Stampede is just around the corner. I don’t mean that figuratively, I mean it literally. They just dropped 4 barrels in front of the Starbucks around the corner and covered the entrance in barn board and hay bales. It is here.
This city can sometimes get a bad rap when it comes to Stampede. Maybe it is the overwhelming amount of beer cozies, cheesy window paintings or gingham outfits that resemble tablecloths that can leave an impression that Calgarians are hicks.
But as a born and raised Calgarian I know that this is not the true spirit of Stampede. The real stampede is about celebrating our rustic sensibilities and the pride of being a pioneer of the prairies. I also know that genuine Calgarians are showing these ideals all year long.
Over the weekend I was invited to a preview event for the CSMercantile Pop Up Shop at the Paul Hardy Design Studio to find out what our good friend Paul has been up to. Paul Hardy and the Calgary Stampede have been in cahoots over the winter months to come up with a new sense of style for Stampede. The collection is less cowboy costume and more Urban Wrangler (as in one who Wrangles, rather than the popular denim line).
The Paul Hardy Studio is rustically beautiful on it’s own. Paul took a space just off the railway line in a tucked away corner of Ramsay and transformed it into the elegantly industrial warehouse space of my event venue dreams. It is against this backdrop that Paul has set his meticulously curated collection of Western inspired fashion and accessories.
With clothing, jewelry, art and home accessories Paul has managed to take the honky out of honky tonk in this collection. Paul mastered the look of western without any of the typical cowboy and cowgirl cliches. One of my favourites was the bullet casing jewelry, talk about a straight shooter!
While you experience the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth make sure you mosey on down to CSmercantile as it officially launches on July 3 at Stampede Park and will be open until July 14th.
Now let’s go get gussied up!