December 20, 2012

A Royal Review (And Rant)

I can never get through InStyle magazine.  By the time I'm a couple pages in, I already have an intense desire to whip it across the living room into an imaginary pit of fire.  Exaggerating?  Well, not really, actually.  InStyle lays claim to that middle ground between a fashion magazine and a celebrity gossip magazine.  I can handle celebrity gossip magazines because they are in their very nature sensational and completely pointless.  I would never in my life read one, but I let them be.  InStyle, on the other hand, promotes fashion through celebrity power.  Now that is annoying.  InStyle idolizes celebrities in their articles and every attempt I've made at trying to find an actual model among their pages has failed.  I'm much more interested in what an anonymous girl on the street is wearing than what some actress decided to sport while grocery shopping.  Tell me about a celebrity's next film/song/whatever it is they're actually supposed to be famous for, and I'm all ears, but what she's wearing?  Is that supposed to change my opinion of her?

So, on that completely relevant note, some may consider Kate Middleton a celebrity, but in my eyes, she is nothing like that.  She is an incredibly intelligent woman who has handled the limelight and responsibility of royalty with a sort of dignity, grace, warmth and style that not even a seasoned celebrity can aspire to. She is not a celebrity; she is us.  And because of that, I have no shame in blogging about her.  Everything she's worn has been a fashion hit, but here is a look at some of my favourites:

Alexander McQueen

As if her wedding dress wasn't gorgeous enough, her post-wedding ensemble stunned me.  The entire look is so perfectly polished it shines like a diamond, but that fuzzy cropped jacket tops it off like a cherry, exuding warmth and approachability.  Every woman wants to look drop dead gorgeous on her wedding day, and Kate can put a large checkmark beside that.


I adore Erdem because it's a label that allows me to shamelessly indulge in my love of all things lacy.  Being one of the looks worn during her Canadian tour, this dress holds a special place in my heart despite its otherwise simple demeanor.

Alexander McQueen

This look is another simple one, but the colour is utter perfection.  The lilac, being so light as to almost pass for white, makes the gown both ethereal and glamorous - a unique combination.  On any other person, the gown might be a typical red carpet choice, but a touch of royalty makes it an instant hit.

Jenny Packham

I first saw this dress while waiting for my groceries to be scanned - no doubt it made waiting in line much more enjoyable.  The intricacy of the beading and sequin design resembles the detail of a mermaid tail.  An aquatic goddess, but in soft pink, making this yet another glamorous and ethereal combination.

Prabal Gurung

Kate shows us she can go bold too!  Admittedly, I absolutely loved the collection this dress came from (I'm still yearning for those sheer pants with dripping, purple liquid down the thighs), so I may be biased.  Nonetheless, this was a bold, artistic move for Kate and a definite eye-catcher.

Beulah London

If I ever needed something to describe the word "angelic", this would be it.  Everything about this look was so heart-achingly beautiful.  Soft, kind, respectful...never have I seen an outfit I would attribute such a personality to.  People Magazine can speculate all they want about The Most Beautiful Woman, but step aside celebrities, because the crown of that title belongs to Kate.

Image Source: Wedding, Erdem, McQueen, PrabalPackhamMosque

December 2, 2012

Maison Martin Margiela for H&M

I know, I know...old news yet again.  Shame on me.  But ever since I started this blog, I have not failed to do a review on every one of H&M's collaborations.  I'm not going to break that tradition now!

First things first: Maison Martin Margiela.  When I heard the news, shrieking at my indifferent laptop might be an apt description of my response.  Margiela is not only one of the most avant-garde labels out there, it's also one of the most mysterious.  With no one at the helm, it's really more of an abstract entity of fashion talent.  Just imagining a radical, yet so elusive and secretive label collaborating with H&M was too much to bear.

There really is no point spending too much time on whether the results of this collaboration are true to the Margiela label.  I think that is obvious enough.  Being the most avant-garde collaboration H&M has done, I think it's fair to say the Margiela image is undoubtedly present.

