Archive for the ‘Icon’ Category

Anna Dello Russo x Jak & Jil @ The Room

In culture, Icon on April 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

What more can I say? It’s Anna Dello Russo.

Nicola Formichetti x 6 – a brief timeline

In designer, Fashion Heat, Icon on March 22, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Image via ViceStyle

In Vice’s fashion issue:March 17, 2011

On fashion and sex:

“The ability to watch porn straightaway means that the times when you have actual physical intimacy with someone else aren’t so special. You just think, “I could have just done this on my own and I wouldn’t have had to shower or spend all that money on drinks,” you know? It ends up just being easier. The world is changing and it’s an exciting time to be experimenting with sex, fashion, and music.” Read more…

In T Magazine’s blog: January 4, 2010

On inspiration:

I get inspired from people around me: my friends, collaborators, designers and photographers. I’m so lucky I get to meet and play with all these amazing people! I also have a huge toy collection that I often source through for ideas, but most importantly I find that traveling and visiting new places is very inspiring. Read more…

In Fashion April 9, 2009

On how he started:

“It was almost ten years ago, maybe. When I was 22. I sort of fell into it really. I was working in a shop called the Pineal eye, selling young designers. I was the shop assistant/buyer. I met Katy England and Alister Mackie who were the fashion directors of Dazed and Confused then, they asked me to work on small projects for the magazine. What began as a small monthly column grew in to monthly projects. A few years later Jefferson Hack asked me to be the creative director of the magazine. Through the whole experience I started working for other magazines and pursuing other projects in fashion, creative consulting, opening a shop in japan, etc.” Read more…

In July 16, 2009

On giving back:

“I like to give people something positive and fun, just pure love and if I can make money doing so then that’s great. But it is very important for me to give back to people, which is why I like working with young creative designers and new models. The more successful I become the more I can give back, that’s the way I see it.” Read more…

Un Nouveau Ideal: November 28, 2008

On influence:

“My Mum had the biggest influence on me and she still does! I share her love of beauty and adore her ability to balance this with a very practical nature. She keeps me focused too.” Read more…

Where The Lights End: September 12, 2008

On fashion in Japan:

“There are alot of interesting things happening with high-fashion and streetwear in japan. It doesn’t really reach out because it is so far away from the other fashion capitals and it doesn’t really reach out. My new job at Vogue Hommes Japan is an attempt to push Exciting fashions from Japan to the rest of the world!” Read more…

You can’t top Willi Smith

In designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Icon on February 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

via It Can’t All be Dior

See more here

Advanced Style

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Global Musing, Good Look, Icon, In the Know on February 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm

“Style is something inter-growth. it’s something that’s you. It’s part of your psyche. You have to study yourself, learn who you are; that requires a lot of work which a lot of people don’t want to do. But if you don’t do that, you can copy somebody else’s style but it won’t be yours.”
– Iris Apfel

And a big bleeping shout out to Advanced Style for providing the video.

I came upon Iris Apfel while reading an article called Garb Fest in T magazine by the lovely fashion reporter Lynn Yaeger. The latter was organizing a tea party with some of the most revered fashion savants in New York. Just reading the colour descriptions of clothing by Suzanne Golden, Patricia Fox, Tziporah Salamon said reporter and Iris Apfel was foreign to me. I think that’s because this story showed me the depth behind a person’s whimsical world of style. They were a mis-match of Bottega Veneta and Comme des Garçon with tweaks of vintage resulting in a collage of quirky, colourful outfits. One like me, could only admire. But I was happy to walk away with an important piece of me after reading the article. It is one thing to try to make a statement – something we’re all caught up in these days – but to own your statement, and be able to connect each item of clothing to a piece of personal history – now that’s the real spice to life.

I am, and I’ll be the first to admit it, afraid of getting old. Maybe it’s because my personal sense of style is connected to my culture, which is hip-hop. I grew up on the latest Nike hi-tops, multi-coloured track suits and up-to-date hairstyles. As I’ve grown old-er, though I have experimented with fashion, I’ve always found comfort in “street” style. Don’t get me wrong, I can be a bit of chameleon, when I have to, but jeans, sneakers, gold chains, those are my staple. And I have been one of the few who can own that style culture and not feel, or look, like trying too hard. But as I get older, will it still suit? This is exactly the point Ms. Apfel makes finding and understanding your style “requires some hard work which a lot of people don’t wanna do.” While I don’t question my style sense as much now, when it comes to the future, well, I suppose those are questions not worth pondering at the moment. Because if this style is really you, it will grow with you.

