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!

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.

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…

Neoprene.

 

 

 

 

Threads & Soul // Traditions & Style – Which side are you on?

A friend of mine recently told me how every year he along with his cousins go out, be merry, and enjoy each others company. It’s a tradition of sorts he explained to me, one where it is absolutely required to wear an ugly Christmas sweater. Now this friend admitted he wasn’t particularly a fan of the sweater wearing but did it because everyone loved the tradition.

Ah, tradition!

There are so many during this time of year new and old. When did bad fashion amount to such a hilarious joke that one was required to put aside their self love if only to wear it and accommodate the tradition of it all.

Often time fashion is this massively over produced, generic, ever changing carousel of styles. It was in discussing with my friend the tradition of such a phased out piece of attire, the irony of wearing it again after it’s fall from grace had been so long ago that I wondered; for all that fashion is, the idea that you can look back at a piece of clothing no matter how visually disdaining it might be and feel fondness for the memory it evokes must be a greater feeling than the lack of trendiness it may or may not hold.

We love fashion, we love to hate fashion but often times we forget that clothing in itself can remind us of a happy memory; that ugly sweater, or that wedding dress.

It’s all relative in that it’s all fabric and yet the traditions we carry with us and the clothing we must wear because of these traditions make for an interesting story, one that you can repeat every year when you bring out that ugly Christmas sweater.
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Threads & Soul
Beards & The Little Black Dress – One in the same?

So I have this friend whom has a particularly epic beard. When I mean epic I mean this thing is practically legendary (amongst our mutual friends), it’s the source of controversy (to trim or not to trim?), it’s so epic it should have monuments built in its honour – how-to manuals written just so lesser men can attempt and most probably fail at growing anything comparable.

Obviously most of the above is sarcasm but let’s be real – nothing is more intensely adored and despised as equally as a well grown beard.

Women love them (well, most).

Men dream of having them (kind of..?)

When did beards become such a trend?

Who said ‘hey, I don’t feel like beard-scaping today so let me just grow this bad boy out and see how far I can get with it before someone says something.’ Or maybe some lumberjack decided to come into the city and boom someone noticed his intense manly appeal and figured, ‘hey – why not bro..?”

Suffice it to say beards have reached a status reserved for such pivotal elements in fashion as the little black dress – a classic safety net every woman is required to own or the season staple of that ‘must have’ red lipstick (deep red being the shade this season, apparently). Or is that completely wrong; is the beard a fad? Rising to superstardom only to fade into abyss once someone, some guy, finds his razor again.

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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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