After 30 years, FLARE continues to be the magazine Canadian women turn to for the latest information on fashion, beauty, health and entertainment. As the magazine has grown, so has our reach to women across the country. Flare now reaches more than 1.7 million women every month.
An image from the H&M campaign with graffiti artist Jason “Revok” Williams’s work in the background
H&M pulled their first BS move of 2018 back in January with this sweater. Now, its latest misstep has angered the entire art community after being spotted by an eagle-eyed graffiti artist.
L.A.-based Jason “Revok” Williams saw his work in the background of the above H&M ad, featuring a man backflipping in front a wall with his graffiti on it. Williams claims H&M ran the image without first obtaining his permission and in early January, after which he sent the retailer a cease-and-desist letter, citing copyright infringement.
Using Williams’s work without permission is questionable at best, but it’s the fast-fashion retailer’s response to his letter that really got people going. Last week, H&M filed a federal lawsuit arguing that copyright protection doesn’t extend to graffiti because street art is illegal unless deemed a mural by local jurisdiction.
H&M supported its claim by stating that it hired an external agency to create the campaign, which received permission from New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation to shoot in front of the graffiti. But, amid numerous calls to boycott the brand on social media, H&M decided to withdraw its lawsuit.
In a statement released on Twitter, the brand announced the withdrawal, and said it would be reaching out directly to Williams to make some sort of reparation.
This isn’t the first time Williams has pursued legal action in relation to his work. Together with two other graffiti artists, he filed a lawsuit in 2014 alleging that designer Roberto Cavalli had copied his artwork. Cavalli denied any wrongdoing, and ultimately settled the lawsuit outside of court. It’s also not the first time H&M has been accused of appropriating an artist’s work without payment. It allegedly stole music from a Melbourne-based musician for an Instagram video in February 2018, and sourced graffiti without permission from another artist in 2012.
According to The Fashion Law, a blog founded by New York City-based lawyer Julie Zerbo, graffiti copyright is a tough nut to crack—not only because copyright infringement cases related to it are usually settled outside of court, but also because the bar for obtaining copyright is pretty low. A work only has to be “original and composed in a fixed medium” as per the Copyright Act—but it doesn’t say anywhere that illegality affects copyright.
There’s still some dispute over whether H&M really did withdraw its lawsuit (Williams’s attorney told the website Hyperallergic they haven’t). Regardless, it’s frustrating to watch the brand keep making bad decisions, and the lack of a public apology to Williams for capitalizing on his work is most definitely a bad look.
On a recent episode of The Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast—hosted by Ashley and former Bachelor Ben Higgins—the infamous crier explained why the couple called it quits. “I just feel like there was a lack of connection,” Ashley said to Ben. “I think after three months you know if this isn’t my person, my soulmate, my future husband, you have to let it go.” Is it just us, or is this REALLY grown-up of her????
The Bach Nation star went on to say that she initiated the breakup, but Kevin agreed with her decision. If that isn’t mature enough, Kevin then called into the podcast and openly chatted about the split. “I’m a very committed guy, so the more time [that] goes on, I would have just been more into it and then the heartbreak [would be] so much worse,” Kevin said.
The distance also took a toll on the pair, as Kevin lives in Toronto and Ashley is based in L.A. “To be able to go back and forth every weekend, it’s just so hard to do, especially with Ashley’s busy lifestyle,” Kevin explained.
Even though things didn’t work out between the two, they are still planning on staying in each other’s lives. “Everybody knows that I stay pretty close to my exes,” Ashley told Ben. “It didn’t work out romantically for some reason but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still be friends.” Kevin shared her progressive stance, agreeing that because their relationship didn’t end on bad terms, the two have agreed to stay close. “You really have to have a negative thing happen,” Kevin said. “If two people cared about each other in any point in their lives, you should be able to remain friends.” *Awwwww*
Call the cabs because the Jersey Shore crew is headed to Miami Beach!
