Tuesday, August 30, 2011

PARKLUXE Fashion Show 2011

PARKLUXE Fashion Show happened at the Winter Garden, Jamieson Place last weekend in YYC. The event featured four diverse local designers who showcased their high-end fashion craftsmanships and their designing talents. 
with Katrina Olson: Photo by LifeImage Unlimited by Daniel F. Liu
On Katrina: Dress: Caitlin Power; Belt: Burberry; Heels: Giuseppe Zanotti
On me: Shirt inside: Izzue; Shirt outside: Simone Rocha; Necklace: mercibeaucoup x b+ab x Hello Kitty; Bracelet: Anne b. Accessories; Belt: Club Monaco; Pants: Vblak; Boots: Fluevog

Top pic: with Polly and Ivy; Right pic: friends Stephanie and Rania

The night began with a cocktail party and an opportunity to mingle with some of the most passionate people in the industry. It was a special night indeed because I saw many unfamiliar faces, which implied to me that there is an increase of awareness to local fashions. This also proves the local fashion industry has not yet been saturated and certainly there is still a growth potential.
Left pic: D.W Fashion designer Daryl White; Middle top pic: blogger Diva Lounge & Calgary Fashion Paul; Right pic: Studio Intent Chantal & Colleen

It was long since all my lovely fashionista friends gathered in one event. They all looked beautiful that night (some may need to thank the Blo Dry Bar) and I was really happy to see them.
Top left pic: Bano & eeMee designer Aleem Arif & blogger The Girl With The Messy Hair KD; Top Right pic: with make up artist Satako; Bottom left pic: with blogger Lions Lace Lattes Ashley; Bottom right pic: Calgary Fashion editor Claire

The fashion show started with: Anne b. Accessories
Anne b. Accessories

I considered Anne b. as one of my good friends. She always stands out in fashion shows with perfection. Her use of natural elements in accessories was the form of beauty itself.
Favourite piece: Red matching resin necklace/bracelet with an ethnic/cultural touch.

The 2nd designer of the night was: Lara Presber
Lara Presber

To be honest, that was the first time I experience Lara Presber's work. I really enjoyed the fact that the designs were really elegantly structured. The aspect of "power" spoke for itself in her designs, but at the same time, the feminine quality was reserved.
Favourite piece: Turquoise-blue long coat with Grey shoulder patch.

A short intermission before watching the last two designers. Had a little chat with model Ania B. She's gorgeous, as usual.
with model Ania B

with models from Sophia Models International

 The 3rd designer of the night: Bridget Bergman
Bridget Bergman

Very chic! I loved the Paris-inspired look. The designs really brought out what modern women were all about. The little hats gave it a sassy/artsy touch.
Favourite piece: Big-V neck black jacket with the Red artist cap.

The last designer of the night was well worth the wait: Caitlin Power
Caitlin Power

Caitlin have certainly earned her name in Canadian fashion. I've always loved her work since Alberta Fashion Week two years ago. A detailed use of leather and fabric brought us the elegant yet very edgy style. Girls in Caitlin Power are definitely no ordinary girls, I now call them: Danger Girls :) 
Favourite piece: Army green Leather dress (it's golden!)
Katrina Olson

My artistic and talented friend/photographer/PR Katrina Olson was wearing one of Caitlin's design that night. She was absolutely stunning!!
I was overall VERY impressed with PARKLUXE. Park did a really great job organizing this event with a beautifully decorated venue. I also liked the fact that the runway was long enough for the crowd to carefully examine or just enjoy each runway piece. Another thing I praised about the PARKLUXE was although all four designers came from various backgrounds, the show was very cohesive in terms of styles and tastes. 
Left pic: blogger The Diva Lounge; Ki Modern Japanese Restaurant decor

…and having a "after-party" just down the escalator at Ki Modern Japanese Restaurant was a smart idea. Not only it was close in proximity, Ki represented what a posh YYC restaurant looked like. PARKLUXE, I give you two thumbs up.

