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Hilary MacMillan has always been a trailblazer. In addition to her bold ‘FEMINIST’-emblazoned bomber jackets and her decision to go cruelty-free in 2018, the Canadian designer will now offer extended sizing on her collections. Beginning with the Spring/Summer 2020 season, select pieces in her collection will go up to 4X and size 22.
According to a statement, MacMillan says it was always her goal to offer extended sizing but “as an independent fashion brand, the timing had to be right and the consumer demand had to be there.” Thanks to the popularity of the brand’s Feminist jackets – which are already offered up to a size 4x – as well as customer requests for extended sizing, MacMillan determined the time was now. The Spring/Summer 2020 collection collection will debut at Toronto Fashion Week on September 3rd, 2020 and go on sale March 1st, 2020.
A post shared by hilarymacmillan (@hilarymacmillan) on Jul 11, 2019 at 9:49am PDT
While offering extended sizing should be par for the course for big brands who have plenty of access to capital and a highly sophisticated supply chain, it’s a huge deal for a small independent Canadian brand to be able to offer extended sizing.
“The average North American woman is plus size, and I’m so happy that MacMillan realizes and is now showcasing that collections shouldn’t stop at one size,” says writer and body-positive activist Ama Scriver. “Fat folks (like myself) are paying close attention to the brands and designers who are designing for us and inviting us to the table. We will continue to fight for radical inclusion in the fashion industry. It’s been a long time coming, but we want to spend our cash with the brands and designers who include us.”
That said, we’re looking forward to the day when announcing an extended size range is no longer a newsworthy announcement.
Chanel is the latest luxury fashion house to appoint a chief of diversity and inclusion.
According to Business of Fashion, Fiona Pargeter joined Chanel this month as the department’s global head, a new role that will drive the house’s existing diversity efforts. Chanel is looking to be more transparent with consumers, and this initiative is a step in the right direction. The brand formerly faced backlash for appropriating feminism after staging a mock protest for their S/S 2015 collection, and the brand’s late creative director, Karl Lagerfeld, was called out on numerous occasions for inappropriate comments regarding women’s bodies and the #MeToo movement.
Other luxury brands, such as Burberry, Gucci, and Prada, have already announced diversity and inclusion initiatives after coming under fire earlier in the year for showing tone-deaf and racist pieces in their collections. In February, Gucci pulled all stock of a turtleneck sweater that that resembled blackface imagery and Prada also apologized for selling a monkey keychain after it was decried as racist. Perhaps tellingly, Dolce & Gabbana, who came under fire last year for releasing a culturally insensitive campaign, have not yet announced any initiative declaring a desire to do better in the future. (Read our comprehensive timeline of every offensive thing Dolce & Gabbana has ever done here.)
In 2018, Chanel released its “Report to Society,” which outlined its commitment to fostering diversity within its corporate culture. The report stated that going forward, Chanel will begin incorporating the principles of diversity and inclusion into their recruitment process, setting priorities on management levels. The company also mentioned they “will continue to focus on new programs to demonstrate [their] appreciation for all aspects of diversity, including diversity of thought, and to further promote a more inclusive and diverse culture.”
As you may have heard, the Canadian ethereal dark pixie Grimes is the new face of Stella McCartney’s Adidas collection. In the campaign, the 31-year-old musician can be seen scampering over volcanic rocks in workout gear looking like a cross between a yoga influencer and Gollum on his search for the one true ring. It’s all pretty much par for the course, that is, until you read the caption Grimes wrote for her Instagram post promoting the collection.
In the post, Grimes details an alleged wellness/fitness routine that is so truly unhinged it deserves to be dissected in further detail. Supposedly, Grimes maintains a “healthy cellular routine” which involves taking supplements to “maximize the function of [her] mitochondria” and spends multiple hours in a sensory deprivation tank so she can “‘astro-glide’ to other dimensions.” If that wasn’t enough, her preferred form of exercise is sword fighting and after a series of stretches, she engages in a 20-25 minute “screaming session” to open up her vocal chords. Perhaps the most deranged aspect of all of this is the “experimental surgery” she allegedly had done to eliminate all of the “blue light” from her field of vision.
I’m sorry…what did I just read? Have Grimes’ inherent anime kid tendencies been grossly exacerbated thanks to her proximity to human vampire Elon Musk? Or is it all some sort of elaborate joke? After all, she did hashtag her wellness routine “#gentrifymordor,” which suggests she’s at least somewhat aware of the comedic value of this post.
