Thursday, March 29, 2012

9 Southgate

Riding the bus to and/or from work with the same group of people is a little bit of a strange situation. All you know about the person outside of the bus is where they get on and/or off, and all you know about the person inside of the bus is where they prefer to sit, what they do on their smartphone, and what sorts of conversations they have with their friends/phones/random people who like to talk to strangers. And yet there's this odd dynamic that exists between us when we have the same stop, particularly on the way home. The last stretch between stops on my way home consists of a very narrow one-way bridge which is very slow-going during rush hour. Now, I don't want to ring the bell as soon as it gets onto the bridge, because I know that it could take a good fifteen minutes to cross said bridge, and I don't want to prematurely take away the potential time-passing activity of reaching up and pulling the string/pushing the button (depending, of course, where I'm sitting). Also, since I know there are other people getting off at my stop, I don't want to seem like a keener trying to beat everyone else to ringing the bell. And, just between you and me, there's this aspect of feeling somewhat powerful by inwardly refusing to be the one to ring the bell, like I've won if I'm not the one that gives in to the peer pressure. Why should I be the one, when there are at least three other able-bodied people who could do the dirty work of producing that annoying sound and unpleasant red light? It's really almost zen-like to calmly sit the whole span of the bridge, not moving my arm one millimeter towards the string/button.

But then, there are some days when I worry: what if my stop mates have errands to run before going home and are staying on the bus a couple stops longer? What if they've figured out that I'm playing this mind game with them and they're now standing their ground? What if the bus driver only stops if given sufficient notice and blows past my stop, increasing my walk home by 10 minutes? What if not being the ringer of the bell has an unwanted butterfly effect that changes my life as I know it?

Needless to say, I lost the battle today, and rung the bell. But tomorrow, oh tomorrow....


The photo above is an outfit (by Ukrainian label kamenskayakononova) which would steel me against ringing the bell. Because if I reached up, who knows what sort of show I'd be putting on for those slackers who couldn't use one measly joule to ring the darn thing themselves. The below photos are outfits (also by kamenskayakononova) that would make me not care who rang the bell, as I would strut the whole way home and not even take the bus.

(Photos via NJAL)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Ekki Múkk

Not only was yesterday the 7th anniversary of out lovely little beach marriage, but I also got to listen to a beautiful string quartet over lunch, welcomed a neighbourhood bunny back to the regular spring spot, said farewell to our old clunker, got a very exciting letter in the mail (which might as well have been filled with a wad of cash), and found out that Sigur Rós' new album (from which the above video/song is from) is coming out in less than two months. The world makes sense again.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dainius Bendikas

I've just discovered my newest favorite designer. This is a steampunk version of the moon/Mars/Iceland, as seen through the eyes of Lithuanian designer Dainius Bendikas (found via NJAL). It produces flashbacks of (Tim Riggins as) John Carter, The City of Lost Children, MirrorMask, and that photo of Titan taken by the Huygens probe (you must watch Wonder of the Universe, one of the few things that I think warrant defecting to Blu-ray). I could also see Werner Herzog asking Dainius to be his wardrobe designer if he ever creates a space movie. And I don't see why he wouldn't. He managed to make a cop movie in his own (lizard-obsessed) image, so why not? But I digress. Dainius, you have a fantastic name, you're a genius (obviously, especially as your favorite movie is The Fountain), and I want your pants (see below).

Friday, March 23, 2012

When your mind's made up

If I stare at this new LUMMEDesigns (previously known as Attila Design) dress long enough, I might just have to buy it. Though it comes with it's own waist cincher belt (which would look stunning over a plain white ribbed tank), I can clearly picture it with an ArtLab industrial elastic waist cincher, or an ArtLab harness/bib, or the chromat warmup collar (seen in the ad in the right sidebar, and possibly on me in the near future). I imagine it's see through, so I'd also pair it with a mydearthing husband dress (sorry, same link as above - you will watch Eddie Izzard one way or another, if I have anything to do with it). But, alas, I have a new car child to take care of. Tiina, if you decide to extend your sale to this beauty, I'm coming for it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Dear Dust (Part Three),*

