Posts Tagged ‘2011’

Pendleton Woolen Mills – The Portland Collection

In Fashion, Good Look, style on June 5, 2011 at 2:06 pm

In October of last year, I browsed the racks of a popular Toronto thrift store called Black Market Vintage looking for a garment that spoke to me. I had passed the store a couple of times, but admittedly, I was never drawn to it. When it comes to thrift shopping, I prefer strategically merchandised spaces that stimulate my senses with floral scents and pretty attendants. Black Market Vintage, located on the ‘commercial’ side of Queen Street West, is plopped between a sushi restaurant and a local homeless crew – hounds included. I’m not sure why I decided to sneak a peak that day, but I am happy I did.

As I looked through the racks, I was immediately entranced by a cropped fuchsia-orange Navajo print jacket. It was $10 (CAD). I didn’t hesitate. I felt I had landed on a goldmine. When I wore it to work the next day, I was spoiled with compliments. On my way home, a young, stylish man asked me if my coat was from “Opening Ceremony.” Of course not! “Well you look like a million bucks,” he told me. I couldn’t be happier.

When I got home I checked the label. It read Pendleton Woolen Mills, presumably from the 90s. And unbeknownst to me, it was a hot ticket item. Sometimes, style is imminent isn’t it…

Now, the Navajo print, specifically from Pendleton, is a must-have among men and women. I came across a post from Selectism featuring a look book from Pendleton’s Fall 2011 release titled The Portland Collection.

Designed by Nathaniel Crissman, Rachel Turk and John Blasioli, The Portland Collection is a stunning assortment of pleats and wool plaids using classic fabrics and colour ways with a ‘designer feel and urban sensibility.’ The trio has taken the concept to new levels allowing for day-to-night wear ability, an advancement from the rugged, work wear practicality it’s known for. And the prices are top-tier: dresses go for $200 (USD), while outerwear can fetch up to $700 (USD). Luckily, there is a full range of pants, signature ponchos and accessories to choose from. And if the buzz is there, the brand hopes to stock the collection at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barneys Co-op Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. A far fetch from the underground treasure where I found my gem, that’s for sure.

As the power of thrift would have it, I do own a few Pendleton pieces. But at a convention in March, while browsing the aisles, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a stall decorated in a sea of coats, blankets, bags and clothing – all Pendleton. I met the lovely reps for Pendleton Canada hoping to be able to work with them somehow, but it was a transitional time and it didn’t happen. Regardless, even though I now live in the UK, I hope to keep the Pendleton tradition alive.

The images from the look book are clean. The red plaid items – including the men’s shirt, dress and tie – are key pieces. The greyscale Navajo print poncho and body bags are ones-to-watch.

However, and I will be honest, had I styled the look book, I would have used a certain model friend, and the backdrop would have been The Berry Botanic Garden, a historical botanical garden in southwest Portland. I would have captured the heart of the brand and its origin in its entirety. Maybe next time, I suppose. Shout out to uristocrat for providing the images, which were taken by Chris Hornbecker .

See more of my favourite Pendleton pieces on my TUMBLR

NYFW 2011: The plaid below

In designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Trend, Trend Report on February 15, 2011 at 3:06 am

via and WWD

Vogue Australia: The saga continues

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Op Ed. on February 2, 2011 at 3:18 am

Images via Fashion Gone Rouge

And so it goes. I’ve been titillated with spreads from March edition of Vogue Australia. And yet, there’s still no world on it back on the block in Toronto. I know, why don’t I just get an ipad subscription? It’s environmental friendly, will save me from the ever growing pile of mags in my space. Blah, blah, blah. On top of that, I spend virtually all my time online anyway. But, despite being on the net 16 hours a day (literally). I’ve realized something: When I go into a bookstore, or mag distro place, that’s my time to hold something tangible in my hand. Like seeing my writing in print, it’s a comfort that this online world can’t give me. It’s totally ironic, but, maybe it’s comparable to people who smoke, or take up all types of other unhealthy habits.

Late at night, and early in the morning, I always take time to read my magazines. I’m laying in my bed, with the bedside light on, I have no computer in my room. No TV. Not even a listening device. It’s me, and my magazine. It’s my time to soak up this information. And in turn, it translates into the ideas that I bring to this blog, or whatever else that’s commissioned to me. And it’s something that can’t be taken away.

