THE IT: Inside the 2010 White Cashmere Collection

Detail from Katrina Tuttle‘s design for the 2010 White Cashmere Collection, held at the AGO last week. The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation event, in which top Canadian designers create clothes made entirely out of bathroom tissue, coincides with the brand’s reintroduction of its limited-edition pink product, of which 25 cents from each package sold goes to the Foundation.

Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

Last week’s White Cashmere show—featuring designs from Renata Morales, Pat McDonagh, Réva Mivasagar and other top Canadian couturiers—made crafting ensembles out of bathroom tissue almost look easy, obscuring a design process swathed in challenges.

“The biggest thing is that it tears,” recalled Katrina Tuttle of creating her belted sheath dress. “That was the hardest thing to get around—figuring out what was the best way to strengthen it so the garment would hold itself up. The first day, the first 12 hours, was about trial and error.”

Sleek cocktail dresses, voluminous frocks and even a swimsuit—all formed from pink and standard-issue white Cashmere bathroom tissue—appeared across a runway navigated with careful confidence by a model contingent featuring Canada’s Next Top Model, Meaghan Waller, in a sweeping Ines Di Santo gown. Shay Lowe’s Tudor-esque ruff necklace boldly established territory for accessorizing under the TP aesthetic. Remarkably there were no casualties on the catwalk, save for a bit of downed flower detailing.

Style legend Pat McDonagh, whose striking commission evoked a candy-flossed southern belle, remembers “three weeks of utter labour” culminating in near-disaster.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Armani’s blue period, Spring 2011. Story by Anne Pringle.

Bleu de Armani
We took note when Chanel released their fragrance “Bleu de Chanel” and Tom Peucheux came out with the Blue Dhalia makeup collection for Estée Lauder. Blue has now shown up on the runway in the boldest statement yet: Giorgio Armani’s Milan show featured only the colour blue in different shades and textures, and was inspired by the Tuaregs—nomadic desert people of North Africa. Think long, draped skirts, bold ethnic jewellery, silky scarves wrapped around the model’s heads and flat sandals—all in deep shades of blue. To top it all off, the models wore smoky navy makeup around their eyes. This colour is definitely having a moment. (NY Times)

Formichetti for Uniqlo
The most recently released ads for Japanese label Uniqlo were styled by Nicola Formichetti (stylist to Lady Gaga and newly appointed director of Thierry Mugler) and feature Orlando Bloom. The expectant father stars in Uniqlo’s “Made for All” campaign, which advocates the philosophy that clothing design should not be confined by labels. The pieces are made to transcend age, gender and nationality—in other words, made for everyone, everywhere. Think straight-leg jeans, v-neck sweaters and crew neck T-shirts.  (Uniqlo) and (NY Mag)

Burton’s New McQueen
Sarah Burton is the new successor of Alexander McQueen, having taken the reigns as creative director in May. The pressure mounts as she prepares to debut her first independent womenswear collection on October 5. The designer said she hopes to maintain the McQueen “spirit and essence”, but that there might be a few changes. She claimed that being a woman, the collection would perhaps have more a woman’s point of view and be a littler softer. But she won’t lose the McQueen edginess completely. As she aptly put it, “There’s always got to be some darkness, because otherwise you don’t appreciate what’s light.” We can’t wait to see what she’s come up with. (Vogue UK)

Williamson + Bulgari
British designer Matthew Williamson collaborated with Bulgari on a new line of handbags for the Spring 2011 season. The capsule collection of bags features beautiful hexagonal clutches that come in jewel tones like ruby, sapphire and emerald and giant totes with bright, kaleidoscope style prints. The collection will likely be out of most of our price ranges, but if you are, say, Sienna Miller (a close friend of the designer), you can buy them at Bulgari stores as of January 2011. (In Style)

THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

CK One, responsible for some of the coolest ads of the ’90s, grows up. Story by Anne Pringle.

