The Backseat Stylers’ Year in Review – 2011 Edition!

I was asked recently, over Twitter, to sum up 2011 in one word. I replied, “Life-changing. Does that count as one word?” It did, but let’s face it, one word or even 140 characters, just isn’t enough to describe the 365 days over which life, as we at The Backseat Stylers knew it, changed forever. So we thought we’d do better than that. A picture, as the saying goes, is worth a 1,000 words; here are 10 that represent some of the most incredible moments of our 2011.

In  March, The Backseat Stylers got an invite from Paris to attend the Roger Vivier Fall/Winter 2011 presentation and meet Creative Director Bruno Frisoni and muse Inès de la Fressange. We couldn’t make it and were, of course, heartbroken. But it’s the invite that counts, and for that we were delighted.

Later that month, we signed on with Global TV to contribute to their website’s Toronto Fashion Week coverage. Not only did this largely make up for not being able to attend Paris Fashion Week, but it also really got the ball rolling here at The Backseat Stylers.

Here’s proof: a photo of me with the one and only Anna Dello Russo, Editor-at-Large for Vogue Nippon, at The Room at the Bay’s ‘When Tommy Met Anna’ shindig in April. Ask me a year ago if I thought I’d ever have the opportunity to chat with Ms. Dello Russo and I would’ve laughed at (and with) you. And yet there we are, looking all chummy.

The starstruck moments didn’t end there, thanks once again to The Room. This time, it was the boys from Proenza Schouler. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I left that particular party with more than a little crush on Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough. Talented and charming – could you blame me, really?

Unbelievably, the celebrity encounters continued. In August, on the very last day of the McQueen exhibit, T and I flew out to New York and lined up for almost 5 hours outside The Met to see Savage Beauty. At the end of our visit was an unexpected surprise even we couldn’t have dreamed up: an autograph session with Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue. She even mistook me for someone who works in fashion – the stuff of dreams, I tell you!

Speaking of dreams coming true, mere days before our encounter with Ms. Wintour, the most epic email we’ve received since we signed up for our Hotmail accounts way back when landed in our inbox. It was from Sarah Casselman, Senior Fashion News Editor at FASHION Magazine, and she wanted to write a feature on us. I wish I had a video of our reactions to this news, but suffice to say we were over the moon. And still are, really. Outfitted in VAWK in our very own one-page feature in FASHION‘s November 2011 issue? I have no words, even now.

And then? More press. This time in Flare Magazine‘s ‘Wear Canada’ round-up of 22 bloggers from across the country, sporting their most prized Canadian designs. My Smythe tartan equestrian jacket and Pink Tartan trompe l’oeil blouse pairing resulted in one of my favourite ensembles of the year. It was an honour to be included the feature.

Where, pray tell, do you go from there? To Breakfast at Tiffany, apparently. On one sunny October morning, I found myself doing precisely that: chatting about handbags with Tiffany Leather designers Richard Lambertson and John Truex over lobster scrambled eggs and coffee at Tiffany & Co.’s Toronto flagship.

Continuing on with the theme of invites I never thought would land in my lap, a few days after my date at Tiffany, I found myself in yet another rather unexpected locale: model Jessica Stam‘s hotel room. I’d been invited by IMG to live tweet the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Start Up finale during Toronto Fashion Week on their behalf. Of course, my very first task as official tweeter was to cover guest judge Stam’s preparations for the show. Tough gig, right?

Finally, just when I thought the year was winding down and all its surprises already revealed, one last one arrived in the form of a tweet: a photo of a gorgeous statement necklace by TOODLEBUNNY that was inspired by yours truly. Dubbed the ‘Lady S’ by designer Trudy Winans, the necklace came home with me when we eventually met at the One of Kind Christmas Show & Sale in November, and is now one of the most beloved pieces in my jewelry box.

From an invite to a Paris Fashion Week presentation to kick off the year to a necklace named after to me to close it out, and all the fashion shows, charity galas and industry events that happened in between, 2011 turned out to be The Backseat Stylers’ most epic to date. Heartfelt thanks go out to all the readers, designers, retailers, PR companies and plain ol’ supporters who helped make our last year everything that it was!

It’s going to be tough to top all of this in 2012, but that’s a challenge we can’t wait to take on. We look forward to another incredible year, and hope you’ll come along with us for the ride!

xx, S

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