Monday, February 22, 2010

The Faves of New York Continued...

Day Five: Marc Jacobs

For the first season in like a bil, I didn't have a complete faclempt-attack or mental breakdown on Marc Monday. Fall was easy on the eyes and easy on wearability (or at least dreaming of wearability) - just the way I like it once in a very long time.

See what I thought about the hyper-innocent makeup:

Day Six: Rodarte

Jesus, this was a great collection... actually it was my fave of the week. I love that the Mulleavys were back in the romantic realm of their first few collections and I also loved the Texan Spanish Mexican narrative.

I make a little more sense here:

Day Seven: Proenza Schouler

What the hell is it about a Proenza show that makes everything look hyper-familiar and just like you've never seen it at the same time. There were definitely shreds of it-girls like Alice, Chloe, and hell, even Lauren SD, but then there were those holy shit aspects like fun fur on varsity jackets and jagged swirl printed baby-doll meets sexpot dresses that made you do a quadruple take.

This Is Your Brain On Drugs

If you've ever felt the creative urge while on shrooms, I suppose you've ended up somewhere along the lines of my two new fave blogs ever, and After discovering these gems via my friend Alice, I suddenly have the urge to collage Crystal Light packages with Evan Lysacek and the Whistler Mountains.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Faves of New York. So Far...

Day One: Rachel Comey

My editor at Interview thought Rachel's gal took a page out of Faye Dunaway's book, but I kind of think that Rachel designs for our generation's heroine: the kind of girl who heavily layers, loves bunnies and always looks hasphasderdly perfect. I also think that Rachel knows that girl because she invented her. What do you think?

Day Two: Jeremy Laing

If they would have consulted fellow Canuck Jeremy Laing on how to inject some Canadian cool into the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver games, we would have been spared the neck-bearded poet, KD Lang and countless Native cliches. What we have gotten was amazing multi-layered rabbit, beaver, knit and Northern lit geometrics.

Day Three: Alexander Wang

A few things I hate: red velvet, ribbed chenille, odd fitting pinstripes. You'd think that I'd really hate Wing Wang's fall show... but think again my friend.

As if possessed by some otherworldly fashion god, I can't help but be drawn to the designer's naughty meets wall street 90's Le Chateau (shout out Canadians!) look. It really needs to be hanging in my closet like asaaaap.

For more Fashion Week commentary, check out my trend roundups:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Long Live Alexander The Great

I had barely downed my first sip of coffee this morning when I had the wind knocked out of me by the shocking news of Alexander McQueen's tragic death. I don't feel the need to put my stamp on the much-shared devastation, but I do need to vent just a bit. After all, I (and Robin!) do tend to not deal with death flashed in lights very well.

Every description that been used to describe Lee in the hours that have followed since his passing have been right on the money: visionary, huge talent, transgressor... the list could go on forever. And just as some of today's young designers like Jeremy Laing and Tina Kalivas, he was the starting point for so many, myself included.

My first exposures to fashion came hand in hand with his fantastical shows; Shalom getting sprayed with a robot laser painter is forever ingrained in my mind for one. And let’s not forget my almost outer-body reaction to his Spring 2010 collection, which really made me weep. I think most would agree that McQueen was a one in a million type of talent, a talent who pushed our minds beyond the far reaches our imagination.

As Tim Blanks said on, it’s unimaginable trying to imagine him trying to cope with the loss of his mother (and it's speculated that the loss of Isabella Blow still haunted him as well) near the end, and I hope he's found peace. For the rest of us, we're just left blowing in the wind wondering what the fuck to do next.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Can We Hang Out With You, Jeffrey Monteiro?

Here at The Katie Girls, we like to celebrate two things: 1. talented people that happen to be our friends and 2. exciting fashion news that somehow involves fashion icons of years past. The lovely person and recent news about Jeffrey Monteiro embodies of those things.

The Middle Eastern born, Australian raised, London educated designer has quietly been building a reputation over the past almost-decade for soft tailoring, romantic draping and a penchant for the masculin-feminin mix while holding top design jobs at cult houses Mayle and Derek Lam. Just over a month ago though, came the biggest coup. Monteiro was named the newest designer to take hold at the legendary house of Bill Blass. Though the house has had its share of tough times, the time for a full blown Blass renaissance has come, and Jeffrey has been touted as the man to start it (and keep his eponymous line too! Sheesh!

I've been jumping for joy since I heard the news, and so what did I do? Shower the man with questions, of course! Enjoy, Katie Girls!

I'm sure you've got lots of thoughts running through your mind about your new gig at Bill Blass, which are the ones that keep you up at night?
How to do justice to the legacy that was Bill Blass - at it's best.

