Ghazal Elhaei

#MEANDMYBAILEYS | Hand-painted cases by Ghazal Elhaei for Bailey Nelson Kitsilano

Ghazal Elhaei
 
 

I first sat down with my good friend, Kyla, a few weeks back when she was telling me about her new job and the openings of Bailey Nelson around Vancouver. Her team, who was opening the Kitsilano location, were planning a small gathering for the local community to celebrate their new home. During our conversation, we were brainstorming ideas and amidst our conversation I had a crazy idea: "why don't I hand paint a few cases for the event?" 

Fast forward to last Thursday, 18 cases were displayed throughout the beautiful curated Mokosh Textiles pop-up on West 4th. The evening also featured an absolutely delicious feast by Manifeast Nutrition. We drank, we ate, we shared stories and guests got to walk away with a custom case in hand. 

The process of creating these cases was challenging. I've never painted the material before and it required a ton of trial and error before I found my flow. Which was to literally paint them with my hands to create the textures of the ocean that inspire both myself and acts as the roots for Bailey Nelson. 

I've always been and will continue to be enchanted by the world's natural wonders: the ocean, the sky, galaxies and aerial views of our endless backyard. Simply put, by looking at something infinitely greater than myself, it allows me to let go of all of the little things and focus on the bigger picture. Which is the same feeling I hope to instil in all of you and those who see my work. 

I was also invited to go to the West 4th location to pick up a pair of frames (the last time I bought a pair of frames, was when I first got my prescription when I was 15.) Needless to say, I was ecstatic for the upgrade.

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The team guided me through the various frames, and let me try on literally every style until we found one that worked. The knowledge that the staff hold coupled with their ease of transaction - I literally felt like I was shopping with my best friends - made it one of the most memorable shopping experiences I've had. 

To put it in their own words: "Bailey Nelson was founded in Bondi Beach in 2012, Bailey and has quickly grown into a global brand lead by an incredible team with boutiques in Australia, London, Canada and New Zealand.

Put simply, buying glasses should be one of life’s pleasures. And we’ve created a formula to make it one. We start with a process that’s clever and honest. We use it to craft eyewear that’s both beautiful and affordable. And we hire people who are passionate and genuine. It’s not rocket science. It’s just caring enough about what you’re doing to do it right. We strive to deliver fantastic eyewear frames at a reasonable price, backed up by great service. 

Our vision is to right the wrongs of the eyewear industry - positively and permanently; and whilst we're at it, we hope to empower individuality and self-expression through our beautiful, affordable eyewear, inviting stores and incredible people." 

I could've put that in my own words, but let's be real, it's just too good. You can currently visit their locations on Robson, Kitsilano and their newly opened space in Gastown. 

A big thank you to the team for the opportunity to collaborate on such an incredible project. I'm eternally grateful. 

Til next time, friends. 

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LONDON: A FOOD DIARY

TravelGhazal Elhaei

London is a cultural hub filled with so many wonders, no amount of time is truly enough on any trip to uncover the gems within the city. Between London Fashion Week: Men's SS18 and my most recent group exhibit - I made sure to make time to truly indulge in the finest cuisine and drinks that London had to offer. Below is a list of all the places I checked out during my time in London. 


Andi's | @andisrestaurantlondon
Cafe 1001 | @cafe_1001
Carluccio's | @carluccios
Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels Seven Dials | @cvs7dials
Dishoom | @dishoom
Joe and The Juice | @joeandthejuice
Little Persia | @littlepersia
Original Sin | @originalsinbar
Riding House Cafe | @housecafes
Shoreditch Grind | @grind
Sushi Samba | @sushisamba
Tapas Revolution | @tapasrevolution


Follow along all of my travels on Instagram and with #travelsbyG.

ART IN MIND, Brick Lane Gallery - The Annexe

ArtGhazal Elhaei

When you read articles and quotes about fulfilling your destiny, sometimes, one can find themselves thinking: "what is my passion?" How can you really find one thing that can define you? It's something that I've struggled with for years, because I can't be stagnant. I can't just be one thing. I have too much to say and to share and I never want to live my life wondering "what if?" 

Since I can remember, in between hobbies and career pursuits, I was always staying up late drawing or painting. Without realizing it, my passion was slowly developing over time and bringing me full circle back to the thing I spent doing the most in my free time. That's just it, isn't it? What you spend your leisure time doing tends to be the thing that makes you the happiest, no? 

When I graduated high school, I went straight into art school. After a semester, I dropped out to pursue a career in music. The pursuit was successful in terms of fulfillment but alas, music was not my calling. Only a medium of expression that made sense at the time. Following suit, I attended Blanche MacDonald to study fashion marketing and merchandising. My career has since seen me blossom into a full time Fashion Stylist, Creative Director and Brand Consultant. One of which I am so proud of and have worked so hard to reach, knowing I'm only on the brink of the beginnings of an adventurous and challenging career. Through my life's trials and tribulations, one common thread always remained consistent: art. Whether sketching out design plans for events, illustrating for styling concepts or just plain doodles to pass the time; my love of art never wavered. 

Fast forward to today: I can confidently call myself an artist alongside my other titles. My resurrection came about earlier this year when I hit my lowest in terms of creative ambition. I was bored, disinterested with everything I was doing; debating my return to a corporate structure because it would be "easier." I had no clients, no prospects and no desire to pursue much, so I painted to pass the time. 

My friend, J, told me to share my art. I thought, no, I couldn't. It's just for me.

"Just share your art, damnit!' (His exact words, by the way.) 

I will forever be grateful for those words. 

 
 

As I started to share my work, there was a small amount of attention brought forward, and it only kept growing. Then the unimaginable happened, I got invited to show in a group exhibit in London. LONDON. Can you believe that? It couldn't have been real. But it was. And it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Having the chance to connect with artists from all over Europe and sharing that moment with some of my dearest friends was so rewarding. A feeling I wish I could put into words, but really, it wouldn't do it justice. 

Tomorrow night, I'm hosting my first show here at home in Vancouver. I'm a little scared but really excited to show my family, friends and colleagues a new side of who I am and a part of me I've always been scared to show. My goal for this year wasn't to make more money or to land the big clients, it was to find the thing that made me happy. The euphoric feeling of content without feeling complacent. What I didn't realize was that I had it in me the entire time, I just had to take a step back and really look at my life from a different perspective. Instead of comparing myself to those around me, I've taken the time to look back at who I was five years ago. When the idea of having an art show, travelling for fashion weeks and working on major projects was only a dream.

I have no idea where things are going but I do know that styling and art is where I will continue to challenge myself and push through. I will keep creating and hope that one day, I can make an impact. For now, I'll just pass onto what J told me, in so many words:

If you want to do something, just fucking do it. 

(excuse my french.)

Want to follow along my Vancouver launch of MAKEBA tomorrow night?

Hit me up on Instagram  and follow our hashtag #SCmakeba

It's sure to be a crazy night.