What went down at Toronto Life and FASHION’s Best Dressed 2019 party

Thursday night was Toronto Life and FASHION’s annual Best Dressed party, a can’t-miss TIFF kickoff feting 25 of the city’s most daring dressers. NARS, celebrating their 25th anniversary, was back as the presenting partner. Launching the new formulation of their iconic lipstick, NARS kept guests looking their best with make-up touch-ups throughout the night. This year, the list was stacked with a mix of Toronto-bred household names (Shawn Mendes, Petra Collins, Lilly Singh) and creative locals with a flair for the unexpected or extravagant (ahem, Serge Ibaka). Number one on the list? Brooke Lynn Hytes, the first north-of-the-border drag queen to appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Though she came in second place last year, she captivated a continent (and now, nearly a million Instagram followers) with her high kicks, fierce stares and a 1960s-level commitment to glamour. Last night, she rocked a neon number with her signature platinum locks, and made a diva-worthy outfit change—into a glittery bodysuit that would overwhelm any Kira Kira filter—halfway through the evening for a special show, during which she spun and dipped her way through the crowd to Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman.”

During the rest of the evening, local notables mingled beneath the towering beams of the QRC West Atrium at Richmond and Peter while Aerial Dance Cirque Co. performed, snacking on passed appetizers and sipping Elit Vodka martinis, Hennessy, Johnnie Walker Black Label, Don Julio and Tanqueray No. Ten cocktails, bubbles and Pasqua wine, and more. When they weren’t being mesmerized by Hytes, there were plenty of other forms of entertainment to take in: best of all was a Cirque Du Soleil acrobat twirling between two sashes hanging from the sky-high ceiling. Jo Malone set up a sought-after hand-massage station using their own alluring fragrances, and there were lineups all night for attendees to try their luck with “The Claw” for a chance to win a bottle of perfume. Anyone needing refuge from the revelry could hang out on chic purple sofas in the Color Cannabis lounge, inhaling cannabis-related aromatherapy blends and snapping retro Polaroid selfies. 

Style-wise, more was definitely more: there was a fluorescent mesh bodysuit, a pair of giant googly-eyed ears and more than a few sparkly suits. Best-dresser Lainey Lui was especially well-styled for the occasion, showing up in a voluminous fuchsia dress and crisp white high-tops. Naturally, the night ended with a few dance-floor mainstays grooving to poppy beats by the award-winning DJ Fizza.

Here’s a peek inside the party and check out #TLBestDressed19: