Inside Saturday night’s PARKSHOW: Calgary’s hottest up-and-coming designers step it up on the well-dressed runway

Photography by Brian Bookstrucker/Bookstrucker Photography

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After months of buzz and a few blizzards, Calgary’s top fashion and arts non-profit organization, PARK (Promoting Artists, Redefining Kulture), threw its fourth annual PARKSHOW event to a sold-out crowd of over 350 people at the contemporary Palliser South Tower on Saturday night.

With a mentality to match the Mercedes-Benz Start Up program (plug alert: we’re scouting in Edmonton this year), PARK routinely pulls in a substantial fashion-savvy audience (this time, the demand for tickets was so high it warranted a second night’s showcase) and offers emerging designers a well-dressed runway to showcase their designs at no cost.

“As an emerging designer, one of the biggest challenges is to get the best possible exposure while working with a very limited budget,” says Aleem Arif of Bano eeMee, whose Gucci-inspired jackets had us drooling. “For me personally, PARKSHOW has provided an opportunity to network and connect with other amazing people who really care about what I do.” A few more stand-outs from an altogether inspiring and upscale two-part show was Saskatchewan-native, and now Calgary-based designer Rebecca King, as well as bags and scarves from Hoakon + Helga and asymmetrical designs from KARA by PARK’s own president and our March issue It girl, Kara Chomistek.

Hanging artwork from 16 local artists pieced together this year’s event theme of “Fragmented Geometry.” Next to PARK’s characteristically cool brigade of stylish and ladylike organizers, Calgary sure does look like one pretty young thing.