Designer Spotlight: Get With The X(IAN)

Social media might have you believe that the best part about of working in fashion is dressing up and attending events. For us, it’s being apart someone’s journey. We have had the pleasure of working  with Montreal-based designer Xian Wang for several seasons and we are so proud of all of his accomplishments.

We caught up with Xian to learn more about his ss18 collection, what keeps him motivated, and what we can expect from his fashion-forward menswear label.

Photographer: Che Rosales

What was the inspiration behind the ss18 collection?

As XIAN’s goal was to achieve a comfortable ready to wear collection, which is simplistic for the modern man just to pick up and go with other elements in his closet, suitable for our urban city lifestyle. Behind this SS18 Collection [RUSH], my own life is always in flux and states, “with our current environment lives busier, and with such a fast pace, we have to relate our clothes to real life.

When I made this collection, I related this collection to my personal life. I needed my clothes to be functional and keep up with me with coordinating pieces that can work together or separately with other items you own, so there is always functionality in the garments.”

Can you take us through your design process?

I normally start with sketching the silhouettes, just being myself and feeling the mood. One thing I find interesting is that my subconsciousness always plays a big role in my initial designing stage, because so many things happen during each season and I like to see how they transform into clothing. Then from there, I cross check with the current trend to add or eliminate some ideas for the target market, and make sure that they are appealing to my ideal costumers and still have the XIAN’s look.

At this stage, I would finalize a few key items for the collection and come back to make more modifications to create a strong concept and cohesion.

Who is the Xian customer?

XIAN’s customers are the guys and/or girls who have passion for fashion in a metropolitan environment, but at the same time they know well what they are looking for to express their own identity. They want to wear something subtle but luxurious, and dress effortlessly stylish. They are wild at heart, even though some are not working in the creative industries.

XIAN’s products have the characteristics to offer the costumers a day-to-night transition.’”A banker takes off his/her suits and put on XIAN to rock & roll at the underground punk party in Berlin.”

How do you like unwind after each collection and runway show?

Nothing special to be honest. Just take everything as easy as possible, catch up some sleep, watch videos on youtube, play my favourite radio station, and most importantly, enjoy tons delicious food with my loved team and friends.

Fill in the Blank: I cannot live without___________

XIAN (my line, not myself lol)

Photographer: Gabriel Di Sante

As a young Canadian designer, how does it feel to get recognized by international publications like GQ?

It felt like a dream comes true. I always buy British GQ and check that they have in every issue, and finally I see my designs are featured, printed and sold world-wild in 3 monthly issues. I never imaged it, but hey here they are. It also motivates me so much to create more and delivery better and better products in the future. Pressure is on, and I am ready to take it.

Fashion is a tough business, What keeps you motivated?

One is the passion. I remember reading this article, basically it says nothing big comes easy, and we will suffer. If that’s something we love doing truly, we can’t and won’t stop at the suffering stage. To a point we get use to it and it becomes a daily routine. Despite the complains we need to vent once awhile, we will still come back and continue doing the same thing. I love what I am doing, to a point even in my personal life, 90% of the things I do serves a purpose for the brand. I think I am possessed by what I created.

Another one is the people, as the team is growing, more people are putting more effort and time into the brand. I also feel the responsibilities to my team, family, friends, supporters, and fans. They are hoping more from the brand and always here to support. They are happy for me for what XIAN has become, but I know there’s still a big distance to what I wanted it to be. As long as I am capable of designing, I won’t stop no matter how tough it is.

What can we expect for Xian in 2018?

We are planning to get into more retail relocations with more available styles for the current seasons, and to be ready for getting into the bigger market, as well as some extremely exciting collaborations already at the finalizing stage. There are also some potential celebrities wearing XIAN on stage, and so much more. 2018 will be a another great year!

5 Style Resolutions for a Better 2018

TEXT: Peter Minkoff

It seems that that 2018 can’t arrive soon enough, what with all the bad things that have happened to the world in 2017. Every new year fills us with hope that once the sun rises on January 1st, we can get a clean slate and are able to start fresh. In order to do so, many of us still put pen to paper (or open the notes app on our phones) and create a list of all the things we’re going to change. Most of them we don’t stick to, but the more items we put, the likelier it is that we will do some of them.

