Diary of the Week: Cindy Crawford, DX Emerging Designer Competition, Giants of Africa and more

Supermodel and Muskoka staple Cindy Crawford drew a fabulous crowd for her Fashion Icons chat at the Art Gallery of Ontario, courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue (opening its first store north of the border in February). The host of the series, global fashion personality and former CFDA director Fern Mallis, took the audience through Cindy's exceptional life, lending insights into her career, the industry and even Richard Gere as guests sipped Cindy's favourite tipple, Casamigos Tequila (owned by her hubby and his best friend George Clooney). Clad in a bodycon blue dress and caged heels, the stunning 49-year-old model also mingled with guests and snapped selfies before sending a who's who of stylish heavyweights on their merry way with copies of her Becoming and Fern's Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons With Fern Mallis.

Creatives running the gamut from film and design to fashion and digital were on hand at the Design Exchange (DX) for the museum's annual Emerging Designer Competition. Together with RBC, the event recognizes the talent and entrepreneurialism of up-and-coming innovators, judged by a curated roster of judges that included Andrea Lenczner and Christie Smythe of Smythe, Paul Rowan of Umbra and Jordan Banks of Facebook Canada. After pouring through nation-wide submissions, the room brimming with notables sipping cocktails and nibbling on En Ville hors d'oeuvre saw internationally acclaimed designer Alexander Josephson of Partisans take home the $10,000 prize. His work will be displayed through Jan. 30 at DX.

It wasn't all fashion this week in Toronto as Raptors president and GM Masai Ujiri welcomed a serious roster of sports legends to a fundraiser celebrating Nelson Mandela on the second anniversary of his death. In its second year, the Giants of Africa welcomed athletes like Didier Drogba and Bismack Byombo, model Winnie Harlow, TIFF's Cameron Bailey, singer Jully Black and a few little guests (Masai and DeMarre Carroll had their little ones in tow!). While the spirits flowed, guests were treated to a panel discussion on Nelson's legacy and a performance by Jully.

Klick's Muse welcomed Canadian creators at the top of their fields (think author Margaret Atwood and filmmaker David Cronenberg) to treat the local arts set to a multi-sensory, modern-day salon; the first of its kind in Canada. Guests found themselves weaving their way from performance to speech, and installations in between, for an unparalleled experience in our own backyard. Fuelled by Oliver & Bonacini's crab cakes, fish tacos, potstickers - and signature pomegranate cocktails, of course - the crowd enjoyed a book signing by Margaret (and a few lucky fans snagged an elevator selfie with the author) and performance by rock jazz pianist Elew and violin virtuoso Adrian Anantawan.

Guests at Mamakas Taverna had a clear view of what they had gathered to celebrate: the 80th anniversary of legacy glasses chain Josephson Opticians. Friends, family and longtime colleagues of the company's leading man, Dr. Josh Josephson, enjoyed a beautiful Greek feast on Ossington Avenue while taking in Josephson's latest creative, a series of portraits of local notables (think George Pimentel, Joe Mimran and his wife, Kim Newport-Mimran, Susur Lee) with oversized glasses. Dr. Josh's nephew Alexander was in a particularly celebratory mood, having come from the DX event, where he snagged top honours for emerging designer.

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