BLACK MEN IN FASHION: PAVING THE WAY OR STEALING THE SPOTLIGHT?

Monday, 28 May 2018


I’m black, I’m gay, I’m not rich and I’m not thin... I’m a model of diversity. You couldn’t make me up.
- Edward Enninful, The Times 

After giving in to my ceaseless craving for a fashion film binge-watching session (consisting of The September Issue (2009) and In Vogue: The Editor's Eye (2012), I sat internally battling between being inspired and pissed off. 

The world of fashion has been designed to best suit the upper echelons of the industry, propelling those who are predominantly either white females or white gay males to the top.

However, there is a new paradigm for diversity in the fashion industry and Edward Enninful, first black editor-in-chief of British Vogue, is seated at diversity's throne reigning supreme. 

In addition to Enninful, other distinguishable fashion figures like André Leon Talley, Olivier Rousteing and Virgil Abloh have become the trailblazers for black men in the industry—but have they paved the way for black women or stolen the spotlight? 

At the rate the world around us is moving in terms of social justice and diversity, one can only hope that these beloved fashion luminaries represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to diversity in fashion, but it still is not enough. 

When it comes to the statistics of black women in fashion, something simply does not add up.

Under the microscope, statistics from major fashion schools such as the Fashion Institute of Technology prove that their students are primarily female at 85% with a small percentage of 9% of known black students.

So, with such a minute percentage of black students in unison with such a large percentage of female students, why is it that black men seem to be in the spotlight?


In The Glass Runway: How Gender and Sexuality Shape the Spotlight in Fashion Design, Dr. Alyson Stoker explores the concept of the "glass runway" in fashion.


This theory suggests that although the fashion industry is a highly feminized field, men (especially gay men) in the business of fashion are "pushed down the runway", achieving greater fame, praise and publicity. 

In Vogue: The Editor's Eye (2012) highlights Vogue's most iconic fashion editors and directors: Babs Simpson, Grace Coddington, Tonne Goodman, Phyllis Posnick, Jade Hobson, Carlyne Cerf, Polly Mellen and Anna Wintour (with commentary from Hamish Bowles), praising their contribution to the magazine that Vogue has become. 

The problem? For those who aren't aware, this group of icons features an entirely white female cast with the exception of Bowles, who is a white gay male.

If there were an updated instalment of In Vogue that stretched overseas to British Vogue, we would be introduced to Edward Enninful, who would sit in striking contrast to his predecessors.




In 2017, Enninful's first issue of British Vogue featured biracial model Adwoa Aboah on its cover and still, over a year after his appointment as editor-in-chief, it is evident that the Enninful effect truly exits and it's infectious.



Last year, super model legend and close friend of Enninful, Naomi Campbell, called out the previous editor-in-chief of British Vogue in an Instagram post, sparking a much needed conversation about diversity in the industry.

British Vogue's most recent May cover displays nine diverse models—making British Vogue history by including the first hijab-wearing model on its cover in its 102-year existence.


When I say diversity, I want to be clear that it is never just about black and white for me. It’s about diversity across the board – whether that’s race, size, socio-economic background, religion, sexuality. That’s what I want to celebrate with this cover. 
-Edward Enninful, British Vogue
To see any minority, be it race or gender, battle for success and come out on top in this industry is commendable.

To take that success and effectively use your position of power at a renowned publication such as British Vogue to introduce, collaborate with and provide opportunities for fellow minorities like black women is impeccable.

It is safe to say that Enninful is undoubtedly making moves for black women in fashion, despite the fact that he is a man and I'm here for it.

I couldn't have chosen a better time to dive into the world of fashion journalism—and there are no words to describe my excitement about being part of an era where diversity and social justice are both the forefront and future of the fashion industry.

Who better to tackle such pressing issues than those who have dealt with them first hand?

Slowly, but surely.

Love, LAUR





BEST OF THE MET GALA 2018 x HEAVENLY BODIES: FASHION AND THE CATHOLIC IMAGINATION

Tuesday, 8 May 2018


NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK—The first Monday in May calls for the worlds most elite in all realms from film to fashion and the unexpected grey area that lies in between. This is the Oscar night of the fashion world and the Super Bowl of style—the Met Gala.

This years Met Monday themed "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination" is where controversy met Catholicism, hosted by the Holy Trinity of this years event, Rihanna, Amal Clooney and Donatella Versace, on its 70th anniversary.

