Gaga over Gogo

Jason Gogo's Paintings of an Emotional TerroristWhen Jason Gogo invited me to “the paintings of an emotional terrorist,” I thought he was talking about an art show. When I arrived, I wasn’t so sure. The place looked like a showroom for that Army Surplus store in Inglewood.Jason Gogo's Paintings of an Emotional TerroristThen my eyes moved past the camo, where Jason’s paintings were hiding in plain sight.Jason GogoJason is far from an emotional terrorist. In fact, the precious metals he mixes into his media — 24 karat gold, platinum, copper — kind of give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. But he’s got a hate-on for doomsday words on the news. Words like Ebola, Threat and Terrorism. “We live in a constant state of fear,” he tells me. “I wanted to make a point.”Neil Martin, Gogo CollectorCollector Neil Martin doesn’t exactly take the threat level down a notch with his best Hands Off My Painting look. As the proud owner of six Gogos, he was able to spare one for the show. “I love the way you can hang a Gogo painting on the wall and it completely takes over the whole space,” he says. “Forget about the Ming vase in the corner.”Oscar LopezHowever, for a few minutes, Gogo’s work took a back seat to Oscar Lopez’s guitar, during a short set of ferocious Latin groove. He’ll be en fuego for a few nights at the Ironwood in early December.Jerilyn WrightOpera addict and Gogo painting owner Jerilyn Wright made a red carpet appearance to lend her support. Nice Prada bag, Jerilyn!Jason Gogo's Paintings of an Emotional TerroristAs Jason’s process has evolved, so has the shellacking, although that is probably not an official art term. UV inhibitor in the coating lets you see his art without light reflection getting in the way. It’s also used in aero space carpet fibre. Which sounds weird and makes me think my iPhone autocorrected that particular factoid.Jason Gogo's Paintings of an Emotional TerroristBeautiful show, Jason! Pow! Bam! Kaboom!Blue Besos


Opening Night At The Nash

The Nash CalgaryAfter a year of planning and careful restoration at the historic National hotel in Inglewood, The Nash is finally here ~ Chef Michael Noble’s new restaurant and bar.The Nash CalgaryThe first sign that you’re in the  fiercely hip neighborhood of Inglewood (Calgary’s answer to Abbot Kinney) are the tightly trousered, tattooed and mustachioed Men Of Off Cut Bar.The Nash in InglewoodThe next is the terrarium on the bar. Because you’re not part of the Inglewood cool kid club if you haven’t picked up at least one from Plant, a shop that is devoted entirely to succulents and air plants. If you’re wondering, yes, I acquired mine weeks ago, but I can’t seem to grow a mustache, even if it is Movember. However, I digress. Back to the opening party.The Nash CalgaryThe very-Vancouver room (created by very Calgary interior designer Sarah Ward) was jammed with hundreds of well-wishers for Chef Michael Noble, including Calgary’s Mayor Naheed Nenshi. A little different from the shady Whiskey Row crowd, back when the National was known more for bar room brawls than hotel guests.Chef Michael NobleIron Chef challenger and GQ Magazine’s Golden Dish award winner (for his Stilton Cheesecake), Michael Noble has a long  history of deliciousness at wonderful restaurants, including Diva at the Met in Vancouver, Catch and the Oyster Bar in Calgary, and, of course, his first solo venture in Bowness: Notable.

Congratulations on your new restaurant, Chef! The drinks and apps last night were lovely. Full menu service for lunch and dinner start today.

Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar on UrbanspoonBlue Besos

Modern Steak in Kensington

Modern Steak in KensingtonTucked away on 10a, a side street off the main drag in Kensington (that would be Kensington Road), is a new take on the slabs of beef we’re so fond of stuffing ourselves with in Calgary. In possibly the softest launch ever held, Modern Steak’s media showcase on Monday night took place a month after its official opening. But working out the kinks meant the soiree was a smooth, well-oiled machine of excellent service, libations and food.Seafood Tower at Modern Steak in KensingtonSeeking out steak, imagine my surprise when I found the seafood tower to end all seafood towers, in the party zone on the bar level.Chef Kurt Warner, Modern SteakUpstairs, on the raw bar level (there are several floors in the intimate space formerly known as Muse) Chef Kurt Warner explained it to me:  “We’re doing the anti-steakhouse thing.” With his Cannery Row connection, his love of aquatic food makes sense. But it’s more than that, as owner Stephen Deere ends up explaining to me.Modern Steak in KensingtonBut before I get to that, is it just me, or has that martini moved from the top of the tower to the table? Good move, Janelle! My unattended glass of wine was also going down pretty easy when attended. A nice preview of Wine Down Wednesdays:  half off glasses and select bottles.Stephen Deere, Modern SteakProprietor Stephen Deere tells me he was going for a feminine steak house. “I wanted to design a place that my girlfriend would like,” he says. It’s not what you’d expect to hear from a former Snoop Dogg tour manager. Not kidding! But he wasn’t too legit to quit after 14 shows. The restaurant industry has benefited from his career change. Escoba on Stephen Avenue, anyone? And the career move was good to Stephen too. Margaritaville franchise opportunity, from Jimmy himself, gave Stephen the margaritaville lifestyle, leading him to live in exotic locales like Jamaica and Hawaii. He also owned Muse, but after a dozen years, “I thought it was better to move forward, do a new concept.” Where’s the beef… from, you ask? Modern Steak is the only restaurant in town to work exclusively with local ranches and local slaughterhouses. Those delivery trucks have Wild Rose Country plates.Modern Steak in KensingtonPanicking without a party venue this December? Amazingly, Modern Steak’s stealth appearance on Calgary’s hot new restaurant horizon means that it’s still a good bet for company Christmas parties. See you there!

Modern Steak on UrbanspoonBlue Besos

Whitefish: Avant Ski

If you’re a skier or snowboarder, chances are you also excel at après ski. I myself am a Double Black Diamond après, and have the boozy fireside tales to prove it. On Friday, Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana came to Calgary to introduce a new excuse to party in the name of winter sport:  Avant Ski.Riley Polumbus, Whitefish PRIn case the Ski the Fish stickers don’t give it away, that’s Riley Polumbus, PR person extraordinaire from Big Mountain, as many people still call the ski hill in northern Montana. There’s limited time left to Avant Ski, since the official start to the Whitefish Resort season is coming up fast — December 6. Riley managed to work some sweet PR nothings in between the wine and the nibbles, which turned out to be somethings, like this super deal on Sunday-Thursday lodging and lift ticket: $84 per person, all season at Whitefish.

Blue Besos went to Whitefish for opening weekend last year… here’s a look back at the adventure.

Blue Besos Goes Banff

Tupelo Grille Restaurant Review

Big Opening Day

Room 236 at the Lodge at Whitefish Lake

Latitude 48 Restaurant Review

Ski Joring!

It’s time for another trip!Blue Besos

Lock Into Paris… in Calgary

Lock Into Paris french poodleOnce you’ve got a dog on the runway, your fashion show is a guaranteed success. This French Poodle was a fit parfait for the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra fundraising event “Lock Into Paris” last Friday night.Devonian Gardens CalgaryFish, for some reason, don’t generate the same crowd-pleasing effect. Since the VIP lounge at the Devonian Gardens didn’t have a swimming section, this lonely giant koi did laps around the un-fountaining fountains. No coins are permitted, but perhaps steroids are.Paul Hardy at Lock Into ParisStill, it was a thrill to finally figure out where the Devonian Gardens are: way up on the fourth floor of the Core Shopping Centre. When I saw uber-designer and sought-after party guest Paul Hardy under the sloping glass roof, I knew I was in the right place.Lock Into Paris fashion showOver to the runway, resplendent with models from The Nobles, their plumage provided by Holt Renfrew. This feather-trimmed skirt was my fave.Holt Renfrew at Devonian GardensVerdant tropical foliage allowed me to temporarily stash my gift bag, so nothing could get in the way of me, my Calvins and the fashion show. Just kidding. I was wearing Prada.Lock Into Paris, Devonian GardensMy shoe fetish and I were perfectly positioned on the runway for a bug’s eye view.Holt Renfrew Lock Into ParisAs live music from CPO members (composed especially for this event) swelled in the background, I tried to stay focused on the clothes. But just look at those shoes!Lock Into Paris CPO Fundraiser Then the OTK babies returned. The model’s blue dress faded into a blur. I had to know… who made these boots?CPO Lock Into Paris CalgaryThanks to my incredible investigative journalism skills, I discovered Holt’s didn’t provide the footwear. I could have applied my superpowers to learning the name of the fellow causing a safety hazard by edging his chair onto the runway, but my fashion 411 was more urgent. Luckily, the team from Styleista (who coordinated the show) filled me in:  the boots were the model’s own. From Zara two years ago. And I totally missed them. Hashtag:  fashion tragedy.CPO auction at Lock Into ParisAfter the show, father and son party team from Scott Land and Lease resisted the Breakfast at Chanel being auctioned off right in front of their primo-positioned table. Maybe it was because the auctioneer called it “Breakfast at Channel.” Some botox-busting frowns all around must have tipped him off, because he quickly corrected and did a great job, raising thousands for the CPO with that one item alone.Chanel Padlock at Lock Into ParisLook at the necklace on the model hanging with the Style Guys! No need to call the locksmith — that gargantuan, glittering Chanel lucite padlock was up for raffle, as an ode to the thousands of love padlocks on a bridge over the Pont des Arts in Paris. Am I crazy or am I sensing a theme?Cynthia Moore CPO Chanel PadlockWhile the CPO’s bottom benefitted, board member Cynthia Moore emerged as the big winner of Lock Into Paris. Besides helping to put together a successful event, she already had her own Chanel padlock.Blue Besos

