TIFF Special: How to live like an A-lister—and a B-lister—during the festival
TIFF infuses Toronto with Hollywood glamour, parties behind velvet ropes and late-night shenanigans aplenty. The A-list arrive, sending the city’s professional gawkers and amateur celebrity hunters into a five-alarm tizzy. The B-list land too, trumpeting their indie-directing debuts and mixing among the pseudo-plebes at Ossington’s dives. This is our guide get you ready to live like the A-list during festival–or at least pass for B-list–so get your party dress and juice cleanse ready. By the end of this world-class fest, we predict that you’ll need both.
TIFF Fashion: Red carpet ready style
A-lister: The A-list work hard during festival. There is at least a full day or two of interviews, a gala screening including the ever-present red carpet, a dinner with key investors and media, and a blow out after-party or two. At each turn they must be smiling, sparklingly witty, and
of course look the part. How to dress for all these occasions? For day, the best can be found at The Narwhal in Summerhill–jewellery by Pamela Love and separates from Theyskens’ Theory are the epitome of effortless style. Gala gowns and party frocks can be found on Bloor’s mink mile at Intermix for a contemporary choice like Helmut Lang or Holt Renfrew for classic glamour from the likes of
Oscar de la Renta. Finally, no A-list shopping excursion would be complete without a visit to The Bay’s The Room, the carefully curated masterpiece of Toronto style savant Nicholas Mellamphy. Choose between Jason Wu and Canada’s own Erdem, and pick up a pair or two of Nicholas Kirkwoods to boot.
B-lister: The B-list contingent may not have celebrity stylists or a black Amex, but there are ways to skirt those problems. One way to get the look for less is to go to where the designers often get their inspiration–vintage. I Miss You, Ossington’s vintage touchstone, has a back room filled with Dior, Halston and Chanel that has the advantage of ensuring one of a kind status on a red carpet. Cabaret, a vintage treasure on Queen West, has a mix of hand-selected vintage in impeccable condition, as well as a Dior “New Look” inspired collection made in house.
TIFF Beauty: Red carpet ready look
A-lister: The Ritz Carlton has a prime location and lush amenities to ensure it will continue to be an A-list haven. The Spa by Clarins is an expansive retreat where A-list guests will surely visit the Champagne Nail Bar for a luxe mani/pedi before they make their red carpet appearance. To make a truly memorable entrance, A-listers can book the “Perfect Detox” package featuring the Revitalizing Body Scrub, the Figure Shaper body treatment, and the Detox & Shine Stopper facial for a flawless camera-ready face. The final stop? The Jackie Gideon Beauty Bar within the Ritz’s spa where one of Canada’s leading make-up artists will do an editorial-worthy job of A-listers’ make-up and hair.
B-lister: The Ten Spot is ready to roll out a red carpet for guests no matter which list they’re on. The girly beauty emporium offers a classic facial for that camera-worthy glow, and will happily pour a glass of wine for guests as they settle in for a regular, shellac or axxium manicure, or even the latest nail trend, a microbead mani. Once the B-list have their skin refreshed and digits polished, its just a quick jaunt from Queen West for the perfect Bardot blow out at King West’s Blo location.
TIFF restaurants: Dinner
A-lister: While Toronto’s top restaurants are notoriously challenging to get into during the festival, the places one is most likely to end up passing the salt to their A-list crush are low-key, private with lots of dark corners in which to hide. Sotto Sotto on Avenue Rd. is a favourite of visiting stars due in equal measure to its authentic Italian food and below street level profile. Barberian’s, a non-descript steak house on Elm St. has arguably the city’s best beef, and its most private dining room, literally below ground in the wine cellar. For any who aren’t quite as shy, Gusto 101’s see and be seen dining room is a safe bet too, and only a stroll from festival central at the Lightbox.
B-lister: For those with a lower profile than your Clooneys or Pitts, the city’s rapidly expanding culinary scene offers many options. B-listers could likely talk themselves into skipping the line at Parkdale’s ragingly popular taco bar Grand Electric, or snag a table at new resto La Carnita on College St. without too much fuss. Gourmet options on Ossington and Dundas like Delux and Enoteca Sociale respectively will also let any B-lister eat well and still hang on to their indie cred.
Check out more of our top tips on how to live like an A-lister and a B-lister during TIFF on the next page…
TIFF night out: Cocktails
A-lister: When it comes to cocktails during TIFF, no A-lister has trouble finding a place to whet their whistle. Every major film has an after-party and the city’s extended liquor license means the revelry continues into the wee hours. The gold standard for guest-list only events is Grey Goose Soho House. This year the international club has hometown advantage with their own brand new casa on Adelaide just a hop, skip and jump from the TIFF Lightbox. A-listers can rest assured that this party is strictly for the tip-top tier—no crafty door crashers or Degrassi extras guaranteed.
B-lister: Party-crashing is not a recommended sport this time of year. Guest-lists are tighter than Beyonce’s double spanx and the PR folks wielding them are under-slept, underfed and ready to snap. The upside of avoiding the melee? You are far likelier to spot Ryan Gosling at Unlovable than you are at some sponsored shindig. Sweaty Betty’s is another actor fave–the vine laden backyard patio and jukebox are catnip to indie actors with rumpled hair, leather jackets and a promising slate of upcoming releases on IMDB. Another west-end haunt synonymous with the edgier side of the festival is The Drake, where democracy reigns this year. No guest list, just a ten-dollar cover and a chance to do shots with Woody Harrelson (maybe—we make no promises).
TIFF movies: Top flicks
A-lister: Gala screenings are the King Kong events of festival, securing the best time-slots, screening rooms and pre-screening buzz. This year the opening night gala film to be screened at Roy Thompson Hall is
Looper, a psychological thriller featuring Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon Levitt and
Emily Blunt. A-listers who make time to sneak in films other than their own will likely be sending agents to collect tickets for festival front-runners like
Anna Karenina featuring Kiera Knightley, Jude Law and Aaron Taylor-Johnson and
Cloud Atlas directed by the Wachowski siblings and starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and an impressive list of supporting actors.
B-lister: No press pass or gala screenings this year? B-listers who just want to catch a movie the old fashioned way–squeaky seats and buttery popcorn–can head down to the Rainbow Market Square and see the stars, at least on the screen.
Lawless is opening before TIFF begins, and the cast includes festival favourites like Shia LaBeouf, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce, and Mia Wasikowska. The best part–this old school theatre still has old school prices, with tickets costing less than ten dollars for matinees and evening screenings.