Monday, August 31, 2009

Body business

In the fashion biz, it's pretty rare to hear models talk. They're models for a reason, right?

I am of the view that models should talk more; about what their jobs are like, whether they are being treated fairly, whether they have body issues; hell, just talk to us about the fabulous clothes you get to wear!

And while we do sometimes get snippets backstage during Fashion Week, and we sometimes get a few well-known models on a cover of a magazine talking about their fabulous lives, it's still a rare thing when a model speaks out on her own accord, and in all honesty, about her life as a model.

Last year, Model.Live followed three wannabe models trying to make it during Fashion Week. It was a very honest look at the struggle of newbie models. A few weeks ago, Jezebel's resident brainiac model "Tatiana" revealed herself to be Jenna Sauers;

who eloquently wrote about the unglamorous life of modeling. Last year, model Ali Michael spoke out on national TV after she was sent home from Paris for aing "fat legs" even though she hovered around 105 pounds.

And now model Crystal Renn has penned a memoir called "Hungry," detailing her journey as a thin model, who had heart palpatations she was so skinny, to being a successful plus-sized model.

Renn says that when she was first scouted, at the age of 14, she was told to lose 55 pounds. She lost the weight but when her agent told her to lose more, she realized she couldn't diet anymore. That's when it was suggested she become a plus-sized model and it was when she became a healthy size 12 that her career took off.

She says:

"I got to my lowest point, when I couldn't go lower, and it was either, 'I'm going to die and not accomplish the dream,' or, 'I can become a plus-size model and keep the dream,"' she said in an interview. "I am healthy now, the healthiest I've ever been in my life - both physically and mentally."

I'm not going to wax on about how fuller figured models are practically ignored by the fashion industry; that's for another post when I can think of something new to add to that discussion; but I'm just impressed that Renn, who is still in the middle of an incredible career, is brave enough to call out the industry on his thin obsession. More models should take a cue from her.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Anna and Dave

Last night, the Queen Of All Fashion, Anna Wintour, appeared on David Letterman to promote The September Issue. It was amazing.

I barely noticed Dave's questions because all I could do was stare at Anna's reactions. She would alternate between tight smiles and her cold hard bitch face. That woman gives the best bitch face. I love her so much. My favourite part is when Dave asked her what a person could get if they had a $20 fashion budget and she disdainfully replied "you could buy lipstick."

It's obvious that Anna wasn't completely comfortable being up there surrounded by people who are most likely on $20 fashion budgets, but she gamely answered Dave's questions and tried to make little jokes. Please. Get that woman back to the offices of Vogue so she can boss people around!

Another great moment was when Dave asked her what the fashion industry is doing during the bad economic times and she replied that she was going to be at a Macy's in Queens. Queens! Can you picture Anna freaking Wintour in Queens autographing t-shirts? It boggles my mind.

Part one:

Part two:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Oh happy day! I die!

Can't believe it's here....been waiting so long like this. Rachel Zoe, where have you been all my life? Finally, The Rachel Zoe Project Season 2 is premiering tonight! I think it's only in the U.S. though but that's what bit torrent is for!

Up until a few weeks ago, I have been in serious Rachel Zoe withdrawal. But then she launched her website and I signed up for her daily newsletter where she promotes her favourite products.

But you must watch this crazy, fabulous woman. I can't believe that it's taken this long for her to be on TV because she's so much fun to watch and her assistants, Brad and Taylor, are hilarious.

So for your viewing pleasure, here is a clip of this season!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What's Your Persona

Last Friday I met up with fellow Toronto blogger Krist Papas, of the blog whatsyourpersona. Krist is a street fashion and portrait photographer who has also contributed to Toro and Toronto Life.

We had fun talking about photography (Karl Lagerfeld is a genius), fashion (does anyone wear anything besides H&M in this city?) and blogging (how influnetial is it?)

