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The Melbourne Cup’s Crown Oaks Day is a Lesson in Feminine Power Dressing

The Melbourne Cup's Crown Oaks Day might not be the day of the race that stops a nation, but who's focusing on the horses when there are this many pretty dresses to look at? The third day of the Cup, traditionally known as 'ladies day', is really just an excuse to see some big hats, bold florals and fairytale lace frocks paraded around in front of a racing backdrop. And while there's no holding a candle to Coco Rocha in not one but two dresses and a giant gilded headpiece, Whitney Port, Jennifer Hawkins and Jesinta Campbell all deserve at least an honorable mention. Who said frocks can't be fierce?

The Buzz Latest News

First Look: Melissa Nepton x Target Canada

TARGET CORPORATION - Target unveils Melissa Nepton's Exclusive C

It’s finally here! After much speculation, teasers and anticipation, Target Canada has finally unveiled its first collaboration with Montreal designer Melissa Nepton.

After winning the company’s Emerging Designer award back in February, and that pretty darn helpful $25,000 cash prize, Nepton’s collection is set to go on sale at Quebec-based Target stores starting December 8. Prices will range between $29.99 and $69.99, but while there’s yet to be an official lookbook to drool over, both Nepton and Target were recently on hand in Montreal to offer a sneak peek to eager fashionistas.

Above you can check out a photo from the event, which shows Elisha Ballantyne, divisional merchandise manager for apparel and accessories at Target, designer Mélissa Nepton and Mitsou Gélinas, Target fashion ambassador, flanked by two models. Each model wears chevron accented pants, fox printed shirts and scarfs (do we think it’s a little late in the game for this trend?) and an oxblood knit cardigan.

The looks are a far cry from Nepton’s Spring 2014 collection recently shown at Toronto’s World MasterCard Fashion Week and featuring a kaleidoscope of pixelated prints and fluid silhouettes, but of course, the Target merch is a budget range with the likelihood of those $29.99 gloves being real leather as slim to none.

Stylist Quebec has another photo of the collaboration which shows more faux leather-like fabrics, coupled with longline tunics, abstract floral prints and gold jacquard dresses for the party season that do appear rather lux. I only wish the line was more accessible to the rest of Canada, but check out the looks and sound off on the styles in the comments below. Will you make the trek to buy?

Image via CNW Group/Target Corporation

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Inside the V&A Museum’s ‘Club to Catwalk’ Exhibition

jacket

(c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

We finally had a chance to check out the Club to Catwalk exhibition at London’s V&A museum this weekend, and boy, were we in awe.

During the 80s, London based designers came to be known as the most experimental in the world, and to prove their quirky design credentials, the exhibition featured a special collection of Levi Strauss denim jackets that had been decorated by designers commissioned by the innovative Blitz magazine. One of our favourites had to be the jacket that had been totally transformed with hair grips (right). The most innovative use of them that we’ve ever seen.

The exhibition explores how fashion exploded in Britain during the 1980s — where customization and self-made clothing were key and youths competed against each other in the trendiest of nightclubs with their outfits. Trends bubbled up from the clubs in this way and even made it upon some of the leading runways. Looks in the clubs spread rapidly and everything from exaggerated exotic styles to eclectic mixing could be seen. Just look at the guys below (left), it's impossible to imagine these kinds of styles ever becoming the norm again at our favourite clubs. 

Did you know that it was actually the economic conditions of Thatcherite Britain that led towards a hardening of attitudes in fashion and music? And that’s exactly when we saw an arrival of holes in clothing, edgy leathers, and massive boots. 

If you do get to see the exhibition, there’s a little submersion room that you have to test out. It’s pitch black like a nightclub, playing 80s style music with its walls filled with videos streaming club scenes. It most definitely makes you feel like you’ve travelled back in time and are part of the era. 

Tickets to the exhibition cost just  5 pounds and you can find out more at vam.ac.uk

(c) Derek Ridgers

(c) Derek Ridgers

Images: V&A 

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Lucky Magazine’s December Cover Stars Kerry Washington … and It’s Really Bad

Image: tFS Forums

Image: tFS Forums

Lucky Magazine's new editor-in-chief Eva Chen has been under a lot of pressure since taking the helm at the shopping glossy, and to a large extent, she's delivered. Even before she relaunched the Condé Nast publication with a stunning September Issue cover, featuring Blake Lively — one of the most striking commercial images I've seen all year — Chen has seemed infallible (that's what happens to your reputation when you are cherrypicked for a major job by Anna Wintour). As some in the forums noted, Chen's version of Lucky was more diverse and had a higher taste level than its predecessor; its point of view simply seemed more relevant to the tech-savvy younger audience that's so crucial to the future of the magazine industry. 