What is worth talking about, however, is the quality and style of the pieces.  With H&M collaborations, there is always the fear of a cheaply made high fashion look.  But with Margiela, there seems to be no problem whatsoever.  Perhaps it's because Margiela always focused more on construction that it's really the architecture of these H&M pieces that make it look like quality Margiela.

And that brings me to style.  These H&M pieces are beautifully dramatic; they are unlike anything you will ever find in a regular shopping mall (until now).  There will always be the critics, lamenting how unwearable these fashions are, but life would be so boring if everything you wore was predictable.  These are standout pieces made for a woman with standout taste. 

Consisting of oversized silhouettes and masculine cuts, it quietly encapsulates the love of living, freedom and expression.  They say it's a woman's character that gets her noticed, but hey, I'm just saying, these clothes help.

As I mentioned last time with Lanvin, Versace, and Marni, I had yet to see an H&M collaboration where both the clothes and the accessories were a hit.  This time, there's no question about it: the accessories are amazing.

Plexiglass heels, candy wrapper clutches, and gloved handbags.  I love these accessories beyond belief.  And much like the clothing, there's a surprising high quality feel to them.  This H&M collaboration was perfect in every conceivable way.  Is this my favourite H&M collaboration of all time?  Oh gosh, you can bet it is.

See the entire collection here.

Image Source: Logo, Fashionologie, Vogue, Flare, Shoes, Bag1, Bag2

November 23, 2012

Timely Fashion

So, you've all heard the news.  Balenciaga announced earlier this month that Nicholas Ghesquière will be leaving the label on November 30, 2012.  No reason was given for the departure or details given about either party's future.  Ghesquière has been Balenciaga's designer for 15 years, and a statement praising Ghesquière's incomparable creative contribution was released alongside the announcement.

If this had been announced literally 2 months earlier, I would have had a very different feeling towards it than I do now.  As I said in my Spring/Summer 2013 review, I finally wholeheartedly understood Balenciaga's appeal after its Spring 2013 collection.  I had always appreciated Balenciaga's innovation, but it never produced collections that I considered to be among the best.  Luckily, Balenciaga managed to open my eyes to what I hadn't been able to see all these years: the beauty of designs that speak to constantly changing possibilities.  Ghesquière's designs were always graphic and unconventional, and I blindly mistook them to be too technical.  After Spring 2013, I finally understood that Ghesquière was actually moving along with the times - with a very keen eye, might I add.

Unluckily for me, just as I was starting to look forward to following Balenciaga more closely, this announcement came along.  As it usually is with these kind of announcements, I was shocked, saddened, incredulous - probably the reaction of everybody else in the fashion world.  Some people may have never liked Ghesquière at Balenciaga, but if so, they have most definitely been dwarfed by the majority of us that do.  Ever since I started getting into fashion, I have never heard anything but praise for Ghesquière.

Over the summer, having read a couple of fashion coffee table books, I actually did question what attraction Ghesquière had considering how he had completely changed the image of the Balenciaga label.  Looking at Cristóbal Balenciaga's designs, I saw something completely different.  But now that I think about it, Ghesquière has been on the right track all along.  Both designers fully explore construction and volume.  Back in Balenciaga's time, his designs would have been innovative just as Ghesquière's designs are now.  In fact, Balenciaga's brand has never been about an image, but about keeping up with (and surpassing) changing conventions, truly transcending time.

Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3

November 17, 2012

Mini McQueen

Even though I know these have probably been around for a long time, I only just recently stumbled upon the mini Alexander McQueen Armadillo shoes The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York seemed to have given away at one point:

Absolutely adorable.  I yearn for one of these almost as much as I would a chance to see a pair of McQueen Armadillos in real life!  If you'll notice, there's a tiny hoop at the top, perfect for looping as a necklace.  Wearing a McQueen Armadillo necklace...what a great way to give edge to any outfit.  What a great conversation starter too!

Remember when McQueen skull print silk scarves were in huge demand after McQueen's passing?  I imagine this would be a more fitting tribute to the late genius.  I would love to have one sitting demurely on my windowsill, a discreet little expression of my love for high fashion.
In other news, I've been awarded the Liebster Award by aki!  Thank you so much!  What follows are a couple of questions she had me answer.

