This Week in High Fashion: I Fight With Flare Again.

This Week in High Fashion: I Fight With Flare Again.

Today at 12:43pm

Dear Flare Online Ragazine. The last time we spoke, I was calling you out... we exchanged some heated words, I said some things I probablay should regret, but I don't... and you just sat there in stony silence... almost begging me to say more horrid things to you...
I don't know what's become of our relationship, Flare. I don't know what to say to you lately... we seem to be drifting apart you and I... I'm hurt, I'm betrayed and I'm just flat out bored with you. That's right... bored bored bored. Not only did you publish that lacklustre review of Paris Fashion Week, but you continue to spew out articles and fashion/makeup advice that I wouldn't give to a style challenged hooker. Your exposee on the "Hottest Boot Trend EVER" (super tall Pretty Woman-esque boots) left me cold... I don't know what I want from our relationship anymore Flare. I thought I wanted to lean on you, that your years of fashion experience would help me grow and inspire me...but no.
Why am I so angry you ask? So disenchanted with you today? Its your half-ass attempt at picking 10 trends from Toronto's LG Fashion Week. Why didn't you just re-post your Top 10 Trends from Paris Fashion Week article? You highlighted the SAME THINGS.
I also have a problem with the fact that your display photos and examples for one, are hardly examples of what you're talking about and 2.... you quotes Sears and Joe Fresh as Fashion houses. I'm sorry Flare, and you can call me a snob if you want... but if I can see Joe's fashions in the same place that I buy my toilet paper... it's not fashion... it's Superstore.
Damn it all Flare, I'm tired of trying to reason with you... I've had enough of your excuses. Consider yourself dumped.
Flare's Top 10 Trends from Toronto Fashion Week
Trend #1~OTT Ruffles
Over The Top Ruffles? Really? Is that what you mean? I have to tell you Flare... ruffles have been in and out and in and out so many times that I don't even know if it can be called a trend any more.... it's more of a "how retro am I feeling today" kind of thing... which is fine. I'm actually not mad at you for this one. I'm mad at you because you listed Project Runway loser Jason Meyers as one of the inspired designers. That guy can't design his way out of a paper bag unless you put down a breadcrumb trail of gold lame or sequins.

OTT Ruffles @ Romona Keveza

Trend#2~Shoulder Focus
Aside from the fact that this is a recycled trend from the Paris Catwalks where equally hideous shoulder pads were featured, I highly doubt that reasonable women will buy into this crap.
Turn away from the shoulder pads!!! I can understand what's happening with this dress, I really can... Lucien Matis is another brilliant designer to come off of Project Runway... he loves women and designes beautiful things for them. I am mad at you, Flare for putting him in the same category as Sears.

Sholders @ Lucian Matis
Do I need to point out again that Spring = show more skin season...hence the need for less in the sleeve department...this is NOT rocket science.

Trend #3~LWD
Give me a freaking break Flare... that's your second recycling warning. The LWD "trend" will get the same reaction from me as it did in your Paris Top 10. It's SPRING. White Dresses are what people wear. STOP labelling annual occurrences as trendy things. It's like saying boots will be big this Fall... and Scarves will be in this Winter. OF COURSE THEY WILL BE!

Space Shoulders on a LWD!
Greta Constantine, you're soooo Ziggy Stardust.

Trend #4 ~ Sweet Nothings
Third warning, this is also recycled from Paris Top 10's, Flare... did you think I wouldn't notice??? While I appreciate your wilingness to find ways to justify your earlier article by backing it up with a Canadian content Top 10.... it's really starting to bug me.
And to top it all off... your example photo is a Joe Fresh creation. Available at a Superstore near you... don't forget to pick up some tinfoil while you're buying your underthings.

Joe Fresh
They' rein the aisle right by the baby formula and household appliances...watch out for the crazy lady at the end of the aisle who's talking to the brightly coloured rubber balls.

Trend #5 ~ Sport Billy
Number one issue here... I don't know what a Sport Billy is... that's Flare's title... not mine. The photo below... I'm not sure how this is a sporty look... is it an active fabric? Can I go to the gym in this? I love Evan Biddell... I've been Addicted to Biddell ever since he walked onto that stupid show with his stupid hair and basket woven silk... seriously. This looks like a lazy pantsuit to me... a catsuit without the cat part... it looks awkward and not at all sporty... except for the hood? Maybe? Does that make it sporty??

