Miss Jacqueline

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“Unique Soles for Unique Souls” – Fluevog Shoes

Vancouver Shoe God, John Fluevog, hosted a soleful soiree at his grand store in Gastown Wednesday night. My signature, flared-out heels clicked hurridly down the wet cobblestones of Water Street to get me to the party on time!

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John Fluevog

Clusters of red helium balloons stood sentry duty, and as I stepped inside this wonderland of a shoe store, my eyes lit up like sparklers as I could see (across the towering room) the man himself, dressed in a mauve sports jacket and chartreuse sweater, plaid bow tie and exuding his warm, charming smile. Surrounded by well-wishers, John greeted his fans and friends, all putting their best foot forward and celebrating with him on Fluevog Day, also Fluevog’s very own 65th Birthday!

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Eldest Son Jonathan Fluevog with TJ Note

Devotees stood stylishly well-heeled, every one of us parading around in our finest funky footwear representing every collection and era, some enthusiastically sharing that they scooped their vintage, impossible-to-find Fluevogs on ebay, others flaunting delicacies from his most recent offerings. One thing was for sure, the common denominator was our collective love for his unique shoes and adoration for the man who’s latest magazine ad slogan states to non-wearers, “No, You’re Weird!” One of the little gifties I received in my swag bag was a set of robins’ egg blue shoelaces with an accompanying sticker that reads, “Embrace Peculiarity.” You’ve gotta love this man!

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The highlight of my evening was having the opportunity to share my favorite shoe story with John Fluevog. Blushing a little, and slightly nervous (c’mon, this man designed my shoes for Heaven’s sake!) I spilled it out. On a whirlwind trip to New York Fashion week a few years ago, I picked up my black, pointy-toed “Coffee” collection cuties in his Soho shop, proceeded to a posh lunch at The Plaza Hotel, and took a leisurly horse and carriage ride around Central Park. Inspired by the quote inscribed on the bottom of my strappy slingbacks, “Take the time and do it right,” I was determined to check off a big “must” on my things-to-do-before-I-die list… So, I jumped into a taxi and drove through Wall Street and Chinatown until we arrived at my destination. The driver stopped the car and there it stood before me… I pulled in a deep breath, stepped out of my cab, and took a long, sunny stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge – Statue of Liberty to my right, The Empire State Building to my left –  and dammit, my tootsies looked fantastic doing it! Once I was in Brooklyn, I jumped on the Subway back to Manhattan, mailed a postcard to my daughter at the Main Post Office across from Madison Square Garden, hoofed it to Times Square, and back to The Flatiron Hotel where I slipped into the lounge and toasted the day with a perfect Cosmopolitan. It was a dream come true, and I did it in my brand spanking new Fluevogs! And not one blister, only the teeniest scuff on one of my pebble leather toes serving as a keepsake of my Big Apple adventure! John was gracious and seemed to delight in my wistful anecdote.

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Horse and Carriage Ride through Central Park 

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Walking across The Brooklyn Bridge

The night went on with beverages flowing and sole mates socializing, until it was time to put a lid on the shoebox. What a lovely way to spend an evening, mingling with footwear royalty and those who love his shoes. Superfan Cat Leigh was proudly laced up in her Frontier Hi Hudson boots – one of her seventeen pairs of Fluevogs. On why she has amassed such an impressive and obsessive collection, she says, “I love Fluevogs because the styles are just that little bit (or a lot) different. They don’t appeal to everyone and that appeals to me.”  While Jaik, a long-time employee at Fluevog and loving every minute of it, sincerely shared that Fluevog is an ultra supportive and encouraging employer – even more reasons to love the man behind the leather and laces.

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A couple in their matching Fluevogs

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Jaik and friend

As for me, I have my heart set on the emerald green Elizabeths with the sexy wooden heel resembling a decadently scrolled chair leg. A perfect size 7, please. The price tag is not for the faint of heart, but make no mistake, these are works of art and worth every penny. You will be mine my little lovelies… I believe in The Shoe Fairy… and I believe in Fluevogs!

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For more of John Fluevog’s amazing story, click on the above photo, and read the history that has made Fluevog into what it is today.

http://www.fluevog.com/

https://www.facebook.com/fluevog?fref=ts

Photographs by Jacqueline Ryan

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Miss World Canada Pageant 2013

Miss World Canada Pageant 2013

“Beauty with a Purpose”

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It was all glitz and high glamour during The Miss World Canada Pageant Crowning at The River Rock Theatre Thursday night. The red carpet was rolled out for the VIP attendees and visiting royalty, expertly posing – hand on one hip – for the copious cameras. We nibbled on canapes and chatted cheerfully, eager to watch the polished young ladies who would be gracing the stage competing for the honourable position of Canada’s Good-Will Ambassador representing Variety – The Children’s Charity – a global foundation dedicated to enriching the lives of children. Together with pianist Roy Tan, Vancouver sensation Rosemary Siemens captivated with her haunting violin as we rubbed shoulders with the beautiful people, ultimately flowing into the theatre to settle into our seats.

