“Nice jacket”: two words that literally made my week, uttered by Viktor Horsting (or was it Rolf Snoeren? It was all such a giddy blur.) to me. The jacket in question? A mustard yellow blazer with contrast black piping designed by Viktor & Rolf themselves. The Amsterdam-based duo was in town earlier this week for a very well-attended meet-and-greet with Toronto’s fashion set at The Room at The Bay.
With HBC President Bonnie Brooks and VP / Buying Director of The Room Nicholas Mellamphy as hosts and DJ Mia Moretti spinning her magic, partygoers that included the inimitable Jeanne Beker, FASHION Magazine’s EIC Bernadette Morra and socialites Stacey Kimel and Suzanne Rogers spent the evening chatting with the charming Dutch guests-of-honour, sipping on champagne and admiring the V&R wares.
Dr. Lisa Airan and PR maven Suzanne Cohon stole the sartorial show with brightly-coloured frocks, the former in an orange Carven dress with cutouts and the latter in a fuchsia Roksanda Ilincic number (last seen on Ginnifer Goodwin!). The usually cool as a cucumber blogger Anita Clarke chose a peplum Roland Mouret to meet her fashion idols, while the effortlessly chic stylist Amy Patel paired her Margiela x H&M bodysuit with denim overalls for the occasion. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention blogger Jay Strut, who showed up in a heavily embellished Balmain jacket that made our jaws drop.
Check out the gallery below for some of our favourite looks from the night.
Image Credit: George Pimentel
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Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright (left) and David Neville (Image Credit: George Pimentel)
With a slew of international designers scheduled to drop by Toronto this month, Holt Renfrew threw down the gauntlet last week with a shindig in honour of Rag & Bone designers Marcus Wainwright and David Neville. The third floor of the retailer’s Bloor Street flagship, home to its contemporary collections, was transformed into a party space complete with a graffiti wall.
With the design duo’s latest offerings on hand (including an incredible green leather jacket worn by Kate Moss in their Spring 2013 campaign), cotton candy and pretzel stands at the ready, and DJ Fathom spinning all the right tunes for a crowded makeshift dance floor, I had more fun that evening than at my last visit to Holt’s end-of-season sale. And that’s saying a lot, coming from a shopaholic.
It was a great night for street style spotting too – the storm raining down outside didn’t appear to deter anyone from showing up in their best Rag & Bone(-esque) duds. There were summery white frocks (take that, hail storm!), denim rolled and ripped in all the right places, and plenty of that black-and-white trend we keep hearing about. Check out the gallery below for our favourite looks from the Holt Renfrew x Rag & Bone shindig.
(Image Credit: George Pimentel)
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On April 5, the Royal Ontario Museum‘s Young Patron’s Circle threw its annual fundraising bash, welcoming hundreds of partygoers to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal for Ancient PROM. Hosted by MTV’s Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and CP24’s Gurdeep Ahluwalia, this year’s fete featured food and entertainment inspired by the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations.
The dress code followed suit, calling for Grecian glam or Cleopatra chic for the ladies and gladiator garb for the men. PROM guests, including philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, interior designer Glenn Dixon, Toronto Argonaut Mike Bradwell and bloggers Anita Clarke and Jay Strut, arrived in style, dutifully donning head jewels, body armour, or at the very least the traditional high school prom fare.
As they do year after year, ROM PROM-goers showed impressive sartorial commitment to the theme, making it one of the most fun parties of the year.
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“It’s like Narnia out there!” said Paul Hardy, “But it’s good weather for lots of winter coats.” Spoken like a true Canadian fashion designer, but he was right. With the scenic and snowy Prince’s Island Park in Calgary as our backdrop, fashion media types from across the country had gathered at the River Café, one of the finest restaurants in the city, to kick off the 10th anniversary celebrations for Mr. Hardy last month.
Prince’s Island Park, Calgary
The designer had teamed up with Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta to fly in editors and bloggers from Toronto, including Anita Clarke of I Want – I Got, Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Lisa Ng of The Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide, and yours truly, to experience the very best Calgary has to offer, both sartorially and gastronomically.
Enjoying our first Calgary snowfall
Having checked in at Hotel Arts the night before and filled our stomachs with a delicious meal of bison and hot apple cider, among other delights, at brunch, we were off to do some sightseeing before the evening’s grand fashion show and after-party extravaganza.
Bison striploin at the River Cafe in Prince’s Island Park
“Sightseeing” for a gaggle of fashion bloggers is synonymous with “shopping”, and so we found ourselves visiting the local Holt Renfrew and The Bay department stores, wiling away the afternoon on the most frivolous of pastimes. Calgary, it turns out, has much to offer a fashion blogger with a few dollars burning a hole in her pocket.
