Jeanne Beker

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Preview: a politically charged fashion exhibit from the Design Exchange and Jeanne Beker

Come September, visitors to the Design Exchange will be able to check out Politics of Fashion, an exhibit featuring 200 of history’s most politically charged items of clothing—from a 1970 Woodstock pantsuit to Vivienne Westwood’s iconic “God Save the Queen” t-shirt. Guest-curated by Fashion Television personality Jeanne Beker, the show will span six decades, with pieces divided into categories like war, consumerism, activism and gender. Along with works from groups like PETA and FEMA, visitors will be able to ogle a promotional paper dress from Pierre Trudeau’s 1968 campaign, Stella McCartney’s plastic-and-glass jacket for Chloé in 2000 and androgynous designs from Rad Hourani, the first unisex designer accepted into Paris Haute Couture Week. Here’s a preview of some of the most provocative pieces.

Sep. 18-Jan. 25, 2015. Politics of Fashion, Design Exchange, 234 Bay St., dx.org

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Shopping

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Slideshow: seven vintage photos of Yorkdale when it first opened half a century ago

Slideshow: seven vintage photos of Yorkdale when it first opened in the 60s

When Yorkdale opened its doors on February 26, 1964, it was the largest enclosed mall in the world. Fifty years later, the ever-expanding space is a mecca for well-off suburbanites, who stroll through the newly posh selection of shops like Chanel, J.Crew and David Yurman—not to mention the recently re-vamped Holt Renfrew, which is practically its own self-sustaining luxury village. Last year the place added 13 new stores, many of which were the first outlets to land in Canada (think Mulberry, Zara Home and AllSaints).

To celebrate, the mall has bagged top Canadian model Coco Rocha as the face of its “Golden Anniversary” campaign, and she dons a glam chiffon and lace gown by local designer Lucian Matis. (Shoppers can ogle the dress at Yorkdale’s guest services). CanRock legend and fashion photographer Bryan Adams will also reveal a special portrait series, featuring local style icons like Jeanne Beker and Suzanne Rogers. Even the CN Tower is honouring the milestone: on Wednesday evening the attraction will light up in gold. Here, a peek inside the mall as it used to be, when Fairweather was the major destination and lady shoppers sported long white gloves.

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Slideshow: the big winners of the inaugural Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards

(Image: George Pimentel

(Image: George Pimentel)

Canada’s fledgling fashion industry was fêted this weekend at the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, the inaugural awards ceremony for Canadian designers, models, stylists and photographers. The show, which was held on February 1 at the Fairmont Royal York, attracted homegrown fashion heroes like Joe Mimran, Jeanne Beker and Coco Rocha, plus up-and-coming talents like photographer Tommy Ton. As for the awards, there were no real shockers, but design duo Dean and Dan Caten of Milan-based label DSquared2 cleaned up—they bagged the trophies for International Designer of the Year as well as Outstanding Achievement. Here, a slideshow of the night’s big winners.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Jeanne Beker and Bernadette Morra break the rules at Mercedes-Benz’s finalists show

Toronto Fashion Week: Mercedes-Benz Start Up finalists show

Toronto Fashion Week runs from October 21-26, in a large—and stylishly appointed—tent at David Pecaut Square. We’re posting full galleries from the buzziest runways. Here’s what trendsetters will be wearing in spring 2014.

DESIGNER

This year, the up-and-coming designers competing for the Mercedes-Benz Start Up mentorship program were Dreamboat Lucy, Faded Lifestyle, Eliza Faulkner Designs, Faded Lifestyle, HD Homme, Hip and Bone, Malorie Urbanovitch, Matière Noire and Pedram Karimi.

THE SCENE

Naturally, the most important people in the room were judges-slash-mentors Jeanne Beker, Fashion editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra, Holt Renfrew’s Ruth Ann Lockheart and former fashion week exec-director Robin Kay. Although the front row was full of media personalities (Glen Baxter and Stacey McKenzie among them), scattered cheering during the show suggested most of the audience were friends and family of the designers.

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La Société introduces special menus from the city’s style set

Bloor bisto La Société (Image: Gizelle Lau)

The buzzy Bloor Street bistro wants you to eat just like Toronto’s fashion elite. Charles Khabouth’s Yorkville restaurant is creating special menus based on stylish Torontonians personal recipes. The menus started in April with healthy dishes and fun cocktails from the people at The Coveteur, and this month fashion icon Jeanne Beker is sharing recipes for her Moroccan spiced snapper and chestnut crêpes. Next month, socialite Suzanne Rogers is up. If her cooking is anything like her fashion, we expect very rich, very bold dishes topped with the culinary equivalent of a whole lot of lace.

