IN HONOUR OF DIARY OF A SOCIAL GAL’S MILESTONE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY, MARKED BY OUR SPECIAL OH CANADA! THEMED EDITION, IT JUST MADE SENSE (GOOD CANADIAN SENSE) TO SIT DOWN WITH THE COUNTRY’S MOST POPULAR SOCIAL QUEENS, MELISSA GRELO, CYNTHIA LOYST, ELAINE “LAINEY” LUI AND MARCI IEN, STAR HOSTS OF CTV’S HIT DAYTIME TALK SERIES, THE SOCIAL, TO GET THEIR TAKE ON DIARY’S REFRAINS: LIVE, LOOK, MAKE, ESCAPE AND INSPIRE THE PARTY. I MEAN REALLY, WHO BETTER? HERE’S WHAT THE SAVVY SOCIAL SQUAD HAD TO SAY, UNFILTERED AND CHARACTERISTICALLY, FAB-U-LOUS:
LIVE THE PARTY
As well-connected Social Gals, you‘re invited to some of the swishest soirées, best bashes and exclusive-EST events. Which standouts have given your stilettos a run for their $?
MG: Hello Canada always throws a great party during Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), a perfect time to catch up with industry friends and enjoy great music, drinks and food.
CL: This year, it had to be Melissa’s 40th. We surprised her with a swish room at the Four Seasons, ate a lavish dinner, and then she made us dance at the bar to a J-Lo song (yikes) before staying up ‘til the wee hours playing Trivial Pursuit. Good times!
LL: TIFF — It’s a 10-day party guaranteed, every September.
Can you tease out a most memorable from the many?
MG: A 2009 Much Music Video Awards after-party where I found myself partying with Lady Gaga, Perez Hilton, and the cast of The Hills until the wee hours, and then, on no sleep, went straight to work on-air the next morning!
LL: My 2013 New Year’s Eve pyjama party.
There’s always a fave party tale. Care to share?
MG: During a TIFF party a few years ago, Cynthia and I spotted actress Jessica Chastain. Against Cynthia’s wishes, I introduced myself and told her we hosted a Canadian talk show called The Social. To our surprise, she said she’d watched it and loved it! She repeated the story at this year’s festival on camera to our own Lainey Lui.
LL: I didn’t want to go to a pretty exclusive party thrown by Canada Goose this past TIFF, but reluctantly agreed after my friend talked me into it. We walked in … and there’s Kendrick Lamar, on stage, the surprise guest!
MI: At my 40th (eight years ago) my sister and nieces did their rendition of Best of My Love by The Emotions (dance steps and all). They brought the house down!
LOOK THE PARTY
Good Social Gals know how to make an entrance. What was your most epic?
MG: Wearing matching custom Bore and Drape The Social jackets with my co-hosts to the Canadian Screen Awards.
CL: We felt like the pink ladies, but more badass.
MI: We looked fierce! It was a statement about our close-knit team, on and off-screen.
Talk about twinning style (hee). Any other party staples?
MG: A jumpsuit! I love its comfort, style and ease.
CL: I love a good jumpsuit too.
LL: Jeans and sneakers.
MI: I love a high-heeled bootie paired with interesting pants/leggings or a shorter skirt. Black is the go-to colour, red on the lips.
How about a fave fashion story?
MG: Wearing a full-length designer dress to a party when I was seven or eight months pregnant with no undergarments, only to realize, after being photographed, that my dress was semi-see through with a flash!
CL: One year at the CTV UpFront, I unexpectedly got my monthly visitor. On my dress. Melissa was feeling sick so she gave me her dress to wear for the rest of the night. That’s what friends are for.
LL: I broke my arm in Cannes during the festival and had to wear a standard issue velcro sling. Cate Blanchett told me to invest in a Hermès scarf and wrap it around my wound. I passed on the Hermès but ended up buying a wide variety of scarves and wrapped them around my elbow all summer. It was my summer fashion statement.
Well, you’ve clearly got fashion covered, or, uh, uncovered, in Melissa’s case! 😉 Moving along to must-share beauty secrets …
MG: Blot, blot, blot with all that you’ve got AND try to wear a nude lip colour that won’t need constant maintenance throughout the night.
CL: I hate managing lip colour at parties. Mine is always fading or caking or generally coming off. So I always carry Dior Addict Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm. It’s magical.
LL: All you need is a great hairstyle and bold lip. Nobody will look at anything else.
