10/29/09

"[cloudy] days and [Thursdays] always get me..."

I have vintage Vogue prints on my walls and books on Vogue (US and UK) lining my shelves. Just for fun and perhaps a little inspiration, I decided to escape into the online archives of some of my favourite magazines (nmca.presspublish.info). Enjoy!
Vogue Paris December 1950


Vogue Paris June 1966

Vogue Paris August 2004

Vogue UK December 2007

10/26/09

View from the Fourth Row

What else did I see at LGFW?

Into the Wild at Ula Zukowska

The woman wearing Ula Zukowska has two choices for Spring/Summer 2010. One is to opt for clothing that protects from the elements. While the other is to wear an outfit that let’s you relax and enjoy the spring breeze.

The show itself seemed fairly subdued. Clothes came down the runway in shades of beige, lilac and dark blue to the tune of the violin. But the accessories shook things up. Pops of bright orange made tights and statement necklaces obvious eye-catchers.

Ula Zukowska’s opening looks immediately had me thinking of utility, practicality – even armour. Survival came to mind when I saw the high, stiff collars, the pockets and the neutral palette. Though the leather leggings were already on more than enough members of the audience, they too fit the tough chick aesthetic. Or so I thought.

The collection switched gears with a series of loose-fitting dresses. The light fabric and silhouette had more movement than some of the show’s earlier pieces. Colours bled into one another unlike the solid neutrals that dominated the beginning of the show. Large flowers were pinned to jackets and found on patterned tights. Suddenly nature wasn’t something to protect yourself against but something to embrace.

If the choice were mine I’d go with the structured pieces. As someone who has never even entertained the idea of camping before, I’m siding with the touch chicks on this one.

Lucian Matis Plays Ringleader at LGFW

It was a circus under the tents for the Lucian Matis show. While waiting outside the crowd seemed to multiply until finally, when people stopped paying attention to assigned seating, things got started.

An eerie trinket-box melody opened the show as several loosely draped dresses came out. The circus theme continued with the clown-motif decorating the dresses. Strapping the models into their embellished headdresses and pastel-coloured shoes only added to the disturbed mood.

But the restrained models’ outfits only got prettier. The length and silhouette remained the same (below or at the knee, loosely draped or away from the body) but the clowns were out and the jewels were in.

With each dress I struggled to take in all of its detail. Steely blue, muted purple and white fabrics were studded, sequined and sparkled more and more as the show went on. I knew the mood had lifted when pink made its way into the mix.

Matis has always had an eye for elegance. For Spring/Summer 2010 the look is 1920’s glam. Highlights include a white sequined dress with low-slung straps and a gray blue gown that would be backless without Matis’ expertly detailed chains.

When the music changed again the audience waited for what sort of theatrics were up next. Canadian supermodel Monika Schnarre closed the show in a white corseted gown with added crystals. By this point I was mesmerized. Maybe it was the supermodel surprise. But it was probably the jewels.

10/24/09

Check Me Out

Not following on Twitter or Facebook? Then check out the results of my latest glossy adventure at LGFW
here
http://www.blogto.com/toronto_fashion_week/2009/10/brandon_dwyer_at_lg_fashion_week_sorta_feels_like_south_beach/

and here
http://www.blogto.com/toronto_fashion_week/2009/10/jessica_biffi_and_her_fembots_do_disco_dynasty_and_gold_hoodies_at_toronto_fashion_week/

Front Desk to Fourth Row

The past couple days have been quite the emotional roller coaster ride. A cancelled New York trip left my plans to celebrate my birthday (today – yay!) up in the air. When the trip officially fell apart I was broken at first, but decided to throw myself into LG Fashion Week for S/S 2010. I emailed former bosses, acquaintances and faceless online media editors hoping that someone would get back to me with an opportunity.

I turned 21 in Manhattan at TVFU’09, surrounded by Teen Vogue staffers I vowed that I would make things happen this year. Yesterday – just hours shy of turning 22 – I received an email from one website asking if I was interested in covering some of the final shows of LGFW. I was at the front desk at work. Yes, that work – my part-time receptionist job that always involves wearing athletic gear and sometimes involves watching Rachel Ray. Part of me could only smile at the thought of this dream come true. While the other part went into panic mode, running down all of the usual questions: What do I wear? How do I get there? Will I be late?

