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Fall 2018 LIMITED EDITION
4 4 c u L t u r e When do selfies and
self-care cross the line into narcissism? 4 6 c h o i c e The good, the bad and
the ugly of getting (and removing) implants. 4 8 m i n d Katherine Gougeon discovers
that self-deception isn’t such a bad thing.
CUltUre 15 Let ter from the editor
16 Behind the scenes 17 contriButors 18 readers’ Letters
upcoming novel will terrify you. 2 3 r u n w a y Berlin Fashion
Week’s top accessory? A glow stick. 2 4 t h e L i s t Buying into the bucket shape; wearing logos loud and proud; looking to the end of summer in bright white sunglasses. 2 8 P r o f i L e A bra fitting with
Beverly Johnson could change your life.
2 2 n e w s Protecting models in
3 0 t r e n d If we can’t transcend
the #MeToo era; a graffiti-clad capsule collection; a supermodel who prefers the title “supermom.”
3 2 s h i f t The fake-fur debate
on the cover
Photography by Max Abadian, styling by Sophie Lopez, creative direction by Brittany Eccles. Alison Brie wears a top, price upon request, Mary Katrantzou. Hair, Mark Townsend for Starworks Artists/Dove Haircare. Makeup, Melanie Inglessis for Forward Artists. Manicure, Mazz Hanna for Chanel Le Vernis. Fashion assistant, Thanda Gibson.
the news, we might as well wear it. is very real.
BeAUty & heAlth 3 6 f i x Next-gen nail colours; new
additions to a cult-favourite line; an honest dose of skincare suggestions. 3 8 P r o f i L e Dame Helen Mirren
5 6 f e a t u r e The budding cannabis
industry proves weed is more than a gateway drug for potheads and wake ’n’ bakers. 6 0 t h e m o o d The hustle and
bustle ends in August. 6 2 c o v e r A very L.A. morning
spent working out and eating breakfast with Alison Brie. Photography by Max Abadian. 7 2 e s s a y Memories may change—
but they still matter.
fAshion 79 th e m ixoLog ist
Photography by Brent Goldsmith.
explore 9 2 c o n t r a s t s Georgia is a coun-
wants to help you get battle-ready.
try of contradictions, but that doesn’t make it any less earnest.
4 0 P r o f i L e Too Faced celebrates
9 6 c o n t r a s t s Vacations are
two decades of good times and glitter. 4 2 f r a g r a n c e Soft-pink
lies, and travellers are liars—especially in Las Vegas.
shades and sticky-sweet scents to take you into summer’s final stretch.
9 8 f i n i s h i n g t o u c h Jenny Bird’s plated jewellery is the real deal.
photography by brent goldsmith
AlwAys in fAshion
5 2 i n t e r v i e w Miriam Toews’s
editor-in-chief noreen flanagan creative director brittany eccles executive editor jacquelyn francis fashion editor eliza grossman fashion editor-at-large zeina esmail contributing editor george antonopoulos fashion features editor isabel b. slone features editor greg hudson beauty director lesa hannah beauty editor souzan michael health and copy editor emilie dingfeld (on leave) production editor d’loraine miranda copy editors/proofreaders marjorie dunham-landry, jane fielding editorial assistant lindsay cooper associate art director danielle campbell junior photo editor tiffany voiadzis contributing western editor joy pecknold editorial interns ebony goodridge, lauren hazlewood, jamie hoholuk, dila ozsoy
associate editors pahull bains, meghan mckenna video editor benjamin reyes contributors max abadian, caitlin agnew, jillian amos, tim aylward, michelle bilodeau, paco blancas, stephanie deangelis, thanda gibson, brent goldsmith, katherine gougeon, mazz hanna, daniel harrison, melanie inglessis, sophie lopez, craille maguire gillies, juliana schiavinatto, wendy schmid, sarah selecky, mark townsend, lotte van noort, cherry wang, nancy won director of production maria mendes production coordinator brittany wong
production manager caroline potter prepress coordinator alexandra irving
vice-president & group publisher jacqueline loch general manager, advertising sales kelly whitelock senior national account managers deidre marinelli, susan mulvihill retail account manager sue freeman senior sales coordinator wendy brake national account manager, interactive susey harmer montreal eastern general manager bettina magliocco national account & retail sales manager suzie carrier calgary & edmonton account manager liz duerksen 204-582-4999, 877-999-1890 vancouver retail sales & national account manager sandra beaton 604-736-5586 ext. 213, 866-727-5586 marketing director jessika j. fink director of events and experiential carrie gillis marketing & communications associate drydon chow marketing design associate glenn pritchard production designer jonathan wong marketing & events interns prima corindia, olivia stampone director, integrated client solutions nevien azzam custom content project manager krista gagliano director, digital sheldon sawchuk senior manager, digital product david topping product manager, digital advertising strategy cody gault project managers asmahan garrib, ada tat art director, digital jennifer abela-froese digital designers urszula dobrowolska, scott rankin manager, digital services adam campbell senior program manager damion nurse digital project coordinator dina kearney newsstand/consumer marketing director annie gabrielian consumer marketing director rui costa consumer marketing assistant manager amanda graham credit manager carmen greene collection specialist patricia tsoporis controller dora brenndorfer senior accountant maryanne foti accounts payable specialist ruth muirhead senior human resources manager anjana yachamanani human resources generalist lisa alli office services supervisor glenn cullen office services garfield stoddard administrative assistant carol bieler director, i.t. jp timmerman i.t. manager eagle huang st. joseph communications, media Group chairman tony gagliano president douglas kelly general manager & v.p. finance richard wong v.p. consumer marketing & production darlene storey v.p. strategy duncan clark v.p. research clarence poirier fashion magazine 111 queen st. e., suite 320, toronto, on m 5c 1 s2 phone 416-364-3333 fax 416-594-3374 montreal office 1155 boulevard robert-bourassa, suite 1301 , montreal, qc h 3b 3a7 phone 514-284-2552 fax 514-284-4492 vancouver office 510 – 1755 west broadway, vancouver, bc v6j 4 s 5 phone 604-736-5586 fax 604-736-3465 fashion magazine august 2018 · volume 53 issue 7 · printing: st. joseph printing · date of issue: july 2018 · subscription inquiries: 800-757-3977 fashion magazine annual subscription price: $15.95 plus hst (10 issues, published february, march, april, may, summer, august, september, october, november and winter). single copies: $4.99. united states, one year: $22.95. all other countries: $27.95. to change your subscription address, please send your new and old addresses to: subscription department, fashion magazine, p.o. box 825, stn. main, markham, on l 3p 8c8, at least six weeks in advance. the publisher accepts no responsibility for advertiser claims, or unsolicited manuscripts, transparencies or other materials. no part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the publishers. copyright 2018 st. joseph media inc. all rights reserved. we acknowledge the financial support of the government of canada. circulation audited by alliance for audited media. publications mail agreement no. 42494512. return undeliverable canadian addresses to p.o. box 825, stn. main, markham, on l 3p 8c8. fashion magazine is distributed by coast to coast newsstand services limited. issn 1496-578 x. through partners in growth®, fashion magazine is helping st. joseph communications, media group and scouts canada replenish the environment. a seedling will be planted on behalf of every ton of paper used in the printing of this magazine.
editor’S letter Liar,Liar
PhotograPhy by Erin rEynolds
For our truth-themed issue, we asked readers to take our “Lying Survey” online. Turns out 29 per cent of you said you don’t think lying is bad. So what do you lie about? 87% of you lie about being happy when you’re not. 53% of you lie about your weight. 25% of you lie about your age. 50% of you lie about being content with your body. 18% of you lie about your drug use. 21% of you lie about your alcohol use. 33% of you lie about snooping on your partner. 45% of you lie about being happy/content with your partner. 14% of you lie about your political views. 11% of you lie about your religious views. 9% of you lie about whether you want children. 31% of you lie about your sexual history. 46% of you lie about your sexual satisfaction with your partner. 19% of you lie about having affairs.
e live in a world where curated Instagram feeds filter the truth and where leaders who have a Trumpian-like fondness for falsehoods are rewarded. But I think (hope) we’re reaching a tipping point. Perhaps fashion designers are tapping into our cultural yearning for truth with the return of the newspaper print. We saw it at Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, Helmut Lang and John Galliano. At Sacai Menswear, they printed a New York Times ad on a black tee that read “Truth. It’s more important now than ever.” In “Fit to Print” (page 30), our fashion features editor Isabel B. Slone writes that “political news has replaced celebrity gossip as the mainstay of currentday conversation…. Realism is replacing escapism as the appropriate reaction to what is happening in the world.” But how honest are we with others and ourselves? If you think you’re not a liar, you’re just lying to yourself. You’ve been fabricating the truth since you were six months old, according to Dr. Vasudevi Reddy, a researcher and psychology professor at the University of Portsmouth in Portsmouth, England. “Fake crying is one of the earliest forms of decep-
tion to emerge, and infants use it to get attention even though nothing is wrong,” Reddy told The Telegraph. “It demonstrates they’re clearly able to distinguish that what they are doing will have an effect. This is essentially [what] all adults do when they tell lies, except in adults it becomes more morally loaded.” Well, morally loaded for some. As of May 1, President Trump had made 3,001 false or misleading claims, according to The Washington Post. This averages out to nearly 6.5 #fake utterances a day. Before you get horrified (quite rightly), it turns out that most of us are only slightly behind the president when it comes to our per diem fibs. A study funded by WKD, a British vodka brand, found that men lie on average five times a day and for women it’s three. And if you think you can spot a liar, you’re also wrong. According to psychologist Robert S. Feldman, who did the research, there’s only a fifty-fifty chance you’ll suspect something’s up because we’re wired to want to believe what people are telling us—especially if it makes us feel better about ourselves. He calls it our “truth bias.” While we may lament that we live in a post-truth era, Robin Hanson and Kevin Simler, authors of The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, argue that we’ve always been biologically hardwired to lie. They even go so far as to suggest that we have a “limited budget for honesty.” Apparently this miserly appetite for veracity serves us well. In “The Dark Yet Life-Affirming Magic of SelfDeception” (page 48), they tell writer Katherine Gougeon that our brain acts like a “press secretary, constantly putting the most noble spin on our choices and behaviours while keeping our conscious minds in the dark.” But even if our inner Sarah Huckabee Sanders is spinning her best yarns, we still crave the truth—though, as Oscar Wilde said, “the truth is rarely pure and never simple.” And that’s the truth.
NoreeN FlaNagaN, editor-iN-cHieF follow me on t wit ter and instagram @noreen_flanagan
Glow Getter Get tHe look
bAre minerAlS lashtopia ($25 )
Long, defined lashes and a timeless blowout allow metallic nails to steal the spotlight.
deSign.me fab. me multi-benefit lotion ($25 )
SAlly hAnSen miracle gel ($12) in “golden glow”
Alison Brie shines bright in this season’s best sparkle.
shop the shoot Get your shimmer on in OTT pieces like a sequined dress and glossy shoes.
erA at shopbop $1,575 mAlOne SOulierS $780 ASOS $310
“There’s more to me. There’s untapped resources you guys don’t even know about.” t H E
S O C i A L
L i f E
@marktownsend1 The man behind the Olsens’ signature beachy waves also styled the effortlessly cool bob and piece-y bangs seen on our cover star in “Alison Brie Keeps Glowing Stronger and Stronger” (page 62).
C K Y LE
C A S
@sarahselecky This Ontariobased writer favours the dog days of summer; she writes about the beauty of ennui in this issue’s Mood essay (page 60). Instead of job hunting, Selecky created her own dream job in 2011: an online creative writing school.
E A R A H
A R K
E N d N S
A N C Y
@nancywon In “Higher Pursuits” (page 56), Won chats with women cashing in on the green rush that is Canada’s cannabis industry. “It’s the next tech boom, and we are the Silicon Valley,” she says. “It’s exciting!”
PhotograPhy: maIN By maX aBaDIaN; WoN By Saty+Pratha; toWNSeND By hIlary WalSh; SeleCKy By mIChelle yee; BlaNCaS By marK aBrahamS.
@pacoblancas You may have heard of some of the models this makeup artist has worked with. (Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Linda Evangelista, anyone?) His work is featured in “The Mixologist” (page 80).
letters @ Fa s h i o n c a n a da
Reader of the Month
i n s Tag r a m
I really enjoyed the Beauty Nostalgia package in the Summer issue, especially Leah Rumack’s “My Teen Queens” essay. I could definitely relate to Rumack’s stories of schoolgirl friendships being rather intense, but it’s the way she weaves details—like choosing a lipstick shade as a vehicle to explore the nature of a friendship and its intricacies—that makes for such a compelling read. Thanks for including an article that I’ll read over and over again and that gives me joy. —Caroline Chuang
P r e g n a n T P a u s e Your article on egg freezing, “Frozen Assets” [May 2018], was well researched and is easy to read. It chronicles a painful subject that many women face but are afraid to discuss. Difficulty conceiving and infertility are not things that women think about when they put off motherhood to pursue their education or career or are fulfilling a desire to travel around the world. Many do not realize until they are in their 30s that they are having a harder time getting pregnant. Thanks for broaching a subject that deserves some attention and openness. —Susan
W i n n e r !
Caroline Chuang won an Aldo (aldoshoes.com) gift card valued at $250. We’ll give away another great prize next month, but you have to write in for a chance to win: firstname.lastname@example.org.
18 F A S H I O N | AUGUST 2018
u n c o n d i T i o n a l l o v e I just finished the article “Mother, May I?” [May 2018]. As I read it, I recalled some of my own experiences with my mother and our journey. Most of my memories are filled with laughter, love and lots of lessons. My mother wasn’t Joan Crawford, but she was a strong southern Italian mother! She made me the strong, independent, loving and hard-working person I am today. Being a mother has to be the hardest career. They give us unconditional love, and all they want in return is appreciation. When we achieve greatness, they achieve it with us; when we fail, they feel it more than us. I think we become free spirits when our mothers push us out of the nest; all we can do is learn to fly! —Gia Maggiore k i c k i n ’ i T ! Thank you for featuring “Sneak Easy” in your April 2018 issue. I am skeptical about sneakers. I wear a 9.5 to 10 and think my feet look gigantic, but the Pumas you featured fit my size. They look simply fab! —Ada
(Letters and tweets may be edited.)
I talked to Courtney Barnett for @FashionCanada!
@glenn_pritchard Desk reads @FashionCanada #FASHIONmagazine
T W e e T s “‘The number of women who chose to freeze their eggs in the United States grew by more than eight times between 2009 and 2013.’ Excellent piece about knowing your options, by @blairmlo @FashionCanada.” —@vchanimal “@FashionCanada For a magazine called FASHION, it regularly has excellent politics and society coverage. It’s a great read.” —@jcvillamere
PhotograPhy: brown by arkan zakharov
T a k e n a b a c k Your Summer 2018 issue was an interesting read. Thank you for the article “Take Back” [about Outland Denim’s involvement with a rural factory in Cambodia that employs people who have been rescued from trafficking or sexual exploitation or those who are at risk]. Not many magazines would brave the topic of sex trafficking and how fashion can become a way out for victims. Bravo to founder James Bartle! —Jade
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editor: jacquelyn francis. photography by daniel harrison. bag, $2,540, louis vuitton.
When you have one of the most recognized logos in fashion, it doesnâ€™t hurt to spell your name out every now and then. For more logoembellished pieces, turn to page 26.
august 2018 | F A S H I O N
styleNEWS moDeL aDwoa aboah is the bFC’s positive Fashion ambassaDor For moDeL heaLth anD Diversity
Tag TEam A nod to New York City’s bygone days,
I IB LIT
We travelled to Montreal for the launch of Ssense’s new flagship location (418 St-Sulpice Street) and gently subjected the brand’s editor-in-chief, Joerg Koch, to the Proust Questionnaire—which he hated, by the way. Which living person do you most admire? “That’s a hero question. Do you have a hero? Probably not.” What trait do you most deplore in yourself? “Laziness.” What traits do you most deplore in others? “Greediness and selfishness.” What is your greatest extravagance?
“Well, I’m German, so I could say my car. But people are so often unhappy, so the greatest extravagances, I think, are being really chill with yourself and being happy.” What is your current state of mind? “Thinking of gin and tonics at the Maple Leaf Lounge at the Montreal airport before going home.” —I.B.S.
