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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
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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Event | 紀實
Luxury & Supercar Weekend 2015


Luxury & Supercar Weekend rolled into the beautiful VanDusen Botanical Garden on September 12 and 13 to stage $200M+ of rare classics and modern supercars.
As much as we hate to admit that Summer 2015 may have left us until next year, we got to cling onto that sweet summer glow with a heavy helping of luxury as we experienced some out-of-this-world vehicles, fabulous fall fashion shows, over a million dollars in jewels, bubbles, & caviar topped canapés at the Luxury & Supercar Weekend on Sunday.

Two Felino models posing in front of the 2014 Felino CB7 – one of only 3 prototypes in the World, in matte grey, with only 10 in pre-production. Thanks to Antoine Bessette, the President of Felino Cars for meeting with us and sharing your vision.
Billed as the annual luxury event showcases the crème de la crème in automotive design, yachts, fall fashion, jewelry, music, gourmet food, fine wine and premium spirits – The Luxury & Supercar Weekend did not disappoint.
As always, Kuna Photography blew us all away with his vibrant, spectacular images which captured the opulence of all of his subjects. Kuna really knows how to capture a moment which makes us want to dive into the rich details. Visit www.kunaphotography.com for the 300+ pictures which go hand and hand with this article!

We admired as we listened to some amazing restoration stories, some of these luxury supercars were just a shell and a basket and were restored over a decade with all the original parts, sometimes hunted down and sourced from all over the world. Thanks to Stephen from Autoform for all of his info on a 1962 Red Maserati which won our hearts.


I was dressed in a statement necklace & poncho by my stylist Raul Manriquez, an up and coming Fashion Designer from Calgary who has some exciting collections coming out in the near future- I will be interviewing him soon.

This just has sexy written all over it! Felino’s 2014 CB7 is giving me Bat-mobile realness.
We moved from the luxury hospitality tent for VIP attendees & media to the Catwalk to enjoy 3 different fashion shows put together by Oakridge & featuring shows by DKNY, Judith & Charles & Max Mara.

The 70’s themed shows were fun with songs played by Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, I was coveting the looks I saw which featured black feathers, leather fringe, ripped – patched and distressed denim, DKNY faux fur vests, Doc Marten boots, Fall browns, greys, blacks paired with long flowing mermaid hair.

It must be the Season of the Witch as everything was getting kinda Groovy! PS – We loved the Johnny Depp-esque male model who did his thing on the runway.


Lady in Red – wasn’t this look everything? The Luxury & Supercar Weekend is also known for showcasing Canada’s largest display of fine jewelry.   
We passed two armed guards strapped with machine guns and handguns to enter a tent which contained millions of dollars worth of diamonds and fine jewelry in “The Vault” hosted by Luxury Promotions Inc.
We were so inspired by Sophie Mizrahi-Rubel, the President of John Rubel – this jewelry company has a beautiful history and the company has been passed down to her through generations.

She has reincorporated some of the classic John Rubel designs and upgraded them with a 2015 twist and was kind enough to take some of these pieces, priced at $700,000 each out of the glass cases for us as she told us more about John Rubel.
She has reincorporated some of the classic John Rubel designs and upgraded them with a 2015 twist and was kind enough to take some of these pieces, priced at $700,000 each out of the glass cases for us as she told us more about John Rubel.
Sophie even allowed me to wear one of her most precious pieces – a multi faceted ring with sapphires, which is a 2015 take on the multi coloured diamond cuff shown below, which is an original John Rubel piece of history and was breathtaking!




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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Fashion | 時尚

A Floral Symphony Soiree by FREYWILLE & Grandi’s Atelier

To kick off the 2015 Summer Season with elegance & fun; Kuna Photography Group & I checked out a gorgeous event at the Four Seasons Vancouver called “A Floral Symphony Soiree” Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography As we entered, I was taken back not only by the stunning floral arrangements placed on the walls and around the room, but by how much the FREYWILLE cuffs & other selection ofFREYWILLE jewelry stood out with pops of colour & patterns which pay homage to legendary artists like Claude Monet – Divine Beauty! Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography FREYWILLE Jewelry Designs were paired beautifully with the impeccable construction by designer Grandi – the owner of Grandi’s Atelier. Her dresses & designs are custom made for women & are gorgeous & soft with clean lines and silhouettes. Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography Grandi, the owner of Grandi’s Atelier standing proud with her custom made design. Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography I attended this event with the talented Carmen Ruiz Y Laza from JoyTv, CarmenTv & her assistant Perryn Thiessen, we met some fabulous people together while Kuna Lu worked the room, snapping pretty images which fit the theme of “A Floral Symphony Soiree” Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography Capapes were passed around the room while lush strings played by musicians and fashionista’s mixed & mingled sharing smiles and laughter, exchanging business cards. Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography It was a pleasure to meet Youtube Comedienne sensation Linda Dong, (pictured above, right) who has been making me laugh with her videos and has risen to over one million viewers quickly! Photography: Kuna Lu | www.kunaphotography.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/kunaphotography To conclude, I saluted Summer, sipped cocktails, enjoyed delicious food, admired beautiful dresses & gazed at gorgeous jewelry  – just as the invite suggested. Thanks to Freywille Vancouver, Grandi’s Atelier & The Four Seasons Vancouver for having me! Until next time!   Writing: Justin Voitic Photo: Kuna Lu | Kuna Photography Group Source: Hush Magazine 
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