Summer is just around the corner, and for the fashionistas among us, it means we are gearing up for the perfect stylish getaway. Choosing a fashion destination from an endless list of options can be a challenging mission. How does one choose between a relaxing day in a tropical beach wearing a floppy hat, oversized sunglasses, and a tiny bikini, or following one’s inner bohemian soul to the heat of the desert in a maxi breezy dress and cross-body fringe bag, or being in a cosmopolitan city for the shopping sprees and coffee breaks in an elegant atmosphere. To help you find the destination that speaks to your fashion-loving soul, we asked five talented people from different fields in our local fashion industry, what their fashionable place for a dreamy summer vacation will be this year.
Fashion Destination: Berlin, Germany/Tel Aviv, Israel
My most recent favourite fashion destinations are Tel Aviv and Berlin. Street style in both Berlin and Tel Aviv are thought provoking. I love Berlin for the arts and culture. I enjoy art scenes with grit and Berlin definitely has grit; textures and colours in paintings, in window displays, in historic and modern architectures.
Modern fashion and fashion accessory design in Tel Aviv seems unique in its own aesthetics and fodder for my own inspiration. I happened upon great footwear design while in Tel Aviv/Jaffa last April. We proudly display these designs in our Toronto Studio and have made them available to all who love interesting fashion.
My favourite destination would be Tulum, Mexico. It’s a tropical artist hub to unwind in and be inspired at the same time. Located on the same shoreline as the popular Playa Del Carmen, the resorts of Tulum are far more reclusive and private. The rustic stone architecture highlighted by cotton rope hammocks is the perfect spot where linen dresses can be worn with strappy leather sandals and, of course, some gold accessories.
Having summered on the Amalfi Coast for my honeymoon, it quickly rose to the top of the ranks of my favourite summer fashion destinations. Italy is arguably the fashion capital of the world, and while I make an effort to dabble in interesting Italian menswear from time to time, the Amalfi Coast is a major source of inspiration for me. It’s the cross between a relaxed Californian style and an upscale, prim and proper Italian fashion. There’s no other place like it in Italy. Making a mandatory stop in Amalfi & Positano would be non-negotiable for my heart mate and I for every upcoming trip we would have to Italy.
Eileen Lazazzera, Fashion and Lifestyle Blogger at Yesmissy
Fashion Destination: Ibiza, Spain
I’d say my Summer fashion destination would be Ibiza. I’ve never been, but I can imagine it would be amazing with it being a top destination for both fashion and music fans alike. The Ibizan style scene is all about expressing yourself with a bold hippie chic vibe. I love music festival style and Ibiza has a bit of that same vibe, a fuss-free laidback cool with light weight fabrics and bohemian prints.
It’s definitely a tough decision choosing between so many great fashion cities. I love bright colourful and edgy fashion and am really drawn to the neon lights of Tokyo, the city which breaks all the rules when it comes to colours and textures. I would love to experience the street fashion in the famous districts of Harajuku, Shibuya, and Ginza, where old tradition meets trends.
Since the birth of social media, designers have been looking to online communications as one of their most important tools in their arsenal for reaching a desired audience and clientele in real time. Unlike traditional runway and print formats, social media allows fans of the designer and brand to see collections, personal photos, and designer inspirations as they move through their day to day lives, creating the feeling of a more personal experience for the viewer. However, sometimes brands can, unfortunately, fall into the bad habit of using their social media accounts as a static means of showcasing their products and nothing else, taking away from the intimacy and personal connection that apps like Instagram can offer their fans. Luckily, we’ve found 5 designers whose Instagrams go way beyond the realm of merely showcasing their collection and give a glimpse into their lives for all of their fans and followers to admire and partake in. Here are the 5 designer Instagram accounts you need to be following!
If there’s one thing designer Simon Porte Jacquemus does best, is finding beauty in the everyday. With his signature triple posts, this French designer has found the perfect formula for keeping his Instagram account looking sharp, interesting, and personal. Rather than just showcasing images of his collections or celebrities who’ve worn his creations. Jacquemus instead posts triple images all relating to the same thing to achieve one of the most visually appealing Instagram accounts out there. These triptychs range anywhere from posts thanking magazines for using his work in their editorials, branded content, thanking celebrities for wearing his creations, editorial work, collection previews, and best of all, personal images from the designer’s everyday life. Which perfectly showcase the joie de vivre that the south of France (his home and muse) is so well known for.
