Sunday, August 21, 2016

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Chinese lanterns: a must have table topping for Diner en Blanc :)

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
A costume designer consultant and her dreadlocked date!

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
If you look closely, you can spot Zeus.

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Creative spray painted pineapple centrepiece!

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
One of the many entertainers hired to keep picnic goers amused throughout the event

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
My favourite centrepieces of the evening

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Unicorn Spotting

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
My date and his new ride (he wishes!)

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Mary Poppins meets all-white disco party look?

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Edible centrepiece

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
They space travelled from the 18th Century

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
A table leader gathering her crew before entering
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Acrobat putting our ticket money to good use!
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
This year I wore a Zara cover-up over a nude slip with nude pumps. The pearl necklace on my forehead a friend gifted me from Burma and my pearl chokers are vintage!
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific

Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
BC Place made for a nice backdrop at the Concord Pacific
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Science world and the harbour behind one of the lounge areas, which had blow-up couches and a DJ
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Sparkly time!
Diner en Blanc Vancouver 2016 at the Concord Pacific
Hanging out with some giant balloon! Some of which escaped into the harbour that night!

Diner en Blanc Vancouver took place at the Concord Pacific this year on Thursday, August 18, 2016. This was my fourth year taking part in the uber annual picnic party, and this year my attendance helped set a record! Approximately 7,000 of us gathered and broke the record for largest dinner gathering held in Canada. This event gets larger and larger every year so that record will be broken again soon enough!

So what flair did Vancouver bring to the all-white party? There was definitely a larger portion of attendees dedicated to wearing costume attire and with performances by acrobatics and dancers donned in white paint, I would say this was the Cirque de Soleil of Diner en Blancs. It was a nice twist on a classic and fitting for Vancouver, which is a city full of strange characters. I can confidently say after my experience of living in Vancouver for a year, that it is bursting at the seams with weirdos. I probably fit in well!

Every year, due to the sheer size and logistical challenges of a secret location, there are some frustrations everyone experiences throughout the evening. This year, there was only one bar set up to give attendees their vino. At Diner en Blanc you cannot bring your own alcohol so virtually all 7,000 of us had to line up at one bar, staffed by maybe 10 people. I ended up just wandering taking pictures for an hour, before cutting in line and waiting about 30 minutes for my two bottles (ticket purchases are limited to two bottles per two tickets). Henceforth I shall refer to this as DEB Wine Fiasco 2016. The variety of settings, music, and entertainment at the Concord Pacific, definitely helped make this year a winner in my books (although every year wins, even when it rains! *cough* Calgary *cough*).

Diner en Blanc Calgary 2013
Diner en Blanc Calgary, 2013
New Bucket List items: Diner en Blanc Costa Rica & Diner en Blanc Singapore. Let's do it baby =)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Fashion Film: The Birth of a New Art Form

Best Friends Fashion Film by Rachel Antonoff

“Best friends are a natural phenomenon seen all over the world.” speaks the narrator in a bland, scripted tone reminiscent of a nature-style documentary. “(They) are humans that have chosen to attach themselves just as closely as family,” the voice-over continues to study the domestic habits of two girls as if they are a pair of marsupials in the wild. The ladies in question, like many young women today, have substituted romantic intimacy with a modern day codependent friendship, replete with chaperoned dates, simultaneous bathroom use, and discussing every monotonous detail of their lives. They are also decked out in incredibly chic garments all from Rachel Antonoff’s Fall 2013 Collection. It is a short fashion film unmistakably targeting today’s twenty-something misfits and features the writing of Lena Dunham, which is the equivalent of speaking in hipster tongue to millennials. It is entertaining. It is evocative. It is Antonoff’s alternative to participating in New York Fashion Week.

CANIFFF Award Winner 'Vogue Korea presents MUK BANG', a tribute to the Korean movement, muk bang, in which a person eats massive quantities of food while live streaming to an interactive audience. 
According to Katrina Olson-Mottahed, Co-Founder of the Canadian International Fashion Film Festival (CANIFFF), this may be the way of the future for emerging to mid-level brands. “I think the idea of runway shows is dated and very costly (...) Brands like Chanel, Fendi and Dolce & Gabbana will probably continue to have shows for the next decade, because those brands are built on tradition.” Whether or not a fashion film festival, like the recently launched CANIFFF, could entirely replace a fashion week is tough to speculate, says Olson-Mottahed.

