What I love about the roaring 20’s is that style, flare, and excitement eclipsed all forms of practicality. This Halloween, Zooom Box organizers (www.zooombox.com), Sepehr Askaryan, Farzad Biuok, and Nima Soofi brought back 20’s frivolity at their Persian Masquerade Gala.
My presence with guests was marred by my judging eyes for red carpet style, which I described in my fashion commentary before the event. My top three red carpet picks seemed to have taken my advice.
Red Carpet Report Look #1 (Lady in Red)
I always like to see women in a bold color choice when dressing for an event. This masquerade guest wowed me with her choice of color, and flawless fit. Her muted gold bag was on-point for the season, and her black mask created an air of mystery. Good to know behind the mask was simply beautiful.
Look #2 (Snow White)
To step out in all white to an event is a risk on its own, but add Vancouver pouring rain–standing ovation. I liked this dress because of its gold-embroidered embellishment and asymmetrical hemlines. This masked guest blew onto the red carpet like wind through a meadow. I maybe obsessed with gold as an invest strategy, but she took me to a new bullion standard level.
Look #3 (Purple Princess)
With purple being one of the biggest color trends of the Fall 2012 season, I was excited to see my last red carpet pick give me style, grace, and elegance in the color purple. Her best accessory to coordinate her look, is a style mavens go-to accessory, her companion. He complimented her look with mirrored color points and chivalry.
A successful event always begins with an amazing backdrop, The Vancouver Art Gallery, non-the-less, a fabulous red carpet, free drinks, and food; this event did not disappoint. As the drinks flowed and music blared, guest received a burlesque themed showcase.
My time was spent exploring the exciting guests and taking in the fashion show; two Vancouver designers featured; Jacqueline Conoir and Elik+Asfi. Each mask held a story, but like Vegas, I don’t kiss and tell. However, I will share some of the fun looks that graced the party. Enjoy!!
One question I get asked most “Is how do I become a fashion designer?” My answer is always “Don’t!” Few people really know what it takes to become a fashion designer. Real designers don’t ask, they do, it’s in their blood from birth. Why else would you put yourself through years of torture and ridicule, just to see your garment showcased on a body. Fashion is a high turnover consumer product, which is back dropped with trends, taste makers, and celebrity–I guess that is what makes fashion so fabulous and exciting. With Muse Closet, I want to pull that curtain back a little.
After my design school debacle, I headed to Japan and licked my wounds for a few months, then I came back and headed to film school. Completely frustrated with my film, a classmate asked if I could use my fashion skill to report Vancouver Fashion Week. I accepted begrudgingly, as I was up to my neck in production work, and not looking to do anything with fashion. I had one condition: I didn’t want to be on camera. I was going to research the designers, and write questions for the hosts, and maybe some styling. Well, nope on all three. I did format the questions and research, but I ended up doing most of the on camera hosting duties, because their male host didn’t work out. What a stroke of luck. I found my place in fashion, and I realized why I didn’t go all the way with my fashion degree.
I explain the latter because, while doing those interviews, during Vancouver Fashion Week, I meet one of the most intriguing designers, Arthur Lee. When I started the Muse Closet, five months ago, I chased Arthur for an interview from the start. It’s always hard to pin down a designer whose between Hong Kong and Vancouver. By chance, who was on my flight to New York Fashion Week this year? Arthur–interview booked. We finally sat down a few weeks ago, so he could tell me about his designs, philosophy, and artistic journey. This baritone speaking man captivated me with his voice, designs, and story.
A full circle moment, as we started to speak. That Vancouver Fashion Week was both Arthur, and my destiny calling. He started his design business that year to prove to his family that he was serious, and I started my fashion commentary career.
I 5, New Mexico, right turn, “HOPE.” These are the words that brought Arthur full circle in his life. After years of turbulence to find his creative outlet, Arthur saw this sign of hope while driving through the New Mexico desert. At a cross-road in life, one must listen to find their passion, and thus he did. Arthur’s journey is being documented in a up-coming documentary about his life and company creation. I felt privileged to walk into his world.
