oak and, hopefully, will give rise to a trend of Vancouver men putting more effort into their every aspect of their look. If you’re looking for a complete experience in creating new looks or putting together that perfect holiday outfit, look no further than Man Cave and Frank & Oak.

knotwerk by ritchie po, mancave barbershop, sam mancave, helen siwak, ritchie po, vancouver, vancity, yvr, yaletown

THECloset YVR Editor Helen Siwak & owner of the Man Cave Barber Shop chain Sam.

knotwerk by ritchie po, mancave barbershop, sam mancave, helen siwak, ritchie po, vancouver, vancity, yvr, yaletown

Linwood Taurus tieing up a vintage Lanvin.

Tie carefully, yours in knotwerk,

Ritchie Po

IG: StyledLegally

(Photography and compilations by Helen Siwak of THECloset YVR)

knotwerk by ritchie po, mancave barbershop, sam mancave, helen siwak, ritchie po, vancouver, vancity, yvr, yaletown, SnickersHOS

Next Up! Man Cave Barber Shop welcomes well-behaved pets like #SnikersHOS.

Van Cleef & Arpels Plans Holiday Launch

van cleef & arpels, birks, vancouver, granville street, helen siwak, yvr, vancity

Image credit: Helen Siwak, THECloset YVR

According to a source at Vancouver’s Maison Birks, the Paris-based luxury jeweller Van Cleef & Arpels is set to open the expanded boutique just in time for the holidays. The expanded Van Cleef & Arpels will have its own dedicated entrance on Granville Street. The new boutique will replace a 300 sq. ft. shop-in-store that opened in Birks in 2006.

Birks Window Display

Image credit: Helen Siwak, THECloset YVR

With its main entrance just off of West Hastings Street, Maison Birks is the country’s largest with its retail space spanning 20,220 sq. ft. over two levels. This historical store is located in a former bank building, and the Van Cleef & Arpels boutique’s new doorway required modifications to the historical building’s facade as shown in the photograph.

Founded in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and his brothers-in-law Charles and Julien Arpels on the Place Vendome in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels is considered to be one of the world’s most prestigious jewellery brands.

van cleef & arpels, birks, vancouver, granville street, helen siwak, yvr, vancity

Snowflake Pattern. Image credit: Van Cleef & Arpels

In 1939, Claude Arpels opened their first boutique in New York City on 5th Avenue where it still stands today as an endearing emblem of the first European luxury companies to lay roots in the US. In the 1940s the company’s Snowflake collection was created, followed by the launch of the iconic Alhambra collection in 1968 which features the four-leaf clover.

van cleef & arpels, birks, vancouver, granville street, helen siwak, yvr, vancity

Alhambra Series. Image credit: Van Cleef & Arpels

Today, this luxury brand lends its fine jewels to some of the biggest designers’ fashion shows such as newcomers Gareth Pugh and the legendary Karl Lagerfeld. The company has store locations worldwide and in the US, it operates freestanding locations as well as concessions within selected Neiman Marcus stores.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

(The original version of this article and photographs by Helen Siwak was published in VancityBuzz.com. This is an expanded on version by Helen Siwak).

Frank & Oak Launch Flagship in Gastown

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Image courtesy Frank & Oak

North America’s fastest growing menswear brand, Frank & Oak, launched their Vancouver flagship at 316 West Cordova Street in Gastown. The location opened to the public on December 5th, 2015 after a 5 week build-out and marks the brand’s thirteenth retail store. VIPs and media attended a pre-launch and had the opportunity to speak with Frank & Oak’s Sophie Desbiens, who traveled from Montreal, to oversee the launch.

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Image courtesy Frank & Oak

Focusing on providing an experience that feels as local as it does global, Frank & Oak has reconfigured its flagship to offer the same personalized approach to shopping as it offers online. With mobile and online shopping seamlessly integrated in-store, customers will be able to access their past order histories and online style profiles, and can opt for complimentary personal styling appointments with trained style advisers.

Frank & Oak 4

Style writer Ritchie Po chatting with store stylist Tyler Yang. Image credit: Helen Siwak

Additionally, customers will be able to have products shipped directly to their homes if an item is not available in store, delivering Frank & Oak’s focus on connected retail. The flagship will carry Frank & Oak’s monthly menswear items, limited run collections, and will host a variety of community-oriented events which we are looking forward to.

