Best Spring Campaigns of 2018

The launch of a new campaign for a brand is a very exciting time. Campaigns allow brands to finally express the entirety of their creative vision for the collection. Each campaign is a very interesting look at the collaborative efforts between fashion, cinema, photography, and art. This season, brands stepped away from the traditional ad campaigns to create captivating fashion films and editorial campaigns that feel a lot more personal and in tune with the current media and trend-obsessed fashion industry.


Photo: Balenciaga

Balenciaga seems to really be pushing further and further away from the brand it used to be. Fresh and millennial driven, Balenciaga’s facelift has taken it from Parisian powerhouse to global heavyweight. These days, Balenciaga dominates the fashion market. Especially in area’s where the majority of fashion buyers are nouveau riche millennials. The new Balenciaga is all about modernity, fusing technology, laid-back casual wear, sportswear, and athletic wear into a mishmash of fashion. Brands like this appeal to the trend-obsessed and social media reliant fashion young fashion consumer. This idea of media awareness and self-indulgence was at the heart of Balenciaga’s latest ad campaign. The campaign, which features various models posing as celebrities being photographed by paparazzi, is a real nod to today’s celebrity and social media obsessed culture. Where information regarding the private lives of those in the spotlight is demanded at a minute by minute rate. Another really interesting level to the campaign is the possibility that Balenciaga is acknowledging that it’s in the spotlight and it’s being watched very closely by the fashion world since Demna stepped in.


Photo: Gucci

Gucci has established as the new reigning monarch of the “ism.” Gucci-isms are everywhere these days. Fast fashion brands adore Gucci for making a successful mad dash at attacking millennials with quirky, straight out of your grandma’s closet designs. Every retailer from Zara to Forever 21 and Supreme have all incorporated “Gucci-isms” into their collections. From stripped collar sweaters and pull-overs to butterfly, tiger, and floral print dresses. Gucci has established itself as the go-to house for recognizable design. But Gucci’s newfound success didn’t just come out of thin air. It was Alessandro Michele’s creative genius that turned the brand around and made it the kitschy brand it is today. For its spring campaign, Gucci utilized its love for all things retro and kitschy to collaborate with Ignasi Monreal on their spring 2018 campaign. The Spanish digital artist created stunning works of art that channel the art masters of old. References to Van Eyck, Bosch, Velazquez are easily visible within the paintings created by Monreal and the entire vibe of the campaign falls perfectly in line with Gucci’s creative direction. The campaign itself is brilliant, combining the selling power of top models, an in-demand brand, and eye-catching creativity to create a unique modern fusion of art, commerce, and fashion.


Photo: Missoni

Sometimes all it takes to create a stunning campaign is an exceptional photo. For their spring campaign, Missoni teamed up with photographer Harley Weir to create this stunning work of photographic art. The photo has a very 50s-60s quality about it. Harking back the era of Avedon, Beaton, and Newton. The first thing one sees when looking at the campaign is the colour. The photograph is bathed in sharp vertical multicoloured stripes pulled straight from the brand’s pattern repertoire. The picture creates movement, with the sand dunes, mountain peaks, and windswept fabric all creating the illusion that the photo is indeed moving in one’s mind. Often times, brand’s and photographers forget that sometimes, all you need to sell your clothing is a stunning photograph. The Missoni campaign does just that. Fusing high art photography with beautiful styling to create an exceptional work of marketing art.


Photo: Dior

Whether you love the new Dior or not. You cannot argue that Maria Grazia is trying her best to evolve the brand into a contemporary power seller. One thing Chiuri has managed to do is really push the idea that Dior is a brand by a woman, for women. Her many inspirations, most of them being female artists and women who’ve influenced modern and ancient society. This season’s collection was all about art and the idea is literally translated to the campaign through the use of watercolour paintings riddled throughout. The idea that really comes through with the campaign is the fusion of art and feminine sensuality. And an air of mystery created by the gaze of the model and the mirrored expression seen in the painting below her. The simplicity of the image is what really sells the campaign. It’s stripped, taken down to basics. Which is what Maria Grazia seems to be doing with the brand in general. Taking away all the frills and leaving behind only Dior’s legacy, his woman, and the clothes.

A Conversation With Jordan McKay of HENDRIXROE

This week marks Jordan McKay and HENDRIXROE move to their iconic new home at Toronto Fashion Week. As always. Miss McKay managed to dazzle and awe her audience. Earning another standing ovation. Often times when a designer’s star rises, the newfound fame can sometimes overwhelm and change a designer, however, Jordan remains the exact same fashion heroine she was when she started her now famous brand all of those years ago.

Recently Novella sat down with the designer to find out what makes her who she is and how she shaped HENDRIXROE into the powerhouse it is today.

