Sunday, December 19, 2010

Fashionably 2010

In this shrunken world of new media, interconnectedness and accessibility - the various trends and fads stick out like a sore thumb nowadays. We can so easily notice what is the hot piece to be wearing, playing or listening to because we are most often bombarded with it from every media angle, to the point of giving in and taking part. It's also easy to see the ripple effect amongst the latest trends - and how everything, in some way or another, inevitably ends up tying into each other. Let's take a trip down short-term memory lane, and see how the fashion and music trends of 2010 had a serious and smooth-sailing relationship.

What the gals were wearing while galavanting around town in 2010, and the gems that accompanied the glitter:

3.1 Philip Lim
1. Lace: Everything from dainty little touches of lace overtop more subdued fabrics to full-on lace body-suits became all the rage this year, leaving little to the male imagination. Staying feminine and classy while still exposing sexy undertones was the 2010 girl-about-town's most popular tactic - and suddenly Grandma's dining room table cloth wasn't looking so hideous to young women everywhere. What played into this? Dragonette, a tiny but mighty Canadian electropop group headed by former folk-singer Martina Sorbara, released a charmingly girly track called "Easy" that had all of the same features. This sweet-toothed, vulnerable tell-all about staying with a difficult man despite his faults is adorable and honest amongst the rest of the revved up tracks off this year's Fixin' To Thrill. Without a doubt, one of my top five favourite songs of this year.

2. Mixed Prints and Florals: Vintage duds ruled the school this year, and suddenly (and thankfully), unbranded hidden gems were the best find on a grueling day of shopping. Effortless, breezy and creative, spurts of garden-scenes and wild prints became one of 2010's essential components of a fun outfit. Florals and prints scream individuality and free-spirited fun, so it's only natural that an equally as effortless song be matched with them. British Columbia neo folk-rock daydreamers Teen Daze wrote an jolly, echoey track this year called "Let's Fall Asleep Together" that I'm sure was recorded in the midst of many floral patterns. This happy-go-lucky 70s anthem is meant for summer evenings spent blowing dandelion fuzz into the air, underneath the setting glow.

Banana Republic Fall 2010
3. Utilitarian: The modern gal's wardrobe was re-vamped in 2010 after the utilitarian trends undeniably swept the runway. The working woman and city-girl alike should be elated at the emergence of this strict but chic professional appearance, as it revolutionizes our look to exude casual control and sophistication. Also taking control of the airwaves (again) these days is our old buddy Robyn (remember, the Swedish platinum-headed teen dream?) who is spitting out hot electronica at every chance. Her banging, addictive track "Fembot" is appropriate under the utilitarian reign, as it discusses the common combination of a take-action female mentality that leaks tiny little hints of insecurity and emotion.

4. Sheer or See-Through: Peek-a-boo! I saw more of women's bodies (that I never signed up to see) in 2010 than any year of my short-lived female life. Perhaps even more than during the popular grade eight phase of wearing upsettingly low pants and sporting bare lower midriffs. It seems like every girl at the club has the urge to appear naked, but in an attempt to satisfy the dress codes, agreed to putting on a completely see-through piece of "clothing." This steamy trend definitely was a showstopper this year, and of course, many fabulous women managed to pull it off in classy and hardly overbearing ways. Who other than regular ol' tomcat Hugo to provide the soundtrack for this one, with his scorching blues-rock hit "Bread and Butter," which makes no effort in hiding the overtly sexual storyline. Hugo's piping hot moans sing about a girl he wants to...well, do things I suppose a male might want to do with a stick of butter and a nice loaf of rye.

What the boys were wearing while being boys, and the beats they blared:

Burberry's Army
1. Military:  Attention! This evolving trend was here in full-force again this year, with plenty of clean-cut lines and stiff, powerful statements on the men's fashion side of things. Double-breasted and high-collared jackets, aviator sunglasses, brass buttons and tough boots continued to make an appearance along with slick and elegant haircuts on the working men. Both the leisurely and professional aspect of this trend resembles that of men in the early to mid-20th century wartime - cool, casual and excited to get their coiff a little messy after a hard day in the assembly line. A 2010 goody that showcases both the sensitive and hard-edged life of a military man is the beautiful and dark "Bloodbuzz, Ohio" off the best album of 2010, The National's High Violet. This song is layered with crashing percussion and heartrending piano, and topped with the bottomless baritone of Matt Berringer. "I still owe money to the money to the money I owe/ I never thought about love when I thought about home/ I'm on a bloodbuzz, God I am/."

2. Rustic: Ah, the undying power of plaid. I have a memory of wearing plaid in early high school, and to this day I can still hear the lumberjack taunts in my dreams. But, that's neither here nor there because we're talking about the lads here, and - plaid is in, baby! Along with chunky corduroy and leather outerware, torn denim and festive knits. Men are all over the latest outdoorsy and rural vibes, which makes me think - when we forced Sex and The City on our boyfriends each season, did they pick up on pointers from the loveable countryman Aidan Shaw? To accompany us on the ride down the backroads to the woods, it's only necessary we leave the music selection to our favourite down and dirty men, The Black Keys. One of my most-enjoyed gritty love songs of this year is the thumping, knee-hammering "Everlasting Light" off the Keys' 2010 masterpiece Brothers. This down and dirty plea for love has a gospel resonance about it and sounds like it's out of a neighbourhood backyard bash, where there isn't an idle instrument or motionless foot for miles.

3. Slim Suits: Men everywhere have bitten the bullet this year and come to the obvious realization that they can look good, squeaky-fresh and well put-together without it meaning anything. I've loved looking left and right this year to discover men so wonderfully composed in their sleek, classic suits and dressware, skinny ties, shiny shoes and 1950s-inspired glasses. They look fit for a photo shoot or straight off the pages of The Great Gatsby, and frankly, it works. An equally as modern track for the modern man who's out on the town, drink in hand and swagger in place is the flashy "Skeleton Boy" by my elected electro-dance duo of the year, Friendly Fires. This robotic slice of Brit-pop is high energy, weirdly gorgeous and unbelievably catchy - the perfect song for a strut across a crowded room armed with confidence and a few undone shirt buttons.
*Note: This also has such a bananas music video.

4. Nautical: In my opinion, there are few things more classic than nautical. Hard to imagine it ever going out of style, nautical-themed clothing can easily give off the vacationing All-American vibe or the romantic lovers-at-sea vibe. Vibrant colours or plain whites, nautical is everywhere in everyday settings. Stripes, blue jeans and white deck shoes are a constant fixture in each season and are even more appropriate on twinkle-eyed boys coasting along blue waters on a summer afternoon. This sort of style undoubtedly deserves an equally carefree, golden ditty - most appropriately the warm summer sounds of "Brides Song" by Yukon Blonde. This harmonic indie-rock group of shaggy-haired Canadians succeed in pulling off the dreamy, 60s-reminiscent jams. This one is particularly sunny and has the most atmospheric and beautiful instrumental interjection at 3:10 into the song, that starts off sublimely gentle and then proceeds to rock your boat. This is meant to be listened to in your swimming trunks while the sun bounces off the waves below.

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