I was given two VIP Festival Passes for the Saskatoon Fashion & Design Festival presented by ESYXE in exchange for some blogging support. This is probably the best thing that has happened to me since I started blogging (hard to believe it’s almost been a year already!) and I couldn’t wait to take it all in!
The SFDF presented by ESYXE kicked off Friday, June 5th, with a Deconstructed Runway event at Bottega Trattoria. This show featured 6 different local designers as well as a red carpet, food & drinks and some swag bags!
Ian was originally going to be coming with me, but unfortunately his grandpa had passed away the previous weekend. The funeral was on Friday and we made the tough decision that he would go without me, and I would stay back to attend these events. Ian is the photographer in our duo, but thank goodness I have a decent camera that mostly does most of the work for me!
I brought my friend Chrissy along so that I didn’t have to be a lone wolf for the night. The event started at 9, but I am chronically early for events. We got to the location about 8:15 or so and just hung out on a nearby bench. We did have a bit of entertainment when a Jester walked by us and started dancing for the people inside the window. He even asked if I agreed that he looked better than the models, I had to sarcastically agree with him, because really, what else do you say? I sure do hope that he was coming from the Children’s Festival, which was also running on the weekend, or else I’m not too sure what to think about him being out and about!
The one side of the establishment had a garage door size opening and it looked amazing inside! There were velvet ropes running alongside the red carpet for guests to line up. A bonus to being there early, and being ready to line up, was that we were first in line! From what I could see at that time, I was already getting very excited! You could see the swag bags lined up, the backdrop set up for pictures, as well as some great music and pretty flashy lights. There were a lot of people working hard inside to make sure that everything was prepped for all the people that were about to walk down the red carpet.
I was excited to get inside the building and see what kind of a set up it had. Along the same side that we entered was a bar, which definitely got busy fast.
You walked through a door, which was located right beside the bar, and you entered the area where the Deconstructed Runway show would be happening. There were two sections, each with bench seating down both side, and two square blocks right in the middle. Another benefit to being there early was that we got prime seating choice. We quickly grabbed a spot that put us right between the two blocks.
There were some projector screens that showed the event logo, and later showed the designer names as their designs were being shown.
They kicked off the show by playing this video on the projectors. ESYXE was the headline sponsor for this year.
They had a DJ off to one side, and he did a great job. I’m not sure what company he is from, but he played a great selection and variety of music, and mixed it well.
Every half hour they would showcase a designer’s work, and between that time you could mingle and refresh your drink. They also had some ladies going around with trays of food. They had lobster rolls, pulled pork subs, among a few other items. I absolutely love the fact that at a fashion event like this they served something as messy as pulled pork. Just one of the reasons I love the mindset of Saskatchewan residents! Sometimes the wait between sets seemed to take a long time, but I can understand why they did it that way. They also only had one set of models so that gave them some time to change into the next designers clothing.
That gives you a bit of background into the night; now let’s look at the designers being featured! I had done some research on the designers beforehand and it was fun to test myself to see if I could guess who the designer was based off the styles and fabrics that were being used. I even ended up being right every time! There were five models showcasing pieces, but you will only see four for each design. Four of the girls would rotate on the square cubes, while one would sit on the dividing wall. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me to get a picture of that fifth model.
Before I get into runway show, we need to talk about Laurie Brown. She is known for eclectic style, with her pieces being urban, edgy and sophisticated. She has anything from ink-infused evening gowns to motorized cocktail dresses. She does also have some pieces that are ready to wear so she covers both ends of the spectrum. I instantly knew that these three designs had to be from her. From all that I’ve read about her, it made sense to me that her pieces weren’t part of the show like the others were. Rather, these three models alternated standing on two blocks, one in the back by the bar, and the other in the front window. I found these designs to be rather intriguing and found that I noticed something different every time I looked at them. Also, HUGE kudos to the models for being able to stand there so still for so long! I know I could never do that. You can read more about Laurie Brown here and find her social media links.
