We first sang the praises of The Row back in February during the AW 2015 ready-to-wear collections. The designers and former child stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen stunned fashion journos and socialites with their cozy and elegant pieces. Not since Raf Simons’ Jil Sander and Phoebe Philo’s Céline has understated refinement been so powerful.
Of course there was a sense from the beginning of the twins’ fashion careers that they were much more than your cookie cutter celebrity designer. Launching The Row in 2006 and the contemporary clothing line Elizabeth and James in 2007, the twins’ success has been driven by Ashley’s business acumen and Mary-Kate’s creativity and eye for modern designs. In 2011 the Olsens also branched out into members-only e-commerce with Stylemint.com. Much like 90s’ mail order book clubs and American Girl doll clubs, subscribers get exclusive dibs on new items monthly at budget friendly prices. In the case of Stylemint, items include T-shirts and other basics, all designed by Mary-Kate and Ashley.
Judging by the sisters’ creative output across all three of their clothing lines, it’s clear that they’re obsessed with elevating the often-forgotten basic. In an industry that has a tendency to favour showstopping maximalism over simplicity, it’s easy to see why perfecting a T-shirt or trousers might seem like a dull and fruitless endeavour. Not so for the Olsens. More than anything, luxury for the Olsens is defined by quality and timelessness, and probably comfort too. This means The Row’s Resort 2015 collection is full of sumptuous fabrics like wool, linen, mohair, and cashmere, cut in easy-to-wear and feminine (but not girly) silhouettes. Waists are cinched to emphasize the female shape, but done so nonchalantly with bathrobe-like sashes as opposed to their uptight cousin, the structured belt. Footwear is kept classic, while the below-the-knee hemline is modest by most women’s standards. More than being timeless, these garments and their hemlines are also ageless, appealing to a broad range of generations. On first look, you probably wouldn’t wear these pieces on your next Tinder mission, but I’m arguing that you should. As covered-up as the ensembles are, there’s no denying how beautiful they make the female body look.
Discovering Australian label PAGEANT was the only thing that made a very hungover Friday worth getting up for. Perhaps my life is sad and I need to learn to be a better adult. Or perhaps, PAGEANT is just that good. As a newly converted stan, I’d definitely say it’s the latter. Let your eyes gaze with awe and wonder at their Autumn Winter 2015 collection, and you will no doubt feel the same.
Founded in 2010 by designers Amanda Cumming and Kate Reynolds, PAGEANT demonstrates its artistry in both men and womenswear. Cumming and Reynolds have collaborated with tons of Pack-endorsed artists and designers like SHOWstudio’s Lucy Schroder, SIBLING, Dis Magazine, and Melbourne minimal bass band HTRK. It was when I caught wind of a collaborated capsule collection between HTRK and PAGEANT that I first discovered the indie clothing label. Thanks, i-D! Based on the concept behind HTRK’s current record Psychic 9-5 Club, the collection is the perfect integration of functionality and elevated streetwear and includes Ts, sweatshirts, and a very special bomber jacket inspired by 1980’s Chinatown gangs. Only 500 were made so grab one before they’re all bought by me.
Much like their collab with HTRK, PAGEANT’s AW2015 aesthetic is all about wearable sporty streetwear, produced from high quality technical fabrics. The pair plays with volume and warps the fabrics, which lends a freshness to the impeccably-styled looks. The sad news is the line isn’t currently available outside of Australia. But you can feel free to email the designers or your local Opening Ceremony.
All images by Oyster magazine
Wearing vintage kimono & backpack, Nike sports bra, Champion bike shorts, & Blink sandals
This past weekend was NXNE in the city, and as usual I scheduled to do/see way too much in 4 very short days with little consideration of kinda important things like eating and sleeping. As a result, I missed several acts that I was dying to see (still don’t wanna talk about the fact that I missed Kelela…twice). But nothing will take away from my first day of NXNE, during which I saw Le1f, Omar Souleyman, and Pusha T, all while chilling on Toronto Island among friends, summertime foliage, and unlimited free liquor. As part of Vice magazine’s annual NXNE party, the event was free to get in and the best one yet, possibly of all time. I have a hard time imagining any future party rivalling one during which I got to chill with hero, Le1f, and was told by said hero that my outfit was fly. Between sets I snapped pics of other flyly-dressed and cigarettes-adorned girls and boys—shout out to Nike—and picked a few favourites for ye olde blog. I love how most of these “festival outfits” look so unfestival-like. Must be a Toronto thing.
Images by aerielist & Lauren Mitchell
I stumbled upon Ukranian designer Ksenia Schnaider’s SS2014 collection on the same night as I went to see Veronica Vasicka play the Edward Day Gallery for NXNE and found it to be a bit of a serendipitous click. Ksenia Schnaider’s Spring/Summer aesthetic is simple and clinical, titled “Protection” and referencing the defensive utility of uniforms. They describe their designs as simple, conscious, and timeless, aiming to last its wearers years instead of mere seasons. I saved links to KS’ apron-cut looks and ran off to dance to Veronica Vasicka’s impeccable selections all night. Vasicka is the founder of Minimal Wave Records, the label under which she re-issues and unearths previously unreleased synth acts from the 80s and helms a large part of the art direction and design. She also manages Cititrax where she releases contemporary electronic artists. A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and life-long crate digger, Vasicka’s output is the culmination of her love of underground subcultures of the 80s and classic minimal new wave design ideals. In my head her selections soundtrack Ksenia Schnaider’s minimal designs.
May and June have seen a slew of graduating fashion shows and I couldn’t be happier about it. Yes, the chance to watch young designers explore their artistic visions using high-tech practices and the help of industry leaders is always a delight. But when the designers are from one of the world’s most renowned fashion programs, led by a super influential professor, the resulting collections are many many cuts above your average fashion & textiles grad show. This year marked the departure of Professor Wendy Dagworthy OBE, who’s been the head of Royal College of Art’s Fashion MA program since 1998. During that time, she’s been a mentor to designers like Erdem, Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, and Chloé’s Clare Waight Keller. No big deal. Her impact can be seen throughout the 30 menswear and womenswear collections: fabric manipulation, avant-garde silhouettes, and playing with gender norms. I picked a few of my favourite womenswear collections, and you can check them out after the jump. Click here for a full slideshow of all the look from the collections.
Wearing: Zara white leather skirt and pink anorak, Durumi mesh button down, AA jelly shoes
Apparently there is a way to get ready in the morning in under 30 minutes and still look fresh as a pearl. Simply accumulate a collection of white clothing in a variety of fabrics, thoughtfully combine, repeat. No doubt this has been my M.O. all summer, and because of this I feel I may have robbed you, my devoted readers, of a dazzling array of ensembles in every colour of the rainbow. But what my outfits lack in colour, they more than make up for in fabric selection. Today’s look was brought to you by the materials leather, PVC jelly, and some form of stiff perforated cotton that feels and hangs like a burlap sack. Ideal for chilling in the cracker isle.
Photos by Eric Davis