I'd still like to know how this is sporty.
I'd wear this on a camel riding expedition...or to the beach...
Evan Biddell

Trend #6 ~ Leather Love
I actually agree with this trend. Leather is hip... especially vegan, and recycled leather... I can see that becoming a trend with no issues whatsoever. Vawk did it amazingly last season... so why stop now. Although, I have to admit, I hate the colour of the leather in this example... and what's with all of the clothing lately being cut like we're all pregnant? Maybe it's just my imagination.

Pink Tartan
Also Flare...saying that leather looks for spring will be softer and lot more lightweight...is redundant. It is what it is.

Trend #7 ~ Solid Brights
So yes, Thank You Flare, for once again bringing the obvious to our attention.

This model looks about as impressed with designer David Dixon's colour choices as I do.
New trend for next spring!!! COLOUR!!!
Um...yeah...how about "tropical fruit colours" or something a little more exciting.
And is that space padding on the bottom of that dress? She looks like a stackable child's toy.

Trend #8 ~ Parachute Dresses
"Floor-skimming dresses that revealed gorgeous gams in the front and cascaded to the floor in the back were in full force showing Olivier Theyskens' Nina Ricci influence"

Greta Constantine
I still hate booties. Especially these ones because they're shiny silver lame.

Y'know, I remember a time when we made fun of Hollywood stars who wore dresses like this. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that this new example is very beautiful and extremely sexy and feminine... but honestly, it's just an elongated bubble dress and in the back of my mind, I see Geena Davis.

I'm sorry Geena...you put up with months and months of ridicule and worset dressed lists, only to discover that you were so ahead of your time it wasn't even possible to believe it. I never thought I would see the day when you bubble headed fashion editors would say that this was a trend.

Trend #9 ~ Tulle Rosettes
I'm not even going to say anything more than this because I can't even spit it out I'm so offended by this "trend".
The model looks like she's ready for a tiny tutu's class.
And once again, available at a Superstore near you. You too can dress yourself right off of the runways of exotic Toronto for bargain prices and the local convenience of Superstore. High Fashion look, warehouse feel.

Joe Fresh
Give me a million breaks Toronto Fashion Week...was Superstore a corporate sponsor? Honestly...this is as horrible to me as seeing Isaak Mizrahi design for Fairweather.

Trend #10 ~ Warm vs Cool
This is recycled trend #4 Flare. I've had enough of your crap.
Spring is about colour... this is not a neutral... this is a pastel. Pastel is a colour shade/hue/feeling/entity. It is NOT a neutral. Beige is a neutral.
How about a 1920's trend?
I can't talk to you anymore Flare. We're through.

Lucian Matis
This is a 1920's trend.
This is not a neutral.
When did pastel/ice blue become a neutral? Was I asleep? What else did I miss?

This Week in High Fashion: Moscow can has Fashion!

This Week in High Fashion: Moscow can has Fashion!

Today at 10:28am

Who knew that I would be oddly excited for these photos to present themselves? I'll tell you who knew... Kiev Fashion Week knew. I've been totally blindsided by the awesomeness of the Eastern Bloc Fashion Weeks. The Iron Curtain has been replaced with a velvet one, and I'm so historically inaccurately happy about it.
Who was I shocked to see showing at Moscow fashion week? Thierry Mugler... that's who. Holy crap I was NOT expecting to see him there. Since he's most recently been dressing Beyonce's "I am, Sasha Fierce" tour, I was expecting him to turn up on the Paris runways... perhaps with some "single ladies" or other Terminator or Alien themed models.

Thierry Mugler sketches for Beyonce's stage costumes.

But, as usual, I digress.
Now lets get down to the borscht and vodka of the matter here... I loved the photos from Moscow Fashion week because the models were actually wearing makeup and looking like they ENJOYED their runway walk...and not like all they could think about was their next cigarette or half of a banana waiting backstage.
*jazz hands*
AND I also saw some NORMAL sized models... REAL, BEAUTIFUL, WOMEN on the catwalk, not flounced up little train wrecks with more bones showing than a rack of lamb trying to look sexy and ending up looking more like heroin addicts who got waylaid on their way to their dealer's apartment.

