modelsrights2

Does Toronto Fashion Week Care About Its Models?

Fashion

With all their long-legged wonder and thin-as-pins glory, it’s easy to forget that models are people too. For one thing, when they don’t eat enough, they die. Sometimes they’re teens who make bad choices and girls who deal with sexual harassment. They also like things like water and getting paid for their work. It’s a lack of basic workers’, and sometimes human rights that has spurred fashion councils around the world to act in defense of models.

In 2007, Montreal Fashion Week banned underweight models and those under the age of 16 from walking the runway. That same year, the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) released guidelines for models at New York Fashion Week (NYFW) that encouraged age minimums and healthy bodies. Since then, the CFDA has also received pledges from top modeling agencies – including DNA, Elite, Ford IMG, and Next – not to send any models younger than 16 to shows.

In March, Israel passed a law that prohibits fashion designers and media from using models that fall below the World Health Organization’s standard for malnutrition. London Fashion Week (LFW) designers sign a contract with the British Fashion Council (BFC) to use models who are at least 16, and the major fashion organizations in Spain and Italy also ban models who fall below a certain Body Mass Index level.

In Toronto? Crickets.

The FDCC’s website conspicuously lacks any mention of models, let alone guidelines that mention age, weight, or any other initiative to protect models. While media in other countries are quick to raise concerns over models’ rights, our media is remarkably silent. Is it simply because there isn’t a problem here? Or are we overlooking the issue thanks to good ol’ Canadian “that doesn’t happen here” naïveté?

“In the past, change rooms were very exposed. So anybody could walk through and watch 15 or 16-year-old models ripping their shirts off between sets,” says Dan Grant, publisher of ModelResource.ca and an agent for Next Models. “There were people who were contracted to do maintenance stuff, but they were always walking through the change area between shows and often had their cell phones out. I’m positive that they were taking photos.”

Read the rest of my piece at Toronto Standard…

sweetspotimage

A Sour End for Sweetspot.ca

Fashion

This month’s TFI25 Gala wasn’t without a bitter sense of irony as Canadian fashion journalists, working in a media landscape irrevocably altered by the Rogers and Bell Medias of the world, came together to celebrate the philanthropy of the Rogers’ princess, Suzanne Rogers.

Just weeks after Bell’s cancellation of Fashion Television, Rogers Digital Media announced the closure of eight properties, including Sweetspot.ca. This despite the fact that Sweetspot was the #1 site for women aged 25-52, pulling in an estimated 125,000 unique visitors and 1.2. million pageviews per month—significantly more than either Flare.com or Louloumagazine.com.

“We acquired these websites over the past several years, and despite solid user and advertiser engagement, we are making the strategic decision to focus our resources on multiplatform integration and growth opportunities for our premium brands,” said Jason Tafler, chief digital officer for Rogers Media, in an e-mail to Rogers employees.

That sounds a lot like corporate speak for “we bought out our brands’ competitors, let them carry on in futile existence just long enough to indoctrinate their readers into the Rogers family, then shut them down in hopes that their traffic would auto-transfer back to our original brands.” A goodbye note on Sweetspot reads, “If you made SweetLife your home for fashion and beauty, we encourage you to visit flare.com and louloumagazine.com for your style fix.” I guess, technically, Rogers can now call Flare.com #1 for women ages 25-52. Funny how that works.

Never mind the slew of young female journalists who just unceremoniously, and without warning, lost their jobs. I was hired to contribute several articles to SweetLife and SweetHome just three days ago– those are now off. Even worse are the talented (mostly) women who contributed to Sweetspot’s success on a full-time basis. Media jobs are scarce these days, full-time jobs even scarcer, and most rare of all– jobs for women.

Read the rest of my piece at Toronto Standard…

catmarnell

Girl Interrupted: Where are all the Honest Writers?