Now, as awful as the year has been in many aspects, it has been a fantastic year for fashion and the runways have given us plenty of food for thought. Life is too short to stick to the same styles, and one of the best traits of the millennial generation is their refusal to conform. They mix, match and experiment with not only different cuts, patterns, textures, but also aren’t afraid of putting diametrically opposing styles into a single outfit. This year, be that level of fierce, and make sure that at least a few of these style resolutions find their way to your wardrobe.

Say Yes to Plaid

Plaid is one of the most interesting, but, for a long time, under-appreciated patterns out there. However, this pattern is a total chameleon. Why? Because it’s conspicuous, which makes it incredibly suitable for statement pieces, but still subdued enough that you can mix and match it with different patterns as well as with basics. The best part is, it looks amazing on both men and women. If you’re not sure which plaid piece to add to your wardrobe this year, a double-breasted blazer is a great way to start, although it’s a tough call since plaid pants look ultra-sophisticated yet relaxed at the same time. So, when in doubt, go for both.

Don’t Beat It, Join It

By now, it is obvious that athleisure isn’t going anywhere. The trend turned lifestyle has even made it into the official dictionaries. So, yes, it is here to stay. Some have been fighting it, but why should you keep fighting? Athleisure is all about stylish convenience, comfort, and versatility, and there is absolutely no need to shun it: Embrace it already. Start with a great pair of Adidas Gazelle sneakers — a brand like this is always a good way to go — and once you go down the athleisure rabbit hole, before you know it, you’ll be wearing your pressed button-downs with hoodies and track pants with polished blazers. Give it a try — once you go athleisure, you just might never go back.

A Show of Support

One of the resolutions that will combine your love of fashion with your social-awareness is going local. By this we mean shopping from small designers and local shops. This way, not only will you be helping local economy, but you will also allow young artist and visionaries to be more visible. It’s not just noble, it’s good for the evolution of your style. New designers and small brands offer pieces that you won’t see on everyone else. Plus, they have insanely innovative and unique designs that are bound to help you step up your style game and assert your individuality.

Show No Fear

Most people never experience the joy that comes with playing with different colors, and that’s a damn shame. Fashion is supposed to be playful, it’s supposed to bring joy and fun. So stop perceiving clothes as purely utilitarian and actually start having some fun with them. Try colors you haven’t dared to try before. Who knows, you might actually end up discovering that you ‘pop’ in colors you never even dreamed of putting on your body. After all, it’s not like a chemical experiment, so even if you fail a few times, what’s the harm? At least you dared to step out of your comfort zone.

That Being Said…

Most of the times the sentence ‘I have nothing to wear’ comes as a result of having too many options that clash with one another. Statement pieces are amazing, they are the cherry on top of the sundae of each outfit; they tell a story. But if you layer too many at the same time, they will cancel each other out and create a busy hot mess. Therefore, it’s paramount that you take the time to go shopping for some quality basics (emphasis on both quality and basics). While statement ones are the cherry, basics are the pillar of every outfit, and once you have enough you will never be pegged with the question, ‘What do I wear today?’ ever again. Shop for simple tees and sweaters in neutral hues, dark jeans, simple outerwear. This is the foundation, and you should never forget it. After all, you can’t eat the cherry on top without the sundae, right?

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Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Bag Edition

“It is a known fact that a woman do carry an evening bag at dinner time.” Now this famous quote from the now iconic documentary Paris Is Burning holds more truth than people think. However, the quote should be interpreted by the fact that any outfit always feels a little more complete once you add a stunning bag to it. The perfect bag also has the ability to boost one’s confidence and mood. Allowing the wearer to express their personal style with a bag of their choosing. And for that reason, we here at Novella feel that choosing the perfect bag for that perfect someone is always a great gift giving choice for the holiday season. However, choosing the right bag can sometimes be extremely hard and with so many bags and personalities out there, having a guide on what to get is often very helpful and time-saving.

