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NEW LINK IN MY LIFE: Design Scene

10 Apr

I’ve added a new link to a blog I found called Design Scene. I like it cus it’s possible to flit across many fashion photo spreads with the greatest of ease.

I like that it gives a point-form breakdown of the stats, and also links to to other spreads you might like at the bottom.

Here’s one that I’ve been drooling over repeatedly: Prada Womenswear Spring Summer 2010 photographed by renowned fashion photographer Steven Meisel. It is all so gorgeous I can barely stand it.

(But somehow I find a way.)

I absolutely love the sleek retro-California beach vibe mixed with a whole lotta 1940s glamour. The photgraphic patterns are am-a-zing!I love the way the sheer fabric appears so structured and futuristic. Almost like it’s partially invisible.

Having grown up with a lot of relatives in California, I have a weakness for patterns with palm trees, sunset themes, beach scenes and tropical flowers. Classic California prints are so blissful, but with a hint of dirty seediness.

The blissful aspect reminds me of my gramma.

I need to explore the seediness more.

And I really dig the hard lines on the leather jacket/pants set in the second-to-last photo. Brilliant counterpoint to the other designs, which are very sexy and feminine.

It is only a matter of time until I own those sunglasses.

Happy flitting!

Photos courtesy of http://www.designscene.net/.

RIP ALEXANDER MCQUEEN: Brilliant fashion designer dies at age 40

11 Feb

British fashion designer Lee McQueen, founder of the Alexander McQueen label,  was found dead at his London home today (Thursday).

He was just 40 years old.

Company spokeswoman Samantha Garrett said McQueen’s body was discovered in the morning but that she had no information “in terms of circumstances.”

Police did not directly comment on the cause of death, but said it is not being treated as suspicious.

In The Guardian, Alexandra Shulman, the editor of British Vogue, aptly credits McQueen with influencing a whole generation of designers.

“His brilliant imagination knew no bounds as he conjured up collection after collection of extraordinary designs,” she said.

“At one level he was a master of the fantastic, creating astounding fashion shows that mixed design, technology and performance and on another he was a modern-day genius whose gothic aesthetic was adopted by women the world over. His death is the hugest loss to anyone who knew him and for very many who didn’t.”

The hugest loss indeed. My heart goes out to his family, friends, colleagues and his legions of fans, with whom I  hang my head in sorrow today.

As a hobby I compile a “fashion journal,” which is basically a binder containing all designs/fashion spreads/photo shoots that inspire me, and a great deal of McQueen’s designs are in there.

Oh, whatever will we do with out McQ?

May he rest in peace.

See below for a montage of my favourite looks from Alexander McQueen’s recent collections:

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HARK! FINALLY! New Joanna Newsom album out Feb. 23

27 Jan

The latest Joanna Newsom album Have One on Me will be released next month…

…and…

we now know it will be a TRIPLE ALBUM!

Das right — three discs and/or three LPs depending on how you roll. This be some highly anticipated shit.

For those of you unfamiliar with Ms. Newsom, here is all you need to know: She is exquisitely beautiful (see photos above and below), prodigiously talented (she plays the harp and piano, and sings with medieval dexterity), incredibly articulate (she writes stanzas in archaic lingo), and she is the same age as me (this impresses me all the more).

Also, her voice sounds like a delightful mixture of girly girl and kitty cat.

Mmmmm!

If this piques your interest, her first track “81” is now available online.  The track is mellow yet evocative; it solely consists of Newsom’s idiosyncratic voice and fingers plucking away like mad on the harp.

In other words, the perfect tease to excite the fans.

And if you don’t like my “pretty-kitty lady” analogy, Pitchfork writer Brian Howe describes her as such:

“After seeing her perform, it’s clear that she is… a sort of Prometheus, bringing an elite musical tradition down from the mountain and into the lowlands of indie rock, where attitude-not-training is the rule, and a certain spiritual posture is more important that traditional musicianship. She’s been punished accordingly by the gods (in this extended metaphor, a cynical press) for her efforts to cross that divide.”

Indeed Newsom is criticized for being too sincere. In an indie culture that is so suspicious of pretentiousness and posturing, the road through Newsom’s music is forked. One path is for those who love her brainy, classical style for its enviable honesty; the other is for those who despise her wavering voice and complex language for the same reason. (Obviously you can make out the path I followed…)

And isn’t pretentiousness in the eye of the beholder anyway? I’m certain it’s not always, but in this case I think it’s a relevant idea to ponder.

