Inside the Shangri-La’s gorgeous new lounge

Inside the Shangri-La’s gorgeous new lounge

Months ago, real estate magnate Ian Gillespie vowed to turn the Shangri-La’s lobby into “Toronto’s urban living room.” On Wednesday night, at the launch party, the city found out what that meant: live music every night of the week, a dedicated space for the hotel’s collection of ceramics, and a fireplace surrounded by lustrous black marble.

Another addition: a permanent collection of wearable art, featuring dresses by Yves Saint Laurent, Bob Mackie and Roberto Capucci. We asked U.K. vintage king William Banks-Blaney—whose team supplied and installed the dresses in glass showcases—to tell us about the lounge’s facelift and the iconic garments.

The Party


The Shangri-La spent four days redoing the 90-seat lobby.



Banks-Blaney, in white, co-hosted the event.



Kimberley Newport-Mimran was the other co-host. Here she is with her husband, Joe “Fresh” Mimran.



Newport-Mimran was also marking the release of Pink Tartan’s new SS17 line; these five items were on display with accompanying slippers.



On the seafood-heavy menu: oysters, fresh lobster rolls, scallop sashimi and smoked salmon parfait on pumpernickel crostini.


The Dresses


Bob Mackie

Sharon Stone wore this tulle-and-sequins confection in Martin Scorsese’s Casino. Scorsese told Mackie to make Stone look like she was “dipped in gold” while entering the scene, so Mackie stuck 2,000 Swarovski crystals on it. It’s from the designer’s personal archive and was restored to museum standard from head to hem. It evokes the 1960s crystal dresses worn by Marlene Dietrich and Marilyn Monroe, both of which were made by Jean Louis while Mackie was an in-house designer there.



Roberto Capucci

This explosion of ruffles—meant as an homage to the destructive beauty of fire—weighs about 20 pounds. The pink and red press-pleated silk taffeta and supporting layers of crinoline are designed to look like flames in the sunlight.



Yves Saint Laurent

New York socialite Nan Kempner and former French first lady Carla Bruni immortalized this fine silk and velvet cape. The signature Saint Laurent–marigold garment was inspired by Paris haute couture in the ’50s, and it’s meant to drag as its wearer walks. “There are only three known versions of this dress,” says Banks-Blaney. “One is at the Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, another is at the Met. This is the only one you can admire while having a cheeseburger and a martini.”