Curated by Paul Hardy

Kaleidoscopic Animalia by Paul Hardy at GlenbowHow much better can life get for Paul Hardy? Calgary’s internationally renowned fashion designer can now add museum curator to his list of couture accomplishments. I caught up with him last night at the VIP opening reception for his new exhibit,  Kaleidoscopic Animalia, which opens at the Glenbow today. Through a feat of accidental iCamera magic, his head appears to almost float away from his dark-colored clothes, in a dramatic echo to brain beside him, culturally influenced by animals. Also available on a scarf in the gift shop — the kaleidoscopic brain, that is, not Paul’s head. Kaleidoscopic Animalia at Glenbow Museum by Paul HardyEven though Paul was double-booked, expected at a party at his own studio (which tend to be fabulous) he took time out to give a Kaleidoscopic personal tour. The displays are a mashup of his original designs and artifacts he found languishing in Glenbow’s vaults. As the museum’s Artist In Residence this year, he had special access. Kaleidoscopic Animalia at Glenbow Museum by Paul HardyYou’ve got to see the exhibit in person to experience the true hustle of a Bay blanket bustle. Anyone who knows their Canadian history realizes those blankets weren’t originally a branding brainwave — they were all about the fur trade.Paul Hardy's Kaleidoscopic Animalia at the GlenbowMy fave is “Homestretch,” which sent me off into a trippy polo fantasy. But Paul told me it was inspired by the Run for the Roses, aka the Kentucky Derby, in which the winning horse is draped in a blanket of roses. Paul Hardy's exhibit at Glenbow MuseumBesides being inspired by the mannequins, the exhibit reminded me of the opulent department store window displays that seem to be nearing extinction. Grouped around themes instead of strict museum sorting by date or place of origin, the creativity is easy to consume, yet complex in meaning. In Everything Isn’t Black and White, Paul delves into a time when the Haida created argillite art for Europeans, in reaction to a declining sea otter trade.

Everyone is welcome to the Launch Party tonight, with admission by donation and a specially curated cocktail to celebrate. Congratulations, Paul!Blue Besos

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