We couldn't help but notice that blogger and Twitter fiend Keira-Anne Mellis has definite style savvy. This fashion-forward Vancouverite was gracious enough to enlighten us with her observations about Vancouver's unique fashion and style sense.
Having called Vancouver home for more than five years, there are still mornings when I slide open my closet doors, drum my fingernails on the wall and ask myself if I've learned anything at all. In a diverse and fashion-forward city such as this one, deciding how to present yourself each day can be a precarious task -- for both men and women. But it's a challenge I've come to relish.
It's impossible to find yourself here and not be instantly thrust into a crash course in style. Much like nearly every other aspect of Vancouver's culture, its fashion factor has evolved over time from a melting pot of styles. There's a time, place and face for every look imaginable. As is true of my own style, Vancouver cannot be defined by a single notion. Here are just a few reasons why I love Vancouver's unique style.
1. We Are Pioneers
Style in Vancouver has some serious history, with more than a few heavyweight names giving us bragging rights. In the last five years, lululemon athletica has gone from a single Kitsilano workout-wear boutique to an internationally renowned and feverishly sought-after label. High-end creations have also found their place in Vancouver with Obakki, a Gastown-based fashion house that's quickly becoming a celebrity favourite. Their dynamic designs have been seen draped on the likes of Kate Hudson and Gwyneth Paltrow.
2. International Influence
Known for being one of Canada's most culturally diverse cities, it should come as no surprise that fashion and form in Vancouver have become something of a continuous work in progress. With ideas filtering in from quite literally every corner of the globe, transforming and building on the visions of others can be an exciting process -- for those up to the challenge. It's that international inspiration that has introduced me to the exhilaration in pairing lush fabrics, contrasting colours and layering charming accessories over each other.
3. Fashion Trumps Function
It's not to say that we don't receive our fair share of wet, grey and sometimes miserable weather. But, while most of Canada bundles up in multiple layers and GORE-TEX, the weather out west is generally mild. Vancouverites are often afforded the luxury of wearing open-toed shoes to both New Year's galas and spring flings alike. Though with that said, every self-respecting Vancouver fashionista has invested in a classic winter coat. After all, no one notices what you're wearing if you're shivering.
4. Incredible Shopping
Vancouver will never lack an abundance of truly amazing shopping options. Finding what you wish for is always an adventure as you hunt through luxe retailers, vintage treasures, unique boutiques and sprawling shopping centres. In a city of diverse neighbourhoods, it's never difficult to find what you're looking, and you can count on stumbling upon some hidden gems along the way. While I adore the charm of Main Street's array of cozy coffeehouses and folksy shops, South Granville is my favourite area to give my wallet a workout. It's a neighbourhood that has everything from the kitchen gadgets I crave to lust-worthy shoes.
No matter the ebb and flow of the makeshift catwalk that is our city's sidewalks, one factor will always remain the same: distinction. As someone who still struggles with pinpointing her own ideas of what's in vogue, I can appreciate that Vancouver is a revolving door of trends, labels and perceptions of fashion. From the silly to the savvy, Vancouver has seen it all. In a city of anything goes, individuality reigns supreme.
By Keira-Anne Mellis, keira-anne.com