CAFA 2014: The Inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards

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Earlier this month, Canada’s brightest fashion industry talents gathered at Fairmont Royal York Hotel’s ballroom for one big reason – CAFA, otherwise known as the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards – the inaugural edition. Held for the very first time, CAFA Gala was a huge deal, and though I usually tend to avoid big fancy bashes, with a star-studded guest list that included DSQUARED‘s Dean and Dan Caten, Coco Rocha, and Mads Mikkelsen, attending this one was a no-brainer, especially when the lovely folks from Swarovski offered to “frost” me with their sparkliest baubles! Thanks to my blogger bestie Sharon, we got to join Team Swarovski at their table, joined by the beauties from Power of Privé, adorable actress Elisha Cuthbert, Emerging Talent Award winner Sarah Stevenson, and other amazing people. For the occasion, I wore my new Erdem dress from The Room, which was fitting since Erdem Moralioglu was one of the nominees. I also got to wear a beautiful vintage Mary Katrantzou for Swarovski cuff that was simply stunning.

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The award show was very well-produced, and at times actually made me tear up, like when Jeanne Beker’s Vanguard Award was presented, followed by the loveliest of video montages, showing the most memorable moments from the Canadian Icon’s lengthy career, from her earliest days at MuchMusic, to her most jaw-dropping FashionTelevision reels. As I watched Canadian designers, stylists, photographers, models and other industry professionals on that CAFA stage, I could feel their happiness and excitement fill the room. With so many talented Canadians in this industry, spending the evening honouring some of them for their achievements felt great.

After the awards, the winners and the rest of us moved on to the after-party, where we danced to “What Does The Fox Say”, watched Bite lipsticks being made, hijacked a photobooth, and actually got to check out the CAFA trophies – shoe-shaped and very heavy. As someone who doesn’t stay out late very often, I was shocked to realize that it was past 1am when I finally decided to call it a night and head home. Yup, I’m a grandma and not even embarrassed to admit it; but some things are really worth sticking around for. I truly had the best time at this year’s CAFA Gala, here’s hoping that next year it’s going to be even more spectacular (perhaps with more monetary prizes for the winners?). I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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The full list of winners and nominees is after the jump!

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Toronto Fashion Week: the shOws Spring 2014 Photo Diary

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Earlier this month, I was invited to participate in a Toronto Fashion Week Photography Bootcamp with Steve Carty and Canon Canada. The 3-hour hands-on session was meant to give us some useful tips for shooting runway photos, prep us to deal with less than ideal lighting and less than ideal seating, and teach us a few more Canon Blogtography tricks on getting the best possible photos under (fashion week) pressure.

Well, last week all of those lessons came in handy when I attended the shOws Spring 2014! As usual, showcasing a handful of seriously talented Canadian designers (Bellavance NYC, Calla, Jeremy Laing, and Steven Tai), the shOws was every Canadian fashion junkie’s dream event of the season, and I came prepared with my Canon EOS Rebel SL1 in tow.

While I couldn’t take Steve Carty’s advice of sitting in the pit during the show (seriously, if you want the best pics without much effort – the photographers’ pit is where it’s at), I still managed to take some fun detail shots from my front row seat. If you are looking for tips on how to shoot fashion shows here are few I learned from the great Steve Carty!

My Favourite Runway Photography Tips after the jump!

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Toronto Fashion Week: Jeremy Laing Fall 2013 Collection at the shOws

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Canadian designer Jeremy Laing is known for creating quietly cool clothes that are the opposite of flashy. His strength is in well-thought-out details and immaculate cuts; his clothes don’t shout, they whisper. But it seems for his Fall 2013 collection, Laing has decided to spice things up.

Most of the collection was still signature Laing, with beautifully-cut pieces, leather detailing, flowy skirts (and dresses), and classic palettes, but…added to the mix was gold lamé seersucker. Present in more than a few looks, the shiny (yet lightweight) pieces were a (good) shock to the eye, and added that certain je ne sais quoi to the designer’s fall collection. And though I wouldn’t be brave enough to wear gold lamé head-to-toe, I would certainly love to add a shiny motorcycle jacket to my growing collection of fun outerwear.

Apart from the not-so-lame lamé, I fell in love with the black and white striped print – a result of a collaboration with a Toronto-based artist Vanessa Maltese. The “broken” stripes paired with a pop of yellow was my favourite combo on the runway that night.

At the end of the show, Laing gave a quick interview, walking the attendees through the inspiration behind a few of his favourite pieces, sharing that his clothes are “hard to sew” but “easy to wear”, and having seen his pieces on cool-girls like Anita Clarke and Sarah Nicole Prickett (worn effortlessly, it seems), that statement certainly rang true.

What do you think of Jeremy Laing’s Fall 2013 collection? Share in the comments!

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More after the jump!

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