1) What is your favourite Nicholas Cage movie?  I haven't seen any.
2) What is your favourite Nickelback song?  I don't listen to them.
3) Do you find yourself using internet memes in daily speech?  No, I don't really find a lot of memes funny.
4) About how many make up products do you find yourself wearing daily?  None.
5) Earrings, bracelets or necklaces?  I would say all, but in reality, I only wear earrings most of the time.
6) Do you bruise easily?  Yes, especially considering all the tight spaces in my residence room this year.
7) Do you burp in front of your significant other?  No significant other, so nope!
8) Do you still lick envelopes?  No.
9) What sound do you hate?  High-pitched Barbie doll voices...
10) Where do you want to be a year from now?  Right where I am now, at school, building up my future.
11) When do you think is the best age/stage in life to move in with your significant other? When you're mature and clear headed enough to see that they really are worth moving in with.

Image Source: McQueen1, 2

November 3, 2012

Making me Blush

So on my downtime when I prowl the internet for fashion giveaways (an utterly meaningless activity, by the way, since I never win), I encounter Etsy a lot.  I discovered Etsy last year and, as many of you probably already know, it's a pretty little site where people can buy and sell homemade items.  There are actually many unique fashion pieces on that site (especially the jewelry...unbelievable), and if you're not averse to online shopping, Etsy is the place to go for one-of-a-kind pieces.  Recently, I came across this photo by Blushfashion on Etsy:
I immediately fell in love with the refined simplicity of the photo.  Of course, the mint-blue colour and Grecian draping had something to do with it, but I just adored the pure white background.  The model gives a sultry character to the photo by looking gorgeous in a pose that isn't outrageously high fashion, but still glamorous enough to capture that bit of fashion fantasy.  Desperate to see whether there were more photos like this, I scrambled on over to Blushfashion's full collection.  While not all stunning hits, there were still many beautifully shot images:
This goes to show that how you present your brand is incredibly important to both your creative and business image.  These dresses are pretty on their own, but it really takes a good model and photographer to bring them to life and turn them into something of desire.

Check out all the photos here.

Image Source: Blushfashion

October 6, 2012

Spring/Summer 2013 RTW

I have a confession to make: I don't have enough time to do a single comprehensive review of a Spring/Summer 2013 RTW collection.  Ok, so that's not really much of a surprising confession, considering how consistent my blog has become lately, but I thought I should let you know.  Ironically enough, I have managed to keep fairly updated with the collections this season, seeing as it's all part of my job as VP Communications at the Fashion & Lifestyle Society (a club at my school) to be in the loop.  So although I won't be doing full reviews, I refuse to let all the opinions I have about the Spring collections go unvoiced.  I never imagined my reviews would get to be so abbreviated, but on the plus side, they might become a bit of an easier (and potentially more interesting) read for you:

Alexander Wang
Verdict: After Fall/Winter 2011, when I finally understood his coolness, I've continued to love what Wang comes up with.  Wang does not produce clothing that you would immediately label as beautiful, and that's exactly what keeps him going.  His clothes require time to soak in, but once they do, there's only one word for what he does: cool.  Threads holding shredded garments together produces a wonderful excerise on deconstruction, and those shoes, oh those shoes.  Full show here.

Burberry Prorsum
Verdict: Hands down one of my favourite collections this season.  The colours were bombastic, with metallics ruched and wrapped, and one standout blue ombre, fantasically cut coccon coat.  Severely cropped jackets gave the collection a youthful edge, as if the colours themselves weren't enough.  I adored the men's metallic cardigans, which literally left me with my mouth hanging.  But I truly loved the mix of textures: lace, embellishment and a peacock trenchcoat for goodness sake.  Bravo to Christopher Bailey for a beautiful collection presented in an equally beautiful fashion.  Full show here.

Dries van Noten
Verdict: Another one of my favourite collections.  I have never seen casual chic done so perfectly.  It's a very literal interpretation of casual chic - plaid tops done in silk and paired with embellished skirts - but that's why it's so amazingly uncanny.  Dressing casual all of a sudden looked so classy.  Van Noten made elastic waistband pajama pants look good, and I think that alone is enough to make this collection a hit.  Full show here.

