THE INVITATION: TIFF’s last great nights

Scott Speedman at the ET Canada party. Story by Emily Blake. Photography by Natalie Castellino.

TIFF never ends in a flash of lights. It sputters and flares and peters out. The tired troops of media, publicists, and film folk whittle their party schedules from three or four a night to one or two a night. Being a slightly lazy sort myself, on Tuesday and Wednesday (my last night of revelry), I was a one party per night girl.

Not to say I didn’t choose carefully. When an invitation came in from ET Canada, arguably the biggest kahuna of celebrity journalism in our fair city, to attend a party for a film called Good Neighbours starring one Scott Speedman (or, as I still think of him, Ben from Felicity), my choice was made.

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TIFF SPECIAL: Meet the man who made Nikki Beach

Story by Leanne Delap, one of Toronto’s top writers (fashion or otherwise), who will be covering all the glitz, glamour and Glowerers for The Style Notebook during TIFF. Today: Behind the Nikki Beach phenomenon.

Photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

If you build it, the models will come. And so it was with Nikki Beach Toronto, a pop-up bar conversion specially for the festival. Nikki Beach is the white hot brand that founder Eric Omoré started in Miami in 1999. The French-born impresario then took the poolside champagne cabana concept back to the homeland setting up in St. Tropez, then expanding his empire to other playgrounds of the Diddy and fabulous, such as St. Barts, Cabo, Marbella, Croatia, Egypt, Qatar and Panama among the 20 outposts.

Some seven years ago, Omoré took a temporary tent to the Cannes festival; this is his second year in Toronto (Nikki Beach was in the Park Hyatt last September).

But its temporary home this year, at C-Lounge on Wellington, is a natural fit. The team brought in an ocean of white—the brand’s signature non-colour—to drape every inch of the place.

Then they filled it with models. Unlike other temporary havens set up for stars around town (such as the London-based private members’ club Soho House, reported on in this space earlier this week), Nikki Beach Toronto is open to regular paying customers around parties planned for this week.

Thus is the place you could actually have seen Will-i-am  from the Black Eyed Peas mingling with normal folk. Pretty, normal folk I qualify that, all swaying around the reflecting-pool-side bottle-service cabanas bathed in soft light.

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