Nightshade Watches Movies: Lagerfeld Confidential !!!

When someone utters the name Karl Lagerfeld...what springs to mind? Chanel? Perhaps. The frosted ponytail? Indeed. Seasonally inappropriate collars that only Don Cherry could love? Definitely. You know me, I've had an on and off love affair with Lagerfeld, as a designer and as a “fashion celebrity” for quite some time. It's generally love/hate, but I find it quite satisfying in a quasi neurotic kind of way. I find him alternately fascinating and terrifying…as I’m sure many people do. The man is a self proclaimed “alien” and I can’t seem to shake the image of fashion’s favorite bobble-head doll, Jeanne Beker from Fashion Television, giggling like a half-crazed schoolgirl JUST to sit in his presence…it clings Jeanne…the shame.

Coming back to the subject….Lagerfeld...movie.
When I was trapped on a hugely long flight from Paris to Seattle last month, I discovered to my inane joy (you have no idea) that Air France has a staggeringly large cache of fashion based films, runway footage, and documentaries on their little in-seat screens. *squeal* For 10 hours straight (broken only by the 80th viewing of “A Bugs Life” )…I watched runway footage from the catwalks of the world…and then a little gem of a documentary that I hadn’t heard of before. Lagerfeld Confidential. Which, I’m shocked to say…changed my view of Lagerfeld completely. OK well not completely...I still think he's batshit, but in all seriousness, this NEVER happens to me, kittens. I don’t change my mind about these things lightly.
On with the review!

Lagerfeld Confidential http://www.lagerfeldconfidentiel.com/index.cfm?lng=en
Filmed in 2007, in endearingly horrible lighting, documentary style by Rodolphe Marconi the viewer is treated to a week (or maybe it was a month, I couldn’t be sure, it wasn’t specifically explained) in the life of The Lagerfeld. Fortunately for me, as a Lagerfeld critic, this film allowed an insider’s view of the daily workings of the Chanel empire…at least the Lagerfeld parts. I was rewarded with the justification of most of my assumptions…the man is insane. Now, unfortunately, when I say insane, I actually mean genius level insane…Lagerfeld is an incredibly complex man with many levels and many things about his life which are not shared with outsiders…take his dark glasses for example…he specifically demanded (in a nice way) to not be filmed without them…instructions which the camera crew did their best to subvert and got a fair amount of footage of Lagerfeld sans lunettes de soleil, and considering this documentary is considered “official” Lagerfeld obviously approved it.

Which brings me to my next point. Approved documentaries, like authorized biographies are generally a snore. The unauthorized content is soooo much juicier isn’t it? Thankfully, and to Lagerfeld’s credit, there is quite a bit of seemingly unauthorized content in this film. From the director: «I have shown the film to Karl two weeks after the final editing; it was the same version that you will see today: he has changed nothing. There was no censorship imposed upon me during the editing.»
We see Lagerfeld packing for a trip…we get to peek into his dresser drawers and see the PILES yes, PILES of paper/starched/space material collars that he wears everywhere….the plethora of ipod/nano/shuffle/mp3 music options…the multiple BOWLS of rings that he covers his fingers with before leaving the house (an assistant yelps when he pats her hand because of all the rings, owie…right on the bone). The small retail boutique contents he brings with him as presents for house staff, guests, anyone, random people he meets…Chanel for EVERYONE!!!!! I’m serious…an army of pristine, massive Chanel shopping bags follows this man wherever he goes.
I have to admit, my dears, that as much as I have spoken ill of Lagerfeld in the past…I still admire him. On seeing footage of his apartment, I had a definitive moment of fan-girl palpitations…he lived…right down the street from the flat I had occupied on the Rue D’Anjou only days previously. I know. Barfy, right?
Something else to love about this documentary is the tender side of Lagerfeld that shows itself quite unabashedly. He worships his mother for her strength of character, and her passion for life; he hates people who can’t be alone; he never sleeps on flights and won’t travel without a threadbare pillow that his grandmother made for him; he freely admits that he can’t sew…he just designs.

Lagerfeld is an artist, an artist with no secrets to hide, and no shame about his lifestyle, his desires, or his opinions…(don’t ask him what he thinks about YSL). He’s a brilliant sketch artist (loves to work in red sharpie and always draws a frame around his design sketches), a gifted photographer, a rabid magazine collector, and an avid scrap booker (yes, I’m serious).

