Thursday, 27 November 2014

Lafaille SS15 Safety First

Ask me about my favorite trait about the Montreal design crew? Resiliency. I have been fortunate enough in my short duration as a self-proclaimed writer to have never met a single person who has voiced thoughts of quitting, even in the face of strong opposition. The creators among the "514" will always be admired as those who ended by doing the same thing that inspired them since the start. Fight on.

Today, I highlight a true martyr of modern badass-ery known as Lafaille. Benjamin Lafaille has fueled the renegade spirit of the underground since his first collection at Fashion Pop three seasons ago. Whether it was his laser cut yellow net pants, or his syringe emblazoned faux fur for the current season, Lafaille has been ahead of his time by intertwining in-depth conceptual themes with technical superiority in the fabrication of garment details.

SS15 plays no games. Entitled "SAFETY FIRST" (featured at *TOM Fashion Week) Lafaille successfully speaks in metaphorical volumes with unconventional proportions and high intensity graphics. Taken as is, the collection is a literal destructo-match as crash dummies and safety cones cover oversized tees, a clear winner with streetwear trends for the coming season. If we connect the dots between the dangers of the inter-web in "DOWN THE WEB-IT HOLE", and the collision of "SAFETY FIRST" I could envision this as Lafaille's unofficial response to the land of fame and excess. The drive may be a joyride at first, but if you don't keep your eyes on the road ahead, you might be in for a wreck. Make your own opinions by viewing the lookbook below:








LAFAILLE SS15 "SAFETY FIRST"

MODEL: SHEMS @ MONTAGE 
PHOTOGRAPHY: SPENCER EDWARDS
STYLING: SAMUEL FOURNIER
HAIR: CYNTHIA RAPOSO
MAKEUP: BRIGITTE LACOSTE



Monday, 24 November 2014

Style and Scent

Having worked in retail for a good stretch of time, I have seen my fair share of clothing and I still never get bored of it. Though clothing is the big staple in what we know as an industry, it doesn't always generate the largest amount of profit for a brand. After a label generate enough hype about how pretty their clothing is, and who wore what becomes the standard, the next common step is globalization through licensing. 

Licensing means (lets use Chanel as an example) that because a pair of tweed runners will cost you a couple thousand dollars, you will buy a perfume to fill the need to have Chanel, it's less exclusive but still carries the name. Whether it be bags, shoes, or beauty lines by a high-end name, you can count that Karl Lagerfeld is not is a laboratory making thousands of Chanel N05 by hand, but that Chanel (the company) is definitely banking off each bottle. 

As a stylist, I have found that indeed the clothing you wear can help enhance your personal branding, but to add the finishing details, and the lasting impression, you must find a signature scent. Of all the five senses, scent is the strongest link to memory, I find that even after I have not seen someone for a long duration, if someone else is wearing the same scent as that specific individual, I tend to recognize it immediately. 

For the holiday season, perfume or cologne are great gifts to others. But are best bought by the person themselves, as you must connect with the fragrance personally, rather than have it be chosen for you. If possible, find an aroma that works for both seasons, a lighter for Spring/Summer, and a darker for Fall/Winter. Here are some of my favorite and most recognizable parfums all available at Sephora:

//MEN//

CHANEL ALLURE SPORT
Fresh, Citrus hinted, smells like crisp Luxury.


VIKTOR&ROLF SPICEBOMB 
Dark but Warm, ready for a Fall Romance


GUCCI MADE TO MEASURE
Got you Suit and Tie? This is Business.


//WOMEN//

ELIZABETH & JAMES NIRVANA
Light or Dark, but Together is Better.


CHLOÉ SIGNATURE
Feminine and Floral, Spring Delight.


BALENCIAGA L'ESSENCE 
Clear, Precise, Powerful. 


Tuesday, 18 November 2014

DCONSTRUCT X ALTON GRAY F/W 2014

Back when snow was just a mere threat, and all that lingered was a drafty cold chill, DCONSTRUCT made way for the first editorial collaboration after three years. The key with photography is finding a way to sell product without being blunt or gimmicky. If I want to sell a bag for instance, I will want you to buy the bag because you feel connected to it, and I will want the models and set to evoke a strong mood to help push the product rather than have the words "NEW BAG" or "MUST HAVE" on the tagline. It's 2014 people, lets evolve.

With the help from Montreal photographer and friend Alexandra C.D and the Alton Gray boutique in Carrefour Laval (let the jury know that I work with the store), we aimed to create a feeling where comfort and style converge in Fall's biggest trends. Whether it was coats, sweaters, florals, or digital prints, the key to pulling of an of-the-moment piece is always in the "how" and never in the "who".

