Posts Tagged ‘Beyonce’

Toronto fashion out: London, UK fashion in

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, In the Know on February 4, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Despite the emotional roller coaster I experienced while living in London, I couldn’t help but be enamoured by its thriving fashion energy. It is the land of excess –  in a lot of ways – but it’s also an open platform to explore your style identity. Every street corner, every strip hangs on a cultural limb- and that includes fashion. So it is no surprise that  all my favourite fashion magazines – and designers – with the exception of France, are British.

Today, I came across an article on British Vogue announcing a new designer collaboration with the beloved UK-concept brand Topshop. The lucky craftsman happens to be David Koma – a designer I have profiled  on this blog:

David Koma for Topshop via Susie Bubble

and a favourite by the likes of Beyoncé and Girls Aloud front woman Cheryl Cole. I didn’t get to read the article in its entirety, but today, while having lunch, I came upon a piece in i-D by Sarah Mower, an acclaimed fashion journalist and Ambassador for Emerging Talent for the British Fashion Council. I’ve not finished the article yet, but it was an elaboration of the speech she made during the spring/summer 2011 NEWGEN awards late last year.

The article came after a 12-page layout of models all wear young, fresh designers.  The pages highlighted pull quotes from buyers and the like within London’s high-profile fashion world. But what caught me was when Ms. Mower said  the industry in London is known for its keen ability to “share and help one another.”

It may seem like a contradictory to provide a negative review on the film “Dressed,” but the problem that I have with the film is that it’s a director’s bandwagon attempt to cash in on a trend that has already come to pass. Not only that, it doesn’t help the hundreds, if not thousands of young hopefuls who need help furthering their fashion careers.

This is, by far, not the first time Topshop has collaborated with new designers. There are a stream of them:

Christopher Kane (three times)

via Frillr

Mary Katrantzou

Meadham Kirchhoff

Mark Fast

Jonathan Saunders

via fashionologie

Kate Moss for GOD’s sake

And a slew of others lesser known ones.

*All other images courtesy of British Vogue

A lot of times, it seems as though every city under the sun supports new talent except  Toronto. Mind you, we do have the Toronto Fashion Incubator, the Fashion Design Council of Canada (if you have thousands of dollars and should be “Toronto”), and a lot of local local publications show their support. We’ve made an attempt at Project  Runway, it’s true. But it’s not enough.  Not when Canada’s freshest talent, such as the aforementioned Mark Fast, Erdem Moralioglu, Jean-Pierre Braganza, Calla Haynes and Thomas Tait choose to cultivate and carry on their careers in cities that much more expensive than be here. Our department stores, on the other hand ‘showcase’ young designers once they’ve received accolades elsewhere, and seem up for collaborations with even other fashion stores, before taking up  homegrown talent.

Do I digress? No. For I too seem to find it much easier to get on in London, despite its faults, than in Toronto. But maybe it is not Toronto’s fault. It’s simply underdeveloped on the fashion front. And, as it turns out, the problem extends well beyond fashion. Canada, writ-large, is an underdeveloped country. And, as it turns out, this city is going down the gravy train. So, as it seems, there’s no where else to go, if you want to ‘make it’, but…  out.

The many faces of Nicki Minaj

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Trend, Trend Report on November 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Call her Nicki, Onika, Roman, Harajuku Barbie – you name it, she is it. But regardless of her monikers,  Nicki Minaj – the new music sensation on the block –  is getting cheques, international acclaim, and a new makeover about every 10 seconds. As to whether the new look is better than the last, well, that’s questionable. But her asymmetrical bob (super long in the front with thick, blunt-cut bangs) is probably the most intriguing part of her trendsetting quest.

Nicki Minaj is New York Ghetto-glam – something to marvel over. She’s not your typical girl next door: No Jenny from the block here. And gone is the hypersexual image she once donned before becoming the almost household name she is now. She wears a lot of pink and makeup, and her ass(plants) pulls off body-con well. Indeed. GOD knows she’s got the body for it, but not only that, she’s not your typical pretty-girl-gone-clubbing, or is she rip-the-runway wannabe. She’s over-the-top. But at this point, her style isn’t sexy anymore than it is whimsical.

It’s hard to really say whether Minaj hits or misses the mark with her looks, because it seems she embraces the negative comment. If you don’t like what she wears, it’s a source of inspiration. She’s not finding her style – she’s a chameleon. She takes inspiration from many different sources and amalgamates them into what you see today. She doesn’t always make a lot of sense, and how she dresses is a strong reflection of that. I don’t think she’s fake; she’s more like an extension of herself. And for that, I’ll give her credit.