Check out some of his beautiful photos:

(Photos courtesy of Krist Papas)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

September is almost here!

"September is the January of fashion" as they say and I couldn't agree more. Have just started getting my September issues in the mail. So far I've gone through Marie Claire, Flare, FASHION and Harper's Bazaar.

I was really, REALLY impressed with Flare's issue. This was the first issue of Flare I ever bought and I was amazed at the beautiful editorials and the great articles. It helped that there were three (yes, three!) covers of one of my favourite models, Daria Werbowy, in the issue. The photo of her in the Louis Vuitton bunny ears was so gorgeous that I had it framed for my wall. Editor-In-Chief Lisa Tant wrote in her blog about how she chose the cover.
Maybe it's time for another magazine subscription.

On the other hand, I was disappointed with FASHION's issue. I'm a huge fan of the magazine but this issue fell completely flat. The editorials were boring and looked a bit amateur- specifically the spread that used several models just seemed disjointed from the rest of the issue. To me, the issue was a bit sub-par, especially for a September issue.

I'm still going through Harper's Bazaar; there are so many editorials that I really have to sit down for a couple hours to get through it. Looks beautiful so far with great models.

Can't wait for Vogue!

And speaking of Vogue, check out this great profile of Creative Director Grace Coddington. The article is about her and the documentary The September Issue. In it we learn that Coddington drove all but one of the main fashion features in that particular Sept. issue- the "semi-disastrous cover shoot with Sienna Miller."

We also find out that she is the only one who can get away with being cheeky and opinionated with Anna Wintour. For example, Coddington had the idea to photograph the camera crew jumping in the air with model Caroline Trentini. "Wintour liked it — but made the comment that Richman's belly would need to be airbrushed to a slimmer shape; Coddington wouldn't hear of it. If the atmosphere captured by "The September Issue" is true to life, Coddington is the only one who stands up to Wintour that way."

I cannot wait to see this movie.

Update: Watch the red carpet arrivals for the movie's New York premiere on facebook here live at 7 p.m.

And here are two just-released clips!

1. Sienna's Wig

2. Texture Shoot

Saturday, August 15, 2009

My first Vogue

Back in 1997 I was 12 years old and obsessed with a lil' band called the Spice Girls. For me, no other band existed. I would play their first album, Spice, over and over again and dance to feel-good songs like Say You'll Be There and Wannabe. My cousins and I would bicker over trading cards and posters and I would store precious memorabilia in a binder I treasured.

I'm only remembering this now because when I went up to my cottage last week my cousin burned their music and we spent the whole ride up singing till our throats hurt. It was so much fun that when I got back home I immediately downloaded all their music and I'm listening to them now. It made me think about how much I loved them when I was a young teenager and how great it is that I'm 25 and still love their music.

When I was 12 it would be an understatement to say that I wasn't into fashion. It was jeans and a t-shirt everyday. And even though the Spice Girls were fashion icons (whether that was deserved I leave to you to decide) I never really cared so much for their crazy outfits except for Geri's Union Jack mini-dress.

Then Vogue put the Girls on the cover of their January 1998 issue. As soon as I saw the cover I bought it, even though the idea of Vogue and fashion bored the hell out of me. But who cares about fashion? The Spice Girls were in the magazine!

I don't really remember the interview or the photos inside but I do remember that cover. They looked so different from the outgoing, crazy women I saw so often in photographs and in their videos. They looked....mature. After looking at that issue of Vogue, my perception of the Spice Girls changed and I think a part of me changed as well. They weren't girls; they were intelligent, classy women and it made me want to be like them: opinionated, fashionable and smart.

Thinking about it now I find it surprising that Anna Wintour put a pop group on the cover; I'm not so sure she would do the same today. But it's undeniable that the Spice Girls influenced millions of young girls around the world with their powerful, pro-woman messages. I'm really happy that I grew up listening to their music and I'm thankful that Vogue put real role models on their cover.