On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I wondered Causeway Bay’s Times Squareshopping mall. Walking amongst label whores that scurry from store to store, an Avant-garde boutique popped into focus. Sitting in the corner of this overdone mall was a treasure trove. Flipping through racks of clothes, a sales girl made conversation, on my response to being from Vancouver, Canada, she rushed to show me her best-selling collection, Complexgeometries, a Canadian label. Flabbergasted that Complexgeometriesa Canadian conceptual collection was making waves in Asia, I felt perplexed that after seeing this fabulous collection at New York’s Fall 2011 fashion week, these clothes were nowhere to be found in my hometown Vancouver.
Voted 3rd worst dressed city in the world, Vancouver needs to step its style game up a notch. Canada’s talent industry is cranking out world-class designers, yet none available to us. I understand that designers make more money overseas, but Canadian designers want to sell to Canadians. However, we as Canadians need to give them a reason to sell to us. The Muse Closet is about helping you explore fashion in a way that is practical and new. Understanding how small changes can send shock waves through fashion and yourself.
Vancouver is a beautiful city with beautiful people; our problem is that too many of us rely on sweatpants as dress pants. Lulu Lemon created our uniform, but kiddies we need to spruce up our closets. Challenge: Next time you have dinner plans think about dressing up. I know everyone will look at you strangely on Robson street, but fuck’em your doing Canada proud. Take a moment to develop a look around a feeling you would like to emote. Please use my examples from Complexgeometries for style ideas.
As leaves fall and glisten in the final moments of the summer sun. Color blocking has spun editors into a tizzy of wild passion. However, while magazine editors and fashion bloggers have pushed every Crayola hue, New York’s indie designers have given us Neo-Goth for fall/winter 2011; utilitarian clothes made for the city that go against the mainstream fashion set by only showing black.
Neo-Goth is not scary Marilyn Manson Goth, and is more wearable than Haute Goth designers such as Rick Owens, Olivier Theysken, and Yohji Yamamoto whose influences hail from the Victorian era. A new crop of designers seem to be rebelling against the status quo, which has not been seen since the early Punk days of Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, and Vivienne Westwood. Neo-Goth idealism is a new standard for fashionistas who want something beyond label branded marketed clothes. Rad by Rad Hourani was my Neo-Goth highlight, Rad’s collection has taken dark Gothic emotions and twisted them into wearable standards for today’s fashion savvy: black legging, fitted coats, and platform shoes were interchangeable on boys and girls. Rad morphed angular shapes, multiply zippers, and androgyny into sheer street style.
Rad’s collection is a step towards a future of blurred lines between male and female identification through iconography. Yes, in the nineties Jean Paul Gaultier and Calvin Klein used female and male attire on gender-bending models to generate runway news, but Rad’s collection is what a real men and women will be wearing in reality. Neo-Goth is a way for individuals to take their personal style beyond traditional clothing rules by creating new codes in dress for male and female attire—all you have to do is bring your attitude!