One month, One Style: Statement Zippers

Whether you like it or not, summer is coming to an end. But if there is something that really makes me excited about fall is that the new season refreshes our wardrobes. Though, truth be told, the athleisure trend will continue to play a role in the industry this fall. To maintain practicality, which goes along with the sporty casual lifestyle denoted by athleisure, designers draw inspiration from little details related to the après-ski look. Zippers is one of them.

Zippers have been spotted everywhere from the runway to the streets, and, since in fashion every detail counts, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that circle zipper pulls found their way, slowly but surely, into the world of everyday fashion. Just a functional accessory? Not anymore. Below, five creative ways to let the versatile sporty style transfer from the treadmill to your daily life.

Zip-neck sweaters

Credit: Popculturelive.net

This fall, fashion is serving up a fresh way to pull off the sweater weather look. Zippers give a modern twist to the cozy sweater — it’s not only versatile but also gives your appearance a sense of effortless sophistication. You can tuck the sweater into the waist of a wide-leg trouser for a ’70s inspired look, or pair it with a long flowy skirt for a perfect balance between sporty and feminine. For an office look, pair it with a formal suit – the contrast between the casual zip neck sweater and the classy elegant suit blend together and complement each other.

Polo shirts 

Credit: Victoria Adamson

The exposed zipper can also appear on shirt fronts, usually with a circular pull. It’s not only a practical thing — it acts as an accessory and lifts your outfit, especially in cases where the puller is large enough to make a statement. A singular zipper has the power to upgrade a basic black polo, as it gives the shirt a retro feel. It can also function as a layering piece once the temperature starts to drop. For a fashion forward look, choose a neon color plastic zipper that gives the top a sporty feel with a modern vibe.

Ankle length boots

Credit: Peony Lim

As genuine a wardrobe staple, ankle boots are one of the most versatile item all year round, plus it’s never goes out of style.

As a genuine wardrobe staple, ankle boots are one of the most versatile items all year round. Plus, it’s never really out of style. This fall, they are getting a little update. The conspicuous zipper on the side brings modern edge even to the simplest classic booties. For the early days of autumn, simply pair these boots with a floaty sundress and a biker jacket, or style them with a pair of leggings and an oversized knit.

Dresses

Credit: Phil Oh

Visible zippers on a dress makes it edgy with a sexy twist. Whether it is a little black dress, full skirt bottom, or a gown, almost every style can look great with a zipper in the front or in the back. For a glam evening look, add a bit of drama by wearing a dress with an open zipper on the back as part of the design. you will turn heads with your every step.

Jeans and trousers 

Credit: Vetements-x-Levis

Designers are constantly looking for creative ways to spice up their collections. Vetements is definitely one of them. In their last collaboration with Levi’s, the brand designed front to back zipper jeans that also zips down in between the butt cheeks. We do not encourage you to take the zipper trend too far, but we do believe that adding an edgy twist to a standard pair of jeans never hurt anybody. Exposed zipper pullers work very well with A line silhouette trousers or high waisted skinny jeans. The outstanding zippers give a fashionable yet casual feel, while minimizing the need for additional accessories.

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My Childhood Nightmare, The Puffer Coat, is the Trending Outwear Piece For Winter

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Photo: Phil Oh

2016 has been a strange year, no doubt about it. To top it off and make the year even odder, a formerly categorized fashion faux pasthe puffer coat, is still the definitively trending outwear piece for FW16. I would like to say I am making this up, but it was seen on countless FW16 runways, endless street style shots, and Vogue.com has written about the trend three times (here, here, and here). Oof. And Marques Almeida wants you to wear in it in XXL.

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Photos: Alexander McQueen, Kim Weston Arnold; Marques Almeida, Yannis Vlamos / Indigital.tv; Isa Arfen

Of course, the practicality is tempting, it’s like a wearing a sleeping bag, and adds to the list of practical trends. Like sneakers and hoodies, puffers have seamlessly transitioned from “fashion don’t” to ultimate cool item. But I can’t help but remember the traumas associated with the puffer.

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Photo: Jsledge

What comes to mind when you think of puffer coats? The 90s hip hop scene? Feeling like Randy from A Christmas Story? Princess Di on the slopes? Perhaps, like me, your associations with puffers are more personal. I think of my childhood in the 90s and the countless times I would slyly leave the home in my glossy pink jacket and somehow wind up having to wear an undershirt, snow pants, and…a puffer coat. Parental echoes of, “Trust me, you’ll thank me later.” Pondering the puffer makes me recall Halloween night 1998 (aged 5) when I was given the choice to wear my parka (what I called a puffer coat) on top of my costume or under my costume and I chose the latter thinking that I had to show my costume off. The result was a much bulkier, inflated version of the princess I had hoped to be.

