Introducing…VFiles 2015

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We were so amped on what came out of VFiles’ FW’14 collections, of course The Pack is ready and set for VFiles Made Fashion SS’15. Yesterday they released the names of the four designers who will fill the coveted spots in the collective’s NYFW show. Last year’s designers ASSK, Hyein Seo and Melitta Baumeister have seen incredible growth in their lines since being featured in VFiles. They can all say bad bitches like Rihanna and CL rep their pieces—not a bad place to be for their first years out of design school.

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This season’s crop includes designers from around the globe, who each applied through the online contest forum. The VFiles tastemakers also added members to their team of mentors and coaches this season. Vogue editor-at-large Candy Pratts Price, Calvin Klein menswear creative director Italo Zucchelli, and stylist Mel Ottenberg will round out the program’s leadership.

Keep these names close, you’ll want to remember them to boast “before they were famous” stories.

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Abstract Parallel


Full disclosure: his handwriting is carved into my arm forever. Much of the visual culture I consume gets me rolling back to his work. Cy Twombly came to me via my attempts to tag Toronto in my late teens and early twenties. Freely scrawled, abstract and discomforting to critics, his paintings overwhelm in the best way with massive canvas and repetition. Some sects of graffiti worship him; I’m of that camp.

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Rear Window Aesthetic

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I’ve watched Hitchcock’s Rear Window more times than I’d like to admit. My obsession has more to do with Grace Kelly’s clothes in the film than anything else. I’ve spent hours pouring over analyses of Edith Head’s costuming in film since I first saw the infamous close-up of Kelly leaning in to wake the incapacitated Jimmy Stewart with a kiss. The story that follows is that of Lisa Freemont and LB Jefferies, “a beautiful young girl and a reasonably healthy young man,” as his nurse Stella calls them. The very Hitchcockian tale unfolds into how a menial fixation with observing his neighbours while healing a broken leg, spirals into a suspenseful mystery.

I’ve never thought much of the gender dynamics in the film, because 1954, but for some reason last night I got to stewing.

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This is West Queen West S.O.S.

You know the one, the dress you copped at Nordstrom Rack while you were on vacation with your cousin in Florida. It was 80 per cent off, Diane Von Furstenberg, and after wearing it to a few weddings, lives in the forgotten abyss of your closet. I have pieces like this, ones I adore, but neglect.

Until April 28 with Jonathan and Olivia, you can breathe new life into these much-loved pieces with the help of the folks at CAMH. Suits Me Fine is a program within the centre allowing clients to pick out clothing free of charge for job interviews, special events, and of course day-to-day life. You can be a part by bringing your gently used designer pieces by J+O who will then bring the haul across the street to CAMH. In exchange for your piece, the store will grant you a 10 per cent discount for the entire week of the drive.

I am completely enamored by the work Suits Me Fine does. For 20 years the boutique has offered free clothing and personal items to CAMH clients. To top it off, red carpets roll out each year for their fashion show featuring 25 clients donning outfits they’ve styled themselves with their looks from Suits Me Fine. Their celebration of individuality is contagious. As someone who has worked in retail and aesthetics, I know the power clothing can have in shifting someone’s energy from trying on a new piece. Those who donate to the program can feel lucky to be even a small part of someone’s feeling of transformation.

I’ll be donating a floral Betsey Johnson summer dress and a bobbled Marc by Marc charm bracelet … so far. How about you?

Visit the Jonathan and Olivia boutique, 49 Ossington Ave., from Monday April 22 to Sunday April 28 to add to the clothing drive. Keep in mind Suits Me Fine accepts all types of clothing donations whether designer or not throughout the year. Please feel free to stop by CAMH with gently used items at any time.

Photo courtesy of Jonathan and Olivia

Party all night

This month’s Foundry series is taking The Pack dancing almost every weekend through the start of April. No rookies to the dance floor, we thought we’d share some tips for looking fly all night.


Note: some practical beauty tips. One of the best things about nights like these is allowing your focus to blur and letting go of ritual beauty you might subscribe to during your day-to-day life. It’s cool if your hair is frizzier than normal. Listen to the music and let it be cathartic.

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GHE2OGOTH1K in Toronto


Hosting Venus X in Toronto is beyond anything I can comprehend. Elated is one of the many feelings I am able to articulate into words. I look up to the people behind the GHE2O GOTH1K parties with the shadow of a high school crush. I never thoughts they’d migrate north to us. Started by Venus X in 2009 along with her friend Shayne Oliver (Hood By Air), the parties have evolved into a movement. The energy of the phenomenon is infectious and the party personalities articulate themselves through fashion. Their hashtag mottos on their tumblr include:




The tastemakers showcased and encouraged artists like Kelela, Arca, the A$AP Mob, Tan Boys, Le1f, and of course clothing lines like Hood By Air. The women of The Pack were out last night at the Toronto invasion of GHE2O GOTH1K. Click more for some snaps we looked to for outfit inspiration.

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Hood By Air FW’14

Hood By Air designer Shayne Oliver dedicated FUCCBOI, the short film accompanying his FW’14 line, to “all the FUCCBOIs who shred the status quo with aggression and lush energies.” Legendary already at age 26, Oliver has stuck to his agenda since HBA’s inception in 2006. Repping his world is Oliver’s work, and it’s created a culture of fandom. Stemming from the marginalization of subcultures during the explosion of bottle clubs in New York, Oliver and his friends started throwing GHE20GOTH1K parties to encourage the city’s disparate cliques to meld for one night. It was there that Oliver began conceptualizing his line, fostering relationships and developing looks by gaining inspiration from those he’d meet. In recent years the line has received attention from a wider audience through being tied to new style icons and associated with A$AP Rocky and Been Trill brands of cool. But his celebrity associations aren’t simple corporate collaborations, through knowledge of the history behind Oliver’s designs, they feel authentic. A$AP’s mob attend GHE20GOTH1K raves, and two members were in Oliver’s lookbook back in 2008.The perceived overnight success of the brand means that new fans may lack an awareness of his longstanding work, understanding the work on an entirely different level. FUCCBOI and HBA’s runway presentations help to educate these masses on the subversive essence of the brand, dispelling any assumptions that HBA is just another logo fad.

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The Row RTW 14

Damn, The Row gave slouch some grace. Unsurprising given the designers’ predilection for the silhouette. What are the Olsen’s known for if not their brand of frumpy elegance? More than 6 years into their design partnership, the sisters seem to have returned to their roots, turning desire into action. They started attracting attention cloaking their bodies in layers on the street and have managed to shape their line into a digestible reflection of that personal aesthetic. Their designs are charismatic and it’s safe to say their presence in the fashion world doesn’t have to be so tightly calculated anymore. The monastic slouchy knit overflowed in New York and London from Edun’s stunning use of texture to Jason Wu, Paul Smith and Rachel Comey.

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