I’m inclined to think that Grimes knows this is ridiculous and is laughing in a hyperbaric chamber somewhere as one of her multiple assistants cashes that Adidas cheque. But considering she wore a corset and platform goth boots to last year’s Met Gala for her first-ever public appearance with Elon Musk (were we ever so young?) it’s hard to be sure.
With summer escapes on our mind we’ve teamed up with TravelPro to help make your summer travel plans even better. Ten lucky winners will receive a TravelPro bag to use on their next adventure. Whether your heading to the cottage, packing your favourite festival looks or getting ready to cut across continents, pack your bag in style.
In order to enter, please follow @fashioncanada and @travelprocanada on Instagram and tag your favourite travel partner in the comments on FASHION’s “FASHION x TravelPro Instagram Contest” before the contest deadline on Tuesday, July 30th 2019 at 23:59 PM EST.
For full contest rules and regulations, click here.
If you’re looking to start exercising but have no clue where to start, we’ve got you covered. Over the next few weeks we’ve asked Toronto-based trainer Emma Brown to put together a series of at-home routines, including this beginner-friendly 10-minute lower body workout.
Not convinced 10 minutes is enough time to feel a burn in your butt, legs and thighs? “People often think they need elaborate equipment and at least 45 minutes per workout to make progress,” Brown says. Turns out this isn’t true. “All the small steps add up and the most important thing about any fitness plan is to stay consistent.”
Follow along with the video below for Brown’s 10-minute lower body workout, complete with jump squats, deadlifts and lunges. Your muscles will thank us later.
When the first tweets from film critics after the Los Angeles premiere of The Lion King started rolling in, a pattern quickly emerged. It’s a visual delight! A technical marvel! A technological masterpiece! Tweet after tweet praised the imagery of the film but there wasn’t much about the emotional impact of this 25-year-old story that we already know packs a heck of a wallop. (For many millennials, that one scene—you know which one—is one of our earliest memories of a film that made us sob.)
The reviews that are now in confirm what those initial tweets seemed to get at: the original Lion King worked because those hand-drawn animals could be given a wide range of emotions—glee, fear, grief—that brought them to life in an intensely touching, relatable way. In this photorealistic version rendered by CGI, those intense emotions get traded for a more realistic portrayal of animals, which, lets face it, can’t really emote all that much. The older animation also allowed for a greater suspension of disbelief: we know elephants, giraffes, wildebeest and lions aren’t really throwing down together at dance parties in the jungle, which is why we love watching them do it in all their wild, multi-coloured, silly glory on screen. In the new Lion King, instead of animals stacked on top of each other, swaying to the beat of drums, or prancing over a bridge, heads nodding in unison, you apparently get what essentially looks like a Nat Geo doc. As AA Dowd at AV Club put it, the “technological achievement of the movie” is also “its great miscalculation, its fundamental folly.” Stephanie Zacharek at TIME magazine put it more bluntly, calling it “beautiful but soulless.”
Read on for what critics thought of the film, which hits theatres this weekend.
“[Jon] Favreau has likened the process of making this film to restoring an architectural landmark, but at the end of the day, he’s merely gentrified it… This soulless chimera of a film comes off as little more than a glorified tech demo from a greedy conglomerate — a well-rendered but creatively bankrupt self-portrait of a movie studio eating its own tail.”
“The new Lion King gains in shock and awe while losing in character and wit… Basically, this new Lion King sticks very closely to the original version, and in that sense it’s of course watchable and enjoyable. But I missed the simplicity and vividness of the original hand-drawn images. The circle of commercial life has given birth to this all-but-indistinguishable digiclone descendant.”
“Disney put these filmmakers and this cast in a room with that much money and that much time, and the best they could do was a basically fine but markedly inferior recreation of an old movie? Really?”
“Like too many of these recent remakes of the Disney animated library, the emphasis is on “realism” at the expense of entertainment value… That sets the tone for the movie as a whole, where almost every line of comparatively colourful dialogue, every moment of spur-of-the-moment wit and every moment of comparatively devilish behaviour is ironed out for the most straight-faced or “honourable” delivery.”
“There’s no sense of wonder in this new Lion King—its most visible attribute is ambition. It works hard for the money. Chiefly, yours.”
