Archive for May, 2010|Monthly archive page

Style Icon: M.I.A

In Fashion on May 30, 2010 at 9:53 pm

M.I.A’s a revolutionist. And not in the conventional sense. With her infectious tunes (Paper Planes being her most memorable) political innuendos, dashing good looks, and exuberant style sense, she’s been titled the official queen of hipster-dom. But gimmicks aside, she’s added some much-needed colour to music’s current bland (and deteriorating) state.

Not one to shy away from controversy, she recently sparked some online feud with ex-New York Times editor Lynn Hirschberg for she claims to be a fabrication of facts for a recently printed profile. Truth said, I don’t blame M.I.A. It’s not her fault she’s beautiful, and in tune with fashion and art. She uses these tools as vital weapons to get her point across. And even if her songs only graze the surface of the Tamil Tiger feud in Sri Lanka, if it gets people listening, is it really that bad? (As it stands, despite M.I.A infamous Grammy appearance with the fearsome four T.I., Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West, according to M.I.A, nothing changed.)

Since seeking refuge in America (she was put on a black list and not permitted entry by the time Kala was released), she’s adding mother and de facto wife to Benjamin Bronfman to her resume, and is set to release her third studio album Maya.

In the case of M.I.A, it’s more than the visual aesthetic, she’s a true testement of someone walking the walk. She – along with Wyclef Jean – can speak of pain, because they come from it.

 Oh, and by the way, pictured here and looking gorgeous as ever, is M.I.A dawning Alexander Wang for GAP at the 2010 MET Gala. Take That.

Musing: Leather Ankle Booties

In Boots, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look on May 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Shoes. What fashion obsessed person doesn’t love ’em. Your alter-ego – dressed in a willowy white lace gown – lays kissing the sun beside a Pierre Hardy hill that, suddenly, erupts with an explosion of shoes that whack you splat in the face (ouch!). As this fantasy produces the most intense orgasmic experience you’ve ever had in your life, it’s a dream few can  relate to.

People who consider an obsession with fashion to be superficial – quite frankly, lack common sense. Just like a caveman needed fur to survive brutal storms, you, the fashionista, needs your shoes. And if you can beautify your feet with intricately detailed footwear, you must – by all means – indulge.

I’ve rambled on about my obsession with all things goth. And I don’t mind owning various kinds of the same item, it’s a necessity. And it’s amazing how inventive and creative the black leather ankle boot can be.

The black leather ankle boot is the most versatile on the shoe lot. It’s sporty with a hypersexual undertone (think S&M). Maybe I am – a hypersexual being. I mean, if you have a fetishism for shoes, or have an admiration for gothic culture, wouldn’t it make sense? Regardless, it’s the ultimate power play not many men have the skill to handle.

Burberry leather ankle boot

Lanvin leather ankle boots

Rick Owens leather sex boot

Sam Edelman ankle boot

Musing: The Hawk

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Trend, Trend Report on May 24, 2010 at 11:55 pm

The runway is easy work; designers and their stylists infiltrate the trends editors and bloggers ogle over. While it’s surely a great help, it’s amazing how your imagination can create something out of the most unconventional sources. That’s what makes the most prolific fashion designers so brilliant.

In this case, the bird of prey – more specifically – the hawk , has been a reoccurring theme for me.  Even though they’re seen as ruthless vultures , in myth, they represent awareness, truth and foresight (which I’m sure has much to do with their 20/20 vision). According to Bookrags, the Hawk symbolizes “divine majesty, the superiority of the intellect over the physical and of the spiritual over the material.”

Now, this doesn’t particularly mean it’s time to go shopping for feathers and furs. When I think of the Hawk, I see hooded cloaks, a military green colour palette, and architectural silhouettes. It’s interestingly dark. It’s a bit… anarchic. When I thought of the Hawk, my mind immediately went to the 1985 fantasy flick Ladyhawke and 2009 Canadian drama film The Wild Hunt.

Here, I fell for this Bonarag cape, Khaki Chloé dress, and Giuseppe Zanotti for Balmain booties. I didn’t have in a safari look in mind (though that can lean rather close), I didn’t want anything barbaric either. But I wanted a look that represents the freedom of the wilderness. With a fashion twist, of course.   

Fashion Editors suck

In Fashion, Op Ed., Out vs. IN on May 22, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Just kidding. You liked that didn’t you… (wink).

