Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The future is now.

Fashion is cyclical. What is chic now won't be soon, that much is obvious. In an effort to be on continuously on the cusp of something new, designers are constantly re-inventing what's old. 

Every decade channels another. The challenge is to nuance old trends into new ones. But with so much emphasis on revamping and renewing old trends, designers often forget they can create new looks that aren't just a nod to the past. 

If everyone else is terrified of the future, Gareth Pugh is unafraid. Pugh opened Paris Fashion Week with a bold, clean collection in black-and-white. The collection's sharp edges won't flatter on the street the way they do on the runway and nothing about the heavy, two-toned line said spring. But the utopian viewpoint from which Pugh designs is startlingly refreshing. Or maybe that's the Modernist nostalgia kicking in.

And I said what about "Breakfast at Tiffany's?
She said, "I think I remember the film,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it."
And I said, "Well, that's the one thing we've got."

Monday, September 29, 2008

As a general philosophy,
the one who exploits themself the most wins.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Thursday nights at the office.
(and or what I love/hate about my job)

Thursdays have always been special to me. First they were TV dates with my best friend in high school, then they were Mod Night at the Pyramid Cabaret and now they are the evening of magazine production.

It's 7:45 pm and I'm at work. Until noon, I had no plans of coming in today. But last minute, I had to come in to re-work a story that had been slipped off the editing table until this afternoon, just a few hours before the next issue goes to print. 

As much as I would rather be spending the time drinking with my friends, I don't mind sticking around the office. Here's why:

1. They order me food- A buffalo chicken wrap is scheduled to show up at my cubicle any minute, via Lettuce eatery. What more could a hungry young writer ask for? 

2. The down time- I spent three or four hours digging up extra info to plug into my latest story. Now my editor is going over the piece. That means that until he's done, I have two computers, endless racks of magazines and 100 years of archives to entertain me. It's a nerds paradise. 

3. The crunch- It's embarrassing but I find deadlines exciting. Scrambling to get all the right words in the right places, making the copy fit and finding art to match the story before the printer comes to pick up the copy is like being a runner in a race for geeks. 

4. The emptiness- I work in a huge complex that's usually crawling with security guards, HR reps in crisp pantsuits and loud heels and sports broadcasters in freshly pressed suits. At this time of night, they're all long gone, and I'm not subjected to any elevator talk-it's just me and my iPod-and that's the way I like it. 

5. The built-in excuse- I'm too tired for the parties I promised I would attend, but I don't have to pick up my phone. I'm at work. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Night of the Living Ex.

By some cosmic turn of events, nearly everyone I spoke to on Saturday was planning on hanging out with their ex. One former couple was having a movie night, another was heading to a bar and I, being the mighty soldier that I am, was braving the "don't go" ex-territory of the dance club.

The word ex brings to mind terrible connotations. Screaming matches, awkward run-ins on the street, divided mutual friends and that last drunken text message you probably shouldn't have sent. Luckily, the relationship I was re-visiting on friendlier terms was a good one, and the break was clean. That said, there are a few things everyone should remember if they are going to plan an encounter with somebody they used to regularly swap spit with.

Bring backup- You don't want to do this alone. Luckily, I have good friends and one of my buddies offered to come along. Fitting the evening's theme, he brought his ex too, for good measure. This sounds awkward, but it wasn't, and I was just happy not to be alone. 

Prepare an excuse- If shit hits the fan, you'll want to leave early. Be creative and keep in mind that this person spent a considerable amount of time with you, and knows when you're lying. If all else fails, man up and tell them honestly, "I'd like to go home now." After all, you're no longer under a social contract that requires you to stay. 

Drink up- Alcohol likely caused problems while you were together. Think drunk dialing, bad decisions and erectile difficulties. Luckily, this time the sauce is on your side. After one drink, that uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your stomach will go away. After a few more you'll be telling nearby strangers "funny" stories about your ex. Soon you will be the life of the party. Everyone loves a joke. 

Avoid the ex-sex- You know this is never a good idea. Unless it was good. Really good...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy Birthday from Home.

There is nothing like getting mail, and it's even better if it's a package. My birthday has long past, but an unexpected late gift showed up in the mail yesterday. One of my favourite girl scouts carefully constructed a loving package of framed photos for me to remind me of home.

Art projects are one of my favourite things in the world, and this made my entire week.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Giles Deacon meets Pac Man 2008 Space Odyssey.

Thursday afternoon fashion round-up.

The Stella McCartney for Adidas show used actual UK gymnasts as models. The line itself had none of the oldschool Adidas style I love, and instead looks like boring American sportswear, er gym-wear.

