Sisi Penaloza, Anita Clarke, Vicki Hogarth, Gail McInnes and Andrea Bolley
Hats, horseshoes and bow ties, oh my! On Sunday, July 7, Woodbine Racetrack held the prestigious Queen’s Plate, the first leg of the Canadian Triple Crown and one of the most exciting sporting and fashion events of the summer. After a month long countdown and one of the most epic contests we’ve hosted to date, we at The Backseat Stylers were delighted to finally attend our very first Queen’s Plate, and it turned out to be everything we dreamed it would be and more.
Outfitted in our chicest race day garb and exquisite fascinators by #QP2013 official milliner David Dunkley, we arrived at Woodbine for an afternoon of horse betting and street style snapping, both of which were great successes by our measure. The gents were more dapper, the ladies more fabulous, and the hats bolder and more bountiful than we’d imagined. Midnight Aria and jockey Jesse Campbell may have crossed the finish line first on the racetrack, but there were too many sartorial wins to count off the track.
We fell in love with Stylist Box co-founder Gail McInnes‘ gorgeous violet hat by Midence Oliu, adored bloggers Richard Fabregui and Marc Piercey‘s matching dapper bow ties, and were in awe of Jake Mossop‘s amazing tailcoat and top hat getup. We also oohed and aahed over iVillage style expert Sarah Francis‘ Gatsby-esque head jewels, squealed over our contest winner Kimberlee Montgomery‘s navy lace frock, and bowed down to blogger Kimberly Lyn‘s perfectly colour co-ordinated pant ensemble, which rightfully won best dressed honours from FASHION Magazine. As for our favourite headpiece of the day? Definitely the patriotic, red and white ‘O Canada’ hat – another David Dunkley creation – donned by on-duty CBC journalist Monika Platek, who doubled as our lovely Hats & Horseshoes Party host.
From cheering on our race horse picks in the grandstands to admiring fascinators in the invite-only Grey Goose Lounge, Queen’s Plate 2013 was a horse racing and fashion extravaganza, and we loved every single moment of it. Missed out on the fun this year? Don’t fret – #QP2014 will be here before you know it! In the meantime, check out the gallery below for 40 style snaps of racing fashion at its best from this year’s event.
Steven Carver, Chenessa Lam, Viktoria Szyling, Lance Chung, Sharad Mohan, Joe Reaves
CBC’s Monika Platek interviewing yours truly
Blogger Kimberly Lyn and FASHION’s Paige Dzenis
Our Queen’s Plate contest winner Kimberlee Montgomery (centre) and her BFFs
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What a year 2012 was! It started with a Toronto Fashion Week runway walk and ended with some Tiffany & Co. hardware. In between, we attended a lot of events, made some lovely new friends, celebrated our 3-year anniversary, wrote 373 blog posts, and more than doubled our reach. Not too shabby, by our measure.
Here’s a look back at our favourite moments from the past year. Thanks to all of you lovely readers, brands, PR folks and fellow blogger friends for showing us so much love. We’re excited for what 2013 will bring, and hope you’ll stick with us to find out!
S’s runway model moment for VAWKKIN at Toronto Fashion Week
The side of S’s head was on an episode of America’s Next Top Model. It was awesome.
A stylish road trip to The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI? Yes please!
T and model Irina Lazareanu, giving their best smizes.
Celebrating Three Years of Style with Style Blog, The Souls of My Shoes and our lovely readers…happy birthday to us! (Image Credit: You Just Got Spotted)
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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, and 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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Randi Bergman and Paige Dzenis of FASHION Magazine
On November 1, the 2011 edition of the Canadian P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards were held in Toronto, hosted by actress Kim Cattrall. Celebrating our country’s best editorial content and brightest creative talents in beauty, grooming and fashion, the Awards brought together the faces behind the credits of our favourite Canadian print and online publications. From the prolific Jeanne Beker to singer Jully Black, Editors-in-Chief Lisa Tant (Flare) and Bernadette Morra (FASHION) to top Canadian designers Sunny Fong (VAWK), Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill (Greta Constantine), the industry’s biggest names descended on the Carlu to recognize the year’s best work in 19 categories.
Congratulations to all the winners!
- Best Magazine Cover – Clin d’oeil, Marianne Thornton (Editor-in-Chief), July 2011
- Best Beauty Editor(s) of a Magazine – Kristen Vinakmens and Wing Sze Tang; Flare
- Best Scientific Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Kate Rae; Glow, Vampire Weekend
- Best Scientific Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French) – Micheline Lortie and Sophie St-Laurent; Châtelaine, Les années beauté
- Best Creative Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Tania Kwong; Glow, Dark Angel
- Best Creative Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French) – Sophie St-Laurent; Châtelaine, Sillages gourmands
- Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine – Susie Sheffman; FASHION
- Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Elio Iannacci; Maclean’s, The New Transsexual Chic
- Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French) – Stéphane Le Duc; Dress to Kill, Jean Paul Gaultier, Génie de la mode
- Best Fashion or Beauty Blog – Michelle Mullins; LipstickRules.com
- Best Fashion or Beauty Blog (French) – Anik Lacasse-Richard; Montrealinstyle.com
- Best Male Grooming Feature – Leo Petaccia; Sharp, How a Man Should Groom
- Best Male Grooming Feature (French) – Sylvie Michelon; Clin d’oeil, Mad mâle
- Best Male Fashion Feature – Greg Hudson; Sharp, Heroes of Menswear
- Best Fashion or Beauty Website – Randi Bergman, FashionMagazine.com
- Best New Face – Sarah Jordan, Specs Models
- Photographer of the Year – Chris Nicholls
- Hair Stylist of the Year – Anna Barseghian
- Make-up Artist of the Year – Sabrina Rinaldi
A special shout out to Anya Georgijevic
, a finalist in the Best Fashion or Beauty Blog category for I’m The It Girl
, and her to-die-for Nicholas Kirkwood laser-cut booties
. Because while everyone else in attendance had their eye on the prize (a P&G Beauty & Grooming Award trophy, that is), I was ogling the swanky shoes on their feet. And on that note, check out the gallery below for photos of some of the evening’s chicest looks.
Actress and host Kim Cattrall
Carly Stojsic of WGSN and Lisa Tant of FLARE Magazine
Nicholas Mellamphy of The Room at the Bay and Anya Georgijevic of I’m The It Girl
Designers Evan Biddell and Sunny Fong
Patricia Gajo, Bernadette Morra and Susie Sheffman of FASHION Magazine