This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Earlier this month, Canada’s brightest fashion industry talents gathered at Fairmont Royal York Hotel’s ballroom for one big reason – CAFA, otherwise known as the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards – the inaugural edition. Held for the very first time, CAFA Gala was a huge deal, and though I usually tend to avoid big fancy bashes, with a star-studded guest list that included DSQUARED‘s Dean and Dan Caten, Coco Rocha, and Mads Mikkelsen, attending this one was a no-brainer, especially when the lovely folks from Swarovski offered to “frost” me with their sparkliest baubles! Thanks to my blogger bestieSharon, we got to join Team Swarovski at their table, joined by the beauties from Power of Privé, adorable actress Elisha Cuthbert, Emerging Talent Award winner Sarah Stevenson, and other amazing people. For the occasion, I wore my new Erdem dress from The Room, which was fitting since Erdem Moralioglu was one of the nominees. I also got to wear a beautiful vintage Mary Katrantzou for Swarovski cuff that was simply stunning.
The award show was very well-produced, and at times actually made me tear up, like when Jeanne Beker’s Vanguard Award was presented, followed by the loveliest of video montages, showing the most memorable moments from the Canadian Icon’s lengthy career, from her earliest days at MuchMusic, to her most jaw-dropping FashionTelevision reels. As I watched Canadian designers, stylists, photographers, models and other industry professionals on that CAFA stage, I could feel their happiness and excitement fill the room. With so many talented Canadians in this industry, spending the evening honouring some of them for their achievements felt great.
After the awards, the winners and the rest of us moved on to the after-party, where we danced to “What Does The Fox Say”, watched Bite lipsticks being made, hijacked a photobooth, and actually got to check out the CAFA trophies – shoe-shaped and very heavy. As someone who doesn’t stay out late very often, I was shocked to realize that it was past 1am when I finally decided to call it a night and head home. Yup, I’m a grandma and not even embarrassed to admit it; but some things are really worth sticking around for. I truly had the best time at this year’s CAFA Gala, here’s hoping that next year it’s going to be even more spectacular (perhaps with more monetary prizes for the winners?). I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
The Menswear Designer of the Year Award • Davidson Manaloto, wings + horns • Philippe Dubuc • Philip Sparks • Travis Taddeo – WINNER • Shawn Hewson, Bustle
The Emerging Talent Award • Beaufille • Eliza Faulkner • Laura Siegel • Martin Lim • Sarah Stevenson – WINNER • Sid Neigum
The Outstanding Achievement Award • David Dixon • Dean & Dan Caten, DSQUARED2 – WINNER • Denis Gagnon • Lida Baday • Marie Saint-Pierre
The Accessory Designer of the Year Award • Dexter & Byron Peart, WANT Les Essentials de la Vie – WINNER • Ela & Martin Aldorsson, Ela Handbags • John Fluevog • Jenny Bird • Maryam Keyhani The Canadian Style Award • Coco Rocha • Joe Mimran – WINNER • Lisa Tant
The Image Maker Award • Chris Nicholls – WINNER • Stephanie Mark, Jake Rosenberg, The Coveteur • Gabor Jurina • Max Abadian • Tommy Ton
The International Canadian Designer of the Year Award • Dean & Dan Caten, DSQUARED2 – WINNER • Erdem Moralio?lu • Jeremy Laing • Jason Wu • Mark Fast
The Stylist of the Year Award • Cary Tauben • George Antonopoulos – WINNER • Liz Cabral • Peter Papapetrou • Susie Sheffman
The Model of the Year Award • Coco Rocha – WINNER • Daria Werbowy • Yasmin Warsame
Photo Credits: George Pimentel, Best of Toronto, FAJO Magazine (Aleyah Solomon)
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