By Susan O'Neill Posted September 11, 2009, 4:10 PM EDT
Channeling Adam and Eve, eight models wearing nothing but fig leaves and silver and gold body paint handed out red apples and wine to guests at the entrance to the Liberty Grand last night for the Toronto International Film Festival's (TIFF) opening night gala. The party drew a crowd of more than 3,000 attendees and paid tribute to Jon Amiel's film Creation, which tells the life story of British scientist Charles Darwin.
Event producer Barbara Hershenhorn of Party Barbara Co. played up the film's theme with decor. “We're sort of doing a bit of a twist on the theme of evolution, not the theory,” Hershenhorn said.
Water was the inspiration in the Artifacts Room, where blue lighting, jellyfish decorations, and vases filled with sand, shells, and sponges set the mood. The Governor's Room had an earthier feel with sheer, leafy linens from Around the Table and acid green floral arrangements from Emblem. Servers offered sweet-and-sour pork lollipops on sticky rice cakes with baby bok choy, and Mediterranean beef with cucumber, watermelon, and mint salad at food stations throughout the room. Small passed plates, an addition to this year's party, included Skyy Vodka-cured smoked salmon served with caviar and wok-fried Asian greens.
Festival organizers also added a step-and-repeat at the entrance—along with a carpet in TIFF’s signature orange—on account of the celebrity guests in attendance. “We've changed it up a bit and invited people from all walks of life—Canadian television, football and hockey players,” Hershenhorn said.
Other opening night events included a pre-film cocktail reception at the newly renovated Rosewater Supper Club, also planned by Party Barbara Co., and a party for Sook-Yin Lee's film Year of the Carnivore at Rolly's Garage. INK Entertainment, which is hosting several TIFF-related events throughout the week, held a grand opening party at Ame restaurant on Mercer Street; and Uniq Lifestyle presented official Cannes Film Festival DJ Michael Canitrot at Cheval.