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Slideshow: ogling the VIPs in the front row at Toronto Fashion Week

The Scene: Toronto Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2013Toronto Fashion Week is ostensibly about the clothes, but at least half the fun is seeing socialites and celebs air-kissing and yoo-hooing in between shows. While loitering at the tents this year, we ran into Toronto’s newest and most high-profile Raptor, a couple of big-name actors and the man who cried—repeatedly—during his nationally televised quest for love. Below, a slideshow of the people deemed too beautiful or important for anything but the front row.

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Toronto Fashion Week: an ode to ‘90s grunge at Chloé Comme Parris fall 2013

Toronto Fashion Week: Chloé Comme Parris fall 2013

Toronto Fashion Week runs from March 18-22, in a large—and stylishly appointed—tent at David Pecaut Square. We’re posting full galleries from the buzziest runways. Here’s what trendsetters will be wearing in fall 2013.

DESIGNER
Chloé Comme Parris, by sisters Chloé and Parris Gordon

IN A SENTENCE
After going rogue with their show last season, the Toronto-based sister duo brought their artsy, downtown aesthetic back to the tents at Toronto Fashion Week.

THE SCENE
The show had a decidedly rock-and-roll vibe right down to the amps placed on the runway, which one poor guest stumbled on on the way out. We spotted shop owner Jaclyn Genovese and jewellery designer Jaime Sin in the crowd, as well as Fashion Week fixtures Jeanne Beker and Robin Kay (who snuck into her seat after several models had already walked the catwalk). The show likely won the award for best swag of the week—front row guests were all greeted with Kobo e-readers on their seats.

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THE SCENE: the hijinks (and outfits) of the front row VIPs at Toronto Fashion Week

THE SCENE: fashion week’s front row

Perusing the designs on the runway is Toronto Fashion Week’s raison d’être—but ogling the socialites and celebs in the front row is often a lot more fun. This year, we rubbed shoulders with Suzanne Rogers and like-named social butterfly Suzanne Boyd, television personality Dan Levy, socialite Ainsley Kerr and a host of other actors, television personalities, fashion insiders and beautiful people. See them all in our gallery of the Fashion Week elite, spanning from early in the week (when everyone still had pep in their step) to the very last show on Friday night.

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Toronto’s glitziest society ladies get blinged out at the second Great Jewellery Heist luncheon

Bling, baubles and babes dominated Arcadian Court on Tuesday at the second annual Great Jewellery Heist in support of Bridgepoint Health. Fashion gals and society dames faced off in an auction, bidding on jewellery by designers like Jenny Bird and Chloe Comme Parris as well as some vintage pieces and flashy fine jewels. The likes of Kimberley Newport-Mimran, Shay Lowe, Ainsley Kerr, Jeanne Beker and Bernadette Morra circulated the room, emitting the obligatory oohs and ahhs at the baubles on display. Not that many didn’t come with jewels of their own—Catherine Nugent whipped off her oversized shawl to reveal an Alan Anderson statement necklace and matching bracelet.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Mackage proves leather can work for spring at its spring/summer 2013 show

Toronto Fashion Week: Mackage spring/summer 2013

Toronto Fashion Week runs from October 22 to 26, in a large—and stylishly appointed—tent at David Pecaut Square. We’re posting full galleries from the buzziest runways. It’s time to forget about the chilly weather and imagine what life (or at least fashion) will be like in spring/summer 2013.

DESIGNER
Mackage, by Elisa Dahan and Eran Elfassy

IN A SENTENCE
The Montreal-based outerwear designers’ expertly cut leather jackets have earned them international attention and fans like Eva Mendes, the Kardashians and Jessica Biel.

THE SCENE
Even though CBC bosswoman Kirstine Stewart and her husband Zaib Shaik of Little Mosque on the Prairie showed up well before the show began, the size of the crowd meant they still had to brave the outdoor queue to collect their tickets. Mackage undoubtedly has a large following of its own, but we suspect the brand also benefitted from its plum time slot directly before the blockbuster Joe Fresh show. Jeanne Beker, FASHION editor Bernadette Morra and philanthropist W. Bruce C. Bailey were among many who attended both.

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Toronto Fashion Week: Duy Nguyen triumphs at the Mercedes-Benz Start Up finalists show

Toronto Fashion Week: Mercedes-Benz
Toronto Fashion Week runs from October 22 to 26, in a large—and stylishly appointed—tent at David Pecaut Square. We’re posting full galleries from the buzziest runways. It’s time to forget about the chilly weather and imagine what life (or at least fashion) will be like in spring/summer 2013.

