Vetements Spring Summer 2016

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Vetements, fashion’s new label du jour, has had a bit of a banner year. Finalist in this year’s LVMH Prize for Young Designers, hyped to shit by literally everyone in fashion, hugely responsible for the super long and baggy trend, and co-signs from both Rihanna and Kanye. Pretty impressive.

Well, Vetements’ head designer Demna Gvasalia just got an even bigger boost. Days after Alexander Wang’s final collection for Balenciaga (after a very underwhelming but brief period as the brand’s creative director), the iconic French fashion house named Gvasalia its new artistic director. Looking at Vetements’ Spring Summer 2016 collection, seen above, we can expect a pretty big change in the artistic direction at Balenciaga, which is probably a good thing. Vetements takes inspiration from punk rock’s DIY mentality and repurposes it in a very tongue-in-cheek way. It’s especially compelling in its mix of high and low. The collection includes everything from Star Wars printed JNCO-like pants, nightgown-inspired dresses, romantic florals, badass biker outfits, stylish sweatsuits, every colour of the rainbow, and leather aprons that look as inspired by butcher uniforms as they are by bondage wear. It’s not the most beautiful thing you’ll see on the runway—far from it. But after the snoozey past few seasons at Balenciaga, I think everyone is ready for a little more IDGAF attitude and unpredictability at Balenciaga.

What do you guys think about this news?

Images via Vogue.com

Met Gala 2015

1238038034708321637Ordinarily, I can’t force myself to care in the least about the Met Gala and red carpet fashion in general. To me, red carpet fashion is all pomp and no substance. As an event for the super-elite, it has zero connection to me as a career woman trying to look stylish on a modest income. Compared to street style, fashion week style, festival style, even whatever style displayed on a random person’s Instagram selfies, red carpet style is by far the least interesting. Why think outside of the box if you risk incurring the wrath of the relentlessly brutal fashion police, especially when you can just get your personal stylist to pick a bunch of designer pieces straight from the runway.

This year I decided to make an exception. After discovering the theme for this year’s Met Gala is basically China (celebrating the opening of the China: Through the Looking Glass exhibition), I was curious. I am, after all, of Chinese ancestry and have spent most of my life watching white people tattoo nonsensical Chinese words on their bodies and become weirdly fixated on Asian culture. Like watching amateur songwriters at an open mic night, I was dying to see exactly how non-Chinese female celebrities and fashion aficionados would interpret and take influence from the theme, without falling victim to campy, culturally-insensitive clichés.

