Fashion Shoot Extravaganza has done to the traditional fashion show what Cirque de Soleil did to the traditional circus many years ago. Marie Copps (pictured below centre), the mastermind behind this event, has turned the world of fashion inside out…or to be more exact, she has pulled back the curtain so that we, the audience, can take a peek behind it to see what goes into creating the moment of perfection…the final magazine image, the graceful model gliding down the runway like an ethereal being.
The evening was a luxurious journey and elaborate feast for the senses. As guests entered, they were transported into a beautiful summer rose garden furnished with an elaborate ivory love seat and flowering tree to provide the perfect backdrop for red carpet photos and selfies.
As one ventured further in, a bewitching display of party and cocktail outfits presented by Cherry Burgundy The Black Label served to whet the appetite of the fashionable delights to come later in the evening.
A VIP room hosted a ‘behind the scenes’ dressing room. Make-up artists (or as they are known in the industry, MUAs) and hair stylists were on hand to ‘touch up’ models and guest alike. The pièce de résistance was a gold sculpted octopus embracing an enormous salt water pearl from a giant clam, donated for the evening by a private owner who agreed to showcase the pearl during the event to support the Breakfast Clubs of Canada. Other fine jewels, provided by Ascentia Diamonds, were displayed by a model and included a 27.63 ct Colombian Emerald necklace with ~30.00 cts of diamond set in 18kt gold and a7.62 ct Colombian emerald ring with 1.03 cts of diamond set in platinum & 18kt gold.
The evening culminated in a four-act theatrical show that included fashion, theatre, music and dance. The extraordinary aspect of the show was that the ‘unsung heroes’ that no one ever sees on the cover of a magazine or walking the runway, were incorporated into the acts. MUAs, hair stylists, photographers and stylists went on stage and fixed hair styles, buffed nails, adjusted clothing and took photographs. As a spectator, I must admit it took a bit of getting used to, but after a while, I started to look for them and wonder what they were going to do next.
Melissa Grelo and Jess Allen of CTV’s The Social hosted the show. They brought laughter, grace and style to the stage.
The show itself depicted the story of a girl as she went through various stages in her life.
Act one, entitled Youth, introduced us to the young heroine of the story. The scene took place in an enchanted garden at the young girl’s birthday party. Party guests included a Mad Hatter, Cinderella and of course, no fairy tale is complete without a Fairy Godmother. The scene radiated with innocence and wonder of all the possibilities that life had to offer.
The story line continued with an engagement party to celebrate the betrothal of our young protagonist. She celebrates her good fortune with her close girlfriends as they pore over images of brides in a magazine and daydream about romance and love.
Act two: Wedding. As the wedding approaches, we are treated to a sumptuous feast of bridal couture. One bride after another graces the stage in gowns that range from traditional ballgowns to demure and sexy and downright glamorous. The final piece, a black tulle confection, begins to change the tone of the story. As the scene comes to an end, one feels the sense of foreboding.
Act three entitled Society starts with our heroine as a newly married woman enjoying her new life with her husband. As the scene unfolds, they become more and more involved in society and start to lose their connection to each other. Surrounded by excess, indulgence and debauchery, one sees the once naïve girl’s transformation into a jaded woman succumbing to the environment around her.
The final scene could only be described as dark, and was aptly entitle The Fall. Our once rosy cheeked, smiling girl has become a shell of her former self. The heroine teeters onto stage in elevated platform boots reminiscent of Lady Gaga and long scissor-like nails. Everything about her is the antithesis of her former self. The scene is almost predatory as other models similarly clad stroll onto stage with vacant eyed stares eyeing each other warily. The story leaves one with a feeling of sadness over the loss of dreams and innocence.
What this performance really brought home for me, was the impact of costume, make-up and hair styling accompanied by music, lighting and choreography to evoke powerful emotions in the onlooker that cannot be underestimated. Fashion Shoot Extravaganza not only celebrated the beauty on-stage but off stage as well. The talent and artistry of the people who work behind the scenes to manifest these visions into life is extraordinary.
Thank you to Marie Copps and COPPS Productions for showcasing these talented individuals and sharing their work.
The interactive experience was a prevalent theme as models, designers, artists and guests had the opportunity to mingle and socialize throughout the evening.
Proceeds from the evening went to support Breakfast Club of Canada, provides children with access to a healthy morning meal before school, in an environment that allows their self-esteem to grow and flourish. Operating from coast to coast, the Breakfast Club of Canada helps feed 220,426 students every day in 1,643 schools.
Special thanks to the following sponsors who made the evening possible: