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!
Check out the gallery below for 40 images from the 2013 TFI New Labels gala, featuring Canadian fashion both on and off the runway.
Continue reading →
“Nice jacket”: two words that literally made my week, uttered by Viktor Horsting (or was it Rolf Snoeren? It was all such a giddy blur.) to me. The jacket in question? A mustard yellow blazer with contrast black piping designed by Viktor & Rolf themselves. The Amsterdam-based duo was in town earlier this week for a very well-attended meet-and-greet with Toronto’s fashion set at The Room at The Bay.
With HBC President Bonnie Brooks and VP / Buying Director of The Room Nicholas Mellamphy as hosts and DJ Mia Moretti spinning her magic, partygoers that included the inimitable Jeanne Beker, FASHION Magazine’s EIC Bernadette Morra and socialites Stacey Kimel and Suzanne Rogers spent the evening chatting with the charming Dutch guests-of-honour, sipping on champagne and admiring the V&R wares.
Dr. Lisa Airan and PR maven Suzanne Cohon stole the sartorial show with brightly-coloured frocks, the former in an orange Carven dress with cutouts and the latter in a fuchsia Roksanda Ilincic number (last seen on Ginnifer Goodwin!). The usually cool as a cucumber blogger Anita Clarke chose a peplum Roland Mouret to meet her fashion idols, while the effortlessly chic stylist Amy Patel paired her Margiela x H&M bodysuit with denim overalls for the occasion. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention blogger Jay Strut, who showed up in a heavily embellished Balmain jacket that made our jaws drop.
Check out the gallery below for some of our favourite looks from the night.
Image Credit: George Pimentel
Continue reading →
Yours truly with Roksanda Ilincic
Roksanda Ilincic made a one-day jaunt to Toronto last week for a fête in her honour at The Room at The Bay. The Serbian-born, London-based womenswear designer brought with her a charming disposition and highly covetable Fall 2013 collection that both won over the city’s fashion set.
Not that she didn’t already have big fans here. Socialite Stacey Kimel, blogger Nelia Belkova and Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins were all decked out in Ilincic’s unmistakably chic and colourful wares at the invite-only cocktail party. The statuesque designer herself chose a whimsical printed pink gown for the occasion, a design from the Fall runway collection that just debuted in London last month.
Those of us without the pleasure of Ilincic pieces in our closets (yet!) still showed up in our Thursday best: Jenna Naumovich sported the to-die-for, limited edition Giuseppe Zanotti for Kanye West ‘Cruel Summer’ heels, while Jessica Chiu donned a printed Prabal Gurung frock that made our hearts go pitter-patter. Yours truly decided on a LRD by another London-based designer, Mary Katrantzou, while T wore a patterned velvet blazer by Club Monaco.
Merely a day after The Room’s latest shindig, while we were still basking in the glow of meeting the lovely Roksanda, came news of the next: a month from now, on April 16, featuring Viktor & Rolf. Mark your calendars!
Hudson’s Bay Company’s Suzanne Timmins with Stacey Kimel
CTV’s Angie Smith and The Room’s Jenna Naumovich
Kimberly Lyn, FLARE Magazine’s Ryan M. Cheung, Nelia Belkova, me and The Genteel’s Irene Kim
Jessica Chiu and The Room’s Steven Baughan
Continue reading →
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
Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine
Continue reading →
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
My spoils of war
Continue reading →
Me with Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy
The Bay still knows how to throw a party. After several quiet months, Toronto’s social and fashion set returned to The Room at The Bay last night for a shindig in honour of Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. With their Fall 2012 collection in tow, the sisters charmed the likes of socialites Suzanne Rogers and Stacey Kimel, editors Bernadette Morra and Mosha Lundström Halbert, as well as bloggers Anita Clarke and Kimberly Lyn.
Yours truly spent the evening photographing the city’s most sartorially endowed, sipping champagne with my fellow media types, and chatting about Kirsten Dunst’s unexpected Met Ball dress (Rodarte, of course) with the designers themselves. Clad in a Manish Arora dress (fit for a hippie wedding) and navy velvet Loeffler Randall shoes (something blue?), I sought to rectify the Rodarte-less situation happening in my closet. When I asked the design duo about any upcoming collaborations, though, the answer was a disappointing no: “Right now, we really need to focus on our next collection,” Kate said. I’ll take that as a ‘maybe’.
In the meantime, The Room at The Bay is the source for all things Rodarte. And with The Room’s spring sale just around the corner (a little birdie told me so) and my pocketbook at the ready, I may just get my hands on my very first piece of Rodarte yet.
Flare’s Ryan M. Cheung, Glam Canada’s Aya McMillan and Flare’s Fiona Green
Kate Mulleavy, The Room Creative Director Nicholas Mellamphy and The Bay Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins
I Want – I Got’s Anita Clarke and Front Row Mag’s Michelle Bilodeau and Rachelle Saevil
Me with The Souls of My Shoes’ Kimberly Lyn
Continue reading →
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 Larrivée, Sid Neigum, Jameson 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 Assaraf, Toronto 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 VAWK, Arthur 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
Continue reading →
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
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)
Continue reading →
Amanda Salmon of Greta Constantine in a Primer tank top
One of my favourite Toronto boutiques, TNT, recently celebrated their 20th anniversary with a party fit for, well, Nicole Richie. The former Simple Life star (remember that show?) and designer of the House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate lines was on hand for the bash, though you’ll never know it from my photos; we were in the same room, but I managed to miss her entirely. Also in attendance were the evening’s host Dan Levy, the Greta Constantine team, there to launch their capsule collection Primer, and the three finalists from this year’s TFI New Labels competition, whose collections will be stocked at TNT this Fall. Toronto’s fashion set came out in droves for the shindig, and it was a night worthy of the store’s grand re-opening.
TNT was offering a 20% discount on purchases in exchange for donations in support of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, but there were too many partygoers and too little space for me and my friend J to get our shop on. I did notice that TNT is stepping up its designer game – I spied Matthew Williamson dresses and Miu Miu shoes in the mix – a sure sign that owners Arie Assaraf and Carrie Richmond are ready to compete with The Room at the Bay, Holt Renfrew and Intermix.
Since shopping was a no go, I focused on the fashionable crowd instead. From the coveted 3.1 Phillip Lim studded Edie bow bag to the FLARE Magazine x ALDO wedges, guests donned their most stylish duds in honour of one of Toronto’s most stylish shopping destinations.
TFI New Labels 2011 finalist Nikki Wirthensohn of NARCES (left) with a model in her design
TFI New Labels 2011 winner Golnaz Ashtiani of ASHTIANI interviewed by Dan Levy
Continue reading →