Monthly Archives: May 2017

How Can a Guava Become a Staple of Street Style

Hosiery walks a fine sartorial line, leading a double life as clothing in public and lingerie in private. Its allure is in leaving something to the imagination. Nothing plays the erotic game of peekaboo better than a pair of fishnets as they simultaneously reveal and conceal what’s underneath.

Last September, Kim Kardashian posted an Instagram photo of her topless torso with black openwork Wolford tights stretching above the waistband of her half-done button fly. Like so many of her social media endeavours, the post sparked a frenzy, and the fishnets-and-denim combo took off. Worn under distressed mom jeans or glute-grazing cut-offs, the look has become an #OOTD favourite of virtually every style darling, including blogger Chiara Ferragni, model Hailey Baldwin and singer Pia Mia. In April, Kardashian’s sister Khloé commercialized the approach with a new style from her denim line Good American that features holes patched with fishnets. Meanwhile, in June, Austrian luxury hosiery company Wolford reissued the Kaylee style seen in Kardashian’s post due to popular demand.

Fishnets are a garment loaded with innuendoes, thanks to their origin in cabarets like the Moulin Rouge. In the 1970s, early punks literally tore them apart, giving nets a bad-girl reputation that still resonates nearly five decades later. “It was part of the whole punk ethos of bringing in deliberately disgusting and objectionable styles that were scavenged from bad taste or pornography or both,” says Valerie Steele, fashion historian and director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. “Once that happened, fishnets were really ripe to keep being revived as a somewhat punk, definitely sexy component in fashion. It re-emerges periodically every few years.” She points to the powerful suggestion of violence inherent in a pair of damaged tights. “Have you fought off someone? Or are you just so degenerate that you wear clothes that are falling apart?”

Vanessa Cesario, the 25-year-old behind Toronto style blog The Brunette Salad, channels this rebellious spirit by using fishnets to add an element of surprise to her slick streetwear-heavy ensembles. “They’re a way to amp up outfits that are otherwise safe,” she says. “I think that now, more than ever, women, myself included, like to wear things that could have been seen as taboo.”

André Leon Talley’s Documentary Will Perform at the Toronto International Film Festival

The 2017 Toronto International Film Festival is quickly approaching and we have another must-see film to add to our watch list: André Leon Talley’s documentary.

Called The Gospel According to André, the 94-minute film will make its official premiere at TIFF 2017 on Sept. 8, with Magnolia Pictures planning a spring 2018 North American theatrical release. Directed by Kate Novack, the “funny and poignant portrait” will chronicle the life of the 67-year-old former Vogue editor-at-large, and will include archival footage of André’s illustrious career, starting with his involvement in Andy Warhol’s Factory during the ’70s, according to WWD.

“André has been an unmissable fixture in the front row of fashion for as long as I can remember, but the story of how he got there has never really been told in an intimate way,” Novack explained to WWD.

Of course, plenty of fashion luminaries will be present, including Anna Wintour, Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, Valentino and Manolo Blahnik. It will also touch on two important women in Talley’s life: his grandmother, Bennie Frances Davis, a maid on Duke’s campus who raised André with a strong sense of discipline and Diana Vreeland, who took him on as an assistant for a 1974 Metropolitan Museum of Art fashion exhibit and helped launch his career.

Talley, himself, describes the flick as his “journey in the chiffon trenches,” and said the firs take of the film was “glorious.”

Talley’s film isn’t the only fashion documentary coming out this September — Manolo Blahnik’s documentary, Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards, is set to release Sept. 15, while Zac Posen’s documentary, House of Z, will premiere Sept. 6 exclusively on Vogue.com. Dries Van Noten will also have his own documentary called Dries, though no release date has been confirmed yet.

Good Handbags With New Colabirs

Two ela models, the Editor’s Pouch and MILCK Mini will feature floral details lifted from Belcourt’s gorgeous large scale acrylics resembling traditional indigenous beadwork. The Ela x Christi Belcourt collaboration will also help raise funds to build a permanent Onaman Collective camp in Northern Ontario where elders can connect with younger first nation’s people year round.

According to Belcourt The Onaman Collective is run completely by volunteers without government funding, so organizers have sold art or held auctions to finance operations.

Belcourt contintued to say the facilities are not fancy or extravagant but done for the love future generations. Belcourt, who lives in Espanolo, Ontario has artwork hanging in the National Gallery of Canada, in Ottawa, and the Art Gallery of Ontario, in Toronto. But she’s hardly a stranger to fashion. Luxury Italian fashion house Valentino drew inspiration from Belcourt’s piece “Water Song” for their Spring 2016 collection.

The ela X Christi Belcourt collection will be available in stores and online at holtrenfrew.com as of Tuesday, September 5; $75 from each Mini MILCK Clutch($395) and $10 from each Editor’s Pouch ($50) will go towards supporting The Onaman Collective.

