Tried and Tested: Levi’s New 501 Skinny Jeans

It’s hard to argue that Levi’s® is not synonymous with jeans. Over the years, the denim market has grown tremendously, and while some brands have come and gone, the iconic denim brand still remains. When we heard about the next member of the Levi’s® 501® family — the new 501® Skinny — we knew we wanted to try them on and put them to the test. Our fashion contributor Liat Neuman got her hands on the SUPERCHARGER wash for women, and our Editor-in Chief Drew Brown was able to try out the HILLMAN wash for men.

Both pairs of jeans are a new kind of skinny jeans, featuring everything we all love about the classic 501® original, but with that skinnier fit. The 501® Skinny adds an authentic, vintage feel to your closet that only the creators of the blue jeans can offer.

“We are very careful when we touch the 501®, and we do it with a lot of respect,” explains Jonathan Cheung, the Head of Design at Levi’s® Brand. “People have been altering their vintage 501® jeans for a snug, skinnier fit for years, so we followed that as inspiration and created a vintage-looking 501® Skinny.”

Liat and Drew headed to Nordstorm and selected items that will take their jeans from day to night and over the weekends.

Drew’s Day look:

For my day time look, I paired the 501® Skinny with a faux fur bomber jacket from Express and a Trovata t-shirt from my own closet. This look can take me from the office to drinks with friends, or to one of the many work-related events. I have been a fan of Levi’s for many years and I love the fact that they always work well with items from my wardrobe, and, unlike the designer jeans I have purchased, my Levi’s still look brand new.

Drew’s Evening look:

I dressed up the skinny jeans with a Paul Smith printed button-up and a blazer for a chic nighttime look. The fit of the jeans and the blazer makes the look sharp and dressy rather than casual. Being vertically challenged, I love skinny jeans because they make me feel and appear a bit taller.

Drew’s Weekend look:

I fell in love with this sweatshirt from KENZO and they look great with the jeans. This look is perfect for brunch on the weekend or running errands around the city. You can style them with a pair of cool white kicks or your favourite pair of shoes. One thing I did notice during this test was not only did the jeans make everything I picked look great but they are also  super comfy, which is a plus.

Liat’s Day look:

Blouse: Theory, Jacket: BCBG, Heels: Bata

During the day, I am usually juggling business meeting and my duties as a mom, so I was looking for an outfit that will be comfy yet put together. You can’t go wrong with a classy pair of Levi’s that creates a professional look. I chose a structure black blazer for a slightly serious appeal and paired it with an office-friendly crisp white button down shirt with cutout details. I completed the look by adding nude glossy pumps for an instant elegant-polished touch.

Liat’s Evening Look: 

Shirt: Robert Rodriguez, Heels: Guess

After a busy work day, the night requires a more glamorous and sexy outfit, so I decided to transform my day look into a night one without changing my favourite Levi’s jeans. I picked up this playful off the shoulder top, since it’s not only a huge trend this season but also very flattering to any body type. To add a gorgeous pop of colour, there is nothing like pair of stiletto heels with floral prints to finish the look.

Liat’s Weekend look:

Shirt:The Kooples, Sneakers: Adidas

During the weekend, wearing a comfy outfit is my first priority. As such, I decided to adopt the classic Canadian tuxedo,  the denim on denim ensemble. It’s effortless, easy to wear, and never goes out of style. I pair the jeans with a embroidered button down denim shirt and a pair of Adidas floral sneakers because of the cool fun-vibe they create. Since these jeans are high waisted, they give my body a great shape and allow me to tuck the shirt in without having to worry about my imperfections.

The new edition will be available for men and women in a variety of finishes and in light to dark washes with the true original 501® button fly. For more information, visit the Levi’s website here.

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One month, One Style – Bras Out

Its finally starting to feel like spring and we are more then ready to refresh our wardrobe for the warmer season ahead. Now is the time to say goodbye to all the heavy layers and be prepared to reveal some great amount of skin. Or, in other words, sun out, bras out.

