Yours truly with Nicholas Kirkwood
Canada’s swankiest shoe salon continues to host some of the biggest names in footwear. A mere two weeks ago it was Sam Edelman who stopped by Hudson’s Bay‘s Toronto flagship for a visit. This week? London-based designer and Backseat Stylers favourite Nicholas Kirkwood and his protégé and rising star Sophia Webster.
The city’s fashion set descended on The Room‘s shoe department – the setting for the invite-only affair and home to luxury brands like Christian Louboutin, Charlotte Olympia and Alaïa – for the chance to chat shoes and share a glass of bubbly with our guests-of-honour from across the pond. Both brought with them their latest, to-die-for offerings, which had us in serious danger of whipping out our credit cards at any given moment.
All that distracted us from spending the next year’s worth of footwear budgets that very night was the chic attendees in their Tuesday best. We’re still swooning over Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Thom Browne dress, Jenna Bitove Naumovich‘s fierce red tartan tailcoat, and Sophia Webster’s vibrant Kenzo get-up. Check out the gallery below for 33 snaps of partygoer style and – what else? – shoes, shoes and more shoes.
Bonnie Brooks and Sophia Webster
Vonna Bitove and Jenna Bitove Naumovich
Kimberly Lyn, Samantha Beckerman, yours truly, and Caillianne Beckerman
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Spend just a minute on The Backseat Stylers, and one fact should be abundantly clear: we are serious shopaholics. And shoe addicts. Who happen to be obsessed with J.Crew and Mary Katrantzou and Charlotte Olympia. In fact, our joint closet is embarrassingly overflowing with more black blazers, printed silk blouses and footwear of all kinds than we could ever need. And guess what? It’s time to purge!
We’re incredibly excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with some of our favourite blogger and fashion industry friends to bring you THE BLOGGER BAZAAR, the chicest closet sale to ever hit Toronto, if we may say so ourselves.
WHAT: From cheap and cheerful fast fashion offerings to high-end designer wares, brand-spanking new items with tags attached to preloved vintage pieces, be ready to shop the closets of Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes, Hawley Dunbar of Sidewalk Hustle, Gracie Carroll of graciecarroll.com, Liane Fong of The Lost Sea, Monica Mei of Aime, Jessica Chiu of Ever After Lacquer, and yours truly.
You’ll also want to snag an amazing gift bag with purchase (quantities limited), featuring products and gift cards from some of our favourite brands and retailers. Joe Fresh, H&M, eLUXE, FLARE, ALDO, Civello Rosedale, Unilever, Aime by Monica Mei and John Frieda all in one epic swag bag!
And if that’s not enough to keep you delightfully occupied, Civello Rosedale‘s on-site styling station will be providing complimentary hairstyling (think summery braids and top knots!) and make-up touch-ups. We’ll also be giving away a fabulous $250 makeover, including highlights, haircut and make-up application, to one lucky guest who tweets with the #BloggerBazaarTO hashtag.
WHO: Open to all of our lovely readers! RSVP here and get your ticket ($2 charitable donation in support of Unity Charity for entry) here.
WHERE: Aime Showroom Boutique, 198A Davenport Road (at Avenue Road), Toronto.
WHEN: Sunday, August 18, 2013, 1:00-5:00pm.
HOW: Cash only. No bartering, except maybe for designer shoes in size 36. (Just kidding)
Mark your calendars, ladies and gents! It’s going to be a shopping extravaganza you won’t want to miss. See you there!
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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Christian Louboutin, Jessica Chiu and yours truly
The Christian Louboutin 20th anniversary retrospective exhibition officially bowed last week at the Design Exchange in Toronto with much fanfare. In addition to a press conference and a public appearance at Holt Renfrew, Monsieur Louboutin personally launched the exhibit at an opening night gala attended by many of the French footwear designer’s biggest fans in the city.
