Nordstrom Stampede Social

Nordstrom Stampede SocialNordstrom doesn’t open until September, but the party’s already started. Good strategy. Any store that hosts a Stampede Social will fit in to the Calgary way of doing things just fine.John Bailey NordstromJohn Bailey, PR Manager for Nordstrom, came in from Seattle for a little boot-scooting fun in Cowtown. When Chinook opens in Calgary, it will be the first Canadian location for the century-old American department store. Welcome to town, John! And don’t worry, that’s not The Thing on your shoulder, it’s just my hand.Sebastian BravoBecause Nordstrom’s Stampede Social was at Hotel Arts, I had to stop in to Yellow Door Bistro to say hi to the man with the coolest name in the city: Sebastian Bravo. He’s spreading good karma with Mealshare, adding “buy one give one” items to the Yellow Door menu.The Bloggity Blog DudeMeanwhile, back at the party, Mike Morrison of the Bloggity Blog showed off his Stampede style with his new Paul Hardy cowboy shirt. Check out Paul’s CS Mercantile boutique at Stampede here.Hotel Arts pool And –aaah– the pool. Hotel Arts has wisely located a bar just steps away. With this Stampede heatwave, it always seems to be time for a cold one. Nice drinking with you, Nordstrom — looking forward to shopping with you!Blue Besos

Paul Hardy’s Stampede Style

Paul Hardy CS MercantileDon’t be fooled by his “this town ain’t big enough for the both of us” look — Paul Hardy’s just getting his cowboy on. Which is only appropriate, since the internationally renowned fashion designer has partnered with Calgary Stampede to take souvenir shopping to a stylish new level.

The richest rodeo on earth initially asked him to design a private label, but Paul declined after realizing their store wasn’t quite up to his brand standards: “They don’t like me saying this, but they were catering to the carnies.”

Them fighting words only whet the whistle of Stampede execs, who then asked Paul if he’d like to be the creative director of all their product merchandise. Opting to become the Oprah of favorite western things, Paul agreed, and CS Mercantile was born.Paul Hardy CS MercantileUnder Paul’s direction, overt Calgary Stampede branding has been dialed down. Instead, he opted for a subconscious association with Stampede colors of red, white and black, traveling the globe to find exclusive items he felt reflected Calgary culture– ie, ones that can exist outside the ten days of Stampede, like this gorgeous, subtle wolf scarf. (Shopping hint:  they’re rolled up in that basket to the left).CS Mercantile home decorPaul believes Stampede style is more urban western lifestyle than costume, hence the home decor items. “Everyone in town has a small section of their closet that is western apparel for ten days,” he says. “But as Calgary evolves, becoming a global center of finance, we’ve become a lot more cosmopolitan and a lot more diverse in our culture. People are starting to interpret Western in their own way.”Paul Hardy CS MercantileYou can still find souvenir T-shirts, but they’re interspersed with paintings by Calgary artist Jane McCloy, inspired by the historic photography of Edward S. Curtis. Coincidentally, in his mission of curation, Paul sourced other products inspired by Edward Curtis’ photos, including Pendleton blankets, coffee table books and a belt buckle.Paul Hardy Calgary StampedeEven though the buckles aren’t officially Paul Hardy designs, his collaboration has influenced almost every aspect of the CS Mercantile collection, from graphics design, to packaging, to piping on shirts.Paul Hardy CS MercantilePaul’s fave belt buckle. Mine too!Paul Hardy CS MercantileBesides the high-end fashion items, there’s a whole bunch of novelty going on, with prices on rubber duckies and tattoos that dip below ten bucks.Rubber Duckies CS MercantileTattoos CS MercantilePaul Hardy CS MercantileMeanwhile, if you have a few more doubloons in your saddlebag, Paul has some of his own jewelry for sale, at a lower price point than usual.Paul Hardy CS MercantileYou can find CS Mercantile at the Grandstand until July 13th, with the online store continuing in virtual foreverness. Will we be seeing a future Paul Hardy-curated trading post off Stampede grounds, in the wild west of Calgary retail? Paul hints that there’s a possibility he may soon have another place to hang his hat.Blue Besos

Parade Marshal William Shatner

William Shatner Calgary StampedeCaptain Kirk, Denny Crane, Bill — whatever you call him, the 2014 Stampede Parade Marshal has arrived in Calgary. Note those suspenders he’s wearing, because they’re a style statement.William Shatner Calgary StampedeFacing the media today before he faces the throngs along the parade route tomorrow, William Shatner took all questions. Including my urgent fashion query.

