1. Variety Studio at Holt Renfrew with Moroccanoil
Once again, I was able to be a fly on the wall at the annual Variety Studio at Holt Renfrew on Bloor St, watching celebs in their natural habitat, as they sat on couches sipping Belmonte Raw juice, played pattycakes, and hung out with their publicists. This year was quite eventful and I wrote an entire post about it on Yorkdale.com, so if you’re into Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Bryan Cranston, Idris Elba, Sandra Bullock, and more – you definitely want to check it out! Who asked for an extra Moroccanoil goodie bag for his wife? Who refused to make eye contact? Who was the loudest interviewee? Read all about it here!
2. Essentials Lounge
Each year the Essentials Lounge by EGPR is a much-needed haven, helping journalists and bloggers prep for extra-long TIFF days and nights by pampering us with the essentials (get it?) necessary to get through 2 weeks of parties, interviews, red carpets, and more, in style and in good health. As always, this lounge focused on handing out swag to the media, not the celebs…and this year I felt especially spoiled! Mainly, because…Krispy Kreme doughnuts! I don’t know about you, but I am OBSESSED with them. I know I shouldn’t have them all the time, but when life hands you a box of 6 glazed doughnuts, you take them and you eat them immediately. After my doughnut break, other notable stops at Essentials included Dior Beauty makeup touch-ups, cutest Saucony Original shoes for those long days on your feet, personalized bottles of Thierry Mugler Angel perfume from Clarins Canada, comfy Canadian-designed Knix Wear underwear, natural beauty goodies from Kosmea Australia, and did I mention the doughnuts?! Needless to say, I emerged from this lounge, loaded up like a mule, with complimentary Vitaminwater Zero in tow and doughnut glaze on my lips. Thanks, EGPR! I blame you for those extra 10 pounds of Krispy Kreme doughnuts I am going to eat this month.
3. Sky Afterparty with CHANEL
When CHANEL invited me to attend the TIFF afterparty for Diane Kruger’s latest movie Sky, I was ecstatic. As you all know, Diane is a huge style inspiration and I couldn’t believe I would get to “party” with her at Soho House in Toronto. So the night I flew back to the city from NYFW, I rushed home to change, then rushed back to the event in my best Diane-approved outfit, only to find myself staring at the back of Diane Kruger’s beautiful head for most of the night, too shy to approach her, making my dream of photoboothing with her (or even having a small chat) go up in smoke. Such is the life of a peasant civilian. Kruger, who was, of course, wearing an exquisite CHANEL Haute Couture frock, was hanging out with her co-stars, director, and friends in the corner of the patio, while the rest of us tried to mingle nearby as inconspicuously as possible. I have to say I was a bit sad that we didn’t become BFFs at this party…after all we have so much in common – we both love cats, CHANEL, and Joshua Jackson…but alas, this time, a meet-cute was not in the stars. Perhaps another time.
More after the jump!
4. Tastemakers Lounge
Rock-It Promotions’ Tastemakers Lounge is one of the longest-running TIFF celebrity gifting lounges, and this year I had the privilege of attending and being treated like a VIP myself. Upon arrival, I was outfitted with a super cool pair of Sorel rubber boots (can’t wait to show them off!!!) from the brand’s fun fall collection, checked out the newly launched Tweezerman make-up brushes (designed not to hold on to bacteria and excess product!), learned about the all-natural beauty goodies from Sahajan, and went behind the scenes of ELLE Canada’s photoshoot with Diane Kruger using the crazy-cool virtual reality technology from PCP VR and Samsung Canada. Celebs that stopped by the lounge this year included Kate Winslet, Salma Hayek, Idris Elba, Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Kiernan Shipka, Kal Penn, and many others. Which means that Julianne Moore and I probably have the exact same pair of boots from Sorel. We are practically BFFs…sorry, Diane Kruger.
5. Elevate Lounge
Elevate Lounge was a new kid on the TIFF lounge block, but it was certainly memorable. I was invited to get glammed up by Nexxus and Simple Skincare, and I took that opportunity with a huge smile on my face – who wouldn’t love to get their makeup and hair did by the pros?! While waiting for my turn in the stylist’s chair, I hung out in the lounge area, devouring Magnum ice-cream bars, all sorts of delicious candy, and sipping on VOSS water. It was lovely to be able to just sit back and relax in between my 9-5 and my blog job.
6. Canada Goose Dinner with Sidewalk Hustle
Most of the time, sit-down dinners during TIFF are a rarity for me, so it felt pretty special to be able to hang out with a few friends for an evening, while noshing on Ritz Carlton’s finest dishes. Thanks to Canada Goose and Sidewalk Hustle, we enjoyed our meal seated pretty much adjacent to Kristen Stewart’s dinner table. NBD! After we were done stuffing our faces, we headed to the premiere of Maggie’s Plan, starring the hilarious Julianne Moore, Ethan Hawke and Greta Gerwig. The movie was pretty good…I particularly enjoyed every scene with Julianne Moore in it, and we hollered in our seats every time a Canada Goose jacket showed up on the big screen. Needless to say, it was a night to remember.
7. Mongrel Media’s ‘Mongrel House’
Normally, I avoid afterparties because they interfere with my bed time of 11pm (yes, I’m a grandma!), but this year I made a few exceptions. When the lovelies from EGPR invited me to the Mongrel Media afterparty held at the historical Campbell House, I couldn’t say no. When we arrived, le bf and I really loved the setting – all twinkly lights and cozy seating arrangements. We checked out the ping pong tables, the karaoke room, hung out with a few friends, and enjoyed some delicious FeasTO dumplings, before calling it a night. The next day, I found out that Rachel McAdams and Geoffrey Rush were both at the same party, and Rush actually sang karaoke, while McAdams happily posed with fans!!! TIFF lesson learned – never leave an afterparty before the break of dawn.
Photo Credits: Holt Renfrew, Mongrel Media, EGPR, Rock-It Promotions