Category Archives: Spotlight on Style

Jay Kay & Co.

You guys, I just can’t help it…I’m feeling a little — okay, a lot — of ’90s nostalgia today. It’s probably because of this slideshow I perused while sipping my morning tea. So many great shows! So many good songs! So many hideous fashion choices!

But you know who didn’t look hideous in the ’90s? Jay Kay, that’s who. That dude was one stylish mofo.

Confession: I secretly loved that look that British male pop stars were sporting in the mid ’90s — black jeans, Adidas sneaks, oversize zipped hoodies or military duffel coats. In fact, I haven’t really moved on – that’s pretty much the exact outfit I wore all last winter (albeit with a slightly skinnier jean – ya gotta roll with the times).

blur

stone roses

oasis

liam

jay kay

Word.

And just ‘cos I’m digging this ’90s vibe, here are some of my fav songs from that era. Enjoy!

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Spotlight on Style: Military Jackets

When I watch TV shows or movies that are period dramas, I always feel slightly lukewarm about the women’s clothing. Sure, some of those empire-waisted dresses were pretty (Marie Antoinette, with its kaleidoscope of dazzling candy-colored silk frocks, showcased some striking fashion), but in general I far prefer the outfits that the men wore, specifically the military uniforms. I mean, being in the army back then was like one giant fashion show! Seriously, everyone looked totally amazing, with their formal jackets and waistcoats and tall boots. If enlisting meant getting to wear a jacket like this one, I would have signed up in a heartbeat:

marie antoinette

Really, wouldn’t you rather be wearing this fab coat than that boring black dress? *

*Actually, the dress is pretty cool. But the coat is still better.

Rock stars have long recognized the appeal of military garb. Artists such as Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, and Coldplay have all donned military inspired gear.

jimi hendrix

Possibly the best dressed dude ever.

beatles

Juuuust a little bit of LSD involved here.

chris martin

You’re no Jimi, Chris Martin, but this is still a valiant effort.

And then there was the King of Military Jackets (and Pop), Michael Jackson:

MJ

Here is a man who was not afraid to make a fashion statement.

michael jackson

The glitter, the glove, the glasses...this is all 100% gold. Bravo, MJ. Hats off to you, sir.

Luckily, the military look is a fashion trend that will never die, with styles being reimagined every season or two by the industry’s top designers (less luxe versions of which eventually filter down to us plebes who can only afford to shop at the mall):

marc jacobs

Marc Jacobs

balmain

Balmain

dolce & gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana

Dolce & Gabbana


Sidenote: Almost every single piece in D&G’s Fall 2006 runway show was so insanely amazing that the whole thing makes me want to sob with joy. They basically had their models dressed up as Napoleon and Josephine, and the attention to detail is stellar, from the high collars to the crested buttons to the braided gold rope trim. If you’re ever feeling down, check out the slideshow on Style.com – even if you can’t afford them (who can?), it’ll make you feel better just knowing that such beautiful clothes exist.


Girl Crush: Solange Knowles?

Solange

I know, you guys. I’m as surprised about this as you are. I have to be honest with you…I had always sort of dismissed Solange as a low-rent version of Beyonce. And considering that I’m not even all that into Beyonce*, I never really gave Solange the time of day. Until now.

*Although I must say that Beyonce does have quite a few gems in her repetoire, such as this most excellent song, and this one. And her recent HBO documentary certainly proves that she is an amazing live performer with an enviable work ethic.

I was recently introduced to Solange’s EP, True, which was released in November of last year. The first single, Losing You, might be one of the best songs I have heard of late. See for yourselves:

Amazing, right? Super poppy with a fun ’80s-ish vibe. And the clothing! So, so, so great. I love pretty much all of Solange’s outfits here, especially this amazing suit, which I am kind of obsessed with:

Solange

*LOVE* *LOVE* *LOVE* *WANT* *WANT* *WANT*

Here is a girl who is not afraid to mix and match patterns, and I deeply respect that.

