You Are Invited: Grand Re-Opening of Gap Store at Yorkdale!

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After a couple of months of renovations, Gap Yorkdale is finally ready to unveil its shiny new store, and you’re invited to celebrate this special occasion on Thursday, November 13! To make this party truly special, Gap is going all out with yummy treats, fun giveaways, discounts, mini makeovers, and a DJ spinning fresh tunes. Seriously, guys, this party is going to have EVERYTHING!

So on November 13th, grab a few friends, and stop by Yorkdale Shopping Centre to check out the new Gap store. You may just score a Mystery Gift Card Makeover…and we’ll bond over our mutual love of stripes. See you there?

COME CELEBRATE THE NEW GAP STORE
YORKDALE MALL – 3401 DUFFERIN STREET
HOSTED BY NELIA BELKOVA OF STYLEBLOG.CA
DJ + FASHION + REFRESHMENTS + GIVEAWAYS + DISCOUNTS
THURSDAY, NOV. 13TH, 5PM – 9PM

Travel: Queen of the Night in NYC

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When I first heard about Queen of the Night I was definitely intrigued – a live-show that’s neither a theatre production, nor a musical, with a sexy circus twist, and an interactive dinner served in the darkness, with performers clad in Thom Browne-designed costumes? Sign me up! Well, the chance to see it all go down came up in September, when I was in New York for fashion week, and, of course, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

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Before the show, my friend and I were taken downstairs, a cocktail in hand, to spend some time exploring the venue, while the sexy butlers (who we soon found out were the night’s performers too) mingled with the crowd, luring people into secret rooms, asking some to complete a scavenger hunt in order to win a kiss. We weaved our way in and out of several rooms, checking out the intriguing decor, and watching an attendee hit on actor Bryan Greenberg in a wax-covered room. His fiance Jaimie Chung was there too; seated just behind the couple, we observed them laughing throughout the show, enjoying the performance. Celebrities like Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, John Legend, Jessica Alba, and Adriana Lima, among others had enjoyed the show at The Diamond Horseshoe this year, so you never know who you’ll run into on your visit.

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More after the jump!

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What I Wore: Operanation in a Pinch

Operanation - Light Up The Night. Toronto, ON, Canada. October 17, 2014. (Image: Ryan Emberley)

I know I’ve already waxed poetic about how much I loved Operanation, but I wanted to dedicate a second post to my outfit…this is a personal style blog after all. As mentioned in the previous post, I had a bit of anxiety while trying to figure out what to wear and still stay true to the theme of the night – Light Up the Night. With my newly grey hair, certain colours just don’t work for me anymore, and recently I have been sticking to a muted palette of black, grey, and white – none of which would be ideal for the night’s theme.

So in a bit of a panic, I stopped by H&M a couple of hours before the party and saw this sparkly maxi dress. It didn’t look like much on a hanger, but I could feel its potential, whispering to me…”puuutt meee onnnnnnn”, and so I did. And not to sound full of myself, but in a sea of very expensive gowns, I didn’t feel even a little out of place. It really isn’t about how expensive (or inexpensive) something is, but how that something makes you feel. And obviously, this dress made me feel like a bombshell. A definite keeper.

Also, in a bit of a gross disclosure, my hair in this photo has not been washed in 6 days. It looks nice and wavy, but only because I wore it in a looped ponytail all day, which gave my hair a lovely kink. To spruce up my do, I sprayed some glitter hair spray onto my silvery locks, and while you can’t really see the full effect, I really loved how sparkly my hair was. I think I’ll do it again. And yes, I am a 30-year old that loves to spray glitter in her hair…what’s wrong with that? Absolutely nothing.

So tell me, have you ever worn something really fun but inexpensive to a major event? Share your stories in the comments!

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I Wore: Dress, Belt, Earrings – H&M; Shoes – Zara; Clutch – DVF

Photo Credits: 1 – Ryan Emberley; 2 – Becca Lemire

What They Wore: Operanation 2014

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I’ll be honest with you, I am not a fan of galas. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to get dressed up once in a while, but when I have to go to a big gala event, where how you dress actually matters, I get anxious. Plus, I like to be in bed by 11pm (don’t judge!), and most galas just get going around that time. This is precisely why I’ve never gone to Operanation until this year. But after finding out that Yelle was going to perform, I pulled up my big girl pants and decided to go. And boy, was I a fool to have avoided it all these years!

