Events

Inside the Inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards: 70 Red Carpet Photos of Coco Rocha, DSquared2, Jeanne Beker and More


Model of the Year winner Coco Rocha with multiple award winners DSQUARED2′s Dean and Dan Caten

On Saturday, February 1, the inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) were held at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, where a venerable who’s who of the Canadian fashion industry flocked to honour its brightest stars. The first of its kind in our fair nation, CAFA’s raison d’être is to recognize outstanding achievement and emerging talent in the fashion community, and this past weekend’s incredible awards gala was certainly a long time coming.


Emerging Talent Award winner Sarah Stevenson and Elisha Cuthbert

In between comedic interludes by master of ceremonies Gerry Dee and a musical performance by JRDN, the first ever CAFA winners were revealed at the highly-anticipated awards ceremony. Congratulations to all the immensely talented winners and nominees:

Womenswear Designer of the Year: 

  • Christie Smythe & Andrea Lenczner, SMYTHE
  • Denis Gagnon
  • Jeremy Laing – Winner
  • Kimberely Newport-Mimran, Pink Tartan
  • Kirk Pickersgill & Stephen Wong, Greta Constantine

Menswear Designer of The Year: 

  • Davidson Manaloto, wings + horns
  • Philippe Dubuc
  • Philip Sparks
  • Travis Taddeo – Winner
  • Shawn Hewson, Bustle

Outstanding Achievement: 

  • David Dixon
  • Dean & Dan Caten, DSQUARED2 – Winner
  • Denis Gagnon
  • Lida Baday
  • Marie Saint-Pierre


Accessory Designer of the Year nominee Jenny Bird and Stylist of the Year winner George Antonopoulos

Accessory Designer of The Year:  

  • Dexter & Byron Peart, WANT Les Essentials de la Vie – Winner
  • Ela & Martin Aldorsson, Ela Handbags
  • John Fluevog
  • Jenny Bird
  • Maryam Keyhani

Canadian Style Award: 

  • Coco Rocha
  • Joe Mimran – Winner
  • Lisa Tant

Image Maker of the Year:

  • Chris Nicholls – Winner
  • Stephanie Mark, Jake Rosenberg, The Coveteur
  • Gabor Jurina
  • Max Abadian
  • Tommy Ton

Vanguard Award honouree Jeanne Beker and Stacey McKenzie

International Designer of the Year: 

  • Dean & Dan Caten, DSQUARED2 – Winner
  • Erdem Moralioğlu
  • Jeremy Laing
  • Jason Wu
  • Mark Fast

Stylist of the Year:

  • Cary Tauben
  • George Antonopoulos – Winner
  • Liz Cabral
  • Peter Papapetrou
  • Susie Sheffman

Model of the Year: 

  • Coco Rocha – Winner
  • Daria Werbowy
  • Yasmin Warsame


Suzanne and Chloe Rogers

Emerging Talent Award: 

  • Beaufille
  • Eliza Faulkner
  • Laura Siegel
  • Martin Lim
  • Sarah Stevenson – Winner
  • Sid Neigum
Emerging Talent Award winner Sarah Stevenson, who also won the 2013 TFI New Labels competition, took home a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Atelier Swarovski, an exclusive mentorship program with Joe Fresh, and a Spring/Summer 2015 look book produced by THE COLLECTIONS. The inimitable Jeanne Beker was also recognized with the Vanguard Award for her 27-year run as the host of Fashion Television, a strong influence on so many in the room that night and around the world, as well as her many other pursuits in the industry over the years.


Sylvia Mantella with Greta Constantine’s Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong

Canada’s top fashion talent was celebrated both on stage and off, and we were delighted to be surrounded by stunning red carpet ready creations by homegrown designers. With the likes of Coco Rocha, socialite Suzanne Rogers, sponsor Sylvia Mantella and model Stacey McKenzie leading the way in DSQUARED2, Erdem, Greta Constantine and VAWK respectively, the Canadian fashion set absolutely turned it out for the industry’s biggest night of the year.