Guests, including actress Sarah Gadon, Smythe designers Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe, and newly-appointed Hudson’s Bay Company vice-chairman Bonnie Brooks, sported their favourite red-soled designs to see highlights of Louboutin’s work from the last 20 years up close and personal and have a chat with the man himself. It was an event not to be missed by a true shoe addict, so yours truly was obviously there with camera in hand and beloved Loubies on the feet.
In fact, from the Louboutin carousel to the carefully-selected footwear choices of our fellow partygoers, there was shoe candy everywhere we looked. Check out the gallery below for 23 images from the Louboutin opening gala at the DX.
Want a closer look at the exhibition? We might just be able to hook you up: we’ve got 5 pairs of tickets to give away to 5 lucky readers of The Backseat Stylers! Contest rules are below. Good luck and happy shoe gazing!
1. To enter, leave us a comment on this blog post and ‘like’ The Backseat Stylers and Design Exchange’s Facebook pages here and here.
2. For a bonus entry, follow @backseatstylers and @DesignExchange on Twitter and tweet the following: “The @backseatstylers are giving away 5 pairs of @LouboutinWorld @DesignExchange exhibit tickets, and I want in! http://bit.ly/11XKGBx #DXCL”
3. Contest closes on July 2, 2013 at midnight. Winners will be contacted via email.
4. There are no prize substitutions. Travel not included.
Sarah Gadon and Christian Louboutin
Suzanne Boyd, Suzanne Cohon and Alexandra Weston
Caillianne and Samantha Beckerman
S with Kimberly Lyn (left)
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Julia Monson of Julia Monson, Toronto
Last week on the Lookbook, it was all abouts shorts, shorts, shorts. This week? Summery frocks and bare gams.
Julia served up a look that was part angel, part surfer girl, donning a blue abstract print dress and matching floral headband. Cara‘s ensemble was just as eye-catching, with her palm tree print number and fierce lace-up sandals.
Gracie sported what she termed a “psychadelic” gemstone print dress under a leather biker jacket – obviously a year-round necessity. Bianca couldn’t resist a touch of leather too; she decided to go sweet this week, with an off-the-shoulder rose-print frock and an unexpected leather ball cap. Nice touch.
Kimberly Lyn of The Souls Of My Shoes, Toronto
Gracie Carroll of Gracie Carroll, Toronto
Anonymous by Ania B., Calgary
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Ania Boniecka of Ania.B, Victoria
Just when we thought we had the aesthetics of our favourite Canadian style bloggers all figured out, one of them trotted out a delightfully unexpected get-up.
Ania, who regularly serves up one fierce look after another, has a penchant for dark colours and leather, and whom we’ve never seen crack a smile on her blog, blew us away this week with one of the cutest personal style posts we’ve featured to date. In it, she’s grinning from ear to ear, wearing a watermelon sweater and floral print cap, and carrying a skateboard she adorably confesses to not knowing how to ride. Cute overload? Not a chance. In fact, now that we’ve seen this side of Ania, we’re hoping she’ll come out to play more often.
How about you, dear readers – new season, fresh look?
Anik Lacasse-Richard of Montreal In Style, Montreal
Krystin Lee of Suburban Faux Pas, Toronto
Bianca Venerayan of Kastor & Pollux, Toronto
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“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
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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
Charlotte Positano 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
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Cara McLeay of A Fashion Love Affair, Vancouver
Who knew black leather could be so versatile?
This week, Libby – accompanied by the equally well-dressed Kate – looked super chic for a friend’s birthday in a black dress (or skirt?) with a perfectly fitted leather top. Vanessa, who it seems is never not wearing leather, paired her leather pants with an eye-catching flame-print shirt, while Liz braved the cold in a cute skirt.
Finally, one cannot speak of black leather without mentioning biker jackets. Ania wore hers over a minimalist black and white ensemble, providing a nice contrast to the pretty pastels on Lily.
Ania Boniecka of Ania.B, Calgary
Liz Clark of Elizabeth Victoria Clark, Toronto
Libby Winchester of House of Winchester, Halifax and Kate McLean of O My Heart, New Brunswick
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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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