Alana Zimmer is the epitome of ‘model’ ; statuesque, natural charm, killer height and a portfolio that is unmatched (and she’s also Canadian!). Alana first became one of my favourites after I saw her in Raf Simon’s second collection for Jil Sander:
For some reason, she stood out to me and I can’t really give you a reason as to why. Perhaps it was her natural, easy-going gaze in comparison to the other girls. Whatever it was, it seems like I was not the only one captivated. Rumour has it that for her first show season, she booked every show she had a go-see for in every major city. Not hard to believe when you look at her, right?
Most recently, her ad and print work includes:
[Akris Spring/Summer 2013]
[Givenchy Beauty Spring/Summer 2013]
[Max Mara Pre-Fall 2013 lookbook]
[Vogue China Beauty June 2014]
If you’re at the newsstand and happen to pick up the newest issue of Harpers Bazaar, you’ll find Alana working her magic in the shoot entitled “Chic in The Street”:
Photography: Julia Noni
Styling: Joanna Hillman
I’ve been blessed to have such passionate, creative and fashionable friends. They are truly an inspiration to my own sense of style and creativity. So I’ve compiled a set of questions that is geared towards their passion and what makes their style their own. The man behind pokexfashion.
When did you first become interested in fashion?
I first became interested in the world of high fashion (models, photographers, magazines, stylists, editors etc.) when I was 15. I was skimming through the television and passed by CBC as Fashion File was airing (back in the good old days when Tim Blanks did the commentary!) and the Prada Spring/Summer 2005 show was being featured. I paused on the program because I saw Gemma Ward walking down the runway with bleached eyebrows, mono length hair (with the help of extensions), white shirt and man-ish sandals:
I became obsessed with her after that and my interests grew from just Gemma to everything within the fashion world.
But I guess you could say that I was interested in fashion in a general sense when I was a child because I used to wrap a single bedsheet different ways to make Grammy dresses for each Spice Girl.
Tell us about how and why you started you blog(s):
Pokexfashion: school project that morphed into something else: i made physical pokexfashions by tearing editorials out of magazine and cutting pokemon stickers i had and placing the stickers into each editorial. After doing some school work, I decided to try making some on photoshop and 3 years later, I’m still doing it.
Frannyxlife: just wanted another blog to show my creative musings outside of the world of Pokemon.
What are your current favorite pieces in your wardrobe?
- I wear my white creepers almost everyday but now since the weather is permitting, I’ve been wearing the Buffalo x Sole Struck platform sandals.
- blue jeans with the hole at the knee
Tell us about your last purchase:
2 button front plaid shirts - one from J. Crew and one from Junya Watanabe.
What designers do you love?
Juun J. (finally got a piece from him!)
Rei Kawakubo (Comme Des Garcons/ both womenswear and menswear)
Lazaro Hernandez & Jack McCullough (Proenza Schouler)
Pheobe Philo (Celine)
Top style tip?
Rules are meant to be broken; wear what makes you happy.
Top life tip?
Do you. Don’t compare yourself or your life’s trajectory to anyone else’s.
This Is Not A Toy, curated by John Wee Tom and DX Associate Curator Sara Nickleson with Guest Curator Pharrell Williams, is the world’s first exhibition featuring a collection of contemporary sculptures, figurines and artworks created by artists including Takashi Murakami, KAWS, FriendsWithYou, Coarse, Huck Gee, and Frank Kozik.
The exhibition explores the conceptual toy – a form made solely as an expression of an aesthetic, concept or idea – as an art and design object as well as a contemporary cultural signifier. On display until May 19, visitors dive headfirst into the realm of designer toys as the Exhibition Hall is transformed into a vibrant and whimsical environment, filled with forms ranging from tiny trinkets to enormous free-standing pieces.
[selfie game strong]
Of course, there is so much more to look at! Go check it out if you get a chance!
In June of 2013 (back in my blonde days :\), I posted about finding my backpack:
Not too long ago I started to have discomfort in my shoulders and mid back. I tried everything: sleeping flat on my back, tying blankets around my mid section to avoid a slouched posture (really), even asking numerous people to punch me their hardest in my areas of discomfort. Looking at the methods that came out of my desperation, it’s no surprise that none of these things worked. Then it hit me: my bag. The bag that I’ve been carrying for a better part of 2 years. The bag that went everywhere with me. The bag that I carried my whole life in. Sigh, the bag was my problem. You never really think but at any given time, you could be lugging around 15-20 extra pounds with you.
