Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Our 10 Favourite Looks of 2012!

Krystal Koo and Suzanne Rogers at Rodarte event at The Room at The Bay

Some of my nerdiest (and more awkward) moments as a fashion blogger are those times when I’m full out freaking out about someone else’s outfit, oftentimes a chic stranger. “It’s that Mary Katrantzou dress!”, I’ll hiss to T, to the Mister (who could care less), or to no one in particular. I’ll then do that little jig where I’m pretending to be engrossed in the hors d’oeuvres spread or silent auction offerings but am really tracking said person’s movements, waiting for that opening in between bites of food or inside jokes to go in for the shot.

I always try to be polite to the individuals in the incredible ensembles, and respectful of other photographers and bloggers also trying to get the shot. Over the last 3+ years, I’ve been turned away by a would-be street style subject exactly once. Other times, I would have preferred a refusal over the scowl I saw through my camera lens; although, to be fair, this is also a rare occurrence. Most everyone I ask for a photo responds kindly and generously.

There was that time one bold face name vouched for me to another bold face name: “It’s OK – she’s cool.” The Toronto socialite stamp of approval! I was, quite honestly, delighted to be considered safe to pose for by the city’s social set. There was also that time one of Toronto’s most prolific event photographers waited very patiently for several minutes as I tried desperately to get my camera to co-operate and snap his picture. His empathy and assurance that this sort of thing happens to him too made the incident just a little less humiliating for me.

To Suzanne, Krystal, Liz, Faith, Monica, Amy, Glenna, Megan, Alesia, Ainsley, and everyone else who indulged me and my camera this year, thank you from the bottom of my fashion-obsessed heart. I can’t wait to do it all over again in 2013!

Liz Cabral at Power Ball

Monica Mei at Operanation

Alesia at Prom at the ROM

Megan Loach at Prom at the ROM

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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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Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Our 10 Favourite Looks of 2011!

Liz Cabral of FLARE Magazine at the Mugler event at The Room at the Bay

Toronto’s most fashionable folks made our gig as part-time street style snappers rather easy this past year. We spent little time trolling the streets and, instead, had the pleasure of shooting the city’s most impeccably dressed at the very best industry events and charity galas the city had to offer. These 10 shots are our favourite from the year, and they feature 11 stunning women in ensembles that made us drop our jaws and shamelessly chase after them for photos.

And on that note, thank you to all of our street style subjects from the past 12 months, included in this post or not, who graciously allowed us to interrupt conversations with long lost friends or accost them as they were just biting into an hors d’oeuvre, and who pretended not to notice when we started snapping with our lens cap still on. We look forward to shooting all of you again in 2012!

Suzanne Rogers in Paul & Joe Spring 2011 at the 10th Annual POGO Gala, with Jenna Naumovich

Elly Barlin-Daniels in Marc Jacobs Resort 2011 at the 10th Annual POGO Gala

Amy Burstyn-Fritz of Knot PR in Calla Fall 2011 at Operanation

Carly Stojsic of WGSN and Lisa Tant of FLARE Magazine (in Prabal Gurung Fall 2011) at the P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards

Vyara Ndejuru of ALDO at the A is for ALDO launch

Faith Orfus of RAC Boutique at Operanation

Jenna Naumovich in Erdem at the Ignite the Spark Gala

Mosha Lundström Halbert of FLARE Magazine at the Proenza Schouler event at The Room, with Shinan Govani of the National Post

Ainsley Kerr in Lucian Matis Fall 2011 at the 10th Annual POGO Gala

xx, T & S

Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2011 Edition

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 HaynesJoeffer CaocArthur 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

xx, S


Spotted from the Backseat: Power Ball 13 – Thirteenth Floor

Jenna Naumovich (in a Herve Leger dress and the Giuseppe Zanotti flower sandals of my dreams) and Natasha Penzo

Power Ball 13: Thirteenth Floor has to be the most hyped up charity event I’ve attended since I started covering such things. In the months leading up to it, all I was hearing was “Power Ball this” and “Power Ball that“; why was Toronto so excited over a fundraiser for The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery? I found out for myself last Thursday, June 16th – a whirlwind evening of primping courtesy of Conair and Rock-It Promotions, snapping photos of my fellow Power Ball-ers’ fabulous outfits, and plenty of food, drink and chatter in between.

