Vancouver just got a little bit more British and a whole lot more fabulous. The largest international Topshop and Topman, has opened its doors down on the bottom floor of The Bay (think a Canadian John Lewis) on Granville street and I got to take a sneak peek the day before it opened. With 33,000 sq foot of retail heaven to check out, it may not be as enormous as my beloved Oxford Circus branch, but it’s the second-largest in the world and until I return to the UK, to worship at the ‘Temple of Topshop’ I rather suspect The Bay will become a favourite stop-off.
The layout felt pleasingly familiar and I loved the funky dressing rooms with Vancouver-influenced art on the walls. Across the store, four main trends dominate this season: ‘Witching Hour’ – a gothic-influenced line with leather and lace themes running throughout. ‘Psychedelic Dandy’, all Paisley prints and clashing glitz. ‘Scandi-Girl’ which combines cool military khakis with lace detail, and ‘Factory Girl’ – a cavalcade of futuristic 60s Swinging London pieces with plenty of metallics.
I spoke to a few of the staff in the Personal Shopping section (a brilliant way to find an outfit for a special occasion – totally recommended) to get a sense of why Vancouverites were so excited about this particular British invasion, ‘The UK is so fashion forward. You just can’t find clothes like this anywhere!’ they told me. ‘West Coast fashion is so laid-back, but the UK is all about dressing up a cool outfit or taking individual pieces to dress a look down. We’re like kids in a candy store!’
So, did I manage to stick to my self-imposed ‘Just The Money In Your Purse’ budget and not totally spank my credit card?
Guilty confession: um… not thrifty.
But I got to waltz around the rest of The Bay swinging my well-stuffed Topshop bag, which drew excited comments from the friendly staff on the Elizabeth Arden counter, “Ooh! you went into Topshop! What’s it like? Is it amazing!?” and that soothed any pain. (Hey – no one said being over-excited about getting to go shopping first was anything but very shallow… But oh! So much fun). And if the day wasn’t perfect enough, I discovered one of my favourite food trucks, Soho Road, https://twitter.com/SohoRoad parked just across the street from the store with their superb spicy Butter Chicken. Cue moans of delight! Mmmmm…
Topshop are running a host of giveaways and contests to celebrate – so check out all the action on Twitter at @Topshop_Canada and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/topshopcanada