Sunday, May 31, 2009

If I could only have one thing this summer...

Let it be these shoes by Mimosa.

I've been thinking about high heels for a while now and my love-hate relationship with them. Two weeks ago I wore one of my favourite pair of heels to work; they're 5 inches, with a platform heel and a red tartan colour. I forgot to wear socks with them and so the skin on the sides of both my feet were ripped off after walking in them for 10 minutes. Needless to say it was a day where I had to make my friend Michelle get me food because I couldn't make the walk to the grocery store and I had to beg my cousin to bring me flats to wear home. That day, I hated shoes and what they did to my poor, shredded, tired feet.

But despite that, I still love them. I love how tall they make me; I seriously tower over so many people I feel indestructable. I love how sexy I feel when I wear them; the comments, the whistles and the stares I get is awesome. I just feel really powerful and hot in high heels. Flats may be more comfortable (even that is debatable) but I truly believe women shouldn't leave the house without wearing heels.

Unfortunately I am finding it difficult to take my own advice ever since "the shoe incident." I'm a bit scared of them. I'm scared that my feet will never look the same again. I'm scared my feet will take up in arms if I put them in heels.

But I love heels so much that I might be crazy enough to endure the pain as long as I look good wearing them. Of course this may involve hobbling down the street, moaning in agony, but hell, I look damn good in them. I'm just going to wait until my scars heal a bit more.

Friday, May 29, 2009

This is why she's one of the top models

I was recently asked who my favourite model is and I had no trouble answering. Natalia Vodianova. This editorial from June's British Vogue is a great reason why I love her and why she is considered one of the top models in the world.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Couture loses another master?

The fashion world has been given another kick in their stylish pants with the news that Christian Lacroix, the french couture house, has filed for bankruptcy protection today.

The U.S.-owned company has been having major financial issues for years; never making a profit and barely breaking even. Customers have been cancelling or reducing orders and ready-to-wear sales for the fall season were down 35 per cent.

But it's not just Lacroix that's in trouble: Luxury behemoth LVMH just scrapped a plan to open a Louis Vuitton flagship store in Tokyo and earlier this year Chanel laid off 200 temporary employees.

The Times explains the impact of Lacroix's filing:

"The loss of Christian Lacroix to Paris haute couture is immeasurable. Although the designer hopes to hold a small presentation during the July couture season, this was the last house established under the formal couture rules. Even a restructuring would likely have severe implications on his 125-member staff."

But the haute couture market has been on the downturn for a long time; either closing because they didn't make enough of a profit or the great masters have stepped down (or died.)

I wrote an article about the decline of haute couture in Naked Eye magazine and related it to Valentino's retirement. My reason for saying that haute couture was a dying business was because of big business. Couture is not profitable. In fact just putting on an haute couture show can cost millions of dollars which the company will not make back. There are only a handful of people who can afford couture and their numbers are dwindling fast.

So it should be no suprise that Lacroix, renowned for its beautiful couture, is filing for bankruptcy protection. The real money is in accessories and ready-to-wear but even that market is taking a beating since people are realizing that it might be a tad bit insane to spend $1000 on a bag or $3000 on a dress.

The Times says:

"But just as royalty now has less attention than celebrity, so couture has lost its unique prestige, with the word bandied about by any high-end designer. And whereas fragrances produced from the mystique of haute couture once kept the houses afloat, now it is just as likely that a hip jeans brand like Diesel or a celebrity like Jennifer Lopez will have the perfume hit that has stubbornly eluded Lacroix."

So, with Paris Haute Couture week coming quickly in July, will there be one less House showing a collection? A friend of mine thinks that the company will be bailed out but I'm not so sure. Who would want to buy a company that doesn't make money?

But for the sake of fashion, I hope Lacroix will get help and is able to present a collection. We need beautiful clothes to look at now more than ever.

Photos from the Christian Lacroix Spring 2009 Couture show:

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wino forever

The last time I think that Winona Ryder made the cover of a major fashion magazine was Vogue in August 2007. Back then she addressed her 2001 arrest over that little shopping spree at Saks and claimed it was due to drugs. I thought that the cover would boost her profile a bit and get her onto the big screen again but unfortunately I was wrong.

Wino has kept it low key, appearing in indie movies and playing small parts (she plays Spock's mother in the new Star Trek movie.)

I used to be a huge Winona fan back in the day. Some of my favourite Wino films are Heathers, Little Women, Edward Scissorhands and The Crucible. She was (and still is) incredibly gorgeous in a quirky pixie-like way. Those big eyes make me melt.

Now she's on the cover of the July UK Vogue and she looks so beautiful. I swear that woman doesn't age (she's 37.) She's promoting her new movie The Private Lives of Pippa Lee which also stars Keanu Reeves, Julianne Moore and Robin Wright Penn.

Will being on the cover of a major fashion magazine boost her career? I'm not sure but I really hope it helps. It's been almost 20 years since she made Scissorhands and dated Johnny Depp. She needs a major comeback. At least for my sake. Do it for me Wino!

