Inspired by classic menswear tailoring, Frank and Oak’s women’s suiting collection was designed to reinvent the familiar 9 to 5 office aesthetic. Canadian musicians and face of the collection,Tegan and Sara, know a thing or two about breaking away from mainstream fashion standards. “We believe that mixing and matching feminine and masculine silhouettes is for anybody,” says the indie pop duo. “We aren’t afraid to look pretty or be styled in a feminine way, however the gender juxtaposition of this collection is very important to us.” Starting their careers in an era of rigid societal expectations, Tegan and Sara thrived on the support and respect they received from their fans, which empowered them to embrace their unique, androgynous style and rectify conventional fashion norms.
The 5 sku line features modern silhouettes, constructed in a stretch-wool flannel-blend fabric for a sophisticated, yet edgy look. Pair the pieces for a polished head-to-toe uniform or mix and match with wardrobe basics and put your own personal spin on it. Each style was created for day-to-night versatility, whether that be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or in the case of Tegan and Sara,9 p.m. to 5 a.m.!
We all have one — that one person with amazing style and flare who you’d rather be than anyone else when you’re trying to get dressed; the icon you light a candle to for inspiration. Aspire as we might, we may never truly emulate their originality or defiance. Nevertheless, we keep them around because they are good to look at and think about — in a way, the north star of a sort. Here are Novella team members’ personal fashion icons. We love who we love, no judgments please.
Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief
Luis Borges has been a “friend in my head” ever since he first burst on the fashion scene with his big afro back in 2010. Yes, it’s hard for a model to not make look clothes since that is his job, but if you follow the model/digital influencer/father on Instagram then you know that Luis has a way of effortlessly mixing high and low fashion and with each outfit let his personality shine through. If I am ever in his native Portugal and we ever did meet, I would for sure want to raid his closet even though there is definitely a height difference but hey, that’s what a tailor is for 🙂
Hoon, Managing Editor
I once bought a pair of Wayfarers because I knew they were what Bob Dylan wore (hopefully still wears) —despite my secret wishes, nothing about me has become Dylan-esque as a result, yet. He is often photographed in a white shirt and a black blazer, which is also my go-to truly original and unique color combination (you should give it a try!). But there’s also The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover where he’s in blue jeans and a mustard jacket, a look, along with the songs, that promises better days, of finding oneself, after fun and trouble, home safe: “Well, ask me why I’m drunk all the time/ It levels my head and eases my mind/ I just walk along and stroll and sing/ I see better days and I do better things/ I catch dinosaurs, I make love to Elizabeth Taylor, catch hell from Richard Burton.” I like that promise. It’d be nice to emulate it somehow.
Natasha Grodzinski, Contributor
If we’re talking about the bohemian, ’70s-inspired, possibly-a-witch vibes that are back in trend with tons of young women, then we need to talk about Stevie Nicks, infamous rock-goddess extraordinaire and one of the best-known purveyors of this aesthetic. Of course she’s beautiful and mysterious now, but whenever I’m trying to replicate that kind of look for myself, I always draw inspiration from her 1970s wardrobe. The Rumors era, in particular, is a goldmine for style inspiration. Not only is she supremely talented, but she’s serving looks left and right. Stevie does the damn thing.
Christopher Zaghi, Fashion Editor
Being the former front-woman of one of the most important musical acts of the 2010s isn’t a feat easily achieved by many. But Alice Glass’s voice, raw fury when performing, and personal style stood alone amongst music’s greatest front-women. Since her beginnings among a Toronto drifter community, Alice has carved her own path. Recently, Alice released a self-titled EP that once again has me falling in love with the reigning queen of dark goth glamour. Her signature choppy hair, black leather, band shirt, and the subtle additions of fetish wear have created a unique blend of modern trend and old school goth that hasn’t been seen since the days of Garbage front-woman Shirley Manson and goth icon Siouxsie Sioux. Now that Alice has embarked on her new solo career, I’m looking forward to this new and exciting time in her personal style.
Kimberley Drapack, Contributor
Cher is an icon. She has never been one to shy away from making bold choices in fashion or reinventing her image. Many have attempted to recreate her looks at a later date *cough* Kim Kardashian at the Met Gala in 2015 *cough*. With Cher’s career spanning over 50 years in the industry, time and again she has come forward with extravagant ensembles, decorated in sequins, feathers, and rhinestones. It is without a doubt that she has been a major inspiration for artists and designers over the years, creating an incredible palette to design any mood board after.
Michelle Cheung, Social Media Coordinator
Margaret Zhang is a 24-year-old Chinese-Australian multidisciplinary law-school graduate, ballerina, model, blogger (of Shine by Three), photographer, creative director, stylist, Instagram star, writer, and fashion consultant. She’s worked with global brands including Vogue, Chanel, and Dior, to list a few. Her works are recognized as having impact on the international fashion industry and she’s been listed in Forbes Asia’s30Under30. She’s also recently published her first book of photo essays. Her modern and eclectic style and her artistic photos/Instagram posts are among the few things I admire. She is the epitome of the ‘generation of slashers” and, as a decuple threat, she is a fashion icon to be reckoned with.
