Runway to Reality

From vivid colors worn head to toe to feathers and ruffles attached to every imaginable item alongside futuristic silhouettes, the runway is everything but boring. The trends that we see on the runway are extravagant and inspirational, but there is one conflict: how can we interpret these trends so that they are appropriate for our daily and unglamorous life? We believe that by beefing up your out of the box thinking skills, even the most variegated runway look can be made office friendly. We decided to take five catwalk trends and show you the best ways to pull them off in real life.

Working girl

The pin-striped suit of power and formality and a touch of masculinity is back. From observing the Fall 2017 RTW collection, it seems that the checked grey prints are becoming must-have pieces for every fashionista. The tailored suit borrowed from the boys’ fashion handbook is no longer limited to the Wall Street banker. Designers like Calvin KleinDries van Noten, Céline, Mulberry, Stella McCartnery, Balenciaga, and many more pushed the power suit forward through more relaxed silhouettes. To make the pinstripes everyday-ready, they have to be comfortable and roomy. A poor fit can make it look cheap, so it’s smart to pay more attention to the proportion and silhouette. You can break up the suit and pair the tailored blazer with a pair of flattering jeans or a fun blouse for an off-duty look. You can also play with contrasting and team up a vibrant color top with grey check trousers; another option is to pair it with a white polo neck for a youthful and fresh take.

Runway v. Reality (left: kelvin-klien; right: Nordstrom)

NASA is calling

It all started when Chanel transformed the runway to a space center with models who wore Space influenced versions of the brand’s classics. Metallic details and futuristic elements were also present in Saint LaurentPaco RabanneChristopher Kane and more — apparently designers adore the future and we are all waiting to lift off. But before we do, let us help you prepare in style. For a casual look, focus only on one high shine piece or limit the number of flashy fabrics. For instance, look for metallic pieces like geometric jewelry in silver or gold, or choose a sassy winter coat that evokes the Space look. For a subtler look, pair metallic booties with relaxed denim and roll up the hemline, or make it office appropriate with a monochrome outfit in muted colors.

Lady in red

It’s about time we say hello to the most powerful color of the season: Red. This fall, we spotted head to toe red in a variety of shades like crimson, cherry, and wine. Needless to say, red was a favorite among designers at fashion weeks from New York to Paris. Designers like Max Mara, Jil Sander, Bottega Veneta, Dior, and Fendi showcased the confident color in many variations, which is an indication that it’s about time you add some of the sensual red to your wardrobe. The good news is that red happens to be the most flattering color on all skin tones. The key is to find a way to make it work for your daily outfit. For an office look, break up the monochromatic appearance by pairing it with natural tones. Avoid cheap fabrics and opt for silk or wool for elegance. Keep it ladylike with a cozy red coat that will upgrade your casual outfit. For an evening look, velvet is a great option and it will bring a sophisticated sex appeal to your overall look.

Matrix

Welcome to the dark side of fashion. Since its release 18 years ago, the Matrix trilogy has inspired and continues to inspire fashion designers today. And look no further than this season to witness the Matrix’s reach. Think all black clothing, leather trench coats, crocodile prints, Neo’s bondage pants, catsuits, skinny bug=eyed sunglasses, and even more futuristic elements, all in sexy silhouettes. On the catwalk, Vetements, Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, and Balmain dialed the Matrix vibe to the fullest. The movie inspired look may be challenging for an everyday look, but it’s not an impossible mission. A leather trench coat can feel more practical when styled with a pair of skinny black jeans; or wear head to toe black with a pair of futuristic statement sunglasses. Whatever you do, just make sure to keep the look minimalistic and highly tailored.

