Weekend Max Mara’s revamped Metrotown store makes the mall experience more blissful

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      Listen. I’m not a shopping mall girlie (unless we’re talking about Kingsgate, which, let’s face it, is more about the LOLs than it is about actually buying anything).

      I’m somehow always sweating when I’m at a mall, even though most of them are air conditioned. I also get unreasonably irritated having to weave in and out of all the people, even though they are truly just out there living their lives and buying things that make them happy. Is that so wrong? Absolutely not!

      I also somehow seem to get lost every time I enter a mall. Where is the washroom? Why is there never a directory when you need one? What level was that shoe store on? How come no one who works at the mall knows where anything in the mall actually is? HOW DO I GET OUT???

      I acknowledge that my aversion to malls is a me problem, not a mall problem. The convenience of multiple stores you need, all located in one place, is truly great. If you’ve got errands to run, a mall is your bestie. I get that. It’s just not my thing.

      So you can imagine my internal dialogue when I got invited to a party for the revamped Weekend Max Mara store at Metrotown. Not only is this a mall, but it’s a mall in Burnaby! And it’s a mall in Burnaby that’s so notoriously big and sprawling that I’m convinced I may get stuck and die in there. Fun!

      Maybe because I like pain, maybe because I like a challenge—I’m not sure—but I decide to go.

      Once I step inside Metrotown, I’m instantly confused between “ground level” and “lower level” and spend five minutes trying to convince my friend Amanda—who I’ve brought along as Mall Moral Support—that we should be going down an escalator to reach the right floor. She gently tells me that the escalator would take us to the parking garage, not the Weekend Max Mara store. “I hate the mall!!” I wail.

      We spend a good 10 minutes wandering around the place before finding a directory that points us (we think) in the right direction. As we head down the hall, I hear the sound of thumping music, which in a mall can only mean one thing: a party!

      Entering the Weekend Max Mara shop, I’m immediately at ease (and not just because they’re serving wine). Going hard with the classic “florals for spring” theme, there’s a flower cart at the entrance that features some premade bouquets (the influencers flock to it). The cocktails have flower garnishes in them (we love a cute garnish). And the spring collection that hangs on the racks is nothing short of stunning, with a mix of dresses, coats, matching sets, and one particularly alluring pinstripe button-up with a silk floral print sewn onto the back.

      Weekend Max Mara is the more accessible offshoot brand of Italian luxury house Max Mara. Debuted in 1983, Weekend has had a presence at Metrotown for over a decade, so the time finally came to revamp the space. Post renovation, it’s a 1,858-square-foot oasis featuring warm wood, soft earth tones, and Italian garden motifs.

      It’s enough to conjure visions of Italian countryside fantasies, fit with Aperol spritzes, garden dinners, and botanical-print Weekend sets. Until I find myself in Italia, though, at least I can surround myself with these glorious organic fabrics, feeling a little fancier than I really am. 

      That is, until it’s time to leave the bliss of the store and head back into the mall. It takes us three tries to find the exit.