Soft Armour

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There are few things more comforting and practical than a wool sweater in the middle of a very wet and cold November. Here are a few current favourites that go with absolutely everything. Much like these, 90% of my own knitwear collection is white, grey, or black. Paired with denim or leather or soft wool trousers, you can never ever go wrong.

All knits by COS & Zady

WMCFW: Days 3 & 5

DSC_0433 DSC_0438 DSC_0446On day 3 of World Mastercard Fashion Week, I checked out Mackage‘s Fall Winter 2015 collection. Having just attended the Marques’Almeida/TOME/Kaelen party at The Room, I was already a few wines deep and halfway to happytown. This turned out to be a good state to be in while attending a fashion show. Despite being underwhelmed with the predictable procession of outerwear, I still enjoyed myself immensely.

mackage-1 mackage-2 mackage-3Designers Eran Elfassy and Elisa Dahan have built a successful brand on a foundation of well-made but stylistically unremarkable coats. This is not a diss necessarily. As a commercial brand, the ability to move merchandise in large numbers should be top priority. And when it comes to coat-shopping, wearability and practicality are major determinant factors. For their Fall Winter 2015 collection, there were lots of motifs we’ve seen from past seasons in New York and Paris. Trends like fringe, shearling, and fur were all touched on. I was especially impressed with the quilted parka and trousers, which looked both cozy and stylish.

mackage-4 mackage-5 DSC_0511The Malorie Urbanovitch FW15 collection was a pleasant surprise. A new presence at the tents this year, Urbanovitch’s colourful, playful knits were a welcome respite from the monochrome/leather/eveningwear that seem to flood Toronto Fashion Week season after season. I liked the all over knit sets and obsessed over the orange suede skirt and turquoise coat & skirt set.

3.Paradis was also a new player at this season’s fashion week, and their brand of edgy menswear was appealing, albeit somewhat derivative. The leather bomber with white fur across the front was beautifully made, and the tailoring on the monochrome looks were impeccable. Where the collection faltered, in my opinion, were the striped ensembles. Done sparingly, it lent the garments a graphic pop of colour. But when applied all over, it felt cartoonish (and also UK flag-ish) in its execution. I also wasn’t a fan of the oxygen masks. Not only has this clinical accessory been used better many times before, its presence in the 3.Paradis show also felt like more of an afterthought. In press releases, designers Emeric Tchatchoua and Raymond Cheung talked about lab coats and dystopian hospitals as influences for their collection, so I get why the masks are there. I just wish they looked less slapped on and more integrated into the ensembles.

Click after the jump for photos from the Malorie Urbanovitch and 3.Paradis shows!

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Breaking Bounds

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Model: Aida
Styling: Marian Nachmia
Photography: Simon Steenberg
Appeared in: Pitch-Present

Graduates of the London College of Fashion’s womenswear program, the designers behind SHUSHU/TONG, Liushu Lei & Yutong Jiang, are inspired by that sweet spot between streetwear grunge and high-end, department store tailoring. They design for the “modern naughty girl”: part contemporary art history scholar, part Paz de la Huerta. I’m not sure if I qualify as a “modern naughty girl”, but I can tell you that I definitely want to be one after laying eyes on this editorial, pulled from Pitch zine’s companion website, Pitch-Present. I still adore the baggy pants look, especially when paired with chunky sandals and shrunken baby pink turtlenecks. It reminds me of Bongo Jeans’ ads from the 90s, updated and recontextualized for contemporary audiences.

You can check out more of SHUSHU/TONG’s designs over on their Tumblr, and get inspired by everything Pitch-Present has to offer here.


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Model: Marie
Styling: Christina Van Zon
Photography: Lara Alegre
Appeared in: Vein magazine

So much talent in this big wide world, or so it seems, especially at 3am when I should be asleep but instead I’ve been sucked into a deep Tumblr rabbit hole. I’m often surprised that despite all the hyperbolic warnings about the end of print publishing, the frequency at which new fashion magazines are poppin’ up doesn’t appear to be waning. There are people out with with a passion so consuming and a vision so singular, they would dedicate their time and energy and hard-earned day job salary to this beautiful, perhaps meaningless pursuit.

Sometimes I forget that’s sort of what we’re chasing after too.

Vein magazine is a Spanish fashion publication dedicated to “the celebration of youth, independence, and freedom”, whatever that means. I think the more important thing is that their editorials are bitchin’. Published by Barcelona’s ABHFYA and with the financial support of H&M Studios, Vein releases four times a year and enlists creatives from all over Europe, including my current obsession, Berlin stylist Christina Van Zon. Everything about this editorial works—the use of sharp angles and lines in the photography, delicate flower petals that reflect the voluminous layers of the clothes, the subdued tones, the quiet beauty of the model. Good work like this inspires me to keep following my dreams, and yes, to also put on my most shapeless sweaters and coats.

Fun with textures

close-knit-6 close-knit-5 close-knit-4 close-knit-3 close-knit-2 close-knit-1There is something deliciously perverse about thick layers of knit stripped away to reveal naked, alabaster skin. Perhaps it’s because sweaters have never been thought of as a particularly sexy garment. They’re that thick and nubby outer layer your mom made you wear in the weeks after October hit, likely embroidered with an unsightly print.

Of course, thoughtful styling and beautiful editorials are impactful because they subvert our expectations, and the way designers and stylists are using sweaters this season is a long way from how your mom dressed you in them when you were a kid. The sweater dressing of now, as seen in this recent editorial from Tank magazine, and on the runways of The Row, Edun, and Calvin Klein, are elegant, dramatic, and usually monochrome. No longer interested in merely knitting tops, designers are going all sorts of wacky and applying the cozy texture to everything from skirts to dresses to pants. Us Northerners with the insane winters couldn’t be happier about it.

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Something I’ve had to come to terms with in recent years: when your wardrobe consists of primarily blacks, whites, and neutrals, you have to get a little creative when injecting your winter wardrobe with a lil’ zest. You can wear comically large pants with tiny tops. You can channel Lenny Kravitz and wear a scarf that’s dangerously close to swallowing you whole. Or you can opt for a subtler technique and play with contrasting textures in your ensembles.

There probably isn’t a texture more different from the cozy knitwear than the decidedly un-cozy, industrial polyethylene. While the sweater is essential for colder seasons, experts aren’t quite sure what seasons polyethylene, otherwise known as the common plastic, is most suitable for. What is known is that polyethylene looks dope when draped effortlessly, its sheen both delightfully tacky and attention grabbing. If you’re into fashion trolling the public with your outfits, try pairing a luxurious cashmere cardigan with a dress that looks suspiciously like a garbage bag.

This mini editorial, also copped from Tankreminded me of a summertime favourite, my Jeremy Laing polyethylene dress. I will report back with pics once I figure out an elegant way of wearing shower curtains in November.

Images via Tank

Knit Envy


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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