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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Fashion’s Night Out has finally arrived! And with so many exciting events on the official FNO Toronto calendar and only 5 hours to fit it all in, we thought we’d give you a hand by narrowing it down to our top picks for the evening.
We’ll be kicking off our Fashion’s Night Out at Toronto Eaton Centre and you should definitely join us for the fashion show and FNO merchandise giveaways between 7-8pm. After that, we can shop till we drop (or until 11pm) at TEC, or hit up some (or all, if you’re a speedy shopper) of the following:
- Aime by Monica Mei (198A Davenport Road, Upper Level)
Preview the latest collection and receive a gift with purchase where a portion of proceeds will benefit Fashion Cares (Elton John Foundation & Aids Committee of Toronto). Tunezy will be spinning tunes on the back patio and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
- eLUXE (355 Adelaide Street West, Ground Level)
Debuting its exclusive Smythe for eLUXE blazer, eLUXE will host guests with a trunk show from Rebekah Price, branded sweets from Megan Wappel designs and six giveaways. Photostar will be onsite snapping all guests.
- Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West)
Holt Renfrew presents “Hot in the City” street party on Bloor Street West. The store will be open until 11:00 p.m.
- INTERMIX (130 Bloor Street West)
Fall in love with must-know designers, exclusive product and covetable pieces. ILIA beauty will treat you to a natural pop of colour while the DJ spins of-the-moment music. Champagne and sweets will be served. 6:00pm to 8:00pm.
- MasterCard’s Stylicity Lounge (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road)
Visit the Stylicity Lounge to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, complimentary styling and make-up applications from Maybelline and Redken, mingle with fashion stylists and enter for a chance to win a MasterCard gift card. Shop The Peacock Parade’s Fashion’s Night Out sale onsite for special offers.
- THE BAZAAR by RAC Boutique (The Burroughes Building, 639 Queen St West)
The Bazaar will bring together a wide array of Toronto retailers including: Lab Consignment, Drake General Store, Rescue Vintage, Robber, Philistine, Chloe Comme Parris, Foe & Dear, Love of Mine, Fashionably Yours and more. Goods will include everything from jewellery to shoes to a wide array of clothing. The Bazaar will feature music, snacks, beer and cocktails. Attendees will have a chance to win a pair of plane tickets from Porter Airlines to anywhere Porter flies.
Visit the The Peacock Parade to buy official Fashion’s Night Out tees and totes, on sale now. On Thursday, September 6th, at 11am est, The Peacock Parade will launch its special Fashion’s Night Out sale, featuring exquisite jewelry from Kara Ross, and luxurious cashmere from White & Warren. Free shipping on all items in the FNO special sale!
- The Shopping Soirée (Shops at Hazelton Lanes, 87 Avenue Road)
The Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI), TNT and Fashion Cares invite you to shop men’s and women’s accessories and apparel. Spend $200+ and get a special Fashion Cares 25th anniversary retrospective book. Spend $500+ and be eligible to win two VIP Gala tickets to Fashion Cares on Sept 9th featuring Elton John (a value of $3000), PLUS two VVIP passes to the after party and two all-access event passes! 10% of event sales will benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation and the AIDS Committee of Toronto. FLARE Magazine editors will be on duty helping guests style some of the industry’s finest fall pieces from TFI ‘s design stars and the racks of TNT’s international brands.
- Toronto Eaton Centre (220 Yonge Street)
For one night only, Toronto Eaton Centre will extend mall hours, remaining open until 11:00 p.m. In addition, the mall will host a public fashion show at 7:30 p.m. in Centre Court, featuring signature looks from retailers Stuart Weitzman, Juicy Couture and GAP. Throughout the night, Toronto Eaton Centre will give away official FNO collection items via Twitter (www.twitter.com/toeatoncentre).
Don’t forget to follow @FNO_Toronto, @toeatoncentre and @backseatstylers on Twitter, and tweet us with the #FNO_Toronto hashtag to win some official FNO swag.
Happy Fashion’s Night Out everyone!
xx, T & S
On February 2, 2011, WWF-Canada launched its National Sweater Day campaign with a fun fashion show at The Ballroom bowling alley in downtown Toronto. The show featured an eclectic mix of sweater designs by Canadian designers Aime by Monica Mei, Allison Wonderland, dace, Heidi Ackerman, Lucian Matis, Pink Cobra, Preloved, Thieves and Zoran Dobric. Each of the environmentally-friendly sweaters are currently being auctioned off in support of WWF’s conservation work on eBay. Bidding starts at $75 for each design.
