“I think what makes the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards so special is that it gives us a chance to really celebrate Canadian design. That’s what we need as designers. We need that extra encouragement to [get to] the public stage.” –David Dixon, Canadian Fashion Designer
On Saturday 31 January, Canadian designers and the public celebrated the best in Canadian fashion at the Fairmont Royal York hotel in downtown Toronto. Nominees, models, philanthropists and fashion-loving celebrities descended upon the red carpet wearing their finest. Guests included Sid Neigum, Natasha Koifman, Elisha Phaneuf, Coco Rocha and Jeanne Beker.
We spoke with Outstanding Achievement nominee David Dixon briefly and he summed up the emotion of the evening by saying “What I really look forward to when I come to CAFA is seeing my friends from Montreal, designers like Phillipe Debuc and Marie Saint Pierre, even designers from here in Toronto. We have Toronto Fashion Week where we show all our stuff, but we’re all so busy doing [things], so this is a great way for us to get together and communicate and socialize.”
Emilie Guy-Dumas and Adrien Reynolds enjoy a moment on the red carpet
Kesrick Wainwright and Ashlee Froese of Fashion Group International
Bianca Teixeira and Style Calling contributor Jessica Thompson with Joe Mimran
Avid fashion lover and philanthropist Sylvia Mantella, who looked outstanding in a champagne dress by Mikael Kale, expressed her love for the CAFAwards. “I think it’s so important for many reasons, but I think one of the most important reasons is that it recognizes and celebrates these outstanding talents that we have in Canada. From fashion designers to photographers, to models to bloggers, we have these incredible people and this incredible talent and now we’re able to put them on a global level and share them with the world.”
Canadian actress Elisha Cuthbert, who was wearing Matthew Gallagher, said excitedly, “I love coming to this award show because I love looking at what everyone is wearing. I feel like it’s fashion so everyone has the chance to step it up and do something fun and wild. I can’t stop staring at everybody.”
The most glamorous gown of the evening went to Jenna Bitove who was wearing a Gone with the Wind inspired Mikael D dress that took over the room. Designers like Greta Constantine, Christopher Paunil and Stephan Caras had their designs on several high-profile guests: Model Coco Rocha, who is several months pregnant, glowed in Greta Constantine; Sabrina Maddeaux, fashion writer for NOW donned a stunning Christopher Paunil design; and O.C. star Kelly Rowan wore Stephan Caras.
Bianca Teixeira, Jay Strut, 2015 CAFA nominee “Blogger of the Year”, Karim Olen Ash
Vicky Milner, Managing Director of CAFA, and stylist Kim Appelt
Federico Foroni and Matthew Gallagher, 2015 CAFA nominee for The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, Fashion pose during the red carpetGlen Baxter, Bianca Teixeira and model Paul Mason attend the Sephora after-party
Parris Gordon, part of accessories duo Beaufille, told us, “I think it’s amazing that CAFA has started an initiative to recognize what’s going on [in Canada]. Creating the awards and creating the foundation of an industry is really exciting. I’m really honoured to be a part of it.” Beaufille took home the award for The Swarovski Award for Emerging Talent, Accessories.
The evening was a tremendous success and everyone involved celebrated at the Sephora after-party.
Photos by Carla Evans for Style Calling