It all begins with a simple idea. Arthur has taken his graphic T-shirt line and turned it into a cult classic for Asian Bear culture, while captivating mainstream audiences. The former baker has created a recipe for success. Establishing his line, Ursus, in 2008, Arthur has not stopped creating. He partnered with charitable organization, Red Cross, after the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami. The original T-shirts sold out. Next up, a younger, colourful, and cartoonish line named Beavy. Arthur believes that there is always “Light just ahead.” His giving nature is what makes his line interesting and creative.
The concept to his business is KIS: “Keep it simple.” The clothes are not cumbersome, and comfy to wear. Therefore, business is something to grow with time, energy, and passion. These two concepts of travel and simplicity is what keeps Arthur moving. While creating the line he felt like a bear, always moving and traveling. Fashion to him is like this bear, never staying in one place, one mood, one style. I guess that is why it took me so long to track down this jet-setting designer. No wonder I found him at the airport.
What makes Arthur so interesting, to me, is his background into the world of design. I’ve always felt that real fashion designers jump out of the womb, as some do, but I realize that some take the long way. The long way is not always a bad thing. After suffering through a dot-com bust, an apocalyptic 9/11, and a manufacturing swindle– Arthur persevered. With his fashion roots in New York, Arthur moved back to Hong Kong to manufacture his line. He may have been born in Hong Kong, but Vancouver represents a part of his soul; Hong Kong’s fast pace lifestyle was a little much for this boomerang resident, but with time, his former city and friends have enveloped him.
What I took away from my interview with Arthur was that “Without the past, you can not be what you are today.” Becoming a fashion designer takes guts, as it is one of the hardest and most competitive businesses. To find a mode of expression that encompasses our passion is not easy, therefore to discover yourself first is key. What I love about fashion is that it is always moving, developing, and changing. All while building on the past. When I was much younger I was told by a model scout that I needed to live more, after taking to Arthur I understand that statement to be true. What made Arthur’s line so memorable to me during Vancouver Fashion Week was the story. I still remember his words, “I want to express myself.” This is what clothes help us all do everyday, so take some time to discover yourself.
I added this clip because, I think this is what you need to say when passion comes knocking at your door!
When I first conceptualized Muse Closet, I wanted to showcase individuals who optimized personal style. Personal style, to me, is achieved when you know who you are, and utilize fashion to express yourself. One of those people, who I believe, has great personal style is Daniel Maynard. I first meet Daniel a couple of years back when I was wandering the streets of Gastown in Vancouver. I walked into his studio, Young & Affluent, and found an instant connection with him. I use to be a buyer, and I love connecting with people in the fashion business. Daniel was genuine, funny, and smart. Therefore when I started Muse Closet, I really wanted to interview him about his style.
With school aways in my backdrop, I forgot about my interview list when I first created my blog, then at lunch with a friend from school, I spotted the coolest dressed guy across the street, it was Daniel! His look reminded me about why I wanted to discover people whose style worked seamlessly with their personality.
I contacted him, and he was more than happy to let me follow him around for a week and document his style for you all. Daniel is a fashion distributor and clothing representative. He tells us a little about how his company, Noble Gentlemen Trading and Young & Affluent showroom, which also showcase his style talent. The looks that are showcased in this post, I like because, he shows us how to punch casual into fashion stardom, his eclectic style is street fashion at its best.
One of the amazing things about Daniel is that he works side-by-side with his bother, Liam, who was more than happy to give me some dirt on Daniel. What I enjoyed most about talking to Daniel was his high energy and laid-back style. Most guys never want to push the envelope with their style, but I think Daniel does this with confidence, masculinity, and flare.
What we learn from Daniel is how to take your inspirations and turn them into great style, and even a career. His “Street meets neat,” philosophy is a wonderful concept to think about when defining your own style. I recommend everyone give themselves a tagline. I am wonder what Daniel thinks about in the morning when he gets dressed, “Should I be street or neat?” Well he does give me the answer to these questions. Check out my video interview with Daniel.