If you’ve ever learned a foreign language or read a book that has been translated, you’ll understand the meaning of the term “mother tongue.” We all simply understand things better in the language we were raised. There are nuances to words, turn of phrases that mean one thing to one person, and something else to a person in a different language. And when one is left without language there are stories that will never be shared.

For Canada’s indigenous communities, movement off ancestral lands and upbringings in residential schools meant the loss of traditional language, and by default, crucial links to their histories have been lost. The topic of traditional language is a flashpoint for Indigenous people all around the world, and here in Canada, there is a thriving grassroots movement intent on reclaiming indigenous dialects for young people.

This is why, three years ago, Metis artist Christi Belcourt (along with Isaac Murdoch and Erin Konsmo) founded The Onaman Collective in Northern Ontario.  This community arts group is “dedicated to the resurgence of Indigenous ways of being and knowing.” That includes language immersion workshops, and knowledge about life on the land. Demand is such that the collective is looking to build a year round structure to make their activities available to more.

“We bring youth and elders together on the land, for culture, language, and traditional and community arts,” said Belcourt who was in Toronto to talk about Holt Renfrew’s latest H Project launch, the ela X Christi Belcourt  limited edition handbags.

Nike Team Associates With Virgil Abloh White

The sneaker giant is teaming up with the label’s designer, Virgil Abloh, on a special capsule collection which reimagines 10 iconic Nike styles, including the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Force 1 Low and the Nike Air VaporMax . Dubbed, “The Ten,” the collection will be divided into two themes: “REVEALING,” which is designed to look accessible (“hand-cut, open-source and reconstructed,” says Nike) and “GHOSTING,” designed with translucent uppers to “further the idea of revealing and unite the second set of silhouettes through common material.”

“What we’re talking about here is larger than sneakers, it’s larger than design culture,” 36-year-old Abloh, who, as a teen, sketched shoe ideas and mailed them to Nike, said in a press release. “It’s nothing short of state-of-the-art design. These 10 shoes have broken barriers in performance and style. To me, they are on the same level as a sculpture of David or the Mona Lisa. You can debate it all you want, but they mean something. And that’s what’s important.”

For the “REVEALING” collection, which includes includes the Air Jordan I, Nike Air Max 90, Nike Air Presto, Nike Air VaporMax and Nike Blazer Mid, Abloh used an X-ACTO knife to deconstruct and rework the styles. (“Yes, we’re making a desired product, but by making a trip to your local store, and using tools you have at home, you could also make this shoe,” he explained). This involved revealing foam within the shoes’ tongues (and moving their Nike labels), moving the Swoosh placements and adding pops of colour through orange tabs in various locations per shoe. He also added literal placements of text in Off-White’s signature Helvetica typeface, putting “AIR” on the Nike Air VaporMax, Air Jordan I and Air Presto and “SHOELACES” on the shoe string.

The “GHOSTING” set, which includes Converse Chuck Taylor, Nike Zoom Fly SP, Nike Air Force 1 Low, Nike React Hyperdunk 2017 and Nike Air Max 97, came afterwards, as a sort of “evolution to the reveal.”

According to Nike, Abloh’s turnaround on the collection was “one of the fastest collaborations Nike has ever completed” (10 shoes in roughly 10 months from ideation to release).

“Most of the creative decisions were made in the first three hours, while actual design and iteration took two to three days,” Virgil recalled. “The Jordan I was done in one design session. I work in a very like dream-like state. I see it, and it’s done.”

This isn’t the first time Nike has teamed up with a major fashion designer — last year, it collaborated with Riccardo Tisci, Louis Vuitton men’s designer Kim Jones andBalmain’s Olivier Rousteing.  However, this collection in particular is being viewed as a smart move on Nike’s part, according to the Business of Fashion.

“For Nike, it’s a comeback with a more long-term plan compared to what it used to be with one-off collaborations. They now see these natural people that have the right branding for them to align themselves with,” Yu-Ming Wu, founder of Sneaker News, told BOF.

And Abloh insists “The Ten” is more than “just another hypebeast project.”

“The future of streetwear is that it should no longer serve itself. This project is truly a democracy of how design explores the world,” he told BOF. “I’m interested in how the kid that’s standing outside his or her local Foot Locker or Nike Town buying Jordans and taking my ideas gets inspired and takes a marker to the shoes or attaches a red zip tie and now they’re part of the conversation.”

The first five icons of The Ten (“REVEALING”) will be pre-released at NikeLab stores in New York City (Sept. 9-13), London (Sept. 18-22), Milan (Sept. 21-25) and Paris (Sept. 26-30). The full collection including all 10 silhouettes will be available in November at NikeLab stores and select retailers worldwide.