Everyone knows that models are genetically blessed, but it’s still a surprise to learn that ’90s supermodel Niki Taylor is 43 years old. Since bursting onto the modelling scene at 13, Taylor has done a lot of living. In 1996, she made fashion history by appearing on the cover of six major American magazines in one month. But after a near-fatal car crash in 2001, Taylor is a glowing example of someone who knows they’re lucky to be alive. Maybe that’s why she bristles when she’s referred to as a supermodel. “I think everybody takes up the term of supermodel,” she says while in Toronto to shoot the Up! Pants Fall 2018 look book, adding that as a mother of four, she’d rather be known as a supermom trying to juggle a family, a career and close-to-herheart charities like the Red Cross. “For over 10 years now, I’ve been encouraging people to roll up their sleeves and give back,” she says. “I owe my life to blood donors.” —Jacquelyn Francis
photography: aboah and runway by imaxtree
Hollywood might be where the #MeToo earthquake struck, but its tremors are being felt far and wide. It wasn’t long before the aftershocks hit the fashion industry, where models have begun to speak up for their privacy and safety. At the opening ceremony of the Fall 2018 season, the British Fashion Council (BFC), which heads up London Fashion Week (LFW), announced its involvement with the British Fashion Model Agents Association (BFMAA), along with leading U.K. modelling agencies, to launch its Models First Initiative, part of the BFC’s Positive Fashion campaign. “The BFC and BFMAA want to lead the way in setting codes of practice that model agencies and the industry can sign up to,” says Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC. Some of the things they’ve already put in place include (1) a confidential helpline that models (both men and women) can call for support and guidance during LFW, (2) compulsory private changing areas where models at the official LFW venue (with plans to soon include external show venues) can undress and change without the threat of being photographed and (3) a private space for models to eat, drink and relax between shows. “We want everyone to be proud of this industry and to work together to stamp out any form of maltreatment or abuse,” says Rush. According to Adwoa Aboah, the BFC’s Positive Fashion ambassador for model health and diversity, every such move taken by the people and organizations in power is a step in the right direction. “For me, as a woman and a model, these efforts provide a growing sense of comfort and confidence that we are taking the right initial steps toward systematically changing the way we collectively work to protect the safety and rights of models in the industry.” —Pahull Bains
the new MICHAEL Michael Kors graffiti capsule collection hearkens back to an era when Kors was still a curlyheaded budding designer. “I started my company in 1981, at a time when uptown and downtown were really colliding. Uptown girls partied downtown at the Mudd Club. Artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat showed their work at PS1, yet you’d still be just as likely to find their signatures on the side of a building in the Lower East Side or your subway car,” says Kors. While New York’s days of squalid glory may be firmly lodged in the past, you can relive its vibrant heyday via the jittery street-art-inspired tags splashed onto handbags and shoes, available worldwide in July 2018. —Isabel B. Slone
Happy Hardcore Marc Cain goes underground for fall.
hen the invite to the Marc Cain show at Berlin Fashion Week arrives at my hotel room, it comes with a curious accessory: a glow stick. I’m slightly puzzled, but the glow stick turns out to be a brilliant act of foreshadowing: The show takes place underground in an empty tunnel beneath Potsdamer Platz station, and the runway is intersected with graffiti-covered pillars, like some kind of gritty electronic rave. As I arrive at the station for the show, a cold, brutal rain beats down on the city, punishing all the peacocking showgoers. I overhear one colourfully clad attendee say to another, “It’s a German winter.” Once I’m safely ensconced in the surprisingly spacious tunnel and begin to dry off, the show kicks off with a banging ’80s soundtrack of Pat Benatar and AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.” The next 15 minutes are a whirlwind of velvet power suits, monochrome magenta and white pointy-toed shoes that wouldn’t look out of place on Molly Ringwald circa her Brat Pack years. Georgia Fowler, a Victoria’s Secret model, opens the show, and a gaggle of European influencers, including Nina Suess and Caroline Daur, commandeer the front row. The next day, I’m whisked away on a private jet embossed with the Marc Cain logo—seriously—for a tour of the brand’s headquarters in the tiny village of Bodelshausen, 45 minutes outside of Stuttgart. As I step inside, I see that every single detail has been considered—even the fire extinguishers are painted white. The factory, which resembles an efficient, immaculate Santa’s Workshop, spits out candy-coloured sweaters that are knit using technology that combines mechanical knitting with 3-D printing. The brand’s founder, Helmut Schlotterer, an intimidating Teuton of few words, speaks of Marc Cain’s unexpected Canadian connection: He named the brand after an old Canadian buddy who he thought had a catchy name. “My name was too hard to pronounce,” says Schlotterer. No doubt the name will be on the lips of Canadians this upcoming season. —Isabel B. Slone
Prada $380 BCBG at nordstrom $40
Cafuné at shopbop $695 GuCCi at farfe tch $930
danse lente $585
EDITOR: ElIza gROssman. phOTOgRaphy: sTREET sTylE by ImaxTREE.
Whether it’s on your head or your arm, there’s only one shape to covet this season.
tommy Jeans $50
simon miller at nordstrom $1,340
With the brand MIu MIu $1,200
Give a nod to the ’90s and wear your favourite logo loud and proud.
verSAce AT SSenSe $595
J.W. ANderSON AT neT-ApoRTeR $1,050
HILFIGer cOLLectION $390
LOuIS vuIttON Top And boT TomS $495 eAch
EDITOR: ElIza gROssman. phOTOgRaphy: Runway by ImaxTREE.
MA X MArA $3,245
FeNdI $1,100 LevI'S $130
26 F A S H I O N | AUGUST 2018
EDITOR: ElIza gROssman. phOTOgRaphy by DanIEl haRRIsOn.
SOAK UP the SUn
Whether retro or futuristic, the right pair of stark white sunnies will keep you looking cool all season long.
1. cHrIStOpHer kANe $480 2. GuccI $530 3. MIu MIu at holt renfrew $530 4. le SpecS at Zane $165 5. cutler ANd GrOSS $560
august 2018 | F A S H I O N
The Fairy Bra Mother
With Beverly Johnson’s help, you can take the matter of underthings into your own hands.
everly Johnson’s nickname, “the fairy bra mother,” is apt for two reasons: (1) As a tiny, elfin woman with chipmunk cheeks and dyed brown bangs, she truly does resemble Cinderella’s fairy godmother and (2) a bra fitting with her might change your life. Before she became an internationally known brassiere doyenne, Johnson was a home economics teacher, costume designer, sewing educator and drapery maker. In 1999, she launched her company—Bra-makers Supply—and decided to focus her talents on teaching women how to make their own bras with high-quality fabrics that home sewers hadn’t been able to access before. Johnson first became curious about bras after taking a belly-dancing class while living overseas
on a military base in Germany with her first husband in the late 1970s. She was enamoured with the glitz of the belly-dancing costumes but felt that most of the bras on offer were either skimpy or ill-fitting. Ironically, Johnson’s interest in bras was piqued during a time when many feminists were choosing to eschew the undergarment. “That was never an option for me,” she laughs. “I was not self-supporting past the age of 16.” When Johnson first decided to learn how to sew bras, there were no patterns for home sewers, so she coupled her education in home economics with her expertise in sewing and began to carefully dissect off-the-rack bras, detailing their key design elements and flaws. Today, the effervescent yet nononsense seamstress runs one of the most popular bra-making classes in North America out of her aggressively-pink-hued retail shop in Hamilton, Ont.
photography by Daniel harrison
By Isabel B. Slone
She estimates that she has taught nearly 40,000 people—in person or through online classes—how to make their own bras. Business ramped up significantly in 2013, when website Craftsy asked her to record a bra-making instructional video for its site. “It took 10 years to teach the first 10,000 students in hands-on classes,” says Johnson. “With Craftsy, we reached 10,000 in a single year. We were the top-selling sewing class two years in a row.” To date, Craftsy accounts for almost 30,000 of Johnson’s students. Some of her Craftsy pupils have made a pilgrimage to her shop and been starstruck. “One woman said she has almost all of my script memorized,” she says. For many women, finding a perfect-fitting bra is the metaphorical equivalent to the quest for the Holy Grail. In other words, it’s an ultimately unattainable sartorial goal. Johnson, however, has pioneered a foolproof pattern that can be nipped and tucked to accommodate any form, whether
think I would have found a better solution,” she says. I signed up for Johnson’s two-day beginner bra-making course because I was intrigued by the possibility of sewing my own bra and also, frankly, because I needed a new one. Specialty sizes are pricey, so I only own three 30C bras, and I was getting bored with my current options. After a quick introduction, I found myself in a private room with Johnson having my breasts measured alfresco. She kindly noted that I have an “even set,” and it turned out my boobs had grown a cup size since my last measurement (one of the unexpected bonuses of weight gain). After the seven other students in the class learned their size, Johnson gave us a pattern that we snipped out based on our exact measurements. The fabrics we used—Powernet and Duoplex—sound more like high-performance hockey gear than delicate bra materials. First, we joined the cups together, and then we sewed them
When you’re wearing an ill-fitting bra, there’s this base level of being uncomfortable that seeps into everything you do. your breasts are cantaloupes or kumquats—or perhaps one of each. Many women who have undergone mastectomies come to Johnson to learn how to make a custom bra. “Sometimes I’m the first person who has seen [a student] naked since their surgery,” she says. Meghan Brondos, a curly-haired Wisconsinite, came to Johnson as a last resort. With a slightly larger left breast, a small rib cage and size D cups, she had been plagued by bra problems as far back as high school. “I was sick of spending money on things that didn’t fit,” she says. Even a dalliance with ThirdLove’s bras in half-cup sizes failed to solve her fit issues. “I thought, ‘If this woman can’t help me, it’s my last chance,’” she says. Brondos had never handled a sewing machine in her life but learned how to sew specifically in order to take Johnson’s class. The bra she made is the first one she’s ever worn that fits properly—she finds herself reaching for it more than any other bra in her lingerie drawer. “When you’re wearing an ill-fitting bra, there’s this base level of being uncomfortable that seeps into everything you do,” she says. But in her custom bra, Brondos feels a subtle boost of confidence. “If I hadn’t taken the class, I don’t
into the band. Next, we added the channelling, a fuzzy tube that encases the underwire. Using a zigzag stitch, we attached elastic to the bottom of the band and sewed on the straps. The final tasks were sewing on the hook and eye and threading the underwire into the bottom of the cups. While my sewing skill level is decidedly beginner (the class calls for an intermediate level of experience), sewing the bra was easier than I had expected. Even if my stitching is off-kilter and the cups ended up slightly puckered, it still feels pretty good to wear. The band is much tighter than on my other bras, which adds support and moves with my body. It’s not a sports bra, but it’s baseline comfortable enough to wear to the gym. What it isn’t, however, is pretty. This is not a first-dateworthy bra. Johnson’s favourite thing to hear from her students at the end of a class is that it doesn’t feel like they’re wearing a bra. “That’s music to our ears as bra makers,” she says. “They don’t feel the wire digging in, they don’t feel the straps falling off and they don’t feel the band pinching them. All of those issues are suddenly gone. It’s like we’ve unlocked a door.”
PhotograPhy: runway by imaxtree; newsPrint by istock.
clockwise (FRoM leF T): john galliano, sacai MensweaR, gabRiela heaRsT anD Ã© TUDes MensweaR, all Fall 2018
Fit to Print You got the slogan T-shirt—now it’s time to read the whole truth. By Isabel B. Slone
he year was 2000 when Sex and the City’s stylish anti-hero, Carrie Bradshaw, sashayed into a restaurant wearing a clingy Dior newsprint dress designed by John Galliano to apologize to Big’s ex-wife for being “the other woman.” Yet somehow it was the dress, and not Carrie’s monumentally selfish behaviour, that triumphed by being the most memorable part of the show. Nearly two decades later, designer Bill Gaytten resurrected the iconic print for Galliano’s Fall 2018 runway, slapping it sideways onto slip-dresses, fluttery silk skirts and ghostlike transparent rain jackets. Time to wake up and smell the headlines. The return of newsprint clothing is a refreshing change from the brash slogan T-shirts that dominated seasons past. Sacai’s Fall 2018 menswear collection valorized Donald Trump’s favourite punching bag, the “failing” New York Times, by emblazoning the paper’s rallying cry on basic tees, and Gabriela Hearst debuted a silky dress featuring “all the news that’s fit to print.” In contrast, Dior’s “We Should All Be Feminists” and Jonathan Simkhai’s “Feminist AF” shirts have begun to ring hollow without the accompanying actions to back them up, which suggests that the world aches for nuanced analysis over scorching hot takes. We get it—you’re feminist. Now read the fine print. Newsprint clothing isn’t exactly new, of course; it dates back to 1911, when Paul Poiret designed a paper tunic decorated with ads and phone book listings. Surrealist designer Elsa Schiaparelli also lent her irreverent eye to newsprint, overlaying real-life press clippings of her work onto scarves, blouses and hats.
Beth Dincuff, a fashion historian and professor at Parsons The New School in NYC, interprets Schiaparelli’s appropriation of the press as “a unique way of controlling her message.” Whereas Schiaparelli used actual reviews of her work, Galliano’s early newsprint dress was based on somewhat self-aggrandizing fake articles. “Galliano would have had more artistic control in designing a print than he would have in writing a press release,” says Dincuff. “But both Schiaparelli’s and Galliano’s prints act as media for self-expression that bypass any non-design room editing.” While previous 20th-century iterations of the newsprint trend were splashy and lighthearted (Franco Moschino offered up his own cheeky take on the pattern circa the ’80s), the current-day resurgence has taken on a more serious tone—one that prioritizes survival over aesthetics. The timing and prevalence of this trend suggest that fashion, which has typically been rooted in aspirational messaging, is coming down to earth. Political news has replaced celebrity gossip as the mainstay of current-day conversation, and even Hollywood, a place where the law of the land seemingly does not apply, seems to be making up for lost time with the #MeToo movement and the Time’s Up campaign. Realism is replacing escapism as the appropriate reaction to what is happening in the world. Since we can no longer escape the pulsating badnews cycle—nor should we—it has become natural to appropriate it. With politics at the forefront of culture, the newsprint trend appears to be the fashion world’s acquiescence to the cultural conversations of the day. If we can’t transcend the news, we might as well wear it.
Fall 2018 mary k atr antzou
ne of the most enduring fashion visuals from the 1990s Club Kids scene is Deee-Lite’s video for “Groove Is in the Heart.” In it, the beyond fabulous Lady Miss Kier is wearing a bouffant hairdo, short shorts and a fluffy white coat next to which appear the words “Fake Fur.” It made the statement that fake can be fabulous—and the trend is proving to be especially true in 2018 as imitation fur goes from faux pas to fierce must-have. Like so many of the most creative runway trends, the current faux fur revival traces its fuzzy origins to Miuccia Prada. At her Fall 2017 show for Miu Miu, models were swathed in retro-inspired faux coats, hats, accessories and boots. For Fall 2018, faux was spotted on the runways in a variety of styles, from shaggadelic at Dries Van Noten to multi-textured at Stella McCartney, a longtime animal-rights activist. Available in a rainbow of colours and soft-tothe-touch textures ranging from realistic to Muppet, the highly photogenic fabric has even earned its own hashtag on Instagram, where stars like Vanessa Hudgens have captioned their #OOTD posts with #faux or #fauxfur.
As designers turn their backs on real fur, Caitlin Agnew speaks with the creative minds behind the high-end fakes.
stell a mccartne y
In keeping with the spirit of the original Club Kids, fun fur is living up to its name with a fabulous following of international It girls. In London, Shrimps founder Hannah Weiland built her line around colourful faux fur coats that have been worn by Alexa Chung, Susie Bubble and model Laura Bailey. Weiland says she originally gravitated toward the material because of its versatility. “Faux fur is a very malleable material; as a designer, I use a lot of colour and create amazing jacquards so there are a lot more exciting things to do with the material,” she says of her decision to go faux. “It can be both luxurious and fun. I like to think that we create items that customers fall in love with for their quality and unique sense of humour.” For Tel Aviv-based designer Maya Reik, faux fur presents an opportunity to revive timeless styles in a relevant way for the clients of her line Marei 1998 with retro-inspired faux fur designs that easily pass for the real deal. “Sometimes I wear it and people don’t believe it’s not real,” she says. At just 20 years old, Reik has already become an industry darling. Her line has earned coverage from CR Fashion Book and Vogue and has been spotted on Bella Hadid. Reik’s Pre-Fall 2018 collection, her fifth, evokes a 1960s Elizabeth Taylor with FROM ABOVE: AlExA chung in shRiMps; BEllA hAdid in MAREi 1998
1994: Five supermodels band together for a nude photo campaign stating “We’d rather go naked than wear fur.” This intensifies the growing anti-fur movement.
1994: Members of PETA raid the offices of Calvin Klein, protesting the designer’s use of fur.
2005: Anna Wintour, editorin-chief of Vogue, receives a tofu pie in the face from protesters in Paris.
2017: Gucci, known for its fur-lined loafers, is planning for a fur-free future, starting with its Spring 2018 collection.
