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.

Variety Studio Presented By Moroccanoil At Holt Renfrew - Day 4 - 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

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.

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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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Zac Posen Fall 2014 Trunk Show at Holt Renfrew

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One of the best perks of being a blogger is meeting incredibly talented fashion industry insiders – designers, photographers, makeup artists, stylists, editors, PR pros, you name it. And while over the years I’ve met my fair share of famous designers, meeting Zac Posen at Holt Renfrew this week was somehow extra special. Perhaps it was due to the fact that Posen was loveliness personified – approachable, interesting, interested, enthusiastic, and just so nice. In the industry, where poker faces are the norm, and snark is commonplace, it was such a pleasure to meet a designer so friendly and so down-to-earth.

Posen was in Toronto for a special fashion show hosted by philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, with proceeds benefiting Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention. The day after the show, the designer stopped by Holt Renfrew to attend the Zac Posen Fall 2014 trunk show, with 10% of all purchases made from the evening donated to The Fashion for Passion Foundation in support of Boost Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention.  He circled the room accompanied by Anna van Ravenstein – Pat Cleveland’s beautiful model daughter. Van Ravenstein fluttered around, showing off Posen’s breathtaking Fall 2014 collection, exuding the same boundless energy and playful personality that her famous mother possesses in spades, and I couldn’t take my eyes off her.

After checking out the collection, making mental wishlists of the dresses that I would buy if I could afford them, I finally got my chance to meet the man of the hour. Along with Hannah Yacobi and her FAJO Magazine team, we chatted with the designer about his Russian heritage (had no idea!), about his show, and of course, fashion. When it came time to snapping photos, after the obligatory “normal” pic, my new BFF turned his face towards me as I turned beet red for a priceless photo. We all laughed, said our good-byes, and he went on to charm the next lucky attendee, as we were left gushing about his loveliness. Just another day in a life of a blogger.

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More photos after the jump!

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Valentine’s Day: Gift Guide 2014

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Be still my hopeless-romantic heart, Valentine’s Day is mere days away! And in case your significant other is stumped and doesn’t know what to get you, how about these lovely items? Chocolate and flowers are so banal, why not get her a fragrant diptyque candle, or a heart-shaped Le Creuset casserole?! I repeat…HEART-SHAPED Le Creuset! I mean if that doesn’t say true love, then I really don’t know what love is. Also, in case you didn’t know, Holt Renfrew now stocks Agent Provocateur lingerie! You’re welcome, and happy Valentine’s Day shopping!

1. Heart-Shaped Casserole – Le Creuset
2. Be Mine Heart Bag – ALDO
3. Lips Perspex Clutch – Lulu Guinness
4. Bonjour Bag – Zara
5. For Keeps Perspex Clutch – Charlotte Olympia (The Room)
6. Rosamundi Candle – diptyque
7. Fancy Lingerie – Agent Provocateur (Holt Renfrew)

Shopping: Summer 2013 Essentials From Yorkdale!

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I don’t know about you, but summertime is my favourite! I can finally pull out my brightest lipstick, wear white lacey dresses with wild abandon, don those short shorts, and stop worrying about having to bundle myself up in 20 million layers of clothes. Summertime is the best! So to celebrate the official start of summer, I asked my fave Yorkdale employees and fellow Style Council members for their summer essentials, which turned out really fun, and I think y’all should check it out! From the must-have denim jacket, to your next fave summer read, Yorkdale’s got you covered!

My essentials after the jump!

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What I Wore: rag & bone at Holt Renfrew

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Last week, Holt Renfrew hosted designers David Neville and Marcus Wainwright of rag & bone, with a New York-inspired bash. There was a graffiti wall, a pretzel cart, hot-dogs, and cotton candy. My friends and I enjoyed the delicious drinks, and danced the night away to DJ Fathom’s tunes, while drooling over rag & bone’s latest collection (that green jacket, you guys!!!). It was one of the best parties I’ve attended in a long while. So good, in fact, that I really didn’t want to leave at the end of the night. Or was it that I didn’t want to leave without that amazing jacket? Probably both.

If you want to check out rag & bone’s Spring 2013 collection for yourself, stop by Holt Renfrew, as most of the pieces are now in stores. But be warned…you might not be able to walk away.

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More after the jump!

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What I Wore: FAJO Magazine’s Love Issue

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Last month, Canada’s leading digital fashion magazine FAJO invited me to participate in a fun little photoshoot for their Love Issue, and of course, I couldn’t say no! I got to wear my own clothes, with the only suggestion being that I wear a little bit of red, because…LOVE…duh! And here’s what I came up with.

The first look represents one of my favourite spring trends – black and white stripes. After searching for a pair of Beetlejuice pants for what seemed like forever, I finally stumbled upon these H&M skinnies, and have been happily wearing them since. For an obligatory pop of red, I chose my brand-spanking-new ela editor clutch, which I won (yay!) from Holt Renfrew, and a swipe of red lipstick.

For my second outfit, I wore more stripes, because that’s what I do best. I also threw on my Charlotte Olympia Luna pumps that I scored on MAJAH sale at The Room, a pair of good old boyfriend jeans, and heart sunnies from my wedding. Simple, fun, and oh-so-me!

