Hot Shop: Wardrobe Apparel

wardrobeTired of rifling through racks of tame separates? Every item in new Gastown boutique Wardrobe Apparel looks to have been pumped with a sartorial defibrillator.

"I realized, when I looked at my wardrobe, most of the pieces I have weren't purchased in Vancouver," explains founder Alex Thompson, who left the banking world, travelled to Nepal and had an ephipany that prompted her to pursue her lifelong interest in fashion, full-time.

wardrobeWith Wardrobe, Thompson seeks to bring Vancouver shoppers a truly one-of-a-kind experience, featuring predominantly bold English brands that shirk the local status quo of conservative style: Fyodor Golan's otherworldly kaleidoscope-print sportswear-inspired pieces, ethereal Athena Procopiou fringed graphic kimonos and and (originally Canadian) Greta Constantine couture in a rainbow spectrum of colours. Shoes, by Chelsea Paris Ada, are real stunners (the designer's on the brink of exploding into the spotlight, so get yours now) and jewelry by Imogen Belfield (pictured, left), with chunky geological elements, is unique and covetable.

Items are high end and priced accordingly, but Wardrobe's atmosphere has the idiosyncratic charm of a small vintage shop. Call ahead to book an exclusive shopping appointment. —Adrienne Matei 

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Wardrobe Apparel, 67 Cordova St., Vancouver, 778-379-8860,

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