By Kate Davidson

TIFF 2017 Toronto rolled out the red carpet last month for some of the biggest names in Hollywood with international interviews, film premieres and, of course, parties.

International Film Festival gifting lounges pack their own punch, offering some of the most extravagant giveaways and luxurious pampering and trending beauty products. We were invited to check out some of the most popular lounges. I’ve rounded up some of the popular lounges I visited to give you the behind the scene scoop on this year’s swag.

Stylist Box is more than a gifting suite—it is a one stop shop for talent to get pampered.

The Stylist Box featured several of Canada’s hottest designers. From couture gowns, shift dresses, embroidered skirts, bold jewellery and handbags, it was a media and celebrity open house. Seeing what’s chic for 2017, I was definitely impressed. I loved the angular and clean lines of @huntingtonlon’s dresses. The feminine, floral, and embroidered two piece sets of @manikjassal were so textural and elegant. I had the pleasure to talk with Gown designer @ryanalexxander and hear how one well known Canadian actress already selected several of his pieces to wear to TIFF this year—he must be thrilled.

Certainly apparent was the statement jewellery trend; chunky silvers and bold colours were widely showcased. Clearly not a fall trend was missed at this lounge.

Tastemakers Lounge

The Tastemakers Lounge is one of the top TIFF destinations and again, this year, they’ve got a fabulous lineup of unique products and services. Rock-it Promotions paved the way 13 years ago in terms of gifting suites in Canada.

Tastemakers Suite on the SIXth

Canada’s original and most coveted gifting lounge welcomed media and talent to enjoy a selection of luxury, all-Canadian brands.

Rising Stars this year could receive fresh ink from one of Toronto’s hottest tattoo artists Michael Pecherle from Ink & Water Tattoo. Canadian talent signed the SickKids Foundation autograph board, while enjoying fresh nutritional smoothies from InBalance Smoothie Cubes.

Bask-It-Style Lounge

In its ninth year at the festival, their gift bag is put together by Glo Communications and held at the Thompson Hotel. This year offered a selection of hot and cold tea from DAVIDsTEA—I opted for the cold glitter and gold black tea to keep glamorous in TIFF style. The room was filled with talented Canadian authors, jewellery designer Studio1098 and Canadian fashion designer Annie Thompson which I took a liking to one of her pieces; a coat which would look as equally fabulous with jeans and a t-shirt as it did with the dress I was wearing.

HP was there with the launch of their adorable and practical “sprocket” pocket printer. This mini palm sized printer connects to your smart phone and prints out your photo using heat transfer paper with no need to change an ink cartridge. I can think of 100 ways to use these, especially for presentations and meetings with my design clients! Also the launch of Rakuten Kobo was there with a super cool 3D experience. Priced at $159.99 CAD, the Sprocket is available at

The other guests and I were thrilled to go home with a gift bag full of goodies from DAVIDsTEA, we were especially excited to get the 5 Faves Sachet Travel Pouch (retail value $12),and the Tea Press a travel mug designed with loose leaf tea in mind to steep on-the-go (retail value $35). A quality hardcover book—Birds of Canada— and a fabulous line of shampoo and hair products from Pureology which I was excited to learn about as they are a salon quality hair line that create silicone-free products that are also sustainable.

IT Lounge

This chic lounge was for ultimate pampering, from delicious food and wine from Turtle Jacks, makeup by @Annabellecosmetics, and the latest in glamorous jewellery from @Swarovski.

Annabelle cosmetics had an amazing set up showcasing some of their new products and offering make up application to make us red carpet ready. They were so generous offering the latest in eye shadows, liner and brow products—I especially loved the latest trending highlighter stick for adding a natural glow.

I always am looking for multipurpose bags, of which @Luglife definitely did not disappoint. They offer a fantastic line of bags that are great for everyday and for traveling. The design and colours of their 3-in-1 backpack is super smart—I love the brilliant idea of the wire frame they have in their bag openings to keep them open when needed. To top it all off, @Swarovski was there showcasing their new line of statement jewellery. These new fall pieces are gorgeous with bold statement colours and bling—they are sure to turn heads this fall.

Now that TIFF 2017 is a wrap, I can say it was a success. Thank you VIVA Magazine for getting me in behind the scenes to these fabulous lounges to see what’s hot for the coming year.


Kate Davidson is a Designer for Principal of Kate + Co. Design Inc. For more than a decade this design firm has focused on being a multi disciplinary interior design firm providing complete residential & commercial design services throughout Toronto and North America. Known and respected for envisioning and creating stylish adaptable livable spaces. Instagram: @kateandcodesigninc