Thursday, 24 January 2013

3.1 Phillip Lim / Fall 2013 Menswear

One of my favourite modern designers shines even brighter this Season with his slick, textured, and urban Fall 2013 Menswear Collection at Paris Fashion Week.

Epic, which has easily become synonymous with the brilliant Phillip Lim himself, is all I can say about this fantastic presentation. The rich, black, glossy, over-sized knitwear(esque?) pieces are my absolute obsession this Season! I absolutely love the idea of using a traditionally chic medium, like Leather, and using it to create super modern, ultra trendy pieces that are beyond the traditional, classic silhouettes they are normally associated with. The black on black on black is fierce! The blocked pants, both in colour and texture, are so hot it drives me nuts! The entire aesthetic is so high quality but so effortless and urban at the same time; it's almost like Street Style meets High Fashion with en edge of vintage revolt.

Phillip Lim's Fall 2013 Menswear Collection presents a dark, androgynous, and sexy aesthetic that is ultra mod in a youthful light; futuristic Menswear on the streets of an artistic, cosmopolitan hub. Everything about it is totally on-point that I wish I could own a single piece of every outfit presented, from beginning to end. Best!


Testing With Elite / #OnSet

Here are some fantastic captures from a recent shoot I did with talented photographer Allysa Hollywood and Makeup Artist/YouTube Celebrity Geneva Fong. We did a test for ELITE with some fantastic, fresh talent - Blair Lee, Carly M., and Franco. Would love to work with this team in the future again.

As always, keep up-to-date on my latest Fashion projects, shoots, and collaborations through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


Monday, 21 January 2013

The New Wave / Androgyny & Fashion

Androgyny in Fashion has been a re-occurring theme over decades of Fashion Runway and Editorial. But lately androgyny has been taking on a new power; bleeding into the streets, bleeding into the media, and exposing a new aesthetic to a world that is evolving exponentially on a social level. However, with social evolution comes social rebellion; there is always dark where there is light, and a lot of grey in the middle. What does androgyny signify, and how does it affect the identities we've chosen to adopt? I've recently had a few discussions over the matter with other influencers in the Fashion Industry; many of which had a lot to say about androgyny in Fashion, specifically male androgyny, which is something I feel very strongly about, and something I'd like to focus on for a variety of reasons.

I've showcased gender-bending Fashion in the past, but there is an enormous difference between androgynous artists and androgynous designers. Artists are typically one-offs; vivid and unforgettable, revolutionary in their own way, and massively individual. Designers are different; they hold the key to our views of gender in society, because they affect the clothes we put on - what we choose to define as feminine or masculine (dependent on how we choose to represent ourselves). That being said, there is a very powerful shift once designers start to introduce characteristically feminine cuts, and even staples, to the masculine wardrobe. All of a sudden we're presented with a new idea; the new man. A man who's masculinity becomes more of an expression of confidence than a need to be regarded as masculine by his peers; or perhaps it's the negation of masculinity as a definition of power. And that true power is the confident assertion of one self, regardless of masculine or feminine principles. There is a lot we can talk about here, I'm just presenting some different notions to get people thinking about the significance Fashion like this can mean.

I'm an enormous enthusiast of individual power and the stretching and breaking of our gender-based roles and views. Growing up in my own way, faced with my own sexual journey and identity, I began to realize how insignificant the roles we are given truly are; and yet how desperately so many of us still cling to them. I grew up entranced with fascinating people who, even if in very small ways, broke those social laws. Powerful woman, colourful men, and everything in between.

I recently got into a little bit of a tiff with someone who thought differently, albeit not in a hateful way. I by no means mean to imply that preferring gender being so hard-laced is hateful; I think it has a lot more to do with comfort. Some of these friends were making comments in mockery; claiming that Menswear looking like this is "silly" or "wrong." That the attractiveness of the male isn't synonymous with femininity, and that it's "embarrassing." Whereas women, the prime focus of the evolution of Fashion in all of history, have been adorned countless times in men's shapes and men's clothes, an artistic embrace of androgyny - initially controversial but incredibly celebrated; vastly different to the perception of male androgyny. But personal preference aside, I think we should be looking at this shift with different eyes. I don't think people realize that when they use words like "embarrassing" and "wrong", they are putting out that energy, that idea, that looking feminine is somehow weak, less powerful, and distasteful. All of a sudden the loss of masculinity becomes this terrible, hard-edged thing: "A man shouldn't look like that." The pseudo-principle itself gives me a headache. It's terrible to put such an idea into a person's head; that they aren't desirable as a human being if they don't represent their gender in the way that a "gender" should be represented. But based on what? The hetero-normative social roles we've adopted as ultimate truth in society? That boys wear blue and girls wear pink? When you dumb it down to it's simplest, primal level, it's the same thing. 

