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Fashion | 時尚
SHINE! 2016 | The Essential Designer List


On September 10th,  2016 An all-star cast of 200+ volunteer models, dancers, actors and musicians — sponsored by volunteer local fashion designers, top hair stylists and make-up artists — created an avant garde themed extravaganza on the runway, all in support of mental illness & those living with addictions. Over 900 guests came out to support and enjoy an unforgettable evening of fashion, fun and entertainment for the inaugural year of SHINE!p>SHINE! 2016 was a huge success!!  I was so proud and honored to be on the team this year as the Official Fashion & Lifestyle Correspondent.  I had so much fun conducting interviews leading up to the event, and building the social media buzz! Thank you so much to Dean Thullner for creating such an imaginative event which was a fabulous way to give back, with communities helping communities. I also want to tip my hat off to the whole team & participants for their hard work and organization! I sat down post-SHINE with the Lead Stylist, the incomparable Miss Dani Barnes | House Of Barnes, who gave me a few of her Lead Stylist notes on each of the 14 Fashion Designers who showcased their talents at SHINE! 2016. I can’t wait until next year, and I am still feeling the afterglow!

Still gagging over the eleganza that was SHINE! 2016? Want to look up some of the amazing designers? Here’s our Essential List! – Justin Voitic

Take it away Dani ‘House of Barnes’! 

Tracy Cole // Volume Studio

It was an honor to see Tracy’s extreme imagination come forth in this collection. I love when designers produce lines that have a little bit of everything in them. From a full length tassel onesie to suiting for dapper ladies. My eye is on that black vest with the glitter smiley face…Loved it!!
Doris Granados // Salon Origins

A Blanche Macdonald grad with some seriously unique style! Who knew quilted pants were a thing…now we know. Doris is a genius, starting with a color pallet that strikes me as unusual (red and lime green) then somehow pulling the whole concept together like it was a classic pan-tone set. Delicious.
House Gallery Boutique // Brush

The black and white striped lady boss jacket saves my life just by existing. April Peters is a woman who has inspired me for years! Her designs are other worldly, absolute top quality and wearing anything of hers makes one not only feel like, but become royalty.
Carolyn Bruce Designs – Steampunk Jewelry // Stratosphere

Layer upon layer upon layer of goth godliness and glamour. I LOVE wearing anything by Carolyn. She has an eye for ‘more is more’ that only a decadent exhibitionist can truly appreciate. A vial of blood here, a giant bat face on a 12 foot cape there, a casual light-up 8-piece elephant jewelry set over there….Yes. Please.
Oculto Masks // Volume Studio

“Just make sure not to touch the razor mask. It is truly beautiful but they are real razors and you will totally cut yourself” says one of the models at rehearsal about one of Shay’s masks. I think this nicely sums up the collection- beauty with a bite that you’ll have to touch to verify you’re not dreaming!
Faye Tality // High Fidelity

Charlene has more talent then we know what to do with! I’m OBSESSED with the cream brocade coat with 3 foot long tail trains. I’ve never seen anything like it?! It’s a royal wedding for Tim Burton friends and I can’t decide whether I would want to be the bride or the groom. Keep your eyes on this one!
Lindsey Kapitzke // Sugar Skull

The rainbow sequin, red silk lined jacket was one of the first pieces I saw after being brought onto team Shine in May. She’s a Calgary designer and I knew we had to get those garments shipped in!! Well yes it was even more exquisite in person- our second Blanche Graduate designer who is going to make a big name for herself in this industry!

