Dare to Stare Fashion Show!

On Friday evening Sher Khan and I, had the honour of attending the Dare to Stare event organized by the good folks at Synaptic Spinal Cord Injury Centre.  Our first thoughts were, "wow", what a lovely place to hold this event.  I have never stepped inside the Calgary Petroleum Club before.  

It was very posh.  Then we went upstairs, where we noticed brave men and women in wheel chairs waiting silently for the event to begin.  Having been to many fashion shows in the past, this one had a unique tone about it.  Something different, something bold, something more of a personal touch.  A brief yet tearful introduction and the show began.  To be in a walker or wheelchair is one thing.  To walk into a room packed with onlookers, where everyone's eyes are on you, that’s a whole new ball game.  

When I saw a young man in a wheel chair, being pushed by his brothers, I was moved and stood there feeling very humble.  Then a young lady with a special cane arrived to the stand and showed off her moves.  This brought me to tears.  How strong are these people?  Stronger than you or I, that’s for certain.  An old man once told me, "I used to complain about having no shoes, till I met a man with no feet"

Well these models were flying.  They were amazing.  Such Courage and such determination.  We are so lucky, not to have to go through what these amazing people have to go through.  They are truly blessed.  When I normally write about events, I bring nonsensical drab that have little meaning, mostly to fill an article in which someone might chuckle.  This was no time for that, this was a time to applaud the work of Synaptic and the people whom they care for.  I graciously tip my hat to all of you.  True heroes one and all.  

May God bless you and keep you!

Heath  Editor  Intouch .NEWS

Edmonton Natural Hair - Fashion Show


While waiting for my coffee to brew, I was catching up on the latest bit packets dodging each other through what’s now known as our world wide web.  Today I learned two things, actually 3, but any news story that has Kanye West in it, just doesn’t count.  One where a Girl was snowboarding, all the while being chased by a bear.  This is currently under the guise “real or fake”.  You have to look that up to judge for yourself.  

The other was Pizza.  Well hang on a minute, you have to stay tuned in and read the rest of the story to see where this is going.  You’re probably thinking, Milan or Sicily.  Even San Francisco.  No, Edmonton.  Yes, Edmonton.  So what’s wrong with Edmonton?  Well if your Flames fan, everything.  But if you were born at the Royal Alexandra hospital, then Edmonton is still your City of Champions.  Conde Nast Traveller magazine decided on a reader’s choice for the world’s finest family feast and Edmonton was the topping of choice.  Who knew, Congrats Edmonton!

Seeing as though My good friend Sher Khan and I love Pizza, we decided to take the 3 hour drive and see what all the fuss was about?  Actually, that news story broke this morning, so we actually went to Natural hair show instead.  

So, Osas Eweka approached me at the African fashion week and asked if I would like to be a part of their first annual natural hair show.  As an Organizer, I am sure Osas had too many things going on in her mind to worry about a couple of photographers showing up.  

Seeing as though everyone now is an IPhone photographer, it’s difficult to choose which one is better than the other.  Simply put, IPhone or Samsung Cameras do not compare in any direction to a Full Frame Canon.  So with our Cameras fully locked and loaded , we set about to capture moments in time.  We really had no idea what to expect.  So with our bursts of light we charged into the halls.  Hopefully will bring everyone together, even for a brief second or two.

I am the kind of person that likes to sit back, hide behind my lens and watch the world go by.  Whereas Sher Khan likes to mingle.  He is the kind of guy you want at parties as he is not afraid to introduce himself and is quite happy galloping.  I did however meet two amateur photographers, Tope and Vanessa.  I had to have a quick chat, mainly to see what equipment they were using and also I wanted to make sure that they were shooting in Manual.  Well, if you’re using a DSLR, you don’t shoot in Auto.  The event was big, well timed and very talented.  The booths were busy, the food line was long and the cup-cakes, well I hassled a young child for directions to these delights, let me tell you.....  To die for.

For the first show that Osas and her colleagues created, they certainly deserve top marks for a job well done.  As far as the Pizza, will leave that to you guys to decide.  

Heath Cox  Editor  Intouch.news


Western Canada Fashion Week - Shankar Couture

Western Canada Fashion Week - Aman Couture

Western Canada Fashion Week - Hulos by The Huy Hai Long

Western Canada Fashion Week - Designerz Den by Esha

Western Canada Fashion Week - Africastyle Fashion

Western Canada Fashion Week - Zapato Sanchez

Rodrigo Sanchez with his Father Julio Sanchez at Western Canada Fashion Week.

Rodrigo Sanchez is an Edmonton shoes designer; he is third generation shoe designer. His Grandfather Rodrigo Sanchez and father Julio Sanchez worked with leather as artisans living in Chile. Mr. Julio Sanchez opened his boutique West Edmonton Designs & Shoe Repair at West Edmonton Mall.

InTouch.NEWS: What inspires you as a footwear designer?