To remedy my situation and relieve my poor back, I decided that I would embark on finding myself a suitable backpack. I know, a backpack? I haven’t had one since purchasing my first man bag at the tender age of 15. It’s not that backpacks aren’t fashionable per se… they’re just synonymous with things such as school, homework, paper bag lunches; general academia. Boring, boring, boring. No thanks to looking like an Asian schoolboy sans uniform. So how would it be possible to use a backpack without looking like I’m under legal drinking age?
Numerous designers and design houses have embraced the backpack and see it comparable to a well made handbag in both functionality and style. For instance, Prada moved on from dowdy librarian to student chic for her spring/summer 2007 collection outfitting models on the runway with turbans, butt cheeks and backpacks. Sasha even sports them in the ad campaign in not one, but two shots. Raf Simons and Kris Van Assche have each collaborated with Eastpak on a line of bags, both featuring an array backpacks. And of course, who can forget Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s $34,000 alligator backpack for their label The Row (or the newly unveiled $16,000 patchwork fur backpack!)
After searching high and low and what seemed like hundreds of bag stores, I found the perfect one! While it would have been fun to find something decked out in fur or settle for one of the many Hello Kitty styles offered at what seemed like every store, I did end up going for something a little more classic(?).
It’s a backpack but not a backpack, get what I’m saying’? I’ve had it for about a week now and my hairspray and cans of tuna fit perfectly in it in addition to the multitude of other things. Long story short, a backpack is the way to go.
At this rate, will I be sporting a fanny pack in the near future? We’ll have to wait and see. (Most likely)
GUESS WHAT? my backpack is still my go-to-everyday-fit-everything-into-it bag. I actually don’t know what I’d do without it as it allows you to do so much! Utility, freedom of arms, and don’t even let me go on about how my shoulders feel so much better. Dora sure had the right idea.
Now I’m not saying that I’m inspired by Dora the Explorer, but I do have a penchant for mushroom cuts.
Switching it up a bit for this Model Monday!
Since I follow both womenswear and menswear intently, I do have my favourites when it comes to male models as well. Comparatively, the shelf life of a male model is not as long as that of a female counterpart but hey, that’s life. But onto the eye candy! - today’s featured model is Tyler Riggs.
Tyler Riggs is the model that had me obsessed with Red Model Management’s roster back when I first saw him at Neil Barrett 2009 (coincidentally his first runway show). I was digging his whole look from his eyes, the lean body and his colourful tattoo; he basically embodied everything I wanted to be when I was in high school.
[7th Man magazine Spring/Summer 2010 issue]
[Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2009]
[Details May 2011]
[Sisley Fall/Winter 2010 *pokexfashion]
Tyler was at the forefront of the “tatted and rough all-american boy” male model movement along with the likes of Cole Mohr and Josh Beech. While he hasn’t been modelling much over this past year, he still pops up periodically - most recently in the April issue of Vogue Korea alongside wife Suvi Koponen (who will have her own Model Monday soon enough!) Have a look:
Vogue Korea April 2014: “Color Of Love”
Photography: Benny Horne
Styling: Ye Young Kim
断捨離 - a japanese term meaning to reduce the number of unnecessary things in one’s life to bring harmony.
For the last quarter of 2013, I was stuck in a rut fashion-wise. My funds were low, my clothing stale and about 3/4 of my wardrobe did not fit due to some weight loss. It was also around this time that I was in the midst of moving and relocating - and this is where 断捨離 came in.
Packing up my closet required a number of boxes and bags. I spent a whole Saturday filling bags with an obscene amount of blazers, shoes and pants in all colours of the rainbow.
But what baffled me was that with all these pieces in my wardrobe, I was literally wearing the same thing everyday; a looser fit button front shirt in a neutral colour and black skinnies. If I basically had an everyday “uniform” and I have to wear the same suit for work on a daily basis, why the need for all the excess?
This question I couldn’t answer and there, my 断捨離 began (clothing-wise). I got rid of my whole wardrobe and started fresh - back to basics.
It was similar to what Erin Wasson experimented with when she sold all of her designer clothing for -$100 in a garage sale back in 2009.
"If I’m working all day and I have a dinner or something, I’ll go from jeans and T-shirt to maybe a simple black dress. Same heels. Same hair and makeup. I really like the idea of being utilitarian. My dream is to edit down my wardrobe and be very Japanese, where you have one rolling rack and it’s like your four T-shirts, your five dresses, your two pairs of jeans. That’s so not the case right now. I have so much crap in my closets. I love the idea of being super edited."
