On April 30, Toronto Fashion Incubator held its annual TFI New Labels fundraising gala at The Carlu in Toronto. Chaired by Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a David Dixon-clad Dina Pugliese, the evening’s main event was the design competition runway show presented by Target and the crowning of this year’s New Labels winner.
Suzanne Rogers and Dina Pugliese
The show was the culmination of a six-month long competition that saw the field of contestants narrowed down to a very talented final four that included Christopher Paunil by Chalo Barrueta and Christopher Paunil, Paria Shirvani, Sarah Stevenson and SEVENTHIRTYONE by Maiko Suzuki and Defne Husrevoglu. With the support of beauty partner P&G Beauty & Grooming, the finalists presented four very distinct and well received collections in front of a discerning crowd of industry insiders that included designer Arthur Mendonça, model Stacey McKenzie, The Room’s Nicholas Mellamphy, and sponsor Mantella Corporation’s Sylvia Mantella.
Gabrielle Miller and Stacey McKenzie
If their audience didn’t already have them shaking in their fashionable boots, then the New Labels judges surely did. This year’s distinguished panel was made up of FLARE Editor-in-Chief Miranda Purves, TNT Boutiques’ Arie Assaraf, Target Divisional Merchandise Manager Elisha Ballantyne, Target Senior Vice President, Merchandising John Morioka, TFI President David Dixon and gala chair Suzanne Rogers.
Winner Sarah Stevenson with the esteemed judging panel after her win
After a short but tough deliberation, the judges named Sarah Stevenson, who presented a cohesive line-up of looks featuring gorgeous prints and laser-cut detailing, the 2013 TFI New Labels winner. In addition to bragging rights, the Toronto native’s prize haul included a $25,000 cash award donated by Suzanne Rogers, a full-page feature in FLARE Magazine, and the opportunity to design a collection to be sold exclusively in Target locations across Canada in 2014. Congratulations Sarah!
Check out the gallery below for 40 images from the 2013 TFI New Labels gala, featuring Canadian fashion both on and off the runway.
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On April 5, the Royal Ontario Museum‘s Young Patron’s Circle threw its annual fundraising bash, welcoming hundreds of partygoers to the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal for Ancient PROM. Hosted by MTV’s Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and CP24’s Gurdeep Ahluwalia, this year’s fete featured food and entertainment inspired by the ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations.
The dress code followed suit, calling for Grecian glam or Cleopatra chic for the ladies and gladiator garb for the men. PROM guests, including philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, interior designer Glenn Dixon, Toronto Argonaut Mike Bradwell and bloggers Anita Clarke and Jay Strut, arrived in style, dutifully donning head jewels, body armour, or at the very least the traditional high school prom fare.
As they do year after year, ROM PROM-goers showed impressive sartorial commitment to the theme, making it one of the most fun parties of the year.
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Krystal Koo and Suzanne Rogers at Rodarte event at The Room at The Bay
Some of my nerdiest (and more awkward) moments as a fashion blogger are those times when I’m full out freaking out about someone else’s outfit, oftentimes a chic stranger. “It’s that Mary Katrantzou dress!”, I’ll hiss to T, to the Mister (who could care less), or to no one in particular. I’ll then do that little jig where I’m pretending to be engrossed in the hors d’oeuvres spread or silent auction offerings but am really tracking said person’s movements, waiting for that opening in between bites of food or inside jokes to go in for the shot.
I always try to be polite to the individuals in the incredible ensembles, and respectful of other photographers and bloggers also trying to get the shot. Over the last 3+ years, I’ve been turned away by a would-be street style subject exactly once. Other times, I would have preferred a refusal over the scowl I saw through my camera lens; although, to be fair, this is also a rare occurrence. Most everyone I ask for a photo responds kindly and generously.
There was that time one bold face name vouched for me to another bold face name: “It’s OK – she’s cool.” The Toronto socialite stamp of approval! I was, quite honestly, delighted to be considered safe to pose for by the city’s social set. There was also that time one of Toronto’s most prolific event photographers waited very patiently for several minutes as I tried desperately to get my camera to co-operate and snap his picture. His empathy and assurance that this sort of thing happens to him too made the incident just a little less humiliating for me.
To Suzanne, Krystal, Liz, Faith, Monica, Amy, Glenna, Megan, Alesia, Ainsley, and everyone else who indulged me and my camera this year, thank you from the bottom of my fashion-obsessed heart. I can’t wait to do it all over again in 2013!