Any pre/post party tips?
MG: I really enjoy a good workout before getting ready to go out. It gives me a great energy boost and a glow that lasts all night.
CL: Lots of water post-greasy breakfast.
LL: A disco nap before the party. And don’t forget your sunglasses the next morning.
MI: Never go to bed without removing makeup!
MAKE THE PARTY
While Social Gals attend parties well, they also know a thing — or ten — about hosting them. What are your hostess with the most- ess strategies?
MG: Choose or make a great playlist, or several, ahead of time that will provide the perfect atmosphere for guests.
CL: You only need two things for a great party: booze and good music.LL: Always have enough ice!
MI: Outsource. There is no shame in enlisting help if you need it. I know my limitations! Fresh flowers are always a lovely addition.
Funny, you ladies didn’t mention food! That said, good socializing usually goes hand in hand with good gastronomy. Preferred foods and dine destinations please:
MG: Italian! I almost always order a caprese salad anywhere I go and I’m a sucker for grilled seafood. Fave resto: Chiado, classic Portuguese fine dining.
CL: At a party I’m always looking for the sliders and the oysters! For restos, I’m a big fan of Leslie Jones in Toronto.
LL: Dimsum, BBQ pork fried rice, ramen. Fave resto is Pinky’s Ca Phe.
And now, let’s talk ‘tails … your favourites, fave spots to enjoy them, and best ‘tail tales:
MG: Champagne! Soho House and Shangri-La Lobby Lounge. Epic drink tale: I’m known for my famous Cava sangria. When I host friends in the summertime, this is my go-to party drink. After a memorable visit to Barcelona, I discovered that Cava, not red wine, is the more popular ingredient in sangria. Mind blown! I’ve never gone back. I can’t replenish it quickly enough at a party.
CL: I once had a cucumber martini with Traci Melchor at a bar in Disneyland, in California, that no one has been able to replicate since. Fave drink spot: I love a good hotel bar, but Her Majesty’s Pleasure in Toronto is my current fave because who doesn’t love getting their nails done while sipping a cocktail?
LL: Old Fashioned. My kitchen. Fave drink tale: I celebrated my birthday this year at the Mongolian Grill Chinese Buffet. They stopped serving us after two drinks a person because apparently no one goes to a buffet to drink?
MI: Moscow mule (I love ginger beer!). E11even Restaurant in Toronto is my fave place to get one. I’m often there before Toronto Raptors’ games.
ESCAPE THE PARTY
As exhilarating as being social can be, rebooting and recharging is key. Where do you lovelies head for solid RnR?
MG: Anywhere with sun, sea and sand. Hawaii is a fave.
CL: Caribbean cruise.
LL: To no, B.C.
MI: The West Indies. My background is Trinidadian, so the Caribbean is constantly calling my name. There’s a spa in Tucson (Miraval) that I love as well. For years I’ve gone there to relax and rejuvenate. In Ontario, I love Niagara-on-the- Lake, Port Hope and Alton. In Nova Scotia, Halifax, Wolfville and Lunenburg. In Quebec, Quebec City and Old Montreal.
INSPIRE THE PARTY
Of course, giving back and making a difference in the lives of others is essential. What projects/causes inspire you?
MG: I’m passionate about helping girls and young women succeed in their education and careers. I’m an ambassador for GEM — Girls E-Mentorship — that mentors bright young women facing barriers or challenges in their final year of high school. I also volunteer as an ambassador at Prince’s Charities Canada, Prince Charles’ Canadian arm of his Prince’s Trust International charity. PCC supports many causes such as protecting Indigenous youth and their languages, helping veterans start businesses, and helping sheep farmers create new revenue streams by producing more wool here in Canada.
CL: I’m just about to host Polished, an event in support of Dress for Success — a charity that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
LL: Covenant House, Special Olympics.
MI: In short — it’s all about the kids. Through the years, I’ve partnered with Children First Canada, World Vision, Children’s Miracle Network, Trust 15 and co-created a scholarship (the Marci Ien and Dwight Drummond award at Ryerson’s School of Radio and Television Arts/FCAD) for disadvantaged students at my alma mater, Ryerson University. Mentorship is something I didn’t have a lot of in my business life so whenever I can, I make myself available to those who can use my help.
Thank you for sharing, Social Sisters! We love this peek into your wonderfully social worlds.
For more on the sublime stars of The Social, sizzle to thesocial.ca.