Runway v Reality (left: Alexander McQueen; right: Aritzia)

Craftwork

This fall, arts and crafts seemed to inspire designers among all the fashion capitals. Multiculturalism and heritage craft ruled the runway, evoking folk influences blends with carefree and free spirit. The current season, the heritage craft reflected through American and British countryside traditions with rich colours and fabrics that look as if they have been woven from tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Valentino showcased floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the 70s with patchwork jackets.  On the runway it’s always looks exciting and colourful, but for daily life the traditional crafts prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small by spicing up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk style scarf.  If you consider yourself as a fashion risk taker, you can bring out the vibrancy of the handcraft piece by using bold coloured basics in the mix.

This season, arts and crafts seem to have inspired designers in all the fashion capitals. Heritage craft ruled the runway and pointed to folk influences, which blended well with a sense of carefreeness. The current season showcases crafts that evoke the American and British countrysides with rich colors and fabrics that look though they were weaved like tapestries. Erdem, Gucci, Alexander McQueen, and Valentino showed floral embroidery dresses, while Etro and Prada drew inspiration from the ’70s and showed patchwork jackets. On the runway, it always looks exciting and colorful, but for the everyday, the traditional craft prints can be a bit tricky to wear, especially head to toe. You can start small. Spice up a basic outfit with a decorative handbag or add a folk-style scarf. If you consider yourself a risk taker, bring out the vibrancy of a handcrafted pice by adding bold colored basics to the mix.

Runway v. Reality (left: Erdem; right: Anthropologie)

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Met Gala 2018: Fashion & Religion

The Met Gala is essentially fashion’s most important red carpet event of the year. Fashion’s most important editors, models, muses, and designers come together to celebrate fashion in all of its excess and glory. Headed by Vogue USA’s iconic editor-in-chief Anna Wintour, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala has hosted various themes over the years. Some of which include Alexander McQueen, Punk, The Ballet Russe, Christian Dior, and Royal Indian Costume. What sets the Met Gala apart from every other fashion event during the year is the boundless imagination one can use in either having an outfit created for the night or wearing a designer outfit that not only fits the theme but goes above and beyond it.

The Met has recently released their theme for 2018 and the final verdict is Fashion and Religion. The announcement has been met with some opposition and controversy, with many thinking that it would be highly inappropriate to present religion alongside something as trivial and superficial as fashion. However, countless designers have taken direct inspiration from religion as well as weaving religious iconography and imagery directly into their designs. Just like religious art, religious fashion is an art form that aims at showing the world exactly how different societies and classes view religion and, more importantly, religious institutions and their traditions.

As an avid fan and down right lover of the Met Gala, the announcement of each year’s theme is something that fills me with utter wonder and excitement, knowing that the Costume Institute’s curator-in-charge, Andrew Bolton (husband of famed Amercian designer Thom Browne) will create yet another outstanding exhibit that accurately and respectfully showcases fashion and its accompanying theme. In anticipation for the Gala, I started to brainstorm the theme, wrapping my head around what designers or collections would be the perfect fit for next year’s theme. A few designers came to mind and even more collections came to mind after that. So what better way is there to celebrate the newly announced theme than to create a list of perfect pieces for the upcoming Gala this spring.

Alexander McQueen — Dante / Angels & Daemons

A legend in life and in death, Lee Alexander McQueen was truly a 21st-century pioneer when it came to groundbreaking and boundary pushing design. Andrew Bolton’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibit at the Met already showcased McQueen’s work. However, this time around, Bolton can take full liberty with exhibiting two of McQueen’s greatest collections. Dante and Angels & Daemons both showcase McQueen’s precision and unmatched expertise in design. On one hand, Dante depicts the darker, more indulgent side, wherein the pious hide behind masks of faith to justify their deeds, while Angels & Daemons paints a more realistic, yet completely closed off world where angels and their demonic counterparts reside.

Christian Lacroix — The Virgin Bride

Now, many years have passed since the heyday of Lacroix couture. But no matter the years, no one will ever be able to create a virgin bride the way Monsieur Lacroix did. The ornate mariée’s Christian created were always a staple of his couture collection. They usually strayed from the theme or the tone of the collection to present the image of a pristine woman, untouched by the evils and sins of the world. Apart from their sheer detail and grandeur, what makes Lacroix’s brides standout is the subtle nod to Eastern Orthodox brides, particularly the ornate and regal brides of Georgia.

