“When our Edmonton Tuesdays Together leader, Kelly Marleau of Fiddle Leaf Photography, first mentioned The Rising Tide Society’s styled shoot challenge, we all said, “Maybe next year!” New to The Rising Tide fold, we were intimidated by the logistics and the challenge of planning and organizing an entire shoot and subsequent post in just two months. But then, Suse Luzio, of Fringe and Festa, mentioned that she was styling a pineapple themed party, so we hijacked it completely. Kelly created an event forum for it and we began tossing out ideas for contributions. Funny how we were all daunted by the idea to begin with, but soon our excitement ignited a frenzy of ideas and collaborations, ultimately strengthening our little community.
While the party styling Fringe and Festa had planned was for a wedding shower later that night, due to our contributing members’ specialties, our shoot became a kids’ pineapple fiesta. Our Edmonton Tuesdays Together group consists of a lot of stay at home moms that also work from home, so many of our vendors run family-focused businesses. But even our non-mom members felt the flame of excitement and got on board, offering their products and services.
As the event’s host and party styler, Fringe and Festa chose the colour palette, party theme, and décor and then made it all a reality. Suse’s vision is what directed all of the creations and collaborations that followed suit, and she inevitably became the shoot’s impromptu leader. She curated the pieces she wanted for décor and put them together; she ordered the themed desserts; and she hand-selected each component of the décor from the yellow balloons to the black and white tassels, from the pineapple garland to the pineapple cups with black and white straws, from the “Party Like a Pineapple” sign and coordinating cups to the chalkboard complete with a pineapple poem written by Athena Raypold of The Salty Almond. Suse made the cupped desserts (pudding, jello, and trifle) and she styled the table, designing its layout, using gorgeous cake stands and black and white utensils along with the symmetry and subtley that make her such an effective and expressive styler. Fringe and Festa is the glue that brought every minute detail together into one cohesive, feast for the eyes.
Suse beautifully laid the table with delectable and deliciously decorated cakes, cookies, and macarons; all of which we were not allowed to digest – oh the travesty! Luckily, Suse was prepared and had a separate spread of fruit, chips, and Timbits ready for the hungry vendors and models. Milk and Cookies Bakeshop fashioned the white and black striped fondant cake as well as the custom flamingo and pineapple sugar cookies. Contessa French Macarons baked and hand-painted the stunning little macarons, while Triple L Cakes baked and decorated the double tier cake enveloped in gold sparkles.
All of the apparel in the shoot came from designers who make children’s clothes: Mini Street Kidswear, House of Posie, and From Harper (plus our resident vinyl vixen, Carla Ferreira of She Cuts Vinyl, custom made some decaled pineapple tees just for this shoot). Each designer either selected or custom created clothes to suit the theme and colour scheme: Kendra Allen from House of Posie illustrated and hand carved a pineapple stamp that she applied onto her own pastel tees (using non-toxic ink) as well as onto a collaboration with Zoe McRorie of From Harper: a custom green romper with a black and white striped back. Milan Wilkinson of Mini Street Kidswear provided black and white striped shorts and a skirt, as well as colourful, printed shorts with suspenders. In addition to the green pineapple rompers the babies modeled, From Harper also showcased a yellow tee with green sleeves and a pair of white and black striped shorts as well as a green and yellow little girls’ romper. She Cuts Vinyl created a white tee with a green pineapple, a white tee with a black pineapple, and a black tee peppered with gold pineapples. She Cuts Vinyl also used the same pineapple design from her shirts to create the gold, sparkly, pineapples used in the garland, in the picture frames, and in the dessert cups as well as the “Party Like a Pineapple” decals on the clear plastic cups. For the mom models, Missy Ross of String for Pearls supplied a handful of her gorgeous teething jewellery designs from a yellow themed version of her A Lesson in Geometry necklace to a black and white Mommy Mala – all created with non-toxic, food grade silicone and wood finished with coconut oil and beeswax.
Our energetic and enthusiastic models (babies, kids, and mamas) were beautifully and expertly photographed by newborn and breastfeeding photographer, Kelly Marleau of Fiddle Leaf Photography; wedding photographer, Laurie Jensen of Laurie K. Jensen Photography; and family photographer, Lorraine Stephanyshyn of Lorraine-Marie Fotography.
While Suse was the ring leader of this frenzied circus, it was our Rising Tide leader, Kelly, who encouraged us and inspired us to work together, to collaborate, and to offer our services and products with fervour and finesse. In doing so, we forged friendships, we promoted partnerships, and we truly valued community over competition.”