Cinema Style Ep. 1

I’ve wanted to do something with cinema on here for a while. If you don’t already know, I studied film in university – in fact, it was my minor. I love the movies, and every aspect of filmmaking is interesting to me. But this is a fashion blog, not a movie blog, so I didn’t want to get too heavy into film theory, technology or business. What’s the best way to marry these two interests of mine?

Costuming, naturally.

I had the idea to start creating occasional posts about the fashion in movies, from my personal favourites to the most iconic costumes of all time. If this sounds appealing to anyone following the blog, let me know. I’m really excited to do these!

I will still be doing outfit posts, but if I decide to continue with these Cinema Style articles, they will be coming every few weeks.

Without further ado, I bring you the first episode! And what better way to open up the series than with one of my favourite movies.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Released in 1961, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was directed by Blake Edwards and based on the book by Truman Capote. The movies starts Audrey Hepburn as the flighty, larger-than-life Holly Golightly, a socialite looking to date the richest men she can find. George Peppard plays Paul Varjack, a writer who moves into Holly’s building. Shenanigans ensue, truths are revealed, declarations are made.

Let me be clear: this, like many others, is not a movie without faults. Mickey Rooney’s performance as Mr. Yunioshi is, in a word, problematic.

But, when I was younger, this was my ultimate favourite movie. I had a huge crush on George Peppard and was deeply dismayed to discover this movie had been made 50 years ago and Peppard had died in 1994. Why did I have such a crush on him? He was handsome, he was a writer, and he wore the most beautiful suits.

As you can see, I’ve always had my priorities straight.

The costuming in this film is a time capsule of 1960s style with fabulous party wear for Holly. We’re talking dramatic hats, prints and a good pair on sunnies.

Of course, we’re also talking that black dress from the opening scene. With a dress that classically beautiful, it comes as little surprise that the principal costume designer for Hepburn was Mr. Hubert de Givenchy himself.

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Photo via Pinterest

You’ve probably heard of Givenchy the brand before.

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Hepburn being dressed by Givenchy in 1959. Photo Source.

The man Givenchy founded the fashion house in 1952, and since then it has been a stable in the French couture scene. Among his achievements, Givenchy is credited with creating the balloon coat and the baby doll dress. Hepburn was one of his regular clients and a friend.

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Photo via Pinterest

Even if you’ve never seen the film, you could probably call up that famous opening image of Hepburn munching on a danish outside of Tiffany’s in that black dress with the pearls and sunglasses. When I first saw that scene, I wanted to be her, standing on that corner in New York, wearing that dress. I could never be her, though, and one of the (many) reasons for that is Givenchy designed the dress especially for Hepburn. She was able to keep it after filming  and the dress eventually sold at Christie’s for $900,000 in 2006.

Another notable Givenchy piece is the bright orange peacoat seen on Holly when she and Paul are galavanting around New York City. The double-breasted coat was widely copied following the release of the film. Orange can be a tricky colour, but of course Hepburn pulls it off so well. (And it looks good in Technicolor.)

Aside from the gorgeous Givenchy pieces, recognition needs to be given to costume supervisor Edith Head, and if you haven’t heard of her yet, you’re about to.

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Edith Head and her Oscars. Photo Source.

Over her decades-long career, Head won a record eight Academy Awards in costume design for her work on The Heiress, Samson and Delilah, All About Eve, A Place in the Sun, Roman Holiday, Sabrina (where Givenchy also provided designs), The Facts of Life and The Sting. 

The Academy Awards didn’t even have an award for costume designing until 1948, which was when Head really started to garner attention for her work. She had an incredible career and worked with some of the most notable actresses in Hollywood.

Head was responsible for Holly’s other iconic looks in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 

The men’s shirt Holly wore to bed was designed by Head, and paired with that turquoise sleep mask and bright ear plugs, it is to this day the best sleepwear look I’ve ever seen.

Head was also responsible for the sweater, jeans and towel ensemble sported by Holly in the “Moon River” scene.

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Gif via Tumblr

Paul’s (and the audience’s) glimpse to the true Holly is masterfully indicated with this toned-down look. It is, after all, very easy to look glamorous when one is always wearing classic Givenchy.

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Holly in more Givenchy. Photo Source.

Through Givenchy and Head, we see the duality of Holly’s character come to life: the glamorous partier and the layered, emotional young woman from the country. These identities both exist in Holly, as they do in many women, though often not to the same extremes. There is the face you show to the world, and the one you keep more private.

This is one of the reasons I like fashion so much. It is a way to demonstrate our inner characteristics to the outside world – a way of introducing ourselves without having to say a word. Any good costume designer should be able to do just that for their characters, and Head and Givenchy pull it off masterfully.

Sources

IMDb

Vogue

Hubert de Givenchy Bio

Edith Head Bio

 

 

Bloor Street Noir

A night out in Toronto isn’t always expensive drinks in Kensington or long dinners at the best places downtown. In fact, if you’re me, nights out are rarely that and more closely resemble something halfway between college tomfoolery and hipster-because-we’re-broke activities.

