VIP Sponsor Reception

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. You can read all about that event by clicking here. The second event was an InFashion show on Saturday, June 6th, at Midtown Plaza. You can get more information on this event, and see all the looks featured by clicking here.

The third event was the VIP Sponsor Reception at the James Hotel. This was held on Saturday night and I didn’t know what to expect! All I knew was that it was invite only, and I felt pretty special being able to go! This event was to show their appreciation to all the sponsors, designers, models, partners, volunteers and organizers.

When Ian and I first arrived at the hotel (after driving around for a bit trying to find parking, yikes!) we were greeted at the door by one of the volunteers. We gave our name and they checked the list to see if we were on it. That’s right, we were on the list. That’s the first list I’ve been on, and boy did that make it feel swanky!

We got to the hotel a bit early so there wasn’t many people there yet. If you’ve been reading my other posts, you likely aren’t surprised that we were early. This is very standard for us.

I’d never been in the James Hotel before, but I was instantly impressed. There were a few different areas with groups of couches, chairs and coffee tables. We grabbed a spot and right away a waitress came up to take our drink order. I did overhear the bartender mention vodka & water when he was told my water order (I’m watching you bartender man..) but I received my water cold, with a bit of lemon peel, sans vodka. There was also a DJ booth set up in the corner, and he was playing some great music.


By each of the areas there were plates with a variety of cheese blocks and a few fruits (grapes, strawberries etc) on them. There was also bowls of crackers to go with the cheese. I wasn’t feeling adventurous with the food so I just stuck to cheddar cheese. Though, I did cut it with a fancy cheese knife, so I think that makes up for it. Definitely more upscale than I’m used to!

There were also servers bringing by all sorts of fancy appetizers. Every once in awhile they would switch out the items in our area. I can’t say that I tried anything, because again, not adventurous.


We sat for a bit as more people started to show up. After some time a mysterious chef started to set up a table, I was instantly intrigued by what he was doing. I got up to check it out, and man, am I glad that I did.


I call this happiness on a plate. I’m assuming it’s crepes (maybe?), but all I know was strawberries, bananas, fire, ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate. Like I said, happiness on a plate.


When I got back to Ian he was talking to a friend of his from high school, who just so happened to be Tara Akins, who designs the line T.Akins. You will be finding out more about her when we talk about the event on Sunday!

We visited for a bit and then they decided to go upstairs (you’ll understand soon why that is in bold italics), and Ian and I stayed in the lobby for a bit longer.


Eventually we made our way upstairs and dang. We are talking top (12th) floor penthouse. Yes, that’s correct, I got to go to an event that was held in a penthouse in a fancy hotel. This place was amazing. I don’t know if the view gets better than that. From the bedrooms you got a beautiful city view, and from the TWO balcony areas you could see downtown, and the river, and an amazing river view from the living room. You could see for miles, it was amazing! My favorite part of the penthouse was definitely the bathroom off the master bedroom. I’m actually quite sure that it was bigger than the bedroom.

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There was also a bar set up, a DJ booth and all sorts of food. There was chocolate covered strawberries, bread and a variety of meats, crab cakes and a few other dishes.

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We had both had a fairly long day between everything I had been doing that day, and Ian driving home from his grandpa’s funeral, so we didn’t stay too late. We were home before midnight, but we both really enjoyed the night.

I like that they held this event on the Saturday night, even though there was still one more day of activities. It’s definitely harder for people to attend something like this on a Sunday night, and I probably wouldn’t have gone had it been. It was very relaxed and just a time for mixing and mingling. While we didn’t really mingle very much, I think it was a great event to show their appreciation to everyone involved with the festival.