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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Dressing Up in the Canadian Style

Muscovites with a yen for the newest fashions from North America have cause to rejoice: The ranks of exclusive doma mody have a new addition that features haute couture from the far north at prices that cater to the growing class of upscale shoppers. Welcome to Canada, tucked into a side street near the Tretyakov Gallery, is scheduled to open by the end of this week, barring any last-minute electrical problems. President Mikhail Guelbert and Vice President Natalya Chvaguer, whose Twin G Trading Corporation conducts a wholesale trading business with Canadian manufacturers, said that the store was designed to introduce officially their Canadian clients to the Russian market. "For Russians, America was always closer and Canada was farther away. We want to show that Canada had goods of a high quality," Guelbert said, adding, "This is the first shop that is purely dedicated to Canadian products." True to its name, the store will sell Canadian fashions, furs and accessories for women from companies such as Louben, Holt Renfrew and Mariola-Mayer, as well as Canadian souvenirs (maple-leaf keychains, flags, and T-shirts), and cosmetics from the Canadian company Faces. Each outer display window features a different clothing theme, with mannequins outfitted in linen suits or satin lingerie, and the name of a Canadian city painted in gold. In addition, the entire interior, from the flowered carpeting to the mahogany shelves, was manufactured in Canada and imported by air. Two Louis XVI armoires that display clothing near the entrance were purchased and refinished in Toronto, and even the track lighting system and bullet-proof windows come from Canadian companies. "The only thing that is not from Canada are the actual light bulbs in the fixtures," said Michel Dorais, the store's designer. In a rear storeroom, racks of elegant linen suits, blazers and trench coats hang in rows of plastic waiting to be displayed in the main room of the store. Shelves already sport a selection of silk scarves, and employees are busy arranging the jewelry display in a glass case. Although the clothing has yet to be tagged, both Guelbert and Chvaguer declined to give exact prices, saying only that the store's goods would be "expensive." This is confirmed by the store's purchasing policy -- customers receive discounts with purchases of several thousand dollars or more. The basement floor of the store will house Caprice, a special salon featuring one-of-a-kind items for correspondingly exclusive prices. The partly finished displays in the salon already include a tailored Empire-style jacket in black suede, fringed shifts in pale earth tones, and long, flared trousers. The salon's selections will include some clothing from non-Canadian manufacturers. Despite the proliferation of high-end clothing shops, Guelbert insisted that there was an ever-growing market for his products. "Russians in general have very good taste and they like good clothes," he said. "Even though they earn very little, they save their money so that they can buy one very nice, high-quality item." A sophisticated hi-tech security system will monitor the store's customers, who will have to ring buzzers to be admitted. Guelbert said that he hoped to open three to five additional stores in Moscow by the end of 1994, as well as eventually expanding to other Russian cities. The store has plans to open a men's clothing department within the next few months. Welcome to Canada is located at 6 Klimentovsky Pereulok. Prices will be quoted in dollars; rubles and all major credit cards will accepted and credit-card holders will receive 10 percent off their purchases. The store is open from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M. seven days a week, without a lunch break. Tel. 298-6098. Nearest metro: Novokuznetskaya or Tretyakovskaya.