Accessory Designer of the Year nominee Maryam Keyhani

Check out the gallery below for 70 – yes 70! – style snaps from the inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards. Congrats to all the 2014 CAFA winners and nominees, and to the CAFA team for an outstanding first year!

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Events

P&G and Christina Hendricks Celebrate Top Canadian Talent at Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013


Yours truly with Christina Hendricks and Glen Baxter

On December 2, P&G held its 5th annual P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards at The Carlu in Toronto, bringing together Canada’s top talent in the beauty, grooming and fashion industries. Hosted by Mad Men star and bonafide bombshell Christina Hendricks, the evening honoured the year’s best print and online content in 20 categories.

“I’ve always loved Canada, and I feel honoured to be a part of such an important event, highlighting the incredible talent in this country,” said Hendricks. “My work regularly exposes me to the stylists, editors, photographers and artists who work diligently behind the scenes, and I know how truly deserving they are of recognition.”

A bevy of bold-faced names assisted Hendricks in the doling out of the Tiffany & Co. crystal trophies, including fashion icon Jeanne Beker, TV journalist Glen Baxter, R&B singer (and ever charming) Jully Black, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, and designer Jeremy Laing. And without further ado, here’s the complete list of winners from the 2013 edition of the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards:

1. Best Art Direction: Mark Reynolds, MONTECRISTO Magazine
2. Best Next Face – Presented by Olay: Dauphine McKee – Elmer Olsen Models
3. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Trend or Profile (English): Olivia Stren, FASHION Magazine, Shear Force
4. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Trend or Profile (French): Mélanie Frappa, ELLE Québec, Tendances phares: printemps-été 2013
5. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Scientific or Technical (English): Ellen Himelfarb, FLARE, Tug of War
6. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Scientific or Technical (French): Émilie Villeneuve, ELLE Québec, La beauté responsable
7. Best Beauty Editor of a Magazine: Vanessa Craft, ELLE Canada
8. Best Male Grooming Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online: Heidi Sopinka, FLARE, Clean Cut
9. Hair Stylist of the Year – Presented by Pantene: Nicolas Blanchet
10. Best Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (English): Angela Murrills, NUVO, Stich by Stich
11. Best Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (French): Andrée-Anne Léonard, ELLE Québec, Peut-on encore porter de la fourrure?
12. Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine: George Antonopoulos, FASHION Magazine
13. Best Male Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (English): Patricia Gajo, NUVO, Down to Business
14. Best Male Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (French): Jessica Dostie, Journal Métro, Des jeans dans le mile end
15. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English): Sharon Ng Hayes, The Backseat Stylers
16. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (French): Josiane Stratis, Ton Petit Look
17. Best Beauty or Fashion Website: Randi Bergman, Fashionmagazine.com
18. Photographer of the Year: Richard Bernardin
19. Make-up Artist of the Year – Presented by COVERGIRL: Blair Petty
20. Best Magazine Cover: Sylvain Blais, Dress to Kill (Spring 2013)

Congrats to all the winners! We’d like to briefly bring your attention to category #15, Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English), because WOOT WOOT that’s us!!! To be named a finalist alongside our amazing fellow bloggers Janine Falcon of beautygeeks and (our blogger BFF) Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes was already an incredible honour, but to pull off the win? We’re absolutely speechless. Thank you P&G, esteemed judges, lovely readers, and supporters of this here blog – we promise to strive for an even bigger and better Backseat Stylers in 2014!

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program: le fashion. Check out the gallery below for 29 party snaps from the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013, including lots of Canadian fashion representation with Jully Black in Pink Tartan, FLARE‘s Miranda Purves in Horses Atelier, and FASHION Magazine‘s Zeina Esmail in Lucian Matis.


Christina Hendricks with P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards 2013 winners


Jully Black


David Dixon, Suzanne Rogers and Glenn Dixon


Jeanne Beker


FASHION Magazine’s Zeina Esmail and Bernadette Morra

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Lunch with Margaret and George 2013

On November 4, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and luxury fashion retailer George C hosted its third annual “Lunch with Margaret & George” at the Art Gallery of Ontario in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. With Giles Deacon and Derek Lam having served up fabulous runway shows at lunches past, this year’s edition promised to be no less fabulous with Joseph Altuzarra as the guest of honour.