That pesky 12-year-old style blogger Tavi can move over, because there's a new age-gimmick in the blogosphere. Check out Advanced Style, the street fashion blog for the elderly.

The Olsen's announced that they are designing menswear for the Row, prompting some very very important questions. Like: Is there anything the collective spirit of Michelle Tanner can't do? Will Bob Saget be walk as a model for the collection? And will Brody Jenner sport the O-twins Row line as an act of truce after MK called him out on national television?

And it turns out Top Shop won't be opening in Soho any time soon. So much for From England With Love...
House of Flowers

A message for Henry Holland: let's have a little bet less of that, and a little more of this:

More on London Fashion Week in the evening.

I'm rounding up material to start a collage blog. If you're interested in contributing a collage or two, let me know. If you're into it, get into it. If you're not... just don't read it I guess!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More drama than a reality TV show.

Everyone remembers when all of that red white and blue confetti rained down on Kelly Clarkson during the first season finale of American Idol. Middle America was convinced the sweetheart girl-next-door from Texas was going to be the new poster girl for American pop. 

For several weeks we intently watched as her highlights got chunkier and chunkier as she did the talk-show circuit and cashed in on the Idol buzz. But by the time from Justin to Kelly came out, it was clear that America had created a monster. Or at least voted for one. 

Season after season of Idol and Top Model have proven that reality TV can buy you 15 minutes of fame, but when those 15 minutes are up, your only viable option is an appearing on the next season of the Surreal Life. 

So you can imagine the fashion industry's collective surprise when WWD reported in March that Christian Siriano, the runt from Bravo's Project Runway, had secured backers for a spring 2009 collection, and was planning on showing a full collection at NY Fashion Week.

Critics will be quick to point out that his collection, which you can see here, looks like an edited, refined version of the collection that he showed for the PR finale. But I have to say, I loved that collection, and I love this one. It's fresh, dramatic, fun and wearable. He has his hits and misses, but lest we forget, this time last year, we didn't know who this kid was. 

Now cross your fingers and hope no one calls the collection "fierce." 

Monday, September 15, 2008

Are we addicted to going out?

Everyone is addicted to something. Cigarettes. Alcohol. Cocaine. These are the obvious ones; the ones you can go to rehab for. But what about the addictions that have no 12-step program to quit?

What about coffee, shopping and Facebook? Ever consider that you might be addicted to music? To your sex with your lover, lunches with your bestfriend, or phone calls to your mom? If you can't picture life without something, you're probably addicted. Same goes if you take something every time it's offered. Think about that the next time someone offers you a shiny chocolate covered peanut from their bag of M&Ms.

On nights when I have business to attend to in the morning, and I hear a bartender utter the words last call, I have to wonder, am I addicted to the evening? This summer has been filled with visiting DJs, free drinks from corporate sponsors, dimly lit lounges, blinding photoblog flashes, packed dance floors, loud outfits, expensive cab rides and morning-after brunches where we tried to piece together what had happened the night before. It was a riot. But I have to admit, I'm exhausted.

Maybe this fall I'll learn the artful skill of denying invitations, going home while the Subway is still running, passing even when the drinks are free and not insisting on going to the after party.

Maybe... or maybe not. Now pass me your cell phone, I have to finalize my plans for tomorrow night. Oh, and can I have one of those peanut M&M's?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I'm sorry for being such a crappy friend.

Dear David: I missed your birthday. I didn't send flowers, chocolates or even a card. I left you a voicemail, which seems technologically more sincere than a text-message, but the two are basically the same.

After a week of saying no to Monday night art parties, yes to Wednesday night six-packs, and penciling in coffee dates between early classes and late nights at the office, it's finally the weekend.

But in a city where we work second jobs not to pay rent but our tab at the bar, is it ever really the weekend? We've quickly become entitled to dancing on Thursday nights and accustomed to shaking off Saturday morning hang-overs to finish up the work we didn't necessarily get done during the week.

We've learned not to ask our friends how they pay their phone bills, and instead inquire on how they managed to borrow their designed duds in time for a fashionably late entrance to an early party. The latter is always the more interesting story.

For a Saturday afternoon, I'm doing just fine. I've had two coffees and three advil, much to the disdain of my roommate, whose habits are healthier (and smarter) than my own. I've made plans for the evening, finished an article for the job I'm keeping and need to hop into the shower and get ready for one of my last shifts at the job I quit.

But for what it's worth, it could be Tuesday.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Meet Carli and Sarah. Photocred: David Pike

These girls aren't shy. They speak their minds. The attitude is: if you don't think what they're saying is funny, you probably don't have a sense of humour.

