Wednesday, August 25, 2010

True North Strong & Stylish: The Bay Blanket Coat

I just had the pleasure of visiting Vancouver's Hudson's Bay Store on busker-lined Granville St. Had it not been for that pesky HST, this could've done some serious damage. As it was, I mostly wandered around enjoying creative marketing and display cases that would make Simon Doonan (creative helm of Barney's) proud. Witness below the elegant arrangement of upcycled Bay Blankets coats amidst canoes, furs, and other assorted stereotypes.
Each was reimagined by a notable Canadian designer (10 designs in all).
(left: Comrags)
(below, from left: Lida Baday, Pink Tartan, Jeremy Laing, Smythe)

The Smythe hooded swing coat was available for a steep $695 at the Vancouver store during the 2010 Olympics. I understand it sold out quickly. I do hope that this obvious commercial viability gives the company impetus to once again produce Bay Blanket Coats; I have been trying to find a vintage version on eBay for my Mom's Hanukkah present since 2005, to no avail.

My holiday shopping aside, it's definitely time for our nation to embrace the Point Blanket as the integral piece of our history and cultural identity it is. Remember doing fur-trade dioramas and War of 1812 essays in Grade 5 Social Studies? The Hudson's Bay Blanket is an icon of Canadiana. Or at least, it should be.

If America was built by men wearing Levi's Dungarees (forgetting the disenfranchised Chinese who constructed the all-important railroad), then the True North equivalent is the seminal Hudson's Bay Point Blanket (forgetting the rich tradition of the indigenous peoples who braved the climate sans woolen coats).

Not familiar with the Hudson's Bay Point Blanket? Please feel free to Wiki That Shit.

No comments:

Post a Comment