His office looks like mine...there may be hope for me yet.

Verdict…love him, worship him, think he’s a fucking nutcase? All of the above? Definitely worth the watch. Personally, he still terrifies me slightly in that “I definitely think you’re crazy, but no one else seems to notice” kind of way.
Watch the documentary…if nothing else…Nicole Kidman’s in it, and there are naked male models (seriously), and no naked Karl Lagerfeld.
*thumbs up*

Nicole Kidman!!!

Male models in various states of undress!!!!


This Week in High Fashion: LG Fashion Week...What Trends??

Toronto Fashion Week has been through many facelifts over the years that it's been running as NY Fashion Week's dirty little love child that no one talks about...first it was just plain old Toronto Fashion Week, then L'Oreal Fashion Week, and now, LG Fashion Week. Somehow the association of spotty and unreliable satellite connections goes hand in hand with the fashions that are coming out of Toronto this season.

Now, "Selling Out" is usually a term reserved for sports teams and rock bands, with no apologies made...and now the same thing is happening for fashion. At LG Fashion week, it's easy to see who's driving the creative boat...and as usual, it's the people with the most money. Or the biggest entourage, you be the judge.

Designers of note showing at this season's LG Fashion Week (aka the one's that I'll be bashing): Joe Fresh, Evan Biddel, Lucian Matis, Barbie by David Dixon, Bustle Clothing, Cocolilly, Attitude, Pink Tartan.


Joe Fresh Style -- If you're not familiar with this label, obvoiusly you haven't been shopping in a small town before. Dominating the landscape of small towns and suburbs everywhere, Great Canadian Superstore has a fashion line. Yes...a fashion line. A fashion line that shows at Toronto's Fashion Week. Now if you're waiting for it all to get better, like I am...it doesn't. But LG Fashion Week is cool with it...then again, wouldn't everyone if they were getting paid a whackload of money? Sure you would be. Don't deny it...money talks. Especially in Toronto. There are furry earmuffs on this runway...I do NOT approve.

I'm sorry...are those earmuffs?

I know someone with a dogskin coat that would go PERFECTLY with that purse!!!

Evan Biddel -- How can you NOT love Evan Biddel, this author is proudly addicted. BUT...laying it all on the table...WTF is happening with this collection? Bag dresses, crazy eye bleach worthy prints, shiny material that looks like it belongs on a baked potato, and some structure that even McQueen would be like: "bitch...please". Now don't take this the wrong way...Biddel is fabulous...loved him since day one on Project Runway, and he cuts and sews everything by himself...but I think I can see where he got a little angsty about his work...or a little too stoned to go on.

I'm al for structure...but this is just stupid. Is it a raincoat? A child's play area? I'm confused. I also wonder how much glue gun time was put into this.

It's the pants that are freaking me out the most. OK that's a lie...everything is freaking me out at this point.

Lucian Matis -- Another Project Runway alumnai...and another longtime love. Matis' designs are generally flowing, beautiful, delicate garments for flowing, delicate, beautiful women. No problem. This collection however...is not. It's hard, it's strong, it's feminine, yes...but Matis' woman is definitely STRONGER this season than in the past. My issue...is the borrowing from other catwalks and hoping that no one notices. I see Lagerfeld inspired lines, Chanel suits in luxe fabrics, and baroque designs that look like McQueen's final collection. I'm ok with this...but I HATE recycled runway. *YAWN*

Compare to Chanel's Winter 10/11 collection...all that's missing is furry boots. And Lagerfeld.

Subtle hints of McQueen...it's not his fault.

Barbie by David Dixon -- Now, the name of this line makes my gag reflex pinch a little, but that's another story for another day involving childhood issues and a revulsion for pink and everything Barbie stands for. "Barbie", is touted as a ready to wear collection for "real women". Which is a little hilarious to me, but then again, I'm seeing a LOT of knee socks and romper length dresses...do "real women" wear this stuff? How does one expect to be taken seriously in a raspberry pink dress with a chartreuse wrapped pea coat? Oh, and knee socks. *giggle* However, the mod-inspired 60's look of the collection is refreshing with the avalanche of 80's crap that's been falilng off the runways lately. That part of the 60's can come back...it's allowed. I permit it.

