Spotted from the Backseat: DX Intersection 2012 Edition

Jenna Naumovich

On November 16, the Design Exchange held the inaugural DX INTERSECTION, a fundraising party in support of the Toronto design museum’s youth education and design preservation initiatives. Hundreds of attendees were treated to everything from a silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind, customized IKEA items to a Food Dudes food truck serving breakfast (genius!), and much, much more. Every corner of the museum offered something new to see, do, eat. A contender for art party of the year? Most definitely.

Toronto’s fashion set, including blogger Anita Clarke, fashion director Liz Cabral (in that Margiela x H&M trompe l’oeil bra top!) and accessories designer Jenny Bird, showed up in full force to support the DX and have a little design fun. They had the opportunity to meet author and artist Douglas Coupland, winner of the DX’s very first Gamechanger award, DIY their very own fascinators at the FLARE x Milk Glass Co. booth (how fun is that?!), and stuff their faces at the late night food market (oh wait, that was me).

I sadly didn’t get a chance to check out all that the evening had to offer (in hindsight, maybe I should have spent less time munching on those to-die-for risotto balls), but I’ve certainly learned my lesson. Next year, I’m going to be the first in the door and the last one out. DX INTERSECTION just officially became one of my favourite fundraising parties of the year, and I don’t want to miss a second of the next one.

Kevin O’Neill and Liz Cabral

Anita Clarke

Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine

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Spotted from the Backseat: The Frocktail Party 2012 Edition

On November 14, over 600 guests attended Frocktail Party 2012 in Toronto in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Many of the city’s most fashionable flocked to the Arcadian Loft for an evening of silent auctions featuring designer dresses and accessories generously donated by celebrities like socialite Suzanne Rogers and supermodel Monika Schnarre, talented Canadian designers including Greta Constantine, ela, and Jeremy Laing, and retailers like eLUXE and The Bay.

This 4th annual event achieved a record-breaking auction this year, raising $30,000 for a total of over $55,000 for the evening. As a shopaholic who quite enjoys the thrill of a good silent auction, I quite happily contributed to that total. At the end of the night, I returned home the victor of two battles, having successfully snagged a pair of Greta Constantine x ALDO Shoes ankle booties from the Fall 2011 runway for me and a one-year men’s spa membership to John Allan’s for the Mister. All in the name of charity, of course.

I did, however, leave an absolutely to-die-for tree-print jersey dress by Alexander McQueen behind, which I’m still in mourning over. Other incredible pieces up for auction included a Proenza Schouler clutch donated by INTERMIX, a Smythe jacket courtesy of eLUXE, and runway frocks by Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta and Mary Katrantzou, straight from the closet of Suzanne Rogers. She herself donned a lovely violet-hued number for the occasion, as did a stunning Ainsley Kerr, who wore a beautiful fringed gown. Socialite Jenna Naumovich also showed her support for the JDRF’s cause, arriving in a gorgeous Peter Pilotto runway dress.

With incredible frocks on Frocktail Party’s guests and enticing pieces up for auction, it’s a miracle I didn’t come out of the silent auction shenanigans with more damage to the pocketbook than I did. Come next year, though, I’ll be more than ready for the bidding wars for the latest from Ms. Rogers’ unbelievable wardrobe.

That McQueen tree-print dress (right) I really, really wanted to win

Suzanne Rogers

Jenna Naumovich

My spoils of war

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Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: American Music Awards 2012 Edition

Elisha Cuthbert

The 2012 American Music Awards were held last night in Los Angeles, and though I missed them I obviously caught up on the red carpet fashion this morning. It wasn’t the Oscars, that’s for sure, but there were a few pleasant surprises – five, to be exact.

Elisha Cuthbert, who I now have a soft spot for ever since she donned that incredible VAWK dress, stunned in a glamourous gold column gown by Georges ChakraKerry Washington was a ray of sunshine in yellow lace Stella McCartney, Stacy Keibler showed off her gams in a Collette Dinnigan embellished mini, and red carpet favourite Ginnifer Goodwin was pretty in pale pink Oscar de la Renta.

