“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 presenters Glen Baxter and Hans Koechling and host Rob Lowe
On November 19, the 2012 edition of the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards were held at The Carlu in Toronto. Hosted by the extremely handsome actor and Brat Pack member Rob Lowe, the Awards brought together the biggest names in the Canadian beauty, grooming and fashion industries to honour the year’s best print and online content in 19 categories.
Stacey McKenzie and Jully Black
Assisting Lowe (who was kissed on by all the ladies who graced the stage and was a good sport about it) in presenting the Tiffany & Co. crystal trophies were familiar faces like the iconic Jeanne Beker, Greta Constantine-clad singer Jully Black, supermodel Stacey McKenzie and boxer Mary Spencer.
And the winners are…
1. Best Art Direction: Tanya Watt, FLARE
2. Best New Face: Jenna Earle, Next Models
3. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Trend/Profile (English): Adriana Ermter; FLARE, Back by Popular Demand
4. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Trend/Profile (French): Sophie St-Laurent; Châtelaine, BB La crème a tout faire
5. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Scientific/Technical (English): Michelle Villett; FLARE, Best Beauty Innovations of 2011
6. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Scientific/Technical (French): Micheline Lortie; Châtelaine, La nature en pot
7. Best Beauty Editor of a Magazine: Lesa Hannah; FASHION Magazine
8. Best Male Grooming Feature: Greg Hudson; Sharp Magazine, The Sharp Guide to Grooming: Stepping it Up
9. Hair Stylist of the Year: Justin German
10. Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (English): Sarah Nicole Prickett; FASHION Magazine, Bro Code
11. Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French): Elsa Vecchi; Dress to Kill, Spécial Design: Rad Hourani
12. Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine: George Antonopoulos, FASHION Magazine
13. Best Male Fashion Feature: Yang Goh; Sharp Magazine, Style Manual
14. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English): Sharon Ng Hayes; The Backseat Stylers
15. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (French): Anik Lacasse-Richard; Montreal in Style
16. Best Beauty or Fashion Website: Randi Bergman, FashionMagazine.com
17. Photographer of the Year: Malina Corpadean
18. Make-up Artist of the Year: Nicolas Blanchet
19. Best Magazine Cover: Dress to Kill, Stéphane Le Duc, Winter 2011
With Kimberly Lyn in Arthur Mendonça (left) and Nelia Belkova in Lanvin x H&M (right)
You may have noticed a familiar name in there for winner of the Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English) category: The Backseat Stylers. WOOHOO! What an incredible honour it was for us to be named finalists alongside our blogger friends Nelia Belkova of Style Blog and Lolitta Dandoy of Fashion Is Everywhere, but to win?
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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
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On Friday, March 19, I was summoned to the brand spanking new Arcadian Loft event space atop The Bay’s Toronto flagship for the Greta Constantine Fall 2012 runway show. What I arrived at the show expecting from designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong’s latest womenswear collection was more of what the brand has come to be known for – namely, painfully chic party dresses. And by painful, I mean to those of us who can’t quite afford to fill our wardrobes with Greta, Greta and more Greta. And by “those of us”, I mean me.
But the design duo sent more than just a bevy of beautiful jewel-toned jersey dresses down the runway this season (though I never tire of those). Expanding outside of what’s been Greta Constantine’s bread and butter to date, the collection also included to-die-for knits, edgy leather-accented pieces and even catsuits, many of which I’d have happily snatched off the runway and worn right now. There was more black on the runway than in past collections, but I’m not complaining. One can never have too many gorgeously-draped LBDs or fierce black jackets in one’s closet anyway.
The collection is sure to be a hit. Pickersgill and Wong’s instantly recognizable jersey dresses, often spotted on Toronto’s charity ball circuit, are already must-haves. And it looks as though their outerwear and separates aren’t far behind.
Intermix’s Crystal Torchio and CEO Khajak Keledjian
Intermix‘s first boutique on Canadian soil launched back in August, but the US retailer only officially celebrated last night with a shindig fit for Hollywood actresses, top Canadian designers and models, all-around fabulous people and…me. Far from the civilized breakfast date I had with CEO Khajak Keledjian when the store opened its doors, yesterday’s fête replaced coffee with free-flowing wine and an audience with Keledjian with a set by rapper Theophilus London.