Designers are looking more and more to alternative avenues for presenting their collections outside of fashion week, and even doing away with runway altogether. “[Designers] are doing more pop-up, experiential type of fashion shows. There have even been fashion shows that are only virtual reality,” Olson-Mottahed, told The Calgary Herald. These efforts are largely in response to the well-established omnipresence of social media. “We have designers, retailers, and everybody complaining about the shows. Something’s not right anymore because of social media. People are confused,” Diane von Furstenberg, CFDA chairwoman, told WWD.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2016 Runway Show and Typical Accompanied Mobile frenzy

The out-of-sync seasonal output of designers made sense commercially before bloggers and editors sat front row instantly uploading runway looks to their Snapchats and Instagrams. This twentieth century distribution model has been disrupted by disgruntled customers whose patience gets put to the test with every fashion week. In February, fall collections are presented; in June, Resort collections are shown, and finally in September, Spring collections are shown. The result is that customers are given three or more seasons of designs, trends, and concepts to mull over before they’re even given the opportunity to purchase one. Rebecca Minkoff has become one of the first designers to show her collections during the actual seasons in which they are available in stores. If this rogue independent in-season showing of collections is to become the norm or Antonoff’s quirky film productions, one wonders if the original purpose of fashion week continues to be served.

New York Press Week, 1943. The First Fashion Week - No Mobiles Here. Just Paper and Pens at the Ready!

The real point of Fashion Week was to help designers reach an international audience, and allow editors, writers, and buyers to see the country's top design talent within an expedient time frame and within a single space. This occurs several months before the collections are released to allow everyone time to plan their buying and select their looks for their editorials. America, in particular, formed press week (the precursor to fashion week) in reaction to sentiment that there was an overwhelming dependence on French couture for inspiration. American designers needed their own platform to influence the public and shape their own trends. Back then, they were not even credited by name before press week, instead having their work promoted under a label or retailers.

In the age of the internet, is fashion week necessary to achieve these ends? Fashion insiders in Toronto don’t seem to think so, instead viewing the recent folding of Toronto Fashion Week as an opportunity for alternatives. Could fashion film be this alternative? Video consumption is at an all-time high and is now seen as an extremely effective marketing tactic. It’s a powerful way to communicate your brand’s story and build a relationship with consumers. Including video in an email can lead to a 200-300% click through rate, making it the ultimate lead generator for many companies. Fashion films are primarily seen online and can have a huge reach when they go viral, but they can also lend themselves to forming a similar community as fashion week, if screened at a hosted event, like CANIFFF. “It is a different feeling watching them in a theatre around like-minded individuals. I like discussing them after the screenings,” says Olson-Mottahed. And like the founders of press week in America, Olson-Mottahed sees potential for fashion film to give Canada a greater identity at home and abroad. “We want to reach as many Canadian filmmakers, designers and creatives in the fashion industry here as possible. Then hopefully bring (the films) to everyone's eyes here and at the other fashion film festivals around the world.” 

Read my coverage of CANIFFF for Magnolia Magazine here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Celebrating Elle Woods: 15 Year Anniversary of Legally Blonde

"Oh, I like your outfit too, except when I dress up as a frigid bitch, I try not to look so constipated." 

Ladies it's the 15 year anniversary of Legally Blonde today! Reese Witherspoon was Snapchatting up a storm all day in commemoration of the film. She even brought out some old outfits she kept and did a bend and snap for old time's sake. And, well, you know me -I love me a trip down memory lane and soaking up fashion in film. I can never get enough nostalgia! I even keep an Excel spreadsheet of all the iconic fashion films I must eventually watch and regurgitate on here for everyone's enjoyment. For now though here's some fun Elle Woods facts for you and, of course, collages! 

 "I once had to judge a tighty-whitey contest for Lambda Kappa Pi. Trust me, I can handle anything." 

Sophie De Rakoff was the costume designer for this film and hit it off pretty quickly with Witherspoon through a shared love for Dolly Parton. After this film she continued to dress Witherspoon in 5 other films including, This Means War, Sweet Home Alabama, Just Like Heaven, and Legally Blonde 2. To prep for costuming Legally Blonde, her and Witherspoon actually went to check out some sororities in downtown Los Angeles. Serious research, people. 

The break-up dress was made by Witherspoon's make-up artist Molly Stern.
"I wanted something traditionally sexy, something reminiscent of an old-fashioned movie star, something that was more of a wiggle dress, something that was very captivating,” de Rakoff recalls of my favourite number in the movie: Elle's engagement break-up dress.

Hi. I'm Elle Woods, and this is Bruiser Woods. We're both Gemini vegetarians.

Like any fashion focused character in a flick, Elle Woods' wardrobe underwent a transformation as Elle transitioned from undergraduate sorority goddess, to ambitious Harvard law student, to burgeoning lawyer. Although she gradually became more serious in her wardrobe, wearing more contemporary labels like Celine to fit in with her Ivy League classmates, Elle consistency stuck with her signature colour pink. 

"This is the type of girl Warner wants to marry. This is what I need to become to be serious."

