2012 February

Sunday, February 19, 2012
• 9:37 PM •

Classy, NOT Trashy.

Classy, NOT Trashy.

“A girl should be two things – Classy and fabulous.”

- Coco Chanel

If attention is what you seek, wearing a skimpy outfit will no doubt get you noticed. A few heads will turn, perhaps some whistling will be thrown your way, and you might even get a free drink from the (creepy) guy eyeing you across the bar. Despite this, dressing in a red and black lace-up corset, light denim booty shorts that are two sizes too small, and a pair of 10 inch red stilettos you can barely walk in will never be sexier than wearing something classy that accentuates your best features without necessarily exposing them.

There appears to be a misunderstanding among some women as to what exactly constitutes sex appeal. All too often many will dismiss the idea of a so called ‘conservative’ outfit for something shorter, tighter and flashier under the impression that these characteristics are synonymous with sexy. That could not be more wrong. Opting for a classy look will always be sexier than looking like you desperately want to be featured in the next Girls Gone Wild video.

For sources of inspiration, let us take a look at a few women who have managed to combine style, class and sex appeal, and can still show up to Sunday service.

Exhibit A: Sophia Loren

Sophia Loren in a red jersey crewneck dress

Actress and beauty icon Sophia Loren depicts that perfect balance of class and sex appeal in this form fitting red dress. Who would have guessed a crew neck and short sleeves could be so classy?

Exhibit B: Diane Von Furstenberg

Fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg’s infamous wrap dress bestowed instantaneous elegance and beauty on all women adorned with the flawless design. Paired with the right shoes and accessories there is nothing muffled about this look.

Exhibit C: Recent Victoria Beckham

Posh Spice has certainly gone through her fair share of skimpy outfits in the past, however, it would appear that the former pop star has come to her senses. Just take a look at Trashy Victoria vs Classy Victoria and be the judge of the better outfit.

…need I say more?

Exhibit D: Blake Lively

Named one of British Vogue’s Best Dressed of 2011, Blake Lively did not earn this title by looking like an extra in a Lil’ Wayne music video. Wearing a Missoni Fall 2011 dress on the The Tonight Show, Lively looks fun and flirty.

Leaving your house in an outfit that makes your parents wonder where they went wrong is a deplorable disservice to your fashion sense. Instead of looking sexy, your outfit will have a greater chance of seeming tacky and ill-fitting. Furthermore, it might give people an impression of you that is far from the truth. Rather than experimenting with how little fabric you can wear before being arrested for indecent exposure, try exploring how to work with cut, colour, and texture to create a unique style that flatters your figure without compromising your integrity.

All in all, If you are going for a sexy look, ditch the trash and keep the class. You will be doing yourself (and everyone with the gift of sight) a favor.

Monday, February 13, 2012
• 12:00 AM •

Snobbing for a Cause: SynesthASIA 2012

Snobbing for a Cause: SynesthASIA 2012

 I grew impatient and anxious as I watched Dorothy shrieking over the phone at Susan, “Are you SURE?!” she yelled, stomping her patent leather Micheal Kors heels in frustration. “It’s Sherbrooke West, not East. Sorry!” Susan confirmed. Dang. It was almost 9:30 PM and we were supposed to have already been backstage at the 2012 SynesthASIA fashion show, mingling with the models and trying to nab interviews with some of the designers. Instead, having misread the address, we were in another part of the city. It probably also hadn’t helped that we’d spent hours getting ready.

As we rushed to Arena nightclub I tried to ignore the hints of pain my block heeled desert boots began to cause. This would potentially be a very long night. We finally made it to the front door and the bouncer barely glanced up as we approached, “IDs Please,” he said, clearly bored out of his mind.  We pass the long line of people waiting to purchase their show tickets, and enter the backstage room where some models sit and chat as others obsess over perfecting their hair and makeup.

We scan the room and try to take it all in. This year’s SynesthASIA designs are numerous and varied, ranging from fully-embellished traditional saris, to men appearing to have been pulled straight out of an episode of Man Men with their form fitting tawny suits and perfectly coiffed hair.

