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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Highlights of Rockport's Grand Opening in West Edmonton Mall

Rockport's Grand Opening Event on November 24 was met with excitement and anticipation.  What really struck a chord with us, was how strong the Rockport brand continues to be.  This was evidenced by how many of the customers shared with us that they were longtime loyal Rockport customers.  Several shoppers informed us that had owned the same pair of Rockports for years and swear by the quality of comfort and walkability.  One gentleman even stated that he wore the same pair for over 10 years!  

When asked to attend the Grand Opening as Style Experts, we jumped at the opportunity as it was our honour to represent such a renowned and respected footwear brand.  In researching the Rockport brand we had the opportunity to visit the store prior to the event, peruse their Fall/Winter 2011 collection, and try on a few pairs.  Wowza, they have some seriously comfortable heels!  We, like many women, love wearing heels, but recognize the challenge of finding a pair of killer heels that don't kill your feet.  For the woman who looks like Bambi on ice due to wearing an unstable and ill-constructed shoe, we would like to introduce you to Rockport.  After slipping on a pair, we were shocked by how much they felt like sneakers but in a four-inch heel.  Even after 5 hours of standing, they still felt like pillows on our feet.  Rockport utilizes AdiPRENE Technology which provides shock absorption and rebound technology for long lasting comfort.  For a more comprehensive selection of Rockport footwear with AdiPRENE technology, check out

 As part of our role as Style Experts for the event, we were asked to identify our Top 5 Women's and Top 5 Men's fashions for their Fall/Winter 2011 collection.  Here are our faves!

Top 5 Women's Picks

Top 5 Men's Picks

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rockport Grand Opening Event

The anticipated Grand Opening of Rockport's first Edmonton location in West Edmonton Mall is finally here! Come celebrate with us on Thursday November 24 from 4pm to 8pm at Rockport's new rink-side location in the mall. Learn about Rockport's cutting edge AdiPRENE Technology that drives the brand's "Style Made Comfortable" philosophy. Row and Stacey from A Pleasury of A-Lines and B-Lines will offer styling tips and present their top 5 men's and women's Fall/Winter footwear. 

This event is one day only, so escape the winter cold and indulge in some complimentary treats and enter for your chance to win one of the following prizes:
  • A pair of Rockport footwear from the Fall 2011 Collection
  • A deluxe pedicure
  • $200 gift card for West Edmonton Mall

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Interview with West Edmonton Mall's Anna Alfonso

Anna Alfonso, Senior Marketing Manager at West Edmonton Mall, has played an integral role in building a relationship between Western Canada Fashion Week and West Edmonton Mall.  We had the opportunity to chat with Anna during the Western Canada Fashion Week Preview event on West Ed's Europa Boulevard to discuss West Edmonton Mall's new role as title sponsor of Western Canada Fashion Week.

A Pleasury: West Edmonton Mall is now the title sponsor for Western Canada Fashion Week.  How do you see that relationship being mutually beneficial?

Anna Alfonso: It benefits both of us in that it allows access to different audiences. We provide WCFW access to multi-channel platforms to be able to communicate their message. WCFW allows WEM and our fashion retailers the opportunity to reach out to the community in a more intimate way. The partnership is a great fit as we are both organizations that are committed to fashion, and reinforcing a fashion point-of-view for Edmonton and Western Canada.

A Pleasury: Are there any designers that you are really looking forward to seeing this season? 

Anna Alfonso: Genette Salgado and Laura Dreger. There is an amazing coat by Laura in Phabrik's current issue that I must see!

A Pleasury: Personally, what trends have caught your eye this fall? 

Anna Alfonso: Mod-inspired pieces, and animal prints and finishes.

A Pleasury: Last season, West Edmonton Mall participated during WCFW and held a retail showcase.  How was that experience and what was the overall response from retailers?

Anna Alfonso: It was great - the feedback from our retailers was really positive. It's an opportunity for our retailers to showcase and style their best fall looks. 