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

THECloset YVR’s Helen Siwak and Sam, founder of Man Cave Barber Shop chain

The location also features a two chair Man Cave Barber Shop and juice bar helmed by the team at local juice emporium Krokodile Pear. The space is intended as a community hub to meet, connect and linger.

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, RetailFrank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Puppy friendly premises! Image credits: Helen Siwak

“We’re thrilled to reinforce our reputation for personalized service and unique in-store experiences the opening of this flagship location on the West Coast,” explained Frank & Oak Co-Founder and CEO Ethan Song. “We’re passionate about building a sense of community, culture, and integrating the two into a local approach but within the context of the digital world.”

Frank & Oak, krokodile pear, Gastown, Helen Siwak, Man Cave Barber Shop, Vancouver, BC, Retail

Window display and Frank & Oak Co-Founders Hicham Ratnani and Ethan Song

Check out this weeks’ Knotwerk by Ritchie Po shot exclusively in the new Frank & Oak!

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

BC’s First Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5th

saks fifth avenue, off 5th, retail insider, helen siwak,

Image credit: MR Magazine

Saks OFF 5TH has revealed four new Canadian locations will open between 2016 and 2018. To be located in Montreal, suburban Quebec City, suburban Vancouver and Winnipeg, the new Canadian stores will adapt the redesigned Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH aesthetic. They will be fashioned in an open and bright layout with adaptable displays, graphic elements and offering a comfortable environment for guests.

“We are excited that we are able to bring Saks OFF 5TH to these dynamic Ivanhoé Cambridge properties. We have now announced openings in five provinces across the country, and we look forward to bringing our OFF 5TH experience to the Canadian consumer,” commented Jonathan Greller, President of Outlets, HBC. “As we continue to grow our off-price business, we will announce more new Saks OFF 5TH locations in major markets across Canada.”

The suburban Vancouver Saks OFF 5TH, opening fall 2016, will measure 32,687 square feet and be located at Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Tsawwassen Mills. The mall will be about 1.2 million square feet, and this will be OFF 5TH’s first Vancouver-area store. According to Retail-Insider, the second location will be in Metrotown in Burnaby.

As part of the Hudson’s Bay Company brand portfolio, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH is a world-class shopping destination with 91 brick and mortar stores and online with saksoff5th.com. Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH features a compelling lineup of more than 800 brands, from emerging designers to some of the most recognized names in fashion such as Dianne Von Furstenberg, Blumarine. Emporio Armani, Giuseppe Zanotti, Givenchy and Proenza Schouler.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

 

Black 2 Blond & La Biosthetique Celebration

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

Dylan Beatch and first runner up Sara Burke

Early on this last Tuesday morning, Black 2 Blond Salon and Spa welcomed media and VIPs to celebrate Dylan Beatch’s win in Paris with a lovely breakfast soiree. Dylan won the La Biosthétique International Beauty Stylist Award Winner 2015/2016 and everyone was ready to join him in celebration.

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

The amazing Black 2 Blond team with La Biosthetique’s Marc Riese (3rd from left) and Michelle Phaneuf (far right)

Upon arriving guests were welcomed warmly by manager Teresa Polson and the salon team and enjoyed delectable Thomas Haas pastries, fresh squeezed Nectar Juicery orange juice, organic ProsEcco bubbly, and a rich 49th Parallel coffee.

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

Thomas Haas pastries

After which La Biosthetique Account Manager, Michelle Phaneuf, gave me a personalized tour of the new product lines and helped select a gift bag of their cruelty free products suitable for my skin type and lifestyle. The new winter collection includes revamped packaging which is colour coded and a sleek luxury line inspired around the smooth perfection of the pearl.

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

La Biosthetique Paris Winter Collection

Black 2 Blond - Pearl Luxury_edited-1

The luxury collection line

The La Biosthétique International Beauty Stylist Awards were recently held in the iconic Pavilion Champs Elysees, Paris, France, with over 1100 hairdressers from around the world coming together for the prestigious ceremony.

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

The winning look by Dylan Beatch. Styled by Sarah D’Arcey. Photographed by Matthew Chen.