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Comedian Greg Kettner’s earnest levity broke the ice, drawing a few laughs and nicely warming up the crowd. The pageant then got underway, competently emceed by delightful Novus TV personality Natalie Langston (herself going through several gown changes, many custom made by designers Gianna Maanaki and Nazanin Gheitasian) and Sportcentre’s Bryan Mudryk, a childhood cancer survivor and tireless fundraiser for the cause. Of her experience co-hosting the event, Miss Langston shared, “Bryan cracks me up, he kept me laughing the entire night. I really think we played well off of each other and made a great team while putting on a funny and entertaining show that the audience would love.” It was Mr. World 2012 Frankie Cena, however, who truly stole the show with his velvety, swoon-worthy performance of Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.”

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The young women dazzled as they glided across the stage in their jewel toned, sparkling evening gowns, serenaded by the soulful voice of Warren Dean Flandez, paraded before us confidently in the enviable swimsuit competition, and captivated us with their individual talents ranging from a perfect piano arrangement by standout and finalist Anastasia Lin – a woman deeply devoted to religious freedom, to Nicole Johnston, a professional contortionist sporting a flame inspired leotard and red feather fan – also an ardent anti-bullying advocate.

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These sixteen ladies chosen from the original thirty-six delegates, hailing from every corner of our country, demonstrated tremendous charisma and poise, which was especially evident during the excessively difficult questions asked of the finalists. Some, understandably nervous (and yes, we heard one trembling voice ask “Um, can you please repeat the question?”) to others well-versed, confident and passionate about the big topics like human rights, pipelines, and politics – one flooring us all with her well-rehearsed quote by John Diefenbaker.

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Miss World Canada 2012, stunning Tara Teng, was impressive, delivering a powerful speech about what it meant for her to wear the towering crown. Tara said of her experience, “It has been a humbling honour to dedicate my reign to raising the cry for freedom even louder, serving exploited women and children across Canada and in some of the poorest and most remote places of the world. I have learnt how much responsibility comes with leadership and been inspired by my generation rising up for a more just future.”

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One notable snafu served to shake things up when Mudryk mistakenly confused fourth place with fourth runner up. After having awarded several of the contestants their bouquets and sashes, the crowd held its collective breath, wondering what the confusion was all about as the girls were directed offstage, asked to remove their sashes, and returned to the stage for a do over. And the winner was…

Future law student, classical ballet teacher, actress and model Camille Munro of Regina, Saskatchewan, was definitively deserving of the title Miss World Canada 2013. She accepted her glittering crown graciously, and we vigorously applauded her efforts while they slipped the sash over her flowing, tangerine dream gown. Elegant Munro will now step into her new position as ambassador and role model. She will commence her year-long journey into leadership, as well as enjoy her numerous scholarships and prizes, including her all expense paid trip to Jakarta, Indonesia where she will represent Canada in The Miss World Pageant.

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I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the prestigious panel of judges: Nicole Watson, Veronica Chail, Vancouver “Housewife” Robin Reichman, Nassir Karmali, Tiger Zhang, Maureen Francisco, Dean P. Davidson, John Halani, Sandra Lowe, Dan Caldwell, and Special Judges Richard Wong and Miss World Canada’s official gown designer, Sandra Sung. Bravo to this esteemed group for making some truly difficult decisions!

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Après show, the venue was abuzz with excitement! Flashbulbs exploded as the contestants and the newly crowned Miss World Canada mingled, smiled for the photographers and celebrated with the jubilant crowd. It was wonderful to see many of society’s finest, including Style Specialist Cynthia Pace and Marketing Maven Frances Hui in their elements.

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All in all, it was an enchanting evening with vibrant, gorgeous young women aiming to make the world a little bit better, and doing it with intellect, talent, grace and panache.

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Special thanks to super Producer Andy Chu for a monumental job well done, and to Jaala Wanless, Director of Beauty, for extending my VIP invitation.  It’s been a long while since I was that little girl with stars in my eyes, sitting with my Nana on our sofa (writing tablets and pens at the ready) voting for our favorite beauty queens on television. It was a full circle moment, and beautiful in every way.

