Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party 2014 Edition


Candice Chan (middle) and Alison Slight (right)

On September 4, Toronto’s most sartorially-gifted gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate the launch of Toronto Life‘s latest Stylebook and the select few featured in its pages. The city’s fashion set, including the likes of Joe and Kimberley Mimran, FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, model Stacey McKenzie, and Dion and Elisha Phaneuf, spent the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival schmoozing with honourees past, present and future.

This year’s Most Stylish included the likes of Chloe Rogers (Elite model), Suzanne Cohon (principal, ASC Toronto), Elaine Lui (co-host, The Social), Lisa Corbo (co-owner, George C), Markus Anderson (consultant, Soho House Group), Ray Civello (founder of Civello Salon and Spa, and president of Aveda Canada), Lance Chung (fashion journalist), Sacha Grierson, (co-owner, Eat My Words) and her daughter, Lola FlaneryVanessa Morcom (CEO, Morcom Media) and more.

Check out the gallery below for over 30 style snaps of Toronto’s best dressed folks at the #TLMostStylish event.


Amy Burstyn-Fritz


Elisha Cuthbert and Dion Phaneuf


Kimberley Newport-Mimran and Joe Mimran


Dean and Dan Caten

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Events

Fancy Fascinators and Dapper Bow Ties Abound at the 155th Queen’s Plate

On Sunday, July 6, Canada’s fashion and sporting worlds collided at the prestigious Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and the must-attend event of the summer. Woodbine Racetrack was the place to see and be seen, as Toronto’s social set walked the red carpet in their finest race day getups. Fancy fascinators and frocks for the ladies and dapper bow ties and hats for the gentlemen were the garb of choice as the crowd cheered filley Lexie Lou and jockey Patrick Husbands to their thrilling #QP14 win.

The excitement at the Hats & Horseshoes Party, hosted by the lovely Melissa Grelo from CTV‘s ‘The Social’, matched that of the grandstands. The FLARE VIP Lounge was the prime locale for an afternoon of horse wagering and street style snapping. We were wowed by the fashion at our first Queen’s Plate experience in 2013, but this year’s incredibly chic attendees took it to the next level for #QP14. From hats to wingtips, the fashion was bigger, bolder and more fabulous than ever before.

We were in awe of Stylist Box co-founder Gail McInnes and writer Vicki Hogarth‘s impressive DIY efforts; both ingeniously fashioned their own fascinators, the former from her cherished Madonna LP and the latter from dollar store butterflies that looked way more extravagant than they cost. We oohed and aahed over the ultra-chic monochromatic ensembles we spotted, included Fashion at the Races blogger Bri Mott‘s lime green lace getup, jewelry designer Shay Lowe‘s ladylike lavender look, as well as the co-ordinated, all-white ensembles by a gaggle of girlfriends we snapped in the FLARE VIP Lounge. One colour wasn’t good enough for etalk‘s Traci Melchor though; we fell head over heels for her fierce red and black hat and dress pairing.

As for yours truly, we chose stunning fascinators by David Dunkley (official milliner for the Queen’s Plate) for the occasion, and we couldn’t have felt more fabulous as we took in the races in the grandstands and enjoyed all that the Hats & Horseshoes Party had to offer. Missed out on all the fun this year? Not to worry, because #QP15 will be here before you know it – that means you’ve got a year to find the perfect race day ensemble. In the meantime, check out the video and photo gallery below for all the sartorial highlights from the 155th Queen’s Plate.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Suzanne Rogers Presents Zac Posen

On April 28, New York-based designer and red carpet favourite Zac Posen touched down in Toronto for philanthropist Suzanne Rogers‘ annual fashion fundraiser in support of children’s charities. The ‘Suzanne Rogers Presents Zac Posen’ event saw the likes of Hamish Bowles, Leigh LezarkDerek Blasberg and honourary co-chairs Lauren Santo Domingo and Martin Short make the trek north of the border to The Carlu to attend the black tie gala, which raised $800,000 for Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention.