I’m sure I’m not the only one who wears different variations of the same thing everyday. And I’m sure I’m not the only one who wears things so often that that one piece becomes a key identifying feature when trying to be spotted in a crowd. Britney Spears had her uggs, J Lo had her tracksuits and I have my Vancouver Grizzlies hat (secret: I stole it from my brother and I actually know nothing about them).
Does it get stale? You would think but I’m more of a ‘Jil’ than a ‘Donatella’ anyways.
These are the pieces that I’ve been basically rotating between since the beginning of the year:
[Zara Man: here]
[Zara Woman: here]
[Club Monaco: now on sale here]
[my brother’s/mine now: here]
If not wearing any of these, you’ll find me usually in this:
Of course, this isn’t my entire wardrobe and that’s not to say that I have stopped perusing the racks of clothing in stores or that I don’t navigate through online shops once in a while. Now, I’m just a little more privy to debating with myself; “needs vs wants”.
But when you truly want something, it finds a way to manifest itself into a need.
Continuing the trend of Canadian models for Model Monday, today’s subject is the unmatchable Daria Werbowy; sexy, modelesque, commercial and unique all in one. I remember reading an interview with her way back when I started high school, also her debut international season where she still holds the record for opening and closing the most runway shows. Her ease and personality is what really struck a chord with me. I can’t find the exact quote but it was a story she told about receiving a gift from Prada after finishing up shooting the fall 2004 campaign. She was allowed to have anything hanging on the racks at the shoot and she surprised everybody and picked out a leather jacket from the Men’s line. A perfect combination of feminine beauty with tomboy sensibilities.
I’ve recently relocated and now live in her hometown for work but I wouldn’t be ashamed to fib and say that it was actually to feel closer to Daria …of course in a non-creepy way!
You’ve probably seen her staring back at you from her Lancôme ads or on this past February’s model Harpers Bazaar cover. Or maybe it’s from her countless other ad and editorial work:
[Céline Spring/Summer 2014]
[Isabel Marant Spring/Summer 2014]
[Balenciaga by Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2014]
Wherever it was that you’ve seen her, I can argue that you probably thought to yourself, “wow” (or anything that could be classified with ‘wow’ whether to a lesser or greater extent).
Despite being the face of a major make-up brand, Daria is always natural in her candids on Instagram as well as in a slew of her most recent print work. Natural or made-up, it’s not hard to see why Daria is a permanent fixture in the fashion world and also one of my all-time favourites.
Vogue US April 2014:
Photography: Karim Sadli
Styling: Grace Coddington
What is there to say about Meghan Collison? For starters, she’s the perfect mix soft and edgy, her work with Steven Meisel is unmatched, she’s Canadian (represent!) and ever since her debut season, she’s been on my favourites list.
Her first Vogue Italia cover shot by Steven Meisel should be framed and put in a museum - it’s THAT good and she stole the show in her first campaign, Prada Resort 2008. Ever since then, designers, photographers and fashion lovers have all fallen for Meghan.
[Vogue Italia October 2007]
[Prada Resort 2008]
In addition to Prada, she has been featured in ads for Proenza Schouler, Mulberry, Ralph Rucci, just to name a few.
[Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2012]
[Ralph Rucci Fall/Winter 2014]
I’ve used a ton of her work over at pokexfashion as well!
Flipping through the pages of my favourite magazine, her face leapt out at me (as it always does) - have a look! i-D magazine Spring 2014:
i-D Spring 2014
Photographer: Colin Dodgson
Styling: Caroline Newel
Technically a repost from here, but now with the full article (in case anyone was interested in reading!):
Francis Phommisai is a jack-of-all-trades in the truest sense of the phrase - from Livejournal communities to the new fairy-type Pokemon, Phommisai wears his passions on his sleeve, and through his staccato conversation.
It takes skill and a whole lot of Internet culture knowledge to wade through the 24 year-old’s imaginative mind - it’s pop references upon pop references. Having a cup of coffee with him is like having a conference with three different people - there’s just so much information to go around, it’s hard to find a starting point. Despite his creatively chaotic mind, Phommisai is always poker-faced. He might flit through conversation topics like a bird, but he’s always in stone faced neutrality. Maybe it’s desensitization to the pop phenoma the colours him with a “don’t give a damn” attitude. Any North American kid is the same to some degree, really. But as the epitome of an Internet-age artist, Phommisai is breaking the mold of the typical fashion blogger.
