Quench Your Online Shopping Thirst With Something a Little Different

One of the saddest things any Canadian fashionista goes through is the heartbreaking realization that some of the world’s best-kept fashion secrets don’t ship to Canada, leaving one with the option of either hitting up your local mall/retail store or shopping your same old generic online shops. But fashionistas want something new. Sure you can style an entire outfit from Zara into a one of a kind outfit that no one may ever think of, but there is only so much a person can do with a top that 857 other Canadians may own. Fortunately, with a little research and dedication, one can find a plethora of online shops that not only ship to Canada but also provide Canadians with stunningly fashionable clothing that’s fashion week ready and, most importantly, affordable. Here are some fun and existing stores and online shops that will have your closets and bank accounts jumping for joy.

Depop

Photo: Depop.com

Depop started as a social media platform for PIG magazine readers to share and buy clothing online. It soon blossomed into the trendiest seller to buyer fashion market on the internet. Boasting thousands of sellers selling tens of thousands of pieces every day, Depop has everything from custom made canvas bags to vintage band tour merch all at extremely affordable prices.

The benefit: Depop boasts some serious one of a kind collectable items that no one on your block is bound to own.

The drawback: If you don’t act fast, highly sought after items are swept up just as fast as they’re posted.

Mango

Photo: Mango.com

Mango comes straight to you from Spain, one of Europe’s best kept fashion secrets. After sadly leaving the Canadian market over a decade ago, Mango has remained one of Europe’s most illustrious high-street fashion retail powerhouses. With an exciting array of trend-relevant and season-ready clothing, Mango has something for everyone looking for that high fashion piece that doesn’t come with the high fashion price tag.

The benefit: Mango offers great prices on stylish clothes paired with a great return and shipping policy.

The draw back: Not your greatest bet when looking for a clubbing dress or something a little more risqué.

Missguided

Photo: Missguided.com

Move over Forever 21, Missguided is a British brand that encompasses what it means to be the quintessential fashion it girl. One can find everything from sexy party dresses to super on trend athleisure wear. Filled to the brim with every trend imaginable, fashionistas can re-create looks from Gosha, Chloe, Gucci, and Vuitton with just a click of a button. Apart from the great selection of clothing and accessories, Missguided boasts some of the best perks and sales of any online shop out there.

The benefit: Missguided has everything from $100 discounts to student discounts.

The draw back: The heavy trend based shop can sometimes feel a little juvenile.

Desigual

Photo: Desigual.com

Hailing from Ibiza, Desigual is another Spanish brand that aims to bring the international fashion community top notch, high-quality clothing. With runway ready dresses and seasonal collections that are actually made for their runway shows, Desigual may be one of the easiest ways to wear high fashion runway clothing without having to actually dish out runway dollars for high-quality clothing.

The benefit: Desigual has high-quality merchandise that comes from the runway as well as an amazing sale section.

The draw back: Prices can sometimes be a tad bit higher than most high-street fashion brands, but it’s nothing too steep.

Shopbop

Photo: Shopbop.com

Shopbop may seem like your ordinary online designer shop, but unlike other sites that do the same, Shopbop offers curated collections put together from some of the fashion world’s best brands. One can find everything from Alexander Wang, Acne, Tome, and Alice + Olivia. The prices often match the labels they’re attached to, but the curated collections, personalized style recommendations, and sales are too good not to pass up!

The benefit: SHhopbop offers personalized style recommendations for its shoppers.

The draw back: The prices can often be a lot higher than most of the other online shops on the list.

Needle & Thread

Photo: Needleandthread.com

Needle & Thread is one of the greatest finds on the web. Boasting a stunning collection of gowns, jackets, tops, and even wedding gowns that resemble couture creations from some of the worlds greatest couture houses, Needle & Thread is the closest thing you can get to haute-couture without having to drop $30,000 on a custom made wedding or celebration gown. It even has a small but growing selection of homeware goods that carry the same level expert embroidery that their clothing displays.

The benefit: Needle & Thread is one of the only online shops that sports some of the most stunning weddings gowns ready for international shipping available on the web. Making finding the perfect one-of-a-kind gowns a cinch.

The draw back: Like Shopbop, the prices at Needle & Thread are higher than the other sites on this list.

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Trend Defying Timeless Fashion Looks

When it comes to fashion, the topics almost always have to do with trends. We ask, “What patterns are in this season? What hemlines should we expect? And what’s on its way out?” Designers work to shape trends and to keep the consumer guessing and posit new ways to bend the rules. However, some looks have no expiration dates — some are safely detached from ever being labeled unstylish. Whether you are a fashion risk taker or someone who likes to work within the rules, here are some timeless looks that have been, still are, and most likely still be stylish for years to come.

