I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been watching too much Chelsea…but the Vintage Tee fad has definitely worn off on me. I absolutely LOVE finding ways to mix the casual and comfortable worn in grungy look of the Tee with more classy pieces like a blazer, high heels, or dainty necklaces. I love rocking this combo! Shop this look below! Continue Reading…
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.
Summer is a season of abundance and, like most Canadians, I intend to indulge fully in it. This is true especially for those of us who live on the prairies. After enduring months of frigid weather, the opportunity to unwind and enjoy the many splendors of summer is a most cherished time. There are endless activities to experience from festivals to markets, beaches to patios, and home projects to family trips. Getting out and exploring our own city, lakes, prairies, and small towns in this expansive province of Manitoba is one of my favourite things to do, regardless of the season. But since summer passes by so fast and the changes develop so quickly, I am ready and willing to seize the moment as inspired – which so happened with this shoot.
The flora and fauna of Manitoba are rich, to say the least. The delicate wildflowers in soft yellows, whites, pinks, and purples that pop up for only a brief time it seems, excite my senses. How soothing is the country drive while passing golden wheat fields, lush meadows, and whimsical forests. Even the ditches and “unmaintained” side roads during a Manitoban summer are beautiful!
I always find inspiration in our varied and bountiful landscape. As Canadians, I know we all feel connected to each other by the relationship we have with each other as friendly neighbors, and with our vast terrain. Richard Wagamese, author of “One Story, One Song”, articulates this in such a beautiful way that I had to quote him:
“It’s the land that connects us. I’m convinced of that. Everyone around us is here because the land has a song we want to listen to through every season, in all kinds of weather. We’re a motley Canadian crew: Ukrainian, Ojibway, Scots, French, Cree and Scandinavian. We live in a community, allowing each other our privacy but gathering, at times like this*, for the ceremony of togetherness. We enter our homes filled with it, are framed by it, with its power to erase tattered histories and soothe ragged souls. We are framed by it, buoyed by it, this deeply spiritual sense that is far more than the effect of geography.
This is our home and native land, and we belong here – all of us. There’s a miracle that’s put into motion by the opening of a door and a hearty welcome, whatever language welcome is spoken in.” – Wagamese
*[referring to gathering with his friends at his home on the lake]
This photoshoot was inspired by the remnants of an abandoned quarry. From the tall grasses and dainty prairie flowers that grew along its edges, to the deep blue waters and rusted skeleton structure that sits in the middle of the pits. Photography by the wonderfully talented Vanessa Mayberry.