After going home to change and get the details of my job, I tore apart my closet. I’m a big believer in dressing for your mood and so with one quick glance at the dreary weather, a big gray H&M knit topped off my look. I ran out the door sans heels (yes, I forgot them. It was the end of the week. My flats were David Dixon so I figured I could get by).

I’ve been to Fashion Week in Toronto before, but clearly not like this. This time I was there with a purpose. I was on the guest list. I had an industry pass. The King & Shaw location accommodated many more editors, bloggers and fashion fans than LGFW has ever had (certainly many of my TO idols were in attendance). As I took notes during the Brandon R. Dwyer, Jessica Biffi, Ula Zukowska and Lucian Matis shows I couldn’t help but smile. I didn’t have a blackberry like so many of the tweeting editors, heels or an all-access pass to the media lounge but I did have a job to do.

After making it through a storm and an unnecessarily long cab ride, I made it home in one piece. Feeling a little drained (all my energy had gone into loving Lucian Matis’ opulence overload), I sat at my computer writing reviews. The clock struck twelve and it was my birthday. One wish came true a little early this year.

10/22/09

Give Me the Bold Shoulder

Before Toronto's LG Fashion Week is complete, I thought I'd share some top picks for Spring 2010. First up, a gotta have it collection from Pink Tartan.

Marc Jacobs isn’t the only one who knows how to bring back the ‘80s. At Wednesday night’s Pink Tartan show, designer Kimberley Newport-Mimran traded in lace and leather for belts and bold shoulders. For the PT girl, Spring 2010 is all about mixing up mainstays (think horizontal stripes, trenches and wide-legged trousers) with a little luxe sparkle and shine. Pumped up shoulders were balanced by defined waists, cinched by the effortlessly knotted belt. Shades of grey got a fresh update, combined with the sophisticate’s go-tos – black and white. In the midst of an ‘80s fashion redux, how does a designer put her own stamp on it? It seems Newport-Mimran had last season’s rebellious muse step aside, in favour of her sporty sister.

To view the collection (with a little colour commentary from Mr. Adrian Mainella) see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuKr7juHXOQ

10/16/09

"it wears me out, it wears me out"

AG and I call them mishaps, but maybe that isn't quite right. We laugh at the mishaps, tell each other they can make or break any day. What we're actually referring to are those moments when you feel as if you've gotten creamed by a pie in the face - when life is suddenly a slapstick comedy and you're the star. We've said that we can try our very best to appear "chic and reserved" (grazie, Guido) but that it's much more fun just to face the fact that we'd rather take those less than perfect moments. So what if we're left to wonder if our outfits led us to be seated in the heat of the kitchen, rather than out on the patio? Step by (tiny) step, we've taken risks and had endless stories to tell.

I suppose the same can be applied to writing. I've always wondered if certain critics have ever felt the pressure to shower everyone with praise in the beginning. In fashion, the most interesting critics are the ones who draw references from obscure and often unexpected moments in art and pop culture. But what about the image of a writer or editor that comes through in their critique? With the arrival of LG Fashion Week comes views from every elite editrix, witty blogger and fashion fan. Though I admit to being drawn to some of the online coverage laced with snark, it gets tired when it comes to be expected. While perusing the FLARE blogs I came across this comment from Lisa Tant's blog:

"Even normally polite editors (that would be me) hooted and hollered like a hooligan at the finale of Lanvin’s gorgeously luxe show."

She may not have a mishap to speak of, but I love the fact that she doesn't try to uphold some sort of frosty image. I can't imagine what I'd do as a result of sensory overload at a Lanvin (swoon) show. Amidst all of the chaos that must have been her fashion week experience, I'm sure some hootin' and hollerin' were in order.

10/10/09

Happy Thanks!

"Expired. Expired." That's all I heard from the security guy when I tried to use my swipecard to visit my former boss. I returned to the site of both of my internships hoping to blend in. Instead, I had to follow procedure and was ultimately labelled a visitor. I suppose my swipecard is just a souvenir now.

