Anne B. Accessories stand out on ParkLuxe runway

Local designer makes her mark on international fashion scene

Accessories are essential for completing a fashionable outfit and perhaps more so in autumn when the weather favours that multi-layered look we were missing all summer. From belts and scarves to rings and bangles there can be a lot to sift through when it comes to finding the right accessories to complement clothing. For those who want to take it one step further local designer Anne Corpuz-Bacalso helps you stand out from the crowd.

Two years ago Corpuz-Bacalso was invited to showcase her Anne B. Accessories line at ParkLuxe a high-profile local fashion show and art exhibition and she has returned every year since showing her work alongside designers like Paul Hardy. Her pieces range from bold scarves to jewelry. Texturally inclined she utilizes materials like wood shells and cow horn to create unique designs such as chunky bracelets.

Corpuz-Bacalso says 2011 was her first year in the fashion business and the ParkLuxe team helped make it a big success. “They have helped me raise the bar of my brand as a whole — and not just in the Calgary market but I would say globally as well” she adds.

Watching an accessory line “walk” down a fashion runway is always an interesting experience. Models are given an almost muted appearance letting the pieces speak for themselves.

Most people look at accessories as a subtle accent to an already complete outfit — a slick watch to pair with a sharp suit or a pearl necklace to complement an evening gown. But some pieces in the Anne B. line are definitely meant to be the centre of attention.

“The beauty of my luxurious handmade sharp jewelries is that it only takes one piece to make the make an outfit stand out from the crowd” says Corpuz-Bacalso. “The key is to keep it simple and either work with an outfit around one big eye-catching piece or work well-co-ordinated statement accessories into the look by striking the right balance.”

Although the accessory line has only been in production for two years Anne B. is already shipping a variety of products to more than 20 specialty stores across Western Canada. The scarf rings (an accent piece to the scarf one of our country’s most popular fall and winter accessories) can also be found complementing the Anne Touraine high-end line of scarves in the U.S. and Europe.

Corpuz-Bacalso is now beginning to get her line into more boutiques and other locations in Eastern Canada while aiming to stay true to what people love about her in the first place. “The intricacies and uniqueness of the natural materials that I used gave me an edge from the others and [now] I will have to stick and stay focused with what I have been known for” she says.

Not unlike fashion designers Corpuz-Bacalso is always trying to stay on trend working far in advance in anticipation of the changing style seasons which as most designers can attest are sometimes as unforgiving as our prairie winters. “I find it very motivating as every changing season I am inspired to create something ‘new’ all of the time.”

As nice as her booming business and recognition has been Corpuz-Bacalso holds the success of her line close to her heart for another important reason. “The most gratifying part for myself and my husband Roy who has [supported me] with what I have been doing is that [Anne B.] is also creating job opportunities for our families and many less fortunate craftsmen in our home country the Philippines. All my accessories are purely handmade — supporting these craftsmen in their endeavour to enhance productivity and quality is very rewarding for me as a designer and an entrepreneur.”

You can catch Anne B. Accessories on the ParkLuxe fashion runway ( ourparkonline ) view the current collection online ( annebaccessories.com ) and find them for purchase in Calgary at Bellisima Nikola or Naughty Nelly.

ParkLuxe takes place on Saturday October 5 at Telus Spark Science Centre.