On November 6, 2010, Bayview Village and North York General Hospital jointly held their 10th annual Heart of Fashion fundraising event in support of the BMO Financial Group Breast Diagnostic Centre. Promised a fabulous evening of food, fashion and entertainment, Mr. Backseat Styler and I head out in our Saturday best to partake in all of the above – all in the name of charity, of course. One Jully Black live performance, one supermodel encounter and just a few too many chocolate desserts and pink cocktails later, we left the party vowing to come back next year and every year thereafter – this is one can’t-miss event!
It was our first visit to Bayview Village Shopping Centre in Toronto since its recent renovations and we were immediately impressed by its grand new lobby. Standing directly below 5 stunning Swarovski crystal chandeliers with boutiques carrying only the chicest wares surrounding me, I was reminded of the lobbies of 5-star hotels I’ve visited in Vegas.
From our standpoint under the chandeliers, Mr. Backseat Styler and I could see partygoers eating, drinking and shopping to their hearts’ content in all directions. Figuring out where to start was somewhat of a challenge when decadent desserts, chic party dresses and tempting mystery gift bags were all calling to us. Being as much a foodie as I am a shopaholic, I was in heaven. We slowly but purposefully made our way around the shopping centre, sampling butternut squash risotto, sushi and red velvet cupcakes at food stations manned by Pusateri’s and checking out the sales at some of my favourite Bayview Village boutiques along the way.
We also made sure to stop and admire the exclusive fashion sketches created by VAWK by Sunny Fong, Wayne Clark, Brandon R. Dwyer, Jessica Biffi, NADA and other Canadian designers/labels for the silent auction. As someone who can barely draw a stick person, I find fashion sketches utterly fascinating. Seeing the VAWK sketches was particularly a highlight since I’d had the privilege of seeing those very designs come to life on the runway just a few weeks before.
While I sadly didn’t have the pleasure of taking one of the sketches home with me, I did make sure to snag a mystery bag or two. For a mere $50, I had the opportunity to choose any mystery bag of my liking (no peeking inside, of course), which promised the chance to purchase anything from a $750 “Luxury Shoe Experience” at Ron White to $500 gift cards from Brian Bailey and Andy Thê-Anh to a fabulous trip! To our slight disappointment, Mr. Backseat Styler and I both managed to choose mystery bags containing no special prizes, but they were still filled to the brim with such delightful items as Angus Glen golf passes, HMV gift cards, Miller Tavern brunch passes and a free 30-day subscription to the National Post. The mystery bags were a win-win situation; the money went to a very worthy cause and we got more than our money’s worth in goodies!
Stuffed, slightly buzzed and very happy, we were then ushered along with the rest of the crowd to the runway for the fashion show portion of the evening. From start to finish, my camera didn’t stop clicking – each look was chicer than the last. From Canada Goose parkas to Wayne Clark gowns, the fashion show had it all, including an incredibly beautiful Yasmin Warsame, who closed the show. Warsame is a Somali-Canadian model who served as the honourary fashion show chair and is a judge on Canada’s Next Top Model.
After the fashion show, Warsame joined the audience as Jully Black, in a simple but gorgeous NADA dress, took the stage. Never having had the pleasure of hearing her live before, I was blown away by Jully Black’s performance. To say that she can sing is a gross understatement of her talent. Her voice is mesmerizing.
After the mini-concert, the food, drink and deals continued to flow. Mr. Backseat Styler and I found Yasmin Warsame mingling among the guests and had the opportunity to chat with her and snap a photo together. She is absolutely stunning in person and it was a great way to end the evening!
As for what I wore to this evening of complete indulgence of all my senses? I decided a tux was in order.
The dress code was cocktail chic with a splash of pink. Having a wardrobe lacking in anything fuschia, however, my outfit was sadly a complete fail in the pink department. To make up for the inadequacies in my own ensemble, I snapped some photos of the pink foot candy on my fellow partygoers. The patent opened-toe pumps are Alexander McQueen – aren’t they fabulous?
If it’s not yet apparent from the 40 odd photos I’ve included in the post and my exhilarating recounting of the evening, Mr. Backseat Styler and I had a blast at Heart of Fashion and felt honoured to take part in the fundraising event for such a worthy cause. Unfortunately, we have to wait a whole year till it’s time for the next one. On the upside, however, we don’t have to wait at all to shop Bayview Village again - regular visits are definitely in order!
P.S. Thanks to the lovely ladies at Faulhaber PR for being our hosts for the evening!