Christian Dior — Ancient Egypt

The days of Galliano at Dior may be long gone, but the impact he had on the house and the fashion world, in general, can still be seen and felt to this day. There are very little designers in this day and age that have the gall to translate the many visual delights this planet has to offer, and none did it as successfully as Galliano did. Having covered almost every corner of the globe with his designs, it seemed as if Galliano would eventually run out of inspiration to base his collections on until he revealed this masterpiece after a trip to Egypt. Taking outrageous couture to the next level, Galliano unveiled a collection rooted deeply in the myths and legends of ancient Egpyt. Pharaohs and Gods walked the catwalk in gowns made of gold and jewels, perfectly conveying the dominance and extravagance of the ancient Egyptian empire. The most striking visuals in this collection came in the form of jackal heads that resembled Anubis, god of mummification and the afterlife.

Guo Pei — Il Vaticano

Guo Pei is the queen of extravagance and there is nowhere else in the world that is more extravagant than the all-powerful Vatican. It’s its own city, state, and country, and to top it all off, the Vatican even has its own law enforcement and bank. Representing the large population of Roman Catholics, the Vatican heads the largest group of Christians in the world. Some even suggest that the Vatican is the most powerful institution in the world, beating out the world’s most powerful governments. So it comes as no surprise that Guo Pei chose a powerhouse institute to pull inspiration from for her powerhouse brand.

Jean Paul Gaultier — Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows

Jean Paul Gaultier is a master couturier known for many things; cone bras, corsets, and nautical stripes all found their fame at the hand of Gaultier. However, one of his most underrated and outstanding collections has to be his spring 2007 couture show, where the shining hallowed glory of a sorrowful Virgin Mary was presented before the eyes of fashion’s finest. The gentle tears painted on the models’ faces created a visually stunning, yet spiritually familiar feeling, mirroring the crying statues of the Virgin Mary found in many Catholic churches around the world. But what really makes this collection breathtaking is the different incarnations of the Lady of Sorrows. There are hints of Latin American Catholicism, Eastern Orthodox, and European Christianity, showcasing the different views of within the various branches of Christianity.

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Male Models: Fashion’s Current ‘It’ Guys

90’s trends have made a return in many ways. From Adidas track pants, to slip dresses and infatuation with beautiful super models, there is no doubt that the era’s fashion interests are making a return. Sure, the game has changed as the focus has moved from Naomi and Gisele to Bella and Hailey, but there is no doubting that fashion lovers once again love to follow our favourite models as they go out for coffee together in matching Tommy Hilfigers and wear perfectly styled outfits to airports.

Male models, however, fly more under the radar more than their female counterparts. This season, many male models are making their mark in fashion campaigns and shows, working in multiple countries and doing just as much as our fav ‘It’ girls, only minus the papparazzi. Here are some male models that you should expect to see slaying the fashion game in upcoming seasons.

Harry Smith

This British model has been seen at both London Men’s Fashion Week, and New York Men’s Fashion Week this past season. Walking for Raun Larose and many more, it is clear that designers are embracing the potential that Smith has shown in previous shows. When he isn’t modelling, he is studying music in England. Check out more on his Instagram here.

Kaissan Ibrahima

A skateboarder at heart, Kaissan Ibrahima from Paris has been discovered by major fashion house, Prada, and is now recognized as one of their most celebrated models in their recent collections. He opened the show for Prada’s infamous comic book/graphics themed show this season and also showed up in a recent campaign. It is safe to say that this new model will likely be reappearing in upcoming seasons! Check out more from Ibrahima here.

Kit Butler

As far as current male models go, Kit Butler is definitely recognized as being a recurring force in the men’s fashion world in the past two years. This model has been in both Vogue Italia and At Large Magazine, and has a large number of big-name fashion shows on his resume, including recent ones such as Cerruti1881Balmain, and ICOSAE. Butler is not as under-the-radar as some other male models as he has a following of 86.5k on Instagram (check his page out, here) but the modelling is definitely what stands out with this upcoming star.

