Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the drums - let's go surfing

my homeslice, burnsy got me into this band and now this song has been pretty much on repeat on my itunes. why didn't i have this song during the summer???? it would've been fucking perfect!

Friday, October 23, 2009

hometown heroes

it's fashion week in toronto right now and even though the collections are for next spring, the weather outside is being a total antagonist. outside is what you would imagine to be a really dreadful fall day. it's wet, freezing, windy. one of those days that you can easily spend the whole day tucked underneath your blanket and thanking god for ninjavideo.net so that you can catch up on all the episodes of glee that you've missed.
don't get me wrong, it could be bright and sunny outside and i would still be under the covers instead of being at the tents and watching the collections. because to be quite honest, toronto fashion week sucks.
while i do feel rather guilty for hating on an event that gives canadian designers a platform to present their ideas my reasons are quite sound and rational.
designers who should be given the chance to show what this city has to offer because of their unique point of view are never given the opportunity to. talents that if properly fostered and supported by the governing bodies of the fashion council can give this city a reputation that can cultivate independent thinking designers whose ideas can stand on its own right beside more established, world recognized ones.
look what its done for london and antwerp, even copenhagen. these three cities have produced some of the most exciting young designers in the industry and they owe a lot of that success from their respective cities who supports local talent from a grass root level. those cities nurtures the creativity and point of view of its talents and at the same time helps them develop their labels as a business where they can eventually support themselves.
sure toronto has the fashion incubator, but what do they do after they leave that nest? toronto fashion week shouldn't be an event people mark on their social calendar. for a lot of designers in this city, they do what they do because they love it, and they will continue to do it without the support of the FDCC. there's a lot of blood, sweat and tears that aren't given the opportunity to shine and canada is missing out on it.
but to end on a good note. there were two designers who presented their collection during fashion week. of course its no surprise that they weren't part of the offical fashion week calendar and also no surprise that it ended up being the two best collections, i would even say the only two good collections throughout the entire week. well the shows don't end till tomorrow but i'm pretty sure its safe to say that we won't be seeing anything better or on par with these two.

presented in the historic burroughs building on queen west for the second season in a row, philip sparks presented a collection that is brimming with canadian identity with an international appeal. inspired by the canadian pacific railway ads from the fifties and cottage life (can't get more canadian that that), sparks' ability to narrate a story and pull all the elements together into a cohesive collection is remarkable. it displays such a high level of taste that he can make a postcard inspired print and the humble anorak effortlessly luxurious. and as always the story that he reads aloud through his clothes transports you to that familiar place that only us canadians know. he's like the canadian version of ralph lauren. only so much cooler.

rita liefhebber, a former model, former fashion editor, former stylist, turned fashion designer was the most charming surprise of the week. presented at the quaint and lovely and extremely delicious charcuterie the black hoof on dundas west, the guest who were forced to wait outside the restaurant for over half an hour after schedule quickly forgot their dissatisfaction when they were greeted with drinks and food courtesy of the house. as fantastic as the food and vodka was, the real treat was having to walk down the restaurants insanely narrow walkway to the brightly lit back patio covered entirely in white where a row of models stood on the bench that surrounded the space with another row of girls standing on ground level in front of them. to walk through such narrow, and dark passageway and end up in this brightly lit up room with all these pretty young things, wearing some of the most beautiful clothes my eyes have ever seen in person was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. minus the dying part of course. after working in so may different aspects of the industry, liefhebber has such a developed aesthetic that she can put them all together into a collection where every piece flows so seamlessly to the next. she has such an understanding and sensitivity to what appeals to a woman with a true sense of fashion. kinda like phoebe philo. high praises of course but extremely well deserved. the clothes were effortless without sacrificing any of its beauty and charm. it was pure heaven.

