THE INVITATION: At the Thompson

Thursday night’s holy grail. Story by Emily Blake. All photography courtesy of George Pimentel.

There is one thing that will drive any Torontonian into a lustful tizzy, and that thing is a rooftop patio. We believe drinks taste better in the sky (probably true as there is no street dirt flying around up there like at your average roadside patio). This city-specific obsession explains in part why it seemed every glittering party-goer the city over (and some from elsewhere) bee-lined to the opening of the Thompson Hotel on Wellington last night.

Said rooftop patio reached capacity shockingly early in the evening and stayed that way all night, leaving an inconsolable line-up at the elevators downstairs, downcast at the thought of missing a chance to see wunderkind Tavi Gevinson’s outfit in person. While the inimitable Jeanne Beker and charming makeup artist Paul Venoit twittered pics of the scene in the sky, those trapped below comforted themselves with watching the NBA finals in the hotel’s screening room. (Well-played indeed, Thompson team.)

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THE INVITATION: At the Hello! Style Icons party

Model Addison Gill with Ciara Hunt, editor-in-chief of Hello! Canada. Photography by George Pimentel. Story by Emily Blake.

Hello summer parties, heatwaves, sandals and bare legs! All of these were found at the Hello! Canada Style Icons event last week. Once again the Audi dealership on Bayview Ave.  was transformed into the epicentre of Toronto’s stylish set. A red carpet, paparazzi pit, and swishy door gals indicate the scene inside—as glossy as the magazine itself.

With blow-ups of style icons hanging on the walls—Grace Kelly overseeing all with her cool-as-a-cucumber stare—guests rose to the fashion challenge.

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THE INVITATION: At the Innovators Ball

Suzanne Boyd, editor-in-chief of Zoomer, at the Innovators Ball. Story by Emily Blake.

Little girls know that there are certain parties that are better than the rest. They are anointed with the magic name – a ball – and that name gives them a glamour and intrigue that no other mere fete can match. This year, the annual Innovator’s Ball had that special ingredient, and the added bonus of “magic” itself as a theme. As the Ontario Science Centre currently plays host to the Harry Potter Exhibit, all those who wish they got an entrance letter to Hogwarts bought a ticket and booked a car service for the evening.

My evening began at a pre-coif at Amber in Yorkville hosted by the effortless hostesses of The Society, along with Hello! Canada and Siren Communications. Tropical hued martinis were passed, lashes applied by the gals from Gee Beauty and all the girls and their nattily dressed dates piled into the Vextini photo booth for pre-party glamour shots (the photo slips were also rumoured to grant line-skipping access to Amber’s notoriously impossible to get into post-Innovator’s party).

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THE INVITATION: The Society, The Face Hunter & more

Fashionable guests (including Gee Beauty‘s Natalie Gee in the mini) in conversation at The Society’s party for Yvan Rodic, the Face Hunter, and the Balenciaga Paris fragrance. The event was held at The Room at the Bay. Photography by Natalie Castellino.

Personal style, street style, fashion—the finest of lines divide these style base camps. Photographer Yvan Rodic has carved out his territory in the street style camp and, as evidenced by the turn-out at his book party on Thursday night, he is flourishing there. Sporting tousled hair, a velvet jacket, and the requisite slightly rolled up slacks, Yvan surveyed the crowd with the experienced gaze of an aesthete, doing what he does best: face hunting. Meanwhile, Balenciaga decided to join the hunt, celebrating Balenciaga Paris, the French house’s first new fragrance in years as Yvan launched his first book ever.

On arrival at The Room at the Bay, a delicate scented ribbon was tied around each guest’s wrist—a far chicer version of the sort of bracelet applied at concerts. The guest list was bolstered by the ranks of social butterflies drawn in by an invitation from The Society, as well as the beauty editors, fashion bloggers and style scenesters to whom a shiny party amongst the Bay’s impressive contemporary collection and a glass (or two) of pink sparkling really is just a Thursday.

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Agyness Deyn mixing it up on the turntables. Illustration by Cleo Kendall.

Fashion has many faces. The sleek, chic uptown face complete with $40 lip gloss and a glass of bubbly (in party terminology this would be a cocktail event at Hermès on Bloor Street), and, on the flip side, a slightly dishevelled, rock ‘n’ roll face complete with smoky eyes and black fingernail polish. This cool-girl, underground face was the one applied by all attending star photoblogger Tommy Ton’s party to celebrate the end of Fashion Week. Held at an “artspace” called Studio Gallery on College Street, the big draw was the promise of a DJ set by Agyness Deyn, the model known as much for her ultra-cool sartorial choices as her covers, campaigns and catwalks.

Upon entering and forking over a $20 cover (say what?) my partner in crime for the evening and I were faced with a conundrum. This party was apparently BYOB, and neither of us had packed an emergency flask. Luckily, the beer vending machine was at the ready, and, in a true high school flashback moment, mickeys of vodka and gin were being sold by mop top girls with shoes like stilts.

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PR stars Gail McInnes and Ashley McIntyre vamp it up in the Mezzomondo photo booth at the LINE Knitwear party. Courtesy of Mezzomondo Sparkling Rosé.

Fashion Week is officially over and we’re officially exhausted. But we’re having fun putting together a list of what we liked best this season. (Some thumbs down are coming too.) First category? An easy one—though there were other contenders (including last Thursday’s STUDIO party which featured both an appearance by model Agyness Deyn and a beer vending machine…).

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THE INVITATION: At Greta Constantine

Stylish guests at the Greta Constantine show. All photography by Natalie Castellino.

The Invitation is Emily Blake’s party and events column. She will be drinking champagne (or, in this case, Vitamin Water) in the name of reportage.

A whisper, a buzz, a roar—much like spring, fashion tends to build up into a crescendo. In Toronto, the party got started on March 19 at the Greta Constantine show, more than a week before LG Fashion Week officially kicked off. Like migrating birds, the fashion flock arrived at the Audi dealership on Bayview Avenue, a location far off the usual sartorial path. As one of the first events in Toronto’s multi-week fashion marathon, it seemed as if the entire community made an executive decision to schluff off their winter wraps, trot out the hot new heels, and gather to celebrate designers Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong, who have given the local style scene a much needed shot in the arm.

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