Rodrigo Sanchez: “My parents own and operate a shoe repair. So we are always around shoes. Many beautiful luxury shoes are serviced at our shop. It isn't hard to find inspiration there. My family always encouraged and inspired me to express myself with shoe making and I'm so grateful for that. They are my greatest inspiration.”


Rodrigo Sanchez: "You can tell the quality of a shoe usually by the materials that are used. Well-made shoes are designed to be maintained and serviced. For example; a quality shoe with a leather sole can be re soled up to 3-5 times depending on the client of course and how often they moisturize the upper leather. This will ensure years of enjoyment."

InTouch.NEWS: What style of shoes do you like and dislike?

Hand Painted Shoes - Designed by Rodgrigo Sanchez.

Rodrigo Sanchez: "I admire all shoes. I am trying to get as much experience as possible with all kinds of designs. They each have a uniqueness to them. Some are more challenging than others. But you learn more when overcoming obstacles. Sometimes I'll get stuck late in the studio and then after a good night sleep I have no problem figuring it out and moving on. It's a good idea to have a few projects going on at the same time to help stay stimulated."

InTouch.NEWS: How does that inspiration turn into reality?

Rodrigo Sanchez: "I'm a believer in getting educated in your craft. If you have a passion, see where and who can help you improve on it. Then you need to stay dedicated and invest time into your craft."

InTouch.NEWS: Western Canada Fashion week was is your first fashion show. How is the response?

Rodrigo Sanchez:  "I am so thankful for being apart of this beautiful event. I learned a lot and can't wait for the next one. Met some local designers and definitely made some contacts."

InTouch.NEWS: When are you going to see your women collection?

Rodrigo Sanchez:  "I am already back in the studio working on it. We will hope to release it during the September show. Stay tuned!"

InTouch.NEWS: Does your approach differ when designing men footwear compared to women footwear?

Rodrigo Sanchez:  "They are both unique in their own way. I will know more after I have experienced creating a collection. I'm sure their will be ups and downs with waves of emotions but, I'm definitely excited to see what we can create."

Ostrich Leather from an Alberta Ostrich farm - Designed by Rodrigo Sanchez

InTouch.NEWS: Is there anyone you would really love to see in your designed shoes?

Rodrigo Sanchez:   "It would be an honor to hand craft a pair of shoes for our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. I always look at the shoes he's wearing when he's on the news. I like his style."

InTouch.NEWS: What would you like to achieve before the end of the 2016?

Rodrigo Sanchez:   "I really hope to share many designs and hand made shoes to everyone as soon as possible. Especially women's. But, who knows what the year will bring? All I know is every year gets better and better."

InTouch.NEWS: What’s next for you professionally?

Rodrigo Sanchez:  "Continue to work on my craft!"

Eyes Wide Shut Masquerade Ball Fashion Show


Cancer, it's one of things that people talk about, but no one wants to have it.  The sad thing is, almost a third of us will be diagnosed with it in one form or another.If you look at your friends list, you will discover that most, if not all will have a family member that has, or is, suffering from this. You yourself might be reading this and say to yourself, I'm going through this right now.

My best friend in school was taken at 16.  How sobering is that?  One minute you're running full tilt down the rugby pitch, not 30 minutes later, you're told you got 3 weeks to live, say goodbye to your mom and that's it.  I was too young to comprehend the full meaning of what all this meant.  So you do what the Eastenders do and keep calm.

So, just walk down the aisle with me for a minute. There you are, standing in line at Sobeys when the checkout girl runs out of receipt paper. You're staring at her like she just ran over your dog.  You're late, the boss is angry, you have deadlines to meet, your husband has no idea how to turn the stove on, you have laundry piled up to God's lawn and the gas bill still hasn't been paid. You’re upset now, because the receipt machine has jammed and you’re now wishing you went over the talking till that says "Unexpected item in baggage area". Sound familiar?  Why do they say that to you?  It's not unexpected, it's a tin of beans! You know what it is, an unexpected item is something you find in your suit pocket.  So, you're really late now, what do you do?  Decide on the way home to Bluetooth your best friend about the terrible day you had and how awful it must be to walk a mile in your shoes.  Yet you do your best to get on with life, knowing your drinking buddies can tap you on the shoulder and support you in your god awful day in line 4.

So, imagine you're 16!  For most of us, we can with fond memories. You just left the ICU, you have so many tubes coming out of you, it looks like you subcontract yourself out to an ant farm.  The nurses smile and gently rub your forehead and you smile back with such warmth it makes your heart melt.  You don't complain, you beam in the sunlight like a cat on a window ledge.  You have leukaemia.  Wait a minute.  You haven't lived your life yet.  You haven't had the pleasure of senior prom or that first real taste of legal highballs. Even holding hands on a moonlit beach in some far away resort. Maybe even a real kiss with the cute boy in chemistry class. Yet you radiate a warmth that makes the world blush.  How can you be so positive? You should be standing at the foot of the cross shouting out "Hey, Where's my life????"

