Events

Canada Says ‘Yes’ To Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay at the Official Launch Party


Kimberley Newport-Mimran, Jessica Mulroney and Suzanne Cohon

Rejoice, Canadian brides-to-be: Kleinfeld has officially opened its swanky doors at Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship in Toronto. The city’s social set descended upon the luxurious, 20,000 square foot bridal salon last week to toast the launch, and was swept off their feet by the stunning space and gorgeous selection of gowns, jewelry, and footwear. The shoes alone gave us heart palpitations; surely we don’t need an upcoming wedding to justify a white shoe purchase?

“Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay is the new standard in bridal retail in Canada. We’ve raised the bar by delivering unprecedented access to world-class designer gowns, the highest standard of service excellence, all in an absolutely stunning environment,” says Liz Rodbell, President of HBC Department Store Group.“

Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay has over 600 gowns from over 50 brands on offer, including collections from established Canadian bridal designers Ines Di Santo and Romona Keveza and Canadian bridal market newcomers David Dixon, Greta Constantine and Christopher Paunil. The impressive designer listing also features the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, J. Mendel, Naeem Khan, Reem Acra, and Zuhair Murad.

“This is a thrilling day for our team at Kleinfeld,” says Ronald Rothstein, Co-Owner of Kleinfeld Bridal. “We are the largest luxury bridal retailer in the world and our partnership with Hudson’s Bay allows us to bring the most unique shopping experience for Canadian brides and their families, and provides them with the finest selection of exclusive designer wedding gowns anywhere.”

Kleinfeld Hudson’s Bay is currently accepting appointments over at www.kleinfeldbridal.ca. One of us is already married and the other isn’t planning nuptials anytime soon, so we’ll have to live vicariously through your Kleinfeld experiences. In the meantime, take a gander at the gallery below for snaps from the launch party.


Liz Rodbell, President, Hudson’s Bay Company and Mara Rothstein, Co-CEO, Kleinfeld


Shay Lowe


Vanessa Mulroney, Amoryn Engel and Jane Hanrahan


Greta Constantine for Kleinfeld design

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Events

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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Events

P&G and Christina Hendricks Celebrate Top Canadian Talent at Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013


Yours truly with Christina Hendricks and Glen Baxter

On December 2, P&G held its 5th annual P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards at The Carlu in Toronto, bringing together Canada’s top talent in the beauty, grooming and fashion industries. Hosted by Mad Men star and bonafide bombshell Christina Hendricks, the evening honoured the year’s best print and online content in 20 categories.

“I’ve always loved Canada, and I feel honoured to be a part of such an important event, highlighting the incredible talent in this country,” said Hendricks. “My work regularly exposes me to the stylists, editors, photographers and artists who work diligently behind the scenes, and I know how truly deserving they are of recognition.”

A bevy of bold-faced names assisted Hendricks in the doling out of the Tiffany & Co. crystal trophies, including fashion icon Jeanne Beker, TV journalist Glen Baxter, R&B singer (and ever charming) Jully Black, Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, and designer Jeremy Laing. And without further ado, here’s the complete list of winners from the 2013 edition of the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards:

1. Best Art Direction: Mark Reynolds, MONTECRISTO Magazine
2. Best Next Face – Presented by Olay: Dauphine McKee – Elmer Olsen Models
3. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Trend or Profile (English): Olivia Stren, FASHION Magazine, Shear Force
4. Best Beauty Feature of a Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Trend or Profile (French): Mélanie Frappa, ELLE Québec, Tendances phares: printemps-été 2013
5. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Scientific or Technical (English): Ellen Himelfarb, FLARE, Tug of War
6. Best Beauty Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online – Scientific or Technical (French): Émilie Villeneuve, ELLE Québec, La beauté responsable
7. Best Beauty Editor of a Magazine: Vanessa Craft, ELLE Canada
8. Best Male Grooming Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online: Heidi Sopinka, FLARE, Clean Cut
9. Hair Stylist of the Year – Presented by Pantene: Nicolas Blanchet
10. Best Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (English): Angela Murrills, NUVO, Stich by Stich
11. Best Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (French): Andrée-Anne Léonard, ELLE Québec, Peut-on encore porter de la fourrure?
12. Best Fashion Editor of a Magazine: George Antonopoulos, FASHION Magazine
13. Best Male Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (English): Patricia Gajo, NUVO, Down to Business
14. Best Male Fashion Feature, Magazine, Newspaper or Online (French): Jessica Dostie, Journal Métro, Des jeans dans le mile end
15. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English): Sharon Ng Hayes, The Backseat Stylers
16. Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (French): Josiane Stratis, Ton Petit Look
17. Best Beauty or Fashion Website: Randi Bergman, Fashionmagazine.com
18. Photographer of the Year: Richard Bernardin
19. Make-up Artist of the Year – Presented by COVERGIRL: Blair Petty
20. Best Magazine Cover: Sylvain Blais, Dress to Kill (Spring 2013)

Congrats to all the winners! We’d like to briefly bring your attention to category #15, Best Beauty or Fashion Blog (English), because WOOT WOOT that’s us!!! To be named a finalist alongside our amazing fellow bloggers Janine Falcon of beautygeeks and (our blogger BFF) Kimberly Lyn of The Souls of My Shoes was already an incredible honour, but to pull off the win? We’re absolutely speechless. Thank you P&G, esteemed judges, lovely readers, and supporters of this here blog – we promise to strive for an even bigger and better Backseat Stylers in 2014!

