InFashion with Midtown Plaza

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! You can read all about that event by clicking here.

The second event was on Saturday, June 6th, at Midtown Plaza. It was touted as a high energy fashion show featuring must-have items that could be found right at the mall, but also featuring local designer pieces. The theme was “Around Town, Downtown, and Uptown.” Stylists Kate Matthews and Nicole Romanoff put each of the outfits together. Shows ran on the hour between 1 and 4pm. You could reserve your seat for $5 and receive a Midtown Swag Bag, or watch for free if there was an extra seat, by standing on the main level, or by the railing on the second floor.

I actually ended up attending this show twice, once using my VIP Festival Pass, and once using tickets that I had bought. This worked great because I was able to take pictures during the first show, and take notes during the second! (Though I lost my notebook so I wasn’t able to reference it for this post anyway. Here’s hoping I get all my information right!)

I had walked to the mall since we only live about 2km away, so I gave myself ample time to get there, have some Subway, and take pictures before the show started. I was able to get a great view of the whole set up by going up to the second floor. Everyone was busy with all the finishing touches with getting the swag bags put together, tables set up, models getting ready and Erin Crooks Photography taking pictures of the models in the various styles they would be showing. There was a table set up with some promotional items, as well as a place to enter a draw and have some David’s Tea. Chairs were lined up along the runway in a cordoned off area.

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Between the first and second show a couple of Starbucks employees actually came around with sample trays of food and drinks. I didn’t take a drink, but I did get a small sample of a cinnamon roll that was STILL WARM. Oh my goodness. So good. Looking back, I don’t know why I didn’t go grab one before leaving. I’ll need to do that soon. Bonus? No raisins! I thought it was really great of them to do that. Not only is it good advertising for them, as I’m sure they had people coming in for food and drinks after, but it also seemed like their way of showing support.

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The show was hosted by Kevin Stanfield, who works with GlobalNews as their Morning News Weather Specialist. He did a great job whether it was reading from the script, or going off cue to talk to the woman who was definitely not talking to, nor listening to him.

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Around Town

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The skirt seen in both pictures is by Whiskey Teacup, who was one of the designers being featured over the weekend. This outfit started out with a focus on white, and we saw the look of this outfit change by bringing in some browns with the necklace, bracelet and shoes. That, combined with the change in the top and switching the hat for a purse, completely changed the overall look.

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This black and white outfit went from a bit more of a classic dressy look, to more trendy with just a few simple changes in accessory and color. You can see the addition of brown here again with the hat, belt, jewelry and shoes. The black purse was also replaced with a brown backpack. This is a great look for anytime you are out on the town!

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Once again, we see this black and white ensemble take on a completely different look with the addition of brown accessories. I love how simple the transition is. Just changing the accessories and adding a different color shows how versatile pieces like this can be.

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We only got one men’s look, but you can see the incorporation of white, black and brown in this outfit.

I love the look of all these outfits. I’ve been starting to really appreciate how easily browns can compliment a variety of different colors. All of the looks on the women really have a boho/festival vibe to them, and I’m often drawn towards that style, though I don’t really wear it too often. These are definitely great outfits for wearing “around town” on a nice summer day!

Downtown

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While we saw the addition of brown in the “Around Town” look, we now see the addition of gray. This second outfit didn’t build off any of the previous pieces but it shows two great options for some business attire. Both offer a clean look, and how to still look feminine while in business attire. Just because you need to look professional, doesn’t mean it has to be bland or frumpy!

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Here we see the addition of gray in the purse. This looks like it would make for a great transition from day to evening. Just by removing the jacket, and changing the purse, you have a great outfit for having some after work drinks with co-workers.

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This outfit shows just how transitional basic pieces can be. Just by removing the jacket and tie, changing the purse and shoes and adding a necklace, you have an entirely different outfit. You can also see the addition of gray with the scarf tied onto the purse. These are both great options for a business women, it’s professional looking but still trendy.

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You see a nice mix of black and gray on this suit here. I really like the look of the gray suit, rather than just the basic black with white or gray underneath. It gives an entirely different look than a suit normally would, and it is professional, but yet still trendy. It’s also more summery with the lighter gray look.

They definitely hit the nail on the head with this “Downtown” look. Each of these looks are professional, but still on trend. It definitely shows how you can take basic pieces and use them in a variety of different styles and outfits. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about minimalist wardrobes and how you should have a certain amount of basic pieces and transition them into a variety of different outfits and styles. This is exactly what they are talking about when they say that!

Uptown

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This is another outfit that had a complete change over. No items were repeated, but we do see an addition of color with the dusty pink purse. Both of these outfits seem to be the definition of “Uptown”. They have more of an upscale look, and something I would expect to see on the streets of New York by all the fancy, expensive stores!

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This model started off with a neutral black and white outfit to a simple change with a pink skirt. While both of these outfits give off the same vibe, they have a completely different look just by changing the skirt and adding some color.

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As with the other two, we see this outfit transition easily. The all white ensemble drastically changed with the addition of a black skirt and pink jacket and purse. This looks like a brand new outfit, and you’d never guess that she had a romper on under that skirt!

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They went with an all black look here, with just a slight pink color on the tie. This outfit really makes the tie pop out, but still in a way that really goes together.

While “Uptown” is a bit too fancy looking for my tastes, I do love the overall look of the outfits. And those tutus! I have two, which I haven’t worn yet, but I think I need to go check out the price and sizes at the mall now. I love the look of them! These seem to lay a bit better than the ones that I have.

After the show finished we were able to see all of the final looks together.

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It was at this time that Kate Matthews (L) and Nicole Romanoff (R) (below), who are both stylists, explained to us how they transitioned the outfits with the addition of color and by changing some clothing and accessory items. It was really neat to hear them talk about the trends and how we will be seeing a lot of these colors this year. They clearly know what they are doing, just look at all those amazing outfits!

I was glad that I stayed for two shows because I hadn’t really picked up on the changes. The second time I was able to take note of the introduction of brown, gray and pink.

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After they were done talking about the outfits, Tammy McLean of Angles SalonSpa came out to talk about the hair and make-up. She used a bright red lipstick on the “Downtown” girls, and you can really notice it pop in the pictures! She said that the models and had been eating and drinking, but there was no fading or smudging! They stayed pretty standard with all the hairstyles, but for some she used a curling spray. You just spray it in, scrunch, and you instantly see straight hair go to wavy and a bit piecey.

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Final Thoughts

I suspected that I was going to enjoy this show, and I thoroughly did. All of the outfits are amazing. I’m actually surprised that I’m so drawn to them since I generally go for more colorful pieces and bold patterns. While I probably couldn’t wear a lot of these styles, I’m definitely a huge fan of them! I would love to go shopping with either of these stylists any day!

Kate and Nicole gave the audience some homework. They challenged people to go home and create their own “Around Town, Downtown, Uptown” looks. I definitely want to try and do this with my wardrobe! I’ve already been thinking about pieces I can use, though I can guarantee that mine will be more colorful since I own maybe two neutral/basic outfits. This is going to be a bit of a challenge, but I can’t wait to share what I have come up with!

If you saw any pieces that you’re just *dying* to have, you can look at the shopping guide on the SFDF website. There are definitely some items that I’m tempted to go buy!