Normal sized models @ Anna Chistova and Marina Endourova

Alright! Runway breakdown time!!!
Natali Kvon --You make BEAUTIFUL clothes! I love it that Moscow Fashion Week designers seem to stick to the tried and true runway designer tradition of topping off their lines with a fabulous wedding dress or two.... I love these dresses. I'm definitely not a pouffy wedding dress girl, or a lavender girl... but for you Natali... I could be.

So pretty, I might have to get married again.

Models can smoke on the runway in Moscow???? How shocking!!! Love the hair too BTW.

Again...so pretty...this will be the dress for wedding #3

Elena Skakun -- OMFG where have you been all my life??? I don't know if this model is an Ice Queen, an old-style Russian bride or the subtle marriage of meringue and spun sugar, and I don't care one iota. I love this, it's impractical and completely stunning.

aauuuggghhhh!!! It's white, it's yellow, it's frothy, it's pouffy...and it's FABULOUS

I threw these two ladies in here because the bitches got flair, ok? I love me some runway pageantry...act like you ENJOY the clothes...show the people that they have MOVEMENT... at least attempt to look slightly human out there... and these girls DID IT. *clappity clappity*

Polish MMC Studio Design

Zolota Design Studio

Russian designer Valentin Yudashkin brought clean lines to the already dominantly flowy and feminine runways with simple dresses... but the ne ruined it all with a gross buttery orangey gold lame jacket with pouffy sleeves... am I the only one who hears carnival music? *sigh* Nice try... but bleh. I'm really fighting this return to the 80's crap... been there, done that... I have the pictures of me in neon and similarly embarassingly coloured work out/stretchy pants with crimped out hair... this does not need to return. EVER. Maybe I'm just prejudiced against pouffy sleeves... I was traumatized as a child. Thanks for bringing it all rushing back Valentin.

I. Loathe. Pouffy. Sleeves.
Linen pants are cool though, both literally and figuratively.

The jacket that ruined my fashion day.

Ah yes, Thierry Mugler... TM, you are a costume designer. We know. I love the formed bodices and space details... but you've been doing the space child thing for quite a while now... it's cool...but I'm getting a little bored... space child isn't exactly wearable in the everyday world... and WTF Thierry... is that BLUE EYESHADOW to the brow bone with RED LIPS that I see on your models??? I know it is Thierry! You can't lie to me!!!

Thierry Mugler likes his women moulded out of plastic. I also have to mention that I have a serious aversion to BOOTIES. They are NOT sexy.

I see blue eyeshadow, do you see blue eyehsadow?

As usual, I've saved my favorite for last... I love these chicks... hot hot hot hot. Russian designers Shumilo & Elagina served up crazy hair, crazy makeup, and crazy mix and match clothes that would have made Catwoman proud. Vinyl mixed with cotton mixed with macreme/crocheting mixed with some metal studs, mixed with some crazy yarn details on the shoulders?? You're a MESS and I LOVE IT. Not super crazy about the plastic bag looking catsuit... but we can work on that. Her hair is awesome.


SECOND FAVORITE HAIR EVERagain, not sure about the garbage bag material...but she's working it so I can't complain too much.

6 Deadly Historical Fashion Trends, just in time for Halloween...

6 Deadly Historical Fashion Trends, just in time for Halloween...

Yesterday at 9:29am

Ghouls and Gobblies, I was sent the BEST article on fashion that I've ever seen yesterday... Mankind has suffered for fashion trends for thousands of years... braving the caves of giant bears to clothe our ancestral behinds, brass rings wrapped around the neck to protect against tiger maulings, high high high heels to destroy the foot while elongating and enhancing the leg, dancing en pointe... we put our bodies through some shit to look beautiful, don't we kiddies?
Trends have been around since before the before time in the long long ago... someone somewhere did something that someone inportant liked... and therefore everyone had to have it... regardless of the consequences.
Fashion to DIE for... LITERALLY.
Deadly Trend #6 --The Crinoline
Now a Crinoline may sound completely innocent, it's just a light fabric that gives a woman's skirts a little more shape than provided by nature... right?
Historically, the crinoline is a birdcage shaped aparratus that was worn under skirts to not only give some extra added shape... but to also give a HUGE amount of exaggerated shape... making the waist look ultra slim and tiny, and the figure of the actual woman more dainty and decorative...
I'm not suprised by that either, it's also worth mentioning that these things were made of some odd stuff... wood, fabric, sometimes METAL...