Pink Tartan and Lipstick Pockets

PINK TARTAN Nordstrom YYCIn a section of Calgary’s new Nordstrom called Studio 121, Kimberley Newport-Mimran delicately wields the mic while describing her designs.PINK TARTAN Nordstrom YYCShe’s in from Toronto to present the Pink Tartan Holiday and Resort Collection. But don’t expect to see any pink beyond this faux fur accent.PINK TARTAN Nordstrom YYCThe designer herself is draped in a refined black palette. It helps focus our modern attention deficit on the models moving along the informal runway.PINK TARTAN Nordstrom YYCOtherwise, we might have missed what is happening here. Besides skillfully negotiating the landmines of platform heels attached to the legs of audience members and snake-like straps of purses ready to pounce, this model is putting her hands into her pockets. Kimberly builds them into most of her evening wear. “My husband refuses to carry my lipstick,” she tells the audience with her girlish giggle. And we nod in agreement. For some crazy reason, our dates don’t enjoy carrying our stuff.Kimberly Newport-Mimran Calgary“Pink is my favorite color,” Kim tells me later when I ask about the name of her line. Blue Besos readers know I enjoy a lifestyle title that incorporates a color. “I love what tartan stands for because it’s kind of dressing a clan. Pink Tartan dresses a certain clan of women that are drawn toward the style that I work to.” Tonight Nordstrom is packed with the clan, aka Pink Tartan fans. From the miniature…Kimberly Newport-Mimran Calgary… to the newly minted Nordstrom regulars.Nordstrom CalgarySince I’m in the neighborhood, I slip downstairs to The Rail, the men’s sportswear section. Paramdeep Singh Arora sells me some socks, but the revelation is free:  Calgary has reached a whole new level of cool. PINK TARTAN CalgaryBack upstairs, or “on Two” as Nordstrom likes to say, Pink Tartan models are circulating…Kimberly Newport-Mimran Calgary… while Kimberly connects with her next generation of clients. Kimberly Newport-Mimran in Calgary at NordstromEven though everyone is clamoring to chat with the down-to-earth designer of understated luxury and sophisticated sportswear, Kimberly takes time for a sit-down.

“My favorite part of my job is when I see people wearing my clothes,” she says. “Sometimes you see the sample, and you think, well that’s great, but when I see it on a person and the outfit takes a life of its own, out of the showroom, that’s when it makes me the happiest.”

Besides being the man who refuses to carry lipstick, her husband is Joe Mimran, the man behind Club Monaco and Joe Fresh. How does she feel about being referred to as a fashion power couple?

