Student Life

The evolution of style happens when we grow

Fashion does evolve, but within our own individuality. Some of us may even take some inspiration from our younger selves, and style what used to be trendy with our current style. Of course, some things are better left behind like the sneaker wedge, or even tiny sunglasses. We can easily make an item trendy or newly fashionable again.

This happened to the choker. Although what’s ‘in’ at the moment is the chain choker—like the ones Billie Eilish wears—the choker, a slim strip worn around the neck, was very popular during the grunge era of the 90s. It was able to stay for a while during the early 2000s and, somehow, it managed to return in 2015. But chokers existed long before the 21st century.

In a March 2016 article in the National Jeweler, Yvonne Markovitz, the Curator Emerita of Jewelry Museum of Fine Arts, explained that chokers were worn by women in ancient civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and the Sumer Civilization in Mesopotamia. Chokers brought these women a sense of power and gave them a sense of security.

The Nike Air Force 1s that you see everywhere you go? This shoe staple was inspired by the original 1982 Nike Air Force 1, which was initially a basketball shoe. I myself have a pair and what’s great about these shoes is that they never go out of style and can be worn with everything. They still serve a classic look.

These items have found a way to blend in today’s society. We tend to look at past trends to get inspired. These old trends evolve with the style that we have been able to create and with the person we have become.

It may take some time to find our personal style, but I think that I’m at a stage in life where I believe I have found mine. As a child, I remember wearing sneakers with everything, even when it didn’t fit with my dresses. I would wear my soccer team’s jerseys at school with earrings and bracelets. When I was a teenager, I would wear my father’s dress shirts with short shorts, which made it look like I was wearing a dress. I felt like menswear was more appealing to me, and I managed to look feminine by adding accessories, such as golden bracelets. Today, I like to wear long high-waisted trousers or loose track pants with a T-shirt and a vest or blazer that matches in colour with my pants. My golden rings add elegance to my outfits. I never take my rings off now.

When you grow up, you meet new people, you listen to new music, you look up to different people, and that can influence your style. I used to look up to Twiggy—the top model from the 60s—so much that I chopped my hair like hers when I was 13. I decided to never do it again; I have wavy hair and I had to use gel so that my hair would stay straight. Today, my fashion icon is 90s Lauren Hutton. Just to give you an idea: long windbreaker coat with matching pants, a white T-shirt and a pair of sneakers.

I have evolved: I am inspired by runway looks from the late 90s to early 2000s. I always love to mix and not wear only one style. The only item that hasn’t changed is my shoewear—I wear sneakers with everything.

We have the power to make old fashion trends into new ones and combine them with our individuality. Therefore, no trend is ever really lost, as someone will always manage to make it work.


Graphic by @sundaeghost


Electro Bear Mountain

Singer-songwriter Ian Bevis shares his love for performing in Montreal

The Canadian indie band Bear Mountain recently performed at Montreal’s Fairmount Theatre on Nov. 18. They are currently on tour for their new album, Badu, which was released on Sept. 9. Badu features a mixture of upbeat 80s electro melodies that will send you running to the dance floor. Singer-songwriter Ian Bevis’ mellow and pleasantly soft voice fits just right with the band’s nostalgic, retro-dance rhythms.

The Vancouver-based band was founded in 2011 by Bevis, who initially started Bear Mountain as a solo project. He invited guitarist Kyle Statham to join in later that year. The band now also includes Bevis’ twin brother, Greg Bevis, who plays drums and keyboards, as well as Kenji Rodriguez, the creative director, who creates the live visuals for the show. He orchestrates a series of 3D visual projections live on stage that correlate to the beat of their music, which allows the audience to visualize the music.

They have performed in Montreal a few times before, but, according to Bevis, their favourite experience was when they performed at Osheaga in 2014. “Osheaga was a blast,” he said. “The energy in the crowd was really good. Everyone was excited and happy to be there… It was just really high energy.” Bevis said Montreal is one of his favourite places to be, which is why he keeps coming back. “I love Montreal,” he said. “I think it’s so unique. There’s nowhere else like it. There’s no other city that I’ve been to that’s like Montreal. It’s got its own thing going on, and it’s always, always fun. And the people too, the people are just really, really, really great.”

The Bevis brothers, Statham and Rodriguez touring across North America. Photo by SATY + PRATHA

Bear Mountain’s newly released album, Badu, took about two and half years of solid work to put together. Due to how much time they put into creating the album, Bevis said he’s very relieved to finally release it. “We just took [the music] as far as we could take it,” he said. According to Bevis, every band member had their own part in the creation process of Badu. “It’s definitely a lot of collaboration,” he said. Bevis said the band’s attitude takes their music to the next level. “I think everybody just brings something different,” he said. “Everyone brings their whole energy, everything they’ve got.”

Bear Mountain has been touring in Canada and the United States since late October, and will finish touring in mid-December. They are performing alongside Aluna George and The Darcys. In Montreal, they shared the stage with The Darcys. According to Bevis, their band has incorporated a new lights show into their performance that people can look forward to. “I think it’ll be a party,” he said.

Travelling for months on end can be hard at times, Bevis said—they’ve spent most of their time driving across Canada. “It can be exhausting, but also we have those moments that are extremely fun, so it kind of balances out,” he said, “Playing the shows makes it worth it. I just like being on stage and playing songs, playing music and creating the energy in the room.” Inspirations for Badu included nature and the cosmos, Bevis said. “[Inspiration] has got to come from somewhere, so you just draw it from your surroundings,” he said. The last song on the album, “On my Own,” is Bevis’ favourite song to play, he said. “I think it turned out really well, from beginning to end,” he said.

