Fashionable function. Functional fashion?

AllyG: We love our guest bloggers, so we have decided to not keep them on the bench until one of us has a baby. That would totally deprive you of their awesomeness. So, from time-to-time, like when L-A has had a wee bit too much gin (I KID!) or BabyG has decided to glue his eyes wide open all night, our guest bloggers will slay you with their hotness and wit. Fabulous, non? Today we have the lovely Jo.

L-A may comment as well when she is done “sleeping it off”. Ha! Ha! I’m so funny.


L-A’s all like, “whaaa cha sayin’ bout meeeee??!!”

She loves when I write this shit on the blog. Blame it on the al-al-al-al-al-co-hoooooooool!

I’m seriously sleep deprived so I should shut up now. L-A is totally going to ban me from ever playing pop music videos on the blog from now on. And that’s totally justified. She knows I love her. xoxo.

(L-A: I’m not even sick or on vacation or hungover and I wake up Tara Reid and T-Pain? What the…? However, I am desperately trying to make some deadlines, one of them being over at YKYLF. So Jo’s post is timely because I could use the help. Hit it Jo!)

Jo: It all started innocently enough.

Reading Saturday’s Globe &Mail (a ritual – do NOT disturb), and Leah McLaren’s FABULOUS column (LOVE her…). She told me about how even the biggest fashionista LIVES for comfy clothes. The “uniform” that we all change into after work. …YES, I say. Can I get an “Amen”…

Tell me you don’t change into this the instant you get home from work. I dare you.

sloppy sweatpants

Yes Britney, everyone’s watching you. Even my cats don’t care if I look this bad. One of them might puke at my feet, but I don’t take it personally. My cats are not the paparazzi selling bad photos of me for thousands of dollars for all the world to see. I wear legwarmers around the house, who am I to judge (oh wait, I wear those running, too…). You get the gist.

(AllyG: Oh.My.Gawd. I have blocked these images of Brit-Brit out of my mind. This is deeply troubling at 6:30 a.m. Even sadder is that I just looked down at my own outfit and I am afraid to report that my outfit is not a far streatch from Ms. Spears’. Hair is also unfortunately tres similar. Le sigh).

Back to Leah. Yes, my uniform. Worn everyday. Washed. Dried. Then put right back on. Sigh. I don’t know about you, but I am on BOARD.

She also mentions this:

“Last week, Japan’s Haruyama Trading introduced a suit designed to protect against the H1N1 virus (retail price: $590). The magic suit is coated with titanium dioxide, a compound usually found in toothpaste. According to the designer, the chemical coating sets off a photocatalyst, zapping the deadly virus when light hits the material’s fibres. Researchers have been testing the compound as an effective disinfectant as far back as the SARS outbreak in 2003.”


Say WHAT???? Dude looks sharp whilst fighting potentially deadly pandemic. He will cough into that magical sleeve, but what about the rest of the coughing world? Hands and face still exposed people.

Dr. Strang could use a suit like that


(L-A: Welcome to your first fashion blog Dr. Robert Strang, Cheif Public Health Officer! I bet he’ll be surprised to find a mention here the next time he googles himself.)

Moving on …  So I’ve thought about this before.

What, you ask? Fashion has purpose. Intent. Dress like you mean it. Show the world what you’re doing. Where you’re going. We dress for work. We dress for the gym. We dress to go out. We dress for parties. We even dress for sleeping. A wardrobe for any season (literally) and reason…

Par exemple, walk into any gym to find the perfectly attired, super-fit and ridiculously cute athletic girl (this is extremely annoying). As if that isn’t enough, she is adorned head to toe in lululemon


No question, this gal is EXTREMELY excited about her luon fabric pants and silver thread anti-stink top. (cute hat!)

(AllyG: I hate those bitches at the gym. They force me to look acceptable when I am sweating on the treadmill. Yes, I would jump off a bridge if they told me to as well. Wearing Lulu of course.)

