TIFF SPECIAL: Cheryl Hickey’s festival fashion tips

ET Canada‘s Cheryl Hickey and Rick Campanelli. Photo courtesy of Central Image Agency.

Story by Kyra Kendall.

For the 11 days of the Toronto International Film Festival, Cheryl Hickey’s job is to make both her style and her celeb interviews look effortless. The Style Notebook caught up with Cheryl on the red carpet, and quizzed the popular TV personality on her favourite festival designers and how quickly she can get changed in a limo. (Hint: It’s impressive.)

When do you start planning your TIFF outfits?

“I start thinking about looks I might want to try about two weeks before the festival. The process is ongoing from that point—making revisions/edits right up to the last minute. The last-minute changes are not because of what I see other people wearing at the festival—they’re more reflective of what mood I’m in, what the weather is like. You know, every party girl’s considerations!”

How many outfits do you need for the festival?

“I need two or three outfits for each day. I need casual “movie screening looks” (likely sweaters and jeans because those theatres are FREEZING), smart casual outfits for interviews, and finally, party dresses for the evenings. It makes for a lot of outfit changes in a day, but that element of glamour is what the festival calls for.”

Which designers do you prefer to wear during TIFF?

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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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