Paul Hardy Celebrates 10 Years of Fashion in Calgary

Alright, so you’ve already read all about the celebrity attendees, the talented musicians that crooned models down the runway, the decadently delicious  treats that tickled taste buds, the venue that houses antique treasures from around the world, the valet parking that saved the evening of  the suede stiletto, the stellar gift bags featuring Alberta’s famous Longview Beef Jerky, and the list goes on and on. That’s why I’m not going to waste your time by telling you anything about all of that; rather I’m going to give you a glimpse of what it took to pull off Canada’s fashion party of the year with a view from behind the curtain.  

In all reality, planning for Paul Hardy‘s 10th Anniversary event began months in advance with the help of many talented individuals all bringing unique skills and talents to the table. I have had the privilege of working and attending fashion week in New York City and can tell you that my New York counterparts would be honoured to have had such an amazing team to support them. 


Setup for Saturday’s festivities began Thursday with crews of electrical, lighting and sound technicians all unloading equipment by the truck load. Pick-ups and drop-offs for gift bag items were trickling in as postcards featuring Paul Hardy’s muse Angie Green were being unpacked and bound with twine.  

By Friday morning the gift bags were being readied for hand delivery to the hotel rooms of out-of-town guests as chairs begun to line the soon-to-be runway. The stage in which Paul Brandt, Greg Sczebel and Among Savages would perform was steadily being built as some of us navigated the obstacle course of mic stands and speakers whilst carrying rolling racks of the Spring 2013 collection. Backstage, rolling racks were being aligned and photos of models placed as Paul determined what his runway line up would look like. Final meetings took place and guest seating nearly finalized late into the evening.


Saturday arrives; ready, set, go. Snow had begun to fall as media and guests made their way through Princess Island Park for a brunch hosted at the River Cafe, creating a winter wonderland, which Paul aptly titled ‘Narnia.’ While Paul addressed media and thanked those important to him, the venue of the party to take place later that day was abuzz with makeup artists, hairstylists, models, food vendors, sound checks and musicians floating about. Guests’ names were being placed to their appropriate seats and the list being checked twice. 

With guests arriving for Brett Wilson’s VIP reception, myself and others dashed to slip on our party dresses and attempt quick lipstick touch-ups before seating was to commence. Quick-stepping across the stage and down the runway to the entrance looking the room over one last time, this is the calm before the storm. Popping backstage to check on dressers and Paul, all was lined up and ready to go. Guests were now being checked in at the front door and being given seat cards to which they were guided to upon entering Paul Hardy’s atelier, where the runway show was to take place. 


Many hellos, kisses and hugs were had as seats were filled and fabulous fashions passed by. With the room filling up I glanced to my right to see Paul peeking through the backstage, motioning me over; I quickly abide and come to learn Paul’s own party outfit was in his sewing studio, which was across the stage down the stairs and to the back of house. I weaved in and out of the crowd, as lady like as possible in my dress, and tackled the stage avoiding sound equipment and leaping down the stairs, politely passing by Paul Brandt and crew. I finally find Paul’s outfit and prepare for the journey across the room to the backstage once more. I safely deliver Paul’s outfit, avoiding models and hit the runway to ensure all is well in front of house.  The lights are dimmed, musicians begin to sound, and we’re off. 


You know the rest of the story. The collection was a hit with gasps from the audience and praise that came to a standing ovation. But of course this is Paul Hardy – would you expect any less? I think not.  

If you noted the shoes models were donning in the photos, they are LD Tuttle and were exclusively brought in for Paul’s show and not available in Canada. However, you, yes you, can purchase the footwear worn on the runway. Contact Paul Hardy for all the details.

Click here for the event recap.

Photos by Phil Crozier.