Oh, honey! The shade, the shade of it all! Not many designers working in the world’s great fashion capitals are brave enough to call it like it is out of fear of creating negative press. But not Christopher Shannon. The menswear designer’s Instagram account is on one hand, beautiful to look at, chock full of bright images that showcase his creations. But on the other hand, Shannon’s Instagram account has an indiscreet sprinkling of posts where he posts little comments on the fashion industry. Most are up for interpretation because they tastefully comment on current situations without naming names, while some others speak directly about some of the shady and underhanded moments in fashion that we’re all thinking about, yet too scared to talk about. This makes Christopher Shannon’s Instagram the perfect little sip of industry tea that we’ve all been waiting for.
Loaded to the brim with personal influences and inspiration, fashion’s beloved Brit designer, Jonathan Anderson has managed to put together one of the most genuine and pretty to look at social media accounts on the internet to date. Boasting a plethora of soft black and white nude images, vintage photography, art, and work from his J.W Anderson and Loewe collections, Jonathan creates a sensual atmosphere that pulses with raw sexuality, art, and brand content that really is a pleasure to behold. Unfortunately, Mr Anderson rarely posts pictures of himself, but that’s all the more reason to follow his stunning account. You never know when a surprise selfie might pop and sweep you clean off of your feet.
Gareth Pugh is one of those designers that the fashion industry has sadly typecast. Since his designs are all relatively avant-garde and futuristic and push the limit on what the rest of the fashion industry considers fashion, Pugh has been labelled a “gothic” designer, which is all well and good. But here’s the interesting part. What Pugh presents on the runway is only a facet of who he is as a designer and as a person. A quick look at his Instagram page shows that the dark and serious side of him that’s seen on the London runway is merely one part of who he is as a person. Countless posts about everyday happy moments, life in London, and political protests paint a multifaceted picture of the brilliant designer. Recently, Pugh sent a collection down the runway during London Fashion week which accurately portrayed the current US government as a hellish fascist regime, creating conversation over whether or not designers should take the chance and protest current political climates around the world. But Pugh made it clear, his collection wasn’t merely a stunt to grab attention during fashion week. His feelings toward the US government extended to his personal life and countless of his posts on his Instagram are there to show it.
Twin sisters Mary-Kate & Ashley Olson have had lives completely dominated by the media since their early childhoods and we would imagine that they’ve done everything they humanly can to break free from the image their childhood work has cast on them. Fast forward a decade later and the Olson sisters are now the driving force behind one of New York’s most innovative and well-respected fashion powerhouses. The Row represents artistic simplicity and raw power, all tied neatly into one beautifully designed package. And it’s safe to say that they’re Instagram page is one of the most beautifully curated profiles on the internet. With not a selfie in sight, the Olsons perfectly translate their quiet and put together private lives as designers into the digital world. With a mix of their work sprinkled about countless pieces of artwork and day to day inspiration, The Row’s Instagram page looks as if it could be printed out and hung in the MoMA itself.
From the outside, we may all look kooky and draped with issues like a Christmas tree, all bojangled and twisted. It takes a while to get to know someone: it’s a common refrain but its principle isn’t often used in daily interactions. It may take even longer if that you’re trying to get to know a group of kooky individuals working together. As it were, we are revamping our public relations games and thought it’d be best to try to show ourselves through relevant characters in our popular culture. This way you’d know us as actual people, the minds behind the paranormal voices on your screen. It’s nice to meet you too.
Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief
I was torn with having to pick my fictional character counterpart. Growing up gay and black, it was rare to see someone that you see yourself in on television. I chose three characters who I think make up parts of my personality. I can definitely relate to Edina Monsoon played by Jennifer Saunders on Absolutely Fabulous. I often find myself trying to balance my career and personal life. When I get around my close friends, the responsible self goes out the window and a crazy night ensues as it does in each episode of AbFab when Edina links up with Patsy.
