Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Men’s Fashion Week: Paris II

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on June 25, 2010 at 6:18 pm

This spring 2011 collection is exactly what you would expect from a designer that thinks outside the box.  Congratulations to Korean designer Juun J for killin’ it with the avant-garde. Masculine yet feminine, sexy yet asexual, it’s Gothic, extremely moody yet one hell of a ride. You don’t need to confidence to wear Juun J. Matter-of-fact, it’s perfectly suited to the person who is quite the opposite. It’s for the understated fashion indulgent who makes huge statements through little things. He or she is intimidating at first glance, but you can’t turn away. All you want to know is “Where did you get that, and how do I get it?” You need to love Juun J, because you need something new and refreshing in your closet. The spider-web graphic print leggings and fiery red biker jackets are dangerously enticing, and the utility overcoats are giving a bit of ‘jazz’ with white and royal purple colourways.

Amsterdam design team Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren put a lot of passion into their womenswear wear. And while I consider Viktor & Rolf up there in ranks as fashion designers, I wasn’t that impressed with their spring 2011 collection. As much as they love to push the boundaries in fashion, this collection seems rather safe. Sure the rug trimming on the suits were interesting, as were the mint coloured shoes, but I know they could have raised the bar for their men’s wear just a bit higher. But what I will say, is that the collection is very plush: the tailoring is clean, and the fabrics are silky. They are in a league of their own with what they do, and I understand them not wanting to be too ambitious with menswear, but there’s always ways of playing with ideas while still keeping it within reason. Let us hope that the next collection brings about a bit more inspiration.

Musing: Diane von Furstenberg and Claridge’s Interior design project

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on June 25, 2010 at 4:50 pm

So, as it was, 200 people in the creative industry were exclusively gathered at the Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, UK in celebration of its design collaboration with fashion design icon Diane von Furstenberg. As you can imagine, all eyes were on Victoria Beckham and Gwyneth Paltrow who attended the event decked-out in all-black designer ensembles. But there were other, lesser-known attendees that were worthy of at least some fashion nods.  I say, to even be considered for an invitation from Ms. von Furstenberg means you must have sniffed in the right direction, someway, somehow.

Tom Ford is that beautiful man who every joe should aspire to be: sexy, seductive and effortless. You can’t imagine how many women out there gripe at his gayness. But you know, gay or straight, this fashion icon always looks clean, even with a bit of stubble (as seen here). And what’s he wearing? You guessed it, Tom Ford.

Supermodel extraordinaire Natalia Vodianova always radiates. This russian-born princess is a true rags-to-riches story. She’s one of the few catwalkers who has made the successful transition to the fairytale life. Dressed a silk chiffon purple dress with off-white Christian Louboutins, what can you really say about her? And to think that she has two kids.

Sure Mark Ronson has made the best-dressed list of countless men’s magazines. But haven’t you noticed how this awkwardly tall producer pulls off awkwardly tight floods? He’s working that doo-wop style to his advantage.

Ah, Joan Collins, the dynasty queen. She’s the one who made power shoulders and tacky-texan bela beauty a phenomenon. And as you can see, she’s traded in the bouffant for a subtler bob, but she’s still absolutely stunning.

I thoroughly enjoy artist Tracey Emin. She always looks like she’s having fun and she carries off her looks with an immense amount of confidence. In effect her outfits always work.

All I know about Bailey is that she’s a model – of some sort. The Chanel floor-length dress is worth noting. And she’s enviously waif (naturally). Not many can pull off Chanel; either it’s geared towards the haggard and old, or verythin. Preferrably both. Luckly, Bailey falls in the latter category. She did this one well.

And today in Gaga news…

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on June 25, 2010 at 2:19 pm

Lady GaGa becomes the first artist in digital history to have three songs top the 4 millions download mark”  Peace FM Online

“Lady Gaga’s proud dad, Joseph Germanotta, phoned Manhattan strip club HeadQuarters and insisted on buying her a $700 magnum of Laurent Perrier champagne when she partied there”

“Pop singer Lady Gaga has been slammed by the anti-drugs campaigners after she admitted to her fans that she loves ecstasy.” DNA India

“A Russian billionaire gave the pop singer the huge sum for the chance to star alongside her in the 9-minute promo for ’Alejandro’.”  Post Zambia

“Lady Gaga is not about to join the ranks of celebrity mums – because she’s frightened of babies”  The Press Association

Yes. The world has officially gone gaga for the lady. Whether it be Vogue, Showstudio, countless blogs and the like. You can chew her up, spit her up, oogle her, admire her. I suppose she’s become a voice of rebellion so many people are craving right now. Her trajectory to the top has been unstoppable; she gets more and more absurd with every video, every outfit, and it seems to be quenching a thirst. Well, her she is, your GOD, your saviour. It’s all for you.