Now, back to our regularly-scheduled program: le fashion. Check out the gallery below for 29 party snaps from the P&G Beauty & Grooming Awards 2013, including lots of Canadian fashion representation with Jully Black in Pink Tartan, FLARE‘s Miranda Purves in Horses Atelier, and FASHION Magazine‘s Zeina Esmail in Lucian Matis.


Christina Hendricks with P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards 2013 winners


Jully Black


David Dixon, Suzanne Rogers and Glenn Dixon


Jeanne Beker


FASHION Magazine’s Zeina Esmail and Bernadette Morra

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Canadian Fabric Presents Le Grand Bal


Sylvia Mantella, Suzanne Rogers and Brittney Kuczynski

On November 19, Toronto’s social set descended on the Royal Ontario Museum for Le Grand Bal, a black tie gala to celebrate the launch of a new Canadian cultural yearbook, Canadian Fabric, and in support of a very worthy cause, Oolagen. In its inaugural year, the event was as fabulous as one would imagine with honorary chair Suzanne Rogers, chair Sylvia Mantella and editor-in-chief Brittney Kuczynski at the helm.

The evening fêted the very first issue of Canadian Fabric, an annual publication celebrating what makes us fashionably Canadian, and the 6 philanthropists profiled in it, including Peter Gilgan, founder of Mattamy Homes; Lynn Factor, Vice Chair and Lead Director of the Children’s Aid Foundation; Cheryl McEwen, co-Founder of McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine; Lisa Ray, actress and host of ’Top Chef Canada’; P.K. Subban, defenseman with the Montreal Canadians; and Sylvia Mantella, Director of Brand Development of Mantella Corporation. To underscore the focus on philanthropy, guests were introduced to Oolagan, a youth mental health centre in Toronto to which net proceeds from the event and sale of the magazine (available at Chapters/Indigo) will be donated.

Philanthropy was on the agenda, but fashion certainly didn’t take a back seat. We spied stunning designs by Canadian talent like Erdem, Greta Constantine and Lucian Matis on the fabulous partygoers. Check out the gallery below for style snaps of uber-chic guests in gorgeous gown after gorgeous gown.


Zoomer Magazine’s Suzanne Boyd


Singer Ivana Santilli

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Events

The Room at Hudson’s Bay Fêtes Shoe Designers Nicholas Kirkwood and Sophia Webster


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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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Greta Constantine Pool Party 2013 Edition

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: those Greta Constantine kids sure know how to throw a party. The design duo of Stephen Wong and Kirk Pickersgill held their 4th annual summer poolside soirée at the Toronto home of Michael Cooper and Krystal Koo last week, and it was as fabulous a night as ever before.

Dubbed “Bath, House, Steam” and inspired by Helmut Newton’s poolside works, one of the most anticipated summer shindigs on the city’s social calendar served up a sneak peek of the Greta Constantine Spring 2014 collection, an endless stream of Stoli cocktails, and delightful shenanigans like models in glamourous gowns gracefully swimming laps in the pool. No big deal.

Anita Clarke tweeted the day after the event, while presumably still basking in its afterglow, “Always thought models in gowns in a pool was 1 of those things you see in movies. Thx @gretconstantine for making it happen”. Ditto!


Greta Constantine’s Stephen Wong and muse/hostess Krystal Koo


Bloggers Caillianne and Samantha Beckerman


FASHION Magazine’s Caitlin Agnew and Paige Dzenis

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Events

Inside the Christian Louboutin Exhibition Opening Gala at Design Exchange, Plus Our Ticket Giveaway!


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!

Contest Rules:

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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Street Style

Spotted from the Backseat: Power Ball 2013 Edition

On June 6, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery threw its 15th annual fundraiser and Toronto’s most highly anticipated summer art party, Power Ball: 15 Minutes. Even Mother Nature and her torrential downpours couldn’t keep the city’s social set from flocking to the Harbourfront for an evening of art, fashion, and the types of shenanigans you’ll never witness at another “ball”. We’re looking at you, brave lady in her birthday suit (yes, really).

With DJs Deko-ze and Physical Therapy serving up the beats (Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’ made our night) and Marc Thuet and his team supplying the eats (pulled pork sliders for the win!), we roamed from room to room, taking in the strange and wonderful art installations and partygoer style. From designer Amanda Lew Kee‘s hard-to-miss floral headdress to PR maven Susan Chong‘s summery white Greta Constantine frock to blogger Stefania Yarhi‘s voluminous floral print coat, Power Ball was a delight as usual, sartorially speaking and otherwise.

Check out the gallery below for some of our favourite looks from Power Ball: 15 Minutes. And if you’re kicking yourself for missing this year’s bash, well, you should be.

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Events

Viktor & Rolf Take Over The Room at The Bay Toronto

“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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Events

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, 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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