THIRD ANNUAL SCOTTSDALE POLO CHAMPIONSHIPS
Happy New Year to all!
Now that 2013 has come to a close, and I was reviewing the year, I realized that I had wanted to post something on this fantastic event. I simply had to for several reasons: the event took place at a site for which I had designed a project, the event hosted a fashion show; polo is a sport with which I am very familiar and grew up with in South America; plus I was fortunate to be the “Official Embassador” for the event. So, here is my recount of it!
Equestrian fashion is one that is hard to wear in a town where there are only a handful of truly cold days. The Sonoran desert gives us simply a fascinating array of sunny days and cool evenings. We rarely drop temperature-wise into the 40’s (Fahrenheit), but even so, there are two to three months of the year (where once the sun is down) we are able to wear heavier materials and layers to protect us from the cool Sonoran evenings.
This time, just at the early break of fall, we had the opportunity to enjoy a weekend with the best of the polo games, a sumptuous array of luxury vehicles, as well as a “Phoenix Fashion Week” production of what equestrian fashion could be – all part of a large-scale event called Third Annual Scottsdale Maserati Polo Championships” – Horses & Power.
That Friday, November 1, and Saturday, November 2 had the best weather of the entire year, with small white clouds up in the air and a 80 degrees fahrenheit made the event fantastic.
So, here is a little twist of coincidence, which seems to be like everything lately in my life. Years ago, in my office, I was called to create a design on one of the hills of the adjacent restaurant that borders along the retaining area (created by the city as an overflow area). The managing company of the property at that time contacted me to create a new unique design at the “Monterra” restaurant and use the existing hill side as a viewing platform for upcoming events. Below the restaurant, there is a large water overflow area within the “Westworld” development in Scottsdale – which borders what is used as the polo field.
I designed a series of platforms that created different levels of patios, and by using a variety of 45 degree angles, I was able to generate interesting seating areas, all with the purpose of viewing the field and lower areas while seating, cocktailing, or relaxing. The entire frontage had a continuous shelf, which can be used as a bar at the points of the 45 degree angle intersection, bright lighting, heating and water emitters to cool or heat the space when needed. The design included some anchoring spaces which would incorporate colorful umbrellas to cover the segmented seating from the sun. (The shown aerial perspective is one of the many drawings I generated in the office to present to the city of Scottsdale).
When I heard that the area was used for polo tournaments, based on my experience growing up attending polo matches, I knew exactly what was needed and how the space should work and flow. It needed areas for the handlers, areas for brushing and feeding the horses, large storage areas for equipment for trimming and cutting landscaping, etc. I was not unfamiliar with the sport. Growing in the “Sabana de Bogota”, which is the high plateau located in the center of Colombia on the eastern cordillera of the Colombian Andes, my connection with this sport was close. We used to go and see the championships to the clubs, and at the homes of friends of our family. So, this all came full-circle for me, I learned how to watch polo, what was the best view for polo, how to enjoy polo… so, I used all my inherent knowledge to produce what I think was a fantastic design.
The project design concept was finished and the construction documents were prepped, but unfortunately, due to the Great Recession, all projects stopped at the end of 2008. The then administrators of the space, asked us to stop working on the project.
Fast forward to 2013, and I ran into a good friend Mrs. Melissa Rein Lively from the public-relations firm “The Brand Consortium” one afternoon at the new “Vintage by Misty“ fashion store in downtown Scottsdale. Melissa was excited about the event and how they were looking for some help from an emcee, but were also seeking a connection to the Hispanic community. So after a few weeks of back and forth, I was given the title of ” Official Hispanic Embassador” for the event. Through that title, I was offered the opportunity to give the Hispanic public in general an idea of what polo is all about. With a rich history of design concepts and design elements present as a spectator of a polo game, sharing the beauty and fun of the event became a perfect fit for media interviews.
To complement my appearance as emcee, I was also assigned to co-host the beautiful talented Ms. Carolina Sanford from UNIVISION 33.
I contacted make-up artist and hair stylist Mrs. Gissela Molina, whose magic hands are infallible! Carolina is already beautiful, but Gissela created an amazing look, perfect for the style of the event. She looked stunning, which was also reported throughout the media. Here is one of my favorite articles of the many reports by ArizonaLatinos.com, . The look was spot-on and the whole photography moved from media outlet to media outlet in the following days.
The support of PHOENIX FASHION WEEK, and their production of the runway event at the end of day one, gave us the opportunity to present the best of equestrian fashion. All fashion styled by “My Sister’s Closet” a fantabulous consignment store with several locations in Arizona (and now in California) along with the brilliance of their head stylist “Tess Loo”, they included accessories and styles from Dillard’s and of a local designer with strong significance and incredible local presence called “Doux Belle” – all to create a wonderful show.
So here are some of the fashion highlights of the show, including some shots on the runway of actual polo players, who walked as a models that evening.
As you can see, style is a big part of polo – so stay tuned for 2014 as the polo event will bring more and more fashion. Occasions like this fashion show and the entire weekend are rare in Phoenix. But a combination of fashion, sport and designer vehicles, this weekend is a total feast to those who like or are fans of the world of fashion and design – and of course, sport.
All together, I was able to get a snap my best dressed of the weekend. The brazilian bomb-shell Ms, Carolina Kachan from Molina Fine Jewelers and one of the most recognized models in town, Mr. Lonnie Benjamin Weisgerber (who was spotting a large beard as part of the “Movember” movement, as he explained later).
All areas of design, art and fashion were present at this fantastic soiree, making it a grand occasion. In addition to the fashion walkabouts, the beautiful classics and the amazing luxury cars, I also need to mention a talented artist whose portraiture is incredible! Ms. Debra Jones, who captured the essence of the moment and in the field on this incredible pencil hand drawn work.
And lastly, here I am with my fiancee, the second and last day of the tournament, in the field, after a stomping divots to help even the grounds of the field.
I am sure 2014 championships will bring a larger crowd, and so we would love to happen!
A big thank you to Mr. Dan Tabar photography for providing a fanatastic coverage of the runway show; Dan Tabar Photography
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