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Well, one thing we can all agree on is that January is a new start. We decide what we want to change and how we go about changing. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I need to get a new shave kit together. I know most guys never want to talk about their skin; it’s girly, sissy, lame. The unspoken truth is that most men care about their skin and what they look like. One basic point that most men must deal with, regardless of their skin regimen, is shaving. You may not do it every day, you may only do it once a year, but at some point you will have to pull out that blade.
In adolescence, we learn to shave from our father, older brother, or no one. No matter what, most likely they didn’t know much themselves: razor, foam can or soap, and away you go. STOP! Here is a mini tutorial to get you started to the right shave.
I stopped into Masc, Vancouver’s secret weapon to men’s skin care, to speak with skin care expert Jamie Beuthin about what was needed to start a shave kit.
Step 1: Scrub
Prep skin with scrub. This will help slough-off dead skin and allow facial hair to stand at attention; it’s like Viagra for the skin. Masc specialist, Jamie Beuthin, recommends Jack Black’s face scrub—my personal favorite as well. My suggestion would be to make sure you dampen the skin with warm water before you apply scrub, then apply a dime size amount to skin (more if needed), and then rinse with warm water. This will help to open hair follicles and raise facial hair—it also feels great! If you’re lazy like me, just do it all in the shower. Invest in a fog-free mirror.
Step 2: Shave Cream
A good shave cream will protect your skin from the blade, ensuring you receive an optimal cut during the shave. Jamie recommends GEO. F. Trumper’s shave cream, which comes in five amazing scents: almond, sandalwood, rose, and (most popular) lime and coconut. Also, Jamie suggests the E-Shave brush to help gain lather longevity during your shave. For me, a shave brush is a great way of extending your scrub. The brush helps to get your beard extra prepped for the razor. Yes boys, foreplay even for your skin!
Step 3: The Shaver
This is a debate among many men—disposable shaver, electric, straight edge—all personal choices based mostly on skin comfort, accessibility and usage. This tutorial is based on blade razors. (I will have another one for electric guys!) Jamie recommends using the Merkur Shaver, which comes in four different finishes: nickel, brush, black, and polished. The benefits of this razor are expanded in a video tutorial with Jamie.
When you shave, you should try to go in the direction of the hair. The scrub prep will help you to see if your hair grows up or down. This will help you avoid those pesky ingrown hairs, if you regularly cleanse and moisturize your skin, your skin will thank you later with a smooth shave.
Step 4: Aftershave
Aftershave helps to calm your skin, prevent ingrown hairs, and helps to heal nicks after your shave. This is very important for skin health and prep for future shaving. Not just an up-sell at department stores. Jamie had three wonderful choices: Erye, Men’s Science, and Kyoku.
Use these tips to help get your best shave. Thanks Jamie for all the good advice. Now, guys go get your kit together!
The clock has stuck midnight and you’ve thrown off your tacky sparkle suit, it’s 2012. Winter is in high gear, so I guess the next thing to do is plan your spring wardrobe. Flipping through Style.com, I stumbled across an old-time favorite, Jean Paul Gaultier.
The Gaultier men’s collection is always innovative and sexy; he always makes me feel guilty for not pushing my male fashion style envelope; skits, tribal prints, and unconventional models—Gaultier is King. Like this spring/summer 2011 look, Gaultier pushes traditional men’s wear.
However, looks like a times are-a-changing, with volatility in stocks and jobs markets, people need to get back to work, including Gaultier. James Dean inspired looks were combined with signature Gaultier plaid, nautical strips, and bare-chested men to create a wearable wardrobe.
This Gaultier collection is not one of my favourites, as I normally dream of wearing each piece in a created fantasy, while this collection blends into my realty, Gaultier is my street style dream. I miss feeling bad about not having my tattoo print shirt and tribal skirt on as I walk to the nearest grocery store; Gaultier is men’s fashion at its best. The looks of this collection will keep you fashionable and sexy all spring and summer, while cash registers bulge at stores, but Gaultier’s whimsical spirit is left behind on this one. Anyway, the best thing about fashion is that a new collection is always on its way. These are the highlights of his latest.