Inside Calgary’s Parkluxe 2014: 20 photos of the city celebrating the best of its design talent

Photography by Irena Rudnyk
Photography by Irena Rudnyk

See the PARKLUXE 2014 show and party photos »

Like what you see on the runway? Why not buy it right after the show? For PARK, it’s less Moda Operandi with its deposits and pre-orders, and more about making in-season purchases directly from the designers at post-runway popup shops.

On October 4th the concept came to life at Calgary’s PARKLUXE 2014 for some of Alberta’s premier fashion trailblazers—Caitlin Power, Malorie Urbanovitch, Paul Hardy, Nicole Campre of WORKHALL—and elite out-of-town Canadian designers, like Laura Siegel and Matthew Gallagher.

Founded more than five years ago, the nonprofit organization hosts exclusive high production events and fashion shows at no cost to its participating designers. At PARKLUXE, more than 750 tickets were sold (that’s as much as $75 a ticket, and 750 potential popup shoppers); VIP guests were shuttled by Lexus of Royal Oak to a clear tent lined with lanterns and twinkle lights on the East Village Riverwalk overlooking the Bow River; and inside, there lay a black and white marbled runway, dramatic white branch sculptures, art installations, and tree motifs projected on the walls. It’s not only a standard that’s never been seen on runways in Alberta before, but there’s a new level of support for Alberta’s burgeoning local fashion community from designers, ticket-holders and sponsors alike.

“This was our second year participating and the production quality is flawless from our eyes,” says Toronto’s Laura Siegel, who presented her Fall 2014 collection—quilted silks and knitted leathers—in warm hues of cream, dusty green and cocoa. “The PARK team makes it so easy for the designer. I am always so amazed at how innovative they are when creating the space. This year’s venue was remarkable. The quality level is certainly comparable to WMCFW and NYFW.”

Edmonton-based Malorie Urbanovitch, who won the Mercedes Benz Startup Competition last season, presented her Fall 2014 collection of silks and alpaca wool, now available at Gravitypope. “It’s an amazing event for us because it gets consumers excited about the collection that is actually available in stores now,” says Urbanovitch. “It creates a mood, a fantastic setting, and lends a new outlook to collections that have already debuted.”

Jessie Li, PARK’s vice president (and one of FASHION’s October issue style profiles) reiterates: “We are not just supporting [the designers] by providing them with media exposure and great runway photos. We want our show to improve their actual sales. Many of our guests went home with full shopping bags again this year.”

PARK produced its first out-of-province show at the Rouge Gallery in Saskatoon at the end of October, and will make its debut on November 22nd in Edmonton with an athletic-wear inspired presentation, PARKSHOW, at the Saville Sports Centre. The line-up includes local designs by Workhall Studio, Bano eeMee, CRUZ, Hunt Amor, KAZZ Clothing, LUXX ready to wear, Suka Clothing, and newcomer S.P. Badu, with in-season popup shops happening throughout the evening. Tickets can be purchased here.

Consider this our RSVP.