2018: DKNY, Furla, John Galliano and Versace announce they are also working toward eliminating real fur.
Alan Herscovici, senior writer/researcher at TruthAboutFur.com and former executive vice-president of the Fur Council of Canada, says that there is a lot of confusion around fur as sustainable clothing. “When you look at the modern fur trade, the way it’s regulated today, it’s an excellent example of the responsible and sustainable use of nature,” he says, adding that fur coats are often worn for decades, passed down from one generation to the next or redesigned into a more contemporary style. Herscovici stresses that synthetic fabric— whether that’s a faux fur jacket or polyester top—comes with its own set of complications. “The problem we’re beginning to become much more aware of is that these materials don’t biodegrade very easily,” he says. “We’re now finding out that each time you wash some of these clothing materials, they leach microfibres—micro-particles of basically plastic that go into our waterways. They are really just another form of plastic bag.” While real fur will eventually biodegrade, faux fur made of acrylic or polyester could take as long to break down as a plastic bag does, and that’s somewhere in the ballpark of 500 to 1,000 years. When a major label like Gucci says it’s quitting fur for sustainability reasons, you have to wonder if it has taken any other steps toward lessening its overall environmental impact and its role in climate change, especially when, according to sustainability researchers at Quantis, 8 per cent of global emissions are traced to the fashion industry (more than the emissions traced to air travel). At House of Fluff, Canter says it’s important to look at the big picture, and that means everything in your closet. “I feel like everyone picks on [faux] fur, when, in fact, so many of the clothes we wear have a funky [problematic] textile or a funky thread, and no one really talks about it,” she says. “Are we analyzing all of our clothes?” Luxury brands Shrimps, House of Fluff and Marei 1998 say they are making high-quality products that are meant to be worn for years, not just one season. It speaks to the broader fashion revolution toward overall sustainability that’s going on at all points in the industry, from unnecessary waste accumulated during the production process to energy consumption at physical retail stores, and it’s one that consumers play a major part in. The choices you make about what you consume ultimately inform how and what designers create, and it’s important that those decisions take into account all of the ethical, social and environmental impacts they’ll have. Information is power, and there’s nothing fake about knowing the truth.
full-length faux fur coats that retail for $2,565. Reik says she discovered her faux fabric while on a visit to a supplier. “I’m in love with it; I’m really obsessed and happy that we found such good quality,” she says. “Why should we wear something if we can find the same exact look and not in a cruel way?” It’s a sentiment that’s echoed by Kym Canter, CEO and creative director of faux fur emporium House of Fluff on the Bowery in New York. In her previous role as creative director at J. Mendel, Canter amassed a large collection of furs, including—her favourite—a vintage monkey coat. “I felt incredibly glamorous and beautiful in it,” she says. “As culture started to change, all of our awareness started to change to the things around us: what we eat, what we put on our bodies, what we clean our houses with. My closet just couldn’t escape the same scrutiny.” So Canter sold her 26 furs and used the money to launch House of Fluff as a way to recapture the glamour she felt while wearing her monkey coat. Alongside the rise of faux (in the United States, the faux market is worth $148.7 million, having grown 2 per cent from 2012 to 2016) has come a rejection of the real deal, with brands like Gucci, Versace and Michael Kors all saying goodbye to fur. New-fur sales are illegal in West Hollywood, where the sale of fur apparel has been banned since 2013. It’s a motion that Ashley Byrne, associate director at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), applauds. “When you have Donatella Versace doing an Instagram post about how she’s proudly against the use of real fur, it really tells you that times have changed and that what we consider luxurious has changed,” she says. And those who trade in fur are sometimes press-shy about the fact. In April, Women’s Wear Daily asked 22 retailers to share their opinions on fur’s role in fashion. Thirteen of the stores contacted declined to comment, as did the fur-friendly Canadian designers we reached out to. The fur market, however, is by no means dead, with global fur sales reported in the $39 to $53 billion range. To appeal to a millennial clientele, designers are using fur in more accessibly priced ways. There’s Fendi’s alpaca and mink Bag Bug Charms, Valentino’s minktrimmed sneakers and Dolce & Gabbana’s pink rabbit Box Bags—never mind the ubiquitous coyote-trimmed parka by Canada Goose. And fur has many very influential supporters. Anna Wintour regularly includes fur in the pages of Vogue and wears it herself, as do Beyoncé and Rihanna, who in January stepped out in a $23,000 raccoon coat by Antwerp-based menswear label Jun Jie.
dries van noten
sidebar text by lauren hazlewood. photography: runway and Versace by imaxtree; chung by neil mockford/alex huckle/ stringer/getty images; wintour by lorenzo santini/contributor/getty images; calVin klein protest courtesy of peta.
Plan your day, your way. FALL & WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF WEDDINGBELLS ON SALE NOW!
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section editor: lesa hannah. photography by imaxtree.
Even when itâ€™s obscured by a veil, a crimson mouth still has the ability to speak volumes.
august 2018 | F A S H I O N
hirons is a fan of Canadian skinCare CompanY INDEED LAbS, whiCh reCentlY brought her to toronto for the launCh of its hYdraluron intense moisture lotion ($25 ).
from top: ESSIE gel Couture ($14 each ) in “avant-garment” and “what’s the stitCh”; CND vinYluX long wear polish ($12) in “Jellied”; L’OréAL PArIS Colour riChe nail polish ($7 ) in “roYalt Y reinvented”
u m e r
d e e P C L e a n Philosophy’s cult-favourite cleansing line Purity Made Simple has two new additions: a micellar cleansing water and an exfoliating clay mask, both of which aid in extracting impurities from the skin. The cleanser contains micelle molecules that attract dirt in a magnet-like way, while the mask contains white clay and salicylic acid to unclog pores. “I get a lot of blackheads because I spray-tan quite a bit,” admits Philosophy partner Mario Dedivanovic, who started his career at Sephora when he was 17. “Philosophy is very nostalgic for me,” he adds. “It was one of the few skincare brands carried there at that time.” —S.M.
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PHILOSOPHy purit Y made simple pore eXtraCtor ($39)
PHILOSOPHy purit Y made simple miCellar Cleansing water ($15 ) fashionmagazine.com
PhotograPhy: Products By daNIEL harrIsoN; haNd VIa @PaINtBoxNaILs.
After what feels like an eternity of millennial pink on our feeds, not one but two new shades have been appointed its successors. First up is “Gen Z yellow.” Given its name by Man Repeller, the hue is bright but certainly not neon, is optimistic but subtly so and was arguably kick-started, as many worthwhile trends are, by Beyoncé. (See the “Hold Up” video and even Lemonade as a whole, an album that shares its name with a perfectly-Gen Z-yellow-hued drink.) Then there’s The Cut’s mention of “melodramatic purple,” a shade inspired by the Monique Lhuillier gown Lorde wore for her appearance at last year’s MTV VMAs to promote her album Melodrama. The pastel shade, just like its wearer, was at once moody, vulnerable and undeniably lovely. We suggest both as alternatives to the expected summer nail polish hues of coral and hot pink. —Souzan Michael
In a world where fake news is increasingly a threat, we can count on Caroline Hirons—or at least the beauty world can. Though sometimes referred to as a blogger, Hirons has extensive credentials that put her in a league of her own: She has worked in the beauty industry for decades, in both retail and consulting, and is also a facialist. On her website, which she started in 2010, she dispenses skincare advice that is straight to the point (and a little bossy—but in the best way) and product reviews that are strikingly honest. It’s an approach that has amassed her a substantial following in her native England and abroad. Her approval can also result in sales: Because she is so discerning, a ringing endorsement from her can mean a product will sell out when her readers descend to stock up. But it’s not just Hirons’s own kind of candour that is drawing in numbers. Truthfulness has such currency right now, and she believes that that’s why the small indies are stealing market share from the corporate behemoths. “They talk to people; they don’t patronize them,” says Hirons, who points out that since social media provides direct access to brands, how (or if) one responds to customers can “make or break you.” And the fact that many of the biggest companies still don’t include their full ingredient lists on their websites is unacceptable to her. “That, to me, is arrogance—which will be the end of them, if I’m being honest,” she says. Despite her unending willingness to throw out barbs—and perhaps her slight enjoyment of it?—Hirons is adamant that she doesn’t “search for the negative” and that she “loves the industry.” When she questions a brand, it comes from a good place, and she truly feels it is her duty to take care of people’s skin. (To wit: She says to stay the hell away from any skincare products that contain glitter. “It’s a trend driven by people who don’t give a shit about your skin,” she says. “And you can quote me on that.” Oh, we will.) In the end, it’s people like her who will make the beauty world a more honest and accountable place. “If someone sits in front of me, they’d better know their shit.” —Lesa Hannah
With her refreshingly honest and unvarnished take on life, Helen Mirren is the kind of woman we should all want to be when we grow up. By Lesa Hannah
PHOTOGRAPHY: miRRen bY scOTT TRindle/AuGusT; PROducT bY dAniel HARRisOn.
hen Dame Helen Mirren greets me at the door of her hotel suite, my immediate reaction is to curtsy. Not just because she has played the Queen and is the female equivalent of a knight but because the woman is so well respected that, quite frankly, she deserves it. But rather than tut-tutting and nodding, as you would expect from someone with a distinguished title, she radiates warmth with a wide, open smile and ushers me in. The publicists quickly scatter, and suddenly we’re one-on-one. Her outfit of a long-sleeved black and white polka-dot dress cinched with a patent-leather belt and accessorized with pearl drop earrings and black leather booties is elegant with flourishes of badassery—just like the actress herself. Mirren is in Toronto to host L’Oréal Paris’s Women of Worth Awards Gala as one of the company’s brand ambassadors, and whether she is thinking of #TimesUp, the Women’s March or the conversation about the pay gap in Hollywood, the current climate around the future of females is definitely on her mind. “Something amazing has happened,” she says, taking a seat. “Why has it taken so long? It’s very annoying. It’s the first time in my life that I wish I were younger.” At 72, Mirren is otherwise very happy with where she is in her life. “It’s more interesting, I’m freer, I’ve got more money,” she explains. In fact, her mother made a point of telling her not to worry about aging, assuring her that something wonderful would happen. “I have to say it transpired to be absolutely true,” she says. For Mirren, this happened around age 50, when she felt “that sense of ‘Oh, I see—this is the advantage of getting old.’” She explains, “When you reach each age, you find that the reality of being that age is great and you wouldn’t change it.” Which is why she was thrilled when Allure put her on its September cover last year as part of its ban on the term “anti-aging.” “It was something I always said to L’Oréal when I first came on board,” she says. “I so personally disapprove of it; I think it’s wrong. It puts women at a disadvantage.”
The other opinion she shared with the beauty company was that there should be no retouching of her in photos. (Clearly, neither request cost her the contract.) Mirren sees advocating for these changes in the beauty industry as part of the larger picture that has contributed to the current sea change. “It’s all these little building blocks toward what’s happening now at this moment,” she says. At the same time, Mirren recognizes the value in beauty products themselves—especially for what they can provide mentally and emotionally. Last year she was quoted as saying that although she loves moisturizer, it “probably does f--- all,” but today she clarifies that what she meant was it’s about how these products make you feel. “If you feel good, your whole demeanour—your whole way of looking at the world—is a completely different thing,” she explains, adding that she loves makeup and wears it almost every day. “The world is a complicated, difficult, challenging place to be, so any ammunition for your battle with it is a good thing.”
L’OréaL Paris Age Perfect cell renewAl rosy tone Moisturizer ($36)
Two decades ago, Too Faced injected some much-needed joy— and a whole lot of sparkle—into the cosmetics game. By Wendy Schmid
ntering the Orange County, Calif., headquarters of Too Faced cosmetics is like arriving at the beauty version of Oz. Giant tubes of Melted, the brand’s popular liquid lipstick, greet you like beauty sentinels, and every turn reveals a new surprise: A bunny-andbird-dotted mural at the elevator bank is a clever ode to the brand’s Natural Love eyeshadow palette (and de Gournay wallpaper); an enormous mobile of smiling peaches hangs beside a tree “sprouting” Sweet Peach palettes; and unicorn heads, flirty black lashes and Chanel-tweed-inspired carpet accent chandeliered conference rooms. The Yellow Brick Road here? A pink and black stairway painted with inspirational maxims like “Makeup is power” and “Own your pretty.” The beauty wizard behind all this cheeky fun? Chief creative officer Jerrod Blandino, who co-founded Too Faced in 1998 with his husband, Jeremy Johnson. The duo met while working behind the counter at Estée Lauder in Saks at the South Coast Plaza mall. “Makeup was such an intimidating process in the late ’90s,” recalls Blandino. “You couldn’t break the rules, everything was brown
tOO FAced me taLLic sParKLe LiPsticK ($26) in “biOnic”
40 F A S H I O N | august 2018
tOO FAced bet ter than birthday sex mascara ($30)
and I just thought it should be fun.” With his unbridled enthusiasm and love of art, Blandino began melting eyeshadows, blushes and glosses from tester units in his free time, dreaming up a new face of beauty punctuated by irreverent humour and “kick-ass formulas.” “I went to a lab and told them I worked for Lauder—but I didn’t say ‘at the mall,’ so they took the meeting!” he exclaims. “And through that, I created the first-ever glitter eyeshadow and we launched our very first collection.” Twenty years of glitter and fun later, the brand is debuting its limited-edition anniversary collection—a throwback to the first—with sparkly updated versions of the OG eyeshadows and lipsticks (plus bonus hues) and Better Than Sex Mascara wrapped in a shimmery birthday suit tube. With design details like highlighters shaped into unicorn horns and scented palettes inspired by scratch-and-sniff stickers, Blandino has an uncanny ability to translate his creative whimsy into over-the-top products that make fans feel welcomed into the wacky world of Too Faced whenever they open a compact. And fans show their appreciation by, well, breaking the Internet. Like another famous pop culture “peach,” the Peaches and Cream collection created a frenzy, crashing the company’s website and selling out within minutes. It’s among the Instagram and YouTube makeup set that Too Faced has found particularly explosive success, earning myriad fans including star vloggers Jackie Aina and Kandee Johnson. “It makes me so excited to be in the cosmetics world—it has reinvigorated our business,” says Blandino of social media. When Aina explained that she needed to mix a number of foundation colours from the brand’s Born This Way collection to match her skin tone, Blandino even invited her to the office to help expand the shade range. “There are important nuances,” he says of getting skin tones right. “Jackie really educated me.” But long before social media was a thing, Blandino was creating instant classics. A few brand highlights throughout the years: the first lipgloss ring for the prestige market; Lip Injection, a bloodvessel-dilating gloss inspired by a late-night Viagra commercial; the Chocolate Soleil bronzer, a light-bulb moment during a chocolate facial in Hawaii; Hangover Primer, a skin-loving formula infused with coconut water and probiotics; and, of course, Melted, sparked by a mishap on a hot day. During an errand, Blandino’s sister left her lipstick in his car. When she went to reapply it, says Blandino, “it just melted all over her lips! So we played with waxes and binders and created the first lipstick that wouldn’t solidify.” The latest incarnation, Melted Matte-tallics, launched in June. And in a come-full-circle moment, Estée Lauder recognized the talent it let get away two decades earlier and bought Too Faced for over a billion dollars in 2016. “I have resources if I want them, and I have complete creative control,” says Blandino about the sale. Lucky for us.
tOO FAced then & nOW eyeshadOW PaLet te ($69)
PHOTOGRAPHY: MAIN, FOUNDERS AND PRODUCTS COURTESY OF TOO FACED; GlITTER bY ISTOCk.
tOO faced cO-fOunders jeremy jOhnsOn (Left) and jerrOd bLandinO
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green almond and frosted pear take valentino donna acqua eau de toilette ($130) to a sweet and juicy candied place.
ROSe cOlOuRed glaSSeS
salvatore ferragamo amo ferragamo eau de parfum ($105) smells sticky-sweet with blackcurrant, rhubarb and vanilla and a hint of italian bitter accord.
prada la femme prada lâ€™eau eau de toilette ($150) is a delicate floral with frangipani, ylangylang and tuberose.
photography by daniel harrison
Though weâ€™re now at the midway point of summer, the latest fragrances will keep you feeling optimistic about the final stretch.
inspired by the brand’s signature tea rose, coach floral eau de parfum ($118) combines rose tea, jasmine sambac and gardenia.
miu miu l’eau rosée eau de toilette ($94) takes lily of the valley and cassis buds and envelopes them in notes of musk to create a dewy freshness.
kenzo world eau de toilette ($91) is a spark ling fruity floral that includes pear and peony.
an overdose of jasmine sambac, along with lavender and vanilla, makes guerlain mon guerlain eau de parfum florale ($119) creamy yet bright.