What do you admire most about Bill Blass as a designer? How he was able to always design for his customer and the woman he surrounded himself
with. He didn't want to alter her in anyway. He just provided stylish clothes that allowed her to be who she was - elevating her enough so she would shine. His collections were always strong because he was so clear about who she was.

I love his quote when people asked him what he did "I am in advertising"... He epitomized the word dapper, not only his own persona but that of this work.

You've worked at different houses like Mayle and Derek Lam before as well as being the master of your own domain with your own line... what are your thoughts about each? Each experience is so different and you learn and grow from each.
Mayle was a small, independent company. It was very hands on and renegade in a way, doing things differently but having to fit into the system. Derek Lam was much more of an operation and on a very different level. With shows and much more of a corporate mentality. With my own line I strive to find a balance between my last two work experiences.

I remember that you were moving from the city to Brooklyn or the other way around, where are you living now? Where are your favorite hangouts in the area? I have lived on Manhattan for 7 yrs now moving back into the city from Williamsburg. Starting in the East Village and slowing moving further south over the last few years. I currently live on the far east side of the Lower East Side near the East River. (That's a lot of Easts) I love it. It has the feel of Brooklyn. Very neighbourhoody , and residential but you don't have to cross the river.

Favorite places that I love to go to in the hood - Zafi's Diner next to my apartment building. It's an authentic slice of old New York.
Bacaro for the mushroom gnocchi and a glass of wine. Brown Cafe- for the best coffee and banana muffins below Delancey St and Project No. 8b for some fashion indulgences.

What turns your crank about fashion... ie. why did you
want to be a designer?
It's all LOVE. Whenever I feel a little tired there's the next season to get on with. It keeps you motivated to make the next collection stronger and better. I love the pace and it's a way of telling a story and communicating.

Are you ever jealous that you can't wear your own designs? Ever thought about designing for men? I would love to do menswear and each season I think, I am going to do it. But then the women's takes precedence. I have been working on expanding the women's line with shoes so when I feel like that is fully set up. I'll tackle menswear. Maybe next season ;)

What's your favourite band? song? Of the moment - Bat for Lashes most recent album - love that Natasha Khan.

What is your standard uniform? Levi Jeans, Calvin Klein White or Grey T-shirt and trainers, a Margiela sweater for those chilly days and a custom shirt Made In Vancouver if I have to impress.

What is your current mood or inspiration? What can we expect to see in your first Blass collection? Bill Blass... it's a secret (but I am inspired by the character in Jacques Demy film - Bay of Angels) For Jeffrey Monteiro Fall Collection, the collection takes inspiration from Robert Polidori's photo's of Versailles in the 80's during a renovation.

The weather on the East Coast is so gross right now... what are you looking forward to most about Spring? Being able to ride my bike around the city again and the cherry blossoms in April.

Can you describe your style without using phrases like boho chic,
old Hollywood glamour or anything with a twist? Eclectically sophisticated.

(In case you were wondering, photos are of Jeffrey Monteiro's Resort and Spring 2010 collections)

Busy Bee!

In case you were wondering why I've been a bad little blogger for the last few months, you'll be comforted (or not?) to know that I've still been writing! Among my latest mini-gigs, I've done a little trend reporting on Men's Fashion Week and Couture Week for Interview lately, so check it out!

Stay tuned for Ready to Wear coverage later this month... whoot!

Monday, February 1, 2010

69 Vintage Goes Mallrat

For those of you Torontonians who may find yourselves a bit behind the times, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. We have a vintage mini mall right in our own hometown! Yes, that's right folks, 69 Vintage's little sister (all grown up now!) just went through a major reno and built herself a fine little empire at 1207 Bloor Street West (still at Lansdowne, just across the street)

With not one or two but three stories of vintage shops including Lost + Found, Promise to Repeat and Stacked as well as a main floor of Kealan Sullivan's typically awesome finds at 69 Vintage (oh and don't forget Buy the Pound in the back), the place is like a goddamn treasure trove.

'We all pick a little differently', is how Lost + Found's boss, Leah Gust, explains it. (Wait, this just turned into an article. Sorry) Wait, but they've also got goddamn vintage inspired sewing classes in the Make Den downstairs! (My friend Irene runs them, I swear she's a pro).

The store has been baby-stepping for a few months now, but last week was the official launch party. Innocently, I entreed thinking I'd leave with a buzz. Obviously I ended up with a purse that has turned out to be mightily impractical when accounting for modern day necessities (ie. does not allow for frequent Blackberry scrolling in-purse while sipping coffee)

If you are in the area you HAVE to check it out. The main store is open Tuesday-Sunday but all shops should be open on weekends! And don't forget to bring the dolla dolla bills y'all. Not all stylish chickadees can take Visa.

Party pics by Lynsie Roberts ( The shitty ones are by me!