The old days when you had to hide your bra from peeking out from your shirt is over. One of the seasonal highlight this spring summer included bringing out our intimate garments into the spotlight. Surprisingly there are several ways to wear the bra as part of your outfit without feeling too out there. It all depends on how you wear it. It is quite challenging to draw the line between the fashionable and the jarring. To help you find the right balance, here are five cool options:

Over Your Shirt

If you are still not ready to wear undergarment on its own, there is another way to rock this bold trend. Bralettes and bras, which have been seen everywhere lately, can be worn on top of your favourite t-shirt or, on colder days, on top of a light weight turtleneck. For a fashion forward statement, pair it with a strong-shouldered blouse. This is also a great way to show off your new bra in public without feeling that you went too far with this fashion forward trendy piece.

Photo: Kenzo, Vouge

With a transparent shirt

The sheer trend is still going strong this season, so here is your chance to combine between these two hot trends together and create a daring statement. There is no doubt that this trend is undeniably sexy and therefore we suggest to reserve it for off-duty hours. To make things more interesting and to create a bold statement, simply choose a colourful bra underneath any delicately transparent shirt.

Photo: Carven, Vogue

The power suit

One of the unforgettable moments of the ’90s fashion is when Madonna showed off her pinstripe suit with the iconic cone bra in her Blond Ambition tour. Well, nowadays this look is no longer guarded only for the stage or for the runway. It has been seen on the streets among fashion bloggers and celebs. alike. We all agree that a power suit creates a strong and powerful appearance, so to soften up the sharp look, a full coverage bra that peekaboos underneath is the perfect solution. We suggest to pair it with a waist-high trousers and a fitted blazer or with a silky suit for a feminine appeal.

Photo: Les Compains, Vouge

Just a hint

Bralettes can be visibly hidden under a low cut blouse, a buttoned-down shirt, or with a deep v neck sweater. Every kind of bralette is welcome here, from lacy bras to satin, corset or even frilly patterned ones as long as you don’t expose too much skin. Otherwise you are taking the  risk of looking inappropriate (too cheap). To make the look daytime acceptable, keep the rest of the styling minimal.

Nina Ricci – Vogue

Sporty spice 

Exploring the current street style leads us to one conclusion: the ’90s trend is as relevant as ever. The nostalgic references taken from the fashion icons of the ’90s like Spice Girls, Gwen Stefani, or TLC are proving that the sports bra is having a moment and that it’s a must have item to embrace the urban sporty look. The athletic bra is definitely less boudoir and therefore you should treat it as you would a crop top. To complete the effortless look, simply pair it with sweatpants and accessorize with cool sneakers, a statement clutch, or even with an oversized kimono in order to give your outfit a fashion-forward vibe.

Photo: Etro, Vouge

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ICYMI: Fall/Winter 2016 Fashion Films Round Up

Edited By Hoon Ji

Of all the ways to experience fashion — from the runway to the pages of a magazine and the street — fashion films are one of the more interdisciplinary mediums. They transpose fashion into a visual world with characters, narratives, and music. As such, they convey not just the beauty and details of the season’s pieces, but also the creative sentiment behind the brand and its designer. We rounded up some of the standouts from this year’s Fall/Winter season — whether they are funny, sentimental, or surreal, they all speak to a larger vision contained within the collections.

Kenzo

Nobody does a fashion video quite like Kenzo. Having tapped into the creative worlds of directors like Greg Araki, Sean Baker, and Spike Jonze for previous projects, they’ve set the bar high. Their latest was written and directed by Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein, who explores the ridiculousness of social media by turning it literal.

The film follows actress Laura Harrier on a bizarre adventure that begins in the shady ‘Institute of the Real and Really Real.’ We first see Harrier greeted at the establishment by a group of her ‘followers’ and an authoritarian Rowan Blanchard. As two of Harrier’s followers walk away, Blanchard explains the rules of the institute and social media.

Since Harrier once called Natasha Lyonne the social media jargon, “mom,” on Instagram, the institute makes Lyonne Harrier’s actual mom. It spirals into a hot mess and Lyonne gets into a fight with Harrier’s birth mom. The short also has cameos from Kim Gordon and Mahershala Ali.

McQueen

Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton and photographer Jamie Hawkesworth look to the brand’s original vision of dialectical oppositions for its fall/winter 2016 video campaign: shots taken in both back and white and color, the night theme of the clothing vs. the bright sunny day, the quick rolling shots of road juxtaposed with long shots of calm nature, and the delicateness of the garments paired against the rugged backdrop of the Shetland Islands. The film stars Mica Arganaraz, who is joined by three Scottish sisters, Daisy, Emily, and Lily Brodie.