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Photos: Vogue

Back to 2016, when the puffer is hot, hot, hot and the question of flattery comes to mind. Does this coat look good on people other than street style stars or models? Will I knock someone over riding the subway in my XXL puffer and not even feel it? Is wearing it off-the-shoulder à la Vetements completely useless? (Yes.) Should I buy a gold one from Uniqlo or should I hit up a thrift store and buy a huge one formerly used by a dad in Hamilton?

No doubt this trend comes with a lot of questions, but the big one remains: will you wear one this winter?

 

The Influence of Vetements on Fashion

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Photo: via High Snobiety

Whether you think Vetements is a “ridiculous marketing gag” to get you to spend hundreds on a DHL t-shirt, or that they are the genius collective that the fashion industry very much needed, or you just don’t get it, the brand’s powerful influence in fashion is undeniable. Helmed by the Gvasalia brothers, Demna and Guram, Vetements (which means clothes in French), is a fashion collective that plants itself in pragmatism, ambition, and craftsmanship, producing streetwear-inspired garments in a high-fashion manner. Though having launched just over two years ago, Vetements has both become fashion’s darling and its biggest rebel child. The brand has collected celebrities like Rihanna and Kanye West as fans, created an even bigger draw to Paris Fashion Week than any of the Couture shows, and has consequently become the beacon to which pillar brands of the industry look to for what’s next.

Vetements FW 2016 | Photo: Indigital. tv via Vogue
Vetements FW 2016 | Photo: Indigital. tv via Vogue

Their most recent show, Spring 2017, which showed during Paris Couture Week, sparked much controversy and conversation. The brand not only showed their collection four months earlier than usual Spring collections, July instead of October, but Vetements also used a highly intense version of collaboration for their show. They did not just collaboration with one brand, but with many brands to complete the show, including Juicy Couture, Canada Goose, Commes des Garcons, Levi’s, and Manolo Blahnik.

Despite being so young, Vetements has not only demanded systematic changes within the industry, but their “low fashion” aesthetic can be seen echoed on runways of designers old and new.

Take for example the Australian brand, Ex Infinitas, whose subtle luxury pieces disguised as street wear matches Vetements’s thesis. Vetements distinct androgynous look paired with oversized basic street wear garments is very much present in Ex Infinitas’s Spring 2017 show.  Likewise, Russian designer and friend of the Vetements family, Gosha Rubinsky echoes the pragmatic sensibility of Vetements in his pieces. His Spring 2017 collection featured men in FILA hoodies, denim jeans, and sneakers.

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Ex Infinitas SS 2017 | Photo: Fabien Montique
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Gosha Rubinsky SS 2017 | Photo: Umberto Fratini / Indigital.tv

The Vetements effect even made its way to legacy fashion house Balenciaga, when the house appointed Demna Gvasalia as their Artistic Director. With an understanding of the cult-like ability Gvasalia has to enchant the fashion world, the brand gave him full control, meaning he applied his same principles from Vetements to Balenciaga. Honouring Cristobel Balenciaga while meeting the design needs of the contemporary woman came easily to Gvasalia, by using his trademark habit of taking the ordinary–puffer coats, tees, hoodies– and making it extraordinary.

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Balenciaga FW 2016 | Photo: Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv

The number of effects that Vetements has already had on the fashion industry are unparalleled by any other brand in recent memory. From the “haute hoodie” -seen everywhere from street style to the Chanel Couture runway– to gender fluidity, to diversity, to scheduling, to silhouettes, Vetements’s influence is expansive, and they are only just beginning.

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Haute Hoodie Street Style | Photo: Phil Oh

Fall Couture Week 2016

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Valentino Fall Couture 2016 | Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv

A beautiful tension existed at last week’s Fall Couture Week between the pillar fashion houses and the invading rebels. Fendi, Valentino and Chanel presented outstanding collections that distinctly acted as reminders of their legendary statuses. Chanel used the show to focus the attention on the house’s famous atelier staff and their petit mains. Fendi staged a larger-than-life performance at the Trevi Fountain in Rome–in celebration of the house’s 90th anniversary– in which the models walked on water and the house closed off the entire square for the occasion. Valentino hosted an emotional show, as rumours of one half of the Creative Director duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri, would be moving to Dior circled the room. The dramatic effect of honouring Shakespeare’s life through Elizabethan-inspired gowns added to the heightened emotions.

