On June 12, 2013, The National Ballet of Canada held its annual fundraising gala, Mad Hot Ballet: Dangerous Love, a Carmen-inspired affair at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Hosted by CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi and honourary gala chairs Victoria Jackman and Lynda Prince, the soirée featured a ballet performance programmed by Artistic Director Karen Kain, a Carmen-themed cocktail reception, as well as dinner and dancing on the Four Seasons Centre stage.
Guests, who included ballet dancer Sonia Rodriguez, FASHION editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra and Toronto Standard‘s Sabrina Maddeaux, sported their very best ballet-attending attire. With Carmen for the evening’s theme, partygoers chose gorgeous frocks by the likes of Chanel, Lucian Matis, and Lanvin for H&M for the occasion. Both on and offstage, Mad Hot Ballet was a feast for the eyes.
Check out the gallery below for 21 of our favourite looks from the evening.
Continue reading →
Coco Rocha at the Kentucky Derby 2013
Queen’s Plate race day is just around the corner, and if you’ve already got your tickets in hand or have cleverly entered our Ultimate Queen’s Plate Fashion Experience contest, then it’s time to get sartorially prepared!
There’s a tried and true formula to racing fashion: fancy hat + chic frock. But how big of a fascinator? How formal of a dress? To answer these burning questions, we’ve pulled together a gallery of our favourite looks from international horse races past.
Style snaps from the world’s most prestigious horse racing events, including the Kentucky Derby and Australia’s Melbourne Cup, make it clear that dressing for the grandstands of a Triple Crown race is serious business. From Oscar de la Renta lace dresses to colourful printed numbers by Zara, it’s not about who you’re wearing, but how you’re wearing it.
Check out the gallery below for 28 inspired looks from Ginnifer Goodwin, Coco Rocha and some incredibly stylish racing fans – and get started on your own fabulous ensemble for the Queen’s Plate in Toronto on July 7, 2013. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter our epic contest for VIP #QP2013 treatment and a $1,000 Toronto Eaton Centre shopping spree for the perfect race day outfit!
Ginnifer Goodwin at the Kentucky Derby 2012
Nicole Kidman at Derby Day 2012
Lauren Conrad at the Kentucky Derby 2013
Model Mary Vitinaros at Melbourne Cup 2012
Mischa Barton at Melbourne Cup 2012
Continue reading →
As if Club Monaco‘s boutiques aren’t already chock full of irresistible wares, they will now be stocking the retailer’s first shoe collection beginning this August.
The fall line-up will feature 25 styles, including embellished smoking slippers and exotic skin, single-sole pumps, and will be made in Italy. Retailing from $198 to $395, the collection will be sold exclusively at Club Monaco’s Bloor Street store in Toronto and Fifth Avenue, SoHo and Bleecker Street locations in New York, as well as online, in its first year.
If Club Monaco’s shoe designs are as chic as their usual fare, then we’re definitely in for a treat.
Images via WWD
It’s finally time, fellow footwear addicts: Louboutin fever is about to hit Toronto! The Christian Louboutin 20th anniversary retrospective exhibition bows next week at the Design Exchange on June 21 and runs until September 15, 2013. Want a refresher on what’s in store? Check out the exhibition sneak peek we posted a few months back, and then click on over to dx.org to purchase your ticket, stat.
With the exhibit’s arrival also comes a barrage of events for Louboutin’s uber-fans, including the opening gala and a series of talks. Here’s the skinny on everything that’s happening, including the 411 on how you can meet the designer in the flesh and get your favourite pair of red-soled beauties signed.
Christian Louboutin – the man himself! – will be on hand to personally unveil the exhibition at a glamourous black tie gala on June 20. Guests will be the first to view the exhibition while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, and interactive activations by FLARE Magazine. It promises to be one of the biggest events of the year, so be sure to snag your ticket before it’s too late. Tickets are $150 for members and $175 for non DX-members via dx.org. See you there in your most fabulous Loubies!
Continue reading →
Alyssa Lau of Ordinary Peoples, Edmonton
Each week, we dutifully stop by a long, long list of Canadian style blogs to cull the most sartorially inspired personal style images from the past 7 days. The ones that make the cut are those that jump out at us from our laptop screen and make us us shriek “LOVE. IT!!!“, “Sooo good!” or other similarly articulate and analytical remarks.