Rounding out the top five was rapper Nicki Minaj - yes, you read right! – who looked the best I’ve ever seen her, unhinged facial expressions aside. She cleaned up nice in a bright coloured Monique Lhuillier gown. How shocked must Monique have been to get that phone call?

Who were your best dressed at the 2012 AMA’s?

Kerry Washington

Ginnifer Goodwin

Nicki Minaj

Stacy Keibler

xx, S

Images via JustJared


Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2012 Edition

On October 18, the Canadian Opera Company held Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge, the 2012 edition of its annual fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, its training program for young opera professionals. Operanation 8 was a fabulous fusion of music and fashion, and this year’s event was no less so. Toronto’s social set flocked to the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts for an evening featuring performances by none other than Canadian songbird Nelly Furtado and the 2012 Juno winner for Group of the Year the Arkells.

Vibrant prints weren’t on the dress code, but it sure looked as though it was: Knot PR’s Amy Burstyn-Fritz donned a beautiful Erdem gown, FASHION Magazine‘s Paige Dzenis chose an eye-catching abstract-print frock for the occasion, and Monica Mei sported a gorgeous floral-print and sheer number of her own design. Black and white was a favourite among the chic guests as well, with Rac Boutique’s Faith Orfus balancing an uncharacteristically girly lace dress with Balenciaga boots, jewelry designer Jenny Bird stepping out in a frilly lace top and suspendered pants, and actress Gabrielle Miller looking downright stunning in a design by Lucian Matis.

Operanation 9 was both a feast for the eyes and the ears. How will the COC top it next year? I can’t wait to find out.

Knot PR’s Amy Burstyn-Fritz and Rac Boutique’s Faith Orfus

AIME designer Monica Mei

Jewelry designer Jenny Bird and guest

FASHION Magazine’s Paige Dzenis

Actress Gabrielle Miller

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Spotted from the Backseat: Canada’s Walk of Fame 2012 Inductee Ball Edition

On September 22, Canada’s Walk of Fame held its annual gala in honour of this year’s inductees. As Team Canada 1972, musician Randy Bachman, the late actor Phil Hartman, CFL star Russ Jackson, singer Sarah McLachlan and ballet dancer Sonia Rodriguez received their shiny new stars, yours truly diligently captured the evening’s most stylish.

From the inductees themselves, like the elegant Sonia Rodriguez in a blush-coloured gown and on the arm of husband Kurt Browning, to gala attendees, including actress Jill Hennessy in a LBD from Cynthia Rowley’s Resort 2013 collection and TV host Liza Fromer in a draped violet creation by Greta Constantine, the Canada’s Walk of Fame red carpet never looked so stylish.

2012 Canada’s Walk of Fame inductee Sonia Rodriguez

Television host Liza Fromer in Greta Constantine

Actress Jill Hennessy in Cynthia Rowley Resort 2013

Me in VAWK Resort 2012

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Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Much Music Video Awards 2012 Edition

Katy Perry in VAWK

Tonight’s Much Music Video Awards red carpet brought a few pleasant surprises in the form of black, black and more black. I shrieked aloud when I spotted Katy Perry in a stunning gown from VAWK‘s Resort 2012 collection, and then again when I recognized Nelly Furtado‘s to-die-for dress from Lucian MatisFall 2012 runway show. What a great night for Canadian fashion! Rounding out our best dressed list is Carly Rae Jepsen, who donned a sexy double-slit dress and Dannijo statement necklace.

Did you watch the MMVAs? Who else has “Call Me Maybe” stuck in their head for the 17th day in a row?

Nelly Furtado in Lucian Matis

Carly Rae Jepsen

xx, S

Images via Just Jared, Bell Media

Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Emma Stone in Martin Grant at MTV Movie Awards 2012

I can’t get enough of Emma Stone and her sartorially perfect self. The Amazing Spider-Man actress was the highlight of the MTV Movie Awards 2012 red carpet, donning a gorgeous peplum top and tulip skirt ensemble by Martin Grant and Brian Atwood pumps. She nailed the hair and make-up as well, easily winning Best Dressed of the evening by our measure.

