Archive for July, 2010|Monthly archive page

What is modern?

In Fashion on July 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

In January of 1984, American Vogue made a tribute to modernity. Sally Ride was the first woman to head into space, the Olympics presented more opportunities for women and the runways liberated our bodies with men’s clothing. Hair was also significantly shorter. Athletes and models were praised for being womanly rather than emaciated. As with the clothes, the ideals of ‘men’s’ attire meant we preferred a looser, more serious wardrobe to that of the glitz and sex from the `70s.

Giorgio Armani made jackets in masculine cuts, while Donna Karan and Calvin Klein capitalized on minimalism.  Grey jersey dresses and wide-leg trousers meant we were tired of the fuss. Could this have been a much-needed women’s revolution?

Fast forward to 2010. Giorgio has launched Armani Privé, a sparkling collection of evening dresses and gowns, and Calvin Klein, while still true to minimalism, is severely feminine. Floral was ubiquitous by the likes of Dolce & Gabbana and Erdem. Viktor & Rolf bathed their collection in Tulle and Michael Kors laced his runway with furs. Models are now a size 0 or smaller. Hair is longer, braided and tossed to the side, or, free flowing and playful. If there is a hint of womanly, it’s in the form of the sultry Lara Stone, who, despite being a buxom blond, possesses the face of an innocent Lolita. The closest thing to grown-up on the runway is a dominatrix sashaying in leather as seen in Hermès. Then there’s the complete morbidity of Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh. No matter which way you look at it, fashion appears to be going through puberty. It’s taken ten steps back.

Michelle Obama is a cultural step forward being a woman of colour. But she is essentially a traditionalist: her physique is powerful, but she revels in the frills of pretty. And our heroes of today, hard as it is to believe, are girls from the flimsy world of reality TV – it’s no wonder fashion is in such a state.

If fashion is influenced by current events, it’s surely stuck in a rut. There’s a need for that modern-essence that gave it such clear direction back in 1984.

Musing: Magazines

In Fashion on July 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Are magazines a dying breed? Never. What about Fashion magazines? Is that even a question? Gen Y is too sophisticated to not read magazines. Gen X is benched between the internet and the ideals of print. And the echelon of taste-makers are too powerful. Fashion magazines are addictive. It’s deeper than the editorial spreads or designer profiles. You’re learning a library of history in the span of an article. To hold a glossy magazine, in your hands, then create a zeitgeist going as far back as 10 years (in my case, I have Vogue from 1984) – that’s a trajectory to the smart stars. When a magazine starts to discolour and pages fall out of the sockets, you hold the power. And if you’ve actually read all of the magazine in your go, even better.

When I started seriously collecting Vogue, I chose the British edition – for obvious reasons. But I had never really read it properly. There was something about it that just went over my head. It was too wordy, to cerebral. So, I went back to my first one – I had a lot of catching up to do – no wait, actually, I started reading back issues of  Flare, Fashion and Elle Canada – Canadian fashion magazines. The Canadian glossies to me were  stepping stones towards my growth to the more coveted titles. Once I got through them, all 50 or so, then I moved on to British Vogue. It was tedious. It was tiring, but I did it. Now, I’m amazed that I can get through British Vogue in one sitting. Well, okay maybe two. But it’s so much more digestible then it was all but a month ago. I’ve even taken to buying all the English-language editions with the exception of Vogue Paris. I’ve also moved on to various editions of Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. See what I mean? To say it’s fulfilling is too easy  a world. It’s more like, emancipation.

OK. magazines don’t necessarily have the depth of books, they’re not supposed to. But now, after reading glossies by the pound, I can read a feature in Vanity Fair and have an opinion on whether the story was shit (like the latest cover on Angelina Jolie). I mean hey, Vanity Fair  – I love you, I really do – is the Crème de la Crème of the mag world, no? Newspapers are now a breeze and I’m curious if books can fill the black whole in the middle of my brain.

Musing: OH Miley!

In Canadian, Fashion on July 19, 2010 at 7:52 pm

To the young hopefuls squished behind barriers amid the suffocating heat, a hundred yards was as close as they’d ever get to the beloved Hannah Montana star. For me, well, I liked her Chanel clogs. It was the day of the 2010 Much Music Video Awards. Its co-host, Miley Cyrus, was svelte with mannequin-thin legs and teeth so white they looked like clip-on dentures. Dressed in a black fringe dress and bowler hat (I prefer to think of it as the Boy George), it was a strange outfit, but coming from a country-western crooning teen queen, it made sense. There was an array of outfits throughout the night, but the white one, yeah, the one where she looked like a mummy who refused to stay buried instead of “tamed,” and the other one with the knee socks, daisy dukes and head bandana for “partyin’ in the USA”, uh-uh. She needs a new stage stylist. She’s an alright girl. I like her charisma. And she made a good effort to at least appear interested, and her presenter dresses were on point. But unlike Rihanna and Beyonce who wear covetable costumes on stage – to the point that they’re better than their ‘everyday’ clothes – these stage looks were a dud. Katy Perry’s shimmery “California Gurls” get-up was way better than this. (It had me thinking it would be cute to play dress-up in for the boyfriend.)

Even Justin Bieber’s bright blue,outdated, skinny jeans could take a pass. Miley, I know you country singers like a little bit of cheese. But seriously honey, what were you thinking?

Get My Look: Queen of the Damned

In Fashion, Fashion Heat on July 5, 2010 at 12:52 am

Lennon necklace for $420 by Dannijo

L’Wren Scott Matador Jacket. $3,148. Available at Kirna Zabete.

Claire Pettibone. $5,315. Available online.

Versace Leather Platform Ankle boots. $875 USD. Available at Net-A-Porter.