#TIFF12: Getting swaggy at Tastemakers Lounge

Tastemaker: Someone who popularizes a new fashion or trend; a
role model or someone worthy of imitation.

Us rock-it-eers know great products and brands when we see
them, so we’re pumped to share the details of this year’s Tastemakers Lounge,
hosted during the Toronto International Film Festival. For the eighth year,
local and international guests visited our revamped suite at the
InterContinental Hotel to indulge in the exceptional products Tastemakers
Lounge is known for showcasing. We’re proud to be Canadian and try to rock
Canadian labels as often as we can, and Tastemakers Lounge is no exception.

Eli Roth and Lorenza Izzo came by Tastemakers to check out
our goodies.
Films are what TIFF is all about, but there’s always an eye
on Festival fashion. Yorkdale Shopping
 guaranteed Tastemakers guests left the lounge with special
gifts, from a Tiffany & Co. limited edition bracelet to Microsoft’s new
Arc Touch mouse. 

Director Brandon Cronenberg, Antiviral, checks out
Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

We want guests to look as good on the outside as they do
underneath, and La Senza made
sure this was the case. They showcased their new line of lingerie called Beyond
Sexy, gifting a bra and panty set and gift cards for future shopping. Catch the
line in stores September 17.

TIFF Rising Stars Charlotte Sullivan (left) and Tatiana
Maslany (right) are excited about their Beyond Sexy lingerie from La Senza.

Actors are always in front of the camera, and after TIFF,
they’ll need Indeed Laboratories’ products to keep them looking fresh and
paparazzi-ready. Talent were treated to fan favourite products eysilix and
peptalash, for flawless looks when the cameras flash.  

Tamara Podemski,The Lesser Blessed, loved
her eysilix gift from Canada’s own Indeed Labs.

Demeter Fragrance Lab’s fragrance bar kept guests smelling
nice and fresh, especially with scents like rain, dragon fruit, and a TIFF
favourite, popcorn.

Waving to cameras and signing autographs for fans means
hands need to look their best. Kiss provided an in-lounge mani with imPRESS
Press-On Manicure and Nail Dress, a spiced up version of do-it-yourself nails
on the go. We didn’t forget about the toes; Emjoi’s MicroPedi, a portable
hand-held pedicure, was a welcome take-home item.

Hilary Farr of Love It or List It gets a KISS
nails manicure.

Bobble provided durable, trendy and eco-conscious water
bobbles while Tea Emporium made sure our lounge guests had a calming moment to
themselves by selecting their own personal blend of tea. Other products
gifted include Viviscal Maximum Strengh for naturally beautiful hair and
Kimberley’s Own granola, 100 per cent vegan and gluten-free granola.

Emily Hampshire, star of My Awkward Sexual
, with the bobble selection at the lounge.

Toronto is a foodie-centric city, so we went beyond gifting
the best in Canadian fashion and accessories; we included tasty treats as well!
Stars snacked on cupcakes by Le Dolci, popchips in flavours like Sweet Potato
and Thai Chili Lime and Kimberley’s Own granola.

Rob Zombie and wife Sheri Moon Zombie enjoyed Kimberley’s
Own granola while at Tastemakers.

Of course we didn’t forget about our gentlemen guests. The
staff of John Allan’s,  a men’s grooming service and club, were ready to
provide shoe shines, hair clean-ups and mini manicures. Guys need cuticle trims, too.

Jarvis Church of the Philosopher Kings makes the most of a
John Allan’s shoe shine. 

With all the swag we gifted, it’s a good thing we had totes
from Me & You and Sully Wong’s duffle so guests could carry everything
they got.

Musician Adam Cohen loves his Sully Wong duffle. 

who stopped by include: Adrian Grenier, Brandon Cronenberg, Eli
Roth, Rob Zombie and Sheri Moon Zombie, Adam Cohen, Sarah Gadon,
Connor Jessup, Tatiana Maslany, Charlotte Sullivan, Emily Hampshire, Jonas
Chernick, Gabrielle Miller, Vic Sahay, Deco Dawson, Amy Berg, Laura Mennell,
Tonya Lee Williams, Gage Munroe, Michael Friend, Sam Yu, Steven McCarthy,
Spencer Van Wyck, Georgina Reilly, Matthew Cooke, Sheila McCarthy, Yannick
Bisson, Jarvis Church, Tamara Podemski, Rachel Wilson, Douglas Smith, Charlie
Carrick, Christa Campbell, Reece Thompson, Hilary Farr, the cast of 
Rosey Edeh (Global News), Tara Spencer-Nairn, Liz Trinnear (MuchMusic VJ),
Maika Monroe, Siddarth, Zaib Shaikh, Annika Marks, Kristen Gutoskie, Agam
Darshi, Lorenza Izzo, Abdallah El Akal. Whew!