It’s hard not to pick Carrie Bradshaw for sentimental reasons and for our love of designer shoes. Every Sunday night, I would watchSex and the City with my besties Scotty aka Samantha and Max aka Charlotte. Each episode often resembled our New York City dating life. The Good, the Bad, and the Cosmopolitans.
Lastly, the only male character to make the list is Titus Andromedon played by the amazing Titus Burgess on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. We both are not afraid to take fashion risks and we are both very funny (ok, Titus is funnier, but I make folks laugh too! lol).
Claire Ball, Editorial Contributor
I’m with Drew, picking a fictional character counterpart is incredibly difficult. But after a lot of debating with myself, I ultimately chose Samantha Jones from Sex and the City. Samantha and I are both brash, straightforward, unafraid of confrontation, and HIGHLY protective of our friends. One of her greatest and most relatable qualities is her loyalty to her friends. Her inability to have a filter is something I strongly identify with and, if you ask my friends, I bet you they’ll agree. She and I are not afraid of being outspoken and honest. Much like myself, she is strong, independent, and doesn’t need a relationship to make her happy.
Snigdha Koirala, Arts and Culture Contributor
Jane Villanueva from Jane the Virgin! Though I surprised myself by picking a non-book-related character as my counterpart, this was an easy choice. Jane, like me, is an overthinking control freak, with stubbornly determined dreams of being a writer. She navigates through life — through grad school and love and motherhood (a result of being accidentally artificially inseminated with her former crush’s sperm) — with her dual cultural identity as a Latina in America. And I, having grown up in a South Asian household in Toronto, find this exploration to be particularly resonant: it is honest and whole, never used as Jane’s defining characteristic, while still acknowledging its gravity in her identity.
Hoon, Managing Editor
I love Monsieur Gustave H. because he’s a veritable totem withstanding the inequities of the modern world hell-bent on destroying any semblance of human decency and social courtesies. His arsenal is one of L’air de Panache, a dose of narcissism, loyalty, poetry, and his confidence in the values of people and things he loves. He’s a man out of La Belle Époque and is caught in the quagmire of shifting cultures and geo-politics, and his values, as we now know, gradually decrease in relevance with time. Yet, he stubbornly holds onto his favored views, values, and objects and faces the literal and figurative firing squad. I was born in a time and place far from La Belle Époque and by no means share meals and beds with renown duchesses who are dynamite in the sack. But I often do sense that I’m not entirely in synch with the norms of today’s culture and that I’m very stubborn when it comes to my values. Also, I like to think that, were the circumstances to present themselves, I’d be as well-spoken and courageous in defending them.
Christopher Zaghi, Fashion Editor
My voice for fictional character definitely has to be the fashion icon and party monster Patsy Stone from Absolutely Fabulous, played by the lovely Joanna Lumley. Never before was there a woman so independent and empowered that the mere thought of an average life as a homemaker sends shivers down her spine. With her dominating and damn near overpowering sense of sexuality and a liver made of hardened steel, Patsy navigates the world of London’s elite fashion crowd with BFF Edina Monsoon as if it were a bunny slope. What’s interesting is how much of an underlying feminist air Patsy has about her. While other women would fear the backlash they’d get from the hard boozing and sexual escapades Patsy is known for, Patsy merely laughs it off. Showing the world that a woman should never fear to act the way a man does because it’s her life and no one else’s. What I truly like most about Pasty is her resilience with which she’d get into the most ridiculous of situations with Edina. While Eddy is constantly having borderline mental breakdowns over the shenanigans they’ve gotten themselves into, Patsy stands alongside, cigarette bin one hand, a glass of Bollinger in the other, and as cool as a cucumber., making her the oh-so-perfectly unapologetic fashion editor/all-around foul-mouthed badass champagne sipping queen of British TV.
A close second would have to be Katheryn Merteuil, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar from Cruel Intentions. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be the stunning yet unrelenting cold hearted Marcia ****ing Brady of the Upper East Side? There’s something about a villain who unapologetically takes whatever the hell they want that just ignites our deepest fantasies.
I think that I am most like Susie Greene from Curb Your Enthusiasm, played by Susie Essman. Evidence? We are both curly haired Jewish women who swear too much and will not put up with any nonsense. Susie always speaks her mind and isn’t afraid to call out her friends and family when they step over the line or act rudely, such as when Larry David (played by Larry David) refused a tour of her beautiful new house! What kind of freak of f***ing nature refuses a house tour? The point is, Susie always will stand up for herself and what she believes in, but she will also always be willing to help out friends when it is needed.