Verdict: WHAT just happened.  I'm not even sure I want to know what happened, seeing as it was a mess.  Maybe the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations hype gave me high expectations, but I've always liked what Prada has done these past few years, no matter how strange.  This season, I just don't get it.  If there's anyone who can appreciate the most outré shoes, I'm the one.  Yet I could not bring myself to appreciate Prada's foil wrapped, ridiculously stacked feet.  And the clothes were great in construction, but completely lacking in imagination.  It was a procession of the same, strictly cut piece of fabric glued onto the body, with a couple of quickly tiring repetitive prints.  As for the soundtrack...I'll just let you figure that one out.  Good thing Prada redeemed herself during Miu Miu.  Full show here.

Verdict: I've always appreciated Balenciaga - it's one of the most technologically innovative brands out there - but it always required several analyses before I could see its ingenuity.  However, this season, I got it straight away.  The stiff yet undulating frills, revealing its coloured underside with each step, and the flippant barbed wire skirts made a wonderful statement on structure and movement.  I finally understand, Nicolas Ghesquière, I finally understand!  Full show here.

Dolce & Gabbana
Verdict: That's it.  Enough.  I have been seeing the same thing for the past 2 years.  It's sexy and pretty, but it's just been a reworking of the same Italian inspiration.  The raffia basket corsets and skirts were definitely highlights, and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana took the idea of "still looking good in a potato sack" quite literally.  But other than those two unique bits, the pair were still so obviously stuck in Sicily.  Time to get out.  Full show here.

Verdict: It's very difficult to say that a Chanel collection is not successful, because Karl Lagerfeld has this ability to make everything seem so right, even though it may not appeal to you personally.  And that's the kind of relationship I've had with Lagerfeld's work.  Throughout the years, there have only been three collections I can say I loved.  While this collection still didn't resonate that deeply with me, it's among the ones I would consider to be more obviously well-done.  The massive pearls, cropped jackets (a trend, anyone?), and the florals at the end felt like a refreshing step for Chanel.  Not to mention the crazy innovative hula hoop bags and vinyl sun hats.  Full show here.

Christian Dior
Verdict: No, I'm still not entirely sold on Raf Simons at Dior, but I am beginning to accept that Dior is in a new era and perhaps this minimalism is what it needs.  I loved what Simons did with the set, but the clothes were yet again lacking for me.  Although the metallics, floals and intricate constructions were mesmerizing, I didn't feel the excitement that I used to indulge in so selfishly.  Some looks were still too bland (and the theatricality whatsoever) and I almost fell out of my seat at seeing black short shorts at Dior.  With Simons, I feel like either the top or bottom half of a look is always missing; it's empty.  Nonetheless, as I said, I'm willing to accept this new vision.  I only mourn the loss of being transported to another land, and most importantly, I mourn the loss of fun.  Full show here.

Alexander McQueen
Verdict: Props to Sarah Burton for exploring a different aspect of McQueen this season.  This season was significantly grittier and more natural.  Burton has always referenced nature, but usually in a fantastical, surreal way.  This season, it was pure nature in all its beauty and flaws.  Her inspiration was quite obviously bees and everything to do with them.  The head pieces that hid each model's face gave a monotony to the show that well reflects the life of a bee, but also looked like something McQueen himself would have done.  This collection isn't one of those instant successes, but it'll get more people keeping an eye on her.  Full show here.

Saint Laurent
Verdict: Ok, so I'm entirely torn on this collection by *ahem* Saint Laurent (will I ever get used to not saying Yves?).  On one hand, I loved it for its no nonense wearability.  These clothes were gorgeous and I would wear each look exactly as it is.  The sleek bow blouses with blazers and slim pants were nicely contrasted with the fluid, billowing capes of the second half, all done up glamorously with sequins and mousselines.  But on the other hand, I know deep down YSL would never be this obvious.  He would never make glamour look so outright glamorous.  As much as I like what Hedi Slimane has done, perhaps he isn't doing it right for the brand.  I can't say I love this, and I can't say I dislike it, so let me just leave it up to you.  Full show here.

