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Friday, July 15, 2016

Hats off: a Jazz Fest fashion guide

Whether you’re counting them in the crowd or trying to plan your outfit, this weekend you’ve got to know your jazz hats.

Posted By on Fri, Jul 15, 2016 at 12:23 PM

  • illustrations by Matt Bustin

The Pork Pie
If jazz is your highway, the pork pie is your Cadillac. This eccentric lid belongs to a true jazz nerd, who’s happily holed up, syncopated snapping at the Village Vanguard, or ripping sax solos of their own in a hotel bar. Lester Young made this look legendarily cool, hence why this style should be reserved for true players.


The Fedora
If done right, a fedora-topped outfit is classy—think sexy Sinatra, or badass bandleader Count Basie. Given its prevalence at Jazz Fest, we assume the large brim is a tool in aural enhancement for mega fans—but the carpet has to match the drapes. Unless you’re some kind of Indiana Jones, don’t attempt pulling this one off with flip flops, board shorts or a sleeveless top.


The Trilby
Often confused for a fedora, this smaller-brimmed hybrid hat (the porkdora?) can be used as a cover-up for bald spots , lack of jazz knowledge and total untrendiness. T-shirt and vest wearing Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears have visited trilby territory, as have many “down south” beachgoers, but only the truly cool cats manage to pull it off.


The Beret and Page Boy
Gateway jazz hats, call them fedora rising. Malleable enough to roll up and shove in your pocket, but jaunty enough to make a statement if the mood—or drum solo—permits. Equal parts art, pomp and chill.


The Wild Card
Miles Davis said, “Don’t fear mistakes, there are none” which is fitting for the “you do you” of the jazz hat spectrum. The wild cards are usually a modern or “funky” take on the old school—think Slash’s towering top hat, Pharrell’s oversized Arby’s logo or Jamiroquai’s fuzzy Cat In The Hat getup. Just improvise, man.

h/t to Jennifer MacDonald & Mike Ritchie

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

The art of fashion

NSCAD shows wearable art and wearable clothing at two upcoming events

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM

A wearable art piece from last year's event - ELIOT WRIGHT PHOTO VIA NSCAD.CA
  • A wearable art piece from last year's event
  • Eliot Wright Photo via

The NSCAD Wearable Art Show and Senior Fashion Show are getting a divorce—and it was a short-lived marriage, since they only merged last year. This year they are happening at different venues on different nights.

The 23rd annual Wearable Art Show, happening this Thursday (April 17, 8pm, $10), is being held at the Marquee Ballroom (2037 Gottingen), with all proceeds going to the AIDS Coalition of Halifax (as they do every year).

“The feedback I’ve been getting about having it at the Marquee is that it’s going back to the beginning of the Wearable Art Show,” says event organizer Justin Lees, “when it was held at bars and was not so much a formal event.”

Lees says this year is especially diverse, with many performative elements. One of the designers even has a piece that requires walking on stilts. “The whole garment covers from the floor to their face,” says Lees. “It extends their arms and their fingers so all of their appendages are touching the floor," Lees says. "It’s a really crazy piece that really distorts what the body looks like.”

The venue, with max capacity of 700, has yet to sell out, but the Senior Fashion Show has been sold out since early this week. This may have something to do with the small venue at the Port Campus (1107 Marginal Road), says event organizer Madeleine Leroux, capping ticket sales at 220.

Usually the show is an opportunity for advanced fashion students to show their stuff, but this year they let other NSCAD students in on the action. With a total of 19 designers and over 100 models, the show is going to have “a whole mess of things.”

One designer, Charlotte Mackie, is taking sketches that her six-year-old sister made and screenprinting them onto transparent fabrics. Leroux says Mackie is one of the more “out-there” designers in the show.

“I think she made one coat where she actually used hundreds of pingpong balls and wrapped them in organza,” says Leroux. “So it’s going to look awesome.”

Although both shows use a runway, the events are far from the same.

“The wearable art tends to distort or change the body,” says Leroux, while the fashion show is more “stuff you would see on the runway.”

Lees says the Wearable Art Show is a great interpretation of “non-fashion.”

“It gives everybody a chance from every study to make something crazy and show it on the runway.”

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