First of all, Operanation was an amazing place to people-watch and witness some great fashion go down. I won’t go so far as to call it the Met Gala of Toronto fashion, but it’s pretty damn close. Most people stuck to the theme of the night, and lit up the room in neon gowns and accessories, sparkly beading, and pops of colour.

And then there was Yelle…Their performance was everything I hoped it would be and more – energetic, engaging, and SO MUCH FUN! I danced, tried to sing along (my French is very limited), and just watched Julie Budet (Lady Mary lookalike) do her thang. Oh, and members of the COC’s Ensemble Circle joined her for a few songs too. Best ever!

On top of the cool performance, and great people-watching, there were also limited-edition designer slap bracelets – coolest raffle entries possibly ever. One lucky girl walked away with a $10,000 shopping spree from The Room (!!!), while a few others snagged COC-sponsored prizes. There was also a churro bar, a photobooth, half-naked Calvin Klein models, hourly drag queen flash mob…in the immortal words of SNL’s Stefon Zelesky – Toronto’s hottest party of the year is Operanation and it has EVERYTHING!

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Hermès Masculine Spirit Party in Toronto

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As I learned a couple of years ago, the folks at Hermès sure do know how to throw a party. Last week, despite the torrential downpour, over 600 stylish Torontonians showed up to the brand’s Masculine Spirit party at the Distillery District to celebrate Hermès Men’s Universe Autumn/Winter 2014. Guests were invited to view a leather jacket retrospective, walk through a Leandro Erlich-designed mazelike fitting room installation, watch a curious performance by two twins, check out the exquisite pieces from the new collection, and pose for a photo gif booth.

We feasted on delicious nibbles and cocktails, admired the very attractive male models circling the room, and simply had a blast…as one does at an Hermès bash. And while there were no unicorn tattoos this time around, the amount of fun we had planning our poses for the gif booth more than made up for it. How do you spell fun? H-E-R-M-E-S!

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Events: Blogger Bazaar Fall 2014

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Last month, by popular request we held our third Blogger Bazaar, this time – fall edition. With help from our awesome sponsors (Aime by Monica Mei, ALDO, Cake Beauty, Call It Spring, Civello Salon, Dermalogica, Essence, Flare Magazine, H&M, Lovefresh, Roots, smartwater, Trend Trunk, vitaminwater, and Yorkdale), we once again had epic swag bags to gift to our attendees, who showed up at the Soho House ready to shop.

On offer, was a selection of winter coats, party dresses, designer bags and shoes, jewelry, and so much more! We mingled with our readers and our friends, sipped on vitaminwater, played with Cake Beauty dry shampoo, shopped each other’s tables, and said good-bye to our preloved clothing and accessories. It was a fun afternoon for us, and we hope that those that were able to attend enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed organizing it.

And to thank you all for supporting Blogger Bazaar, we would like to give something back! Until October 31, if you instagram or tweet a photo of your fave bazaar purchase, using a hashtag #BLOGGERBAZAARTO, you will be entered to win 1 of 2 Yorkdale prize packs ($100 gift card and a valet parking pass). You can share more than one photo for more chances to win. Sounds good? Can’t wait to see all of your photos!

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You Are Invited: Blogger Bazaar Fall 2014

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Due to the overwhelming response we received after the last two Blogger Bazaars, we’ve decided to get together for one more in 2014! Who’s excited?

This Saturday, September 27th, join us as we put some of our fave fall clothes and accessories up for sale at Toronto’s Soho House. This time around you can expect to see lots of coats, boots, and other fall essentials – all for a steal! If you are looking for a perfect coat, or a cool designer bag, this sale is not to be missed! Once again, there’ll be a mix of vintage, brand new, and gently used items available, and there’ll be gift bags with purchase too.

