Wednesday, May 27, 2009

keep candles handy

i-D magazine: april 2009
photographer: vanina sorrenti
stylist: marina burini
model: alana zimmer

i want to know why alana zimmer is ranked #36 on and someone like ubah hassan is at #32! don't wanna hate on ubah and i give her all the props and love i give to all the canucks but campaign and barely no runway presence the past show season. i don't get it. meanwhile alana has dkny, anne klein, gaultier jeans, and top shop to name a few. plus the gajillion editorials she's done for all those directional european magazines and even lading the covers for numero and vogue russia, annnddddd a runway mileage that would put a lot of working girls to shame. and seriously...this editorial is fucking bananas. not as bananas as the one where she looked like the virgin mary for numero a few years ago, but almost as ridiculously good. if had a "most underrated" ranking, alana would be number one. and hold that spot for as long as daria held her number one top female model position. which was a long ass time.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

alexander mcqueen timeline: 1994-2009

its been fifteen years since alexander mcqueen's debut collection, and despite all the praises and criticisms, mcqueen's renegade sensibility that fuses romance, history, violence, and macabre gothicism has produced some of the most potent visual imagery of modern fashion.
mcqueen first caught the attention of the fashion world when isabella blow, the late fashion editor with a knack of launching the careers of new designers bought mcqueen's central saint martins MA graduate collection in its entirety. in the beginning, there was a raw, aggressive, and confrontational aspect in mcqueen's work that culminated in his now infamous "highland rape" collection for autumn/winter 1995 that was based on the exploitation of scotland at the hands of the british empire. with its torn tartan plaid and ripped lace paired with his signature "bumbster" pants, mcqueen was criticized for what editors perceived to be a misogynistic treatment of the sexual violation of women. despite of all the negative publicity, or maybe because of it, the attention brought to light that underneath all the showmanship and theatricality of mcqueen's shows, there was a saville row trained master tailor who's technical abilities was far more mature for a designer who was barely in his twenties and a talent that deserved to be noticed.
around the time mcqueen launched his label, the cultural spotlight was staring to shine on london. once the city that during the early eighties gave the world john galliano, vivienne westwood, and katharine hamnett, during the late eighties/early nineties london fashion was more known for designers with outrageous theatricality and no longevity. at the tail end of the decade however, a creative spurt suddenly found the city with talents such as hussein chalayan, stella mccartney and antonio berrardi. designers who graduated from the same alma mater as mcqueen who, while tended to lean towards the avant garde, also had a contemporary relevance that brought them above being a novelty into designers with real credibility.
this time was a fertile time for mcqueen and bernard arnault, the CEO of luxury goods conglomerate LVMH took notice. he was appointed as head designer for the revered house of givenchy designing its ready to wear and couture collections. and although he first gained notoriety as fashion's enfant terrible, he showed his softer, more romantic side with his emotionally wrought collection for his signature line for spring/summer 1999 that had model shalom harlow in a dance between two robots sprayed with yellow and black paint on her ivory dress. it was so moving, and poignant that it brought people to tears. it was the collection that finally killed any doubt about this young man who proved that he was able to produce a show that was so cohesive as a whole and present it in a dramatized story that captured the theme and emotion of the collection.

while his first efforts for givenchy were received with mixed criticisms, customers warmed up to mcqueen and his new take on the givenchy woman. but tensions were rising between mcqueen and LVMH and in 2001 gave the gucci group, LVMH's biggest rival, the majority stake of his eponymous label. severing his relationship with givenchy and LVMH once and for all.
under his new financial backers, his autumn/winter 2002 collection was met with resounding success with barney's buying everything from the collection. proving that he can combine his avant garde sensibilities with commercial consideration. having to finally answer to a big boss however presented new obstacles for mcqueen who now had to take into consideration expectations to perform commercially and finally turn a profit.
the pressure to create something that is commercially understandable affected mcqueen and his collections for autum/winter 2005 and spring/summer 2006 are the best examples of mcqueen's percolated vision. it still had his signature, but it was short on soul and personality. the two ingredients that are the most vital part of the mcqueen DNA.
but redemption wasn't far behind. for autumn/winter 2006 mcqueen unleashed a collection that was flooded with all the mcqueen trademarks. the romance, the tartan, military frogging, and the drama came in full force. every exit rich with ideas traced with mcqueen's hands that had all the emotions and bankability buyers had been waiting for. and just like shalom's legendary battle with the robots, the hologram of kate moss hovering above the ground fresh of her recent drug scandal again had a well of emotions that had people in tears. for a designer that started out his career labeled as a misogynist, no one can create a vision of feminine beauty like mcqueen can. it is at once fleeting and ethereal. a beauty that evokes the past and looks towards the future and yet be so decidedly of the moment. it is a testament to the power of fashion that lifts it from banality into something sublime. with a sensitivity and compassion that is more than enough to warrant a tear to those privileged enough to experience it first hand.

Monday, May 18, 2009

bad blogger

i know i know i know its been almost a month since i last put something on here. i've just been hella busy and i'm still photoshop less. i keep getting this error message everytime i try to set up so i've basically given up on even attempting. i just really don't want to take it to a computer guy to see why my laptop is being stupid cause i am broke as a joke. i've also been super busy doing a whole bunch of stuff. i got to interview a designer that many of you might know but i can't really say who it is because i don't know if i'm allowed to since it hasn't been published yet.
i've also been helping my homegirl out with her collection. she basically does all the sewing and i act as the creative director. but not really since it's totally symbiotic and i love having pow wows for ideas. which we actually did yesterday when she got to meet the photographer for the first time who i've only met once. but like every broke youngins trying to get into the fashion game here in toronto, we're all working for free for those holy prints we can all share and put in our own respective books. it's pretty rad actually. there's this dope sense of a little grassroots community where everyone is hungry and passionate and excited. we're going to be shooting the look book in a couple of months. hopefully it doesn't take me that long to actually put something here. but yeah, i'm alive. just super busy or super lazy. hope you guys are well and how stoked are you that summer is fucking finally almost here!!