Beauty By Impairment // Queens

Karin is an absolute DOLL with devotion to glitter and opulent fabrics. Fashions fit for a queen? Had to say it. :p But really, stunning custom creations that make you want to dance and strut and show off and celebrate….how much better does it get? I need one of the tie waist, could be turned into a cape in a minute, skirts right now.
Sunny’s Bridal // Sukis

Head to toe couture. I was living my Indian princess fairy tale dream in their showroom but seeing the gowns live on their gorgeous models was the real spectacle. Some of their capes had to be lifted with both hands thanks to the meticulously hand-beaded fabrics. How do you pick a favorite color from a glitter covered rainbow?
Shiverz // Head Space

DISCO MERMAID, FACE MIRROR CLAW, FLORAL MESH BUTTERFLY SHOULDER, LIGHT UP ROSE BUM. A runway collection does not get more elaborate then this. I knew I could count on Shiverz to serve us ‘never been seen before’ realness and inspire me to get farther outside the box with my own designs.
Nikki Rose // Craft

I want to ask Nikki Rose for an estimate of how many jewels she used to cover her entire collection and if she would turn me into the glittery ecstasy animal of my dreams for a show sometime. This one has a fiery passion for her creations, explosive perfection and haute couture combine to produce a line that continues to top itself!
Lace Embrace // The Lounge

A guru in her industry and a world famous collector- Melanie’s creations for Lace Embrace make people’s dreams come true on the daily. It is fascinating to watch someone turn a classic corset into thousands of different designs, always something new, making sure you think ‘what is she going to do next?’ Movie star goddess magic was delivered this time!

Boo La La // IN Salon

Boo La La continues to command FUN everywhere they show up. It was a pleasure to style 10 gorgeous men from sexy to outrageous to technically perfect ballet dancers. Mantra at the Boo is ‘Life’s More Fun In Costume’ and I think each model embodied this perfectly on the Shine runway!
Kappler // IS Salon

Jennifer is a perfectionist and you can see the culmination of her efforts in gowns worthy of Marie Antoinette and her companions. How did we manage with an 8 foot cage skirt back stage you will never know, but it’s seriously a blessing to watch someone with that level of dedication bringing forth a pastel rainbow of her soul in fabric form. And you gotta love a quick change! Off with the skirts, on with the shorty shorts, what a perfect grande finale to the SHINE fashion show.


Lead Stylist Notes / Commentary by Dani ‘House of Barnes
Intro by Justin Voitic
Photography by Kuna Lu | Kuna Photography Group
Source from HUSH Magazine

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Fashion | 時尚
The 8th Annual Deighton Cup 2016 | Off to the Races!

 On Saturday, July 16th 2016 Kuna Photography & Justin Voitic covered the 8th annual Deighton Cup 2016 for HUSH Magazine.

We had a rousing time as all the hottest Vancouver fashionistas gathered at the Hastings Racetrack for a good old fashioned day at the races. The sweet smell of cigar smoke was in the air, you could hear the sound of champagne bottles popping amidst laughter and great conversations.


This event was filled with stylish and sexy individuals! The men were fine in their best dapper derby inspired looks. 
The women were also dressed to the nines, and I think I saw some of the largest and most ornate fascinators to date this year as everyone went all out on their looks! 
We saw excited bidders waving their tickets and shouting for the horse they had placed their bets on as the horses raced around the tracks with impressive speed. 
It’s always a pleasure to see the owner of The Optical Boutique (who recently fitted Kuna with some stylish new frames which I was coveting that day) Sue Randhawa – this woman is not only a dear friend and a sweet soul but she is a style icon who we are fortunate to have with us here in Vancouver. 

Sue was one of the judges of the Deighton Cup Style Stakes Awards, which we enjoyed watching this year. Stephanie Zen who attended with us and myself also self-nominated ourselves which was a new feature this year. Stephanie was rocking a baby blue number with a matching Hermes Kelly bag which gave me life! 

Kudos to Crystal Carson, the Style Director of the Deighton Cup who really did a fab job teaching everyone the fashion etiquette and history of the event with her fun posts and news appearances leading up to this year’s cup. It looks like everyone took note as the crowd was looking extra chic this year!