What makes HENDRIXROE different from other contemporary brands in Canada?

Jordan McKay – I’ve always felt like I was the underdog when it came to fashion. Heres this quiet girl from Saskatchewan, designing alongside these veterans in the Canadian fashion game. So it always felt like I had so much to prove for my sake and the brand’s sake. Other than that, I think it really comes down to the clothes themselves. The manufacturers I work with for the brand put quality first just like I do. I think that really makes Hendrix Roe what it is. I love what I do and it has to be perfect. So what we want to give everyone is a brand built on love. Cause that’s what HENDRIXROE is really about. Making something that can bring people together.

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

So what gives HENDRIXROE it’s iconic look?

JM – People think the brand is just this kind of head-banging heavy metal brand because we play rock music during the runway show, which isn’t completely wrong, but that’s not everything it is. If you really look at the designs and the clothes there’s a ton of references in there that aren’t just rock and roll. I’m super inspired by hip-hop, the 70’s, and the 80’s and think you can really see that in a lot of the collections. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been that girl that listened to Metallica and all that, but that isn’t everything the HENDRIXROE is. It’s really about self-expression, you know? Being able to speak up and be who you are. That’s badass.

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

What made you into the person you are today?

Jordan McKay – When I was in high school I had no voice. I was super quiet and shy. So that ended with getting bullied and just going through a lot of struggles during that time. But don’t get me wrong, I did go through all of that but at the end of the day, I’m a very privileged girl. Blonde, blue eyes, and white. For all of the things I’ve gone through, I know I have a hell of a lot of privilege compared to so many people out there. I recognize that. I think that’s what really made who I am today. Having to open myself up and find my voice. I think a lot of people think that I’ve just always been this crazy, loud, bubbly girl but it took a hell of a lot of work to get me to open up and be comfortable in my own skin. Even now with everything happening so fast and the brand getting so much recognition, it feels like barely have any time do just like sit down, take a breath, and say “you’ve got this kid.” Cause I’m not used to this sort of thing, even after being around for a few seasons. I still sometimes feel like that quiet girl I was back then. Cause I won’t lie, it can get overwhelming really quickly. I think another really big part of what shaped me as a person is that I really am inspired by the people who fight for love. I like to call them the warriors of love. It’s all of these people around the world that are trans, gay, bi, LGBT, people of colour, minorities, all of these oppressed people who have to fight every day to just earn the right to love who they want. Like that’s my real inspiration, if that makes any sense. The people who fight for love and a voice in this world.

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

What message do you think HENDRIXROE sends to the Canadian fashion audience?

Jordan McKay – Honestly it’s about acceptance. There are so many people who just get beaten down every day. They’re marginalized and singled out for just trying to live their lives. For me, and I can only hope this is what comes across with me and the brand is that I get you. I get the pain and the silence. I get you and I hear and I love. When I was bullied in high school I didn’t have that opportunity to have someone give me that chance to find my voice and be completely transparent. So I need to make sure that the people around me who feel like they can’t speak up or say what they truly need to say have an outlet for that. It really comes down to HENDRIXROE being an outlet for those who don’t feel accepted to find that acceptance. To feel like they have a safe space and that they have a tribe and they have a family. I never want to speak for someone, but with the brand, I can truly feel like I can speak for you when times are hard, if you need that support, until you finally feel ready to let your voice be heard. I think that’s so important. To fight for those people. I hope that’s what everyone really sees when they see HENDRIXROE.

Photos: Toronto Fashion Week

What direction do you see HENDRIXROE taking in the near future?

Jordan McKay – International. Definitely international. You know, sometimes I find myself getting messages from all of these amazing people saying they love the brand and they love what I’m doing and I just sit there thinking “holy crap, how the hell do they even know who I am?” But for sure international. And I know everything is going online now, but I think another really big step I’d love to take is having a store. Like an actual HENDRIXROE store. I love people. So I still feel like we as people need that human touch. I think that’s what makes the brand so different too. It’s not unapproachable, I’m not unapproachable. I want to have that personable experience, you know what I mean. And I think you can really get that in a store. A nice stand-alone store. Not in a mall… No, never a mall. They weird me out. I’ve never been a mall girl.

A big congratulations to Jordan for another stunning show. We know Canada and the world are dying to see what you’ll do next. With all our love from Novella magazine!

Photo: Toronto Fashion Week

Couture Week Spring 2018: The Highlights

Isn’t it an amazing feeling when couture weeks come around? It’s as if the world comes together in peace and harmony and all of the planets align. That may be an exaggeration, but to be fair, couture weeks bring up the same feelings within the fashion community that the second coming of Christ does for the deeply religious. This season, however, marked a change for some of the usual suspects within the couture ring. It seemed like couture had been taking a very modest and simple turn for a while in terms of design. However, this season really took steps to change the entire dynamic of what modern couture could be. Many of the designers who’d fallen to the back burner of the couture world finally decided to inject a boost of much-needed life into the world of couture. Blessing us all with new inspirations and new hopes and dreams.