MTV just dropped a seriously AH-MA-ZING trailer for the upcoming reality series Jersey Shore Family Vacation—and it is giving us serious throwback vibes. Airing on April 5 with the original Shore cast of Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, Ronnie “RAH-NEEE” Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadagnino, Deena Cortese and MAYBE Angelina Pivarnick, the reunion looks like it’s going to be hella entertaining and even wilder than before. (Sadly Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola won’t be returning, sigh.)
'Jersey Shore: Family Vacation' Official Trailer | Premieres April 5th + 8/7c | MTV - YouTube
In the clip, it’s clear that the party-hard crew is up to their old tricks, including binge-drinking, clubbing, tanning and fist-pumping—but this time in a swanky vacation house in Miami Beach. The show also looks a lot more exciting than that lame lunch reunion they filmed back in August. As DJ Pauly D eloquently puts it in the trailer: “We’re going harder than we’ve ever gone before.”
But some things have changed since Jersey Shore wrapped in 2012. Ronnie is about to become a dad, Snooki, JWoww and DJ Pauly D all have kids, The Situation is sober (and might be heading to prison), Deena is married, and Vinny, well, he’s pretty much the same. It looks like these big life milestones will be part of the reboot’s storyline, as the trailer shows Snooki worrying about The Situation surviving behind bars (fair concern) and JWoww opening up about the stresses of motherhood. “We’re older, but I don’t think many of us are wiser,” says Ronnie.
But perhaps the best part about Jersey Shore Family Vacation is that THE SHOW IS ALREDY RENEWED FOR A SECOND SEASON!!! This means you’ll be seeing a lot more of your fave meatballs real soon. *Can’t stop fist-pumping*
I was 10 when the first Tomb Raider: Lara Croft film hit theatres. I don’t remember much about the storyline, but what stuck in my memory was how empowering it felt to watch Angelina Jolie not only kick ass, but also solve intellectually complex puzzles at the same time. It also resonated with me because it was the first action movie I watched that had a female protagonist.
Back in 2001, when most ofthe other blockbusters of that year were classically male-centric—like Jurassic Park III, The Mummy Returns and Planet of the Apes—seeing Jolie’s charisma, wit and athleticism play out on the big screen was exhilarating for me as a little girl. It even inspired me later to stand up to a couple of immature boys on the playground.
Fast forward 17 years, and the excitement is back thanks to the Tomb Raider reboot starring none other than Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander (oh, and Hong Kong actor/hottie Daniel Wu). As a 27-year-old woman living in the empowering age of the women’s movement and Time’s Up, I couldn’t wait to watch, but I also wondered, would Lara Croft be the hero we need right now?
The pressure is on
With headlines dominated by women coming forward to fight injustice and inequality, the pressure was on for a film like this. The reboot is based on the 2013 Tomb Raider video game (not the original 1996 version), which was written by Rhianna Pratchett and Susan O’Connor—and that fact gave me high hopes for the film because I knew it was inspired by the work of two women.
“Lara Croft is a truly iconic character,“ Vikander told Vanity Fair. “I think people can identify with her for lots of different reasons, but for me I very much see her as a model for many young women. She’s trying to carve out her place in the world and connect her future with her past. She also has a fantastic mix of traits—tough, smart, vulnerable, plus she’s kick ass!”
And yet, when the trailer dropped, some fans felt the need to point out that Vikander doesn’t have the same large pointy breasts as the original character from the video game. But bless her, Vikander wasn’t going to let people talk about her chest without weighing in. “My breasts are not as pointy as the first Lara, but I had a clear vision of how I wanted to play her,” the 29-year-old actress joked during an interview on The Graham Norton Show. “I was a huge fan as a kid and whilst I was too scared to play the games when I was 10, I learnt all her moves.” She went on to tell the host how excited she was to take on the role, despite having to train her “underdeveloped” muscles for four months to get them into fighting shape.