Speaking of pondering, after the stratospheric success of her last album Ys in 2006,  Newsom stepped out of the spotlight and retreated to her native California to work on new material. Thank goodness she came out of hiding last fall and posed for Giorgio Armani’s United Artists Campaign though.

Gorgeous.

For those fashion-obsessed out there, she’s wearing Giorgio Armani’s beaded black and blue silk blouse and sequined black silk shorts; Emporio Armani hat; and Carolina Amato gloves.

To add to the fun, see below for a playlist of my fave Joanna Newsom tracks:

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Iconic!

Photos courtesy of Dragcity.com and W Magazine.

HAHAHA: Knitwear guru Mark Fast rejects Lady Gaga

8 Jan

Delightful fashion designer and fellow Canuck Mark Fast — known for his supertight dresses dubbed “hosiery for the body” — refused to lend his sexy knitwear to the vileness that is Lady Gaga (heretofore referred to as “Gag”).

Finally! What I’ve been saying for months is validated by The Cut!

Now, I can die peacefully.

Apparently, the 29-year-old Canadian-born, London-based designer “politely” turned Gag down when approached by her stylist.

“My work is about a lifestyle. It’s not fast-food fashion. It’s not about trends, it’s about classic, it’s about the body, it’s about beauty. Maybe that gets lost in the picture with certain celebrities,” he said.

Haha, “fast-food fashion.” Couldn’t have said it better myself! (Well, lemme think about it…)

But honestly, you can ask my buds. I’ve sputtering for MONTHS about the irritating publicity Gag gets for her “spooky,” “fearless” and “original” style sense.

She simply employs a team of stylists that pick through abstract, art-house designs made by incredibly creative people. They then slap them on her before an awards show, thus taking them completely out of context. SHE is not creative. She simply chews up and spits out the originality of others, and calls upon the general public to view her art-house choices as “crazy” and “weird” (see her on the left).

Honestly, what kind of statement is she making? I’ll bet the designer was making a statement, perhaps on the way women tend to hide themselves within the gigantic trend machine.

But Gag? She IS the trend machine. It makes me want to breathe fire.

For all you fashion neophytes out there, I’ll put it like this:

It’s like taking a beautiful painting by Joseph Guinta, ripping it out of the frame, stapling it to your t-shirt, eating a hotdog over it and marvelling at how the mustard stains “don’t even stick!” while you gyrate to Lady Gaga.

There you go, fast-food fashion.

According to his website (link at top), Fast designs everything by hand on a domestic knitting machine. He forms his work on to the body as he knits, and he has concocted innovative stitching techniques, blending lycra with wool, Angora or viscose.

Click here to view Mark Fast’s Spring RTW collection, and see below for my three favourite looks from him, ever:

Fast grew up outside Winnipeg, and spent his youth frolicking in the countryside “along a highway next to a forest.” Then he moved to London and achieved international recognition for being wonderfully talented.

Hey, wow! That’s the story of MY life!

(Hopefully. One day.)

For now, I’ll just contend with nibbling biscuits dipped in tea as I delicately try not to spill on myself.

Photos courtesy of markfast.net, mtv.com and bougies.files.wordpress.com.

XMAS PRESENT (TENSE): A handbag fit for a digital queen

21 Dec

This dorkus-malorkus computer key bag is so up my alley.

Made by Joao Sabino, an industrial designer in Portugal, “The Keybag” is made from exactly 393 keys from computer keyboards.

Lined with black nylon and available in four colours (see photo below), The Keybag is the perfect accessory with which to ring in the new year.

It also reminds me of Super Mario Bros. with all its blockiness.

Since I have a typing impediment — I type with left hand on 1/3 of the keyboard and right hand on 2/3, and I never use the pinkies: for decoration ONLY — this bag would be the perfect training apparatus.

And just think of the jokes I could throw down!“Oh, sorry, you’re just not my… type.”

“Learning is… key!”

“I’m really… board of your instant messages.”

“#$@^%&!”

“Print screen!”

:>

So, mom, dad, stepdad, if you’re reading this, The Keybag will set you back €130.00, or $253.00 CAD including shipping. Don’t worry that it won’t arrive in time for Christmas. I can wait.

Buy it here. And check out Joao Sabino’s blog here.

(And this is how it would look before my stuff got put inside…)

I first caught wind of The Keybag through a mention on Kingdom of Style (my fave fashion blog), and I’ve since been reading up on it.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found any evidence to suggest it’s made from recycled keyboards, which would make it ever the more awesome.