De Rakoff explains it was important for Elle Woods to remain true to herself throughout her journey so naturally she ended up pretty in pink for court. “It was about taking the idea of a wealthy, California sorority girl, and also a character that was very much obsessed with fashion. What that would look like when she went to Harvard, to the East Coast? How could she be a fish out of water, but still be true to herself? It was always about, what would Elle want to do in this situation? How would she dress herself? What would she think was appropriate?”  

"The rules of hair care are simple and finite. Any Cosmo girl would have known."

After visiting my old law school classmates last month, who are now practicing law, I have to say Elle certainly added more flare than your average lawyer-bear. I do often come across fashion blogs run by particularly stylish women in law though so there are Elle Woods' out there folks. And to finish off this post I'd like to leave you with a little inspiration Witherspoon left us all on Instagram today, "Live every day like Elle Woods after Warner said she wasn't smart enough for law school." #girlpower


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Fall/Winter 2016 Trend: The Slip Dress Makes a Comeback

Kate Moss wearing the slip dress during the nineties.
Halloween shall no longer remain a stand-alone day for women to leave their houses and wander their neighbourhoods in lingerie liberated from the shackles of judgement! The slip dress is back. And it has stripped itself of its stripped-down innocence and simplicity. Initially, brought out of the boudoir for sexy evening excursions, accompanied only, perhaps, by some Mary-Janes and a spritz of Chanel No. 5 -slip dresses are now the ultimate layering piece.

Sex and the City's Carrie Bradshaw wearing a barely-there slip dress with the minimal styling that characterized this look back in the nineties.
Of course, you can still pair a slip dress with some beautifully understated jewelry, slip on a comfortable shoe and head out the door as if you simply forgot to put on your clothes -but with the breadth of options shown on the runway this past season, it almost seems like a waste not throwing on some thigh-highs a la Wanda Nylon or a chain harness as demonstrated at Calvin Klein.

Fall/Winter 2016/2017 Runway looks from the left:
Wanda Nylon, Versace, Alexander Wang, Calvin Klein, Dries Van Noten.

Or perhaps you'd like to throw a floor length cape, reminiscent of a Persian rug over your shoulders and stack your arms with gold cuffs, like Mary-Kate Olsen? Better yet, why not throw a jean jacket over top a punchy pink lace-trimmed slip, tie yourself into some tennis shoes, and go full nineties, like Rihanna? There's something deeply satisfying about capturing the entire spirit of an era. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment as you wrap a black choker around your neck and lock its clasp into place. And what better era to channel than the nineties? It is, after all, the last decade fashion had before it was digitalized, celebritised, and globalised. Yet it still enjoyed a transformative integration with entertainment, and last, but not least, brought us Kate Moss.

From left: Gigi Hadid, Rihanna, Mary-Kate Olsen.
Even Tim Blanks, the widely-recognized, and indisputable voice of fashion, calls the nineties the golden age of fashion. But enough about the bigger picture, let's get back to the details, which are entirely up to your choosing with this figure-clinging, uber feminine frock. "Don’t work with the slip, work against it!" advises Mimi Hecht, one of the two creatives forces behind the label Mimu Maxi. What does this mean exactly? Wear textures that will juxtapose its dainty touch.

Fashion bloggers give their chic takes on this revitalised silky staple.

Throw it under a chunky knit (or over), slide up some trousers under it and then belt it for a more polished work-appropriate ensemble. A pair of oxfords with an ankle sock can also help give some structure and formality to this risqué frock. Explore the incredible versatility of this piece and it will soon become a staple in your wardrobe, becoming no less treasured than your favourite tee or nude pump. 

New Yorkers have given prominence to the slip by pairing it with a shirt, which instantly makes it day-time appopriate.

The key here is to look outside-the-box and no longer view it with the limitations of a nightgown. Pretend it is no different than any other dress and proceed accordingly. If it turns out a bit too crass or gets overwhelmed by the other layers you select, then adjust accordingly. You will never know how far you can take this look until you give it a go.

More casual takes on the slip dress from the fashion blogosphere.

Good luck! - T.M

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

2016 Coachella Fashions

California girls we're undeniable. Fine, fresh, fierce we got it on lock.
West Coast represent now put your hands up
OooOooooh Oh OooOOooh

Officially, The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, is an annual weekend concert located in the Colorado Desert featuring several genres of music across multiple stages simultaneously. Unofficially, it's a costume party where Victoria Secret models get to express their inner Pocahontas by wearing fringe and taking ecstasy. At least that is what I have gathered from my Instagram feed. I have never been and at 29 years of age I fear my time has come and gone. An old fart like me is better suited to orgiastic tent activities at Burning Man. That's right kids, enjoy your tie-dye pill popping good times because the next step in adventure land is group sex with Indigo Phoenix and Charlie Rainblow and nobody gets a shower.

