About Face, a new documentary about supermodels reveals what it’s like behind the scenes | Hollywood yohana

Joeffer Caoc SPring 2012

We all know modeling has always been somewhat of a controversial issue. Retailers are often criticized for their depiction of the female body—just yesterday Jezebel recently reported that fast-fashion empire H&M digitally produces the models’ bodies on their website and sticks on a real person’s head in post production. There’s also the whole “do models really eat?” issue, which recently made headlines when Victoria’s Secret Angel Adriana Lima revealed her diet prior to the big VS fashion show.  A new documentary About Face, premiering at Sundance next month, is also making headlines for its gritty portrayal of how supermodels like Christie Brinkley, Jerry Hall, Cheryl Tiegs and Christy Turlington were treated during the peak of their careers in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
In the film, former supermodel Paulina Porizkova claims that, “what people called sexual harassment, we called compliments. When a 16-year-old girl is flattered by a man pulling out his penis, that’s noteworthy.” Porizkova’s confession is obviously terrible, but are we really surprised that the life of a model is not as glamorous as it is depicted in the media? The film is set to air this summer on HBO and you can be sure we’ll be watching. We want to see what other secrets are revealed about this profession that has always evoked so much curiosity and controversy.

WWD: “About Face, a documentary, portrays a group of Seventies- and Eighties-era models as survivors, blessed with beauty, yet condemned by society’s less-than-tolerant view of aging and its relentless celebration of youth.”

Fashionista: “Hmm, has much changed in modeling? We are putting this one on our must-see list.”
Huffington Post: “We’re sure the new documentary will be a gripping and gritty investigation of whether modeling is actually as glamorous as it seems.”
Randi Bergman, online editor: “Considering how prominent these faces and bodies are in our every day life, it’ll be really interesting to get a peek at what goes on behind the scenes. As far as scandal though, modeling has its pros and cons, just like any job, and I’m sure that everyone will agree on the pros far outweighing the cons.”


Flash freeze | Hollywood yohana

 You may have heard: Luminato’s on this week. I went to the Giorgio Armani opening-night shindig at the R.O.M. on Friday with a couple of the FASHION crew. After a quick tour around the party, we ensconced ourselves in the VVIP room, which was outfitted with makeup touchup stations and a small cadre of living dolls outfitted avec Giorgio. (To get the full scoop on the party, including the celeb quotient, check out Michelle’s Fashionable Life blog.)

As we sipped white wine and watched contortionists in silver bodysuits twist in the upper levels of the crystal, we eagerly awaited a report from another office contingent. They were over at the Carlu attending the National Magazine Awards, for which FASHION had received three nominations. Soon came the text: gold. Cheers. A big congratulations to our fashion director, Susie Sheffman, our art director, Antony Smith, and photographer Gabor Jurina for their win, for “Cable Girl” from our October 2007 issue. (There’s a taste of it on the left.) You can see more of their work in the spectacular “Swept Away” in our summer issue.
Saturday morning was the FASHION Flash Mob, which I’d been anxious about since hearing it was supposed to rain. (I was as concerned about turnout as I was about wearing white in a downpour.) Well, the day was stunning, and over 100 people showed. There were brides, models (thanks, Elite!), bloggers and one Marie Antoinette, whom our marketing intern corralled from her perch outside the H&M. It’s a strange feeling to stand stock still in a crowd of people. Someone said it was meditative, and I totally agree: It’s like stepping off for a second. My only regret was that I didn’t get to see all the great poses. I was just glad I was wearing sunglasses so I could watch a little bit of the “action.” After looking through the photos, my personal favourite is the couple holding the almost kiss.
I rounded out my Luminato weekend with a matinee of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This version was performed entirely by Indian and Sri Lankan players, many speaking in their native tongues. It was a beautiful show to see: amazing music, colourful costumes, breathtaking acrobatics. I recommend it highly if you know the Dream well (it’s tough to follow the plot in a polyglot play). CanStage will be mounting the original for its annual outdoor Dream in High Park. Bring yourself a bottle of wine and a picnic dinner, and you’re set. Very civilized.
Shown: Some Elite models at FASHION‘s Flash Mob. Photography by Claudia Hung.


Jason Matlo’s bridal collection spans fairytale nuptials and urban cool | Hollywood yohana

What better way to welcome wedding season than by admiring Jason Matlo’s  bridal collection. This spring, we got a peek at the second bridal wear outing for Vancouver-based designer, who also has a ready-to-wear collection. Our picks for the stylish bride-to-be: A frothy ruffled off-white chiffon number, perfect for an idyllic fairytale wedding, and a the crisp fishtail gown with a sweetheart neckline and black bow belt for a more urban affair.


