Thursday, April 30, 2009

First the print, now the shirt

A few months ago I bought this wonderful print from Danny Roberts, of the blog Igor and André (please check him out; he is an amazing artist.) Now that same print has been made into a beautiful shirt! So of course I had to have it (again...saving for what apartment?)

Here's the print:

In case you were wondering the shirt is of women wearing Chanel (recognize the sunnies? The Olsen twins made them famous.)

Yesterday I went to check out an apartment on College and Bay streets and it was really tiny. The guy who is renting it told me that when he goes shopping for furniture, art or any kind of addition to the apartment, he really has to think about the space of the apartment and whether the new object would overwhelm it. It got me thinking about how I would decorate a one-bedroom with a small living room.

First off- art. Over the last few months I've been collecting pieces that I definitely want to hang up on my walls. But if I have a small living room and bedroom I won't be able to put up everything or else it would look like a dorm room. So, art (including photographs) can't be poster-sized or else it will overwhelm the room. I like the idea of having one big horizontal print on one wall and nothing on the other walls to keep it balanced. The Chanel Girls in Glasses would be a great centre piece.

Secondly; furniture. Obviously must be multi-functional. The guy who showed me the apartment last night had a table that performed as a table for two; when pulled out it could seat six and he also used it as a desk. Brilliant.

I really want two couches. I big, fat leather couch and a love seat. But in said apartment that would take up the whole living room. So one big couch and possibly a chair would have to do.

Also, definitely a shelf that I could put up photographs, books, comics and other random stuff on.

Maybe I should just take the advice from friends and move into a bigger space that's not downtown.

One of the pieces that I'm dying to get is Danny Robert's Vogue portrait with director Sofia Coppola on the cover. I'm trying to find the magazine too so if anyone sees it on ebay let me know!

Here's the original cover:

There are a bunch of fashion photographs that I've collected that I want to make a collage out of. The Sofia photos in French Vogue are gorgeous and definitely worth putting up on your wall.

The great thing about these photographs is that they're not too "editorial." They're not obviously selling anything; they're just very beautiful works of art. I like that Sofia is showing a soft and romantic side and is not obviously pretty.

(Furniture pics from Ikea. It's the only furniture place I know of.)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A model roundtable of delights

This video is a treat to watch. In tribute of Vogue's model issue, the magazine gathered a bunch of models (and supermodels) at a table to talk about modeling; how it has changed, what they like about the job and their frustrations with the industry.

My facourite part is hearing Iman's delicious voice talk about how her favourite career moment was being the African Queen muse for Yves Saint Laurent. Other interesting tidbits include Caroline Trentini admitting she has insecurities about her body; 16-year-old Karlie Kloss' frustrations with being a "blank slate" and Naomi Campbell being, well, Naomi Campbell.

Please watch:

Monday, April 27, 2009


From the May UK Vogue.

I love how in some of the photos Natalia is posing beside the gowns or halfway out of them with her underwear always peeking out. It's hard to know where to look- at the gorgeous couture or at Natalia. I still can't believe that she's given birth to three kids and still has that body.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The skinny controversy

When photos of an emaciated looking Miss Universe Australia contestant hit the press last week, it caused a shit storm of outrage and shock. Stephanie Naumoska was called "skin and bones," "anorexic," and a "bad role model." One reporter said this about her: "As I’ve seen more meat on a chicken wing I can only assume she’s been gorging on double portions of fresh air."

Yes, the photos are "shocking." Naumoska is 5'11 and weighs about 105 pounds. But I find it a bit distasteful the way the press is going after her as if she's a thing and not a person with real feelings. No one has really bothered to get her side of the story and no one in the press is standing up for her, recognizing that probably has a serious disorder and needs help, not ridicule. It's hypocritical of the media to rip this girl apart for the way she looks when at the same time they obsess over women's bodies. I find it kind of sad that they are discovering just now that women have body issues and eating disorders and they are making it worse by tearing women down with their "shocked" comments.

Women (and men) with eating disorders shouldn't be mocked, shouldn't be called names and they certainly shouldnt be made examples of "this is not what your body should look like" in the press; when the media tells us everyday what we "should" look like.

Eating disorders should be taken seriously, not be made fun of.

