Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Dress Like an Off Duty Model

Alessandra Ambrosio in a funky spandex one-piece.

Romee Strijd wearing stilettos with trackers. 

Bella Hadid topping off her gym gear with a leather choker.

Sweats, trackers, spandex are not a thing.

After a hard day’s work, do you dream of returning home and pulling on your coziest, most unattractive sweats and finding solace in that one article of clothing that guarantees you respite from the demands of the everyday life? Well, stop that. The athleisure market is now a $97 billion industry and as far as models are concerned, there is no excuse for those mangy trackers. Squeeze on some funky spandex, throw on some bling, and slide into a stylish pair of sneakers (or heels!). There’s no reason you can’t always look and feel your best.


Chanel Iman pairing elaborate braided sandals with a simple summer dress.

Romeo Strijd polishes off jeans and a white tee with a small neck scarf and Chanel handbag.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley elevates her look with elegant understated gold jewelry and tinted Ray Ban sunglasses.

Polished off casual

An off duty model, is never off duty! Just as gym attire is no longer off limits to the reach of the fashion world, casual attire need not be slovenly either! An old pair of jeans, or a simple cotton dress is easily transformed by the right accessories and make-up. Models are constantly running from casting to casting and they know it’s all about presentation. At the end of the day, most of us are just wearing slacks and a shirt, but if you throw on a stiletto or tie a scarf around your neck, it makes a world of a difference.

Gigi Hadid donning a funky fuchsia and blue striped suit with bright white sneakers.

Karlie Kloss wearing a camel coloured coat with large Pac Man pockets.

Cara Delevingne wearing a pastel blue toque with its neck strings woven into her braids.

Have fun!

Being the guinea pigs of designers and their lofty creations, models are constantly subject to the most unusual styling. If their eyebrows aren’t smeared in metallic paint, then Lego pieces are being glued to their face, or they’re carrying around bags the size of a coffee table. It is essential to their work that they never take fashion too seriously, and neither should you.

Jourdan Dun flaunting her midriff in an off-the-shoulder ilac lace top.

Jourdan Dun flaunting her midriff in an off-the-shoulder ilac lace top.

Kendall Jenner in skin tight black jeans and a crop top.

Kendall Jenner in skin tight black jeans and a crop top.

Devon Windsor pairing funky red leather flood pants with a black cotton tee.

Show Some Skin

This may be a no-brainer, but models have incredible body confidence. They work hard to keep their figures toned and adhere to healthy diets to stay in shape. To reward themselves for their dedication they flaunt what they’ve got and feel great about it. Whether it’s crop tops or hot pants, models show-off their enviable physiques.

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 balloons! 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 purchasers are limited to two bottles per two tickets). Henceforth I shall refer to this as the 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