Who needs Cannes when we have our very own Riviera collection of clothing designers in a
haberdashery fit for South Granville stars, not to mention the beautiful people who wear them.
It was a glittery affair on June 4 as the well-heeled and the well-turned out turned up to celebrate Boboli's superb pop-up location on West Broadway (formerly the design mecca Liberty) while the original locale on Granville Street is undergoing a long anticipated "facelift".
There is something about these temporary digs which is hard to place....ah yes! Space! And plenty of it.
When I first walked in the door, I was struck by the cool and open interior. Complete with indoor fountain and plenty of natural light pouring in, the white interior reminded me of one of Barbara Hutton's orchid hot houses. Indeed, laid out in a garden like manner it is easy to stroll around and take in the view of some of the world's most coveted designer pieces.
The thoughtful and well edited collection of both men's and ladies clothing comes to life here. When speaking with the owner Margie Murphy, we agreed that everything seemed to bloom. Each item has room to breathe and to be seen.
Clusters of Valentino handbags and studded clutches rose behind hedges of delicately heeled pumps, nude and blush tones giving way to hot house flashes of the neon pink and graphic acid yellow purses below. I reached out and touched freely, there were no thorns here.
As I wandered among the beautiful people sipping rose and noshing on tiny, cucumber wrapped "somethings" so as not to ruin my lipstick, I made my way to the back section, passing by a table of arranged and neatly folded washed out denims and bateau striped tops which cried out "South of France insouciance". Distressed never looked so good.
The "art wall" at the back is something to behold. It's a wall of hanging scarves of all patterns and textures, not unlike an ancient market place. Again, I felt compelled to touch these gossamer offerings. Sheer washes of spice-like colours and patterns, some with prints of artists. My favourite was Dali, peering ghostlike in a cloud of poppy red. The stuff of dreams.
I found a rack of beautiful floral and embroidered pieces and as I flipped through the hangers, I saw an Antoio Marras skirt with overblown flowers on a white background and was transported back to my ballet days when I had a similar one. Lost in thought, I was brought back by a tap on the shoulder and a refill of my glass of rose.
Upstairs on the landing, dressing the row of mannequins overlooking the lower level, a collection of Valentino butterfly pieces seemed ready to take flight. Nearby, a knit Etro dress harkened early Frank Lloyd Wright and had the casual throw-on appeal of an early 1900's flapper gown.
I saw beautiful things that night, including Missoni dresses that screamed "wear me by the pool!" and sandals that I saw myself wearing in Rome.
With all this European street-style chic appeal it's no wonder that men and women alike flock to Boboli.
South Granville may not be near Cannes but it's our very own Red Carpet.
Boboli's temporary location is at 1635 West Broadway. The Granville Street store will be re-opening later this summer. Stay Tuned - visit www.boboli.ca or follow @bobolivancouver on twitter and instagram to keep up to date with progress and goings-on.
2776 Granville St
604 257 2300