THE BLAZER: MEN AND WOMEN

The blazer has been a power look for years. Whether it’s fitted, loose, padded, or long, it has been a staple in completing and strengthening one’s outfit. Today, the blazer can be seen in typical suit form or even paired with jeans as a casual layering option. What is great about this look is that the structure of it allows for versatility, which justifies making a bit of an investment when purchasing, as it is sure to go with many other trends as they evolve and change.

CARGO PANTS: MEN

This classic men’s look was originally developed with practicality in mind, as a staple for someone in trades where multiple pockets are an asset. However, as utilitarian fashion has developed over time, the extra pockets along the sides give an edgier feel to anyone’s look. Men’s fashion repeatedly shows this trend through the seasons to achieve casual street-style. Though the cargo pant have evolved through trends by changing up fabric and colours, its structure remains intact.

STRAIGHT LEG PANTS: WOMEN

Skinny-jeans, bell-bottoms, high-waisted pants have alternated throughout seasons with usually one or two in the reigning position. While these pants have their times to shine and times to be packed up, the straight-leg pants remain consistently supreme. This look shows sophistication and class, and has been credited as a statement piece for years.

AVIATOR SUNGLASSES: MEN AND WOMEN

Spending cash on sunglasses can be a tough pill to swallow when considering the risk of breaking or losing them as well as the reality that your style of sunglasses might not be ‘trendy’ for much longer than two years. The Aviator, however, abides. It has been a trend for both men and women for years and is definitely an accessory that can safely remain in your collection without becoming outdated.

KNIT CARDIGAN: MEN

Whether you are 85 or 18, the cardigan can be a staple in any man’s wardrobe. The cardigan creates a relaxed yet elevated feel and can be worn in both casual and formal settings. It is a great way to reflect one’s personal style as it can be worn in many different sizes, textures, and alongside styling techniques.

PLAID: MEN AND WOMEN

If any pattern has survived the seasonal fashion police, it’s plaid. For some years it’s been seen in casual wear and sometimes it makes its mark on a suit, but the fact is, it is always somewhere. We all have our favourite plaid somewhere that will always stumble back into our outfit rotation.

WHITE BUTTON-DOWN: WOMEN

What is sexier than a clean button-down white blouse? Anyone? Something so simple always says so much about the wearer: the sophistication and confidence in not being afraid to shine in the bright crisp white (extra points if you keep the coffee stains to a minimum). No matter the trends of the season, you cannot go wrong with it. It is forever a staple, forever a fabulous piece.

 

Helmut Lang looks to return to its Roots in the Bold

In March, Helmut Lang’s chief executive Andrew Rosen announced major shakeups to the brand. He appointed Isabella Burley, who is also the editor-in-chief at Dazed Magazine, as the brand’s editor-in-residence. Helmut Lang also tapped into to Hood By Air’s head designer Shayne Oliver to create a special collection for the brand. The company is reaching for its original roots in the bold.

Shayne Oliver seen by Ethan James Green Courtesy of Helmut Lang’s Instagram
Traci Lords seen by Ethan James Green Courtesy of Helmut Lang Instagram

Helmut Lang recently launched a new website and social media account. There is an incredible campaign available via their Instagram shot by the legendary photographer Ethan James Green; the model lineup is just as good, and involves the likes of photographer Larry Clark, performance artist Kembra Ffahler, musician Ian Isa, metal band Unlocking the Truth, adult film star turned cult actress Traci Lords, model Alek Wek, Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny aka Little Miss Flint, street cast models Dara, Yoshi and Nicky Rat, Alanie Quinones, Grace Gee and Aurel Haize, and Shayne Oliver himself. The campaign was styled by Dazed creative Robbie Spencer. If it’s relevance they are after, the team they have assembled is sure to get them there.

Larry Clark seen by Ethan James

In 1999, Helmut Lang, the designer, lost creative control over his own brand when Prada bought 51% of the company shares. Lang walked away from fashion in 2005 and Prada quickly sold the brand to Link Theory holdings, a Japanese conglomerate that owns Uniqlo. With the designer went the brand’s sense of cool — Lang had ingenious ways of bringing bondage, work wear sensibilities, and minimalist silhouettes to high fashion. His ideas still constantly echo throughout runways today.

Shayne Oliver feels like the right guy to bring the brand back to its innovative status. With no real concern for the gender of garments, Oliver’s own line, Hood by Air, mixes fetish, club wear, and high fashion while harnessing the power of streetwear. Since its inception in 2006, Hood by Air has gained both underground approval and critical acclaim — it is the only authentic streetwear line that has taken home a CDFA Swarvoski Menswear Award. While its collections are dazzling and hyped, the importance of Hood by Air lies in its ability to break down identities of its wearers. It will be exciting to see what Oliver creates with the infamous and ever copied Helmut Lang archive.