There are faces you’ll have seen repeatedly in the Lookbook, and for good reason. The Beckermans and their inimitable sense of style amaze us on a regular basis. This week, we have Caillianne, completely decked out in scarlet red, from sunnies to dress to bag to boots. Even the wall behind her is red – that’s commitment.
We love when Dani and Bianca, also frequent features, do the matchy-matchy thing; this week, the blogger duo took on metallic and white and completely killed it, as per usual. Alyssa, one of our favourites from the Prairie provinces, is always surprising us. This week, she took her super sweet floral print frock and floppy hat to the next level when she paired them with a pair of intergalactic metallic silver booties. Genius, really.
As for Ivy, we just have no words. She blows us away week after week with her posts from the West coast, and we can’t help but feature her time and time again. This week’s black and white get-up was no exception. We bow down.
Keep ‘em coming, Canada! We’re loving what you’re wearing.
Kate Masters of Victoria’s Wardrobe, Victoria
Bianca Venerayan and Danielle Roche of Kastor & Pollux, Toronto
Ivy Xu of This Is How We Do It, Vancouver
Continue reading →
That Carrie Bradshaw sure knew her shoes. Thanks to her, Manolo Blahnik became a household name, and when we made the leap to designer shoes the brand became a favourite of ours too. Mr. Blahnik makes some of the most comfortable pumps of any upscale footwear designer, and many of the day-to-night staples in our closet have been his creations.
That’s why we’re incredibly excited about Neiman Marcus‘ brand new made-to-order Manolo Blahnik service, available online and in stores. Timed perfectly with the triumphant return of the single sole heel this season, NM is offering the ‘BB’ style, a classic pointy-toe pump, in 20 colour/fabric combinations, including cobalt satin, magenta suede, and navy shimmer patent. The BB also comes in 5 different heel heights, ranging from a 50mm kitten heel to a 115mm stiletto. The cost? A relatively reasonable USD$595.
Now comes the bad news: NM.com doesn’t ship the made-to-order MBs to Canada. That’s hardly a hinderance though for a girl with a pair of shoes in her crosshairs. Now might be a good time to ask your best American friend for a small favour!
On June 6, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery threw its 15th annual fundraiser and Toronto’s most highly anticipated summer art party, Power Ball: 15 Minutes. Even Mother Nature and her torrential downpours couldn’t keep the city’s social set from flocking to the Harbourfront for an evening of art, fashion, and the types of shenanigans you’ll never witness at another “ball”. We’re looking at you, brave lady in her birthday suit (yes, really).
With DJs Deko-ze and Physical Therapy serving up the beats (Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’ made our night) and Marc Thuet and his team supplying the eats (pulled pork sliders for the win!), we roamed from room to room, taking in the strange and wonderful art installations and partygoer style. From designer Amanda Lew Kee‘s hard-to-miss floral headdress to PR maven Susan Chong‘s summery white Greta Constantine frock to blogger Stefania Yarhi‘s voluminous floral print coat, Power Ball was a delight as usual, sartorially speaking and otherwise.
Check out the gallery below for some of our favourite looks from Power Ball: 15 Minutes. And if you’re kicking yourself for missing this year’s bash, well, you should be.
Continue reading →
It’s never quiet for long on the designer collaboration front, especially when it comes to H&M. The fast fashion retailer announced today a guest collection by Isabel Marant that will hit stores this fall. Known for an effortless, rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic, the French designer will be designing a line-up that includes apparel and accessories for men, women and teens. Yes please!
“I am flattered by this collaboration: H&M works with the best designers and this invitation is an exciting honour. I aim at creating something real, that women want to wear in their everyday lives, with a certain carelessness, which I think is very Parisian: you dress up, but do not pay too much attention and still look sexy. The collection is infused with this kind of easiness and attitude. Everything can be mixed following one’s own instincts: my take on fashion is all about personality” said Marant, pictured above with Margareta van den Bosch, Creative Advisor at H&M, in a press release.
The Isabel Marant pour H&M collection will launch on November 14, 2013 in about 250 stores worldwide as well as on hm.com. Stay tuned for more details as they’re released. How excited are you for this latest H&M collab?
Image courtesy of H&M
It should be obvious by now that we at The Backseat Stylers are serious fashion addicts, but what you may not know is that we’re also big sports fans. We’ve been known to be glued to our TV screens during the Olympics, jump on the bandwagon whenever a Toronto team makes the playoffs, and even take in a day at the races now and then. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to announce that we’re teaming up with Woodbine Entertainment Group to take the fashion game of the Queen’s Plate, one of Canada’s premier sporting events, to the next level. And one lucky reader is going to be right in the middle of the action!