Adina Heisler, Contributor
You probably recognize her as the badass assassin Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, but outside Westeros you can find Maisie Williams on other acting endeavors or hanging out with Sophie Turner, her fictional sister on the show and her real-life friend (they even have a ship name, mophie). And while Arya is decidedly uninterested in clothes and fashion, Maisie is known for her cool, simple style. I love that her style is never too crazy or excessive, but also never feels boring or understated. She uses lots of florals and prints, but mixes them with just enough punk to keep it from being too sweet.
My wardrobe essentials are black shoes, black joggers, and a black t-shirt. See a theme there? No, I’m not trying to be your friendly neighbourhood fashion blogger with minimalist and monochromatic fashion. I’m the complete opposite, actually. I love loud patterns, bright shirts, and architectural jackets, but the only way to pull those off is to have a solid fashion anchor. By wearing black shoes and black pants, you can go super loud and outlandish on top without being too distracting or workplace inappropriate.
Favourite Item in Your Closet
Definitely my black and white Saturdays NYC button up (seen in the picture). The shirt is inspired by the glaze brush pattern often seen in ceramic work. It’s bold and brash yet minimalist at the same time. It’s easy to dress up (with a blazer) or down (with jeans) and that versatility is what I look for in all my shirts.
The Purge Rule
One for one. If you buy something new, get rid of something old. It’s a rule that I’m still trying to commit to. Everyone has a bad habit of holding on to things they don’t need. Unless it’s a staple like a blazer or jacket, it’s always best to consider whether or not an old item in your closet is worth holding on to.
Describe Your Work Uniform
Thankfully, The Morning Show really supports my outlandish fashion choices. Heck, I wore overalls on the show once. My daily work outfit usually starts with a pair of black golf joggers and then I pair them with a bold and bright short-sleeved button up shirt.
Liem Vu is a Toronto-based journalist and television personality. He can be seen weekdays on The Morning Show. Vu’s sense of curiosity and passion for storytelling bring him to the front lines of breaking news. Liem has written for both local and national publications including The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and The National Post. In 2011, he produced and hosted a series of investigative features for MTV News, focusing on hot-button sociopolitical issues aimed at Canadian youth.
Liem is an avid music fan, insatiable foodie, and all-around nerd. Prior to his career as a journalist, he moonlighted as the lead singer of a barbershop quartet called ‘The TemptAsians’ and has seen every episode of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer at least twice.
To some, the outlandish tactics used to garner attention within the fashion industry may seem like ridiculous attempts to either shock or put out confusing jumbles and present them as art. And though that may be true to a certain extent, there is one area where designers, film makers, photographers, and artists all agree: that bigger and bolder is always better. Fashion ad campaigns are one of the most important things that brands put out throughout the year, second only to the products made by the brand itself. They showcase the created message that may not have reached its audience during the initial runway show. Here, the entire creative team can create a fantasy world based on the collection, fragrance, cosmetic, or accessory that the ad is based on, taking whatever unanswered questions the collection left behind and filling in the blank spots on the canvas.
Christian Dior Fall 2017-18
Although some may say that Maria Grazia Chiuri’s work at the iconic house of Dior is lacklustre, it’s undeniable that this ad campaign injects brute strength that may have been missing during the show. With Dior favourites like Ruth Bell and Fernanda Ly, the original idea of outfitting a strong and unapologetic woman in Dior is completely evident in this campaign. The pulsing, industrial music and stark black and white create an air of strength that follows each model as they twirl, stomp, and pose in their black leather berets.
Valentino Menswear Fall 2017-18
Menswear sometimes gets a bad rep of being the less inspired and completely out of touch brother to high fashion womenswear. However, many brands are starting to take notice on how important the men’s fashion has become. Valentino is definitely one of those brands. In recent years, Valentino has made amazing strides in taking their brand from luxury tailoring to here and now men’s fashion. Valentino is no longer your rich grandfather’s go-to suit, and their campaign for fall proves just that. Placing their models in a modernized version of punk London, the ad pushes the idea that Valentino is a brand that’s as fresh and as new as the millennials it wants to attract.
Gucci Fall 2017-18
Gucci‘s creative head, Alessandro Michelle, is no stranger to transforming a brand into a contemporary go-to. Not long after joining the brand, Michelle was able to turn the ever increasingly forgettable brand into the most talked about and coveted Italian name in the fashion industry today. For their Fall campaign, Gucci not only channelled the same cacophonic parade of colour and texture that’s brought it back to life, but also channelled something that’s become a staple in millennial style; nostalgia for times far before their childhood. The ad features the all too familiar setting of a psychedelic ’70s like space adventure that mirrors the bright rainbow of colour, texture, and inspiration that Gucci is all about.
