Right now, Anthony Castro and Scott Walhovd are the toast of Gastown. That’s because they’re behind (212), the relatively affordable luxury line for women, as well as a modest, chic clothing boutique at 454 West Cordova Street of the same name.
Earlier this month, the two unveiled their 2010 fall collection at Aveda Institute, and judging by the turnout, these guys are the new darlings of the local indie fashion scene. Anyone who’s anyone in Vancouver fashion showed up to support the pair and check out the chic yet Manhattan-edgy line—spanning shrunken military jackets and boxy blazers to tailored shorts and preppy Oxford shirts.
As for personal style, the New York–based Castro prefers classic designs with a bit of a twist, and his colour palette is neutral all the way. Walhovd, on the other hand, is slightly more contemporary and youthful. But as with his business partner, Vancouver’s Walhovd knows what he likes. Even more importantly, he knows what he doesn’t like—especially when it comes to style on the streets of Vancouver.
“I fucking absolutely hate Ed Hardy and Affliction T-shirts,” says Walhovd, a sharp-witted former model. “I just want people to burn them [the shirts]. Yeah, if you see them, rip them off their bodies and burn them. I think they are the most disgusting thing ever”¦ and True Religion jeans too!”
Well, I guess we know what neighbourhood he won’t be shopping in. So where do these up-and-coming style setters shop when they need some new threads? Apparently not very far. Almost every one of their top picks is located in their close-knit, totally hip and happenin’ hood. And really, can you blame them?
Best place for guys to drop a few C notes
8 Water Street
“This is by far the best men’s store,” Castro says. “They just have everything. You can go in there and find something really cool. Inside, it’s very dark—everything is black, grey, navy, and camel. So I love it because I only wear black, grey, navy, and camel—I’m a New Yorker.”
Best women’s clothing store
225 Carrall Street
“I like the whole concept of her store,” Castro says. “It has a great cosmopolitan sensibility—great for little contemporary easy-to-wear day dresses, sweaters, great little knits and stuff like that.”
Best vintage shop
Deluxe Junk Co
310 West Cordova Street
“It’s just got really unique pieces,” Walhovd says. “The clothes aren’t like this mishmash of ”˜whatever you can find’ vintage. The owner is very selective, and he does a really good job of dressing his windows. They’re almost like little storyboards.”
Best place to shop on the cheap
830 Granville Street
“They’re a bit cooler than H&M, and I think they have a little bit more style,” Castro says. “So if you want to spend a hundred bucks on an outfit, I would go there.”
Best place to style-watch
3 Alexander Street
“It’s got a really great corner patio, and you can see all the crazy people go about their day,” Walhovd says. “There’s also a lot of stylish people inside. I saw some girls with some crazy funky tattoos, and I don’t know, they were just showing them off really nicely with lacy see-through tops—very artsy.”
Best Vancouver trend
“I definitely like the cleaner aesthetics I’m seeing more of these days,” Walhovd says. “I really don’t like the grungy hipster look that everybody is still doing. I’d rather see someone in a tie with a plaid shirt, some fitted jeans, and maybe even some suspenders—nothing too sloppy. ”
Best shoe store
2205 West 4th Avenue
“They carry a really good selection, from young contemporary designers to very high-end labels,” Castro says. “You can get shoes there for $100, thousands of dollars, and everything in between.”
235 Abbott Street
“I’ve been going there since I started my business,” Walhovd says. “I’ve got this great guy, Travis, and the prices are reasonable. They also do straight-edge shaves as well, but I’ve only just started growing enough facial hair to do that. The place is a little bit more scene-y. All the dudes in the neighbourhood go there. It’s kind of like a hangout spot. Whenever you go by, you see someone you know hanging out, shooting the shit and maybe having a beer.”