Fashion

Sabrina Maddeaux’s take on Cat Marnell and truth in fashion

 

When I first caught wind of New York Magazine’s account of pill-popping beauty blogger Cat Marnell’s “last night out before rehab,” I was prepared to write some high-snobiety condemnation of our descent into Lilo culture, bloggers’ bizarre sense of entitlement, and where it all crashed together into some sort of Kardashian-esque embarrassment of what the fashion industry once was. I then spent two-plus hours of what should’ve been a much more productive workday reading everything Marnell has ever published—like seriously, ever. Which speaks volumes when I can count the other fashion writers whose work I enjoy on one hand. The problem is a lot of it is just fucking boring, while, in the words of Jezebel, Marnell is “fucked up and fascinating.”

But not for the reasons most people think. It’s not the salacious, train-wreck details of less-than-lucid orgies, cocaine encounters, and almost-smuggling ecstasy that Marnell always somehow manages to morph into a sensible beauty product recommendation. It’s her honesty not just in an industry of lies, appearances, and appeasements, but also in a society that devalues – even condemns – the ring of truth when it comes from a young, female voice (please go read Alexandra Molotkow’s piece on HBO’s Girls).

One of my greatest struggles as a twenty-something fashion writer, who happens to be a good three years younger than most of the other twenty-something fashion writers, is finding an authentic, honest voice. I’m told time and time again by various sources to avoid criticism—to say my properly-punctuated piece until a larger publication, with larger advertisers picks me up. I obsessively write, re-write, then make my boyfriend, friends, whoever read and approve pieces that I fear might be a critique or f-bomb too many for potential employers. I hear rumours of EIC’s with mental blacklists of young writers they deem ‘too mean’ to fill future job openings. It’s not uncommon for PR reps, who always seem one step ahead of journos, to complain about positive coverage that doesn’t completely and utterly toe the party line. Don’t even ask about the negative. And then there’s designers like Amanada Lew Kee – barely two years out of school – who find it appropriate to blacklist writers for their (potential) honest opinions. Worse yet, most of Toronto’s fashion community let her get away with it because the adage seems to be that soul-crushing BS or, at worst, crickets, is infinitely more civilized than critique.

“A year ago I had a nervous breakdown… It happens all the time in publishing– a plucky young editor can’t decide if she wants to be her boss or be Lindsay Lohan, so she tries squishing two high-intensity personas into one life,” writes Marnell in a post about hair conditioner. God, I feel her.

Except I think it’s less about a choice between two paths and more about having to deep throat both simultaneously in order to stand a chance in this always shrinking, yet ever more competitive industry.

Read the rest of my piece at Toronto Standard…

 

 

GLOCK 17

Guns in the Closet

Culture, Fashion

Rihanna’s got a gun. Rihanna’s got a gun—tote, that is. And the punk rock pop princess isn’t the only one. Vlieger & Vandam’s Guardian Angel Tote, easily recognizable via its embossed gun detail, is, if you believe in such things, the next must-have bag (although MoMA’s had one in their permanent collection since 2006). The Dutch brand also sells handgun-embossed iPad cases, clutches, and wallets— and they aren’t the only members of fashion’s hot new Bang Bang Club. Betsey Johnson’s revolver prints, first introduced in 1985, have made a comeback in recent seasons, while gun-shaped charms and pendants are too numerous to count.

Firearm brands are getting in on the action via their own lifestyle extensions; Smith & Wesson released a line of higher-end fashions earlier this year, and Glock introduced a new apparel line this month. The New York Times just ran a piece on the increasing popularity of “covert fashions,” designed to carry concealed weapons while still looking hot to trot. Even mainstream sportswear brand Under Armour will soon release jackets, pants, and shirts with Velcro pockets for easy weapon access.

But not everyone is a fan of gun culture’s trendy new status, notably the Transit Security Administration (TSA). Last December, TSA officials detained a 17-year-old girl because of a gun design on the outside of her handbag. Back in 2008, a Toronto woman was forced to remove and check a two-inch gun pendant at Kelowna Airport.

Then there are the people who have problems with guns because, oh right, they kill people all the time.

Not that something like dead bodies has ever been a problem for the gun industry; in fact, gun sales tend to surge after gun-related tragedies like Columbine and the Virginia Tech Massacre. Bloomberg reported that one-day handgun sales in the U.S. increased about 5 per cent two days after the Tuscon, Arizona shooting that counted Gabrielle Giffords as a victim. Arizona handgun sales jumped 60 per cent that day.

