Get Acquainted with Eccentric Style
Start your day off with a little shopping and check out the premier eyewear shops in Gastown. Bruce Eyewear has an amazing selection of high-end eyewear with a unique aesthetic – arguably the best in town. If Canadian-made eyewear is your cup of tea, check out Eyeland Framework and their line of in-house frames, designed and hand-made entirely in Canada.
John Fluevog at 65 Water Street
After you have shopped for some amazing specs, check out shoe stores John Fluevog and La Differencia, for eccentric and quirky designs. John Fluevog is known for offering “unique soles for unique souls” with a range of innovative shoe designs from elegant pumps to Dr. Marten-style boots. Every shoe has one-of-a-kind details and made with eco-friendly products. While you are at John Fluevog’s Gastown location, sneak a peek at Fluevog’s design team, working in action on the second floor. Once you are done, head over to La Differencia, a dreamy boutique carrying unique clothing, accessories and footwear all from Europe, and visit Angel Vancouver for their custom hand painted T-shirts and selection of eccentric clothing and shoes by Spanish brand, Desigual.
Take a Break at Smart Mouth Cafe
It’s time to take shopping break and grab a bite. Visit the charming and funky two-level café, Smart Mouth Café, and enjoy a cup of 100% organic fair-trade coffee and sandwich made fresh daily. Don’t forget to share a laugh with friends and check out the tongue-and-cheek message on Smart Mouth Café’s outdoor sandwich boards.
Treasure Hunt for Vintage, Antique, and Locally-Made Finds
Community Thrift & Vintage Casual Corner shop at 41 W. Cordova St
The most one-of-a-kind fashions can be found at shops carrying local designs, vintage treasures, and antique collectables. Start your treasure hunt at Community Thrift & Vintage. Here you’ll find some of best hand picked vintage clothing at the killer thrift store prices. Community Thrift & Vintage has two locations. Visit the Frock Shoppe location for ladies fashion and Casual Corner location for menswear and unisex apparel. Once you have shopped for vintage goods, head over to Dream Boutique and peek through their collection of independent fashion, made locally from up-and-coming designers in Vancouver.
For a mish mash of unique and unusual curios, visit Salmagundi and Uniques. The 40-year-old Salmagundi and Uniques carry an interesting, hand picked selection of new and old collectables found all over the world, from boudoir dolls to hand painted buffalo skulls.
Shop Punk, Rockability and Alternative Fashion
Hitz Boutique at 316 W. Cordova Street
There are a handful of great shops in Gastown catering to alternative fashion. Hitz Boutique carries a great collection of skate, surf, and rockability fashion for men and women. You simply cannot leave the shop without checking out their grand sneaker wall (including sneakers for the little ones) and collection of colourful heels with eccentric details. Once you’ve visited Hitz Boutique, make your way to New World Design, an alternative, fetish, burlesque store with an impressive collection of vintage-inspired shoes, corsets, and dresses. Try on one of their retro dresses from their in-house line inspired by Mad Men.
For punk, gothic fashion, take a turn to Deadly Couture. Dead Couture has an array of avant garde make up, fetish themed clothing, latex get-ups, and corsets in a range of sizes. Right beside Deadly Couture is Why Knot’s Curiosities. Why Knot’s Curiosities is full of daring, colour costumes, clothing and accessories – perfect for raves and music festivals like Burning Man and Shambhala.
Give Your Hair New Life
Sugar Skull Studio at 300-68 Water Street
Once you’ve finished shopping, give your hair some attention and check out Colourbox Hair Salon and Sugar Skull Studios. At Colourbox you will find European trained stylists and colour experts who will liven up your coif to the latest looks. Another great spot is Sugar Skull Studios, combining hair, registered massage therapy, and art inspired by traditional sugar skull art. Some unique services include hair tattoos, multi-dimensional massage by a Registered Massage Therapist, while showcasing the works of different artists with grassroots art shows happening throughout the year.
End the Night with Live Entertainment
Guilt & Company at 1 Alexander Street | Photo credit: Clint Trahan
What better way to end the day than in the company of live entertainment at Revel Room and Guilt & Company? From Sundays to Wednesdays, Revel Room reserves their stage for acclaimed musicians, playing a variety of lively sounds from Texas swing to jump blues. Enjoy Revel Room’s musical acts at their second level mezzanine with a plate of South American tapas, washed down with award-winning cocktails.
If you’re in the mood for eclectic performances, head down to Guilt and Company. Guilt and Company has an incredible rotating lineup of talented, up-and-coming musicians and performers gracing the stage every night. The variety of live acts range from burlesque jazz to belly dancing, as well as live soul and folk music. The atmosphere at Guilt & Company resembles an underground tavern and provides a lively, intimate viewing experience.
Check out the Gastowns Event Calendar for more information on live entertainment.