YOU’RE SO VAIN
In our current selfie-obsessed culture, where do we draw the line between self-love and vanity?
hen it comes to identifying “good” and “bad” qual ities in people, some are easily categorized (generous versus miserly, trustworthy versus deceitful), some are debatable (after all, who hasn’t been charmed by a bad boy’s antics?) and some, like vanity, exist on a slid ing scale, constantly evolving with societal norms. Once upon a time, the word “vain” simply meant empty, void or futile. In the 14th century, it morphed to mean selfinvolved, conceited and narcissistic. Since then, there has always been an inherent sexism to its meaning and use, says Dr. Judith Orloff, an L.A.based psychiatrist.
“Vanity isn’t taken as seriously with men; it’s swept under the rug,” she says. “Whereas with women, it’s used to make us appear selfish and like our priorities are off.” Perhaps it’s time to redefine vanity now that we live in a culture in which selfies are monetized and selfcare is a concept that has its own hashtag. Today, social media’s influence—and usefulness for more than broadcasting one’s breakfast choices—is undeniable. It has changed the way we create, com municate and present ourselves. Only a few years ago, it would have been difficult to imagine unboxing and GRWM (“Get Ready With Me”) videos as popular forms of entertainment, yet today millions watch them. (A single one
of YouTuber BeautyyBird’s recent unboxing videos has racked up almost half a million views.) Under the existing definition of vanity, having an Instagram feed could be considered an indulgent, vain act—especially if someone spends an inordinate amount of time labouring over how to present an edited and Facetuned version of themselves. Social media has made us very aware of—and preoccupied with— how we look in pictures, but does that make us clinically selfobsessed? “It’s a spectrum,” says Orloff. “Every one wants to look in the mirror and like what they see. That’s natural. But vanity is an obsession with making sure you look better than everyone else.”
photography by MuhaMMad hardi Saputra
By Souzan Michael
w e h av e lift off
For those who fall on the healthier side of that spectrum, the desire to both demystify and celebrate beauty rituals explains the popularity of sites like Into the Gloss. The beautyfocused website, which was founded by Emily Weiss in 2010, provides readers with lengthy and detailed descriptions of the makeup products that celebrities use to transform into the beautiful people we (think we) know and love. Sites like Into the Gloss, Violet Grey and Coveteur have loyal followers who are drawn to content that doesn’t make them feel they have to be secretive about their supposed “vain” rituals (hours-long makeup routines, weekly manicures, expensive lash extensions). Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury— who once joked “I’m so vain that I never want to age and I want to look fabulous until the very end”—has a daytime look (smoky eye, nude lipstick) and a bedtime look (softer smoky eye, just a couple of coats of mascara). In fact, her husband has never seen her barefaced because she feels better with makeup on. “I believe in the power of beauty,” says Tilbury. “Makeup can change a woman’s life for the better—give her confidence, make her happy, more empowered.” Women like Tilbury, who are confident and honest about the measures they take to maintain an attractive appearance, are often considered vain, says Hannah Johnson, beauty writer and former contributing editor for xoVain, Jane Pratt’s beauty-centred offshoot of xoJane. She says it’s a term used to make women feel guilty for participating in acts of self-care, “especially if that process requires time, effort and money.” “Women are realizing that we can craft any image we choose for ourselves,” she adds. “We can use our free time and hard-earned money to help create those personas.” So, how about we propose a new definition: van·ity noun The self-actualized desire to present yourself to the world any way you wish.
Supermodel and sexagenarian Christie Brinkley on why she’s not hiding anything she does in the name of vanity. When Christie Brinkley signed on as a spokesperson for cosmetic-enhancement treatments Ultherapy and Xeomin last October, the 64-year-old model took issue with how the company, Merz, originally framed the announcement. “They were handling it as if I’d been caught doing something wrong,” she says, seated in a booth at Avra Madison restaurant in New York City. “Even in the first release, they used the word ‘reveal.’” She requested that it be reworded, insisting that they allow women the right to do what they want. Secrecy surrounding beauty activities is something Brinkley says dates back to the 1960s, when women would keep whether they coloured their hair under wraps, slipping in the back door of the salon. “The thing was ‘Does she or doesn’t she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure!’” she recalls. “I don’t understand why. It’s not hurting anybody.” For Brinkley, she sees speaking on behalf of treatments she likes as no different from the products she has paid lip service to throughout her career. “I’ve been sharing my beauty tips for over 40 years,” she says. “When I find something that works, I generally talk about it.” The one we’re discussing today is Ultherapy, a procedure that sends focused ultrasound energy deep into the skin to jump-start the production of collagen and elastin and results in a lifting and tightening effect. Brinkley wanted to try it after seeing it demoed on Today. “It’s something you do once and you’re good to go for the next year or 18 months,” she says. As for Xeomin, the injectable toxin she also endorses, Brinkley says she decided to try it because she had a marionette line on the side of her face that looked like a fork in a road that she couldn’t let go. But the first time she went for the treatment, it was all “very hush-hush.” “I thought, ‘This is so ridiculous.’ Women shouldn’t have to feel like that,” she says, adding that if something is going to make you feel better about yourself, why be ashamed? “It should be about you and your personal reasons.” —Lesa Hannah
Described as a “non-surgical facelift” because it reaches the level of the muscle that would be cut if you were doing one, Ultherapy delivers “predictable” results with a “very high satisfaction rate,” says Dr. Patricia Wexler. The New York dermatologist cites it as her favourite treatment for her patients and even herself. “I personally do it every two years,” she says, adding that it only needs to be administered again because of continued aging, not because the results fade. I couldn’t offer up my face fast enough when I had the chance to try it, especially since French cosmetic doctor Jean-Louis Sebagh suggested it to shorten and tighten the muscles of my jawline when he scrutinized my face last year. But what I experienced at a Toronto dermatology clinic was more painful than I had anticipated, and no amount of laughing gas or reminders to myself that I’d endured labour contractions helped me push through to the end. Apparently the procedure shouldn’t have hurt that much, so I tried it again at Clarity Medspa, where it was far more tolerable. There was some residual tenderness for the next few days, and I started to see results about two and a half months in; it typically takes three. My jawline is noticeably sharper, the skin below my cheekbones looks less jowly and the entire lower half of my face seems a little slimmer. Like Brinkley, I’m officially a believer. —L.H.
Thinking about getting— or removing—breast implants? Here’s the latest take on the pros and cons.
W h at Wo m e n W h o h av e (h a d) t h e m s a y … When Kirstin Turnbull was 24 years old, one of her
allergies, to name a few. In January 2013, Daruda, who’s based on Vancouver Island, consulted a surgeon in Alberta. He told her that he’d had patients report similar symptoms stemming from implants and agreed to remove hers. Before she went under, the surgeon asked her if she wanted to see her implants post-surgery. After noting that they smelled like a mix of acetone, urethane and formaldehyde (“They were very strong, noxious smells,” she says), Daruda decided to do some further research. She launched healingbreastimplantillness.com in 2013 and a Facebook group called Breast Implant Illness and Healing in 2015. Today, the group has more than 40,000 members, including Turnbull. Another member, St. Louis, Mo., native Tracie Lunatto, 37, was 32 when she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. She went through four rounds of chemotherapy
friends got breast implants. An A cup herself, Turnbull, now 42, immediately wanted to know more; within weeks, she went in for surgery to have textured saline implants put in, at a cost of around $6,800. Within two years, she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. After giving birth eight years later, the Toronto native was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease—an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. By the time she turned 38, she had started going through menopause. Turnbull believes that these health issues were related to her implants. In 2017, she decided to have them removed. (Her friend, who had her implants replaced around 2010, has not had any complications and still has her implants to this day.) “I can’t say that I have noticed any immediate changes in my health; however, I didn’t expect to have any right away,” says Turnbull, six months post-“explant” surgery. “I do sleep better at night—figuratively and literally—knowing that I made this decision.” In 2005, Nicole Daruda received her Plumping one’s lips and cheekbones cohesive gel implants and within two with dermal fillers is pretty years had noticeable symptoms. In 2010, mainstream, but what about she left her job due to brain fog, and by plumped and perky nipples? 2012, she says, she was bedridden. Her Is this going too far? symptoms included chronic fatigue, body aches and inflammation, thyroid issues, Fourteen years ago, Janet Jackson’s exposed nipple at the Super Bowl halfconstant ringing in the ears, heart palpitatime performance caused a dramatic tions, digestive issues and sudden food
NiP(PLe) AND TUcK
worldwide uproar. Post-nipplegate, the singer was unjustly blacklisted and her career took a hit. Fastforward to today and nipples are popping up front and centre on braless celebrities like Bella Hadid, Rihanna and Kendall Jenner—they have become their signature accessory. So it’s not surprising that the latest celeb-inspired trend is nipple injections. We’re not kidding. Docs are using hyaluronic acid fillers like
PhotograPhy: main by istock; jenner by gotham/contributor/getty images.
By Michelle Bilodeau
and had a double mastectomy. “Honestly, I wanted a mastectomy as soon as I heard ‘It’s cancer,’” says Lunatto. After surgery, two tissue expanders were placed under her skin to stretch the epidermis in preparation for implants. After recovering from some complications—one of her expanders was removed early due to an MRSA infection—Lunatto had textured silicone implants put in. She was pleased with her new breasts but still felt depressed. It had been a difficult year. First the diagnosis and then the gruelling treatment, and now she was grappling with lingering post-chemo side effects. Fast-forward a year and Lunatto began to worry that her implants were not only exacerbating her post-treatment symptoms but also causing new problems. “I knew I’d always have chemo side effects, like short-term-memory loss, bone aches and nausea,” says Lunatto, but she was also experiencing headaches, ringing in her ears, food and temperature intolerances and constant nausea, and her face was puffy. Within 24 hours of her explant surgery, the swelling, food issues and ringing in the ears disappeared. It has now been almost a year since her surgery, and she says the majority of her symptoms have waned or subsided to a degree where she is much more comfortable. Lunatto says she misses her breasts but adds that she “wouldn’t recommend implants to anyone.” W h a t d o c t o r s s a y … There is limited research on the benefits of implant removal, but a study published in the journal Immunologic Research in July 2016 concluded that when people with silicone breast implants who’d experienced silicone-related complaints like fatigue, autoimmune disease and myalgia underwent explantation, 75 per cent of them saw improvements in their health. “Extrapolating from U.S. data, an estimated 4,500 women had their implants removed in 2017 in Canada, which was a 4 per cent increase from 2016,” says Dr. Julie Khanna, a plastic surgeon based in Oakville, Ont. She adds, however, that she believes that most women have their implants removed for aesthetic reasons rather than health concerns. (Depending upon your provincial or territorial benefits, the surgery may or may not be covered.) Khanna says that women first started worrying about implants in 1992, after silicone implants were temporarily taken off the market due to the possible health concerns with
rachel green is often jokingly referred to as the og of the #freethenipple movement.
which they were associated: autoimmune diseases like lupus, arthritis and scleroderma. Khanna says that today, however, there are multiple studies that show this isn’t the case. “At the time, we didn’t understand the rate of these autoimmune diseases in women in general,” she explains. “But now, when you compare groups with implants and without, there’s no difference.” In 2017, Health Canada issued an alert about breastimplant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIAALCL), noting that it occurs more frequently in women who have implants that have a textured surface than in women who have implants with a smooth surface. Research published in JAMA Oncology earlier this year found that approximately one in 7,000 women who get breast implants will develop this rare form of cancer. According to the alert, Health Canada had received five confirmed cases of the cancer in Canada over the past 10 years, and as of September 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that it had been made aware of 414 reports of BIA-ALCL. It’s not clear what causes this rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma; however, some suspect that it develops as an immune response to the implants. Dr. Pierre Blais has been researching medical implants (from breast to ophthalmic implants, as well as hip and knee replacement systems) and their side effects since the early 1970s. In 1990, he launched his own company, Innoval Failure Analysis. Based on his research, Blais says it’s not the breast implants themselves that cause the adverse effects. “Instead, it’s the body’s reaction to the tissue that forms around the implants and the accumulation of stagnant fluid at the implant site,” he explains. According to Blais, the tissue starts to form within days of implantation but gradually dies after about five years. The decaying tissue by-products then seep into the body, causing inflammatory and immunological changes. “Breast implants impose a mortgage on the user’s health, which increases with the implant dwell time and age of the user,” he says. Blais notes that once implants are removed, it may take a “substantial period of time” for the symptoms to diminish, adding that in some cases, some remain. He also recommends that women be screened for lymphatic disturbances, especially if they have had the implants for a long time or have had multiple implants.
Juvéderm and Restylane (the same soft-tissue fillers used for lips and cheeks) to plump up the nippleareolar complex so nipples are more visible under clothing. “The thicker the filler, the more pronounced the effect,” says Dr. Paul Cohen, a Toronto-based dermatologist. “If somebody wants a more subtle effect, a doctor might use a thinner filler like Volbella or Belotero.” Cohen doesn’t perform the treatment;
he recommends that it be done by a plastic surgeon. “Like any procedure, it’s not without its risks,” he says. “It can lead to skin injury or infection or, in some cases, may compromise a woman’s ability to lactate.” Dr. Stephen Mulholland, a Torontobased plastic surgeon, has done this procedure, usually to treat retracted nipples. “It will likely be a passing fad influenced by social media trends,” he says. —Souzan Michael
The Dark YeT Life affirming magic of SeLf DecepTion
It’s conventional wisdom that lying to ourselves is a character flaw, but is there an upside to avoiding the truth?
call him the Ovary Thief. Since moving to San Francisco after university to pursue a ca‑ reer in tech, my elusive friend Richard* has spent the past 22 years ambling from one long‑term relationship to the next. Long‑distance courtships are his specialty, and the women he falls for are attractive, whip smart, often younger, sometimes older and always ambi‑ tious. Yet no matter how electric the con‑ nection seems, the relationship inevitably winds down around the time she turns 40. “Will ya make an honest woman of her?” I text him, after noticing on Facebook that he and Nathalie,* a 38‑year‑old film executive and cat lover from Oregon, are celebrating their six‑month anniversary in Aspen. “Maybe,” comes the coy reply. Ovary Thief.
Or so I thought. Until I read The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life, which suggests that humans are prone to self‑deception about their true motives for doing things. According to authors Robin Hanson and Kevin Simler, our brains are biologically hard‑wired to act in our own interest while trying not to make us appear self‑serving to others. “The brain is like a press secretary, constantly putting the most noble spin on our choices and behaviours while keeping our conscious minds in the dark,” says Hanson, who insists that the brain can post‑rationalize anything—from why you didn’t call your mother today to why you believe in God to why you chose the part‑ ner you did. It all comes down to the story you tell yourself. Seen through this lens, perhaps Richard’s parade of long‑distance girlfriends sub‑
consciously targeted him not as husband material but as a socially acceptable explan‑ ation for why they never “settled down,” a lifestyle choice many women still feel the need to rationalize to others and themselves. “Self‑deception is the strategic ploy our brains employ to avoid the appearance of violating social codes and norms, helping us look good to others while getting what we really want,” says Hanson. That self‑deception could be a win‑ win proposition that upholds your social standing while furthering your endgame flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Especially for clinical psychologists, like Dr. Cortney Warren, who believe that the lies we tell ourselves are a sign of insecur‑ ity—something we do because we don’t have the psychological strength to face the truth and deal with the consequences. For Warren, honing one’s ability to become »
PhotograPhy by trunk archive
By Katherine Gougeon
healthMIND an “honest liar”—someone who can identify self-deception even if he or she doesn’t correct it—is a step up. “Being able to sit with the good, the bad and the ugly is empowering,” she says. “Pain is information, and it can create the anxiety and discontentment we need to motivate positive changes.” While honesty may be the best policy, our brain often has other priorities. Before reading any further, think back to the last time you botched a presentation at work, said something terrible to a loved one, got caught stealing as a child or drunkenly spilled red wine on your host’s white sofa. That pang of shame and regret you just felt? That’s your brain protecting your self-image by telling you not to dwell on this particular information. “Cringing and flinching is your brain’s way of punishing your neural pathways so the upsetting information stays as far to the back of your mind as possible,” says Hanson.
