Mercedes-Benz Start Up hits Edmonton and crowns Malorie Urbanovitch its semi-final winner | Hollywood yohana


Edmonton had never seen anything like it before. Over the course of two short days, fashion industry experts from New York and Toronto bulldozed into a city of over a million people and changed its fashion beat.
The Mercedes-Benz Start Up program, now in its second year, has again begun its search for the next big Canadian designer, and last night, asked five of the top designers (after a grueling day of interviews with the top 10), to show their collections at the semi-final runway show at David Morris Fine Cars, an Edmonton Mercedes-Benz dealership.

On behalf of FASHION, I joined out-of-towner judges Christina Neault, executive producer of IMG Fashion and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York and Miami; Robin Kay, FDCC president and Toronto Fashion Week pioneer; and Michael Minielly, Mercedes-Benz public relations supervisor, on a panel with long-time Edmonton designer Stanley Carroll, stylist and shop owner Carla Buchberger of Who Cares Wear, owner Louise Dirks of Gravitypope and Jared Tabler, fashion editor-at-large of Edmonton’s city magazine, Avenue.
Together, we formed one big, collective fashion brain—for the runway, the buyer, the consumer and the media—to discuss designs from Calgary’s Lauren Bagliore and Rebecca King, Eliza Faulkner of Vancouver Island and Edmonton’s Malorie Urbanovitch and Nicole Campre.
Ultimately, a forward-thinking Urbanovitch seized the panel (and the large, well-dressed audience), on the runway with her unusual and quirky pairings of sea greens, leather bomber jackets and pocketed pencil skirts, and one particular pair of pants that the model looked like she had been born in.
Urbanovitch will show her Fall 2013 collection at World Mastercard Fashion Week in Toronto in the fall to compete for the title against winners from Ottawa, Quebec City and Halifax, the prize being, in addition to heavy external press, editorial coverage in FASHION and business mentorship from industry experts.
However, the participating designers who are not selected are asked to “stay on their toes”, says Kay, as the panel will revisit their runners-up list in August and select an additional four designers from across Canada to compete at the final runway show in Toronto come October.
After the success of last year’s winner Martin Lim, and several other outstanding Start Up participants, the initiative is continuing to achieve what it sought out to do and more; it was emotional and exciting (to say the least) to give these promising, invested artists a career opportunity they would have otherwise never had, and in the meantime, raise the standard of sophistication for fashion, design and runway shows in cities throughout the nation.
One baby step for Canadian fashion, one huge step for Edmonton, and as a collective, we have so much to be excited about.

They said/We said: Raf! Simons! Christian! Dior! (What else?) | Hollywood yohana

He said he was leaving Milan forever, but he never said anything about Paris. Yes, the longest-running game of Guess Who? the fashion world has ever seen is finally over. And cue the welcome party, because we couldn’t be happier.
Cathy Horyn broke the news today that Raf Simons will be taking over (effective immediately) as artistic director at Dior. His first collection with the house will be for the haute couture shows in July—somewhat fitting considering the colour-loving minimalist took a decidedly haute hand to his recent Jil Sander “Couture Trilogy” (before getting the boot, that is).

The news comes after over a year of headhunting on Dior’s part. The house famously went after Marc Jacobs last year (the two parties couldn’t agree on salary) and reportedly later Lanvin honcho Alber Elbaz (he turned down the offer). Simons’ name started popping up in late December and the rumour mill began churning like nobody’s business.
The juiciest part in all this? Yves Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane has been a longtime menswear rival of Simons’. And now the two get to face off in the womenswear arena. Does this mean Dior versus YSL walk-offs are in our future?
Whether he was their first choice or not, he was most definitely ours. We’re still having dreams about his last Jil Sander collection. Those reds! Those pinks! This really couldn’t have turned out better.

Fashionista: “Raf is in at Dior and it’s as if all the fashion stars have aligned.”

