2014/2015 Launch Party Wrap-Up

In a sea of motorcycle displays we at MakeFashion set up our launch party at the Endeavor Arts Gallery. And it was as awesome as it sounds.

The MakeFashion launch event is the annual kick-off to the year. It was a very simple and at times very inspiring and emotional as the creators of MakeFashion reflected on how far MakeFashion has come since it’s creation in 2012.

The show started with Shannon Hoover explaining how MakeFashion fit into their lives in the past year. From China to New York to recently Rome, MakeFshion has been gaining attention from the global community. The team reflected on how it’s awesome to see so many creators and innovators being recognized globally, especially since the initiative started right here in Calgary.

For the first time ever Calgary is the one teaching the world about fashion and technology, in a way that’s never been done before.


Shannon also mentioned that Absolut Vodka would be sponsoring the MakeFashion MakeCocktails event so save the date! Those cocktails won’t wait up for you, if we can help it!

After Shannon gave his touching speech the floor was directed to Jeff de Boer, creator of tech ties. Funnily enough this was the one event that Shannon, known for sporting a tech tie or two, did not wear the tech tie. Did he drop the ball? We leave that up to you to decide!

Jeff spoke of all the wonderful things that the tech tie could do from self-changing design patterns to telling the time. If a tie could do all that and more we’d never judge men again for owning only one tie. Because if you’re going to own a tie, might as well own a tie that plays music.

Patti Derbyshire of Torch Motorcycles spoke next. Torch Motorcycles is a new brand of motorcycles that are designed for women. Even cooler, it’s a Calgarian company! Patti gave a quick overview of fabulous women in history who defied society and rode motorcycles. It was not only enlightening speech, it was very powerful.

Next Chelsea Klukas took the stage; Chelsea is one of the founding members of MakeFashion. She asked the question what makes technology fashionable and cool?  And not surprisingly Google Glass did not make the list.

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for the design team and the designs was announced for MakeFashion 2015. Sneak peeks of designer sketches were revealed which will be posted online as we lead up to the event.


So there you go! Another wonderful event as concluded for us at MakeFashion. If you are bummed that you missed this opportunity to party with the MakeFashion crew, don’t worry November 22nd is our MakeCocktails event! It’s everything you could ever want in an event: educational, fun, and delicious! You won’t want to miss it!


– Photography and article by Mary Yohannes Getaneh, a second year Journalism student at Mount Royal University and our MakeFashion intern.

Help send Illuminated Vintage to Rome MakerFaire!

Stacey and Kenzie, creators of Illuminated Vintage have been invited to MakerFaire Rome. The team has created an Indiegogo campaign to help cover the expenses of travel and shipping their pieces.

“Since the 2014 show, many of the outfits themselves have been presented at MakerFaire’s and wearable tech events, in San Francisco, Calgary, and Shenzhen, China. Sadly we the designers have never been able to travel with the “Illuminated Vintage” collection on these showcase adventures.”

Perks for sponsoring include free workshops, illuminated jewelry and custom-made hairpieces by the Illuminated Vintage team.

Support the designers here!

TechBurlesque 2.0 Recap

This weekend Beakerhead hosted MakeFashion’s very own TechBurlesque during Beakernight. TechBurlesque was everything you expected it to be, glitzy, bold, and sexy. For those of you who missed the show (we won’t judge you for it), we’ve got an excellent recap of what went down at Calgary’s only techy burlesque show.

Burlesque started out as a risqué kind of parody a few hundred years ago. Recently burlesque has morphed into an art form for the culturally adventurous and is now seen as a sexy, comedic, dance performance that has been widely accepted in modern day society.

Traditionally the world of burlesque is filled with tulle, tassels, wigs, bright boas, and bustier. TechBurlesque took all those elements but welcomed the art to the 21-century with outfits that lit up.

TechBurlesque was everything you expected it to be: glitzy, bold, and sexy.