Louis Vuitton
Verdict: Spring/Summer 2012 made me realize how much I like the drop waisted Roaring Twenties, and this season, Marc Jacobs makes me realize how much I like the mini skirted Swinging Sixties.  There's something so adorable yet so womanly about the sixties minidress.  This was probably the shortest LV show we've ever seen, with models paired up and decked out in huge, graphic checks, but it was no less impactful.  I felt like I was on a drug high (not that I would actually know what that feels like) and drifting through a loopy, rainbow world.  Bold and in your face, LV makes a great statement this season.  Full show here.

That's all I have for now in terms of the big names.  I might comment further on other collections as I go through them, but as always, I love posting about any collections you have to suggest!

Image Source:

September 26, 2012

2nd Year!

Two years and counting.  I'm proud to say I'm still blogging.  I may be posting less, but I completely intend to keep this blog going for as long as the fashion world continues to intrigue me.  This blog hasn't changed much during these past two years - my posts stay the same, my values stay the same, and the old, basic beginner's layout stays the same.  I'm not out to make my blog look fancy; all I care about is getting across what I have to say.
Thank you to all my friends who have supported my blog since its very first post, and thank you to all my friends who read it today.  I would still be blogging even if not a soul knew, but sometimes it's nice to know that there's someone else on the other side of my words.

Happy birthday Red-Soled Fashionista.

Image Source: Cake

September 21, 2012

An Evolution: The dawning of a passion

While sitting down to have an afternoon chat with a stylish friend of mine, we inevitably started talking about fashion.  People our age are usually talking about the future - what will we do for a living, where will we live, when will we marry, who will we marry.  But my friend asked me a question that took me back to my past - "How did you get interested in fashion?"

Of course that is a question I have pondered over when I'm lost in the depths of my own mind, but I have never really formulated an actual response.  I didn't need to; no one had ever asked me before, and I was quite happy living with some abstract understanding of how I came to fall so deeply in love with fashion.

Eventually, however, ignorance can no longer be ignored, so even though I didn't manage to give a good response to my friend at the time, I will attempt one here.

I can say with certainty that I had no interest in fashion as a child.  My mom used to watch Fashion Television (RIP Fashion Television and Jeanne Beker's legacy) and I vividly remember thinking, "This is so weird.  No one wears these kind of clothes!"  Not a statement usually heard from a fashion lover.  The first time I had a connection with fashion was replete with stress and anxiety.  It was grade 7, the most cliquey year of my life.  I realized that in order to be considered cool or popular, you had to have a certain interest in fashion.  And so that was how I started telling people I liked fashion, and that yes, of course I wanted to be a fashion designer.

But don't worry, this is not as bleak as it sounds.  As I changed schools in grade 8, I was surrounded by a better group of people, and it allowed me to look at fashion from a different perspective.  Although I knew deep inside that I was not cut out to be a designer, I started to realize that I actually did like fashion.  I started watching runway shows on Youtube (as I've said before, Versace Spring/Summer 2008 was the show that started it all), watching Fashion Television, and familiarizing myself with designers.  After having lived through a short, horrible moment of not knowing what I wanted to be, I came across an editor's letter.  In it, the editor was describing the first time she realized she wanted to become a fashion editor.  And it was at that moment that I had the same revelation.

It made so much sense.  Before my revelation, I had begun to discover how much I loved writing and how much it was actually a part of me.  I had my first 100% in short story writing in early elementary, one of my teachers had told me how she could tell I expressed myself better through the written word, and the the first time I was published was in grade 5 (a short quote in the book Dear Teacher).  The joy I get seeing my published name before a bunch of text which I have strung together in a way no one else has is incomparable (writing is almost like a fingerprint, no?).  What could be better than combining my love for fashion and writing?