Vicedomini’s knits aren’t your average cashmere | Hollywood yohana


When is a sweater not just a sweater?
When it is five-ply cashmere, trimmed in Mongolian lamb, speckled with suede sequins or inset with lace sleeves.
But then, we should expect no less from Alessandra Vicedomini, a statuesque Milanese model who now resides in Geneva with her banker husband.
That Alpine air was all over the Vicedomini (vicedominicashmere.) collection in the form of the dusty rose and faded blue-grey palette, the fox-trimmed après-ski vests and the beaded tunics perfect for curling up fireside. When selling for the spring/summer season, the designer flips to swimsuits and beachwear.
But it was her knits that had guests doffing their Balmains at a champagne-fueled trunk show at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel.
And if you are envisioning lumpy, oversized knits, think again. Even Vicedomini’s ponchos have a sleek elegance.
“I learned a lot about fit from modelling, because the designers would fit the clothes right on me,” Vicedomini explained, citing Jean Paul Gaultier, Blumarine and Dolce & Gabbana as some of the houses she worked for.
Her clothes can be found in boutiques throughout Europe and through luisaviaroma. With friend Vanessa Mulroney, who was executive retail editor at Tatler before moving to Toronto recently, Vicedomini is looking to expand into North America.
In the meantime, Vanessa’s new mother-in-law, Mila (yes, of the prime ministerial Mulroneys–Vanessa married their son Mark in August), Hilary Weston and a flurry of young Canadian socials were stocking up for ski season, and making for what was the chicest mother/daughter fashion event in memory.


The FASHION team plays fantasy favourites with picks from Raf Simons’ first Dior couture collection | Hollywood yohana

We’ve all had a few days since Raf Simons’ spectacular Dior couture debut was shown in Paris this past Sunday, and one of the things that keeps coming to mind is how oddly… sellable this collection is. While that may be the complete opposite goal of couture, we had no problem at all envisioning ourselves swinging by the brand’s Avenue Montaigne flagship and picking up a few pieces. Here are a few personal favourites from the FASHION team:

Holts’ blogger windows, Jason Wu’s dinner and vampire makeup for you | Hollywood yohana


Missoni is bringing out these Chucks next spring. But not for the womenfolk, it seems. Boo. [Refinery 29]
A beleaguered Christian Lacroix is “absolutely” going to have a couture show in July. Of his company’s troubles, he adds: “To a certain extent I am paying for not having done what everyone else did, with their logos and It-bags. I never went down that route.”
Holt Renfrew will unveil their fashion blogger-inspired windows this Friday in Toronto. Muses include Scott Schuman of the Sartorialist, Jane Aldrige of Sea of Shoes and hometown faves Tommy Ton of Jak & Jil and Anita Clarke of I Want-I Got.
Speaking of Sea of Shoes, the 17-year-old Aldrige has designed a mini line of footwear for Urban Outfitters.
Can we come for supper, Jason Wu? “Last Sunday I made braised short ribs, mashed potatoes, sautéed French green beans, and a chocolate soufflé. I’m into comfort food.”
Wizard portrayer and Burberry’s fall face, Emma Watson, is supposedly designing a clothing range for UNICEF.
Brooklyn’s Sheena Matheiken is going to wear the same dress, styled with various vintage and handmade gewgaws, for the next year for The Uniform Project. So stop complaining that you have nothing to wear.
Attention, Twi-hards: The movie is launching a makeup line with DuWop that includes a version of Lip Venom plumper that looks like blood. Ew. 