One-to-Watch: Cédric Charlier for Cacharel

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, One to Watch on June 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I remember trying, passionately, to pitch a story on Parisian-born designer Cédric Charlier. Of course, as you can imagine, my emails went unanswered. When was named the Creative Director for 50-year-old design house Cacharel, was it really that surprising? Now, three collections later, he’s dropped the print-bomb to luminous effect. When I first came across this 2011 resort line, for some reason, I couldn’t help but think Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 horror The Birds. The intensity of the prints, the vivid colourways, I just can’t help but feel as though it’s the dead of night, and I’m sitting next to a swamp that’s flooded with Viola odoratas and white oleanders, with nothing but the moonlight hovering over me. And as I peer up. Looking ahead, there’s a black flock of crows swarming the moon and coating the sky like death. It’s scary – as hell – but at the same time, in a twisted way, there’s beauty in it all.

Men’s Fashion Week: Milan

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on June 24, 2010 at 10:02 pm

The Italian’s love for flash and grandeur seems to have rubbed off on Canadian design-duo Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2. It’s not a bad thing, because they’re able to add the right amount of sleaze conjuring up sexy collection of euro-glittery pieces that are bright, bold yet very clean. There’s a bit of Americano and uppity oxford-chic that’ll be a big inspiration across the pond. And emerald green shorts! Oh the wonders!

To be a fan of Roberto Cavalli is to love flash, cash and not a lot of dash. This collection bled textures and colours in ways only Cavalli knows how. But it’s always when you take away the ostentation in favour of the simple, elegant slim-fitting white suit, or that loosely draped amethyst sweater that displays Cavalli’s true showmanship. There was a lot of suede and lots and lots of denim. Could it be that fashion is finally going back to basics?

Men’s Fashion Week: Paris

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on June 24, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Believe me when I say this is just the beginning. Men’s fashion week is the most underrated, but shouldn’t go unnoticed because it is a designer’s inspiration for their women’s collections that follows suit.

Jean-Paul Gaultier has been taking it to the streets since the start of his career. But you can see the aesthetic in all 59 looks of his spring/summer 2011 collection more than any other time. Here, he’s explosive with the graphic prints and Keffiyeh-like scarves. And he’s taken his collection to the middle east with the Jodhpur pants and oversized pull-over shirts.

At Louis Vuitton, Paul Helbers (the brand’s menswear designer) kept it clean. As per usual. it’s on a completely different route than Marc Jacob’s over-the-top womenswear, but Helbers use of neutral tones are worth noting. The one miss was the translucent button-ups, they were reminiscent of those cheesy, 90s club hoppers women so tried to avoid.

Valentino: A resurgance?

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on June 23, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Valentino – at the hands of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli – has taken a bit of a… sinister turn. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I suppose, as this transition is taking the once fantasy-like ballgowns into something a bit more, emepheral, if you will. As to whether I would have worn Valentino then or now is irrelevant. But I do appreciate the gothic elements. However, I’m not crazy about the `60s inspired theme that reaps throughout the resort collection. The way I feel about it, Chiuri and Piccioli have already moved two steps forward, so keep moving. There’s few that can master the art of faux-60s fashion, Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga at the helm, so it’s a tricky area if you’re still feeling your way. I do apprecate the ruffles and graphic prints in this collection. The lace embellishments also very Courtney Love-esq: bold, waif, and free.

Fashion Heat: Cupcakes

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Op Ed. on June 14, 2010 at 1:31 am

There’s a new seductress in town. She’s got a body like Jessica Rabbit, and for the record, no, she’s out not for your man (well, maybe, if he’s into that kinda thing), she’s out for you. She’s enthralling to look at, so look away you must – quickly. You see, if she catches your eye, there’s no turning back. She’s a femme fatale that’ll make you fall in love, and it’s dangerous, because before you know it, it’ll be endless romps with you, she and your favorite book, TV show, whatever. And it won’t be pretty – particularly when jogging pants and hoodies become your preferred outfit of choice. She’s a sumptuous womaneater that’ll keep you coming back for more. She is, respectively, the sickeningly sweet, fluffy, cupcake.