I should be upfront and say that I still do not have a smartphone (or tablet), and thus don't have an app for anything. However, my man has quickly become enamored with his iPhone, and I did play around with it a bit after he purchased the new Björk album in app form. So, when you had mentioned (in a private discussion) that our open discussion could lead to unknown territories, even including creating an app, I was intrigued. And now, to add to your idea of a dusturbance app to allow a dusturbance wearer to take advantage of your modular system, might I suggest including something that does tap into that intimate and sensual relationship you also mentioned should be a part of fashion.

Specifically, could we create an app that recreates the texture and weight of a fabric as much as is possible in a pixel form? Many times I have purchased something online just so I could feel it, and many times I have been surprised by the difference in the fabric I touch versus the fabric I see. I don't believe it's necessarily the designer's responsibility to explain the texture of a fabric, because each individual's background informs and shapes their senses, even regarding something that may seem straightforward like feel. I.e. for some reason I cringe at seeing velvet, and thus my brain would rather interpret this dress by Adel Kovacs (posted about a year ago here, and one of my favorite images posted on kOs) as being made of thinly shaved marble, thus feeling cool and smooth instead of warm and...velvety. Now, if I had been able to purchase this dress and found out that it was made of the material that once was burned through with a curling iron and had to be covered by a Minnie Mouse bow when I was really really not into bows (oh right, that's why I cringe...), I would be in a rather tragic situation, no? Indeed, my own fingers in addition to the kOs database (of over 1000 posts!) could surely provide some readers/dusturbance wearers with an extra virtual sense to avoid similar (and/or) unfortunate fashion flashbacks. Something to think/comment about...

To return to something else you said, I swear I read something perhaps a year ago about a body scan being converted into a different form of fast, almost printable, fashion. Anyone else's memory jogged?


*As before, this letter is a semi-loose response to this open letter from Dust of dusturbance. And yes, we're still wondering what we're doing...

Monday, March 19, 2012


I've had Dori Tomcsanyni's NJAL page on my bookmark bar for so long that I succumbed to a bag of Doritos before getting around to posting about her new collection. Bad idea on both accounts. The chips and the waiting. After spilling coffee on my vintage McQueen/Kat Stratford pants and somehow having them magically not stain, I'm feeling a bit more open to light coloured things. Particularly this dress (minus the visor). Would look excellent on a Classics grad student (especially a newly accepted one), don't you think? I'm also wanting to wear pants less and less (except for the aforementioned McQueen/Stratford pair). Just doesn't seem natural, especially if I have to pull them up every time I move. Here's hoping there's a new mydearthing skirt on the horizon...

Update: The dress is available as a custom order in The Shop, for less than $350!

Update to update: The dress (and the rest of Dori's new collection) is also available from Dori's webshop, for much much less (roughly half of the above mentioned price). She ships to every country too.!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Paulina Plizga

Yesterday, while doing a solo marathon run of laundry (as my man was doing a marathon run of dealing with car salesmen), I flipped through my mom's latest issue of Elle Canada. I'm frequently pleasantly surprised at finding out about Canadian designers I had never heard of before (I'll be returning to my new find in a later post), or seeing the occasional editorial containing Canadian fashion not often seen outside of Canadian magazines. In this issue, both instances occurred, but my interest in the particular editorial in question (which is not reproduced here) is a rather rare occurrence. It was all about white clothing. Specifically, how models/former models at ages ranging between 14 to 64 all look beautiful dressed in white. As you know, I'm not a fan of white, but the editorial primed me to appreciate a nothing new-to me label of Polish origin, Paulina Plizga (found via NJAL). Which is definitely a good thing, as Paulina's label is a self-pronounced 'trash couture factory' (Outsapop would be all over this one), meaning the pieces are made by a mixture of 'artistic recycling' of scraps of haute couture fabrics, knitting/embroidering, and hand tailoring. 'Factory' suddenly doesn't have negative connotations in this context. Results in pretty things of a non-white palette too.

