A year of anniversaries

It must be a year of anniversaries: besides Blo Blow Dry Bar turning one year old, 2008 is the 20th anniversary of not one, but three fashion editors: Anna Wintour (of Vogue, duh), Franca Sozzani (of Italian Vogue) and Suzy Menkes (of tall hair fame and the International Herald Tribune). Closer to home, it’s also the 30th birthday of Banana Republic (bananarepublic.com).

To celebrate the retailer’s milestone, the company hosted a private luncheon and a viewing of their anniversary collection at Fuel Restaurant (1944 West Fourth Ave., 604-288-7905, fuelrestaurant.ca).

First, the clothes: iconic separates and wardrobe favourites were updated for the commemorative collection. Think: a timeless trench updated in super-supple leather, classic red or bright purple (shown, $240) and a crisp white shirt with new, cleverly-tailored sleeve details. I also loved the cream silk tie-neck monogram blouse (so on-trend for fall) and a black puckered-sleeve sweaterdress, the perfect new LBD. The collection also includes menswear and accessories.

And the food! As we sat around the single, huge table that had been set up, we indulged in an incredible three-course menu. I started with the “Celebration” organic salad of ricotta, “the cure’s” lingua and virgin walnut oil, then dove into the Fraser Valley free-run lamb shoulder, served with agnolotti, lemon and mint (though choosing between it and the seared wild B.C. salmon was torture). Finally, the Tahitian vanilla crème brûlée was the perfect end to a perfect lunch. Happy Birthday, Banana Republic!