Solange

EXHIBIT A

Solange

EXHIBIT B

Solange

EXHIBIT C

Solange

EXHIBIT D

Because honestly, patterns are meant to clash! Why else would they exist? In fact, I would argue that our inherent ability to throw together mismatched fabrics in a jaunty and debonair fashion is what ultimately separates us humans from the animals. Well — that, and opposable thumbs. And oh yeah, the whole sentient thoughts thing. But, you know, other than all that.

Now, you may be wondering about those epic looking dudes in the video sporting awesome suits and posing around Solange with Union Jack umbrellas. As well you should, and not only because they look insanely super rad. The back story of these dandified Congolese gents, known as Sapeurs, is an incredibly fascinating read. You can also see more pics of their sartorial splendor here at photographer Daniele Tamagni’s site.


Spotlight on Style: Converse All Stars

converse all stars

When I was 9 or 10 I got the idea in my head that I wanted a pair of plaid Converse high tops. Believe it or not, they weren’t such an easy thing to find back then. I mean, nowadays you can get all sorts of crazy prints, colors and styles, but at the time it was the mid-’80s, and I wanted a pretty specific color scheme — dark blue and turquoise plaid. I was a very particular 5th grader. I searched for ages but couldn’t find what I was looking for, and finally settled for a classic pair of bubblegum pink ones (whether you are a guy or a girl, 10 years old or 50, you cannot go wrong with pink Converse).

So began my love affair with Converse All Stars. Since then, not a year has gone by that I haven’t worn them. I’ve had numerous pairs — navy, kelly green, black (of course), silver zebra print, turquoise velvet, and most recently white leather. My favourite pair ever were black and white checkered canvas. I bought them in grade 10 and I still have them to this day. They are pretty beat-up by now, as you can see:

all stars

I went to visit my friend Ryan in L.A. the summer after my first year of university, and in the midst of a particularly late night drinking session I inexplicably decided it would be a good idea to color them in black with a magic marker. I regretted this move the next morning, but luckily the black wore off some and you can still see the checkered pattern underneath. I have been wearing them for 20 years and they are still one of the best pairs of shoes I’ve ever had.

 

Not surprisingly, I love it when dudes wear Converse. It’s just such a great look. Gets me every time.

kurt cobain

To this day I have still never stumbled upon a pair that are dark blue and turquoise plaid, but I’ve always got my eyes open. I am confident they will find their way into my life someday.


Pretty In Pink, Isn’t She?

Pretty in Pink

Aw, you guys. Seeing Pretty in Pink on the big screen was just as good as I had hoped it would be. Even though I’ve watched it a million times on DVD (not to mention every time it’s on TV), there’s just something about being there in the theatre getting the full moviegoing experience that makes it really special.

This time around, I kept thinking about the fact that Robert Downey Jr. auditioned for the role of Duckie Dale and came very close to winning the part. If RDJ had been cast, I think it would have been an entirely different movie. I mean, Jon Cryer did an excellent job and imbued the character with a certain exasperating-yet-endearing charm, but there were no sparks between him and Molly Ringwald. If you watch the movie picturing RDJ in the role, you can definitely imagine Andie ending up with Duckie instead of Blane.

This works for me. You?

Anyway, here are my thoughts on seeing the movie again in the theatre, 25 years after the first time…

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I Don’t Mind If You Don’t Mind, Cause I Don’t Shine If You Don’t Shine

sam's town

No, you certainly don’t shine, Brandon Flowers. And yes I do mind.

Look, people, there aren’t many things in the world that I get ridiculously, out-of-my-mind excited about*, but I read an article in Rolling Stone about 3 and a half years ago in which Brandon Flowers described a disco ball suit that he was prototyping and testing out for The Killers’ upcoming tour.

*This is a total lie. There are many things that I get ridiculously, out-of-my-mind excited about.

