Friday, April 30, 2010

April Memories

This month starts off with the feature of Mike Lewis, one of the photographers that we really like (He has done the Look Book for Breeyn McCarney). After that, we have Hugo Arias, who has his solo exhibit at Sleeping Giant Gallery from April 22 to 30. We actually have gone to his show and we love all the artworks by him!

The major event of this month is definitely the Alternative Fashion Week in Toronto (FAT)! We are very lucky to be able to have featured 6 fashion designers from this event. The designers we have featured are Jasper Garvida, Hyun Yeu from Ado Les Scents, Jessica Mary Clayton, David C. WigleyHeidi Ackerman and Belinda Visag. We have gone to see the runway shows for 4 days straight and we love a lot of the collections!

To end April nicely, we have managed to get an interview with a British jewellery brand called Emi♥ by Xander Kostroma.

We will have more excited things for you in May, so stay tuned!

Wave of Inspiration: DJ (I Could Be Dancing)

Off from Alphabeat latest album The Spell, the new single DJ music video has finally hit the web! The art direction for this video is very interesting especially the director turns a Vinyl Disc into a stage and the clothes on the band members are nice. I especially like the ultra violet light makeup on Stine Bramsen to make her so pop out during one of the scenes. If you want some inspiration, definitely take 3 mins to look at this video.

DJ (I Could Be Dancing) - Alphabeat
(source: polydor@youtube)

[Un]Discovers: Belinda Visag

After the end of FAT last week, we wanted to get in touch with some of our favourite designers we've seen in the show.  Belinda Visag is one of them and we're glad to have her here to answer some of our questions about herself and her views on fashion, describing to us her collection from FAT, as well as her future plans.

Trendology: Special Edition 'Bird Print' Miu Miu Handbags

Miu Miu is featuring their signature spring pattern - Bird Print - on their famous Bow Bag.  This limited edition Bird Print handbag, instead of leather, the prints are going to go on a clear material.  Contrasting the clear material with the Bird Print in black, Miu Miu offers 3 different colours for the summer.  The handbag will be available in May.

Trendology: Magpie for FAT Revisit

Not only do I get to see the high resolution photos of Refined by Evan Biddell collection, but I also manage to see the photos of Magpie from that day too. If you have missed my coverage on this brand, you can read it here. Once again, I am hoping Magpie will contact me soon because I think their dresses will be perfect for some editorial shoots!

Thanks to Raymond from Canada Wears for these amazing photos!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Trendology: Refined by Evan Biddell Revisit

About a week ago, I have posted an entry about Refined by Evan Biddell in Alternative Fashion Week in Toronto and now I finally can get some clear photos about this collection. If you have not read what I have written about it, you should click here and read it.

If you want to see more photos, you can click here. Thanks so much to Canada Wears for providing some wonderful photos for me!

[Un]Discovers: Emi♥ by Xander Kostroma

Twitter is just an amazing social media tool which hooks me up with some cool brands in the world. The  latest discovery I have found is Emi♥ Clothing Ltd. This company is based in UK and they sell some chic and funky jewellery.

Recently, I am fortunate to have Xander, the founder of this company to do an email interview with me and I would love to share this with you.

Copyright © 2010 Emi♥ Clothing Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Hey Xander, thanks for taking your time to answer my questions. First I want to ask is how did you start this company? What is the main concept of this brand's jewellery?
I started my first business when I was 18, I always knew that I wanted to work for myself, it's just I didn't know how I would go about it. Finally, after 5 years of trading I had built up enough understanding of what my customer base was to make the jump and start my own brand. My partner and I then decided to set up a fair trade company called Emi♥.

Emi♥ is a fair trade company that mixes bohemian inspired style with modern day chic. Usually, when people think of fair trade, they imagine "a load of old hippies dancing around a field" (which is what I was told in the past) but I wanted to show people that fair trade can also mean funky and a bit sexy while maintaining a fair trade stature and helping people in the far east.

Copyright © 2010 Emi♥ Clothing Limited. All Rights Reserved.

Ray of Inspirology: Surreal Reveal by Richard Burbridge

This accessories editorial features in New York Times T Style, stars Sara Blomqvist by photographer Richard Burbridge and Chanel global director of makeup, Peter Philips, may look simple, yet it lies a strong message.  Philips did not use foundation on the model's skin, but stressed on the lipsticks, eyeliner, and nail polish to suggest the importance of accessories in fashion.  The iconic, formal poses were referencing old fashion photography for classic style.  While it was an intention to hide the model's eyes, it signified makeup is masking women's faces, hiding what they do not want to show.

This editorial looked fun to me at the first sight, however I really appreciate the thought behind the whole shoot and the message it carries after I knew more about it.

