Travel and nostalgia are inextricably linked. For this issue, the FASHION team ventured to Hong Kong and Phuket to create a 33-page fashion and travel feature starring model Shaughnessy Brown. (See “The Occidental Tourist” on page 77.) In addition to our print story, we have also launched a special section on our website: fashionmagazine.com/hongkongxthailand. Plus, you can enter online before July 9 for a chance to win a trip for two to Hong Kong and Thailand valued at $7,500 CAD. If you don’t win, Cathay Pacific is offering a $100 CAD discount to FASHION readers heading to Hong Kong, Phuket and Bangkok. (See page 92 for details.) Combining these two countries into one is like having the best of both worlds. Special thanks to the dream team above, plus the Hong Kong Tourism Board, the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Cathay Pacific, the Lanson Place Hotel, The Nai Harn and the Pathumwan Princess.
From a distance, Alexandre Farto’s art piece on the wall outside the Portuguese embassy in Bangkok looks like a moody series of painted black-and-white portraits. It’s only when I get closer that I realize that Farto—or “Vhils,” as he is known—has actually etched the evocative faces into the wall. It’s part of his Scratching the Surface series, which seems a fitting metaphor for how I’m feeling about my weeklong adventure in Hong Kong, Phuket and now Bangkok.
In an interview with the magazine Latitudes, Vhils said he approaches his work like an archaeologist, noting that the various layers of a wall reveal its history: “Walls are not just walls, you know; they can absorb the stories, and as soon as you can break the surface and see what’s inside, something invisible starts to be visible.”
There is a sentiment to his work that also resonates with our nostalgia-themed issue. In “My Teen Queens” (page 56), Leah Rumack goes on a whimsical memory-lane tour of the beauty products she loved—and continues to love. (#mascara4ever) In “Once More with Feeling” (page 67), Meghan McKenna writes about her wistful affection for musicals and how they inspire her to romanticize her past. And in “Gothic Wonder” (page 34), Isabel B. Slone tells us about her first major nostalgic fashion flashback. The return of “mall goth” has brought back memories of her own “bondage-pants years.” While goth used to be the “self-imposed uniform of freaks and misfits,” now, notes Slone, it’s simply a way to express yourself.
I’m struck by the emotional connection between fashion and memory when I ponder Lauren Yates’s approach to her W’menswear line. The Bangkok designer says she creates clothes for women “who get their hands dirty, keep their clothes until they fall apart and have outfits that are drenched in memories.”
Many of my favourite memories are connected to travel, and I have clothes and shoes that are drenched with them. I kept a pair of black saddle shoes in the back of my closet for years because I had worn them non-stop during a 12-month adventure through Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia. Even though I no longer wore them, just seeing them evoked fond memories—not unlike the walls that Vhils explores. Forgotten adventures and misadventures, hidden beneath the weathered leather and worn heels, would surface every time I saw them. Seeing them also inspired me to continue creating new memories.