To make things fair, Crystal Carson pulled self nominated fashionistas up on stage at random by drawing ballots. 
One of our lovely friends Dominique Hanke was called up on stage, and I was obsessing over her hat which she crafted beautifully. The legendary Liz Bell did the final judging and the best dressed man and woman were awarded each $500 for the Style Stakes Awards. 
I pulled my outfit together last minute out of my closet using clothes I had purchased with my personal shopper who you should all go visit at Topman, Mr. Nano Clow. I was rocking accessories pulled from the company I work for, LXR&CO also located in Hudson’s Bay. Specializing in vintage luxury we just moved our location upstairs to the Main Floor in handbags. From LXR&CO at this event I was wearing Tom Ford glasses, a damier ebene Louis Vuitton briefcase, and a Balenciaga clutch wallet. You can purchase all three for under $2000 which is an excellent value. I always love to rock eco-fashion looks so I paired my pre-loved LXR&CO luxury swag with a vintage fox fur that I had thrifted. 

After the winners were announced, the music kicked back in and the party really started to pick up as the sun came out and we made our way to enjoy the complimentary meals, which were delicious! 

Extra thanks to our friends at Veuve Clicquot for having us in your private booth and popping some of your delicious bubbles with us!

With over 4000 attendees this year, The Deighton Cup is just getting bigger and more amazing each year, also more fierce as everyone really does go all out which is nice to see in Vancouver! Props to Camber Communications for doing a fabulous job, and it was so great to see everyone. See you all next at Diner en Blanc, Vancouver!!!



Writting by Justin Voitic
Photography by Kuna Photography
Source from HUSH Magazine
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Fashion | 時尚
RED – A Celebration of Colour, Couture, Community and Caring

On Friday night, I donned a red skirt and attended RED – A Celebration of Colour, Couture, Community and Caring at the Commodore Ballroom. RED was presented by The Positive Living Society of British Columbia, and was a fabulous & fun event in support of people living with HIV.


Dani Barnes of House of Barnes & Boo La La Costumes was looking FLAWLESS!
As Western Canada’s largest AIDS service organization, Positive Living BC provides peer-based wellness programs to over 5,700 people living with HIV in British Columbia. With such a great turnout and a sold out crowd, monies raised at RED will sustain programs that help foster health and well being.
April Peter’s designs were beautifully romantic and a definite highlight of the evening! Over 100 artists in the Vancouver arts community collaborated to bring us the shows we enjoyed Friday night at the event. There was a truly positive vibe in the air, and we all had a lot of fun as we showed our support. It was wonderful to see so many talented and familiar faces come out and show solidarity towards the Positive Living Society of BC.
I was dressed by the creative Dani Barnes of House of Barnes and Boo La La Costumes, who put me in a gender-bending RED number that fit perfectly with the event. She paired my look with an extreme Carolyn Bruce steampunk statement necklace which we lovingly nicknamed “Don’t Touch The Boobs” My makeup was done by the Dior team at Hudson’s Bay downtown. I was feeling myself like the emoji of the spanish lady rocking the red dress. I was getting hit on by some handsome lesbians in dapper suits while having the time of my life!

After the VIP Reception which included complimentary bubbles and delicious donut bites passed around by the beautiful Ron Wear and Alexia Fairbrother, we mingled with some of Vancouver’s hottest fashionistas.

Kuna & I made the rounds and stopped by a raffle game which was presented by the always wonderful “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence” including two of their newest “Postulants” who hope to be inducted into the sisterhood, which always gives back to the LGBT community.
Dean Thullner, the Event Producer did a fantastic job of the evening, which went off without a hitch. The host of the evening was Steven Schelling, and we were moved by Valerie Nicholson’s speech, the Chair of The Positive Living Society of BC who was met with a standing ovation.
After the Live Auction put on by David C. Jones, it was time to enjoy the theatrical fashion shows of the evening! The RED Runway show was underway, with a theme which shows us the experience of two people living with HIV interpreted through fashion, music and live performance.
The standout Fashion Shows that gave me life were “Male Trade & Female Trade” by Dani Barnes & Boo La La Costumes, which was a super fun romp through different styles of uniform and had the crowd clapping, laughing and smiling.

“CEOS” was local eco fashion favourite Nicole Bridger‘s all business collection. “Corporate Ho’s” was also different styles of business attire beautifully tailored by local fashion designer Connally McDougall.