From the moment I stepped foot in The Power Plant that night to the moment I left Toronto’s Harbourfront, my first Power Ball experience was a case study in sensory overload, in the very best way, of course. With art installations that made you go hmmm at every turn, culinary delights by Marc Thuet like a giant roasting cow, and an incredible line-up of DJs, I’d say Power Ball 13 lived up to the hype, and then some.

Party-goers elevated their sartorial games, too, for the occasion. From Anita Clarke‘s Mark Fast bodysuit to Elly Barlin-Daniels‘ Givenchy mini to Briony Smith‘s Evan Biddell studded dress, this was not your usual charity fundraiser fare. My motto for the evening was “go bright or go home”, and so I did, in a yellow Lanvin for H&M dress and fruit-themed Charlotte Olympia pumps that made FASHION Magazine‘s Power Ball coverage.

Power Ball 13 was such an unexpectedly good time that I’m already counting down the days until Power Ball 14. That’s a long way from now, unfortunately, so in the meantime I’ll be joining in on the “Power Ball this“-ing and “Power Ball that“-ing…

Publicist April Wozny and blogger Anita Clarke (in Mark Fast)

Claire Kerr (in Mango) and me (in Lanvin for H&M dress and Charlotte Olympia shoes)

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“When Tommy Met Anna”: Tommy Ton & Anna Dello Russo Feted at The Room at the Bay in Toronto

Me and Vogue Nippon Editor-at-Large Anna Dello Russo

The Room at the Bay announced recently that they would be hosting “When Tommy Met Anna”, an exhibit of photographs of Vogue Nippon Editor-at-Large and street style heroine Anna Dello Russo by Toronto-based, world-renowned street style photographer Tommy Ton. When the news first broke, the first question on mine and most other lips in the city was, “Does that mean ADR is coming to Toronto?!” When confirmation came via a tweet from The Hudson’s Bay Company that, indeed, the inimitable Dello Russo would be gracing our city with her perennially overdressed presence, the excitement in the Toronto fashion community’s little corner of the Twitterverse was palpable. Not only was ADR coming to town, but she was also bringing with her a fabulous excuse for The Room at the Bay to break out the fancy schmancy hors d’oeuvres and bottles of champagne again. In the year and a half since The Room was relaunched, it’s garnered quite the reputation for throwing some of the best industry shindigs around (see here, here and here for the evidence).

ADR in a Giles Deacon Spring 2011 bandage print dress and Brian Atwood pumps with a gaggle of her biggest fans

Of course, delicious mini burgers and open-bar aside, the evening was about Anna Dello Russo and Tommy Ton, and boy was it ever. True to what we’ve come to expect of Dello Russo and her multiple outfit changes during each day of Fashion Month, the guest of honour kicked off the evening in a lovely pink bandage print Giles Deacon dress and matching Brian Atwood pumps, and then slipped away briefly at one point to don a new ensemble, returning in the standout yellow and blue lampshade dress from Mary Katrantzou’s Spring 2011 runway show. Not to be outdone, Ton kept up with a mid-party outfit swap of his own. This man, who brings us images of the most fabulous footwear from the streets of the world’s fashion capitals, has serious shoe game himself.

Toronto’s fashion set also did not disappoint, showing up at The Room’s invite-only soiree in amped up getups clearly inspired by ADR’s own outrageous looks over the past few years. There was colour, bling, and a sense of sartorial adventure in the air. The Room looked its best too, with over-sized street style snaps of Dello Russo by Ton, new Spring 2011 designer arrivals and inspired visual displays galore. The Bay demonstrated once again that they know how to throw a party, which was abundantly clear when, as the evening drew to a close, I spotted the guests of honour grooving with guests on the makeshift dance floor - Dello Russo in the DJ booth and Ton posing with the most glammed out transvestite I’ve ever laid eyes on. In a word? Epic.

Tommy Ton and his date *wink*

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RAC Boutique “All Things Vivienne Westwood” Event

On April 8, 2011, RAC Boutique in Toronto held their “All Things Vivienne Westwood” event to launch the Vivienne Westwood Anglomania Spring 2011 collection. For the party, co-owners Glenna Weddle and Faith Orfus worked with stylist George Antonopoulos and hair artist Sandy Ciuro to create an installation featuring mannequins with Dame Westwood’s signature red hair and donning pieces from the latest Anglomania collection. The styling was genius, even incorporating a FALLON cuff I’m now lusting after. Kudos to RAC for an inspired installation and fantastic event!

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