The last picture here gives you a bit of an idea as to how the models were placed, as well as where the fifth model went. I knew right away that this was Amaranth Designs. They focus on timeless pieces that can easily transition from day to evening, and from work to play. The only thing I’m not sure about is whether this would be from the Spring/Summer or Fall/Winter collection. The Spring/Summer was inspired by the 1960’s and I definitely get that vibe from these pieces. Between the jumpsuit and maxi dress, it has the ’60’s written all over it. They also have a very mod look to them. The Fall/Winter line was inspired by fabrics usually used in menswear. I can’t say what kind of fabric was used here, but I do get a bit of the menswear vibe from these pieces. I do enjoy the look of these. I like how the four designs are cohesive with each other and they are definitely transitional just by changing up the accessories. You can learn more about Amaranth Designs here, as well as find their social media links.
Eleganzia Couture is designed by Abigail Coleman. This one was also really easy to pinpoint. Part of her influence comes from growing up in Africa. She features bold colors, simple but sharp designs and enhances the figure. I instantly saw the African influence in this clothing, especially in the long blue dress. I love the use of colors and patterns on these pieces as well as the added little details. These definitely aren’t pieces that I could pull off, or really have the occasion to try and pull off, but very beautiful designs. You can learn more about Eleganzia Couture here as well as the social media links.
Opinion Atelier is designed by Eva Vas, who takes inspiration from Italy and high quality fabrics. I can’t speak to the quality of the fabric (though it does look good!), but I do see Italy in these designs. I also love the use of props like the one model holding the book. I can totally picture that model sitting at a cafe in Italy, sketching in her book, wearing that dress. I love it! I like the mix of basics as well as colors and patterns. These are definitely designs that I would be drawn to in a store, though not completely sure if I could pull off the look. If you want to learn more about Eva Vas and Opinion Atelier you can click here.
Whiskey Teacup uses light airy pieces and contrasts that with other materials like plastic. They use all pieces of their fabric; the necklace in the second picture is actually made using scraps from other pieces! You can definitely also see a sportswear feel to a lot of these pieces. I feel like these are the types of styles that I would love to wear, but could never pull off. I was especially drawn towards the second dress. It was mostly open in the back with just a small part at the bottom attached. It seems like it would be so comfortable as a cover up during the summer, or even with just some shorts and a bandeau under. I’m generally drawn more towards brighter colors and patterns, but I do love the simplistic look of these. You can read more about Whiskey Teacup here, as well as find their social media links.
Melissa Squire closed off the night, and it was the perfect way to end the show. While the rest of the sets had been rather serious, this one was perky and upbeat. The girls were dancing a bit and having fun. How could you not have fun in these designs? Melissa’s designed are described as a 1950’s pinup look with an edgy, rockabilly attitude. Love. So. Much. Love. I have come to have a huge appreciate for Melissa Squire’s designs because they are right up my alley. While they are certainly not for an “every day” look, I would definitely find occasions to wear these styles. Plus, flamingos! If you want to learn more about Melissa Squire, or where you can buy her designs click here.
What a fun night! I love how innovative the show was with the cubes, rather than a standard runway. It really suited the designs and fit in with the feel I expected the weekend to have. I got home around 1am and was still quite awake from all the excitement. The only downside that I found was just the length of time between each set, but had I been drinking anything more than just water I probably would have appreciated that extra time to fill up. They picked the perfect location for an event like this. There were a lot of people standing throughout the show because there wasn’t enough seating, but I don’t think the set up could have been better. From what I could see, everyone still had a good visual of the models, even if they had to stand.
This was a great event to kick off the weekend! Make sure you check back as I make full reports on the In Fashion event that was held at Midtown Plaza on Saturday, the VIP Sponsor Reception, which was held at the beautiful James Hotel, and finally the Pose event held at River Landing on Sunday.