Fashion Over Reason: June 2007

Thursday, June 28, 2007

A pleasant surprise from Guess?

Remember when Guess? used to be the shit? Back in the 90's, when being the Guess? model of the moment was object of high prestige, and my icon of the decade, Drew Barrymore (was she ever cool or what??!)was a bona fide Guess? girl (you know that time when Sassy magazine was a must-read). After all, i did cut my hair short because of those pictures of her. Did i also mention i attempted the plum lipstick? Anyway... Their ads were so freakin' cool, and were always very recognizable thanks to certain criteria: black and white, the soon-to-be hottest model or very hot-of-the-moment-yet-still-underground-therefore-still-cool actress would lend her face to the campaigns, and it always represented americana glamour (even though mr. marciano himself is a euro). The turning point of the brand still eludes me. When did Guess become synonymous of tack 'n cheese? My "guess" (no pun intended!) is the late 90's when clingy, tight and low-rise became de rigueur and fashion took a turn in the overtly-sexy lane (i blame Tom Ford!). It was a sad farewell to my light-washed knee-ripped jeans, my plaid hunter-style vest and my beloved doc martens, and alass to my dreaming days of the ever so rebellious yet sexy day-dreams of frollicking on a beach next to anna nicole. Anyway, although i know damn well i will never ever purchase a piece from the brand again, i have my memories, who were curiously jaunted by the new ad campaign, hence my inspiration for this post. Now i don't know who this model is, but i actually thought it was Sophia Lauren before i saw the little Guess? logo. This 60's i'm-vacationing-in-mykonos vibe is really doing it for me. How cool is that striped parasol? Isn't this shot reminiscent of the photos that made the brand a household name in the 90's? (below, vintage Guess?)
new ad

Sorry for the size of the Drew Pics. I'll fix them later, i just really have to go to bed!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

no one did it better than proenza schouler

Looking back on the SS07 collections for sheer entertainment, i was blown away AGAIN - i never tire of this brilliant collection - by the pure genius that was the Proenza Schouler show. You know like when you watch your favorite movie over and over without ever growing tired of it cause it's so good, and every time you still discover new things in it? That's how i feel about the PS collection! It's just so incredibly up my alley, i don't even know where to begin. Firt of all, i swear by only one thing: the miniskirt. I can be covered up to the max everywhere else (i hate showing cleavage) but i will always be wearing the shortest skirt, or mini dress. And anyone who knows me even slightly will tell you that i am a pure child of the 80's. I am a huge fan of basically anything from that decade, whether it be the music, the clothes, the designers, the excess! The caricature of it all makes it so delicious to replicate. And you will find many references to the decade of big hair in this collection. This little number worn by Stam resumes just that: the smallness of the dress, the colors, the pattern, the sequins! What's not to like?!

This outfit worn by Freja is also one that i find dream-worthy. Again, anyone that knows me mildly knows that i love the skinny lanky body type. These pieces showcase just that. I absolutely love the mismatch of the 2 blue/violet hues and the leggings à la wet suit are brilliant: stylish, but comfy (double whammy!). And you will also find in me a huge fan of the buttoned tanks. So dainty, yet the bra cups and the large straps add the retro edge. You also have the ever essential splash of color in these exquisite yellow snake skin wooden stacked heeled platforms. And with the socks, i love!

Going back to the 80's thing, this collection also winks at one of my favorite designers from the era: Hervé Léger and his bandage dresses. I was always so fascinated by the way the frocks litteraly wrapped the whole body, giving it almost an entire new shape. Léger really embraced the woman for everything that she was with his garments, and i just can't help thinking that his dresses looked so good on whoever was wearing them. Lazaro and Jack must've also been fans, because their SS07 was full of "bandage wear". It's just so incredibly flattering, don't you find?? (these 2 are some of my favorite outfits)

The rest is just as special, with its tailored shorts, loose yet clean button downs, racer back tanks... i believe what they said is that it was about "elevating sporty"... I am truly elevated.

Friday, June 22, 2007

"C'était l'année de l'amour, l'année de l'expo."

While everyone is talking about the big return of boho for the summer (i personally think it never really left..), i'd like to set the time machine just a little further, right into 1967. That year is of extreme importance to montrealers who were alive to live it. It was the year of the 1967 exhibition, known here as expo 67. Basically it was the first big international rendez-vous where all different nations came together to represent themselves. To host this mega event, which lasted from april 1967 through october of the same year, the city had to get ready - big time. We spent so much money building for this damn thing: buildings, domes, spaces, amusement park (tidbit: it was erected with the help of none other than Mr Walt Disney himself!), a whole island, you name it! It better had been a great success, and what a great success it was! I believe it brought roughly 500 million dollars of profit (back then, the canadian dollar was worth much more than the american one!) and attracted an exhorbitant amount of tourists (around 52 million!). Basically it was one of the most successful events known today. Why am i talking about this in a fashion blog, you may be aking yourself?