Thanks to our generous sponsors, our swag bags are pretty awesome if I say so myself, and will include items from ALDO, Cake Beauty,  Call It Springessence, H&M, RootsvitaminwaterYorkdale, along with other faves of ours. Additionally, just like last time, 10% of all sales will be donated to charity – this time – Dress for Success. So many reasons to come out and spend your Saturday afternoon in the company of fun Toronto bloggers! Hope to see you there!

WHERE: Soho House, 192 Adelaide St W, Toronto
WHEN: September 27, 2014 12-4pm
GIFT BAGS WITH PURCHASE (minimum purchase of $30, while supplies last)
CASH ONLY
10% of all proceeds will be donated to Dress for Success

TIFF 2014: Favourite Moments

Another TIFF came and went, and while I was only here to catch the first few days of the festival, this year’s celeb sightings were pretty memorable to say the least. Below are my top 5 TIFF experiences this year. Grab some snacks, it’s going to be a long one.

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1. Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew

Last year, Variety Studio was definitely a highlight, but this year…oh, this year was juicy! After enjoying my amazing Moroccanoil hand/arm massage just like the one celebs were getting (hey, Jemy!), I settled down on the couch to people celeb-watch, and let me tell you, being a fly on the wall at one of these things can be very insightful. While there was no Fassbender action this year, I did find myself in the eye of the Cumberbatch-Redmayne-Worthington-Goode-Knightley-Jones-Leech tornado…the Brits taking over the room in a loud, accented storm of hugs, compliments, and camaraderie. You could just tell that all those actors are truly fond of each other, and are definitely not “over it” all just yet.

For all the Cumberbatch fans out there, your beloved did seem to be genuinely nice and funny. Upon arrival, he checked out the Moroccanoil station, trying a bit of cream on his hands, before joining the rest of his group for a lively chat. Eddie Redmayne and Benedict Cumberbatch were hugging right above me as I shrinked back into the leather couch, trying not to trip anyone with my feet and knees. That’s when I overheard Redmayne exclaiming post-hug “You smell…delicious!” to Cumberbatch. Must’ve been the Moroccanoil. Redmayne’s fiance Hannah Bagshaw was in the room too, looking lovely and normal, sharing a hug with Cumberbatch, not stuck to Eddie’s side, navigating the room on her own. But back to Cumberbatch…at one point, when the cameras were rolling for a Sam Worthington interview, and a Variety staffer yelled out: “WE ARE ROLLING! QUIET, PLEASE!”, Benedict cheekily and loudly quipped: “Rolling with Sam Worthington? Let’s talk louder then!”, before peeking behind the interview curtain to wink at Worthington.

Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew - Day 3 - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

Out of all the hot Brits in the room, Keira Knightley was actually the one I wanted to get close to (not in a creepy way, I promise!). She’s one of my favourite young actresses, and I was most definitely starstruck. I tried to summon the courage to ask her for a photo, but she was never alone – either chumming it up with her co-stars, or chatting with her hair and makeup people. She wore a beautiful Chanel dress, and I tried to inconspicuously sneak a few shots for my Instagram. She smiled a lot, laughed a lot, shared that she was tired, but definitely didn’t look it. She looked happy, thin, but not frail, healthy, and so very beautiful. Can you tell I have a bit of a crush?

Other notable moments at the Variety Studio included: grabbing a photo with the delightful Bill Nighy, who was walking around with an apple in his hand, never having the moment to himself to actually take a bite, and who made eye contact with everyone in the room, instead of ducking his head and avoiding the normals; watching Richard Gere chatting up the hot tequila girls; realizing that the woman on the couch next to me is Elizabeth Banks, who changed out of her white pumps and into some Birkenstocks for comfort; observing the insanely handsome Matthew Goode and super-stylish Jena Malone light up the room with their larger than life personalities (on two different days) – definitely not wallflower types; sitting on the couch next to Downton Abbey’s Branson’s publicist, before Branson Allen Leech himself leaned over me to talk to her; sharing a serendipitous moment with Mark Ruffalo outside the Variety Studio’s bathroom – if life was a movie, that would’ve been our meet-cute.

More after the jump!