“Chicks” was S&M and bondage inspired and was an edgy collection of the different seasons of designer Evan Clayton’s work.
Carlotta Gurl and Brent Ray Fraser made quite an impression on the crowd as they rocked every inch of the stage during the shows giving us the performance value.
After the show which was musically produced by one of my faves DJ Skylar Love, we rocked out to a set by the hunky DJ Adam Dreaddy who also never disappoints!
All in all, fun was had and money was raised for an excellent cause. From the looks on everyone’s faces, we all had a wonderful evening. Thanks again for having us! Until next time.


Writing by  Justin Voitic 
Photography by  Kuna Lu | Kuna Photography Group 
Source from HUSH Magazine
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Fashion | 時尚
BTS: THECloset YVR Launches with Thanks to VIPs & Friends

On Friday night (August 21st) Vlassis and I proudly opened the door and many bottles of wine, to a small gathering of our VIPs. ‘Very Important People‘ who helped us either emotionally, financially or physically along our journey of opening Vancouver’s first ecoluxury lifestyle boutique (possibly Canada’s?). It was an intimate evening of hugs and smiles followed by a second party Saturday afternoon to which we invited all our fashion industry friends. The concept of opening a niche retail boutique that sells only curated luxury at an affordable price point – be it new or vintage – alongside BC artisan pieces with a strong focus on value-added customer service, was met with a lot of skepticism and trepidation. But we did it anyways!
 
BC Artisan vendor products: Reclaimed Print Co and our exclusive nautical screened pieces, Basic Design, Me&YouBody vegan personal grooming products, and an array of Gianfranco Ferre vintage ties. We want to first thank Vancity Credit Unions Hormus Karat (Branch #4 Manager) and Josh Ludgate from Small Business BC for taking a chance on us. The process was months long but together we pulled it off and Hormus and his lovely wife Berndette joined us and it really made our evening! Our mentor Craig Patterson of Retail-Insider and Winston Collective was traveling and unable to make the VIP party but we know how proud he is. We cannot express how valuable lawyer Ritchie Po is to our business. Not only is he a fantastic friend but his Knotwerk By Ritchie Po is gaining momentum and the highest read content on our FB and website! Conceptualizing and shooting the weekly style column is always so much fun.


THECloset YVR: Style Writer Ritchie Po of #KnotwerkByRitchiePo (Lanvin tie, Varvatos vest & Fluevog shoes), co-founders Vlassis Xanthopoulos (PhatFarm shirt) and Helen Siwak (Armani dress and Bulgari pendant fromModaselle).
L: Collectible vintage Mary Quant and soft blue gemstone Cartier scarf. R: La Cigale: Senteurs Provencales shaving and gift boxes, Tracey Tomtene custom necklaces that say“Like a Boss, Girl Boss, Do Epic Shit, EcoLuxLuv”.

Even though I have known Dominique Hanke and Joshua Langston for a long time, it is only recently that we have really come together as close friends. Both have been incredibly supportive over the past year and always have a ‘chin up’ approach to any of the seemingly unsolvable and/or insane situations we find ourselves in.

Left to Right: The Triumvirate: Helen Siwak, with Lead In-House Stylist Dominique Hanke of HankeStyle in Graeme Black gown, Joshua Langston of The Social Life wearing head to toe thrifted! This is how you do it: shirt by Religion, bag by Alexander Wang, belt by Versace Jeans Couture, pants by DSquared2 & footwear by Louis Vuitton.

Jaralin Detienne is a new friend and supporter. I met a woman in the puppy park late one night and she took my card for a friend of a friend who wanted to do consignment. Jaralin came into the boutique with the most beautiful runway collection consignment and literally never went home! She offered to help immediately with the set-up of the boutique, the party, everything we needed until the party was over and we closed the doors. Amazing! She is a singer – click her name for her youtube channel. Dr. Jeff Matthews is a physicist turned animal rights activist and President of Sea Shepherd Canada. As proud he is of us, we are equally as proud of him. His encouragement and availability as a sounding board for our ecofriendly business strategies was invaluable. THECloset YVR is honoured to be named the exclusive distributor of Sea Shepherd Canada merchandise. Await the announcement and come visit for t-shirts and beanies in a month or so. Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith was our hostess and lent her shining personality to welcoming everyone. She is hitting Vancouver like a hurricane with her vibrant force. THECloset YVR provided her a two piece Gianni Versace Couture vintage set to stand-out in her important role.

