It seems that Gastown is like the Old Professor's mansion...I could not tell you how many times I have wandered through it, and it feels nearly like the back of my hand...but whoa and behold, I have found my Narnia. Minus the Turkish delight and gerrymandering witch.
It comes in the form of Inventory Stockroom, a menswear boutique tucked ever-so-humbly into Powell Street. Ever futile in the resistance of digression from Christmas shopping duties to appease my curiosity, I stole through the door to take a look. Okay, so perhaps the holiday mission would have to be put on hold for a little while.
There was little to remark about the actual layout of the store; there were racks lining the outer walls, a couple of folding tables, and a raised platform at the rear with a set of shelves. The owner, after having looked up from the paperwork on his desk to greet me, apologised for the lack of light in the back; they were having new lights fitted soon, but that I should feel free to inspect the shadowed items near the window. I assured him that this wouldn't be a problem, and began my inspection of this alluding retail realm.
The clothing was as charmingly unassuming as the store's design; all homely rustic knits and heavy winter coats. It was the wardrobe of some beautiful and esoteric mountain man. A man you might find sunken into a tatterdemalion armchair, smoking a pipe whilst reading a dog-eared copy of Bukowski's Ham on Rye.
Yet, there is an old saying; "It should take 15 minutes to tell if a man is well dressed." And although this man is provincial at first glance, he is very much aware of quality and style. Littered throughout the store, were stacks of carefully curated international men's fashion/art/culture magazines, including the stores' very own self-titled glossy, Inventory.
I couldn't help but feel as though I had found a soul mate. Their platform, 'A curation of ideas in product, craft, and culture' was the very resonance to how I feel the world of editorial, retail, and fashion in general should be held. That key word of curating, as one would an art exhibit is integral to creating an unconditional and effluent atmosphere that keeps each customer, reader, buyer, coming back for more.
But enough words and accolade. Here is a taste before you get the chance to check it out!