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The Atmosphere at Chanel Fall Couture 2016 | Photo: Alessandro Garofalo / Indigital.tv

On the rebellios side, Vetements and, holding their place as the original boundary pushers, Viktor & Rolf gave Couture Week a dose of skilled casualness. Vetements presented their Spring 2017 collection during Couture Week as a means of changing the demands of the fashion industry schedule. Showing at the Galeries Lafayettethe shopping centre of Paris, fashion’s most alluring brand unveiled a collection consisting of collaboration pieces with 18 iconic brands.  Viktor & Rolf likewise unveiled a collection based firmly in this tension of old and new. Using vintage denim jeans, military jackets, and hoodies the duo skillfully combined these tatty pieces with over-the-top tulle and embroidered embellishments. Couture upcycling.

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Vetements (L) and Viktor & Rolf (R) | Photos: Imaxtree / Marcus Tondo / Indigital.tv

Also pushing boundaries was Iris Van Herpen, who presented another technological wonder of a collection this year. She used silicone blown glass and gorgeous straight-line pleating that created a curved affect in her gowns. Mixing ancient mathematics with new technology, Iris contributed her version of the tension to the Couture storm.

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Iris Van Herpen | Photo: Kim Weston Arnold / Indigital.tv

This Couture Week was thus the most literal embodiment of the constant dichotomous pull in the fashion industry: old and new. From that though, comes the most brilliant creations.

Style Profile: Ryan Wohlgemut

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Ryan Wohlgemut is a Canadian-German aspiring fashion editor who graduated from The University of Guelph and studied Sociology and Business. After university Ryan moved to Toronto, Ontario to begin pursuing his dreams of becoming part of the international fashion industry. We had the pleasure of chatting with Ryan and discussed all things fashion, and also found out what he could not live without.

1. How would you describe your personal style?

RW: As we are in sort of a transitional period right now with the weather finally beginning to become a bit warmer, the same is happening with fashion. Specific to my own style, winter brings out a more sophisticated character. It tends to involve darker colours and larger garments (jackets, boots, cardigans etc.). This past winter I went for the “sporty-grandpa” look. I wore a lot of dress pants, usually pinstriped, oversized or cropped and crew neck sweaters, and also turtle necks paired with a sporty or more casual footwear such as my personalized Stan Smiths or my all white Nike Air Max sneakers.

I think that menswear is really at a turning point right now and with summer approaching I am really beginning to see myself take a more exciting approach to my style. One of my biggest goals right now is to always strive to present some sort of loudness within my outfits and I think colour is a subtle way to do so.Though out winter I was – and still am – really into the colour red. I think it is a bold and a strong shade that can make a statement but as summer approaches I want to incorporate more yellow and possibly green.

Another way to incorporate loudness is through print. A trend I personally am excited to indulge into this season is animal print. As we saw in many Spring/Summer 2016 shows – Saint Laurent and Burberry to name a few – men are finally beginning to support this trend. Animal print is often a seen within the womenswear sector of fashion but now we are finally seeing it on the runway for males.

This brings me to the next aspect of my personal, femininity. I think one of the most subversive actions as a male that you can play with in terms of style, is simply paying attention to womenswear trends. Throughout the Spring/Summer 2016 show season we were seeing femininity all over the menswear runways. With Gucci mastering the pussy bow and the flared pant, Louis Vuitton making the Japanese souvenir sukajan jacket and neck tie omni present, and Burberry redefining classic menswear pieces with typically feminine fabrics such as lace, it’s pretty clear this season that the menswear industry is beginning to soften gender lines. I think mixing femininity and masculinity is something I have recently started to enjoy playing with. This past season of Toronto Men’s Fashion Week I sported a pussy bow, a neck tie and an Asian-inspired souvenir style bomber jacket.

