click in absentia

Busy here, seems like the short posts are all I can manage right now. I have all sorts of work to do that keeps me away from Final Fashion.

Rags and Mags is hopping back on track. How did Max’s audition go… what does Sandee have up her sleeve… will Lucinda overcome her television troubles? And who will find Lady Miss Angora? New to Rags and Mags? It is a tongue-in-cheek fashion fairy tale – start from the beginning, introduce yourself to the characters. If you enjoy it as much as we do, please subscribe.

The Clothing Show is back in September. They are looking for some eyecatching outfits to create a fashion show and are inviting designers to submit. If you’re looking to showcase your designs on a runway, contact Sarah for details.


The Making of Guerlain Homme … rawr!

Vogue Models a New Reality Series … casting calls on candid camera?

Handmade Portraits – Built by Wendy … she reminds me of some of some of the designers I know.

Antonio Lopez 1983 … his studio is amazing!

Mad Men … tight dresses, smoky rooms, crunchy literary references, great show.

Project Runway Season 5 – lots of characters this season… but after 6o designers, how many can be memorable?

Illustration Links…

Fashion-Incubator reviews books on drawing vector technicals.

The Association of Illustrators – a UK counterpart to the GAG in the US and CAPIC in Canada. All three advocate for the rights of illustrators and provide resources to help illustrators do business.

Illustration Mundo – where illustrators get all the love.

Pourquois Pas? – The Glamour issue is out!

That is all for a while… I hope to be back in another week or so with things to say and stuff to show. Thanks for reading!

the late review – The Beautiful Fall

The Beautiful Fall by Alicia DrakeThe Beautiful Fall. Amazing book! Anita just finished it and loved it, and she lent it to me. This was a page turner – I could not put it down.

The subject is two of the greatest designers of the past 50 years, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. These two contemporaries were friends and rivals, and the timeline of their struggles and successes juxtapose two very different men inhabiting the same scene.

As is customary with the late review, my review follows the reviews of many others. Susie Bubble found Saint Laurent easy to identify with, and percieved a bias against Lagerfeld. I don’t think that the book was particularly biased one way or another, if anything Drake takes great effort to show both the talents and torments of both men equally. They both have enormous talent and great legends, and Drake shows the reader a hint of the humanity they both try to hide.

Saint Laurent and Lagerfeld are both polarizing figures in fashion. Saint Laurent represents the intuitive and emotional – fire and water. Lagerfeld represents the intellect and ambition – air and earth. How you read The Beautiful Fall might say something about your own attitude towards fashion – in my case I finished the book identifying more closely with Lagerfeld.

Saint Laurent’s career could certainly be described as a Beautiful Fall… starting from the very top at the beginning of his career, and by the end he was burnt out. By contrast, Lagerfeld’s career built slowly, and his great accomplishments have been achieved in the last decade. Saint Laurent glorified the past; Lagerfeld rejects it.

The other aspect of the book I found fascinating was the scenario. So many great moments in fashion that still echo today were produced by small cliques of very influential, talented, and creative people. The characters are important. The parties are critical to understanding fashion’s ever-shifting focal point. They say it is who you know – it also seems that it is where you are, and your own innate ability to adapt to the zeitgeist that wins you a niche in history.

Have you read the book? Did it change your attitude towards the designers or reveal an insight on the nature of fashion? I’m up for a discussion if you feel like it.

FASHION Blogger Search ’08, my picks

The competition for FASHION’s shopping blogger positions is on, and is hotly contested in several regions. All of the entrants are lovely and fashionable so its a shame to have to pick between them, but as the blog-reading public it is our duty.

A few are so adorable that I vote for them every day, and you should too!


Finalist: Kimberley Jev
Blog Entry: Hot & Sweet…Fashion Treat
Region: Calgary
Current Status: Current vote for the finalist 40%

Why She’s Adorable: Kimberly watches every fashion week in Canada with genuine enthusiasm.



Finalist: Isabel Slone
Blog Entry: Hipster Gets a Day Job
Region: Ontario
Current Status:Current vote for the finalist 49%

Why She’s Adorable: Isabel is earnest enough to make you fall in love with the awkward age all over again.



