Thursday, July 31, 2008

Designer Pronunciations

I came across this list of designer pronunciations and thought to myself, "if people mispronounce high fashion designer names does it make the designer item any less FABULOUS?" This reminds me of a scene in one of my favorite movies, Showgirls, when Elizabeth Berkley calls her dress a VER-SS-ACE rather than a Versace - all I know is that Nomi Malone looked FABULOUS in her VER-SS-ACE! So long as one looks and feels FABULOUS in the designer outfit they're in, what difference does designer pronunciation make? None.

Jude Law for Dior Homme Sport Cologne Commercial

Jude Law is the most recent celebrity to join the ranks of other male celebrities turned high fashion fragrance models (Matthew McCaughnahey for Dolce & Gabanna, Josh Hartnett for Armani, and Justin Timberlake for Givenchy to name a few...). I find it interesting to see which celebrities are selected to represent which fragrances - as these fashion houses are inadvertently socially constructing and redefining concepts of masculinity and what a man should look and smell like through their advertising. Are the celebrities selected for their looks? For their popularity? For their fashion sense? For their attitude? For their scandals? For their behavior in the press? Or all of the above?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Designer Sneakers


Raf Simons


Junya Watanabe (Photo: Mr. Kim)

Lately, there has been an influx of designer sneakers into the shoe market - every major and minor designer has their own sneaker. Although all the major fashion houses have always had their token standard (plain and boring) sneakers, it is only now that ateliers like YSL and Gucci are increasing their sneaker stakes by creating designed sneakers that move way from the traditional sneaker. The running shoe aesthetic is slowly being redefined by visionary designers such as, Raf Simons, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe, just to name a few.

Being the sneaker pimp that I am, I LOVE the creativity and vision that these design houses and designers bring to the sneaker design table and I am looking forward to seeing the extent to which sneakers may be designed. However, designer sneakers also have designer price tags and this may be the downfall of the designer sneaker. Time will tell I suppose, but for the time being catch all the end of summer sales and snatch up a pair of designer kicks for a fraction of the designer price!

Yay to designer sneakers!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Is the Nike Hyperdunk Ad Campaign Homophobic?

Nike has released this new ad campaign for the new Nike Hyperdunk sneakers and I find the visuals very interesting. Nike is known for being provocative and attempting to be shocking in their ads for the sake of publicity and controversy - so these new ads could be perceived as having a latent homophobic slant for the sake of controversy. Specifically, the ad above with the caption "That Ain't Right" could be interpreted in two ways: 1.) that one man's face near another man's crotch "ain't right" 2.) that the action of a male face colliding with a male crotch "ain't right".

The goal of this ad campaign is for it to be seen and the more controversy it can garner, then the more successful the ad campaign will be. I think that Nike could have did a better job if they truly wanted to be controversial and provocative - by having the models grab onto each other, in the same poses, and have more provocative copy (like "Just Do It!" or "Play Hard"). This would definitely result in more controversy and more publicity for Nike. I don't really think that Nike needs to appeal to its homophobic customers, as they probably already buy Nike, rather Nike should show and prove to consumers how fearless and cutting edge the brand likes to believe it is. These ads and this ad media strategy totally reminds of advertising in the 90's when ads were graphic, full of underlying subtexts and coding, highly provocative, and truly controversial.....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stussy: Livin Extra Large

Part 1

Part 2

These two videos featuring the founder of Stussy, Shawn Stussy, from the late 80's have recently surfaced on Youtube. It is interesting to see the humble beginnings of the brand through these videos. I have always been a fan and supporter of Stussy (I remember owning some of the shirts and sunglasses in these videos) as the Stussy brand is always FRESH and at the forefront of influencing and shaping urban/street wear by identifying and collaborating with visionary artists, musicians, DJs, skaters, and trendsetters. Stussy is a brand that is highly respected globally and a brand that continually redefines culture and pop culture as we know it.

Spread the Stussy vibe!!!

Maison Martin Margiela for AIDS Awareness

Maison Martin Margiela has produced this shirt in support of AIDS awareness. It reads, “There is more to be done about fighting AIDS than wearing this t-shirt, but it’s a good start.” I LOVE graphic t-shirts and I applaud Maison Martin Margiela for using fashion to draw attention to such an important cause.

Yay to Maison Martin Margiela!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Garrett Neff: The New Body for Calvin Klein Underwear

Garrett Neff is the new face of Calvin Klein underwear and these photos, shot by Bruce Weber, are part of the new fall campaign. Bruce Weber never dissapoints and he definitely knows how to take the money making underwear shot. Only a small percentage of the population will ever have a body like Garrett Neff, so does buying and wearing Calvin Klein underwear bring us that one step closer to having that perfect body?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hellboy + Adidas = Golden Army Special Edition Sneakers

Adidas Originals, Universal Studios & Guillermo Del Toro (the film's director), and Dark Horse Comics & Mike Mignola (the original comic book artist of Hellboy) collaborated to create these two special edition sneakers to be released in August 2008, coinciding with the release of the movie Hellboy II: The Golden Army.