As someone who is very inspired by the 60's in my style, not only the fashion, but the culture as well, i find the 40th anniversary of expo 67 very exciting. The 60's were an era where the fashion world was booming and many new things were brewing. The discovery of really thin models, the miniskirt, bold prints, the mainstream diffusion of denim, the discovery of synthetics, the beggeining of fast fashion, all the while being greatly influenced by the music of the times. The Beatles and the British invasion pretty much dictated everything in pop culture. The girls who represented this expo 67 embodied perfectly the modern young lady thanks to our very own local talent. The young designer Michel Robichaud, who dressed the likes of Mme Drapeau (the mayor's wife) was commissioned for the conceptualization of the uniforms of 11 different clans. He was to dress these lovely hostesses. He had previously designed the Air Candada uniforms of 1964 and attributes his assignement to this experience. The girls of the expo were long talked about because they were able to give a visual identity to the whole event. The rules were the following: no jewelry, pink lipstick, gloves and hosiery with no obvious stitching. The rest was up to the designer.

Anyway, this whole moment in history really put Quebec on the map in the world of fashion: Mr Robichaud (my grandmother left behind a few of his perfectly cut suits!)caught the eye of Rolex, and he appeared in ads world wide for the brand. After the event, college girls started showing up in class in bold colored knits, patent leather trenches, mini skirts, hosiery... and that is how Montreal was pegged with the reputation of the most beautiful girls!

Happy birthday, expo 67! (click on the pictures to enlarge)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cavalli for... H+M??!

Now for breaking news, i've just learned that Roberto Cavalli is set to follow in Karl's, Stella's and Viktor and Rolf's footsteps. Yes, he will be designing a collection for the swedish mass-retailer. His pieces are set to hit stores on novemver 8. I'm pretty curious to see what he's going to come up with, cause i usually find his stuff to be pretty tacky. Just take a look at who usually wears it: Beyonce, Eve, Jennifer Lopez... So if it looks tacky in really expensive materials, what will it look like in cheap threads?

Don't hate me. All hail the queen.

I know that it has become uncool to love Kate Moss, seeing as she has been pretty much saturated over the course of the last year. But nonetheless, i LOVE her. I think there is really no one like her. And although some people might hate to admit, you can't ignore the facts: her style is RETARDED (the good kind). Now, i know i am very late in the Kate Moss for Topshop news, but i did not have a blog when it was burning fresh headlines, so this is my moment to talk about it. I stumbled on these 2 videos that take you behind the scenes... kind of like a making of. The first one is when Kate goes into the offices for a final fitting and seal of approval. Most of the pieces i hadn't yet seen and the ones that really cought my eye are the mini pin-striped shorts with the buttons on the sides and the purple scoop neck dress. Definitely stuff i would wear.

I'm also really excited about these vidoes, because i've been a Kate Moss fan for years, but i've only ever seeen her in stills. She's even more fascinating in movement! Not only that, but her voice is so lovely. Notice how she says she could get a fit model... why would she have done such a thing? Isn't the whole point to embody who she is? There's nothing like capturing the spirit of Kate Moss' authenticity with a total do-it-yourself. And she's such a rockstar... i mean, just the fact that she exits in an all black outfit, dangling cigarette in mouth..

As for the second video, the photoshoot, personally i love behind the scenes sneak peeks. Watching kate in action is object of fascination, really. Although i am really not a big fan of Irina Lazareanu (i don't really understand why she picked her to model...), the fact that Kate is herself a model for the brand is quite satisfying. Anyway, sorry for the old news!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Il était une fois Walt Disney

Something i've been meaning to do is get to the Montreal museum of fine arts to catch the expo on none other than Walt disney, aptly titled Il était une fois Walt Disney . Obvioulsy, being the busy gal that i am, i wait until the last minute (it ends sunday, but it's been on since march!). So i made my way over yesterday afternoon, and let me tell you: it didn't disappoint. Who doesn't like to be infused with culture? They really displayed the technical and creative process of everything a cartoon entails. For Mr. Disney it was much more than drawings: every animation sequence was inspired by an already existing score or tale. The first Mickey Mouse adventures were practically identical animated replicas of the original King Kong movie, Charlie Chaplin gags and other films that marked the early years of cinema, like "Une légende allemande" and "Le cabinet du docteur caligari", which were both filmed in cinemascope, and which i got a chance to see during my cinema classes. These movies really pioneered the industry and were a really important part of history.