DESIGNER
The Mercedes-Benz Start Up National Final, featuring designs by Caitlin Power, Christopher Bates, Dreamboat Lucy, DUY, Lauren Bagliore, Malorie Urbanovitch, Nicole Campre and Pure Magnolia

IN A SENTENCE
Mercedes-Benz Start Up is an ongoing project—started by, who else, Mercedes-Benz—that connects young designers with industry insiders in a mentorship program.

THE SCENE
The room was as full as we’ve seen it this week (perhaps owing to eight contestants’ worth of friends and family—or perhaps the Mercedes-Benz team beefing up numbers). Fashion magazine editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra, Holt Renfrew’s Barb Atkin, Jeanne Beker, and erstwhile FDCC president Robin Kay were on hand to pick a winner.

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Camera: Rob Ford cavorts with the city’s moneyed arts patrons at the Mayor’s Ball for the Arts

Camera: Rob Ford, Culture Vulture

Metro Toronto Convention Centre, October 15. The Mayor’s Ball for the Arts, an annual black-tie fundraiser founded by Mel Lastman in 1998, had been on hiatus since 2002, until His Worship Rob Ford, of all mayors, revived it this year. Playing nice with the city’s moneyed arts patrons was a savvy pre-election move. But Ford’s handlers couldn’t keep a plebeian note out of the proceedings. Among the silent auction items was one dubbed the McMayor, which promised one Big Mac combo per month for a year. Apparently, Ford’s charm offensive worked: the burger deal was snapped up for $80, a chance to host the mayor for dinner sold for $6,000, and a 20-person cruise featuring the big fella went for $9,000. By night’s end, the event had hauled in $1 million—a cause for celebration among the arts community, not to mention an early and subtle shot across the bow to anyone considering a run for the top job in 2014.

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THE SCENE: Elton John, supermodels and sparkly eveningwear at the 25th Fashion Cares gala

THE SCENE: Fashion Cares

With performances by the likes of the Scissor Sisters, Janelle Monae and Elton John, the 25th Fashion Cares gala was one of last night’s hottest parties (even against steep competition like the CAA shindig and more Soho House festivities). Held at the Sony Centre after an early-bird dinner at the Royal York, it caused Front Street to be littered with town cars, limos and hopeful fans. Inside, the scene was mixed—rich women in ball gowns (we spotted Suzanne Rogers sneaking a cigarette outside), singers (among them Chantal Kreviazuk and Jully Black), gay guys in tuxedos and drag queens all mixed and mingled. The evening was co-hosted by Linda Evangelista and DSquared’s Dean and Dan Caten (the latter were introduced as “tiny masterminds” by Michael King and David Furnish, and we can confirm that they are miniature). Evangelista, who noted that since Fashion Cares was started by MAC in 1994, it has raised over $22 million in Canada alone to fight HIV/AIDS, was nearly as well-received as the Scissor Sisters’ renditions of “Let’s Have a Kiki” and “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing.” Headliner Elton John brought the house down with “Your Song,” then brought every performer back on stage for the big finale, “I’m Still Standing,” remaining at the centre on a piano (which Scissor Sisters front man Jake Shears danced on in leather shorts, no less).

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Fashion’s Night Out turns out some big parties (on a night of big parties)

The crowd on Bloor Street at the Holt Renfrew party (Image: Holt Renfrew)

Not only did last night feature a multitude of TIFF parties (plus Toronto Life’s Most Stylish party at the Shangri-La), it was also Toronto’s first time participating in Fashion’s Night Out, the annual night-time shopping event started in New York. The city’s social set showed they were more than up to the challenge: Jeanne Beker and Suzanne Rogers stopped by the MasterCard lounge at Hazelton Lanes (and snapped a pic together), while a Weston crew that included Hilary, Galen, Galen Jr. and Alexandra hit Holt Renfrew’s street party celebrating the store’s 175th anniversary. (Thousands flooded Bloor Street to watch a commemorative film projected onto the façade of the store, and play in the pink confetti littered all over the ground.) Downtown, at eLuxe’s party at Adelaide and Spadina, guests lined up for drinks, munched on chocolate-covered twizzlers and swayed to FASHION magazine online editor-turned-DJ Randi Bergman’s tunes. All in all, a good night of revelry, music and people-watching—oh, and shopping, of course.

The Dish

Restaurants

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These Booths Were Made for Gawking: who sits where at La Société

These Booths Were Made for Gawking

The cuisine is supremely so-so, but the glitzy atmosphere and A-plus people-watching at La Société—the crown jewel of Toronto’s see-and-be-seen scene—more than make up for it. Here, the inside scoop on who sits where.

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