Little Miss Flint seen by Ethan James Green courtesy of Helmut Lang
Kembra and Nicky seen by Ethan James Green courtesy of Helmut Lang Instagram

Helmut Lang has announced two more upcoming creative projects. The first, Helmut Lang Re-Edition, will reissue important heritage works: a series of fifteen pieces will be dropping every four months beginning this coming September. The second project will show Helmut rekindle its affair with the art world — previous partnerships have included prominent artists Robert Mapplethorpe and Louise Boureouis. Every month of the coming year, a new artist will release limited-edition posters, t-shirts, and other products with the brand.

Shayne Oliver’s collection, HELMUT LANG SEEN BY SHAYNE OLIVER, will debut on Monday, September 11th during New York Fashion Week. The collection will include men’s and women’s clothing as well as accessories. From what is already available, it looks like the collection is going to be incredible.

Is Rock Really Dead?

Ever since its invention all those decades ago, rock music has been a corner stone in popular culture and entertainment. New artists innovated to create new branches of rock music and its reach expanded over time. However, in recent years, rock’s popularity went from a roaring flame to a mere pilot light. The days of stadium rock and roll band glamor are all but memories as indie bands struggle to find the limelight that once bathed countless acts.

Black and white promo photo of Chuck Berry Holding His Guitar and winking
Chuck Berry — photo: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

In The Beginning…

Rock music quickly gained momentum after Chuck Berry defined its sounds in the early 1950s and it began to infiltrate everyday life more and more. Fashion began to take heed of what was going on in the world of rock and roll; the art world took on a new life inspired by the fury of rock music; and movies and television started casting quintessential rock stereotypes to appeal to the growing interest in rock music and culture.

By the 1970s rock solidified its positon as the most popular genre of music, beating out the great pop music makers of the 1950s and ’60s. As the ’70s pushed forward, musical acts like Janice Joplin, Led Zepplin, The Rolling Stones, and Lynnard Skynard branched off into various sub-genres of rock ranging from folk and psychedelic to southern and hard rock. This influx of rock artists eventually came to obliterate the disco explosion that had just started taking over the United States at the time. And by the start of the ’80s, rock had effectively killed disco and remained the driving force in the entertainment industry.

A vintage Guns n' Roses press photo
Photo: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Shoot for the Stars, Land in a Stadium

As the ’80s motored along, pop began to once again infiltrate the charts. Artists like Tiffany and Madonna became the idols of teen queens everywhere. However, rock music was also going through drastic changes. Acid-dropping bell bottomed psychedelic rockers were quickly phased out and replaced with artists and bands that oozed far more heart stopping edge than ever before. Gone were the days of smoking dope and singing about white rabbits. The ’80s ushered in drugs, sex, and rock and roll. Bands like Motley Crue, Guns and Roses, The Cure, Whitesnake, Metallica, and Aerosmith swept the globe with stadium rock. Rock bands no longer played festivals and bars. They now sold out entire sports arenas to tens of thousands of adoring fans who wanted to live the glamorous lives of rock music’s biggest stars.

However, as rock left the ’80s and entered the ’90s, artists were no longer interested in the glamour of hair metal and stadium rock. Rock once again returned to its roots of rebellion, self-expression, raw emotion. Bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Garbage, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Hole pushed against the money and fame the ’80s promoted and carved their own paths in the music world.

Vintage Nirvana promo photo
Photo: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

The Slow Descent

After the ’90s left many a grunge rocker battered and beaten, the 2000s rolled in and ushered in the birth of pop punk — rock in its most agonizing and commercial state. While the ’50s birthed rock and the ’70s nurtured it, the ’80s gave it a money making platform and the ’90s saw it return to its roots. In the 2000s rock music once again went through a change. Unfortunately, this time the change would be fast the worst kind there is. As the 2000s progressed, rock became more of a novelty than a platform of expression. Society and mainstream media began to shift its position on the idea that rock could continue to be a profitable genre of music. Bubblegum pop took hold of half the music industry and hip hop and R&B began to dominate the rest. Countless bands popped up throughout the 2000s, attempting to dominate the music landscape by creating sub-genres like indie rock, alternative rock, pop punk, screamo, and more. But the music world no longer had room for rock music to grow in like it did in the ’70s and ’80s.

