The arts are multi-disciplined and so are the people involved. The key is using the tools available to capture human behaviour and weave it together to create something unique. From this point, ideas can be formed and categories can be re-invented. We are bridging the gap, between everything press play.
Identity has always been such a huge topic for me.
You can read any past post on Threads & Soul and come to the conclusion that I am a champion of one being the truest version of themselves.
This idea of self love.
The fashion industry has such a juxtaposition on this notion.
On one hand there are models giving up the necessity to eat just to fit into a sample size garment, while others are trying to pave the way, albeit under extreme circumstances, for acceptance and understanding across all fronts.
It is these extreme circumstances that make these self love warriors all the more noble.
Yes, I am referring to the Bruce Jenner’s, the Chaz Bono’s, the Laverne Cox’s of the world.
But not just them.
The 15 year old boy who walks into the make up store to make himself feel pretty.
The girl with an eating disorder everyone is too nervous to address.
The people fighting everyday, to try and love themselves.
Let me be clear: I love fashion.
I love it’s ability to create magic where there was none. The history, the culture of it – the reflection of a spirit of the times.
I love myself more.
I suppose the point I’m trying to make is this; fashion is amazing, but you.
You little star, you are beautiful no matter what size, shape, colour – you are everything.
Fashion is what you make it, be the truest version of yourself.
It’s fashion week and I’m running around making sure VIPs have all the champagne they need and I see him. He is tall and good looking, soft-spoken, he has the kindest eyes I have ever seen. Now I know what you’re thinking and no this blog has not turned into a personal dating site (however when all else fails maybe I’ll reconsider the idea.)
The guy I’m referring to is none other than Craig Stickland. When I met him during fashion week I had no doubt he was someone special. It was only later while we hung out and listened to some music that I found out he too was not only a model but more importantly, a fantastic musician.
Fast forward a few years and Craig has become a full fledged artist. Travelling all over North America, playing gigs and finding time to model inbetween. He has that sexy appeal that only a musician holding a guitar could posess and yet he is one of the most humble guys I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Check out this weeks post, an interview with the immensely talented Craig Stickland.
You have been quoted as saying; “Never compromise, and never settle.” This is an idea that resonates with all people, particularly creative types. How do you find that integrity that allows you to continue with this mantra, to never compromise with your work?
I think true art takes time, patience and perseverance. It’s always been my goal to be an artist that has a career with longevity, regardless of what temporary hardships come my way as a result of this decision.
Often times with art and creativity it’s simpler to take the easy way out, but I feel that the easy way out doesn’t typically create the best art, nor does it usually have much longevity, or timelessness. When you’re a musician, people are always trying to pull you in certain musical directions, but if you don’t have the integrity to stay true to the music you want to make, you’ll be pulled and pulled forever, without getting anywhere.
You have said that music has always been a part of your life. When did it hit home for you that this was what you wanted to contribute to the world? Why?
When I was in high school, I was in a band with some friends. The more we played together, the more I fell in love with it, and the more I began distancing myself from traditional education. I knew very early into my teens that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What is fashion to you?
To me, fashion is a way of expressing and identifying yourself on the outside. In some ways, it’s kind of like wearing a uniform for your existence. I like the idea of someone knowing, or assuming exactly what I’m all about by looking at how I present myself. Take a banker for example… the first thing that comes to mind is someone in a boxy, un-tailored suit, with a clean cut haircut and shaved face. I like to represent myself in the complete opposite way; with skinny jeans, a leather jacket, long hair and a beard. The lines are a little more blurred these days, but I liked that in the 60’s and 70s, you knew exactly what someone was all about by how they presented themselves. There was no second guessing the fact that Jimi Hendrix was a rockstar when you saw him in a military double breasted jacket, wide open with no shirt underneath.
You’re a ‘Jack of All Trades.’ How do these industries interrelate for you?
First and foremost I’m a musician, but I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to do other things to facilitate my passion. We live in a world where many people are being discovered via social media. For me, the modelling came secondary when I realized it could be a way of raising awareness about my music through a different avenue. In this day and age you need to be creative, and you need to take any chance you get.
