Red Carpet

Admiring from the Backseat: Canadian Screen Awards 2013 Edition

Bernadette Morra and Jeanne Beker

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s first annual Canadian Screen Awards were held in Toronto last night at The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts and broadcast live on television. The awards, which have replaced the previously separate Genie and Gemini Awards, recognize excellence in film, television and digital media productions.

Last night’s broadcast gala and industry-only soirees held earlier in the week saw Canada’s most talented actors and television personalities walk the red carpet, many in designs by local designers. Presenter Tara Spencer-Nairn donned a fierce leather number by VAWK, one of our favourite looks from the Spring 2013 collection. Kristin Kreuk and Bernadette Morra each sported Arthur Mendonça; the Beauty and the Beast actress paired an unexpected printed jumpsuit with jewelry by  Toronto-based designers Shay Lowe Jewellery and Niki & Lola, while the FASHION Magazine editor-in-chief sported a stunning magenta cocktail dress.

Morra presented fashion icon and former Fashion Television host Jeanne Beker, decked out in Chanel, with the Academy Achievement Award for exceptional contributions to Canadian television. With the national fashion industry well-represented, the first ever Canadian Screen Awards was a glamorous affair indeed.

Tanya Kim

The Bachelor Canada’s Bianca Kamber

Kim Cattrell

Wendy Crewson

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Paul Hardy’s 10th Anniversary Runway Show and Bash in Calgary

“It’s like Narnia out there!” said Paul Hardy, “But it’s good weather for lots of winter coats.” Spoken like a true Canadian fashion designer, and he was right. With the scenic and snowy Prince’s Island Park in Calgary as our backdrop, fashion media types from across the country had gathered at the River Café, one of the finest restaurants in the city, to kick off the 10th anniversary celebrations for Mr. Hardy last month.

Prince’s Island Park, Calgary

The designer had teamed up with Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta to fly in editors and bloggers from Toronto, including Anita Clarke of I Want – I Got, Nelia Belkova of Style BlogLisa Ng of The Hip & Urban Girl’s Guide, and yours truly, to experience the very best Calgary has to offer, both sartorially and gastronomically.

Enjoying our first Calgary snowfall

Having checked in at Hotel Arts the night before and filled our stomachs with a delicious meal of bison and hot apple cider, among other delights, at brunch, we were off to do some sightseeing before the evening’s grand fashion show and after-party extravaganza.

Bison striploin at the River Cafe in Prince’s Island Park

“Sightseeing” for a gaggle of fashion bloggers is synonymous with “shopping”, and so we found ourselves visiting the local Holt Renfrew and The Bay department stores, wiling away the afternoon on the most frivolous of pastimes. Calgary, it turns out, has much to offer a fashion blogger with a few dollars burning a hole in her pocket.

Shopping at Holt Renfrew Calgary

Later that day, the weekend’s main festivities began, including a cocktail hour hosted by former Dragon’s Den star W. Brett Wilson (who, by the way, had Real Housewives of Vancouver‘s Mary Zilba on his arm), Paul Hardy’s Spring/Summer 2013 fashion show and, of course, an after-party attended by the who’s who of the Calgary social set.

Christopher Turner, Nelia Belkova, Stefania Yarhi, Lisa Ng, Anita Clarke and me

The runway presentation, what we were really all there for, featured an incredible line-up that ranged from fierce leather looks to jaw-droppingly gorgeous gowns, with live musical accompaniment courtesy of The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and singers Paul Brandt and Greg Sczebel.

Amongst the scrumptious food and drink, lively music, wonderful company, and snowstorm to boot, it was the fashion that stood out the most – and that’s really saying something. I went into my very first trip to Calgary knowing embarrassingly little about Paul Hardy and his work, but I left his fair city a fan. That ruffled leather top and leather pencil skirt combo? Made for me. And well worth the cross-country flight to see up close and personal.

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