The Fader: “It’s exciting to think that someone as subversive, intellectual, subtle and measured, someone who speaks to young fashion fans so seamlessly, will be taking the reins at arguably the highest profile fashion house in the world, and it’s anyone’s guess how he’ll merge his vision with Dior’s.”
Styleite: “Pardon us while we totally freak out.”
Bernadette Morra, editor-in-chief: “Looking back now at Jil Sander’s Fall 2012 collection, it seems obvious that Raf already had Dior on his mind, especially in terms of those New Look silhouettes. I think that bodes well for the house of Dior. Raf also has the maturity to move into couture. So while it may take him a few seasons to adjust and get his “couture legs,” I think we are all in for a refreshing new chapter of Dior.”
Susie Sheffman, fashion editor-at-large: “I’m already drooling! Raf Simon’s past few collections have had editors (including moi) swooning as he explored mid-century couture in the most modern way! This is such an exciting natural extension and I can only dream of how he’ll embrace Christian Dior’s iconic signature with a New Look of his own!”
Randi Bergman, online editor: “After months and months and months of throwing names into the ring, I’m thrilled to see that the house made this GENIUS decision. To repeat the points I made when this potential first came to light: Dior under Simons is sure to promise less extravagance, and with it, less meandering for inspiration—something that Galliano was prone to in the later years of his tenure at Dior. We can bid adieu to the Cleopatras, the Marie Antoinettes, and the Marlene Dietrichs in favour of Raf’s bold new heroine, distinct of the here and now.”

Inside the Bata Shoe Museum’s Roger Vivier retrospective opening party: Champagne flutes and many a pilgrim buckle | Hollywood yohana

Last night, Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum opened its latest exhibit, a retrospective of Parisian shoe designer Roger Vivier, with a glittering fête complete with champagne flutes and many a pilgrim buckle. The exhibit follows the designer’s career from his couture-style creations for Christian Dior in the 1950s to his legendary pilgrim-buckle flats made famous by the likes of Catherine Deneuve in the swinging ‘60s and beyond. Italian-born designer Bruno Frisoni, who helms the label in the present day, was there to toast to the exhibit, alongside our editor-in-chief Bernadette Morra (donning—what else?—pilgrim-buckled silver flats), Alexandra Weston, Jeanne Beker, Marilyn Denis and the museum’s grand dame, Sonja Bata, whose star shone brighter than ever with her lively opening remarks.

10 things we learned at dinner with Madonna last night | Hollywood yohana

The world’s biggest, and perhaps bravest, pop star stormed Roy Thomson Hall last night for the premiere of W.E., a film she directed and co-wrote. The love story of Wallis Simpson and the Prince of Wales, with a parallel tale of a Wallis-obsessed doctor’s wife, is Madonna’s first feature effort, a career move that film critics have not taken kindly to. I found W.E. to be entertaining, stylish, and fun, and I admire Madonna for holding her Garren-coiffed head high amid the barbs. After a private meeting, screening, and invitation to join her at her table for dinner, here are some other things I learned:

1. She is constantly interrupted. Party crashers, table crashers, associates, and wannabe associates, everyone wants a piece of Madonna, or, as one of her managers put it, “to hold onto her leg.”
2. It has been said before that Madonna is little, but just how little? She and I stood side by side for photos and we were both wearing four-inch heels: she Brian Atwood ankle-straps, me YSL Tributes. The tops of our heads were even. That would put her at about 5’ 3”.
3.  She eats.
4.  She eats pasta!
5.  Madonna is a people person. It is so clear that she wants to connect. She looks you in the eye. She leans across the table when the room gets too loud to hear. Any of the nastiness or aloofness that was evident in the 1991 Truth or Dare documentary was nowhere to be found last night.
6.  Madonna does not own any of Wallis Simpson’s jewellery, which was auctioned by Sotheby’s, an event that is a major part of the W.E. storyline. She clearly loves her bling, though; her fingers and wrists were covered in diamonds and a W.E. diamond choker ringed her neck. Many of Simpson’s jewels were replicated by Cartier for the movie, and then destroyed because the original pieces were meant to be one of a kind.
7. She drinks red wine.
8. Much like the rest of us, she checks her PDA for messages (likely for business), but with all of her closest associates at her side last night, it was probably to keep tabs on her three children. At dinner she resisted the urge until she was about to leave to board a private jet home to New York.
9.  Madonna does her homework, though after she began researching Wallis Simpson, people came out of the woodwork with stories, she said. She even stumbled upon a cookbook written by Simpson, whose mother was a chef for the upper crust.
10. Madonna is keenly aware of where her bread is buttered. She publicly thanked the Bay, which sponsored her gala and hosted her dinner at the Grey Goose Soho House, and privately thanked Bay executives with a big smile and firm handshake. She gamely posed with a select few in the green room before the screening. And when film maverick Harvey Weinstein arrived at dinner she turned her attention to him as if they were the only two in the room.