DCONSTRUCT F/W2014 MINI EDITORIAL



Knit Cape // Line Knitwear - Waxed Denim "Moto" Legging // Adriano Goldschmied
Red Felt Hat // Maison Scotch - Long Sleeve Cropped Turtleneck // Torn


Knitted Grey Sweater // Maison Scotch - Camel Wool Robe Coat // Maison Scotch



Two Tone Cohen Coat // Alice + Olivia - Floral Dress // Alice + Olivia 



Sweater // John + Jenn - Printed Neoprene Skirt // Clover Canyon

PHOTOGRAPHY // ALEXANDRA C.D PHOTOGRAPHY
STYLING // DOMINIQUE LAWRENCE
MODEL // ALEESHA @ MAVEN MODELS

ALL CLOTHING // ALTON GRAY 

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Montreal Fashion Moves On

As the months continue to pass, it is increasingly unavoidable to not mention the almost melancholic mood within the air surrounding the state of fashion within Montreal. This being said, this is not to state that everything is at a stalemate, but the center nucleus that once existed, is all but obliterated.

The organization of events surrounding the presentation of collections has completely changed from semi-annual gatherings on a large scale format, to now become two events orchestrated separately occurring only once each year on a more intimate set up. With much legwork ahead of them in their journeys to redefine the promotion of the hard work local designers create, questions still remain as to a clear answer in reversing the decline pattern.


Fashion Preview enters it's second edition under the careful direction of Lolli Communications founder Emanuela Lolli, a woman who instead of sitting at her desk and handling the issues bureaucratically, can be seen personally discussing with the designers to come up with a solution. Fashion Preview will happen this week in the galleries of the Old Port's Centre Phi, hosting a new mix for the SS15 presentations. Over a two day span, veterans Philippe Dubuc and Denis Gagnon will respectively open and close the event which welcomes not-so-newcomers Brit Wacher, Marie-Eve Lecavalier, and Leinad Beaudet with returning favorites Pedram Karimi, Elisa C-Rossow, and D-Moment discovery KQK. 

FASHION PREVIEW
WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 8TH - THURSDAY OCTOBER 9TH
CENTRE PHI - 407 SAINT-PIERRE, MONTREAL


Meanwhile, in the following week D-Moment will be operating it's sophomore season as it represents the more underground cast under the direction of founders Nancy Richard and Genevieve Allaire. Over two nights, expect a mix of different aesthetics as names like V-FRANZ and Anomal Couture (with Miss Cocotte) lineup the runway at Fullum Studios with Oscar Mendoza, Matu, Impair, and Andrea Montle as they launch their visions for SS15. If last year result rings true again, some hidden gems are sure to be found. 

D MOMENT
TUESDAY OCTOBER 14TH - WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 15TH
FULLUM STUDIOS - 5365 FULLUM, MONTREAL

Is October the new fashion month in Montreal? And can these two showcases quicken the pace enough to stay running in the years to come? Only time can tell, until then I wish them both a successful turnout.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Business Ethics | de la COMMUNE

video

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to take part in my first menswear collaboration. This wasn't some "endorse our brand" scheme, but a unique way to support a Montreal based initiative that really provides for quality made products in the menswear sector. 

Two guys, Reese and Daniel have founded de la COMMUNE, a premium quality lifestyle brand for the man who knows and expects ethically made products that fit into his daily routine. In order to fully put this plan into action, de la COMMUNE has partnered with Kickstarter.com to help fund the first steps in making this idea to reality. 

The short and sweet of it, raise $22.000 by the end of October which is not so hard because $12,000 has already been pledged. The downside; without the full $22.000 they go back to square one and no one gets to experience what all their hard work has been for. 

Here is what we're starting with...





The good thing, all these are produced here in North America! Quality, Comfort, and Ethical practices all in one!

Now what did I have to do in this? Well, I was selected to help bring a little social buzz to the whole shebang with a small photoshoot alongside other local style influencers. Taking pictures all along the De la Commune street in Montreal's Old Port, we brought a bit of sass to the DLC movement. (Ironically those are my initials too)



Can you tell I was a little chilled at 10AM? That didn't stop me from working with a great team, and they even got me a coffee, that's how to win me over! PS: The T-Shirt is the softest I own.