The girls playing in the remains of a house and car bring us to focus. One of the sister’s voice floats over the video, talking about school and meeting Mica, “I just go into a dwam, and like block out all sound, basically. So, someone will say my name in maths and be like, ‘What’s the answer to this,’ and I’ll be like, ‘I didn’t listen to any of that.'” Their voices compete when they talk about Mica, “She’s got brown curly hair with a fringe, and she’s got an amazing tan, amazing eyebrows. I thought she wouldn’t talk to us, but she did actually talk to us.” The film ends with the sisters and Mica walking to who knows where in beautiful,gothic dresses, as a folk song sung by them drifts in the background.

Marc Jacobs

Anyone remember Marc Jacob’s iconic spring 1993 grunge collection at Perry Ellis, featured in the Sonic Youth’s video, Sugar Kane? It pissed off just about everyone and got him fired (shout out to Chloe Sevigny and Kim Gordon). From his earliest years designing, Marc Jacobs has pushed buttons with panache and has had a very special relationship with music. His fall campaign video, Beautiful Freaks, is a testament to that.

Set to Man Friday’s thumping “Love Honey, Love Heartache” and directed by legendary music video director, Hype Williams, Beautiful Freaks is a glorious showcase of Marc Jacobs gothic fall collection. Jacobs has the best cast and has brought in Missy Elliot, Susan Sarandon, Sissy Spacek, Anna Clevland, and Marilyn Manson (just to name a few). He even sneaks a cameo in there.

Gucci

Gucci’s fall/winter 2016 film campaign feels like Lost in Translation. Creative director Alessandro Michele continues the work with Glen Luchford on visuals. The video stars Petra Collins and a gaggle of models, driving around Tokyo in a Japanese light truck until they get to a pachinko, which is surreal AF. “The ongoing dialogue between the traditional and the modern – between calm and chaos – that characterizes this vibrant place creates a psychedelic assault on the senses that is echoed beautifully in the vivacity of creative director Alessandro Michele’s creations,” states the house.

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Why I Will Kill Whomever Tries to Steal This Kenzo x H&M Piece

kenzo-cover

Do you remember Jeremy Scott’s statement, ‘I don’t speak Italian, but I do speak Moschino’? We don’t speak Italian either. Nor do we Japanese or French, but luckily we don’t really need any of those languages to understand fashion. And to understand fashion, you would know that the upcoming Kenzo and H&M collaboration is a big deal.

With this year’s upcoming release of the KENZO x H&M collection, it’s safe to say that everyone is going to be talking about Kenzo Takada’s iconic brand. Now headed by creative duo Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, Kenzo has continued its reign as being a brand that’s slightly off centre, yet completely anchored in fashion.

On October 19th, the ‘KENZO X H&M’ opening show took place at Pier 36 in New York where models shared the catwalk with an army of dancers directed by Jean-Paul Goude, as well as the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. Drums and extravagant dance moves took the stage, and the theatrical vibe was simply magical and contagious. Let’s just say that the already abundant anticipation for the collaboration hit the roof.

The historic house of KENZO holds many meanings. Daring, sassy, energetic, free, confident, unique, and self-expression are just a few words associated with the brand. There is not nearly enough room on this page to describe it all. The language of Kenzo is visual, but the message is clear: fashion is not just about having fun, but it is also–and more importantly– about not being afraid of doing so.

In anticipation of the official release on November 3rd, we wanted to share some of the pieces that we are willing to kill for, if anyone tries to steal them from our hands when the collection hits stores.

See? Strong feelings and emotions have already flourished among us. We now officially do speak KENZO.

Denim Down Jacket – Drew Brown, Editor-in-Chief 

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Photo: KENZO x H&M

“I am really digging the denim puffer coat from the KENZO x H&M collection. This is a piece that I think will last long after the hype, long lines, and eBay sales have all dissipated. Also, it will be perfect to survive to colder winter temps and still look stylish. As a former employee, I have experienced the H&M designer collaboration madness first-hand; therefore, I would kill anyone from who tries to steal this piece from my hands because it’s all about survival.  People are going to go nuts, so it’s either kill or be killed!!”

