When the invite came for last week’s God Save the Queen: The Next British Invasion gala at The Room at the Bay (thanks to the Bay PR girls!), I’m pretty sure I squealed. And jumped up and down. And did a little dance. And then apologized to my fellow co-workers for disturbing our finance-related meeting. OK, I made most of that up, but I did immediately begin the party preparations in my head: trying out my British accent, planning my outfit, practicing my best curtsey for the Queen (scratch that – she wasn’t invited)…all very important stuff.
Fast forward to the gala itself and I’m in heaven…or a version of it anyways where Mark Fast is a god and angels-slash-male-models hand out Beefeater 24 gin and tonics and chocolate truffles. I’m partying with in the same room as Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Giles Deacon, Mark Fast, Erdem Moralioglu, Jonathan Saunders, Marios Schwab, Nicholas Kirkwood, Tom Binns and Mary Katrantzou – some of the biggest names in British fashion right now. The rest of the partygoers are all Canadian fashion household names: Lisa Tant – check; the boys from Greta Constantine – check; Tommy Ton – check…and the list goes on.
The folks at the Bay have really outdone themselves this time – the ingredients for an epic evening are all there. And so many epic moments there are…
Epic Moment #1: A personal introduction to Charlotte Olympia Dellal, creative director of the Charlotte Olympia shoe and accessories line, by her cousin-slash-my-new-best-friend E, who happens to be the husband of my partner-in-crime of late, M (thank you both!). Did you follow that? Small world, indeed. Charlotte is stunning and I feel like a bum next to her. I tell her so, and she responds: “No, I was just about to say that I really like your dress!” (or something to that effect). She made my day YEAR – I mentally file that moment under “Best Compliments Ever”.
Epic Moment #2: Nelia and I manage to swing a photo op (thanks to her friend Jo!) with Erdem, who I instantly adore. I’d already fallen in love with his designs thanks to countless window-shopping hours clocked at The Room, but Erdem in person is just so charming. And how perfect are his glasses? A Canadian now based in the UK, meeting Erdem inspires a moment of patriotic pride in me.
Epic Moment #3: M, who turns out to be the best wingwoman ever, introduces me to Marios Schwab, creative director of his own eponymous line as well as Halston. He’s hilarious…love the British sense of humour! I ask about his impression of Canadians so far and it seems we’ve fulfilled our stereotype as being super duper nice. He confesses his weekend plans: a short jaunt to Niagara Falls. Who says designers can’t be tourists?
Epic Moment #4: A meeting of the blogger minds. It’s always a good time catching up with Nelia. Her leather fringe dress is so fierce (I’ve been watching too much ANTM) and her Miu Miu pumps are TDF (photo coming in a future post!). I meet Kimberly for the first time and instantly miss my fringe. Must remember to ask her how she manages to keep it looking so perfect. Kimberly was just featured in NOW Magazine. How cool is that?!
Epic Moment #5: The Room is one of my Top 10 favourite places, ranked somewhere between my bed and Waikiki Beach. Life has been hectic lately, so I hadn’t had the chance to check out the Fall 2010 offerings until that night. I add sooo many ridiculously beautiful pieces to my wishlist that I probably will never be able to get my hands on due to certain pocketbook constraints (read: insufficient funds). Hmmm…that sounds more sad than epic, but seeing these runway pieces up close and personal is so awe-inspiring. Here are some highlights:
As for what I wore? It was a tad intimidating getting dressed for a shindig held in a room full of Erdem dresses and Charlotte Olympia shoes. Owning nothing appropriate for the occasion by any of the featured designers, I came up with this D&G dress/Chanel bag/Christian Louboutin shoes ensemble (I know, I couldn’t even come up with anything British…*sigh*).
British designs may be scarce in my closet right now, but that’s certainly going to change if what I saw that evening is any indication of what’s to come from the other side of the pond. What’s also clear is that it’s not just the British who are invading…Bonnie Brooks (President & CEO of the Bay), Nicholas Mellamphy (The Room’s Creative Director) and the rest of the Bay team are coming after me and my wallet too. And I kinda like it.