Thursday, 31 May 2012

Hermès Birkin Under Fire, Literally!

There's been a bit of a storm lately over a recent controversial photo collection released by photographer Tyler Shields earlier this week. This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who's been paying any attention to style news anywhere; including blogs, Twitter, and Facebook; and at first I'll admit I didn't really want to elaborate on the issue...but I feel like it deserves the personal commentary.

The photo collection, created in collaboration with Francesca Eastwood (Clint Eastwood's daughter) features a vibrant and graphic total destruction of an extremely rare $100,000 Hermès Birkin Crocodile Bag by use of fire and chainsaws. Shocking?! Yes, hence the social media storm and, quite obviously, extreme controversy. For those who are unaware, the Hermès Birkin is the most sought-after luxury bag on the planet, and in many cases, is the most expensive.

Now I'm all for art for the sake art. I think making a statement, using the power of an image, and the power of beauty, is a significant and inspirational thing. Fashion, as we all know, quite often revolves around this concept of glamour and fantasy, the beauty of a moment, so-to-speak. But, to all my enthusiasts out there, can you really take something like this lightly? Because I can't, at all! This just feels wrong to me.

Destroying this bag is vandalism. This Hermès Birkin is as rare as it is because it is made with specially treated leather of incredible quality and hand-stitched over hours of pain-staking, technically immaculate work; not to mention the material! I believe it's important to respect where the fashion has come from, what has given it it's identity, and this does exactly the opposite, and it becomes a waste. To see it's utter destruction is embarrassing. So many people who don't understand fashion view it as frivolous already, which is something I greatly disagree with, and yet this collection perpetuates that very idea! It is a collection the celebrates the "meaningless" of design, and coming from an artist and enthusiast, it feels disrespectful, shameful, and misguided.

And don't get me wrong, I'm no prude. It's just that design to me is something of divinity. Compensation, shape, and creation are all such a significant and beautiful part of art - whether through fashion or any other medium. It took an artist to create something this incredible, an artist of fantastic talent. It's like seeing a beautiful painting destroyed, at least for me, and all it does is make me sad that it happened, and angry that someone could actually stand to do it with intention. But, of course, that's just me. Opinions?


Lucian Matis Summer Sample Sale!

Lucian Matis, our favourite local couturier, is hosting his Summer Sample Sale in just two days on Tycos Drive in North Toronto! The Sample Sale is expected to include pieces from both his signature title line as well as Matis by Lucian Matis. Some of those beautifully patterned, graphic Summer wrap-dresses are almost certain to be in stock! Get there ahead of the crowd and take your pick for your perfect Summer wardrobe!


Monday, 21 May 2012

Passport to Luxe

World's Fair for FLARE June 2012
By Andrew Soule and Elizabeth Cabral featuring Masha Markina 

My it's been a busy week! If work wasn't enough, there is also a new, exciting project I've been working on coming up very soon! It's about artists, it's about Toronto, and it's about fashion! Let's just say my living room is a bit of a colourful mess, but the results are speaking for themselves. Stay tuned for details! And be sure to check out my Facebook Page!


Monday, 14 May 2012

Emily Jean Bester for Black Magazine

Emily Jean Bester is photographed here by Darren McDonald for Black Magazine. The graphic, pastel-toned smoke shroud Bester in beautiful, bright layers; bringing the neutrality of her wardrobe to life. Soft knits, sheer fabric, and chunky platforms are a youthful touch that bring with it a sense of aimlessness and distraction; like the clothes themselves aren't significant. The aftermath of something greater, the afterthought, and the beauty of that ephemeral moment.

Styled by Paul Bui
Hair by Jenny Kim
Makeup by Charlie Kielty

H&M Fall/Winter 2012 Collection Preview

Interesting and seasonally sound pieces dominate H&M's Fall 2012 Preview. Totally on-point metallic on black, textural gold, and leather, leather, leather! I love the jeweled embossed baseball caps and the printed sportswear. The over-sized knits are completely on-season as are the aubergine and mustard power hues. A fantastic looking collection so far! Totally excited to see it hit the shelves along with Anna Dello Russo's highly-anticipated accessories line this Fall!


Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Met Gala in Dresses: The Worst

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, held just this week on the 7th of May in New York, was bold to say the least in terms of dresses! Everything from gold metallics to neon hues dominated the Spring pieces this year. And if you've seen the best, and loved it just as much as I did, then it's time for you to see the worst! And this is not to say that these women are any less beautiful, talented, or incredible in their own right; but it is to say that sometimes a little can go a long way in terms of finding the right dress, especially when it comes to a night as momentous as the Met Gala. Here's why these women missed the mark!

Don't get me wrong! I love me some B! This woman is the fiercest of the fierce, and she is an incredible artist. But, to be honest, I didn't like the dress! There were a lot of mixed reviews. Some people felt it was fabulous, others didn't agree; I'd have to concur with the latter! The Haute Givenchy gown is immaculately constructed, but I feel like it isn't right for her. Your eye gets drawn to the body sculptor she is clearly wearing underneath and I felt it would've been more compelling if it wasn't so transparent. One of those "almost there but not quite" moments for me!

Christina Ricci sported this boldly vivacious Thakoon dress during the Gala this week. I'm all for the dramatic, but I think Ricci is totally lost between the billows and bustles of this fabric! It almost resembles an ice cream cone, or perhaps pickled ginger? The embellishments and textural embroidery are actually quite nice, but it's the shape and the execution on petite Ricci that is all wrong!

Beautiful Emma Stone! And Lavin, oh we all love Lavin, right? This dress didn't do it for me girls! I love the colour, I love the shape. On her? No way! Emma is a gorgeous, young woman; the shape of this dress +  the neckline +  the length +  the hair? Stone ends up looking like she's trying to be extremely cute and extremely young, and, at least for me, it ends up looking a bit costume-y, doesn't it? No thanks my love, I think this is too much 13 year-old for the Met Gala.

Coco Rocha, Canada's brightest sweetheart and one of my biggest obsessions right now! She is talented, fierce, tasteful, and above all, born in Toronto. But, what happened here? The world famous editorial queen was spotted at the Met Gala wearing this vintage Givenchy pant suit that does nothing for her! I love vintage Givenchy with a passion, but I feel like this doesn't work. I appreciate the Spring tones, but I think the pink shoes, the pink blouse, and the pink ombré are all together totally distracting when partnered with the monogram canary. Not to mention the fact that the ankle-cut length does absolutely nothing for Rocha's incredible legs. I feel like she tried to be demure but whimsical with this classic design, but failed putting it together.

Mary-Kate Olsen, fashion extraordinaire and power-sister, slipped on this black, demure gown from her own line, The Row. The gown is actually quite cool. I think the shape is interesting and the fabric is chic, I just don't think she wears it. And let's be honest girls, it's 20% the product and 80% how you wear it that makes it incredible. It's too dark for a Spring event, and she is drowned out by the tone in her hair and the darkness of her outfit. You can barely see the warmth in her face as a result, and she ends up looking quite vampiric, matronly, and dowdy.

My dear Sarah Jessica Parker; princess of Manhattan, lord of the heels, what have you done? The typically stylish SJP missed the mark in this Couture Valentino on the night of the Gala. The wallpaper-like pattern is overbearing for her small frame; and the fact that the fabric is full coverage doesn't do her any justice either. Long-sleeved gowns are definitely in, but it depends on the gown! The gold cuffs are an unusual addition, and the entire outfit ends up resembling too closely the closet of a young woman in the early 1900's. I feel like the dress has an identity that, in its own respect, is beautiful, but it too easily overtook the identity of the wearer. All you see is that dress and how it doesn't work, and all I want to do is get my wallpaper steamer out. 

