Dice Kayek Couture 2015

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With great simplicity comes great responsibility, said by nobody ever except me. But hey, it makes sense. When a brand’s specialty is monochromatic ensembles consisting of one, at most, two items, the designer must ensure what’s there is impeccable, and find more creative ways of wowing fashion journalists and the wealthy patrons who sustain their business. For Paris-based Turkish label Dice Kayek, which began as a 15-piece collection of white poplin shirts, one of the ways they impress the fashion world is through their focus on architectural minimalism. Their recent couture collection in Paris featured darling baby doll dresses in monochrome and jewel tones, cut and assembled in exaggerated hourglass shapes. Sister designers Ece and Ayşe Ege utilized heavier, sensuous fabrics like silk gabardine and wool to construct origami pleats, trumpet sleeves, and intimidating shoulders. These dramatic accents did a number on the sweetness of the girly dresses, giving the models a quiet power and a beauty that’s, at times, otherworldly.

Images via Dazed Digital

Dior Haute Couture 2015

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As if a collection that looks like a glittery rainbow threw up all over it could be this elegant, sophisticated, and precise. But of course. It’s Raf Simons. The man, the myth, the visionary presented his Dior couture collection in Paris this past Monday, and it made a a massive impression on me. Dior, as one of the oldest French fashion houses, has long been synonymous with feminine style. Raf Simons, on the other hand, spent much of his career as a menswear designer and later on as creative director at the austerely minimalist Jil Sander. When the LVMH Group named Simons the new creative director of Dior in 2012 to replace Galliano after that whole anti-Semitism debacle, the fashion world regarded it with the same level of apprehension that they gave to news of Galliano’s recent appointment as creative director at Margiela. However, in the three years since his career change, Simons has proven himself to be quite adept at respecting the Dior brand and legacy, season after season, while still staying true to his own values and aesthetics as an avant garde designer.

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What this translates into for this particular season is a strong sense of futurism in familiar, lady-like shapes. Like a successful self-made businesswoman from the year 2095 (or so I imagine), the Dior woman of this collection isn’t afraid to experiment with style references from decades’ past and combine them using modern techniques and materials to create something new. She’s also into cool updos like this mystifying doorknocker ponytail that I still can’t quite figure out. The colourful vinyl go-go boots with cage-like heels reminded me of an updated Jetsons costume piece. The printed plastic coats might send couture purists into a disapproving frenzy, but it’s 2015. Let’s move on to newer, more interesting materials, shall we? The pleated rainbow chiffon skirts of the first couple of looks made my jaw drop with its obviously flawless craftsmanship, and the sequined 60s-inspired dress paired with a floor length coat was a mind-blowing ode to Edie Sedgwick.

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 This is a collection that grows more stunning the more you stare at it. To be frank, my immediate reaction was one of bewilderment. It’s a lot to take in. But the complexity of the layers and details form a bigger picture that’s ultimately unforgettable.

What did you guys think of it?

Images via style.com

Find me in the light

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Wearing cropped knit and ripped jeans by Topshop, vintage fur coat and leather backpack

I’ve been sitting on these photos for far too long. My life is currently a clusterfuck of plans and responsibilities so you’ll have to be patient with me for a bit longer. Taken before Christmas and before my massive hair change, these were shot on a rare sunny Saturday. I was feeling especially daring that day and frolicked in the cold san-scarf while baring plenty of midriff and knees. To be honest with you, I find most crop tops in high street stores too cropped, this olive-coloured one from Topshop being a particularly egregious example. Paired with an oversized coat, though, the ensemble turns a few shades more modest. Just think of it as my Kim K. look, ok?

Looking at these pics, I can’t help but feel an intense nostalgia for my natural dark hair. I am a scaredy cat by nature, terrified of change and comforted by repetition and sameness. Needless to say, bleaching my hair was a decision that took several years for me to act on. It is absolutely not an act I regret, and I’m sure you would agree with me too as soon as I get around to posting a before and after pic. But seeing my once softly-tousled waves that barely took 5 minutes to style…it’s hard not to feel envious of my former self.

