Spotted from the Backseat: Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party 2014 Edition

Candice Chan (middle) and Alison Slight (right)

On September 4, Toronto’s most sartorially-gifted gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate the launch of Toronto Life‘s latest Stylebook and the select few featured in its pages. The city’s fashion set, including the likes of Joe and Kimberley Mimran, FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, model Stacey McKenzie, and Dion and Elisha Phaneuf, spent the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival schmoozing with honourees past, present and future.

This year’s Most Stylish included the likes of Chloe Rogers (Elite model), Suzanne Cohon (principal, ASC Toronto), Elaine Lui (co-host, The Social), Lisa Corbo (co-owner, George C), Markus Anderson (consultant, Soho House Group), Ray Civello (founder of Civello Salon and Spa, and president of Aveda Canada), Lance Chung (fashion journalist), Sacha Grierson, (co-owner, Eat My Words) and her daughter, Lola FlaneryVanessa Morcom (CEO, Morcom Media) and more.

Check out the gallery below for over 30 style snaps of Toronto’s best dressed folks at the #TLMostStylish event.

Amy Burstyn-Fritz

Elisha Cuthbert and Dion Phaneuf

Kimberley Newport-Mimran and Joe Mimran

Dean and Dan Caten

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The Room at Hudson’s Bay to Host Isabella Blow Exhibit ‘Fashion Blows’ in Toronto

Fashion fans mark your calendars: Hudson’s Bay is bringing the Isabella Blow exhibition to Canada. For those of us who weren’t able to make a trip to the other side of the pond earlier this year for the Fashion Galore! exhibit at Somerset House in London, a quick jaunt to The Room at Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship in Toronto next month will more than make up for that disappointment.

The retailer is partnering with the Isabella Blow Foundation on “Fashion Blows”, a fundraising event and exhibit celebrating the life and wardrobe of Isabella Blow, the late British patron of fashion and art. The events, overseen by a committee chaired by Suzanne Rogers, will kick off with a fundraising dinner hosted by honourary co-chairs Daphne Guinness and Liz Rodbell, President, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. Funds raised will sponsor a Canadian fashion student to join the MA programme at Central Saint Martins in London, England, and will also support the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

“[Hudson’s Bay is] honoured to partner with The Isabella Blow Foundation to support our common objectives of fostering Canadian design talent and supporting mental health charities,” said Rodbell in a press release. “To stage this first international fundraising event and exhibition at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, an environment where fashion is celebrated every day, is a privilege.”

“The Isabella Blow Foundation is delighted to partner with Hudson’s Bay for our first international showcase and fundraiser,” said Daphne Guinness. “Our vision was to establish a global travelling exhibit of Isabella’s wardrobe and inspire budding fashion designers around the world. When I visited her beloved clothes in a storage room in South Kensington, it seemed quite clear the collection would be of immense value to a great many people.”

Fashion Blows will open to the public at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, Queen Street on October 23 and will run for 16 days. Admission to the exhibit, which will showcase designs by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan, will be free of charge.

Image Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe


#BloggerBazaarTO Spring 2014: You Came, You Saw, You Shopped

Last month, yours truly and some of our favourite blogger friends teamed up on the Spring 2014 edition of #BloggerBazaarTO, opening up our closets to offer our lovely readers some fabulous finds at pocketbook-friendly prices. Many of you popped by Soho House Toronto to snag some unbelievable deals from Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes, Hawley Dunbar of Sidewalk Hustle, Anita Clarke of I Want – I Got, Anya Georgijevic of I’m The It Girl, Liane Fong of The Lost Sea, Monica Mei of Wanderlusteurs, and Jessica Chiu of Ever After Lacquer, and we daresay you weren’t disappointed.

Attendees came with their game faces on, taking home enviable purchases that ranged from Hermès silks at half their retail price to vintage wares for a mere toonie. They were further rewarded for their shopping efforts with rather epic swag bags, featuring items from FLAREALDO ShoesDoveTRESemmeRoots CanadaeLUXEessence cosmeticsvitaminwaterForever 21Call It SpringArtemano Decor and Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris. In fact, they were so good that we were a tad bit jealous we weren’t able to keep one for ourselves. A huge thank you to all of these amazing brands for their support!