For the most part, and as I expected because this was still very much a red carpet event, most of the looks were boring predictable gowns in red because CHINA, made for boring white girls like Reese Witherspoon. Others literally had nothing to do with China (ummmm…a gold brocade gown from Dolce Gabbana is not Chinese). While others were so culturally-ignorant (see also: ugly) that they just made me laugh. Thanks to both Lady Gaga and SJP.ivc7dnih08lqcgdeyqd2There were a few standouts though. As ridiculous as the train was, Rihanna looked peak-Rihana-levels of stunning in a marigold fur gown by Chinese couturier Guo Pei, who also has two pieces in the exhibition. Kudos to RiRi for not succumbing to the lazy, stereotypical tropes of “dressing Chinese”, and actually doing her homework to find a gown by a Chinese designer. You would think this was a no-brainer, but you would be wrong. Also, that headpiece is insane and I really really want it.gong-li-met-gala-2015I was a fan of Fan Bing Bing’s and Gong Li’s looks, both being very different interpretations of what it means to dress Chinese. FBB went the gilded route, and she wears it with sophistication instead of garishness. Gong Li wears a very simple qipao-inspired velvet gown, the rich plum and delicate lace hugs her perfect body perfectly. OK she is super gorgeous and could probably wear a bag and still look better than SJP.zoe-kravitz-met-gala-2015I liked Zoë Kravitz’s chain mesh column dress but I’m not sure what it has to do with China other than the fact that it was designed by Alexander Wang, which probably isn’t what Chinese-inspired means.miranda-kerr-met-gala-2015Miranda Kerr had no idea what the theme was and just wore a Louis Vuitton dress (or is it a shirt?). Her legs look fire though, and the dress or tunic is stunning, so I can’t even be mad at her. carey-mulligan-met-gala-2015I may or may not have just included her because I love an unabashedly all-black look on the red carpet. Also Carey Mulligan looks really cute in dark lipstick.janelle-monae-met-gala-2015I like Janelle Monae’s black and white two-piece-plus-cape ensemble mostly for the cape, but mostly for the Chinese-inspired collar detail. It was a tasteful interpretation of the theme while staying true to her monochrome personal style liya-kebede-phillip-lim-met-gala-2015I love a good skirt with pants look, especially since I’m pretty sure I tried these on a week ago and cried legit tears that I could not just buy them on the spot. Liya Kebede of course rocks them all the way into Phillip Lim’s well-suited arms, and the pair looks extremely classy in a sea of satin gowns and chopsticked buns. Somewhere in China’s long rich history, people worse skirts over pants. Maybe I’m reaching.1430779608_diane-kruger-zoomThis is a very similar outfit to the previous one. But I am a sucker for Diane Kruger and those embroidered Chanel pants. I feel like if you’re interested in fashion but you don’t want to disrespect the culture you’re paying homage to, which is no easy task since people interpret things differently, just pick a dope outfit that uses techniques that are vaguely Chinese. Done!zendaya-met-gala-2015This was one of the most memorable ensembles I saw at this year’s gala and it was worn by Zendaya. The sun-themed Fausto Puglisi gown stood out for its length and its bold, graphic prints. I love the shape of the skirt, but I’m not sure how Chinese any of it is. solange-met-gala-2015Hello. This was, hands down, my favourite look of the evening. Designed by Giles and worn expertly by Solange, the dress features a psychedelic digital print and the tiniest of pleats. The pleats actually make the piece look like two fans sitting perpendicular to each other. I liked that it wasn’t such a literal interpretation of the gala theme, and instead chooses a more playful route. 10/10.

Images via vogue.com

RiRi in Julia Seemann

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My girl RiRi sure works fast. Not even a full week since the VFiles Made Fashion AW15 show and Rihanna is already wearing a full look from one of the designers’ runway collections. Julia Seemann, one of my favourites from the four finalists, presented a strong collection of assorted textures and bold colours, including this ensemble’s unconventional mix of blue teddy bear fur and dark contrast-stitched denim. Rihanna has a track record for scoping out up-and-coming designers and breaking them into the mainstream by wearing them pretty much before anyone. Whether she’s doing this by keeping her ears to the ground or by relying on a super connected stylist is irrelevant. Her influence is unquestionable. and the free PR she’s giving to fresh-out-of-school designers is invaluable.

You can see Julia Seemann’s entire collection here and read our coverage of the entire VFiles Made Fashion show here.

Images via Getty

2014 British Fashion Council Awards

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Erdem SS15; Marques’Almeida AW14

More than New York, more than Milan, and yes, even more than Paris, London is the global epicentre for bold, directional fashion design. No wonder our most exciting homegrown talents keep ditching Canada for these far more adventurous shores. Some of my most beloved designers in the past few years have paid their dues in London, which is also home to one of the most influential fashion institutions in the world. Even their bloggers are cooler than ours.

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And so it was with great excitement that I perused this year’s winners of the British Fashion Awards, presented at Central Saint Martins and by the British Fashion Council today. Canada has a lot to learn from the British government in the process of cultivating a vibrant and economically viable local fashion industry. After all, the biggest winner of the night was Montreal native and Ryerson grad, Erdem (Moralioğlu), who was named Womenswear Designer of the year. The British fashion industry must be doing something right to not only attract a designer of this calibre, but to also help him grow the international brand that Erdem is today.

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The Pack’s favourite Marques’Almeida won the award for Emerging Womenswear Designer of the year. It seemed like everybody and their grandmother was wearing the brand’s trademark distressed denim this year, so there was no doubt in my mind that they’d win by a landslide. Well deserved! ❤

img-simone-rocha_144932695054 l simonerochaThe designer; AW13; AW14

Simone Rocha was named the winner of the New Establishment Designer award, which is given to “a British womenswear or menswear designer that is taking the global industry by storm”. I’d say that’s pretty accurate. You can read our coverage of the designer’s stunning SS15 collection here.