The evening featured Posen’s first ever fashion show in Canada (headlined by none other than Coco Rocha!), a dinner, live auction (a dance with the designer himself, anyone?) and an official after party. Many in the crowd showed up for all the festivities in their most red carpet-worthy looks, including Sylvia Mantella in a jaw-dropping baby blue confection, Ainsley Kerr in a gorgeous floral-embroidered gown, and Jessica Mulroney in an eye-catching cobalt blue number.

Check out the gallery below for 23 style snaps from what will undoubtedly be one of the year’s most glamourous affairs.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: J.Crew Collection’s Toronto Store Launch


Afiya Francisco

Confession: we’re totally obsessed with J.Crew, especially all things J.Crew Collection. So when an invite arrived for the opening of the very first Collection store in Canada, on Bloor Street in Toronto no less, we were stoked. The promise of a Ms. Jenna Lyons in attendance too? We were officially beside ourselves.

Sadly, though we donned our Collection best for the occasion, our date with J.Crew’s creative director was not to be. Stuck in New York thanks to an epic snowstorm, Ms. Lyons sent a few looks fresh off the Fall 2014 runway in her place. Those, plus some good old Canadian-themed photo booth fun and almost 6,500 square feet of the statement necklaces and No. 2 pencil skirts we love so much, did a fantastic job of making up for our style icon’s absence.

Check out the gallery below for style snaps of Toronto’s fashion set in their favourite J.Crew duds. Nowhere near the new store? We’ll race you over to jcrew.com.


Aya McMillan


Fiona Green


Ainsley Kerr


Yours truly

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Canada’s National Ballet School’s Casablanca Gala 2014 Edition

On February 7, Canada’s National Ballet School held Casablanca Gala, a glamourous, 1940s-inspired fundraiser at The Carlu in Toronto. Co-chaired by Juanita Montalvo and Stephen Delaney, the event aimed to raise $850,000 towards providing financial assistance to NBS’s Professional Ballet Program students. The School’s biggest supporters gathered for an evening featuring a Moroccan dinner, a casino with live entertainment, and, of course, a ballet performance by the students.

Encouraged to channel their inner Humphrey Bogarts and Ingrid Bergmans, some guests fully embraced the 1940′s theme sartorially, while others simply chose to don their black tie best. Either way, Casablanca Gala drew one very fabulous looking crowd. Check out the gallery below for 26 style snaps, including Ainsley Kerr and Kim Johnson, both in dazzling embellished gowns.

Missed the gala, but would like to donate to Canada’s National Ballet School? Click on over here.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: The Frocktail Party 2013 Edition

On November 28, The Frocktail Party returned to the Arcadian Loft for an evening of fashion and philanthropy in support of The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Easily one of our favourite events of the year, Frocktail Party’s main attraction is an incredible silent auction featuring highly covetable dresses (obviously), accessories, menswear and luxury experiences from top designers, retailers and brands from across the country. It’s heaven to silent auction addicts, which we totally confess to being.

This year’s donors included Hudson’s Bay, Zac Posen, Intermix, eLuxe, Danier, Greta Constantine, LINE Knitwear, Diane von Furstenberg, and Pink Tartan, among many others. In addition, many donated gowns also came straight from the closets of bold-faced names like Rachel McAdams, Nelly Furtado, Cheryl Hickey, Tanya Kim, Cynthia Loyst, Ben Mulroney, Jessica Mulroney, Suzanna Rogers and Jenna Bitove. A chance at snagging a piece from Mrs. Rogers’ closet at a fraction of the cost, and for a very worthy cause? Definitely a win-win.