I have my eye on the Aime by Monica Mei sweater dress, but as a seasoned veteran of eBay auctions I’m trained not to bid until the very last second. I bid to win. I will, however, make an exception for such a great cause – scrap what I said earlier about sniping at the end. Bid now! And often.
National Sweater Day itself is on February 17, 2011. Don’t forget to throw on a sweater, turn down your thermostats by three degrees Celsius and join the fight against climate change!
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Last weekend for my friend S’s 30th birthday bash (Happy belated!), I paired my new Aime by Monica Mei
silk top with my one and only pair of red shoes. We had a fantastic night out on the town – me, my top and my shoes. So much so that when it came time to pick an ensemble for this weekend’s birthday festivities for my friend T’s big 3-0, I decided to wear pretty much the same thing. That’s right – I wore almost the exact same outfit two weekends in a row (I switched up the jeans). Shameful, no? Not really. No one other than my beloved Mr. Backseat Styler was the wiser (completely different crowd) and – save for this little blog post here – no one ever would be. I’m enamoured with my magical Aime top that seems to cinch and create curves in all the right places…why shouldn’t I live in it?
Over the past few months, I’d managed to avoid the overabundance of pop-up shops that have been plaguing every major metropolitan city, because – if you haven’t heard – pop-up shops are the new big thing. Well, that all came to an end this past weekend when I couldn’t resist stopping by Chloe’s Closet with my friend J to check out the Aime by Monica Mei sample sale with designs fresh off the Spring 2010 runway.
Not only did I have the opportunity to catch up with Monica Mei and discuss the fashion calendar controversy, the state of the American retail market, and everything in between, but I also had the very good fortune of finding this gorgeous cardigan with metallic accents on the clearance rack. I can’t decide what I love more – the metallic elbow patches (genius!) or the amazing deal I got.
I also put in my order for this Spring jacket I’ve been coveting since the runway show last October. The light grey colour of the jacket is perfect for my largely black/white/grey wardrobe, but adds a hint of surprise with just the right amount of coloured print for a non-adventurous gal like me. I’m counting down the days until the jacket arrives next month…I can’t wait to wear it!
And here’s me trying on a sample of the exquisite jacket in question and insisting that the poor innocent bystander who didn’t have her glasses with her take a photo of Monica Mei, me and J. Bit on the fuzzy side, but you get the point…it was a delightful afternoon!
Check out Chloe’s Closet for Aime, Brazen Hussy and TFNC over the next few weeks at 803 Queen Street West in Toronto.
Pop-up shops are popping up all around town like they’re the next big thing in retailing. I’m not gonna lie – my curiosity is piqued. Plus, anything that helps me avoid the throngs of gift shoppers that’ll be descending upon the malls over the next few weeks like ants to a stray cookie crumb is OK by me.
Vogue.com reports that Holt Renfrew is opening up a pop-up shop from Dec 2-6, 2009 at 560 King Street W. The shop will be carrying Opening Ceremony, Band of Outsiders, Dsquared2, 3.1 Phillip Lim, J Brand, Current/Elliott and other brands, both high and low. Should be an interesting fixture in a neighbourhood that’s full of restaurants, lounges and bars. Sounds like the perfect evening out with the girls – some shopping at the HR pop-up shop followed by a couple of drinks right next door.
The Burroughes building will be hosting a holiday pop-up shop
just down the street at 639 Queen St W from Dec 3 to 6, 2009. Brands will include Carrie Hayes, Mercy and Poa Studio, SOOS, Susana Erazo, Kvell & Co., DaLish Cosmetics, Katie Muth, MADE, Petals and reclaim by: emma pawluk, among many others. I’m most excited about le Petit Beret – I’m all about the headpieces. Well, buying them anyways. They make me incredibly happy, but generally don’t get to leave the condo. I need more social outings that call for fabulous headpieces.
Finally, a pop-up shop will also be opening its doors this upcoming weekend at The Loft, 324-52 St. Lawrence Street. This one sounds like a lot of fun – not only will the boutique be stocking Psalms 91:1, Brazen Hussy, 442 McAdam and Aime by Monica Mei, but they’re offering cupcakes, champagne and makeovers. And part of the proceeds go to charity. I’m in!