CK One clothing
Calvin Klein has announced they will launch a new global lifestyle brand inspired by its famous CK One fragrance. The hope is to both connect to a younger customer audience, and to make Calvin Klein clothing more affordable—about 15 to 20 percent more affordable than Calvin Klein Jeans and Underwear. The new collection will feature jeans, underwear and swimwear. Think slouchy, slim-fit denim, woven tops and knitwear and novelty printed undies. (Vogue UK)

End of minimalism?
The past couple of runway seasons (and Phoebe Philo’s mastery at Celine) have shown that minimalism is in—meaning lots of nude colours, scant accessories and prints, and classic, simple shapes. Miuccia Prada, for one, is “tired of minimalism”, and wanted to shake things up. Her Spring 2011 collection, recently shown at Milan Fashion Week, was termed “minimal Baroque” and received the highest praise from all corners of the fashion industry. The collection featured bright banana-printed skirts and blouses, neon fur shoes, and vivid stripes. After hearing the reviews (“what [Prada] has to say never seems useless or old”—WWD; “cheers rang out for this exceptional collection”—Suzy Menkes; “the almost confusing variety elicited audible pangs of desire in the front row”— Daily Front Row), it looks like minimalism may be on its way out… (NY Mag)

Comme des Garçons + Rabanne
Rei Kawakubo, the founder of Comme des Garçons, will lend her design talents to Paco Rabanne, the revered designer of the Sixties. Rabanne started his career in fashion by designing jewellery for Givenchy, Dior and Balenciaga, and soon opened his namesake fashion house in 1966. He gained a reputation for being cutting-edge through his use of (then) unusual design materials, like paper, metal and plastic. Rabanne has enlisted the fresh perspective of Comme des Garçons to reintroduce one of his iconic handbag from 1969, which will feature (what else?) novel materials and textiles. (WWD)

Beyoncé’s temp tattoos
Beyoncé and Tina Knowles have teamed up with the airbrush makeup company Temptu to create a limited edition line of temporary tattoos for their label, Deréon. Tina, the label’s founder and creative designer claims their theme is “Sixties pinup girl meets futuristic biker-chick.” The tattoos will be available on November 1. The basic package will go for $16, at Sephora with eight designs on offer (think everything from Deréon’s signature fleur icon, to lightning bolts and chains, to jewels and spider designs). (WWD)

THE IT: Anthea Simms, runway photography star

Then and now: Carine Roitfeld, editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, in the ’80s (left), and last season in New York.

Story by Sara Graham, a Toronto writer and girl-about-town, who recently spent a stylish sojourn in London. Photography courtesy of Anthea Simms.

For better or worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, Anthea Simms has been married to the business of runway photography for almost 30 years. Her images have appeared in countless publications, including ELLE UK and Flare, which was the first magazine to commission her work.

Anthea and I met on a blustery afternoon at the Metropolitan Hotel in London’s Mayfair district. After my delightful discovery that she too owned the Canon G11 camera (which made me feel much better about dropping the substantial sum to buy it), Anthea schooled me as we arranged a snap-happy mini-shoot of our gorgeous Afternoon De-Light tea.

Between bites, Anthea answered a few questions about her career, Carine, and her fascinating experiences as one of the few female runway photographers.

How did you get involved in runway photography?

“I first trained as an illustrator and ended up having a tough time making a living freelancing. So, needing to find a full-time job, I started working for a fashion company. One day a photographer dropped out of an assignment at the last minute and I was given the opportunity to do some shooting…really horrible looking back on it…but it was so fantastic [in that it was] instant, not instant by today’s standards, of course. For me, as an illustrator, by the time it takes to get things done, it was so quick! After that I just kept on going.

[In terms of runway photography] it helps if you love the clothes. When I started, there were some pretty revolutionary designers, and the ’80s was really the beginning of runway madness.”

What was your first experience as a runway photographer?

“The first show was in 1981, before I started doing the whole circuit. It was Betsey Johnson in New York and I shot that in black and white. I think it’s great that I can even remember that. Well, at least it’s a designer that’s still in business, which is quite an achievement.” [laughs]

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Now that‘s a forever kind of love: Manolo’s Mary Janes. Story by Anne Pringle.

