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Stars shone at party after Genies Print-ready version

by Noah James
Toronto Globe and Mail
March 14, 1981
Original article: PDF

The gala following the Genie Awards Thursday night was a lively one. Held at Ed's Warehouse restaurant, it filled three-stories and drew more than 1,000 people.

Guests munched on shrimp, pate, roast beef and calorie-laden desserts. The party began at 11 p.m. and by midnight, part-goers were squeezing up and down the staircases in costumes ranging from matronly chiffons to mintage velvets and contemporary silks. Black was the most dominant color and there was a large turnout of sparkle-strewn fabrics.

Genie Award winner Micheline Lanctot came into the crush in a black velvet gown topped by a capelet of black cock feathers. "I love the capelet," she said, "but when I think of all the roosters who lost their tails for it, I feel guilty,"

Actress Toby Tarnow loped in wearing an extravagantly-draped, burgundy silk jersey dress by Norma Kamali. "I think Kamali's clothes are like art," she said. "This dress is a moving sculpture."

A stand-out for festive dress (as requested on the invitation) was jetsetter Catherine Leggett wearing a black velvet, Moroccan wedding kaftan embellished with real gold embroidery. "I bought it at a souk in Fes," she explained, "and spent three days haggling for it."

Princess Daphne De Rethy of Belgium appeared elegant and self-possessed in a gold lame, Yves Saint Laurent ensemble. Pamela Friendly, who manages actor Robert Joy, looked slinky and glamorous in a black vintage Art Deco beaded dress. Actress-singer Gail Garnett wore an eggshell voile Victorian dress from her collection of antique clothes.

Several style-setters opted for Canadion designer fashions. Heather Colquhoun, an aspiring actress, arrived wearing a sumptuous black taffeta ballgown by Winston. CITY-TV's Jeanne Beker projected a refined razzle-dazzle in a rhinestone-dotted, white organdy gown by Wayne Clark. Writer and broadcaster K.D. Alspector was decked out in a red and black, pleated extravaganza by Claire Haddad. Her eye-catching jewelry, designed by Beni Sung, included a rope of multi-colored freshwater pearls and bonbon-sized gold earrings sporting rare, carved coral blossoms, "I was outraged to see Joni Mitchell wearing a Tiffany necklace at the Juno Awards," said Miss Alspector. "There are so many talented designers here that I was determined to go all-Canadian."

For many of the men, the gala afforded an opportunity to dress black-tie. As filmmaker David Cronenberg put it: "I've always wanted to rent a tuxedo from Syd Silver and this party was a great excuse." Singer Sneezy Waters, however, chose to wear a beaded moose-skin jacket over his charcoal suit. Murray Copper, hairdresser extraordinaire, was outrageous as usual, dressed in black silk pajamas and a lilac sequined jacket topped by his ever-present full-length Timberwolf coat.

Observing the action, film director Bob Schulz said, "I've never seen so many young, slim, beautiful women. Where have they been and what brought them out?"

Singer Burton Cummings, wearing a tuxedo and sunglasses, had the last word at the party. "They just closed the bar," he said, "it's time to move on." Cummings and a select set of party-goers wound up at a group of private parties at Sutton Place.

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