All photos shot by Karolyne Ellacott and edited by The Pack

Mood Lift

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Perhaps I’m sick of winter and the lack of greenery, but I’m really feeling plants these days. I love the clean lines of the leaves when they’re photographed, and the intricate patterns of its shadow on a sunlit floor. My goal is to start with just one and try really hard to not let it die. A number of these photos serve as excellent motivation to always remember to water my future fern. Taken from a variety of different fashion and art publications, these images are striking not just because of the clothes in them. Pro tip: Montreal’s Editorial Magazine is a great place to find stunning and unusual photography, fashion or otherwise. Printed quarterly and distributed in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, NYC, and Tokyo, Editorial is fast becoming one of my favourite publications ever, which makes the fact that it’s Canadian all the more pleasantly surprising. Check out their Shoot the Breeze section, where they profile young and established photographers alike, with plenty of right-click-and-save fodder.

Images via Bullett mag, Editorial mag, Dazed Digital, Oyster mag, Double Dot mag, Sunnei, Givenchy, Jil Sander, Isabelle Chapuis, and Tumblr.

London Menswear 2015

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The London Collections: Men came and went during the second weekend of January. How blessed we are for it. I have been stressing over an ungodly amount of post-holiday work while battling a silly but persistent cold, so blogging has, sadly, taken a bit of a backseat. You can imagine my happiness in seeing collections like the ones included here—why, the posts just write themselves!

For J.W.Anderson‘s ridiculously good menswear collection, there would no doubt be a word or two about the 70s style references. Just look at the teddy bear mohair coat, the velour lounge suit, the flamboyantly-hued leather, the cropped shearling jackets….sorry, I’ll stop. I could mention the dandified swagger of the models, equal parts Dorian Gray and Huggy Bear from Starsky and Hutch. An unusual combination, no doubt, but this was an unusual collection for an usual man, unafraid of bending the sartorial rules a little. Shall we take bets on how long before Kanye makes a public appearance with Kim in that insane gradient coat in the last look? Bonus points if he wears the whole look.

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Nasir Mazhar came up around the same time as everyone in the fashion world became obsessed with logos, high performance sportswear, and streetwear, which is no coincidence since his creations had a huge part in this tide change. For FW15, I was relieved to see that he’d moved on from the logo obsession. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and a visionary knows when to move on. I like that he worked with classic sportswear shapes, but manufactured them with high-shine and metallic fabrics, even playing with proportions in the quilted puffy jackets. The looks are masculine and rugged, made more for an underground club than a bottle-service lounge. But in spite of its ruggedness—like almost everything Nasir Mazhar has produced so far in his career—its appeal doesn’t speak to only men. I (and lots of other women too) would absolutely wear everything here.

Images via style.com

Sunnei SS15

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art direction: Loris Messina & Simone Rizzo
photographer: Amandine Paulandré
stylist: Alessia Vanini
location Villa Taverna, Como

Italian menswear brand SUNNEI recently presented their fall winter 2015 collection at Pitti Uomo. This week they travel to Milan for the influential WHITE Trade Show. For a brand only in its second season, Sunnei has already earned a lot of love for its high quality garments and lowkey luxury. High Snobiety even named it one of the 15 most interesting brands to watch at WHITE this year.

In fashion, luxury is often associated with glitz, rocks, and over-the-top extravagance. But it’s my belief that the most luxurious thing about a garment is how comfortable it feels to wear it. Whether it’s the quality of the fabric, or the cut of the design, true luxury is feeling comfortable in your clothes while still looking elegant as fuck.

The brand’s SS15 collection, see above, is a prime example of this. Made from denim, textured cotton, linen, and other fine organic textiles, the collection includes easy summer suits, well-cut denim jackets, and plenty of white. I love the subtle sportiness of the clothes as well, but in a completely different way than the American sportiness of Nike and HBA. The looks are clean, effortless, and well-balanced—perfect for lazy days on the Mediterranean or a quiet afternoon at a fancy Italian villa.