Brings a new meaning to the phrase "the caged bird"

Now... why is this strange sounding thing considered a Deadly Fashion weapon?
Here's why...
I can't even make this sound more awesome, so I'll quote straight from the article.
"Because of its design, it [the crinoline] was quite susceptible to gusts of wind. There are tales of women on piers that were swept up and carried out to sea, where they promptly drowned due to having a fucking steel cage tied to their waists. It was also a bad idea to hang around cliffs or tall buildings in this sort of contraption."

Makes a trip to the seaside a little more thrilling...don't you think.

And that wasn't the only danger, the elongated hips of the crinoline presented a huge danger in knocking over candles, which sounds silly and clumsy, but was deadly for more than a few women who went up in flames or who were unable to exit a building because their skirts were too wide to get out the front door in a hurry...
"In 1863 in Santiago, Chile, between 2000 and 3000 people died in a church fire. When a gas lamp lit the veils on the walls, people tried to run outside, but the width of the women's skirts blocked the door, and crinolines with women inside piled up in front of the exit, making an escape impossible even for the people who'd been smart enough not to wear hoop skirts.
" Deadly Trend #5 ~ The Corset

Now, I for one, am a corset lover... they give a shape like no other and there is nothing sexier than a woman who wears a corset like it's her second skin...
There is a line to be drawn... corsetry as body modification is a very interesting topic... some people went through and currently go through some very high extremes to achieve the ideal waist size.
Historically, "the result was not so much an hourglass figure, but a body that became an actual hourglass. Queen Maud of Norway was famous for her very small waistline, and many of her gowns are still exhibited so everyone can view their beauty and not-at-all freakishness."

Queen Maud and her tiny tiny waist.

So how is this "deadly"?
The act of donning a corset didn't actually become truly dangerous until people started tight lacing them to the point that ones internal organs were essentially all shoved downwards (which could cause internal bleeding which was deadly in that time period), the ribcage compressed or sometimes broken over time, and the lungs constricted.

The results of tight lacing...an attractively heaving bosom, and a crushed body cavity.

Hence, that MARVELOUS Victorian invention... the heaving bosom... and fainting feminine violets... too delicate for the world of men. I would be too if I couldn't speak without gasping.
Not to mention, "in 1903, a woman died suddenly due to two pieces of corset steel that became lodged in her heart. Yeah, when your outfit fucking stabs you to death, it's probably a sign that you've made a bad fashion decision."
Touche Deadly Trend #4 ~ Footbinding

Beautiful shoes represented tiny feet, which were as much a part of the marriage negotiations as the lineage and wealth of the prospective bride.

Ah yes...footbinding. Han Chinese nobles were inflicting this body modification on their female children hundreds of years before the advent of the corset...
Sometime in the 8th century, "it began with one concubine dancing around in front of the emperor with silk wrapped around her feet, and it ended with women whose feet were so disfigured they could only walk very short distances.
" The Golden Lilly feet were highly prized in ancient China, the smaller the foot of the prospective bride, the higher the bride price, and the better the marriage, bringing honour to the family and the prospective owner of the tiny footed bride. Prospective brides would send their intended husbands and mothers-in-law pairs of their tiny shoes...the finacee could see and fantasize about how small and pefect the feet of his potential bride would be, and the mother-in-law could judge her prospective daughter's skill in sewing, embroidery, and taste... important things for a young girl who wouldn't be moving much farther than her suites of rooms in her new household.
And yes, they were a sexual tool... and enhancement if you will. Husbands sought out the smallest and most finely shaped Golden Lillies for their enjoyment in the bedroom... I'll let you use your imaginations with that little tidbit... but suffice to say, that a foot fetish is heavily implied here.
Now, why was it a Deadly practice?
Not only were women willingly breaking the tiny bones of their daughters' feet... oh no...
"In order to transform the foot from regular-shaped to crazy-in-the-head-shaped, women started early, at two to seven-years-old, when their feet were soft and the bones still forming. First, their feet would soak in a bath that could be anything from herbs and water to urine and vinegar, depending on the family tradition. Then all their toes except the big one were folded down, and the arch of the foot bent back. The process would go on for a couple of years, with ever tighter bandages and recurrently disgusting foot baths, until the feet were about three inches long.
Footbinding cut off circulation in the toes, and the procedure oftentimes lead to gangrene or other life-threatening infections. Gangrenous toes were actually considered to be a good thing, because that meant the toes might fall off. The ideal was a foot that wasn't a foot at all, but simply a continuation of the leg."