Reversible Silk-blend Skirt – Celia Fernandez, Fashion Features Editor

6106_sl_33
Photo: KENZO x H&M

“Why did I pick the reversible silk-blend skirt from the KENZO X H&M collection? Seriously? Do you really need me to tell you why? For me it seems pretty obvious why I should kill whomever dares to steal this skirt from me next Thursday. It is just PERFECTION. This piece is everything I could aim for this season: sassy yet feminine and elegant (the midi length helps toning down the vibrancy of the pattern), and absolutely gorgeous and fun. Plus, clothes should also make us feel good and confident, and NOBODY will ever mess with someone wearing a pink & red zebra print flared skirt.”

Navy Silk Blouse – Isabel Mundigo-Moore, Fashion Editor

6106_sl_109_1
Photo: KENZO x H&M

“So this might be the most low-key item on the expansive list of expected pieces, but look at it. It’s heaven! Those subtle/not-so-subtle jungle cats of the collar, layered over a secondary, ruffled collar? Plus those cuffed, ruffled sleeves? I can’t get enough of it. The ruffles are absolutely on trend (thanks Barb from Stranger Things), but the blouse as a whole has a timeless quality to it. And while it may seem like a conservative choice compared to the rest of the collection, it will be a stand out piece in my wardrobe. I can already tell that my inner tigress will come out to snag it in the shop.”

Reversible Silk Kimono – Chris Zaghi, Fashion Contributor

Photo: KENZO x H&M
Photo: KENZO x H&M

“For me, the one piece in the KENZO x H&M collection I’d love to own is the Reversible Silk Kimono ($299). The selling point of this piece is its craftsmanship. The traditional Japanese silhouette is modernized by adding pops of bright floral appliqué and a reversible printed interior. The slight hint at modern sportswear also makes this an extremely versatile piece that I’d kill to add to my closet this winter. Make sure you check your surroundings when doors open at H&M’s Eaton Centre flagship on the 3rd, because I’ll definitely be football tackling anyone who thinks of evening laying a finger on this beautiful coat.”

Printed Pyjama Top – Ryan Wohlgemut, Contributing Fashion Editor

hm-kenzo
Photo: KENZO x H&M

“If you know me, this choice goes without question. I’ll be honest and say I can’t deny the fact that I admire anything pyjama related. Already owning a few of my own pyjama inspired pieces, I find myself constantly on the hunt for anything even slightly sleepwear related (oversized hoodies/crewnecks, loafers, etc.) to add to my collection. That being said that is the reason why this red trim pyjama design top is definitely going to be the next addition to my closet! Although the piece may be right up my alley style wise, the print isn’t something I would typically desire, BUT leave it up to KENZO to take classic sleepwear and turn it into something electrifying!”

Introduction by Celia Fernandez and Chris Zaghi

Fashion Month Winners: 5 people who wowed at New York, London, and Paris

Fashion has always been a melting pot for art. Painting, sculpture, architecture, photography, music, etc. Have all been mixed together by designers at one point or another. This mix of art, along with culture and everyday life, produces winning moments that go down in fashion history. Now these days, fashion’s biggest wow moments aren’t usually caused by who put on the biggest show, or who made the biggest gown rather, fashion wows are now made with simple gestures that entice the viewer to look deeper into the collection and the inspiration. Instead of just the superficial. Here are some of fashion month’s biggest winners.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos
Photo: Yannis Vlamos

1. Whoopi Goldberg

With brands like Marc Jacobs, Jeremy Scott, and The Blonds all showing their collections in the city every season, New York fashion week has always been the home of eccentric and border pushing fashion. This “anything goes” atmosphere results in front rows being packed with the most fashion forward (and eccentric) celebrities in the business. This season, in a surprising turn, It was actress and TV host Whoopi Goldberg who took the NYFW spotlight. Having been spotted at major shows around New York throughout the week. Whoopi became the talk of the fashion community when she was seen attending shows like J.Crew and Hood By Air, among others. However, the real magic happened when Whoopi stormed down the runway at this season’s Opening Ceremony show. The show, which featured a politically charged theme, saw Goldberg closing the runway show in a black ruffled dress and all the confidence in the world. The real shining moment is the message this sends. Whoopi walked the runway for one of the most high-profile shows during fashion week, all at the wonderful age of 60. If she can do it, so can anyone.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos
Photo: Yannis Vlamos

