June 28, 2013

Flare, Falter, Fame

This is old news, but if any of you follow Canadian fashion magazines, you'll know that Flare underwent a change of lead in June 2012. Lisa Tant, the Editor-in-Chief of eight years, known for her daring foray into social media, left to become publisher of HELLO! Canada. Yes, HELLO! Canada, otherwise known as a celebrity gossip magazine. I can't speak for other fashionistas, but although the job position is a step up, the magazine is a definite step down. Imagine going from working in the throes of high fashion, to working for a magazine tripping over its heels to obtain photos of celebrity babies.

Now, there was talk about her sudden move being due to an earlier Tweet where she leaked details of Lady Gaga's top secret fragrance. Of course there's no confirmed link between the two, but working in media, you have to be extremely careful of what you put out. Especially in her position, she was a pretty high profile figure, basically acting as the face of the entire Flare brand, and being known as Canada's Anna Wintour.  But fast forward to Flare's new Editor-in-Chief: Miranda Purves, former fashion editor at Elle. I've only read through a few of the issues under her direction, and I'm not quite impressed yet.  Flare was initially my favourite Canadian fashion magazine because of Tant...she added personality to the publication that the other magazines lacked. Purves has not won me over yet, but I look forward to getting a better picture of her style this summer by catching up on the latest issues of Flare.  (Update: After going through a couple issues, I find this new Flare to be a little lacklustre.  Purves rarely shows her face in her Editor Letter, and although that is an admirable and humble attempt at making the magazine more about the entire team, I feel a loss of connection to the Flare brand.  I find her Letters fairly straighforward and the content average.  Nothing yet is making me say, "Hey, that's really great," but time will tell whether Flare comes back shining.)

But anyway, back to Tant. If you think the story ends there, you're wrong. In early November 2012, Tant was named Holt Renfrew's Fashion Editor, a position made specifically for her.  It turns out the job at HELLO! Canada just didn't demand enough creativity from her. Opportunities come at the strangest of times.  Even when you think you've got your career down, you never know when you'll be whisked away on another exhilarating adventure. This whole ordeal just reminds me to keep going after what I want.  Doors may constantly seem to be closing in my face, but all I need to do is reach out and give them a tug in my direction.

Image Source: Tant, Purves

June 23, 2013

Dree Hemingway

It's been absolute ages since I've done a model feature!  I used to have a system of alternating between one of my own posts and a model feature, but it became stifling to the point I felt my own blog was slipping away from between my fingers.  In the end, forcing myself to make a certain post when I wasn't in the mood just didn't work.  But having already discussed my preference for models over celebrities, you'll probably realize I started model features in the first place because I want to give models more credit for the work they do in this celebrity-obsessed world (fashion magazines, PLEASE STOP putting celebrities on your covers). So I apologize if I've been getting through these model requests at a painstakingly slow rate, but if you've requested a model feature, you'll see it, I promise.  So at the request of Iben, Dree Hemingway is up next on this blog's model feature!

Dree is, of course, great-grand daughter of Earnest Hemingway, famous literary icon.  While girls like her are sometimes more known for their impactful last name than their talents, Dree has fast become known for her modeling abilities (but ok, the last name doesn't hurt).  With her beachy blonde hair, elongated face, and soft, hazy eyes, she's got the qualities of a Parisienne, with a Californian sense of fun.

Like any other strong, powerful model, she has a penchant for black menswear inspired pieces when she isn't working the camera. Will you just look at that stylishly limp hair and almost deadpanned gaze?  The Parisienne aura is so palpable.

Her latest appearance was at one show: Matthew Williamson Spring/Summer 2012 RTW.  She's definitely more the socialiate!

If there are any models you want to see featured, just give me a shout if you haven't done so already!

Image Source: Photo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9   

June 15, 2013

Welcome to America

Ok, so Target has now taken over Zellers, and judging from the busy parking lots, the fact that Target's inventory is essentially the same doesn't seem to dull the allure of newness.  In another story, my initial reaction to the announcement that Nordstrom would be opening in my city was absolute joy. During my trip to America when I was still beginning to learn about fashion, Nordstrom seemed like heaven to me. An entire floor devoted to accessories?!  It was there that my mom and I found the Fendi Doctor Bag we would both still be talking about years later. 

But now that I think about it, I am reminded of the day I found out Hudson's Bay was being bought over by NRDC Equity Partners, an American private equity firm. For some reason, that piece of news affected me greatly, so much that I remember wanting to write an essay on it (even back when my essay writing skills were pretty nonexistent).

I've always been fairly patriotic, and so seeing such an essential part of Canadian history being Americanized saddened me. Even though we were all forced to learn about Canadian history as kids, to be honest, I retained nothing but the fact that we used to trade fur. Maybe that's why I found myself so attached to this particular part of our history?

Canada has never really made an impact in the fashion scene, but in fact, neither is America home to the most respected of designers. Yet with American dominance in every other aspect of life, their presence in Canadian fashion can't help but be a bit of weight on my heart. Admittedly, there really hasn't been a perceptable change in the way Hudson's Bay operates, and if anything, Hudson's Bay has been improving these past few years (see: Hudson's Bay: A Sea of Potential).  But the fact remains: I feel robbed of a history that should be ours.

So in the end, how am I feeling about Nordstrom?  My excitement still overrides the blow to my Canadian pride, but I would be much worse off if we didn't have Holt Renfrew. Our Hudson's Bay stripes might be seeing American stars, but our Renfrew pink is here to stay.

Image Source: NordstromBay, Bay2, Bay3

June 3, 2013

Dsquared² Fall/Winter 2013 RTW

I’ve always supported Dean and Dan Caten because they are our Canadian boys; it’s their ability to give voice (sometimes overtly) to Canadian style in the international fashion arena that makes them so special to us. Yet having said that, I’ve never really been head over heels about their aesthetic. It’s always cheeky and fun, and although I love the devil-may-care attitude, it generally translates into something a bit too messy for me.  Not this season, however. For Fall/Winter 2013, the Caten twins turned up the glamour dial. The first look of the show was the absolute epitome of 1940s heyday.

Set amongst a makeshift jazz club, models came out dripping in jewels (oh, those jewels), and slinking down in the richest of garments.  There was a lot of influence from menswear, but it felt so high octane that it still suited the glamour woman so well.  The mix of textures and colours was just delicious - brown fur mingling with sky blue satin, and gold hardware flirting with lavender leather gloves.

The look above is my favourite – the lavander was what caught my eye, but I adore how the heavily embellished floor length cardigan makes this look both high glamour and leisurely. Although fret not, the Caten aesthetic is still here: the socks worn with heels makes the entire collection a bit more down to earth. Evening came around, and the glamour became sultry, with looks being translated in black and the menswear taking charge.

Considering the Catens once had their models sloshing through mud, I say they should explore the other side of the spectrum more often. Their loud-and-proud personality gives traditional glamour a nice reboot. Sure, there were a couple of model trips and slips, but what’s fashion if not a little impractical?

Watch the entire show here.

Image Source: Style.com