Inside the Inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards: 70 Red Carpet Photos of Coco Rocha, DSquared2, Jeanne Beker and More

Model of the Year winner Coco Rocha with multiple award winners DSQUARED2′s Dean and Dan Caten

On Saturday, February 1, the inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards (CAFA) were held at The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto, where a venerable who’s who of the Canadian fashion industry flocked to honour its brightest stars. The first of its kind in our fair nation, CAFA’s raison d’être is to recognize outstanding achievement and emerging talent in the fashion community, and this past weekend’s incredible awards gala was certainly a long time coming.

Emerging Talent Award winner Sarah Stevenson and Elisha Cuthbert

In between comedic interludes by master of ceremonies Gerry Dee and a musical performance by JRDN, the first ever CAFA winners were revealed at the highly-anticipated awards ceremony. Congratulations to all the immensely talented winners and nominees:

Womenswear Designer of the Year: 

  • Christie Smythe & Andrea Lenczner, SMYTHE
  • Denis Gagnon
  • Jeremy Laing – Winner
  • Kimberely Newport-Mimran, Pink Tartan
  • Kirk Pickersgill & Stephen Wong, Greta Constantine

Menswear Designer of The Year: 

  • Davidson Manaloto, wings + horns
  • Philippe Dubuc
  • Philip Sparks
  • Travis Taddeo – Winner
  • Shawn Hewson, Bustle

Outstanding Achievement: 

  • David Dixon
  • Dean & Dan Caten, DSQUARED2 – Winner
  • Denis Gagnon
  • Lida Baday
  • Marie Saint-Pierre

Accessory Designer of the Year nominee Jenny Bird and Stylist of the Year winner George Antonopoulos

Accessory Designer of The Year:  

  • Dexter & Byron Peart, WANT Les Essentials de la Vie – Winner
  • Ela & Martin Aldorsson, Ela Handbags
  • John Fluevog
  • Jenny Bird
  • Maryam Keyhani

Canadian Style Award: 

  • Coco Rocha
  • Joe Mimran – Winner
  • Lisa Tant

Image Maker of the Year:

  • Chris Nicholls – Winner
  • Stephanie Mark, Jake Rosenberg, The Coveteur
  • Gabor Jurina
  • Max Abadian
  • Tommy Ton

Vanguard Award honouree Jeanne Beker and Stacey McKenzie

International Designer of the Year: 

  • Dean & Dan Caten, DSQUARED2 – Winner
  • Erdem Moralioğlu
  • Jeremy Laing
  • Jason Wu
  • Mark Fast

Stylist of the Year:

  • Cary Tauben
  • George Antonopoulos – Winner
  • Liz Cabral
  • Peter Papapetrou
  • Susie Sheffman

Model of the Year: 

  • Coco Rocha – Winner
  • Daria Werbowy
  • Yasmin Warsame

Suzanne and Chloe Rogers

Emerging Talent Award: 

  • Beaufille
  • Eliza Faulkner
  • Laura Siegel
  • Martin Lim
  • Sarah Stevenson – Winner
  • Sid Neigum
Emerging Talent Award winner Sarah Stevenson, who also won the 2013 TFI New Labels competition, took home a $10,000 cash prize sponsored by Atelier Swarovski, an exclusive mentorship program with Joe Fresh, and a Spring/Summer 2015 look book produced by THE COLLECTIONS. The inimitable Jeanne Beker was also recognized with the Vanguard Award for her 27-year run as the host of Fashion Television, a strong influence on so many in the room that night and around the world, as well as her many other pursuits in the industry over the years.

Sylvia Mantella with Greta Constantine’s Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong

Canada’s top fashion talent was celebrated both on stage and off, and we were delighted to be surrounded by stunning red carpet ready creations by homegrown designers. With the likes of Coco Rocha, socialite Suzanne Rogers, sponsor Sylvia Mantella and model Stacey McKenzie leading the way in DSQUARED2, Erdem, Greta Constantine and VAWK respectively, the Canadian fashion set absolutely turned it out for the industry’s biggest night of the year.

Accessory Designer of the Year nominee Maryam Keyhani

Check out the gallery below for 70 – yes 70! – style snaps from the inaugural Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards. Congrats to all the 2014 CAFA winners and nominees, and to the CAFA team for an outstanding first year!

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Street Style

The Canadian Street Style Lookbook – October 25, 2013 Edition

Vanessa Cesario of The Brunette Salad, Toronto

Hats are the new black, ladies and gents. And while we at The Backseat Stylers fully appreciate the ability of a great hat to kick the cool factor of a hat-less ensemble up a few notches, we’re also sadly aware that we’re not hat people ourselves. T rarely rocks anything more than a basic knit beanie in the winter or ball cap in the summer, and S has just been told flat out that she can’t rock hats (by multiple people on multiple occasions…sad face).

We’re living vicariously through our fellow Canadian bloggers as they traverse through the fall season in super chic headgear. This week, Bianca rocked a trendy leather baseball cap, Dani sported a cute embellished toque, and Ania, Vanessa and Anik donned a range of black brimmed hats that took their outfits to a whole other level. These ladies are definitely hat people.

Danielle Roche and Bianca Venerayan of Kastor & Pollux, Toronto

Ania Boniecka of Ania.B, Victoria

Aurélie Letizia of Lili is Brunette, Montreal

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Street Style

The Canadian Street Style Lookbook – April 26, 2013 Edition

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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Spotted from the Backseat: P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2012 Edition

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,
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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Street Style

The Canadian Street Style Lookbook – November 23, 2012 Edition

Lolitta Dandoy of Fashion Is Everywhere, Montreal

When it comes to pants, the most adventurous I get is wearing the same black pair five days in a row, but this week’s edition of The Canadian Street Style Lookbook is giving me major pant envy.

