It’s taken a full week, but we’re finally recovered from the madness that was TIFF 2013. We were physically exhausted; it wasn’t from all-night parties or lengthy celeb-stalking sessions though, but rather from fulfilling our duties as swag mule, hitting up all the best celebrity gifting lounges the Festival had to offer so we could bring you this recap. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it, right? #fashionbloggerproblems
In its 4th year, Essentials Lounge set up shop at the Templar Hotel for a one-day-only swag extravaganza reserved for media only; not a single celeb was on the exclusive invite list. So what did Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts miss out on? A Survival Kit and a Recovery Kit, both filled to the brim with must-haves to get hustling media through TIFF without feeling or looking completely like death by the end.
Highlights included Aveda goods, Calvin Klein Underwear, Elizabeth Grant miracle-working (literally) skincare products, an HP Slate 7 tablet (!!!) and a Nike+ Fuelband. Winks Eyelash Boutique was even on hand to bestow eyelash extensions on attendees, and we’re expecting a case of vitaminwater to land on our doorstep any day now. Sounding a lot like Christmas? It sure was, thanks to Esther Garnick PR.
After 8 years in the swag-gifting business, it’s clear that the folks at NKPR know what they’re doing. Year after year, IT Lounge is a must-visit for celebrities and everyone else lucky enough to get on the guest list, and the 2013 edition was no different. From Cold Stone Creamery ice cream and DAVIDsTEA to Roots Canada classic sweatsuits and leather accessories, the lounge made sure its guests were both well-fed and well-dressed.
Avon and Tweezerman were also on hand providing make-up and brow touch-ups, prepping attendees for their portrait session in the W Magazine studio manned by photographer Caitlin Cronenberg. Over the course of TIFF, Cronenberg snapped Colin Firth, Mila Kunis, Ralph Fiennes, Olivia Wilde…oh, and S from The Backseat Stylers.
Presented by Kelly Claman Company and Stylist Box, The Suite celebrity style lounge had the job of dressing some of the boldest face names that walked the TIFF red carpets this year. Armed with expertly curated, to-die-for designs by Toronto’s own Lucian Matis, London-based Andrew Majtenyi and more, the pros behind The Suite entered the TIFF lounge game with a bang in its first year.
Not only did guests leave The Suite red carpet-ready, they also took home some very stylish swag from the likes of Kara Ross, Kova & T, Whitney Eve, and Wren. Our hands-down favourite? A limited edition printed tee by The Stylist Box, which declared in red: “Don’t you know who (I think) I am?”
MADE IN CANADA LOUNGE
George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight presented its 5th annual Made In Canada Lounge this year, showcasing an impressive line-up of over 75 homegrown brands. If ever there was any doubt about the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of our fellow Canadians, every last inch of GST’s lounge quashed it, especially with the many products straight from CBC’s Dragons’ Den.
From Canada Goose jackets, Jenny Bird jewelry, and Ron White shoes on the fashion front to AWAKE Chocolate (with a whole cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine in a single bar!), Belly Ice Cream (Thai Watermelon Sorbetto, anyone?) and Bobbette & Belle caramel corn for the foodies, the Made In Canada Lounge was a celebration of all that our fair nation has to offer, and we applaud Mr. Strombo and Best PR for showing us off to Hollywood.
For its 9th year at the Toronto International Film Festival, Tastemakers Lounge took on a “need it now” theme, carefully curating a selection of TIFF survival essentials. An incredibly cute, limited edition Jessica Jensen x VISA printed tote bag was filled with all sorts of fun goodies, including t-shirts from The Real Collective, AWAKE Chocolate, hand cream by Cake Beauty, O.N.E. Coconut Water, bags of popchips in Katy Perry’s own ‘katy’s kettle corn’ flavour, and more.
Thank you, rock-it promo, for feeding our existing addiction to popchips and fueling our latest obsession with AWAKE Chocolate!
SWAROVSKI FASHION SUITE
When it comes to TIFF lounges, none sparkle brighter than the Swarovski Fashion Suite. Filled to the hilt with stunning crystal designs, this year’s edition at the Trump Hotel featured Swarovski’s latest, most gorgeous collections including Secret Treasures Catwalk (its only Canadian stop), Red Carpet, Nirvana (including that jaw-dropping Nirvana sculpture!), and Romeo and Juliet (including the very ball gown donned by Juliet in the film).
It’s enough bling in one room to make your head spin with delight.
And that’s a wrap for our 2013 TIFF coverage! Not quite ready to move on? Check out our round-up of the 10 best TIFF 2013 red carpet looks to hang on just a little bit longer.
Image Credits: The Stylist Box photos by Becca Lemire; GST Made in Canada Lounge photos courtesy of Best PR; Swarovski Fashion Suite photos by Teddy Chau; All others by The Backseat Stylers