sional ability (94 per cent of university professors rate themselves betterthan-average teachers at their own institutions) and even to sexual prowess (84 per cent of French men consider themselves above-average lovers). But to what self-serving ends? For Robert Trivers, the renowned evolutionary biologist who has spent decades studying how self-deceit gave our ancestors a competitive edge, the practice is not an ego-boosting end in itself. Rather, it serves an actual purpose: Human beings deceive themselves to better deceive others. “Lying is hard to pull off cognitively,” he says. “You must suppress the truth and construct a plausible lie that does not contradict anything that is known, or is likely to be found out, by the listener. You must tell it in a convincing way, and you must remember the story. Plus, there’s the fear of getting caught.” Drinking your own Kool-Aid— like the fake war hero who comes to
evolutionary advantage. Hanson admits that while the subconscious isn’t perfect, it tends to generate narratives that others are likely to go along with. “Usually there’s a long history, and you can just do something close to what others have done; the more you step into new territory with a story you want others to support, the greater the risk they will balk and reject it,” he says. It all makes perfect sense. But rather than leaning into a perfectly calibrated deception that makes it easy for people to play along, wouldn’t it just be better to somehow infiltrate our subconscious, identify and correct our self-deceptions at the source and live free? Isn’t this why people go to therapy? Hanson says he’s sure we can make small corrections, but it seems too much to hope to make big changes. The unconscious is a huge and highly evolved and planned out part of our brain. “Human beings have a limited
The brain is like a press secretary, constantly putting the most noble spin on our choices and behaviours while keeping our conscious minds in the dark. Suddenly, I understand why change is so hard. I also understand that every time I’ve cursed my jeans for shrinking or blamed an unflattering selfie on bad lighting, my subconscious is probably working overtime, cushioning me from the cruel truth. In a 2008 study conducted by the universities of Chicago and Virginia, participants were asked to choose the most accurate photo of themselves from an array of images that were either unmodified or altered to make them look up to 50 per cent more or less attractive. Most selected the photo that looked 20 per cent better than reality. When it came time to select the most true-to-life images of strangers to whom they had been introduced a few weeks earlier, however, participants were remarkably successful at picking the accurate image. Our tendency to self-inflate has been evidenced in all areas of life—from driving ability (93 per cent of Americans believe themselves to be better than average behind the wheel) to profes-
50 F A S H I O N | august 2018
believe he earned the medal of valour or the sketch boyfriend who insists he reads Playboy for the articles—can present you in your best light, all while eliminating the mental friction experienced by people who know they are lying. Hanson has found that the most successful self-deceptions are rooted in perceptions and intentions versus actual occurrences. “When we make up stories about things outside our mind, people can argue ‘Actually, that’s not what happened.’ But when we make up stories about our motives—for storming out of the meeting, for smoking, for not donating to charity—it’s harder for others to question us,” he says. Of course, there are limits. Stretching the truth too thin—like the politician who claims 99 per cent of his campaign promises have been met or the Facebook friend who touches up her photo to look 50 per cent better versus just 20 per cent—can leave you more vulnerable to being dismissed or manipulated by others, something that won’t work to social or
budget for honesty and have to focus on figuring out the best place to spend it,” he says, noting that a therapist’s job is to help you solve a specific problem by showing you something you don’t know about yourself that is standing in the way of your happiness. One thing. Not everything. I ask Hanson if there is anything encouraging or reassuring about our species’ propensity for self-deception that readers can glean from his book. He points out that aside from becoming more attuned to people’s real motives, we may be heartened to learn that our peers often aren’t doing things for the important or altruistic reasons they claim. More likely, they’re just making it up as they go. Says Hanson: “It’s like swigging alcohol in a public park. As long as the bottle is in a paper bag, most people will turn a blind eye. When it comes to upholding social norms, sometimes just the slightest covering will do.” (*Names have been changed.)
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With her upcoming novel, Miriam Toews has written one of the scariest indictments of patriarchy in years. By Greg Hudson
52 F A S H I O N | august 2018
section editor: greg hudson
iriam Toews isn’t known as a horror writer, yet her upcoming novel, Women Talking, might just be one of the scariest books I’ve ever read. Although it’s really not that much of a departure for Toews, who has never shied away from dark subject matter. Her last novel—the awardwinning All My Puny Sorrows—is the based-on-true-events story of a family dealing with one sister’s repeated suicide attempts. It wasn’t necessarily the most obvious choice for bestselling book of the moment, but such is Toews’s talent and heart. She was able to craft a heartbreaking story of loss and empathy without it being maudlin or (too) depressing. In Women Talking, the writer has set a similar challenge for herself. The novel imagines what the women in a Mennonite colony in Bolivia do after it’s discovered that the men in their community have been drugging and raping the women, regardless of age or relation. Toews manages to balance the story of female rage and empowerment with hope and touches of humour. »
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cultureiNterview because my sister died in 2010. After that, I basically closed up. I was devastated, and I couldn’t even think about writing. I stopped thinking about the events in Bolivia as well, certainly in terms of writing about them. When I did start writing, I wanted to write about my sister. And that writing became All My Puny Sorrows.”
Toews: “Well, I mean, I don’t belong to a Mennonite church anymore, so I’m not a religious Mennonite. But culturally I’m certainly a secular Mennonite. A lot of my writing has been a kind of... indictment...maybe too strong a word, maybe not...a critique of the ultraconservative, fundamental, patriarchal aspects of the Mennonite church. But I always try to make it clear in my writing that I’m not critical of the faith itself, because the Mennonite faith is a beautiful, positive thing. Its pacifism, for instance, and its focus on the community are good things. “My mother belongs to a Mennonite church here in Toronto. She lives with me, and the church provides so much sustenance and support for her. She’s an elder in her church, which is very unusual. That would never happen in a conservative Mennonite church, obviously. I see how much it means to her, and I have seen that all my life. Her faith is strong, and it was for my father, too, so I respect that and I see it and envy it.” In the faith I grew up in, they felt that any coverage that wasn’t completely positive
54 F A S H I O N | august 2018
was practically hate speech. “That is also something that runs through the collective Mennonite community. People feel that I am exposing things that shouldn’t be exposed. Mennonites are humans like everybody else, with all
People feel that I am exposing things that shouldn’t be exposed. of the inherent flaws. And because I am a woman, it’s especially grating to some types of Mennonites who put out the narrative that this is a pure, hard-working, morally upstanding community. “But then there are also all sorts of Mennonites who have told me that they appreciate that self-criticism— that it comes from a desire for things to be better, for us to be better and for us to be more loving, more tolerant, more inclusive. And less patriarchal and authoritarian.” When did you first become aware of the events that inspired this book? “There were rumours in the Mennonite community. And because I live with my mother, who actually subscribes to a magazine called Canadian Mennonite, I have a little bit more information than I did before I lived with her. But I heard rumours in 2009. That’s when the first articles started appearing. I was horrified and wanted to know more. But I didn’t write about it then
form, whether directly or indirectly, about mental illness, about suicide, about Mennonites and the Mennonite patriarchy, about girls and women who live under that kind of authoritarian rule. Those aspects of the community—and, again, there are beautiful things about it, too—the culture of control and the emphasis on guilt and shame, punishment and silence that have contributed to the high levels of mental illness in the community, including those of my sister and my father. Those aspects will always be of interest to me, and I’ll always be searching for answers or clues. They are always gonna be a part of me, and I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing about those things in some way.” I still want to correct people when they get things wrong about my old religion, even though I no longer believe in it. Do you experience this? “I do. That’s a funny thing, isn’t it? As critical as I
photography by Carol loewen 2014
What’s truly horrifying is that this event really happened. What’s dismaying is how relevant the story would be even if it hadn’t. Because of the religious context of Women Talking, when we spoke in Toronto I started by asking Toews about her relationship with the Mennonite faith.
Because you write from your real life so much, you deal with the Mennonite faith and you talk about suicide. I’m curious if you’ll ever be able to write about those topics enough to sort of exorcise them completely, like, “Oh, now I’ve dealt with it enough.” “I wish I could say yes. I wish I could believe there would be that point, that kind of finish line that I could cross and say it’s over...that elusive thing called closure, which I don’t even really believe in. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning in some way, shape or
am and can be, I’ll correct people who say ‘Well, Mennonites are this’ or ‘Mennonites are that.’ And if I know that that is not true or is a gross stereotype, I will absolutely jump in and correct people. I grew up in a Mennonite community. I had an amazing, wonderful childhood. But when I grew up, I saw how difficult a place like that is for anybody who is ‘other’…even for atheists. There was one guy in my high school who, out of the blue, started telling us that he was an atheist. And we were just horrified. It was like he was telling us that he had just become a serial killer.” Culture can create a certain degree of confusion about what is actually right and wrong. Where’s that balance of figuring out socialization versus free will? “That’s the thing, right? The men and the boys who perpetrated the crimes in the book are also victims of that kind of culture— and the control over them as well, and the roles that they’re expected to play, and the entitlement they’re given because of the patriarchy to abuse these women who are there to serve them. But, yeah, there’s an innocence there, too, and an inevitability.” Recently, there has been a rediscovery of The Handmaid’s Tale, which has some themes that are similar to those in Women Talking. I wonder if this will be easier to dismiss because it actually happened and continues to happen. Like, “Oh well, that’s just the Mennonites in their closed community. That doesn’t actually happen to women generally.” Whereas a sci-fi dystopia seems to imply it could happen to anyone. “Right, right—it’s coming. It’s happening. Look to various places in the world. This is where we’re headed. There will be those who make assumptions: ‘Well, these are insane cult weirdo freaks. It only happens out there in the middle of nowhere.’ Like it’s almost not real. And because there’s that sort of attitude, it completely dehumanizes these people. But hopefully people will understand that this can happen if the conditions are right.”
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The budding marijuana industry is ready for women to take control. By Nancy Won
to a 2016 diversity disclosure practices report conducted by Osler, women account for only 15 per cent of executive officers at TSX-listed companies and only 13 per cent of board members. Weed, in a lot of ways, is poised to blaze a different path. According to a 2015 survey by Marijuana Business Daily of the legal cannabis space in the United States, women made up roughly 36 per cent of leaders, including 63 per cent of high-level positions in testing labs. And there’s more evidence: Women-run dispensaries are popping up stateside as well as here in Canada; last year saw the launch of Broccoli, a stylish cannabis magazine for women that was founded by the former creative director of Kinfolk; cannabis social clubs for women are a thing now; and fem-forward accessories are dominating our social feeds. (Rose-petal rolling papers, anyone?) April Pride, the founder of femalefocused cannabis lifestyle brand Van der
Pop (which is now owned by Torontobased Tokyo Smoke), is the unofficial godmother of the women and weed movement. A serial entrepreneur with a background in design (she trained as an architect and went to Parsons for grad school), Pride launched Van der Pop in 2016 as a fashionable weed accessories brand after she noticed a severe lack of good design in what she knew was a soon-to-explode industry. (She’s based in Washington state, where marijuana has been legal for recreational use since 2012.) A few months after launching the site, she noticed that most people on it were looking for advice and information about how cannabis relates to women’s issues. “Women were coming to me about their own lives, and men were coming to me about their relationships with their wives,” says Pride. “After a while, I was just like, ‘Why am I not doing this?’” And so she did. In November 2017, she took Van der Pop’s female focus a step further,
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nce the domain of potheads, stoners and no-good wake ’n’ bakers, weed has gone from illicit gateway drug to buzzy new investment in just a few years. In the United States (where marijuana is legal for adult recreational use in nine states and Washington, D.C.), gleaming Apple Storeesque dispensaries sell designer herb alongside artsy pastel-hued pipes; trendy fashion publications profile cool creatives and their favourite strains; and bud brands are even getting in on the ubiquitous streetwear trend, selling logoed tees and hoodies to the millennial masses. Canada, meanwhile, nearing federal legalization of cannabis, is on the brink of what experts predicted in 2016 could be a $22.6 billion industry. Perhaps what’s most exciting about the so-called “green rush” is the opportunity it presents for women. Because in the current economic landscape, despite all the leaning in on and seemingly daily takedowns of powerful men behaving badly, when it comes to real decision makers and actual women leaders, we have a lot of catching up to do. At the end of the workday, according
collaborating with Ontario-based licensed producer WeedMD to launch a line of cannabis strains specifically designed for women’s needs: Cloudburst, which has a profile that’s similar to varieties known to help with pain management and stress, and Eclipse, similar to strains that promote relaxation and help you sleep. “Canada has a distinctly progressive attitude toward cannabis,” says Pride. “It has the potential to be the global leader in cannabis, and our brand wants to be part of that momentum.” For Van der Pop, it’s a logical—and likely lucrative—next step because, chic accessories aside, the industry reality seems to point to actual cannabis as the real money-maker. In Canada, this means being, becoming or—like Van der Pop—working with licensed producers. Currently, only companies holding an ACMPR (Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations) licence are authorized to produce or sell marijuana through the medical system. Come legalization, it might get easier, depending on where you live, since provincial governments will be overseeing licensing and distribution instead of Ottawa. But if you do the math, this means that the quietly illegal dispensary you frequent now could easily be just as illegal after legalization. “In the legal regulated market, we have high standards set by Health Canada that require significant costs and attention,” says Alison Gordon, CEO of 48North Cannabis Corp., an ACMPRlicensed company based in Toronto. “It’s a hugely capital intensive industry, so there are constant meetings with investors, bankers and shareholders.” In other words, it’s hugely white-male intensive. “It seems that there are some women leaders in the lifestyle or culture side of the business, but unfortunately I don’t see many women at executive or board levels in the companies in the legal regulated space, which is where the industry is going. This is still very male dominated,” continues Gordon. “I am the only female CEO of the 92 licensed companies that I am aware of…but it’s hard to keep track as the list of licensed companies changes weekly.” Before joining the cannabis industry, Gordon was the executive vice-president of Rethink Breast Cancer, which she co-founded in 2001. When a close family member was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer and began using medical marijuana to help with sleep, anxiety and pain management, Gordon realized that the cannabis industry had a persistent image problem. “I was like, ‘Someone needs to rebrand this. Why does it always have to be just about
hippies and rappers?’” she says. “I realized that I have this perfect storm of experience with marketing and fundraising and working with patients, physicians and government, so I jumped into the industry.” Her first role was chief marketing officer for a cannabis producer—technically a demotion. Three years later, she took on a similar role at 48North. And less than a year later, she was appointed CEO. “It’s a challenge across the board, whether it’s women or men, to find people who’ve worked in the cannabis industry,” says Gordon. Her best advice for boss bitches wanting to get in on the lucrative legal action? “It’s a new industry, and we do move very quickly, so if women can get in now—maybe not at executive levels but at the senior level—and get a few years under their belts, they will be the leaders of this industry because we’re at such an early point in time,” she says. “I’m considered a veteran because I’ve been in it for five years.” Of course, as with any industry on the brink of a boom, there’s always the risk of failure. But when it comes to marijuana, the ROI is about so much more than the bottom line—especially for women, many of whom aren’t just jumping on the cannabis bandwagon because it’s edgy or trendy or a buzzy investment. For most, it’s about taking control of their own health. According to a Van der Pop-sponsored survey of 1,530 women who use cannabis multiple times a month, the top four reasons why they consume it are wellness-related (pain relief, relaxation, stress and anxiety). Which means the same woman who does yoga, drinks cold-pressed juices, meditates with her crystals and adds spirulina to her kale smoothie in the morning is probably also open to smoking a little pot to unwind or deal with a headache or get “in the mood.” And if you consider how massive the #selfcare movement has become, wellness is very likely going to be the thing that breaks weed into the mainstream. “Women are starting to realize, especially in the States, that decisions are being made on our behalf either by the government or by pharmaceutical companies,” says Pride. “Those in positions to make the decisions around which medical challenges to pursue regarding product research and development and/or regulatory change have rarely been female, so our true array of needs have rarely been met. As more people leave their ‘respectable’ nine-to-fives and start taking best practices from the established industries, I think we’re going to see an incredible rate of innovation. It’s exciting—we get to make the rules and break the rules at the same time!”
female-led cannabis businesses
ToronTo Leah Lavergne, Highnoon These handmade ceramic pipes bring artsy geometric charm to your Fridaynight chill zone.
MonTreal Camille Chacra, Allume Feed your weed education with this stylish subscription box of curated essentials.
ToronTo Rachel Colic, Eves of Eden Its bestselling Crowns line of playful printed filter tips brings fun party vibes to your rolling ritual.