Some of the retailers that participated in the September 25th West Edmonton Mall Retail Showcase were: 7 For All Mankind, Scotch & Soda, Bench, Rikki’s, Melanie Lyne, Cleo, Eccoci, Bebe, Hugo Boss, Opulence, High Grade, Firoz, Tristan, Long Tall Sally, and Miss Sixty/Energie.  

Rowena and I also had the good fortune of being dressed by WEM retailers for the WCFW Preview.  Row is wearing Tristan and I am dressed in Scotch and Soda.  A big thank you to Firoz for also dressing us on the evening of the WEM Retail Showcase.

Stay current and in style, follow West Edmonton Mall's style blog!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Makeup Artist Feature: Bean Bhandhal

This season of Western Canada Fashion Week, Row and I had our makeup done daily by a professional makeup artist by the name of Bean Bhandhal (or Beanu or Beanie Baby as we lovingly call her).  Bean was referred to us by Lydia Yapp, another brilliant makeup artist that we worked with for our Sustainable Fashion shoot.  Bean provided makeup artistry for numerous Western Canada Fashion Week shows this season, including Laura Dreger and Natasha Lazarovic. Bean is a wonderfully energetic, positive and fun-loving person, a light definitely shines in this woman!  On top of it all, she is an amazing makeup artist whose passion for life and her craft kept Row and I looking our best every night of fashion week.  She made us feel like Cinderella each night.  Thanks again fairy godmother!!  

A Pleasury Interview with Bean Bhandhal

A Pleasury: What drew you to makeup artistry?
Bean: I have always been interested in fashion and with that comes hair and makeup.  I work as an xray technologist and so I  dont really get to use my creativity.  My younger sister Tin Gill (House of Tin salon)  took a hair dressing course and it just made sense for me to take a makeup course.  I could not afford to quit my job to do a full time course so I took a part time course for 3 months and started my kit.  I played with the makeup and did lots of avant garde looks on my friends and family and over the last 3 and a half years I have self taught myself lots of new tricks.  My sister and I are now a power house for weddings, grads, or any special occasion.  We call ourselves "A Tin of Beanz."

A Pleasury: Are there any makeup trends that you are just loving right now?
Bean: Thanks to Kim Kardashian the "Smokey Eye" is a huge trend that everyone loves and wants.  I enjoy doing the smokey eye on most brides and I usually do it on myself whenever I go out for a night on the town.  I'm also loving the new colors this season; teal green and violets are everywhere.  The malls and magazines are filled with these awesome colors for fall.  I am a true 80's child and loooooove bright colors.  I would not use them on everyone but I definitely think everyone should play around with colors they would normally never use and most of the time they find something that they end up loving.

A Pleasury: You will be participating in the designers fashion show this season. Can you give us any hints or teasers as to what we might see?
Bean: I'm helping out with a few shows this season.  I'll be doing Natasha Lazarovic's show on Monday and just like her dresses, Natasha's makeup is usually crazy and out there which I love.   
A Pleasury: What’s the most sacred item in your makeup bag?

Bean: This is a really hard question because there are so many awesome products that  I absolutely love, but if I had to choose one it would be concealer.  It's amazing what a little bit of concealer can do.  I'm a firm believer in a little can go a long way and I put that in practice everytime I do makeup. 
A Pleasury: What advice would you share with aspiring makeup artists?

Bean: I'm still pretty fresh in the whole makeup scene but the best piece of advice I  received when I was first starting out was to practice and play with your makeup.  The more you use it the more comfortable you will feel with it and that's how you get confident in what you do. 

A Pleasury: Do you prefer doing stage/costume makeup or more natural looks?

Bean: I definitely prefer doing stage/costume makeup.  I like to think outside the box and I love experimenting on anyone willing to lend me their face.  I looove using colors and different textures; the more out there it is, the more pumped up I get.  Halloween is a great time to experiment and to get those creative juices flowing, and if you mess up it's all good  hahahaha.   

A Pleasury: Are there any upcoming projects that you’d like to share with our readers? What’s next on the horizon?

