Events

AliceAzur by Miriam Baker Wins Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels 2014 Competition

On June 5, Toronto Fashion Incubator held its annual TFI New Labels competition, with four up and coming labels showcasing their collections in front of a who’s who of the Canadian fashion industry. Chaired by philanthropist Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a David Dixon-clad Jeanne Beker, the evening featured a cocktail reception and runway show that culminated in the naming of AliceAzur by Miriam Baker as Most Promising New Label.

Miriam Baker took the honour over fellow finalists Christopher Paunil DesignsLaura Siegel and Nomad of the Sun by Ashley Boutcher. “All of our finalists have promising futures and each year we are amazed by the caliber of the showcased collections,” said Susan Langdon, Executive Director of TFI.

It was a tough decision we bet, and we don’t envy the esteemed panel of judges, which included TNT owner Arie Assaraf, designer David DixonFLARE Fashion Director Tiyana Grulovic and Suzanne Rogers, for having to make it.

“I am overwhelmed with this acknowledgement and would not have pushed myself this far if it wasn’t for the support of TFI and the panel of judges,” said Baker. ”I have learned through this process and am excited to develop a complete size range and start production.” Baker was awarded a $25,000 cash prize generously donated by Suzanne Rogers, an editorial spread in FLARE Magazine, and production of a lookbook for her collection by Covergirl and Pantene.

We’re loving the chic, feminine aesthetic of AliceAzur, and can’t wait to see Miriam Baker take her label to the next level with this big TFI New Labels win now under her belt. In the meantime, take a gander at the gallery below for images of the runway show and, of course, of guests’ glam (and, in many cases, Canadian-designed!) gala style.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Suzanne Rogers Presents Zac Posen

On April 28, New York-based designer and red carpet favourite Zac Posen touched down in Toronto for philanthropist Suzanne Rogers‘ annual fashion fundraiser in support of children’s charities. The ‘Suzanne Rogers Presents Zac Posen’ event saw the likes of Hamish Bowles, Leigh LezarkDerek Blasberg and honourary co-chairs Lauren Santo Domingo and Martin Short make the trek north of the border to The Carlu to attend the black tie gala, which raised $800,000 for Boost Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention.

The evening featured Posen’s first ever fashion show in Canada (headlined by none other than Coco Rocha!), a dinner, live auction (a dance with the designer himself, anyone?) and an official after party. Many in the crowd showed up for all the festivities in their most red carpet-worthy looks, including Sylvia Mantella in a jaw-dropping baby blue confection, Ainsley Kerr in a gorgeous floral-embroidered gown, and Jessica Mulroney in an eye-catching cobalt blue number.

Check out the gallery below for 23 style snaps from what will undoubtedly be one of the year’s most glamourous affairs.

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Events

Spotted from the Backseat: POGO Gala 2014 Edition


Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers

On April 12, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario hosted its 13th annual fundraising gala, Odyssey, a soirée held in support of the non-profit organization’s efforts to deliver the right care at the right time and in the right place for children with cancer and their families. Decked out in their black tie best, the city’s social set arrived at the Liberty Grand in Toronto to support the very worthy cause at what is always one of the most glamourous events of the year.

POGO Gala 2014 featured a cocktail reception (duck confit quesadillas for the win!), silent auction (lunch with an astronaut, anyone?), gala dinner, live auction (drums and lessons from Johnny Fay of the Tragically Hip were up for grabs – how cool is that?), and even an official after-party. Check out the gallery below for 20 style snaps from POGO Gala 2014, including a pretty-in-pink Suzanne Rogers on the arm of a dapper Glenn Dixon, the lovely Jane Hanrahan in a gorgeous black gown, and the ultra chic duo of Lori Siddons and Brittney Kuczynski.

P.S. Find out more about POGO and how you can support the cause at pogo.ca.


Lori Siddons and Brittney Kuczynski


Jane Hanrahan (left)

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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: CANFAR’s Bloor Street Entertains 2013 Edition


Joe Mimran and Kimberley Newport-Mimran

On November 27, Toronto’s Mink Mile played host to CANFAR‘s annual Bloor Street Entertains fundraising gala. In its 17th year, the event drew the city’s most influential – and fashionable – to the Royal Ontario Museum for a glamourous pre-party and to various boutiques and galleries in the Bloor-Yorkville area for elegant dining experiences on the eve of World AIDS Day.

The only thing more fabulous than shopping in luxurious boutiques like Burberry, Cartier, Holt Renfrew, Mulberry, and Tiffany & Co. is having a private seated dinner inside them, and that’s exactly what Bloor Street Entertains is all about. The likes of style icon Jeanne Beker, Hudson’s Bay Company vice-chair Bonnie Brooks, and fashion powerhouse couple Joe Mimran and Kimberly Newport-Mimran were spotted among the CANFAR supporters in their Wednesday best.

Check out the gallery below for  21 gala style snaps featuring Toronto fashion scene favourites Suzanne Rogers, Sylvia Mantella, Jay Strut and more from #BSE13.


Jeanne Beker and Bonnie Brooks


Suzanne Rogers and Sylvia Mantella


Jenna Bitove Naumovich


Jay Strut and Lina Policaro

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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

Spotted from the Backseat: Operanation 2013 Edition


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


Stacey McKenzie


Caitlin Agnew and Anita Clarke


Barbara Ann Solomon


Christine Tizzard and Tracy Briggs

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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: The Coveteur x The Outnet Cocktail Party


The Coveteur’s Erin Kleinberg, Stephanie Mark & Jake Rosenberg

As fashion bloggers, we learned fairly quickly that not all invitations are created equal, so when an invite to an event co-hosted by The Coveteur and The Outnet - both of which require no introduction – landed in our inbox, we didn’t even bother to check our calendars. A shindig toasting two of our favourite sites, like, ever? We were so in.

That’s how we found ourselves atop the Thompson Hotel rooftop in Toronto recently, chatting up The Coveteur team while surrounded by a stunning array of deeply-discounted designer offerings from theoutnet.com. Over the 4 years since its launch in 2009, we’ve scored many deals from the aptly self-dubbed “world’s most fashionable fashion outlet”, a pair of Charlotte Olympia sandals being our last purchase.

With the breathtaking Toronto skyline for a backdrop, the city’s fashion set shopped (IRL!) The Outnet’s latest and greatest: we ogled the Alexander Wang shoes, oohed and aahed over the party dresses by Oscar de la Renta, Roland Mouret and the like, and even got into a bit of a catfight over a certain Hawaiian-print Stella McCartney jacket. Some bloggers (i.e. us) just have no shame.

Check out the gallery below for 30 pics of chic goods and stylish partygoers from #THEOUTNETinTO.


Jenna Naumovich


Suzanne Rogers

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