I think one of her biggest lures for me is that she is the interminable outsider; she doesn't fit into the Hollywood mold. She has always been a little dark and quirky. Which makes sense when she says:

"I thought it was cooler to be interesting than to be pretty. I must have got that from my parents, who felt strongly about being an individual and being your own person and that looks aren't everything. I always knew that I wasn't, you know, beautiful. I never wanted to be beautiful, I never wanted to be a cheerleader."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can I be a part of your court Karl?

An ex-assistant of fashion genius Karl Lagerfeld has written a book exposing amazing information about the Kaiser. The book is called Merci Karl! (hee!)

Little tidbits include:

- That he takes "an eternity" to get ready
- He takes photos of himself at every photo shoot and surrounds himself with these photographs
- He surrounds himself with a "royal court" and nobody disagrees with him
- He dumps people "at the drop of a dime"
- He stops acknowledging peoples' existence

What else could you expect from genius? Personally I would be very disappointed if he turned out to be nice. A man like him should not be nice, he should be a cold-hearted, mean diva. The man creates amazing clothes. We should all bow in his presence.

To quash any doubts you may have, I'm posting photos of his Chanel Resort 2010 collection which I forgot to post about when it actually happened because I fainted at the gorgeousness.

And while you look through the photos, listen to Vivaldi's Four Seasons (Winter.) It will put you in the right mood. The collection showed in Venice and had a Carnivale theme with masks, big hats, black cloaks and curly hair. Despite it being a Resort collection, the colours were surprisingly dark and moody; lots of black and dark red. Against the setting Venetian sun it looked very sexy and haunting.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Art and tees

When I was at the mall on the weekend I stopped by some stores to window shop. I wasn't going to go into Bebe because their clothes are ridiculously overpriced but a t-shirt caught my eye. It was a white, long scoop neck t-shirt with a graphic of a fashionable woman.
Now I'm a huge lover of graphic tees so I immediately went into the store to check it out. Turns out, Bebe is doing a collaboration with Biba founder, Barbara Hulanicki.

I think graphic tees are a great way to liven up an outfit. Pair them with jeans, skirts, black leather pants or (if it's long enough) wear as a mini-dress. I like wearing them to work with a schoolboy blazer, jeans and heels. I don't like wearing outfits that are too serious so the graphic tee livens it up and makes it more playful.
And these Bebe ones I would definitely wear going out a night; with long necklaces, a cocktail ring and skinny jeans, hell yeah!
I think graphic tees are a great alternative to the usual party dress. And they're a heck of a lot more comfortable and easy to party in.

But not all graphic tees are great. I was unfortunate enough to notice a grey tee in H&M which was extremely ugly. It's too bad I didn't get a photo of it because it's hard to explain. Picture this: A zebra head on top of a tiger's body. Scary right? H&M has been producing a few unfortunate shirts like this. I call them the "hipster shirts." For some reason people think shirts with imaginary scary animal hybrids are cool. Please avoid!

(kind of like this only scarier)

So in short: Fashion and comic tees are cool, weird animal crossbreeds are not.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Mode as muse and wannabe models

Today I went to the Eaton Centre to check out the Ford Supermodel of the World open call and to support my friend who was trying out. Unfortunately my camera died and I couldn't take photos so I will do my best to describe the scene.

We got there about 12:15 and there was already a pretty big lineup. There were girls of all sizes and heights. Some were typically pretty (what I call "mall pretty;") others had the model requirements (very tall, very thin;) some were too short but had pretty faces and were thin; and some had horrible style (one girl wore a bright pink shirt with holes along the arms and was so tight her belly fat was leaking out.)

Out of all of them (friend excluded) I only saw one girl who caught my eye; she wasn't typically pretty but she had an interesting face. I'll try to describe it from my memory. She had dark, full eyebrows, large wide-set brown eyes that were a bit too far away from her nose but it made her look elfin. She had a small, pouty mouth and a round-shaped face. She was very tall, I would say 6 feet and looked very young and shy. She captivated me and I'm really sad that I couldn't take any photos. I hope the Ford website puts up shots from the event.

Anyway, the line up grew pretty big and they had to start lining up girls outside the mall. There were lots of moms there. A Revlon hair guy went around to all the girls spraying their hair and pulling it back into a ponytail. When the girls got to the front they had their head shots taken and were asked a couple of questions about themselves.

I was standing beside a 16-year-old girl who seemed like she was at least 6 feet (although all of them were wearing super tall heels) and said that she already had an agent and had done some modeling. She told me a cute anecdote about her agent calling her while she was writing an exam and she had to refuse a modeling job because she obviously had to finish the test.

I talked to a few other girls there and asked them how much they knew about modeling and models. Most of them didn't know the names of contemporary models such as Daria Werbowy or Coco Rocha. They all think it's a glamorous job. A lot of them were trying out just for fun or because their friends or parents told them too. Some of them were interested in fashion but a lot of them weren't.