Chartreuse pea coat? CHECK! Age Inappropriate knee socks? CHECK! Barf bag? oh no...

Oh the knee socks...and an age inappropriate dress with too many bows...I'm having a "Clueless" flashback to 1994.

Bustle Clothing-- Designed by a couple of bitchy laywers from Toronto, I'm convinced that Bustle clothing gets to show at LG Fashion week because the creative director is a perma-judge on Project Runway Canada. Convinced. He has to look legit right? What better way than to buy your way onto the runway? There's a lot of back scratching going on behind the scenes here...which isn't surprising. Fashion is seedier than the brokerage industry sometimes. Bustle's collection this season is for men...and not just ANY man. NO...the man who is OK with wearing several layers of cashmere and velvet. Velvet blazers...fine...velvet SUIT?
Please, ladies, don't do this to the men you love. They won't thank you, and they'll wash it in the regular wash instead of drycleaning it. I promise.

EW. Seriously. Would you date this? I wouldn't.

Shiny waxed suit...not MY idea of hot...but then again, I haven't been wrong yet.

Cocolilly --If Madonna's "Like a Virgin" suddenly started playing in the background right now, I wouldn't be scared. There are pasties on this runway. Lindsay Lohan's Ungaro collection had pasties and it was PANNED. Perhaps because Cocolilly has frilly lacy pasties it'll be different...but I doubt it. But really, what goes better with a pouffy prom dress than...you guessed it...PASTIES! Cocolilly collection can be summed up in 3 themes...lace, 80's cutouts, knee socks. *BARF*

I swear I've seen this on Demi Moore on a worst dressed list somewhere in the early 90's. I swear.

Lacy Pasties!!!! BLUE SHOES!!!!!

Attitude by SEARS-- Yes, that was capitalized for a reason. SEARS is showing at LG Fashion Week....HOW did this happen. You too can see models decked in ill fitting skirts and blouses of polyester blend material strut their way down the runway of a prominent fashion week. Ther isn't much more to say about this collection...there were a few shining monents of chockingly well fitted tweed-looking wool-blend suits that were actually flattering...aaaand that's about it. Oh...and some lace and knee socks.


This is the only thing I like off of this runway, and it's so Sears it hurts me.

Pink Tartan -- "Pretty, Polished, and Elegant" In a trashbag. Trashbag looking material is making a comeback...Biddel, Pink Tartan, they're rocking it. I know I'll be lining up to get MY form fitted trashbag dress to wear to the clubs. Question...how does a skirt that looks like it was made out of a ratty bearskin rug get squished under the "Pretty, Polished and Elegant" tagline? Also...structure is wonderful...sometimes it can be fabulous...but when did jodhpurs with wired out hip enhancements come back to the runway? John Galliano can get away with this...Pink Tartan, not so much.

There are so many things wrong with this...so so many. I have to admit I'm not understanding the "lets turn women into cylanders" trend...not hot.

Oh, I'm SO glad they got the garbage bag material memo. SO GLAD (TM).

All in all, what can we take away from Toronto Fashion Week in this 2010 Collection Review? Knee socks? Let's not and leave it for the school age girls. There are many lessons to be learned from LG Fashion week...and not all of them are about Fashion, but that's what we'll stick to for now.

One day, I'll tell you all how I really feel.


This Week in High Fashion: I've got my Knickers in a Knot...

Here in Vancouver, as with many Canadian cities, there’s a little rag paper that gets thrust into your unwilling, frozen, or otherwise overburdened hands on your way to work in the morning….it’s call 24 hours. It’s a rag paper. Recycled news from other sources and some “local colour” thrown in for fun… As I rarely read what is so often strewn about the skytrain cabins, I was surprised to learn this morning that 24 hours has a FASHION section. REALLY. I can’t even reenact the look of shock on my face….which predictably enough, turned to a look of disgust and perhaps with even a dash of righteous indignation thrown in.

