February 26, 2007

WORST "writer" EVER

THIS is what counts for a New York Times article??? I can't believe it. Am still in shock. Speechless.
Brand Loyalty
By MARY-KATE OLSEN
Published: February 25, 2007

I have a large, red quilted Chanel bag that I borrowed from my sister Ashley. I wore it to an event and never gave it back. Luckily, she's moved on to another bag, so I'm safe for now. I'm not quite sure how many bags I have, but let's just say I have a few. When I find a bag I like, I tend to wear it to death until I become obsessed with another one. This probably happens three to five times a year. But I always come back to the Chanel. The size isn't overwhelming, and it has enough subtle detail to keep it interesting.

I also have the smaller version in blue and in white, but the red is definitely my favorite. I don't have a stylist — I'd rather just do my own thing and put together my own outfits. The chain-handle bag is the perfect accent to almost any combination I come up with. I look at everything with a designer's eye, but I wouldn't change a thing about this bag. I think that's why it's a true classic.

February 25, 2007

T Style Magazine




I am loving the Spring issue!! So many gorgeous pictures - but one question: why aren't most of the articles half as compelling as the visuals??? READ HERE
My government will introduce legislation bequeathing all my titles, dominions, realms, chattels, corgis, etc., and so on, in perpetuity, to my loyal collection of handbags . . .” Tell me, now. Would it have surprised you had Queen Elizabeth II included this item in her annual recital of actions to be taken by Her Majesty’s government in the coming year? Would it have surprised Her Majesty? How would we know?
Her favorite razor is Gilette’s Venus. She prefers Skintimate foam, changing scents with her mood. She uses only natural lotions like Aveeno because scented lotions have alcohol, which dries out the skin. To remain nick-free, she always uses warm water and doesn’t understand why some women believe cold makes for a closer shave: it only makes the hair stiff; you scrape rather than glide.
What is a personal shopper? I’ll go out on a limb here and guess that a personal shopper is someone who shops for you personally. She may be part of the customer services offered by retailers; she may be a free agent conferring advice, expertise and opinions for you alone. Personal shopping is only a luxury if you know exactly how you look trying on things in the dressing room.
I LOVE Cathy Horyn to death, but these other articles put me to sleep!!!

Orientalism





These photos, from the New York Times' T Style magazine, are gorgeous gorgeous. But at the same time they make me a little uncomfortable in how they orientalize (the term refers to instances of exoticizing "The Other" rather than to those from the Orient specifically) Liya and portray her in a "tribal" manner. Just a little cliched, no?

Brief background on Orientalism from a Google search

The Terms

The Orient
signifies a system of representations framed by political forces that brought the Orient into Western learning, Western consciousness, and Western empire. The Orient exists for the West, and is constructed by and in relation to the West. It is a mirror image of what is inferior and alien ("Other") to the West.

Orientalism
is "a manner of regularized (or Orientalized) writing, vision, and study, dominated by imperatives, perspectives, and ideological biases ostensibly suited to the Orient." It is the image of the 'Orient' expressed as an entire system of thought and scholarship.

The Oriental
is the person represented by such thinking. The man is depicted as feminine, weak, yet strangely dangerous because poses a threat to white, Western women. The woman is both eager to be dominated and strikingly exotic. The Oriental is a single image, a sweeping generalization, a stereotype that crosses countless cultural and national boundaries.

Latent Orientalism
is the unconscious, untouchable certainty about what the Orient is. Its basic content is static and unanimous. The Orient is seen as separate, eccentric, backward, silently different, sensual, and passive. It has a tendency towards despotism and away from progress. It displays feminine penetrability and supine malleability. Its progress and value are judged in terms of, and in comparison to, the West, so it is always the Other, the conquerable, and the inferior.

February 24, 2007

PHD in Fashion?


http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/5229.htm

I'm not too seriously considering it, even if it means that I'm doomed to teaching.

Some great programs for aspiring fashionistas/communicators at the London College of Fashion. Oh well! Instead, I stayed in Canada and got my education paid for by school and the government - I guess being debt free is just as good!! The tuition fees for international students? £10,095 per year!!

MA Fashion Journalism
Level: Postgraduate
Duration: 15 months full time or 30 months part time
MA Fashion Journalism responds to the growth of the fashion media and the changing character of fashion journalism which is creating a demand for multifaceted communicators who are highly articulate, analytical commentators on fashion, style and popular culture, and can demonstrate a broad knowledge of fashion in its cultural context.

MA History and Culture of Fashion
Level: Postgraduate
Duration: 15 months full time or 30 months part time
MA History and Culture of Fashion provides an opportunity to apply cultural theory and methodology to the critical study of contemporary and historical fashion, through original research and examination of text, object and image.