Photos: Vincent Law (Binzento Vincente) & Katrina Olson 

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blo Dry Bar Opens in Calgary/ Paige Denim at Holt Renfrew: Designer Paige-Adams Geller visits YYC

1. Blo is the new Pink: Blo Dry Bar opens in Calgary, Alberta.
North America’s original no cut, no color, only: wash and blow dry BAR finally hits Calgary! #YYC.
Started in Vancouver, Canada, the entire concept of “Blo Dry Bar” is simple but SMART. An example scenario: you have a romantic dinner date at 7:00, but you can't leave work until 5:00, and you really don’t want to fight the traffic home to get your hair done and pretty yourself. I see the HUGE benefit of having a “Blo Dry Bar” around the corner to give anyone in a rush a quick, affordable runway style so they can impress the date with their fabulous hair and also not having to worry about doing the "Blo job" themselves.
Trust me…"you can't blo yourself"
A cute Blo menu is offered

Blo is so popular that it had already “blo-wn” to various parts of British Columbia, Ontario, California, Texas and now Alberta.

I was there at the Calgary’s new Blo pre-opening media day, and of course many of the YYC’s most influential fashion bloggers: Diva Lounge, Lions Lace Lattes, Mr. Fabulous,  and Twenty Something Online also attended.
PINK is BLO and BLO is PINK, so it’s no surprise that Calgary’s Blo is pinkalicious. I am sure this is one of Elle Woods (Legally Blonde) favorite hubs. Ladies there were friendly. They offered me a head massage, wash and style.
The "Blo ladies"

Being a part of Blo requires Blo’s official education, to ensure every stylist knows what they are doing and techniques are standardize.
I really like the idea of Blo so much that when I knew it is coming to Calgary, I forwarded my Fairchild TV colleagues to do some TV spot coverage.
My Blo-hair, Thank you to Blo lady Christy!
Calgary Blo owners: Thank you for hosting such a sweet event

Thank you Blo PR Hilary for her invites to this sweet media event and owners of Calgary Blo for opening this store :p You gotta Blo-ved them.

Blo Calgary is now officially opened and you can make appointments in person, by telephone, or online!
1317 1st SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2R 0W3

2. Paige Denim: Jeans that shapes your body
When we start to think it is getting harder and harder to find quality denim jeans, then we think again, there is Paige Denim: Made in USA.
Paige Adams-Geller: Paige Denim
Paige Denims

Holt Renfrew, Calgary hosted a special Paige Denim event showcasing some of the finest denim jeans by this label. Designer of Paige Denim: Paige Adams-Geller was at the event to give her most personal style advice to her fans. 
Paige Adams Geller, Designer for Paige Denim

Paige established her status as one of the most-requested fit models for the hottest denim brands. Being a fashion model herself, she has the body figure to look beautiful in anything. However, not of us are "blessed with the perfect genes" Paige said "But we are bringing you the next best thing: perfect jeans". The designs of these denims target areas of the body that lengthens your legs and slenderize hips and thighs. 
Paige told me that Paige Denims were designed and modelled by her. She wanted these jeans to emphasize the shape of the body and brings out the beautiful legs. I loved the pair of Paige Denim she was wearing with the double zippers on both sides, a part of the "Super Rebellious" collection/style. Others that caught my eyes were "Jadyn-Sandpiper" for women and "Drexel-Slater" for men.
With model/designer Paige Adams-Geller

This was Paige's first time in Calgary, and I am glad she said she's enjoying it so far, but unfortunately she couldn't stay longer to experience Banff and other national parks near the city. Growing from Alaska, Paige said she loves the nature and wilderness. She was very friendly and brought a great energy to the store that day.
Paige Denim designs jeans for both women and men. You can find them at Holt Renfrew, Canada or order online at Paige Denim website.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bano & eeMee Behind the Scenes Fashion Lookbook 2012/ Upcoming and Exciting Events in YYC

The fashion scene in Calgary evidently evolved over the last few years. We can see an increasing number of local designers began to challenge their comfort zone and spurring their talents into our, more or less, conservative community.