Forever 21 Faux Leather Crossbody Bag: $33.90

Photo: Forever 21

As fashion grows and progresses, so does the need to use it as a form of self-expression. Unlike the conventional bags most people are used to seeing. Today’s purses are no longer about functionality and stand more as a test of creative integrity and self-expression. One big trend that really encompasses this idea is the mini bag, while it may not be the most functional bag to its size, this Forever 21 mini faux patent leather bag is all about visual appeal rather than functionality. Sure you may not be able to fit everything in there. But this bag does hold its own perfectly fine as a party bag or evening bag. And its punchy mix of fire engine red and shiny metal hardware give this bag an edgy 80s personality that’s been all the rage the past few years.

Chanel Boy Bag: $7175.00

Photo: Chanel

The Chanel Boy Bag may be the bag to end all bags. With its iconic silhouette and chain strap. The Boy bag has become synonymous with Paris upper echelon. However, with a name like Chanel on the bag, the cost is automatically going to be quite astronomical for a purse. But its the quality of materials and craftsmanship that really makes this bag an extra special gift. Rather than purchasing your special someone a regular black Chanel Boy bag. Opt for this glittery sequined version. Which mixes the perfect amount of after-dark glamour with the conventional look of an all black bag.

Zara Knotted Bucket Bag: $49.90

Photo: Zara

Zara has a long-standing reputation for creating fashionable high-quality clothing and accessories that merge the high fashion appeal of the runway with functional everyday attire. This simple black shoulder bag is the perfect for someone who’s always on the go. It’s roomy design and thick strap are bound to last for those who can’t help but carry everything but the kitchen sink with them. What sets this bag apart from regular leather totes is its fresh design. The bag itself is very architectural. With the knotted straps creating a very angular silhouette that compliments the triangular shape of the bag.

Maison Margiela Patchwork Pouch: $2660.00

Photo: Maison Margiela

For those who want something more interesting than the average bag, Maison Margiela created this unconventional clutch. Utilizing the brand’s love for deconstruction. The clutch is decorated with pieces of Margiela staple patterns and fabrics. Creating an entirely unique look for those daring enough to wear it. Another interesting aspect of the bag is its shape. Rather than opting for a traditional square or rectangle clutch. The brand created an exaggerated and extremely elongated rectangle clutch that breaks the boundaries of what bags and clutches should look like. While this may not be the most functional option on the list, it does stand alone as a very interesting statement piece.

Aldo Wenang Light Blue Women’s Crossbody: $70.00

Photo: Aldo

These days bags can be whatever you’d like them to be and often, the more colourful and fun they are, the better. This fairytale Aldo bag brings the punch of colour many are looking for in the new year. The pastel colour scheme and embroidery is fun and playful without being juvenile. Which is often a very important thing for the purse aficionado on your holiday gift list. What makes this bag really special is how all of the colours and hardware work perfectly together. Rather than being jarring, the bag compliments itself. Especially the blue to pink gradient that makes of the colour of the bag.

How to be fashionable during winter?

If you think you cannot be fashionable during winter, you are wrong. Fall-winter is probably the best season to look trendy. Just think about it, how many items do you have in your wardrobe during winter? Way more than in summer right?! If you count jackets, coat, boots, scarf and other accessories, I am sure you have at least twice more items to play with. So, what will make you look gorgeous this season? Here is a list of tricks and items which will help you.

  1. Get a big puffer jacket

If you want to look cool no water what, the puffer jacket is always a good idea. You can easily wear it off-the-shoulder during fall or over a big jumper during winter. The other good thing with a big coat is that you can wear it with sneakers to be casual or with fancy boots to look fancy.

  1. Choose your boots with attention

Whatever you prefer high or ankle boots, you need a pair which matches with almost everything. They don’t need to be black –excepted if you only go black – but they have to match with most of your clothes AND your favorite coat.

