Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party 2014 Edition


Candice Chan (middle) and Alison Slight (right)

On September 4, Toronto’s most sartorially-gifted gathered at the Four Seasons Hotel to celebrate the launch of Toronto Life‘s latest Stylebook and the select few featured in its pages. The city’s fashion set, including the likes of Joe and Kimberley Mimran, FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra, model Stacey McKenzie, and Dion and Elisha Phaneuf, spent the opening night of the Toronto International Film Festival schmoozing with honourees past, present and future.

This year’s Most Stylish included the likes of Chloe Rogers (Elite model), Suzanne Cohon (principal, ASC Toronto), Elaine Lui (co-host, The Social), Lisa Corbo (co-owner, George C), Markus Anderson (consultant, Soho House Group), Ray Civello (founder of Civello Salon and Spa, and president of Aveda Canada), Lance Chung (fashion journalist), Sacha Grierson, (co-owner, Eat My Words) and her daughter, Lola FlaneryVanessa Morcom (CEO, Morcom Media) and more.

Check out the gallery below for over 30 style snaps of Toronto’s best dressed folks at the #TLMostStylish event.


Amy Burstyn-Fritz


Elisha Cuthbert and Dion Phaneuf


Kimberley Newport-Mimran and Joe Mimran


Dean and Dan Caten

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Events

AliceAzur by Miriam Baker Wins Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels 2014 Competition

On June 5, Toronto Fashion Incubator held its annual TFI New Labels competition, with four up and coming labels showcasing their collections in front of a who’s who of the Canadian fashion industry. Chaired by philanthropist Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a David Dixon-clad Jeanne Beker, the evening featured a cocktail reception and runway show that culminated in the naming of AliceAzur by Miriam Baker as Most Promising New Label.

Miriam Baker took the honour over fellow finalists Christopher Paunil DesignsLaura Siegel and Nomad of the Sun by Ashley Boutcher. “All of our finalists have promising futures and each year we are amazed by the caliber of the showcased collections,” said Susan Langdon, Executive Director of TFI.

It was a tough decision we bet, and we don’t envy the esteemed panel of judges, which included TNT owner Arie Assaraf, designer David DixonFLARE Fashion Director Tiyana Grulovic and Suzanne Rogers, for having to make it.

“I am overwhelmed with this acknowledgement and would not have pushed myself this far if it wasn’t for the support of TFI and the panel of judges,” said Baker. ”I have learned through this process and am excited to develop a complete size range and start production.” Baker was awarded a $25,000 cash prize generously donated by Suzanne Rogers, an editorial spread in FLARE Magazine, and production of a lookbook for her collection by Covergirl and Pantene.

We’re loving the chic, feminine aesthetic of AliceAzur, and can’t wait to see Miriam Baker take her label to the next level with this big TFI New Labels win now under her belt. In the meantime, take a gander at the gallery below for images of the runway show and, of course, of guests’ glam (and, in many cases, Canadian-designed!) gala style.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Suzanne Rogers Presents Zac Posen

On April 28, New York-based designer and red carpet favourite Zac Posen touched down in Toronto for philanthropist Suzanne Rogers‘ annual fashion fundraiser in support of children’s charities. The ‘Suzanne Rogers Presents Zac Posen’ event saw the likes of Hamish Bowles, Leigh LezarkDerek Blasberg and honourary co-chairs Lauren Santo Domingo and Martin Short make the trek north of the border to The Carlu to attend the black tie gala, which raised $800,000 for Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention.

The evening featured Posen’s first ever fashion show in Canada (headlined by none other than Coco Rocha!), a dinner, live auction (a dance with the designer himself, anyone?) and an official after party. Many in the crowd showed up for all the festivities in their most red carpet-worthy looks, including Sylvia Mantella in a jaw-dropping baby blue confection, Ainsley Kerr in a gorgeous floral-embroidered gown, and Jessica Mulroney in an eye-catching cobalt blue number.

Check out the gallery below for 23 style snaps from what will undoubtedly be one of the year’s most glamourous affairs.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: POGO Gala 2014 Edition


Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers

On April 12, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario hosted its 13th annual fundraising gala, Odyssey, a soirée held in support of the non-profit organization’s efforts to deliver the right care at the right time and in the right place for children with cancer and their families. Decked out in their black tie best, the city’s social set arrived at the Liberty Grand in Toronto to support the very worthy cause at what is always one of the most glamourous events of the year.