Read the rest of my piece at Toronto Standard…

 

 

wente

Perky Tits Do Not An Erotic Woman Make

Beauty, Culture, Fashion

Sabrina Maddeaux takes on Margaret Wente’s claim that 20-year-olds reign carnal supreme

 

Margaret Wente, The Globe and Mail’s champion of chimp-level logic, recently penned a personal-essay-cum-misogynist-manifesto to lament the loss of her erotic power at the ripe old age of 40. The crème de la gem of the whole thing was her statement that “No matter how sexist or unfair it seems, no one in the world has more erotic power than a 20-year-old girl.” A sad statement considering even most Victoria’s Secret Angels round out closer to 30.

Wente’s version of erotic power lies in the cellulite-free crevasses of co-ed asses and young tits stuffed into gravity-defying bras they don’t need, yet to know the joy of bare nipples against sheer jersey. Unfortunately, Wente’s not the only middle-aged woman who thinks this way, but most don’t get paid to pseudo-comment about culture on a national platform. Many women mourn, or begin to aggressively fear, a supposed loss of sexual power little more than a decade from the day they become adults— but while Wente curses Mother Nature, the problem may be more man-made than biological.

The fact is many women of a certain age remain beings of immense, if not increased, erotic power.  Halle Berry, Jennifer Aniston, Salma Hayek, Sandra Bullock, Courtney Cox, Julia Roberts, are all over 40. For God’s sake, even Sofia Vergara – the light at the end of every man’s tube sock – will turn the big 4-0 in July. Even Wente acknowledges this isn’t an unusual feat in other countries: “In French culture, even women of a certain age are still considered erotically attractive. Christine Lagarde may run the International Monetary Fund, but she’s a woman who obviously enjoys her femininity. I’m certain men flirt with her. Still.” A 2006 Synovate poll found more than half of senior French men thought that a woman’s beauty peaks in her 40s. Now, no woman looks the same at 40 as she does at 20, but eroticism is about more than wrinkle-free skin and a tight behind. So if all these women can still be objects of sexual desire, why can’t Wente? Or you?

Unfortunately many women in Western culture manage to screw up one of the few constants in life: aging. While logic dictates that the finer sex should become more independent, self-aware, and able to connect with others at the peak of adulthood, we somehow manage to lose ourselves in an almost pubescent-again fit of social expectations and crippling fear. And who wants to fantasize about sex with a half-there version of a full-grown woman?

Read the rest of my piece at Toronto Standard…

vintageeyewear

8 places to find vintage eyewear in Toronto

Fashion

Vintage eyewear in Toronto is a community of enthusiasts, collectors, and connoisseurs. Sure, almost every store in the city sells eyewear in some shape or form, but there’s no need to buy mass-market shades when rare vintage finds are so plentiful. New or used specs that originate from eras past are available in just about every price range, and are one of the best ways to top off a look with some personality. Here are a few places I like to buy frames that don’t make my face look like everyone else’s.

Gafas Optical Shop
Gafas is the only Toronto home to Kings of Past, a purveyor of unused, branded vintage eyewear that’s hard to match. Storeowner Tony will gladly share the history behind each piece (I could listen to him for hours– the man is a true connoisseur). One of my favourite vintage collections here is the Paloma Picasso line, designed by the youngest daughter of that Picasso. They even have vintage motorcycle goggles. I’d look like the Hamburgler in them, but kudos to someone much more badass than I who can pull them off. Glasses here are at least $100, often more.

F As In Frank
No vintage clothing shop would be complete without vintage eyewear. This one boasts a handpicked collection of over fifty frames from Playboy to Cazal, ranging from $250 to $750. Their stock of shades was recently replenished, so now’s the time to visit.

Spectacle
Another destination for unworn, branded vintage frames, Spectacle exclusively carries the Oliver Peoples Vintage Collection that celebrates the twenty-year legacy of one of the most influential eyewear companies in the world. They also regularly showcase rare collector items, like Michael Jackson’s tour glasses of the eighties. You can’t actually buy these sorts of pieces, but they’re still fun to look at. Frames don’t leave this store for anything less than a few hundred bucks.