As reigning Canadian La Biosthétique International Beauty Award recipient, Dylan was joined at the awards by runner up Sara Burke, and fellow La Biosthétique Canada creative directors Anna and Marc Riese, as well as General Manager Philip Jung.

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

Creative Director Marc Riese with stylist Sarah D’Arcey

Dylan’s winning look was styled by Sarah D’Arcey, photographed by Matthew Chen and was inspired by the 1960s. He felt that the model had a natural Audrey Hepburn style and really tried to bring out the famous actresses essence with the style, cut and colour.

“Winning this year’s international beauty stylist award was a great achievement for myself and my team. It has validated all of the hard work I have put into my craft over the past 3 years and all of the hard work my mentors have put into me as well. It fits nicely for the company that I am a part of as well, although La Biosthetique has been around since the 1960’s it is a fairly new beauty brand in Canada and to take home the international win within its first decade is very special. It shows the rest of the world that we are on the way up and Canada, is and can be, a competitor in the beauty and fashion industry on a global scale.” Dylan Beatch

Dylan Beatch, Black 2 Blond, Michelle Phaneuf, Helen Siwak, La Biosthetique, Vancouver, YVR

Michelle Phaneuf, Dylan Beatch and Helen Siwak

THECloset YVR congratulates Dylan Beatch, the Black 2 Blond team and La Biosthetique for consistently providing top quality services and striving for the top.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene

Read our previous article on Dylan Beatch here.

 

Knotwerk by Ritchie Po: Brooks Bros with Diagonal

Brooks Bros Wide Header 1I was pondering the aesthetic in men’s fashion recently, and noticed on my Instagram feed that I’ve come to appreciate some of the asymmetrical looks of late. Not everything has to be mirrored on both sides of any centre, as long as it is tastefully done. Similarly, no clothing retailer has to follow the exact same business model.

ritchie po, knotwerk by ritchie po, menswear, fashion blogger, style writer, frank & oak, helen siwak, vancouver, ecoluxluv, yvr

Top: Mexx; Pants: TopMan; Shoes: Kenneth Cole

ritchie po, knotwerk by ritchie po, menswear, fashion blogger, style writer, frank & oak, helen siwak, vancouver, ecoluxluv, yvr

These thoughts crossed my mind recently when we received our invitations to the Frank & Oak flagship store pre-launch party in Gastown, Vancouver’s fashionable garment district and a great urban trend spotting site.  This upscale men’s clothier, the formerly online-only company is set to open its doors to the public in historic Gastown, allowing clients and new customers to directly engage with them in Vancouver.

Frank & Oak have turned heads with their mix of casual styles, but manufactured and served to buyers using elements formerly exclusive only to luxury couture houses. We tied this week’s opening party for an unorthodox, innovative company with a similarly asymmetric yet chic knot, the Diagonal Knot in a classic Brooks Brothers cravat.

Diagram Diagonal Knot

The Diagonal knot is both simple yet difficult at the same time. The trick is coordination. This doesn’t need a lot of fabric, so lay the tie as you would a conventional Windsor knot, as you’ll be working with the big end. Cross the wide end around the front at the neck, twice. After the second loop around the centre, feed the large end over the anchor point and pull it to your left. You should have an overlapping flap on the left, and you will see the cylinder in the middle. Loosen the centre cylinder a little. Wrap the wide end around the back and feed it – very gingerly! – through the centre cylinder. Be careful not to do this too fast, or the entire tie will unravel. This is a simple step, but doing it wrong will undo all your work. Pull the wide end down the centre. At this point, the little end may start to wander around the front, but use the big end to cover the little one, straighten out the overlapping flap and the centre cylindrical loop, and you’ve tied the Diagonal knot. This works with a slightly thicker as well as a thinner tie (although if your tie is very long, you’ll find the excessive fabric unsightly and will want something more complicated, such as the Viper knot).

ritchie po, knotwerk by ritchie po, menswear, fashion blogger, style writer, frank & oak, helen siwak, vancouver, ecoluxluv, yvr

