On the Bee-List: Jewellery lovers gather to fete Maison Birks’ 135th Anniversary Gala

Birks 135th Anniversary
Photography by Sam Santos
Birks 135th Anniversary
Photography by Sam Santos

See the shots from Birks 135th Anniversary Gala »

When you’re turning 135, it’s high time to roll out the red carpet or, in the case of Maison Birks, the blue carpet. The iconic Canadian jewellery house took over Toronto’s Shangri-La hotel Saturday evening for a celebratory birthday dinner in support of honeybee research and preservation. Birks recently launched the Birks Bee Chic collection, a partnership with the Honey Bee Research Centre at the University of Guelph, featuring elegant honeycomb-shaped designs on necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and even a stunning one-of-a-kind yellow gold cuff. Supporting the bee is crucial for innumerable reasons, including the fact that they pollinate the plants that provide one out of every three bites of food that we eat, as Birks president and CEO Jean-Christophe Bédos informed us before introducing Dr. Ernesto Guzman, professor and director of the Honey Bee Research Centre and recipient of the Birks Canadian Diamond Award.

In between courses of delicious caramelized onion tart and savory beef tenderloin, guests were entertained by the Fusion String Quartet playing covers of everything from Beyoncé to Guns and Roses and, of course, Flight of the Bumble Bee, as well as a performance by Canadian Opera Company soprano Karine Boucher. On display were breathtaking watches by Cartier, Dior and Van Cleef & Arpels to try on for size, which we did, and were very reluctant to leave behind. The chic guest list included FASHION’s editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra and husband Toronto Life’s Most Stylish Jimmy Molloy, FASHION’s senior vice-president Lil Lozinski, Men’s FASHION editor-in-chief David Livingstone, Ben Mulroney with his wife Jessica, Cartier Vice President, Specialty Retail and Birks’ VP Matthieu Garnier and the evening’s host Eva Hartling. It wasn’t until after dinner at the buzzy #fashionbirks135 after-party that the birthday celebration really got underway, as the champagne was flowing and the dance floor filled to capacity. When you look as good as Birks does, turning 135 really is the bee’s knees.