Ontario Specialty Co.
This store dates back to 1939, practically making it vintage itself. It may look like Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium from the outside, but inside, tucked between the rubber chickens, marbles (so that’s where they went!), and other fantastical novelties, is a collection of vintage sunglasses in just about every shape and colour for under $100 (sometimes as cheap as $10). Rumour has it that Danny Masterson (Hyde from That ’70s show) once bought 48 pairs here.

Read the rest of my post on blogTO…

waronnipples

The War on Nipples: Weapons of Mass Seduction?

Culture, Fashion

I didn’t realize I hated bras until I stopped wearing them. A couple months ago, in a crisis of womanly self-determination I suppose only a millennial or someone politically active in the 60s could properly understand, I decided to ban brassieres from my wardrobe. Formerly a neurotic, even-in-bed bra-wearer, I was bemused to discover during a late night Google binge that they, in fact, have no medical benefits and questionable (at best) aesthetic benefits. Today, my breasts remain steadfastly high above my stomach, I skip mediocre events with promises of free lingerie, and I’m constantly terrified my parents will find out what I’ve done (hi, Dad!).

Why? Because there’s a good chance my parents—who once sent me to a school-sponsored water gun fight armed with a Windex bottle—are more uptight than the audience of Live! With Kelly, and that crowd went batshit last week when they mistook the darts on Kelly’s Stella McCartney “Miracle” dress for nipples. Not giant swastika-shaped PEZ dispensers doling out free ecstasy… just nipples. The show received so many letters, Kelly actually apologized on-air at the start of the second segment. “Everyone knows I had my nipples removed years ago,” quipped Kelly. Maybe she should have.

Socially preferable nipple-less women are never more than a few clicks of the photo editor’s mouse away. Victoria’s Secret models are notoriously nipple-free in their ads, most fashion magazines will nix even the shadow of a nipple beneath a sheer shirt, and the creator of Desperate Housewives claims to spend $100,000/week digitally editing tapes to get rid of nipples that show through clothing. Even Barbie, in all her titanic tits glory, has no nipples. The Super Bowl wouldn’t let anyone under 50 perform for years after the Janet Jackson slip.

Read the rest of my piece in the Toronto Standard…

breeynlookbook

8 places to get a custom cocktail dress in Toronto

Fashion

Every woman should have the luxury of owning a custom cocktail dress; one that makes her feel like the only girl in the world (or at least the hottest in the room). I find the most surefire way to achieve that deep level of sartorial satisfaction is to order a custom dress– one that’s made to measure and one of a kind.

A good custom dress will suit your personal style, be event-appropriate, and fit like a teenage dream. Although custom work can be more expensive than buying off-the-rack, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Select stores and designers around town offer this fantasy-to-frock service. Here are some of my favourites:

Breeyn McCarney
A master of embroidery, knitting, leathercraft, and roasting the Fords on Twitter, Breeyn designs whimsical frocks that dare to flatter the female form– just don’t call them “fairy-style prom dresses.” Seriously. She hates that. With a focus on ethical and eco fashion, her custom dresses (between $150 and $300) are easy on the conscience and wallet. Turnaround time is typically three to four weeks.

Peach Beserk
A little punk rock princess and a little 50′s pinup, Peach Beserk is full of tulle temptations and sassy silkscreen prints with names like “I’m a Natural Woman,” “Ick,” and “What Would Jesus Print.” Colour options include “Commie Red,” “Crusin for a Brusin,” and “Dirty New York Taxi.” Full of funk and flirt, their custom work is the same price as buying off-the-rack (around $500). Up the creative ante by designing your own silkscreen.

Read the rest of my post on blogTO…

hautehotels

Designers, Not Content with Mere Dresses, Make Hotels Haute

Fashion

Gone are the days when good beds were good beds, extra pillows were luxuries, and telephones were decidedly not colourful orgasms of designer hand-knit crochet. No longer are hotel guests thrilled to discover that Keith Moon, drummer for The Who, once nailed their room’s furniture to the ceiling. Nowadays, that sort of thing is only Kool if Karl does it. It’s official: luxury hotels are the latest to embrace fashion’s takeover of all things culture.