After my friend left, I headed over to the Indigo to find some good books and I came across The Model as Muse book that's part of the Met exhibition of the same name.
The Peter Lindbergh photograph of Kate Moss sold me.

The book and the Ford Supermodel open call got me thinking about what makes a good model.
Flipping through the photographs of the greats like Linda Evangelista, Veruschka, Jean Shrimpton, Lisa Fonssagrives, Naomi Campbell, Kate and others, I wondered how much of being a great model relies on the face, the body, the makeup artist, the hair stylist, the photographer and the numerous other people that help a girl become a model.

For me, it's about an interesting face; not necessarily beautiful, but a face that you can't help but notice and stare at. I think part of being a good model is knowing how to move your body in front of a camera and knowing your good angles. Being part actor and part chameleon is a model's job. I don't think you have to know a lot about fashion if you want to become a model, but it helps.
But really, I think it all comes down to that face. No makeup, no product in the hair, no fancy clothes on. If the face can inspire people then that's a good start for a girl to become a model.

Was there a potential muse in the line up I saw? I did see a lot of girls who came across as confident, who knew they were hot. But would they be able to inspire a designer, would they define an era, would they influence a photographer? I'm not so sure.

Friday, May 22, 2009

So you think you can be a model?

Tomorrow at the Eaton Centre in Toronto, Ford Models is holding an open call for the Supermodel of the World contest.

The open call is being held on level three of the Eaton Centre from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Here is some background:

From the world’s best modelling agency comes Canada’s next face of beauty and fashion.

Ford Models is the world’s largest global fashion talent management company. Each year, Ford Models searches the globe for its next female Supermodel to join the Ford Models' prestigious Women's division.

Three Canadians have been crowned the Ford Models Supermodel of the World: Monica Schnare in 1986, Tricia Helfer in 1992, and Leanne Spencer in 1996. Who will be the Canadian finalist this year? Is it you?

Stay tuned as Ford Model Scouts visit Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal and select models from each region to participate in the finals.

Want to know the prize? The winner receives a $250,000 (US) modeling contract with Ford Models. 
The runners-up also receive modeling contracts with Ford Models for
$150,000 (US) or $100,000 (US). Sweet deal!

I will be there with a friend who is entering the contest, taking pics and asking model hopeful questions about why they think they have what it takes to be a supermodel.

Also check out editor Laura Lanktree's blog about the contest; if you have any questions, she is the one with the answers.

Here is a pic of last year's winner, Shelby Furber.

Good luck!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Cannes porn

Each year I look forward to film festivals because you can usually count on amazing fashion. In particular, people who go to the Cannes and the Rome film festivals are known to pull out all stops when it comes to their clothes. But remember that Cannes is not the Oscars. You will be hard pressed to find a boring dress. Ugly? Yes. But not boring. It's more like the Met gala in that actors take big chances with what they choose to wear. The look is always bold, different and show-stopping. The point is to get people talking about them.

This year has been no exception. And to start it off, we have Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie at the premiere of Brad's new movie, Inglorious Basterds. These Brange photos just came in so enjoy!

The Brange

Pure Pitt porn. I was praying that Angeline would not arrive in a black gown as she is prone to doing. Instead she made the whole event about her in a leg and cleavage baring chiffon light pink dress. Sweet Jesus you can see her thigh. Fucking hot.
(btw- the dress is Atelier Versace.)

Diane Kruger

Diane's a gorgeous woman, there's no doubt about that. But she looks luminescent in this cowl-back, mermaid gown. She looks great in white.

Tilda Swinton
It's classic Tilda and only she can pull this off.

Shu Qi and Asia Argento
I really like the colour of Shu's dress. And it looks very dramatic.

Penelope Cruz

Am more of a fan of the first dress, not sure about the second. Something about it says "prom" to me. I think it's the lilac colour.

Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau
Probably the hottest woman at Cannes. Except for Angelina who just arrived and trumped them all. You can't beat the Brange.

Lily Cole (left)
I'm a huge fan of Lily's. Just look at her wild red hair! But I'm really in love with her dress. It has this twenties vibe and it looks vintage.

Hillary Swank

Evangeline Lilly
The colour is really bold and I like that she's not showing a lot of skin.

Eva Longoria
The huge folds on this dress takes it from prom to couture.

Eva Herzigova

The bottom dress reminds me of the one that Gisele Bundchen wore at the Met gala last year. I guess I'm a fan of tight, sparkly dresses.

Elizabeth Banks
Charlotte Gainsbourg

LOVE her. The top dress is so much fun and sexy. And she is the only one who can get away with wearing jeans at Cannes.

Brad Pitt
Everything about this look, from the weathered shoes to the cream suit, to the scarf and the aviators is perfection.

Asia Argento, Robin Wright Penn
Abbie Cornish

I love this photo because of the way the dress moves. It's so effortless.

(Photos: Canadian Press, Associated Press, Wire Image)