--------------

One very interesting PHD thesis...(well, at least to my area of research)

Ane Lynge-Jorlen
Reading Niche Fashion Magazines: Production, Text and Audience

This project explores the field of niche fashion magazines, arising out of the British tradition of style magazines of the eighties. It firstly investigates the position of niche fashion magazines within the wider system of fashion, focusing on the mediation of the notion of fashion. Secondly, it methodologically integrates three main modes of exchange of 'fashion messages' by investigating a magazine's productional and institutional setting and encoding of fashion notions, the textual components of the fashion magazine, and the decoding processes involved in reading fashion magazines. The project draws on media and communication studies, sociology and fashion theory and involves ethnography at fashion magazines, reader interviews and participant observation.

What I'm Reading Now



Vinken, Barbara. Fashion Zeitgeist: Trends and Cycles in the Fashion System. New York: Berg, 2005.
Glittering and blinding, fashion draws attention away from the substance of things. It is the very personification of the individual alienated in the rush of consumption, of the self lost in the brilliant world of commodities. Irrational, capricious, fickle, unpredictable, fashion makes its entrance every season anew, with all the power of seduction of a moody sovereign, certain of conquering. The incarnation of all vanity in the world, it carries with it the odor di femmina, of which Don Giovanni sings.
Pictures from the New York Times.

February 22, 2007

The Future of Fashion Promotion



Lifestyle advertising is not enough. You've got to watch this new short movie that presumably sells Prada perfume (and shows off archival Prada clothes) - I know it's been done before (DKNY and Erin Fetherston come to mind), but the quality is amazing. Daria looks great, and there is a semblance of narrative. Love the poem too.

Source via Fashionista

Marchesa, or Yet Another Case of Connections Versus "Talent"



Whatever talent is, I thought that today's NYT article on Marchesa was interesting indeed.
Within a year, and with no fashion credentials to boast of, Ms. Chapman and Ms. Craig had decamped for Hollywood, where they were stunned, they say, to see their extravagantly sparkly evening dresses enhancing the contours of Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johansson, Felicity Huffman, Anne Hathaway and Penélope Cruz.
Hollywood power stylists, designers and influential editors, few of whom would speak on the record for fear of offending Mr. Weinstein, say that Ms. Craig and Ms. Chapman, both 30, have yet to earn their laurels. “People are asking, ‘How is it these two young gals with nothing but a lot of money behind them can put themselves out there as a brand,’ ” said Patricia Black, the director of a fashion showroom in New York, who stresses that she does not share that view. Giuseppe Cipriani and Steven C. Witkoff, partners in the Witkoff Group real estate company in Manhattan, are Marchesa’s high-powered investors. Mr. Weinstein, too, has made timely contributions in amounts the company would not disclose.
Although they did work as a textile designer and a costume designer for a few years before starting this label, which is more than...many others! Anyway, I wouldn't date someone my dad's age for anything, but then again I'm also not half as beautiful as Ms. Chapman. So it's not even an option!

February 21, 2007

In JANE



I thought that the fashion editorial in the latest Jane magazine was actually really cute, although by their model choice and styling I would have thought that it was Teen Vogue and NOT Jane. I love this magazine, but as someone in their targeted age demographic, I don't want to see 14 year old models that LOOK 14 in the fashion editorials!! Anyway, who knows what're they're trying to do.

Source: Jane

Off Topic: Our Wired World

Ok, so this is a *fashion* and *theory* blog, but I loved this video and wanted to share. It's insane how addicted I am to the Internet, email, etc. Not so much the phone, and I don't have a Blackberry, but the rest of it resonates with me so.

Ps. Shouldn't he have an assistant to check his emails for him though??

Source: AdAge via The Glossy Lip
"The Today Show" is offering up a series called "Could You Do Without?" Dennis Kneale, managing editor of Forbes, apparently, can't do without. Kneale volunteered for a segment in which he was forced to give up cellphone, Blackberry and e-mail. What was he thinking? Even lowly journo-wretches swear they can't live without these things. How could a managing editor for an international publication -- a man who has to coordinate journalists around the world and stay on top of the news, a man who is sometimes late and often out of the office for lunches -- how is he supposed to do without?

Kneale lasts 40 hours before breaking down in tears. It's refreshing on some level, however, to see that it wasn't missed work that got to him, but rather the thought of his six-year-old daughter not being able to contact him. Watch it all below (well, until NBC forces YouTube to remove the video). This is must-see TV at its best.
What could you do without??