Located at the Beakernight event and hidden by giant glowing lotus flowers, the open air stage changed colours from purple to blue. The event opened with a funny speech from the charismatic Justine Tyrell, the official presenter for the evening, who was dressed in last years pink Illuminated Vintage dress, topped with the matching hat that lights up to sound.

bond 1


The lights turned to blue as the James Bond theme started up. Max, the resident Bond, smirked as he graced the stage eyeing Beatrix Rouge dressed in a black dress and red boa, unlucky for bond he was pushed him back onto a sleek leather chair and tied him up. But of course behind every great man, is an even greater woman (in this case three), decked in gold shorts and black shirts that lit up the 007 girls danced their way onto stage saving Mr. Bond’s butt.  He looked much more in his element once untied, cigarette between his teeth, and martini in hand.


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After a quick intermission, Whiskey Sugarbush graced the stage dressed in a stunning white two-piece with glitzy jewels and lights sewn into the outfit. She looked breathtaking as she danced across the stage to ‘Diamond are Forever.’ And elegant as she pulled her white satin gloves off with her teeth. Next up was Beatrix Rouge’s solo to ‘Hubcaps & Tail Lights’. She strutted the stage with force, she flirted with the audience reaching for her zipper before stopping and giving a coy smirk. She was playful and enticing to watch. The two solos completed each other perfectly, dangerous, sweet, elegant, and sexy.

The show closed with another dance with Bond and the 007 girls, this time to the ‘Skyfall’ remix. The most memorable part and loudest was when Mr.Bond himself stripped and danced in nothing but a golden speedo, who said white boys can’t dance?

The event concluded with Shannon and Maria Hoover congratulating the team and everyone that came together to make TechBurlesque such a spectacular event.


– Photography and article by Mary Yohannes Getaneh, a second year Journalism student at Mount Royal University and our MakeFashion intern.

MakeFashion Shines at Calgary Mini Maker Faire

Photos: Mary Yohannes Getaneh

This weekend some of Calgary’s most innovative came out to celebrate the act of creating at the second mini maker faire at the TELUS Spark Center. The Calgary Mini Maker faire is exactly what it sounds like, a fair for makers. The faire showcases creativity, and resourcefulness. Makers share what they are making and what they have learned, hopefully to inspire future makers to make their own creations. The makers range from designers, artists, tech enthusiasts, engineers, artists, and students.

MakeFashion ran its own booth nestled in the heart of the faire. The both displayed some of the last year’s runway projects. The dresses where a hit amoung every age group, especially the littlest of makers. Children watched with wide eyes as the dresses lit from one colour to the next, even boys decked in spiderman shirts thought it was cool.

At a glance they’re just dresses with blinking lights, but each dress has specific technology built into it. One dress responded to emotions, another dress responded to sound. The process in creating them brings fashion to an entire new level. The Dragon Queen for example is controlled through an app you can download. From that app the wearer can decide the movement of the dragon perched on the shoulder of the dress from twisting its metal body around to snuffing. Biomimetic Bride, another design displayed, uses accelerometers that reads the wearers heartbeat and lights up accordingly. Other dresses displayed where the ever popular Chameleon cocktail dress, Common Experience, and Medusa Fabulosa.

Alongside the MakeFashion booth was a section dedicated to the various art forms of steampunk. The easiest way to describe steampunk is it Victorian era science fiction. With steampunk everything is made with steam powered machinery and tools. Elemental Illusions had some fascinating leather masks displayed at their booth, just in time for Halloween!

If you missed seeing some of the amazing outfits displayed at the Calgary Mini Maker Faire there are more MakeFashion events in store including the September 13th TechBurlesque, open to all 18 and over. We hope to see you there!

– Mary Yohannes Getaneh is a second year Journalism student at Mount Royal University and our MakeFashion intern.


TechBurlesque at Beakernight 2014

Performance, tech, and geeky glamour take center stage at Techburlesque!