POGO Gala 2014 featured a cocktail reception (duck confit quesadillas for the win!), silent auction (lunch with an astronaut, anyone?), gala dinner, live auction (drums and lessons from Johnny Fay of the Tragically Hip were up for grabs – how cool is that?), and even an official after-party. Check out the gallery below for 20 style snaps from POGO Gala 2014, including a pretty-in-pink Suzanne Rogers on the arm of a dapper Glenn Dixon, the lovely Jane Hanrahan in a gorgeous black gown, and the ultra chic duo of Lori Siddons and Brittney Kuczynski.

P.S. Find out more about POGO and how you can support the cause at pogo.ca.


Lori Siddons and Brittney Kuczynski


Jane Hanrahan (left)

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Events

P&G and Christina Hendricks Celebrate Top Canadian Talent at Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013


Yours truly with Christina Hendricks and Glen Baxter

On December 2, P&G held its 5th annual P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards at The Carlu in Toronto, bringing together Canada’s top talent in the beauty, grooming and fashion industries. Hosted by Mad Men star and bonafide bombshell Christina Hendricks, the evening honoured the year’s best print and online content in 20 categories.

“I’ve always loved Canada, and I feel honoured to be a part of such an important event, highlighting the incredible talent in this country,” said Hendricks. “My work regularly exposes me to the stylists, editors, photographers and artists who work diligently behind the scenes, and I know how truly deserving they are of recognition.”

A bevy of bold-faced names assisted Hendricks in the doling out of the Tiffany & Co. crystal trophies, including fashion icon Jeanne Beker, TV journalist Glen Baxter, R&B singer (and ever charming) Jully Black, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, and designer Jeremy Laing. And without further ado, here’s the complete list of winners from the 2013 edition of the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards:

1. Best Art Direction: Mark Reynolds, MONTECRISTO Magazine
2. Best Next Face – Presented by Olay: Dauphine McKee – Elmer Olsen Models
3. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Trend or Profile (English): Olivia Stren, FASHION Magazine, Shear Force
4. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Trend or Profile (French): Mélanie Frappa, ELLE Québec, Tendances phares: printemps-été 2013
5. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Scientific or Technical (English): Ellen Himelfarb, FLARE, Tug of War
6. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Scientific or Technical (French): Émilie Villeneuve, ELLE Québec, La beauté responsable
7. Best Beauty Editor of a Magazine: Vanessa Craft, ELLE Canada
8. Best Male Grooming Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online: Heidi Sopinka, FLARE, Clean Cut
9. Hair Stylist of the Year – Presented by Pantene: Nicolas Blanchet
10. Best Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (English): Angela Murrills, NUVO, Stich by Stich
11. Best Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (French): Andrée-Anne Léonard, ELLE Québec, Peut-on encore porter de la fourrure?
12. Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine: George Antonopoulos, FASHION Magazine
13. Best Male Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (English): Patricia Gajo, NUVO, Down to Business
14. Best Male Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (French): Jessica Dostie, Journal Métro, Des jeans dans le mile end
15. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English): Sharon Ng Hayes, The Backseat Stylers
16. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (French): Josiane Stratis, Ton Petit Look
17. Best Beauty or Fashion Website: Randi Bergman, Fashionmagazine.com
18. Photographer of the Year: Richard Bernardin
19. Make-up Artist of the Year – Presented by COVERGIRL: Blair Petty
20. Best Magazine Cover: Sylvain Blais, Dress to Kill (Spring 2013)

Congrats to all the winners! We’d like to briefly bring your attention to category #15, Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English), because WOOT WOOT that’s us!!! To be named a finalist alongside our amazing fellow bloggers Janine Falcon of beautygeeks and (our blogger BFF) Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes was already an incredible honour, but to pull off the win? We’re absolutely speechless. Thank you P&G, esteemed judges, lovely readers, and supporters of this here blog – we promise to strive for an even bigger and better Backseat Stylers in 2014!

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program: le fashion. Check out the gallery below for 29 party snaps from the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013, including lots of Canadian fashion representation with Jully Black in Pink Tartan, FLARE‘s Miranda Purves in Horses Atelier, and FASHION Magazine‘s Zeina Esmail in Lucian Matis.


