Wednesday, 27 June 2012

It Started With The Maxi

Could it be? Is it possible?
Looking through the online slideshow of all the resort collections on I started to see an emerging pattern. As most people are aware, the really big thing last year was vintage floral prints. They were all the rage on skirts with high, elastic waist bands. 

While this trend has come, and, more or less, gone, it made way for the styles of today. In the latest resort collections, it's hard to not find a wide legged pantsuit, or a maxi skirt. All of this is leading me to believe we are leading to a resurgence in the flower power of the 70's and everything else that goes along with it. 

Stella McCartney Resort Collection 2013

Balenciaga Resort Collection 2013

Above are two outfits from two very sought after brands, each of these outfits are from their latest respective collections. The second outfit, by Balenciaga, is that oh so popular maxi skirt. For the past year or so the maxi has been working it's way back into our wardrobes ever since last summer. Last year, the must have item was by far the maxi dress. No woman's wardrobe was complete without one of the long, flowy creations, often in bold colours are flower print.
The very first photo is of a suit by Stella McCartney. The extreme masculinity and formless shape make the look unisex, rather than overtly feminine. In addition to this, the pants are big and flared at the bottom, and the pattern a masculine check. 

These two outfits, by two current designers, show the reemergence of key 70's style characteristics. It's as if we have been following the same pattern begun the 70's. The first trend to emerge now, and in the early 70's, was the maxi. 
1970 Pucci Maxi Dress
Current Maxi Dress
The maxi can be seen as the uniform of the hippie's, a symbol of the flower power revolution that dominated the beginning of the decade. Back-to-nature was a big influence in the early 70's, as was multiculturalism and different ethnicities. As can be seen in the maxi dress to the left, the print has an oriental feel. 

Starting in the 60's, moving into the 70's, women started to take on more roles traditionally for men. To do this women didn't want to wear restricting garments as in the past, they wanted to be considered equal, this spawned the unisex look. The Stella McCartney suit above is a perfect example of unisex style. 

This suit by Balenciaga for his latest collection could be just as much for a girl as a boy. The muted colour, and male tailoring make it a great example of unisex dressing. In addition to this, the designer has accessorized the model using a briefcase type bag which makes, the business like, unisex look even more prominent. Notably the hair of the model is completely wrapped to have the appearance of a short hairdo. 

Balenciaga Resort Collection 2013

This suit, circa 1972, is very much similar to the one above, in that it is not immediately recognizable as a women's suit. The muted colours are again present and the little tailoring there is does not accentuate a woman's natural curves. The most visible differences are in the collar and pockets, which are constantly evolving. 

1970's Women's Suit

These are some other looks from the latest resort collections, all of which represent a theme of 1970's fashion. These styles are perhaps slightly less visible in everyday street wear, but act as a reinforcement to the idea that, in general, the influence of the 70's is very much in play. 

Celine Resort Collection 2013
These pants evoke a certain disco era feel. The wide legged, flared pants were a popular choice towards the end of the 70's due to fashionability of disco. The choice of fabric and colour also add to the disco style. 

Balenciaga Resort Collection 2013

The pants in this outfit are of the unisex style. This particular pattern has been very popular among men's suits, but rarely seen in women's. The low crotch is also more of men's pants cut than women's. 

Chloe Resort Collection 2013
This dress and top are part of the ethnic, folksy vibe from the beginning of the 70's. They draw from different cultures from all over the world. Many designers from the early 70's moved away form the hub of Europe to find inspiration, and instead drew from places like Tibet and North American Native dress. 
(This also happens to be my favourite dress on this post)

Alexander McQueen Resort Collection 2013
This represents yet another style of dress from the 70's. Drawing on the gypsy/flamenco look, this dress has a full, uneven skirt and a billowy top. The gypsy/flamenco look was another way of drawing expression from different cultures and ethnicities. 

Alexander McQueen Resort Collection 2013

To finish, this a very obviously disco inspired outfit, with the flared pants, and the metallic colour that would shine under the dance lights. The disco revolution happened towards the latter part of the 70's, which explains the move into padded shoulders, and also that signature puffed hairdo. 

