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on the scene

Fête Chinoise Gala and Showcase, Jan. 28, Toronto

Mere days after swaths of snow had covered much of the city of Toronto, downtown inside the Shangri-La hotel, blossoms were abloom at a dazzling celebration of Chinese culture. Fête Chinoise, a now annual gathering that’s one part gala fundraiser and one part cultural showcase, is chiefly a moment where Chinese tradition is offered up anew. This eighth edition, held on the evening of Jan. 28 during Lunar New Year, saw a few hundred guests out taking part in the festivities. A gala dinner kicked off the evening, with funds raised supporting the event’s 2023 charitable partner the Scarborough Health Network Foundation. Performances were on offer during dinner, with singer Tyler Shaw and dancers from the Goh Ballet school taking to the stage.

Later, the after-party, which saw a younger set of black-tied guests in attendance, kicked off. Dotting the hotel’s various event rooms were spots set up to serve traditional fare and treats like bubble tea, and there too were portrait studios and works on display by artists such as Tik Ka and Nicky Wang. Calligraphy master Guan Sui-Sheng had a quiet space where he methodically wrote the family names of guests to take home. Nearby in the not-so-quiet main space around pergolas festooned with flowers and surrounded by cocktail banquette, were more performances and at one point to great excitement the dragon dance, a traditional performance that dates back centuries and is believed to bring good luck. At the event’s helm was Deborah Lau-Yu, owner of branding and design studio Palettera (she also produces the annual Fête Chinoise magazine), there too among the crowd was lifestyle guru Lian Chen; financial expert and television personality Melissa Leong and actor Kerry LaiFatt who both served on the event committee; model Daniel Liu; optical empire owner Karim Hakimi; actor Meng’er Zhang; dancer Chan Hon Goh; Canadian Arts and Fashion Awards president Vicky Milner; Two Small Fish Ventures’ founders Allen and Eva Lau; and Toronto Mayor John Tory.

Allen and Eva Lau, Tina Lee, Mary Ng and Akira Okubo at the Fête Chinoise Gala and Showcase, in Toronto, on Jan. 28.George Pimentel/Handout

Yoyo Sham and Deborah Lau-Yu.George Pimentel/Handout

Kerry Laifatt, Lainey Lui and Melissa Leong.George Pimentel/Handout

Vicky Milner and Lily Li.George Pimentel/Handout

The dragon dance at Fête Chinoise Gala and Showcase.George Pimentel/Handout

Tiffany & Co. celebrates Lock, Jan. 26, Toronto

It’s been a busy couple of years for American luxury jewellery house Tiffany & Co. In 2019, the brand was acquired by luxury mega firm LVMH and in the time since, the company, known for its pale blue boxes and cinematic link to Audrey Hepburn, has experienced a kind of renaissance. Headline grabbing campaigns like the one featuring Beyoncé in the famed 128 carat yellow Tiffany diamond – she was only the fourth person to wear it and first Black woman – and a series of buzzy collaborations such as the Patek Philippe Tiffany Blue Nautilus and a just-announced collaboration with Nike.

New to the jewellery range is Lock, a sleek genderless bangle with a padlock-like hinge that’s become an instant hit. In Toronto on the eve of Jan. 26, Tiffany took over supper club Vela for a party to celebrate the launch of the bracelet. Guests included a mix of clients (many already donning their Lock bracelets), fashion press and enlisted influencers, chief among them Hailey Bieber and actor Simu Liu.

Hailey Bieber, Simu Liu, Kate Bock and Reign Judge at Tiffany & Co. celebrates Lock, in Toronto, on Jan. 26.George Pimentel/Handout

Taiwo Aladejebi and Tristan Banning.George Pimentel/Handout

Jia Zhang and Yuki Zhao.George Pimentel/Handout

Sonja Berman and Janice Fricker.George Pimentel/Handout

Ashley Galang Rico and Neelam Ahooja.George Pimentel/Handout