Canadian born, bred, and based, Calgary designer Paul Hardy has been crafting his delectable creations for 10 years. His first show opened at the 2002 Toronto Fashion Week, where it was welcomed with rave reviews. Regularly compared with the likes of Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, Hardy's aesthetic is eclectic sophistication, given his penchant for shredded silk evening skirts, shearling vests, and a trademark neutral palette.
Since the debut of that first collection in 2002, Hardy has designed for the likes of Bette Midler, Michael Michelle, Carrie Fisher, Diane Kruger, Keshia Chanté, Alanis Morrisette, U2's The Edge and Daniel Lanois, Kate Hudson, Goldie Hawn, and Sarah McLachlan.
He has slowly expanded his empire to include a limited-edition fine jewellery collection comprising Canadian certified diamonds and a handmade Irish knitwear line named Paul Hardy Kaille. In 2007, he opened his first freestanding boutique in Calgary, and in 2011 he designed the costumes for the Alberta Ballet’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy.
More recently, he mixed his love for everything en pointe with his fondness for Celtic knits, creating a raw ballet outfit for the Design Exchange exhibits, 60 Years of Designing the Ballet and The Tutu Project. Inspired by cavemen, hunters and gatherers, the bodice explores the evolution of humanity and its development in refining the arts. The asymmetrical one sleeve top is composed of hand spun wool and is hand knit by knitters in St. Andrew’s, Scotland.
Earlier this year, Hardy was also commissioned to design a commemorative white hat for the centennial anniversary of the Calgary Stampede and to celebrate Tourism Calgary's iconic "white hat." The limited-edition hats were gifted to notable Canadians including Bryan Adams, Michael Buble, and Karen Kain.
Needless to say, he's a designer to watch and, if you've yet to feast upon his innate clothing, you won't want to miss the premiere of his 2013 Spring/Summer collection at an exciting fashion show in Calgary, the Culture Capital of Canada, on Saturday, October 20, 2012.
The one-of-a-kind event and runway show will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Hardy's successful design career and host entertainers, fashion aficionados and VIP guests from across the country. There will also be a musical collaboration by artists including country music superstar Paul Brandt, two-time Juno award winner Greg Sczebel, and an ensemble from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
"In partnership with Tourism Calgary, I look forward to showcasing my collection and celebrating my 10th anniversary in the city that I'm proud to call home. It's an opportunity to show the rest of Canada Calgary's cultural gems of food, fashion, music and design. Calgary is truly evolving into a fashion and design destination, and I believe the city has been ready and waiting for this kind of event," explains the esteemed designer.
So if you live in the Stampede City, grab your Sarah Shell handbag and slap on your most discerning eye for a peek at what Hardy's conjured for his latest collection.