Fashion & RetailHeadline

Holt Renfrew – Spring 2010 Preview

In the fashion industry, trendsetting can be compared to a pyramid. High fashion and couture, starting at the top, and their runway looks for the upcoming season are way beyond the budgets of the average shopper (and MMV reader). But as time passes, these trends trickle down the pyramid as assessable ready-to-wear fashion available at our favourite clothing chains.

Described somewhat as a “fashion visionary”, being a fashion globe-trotter is part of Barb Atkin’s job description as the Vice President of Fashion Direction for Holt Renfrew (737 Dunsmuir Street). At Holt Renfrew’s Spring 2010 Media Preview, Barb gave a presentation about forecasted fashion trends for Spring/Summer 2010 and brought back to local media, her insights and observations about upcoming trends, neatly packaged into 4 easily-understandable “looks”

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Beauty & SkincareHeadline

Bombay Brow Bar

I had the opportunity to check out Bombay Brow Bar (1056 Mainland Street), a new concept boutique specializing in shaping your brows but with Yaletown service style. Newly opened by sisters Ravy and Amy Minhas, Bombay Brow Bar brings in a Bollywood experience, with a Yaletown twist! Ravy is a business graduate from Thomson Rivers University, while younger sister Amy is a freshly trained esthetician from Vancouver Community College.

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HeadlineHealth & Wellness

Vida Spa – Pine and Juniper Berry Massage

Founded in 2002, Vida Spa offers uniquely luxurious, personalized and healing spa experiences including an expansive menu of treatments based on the ancient Indian science of Ayurveda, all designed to enhance wellness, engage the senses, and nurture body and mind. Because every individual has unique needs, Vida Spa tailors their full range of traditional body therapies, wraps, exfoliations and facial treatments to each client, providing a customized way to restore energy and promote well-being.
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Last week, I was invited to their Sheraton Wall Centre location for the festive treatment of Vida’s “Pine and Juniper Berry Massage”. The waiting area (see above picture) was extremely tranquil. Big comfortable chairs, couches, and other cushion-y things to sit on were arranged inside the waiting area. The lights were dim, and a small waterfall/fountain was at one end of the room. I was offered tea and water (with lemon or cucumber) as I filled out the health form while I waited for my masseur to lead me to the other room.

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Food & DrinkHeadline

Society Dining Lounge – now open in Yaletown

Earlier this month, the Glowbal Group’s newest initiative “Society” (1257 Hamilton Street) opened in Yaletown. With the tagline of “Opposites Attract. The Unexpected Reigns”, Society most definitely has unique, unexpected menu offerings!! Described as a “union of opposites”, the menu offers comfort food – but with a twist.

So for example, classic tomato soup accompanied by mini grilled cheese sandwiches (hmm, following the “tapas” trend?), Mac & Cheese balls (think crabcake style), apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a Nutella milkshake (spiked with Baileys). As for prices, Society’s express lunch menu is a pretty good deal. Less than $10 for sandwich-y types of food. Also, several of their menu items contain cotton candy as an ingredient, including on their drinks menu, the “Candy Collins” which is probably the most creative drink I’ve ever had. It came with a generous fluff of cotton candy on top, and I was advised by the bartender that I could either eat it plain, or melt it into my gin to sweeten as desired.

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Fashion & RetailHeadlineSales & Discounts

GAP – Sprize Card

Surprise!! The GAP has literally turned its retail world upside down with the launch of its “SPRIZE” card. Last week, on a regular Thursday morning, the downtown Vancouver community awoke to upside-down logos, signs, mannequins, and even cars (!!) surrounding the GAP on Robson Street. All this “shopping turned on its head” in preparation to prepare the public for the SPRIZE offering.

With an easy one-minute in-store sign up … the SPRIZE card offers customers an incentive to purchase now, instead of waiting for an item to go on sale. How? If something you buy from GAP goes on sale within 45 days of your purchase date, you are notified by email and automatically given an in-store credit (called “Sprize Bucks”) of the difference in pricing.

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Beauty & SkincareHeadline

Murale opens at Oakridge Centre

Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation opened its first Murale store in Vancouver at Oakridge Centre. As I walked into the new venue (located near the food court, on the GAP and Aritzia side), the bright lights, white floor and neatly lined shelves of beauty products mimicked Shoppers’ Drug Mart’s beauty boutique – but much more spacious.

Brands which immediately caught my eye included Cargo, Smashbox, Benefit, Biotherme, Nars, Bobbi Brown…as well as your classic brands like Clinique, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent.

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