Reinventing Toronto's Fashion Scene: The Room
By Karl Petschke, exclusive to Torontopath.com
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Since last fall, The Bay has set a new course for the Toronto fashion scene with its reinvention of “The Room” at the third level of its Queen Street location. Once known as the St. Regis Room, a mainstay for stylish, well-heeled women in the market for sharp outfits during the lunch hour, The Room had gradually lost its cache since its inception in the 30’s. However, under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Bonnie Brooks, The Room, along with the rest of Hudson Bay Company, hopes to reclaim its place as Canada’s most desirable fashion locale.
Though The Room’s rebirth has inspired a radical shift in The Bay’s approach to fashion and luxury, the space alone gives shoppers a chance to explore an updated interpretation of the shopping experience. Challenging the ubiquitous row and aisle aesthetic, the Room instead supplies shoppers with a space that is flowing and organic, with various areas being partitioned by dynamic, diverse installations that help to distance The Room from the all-too-familiar semblance of a mall or department store. Inviting guests in with the sleek confidence of glamorously adorned mannequins, and the eclectic energy of its elegant, sunlit environment, The Room is helping to redefine not only what it means to shop at The Bay, but what it means to be a shop at The Bay.
Boasting more than just an ultra modern location, the eye popping space hopes to guide HBC out of its department store ways, bringing new focus to garments and outfits that provide a cohesive experience, and attract the attention of a more sophisticated audience. While it was the astounding renovation by design firm Yabu Pushelberg that helped to give The Room a fresh new image (and garnered it the coveted title of Store of the Year at the 2009 International Store Design Awards Gala), the true measure of its success has been its ability to embrace and modernize the now-nostalgic sense of glamour that had defined its long, luxurious past.
With this year’s fall preview already underway and featuring pieces from noteworthy designers such as Antonia Marras, Doo Ri, and Jason Wu, The Room continues to make significant strides on its way to becoming a influential force in the fashion retail world, not only in Canada, but on an international scale. Though The Room continues to project a high-class image, it is its ability to remain accessible to a wide range of demographics – with lines such as Moschino’s Cheap and Chique being a prime example – that helps to ensure that it can avoid alienating any members of its broad base of prospective clients. At the same time, however, the allure of outfits and accessories whose exquisite appearance and elaborate design is reflected by their price tag, along with the enigmatic attraction of rooms and services made exclusive to only those shoppers comfortable with the highest of price brackets, will no doubt also excite the decadent appetites of The Room’s most high-class patrons. So, whether you’re going shopping for a sharp, reasonably priced outfit for work, a decadent gown for those luxurious evenings, or just a chance to try on more great shoes than even you can find room for, there’s only one place to go, because style and sophistication has a new home in Toronto.
Last updated on 8/2/2011 9:36:01 AM