"So tell me about Patti Smith," I asked my date to last night's party for Dream of Life, Steven Sebring's film about the singer.
I was fully aware that such a question was blasphemous coming from someone representing the music knowledgeable NOW Magazine. Even from a style point of view, I should have known more about Ms. Smith, whose look has been emulated by designers, singers and half the hipsters bar hoping up Ossington.
Instead of suggesting that me and my Perez Hilton-esque taste in tunes and pop tarts might be better off schmoozing Theo Tams at CTV's Canadian Idol finale bash, the date went on to quote the same Wikipedia entry I had read before attending the party and I felt a little less shameful about my own ignorance.
After cocktails in the Gardiner Museum's lobby, guests from both style (Robin Kay, Kimberly Newport Mimran) and music (Emily Haines) at the Joe Fresh hosted bash headed upstairs to the Jamie Kennedy restaurant for a live performance by Smith. No, she wasn't sporting a cropped pea coat or pair of trouser denim from Joe's fall collection. Instead, she opted for her iconic black blazer over white oxford look accessorized with a red dry-cleaning tag still stapled into the shirt's bottom buttonhole.
"Lost my passport."
"Had to catch a flight to Buffalo."
"Had to prove to Jet Blue that I was an American citizen," sang Smith to gather the crowd around her microphone, sharing that she'd just come from Moscow and it was 5 am there now.
"By this time I think you're done taking pictures because by this time Robert Mapplethorpe had the cover of Horses," she quipped after one buzzing Maclean's shutterbug spent Smith's first song circling her with his camera. She sang Hank Williams' I'm So Lonesone I Could Cry and went a cappella on Because The Night before the crowd, stilettos stomping, glasses of Piper champagne waving in the air, sang along to her Gloria finale.
There were other TIFF parties last night but who needs to hop when you've got Patti Smith?