“There’s almost nothing recognizably human in The Lion King, which labours under the bizarre misconception that anyone needed a photorealistic take on the Shakespearean struggle between talking, singing lions. Joyless, artless, and maybe soulless, it transforms one of the most striking titles from the Mouse House vault into a very expensive, star-studded Disney Nature film.”
Since its launch in 1977, FASHION magazine has been giving Canadian readers in-depth reports on the industry’s most influential figures and expert takes on the worlds of fashion, beauty and style. In this series, we explore the depths of our archive to bring you some of the best fashion features we’ve ever published. This story, originally titled “Michael, Michael Everywhere” by Tim Blanks, was initially published in FASHION’s October 2000 issue.
Americans in Paris have been one of the just-won’t-quit stories in fashion over the past few years, a state of affairs that Tom Ford’s debut at Yves Saint Laurent isn’t likely to change. But Texan Tom’s trail had already been well and truly blazed by hypercool New Yorkers. Marc Jacobs had possibly the easier job. Louis Vuitton’s fashion identity was a vacuum he could fill as he chose. Michael Kors, the blond, blue-eyed favourite of Park Avenue princesses, had to contend with Céline, the immutable essence of Parisian bourgeois chic. That he has succeeded so well is the purest testament to the ongoing globalization of fashion. Oh, and it also speaks volumes about his own charming way with the world and his immaculate sense of timing. Playful luxury? What more could an IPO baby want?
Michael Kors: A lot of people talk about finding the heritage, but there are a lot of houses that have no heritage-so you have to create one. Céline has an amazing history of luxury and quality and a very French sort of indulgence, so it’s fun for me to take the iconic things from the house and blow the dust off them.
Tim Blanks: Such as?
What could be more Parisian than the chain-link fence round the Arc de Triomphe? It was the inspiration for the Céline chain, which is our insignia. So I’ve played with it, turning it into sandals, threading it round the waist of jeans, modernizing it as buckles. It’s interesting to mix, say, corduroy with the most extravagant French couture jacket with a chain closure.
You’ve always got a definite character in mind when you create a collection, like that Jackie O-Jennifer Lopez combo from your own Palm Bitch collection. This time, you’re talking about a little, French girl straight out of boarding school and readying herself for a life of jet-set glamour. That sounds kind of perverse to me.
I think there is something interesting about things always being a bit of a contradiction. I look at someone like Chloë Sevigny and she’s got really amazing style—she wears very sophisticated clothes in an offhand way and that’s the kind of girl we’re talking about. It’s the attitude that a woman brings to how she gets dressed. The clothes are very polished and luxurious, so it’s not like we’re suddenly doing schoolgirl clothes. They’re very indulgent, in fact, but it’s how the woman wears her indulgence that counts.
But the house of Céline is much more the notion of stealth luxury than your own show in New York, which was very over the top.
New Yorkers as a whole really have a strictness to how they dress—a real neatness. They look very turned out, and this season that was what New York was about for me. The French like to play with their clothes; they have fun with fashion. This is really about mixing the two extremes—the very casual and the very luxe. Céline you can wear top to toe, or you can take a piece and inject it into your existing wardrobe.
But now you’ve been exploring the outer limits of excess, what can you possibly conceive of as the next move?
The workmanship in Paris means it’s limitless what we can do. We’ve sliced fur up this season to make it look like herringbone and plaids. We can do incredible details with embroideries and feathers. Again, it’s how you wear it. Even if the clothes are super extravagant, I never want them to feel heavy or old-fashioned. I want them to wink at the glamour of the past, but I want them to stay modern. And a lot of that has to do with the fabrics we have now. If you put on a stretch-cashmere, embroidered cocktail dress, you might feel as though you’re going to a fabulous party at Regine’s in 1981. But the reality is, the dress feels like a T-shirt. It wouldn’t have been possible to make that dress back in 1981, because back then it would have been weighed down with structure and lining.
You often invoke the past. What does nostalgia mean to you?
For someone who’s a real modernist, I’m the ultimate nostalgist. You can’t have the future without the past. It’s just that I like streamlined things. No matter how extravagant the clothes might be, they’re still based on the idea that these clothes are here to make people look tall and thin, make them feel good about themselves. You know we’re never going to add a third sleeve to a jacket for novelty’s sake! So I’m actually very much a traditionalist in my own way. I love old movies; I love traditional restaurants. I’m very happy at the “21” Club [in New York], I’m not going to be the first person to run to Pastis. At the same time, I sit around with my eyes and ears open, looking for whatever is fresh, because if you blend old and new you’re going to have the best of it all.
