On a freezing cold evening last Thursday in Calgary, where we’ve been subject to an unusually lengthy slog of sub-zero temperatures sans chinooks, the Christine Klassen Gallery celebrated its new location on 50th Avenue SE, just east of Macleod Trail. No one seemed to mind that the gallery has moved from its downtown design district location. The free parking is a siren song. Nor was the lack of coat-check an issue. It was too cold inside to take them off anyhow. But the generously stocked bar kept us all warm enough to relegate our mittens to our pockets.The opening coincided with EXPOSURE 2014. The photography festival celebrates its first 10 years with Decade, an exhibition of photography curated by Vincent Varga. Decade is a showcase of mostly new works from a cross-section of accomplished photographers who have already been involved with Exposure.Keeping the focus on the important stuff here, the ART, I’d like to say that I’m not smiling because of the wine. Nor is it because I’m having a particularly good hair day (a rare occurrence). It’s actually because I found a photo that summed up my previous weekend.This 1955 photo by Fred Herzog encapsulates my carnivorous stay in Banff, where I binged on bison, elk and wild boar pate. Unfortunately, I don’t think the Meatateria is there anymore. Or it would have been high-priority on the itinerary.I loved this striking photo with Edvard Munch-ish clouds roiling above the Rockies.A bold use of blank space in Danny Singer’s photo, Bassano Summer Sky, gave it a painting-like appearance.The bonus of being at the Christine Klassen Gallery was being able to see her other exhibitions, like this photo by Colin Smith, who integrates trippy reflections into his prints. Meanwhile, Exposure continues for the rest of the month, in galleries in Banff, Canmore and Calgary.
With wind chill making it feel like -30, it was a cccold red carpet last night. Nevertheless, it was braved by hundreds of hatless fashion fans…… who crowded inside Belgo Brasserie, where their efforts paid off: everyone’s hair was fabulous. It was all in the name of the second annual Schmancy Style, which supports the Glenbow Museum. The crowd parted for the main event when the first model strutted like Moses through the Red Sea. Below are some of my favorite looks, all available at Holt Renfrew.
The crush of cameras at the end of the runway was as feverish as a New York fashion show. Except the dude kneeling in front of us who kept getting up to give his knees a break, blocking our shots. That would result in bloodshed at NYC’s Fashion Week. But we kept it injury-free in YYC.The finale flaunted fur, which we Calgarians will probably need to keep wearing until June.Silent auction featured many stylish items, including this Jekyll & Hyde Harness by FarLee Mowat.Stylish people included three quarters of the Vinegar Designs Lab. Vincent, where are you? The Schmanciest Man of the Evening Award goes to Jason Gogo, who executed a high kick during our photo op. Now that’s Schmancy Style!
‘Twas the night to begin Christmas shopping, and all through CORE mall,
Many creatures were stirring: hundreds of deal-seekers, big and small.
First a performance by the Calgary Philharmonic and Choir,
Underneath a tree with soon-to-be lit star on tallest spire.
Host Dan Levy, formerly of MTV’s the After Show,
Braved the red carpet, which being inside, had no snow.
Jann Arden played to a massive crowd,
In the name of 5 charities, everyone got loud.
Western riding and jumping may be fun, but how about polo?
When champagne, fine art and blue boxes appear in the same frame, there can only be one culprit: Tiffany & Co… The Xmas Party Edition.Audrey Hepburn’s favorite store spiced up the Christine Klassen Gallery with a bunch of media types. Even a hallway can be festive fabulous when filled with style bloggers.Moody ring (a steal at $22,000) with moody image by Michael Levin (under 10k). Both of which I’d always be in the mood for. But even the background drove my Palovian instinct into overdrive. Black Suede by Behr, fyi, paint and primer in one. Gallery Director Christine Klassen says she took the wall from white to black in 2 coats. You’re welcome, Behr.Christine seen here counseling Janelle Gillespie on her next art investment, the last consumer therapy she’ll offer in this space. She’s off to new digs on 50th Avenue SE, with the opening soiree in February.Ahi Tuna Sliders from Nicole Gourmet Catering. Delicioso.Tiffany & Co Calgary Director Elizabeth Hellebrand wears a sapphire, diamond and platinum pendant and earrings from the Cobblestone Collection. Elizabeth has a knack of placing Tiffany jewels in front of amazing backdrops… as I learned earlier this year when the Gatsby jewels toured North America.And what exactly was yours truly obsessing about here?The Atlas Collection. I tend to go for bracelets, not bangles, but these are magnificent.Tiffany must have read my mind, because look what was in the gift bag’s little blue box? Those sleek, elongated Roman numerals incorporated into the Atlas Bar Bracelet — a bangle and bracelet combined. Muchas gracias, Tiffany. Takes one to know one.