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmEErhy7AIc

February 18, 2007

Coutorture!


fashiontheory is becoming a Coutorture partner soon. i've been a big fan of Julie at Almost Girl for a while, so we'll see how this goes!

February 17, 2007

Is the future hideous?


For Sunday's New York Times Style section, Bill Cunningham writes, "There were thousands of superbly dressed women attending the designer collections, but only Ms. Roitfeld looked like the future."

What do you think?

I think she looks good, but only because it's her. Where else would you wear such a get-up? To go grocery shopping? I don't think it's even very warm - thank goodness for town cars!

February 13, 2007

More HI/LO Fashion


Christopher Kane for Topshop is now available. His latest collection for fall got a great review by British Vogue and also Fashionista.com, but I wouldn't buy any of these pieces. Especially not for a few hundred dollars!

Source

February 9, 2007

Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch

The 4th Toronto Fashion Bloggers Brunch

Date
Feb 25, 2007

Time
11:30 am - 2:00 pm

Location
The Drake Hotel
1150 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON
Canada

Hosted By Anita Clarke
Member of the TFBB Social Committee

February 6, 2007

THIS is why...


For all of my friends who ever said, "But WHY do designer shoes cost so much?"

Read All About It

Power Politics


Check out this photo by The Sartorialist from the seats at Marc Jacobs last night. This pretty girl and Columbia University student is sitting front row because of her lineage. Behind (and therefore somehow less important than) her? Virgina Smith, fashion director at Vogue and Amy Astley, editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue.

I guess that's how things roll.

Marc Jacobs FW07 So Chic!






And much more wearable than Spring or last Fall!

NOT an Advertorial

http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/02/05/hobbitville

I like how honest Cathy Horyn and other newspaper writers can be - that's the privilege of newspaper journalism, even if you can't get as much swag! There isn't the demand from above to appease advertisers or keep controversial comments at bay. Even if it means that you're not invited to the shows (ahem...Carolina Herrera has not invited the New York Times to her shows for 2 seasons now after a scathing review. How immature!).
Still, if Browne could have thought of one more thing to do to these clothes, I don’t know what it would have been. The suit coats had deep double side vents and some of the overcoats had vents up to the bottom, an unflattering picture, with trim and little extras that suggested an inability to step back from his work and say to himself, “Come on, Thom, really…”

Between the shorts and the longer silhouette of stern high-buttoned coats and midi-skirts, you had a cross between a hobbit and Abraham Lincoln. I don’t know what to make of tent-shaped capes trimmed out in white fur. What I disliked most about the collection, though, was the air of virtue and sincercity. It wasn’t real. It was an exercise gone too far. And Browne has the goods. He has solid ideas.

February 4, 2007

Fashion Week Rules According to PR

LOVELOVELOVE it! She's hilarious. And I suppose there's a lot of wisdom behind all these "rules."

From Fashion Week Daily

Eye of the Storm
Kelly Cutrone lays down the Fashion Week rules


Sunday, February 04, 2007

(NEW YORK) Well, well, well, here we are, my friends. Fashion Week has begun, and frankly, I cannot believe the great lengths people will go to get on your radar, profile, and backstage speed dial. Therefore, I feel it is necessary to discuss what a fashion show is. A definition cannot be found in Webster's, Wikpedia, or the OED, so I will take it upon myself to define “fashion show.”

A fashion show is a live event whereby a designer invites guests, which include members of the press, retail buyers, and celebrities in an effort to increase their brand awareness, communicate their message, and ultimately drive sales. They employ models, producers, press offices, musical directors, dressers, caterers and more to help them manifest their vision for the season.

It is not:
1. A dating service
2. A self esteem-boosting rally
3. A non-profit event
4. A cocktail party
5. A content provider for your MySpace page
6. A networking social
7. Easy
8. Glamorous
9. A place to explain who you are and where you come from and why you are important in detail and at length

Rules of the back of house:
1. If you are a major player, you know it, and you will be treated as such.
2. If you are not a major player, remember that with every breath you draw, act respectfully—the PR person has decided to cut you a break. Act accordingly. When a producer/publicist asks something of you, go out on a limb and know deep in your heart they are doing their job and if they wanted to power trip, they would find a much more exciting way to do it.
3. Do not eat all of the food.
4. Do not shoot photos of 16-year-old girls as they are changing.
5. Do not eat or drink near the clothes.
6. Do not bring your cousin from Minneapolis with you and try to pass them off as an assistant.
7. Do not check in under the name of your boss as your boss.
8. Do not pretend to be someone you are not—literally, do not pretend to be Hamish Bowles, Carla Sozzani, or Anna Piaggi.
9. Do give people their space.
10. Do understand that PR person you are hugging, grabbing, or speaking to with your wine breath has met 50 versions of you already that day.
11. Do not complain about how tired you are or how horrible you were treated or how the PR company did not thank you for their Christmas card.
12. Do open your eyes and look around. Become excited that on this planet right now, at this very moment, despite what is happening, there are a group of people who care about beauty, are driven by its communication and celebration, and stand back and say, “Wow I am here—what a blessing. I will make the best of it.”