The first shoe, the Forum Mid-Golden Army, is limited to 5000 pieces worldwide and features gold, black and white, with Hellboy featured on the outsole and footbed. The second shoe, the Stan Mid-Hellboy, is limited to 1000 pieces worldwide and is black with an image of Hellboy featured on the side. Both shoes come in exclusively designed Hellboy shoe boxes and each shoe has its own unique wrapping tissue.

I am a huge fan of designer collaborations and I LOVE the idea of comic book/super hero branding being extended to footwear. Fans of the Hellboy franchise will definitely covet these rare treasures, the only question remaining is will these rare treasures ever be seen on anyone's foot or will they be permanently displayed or stored in order to maintain the resale value of these highly collectible sneakers? I would definitely rock them - shoes are meant to be worn (although purchasing 2 pairs may be tempting - one to wear and one to collect ;-)

Yay to Hellboy + Adidas!!!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is an action packed - comic book - high fantasy orgy!

The story begins with a tale about a war between humankind and the realm of the fantastic. In this ancient war, the realm of the fantastic commands an unstoppable Golden Army of soldiers that inevitably conquers the humans. The ruler of the realm of the fantastic, the Woodland King, calls a truce with the humans and the Golden Army is put into dormancy until they are needed to wage war again. Hell breaks loose when the truce is broken and the fantastic unstoppable creatures set out to conquer the human world. It is up to Hellboy and the heroes of the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD) to stop the ruthless Prince Nuada (exiled son of the Woodland King) and his high fantasy army from conquering the world.

The performances are spot on and this time around we definitely got to see more of each character and their individual abilities and powers. Ron Perlman is perfect as Hellboy and he totally kicked butt. I liked Selma Blair's performance, as pyrokinetic Liz Sherman, much better in this sequel as her character was more dynamic than in the first film and she successfully plays the disaffected outcast and the compassionate loving girlfriend. Doug Jones, as aquatic empath Abe Sapian, has a more important role in this film and I was ecstatic to see his character grow and that he was given more than just the stereotypical sensitive intellectual role to play. James Dodd, as the protoplasmic mystic Johann Krauss, is the newest member of the BPRD and he successfully contributes to the wit and comic relief. Luke Goss (from the 80's Brit pop group Bros), as Prince Nuada, did a stellar job and I was impressed by his action sequences and his overall performance - I was convinced that he was out to conquer the world as we know it.

Guillermo Del Toro, the director and screenplay writer, truly outdid himself with this cinematic masterpiece. The attention to detail in all of the costumes, the creatures, and the CGI backdrops is impeccable. Del Toro's imagination has no boundaries or limits and anything is possible and completely realized in this film. These words ran through my mind throughout the entire film: grand, visually stunning, magnificent, amazing, beautiful, and immaculate. Fans of Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth will definitely love all of the various creatures and high fantasy components - Hellboy II is what Pan's Labyrinth would have been without any budget limitations. I highly recommend this film and seeing it on the big screen in order to fully appreciate the detail of all of the creatures, the special effects, the action sequences, and the cinematography. Don't worry if you missed the first Hellboy movie as this sequel completely stands on its own.

Yay to Hellboy II: The Golden Army!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Walmart Logo

New logo

Old logo

This is the new Walmart logo that was unveiled in America a few days ago. I'm not sure if it is that effective in cleaning up the branding or removing the socioeconomic connotations associated with Walmart, but I guess you can't blame them for trying. Interesting...........

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quantum of Solace Teaser

I am excited for the new Bond film and Bond has never looked as good as he does in this new film/teaser trailer. I love the darkness that Daniel Craig has brought to the Bond character and I can't wait to see how dark and dirty 007 gets in this new film. 40 Tom Ford bespoke suits and 3 Aston Martins were destroyed in the making of Quantum of Solace so we should be in for some explosions and garment sacrificing fight scenes. The reinvention and reinvigoration of the Bond franchise is refreshing and highly anticipatory - I can't wait!!!!

In theaters: UK - October 31, 2008 | Canada/USA - November 7, 2008

Raf Simons + Dr. Martens

The Raf Simons empire has expanded further in this new collaboration with Dr. Martens. I am not sure how I feel about this collaboration as I feel that Dr. Martens should either be a shoe or a boot, but this is exactly what designer collaborations are about - thinking outside of the box. I haven't owned a pair of docs in over 15 years (when I was young, had a chip on my shoulder and was full of teenage angst), but I would definitely entertain trying on any of these Raf Simons versions. I know that the quality is there and that walking in these shoes would be like walking on air thanks to the patented Dr. Martens air soles. I wonder if colored stitching still holds any fashion coding meaning or significance in today's subcultures? I believe that red laces/stitching back in the day meant that the wearer was an anarchist. If so, the use of red stitching in these Raf Simons Dr. Martens is fitting as Raf is all about shaking up the foundation of the fashion norm.

Yay to Raf Simons for Dr. Martens!!!