Knit Envy

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Now that Fashion Month is officially over, I feel like I can finally take my time looking at the shows and really process the collections. Christopher Lemaire’s collection in Paris for AW 2014 wasn’t one of the most talked-about shows, but it certainly stood out to me as one of the most memorable. The glamour and seductiveness of the Lemaire woman managed to show through, despite layers upon layers of yak wool, knit leg warmers, and dark raw denim. Though not as slouchy as The Row, Lemaire’s version of sweater dressing was no less arresting. Bonus points for the perfectly-matched culottes.

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Sid Neigum AW14

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Sid Neigum on the inspiration behind his AW14 collection for Toronto Fashion Week:

 “The collection was inspired by packaging design. From a technical standpoint, the mission for this collection was to make garments out of one piece of fabric and have it fold, wrap and twist in such a way that it creates a complete piece. The body became the object and the garment became the packaging. I started by stripping the garment construction down – eliminating anything that wasn’t absolutely necessary. The result is a 2 dimensional form which is then laser cut, folded and wrapped to create the piece.”

I was fortunate to experience Sid Neigum’s AW14 collection in person today at David Pecault Square. Set to eerie Hitchcockian strings, the show was an intriguing start to this year’s World Mastercard Fashion Week. Featuring some stunningly architectural looks and some drapier pieces that were less flattering, the collection was strongest when the garment floated around the model’s bodies, barely hugging her limbs and giving them plenty of room to breathe. The shape of these cocoon layers combined with the stiff high necks gave the models a don’t-fuck-with-me stateliness that was very badass Queen, very Maleficent. Come to think of it, with all the crucifix keyholes, terracotta hues, and tattered hems that resembled mini peasant robes (not to mention the full gold get-up), this was a collection that seemed deeply rooted in antiquity.

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Foundry

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aerielist wears Urban Outfitters crop top and vintage cheerleader skirt / lolitawoolf wears American Apparel bathing suit under thrifted mesh jersey / shhrug wears mesh T and boyfriend jeans

In a deliberately unblogger and quintessentially Pack sort of way, our third group style post features photos taken on Lolitawoolf’s phone, in the bathroom of a night club, and includes a new friend we’d made while waiting in line to empty our bladders. Week 1 of Foundry got off to a sweaty, dizzying start, and the three of us were more than overjoyed that it was finally here (City of Toronto be damned). Click here for an excellent mix of tunes by all of the Foundry artists that’s played or are about to play in the coming weeks, as selected and mixed by mr. shhrug, arche. This is required listening, especially if you’re curious about the month-long series but don’t know where to start.

FW Trend Watch: Layered Bustiers


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L-R: Jacquemus; J.W. Anderson; Marni

Bustiers layered over or inlaid in modest tops were a mini trend seen prominently at J.W. Anderson, Yang Li, and Iris van Herpen. Each of the designers matched this pairing with long, bulky, monochromatic skirts for a commanding overall look. At Jacquemus and Marni the layered bustiers and bandeaus were one-offs, but styled in a strikingly similar way with baggy skirts and practical shoes. The  usual vampy sex appeal of corseting details is absorbed by layers of rigid  fabrics in each of the designers’ efforts. Even Jaqcuemus’ more youthful rendition sees a sheer fabric underlay take the form of a billowing turtleneck that does not distract from an overall  minimalist slacker vibe.

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Selfie vs. Street Style

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Wearing: Vintage cheerleader skirt and leather bucket backpack courtesy of Three Fates, thrifted reversible men’s jacket courtesy of Common Sort, Zara turtleneck and ankle boots, Topshop leather T,  No Fun toque

Confused duck face aside, I was pleased to have gotten snapped by Fashion Magazine’s Stefania Yarhi outside of the Storys Building, a.k.a. unofficial home of the shOws for their AW14 presentations. As someone with a serious lack of body and facial awareness (and still trying to get used to having my pictures taken), I find it interesting to see how differently an image of a person can be constructed by an observer versus the self. And also how much better I can look with the help of a mirror.

The ShOws AW14 – Day 2

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Day 2 of the shOws featured some very unwelcomed guests: buckets upon buckets of snow. “Lousy Smarch weather“, as they say. Dedicated showgoers like myself trudged on regardless, dead-set on seeing some fresh Canadian talent and maybe scope out some well-dressed model babes. Not everyone felt the same, judging by the noticeably sparse studio space. This bode well for me and my reliably crappy camera phone, as I snapped an endless succession of blurry-faced but impeccably-dressed beauties, my line of sight unobstructed by stray sock buns or fashionably large hats.

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The ShOws AW14 – Day 1

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The concept of the shOws—to give young emerging designers without the capital to show at World Mastercard Fashion Week the opportunity to present to industry insiders—is very near and dear to us here at The Pack. As a group of fashion writers and enthusiasts, The Pack has always been more interested in the unconventional, envelope-pushing peripheries of fashion. And any fashion show producer that gives fresh new talents the chance to show their collections to fashion journalists, bloggers, buyers, and stylists completely free of charge is pretty much a hero to us.

Since the program’s inception in 2011, Paola Fullerton, the producer behind the shOws, has shown young designers like Jeremy Laing and Mark Fast. Both have since experienced tremendous success here in Canada and in the international fashion world. This year, the designers showcasing their AW14 collections are also Canadian bred and internationally endorsed.

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Esther Leslie on Fashion

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 AnOther Magazine interviews Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics, Birkbeck College:

“Fashion, as soon as it is brought to the world, it is already dying, picked up with everybody, and then losing its energy. Therefore, it always tends towards death, whereas style maintains itself. It is the inimitable, which stays apart from things.”

“I’m fascinated with the notion of the material. Assuming that there is a relationship between fashion and material, that leads us to the notion of materialism, and historical materialism. It fascinates me that Marx talks so much about fashion in Capital, and in other works. There is the condemnation of fashion as this meaningless, murderous caprice, particularly through the way it is so immersed in the factory system. The idea that the word “fabric” comes from the German for “factory”, Fabrik, shows how important textile production was in the definition of capitalism. There is that strong material element that interests Marx so much, and also Benjamin, who identifies fashion with reification, and deadliness. At the same time, let us think of the metaphorical resonances of fashion: the Benjaminian notion that, through fashion, something of a utopia might be possible. These notions help us think of how fashion can help disrupt the linear conception of history, and not to exist in the now, as we are required to be.”

(Photos: ‘Young Blood’ by Fumi Nagasaka via AnOther Magazine)