So! What have we learned? The same thing we always do. Wear the dress, don't let it wear you! If you choose something powerful and bold, make sure you're bolder! It's the first rule of fashion, never forget it. ▲D

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

The Met Gala in Dresses: The Best

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala was held just last night at the Met in New York City. Held annually in the museum and hosted by Vogue, the Gala is considered the premiere fashion event of the East Coast, rivaled only by the Oscars nationally, and is often regarded by industry professionals as the greatest red carpet event in the world. Celebrities, designers, and artists flock to the ball to celebrate the annual opening of the Met's fashion exhibit. With individual ticket prices ranging from $5000 to $15,000 USD, it is no wonder that the Gala is often referred to as the "Night of Nights" in the fashion industry.

Here are my picks for some of the best dressed women at the Met Gala 2012:

Amy Adams was a pristine stunner in this gorgeous Giambattista Valli off-the-shoulder gown. The champagne gold belt with the bow detail was an interesting accent with just the right amount of metallic to give it just enough uniqueness; to take it from a beautiful, flowing dress to a beautiful, flowing dress with personality.

January Jones took no prisoners in her bold, canary Versace gown with, again, metallic accents. The hard-edged boning and geometric lines are what make this dress spectacular, modern, and super-chic. But it's the even bolder turquoise jewelry used as an accent that makes it unforgettably divine.

Dianna Agron is flawless and effortlessly beautiful in this absolutely immaculate Carolina Herrera gown. The belt, the draping, and the clutch all do wonders for me; but it's that insatiable colour that drives me nuts! This dress does everything right and it is exactly on-point for the season. Brilliant!

Kristin Wig looked spectacular last night in her beautifully laced and classically cut Stella McCartney dress. The colour is perfect for Spring and the length is perfect for Wig. The high neckline keeps the dress clean and crisp; because there is simply no need to overly accessorize a dress that is so beautifully patterned. A glittering earring and a nude clutch? Perfection.

Jessica Alba glistened and glowed in her (again!) gold metallic gown by Michael Kors. The bold empire waist and pleated texture take the simplicity of this dress to an Haute level that could easily be worn for any red carpet event in New York. Stunner!

Another power-pigment? I'm not surprised! These actresses are serious about their fashion. Emma Roberts sported a sophisticated Escada gown that was near perfection when partnered with that subtle-but-bold-enough black belt and very slight peplum. The neon tangerine is a brilliant hue for Spring; she has done everything right.

Carey Mulligan stunned in perhaps one of my favourite pieces of the night! This metallic (yes! again!) gem of a dress is by Prada and not only hits Mulligan in all the right areas, it keeps you staring, and staring, and staring! A textural masterpiece, this dress takes your eye from top to bottom and all around in total adoration and sheer awe. A silvery, pewter-toned treasure!

Lily Collins was a powdery damsel in this weightless, air-like Valentino Couture. A difficult dress to pull-off, this 23-year old did it perfect justice! She is the right age to wear such a youthfully energetic dress that is as demure as it is whimsical. The light fabric and layers of texture and pattern are perfect for the season! A gorgeous ensemble for a gorgeous young girl.

Ginnifer Goodwin look exquisite and sharp in this stunningly tailored Monique Lhuillier gown. Always an eye for great taste, Goodwin's petite figure is the perfect host for this high-necked, napalm wonder. A classic empire waist and a textural neckline keep the dress, and Goodwin herself, as the centre of attention; not to be out-done by the over-glitzing of many of her red carpet rivals. And those silver shoes? Yes please!

Yellow done right! Solange Knowles, Beyoncé's baby sister, is unforgettably chic in this Rachel Roy evening gown. Unlike her sister, Solange kept it clean, sharp, crisp, and absolutely fabulous. Spring, spring, spring and a little glam! Love!

All in all, it's clear to see who really made it this year at the Met. Beautiful women in fearless gowns! Crisp whites, bold and bright spring-pigments, and metallic, metallic, metallic! If memorable is what you want, these women are a fantastic example. Stay tuned for my thoughts on some of the Met Gala's worst dresses of the night as well. Cheers!


Photography by WireImage

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