Once again PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture) blew everyone’s expectations out of the park with their two-day Miami themed, fashion event featuring an array of Canada’s best artists and fashion designers. The event was held at CF Chinook Centre right outside of Nordstrom’s and as you walked up you were greeted with a lively red carpet, photo-op and glass of rose champagne – talk about fabulous!
Usually my girlfriends and I opt in and just get general seating tickets, but this time we decided to splurge and go with VIP – they were more than worth it. The VIP lounge had a variety of different appetizers and drinks, with an exclusive photo booth and large sitting area to take a break from the crowds. All-in-all I highly recommend going all in and spending a little extra on your tickets for the full fashion-night-out experience, especially if you get the chance to sit front row like we did!
One of the things I love about the PARK fashion shows is that they are not merely a show, but a collaborative creative experience. The walls were decorated with artwork done by David Brunning, a former graffiti artist turned fine art abstract artist, highlighting pieces from his latest show “Lost in Translation.” You could even take home a little piece of this event by purchasing one of his paintings after the show was over.
Another neat aspect to this event was the partnership that PARK formed with Microsoft and together they created the PARK x Microsoft Illustrator Project. The project aimed to combine art + fashion + technology by having a few very talented artists, such as Michelle Hoogveld, roam the floor throughout the night and live sketch the event it as it happened on Microsoft Tablets – they even had a few tablets set up for party goers to try!
As per usual they had designer pop-up-shops set up throughout the event space, featuring designers that had walked on both nights, which was nice if you missed one or the other. In-between the designers were other great partners that that were set up, making it almost like a trendy night market. Some notable vendors that I personally enjoyed were Fiasco Gelato featuring a delicious new gelato flavor, Ollia Macaroons featuring their signature Lavender Lemonade and sweet macaron treats, Barre Body Studio, Saje Natural Wellness and Nespresso Coffee who provided me with a delightful shot of espresso to keep me going!
The adrenaline rush that I get when the first model steps onto the runway is indescribable! Although I was only able to attend Saturday night’s show, I was pleased at the line-up of designers that were being featured. I found it to be a good combination of designers from past shows mixed with some new names that introduced some fresh talent and looks to the show. There were so many different looks that I absolutely adored, here are a few of my favorites!
The fashion show begun with this big, bold and beautiful accessory line that made a large statement – literally! These unique and timeless handmade accessories are made from a variety of natural elements, such as wood, shell, resin, cow horns and stone. From large chains to wooden neck braces, these accessories are diverse and different, which adds originality to any outfit and completes your look with confidence and personality – taking your outfit from good to great!
This line of quality, stylish outwear stole the show on Saturday night! Each jacket that we saw on the runway is carefully curated, designed and handmade by Anneka Forbes herself, right here in Calgary! I have had the pleasure of getting to know Anneka a little bit at past shows, and her passion and energy for creating these jackets is incredible and is reflected in the detail in each and every piece. These jackets are figure flattering and come in both colorful and neutral options making them great for a casual lunch date, or night out on the town. They are an investment piece that act as a great staple for any season and will be part of your wardrobe for years to come.
Designer Malika, grew up in India, which has been one of her main sources of inspiration. As a result, her line is filled with vibrant colors, luxury fabric and stunning embroidered details created around 3 core values of quality, affordability and social consciousness. On the runway, we saw primarily suede and leather pieces done in dresses, tops, skirts and jackets. Some of the leather looks had patterned cutouts in them, which added an element of complexity to the level of detail that was displayed in the design of each garment, giving them a charm of modern elegance. I loved the entire line, but my favorite piece was a suede top that had fringe from the waist down. Paired with high waisted shorts this would make a great trendy stampede outfit!
This luxurious ready-to-wear line has hit the Calgary fashion scene with a bang within the past year. Founder Nina Kharey, draws inspiration from her Eastern roots and men’s suit-wear, creating pieces with minimalistic lines and light flowy fabric. On the runway we saw a variety of looser fit dresses, light jackets, tunics and wide leg pants, with flattering waistlines and a neutral color palette. Each piece is a great basic staple for any wardrobe, perfect for a chic office look or attending a fancy cocktail party.
Other great looks from the show: