Toronto Fashion Incubator crowned its annual New Labels prizewinner on Tuesday night at a glittering gala stacked with the city’s society and fashion hall of famers. For the second year in a row, Target added a red sheen to the event, promising an exclusive capsule collection to be sold nationwide next year in addition to the existing prize of $25,000 from high society’s grand dame philanthropist Suzanne Rogers.
As notables including Stacey Mackenzie, Arthur Mendonca, Nicholas Mellamphy and David Dixon (he currently moonlights as TFI president) indulged in post-dinner chocolate cake, the tables were transformed into a runway, on which the competition began. With a mix of aesthetics ranging from Secret Garden-esque to hard edged to femme to frankly, sloppy, four designers—Sarah Stevenson, Paria Shirvani, Christopher Paunil and 7/31—paraded their wears. In a decision that surprised no one, Stevenson’s pretty floral capsule was crowned the winner. With an existing reputation as Toronto’s resident floral print mistress, we look forward to seeing Stevenson’s career blossom (pun intended) following this major boost.