Although some designers made their decisions to stay in this city to continue their passions in fashion, many have left to other more prominent fashion capitals to pursue their career. With that being said, it is uncommon to find designers that would migrate from a large fashion playground to a less fashion-liberated community. However, we should never doubt any possibility, because Boston designer Aleem Arif and his fashion label Bano & eeMee is the perfect example of our city's "fashion import".
Photo courtesy: Bano & eeMee website

I first met Aleem during the F/W 2011 Alberta Fashion Week. It was not until last week during his S/S 2012 photoshoot campaign I was able to visualize his collection. It was very thoughtful of Aleem to welcomed me go behind-the-scenes of their photoshoot. He also introduced me to his work, where I could view each of the pieces in detail.
Behind-the-scenes; Busy day at the set

Aleem’s mother, who was also a fashion designer, taught Aleem the basics of fabric and sewing and the process of designing for a clothier. Combining his background and knowledge in business, Aleem decided to come to Calgary, hoping to contribute and prosper the local fashion scene.
Aleem with hair/make-up team :); Photographers

Aleem’s inspiration was influenced by the ethnic and multicultural energy, which often can be found in Bano & eeMee. When I initally saw Bano & eeMee collection, it reminded me of a feminine bohemian style that expels a sense of peacefulness. Most designs are very simple, but I do feel there are enough elements to express the meaning of culture in each garment.
It was a fun photoshoot day, adding to the beautiful weather outside. Everyone worked hard to be on schedule and the photographers/models did an excellent job.
Aleem Arif and models; Aleem and me

The Bano & eeMee 2012 lookbook is on its way. Below is a small preview of the upcoming collection:
Preview to 2012 Bano & eeMee lookbook

…and of course to finish off the day, a final group photo :) cheers!!
Photoshoot team that day

I can't wait to see the finished Bano & eeMee 2012 lookbook. Thank you Aleem for the invitation.
Bano & eeMee website: http://www.banoeemee.com/
Bano & eeMee blog: http://banoeemee.com/blog/
Twitter: @Bano_eeMee

It's cool to see there are more and more fashion events happening in the next few weeks. I rarely do this, but I want to take the opportunity to share some of the upcoming events and also potential discussions in Binzento Vincente:
Parkluxe August 26th 2011
PARKLUXE is PARK's newest fund-raising initiative, featuring diverse local designers who share the fine thread of crafting expert designs for a high-end market. Some of our city's brightest design talent will take the runway at Calgary's beautiful Winter Garden in this opportunity to showcase their work to the public and media. 
Featured Designers:
LARA PRESBER - www.larapresber.com
CAITLIN POWER - www.caitlinpower.com
ANNE B. ACCESSORIES - www.annebaccessories.com
BRIDGET BERGMAN - www.bridgetbergman.com
Ticket: $25

Blo Dry Bar YYC Grand Opening Aug 27, 2011
Answering the call of the hair-impaired and those addicted to killer-coifs, Blo Blow Dry Bar is coming to Calgary. The first to market the no cuts, no colour concept in North America, Blo is opening its 1st location in Alberta (and 16th in the world!) on First Street on August 27, 2011.  Now bullet-proof confidence is possible in about 30 minutes for 35 dollars.
1317 1st Street SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0W3
Fabricated S/S 2012 September 8th 2011
FABRICATED is a high profile fashion event focused on the presentation of Calgary's fashion designers in a high end, artistic and creative manner.
VENUE: Theatre Junction GRAND
                 608 - 1st Street SW                 
                 403 205 2922
TIME: Cocktails at 8pm
             Show begins at 9pm
TICKETS: VIP Seating $40.00
                    Standing Room $25.00                    
                   Available at theatrejunction.com 
For more information please email us at getinfo@getfabricated.com