A couple of months ago, I was talking with a friend of mine who said that he used to send his mother – a woman in her `70s – the latest Nike sneakers. He wasn’t doing it to make a statement; he simply had a discount and would send them to her. which was funny because he, a man of 32, said that he didn’t wear his sneakers anymore because he had grown out of streetwear. He to me, didn’t really stand out style wise, yet it was funny because he commented on the fact that I would wear the latest sneakers, and that I had style. So, looking back, I see this was a young lad who didn’t own his. But it’s crystal clear to me, that I own mine.

A Bathing Ape 1st Camo Apesta via Hypebeast

Musing: Shala Monroque

In Fashion, Icon on January 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Is Shala a girl you should know? I’m not sure. Is she my obsession? Not quite. I do however, believe that she’s a tremendously hard worker who is now enjoying the fruits of her labour. Despite the fact that she’s been in the art world for quite a long time, people are only catching on now. Shala is one of the many beautiful, driven women of colour in the tight-knit art and fashion worlds, but, much to her chagrin, she’s being sited as the “party girl,” and “girlfriend” of Larry Gagosian. I’m sure she doesn’t mind. And yes, the Pop magazine Editor-at-Large title is a good, if not, great look, but still. Let us not undermine her passion and tenacity.

Her ebony skin sparkles. Her cat-shaped eyes seduce. Her mona lisa smile is a facade – she’s more powerful than you. And, because she’s a clever girl, she’s playing on her strengths. And people are loving it. But, Shala, sweet Shala, you are much more than a blurb in “Vogue’s People are talking about…” pages. I know, for a fact, that you have the power to mould a culture. And I mean, not just for wearing head-to-toe Prada, but really creating a culture for young black women to look up to.

I like you Shala, I really do. And I won’t be surprised if we come full circle, eventually.

Musing: BRPYV

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Global Musing, history, Icon, style on January 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

When it comes to fashion, for me, it’s not just about the clothes, but the colourful characters apart of it. I wouldn’t strive to be in fashion had it not been for Diana Vreeland’s authorized, and unauthorized biographies. Or her work during her tenure at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Truth be told, if it were based on the strength of fashion alone, I probably wouldn’t really be in it. And I say this because I know has ruthless the fashion world can be.

In contrast to the Anna Wintours and Sarah Mowers of the world, there are the ones that make life – not just fashion – worth living. And finally, thanks to the rise of the Internet, these people are finally becoming forces to be reckoned with.

Anna Wintour has been called the most powerful woman in fashion. So, let’s call Anna Dello Russo its MVP. She has been in fashion for over 20 years, yet, it was not until around 2008 or so, that she came center stage. Never mind Ms. Russo’s 4,000 pairs of shoes, or the apartment she has strictly for her wardrobe. Ms. Russo is a performance artist. Her and fashion are one in the same. Through her inspiration, it is okay to have a passion for fashion in the literal sense. It’s not about impulse buying, it’s about adoring beautiful things, and the escape it can bring. The runway can be like a dream, and to own an item off the runway is but a dream come true.

Ms. Russo is here to fill the void of the late Ms. Blow and all the other people we have lost over the years.

It was a humid day in New York City, and I was having lunch on a patio with a good friend of mine, but I can’t quite remember where. We lamented about our careers, shared ideas, fed off each other, and out of the blue, my friend yelled out “I love you Ms. Yaeger!” I turned around, and this caricature with bright orange hair and long skirt turned around and waved. She was the original Ms. Lynn Yaeger – the fashion reporter with a witty sense of humour. Unfortunately, I didn’t know her as the head fashion journalist at the Village Voice, but I certain feed off her articles in Vogue, T Magazine, and the New York Times. You know, both her and Ms. Russo are quirky, and both take their clothing very seriously -they just have different style.

If I lived in New York City – or London – I’d feel comfortable exploring that whimsical side of my own style. And I say that because cities like Toronto don’t always get it.