The who’s who (and even some of the “who’s that?”) of fashion designers have added hotelier to their resumes. More than epileptic episodes of cash-and-run branding, these new hotspots have designers tackling everything from themed suites to bespoke bathrobes— some more traditional than others. The eccentrics include Christian Lacroix and his three Parisian properties, which boast trompe-l’oeil “genuine fake” wallpaper that imitates bookshelves in the lobby, suites with textured cowhide wallpaper, and wall-to-wall carpet that resembles medieval paving stones. From the outside, one of his hotels is disguised as a bakery (you know how much fashion folk heart those).

Donatella Versace, unsurprisingly, kicks up the kitsch with her “Palazzo Versace” resort, spanning an 18-mile stretch of beach on Australia’s Gold Coast. Hallways showcase the late Gianni Versace’s artwork, vaulted ceilings are hand-painted with gold, and the finest marble floors flaunt the Versace logo in millions of square tiles. “A vast chandelier looms like the mother ship in Close Encounters,” says one tourist of the lobby’s 750kg antique stunner. The hotel promiscuously pumps its own signature fragrance into the air, room keys are hot pink, and even bathroom products and crystal glasses at the mini-bar are Versace. Of course, once the branded-everything has you intoxicated silly, you can purge your wallet at the Versace Boutique.

Read the rest of my piece in the Toronto Standard…

trendstoforget

Seven ’11 Trends We Hope to Forget

Fashion

Fur Vests. Any garment that transforms you into a fashionable Furby (best-case scenario) needs to go extinct. A lot more Wookiee than Wintour, no degree of cold weather excuses wearing these ill-fitting hairy beasts (especially if you’re a celebrity in L.A.). Kick them to the curb, and no matter what you do, don’t feed them after midnight.

Feather Hair Extensions. If Kesha does, thou shalt not. While channeling your inner Pocahontas is oh-so-Urban Outfitters, I don’t think she’d be down with the not-so-fly inhumane feather farming behind it all. To meet high demand, genetically-altered roosters are slaughtered and then tossed away like yesterday’s Kardashian marriage. To add crazy to cruel, sold-out salons have feather-hungry fashion victims soliciting bait shops for fly ties to use as replacements. Do I really need to say fashion and fish bait don’t mix?

Fascinators. Half-hat, half-holiday ornament, these decorative headpieces only offer three looks: potted plant, perplexed peacock, and (worst of all?) forlorn royal wedding groupie. If you want to bag a prince, don’t take your fashion cues from Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters.

Read the rest of my piece in the Toronto Standard…

suitsmonkeys

How Suits Make Monkeys Out of Men: A case of old Bristish balls

Culture, Fashion

Womenswear has become the fashion world’s de facto United Nations—superficially global with minimal social progress. No one really cares if it’s Navajo or Nanaimo (so long as America pays the bills), but on some level there’s a desire to seek new trends and experiment with foreign modes of sartorial expression.

Menswear, meanwhile, has evolved into something vaguely resembling MuchMusic: no amount of snarky hipster lexicon can cover up for its gross cultural irrelevance. It remains stagnantly Western, and more specifically, British. At one point this diversity dike could be blamed on men’s aversion to, well, fashion. But with men everywhere jumping on the “maybe I should wear a belt with this” bandwagon, that excuse flies out the glory hole in favour of a more sociological explanation.

It all started with the Brits. Streamlined suits, skinny ties, button-down shirts, trench coats, polo shirts, and countless other male wardrobe staples all have Redcoat roots. Back in May, Oliver Spencer quipped to The Guardian: “If you looked at a line-up of current menswear looks and asked someone to pick out the British outfit, you’d find every item has a British influence.” America can be credited for a few gems, like jeans, but when fair isle qualifies as a foreign influence and bowties count as quirky, you’ve got diversity problems…. read the rest of my piece in the Toronto Standard

holidaywindows1

Shop The Best Holiday Windows From Home

Fashion

‘Tis the season of window-shopping and extravagant storefront displays. Unsurprisingly, the tinsel theatrics originated in New York City, whose retailers still boast the biggest and best holiday windows (some of this year’s offerings include a 3D light show, a jungle of mixed-metal birds, and Lady Gaga’s interpretation of Santa’s Workshop). In 1914, Lord & Taylor was the first major department store to set up shop on Fifth Avenue, and also the first to show innovative festive windows. Saks Fifth Avenue opened in 1926, and Bergdorf Goodman in 1928. The three have waged window wars in The Big Apple ever since, with other stores eagerly adding their own visual confections to the merry mix.

The Hudson’s Bay Company (Queen and Yonge)

Styled against a backdrop of Rocky Mountains, rustic log cabins, and champagne-stocked beverage carts, the department store artfully mingles mercantile nostalgia with the modern-day Bay Street boys and belles they’d love to call clientele. Twinkling faux taxidermic deer and glittery white wolves wear HBC Heritage accessories and partake in the holiday cheer (animals don’t bite above a certain tax bracket). With golden gowns, streamlined suits, and even a slinky red dress from the likes of Pink Tartan, Hugo Boss, and Halston Heritage, this snow-dusted tableau with classically lit trees will have you dreaming of a White Space, er, Christmas.

Read the rest of my piece (and look at pretty pictures!) in the Toronto Standard…

Artwork by Danny and David Roberts

The Luxury Fashion Lottery

Fashion

I’ve joined the team at The Genteel, an intelligent online arts & fashion magazine. I’ll be contributing on a bi-weekly basis, so keep an eye out for my work! Here’s a snippet of my article from this week’s edition:

Jobs are scarce, disillusion is rampant, and Guy Fawkes has shacked up on Wall Street. The recession has made for some tough times, but not everyone is feeling the heat.

Despite recent economic turmoil and widespread anti-elite sentiment, luxury brands’ profits have soared. Versace is predicting its first profitable year since the early 2000′s, Burberry just reported a 29% rise in second-quarter profit, and Hermès literally cannot keep up with demand after a 50% jump in first half profits. The worldwide luxury goods market is poised to surge 10% in 2011. Brands are reporting record-breaking sales levels at every turn.

It seems a good chunk of the “99%” are emptying their pockets in an effort to look more like the “1%.” People who haven’t seen a raise in years are still finding ways to justify Birkin bags and $500 swatches of coloured silk. Fewer and fewer people are in a position to afford luxury fashion, but more than ever are buying it.

Many insiders will attribute this illogical behavior to the so-called “democratization of fashion.” Brands have cracked open the pearly gates, allowing top bloggers to sit front row and designers to create cheap caricatures of their collections for H&M.  Everyday people sit next to A-listers and sport garment ghosts of Lanvin past. These moves are strikingly forward-thinking for an industry that can’t quite figure out the problem with “slave earrings.”

Truthfully, this new democratic fashion is much more Florida Supreme Court than it is Locke. The industry’s recent populist agenda spawns not from an egalitarian epiphany, but from marketing necessity…

Click on over to The Genteel to read the rest of my piece!

Adrian Wu wide

Review: In Defense of Smart Fashion and Adrian Wu S/S 2012

Fashion

Last Friday 21-year-old designer Adrian Wu showed his first collection at LG Fashion Week. It was ingenious and I gave him a standing ovation (very unlike me). Was the collection perfect? No. But it was a damn fantastic example of what we’re missing in Canadian fashion.

Unfortunately there’s a large contingent of fashion ‘media’ (by trade or hobby) in this city who don’t like to think. That’s why press releases are regurgitated so carelessly and rave reviews are printed when the Mimran Collective whispers sweet orange nothings with their sponsorship dollars. So understandably, a collection based on physics might’ve been a bit too aspirational for some people’s liking. And Adrian suffered for it.

First came the Commes Des Garçons copycat accusations. Let’s remember Adrian wasn’t even a decade old when ‘lumps and bumps’ came down the runway. Just because he’s an aspiring designer doesn’t mean he’s got the last quarter-century of fashion memorized. Remember when Brandon R. Dwyer didn’t know who YSL was on Project Runway?  If you look back at Adrian’s previous collections, you’d see 3D fashion has always been his M.O.