(Photos by Magdalenia Łuniewska via NJAL)

P.S. I just noticed that the kOs URL has changed to a .ca domain. Apparently this is the result of Google having the authority to remove content from blogs that violate local copyright laws and whatnot. You might then notice that the domain of kOs is specific to the country you are reading it in, and that some content might be missing (if it has violated your local law). To access the normal .com version (i.e. that is not a local version), you can type (ncr = 'no country redirect'). Methinks it's time to consider purchasing a custom domain so we don't have to deal with this (particularly as there will now be duplicate content in search results). Hmm...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Laura Siegel, F/W 12

Ah, I am so happy that Laura Siegel shows in both New York and Canada. I had received an invite to her presentation/showroom in New York but, obviously, couldn't go. To add to that misery, after scouring the Internets, I couldn't find any photos that clearly showed Laura's new creations. But pictures have just gone up of her show at Toronto's Fashion Week (oddly named World MasterCard Fashion Week, though I suppose it's not any weirder than 'Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week'...), so here are a few for us to gaze upon. It's good to see Laura getting increasing amounts of attention, especially as she continues to be concerned about eco-friendly sourcing and production (there's that word again). More people should care like her and succeed. The pretty clothes nearly take my cough away too.

(Photos via FDCC's Facebook)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Dear Dust (Part Two),*

Sometimes I wonder if going back in time (and/or eschewing technology) would be a good thing in the world of fashion. After watching season one of The Hour (immediately followed by Goodnight, and Good Luck), I couldn't help but wonder what the world would be like if today we had to wait for a friend's contact to get back to us via a long distance phone call just to develop a story, if there was only one copy of a document, or if it took an entire week to write a piece (err...not unlike here on kOs). This thought also reminds me of when I saw Jamie Woon play in Brooklyn this past December. The club was packed full of hipsters who didn't mind paying $9 for a flat beer (a few of which were promptly spilt all over my McQueen peacoat), and yet the few Jamie Woon fans were right ticked off that he dared to play rather minimalistic, even acoustic, versions of his songs. What is wrong with taking it down a notch and focusing on the basics? What is wrong with focusing on creating things of quality, and then deciding to keep it to yourself or presenting it in an unexpected manner? Production and publicity are both quite overrated. Though, having said that, you can have as much publicity on kOs as you'd like, my friend Dust.


(Photo is a screen capture of the end of a video I took at the Jamie Woon show, post-beer spillage.)
*This letter is a semi-loose response to this open letter from Dust of dusturbance. Wondering what we're doing? So are we.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Verlaine, A/W 12

My man periodically revives the idea of getting a triptych tattoo done on his back, which would portray certain narrative elements from his Master of Arts thesis. As for myself, I prefer triptych's of the Renaissance variety. And of the Verlaine variety. Especially when the panels consist of an asymmetrical cashmere hoodie, a wool coat inspired by volcanoes, and a black trench coat. Though I wish this triptych was less abstract - every aspect of a hoodie is of extreme importance to me, particularly a Verlaine hoodie.

(Photo via Verlaine)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dear Dust,

In reference to the aforementioned dysfunctionality of dusturbance, I find that kOs as I wanted it to be has also proved to be dysfunctional. For, in short, I have become rather weary of fashion. I am quite content with my own private collection and have finally shed the career which required scrubs as a uniform. And so, when at at the end of the F/W 12 Fashion Weeks I find myself completely underwhelmed (and even outright appalled at the sameness and/or thoughtlessness of some collections), I'm almost not even that bothered. Even when that means I am hard-pressed to find something I feel compelled to post.

