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Toronto Fashion Week | Style Plate #ServingFashion

If there’s one thing we can’t complain about these last couple of seasons with Toronto Fashion Week held in Yorkville Village – it’s the food and dining options. When it was held at The Exhibition grounds a millennia ago, the scarcity of even a hot dog stand was next to impossible to the douchebag-filled eateries along King street when it reigned at David Pecault Square; it was eat something shitty, or not eat at all. Remember that one year when Special K was a lead sponsor? I swear I had bars stashed away in every pocket & damn bag. With its (quasi-permanent) home in Yorkville Village; even I have to agree; I quite like the location in which fashion week is held. As any given member of the industry, there’s two things we’re down for after a show: a bougie plate of bite-sized something or other accompanied by a drink(s)!

This season Toronto Fashion Week, in collaboration with restaurants within the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood, invite guests to experience Style Plate, a community initiative linking style and the dining experience from September 4-6. “Chefs and mixologists from these participating restaurants & bars have teamed up with select designers presenting at Toronto Fashion Week to craft a unique dish and/or cocktail inspired by the designer’s collections.”

Sofia x NARCES
Sofia and Narces are the perfect pairing for precision and elegance. The Lobster Lena, inspired by the intricate details found in every Narces dress, brings together lobster crudo and roasted corn lightly brushed with olive oil, chili and herbs. With a modern take on a classic crudo, the Lobster Lena matches Narces’ fine attention to detail. Fittingly paired with the Fashion Royale, a cocktail made for fashion-forward guests, it mixes the bold and floral notes of Belvedere Vodka with sweet Cointreau and passionfruit juice, ginger grapefruit honey cordial topped off with ginger beer, Angostura bitters and garnished with Sorrel flower. This cocktail encompasses a bold yet sophisticated taste, equally balanced with the flirtatious essence of a Narces creation.

Echoing the bright and bold colours of WRKDEPT, Amber’s team of mixologists has created the perfect balance of refreshing flavours and aesthetic in its namesake cocktail, Amber. Combining prosecco with the fiery tones of Aperol topped off with soda, this cocktail is an ideal spritzer.

Kasa Moto x Tara Rivas                  
Kasa Moto dives into glitz and glam with its cocktail selections. Inspired by Tara Rivas’ upcoming collection, guests can enjoy the sweet and refreshing flavours of Tequila and Wine made with tequila, sherry, blueberry, basil and lime. Playing up the elegant lines and glamorous appeal of the collection, Kasa Moto adds a second cocktail to the Style Plate special: Be There in a Prosecco features vodka, Crème de Violette, Passion Fruit puree, vanilla apple, lime and a prosecco float.

Sassafraz x ZOFF
Sassafraz’s mixologists prepared a creative libation – aptly titled TFW for Toronto Fashion Week and The Fire Within, words used to describe the upcoming collection – complementing the rich tones ZOFF brings into his pieces. Contrasting colours, edginess with fruity undertones reflect the designer’s fun and glitzy style, easily illustrated in the vibrant tones of the innovative TFW. Combining Belvedere Vodka and activated charcoal, the rich hue is derived from Cassis and cranberry juice topped with soda.

PLANTA x Triarchy 
Inspired by the eco-friendly denim brand, Triarchy, Planta’s team brings a refreshing Chopped Salad cocktail to the table. Made with celery, gin, mint, basil and lime, this green mix will fuel guests up for the eventful week.

ONE x Christopher Bates
Inspired by the talented Christopher Bates’ time at the Istituto Marangoni in Milan, Chef Mark McEwen’s ONE Restaurant is bringing together Canadian and Italian influences to form an experience for the senses. The PEI Beef Carpaccio is a delicately sliced beef tenderloin brushed with dijonnaise and served with crostini, shallots and fresh arugula, meant to complement the cocktail of the week, Rossetto Martini. Meaning “lipstick” in Italian, the Rossetto Martini is a playful and fashionable twist on a classic. Raspberry-infused vodka, topped with sparkling wine and garnished with fresh berries makes the Rossetto Martini the perfect indulgence for an evening at Toronto Fashion Week.

STK x Victoria Hayes
STK’s Executive Chef Tony McHugh creates a culinary experience inspired by the contradictions of Victoria Hayes’ design. The beautiful mix of femininity and gentle movement with strong colours and striking graphics that evoke empowerment. The Venus of Terra is reflective of the contradiction, pairing soft and gentle queenie scallops with the bold flavours of Artisan Farms fillet, roasted yellow tail mushrooms and cauliflower, garlic and parsley purees, bordelaise jus and crispy leeks. Diners will be treated to a glass of bubbly with reservations and can feast their eyes on Victoria Hayes’ designer pieces on display at STK.

Bar Reyna x Christopher Paunil
Yorkville’s acclaimed Bar Reyna, serving imaginative libations and classic cocktails, has crafted the Informal Therapist, a vegan cocktail sure to impress the toughest of critics. The Informal Therapist combines Gin and Pisco with the fresh flavours of lychee, lemon, honey and hint of aqua fava and cynar reflective of the femininity of Christopher Paunil’s latest bridal collection. To satisfy all the sweet-teeth, indulge in a Pink Pavlova dessert– delicate meringues complement a textured pistachio semifreddo drizzled with a vibrant raspberry coulis.

Oxley Public House x Namesake
Taking note from Namesake’s affluent and edgy design, Oxley Public House is serving Beet Cured Acadian Sturgeon with dill caviar, Yukon gold potatoes, horseradish and crème fraiche. Don’t forget to order the Shantay, You Stay! cocktail, in which Oxley Public House has successfully tackled the challenge of combining unexpected and unique elements, reflected in the pleasantly surprising pairing of Whitley Neil Rhubarb and Ginger gin with the fruitiness of St-Germain. Elevated with grapefruit juice and fresh dill, the result is mouthwatering.

Taking cues from HENDRIXROE’s upcoming collection, undoubtedly oozing glam rocker couture, CIBO brings an equally vibrant and delicious dish and cocktail to its menu. CIBO’s Style Plate signature dish brings traditional Italian flavours with a zesty spin featuring tender lemon seared Bay scallop
s, which sit atop a bright and creamy beet risotto with pea drops and fresh lemon zest. Accompanying the dish is The Naomi, a refreshing combination of No. 1 London dry gin and aromatic St-Germain with contratto and fresh lemon topped off with prosecco.

Café Nervosa x Hilary MacMillan
Experience the wonderfully spicy and nutty Moda, prepared with rosemary vodka, fresh ginger and lemon juice, topped with ginger ale and a hint of nutmeg and ginger liquor, which takes inspiration from Hilary MacMillan’s upcoming bold collection. Toronto Fashion Week ticket holders will also be treated to a glass of prosecco upon arrival.

The campaign images were lensed by Renata Kaveh with fashion direction by Dwayne Kennedy of THE COLLECTIONS & Hair + Make-up by Brittany Sinclair of P1M.

So I guess I’ll be seeing some of y’all somewhere post shows?

Photos: Renata Kaveh

Julio Reyes

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