With one elevator ride and a phone call later, my boss greeted me with a hug. We sat for coffee discussing the current happenings at the magazine and what my next steps might be. Unfortunately they are certainly not hiring, and her workload is piling as a result. During a time when I can't help but feel lost, it was nice to hear encouragement from someone who has so much experience. If I've learned anything, it's that you definitely have to keep up with your contacts.
Later that day while checking my email (of course) I received some encouragement of a different kind. My freelance writing teacher responded to one of my countless emails with a stamp of approval. Our assignment is to write a profile on someone in Toronto, and step one was to pitch it. He wrote to me saying that my chosen subject would be a great choice. After hearing lacklustre feedback from pitches before, I immediately felt a rush of excitement. The next step is to approach her and hope she agrees to hang out. But instead of holding out for emails this weekend, I'm holding out for pumpkin tarts. Happy Thanksgiving!

10/2/09

Mes Amis

It's been a particularly tough week. I've too little time working on anything productive and way too much time wondering what's to come. I feel as if my friends and I prayed for school to end, now it has, and there's a general sense of helplessness all around. Feeling lost and afraid doesn't seem to be uncommon. I'm hoping that my meeting this week at the site of Internship No. 2 will provide me with some sort of direction. But it helps to know that I'm not alone. Luckily, friends and new bloggers are writing all about it.

http://lilis-diary15.blogspot.com/
Remember the diary you hid under lock and key? The one that held all of your deepest confessions ("I have a crush on...") and most scandalous secrets ("Guess who made out...")? The one that you wrote in by the light of the moon and to the sounds of the Backstreet Boys on your walkman? Okay, maybe that last one was just me. Anyway, Liana of Lili's Diary has returned to the tradition of journal writing with her very first blog. Honest and candid, she writes about the present day thoughts and musings of a 20-something girl in post-university world.

http://notamodel.blogspot.com/
Hey, we can't all be supermodels but we can be confident, driven young women who are out to make our mark. Amanda's Not a Model is for creative types looking for a one-stop site for all things related to fashion, beauty, style and health. It's life advice from a 'non-model' who admits she doesn't have it all figured out. But no one does. It's my opinion that we all just need something fun to inspire us along the way.

A Night at the Bata Shoe Museum

I decided to skip class. I paired the essential black tights with a patterned dress, leather jacket, scarf and my beloved studded booties for an evening at the Bata Shoe Museum. Naturally, I arrived early and braced myself for the opportunity to run into some of Toronto’s most fashionable faces (those who aren’t currently in Paris at least). As I descended the staircase I immediately felt ridiculous for my previous anxiety. The lady at reception gladly took my student card (“Another Ryerson student!”). I knew the list of notable names in the room had to be low if she seemed so excited to see me. There was David Livingstone, guest lecturer for the evening, along with a mixed bag of students and costume society ladies.

David Livingstone briefly described how he fell into fashion and who influenced him along the way. Chanel biographer Edmonde Charles-Roux and fashion journalist Kennedy Fraser reminded him how important it is to have a historical perspective of fashion.

Livingstone’s work caters to the intellectual’s view of fashion. He studies obscure aspects of pop culture and how they end up on the runway. Unfortunately, he’s a less than captivating speaker who meandered from point to point and paused along the way. He spoke of the two sides of the fashion industry: the artistes and the BS.

Q&A led to some more interesting opinions. He is disappointed by the “ghettoization” of men’s fashion – the way fashion is depicted in the media and advertising as a woman’s area of interest. He wouldn’t want Robin Kay’s job (head of the Fashion Design Council of Canada). Finally, he doesn’t think that Toronto’s LG Fashion Week is all that exciting. Torontonians certainly shouldn’t expect or aspire to have Anna Wintour show up in the front row. Livingstone believes that not every city can be named a fashion capital, and that’s what makes the current capitals so buzz-worthy. Paris, London, New York, Milan.

Though I will continue to read and admire Livingstone’s work, his speaking skills only reminded me that there are definitely some strange characters in the fashion industry. I promised myself I’d stick to his writing, and maybe going to class. With that I hurried back toward the subway. Besides, I had penciled in thirty minutes with one of my favourite guilty pleasures, MTV’s The City. If I wasn’t in a fashion capital, the least I could do was catch a glimpse of it in a so-called reality.