So you couldn’t make it to New York Fashion Week this month. Pfft! Who needs the glass and glamour of the Big Apple when you have Western Canada Fashion Week on your doorstep? Ok, so maybe they’re not quite the same – let’s face it, even Toronto Fashion Week struggles to hold a candle to NY – but that’s not to say there won’t be some fabulous finds in Edmonton this season.
Kicking off on September 19, WCFW began its fashionable antics with an MC College showcase of talented graduate work. September 20 will then see a crammed schedule of shows that will include the Emerging Designers Competition, Le Monster Clothing and Heather Bouchier. You can check out the full roster here, but I think what many people are most looking forward to is the LUXX Ready to Wear catwalk that will take place on September 25.
You see, Edmonton’s Derek Jagodzinsky of LUXX is said to be debuting an exciting new native-inspired collection that’s generating many a blogger’s buzz. The designer drew approving nods last season for his line of seemingly simple day dresses with twists of panelling and backless capes, crafted in watery ombre shades of patterned silk. Asymmetrical hems and gathered skirts were plenty as Jagodzinsky concentrated on movement and soft silhouettes.
For those not so familiar with the LUXX brand, the ready-to-wear label is an Edmonton based company that designs and is hand produced solely in Alberta with small quantity runs. It’s a heritage company owned by Jagodzinsky (a University of Alberta graduate) and rooted in producing sophisticated, sleek, polished clothing for the modern woman of today.
Now gearing up for Spring 2014, Jagodzinsky posted a teasing snap to his Facebook page with the accompanying text, “This season I am doing a Native inspired collection with the four directions colors in a Modern way, so excited for it and show at Western Canada Fashion Week September 25th.” That has certainly pique my interest; how about yours?
Images via LUXX/WCFW
Bassike prides themselves on their basics. But it’s amazing how they can turn a white shirt or a pair of elasticated sweats into a statement piece – the statement being that you’re a master of minimalism with an eye for quality and a loyalty to the brands that provide it.
The brand’s Autumn 2014 offering is possibly their most eye-catching yet. There aren’t any flashy embellishments or clashing prints to speak of, of course, but there are basics that are as bold as anything you might see coming out of the fashion month street style: Satin drawstring shorts worn with furry capelets, full-length satin jumpsuits, robe-like housecoats and leather cocoon tops layered over their signature white shirts. In words it sounds horrific, but when you look at the balanced silhouettes and super-luxe fabrics it’s exactly the opposite.
All the looks are anchored by the holiest of awesome ugly footwear – Birkenstocks. Bassike has been well ahead of fashion’s current obsession with the double-strap German sandals, featuring them in their previous lookbook and proudly stocking them in-store.
You could say Bassike is doing for Birkenstocks what Phoebe Philo did for Nike trainers. Fittingly, the simplest of Autumn’s looks are what the Céline woman might wear on a fancy coffee date with friends. And the most luxurious – such as the fit-and-flare pencil skirt in milled-in-Italy leather – would fit right in with her existing wardrobe.
It almost hurts that we’re heading into the opposite season, but socks with Birkenstocks is suddenly seeming like a year-round necessity.
Images courtesy of Bassike
Last night Stuart Weitzman debuted a short film starring Kate Moss and if you didn't have a girl crush on the model before, brace youself. Titled "Made for Walking," the film features Kate Moss strutting in three of the brand's most popular shoes, included their 5050 over-the-knee boots. Directed by independent filmmaker Balthazar Klarwein in central London, it's set to a modern remake of the classic Nancy Sinatra song “These Boots Are Made for Walking” performed by artist Kari Kimmel. Moss is mesmerizing in the 60s style black and white film and fittingly, the release is timed to the brand’s new Milan flagship store designed by Zaha Hadid.
I checked out the short at the brand's showroom amidst all of Weitzman's Spring 2014 shoes, which included flat platforms, along with perforated, studded and tasseled styles. Check out the video above and some shots of the designer's forthcoming collection below.
Image: Moda Operandi
designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy
have seen a lot of success over the past few years, but their most recent Spring 2014 collection was maybe not the most inspiring example of their much-lauded craftsmanship and taste level.
One Forum member called it "a mash-up of Daisy Duke, exotic dancers and urban wear." Another wondered whether the sisters might have sourced their collection from Rihanna for River Island rejected designs.
On NYMag.com, Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic Robin Givhan praised the Mulleavy sisters for taking a risk, but thought their attempt to elevate the sexed-up bravado seen in L.A. street style hadn't succeeded: "On the runway, [the clothes] read as cheap," she wrote, "even though they most certainly are not."
No, they most certainly are not. The collection is now available for pre-order on luxury e-commerce site, Moda Operandi. How much does it cost?
The most striking item might be the leopard beaded bra top (pictured right). Although the Swarovski crystal embellishments surely justify its $6,440 price, its design is essentially indistinguishable from a run-of-the-mill tassel belly dance bra (here's one for $14.99). The full runway look (above) costs $13,479.
Obviously, not everything we see on the runways is intended for everyday life and Moda Operandi's approach to curation, in the case of post-fashion week trunk shows, is intentionally hands off. So a Swarovski bra top might not be a fair example of Rodarte Spring 2014 pricing, since the market for that particular piece probably begins and ends with Ke$ha.