Every element of a Walt Disney movie was well thought out and inpired by real elements, whether from art, movies, paintings, actors... The castles in Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, Neverland for Peter Pan. These paintings were amazing! I was stunned to find out that the witch from sleeping beauty was inspired by the famous 1930's actress Joan Crawford. Not only that, but Snow white is almost a perfect replica of the little Sherley Temple. As for the fairy in Pinocchio, the legendary Jean Harlow was portrayed (intermixed with victorian queens). And last but not least, Tinker Bell was inspired by American Pinups of the moment! I was really fascinated with the soul that went into each project, and although our friend Walt was pegged as a copy cat, borrowing shamelessly from french tales (especially from Perrault), german legends, illustrations (Jean de la Fontaine anyone?), he was someone with a truly endless imagination of his own, with a tremendous talent and passion that followed him throughout his life. His multiple collaborations speak in proof. Who would've ever fathomed a Dalì/Disney combo? Well it happened, and it was pure genius! Anyway, for most of us Disney remains a far but happy memory form our childhoods, but now i can say that i understand the magic of it all, and why it has touched so many people.Ps Did you ever notice the little mice in Cenderalla reminded you of the ones from the Beatrix Potter books??

Now we weren't allowed to take pictures (only in the premanent exposition!), so brought my camera for nothing... i really wanted to try to sneak a few pics, but there were guards eveywhere! I bought a really nice t-shirt in the gift shop. It was only 20 bucks, surprisingly. It's a sketch of Snow White. Brilliant! (i think it's reversible...)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A model! For a fashion magazine! I must be dreaming!

I am soooooooo pleased to anounce that the cover girl for the July US Vogue goes to none other than the lovely and gorgeous Natalia Vodianova! She's one of my favorite models (her Euphoria ads are mesmerizing) and i am also overjoyed of seeing an actual model grace a fashion magazine cover. I'm sick of actresses milking it for press! Let them get the Cosmopolitan cover! I always want to buy the foreign mags because a model appears on the front each month (nevermind the fact that they cost about 15 bucks), but alass, i find myself limited to french and english languages only. Anyway, I can't wait to recieve my July issue of Vogue! Although i still have my pile of June mags to finish...


Monday, June 18, 2007

Flower Power

In the midst of the skinny jean craze (don't get me wrong, i am a big fan of the drainpipes), 70's blue-collar style seems to be making a big comeback! After the resurging of 60's mod thanks to films such as Factory Girl, Dreamgirls and Bobby, we're seeing another natural evolution taking place. I'm sure the majority of girls out there are rejoicing. Well, the ones that aren't 5'9 and 100 pounds anyway. The laid back attitude of the loose fitting wide legs that were so iconic of the hippy decade is being rediscovered by fashionistas. Can't you just picture it: long flowy hair in the wind, loose white tank top, a slew of wooden bracelets and your faded wide legs dragging softly in the sand of a malibu beach. Although i doubt the reincarnation of the ever evolving cut will succeed in evoking what i've just so imaginatively described, there is no doubt that that's the idea that started it all in the first place: clothes that could fit each sex and that were the most comfortable and easy going. Very representative of the motto of the era: Peace and love. Oh yeah, and Zooey Deschanel was just cast to play Janis Joplin in the highly anticipated biopic. Maybe next year we're going to start a revolution and have a bunch of movies about icons of the 70's! Will they be making the Stevie Nicks movie after all?! (hopefully!)

Don't put away your skinnies, but don't be shy to try something different. It kind of makes me regret giving away my blue bell bottoms with vertical white stripes and little red frogs printed randomly across, the ones i wore to pieces when i was 15. Not that i would actually still fit in them or anything...

The queen

R.I.P Gianfranco Ferré

The fashion world has lost one of its brilliant contributors. Gianfranco Ferré, who saw the light on sunday night at 62, will be remembered for quite a few things, if not for his unique vision, which was greately influenced by his background in architecture. Over the years, Ferré has consistently reinvented his collections while keeping his signture mark, the one of a man who always believed that true inspiration lied within emotions and the path of life. Every collection, he has asserted, has followed an inevitable path molded by past experiences in hopes of greater achievment. Nothing proves to be more true when we're talking about a foreigner (read: not french) being plucked from the italian label he started in the late 70's to design french luxury items for Dior in 1989. It rattled a few people's cages, but it turns out that he won the haute couture race during his reign, which lasted nearly a decade. He can also carry the torch for the white blouse, having reincarnated it in different shapes and forms in basically every collection he has ever produced.

Ferré was someone who didn't back away from enjoying everything life could possibly offer, and that has always been reflected in his collections, until the very end. "Benefiting from the overview of time, I look at my clothes again and remain ever enchanted." So do we, Gianfranco.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The coolest cat

Isn't Chloë Sevigny the coolest, most stylish girl around? Kai Kühne certainly thinks so. In my first official post, which i am very well aware no one will really see, i present to you one of my favorite girls. Her style blows everyone out of the water. She's the ultimate New York city girl: after all, she was discovered one after noon hanging out in Washinton Square Park "probably in some weird getup" i believe were her words. In this video, made by Marcelo Krasilcic for a festival of short fashion films, miss Sevigny models pieces by Kai Kühne, a New York-based designer known for the complexity of his cuts. His spring show presented exquisite shapes reminiscent of origami art, all the while maintaining minimal color. It's worth checking out! Meanwhile, if he's being represented by the queen of cool, he must be doing something right.