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Ooh La La! Lingerie Francaise Hits Toronto’s DX

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There’s been all kinds of fashion fun taking place at Toronto’s Design Exchange in recent months. First there was the Christian Louboutin retrospective and now we have the titillating Lingerie Francaise, a retrospective covering over 100 years of glorious French lingerie.

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Following the shows in Paris, London, Shanghai, Dubai, Berlin and New York, the travelling exhibition has now arrived in Toronto, opening to the public as of this week until October 13. Curated by Catherine Ormon ­— a heritage conservator and graduate of the Ecole du Louvre and the Ecole du Patrimoine and former student of Studio Berçot — the French association PROMINCOR presents the 100 years of French expertise in creativity and luxury, which basically means we gander at ye olde timey underwear without breaking into a blush.

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Eleven renowned French lingerie manufacturers — Aubade, Barbara, Chantelle, Empreinte, Implicite, Lise Charmel, Lou, Maison Lejaby, Passionata, Princesse tam.tam and Simone Pérèle — open their treasures to the public as the unique exhibition demonstrates the influence lingerie products have been exerting on society. There’s everything from late nineteenth century corsets, up until the present day dominatrix like stringy things.

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Trade Statement for Simple with Dogeared Jewelry

ASOS is at the forefront of online fashion retailers and it feels that if a brand is going to be big, then ASOS will most definitely snap them up. One coveted brand currently on our fashion radar is the USA-based jewellery company Dogeared.

Dogeared was originally founded in California and creates beautiful handcrafted jewellery and gifts with an underlying bohemian aesthetic, known for its signature simple, yet nonetheless stylish, necklaces. We may have been seeing a lot of chunky knits accessorized with OTT statement necklaces being punted as a big trend for A/W 13, but opting for something simpler makes for a much-needed alternative to the obvious mainstream trends.

 

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Their latest to land on the ASOS site is a true feast for the eyes with cute heart, cross and initial detailing. The simplicity of the rings, in particular, is to die for. Check out the full range currently being stocked on asos.com and see if it’ll convince you to snub this season’s statement jewellery too… Prices start at just 32, if you need any more convincing.

 

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The Fashion Spot’s 10 Best Articles of the Week

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  1. Best of Beauty: Milan Fashion Week Spring 2014 - With bare-faced looks taking center stage once again, we saw plenty of shading, subtle lip colors and ladylike flushed cheeks.
     
  2. Glitz, Glamour and Goth Ruled the Red Carpet at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards - Ethereal gowns graced the red carpet at last night’s Emmy Awards 2013 alongside more dramatic looks with Gothic undertones.
     
  3. Milan Fashion Week Spring 2014 Hits & Misses: Part 2 (Forum Buzz) - Forum members make their voices heard when it comes to the good, bad, and ugly coming out of Milan this season.(And in case you missed the first installment, it's right this way.)
     
  4. Can’t Stop Thinking About…Milan Fashion Week Spring 2014 - Visors, fashion-forward nuns and more memorable moments from this season's shows in Milan.
     
  5. Street Style at Milan Fashion Week (Almost) Out-Glams the Runways - Leave it to Milan Fashion Week's street style to really bring out the best in polished glamour.
     
  6. Fashion Editor Street Style: Milan Fashion Week Spring 2014 (Forum Buzz) - Fashion editors descended upon the streets of Milan in droves. 
     
  7. Backstage Confidential: 5 Beauty Tips We Learned at Fall 2013 Fashion Week - The geniuses behind backstage beauty work their magic to create unique and often outrageous looks using insider tips and tricks to ensure models look their best.
     
  8. Street Peeping: Which of These 10 Style Personas Are You? - Check out these new street style-inspired identities.
     
  9. Insta-Crush: The Wonderful Instagram World of Beyoncé - When it comes to celebs on Instagram, it doesn't get much better than Beyoncé's Instagram.
     
  10. The Best Part of Fashion Week Happens Behind the Scenes: Backstage Snaps from Milan - Pretty pictures from backstage at Milan Fashion Week.

 

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Feminism Isn’t a Fashion Statement

Image: IMAXtree

Image: IMAXtree

As I remember it, attitudes towards feminism used to be predominantly hostile, best characterized by the well-trodden phrase, "I'm not a feminist, but."

More recently, people have seemed to embrace the label. Which is mostly a good thing, but sometimes it seems like they're squeezing it to death. Today's posture is one of faddish over-identification: In pop culture and on the Internet, "feminism" is sometimes used as a calling card by anyone making a superficial claim about women. A friend of mine calls it 'hashtag feminism.'

On that note, although SHOWstudio's live panels present some of the most interesting and informative responses to the Fashion Week shows available online (if you're unfamiliar, the London-based fashion outlet streams conversations with critics, designers, stylists concurrently with the runway livestreams), I've been stunned by how readily panelists jump to consider the feminist bonafides of a fashion collection. To be fair, the commentators are often taking a cue from the designers themselves: The duo behind Meadham Kirchhoff count the riot grrrl movement as one of their biggest influences; Miuccia Prada considered herself a radical feminist long before she considered herself a designer, and her Spring 2014 collection was explicitly concerned with female empowerment. 