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What They Wore: Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Party

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The last week and a half has been a whirlwind of parties, celeb sightings, TIFF lounges, and more parties. It all got kicked off with a bang and an oyster bar at the Toronto Life’s Most Stylish soiree at the Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville, celebrating this city’s most stylish denizens, featured in the latest issue of the Toronto Life Stylebook. Star-studded guest list included my fave gossip maven Lainey Lui (one of the 25 most stylish), brothers Dean and Dan Caten of DSQUARED2, Elisha Cuthbert with hockey hubby Dion Phaneuf, one half of the Property Brothers, model Stacey McKenzie, Suzanne and Chloe Rogers, Kimberly Newport Mimran, Joe Mimran, among many others.

After a bit of exploring, my buddies Sharon and Tara Ng and I parked ourselves next to the seafood bar, loading up on crab, shrimp, and oysters, before walking over to explore the charcuterie station. Needless to say, the food was terrific. The beautifully-decorated ballroom was buzzing with excitement and Toronto’s most stylish partying under one roof made for some great people-watching.

This city is such a vibrant place to live, and every time I go away for a bit, I return a little more grateful for all it has to offer, so it is truly amazing to see a publication celebrating its own stylish peeps, instead of focusing on the usual suspects from other countries and cities. I already can’t wait to see who’ll be featured next year! Who would you nominate? Share in the comments.

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Giveaway: 25 Years of Front Of The Line With Amex Canada

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Amex Canada’s Front Of The Line program, the lovely Canadian team hosted a little soiree under the sunny Toronto sky, with a little Barque brisket, and a lot of John Legend swooning. Molson Amphitheatre served as the perfect backdrop for a warm summer evening of great music and mingling with some of my fave Toronto people. This was my first time seeing John Legend perform live – and it was eye-opening. I knew that the man could sing…but…the man can really sing! Between sharing the cute tidbits from his life (did you know that he used to work as a management consultant?!), Legend played the piano, while singing some of the most romantic ballads ever. No wonder why Molson Amphitheatre was packed with couples, enjoying a perfect date night under the stars.

Our little soiree was, of course, to toast to 25 years of Front Of The Line program making Amex Canada’s Cardmembers’ dreams come true. If you love to be entertained…and I don’t mean just concerts – musicals, theatre productions, dining experiences, movie premieres are all part of the program too – then you should absolutely be taking advantage of everything Front Of The Line has to offer.

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Started in Toronto in 1989 with a pre-sale for Phantom of the Opera, Front Of The Line is now recognized worldwide for its strong partnerships with organizations like LiveNation, Mirvish, and Massey Hall, and for providing unparalleled access to unique events and experiences. Some of the cool benefits of Front Of The Line include:

-  pre-sales and advanced ticket access before they go on sale to the general public
-  reserved allotment to some of the hottest sold out shows
-  special experiences at great Toronto venues (Cardmember Lounges at Molson Amphitheatre, Roy Thompson Hall, and Princess of Wales; Cardmember Express Bar at Massey Hall; exclusive line for Cardmembers at Molson Amphitheatre)

Amex has recently launched a global program called Invites, an evolution of the successful Front Of The Line program, which offers Cardmembers even more access and incentives, available worldwide. Le bf and I have experienced some Front Of The Line perks in the past, but even we didn’t know how many other cool things we could’ve taken advantage of just by being Cardmembers. Now we know!

But that’s not all! To celebrate this milestone, Amex Canada wants to share the love via daily Twitter giveaways that will run until September 1st. Up for grabs are hottest tickets to concerts, theatre, and dining experiences happening across Canada. 25 pairs of tickets will be given away daily. That’s a lot of free tickets! And all you need to do to enter is to follow @AmexCanada on Twitter and reply to their daily contest question using the hashtag #FOTL25 and the @AmexCanada Twitter handle. So, come and celebrate a quarter of a century of Front Of The Line experiences by scoring some free tickets, and sharing your fave Front Of The Line perks that you or your friends enjoyed in the past. With millions of tickets sold through the program over the years, it may just be Canada’s best worst kept secret.

This post was sponsored by Amex Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Photos after the jump!

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