Luka Sabbat

Possibly one of the most famous from a celebrity standpoint for current, young, male models, Luka Sabbat is an influencer in fashion by way of runway, editorials, and through his own web persona. Recently, Dolce and Gabbana began a campaign where online influencers were at the forefront of their collections. With this, Sabbat became an icon in D&G campaigns and runways. Aside from D&G, Sabbat has appeared on the runway for Yeezy and has been in GQ magazine, Vogue, and more. Check out Sabbat’s popular Instagram page here.

Matthieu Villot

French model Mattieu Villot appears to be top designers’ must-have model throughout this season. Seen across the world in shows such as Alexander McQueen, Comme des Garcons Homme, Prada, and many more, it is obvious that this model’s look and talent have not been unnoticed and will be a face to expect in many collections to come. Click here to see more from Matthieu Villot.

Bom Chan Lee

Bom Chan Lee may be based out of New York, but his agencies around the world have secured him places on the runways of every fashion week this season. Walking in multiple shows per city, Lee’s face became familiar to those keeping up with the men’s fashion runways. Some of the most recent shows that he participated in were with Raf Simons and Matiere in New York, and with Paul Smith in Paris. Check out Lee’s Instagram page, here.

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Iconic Moments in Fashion: The Greatest Runways Ever Made!

Unlike today’s sleek and modern, no-nonsense runways, the world of high fashion runways has always had a sense of extravagance woven throughout.  Every time fashion month rolled around. The fashion world’s largest and most important houses scooped up their immense production budgets and created entirely new worlds for their clients and guests to immerse themselves in. Unfortunately, the era of full-on runway productions has almost entirely come to an end, with only a few of fashion’s powerhouse labels attempting to stick to the old grandiose way of presenting clothing. For this list, shows were picked based on visual impact, as well as aesthetic appeal. And no brand could have more than one entry, even though some of the brands on the list have multiple major motion picture-esque runway shows under their belt.

Louis Vuitton Spring – Summer 2012

Imagine a fairytale theme park. Where the fairest and most delicate of the fair folk frolic and play. Sugar spun in ever colourful is eaten by the handful and the sky glows with stains of baby pink and powder blue. The clouds float about like baby chicks among a candy coloured sky. It’s a princess’s dream world where anything magical is bound to happen. Nothing is impossible and even dream really does come true. And behind the roller coasters, Ferris wheel, and swings lies the grandest of carousels. Horses galloping, frozen in time coated in pastels and glitter. Swirling softly with it organ and mirrors creating an entirely new world separate from the one around it. That’s the beauty of Marc Jacobs‘ genius runway set for Louis Vuitton ss 2012. Taking something as normal as a childhood carousel ride and creating a completely different world.

Alexander McQueen Spring – Summer 1998

The name may conjure up images of something a little displeasing, but Alexander McQueen‘s Golden Shower is the first real example of the achievements that can be made in runway set design. This show was intirely based on pure innovation. Never before had there been a runway show so complex, intriguing and down right dangerous. Models had to strut down a clear plexi glass runway batherd in an artificual rain shower while riotous music pounded the audience and golden yellow lights flashed above. Creating the the perfect fashion thunderstorm that encompassed the anarchy that is Alexander McQueen.

Chanel Spring – Summer 2013

The house of Chanel is eponymous with everything extravagant and expensive, and never has that been more of a visible statement than under the direction of Karl Lagerfeld. His runway shows are the embodiment of extravagance; dreams made real through the handiwork and gargantuan production budget backing Chanel. For spring 2013, Karl had an entire wind turbine field built inside the now famous Palais Royale. Guests were treated to the sight of a solar panel floor gleaming under the lights as massive wind turbines spun overhead. Models weaved around the giant turbines in a glorious cacophony of fashion. Because in Karl’s world, nothing is unattainable and that goes for the quintessential Chanel woman as well.

