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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Spotted from the Backseat: DX Intersection 2012 Edition

Jenna Naumovich

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

Anita Clarke

Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine

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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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Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2012 Edition

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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Spotted from the Backseat: Canada’s Walk of Fame 2012 Inductee Ball Edition

On September 22, Canada’s Walk of Fame held its annual gala in honour of this year’s inductees. As Team Canada 1972, musician Randy Bachman, the late actor Phil Hartman, CFL star Russ Jackson, singer Sarah McLachlan and ballet dancer Sonia Rodriguez received their shiny new stars, yours truly diligently captured the evening’s most stylish.

From the inductees themselves, like the elegant Sonia Rodriguez in a blush-coloured gown and on the arm of husband Kurt Browning, to gala attendees, including actress Jill Hennessy in a LBD from Cynthia Rowley’s Resort 2013 collection and TV host Liza Fromer in a draped violet creation by Greta Constantine, the Canada’s Walk of Fame red carpet never looked so stylish.

2012 Canada’s Walk of Fame inductee Sonia Rodriguez

Television host Liza Fromer in Greta Constantine

Actress Jill Hennessy in Cynthia Rowley Resort 2013

Me in VAWK Resort 2012

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Spotted from the Backseat: Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala 2012 Edition

Catriona Le May Doan and me

On September 21, Toronto played host to the 2012 Olympic Heroes Parade and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame Gala. Having spent 17 days of my summer cheering on the Canadian Olympic team at the London 2012 Summer Games and feeling like I was practically BFFs with each and every one of our athletes already, I knew I had to be there for the celebrations. Besides, I wanted to see for myself whether on-field prowess translates into off-field sartorial genius. I wasn’t disappointed.

Speed skating legend Catriona Le May Doan chose a golden (the very best Olympic colour) mini dress for her gala co-hosting duties with Ben Mulroney. Kaylyn Kyle, a midfielder on the women’s Olympic soccer team donned a LBD and statement necklace, which she wore in favour of her bronze medal, for the occasion. The men were on top of their sartorial game too. Swimmer and bronze medal winner in the 100-metre freestyle Brent Hayden looked incredibly dapper in a classic black tuxedo and matching bow tie.

Outfits aside, it was a truly epic night, as wrestler Daniel Igali, freestyle skier Jean-Luc Brassard, synchronized swimming coach Julie Sauve, cross-country skier Beckie Scott, the late Sarah Burke, the 2006 women’s Olympic hockey team and the 2010 men’s Olympic hockey team were all inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. “I grew up being told by my grandmother that dreams should be a size too big so we could fit into them,” Igali told gala guests. Thanks to him, my lovely seatmate and javelin thrower Liz Gleadle, and the other inspiring athletes in attendance, I’m now dreaming bigger dreams too.

About to take a bite out of Kaylyn Kyle’s Olympic bronze medal

Divers taking a break from the pool for a walk down the red carpet

Me and swimmer Brent Hayden

Me and soccer player Kaylyn Kyle

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Fashion News

M.A.C Viva Glam Fashion Cares 25 Line-Up to Feature Elton John, Janelle Monáe and More

M∙A∙C Viva Glam Fashion Cares 25 has announced the line-up of musical talent and fashion designers that will be taking part in the star-studded fundraiser scheduled for September 9, 2012 in Toronto. Raising funds in support of HIV/AIDS awareness and the AIDS Committee of Toronto since 1987, this 25th and final edition of Fashion Cares will feature performances by Sir Elton John and his guests, including Scissor Sisters, Janelle Monáe and Sky Ferreira.

Supermodel Linda Evangelista and designers Dean & Dan Caten of DSQUARED2 will serve as hosts of an evening that will feature a cocktail reception, a Fashion Cares-inspired fashion show, and musical acts that will also include Canadian favourites like Jully Black, Kreesha Turner and more. In addition, attendees will enjoy a 25-year Fashion Cares retrospective exhibit showcasing glamourous looks from past Fashion Cares events, as well as items from Elton John’s costume archives.

Designers contributing original pieces to the fashion show include: Comrags, David Dixon, DSquared2, Elie Saab, Farley Chatto, Gareth Pugh, Greta Constantine, Hoax Couture, Izzy Camilleri, Joeffer Caoc, Manish Arora, Marty Rotman, Mercy, Pat McDonagh, Pink Tartan, Sandra Rabasca, Stephane Rollande, Susan Dicks, The Blondes, Valencienne and Welly.

Musical performers joining Elton John on the Fashion Cares 25 stage will include: Aleesia, Anjulie, Jully Black, Diamond Rings, Divine Brown, Keshia Chanté, Jarvis Church, Shawn Desman, Sky Ferreira, Elise Legrow, Midway State, Mia Martina, Stephan Moccio, Janelle Monáe, Billy Newton Davis, Carole Pope, RyanDan, Serena Ryder, Scissors Sisters, Kreesha Turner and Nikki Yanofsky.

