When I was visiting Vancouver, Melanie was able to secure us invitations to a chi chi event - a private reception for celebrity photographer Emma Dunlavey and fundraiser for Beauty Night Society. The event was hosted by LuvnGrace Entertainment at LEONE, an elegant palace of a store that sells luxury goods from designers like Prada, Dior, Alexander McQueen and Georgio Armani, to name a few.
Yours truly and Melanie with Colleen Tsoukalas, who told Melanie about the event
Melanie and I weren't sure what to expect, as this was not the kind of thing we attended regularly. According to the Facebook description of the event, (it) "will host an elevated list of key influencers in Vancouver and those who are notoriously savvy in the art scene: a truly high-fashion mix of local socialites and celebrities, models, photographers and up and coming “cool” kids that have both industry legitimacy and international resonance."
Not being influencers, socialites, celebrities, etc. we assumed we would be the proverbial "fish out of water".
As soon as we entered the store, we were greeted by Vernard Goud, of LuvnGrace Entertainment, wearing a vintage jacket and a custom Boar's head neckpiece by Carolyn Bruce Designs
LEONE is a spacious store full of beautiful stuff, all of it priced well beyond my budget. That didn't stop me from enjoying the eye candy, like this lovely appliqued dress. I liked the simple black and white colour scheme of the mannequins which made the clothing the focal point.
I really, really wanted this uniquely shaped down-filled jacket, which was on a sale rack downstairs where the slightly less expensive brands were featured, but even on sale it was more than I could spend. Sigh.....
Anyway, back to the people...
Anyway, back to the people...
I was intrigued by this woman's brightly coloured mesh jacket and I liked how her shoes matched the pops of red in the pattern.
Melanie (left) and Denice Thompson (right)
I complimented Denice (above right) on her facinator and her beautiful jacket, and that lead to a long, enthusiastic conversation about style, ageing, and life in Vancouver. Melanie and I were buoyed by our encounter with her and it set a positive note for the the rest of the evening.
Carolyn Bruce Designs had brought a number of pieces of her Steampunk jewellery to the event, The massive size of her work was eye-catching enough, and I also loved the Game of Thrones vibe of the styles and elements used.
My favourite was the Geisha-themed neckpiece, but I also appreciated the appeal of a James Bond theme and the always popular skulls.
Carolyn Bruce, wearing a stunning multi-layered piece of her own design featuring two eagle heads
Rich, in the photo above, accessorized his blue ensemble with custom-designed insect-themed brass rings and collar piece by Carolyn Bruce.
These young women are Janice Skoreyko, (left) founder of RAW Foundation, and Emma Smith, owner and founder of Zimt Chocolates. Zimt is a raw, vegan chocolate with a lovely smooth texture and a hint of coconut flavour (I tried one of the samples of course).
Beauty Night Society founder, Caroline MacGillivray, introduced British-born photographer Emma Dunlavey to the crowd. Images from Emma's book RAW, a collaboration with Pamela Anderson, were enlarged, framed, and on display, (above right), and a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the photos, (as well as a copy of the book which was auctioned off) went towards assisting Beauty Night Society in providing wellness, life skills, and makeovers for impoverished women.
There were some very well-dressed men at the event. Photographer David Bong looked very sharp in his patterned jacket and ascot.
Monny (above) has owned Envision Optical Designs in Kitsilano for the past 25 years. His photographer and style consultant's eye for detail is consultant is evident in his personal style, from the eyeglasses, striped scarf and contrasting shoe laces.
Bikram made a lasting impression because he was beautifully dressed and delightfully charming. David Bong had just tried to win him over to wearing ascots and had tied the print scarf around his neck just before I took this photo.
Melanie snapped this photo of Yuliana and myself at the end of the evening. We were surprised at how much we had enjoyed ourselves chatting with people who we would have initially thought we would have nothing in common with, which just goes to show that if you are open to new experiences and willing to step outside your comfort zone, you can end up having a marvelous time.
Thanks very much to Vernard, of LuvnGrace Entertainment, for the invitations to the event