Women all over are diving headfirst into the world of cupcake making. In December `09, British Vogue ran a lengthy cover story on its rise to superstardom that featured supermodel-turned-Pastry extraordinaire Lorraine Pascale, and Peggy Porschen, a cupcake connoisseur and her book, Pretty Party Cakes.

For the record, while I’ve always said I can cook (well, there was a time when I made decent efforts to. I think I was madly in love then), the idea of baking never appealed to me. Me? bake? cupcakes? But when I looked to the end of the magazine – the ‘advertising feature’ – had not one, but two pages of pastry shops with an layout of the treats. Cupcakes by Charley, Cupcake-a-licious (ripped from Destiny’s Child’s Bootylicious), Yummy Days, Cupcakes by Design (sounds architectural, doesn’t it), and simply, Fancie.

While I found it all to be quite fascinating, it was, at the same time, overwhelming. But what I learned, which is new to me, is that baking is empowering. Not just cooking. And I don’t quite think it’s purely about the aesthetic of a pretty cupcake, either. Well, maybe a big chunk of it, as most people like beautiful things. Let alone beautiful things you can eat.

Cupcakes are the new black! They’re fashionable, amazing gift ideas (well, I’d certainly be happy with them) and perfect for an evening  soirée with friends. You might say no to desert, but I can attest, if those cupcakes are sitting there, staring at you, you won’t be able to resist the idea of having, you know, just a slice.

Get My Look: Laced-up Goth

In designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, In the Know, Shopping on June 12, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Denis Gagnon Structured Leather Jacket available at Reborn

Paul & Joe Annelise Lace Blouse available at my-theresa

Forever 21 Lace Tank available at, of course Forever 21

Current/Elliott Black Leggings available at my-wardrobe

House of Harlow Lace Ankle Boots available at Saks Fifth Avenue

Valentino Laceland Tote available at Browns (Hold tight – it’s sold out!)

Style Icon: Jill Sander

In designer, Icon, style on June 7, 2010 at 7:11 pm

I was drawn to Jil Sander before I had an intellectual grasp of high-fashion. The times I’d read Vogue (not even  half as vehemently as I do now) introduced me to Jil Sander  advertisements with models over-posed in minimalist pieces in vibrant, and very digestible, colourways. Definitely not as pungent as a Lacoste ad, but not as dramatic as Fendi or Prada. I suppose Sander was my introduction to fashion appreciation. And she was safe, much like my fashion personality at the time(or maybe lack thereof). Naturally, in later years, as my gravitational pull towards elaborate ‘statement’ designers like Nicolas Ghesquière for Balenciaga took hold, Sander was buried in the back of my fashion psyche in favour of the extravaganza of fashion, rather than the practicality of it.

When I lived in London, Japanese brand Uniqlo was no where near my radar of interest. It just wasn’t. I found it bland, unattractive, and too colourful (a shirt is a shirt is a shirt). And sure, Uniqlo’s ads were somewhat okay – and plastered in every tube station – but I never bought a stitch. In a city like London where fast-fashion is served like McDonald’s, the competition was stiff,(Urban Outfitters was more me, and American Apparel was so much cooler).

I’ve come back full circle with my love for Jil Sander. The woman behind the namesake has long left the brand, and in her place is the just as stark Raf Simons. And now that I can conceptualize fashion, I’m fascinated by Belgium, even professing that should I go back to Europe, Belgium is at the top of my places to live (considering the talent that reaps throughout the country).

I’d paid slight attention to the real Jil Sander launching a collection for Uniqlo. But after reading a heart-felt piece by Suzy Menkes for the International Herald Tribune, my heart – to say the least – is in a different place.  Sander and her former self are now two completely different entities, and she’s apart of something so much bigger than her name.

I’ve yet to see a Uniqlo in Toronto. But, there’s a truth to be told. If I go back to Great Britain, back to good ‘ole London, it’ll be just in time as the line hits stores in September. And I guess, I’m a bit relieved. I say that because this collaboration, +J for Uniqlo, will be the one time I will  be able to afford a piece of something from someone who in a way, cultivated the way I view fashion today.