I love the sheen of Kristin’s Express jacquard tweed pants and think that they would be perfect for holiday parties – wouldn’t that gorgeous shade of blue go well with the colour of champagne? Caillianne’s choice of legwear involved decidedly less sheen and a lot more shine. Her dazzling Maison Martin Margiela for H&M leggings with mirror sequins are no less perfect for the holidays and would surely brighten (literally) any holiday occasion. Also looking super chic this week was Liz, who did a brilliant job styling her Isabel Marant snake print pants with neutral pieces.

Liz Clark of Elizabeth Victoria Clark, Toronto

Caillianne Beckerman of Beckerman Bite Plate, Toronto

Joandy L. for, Toronto

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Street Style

The Canadian Street Style Lookbook – October 5, 2012 Edition

Gracie Carroll of Gracie Carroll, Toronto

The transition, it appears, is now complete. We’ve leapt brogues first right into fall, and there’s no turning back now. Only a few weeks into the season, autumn dressing is already at its finest.

This week, Jen sporting a gorgeous oxblood leather skirt, Nelia donned a fitted boucle frock, and Ivy was looking all warm and cozy in a deep green oversized knit. As for Gracie? Her head-to-toe sartorial ode to Toronto is so damn good that we’re at a loss for words, for once in our blog lives.

Jen Tam of Her Waise Choice, Vancouver

Nelia Belkova of Style Blog, Toronto

Caillianne Beckerman of Beckerman Bite Plate, Toronto

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Spotted from the Backseat: P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2011 Edition

Randi Bergman and Paige Dzenis of FASHION Magazine

On November 1, the 2011 edition of the Canadian P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards were held in Toronto, hosted by actress Kim Cattrall. Celebrating our country’s best editorial content and brightest creative talents in beauty, grooming and fashion, the Awards brought together the faces behind the credits of our favourite Canadian print and online publications. From the prolific Jeanne Beker to singer Jully Black, Editors-in-Chief Lisa Tant (Flare) and Bernadette Morra (FASHION) to top Canadian designers Sunny Fong (VAWK), Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill (Greta Constantine), the industry’s biggest names descended on the Carlu to recognize the year’s best work in 19 categories.

Congratulations to all the winners!

  1. Best Magazine Cover – Clin d’oeil, Marianne Thornton (Editor-in-Chief), July 2011
  2. Best Beauty Editor(s) of a Magazine – Kristen Vinakmens and Wing Sze Tang; Flare
  3. Best Scientific Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Kate Rae; Glow, Vampire Weekend
  4. Best Scientific Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French) – Micheline Lortie and Sophie St-Laurent; Châtelaine, Les années beauté
  5. Best Creative Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Tania Kwong; Glow, Dark Angel
  6. Best Creative Beauty Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French) – Sophie St-Laurent; Châtelaine, Sillages gourmands
  7. Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine – Susie Sheffman; FASHION
  8. Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper – Elio Iannacci; Maclean’s, The New Transsexual Chic
  9. Best Fashion Feature of a Magazine or Newspaper (French) – Stéphane Le Duc; Dress to Kill, Jean Paul Gaultier, Génie de la mode
  10. Best Fashion or Beauty Blog – Michelle Mullins;
  11. Best Fashion or Beauty Blog (French) – Anik Lacasse-Richard;
  12. Best Male Grooming Feature – Leo Petaccia; Sharp, How a Man Should Groom
  13. Best Male Grooming Feature (French) – Sylvie Michelon; Clin d’oeil, Mad mâle
  14. Best Male Fashion Feature – Greg Hudson; Sharp, Heroes of Menswear
  15. Best Fashion or Beauty Website – Randi Bergman,
  16. Best New Face – Sarah Jordan, Specs Models
  17. Photographer of the Year – Chris Nicholls
  18. Hair Stylist of the Year – Anna Barseghian
  19. Make-up Artist of the Year – Sabrina Rinaldi
A special shout out to Anya Georgijevic, a finalist in the Best Fashion or Beauty Blog category for I’m The It Girl, and her to-die-for Nicholas Kirkwood laser-cut booties. Because while everyone else in attendance had their eye on the prize (a P&G Beauty & Grooming Award trophy, that is), I was ogling the swanky shoes on their feet. And on that note, check out the gallery below for photos of some of the evening’s chicest looks.

Actress and host Kim Cattrall 

Carly Stojsic of WGSN and Lisa Tant of FLARE Magazine

Nicholas Mellamphy of The Room at the Bay and Anya Georgijevic of I’m The It Girl

Designers Evan Biddell and Sunny Fong

Patricia Gajo, Bernadette Morra and Susie Sheffman of FASHION Magazine

xx, S


Spotted from the Backseat: PROM at the ROM 2011 Edition

Freelance writer & photographer Phil Birnbaum and bloggers Anita Clarke and Nelia Belkova

On March 26, 2011, the Royal Ontario Museum‘s Young Patrons’ Circle hosted its annual fundraising gala, PROM: Into the Wild, presented by BCBGMAXAZRIA. Held in the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal, it was an evening of good food, great company, and fantastical fashions. Party-goers were instructed to ignite their imaginations ”with inspiration from the natural world. Take cues from a rowdy canopy of rainforest trees, a deep ocean brimming with life or a dry desert habitat hissing with activity.” Suggestions included fancy feathers and faux fur; bold and racy prints like cheetah, zebra, or sexy snakeskin patterns; safari chic or khaki cool; wild manes and magnificent masks; and penguin suits. And what did we see? All of the above!

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