The Met calls for fashion luminaries across the globe to come together in the city that never sleeps, and strut the steps of the Met before appreciating the rooms of spectacular opulence that lie within and indulging in bathroom selfie sessions—despite Anna Wintour's supposed ban on social media at the event.

I'm all for pushing boundaries, but when it comes to the Met Gala my favourite looks are the ones that best execute the theme while looking fashionable.

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 favourite looks from the 2018 Met Gala counting down to number one.



10. Kim Kardashian West

Regardless of the lack of themed dress from the rest of the  Kardashian Jenner (whose style I typically adore) crew, Kim Kardashian West gets it. Kim came through looking like a walking chalice in a curve hugging Atelier Versace metal mesh gown with crystal cross adornments. Kim has never been one for grand avant-garde gestures of fashion at the Met, rather, she stays on theme in her own simplistic yet sexy Kim Kardashian-esque way.  And her glam? Absolutely killed it.


9. Blake Lively
Blake Lively never disappoints and this look was no exception to the rule. Regal in red, Blake walked the Met in a Versace gown, with a long flowing train to follow. So long in fact, that Blake took a party bus to the event.   


8. Jasmine Sanders
All eyes were on Jasmine Sanders in this custom high in the front and long in the back (a popular trend at this year's gala) H&M golden gown, but as she turned to pose for the camera's, her hair stole the show. Jasmine's blonde braid was embellished with real red roses, gold ribbons and mini pearls.


7. Cara Delevingne

Cara Delevingne, who has been known to bring an edgy twist to every red carpet, did just that in Dior. The tips of Cara's bleach-blonde hair were dyed pink, pairing with her makeup that featured bright bursts of yellow and fuchsia for the perfect pop of colour beneath her black veil. 

6. J Lo
J Lo hit the red carpet in a revealing yet elegant Balmain dress. This jewel-encrusted look was one of few with a prominent crucifix—an obvious depiction of this years theme, with a risqué slit revealing her leg in contrast. 



5. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's ethereal beauty was on full display in this Ralph Lauren gown. This goddess, who may or may not have fallen straight out of heaven and down to Manhattan, wore a literal halo, looking nothing short of angelic. 


4. Ariana Grande
Talk about being on theme. For her first Met Gala, Ariana Grande donned a custom Vera Wang gown, looking like a walking portrayal of Michaelangelo's iconic fresco, "The Last Judgment", that can be found covering the altar wall of none other than the Sistine Chapel. This look is a favourite amongst fashion and art history enthusiasts alike. 


3. Kate Bosworth


Where some may be sinners for the night, Kate Bosworth is a saint. Kate, like Rosie, opted for a truly heavenly look as she floated elegantly down the read carpet in an Oscar de le Renta gown. Kate appears to be channelling La Madre Dolorosa (Statue of the weeping Madonna), as edited by me on the left, paying homage to both the theme and the art work displayed inside the museum.


2. Lily Collins
Lily Collins' Met mood: high priestess in the middle of Manhattan at the crossroads of gothicism and religion. On an Instagram live stream with Vogue, Lily self-described her sheer Givenchy dress as having a "chic, nun vibe," and a deep V that honours the late Hubert de Givenchy. On her head, a black halo, in place of a traditional nuns veil. And to top it all off? A rosary delicately dangling from her hands in contrast with not-so-holy black nails. I'm obsessed with this look, it screams "forgive me father, for I have slayed."


1. Rihanna 
Best dressed at the 2018 Met Gala goes to the reigning queen of the Met and the hostest with the mostest—Rihanna. Let us take a moment to thank God for a look so extraordinary it could've been handcrafted by the man himself. Rihanna's intricate, pearl-encrusted ensemble is a Maison Margiela by John Galliano masterpiece. This papal-inspired look would not be complete without the Bishops cloak and mitre, also by Margiela, to match. Rihanna has redefined fashion and the catholic imagination with this Rih-ligiously controversial yet fashion-forward fit. What's a fashion statement that doesn't spark discussion anyway?  Ask and you shall receive, Rihanna has answered all our prayers. Amen.


BONUS: Chadwick Boseman
After an unfortunate lack of men who were true to this years theme, I was elated to see Chadwick Boseman on the red carpet in a subtle yet still on theme look in all white Versace embellished with gold symbolism and a cape.


Gala goal for next year? Men, take note of the theme and bring your A game.