I've said before that we are always learning in fashion.  After realizing how little I knew about the decades of fashion, I desperately cut out a newspaper article chronicling the different decades and their signature styles.  I stuck it up on my cork board for many years, until the pages yellowed, hoping I would eventually know it by heart.  I finally relegated it to the recycling bin last month.  And there was a time when I decided to upgrade to reading Vogue, only to come out of it completely winded and exhausted.  I was not yet advanced enough to read Vogue.  Although I can and have been reading Vogue for a couple years now, I am nowhere near finished learning.

This recalling of events has gone way beyond answering the question of how I got interested in fashion, but it is all part of a larger evolution.  Each event led to another, and each event had a purpose.  Now when I look back, I see how ever since childhood, I have been making tiny steps towards what I now know as a burning passion.  One small (Louboutin-clad) step at a time.

Image Source: Photo1, 2, 3, 4, 5

September 14, 2012

Young Love, Young Fashion

Before school started (and not to mention the mad, elbow-your-way-through rush of textbook buying season), my family took a small trip to Vancouver as a way to give my summer one last hurrah.  Some of my highlights were:

1) Enjoying my first French cuisine dinner - Watermelon goat cheese salad, AAAAA grade meat, and steak with truffle butter being among the delicious dishes.  I loved how the waiters and chefs actually took care to describe the dishes to us.
2) Walking through The Room at The Bay for the second time in my life.  Mary Katranzou print dresses, Comme des Garçons paper-doll silhouettes and Erdem florals right in front of my eyes.  Unbelievable.
3) Passing by one of the few J. Crew stores in Canada.  Admittedly, I was expecting a grander store front.
4) Seeing the Olympic Oval.  Dreams were made and broken there two years ago.
5) And lastly, finding a pair of coloured denim from Topshop!  I searched and searched for coloured denim all summer, and finally, I found a pair of Topshop Moto High Waisted Kristen jeans in Vancouver for $20.
When I was searching for coloured denim, I knew I wanted either mint green or pale purple.  It seemed to me as if these two colours were the rarest after seeing numerous girls in red, yellow, pink and turquoise jeans.  Initially, I thought this pair of Topshop denim to be slightly darker and edgier than my ideal purple, and to add to was high-waisted.  I hadn't worn high-waisted pants in years.  However, high-waisted pants are coming back, considering all the stores that stock the style now.

All doubts were later washed away as I heard my mom say the following glorious words: "They make your legs look longer", and my dad dispelling his wise words: "Wear stuff like this while you're still young".  It's true; the high-waist wrapped snugly around my waist to make my hopelessly short legs look just a little longer (ah, fashion mind games...sometimes I wonder if I'm just amusing myself), and there's no better time to wear purple denim than now while I can still pull it off.  To add to that, the price was irresistible.

So far, all my friends back at university who have seen me in my new jeans have commented (shout out to my group of three very stylish friends - you know who you are - thank you!).  I tuck my white lace top in, loop a brown leather belt into a knot (yes, I finally tried out the knotted belt trend.  Love it!), and when I'm feeling dressy, slip on my gold snakeskin loafers.  On second thought, maybe the highlight of my trip wasn't the food, or even the high fashion.  It was finally going out of my comfort zone and buying something not for practicality, but for fun.  Now is the time to experiment, and I'm going to make sure I enjoy every moment of it.

Image Source: Jeans

September 6, 2012

Sartorial Science

In my last post, I posted about a quote from Elle Canada's May 2012 issue, and I would like to continue discussing another interesting tidbit from that issue.  In Noreen Flanagan's Editor's Note, she explains a theory called "Enclothed Cognition" developed by Hajo Adam and Adam D. Galinsky.  In their research, 29 students were asked to perform critical thinking tests in white lab coats, and another 29 in their own clothes.  Result: those in lab coats had half as many errors.  In another test, 33 students were in lab coats, 33 others in painting smocks, and the last 33 in their own clothes.  Again, those in lab coats scored highest.  In a final test, a lab coat was draped over a chair in the same room as students wearing their own clothes.  No boost in scores was seen.
So what does this all lead to?  A confirmation of the idea that "clothes influence performance when they have a symbolic meaning and when they're being worn".  Or as Flanagan explains in a more visceral way, "It's more desirable to wear a Jason Wu original than a knock-off, and standing beside a rack of Chanel suits isn't the same as wearing one."
The first half of her quote is something I try to dispel time and time again on my blog to, as I'm aware, ears that don't always agree.  But the second half of Flanagan's quote is something I think any fashion shopper can relate to.  You can sneak as many furtive glances at that gorgeous embellished number as you want, trying to convince your beating heart you can live vicariously through these glances, but you would only be fooling yourself.  Nothing compares to that moment when you slip on whatever has been beckoning you.  You feel like a different person, you stand taller, you look at yourself in the mirror with a flustered smile, and you think, "Wow, so this is what it's like to live."