“I love my husband,” says Kimberly, then trails off. “I kind of blushed there. He’s so fabulous at everything he does. He’s really a wonderful partner in so many ways. To be considered part of a power couple is very flattering.”Pink Tartan labelThe Pink Tartan Holiday and Resort Collection is available now at Nordstrom. If you look hard enough, you’ll find a little pink to be pretty in.Blue Besos

Claire Doty’s Soaring Style

Claire Doty can make a safety helmet look good.Claire DotyThe 17 year old Grand Prix rider is the youngest in the top level class at the Royal West, the elite international equestrian event on right now in the heart of Calgary.Claire Doty Royal WestEven though the California to Alberta transplant is dressed in classic show jumping style, with the required white breeches for competition, black is her go-to for a party or night out on the town. As much on-the-towning that this Federation Equestre Internationale rider can do at age 17.Claire Doty Royal WestBefore she walks the course, Claire tells me she’s not anti-ponytail for casual days, even though she’s around horses all the time. “I’m in Grade 12,” says Claire. “I wear ponytails a lot!”Claire Doty practice ring Royal WestClaire Doty practice ring Royal WestClaire Doty practice ring Royal West“I get nervous, but I don’t get scared,” says Claire. The height of these jumps seems totally crazy to me, but Claire has no problemo cruising Cordonos over a mere 1.45 in the practice ring. Especially since she’s maxed out at 1.7 meters. Claire Doty, Mister LoyalBut then it got real. Waiting to enter the official ring at the Agrium Western Event Centre, Cordonos becomes antsy. It couldn’t have been because of Mister Loyal, up on the balcony in the pink coat. The renowned ringmaster may dress wild, but his vibe wouldn’t upset anyone, whether they have two or four legs.Claire Doty at Royal WestClaire Doty at Royal WestOn this night, the first Saturday evening at the Royal West, the rails kept clattering down under Claire and Cordonos. But look at that form! I wish I could stay so upright on Simon during challenging moments.

Claire will have more chances to win this week. The first-ever Royal West continues through November 1st at the Stampede Grounds in downtown Calgary.Blue Besos

Royal West’s Derby Gala

I found out where the formal wear is hiding at the inaugural Royal West.Derby Gala posterAt the off-site events! Like this weekend’s gala charity fundraiser at the new Chicago Chophouse on Stephen Avenue. Arden Teasdale Derby GalaThe derby theme was the brainchild of Rocky Mountain Show Jumping’s business development manager Arden Teasdale, who set the tone for the dazzling dress requirement.Karen Linkletter, Nelson LeeSpectators were also encouraged. Equestrian coach Karen Linkletter’s hat was right on target, but Nelson Lee refrained, as did most men at the soiree. Good move, Nelson.Judy BucklandHowever, Judy Buckland bucked the small hat trend, wearing a topper so suave it should trend more than #pharrellshat.Tiffany BurnsThe Royal West’s charity of choice for 2014 is breast cancer. In of honor the pink ribbon, I wore pink leopard print.John Anderson Derby GalaThe jumpers arrive straight from the competition, still in their whites. John Anderson checks out the silent auction items in his exclusive Der Dau boots. Only two other riders wear them – Ian and Jonathon Millar – and they’re all on Team Canada. Dean and Alison MairDean and Alison Mair moved back to Calgary from London to enjoy events like this.Mister Loyal ringmasterThe party is officially a success when Pedro Cebulka, aka Mister Loyal, throws down on the Chophouse dance floor (if you need one, the restaurant will make one happen). The internationally renowned ringmaster is beloved for livening up the serious global equestrian circuit, in an ever-changing wardrobe of outlandish costumes. He’ll master the ring all week in Calgary, at the Royal West.

Blue Besos

Royal West Debuts in Calgary

John Anderson is smiling for a reason.John Anderson Royal WestWith the inaugural Royal West (on right now!) John has brought international show jumping back to the heart of Calgary — for the first time in 30 years. Held at the new Agrium Western Event Centre on the Stampede Grounds, the hat of choice for the next week will be black velvet, not white Stetson.

He didn’t create the new show without ruffling some royal feathers.