It was a very well-attended affair. Keledjian was there, of course, with the rest of the Intermix Toronto team, as well as his co-hosts from The Coveteur. Oh, and actress Jessica Chastain, who I missed completely somehow. The ubiquitous Greta Constantine team was out in full force, as were big name Canadian models who’ve walked the runway for them, Tara Gill and Naro Lokuruka. The other two-thirds of my “blogger troika” (dubbed as such by FASHION‘s Randi Bergman), being Styleblog.ca‘s Nelia Belkova and Stylehog.com‘s Julia Seidl, kept me thoroughly entertained until Theophilus London took over that job.
Give the gallery a gander for party photos. I spied lots of Versace for H&M, just as much Joe Fresh and even a little bit of VAWK (OK, that last one was me)…
The Fashion Collective’s Dwayne Kennedy, Greta Constantine’s Stephen Wong, and model Tara Gill
StyleBlog.ca’s Nelia Belkova and Stylehog.com’s Julia Seidl
The Souls of My Shoes’ Kimberly Lyn and Wolff Public Relations’ Lauren Wolff
Fashion Director George Antonopoulos and model Naro Lokuruka
Chatelaine’s Tyler Franch
Me and my straggly rain-ruined hair (VAWK jacket / Zara blouse and skirt / Chanel bag / YSL ring / Alexander McQueen shoes
Last night, Creative Director Nicola Formichetti and his creative team, including women’s designer Sébastien Peigné, previewed Parisian design house MUGLER‘s Spring 2012 collection at The Room at the Bay in Toronto. With the likes of FLARE editor-in-chief Lisa Tant, supermodel Yasmin Warsame and socialite Suzanne Rogers (in Givenchy!) in attendance, it was an evening of bold-faced fashion names and fierce clothing and shoes, both on the guests and the MUGLER-donning models and mannequins.
Though his frequent collaborator Lady Gaga sadly didn’t make an appearance, Formichetti himself was enough of a rock star on this night. Dubbed the “sexiest guy on the planet” by the Bay’s own President & CEO Bonnie Brooks, the man best known as Gaga’s fashion director charmed the invite-only crowd of editors, clients and fashion fans. Check out the gallery below for party photos.
FASHION Magazine’s Susie Sheffman and supermodel Yasmin Warsame
Models in MUGLER
Blogger Anita Clarke and socialite Suzanne Rogers
Flare Magazine’s Liz Cabral
Nicola Formichetti and writer Septembre Anderson
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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Last week, Greta Constantine designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong launched SKIN, their highly anticipated capsule collection for Canadian leather retailer DANIER. Due to hit 20 DANIER stores across the country this August, the collection includes six looks, ranging from a $399 sleeveless suede bolero to a $999 asymmetrical draped lambskin coat. “We sought to find a happy medium between fashion and function; to offer silhouettes that were appealing to the eye and still flattering on a variety of different body types,” the designers explained.
There were 20 pieces of the collection available for purchase at the launch event, and while I walked away empty-handed, I’m dying for the aforementioned asymmetrical leather coat. Paired with the obi belt that Pickersgill and Wong also designed for DANIER, the leather kimono look that results is simply to-die-for. I’ll be saving up for this one!
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Butter PR’s Shawn Rusich and SC\PR’s Susan Chong (in Greta Constantine)
On May 5, 2011, the Ontario Science Centre hosted its annual fundraising gala, the 5th annual LG Innovators’ Ball: A Night of Sensory Deception. The evening included an after party that featured everything from a Joe Fresh manicure lounge to an oxygen bar, from a Porter Airlines lounge with Glenfiddich tastings to an overabundance of gourmet food stations.
It was one of the most entertaining charity gala after parties I’ve had the pleasure of attending this season. In between gorging on Babybel cheeses wrapped in prosciutto and testing our pain thresholds in a bucket of ice, Mr. Backseat Styler and I scoured the dance floor for the night’s most stylish partygoers.
Toronto Star’s Derick Chetty and Greta Constantine designer Kirk Pickersgill
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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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