(L-A: Seriously. Hates. Also hates packs of lulu wearers at coffee shops.)

At first I resisted (expensive!), but then relented (so cute!), and now I’m over it (everyone wears it!). Admittedly, I loved it more when there was no store in Halifax. Now brightly coloured hoodies, tight yoga pants, and double-strand headbands are everywhere. I mostly hate it because I can’t possibly justify another ridiculously priced hoody or the “but these ones are more expensive different” running pants. Pfff…

But let’s face it, at the core of lulu is function. Yet, I suspect not all lulu customers are doing this in their lulus:

Cortney Cantrell and Krista Foster

But lest you think I am dissing my beloved lululemon (take that back! I adore them! I only hate them because they make me spend too much money!), they are a FANTASTIC CANADIAN company. Driven by real core values, delivering real quality, real function AND real fashion. Win-win-WIN! Plus, they are firmly rooted in the communities in which they operate. Free yoga on Sunday mornings anyone?

(L-A: I wear mine for yoga! Well, when I do yoga, I wear them. Those pants are ridiculous at keeping you from looking frumpy in your downward dog. I am not kidding).

Moving along.

Running. I love running. I do not love running clothes. Running clothes are far too often ugly (please note aforementioned exception). Why? WHY? Why the weird stripes? The strange colours? The odd patterns? We can send people to space, but we can’t make fabric that wicks,  AND looks good? And Running Room, I LOVE you, but why does everyone have to wear the same jacket???


Fail. BabyG would WAIL at the sight of this. I apologize if you have one of these. I still love you. But chances are, you want a cuter jacket.

(AllyG: I also hate! I just checked with BabyG and he snorted like an elephant – we call him elephant boy- which means he also hates.)
(L-A: Maybe we need to address running fashion one of these days. Because some of you runners – especially those of you in sidewalk colonizing packs that push me into traffic – could maybe use a tip or two).

But alas, there are some interesting things happening on the runway. NY-based designer Angel Chang has been experimenting with the notion of fusing fashion and function for years. Her high-tech designs and innovative fabrics have been turning heads for a while. Take this for example:


“In this chiffon dress, heat-sensitive ink is used to hide a map of Manhattan. When touched by the wearer’s hands, her warmth uncovers a labyrinth of the city’s best restaurants, shops and art galleries for her to explore at her leisure.”

Oh where to go for dinner … hmmm … let me check my DRESS! Sick.

Or how about this, Canadian girls:


Self-heating cashmere (!) uses “conductive fabric instead of wires to transmit heat…” Angel works with companies like Noble Biomaterials, who supplies fabric to the US Army. She makes clothes with built-in iPod controls, uses prints that change colour, fabrics that light up and … puts speakers into hoods!


Readers, Angel is bringing some serious brains to the runway. And Lilo is head of Ungaro??

Disclaimer: Angel and I went to Parsons together one summer a loooong time ago. But just because I am biased doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hear how fabulous she is and love her, too. But don’t just listen to me. Angel won the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award for emerging designers a couple of years ago. She has worked with Donna Karan, Viktor and Rolf, Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui, and she was recently one of the designers on The Fashion Show on Bravo, where her amazing Siamese Twin Shirt Dress made serious waves.


(AllyG: Sorry to interrupt…again, but can we please get Angel to send that dress to Serena Van der Woodsen? For real. She would kill in that dress. Can she dump Carter while she’s at it?)

(L-A: I’m kind of surprised Serena hasn’t tapped that look. Who do we have to call to make it happen?)

In short, Angel is maker of “fabulous clothes with hidden high-tech function.”

On her website she says, “My aim is to show that clothes can actually do something – beyond just looking good; they ought to facilitate and improve the way we live without being a hindrance to our busy lifestyle.” called it “geek and chic all mixed up”.

Clothes that actually do something? Like I need another excuse to buy another hoody…

The bold Monty…

You know you love Gossip Girl…