According to Frank Sinatra, whiskey is a gentleman’s drink. Frank was such a fan, his legacy guardians agreed to lend his namesake to a new offering from Jack Daniels.Tennessee’s best was on the tip of everyone’s tongues Tuesday night in Calgary, the city of choice for the Canadian debut of Sinatra Select. Thus the selected gentlemen swarming Teatro’s Opera Room. Many of them declined to refer to themselves that way, but at least they looked the part.Ryan Atkins, Alex Orlando and Scott Watson.Dan Wright of WAX and Kevin Gordon.Let’s get a side view of those super-cool specs, Dan!Mark Burkart of McKinley Burkart and Jay Cowles of Spriza.Norm Bogner of Spriza and Ryan Jennings of Jennings Wealth.In case you were wondering how to accessorize a black wedding band (sapphire with diamond) Norm prefers a Panerai timepiece. And you can never go wrong with a fistful of sour mash.Frank couldn’t make it in person, but the evening was not without crooning, thanks to V. Williams.I felt a little like ol’ Blue Eyes himself, getting hustled through the Teatro kitchen for an intimate lecture … … on the fine art of single barrel aging. Jack Daniels looked right at home in Teatro’s 10,000 bottle wine cellar.And despite the original 1911 Dominion bank vault looming behind me, I felt right at home. but I suppose 45% alcohol content accelerates that emotion. However, my Jack Daniel’s Country Club badge is 90-proof that I’ve arrived.
Is that the Maharaja or designer Paul Hardy?Held at his Calgary studio, where he toils on creations for celebrity clients like Bette Midler, Sarah McLachlan and Carrie Fisher, his Halloween Fashion Fete came with a strict dress code: come as your favorite fashion icon.So it was no surprise to see Lady Gaga, James Dean and Katy Perry on the guest list.Along with Princess Diana and Sir Elton John.It made sense that Boy George would be here to DJ — not to be confused with Nathan Hedley of Formula Promotions.Kim is glowing, but Kayne looks a little pale, thanks to my flash. Please don’t get mad, Mr. West.Jenavive’s singing pipes rocked the dance floor in zebra stripes. Jean Paul Gaultier and a stylist I didn’t recognize jetted in from Vancouver for the soiree. When Stylist Guy showed me a photo of the real Stylist Dude, I realized he nailed it!But no one got my costume either. It took a lot of explaining and pointing at my now monolingual Hello sticker. But that’s the fun of Halloween: it’s the best conversation starter ever. What ARE you? Turns out magic assistant Gwyn Auger was a bunny in a top hat. Meanwhile, Mr. Hardy gives us his best side on the left. His secret two-way mirror overlooking the front door is on the right. Umm… am I not supposed to mention that, Paul?Upstairs, Mandy Stobo came as an artist.Recently of Scuba Nenshi fame, the Bad Portrait painter has been known to mix media.I couldn’t resist the ultimate party favor. Good to know that style icon Hello Kitty will be immortalized in watercolor forever… … since party pix tend to get blurry as the lights trip fantastic. Especially when you’re hanging with Gianni Versace.
Last year, I had a Venetian Ball to attend.The Grave Gala’s theme, Venice is Sinking, made for some dramatic moments at the Hotel Arts in my favorite elevator …… and on the dance floor with gondoliers — and the occasional venetian blinds. This year, however, with the Grave Gala resting in peace, I’m moving on to Paul Hardy’s Halloween Fashion Fete. The mandatory theme, Fashion Icon, Past or Present, is sure to inspire a future post. Boo!