Sunday, October 9, 2016

Binzento's Journal: PARKluxe 2016

Binzento's Journal
PARKluxe 2016
Photos by: Hayden Pattullo

First I like to thank Hayden Pattullo from Style Out Here for sharing the images from this event. You can also read his recap of PARKluxe here.

Past weekend was PARK’s annual Canadian fashion show – PARKluxe 2016, presented by Bankers Hall. Many aspects of this year’s installment have triggered my attention. Let’s begin with the things I liked.

The first thing to mention is the location – at the newly built Studio Bell – Home of the National Music Centre. It’s indeed an ambitious choice for a local organization such as PARK to host a fashion show housing hundreds of guests in a multi-level venue. We need to appreciate the fact that they are the only organization in Calgary that consistently produced fashion shows seasons after seasons, providing a platform for local fashion talents to showcase. And we need to give them credits for their tremendous effort trying to execute something better each time.

Live music performances for the runway show - was a great component to include at this year’s PARKluxe event, and I am glad that they did it. From band sound to classical music, each presenting collection was enhanced by an additional artistic element.

Like many PARK fashion shows, the pop-up shop/trunk show is fantastic. This is the part where I feel designers have the opportunity to make real connections with consumers. On top of that, it’s great to see other local businesses

This year’s main event showcased collections by: Okakie, Paul Hardy, Lauren Bagliore, Urbanovitch, Atelier By Ensemle Style, House Of Nonie, Year Of The Ram, and Marie Saint Pierre. I thought the addition of Marie Saint Pierre this time is refreshing. Beautifully crafted coats, and signature dresses that outlined femininity gave Calgarians a closer glimpse of the work of art by one of the first luxury fashion houses in Canada.
Paul Hardy’s finale was the most sophisticated of the evening. A showcase mixed with classic gothic Lolita-vibe, dark draped dress and fur stole, with modern knitwear cardigan and large chain accessories. Each model was holding a ‘monster’ plush doll, which reminded me of something coming out of a Tim Burton tale. Though you could see some of the looks were incorporated with pieces we had already seen in the past.
I thought the lingerie portion by Year Of The Ram was out of place. As much as we try to appreciate the designer’s handcrafted lace and under garment details, the fitting was just off and you could sense the models not completely comfortable walking in them.
Overall PARKluxe was a success what they set out to do. The execution of the program was great, but I can’t say this season’s show was amazing. Big part of it was because I felt the collections showcased by the designers were a big déjà vu.

Recently I gave some thoughts about the Canadian fashion industry, especially after having conversations with buyers, designers and editors in other parts of the globe. In Canada, we are still running the formula that fashion shows are parties that rely heavily on ticket sales. We have to be diligent about the purpose of having these shows. I am not saying that we shouldn’t have any, but we need to clearly define what the end goal is – Is it for press, or for entertainment, or something to do on a regular night and be seen, or help designers to generate business?

We have designers that are showing the same pieces for, at least, the past three seasons. But I can’t blame them – the fashion community is extremely small here and I feel that Canadian talents are lacking the institutional and general public support to sustain. Until we are able to ignite interests from buyers to come to these Canadian shows, designers are better off doing made-to-order, local pop-ups and spend more time to strengthening their brands via e-commerce.

xx Do the things you are passionate about; Learn from ones who inspire you; Strive to become an expert at what you do xx
Binzento Vincente: A Fashion & Lifestyle Blog

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