However, I am not quite as negative as Susie is all the time, which is why I also think that I’m a bit like the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who as played by David Tennant. Ten is really funny and kind to most everyone he meets, but also has a wonderfully sassy side that he brings out every now and again. And sure, he’s all smiles and converse sneakers most of time, but when it needs to get serious, you’ll find him at the front lines, sonic screwdriver in hand, saying “Allons-y!”
Helen Jacob, Contributor
There are two characters that, I’ve been repeatedly told, resemble me. One of them is Morticia from The Addams Family — as in mortician…or death. She’s always seen in long gothic black gowns that match her raven black hair. Hobbies: cutting the buds off her roses so she can keep the stems, feeding her carnivorous plant Cleopatra, and strumming the samisen. Although unsettling, I get it. Maybe my naturally somber mood and daily all black uniform has something to do with it. Charles Addams, cartoonist and creator of The Addams family, describes her as “low-voiced, incisive and subtle, smiles are rare.” Yup. Sounds about right. Scariness aside, she is highly protective of her family and fiercely loyal; authentic and true to her core values — so I’ll take it.
Runner up to Morticia is Daria Morgendorferr from the animated dark comedy satire, Daria. It tells the story of a fictional suburban town through the lens of a misanthropic teenager. Honestly, I haven’t watched the show too much but from what I’m told about Daria’s jaded cynicism, she sounds pretty relatable.
At a time when London really needs some uplifting inspiration after the various terrorist attacks in the city and Manchester, London Fashion Week Men’s was nothing short of celebratory of its people and their differences that make the city unique. What was consistent among many of the designers was their ability to blur gender norms in fashion and to incorporate a sense of openness. Whether it is by print, fitting proportions, or the models themselves, here are some highlights from London Fashion Week Men’s that proves how androgyny is the new black!
TOURNE DE TRANSMISSION
One of the first shows of the fashion week, Tourne De Transmission indicated vibrant and utilitarian looks for fall. The models have a flair of androgyny to them as the collection selects multiple genders to showcase their men’s line. The male skirt, since last year, has been making a statement against gender norms. Tourne De Transmission reinstates this and also makes it a casual piece rather than a standout item used only for the purpose of adding shock value. The brand’s goal to combine ideas visually is executed well in this collection.
While Body Bound doesn’t go to the same lengths as some of the other designers have in showcasing androgyny, their collection still embodies a sense of the modern man in each of their pieces. The designer uses different proportions and sizing to resemble an idea of the modern man that is quite different from the standard fits we see in most mid-end fashion brands today. Each look has a different colour story that makes a statement of clean elegance.
Every look in Edward Crutchley’s collection this season not only makes a statement towards advocacy for androgyny, but also shows flawless, wearable pieces that so many would love to have in their closet. The renaissance style dresses on men allow for a different take on elegance. The skirt and jacket sets show brilliance in mixing patterns, and the edgy, masculine pieces worn by many of the women in the show display strength in a new identification that has often been misunderstood. Edward Crutchley’s show exemplifies the strength in going against the norm.
The Fall Collection for Xander Zhou also followed the common theme of gender barriers this season. Rather than a collection that depicts one or the other between masculine and feminine, the collection blends the two by displaying street wear in pieces such as his jackets, pants and layering techniques as well as an undertone of elegance, which shows in the blouses and prints that are used. Cutouts have been a look for a while, mostly being shown on the backs or on pants. Xander Zhou also utilizes cutouts but in a different style on the front, indicating a new trend for fall.
A distinct highlight of London Fashion Week Men’s is the show, MAN. This feature was brought by Top Man and Fashion East, as a way to showcase upcoming menswear designers. If some designers during the week broke down barriers, the ones in MAN, annihilated these claims to fashion norms as the looks were stylishly brilliant to say the least. The gowns, mini dresses, skirts, suits, eclectic makeup and everything else was a true celebration for new designers, London, and all those who like to embrace their uniqueness.