I’ve noticed that fashion magazines – particularly Canadian ones – have a knack for enticing readers into the glamorous world of an Editor’s closet with the phrase “Shop Like a Fashion Editor”. Oh you know, they strut into their quarters head-to-toe in RTW, and scour the country for first-rate finds you don’t have access to because , unfortunately, you are not one of them. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – it’s just cliché, and not true. Fashion Editors, and I say this from experience, are probably the most understated people. Sure, there’s some over-the-top ones, but for the most part,  low-key is what makes the good ones so talented. Besides, this isn’t the 1950s,you’re not deprived; you have access to big cities (if you don’t already live in one), television, public and private transport – the world is virtually yours.

Lets not say fashion editors in general, there’s a difference, but good Market Editors are on point with  trends. And that’s because after dozens of store openings and countless appointments, what makes the pages are considered (in their opinion) the choice of the month. They don’t have access to anything over you – it’s their job. Simple. I read a lot of magazines, and I conclude that the more down-to-earth Editors (shout out to British Vogue) who bring a more “everyday” perspective to fashion , are the most interesting. You don’t need to “shop like a Fashion Editor” because you’re already fabulous. They’re just telling you “here’s what you may have missed,” or “you really need to know about this  because, it’s hot.”

 That’s why there should be a ban on that phrase. Why not something like “Edit”, that’s so much more modern. Living in such a fast-moving world means you, the reader, can easily one-up any fashion editor, but because you’re busy with your own sex in the city life, they’re there to add to your already fantastically wonderful wardrobe.

And yeah I have an issue with Sex and the City too but that’s for another discussion.

I Heart Ann Demeulemeester

In Fashion on May 21, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Famous for her association with the Antwerp six, fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester brings an intense yet sporty aesthetic to neo-Gothic fashion. It’s no wonder her popularity is on the rise as of late; Demeulemeester is the perfect alternative rebellion to Hervé Léger’s bondage dress because it’s the real thing. You don’t just wear Demeulemeester because you want to be sexy, you wear her because you are sexy.

I Heart Rick Owens

In designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, I heart on May 21, 2010 at 10:17 pm

The American-born clothing connoisseur Rick Owens is one of the few designers to thrust goth-inspired fashion into the limelight. Using minimalist silhouettes and sharp cuts as his trademark, Owens got his start in 2002 when he debuted his ready-to-wear collections before the top editors in the busy. He’s been in the  business since `94, but what made him a star was the fact that his collection was reminiscent of Marc Jacob’s `95 grunge break-through. Careless and defiant against the  ultra-feminine and flashy trend  at the time. He’s cultivated his love for the dark side since his days as an Art student in California. But when he moved to Paris with Michele Lamy in tow, he was able to delve deeper into the realms of sexuality and S&M creating a classic, avant-garde collection.

Women turn to him for that no-nonsense, attitude fuelled concept whether heading to the boardroom or the disco. Owens’ designs are authoritative, dark and empowered, so if you’re a fan of Erdem’s luminous floral dresses, he  may not be for you.

Trend Report: Green Shoes

In Fashion on May 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Shoeaholics beware: shoes are the new sex – well, they’ve  probably always  been. Thanks to the infamous Jimmy Choo trotting Carrie Bradshaw, the cruelest thing you could ever do is pry any woman from her beloved clobs. She’ll never go wrong with classic red and black, but with trends  flaunting studs, glitter and a rainbow of exotic in her face, it’s deadly. And everyone – I mean everyone – from the oldies (Manolo Blahnik) to the newbies (Brian Atwood) are demonstrating their undying love for a woman’s pretty feet.

We’ve just come out a slump economically, so lets celebrate by going green. It’s eco-friendly (figuratively speaking), symbolizes money (but think internal wealth, not material) and represents balance and growth. It’ll also persuade you to spice up your wardrobe as it means the ability to accept change.

Alexander McQueen Fatigue Peep-Toe Bootie, $1,295.00 available at Bergdorf Goodman. By the late-great Lee McQueen and last spotted on Beyoncé.

Chrissie Morris Tribal Print Thong Sandals, 1310.16 available at Luisaviaroma. tribal print’s been having a moment as clearly demonstrated in the haute heels.

Haider Ackermann Forest High Sandal $771, available at Mrs. H.

Luichiny Quite Rite Heel 109.99 available at Heels.

Maison Martin Margiela Faux Wedge Heel, $995 available at Joan Shepp.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania: Melissa $153, available at I Don’t Like Mondays.