  1. Find an oversize roll-neck sweater

At that time of the year you should forget low-cut-neckline. At the contrary, roll-neck will cover your neck perfectly and will make you look super fancy. If your sweater is also oversize or has big sleeves, it will give you a perfect fashion week street style look.

  1. Style it up

It’s not because you wear big sweaters and long sleeves that you have to look boring. Get a printed jacket, wear accessories and have fun! Getting accessories is also a good way to turn your casual outfit to a fashionable one. Find big earrings, colored sunglasses and a big hat and you will look perfect.

  1. Layer is the key

This is the season to layer so let’s go for it! You want to wear your favorite tee-shirt? No problem put a wool cardigan on it and your big coat. You want to look good arriving at work wearing your summer denim jacket? Do it! Just put layers on to protect yourself from pneumonia.

Accessories Trend Report Spring 2018: Next Season’s Most Coveted Items!

Next season’s accessories came with a fun surprise! Colours, patterns, and textures dominated the accessories game on the runway. Differing from the norm, accessories told their own story this season. You could almost say that this season’s group of bags, jewels, hats, and shoe could easily be stand-alone collections in and of themselves. Able to carry out a cohesive and impressive story all on their own.

The Printed Pop Bag

Printed bags had the biggest impact on the runway for Spring. Prints, florals, and plaids all came crashing onto many of the worlds biggest brand’s accessories. Transforming the functional bag into an outstanding showpiece that could pump up any outfit in your closet. Milan seemed to take the trend to the most extreme by putting jarring patterns on simplistic bags. Giving a graphic edge to standard silhouettes. At Prada, bags were strewn with graphic comic strip style prints that took gave each bag its own unique story. Adding a special element to each purse that walked the runway. Over at Marni, adorable square bags were splashed with bright plaids. Creating an interesting, almost vintage take on the modern box bag. Paris seemed to prefer a more subtle take on the printed bag. Opting for more elegantly and less graphic prints than Milan did. At Valentino, models walked the runway in the brand’s staple rockstud bags. However, the bag seemed to be painted with gorgeous floral motifs. Giving the bag a double identity, soft vs hard, elegant, yet edgy.

The Peek-a-boo See-through Shoe

This season’s footwear took a surprisingly fun turn for spring. Last season’s love for the chunky heel continued as expected, however, this season’s chunky heel came with an unexpected translucent friend. For Spring, Parisian fashion houses Chanel and Balmain both put their models in interesting and super clear cap toes PVC boots. The boots themselves have an air rain time high fashion chic about them, but they’re grounded with the strong pops of neutral black and white. Giving the boots a more elegant, rather than childish look. Over in New York, Prabal Gurung sported an interesting pair of mules that used a sheer mesh and clear heel combo, rather than using PVC. Giving the shoe a more reasonable and breathable appeal for the summer.

The Epic Chandelier Earring

Chandelier earrings may have become passe in the last decade. However, the glimmering throwbacks are back in a big way! In Paris and Milan, oversized earrings packed a very big punch. At Saint Laurent, giant jewelled chandeliers took on a mod feel with big rectangular sparklers, making the earing look more like bedazzled frames ready to frame a royal masterpiece. Over in Milan, both Dolce & Gabanna and Gucci used pearls, gold, and gems to create a modern take on Renaissance royalty, giving Elizabeth the 1st a run for her money.

The Theatrical Straw Hat

This season’s straw summer hat get an exciting upgrade. What started with Gucci’s huge sunhat and Jacquemus Provencal hats has grown into one of the biggest and most interesting accessory trends of the season. At Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood, the straw hat took a more vagabond like look aesthetic. Resembling something more cartoonish, which fits in perfectly with the outlandish and forward thinking appeal that’s been associated with Westwood for years. At Jacquemus, the straw sunhat took on its most extreme form yet. With proportions resembling something straight out of a French romance movie. The romantic movement of the hat perfectly mirrored the sensual feel of the collection. Over in Milano, Missoni caught wind of the trend and added its 0wn interesting flair. Creating a more windswept and cutting-edge sunhat that screams Missoni.