Oscar De La Renta Fall 2018-17
Since taking the helm at Oscar De La Renta almost a year ago, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia have thrust the brand into an interesting place. Hovering delicately between modern edge and old world glamour, the brand that has dressed the likes of Laura Bush and Sarah Jessica Parker is eagerly awaiting to see whether the fashion world buys into its new image. One key element in helping its audience understand the new De La Renta image is fashion icon Mariacarla Boscono who was the face of Renta’s fall campaign. Her strikingly alien face and sharp gaze helped sew together the contemporary edge that Kim and Garcia wish to bring to the brand with the grace and glamour that Oscar established years ago.
Miu Miu Fall 2017-18
Miuccia Prada is a fashion genius. No one is able to reinvent two brands simultaneously every season and keep the look and the ideas of the brands fresh and exciting the way she does. So it comes as no surprise that her brilliant collection for Miu Miu now comes with a brilliant ad campaign. Borrowing heavily from the collections fuzzy bubblegum-60s mod fusion, the ad takes its viewer through a pastel coloured journey that takes place in an old movie theatre where models (including Kate Moss!) all sit and watch a grainy Lousiana Bayou short film featuring the models themselves. And if seeing Kate Moss decked out it groovy Miu Miu is not enough, then seeing Adwoah Aboah and other stunning models of colour dominate the ad should be more than enough incentive to fall in love with this light hearted ad!
Back in July, I had the chance to attend and cover shows during New York Fashion Week Men’s, and, even though the heat and humidity sometimes made me regret it, the many talented designers I got to witness firsthand was worth the trip.
To switch things up, I gave talented local artist Fredsonn Silva Aguda images of ten of my favourite looks from the week and asked him to illustrate them for this article. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Ever since Raf Simons was appointed the creative director of Calvin Klein, New Yorkers have been able to witness his genius at home. The designer took his spring/summer 2018 collection to the streets underneath a bridge in the heart of Chinatown. The location hinted at Blade Runner’s influence on the collection.Chinese lanterns hung from the ceiling emblazoned with the art of Peter Saville, who famously did album art for Joy Division and New Order. Raf continued to play with proportions as seen in previous collections, but maybe due to the location and its atmosphere, this collection seemed new but nevertheless still undoubtedly Raf.
Robert Geller’s newly launched Gustav von Aschenbach was a bit pared down from his namesake collection and offered oversized coats, jackets, and pants of varying widths and lengths made from high-grade Japanese textiles. I have been a HUGE fan of Geller’s for some time now and was excited to see his new endeavor up close. This look illustrated by Fredsonn was one of my favourites shown in the collection.
Another highlight from the week was designer Raul Lopez’s gender-bending and boundary pushing Spring/Summer 2018 collection for Luar. The collection took me back to my ’90s club kid days, but, styled differently, its pieces could be completely wearable (for some at least) today.
Although when I first saw this look at Palmiers du Mal’s presentation at the Gramercy Park Hotel it was hard to imagine being able to wear this look in spring and summer, as we all know mother nature often likes to toy with our emotions. It can be feel like Hades one day and the next it could snow. Either way this look could be worn whenever necessary and will keep you cozy and looking good.
I fell in love with the way designer Emily Bode mixed different patterns and textures for her debut Spring/Summer 2018 collection. The collection’s vintage feel still felt modern and you won’t have to dig through a bunch of clothes at your local vintage shop to look this good.
Raun LaRose ’80s inspired Spring/Summer 2018 collection felt more today than dated. The oversized shapes of jackets and pants or, in this case, shorts paired with sheer knee-high socks and sneakers could have easily been seen on the attendees packed into the designer’s presentation or on the streets of New York.
During designers Vincent Oshin and William Watson of label Death To Tennis Spring/Summer 2018presentation, male models posed on pedestals and took selfies with camera phones, selfie sticks, and a polaroid camera. The collection offered great menswear staples including trench coats, tracksuits, sweats, T-shirts, and shorts.
Designer Barbara Sanchez Kane was inspired by her Mexican heritage and drew inspiration from life experiences for her Spring/Summer 2018 collection. This was definitely one of my many favourite looks from the collection.
Drawing inspiration from President John F. Kennedy and from travels during the presidential election in November of last year, designer Daisuke Obana offered everything from suits to preppy pieces perfect for summers on Martha’s Vineyard for his N.Hoolywood Spring 2018 collection.
’90s nostalgia was on full display for Patrick Ervell for his Spring 2018 collection. The collection included leather pants and shorts, trenchcoats and wind-breakers. At times the collection felt like it was missing something but true fans of the designer would be able to find pieces they have grown to love.