Oh Canada! At the fifth annual CAFA awards in Toronto last Friday, fashion’s glitterati came out to shine in a manner that has hardly been a hallmark of prudent, practical, nice Canadians.
Sparkle, tulle and trains were the trends of the evening, in most spectacular fashion.
There was Toronto socialite and philanthropist Sylvia Mantella in a stop-the-paparazzi riot of grey tulle that required an attendant for her to perambulate in the crowd at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel.
Later, the tulle extravaganza came off to reveal a sheer embroidered bodysuit, the ensemble dreamed up by Mikael D, the label from Montreal-raised Mikael Derderian. Philanthropist Suzanne Rogers, wife of media magnate Ed, was resplendent in a halo of gold embroidery and more tulle.
A sparkling contingent of winners, nominees and supporters from Montreal attended the CAFA gala.
Cary Tauben, nominated as stylist of the year – for the second time, wore a black sequin vintage pantsuit with jewelry by Alynne Lavigne, while Lysa Lash and Rita Elias, new generation fur entrepreneurs, wore sparkling frocks, accessorized, naturally, with Canadian fur. And Marie-Ève Faust, director of the École Supérieure de mode at UQAM, and Sandra Parker, director of the LCI foundation at LaSalle College, sported sequins from Le Château.
Of course, Marie Saint Pierre designs were everywhere – Susan Langdon of the Toronto Fashion Incubator, blogger Lolitta Dandoy, Nordstrom’s Lisa Tant and Elle Canada’s Vanessa Craft were among those wearing MSP, who won the womenswear designer of the year title.
On the minimalist side, Debbie Zakaib, director of mmode, was statuesque and sleek in a deep rose gown by Éditions de Robes, while stylist Annie Horth, presenting a style icon award for Céline Dion – who was not present – wore a print pantsuit.
Even if only for one night, it makes everybody think about what to wear, what Canadian creator or brand to support and encourage. “It’s a process,’’ Zakaib said.
Among the other major wins of the night: Atelier New Regime for menswear design, Maripier Morin (who wore UNTTLD, which was also nominated for womenswear design) for digital influencer, Karla Welch for stylist of the year, Triarchy with two awards for impact and sustainability, and Greta Constantine with the inaugural Suzanne Rogers award for international development. Sofia Zakia, who crafts fine jewellery in Montreal, won the Swarovski award for emerging talent in accessories, while Markoo beat out Montreal’s WRKDEPT in the emerging fashion talent design.
For the full list of CAFA nominees and winners, go here.
Here is my article on the significance of the CAFAs in the Montreal Gazette.
And here are my pix of the night!