Miss Jacqueline

What comes to mind in the arts, fashion, style, music, et al…


Miss World Canada Pageant 2013

Miss World Canada Pageant 2013

“Beauty with a Purpose”


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.


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.”




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.











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.



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.”




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.



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!



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.



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.


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.



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

(coming very soon)




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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HELLOMOONROCK OOAK Fashion Show, The Pros and Cons Event @ The Fall Tattooing and Artists Gallery


Walking into Josh Melvin’s The Fall Tattooing and Artists Gallery at 644 Seymour Street, you never know quite what to expect, but you know you will have a good time and meet some very cool people. Last Friday night was no exception. The evening was a blend of fashion, art, music and live tattooing. It was all for a good cause as designers and artists of many disciplines came out for the Pros and Cons Event (in association with Milk Productions) with proceeds going to The Save On Meat Token Program, supporting the downtown east side community.


Mike Nassar




Hand Painted Converse Shoes for Auction

From the sidewalk I was greeted by a window display of tattoo artists expertly decorating their live canvases while we watched the ink to skin process meticulously evolve. Inside was a mixed crowd of the hip and friendly, an eclectic crowd I couldn’t wait to slip into.






HELLOMOONROCK Designer Jamie Leah Gill (third from left)

The main event was a fashion show by featured designer Jamie Leah Gill, creative director of the NEWMOONROCK denim line. Her fashion show featured leggy models in specially refurbished cut off jean shorts and tops, studded, dyed and distressed for a unique look. She told me her inspiration for her show that night was wanting to express how a good piece of denim can escape time, to represent the life cycles.

HELLOMOONROCK:  “It always seems to be in style, like, no one can escape the cutoff short, and there’s always a demand for it.”


First up was a fifties look: high waisted, using classic washes and paisley and leopard patterns to accentuate the pockets. Red lips and victory curls set the tone for this sweet set. The second look was more of a late sixties/seventies inspired hippie, gypsy feel, incorporating a variety of colours and tie-dyes. Long flowing flower child hair and crocheted sweaters completed the bohemian feel. The last look was futuristic with gem tones, punctuated with blue lips on the models, metallics, and featuring hardware with colours like evergreen which is Jamie’s favorite color right now.


After the show it was time for a quick interview, and Gill, having models in various stages of intoxication, had no time to waste in getting all of her stuff back together, so we got right to the point.

Gill started out making jewelry and selling vintage clothes on her website HELLOMOONROCK.com. It was when she began reworking these one of a kind pieces, particularly her cut off shorts, that she started selling so many of them. (”Someone picks a pair up and their friends are like, ‘Hey those are really sweet, where did you get them?'”). With the demand soaring, she decided she wanted to have something to offer on a larger scale. Seeing that increasing desire for distressed and studded denim and not liking the quality of the things she was seeing existing in the market, she focused on creating her pieces using designer denims which are high quality, thick, and she continues the process by adding studs and hardware and doing all of the hand-dying herself. “It’s all me, all the distressing and stuff.”

Jacqueline:  “How did you get started in fashion?”

HELLOMOONROCK:  “I’m going to fashion school now for fashion marketing, but I’ve always been creative with making my own clothes. More people were asking to buy my own clothes, so I kind of got into it that way. It all started out with vintage clothes, like thrift store mania… too much for anyone to really own, so I started to sell the vintage stuff. But then I was like, changing it and stuff, so basically it happened out of a really good response to the reworked pieces. It’s something that happened out of a passion.”

When asked about trends she said, “I’ve always really loved fashion, but not necessarily what’s in style “right now.”  I do appreciate trends but I see them as more of a medium, some people hate trend and some people glom onto it, but I just see it as a canvas. So not every trend is for you, it’s just a vehicle to express yourself. I’ve never associated clothing with identity, it’s an expression, but it’s not like “I am a better person because I have this trendy shirt.”

Jacqueline:  Do you see yourself as an alternative designer?

HELLOMOONROCK: I’m kind of on the border, I never really see myself as “I’m alternative,” but I never see myself as “I’m mainstream.” I just embrace what’s right for me, so…”

Jacqueline:  “Where do visualize yourself going from here?”

HELLOMOONROCK: “I have a couple of things coming up…”

Gill is showing in a pop up shop this week at The Chinatown Experiment, a small space for entrepreneurs.

“It’s low cost, but it’s the social initiative that they take… they don’t make money off of it. Also, I’m expanding my website to offer a broader spectrum.”

She would like to see her pieces in select stores – they’ll be for sale at The Fall building and other small boutiques. She includes in her line: jackets, vests and some pants which are all essentially reworked premium denim, sometimes applying leather elements to pieces like her super studded jackets.

Jacqueline:  What about that name? HELLOMOONROCK OOAK.

HELLOMOONROCK:  I was selling vintage stuff and I was selling reworked stuff, so I wanted to distinguish between the new pieces and the reworked stuff, the idea is that is unique, you can’t get another one so that’s just what it means, it’s one of a kind.


Gracie Perkins and Samantha Wood of Sugar Skull Salon and Studio


Statuesque Gracie Perkins of Sugar Skull Studio, a little third floor boutique salon in Gastown, created the pretty array of hairstyles for the fashion show that evening, and I caught up with Gracie and her vivacious business partner, Registered Massage Therapist Samantha Wood, behind the scenes. They are radiant passionate, young businesswomen who love supporting the local arts community and host events of their own in their newly renovated space. Next up for them is a show featuring burlesque dancers, hair models, exclusive makeup lines from the states doing a pop up shop, as well as their rotating display of local artists’ work. “We’re all about the local love…” smiles Samantha.