But then I remember that there are great indie designers out there that are trying so hard to get a spot on the Fashion Week stage or, forgetting that dream, at least try to keep to the six-month cycle of large labels. That (at least in most cases) is what is heartbreaking, as ideas don't have time to develop, only samples are created, relationships aren't built with potentially life-long customers, and enough money isn't made to afford to continue on long at all. I have the utmost respect for designers like you, and like Lauren Jones, who don't try to deny their conflict of interest with fashion, and that honesty is much more important to the process of designing than anything those sitting in the front row might be able to tell you. Without such honesty, one might not even be able to pinpoint their favorite colour, or wouldn't be able to enjoy a delightful person named Alice.

Dust, I accept your invitation to join you on this (dysfunctional) quest. And, by the way, my favorite colour is green.


The above is a response to an open letter from Dust of dusturbance, a long-time favorite of kOs. We had previously planned a big collaborative project, but then stuff happened, I kept going to NY, more stuff happened, etc., etc. That thread has been picked up again here, and I'm interested to see where it will go. In addition to pretty dresses, dusturbance has some of the most intriguing ideas I've read concerning fashion, so I think you may be interested to follow along in our quest as well. May I also suggest that you read the other side of the conversation at so that you don't feel like you're eavesdropping on only one end of a phone call. And, as always, you are more than welcome to join in the conversation via comments and/or emails.

Oh, and the song above is a new tune released today from a local band (i.e. just down the street from me) that just happens to be one of my favorites to see live. The title of the song is also rather fitting for the topic/mood of my letter.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Mickey or bust!

Even though I actually prefer to be as unrestricted as possible (and it's okay, as I'm fairly small), I seem to be gravitating towards more restrictive bra-tops lately. The first one that caught my eye was the one above by Montreal-based designer Genevieve Savard. Not that the silk cups would be that restrictive per se, but the hardware, thick straps, and thick elastic at least give that impression on first glance. 

The second piece that caught my eye was from the chromat A/W 12 collection, inspired in part by Disney (obviously). When I was younger I had a thing for bathing suits with half-zippers at the top, and it appears as though a bit of that obsession lingers on. I'd have to ask Becca if the thick black stuff was actually all elastic or something else though. I imagine too much elastic could be too much of a good thing. Anyway, in case you're wondering why I hadn't featured the new chromat collection earlier, it's simply because I think I'm too serious/practical/non-colour-obsessed for the majority of the collection. And I always preferred Mickey over Minnie. I do love the two pieces below, however (why did bustles ever go out of style?!). Becca, don't ever stop smiling.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

2012: YOHJ JUN VIV (Part 3)

There's always something I like in a Vivienne Westwood show, so I'm not really that disappointed if I don't like everything. There's always a shape or a fabric that triggers a memory, either related to a previous Westwood piece or something completely different. This time around, that tweed fabric reminds me of my man, back when he was in a ska band and liked wearing second-hand suits and a flat cap. It also somehow reminds me of my favorite aunt, who after years of being apart can remind me in two minutes why we get along so well. Thanks, Viv, for coming through once again.

(Photos via

2012: YOHJ JUN VIV (Part 2*)

Junya Watanabe basically did two things with this A/W collection. Blazers with an added panel made of deconstructed trousers, and coats worn as capes. It'll be no surprise that I like the blazer idea, but it somehow didn't work in every colour or on every model. Why? (I picked the best ones to post, so you might want to check out the full collection to see what I'm talking about.) And coats being worn as capes aren't fooling anyone, they just make it harder for me to imagine them being worn as coats. Somehow, after writing these few lines, I like the collection much less than I did two minutes ago. Hmm...I do really like this dress though, so at least there's that. Now, where's my oatmeal?

(Photos via

*Again, no guarantee on there being a Part 3.

Friday, March 2, 2012

2012: YOHJ JUN VIV (Part 1*)

Yohji Yamamoto is the greatest designer alive. There, I said it. He's made me love red, for goodness sake (I already loved royal blue, thanks to my elementary alma mater). And his collections result in the most photo-heavy posts on kOs. I just can't help myself - the pictures speak for themselves. Sigh.

(Photos via

*Please note that I hope the latter two contributors to the semi-annual YOHJ JUN VIV posts will keep up their end of the deal so I can provide Parts 2 and 3, but there are no guarantees.