Thom Browne Charms at The Room at Hudson’s Bay

Nicholas Mellamphy, Thom Browne and Liz Rodbell

On November 4, The Room at Hudson’s Bay’s Toronto flagship threw an unforgettable cocktail party in honour of designer Thom Browne, complete with psychedelic wallpaper, an indoor lawn and the most fabulous stilt walkers you ever saw.

Of course, the folks at The Room have been on a roll of late. Liz Rodbell, President, HBC Department Store Group and Nicholas Mellamphy, Vice President, The Room hosted the soirée mere days after Fashion Blows, the awe-inspiring exhibition celebrating the life of Isabella Blow, closed at the luxury designer department. It’s been a good month for The Room, having been graced by the presence of style icon Daphne Guinness (in support of Fashion Blows), followed by the talented (and dapper!) Mr. Browne.

The evening was attended by a who’s who of Toronto’s social set, including the likes of Suits actress Meghan Markle, model Yasmine Warsame, philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, and fashion director George Antonopoulos. All were charmed by the New York-based designer, and many sported his wares to the event as evidence of their fandom. Check out the gallery below for some very chic style snaps from The Room’s Thom Browne fête.

Meghan Markle

Anita Clarke

Veronica Chu

Randi Bergman

Angela Koszuta

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Fashion News

Isabella Blow Exhibition ‘Fashion Blows’ Now Open at The Room at Hudson’s Bay

Fashion Blows, a much anticipated exhibition celebrating the life and wardrobe of the late British patron of the arts Isabella Blow, has opened at The Room at Hudson’s Bay Queen Street in Toronto.

The exhibit features pieces acquired and preserved by The Honourable Daphne Guinness, a style icon in her own right, after her friend’s death in 2007. “The clothes are an embodiment of Isabella’s life’s work,” said Guinness. “The collection is iconic in that it embodies an extraordinary time in fashion. The various outfits are life chapters in her memoirs. Issie collected by intuition. She couldn’t have cared less about trends.”

Curated by Abigail Slone of Hudson’s Bay with the assistance of exhibition consultants Jeremy Laing and Nolan Bryant, Fashion Blows showcases 55 pieces from Blow’s collection by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy, Dior and Galliano, as well as a collection of pieces from Guinness’s personal collection.

“It was a pleasure to be able to work with The Isabella Blow Foundation,” said Slone in a press release. “Our goal was to bring pieces that would help us tell her story — from how much she loved and lived in her clothes, to her life as a visionary and muse.”

A must-visit for fashion fans, Fashion Blows is on until November 1, and admission is free of charge.

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The Room at Hudson’s Bay to Host Isabella Blow Exhibit ‘Fashion Blows’ in Toronto

Fashion fans mark your calendars: Hudson’s Bay is bringing the Isabella Blow exhibition to Canada. For those of us who weren’t able to make a trip to the other side of the pond earlier this year for the Fashion Galore! exhibit at Somerset House in London, a quick jaunt to The Room at Hudson’s Bay’s Queen Street flagship in Toronto next month will more than make up for that disappointment.

The retailer is partnering with the Isabella Blow Foundation on “Fashion Blows”, a fundraising event and exhibit celebrating the life and wardrobe of Isabella Blow, the late British patron of fashion and art. The events, overseen by a committee chaired by Suzanne Rogers, will kick off with a fundraising dinner hosted by honourary co-chairs Daphne Guinness and Liz Rodbell, President, Hudson’s Bay and Lord & Taylor. Funds raised will sponsor a Canadian fashion student to join the MA programme at Central Saint Martins in London, England, and will also support the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto.

“[Hudson’s Bay is] honoured to partner with The Isabella Blow Foundation to support our common objectives of fostering Canadian design talent and supporting mental health charities,” said Rodbell in a press release. “To stage this first international fundraising event and exhibition at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, an environment where fashion is celebrated every day, is a privilege.”

“The Isabella Blow Foundation is delighted to partner with Hudson’s Bay for our first international showcase and fundraiser,” said Daphne Guinness. “Our vision was to establish a global travelling exhibit of Isabella’s wardrobe and inspire budding fashion designers around the world. When I visited her beloved clothes in a storage room in South Kensington, it seemed quite clear the collection would be of immense value to a great many people.”

Fashion Blows will open to the public at The Room at Hudson’s Bay, Queen Street on October 23 and will run for 16 days. Admission to the exhibit, which will showcase designs by the likes of Alexander McQueen, Philip Treacy and Hussein Chalayan, will be free of charge.

Image Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe


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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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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When Toronto Met Roksanda: A Peek Inside the Roksanda Ilincic Fête at The Room at The Bay

Yours truly with Roksanda Ilincic

Roksanda Ilincic made a one-day jaunt to Toronto last week for a fête in her honour at The Room at The Bay. The Serbian-born, London-based womenswear designer brought with her a charming disposition and highly covetable Fall 2013 collection that both won over the city’s fashion set.