So, we've arrived at the December 2013 issue cover above. I will say only nice things about it: The cover features Kerry Washington and she is borderline recognizable. The styling is not worse than what you'd see at a standard wedding. There's a lot of room for improvement. 

The Buzz Latest News

Lululemon’s Bad PR is Great for Competitors

Image: Facebook/Wearcoryvines

Image: Facebook/Wearcoryvines

In the past week and a half, Lululemon has been facing an avalanche of negative press, related to reports of "pilling" in newly-purchased yoga pants. The activewear company's CEO Chip Wilson didn't help matters when he said, in a video interview with Bloomberg TV, that Lululemon might not be responsible for the quality issues.

"Quite frankly, some women's bodies actually just don't work for [the pants]. They don't work for some women's bodies," said Wilson. "It's really about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there, and over a period of time how much they use it."

We're not surprised that some women are taking their business elsewhere. 

And that's where startup Cory Vines comes in. A relative newcomer to the athletics apparel space (earlier this year, Forbes called it "the Warby Parker of activewear"), the e-commerce site is reporting a staggering sales boost in the wake of Lululemon's recent batch of controversies. 

A Cory Vines representative told me that the company has seen a 400% increase in leggings sales (compared to the weekly average) since November 1, when the "pilling" issues were first being reported. The company's leggings retail for about $45, which is less than half the price of a pair from Lululemon. 

I asked CEO Daniel Lieberman why he thinks Lululemon is facing all these quality control issues and what Cory Vines was doing differently, in terms of production and sourcing. 

“I have no firsthand knowledge of what’s causing Lululemon’s issues, but I can make a few guesses. The original see-through problem may have happened because of a break in their supply chain in Taiwan, and the pilling problem may have happened because they tried to fix the see-through issue by using a heavier fabric,” Lieberman said over email. “We source our leggings in Canada and do all of the manufacturing here, so we have exceptional control over the whole process. So far, that has paid off for us with a return rate of less than 1% and – thankfully – compliments about our quality rather than complaints.”

Related: An Open Letter from Canada: We’re Sorry for Lululemon’s Body Discrimination

The Buzz Forum Buzz

Jessica Chastain Finally Gets a US Vogue Cover (Forum Buzz)

image credit: fashionscansremastered via the tfs forums

image credit: fashionscansremastered via the tfs forums

It’s about time actress Jessica Chastain got her Vogue cover. But as much as her appearance on the cover was anticipated, the result takes some getting used to. Inspired by the painting ‘Flaming June’ (by Sir Frederic Leighton), photographer Annie Leibovitz shot the two-time Oscar-nominee in a yellow THEORY by Olivier Theyskens gown. Although the iconic painting was successfully simulated, members of the tFS forum were not in agreement about the image making a good cover for this December issue.

CommanderTMugler remarked, “I always love editorials with paintings as inspiration (Julianne Moore x Peter Lindbergh was fantastic) but this image specifically is not working as much for a December/Holiday cover.”

“Overall I think this is a striking cover, but there is something off about Jessica's face. She looks rather lifeless, as Annie seems to like her subjects,” wrote VogueDisciple93.

And valliaddict obtained a lot of approval for his comment. He posted, “Oh no. No no no no no. This is bad. That dress is wearing her, not the other way around. She looks like she has a cramp in her neck. The primary color scheme is wrong for any month, but especially for December. The ed preview looks a lot better than the cover.”

USVogueDec13_2

But not everyone was as critical with the cover. 

Catalytic gushed, “Beautiful. Jessica is one of the most deserving actresses to be on the cover of Vogue. Supremely talented and effortlessly elegant.”

“Definitely the BEST cover of Vogue US this year,” found Avogadro.

And jmrmartinho expressed similar feelings, “I’m so happy. This is my favorite Vogue US cover since…ever. The colors are beautiful, Jessica looks stunning, they took a risk with the angle. I couldn’t be more happy. This is one to remember.”

A lot of different opinions on this cover image. What is your verdict?

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