Went to the FGI Sample Sale
yesterday afternoon. I’d originally planned to be there for the doors opening at 11am, but my laziness got the better of me and I didn’t manage to make way over until late afternoon. Serves me right really, because I’m certain I missed out on some fabulous David Dixon pieces, including Barbie by David Dixon’s current season offerings, at amazing prices. Luckily it was all made up for when I found this gorgeous reversible grey/pink vest with grosgrain ribbon belt waiting for me on the Aime by Monica Mei
rack. It’s a piece I’ve been eyeing since she produced it a few seasons ago, but could never quite justify due to the large number of largely unworn vests in my closet. I couldn’t resist though this time around, so I snagged it finally. It’s a bit more fitted than I’d prefer, but it was the last one and a sample (possibly the one in the lookbook photo above), so I’ll just have to be creative and wear it a bit differently. There were still a lot of great finds left at the sale when I left and many hours until it closes today, so it’s not too late to check it out for yourself.
Some of the very best in Canadian design will be hawking their goods at the FGI Fashion & Beauty Sample Sale this coming Thursday and Friday. I know where I’ll be first thing Thursday morning!
Day 4 of LG Fashion Week was full of highs and lows. A definite low was starting the day off with showing up late to the Aime show and thus having to watch from the media pit. Highs came later when I was rather unexpectedly (and to my utter delight) stopped by a FASHION Magazine photog and then a freelance writer for Elle, who both wanted to snap my outfit. The photos may never be published anywhere, but that’s fine by me. Those two lovely individuals have no idea they made my day. Likely my entire week. Possibly even the month – will have to see how the rest of it goes.
Me in Aime dress (of course I’d wear Monica Mei’s design to her show), Zara puff-sleeved jacket, Banana Republic necklace, lace leggings from The Bay, Chanel black 2.55 with gold hardware, Christian Louboutin grey suede ankle boots.
T in H&M top, American Apparel skirt, Zara belt and vintage boots.
In between these highs and lows were some in-betweens in the form of the Cheri Milaney, Evan Biddell, RUDSAK, NADA and Romona Keveza shows. Cheri Milaney I found confusing and will leave it at that. Evan Biddell was amazing, as I mentioned in my review.
Romona Keveza’s show was by far the prettiest show of the week – her evening gowns were absolutely stunning and deserved every eruption of applause from the friendlist, most appreciative crowd at LG Fashion Week.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with RUDSAK. I mean, sure, I knew there’d be leather. But I’d never had the urge to step foot in a RUDSAK boutique before and was curious as to whether the show would inspire me to do so. I am sad to report that, for the most part, it did not. The only times I felt inspired were when these two looks came down the runway (that’s leather – can you believe how soft it looks?). I think I’ll be sticking to Mackage for my leather garb.
NADA wasn’t on my radar before the show, but it certainly was on everyone else’s because that tent was packed to the rafters. The collection was dark and sexy, but dangerously close to costumey in my opinion. Perhaps it was the styling – beehive hairdos haven’t been requested in any salon by any modern, sexy woman in years upon years now. Nonetheless, when this exquisite coat came down that runway, all was made up for because I instantly fell in love with it. Left me speechless.
Day 4 was the busiest of the week for us Backseat Stylers, but it sure went by fast. Couldn’t help but feel a little sad that there was only one day left.
I must admit that when it comes to Aime, I may just be a little bit biased. Since Aime’s inaugural show at LG Fashion Week last season, the label has become a favourite of mine – and not just because Monica Mei is my one designer friend. It just so happens that Monica is amazing at what she does – her collections are always able to strike the perfect balance between timeless and current, romantic and edgy, sophisticated and fun. The Aime pieces I’ve picked up over the past few seasons have become staples in my closet, so I expected nothing less but an inspired show on day 4 of LG Fashion Week, and that’s exactly what we got.
I was pleasantly surprised by the punches of pastel colour and unexpected use of prints throughout the collection. Is that bright yellow lemony-fresh dress for me? Well, admittedly, no. But that’s why Monica made the LBD version – so that those of us not adventurous enough to wade into pastel territory can still rock the uber-cool tassel-belted dress (definitely on my Want Right Now list). Aime staples from seasons past were also reinvented in new fabrics and colours…making it oh so tempting to buy that same hot skirt or top season after season. Which reminds me that I must also have that ridiculously chic light grey jersey jacket (below) right now.
The bottom line? There was something fabulous for everyone, which is a feat rather difficult to accomplish and which I can’t quite say any other designer achieved this week. Monica Mei continues to delight with her fresh outlook on what the confident and sexy woman should be wearing these days, and I’ll be sure to knock on her door in a few months for my new spring wardrobe.