ME:  ”What will you be wearing tomorrow?”

BILL:  ”Black underwear. And suspenders.”William Shatner Calgary StampedeLuckily Stampede President Bob Thompson swooped in to give Bill a belt buckle, which will add a little more coverage.Beautiful Bill Shatner

This isn’t William Shatner’s first rodeo. He’s won a few buckles in his day, breeds horses and has ridden just about every style imaginable. Of course, I had to ask him if he ever played polo. Nope. “I like my knees,” he says, telling me he has a few friends who have taken a beating playing the sport. But he’s ridden polo ponies. “They’re indefatigable. They never stop. They just keep going.” My horse Simon says Bill is right.William Shatner Calgary StampedeHe charmed us all. Even us hardened media types. See you at the parade!Blue Besos

Happy Stampede!

Calgary Stampede policeThe 2014 Calgary Stampede doesn’t officially start until tomorrow, but the parties have already started. The city is a-rustle with boots and spurs. Even Calgary’s finest are Stetson-ready to keep the cowboy peace during the world’s richest rodeo. Stay safe, but not too safe. Happy Stampede!Blue Besos

Canada Day Polo

Canada Day Calgary Polo Club 2014O, Canada! O, Canada!Where else would you want to spend Canada Day? The Calgary Polo Club celebrated our country’s birthday in style, with two polo games and tailgating to the max.O, Canada!The 20-goal game, Alegria vs Hawks, was a fast-paced match and thrilling to watch. Nice reach, Fred.O, Canada!But it was tough to concentrate on the game, with a record crowd partying in grand Canada Day style, along the edge of Palmer Field.Canada Day Calgary Polo ClubFormer event planner (and American!) Heather Lilly took Canadian color-coordination to a whole new level with her multi-tiered treats. Canada Day Calgary Polo ClubSpectators competed in a foot mallet competition between games, discovering that hitting those balls can be a little tricky. Canada Day Calgary Polo ClubBack to the real game. It’s always nice when there’s a throw-in right in front of your tailgate. Calgary Polo Club Canada DayBut in this instance, may I suggest utilizing the zoom function?Canada Day Calgary Polo ClubLuckily, the play moved away from the sidelines, and Mr. One was ok. Happy Canada Day!

Blue Besos

Team Blue Besos!

Calgary Polo ClubThe first game of Calgary Polo Club’s 2014 season was the perfect time to debut the official team jerseys of… wait for it… Team Blue Besos! In Club League, we’re assigned new team members each week:  three regular players and a professional. Even though these guys may be my mortal enemies next week, last night they were the best teammates a girl could have. That’s super-pro four-goaler Big Joe Henderson, from South Africa, on the left. Moi and Simon, next. Doug Byblow playing his inaugural Calgary game. And Francesco Galdon, whose Argentinian heritage means he has polo in his DNA.Tiffany Burns and SimonSimon can barely contain his excitement about our new shirts.Blue Besos jerseyJust look at them! Kudos to Cal-Crests Ltd. The Calgary custom apparel company did a stylish, speedy job.Tiffany Burns Blue BesosThe same Blue Besos dream team plays again this Saturday at 11am, in a Club League round robin:  6 chukkers of fantasticness. For fans of either polo or tailgating:  come out and enjoy both at the Calgary Polo Club. Gracias for the superb team photos, Heather Lilly!

Blue Besos


Holts Pre-Stampede Style Shindig

Jeanne Beker Calgary Holt RenfrewWhen I bumped into fashion icon Jeanne Beker at Holt Renfrew last night, it made perfect sense:  we were in the shoe department. The last time I’d seen her was in the makeup chair beside me at the Chum Building on Queen Street West in Toronto. Before the massive media amalgamation in Canada, all of Moses Znaimer’s stations were housed in the same super-cool building with the news truck sticking out of the side, three stories up. With shows for Fashion Television, Bravo, Much Music, CityTV, CP24 and more being produced in the same place, it made for some fun moments in the makeup room. Fast-forward several years and one Order of Canada later — the snowflake pin is always a sure sign. Besides being in Calgary to emcee the HR charity event, Jeanne tells me she has a “big, fat new project” up her sleeve.