One of my favourite things to do in the city is see live music. At any given night, in any given location, someone’s band is playing a gig. You can find the events all over Facebook and Twitter. Even with all the festivals we see in the summer set aside, there’s so much music happening in this place, and for me, it’s always a matter of deciding, “fuck it, I’ll go.”

That’s how I wound up going to see Milky Chance in concert with my friend Clare (also the photographer for this post). We had made a split-second decision over Facebook to go weeks before the show, and I promptly forgot about it until just days beforehand.

Naturally, as the event approached, the crucial question of, “what am I gonna wear?” came up.

My problem with concerts is I usually try too hard to look like I’m not trying too hard to look cool. You feel me? You want to somehow achieve the same level of unaffected-coolness as the bearded, tattooed bartenders that serve you $8 beers.

I went with a classic: high waisted jeans (the MOST COMFORTABLE jeans) and a black tee. Boots. Black coat. I needed something a little extra and boom, red lipstick. It’s not fancy but it definitely works for the setting.

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And this was our setting: a packed concert at Lee’s Palace and a walk down a rainy, slippery Bloor St. on a Saturday night. Between the blacked-out windows at Honest Ed’s and the neon “open” signs of bubble tea shops and Korean barbecue restaurants, the whole thing felt Noir-esque to me somehow, like I was waiting for a man in a trench coat to come out of an alleyway and hand me a blank envelope.

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I’ve been listing to too many mystery podcasts. (You should all be listening to Rabbits, btw.)

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But as Clare and I made our way to a bubble tea joint, I proclaimed, “Take my picture in this alleyway.” And then with the lime-green walls inside the aforementioned bubble tea joint.

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I didn’t use my good camera, the pictures aren’t high-quality, but sometimes a night is just that. It’s getting sweaty at a show, getting soaked and cold in the rain, laughing your ass off in a lime-green bubble tea shop and taking the subway home at the end of it all.

And that, kids, was a good night out.

OUTFIT DETAILS

Coat – Topshop (Similar)

Tee – Stateside (Similar)

Jeans – AG

Boots – Shoe the Bear

 

My Top Fall/Winter 2017 Shows

Even for those of us who don’t attend the shows, Fashion Month is a wild ride. There are so many shows to witness, so many looks to covet, so many underhanded comments to make and just so much darn fashion.

It is, at some point, my goal to be able to actually attend the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris. Alas, I am definitely not there, and continue to obsessively check online to see the photographs and show reports come in.

This season there were definitely some collections I was not too keen on, but there were also those I loved, and it was pretty difficult to narrow this list of favourites to nine shows, but I’ve done it. In no particular order, and for various reasons, these are my favourite shows from Fashion Month.

Area

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All Photos from Vogue Runway

I’ve had a little obsession with Area blooming ever since I saw their Pre-Fall 2016 campaign a while back. There was something about the styling, the lighting, the photography. It was such a throwback to 70s glam and I couldn’t handle it. I just couldn’t. Since then, I’ve been keeping tabs on the brand, to see their latest work and ad campaigns. Their most recent collection definitely did not disappoint me. Glimmering jewels, silky jumpsuits, bell bottoms; it was just so good.

Nina Ricci

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Nina Ricci’s collection was one of those that showed me how I wished I dress. Every look that came down the runway, I went, “Yeah. Yep. Okay.” Every model looked chic, but like it came naturally to her. That’s down to some pretty A+ styling, but the clothes themselves are beautiful. I love the dusty pinks and muted yellows and beiges used – it gives the whole collection a “Parisian in the fall” type of vibe. I am not opposed to this type of vibe.

Off-White

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To be honest, I haven’t paid too much attention to Off-White in the past. It just really wasn’t on my radar. I came across their Fall/Winter 2017 show by happenstance, just scrolling through the Vogue app. It was the runway that caught my eye, covered in brown-orange leaves and eerily lit. Pathetically, it reminded me of Stranger Things. I was intrigued by the set, so I checked out the collection and was immediately smitten. Again, there were those dusty pink tones I am loving lately, and I could see myself wearing every look. (As in, I could daydream myself in those looks, not actually afford them.)

Celine

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Celine was another one of those collections showing me how I want to dress, or how I should dress. The brand, in my mind, is inherently associated with simplistic chic. The style is underrated, maybe, not too outlandish or headline-grabbing, but it’s always elegant and always beautifully tailored. Classy AF. Though, I imagine a Celine-wearing woman probably wouldn’t say “AF.”

FENTYxPUMA

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Think of the coolest person ever. You’re probably thinking of Rhianna. Having become a style icon in her own right, Rihanna now designs in collaboration with Puma, starting with an initial capsule collection and now doing full-on shows in Paris. And just like it’s maker, the latest FENTYxPUMA show was ridiculously cool, featuring the raddest and likely most unattainable athleisure wear ever. This is the type of stuff I would absolutely love to wear, but I am certain I would not be able to pull it off.