Images via SUNNEI

His ‘n’ Hers

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Still, I was able to scope out some stylish women in there as well, or in the case of the first photo, a stylish man in a killer woman’s coat (by The Pack favourite, Hyein Seo). What I love about street style at Pitti Uomo is how little showgoers care about heteronormative dressing. Women come decked out in three-piece suits, while men aren’t shy about donning a skirt. Of course, there’s still lots of men in traditional double-breasted jackets and wingtips. This is Italy, after all. But don’t worry, I left those out for your convenience. 🙂

Images via Tommy Ton

John Galliano for Maison Martin Margiela

margiela1 margiela2 margiela3 1104028Hear that? That’s the sound of the fashion world taking a collective sigh of relief after John Galliano’s long-anticipated debut collection for Maison Martin Margiela unveiled yesterday, off-schedule, during London’s Menswear Collections. The internet was abuzz with endless appearances of #MargielaMonday and praise for the Basquiat-evoking Artisanal collection. Journalists and commentators expressed pleasant surprise at the results of the unlikely pairing, applauding the famed (and disgraced) designer’s artful execution of Margiela’s deconstructionist techniques and use of found objects, while still remaining faithful to his trademark opulence.

I was wary of this partnership from the get-go. Aside from his penchant for racist remarks, Galliano didn’t strike me as the most obvious fit for Margiela. Of course, fashion revels in unexpected combinations, and I wasn’t prepared to write this off based on a weird sense of protectiveness I felt towards Margiela and what little I knew of John Galliano’s rich history as a designer. After seeing the collection, my initial reaction was bewilderment, which was soon followed by intrigue. No, this isn’t exactly the Margiela we knew before. But is that a bad thing? As much as I love the hyper-clinical minimalism and androgyny that’s synonymous with Margiela, true growth involves venturing off brand from time to time. There were moments in the collection that veered a little too far off-course—the fishnet stockings and black bustier of the third look made me feel physically ill—but there were also moments that showed incredible promise. Especially stunning was the red coat with a 3D face on the front made from conch shells and acrylic paint. The floor length velvet column dress appealed to my personal tastes the most—apparently the back is even more jaw-dropping. I loved the models’ disheveled hairdos and the dainty pearls decorating their noses. And of course, that insane final look with the most intricate (and very Margiela) skull mask, making the model look like a beautiful, mummified queen.

To the unobservant, the Margiela connection in these garments isn’t immediately clear. After all, Galliano’s grand flourishes and ostentatiousness are hard to ignore. But a closer look reveals Galliano’s thoughtful hand in the construction of the clothes and in the execution of the cult brand’s core values. It’s clear that the designer did his homework. There are still some kinks to work out, but the important thing is that I’m anticipating, instead of dreading, what Galliano has in store for us at Maison Martin Margiela.

What did you think about the show? Be sure to comment below with your thoughts!

Images via The Cut

Pastel Pairings: Ally Capellino SS15

329131 329128 329140 329137Recently I made a rather drastic change: I bleached my virgin black hair and made it light blonde. Far from being an impulsive person, I have been planning this transformation for over a year now. And by “planning”, I mean gathering my courage. Although I’m still learning to love it on me 100% of the time, I have no doubt in my mind that this was the right decision. Photos to follow shortly!

Looking at London-based brand Ally Capellino‘s SS15 lookbook, I can’t help but dream up further adventures in hair colour. Perhaps sherbety pink in April, icy blue in July. Shot by Agnes Lloyd Platt (her Instagram is amazing), the photos combine ice cream hued accessories punctuated with black accents and pastel-shaded hairdos. I love the tonal colour blocking and the use of bold lines. The result is simple but striking, which makes me wanna own the bags and the ‘dos.

Images via AnOther mag

In the press

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Guys, we made it. Remember that Thom Browne cocktail party I went to back when the temperature was still above zero? Well, my super lowkey, extra baggy outfit was photographed and ended up on the pages of Fashion magazine’s February issue. I’m pretty surprised, but not for the reason you’d think. Neither myself nor Karolyne are socialites, unlike most of the ladies photographed on this page. Our backpacks (not pictured) cost less than $50 total from the local thrift store. My raw-hemmed top was frayed by myself.

But what we lack in expensive duds, we more than make up for in creativity and panache. Thank you, Fashion mag, for recognizing it too!

Images via Fashion magazine