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Malene Grotrian, Beatrice Ilg, Rosemary Seimens photo taken by Georgia Esporlas
April 29th was a night of class, theatrics and fashion! It was the night that ice and water inspired a design company to strike out on their own and show Vancouver how it’s done. Malene Grotrian, Jenna Fortin and the rest of the team of Malene Grotrian Designs held their first stand alone show here in Vancouver. On display was the Fall/Winter 2010 collection.

Being that I am not a fashion blogger I don’t want to spend too much time telling you how gorgeous the clothes are, which they are. Or tell you how incredible the models looked, which they did. I want to tell you how two women put together a team of top notch people, collaborated, and opened their ideas to criticism and growth to put on the best fashion event the city has seen.

Malene, the dutch raised, Italian educated designer has always had a passion for art, beauty and couture. Her signature piece and the backbone of her label is the bustier. She, with her business partner Jenna Fortin, unveiled her spring/summer collection at New York Fashion Week and it was well received. They have been expanding and gaining momentum ever since. We had the pleasure of seeing her Fall/Winter collection here in Vancouver at District 319.

The event was sold out and attended by Fashionista’s like Andy Chu and Marilyn Wilson, along with 300 beautiful and stylish people anxious to see what was in store. Laurie Belle, of Left Coast TV met guests on the red carpet as they entered a reception prior to the Operatic opening of the show. Opera singer Stefanie Swinnard blew the audience away with her incredible voice, while Erin Thexton modeled a chocolate bustier style dress made by Rachel Sawatzky from Cocoa Nymph. Models walked the runway in fierce yet elegant style to the musical talent of violinist Rosemary Siemens.

The show closed with actress Beatrice Ilg, most known for her role as the love interest in Wolverine, with a standing ovation and applause. The after party, which if you know me is always my favorite part of the evening, took place at the same venue. Malene, Jenna, the chocolate couture dress, models and Beatrice Ilg all attended the after-party. This to me is the sign of a purely great event, the opportunity to see the clothes up front, touch the fabrics, meet the designer and feel like you are part of the celebration. There was such a feeling of camaraderie as DJ CherChez dropped some hot beats.

Talent Agent/Producer Andrew Webster & Actress Beatrice Ilg  photo taken by Georgia Esporlas

“After months of preparation we are so pleased with the success of the Ice Water Fashion Event, our guests enjoyed the beautiful venue of District 319 and experienced a unique fashion experience. We are so thankful to our fans and clients and are so humbled by the outstanding response to the show!”

Of course everyone wants to know where the shoes and jewelry come from! Shoes were courtesy of Jorge Bischoff distributed by Maria Brasil and fluevog shoes. Kyza Designs matched the majority of the jewelry with a few pieces provided by Hype Studio.

The best part of the night for me personally was wearing Malene’s design. I had a personal shopping experience with her to choose my dress for the night. I know it’s hard to believe but I am terribly nervous about clothes and how to wear them. Being fitted by a gorgeous designer is intimidating for me. I almost didn’t do it, but a good friend of mine told me to stop being a chicken and go. I’m glad I did as I have never felt more comfortable in my life. Malene was so warm and her eye for fashion and sizing is amazing. The dress we chose made me feel beautiful. Every woman should have the chance to feel special and beautiful and that is what makes Malene Grotrian Designs hold a special place in my heart.

You too can have that experience alone, with a significant other or a group of girlfriends. The studio is located at #910- 207 West Hastings St., just call 604.568.0666 or email Jenna directly at jenna@malenegrotrian.com. She can set up an individual experience at the Studio Boutique with Malene to fit you, or a wine and cheese night for 5-7 of your girlfriends as a private shopping event. You can also sign up for their newsletter on their website at www.malenegrotriandesign.com.

I am proud and honored to have seen the end result of their hard work. It just proves that the only things sexier than Malene’s bustiers are the women who wear them proud and work each day to reach their goals!

Jenna Fortin and Malene Grotrian with models after the show photo taken by Peter Jensen

The following article was written by Alisha Mann.

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