While I think I might be a little late in predicting this come back, I have become even more sure of myself as I write this post and really take in the styles. The 70's was most definitely not my favourite era, but I can't deny the significant counter revolutions that took place and are reflected in the fashion of the day. One thing I am grateful was brought back into style, was the maxi dress. There was a big gap in time when dresses were considered uncool, by feminists and tomboys alike. I wrote a post on this Dress Dilemma we are facing in an earlier post. The maxi dress has finally made a reason for women to wear dresses again. 

Do you think the 70's are making a come back? And are you looking forward to being a refined hippy?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Creations By Me

I wanted to share some of my favourite fashion related creations that I've made over the years. These are some drawings and a few garments that I've made over the years.

The above dress was the first I ever attempted. Considering I was only eight when I made it, I'm quite proud of how it turned out. The fabric is very heavy and was most likely not intended for a garment, but I was young and attracted more to the flowery pattern than anything else. Looking back I'm actually pleased with my fabric choice, as it gives it some weight and gives it more of a vintage edge. The style is very basic because it was my first dress, but what I didn't realize then was that the high neckline and straight shape of the dress lends a 60's flare, especially with the bold, colourful pattern.  I wish I could still where this, but sadly it's just way too small.

The Branchless Birch

This tree was my inspiration for this dress. I look at it every day from my window, and whenever there is the slightest breeze, the leaves rustle in the most majestic way. I imagine that there is a layer of clear, plastic, almost fish scale type pieces  that imitate the rustling of the leaves every time the wearer moves. Underneath the  layer of fish scales  is green silk like the colour shown in the bottom left hand corner. On the top, there is a band off white stiffened silk.  I would love to one day create this dress, but I'm afraid I'll have to improve my sewing skills first.   
Colour Inspiration

Rain Cloud Dress

This dress I call 'rain cloud'. My idea is that the top is a crystalized corset with little gemstones that resemble raindrops. The skirt is big and full and the first layer would be a blue satin, then overtop of that a darker blue tool. Finally, on top of all that there is a sort of cotton ball material all over the skirt. Some of the fluff like stuff would be grey and some white. The idea is to make the bottom look like a storm cloud and the top where all the moisture is held. 

Orange Pointy Tulip Dress

Wild Rose Dress

My inspiration, I have to admit, didn't come directly from these flowers, but rather my interpretation of them. Whenever I was bored in class I would start drawing these crazy flowers with weird geometric petals. So, really the abstract flowers I drew were my first inspiration, then I tried to find some real flowers, like the ones above, to get my point across. 

The dresses are very sixties (that silhouette fits my body shape best). I love colour and bold patterns, so I incorporated it in these dresses. 

Marie Antoinette Costume Front

Marie Antoinette Costume Back

This was my halloween costume from about four years ago. It supposed to be a Marie Antoinette style dress. The most challenging part of this dress was that I not only had to sew it, but I also had to create the pattern. The fabrics seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I think I would have opted for something with different colours, a little more refined. 

Would you wear any of my creations, and if so, which one?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Call of the Wild: Animal Prints

The cheetahs called, they want their clothes back.

In no way, and I mean NO way, shape, or form should animal print be worn under ANY circumstances. There are certain people who will argue that it is something that is of an era, and should therefore be idolized, as a classic. I am sorry to say that, bad styles are just bad styles, and there is nothing to admire about them. I have found some truly awful pieces, and I recognize not all animal print is this bad, but wanted to underline my point. I might be considered a snob, but animal print used in any context is just plain tacky.

Over the course of history animal furs were a sign of status and wealth. This was a trend that lasted well into the 20th century, until the 60's when pop culture came in and changed all of that. History, however, has shaped our idea of animal prints for generations. Because of the once exclusivity of the product, today even fake furs and animal prints are considered stylish and fancy. Zebra stripes and giraffe spots were meant for zebras and giraffes, not humans. The fact that wearing animal furs is generally socially unacceptable in most societies makes me happy, the substitution, though, does not. 

Manish Arora

While this dress might be a somewhat extreme example, it's still a more subtle ode to the animal than literally stealing it's strips. It's inspired, rather than overtly turning it's wearer into a tiger, it embraces it's ferocity.