“The powers that be at the Royal Winter Fair were a bit miffed at me for doing this,” says John. “They thought I was copying them.” Not only does the Royal in Toronto have a rep for being one of the most important shows in the country, with its glamorous black tie events it’s also considered the start of the Canadian social season. “No one’s going to copy the Royal, they do a great job,” he continues. “We’re not a fair. We’re a horseshow. And an entertainment venue, if you will.”Erynn BallardAfter watching Olympian Jill Henselwood effortlessly clear a jump, Ontario rider Erynn Ballard says she’s not surprised the Royal has its hackles up. “You can’t replace the Royal in prestige and history. But I think the Royal West will give them a run for their money in what they’re offering in international competition, prize money and FEI ranking points.” She’s ridden in both. “But if they sat down for a moment and really thought about it, it should work for everybody. It will bring the country together.”Royal West 2014Similar to the divot stomp in polo, except without the divots and the stomping, VIP guests tour the ring before the big class. Unfazed, riders manage to duck around drinkers in order to count strides between jumps. Multi-tasking as both show president and competitor, John Anderson takes a minute to socialize. To encourage a broad-ranging audience, the Royal West is trying to get its glam on, although I saw more Stampede-chic than formal wear. In fact, except for the competitors, I didn’t see any formal wear, even though corporate sponsors are hosting parties in suites with cocktails, catering and flat screens. C’mon, Cowtown, let’s take it up a notch!RRC Black Magic aka FelixBackstage, the horses were ready to rumble. I was crushing on this cutie, RRC Black Magic, aka Felix. Don’t tell my horse Simon. Although I don’t know if he’s the jealous type.Candace Crosby, Vet ExtraordinaireThen, caught in the act! Who do I see with her official checklist? Simon’s vet, Candace Crosby. She was there to administer FEI drug testing and generally make sure the horses are ok. Don’t tell Simon about my little swoon over Black Magic. Although my crush receded when Black Magic refused a jump in the ring later. Btw, nice Royal West jacket, Candace!John Anderson Royal West 2014Back to the man who put this party together. Besides representing Canada at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, he also operates Rocky Mountain Show Jumping, an elite training and horse show facility. If anyone can create a new equestrian tradition in this country, I’d put my loonies on John Anderson…John Anderson Royal West 2014John Anderson Royal West 2014John Anderson Royal West 2014John Anderson Royal West 2014 … as he simultaneously pulls off a faultless run over 1.45 meter fences, along with his horse, Terrific.

Besides the big jumps for big money, there are also crowd pleasers, like pony equitation and Jack Russell races. How about some polo, John? You could have a good three-on-three demonstration game in this arena!

“In the coming years I’m going to do more entertainment things for the crowd,” says John, diplomatically non-committal. “Make it more exclusive. Bums in seats are ultimately going to make it successful.”

The Royal West continues at the Stampede Grounds through Saturday, November 1st. Next up — how the horsey set parties, and style files on the youngest competitor in the International Championship. Stay tuned for more Blue Besos coverage on Royal West!Blue Besos

Fearless Abstract at The Heather Co

IMG_1279Tucked away in Mount Royal, along the 14th Street SW corridor, you’ll find The Heather Company for design and decor. The boutique features hard-to-find bedding, drapery, cushions and fabric.Heather DraperOn this particular day, founder and creative director Heather Draper is too busy being hostess with the mostess to take time out for a posey pic. Keeping her clients’ flutes topped with champagne takes priority as she celebrates her latest creative collaboration.The Heather CompanyThe interior designer prides herself on keeping the catalog status quo out of her store. Now, to compliment her own bedding line, The Heather Company Collection, and a curated selection of furniture pieces, she’s found the perfect paintings:  abstract acrylics and mixed media on canvas, by a local artist.Samantha da SilvaGlamazon fashionista Samantha Da Silva is that local artist. Originally from Brazil, Samantha now calls Calgary home. Her fearless approach to fashion is a sartorial indication of the art education she also provides, in a course called Fearless Abstract — which is not only a fabulous fit, but also the opportunity for a double entendre.Jewel Notes CalgaryThere’s original art in every nook and cranny of The Heather Company. I spotted these glass bowls by another Calgary artist, Michelle Atkinson. They’re part of her Jewel Notes glassware and sculptural pieces collection.Samantha da Silva paintingIn case you’re wondering, all the art at The Heather Company is available for purchase. Except for the painting that sold during the party!Blue Besos

About Tiffany

About Tiffany

I'm a model, journalist, short-time polo player and long-time fashion addict...

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