Event | 紀實
BTS: THECloset YVR Launches with Thanks to VIPs & Friends

On Friday night (August 21st) Vlassis and I proudly opened the door and many bottles of wine, to a small gathering of our VIPs. ‘Very Important People‘ who helped us either emotionally, financially or physically along our journey of opening Vancouver’s first eco-luxury lifestyle boutique (possibly Canada’s?). It was an intimate evening of hugs and smiles followed by a second party Saturday afternoon to which we invited all our fashion industry friends. The concept of opening a niche retail boutique that sells only curated luxury at an affordable price point – be it new or vintage – alongside BC artisan pieces with a strong focus on value-added customer service, was met with a lot of skepticism and trepidation. But we did it anyway!

BC Artisan vendor products: Reclaimed Print Co and our exclusive nautical screened pieces, Basic Design, Me&YouBody vegan personal grooming products, and an array of Gianfranco Ferre vintage ties. We want to first thank Vancity Credit Unions Hormus Karat (Branch #4 Manager) and Josh Ludgate from Small Business BC for taking a chance on us. The process was months long but together we pulled it off and Hormus and his lovely wife Berndette joined us and it really made our evening! Our mentor Craig Patterson of Retail-Insider and Winston Collective was travelling and unable to make the VIP party but we know how proud he is. We cannot express how valuable lawyer Ritchie Po is to our business. Not only is he a fantastic friend but his Knotwerk By Ritchie Po is gaining momentum and the highest read content on our FB and website! Conceptualizing and shooting the weekly style column is always so much fun.

THECloset YVR: Style Writer Ritchie Po of #KnotwerkByRitchiePo (Lanvin tie, Varvatos vest & Fluevog shoes), co-founders Vlassis Xanthopoulos (PhatFarm shirt) and Helen Siwak (Armani dress and Bulgari pendant fromModaselle).
L: Collectible vintage Mary Quant and soft blue gemstone Cartier scarf. R: La Cigale: Senteurs Provencales shaving and gift boxes, Tracey Tomtene custom necklaces that say“Like a Boss, Girl Boss, Do Epic Shit, EcoLuxLuv”.

Even though I have known Dominique Hanke and Joshua Langston for a long time, it is only recently that we have really come together as close friends. Both have been incredibly supportive over the past year and always have a ‘chin up’ approach to any of the seemingly unsolvable and/or insane situations we find ourselves in.

Left to Right: The Triumvirate: Helen Siwak, with Lead In-House Stylist Dominique Hanke of HankeStyle in Graeme Black gown, Joshua Langston of The Social Life wearing head to toe thrifted! This is how you do it: shirt by Religion, bag by Alexander Wang, belt by Versace Jeans Couture, pants by DSquared2 & footwear by Louis Vuitton.

Jaralin Detienne is a new friend and supporter. I met a woman in the puppy park late one night and she took my card for a friend of a friend who wanted to do consignment. Jaralin came into the boutique with the most beautiful runway collection consignment and literally never went home! She offered to help immediately with the set-up of the boutique, the party, everything we needed until the party was over and we closed the doors. Amazing! She is a singer – click her name for her youtube channel. Dr. Jeff Matthews is a physicist turned animal rights activist and President of Sea Shepherd Canada. As proud he is of us, we are equally as proud of him. His encouragement and availability as a sounding board for our ecofriendly business strategies was invaluable. THECloset YVR is honoured to be named the exclusive distributor of Sea Shepherd Canada merchandise. Await the announcement and come visit for t-shirts and beanies in a month or so. Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith was our hostess and lent her shining personality to welcoming everyone. She is hitting Vancouver like a hurricane with her vibrant force. THECloset YVR provided her a two piece Gianni Versace Couture vintage set to stand-out in her important role.

Left to Right: Singer Songwriter Jaralin Detienne (Alexander McQueen dress), Sea Shepherd’s Jeff Matthews / Hostess Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith, Edmond Lee of Jo Malone & Estee Lauder in amazing Miu Miu
Ritchie’s guests: Wesley Yuen of Artistrun Collective holding DSquared2 Top Banana belt with husband Patrick Prinster.
Ritchie’s friend Amanda Harris snapping pics and chatting about knotty things.
Left to Right: Rebecca Rachel of Serendipity Boutique (Chanel bag & Valentino rockstuds), Helen Siwak and her former intern, stylist & dancer Jason Pillay.
Matthew Saunders of Holt Renfrew, Edmond Lee, Aaron Thul VP of EMOL / Jason and Rebecca.
Aaron, Ritchie and Matt O’Grady of BC Business looking cool in casual chic.
Clockwise: Rebecca, Model Nyalem Wan / Nyalem, Helen Siwak & Vlassis Xanthopoulos / Wesley and Orianna.
Clockwise: Helen’s decolletage, fancy footwear including Josh’s vintage Louis Vuitton two-tones, Edmond’s Miu Miu and style blogger Tahmina of Alouve.com and her Hermes handbag.