Photo: John Varvatos

“Well They Say That Rock is Dead, We’ll They’re Probably Right…”

When grunge goddess Courtney Love uttered these lyrics back in 2004, it made her futile attempt at solo career all the more heartbreaking to watch. Now many have stated that rock is officially dead, and many have argued that rock lovers just aren’t looking deep enough. But the truth of the matter is that rock most definitely isn’t dead, but it sure as hell is breathing its last few breaths. While a handful of acts seem to burst onto the scene every year from the realm of indie rock, none can really claim to have the success of bands like AC\DC or Judas Priest. And it really comes down to a simple and completely unavoidable fact: Rock is no longer profitable. Unlike the baby boomers and their kids who made various musical acts and, in turn, various genres profitable by connecting with and see parts of themselves in the music, millennials fall in love with the packaging before sampling the product. This in turn caused the mainstream music scene to become unbearably homogenized. Folk artists blur lines by merging soft pop songs with dancehall beats, while pop princesses become rappers for one song and teen idols for another. Poetic rap has been replaced with set guidelines and molds that spell success for those willing to follow them, and irrelevancy and empty bank accounts for those who try to push against them. The same has happened to rock music. There isn’t a shortage of dreamers wanting to become the next big thing — that hasn’t changed in the slightest. What has changed is that the rawness and intensity have been drowned out. The likelihood of ever having another Patti Smith challenging the status quo or a Marilyn Manson using our own discomfort against us to send a message are slim to none. Rock has become a game of who can sound the most easygoing and digestible rather than mesmerizing and self-exploring.

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Mastering the cool girl style for summer 2017

If you’ve ever had a secret wish to be the coolest person in the room (or on the beach) this summer, there are a few signature styling nuances that have already been identified (or adopted) by it girls around the globe. In order to master the concept of coolness and spice up your current wardrobe, here are some of the most eye-catching accessories and garments we spotted on Instagram. They will boost your style to the next level by keeping you up-to-date. 

Credit: Theatlantic-pacific.com

Wide brim straw hat

Wide brim straw hats are no longer an indicator of social status or just functional item that protects the skin from the sun. There is something about a straw hat that gives off a glamorous beach vibe with a country style twist, so no wonder it’s the hot trend for summer 2017. It’s a great way to express our individual style especially if the hat is embellished with tassels, colourful pompoms, or fun slogans. The choices are endless: You can offset a feminine oversize floppy hat with a “borrowed from the boys” look or pair a Panama hat with a girly gingham skirt and a linen shirt. Nothing says summer better than a custom-embroidered straw hat. 

Credit: Julia-friedman.com

The Basket bag

Another straw obsession is the basket bag, which was captured just about everywhere this summer. The basket bag which has been seen in Balenciaga, Mark Cross, Dolce & Gabbana, and — the favourite bag among it girls — Alexa Chung and Jeanne Damas, has become a must have accessory staple. We couldn’t help but think that you should follow their fashionable lead and consider swapping your everyday bag for a basket one, which is also very Instagrammable. The good news is that there are many versions of the stylish bag that will also meet your needs: from a rectangular one to a circular one, from structured and boxy to a big fluid tote. Due to its popularity the bags are almost out of stock almost everywhere, so get your hands on it as quickly as possible before it’s too late. 

Credit: Thegirlfrompanama.com

Big statement earrings

What better way to inject some fun to high summer looks than a few colourful pompoms, tassels, and fringes? The statement earrings are having their moment right now and the bolder they are the better. Adding a punch of colour to your outfit may not be suitable for everyone, but it certainly makes fashion more fascinating. Pompom earrings are very strong on the street and on the high fashion scene this season, especially in a spectrum of vibrant hues, which ensure that the outfit will be noticeable even from afar. To bring attention to your ears, make sure to keep everything else simple and avoid wearing a statement necklace.  

Credit: SomeWhere, Lately

Gingham style

One of the biggest hits this season is one always associated witch picnic tables. Apparently it’s possible to wear this childish pattern and still feel sexy. A brief overview on Instagram proves that gingham is completely appropriate for grown-ups. The girly gingham received a quick makeover and has been injected with a dose of cool. To work the trend properly, don’t hesitate to bare your shoulders or rock it with asymmetric crop tops. You can also choose a refreshing colour combo as an alternative to classic black or blue and white, like electric purple and forest green. Another option is to accent the print with bold accessories and neutral tones.

Pool slide sandals

The pool slide, known as the ‘ugly’ shoes of the summer, still remains a huge hit among the coolest fashionistas. Not only because of the effortless comfy feel they evoke, but also because the average cool girl loves out of the box pieces and these shoes definitely meets her needs. High-end designers like as Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton have already come out with their interpretations of the sporty slides, but you can also always get your hands on the classic brands like Fila and Adidas. This season you can wear it in just about any way your heart desires. Just remember to open your mind to unexpected combinations. Rock the look by adding a pair socks or wear them with fancy dresses. The slides are not limited to rubber soles: We saw them in vivid colours and with delicate floral or 3D embellishments, in leopard prints, with fringes and pompoms, and even covered with a lot of fur. 

Credit: Topshop blog

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