Photography by Kari Bolen, Creative Journalism by Tracey MacCorquodale
The fashion crowd in Calgary has been spoiled rotten this this year. If we weren’t busy getting our monthly fashion fix at Runway Monthly, we have been treated to amazing fashion show fundraisers, such as The Heart Truth Fashion Show. And now we have been given the über glamorous PARKLUXE to kick off winter and deplete our savings accounts of course (who needs a savings account when you can own shiny fingerless leather gloves anyways?).
PARKLUXE is a high-end fashion show that showcases designers who specifically target those who can comfortably drop a few bills on an inventive accessory or beautifully tailored dress. The PARK team works in conjunction with sponsors who are also positioned in the luxury market in order to provide a sophisticated back drop for all the fancy frocks. This year that back drop was none other than the Hyatt Auto Gallery-Mercedes Benz who teased us by rolling out a Mercedes Benz SLK 55 AMG Convertible on the runway with its high beams on. It didn’t make it very far though before designs from Toronto-based, Calgary raised designer Caitlin Power took the runway. Power’s futuristic fall collection was previously debuted at Sit. Interiors & Leo Boutique Presents: Caitlin Power this past June. Her collection features clean cut lines and tailoring that give off a polished and professional air, but keeps things interesting by using hints of neon color, edgy black leather, and sheer fabric in risqué places. It is space-age modern minimalism with a dash of quirk.
The next designer whose fashions took the runway was Anne Bacalso with her Fall/Winter 2012 line for Anne B. Accessories. Bacalso has been persistently making her mark in the high-end jewelry market here in Calgary and can often be found selling her jewels at industry events or right on Stephen Ave. Bacalso designs beautiful bracelets, earrings, necklaces and many other forms of fashionable garnish from an array of natural resources including wood, shells, resin, cow horns and turquoise. Most of the pieces Bacalso featured on the runway were bold statement pieces not for the fashionably modest. One of the most appealing aspects of purchasing one of Bacalso’s handmade pieces is that her collections are infused with social consciousness. Manufactured in her home country in the Philippines and overseen by her sister there, Bacalso’s jewelry has provided much opportunity for her to give back to the developing nation.
After the intermission, Nicole Campre, hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, gave an eclectic and interesting show with brocade fabrics and many draped and flowing garments. Campre is this season’s Western Canada Fashion Week Emerging Designer contest winner and currently sells her designs at the innovative and progressive Oak & Fort located in Vancouver, B.C. and Edmonton, A.B.
The last designer of the evening was Lauren Bagliore from New York who showed an impressive 34 look collection. Bagliore has worked with Zac Posen and interned for Vivienne Westwood and has the complex and revolutionary designs to prove it. Bagliore’s designs are monochromatic and very edgy while still remaining quite feminine and elegant in their presentation. Her designs stand out and yet are understated at the same time. It’s an interesting balance and made for a terrific end to the stylish evening. It very exciting to know that PARKLUXE and Calgary can draw talent from around North America and next year is bound to take things up another notch. We can’t wait to see what happen next!