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.

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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.

 

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Thank you Craig!

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?

 

Maybe?

 

… Absolutely.

 

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.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLtmzdzCeRsyEuXCgZJW1UvR8pCJp0yBDf&feature=player_embedded&v=fMBOEagZq6I

When such a word that gets thrown around quite a bit one wonders: what does it really stand for?

 

I am often reminded of the fact that I am of the millennial generation and although the reference is sometimes tinged with a smidge of disdain, the term for me means a plethora of positive attributes.

 

The generation of millennials however selfish, bombarding, and impatient we may come across, we are also responsible for leaps forward in the rights of many.

 

Case and point: Androgyny.

 

The designer J.W. Anderson, famous for designing garments for men that bordered on the feminine side – often referred to as a man who created “unisex clothing”, recently stated;

 

I never set out to work on the concept of androgyny. For me, it was more about trying to find a wardrobe that would fundamentally appeal to both men and women”.

 

There, that’s it.

 

In our ever increasing need to label everything in order to understand, have we as millenials missed the mark?

 

Is it possible that men and women can dress similarly without it being a discussion? Or is it the discussion that allows for streamlined attire?

 

The in-between.

 

Both sides are consistently testing gender barriers; a man that appears put together and secure about his looks?

 

Metrosexual.

 

A woman whom prefers a clean minimalistic visual approach to her attire?

 

Tomboy.

 

Where is the line? Where are the rules? And can we as a generation, push them further?

 

Check out J.W. Anderson’s Mens Fall 2015 campaign below and see gender bending for yourself.

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.

 

Make Up.

 

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.

 

Thanks Kim – again.


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.


Runway Deep / Fashion shows and moody flows

 

Couture week is over and the market shows are just starting, it’s one of my favourite times of the year.

The couture shows in particular have always been fascinating to me; the long labour intensive hours needed to make the intricate creations brought forth from the mind of immensely artistic minds come to life. While the clothes are first on my list of priorities for watching the shows, the music selection is a very close second.

Watching a show this season I had to stop midway not because the clothing wasn’t to my taste but because I had conceded that the music selected to help convey the mood didn’t grab me, it didn’t move me.

I have this friend she is not only beautiful but smart as a whip, what’s more is she loves music just as I do (which is A LOT). We can drive around in the car for hours listening to songs without saying a word to each other yet knowing exactly how the other is feeling. Music flows between us and when the music permeates every fibre of your being, gets deep in your soul and wakes you up to the world of possibilities, when experienced with a friend, is a realisation you never forget.

 

This music to the soul is what I feel when I watch fashion shows.

 

Designs that can grab you.

 

Songs that can move you.

 

Those are the shows that leave the most impact on me. Long after the models have walked off and the designers have taken their bows; the beautiful music that accompanies the artistic expression in the clothes is what makes me celebrate the threads of the fabric and the soul of the music together, harmoniously as one.

 

Take a look at some of the shows I’ve recently watched and the accompanying music, I hope you dig them as much as I did.

As a good friend of mine says, sit back, put some earphones in and take this in. It’s music that makes you feel as well as see.

 

SCHIAPARELLI COUTURE, Paris Couture Fashion Week 2015

 

VALENTINO COUTURE, Paris Couture Fashion Week 2015

 

GIORGIO ARMANI PRIVE, Paris Couture Fashion Week 2015

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELT1UyktEpg

 

RALPH & RUSSO, Paris Couture Fashion Week 2015

Art work / Are you an artist or a pretender?

Girl walks into a bar and orders a drink, takes a look around and makes an unnerving discovery; everyone looks the same.

Said girl is me, however I won’t name what bar I walked into.

I have a friend who, like myself, wears what she wants. She could put mixed prints together (unlike myself who just wears different variations of black, black patterns, or black fabrics), she will wear an oversized jungle inspired print shirt and not apologize for how other worldly her outfit may appear to you. No, this friend relishes in her own indifference.

The kind of indifference that makes her unique and yet makes her dangerous.

In this strange city a uniform of sorts has been established among most who choose to go out every weekend, to every club, to consume every drink.

Is this why the term ‘basic’ has been the prime adjective used time and again to refer to the average look of ‘I clearly put a lot of effort into my look but am trying incessantly to appear as though I have not’?

The girls with the below the knee fitted skirts paired with a crop top? Done.

The guys with the ‘thighter jeans than my girlfriend owns’ look? Over.

 

The next time you’re at a bar vibing to some really good tunes, some deep bass, some boozey loops take a moment and realize that if your clothing choices were as daring as your taste in music we would all have so much more to admire.

Be a work of art, not a copyright infringer.

An Introduction – Threads & Soul

I had a friend who loved music.
Not the kind of love where you forget about the song you’ve just heard the moment the next one starts.
This guy appreciated music; rather, he valued it.
He felt music straight down to his soul and smiled about it with his heart. 

I had a friend and he taught me that life is short and precious.
That beautiful gifts such as music, love, and true friendship should be welcomed with open hands and beautiful hearts; always – and for this I will always be grateful to him.

I cannot claim to know everything nor can I state that I will always be right, but what I do know is this:

Music and fashion go hand in hand.

Music moves you.

Fashion arms you.

To be completely expressive is to show the world yourself in your truest form – something you may only really know when you’re listening to a beat that’s been building to such a height that when it finally drops and strips away its intensity; you no longer think or attempt to speak – you feel. 

I don’t just like fashion;

I study it. 

I appreciate it.

I detest it.

I love it’s cyclical change.

I hate its perpetual madness. 

Fashion can move you because just like a song, fashion tells a story.
It can tell your story right down to your soul and let you smile about it with your heart.

Welcome to Threads & Soul.
A weekly fashion blog post by Anna.
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