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Archive for the ‘New York’ Category

Musing: 3.1 Phillip Lim

In designer, New York, style, Trend, Trend Report on February 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I’ve always liked 3.1 Phillip Lim from afar. It was never really me, but there was something about it that reminded me of – as stereotypical as it sounds – those super-stylish Asian girls walking hand-in-hand along Toronto’s city streets. And it makes sense, considering, well, who the designer is. I never followed up though I did skim style.com occasionally because there was something about it that went against the grain. Now, however, I see a blatant mainstream appeal with a bit of traditionalism. It’s refreshing.

Compared to the heavy British themes on the runways, Lim’s Americana reference was in a league of its own. This is important considering New York aims to be the home for nurturing new and fresh concepts. Apparently. But with the except for a few, I didn’t really see it. Which makes Lim a bit of a goldmine. It was hard to tell what inspired him directly, though. One minute it’s green – the colour of money, then there’s bikers, then it almost looks like good ‘ole American baseball. Which is well and good, but a lack of specific focus seems to get in the way. Overall, the collection was creative. The leather sleeves were, in my opinion, a standout, along with those coats. Those coats.

I have to say, after this collection, especially when it comes to New York Fashion Week, he may be one to pay closer attention to.

Shout out to Style.com for providing the images and video.

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.

Musing: Donyale Luna

In culture, Fashion, Good Look, Hidden Gem, history, Icon, Legend, model, New York, Oddly Unique on March 22, 2010 at 1:07 am

Donyale Luna’s best asset was her body. Endless, lanky and hovering at 5″ 10 1/2 (she was exaggerated to be 6″2) with  looks beyond the small-time Michigan, Detroit, photographer David McCabe caught her leaving an audition and snatched her up. Heading to New York to model,  the Big Apple was the scene to thrust her into supermodeldom, but it also destroyed her  spirit and ultimately took her life.

Adorning blue, green, violet and purple contacts with five different wigs – some of them blond, her groovy attitude towards her ethnicity gave many the impression that she was insecure about her blackness.  It was noted that the freckle-faced beauty was half-mexican. Who knows! But imagine going for a breakfast in a London restaurant  with Mia Farrow at 5Am and being ask to leave for no apparent reason. Let alone being referred to as a “pretty negro model” her whole life. Donyale was a young, black girl in an overzelous modeling world. You know, it’s hard to believe Donyale was trying to break any moulds, though. To me, she was just the embodiment of the glamour-puss she always wanted to be. As Donyale once said, “They saw me as something different but I’m sure it has nothing to do with my colour. I never think of myself as a brown-skin girl.”

In the infamous 1966 article by Time titled  “The Luna Year,” the magazine said that “for she is not really beautiful; but like her namesake, the moon, she is different in every phase, yet always recognizably the same and herself.” But I beg to differ. Salvador Dali referred to her as the “reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti”  and gracing the cover of Vogue,and Britain’s Queen (now Harper’s Bazaar), it was clear cheek bones and elongated neckline – better yet – her whole existence was that of a beautiful creature. I’d like to think of her as the black Twiggy – like a chameleon and immensely versatile. The way she slithered and bended  looked effortless.

Donyale was apart of Warhol’s Factory, she won Vogue’s Model of the Year (`66), she dated – and married – cool artsy guys. But when the pit of New York scene’s started to surface, she fled to the Europe’s safer haven.

At a rate of 60 an hour, she kept a London apartment looking over the Thames, but  professed that ” I make about a thousand dollars a week but often there are a couple of days at the end of the week when I find myself broke again.” And she  landed some bit parts in French films directed by Otto Preminger (Skidoo) and Federico Fellini (Satyricon). Close to the end, she also posed for Playboy (1975). I wonder if it had more to do with needing the money than the glamorous title.
 
Around 1979, feeling sick, she entered a Rome clinic on a Tuesday and died on a Thursday. Some say it was an accidental drug overdose. Again, who knows. She was 33. “She didn’t like to pay her bills,” claimed a fellow black model. Who does? I don’t think that was the whole of it. It was more like life didn’t like what she had become.  

One to Watch: Susan Woo

In Collection, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, New York, News, One to Watch, RTW on January 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm

You know the world’s coming to an end when environmentally conscious fashion designers spring out of New York City’s melting pot. But that’s the case here with burgeoning RTW fashionista Susan Woo.

The 26 year-old’s concepts are not only eco-considerate, but based on her new-found fame, they’re also serious business. They’re a structural, body-con set of looks with a neavou-modern edge. When I see them my mind instantly drifts to Holly Fulton’s Art deco womenswear collection, but Woo’s has more of a downtown city girl element. Woo has also been the busy bee having tenured at Louis Vuitton, Derek Lam and Chanel.

Like most of the moment designers, Woo’s clothes are also coveted by the likes of Rihanna and Rachel Bilson. And though the price points are high ($345 – $1,250 USD) with a limited distribution (they’re available at Kaight in NYC and H. Lorenzo in LA), if you keep it tight, a Woo piece will become a classic emblem in modern fashion history.