We already knew the 25th Bond movie was going to be different—after all, it has acclaimed writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge in its corner, whose past credits include Fleabag and Killing Eve. But new reports are hinting that this latest film from the iconic franchise may be even more pivotal than we thought.
According to a “movie insider,” the upcoming film will see Daniel Craig’s Bond passing the 007 torch on to someone new—someone female.
“There is a pivotal scene at the start of the film where M says, “Come in 007”, and in walks Lashana who is black, beautiful and a woman,” the source said. “It’s a popcorn-dropping moment. Bond is still Bond but he’s been replaced as 007.”
The Lashana the source is referring to is Lashana Lynch, who plays Nomi, a new MI6 secret agent, in the upcoming film, Bond 25. The London-born actress’s breakthrough role came with last year’s Captain Marvel, in which she plays the superhero’s best friend, fighter pilot Maria Rambeau.
A post shared by Lashana Lynch (@lashanalynch) on Apr 25, 2019 at 9:53am PDT
Earlier this year, Waller-Bridge was asked what place James Bond holds in our current culture, and whether he needs to change as a character.
“There’s been a lot of talk about whether or not Bond is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women,” she told Deadline. “I think that’s bollocks. I think he’s absolutely relevant now. [The franchise] has just got to grow. It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly. He doesn’t have to. He needs to be true to his character.”
Waller-Bridge also said she wanted to make sure that the female characters in Bond 25, played by Lynch, Léa Seydoux and Ana de Armas, “felt like real people.”
“I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Léa and Ana open them and go, ‘I can’t wait to do that.’ As an actress, I very rarely had that feeling early in my career. That brings me much pleasure, knowing that I’m giving that to an actress.”
After years of wishlists and dream names being tossed around for Craig’s successor (including Idris Elba and Tom Holland), if Lynch really is the next 007, it’ll be the biggest—and most welcome—twist of them all. Consider us shaken and stirred.
A post shared by WOM_N (@wom_nto) on Jul 5, 2019 at 9:05am PDT
Despite the number of women’s empowerment panels going on in the city, Ballantyne longed for a celebration of women that was “more tangible than a one-off event.” She settled on a tarot deck because of the spiritual element that tarot decks contain. “People go to tarot for clarity or affirmation on something they’re looking for,” she says.
The deck features a “diverse, inclusive, and eccentric” array of women, such as Baroness Von Sketch comedian Aurora Browne as “The Fool,” founder of healthcare startup Dot Health Huda Idrees as “The Hermit,” and tattoo artist Lizzie Renaud as the “Death card.” Each woman featured in the deck had a special reading with Pratt to determine which card they would inhabit, then Ballantyne took their photo so the full embodiment of their energy was on display.
“We really wanted to stay away from only people you would see on a ‘Top 30 under 30’ list,” Ballantyne says. “There’s no limit on what your timeline or accomplishments can be.”
Photography Courtesy of WOM_NTO
Different tarot decks inhabit different realms of energy, and the predominant energy this tarot deck put out is “powerful,” according to Ballantyne. “You’re definitely going to be inspired and motivated and [we hope] you see a part of yourself in this deck.”
The first run of decks sold out, but WOM_NTO are currently taking pre-orders on a second batch. All orders placed by July 26th will be shipped mid-August.
In the not-so-distant past, when the word “natural” was slapped onto a product, this would be enough to sway a consumer’s decision to purchase it. But a new generation of informed and, ergo, environmentally woke beauty buyers are after a more radical level of transparency. Beyond being natural, the ingredients must be from renewable resources and retrieved without disrupting any ecosystem or using any contaminants like pesticides or fertilizers. They also have to be harvested ethically, taking into consideration the needs of the surrounding community. Some beauty brands build their entire credo around meeting all these expectations. For example, when asked to describe her line, Jacqueline Taylor, co-founder of Le Prunier, sums it up this way: “Our operation is completely organic. We use a worm farm to reuse water waste and solar panels to cut down our carbon footprint, and our oil is made entirely from the by-products of plums, so it’s sustainable.”
