By Katia Ostapets
Photography by Kalynn Friesen
On Dec. 1, Absolut vodka launched its newest 2011 limited-edition bottle ABSOLUT® MODE at Malaparte in the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
The evening included a one-of-a-kind fashion exhibit, hosted and curated by Jeanne Beker, host of CTV’s Fashion Television. From fashion illustrations and paintings to clothing and accessories, this exhibit spanned multiple decades and paid tribute to both Canadian and international designers and fashionistas.
As guests entered the event space at the Lightbox, they were immediately captivated by the various fashion art forms displayed in the gallery-like atmosphere of the entrance hall. A purse made from fabric inspired by the 1950s Campbell’s logo was set on a display case. Next to it: another purse, this time an exact replica of a black basket filled with red velvet rose petals. Further down the hall, a wall dedicated to paintings of beautiful women by Frederick Watson, a renowned fashion illustrator. “I hope to paint Suzanne Rogers next,” said Watson.
Inside the main room, the exhibit continued with mannequins lining the walls adorned in vintage clothing, as well as costumes used in past Absolut vodka advertising. The pieces were lent by institutions as well as from the private closets of Suzanne Rogers and the hostess herself, Jeanne Beker. Perhaps the most special was a dress and jacket pairing in dark blue velvet and golden beading by Alexander McQueen. A program from his funeral was displayed at the foot of the mannequin.
Toronto’s fashion icons mingled throughout the night, while sipping on the grapefruit-flavoured designer cocktail appropriately called Absolut Jeanne, created especially for the Canadian market. Ladies at the event dressed for the occasion, many sporting colourful or structured cocktail dresses. Men opted for edgier looks, often in variations of white, black and gray. One of Canada’s favourite designers, David Dixon, was also present.
As the night progressed, guests visibly wanted to stay longer and so the party continued after its scheduled 9 p.m. end-time to the beats of the DJ.