Age-defying icons: 9 legendary women (Sophia! Twiggy! Yoko!) on the art of personal style | Hollywood yohana

Culture: Age

Read what Sophia Loren, Twiggy and more have to share about the wisdom of aging and the stories of art, music and fashion.

Best movie ever alert! Beyoncé, Gwyneth, Reese, and Cameron to star in a Spice Girls-esque musical | Hollywood yohana

Talk about one stacked cast! Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, and Beyoncé are all slated to star in the upcoming movie musical, One Hit Wonders. Witherspoon, Paltrow, and Diaz will play singers from the ‘90s who decide to form a girl group to kick-start their failed careers. First reaction: Pseudo-Spice Girls? We’re sold! Second reaction: Can there please be promotional Chupa Chups for this film?
There’s no word yet on what Beyoncé’s role will be—and we’re obviously crossing our fingers for a Blue Ivy cameo. Will Bey be their manager? Will she be from a rival girl group à la Bring it On? With Glee’s Ryan Murphy directing and Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island writing the songs, this movie is guaranteed to be hilarious. Two tickets, please!

Debutantes in Paris! What the young socialites will be wearing at tomorrow’s Crillon Ball | Hollywood yohana

For young socialites and those of us interested in their seemingly magical lives, tomorrow is a big day in Paris: it’s le Bal des Debutantes at the Hotel de Crillon. The lavish event, unofficially known as the Crillon Ball, isn’t just about presenting eligible young ladies to society. (Er, whatever that means in the age of the Facebook, Twitter, and so on…) It’s also intended to showcase the work of haute couture and couture houses—by dressing the lucky teenage debutantes in stunning gowns.
So who will debut tomorrow at le Bal? Founder Ophélie Renouard is fond of making the event as international as possible, choosing girls from well-to-do families around the globe. Two Canadians, sisters Misha and Theresa Horne, will be at Le Bal in House of Worth, and Demi Moore and Bruce Willis’s daughter Tallulah will be wearing Lanvin. (Her sister Scout participated in 2008 in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture.)
But our eyes are on Sarah Margaret Qualley, daughter of Andie MacDowell. The 16-year-old walked the runway in New York for Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti’s Spring 2012 show, but she really wants to “move to Paris and be a dancer.” Tomorrow Qualley will be wearing Elie Saab Haute Couture, and if the above preview is any indication, she’ll likely stay in the spotlight long after she leaves the Hotel de Crillon.

Kate does pastel-pink and Prada while having lunch with (no big deal) two dozen international kings and queens | Hollywood yohana

There was quite the royal gathering today at Windsor Castle, with over two dozen of the world’s other kings and queens (plus a sultan, grand duke and emperor!) celebrating Queen Elizabeth‘s Diamond Jubilee. While the thought of making small talk with a room of very important strangers might make most of us weak in the knees, by all accounts Kate Middleton brought her usual charms to the lunch event. The duchess, wearing a pastel-pink knee-length pleated dress by Emilia Wickstead, chatted with everyone from the King of Bulgaria to Princess Charlene of Monaco. Her outfit also demanded the return of the infamous sheer tights—while bare legs may be okay on the polo fields, it’s clear that they do not fit the “lounge suit” dress code that was in effect. And because Kate is all about coordination, her low-heeled shoes and minaudière matched the outfit perfectly: both were pink satin and by Prada.