Alicia Vikander: “My Breasts Are Not As Pointy As The First Lara Croft” | The Graham Norton Show - YouTube
Knowing that Vikander and I were similarly inspired by Croft’s ability to take on many, many bad guys—and her desire to portray this character as more than just a hot bod in short shorts—made me think I going to see a modern version of the Tomb Raider I loved as a kid.
So does the new Tomb Raider hold up? (*spoilers ahead*)
The 2018 Lara Croft is indeed a model for many young women, like myself. Aside from her complex family history and inheritance, she’s just a girl living in London trying to find her place in this world—and Vikander’s Croft was definitely a more multifaceted character than Jolie’s version.
Unlike the 2001 film, this 2018 reboot revolves around Croft’s early life, before her tomb-raiding days. We get to see Croft go from an inexperienced, naïve and reckless young girl to a brave and strong woman—and for that role, Vikander is the perfect choice. In this coming-of-age story, Vikander is not sexualized in the ways that Jolie was (no shower scenes here). Instead, the Oscar winner really showcased her physical strength, which is refreshingly realistic and relatable. Every time I saw the actor make a run for it, I felt more and more inspired to *actually* go for that jog that I’ve been promising myself.
The reboot had a promising start with the set up of the first scene as Croft fights another female boxer in a training ring, and then has a little heart-to-heart with her friend Sophie (Hannah John-Kamen). With that one scene, the film technically passes the Bechdel Test because it has two female characters having a conversation that isn’t about a man—but that passing grade is short-lived. It seemed like all the female actors disappeared after the first quarter of the film. Like, whyyyy? Vikander deserved better.
The lack of strong female representation is a detail even Vikander noticed on set. “I was wondering, I was on this island like, ‘There’s not enough women, where are they?’ I was running around looking for them,” she said on BBC’s The One Show when asked about the lack of female characters in the film.
I also couldn’t help but notice how often the young tomb raider couldn’t save herself from trouble. Don’t get me wrong. Her bravery and strength got her through many of the obstacles throughout the film, but in those pivotal life-or-death scenes, if she wasn’t rescued by her father or male companion Lu Ren (Wu), Croft wouldn’t have survived to star in the second film. Just saying.
So is this a Tomb Raider for the Time’s Up age? Not entirely. It definitely missed a lot of opportunities to be better than the original. I’m not saying it should’ve been an Ocean’s 8-style reboot with an all-female cast, but wouldn’t it have been nice if Vikander was accompanied by at least a few more female companions (like it was originally written in the 2013 game) or to have her fighting not for her father, but for herself and her own story? And I mean really, how can the only female-heavy scenes be in the first 15 minutes of the movie? It’s 2018 people.
Although it may not be a movie ideal for this age of women’s empowerment, I still enjoyed the film. Even though there was a lack of female presence (ugh), watching a strong female badass take on the over-confident, dim-witted men on the big screen is still worth the price of admission. At the very least, the reboot will inspire you to get to the gym and continue to fight the patriarchy.
Imagine waking up in a pregnant body that isn’t yours—and then being faced with a difficult decision about whether or not to terminate the pregnancy.
It sounds like the premise of a sci-fi flick, but it’s actually the opening moments of a new virtual reality documentary currently in the works.
The Choiceletsviewersstep into the consciousness of a pregnant woman who is debating whether or not she should have an abortion. With the help of special VR goggles, viewers can actually look down to see the simulation of a slight computer-generated bump where their stomach should be, giving the appearance that they themselves are pregnant.
“You ‘wake up’ to realize that you are in someone else’s body—a female’s body,” says filmmaker Joanne-Aska Popinska , who raised more than $15,000 on Kickstarter to fund the creation of her documentary. “You hear a voice inside your head: How could this happen? What should I do?These words float through the air around you, making you feel as though the thoughts are yours—that this panic is yours,” she says. As these words swirl around you in this simulation world, pop-ups also appear before you, revealing real women sharing their own experiences with abortion.
