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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YOU’RE INVITED: Shop Our Closet at the 2nd Annual #BloggerBazaarTO

Ladies and gents, it’s that time of year again: THE BLOGGER BAZAAR is back! Your favourite neighbourhood shopaholic fashion bloggers and industry insiders are purging their overflowing wardrobes at the chicest closet sale ever to hit Toronto, and you’re going to want to get in on the action. If you thought #BloggerBazaarTO was epic last year, we’ve got fresh new steals for you to snag and a swanky new location to do it at.

WHAT: From cheap and cheerful fast fashion offerings to high-end designer wares, brand-spanking new items with tags attached to preloved vintage pieces, be ready to shop the closets of 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, Jessica Chiu of Ever After Lacquer, and yours truly.

Did we mention the amazing gift bags (minimum $30 purchase, quantities limited), featuring some of our favourite brands and retailers? There’s that too. The epic swag bags will feature items from FLAREALDO ShoesDoveTRESemmeRoots CanadaeLUXEessence cosmeticsvitaminwaterForever 21Call It Spring and Le Chateau.

WHO: Open to all of our lovely readers!

WHERE: Soho House, 192 Adelaide Street West, Toronto

WHEN: Sunday, June 1, 2014, 12:00-4:00pm.

HOW: Cash only. Please bring a reusable tote for your purchases.

HASHTAG: #BloggerBazaarTO

Mark your calendars – it’s going to be a shopping extravaganza you won’t want to miss. See you there!


Canada Says ‘Yes’ To Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay at the Official Launch Party

Kimberley Newport-Mimran, Jessica Mulroney and Suzanne Cohon

Rejoice, Canadian brides-to-be: Kleinfeld has officially opened its swanky doors at Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship in Toronto. The city’s social set descended upon the luxurious, 20,000 square foot bridal salon last week to toast the launch, and was swept off their feet by the stunning space and gorgeous selection of gowns, jewelry, and footwear. The shoes alone gave us heart palpitations; surely we don’t need an upcoming wedding to justify a white shoe purchase?

“Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay is the new standard in bridal retail in Canada. We’ve raised the bar by delivering unprecedented access to world-class designer gowns, the highest standard of service excellence, all in an absolutely stunning environment,” says Liz Rodbell, President of HBC Department Store Group.“

Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay has over 600 gowns from over 50 brands on offer, including collections from established Canadian bridal designers Ines Di Santo and Romona Keveza and Canadian bridal market newcomers David Dixon, Greta Constantine and Christopher Paunil. The impressive designer listing also features the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, J. Mendel, Naeem Khan, Reem Acra, and Zuhair Murad.

“This is a thrilling day for our team at Kleinfeld,” says Ronald Rothstein, Co-Owner of Kleinfeld Bridal. “We are the largest luxury bridal retailer in the world and our partnership with Hudson’s Bay allows us to bring the most unique shopping experience for Canadian brides and their families, and provides them with the finest selection of exclusive designer wedding gowns anywhere.”

Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay is currently accepting appointments over at One of us is already married and the other isn’t planning nuptials anytime soon, so we’ll have to live vicariously through your Kleinfeld experiences. In the meantime, take a gander at the gallery below for snaps from the launch party.

Liz Rodbell, President, Hudson’s Bay Company and Mara Rothstein, Co-CEO, Kleinfeld

Shay Lowe

Vanessa Mulroney, Amoryn Engel and Jane Hanrahan

Greta Constantine for Kleinfeld design

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AliceAzur by Miriam Baker Wins Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels 2014 Competition

On June 5, Toronto Fashion Incubator held its annual TFI New Labels competition, with four up and coming labels showcasing their collections in front of a who’s who of the Canadian fashion industry. Chaired by philanthropist Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a David Dixon-clad Jeanne Beker, the evening featured a cocktail reception and runway show that culminated in the naming of AliceAzur by Miriam Baker as Most Promising New Label.

Miriam Baker took the honour over fellow finalists Christopher Paunil DesignsLaura Siegel and Nomad of the Sun by Ashley Boutcher. “All of our finalists have promising futures and each year we are amazed by the caliber of the showcased collections,” said Susan Langdon, Executive Director of TFI.

It was a tough decision we bet, and we don’t envy the esteemed panel of judges, which included TNT owner Arie Assaraf, designer David DixonFLARE Fashion Director Tiyana Grulovic and Suzanne Rogers, for having to make it.

“I am overwhelmed with this acknowledgement and would not have pushed myself this far if it wasn’t for the support of TFI and the panel of judges,” said Baker. ”I have learned through this process and am excited to develop a complete size range and start production.” Baker was awarded a $25,000 cash prize generously donated by Suzanne Rogers, an editorial spread in FLARE Magazine, and production of a lookbook for her collection by Covergirl and Pantene.

We’re loving the chic, feminine aesthetic of AliceAzur, and can’t wait to see Miriam Baker take her label to the next level with this big TFI New Labels win now under her belt. In the meantime, take a gander at the gallery below for images of the runway show and, of course, of guests’ glam (and, in many cases, Canadian-designed!) gala style.

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