Get the Look: Elly Jackson

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, London, style, UK on May 3, 2010 at 6:26 pm

Elly Jackson (La Roux)’s style is certainly having an impact on the world. Who would’ve thought that this tender 21-year-old ginger, who once sported a folkly look with waist-length hair would become this super-pop, super-hot icon we’re seeing today.

Jackson’s got the right amount of  goth, nu-rave and rock’n’rolla to make the sexes swoon and still avoid looking like a jumble of crap! Says a lot. Congrats to her styling team for brilliantly putting her together. Sure enough, Jackson’s got a grasp on her fashion (London’s a melting pot, it’ll have an effect on anyone for god’s sake), but her teams glaming it up with futuristic explosion! What’s particularly fab is that cameo necklace she’s constantly wearing. The British emblem’s been juxtaposed with colourful leggings, a Piet Mondrian print jacket, Mars(ed)-out eyeshadow and her signature coif! I guess she’s letting people know that even though she’s upgraded, she’s still Elly from the block.

If you’re taking on the look, this confidence, confidence and a whole lot more of that confidence thingy is crucial. Sprinkle some Ziggy Stardust in your coffee and just get on with it. Cameo necklaces are worn in the most boring or conventional (gothic) ways. Do like Jackson and put a new spin on Victoriana!

Sass and Bide Heart In A Cage jacket $465. Available at Net-A-Porter.

Jonathan Saunders Totem print T-shirt (get XXL) $285. Available at N-A-P.

Moschino Leggings Shocking 349 Euros. Available at Jades24.

Proenza Schouler Black Suede Wedge, $774. Available at Mrs. H.

Cameo Locklet Necklace 14 (GBP). Available at Love Hearts and Crosses.

ASOS Statement cameo stretch bracelet, $20.29. Available at ASOS.

Style Icons: Birkin’s Girls

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, style on May 2, 2010 at 1:19 am

Ever since Vanity Fair put me on to Serge Gainsbourg in `07, it was like my life change. This man, who doesn’t purse many lips in Toronto (as least not around my way), made me to explore the natural coolness the French seem to harbor. Not like I didn’t know of this myth before – okay, I really didn’t. And it never occurred to me to care. But reading about how much his daughter, Charlotte craved him when he died, the impact he had on the most beautiful (Bridget Bardot), and the most sexy (Jane Birkin) women on earth, I felt compelled to find out more about this man.

I picked up Bonnie & Clyde his 1968 duet album with then-bombshell Bridget Bardot, and I’m not ready to rest until I get the rest of his albums. But it’s not until I can trace the remnants of what he left behind.

 That’s when I started to do some digging. I became, and still am, fascinated by the women who were in his life. Particularly Birkin and her petals. I’m also keen on to pick up Birkin’s and Charlotte’s albums, and I’ve got to stroll through downtown Paris with Lou, completely glamorous and gorgeous woman. And Birkin’s eldest daughter, Kate Barry, though I don’t know much, I understand she’s a photographer, and I can only imagine the beauty she can manipulate through her lense.

It’s women like these, women like these that inspire me. That make me realise there’s no point in caring what anyone thinks.

Style Icon: Patti Smith

In Fashion, Good Look, Icon, music, New York, style on May 2, 2010 at 12:29 am

It’s hard to imagine Chicago-native Patti Smith ever entertaining the idea of fashion. But when someone exudes that kind of nonchalant sexiness, she is – undoubtably – fashionable. Her artistic-expression, her voice, her presence was completely pretentious. Her style was NYC, the origin of emo, and an emblem for today’s fashion outsider. It’s catapulted Patti to legendary status. Even the audacity of Rock N Roll Nigger from her ’78 album Easter, “Jimi Hendrix was a Nigger/Jackson Pollock was a nigger” lyrics intended to liberate those who chose not to confirm, were delivered with jaw dropping crassness. And for that… hats are tipped.

Patti’s look means not caring at all. Your blazer, your tie, your shredded jeans are just so. There’s never any effort to be made, your hairs ragged, well, because you don’t comb it. It’s a look many aspire for, but very few can carry.

Patti Smith’s visual aesthetic has been emulated by many, Leslie Feist being one of them. Ultimately, Smith’s the originator of genderless-artsy, oozing with enough confidence and hardly – if ever –  wearing a stitch of makeup. After all these years, she’s perfectly creased but she’s still got it. When you’re born with style like this, it transcends age and time.