If this sounds intense, it’s because it’s meant to be. By using immersive VR, Popinska hopes viewers will get a more personal and intimate perspective into all the feelings and emotions that go into the decision to have an abortion. “In creating these experiences, we can give viewers a better understanding and help them experience real empathy by putting them into the minds of others,” notes the project’s Kickstarter campaign.
(Photo: Courtesy The Choice)
Why make a film about the decision to have an abortion?
Popinska, who is based in Toronto, moved to Canada in 2013 from her native Poland. When she was growing up, Popinska remembers the country’s strict abortion laws,which make it almost impossible to terminate a pregnancy (unless the fetus has a defect or abnormality, the expectant mother’s life is at risk, or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest), and the devastating effect these laws had on her friends. Not much has changed. In fact, three years after she relocated, in 2016, she was startled by the news that close to 4,000 Polish doctors signed a “declaration of faith” stating their refusal to prescribe contraception or participate in abortion, in vitro fertilization and other women’s health-related medical procedures. And this past January, the Polish government passed proposals to restrict abortions even further, arguing to outlaw abortion even in cases where there is a fetal defect.
And it was the Polish government’s continuous attempts to further restrict abortion laws that spurred Popinska to create The Choice. She felt the appropriately-titled doc was urgently needed to help spread more awareness to both the public and policy makers on the necessity of choice in this deeply personal matter.
As she nears the completion of the teaser-trailer for her doc, Popinska hopes that The Choice will eventually be used by both teachers and pro-choiceactivists as a learning tool to give people a better idea of what it’s truly like to be faced with an unwanted pregnancy. She plans to have the demo wrapped by the end of this summer, and will make the film available through various app stores.
But there’s a difference between having an opinion on abortion and actually experiencing an unwanted pregnancy. For Popinska, VR is a way to help people understand the realities of the procedure in a very intimate way. “People understand when abortion happens in their own life, or to someone they know, but by using VR and showing real stories and real women, it puts the understanding on a different level,” she says—and she’s not the only one with the mindset.
Award-winning filmmaker Chris Milk, who createdVR media company WITHIN,echoes this sentiment. For years, he has argued that VR can encourage more empathy in people by placing them directly in simulated situations. In his 2015 TED Talk, for example, he said that the medium “connects humans to other humans in a profound way that [he’s] never seen before in any other form of media.”
“It can change people’s perception of each other,” he said. “I think virtual reality has the potential to actually change the world.”
If you’re only going to wear one pair of shoes this spring, make it a slingback. Last year’s crisp white sneakers and OTT embellished slides are taking a backseat to the ladylike shoe this season, and we’re not mad about it.
Here’s why: The surprisingly versatile style goes with everything, from your 9-to-5 workwear to your special-occasion dresses to your cut-off denim. Also? There are options with heels (kitten, mostly) and without—and both are comfortable enough to wear for hours on end. Best of all, you can get an insanely stylish pair for less than your last Uber Eats delivery.
Need some more convincing? Scroll through for 12 of our fave spring 2018 slingbacks on the market now, and just try to resist adding them to your cart.
Kendall Jenner Shows Off Her New Lip Tattoo - YouTube
Have you ever noticed that Kendall Jenner has a small smattering of ink on the inside of her bottom lip? (Like, inside her mouth.) And that’s not her only tat. On the March 15 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the mega model told our fave daytime television host—and the one who manages to get the most dirt out of our fave celebs—that she got a hidden tattoo with the word “meow” after downing a couple cocktails. Pretty relatable, actually.
In a clip from the interview, DeGeneres asks Jenner to see the tattoo—while asking “why would you do this?” (LOL).
“I was drunk! I was drunk!! I was not thinking clearly,” said Jenner. When asked why she chose the word, she said: “It was literally the first thing that came to my mind, like, I don’t know! Just like my drunk thoughts.”
Jenner was inked by celeb tattoo artist JonBoy and told DeGeneres that it didn’t actually hurt very much. “It’s just like fattiness, I don’t even know what this is: is it a muscle, fat, whatever? But it’s not—like bone hurts really badly.”