At the end of the incredibly fun event, readers went home delighted with their purchases and swag, Corsage Project received a portion of our proceeds for their very worthy cause, and us bloggers had a blast playing shop for the day. A win-win-win situation, in our books! Check out the gallery below for a peek at highlights from the last #BloggerBazaarTO.

P.S. Stay tuned for the Fall 2014 edition The Blogger Bazaar, coming this September!

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Fancy Fascinators and Dapper Bow Ties Abound at the 155th Queen’s Plate

On Sunday, July 6, Canada’s fashion and sporting worlds collided at the prestigious Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and the must-attend event of the summer. Woodbine Racetrack was the place to see and be seen, as Toronto’s social set walked the red carpet in their finest race day getups. Fancy fascinators and frocks for the ladies and dapper bow ties and hats for the gentlemen were the garb of choice as the crowd cheered filley Lexie Lou and jockey Patrick Husbands to their thrilling #QP14 win.

The excitement at the Hats & Horseshoes Party, hosted by the lovely Melissa Grelo from CTV‘s ‘The Social’, matched that of the grandstands. The FLARE VIP Lounge was the prime locale for an afternoon of horse wagering and street style snapping. We were wowed by the fashion at our first Queen’s Plate experience in 2013, but this year’s incredibly chic attendees took it to the next level for #QP14. From hats to wingtips, the fashion was bigger, bolder and more fabulous than ever before.

We were in awe of Stylist Box co-founder Gail McInnes and writer Vicki Hogarth‘s impressive DIY efforts; both ingeniously fashioned their own fascinators, the former from her cherished Madonna LP and the latter from dollar store butterflies that looked way more extravagant than they cost. We oohed and aahed over the ultra-chic monochromatic ensembles we spotted, included Fashion at the Races blogger Bri Mott‘s lime green lace getup, jewelry designer Shay Lowe‘s ladylike lavender look, as well as the co-ordinated, all-white ensembles by a gaggle of girlfriends we snapped in the FLARE VIP Lounge. One colour wasn’t good enough for etalk‘s Traci Melchor though; we fell head over heels for her fierce red and black hat and dress pairing.

As for yours truly, we chose stunning fascinators by David Dunkley (official milliner for the Queen’s Plate) for the occasion, and we couldn’t have felt more fabulous as we took in the races in the grandstands and enjoyed all that the Hats & Horseshoes Party had to offer. Missed out on all the fun this year? Not to worry, because #QP15 will be here before you know it – that means you’ve got a year to find the perfect race day ensemble. In the meantime, check out the video and photo gallery below for all the sartorial highlights from the 155th Queen’s Plate.

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Queen’s Plate Race Day Style Guide: Black and White Chic Edition

With the 155th running of the Queen’s Plate just mere days away, you may be scrambling to pull together the perfect race day ensemble – like your truly. Don’t fret, because this is the 4th in a series of very fashionable #QP14 style guides, so there’s plenty of sartorial eye candy to get you inspired.

If vibrant colours and bold prints aren’t your style, classic black and white is the way to go, à la Lupita Nyong’o at the Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic. To get that understated elegant look, check out the gallery below for 20 black and white dresses and matching David Dunkley headpieces. Don’t be afraid to give your neutral look a small pop of colour either, as beauty queen Megan Ducharm did at the Kentucky Derby with some very well-placed pink.

We can’t wait to see all your race day outfits at the Queen’s Plate this Sunday, July 6! Remember to follow all the action via Twitter at @WoodbineRacing@backseatstylers and the hashtag #QP14.

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Queen’s Plate Race Day Style Guide: Pretty In Print Edition

The countdown to the Queen’s Plate this Sunday, July 6 continues, and we’ve got more race day fashion inspiration for you. We’ve focused on monochromatic looks in bold hues in the last two #QP14 style guides, and today we’re talking vibrant printed frocks.

With Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha and fellow stylish Melbourne Cup attendees as our muses, we searched high and low for eye-catching and incredibly chic printed dresses and paired them with colourful headpieces by David Dunkley, the official milliner for the Queen’s Plate. Consider us your virtual race day stylists.