If you want to know more, and of course pledge to the de la COMMUNE-ITY, 

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Fashion Week Relevance


The state of the fashion industry is forever changing, this idea is not a secret that we gossip about in the cocktail lounge, but a reality that every designer must now think about while they create a new collection each season. The sad reality is that labels, magazines and respective stores have absolutely no clue how to find the right recipe to succeed in the fashion scene today with the amount of influence coming from each direction imaginable. 

Spring/Summer 2015 has hit a stone wall if you ask me so far, New York Fashion Week has been split by competition with Milk Made Studios, which have featured the more emerging (and maybe most interesting) designers that have fresher takes on what is the new demand. With the increase of attendees for MBFW, not including the number of individuals watching the runway from the comfort of their computer screens, the resulting collections left much to be desired. It must be said that Spring/Summer is the least inventive of the semi-annual collections, but if anyone was looking to spend cold hard cash on an entire collection, you might as well hold on to last year's purchases.

The key word that many designers forgot this time around was relevance. With the intense competition coming from global positioned conglomerates (hence the news of Jean-Paul Gaultier's end of RTW), and the copies being streamed by fast-fashion manufacturers, if your collection breathes no new life into the future, you are as good as dead and I hope you have a good financial backer. However, in spite of the deja-vu many names associated with classic staples took to making this season a time for reminding consumers that they are not one trick ponies.

The name that many are still talking about is Ralph Lauren, who made good use of both his Polo and namesake collection lines to offer a new perspective on a label known for sportswear and everything from shirting to bedroom linens. The 4-D holographic runway show staged by Polo on the Central Park fountain was a stroke of modern genius typically suited for a higher end brand in Europe, therefore sparking a new life in a quintessential NYC brand. As for it's higher end sister, the season's biggest trend in my opinion will come from the "American Romance" looks of combining long sleeve blouses with maxi length skirts that were prominent towards the end of the show.


Relevance is also injecting perspective, and listening to the beat of street influence, which was key to a standout Coach SS15 season. Stuart Vevers' second collection was colorful and full of character (pun intended). Fun fur, cartoon images, and animal print helped relieve the boring vibe that plagued Coach for the past few years, pinning the brand as one of those "mall stores" no more. Luckily with the new direction and repositioning strategy, there may be a chance for new life to come.

Coach SS15

View the 4D  SS15 Polo Ralph Lauren Womenswear Below


Saturday, 13 September 2014

Gloves Off | Alexander Wang for H&M

Collaboration, seems like the word I'd have thought Anna Wintour would have used instead of "Journey" in her 70+ question rapid-fire on Vogue's website. I am definitely not against the idea of creative geniuses combing together, but every time I open the internet, the announcement of a new project seems dulled everyone is talking about it at once.

Let me add some gas to the fire surrounding the Alexander Wang and H&M collection to be launched November 6th, Wang being the youngest to partner with the Swedish giant for the worldwide capsule project is also the most talked about in terms of street fashion culture. Whether innovating the concept of fashion-sport with his own line, or reinventing the codes at Balenciaga, Wang was a strategic name to add to the H&M roster in a time where normcore (elevated classic pieces) are the go-to in style selection.

By now in mid-September pieces are being leaked out by large publishers and highly respected online outlets in editorials, but no official lookbook has been seen in it's entirety. Since the entire collection is still an enigma (minus the Rihanna NYFW blip) the images that have sufaced give us a good amout of foreshadowing to get our minds wandering.




This first set has been said to be looks from the actual H&M lookbook. Judging by the first two, this may be the first collection from the series of designer partnerships that wont have us freezing by the time November. Weather aside, the sandals are calling my name. 

Hats, Bags. Gloves if you look not so closely you can really get a hint at the logomania trend throughout, which may be hinting at some trends for the coming seasons (think: Louis Vuitton Celebrating Monogram Project.) Personally, I will be looking for the sans-name pieces for myself. 




GQ UK posted a full editorial on the Men's collection, shedding light on accessories like boxing gloves and sunglasses printed clearly with "WANG" along a minimal concrete landscape. Up until this point the focus leans heavily on a more masculine aesthetic which is always present at AW who has never been overtly feminine in design until the recent SS15 Collection at NYFW



ELLE Magazine has also joined the sources hinting to the upcoming release of AW X HM, sharing the feminine (or somewhat) looks like the dress and wide legged pants along with the designer himself. Not having bought the newest edition yet, there are probably more looks within the pages. 

As the days get nearer, its obvious that the stream of sneak-peaks will invade in swarms. Until then, I'll decide the pros and cons of facing the crowds at the unveiling, if the T by Alexander Wang "Secret Sale" shock video rings true, gird your loins.

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