Miu Miu

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Miu Miu. Miuuuuu Miuuuuu. I adored this show. I absolutely adored it for three reasons: the use of colour, the textures and the accessories. This collection is s whirlwind of bright furs and suits, of punchy patterns and eye-grabbing details. If Celine is understated, Miu Miu is slightly overstated, but man, it works so well.

Mulberry

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In the past, Mulberry’s clothes were low on my radar. Like many others, I was all about coveting their bags. With their latest show, however, I found my gaze shifting to their apparel. This fall collection, in my opinion, was stunning. Sure, there were some “Look, we’re British” plaid moments, but there were also some interesting colour blocking moments and dramatic silhouettes. Some of these looks were way metropolitan, while others were a bit Scottish moors-meets-hunting chic. Not a bad look for fall.

Rachel Antonoff

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Rachel Antonoff’s latest collection is fun. It’s fun, it’s insanely wearable and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. There are some killer wide-leg pants, a matching dark green velvet set, as well as this “Daddy” tee that I absolutely need to find out where I can cop. The use of graphics and prints is insanely good. Plaid is present again, but not in an overpowering way, and the fallopian tube sweaters and probably the best things I’ve ever seen. Basically, I need all of it. (Likely won’t get any of it.)

(@ Rachel Antonoff, please sponsor me.)

Burberry

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I had to talk about Burberry because it’s one of my favourite fashion houses of all time and I’m generally obsessed with most things Christopher Bailey puts out. This collection was another one of their “see now, buy now” releases, which I think may have something to it, but that’s a whole other article. As I’m sure you’ve heard, this Burberry collection was inspired by the work of Henry Moore, which is so easy to pick up in the muted colours and vague-yet-feminine shapes. This collection was beautiful. The craftsmanship of some of these pieces make them works of art on their own, and the idea you can buy them off the rack is honestly wild to me.

 

TOM* Fashion Week Outfit Diary

I was lucky enough this past week to be able to attend Toronto Men’s Fashion week at Waterworks downtown. Myself and some other peeps from Novella were able to tag along to the illustrious coattails of our fearless editor.

It’s not the first time I’ve been to fashion show, but it is the first time I’ve been to TOM, and I had no idea what to expect.

The idea of attending a fashion show is daunting. You obviously want to look on trend and cool, but not like you’re trying too hard to be on trend and cool. It’s a fine line to balance on, same with the question of whether you need to dress up or dress down. After actually going, I can say that there’s a real mix of what people wear. There are people dressed to the absolute nines – high heels, floor-length dress, suit and tie – and there are also people taking it down a notch – denim on denim, all black, I even saw a guy in sweatpants.

Essentially, my biggest takeaway is this: just wear whatever you want but be confident in your decision and it’ll show. The coolest (and probably most photographed) people there are the ones you see just being themselves. Not that my own advice stopped me fro having a breakdown while getting ready for the shows every night, but I still stand by it.

After all of my anxiety and second-guessing, here is what I wore to Toronto Men’s Fashion Week.

(Please excuse the colouring of my pictures – it was dark and I tried my best with an iPhone 5s.)

Day 1

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Since it was Men’s fashion week, I decided to go with a menswear-inspired look for the first day. I paired a white tuxedo shirt with blue jeans and a corduroy coat. To finish the look off, I decided on a pair of brogues and a clutch, both in different shades of brown. I wasn’t sure if all of the brown tones would work well  or just end up clashing, but I was running late, so I just said “monochrome,” with a flourish and left.

Outfit Details

Coat – Na Nin Vintage

Tuxedo Shirt – Zara

Jeans – Urban Outfitters

Shoes – Urban Outfitters (These are at least five years old, here are some similar ones.)

Clutch – American Apparel (Not available anymore, here’s a similar one.)

Day 2

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On day 2, I went full 80s. Well, nearly. Full 80s would’ve been if I had also been able to do something cool with my hair. Alas, it was flat and decidedly not 80s, but I did don a bright red leather jacket complete with nice, big shoulder pads. Underneath it I kept it simple with a plain white tee and high-waisted trousers. Because I knew it would get warm in the venue, I needed something else to bump up the energy in my look, and I found it in my old blue suede booties.

Outfit Details

Jacket – Black Market Vintage

Tee – Anthropolgie

Trousers – Urban Outfitters

Shoes – Topshop (They’re pretty old, so here’s a pair that are similar.)

Day 3

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By day three, I had had just about enough of panicking over every outfit choice. I was trying too much to be different, to stand out from the crowd and that resulted in me trying on combinations that just really weren’t me. In the end, I decided on a pretty classic Tash silhouette of loose high-waisted trousers with a tee tucked in and a long coat overtop. I liked what I had on and I felt like myself, which I think is really all one can ask for when one attends an evening celebrating fashion and style.

(In hindsight, this really wasn’t the best outfit to pick for creds.)

Outfit Details

Coat – American Apparel (Not available anymore, but I found one kinda similar.)

Shirt – Anthropologie (Sold out,  here’s a similar.)

Trousers – Oak + Fort (Sold out [AGAIN], here’s a similar.)

Shoes – Michael Kors

Bag – Burberry