Between Toronto Fashion Week, Vancouver Fashion Week and all that expansive land from coast to coast, there are very few fashion spectacles available to men. Sure, you'll see the odd suit and tie parade, or the occasional male model interspersed among the waify female clothes horses, but overall it's a woman's world. At least it is for now as Jun Ramos — the Founder and Creative Director of Men's Fashion Week — strives to address the lack of platforms for menswear designers to showcase their brand.
Ramos is again bringing his calendar event back for its third year come this August 9 - 10. Based in Vancouver, Men's Fashion Week is Canada’s only menswear show, though it gets bigger, better and garners more attention every year.
"Our aim is to put a spotlight on established and emerging Canadian menswear designers and be the bridge for international designers to break into the Canadian market," Ramos commented. "I have great hopes for the fashion industry and vertical businesses in Vancouver. It's time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves what our intentions are. Let's be real Leaders, not just in title. Let's go beyond the four corners of our offices and think how we can help improve Vancouver… the city where I live… and the city that I love."
For 2013, the shows are going to be a noticeable improvement on the past, not least because it's relocated to a bigger venue, but also because the event has attracted new sponsors and designer from across the globe.
Some of the featured designers this year include Zuzana Hrubosova, who will unveil her unisex line Touch & Go, featuring special 3D applications that will inform blind and amblyopic people about size, colour and washing in Braille. Also on offer will be Nicole Guzzo's unapologetic, rock 'n' roll creations that continue to push the boundaries of fashion; while the sleek, classic suits of Steve Pelman of Samson Wardrobes suit makers will validate its 60-year reign as one of the true menswear icons in Vancouver.
Because she does apparently have some downtime in between flying to exotic countries, partying with the upper echelons of fashion and getting engaged to other frequenters of Sydney social pages, Bambi Northward-Blyth has found a new creative outlet in sketching clothing designs. And now she’s bringing them out of her notebook and IRL with a little help from her friends at General Pants.
B.BAM will be Bambi’s first clothing range as an official slashie (those outside of fashion circles tend not to count ‘Exemplifyer of the Perfect Brow’ as a legit occupation). It drops in stores and online in September, and there’s apparently something for everyone who doesn’t interpret ‘personal style’ too literally:
“Any girl who rocks a street style vibe, is ready to mix and match clothes, swapping with her friends and ain’t too stuck on one trend. The collection is a mash of dress/messy and pretty/tough and is made for all girls, young and old.”
On her influences:
“The collection has a good mix of gingham, vintage cotton, terry-toweling as well as sequins, embroidery and lace. One of my main influences was to make the range like a uniform, having the ultimate shape and design, so I took inspiration from Clueless and other 90s movies and made it more B.BAM style.”
Any sartorial love child of Bambi and Cher Horowitz is one we’re bound to love like our own. And if you want to dip your own foot in that talent pool you can head to the General Pants website to enter your own T-shirt design. Winner gets a taste of fame and a heap of street cred, but if design isn’t where your skills lie you can vote on someone else’s to win a $500 GP gift card.
Bambi’s now-fiancé Dan Single (formerly of Ksubi) has recently launched a line through General Pants himself. DAAN is a paisley-heavy menswear collection drawing inspo from womenswear, which we assume is sort of like the opposite of boyfriend jeans.
If you often find yourself deflecting compliments (possibly at the same rate you dole them out), here's a sketch from the new Comedy Central show, Inside Amy Schumer.
The eponymous star of the series has been attracting praise for her clever, tightly-written sketches and absurdist, often crude sense of humor. She's very funny without seeming mean, like she's making jokes at someone else's expense.
As part her recent remarks at a conference in the Philippines, personal finance guru and television host Suze Orman, came down against a sacred cow of the fashion and beauty world — nail salons and even nail polish more generally.
"Women in particular spend a lot of money on pedicures and manicures. If you just simply buffed your nails, you wouldn't have to get a manicure more than once a month, because the only reason you go back to get manicures all the time is because your nail polish is chipped. And I'm an extremely wealthy woman and you don't see me ever having nail polish on, because it's such a waste of time and money."
Suze Orman, 2000 / via Getty
Orman's is a message we should pay more attention to. Beauty advertising doesn't just sell us products, it sells false needs. You never need to get a manicure, but sometimes it can feel that way. A manicure is just a briefly pretty set of fingertips that costs money (and yes, time that you could instead be spending on petting your cat and working on personal non-nail related projects). Money which, for most of us, doesn't grow on those proverbial trees.
It's worth cutting back on some luxuries (for sure, any and all that you're paying for on credit) to, as Orman and common sense dictate, get your financial house in order and start building a savings and retirement account.
The "but" — pretty things and small extravances don't make a life worth living, but they often make it a little sweeter and more fun. Getting your nails painted can be a relaxing, gratifying way of doing something only for yourself, and it doesn't have to cost very much if you go only occassionally. There's a place by my apartment in Brooklyn where getting your nails done with some great Essie color costs only $7 (and then once you spend $100, you get $10 off your next service…it's such a good deal I suspect it's some kind of money laundering front). Granted, beauty services in New York City are less expensive (due to market crowding) than in other parts of the country — still, no matter where you are, you can probably get a manicure somewhere for $20, which is what they should cost.
But as Orman suggests later in her remarks, often we spend money on beauty and cosmetics for all the wrong reasons. And blindly acquiescing to various social pressures and an ad-fueled beauty standard is a surefire way to spoil a perfectly good manicure.
Don't spend money you don't have, to impress people you don't even know or like. Understand that who you are in life to yourself is far more important than showing people what you have.
Mirte Maas covers Vogue Mexico’s June cover, and really, it’s nothing special. Outfitted in a gold fringed Versace dress and a Burberry bolero, the combination of elements comes together to clash rather than complement.
As alonsoJonathan posted, "Ugh I don’t like this. The colors/clothes/model/pose. Nothing works for me. Especially since last month’s cover with Anja Rubik was stunning. Such a let down from Vogue Mexico.”
“This cover could have been soooo much better without that awful Burberry shoulder pad. The Versace dress would have been fine on its own,” VogueDisciple93 commented.
Nepenthes went so far as to say, “Whoever styled this cover should be fired. This would have worked so much better without the little cape, the bracelet and the earrings and with straight, slick hair.”
This is definitely a case where more is not more. Mirte could have benefited from less hair, less accessories, less everything. But, to be honest, she’s not doing a whole lot to help save the situation. She may be ranked on models.com’s list of Top 50 Models, but as of this moment, I’m completely bored by her.
Vogue Japan's July 2013 cover: Bette Franke photographed by Giampaolo Sgura, styled in Chanel by Anna Dello Russo. The Dutch model is carrying the label's hula hoop beach bag, which became an instant icon when it appeared at Chanel's Spring 2013 runway show. The item was made to be photographed, not worn (although a modified, smaller version will be available at Chanel stores for $2,400) and Dello Russo's eccentric, outsized sensibility makes her the ideal editor to showcase the weird, wacky Karl Lagerfeld creation.
Still, the beautiful Franke, who has proven herself as a print model with severaladcampaigns, can't seem to catch a break when it comes to Vogue covers. Her March 2013 cover for the glossy's Dutch edition was poorly received by the tFS Forums and other interested parties with eyes. This most recent offering from Vogue Japan — also disappointing. Franke is one of the most indisputably stunning models working today, but here she looks like an airbrushed Bambi mannequin with impractical taste in handbags.