The oldest thoroughbred horse race in Canada and the first race of the Canadian Triple Crown, the Queen’s Plate is held each summer at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto and is known as much for the thrill of the races as it is for the swanky red carpet style. From ladies in fancy fascinators and summery frocks to gents in bow ties and dapper suits, Woodbine’s grandstands are the place to see and be seen on Queen’s Plate race day.
The most prestigious horse race of the season will be held on Sunday, July 7, and it’s going to be a fashion extravaganza. Over the next month, we’re going to be your exclusive source for Queen’s Plate style inspiration, sharing all our tips, tricks and recommendations for what to wear on the big day.
And here’s the most exciting part of all: we’re partnering with Woodbine Racetrack on one of our most epic giveaways to date, The Ultimate Queen’s Plate Fashion Experience contest! Up for grabs is a grand prize package with an approximate retail value of CAD$3,000 – yes, you read right! - that includes:
- A $1,000 shop! Card for Toronto Eaton Centre for the purchase of the perfect Queen’s Plate outfit.
- A style consultation with The Backseat Stylers to assist in the search for a Queen’s Plate outfit.
- A miniature floating veil fascinator in silver by Queen’s Plate official milliner, David Dunkley.
- Round trip limousine transportation to and from Woodbine Racetrack (555 Rexdale Blvd, Toronto, ON) and 1 Greater Toronto Area location of the winner’s choice for the contest winner and three (3) guests.
- Four (4) grandstand seats at Woodbine Racetrack for the 154th Queen’s Plate on Sunday July 7, 2013.
- Complimentary food & beverage service for the contest winner and three (3) guests in the VIP Grey Goose Lounge, located in the Walking Ring, Hats & Horseshoes Party on Sunday, July 7, 2013, from 12pm to 6pm ET.
- Four (4) complimentary race day programs.
- Complimentary cash cards for the contest winner and three (3) guests with a balance of $25 each (for a total value of $100) to be used for wagering throughout the day.
In short, we’re giving away the Queen’s Plate experience of a lifetime to one very lucky reader of The Backseat Stylers. Want it to be you? So do we! So get entering – contest rules are below. Good luck! And stay tuned for our Queen’s Plate fashion series.
1. To enter, leave a comment to this blog post describing your perfect outfit for the Queen’s Plate.
2. For a bonus entry, follow @backseatstylers and @WoodbineRacing on Twitter and tweet the following: “The @backseatstylers are giving away the ultimate Queen’s Plate experience & $1,000 shopping spree! PICK ME! http://bit.ly/11r58ul #QP2013”
3. The contest closes on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 11:59pm. The winner will be selected randomly and will be notified by e-mail.
4. Contest open to readers in the Greater Toronto Area only.
5. There are no prize substitutions and no cash value.
6. Complete contest rules here.
Sponsored by Woodbine Entertainment Group
As huge Sex and the City fans, we witnessed our beloved Carrie Bradshaw’s numerous shoe-related shenanigans. We remember fondly Carrie getting mugged for her favourite Manolos, playing in the Vogue shoe closet, and getting hitched to Big in those famous Something Blue embellished heels (pictured above). And now, 15 years after SATC‘s premiere on HBO, comes the announcement that Carrier is taking her shoe obsession to the next level: Carrie, or rather Sarah Jessica Parker, is designing a shoe line.
“In a silly way, I think it’s what people have expected of me most because of Carrie Bradshaw,” says Parker. She’s right, and it’s about time. Dubbed ‘SJP’, the line is slated to launch exclusively at Nordstrom in early 2014. The collection will include pumps and flats priced from $200 to $300, handbags for under $700, and a few trench coats as well, all to be produced in Europe and New York. And of course there’s a Manolo connection – the actress has teamed up with George Malkemus, longtime CEO at Manolo Blahnik, on the line, someone who obviously also knows a lot about shoes.
“Because I got to play that role, I wore a lot of shoes,” Parker says, “and by default I learned an enormous amount.” Given her enviable on-set footwear wardrobe of Manolos and Louboutins during her SATC days, we have nothing but high expectations for SJP’s latest venture. We can’t wait to see what she designs for us.
Image Credit: Charles Sykes/AP (via)