By Kristin Archer

Local fashion and food collided for one glamourous night. On May 25th, the 4th Annual Glamour in the Hammer took place at the Hamilton Convention Centre by Carmen’s to raise funds for Good Shepherd Hamilton. Featuring 11 restaurants and 13 designers, it was the hottest ticket in town.

First – the food! It was a delicious mix from foodie favourites The Other Bird to Hamilton gems like Ola Bakery & Pastries and Pane Del Sole Bakery (how dreamy are the tables full of custard tarts and cannoli? Heaven!). Other favourites for me included Taj Mahal Spices & Cheese, who made up a plate of some of their finest, and of course the always innovative Nellie James. All restauranteurs donated their time and fare for the event, and everyone was in friendly spirits.

Cannoli from Pane Del Sole Bakery
Custard tarts from Ola Bakery & Pastry
Owners of TAJ MAHAL Spices & Cheese, Milap Bedi and Arnie Hoffmann
The team at Nellie James

Proceeds from Glamour in the Hammer help Good Shepherd to battle poverty in Hamilton. Providing emergency food and clothing, mental health support, affordable and supportive housing, alternate schools for at-risk youth, assisted living, and more, Good Shepherd is run by more than 6,100 compassionate volunteers and 525 staff. In 2017, 64,000 hot meals were served at The Good Shepherd Centre, and 69,476 individuals were served at their Emergency Food & Clothing Program.

Designs By Mallory. Photo by Cyprian Estrada

Onto the main event – the fashion! Hamilton’s fashion scene continues to grow and we were treated to collections from 13 talented designers. Sitting in rows close to the runway felt like being at a real world-class fashion show. With VIP tables on one side, the runway stretched in a U-shape and models ranging in age, body type, and cultures strutted up and down the extended catwalk.

As music pumped through the speakers, cameraphone flashes lit up the room as spectators leaned in to get a closer glimpse as models sashayed past. A flurry of flashes followed from the photo pit as the models paused to pose for photographers at the halfway mark. I had a lot of fun experiencing the show from both vantage points.

The Eye Of Faith. Photo by Cyprian Estrada
Thrifty Designer. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.

The show began with five designers that were new to Glamour in the Hammer – Kitster Creations, Designs by MerikeWith Love LingerieThe Thrifty Designer, and Defective Collective.

Next up we saw Designs By MalloryThe Eye Of FaithLissa Hill LeatherKaren McFarlaneTerraware EarthawareBlackbird Studios, and Angela Demontigny.

Designs by Merike. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.
Jewellery by Karen McFarlane. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.

There are so many elements that go into a fashion show – one that makes a big difference to me is the music. Just as I was saying that I would need a really good song if I were to strut down a runway, models rocking stunning jewellery by Karen McFarlane burst onto the scene to the tune of “Uptown Funk.” They looked like Janet Jackson circa “Rhythm Nation” (only with way more bling).

The bangers continued with Terraware Earthaware’s collection scored to “We No Speak Americano” by Yolanda Be Cool & DCUP. Let me tell you, three drinks deep and it was hard not to dance to that earworm of a song in the photo pit! It was noted at the end that Terraware generously donated coats and more items to Good Shepherd, which was lovely to learn.

Terraware Earthaware. Photo by Cyprian Estrada

Blackbird Studios took the tone in another direction with a touch of the wild west. The Spaghetti Western theme for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (“Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo” by composer Ennio Morricone) played as the models showed off the collection “Raven County” with guns ablaze. In a similar dark vein, The Eye Of Faith’s romantic and moody “Wuthering Heights” collection was scored fittingly to “Sing” by Blur and “Elgia” by New Order.

Blackbird Studios. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.
Blackbird Studios. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.

Before the finale, it was time for the gentlemen to strut their stuff. Local celebrities including Tom Wilson, Kyle Andrew, Mike Morreale, Max Francis (True Hamiltonian), Matt Ellis (Flesh Rag), Steve Kiely (Monster Truck), Eric Johnston, Tim Potocic (Sonic Unyon) and Keanin Loomis (Hamilton Chamber of Commerce) donned menswear by Coppley and styled by Charles & Hunt. Tom Wilson came out of the gate swinging and set the playful tone – see more in the video below.

Tom WIlson. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.
Local celebrity men walk the catwalk. Photo by Cyprian Estrada.

The evening concluded with an auction to raise more funds for Good Shepherd. But first, energetic auctioneer Chris Farias couldn’t resist taking a moment to walk the runway to The Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited” (song selection on point). “I watch a lot of RuPaul,” Chris beamed before getting down to business.

Certainly one of the most fashionable events of the year, and most importantly for a great cause, Glamour in the Hammer is a fabulous event that raises the bar each year. Watch the video below for a taste of the show!

Originally posted June 19, 2018 on The Inlet.

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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