Check out the gallery below for 25 fancy frocks and fascinators, and tell us what you’ll be sporting this Sunday, July 6 via Twitter at @WoodbineRacing and @backseatstylers using the hashtag #QP14.

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Queen’s Plate Race Day Style Guide: Head-To-Toe White Edition

Dita Von Teese at Melbourne Cup 2013

This week we’re all about Queen’s Plate dressing here on the blog, and if yesterday’s guide to wearing scarlet red on race day didn’t grab you, we’ve got head-to-toe white outfit inspiration today.

With the one and only Dita Von Teese at Melbourne Cup, Olivia Munn at the Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic and Laura Bell Bundy at the Kentucky Derby as reference, we’ve pulled together 20 all white dresses and fascinators for you to choose from for a guaranteed, ultra-chic Queen’s Plate ensemble.

So, will you be going all white for #QP14 this Sunday, July 6? Limited tickets are still available, so head on over to if you haven’t already snagged yours.

Olivia Munn at Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic 2014

Laura Bell Bundy at Kentucky Derby 2014

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Queen’s Plate Race Day Style Guide: Red Hot Edition

Jennifer Hawkins at Melbourne Cup 2013

With tickets already in hand for Woodbine Racetrack’s Queen’s Plate this Sunday, July 6 and excitement and anticipation at very high levels, all that remains is the task of finalizing our race day outfits. The #QP14 red carpet will be the place to see and be seen this weekend, and the perfect dress and hat pairing is a definite must.

For racing style inspiration, we looked to the fashions at the Kentucky Derby and Australia’s Melbourne Cup. And who did we spy? Singer Miranda Lambert, ubiquitous model Kate Upton, and Miss Universe 2004 Jennifer Hawkins – all in fiery red ensembles. They say three’s a trend, so we’ve rounded up 20 red hot frocks and fascinators – by Queen’s Plate official milliner David Dunkley, obviously- to help you get the look.

Will you be sporting an eye-catching scarlet getup this Sunday? Find out more details on all the Queen’s Plate festivities over at

Miranda Lambert at Kentucky Derby 2014

Kate Upton at Melbourne Cup 2013

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Spotted from the Backseat: Mad Hot Ballet 2014 Edition

On June 11, The National Ballet of Canada hosted its annual fundraising gala Mad Hot Ballet: Spellbound at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. The fairy tale-inspired soirée featured awe-inspiring gala performances, a lively cocktail reception, and a dinner on the Four Seasons stage. Co-chaired by Vanessa and Mark Mulroney, the event raised over $1 million in support of The National Ballet of Canada.

Ballet dancers and ballet enthusiasts, it turns out, are one very stylish set. From Stacey McKenzie‘s jaw-droppingly gorgeous VAWK gown to Brittney Kuczynski‘s ridiculously fierce Mikael Kale dress, not only did partygoers attend in their Thursday best, but they also showed Canadian designers much love on the red carpet. Check out the gallery below for 22 style snaps from Mad Hot Ballet 2014 – you may even spot a mermaid dress, literally.

Sylvia Mantella

Sonia Rodriguez

Brittney Kuczynski

FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra and best dressed contest winners

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Spotted from the Backseat: Power Ball 2014 Edition

Renata Kaveh

On June 5, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto threw its annual fundraising bash, Power Ball: Old / New World, one of the year’s most anticipated art parties and definitely one of our favourite events on the city’s social calendar. Year after year, The Power Plant serves up an delightful mash-up of themed art installations, equally creative edible treats, and party-perfect beats. In turn, guests always respond with their most inspired art party getups, and this year was no exception.

From fashion photographer Renata Kaveh‘s jaw-droppingly gorgeous bronze gown (and Angelina Jolie-esque pose, natch) to Veronica Chail‘s ladylike, pearl-embellished frock by Toronto-based line NARCES, partygoers definitely brought their sartorial A games. Check out the gallery below for style snaps from Power Ball 2014, including writer Anya Georgijevic‘s envy-inducing ‘do, stylist Amarsana Gendunova‘s DIY lightbulb earrings and Biko Beauttah‘s pink and red fashion extravaganza.

Veronica Chail

Anya Georgijevic

Biko Beauttah

Amarsana Gendunova

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