Events

Spotted from the Backseat: Mad Hot Ballet 2014 Edition

On June 11, The National Ballet of Canada hosted its annual fundraising gala Mad Hot Ballet: Spellbound at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto. The fairy tale-inspired soirée featured awe-inspiring gala performances, a lively cocktail reception, and a dinner on the Four Seasons stage. Co-chaired by Vanessa and Mark Mulroney, the event raised over $1 million in support of The National Ballet of Canada.

Ballet dancers and ballet enthusiasts, it turns out, are one very stylish set. From Stacey McKenzie‘s jaw-droppingly gorgeous VAWK gown to Brittney Kuczynski‘s ridiculously fierce Mikael Kale dress, not only did partygoers attend in their Thursday best, but they also showed Canadian designers much love on the red carpet. Check out the gallery below for 22 style snaps from Mad Hot Ballet 2014 – you may even spot a mermaid dress, literally.


Sylvia Mantella


Sonia Rodriguez


Brittney Kuczynski


FASHION Magazine Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra and best dressed contest winners

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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

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

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: Lunch with Margaret and George 2013

On November 4, The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation and luxury fashion retailer George C hosted its third annual “Lunch with Margaret & George” at the Art Gallery of Ontario in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. With Giles Deacon and Derek Lam having served up fabulous runway shows at lunches past, this year’s edition promised to be no less fabulous with Joseph Altuzarra as the guest of honour.

After an intimate lunch in Baillie Court (because it’s called Lunch with Margaret & George, after all), the New York-based designer presented his gorgeous Spring 2014 collection in Frank Gehry’s Galleria Italia, the perfect setting for a runway show. The fashionable audience included the likes of event co-chairs Emmanuelle Gattuso and George and Lisa Corbo, editors-in-chief Bernadette Morra of FASHION and Miranda Purves of FLARE, and even ‘Suits’ star Sarah Rafferty.

Check out the gallery below for style snaps from the lunch, as well as photos of Altuzarra and his models backstage and on the runway.


FLARE’s Emily Ramshaw and Tiyana Grulovic


Sylvia Mantella


George C’s George and Lisa Corbo with Joseph Altuzarra


CHLOE Magazine’s Amarsana Gendunova


‘Suits’ star Sarah Rafferty

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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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Events

Sarah Stevenson Crowned Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels 2013 Winner

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!


Table #8!

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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Events

Lunch with Margaret & George…and Derek Lam Too!


Soho House’s Markus Anderson and FLARE Magazine’s Liz Cabral

On November 8, 2012, The Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Yorkville boutique George C hosted the 2nd Annual Lunch with Margaret & George at the Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. Surrounded, quite literally, by lovely ladies who lunch decked out in their noon-hour finest, the charity function was one of the swankiest and most fashionable meals I’ve had the good fortune of enjoying in some time.

The highlight of the event came when, just before dessert, guests were treated to a presentation of Derek Lam‘s Spring 2013 runway collection. Though the New York-based designer himself was unfortunately unable to attend as planned (Mother Nature had other, snow-filled plans for him), his pieces, inspired by Barkley L. Hendricks paintings from the 1970s, thankfully made it to the luncheon for our viewing pleasure. And pleased we were, with the very covet-worthy line-up of ready-to-wear, handbags and shoes that we got to see up close and personal.

Canadian fashion industry heavyweights like FLARE Magazine‘s new editor-in-chief Miranda Purves, her counterpart at FASHION Magazine Bernadette Morra, Holt Renfrew’s Lisa Tant and FLARE fashion director Liz Cabral lent their support to the very worthy cause and stylish event. By the time the last morsel of food was consumed, over $150,000 had been raised in support of the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. A very productive working lunch indeed.


FLARE Magazine’s Miranda Purves (centre) with George C owners Lisa and George Corbo


Sylvia Mantella


Models line up in preparation for the Derek Lam Spring 2013 presentation


Holt Renfrew’s Lisa Tant


FASHION Magazine’s Bernadette Morra

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