The results.Broken toes and arch.

Death by blood poisoning or infection was common, as were other injuries relating to the breaking of the bones of the toes and foot arch. A lucky woman survived the process with tiny feet, measureing 2-4 inches long in ideal cases. An unlucky woman would have larger or imperfectly shaped lillies, which would erase her possibilities for a noble marriage and more than likely she would be one of the unlucky women who would have to do manual labour while tottering around on eternally broken feet.
"Women who didn't have bound feet were considered to be provincial, because only farmers needed to be able to walk and get work done. A real lady staggered on her heels or rode piggyback, because she was unable to put any pressure on her toes (if she had any)."

Foot binding x-rays, I like my flat peasant feet.

Deadly Trend #3 ~ The Fontage
The fontage began like footbinding, as simply the fault of a woman trying to catch the eye of the man in charge...
In 17th Century France, "Angelique de Fontanges, lost her cap one day when she was out riding horses with the king. Not wanting to let her hair fall freely - as that might be dangerous - she took a piece of ribbon and tied it to her hair.
The king liked it so much that he made de Fontanges a duchess, and because all of France's women wanted to be just as cool as the duchess a fashion trend was born."

The Fontage...how spectacular....and probablay nice and warm too.

Now this sounds really simple...women put crap in their hair all the time...
But the french women made it a serious business...graduating from simple ribbons to huge constructions on their heads.
Why is this a Deadly trend?
Like most things put on the head, Fontage's were constructed of light materials... unfortunately, light = flammable... and in a time where most of the lighting provided at balls, parties, dinners, etc where these contraptions would be worn, was all provided by CANDLES...you can imagine the carnage...
"They might as well have been wearing gasoline soaked rags on their heads.
Just ask "Mrs. Von Ilten" who suffered "... burnt neck, face and hands" because, as the reporter casually stated, "her fontange caught fire, she stared and fell and did not think to throw it off as I use to do..." "

Deadly Trend #2 ~ Lead Based Makeup
As a makeup artist... and as a History major... I've heard all kinds of stories and done all kinds of research about the crap that women have put on their faces over the centuries to make them beautiful. A Crocodile poop and clay mixture called Crocodilea was popular in Roman Egypt, nightingale poop cream for a Geisha's makeup prep... I'm sensing a poop theme.... Lead based makeup was used extremely often... from ancient times right up to the 1920's. What did it do? Well it bleached your face of course! How else did you think that Elizabeth I got that ghostly deified glow?

Lead based makeup gave Lizzy I her Madonna-esque dead-white glow.

How is it Deadly?
Lead poisoning is a slow killer... mostly succee in driving it's victims crazy with brain deterioration before inevitable death.
"In 1760, Marie Gunning, an Irish noblewoman who was famous for her beauty and white porcelain skin, became the first documented victim of cosmetic lead poisoning. You'd think that'd be enough to get people to change their cosmetics habits, but only seven years later the actress Kitty Fisher joined Gunning in the ranks of the perpetually pale. Finally, in 1878, Madame Rachel, a woman who'd made a living from selling the deadly cosmetics died from exposure to the lead in her own makeup. Irony is a bitch, Madame.
" Deady Trend #1 ~The Stiff High Collar
Just when you thought women got all of the bad fashion ideas... here's one for the fella's. We're talking about the specific kind of high detachable collar that was especially popular in the 19th century, Pride and Prejudice type era. The collar was always white and was fastened to the dandy's shirt with metal studs.