What projects do you have coming up that you can speaks to?
My first single ‘Liquor Store Blues’ should be dropping in a few weeks, and my debut album shortly there after! I can’t wait to release this music that I’ve worked so hard on.
Do you have advice for anyone trying to break into the fashion or music industry (or both)?
For both, the answer is that hard work, discipline and patience go a very long way.
I first met Addy Chan years ago while working the America’s Next Top Model CANADA event at a downtown venue.
I was working production and she was a dancer for the show. Now when I say dancer I mean Addy was one of those people you see come alive on stage. She has all the charisma and presence you would imagine a perfect dancer to have. What was more about Addy was her incredible spirit. Not only is she a gifted performer, she is a person with a heart so warm that being around her makes you want to be better, do better.
True to form when I asked Addy if I could interview her for a little fashion blog she all to happily obliged. Of all the millions of projects she has going on, she was gracious enough to take the time and answer some of my questions.
So here it is, wise words from a woman who is many things to many people but to me, she is that good zen we all strive to be. Check out the interview below and the newest video from The Angry Kids feat. Beth Humble ‘Battle’ featuring Addy Chan as a beautiful ninja.
Take us back to the beginning, why did you start dancing?
I started dancing when I was 5 years old because my parents were awesome enough to enroll me into a ballet program. I don’t have many memories of that time other than that I was a bumblebee and had a kick ass costume. I fell in love with dance and music.
What is fashion to you?
Fashion is important, I suppose because I view it as another means of self expression in life. I see fashion as a display of who I am and how I think. It’s how I feel that day, what I want to project for that meeting, the impression I want to leave. Since I was very young, originality and personal style has always been priority.
In my work wardrobe plays a major role in how I perform as a dancer. It helps me get into character and breeds confidence; what I wear will make me feel sexy, feel hood, it can age me or make me youthful. My performance is supported by fashion that makes me look and embody the part – proper wardrobe is key!
As a choreographer wardrobe and fashion can inspire a number I create and plays a vital role in my overall creative vision. It’s apart of my imagination.
Damn that got really deep…
Basically I love shopping.
Music and fashion are so intertwined – how does that relate to you and your work? (How do you take fashion into consideration when doing a project?)
I think artists are always looking for ways to express themselves; which is why music and fashion go hand in hand.
Music played at a fashion show is the sonic representation of the theme or tone of the line while performing artists use fashion to compliment their performance. It’s all statement; these are mediums used to say things with more than words just as dance is story telling through movement.
Wardrobe helps to tell the story and fashion is always a consideration. On my TV show Make It Pop all departments had to be considerate of each other. On a project like that, it’s a partnership between music, art, dance, script, and wardrobe. When these parts work cohesively that’s the good stuff. Sometimes I style my own projects, which is fun cause that’s just another extension of my mind and I get to control the overall picture.
Describe your style as Addy the dancer versus Addy the entrepreneur.
Hmmm… I’m not sure how to answer this because I feel like I’m Addy the dancing entrepreneur?
Generally my style is comfortably hype.
That’s my shit.
One of your latest projects had you featured in a music video for The Angry Kids feat. Beth Humble ‘Battle’ which is a beautifully powerful visual. What was the inspiration for this video?
Thank you! I’m so glad you like it; I’m really proud of that video! I got to work on that with one of my all time favourite directors to collaborate with Alon Isocianu. He was the mastermind behind this video. I’m sure he was inspired by Beth’s beautiful voice and the overall tone, urgency and message of the song but you’ll have to ask him!
Alon hit me up, sent me a very detailed storyboard and I was down because who doesn’t want to be a ninja? I was personally inspired by Alon’s vision, anime and getting through the shot list; it was a crazy day. I love the video, and think its message is so relevant to what’s happening in the world right now. SHOUT OUT to Alon, The Angry Kids, Beth Humble and Reactiv Pictures!
What other projects do you have in the works that you can speak to?