“I’m chomping at the bit,” she says, using a metaphor from the Stampede-approved list of cowboy colloquialisms. “It’s been two years since the show was cancelled. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into a new project.”

But beyond mysterious references to the digital nature of said project, Jeanne wouldn’t reveal any details. Hard to believe she resisted my tough questions couched in charming banter, but she’s a pro. She did talk fashion with me, though, assuring me it’s more than runways. She believes fashion is embodied by people, and it’s all about character. I agree, Jeanne. Love fashion, love life!Sam Edney LugerThe pre-Stampede party at Holts Calgary was a benefit for Calgary Health Trust, and the bold-faced names were out to lend their support, including luger Sam Edney, four-time Olympian.Matt Masters CalgaryCountry western singer Matt Masters was a natural choice for this hay bale photo op. His shirt’s a classic by Caravan, a Calgary company from the fifties and sixties. Yes, he does thrift shops. Although Matt tells me he lassos most of his cowboy gear when he’s on tour. His best finds are in Texas, natch, and in Mexico. He’ll be performing throughout Stampede, including CBC Radio’s morning show on Canada Day.Ryan Scott and Greg ScottThe already impeccably attired Ryan Scott, left, and Gregg Scott, of Scott Lease and Land, told me they weren’t at the invite-only charity event to update their wardrobes — they were on the lookout for ladies. Seems like they go for the strong, silent types!Cowboy Hat The Style GuysA celebrity auction featured one-of-a-kind cowboy hats. I had to find the guys who made this Stampede stetson, made by Canadian jewellery designer Anzie Stein, look so good.The Style Guys and Tiffany BurnsEven with pressing business with Cher and Cyndi Lauper, the Style Guys, aka Jason Krell and Alykhan Velji, took time to bookend and say cheese, while I hoped my sweaty post-polo situation would be perceived as party glow. Thanks guys! And thanks to everyone who helped out Calgary Health Trust’s Best Beginning Program.

Blue Besos

Kaleo’s Cerebral Pop Art

Kaleo Scars and BarsIf you saw President Obama up against the Confederate flag, would it stop you in your tracks? On a recent meander through the Calabasas Fine Arts Festival (yes, the Californian region of recent Bieber and Kardashian renown), this painting compelled me to ask the artist what the heck it meant. Which, it turns out, is the whole point of Kaleo’s “cerebral pop art” — and so integral that he’s trademarked the phrase.

“I really love pop art, in and of itself,” says Kaleo. “But I wanted to create layers and do something that actually gets people to think, rather than just enjoy the image. I wanted to evoke more emotion.”