Manolo on marriage
If your relationship is struggling, perhaps you have been looking in the wrong place for advice. According to Manolo Blahnik, the key to a happy marriage could very well be as simple as owning a pair of his shoes. He goes so far as to claim that his designs have saved couples from marital trouble, and it’s all about making the woman look and feel sexy. As Blahnik put it, “The first thing men look at are a women’s legs. And there is nothing more flattering than high heels.” (Vogue UK)

Fashion Theft
US Airways lost the luggage belonging to Giorgio Gucci on a flight from Madrid to Philadelphia earlier this week—but this wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill suitcase. He is the grandson of Guccio, founder of the House of Gucci in 1905, and reportedly lost over $50,000 worth of vintage Gucci bags. The luggage contained everything from handmade bags (one by his grandfather) to custom-made clothing to hundreds of priceless family photos, all of which were to be part of a documentary being made about his life. The fashion heir was on his way to Capitol Hill to give a speech against counterfeit goods. Watch out: The “counterfeit” Guccis being sold on the street corners of Philly might not be replicas after all… (NY Post)

Disney’s Givenchy
Givenchy has announced that it will open its first-ever American store… in the faux “France” section of Disney World’s Epcot Centre. This has caught many people in the fashion world by surprise—that a high-end exclusive designer label would want to open any store (let alone their first in the country!) in such a public, kitschy place. Although it does give Disney’s French pavilion a certain amount of authenticity. Plus, who wouldn’t want to browse Givenchy’s perfume boutqiue after riding Space Mountain? (Bella Sugar)

THE IT: The Mixedfit T-shirt project

A T-shirt design by Hannah Claus at the Mixedfit show. Story and photography by Brendan Adam Zwelling.

The humble T-shirt stretches its simple fabric across the length and breadth of our lives. Both a timeless casual default in most wardrobes and a staple of American Apparel-era hipness, these social billboards project statements, clichés, politics, and commerce in equal measure–or, when unadorned, they become the foundation of understated chic. We ask a lot of them, too: They carry the burden of our cheap jokes and shameless sloganeering, and support the weight of our icons who fill them out to bursting point (never more devastatingly than on Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire).

With that in mind, the debut of the Koffler Gallery’s Mixedfit project at the well-appointed Queen West branch of Balisi (711 Queen St. W.) on Tuesday night was a characteristic launch—DJ, drinks table, and teeming crowd enter stage-right—for an atypical product. Four eclectic T-shirt designs by four diverse artists were on show and did not disappoint for both style and substance.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Rosie Huntington-Whitely, the next It model. Story by Anne Pringle.

Ten Times Rosie
Model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (who added the latter to her resume after her recent casting in the third Transformers film), is now the focus of a photography book by Dazed & Confused founder Rankin. The esteemed photographer, who has shot every big model from Heidi Klum to Kate Moss, claims, “Rosie is the new thing.” The glossy coffee table book called Ten Times Rosie features the model embodying 10 different characters while sporting the designs of Paula Thomas, founder and creative designer for luxury label Thomas Wylde. Find the book on Amazon.com on October 1. (Style.com)

Repetto shop-in-shop
We told you that French footwear designer Repetto—the one that gained authority for its ballet flats—was going to be doing some fashionable collaborations this fall (think Rodarte, Opening Ceremony, Colette and James Perse). Now, Opening Ceremony is taking the partnership a step further by opening a Repetto shop-in-shop to showcase the new line. The collection includes the classic ballet flats in animal-printed pony hair and kitten-heeled ankle boots that come in camel or black suede and patent leather. (Racked)

Evian + Miyake
Fashionable collaborations are not just for footwear and clothing lines: Evian has had their water bottles created by many famous designers over the years, and will soon add a new one by Issey Miyake to the line-up, which features a colourful, yet simple flower design. Previous designs have included multicoloured horizontal stripes from Paul Smith, a snowflake-frosted bottle with bold blue text by Jean Paul Gaultier, and a haute couture bottle by Christian Lacroix, which came in the shape of a woman wearing a ballgown, with mountains subtly engraved into the skirt. The price for designer water? The Miyake is going for almost $10 a bottle, and is available exclusively online or at Issey Miyake boutiques. (Styleite)

Westwood watches
Vivienne Westwood has had their hands in many projects this season: We told you about their shoe exhibition at Selfridges in August and their recent participation in the first-ever sustainable fashion show at London’s Fashion Week. The design house is now set to expand their accessories department by releasing a new collection of watches for both men and women. Look for them on sale in department stores as of Fall 2011. (WWD)

THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Oh, those faceless e-boutiques. (Martin Margiela, Spring 2009.) Story by Anne Pringle.