Jenner also dished on some of her other tats, like a white heart on her finger. “I have, like, finger tattoos here and you can’t even see them but these—that one hurt. Yeah, it’s like a little white heart. My first one was a white dot because I just wanted to know what it felt like. All my friends have them! I just want to know what it feels like.”
As the Canadian government prepares to legalize marijuana for recreational use (but likely not by Canada Day—sorry, BBQers!) and a slew of cannabis-infused oils, foods and artisanal pipes flood the market, women who were once wary of lighting up may be reconsidering their previously skunky positions on pot.
But how will they use it? Van der Pop, a cannabis lifestyle brand—and the self-described “leading cannabis digest for discerning women,”—polled 1,530 North American women on their general knowledge of and attitudes toward weed. Interestingly, if not surprisingly, health and wellness concerns—like pain management (19 percent), relaxation (17 percent), stress relief (16 percent) and anxiety reduction (15 percent)—far surpassed intangibles like “social experience” and “increased creativity” as motivations for using the drug.
“Words like anxiety and stress are in our everyday nomenclature now,” says Van der Pop founder April Pride. “So when people use beer or wine to put the day behind them, they can say, ‘I’m using it to manage things.’ We all self-medicate, we know why, and we don’t want to be too hard on ourselves about it, but wine is just not going to give you a good night of sleep.” Which is where weed comes in.
About that “not wanting to be too hard on ourselves” part: Perhaps the study’s most interesting revelation is that, for women, the current illegality of pot is not a leading deterrent to delving into the cannabis world. The biggest reason, fora whopping 77 percent of women, is social stigma.
A wide majority of women (66 percent) admit to hiding their usage for fear of being judged, having their intelligence questioned or being tagged with lingering “hippie” or “stoner” stereotypes. As such, 78 percent of respondents say they get the majority of their cannabis information online. “Anecdotally, at least, for men,” Pride says, “their fears around consumption are about legality—jail time and losing insurance or whatever. For women, it’s ‘What does this say about you as a mother? A serious woman? The people you’re hanging out with?’”
The survey also identified a few areas of rising interest among women, like how to infuse one’s skincare regimen and sex life with the benefits of weed. So, clearly, wellness remains a key priority among the high-curious respondents. And in an ideal, legalized world, women across North America will eventually feel just like Van der Pop respondents said they doafter smoking up: “Relaxed.” “Content.” “Free.”
Hoorah! Fashion month has finally wrapped for another season and TWFW (Toronto Women’s Fashion Week, for those who can’t keep up with all the acronyms) closed it off.
This year, local designers including Rudsak, Mikael D, Stephen Caras and Lesley Hampton served up some runway realness in downtown Toronto for three days straight. The talented designer line-up attracted some of Canada’s most stylish attendees and FLARE was there to snap them.
Scroll through the gallery below to see the best TWFW 2018 street style looks for all your spring OOTD inspo.
You know that thing where whatever Rihanna wears/uses/talks about immediately becomes the coolest thing ever that we all absolutely need to immediately procure? (Yes, we’ve done that with tiny sunglasses.) Well, the same logic goes for the stuff that Rihanna drags—if she hates it, we do too, duh—and today, we’re over Snapchat right along with her.
It’s not clear how long the ad was visible on the app but a statement to Us Weekly on March 14 said that it had been “reviewed and approved in error” and that is had since been removed for violating Snapchat’s advertising guidelines. “We are sorry that this happened,” the statement continued.
You know who’s not sorry? Rihanna, who caught wind of the ad and promptly put the final nail in Snapchat’s coffin.
“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess!” RiRi wrote on her Instagram Story on March 15. “I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!”
Her scathing takedown continued: “You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV [domestic violence] victims and made a joke of it!!! This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them … but all the women, children and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet …. you let us down! Shame on you.”
“Throw the whole app-oligy away,” concludes the message.