Adrian Grenier kept calm and got his swag on while in town
promoting his movie 
How to Make Money Selling Drugs.

We’re having such a blast at TIFF 2012 this year and couldn’t be
more proud of Tastemakers Lounge – we outdo ourselves every year. Thank you to
our exceptional sponsors and those who make Tastemakers possible, we couldn’t
do it without you and the amazing products you provide each year.

Visit our Facebook
 and Flickr
 for more pics from the lounge.

Check out some of our past
Tastemakers posts
 and discover our amazing history.

TIFF’10: Our favourite moments

Annnd… it’s over. TIFF’10 was amazing. So much happened, and here are some of our favourite highlights:

I have many favourite memories about TIFF 2010, but working with Helen Mirren was an extraordinary privilege. At the end of a long day together, I was admiring her Cartier ring and she took it off and told me try it on. Such a fun, sweet moment. And a really, really amazing ring on a really, really amazing lady.

1. To keep warm while working the red carpet for the Alliance Films TIFF celebration, I started humming Broadway show tunes. Just as “If I were a Rich Man…” was flitting through my head, a black SUV pulled up and a man named Harvey got out. I may have *accidentally* started a rock-it-wide rumour that Harvey Fierstein (who originated the role of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof) had arrived, rather than Harvey Weinstein.  Luckily, my colleagues were quick to pull my head out of the stars.
2.  Witnessing PR manager, Lisa Power, down a full bottle of Echinacea in less than a week to combat TIFF-borne illnesses.
1. We were hired to work the red carpet and guest list for a few pretty high-profile events. There was one person who kept trying to crash the parties. I’m not sure that she realized that we were the same people running each event, as she kept coming up with different reasons as to why she should be let in. First, she was a media member. Then, her French boyfriend was on the list. Next, her Canadian filmmaker boyfriend emailed to get her on a list. Finally, she became the VP of a music company. It was pretty entertaining to see the creative ways she kept trying to get in. A for effort. Plus, it made us laugh when we were tired and stressed. 

2. Turning down a $200-bribe to let some guys into the private Festival Music House event. My pride & ethics say “way to go” (as does my boss), but my bank account says I’m an idiot. 


Walking Juliette Lewis down the red carpet at the Alliance Films fiesta.

My favourite moment was going to Zach Galifianakis’ It’s Kind Of A Funny Story after party with the girls from rock-it.

Listening to Coeur de Pirate at Festival Music House – the coolest TIFF event ever!  


Checking out The Raccoons at Festival Music House.

I also enjoyed getting my mini mani from Joe Fresh Beauty at Tastemakers Lounge.

Getting psyched to see City and Colour at Festival Music House, but then getting a call from babysitter that my daughter woke up barfing. Needless to say, my evening ended on my knees with a sponge, instead swaying in sweaty mob of people.  
1. Seeing the gorgeous Ryan Kwanten (from my favourite show True Blood) and the swaggalicious Terrence Howard at our Tastemakers Lounge at the Intercontinental Hotel Yorkville.
2. Getting to spend quality time with my client, the lovely actress Emily Hampshire. She lives in L.A. so I rarely get to actually hang out with her – and she is one cool and entertaining lady.

Meet Our Team: Michelle

Michelle Easton, a stellar publicist, loves fashion, music and Queen West-West. She adds spunk and sass to the fourth floor. She may or may not have a tattoo in an interesting place….

Michelle’s current client roster includes Shopgirls Gallery Boutique, Emily Hampshire, Passport to Prana, You Name It Baby! and Tastemakers Lounge, among others.

How long have you been part of the team?
One glorious year!

Ideal vacation spot?

A deserted beach in Costa Rica.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Wine. Oh, and of course, the amazing show True Blood (I’m addicted.)

Favourite movie of all time?

Romeo + Juliet (Baz Luherman)

How do you like to relax?

I like to sit in a park reading a fashion magazine while listening to music on a sunny day. It’s so calming and lovely.

Best part about being a publicist?

I love that I get to meet and chat with so many interesting and wonderful people.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website Beautiful Things to Share
Designer – Stella McCartney.
Store – Chatelet
Book If You Have To Cry Go Outside by Kelly Cutrone.
Snack – Heavenly hash ice cream.
Season – Summer: I love sunshine and wearing sun dresses.
Sexy – Confidence.
Inspiration – My mother.
Drink – Vitamin Water.
Motto in two words – Love always.

Meet Our Client: Emily Hampshire

Emily Hampshire is a Gemini Award-winning actor (Made in Canada) and a long time rock-it promotions client with personality to spare.