Shopping at Holt Renfrew Calgary
Later that day, the weekend’s main festivities began, including a cocktail hour hosted by former Dragon’s Den star W. Brett Wilson (who, by the way, had Real Housewives of Vancouver‘s Mary Zilba on his arm), Paul Hardy’s Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show and, of course, an after-party attended by the who’s who of the Calgary social set.
Christopher Turner, Nelia Belkova, Stefania Yarhi, Lisa Ng, Anita Clarke and me
The runway presentation, what we were really all there for, featured an incredible line-up that ranged from fierce leather looks to jaw-droppingly gorgeous gowns, with live musical accompaniment courtesy of The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and singers Paul Brandt and Greg Sczebel.
Amongst the scrumptious food and drink, lively music, wonderful company, and snowstorm to boot, it was the fashion that stood out the most – and that’s really saying something. I went into my very first trip to Calgary knowing embarrassingly little about Paul Hardy and his work, but I left his fair city a fan. That ruffled leather top and leather pencil skirt combo? Made for me. And well worth the cross-country flight to see up close and personal.
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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
Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine
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Image credit: George Pimentel
Ann Taylor has officially landed on Canadian soil. This week, the New York-based specialty retailer finally opened the doors to its first international store, at none other than Toronto Eaton Centre. Having attended both the fall and holiday previews over the last few months, I’m rather excited to finally be able to get my hands on the collections.
At the very top of my wish list? Several gorgeous pieces of statement jewelry, as well as a few pairs of chic shoes, all of which is fairly pocketbook-friendly. In fact, Ann Taylor pricing in Canadian stores will be the same as in their U.S. counterparts. Yes, you read right: the price tags will be the same no matter which side of the border you happen to be on. Cause for celebration? I should think so.
If you want in on this Ann Taylor action but aren’t anywhere near Toronto, don’t fret, my dear fellow Canadians. The retailer is currently working on expanding its online shopping site to include Canada, and is expecting to launch in the spring of 2013. In the meantime, check out the gallery below for snaps of Ann Taylor’s ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebrations at Toronto Eaton Centre earlier this week.
Me, T, Nelia Belkova and Kimberly Lyn with Lisa Axelson, Creative Director of Ann Taylor (Image Credit: George Pimentel)
FASHION Magazine’s Caitlin Agnew
Blogger Anita Clarke checking out the – what else? – shoe section
Kimberly Haire Giddens, Regional VP at Ann Taylor
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Shopping parties are the best when raided with an equally fashion-minded sister (at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique). (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
And just like that, Fashion’s Night Out Toronto has come and gone, but while it was here on September 6, we sure took full advantage. It was a jam-packed evening of shopping party after shopping party, the very best kind by our measure.
We kicked off our night at Toronto Eaton Centre (check out our recap), and the FNO fun was only just beginning. Next stop? Holt Renfrew, of course, where we joined a very magenta street party complete with pink confetti, limited edition pink Diet Coke bottles and a pop-up shop selling exclusive Holt Renfrew 175th anniversary paraphernalia. There may have been some confetti throwing and dancing in the street on our part (and photographic evidence).
From there we made the short trek to Hazelton Lanes to pay The Shopping Soirée, hosted by Toronto Fashion Incubator, TNT and Fashion Cares, and the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge a visit. There we chatted with a Mary Katrantzou-clad Suzanne Rogers, ogled the Kara Ross jewels on Gail McInnes and Kelly Claman, and caught up with some of our favourite fellow fashion bloggers, including Style Blog‘s Nelia Belkova, who also chose Clover Canyon for the occasion (take a gander at our FNO outfit post). There were also tables and tables of stylish goods to covet.
Our next destination was equally full of temptation for the pocketbook. A chauffeured BMW (by the way, how sweet is that?) took us to The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. More of the city’s independent boutiques than we can name had assembled together at the Burroughes Building to offer a carefully curated selection of chic offerings. The whimsical necklaces from Foe and Dear and statement jewelery from Love of Mine, in particular, were very hard to resist.
With closing time for Fashion’s Night Out just around the corner, we made one final stop at eLUXE‘s FNO bash. There was just enough time to admire the exclusive Smythe x eLUXE tuxedo jacket and make use of the photo booth with Toronto Is Fashion‘s Richard Fabregui. Fashion’s Night Out wouldn’t have been complete without the obligatory jumping session in the photo booth – am I right or am I right?
And with that, the clock struck 11pm, FNO was done for the year, and yours truly returned to our hotel room and ordered everything off the room service menu to cap off one hell of a Fashion’s Night Out. Till next year!
Me and Nelia Belkova – Clover Canyon loving twins! (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
Pink lemonade at Massimo Dutti at Toronto Eaton Centre – yes please!
Live-tweeting Toronto Eaton Centre’s fabulous FNO fashion show with PR all-star Jenna Stothers.
