By Susan O'Neill Posted September 10, 2008, 5:20 PM EDT
TORONTO In Style magazine and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association welcomed more than 400 guests to their annual TIFF party at the Windsor Arms Hotel Tuesday. The magazine has hosted a cocktail party during the festival since 2000, and Kelly Austing, In Style's manager of creative development, said the idea is not to switch things up too much.
“We do our party every year on the same night. It's always on the Tuesday,” said Austing, who's based in L.A. “It's always great to see who's in town to come to our party.” The magazine also always hosts the event at the hotel. “The Windsor Arms just is a great representation of Toronto. It's a great representation of In Style, and it works perfectly for the Hollywood Foreign Press. It's an intimate, warm venue with great food and great ambience.”
Although Austing said In Style tries to create a different atmosphere each year—this year's theme was crystals and a bold colour—the magazine has always entrusted the event planning to Spinning Top, the decor to Forget Me Not Flowers, and the music to L.A.-based DJ Pesce. “We've found a great team, and people are comfortable and truly enjoy this party,” she said. “There are certain elements we change year to year, but there are certain elements we keep the same. We prefer always to work with a local team because they know and understand the dynamics of the city.”
Toronto is the only film festival where In Style holds a major party. What keeps the magazine coming back? “It's the quality of the films, the integrity of the festival, and the ambience of the city,” Austing said, noting that guests include directors, screenwriters, and talent in town for TIFF. “It is one of the largest parties every year. It's a staple party.”