Jonathan and Nadiva backstage before the show

Founded in 2008 by four McGill University students, SynesthASIA is a Montreal based charitable organization. We come across Shazia Abji, one of its core founders, who explains to us that the foundation began as a means to showcase Asian culture through a different lens. “We started SynesthASIA as a way to address the widespread ignorance surrounding Asia”.

In order to support grassroots organizations in Asia and bridge them to ones based in Montreal, SynesthASIA began what was to become an annual fashion show featuring the work of Montreal designers. Each year all the proceeds from the event are donated to a charity of choice. This year, Right To Play, an organization that strives to improve the life of children in impoverished countries through sport and play, was selected.

Beginning our hunt for the night’s best dressed, Dorothy and I notice a girl wearing a sari that seemed to have been created precisely for her. Wearing a Camilla Boutique design, model Tomi Tade looked amazing in her sequined black and gold dress. As she struck a pose for our camera, Tade glowed in her sari, embodying all the sass and attitude an outfit like that required.

Tomi Tade rocking the sari.

These beautiful saris are just in time for Karl Lagerfeld’s Indian-inspired line.

Our favorite collection of the night belonged to Nurin, an International Development Studies and Management student from McGill whose work displays an undeniable eye for creativity and quality design. We approached the quiet and easy-going designer and discovered that her line, titled Rumi, had been hand made over the course of a year.

Our excitement over Nurin’s line doubled when we discovered that amongst her inspirations was one of our favorite designers; haute couture Lebanese designer Elie Saab, whose signature lengthy drape dresses are hinted at in some of Nurin’s work.

Elie Saab – Spring 2011 Couture

Asked about the intricacies of being a designer, Nurin says that finding the balance between showcasing one’s art and personal preferences with what others will actually value can be tough. “You want to show your skills, but at the same time you have to ask yourself, is it wearable?” She is also very candid about fashion’s image centered character, “You have to know yourself – your strengths, your weaknesses and what you want to project”. On the runway Nurin’s image is evident; elegant ready to wear attire projecting simple feminine beauty.

 

 

Rumi (Photo credit: Selvan.ca)

 

Drinks in hand and dancing to the blaring sounds of the night’s electro-pop tunes, we watched the show as it took us on a whirlwind journey through Asia. Dumaine’s dark hobo chic attire paid tribute to the Korean War Memorial, while Moral Fibres’ procession of comfortable acid-wash hippie-like dresses are a celebration of the Sinulog, a festival celebrated in Cebu, Philippines.  A cool break dancing number by Raw Kingz followed by a colourful over the top bollywood-esque routine in between hinted at the afterparty that was to come.  The show ended with a return to the West through the work of four student designers.

 

Aris by Andra Bogdan

 

It’s past midnight and my feet are killing me. I’m surprised I’ve made it this far without giving in to bare feet. As the last model struts her stuff off the runway, the after-party kicks off. Dorothy already begins flipping through her camera photos, reliving the night’s highlights as I desperately search for a free leather couch to sit on. While some styles did not offer overt originality, most showed promise of some good things to come given more time and experience. We partied, danced, raised money for charity and looked good doing it. SynesthASIA 2012? Check.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
• 3:00 AM •

Meet Susan

Meet Susan

- 5% Bohemian
- 10% Bombshell
- 15% Classic
- 0% Eccentric
- 5% Edgy / Rocker Chic
- 10% Lady
-
10% Minimalist
- 30% Modern / Fashion-Forward
- 10% Preppy
- 5% Sporty/Casual

  • Fashion Type: I switch it up from preppy casual but still classic. I am all about comfort and effortless chic! It certainly does depend on my mood. Just because you look for comfort when you wear clothes, does not mean that you can’t look SHARP. Thank goodness that fashion accommodates all types of styles!
  • Favourite Names in Fashion:

Models: KARLIE KLOSSAbbey Lee Kershaw, Jessica Stam, and Coco Rocha …love these girls for their actual beautiful faces and in haute couture. Their doll faces and girl next door look can still be transformed for something a little more seductive. Karlie Kloss is absolutely my favourite model right now. She has this awesome piercing look when she walks or takes a picture with this little smile…perhaps a smirk. That smirk! Only she can pull off that fierce sexy gaze in an haute couture runway. Yes I have a girl crush on her and its not ending anytime soon. Many people don’t like her as a VS Angel, but I adore her too much to disapprove of her line of work at Victoria’s Secret.