Catching up with sales associate Tyler Yang

Originally from Montreal, Frank & Oak have become popular with a business model that thrives on a variation of vertical integration. They start off with great garments, and send them by mail order to the customer based on preference, size and price point, tailored for the right cut. Any clothing that doesn’t fit can be sent back. They produce their own clothing line and cut out the middleman by selling directly by mail order to the customer. In other words, they turn the traditional fashion retail model on its head by controlling everything from design to production, therefore incorporating the same attention couture ateliers devote to their clients but at more entry-level price points and casual styles. It’s a tweak on conventional commercial fashion activity, done on a mental diagonal (even if it’s more vertical), much like the knot I’m wearing. Frank + Oak’s ingenuity is modeled on combining high-fashion elements in more casual styles for everyday wear.

ritchie po, knotwerk by ritchie po, menswear, fashion blogger, style writer, frank & oak, helen siwak, vancouver, ecoluxluv, yvr

Frank & Oak are officially launching the new location at Saturday, December 5th at 316 West Cordova.  We were fortunate to shoot at their pre-launch event, and congratulate Sophie Desbiens and the team on their new location.

Tie carefully, yours in knotwerk,

Ritchie Po
IG: styledlegally

(All photographs by Helen Siwak of THEClosetYVR)

Tiffany & Co Launches ‘Joy Comes Out of the Blue’

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Guests enjoying the most luxurious Show & Tell of signature jewellery

Tiffany & Co. recently unveiled its Holiday 2015 advertising campaign the ‘Joy Comes Out of The Blue’ with a private Breakfast at Tiffany’s event for Vancouver’s top stylists, bloggers, and media.

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Hawksworth Restaurant treating everyone a delicious morning repast

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Customized cookies in sugar and ginger flavours by the Uncommon Cake.

From the moment the guests arrived the experience was all about luxury – complete with personal door service, brewed and sparkling beverages, savoury hors d’oeuvres and gorgeous baked sweets.

This season’s campaign is themed to brilliantly capture the magical moment when people with close personal ties present each other with the ultimate gift: the Tiffany Blue Box and its sparkling contents.

“The joy is not only in our blue box, but also in the deep feelings people share,” said Caroline Naggiar, Tiffany’s chief marketing officer. “We so often emphasize the glamour and luxury of Tiffany; but we also enjoy a heritage at the center of life’s most meaningful occasions. Tiffany’s is not only the most anticipated gift to receive, but also the most coveted to give.”

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Stunning one-of-a-kind piece price at over $200K and on loan from Tiffany & Co in New York

Tiffany simultaneously launched a limited run collection of the most lustrous and breathtaking large diamond and gemstone pieces (probably the largest ever seen in Vancouver!) to compliment their holiday campaign. In between sips of mimosa’s, guests were encouraged to try-on and experience the beauty of the individual pieces.

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Sparkling with over $3M worth of diamonds!

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Shiny happy people! Digital media influencers Josh Langston (The-SocialLife.com) and Randa Salloum (RandaSalloum.com)

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Fell absolutely in love with these beautiful earrings

Earlier this month Tiffany & Co also pledged to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050, joining other leading companies in setting long-term climate change goals and asking world leaders to do the same.

As part of an initiative organized by ‘The B Team’, a not-for-profit coalition of global business leaders, Tiffany & Co. CEO Frédéric Cumenal joined in signing an open letter to Heads of State that emphasizes the importance of a long-term climate goal and highlights the bold actions of the private sector. Also, at its manufacturing and distribution facilities, Tiffany & Co. is implementing a variety of energy-saving and emission-reducing programs, including the use of solar arrays.

“As a global iconic brand and leader in sustainable luxury, Tiffany is proud to join other responsible businesses in pledging net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2050,” said Cumenal. “This continues our commitment to protecting our precious natural environment and we hope to inspire others to do the same.”

Tiffany is the internationally renowned jeweler founded in New York in 1837 and the Burrard Street location, in downtown Vancouver, is a reflection of the company’s timeless elegance. For holiday gift-giving there is a selection of timepieces, sterling silverware, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances and accessories.

Tiffany and Co, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Helen Siwak, Fashion, Style, Blogger, Vancouver, YVR

Welcoming smile by Miriam Sklar who showed us the latest in Tiffany & Co signature charms

Thank you to Brianna at Hawksworth Communications for the invitation to this very sparkly holiday event.

Ciao ciao,

Helen Siwak, On the Scene