Liz Cabral at Power Ball
Monica Mei at Operanation
Alesia at Prom at the ROM
Megan Loach at Prom at the ROM
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On November 14, over 600 guests attended Frocktail Party 2012 in Toronto in support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Many of the city’s most fashionable flocked to the Arcadian Loft for an evening of silent auctions featuring designer dresses and accessories generously donated by celebrities like socialite Suzanne Rogers and supermodel Monika Schnarre, talented Canadian designers including Greta Constantine, ela, and Jeremy Laing, and retailers like eLUXE and The Bay.
This 4th annual event achieved a record-breaking auction this year, raising $30,000 for a total of over $55,000 for the evening. As a shopaholic who quite enjoys the thrill of a good silent auction, I quite happily contributed to that total. At the end of the night, I returned home the victor of two battles, having successfully snagged a pair of Greta Constantine x ALDO Shoes ankle booties from the Fall 2011 runway for me and a one-year men’s spa membership to John Allan’s for the Mister. All in the name of charity, of course.
I did, however, leave an absolutely to-die-for tree-print jersey dress by Alexander McQueen behind, which I’m still in mourning over. Other incredible pieces up for auction included a Proenza Schouler clutch donated by INTERMIX, a Smythe jacket courtesy of eLUXE, and runway frocks by Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta and Mary Katrantzou, straight from the closet of Suzanne Rogers. She herself donned a lovely violet-hued number for the occasion, as did a stunning Ainsley Kerr, who wore a beautiful fringed gown. Socialite Jenna Naumovich also showed her support for the JDRF’s cause, arriving in a gorgeous Peter Pilotto runway dress.
With incredible frocks on Frocktail Party’s guests and enticing pieces up for auction, it’s a miracle I didn’t come out of the silent auction shenanigans with more damage to the pocketbook than I did. Come next year, though, I’ll be more than ready for the bidding wars for the latest from Ms. Rogers’ unbelievable wardrobe.
That McQueen tree-print dress (right) I really, really wanted to win
My spoils of war
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Hermès sure knows how to throw a party. The purveyor of the world’s most coveted silks and, of course, the holy grail Birkin bag threw a Swinging Silk dance bash last week in Toronto. Many of the city’s most fashionable arrived sporting their favourite silks at the brilliantly decorated Berkeley Church for a group swing dancing lesson, as well as a temporary tattoo station and requisite photo booth.
Classic 90 x 90 scarves hung from the rafters as partygoers including FLARE and FASHION‘s respective editors-in-chief Miranda Purves and Bernadette Morra, socialite Suzanne Rogers, and the perpetually, perfectly in costume Beckerman clan danced the night away. The dress code was specific and most adhered to it: silk scarves, skirts and ballet shoes for the ladies and slicked back hair and tuxedo or zoot suits for the gentlemen. Yours truly decided that a tux with a twist was in order, as did Nelia Belkova, my partner-in-crime for the evening.
Check out the gallery below for shots from one of the most fun events in the city so far this year. If they have you lusting for a new Hermès scarf, you’re in luck, because the company recently launched its Canadian website and is offering complimentary ground shipping until November 2, 2012.
And while you’re waiting on that unmistakeably orange box to arrive on your doorstep, give this fascinating piece on Kermit Oliver, the American artist designing scarves for Hermès, a read.
Nelia Belkova, Ryan M. Cheung and me
HELLO! Canada’s Lisa Tant and Shrimpton Couture’s Cherie Federau
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Shopping parties are the best when raided with an equally fashion-minded sister (at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique). (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
And just like that, Fashion’s Night Out Toronto has come and gone, but while it was here on September 6, we sure took full advantage. It was a jam-packed evening of shopping party after shopping party, the very best kind by our measure.
We kicked off our night at Toronto Eaton Centre (check out our recap), and the FNO fun was only just beginning. Next stop? Holt Renfrew, of course, where we joined a very magenta street party complete with pink confetti, limited edition pink Diet Coke bottles and a pop-up shop selling exclusive Holt Renfrew 175th anniversary paraphernalia. There may have been some confetti throwing and dancing in the street on our part (and photographic evidence).
From there we made the short trek to Hazelton Lanes to pay The Shopping Soirée, hosted by Toronto Fashion Incubator, TNT and Fashion Cares, and the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge a visit. There we chatted with a Mary Katrantzou-clad Suzanne Rogers, ogled the Kara Ross jewels on Gail McInnes and Kelly Claman, and caught up with some of our favourite fellow fashion bloggers, including Style Blog‘s Nelia Belkova, who also chose Clover Canyon for the occasion (take a gander at our FNO outfit post). There were also tables and tables of stylish goods to covet.
Our next destination was equally full of temptation for the pocketbook. A chauffeured BMW (by the way, how sweet is that?) took us to The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. More of the city’s independent boutiques than we can name had assembled together at the Burroughes Building to offer a carefully curated selection of chic offerings. The whimsical necklaces from Foe and Dear and statement jewelery from Love of Mine, in particular, were very hard to resist.