Before photographer Kuna Lu arrived some of our invitees stopped by and we were so excited that we forgot to get pictures – apologies to Sue Randhawa, Britta Bisig,Myriam Laroche, and Randa Salloum. Our La Biosthetique gal, Michelle Phaneuf was on a well-deserved cruise and did not attend but we made sure everyone received a sponsored gift bag complete with La Bios products and other goodies from our sponsors and vendors.

Gift bags sponsored by La Biosthetique.

We dined on Plantbase Food & Natural Products vegan appetizers that blew everyone away! Thank you chef David Isbister for the amazing food, incredible pricing and convenient delivery.

Documenting the deliciousness: 1. Chocolate-enrobed Paleo Cookie Dough Truffle, 2. BBQ “Pork” Style Jackfruit with Arugula and crisped onion, 3. Cashew Cheddar, Sweet Pickled Beet Root on a raw flax seed/tomato/onion cracker – topped with a pinch of raw probiotic cultured cabbage, 4. Fried Chinese Eggplant strip with fresh Coconut Sesame Slaw. Thank you to everyone! We’ve got a great group of people supporting us and we are grateful.

Helen & Vlassis

Writing by Helen Siwak | THECloset YVR
Photography by Kuna Lu | Kuna Photography Group
Source: THECloset YVR


Event | 紀實
Christmas Craft Fair

Circle craft is an annual Vancouver event. It showcases many neat artists’ works, the so-called Christmas fair. I have been going this year since more than 7 or 8 years ago. It has changed its location from Canada Place to Convention Centre West now.

Every year, there is over 300 booth showcase in beautiful VanCity. The crafts include many varieties from fashion garments, hats, scarf, jewellery, women’s accessories to flower art, glass art, sophisticated crafts. Moreover, baby outfits, photography, printing, sweets, chocolate, mushroom, salmon fish cans and more.

Like many events, the organization often is the key to determining how you feel about the event; how organized and those little neat thinking for the customer how to visit the show. Circle craft never failed to surprise me every year with their improvement. The floor plan is simple and easy to navigate. A lot of chairs are placed in two main aisles for people to take a break. Springwater was also placed on the end of the aisles for thirty customers. At end of the booth, is where all the food-related vendors are. Also, the resting area with food and drinks for order.

A detailed information website is provided lists all the ticket prices and showtime on each day for anyone planning their trip easy. Of course, well promotion on all the media. Everyone is able to know about the event through moving transit buses’ body advertising, as well as the street banner on Granville bridge.

The signage is also placed in an obvious location for direct traffic. No matter your local or visitor. You are able to find the showplace without hassle.

I am so pleased and enjoy the live jazz music they set up for this year. Never be that enjoy walking around while listening to beautiful jazz next to my ear.

There is one new change this year which I enjoy very much – live jazz/music show. The circle craft always has one section showcasing musician or dancer performance. However, it has always been placed on another side somehow separate from the main craft show area, a bit isolated. However, the situation has changed for this year. The small live performance area is located in the centre of the show. Therefore, I am able to hear beautiful melodies flow in the air while busying walking around and checking out every creative booth.

We often go after work, after 5pm, to enjoy the two for one price. The whole show really requires at least 3 hours time to fully enjoy every booth. For first time visitors, leave yourself more than 3 hours time just in case. Another great thing provided by circle craft is they are allowed re-entry. If you are so enjoying the show, and love to come back again the day after. Simply fill in the form before heading out to the convention centre.

Who is the lucky winner dor $1,000 shopping spree?

Lastly, don’t forget to fill in the lucky draw for a $1,000 shopping spree. As you can see in the picture, that giant glass container is already filled up with so many people’s draw. I can imagine they probably have to take out some for the weekend people to come. We truly enjoy the show again this year. So look forward again next year.


Fashion | 時尚
Elegant Walk at Gastown

The beautiful story began with a talented designer Mandy fashion while she travelled overseas for seeking Vancouver editorial photographer.

After her research, she narrows down the specific style that she is after for choosing the right candidate for this fashion project. And that’s how everything began at Steveston’s cafe shop. We all agree to focus on vintage fashion flavour and decided on having the theme set at Gastown. This historical location is full of artistic feel flow in the air. A lot of bricks’ texture and colour fulfil the scene that we are after. Of course, with Mandy’s skilful creation, we are able to capture stunning images through every shutter click. Mandy’s status is not only limited to fashion designer, she is also a famous model in China. With multiple identities, Mandy is able to enrich the content and visual interest into every photograph.

Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection

Simple Black with white bead decorate. Best match with Autumn season.

Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection

Personally, I am a big fan of the sleeves design and light pattern on the material. Reminds me of the white butterfly.

Mandy Fashion Collection

Beautiful Gastown, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection

Pink. Shine at the universe.

Mandy Fashion Collection
Mandy Fashion Collection

Funky! Always amazed by those pretty colour combinations. Simple Elegant!

Make-up: Maggie Liu & Ashley Chou
Hair: Maggie Liu
Design: Mandy by B
Model: Mandy Bao
Photography: Kuna Lu