This dress is the most subtle nod to wild animal possible, but it does so in a way that still references the animal without pushing it in one's face. This is a very modern interpretation of the zebra, which works in conveying it's message without "clawing" one. A lot of the wild animal vibe has more to do with the amazonian warrior princess, than the animals she hunted. This dress gives that sense of power through the tribal sense rather than the animal. 

Although fur pelts were traditionally worn to show power and wealth, they are now passé, and outdated in our modern world of concrete jungles. There's nothing wrong with wanting to embrace one's inner animal, as long as it's done in a way not offensive to those who must look at it. 

I realize there will be many people who disagree with me, and I would be happy to hear your argument in favour of animal print.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Rose Coloured Glasses

This is a collection of my favourite vintage/ultra feminine items. I thought it would be nice to use my creative brain and put together a little photo shoot. These are things I've collected over the years and have managed to not be thrown out (I'm quite vicious when it comes to clutter, most things get chucked within six months).

The sort of "holey" scarf gets me a lot of compliments and I like it for it's more modern vibe. The pink shawl is much more traditional, but the pink hues in it are really beautiful. 

The black and pink book was given to me by my mum for my birthday and it's called 'Audrey 100', a compilation of 100 of her sons favourite photographs of her. This also happens to be my inspiration for one of my earlier posts on Audrey Hepburn. The book above it is my go to for anything I want to know about 20th century fashion. After my trip to England and the Victoria and Albert Museum clothing collection I have been hooked on the history of fashion. This book is very well written an very insightful.

I've accumulated these three purses over the years and their some of my favourites. It's too bad, but I've never been able to find an outfit that goes with the green and pink purse, although I'd really like to be able to use it one day. I remember my uncle joking that the pink purse looked sort of like a fish, all scaly with the little pink plastic pieces. I think the pink purse is pretty interesting looking, although fish isn't immediately what comes to mind. I actually have a necklace and bracelet that match, now those are interesting looking.

Monday, 18 June 2012

New York Mentality

Taken by me on my BB
(not the best quality ever)

I took this picture last summer when I went to New York for Thanksgiving and I don't want to boast, but... I LOVE this picture! I think it captures the absolute essence of New York style. The architecture in the background has the classic New York fire escape with brick facade and of course there is the all important yellow taxi.  The particular intersection is found in the heart of Soho, one of my favourite areas in all New York. I had been to New York about four times previously but the only time I was in Soho I was too small to remember. It wasn't perhaps the Soho I had been dreaming about, I was thinking more of large scale Queen West (for anyone who is familiar with Toronto). There weren't quite as many independent boutiques as I was hoping for as it has been some what taken over by the high end big name stores such as Ralph Lauren and Chanel. The architecture in the area was really amazing though. These are some more photos I took on my phone while in Soho.

Soho NY

Something I find particularly funny are the 'Don't Honk' signs posted everywhere. The ironic thing was the man driving in front of us creating a new top ten pop song with his car horn.

Soho NY

Soho NY
I found Central Park a great place to people watch because it was so calming to just sit an look at the world go by. It also gave me a feel for a completely different kind of New York.

Central Park NY

For months now I've been trying to understand what makes New York fashion tick, how can that essential style be defined? During my musing I started to think of all the most iconic American fashion designers and what I came up with was one big mix. Naming off the big labels I came up with Calvin Klein, Diane Von Furstenburg, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs and I am sure the list goes on. The thing that really struck me was the jumble of ethnicities and backgrounds these people came from. There are very few 'all American' designers out there, and for those who were born in America they are generally second generation immigrants coming from families very much linked with their homeland.

Oscar de le Renta
Ready to Wear

Oscar de la Renta is known to dress the impossibly upperclass Manhattan society in his simple, chic designs. As much as he is considered an American based designer his roots were laid in the far off countries of the Dominican Republic and Spain, where he worked with Balenciaga in his youth. He then proceeded to work in Paris with some of the top fashion couturiers of the time. All of this is evident in his collections. de la Renta moved to NY because he new where the future of fashion lay and he wanted to get that jump start.