Join us at Beakernight for a free event celebrating feisty fashion and wearable technology. You’ll never think of tech the same way again!

Sept 13, 2014

8:30PM, doors at 8PM
Little Big Street, Lotus on Olympic Way and 12th Ave SE
Free event, 18+

More details at the Beakerhead Beakernight event page.

photo by Kelly Hofer

Model Search: Monday July 14th

Get discovered!

We are looking for the next face of MakeFashion and seeking models of all heights, sizes, and ethnicities for runway shows, high fashion photo shoots, and publications. Representatives from MakeFashion as well as Luxe by Calgary Bride and The Wedding Fair will be in attendance.

Monday, July 14th
7PM – 9PM

Endeavor Arts Gallery
#200 1209 First St SW, Calgary, AB

RSVP: info@makefashion.ca

MakeFashion Hits Manhattan!

MakeFashion was in New York for the “Fashionware” show on June 25 as part of CE Week. Our team had a great time representing this years collection on behalf of MakeFashion teams including: Dragon Queen, Biomimetic Bride, Proxima, Illuminated Vintage, Tech Tie, and the Nebula. We were happy to share the spotlight with other leading designers including 3lectromode, Hexoskin, and Skulpt. This international event marks the seventh event our MakeFashion design teams have been invited to in the four months since the gala on March 1st 2014, and there are several invitations on the horizon.


CE Week is the CE industry’s official mid-year meeting, conference and new technology showcase. CE Week and its partners drew  6,000+ members of the media, retailers and thought leaders from across the country last year. Large corporations to innovative start-ups demonstrated new products, held press conferences and networking events, and CEA unveiled mid-year market research and analysis. Key industry analysts, business leaders and columnists presented exclusive data and insights in presentations and on panels.

MakeFashion attends MakerFaire Bay Area 2014

“Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.

Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” – MakeZine


MakeFashion attended the 2014 Bay Area MakerFaire on May 17th-18th in San Mateo, CA.

Our team showcased the Biomimetic Bride, Illuminated Vintage, and Common Experience.

Our booth at this family-friendly event was particularly popular with young children, as one little girl remarked about Biomimetic Bride “I want to wear a glowing dress but I don’t want to get married yet!” (we assured her that she can wear a wearable technology glowing dress at any time, wedding or not).


MakeFashion has showcased at other Maker Faires including Calgary Mini Maker Faire and Shenzhen Maker Faire.

MakeFashion presents at Shenzhen MakerFaire

During a whirlwind 3-day visit to Shenzhen, China, MakeFashion shared a booth with Tricia Flanagan from the Wearables Lab. Tricia’s work (including Blinklifier displayed at our 2014 gala) was displayed along with Tech Tie (Jeff De Boer) and Illuminated Vintage (Kenzie Housego, Amie May, Stacey Morgan & Dan Damron). The pieces were a huge hit, described as the “coolest pieces” by Seeed Studio (a major 2014 gala sponsor).

The MakeFashion team explored manufacturing opportunities for future projects and connected with international members of the Maker and fashion scene.


“On our way here we came through Hong Kong – a true metropolis, with the diversity and range you’d expect from a world class city, from the seedy bits to the over the top luxury. Crossing into mainland China felt like a bit like we were inside of a dated movie on the communist state, that notion was quickly dispelled as soon as we exited the secure area and walked outside. We were greeted by beautiful architecture and a very modern urban city. The 40 minute drive to the Maker Faire venue was no different, it was like the whole city was an ultra-modern, urban downtown that sprawled over huge area – you can’t help but get the idea that Shenzhen is a happening place.

The booths were outdoor but canopied, which is fortunate since rain is common this time of year, and as a Mini Maker Faire producer myself I couldn’t help but look around and wonder at how much all the custom printed signage, scaffolding and draping would have cost if we were at a similar event in the US. When the Faire opened in the morning our booth was immediately swamped, my sense was the majority of the attendees were local families, business people and students, but there was plenty of international flavour as well. We were approached by app developers, incubators, crowd funders, and offers of international collaboration. We met plenty of people either from, or connected to Silicon valley as well as others from across North America, Asia and Europe.