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

“Kouklitas” by Andrew Yang: New York’s Finest Translation of Fashion into Playfulness

This time in New York, other than visiting the Alexander McQueen exhibition, another major reason why I travelled there was to pick up a custom made “Kouklita designed by Andrew Yang.
Andrew Yang and Kouklitas

“Kouklitas”, are extraordinary and innovative 27” rag dolls designed and hand-made by the talented Andrew Yang. 
Kouklitas designer Andrew Yang. (Photo Courtesy: Kouklitas website)

What makes these rag dolls so special is that they are beautifully dressed in detailed runway fashions, like Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Comme des Garcons, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Stella McCartney, Celine and Balenciaga. Each Kouklita also displays a unique facial expression, bringing out its character. Both clothing and face paints are all hand made and done by Andrew himself.
Proenza Schouler Kouklita; Lanvin Kouklita
Marc Jacobs Kouklita; Ann Demeulemeester and Givenchy Kouklita
(Photo courtesy: The Fashionistador)

In merely 3 years (since 2008), Andrew's Kouklita dolls have already made its way to both fashion and art industries. It was featured in VOGUE MAGAZINE, The New York Times, Doll Reader, DOLLS Magazine, and international publications of Elle, Marie Claire, and Harpers Bazaar. With this kind of publicity, these dolls  soon became one of the most sought after “fashion accessories”. In fact, my very first exposure to Andrew’s work was actually in Hong Kong’s Joyce boutique when I visited a while back. Furthermore, his current line of dolls can also be found in Barney’s across America.
Model with Alexander McQueen Kouklita. (Photo courtesy: Kouklitas website)

From reading various blog posts, I became overwhelmingly interested with Andrew’s work, so I contacted him and requested a custom doll.  Andrew and I exchanged emails a few times, and I was very pleased that we shared the same passion and interest.
Martin Margiela S/S 09 Wig Coat

I wanted my runway Kouklita to be something inspired by me and also unique to Andrew’s current line of work. We both agreed that a Kouklita wearing a Martin Marqiela S/S 2009 collection,  “The Wig Coat” might turn out gorgeous.  AND indeed, she WAS SPECTACULAR! 
My Martin Margiela Kouklita!!!!!

I personally paid his studio a little visit to pick up Miss Margiela Kouklita. As soon as I walked in, I could see her sitting on a chair, with Andrew Yang’s dust bag behind her, waited to go travel with me. Unfortunately, Andrew left on a business trip on a short notice, but I was equally thrilled to meet his studio manager Jillian Carrozza.
Gorgeous Kouklitas at the studio -----> Look how detailed those McQueen heels are!

We spent a good afternoon chit-chatting, and getting to know eachother. Looking at the studio gives me the opportunity to solidly feel how each Kouklita was born.

Kouklita-land! The birthplace of Fashionista Kouklitas!
A busy day at the studio

I could feel the amount of creative energy in this room. Everyone was so friendly and I am very grateful to have Andrew and his team to create this beautiful Margiela doll for me. THANK YOU!
With studio manager Jillian Carrozza
with Kouklita teammate Qiu Qiu

Andrew’s stories have been told by me to my colleagues numerous of times. I hope that next time Andrew and I will finally meet and exchange more creative ideas.
Andrew and his “Kouklita-land” teammates are currently busy working on several projects! Not only are they collaborating with clients in Japan, they are also invited to organize an Andrew Yang Kouklitas exhibition in Paris coming this fall. I will try to keep everyone posted on this remarkable event :-)
In the meantime, Miss Margiela Kouklita will live happily at my home :)

I like to once again thank you Andrew Yang for his work. Jillian Carrozza for her hospitality and Qiu Qiu for spending her time with me at the studio.

For more info about Andrew Yang Kouklita dolls, please visit Kouklitas website: www.kouklitas.com 

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