PS, doesn’t Abbey look like a Jane Birkin back in the day?

Coco has a beautiful personality and she often makes impressions on whoever she meets! She’s super talented, I mean did you see how she opened Jean Paul Gauthier’s Fall/Winter 2007 runway show?

Karlie's Atypical Beauty in this closeup shot

 

Jessica Stam (Fashion Magazine, February 2010. Photographed by Derek Kettela)

 

Abbey Lee Kershaw from Cute to Sexy (Left) Numero magazine February 2010 (Right) Tom Ford Eyewear Spring 2011 Campaign

  • Fashion Icons: BLAKE LIVELY
  • Designers:

Stella McCartney: Her absolutely feminine tailored brand is sexy and sophisticated. Stella strategically uses lace and sheer materials, my favourite materials. I am now totally stoked that my favourite fashion icon and one of my favourite designers are working together! This July 2011, Blake Lively was named the new ambassador for Stella’s designs!

Blake Lively in a blouse and bra by Stella McCartney. (Glamour Magazine, July 2011)

Elie Saab: In an interview, Elie Saab states that, when designing, he thinks about the silhouette first and then the details. His collections vary from clean cut work wear to draping couture dresses that have so much movement and sparkle. His draping is original, but it makes sense. He transitions from structured to a loose draped shape in one garment, creating a balanced and beautiful silhouette.

A Few of my favourite Elie Saab garments from left to right: Fall 2011 RTW (Marike Le Roux), Spring 2011 Couture (Jac), Fall 2010 RTW (Sigrid Agren)

Zuhair Murad: I am always pleased with Zuhair’s work. Romantic dresses worthy for any beautiful occasion. Zuhair knows how to accentuate the assets of a woman’s body with his structured silhouettes. The amount of detailed work he does on the dresses with placing the sequins, beads, or lace in all the right areas is far from gaudy or over embellished. He puts glam in glamorous, as cheesy as that sounds. I wish I would have a reason to sport these dresses!

Zuhair Murad Fall/Winter 2010 Campaign

 

Blake Lively as Gossip Girl Serena Van Der Woodsen wearing Zuhair Murad

Marchesa (Georgina Chapman/Keren Craig): How do you not love their dresses. They know how to romance. period. Very girly but also their designs are more elaborate and with an edge that bears current fashion trends.

A beautifully ornate red dress on Taylor Momsen below, but it is unfortunate that she chose a floor-length gown on the red carpet where the red just all blends together.

Taylor Momsen in Marchesa

  • Favourite material/textile: Lace, chiffon, anything sheer!

    Crop Lace and Embellished Vest, ASOS

 

  • Handbags: My taste in handbags relies heavily on structured silhouettes so that it can “stand” on its own. Structured bags are clean and without fail, it sharpens your current outfit, whether you’re in jeans and a loose knit sweater or in a head to toe suit get-up. I VOW that I will one day be the owner of the world’s most coveted bag: the Hermes Birkin or Kelly. Thought currently, the Birkin/Kelly trademark design is over-saturated in today’s market and has lost a bit of its appeal (eg: Michael Kors Hamilton…which I own. Let it be known that I had this bag before everyone did! Yes, that was a taste of my snobbery).Anyways, here are my loves, which will also be mine one day:

    Céline Nano Luggage Tricolor

    Burberry Medium Smoked Check Hobo Bag Dark Tan

     

Louis Vuitton Pont Neuf in Black Epi Leather

 

3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Satchel in Jade

  • Go-to item: I will never get tired of off-the-shoulder items, whether it’s a dress or a top. To me its the really easy and subtle way to project sexiness.

Off-Shoulder Dress, ASOS

 

Vince Green Metallic Popover Sweater, Fall 2011 Revolve Clothing