Maybe one day Naumoska will tell her side of the story but until then, the press should be reporting on how to help people with eating disorders, not rail on them.

I also think that figuring out who or what is to blame for models and beauty contestants being too skinny is complex. You can't just point a finger at the modeling industry and say that they are forcing all models to be super skinny. Yes, the modeling industry does have a part in it; it's a model's job to be thin and so of course there is a lot of pressure to be a certain weight. But there is more to it than that. It's not just models who have the pressure to be thin. Women in most Westernized countries are constantly being scrutanized over their bodies. The media has a huge influence over that; making fun of celebrities and their "cellulite" and then showing their "outrage" when they lose weight. We live in a very hypocritical society.

But eating disorders aren't to be made light of and models certainly aren't the only people who have them. The disorder affects all kinds of women who aren't in the fashion and entertainment industry.

For more information on eating disorders and support check out these links:

National Eating Disorder Information Centre

Sheena's Place

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ah leather. How I love you

Yesterday after work I headed to Queen Street with the sole intention of buying Fables comics from the Silver Snail. Unfortunately along the way I got lured into the Rudsak store. The smell of leather puts me into a heavenly coma.
I've never been inside a Rudsak store before but I have seen a few of their collections on the runway at Toronto Fashion Week. When I saw their S/S 09 collection last October, I fell in love with their bomber jackets (in redish-pink, khaki and coal black) and their gorgeous leather bags. So I just had to take a look to see them up close.
First thing I noticed (besides that heavenly smell) were the jackets: Long coats with belts around the waist, fitted bombers in the softest of leathers, spring coats with a bomber look but in a lighter more synthetic material and loads of bags, wallets and other small accessories.

But what really caught my eye were the flats. I immediately asked to try on a classic black ballerina, leather flat that has a silver button/knob thing on the toe. They were gorgeous; so well-made, with soft leather and a sturdy bottom. Unfortunately they didn't have my size so I ordered a pair from Montreal. I can't find a picture of them on the website but take it from me; they are perfect to wear anywhere; at work, at a party, lounging about in the house, shopping, wherever.

There was also a great pair of party heels; open toe sandal with a cross cross construction and zipeer at the back. I resisted.

But the piece that I really wanted and almost died when I realized the price, was a fitted leather black bomber jacket. It had multiple zippers in silver and several pockets. The leather was very soft, and it fit me perfectly. Too bad I'm saving for an apartment. Or maybe I should be saying, too bad apartment, the jacket will be mine!

I'm trying to buy more clothes from Canadian stores because a) I believe that supporting our country's designers is really important b) Canada has amazing designers who make beautiful clothes and c) I don't want to give all my money to behemoths like H&M who make poorer quality clothes.

If you've never heard of Rudsak, I insist you check them out. The brand was founded by Evik Asatoorian in Montreal in 1994. They specialize in leatherwear and goods but they also sell t-shirts, shoes and bags. And I have to say that even though they can be a bit pricey, their stuff is timeless and will last you forever.

If you ever make it to L'Oreal Fashion Week, go to their show. And if the clothes aren't enough to entice you, the models are always super hot. At the show in October I couldn't stop staring at this super fine male model. Even Project Runway Canada winner Evan Biddell was drooling.

They have a few stores in Toronto and the GTA as well as in Montreal. Check out their site here.

I want this bag! Isn't the colour gorgeous?

Classic.Party shoes!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Ode to Annie Hall

I've been watching a lot of movies lately late at night before I go to bed. I need to stop this habit as it's making me feel like shit when I wake up at 6 in the morning. But after a hard day's work and then an intense workout at the gym I need to wind down, and a movie makes me relax like no man can (hee!)

Although my mom is angry at me for spending all my money on DVDs, she can't help but like my choices: Annie Hall, Manhattan and Manhattan Murder Mystery (all Woody Allen films) have made their way from my room into hers.

Thankfully, I'm able to watch them before she slips into my room and grabs them.

As a result, I'm in a New York state of mind and in love with Diane Keaton and her sartorial choices. Her clothes are iconic. For those of you who think that Avril Lavigne started the tie trend you are dead wrong. It was Annie Hall. Who could forget that masculine style that at once said "take me seriously but I don't give a shit whether you like me."

