Venus in Furs

By some act of God, my “Spring Break” happened to coincide with New York Fashion Week, and by some larger act of God, I was given the opportunity to attend a couple of shows. I had my lil MBFW experiences with Vivienne Tam and Zang Toi at the Lincoln Centre tents, and while it was definitely cool to see how everything went down, they were obsolete in comparison to my third show: the one & only, Calvin Klein.

My wonderful father connected me with CFDA instagrammer of the year, A Guy Named Patrick, and although he had no incentive to do so, Patrick was incredible enough to sneak me into the show as his assistant.

Although I was only in the space for about an hour, it was easily the most emotional and exciting thing I’ve ever experienced. Grace Coddington waltzed in amongst the early crowd and I swear to god I’ve never felt my knees feel so weak.

The collection was absolutely stunning, but perhaps even more exciting was the fact that I was in the presence of so many of my fashion idols, experiencing the same event as them (albeit a few rows back…). In addition to the Cods, I saw Anna Wintour, Bill Cunningham, Caroline de Maigret, Leandra Medine, Harley V Newton, Giovanna Battaglia, Hanneli Mustaparta, and of course, my all-time favourite couple, Veronika Heilbrunner & Justin O’Shea. Unfortunately, I was too breathless to mingle (or say anything to anyone, really…), but I did manage to get out an embarassing “I love your book!” to Mme de Maigret. She was completely lovely, of course.

My fourth-row spot, in conjunction with the shitty zoom on my last-generation iPhone, yielded only mediocre photos, but you can check out the collection here. I’ve also been scouring instagram to see if I snuck into anyone’s pics, and I did find myself in one of Justin O’Shea’s! Check out the blonde in the clear glasses and grey coat to the right of the model 😉 heh.

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x Syd

The Art of the Advertisement

I’ve always had kind of a tricky relationship with advertising. My father’s in marketing, so I understand and appreciate the work that goes into branding and selling a product, but the idea of trying to trick some poor idiot into buying something they don’t need so somebody else can get rich? Not down.

That being said, I’m a huge proponent of imaging. If you believe whole-heartedly in a brand/product/concept, and can create an advertisement that best represents its aesthetic message, then hell yeah, share the shit out of it!! It comes down to intention: are you trying to make money by following culture, or are you going to define your own culture, and if you do it well enough, have people follow you?

Luckily, pretty much any brand you’re gonna wanna buy into has accomplished this already. Here are a few ads I’ve come across recently that do a really good job at blurring the line between art and commerce…

Current Faves: Feb. 1 – 8

1. Actin Crazy – Action Bronson

I’ve been in a super weird funk lately (not to sound like total millennial-bourgeoisie-scum, but the ennui is real…) and for whatever reason, Munchies has been the only thing keeping me through. Action’s a dope chef, a great rapper, and over all, an amazingly real dude.

2. Best Friends, Right? – Amy Winehouse

Amy Winehouse is one of those artists who’s on every playlist that I make. Understandably, though. Been spreading my wings and listening more and more to Frank and Lioness, and this is one of my faves off the latter – probably because it has the strongest Back to Black vibes (Our Day Will Come is also fucking incredible).

3. One Last Time – Ariana Grande

Not afraid to admit that sometimes, I’m super basic. I love this song. Played at least 10 times a day for the past week and I’m not even ashamed. If you’re gonna go for pop, Ariana’s voice is unmatched and the production is basic enough not to get super annoying.

4. Guap – Big Sean

Another reason I love Ariana Grande is because her and Big Sean are literally the cutest ~pop culture~ couple in existence right now. Just watch. Not sure what it is but I really like the sound production on this track, and the lyrics are sooo fuckin’ easy to get with.

5. Playing Dead – Blackbear

I put a remix of this track on my last ‘Current Faves’, but letsbereal – the original is way better. Super cool club production, which ends up being a really unique contrast to the R&B vocals.

5. Lottery – Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis is so incredible! I’m so happy she’s really starting to get some of the recognition she deserves. Super unique, soulful voice with cute production and mad L.A. vibes. Kind of a cross between LIZ and Amy Winehouse?

6. What Do All The People Know? – The Monroes

Another day, another terrible new wave rock song that I can’t stop listening to… One of those songs that’d probably soundtrack the hairbrush-karaoke scene in my autobiographical movie.

7. Chasing Kites – iamamiwhoami

This is one of my favourite songs, and iamamiwhoami consistently releases super solid experimental pop music. All of her music videos are incredible and super art oriented, and the Chasing Kites vid is no exception.

8. Voyeur (Bear//Face Bootleg Edit) – James Blake

I feel like I’m the only electronic production fan to not be into James Blake… I have, however, really been vibing this bootleg. Immense sense of emotional relief – really good example of how to use music design to invoke feeling.

9. The Girl From Ipanema – Amy Winehouse

Such a classic. It’s been raining pretty constantly here in Van, so this song as been kept me sauntering on that cold, wet, class-to-class hustle. Definitely makes you feel like the sexiest one in the room… Or the atmosphere. lol.

10. Survival Tactics (ft. Capital Steez) – Joey Bada$$

To start, R.I.P. Steez. It’s so fucking sad to think that we lost such an amazing talent disgustingly too soon. As much as I wish that these two could take the rap game together, Joey Bada$$ has been holding his own. Great track, great album, really solid old school production – so refreshing to hear this kind of stuff from such a young guy.

11. About The Money (ft. Young Thug) – T.I.

Literally not new at all, already super famous, but I love this song. Really solid vibes, perfect tempo to turn up or down.

I’m Attracted to Things I Can’t Define

I hated Dior. After spending time in Hong Kong, I associated the brand with tacky printed denim, tres-riche Asian madames and new money. Of course, I appreciated the immense craftsmanship of the full-skirt and the fact that it was so wholly associated with Dior couture (gotta love a signature…), but the designs seemed frou-frou, unwilling to take risks, and extremely unapproachable.

Fast forward to the Raf Simons era. Although the Jennifer Lawrence association is still super questionable, the Belgian demi-god has revived the fashion house in such an incredible and necessary way. The days of luxurious princesses lounging in gardens of folly are dead and gone, made way for powerful femininity, tasteful avant-garde, and a highly-considered, ‘experimental’ colour palette.

Although I’ve thoroughly enjoyed most every collection since his creative takeover in the Spring of 2012, the recently shown Spring/Summer 2015 Couture collection shown last week during Paris Fashion Week was undoubtedly my favourite. The juxtaposition of the ultra-classic hoop skirted silhouette and the rainbow of latex boots was completely breathtaking, and the range of mini-shift dresses had me dying for warm weather so I too could be a total mod babe.

Going to have dreams about those blue, thigh-high latex boots tonight… Also that pink carpet is literally unmatched. Definitely check out the full video if you get a chance – it does a great job at showcasing the incredible set design (mostly unseen in the collection photographs).

Enjoy –

x Syd