But she is a fashion plate; one of those artists that will look out-of-place past 40. Lady Gaga is another prime example. They’re great in their 20s, even 30s, but odd anytime after that. And as much as we’re in awe of her right now, it’s important to understand this. Sade has aged very gracefully because her style is timeless. So did Tina Turner. Grace Jones did it too, and even she treads on this ice with that one.

I’ll admit, I bit the Nicki Minaj bob. But I’ve been into tight-dresses way before she “started eatin’ bitches,” as she likes to say. On me, the bob looks a bit more accessible. And I don’t do thick bangs, or colours.  I am intrigued with bright pink, and I’d wear it as a super cut, super short dress, but I’d tone it down – big time – with something black, and über -elegant. Unlike Miss Minaj, I’m past 6Feet, thin – the quintessential Barbie. So everything she does has a different appeal on me.

In terms of her overall look, it’s highly cosmetic, but that’s nothing new. Look at her predecessors Lil’ Kim, Eve. Blonde, orange, green and dipped in an array of eye shadows and bright – preferably pink – lipstick.
Going green in American terms means chasing money. In Canada, it means $20 bills. I don’t think money is green around the rest of the world, though.
Pink – or red – on the other hand is a bit more cute, playful.

The only thing to be cautious of, though, is when an artist goes blonde. For the true blonde songstress, this is okay. But let’s look back to Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and the ubiquitous Beyoncé. Non-blonds that become bottle blonds to gain international appeal. Selling something? Perhaps selling out?

Nicki Minaj may be a woman of many hats (or wigs) but the blonde one could mean more changes to come to appeal to a bigger audience. Is that a good thing? We’ll have to wait and see.

Trend Report: Green Shoes

In Fashion on May 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Shoeaholics beware: shoes are the new sex – well, they’ve  probably always  been. Thanks to the infamous Jimmy Choo trotting Carrie Bradshaw, the cruelest thing you could ever do is pry any woman from her beloved clobs. She’ll never go wrong with classic red and black, but with trends  flaunting studs, glitter and a rainbow of exotic in her face, it’s deadly. And everyone – I mean everyone – from the oldies (Manolo Blahnik) to the newbies (Brian Atwood) are demonstrating their undying love for a woman’s pretty feet.

We’ve just come out a slump economically, so lets celebrate by going green. It’s eco-friendly (figuratively speaking), symbolizes money (but think internal wealth, not material) and represents balance and growth. It’ll also persuade you to spice up your wardrobe as it means the ability to accept change.

Alexander McQueen Fatigue Peep-Toe Bootie, $1,295.00 available at Bergdorf Goodman. By the late-great Lee McQueen and last spotted on Beyoncé.

Chrissie Morris Tribal Print Thong Sandals, 1310.16 available at Luisaviaroma. tribal print’s been having a moment as clearly demonstrated in the haute heels.

Haider Ackermann Forest High Sandal $771, available at Mrs. H.

Luichiny Quite Rite Heel 109.99 available at Heels.

Maison Martin Margiela Faux Wedge Heel, $995 available at Joan Shepp.

Vivienne Westwood Anglomania: Melissa $153, available at I Don’t Like Mondays.

Trend Report: Protruding Hips

In Collection, Fashion, Fashion Heat, Good Look, RTW, Shopping, Trend, Trend Report on January 22, 2010 at 10:54 pm

If there’s any trend worth paying attention to for 2010, it’s the rise of protruding hips. Ideal for lanky, androgynous types, a mini-dress with accentuated hips figments an hour-glass shape, drawing attention to pelvic thrusts guaranteed to reel men in like fish bait. And as you know, wide hips represent child-bearing abilities. Why else would Shakira profess that the ‘Hips Don’t Lie’?

Central Saint Martins graduate Georgia Hardinge diligently embellishes the hips for her spring/summer 2010 collection. For this I’m sure she’ll be well loved by girls  dying to add some plump to the ‘stickness.’  But beware: if you’re already hippie, a la Beyoncé, then you might want steer clear of this look; you’ll end up looking like a sci-fi Gwar groupie – not cute.

In the Know: Beyonce in David Koma dress

In designer, Fashion, In the Know, News on November 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm

For those of you who do not know, it ‘s worth while to pay attention to the Award-winning, Georgian-born, London-based fashion designer David Koma.

He’s fairly new to the scene (he recently completed his MA) from the world-renowned Central Saint Martins, but his line is seems to be an ode to post-punk futurism with chains, tubes and strong shapes. His AW 2009/2010 will be stocked in Browns Focus.

Beyonce has been quite quick to catch on this one, as you can see. She carries the dress as a confident woman with curves should at the MTV Awards last night:

Beyonce - David Koma

David Koma on the runway:

David Koma - RTW