TIFF SPECIAL: At the Hello! party

Ashleigh Dempster and Amanda Blakley, of The Society (seen here during TIFF 2010), were among the stylish guests at the Hello! soiree. Story by Amanda Alvaro.

If you stood back from the red carpet outside the Royal Conservatory on Saturday night, you would have sworn you’d descended on a true Hollywood fete.

First clue. A bevy of black-clad PR beauties flashing mega-watt smiles as they turned down dozens of disappointed partygoers who didn’t make the list to this year’s Hello! Magazine Party.

Second. A row of cameras, two-deep, lining the carpet, followed by a crowd of TIFF watchers who stood on concrete planters, craning their necks to catch a glimpse of those who paused and posed for the perfect shot.

Yes. It all looked very Hollywood indeed. The only thing missing was…well…the Hollywood stars.

While the party certainly drew a list of Toronto social elite, it didn’t draw the likes of big name celebs like Matt Damon and K’naan, who were noshing at the One x One party down the street,  leaving many of the TIFF carpet-watchers asking each other, “Who was that?!”

Never mind. What the Hello! Party lacked in Hollywood celebs, it made up for in a sizable crowd of Canadian artists, fashionistas, socialites and personalities.

Walking the red carpet? Photographer Caitlin Cronenberg, actress Tara Spencer Nairn, Flare editor Lisa Tant, boxer Lennox Lewis and his gorgeous wife. Other stylish partygoers included David Rocco and wife Nina (decked out in a sensational pink and silver sequined Versace), and actresses Natalie Brown and Amanda Crew, who informed us that she picked up her simple black sundress from Aritzia just hours earlier.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

DSquared’s Dan and Dean Caten, bringing Canadian wilderness to the world. Story by Anne Pringle.

Oh, Canada
DSquared, the label designed by Dean and Dan Caten, continues to expand internationally, with the opening of three new stores in Monte Carlo (Monaco), Athens and Thessaloníki (Greece). The Toronto natives are designing the interiors in mock of the brand’s Milan flagship—in a Canadian-wilderness theme. Think deer antler chandeliers, tree trunks coming out of the floor and beaver rugs. (WWD)

High-low throw-down
Looks like Target is going to have some competition for inexpensive “high”-fashion: Kmart is set to debut a re-vamped collection with a stronger focus on being fashion-forward. For the new design team, they’ve hired former employees of reputable fashion brands, like the Gap, Ralph Lauren and Club Monaco. (Plus, the senior designer apprenticed at Yves Saint Laurent!) The new collection for Fall 2010 will include items such as a military-inspired A-line peacoat, a fitted, zipper-detailed bomber jacket, and a skinny cargo pant… all for  under $100 (and most under $50)! (Style File)

Royal fashion
Maha al-Sudairi, the Princess of Saudi Arabia, recently visited New York with a fashion agenda: She shopped, sure, but she also hired fashion consultant Malcolm Harris to help her invest in high-end American fashion brands. Her list included Narciso Rodriguez, Yigal Azrouel, Alexander Wang, Tory Burch and Phillip Lim—with the idea that finding common ground in fashion could “bridge the cultural gap”. Why not? (New York Post)

Lancôme + L’Wren
Lancôme will soon release its holiday 2010 collection, which has been created in collaboration with designer L’Wren Scott (whose designs have been worn by the likes of Nicole Kidman and Sarah Jessica Parker). The former model, costume designer and fashion stylist makes her debut in cosmetic design with a collection that includes a red lipstick, lip gloss, gunmetal grey nail polish and grey eye palette. (WWD)