Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Latest Babealiciousness from Open Ocean

Oh hey remember when I told you about my friend Sarah Kuhn, and her band of multi talented fashion mega babes? Well, the Brooklyn-based Open Ocean's at it again, with their new video, Sink or Swim, directed by Sarah herself! (There's nothing she can't do. Really...) Anyways, give er a whirl. You'll thank me.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Toronto Takes Spring 2011, Part II

There’s a whole lot of coddling that goes on within the Toronto fashion scene. You know like, “well that was nice… for Toronto” or “she’s not trying to be the next Jean Paul Gaultier”. Maybe it’s actually not coddling, its just delusion. Or that good ole’ Canuck sense of scaredy-cat niceness? Either way, it basically makes me want to vom, and since I’d rather not send out some serious hate vibes on my blog after seeing The Social Network, (maybe I’m a little scaredy-cat myself?), thank god there were some killer shows to end the week on a high note.

The scene’s most notorious macabre draping non-brothers, Mikey and Drew Thomas, held their first official show, featuring quite an expanded collection of black and white (duh) separates that we were left to figure out – in the best way possible – as androgynous models seemed to glide by to creepy murder scene buildup music. The whole thing reminded me of the inner-Thomas-circle, especially one of their best gal pals, Sahar Nooraei, who kills it on asexuality, punk and sophistication all at the same time. My fave pieces were several of the long trompe l’oeil button downs which sewn together with partially hanging layers. The sleeves were in the back AND the front!

Rita Liehebber also showed for the first time during the official schedule, yet maintained a total grassroots feel by opting for a presentation on the runway, rather that parading down it. The sea swept collection of drip dyed tanks, throw-on dresses and holey knit vests were shown alongside yet another of Eva Michon’s videos, which this time featured ghostly reverses of a model’s face, which faded, into one another like a psychedelic trip.

Amanda Lew Kee was by far the biggest surprise hit of the week, who swapped her typical LBD meets Burton aesthetic for a light and airy collection of thinly layered peach and taupe dresses, leather minis and demi-suiting with metal details. Styled with a sky blue pout worn by models, the designer herself as well as friends and supporters, the whole thing had that je ne sais quoi feel that you just know is going to punctuate the season.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Holt Renfrew does Vreeland

Well, who would have thunk it. Holt Renfrew’s kickoff to official Toronto Fashion Week, touted as the week’s most patriotic, began with homage not to the maple leaf, but rather to one of America’s famed style icons, 1960’s Vogue Editor, Diana Vreeland. The show, which featured eight of the country’s hottest labels: Jeremy Laing, Pink Tartan, Mikhael Kale, Denis Gagnon, Line Runway, Smythe, Wayne Clark and Wings & Horns, began with a short film depicting the editrix in all her redredred glory, smoking a ciggie while delineating the future of fashion on her typewriter. The film, directed by Bad Day Magazine Editor, Eva Michon, was largely inspired by Vreeland’s legendary column, Why Don’t You, which featured a series of brilliant (if sometimes slightly insane) witticisms like “why don’t you have a yellow satin bed entirely quilted in butterflies?”

“The original inspiration for the video came from [Holt Renfrew Creative Director] John Gerhardt who has a profound appreciation for the amazing Diana Vreeland. It was incredibly fun to create her character with Fiona Green, who assembled an amazing wardrobe, and Claudine Baltazar, who turned my mother in-law, Francine Grainger into Mrs. Vreeland with the magic of a wig,” says Eva. Pretty wild, I’d say, but as anyone who would know from working with the ingenious (and charming, and debonair, and amazing, and blah blah blah) Gerhardt, the whimsical or bizarre is a natural starting point. “Francine was very easy to direct because she is already a very glamorous and fashionable woman. Her office was very fun to recreate too, my cinematographer, Rob Tagliaferri, and I had never shot so much red in a scene before,” she says. Go Eva! That’s what I say…

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Toronto Takes Spring 2011, Part I

Fake Toronto Fashion Week, otherwise known as the week before the officially scheduled shows, kicked this season off with a series of calculated bangs, the biggest of which being The Room at The Bay’s British bonanza, celebrating eight of England’s finest designers, Giles Deacon, Erdem Moralioglu, Charlotte Olympia Dellal, Jonathan Saunders, Mark Fast, Marios Schwab, Mary Katrantzou and Nicholas Kirkwood, last Thursday night. The night, which was surely a thrill for anyone present, was especially titillating for me, considering my downright obsession with these designers! No, really!