I am the choreographer for the new Nickelodeon TV show MAKE IT POP! This show consumed my life for the past 5 months and I’m so incredibly excited for the world to finally see it. It was the most challenging, fulfilling, wonderful experience I’ve ever had in my career. Each episode has 2 production numbers; I choreographed 42 numbers this season! It was madness and a total dream come true. Check out the show! It premiers April 6th at 7pm ET/4pm PT and airs every night for the month of April!
I’m actually on a plane right now heading to LA because XO IQ (the band from the show) will be performing at the Kids Choice Awards Party!
After this I’ll be on Project Become a Human Again. I’ve just been a work robot for a while and need to chill. So I’m going home to Vancouver to visit and love my family, then back to LA for Coachella!
Thanks so much Anna and Pressplaypro for this interview!
Ever the inquisitive one I have found myself quite often wondering about trends in fashion and how old becomes new and vice versa. As I sit here writing this; an old jacket once owned by my grandmother sits on a hanger in my closet, waiting to be loved again. You see dear reader, a grandmothers closet to a fashion girl is the equivalent of a child wandering loose in a candy store, there are so many goodies everywhere one doesn’t know where to start.
This idea of old becoming new had me thinking, is it possible that however old something in granny’s closet may be, is it better than all the pieces I’ve purchased at stores who perpetuate fast fashion?
And on this theme of old clothes/new ways; I stumbled across something that brought a strong feeling of nostalgia one can only experience through great imagination since this particular something I stumbled upon happened way before I was born.
The Battle of Versailles.
No, no I’m not talking about any type of war or fight I’m referring to the designer show down that took place in Versailles (France for you less geographically inclined) in 1973.
Fashion houses from Paris to London to New York gathered to show off their best not only in clothing but in musical tastes too.
New York magazine put together a youtube playlist of the music featured in the shows. Take a listen and let the music take you to a place less chaotic and certainly not fast.
Uniforms are a way to easily identify a specific group and yet it makes me wonder, does the uniform make the man?
I recently discussed the benefits (or disadvantages depending on how you look at it) of uniforms that people are required to wear in their day-to-day work and it all had me wondering; does a unified look determine a person’s actions on and off the clock?
Take my friend as an example, he wears a uniform for his job and it has made me wonder if the uniform and the person are blended. When does the job stop and the life begin? Once you take off that uniform, do you revert back to your natural self? Or is it in fact possible that perhaps one correlates to the other?
Does the line blur when you’ve been wearing this uniform for so long you’ve forgotten who you really are?
I’ve always believed that who you are and what you do are two different things but when your fashionable choices consist of the same outfit day in and day out, does the disadvantage of a uniformed material attribute multiply when one is on the road to self discovery?
I fail to see how wearing a uniform in the work force could be so much of a shortcoming but then again, I’m all for seeing the best in a situation. A trait which more often than not leaves me a little head dizzy when all doesn’t fair out as best as one hopes.
Uniforms don’t necessarily equate to stability; becoming what you are and not who you are is a slippery slope – a slope harder to avoid when you’re wearing polyester and not say…
Make Up / To combat everyday life or hide from it?
We’re going to take a sharp turn to the left here and talk about something in relation to fashion but not necessarily fashion itself.
Yes – that’s right. I’m talking about that stuff you put on your face.
Working in the cosmetic industry for over two years now has shown me many things but most of all it has shown me the power of a make over. Please don’t misunderstand me when I say this but make up is a crazy concept if you think about it. You cover your face to look like someone you are not, or do you?
Everyday men and women walk into cosmetic stores with the tenacity of a four year old with the unwillingness to let go of newly acquired candy. Why?
Because it makes them feel better.
I have this friend, a truly talented make up artist, one who always displays the precision and talent of make up application that makes a very many jealous of such greatness. What I love about her technique is her ability to enhance her client’s appearance, not mask it.
That’s the debate. Is make up a compliment or a way to hide a reality you don’t want to face? (No pun intended)
Perhaps it is neither. Or at least, doesn’t have to be.
Someone once told me that working with make up gave us the ability to give someone their dignity back, to feel better about themselves; it is a tool in which to empower someone. Whether that empowerment is helping a woman fighting cancer whom hasn’t been able to grow eyebrows in months because of her chemotherapy treatments, or a young girl trying to cope with the effects of growing up in an age of Instagram models with unrealistic physical attributes, make up or war paint as my friend so eloquently put it one evening over a bottle of wine – provides a person with the tools to combat everyday life.
