Today I received an email invitation to the opening of the newly renovated Le Chateau Store located in one of the major shopping malls here in London. I haven't been in a Le Chateau store for a very long time, but I have fond memories of discovering the Canadian brand after I moved to London from the very small town where I grew up. In the 1980's it was the place to go for trendy clothing and accessories that a girl working for minimum wage in retail could afford. Of course the quality was questionable, but these weren't investment pieces, they were things you wore mixed with thrift store finds when you went out to a club to go dancing, or to your job in a record store. When I received the invitation, I knew I had to track down the above photo, taken in 1985 or 86. I had seen the black leather skirt I'm wearing in the above photo at Le Chateau, and wanted it desperately. At the time, it was the most expensive piece of clothing I had ever purchased, but I was in love with it, and wore it as often as I could. In the photo, I am hanging out with friends, overdressed as usual, and apparently not wearing a bra.
I had been generously offered a gift card by the store in exchange for some publicity about the opening, so I looked at Le Chateau's website to see what kinds of things they sell now. I was rather disappointed when instead of crazy sequins, fringe, bold patterns and leather, I saw they had changed their focus and were now selling pretty-but-conservative styles targeted towards the young professional.
If any of you in London are out at White Oaks Mall on Saturday, April 12th, stop by Le Chateau between 1 - 4 pm for some gifts, music, and Spring fashions. The event will be hosted by Shawn Schmidt, the National Director, Visual Presention, for Le Chateau Inc. I'm looking forward to asking him about their change in direction for the brand and waxing nostalgic over that leather skirt.