But fashion's relationship to feminism isn't an easy one. And so I feel like I've entered some bizarro universe when I read sentences like this one from Style.com's review of the Olympia Le-Tan Spring 2014 collection: "This sailor-themed collection couldn’t help but give you the feminist spins," wrote Maya Singer, as if most fashion collections wouldn't give you feminist spins. At its most fundamental level, the fashion show is in conflict with feminism: Hiring leggy teenagers to wear clothing intended for (wealthy) adults doesn't do anything to advance equal rights for women.

The Olympia Le-Tan review wasn't Style.com's only mindboggling reference to feminism this week. Earlier this week, the website ran a post asking, "Is Donatella Versace Fashion’s Sexiest Feminist?" The opening sentence reads, "Feminism is emerging as a strong Spring ’14 theme." The Style.com item was centered around some choice quotes from an interview with the Versace designer which ran in The Independent on Saturday.

Conducted by the British publication's fashion editor, Alex Fury, (who is, it's worth mentioning, a frequent guest on the SHOWstudio live panels), the interview was published under the headline, "Donatella Versace on sex and why she'd rather be a feminist than a muse." In the past, Donatella has openly discussed some of her feminist beliefs in the press (last year, her statement, "Feminism is dead in the world," was picked up by countless outlets) and she explicitly uses the term in conversation with Fury, telling him, "I think I'm a feminist."

Fury writes that Donatella's feminist convictions seem "odd given how diametrically opposed those clingfilm-tight Versace frocks seem to our notions of feminist fashion." And on Style.com, the blogger ends by wondering whether "a sheer V-neck gown cut down to here might tempt one’s company to focus on something other than her 'opinions.'” I wouldn't call Donatella Versace the world's best feminist role model or say that Versace designs would work well on feminist revolutionaries, but suggesting that clothes can make or break a feminist is missing the point. Designer and fashion brands can sometimes operate according to feminist principles (a recent New Yorker article made the case for Eileen Fisher as one such label), but feminism will never be a fashion statement. 

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Link Buzz: Step Dancers Perform on the Rick Owens Runway; J.W. Anderson Going to Loewe

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  • One of the most unexpected responses to the growing demand for greater runway diversity, Rick Owens cast step dancers to perform at his runway show in Paris, wearing his Spring 2014 collection. The women he cast were more diverse in terms of race and size than we typically see at fashion shows, but the effect seemed more like a gimmick than an earnest response to industry racism. Most people who have expressed opinions do not see it that way. [Fashionologie]
     
  • Sandra Bullock has fused and become one with the red carpet, that's how much time she's been spending on it. [FabSugar]
     
  • A fall television guide for people who would rather see quality makeup artistry on the small screens. [BellaSugar]
     
  • How to deal with the what, the why and the ow of blisters. [SheFinds]
     
  • Irish designer and London fashion favorite J.W. Anderson has been named creative director of Spanish luxury brand Loewe, an LVMH property. [NYTimes]

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French Business Magazine Confirms Marc Jacobs’ Departure from Louis Vuitton; Names Nicolas Ghesquière as Likely Successor

Composite Image: IMAXtree & WENN.com

Composite Image: IMAXtree & WENN.com

Following rumors which first emerged in June, Reuters reports that Marc Jacobs may be likely to step down from Louis Vuitton when his contract expires next month. One unnamed source told the news agency that the designer's “contract may not be renewed," while a separate source says, "nothing has been decided yet."

Reuters notes that another publication, the French international business magazine Challenges, has already confirmed Jacobs' departure. 

A preview from the article in Challenges is available online:

Image: Screenshot

Image: Screenshot

The title, roughly translated, reads: "Marc Jacobs' departure from Vuitton is official."

And the text: "The artistic director of Louis Vuitton (LVMH), Marc Jacobs, will leave his position. The schedule will be finalized when Delphine Arnault, the general director of Louis Vuitton, finds a successor. The designer Nicolas Ghesquière is in the lead, though other candidates are still being considered."

Even if Jacobs leaves Louis Vuitton, where he's been installed as creative director since 1997, the designer will still be closely tied to the brand's holding company, LVMH. The luxury conglomerate holds a 96% stake in his eponymous brand and full control over Sephora, the exclusive distributor for Marc Jacobs' recently launched beauty line. When rumors about the designer's departure from Vuitton first emerged in June, WWD speculated that Jacobs would also try to negotiate independence for his proprietary brand so he could take it public. No new details about the American designer's future plans have emerged. 

On Tuesday, Louis Vuitton revealed that accessories designer Darren Spaziani was joining the house and spearheading a new line of ultra high-end leather goods. The announcement followed earlier reports that, following a period of aggressive expansion and booming growth, Louis Vuitton was seeing lagging sales in China, where demand has shifted to more understated brands like Bottega Veneta and Yves Saint Laurent. 

[Marc Jacobs’ Future at Louis Vuitton in Doubt — Reuters]

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