Thursday, February 25, 2010

My imaginary model boyfriend

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I have a little thing for model Jamie Dornan.

To me, he stands out in multiple ways from other male models; he's not a skinny waif like so many you see on the runway and in ads (ahem, Prada, Burberry;) he's beautiful but rugged (he can rock clean shaven and scraggly beard;) and most importantly, he has an unforgettable face.

He always gives the camera what I call his "fuck me" look: Head tilted down, eyes looking up at you as if he's about to eat you. Or kill you. It's hot and as a result, he takes beautiful photographs and Calvin Klein really knows how to show off his best assets: his body and his face.

And for a while, I could only enjoy looking at him in magazines and the one role he had in Marie Antoinette until I found a video of him on Nylon TV. We learn that he loves hamburgers (what a coincidence, I love hamburgers too!) and he doesn't take modeling that seriously. It's a fun watch.

If you are not familiar with Jamie, then please, enjoy these photos of him (and Eva Mendes) in the Calvin Klein Spring jeans campaign.

You are welcome.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bloggers vs. the rest of the fashion world

I came across an article from The Global Herald called London Fashion Week AW 2010 – New Digital Era Spells Trouble for Fashion Bloggers.

It highlights the gap that is closing between fashion bloggers and the fashion elite (editors, buyers, writers, PR, etc) and how fashion weeks are dealing with what to do with the growing army of said bloggers.

This article specifically talks about the mass of bloggers at London Fashion Week taking over the press area and whether they should be considered press.

Lately there have been many articles talking about whether bloggers should be allowed to cover shows, much less sit in coveted first-row seats. With the rise of Tavi (Style Rookie,) BryanBoy, Garance Doré, Sea of Shoes, Fashion Toast, Style Bubble and more, fashion bloggers seem to be taking over the fashion world with their alternative insight into style and thousands upon thousands of devoted followers.

There is no doubt that many of these bloggers have intelligent insight, experience, style and thoughtful, smart writing. They fill in the void that mainstream fashion publications can't give to the public such as unbiased commentary and a different viewpoint on style without the interference of advertisers.

But the real question is: How much credibility do they have and wear should they sit in the fashion heirarchy?

Many people questioned whether Tavi, a 13-year-old American girl, should have been sitting in the front row of Dior, when a more experienced writer or editor from a major publication could be sitting there.

They argue that Tavi, and many other young bloggers (it seems that a lot of these fashion bloggers are quite young, in their teens and twenties) don't have the experience that writers and editors have.

While that may be true, that doesn't mean take their insight any less worthy. Bloggers are invited to fashion shows for several reasons; fashion houses are hoping that the bloggers will write favourable reviews of the shows resulting in readers buying their products; they are also starting to realize that the Internet is a powerful tool to bring in new customers and influential style bloggers can bring in those customers that mainstream publications can't.

But I think the divide between bloggers and the mainstream is starting to close, whether Condé Nast likes it or not.

Blogging is not just a fad; in fact social media is just really starting to pick up steam. Fashion houses are only just starting to use Twitter and Facebook to draw in people to watch their shows live and buy their products.

In the end, it's very smart for businesses to use bloggers to help promote their product. And in that respect, bloggers are kind of like magazines and newspapers; they help to sell fashion brands.

Fortunately, bloggers aren't dependent on businesses to survive. They can say anything they want to and not lose readers or advertisers.

But back to this whole credibility issue: Sure, Tavi was barely alive when Marc Jacobs first started at Louis Vuitton, but many established writers weren't around when Monsieur Dior was alive, and they seem to get by just fine.

I think that intelligence and a unique point of view are more important than experience. And the fact that these bloggers are honest with their readers, that gives them enough credibility to be able to cover the same events and interview the same people as the mainstream fashion elite.

So future fashion weeks, be prepared to install a bigger press room; the bloggers need their space too.

For more related reading:

Fashion world agog over blogger

Elle editor leads backlash over 13-year-old blogger

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My New York picks

New York Fall 2010 is officially over and I finally had the time to go over most of the collections to choose my favourite looks.

NY Fashion Week for me is always synonymous with one man: Marc Jacobs. An invite to his show is one of the most sought-after items of the week thanks in large part to his beautiful, sometimes quirky and always fun collections.

For this collection, he brought it back to the basics; classic lines, elegant suits, beautiful furs, long flowing dresses; it Old Hollywood glamour with a modern edge. Gone were the layers, the trashed-up motifs and the multiple references to different eras. Instead it was a very streamlined, elegant collection that I'm sure many women would love to wear.

