Little Black Dresses and Resort Wear

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Better late than never… I attended the Little Black Dress Gala at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver on May 26, designed to raise funds for underprivileged youth in the area. What an extravaganza – ballet, modern dance, art, opera, jazz, an auction, and a grand fashion show. I’m sure I’m leaving something out.

But I’m not leaving out this woman, below. Her name is Jamie Gerus and I clocked her in the VIP Lounge. Interestingly, we pulled out our cameras at about the same time. She brings to mind a Downtown Abbey-type adventuress back from her travels for a quick tête-à-tête with her publisher before hopping a biplane with Denys (from the movie Out of Africa)Yes, all that with a little bling, a tassel on one’s bag, and a fabulous black dress.

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Below, my friend Su, also at the gala, bucking the little black dress trend in favour of a little black pom-pom prominently affixed to the front of her fantastic vintage pastel coral suit, which she downsized by several sizes with meticulous redesign and handstitching. Note the shoes, mismatched earrings, and burnt velvet skull-and-scissor-motif scarf.

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Below, a shot of me with Su taken by a kind passerby. Su is clutching her fabulous red and white Philip Treacy handbag, which also features a Campbell Soup motif in the lining. I’m wearing a vintage crepe wool onepiece with “diamond” embellishments and a vintage flutter sleeve top. I wrote more about it, and the event, on my personal style blog, here.

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Then, ramping up to speed, yesterday, June 10, I attended the Resort ’17 Trunk Show of new and exciting Vancouver designer Rabia Dastgir. Her Pakistani roots have a major influence on her life and designs. She not only incorporates the nomadic arts and embroidery of Pakistan into her fashion, but she also promotes grass-roots education and self-reliance among impoverished women in Pakistan.

Below, Donia Kash, actor, choreographer, Taekwondo Master, and model, wears one of the sensational pieces she couldn’t resist. She was a featured dancer in the RED gala, which I wrote about previously on Culture Serf. She may look familiar from one of her many stage or TV appearances. Her Instagram is here.

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And finally, designer Rabia chats with model Stella Panagiotiditis wearing one of Rabia’s embellished bomber jackets.

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That’s all for now. Until next time!

 

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RED by Positive Living BC

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This is what the end of a typical good evening looks like – shoes off, waiting for a taxi home, if your head will fit in the car, that is.

web525-newredyvrOf all the people I took photos of that night, this is the only beautiful creature whose name I didn’t get. If you know who it is, please leave a comment. I caught her as I was walking home.

“That night” I refer to was RED, a fundraising gala by Positive Living BC in support of people living with HIV, held at Harbour Event Centre on May 13 with the assistance of a myriad of generous sponsors, volunteers, and auction donors.

The theme of this year’s event was “A Positive Day in Vegas.” In this case, the adage, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” definitely can’t apply. Tongues will be wagging about this incredible showcase of talent, care, and generosity for months to come, which was carried off under the helm of the MC Conni Smudge, who is described on her website as Canada’s own Dame Edna. Most importantly, as a result of RED, those living with HIV will benefit directly from extra funding, much needed with government cutbacks digging into an already-limited supply of assistance.

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Above, Conni Smudge. I’m sorry I’m sorry!! – this is definitely not the best photo, but you can still see her dazzling sequined outfit. I enjoyed her flashing (or threatening to flash) people sitting in the front rows. Go to her website here for photos that do her justice.

Below, Lexus Jade, a supporter from the audience. I fell in love with her towering head wrap.

web525-newheadwrapOver 100 models/actors/dancers strutted, kicked, high-stepped, and sashayed their stuff down the runway, from a live fire act to a lighted hula-hoop performer, show tunes to hip hop. The action was non-stop. Would you believe I arrived around 7 p.m. for the cocktail hour and didn’t leave until just after 11:30 when the show ended? No wonder Madam Unknown in the first photo had removed her shoes.

Much of the time I was riveted to my seat, but I did manage to wander around and snap a few pics of other attendees during breaks. I would have liked runway shots but my seat was not very close to the stage and I would have obstructed the views of people behind me if I tried. But the audience was a whole show unto itself.

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I sat near this man, Nick, above, for most of the evening. His daughter, Donia Kash (Instagram here), was a featured dancer in one of the numbers – so talented! Nick said that he has been involved in Vancouver Fashion Week since its founding. Too bad I didn’t get a shot of his beautiful, boldly-striped socks. Love that honeycomb pattern of his shirt.

Below: Members of the burlesque troupe, Bonerattle Burlesque (from Bonerattle Talent), which also performed later. Left to right: Teresa Mari, Dezi Raider, Lottie Libido, Roe Butts.

web-bonerattleburlesqueBelow: Michele and Peekaboo North. I may be mistaken, but I think I caught Madam Peekaboo fondling a huge hunk of cheese from a cheese wheel later in the evening.web525-twogalsBelow: The fantastic, excellent, outstanding (insert more superlatives here) auctioneer for the evening, Mr. David C. Jones. Sorry, David, this was the best shot I got, but you still look oh so fine.

web525-DavidBelow: Tanya Paz, connoisseur of vintage. Her Instagram is here. I sat near her as well. I love her fascinator and vintage styling.

My friend Stella Panagiotidis (Instagram here), a RED model, introduced me to both my seat mates, Tanya and Nick. I met Stella when I styled her for a fashion show put on by My Sister’s Closet eco thrift boutique as part of a fundraising gala for Vancouver’s Battered Women’s Shelter Services. You can read about that on my personal style blog here. Another model I styled in that show, Marc Swiednicki, was also modeling in RED. It was great seeing them both on the runway again.

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Below: Chris Witt and Sean Malmas. I particularly loved all of Chris’s metallic silver, the studded kilt, and that shimmering blue peak on top.

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Below: Byran Henson and Dailey Dass. I quickly clocked Dailey’s suit as an Oppo. I adore their bold, playful designs and would like one myself. Byran’s humongous houndstooth pants and hat have no trouble holding their own.

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Below: Stephen Wahl, Barry Dumka, Ian Clarke. These guys just seemed to be having a great time.

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And that’s my report. I seem to be attending more media events. I named this blog Culture Serf because I had originally intended to cover cultural events in the city as well as street style. It looks like it might finally be happening. Heh.

 

 

Upcycler extraordinaire – Judy

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I was shopping at local fabric store Dressew when I bumped into Judy. Wow, can this woman ever sew. And her upcycling is mindblowingly creative. I think she reworked everything she’s wearing from thrifted finds: she shirred the bottom front of the dress and fishtailed the back; she added heaps of colourful buttons to the wool jacket; she embroidered both the scarf and hat; and, while I didn’t ask, I suspect the gathers and raw edge are her work as well.

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I had to show you a closeup so you could admire her stitchery. The writing says “HONOR,” a spelling which shows her American roots – she now lives most of the year in Vancouver and the remainder in New Orleans. Her glasses were new, though, one of several pairs she owns and an admitted indulgence. They are by Theo in Belgium.

And of course I couldn’t neglect a rear view as well.

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She added the center insert down the back and extra length to create a wonderful asymmetrical high-low hem. Of course the colourful elbow patches are her own.

No wonder I found her at Dressew, stocking up on trims for new projects. I saw some great bubblegum pink dingleballs in her basket. I can only wonder what’s next. She said that she enjoys dressing up because it’s a great conversation-starter and makes people happy. Clearly. She certainly brightened my day.