CharloTTeTown Vee Mercier, Fall for Vee This cannabis lifestyle photographer and influencer is taking down the pothead stereotype, one Insta-worthy image at a time.
take control The future of cannabis is discreet and targeted and as classy as Gwyneth Paltrow.
use cannabis pretty much daily—mostly as a sleeping aid, but it helps with other activities, too. For instance, it’s incredibly helpful when I want to eat an entire box of Eggo Waffles. It’s a little surprising, then, that a new cannabis company preparing to enter the Canadian market would be the catalyst for me to maybe, possibly, for the first time, consider thinking about how I might want to potentially cut back a tiny bit on the totally responsible amount of cannabis I smoke. That might not sound impressive, but considering my feelings about cannabis, it’s basically the same as The Rock considering skipping leg day. Such is the power of Dosist. According to an information booklet that looks like it could be a special edition of Kinfolk, Dosist is “a health and happiness company founded on the premise that cannabis-based medicine can bring healing and happiness to the masses.” It aims to do this through its cannabis formulations dispensed via its proprietary pens (which resemble what tampons would look like if they were designed by
cannabis strains 58
Apple). The pens ensure a controlled dose (hence the name) of 2.25 milligrams with each pull, so users can know exactly how much cannabis they are using and will consistently get the same results. Dosist eliminates the intimidating guesswork in marijuana consumption and makes it as easy, safe and reliable as possible. No wonder it is Gwyneth Paltrow’s favourite cannabis brand. All of us on this Dosist-assisted journey through California are given all six pens in the lineup when we arrive at our hotel in Malibu. They are packaged stylishly in a classic tin “first-aid kit”—the kind you’d buy at Best Made, not Shoppers Drug Mart. In it are pens labelled Sleep, Bliss, Relief, Calm, Passion and Arouse. Each one mixes THC (the stuff that makes your brain feel high), CBD (the stuff that affects your body) and specific terpenes (the essential oils
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dosist’s sleek proprietary pens are available in six different formulas.
By Greg Hudson
that give different strains of cannabis their varying scents and health benefits) in different doses to achieve their titular effect. The first day: I take two pulls from Calm before dinner. I hardly feel it. But I’m not stressed about it, so there’s that. The next day, I try Bliss. I lose count of how many pulls I take before and during an hour-long hike. By the time it’s over, I feel a little clumsier than normal but not at all impaired. There’s a contentedness floating at the edges of my awareness (which certainly sounds like something a stoner would say) that’s pleasant. Like I’m soaking my legs in a hot tub but I’m not overheating. We’re joined at lunch by SoYoung Park, Dosist’s chief innovation officer. She seems excited that I’m a regular cannabis smoker. “Do you think you’d ever give up smoking entirely for something like this?” she asks. I’d been wondering about that, too. Because, as I tell her, there is something enjoyable about the process of rolling my nightly joints. “We hear that so often,” she says. “The ritual is a big part of the experience.” Of course, some people will always prefer to use flower. But the company rightfully assumes that that ritual—and all the accessories and culture that go with it—is a barrier to entry for people in the mainstream. After all, if you want to drink a glass of wine at night to wind down, you don’t have to crush your own grapes. But that weed-to-wine comparison falls short. Cannabis— especially when it’s formulated and packaged like this—is hard to categorize. It can seem like a cure-all, but, unfortunately, nothing is. Those with some mental illnesses, like bipolar disorder, should be careful (or avoid it entirely). Plus, they should talk with their doctor. Cannabis is not entirely medicinal; nor is it entirely recreational. It’s somehow both and neither. If, for example, you take a dose of Calm after a hard day of work or enjoy Relief after a strenuous workout, it’s not quite medicinal but not quite recreational either. Even Arouse, which can be used for other activities but is specifically formulated with a high THC-to-CBD ratio to increase sensitivity and intimacy, falls in that liminal space between recreation and medicine, doesn’t it? It’s this understanding of what cannabis is and isn’t—along with the casual utopian vision that Dosist paints—that makes the company special. “Wellness” covers a range of products and practices, some more legitimate than others. And even though Dosist is on the more empirically verifiable end, there’s still something about it that feels religious. I find that I want to share Dosist with others the same way missionaries want to preach the Good News: “It worked for me, and it can work for you!” When I got back from my trip, I got my girlfriend to try a bit of Sleep. One pull and she felt her body relax and melt. It worked perfectly. It made me feel a little like how my dog is with bacon. He loves it, but he swallows each piece whole like a pelican. Dogs aren’t great at savouring their food. And me, I’m not great at savouring and appreciating the subtlety of Dosist. There’s something childish about the way I use cannabis now. Our laws are growing up. It’s probably time I did, too.
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From dime bags to fine dining, you’ve come a long way, cannabis. After receiving an invite to a cannabis-infused eightcourse dinner at a secret location in Vancouver, I envision the panic attack, mid-course, that the drug might give me. After all, I’ve only tried eating it once, and it was a very small amount. Explaining the dinner to my mother also worries me. But my curiosity is stronger. The talent behind this particular meal is Los Angeles-based Christopher Sayegh (a.k.a. The Herbal Chef). Studying molecular cell biology at UC Santa Cruz, Sayegh, now 26, started researching cannabis—and not just in the way university students typically “research” it. He wondered what smoking it was doing to his body. He also realized he’d rather be cooking for a living. His parents didn’t approve of either interest, so he moved into his car for a bit while he worked his way up L.A.’s kitchen rungs, albeit with a stint at Michelin-starred restaurant Mélisse and New York’s Eleven Madison Park. In 2015, he launched his unconventional catering company and since then has prepared more than 800 private dinners.
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Sayegh’s first event in Canada—a $200 per person dinner, followed by another the next night—swiftly sold out and racked up a 60-person wait-list. He had arrived a few days before to source and forage for local ingredients, including spot prawns, reindeer lichens and pine resin. After all, while cannabis is the draw, food is still the focus. The THC and CBD dosages are low and controlled (10 milligrams each, lab tested), and noninfusion is also an option, because The Herbal Chef’s mission is to create an enjoyable experience and ultimately de-stigmatize the plant. On the set menu, some of the infusions are obvious (items preceded by “herb”), while others leave my tablemates and me guessing (in a sauce is a safe bet). Some say they can taste it; some can’t. In the sixth course, a pork-belly iteration of peameal bacon, it’s probably in the smoked apple jus, but there could also be some baked into the potato galette. Whatever it’s in, it’s stupid delicious. But is it a cannabis high or a culinary high that I’m having? The dessert course that follows isn’t as mind-blowing, so I’d like to think my palate wasn’t altered too dramatically. I still eat most of the dessert, though, because for some reason I’m still hungry. —Joy Pecknold
For menstrual pain, try... obama Kush This indica brings with it uplifting physical effects that reportedly help ease cramps, subdue headaches and temper mood swings.
illustration by stephanie Deangelis
E v E ry m o n t h h as a m o o d , a feeling, some combination of memories, moments and nostalgia. You know it—you feel it—even if you’ve never really thought about it. To help encapsulate the moods of the months, we’re asking novelists to take on the calendar and evoke the feelings of each season through fiction, memoir or some mix of the two. Sarah Selecky’s new novel, Radiant Shimmering Light, was released this spring.
Finally, a month when you don’t have to do anything. By Sarah Selecky
et yourself collapse. You can’t be expected to hold it all together when the heat is pursuing you like this. Surrender to a Mason jar full of ice water, and squeeze half a lemon into it. See how the lemon juice creates a haze in the water? Doesn’t the haze look sort of like smog? And yet every sip feels like clarity. There’s a metaphor there, but it’s too hot to think about what it might mean. Take 10 minutes to reflect on the emptiness of your dreams. You don’t have to do anything—just feel the feelings of nothingness. See how that pattern repeats in your life right now: It’s there in your lack of productivity, your tired enterprises, the futility you feel around your creative pursuits, the list of things to do that don’t feel important anymore. It’s there in the way you should feel hungry because it’s suppertime, but you don’t. This month, all of your appetites are gone. Good news! That’s just as it should be. If this feels like sadness or if it simply freaks you out, just look outside yourself to be reassured. Watch how the grasses are finished, too. The trees are all done. Their leaves aren’t pulsing with green anymore, but they’re not even falling from the branches, because falling would take too much effort. The birds are quietly exhausted, waiting to leave. Even the waves in the lake are dragging themselves to the shore.
There is no more hustle. Thankfully, that time is over. It will come back soon enough. For now, just let everything roll to a pause, the way it wants to. Let your hips move like a slowing pendulum. Speak only if you must. Feel the way vowels stretch the inside of your mouth; notice how tired you become, just from speaking and thinking. Pull one or two crucial sentences out like taffy: “I can’t do that today. I am taking a rest.” And then stay quiet. It’s going to be OK. Let yourself go slowly. Walk to the train. Stop at the yellow light. You have time: You contain epochs inside yourself. You can’t be late when you are creating every minute with your own languid strides. Nothing exists outside of this. Your steps become the seconds. When you step slowly, your time moves slowly. When the day presses you, let yourself be pressed. Don’t resist it. Once you abandon your fight and slip inside that cocoon of heat, you can feel it actually lifting you. Up there, up above in the frightening cloud of nothingness, is where you can rest. It’s the only way. The city matches your insides and outsides. Everything is the haze of lemon water. Let yourself go cloudy. Let yourself slow to nothing. The end of summer is the time to soften your gaze, dull your points, release your hunger and rest.
culturecover Top, $32,290, and pants, $2,860, Mary Katrantzou. Belt, stylistâ€™s own.
A L I S O N
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S t R O N G E R By Greg Hudson Photography by Max Abadian Styling by Sophie Lopez Creative direction by Brittany Eccles
culturecover T h e r o o m i s d a r k , illuminated only
by flashes of coloured arcade lights snaking across the ceiling. The instructor is shouting encouragement over crunchy EDM. I’ve never been to a Rise Nation session, but the concept is similar, I assume, to a spin class—only instead of stationary bikes, there are climbing machines that, in the low light, look a little like high-tech easels. I had booked a climbing machine close to Alison Brie, whom I am here to meet and who, I would find out later, had planned on explaining the contraption to me so I wouldn’t feel lost. But now, owing to a fundamental ignorance of Los Angeles’s size and geography and an aggressively lackadaisical taxi driver, I’m late and it’s impossible to see where she is in the laser-tag dark. I hop onto the climber closest to the door and try to get into the rhythm of the class. I am very bad at this. At least once during every song (which is apparently how time is measured in fitness classes), usually when the instructor is exhorting us to dig deep, I stop to rest. I take these opportunities to scan the room for Brie. No luck. Instead, as is the case whenever you are failing at something, I look around for people who are doing worse than I am. Definitely not the woman in front of me. She is a machine—small, strong, seemingly unstoppable. She hits every beat and every combo the instructor throws at us. I fiddle with my machine, seeing if maybe it’s on, like, the expert setting. It is not. The woman in front of me is on the same machine as I am, hearing the same orders as me, only she’s Daft Punk-ing me: She’s harder, better, faster, stronger. I learn two things once the lights come up at the end of the class. The first is that if performance were rated by the amount of sweat pooled at the base of one’s machine, I would be the best climber-dancer in the room. The second is that the superhero in front of me is Alison Brie. “One other time, I had a journalist go for a hike with me,” she tells me, over an L.A.-appropriate post-workout breakfast, after I’ve finally, mostly, recovered. “She threw up. So I feel like I’m really destroying journalists’ lives, one at a time. But you know who needs to be cut down to size? Print journalists.” With that history (one more fallen writer and it’s a trend), it might be tempting to conclude that Brie doesn’t know her own strength. That would make for a convenient analogy for an actress who seems so down-to-earth. But it doesn’t work here. Brie knows exactly how strong she is. The problem—if you can say that a career that includes three critically adored, culturally significant shows (Mad Men, Community and GLOW) has a problem—is that we still don’t understand how powerful Brie is. “If you need a headline,” she says,
“that would be the headline of my life: ‘There’s a Lot More Going on With Me Than People Think.’” If an actress is always surprising us with her depth, talent and/or range, maybe that says more about the audiences’ expectations than it does about the actress. So let me correct our expectations with this prediction: A time will come—and it will come soon—when Alison Brie will be considered one of the best actresses of her generation. If we let her.
Part of what’s keeping Brie from being known as a dominant force in Hollywood is the nature of Hollywood itself. Audiences are so fragmented and have so many options that it’s hard to become super-famous without playing a superhero. While the television projects she’s been a part of have been—and continue to be—among the most lauded of the past 10 years, they didn’t exactly bring in Big Bang Theory numbers. Brie played the innocent, if a bit unstable, Annie in the cult comedy Community at the same time as she was bringing nuance and power to the role of Trudy Campbell on Mad Men. These days, along with playing the frustratingly ambitious, morally complicated lead actress-turnedwrestler in GLOW (now in its second season on Netflix), she is one of the main voices in the notfor-children-or-the-faint-of-heart comedy cartoon BoJack Horseman. But even among people who do recognize her—she did star in two Oscar-nominated movies this past year, after all (The Disaster Artist, along with her husband, Dave Franco, and The Post, with Meryl Streep)—she isn’t always remembered for the right things. “The biggest misconception across the board is that I’m a comedy actress, and it drives me crazy,” she explains. “Which is weird because I don’t want to begrudge that title in a way that implies I hate the genre. I don’t. I love it! But, to me, there’s more to me. There’s untapped resources you guys don’t even know about.” There is a persistent rumour perpetuated by the mainstream media that Brie is a goddamned delight to talk to. I can confirm that this rumour is 100 per cent true. She is warm, open and funny. She riffs with you. She is naturally, effortlessly charming. What makes some famous people seem nice is how they shed the awkward interview dynamic and power differential like an overcoat—but you never forget that that coat is close by. Brie talks with you like she’s never worn that coat in the first place. This is not a groundbreaking observation, but its persistence is noteworthy. She really is that cool. And so it’s not that I wish she were less kind but that, cynically, I wonder if some people are so distracted by her charm that they aren’t able to fully appreciate the depth of her talent. So here’s another prediction: What will happen with Brie will be a »
Top, $3,970, and skirt, $14,450, Delpozo.
Top and skirt, prices upon request, Mary Katrantzou.
Top, sweater and skirt, prices upon request, Miu Miu. Shoes, $1,255, Manolo Blahnik. Socks, $25, High Heel Jungle. Ring (on left), $4,480, Effy. Ring (on right), $8,335, Jared Lehr.
Dress, $21,660, and bustier, $10,220, Gucci.
culturecover Jacket, $5,180, top, $2,080, and pants, $2,080, Gucci. Ring (on left), $4,480, Effy. Ring (on right), $8,335, Jared Lehr. Hair, Mark Townsend for Starworks Artists/Dove Haircare. Makeup, Melanie Inglessis for Forward Artists. Manicure, Mazz Hanna for Chanel Le Vernis. Fashion assistant, Thanda Gibson.
repeat of how she scored the role of Ruth on GLOW, only on a larger, permanent scale. She had to fight for GLOW. But when you know how strong you are, you get a sense of which fights you’re going to win. That doesn’t mean it was easy. “I almost can’t even define why, but certain things you just read and you’re like, this is my role,” she says. “Maybe it came from having felt slightly misunderstood in my career—although I still sort of feel that way everywhere outside of GLOW—but I just had this drive to fight for this character, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with her. I would go into every audition superconfident with all these amazing decisions and then leave the auditions and go cry in my car because our producers, as much as I love them now, were very cold and awkward in the room while I was auditioning.” See, back when her career was new, after she trained at the California Institute of the Arts (she spent a semester at Glasgow’s Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama), Brie took classes in Los Angeles on how to act for the camera. They probably helped her score her roles on Mad Men and Community, but they also changed how she thought about herself. “You get out of college and everyone tells you to define yourself now: ‘Put yourself in a box before other people do and then you’ll work more.’ I was learning good tools that I would continue to use, but my individuality was at stake because a lot of work in this industry is people saying ‘Don’t trust what you think—just be the way these people want you to be.’ And you have to let go of that.” So she did and eventually convinced GLOW’s producers of what is obvious now: There really wasn’t anyone else who could tackle that role better than her.
Maybe a bit more on GLOW is in order because this is the kind of marriage between actor and role that makes other marriages question the strength of their relationships. “I think, for me, working on GLOW— I feel like I’m tapping into every part of myself,” she says. I suspect that an actor can’t create a fully realized character if they don’t know themselves first. Which is why this role feels like a culmination—a kind of crescendo of all of Brie’s talents, including, as she says, some we haven’t seen yet. Ruth is aggressively ambitious and almost desperate. Unable to find work as an actress—unable to be seen, really—she throws herself into the opportunity to become a wrestler and de facto leader of the other women. There’s comedy (which we already knew Brie was good at) and the kind of moral ambiguity that actors relish. But, actually, it’s in the more subdued, everyday Ruth-ness that Brie is most surprising. She displays this transformative Theronian ability to be believably plain. Yes, it has to do with makeup—
or the lack thereof—and the ’80s fashions she gets (has) to wear, but there’s something internal, too. A switch of focus in the eyes—like something is broken inside and we can only just barely see it. It’s not there when we’re talking over smoothies, and it certainly isn’t there later that day, when she’s dressed head to toe in golden Gucci. Because it’s in Ruth, not Brie. Now the downside of saying that Brie and Ruth represent the platonic ideal of an actor inhabiting a role is that one might infer the two are similar, that playing Ruth doesn’t require much of a stretch. But it’s more like a recipe. Brie brings all the right ingredients for this particular dish—including physical strength, which I’ll appreciate even more as my legs stay stiff for days after my Rise Nation experience. Actually, the physicality of the role—and Brie’s commitment to it—deserves mentioning. Her body has often been a factor in her career (not surprisingly, she is quite popular with men on the Internet), but it’s different this time. “We work for women and for a show that’s so much about our bodies, and yet we’re never sexualized,” she explains. “That’s not a priority of the show. And it certainly is in sync with how I feel as a person in terms of having little interest in having to prove my own sexiness.” And because she is Brie—and a goddamned delight to talk to—she continues: “Although, even right now, in this explosive moment, there is still a thing where we’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m taking back my body, and I don’t have to be sexy… But I’m also 35, and do you still find me sexy? Because I just want to make sure.’ It’s like as much as we want to think everything’s changed, I still have a fear about wanting to be seen that way enough to continue to work.” Of course, the most striking difference between Ruth and Brie is likeability. “Playing Ruth, I adore her and sympathize with her,” says Brie. “And obviously I must. I have to understand everything she’s doing and why. Where this is a challenge is for audiences; there’s a myriad of reactions. Some people love her. Some people find her cloying. Some people just hate her and think she’s awful but still want to watch the show.”