So what did the top talent at Elite and Ford models wear this year? To quote the great oracle Taylor Swift, "I feel like maybe chokers are the new flower crowns?"

"I'm a little bit of country and I'm a little bit of rock n' roll. I'm a little bit of Memphis and Nashville With a little bit of Motown in my soul."

Fashion inspiration drawn from hip hop, classic rock, indie, and electronic artists.
On that note I made some collages, because I effing love collages and when I was done I realised that not only had I gathered my favorite magical pixie sprite looks from this year's festival, but I had also accounted for 90% of Leonardo DiCaprio and Bradley Cooper's ex-girlfriends. 

My top picks for the 3 day festival are below on Chanel, Kendall, Kaia, and Alessandra, all of whom are Victoria's Secret models, except Kaia who is only 15. Three more long years till she can finally provide masturbatory material for horny men worldwide #goals.

My top picks this year (left to right): Chanel Iman, Kendall Jenner (x2), Kaia Gerber (Cindy Crawford's daughter), Alessandra Ambrosio.

Belly Bling

The key to festival fashion is to somehow dress as sexy and creative as humanly possible without handicapping your day drinking efforts. Naturally hot pants and crop tops are a go-to look and comfortable footwear a must. Everything else is icing on a size double-zero cake.
Legs or GTFO
Friends with fringe benefits

To the left, to the left. Every lace bralette sold at H&M on a girl to my left.

Madame Butterfly

That's all until next year folks!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Top Style Stars of 2015: Part 2

The Models

Gigi Hadid – Guess Girl

Gigi was discovered at 2 years of age – no, I’m not kidding – and has been modeling for Guess? ever since. She’s tall, slender, has long golden hair, and a beautiful soft baby face, so naturally you want to assume she’s a terrible person, but no she’s very nice.  I bet she would even braid your hair at a sleep over party. Any who, she reminds me of the perfectly sexy and confident fashion ad models I had on my walls in high school so she’s an instant swoosh of nostalgia every time I see her. I’ve never been a jeans girl, but she makes me want to be.

Rosie Huntington - Goddess

What can I say about Rosie, other than she is a GODDESS. She’s got this sort of shy, untouchable, royal manner to her that Kate Moss has. I don’t think I’ll say anything more about her – need to maintain an air of mystery here, people.

Cara Delevingne – Sultry Rebel

Cara has gorgeous full, dark eyebrows, and thick, dark locks. Her lips are pointy and her face has more angles than a hexagon. So naturally she’s a devious motherfucker. She’s always a vampy Goth on the red carpet, and off-duty she’s your typical British brat in schoolgirl nostalgia and hoodies. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t pick out her clothing for public appearances and instead just reps the brands she has lucrative contracts with (Chanel, Burberry, etc..). I think at heart she is more of an Ellen DeGeneres than say a Portia de Rossi, and could care less about wearing a dress. I think the two main fashion take-aways you should observe from Cara are that black lace and red lips are the sexiest look you’ll ever rock, and that black lace and red lips are the sexiest look you’ll ever rock.

The Entrepreneurs  

Nicole Richie – Polished Fun

On the surface Nicole’s style appears to be quite liberal. Her hair is blue or pink or purple or some colour of the rainbow, and she’ll wear a massive gold rapper chain around her neck or sunglasses as big as her head to accessorize. Do not be fooled by these playful decoys!! Nicole is fanatical about tailoring, fit, and balance. She has a set number of silhouettes she’s determined that work well for her, and she wears them over and over again. She’s like a super fun C-list celebrity version of What Not to Wear. She respects what works for her figure and from that template she’s able to build up and have a lot of fun. This is very much the vibe I get from her personality and I find that the longer I follow her style evolution, the closer she comes to finding the most authentic and stylish expression of herself. It turns out Nicole isn’t a vapid club goer raver, she’s actually a Type A creative (and so am I y’all).

Olsen Twins – Avant-Guarde

Looking at anything the Olsen twins wear is like looking at the future. It never looks as good as it will, until the rest of the world is wearing it too. They are geniuses that cannot be understood in their time, i.e. the current fashion season. You need to skip forward a year or two. This year they were super into comfortable footwear, and once again drowning in fabric. That seems to be a look that works well in chilly New York.

Rachel Zoe – Seventies Flair

Rachel does the seventies better than Farrah did and like Nicole Richie, her former client, she's quite formulaic. She wears the same billowing sleeves, the same chunky platforms, and the same floor sweeping gowns over and over again. Mind you, they're never actually literally the same. Rachel rarely repeats any outfit and I don't think she repeats jewelry either. She's got potentially the worst shopping problem on earth, which I understand. I too lose my mind in a room full of clothing for sale. With that said, she does fully commit to her image, never faltering from it, and embodies all the stylish virtues she espouses in her books.