So how do you get to be so strong and the rest of us complain? Why? Because you're amazing! Yet we don't see that.

The Vida Ball Gala was an all out charity event to celebrate a young cancer patient whom we know as Katie.  Diagnosed in October last 2015 with leukaemia, Katie is now fighting for her life.  Taking on chemotherapy at 16, this young wonderful young lady has already seen enough of transfusions and blood clots.  I’m standing at the back, quietly watching the show.  I really have no idea and take for granted the little things that Katie may not see.  Bless this child for we are truly so thankful for our lives, and yet we don't see the pain Katie goes through.  This is only one of so many.  Parents having to see and survive through this, I can only look at what they go through.  I could never imagine or know.  Surely if there is a God, he must have a place in his heart for these young souls.

So the next time you had to wait 40 minutes in line to see the doctor, be thankful that you have a prescription to ease your sore shoulder. For next week you will need it to carry your shopping home.

To the little ones who suffer with this dreadful illness.  You're amazing. You really are.  To the parents, again, I have no words to fill this paragraph with, to ease the heavy burden you face.

Bless you all!

Heath Cox, editor. Intouch.news

African Fashion Week Edmonton

There are some people that say we are all originated from Africa.  Our late ancestors maybe from Hull or Cape Cod, but I believe if we all go back further, you will find we are descended from tribesmen and women dating back long before the Romans built Hadrians.

When Joanna Lumley set out to find the River Nile, her simple task was to find the river from where it all started.  So off to Rwanda she travelled and four episodes later she finds it.  Not only did Joanna find what has been eluding explorers for years, she also came home.  Africa is home to many amazing facts that many of us do not realize,  including the worlds longest river, Africa is home to the worlds largest hot dessert.  Spanning and area ofarea of 9,400,000 square kilometres, it would take you 9 hours of rough driving just to get there.  I am not going to go into detail about the experience as I have never done it.  But I’m sure those that have will tell you the experience was like nothing they have ever imagined.  I very much doubt it is something you can do in a Mazda 3.  Africa is so big it defies imagination. If you take the USA, China, India, Mexico and a good size of Europe, you still haven't made it.  Take that Texas.

Africa also graces the largest land andtallest animals, the Elephant and the Giraffe.

Even the Hippo has the title of being the most deadliest.  So what about the people.  The French have less than the African population speaking they’re own language.  Are you baffled yet.  Well you should be.  If you ever decide to write your own bucket list, then include Africa on your list of places to travel too.  If you don’t have the ability to do that then the next time you read about an African fashion show then I suggest you add the notation to your Iphone calendar.

I spent 90 minutes waiting patiently for the runway to get take off clearance.  The crowd were mingling and chatting and waiting for the curtain to open.  The organisers were dancing and running and splitting atoms to get the show started.  Once the VIPS sat down, and took selfies and pics of friends the models took centre stage.  As a spectator with a Media pass I was transfixed.  The designs were colourful, dramatic and simple.  The ambition is to keep Africa alive. For the people of Africa, the designers have kept the tradition going. So the next time you hear Shakira bell out her tune, sing along, for you are singing with your own.

There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to see the ways that you yourself have changed.  Nelson Mandela.   

Heath Cox, Editor InTouch. NEWS

LED Dress Fundraiser

Feature.: When you think about it, that’s a funny sounding word.  Actually when you say the same word over and over, they all start to sound funny.  Let’s stay on topic here for a second.

Feature.  The thing you look for, after you get your $19 dollar Popcorn.  What you dart your eyes too in Red Lobster.  Special feature, feature presentation, feature story or feature writing. All have one thing in common.  To bring you into the game and play for a while.  After all once you have seen the feature, you want to tell your friends about it.  Well todays feature comes to us in the prize package known as MACANO DESIGNS.  Brought to you by this lovely little gem Louena.  Do a little googling and you will find her designing some of the most amazing dresses and accessories.

If the inter world web ever gets to the point where smell `o` vision becomes a click away, my first thoughts will be an aroma of Clair de lune with a hint of jasmine and sweet tea. The ladies were lovely, the dresses, again were amazing, the venue perfect and the reason was why this lady is here.  Well simply put, her dreams and passion are young, fragrant and fresh and clean.  I could go on. 

I would like to know what gets Louena up in the morning, or what she puts in her coffee, as I would not know where to start.  This is what amazes me about artists.  They already see the sculpture behind the marble.  Hand over an artisan a piece of Mahogany, they can hand you back a carved vignette of the Madonna of Bruges.  Hand Louena a swath of cotton, you will get a masterpiece in return. 

So if you missed Mardaloop’s Feature of the week, then hope you had friends to tell you about it.

We wish you all the very best in the future.

Vancouver.  I hope you’re ready.

HeathEditor Intouch.NEWS