Trendology: H.Stern for Alice in Wonderland Rings

A couple of months ago, the movie Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton was a big hit.  As a matter of fact, the story is inspiring a lots of designers and artists in many dimensions, including graphics designs, jewellery design, fashion design, photography and many more.  Earlier, we mentioned some of the jewellery inspired by Alice in Wonderland, designed by Tim Binns.  After a couple of months, designers are still very inspired by the movie.  H. Stern designed a few outstanding rings form scenarios in Alice in Wonderland.  Instead of focusing on the main characters, the designers chose five environments/creatures to sculpture five rings in gold and diamond.  Each ring is available in two sizes, and they gave them the name - Extraordinary and Human Dimension.

The rings are available from H.Stern upon special order. Visit H.Stern for a detail description on each ring.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ray of Inspirology: Penélope

Nice black and white photos will last a lifetime long and I think this editorial spread will be a classic in the near future.

This spread is in the latest issue in Vogue Paris which is shot by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. In this shoot, Penélope Cruz has brought her along with some of her famous friends to be in front of the camera. The setting is simple, the lighting is simple but I really like the results of the shoot. I really have to to tell myself I should start to take black and white photos soon.

Trendology: Visionaire Issue #58 - Tribute to Alexander McQueen

The 58th issue of Visionaire is titled "Spirit", dedicated to the late British fashion icon - Lee Alexander McQueen.  As Visionaire collaborates with artists and designers three times a year, they mentioned McQueen had visited their Soho office and gallery in 2003 to initiate a collaboration, however the project never came into reality.  The 58th issue is coming in June, with contribution from various artists including Nick Knight, Lady Gaga, Steven Klein, Mario Sorrenti, Steven Meisel, Inez van Lamsweerde, and Vinoodh Matadin.  This collectable issue will have a limited edition of 1500 copies that available for $295.  The issue will be covered in a hard case designed by McQueen studio, wrapped in a metallic brocade from McQueen's spring 2010 collection.  Loose leaf that comes with the package will sprinkled with wild flower seeds which will grow into poppies and snap dragon when planted into soil.

If you wish to obtain one of the issue as a memory of Alexander McQueen, you can now pre-order your copy from Visionaire.

Courtesy: Coutorture

Ray of Inspirology: Новые платья для королев

In the latest issue of Vogue Russia, Tom Munro has done an editorial spread featuring Anabela & Lula. I like outdoor shoot lately and this is really suiting my taste. I love the vibrant colors, the natural light and also the clothing on the models. Sometime in the future I will have to find a cliff and do a shoot like this.

Trendology: Ken & Dana Vintage Scarf Remixes

Mix and matching had become one of the popular techniques in fashion.  Ken&Dana pushed this technique further into remixing accessories. These necklaces are all one of a kind with Vintage Scarves with brass rings as the decoration.  They designed the necklaces with various styles with scarves from different brands, including Hermes!

Before the month ends, these scarves are on sale to honour the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.  Hurry and pick up your necklace here!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Trendology: Juun J. x KIROIC Autumn/Winter 2010

KIROIC is a up and coming shoe brand and it has already caught my eyes. This collection is a collaboration between Juun J and KIROIC and the shoes look very futuristic here. The main feature in this collection is the gold zipper and also the futuristic piece that covers the shoes. Unfortunately, you can only get them in Hong Kong and New York when KIROIC releases this collection.

Here is the collection.

Ray of Inspirology: Fluid Dynamics

I love the graphics in this editorial!

This spread is shot by Yossi Michaeli featuring Julia Shvets and Colby Jamar for the latest issue of Surface magazine. With the help of the graphics, when I look at the photos, I can feel the mysteriousness from the spread. It's fresh, it's popping and it's fun for my eyes to look at.

Ray of Inspirology: The Soldiers Mutiny

A story telling editorial will never disappoint me, especially if it has a military theme to it.

In the latest issue of Men's Vogue China, Blair Getz Mezibov has done an editorial shoot featuring models such as Simon Tham, Chad White, Zack Clark, Ryan Koning, Yuri Pleskun , Seijo Imazaki and Brad Kroenig. When I look at this spread, my mind just keeps on telling me this is from a scene in a movie. A lot of natural light has been used here and I like the shadows on the models to create the intense, mysterious effect. This is one of the shoots I will keep in mind and serves as one of my major inspirations.

