Headquartered in London, husband-and-wife duo Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi formed Preen back in 1996. The fashion label has become synonymous with creating relationships dichotomies: interplay between masculine and feminine; a love for the vintage Victoriana but then coupled with a hard-edged sensibility. Their popularity and reputation continued to grow with their success.
In 2008 Preen moved their show to New York Fashion Week to much anticipation; this proved to be a savvy business decision as it exponentially marketed their commercial appeal on the international stage. Spring/Summer 2008 was also when Justin and Thea launched their Preen Line, which focused on a contemporary design aesthetic, favouring a rock and roll effortless wear ability.
Preen moved back to London Fashion Week for their S/S 2013 show to warm critical reception. The design duo is constantly creating and ever expanding. Fall 2014 has seen them launch their shoe line Preen Shoes, right on the heels of their Preen EyeWear collection during the Spring/Summer of the same year.
Preen has evolved into it’s uniquely iconic style, most often described as a particular kind of deconstructed minimalism with plenty of personality and their ever present tongue-in-cheek humour. It continues to grow from what was once a tiny shop in London’s Portobello Road to a modern day enterprise that is sold to over 25 countries worldwide. It remains a favourite of many high profile figures including: Diane Kruger, Scarlett Johansson, Cate Blanchett, Carey Mulligan and Michelle Obama.
1. Nova Printed Velvet Delvoré Dress, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – $1650
2. White Cambridge Sunglasses, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – $265
3. Baxter Fur Trim Bomber Jacket, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – $1550
4. Nails Inc. Limited Edition Collaboration Preen Nail Polish,
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – Was $25.57, Now $17.04
5. Norton Embroidered Boots, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi – $763.19
We wanted something simple and strong to counteract the excess of the holiday celebrations inundating merry makers this time of year. We wanted the romance of twinkle lights in dreamy evenings with the sophistication of fine champagne. This dark, dramatic ensemble consists of feathers, gold accents and architectural details to make sure that you stand out from the crowd of sequins and bandage mini-dresses. These fierce shoes by British designer Chrissie Morris are whimsical enough to balance the minimalism of the Derek Lam sheath and the subtly of the Saint Laurent mini chain evening bag. Be prepared to be the most chic person at any evening party you attend in an outfit like this.
1. Derek Lam Color-block crepe and satin dress, Net-a-Porter – $2190
2. Saint Laurent Betty Mini Chain Suede Shoulder Bag, Net-a-Porter – $1450
3. Chrissie Morris Claudia Alpaca Fur Bootie, Blue Cream – Was $1560, Now $1092
Born in 1919, the early half of the twentieth century shaped the fascinating life of Mr. Finlayson. He served in World War II as a pilot and instructor. This picture was taken during his service, as is evidence by the cockpit in the background. Even with his hair dashingly dishevelled in this sepia-toned memory, the sheer force of Mr. FInlayson’s personal charisma compels the onlookers gaze to linger. It takes a very special man to look this captivating with rolled-up sleeves and shorts, especially military issued ones.
After the war Mr. Finlayson became involved in politics and eventually became leader of the Conservative Party. As a land developer and entrepreneur he was invested in many projects including: several housing divisions, the Port Theatre and the Woodgrove Centre in Nanaimo. His talent and vision meant he had the opportunity to become aquainted with a long line of Prime Ministers; starting with John Diefenbaker, who once offered him a position as Minister of Environment. Mr. Finlayson received the Queens Jubilee Medal for service and was up for the Order of Canada before he died in 2005. In this picture and as evidenced in his life, he was the epitome of grace, of style, of a sort of masculine reassurance that has become something of a lasting emblem belonging to a bygone era.
FFF had a very special opportunity to watch the Aboriginal footwear company keep their tradition and artistry alive in person. The Winnipeg based company is looking to expand into mainstream fashion and their commitment to their vision has thus far made them into one of Canada’s success stories. Their Storyboot project creates a unique partnership with Aboriginal artisans and elders to create specialized, one-of-a-kind beadwork for their line of mukluks and moccasins. We were lucky enough to speak with former water polo Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller, a spokesperson for the company about why this was such an important and worthwhile endeavor. As an ambassador for aboriginal youth, she has been travelling around different communities to speak about why tradition and heritage is so important in this company.
“Ultimately the significance of the mukluk is to preserve the history and tradition that has been part of our culture for thousands of years. We want to bring the traditional method of mukluk and moccasin making into contemporary footwear and mend it with technologies that would make it so that anyone could wear it in their everyday lives.”
While the moccasin and mukluks have been trendy for some time now – worn by celebrities and trendsetters alike; the company has maintained it’s commitment to enriching the heritage of the Aboriginal tradition by allowing each artisan to have their own narratives hand-sewn into their work. The artist receives all of the proceeds from the Storyboot collection. They work with many Aboriginal artisans, although we were very impressed with the work of Cree artist Rosa Scribe, who favours bold color and floral designs.
We were also fortunate to watch local Squamish artist Tyler Jacobs hand sew his beadwork. While he explained that his status as an Aboriginal artist has not been met without barriers, he is also proud of his heritage and wears it like a badge of honor.
“I’ve been beading since I was young, it’s always been something that we’ve done. It gets passed down from generation to generation. The designs from every band is different, every Nation is different. Beading is a very personal thing. You’re putting something of yourself into all of your pieces”.
Manitobah Mukluks at Holt Renfrew.
Today we had coffee at the art gallery. After a week of rain, the sun finally came up between the clouds and gave the city a perfect, crisp Autumn in late November. This outfit is for window shopping and cool weather with your girlfriends. The pants are actually a Zara jumpsuit. Super comfortable but hangs just right, all I’ve done is add a sweater to create a fall look. Shoe and sunglasses add polish, but maintain understated. The big maroon bag adds to the fall palate, giving everything harmony. It felt just the right amount of dressed down in a casual city.
1. Tom Ford Sun Glasses
2. Zara Black Chunky Knit Sweater
3. Zara Leopard Jumpsuit
4. Zara Leather Maroon Bag
4. Aldo Shoes