I was looking for an analogy earlier, back when we were in the dark, sweating and panting, climbing and climbing and climbing without actually getting anywhere. And while there would be a certain amount of poetry if I used that to describe Brie’s situation, it would also be way too sad and untrue, not to mention pretentious and dumb. Instead, consider how the day ends: Brie is dressed in a resplendent gown, standing on a roof that allows you to see farther across Los Angeles than your eyes can focus on. She’s already on top—where her followers and fans know to find her—but soon that whole city below will look up. And then she’s going to need a taller roof.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MicHAel DOnOvAn/THe licensinG PROjecT.cOM
memories matter But, as Craille Maguire Gillies discovers, whether they are accurate or not doesn’t.
don’t know how long I’d been crying when my mother hit the brakes of our truck and pulled to the side of a country road. It was late August, and I’d just turned nine. The next month, I’d planned to start Grade 4 with my friends, but now we were on an unfamiliar road, driving north to a new house in a strange city. The covered truck bed was packed with pets and other breakables: There was Ally, a stray cat we’d rescued from a tree; Goudreau, a dog who looked like a cross between a corgi and a German shepherd; and my rabbit, Twitcher, whose cage was wedged among the picture frames. The sun had softened the vinyl upholstery, and my bare legs stuck to my seat. The farther down the road we drove, the more hysterical I became, swallowing air the way a drowning swimmer inhales water. I was at a loss: for the home we left behind, for the friends who would continue their lives without me, for the blank terror of a new place. At some point, the tears became so disruptive that it was impossible for my mother to drive any farther. Looking back, I can diagnose this as my first bout of nostalgia. My memories of home became preserved as if in amber. It was the place where we tapped the maple trees for sap to make syrup, where my brother and I skated on a homemade ice rink, where I spent countless Saturdays hiding under my bed reading books, whether or not the sun was shining. Even events categorically unpleasant seemed comforting—like the time my father hitched a ride on my toboggan and knocked his head on the frozen ground after I hit a bump and then staggered home to nurse a concussion. But something about these stories (let’s call them what they are) seems too smooth, as if time and recollection have
polished them to a suspect shine. Could I, under oath (or even around a dinner table with my family, remembering times past), wholeheartedly endorse their accuracy? Is nostalgia merely self-deception, full of tiny lies we tell ourselves to reframe the past or, worse, put ourselves in the best light? Did I really enjoy trudging through the backyard on a cold day checking buckets for sap? Was my father secretly angry when I zoomed down the hill on the toboggan without a thought for how dangerous it might be? And just how hysterical was I during that tear-filled drive? Or, as I suspect, is that memory shaped by what came after: the bullying at my new school, the sense that our family had been better before the move? Memories, of course, are changeable things, subject to the bias of hindsight—we continually reshape the events of the past to suit the emotions of the present. Scientists now know that, like DNA, memories can be contaminated. Multiple tellings alter them. The first time an eyewitness recalls a crime, their recollection may be pure, but grill them before a jury once or twice and the story that emerges can become a blurry facsimile. Likewise, new information and experiences can change what Joan Didion describes as “the stories we tell ourselves in order to live.” For a long time, I’ve had the firm belief that my father went home early the night we were tobogganing to nurse his banged-up head with a glass of whisky and that I had dutifully trundled along soon after because I felt guilty and because I was worried I’d hurt him. (I had, but he would be fine.) Yet my story is full of gaps, like a half-remembered dream. How much of that memory is shaded by the knowledge that my father would go on to have quite a battle with whisky, one he wouldn’t win? And though the memory is clearly nostalgic »
cultureessay and even funny (remember that time I kinda hurt Dad?), it is a sad story to put on the page. “Memory might well be described as the incessant construction of the past and be seen as just one aspect of our tendency to confabulate,” the late Robert Todd Carroll, an academic and professional skeptic, once warned. Confabulate: a wonderful word, larded with judgment yet almost naughty. One researcher put it another way: “Memory is not a stable phenomenon.” I had hung on to childhood memories as resolute, immutable and, most of all, categorically true. Details seem to lend my memories a certain verisimilitude. But just because they look real when you screen these short movies in the mind’s eye doesn’t mean they are. Perhaps the easiest person to deceive is oneself.
For a long time, nostalgia was considered an affliction, even a mental disorder. Derived from the Greek words nostos (homecoming) and algos (pain), the term was coined in the 17th century to describe a fierce homesickness among soldiers. Back then, those who were considered most susceptible—soldiers far from home, children away from their parents for the first time, young labourers removed from their families—were punished with leeching, bullying or worse. (One military doctor in post-Civil War America proposed public shaming to rid homesick troops of their weak will.) Yet nostalgia persists, and about 20 years ago, researchers began to wonder if it wasn’t such a bad thing after all. “Nostalgia doesn’t trigger distress; distress triggers nostalgia,” Dr. Clay Routledge, behavioural scientist and author, has said. And though loneliness, loss or big changes, such as a long-distance move, can put people in a wistful frame of mind, reminiscing itself has a surprisingly comforting effect. “Nostalgic stories often start badly, with some kind of problem, but then they tend to end well, thanks to help from someone close to you,” Dr. Constantine Sedikides, a social and personality psychology professor at the University of Southampton in England, has said. “So you end up with a stronger feeling of belonging and affiliation, and you become more generous toward others.” That song lyric you loved long ago, that melody you remember, the holiday you took with someone no longer alive... These are the sorts of things that set us fondly wandering down memory lane. The smell of the woods does it for me. It brings back memories of driving at 15 kilometres an hour down the bumpy dirt road to my grandparents’ cottage on the shores of Lake Huron, windows rolled down, our dog poking his head out and his nose twitching madly. Whether or not such recollections are based on cold, hard fact, nostalgia makes us more empathic and less alienated. It connects us with our family and friends and, perhaps most important, fosters what psychologists call self-continuity. “Nostalgia compensates for uncomfortable states—for example, people with feelings of meaninglessness or a discontinuity between past and present,” Dr. Tim Wildschut, a Dutch researcher who collaborates with Sedikides, told The Guardian when their research on the benefits of nostalgia made headlines in 2014. Far from
74 F A S H I O N | AUGUST 2018
being a “demonic disorder,” as it was once considered, wistful thinking is good for us. Wildschut—who long ago left the Netherlands to live in America and then England and knows a thing or two about homesickness—has even prescribed it as a kind of vitamin to “promote emotional equilibrium.” Today, speaking from his office in Southampton, he says, “Nostalgia moves you away from a purely hedonistic view of happiness.” It is proof, he says, that happiness and sadness have their place in a meaningful life. “Even though we’re told we ought to be happy and not sad,” he says, “people are quite good at reconciling both.” “A lot of research shows that all memory is reconstructed, and the same is undoubtedly true for nostalgia, but whether memory is accurate has little bearing on what I’m interested in,” he says. These days, Wildschut is interested in the neurological foundations of nostalgia, something scientists are hazy on, and whether it’s an emotion that might help people process threatening or traumatic events. He wants to know what the purpose of it is and how it might be harnessed. Turns out, it is possible to reconcile the good and the bad, the happy and sad, in one go. So does it matter how truthful I am being when I recount that fated toboggan ride one winter decades ago? The story reminds me of my childhood and how much I love my father and, of course, how much I miss him. But then I summon that memory and he’s here with me somehow. Now, whether that winter night in small-town Ontario unfolded precisely the way I describe it is another question—and one that I’m not convinced matters. “Memory fades, memory adjusts, memory conforms to what we think we remember,” wrote Didion, who once boasted that the kinds of memories that ended up in her notebook were “lies.” Wildschut is right that these little fibs are beside the point. Still, reflecting on some of these stories has made me wonder whether I’ve simply told myself the wrong stories—grafted details and meaning on them that they didn’t have at the time. As an adult, I criss-crossed Canada—Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Saskatchewan— and then settled in England. Yet, in many ways, that first move, from the small town where I was born, was the most profound. And so I returned to my childhood home one August day not long ago, this time bringing my camera. I slowed the rental car down as I approached and parked near the curb. The house, though smaller than I remember it—funny how memories make much of our childhood seem larger than life—looked exactly the same: white with blue shutters, a long swath of grass at the front and stone steps leading down to that sprawling backyard where we’d tapped our maple trees. There was another minivan in the driveway, another family there now making their own memories. For some reason, this didn’t make me jealous or sad. Either time had faded the pain of leaving or I was able to recognize my affection for what it was: nostalgia not for the home before me but for the place in my mind’s eye—for my childhood. Call these memories lies, call them confabulations, but that will do nothing to discredit their purpose—or their power.
LE NOW SA
TS A E S ALL
an Ontario government agency un organisme du gouvernement de lĂ•Ontario
anada’s Beauty Industry and esteemed experts gathered at the Carlu in Toronto on May 17, 2018, for Cosmetics magazine’s 13th annual celebration of the best in the business. This was the ﬁrst year the event has been known as the Canadian Beauty Awards, incorporating skincare, makeup, men’s grooming and hair care categories to bring over 300 industry insiders ― from business executives to beauty editors and bloggers ― together for the night. Among the accolades were two Hall of Fame awards and one Lifetime Achievement honouree. For more on the Canadian Beauty Awards, and to watch the event in full, visit Cosmeticsmag.com, and for behind-the-scenes action check out @cosmeticsmag and #CBA2018 on Instagram and Twitter.
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Scott Lovell, Hudson’s Bay Hailing from Hamilton Ontario, Scott Lovell started his career at Jaggard’s Florist and Garden Centre in Burlington in 1969. He studied Floral Design at the University of Guelph and went on to work for the T Eaton Company where he created up to 25 window displays a week. When Eaton’s closed in 1999, Hudson’s Bay snapped up his extraordinary talents and made him Visual Presentation Manager. Almost 20 years later he’s now the Marketing Manager of the �ueen Street store and considers the relationships he’s made along the way the real highlight of his beautiful career. BRAND INFLUENCER AWARD Dave Lackie, Hudson’s Bay Dave Lackie has amassed the largest beauty twitter following in Canada, which he expertly leverages with a community of loyal beauty lovers thanks to exciting giveaways and events. Dave also appears regularly on Cityline watched by 2.1 million viewers each week where he discusses the latest launches and trends.
BEST LIMITED FRAGRANCE LAUNCH Elizabeth and James Nirvana Amethyst Eau de Parfum [Quadrant Cosmetics]
BEST FULL-MARKET FRAGRANCE — MEN’S Prada Luna Rossa Carbon Eau de Toilette [Puig]
BEST FULL-MARKET FRAGRANCE — WOMEN’S Gucci Bloom Eau de Parfum [Coty]
BEST SKINCARE — PRESTIGE Clarins Double Serum Complete Age Control Concentrate
BEST SKINCARE — FULL MARKET Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask [Johnson & Johnson]
BEST SKINCARE — DERM Vichy Minéral 89 Fortifying and Plumping Daily Booster [L’Oréal]
MAKEUP — EYES: PRESTIGE Dior Diorshow Pump’N’Volume Mascara
MAKEUP — EYES: FULL MARKET Annabelle Skinny Mascara [Group Marcelle]
MAKEUP — LIPS: PRESTIGE Lancôme Matte Shaker Liquid Lipstick [L’Oréal]
MAKEUP — LIPS: FULL MARKET Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Metal [Estée Lauder Companies]
MAKEUP — FACE: PRESTIGE Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Longwear High Coverage Foundation [L’Oréal]
MAKEUP - FACE: FULL MARKET Smashbox Primerizer [Estée Lauder Companies]
NAIL CARE Sally Hansen Miracle Gel French Romance Collection [Coty]
HAIR CARE Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo & Conditioner [P&G Beauty]
SUN CARE Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion WetForce SPF 50+
BODY CARE Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Baume Ultra-Soothing Balm
MEN’S GROOMING Biotherm Aquapower 72H Concentrated Glacial Hydrator [L’Oréal]
HALL OF FAME — MEN’S Hugo Boss Boss Bottled Eau de Toilette [Coty]
HALL OF FAME — WOMEN’S Lise Watier Neiges Eau de Parfum [Groupe Marcelle]
BRAND INFLUENCER Dave Lackie
CONSUMERS’ CHOICE: SKINCARE Glamglow #Glittermask [Estée Lauder Companies]
CONSUMERS’ CHOICE: MAKEUP MAC Girls Personality Palette [Estée Lauder Companies]
CONSUMERS’ CHOICE: MEN’S FRAGRANCE Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Pour Homme Eau Intense [Shiseido Fragrance Division BPI]
CONSUMERS’ CHOICE: WOMEN’S FRAGRANCE Tiffany & Co. Eau de Parfum [Coty]
MORE CULTURE MORE STYLE MORE ADVICE MORE STUFF1
photography by brent goldsmith (styling, juliana schiavinatto). coat, $38,000, dress, $3,490, and earring (on left), $240, marni. top, $295, jil sander. shoes, $1,265, dolce & gabbana. sunglasses, $640, fendi. earring (on right), $8,190 (for a pair), ana Khouri x narciso rodriguez. bag, $400, marc jacobs.
FASHION august 2018
Coat, $23,650, jacket, $16,750, top, $4,900, and earring (on left), $1,250, Chanel. Turtleneck, $795, Dolce & Gabbana. Pants, $400, Paige. Earring (on right), $5,170 (for a pair), Ana Khouri.
T H E
M I X O L O G I S T
The first rule of personal style? There are no rules. Photography by Brent Goldsmith Styling by Juliana Schiavinatto
Coat, $38,000, and earring (on left), $240, Marni. Top, $295, Jil Sander. Sunglasses, $640, Fendi. Earring (on right), $8,190 (for a pair), Ana Khouri x Narciso Rodriguez. Bag, $400, Marc Jacobs.
Top, vest and pants, prices upon request, Louis Vuitton. T-shirt with lace sleeves, $515, Goen.J at Shopbop. Shoes, $1,570, Sanayi 313. Rings, $140 each, Alta Ora. Earrings, $5,170, Ana Khouri.
Beauty and a Geek Lotte Van Noort’s Instagram bio reads “Model & technology freak.” If you were to paint separate portraits of these two descriptors, they would likely look very different. But in Van Noort’s big baby-blue eyes—the kind that get you signed with major international modelling agencies— it’s pretty simple to be both. When I ask what fuels her enthusiasm for technology, Van Noort draws a comparison to magic. “We can make things fly,” she says. “We have access to all the information in the entire world from a small device in the back of our pocket, and there are medical tools that save thousands of lives. So much is possible that we never thought would ever be reality.” Sometimes she’s posing in front of a camera in Chanel; sometimes she is fulfilling her role as chancellor for the Institute of Exponential Sciences, a think tank that manages a vast network of scientists and people interested in science. They seem like separate worlds, but the Dutch model insists they’re connected. “Through modelling, I hope I can inspire people and show them that technology is not boring or just for nerds—it’s the foundation of modern society,” she says. “I want to show people that being beautiful and being smart don’t have to be two separate things.” —Meghan McKenna
Jacket, $1,400, Acne Studios. Top, $3,140, shoes, $1,085, and socks, $125, Fendi. Pants, $230, Bailey 44 at Shopbop. Earrings, $260 each, Alta Ora.
Top, $230, Jil Sander. Dress, price upon request, Erdem. Earrings, $880, Marni. Bracelet, $10,140, Ana Khouri. Bag, price upon request, Michael Kors Collection.
