Earlier this month, Toronto’s movers, shakers, artists, editors, designers and socialites joined us in the ballroom of Toronto’s Ritz Carlton hotel to celebrate the launch of S/ magazine’s winter 2016 issue. The fête showcased a host of activations, displays and performances that kept the stylish crowd entertained between lively conversation and sips of Cointreau’s sparkling cocktails.
BELLOSOUND’s owner and DJ, Daniel Buckman, provided the music, sharing the stage intermittently with violinist Sonia Lee for modern duets that merged chart-topping tunes by artists like The Weeknd, with Lee’s electrifying string performance.
Fashion aficionados—some expecting a traditional fashion show—were pleasantly surprised when a trio of trained dancers from the Hit and Run Dance company emerged in cutting-edge fashions, in lieu of the usual runway models. Looks from Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Wes Gordon, Pink Tartan and Marlowe were brought to life, as the dancers delighted the crowds en pointe with classical and modern dance performances.
Hors d’oeuvres, bubbly, wine and cocktails circled the room, while an oyster-abundant raw bar, prepared by the hotel’s talented chefs, drew crowds to its attractive set-up.
Displays of all sorts encouraged guests to explore the space, with themes of fashion, beauty, décor, design, culture and the arts—mirroring those found on the magazine’s pages—bringing the publication to life. Nina Ricci’s L’Extase fragrance was showcased near the event’s entrance, where guests were invited to explore and try on the perfume, mystery manicure bars had ladies and gents alike sitting down for some on-the-spot pampering by CND nail artists, and an arcade-style claw machine brimmed with gifts from BITE Beauty had the crowd lining up to test their skills. A near-by “Kiss-Off” wall encouraged winners to lend their BITE-clad lip print to a colourful wall display.
A white wall of outreached mannequin hands dripping with jaw-dropping jewels from Bandiera Jewellers turned the display into an art installation in its own right. And, unlike a museum’s top-guarded exhibit, this one begged to be touched.
For a taste of the evening’s atmosphere and events, watch our video below.
And oh, the gift bags! A wall of gift bags ensured guests didn’t leave empty-handed. Each bag included copies of S/, Sharp, and Sharp: The Book for Men, along with a number of goodies from some of our favourite stores and brands.
Gift bag contributors included CND, Nina Ricci L’Extase, Orofluido, GUESS, The Ritz Carlton Toronto, Gotstyle, W3LL People, The Detox Market, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Equinox, Gravity Pope, Cutler and Gross, The iStore, Jax Coco, and Energy at Work.
Photography by Ryan Emberley.