The reason for the indignation you ask? Well, not like it takes much for me to lose my shit about fashion and what certain people in certain positions of perceived power have to say about it…I give you…Twisted Panties. Oh yes…you heard me. Twisted Panites. Two ladies giving advice to poor downtrodden women about what they should wear, how to get into a relationship, maintain it once you’ve TRAPPED the poor bastard, and most importantly…the search for the perfect pair of jeans. BARF.
As if Cosmopolitan and Flare weren’t enough reason to curse your womb and beg for the sense of Maxim…

But I digress.
This morning, care of the ladies at Twisted Panties, I was presented with my dictated choices for best LBD. Anyone who’s read this blog before KNOWS how much I utterly loathe the phrase LBD…acronym or not. How have women been reduced to this? You’re nothing without the perfect little black dress. NOTHING!!!! AND WHY DON’T YOU LOVE CARRIE BRADSHAW LIKE WE DO??? Back the fuck off, you screeching bitches.
Some of us have better things to do with our lives than follow the misadventures of New York’s most rapidly aging 18 year old slut and her “bestest” friends. UGGGG.
Twisted Panties would like YOU, yes you, women of Vancouver…to buy these career making dresses from specific places…like Jacob, Banana Republic, the Bay etc. I think it’s not so much the dresses themselves, but it’s the way in which the dresses are presented that is really cutting off the circulation…

“…perfect for business travel, especially if you plan on seducing one of your co-workers”
“…in fact, it looks and feels better with nothing on underneath.”
“…the perfect LBD to wear to the Sex and the City 2 premiere!!!!!”

WOW it’s a really great thing that women have come so far in society that we can avoid those silly stereotypes of only getting ahead in the office if we put out, and thank GOD we all LOVE Sex and the City…we love it enough to go to the premiere in a $300 dress!!! And OMG it’s SO lucky that we’re all a size 0-2 because those dresses look SO horrible on those fat chicks. PHEW.

Hold on for just one hot mess of a minute.
Not everyone is a size zero…and we all know that Jacob just doesn’t fit right if you have a rack that’s anywhere over a B-cup. And hips? Hello…some of us (this bitter blogger included) have them…in spades…
Let’s ignore for a moment how annoyed I am with this article and explore instead something else…like other options in the little (insert colour here) dress category.
Why black? Yes, it looks great on everyone, yes, you can wear it to the office and then out to get laid with your co-workers after your workday, yes, you can wear it to the PTA meeting and then to seduce your child’s teacher…we get it.
How about some colour? How about some LOCAL colour???

Nightshade is all about the locals…and so…I give you some LOCAL, SUSTAINABLE, and dare I say it…AWESOME alternatives to the prohibitively BORING styles in today’s 24 hours fashion section…

Retro styles are always IN style…I know that Carrie isn’t wearing it, but give me a freaking break already, she’s also not usually wearing underwear…you try that in the summer in some of the skirts she’s wearing.

Scout Boutique ~ 152 East 8th Ave Vancouver
Featuring a few gems from labels like Sweet Soul, Misty Greer (both Vancouver local) and Stop Staring…why the hell would you settle for black??? But if you MUST follow the crowd, at least do it in style.

Dress by Sweet Soul~Lace is going to be big in 2010...if you're going to hop on the trend boat, look hot while doing it.

Dress by Sweet Soul~ This dress looks hot on EVERYONE...regardless of bodyshape. Trust me on this one...these women, know boobies and butts.

"Paris" Dress by Stop Staring~ $130.00

"Ava" dress by Stop Staring~ $137.00

Retro kitten dress by Stop Staring~ $154.00

The thing about Vancouver, we’re pretty uptight about our environmentals…have you ever worn a soy cotton dress? I can’t even describe how amazing it feels on your skin…you should try it, for reals.

Planet Claire Sustainable Fashion~ 212 Abbott Street, Gastown

Planet Claire is one of my favorite places and favorite people…she carries locally designed, sustainable/organic/upcycled clothing from some of the best labels around. Adhesif, Sweet Soul, Carny Love, Flora and Fauna, Lav and Kush, NATE Organics, and MORE…why the hell would you drag your ass into the Bay??? Seriously.

If you simply CAN’T live without a LBD, opt for a local, awesome option…
Flora and Fauna have some gorgeous black dresses that are classy, organic, and beautiful on EVERY bodytype…

The moral of the story kittens?
Well, there are two.
One, don’t let the quest for thr “perfect” LBD consume your life…there is better shit out there. Trust me.
Two, don’t ever say LBD in my presence, you will be shunned.