Top, $1,920, and gold belt, $3,195, CĂŠline. Pants and shoes, prices upon request, HermĂ¨s. Fabric belt, $985, Jil Sander. Earring (on left), $1,740, Ana Khouri. Earring (on right), $160 (for a pair), Alta Ora.
Sweater, $615, and skirt, $1,010, Victoria Victoria Beckham. Top, $720, Acne Studios. Shoes, $1,295, Dolce & Gabbana. Earring (on left), $830, and earring (on right), $380, Balenciaga.
Vest, $16,640, Altuzarra. Turtleneck, $295, Jil Sander. Top, $585, Isabel Marant. Pants, $335, Paige. Shoes, $2,495, Brian Atwood. Earrings, $8,195, Ana Khouri x Narciso Rodriguez.
White tank top, plaid top, dress and belt, prices upon request, Miu Miu. Earring (on left), $390 (for a pair), Erdem. Earring (on right), $4,085, Ana Khouri.
Coat, $4,470, dress, $3,510, pants, $1,215, shoes, $1,015, earring (on left), $830, and earring (on right), $380, Balenciaga.
Jacket, $585, Marc Jacobs. Turtleneck, $1,015, Dolce & Gabbana. Dress, price upon request, Michael Kors Collection. Hat, $355, Eugenia Kim. Earrings, $160 (for a pair), Alta Ora.
Jacket, $1,050, Victoria Victoria Beckham. Top, $480, Dolce & Gabbana. Hair, Tim Aylward for Atelier Management/ Oribe. Makeup, Paco Blancas for Lâ€™Atelier NYC/Nars. Fashion assistant, Jillian Amos. Model, Lotte Van Noort for Marilyn Agency NY.
e x pe r i e nc e t r av e l ta st e di s c ov e r
orbeliani bath house in tbilisi
n my second night in Tbilisi, after an opulent yet relatively inexpensive meal consisting of salty triangles of cheese-filled bread (khachapuri) and a jeroboam of wine at the Old City Wall restaurant, I am walking back to my hotel with some fellow travel companions when a car full of menacinglooking eastern European bros slowly
drives past us. I brace myself for a flurry of expletives, but instead we are greeted with a rambunctious holler: “WELCOME TO GEORGIA!” The unexpected salutation is the first of many surprises I encounter in this tiny country bordering Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan. Georgia is a study in opposites. A short walk through downtown Tbilisi reveals crumbling 19th-century European facades juxtaposed with
Soviet brutalist architecture. On the hillside overlooking the city of more than one million, there’s an enormous glass villa built by a Georgian banking magnate. This $65 million home hovers like a suspended UFO above the humble clay-tiled roofs below it. The country is technically only a mere 27 years old—its most recent declaration of independence was from the collapsing Soviet Union in 1991—yet it contains the vestiges of monasteries
In the post-Soviet state of Georgia, residents woo tourists with their earnestness and complete lack of cynicism. You’ve been warned.
editor: jacquelyn francis. photography by istock.
By Isabel B. Slone
that date back to the 12th century. Men with guns patrolled the streets of Tbilisi during the early ’90s, but when you land at the airport today, you’re greeted with signage that reads “The city that loves you.” Georgia didn’t embrace a Westernstyle democracy until the peaceful Rose Revolution in 2003, yet our tour guide claims that one of the country’s most significant economic drivers is mining cryptocurrency. If this all
sounds somewhat confusing and possibly overwhelming, you’re not wrong, but the confluence of such unlikely factors swirling together makes Georgia one of the most profoundly bewitching and enigmatic places I’ve ever visited. My mood today is in stark contrast to how I felt a day earlier, when I landed in the city after a rather brutal 12-hour layover in Munich. (I can now deeply relate to Tom Hanks’s character in The Terminal.) The frazzled
fatigue lifted as soon as I arrived at the plush Rooms Hotel Tbilisi. The Wes Anderson-esque bellhops and bohemian vibe charmed me, and my first meal—a three-hour affair at Shavi Lomi (“Black Lion”)—ended with shots of throat-searing chacha, a grape hard liquor that’s a Georgian party staple. The other highlight was the pungent salad of fresh scallions and springy morels, which had been foraged by Goran, an aging nomad who »
CLOCkWISE FROM LEF T: NaRIkaLa FORTRESS OvERLOOkINg ThE CIT y; ROOMS hOTEL TBILISI; CaBLE CaR TO NaRIkaLa; ThE aBaNOTuBaNI NEIghBOuRhOOd
E x p E r i E n c E : State Ballet of Georgia One of the most historic institutions of its kind in eastern Europe, the State Ballet of Georgia combines the rigour of Russian ballet with the emotional intensity of the Georgian disposition. The performances stun, as does the arresting architecture of the Tbilisi Z. Paliashvili Opera and Ballet State Theatre. With its Moorish influences, rococo chandeliers and ornately painted ceilings, there’s no better way to feel like a real patron of the arts.
E a t : Kafe Leila According to locals, a former incarnation of this opulently decorated restaurant smack dab in the centre of Old Town was the choice hangout for wealthy expats in Georgia. Now under new ownership, it has been transformed into a hipsterish vegetarian café that sells bangin’ butternut squash soup and traditional Georgian walnut spreads (to be generously slathered on fresh bread). The ludicrously sumptuous decor—including bulbous moulded ceilings and lacy pistachio green walls—remains wonderfully intact.
B u y : Samoseli Pirveli Located in Tbilisi’s tony Vake district, Samoseli Pirveli sells modern interpretations of traditional Georgian dress. (Think plenty of paisley tunics and military-style jackets.) Not only is the clothing radically well tailored and super-soft but it’s all made by hand in the back of the shop.
Nowhere is this more evident than at the Deserter’s Bazaar, a food market in central Tbilisi where locals sell bundles of tarragon, desiccated-looking pomegranates and wet wheels of imeruli cheese from ramshackle stalls made of plastic tarps and dilapidated patio umbrellas. One vendor insists I try her homemade sauces (bottled in recycled plastic Coca-Cola bottles) and then proceeds to distribute them via mouldy hunks of bread. (I discreetly attempt to avoid the mould by licking the sauces off the bread.) I buy a couple of strands of churchkhela (a candle-shaped Georgian treat made of nuts on a string and dipped in thickened grape juice) to take home. Within walking distance is the Dry Bridge Flea Market, where vendors hawk jewellery, Soviet tchotchkes and kitchen implements from blankets on the ground. Even the wines in Georgia are marketed as natural. Natural wine may be only beginning to gain traction in North America, but Georgians have been producing it since 6000 BC. (No, this isn’t a typo. Archeologists unearthing two villages near Tbilisi found evidence that these early residents produced wines,
PhotograPhy: main courtesy of rooms hotels; georgia landscaPes courtesy of gnta; tamara KoPaliani by edward James/contributor/getty images.
came by our table to share the wisdom he has gleaned since dropping out of society to live among camels. I can only imagine who I will meet today. There’s an overarching feeling of anticipation in the air, as if Georgia is teetering on the precipice of becoming the next Lisbon or Buenos Aires. Its tourism revenue has doubled in the past five years, no doubt thanks in part to talented Georgian fashion designers like Demna Gvasalia and David Koma dominating the world stage. Yet the most compelling reason to visit Georgia is the country’s complete lack of artifice.
We asked the designers behind four georgian labels “hoW does georgia as a country influence your designs?”
“Growing up, Georgia was one of the gloomiest places. We were in ruins—no electricity, no heating, hunger. I could not identify myself with this gloom. My bright colours and radical ideas stem from countering that despair.” —Tamara Kopaliani
making them some of the world’s first-known vintners.) Natural wine operates on a philosophy of nothing being added or taken away, and much of it is cloudy with sediment and tastes like tart apple juice (but with no nostril-flaring acridity). “Georgia is famous for its opulent hospitality,” says John Wurdeman, the owner of Pheasant’s Tears winery, where we sampled a wine called Poliphonia (made from a blend of multiple endemic Georgian grape varieties) that one of my travel companions called “spiritual.” Later, at Wurdeman’s restaurant (also named Poliphonia), we sit at a communal table that groans under the weight of such dishes as pickled wildflowers (jonjoli) and mozzarella dumplings with yogourt-mint sauce. The meal is punctuated with prolific toasting— a Georgian tradition that dictates that whenever a guest experiences a raw emotion, they must propose a toast. The result is a meal engagingly interrupted with emphatic displays of warmth and affection.
Poliphonia’s co-owner, Luarsab Togonidze, joins us, along with a number of cronies who spontaneously break out into Georgian folk songs. The a cappella harmonizing adds yet another layer of wistful emotion to the scene. Togonidze explains that the Georgian way is to approach life with a sense of openness and vulnerability. “All my life, I’ve been trying to attach a handle to my chest so you can open it up and see my heart,” he says. From that evening on, the locals’ earnest, wholehearted and cynicism-free outlook on life seduces me. During my nine-day stay, I slowly learned how to drop my ingrained sense of North American pessimism and just be. “You’ve been given a chunk of our heart, and you can keep that with you, for better or worse,” says Wurdeman. For me, it is definitely for the better. That woman who once feared a car full of local wellwishers went home with a little piece of Georgia in her heart.
“Now Georgia is on the fashion radar; many Western journalists see it as a post-Soviet country only. Georgian history is so much deeper and more interesting than 70 years of the last century.” —Irakli Rusadze of Situationist
“Georgia is a magical country with a strong heritage, [but] the fashion industry is a completely new concept for us and the consumer market is still very small. In order to succeed, designers have to access foreign markets.” —Irma Sharikadze of Irma de Flore
“I was raised in a newly independent country. ‘Proudly heading toward the future’ is the main message I try to deliver through my creations. Babukhadia’s woman is smart, tough and dashing.” —Nino Babukhadia
know I’m painting things with an overly broad brush, but I’m just going to say it: Vacations are lies, and all travellers are liars. Consider what happens on vacation. We visit an alternate universe, like the fortunate frauds we are. This hotel is our home. This lifestyle? Ours. These complicated meals and breathtaking activities? We do this all the time. The more trips we take, the better we get at deception. I’m reminded of this theory while in Las Vegas for the Life Is Beautiful festival: three days of music, art installations and roundtables that feature important people presumably hip enough to keep millennials engaged. On day one, I meet a fellow festivalgoer named Chris. He is covering Life Is Beautiful, too, and by my observation is friendly but not boisterous, with the general demeanour of a cool high-school teacher (and the wardrobe to match). On day two, we find our way to the Indian restaurantturned-media centre, and Chris disappears into the bathroom. When he comes out, he’s wearing shiny red tights, a silver lamé vest (unbuttoned, naturally) and an Electric Circus-approved amount of glitter on his face. This crowd doesn’t frighten him. It isn’t oppressive. It’s an opportunity, and he came prepared to be who he really is—or at least who he wants to be at a concert festival in Las Vegas. It’s easy to associate Las Vegas with the adults-only dubious debauchery you see in movies and on television. But that reputation is getting a bit played out, isn’t it? And like the customer-satisfaction city it is, Las Vegas is wise enough to move with the zeitgeist. In this era of curation and gentrifi-
cation—when millennial consumers are (so we’re told) interested in experiences and stories—rejuvenating parts of the city that were previously left to wilt in the shadow of The Strip has come about. The Downtown Project (helmed by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, who relocated the company’s HQ to Vegas’s old City Hall building in 2013) is the investment enterprise behind a lot of the urban renewal I’m here to see. On The Strip, it’s almost impossible to think (with all that’s being sold to you), but on Fremont Street—ground zero for this born-again downtown and home to Life Is Beautiful—things are disarmingly, well, beautiful. Here, the festival has splashed massive murals done by such giants in the urban-art movement as Shepard Fairey and Faile. There is a steampunk-y robot cuddling up to his human companion, a dizzy Linus van Pelt quoting hip-hop lyrics, and so much more. It’s as if Vegas got sleeved. Aside from a very flashy zip line attraction that lets you fly over Fremont Street amid blinding lights, what draws people to Old Las Vegas are the same things that bring people to any city: the bars, the restaurants, the character. Old Las Vegas feels real. There are two aesthetic vibes competing for supremacy in Las Vegas—not counting The Strip (or the murals). It’s western (you’ll recall the giant neon cowgirl that used to kick her leg over Fremont Street before so many of the neon signs were retired) versus a kind of mid-century chic. The Triple George Grill in the Downtown Grand definitely falls into the latter category. It was one of the first restaurants to open in the early days of revitalization, but it feels like a dinner club out of Mad Men—or any other cultural product set in
PhotograPhy: main by istock; mural courtesy of las vegas convention and visitors authority; street festival by filmmagic/contributor/getty images.
Before tragedy struck, Greg Hudson visited Las Vegas, a city filled with beautiful mysteries.
FROM TOP: A NEON MURAL PRODUCED BY THE FESTIVAL, 2017; OT T AT TENDEES
the early ’60s. (Think dim lighting, classic cocktails and simple American cuisine done perfectly.) On the other side of that aesthetic divide is the Gold Spike. It offers coworking spaces by day in the “Living Room” and houseparty vibes at night; there’s an extensive vinyl library, and the “Backyard” has oversized games while the bar offers boozy milkshakes in a homey environment. It doesn’t have cowboy boots and lassos on the walls, but it feels a little like a friend’s romper room, back when people called such spaces “romper rooms.” If The Strip thrives on its overtly nihilistic ideation, the new Old Las Vegas feels like it was made for real people who actually live here. There’s this notion that I remember from my religious upbringing about how believers should be in the world but not of the world. Proximity to sin is unavoidable, but participation in it isn’t. Downtown Vegas feels like that. It’s Vegas but not. That’s probably why I like it. Although maybe that’s the lie I’m living on this trip…. Yes, I’m attending an outdoor festival (Did I mention that I hate music festivals? No? That’s another story) in Vegas, but I am not of Vegas. Not the gambling, blinged-out, clichéd Grecian Vegas. I’m at this concert—in a field surrounded by looming hotels—watching Muse, Chance the Rapper and Gorillaz. None have earned a residency yet. And there’s no kitsch—only thousands of people swaying outside in the dry desert heat. But unlike most of the other attendees, I won’t return to my parents’ bungalow or even to one of these downtown hotels. No, after each concert, I’ll head for The Strip. I’ll walk through a lobby that beeps and plinks and is dying to make me a winner. I’ll pass girls dressed like Halloween cops who pose with you for photos and then ask for money afterwards. And the next morning, I’ll eat more food than should be legal at a long, winding brunch buffet at Caesars Palace. I say I’m not of Vegas, but there is certainly enough evidence to the contrary. I can practically hear The Strip calling to me, reminding me that I watched LOVE, the Beatles-inspired Cirque du Soleil show. “Were you not entertained?” it asks. But that lie, along with every other lie I tell myself, fades away every night at Life Is Beautiful. I am one of many
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who are bobbing their heads, trying to see around the giant in front of them. It’s a music festival, and it could be anywhere, in any open field. There is only love while I’m watching Lorde make the crowds ripple and bounce, as unaware as everyone that in 10 days, at a different outdoor concert, the tragedy of America’s deadliest mass shooting would tear so many lives apart. But on this day, the love feels real. And I realize I’m enjoying every minute of it. No word of a lie. (Life Is Beautiful runs from September 21 to 23 with performances by The Weeknd, Florence + The Machine, Arcade Fire, Miguel and more.)
WILFRED FREE AT ARITZIA $35
MARC JACOBS AT SSENSE $360
MIChAEL MIChAEL KORS $995
If Jenny Bird’s art-deco-inspired La Bouche and La Vue pins appear whimsical, the Toronto-based designer is not. She’s refreshingly honest and a true straight shooter when talking about the namesake jewellery line she founded in 2008. She explains how the pieces are cast in brass and then plated in 14-karat gold or sterling silver at her factory in China, which she has visited. At $60 and $65, the pins are reasonably priced—a decision she describes as being about “the democracy of the brand and just being fair; it’s possible to make a good living and have beautiful, quality products.” Another Jenny Bird truth is this: Affordable jewellery can be precious, and it should be to the person wearing it. “We [gold-]plate our pieces so that people will take care of them,” she says. “They can be heirlooms. You don’t have to have solid-gold heirlooms; you just have to take care of them.” Truth.
98 F A S H I O N | AUGUST 2018
text by jacquelyn francis. photography: pins by daniel harrison; background by istock.
R e a l Ta l k
EXHIBITION ON NOW TICKETS AT ROM.CA
Radiation Invasion, Dress, September 2009. Faux leather, gold foil, cotton, and tulle. Groninger Museum, 2012.0201. Photo by Bart Oomes, No 6 Studios. ‘Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion’ is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta and the Groninger Museum, the Netherlands. The exhibition was curated by Sarah Schleuning, High Museum of Art, and Mark Wilson and Sue-an van der Zijpp, Groninger Museum.
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