With closing time for Fashion’s Night Out just around the corner, we made one final stop at eLUXE‘s FNO bash. There was just enough time to admire the exclusive Smythe x eLUXE tuxedo jacket and make use of the photo booth with Toronto Is Fashion‘s Richard Fabregui. Fashion’s Night Out wouldn’t have been complete without the obligatory jumping session in the photo booth – am I right or am I right?
And with that, the clock struck 11pm, FNO was done for the year, and yours truly returned to our hotel room and ordered everything off the room service menu to cap off one hell of a Fashion’s Night Out. Till next year!
Me and Nelia Belkova – Clover Canyon loving twins! (Image Credit: Richard Fabregui)
Pink lemonade at Massimo Dutti at Toronto Eaton Centre – yes please!
Live-tweeting Toronto Eaton Centre’s fabulous FNO fashion show with PR all-star Jenna Stothers.
I really, really like confetti. Especially the pink kind at Holt Renfrew’s Hot@175 street party.
Well hello there, Gail McInnes, Glenn Dixon and Suzanne Rogers (in Mary Katrantzou!), at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes of course.
Fabulous Kara Ross statement necklaces for all! Except me…I need to work on that.
Bloggers Richard Fabregui, Nelia Belkova, Marc Piercey, Anita Clarke and me at The Shopping Soirée at Hazelton Lanes. (Image Credit: Nelia Belkova)
Jeanne Beker at the MasterCard Stylicity Lounge. (Image Credit: Justin Charles)
Chauffeured BMW pour moi et mes fellow media types. No big deal.
Being silly with Richard at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique.
Actor Adrian Grenier and his entourage (see how we did that?) at The Bazaar by RAC Boutique. (Image Credit: Ashlea Wessel)
Working on my photo booth jumping game with T and Richard at eLUXE’s FNO event.
Me with Rodarte’s Laura and Kate Mulleavy
The Bay still knows how to throw a party. After several quiet months, Toronto’s social and fashion set returned to The Room at The Bay last night for a shindig in honour of Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. With their Fall 2012 collection in tow, the sisters charmed the likes of socialites Suzanne Rogers and Stacey Kimel, editors Bernadette Morra and Mosha Lundström Halbert, as well as bloggers Anita Clarke and Kimberly Lyn.
Yours truly spent the evening photographing the city’s most sartorially endowed, sipping champagne with my fellow media types, and chatting about Kirsten Dunst’s unexpected Met Ball dress (Rodarte, of course) with the designers themselves. Clad in a Manish Arora dress (fit for a hippie wedding) and navy velvet Loeffler Randall shoes (something blue?), I sought to rectify the Rodarte-less situation happening in my closet. When I asked the design duo about any upcoming collaborations, though, the answer was a disappointing no: “Right now, we really need to focus on our next collection,” Kate said. I’ll take that as a ‘maybe’.
In the meantime, The Room at The Bay is the source for all things Rodarte. And with The Room’s spring sale just around the corner (a little birdie told me so) and my pocketbook at the ready, I may just get my hands on my very first piece of Rodarte yet.
Flare’s Ryan M. Cheung, Glam Canada’s Aya McMillan and Flare’s Fiona Green
Kate Mulleavy, The Room Creative Director Nicholas Mellamphy and The Bay Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins
I Want – I Got’s Anita Clarke and Front Row Mag’s Michelle Bilodeau and Rachelle Saevil
Me with The Souls of My Shoes’ Kimberly Lyn
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Honorary chair Suzanne Rogers and sponsor Sylvia Mantella
On May 3, Toronto Fashion Incubator celebrated its 25th anniversary with a fundraising gala at the Royal Ontario Museum, aptly dubbed TFI25, that was attended by a who’s who of Toronto’s social set and fashion industry and fit for Barbie herself. Chaired by Suzanne Rogers and emceed by a Greta Constantine-clad Jully Black, the evening featured a VIP dinner, a Barbie-inspired celebrity runway show, the annual TFI New Labels design competition fashion show and, of course, an after-party.
Singer and TFI25 Master of Ceremonies Jully Black
After a 6 month long competition, finalists Patrick Larrivée, Sid Neigum, Jameson Kane by Genevieve Pearson and Stanley Capobianco, and [blak] – i by Diego Fuchs and Helder Aguiar showed four very well received collections that made the TFI New Labels judges’ decision that much more difficult to make. “Judges are in big trouble from @SusanAtTFI”, FLARE Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Lisa Tant tweeted, ”because we can’t decide and won’t come out.”
