A Day In The Life: Guilty Confessions of a Designer
Written by Paul Hardy // @Paulhardyinc @paulhardydesign
Starved for both a late night craving and what to compose, I decide to make my way to the grocery store for some inspiring snack food. I grab a carton of milk, a dozen cookies from the bakery section, and a box of alphabets in hopes that words form in my cereal bowl that will inspire me to write this blog.
I confess I have a large measure of gratitude for the invention of the self-service check out, because it offers the opportunity to obtain my junk food binge without judgment at the checkout. However, most of the patrons of my neighbourhood grocery store are students, consequently, I would imagine the clerks are accustomed to viewing large amounts of marginally nutritious purchases above the statistical average. As an aside, I am standing in a line-up at 10:30pm to use the self-service kiosks, because evidently the grocery store manager has neglected to observe that that is typically the hour of day when most students shop for their groceries.
As I am waiting, I notice the nursing bottles along the baby food aisle in which I am standing, and it reminds me of a roommate I had in university who would wear baby doll dresses and drank from a sippy cup. I often wonder if that was just a phase in her life or a permanent lifestyle choice, and if it was a definitive point of view, will she opt to wear those ruffle infant panties over her Depends pads when she is elderly!?! But I digress…
The coordinator of this blog suggested I recount for readers ‘A day in my life’ but in truth, the daily grind of the fashion industry is not as alluring as what is portrayed in the pages of a magazine or social media feeds.
Furthermore, fashion is what I do as a profession; it is not what defines me as a person.
Although, I doubt you would like to read about how unbeknownst to me, shortly before leaving my design studio for the day, my eldest dog and resident mascot, Fergus, developed a case of diarrhea in my showroom after eating a marrowbone that apparently didn’t agree with him. To my dismay, I stepped in his droppings that were camouflaged by patterns on the Persian rug where he deposited his offering. To this end, I had the unpleasant task of cleaning the matter off my shoes while mildly dry heaving from the stench. #Glamorouslife.
With that said, the following is a faithful narrative of other random accounts, guilty pleasures, and true confessions of a designer.
Every morning I wake up at 5:24am like clockwork without an alarm. I roll out of bed and I make noble attempts to not get a sliver in my foot from the 100-year-old herringbone reclaimed wood floors in my house. I haphazardly stumble down the stairwell with my dogs- Fergus (the presently incontinent) and Coburg (aka the menace) as they barrel down in front of me as they race to the back door. Typically, they like to perch together on the edge of the deck to watch the sun rise and I wait for them to aggressively greet the drifters strolling down the back alley.
Generally, I will crawl back into bed sandwiched between the fur family, and I will stream Youtube on my laptop to view clips from the late show while also checking my emails and surfing my Instagram feed, to see what my friends and the rest of the international fashion world is up to. This scenario is probably one of the fondest highlights in my day.
A true confession that people do not know about me…I shower while watching one of two guilty pleasures (Judge Judy or Wendy Williams) online. I walk to Starbucks every morning, and order a Venti unsweetened iced coffee (even in -20 something weather).
In truth, I’m not particularly fond of coffee; however, there is a certain comfort of having someone familiar greet you at the start of the day.
As a single person who lives alone, it is a small luxury I am willing to pay for that I think many people who are part of a family unit can take for granted.
I usually long distance run along the Bow River two to four times a week, depending on my schedule. This routine developed three years ago after I walked across Spain for my 40th birthday. Upon completing the almost 1100km journey, a friend suggested that I might be inclined to start running as a result of walking such a long distance. Admittedly, I have never had any athletic discipline, and as such I thought it would be a beneficial challenge to attempt to run a marathon. As I trained for my first race, I developed the notion to run one marathon every year for the next five years to mark my 45th birthday. I successfully completed my first race in Rome, my second last Fall in New York City, and this Fall I will be running the Chicago marathon on behalf of a charity raising funds for clean water in Africa.
As I exited the grocery store before returning home to write this piece, a story plays out in my head in a similar genre to that of Sophia would orate, from one of my favourite series, the Golden Girls…Picture it, a balmy Calgary Summer evening in the district of Kensington, there I am making my way back home as a rare missed photo opportunity occurs of me drinking directly out of the milk carton like a yokel, while I scarf down fistfuls of cookies as I walk down the street. The moral of the story is that this is one of the reasons I choose to reside in Calgary & not in LA or NY, because TMZ does not exist on the streets of Cow-Town. And scene…
Photo Credit: Phil Crozier
Paul Hardy began his design career in 2002 with an opening show at Toronto Fashion Week where his first collection saw a host of rave reviews declaring, “a star is born.” In 2007, Hardy opened his first free-standing boutique in home town of Calgary, Alberta. In 2009, Hardy was also honoured by being one of five Canadian designers featured in an international coffee table book titled “Young Designers of the Americas”. Fall 2012 marked the 10 year anniversary of his first ready-to-wear collection. Paul Hardy’s designs have been sold and marketed internationally. In the Spring 2013 issue, Elle Magazine (Hong Kong) featured Hardy as one of the top five Canadian designer labels one must know. In February 2014, Hardy launched a new brand of shearling coats, jackets and novelty accessories for Men & Women known as Lamb.s.Laughter. This collection expanded its product base into Italian knitwear and shawl scarves. September 2017 will be the 15 year anniversary of Paul Hardy’s career in fashion, and expansion plans into Europe are currently being negotiated.
At the beginning of this decade, Hardy expanded into interior design, as well as collaborated artistically with various Calgary based institutions including: designing costumes for Alberta Ballet for Sarah Mclachlan’s ballet ‘Fumbling towards Ecstasy’, internationally acclaimed chocolaterie, Bernard Callebaut, as well as the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and the Calgary Stampede. In 2014 he launched a luxury shearling & scarf collection for men and women under the label Lamb.s.Laughter. In 2015, Hardy served as the artist in residence, making his curatorial debut for the Glenbow Art Museum. The success of his exhibition ‘Kaleidoscopic Animalia’ resulted in the show being extended for a full year! In addition to refining his skills and growing his company Paul devotes time to humanitarian work in Africa, supporting the arts, and motivational speaking engagements.
Paul Hardy’s celebrity clients have included Bette Midler, Diane Krueger, Alanis Morrisette, Daniel Lanois, Kate Hudson, Sarah Mclachlan, Gold Medalist John Montgomery, Chantal Kreviazuk, and country singer Paul Brandt.
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