I've never attributed the definition of what it means to be a man with anything physical, and I think it's a little deplorable that we continue to adopt that mindset so strongly. Being a man shouldn't be a measurement of wealth, clothing, lifestyle, or sexual prowess (predominantly hetero-normative). It should be a measure of confidant identity, mutual respect, and love - much the same as what it should mean to be a woman. It means being the human that you are, in totality, and being a good person. Some of the greatest men I've come to know about have been men that have shattered that old notion entirely, and the same can be said for some incredible women.

People like to think that certain shapes are more feminine than others and certain shapes are more masculine than others. I think this has a lot more to do with conditioning. From the moment we are brought into the society we live in, we are bombarded with messages of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. We have instilled in our hearts and our brains that a man is expected to look a certain way or wear certain colours; and this is not to say that there aren't exceptions of course. The common term "Metro" is an example of this, and how society has labelled the man that isn't the man we're used to (which is a word I hate to say by the way). I propose getting rid of all of that completely. We put limitations, names, and labels on ourselves, on our world, so it's more comfortable and easier to understand. But if we rid ourselves of this fear of the uncertain; that something different isn't necessarily something negative, we'd be a lot more receptive to the true variance and diversity of human identity, and  a lot more receptive to the ways we can choose to represent ourselves.

Feminine shapes can be liberating and powerful new ways to represent the beauty of men in Fashion. And I really want to stress that this in no way is meant to downplay or negate classic Fashion. I don't propose the redefinition of gender in Fashion as a replacement to classic feminine shapes and classic masculine forms - this can never be done. The classic male will always be associated with one shape, as will the classic woman, and there is nothing wrong with that! Beauty is beauty, in the end, and beauty is based on intelligent composition. All I mean to say is that I think we should be more open-minded to the mix of gender in Fashion, and conversely, in ourselves! Society has evolved drastically in just the last few years; and we are raising sexual social issues that we never have before, and finally seeing why they are so significant! True identity isn't based on physical gender, it's based on whom ONE chooses to BE. Gender doesn't just mean the gender you are physically, it also means the gender you are in your heart and the gender you are in your head. And when we get rid of that word entirely, it will only mean the PERSON you are, which is undoubtedly the only part that really matters.

I believe we should embrace the wave of androgyny, it is shedding a new light for so many who have been in the dark for so long. You don't have to be a part of it, we are who we are; but that doesn't mean you shouldn't support other people's right to be whom they are in any way they choose. Clothing is important, Fashion is significant. It is a reflection of the world and at the same time has the power to change it. As enthusiasts, bloggers, designers, artists, influencers, and new youth; we have an obligation to spearhead that movement! Be the change you want to see.


Friday, 18 January 2013

Alexander Wang doing Alexander Wang / Pre-Fall 2013

Alexander Wang, one of my ultimate Fashion idols and the recently appointed creative head of Balenciaga, just released his own Pre-Fall Collection for the 2013 Season. Masterfully composed of bulky knits, slickly-cut coats, and beautifully draped monochromatics in rich, tundra greys and crisp whites (in a way only Wang could do), the Collection is a brooding and sophisticated departure from the otherworldliness of Wang's typical aesthetic.

I love Wang's unique ability to play with youthful athletics in such a crisp way; adding really interesting textural elements in subtle ways that become bold when it pops away from all the minimalism. The slight drape over the collarbone, the blocked shoulders, the powdery, dusted sport coats, and the asymmetrical zipper. It's an edge that evokes an air of ultimate chic at the same time; something I absolutely love seeing in Fashion. The pieces are ideal for that spark of coolness that hits just before your Autumn coat needs to come out, and is the perfect Collection for the inner-city woman both professional and artistic. It's divine, and all I can say is that I really wish I could wear that sleeveless military coat!


Thursday, 17 January 2013

MUGLER / Fall 2013 Menswear

The iconic house of MUGLER recently presented a fresh and fantastic Collection of Menswear for the Fall 2013 Season. Splattered with brilliant neon but cut with a chic and sophisticated edge, MUGLER boasted an aesthetic that executes in an electric, almost militant feel with a strong root in classic silhouettes. 

Paintbox Militia meets Parisian Homme; Highlighter Pink, Electric Green, and what can only be described as Superman Blue (colour of the season!) were singular, iconic staples that grounded the Collection in absolute richness. Creating a new type of luxury with every clean-cut coat and brilliant trouser, MUGLER's Fall 2013 makes jaw-dropping Pink of the loudest volume feel like it belongs on the chicest street in the world. The entire production is crafted with absolute taste. I absolutely adore the neon, and it's fresh to see it spread from it's Spring popularity in accessories to bigger, bolder Winter pieces that define the entire outfit as a whole - a head-to-toe body jumpsuit, an over-sized coat, or a brilliant suit that sits Blue on Blue on Blue.