I’m gonna hold on to it. And, I’m gonna keep looking for that March edition of Vogue Australia – in print. That’s it.

Good Look: Acne Pre-Fall 2011

In Fashion on February 1, 2011 at 4:02 am

Do me a favour: Listen to this song while looking at the campaign. It adds to the effect. Music: You Be Killin ‘Em by Fabolous. Trust me.

Now press play:




You wassup girl. Ain’t gotta ask it

I get ’em all now. Hop outta caskets

They should arrest you. Or whoever dress you

Ain’t tryna stress you. But I’mma let you know girl you be killin ’em

She worth every cent. She look like the best money I ever spent.

Just watchin my cutie pie gettin beautified. Make me want better jewels, a newer ride.

Her feet are killing her, I call it shoe-icide!

Images via

Shout out to Acne for being one of the hottest brands to have existed. It’s no wonder why Acne is one of my favourite brands. And it’s no wonder why I’m down for Jonny Johansson. Congrats Tali, you did well.

Shout out to Latest Video Lyrics for, well, the lyrics.

And finally, shout out to TheLyricsMen on providing the beats. Note: If you are not into hip-hop, do not click. Thank you!

Musing: Givenchy Haute Couture Spring Summer 2011

In couture, designer, Fashion, Fashion Heat on January 28, 2011 at 6:53 pm

Goth was in the air for Givenchy‘s recent haute couture collection. But isn’t it always? The crisp white constructions were embellished with punches of neon: a trend worth noting for the upcoming seasons. Chiffon and feathery fringe abound, the collection was a confection of futurism meets romanticism, with strong angelic references – similar to that of the late Sir McQueen.

I appreciate Mr. Tisci’s strong Catholic routes. For he is, one of the few designers who use his talent to demonstrate this passion. Are the clothes wearable? Well, do they really need to be? It’s the realm of couture, where fashion but a dream. A fantasy come to life.

Even if my wedding only entails, my husband, GOD and the priest, I hope I get married in Givenchy.

Re-cap: Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2011

In couture, designer, dress, Fashion on January 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm

While I love the intricate constructions of Haute Couture, this part of the collections is not my favourite. It sounds strange. But I find haute couture very traditional, older, and geared towards those getting married. Mind you, I love looking at some of the designs, but if I am seeking creative juices I much rather the colour and enthusiasm of ready-to-wear.

Alexander Vauthier gave us a refreshing take on haute couture. If I were to indulge in this culture, Vauthier would be the direction I would go.

Though, admittedly, he hasn’t strayed too far from his last collection, he resonates with a younger generation. I do respect designers who play with drapes, and this is territory Vauthier is learning to master. Other than that, we shall certainly wait and see.

I heart Karl Lagerfeld. And though he, at times, is so much more fun than Chanel, those clothes are a strong point of reference. His version of couture varies: at times, it’s detailed with lavish floor-length dresses and shimmering beads, then there’s the tweed jackets and matching skirts. Either way, it is, for the most part, traditional.

While it’s not something you’re going to expect a fun time with, Mr. Lagerfeld is loyal – something to be respected.

I love Jean-Paul Gaulthier. He’s a fun, engaging man. However, his collections, as of late, have not, in my opinion, represented anything innovative. I’ve seen this collection before. so, because I love this man, and because I still honour him as a leader in high-fashion, I expected more.

It’s possible that he’s overworked. He was creative director for two demanding fashion houses (Hermès and his namesake), and it’s possible that he’s taking the time to get back in his element. he did his best to bring theatricality with the bride singing and dancing. But, I don’t want to semantics – I want to see his talent.

If there is fun in Haute Couture, it is John Galliano for Christian Dior. Mind you, with the exception of a traditional runway, the collection itself was quite similar to last seasons. I do appreciate the colour and tulle embellished throughout the collection.

Mr. Galliano draws magical reference to time periods in his collections, and the `50s style theme worked well.

Mr. Giorgio Armani is by far, one of the best dress makers in fashion. It is breath-taking; dreamy fabrics, detailing, use of colour: priceless. The art-deco theme suited, the make-up, immaculate. The clothes one of the few I would wear.

Breathtaking, from beginning to the final look.

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.

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.

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?