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*** Follow this link for more beautiful images of the Miss World Pageant ***

(coming very soon)

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMissWorldCanada?fref=ts

http://www.missworldcanada.org/

https://www.facebook.com/variety.bc.ca

www.novuscommunitytv.ca www.novusnow.ca

Special acknowledgments and photography credits to:

Norm Lee  http://www.normlee.ca/  https://www.facebook.com/normleephotography?fref=ts

Ed Ng  http://www.flickr.com/photos/edngphotography/    http://facebook.com/EdNgPhotos

Silvester Law  http://www.flickr.com/photos/silvesterlaw  http://facebook.com/silvester.law

Kuna Lu  http://www.kunaphotography.ca/  http://www.facebook.com/kunaphotographygroup  http://www.amoriswedding.com

Dan Poh  dan.poh.7@facebook.com

Linsey Hulls  http://www.linseyhulls.com/

Angelo Siglos  http://www.wfgopportunity.com  http://facebook.com/asiglos1

Eugenio Flores  http://www.highendphotography.ca


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Malene Grotrian “New Heights” Fall/Winter Collection Launch and Runway Show

To say that I am a fan of Malene Grotrian would be an understatement of epic proportion.

To spend any length of time with Malene, is to experience a brightness of passion, spirit, and engagement that you don’t come across too often in a lifetime. If ever. Sure, it’s easy for me to say because I am fortunate enough to call her my friend. But it’s really much, much more than that.

The clothes, the woman, the experience, is an all-inclusive visit into the realm and vision of someone who over the past four years has become one of Vancouver’s brightest stars and most sought-after designers. She was the little girl from Denmark who knew from the start that her dream was to be a fashion designer. That girl grew up turning her vision into a reality. She continues to follow her heart, and it shows.

Never one to disappoint, especially to those of us who know Malene likes to treat her audiences to surprises, we’ve come to anticipate a WOW Factor every season!

Fast forward to Malene’s “New Heights” Fall/Winter 2012 Collection Launch Event and Runway Show at Performance Works on Granville Island September 5th. And, what a show!

Timeless Ready to Wear? Check. Sumptuous Couture Collection? Check. What? A brand new custom line perfectly named “Made To Measure?” Check.

Okay, but, wait! What’s that sitting on my and every seat? Why, it’s Malene Grotrian The Magazine. And why not? After all, with so much achievement under her dupioni silk belt, it’s a perfectly natural next step. It was a stunner to all, and the magazine is every bit as elegant and timeless as anything you would expect from Malene.

The magazine is a meeting place of all things Malene Grotrian, where her substantial and diverse talents are beautifully illustrated on thick, stylish pages. From stunning images of her one-of-a-kind pieces draping and hugging striking model Beatrice King in all the right places, to glimpses into the world of Malene’s conceptions, hard work, and glamourous events, this magazine is no rag, it’s filled with riches.

The show itself was full of surprises. My favorite moment was model Allison’s brand new husband shearing the flowy ruffled skirt right off of  her ethereal white chiffon dress… We didn’t see it coming, and all were utterly delighted by it.

The ultimate serenade by violinist Rosemary Siemens, wrapped in a Malene Grotrian couture black and red corseted gown, was a hypnotic lead-in to the introduction of Malene’s latest endeavor, her newest line, “Made To Measure.”

This custom design line means a true collaboration between client and designer. Malene is fundamentally all about the connection that she makes with the woman she is designing for. It brings her ultimate satisfaction to create an exquisite, one-of-a-kind piece that truly captures the essence of the wearer.

That Malene Grotrain designs can at once be described as sculptural and free-flowing, architectural and versatile, seems impossible. But Malene’s pieces are just that.

This season’s must-have jackets are structured and fitted, the draping silk seperates fold in beautiful and surprising ways that can take you from day to night, and tops and gowns layer and float down the runway like a dream. Malene Grotrian pieces always have a sense of purpose and movement. A juxtaposition that she can do like no other.

Her attention to detail on her staple pieces offer that extra little edge, like an angled pocket on a jacket or an extra wide collar to roll up for a different look. Peplum is all the rage, but Malene took this trend one step further, by making a piece that is removable, keeping it fun and flirty, while her signature bustier and pencil skirt maintain their timelessness and versatility.

Classic cuts on blazers, skirts and trousers, paired with beautiful sheer feminine blouses added a sense of richness and femininity to the clean lines that you can take to the office.

Knit jersey trousers and tops sashayed down the runway as well, proving that comfort can be elegant and sexy.

Malene impresses even further by inviting models of all ages, shapes and sizes to strut down her catwalk. While her clothes are stuff that fashionistas are made of, these are real women wearing clothes that everyone can relate to.

Her imaginative designs can be worn in ways that are surprising and transformational. The sheer geometrically patterned silk overlay falls beautifully over an essential slip dress, but can be twisted and draped into an asymmetrical shawl or a scarf for added volume, effect and versatility.

Overall, Malene has kept true to what she does best and what you hope to see from her each season… Literally, with a twist.

Brava, Malene.

* Written by Jacqueline Ryan as Guest Writer for Olio by Marilyn