Lunch With Maria: A Fashionable Event That Means Serious Business

Jason Matlo-10

Jason Matlo showed his collection at the Ladies Who Lunch event on October 19th, 2013 at the Arbutus Club. As always, Matlo never disappoints with ultra-feminine styles that really work to highlight a woman’s body. I’ve always loved how his designs can have a bit of couture, such as the Valentino-like bow on the one-shoulder LBD, and at the same time are so wearable. Matlo mentioned this was the first time he’s really worked with accessories, with the show accessorized with Stella&Dot jewelry. As much as I love minimalism, the jewelled necklaces and bangles brought the look to another level.

The Spring/Summer 2014 collection marks his 10th year in the fashion business. What has allowed him to be successful in such a volatile industry? “Success is basically hanging on when everyone else has let go,” he says. He also commended the women part of his team who helped him along the way, “Behind every great man, there’s a series of great women.”

We were invited to Maria Kritikos’  Ladies Who Lunch event mainly to cover the Jason Matlo fashion show, and we went away with so much more. Hosted by Fashion TV host, Mandy J Ross, the theme of the event was “Secrets to Success.” A great lineup of speakers shared their golden nuggets of wisdom with a high-profile crowd of female entrepreneurs, consultants, and philanthropists, and fashion media.

Highlights from the speakers include Jennifer Halinda, who became Executive Director of Dress for Success Vancouver this spring. After losing her job, she kept volunteering at DFS, knowing she was going to make make some changes in her life, and make a difference in the lives of other women. She asked the crowd to look into themselves and posed the question: “If all jobs paid the same, what would you be doing?”

Next up, Tracey Drake, Editor in Chief of Niche Magazine spoke about a pivotal moment in her life when she decided at age 10 that she wanted to be in the magazine business. This inspiring woman had previously worked as a business consultant who has had experience helping many companies with their initial public offerings (IPO). She believes that success is composed of your natural DNA and personal IPO (Integrity. Passion. Opportunity). “Like the little black dress… women of integrity never go out of style,” said Tracey.

Last but not least, Miss Canada, Casar Jacobson told the story of the flipside of success, and is it really failure? This former farm girl told stories about how she forgot her own name on stage, and even tripped on stage during pageants. But it was the tripping and falling that allowed her to learn. “I’ve never done anything in my life without first failing… failure is a stepping stone,” she said.

It was an afternoon of connections, feeling powerful as women, getting inspired, and what I personally felt and had also overheard another woman say: Love. Maria Kritikos somehow got together a roomful of strangers, and turned the atmosphere into a supportive, loving environment – kudos to this creative catalyst!

Photos by Aurora Chan

Words by Miranda Sam

Style by Fire

Style by Fire is the savvy girl's guide to Vancouver fashion, retail, and shopping.

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