And if you can't get into Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein would be next on your list of must-see shows.
Designer Francisco Costa experimented with silhouettes. Arms and shoulders were emphasized, giving coats and dresses a bit of a futuristic military feel. Waistlines were either moved up or dropped below, giving dresses new shapes. I am always impressed with Costa's technique and construction. He can mold material into strange new shapes that have never been seen before.

Here are my other favourite looks:

Derek Lam

Vera Wang

Zac Posen

Naeem Khan

Oscar de la Renta

3.1 Phillip Lim

To me, NY Fashion Week was going back to what they do best; sportswear, subtle elegance and wearable clothes. We saw a lot of new shapes, specifically emphasis on shoulders and arms as well as new waistlines. Leggings were nowhere to be seen (thank God!) and looser but tailored clothes were back. All in all, a great week of beautiful clothes.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Skating in style

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics are in full swing and I have enthusiastically joined Team Canada.

There are a lot of winter sports I enjoy watching; snowboard half-pipe, speed skating and luge. But I have become obsessed with figure skating and I can partly thank American skater Johnny Weir for that (don't worry, I'm still Team Patrick Chan!)

I first heard about Weir when he skated to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" at the 2010 Nationals. He wore sequined gloves, had metal bits going up one arm and his face was painted black and blue.

Two days ago, Weir skated in the short program wearing a black corset with pink ruffles.

Skating is known for having ridiculous costumes (see Ukraine's "Avatar" inspired look) but Weir's get-up took it to a whole new level. An awesome level.

Not many male figure skaters would have chosen to wear a garment historically worn by women. It just shows that Weir is not afraid of taking risks sartorially and yes he is talented skater.

Unfortunately Weir is going through some controversy now because he wore fur on one of his costumes and brought PETA's ire on himself.

What really stands out is how unique and beautiful his costumes are. They could be cheesy but instead they're fun and creative.

Tonight is the men's freestyle program and Johnny will be going for the gold. But even if he doesn't get a medal, he is definitely the best dressed of the bunch.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

So say we all

If you know me at all, you will know that I am a huge sci-fi geek; to be more specific, I am a Battlestar Galactica fanatic. I am still upset at the way the series ended but that's off-topic.

Anyway, the creators of BSG made a spin-off; a prequel called Caprica. The show takes place in the future but despite the high tech gadgets and gear, many of the characters dress as if they came just from the 1960s à la Mad Men.

The difference, however, between these two shows is that whereas the characters in Mad Men are flawlessly styled, the characters in Caprica come off as a bit more worn; they are not perfect. The jackets are a bit loose, the ties askew, the pants don't fit juuuuust right.

Take Joseph Adama (played by Esai Morales.) He is a civil liberties lawyer who came from a poor family and loses his wife and daughter in a suicide bombing. He wears a fedora hat with a wide brim and two feathers.

His suits are usually a bit loose on him but they look stylish, wearable and more importantly, they look like what a lawyer would wear; nothing too fancy but subtly beautiful.

And that's what I love about the costumes. They reflect the flaws in the characters and the dark mood of the show. So although they have style, they might not care whether their clothes are tailored to a tee. Still, it is wonderful to watch.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I fell in love with Alexander McQueen's designs around the same time I discovered fashion.

Looking back I think it might have been because of McQueen that I came to love fashion so much. It wasn't just because his designs were so wacky and ahead of the curve, but they seemed to match my strange dreams (or nightmares?) about the world; macabre but sensual; insanely beautiful but frightening; a world that I couldn't really put my finger on but knew existed. It was as if he could put everyone's fears and dreams into a collection.

I remember watching his Spring/Summer 2010 collection live through his website. The site crashed because so many people wanted to watch it as well. What I saw almost made me weep. I was so looking forward to his next collection. And the one after that. And the one after that...

To say he was a visionary is an understatement. To say he was a genius; well, that goes without saying. The world is a lot less beautiful now that Lee is no longer here.

Click here to see more of his collections.

Spring 2001

Spring 2002
Fall 2002
Spring 2003
Fall 2003
Fall 2004

Spring 2005

Fall 2005

Spring 2006

Fall 2006

Spring 2007

Fall 2007
Spring 2008
Fall 2008
Resort 2009
Spring 2009
Fall 2009
Spring 2010