The buttoned up to the neck shirt, the little vest, the boyfriend pants and that tie; together they started a revolution in women's wear. And the style is particularly in fashion now as women (such as myself) are clamororing for "boyfriend" style clothes: long, loose jackets and blazers, wide-legged pants, buttoned-up loose shirts and men's ties. It's not always in fashion but it always reincarnates every decade.

I really think that Diane Keaton's clothes shaped the way women dress; gone was the need to wear dresses to be sexy. Her clothes made women feel powerful and emancipated from traditional women's clothing. But they still made a woman feel sexy and desirable.

And it's partially because of my love for that movie that has made me buy two vintage boyfriend blazers (see this post.)

Are there any movies that influence your style?

(Kate Moss is a huge fan of this style)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

What Chanel means in the 21st century

French Vogue's March 2009 issue is dedicated to Coco Chanel, how her designs still influence modern designers today and how her clothes are still relevant to woman decades after "Mademoiselle" sent her first tweed suit down the runway.

It's perfect timing since the movie Coco Avant Chanel is set to debut in France (see the trailer here) and a new No. 5 campaign staring the movie's heroine, Audrey Tautou, has premiered.

It got me thinking about how Chanel, the designer, changed the way women dress, whether Chanel the brand still has relevance today and how modern women think about the label.

It was Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel's suit that transformed forever the way women dressed. In the beginning of the 20th century, women still wore corsets. Chanel decided to free women from their restrictive garments and designed a suit that would allow easy movement and yet be stylish. Chanel herself called the suit, designer in 1913, as the "fashion statement of the century." She designed the suit in jersey, a fabric that was considered at the time to be cheap and demeaning. Flexible, simple and comfortable- the suit was a statement of defiance. Chanel later added tweed to her fabric of choice and it has become one of the most recognizable fabrics of the brand. The shape of the suit is boxy, with strict lines, a fitted cut, braid trimmings, cuffs, sleeves fitted at shoulder level, pockets and a chain sewed into the hem to allow the fabric to hang perfectly. The skirts are mountained on grosgrain at hip level.
Finally, freedom from corsets! Chanel said: "I gave women's bodies their freedom back; their bodies sweated under all the showcase clothes, under their corsets, their underwear, their padding."

So ladies, thank Chanel that we're not wearing corsets anymore!

It's thanks to her that I can wear blazers, jackets and t-shirts; in short, "manly" clothes and not be ridiculed.

Of course many women cannot afford actual Chanel suits; if you buy them straight from the boutiques they will cost you at least $5000. Pretty pricey especially in these tough economic times. Of course when you buy one it will last you forever. But there is the argument that any suit designed for women today has directly been influenced by Chanel.

But what of the real thing? Do women still lust after the Chanel suit? Does it still have relevance today?

After watching the Chanel Fall 09 show, I wasn't too sure that modern women would want one. To me, the suits seemed old, a bit gothic, too dark and too frilly. They were beautifully cut and had great details but it seemed as if the suits were channeling Mozart with the high-necked frills. In short, I couldn't see a woman in her twenties who would want to wear that.

Chanel Fall 09

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Many editors make a lot of the fact that the suit can be worn by women of all ages; especially if you take it apart and wear a jacket with jeans for example. But it's hard to get rid of the image of a snarky old lady with her pearls and tweed suit (Sex and the City's Stanford's mother comes to mind.)

But then you look at the wonderful ads with Daria Werbowy in her jeans and Chanel jackets and you think 'I could wear that.'

I realized it all comes down to one rule: Keep it young. Jeans can make anything you're wearing appear fresh and modern. Even if you're wearing a dark, tweed suit with long sleeves and ruffles; if you wear it with jeans, you're hip again. Add on some shades, killer heels and simple jewelry and you're ready for a fun night out.

And check out actress Anna Mouglalis in Chanel and jeans:

To me, Chanel will always feel like a classic, timeless brand that has impeccable quality, beautifully-cut suits and style ; but it just takes some extra care to make sure you still look your age.