photos: philip sparks - fashionmagazine.com, rita liefhebber - textstyles.ca

Friday, October 16, 2009

gehard demetz

what i find fascinating about art is it's ability to constantly adapt to modernity. every medium has the capacity, in the hands of a highly imaginative artist, to once again be relevant, poignant, soulful, and moving. gehard demetz's beautifully realized wooden sculptures of children has the ability, like all great works of art to provoke intense reactions. it is all at once confrontational, emphatic, which comes with a longing to understand what the inanimate children wishes to convey.
not much is known about the artist, asides from his nationality and his date of birth every other fact about him is a mystery. perhaps, like the great author and recluse j.d. salinger, he doesn't feel the need to explain his work. every answer anyone wishes to know is carved into the grooves of a dead tree brought back to life in the shape of a child. a child, like what we once were, who can manage to live in a world where dreams and rationality can be one and the same.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

spring/summer 2010

over the past few years, fashion has become one of the greatest ways we pantomime the collective mood that hovers in the air. it is one of the few things that, unlike everything else in the world, have become more and more democratic. with the advent of mass market retail stores with their wallet approachable, fashion conscious merchandise and the surge of popularity and influence of bloggers (as witnessed during the dolce and gabbana show where a front row seat was reserved for popular internet celebrity tommy ton of jakandjil fame), more and more people have become exposed to fashion and the culture it cultivates. as a result, the fashion landscape has become more competitive and ideas are churned out in almost supersonic speed so as not to be left behind by a growing number of competitors. while the surge of ideas that is produced in this arena is remarkable, the rate of which it comes out becomes somewhat damaging. it doesn't give those ideas enough time to evolve organically.
the lifeline of trends have become so narrow that in three months time when the pre-fall collections are debuted, the ideas that stemmed from this show season would've already been forgotten, even discarded. for fashion to not collapse under its own weight a sense of restraint has to be put into practice. that form of restraint manifested itself through designers who stripped off their collection with unnecessary artifices and focused on the things that really captures the essence of their respective houses.
nowhere was this more evident than at dolce and gabbana. after almost thirty years in the business, dominico dolce and stefano gabbana returned to the core essence of the brand and by doing so presented one of the strongest collections of the season. after several seasons which saw the design duo toying with ideas such as surrealism, madonna, seventies london and contemporary art, they went back to sicily. the island where the designers drew their early inspirations from and helped cement their status as the go to label for provocative, subversive, sensual designs. i mean, let's face it, anna magnani is a far sexier and more potent muse than jesus luz's sugar momma.
other well established houses such as givenchy and balenciaga continued to redefine its storied legacy by injecting it with a youthfulness and modernity that continues to dictate the direction where fashion is heading. and fashion's most infamous enfant terrible/showman, lee mcqueen, managed to crash a whole website from the amount of people wishing to see his show aired lived on what else, the internet. which unfortunately robbed millions the chance to witness one of the most poignant show of the season.
younger labels such meadham kirchhoff, louise goldin, sharon wauchob and ohne titel, houses that are just establishing their identity therefore have more space to experiment with their vocabulary, they nevertheless have managed to gain enough confidence in their young age to assert their own personality in this highly competitive arena.
and as usual, fashion's greatest intellectuals, miuccia prada and rei kawakubo never ceases to give us a cerebral challenge as to what fashion is, what it can be, and what it should be. by always challenging our perception of fashion, these two women never fails to become a huge voice in the discussion.
although there were some strong collections presented during spring/summer 2010 collections, generally speaking, the word to summarize everything as a whole was "adequate". there were plenty of sellable clothes that designers sent out because it was a sure way to have customers who are still frugal because of the economy to open their wallets. but perhaps that is where the problem lies. designers were so focused on putting out the best of what they know how to do that it left little in terms of experimentation and development. a new course that could've taken root, detoured in favor of guaranteed commercial success. in these still uncertain times, one cannot fault the designers for playing it safe, albeit it to their respected strengths. last season when the wound left by the crash was still fresh, there were talks of how in times like these, a creative surge erupts, unfortunately it seems that that seed has yet to sprout.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

miu miu - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

alexander mcqueen - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

givenchy - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

Sunday, October 4, 2009

comme des garcons - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

lanvin - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

sharon wauchob - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

Friday, October 2, 2009

balenciaga - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

limi feu - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com

gareth pugh - spring/summer 2010

photo: style.com