Bean: This year I took an airbrushing course and purchased my own compressor and airbrush gun.  I'm really getting into it, using it on all brides for foundation as it is light weight, long lasting and looks awesome in HD pics.  I'm also getting into body painting. It's a huge branch of makeup artistry and you can be really creative with it.  I've done a few temporary tattoos and I did one body tattoo that did take some time but the finished product was amazing and best of all is it's temporary so if you get sick of it, it will wash off in about 10 days.
Bean Bhandhal, Makeup By Bean
                         Click here to peruse Bean's portfolio:  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

WCFW Final Night

The latest season of Western Canada Fashion Week wrapped up with phenomenal collections from Beverly Gan, Stanley Carroll, Laura Dreger, Serendipity by Kelsey McIntyre and Sofiss by Joanna Wala.  This season has been bustling and WCFW drew in crowds in great numbers.  The air on closing night was positively electric!

Sofiss by Joanna Wala displayed designs with a strong focus on color blocking and mixing of textures and fabrics.  The adorable mini dresses and peplum dresses were mature, feminine yet remained edgy, which is a difficult balance to master, but Joanna Wala does this very well!  We would wear absolutely every piece that made its way down the runway!  

When it was time for Kelsey McIntyre's Serendipity Collection to take the runway, Row and I had great expectations, and Kelsey did not disappoint!  Kelsey has been a long time favourite of ours.  Her quality of work is stellar.  Being that she is a well seasoned designer with an eye for style and what looks good on a woman, Kelsey is our first choice when we need to be styled for an event. (Plus she has an infectiously positive personality which we gravitate to).  We spoke with Kelsey last March to discuss her Fall/Winter 2011 collection (click here for that interview).  Kelsey's latest Spring/Summer collection featured playful and flirty pieces with polka dots, florals and stripes.  Dresses and skirts were played up with lace and tulle underlay.

Beverly Gan is an Edmonton raised, and London UK based, designer with whom we've recently had the pleasure to meet with and interview for Western Canada Fashion Week.  Beverly recently graduated from Istituto Marangoni, commonly known as La Maranga, in London and clearly has the creativity and solid execution of someone who has been designing for 30 years!  We are so honoured that she chose to launch her first collection at WCFW.  We can expect great things from this designer.  What we loved about the origami inspired collection, was that Beverly was not afraid to use black in her Spring Summer collection.  Pieces also incorporated ethereal whites, emeralds and folding techniques.

Laura Dreger featured capes, suits, gowns and cocktail dresses in solid black and animal print.  Looks were elegant and sophisticated.  The models donned adorable up-do's and the overall looks were cohesive and well thought out. To us, Laura Dreger's collection really spoke to the unabashed and unrivaled strength and beauty of a woman.

Stanley Carroll, a fashion industry veteran, remained consistent in his latest showing.  His usage of heavy knits, monk inspired pieces and plaid, reminiscent of 90s grunge, gave the collection a feeling of great profundity; the message was much deeper than clothing and fashion.  Perhaps a message of humility and individuality, who knows.  Either way, well done  Stanley!

See you next season!!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Isabela Milan opened night seven of Western Canada Fashion Week with her stunning bridal collection. Her handmade one of a kind gowns reflect the quality of her design talent as she has been creating these remarkable gowns for nearly 30 years.

Genette Salgado impressed the WCFW crowd with her SS 2012 collection of whites and floral prints! Her collection Salgado was fresh, youthful, and ready to wear. Socks made the perfect accessory to highlight this marvelous collection!

Derek Jagodzinsky, designer of LUXX, was definitely a crowd favourite tonight and wowed the WCFW audience with his asian-inspired collection. His designs featured rich, vibrant reds and golds, some detailed with cut out shoulders, and wrap dresses. Red is truly MY COLOR. This dress is irresistibly glamorous! Check out Marquis of Fashion and Marie a la Mode for more on LUXX designer, Derek Jagodzinsky.

Suka Clothing by designer cutie, Alisha Schick, impressed the audience with her playful, yet modern sophisticate collection. We just adored how she completed certain looks with 60's inspired headbands which added the perfect element of edge to her collection. Alisha took a four year hiatus from the Western Canada Fashion Week stage, and her comeback this evening reinforced how significant she is to the Edmonton fashion community! Check out Alisha Schick's feature on!