Trendology: Taessa Chorny for FAT

Taessa Chorny, a very chic collection of Day 4 in FAT.  It was Taessa's first runway show in FAT, and she did a great job showing some fun, feminine fashion to all ladies.  The silk one shoulder ruffle design I believed to be one of her signature designs in this collection. The single shoulder gave a sexy image, but playful and young.  It was very wearable, at the same time very stylish because of the shape and volume from the 2-layer ruffles. It came with different prints and colours as a dress or as a blouse. The dress certainly good for any kind of evening events and parties, however, to wear the blouse with light washed denim, it would makes a very nice spring day! Another highlight of her collection I believed to be the sparkling dress and shorts.  Both the dress and shorts were in a simple cut, yet the sequins that made the pieces, and the wearer, very shine. Other gorgeous pieces included the silk jump suit and animal print dresses.  All were joyful pieces to have in the ladies' wardrobes!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Trendology: Square Root Of Two for FAT

During FAT Toronto, I learn that the square root of two is not equal to some weird numbers, but rather, it means the unlimited combination of mix and match.

When it comes to European fashion, I tend to look for details. When I first look at the collection, I find it very simple and clean; however, when I take a look at the photos one more time, I start to see the subtle detailing. This collection is all about shapes like squares and triangles and you can easily associate them in every outlook. Some of my favorite outlooks are the black see-through dress (you can see the triangle shape is dominating the look here), the oversized scarf on the male model with the square patterned pants, and the green jacket with the big giant square in front. I do believe that the clothes are easy to wear for any occasion because this collection is not screaming exaggeration, but rather, it is reflecting your taste on clothing. If your fashion friends are detail oriented, they will say you have a good fashion taste when you are wearing Square Root Of Two pieces.

[On]Air: We Are Born Two AT A Time Revisited

One of our feature artists of the month, Hugo Arias is currently having his solo exhibition at Sleeping Giant Gallery at the moment and we are able to take some time off from FAT Toronto and check it out. While we are there, we cannot stop staring at the wall because Hugo has spent days to create something unique for it. It's so nice and the best part is, it is up for sale! If you can spend $6500 for it, you can take the walls off and put this work in your house! We are currently really poor at the moment so we will have to give up on this great piece of art work!

If you live in Toronto and have not seen this exhibit yet, you should head to Sleeping Giant Gallery (789 Dundas Street West) before Thursday to check it out! Don't miss this amazing show!

This is the $6500 wall, go see it yourself!

Trendology: Felicia Burke for FAT

In Felicia's fall collection, she is showing some bold colour pieces and geometric appliques. The majority materials she used are silk and wool which are very conventional, however the cut and the patterns resulted in an asymmetrical creation, making the pieces looked more dynamic and futuristic even with only silk and wool.  As a side note, this collection appeared to me as if it's inspired from suites.  As some of the cuts are rather constructive at the shoulders area as well as their geometric shapes.

Trendology: Avendano for FAT

Opening the show with a romantic melody, models coming out with a bunch of 2D flowers, Eiffel Tower printed on the skirt, it's more than obvious that this collection is inspired from Paris. Pastel colour palette with bold graphic, above the knee tulle and pencil skirt, these combinations are showing the playful side of the ladies, at the same time very romantic and flirty.  

Ray of Inspirology: En pie de guerra

This is probably one of the strongest editorial spreads I have seen from Daria Werbowy. This shoot is done by Nico and is featured in the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar España. The setting and makeup are simple but you can definitely see the edginess from Daria. One of my favorites shots is where she has her whole face on the page because I find that photo to be very attractive (her face features are stunning).

Here are some of my favorites:

Ray of Inspirology: Photography Crash Course Sample [Part 2]

Even though I have to attend the FAT Toronto for the last few days, I still manage to teach a session during that time. This time, the session is at High Park and the Cherry Blossom there is amazing. I do not know how much longer this blossom will last but if you have a chance, definitely take a trip down there before it is too late. Here are some photos I have taken during that time (yeah, I like details, so you see mostly small detail photos here).

If you haven't heard about it, I am now offering photography class. You can check it out here!

P.S: using cloudy WB is just great! Love the punch of color! Also, taking photos of nature definitely helps your composition skills!

Courtesy of Marcus Kan

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Trendology: Alexander McQueen F/W 2010 Accessories

Unbelievable! Alexander McQueen has just released the latest photos of the Fall/Winter shoes and accessories and I am speechless when looking at them. McQueen is a perfectionist as you can see the details on the shoes are amazingly crafted. The theme of this collection is all about angels and demons and also there is his touch of romantic element on the accessories has made his brand unique.

Even though this will be his last collection, I do think he has ended his career on such a high note that the fashion world will never forget him.