Hampshire’s work has also been recognized by the Canadian Academy of Film and Television with three Genie Nominations (Best Supporting Actress at the 27th Awards for the movie Snow Cake; Best Leading Actress at the 25th Awards for the movie Blood; and Best Supporting Actress at the 24th Awards for the movie A Problem with Fear). She is most widely known to international audiences for her critically acclaimed role in Snow Cake, opposite Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver.

Hampshire plays a lead role alongside Scott Speedman, Jay Baruchel and Xavier Dolan in Jacob Tierney’s Good Neighbours. The comic noir thriller will have its world premiere as a Special Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Set in 1995 during the second Quebec referendum in an apartment building in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood, the film follows three tenants while a serial killer is on the loose.
Hampshire now lives in Los Angeles, but relishes every opportunity she gets to come back to Canada for work and pleasure.

What do you do?

The short answer: I’m an actor.

How long have you worked with rock-it promotions?
Going all the way back to my first date with Debra, five years.

What do you love most about your job?
This is super weird, but I feel like I only JUST discovered the answer to this last week! I’ve been doing this for over 15 years now, without a real understanding of WHY, beyond it being the only thing I know how to do. Then, last week I was reading this article about…er…well, I was Googling symptoms, which lead me to believe I might have an addiction (not to anything illegal!), but it turned out to be the wrong diagnosis anyway, so whatever.

The point is: I was reading this article about these addicts (once again: NOT my problem) and this doctor argued that this so-called “addiction” was a myth. That these people just couldn’t come to terms with the fact that they only have one relatively brief life. They want several lives, so they can have everything. I was like a) “Phew, the addiction I thought I had doesn’t exist” and more importantly, b) “THIS is why I’m an actor!” What I’m addicted to about acting is that I get to have multiple lives. I’m one of those greedy people that wants more than this one life I was dealt, and I actually found this loophole in the universe where I actually CAN have EVERYTHING!

What do you like least about your profession?

They don’t pay me to audition. That’s the part of my job that’s actually WORK. I’d waaaay rather get paid for all the work involved in auditioning and do the actual “job” for free. (Ooof, then I’d be SUPER RICH TOO!) 😉

What’s your next big goal?
To get a movie that shoots over pilot season. No, wait. It’s to go backwards. I mean, I think there’s a case to be made that my backwards world is a better idea than the actual world. Imagine if auditioning was interviewing the director for the job instead – or if DREAMS were reality and Inception was a documentary! I know, I know, that’s a paradigm shift I’ve been trying to get behind but it’s hard. Anyway, my next big goal is to live in backwards world… then it would make sense why I think people with plastic surgery look older!

Why is PR important to you (and what you do professionally)?
Honestly, I didn’t realize just how important it actually is for me. I used to think that only famous actors needed publicists to like, WARD OFF the press and do damage control. I actually thought the world of magazine articles and TV interviews just happened to those actors that I kept hearing about, and a publicist was the “media bodyguard”. Basically, I was wearing my backwards-world glasses. What I’ve come to learn first-hand is that I wasn’t hearing about those actors because they were working, but they were working because I (and the people who do the hiring) was hearing about them. PR to me means that as my public profile grows, my auditions have begun being replaced with offers.

Photo: Attila Dory

Any other thoughts you’d like to add?
I would sooner be a prostitute than be without these pimps. I know what it’s like to walk down the red carpet, only to later find out that the film publicist is pissed at me for not stopping to do interviews and pictures. rock-it makes sure that doesn’t happen.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: TED.com
Designer: Since deciding between Comrags and Pink Tartan is like a Sophie’s Choice for me, I’m going to say Andy The-Ahn.
Book: I can’t believe one of your team stole my book selection! She’s Come Undone has always been MY favourite book, but now I’m going to say Madame Bovary. Hmph. Try and top that, next-rock-it-staff-member-to-be-profiled!
Snack: PACKS! I love any snacks that come in packs. Like those ones they have on planes now.
Season: Festival season.
Sexy: Someone finding you sexy (and by “you” I, of course, mean me).
Inspiration: Other people’s lives.
Drink: Coke Zero.
Motto in two words: Disintimacy. That’s two words in one because a) I’m competitive, and b) distance and intimacy are not mutually exclusive for me as a motto.
Idea of perfect happiness: My backwards world.
Indulgence: is a problem for me. I think I’ve built up a tolerance from over-indulging myself in everything, so nothing is an indulgence anymore.
Greatest achievement: The last Facebook comment I wrote. Seriously, it was pretty much my most inspired work to date. I got lots of “like’s”.