Finalist: Connie Ng
Blog Entry: Odd Gems
Region: Toronto
Current Status: Current vote for the finalist 58%

Why She’s Adorable: Connie can figure out a way to resurrect any reject, no matter how unlikely the item.

FASHION Blogger Search ’08

FASHION Reporter Search

It is here! FASHION Magazine’s online popularity contest, recruiting bloggers from across the country to post about the shopping and the style sighting in their towns.

With representation in every region, it is a wonderful opportunity to take a look at the state of fashion blogging in Canada. Also, a perfect chance to evaluate for ourselves what makes a stand out shopping post, and maybe raise the bar when it comes to that often overlooked art.

I have to say, I am very pleased with all the finalists. Many of them I have already met in fashion blogland.

Some are familiar favourites – Isabel from Belleville, Kim from Calgary, and Craig from Vancouver. It is a treat to see their faces and learn a bit more about them. Others are new to me – Lana and Meghan from Winnipeg, Terri from Vancouver, and Connie from Toronto. I always enjoy discovering new fashion bloggers. As you can tell I am very partial towards my colleagues.

Of the ones who don’t already blog, several are already professional fashion writers. Overall, a terrific selection which makes voting difficult. Of course Isabel and Kim get fave raves from me for being such lovely friends of Final Fashion. The rest I am judging on the merits of their posts.

So how are the posts? I myself am not a shopping blogger, and the few times I have attempted the craft were just enough to show me that it is far more difficult than it looks. Here are the major criteria:

  • Title. It should give a sense of what is in the post, and bonus points if it is clever.
  • Photo. A great photo can elevate even a mediocre post. A mediocre photo can sink even the most carefully written post. The photo should be at the very least, clear. If it is also well composed, it can stand on its own. If it is also clever, its a sure fire winner no matter what the text says. If it is pulled from a designer’s website, shot through a store window, or photographed by the model herself, it is a vote-killer. Bonus points for illustrations.
  • First Sentence. The blank text box can stump even the most seasoned blogger. The first sentence should grab the reader by the collar and pull them into the post.
  • The Post. How long? It should be just the right length. If you are writing about a dress, a paragraph or two will do. One sentence is probably not enough. A wall of text is impenetrable and unnecessary – the paragraphs should be no longer than a few sentences to keep my attention.
  • The Tone. This is fashion writing, so you can get away with all sorts of alliteration, rhyming, and other cute conventions that wouldn’t fly in, say, Macleans. In fact, most of those who practice the art of fashion writing like to take it over the top with just enough irony to cut through the syrup. Just remember this is for FASHION Magazine, not the New York Times. Be positive, think of your words as little air kisses flying their way through the ether. Also, take it easy on the exclamation points. Bonus points for candour and personality – take a hint from Auntie Fashion.
  • The Find. This is the whole point, the shopping post’s reason for being. If I have already heard of your discovery, why would I read about it? A great shopping post should be about unearthing an undiscovered gem, bringing attention to a recently-forgotten item, or at the very least provide a new insight on a familiar item.

Take a look at the posts on FASHION’s website, and tell me what you think. There were a few that were very good, and several that felt a bit self-conscious. There were also some fabulous examples of flowing filigrees of fashion flippancy which were so much fun, I just had to quote a few.

“A unique twist of yesterday combined into these fashion forward pieces is a result of a creative collision that will have everyone asking where you got your one and onlys.” Natasha from Saskatoon

“The band at the waist and darts at the hip create a form-lovin’ cut, while the exposed darts that drip from the neckline give this prim dress its dash of funky flair.” Nadine from Halifax

“The boutique emulates Paris in its music and decor, while retaining the friendly, relaxed atmosphere of Guelph’s culturally rich downtown.” Heather from Guelph

“Funny thing is, their indispensable presence in the fashion scene is still unknown to the grand public! What? Vintage shoes, drinks and snack still a secret? Spread the word ladies! Let the never-ending, exhausting search in thrift stores be over. After all, we feline creatures always need to be fabulously pawed-up!” Magali from Montreal!