Even the most American of American designers doesn't fit exactly what I'm looking for. Ralph Lauren, although being praised with giving Americans a look of their very own, still doesn't provide that new world definition needed. Many of his clothes play off of british design and sensibility, and lest we forget the very british polo player who has become the signature of this otherwise American designer. In addition to all that, Lauren is still too classic feeling without enough of that New York punch that really drives the city.

My conclusion is that in order to put one's finger on the pulse of New York one must consider these three different elements:

1. The true Americano- Because many of the "American" fashion designers of today are immigrants or children of immigrants they often bring a foreign flare to their clothes.

2. Uptown vs Downtown- Soho and Manhattan might be on the same island but their intrinsic style and vibe are different. Different designers cater to different neighborhoods. 

3. Fashion aficionados- The truly fashion conscious, in the sense of following trends, are more likely to choose something along the lines of Prada, Gucci, or Dolce&Gabbana. In the more arty areas of NY upcoming fashion designers might be more worn. 
(The über stylish blogger from Atlantic-Pacific epitomizes what I'm going for)

In the end I think what makes New York, New York is it's love of high end and exclusivity paired with the muscle go-go-go sensibility New York is known for world wide. Street fashion often plays of big chain stores such as Aeropostle or the slightly more upscale H&M hit with some crazy pair of boots. 

I'd be interested in how any of you interpret New York fashion and what you associate with American style. 

Sunday, 17 June 2012

An Unlikely Find

This is my idea of the perfect everyday sundress. The fabric is light and airy, the colours are bright and cheery, and the cut is indicative of a summer dress. I went to Toronto on Friday because I had finished my exams and because I had been wearing practically nothing but my uniform the whole year I was in need of a lot of clothes. I started in Yorkville and ended up going to Queen West where I found this and one other sun dress. Before we went I told my mum I wanted to look at some of the vintage stores on Queen as that had been on my mind for quite some time. My mum isn't big on the second hand, "grimy" stores but finally conceded. I didn't realize exactly what I had gotten myself into. 

Queen St. West

While walking down Queen my mum stops in front of this dusty, nameless shop filled with books and some not so nice art. In the corner there was a single rack of dresses, and before I knew it my mum had pushed me through the door. Needless to say she was getting her own back. The weird surprise was that I was actually able to find two dresses that I really liked and were really practical. The story of this odd shop doesn't stop here though. I needed to try the dresses on in order to see if they fit. There was no dressing room so I had to put them over my existing dress. The best part, however, comes when I ask if there is a mirror I could use. The man proceeds in going to the back of the store to pull out a dusty old mirror from a bag, which he then starts to wash in his sink. There was apparently no rag so I just had to look at myself in the wet glass. Finally he said he would give them to me for 20$ each and I paid him in cash right there with no receipt and no bag in which to put the dress. It was an interesting experience that I laugh about when I think of it. 

What do you think of this dress for $20?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Look Out For These Guys ;)
This is the cover of the New Yorker cartoon calendar I gave my dad for Christmas. It makes me laugh every time.

Blog Lovin'

You can now follow me on Bloglovin' !

<a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


This is a rose from one of the bushes in my garden. They have the most amazing colour, and I only wish my camera was better quality so I could really capture its true beauty.

Roses are so flamboyant and the particular colour of the roses above, especially when seen in real life, is so attention grabbing/hogging that I thought immediately of a Christian Lacroix gown. His creations are crazy, colourful and charismatic. They are also ostentatious. The above party dress I found on an auction site for a pretty 2185$ price tag. Although Christian Lacroix isn't a personal favourite of mine I do think he's done some pretty daring things and should be admired for them. Fashion critics must love Lacroix as he can routinely and ruthlessly criticized for creating unwearable garments. What these critics never seem to understand is the elevation of fashion beyond a t-shirt and jeans, beyond a ready to wear designer label, to the world of haute couture, which, without a doubt, was Lacroix's most creative and awe inspiring outlet.

*By the way, I found this blog today and I really liked it. The whole feel is really playful and the writer has really nice personal style. It’s called 

Follow this blog with bloglovin

Follow on Bloglovin