PLACES: The Hudsons Bay Company and  FiveSixty, Vancouver

THINGS: Top Shop Media Preview, Media Afterparty
By Joshua Langston
Photos by Viranlly
I’m impatient. I can’t wait for anything. This includes simple necessities like coffee to next   month’s fashion glossies to takeout sushi.  So you can imagine my anxiousness in waiting for Topshop to come to Vancouver!
My first experience at Topshop was in NYC back in September 2009, only a few months after their initial opening.  At the time I had only been able to fawn over England’s Topshop from afar, but then I found myself smack dab in the middle of a three floor fashion megastore. I left with so many bags of clothes, it looked like I actually robbed the place.  Every season I go for NYFW, Topshop is one of my first stops.
This British based fashion power house has become a multi-national company, constantly expanding without diluting their brand identity. In addition to their high-street in store collections, Topshop has two runway collections, Unique (Womens) and Topman Design (Mens). These collections are shown during London Fashion Week and set Topshop apart from other “fast fashion” brands. It’s refreshing to see a store not only follow the current trends, but also boast two collections that create trends.
Topshop and Topman initially opened a capsule store inside the Hudson’s Bay Company downtown Vancouver, but of course, the city was left wanting more.  They carried a nice selection, but it paled in comparison to my experience at the 3-floor shopping Mecca in NYC.  I heard that Topshop was expanding and taking over a large part of the existing HBC….to say I was elated would be a understatement. There was months of build up and anticipation; major renovations were being done to create the 33,000 sq. foot store. The new Vancouver flagship is now the second largest Topshop location in the company and the largest in North America.  It is second only to the Topshop at Oxford Circus in the heart of London.
The opening of Topshop/Topman is HUGE for Vancouver, especially for us mens with long slim frames.  The tailoring and execution behind Topman is mind boggling and I never have to get any of my purchases tailored.  It’s a testament to their expert craftsmanship and exquisite design.
The TSL team was on the scene for the exclusive media preview of the store a day before the official public opening. The store is so big I almost had to drop pins on my iPhone maps to remember where I had already been. Viranlly, Lyndi and I shopped around the store with all the key media and notable bloggers in the city. It was a wonderful way to spend the afternoon and a great lead up to the after party later that night.
After an exciting afternoon of previewing the store, it was time to celebrate! The Hudsons Bay Company is known for their over-the-top and fabulous events, easily some of the best in the city. Tonight was no exception as the the team at HBC and Topshop pulled out all the stops to create an unforgettable evening.  We clicked our heels down to Club Five Sixty for the grand fete.
A red carpet was placed through the entrance to the club and down passed the media wall, obviously.  Click, click, photo, pose and enter!  The walls were projected with videos from Topshop and the crowd danced to the hot beats of DJ Kasha Kennedy.  The downstairs bathroom floor  was attended by male models…because why not?  Viranlly, my date, photographer and partner in crime, got to work snapping photos of the stunning crowd and inspiring backdrops.
 We were enjoying cocktails and conversations raving about the new store, then the next thing I knew, I was up against the stage and Metric was performing. THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED. Metric gave us EVERYTHING.  They turned it out with an amazing set that still rang in my ears early the next morning. After 45minutes of jumping and flailing my body around, I was left with a raspy voice and a huge smile on my face. The night continued on as DJ Kasha Kennedy turned the beats up into overdrive. One minute I was dancing to a remix of Adele, the next minute Azealea Banks and our fashionable little crew dancing in a circle, throwing up arms and spitting some dirty rap.  It was amazing.
 I did not want the night to end, but alas I had to be up early to attend the ribbon cutting and official opening of the store. I collected my jacket, a bag of emotions and fond memories and made my way home.  I got in the door, took off 10 pounds of jewellery and was off to bed, dreaming of seer sucker suits and leopard print shirts.
Want to know what happened opening day?  You’ll have to stay tuned. Until next time….Joshua xx