Left to Right: Singer Songwriter Jaralin Detienne (Alexander McQueen dress), Sea Shepherd’s Jeff Matthews / Hostess Orianna Lacey of TheMarketingSmith, Edmond Lee of Jo Malone & Estee Lauder in amazing Miu Miu kicks.Ritchie’s guests: Wesley Yuen of Artistrun Collective holding DSquared2 Top Banana belt with husband Patrick Prinster.Ritchie’s friend Amanda Harris snapping pics and chatting about knotty things.Left to Right: Rebecca Rachel of Serendipity Boutique (Chanel bag & Valentino rockstuds), Helen Siwak and her former intern, stylist & dancer Jason Pillay.Matthew Saunders of Holt Renfrew, Edmond Lee, Aaron Thul VP of EMOL / Jason and Rebecca.Aaron, Ritchie and Matt O’Grady of BC Business looking cool in casual chic.Clockwise: Rebecca, Model Nyalem Wan / Nyalem, Helen Siwak & Vlassis Xanthopoulos / Wesley and Orianna.Clockwise: Helen’s decolletage, fancy footwear including Josh’s vintage Louis Vuitton two-tones, Edmond’s Miu Miu and style blogger Tahmina of Alouve.com and her Hermes handbag.

Before photographer Kuna Lu arrived some of our invitee’s stopped by and we were so excited that we forgot to get pictures – apologies to Sue RandhawaBritta Bisig,Myriam Laroche, and Randa Salloum. Our La Biosthetique gal, Michelle Phaneuf was on a well deserved cruise and did not attend but we made sure everyone received a sponsored giftbag complete with La Bios products and other goodies from our sponsors and vendors.

Gift bags sponsored by La Biosthetique.

We dined on Plantbase Food & Natural Products vegan appetizers that blew everyone away! Thank you chef David Isbister for the amazing food, incredible pricing and convenient delivery.
 
Documenting the deliciousness: 1. Chocolate-enrobed Paleo Cookie Dough Truffle, 2. BBQ “Pork” Style Jackfruit with Arugula and crisped onion, 3. Cashew Cheddar, Sweet Pickled Beet Root on a raw flax seed/tomato/onion cracker – topped with a pinch of raw probiotic cultured cabbage, 4. Fried Chinese Eggplant strip with fresh Coconut Sesame Slaw. Thank you to everyone! We’ve got a great group of people supporting us and we are grateful.

Helen & Vlassis



Writing by Helen Siwak | THECloset YVR
Photography by Kuna Lu | Kuna Photography Group
Source: THECloset YVR

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Fashion | 時尚
The Deighton Cup 2015 | Lucky Number 7

Despite a rainy day prior, we enjoyed the perfect amount of heat to keep all of our fascinators & fedoras in place for the lucky number seven edition (7th annual year) of The Deighton Cup 2015 presented by The Social Concierge, MMG Group, Camber Communications & more.

A day at the Races! The Deighton Cup – Lucky Number 7 was a ton of fun

Kuna Lu & I skipped the insanely long line and headed straight for the Media check-in to get our wristbands, admiring many adorned headpieces, gorgeous floral sundresses, and dapper gents on our way down.

Really enjoyed this creative newspaper fascinator!

Loved that Peacock Fascinator!

We first checked out the Veuve Clicqout VIP lounge for some bubbles & snapped some stylish guys & dolls sporting their best “Day at the Races” inspired looks.

Michael, Jonathan & Guests had their own table reserved in the VIP Veuve Clicquot lounge.

Crystal Carson (Style Director of The Deighton Cup) & I gushing over our beloved mutual friend GT (Ginelle Taylor) who is now the President of Archeology of BC!

The band preparing for their next rousing number.

