Panache and the Children’s Hospital Guild of Manitoba have been in partnership in both the creation and hosting of Winnipeg’s annual style spectacle the Bear Essential Fashion Show. Featuring Winnipeg retailers and local modeling talent, the fashionable evening was both a dinner and show that supports a heartfelt and important cause.
“It’s of most importance to know that the purpose of this event is to raise money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation”, says Jane Campbell, International Director at Panache Model Management.
I had the opportunity to chat with Jane about how the show has developed over the years and what guests can look forward to seeing this year.
“This show has been the fashion event of the season for the past 15 years! It used to be exclusively sponsored by Holt Renfrew. Since they closed in Winnipeg, our team at Panache have turned to some of Winnipeg’s top retailers. Our biggest sponsor this year is The Bay. The manager of The Bay Fur Salon has brought in more than $150,000 worth of fur coats which we’ve all been eagerly anticipating.”
Other than the annual Children’s Hospital Book Market, the Bear Essentials Fashion Show is the Children’s Hospital Guild of Manitoba’s biggest event of the year. Guests are encouraged to indulge in the evenings luxuries by drinking champagne, participating in a large selection of high end silent auction prizes, enjoying dinner in the Grand Ballroom at the regal Fort Garry Hotel, and witnessing an inspiring showcase of Winnipeg fashion.
I went backstage to talk to production manager Melanie Deniset about the behind the scenes magic.
“I feel really lucky as we have a great team, I keep calling them my dream team! It’s quite a collaborative effort to put on a show of this caliber. We have volunteers from St. Mary’s Academy helping with wardrobe and dressing, and I have an amazing group of interns helping me out with the details.”
I asked if producing a runway show is similar to other types of live productions. Melanie replied that it’s quite similar, “There’s always a lot of work that goes into the preparation of a show. The night of the event itself can be quite hectic, especially when featuring fall looks as we have a lot of accessories and layers to assemble – and we follow a strict time line. The irony is we spend so long, months even, preparing for this one show, and in the blink of an eye, it’s done! I’m really looking forward to seeing the girls all done up head to toe.”
Melanie has worked with Panache for 12 years, starting as a model and currently holding the position of Creative Director. It was interesting to learn how the “faces” of Panache take on new and different roles within the fashion industry. There was an obvious sense of support and collaboration among the entire Panache team, which included the models, production crew, and creative/design team. That was really cool to see!
It was inspiring to see a community come together to lend their talent and time in hosting an event for both a great cause and a wonderful night of entertainment. There is a special magic that happens when the creative energy within our city is combined with the compassion of our hearts. I believe this event was a perfect example of who we are as Winnipegers and what resides at the soul of our city. This was the magic that was experienced and celebrated at the Bear Essentials Fashion Show.
Photography and Videography by Vanessa Mayberry
VIdeo Production by Ashley Klassen
Dress – Cameo The Label
Purse – Zara
Shoes – Zara