Well. If you’ve been reading this site for long enough (or likely if you’ve even just met me once) then you know how much I love shiny, glittery things (especially clothing). Imagine a disco ball suit. Like, seriously, close your eyes for a moment and just really take the time to consider the gloriousness of it. A suit made to resemble a disco ball!? How would this work? Would it be heavy? Who would even think of it in the first place? I became obsessed. Ask The Finn, I wouldn’t shut up about it. To this day, when he mentions The Killers and I get a faraway look in my eye, he’s like “You’re thinking about the disco ball suit, aren’t you?”

So, what of said suit? It never materialized. The Finn and I went to see the band on our first wedding anniversary, when they were touring in support of Day & Age (an excellent record) and I was pretty sure by then that the suit wouldn’t make an appearance. I hadn’t heard it mentioned again since that original interview.

I was briefly consoled this past summer by Bono’s laser jacket, but I’m still waiting for the disco ball suit. You gotta dream big, you know? I know it’ll find its way into my life someday. For now, that’s enough.


Walking on Air(Wair)

pete townshend

When my birthday rolled around this year, Thinfinn asked me what I wanted for a present.

“A pair of Docs” I answered immediately.

Like practically every other young person who came of age in the early ’90s, I had owned a pair in high school that I wore until they were worn out. Mine were navy blue, 8-hole, and I got them during the summer between grades 10 and 11. At the time, I loved them for a multitude of reasons: they looked great with everything, they annoyed my mother (“are you going out to kick someone’s head in?” she would ask as I was on my way out the door), and mainly because I just felt badass when I was wearing them.

When I first met The Finn he was still rocking the pair of 8-hole ox bloods he’s had since the ’90s, and I just thought they looked so cool. After he purchased a pair of 8-hole cherry reds a couple of years ago, I seriously started obsessing on the idea of picking up a pair for myself. I didn’t want to rush into it though. With these boots, the more worn in they are the better, so I knew mine had to be ones that I’d want to wear all the time.

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LTEV Photo Shoot: Star Wars

As a companion piece to our Spotlight on Style: Star Wars feature, Donkeysuit and I attempt to re-create an image from the movie.

THE INSPIRATION:

holochess

Holochess on the Millennium Falcon


THE RE-CREATION:

holochess, LTRV-style

Spencer as C3P0, Donkeysuit as Chewie

holochess pieces




Spotlight on Style: Star Wars

star wars style

Look, guys, I know what you’re thinking. What does Star Wars have to do with music, right? Um, hello, it only has the BEST MOVIE SCORE of all time (John Williams I ♥ u 4ever). To this day, whenever I hear the 20th Century Fox intro at the beginning of a movie I get chills, because it’s so closely linked in my mind to the opening bars of the Star Wars theme.

Sigh.

Best. Movies. Ever.

There was just so much to love about the first three (Episodes IV, V, and VI, that is). Intergalactic warfare. Rakish smugglers. Droids!! Ewoks, bounty hunters, a city in the clouds. The dark side of the force. Darth vader. Yoda. A love triangle (at least, until the incestuous aspect of it was revealed. Ew). Good vs. evil. Jedi masters, fighter pilots, the Death Star….

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Spotlight on Style: Jimi Hendrix

everyone knows that rock stars have the best style. they can get away with wearing the most outrageous ensembles (bootsy collins, seriously, wtf) and no one so much as bats an eyelash. i have a theory for why this is the case: a) they don’t have corporate day jobs that require them to wear stuffy work clothes, and b) they are somewhat insane.

our first “spotlight on style” profiles a man who needs no introduction. one of the greatest guitar players of all time, he was also an exceptionally stylish fellow. he fused day-glo psychedelic patterns, boho-esque flowing scarves, and sgt. pepper-style military regalia into one sartorially splendorific mess.

let us examine some of his most flamboyant stylings:

SGT. PEPPER ON ACID:

jimi was clearly a fan of the military jacket, and he rocked it hard, pairing it with skinny trousers & gold medallions:

jimi hendrix military jacket 1

jimi hendrix drumming

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