Trendology: Fred Perry X Stussy Varsity Jacket

This varsity jacket from the Fred Perry x Stussy collaboration has captured my attention and I think if I see it in store right now, my bank account will probably be very sad.  First I am a huge fan of plaided pattern so there goes my first check mark. Then, the color of the jacket can match many of the cloths in my wardrobe so there goes my other check mark. Last but not least, this jacket is made in Japan so I know the quality must be superb!

If you like this varsity jacket, you can order it on Très Bien Shop and it is selling for €516.00. I do not mind if someone wants to get me as a present.

Courtesy of Très Bien Shop

Ray of Inspirology: Youth of Revolt

Another editorial spread that has caught my eyes from the latest issue of VMAN.

This one is done by portrait expert Hedi Slimane and once again, it has blown me away. All portraits in this series are in black and white and I believe he has not used more than 2 lights for the shoot. I love the simplicity, and also how the shadows cast on the models to create dramatic mood. Yes, when it comes to portrait shoots, I love this kind of dramatic photos.

Ray of Inspirology: Christian Louboutin "Stories" Campaign 2011 by Khuong Nguyen

One of the best campaign I ever seen in advertising.  This dramatic campaign shows us another side of the elegance and wild shoes of Christian Louboutin.  Khuong Nguyen used some of the fairy tales as inspiration of the campaign, such as Alice in Wonderland, The Little Mermaid, and Cinderella, thus given it a name "Stories" for the Campaign.

Trendology: Fiore for FAT

Looking at the collection by Fiore, I saw words like Glamourous and Elegant walking down the runway,  the dresses totally spoke for itself.  It couldn't be more evident that the collection is inspired by nature. There was no complicated prints or experimental materials to bring the message across, yet, the designers used the simplest way and minimal colours to put the collection together.

There were no more than 3 colours in this collection, most (or all) the dresses were in the same colour, but all of them looked different, at the same time equally breathe taking.  Floral appliques, feathers and tulle were probably the most common things that designers used in a nature-inspired collection, but the designers were creative enough to use them in a simplest but the most effect from them.  Layers of tulle to signify an image of autumn leaves, custom floral applique for different dresses, different kinds of feathers as a side decoration but enriched the mood.  One of the gowns, with feather and thick layer of tulles looking like a golden swan, was one of my favourites.

Trendology: Belinda Visag for FAT

Last day of FAT is certainly showing some collections that appropriate for the theme of the day, Joy.  There are quite a few collections that gave me joy, Belinda Visag is one of them.  This sweet girl is more than romantic with her design inspiration.  Her collection, In The Dark, is inspired and named after a song which about flowers, therefore, floral appliques play a huge rule in this collection.  Although there are a lot of blacks, yet the mood of the collection is rather colourful and joyful. The cuts are very feminine and wearable; with the various textures and materials she used, it makes the collection very unique and pleased to look at.

We are honoured to have a chance to talk to Belinda after the show, and had a close look at her designs.  All floral appliques and patterns were hand-maded and painted by Belinda, fabrics are also sent from other parts of the world.  The tweed cape and tulle skirt is definitely my favourite; I'm looking forward to have her collection selling here in Toronto soon!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Trendology: Converse Jack Purcell Fall 2010

Yes, I am a big fan of Converse ever since they have the Jack Purcell line and now I am drooling over this pair of shoes in the Fall lineup. In my memory, I don't think I have ever seen a pair of high top from this line before so I am very excited to see the photo of this Woolrich Wool black Converse.

This is definitely on my wish list for this coming fall/winter fashion list.

Courtesy of Converse (souce: Acquire)

Trendology: Heidi Ackerman for FAT

As mentioned earlier at the end of the interview with Heidi Ackerman, we will cover her show in FAT. Last night we attended FAT and witnessed the amazing design by Heidi.

As expected, her style is very futuristic, yet the provoking metal headpieces are nothing we have seen.  Working with her favourite knitwear, she embedded abstract pattern that inspired by Russian avant garde movements of the early 20th century.  This collection, she went beyond knitwear, adding leather to her collection.  With the purpose of experimenting with more materials and textures, she made it as sustainable as it could be by using vegetable tanned leather.  As Heidi is obsessed with architecture as well, the cut line of her collection are all strong and structural, creating a very bold statement for the collection.

Ray of Inspirology: Laid-back Spring Style

When it comes to male portrait, I think this is the type of shoot I would love to do. In the latest issue of Details, Robbie Fimmano has done a formal portrait shoot for these 9 models (Andrew Cooper, Ben Hill, Boyd Holbrook, Garrett Neff, Jamie Dornan, Jamie Strachan, RJ Rogenski, Romulo Pires and Vincent Lacrocq). I quite like the result because the photos are crisp and clean. The lighting is very simple and the background can totally bring out the toughness of the models!

Now, who is going to let me do a shoot like this?

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