COW1788 COW1789 blck wpid-picsart_1391980000929 Victoria Beckham AW14; SS14

Named British Designer Brand of the year, Victoria Beckham’s success and contribution to the British fashion industry is indisputable (albeit pretty surprising). Although her clothes aren’t the most innovative, they’re always expensive-looking and very wearable.

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No surprise here. J.W. Anderson is one of the world’s most forward-thinking ready-to-wear designers, in both womenswear and menswear, so it was nice to see him get recognized for his contributions to British menswear design.

You can peep the full list of nominees and winners here. For photos of guests and select red carpet looks, click after the jump!

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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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As a fashion blog created by three women who are as obsessed with music as they are with fashion (perhaps more so!), The Pack’s taste in clothes is inextricably linked with its taste in music, especially hip hophouse, and techno. You needn’t look very far within the fashion world to find the same—Kanye West and Ricardo Tisci, HBA’s close relationship with GHETTOGOTHIK DJ extraordinaire Venus X, Jeremy Scott’s friendship with K-Pop group 2NE1’s lead singer CL, Rihanna plus every cool designer ever, and of course we all died a little when Karl Lagerfeld chose Azari & III to soundtrack Chanel’s now-infamous grocery store aisle AW 2015 runway show.

So it’s with this in mind that we send you some much-overdue vibes. Today’s mix was made by our very own aerielist who moonlights as a DJ when she’s not busy taking over the fashion world. This hour long house mix was inspired by, what else, summer and would probably sound great soundtracking a fashion show. Peep the mix here and meet us at our next rave here.

Melitta Baumeister AW 2014

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I don’t say this often…but my mind is blown. Designer Melitta Baumeister is a native of Berlin who is now based in NYC. A 2013 graduate of  Parsons – The New School for Design, Baumeister presented an acclaimed FW 2014 capsule collection for VFILES—seen here—and obviously Rihanna ended up wearing that gorgeous black coat on the red carpet. Everything about this lookbook speaks to me—that the clothes manage to be both austere and whimsical (yes to banana-sculpted outerwear), the stark black and white, the exaggerated silhouettes, the industrial fabrics, and so on. Thank you, A magazine, for the fashion pro-tip. Thank you, Rihanna, for wearing everything we ever end up writing about.

Subconscious Obsession: Bucket Hats

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Y’all knew it was only a matter of time before I shared with you my growing obsession with bucket hats. It’s got that perfect mix of of functionality and boyish streetwear vibe I dig. When I stood under the pissing rain for 8 hours straight yesterday for Time Festival, all I could think about was how much I needed a hat that covered me all around the head. But seeing as how I have an abnormally-shaped, oversized head (like a pancake?), I have yet to actually put one on for fear of not being able to fit it over my crown. Also, where does one find a bucket hat in the year 2014 anyway?

Click for more super-cool bucket hats after the jump.

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Antwerp’s Future Visionaries

Untitled-1From left to right: Charlotte de Geyter Pittoors, Ksenia Popova, Iuliia Gulina

Alma mater of fashion’s most revered design collective, the Antwerp Six, Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts is ground zero for emerging avant garde talent, and this year’s graduating classes presented work that more than lived up to what we’ve come to expect from this prestigious fashion program. Some of fashion’s most influential innovators, like Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons, and Martin Margiela, spent their defining years here, and the culture of creativity and enrichment that produced these big names continue to turn out extraordinary artists. This year’s MA and BA collections were curated by the current head of the fashion department, Walter Van Beirendonck, who is also a Royal Academy of Fine Arts alumni and member of the Antwerp Six. The judging panel included the Style Bubble’s Suzie Lau and Marie Schuller from SHOWStudio.

If you’ve been reading The Pack for the past month, you know we’ve been covering all of the grad shows from the world’s most renowned fashion programs. The collections from today’s post, however, were clear favourites. You can see all of the runway looks here, but click after the jump for an in-depth look at two collections that completely blew me away.

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