So how do you see it?
When you look in the mirror are you content with what the face staring back at you? Or do you feel the need to mask it?
Or do you see those flaws and celebrate them?
Or perhaps you’re really digging that contour look? As is all the rage right now.
Paris fashion week and all I see is Kim Kardashian and that blonde hair.
I’m all for self expression and individual style but seeing her front and centre at various shows reminded me of all the critics who criticise her for being at fashion week to begin with.
The argument is that she is famous for nothing other than her crazy family and their escapades (or sexcapades, depending on how/what you’re looking at)
Who made the decision that certain people are more acceptable than others to attend/be in/collaborate with fashion?
Who made the rules?
Why haven’t we broken them yet? Or maybe that’s what Kim is doing.
Okay, got it.
In life there are instances where you have to make a choice. Go with the grain or forge a new road, a new way.
I have a friend whom is immensely talented. Everything she touches becomes beautiful. She is a huge soul in a little body. She forges her own path, beats to her own drum. When her employment didn’t work out she decided to dive into her craft, building it, honing her skills, BEING what she felt in her heart she is. She is fashion and art and feeling and everything in between. She makes her own rules and even, on occasion, breaks them.
Fashion can be this seemingly clique-like atmosphere where only the ‘accepted ones’ are allowed to ponder and create and provide. What about everyone else? When I was in college being a fashion student gave us reputations, reputations in which were never really true to who we were as individuals.
Except the part about me having obsessive compulsive disorder.
Anyways, in conclusion, my point is this:
Forget about all the rules on what you should wear and what everyone thinks is ‘cool’.
Quotes on Clothes / The annoying words you’re reading
I’m always talking about how you should wear clothing to express how you feel. But should you wear clothing that tells you what to do? During a recent excursion to the shops I had noticed a trend that still hasn’t died; quotes on clothing.
I have this friend whom he and I will send each other quotes periodically. I probably send more than I should but I can’t help it, we’ve always cheered each other on through the years and these quotes are our way of non-emotionally continuing that tradition.
The quotes are all fine and dandy, you double tap them on Instagram, you share them on Facebook; you even recite them aloud (not verbatim, obviously), to friends when they’re going through tough times (wait, is that just me?)
Isn’t this enough?
Fashion is the epitome of expressing how you feel but are words on clothing taking it too far? Is it not enough to wear an outfit that makes you feel strong, sexy, or boyish without having to wear a shirt that exclaims to the world, “I’m feeling strong/sexy/boyish!”
Do you feel the need to express your deepest thoughts via a t-shirt? Do you even realize you’re doing it? If you could put the most moving quote you often refer to onto a piece of fabric what would it say?
I suppose at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what’s written, I suppose what matters is if you believe it to be true.
Defying the Odds / Learning how to fly in spite of fear
A biographical book titled; ‘Gods and Kings: The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano’ written by Dana Thomas was recently published and is proving to be a successful attempt at documenting the incredible lives and careers of both men. Reading reviews of the book made me think, both designers persevered to fulfill their dreams no matter what stood in their way. They achieved greatness, respect, and notoriety and kept going.
When discussing their respective histories it should be noted that one of course is no longer with us.
However the designer that remains, Galliano, has seemingly moved past his troublesome times to continue his dream, his truth; which is to be one of the greatest designers known not only witin the fashion industry but to the world.
I had this friend once whom had a dream to be his own boss, his own man. He had this idea to build a business based on not just what people wanted but on what they needed. He long dreamed to create a business in which its demand provided him with customers and his service is what would guarantee their return visits. This friend’s dream slowly faded and I have often wondered; does a dream become so big that the fear of having such great odds stacked against you overwhelms a person? Does this fear then enable you to deviate from this goal and find one in which to attain a positive result seems more likely?
Both McQueen and Galliano defied their odds. They didn’t care what the world thought of them. They knew what they were made of, they knew the depths of their talent.
Will you fall under the pressure or will you learn to fly in spite of it?