Are we so used to Canadian designers stocking their grocery/department stores with major label look-a-likes, that we can’t fathom the notion of something original showing at LGFW? The comparison between CDG and Adrian is a stretch, anyways. CDG’s lumps were deformations of the physique and barely noticeable when put side-by-side with Adrian’s. This was a show of monster photon-protrusions. Please tell me we’re more sophisticated than “all bumps look alike.” Plus, Adrian’s dresses had ruffled waves a lot of reviewers forgot about… probably because “phallic” is a lot more fun to write than “wave.”

Next critique: “But I couldn’t see the dresses clearly!” Um, that was probably the point. In the double slit experiment (that Adrian’s show was inspired by), mere observation can affect the outcome of macroscopic events. This means particles somehow ‘know’ they’re being watched and misbehave and do unpredictable things. It’s wacky, yes. But it sparked some pretty interesting scientific theories and Adrian’s dresses took on the same unpredictable waves and bumps when we watched them. Want to see RTW? Go to the showroom. Runway is about inspiration.

Then there were the half-zipped zippers and unfinished hems. The major conclusion of the double slit experiment was, despite all our advanced science, we don’t know very much about this universe. Our understanding is unfinished, and likely always will be. Adrian is much too meticulous to forget to zip-up a model or sew a hem. This guy taught himself quantum physics—he’s not about to miss a few stitches. These ‘unfinished’ touches were symbolic. This should’ve been obvious in combination with the paint splatters and imperfect material choices.

The sexuality of Adrian’s collection, overt and unabashed with dresses named “The First Period” and “Blue Balls,” is likely a continuation of his interest in Freud’s theories on human sexuality (the inspiration behind his F/W 2011). Again, there’s a tie-in here. The double slit theory is a perversion of science; it’s something unpredictable and contrary to logic. Freud is also all about perversion. And Adrian showed a collection of perverted dresses—two of them on men. His dresses were named after progressive stages of sexuality and all the confusion and chaos that comes with them. This exploration was supposed to be meaningful, not criticized with the maturity of a 12-year-old learning about menstruation for the first time.

The bottom line of Adrian’s collection—scientific, sexual, or otherwise—was chaos. It was gutsy, original, and beautiful. Please keep it up, Adrian. Canadian fashion needs you to spark our imagination and fuel our desire to be more than just ‘wearable.’ Plus, next season you’ll be a sophomore, and we only make the rookies explain themselves here.

Photos courtesy of the FDCC

juma group

Review : JUMA S/S 2012

Fashion

I walked into the JUMA runway room and was instantly blinded. The studio was filled with piercing blue light set at a frequency to kill fungi and fashionistas’ eyeballs alike. Luckily, it was all uphill from there…  and my eyeballs recovered in time to be assaulted all over again at the Joe Fresh collection tonight.

Glitter-geeks marched down the runway in a strong and cohesive collection. Models looked awkwardly awesome with shimmer-slicked hair and reading glasses– a weirdly harmonious mix of Tavi Gevinson and Ke$ha. Most importantly, the aesthetic was unique (a rarer-than-it-should-be thing in Canadian fashion).

As usual, JUMA’s signature digital prints made the pieces. Shades bled beautifully through peacock and reptilian patterns, creating a whimsical tie-dye-esque effect. The garments’ sheer, flowing silk only accentuated the flowing prints.

The show evolved like a box of pencil crayons; starting in greyscale and reaching its peak with bright red, orange, and purple shades. The perfect splash of color was oh-so-refreshing after collections and collections of color blocking from other designers.

Some of the menswear was a little too hipster-pixie for me at first, but is actually growing on me the more I look at photos. I like to consider their more ‘progressive’ menswear as inspirational pieces rather than ready-to-wear.

I loved this collection because it proves Canadian designers can be dramatic and wearable– not either/or. Hopefully it inspires others to be more original.

Peacock Parade has exclusive rights to sell six pieces from JUMA’s runway collection until October 25. Check it out.

Photos courtesy of the FDCC.