T and I started The Backseat Stylers back in 2009, but it was really in 2010 that things picked up on this little here site. There were so many exciting firsts and fun moments that I decided to round up my most coveted blog memories from the past year. I love year-end Top 10 lists, so I had a lot of fun putting together The Backseat Stylers’ 2010 edition. Let’s begin!
10. The Backseat Stylers shop like there’s no 2011
I’m a shopaholic. I could make a whole Top 10 list of wardrobe additions this year, but I won’t. Instead, I’ll include them all as one massive #10 entry on this listing. Where to begin? Let’s see…well, I cheated on Karl and Chanel and bought myself my first Balenciaga bag – an anthracite (bluey-grey) Work with giant gold hardware. I strategically waited over half a year for my dream Alexander McQueen Fall 2010 winged booties (pictured) to go on sale before finally snagging them at 50% off from Net-a-porter. I ordered the extremely limited Valentino for Gap ruffled bolero I so coveted from Colette Paris, on the other side of the pond. And I discovered and fell madly in love with Toodlebunny. The shopping gods certainly looked favourably upon me this year!
Read on for the rest of our top 10 moments of 2010…
9. The Backseat Stylers fly high with Rudsak
When T and I were invited to the fitting sessions for Canadian personalities who would be sitting front row at the Rudsak Fall 2010 show at Toronto Fashion Week, we jumped at such a unique opportunity. On the day of the show, we spent the morning snapping away as Rudsak designer Evik Asatoorian dressed Rick Campanelli and his wife Angie Smith, both of ET Canada, Aliya-Jasmine Sovani of MTV Canada, singer Ivana Santilli and singer Keshia Chanté in leather jackets, fur trapper hats and aviator caps. That evening, we attended the aviator-themed show and chatted with Asatoorian backstage. The whole experience put Rudsak on the map for us and we’ve been fans ever since!
8. The Backseat Stylers get charitable
The fashion set is a charitable bunch, and we at The Backseat Stylers did our small parts in the campaigns to raise money for very worthy causes this year. Heart of Fashion, held at Bayview Village in honour of the BMO Financial Group Breast Diagnostic Centre, was an unexpectedly fun night filled with an abundance of food and drink, a fashion show, a performance by Jully Black and a supermodel encounter with Yasmin Warsame.
At Bloor Street Entertains, CANFAR‘s annual fundraising gala, Mr. Backseat Styler and I attended a black tie dinner hosted in the Swarovski boutique and the after party at the Royal Ontario Museum. It was a rare opportunity to get really dolled up, but more importantly it was an eye-opener for us in terms of the progress that’s been made with AIDS research and all the work still to be done.
7. The Backseat Stylers conquer Lanvin x H&M
In November, H&M finally released a designer collaboration collection I found worthy of the frenzy that ensued on launch day. My co-conspirator that day J and I joined the line-up at an ungodly hour the night before the launch and waited in the bitter cold for longer than we probably care to admit. The actual shopping was part strategy, part utter madness. All our efforts were rewarded in the end though, because we managed to nab (almost) every piece that was on our joint wish list…and we had hella fun doing it! Now all we have to do is wear our spoils of war.
6. The Backseat Stylers meet Shane West
2010 was the year of celebrity encounters for us at The Backseat Stylers. We met Tommy Ton, got Jeanne Beker’s autograph and snapped Josh Hartnett’s photo at TIFF, but our finest moment was chatting up Shane West at Toronto Fashion Week. I’m a huge fan of his new show Nikita, so it was a complete fangirl moment for me!
5. The Backseat Stylers go backstage at Greta Constantine
In March, we attended and got pre-show backstage access to the Fall 2010 show for Greta Constantine and Ezra Constantine. It was our first time backstage at a fashion show and we were justifiably awed by the whole scene of designers, models, make-up artists, stylists and racks of gorgeous wool and jersey dresses. The show itself, held in the Audi showroom in downtown Toronto, was fierce as all hell. Owning a Greta Constantine piece is on my wish list for 2011.
4. The Backseat Stylers party with Greta Constantine & DSquared2
Attending Greta Constantine’s Fall 2010 show blew my mind, so when I missed the Spring 2011 show, which was opened and closed by Coco Rocha no less, I was disappointed to say the least. All was made up for though when we were invited to a guerilla fashion party thrown by Greta Constantine, where we met Dean Caten of DSquared2 and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine.
Complete fangirl moments once again, and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. The Greta boys sure know how to throw a party!
3. The Backseat Stylers get VAWK’ed
When it comes to Canadian designers, there’s one whose career I’ve enjoyed following over the past few years over all others, and that’s Sunny Fong of VAWK. Not only have I been completely enamoured with Sunny’s collections since his post-Project Runway Canada return to the Toronto Fashion Week runway, but I also feel the same way about him and his VAWK partner Ben Barry. For both the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011shows they so graciously welcomed me backstage to witness the pre-show magic and were more than happy to chat with me post-show. This alone would have been enough to make my Top 10 list, but they did me one better. At the end of the year, they held a sample sale including runway pieces from those very shows, and allowed me to walk away from the sale with 7 amazing pieces. These VAWK additions to my wardrobe trumped everything in #10 on this list…that’s how fierce they are!
2. The Backseat Stylers survive the British Invasion
When it came to parties this year, there were some rather epic ones throughout the year in Toronto, some that we attended and some that we didn’t. Regardless, the overwhelming verdict, as declared by Sarah Nicole Prickett in Eye Weekly, was that The Room at the Bay‘s one-year anniversary celebration in October was the most epic of all. The 2-day British Invasion event included the God Save the Queen gala where we chatted with designers Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Erdem Moralioglu and Marios Schwab, a panel discussion including 7 British designers and the EIC of Lula Magazine, and a day of designer trunk shows. The whole shindig was so off the hook we needed 3 blog posts to cover it all off. With the British Invasion event, the MOON launch party DJ’ed by Leigh Lezark, a visit to The Room by designer Thakoon Panichgul and cocktails with designer L’Wren Scott all in one year, we’re dying to see what the Bay has planned for 2011!
1. The Backseat Stylers go to China
With so many epic parties, fashion shows and shopping triumphs in 2010, you’d think it was difficult to pick the #1 spot. It wasn’t. In June, the younger Backseat Styler T and I travelled to China together for 2 weeks. We ate, shopped and trekked our way from Hong Kong to the Yangtze River to Guilin and back. We climbed rice terraces, ate local delicacies, rode bicycles through the terrifying Chinese traffic and saw the most scenic landscapes of our lives. We also spent hours upon hours in the Hong Kong shopping arcades, filling our suitcases with pieces featured here, here, here and here. The trip was epic from start to finish, which is why it was The Backseat Stylers’ highlight of the year.
That’s it – our top 10 moments of 2010! Thanks to all our readers who supported us through 2010 and all the designers, retailers, PR and fellow bloggers who made our year. We look forward to having our minds blown by the collections you design, the pieces you sell and the events and parties you throw in 2011!
Happy new year everyone!