Partygoers donned their very best frocks for the occasion, and we’re disappointed some of those dresses weren’t up for grabs in the silent auction too – we’re looking at you, Ms. Bitove. There’s always next year, right? Check out the gallery below for 27 style snaps from Frocktail Party 2013. And to find out more about JDRF, click on over here.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party 2013 Edition


Amy Burstyn Fritz and Graham Smith

On September 5, Toronto Life hosted its annual Toronto’s Most Stylish bash at the Shangri-La Hotel, fêting those fashionable folks who had been declared by the Stylebook as the city’s most sartorially-gifted this year. Listed or not, over 500 of Toronto’s social set arrived in their Thursday best, showing exactly why they’d earned their Most Stylish title or making a strong case for a nod next year.

Among those who got the hat tip were designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran of Pink Tartan, fashion directors Liz Cabral and Susie Sheffman, bloggers Bianca Venerayan and Danielle Roche of Kastor & Pollux (frequently seen in The Canadian Street Style Lookbook!), and accessories designer Jenny Bird. Given the regularity with which these fabulous women are featured on this here blog, we wholeheartedly agree that they’re very much well-deserved on all counts.

Check out the gallery below for 33 photos of tastemakers, partygoers, and Most Stylish contenders past, present and future from Toronto Life‘s soirée.


Ainsley Kerr


Emily Hampshire


Danielle Roche and Bianca Venerayan


Amanda Brugel


S with Hawley Dunbar and Nelia Belkova

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Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Our 10 Favourite Looks of 2012!


Krystal Koo and Suzanne Rogers at Rodarte event at The Room at The Bay

Some of my nerdiest (and more awkward) moments as a fashion blogger are those times when I’m full out freaking out about someone else’s outfit, oftentimes a chic stranger. “It’s that Mary Katrantzou dress!”, I’ll hiss to T, to the Mister (who could care less), or to no one in particular. I’ll then do that little jig where I’m pretending to be engrossed in the hors d’oeuvres spread or silent auction offerings but am really tracking said person’s movements, waiting for that opening in between bites of food or inside jokes to go in for the shot.

I always try to be polite to the individuals in the incredible ensembles, and respectful of other photographers and bloggers also trying to get the shot. Over the last 3+ years, I’ve been turned away by a would-be street style subject exactly once. Other times, I would have preferred a refusal over the scowl I saw through my camera lens; although, to be fair, this is also a rare occurrence. Most everyone I ask for a photo responds kindly and generously.

There was that time one bold face name vouched for me to another bold face name: “It’s OK – she’s cool.” The Toronto socialite stamp of approval! I was, quite honestly, delighted to be considered safe to pose for by the city’s social set. There was also that time one of Toronto’s most prolific event photographers waited very patiently for several minutes as I tried desperately to get my camera to co-operate and snap his picture. His empathy and assurance that this sort of thing happens to him too made the incident just a little less humiliating for me.

To Suzanne, Krystal, Liz, Faith, Monica, Amy, Glenna, Megan, Alesia, Ainsley, and everyone else who indulged me and my camera this year, thank you from the bottom of my fashion-obsessed heart. I can’t wait to do it all over again in 2013!


Liz Cabral at Power Ball


Monica Mei at Operanation


Alesia at Prom at the ROM


Megan Loach at Prom at the ROM

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Events

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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Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: AGO Massive Party 2012 Edition

On April 19, the Art Gallery of Ontario threw the 2012 edition of Massive Party, the gallery’s annual fundraiser. Co-chaired by Hughene Acheson and Laura Adams, a crowd of close to 1,800 guests enjoyed food, drink, music and innovative, custom-designed art installations exploring the future of art, as conceived by the event’s artistic director, Bruno Billio.

Without a strong, overarching theme like last year’s Marchesa Luisa Casati, attendees were dressed in whatever suited their fancy. Sartorial standouts included Ainsley Kerr in Lundstrom Fall 2012 and Biko Beauttah in the instantly recognizable Pippa dress, both of whom upped the glam factor of Massive Party 2012 and made my job that much easier to do.


Ainsley Kerr in Lundstrom Fall 2012


Biko Beauttah


Me in Giles Deacon dress / Alexander Wang shoes / Chanel bag

xx, S

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