According to an article in the Guardian, when it came to trying to pin down Ms. Anna Piaggi’s status in the fashion world, the journalist asked “how did a classically educated girl from a quiet, bookish family become one of fashion’s most outrageous iconoclasts?” Well, because she didn’t want to follow the tradition of her family, of course. The mad hatter who always has something in her hand to match is a fashion force toujour. Her signature blue hair and eye shadow are just thin strokes on such a vast and complex canvas. So much so, that the Victoria and Albert Museum held an exhibition in her honour.

Ms. Piaggi plays by her rules. And for that the fashion world has nothing but respect for her character, both inside, and out.

When I started reading Tatler back in 2007, I had no idea it was a high society British magazine. I only read it after learning Fashion Teleivision, that Isabella Blow was its fashion director. And who was she? A quirky, whimsical character whose over-the-top persona was enough to turn anyone onto the publication That’s all. And since her tragic passing in 2007, admittedly, I have not really read the publication since. She was known as the woman who nurtured careers. For she “found” Philip Treacy and the late, magnificent Alexander McQueen.

Ms. Blow’s life, despite her fame, was tragic. But she paved the way for finding strength in your individual style.

Ms. Diana Vreeland was a polished dresser, but her personality was a colourful as the red sea. And yes, she loved the colour red. She was an unconventional thinker, and unbelievable story teller. And because of her ideas, had a knack for creating something grad out of absolutely nothing. Whether at Vogue or the MET, she was a curator of ideas. Ms. Vreeland turned fashion dreams into reality.

You didn’t understand Ms. Vreeland, you conceptualized her.

Icon: Gareth Pugh

In culture, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London on January 18, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Gareth Pugh once said he bought the whole i-D archive for 2 pence an issue. That’s impressive. And it is this iconic magazine that has set the foundation for Mr. Pugh as the renowned fashion designer he is this very moment.

To understand fashion, is to know that there’s nothing surprising about Mr. Pugh’s success. I first came about this man back in 2007, while watching an episode of Fashion Television. Pugh would go on to shape my view of fashion – despite that I’ve been into fashion since the womb. But by taking to his work, I came to embrace a deeper side to what was the unknown.

Pugh is one of a very few fashion designers to amalgamate Goth and Punk culture. His line is exquisitely dramatic. Then, at the whims of his talent, he turned his name into a sellable brand.

Recently, Mr. Pugh was at the lavish menswear fair Pitti Uomo in Milan for his Italian debut. But oh, it was not a traditional runway. It was, as Ms. Menkes puts it, a “magical film, cast like a fashion fresco on the ceiling of a historic building and generating a rare fashion emotion.” However, let us acknowledge that his fashion film career has been groomed by the likes of Nick Knight, founder of the ever-innovative fashion site SHOWstudio.

In retrospect, Mr. Pugh has, naturally, come a long way. From the rusty, patchy work of his debut London collection to that of his glitzy New York ones, when it comes to a “pack” of designers, Pugh is but in a league of his own.

But what I appreciate about this new school of designers, is that they seem to have de-sexualize fashion.

And though you may question what there is to appreciate about that, well, the new school seem to be able to incorporate the naked form – push it to the limit – without it being explicitly suggestive. To them, fashion is art.

And now, the art is the clothes the consumer can buy, and not question the level of vulgarity.

Matter of fact, androgyny – in high fashion – is key. At least compared to the ultra-feminine florals of fast fashion chains.

And so it goes.

I do however, notice that he’s going through a transformation. And that’s okay – change is good. But I’m curious to see how sellable his brand becomes.

Icons: Meadham Kirchhoff

In British, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, London, womenswear on January 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

It was 2008. I was living in London and my life was about to begin. As an intern for British Vogue, the main job revolved around working Ms. Pippa Holt‘s clothing rack, the fashion features associate at the time. As I unpacked endless boxes, my heart stopped. I unfolded the tissue around one box in particular, I came across the sexiest pair of jeans I’d ever seen. They were black, velvety soft, with immaculate detail; every rip strategically done. I peeped the inside of the tag: Meadham Kirchhoff. It was clear, despite their regular “more dash than cash pages” that said item was targeted to those with 500 pounds to spare.

Throughout the day, I couldn’t stop from stealing peeks at the jeans. And from that day onward, I never forgot the power the brand had over me. I stocked runway images of, and I googled – incessantly – for anything I could find on it’s designers Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff.

