Travel: Paul Hardy Spring 2013 Show in Calgary

When one receives an invitation to attend Paul Hardy’s ten year anniversary fashion show in Calgary, one absolutely cannot say no. I mean, that would just be rude! So when I got my invite, I did a victory lap around my living room, threw some clothes into my Heys carry-on, and RSVP’d “Will be in attendance with bells on”. Common sense, right?

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one. Some of my fave Toronto bloggers also accepted the invitation to spend the weekend of food, fashion, and fun in Calgary…so off we went!

After a quick Toronto-Calgary WestJet flight, Anita, Sharon, Christopher, and I arrived atHotel Arts, hit up the downstairs bar for some drinks before calling it a night. We had a long day ahead of us, so some beauty sleep was in order.

In the morning, we met up with more fashion media folks staying at our hotel, hopped on a bus, and headed to the famous River Cafe for some yummy brunch.

As we left our hotel, Mother Nature offered us a cool welcome to Alberta by showering us with our first snow of the season. Snowy photo-ops followed. Once we crossed the bridge to Prince’s Island Park and entered the River Cafe, surrounded by all the snow-covered trees, the setting was winter-wonderland-magical. Oh, and the food was divine too.

Hosted by Paul Hardy himself, the brunch was a lovely affair. Course after delicious course, we tried everything on the menu, and then some! Warmed up by hot apple cider, we were ready to hit up the town before that night’s fashion show presentation and party.

Naturally, we made sure to leave some time to pop into the downtown Calgary Holt Renfrewstore, perusing their ela handbags stock, holiday gift selection, and of course…shoes!

After shopping, we got back to the hotel, put on our nicest clothes, and boarded the bus once again, this time en route to The Westinghouse Foundry for the Paul Hardy Spring 2013 fashion show, and party. And boy, were we in for a treat! Broken up into several chapters, the “Breaking Amish” show told a coming of age story of an Amish girl making her way to the big city. With live performances from Paul Brandt, Greg Szebel, and members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, it certainly didn’t feel like an ordinary fashion show, but more like a theatrical performance fit for the designer’s 10th year anniversary.

The collection itself was spectacular, with many jaw-dropping leather, silk, sequin, and embroidered pieces. Just when I thought I’ve seen the closing dress, in walked another model in yet another stunning gown, making me lose count of all the pretty things to covet.

Eight songs later, the mini-concert/fashion show extravaganza was over, and the after-party, featuring the best of the best of Calgary’s culinary scene, spoiled us even further. We attacked the delicious fried scallop station, devoured bacon fudgesicles, and feasted on ceviche, all while taking in the beautiful space and marvelling at Paul Hardy’s impressive 10-year retrospective. An incredible night to celebrate incredible talent.

After 48 wonderful hours of Calgary’s hospitality, we had to pack our bags and head back to Toronto, knowing that sometime soon, we’ll be back again for more (Stampede, Banff, more shopping?), with only fond memories to bring home.

See more photos from the Paul Hardy Spring 2013 show on Style blog’s Facebook Page.

*Huge thanks to Paul Hardy and Tourism Calgary for this wonderful experience!

Photo Credits: #1 and 8 Phil Crozier, PHOTOPHILCRO, all others property of Style Blog

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