I'm totally digging this new trend that is almost the adverse of colour-blocking; matching tones on matching tones. I saw it perk up last season, but people, both on the street and on the Runway, were a bit reserved with the idea; still embracing the idea of popping colours. Don't get me wrong, I love the idea of an unexpected, powerful pigment; I'm all about colour! But I think the idea of using colour and colour is a fresh and modern way to use power pigments with total confidence. Not just a piece here or a piece there, but head-to-toe glam. You can't tell me that that Superman Blue suit, in all its luminescent glory, isn't interesting, sharp, and absolutely fierce swimming in that tone. Love, love, love. Nicola Formichetti is a maniac and a magician; his use of colour and shapes alone do it for me. And did you notice the triangles?! Again, the most powerful shape in Fashion makes an appearance. Wear it with pride.

Givenchy / Pre-Fall 2013

I've been behind on my Runway! Well, not actually, just behind on my writing. The Blogosphere lives with or without me, and the last few months of prep and planning of some very exciting freelance work (the likes of which you have yet to hear about!) has most definitely kept me more than occupied. So I apologize! Regardless, Fashion is having an incredible start to the Fall Season for 2013. And what better way to break the cycle than a feature of one of the most celebrated Pre-Fall Collections of the Season? We love it, all of it.

Riccardo Tisci is perhaps one of the most brilliant creative designers to emerge out of Europe within the last decade. As head of Givenchy, Tisci's aesthetic is almost always a unique and characteristic mixture of romanticism and neo-modernity. There is almost a simultaneous softness and sharpness to his clothing that exist together in perfect balance; creating a new elegance even in the presence of bold, geometric forms or obtusely graphic prints - Givenchy for Pre-Fall 2013 is no exception to that rule.

We are nuts over these fantastic geometric forms. But it's not just the boldness and hardness of the lines; it's all in the finesse of the placement, the detailing of the composition. The way Givenchy pulls your eye from one corner to the other; a balanced movement accented by a field of bright, contrasting neutrals and triangular forms - on an immaculately tailored piece. The theme of the triangle is something that has caught me eye lately, and something that I've adopted myself for a while (check the logo!). There's a reason for the beauty of this shape, and it's emergence in Fashion again is something I can't help but celebrate. It's an incredibly powerful form - the three pointed shaped - balanced on all sides but always peaked on one at the same time, depending on how you view it. It's perhaps the most beautifully composed geometric form, and I've been seeing it take a strong lead on many designs this season; a prominent element, from the cuts of intersecting triangles on a pair of trousers to the heel of a great boot (above image).

Tisci's palette this Season was simple and quite neutral, which isn't any large departure from the rest of the Fashion world. I am happy about the Tan though; I feel Givenchy used Tan in a very powerful way this Season, balancing the Collection almost entirely and using the power of monochromatic Black and White as harmonious, balancing elements. The hardness of the forms again take centre stage - thick rectangular cut-outs, over-sized triangles, and even chevrons. I absolutely love the idea of taking these prominent elements from the 80's but re-creating them into a modern elegance, not necessarily something purposefully loud. Givenchy has done here with geometric forms what few other design houses could - creating hardness with softness. There is nothing quite as elegant, in my eyes, as a slick coat or a fantastic pair of trousers that hug just right.

Without getting too obsessed with the textural, geometric palette of the Collection; I should also talk about it's obvious and adorned play on androgyny. I've been saying it for a while, androgyny is Fashion, and Givenchy Pre-Fall is a perfect example. Feminine elegance and tailored, masculine forms. From the way the trousers cut off at the base of the heel, to the choice of footwear, to the duffle, to the Winter Jacket - this Collection is incredibly androgynous. But as I said before, it's masculine with a unique finesse; an elegant detailing and an unlikely balance. It's both at the same time, and it's insanely perfect.

Catch it! Those fantastic, white trousers under the gown! Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. We love everything about. Givenchy Pre-Fall is ridiculously modern, with a finished edge that evokes a softness only Tisci could ever produce. Our favourite so far; if the rest of the Season is anything like what we've seen, then we have quite a lot to look forward to. Finally, my favourite Season for Fashion is back again! I'll be covering Toronto and even, just maybe, a little bit of New York this year (wait till you hear about it!) for Fashion Week. So keep it locked for the best, the bold, and the talented.


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