Content drafted Miranda Sam  by:  Style by Fire

On May 24th, 2014, 

Brian Jessel BMW

 unveiled the new i-series electric vehicles at its 9th annual Cabriolet charity gala. The gala was a highly influential event; previous special guests include Jay Leno and the Barenaked Ladies

Photo Credit: Aurora Chan

Style by Fire)

This year, piano prodigy Daniel Chow dazzled the audience on a 24-carat gold leaf overlay Fazioli piano while News 1130′s Tammy Moyer and Breakfast Television’s Dawn Chubai MC’d the event. Proceeds from the live and silent auctions benefited the 

Pancreatic Cancer Canada Foundation

It was indeed a stylish event, with top Vancouver restaurants such as Joe Fortes catering the evening. But the fashion focal point was Gianni Maanaki’s runway show. Maanaki, a Lebanese-born and self-taught fashion designer opened his first workshop in Beirut at only 18 years of age, establishing himself in the Lebanese fashion industry early in his career. He settled in Vancouver in 2012, and this spring opened up a by-appointment atelier in downtown Vancouver.

Photo Credit: Aurora Chan (

Style by Fire)

Photo Credit: Aurora Chan (

Style by Fire)

Maanaki sent over 20 dresses down the runway.  Each style received positive feedback from the VIP audience members. Many sheer and shimmery fabrics, high-low cuts, asymmetrical sleeves, and Asian-inspired styles were used in his collection. One of the edgier pieces he showed was an LBD that had a cage-bra inspired top trimmed with jewels, as well as a slit decorated with a zipper as hardware. 

The highlight was the BMW i-Series inspired dress valued at over $12,000 that was auctioned off at the end of the night. The silver i8 inspired dress commands attention with a plunging neckline revealing much of the abdomen in addition to a high-cut front slit. Maanaki invested over 60 hours of work to hand-sew over 4800 Swarovski crystals into the dress.  “I do everything from A to Z – cutting, sewing, tailoring, everything,” he has been quoted to say in a recent news release. It’s certainly a sleek and futuristic-looking dress, but the car-inspired design took a far more

 literal interpretation of the i8 sports car’s features.

Photo Credit: Aurora Chan (

Style by Fire)

Photo Credit: Aurora Chan (

Style by Fire)

Photo Credit: Aurora Chan (

Style by Fire)

As for the stylish new i-Series vehicles, the i8 is said to accelerate from 0-100km/hr in an impressive 4 seconds. Other features include the extensive use of carbon fiber, having two electric motors, and a lightweight chassis made mostly from aluminum. One of the speakers from BMW said of the new line, “This shows innovation, technology, style.” We’d go even further to say his comment could be applied to the entire evening.

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 (Miranda Sam and Aurora Chan) pictured below.

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http://ryanmaclean.com/

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Style by Fire

 is Vancouver’s fashion & retail website run by Miranda Sam and Aurora Chan. These longtime fashion friends came together in the summer of 2013 with a mission to make Vancouver fashion accessible to savvy women everywhere. Check out Style by Fire for fashion event coverage, store openings, upcoming sales, and other stylish news.

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