The Room at the Bay announced recently that they would be hosting “When Tommy Met Anna”, an exhibit of photographs of Vogue Nippon Editor-at-Large and street style heroine Anna Dello Russo by Toronto-based, world-renowned street style photographer Tommy Ton. When the news first broke, the first question on mine and most other lips in the city was, “Does that mean ADR is coming to Toronto?!” When confirmation came via a tweet from The Hudson’s Bay Company that, indeed, the inimitable Dello Russo would be gracing our city with her perennially overdressed presence, the excitement in the Toronto fashion community’s little corner of the Twitterverse was palpable. Not only was ADR coming to town, but she was also bringing with her a fabulous excuse for The Room at the Bay to break out the fancy schmancy hors d’oeuvres and bottles of champagne again. In the year and a half since The Room was relaunched, it’s garnered quite the reputation for throwing some of the best industry shindigs around (see here, here and here for the evidence).
Of course, delicious mini burgers and open-bar aside, the evening was about Anna Dello Russo and Tommy Ton, and boy was it ever. True to what we’ve come to expect of Dello Russo and her multiple outfit changes during each day of Fashion Month, the guest of honour kicked off the evening in a lovely pink bandage print Giles Deacon dress and matching Brian Atwood pumps, and then slipped away briefly at one point to don a new ensemble, returning in the standout yellow and blue lampshade dress from Mary Katrantzou’s Spring 2011 runway show. Not to be outdone, Ton kept up with a mid-party outfit swap of his own. This man, who brings us images of the most fabulous footwear from the streets of the world’s fashion capitals, has serious shoe game himself.
Toronto’s fashion set also did not disappoint, showing up at The Room’s invite-only soiree in amped up getups clearly inspired by ADR’s own outrageous looks over the past few years. There was colour, bling, and a sense of sartorial adventure in the air. The Room looked its best too, with over-sized street style snaps of Dello Russo by Ton, new Spring 2011 designer arrivals and inspired visual displays galore. The Bay demonstrated once again that they know how to throw a party, which was abundantly clear when, as the evening drew to a close, I spotted the guests of honour grooving with guests on the makeshift dance floor - Dello Russo in the DJ booth and Ton posing with the most glammed out transvestite I’ve ever laid eyes on. In a word? Epic.
Contrary to popular belief, I did not spend weeks planning my outfit for this event, but like everyone else in attendance at the reception at The Room last Wednesday, April 20th, I did give it some serious thought (don’t lie - you did too!). What does one wear to meet Anna Dello Russo - fashion icon to many, lover of fruit-themed headpieces and owner of 4,000 pairs of shoes? There was some talk of wearing jeans, but I shot that idea down immediately after the thought entered my brain. I may never have the opportunity to meet Ms. Anna again, so my best grocery shopping or toddler play date outfit was just not going to do.
Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes, VAWK’s Ben Barry, VAWK intern Tammy Chan (in VAWK Fall 2011), VAWK’s Sunny Fong and me
I searched the depths of my closet and assembled together an Erin Fetherston dress + Alexander McQueen booties + Chanel bag + FALLON cuff + YSL ring ensemble. No fascinators for me. I arrived at the party feeling pretty snazzy until VAWK‘s Creative Director Sunny Fong leaned over and said to me, “You should have told me you were coming. I would’ve dressed you!” My response: “Are you serious?!” A part of me died, in that moment, at the thought of such a devastating missed opportunity. The evening was epic, for sure, but throw VAWK into the mix and it would have been…well, I can’t even imagine. *sigh*
I had the pleasure of meeting Rui Amaral, the fashion curator who first conceived of the idea of an exhibit celebrating the photographer and muse relationship between Anna Dello Russo and Tommy Ton, during the autograph session the following day. We chatted about the reception and the fantastic display of sartorial creativity by Toronto the night before, and he confessed that he hoped the exhibit would encourage Torontonians to continue to be more adventurous and to have more fun with fashion even once Anna’s returned to Milan. Looking back at my favourite snaps from the party – of a beautifully-embellished Lucian Matis dress, to-die-for Maryam Keyhani feather necklaces and Valentino studded pumps coveted worldwide – I wholeheartedly agree. Henceforth, I’ll be approaching my wardrobe each day like I’m going to meet Anna Dello Russo for the very first time, all over again!
Thank goodness even Anna wears Abercrombie sweats once in a while…though not on this night!
Anna Dello Russo and Tommy Ton with the Beckerman clan
Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, me and Kimberly Lyn
Anita Clarke of I want – I got, dancing up a storm
Faith Orfus of RAC Boutique and Spiro Mandylor of It’s All Style To Me
ADR admiring my blue leopard-print nails; made my day! Thank you to Chris for capturing this moment without me even knowing – what a lovely surprise.
P.S. Keep an eye out for our upcoming post featuring photos of the “When Tommy Met Anna” exhibit, which will be open at The Room until Friday, April 29, 2011.
Image Credits: Photos #1 & #4 by Nelia Belkova; Photo #12 by Marc Piercey; Photo #17 by Spiro Mandylor; Photo #24 by Naomi Blackman of HBC; Photo #27 by Christine Leung; All other photos property of The Backseat Stylers