Finally, the last aspect of would like to speak about is mixing kitsch with “high fashion”. I think since the streetwear trend is finally beginning to diminish on the runways, designers are moving back towards more “high fashion” risk taking yet still looking for ways to present themselves in a less serious way. Demma Gvasalia of Vetement is an absolute expert of this. As I am always interested in incorporating an exciting “fun” aspect to a “serious” outfit, this is also something I am beginning to experiment with. For example, to the Novella Magazine Launch Party I wore my Thrasher Magazine flame font t-shirt – one of my favourite tee’s right now – paired with a black blazer, oversized Polo Ralph Lauren caramel corduroy pants and my Stan Smiths. Mixing both the fun sort of joke Thrasher flames tee with a classic black blazer known for being serious and sophisticated, is a clever approach to incorporate a sense of confusion amongst ones audience which is ultimately the best thing you can do.

2. What is your favourite item in your closet and why?

RW: It would definitely have to be my AMI crewneck sweater. When in doubt this sweater is just perfect as it can be dressed up or down and is extremely comfortable!

3. Have you ever had a “What was I thinking” moment about something you have worn?

RW: Yes of course! I have had many “What was I thinking” moments. I look back on my past wardrobe in general and the word “plain” comes to mind. I am not sure if that is just a result of my current desire to present a sense of “loudness” or what has inspired me to spice things up but I definitely look back on my elementary school days and often wonder “what I was thinking?”. Specifically, in grade six I was really into the shiny “soccer shorts” as they used to call them. I had them in almost every colour.

4. What is your first fashion memory?

RW: On my first day of kindergarten, I believe I was 5 years old my brother and I had matching beige polo’s from The Gap. Before I went to school that day I went to my aunt and told her that I needed to come home at lunch and change my outfit for the afternoon. I was insisting that an outfit change was necessary on my first day of school! Looking back on that memory I have realized that was the moment I knew fashion was something really special to me.

5. What is your favourite fashion era and why?

RW: The 70’s, I like to reference this era within my wardrobe. I think this is due to the fact that through out the 90’s, 70’s clothing was widely referenced, so growing up being a 90’s baby the 70’s brings back memories and has that nostalgic feel to it that we all love!

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6. Where do you shop?

RW: I would say most of my clothing is from Hudson’s Bay. Its become one of my favourite spots for sure. I think The Bay does well at providing the consumer with many different brands and an array of styles as well as price.

7. What would be your theme song and why?

RW: I think it would have to be Confessions Part Two by Usher. It was my favourite song growing up and still to this day would consider it one of my favourites. The song is about how Usher cheated on his lover and is now having a baby with someone he barely knows. The song is basically his message to his lover about finally being honest and letting her know what has been happening while he had been away “for work”. This is my theme song because honesty is something I take very seriously and something that I really value.

8. What are you currently coveting?

RW: I have been on the hunt for month’s now to find the perfect pair of silk pyjama’s. I think this trend tends to confuse people because they aren’t being worn in their literal context but I think that is what makes them so interesting and I think it was very clever of fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana to embrace this trend. I’m also on the hunt for a Japanese inspired souvenir sukajan silk bomber. I have been searching for a while now but have yet to come across the perfect one.

9. Whose closet would you want to raid?

RW: For sure fashion icon Simone Marchetti. He is the Fashion editor for La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper. His style and bravery is something that really inspires me. Simone is someone that is not afraid to take risks with his wardrobe,which I find really admirable. Simone loves to experiment with neck ties, lace, colour, femininity and his most recent obsession pyjama’s.

10. What fashion trend would you like to see go away?

RW: I think the “streetwear” trend has had its time. Long or round hemlines, Joggers, skinny jeans – most of the time involving some sort of knee detailing such as a single tear or padding – , Chelsea boots, brim hats have all become huge fashion trends over the past couple years and I personally think it’s time for something knew to take its place. Thankfully, we are seeing it slowly diminish on the runway and big house brands are steering back towards more serious fashion but still attempting to make it enjoyable for everyone.

11. Who are a few of your fashion icons?

RW: Simone Marchetti, Alex Badia, Anna Wintour, Alessandro Michele and Grace Coddington.

12. Fill in the Blank: I could not live without _________________

RW: Friendship.

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13. What is your secret obsession?

RW: Lately, I think its been the colour red. I am not sure thats a secret though.

14. What is your fashion mantra?

RW: “First they laugh, then they copy”

15. Who are a few of your favourite designers?

Ricardo Tisici – Givenchy
Alexandre Mattiussi – AMI
Alessandro Michele – Gucci
Demma Gvasalia – Vetement / Balenciaga
Nicola Formichetti – Diesel / Nico Panda

16. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

RW: Always be honest.