Meadham Kirchhoff has been receiving it’s well deserved accolades, but the brand – in my eyes – is still remarkably underrated. And it is possible that it’s because the designs are conceptual (but isn’t Costume National?), but I suppose it also has to do with the designers not jumping ship to more commercial friendly fashion capitals.

Sometimes, it seems as though Meadham Kirchhoff is into bondage. I, have professed to be a fan of the culture – from a distance. why is is that sometimes I look at the clothes and I think of mild references to “Pinhead”?

But it was the duo’s Fall 2009 collection (if you do the math) that gripped me. The blouses were cobwebs on the contours of my mind. The pants resembled open flesh wounds decorated in stardust.

If I wanted the more playful side of punk culture, I can count on Meadham Kirchhoff to educate me. And it works! The duo’s creative genius translated into a well received collection for Topshop.

I’ve never been able to own pieces from the collaboration, but this release was one of the bigger revolutions in fast-fashion.

The Spring 2011 collection was disturbing – something of a fashion circus. It exploded with reds and yellows, and pushed the borders of taste. It was mesmerizing.

It is no wonder the British Fashion Council recently announced that Ed and Benjamin were winners (along with Peter Pilotto and Canadian expat Todd Lynn) of the Fashion Forward Award for the next two fashion seasons of London Fashion Week.

I am watching these guys like a hawk. Their trajectory is steady – let’s hope they kill it for 2011.

If I were a boy…

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, Icon, style on December 4, 2010 at 10:38 pm

I’m not quite sure where this new-found fascination with Kanye West came from. But you know when someone just get you? It could be the way they looked at you, gestures you never noticed before, or something they said. In this case, I never been ignorant to the fact that Ye is one of the best-dressed men of his generation, but it’s mainly he’s reasons for being so… fly.

Ye’s swag goes beyond that of being a star. It’s actually quite subliminal, or, maybe not. But to at least try to understand Kanye West is to get that wearing a gold chain, furs and designer brands is because he is a king. And this goes way back. It’s so far back in history that for some people, it’s uncomprehensible. To understand Ye’s style, is to understand a certain type of history. And that’s why I’ve become enamored with Mr. West. Now more than ever before.

I half-jokingly told my friend about it the other day. “To date a guy like Kanye West means a guy I don’t have to upgrade.” The truth is, a lot of guys I’ve been into have always resulted in me thinking “You know, he would look so much better if…” Who needs that when you can have someone as on point with their fashion as you (at least try to be), even when you’re not trying? I tell ya, and many women can attest, those types of guys – who happen to be straight – are hard to come by. And that’s what makes Ye my dream man. I know that if he wasn’t famous he’d still be fashion-conscious, because it’s in his genetical make-up.

Fashion Icon: Robin Givhan

In Fashion, Icon on August 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm

I’ve had many mentors in my life. And the fashion authority I admire, well, they are as cliché as Tim Blanks, Hilary Alexander, and Godfrey Deeny. But recently, I’ve developed a slight addiction to Ms. Robin Givhan, fashion editor for the Washington Post.

That’s another cliché , as we are both black women. However, in Ms. Givhan’s case, the depth in her stories stem from archaic libraries in that tiny storage disc that is her brain. You can taste the richness of her knowledge; like a slice of red velvety cake. Conservative? Definitely. (That’s okay. I’m an advocate of British Vogue, I enjoy the Financial Times’ Fashion section, and I’m pro-Lisa Armstrong.) Ms. Givhan is a by-product of the 90s. The Princeton graduate started a Reporter covering Detroit’s techno music scene in the late 80s before transitioning into fashion. She’s won a Pulitzer Prize for her fashion criticism, and her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The New Yorker. She currently reports exclusively on the Obama family – in my opinion, the highest honour in North American standards – among her other journalistic responsibilities. Now, Ms. Givhan should be seen as a role model to women of all creeds. But I digress.

My focus is clearer now than it was yesterday. I don’t want ephemeral respect. I want to be known as someone whose tight grasp of fashion’s history translates into a cohesive analysis of its future. Is it ambitious to aim for award-winning applaud? Perhaps appearances in the publications I so admire? I’m not concerned with being a “wordsmith,” but rather, making you feel full from what I  write. Among the true intellectuals on my radar are Alexandra Shulman, Harriet Quick, Tim Blanks – who cannot be left out of the equation – and Robin Givhan. Particularly Robin Givhan. She gives me what I will one day give you.