Emma also took home the MTV Trailblazer Award last night, by the way, but that can’t be nearly as exciting as top red carpet honours from The Backseat Stylers. Right, Emma?

xx, S

Images via Just Jared

Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Cannes Film Festival 2012 Edition

Diane Kruger in Chanel Resort 2013

After 12 days of nonstop celebrity red carpet fashions, the 2012 edition of the Cannes Film Festival sadly came to an end yesterday. Because we’re obviously already in withdrawal, we thought we’d relive our favourite sartorial moments with – what else? – a best dressed list.

Leading the pack with a perfect run at Cannes this year was Diane Kruger, who wore three of our most memorable looks. She donned an ethereal mint green Giambattista Valli couture gown on opening night and continued to blow us away throughout the festival. Her Nina Ricci dress at the “Killing Them Softly” premiere was divine, while her Chanel frock at the amFAR Gala was quite possibly our favourite look of hers ever. Her hair, make-up and accessories were impeccable too.

Models Liya Kebede and Natasha Poly looked nothing short of fabulous in a sharp Roberto Cavalli suit and head-to-toe Gucci respectively. Actress Bérénice Bejo was a lovely surprise in a printed Giambattista Valli dress with Olympia Le-Tan book clutch in hand, while Paz Vega looked fierce in a feathered Stephane Rolland couture creation.

Vogue Nippon Editor-at-Large Anna Dello Russo stunned in white Alberta Ferretti, Chinese actress Yao Xingtong looked gorgeous in blue Elie Saab couture, and Kirsten Dunst was picture perfect in a to-die-for Dolce & Gabbana dress and Charlotte Olympia shoe pairing.

There you have it – our 10 best dressed at the 65th Festival de Cannes. Who made your list?

Liya Kebede in Roberto Cavalli

Natasha Poly in Gucci Fall 2012

Diane Kruger in custom Nina Ricci

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Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Billboard Music Awards 2012 Edition

Taylor Swift in Elie Saab 

The 2012 edition of the Billboard Music Awards was held last night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. I missed the show, but caught up on the red carpet fashions just so I could bring you this post and two firsts on this here blog: Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

Taylor stunned as the lady in red in Elie Saab Pre-Fall 2012, while Carrie looked positively lovely in an ethereal gown from Oscar de la Renta‘s Fall 2012 collection. Alicia Keys rounded out our short and sweet Billboards best dressed list with a demure Azzedine Alaia number that showed off her curves.

Did you catch the Billboard Awards? Who were your red carpet favourites?

Alicia Keys in Azzedine Alaia Couture

Carrie Underwood in Oscar de la Renta

xx, S

Images via Just Jared


Spotted from the Backseat: Children’s Aid Foundation Spark Gala 2012 Edition

FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra in MARTIN LIM

May 6, 2012 marked the second annual SPARK Gala, a fundraising event hosted by the Children’s Aid Foundation in support of children and youth living in the child welfare system. Held at The Carlu and co-hosted by Global Toronto anchors Anne Mroczkowski and Leslie Roberts, the Gala honoured five inspirational Canadian luminaries, including FASHION Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, actress Lisa Ray, rock musician Randy Bachman, figure skater Patrick Chan and singer Jackie Richardson.

The rousing performances, which followed an exquisite brunch created by celebrity chef Mark McEwan, certainly lived up to the Gala’s theme, “Rhythm and Soul.” In addition, Montreal-based designers Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, winners of the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Start Up design competition last year, presented their MARTIN LIM Fall 2012 collection, a beautiful reflection on the contrast between structure and movement.

All in attendance were fabulously dressed, including SPARK Gala chair and co-founder Andrea Weissman-Daniels in a stunning Oscar de la Renta dress and Kara Alloway in an electrifying Manish Arora jacket and festive Brian Atwood ‘Mojito’ sandals. Fashion luminary Bernadette Morra showed her support for MARTIN LIM, donning a dress from the Spring 2012 collection that won the design duo their MBSU crown.

Andrea Weissman-Daniels declared the Gala a tremendous success, having raised over $400,000 towards helping create opportunities for youth to engage in sports, arts, and cultural activities. For more information about the Children’s Aid Foundation, please visit

Fashion Designer / Creative Marketing Director of Ports 1961 Tu Ly

Spark co-founder Andrea Weissman-Daniels in Oscar de la Renta

Kara Alloway in Brian Atwood ‘Mojito’ sandals

xx, T

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