Image Source: Science, Chanel

September 1, 2012

Words of Wisdom

If any of you have been following Elle Canada throughout the years, you will know that Elle Canada has been going through a, in my opinion, pleasant change this past year or so.  Noreen Flanagan, who took over Rita Silvan in 2010, has made some refreshing changes to the magazine - I gladly expressed my satisfaction through an email to Flanagan, who surprisingly, emailed back!.  If I dare admit, Elle Canada has eclipsed Flare Magazine in becoming my favourite Canadian fashion magazine (don't worry Flare, I still love you!).  I find Elle Canada now has more humour, fun, exciting new features, and thought provoking articles.  One of these new and exciting features is Elle Canada RSVP, a simple introduction that sets the tone for each issue.  There was one RSVP in particular from May 2012 that I would like to share.
Not only was the illustration incredibly pretty (the exaggerated!), there was a gem of a quote from illustrator and associate art director Elena Viltovskaia: "A strong sense of irony is key to being truly fashionable.  Without it, you're doomed to always play it safe, which is so boring.  True fashion is letting your imagination run free!"  After reading this, I literally put my magazine down to digest the truth of this statement.  Viltovskaia could not be more right.  Being stylish might mean knowing what works for you, and always coming out with a look people will no doubt nod their heads approvingly over.  But being fashionable, now that's different.  Being fashionable is taking risks, enduring raised eyebrows and mouths formed into little "o"s over what you've decided to pick from your closet, yet still walking tall and proud amongst them all.  Because hey, you're happy with how you look, and that's all that matters.  Anna Dello Russo and editors alike don't put together an outfit by thinking that, strategically, it should look good!  They put it together by exploring the deep, dark crevices of fashion, and while sometimes this may shock, it garners more respect than anything else.

Image Source: RSVP

August 20, 2012

The Heart of Beauty

Fashion Magazine celebrated their 35th anniversary by having a one-page feature called One Fine Photo on the last page of each issue.  This feature looked back at a some of the best photos in Fashion Magazine's 35 year history, and one photo in particular made my breath catch in my throat. 
This stunning photo of Jessica Stam (my second favourite model) taken by Gabor Jurina was part of a cover photoshoot for Fashion's February 2005 issue.  From amongst all the fashion photography I have been exposed to, there are only a handful of fashion images that I love from the bottom of my heart (four images, to be precise - all of which contain the colour blue...there really is no hiding what my favourite colour is).  I look at those images and I can find no fault in them.  They make me sigh at their beauty time and time again, and it is exactly what this photo of Stam does to me.  There is a clarity about the bright lighting that lends an air of innocence and warmth to the photo, and the purity of the surroundings and of Stam herself is alarmingly beautiful.  Her skin flawless, her hair and lips fiery red and almost think nothing can be more perfect until you see her penetrating blue eyes, which sharply draw you in and refuse to let you go.  There's not much fashion in this photo besides the blush-toned lace corset, toeing the line between seduction and innocence, but in this case, the fashion is hardly important.  Stam gives off a powerful aura that just cannot be ignored.  While some liken this photo to Marilyn Monroe's last photoshoot, I liken Stam's intensity to another supermodel of times past, Linda Evangelista.
Although they don't share the same features, they share the same ability to hook you in with one look of their enticing eyes.  It's not long until you find yourself drifting through a world of sublime.  If you ask me, that's what a great fashion image has to do.  Beauty is beauty, but it's only skin deep if it doesn't pull at your heart with indescribable emotion.