One of the biggest surprises this season had to be Valentino. Now Valentino may be a couture week staple, but it did end up being one of the houses that had seemed to fall into the couture rut. Before this season, Valentino felt slightly repetitive. Revisiting the regal Edwardian aesthetic that brought the brand it’s new found fame after Valentino Garavani took leave. Now, after having enough time to discover who he wants to be as a designer after Maria Grazia’s leave, Pierpaolo has spread his wings and understood full well what he wants Valentino to look like in the future. For this season’s couture collection. Piccioli turned to organic and minimal shapes to create a brilliant take on contemporary couture. Couture can often times look too dated if it isn’t milled through and thought out with every detail in mind, modern couture can end up looking quite dated or far too average to satisfy couture clientele. However, Piccioli managed to begin placing the stepping stones for modern couture. Creating simplistic and relevant designs that combine modern eye-catching design and the luxury required for beautiful couture.

Maison Margiela

John Galliano has proven himself season after season. When he first took the helm at Margiela, many wondered how Galliano’s feminine excess would translate to the Margiela runway. Four years later he’s managed to more than fill the shoes of his predecessor Martin Margiela. Galliano’s love of excess has translated perfectly to his idea of modern deconstructed couture. At this season’s artisanal collection, Galliano infused the idea of athleisure and athletic fabrics with contemporary couture silhouettes. Now everyone in the fashion community has become accustomed to Galliano’s cacophonous take on Margiela’s deconstruction, but what really surprised this season had to be the reflective athletic fabric that was used for many of the looks. The fabric, which reacted to flash photography, allowed one look to become two; in the most whimsical and colourful way possible.

Viktor & Rolf

Viktor & Rolf are Gods in the haute couture world. Their designs transcended what haute couture could be many years ago. When we look at the design duo, their archives showcased what the future of couture could be, rather than what it was at the time. This season, V&R really pulled out all the stops to create a stunning collection that’s rooted heavily in what the modern couture clients are looking for. The gorgeous 70s silhouettes pair beautifully with pastel and candy colour blocked colours. The simplistic silhouettes help further the idea that modern couture no longer has to be flashy and excessive. Instead, couture can now focus on material and quality instead of glitz and glamour. Which is the perfect way to go as the fashion world evolves and new couture clientele begin to seek out and purchase couture garments.

Paris Homme Fall 2018: The Highlights

Paris fashion week, regardless if it’s men’s or women’s, is always a week to look forward to. If we really take the time to look at the collections and designers presented, we can see that Paris is really a culmination of the best of the best. This season, the collections seemed far more reigned in than what’s been presented during prior seasons. But that isn’t to say that the shows were lacklustre, in fact, this season’s collections seemed far more fashion-forward and relevant than ever; putting a real emphasis on impeccable design and taste rather than selling trend.

Ann Demeulemeester

Demeulemeester is the undisputed label for modern gothic elegance. Now, many brands have ventured into the realm of gothic romanticism. However, Demeulemeester’s label, regardless if Ann was at the helm of not, has managed to understand the DNA of romantic design. On many occasions, designers manage to create gothic collections based too heavily on costume or period design, however, Demeulemeester always imbues their period based designs with a razor’s edge contemporary flare that leaves each collection looking fresh rather than coffin ready. This season, the label’s knack for gothic glamour once again brought the idea of Edwardian beauty to the European runway. But as always, the collection was immersed in modern trends and silhouettes that make each piece approachable and relevant with what’s going on in fashion at the moment.

Enfants Riche Deprimes

Seeing anything that remotely resembles Ivy League school clothing is just pure fun. It harks back to a time when young adults used what they wore to convey an image of scholarly excellence. Everyone is familiar with the typical preppy get up many old-school Ivy Leaguer’s used to wear back in their hay day, however, at Enfants Riches Deprimes, the typical preppy outfit was injected with a fresh take of modern edge. Think Prep school vs. the 60s Mod with a big dose of millennial attitude.


Pierpaolo has always had a knack for using colour. This season at Valentino, rich bursts of colours were paired with deep blacks and soft neutrals to create colour palettes that seemed to resembles a painter’s oils. Deep reds and hunter greens jumped out when paired with inky blacks and baby blues. But it wasn’t just about the colours used for the collection, it was about how everything was tied to the contemporary idea of millennial athleisure. Now, athleisure as a trend has started to lose momentum in the eyes of many. One of the main problems with the trend is how very one-note it can be. However, at Valentino, the subtle elegance of formalwear changes the idea of what athleisure can be, giving the collection a far more mature and high fashion appeal, while still remaining fresh and genuine, rather than stuffy and pretentious.