I really, really like confetti. Especially the pink kind at Holt Renfrew’s Hot@175 street party.
Well hello there, Gail McInnes, Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers (in Mary Katrantzou!), at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes of course.
Fabulous Kara Ross statement necklaces for all! Except me…I need to work on that.
Bloggers Richard Fabregui, Nelia Belkova, Marc Piercey, Anita Clarke and me at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes. (Image Credit: Nelia Belkova)
Jeanne Beker at the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge. (Image Credit: Justin Charles)
Chauffeured BMW pour moi et mes fellow media types. No big deal.
Being silly with Richard at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique.
Actor Adrian Grenier and his entourage (see how we did that?) at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. (Image Credit: Ashlea Wessel)
Working on my photo booth jumping game with T and Richard at eLUXE’s FNO event.
On July 11, Toronto’s social set descended on the Design Exchange to fete its joint exhibition with The National Ballet of Canada, 60 Years of Designing The Ballet. Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker, FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra (in Marni for H&M!) and Katrantzou-clad socialite Kara Alloway were among the gala attendees who spent the evening toasting the National Ballet’s 60th anniversary and admiring costumes and set pieces from its archives.
Curated by costume designer Caroline O’Brien, the exhibit features special items from past productions of Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Emergence and more, going as far back as the 1950s. Also on display is The Tutu Project, 60 stunning, one-of-a-kind tutus created by Canadian fashion designers, artists and children alike in honour of the National Ballet’s big 6-0.
The exhibition runs from July 11 to September 2, 2012. For more information, visit www.dx.org.
Glen Baxter, Shauna Levy, Jeanne Beker, Christine Faulhaber
FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra
Jewellery Designer Shay Lowe
Image Credits: Peter Chatterton
Me with Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy
The Bay still knows how to throw a party. After several quiet months, Toronto’s social and fashion set returned to The Room at The Bay last night for a shindig in honour of Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. With their Fall 2012 collection in tow, the sisters charmed the likes of socialites Suzanne Rogers and Stacey Kimel, editors Bernadette Morra and Mosha Lundström Halbert, as well as bloggers Anita Clarke and Kimberly Lyn.
Yours truly spent the evening photographing the city’s most sartorially endowed, sipping champagne with my fellow media types, and chatting about Kirsten Dunst’s unexpected Met Ball dress (Rodarte, of course) with the designers themselves. Clad in a Manish Arora dress (fit for a hippie wedding) and navy velvet Loeffler Randall shoes (something blue?), I sought to rectify the Rodarte-less situation happening in my closet. When I asked the design duo about any upcoming collaborations, though, the answer was a disappointing no: “Right now, we really need to focus on our next collection,” Kate said. I’ll take that as a ‘maybe’.
In the meantime, The Room at The Bay is the source for all things Rodarte. And with The Room’s spring sale just around the corner (a little birdie told me so) and my pocketbook at the ready, I may just get my hands on my very first piece of Rodarte yet.
Flare’s Ryan M. Cheung, Glam Canada’s Aya McMillan and Flare’s Fiona Green
Kate Mulleavy, The Room Creative Director Nicholas Mellamphy and The Bay Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins
I Want – I Got’s Anita Clarke and Front Row Mag’s Michelle Bilodeau and Rachelle Saevil
Me with The Souls of My Shoes’ Kimberly Lyn
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Knot PR’s Amy Burstyn Fritz in a Calla Haynes skirt
On October 21, T and I had the pleasure of attending the Canadian Opera Company‘s eighth annual fundraiser, Operanation 8: A Muse Ball in Toronto. Despite having given opera a few sadly unsuccessful tries in the past (in hindsight, War and Peace in Russian wasn’t a very good starter opera), T was excited about the opportunity to see headliner Rufus Wainwright perform live and I was lured in by the promise of a fashion installation curated by RAC Boutique owners Glenna Weddle and Faith Orfus. Neither disappointed.
Featuring incredible, muse-inspired looks by Canadian designers Calla Haynes, Joeffer Caoc, Arthur Mendonça and Ashley Rowe, RAC’s installation was rivalled only by the partygoers’ own stunning ensembles. From lady in red Amy Burstyn-Fritz to a Mary Katrantzou-clad Megan Loach, the Operanation crowd was as well-styled and sartorially inspiring as the installation itself. In between style snaps, T and I also managed to eat, drink and dance the night away. In fact, we had so much fun that we vowed to give opera another proper try…or at least to attend Operanation again next year!
Designer Arthur Mendonça with a model in his design
RAC Boutique’s Faith Orfus
I Want – I Got’s Anita Clarke in a breathtaking Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 shawl
Red lips and white sequins
The Room at the Bay’s Megan Loach in Mary Katrantzou Spring 2011