All throughout my younger years, I referred to The Bay as “The Granny Store”. I would want to pinch my nose whenever I passed the cosmetic counters and I wouldn’t give their clothes racks and upper floors a second glance. It was only last year when I began to notice that The Bay had begun to revamp themselves (thanks to Bonnie Brooks) to offer younger, radically more stylish, hotter designer lines! Our Fashion Merchandising students delivered an impressive and professionally executed fashion show at The Bay Richmond to introduce new collections from the store’s latest fashion lines. I dropped by early to browse around and to observe the hustle and bustle and the unfolding of such production!
In a cute little nook backstage, three of our PRO Hair grads took over the nearest change room. Inspirational magazine photos and the runway schedule were taped on the wall. Models walked in, sometimes with their stylist, gestured towards the desired hairstyle, and off the hairstylists went! I observed the models parade out with glamorous soft curls, slick chignons, low-maintenance let-dry tresses, and some awesome avant-garde-inspired hair styles.The makeup was absolutely lovely and it was done by both counter staff and Blanche Macdonald students and grads at the NARS, Dior, MAC, and YSL counters. We saw wearable bright, bold lips, metallics, contoured faces, and smokey, turquoise-rimmed eyes.Another change-room takeover draped with black curtains housed the stylists and the clothes. A handful of models hung out right outside the makeshift closet as the stylists put the finishing touches on them! Meanwhile, the rest of the FM students rehearsed the choreography with their model trio making do with the stage and store aisles.
Minutes before the show started, mini hors d’ oeuvres were handed out on a round white lacquer tray and onlookers, who were lucky enough to grab an aisle seat, flipped through the latest FASHION magazine. A live DJ was set up on the left of the stage in front of a few racks I made note to check out in between the 1pm and 2pm shows. Everyone was surrounded by the latest designers and fabulous new collections, anticipating the first five groups of stylists’ hard work.
Showcasing timeless and trendy outfits for the young woman. Each trio had a different choreographed stage walk and featured some great casual and urban outfits.From threads with an old-time vibe to career outfits (for the “Young Executive”) to modern, everyday back-to-school wear for public school and even the Ivy League, our Fashion Merchandising students styled wearable outfits for every occasion.We saw a fun mix of bold, solid colours and cozy textures for the Fall season. Some standout pieces from the Halston Heritage line! An audience fav. They even brought in the limited edition HBC Heritage Hooded Swing Coat crafted by the iconic HBC Point Blankets! I distinctly remember the soft “oooOOOoooooh” mixed with many enthusiastic exclamations of “cute!” through the crowd as the model walked down. Absolutely adorable. This one was designed by Smythe. Gallery-worthy? Definitely.
Can’t get all the Halston Heritage outfits out of my head! When the show ended, I, along with more than half the audience, immediately b-lined and combed through the racks, pulling out the same pieces we just saw on the runway.
Great job, FM students!! Special thank you to our Blanche Macdonald staff (Jay – our fabulous FM instructor and fashion show producer and Serena who took these backstage and runway snaps), our sponsors (MAC, NARS, YSL, Givenchy, The Bay, Digitech Printing Inc.), Gabriel Forezli Professional Videography, and all Blanche Macdonald students and graduates who were apart of the production (Amanda Georgeson – assistant choreographer, Brian Chan – program designer, Minh Ly Quach – stage manager) and who did the hair (Taya Voykin (thanks for taking on key hair position!), Jason Manzano, Catrina Villani) and makeup (Kristina Major (thanks for taking on key makeup position!), Cassandra Holt, Bonnie Ong, Josephine Chiang, Stacey Fairfield, Jomie Wager). Extra thank yous go out to all participating modeling agencies for bringing in the models to walk at this event: L2 Models (Lissa Lloyd), TalentCo Management (Brenda Wong), Charles Stuart Modeling Agency, LQ Models (Laurel Quelch), and Lexington Models (Tanya)!
The Bay is certainly “not just your grandmother’s store anymore”… it is so much more than that! You have to check out the new White Space on the 2nd floor in The Bay downtown because they’ve extended their racks to hang LnA, Botkier, Free People, Dolce Vita, and Diesel… and even their own house brand. All that next to a huge display of shoes. Need I say more?