Wooyoungmi is a brand that’s often left overlooked by those who aren’t familiar with contemporary European brands. Even still, Wooyoungmi continues to be a defining brand among modern menswear labels. At this season’s show, the 80s was back in action. Many of them looked as if they could have come straight from any of the Back To The Future movies. The long oversized duster coats were perfect for recreating iconic looks from movies like The Breakfast Club and Say Anything. While the shiny pleathers and leathers mirror new wave pop bands like Devo and the B52’s. All in all, the collection is really the perfect opportunity for men to try out some modern 80s fashion trends without having to go to stumple into the realm of 80s excess.


Milan Uomo Fall 2018: The Highlights

Men’s fashion has slowly, but surely, taken itself out of the dark ages. Leaving the world of simple suits and trousers behind and pushing into newer, more fashionable territory. The days of simple hyper-masculine silhouettes seem to finally be a thing of the past, with modern Italian menswear moving towards a broader and more unisex look. This season, Milan’s menswear designers sprung into action and created collections that take conventional masculine silhouettes and inject an organic feminity to each garment. Leaving their designs looking undoubtedly masculine, yet satisfyingly feminine all at once.


Marni has taken a very drastic turn in terms of looks since founder Consuelo Castiglioni, stepped down as creative head last year. The new Marni, now headed by Francesco Risso, Marni has evolved into a fashion house focused on the grey areas of boundary-pushing design. Much of the house’s DNA is still very evident within Francesco’s designs, which is always a great thing to see, however, Marni’s codes now have a cacophonous freshness that’s relevant with today’s luxury fashion trends. For fall 2018, it looks as if Marni was about playing with chaos. Pattern, volume, silhouettes, colour, and texture all came crashing into one another to create a modern vagabond chic aesthetic. Some of the most whimsical and likeable pieces have to be the suiting and plaids which were decorated with splashes of cartoon illustrations of keys, foxes, and beakers. Giving the collection a wonderfully light-hearted look.


What can be said about Miuccia Prada that hasn’t already been said before? The woman is a genius of her craft. Often overshadowed by gimmicky designers and their smoke and mirrors, yet never shaken enough by their presence to change her designs. Miuccia has become the underlying foundation of industry hellbent to spitting out trend after trend. This season, Prada once again sends out a stunning collection rooted deeply in design and style, rather than quick trend. For her fall show, Miuccia took one of her brand’s most defining materials (nylon) and reinterpreted it into just about everything the models wore on the runway. One design aesthetic that stuck out during the show was how relatively tame it was in terms of patterns for a modern Prada show. Within the last few years, Miuccia has really spearheaded the pattern mix aesthetic that many designers are basing their entire brands on now. However, that didn’t mean the collection lacked any fun deconstructed patterns. If anything the placement of patterned and graphic ensembles at various intervals of the show, allowing it to stay fresh and electric. Yet even with fun beach-inspired patterns and prints, the real highlights of the show were the looks that combined 60s London mod silhouettes with the sportiness of today. A big part that was possible by the use of Prada’s signature nylon. Fusing today’s millennial obsession with athleisure and Prada’s razor-sharp high fashion go-to’s.


The Caten twins have a true talent in the field of reimagination. While other designers take design go-to’s and fail at reimagining the design trope in fresh and relevant ways, Dean and Dan Caten manage to inject new life into their influences. Take this season’s western theme for instance, while other designers would fail in making a collection that differences from the dozens of western inspired collections of fashion’s past. The twins at Dsqaured2 manage to create a fun a fresh take on western clothing. As usual, their always evident hint of rock and roll fuses perfectly with their reinvented idea of western glam. One stand out a little feast for the eyes was the small additions of feminine glam like a little peekaboo sequin sleeve, delicate floral trims, and silk ribbon bowties help navigate the collection from overtly masculine to modern androgyny.


When thinking of the all American ivy league fashionista, they of Ralph Lauren. Always cool, calm, and collected. Lauren collections always stay firmly rooted in old fashion Americana. Which isn’t a bad thing because it works! However, this season at Ralph Lauren Purple Label, a distinctly European flair was injected into the hardcore Americana tropes littered throughout the collection. There were navy and sailor ensembles that had European silhouettes, with their nipped in waists and widened shoulders. There were aviator ensembles that paired delicate velvets with the masculine idea of military dressing. But the true show stoppers were the elegant formalwear, which took plaids and monochrome black ensembles and infused them with a balance of modern touches and a distinctly European silhouette. Allowing for a fresh take on your tradtitional Ivy League boy.