Frocktail hosts competitive shopping for a good cause

Photography by Jon Howcroft

The first annual Frocktail Party combined cocktails and competitive shopping, with all proceeds going to fund juvenile diabetes research. Held in Toronto this past Thursday, the sold-out event saw women showing up to bid on more than 80 pre-loved dresses and accessories, and men following in their wake to see the Shark Week behavior of the bidding babes.

While tastes varied, all Frocktailees agreed that with 100 per cent of the nights profits going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation—the night was organized by a group of young ladies who had seen their friend Vanessa Oliver deal with the daily realities of living with juvenile diabetes—there was no guilt involved in splurging. See photos from the party after the jump.

The silent auction room overflowed with women circling racks filled with Canadian greats Ashley Rowe, Greta Constantine and Jeremy Laing, as well as BCBG, Graham & Spencer and Dior (to name but a few). Others hovered close to their prey.

Bidder Sonja K. had her heart set on a printed DVF for a beach wedding she’ll be attending, and kept a watchful eye on its auction sheet. Across the room, the offers came fast and furious for a gold brocade cocktail dress by D&G—one bidder, Shannon Lewis, was drawn to it’s “vintagey” feel–that went for a very reasonable $360. Said co-organizer Ali Reid, “we strategically set the starting bids at a reasonable price to encourage participation for all who attended.”

The business of the night taken care of, bidders imbibed in cocktails and took to the dance floor to enjoy the beats of DJ Johnny Hockin (you may know him from his daytime gig as a host at MTV Canada). We spotted Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong of Greta Constantine and Jeremy Laing and friends getting down to Michael Jackson.

By 1 a.m., Frocktail had raised $23,000 for JDRF, but the turnout wasn’t what surprised Reid. She knew they had a “compelling idea” for hooking the ladies, but the number of men who attended either to bid with their ladies or to watch the excitement surpassed her expectations and she hinted, “maybe next year we’ll have more for the women–and something for the men too!”

Click on the images below to see a gallery of the event.

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