For those who are au courant on Canada’s fashion industry, it’s old news that Toronto’s Fashion Week was cancelled. You would also be up to snuff on all the acronyms associated with the industry. PFW is Paris Fashion Week. NFW? New York Fashion Week. And so on. Now we don’t have a Calgary Fashion Week (CFW?), but we do have PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture). The avant organization recently partnered with CAFA (Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards) as part of CAFA’s national event series Fashion Connects. The partnership proved the perfect lead up to Parkluxe-PARK’s annual fashion show which this year took place Oct 1 in the fabulous Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre.
A select group of fashionistas gathered at the Fairmont Palliser Sept 28 for an evening of networking and a first hand peek at some of the pieces from Parkluxe designers which would be featured on the runway at the Oct 1 show. Hostesses with the mostesses CAFA president Vicki Milner and PARK co-founders Kara Chomistek and Jessie Li welcomed guests and presented videos and addresses as to the importance of supporting the Canadian fashion industry. Other guests in attendance at the reception included: Fairmont Palliser communications manager Jacqueline Tyler; CANIFFF’s (Canadian International Fashion Film Festival) Zai Mamdani and Katrina Olson Mottahed; Mode Models founder Kelly Streit and his daughter Chloe Streit and his newest discovery, 14-year old Shayna McNeill; Nordstrom store manager Lisa Berg with HR manager Devin Sheehan; Gypsy Soul founder and creative director Brandi Dea with Hudsons Pub managing partner Casey Greabeiel; and former president and CEO of Total E&P Canada and now designer with his own line, By Jean Michel, Jean Michel Gires and his partner Agung Nugrahaeni.
The OTT (Over The Top) fashion show a few nights’ later was indeed OTT. As gorgeous as Studio Bell is, it is perhaps not the best venue to host a fashion show on two floors. Site lines were difficult and I think event organizers didn’t anticipate how successful the event would be as scores of guests created maddeningly long line ups at the VIP reception bar. That and stairwells closed off (no food or beverages were allowed in the elevators) made for navigational challenges. But hey. Minor snafus in the overall scheme of things. The parting swag bags- choc a block with presenter Bankers Hall goodies-were superb. As were the fashions featured.
Fashion-forward attendees spotted this night included: Carla Barney; Lisa Pye; Alexandra Halmaciu; Camille Cunningham; Brenna Hardy; Erin Donnelly-Ferguson; Soul Journey Designs’ Apryl Dawn; Matthew Hayes, Lorne Graburn, and Dave Pederson.