But sustainable sourcing comes with challenges—and slippery corollaries—like adulteration. This is when a manufacturer cuts expensive essential oils with cheaper ingredients to boost the supply. “We’ve seen this with rosehip seed oil, where unscrupulous suppliers dilute the oil to meet market demands for financial gain,” explains Julie Elliott, founder of In Fiore, a San Francisco-based botanical beauty line. “Now, we have to ensure authenticity and manage the supply chain, which is enormously time-consuming.” Then there’s the over-tapping of certain natural resources.
“It takes a lot more land, water, sun, energy and labour to produce plant-based products because we’re actually taking resources from the earth.”
“It takes a lot more land, water, sun, energy and labour to produce plant-based products because we’re actually taking resources from the earth,” says Kenna Whitnell, founder of Altilis, a Canadian brand that uses breadfruit, a sustainable staple food crop. “The part of the plant harvested matters, too,” she says. “If you’re using leaves, flowers or fruits, the crop doesn’t have to be sacrificed. But if you’re using seeds, roots, bark, heartwood or resins, the life cycle of the plant ends.”
It’s these kinds of pressing issues that have inspired some brands to explore other sustainable options. And that’s where biotechnology comes in. When employed in the natural-beauty realm, biotechnology may offer a best-of-both-worlds option because the ingredients are derived from nature but created sustainably in a lab.
Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston biotech company founded by MIT scientists, is engineering yeasts through a fermentation process to produce fragrance compounds for major perfume house Robertet. Scientists at skincare brand Biossance, based in Berkeley, Calif., employ biotech to design a more sustainable squalane, a supercharged emollient that locks moisture in the skin. (It’s traditionally sourced from shark livers or, for a cruelty-free variety, from olives.) Biossance’s squalane, the foundation of every product in its line, is made from renewable sugar cane using a patented process.
Bioeffect, an Icelandic biotech company, has bioengineered barley to replicate anti-aging human growth factors, says Bjorn Ovar, its chief scientific officer. “Growth factors are so important in our skin biology, and if you can master their production, as we have at Bioeffect, you have access to a unique source of these amazing proteins that our skin cells already understand and can communicate with,” he explains.
“We’ve shown vast clinical improvement in the health of the hair as the protein is already in its functional form,” says Erin Falco, Virtue’s principal scientist. “And hair is the ultimate renewable resource.”
Bioscientists at hair care company Virtue found a similar synergy with their patented Alpha Keratin 60ku protein. The harvesting of whole (not hydrolyzed or broken) keratin from human hair has its roots in regenerative medicine, originally intended (and still used) to treat soldiers with traumatic injuries related to skin as well as muscle and bone tissue regeneration. But the bioscientists discovered that this human hair protein is also beneficial to hair care. “We’ve shown vast clinical improvement in the health of the hair as the protein is already in its functional form,” says Erin Falco, Virtue’s principal scientist. “And hair is the ultimate renewable resource.”
In Fiore is cultivating a unique species of micro-algae that is an antioxidant, a carotenoid and fatty acid-rich. And One Ocean Beauty also uses biotechnology (or, as the company calls it, “blue biotechnology” because of its marine connection); it grows marine micro-organisms that secrete glycoproteins, the same beneficial molecules as are found at sea but in a higher (read “more effective”) concentration. When used in skincare, they help retain moisture as well as stimulate collagen and elastin.
Photography by Daniel Harrison.
While these lab-born naturals resemble their traditional predecessors in form and function, they’re not identical; in fact, in some cases, they’ve been designed to be stronger and more tolerable for the skin. “Plants have to cope with environmental factors—like variations in climate—and potential aggressors—like pollution and contamination—and even compete with other plants or parasites in the soil,” says Elliott. “And what we’ve learned is that they acclimate very well to a controlled photosynthetic environment.” In nature, these climate shifts and other conditions can also detract from a plant’s full medicinal properties. For example, evolving weather patterns can cause orange blossoms to bloom before they have developed the ideal balance of terpenes that give neroli its signature scent and its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, she adds.
“When an ingredient is developed in a lab, the impurities are removed, the potency is stabilized and you get the same ingredient every time: the same efficacy, purity and stability with every batch,” says Caroline Hadfield, president of Biossance. And while beauty brands continue to address the environmental impacts of their products, biotechnology will continue to be a crucial part of the conversation. That’s because, as Sue Y. Nabi, co-founder of Orveda, points out, it reconciles two things customers have long believed to be irreconcilable: natural origin and efficiency. And it does so sustainably.