Co-chair Amy Burstyn-Fritz
On October 24, the Canadian Opera Company held Operanation 10: A Night of Temptation, the 2013 edition of its annual fundraiser in support of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, its training program for young opera professionals. The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts opened its doors for one of our favourite events on Toronto’s social calendar, which this year featured a VIP dinner and incredible performances by the Sam Roberts Band and Canadian soprano Ambur Braid. And did we mention the gourmet macaroni and cheese station? It was the stuff of dreams.
As was the fashion, actually. When we weren’t mugging for the photo booth camera (or munching on the aforementioned mac and cheese), we were busy being in awe of the guests’ chic gala style. Amy Burstyn-Fritz showed up for her Operanation co-chair duties in an ethereal custom dress by New York-based designer Kaelen, while songstress Ambur Braid chose a stunning emerald J. Mendel gown for her on-stage performance.
Other memorable sartorial moments included Suzanne Rogers‘ artful Alexander McQueen jewelled skull clutch and matching earrings, Verity Megan Curtis‘ gorgeous fascinator and jumpsuit ensemble, and Stacey McKenzie‘s left leg peeking out of a standout Greta Constantine draped jersey number à la Angelina Jolie circa Oscars 2012.
It was an ultra-glamourous night befitting of Operanation’s 10th anniversary, and one that we imagine will be very tough for the COC to top next year.
Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers
Caitlin Agnew and Anita Clarke
Barbara Ann Solomon
Christine Tizzard and Tracy Briggs
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On October 18, the Design Exchange hosted its second annual DX Intersection, a fundraising event celebrating the intersection for all things creative. Toronto’s art, design and fashion communities gathered at the design museum to party with Byron and Dexter Peart of WANT Les Essentiels de la Vie, who were honoured with the DX’s 2013 Gamechanger award for their cross-discipline creative achievements.
The evening’s highlights included delicious food (duck confit poutine by The Food Dudes and tostados by La Carnita – need we say more?), design installations and, of course, some good old fashioned two-stepping. Check out the gallery below for 21 style snaps from DX Intersection, featuring the imitable Jeanne Beker, socialite Krystal Koo, blogger Michelle Bilodeau, and more.
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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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On April 18, the Art Gallery of Ontario threw its annual fundraising bash, Massive Party, welcoming about 1,800 guests through its doors for one of the biggest art parties Toronto has to offer. Co-chairs Laura Adams and Marie Corsini hosted the gold-themed soiree, which featured live performances and art installations inspired by everyone’s favourite precious metal.
The dress code was a style photographer’s dream come true. From incredibly luxe to delightfully tacky, party-goers arrived outfitted in everything gold. Bold statement jewelry, shiny sequins, and chic metallic shoes in golden hues abound. As for yours truly, T donned a smart brocade blazer while I chose a tulle skirt, both by Pink Tartan and in the colour of the night.
Check out the gallery below for some of our favourite gold get-ups from Massive Party GOLD.
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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 July 11, Toronto’s social set descended on the Design Exchange to fete its joint exhibition with The National Ballet of Canada, 60 Years of Designing The Ballet. Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker, FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra (in Marni for H&M!) and Katrantzou-clad socialite Kara Alloway were among the gala attendees who spent the evening toasting the National Ballet’s 60th anniversary and admiring costumes and set pieces from its archives.
Curated by costume designer Caroline O’Brien, the exhibit features special items from past productions of Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker, Emergence and more, going as far back as the 1950s. Also on display is The Tutu Project, 60 stunning, one-of-a-kind tutus created by Canadian fashion designers, artists and children alike in honour of the National Ballet’s big 6-0.
The exhibition runs from July 11 to September 2, 2012. For more information, visit www.dx.org.
Glen Baxter, Shauna Levy, Jeanne Beker, Christine Faulhaber
FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra
Jewellery Designer Shay Lowe
Image Credits: Peter Chatterton