A more realistic example: The asymmetrical zebra print dress, pictured below, is listed as one of the collection's "Most Wanted" items. It costs $6,555. Even though that's (remarkably) even higher than the price set for the aforementioned crystal-covered crop top, it would be a fool's errand to try to figure out the better deal.
Image: IMAXtree (left) / Moda Operandi (right)
It’s Target news all around this week as the big box chain has opened its first store in Montreal to a crowd of socialites and celebrities. Entering the Quebec market at its Place Vertu store in Montreal, Target fashion ambassador Mitsou Gélinas, vice President Livia Zufferli, president Tony Fisher and Bullseye, Target's beloved bull terrier mascot, welcomed Coco Rocha to the red carpet as they unveiled their latest pin on the Great White map.
The following day, two more stores were given the golden scissor treatment, while another nine stores are scheduled to open in mid-October, including three in the Greater Montreal area. Let’s just say that Bullseye is marking his territory across the country, but while Target originally hinted at expanding the Canadian workforce and giving jobs to the former Zellers employees, the reality is a different story.
While at TIFF I had the chance to check out Gia Milani’s prize-winning film, All the Wrong Reasons, starring Emily Hampshire and Karine Vanasse. The film was shot on location at a Zellers, just as it was being transformed into Target, and as both the gorgeous ladies explained, they were dumbstruck when they discovered that Target had flushed out all the Zellers employees. Rather than seamlessly transitioning them into a new job at Target, the Zellers crew were made to re-apply for their previous positions against hundreds of others. I was surprised by their comments and, with some figures sourced by Global, found that more than 5,000 former Zellers workers were promised employment opportunities with the U.S. retailer, but were largely ignored.
So there’s that. The other piece of Target news I wanted to mention is a little more light-hearted as it involves their upcoming collaborations. Firstly, and I must emphasize that this is more of an international scoop, striking British designer Peter Pilotto is creating a capsule collection that will hit store this February 9th (mark your moleskins and set your alarms)! You can read more about that little pairing right here.
Secondly, and this is a purely Canadian collab, the winner of the Target Emerging Designer Awards, Melissa Nepton, has unveiled her signature collection that will finally be in the retailer's 25 Quebec stores beginning on Dec. 8.
The 16-piece collection will range from $29.99 to $69.99 and Target Quebec spokesman Sebastien Bouchard said the designer drew inspiration from 60s-inspired silhouettes for the line. Can we say they’ve made good by supporting upcoming Canadian talent? Or is the whole Target takeover leaving you with a sour taste in your mouth? Sound off in the comment section located south!
Images via Target and MellisaNepton.com
A few days ago, Naomi Campbell was tasked with defending both herself and the growing campaign demanding more runway diversity in a bizarre, combative interview with UK broadcaster Channel 4 News.
Most of the time, it's refreshing to see a journalist at a major network challenge a big name subject, but in this case, the program's host seemed determined to get a rise out of Campbell.
It started with the opening question, which insinuated that the supermodel's success delegitimizes her claims that the fashion industry isn't racially inclusive:
Channel 4: Are you essentially accusing the industry you've done very well in, of being racist?
Naomi Campbell: No, I'm saying the act of not choosing models of color is racist. We're not calling them racist, we're saying the act is racist. And I'm also saying that they may not intentionally know, but they do choose. They hire casting directors, they hire stylists — now they are the ones that choose the models, not so much the designer anymore. So it's not necessarily the designer, but it does affect their house and their brand.
Then this exchange:
C4: You're a world famous supermodel. Why can't you go up to… Victoria Beckham —
NC: Who says I haven't?
C4: What does Victoria Beckham say?
NC: I haven't gone up to Victoria Beckham. But I have gone up to designers I am friendly with and said, "Hey, why are you not using more models of color?"
C4: And what do they say? Your friends?
NC: "We want to, you're right, you're right." But it doesn't happen.
Asked whether she is particularly invested in how London Fashion Week handles diversity, given her own background as a Brit, Cambell deflects: "I'm not pointing at one country, we're pointing at the fashion industry as whole."
The exchange continues:
C4: But you're naming Alexander McQueen, you're naming Mulberry. You've named Victoria Beckham.
NC: Yes, because they haven't used any models of color!
The interviewer doesn't back off, asking the supermodel whether being involved with the "blood diamonds" controversy might discredit her current campaign:
NC: I don't care what people think about me, they're allowed to have their opinion about me. But what they cannot fault me on is my job. And this is my business — fashion — this is what I'm in, and this is what I see.
C4: You have a reputation, rightly or wrongly, for being quite an angry person.
NC: I'm not here to talk about me, I'm here to talk about Balance Diversity. So I think I will finish here as I need to get to my set and finish my TV show.
C4: Let me finish my question. I just wondered if there's a good anger and a bad anger, and if this is actually a good anger to have.
NC: I'm not angry. And I don't like the thing of "the angry black woman" either. This is not what this is about. You asked to interview me because we've done very nice interviews in America. And you want to know what it's all about. We are passionate. And feeling passionate about something doesn't mean you have to be angry.
The full interview:
Related: André Leon Talley: ‘It’s Not the Designer That’s Racist, It’s the System That’s Racist’