The Keybag reminds me of the 2006 documentary Manufactured Landscapes about Edward Burtynsky, an incredible Canadian photographer who travels the world shooting breathtaking landscapes changed from manufacturing and industry.

Directed by Jennifer Baichwal, part of the film follows people in China that live among piles and piles of “e-waste” (or computer waste). They pick through bits and chunks of broken computer parts, chemicals and wires searching for valuable pieces they can sell to avoid starving.

Apparently 50 per-cent of the world’s computer waste ends up in China. It would be incredibly remarkable for The Keybag to be made of keys from China’s e-wastelands.

Manufactured Landscapes is tragic and berating and stunningly filmed. If you’ve never seen it, you really should. It’s pretty unforgettable. At the very least, watch Edward Burtynsky’s TED talk on the subject.

In the meantime, anyone seen my… keys?

Ahhh!

Photos courtesy of kingdomofstyle.typepad.co.uk, designboom.com and workshop.iyms.info.

WHO KNEW: Women’s feet could reveal lusty thoughts?

7 Dec

Your feet have betrayed you!

And you might not have even known…

According to a new study by Prof Geoffrey Beattie, Head of School and Dean of Psychological Sciences at the University of Manchester, women show sexual attraction through the movements of their feet.

The research gathered on behalf of shoemaker Jeffery West states that  if a girl likes someone and is laughing, she will move her foot away from her body and will gain an “open leg posture.”

(Do I really do that? Yeesh, better check it.)

Also, if a lady’s feet are crossed or tucked under herself, then she’s just not that in to whomever she’s talking to.

(Gotta remember this one. Key for weirdo bus talkers.)

Men, however, don’t signal sexual attraction with their feet. But this doesn’t mean you guys should stop trying down there. God I’ve seen some awful foot-coverings (can’t even dignify them by calling them shoes) on men in this city. Just because you’re a granola muncher doesn’t mean your feet should look like they’re mulching compost as well.

For me, if I could wear any shoe I wanted, it would hail from Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2010 RTW collection.

I’m definitely digging the hard-edged, extraterrestrial take on footwear. The white one is very Fifth Element.

They are incredible examples of the kind of forward-thinking futurism that’s been absent in fashion recently. We’ve seen way too many designers referencing an 80’s kinda future. I think McQueen has nailed a modern, distinctive vision, and I salute him.

To wear any of these creations is to say, “Come closer, if you dare…

…to be destroyed.”

NOW THAT’S what I want my feet to be saying!

(As I dance by myself to this:)

Photos courtesy of style.com

JAW DROPPED OPEN: Gasping for air while taking in LucyandBart

2 Dec

I have found my super power!

I have a transcendental ability to appreciate the unsettling, creative, madcap designs of LucyandBart.

I wish I could just climb into these photos and run my hands all over their pieces.

No, I wish I could create an awkward short film in which all  their designs would politely interact as though they were stuck together in a crowded subway car, and more than a few of them were bloated with indigestion.

No. I wish I could wear one to my 10-year high school reunion and prod people with my floppy appendages.

Yes!

And I would listen to THIS while getting ready.

LucyandBart is a collaboration between Lucy McRae and Bart Hess described by the duo as “an instinctual stalking of fashion, architecture, performance and the body.”

In an interview with DazedDigital.com, Lucy (from England) said she and Bart (from the Netherlands)  met at Philips Design while working in a far future design research programme.

“We worked on an Electronic Tattoo project that accelerates a vision for next generation sensitive technology mounted under the skin. This concept suggests our bodies are increasingly becoming a platform for sensitive and interactive technology,” she said.

In fact, Lucy has worked on several projects combining fashion and technology: a dress that blushes with light (is it true?) or electronic jewellery that senses sleep and stress (dare to dream?!). She also revealed she’s currently developing technology and textile concepts together with an engineer. So awesome.

On their blog, LucyandBart admit to sharing a fascination with genetic manipulation, yet they maintain that these themes come about unconsciously.

As they say of themselves, “They work in a primitive and limitless way creating future human shapes, blindly discovering low-tech prosthetic ways for human enhancement.

Low tech indeed. I think that’s what I like most about their work – the bizarre distortion of the body that, upon closer inspection, is undeniably handmade. In another nod to DIY, they also serve as models and photographers for their own designs.

They use materials such as foam, balloon, nylons and shards of wood to create appendages that dare to make the human body appear ugly. It’s like they were enslaved by a hideous virus.

Or worse – it’s as though their bodies have become grotesque hosts to a vile, foul intergalactic master.

Nothing short of extraordinary.

Photos courtesy of lucyandbart.blogspot.com.