Christina Hendricks with P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards 2013 winners


Jully Black


David Dixon, Suzanne Rogers and Glenn Dixon


Jeanne Beker


FASHION Magazine’s Zeina Esmail and Bernadette Morra

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Canadian Fabric Presents Le Grand Bal


Sylvia Mantella, Suzanne Rogers and Brittney Kuczynski

On November 19, Toronto’s social set descended on the Royal Ontario Museum for Le Grand Bal, a black tie gala to celebrate the launch of a new Canadian cultural yearbook, Canadian Fabric, and in support of a very worthy cause, Oolagen. In its inaugural year, the event was as fabulous as one would imagine with honorary chair Suzanne Rogers, chair Sylvia Mantella and editor-in-chief Brittney Kuczynski at the helm.

The evening fêted the very first issue of Canadian Fabric, an annual publication celebrating what makes us fashionably Canadian, and the 6 philanthropists profiled in it, including Peter Gilgan, founder of Mattamy Homes; Lynn Factor, Vice Chair and Lead Director of the Children’s Aid Foundation; Cheryl McEwen, co-Founder of McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine; Lisa Ray, actress and host of ’Top Chef Canada’; P.K. Subban, defenseman with the Montreal Canadians; and Sylvia Mantella, Director of Brand Development of Mantella Corporation. To underscore the focus on philanthropy, guests were introduced to Oolagan, a youth mental health centre in Toronto to which net proceeds from the event and sale of the magazine (available at Chapters/Indigo) will be donated.

Philanthropy was on the agenda, but fashion certainly didn’t take a back seat. We spied stunning designs by Canadian talent like Erdem, Greta Constantine and Lucian Matis on the fabulous partygoers. Check out the gallery below for style snaps of uber-chic guests in gorgeous gown after gorgeous gown.


Zoomer Magazine’s Suzanne Boyd


Singer Ivana Santilli

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2013 Edition


Co-chair Amy Burstyn-Fritz

On October 24, the Canadian Opera Company held Operanation 10: A Night of Temptation, the 2013 edition of its annual fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, its training program for young opera professionals. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts opened its doors for one of our favourite events on Toronto’s social calendar, which this year featured a VIP dinner and incredible performances by the Sam Roberts Band and Canadian soprano Ambur Braid. And did we mention the gourmet macaroni and cheese station? It was the stuff of dreams.

As was the fashion, actually. When we weren’t mugging for the photo booth camera (or munching on the aforementioned mac and cheese), we were busy being in awe of the guests’ chic gala style. Amy Burstyn-Fritz showed up for her Operanation co-chair duties in an ethereal custom dress by New York-based designer Kaelen, while songstress Ambur Braid chose a stunning emerald J. Mendel gown for her on-stage performance.

Other memorable sartorial moments included Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Alexander McQueen jewelled skull clutch and matching earrings, Verity Megan Curtis‘ gorgeous fascinator and jumpsuit ensemble, and Stacey McKenzie‘s left leg peeking out of a standout Greta Constantine draped jersey number à la Angelina Jolie circa Oscars 2012.

It was an ultra-glamourous night befitting of Operanation’s 10th anniversary, and one that we imagine will be very tough for the COC to top next year.


Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers


Stacey McKenzie


Caitlin Agnew and Anita Clarke


Barbara Ann Solomon


Christine Tizzard and Tracy Briggs

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Events

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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Events

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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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Ancient PROM at the ROM 2013 Edition

On April 5, the Royal Ontario Museum‘s Young Patron’s Circle threw its annual fundraising bash, welcoming hundreds of partygoers to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal for Ancient PROM. Hosted by MTV’s Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and CP24’s Gurdeep Ahluwalia, this year’s fete featured food and entertainment inspired by the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations.

The dress code followed suit, calling for Grecian glam or Cleopatra chic for the ladies and gladiator garb for the men. PROM guests, including philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, interior designer Glenn Dixon, Toronto Argonaut Mike Bradwell and bloggers Anita Clarke and Jay Strut, arrived in style, dutifully donning head jewels, body armour, or at the very least the traditional high school prom fare.

As they do year after year, ROM PROM-goers showed impressive sartorial commitment to the theme, making it one of the most fun parties of the year.

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