On top of having smoking bods and haircuts I can relate to, both are strikingly intelligent, and carry a refreshing blunt attitude. They're like little New Yorkers who happen to be dressed convincingly sweet. Not once has anyone uttered, "Tell me how you really feel," to either of these ladies.

Example a) I'm at Carli's, and since we live in the same building, I've come up wearing a comfy (albeit tacky) old sweater and denim cutoffs. I'm going to the LCBO and ask Carli if I can wear my outfit in public. After looking me up and down, she hesitates and says, "It depends where in public you're planning on going."

Example b) We're debating if sex addictions are legitimate or if sex addicts are just taking their libido too seriously. Everyone wants to have sex all the time, right? Well, not when you are sore, grumpy, bloated or exhausted. Or so I thought. I say, "There are nights you don't want to have sex, right?"Both girls stare blankly at me. Several seconds pass in silence.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Birds at my face.

Obama's celebrity status, text messages to Scarlett Johansson, Paris Hilton getting in on the debate and a pitbull named Palin from Alaska have made the American election sexier, funnier and more bizzare than the Canadian election could ever be.

Or so we thought. 

Following a quick loud reaction, the Conservatives have pulled an ad that showed an animated bird pooping on Stephane Dion. Yeah, that's right. Bird shit. 

Mr. Harper, I have only one thing to say: thank you. You could not be more hilarious. 

That said, Canadian politics have gone down the shitter. The bird shitter. 

Good morning New York.

I'm not writing a full update on NY Fashion Week because I am up to my chin in phone calls, old voicemail messages and deadlines. There are ink stains all over my outfit, but there is good news to report. After shedding my intern status, I got a raise

Rejoice for Tuesdays. 

Before I get back to the grind, I have to mention that my love for Rag & Bone is morphing from infatuation to dedication. Like always, the menswear is immaculate. It's clean, well-tailored and remarkably cool. 

Until I get another minute, yours truly,

Russ & Bone. 

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

They will kill a man for what his father has done.

On reality TV shows you can always pick out the weakest link by their answer to one particular question. When contestants play it quaint and insists that their mother or father is their hero you know they will be the first to crack.

I have a confession to make. I am that contestant. Who is my hero? Daddy dearest. Go ahead, call it a cliche. But my dad is a pretty cool cat. If you don't believe me, check out the handle bars.

I'll pack my bags now. I'm happily getting booted off the island, kissing Heidi Klum on both cheeks and leaving the Big Brother house.

Dad, this one's for you. (And it's not even father's day.)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

We're just two lost souls, swimming in a Subway cup.

At Subway they give out plastic cups with value meals so you can choose your beverage of choice.

I'm always tempted to mix the flavours. Swamp water. The combo sounds delicious. Every drink I like in one cup. What could go wrong?

But with all of the different brands of cola swimming around together, the drink ends up tasting like nothing. Sweet, flat nothing.

A lot of things are like that.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Overheard at last night's Vice/Calvin Klein party (repeatedly):
"I'm not gay or anything but ..."

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Welcome back Ryerson.

The only thing worse than the crowds of tourists that have filled the city's core this summer are the crowds of students that line Gould St. today. It turns out some of the suburbanites from Mississauga that have been loitering around the Eaton Center clutching Abercrombie & Fitch bags are now proud students at Ryerson University. I give most of them a semester before they drop out and enroll in nursing at George Brown.

On my way to the bookstore I bumped into first years that couldn't give up the comforts of home and to attend Queens or Western--or worse ones who didn't get it. Few older students are around and it seems like everyone in the image arts, fashion, writing and TV programs decided to wait a week before showing up, or have learned the art of hiding out off campus between classes. Business students and engineers fresh off frosh week however, are out in full force.

The street is closed and in lieu of parked cars are dozens of booths giving away free samples, convincing students to sign up for new cell phone plans and offering cheapie spring break vacations. Logos and pins are everywhere. There is even a DJ. It all seems a tad unnecessary considering the only thing that unites students at Rye High is that they didn't want to go to the type of school Ryerson is trying to become.

The walk to the bookstore was overwhelming and exhausting. I bought a graphic novel for a course I'm not taking and went home, calling it a day. When the commuters start spending as little time as possible at school and a few hopeful first years and jaded third years drop out, causing the lines around campus shorten, I'll give it another go.

Welcome back.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

(in picture format)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Until the March of the Penguins, I had forgotten that penguins die.

(The first in an upcoming series of collages.)