Dior Fall – Winter 2007

John Galliano has never been one to shy away from sheer theatrical excess and for Christian Dior’s anniversary, the fashion virtuoso created a landscape that was one part Salvador Dali dream, one part castle garden, and another part art museum. Imagine every single bit of inspiration that went into a Dior Couture collections culminating in a massive runway, zig-zagging between various arches, rooms and sets. The runway painted a perfect picture of what goes on in Monsieur Galliano’s head during his creative process. It really was a living breathing midsummer’s night dream. 

Dolce & Gabbana Spring – Summer 2007

Who knew an elevator and plexiglass stairs could create one of the most visually stunning runway shows in the history of runway itself. Dolce & Gabbana are no strangers to creating the most overly extreme runway shows during their mid 2000’s hayday. But it was spring 2007 that set the strandard for what at D&G show should be. As the glass stairs ride out of the ground, the mid 2000’s ice queens descending, with supermodel Snejana Onopka leading the pack in an all out onslaught of sheer fashion. The clear runway completely matched the pvc element of the show and filled the room with “I dont give a damn” attitude that Dolce & Gabanna was known for.

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Tried and Tested – Spring Fashion Trends at Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue has finally arrived in Toronto, and there is no better time then now to check out all the fashion trends the high-end department store has to offer for spring 2017. In case even the prospect of browsing through the new season makes you feel exhausted, I took it upon myself to try on all the hottest trends for your entertainment.

Walking into Saks Fifth Avenue made me feel like a kid in a candy store. With more than 60 well known designers including Gucci, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Fendi, Prada, and so many more featuring all their newest collection, it was hard for me to stay indifferent.

The boho skirt is back

I don’t know about you, but my gypsy soul and I are defiantly ready for Spring. I had my eyes on this tiered silky skirt, which is not only eye catching but totally wearable. As you know, the coolest way to up your style game is to play with different textures or elements. To give the hippy skirt a cool twist, I paired it with a crop denim jacket with a studded point collar. I love the edgy jacket against the flowy femme flare of the skirt.

Jacket: Alice+Olivia Skirt: Tanya Taylor

The blooming season 

Even though mixing prints can be tricky, there are some ways to pull off this trend like a pro. Since head-to-toe florals are a key trend for spring 2017, I decided to pair the off the shoulder floral top with an embroidered chambray mini skirt, both from Alice+Olivia. This is the coolest way to embrace Spring without feeling like you are trying too hard. The easy breezy relaxed top balances out the A-line mini skirt.

Top and skirt: Alice+Olivia

When in doubt wear stripes

Stripes lovers, I have fashion forward news for you: Spring 2017 is all about bold and bright — stripes in primary colours like red, blue, and yellow are having their moments. The clever way to do it is by sticking to one item that will be the focal point in your outfit, while keeping the rest of your outfit in a neutral hue. I have tried to take it one step further in the spice level, pairing the colourful top with a crochet skirt with fringed trim.

Top: Opening Ceremony Skirt: See By Chloe

Head to toe Ruffles

Ruffles is one of those trends that we’ve seen everywhere, but it seems like we just can’t get enough of them. I guess some of you are still concerned about incorporating frills pieces into your wardrobe, but trust me, you can rock ruffles from head to toe without looking too girly. This look from Phillip Lam proves it. The statement making pants and top with the side ruffles give the entire look an edgy spin, while keeping it effortless and casual.

Top and Pants: 3.1 Phillip Lim

The little blue dress

A classy blue dress is a fresh take to the little black dress. Since LBD is a Spring-Summer staple, which can also be flattering for events like weddings, I thought it might be a great idea to consider switching to blue. The monochromatic colour looks classy and timeless. I choose this dress because it is a perfect spring dress that you can wear with layers: over a turtleneck when it’s chilly or with bare arms when it’s warm.

Dress: Saks Fifth Avenue collection

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