Melee At The Met

A shoot centred around the sport of boxing? Seems like a stretch for a fashion blogger, right? What inspired this shoot, initially, was not really the sport itself, but the glamour and intensity of the event surrounding it.

Like the cheeky sparkle of the ring girl and tuxedoed announcer. Photographer Mike Latschislaw did a great job of translating my vision into these images.

With the help of WildWoodRose and PJ Vintage, I brought my cast of characters back to the 1970s.

A decade that saw the rise to fighting infamy of boxing greats like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier and George Foreman, not to mention the celebs that would gather to watch them fight.

The 70s also brought us disco glam, fur fedoras, and soooo much polyester!

Then there was the inspiration of an event such as this in our very own city with a glamour all its own.

Melee At The Met
is an annual boxing Gala put on by United Boxing Gym in Winnipeg.

A night of Olympic style boxing featuring a combination of national team boxers (this year’s were between team Canada and team Puerto Rico) and local boxers taking on a corporate challenge of training for the ring and fundraising for a chosen charity, this year being Alpha House Project, a shelter for women and children escaping domestic abuse.

What started as a fundraiser for new gym equipment 6 years ago has blossomed into an annual charity gala that any organization would be thrilled to be on the receiving end of.

Cherie Hennessey, executive director of Alpha House, expressed to me her gratitude to United Boxing and the donations they have raised this year for their very worthy cause.

“United Boxing Club’s Support and generosity will make a huge difference in our ability to continue to empower women and children and break the cycle of violence.” Cherie Hennessy

Alpha House Project provides accommodations for 7 families at a time in their shelter plus they continue to work with families with follow up/outreach programming. Since opening in 1994, Alpha House has helped 252 families escape abuse and break the cycle of violence. Over 50% of their costs per year come through fundraising events like their own annual Gala dinner (coming up on November 7th at The Fort Garry! Click here for details) and from private and corporate donors. Now is always the perfect time for a personal donation. Click here!

The high level of entertainment at this year’s Melee Gala VI surprised me. Not only is the The Met a stunning space to behold but it affords the perfect viewing for hundreds of boxing fans. Beautiful tables surrounded the ring for the dinner guests while balcony seating provided a great vantage point for the rest of the eager crowd.

The music, spotlights, and cheering for the fighters walking in was exciting and I began to understand the adrenaline rush I heard about from the boxers I have come to know. The bouts were such a thrill to see so close to the ring!

They say there’s nothing quite like training for an actual fight. The sense of accomplishment, the excitement of fear, the self confidence you build, not to mention the peak physical fitness you develop along the way.

I could see myself diving into all of those amazing feelings but I just don’t know if I could face someone whose primary goal for the next few minutes was to land as many punches on me as possible.

As Chris Sousa told me before his bout in this year’s melee, “There is no better feeling than overcoming your own fear and physical capacity.”

But then my last message to him was “Don’t hurt the face!” So I guess we all have our own set of priorities.

This may be one adrenaline rush I’ll be missing out on but every boxer I spoke to said they would do it again in a heartbeat! Sooo never say never?

As someone who has had very little exposure to boxing in my life, styling up this vintage shoot and attending the Melee Gala VI were eye openers for me. I have a greater respect for the hard work that those boxers put in both in the ring and in their fundraising. Great job United Boxing, I can’t wait to see what happens at next year’s Melee At The Met.


Ellison Wilkinson

Chris Sousa

Brandt Butt

Daniel Piché

René Piché

Nathan Rogers

Jaya Sharma

SreeKrishna Daggupati

Ted Sims

Monique Andrew

Trevor Bailey

Anastasia Yurovski

Rob Reichert

Madeline Brandt

Dave MacLean

Matthew Allan

Wardrobe, hair and makeup

Style Hunter Fox

Location makeup touchups

Melinda Gulbinski