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Harry’s understands style

Filed by Jack Yan/September 29, 2009/11.13

Alison Bartley at Harry's

I finally saw The September Issue last Monday, a bit after our Christchurch writer, Jolene Williams, who filed the official Lucire review. I agree with her words but need to add one thing: for 90 minutes, I was constantly reminded of work and probably was the only person walking out of the cinema more wound up than before I went in. Si Newhouse and the late Steven Florio looked comparatively relaxed. If you’re in this profession already, consider this a warning.
   I was a guest of Harry’s, which time and time again proves to me that it’s a store that understands style. I don’t just mean that it has a nice selection of Day Birger et Mikkelsen and many other labels; it oozes that indefinable quality and unselfishly shares it with its clientèle.
   Not only did it treat a bunch of its customers to the showing of The September Issue at the Penthouse Cinema in Brooklyn (that’s the Wellington, New Zealand ’burb) to celebrate its first anniversary, earlier in the month customers were invited to a dinner at Café Polo where stylist Lisa O’Neill spoke, and at the beginning of the month, Alison Bartley came and talked about video art (above) at the 31 Dundas Street, Seatoun (64 4 388-1020) store. Veuve Clicquot was served, which was more than enough to tempt me to opt for an evening of fine wine and art education over a vodka launch the same night. (Nautilus was served at Café Polo, and it’s the best méthode traditionelle I have sampled.)
   Harry’s does something that few other shops do. We all hear about “personal service”, but as far as most places are concerned, that ends once the cash register is sounded and the goods are taken out of the store. Few try to build up a personalized community, using the serving of good taste as their brand-building means; fewer still exist in the new world. I almost feel as though I am back on the Continent, in my 9e arrondissement neighbourhood stores in Paris.
   I don’t heap praise lightly, but given that I am running for mayor, it’s an additional pleasure to have truly stylish shops in our city.

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