DREAM DUO

Fashion (Canada) - - Editor’s Letter - NOREEN FLANA­GAN, ED­I­TOR-IN-CHIEF FOL­LOW ME ON TWIT­TER AND IN­STA­GRAM @NOREEN_FLANAGAN

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.

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