Diary of the Week: Bata Shoe Museum, Most Wanted and TFI New Labels

Most shoes go out of style after a season, but the Bata Shoe Museum is as fashionable as ever after two decades! A select group of VIPs attended a cocktail reception to celebrate the Toronto landmark’s 20th anniversary (from where Shinan Govani reports on broken champagne flutes and sentimental speeches), a party which coincided with the opening of its new exhibition, Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels. (It features rocking footwear from the likes of Elton John and Lenny Kravitz). The evening’s theme centred around the 'unexpected,' and champagne-sipping guests were kept on their toes with a shoe “selfie” station, impromptu interactions with impersonators (think: Napoleon and Marilyn Monroe) and a performance by Anandam Dancetheatre. At midnight, the dance party was still going strong – shoes optional!

PASSION, LAUGHTER, LOVE and JOY were the words du jour at the Most Wanted event, going strong after nine years - though there was also a solid emphasis on a fifth: fashion. Well-heeled guests who descended on the Eagles Nest Golf Club were treated to a runway show featuring TNT's carefully curated womenswear and a parade of handsome men decked in Ermenegildo Zegna, presented by menswear retail-favourite Harry Rosen. Funds raised benefitted Gynecological Cancer Care at Princess Margaret Hospital's Cancer Centre, bringing about the hopeful event's final buzzword: cure.

Before the Mercedes-Benz Start Up and the Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards, up-and-coming designers found their hope and mentorship in the non-profit Toronto Fashion Incubator's New Labels contest - and after 23 years the fund is still training young talent and doling out cash awards (this year's winner, Maison Matthew Gallagher, was privy to a $25,000 prize). With runners-up whose talents have been recognized by Lady Gaga (Benji WZW), Sex and the City star Kim Catrall (Jennifer Torosian) and British punk-queen Vivienne Westwood (Vaiken's Valerie Tolila), it was an impressive group. Judges Suzanne Rogers, David Dixon, Cameron Williamson and Suzanne Timmins deliberated while wine-sipping guests enjoyed a performance by Danny Fernandes, before VIPs slipped into a post-show dinner where they got their fashionable fill courtesy of filet mignon.

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