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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Sarah Stevenson Crowned Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels 2013 Winner

On April 30, Toronto Fashion Incubator held its annual TFI New Labels fundraising gala at The Carlu in Toronto. Chaired by Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a David Dixon-clad Dina Pugliese, the evening’s main event was the design competition runway show presented by Target and the crowning of this year’s New Labels winner.

Suzanne Rogers and Dina Pugliese

The show was the culmination of a six-month long competition that saw the field of contestants narrowed down to a very talented final four that included Christopher Paunil by Chalo Barrueta and Christopher Paunil, Paria Shirvani, Sarah Stevenson and SEVENTHIRTYONE by Maiko Suzuki and Defne Husrevoglu. With the support of beauty partner P&G Beauty & Grooming, the finalists presented four very distinct and well received collections in front of a discerning crowd of industry insiders that included designer Arthur Mendonça, model Stacey McKenzie, The Room’s Nicholas Mellamphy, and sponsor Mantella Corporation’s Sylvia Mantella.

Gabrielle Miller and Stacey McKenzie

If their audience didn’t already have them shaking in their fashionable boots, then the New Labels judges surely did. This year’s distinguished panel was made up of FLARE Editor-in-Chief Miranda Purves, TNT Boutiques’ Arie Assaraf, Target Divisional Merchandise Manager Elisha Ballantyne, Target Senior Vice President, Merchandising John Morioka, TFI President David Dixon and gala chair Suzanne Rogers.

Winner Sarah Stevenson with the esteemed judging panel after her win

After a short but tough deliberation, the judges named Sarah Stevenson, who presented a cohesive line-up of looks featuring gorgeous prints and laser-cut detailing, the 2013 TFI New Labels winner. In addition to bragging rights, the Toronto native’s prize haul included a $25,000 cash award donated by Suzanne Rogers, a full-page feature in FLARE Magazine, and the opportunity to design a collection to be sold exclusively in Target locations across Canada in 2014. Congratulations Sarah!

Table #8!

Check out the gallery below for 40 images from the 2013 TFI New Labels gala, featuring Canadian fashion both on and off the runway.

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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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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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The Heart Truth Fashion Show 2011

On March 24th, the Heart & Stroke Foundation held the 2011 edition of The Heart Truth Fashion Show at The Carlu in Toronto, an event that aims to raise awareness about women’s risk for cardiovascular disease. In its fourth year, the show featured celebrity models, including actress Elisha Cuthbert and singer Deborah Cox, in one-of-a-kind red dresses by top Canadian designers like Greta Constantine and VAWK.

“We’re reaching Canadian women with this lifesaving message: it’s time to take charge of your heart health”, said Bobbe Wood, CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, in a press release. “Make healthy lifestyle choices, monitor your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and advocate for the care you need from your doctor. And to Canadian men, we say support the women you love to protect their heart health.”

The HSF found a fun and light-hearted way to convey such an important message. The celebrity models strutted, danced and shimmied down the runway in stunning one-of-a-kind creations ranging from a sexy fringed mini dress by VAWK to a glam floor-length ballgown by Ines di Santo. This fashion show was the most fun I’ve ever had the pleasure of attending, and was a great kick-off to Toronto Fashion Week!

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