FLARE Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and TFI New Labels judge Lisa Tant
Tant was joined on the judging panel by TNT Boutiques’ Arie Assaraf, Toronto Star‘s Derick Chetty, TFI President David Dixon, TFI Executive Director Susan Langdon and the gala’s honorary chair Suzanne Rogers, who donated the $25,000 grand prize. In the end, Edmonton native Sid Neigum was named this year’s TFI New Labels winner, taking home a prize package valued at $60,000, which included a feature in FLARE Magazine and a design studio at the TFI sponsored by Arie Assaraf.
TFI New Labels winner Sid Neigum and model
Those weren’t the only prizes up for grabs at TFI25. The Barbie-inspired fashion show featured celebrity models like Dina Pugliese, Tanya Kim and Trish Stratus in designs by VAWK, Arthur Mendonça, Anastasia Lomonova and more. While past TFI New Labels winner Sarah Nicol of Sar Couture was awarded the $10,000 cash prize, it was actress Tara Spencer-Nairn in VAWK who stole the show with her robotic runway walk, tweeted FASHION Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra.
Dina Pugliese in Barbie-inspired dress by Stema
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Sylvia Mantella and Suzanne Rogers
On April 14, the Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario hosted the 11th Annual POGO Gala at the Liberty Grand in Toronto. The yearly soirée is the non-profit organization’s annual fundraiser in support of its efforts to deliver the right care at the right time and in the right place for children with cancer and their families. It also happens to be one of the most glamourous events on the city’s gala season calendar.
The evening featured a top notch 3-course dinner (I’m still dreaming about the lobster salad!), an incredible live auction that raised $111,000, a Tiffany & Co. jewelry raffle (two pieces valued at over $20,000 were up for grabs), one of the most fantastic silent auctions I’ve seen to date, as well the after party of all charity gala after parties. The live auction included a Justin Bieber meet and greet that went for $22,000 to a generous bidder who immediately donated it to a 14-year old cancer survivor who had bravely shared her story with the crowd earlier in the evening. It was just that kind of night.
And the gala attendees were dressed for it, too. Toronto’s social set donned their black tie finest, with Suzanne Rogers leading the charge in a beautiful Grecian gown by Marchesa and jewelry to match. Jenna Naumovich’s short white frock by Alexander McQueen was a standout, and Biko Beauttah’s black velvet Bill Blass was pitch perfect. Canadian fashion was represented beautifully by Rebecca Levy, who donned an eye-catching fuchsia number from Lucian Matis’ Spring 2012 collection. I too wore a Lucian Matis design, a demure printed dress from the Fall 2010 collection.
It was a fabulous affair for the worthiest of causes. Congratulations to the POGO Gala committee on a gala extremely well done. For more information on the important work that POGO does, please visit the organization’s website at pogo.ca.
Jenna Naumovich in Alexander McQueen
Rebecca Levy in Lucian Matis (left) and Biko Beauttah in Bill Blass (middle) and her dapper guest
Suzanne Rogers in Marchesa
Me in Lucian Matis Fall 2010
Liz Cabral of FLARE Magazine at the Mugler event at The Room at the Bay
Toronto’s most fashionable folks made our gig as part-time street style snappers rather easy this past year. We spent little time trolling the streets and, instead, had the pleasure of shooting the city’s most impeccably dressed at the very best industry events and charity galas the city had to offer. These 10 shots are our favourite from the year, and they feature 11 stunning women in ensembles that made us drop our jaws and shamelessly chase after them for photos.
And on that note, thank you to all of our street style subjects from the past 12 months, included in this post or not, who graciously allowed us to interrupt conversations with long lost friends or accost them as they were just biting into an hors d’oeuvre, and who pretended not to notice when we started snapping with our lens cap still on. We look forward to shooting all of you again in 2012!
Suzanne Rogers in Paul & Joe Spring 2011 at the 10th Annual POGO Gala, with Jenna Naumovich
Elly Barlin-Daniels in Marc Jacobs Resort 2011 at the 10th Annual POGO Gala
Amy Burstyn-Fritz of Knot PR in Calla Fall 2011 at Operanation
Carly Stojsic of WGSN and Lisa Tant of FLARE Magazine (in Prabal Gurung Fall 2011) at the P&G Beauty and Grooming Awards
Vyara Ndejuru of ALDO at the A is for ALDO launch
Faith Orfus of RAC Boutique at Operanation
Jenna Naumovich in Erdem at the Ignite the Spark Gala
Mosha Lundström Halbert of FLARE Magazine at the Proenza Schouler event at The Room, with Shinan Govani of the National Post
Ainsley Kerr in Lucian Matis Fall 2011 at the 10th Annual POGO Gala
xx, T & S