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Fashion With Purpose

LG Fashion Week Faves

By Laura Connell · April 7, 2010 · 0 Comments ·

From the first look at Evan Biddell's LG Fashion Week showcase, an avocado green pleather jacket with huge epaulets that resembled overturned tulip leaves, it was clear this was going to be special. What a treat to witness such a moving collection, one that ignores words like "saleable" and brings passion to the runway with designs that are exciting in their artistry. The collection was called Prehistory and indeed at least one look had the air of a dinosaur, reminiscent also of Max's costume in the classic Where the Wild Things Are. Evan's trademark hoods were present as was his presentation of strength in femininity--yes, there were ruffles but they were edgy rather than pretty and fringes had the effect of slashed Glad bags rather than softness. It is worth mentioning again how refreshing it is to see a male designer present an empowering version of femininity. (Image: Nikki Ormerod)

Zoran Dobric's literary inspired collection (above) opened to the sound of clattering typewriter keys and incorporated writerly elements such as huge paperclip necklaces and goldleaf printed silk. The romantic tension of the 40s was present in the hairstyles, cinched waists and the way the boys followed the girls down the runway, seemingly in pursuit. The designer asks: "Would any of these classic literary romances be nearly as appealing if they were not doomed or unrequited?"

Veteran designer, Pat McDonagh, once again arrived with an elegant, classically-tailored collection which added some contemporary touches. She started out with majorette-style jacket and leather pants with fur accessories like these boots and giant handbags. The military effect continued on a dramatic calf-length pleated red dress adorned with two rows of gold buttons and finished off cleanly at the waist with a wide utilitarian belt.

 She moved into night with an eye-catching leather and feather cocktail dress and a series of white looks that captured the essence of eternal and ethereal femininity. There was a sense of celebrating womanhood in all its dimensions: whether comfortable in flats and a woolly scarf, serious in a suit, or sexy in an evening gown, McDonagh pulled off a showcase filled with looks for every occasion and practically everywoman.

Rudsak's FW10 collection, Fly High (below), had models sporting aviator accessories including goggles, caps and earflap hats. The looks were simple, high-end, luxurious and timeless. Interesting contrasts played between luxe fur trim on kid-like quilted puffy coats and again lining Elmer Fudd type headwear. Jeans paired with leather coats; hoodies, earmuffs, and thick woolly scarves gave a nod to the cold Montreal climate where the brand was born. Silhouettes stayed simple and structured, eschewing trends as if almost above them. Looks built to last and even get better with age (good leather always does) in a no-nonsense collection with serious style solutions for the harsh Canadian winter. Aspirational yet practical. (Images: George Pimentel)




The First Fashion Photographer

By Laura Connell · November 3, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

In 1911, Edward Steichen took the first fashion photographs (images were formerly illustrated) for Art et Decoration magazine, shooting a collection of dresses by French designer, Paul Poiret. From 1923-37 Steichen was the chief photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair and the AGO exhibit Edward Steichen: In High Fashion focuses on that high point in his career.

He photographed designs by Chanel, Lanvin, and Schiarapelli, among others. A 1925 image of a draped crepe Chanel evening gown with pearl choker looks positively contemporary, as does a low-backed lace shimmer gown with drop waist fastened by black ribbon. The designer's vision is unparallelled, every piece still relevant today.

Steichen's subjects included popular actresses and models of the time including his muse Marion Morehouse whom he photographed for the first time for Vogue's November 1929 issue. Morehouse later became a photographer herself and embodied the "flapper" spirit that represented a bold new femininity: an integral element in Steichen's photographs of women for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

"It didn't matter whether the sitter was a statesman, a writer, a poet, an actor, a prizefighter, or a musician--they were all interesting." -Edward Steichen

NADA's Come Hither Collection at LG Fashion Week

By Laura Connell · October 27, 2009 · 0 Comments ·

We couldn't wait for NADA. After a showcase last season that thumbed its nose at the recession and presented a Fall/Winter collection based on excess and drama, the crowds at LG Fashion Week were buzzing about what Nada Shepherd would come up with for Spring.

The theme was Infatuation, and, by her own confession, Nada's mind is "in the gutter" and her collection reflected all those boudoir elements including tons of black French and hand-painted lace over nude and white underpinnings. Lace stockings and those with seams up the middle drove the point home and accessories made a huge impact in the form of multiple pearl strands with gigantic beads and chains hanging down secured by silk ribbon.

Hair in stiff beehives and heavy eyebrows co-existed with the come-hither mood the designer was attempting to evoke, and baby blue pastels were present for Spring.

Again Nada delivered an edgy version of feminine sexuality with lots of black lace and bold statement jewellry.