On Thursday, July 14, Calgary's first Toronto Men's Fashion Week event went down right next to our iconic Olympic Plaza - in Teatro Restaurant. In stark contrast to Toronto (and even most eastern Canada), Calgary is a city populated largely by men who don't follow fashion whatsoever. We don't have a consistent fashion week, or any major yearly shows dedicated solely to men's fashion.
Yet, despite all this, on July 14, the passion of our city's visionary fashion and social influencers helped put on an event that was nothing short of fantastic. With Teatro Restaurent supplying the venue, Sophia Models providing the modeling talent, local shops like Leo Boutique and Smithbilt Hats lending the wardrobes, Bass Bus on the beats, a bevvy of open-bar selections from Sapporo, Don Julio, and Bulleitt, and of course Calgary's social elite, "Couture Cowboy" turned out to be one of the most unique events in recent memory.
Possibly my favourite aspect of this event was the laid-back format, wherein guests had hours to mingle beforehand and sample the top-notch food and drinks - all while getting to view the "living mannequin' models posed around the venue at the same time. Later in the night, the red carpet cleared and the models put a pop-up runway show right through the middle of the venue.
The outfits were obviously the other major highlight. The modern western theme resulted in a curation of beautiful raw denim pieces, custom wide-brim hats, rugged canvas jackets, and elegant leather footwear. To top it all off, the raw-yet-refined aesthetic of the outfits was perfectly complimented by the signature cocktail: a new-world take on bourbon tea with Bulleitt Bourbon, Cherry Heering, Earl Grey Tea, Vanilla Bitters, and Simple Syrup.
At the night's end, the fashion show climaxed with an official white-hatting of TOM* founder Jeff Rustia (for non-YYC people, "white-hatting" is like giving somebody the key to the city, in cowboy hat form), and a best dressed contest, where the winner was given a Lamborghini to drive from Airdrie to Banff and back for the day. Overall, whether it was the drinks, the food, the outfits, the venue, or the company, there are plenty of reasons to hope for a TOM* Calgary return next year. Check out some of my show photos below and make sure to follow @TOM_FW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to watch for future events and see where to grab your own copy of the magazine!