It’s a hot and windy Mississauga day, and Phommisai is spending the afternoon like any other Greater Toronto Area suburban creative - at the local Starbucks. Though originally form Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario and having spent time in Oakville for school, Phommisai now calls Mississauga home. After studying advertising at Sheridan College, he scored a job promotion as a store co-ordinator at the local Zara. Phommisai feeds his daily fashion craving through his daytime job, which in retrospect, can be the sweetest vice for any imaginative fashion blogger. At over 16,500 followers, Phommisai’s Pokexfashion Tumblr space is arguably the biggest local niche fashion site - Pokemon and high-fashion ad campaigns are apparently easy reblog material. Taking fashion photos (advertisements, cookbook shots, editorials and the like) and seamlessly Photoshopping Pokemon into them is an ingenious idea, tailor-made for the Internet age and increasingly spilling over to other outlets - Phommisai has already been featured on a number of networks and shows such as MuchMusic, MTV Fora, Complex magazine and Refinery 29 - the simplicity of the concept obviously appeals to the media bigwigs. Fashion outsiders, left field fashion lovers, and the digital generation also gravitate towards his blog. I mean let’s face it, where else could you see Linsey Wixson, clad in a scarlet polka dot Miu Miu coat, smouldering in front of an angry red Gyarados? It’s postmodernism at its finest.
Despite walking away from advertising, it was a school project that initially birthed the “poke x fashion” idea: “We had to do a campaign, and it was supposed to appeal to children. So I just put Pokemon. I used an actual [page] of the magazine and cut up these stickers that I had. I didn’t look at it for maybe a year because it was just a school project,” he muses. In life, pivotal moments tend to reveal themselves in mysterious ways, and it was the same with the blog. After coming across his school project a year after the initial scrapbook aesthetic inception, Phommisai recreated his physical work on Photoshop. Multiple cuts, crops and pastes later, a blog was born (June 2011 to be exact) and as they say, the rest is history.
Undeniably Tumblr famous, with the youth of his generation on lock, it’d be easy to assume all the attention would get to his head. Truthfully, any friend alone of a popular fashion blogger is the cool friend; that must make for big personalities and bigger egos. But, Phommisai is indifferent to it all. “I’m literally neutral to everything that happens,” he explains, deadpan. “Not that I’m not grateful, [it’s] just my personality. It’s always just like: ‘oh, cool.’” It was the same reaction he had when he was contacted by London-based womenswear designer Joanna Pybus. A quirky clothier, Pybus celebrates the 1960’s silhouettes and mixes it with a kawaii print-happy post-modernist attitude - for the fashion folk, think more wearable Jeremy Scott or Lauren Conrad with some J-Pop sensibilities. Naturally, Phommisai’s Poke atheistic adds a rollicking sense of humour; his work was featured in Pybus’ whole SS’13 collection.
It’s a cheeky sense of humour that resonates with the “poke x fashion” follower. Reading between the lines in a must to fully appreciate what Phommisai offers. Imposing a cute Cubone face onto a model’s masked visage in a Givenchy ad levels the fashion playing field. Or a smiling Jigglypuff makes an appearance in a rigid and racy Vogue Italia editorial. Every photo is a message: fashion never has to be reserved for the black-clad and stone-faced. All the Fashion Week hullabaloo, the expensive photo productions, the lavishness of it all; fashion is frivolous, therefore it should be fun, not elitist. Pokexfashion is a visual fashion commentary for the digital, and perhaps only the Internet-bred can understand what Phommisai really means.
It’s no secret that I love me some models but I’ll be honest - the sheer amount of models that debut or blip each season makes it difficult to keep track and tally causing myself to literally be able to identify only a handful of girls when watching or reviewing each runway show.
It’s because of this that I’ve decided to dedicate mondays to my favourite models and entitle it *DRUMROLL*:
Model Monday (original, I know).
The first Model Monday is dedicated to the Kirsten Owen, the glam-grunge Canadian queen. I first laid intensive eyes on Kirsten when she modelled for the 2008 fall/winter Givenchy campaign. She immediately leapt out at me; a strong profile, androgynous face, harsh angles - all things that make up a unique model. Of course this obviously wasn’t her first modelling gig as she was huge in the 90’s known as one of the models at the forefront of androgyny, but it was my first time laying eyes on her and I have been obsessed ever since.
[Givenchy Fall/Winter 2008 - Kirsten Owen & Lara Stone]
[Prada Spring/Summer 2013; Kirsten Owen & Saskia De Brauw]
So it is only to my benefit that she is featured in the May 2014 issue of Numéro Tokyo looking just like how she did when I first fell in lust. Check it out!:
Photographer: Catherine Servel
Styling: Akari Endo-Gaut