The sweet smell of cigar smoke filled the air and the jazz band played as we were transported into another time & place with the glamour. Could this really be Vancouver, or were my eyes playing tricks on me? There was not a yoga pant in sight! ?

Having fun with Jacqueline Ryan & friends!

I entered the Style Stakes-Best Dressed Awards, presented by Market One Media Group Inc.hosted by SHAW TV’s Fiona Forbes, where the best-dressed “Belle Du Jour & Gallant Sartorialist” win $500 each at The Deighton Cup. The prize was well deserved and won by couple Lucy Orellana-Lopez & her man Michael Boulet who both embodied the alternative/pin-up/indie version of this award. Michael helped Lucy with the construction on her beautiful hat, both are such a creative couple!

The beautiful couple winning the Style Stakes Awards!

Interview with Fiona Forbes on the Red Carpet during the Style Stakes Best Dressed Awards

Horses sped by with jockeys riding like the wind during gallops my friend Michelle & her man had their money ($500 each) on #5. 

Horses racing like the wind!

Dominique Hanke looking adorable sporting her newest creation (loved this fascinator!) and enjoying some delicious organic cotton candy by Petite Puf! Dom is wearing a beautiful red dress designed by Connally McDougall!

Dominique Hanke

I had fun checking out the Luxury Cars – my fave was the orange Mclaren that Nicki Minaj owns.

Once again my talented Stylist, Raul Manriquez knocked my look out of the park derby style, with a polka dot pant, neck jewels from Holt Renfew, a black blazer and a chrome clutch paired with my newly purchased style specs shades and Moschino timepiece/bracelet by Jeremy Scott both picked up at Mine & Yours on Hornby. Check Raul’s style blog here: http://theraulyycblog.tumblr.com

Whimsical hat!

Overall I met some cool peeps, shared some laughs, saw some old friends & enjoyed this event very much! Thanks for having us!!

It was great catching up with Mary Zilba from The Real Housewives of Vancouver who I met through my cousin Christina Kiesel who was her cast mate for Season 1 of RHOV.

Fierce. Fresh. Fleek! This gal has got the 3 F’s mastered.

See you next at Diner en Blanc Vancouver!


Writing by Justin Voitic
Photography by Kuna Photography Group
Source from HUSH Magazine

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Event | 紀實, Fashion | 時尚

Floral Symphony Soiree: Freywille Pure Art & Grandi’s Atelier

Invitation Freywille Grandi's Atelier
A beautiful invite for a gorgeous affair! The Four Seasons mezzanine was abuzz with beautiful jewellery, clothing and fashion on June 12th.
Floral Symphony Soiree
In attendance was (L) Jamal Abdourahman, Vancouver Fashion Week, (C) Helen Siwak of THECloset YVR, (R) Manuel Bernaschek, Showcase Pianos/Fazioli.
Freywille is the world’s finest fire enamel jewellery, inspired by art and hand-crafted in Vienna, paired up with the beautiful bespoke designs of Grandi’s Atelier, for a wonderful soiree at the Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver.grandi's atelier, four seasons, freywille The models moved in and around attendees and showcased the beautiful crisp lines and beautiful colour palette of the Granada Collection that we all loved at Vancouver Fashion Week S/S 2015. grandi's atelier, four seasons, freywillegrandi's atelier, freywille, four seasons The mood was set with classical music by Yaletown String Quartet, petite plates of delicious bites and the long lean models posing delicately like porcelain dolls in their dresses and jewellery.grandi's atelier, four seasons, freywille Attendee’s dressed so chic and here are some of the eye-catching outfits. Delicate body chains, patterns, stripes and solid pastels. Gorgeous eye-candy!grandi's atelier, four seasons, freywillegrandi's atelier, four seasons, freywille Visit Grandi’s Atelier and ask for your 10% off new clients discount on a beautiful bespoke outfit. Freywille is located on 511 Howe Street and online.
  Writting: Helen Siwak Photography: Kuna Lu | Kuna Photography Group Source: THEClosetYVR (Kitsilano Kitty’s Closet) EcoLuxury Lifestyle Magazine
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