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
My spoils of war
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World Mastercard Fashion Week (WMCFW) is currently in full swing and there’s no more fashionable a city in Canada right now than Toronto. Whether it’s models strutting their stuff on the catwalk, editors and VIPs sitting front row, or bloggers getting a sneak peek backstage, everywhere we turn it’s a fabulous feast for the eyes.
Being surrounded by many of the most sartorially gifted industry insiders for 5 days in a row is both inspiring and dangerous; our fall/winter wish lists have grown rapidly while we’ve people-watched over the course of the week, not so stealthily ogling the sea of chic ensembles around us. Unable to resist the urge to shop, we snuck a trip to Toronto Eaton Centre (TEC) in between runway shows. Armed with the top street style trends we’ve spotted at the fashion week tents just down the street, we scoured the 3-floor fashion mecca for pieces that would help us – and you! – get the looks.
We loved freelance fashion writer Bianca Teixeira’s cobalt blue, double-breasted pea coat, which she donned over a similarly-hued frock for a monochromatic look on opening night of WMCFW. Want a vibrant pop of colour in your fall/winter outerwear rotation too? Stop by Toronto Eaton Centre for a teal lapelless option at H&M ($129), an oxblood wool biker coat with leather sleeves at Zara ($269) or a raspberry wool blazer with contrast piping at Juicy Couture ($361). These are sure to cheer you up on a rainy fall day.
Whether it’s zebra, cheetah, or snake, the animal print trend is going nowhere fast. While it was a wonderfully loud leopard print coat that caught our eye, you can start small with a scarf like Massimo Dutti’s woollen green snakeskin foulard ($59.50) or a handbag like Banana Republic’s ‘Jamie’ box clutch ($150). For those of you who are ready to fully embrace animal print, a dress is surely the way to go. Who needs a LBD when you can rock Ann Taylor’s zebra knit jacquard sheath dress ($98) or Juicy Couture’s ponte knit green python dress ($218) instead?
We’ve spotted everything from crisp white cotton button-downs to colourfully-printed silk blouses so far this week, and one of our favourites has been the studded collar shirt we saw on Jenn Campbell, FLARE Magazine’s Senior Digital Editor. TEC has tons of collared shirts to choose from and whittling the list down to just 3 was a tough task, but J. Crew’s silk boy shirt in heart throb ($158), Club Monaco’s ‘Patricia’ silk shirt with contrast leather piping ($149.50) and Mendocino’s graphic print blouse by Clover Canyon ($312, arriving in November) are our top picks.
When it comes to statement necklaces, blogger Nelia Belkova is the queen; we’ve seen her sporting one fabulous piece after another every day this fashion week. Go big or go home, her accessories philosophy seems to be, and it’s ours too. Hang a conversation starter like H&M’s insect necklace ($14.95), BCBG Max Azria’s rocker statement necklace ($178), or the Lulu Frost for J. Crew crystal petal necklace ($220) around your neck to take your fashion week outfit to the next level with some help from TEC.
It’s the last day of WMCFW today, and U.S. retailer EXPRESS, which is launching a new store at Toronto Eaton Centre next month, is set to close the week. We’ll be live-tweeting tonight’s 9pm show, so be sure to follow @backseatstylers and @toeatoncentre on Twitter for updates straight from the runway.
See you at the tents one final time this season – and then at Toronto Eaton Centre! After all those fashion shows this week, you’ll want to do some serious shopping at TEC’s newest boutiques: Canada’s first unisex J.Crew, North America’s first Massimo Dutti, and Canada’s first Ann Taylor. We know we will.
xx, T & S
Sponsored by Cadillac Fairview
J.Crew has landed! For those of you who, like me, have been shopping online or making the trek to Yorkdale, your favourite source for the preppiest of sartorial goods has finally set up shop in downtown Toronto. The brand’s second store in the city finally launched yesterday at Toronto Eaton Centre to much excitement from the hipsters, the Bay Street crowd and everyone in between.
The new boutique opened up bright and early for a breakfast preview that saw some of our favourite Toronto industry insiders stop by to fondle the cashmere and ogle the statement jewelry whilst waiting for the opportunity to chat with Tom Mora, head of women’s design, and Frank Muytjens, head of men’s design at J.Crew. We caught the Beckerman clan plotting their next street style shoot, Fashion Magazine‘s Caitlin Agnew hanging out doing research in the shoe section, and a contingent of my male fashion blogging counterparts looking really, really pleased with the first J.Crew menswear offerings in the city.
I, for one, can’t wait to get the Mister all outfitted in J.Crew’s fall collection…but I think I’ll start with me first. Do you blame me really?
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We’re always reporting on the most stylish looks at the swankiest shindigs in Toronto, and we finally have the opportunity to do the same for our own inaugural event, Three Years of Style, co-hosted with Nelia Belkova of Style Blog and Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes on August 7 at the Thompson Toronto Rooftop Lounge. With $650 worth of prizes on the line in our style contest, guests showed up in their Tuesday evening rooftop party best, and we just couldn’t stop snapping.
Attendees brought their sartorial A game, and we’d expected no less from the most stylish blog readers and supporters out there. Glam Canada Editorial Director (and grand prize winner!) Aya McMillan‘s Clover Canyon printed pairing was a unanimous favourite, but the decision wasn’t easy with runners-up Jessica Chiu in fierce neon orange Christopher Kane and Liane Fong in a lovely mint green, pleated confection.
Also showing up in style were Hamilton-based blogger Jentine Gootjes of My Edit in a lovely lace frock, The Genteel Editor-in-Chief Mona Chammas in a geeky chic get-up, and PR extraordinaire Vanessa Morcom in a fabulous coral ensemble. Rocking impressive arm parties and sky-high stilettos, ours was one of the most stylish crowds the Thompson rooftop has seen.
Admittedly, that put a bit of pressure on us as hosts. What do we wear to throw one of the biggest blog bashes of the year, to be attended by many of Toronto’s most sartorially gifted? After much deliberation, S donned a summery white frock by Judith & Charles, and accessorized with Marni for H&M jewelry and – what else? – Christian Louboutin pumps. T stuck to her staples for this summer: green skinny jeans, a crisp white shirt and sharp burgundy brogues.
What did you wear to Three Years of Style? Check out the gallery below for 28 style snaps from the Thompson rooftop – you might just spot your stylish self. Missed out on the fun this time? Give our event recap a read and start counting down until next year’s soiree!
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