As most of you know, I recently worked with the House of Barons, a barber shop that has been on the tip of every hipster's tongue in the city since it opened in March 2013 on Sussex. I was curious and heard they have the best straight razor shaves in the city, so I stopped in just before Christmas to pick up some of their coveted beard balm for my hunny's handsome beard and a gift certificate for a hot shave when he was ready to bring back the baby face.
I wasn't quite prepared for what I experienced when I stepped off the street and into the shop.
The nostalgia blew my mind. This was a sort of modern day Gentleman’s Club; a private place designed for men to relax, bond and have their domestic needs met. Everything, and I mean everything, had been selected with the utmost attention to detail. The aesthetic was unreal: the leather details, vintage bottled shaving lathers and classic razors, exposed brick and rich wood counters, old school R&B and rockabilly playing in the background, and a collection of young men completely in their element, tattooed from head to toe and with the most glorious manes preparing their next customer with steaming face clothes and classically scented lathers.
I knew I shouldn't have been there though. I was instantly aware that I was the only woman in the room, and while all I wanted to do was ooze into one of their leather chairs and watch the world go by, I knew I was intruding on something very special. My very presence was throwing off the whole show. I may have stolen a few extra minutes as my gift card was being prepared (sealed with a hot wax stamp, of course) by trying to melt into one of the brick walls and watch in awe as gentleman after gentleman entered the shop, shook each others' hands and sat down comfortably waiting for their turn. As soon as it was dry though, I felt compelled to leave immediately and leave the men to their luxurious little not-so-secret spot.
I found this perfect quote from the owner Jesse Alberto about what their customers can expect when they arrive at the House of Barons:
They can expect to be essentially taken back in time; I wanted to create an atmosphere where everything was done to perfection. The inspiration for the barber shop was 1920’s and 1930’s. So not only did we want the aesthetic of the barber shop to have a traditional feeling, but also the way you’re greeted when you walk in the door, to the way the barber applies your lather. From head to toe I wanted it to be an all out experience where you’re taken back in time.
After having the opportunity to work with House of Barons at the Groom's Lounge I designed for the Ottawa Bridal Party wedding show, I couldn't wait for the opportunity to feature them more. Low and behold, Catalina Bloch sent me this INCREDIBLE photo shoot taken at House of Barons. It captures the essence and luxury the way that I cannot describe adequately. Catalina, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share this wonderful shoot with everyone and allow them to experience the shop for themselves. Ladies, I suggest sending your man here before the wedding, or anytime you want to do something special for him.
Photography: Catalina Bloch / Location: House of Barons