2. Christopher Bailey

Fashion has been changing quite rapidly in the past few years. At one point, customers had to wait months for their favourite pieces from a collection to hit stores. Now, certain brands are allowing their customers to purchase pieces as soon as they hit the runway. The “see now, buy now” trend has quickly been picking up steam within the last few seasons, with brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Tom Ford spearheading the trend. This season, Burberry’s CEO and creative director, Christopher Bailey, set out to showcase a stunning collection of ready-to-wear garments that would be put up for sale as soon as they were shown on the runway. And stunning it was. Burberry fw16 has not only been regarded as one of the best shows at London fashion week this season, it’s also being regarded as one of Bailey’s greatest achievements as of yet. The collection, which features pieces inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel “Orlando,” has since become a success. With analysts at Burberry and The Business of fashion stating that certain pieces from the show have sold out, causing well-deserved spikes in sales

 

Photo: IMAXtree
Photo: IMAXtree

3. Kenzo’s Runway

Kenzo has been a fashion power player since it’s birth in 1970, and it seems the progressive brand is refusing to slow down in terms of innovation and fresh design. Surprisingly, this season at Kenzo wasn’t remarkable for only the clothes, but for the runway presentation as well. For their spring-summer 2017 collection, Humberto Leon and Carol Lim created a beautifully intriguing space that showcased the brand’s knack for always adding the unexpected to its designs. The runway space, which invoked a feeling of the renaissance, was littered with “human statues.” But these human statues weren’t your typical models. Some of the models seen on the runway were plus size and even had amputated limbs, this just further added to the surrealism of the entire show. Apart from having models in every shape and size, the use of a human museum set alongside a predominantly disco themed collection actually fed into the theme. In the eyes of the designers, what could be more excessive than disco? A museum with living artifacts, that’s what.

 

Photo: Umberto Fratini
Photo: Umberto Fratini

4. Pierpaolo Piccioli

2016 has been a year of major changes within the fashion industry. Houses like Lanvin and Dior were all put into situations where their futures as fashion powerhouses were placed into question. Valentino was one of the major design house whose future was called into question. Since 2008, the house of Valentino had been headed by design duo Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri. The two have since led the brand into new found success, propelling Valentino Garvani’s iconic brand into the 21st century. However, when Valentino announced that Maria Grazia would be leaving the house to become the creative director at Dior, many believed that the split would leave Valentino in a fashion grey area. Alas, this was the stepping stone for Pierpaolo needed to truly showcase his vision. For his ss17 collection, Piccioli was able to break free from the constraints set by designing as a pair and created a collection completely inspired by his singular vision. The collection, which is bathed in hues of pink, green, and black, was deeply inspired by the renaissance and beyond. The collection has ultimately allowed Valentino to open a new chapter within the house’s already historic book.

 

Photo: Yannis Vlamos
Photo: Yannis Vlamos

5. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Statement Shirt

Big changes came to the house of Dior this year. The wheels were set in motion at the historic house when Raf Simon’s departed late last year. Since then, the house of Dior spent half a year trying to find a designer with enough skill to take the reigns for future collections. Following a brief period spent in fashion limbo, where the house asked it’s ateliers to spearhead its collections, Maria Grazia Chiuri was finally given the daunting task of designing for the massive brand. With her signature sense of femininity and movement that she honed at Valentino, Maria was able to create a decent enough collection for the brand. The stylistic change left many either in love, or wanting more from the designer. But this isn’t to say that Dior didn’t wow this season. During her predominately soft and demure collection, Maria decided to throw in a curve ball. A t-shirt which had the words “We should all be feminists” boldly printed on its fabric. Now to some, this may just be a way of garnering attention for the brand, but in reality, this simple gesture poses a big question. Has fashion finally come to a place where it can make social and political statements? Of course fashion has always made artistic statements, but fashion has never really been blatant when making statements on social justice issues. The beauty of what Maria Grazia did wasn’t in the article of clothing itself, but rather, in the seed she’s embedded. Will this moment mark a change where designers begin creating socially aware fashion? We’ll have to wait and see.