Scars and Bars certainly rouses a reaction. Some folks love it. Others have told him that he shouldn’t have put Obama on the Dixie flag (!!). For Kaleo, who grew up poor in Pasadena, the love child of a European-American mother and a Hawaiian-Spanish-Puerto Rican father, the dialog around this piece makes its own statement. “It shows far we’ve come since the time of the Dixie flag to have a black president elected… and yet how far we still have to go.”Kaleo Calabasa Fine Arts FestivalBesides being thoughtful, down to earth and charming, Kaleo is a natural hustler, faux-hawked and hawking his art at fairs around LA. He’ll hit ten in total this year, all while promoting his brand through every social media channel going. Celebrity obsession juxtaposed against a commercialized image to tell a story that’s in our collective consciousness? I’m in! After viewing the “Images of Irony” in his tent gallery, I had to see more.Real Office Center Santa MonicaWhen Kaleo invited me to his studio in Santa Monica, I didn’t expect it to be at the Real Office Center on Arizona. As he gives me a tour of the space for small companies, I start to understand why. Real Office Center Santa MonicaWith Kaleo in the house, besides being a business incubator, the Santa Monica ROC location is also an artist incubator — although Kaleo seems to have the exclusive. His art adorns almost every surface in the building. Real Office Centers CEO Ron McElroy commissioned the tables, above, and bought other pieces to infuse the cubicles with a creative vibe. Real Office Center Santa MonicaReal Office Center Santa MonicaReal Office Center Santa MonicaKaleo, whose name means “the voice” in Hawaiian, grabs a Starbucks under his Start Ups Brewing custom light box, where the mermaid’s lei winks at both his Hawaiian heritage and to ROC’s new Honolulu location.Kaleo studioThen, it’s down to Door Number Bruce Lee:  Kaleo’s studio in the basement parking garage.Bruce Lee by KaleoWhy use a drop cloth? Then you’re just cleaning up the magic.Kaleo positive popInside, Kaleo takes off his sunglasses and gets to work. His latest series, “Positive Pop” gives iconic commercial slogans an inspirational angle. It’s his top seller.Kaleo studioKaleo didn’t take a direct path to this studio, where he works while standing, under the apoxy resin Mona Lisa gaze of three presidents. After playing college football, he jumped into music industry. He got signed, but didn’t quite make it… and ended up becoming a gold broker. Just when he was agonizing about losing his soul to a job that paid well but gave him no intrinsic satisfaction, he had an inspiration for his “Images in Irony” series. He stockpiled canvases for a year before approaching a gallery. Kaleo CheesinNow, with galleries in London, Dubai and LA, Kaleo’s following his bliss. He plans to dress that bliss with his new line of Artwork by Kaleo T-Shirts, launching soon. If you’re in the Bu, July 26 & 27th, hobnob with him at the Malibu Art Show. Living the dream, Kaleo, living the dream!

Blue Besos


Joydrop Roundup

Stampede Bling JoydropLooking for bold Stampede bling? Mosey over to Joydrop at Market Mall and lasso up some heavenly horseshoes. Not everything at the new boutique is rhinestone cowboy, but I cried a tear in my beer for this cuff by Rebel Designs.Shashi Behl Lila Lewandoski JoydropBusiness partners Shashi Behl (on the left — I didn’t let her put down her champagne before the photo) and Lila Lewandoski celebrate the opening of their second store at Market Mall in Calgary. Friends since their Saskatchewan days, the two gave their first location a try in Westhills in June 2012. Now they’ve broken through the mall ceiling, as one of the rare locally-owned independents in the shopping hood. They’re targeting the lower-priced yet designer accessory range, which no one seems to be doing yet in Alberta. Taking a cue from the success of others like Blue Ruby in Vancouver, they’ve Joydropped the concept and made it their own.Joydrop Market MallFeaturing collections by Alexis Bittar, Melinda Maria and Love Heals, Joydrop has room for more Canadian jewelers. Lila tells me she’d love to see some Calgarian bling displayed in the store. So YYC designers, get to it!Blue Besos


Bar C’s Stampede-tini

Bar C CalgaryCalgary Stampede is just two weeks away! Time to start planning your alcohol stops as you make your way to the grounds, because your belly needs a baseline of inebriation before you walk through those turnstiles. Bar C, a CRMR restaurant located on 17th Avenue at Fourth Street, is perfectly located for this purpose.Cowboy Breakfast Cocktail Bar CJust when you thought bacon couldn’t be mixed into another surprise gourmet combo, Bar C introduces their Cowboy Breakfast Cocktail. Normally, I’m not much of a mixologist. If I take it up a notch from my usual red wine, I like my tequila or vodka straight. But I have to admit, even though I was disappointed the bacon didn’t spiral down the stick like the promo pics, I dig this drink. Tequila, liquid smoke, bacon-infused maple syrup and cherry bark bitters combine to make it taste like Stampede. Egg whites are added to make it the most important meal of the day.Bar C patio alley CalgaryIn case we see another rainy start to Stampede season, check out the alley patio behind those cast-iron boiler room doors (taken from the Underwood Building on First Street) seen in the top photo. Cozy and covered, it’s the perfect place to sip your breakfast. The special cocktail is only available July 3-13. Come and git it!


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About Tiffany

About Tiffany

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

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