Not that she didn’t already have big fans here. Socialite Stacey Kimel, blogger Nelia Belkova and Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fashion Director Suzanne Timmins were all decked out in Ilincic’s unmistakably chic and colourful wares at the invite-only cocktail party. The statuesque designer herself chose a whimsical printed pink gown for the occasion, a design from the Fall runway collection that just debuted in London last month.

Those of us without the pleasure of Ilincic pieces in our closets (yet!) still showed up in our Thursday best: Jenna Naumovich sported the to-die-for, limited edition Giuseppe Zanotti for Kanye West ‘Cruel Summer’ heels, while Jessica Chiu donned a printed Prabal Gurung frock that made our hearts go pitter-patter. Yours truly decided on a LRD by another London-based designer, Mary Katrantzou, while T wore a patterned velvet blazer by Club Monaco.

Merely a day after The Room’s latest shindig, while we were still basking in the glow of meeting the lovely Roksanda, came news of the next: a month from now, on April 16, featuring Viktor & Rolf. Mark your calendars!

Hudson’s Bay Company’s Suzanne Timmins with Stacey Kimel

Charlotte Positano and The Room’s Jenna Naumovich

Kimberly Lyn, FLARE Magazine’s Ryan M. Cheung, Nelia Belkova, me and The Genteel’s Irene Kim

Jessica Chiu and The Room’s Steven Baughan

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The Backseat Stylers’ Year in Review – 2012 Edition!

What a year 2012 was! It started with a Toronto Fashion Week runway walk and ended with some Tiffany & Co. hardware. In between, we attended a lot of events, made some lovely new friends, celebrated our 3-year anniversary, wrote 373 blog posts, and more than doubled our reach. Not too shabby, by our measure.

Here’s a look back at our favourite moments from the past year. Thanks to all of you lovely readers, brands, PR folks and fellow blogger friends for showing us so much love. We’re excited for what 2013 will bring, and hope you’ll stick with us to find out!

S’s runway model moment for VAWKKIN at Toronto Fashion Week

The side of S’s head was on an episode of America’s Next Top Model. It was awesome.

A stylish road trip to The Somerset Collection in Troy, MI? Yes please!

T and model Irina Lazareanu, giving their best smizes.

Celebrating Three Years of Style with Style Blog, The Souls of My Shoes and our lovely readers…happy birthday to us! (Image Credit: You Just Got Spotted)

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Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy Preview Fall 2012 with a Fête at The Room at The Bay Toronto

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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Nicola Formichetti & Team Mugler Take Over The Room at the Bay Toronto

Nicola Formichetti

Last night, Creative Director Nicola Formichetti and his creative team, including women’s designer Sébastien Peigné, previewed Parisian design house MUGLER‘s Spring 2012 collection at The Room at the Bay in Toronto. With the likes of FLARE editor-in-chief Lisa Tant, supermodel Yasmin Warsame and socialite Suzanne Rogers (in Givenchy!) in attendance, it was an evening of bold-faced fashion names and fierce clothing and shoes, both on the guests and the MUGLER-donning models and mannequins.

Though his frequent collaborator Lady Gaga sadly didn’t make an appearance, Formichetti himself was enough of a rock star on this night. Dubbed the “sexiest guy on the planet” by the Bay’s own President & CEO Bonnie Brooks, the man best known as Gaga’s fashion director charmed the invite-only crowd of editors, clients and fashion fans. Check out the gallery below for party photos.

FASHION Magazine’s Susie Sheffman and supermodel Yasmin Warsame

Models in MUGLER

Blogger Anita Clarke and socialite Suzanne Rogers

Flare Magazine’s Liz Cabral

Nicola Formichetti and writer Septembre Anderson

xx, S


Barbara Bui Visits The Room at The Bay Toronto

Barbara Bui and me

Just on the heels of Oscar de la Renta‘s recent visit came another bold-faced name to The Room at the Bay; this time, it was French designer Barbara Bui with her Spring 2012 collection in tow. With a throng of fans looking on, Bui chatted with the prolific Jeanne Beker about her passion for surfing, what she would teach her 7-year old daughter about fashion, and her suggestions for how women should shop and dress in such a rapidly changing fashion environment.

“Even if things are going very quickly, you (should) keep it to the same style,” the charming designer recommended. “You just add pieces to that; you don’t have to change (your style) every season. That (would be) completely ridiculous.” She added, “You don’t have to follow too much (what’s in) the magazines, or you’ll lose your individuality”.

Bui’s own designs certainly follow this philosophy. Her collections consistently present an edgy aesthetic that women of all ages identify with, as was apparent by the mixed crowd that ranged in age from fashion fans in their 20s to long-time customers in their 60s. I currently count myself as a fan, but given what I saw of Bui’s highly covetable Spring 2012 collection, I have a feeling I’ll be a happy customer, too, soon enough.

xx, S

Image Credit: Photo #1 by Nelia Belkova; all others by The Backseat Stylers

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