February 3, 2007

Designer Inspirations for Fall 07



From Women's Wear Daily - I wonder how much it shows in the clothes....

High Fidelity
By Tara Bonet-Black

The art of the mixed tape is now considered old hat, but those customized soundtracks had an unmistakable personal stamp. The iPod has made that once-daunting task a breeze, and nobody appreciates it more than designers. Here, a look at the playlists that inspired their fall 2007 collections.

Laura Poretzky, Abaete
Fall inspiration: "The songs are only similar in the way that they are very romantic, and at the same time sad."
Playlist: "Lover, You Should've Come Over" by Jeff Buckley; "Change Your Mind" by The Killers; "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane; "Disritimia" by Martinho da Vila; "Sometimes" by My Bloody Valentine

Akiko Ogawa
Fall inspiration: "Contemporary and traditional fusion and the existence of delicacy in strength. These classic and current bands coming out of Europe have inspired my fall/winter 2007 collection."
Top played bands: "The Smiths"; "Kasabian"; "Joy Division"; "Sigur Ros"

Stacey Bendet, Alice + Olivia
Fall inspiration: "Nouvelle Vague's 'This Is Not A Lovesong' reminds me of sitting at my friend Nick's restaurant and indie rock bar 'BC' in Paris. It makes me think of late nights, girls all in black, dark and sexy but in a quirky French way. During the day I think of a white button down with a super sleet short black jumper over it, sexy high leather boots, beret and very red lips strolling through the 6eme."
Playlist: "This Is Not A Lovesong" by Nouvelle Vague; "Madame Hollywood" by Felix Da Housecat; "You Can't Be Funky" by Bush Tetras; "Underdressed" by Stellastarr; "I Need Your Love" by The Rapture

Benjamin Cho
Playlist: "Seadrums" and "House of Sun" by Boredoms; "Over the Edge" by Wipers; "The Greatest" by Cat Power; "Vienna" by Ultravox; "Only You" by Yaz

Carlos Miele
Fall inspiration: "I've been listening to some experimental jazz and electronic music from the U.S. and Brazil among other places that bring me this idea of a real ‘urban diva’. This music reflects the collection and the show's soundtrack. This idea of sophisticated, artsy and international music that could be listened to by the woman I am designing for in New York, Paris or Sao Paulo."
Top played musicians: "Ambitious Lovers"; "Ricardo Villalobos"; "Ursula Rucker"; "Jimi Tenor"; "Annette Peacock"

Views to a Thrill: Designer Inspirations

From screen siren Monica Vitti to children's heroine Madeline - with a little Hunter S. Thompson thrown in - designers have tapped into all sorts of inspirations for the upcoming runway shows in New York.

"Actually, my sincerest affection is the seeds of my last collection, and now molding it into a different, slightly more streamlined kind of chic." - Benjamin Cho

"This season is a purely selfish collection, filled with whatever we wanted to wear." - Stephanie Doucette and Annebet Duvall, Doucette Duvall

"Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano." - Michon Schur

"As a Milan-based men's wear designer, my fall collection veers away from my men's with soft, sculpted volumes innate to women's dressing while retaining refined tailoring, monochromatic coloring and precise engineering." - Neil Barrett

"Man meets nature and incorporates high tech for mankind and environment...and of course, fashion." - John Patrick, Organic

"Using fluidity and motion, bright colors, graphic prints and reflective fabrics, the collection continues to explore the fusion of sport functionality, fashion elegance and craftsmanship." - Adidas and Yohji Yamamoto, Y-3

"The richness of colors from the Abstract Expressionist movement, particularly Helen Frankenthaler - her lifestyle and paintings - evoked an image of a beautiful girl clad in chiffon, painting away her emotional angst." - Wenlan Chia, Twinkle by Wenlan

Time compression.




Love this editorial from British Vogue. It's so close to a story that I want to do for my MA Project, and showcases the end of history and collapse of time within postmodern fashion really well. What does it mean to be 60's inspired now? 60's in the 60's? 60's in twenty years? Are we doomed to fluctuate between "reinvention" and a retro/false futurism?