After an intimate lunch in Baillie Court (because it’s called Lunch with Margaret & George, after all), the New York-based designer presented his gorgeous Spring 2014 collection in Frank Gehry’s Galleria Italia, the perfect setting for a runway show. The fashionable audience included the likes of event co-chairs Emmanuelle Gattuso and George and Lisa Corbo, editors-in-chief Bernadette Morra of FASHION and Miranda Purves of FLARE, and even ‘Suits’ star Sarah Rafferty.

Check out the gallery below for style snaps from the lunch, as well as photos of Altuzarra and his models backstage and on the runway.


FLARE’s Emily Ramshaw and Tiyana Grulovic


Sylvia Mantella


George C’s George and Lisa Corbo with Joseph Altuzarra


CHLOE Magazine’s Amarsana Gendunova


‘Suits’ star Sarah Rafferty

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2013 Edition


Co-chair Amy Burstyn-Fritz

On October 24, the Canadian Opera Company held Operanation 10: A Night of Temptation, the 2013 edition of its annual fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, its training program for young opera professionals. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts opened its doors for one of our favourite events on Toronto’s social calendar, which this year featured a VIP dinner and incredible performances by the Sam Roberts Band and Canadian soprano Ambur Braid. And did we mention the gourmet macaroni and cheese station? It was the stuff of dreams.

As was the fashion, actually. When we weren’t mugging for the photo booth camera (or munching on the aforementioned mac and cheese), we were busy being in awe of the guests’ chic gala style. Amy Burstyn-Fritz showed up for her Operanation co-chair duties in an ethereal custom dress by New York-based designer Kaelen, while songstress Ambur Braid chose a stunning emerald J. Mendel gown for her on-stage performance.

Other memorable sartorial moments included Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Alexander McQueen jewelled skull clutch and matching earrings, Verity Megan Curtis‘ gorgeous fascinator and jumpsuit ensemble, and Stacey McKenzie‘s left leg peeking out of a standout Greta Constantine draped jersey number à la Angelina Jolie circa Oscars 2012.

It was an ultra-glamourous night befitting of Operanation’s 10th anniversary, and one that we imagine will be very tough for the COC to top next year.


Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers


Stacey McKenzie


Caitlin Agnew and Anita Clarke


Barbara Ann Solomon


Christine Tizzard and Tracy Briggs

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Events

The Room at Hudson’s Bay Fêtes Shoe Designers Nicholas Kirkwood and Sophia Webster


Yours truly with Nicholas Kirkwood

Canada’s swankiest shoe salon continues to host some of the biggest names in footwear. A mere two weeks ago it was Sam Edelman who stopped by Hudson’s Bay‘s Toronto flagship for a visit. This week? London-based designer and Backseat Stylers favourite Nicholas Kirkwood and his protégé and rising star Sophia Webster.

The city’s fashion set descended on The Room‘s shoe department – the setting for the invite-only affair and home to luxury brands like Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia and Alaïa – for the chance to chat shoes and share a glass of bubbly with our guests-of-honour from across the pond. Both brought with them their latest, to-die-for offerings, which had us in serious danger of whipping out our credit cards at any given moment.

All that distracted us from spending the next year’s worth of footwear budgets that very night was the chic attendees in their Tuesday best. We’re still swooning over Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Thom Browne dress, Jenna Bitove Naumovich‘s fierce red tartan tailcoat, and Sophia Webster’s vibrant Kenzo get-up. Check out the gallery below for 33 snaps of partygoer style and – what else? – shoes, shoes and more shoes.


Bonnie Brooks and Sophia Webster


Vonna Bitove and Jenna Bitove Naumovich


Kimberly Lyn, Samantha Beckerman, yours truly, and Caillianne Beckerman

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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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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Greta Constantine Pool Party 2013 Edition

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: those Greta Constantine kids sure know how to throw a party. The design duo of Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill held their 4th annual summer poolside soirée at the Toronto home of Michael Cooper and Krystal Koo last week, and it was as fabulous a night as ever before.