Margiela e-boutique
Maison Martin Margiela is doing more to expand than simply adding a collaborative eyewear line—the Belgian design house is launching an e-boutique soon. The website, powered by web giant Yoox Group, will become available worldwide on October 1. Yoox founder and CEO Frederico Marchetti said, “We are creating the most visible store in the world for the ‘most invisible designer’”. (WWD)

McCartney for men
Stella McCartney has just released her latest collection of lifestyle wear for Addidas, which includes a men’s line, the first time she has designed for the opposite sex. Gaining experience in menswear design is important to McCartney as she prepares for her upcoming gig designing the uniforms for the 2012 Olympic Games. The line features simple, sporty styles—think hooded sweatshirts, T-shirts, track pants for men and layered looks for women, such as gold capes over white studded tank tops. (Vogue UK)

McQueen memorial
On Monday, about 1,000 people gathered at London’s grand St. Paul’s Cathedral to celebrate the life of Alexander McQueen. The memorial was somber and heavily dotted with celebrities, from designers like Stella McCartney to actresses like Sarah Jessica Parker to models like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss. Also in attendance were heiress Daphne Guiness (and owner of countless McQueen pieces) and Vogue editor Anna Wintour,  who spoke at the memorial, saying, “Mr. McQueen was a man of profound contradictions.” (NY Times)

Stiletto stumble
Do you ever have trouble walking in six-inch heels and wonder models pull them off so gracefully on the runway? The secret’s out—hey’re hard for everyone, even Burberry models. The British label’s finale model in their Spring 2011 show for London Fashion Week toppled over during her walk. Yikes! (NY Mag)

THE BUY: Best of back to school

Story by Caitlin Agnew. Jacket ($49.50, at Dynamite), inspired by a certain Clueless character.

After a summer of sandals, sundresses, and socializing, September is the perfect time to reset and get serious.

This week on The Buy, we’re going all the way back to school. Whether you’re starting your year at university, college, high school (or you just like to look smart), fall’s best fashion is collegiate chic with a grungy twist. (Think cardigans paired with combat boots.)

We checked in with our favourite students of all time, from Blair Waldorf to A.C. Slater, to bring you their best back-to-school styles, with all items available in Toronto.

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THE BITE: An amuse-bouche of fashion news

Daisy Lowe, the sexy new face of Biba. Story by Anne Pringle.

Biba’s back
The fashion brand Biba, which at its peak in the ’60s and ’70s catered to celebs like Princess Anne and Twiggy, is soon to be reborn. It has been purchased by House of Fraser, one of Britain’s largest department stores, whose aim for the brand is “fashion clothing at an affordable price… the ethos of luxury and glamour that Biba embodied, [brought] up to date.” The face of the brand will be Brit model Daisy Lowe, who will represent a collection featuring tailored jackets with pinched waists and puffed shoulders, drapey knitwear, embellished evening gowns and five different styles of jeans. (WWD)

Liquid fabric
Have you ever joked that a pair of jeans looked so tight they could be sprayed on? Well, thanks to Paul Luckham and Manel Torres, they actually could be. The particle engineer and designer duo combined cotton fibres, polymers and solvent to create Liquid Fabric, a material that is sprayed onto the skin. Don’t worry about the waste—once the fabric has dried, it can be removed and worn again. (Fashion Indie)

Model bookworms
Need some inspiration for fall reading? Take a page from the book of one of New York Fashion Week’s wonderfully well-read models. Last week, models backstage were shot reading everything from Lord of the Flies to The Great Gatsby. Model Nimue was reading Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and Katharina from Supreme was reading a German translation of William Faulkner’s A Fable Model Polina. Nothing like a little light Faulkner while you have your hair and makeup done… (Racked)

New + Crew
New Balance has obviously been looking to branch out, beginning by boosting their fashionable collaborations. We told you about the line Heidi Klum will be designing for them, and it has now been announced that they will create an exclusive line of footwear for J.Crew. Think versatile, stylish sneakers that can be worn jogging, with jeans, or with something dressier. The line will debut at the beginning of November and will be available on jcrew.com. (WWD)