Posts Tagged ‘Hilary Alexander’

Musing: Paolo Roldan

In Canadian, Fashion, Men, model, style on June 5, 2011 at 6:08 pm

There’s a difference between fixation and fascination. Doing what I do, and my naturally investigative nature, I have been fortunate to meet people that have contributed to my experiences in one way or another. Good and bad. I have met people from YouTube , Facebook, MySpace, or simply walked into a room realising I had to know THAT person for whatever reason. My opportunistic instinct would kick in and my mind floods with ideas. It’s like a rush. And I transform from a meek figure on the sidelines to a Journalist with a purpose. In this case, with Paolo Roldan a Canadian model, it was a gradual progression.

I befriended another male model many moons ago named Ali. I was a volunteer at a fundraiser for M-A-C called Fashion Cares. As Ali walked by my friend and I, the top half of his body painted in glitter, my friend made a flirtatious gesture. He was sweet about it, and hung out with us for the rest of the night. Ali, who was from Pakistan, resided in Denmark. He was trying the Toronto fashion scene out and didn’t have much friends. But he was an Adonis: smooth toffee coloured skin, and full heart-shaped lips. He seemed somewhat precocious and a bit naive. I kept in touch with Ali, hung out a few times. A first impression would have you believing Ali was cocky, but in actuality, he was one of the sweetest people anyone could know.

I came home one day and checked my voicemail. Ali was moving back to Denmark. He thanked me for ‘everything I did for him’ which really wasn’t much. I never heard from, or saw him again, but sometimes I wonder how he is doing.

When I met Paolo, I felt got the same feeling I had with Ali. A lot of the time, you would expect an egotistical attitude from models. Particularly men. I’m sure Paolo has his moments, but I am not the giddy type. And I had my eye on Paolo. I had seen him twice before. But I had no idea who he was until someone told me. I didn’t pay much attention to it until I came across a profile on him in a publication. I used him once before. But he reappeared in my life in the knick of time. There was something I needed to accomplish before I moved back to the UK and Paolo was the missing link. I needed him. I had to act fast.

After having a proper conversation with him, I was fascinated by the things I automatically assumed he would know but didn’t, things I learned from him, and human perceptions. I always knew my niche within the industry, but this experience confirmed it. I have made Paolo my un-official muse though he’s not aware of it.

I do not know anything about Paolo. I don’t I want to know him either. He has served his purpose as someone who brought me closer to a brand, Givenchy, I hold very close to me. During our interview, my head was in the clouds by the fact that there I was, a few days before permanently leaving the country, with this person who creates fantasies for a brand I magnify. He was my subject of a story for a leading post-punk magazine I dreamed of writing for called i-D. When things like this happen, it has a profound effect on your reality.

Now, in London, during the Central Saint Martins graduate show, I stole a quick minute with another fashion designer I spoke about endlessly for another dream magazine, Christopher Kane. Then, I walked right up to the honorable Hilary Alexander and introduced myself. I have chatted up with Giles Deacon, fashion maven of a generation. I can’t begin to imagine what else is in store. Sometimes certain things happen, like my moment with Paolo, that are precursors for what things may come.

Shout out to Paolo Azarraga for providing the images.

See more of Paolo Roldan on my TUMBLR.


In Editor, Fashion on May 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm

It all started earlier this year when Robin Givhan announced she was leaving her 15+ year career as Fashion Editor at the Washington Post, to join Newsweek. The thought, and practice, of bookmarking a link engraved in your mind was enough. Now, I have to follower elsewhere. What was worse, once she left WP, so did her links. It was like she disappeared. I could barely find her new work at Newsweek. But in retrospect, it was the first sign of change.

I never got into the London Evening Standard until recently. When I lived in London, in 2008, I had read a really good piece in the magazine version about Frida Giannini, creative director of GUCCI. But that’s it. However, I’ve grown fond of Laura Craik, the newspaper’s fashion editor, who has also (just) announced she’s taking over Laura Armstrong’s fashion post at the pay-per-read Times UK. Armstrong, whose work I read in British Vogue, has gone to Telegraph Fashion replacing Hilary Alexander who’s off do her own thing. All this is funny to me because they are all my favourite Fashion Journalists.

And now I’m leaving – off to the melting pot yet again. But with a lot more optimism than last time.

My landlady had told me that my 2011 chinese horoscope (I’m a dog) says I need to embrace change. So I guess it’s time to embrace change, right?

What I’ve been up to

In Fashion on April 15, 2011 at 10:08 am

I was dreading the day. I didn’t want to do it. But after six years, I took the dive.

Styling traumatized me. I’ve only done it three times. Well, four minus my cousin’s event – that was fun. But something went terribly wrong. And as much as I love pretty pictures, I could not bare the responsibility of loosing friendships, money, my mind. I never dreamed of being a stylist. I didn’t pursue it. It just happened. I’m natural go-getter. I’ll make something out of nothing and before you know it, I’ve got clothes, (polished) models, make-up and photographers working for minimal or no fee. But after the final blow, when I fell out with a good friend after working on her project (no details, please), I was offered an opportunity, with a photographer, I was filled with doubt, and I screwed that person over. However, that’s what happens when you’re messed up.

I probably would have kept styling away had I not reached out to magazine editors. In conjunction with all the fashion-focused things I am doing right now. But I figured, I have a bit of time on my hands, and after seeing the quality of work by some exceptionally talented people, it’s time to give it another go.

I don’t aspire to be Lucinda Chambers, or Edward Enninful. Nicola Formichettt – won’t even go there. But maybe Chioma Nnadi, Sarah Harris (wink), Harriet Quick (double wink). Hilary Alexander. Laura Craik.Clare Coulson. Bronwyn Cosgrave – it will take some work, but I’ll get there. As for Robin Givhan, I have only been talking about her on this blog forever. Though she doesn’t style. But people gifted wordsmiths who use images an extension of expression.

I’m doing it. Not with expectations, but to utilize something inside me. Something bigger than the flesh. But I won’t even try to control it – it has to tie into my writing. And it’s all in the hands of capital H.I.M.

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.

Fashion Icon – Alexandra Shulman

In Editor, Fashion, Icon, Vogue on October 31, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Alexandra Shulman
Ms. Shulman may be the more underrated of the three on an international level, but I can attest by personal experience that she’s one of the best, and most fierce Fashion Journalists in existence.

Initially wanting to work for a record label but learning quickly she wasn’t cut of for the job, in 1982 she got her break as a Staff Writer for society magazine Tatler. She then moved on to the Sunday Telegraph (also home to Fashion Journalist Hilary Alexander 1987. During the `90s, she was the Editor for men’s magazine GQ then on to her appointment as Editor of British Vogue 1992 and the magazine has flourished ever since.

Even though her regular column in the Daily Mail has been dropped, you can still get access to her exuberant articles in its archive.