I was covering the event for V Magazine (read up, folks!), but even if I hadn’t have been, you better bet that my creepy cornering of each designer one by one to fawn all over their collections, their talent and their general being would have happened anyways. I confessed to Erdem that I cried while his last collection to which he good-naturedly replied by questioning my sanity. Giles and I got to talking about squirrels, which of course, I thought, was an appropriate time to tell him that I had some living in my roof. “You better take care of those nasty buggers,” he said. “They’re vicious!” I had quite a lovely and lengthy chat with Mary Katrantzou, whom I worship like no other. I’d be convinced that we were best pals if I hadn’t been a) stepping on her bag all night and b) constantly alerting her to the fact that she was indeed, Mary Katrantzou. Oh and also! I didn't have smokes for Marios Schwab so what did he do? Found ME some!

I should add to this little blurby that I was not, contrary to the way it may seem, inebriated beyond repair. I was simply a little bubbled with a whole lot of wow wow wow stimulation! You believe me, right?

Earlier that night, I stopped by Ashley Rowe’s psychedelic themed presentation, which featured pairs of blissfully dazed models gliding around a candle lit bathtub against a dimly lit smoke-like projection. Like the most intense version of any day camp pastime, Rowe had tie dyed long and loose sweatshirts, t-shirts and dresses in a kaleidoscope of rainbow colours. Having gone through my own reappearing hippie phase earlier this year, I was shall we say, grooving off of Rowe’s overall vibe.

Not to be overshadowed, Philip Sparks made quite a few ladies smile with their eyes (get it? Tyra?) on Wednesday, when he launched his first foray into womenswear. Hip hip hooray! Appearing alongside his signature menswear, the mini collection was quite the literal translation of how the Sparks man would dress if he was a women: peppy, polished and punctuated with punches of laid back plaid. Perching vintage umbrellas at their shoulders, I couldn’t help but think that one of the models was going to break out in her rendition of Debbie Reynolds in Singin’ in the Rain. Full of well crafted and wearable pieces, Sparks’ first kick at the womenswear can gave the appearance of an already well oiled machine. Bravo!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Take Me to the Ballet Russes!

If I could pick any time period to live in, save for the sixties of course, it'd be Paris from the late 1800's to the early 1900's. To my mind, never has there been such an intermingling of creative forces all at the same time! Just think about it for a sec... within the span of 30 or so years, everyone from Schiaparelli to Cocteau, Matisse, Breton, Delaunay, Dali, Sartre and Man Ray (there are like 100 major movements to cover here) inhabited the same coffee houses, sidewalks, cinemas... the mere fantasy of it blows my mind. Just one of my favourite things going on in that span of time, was Sergei Diaghilev's famed Ballet Russes.

Completely revolutionary at the time, the vibrant, zig-zagging shots of colour and movement that encompassed everything from fauvism to cubism are still the most fascinating of any major company (that I know of at least!) Sets by Matisse and Picasso! Costumes by Chanel! Music by Stravinsky, Satie and my personal fave Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune! And let's not forget about the revolutionary dancing... Nijinsky playing both male and female leads, masturbating on stage, being ditched for Léonide Massine in Diaghilev's jealousy! Jesus, right?

The V&A just opened an exhibit on the Ballet, Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, which if you live in London, I’m sure you know all about! There will be some of the costumes, photos and drops that you see here plus loads more. I’m MAJOR jeals… so let a girl know how it is, will ya? For a sneak peek of the exhibit, check out the video below! For those of you who won't be able to make it, like this poor soul... check out the amazing documentary done a few years back, Ballet Russes which follows the trajectory of the group's history as well as features archived footage and interview with the groups youngest members (though most were only present for the Balanchine era). It's truly a delight.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Mariacarla's High Fashion Frolick

I lied when I said I’d never lift stuff off of other sites just for the sake of it. The truth is that I want to do it every time I check Nowness, which if you don’t know is probably the strongest most varied, unique and interesting sites out there today. No really, like the only place you can go to see something that you really won’t see anything else! Well anyways, Luca Guadagino and Alessio Bolzoni shot these images of Mariacarla Boscono frolicking around the gardens of a heritage home in the English countryside in the wears of Miu Miu, Chris Kane, YSL and blah blah blah. In short, I really really dig em.