Fashion Cares 25 promises to be nothing short of spectacular, and all in the name of a very worthy cause. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

xx, S

Images via FUSE Marketing, SALON, Nialler9

Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Power Ball 2012 Edition

On June 14, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto celebrated its 25th anniversary with this year’s edition of its annual fundraiser, Power Ball: Quarter-Life Crisis. Last year’s affair was a resounding success complete with a giant bull on the BBQ, refrigerators with mysterious (sometimes edible) contents, and some of the most adventurous gala fashion we’d photographed to date. How could this year’s soirée possibly top all of that? It turns out that I needn’t have worried, because it definitely did.

Party-goers pulled together ensembles that managed to rival those we snapped last year. Between FLARE Fashion Editor Liz Cabral’s metallic trousers, blogger Samantha Beckerman’s pink hair and matching furry purse, PR pro Abigail VanDenBroek’s ombre fringe dress, and Givenchy and Zara everywhere, we stopped shooting only long enough for our own requisite turn in the Photostar booth with the rest of the blogger contingent.

In fact, the fashion kept us so camera-happy we missed munching on the bison spit-roasted by Chef Marc Thuet and scribbling our names on the generously donated white Land Rover parked out front. There’s always next year, of course, and I’m already counting down the days until Power Ball 15…

xx, S


Spotted from the Backseat: Children’s Aid Foundation Spark Gala 2012 Edition

FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra in MARTIN LIM

May 6, 2012 marked the second annual SPARK Gala, a fundraising event hosted by the Children’s Aid Foundation in support of children and youth living in the child welfare system. Held at The Carlu and co-hosted by Global Toronto anchors Anne Mroczkowski and Leslie Roberts, the Gala honoured five inspirational Canadian luminaries, including FASHION Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, actress Lisa Ray, rock musician Randy Bachman, figure skater Patrick Chan and singer Jackie Richardson.

The rousing performances, which followed an exquisite brunch created by celebrity chef Mark McEwan, certainly lived up to the Gala’s theme, “Rhythm and Soul.” In addition, Montreal-based designers Danielle Martin and Pao Lim, winners of the inaugural Mercedes-Benz Start Up design competition last year, presented their MARTIN LIM Fall 2012 collection, a beautiful reflection on the contrast between structure and movement.

All in attendance were fabulously dressed, including SPARK Gala chair and co-founder Andrea Weissman-Daniels in a stunning Oscar de la Renta dress and Kara Alloway in an electrifying Manish Arora jacket and festive Brian Atwood ‘Mojito’ sandals. Fashion luminary Bernadette Morra showed her support for MARTIN LIM, donning a dress from the Spring 2012 collection that won the design duo their MBSU crown.

Andrea Weissman-Daniels declared the Gala a tremendous success, having raised over $400,000 towards helping create opportunities for youth to engage in sports, arts, and cultural activities. For more information about the Children’s Aid Foundation, please visit

Fashion Designer / Creative Marketing Director of Ports 1961 Tu Ly

Spark co-founder Andrea Weissman-Daniels in Oscar de la Renta

Kara Alloway in Brian Atwood ‘Mojito’ sandals

xx, T


Toronto Fashion Incubator Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Glamourous TFI25 Gala

Honorary chair Suzanne Rogers and sponsor Sylvia Mantella 

On May 3, Toronto Fashion Incubator celebrated its 25th anniversary with a fundraising gala at the Royal Ontario Museum, aptly dubbed TFI25, that was attended by a who’s who of Toronto’s social set and fashion industry and fit for Barbie herself. Chaired by Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a Greta Constantine-clad Jully Black, the evening featured a VIP dinner, a Barbie-inspired celebrity runway show, the annual TFI New Labels design competition fashion show and, of course, an after-party.

Singer and TFI25 Master of Ceremonies Jully Black

After a 6 month long competition, finalists Patrick LarrivéeSid NeigumJameson Kane by Genevieve Pearson and Stanley Capobianco, and [blak] – i by Diego Fuchs and Helder Aguiar showed four very well received collections that made the TFI New Labels judges’ decision that much more difficult to make. “Judges are in big trouble from @SusanAtTFI”, FLARE Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Lisa Tant tweeted, ”because we can’t decide and won’t come out.”

FLARE Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and TFI New Labels judge Lisa Tant

Tant was joined on the judging panel by TNT Boutiques’ Arie AssarafToronto Star‘s Derick Chetty, TFI President David Dixon, TFI Executive Director Susan Langdon and the gala’s honorary chair Suzanne Rogers, who donated the $25,000 grand prize. In the end, Edmonton native Sid Neigum was named this year’s TFI New Labels winner, taking home a prize package valued at $60,000, which included a feature in FLARE Magazine and a design studio at the TFI sponsored by Arie Assaraf.

TFI New Labels winner Sid Neigum and model

Those weren’t the only prizes up for grabs at TFI25. The Barbie-inspired fashion show featured celebrity models like Dina Pugliese, Tanya Kim and Trish Stratus in designs by VAWKArthur Mendonça, Anastasia Lomonova and more. While past TFI New Labels winner Sarah Nicol of Sar Couture was awarded the $10,000 cash prize, it was actress Tara Spencer-Nairn in VAWK who stole the show with her robotic runway walk, tweeted FASHION Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra.

Dina Pugliese in Barbie-inspired dress by Stema

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