Sugar Skull Salon and Massage Studio

68 Water Street #300, Vancouver

(604) 569-0111




I chatted for while with a very interesting couple: he, tattooed, pierced, is a piercer by trade, and she, Jocelyn, with her shiny green locks, brought to me some enlightenment as to what it is they like about their tattooing experience…


Jocelyn with Jay Fritzsche

Jocelyn: “You feel like you’re doing something for yourself. You feel like you are doing something almost lightened, I get picked up from it. You just sit there and think. You try not to think about the pain, you think about everything else and the pain is not necessarily the first thing in your head. Any time I get stressed out, the first thing I want to do is go and get a new tattoo. For me it’s just that time to chill and relax and just be one at that time and I go home feeling so much more relaxed.”

Jay:  “My goal is to Zen out and relax. You’ll get tattooed, it’s a different feeling, it’s like getting into a fight without getting into a fight. You sit for four hours under a needle, you get all the adrenaline and endorphines and after you get it you go home and you have the greatest sleep, it’s like you’ve just battled something…  It’s something different. I’m working on a hundred hour tattoo myself. I’ve had 70 plus hours in the past six months.”

Jacqueline:  “What is it about tattoos that you like? Why do you do it? Same as the piercings. Why do you do that to yourself and to other people?”

Jay: “It’s just the way I wanted to look, from a young kid I saw people with tattooes, I saw the Lizard Man when I was a kid, I saw the split tongue and I thought it was the greatest thing… An opportunity to express yourself the way that you wanted to express yourself.  It’s a way to change your appearance, a way to separate yourself sometimes, also you find people like you in an interesting way. I have fun, I can fit a pen through my nose, I don’t really have to share seats on transit. I have little laughs to myself because on a crowded train or a bus, I’ll have a seat or two next to me, all just because of the way that I look, and to me that’s hilarious.”

Jocelyn: “When you look either like him or like me, it’s either somebody’s not going to talk to you and their going to act a little weird towards you, or you’re going to be able to talk to anybody of any different type asking you different questions, you learn more about people and when you learn more about people you learn more about yourself. They are the kindest, hardest working people in this industry.”

Jay:  “There is no job like this job, and this industry. There’s really nothing like it. I always come back to this.”

Alison Woodward
In that case, there were many relaxed patrons that night, as several were being inked during the night’s festivities. Alison Woodward was working upstairs on the calf of a very laid back customer, while downstairs in the front window, others, including resident tattoo artists Mike Massar and Emilio Hidalgo, originally from Peru, put needle to canvas on his client’s entire backside.
Emilio Hidalgo
Thanks to everyone at The Fall Tattooing Gallery and Artists Gallery for hosting such a culturally diverse and interesting evening, and for asking GrindDown Magazine to come and be a part of art for the greater good! It was a great time!

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This morning I spent a few minutes touching up a picture of myself on Photoshop. At first I did it just to crop and clean it up a little, and then I decided to have some fun with it. Nothing serious, really, just smoothing out a little here, brightening up a little there… What could be the harm in that?

Well, once I got started, it was hard to stop. It’s addicting, actually. Once I had whitened my teeth to epic proportions, and given that reflection in my eyes more of a dazzling sparkle, the results were impressive. Very Movie Star. In other words, pretty fake.


Don’t get me wrong, I loved the results (it was much cheaper and easier than an uncomfortable bleaching and an hour spent trapped in the dentist’s chair), but as I toggled back and forth between the “before and after” shots, what happened inside my brain was quite surprising. When looking at the original, wrinkles and all, I recoiled in horror. Remember, this was a photo that before the transformation process began, I actually liked. Now, however, it would never do. When I went back to the new and improved version, I had to shield my eyes from my overly white teeth gleaming back at me, looking oddly unnatural and as blinding as a solar flare! But then, the most amazing thing happened… My eyes began adjusting to the perfected me, and before I knew it, I was completely accustomed to my new look. I had let that genie out of the bottle and there was no stuffing it back in! So there it was… after having effectively brainwashed myself into thinking that’s how I now actually appear in real life, it simply began looking more normal and wonderful. Yay! Psych! The question is, was this imaginary improvement really creating a better me? I’ll admit, it looks better, but it’s still me. Same girl. In real life, my smile is not perfect, but it’s pretty great… At least I have things to smile about. That’s the most important thing after all. Still, is anything we do to “fix” ourselves ever really good enough anymore? Of course, but you have to know when to stop.


Then it occurred to me that I had an opportunity for a real “Teachable Moment.” I called my daughter into the room so I could give her a lesson on what I’ll call, “Real Mommy before Photoshop / Cover Model Mommy after Photoshop.” Her reaction was a cross between interested, laissez faire, and instructional, offering the following comments: “Cool, Mom, I know models in magazines don’t actually look like that in real life,” and, “Can I go now?” and, “It would look better if you smoothed under your eyes a little bit more. Here, I’ll do it for you.” It turns out my eleven-year-old is better at Photoshop than I am. She shrugged and smiled and went off to teach herself Japanese on Google Translate. She gets it, and I’m impressed. She will still be bombarded with the same impossible ideals we all are every day, but I hope she can also learn how to play with all of the wonderful tools we enjoy at our fingertips, have fun with them, and still love herself exactly as she is… So far so good…

Ah, kids these days. Perhaps they’re a little more savvy and dialed in than we give them credit for.

Gotta go. Back to editing… I’m on a roll…

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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