Love, LAUR


DISCLAIMER: ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF VOGUE, GETTY IMAGES AND VARIOUS TWITTER ACCOUNTS









MOVIES OF THE MONTH: FEBRUARY

Friday, 2 March 2018

Happy Oscar weekend! In its simplest terms—I am a movie junkie. I spend an unhealthy amount of time eagerly watching films projected through the lens of my cheap (yet reliable) Amazon projector—and I'm not sorry about it. As a matter of fact, one of my resolutions for the new year is to watch every film nominated for best picture at the 2018 Academy Awards (For the record I’ve seen 4/9 so far). So with all of that being said, I present to you:

MOVIES OF THE MONTH (MOTM)
 A series in which I'll share, rate & briefly review any films I've watched throughout the past month. The films may range from old to new, but these will only be reviews on those I watched for the first time. Enjoy!

Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (2017)
Call Me by Your Name (2017): ★★★★★
THIS FILM IS FAN-F**KING-TASTIC. I must admit that I actually watched this movie at the end of January—but considering the fact that this is my first MOTM post I had to include it.  I am unsure about whether or not I should call this a review, as its more like a diary entry concerning my love affair between the language, cinematography and soundtrack in this film (with honorable mentions going to Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer of course). Call Me by Your Name is the definition of aesthetically pleasing—instantly taking viewers back to 1983, somewhere in Northern Italy. What begins as a catalyst for summertime cravings like bike rides in quant Italian villa’s or indulging in frutta fresca with handsome house guests in your backyard develops into an unlikely yet irresistible summer romance between the films main characters. The way I felt after watching this movie is borderline inexplicable... I'm in love with the love in this film. Essentially, Call Me by Your Name is in a class of its own. Although we're barely into 2018, I'm almost positive that this will be (one of) my favourite movie(s) of the year. Its Oscar nomination for best picture is well deserved. 



Black Panther (2018): ★★★★★
BELIEVE THE HYPE. Marvel has truly outdone themselves with this film. Finally a movie that really is just as good as everyone says it is. I'd even go so far as saying that this is one of my favourite Marvel films to date (I'll get back to this as soon as I finish the Thor films, which have been my favourite thus far alongside Iron Man). Talk about not only black power and excellence—but black FEMALE power. The visuals, cast and soundtrack are incredible. I'm so proud to have Marvel's first predominantly black superhero movie be the coolest. Seeing this film in theatre on the big screen is an experience I'd highly recommend—so try to watch it while its still there. WAKANDA FOREVER.
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (2017)

I, Tonya (2017): ★★★
As a big fan of Margot Robbie since seeing her in The Wolf of Wallstreet (2013) and Suicide Squad (2016), I could not wait to watch this film. I, Tonya is a mockumentary of sorts, documenting the life of infamous figure skater, Tonya Harding, who is perfectly executed by Margot Robbie. Once again, I'm stunned by Robbie's ability to drop her Australian accent in exchange for a heavy American one. The star studded cast certainly helps to tell the story, with Robbie nominated for best actress and Allison Janney (who plays Tonya's mother) nominated for best supporting actress at the Academy Awards this year. I think the actors are fantastic, however, the film itself is flawed. In my opinion it wasn't five-star worthy, but entertaining nonetheless.


Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (2017)

Lady Bird (2017): ★★★½
It can be easy to group all coming of age films into the same cliché category of tacky teenage dramas, however, something about Lady Bird sets it just above that stereotype. I would have to say that the comedic elements of the film and the quirky likability of Lady Bird herself, played by Saoirse Ronan
(another leading actress who picks up an American accent that contrasts her own) are its greatest assets. While the storyline may not seem too different from other films in terms of its portrayal of adolescent life, the script is richer and much more mature than most of its kind. The film encapsulates both Lady Bird's and her parents' experiences as she traditions into adulthood—which is another quality to set this film apart from others like it. Personally, there was an undeniable sense of relatability to Lady Bird's big dreams and non-conformist attitude throughout the film. A delight to watch, yet not incredibly mind-blowing for me. PS. Did I mention Timothée Chalamet is in it? Watch this movie purely to see him.


Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman (2017)
Wonder Woman (2017): 
I cannot stress how high my hopes were for this film, especially since it took almost a year for me to finally watch it. More than that, I cannot stress how disappointed I was to find that Wonder Woman was not at all what I hoped it'd be. I'm all for a badass female superhero, and Diana certainly is badass, however the storyline itself was boring and underwhelming to me. I find it ironic how disappointing this film—with a heavy focus on female empowerment, is when comparing it to other superhero movies (which I love) with a male protagonist as the hero. For a film thats meant to highlight female strength, I believe that a much stronger film could've been made to represent that. Sadly, this film was a let down. 


Coco (2017): ★★★★

Does Pixar ever disappoint? With the Cuban blood of my ancestors running through my veins, I have always been both intrigued and fascinated by Hispanic culture. So, to see the beauty of that culture in a Disney film? I'm here for it. Coco is not focused on true love—as Disney often tends to do, rather, the love of music and importance of family. It is a colourful and cultural tale that I'd recommend to any Disney fan. As much as I enjoyed it, my five stars (in Disney films) are for The Lion King, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. And the princess movies? Don't even get me started. Five stars everywhere. 


The Shape of Water (2017): 
Although I didn't necessarily hate this movie, it just wasn't for me. In the case of this film, I feel like it all comes down to your own film preferences. I was so excited to watch this due to all of the buzz surrounding it, however, I just didn't understand the hype. As some may not like films by Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson or any other non-traditional film directors—I don't think that Guillermo Del Torro films are my style. The film undoubtedly had its engaging moments, but they were only engaging due to the sheer oddity of it. Perhaps this is why some people enjoyed it so much. Personally, I think this was a bit too odd for me. The Shape of Water is both cinematic and beautifully done, but simply not for me. My apologies to Donatella Versace, who says The Shape of Water is her favourite film of the moment.

Love, LAUR

THE BEST OF NYFW (ACCORDING TO MOI)

Thursday, 22 February 2018


Vogue Runway

NEW YORK, NEW YORK—undoubtedly the city of dreams for any model who has the pleasure of hitting the runway here.

This years NYFW brought us everything from Cardi B sitting front row alongside Anna Wintour to robots working the runway at Phillipp Plein.

Personally, I couldn't have asked for a better start to fashion month in a better place.

The city that never sleeps can finally get some rest now that the first stretch of this fashion expedition has come to an end.

Now, the show must go on over in London.

Here are a few of my favourite collections from NYFW.

DISCLAIMER: PHOTO CREDITS TO VOGUE RUNWAY


    ZADIG & VOLTAIRE: FALL 2018 READY-TO-WEAR
This collection is the definition of ready-to-wear. I could build my everyday wardrobe solely out of pieces from this collection. Whether we look at her or not, she doesn’t care—she keeps living,” said creative director Cecilia Bönström about the ideal Z&V woman. In other words, she is LAUR. I couldn't have described myself any better. 





CHRISTIAN COWAN: FALL 2018 READY TO WEAR

For someone who typically leans towards monochromatic tones that I can actually see myself in, this collection was the perfect balance of just that with contrasting bright, fun, party pieces & 90s vibes.




PHILLIPP PLEIN: FALL 2018 READY-TO-WEAR



Icy silvers, puffer jackets and sleek formfitting bodysuits make dressing for a snowstorm look cool. Not to mention the hints of brightly coloured street style fits to turn up the heat. 





ALEXANDER WANG: FALL 2018 READY-TO-WEAR
Last but not least, my absolute favourite NYFW show. I loved this show so much that I dedicated an entire post to it. Click here to read it and see pictures from the collection!


NEXT UP? LONDON.

Love, LAUR

THE MATRIX MEETS DOMINATRIX: ALEXANDER WANG FALL 2018

Sunday, 11 February 2018


Allow me to introduce you to (possibly) my favourite collection and runway show of all time: Alexander Wang's Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection.

Described by Wang himself as "the female CEO", this bada** collection exhibits tailored suiting, pointed heels, refashioned blazers, futuristic leather fits, statement zippers and shrunken sunglasses channeling The Matrix in an edgy interpretation of office attire—with a touch of classic Wang athleisure.

The runway was carefully crafted to replicate an office, with cubicles lining either side to set the tone.

I plan on writing a fashion week favourites post for each of the big 4 (New York, London, Milan and Paris)—but this collection deserves recognition all on its own.

Lastly, for your viewing pleasure, photographed below are my favourite looks from this collection.

You're welcome.

Love, Laur


Disclaimer: all photos courtesy of Vogue















Latest Instagrams

© LAUR. Design by FCD.