Dubbed “Bath, House, Steam” and inspired by Helmut Newton’s poolside works, one of the most anticipated summer shindigs on the city’s social calendar served up a sneak peek of the Greta Constantine Spring 2014 collection, an endless stream of Stoli cocktails, and delightful shenanigans like models in glamourous gowns gracefully swimming laps in the pool. No big deal.

Anita Clarke tweeted the day after the event, while presumably still basking in its afterglow, “Always thought models in gowns in a pool was 1 of those things you see in movies. Thx @gretconstantine for making it happen”. Ditto!


Greta Constantine’s Stephen Wong and muse/hostess Krystal Koo


Bloggers Caillianne and Samantha Beckerman


FASHION Magazine’s Caitlin Agnew and Paige Dzenis

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Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Mad Hot Ballet Gala 2013 Edition

On June 12, 2013, The National Ballet of Canada held its annual fundraising gala, Mad Hot Ballet: Dangerous Love, a Carmen-inspired affair at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. Hosted by CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi, the soirée featured a ballet performance programmed by Artistic Director Karen Kain, a Carmen-themed cocktail reception, as well as dinner and dancing on the Four Seasons Centre stage.

Guests, who included ballet dancer Sonia Rodriguez, FASHION editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra and Toronto Standard‘s Sabrina Maddeaux, sported their very best ballet-attending attire. With Carmen for the evening’s theme, partygoers chose gorgeous frocks by the likes of Chanel, Lucian Matis, and Lanvin for H&M for the occasion. Both on and offstage, Mad Hot Ballet was a feast for the eyes.

Check out the gallery below for 21 of our favourite looks from the evening.

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Events

A Look Inside the Michael Kors Hosted and Alexandra Richards DJed Shindig in Toronto

Designer Michael Kors touched down in Toronto yesterday for a meet-and-greet at his swanky Bloor Street boutique. Amidst racks of colourful, summer-ready apparel offerings and display cases of the brand’s wildly popular accessories, Kors chatted up editors, stylists and loyal customers, danced to tunes spun by model/DJ/rock royalty offspring Alexandra Richards, and even autographed a few of his handbags for his fiercest of fans.

Yours truly spent the evening doing what we do best: catching up with some of our favourite fashion folks, including our partner-in-crime Nelia Belkova and the life of every party Stacey McKenzie; ogling outfits, namely those of Jay Strut and Aya McMillan, who both showed up in fabulous black and white jailbird stripes; and shopping, natch. We even had our very own Kors encounter, and a snap with the grinning designer himself to prove it.


Stacey McKenzie


Alexandra Richards and Michael Kors


Samantha, Caillianne and Rana Beckerman


Nelia Belkova and Aya McMillan

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Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Canadian Screen Awards 2013 Edition


Bernadette Morra and Jeanne Beker

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s first annual Canadian Screen Awards were held in Toronto last night at The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and broadcast live on television. The awards, which have replaced the previously separate Genie and Gemini Awards, recognize excellence in film, television and digital media productions.

Last night’s broadcast gala and industry-only soirees held earlier in the week saw Canada’s most talented actors and television personalities walk the red carpet, many in designs by local designers. Presenter Tara Spencer-Nairn donned a fierce leather number by VAWK, one of our favourite looks from the Spring 2013 collection. Kristin Kreuk and Bernadette Morra each sported Arthur Mendonça; the Beauty and the Beast actress paired an unexpected printed jumpsuit with jewelry by  Toronto-based designers Shay Lowe Jewellery and Niki & Lola, while the FASHION Magazine editor-in-chief sported a stunning magenta cocktail dress.

Morra presented fashion icon and former Fashion Television host Jeanne Beker, decked out in Chanel, with the Academy Achievement Award for exceptional contributions to Canadian television. With the national fashion industry well-represented, the first ever Canadian Screen Awards was a glamorous affair indeed.


Tanya Kim


The Bachelor Canada’s Bianca Kamber


Kim Cattrell


Wendy Crewson

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