Vote! You can do it once a day. Afterwards, come back and tell me who your favourites are.

multiple clicks

How overdue am I for a click post? It is going to be a long one.

Here are all the links and trinkets I have collected from the internet for the past few weeks. Peruse, try them on, surf away.

Fashion industry profiles…

Kelly Cutrone, profiled. Watch this woman and learn. She’s walking that fine line between fashion and fiction faster than anyone else.

Tyra Banks, profiled. Another woman well worth watching closely. Also finding opportunity between fashion and fiction.

Yves Saint Laurent, profiled by Cathy Horyn in 2000. An unsentimental and yet affectionate portrait of a fashion designer.

Some Canadian fashion links…

Summer Camp with W… what a fantasy land it is, full of gorgeous models, a few wet frocks, and designers we love looking adorable and awkward… including Toronto’s own Jeremy Laing. Lucky lot!

Could we be any more disenchanted with the online popularity contest? No? Then head on over to My It Things, sign up, and vote for my designer friend Adrienne’s line. The winning designer gets their show produced in New York City. From there its just a few short leaps to being surrounded by male models in W.

Gloss Magazine – a Canadian online fashion rag with an emphasis on Toronto. My friend Anita is one of the writers.

Vitamin T – a very nice Toronto site with a cool-girl appeal – recently featured Rags and Mags.

Dualité – a Montreal fashion blog with bite – see Dahlia tear into the Toronto Star.

Now, there is often good stuff in the Star, but their attitude to bloggers leaves a bit to be desired. Example? The Toronto Star is quoted satirical blog Food Court Lunch without attribution – manufacturing drama and implying bloggers are “cruel” with one copy+paste command.

Leah McLaren is producing a television show called Abroad. McLaren is one of those writers who seems to represent the opposite of everything I am – and I think perhaps it is the improbability of her problems that keeps me reading her column.

Paper-Doll is a Toronto website (formerly an online store) with a focus on independent Canadian designers. Alas, not frequently updated but with many lovely pictures and links.

Experiments in the Lab is by a fellow Canadian TFS’er and follows the thoughts of a curious mind exploring fashion.

Textstyles – from Toronto – a very sharp little street style blog.

Some illustration links…

Yes City Girl by Esme, discovered thanks to our shared love of Kylie. I love the MS Paint style and celebrity musings from a fellow Toronto doodler.

Speaking of my contemporary peers in Toronto, Kyra Kendall is a sweet fashion illustrator with an ornate vector style.

Up and Down Town is a story in naive, charming drawings of a stylish young mother. Don’t get it? Start at post #1. Yes the navigation is a pain but it is worth it. BONUS: check out the editor’s other blog, Retail Recovery. You will find what Rebecca calls “Riveting Questions”, all concerning matters of style.

Blue Logan does remarkable front row vignettes, some featuring Diane Pernet.

I met Tony Ochre at Red Eye. There were a number of talented illustrators there, many of them friends of The Deadly Nightshades.

Adorable GUSTER – an animated and stuffed video by the mad geniuses at the Monster Factory.

Marguerite Sauvage – a new favourite fashion illustrator!

Miss Dior Couture makes expressive tearsheet collages full of fashion inspiration.

NEET Magazine features some lovely illustrations, among other goodies.

The Extraordinary Pencil is about artist Marsha Robinett, who creates wonderful values and realism… with a pencil! I also love the musings on the business side of being an artist.

Origami Tesselations – amazing textures and patterns created with paper.

Random links…

Nirvana the Band! Oh the hilarity, I love this show.

Making a Scene – with Fritz Helder and the Phantoms, a take off on Ck One eh?

34 different ways to lace your shoes. Plus so much more from the wonderful world of shoelaces.

Next time you buy clothes, think of all these guys. Yep, I am one of those guys!

Fashion Blog Karma…

Kyutie (watch out, pink!)

Blossom Clothing (sweet vintage styles from the UK)

Juma (smart sibling design team)

Us & The City (SATC lives on in Toronto)

Shoes From Around the Globe (the title tells all)

Rue & Fae – (fashion student in Vancouver)