Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TIFF time, party time!

I always look forward to the Toronto International Film Festival. For week and a half in beautiful fall weather Toronto gets a fantastic fix of great movies, gorgeous stars and glamorous parties.
While we all would love to be invited to the coveted parties around town, why not host your own? Make your bash the place to be, taking inspiration from this year’s gala films. With a few careful attentions to detail and a budget big or small, get in the spirit of TIFF 08:

Everyone is talking about The Duchess, the anticipated story of the beautiful and glamorous 18th century English aristocrat Georgiana Spencer, the original “It girl” before such a term was invented. Starring Kiera Knightly and Ralph Fiennes, take design cues from the ornate styling of this rococo period film. A modern update on the 18th century original Louis XV design, anyone sitting in Philippe Stark’s Ghost Chair will definitely look star worthy.

Kiera Knightly, playing a true fashion icon of the time, wears some gorgeous frocks and headpieces. Why not surprise each guest with their own aristocratic feathered headband. Make your own with a dollar store headband and a visit to the craft store, or purchase one from your favourite accessory shop.

The look of 18th century Europe was all about lavishness. Get this look of luxe without breaking the bank by layering your plates, saucers and napkins. Feel free to use mismatched antique and flea market pieces for a casual, yet very ornate, pulled together look.

Secret Life of Bees, starring Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys, Queen Latifah and Sophie Okonedo is the second gala film opening this year’s film festival. Set in South Carolina in 1964, get ready to be inspired by lazy drawl and sweet Southern treats.
As the title suggests, bees play a large role in the film. Treat your guests to a sweet treat of Upside-Down Honey Cheesecakes.
Check out the recipe here ( or if you’re like me and burn most things you bake, purchase small frozen cheesecakes, drizzle with honey and add fresh berries for garnish.

What says southern hospitality than a little Southern Comfort? In a large punch bowl, combine 1 large can frozen orange juice concentrate, 1 can frozen banana daiquiri mix and 3/4 cup lemon juice. Stir to blend and slowly add 1 1/2 liter ginger ale. Remove excess foam with a spoon and stir in 1 5th bottle whiskey, or to taste. Add a lemon ice ring to be extra fancy. Check out the full recipe here

Stone of Destiny, this year’s closing gala film, directed by Charles Martin Smith is the story of four Glasgow students who in 1950 break into Westminster Abbey and reclaim the famous stone for Scotland.

Round off your TIFF 08 party with a little Scottish plaid. Borrowing from fashion’s hottest looks for fall, wrap up a final guest gift- tickets to your next TIFF film viewing perhaps?- in a stunning plaid bow to top off your film fete.

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