For more photos from the photoshoot with the lovely Aleyah Solomon, and for my interview with FAJO’s Julia Eskins, please CLICK HERE. Enjoy!

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One more photo after the jump!

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Rewind 2012: A Year in Photos

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I have to admit, so far 2013 is kicking my butt. I caught a cold on January 1st, found fraudulent activity on my debit card, and have had pretty bad migraines all week. Hopefully, from here, the only way is up.

But don’t you worry about me! 2012 was pretty sweet, so instead of focusing on the negative, I’ll just look back on some awesome moments from last year, and hope that things turn around soon.

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1. The best thing that ever happened to me in 2012. Sorry if it sounds cheesy, but spending time with our friends and family in Italy, and then marrying the love of my life was a dream come true. Truly. Seeing our wedding featured in the pages of Wedding Bells was a cherry on top.

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2. In February, I participated in a fun photoshoot with fellow bloggers Gracie and Elizabeth for Holt Renfrew’s blog Holts Muse. Shot by the talented photographer Adam Moco, this was a fun project to be a part of, and definitely started my year off right.

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3. Had I ever dreamt that one day I’d have a byline in FLARE MAGAZINE?! Nope. But that’s exactly what happened in 2012. Granted, it was for Flare’s website, but I was simply thrilled to write my 9 Unique Ideas for Wedding Day Style story in April. Flare also showed Style Blog some love in their Flare Magazine’s Wear CanadaBlogger Style: Spring ShoesBack to Work, and Street Style round-ups! What a year!

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4. Canadian retailer JACOB asked a few Toronto bloggers to help them create a Live Chic City Guide to Toronto, and I was super excited to be a part of it! Featuring bloggers’ favourite Toronto hot spots, this guide is an awesome way to explore the city and visit some of its lesser known attractions.

Check out more highlights after the jump!

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You Are Invited: Powder Puff Event at Holt Renfrew with Special Guest Emily Weiss

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Powder Puff Beauty Party
January 22, 2013 
7:30pm – 10pm
Holt Renfrew Bloor Street and Holt Renfrew Vancouver

All of you beauty junkies out there, this one is for you! Holt Renfrew will be hosting a Powder Puff Beauty Party at their Toronto and Vancouver stores, previewing new spring goodies, and offering complimentary beauty services such as mini-manicures and facials, hand massages, brow services, and more! And, if you happen to live in Toronto, you’ll also get a chance to hang out with Emily Weiss of Into The Gloss! Sounds good? Click HERE to buy tickets. See you there?

Shopping: The Room at The Bay and Holt Renfrew Winter Sale!

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It’s that time of the year, people…SALE TIME! Which means you need to get yourself to The Room at The Bay and Holt Renfrew stores ASAP, because those designer pieces you were lusting over all season long have most likely been discounted!

On my list this season are Charlotte Olympia, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Proenza Schouler goodies from The Room, and Miu Miu, Valentino, and Alexander Wang pieces from Holt Renfrew. But there’s so much more than that…so don’t walk…RUN, and take advantage of some seriously awesome deals. Good luck!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Holt Renfrew Hot at 175 Runway Show and Pink Tartan Spring 2013 Collection

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Yesterday was Day 1 of World MasterCard Fashion Week in Toronto, where I attended two of the most highly-anticipated shows of the week – Holt Renfrew Hot at 175 and Pink Tartan Spring 2013.

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I arrived nice and early to check out backstage hair and makeup prep, and to have a quick chat with Grace Lee, Maybelline Canada’s lead makeup artist. For the Holt Renfrew show, Grace created a polished “it-girl” look, classic and wearable, while Jorge Joao, Redken’s lead stylist, chose loose waves with a side part to match.

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Instead of showing Spring 2013 arrivals, Holt Renfrew presented a special edition runway celebrating the best of what’s in store and on-trend now, showcasing brands like Jeremy Laing, Smythe, Carven, Kenzo, MSGM, and even that now almost iconic Tom Ford gown that Gwyneth Paltrow wore to The Oscars. I loved the styling and the selection, which reminded me of all those fall pieces that I am still craving this season.

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Next up was Pink Tartan. Rocking her signature pink locks, model Charlotte Free opened the show in a midriff-baring bustier/full skirt combo. Head designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran shared that she chooses her models for their vibrant personalities, and with pink hair to match, Free was a perfect choice for Pink Tartan’s spring show.

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The collection itself featured delicate lace frocks, subtle metallics, pastel-coloured trapeze coats (Newport-Mimran’s favourite), brocade separates, full skirts, perforated leather, and Aldo Rise x Pink Tartan collaboration shoes (classic pumps with geometric heels). It was full of feminine, oh-so-pretty retro-inspired pieces, and despite the fact that I’m not a girlie girl, I loved it all. Will have to check out this collection once it becomes available at the flagship location in Yorkville in a few months.

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Overall, Day 1 was a blast! I got to see a lot of great fashion, hung out with fellow Stylicity bloggers Anita Clarke, Gloria Chik, and Crystal Gibson, visited backstage with Maybelline and Redken, and had a quick chat with Kimberley Newport-Mimran – all in a day’s work. Stay tuned for more World MasterCard Fashion Week coverage, as I attend some of my favourite shows later this week.

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More photos after the jump!

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