Here are the amazing images from French Vogue's Chanel issue:

Claudia Schiffer and Eva Herzigova

Daria Werbowy
Edita Vilkeviciute

Iris Strubegger
Karlie Kloss

(Photos: The Fashion Spot)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Oh no.....oh yes! Boyfriend jackets!

Saving for an apartment? What apartment? I can't think about saving money when there are gorgeous vintage boyfriend jackets on ebay that I must buy right now.

Gorgeous girl eh? Found them all from this great online vintage store Trendsetter Vintage.

So...should I spend just a little bit more money and get one? Or two? I really love the red one. Or should I buckle down and keep my money? Argh!

Update: I won the red blazer and the blue one (third pic down.) Can't wait to wear them!

Recession what?

I've been curious to see how the retail sector of Toronto has been affected by our fledgling economy but I haven't been shopping in a while, partly because I'm trying to save for an apartment, partly because I can't justify spending so much money on clothes and partly because I'm spending too much on books and DVDs from Amazon.

With all the doom and gloom talk these days about how hard the fashion industry has been hit by the bad economy, I decided to visit Holt Renfrew on Bloor St. to see how or if it has been affected. When I walked into the handbag section it was empty, save for a couple of sales people idling about looking bored, but apparently not bored enough to ask if I needed assistance. I guess those stories about high-end retailers making their sales associates pay extra attention to customers (even ones who don't look like they spend thousands on a shirt) aren't being applied at Holt's.

I wandered up to the second floor in search of a leather bomber jacket and had to hunt down a lone sales associate who promptly told me that they don't carry them in the Spring. I decided to browse the clothes. There were the Marc Jacobs prairie skirts from last season going for $1500, and I saw a couple of older Asian women paw them enthusiastically but leave them on the racks. I tried on a DVF dress and sparkly gold boyfriend jacket which retailed for about $900. They were well-made and absolutely beautful but again, who can afford luxury these days?

The racks made me sad. There were many beautiful designer items but hardly anyone in the store trying them on.

Even the cheaper designer labels such as Marc by Marc Jacobs had their racks filled with unsold merchandise. It could have been that Holt's just restocked their items, but there was a definite lack of enthusiasm in the store. I'm curious to know how much they've had to cut down their Fall collection orders.

I have a feeling that the store is a bit behind the times; instead of trying to bring in new customers with sales and cheaper merchandise, they are sticking to their usual formula of catering to the higher-class customers with invitations to exclusive events, trunk shows, and invite-only discount nights. Their customers however are not shopping as much and people who don't normally check out Holts are even less inclined to shop there because of the exhorbitant prices and aura of exclusivity.

What's needed is a change in the way they market the store; incentives for new customers to shop, more clothes that retail for less than $1000 and friendly sales associates. Otherwise how will they survive?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My current obsession

Last night I watched the special features on the Marie Antoinette DVD since I was too tired to sit through the whole movie and it reminded that I needed to post about one of my favourite male models, Jamie Dornan, who plays Count Fersen in the movie.

I first noticed him because of his spectacularly huge blue eyes. They are gigantic and a really deep shade of blue. Swoon!

Anyway there is this scene in the movie where Marie Antoinette (Kirsten Dunst) and her friends are playing games and drinking at night and Fersen (Dornan) won't stop staring at her. But it's not creepy, it's hot. So hot in fact that right after the movie I looked him up and discovered that he is a model, who has shot campaigns for Calvin Klein, Armani Exchange, Dior Homme and more recently Bvlgari and Aquascutum with Gisele Bundchen.

New York magazine has a great quote from him:
I mean, people aren’t really interested in male models that much, are they?

I see his point. Can you name more than a couple of male models off the top of your head? Right now I can only think of Tyson Beckford, that Brad guy from Chanel and Antonio Sabato Jr. Which is pretty sad because there are tons of male models out there but we just don't hear about them. But this is a conversation for another post. On to more Jamie Dornan...

Dornan is Irish (hot!) and was born in 1982. He's dated Keira Knightley (yay!), Kate Moss, Lindsay Lohan (boo!) and Sienna Miller.

He is also in a band called Sons of Jim.

But what do I care about all these details? I just want to see photos! So here are some great shots of Jamie Dornan, clothes and not-so clothed. Enjoy.

More: Jamie Dornan page on The Fashion Spot