Most of the booths themselves had a decidedly business bend to them – it was certainly maker culture, but there was a real awareness of the innovative potential and financial optimism pervading through the area. For most of the day our booth had people lined up about 3 layers deep with umbrellas colliding as people jockeyed for better positioning so see what it was we were showing. Even when the rain got really serious and the crowds lightened up a bit we always had at least one row of people asking questions and looking around.

I love going to Maker Faires – especially the minis where you always get to see creativity and ingenuity rarely influenced by consideration of financial potential, but I have to say I think I’m a bit in love with Shenzhen. There exists a feeling optimism that we aren’t only able to do cool things that can change the world, but that there are real economic benefits that come with it as well, and that things like borders and cultures aren’t impediments to collaboration, rather an opportunity for us all to share what we know and become richer for the experience.

If this event is any indication of what is going on here, China is not only welcoming Makers, but ready to lead as well!”

– Shannon Hoover


Maker Faire Shenzhen was the first full-scale Maker Faire in China, recognizing the international significance of Shenzhen as a hub for makers. Shenzhen is a special economic zone within China and a rapidly booming commercial manufacturing center.

MakeFashion plans to attend the Maker Faire in the Bay Area on May 17th & 18th.

Read the synopsis (with mentions of MakeFashion) at makezine here. 

Have an event  you think is a good fit for MakeFashion’s creative and innovative wearbles? Contact info@makefashion.ca. MakeFashion is also seeking sponsors and investors to support our designers and makers as leaders in the wearable technology space.

Calgarian Arts & Technology Shine at International CES

Calgary-based MakeFashion made a big impression on the 2014 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) runway in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES is the world’s largest consumer technology show with over 150,000 attendees. MakeFashion founders Shannon Hoover, Maria Hoover, and Chelsea Klukas and designer Angela Dale were in attendance for the FashionWare wearable technology event on January 9th 2014.

Laura Dempsey’s motion-sensitive illuminated dress made a big impact on the audience as the dress lit up to the model’s movements (view the video).


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Angela Dale’s Chameleon Cocktail was the subject of many photographs and media attention. All pieces in the CES show were originally showcased in February 2013 at Endeavor Arts Gallery in Calgary along with five other local designers.



Photo credit: Britta Pedersen

MakeFashion – Vlad Lavrovsky “Nebula” necklace. Photo credit: Britta Pedersen

Discovery Channel host Ziya Tong wore the illuminated “Nebula” necklace by designer Vlad Lavrovsky.

Other innovations showcased in the runway show included fitness accessories for tracking jump height, FashionTeq smart jewellery and morphing colour couture by Rainbow Winters.

Wearable technology was prominent in the 2014 CES show from fitness accessories to automotive assistance. MakeFashion is honoured to have been invited to showcase among international leaders and hopes to continue to elevate arts and technology in Calgary.

The 2014 MakeFashion runway show on March 1st sponsored by OnConference will feature over 12 new wearable technology pieces, including new works from Angela Dale, Vlad Lavrovsky, and Laura Dempsey. A Techburlesque fundraiser featuring tech-inspired costumes will take place at Endeavor Arts on January 17th. (Tickets available here). MakeFashion is based in Calgary, Alberta but intends to tour and showcase internationally after the March 1st gala. For information on hosting a MakeFashion event contact info@makefashion.ca


Media Coverage for MakeFashion at CES 2014:

FashionWare show at CES 2014

LA Times

The Wall Street Journal

Financial Times

Frecuency Videos

New York Daily News

European Press Photo Angency

Sudwest Presse (German)

Online Focus (German)

Weftfalifche Nachrichten (German)

20 minutos – (Spanish press)

France 24 coverage