How was this manly contraption Deadly?
"The detachable collar was a quiet, subtle assassin. By cutting off circulation, it could creep up on a man in his drunken sleep and choke him to death when the man's head fell forward. It could also cause asphyxia and an abscess on the brain just by being tight, or in cases of indigestion that lead to the neck swelling it would simply strangle its prey. One very unlucky man at the end of the 1800s was almost guillotined on his collar when he tripped coming out of a street car.
" You have to remember here that this was a time of uptight propriety (which is odd considering how often the stiffness of the collars was likened to the virility of the man wearing it... a wilted collar was most shameful)... and of corpulent men eating large amounts of salty food and continuously toasting the health of the Queen... so there was lots of drunken card games, gout, and falling asleep in overstuffed wing chairs in the Gentleman's Club.

The original popped collar, G.

If only the popped collars of today were so deadly (you have to admit, they're annoyingly similar)... life would be so much simpler and so less full of retarded guys in too tight shirts.


This Week in High Fashion: Kiss Me, Kiev!!

Yesterday at 2:13pm

Oh yes, lovlies... that's right... the Ukraine has a Fashion Week...

I'm sure you'll be as stunned as I am that it's not full of furs, hoods, brightly patterned headscarves and wollen underthings... NO! Kiev Fashion week is STYLISH.... and wonder of all wonders, when even Paris let me down... I see MAKEUP at Kiev Fashion Week... like FACEPAINT type makeup...

I'm almost giddy! I know what you're thinking... Kiev isn't Paris... it's not even Moscow... but you know what darlings... it's a start. If the Eastern Bloc can put fun makeup on it's models again, why shuoldn't it happen in Milan and Paris soon... tell me it will all be ok... that I'll see avant garde makeup strutting the haute runways again... I know it will happen... Kiev helps me keep the hope alive.
This way to the Runway Porn!
Liliya Litkovskaya I love what you did to this poor model... she's trapped in your garment, and she still manages to look fabulous. I love jackets... and this one is awesome... elbow details beat shoulder details ANY day.

I think the opening is here... oh wait, maybe not...oh gosh, my hair is stuck now... honey....! Help!

Julia Aysina --I don't know why you decided to turn filmy 70's nightgowns into catsuits and dresses Julia, I really don't...but you have gold flakes on your models faces...so I love you anyway.

You flip your high ponytail, Miss Thang... you have gold on your face... *snap snap*

Georgian designer Avtandil Tskvitinidze has made some beautifully feminine pieces for this runway showing... soft colours, not so subtle flowers, slightly costumey and stereotypically soft and gentle... and top top it all off.... a boring BARE FACED MODEL!
Okokok... I see some eyeliner there... but really she's just wearing bronzer... that's not fair.

Look how feminine and pretty and boring I am...

Ah yes.... Elena Burenina---WTF is going on here. I though we left fully covered faces to the walk of shame that is Barcelona Fashion Week... It's a bondage robbery on the runway folks... hide your valuables and hosiery... Aside from that weirdness, check out those shoulders... yikes... someone looks like a paper doll cut-out, and it's not just my imagination... this outfit kind of reminds me of Alsatia from Toys wearing her clip on clothes. You be the judge, but the tabs on the shoulders are so doing it for me.

To Burenina's credit though... we have the FACEPAINT! I was SO not ready for that mess. It's awesome, don't get me wrong, but I don't know how it fits with the theme of the show... the model still looks like she's been tied into the garment and turned into a giant bow... facepaint = awesome... but probablay not in this instance. Points for effort, Elena... but not very many.

Nota Bene & Irina Karavay -- I'm only mentioning you because you redeem your heinously boring runway makeup with beauty marks... but that is all... your garments are a little messy looking (unfinished to be perfectly Project Runway about it)... and I"m not sure what's going on with that patchwork necklace.

Larisa Lobanova makes pretty, whimsical things... lightly reminiscent of tie-dye... but overall, I can't complain too hard. I also see facepaint here... it's also oddly mismatched to the collection, but again I'm giving out points for effort merely on the understanding that they will try harder next time... yes the paint matches the garment...but it doesn't mean it belongs there...

Christina Bobkova = neon colours, shimmery stretchy skintight fabric and wierdness in the hair department... I'm not sure if putting these all together to make a look and a collection is a good thing, but she's trying it... hard.
Stretchy shiny tight fabric doesn't look good on ANYONE, even railroad tie thin models from Eastern Europe...

Olena Vorozhbyt and Tetyana Zemskova --I saved my favorites for last... love the hair, love the clothes, there's even makeup to be found on those pretty shiny faces...