With all this current talk of NXNE, Osheaga music festival, the MMVAs, Digital Dreams music festival… I could go on because Canada really is a creative hotspot of music, one company you'd least expect is taking their brand in a wholly new direction.
Smart Set, who you probably know for its prim workwear separates and 2-4-1 promos, has announced a provocative 2013 summer music festival sponsorship in Ontario and Quebec. Throughout the summer months and beyond, Canadian consumers will see Smart Set embrace an energetic and innovative new objective, including a fun on-the-ground presence (read: a travelling confetti-filled bubble disco) at Canada’s hottest electronic music events like Digital Dreams (June 29 & 30, Toronto), Escapade (June 29 & 30, July 1, Ottawa), and Piknic Electronik (May 19 & 20, June 23 & 24, August 31, September 1 & 2, Montreal).
In the past few months, Smart Set has funnelled massive time, money and energy into redesigning its brand, no doubt in a bid to go after the hipster crowd and their increasingly disposable income. Smart move. While the music festival sponsorship is just one step in the brand's new commitment, shoppers will also notice larger-than-life graphics in display windows, innovative displays and trendier merchandise, featuring a finely curated collection of colourful styles and prints.
Graphic tees, short shorts and candy-coloured accessories now fill the shelves, while prominent hashtags and mantras — "Life's too short to wear boring clothes" — signify its embrace of more social media channels alongside its music festival collaborations.
And it's with that collaboration that I've compiled a collection of some music festival must-haves and survival tools to prepare you for wherever those wild summer weekends take you…
1. Smart Set straw fedora; $18; 2. Caudalie organic grape water facial spray; $10; 3. Ombrelle face cream SPF 60; $14.99 (never underestimate the anti-aging power of SPF!); 4. Smart Set colour block and striped scarf; $12; 5. David's Tea Some Velvet Morning tea; $7.50 (for the morning after a wild night); 6. Ancient Greek Sandals; $240; 7. Mini-wipes in lime; $2 (do I dare say a replacement for soap and water?)
London is renowned for its quirky fashion sense, and although it’s quite the norm to see such an eclectic mix of creative and funky outfits pacing the streets, there are still many who opt for a more conservative or heritage sense of style. You’re pretty much right in thinking that almost anything goes here — which means that Brits particularly love it when an overseas designer starts stocking in London town.
So, if you’re London based, you’ll be super excited to learn that you can now get your hands on these designers whilst out and about and hitting London’s shopping mile.
This German fashion designer has been a regular at Berlin Fashion Week for the past ten seasons, and his diffusion line Senses is now available in the department stores House of Fraser and Fenwick Brent Cross. Meaning, you can snap up catwalk-inspired pieces at a much lower price point. His Spring 2013 collection is a feast of gorgeous prints and sleek silhouettes. Check out some of the gems currently being stocked at House of Fraser.
If luxury lingerie is your thing, then you have to check out the French brand Aubade which has a flagship on South Molton Street, London, and is also stocked in Harrods. It mixes French sophistication with current trends ranging from racy animal prints right through to cool colourblocks. Check out their official website for a full range of designs.
Today, H&M announced that Isabel Marant had signed on to collaborate with the Swedish retailer on the latest in their series of capsule collections.
According to WWD, the range will include the Paris-based designer's first-ever menswear and children's looks: for guys, twenty items of clothing and five accessories; for kids, thirty garments and ten accessories (fingers crossed the latter includes Marant's take on a binky).
"I was very proud that H&M approached me to do this collaboration," Marant says in the teaser video below.
"I really tried to do the essence of my style, and my style is about combining the essence of my different ideas. The collection for H&M is about the ideal wardrobe, which you can do a lot with."
The collection will be available at H&M stores on November 14.
She's the face of Saint Laurent's Fall 2013 womenswear campaign, the label's Baby Doll mascara and now we've learned that she's also featured in a new campaign for YSL Beauty's new Fall 2013 Makeup collection, available in August. Okay, YSL, we get it: your life has no meaning without Cara Delevingne.
The image which, along with images of the line's product list, popped up on smaller beauty blogs a few days ago, shows the British model styled in a deep-cut Old Hollywood-inspired black gown, her hair shiny with loose finger waves. The actual makeup part of this cosmetics ad consists of dark red lipstick and a bright neon swipe of eyeshadow, from the 'Arty' edition of YSL's new 'City Drive Palette' (pictured below, left; see the 'Classy' version of the shadow compact is on the right). The eye makeup was a BOLD choice, but is probably not the most successful part of the campaign; that honor goes to Delevingne's face, which continues to demonstrate impressive range.
Business Insider has just published a 2,800-word screed explaining how diamonds are a sham, created as a status symbol in the 1940s by the marketing department at De Beers, as a way of reversing declining engagement ring sales.
Diamonds, the article puts forth, aren't as rare as their reputation leads us to believe; their prices have been artificially inflated by jeweler control of the supply chain; unlike other commodities like gold, diamonds are typically not a worthwhile investment because the gems are sold at an exorbitant mark-up rate of 100-200% — "As soon as you leave the jeweler with a diamond, it loses over 50% of its value."
Rohin Dhar writes:
We covet diamonds in America for a simple reason: the company that stands to profit from diamond sales decided that we should. De Beers’ marketing campaign single handedly made diamond rings the measure of one’s success in America. Despite its complete lack of inherent value, the company manufactured an image of diamonds as a status symbol. And to keep the price of diamonds high, despite the abundance of new diamond finds, De Beers executed the most effective monopoly of the 20th century. Okay, we get it De Beers, you guys are really good at business!
The purpose of this post was to point out that diamond engagement rings are a lie – they’re an invention of Madison Avenue and De Beers. This post has completely glossed over the sheer amount of human suffering that we’ve caused by believing this lie: conflict diamonds funding wars, supporting apartheid for decades with our money, and pillaging the earth to find shiny carbon. And while we’re on the subject, why is it that women need to be asked and presented with a ring in order to get married? Why can’t they ask and do the presenting?
Diamonds are not actually scarce, make a terrible investment, and are purely valuable as a status symbol.
Diamonds, to put it delicately, are bullshit.
Read the full article here and then let us know what you think: Diamond engagement rings, beautiful love tokens or hollow vessels of deceit?
Karl Lagerfeld: Audrey Tatou bad, Kiera Knightley good. The rest of us? Too much Facebook and Twitter: "They lose a lot of time, these people, and they become stupid because they nearly tell you they're going to the bathroom, eh?" Right. But we should all look to the Kaiser for guidance on keeping things to ourselves. [Fashionologie]
How to fold a shirt: It's realllly time to get a handle on this, kid. [FabSugar]
You too can have a head with the ultimate dressy top knot on top. [BellaSugar]
Oscar de la Renta still happy to speak positively in public on the subject of John Galliano. [The Cut]
Miley Cyrus would like to remind you that her butt is awesome. [AmyGrindhouse]
Jumpsuits: I would vote for them, marry them, drink their Kool-Aid. [SheFinds]
What are you doing this weekend — WATCHING TRUE BLOOD, duh. [EarSucker]