The category is high fashion gay pride eleganza extravaganza! Pride month is in full swing, and with it come countless pride parades and marches around the world. Now, most pride attendees tend to dress for the weather rather than the event, so the visual representation of what it means to be queer in the modern world is unfortunately left to those walking in the parade rather than those strolling down the street. And even then, most mainstream brands don’t offer up outfit choices that have the gusto needed to catch the attention of parade onlookers. However, all is not lost! The world of high fashion has always been the playground of the queer and non-conformist artists of the world, especially over the past few seasons; and with so much negativity and backlash being aimed at the LGBTQ+ in recent months. It’s wonderful to see designers around the world taking aim at queer oppressors and calling for resistance through their designs. And what better place to showcase your truest self than at Pride? Even if your outfit doesn’t directly call for the heads of those who aim at taking your freedom, you can always represent your queerness with some of these fabulously extravagant ensembles straight from the runways of the world.
Viva Las Gay-vas! Jeremy Scott has had a whirlwind career, having taken his namesake brand from alternative indie label to New York fashion powerhouse. Recently, Scott’s design endeavours have taken him from his home base in New York to Milan, where he now mans the helm at Moschino. For his Spring 2018 collection at the iconic Italian anti-fashion house, Scott delved into the glamorous and excessive world that is Las Vegas. Feather boa headdresses, pinstripe flames, and bold rainbows ran rampant throughout the collection. Taking what could have been an overdrawn Wayne Newton-Mr. Las Vegas trainwreck, into a fun and boisterous look into the more queer side of Sin City.
If you lean towards the more political when it comes to making a fashion statement. Ashish has you covered. For his Fall 2017 collection, designer Ashish Gupta created a collection based aimed at knocking those who feel it’s okay to judge and discriminate against minorities (especially queer minorities) off of their pedestals. The collection, which features gay-themed cartoons, rainbow flag patterns, and slogan shirts all focused on the resistance the gay community should be aiming at those who want nothing more than to make their lives a living hell. With slogans like “Nasty Woman, Fall In Love And Be More Tender, and Why Be Blue When You Can Be Gay?” Ashish’s Fall 2017 collection is sure to have the perfect war cry for any queer activists tastes.
Mary Katrantzou catapulted her career through the use of bold and graphic prints. So it came as no surprise when the British designer sent a wonderfully prim, yet cartoonishly sweet collection down the runway for her Fall 2017 season. The outfits, which were directly inspired by Disney’s Fantasia, which bombards its viewers a plethora of colour and fairytale imagery that would make even the most masc of men twirl with childhood excitement. What’s interesting about this collection isn’t that it directly references queer culture, instead, it conjures up imagery peaceful whimsy and fabulously glittery scenes that look like they came straight of a magical queer utopia.
Romance Was Born
The category is O.P.U.L.E.N.C.E! Imagine a world where disco never happened? Where the flash of the 70s and 80s played no role in influencing what modern queer culture would look like. Some of the greatest LGBTQ+ icons came from the eras of platform shoes and peroxide hair. SO why not wear something that pays homage to heydeys of Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Madonna, and Annie Lennox? Your choices are simple. Feminine ruffles and bows, or fringe and sequins. (And trust me, nothing is more exciting than twirling in a fringe ensemble. Nothing)
Alejandro Gomez Palomo Of Palomo Spain started his brand with a clear motive in mind. To provide the modern gentleman with a chance of exploring the vast spectrum that is gender identity through clothing. Since his debut collection, it was clear that Palomo’s views on clothing and male dressing were really unlike anything that had been seen in the past. In his eyes, dresses, ruffles, high heels, feminine patterns, and soft gender bending silhouettes were no longer off limits. This comes at a perfect time when the notions of gender and what it is to be human are being examined by society. In Palomo’s world, a man can wear a wedding dress or a sheer blouse and feel as confident and comfortable as his female counterpart would feel in it. Since the brand and the collection really have no clear assigned gender, wearing one of Palomo’s creations to a pride event would so impactful and important to those who have struggled with the acceptance of their gender identities by others and it could even inspire those who wish to show the world their truest self. This collection, along with Pride month itself, are really is about expressing the beauty of the gender spectrum. They call for the acceptance and embracing of human fluidity and being able to chose who you want to be for the sake of you happiness.