Azzedine Alaïa returns to the retail world after 20 years | Hollywood yohana

One of fashion’s most revered yet reclusive players has finally announced a return to the retail world after more than two decades of absence: Azzedine Alaïa, whose last store shuttered in New York City in 1992, will be settling into a new home at Rue de Marignan, right off of Avenue Montaigne (otherwise known as French luxury mecca).
Also known as the “King of Cling,” Alaïa’s heyday in the ‘80s had him dressing everyone from Grace Jones to Stephanie Seymour in his figure-flattering, body-con designs. Even Cher (not that Cher—the Clueless Cher) knew the gravity of Alaïa – remember the scene when she tells the armed robber who screams at her to get on the ground “Oh, no. You don’t understand, this is an Alaïa”?
After the death of his sister though, the Tunisian-born designer retreated from the industry for most of the ‘90s, only catering to a small group of clientele and presenting his collections (on his own time, of course) in his apartment/atelier/headquarters in the heart of the Marais district. In other words, Alaïa had the fashion world come to him: he didn’t advertise, he didn’t get online and he didn’t get sucked into what he called a “stressful” system. He didn’t even bother kissing up to Anna Wintour, even daring to say “who will remember Anna Wintour in the history of fashion?” Unsurprisingly, she didn’t take well to that — the two have been engaged in a longstanding feud for years that’s seen Alaïa completely ousted from the pages of Vogue.
Even without Wintour’s backing, the past decade has been a period of revival for Alaïa’s eponymous brand, especially after partnering up with luxury goods group Richemont in 2007. For instance, last year Barneys doubled their Alaïa space, the designer showed his Fall 2011 couture collection to rave reviews (also marking his first time at Fashion Week in eight years) and as any Sofia Coppola fangirl knows, he designed her stunning lavender wedding dress.
The question now is, given the designer’s well-known skepticism of the business side of fashion, will he be able to make a return to the retail world without sacrificing his independence?

Tiffany Yannetta, associate editor at Racked: “If you just so happen to be a big-name Paris fashion brand who hasn’t had a store open since 1992, how would you choose to open it? With a bang? Or instead, would you nestle it in Paris and keep the address far from the ears of plebeians?”
The Cut: “Alaïa is opening a Paris flagship. For the uninitiated, he’s like a totally important designer. #cherhorowitzwisdom”
Bernadette Morra, editor-in-chief: Azzedine Alaïa has always marched to the beat of his own drum and is not likely to change at this stage in the game. His brand has thrived because it is available to very few. His designs are exquisitely crafted and expensive. They are not supported by more accessible products such as fragrances and lipsticks. And there are very few places in the world Alaïa can be purchased. So opening a shop in the Avenue Montaigne luxury district simply makes a very special label even more special.”


Inside Style Panelist Mo Handahu’s latest clutch collection launch in Halifax | Hollywood yohana

By the time Style Panel‘s Mo Handahu hit her sweet sixteen in 1998, she knew two things: she couldn’t live without colour and she would grow up to be great. Last month, with the launch of her Summer 2012 Clutch Culture collection at Halifax’s chic FRED, the young designer made darn certain the packed house would agree with her.
Handahu started the evening with a collection that more than nodded to that pivotal year in the 29-year-old designer’s life. As Lauryn Hill’s “That Thing” filled the white, airy venue, models flooded the runway in printed mini dresses, neon-armed wayfarers, punchy shoulder-slung blazers and bright pumps—all second to Handahu’s bold (and beautiful) clutches. The “1998” collection, made up of oversized pieces in streamlined shapes and unapologetic patterns, aren’t for the meek: if you have to ask, “what could I wear that with?” Handahu admits her clutches just aren’t for you. Her second shown collection (because a quest for greatness might as well involve two home runs) made a different connection to the designer’s past. With “Wild Hearts,” the Zimbabwe-born designer’s heritage was pulled to centre stage with a series of elegant handbags in deep and intricate African prints.

When the designer took to the runway at the end of the night, alongside two of her tribal-painted models, the guests came to their feet without hesitation in a loud and heartfelt standing O. That greatness Handahu was after? Well, let’s just call it achieved.


Lookbook Cookbook (and its sexy-faced models) is back with 4 winter-ready recipes to love! | Hollywood yohana

Photography by Jessica Milan 

This summer, we introduced you to Lookbook Cookbook, a cheeky new site putting the sexy stamp on vegan and gluten free food by serving it up with some seriously attractive model faces. Toronto-based creator Jessica Milan is back to share some more of her scrumptious recipes, this with the winter-ready staples of maple, pumpkin, and of course, chocolate.

Are beauty vloggers the new activists? Two guerilla PSAs use makeup tutorials to spread social messages | Hollywood yohana

Over the last few years beauty vloggers have gone from teenage favourite to mass market. The largely self-taught YouTube mavens, who are known for sharing everything from cosmetic counter hauls to impressive makeup tutorials, are frequently courted by top beauty brands—so much so that’s it’s almost common practice. Given the large and loyal audiences that many vloggers have, these relationships make sense. However, now other companies are tapping into the vlogger network to spread some important—and not necessarily beauty-related—messages.