Bear Mountain’s sound is constantly evolving, according to Bevis. “Thing’s naturally change a lot,” he said. “I mean, I think you can kind of have an idea of where you want something to go, and you can do your best to guide it in that direction, but ultimately, you know, [the music is] like a river—it’s going to go where it’s going to go, so it’s almost like we’re just along for the ride,” he said.

Bear Mountain is currently on their way to perform in Toronto, followed by stops in London, Ont., Hamilton and Los Angeles. They will be wrapping up their winter tour on the West Coast in Seattle on Dec. 15.

Bear Mountain’s new music off of Badu can be accessed on Spotify or downloaded on iTunes.

Student Life

The one stop vintage shop

On the corner of Notre Dame W. St. and St-Martin St. is a quaint vintage shop with window mannequins so stylish and chic, you can’t help but be lured in. The high ceiling and bright natural light flatter the colour-coordinated racks of garments hanging from beams. Owner Elaine Léveillé says the system goes beyond colour, it’s about texture, patterns and rhythm.

“I copied it from my closet,” said Léveillé. “Always by colour, so that when I look for something, it’s there. If I want to do different combinations because trends have changed, then I know where to look and what to put together.”

Léveillé is the sassy and fashionable owner of ERA Vintage Wear, a shop that is as inviting and vibrant as its proprietor. In the midst of the garment racks are pristine white couches and an end table with fashion magazines; a lounge area Léveillé insists on having.

“I meet different kinds of women all the time,” says Léveillé of her clientele of trendy bloggers and quirky older ladies. “That why we have the couches here. There’s a lot of chatting.”

Her welcoming atmosphere and high fashion reputation have travelled beyond Montreal and created intrigue among stylish celebrities such as Michelle Williams, Cate Blanchett, Julianne Moore and Jean-Paul Gauthier. As flattered as she is, Léveillé has a very modest attitude towards her high-profile clients. Rather than cater solely to the rich and famous and stock her store with labels, Léveillé is concerned with quality and appreciates customers who just “get it.”

“If I wanted my shop to be all about labels, it would be very easy for me to do,” she said. “But I would be so bored you’d find me asleep in the corner of my changing room.”

Aside from her motherly duties, Léveillé’s business and fashion schedule keeps her too busy to even think of napping in her store. She dry-cleans, disinfects, alters and repairs every piece of garment and accessory she hand-picks from parties-passed. Though the store may be filled with vintage-wear of every decade from the ‘20s to the mid-‘80s (Léveillé hates the cheap fabrication since), she remodels pieces to compliment current trends.

“I’ll take something and make it completely different,” said Léveillé. “When I look at a piece and I know it has potential, I can undo it because it’s sewn well. Sometimes I make something crappy look good, but it’s a question of quality.”

Léveillé has had a keen eye for vintage wear since the age of eight. As a child, Léveillé would join her mother antique furniture shopping. While she waited for her mother to pick out the pieces with restoration potential, Léveillé would venture about and come back with puffy dresses and lace gloves. She quickly learned that if she simply asked for these clothes no one else wanted, they would be hers to keep.

“By the time I was 14, my room was literally a closet,” she said. “I had racks and dressers full of clothes.”

Though Léveillé was not always a shop owner, she always surrounded herself with art and fashion. With a master’s degree from Concordia in painting and drawing, Léveillé spent many years in public relations for Montreal designers like Eve Gravel, Denis Gagnon and Tavan & Mitto.

She soon grew tired of chasing after her money and “hustling and bustling” for others. In November 2004, over a glass of cognac with a friend, Léveillé had an epiphany that led her to ERA.

“I remember saying that it would just be so much easier if I had a vintage shop where I would do things and move on, and if people needed me, they knew where to find me,” said Léveillé. “As soon as I voiced it, I knew exactly what I was about to do.”

Since then, Léveillé spent seven years building and beautifying her shop. Her very own installation where she can dress to her mood, be creative, play dress-up, and share her love for fashion and vintage wisdom.

“For me, getting dressed is not about trend, it’s about style,” said Léveillé. “It’s timeless. You could have style and just readapt it, retune it.


Top Ten Fall Tours: Retro

For some, back to school means the good times are over.  But September also marks the beginning of Montreal’s promising fall concert line-up.In this Top 10 we go retro and take a look at the bands from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s that will grace our city’s biggest stages.

In order by show date.

The British quad that formed in 1983 is touring in light of their latest and ninth studio album entitled Choice of Weapon, which was released in May 2012. Fans can expect to hear classics such as “She Sells Sanctuary” and “Love Removal Machine.” Check them out at the Metropolis on Sept. 1.

For a healthy serving of 90’s rock, check out The Offspring at the Metropolis on Sept. 3 and 5 to support their newest album Days Go By. Twenty-three years after the California trio’s first release, the band will surely prove that they’re still “pretty fly.”

Canadian pop and country singer k.d. lang will perform at the Corona Theatre for two nights on Sept. 28 and 29 after the release of her latest album Sing It Loud. This is the Juno Award winner’s latest release since 2008’s Watershed and her second collaboration with the Siss Boom Bang.

With the release of their tenth studio album Worship Music, American Thrash Metal band Anthrax will end their Canadian tour in Montreal at Metropolis on Oct. 2. This part of the “Big Four” will likely play notable hits such as “Only” and “Concrete Jungle.”

If angst-y female songstresses are more your thing, Alanis Morissette will be at the Bell Centre on Oct. 16, her first appearance in Montreal since her show at Place Des Arts in 2008. Her new album Havoc and Bright Lights releases Aug. 28.

Rock veterans Rush will make a stop in Montreal on Oct. 18 at the Bell Centre in light of their 20th studio album entitled Clockwork Angels. The band will tour around North America for 33 dates and this is their latest album since 2007’s Snakes & Arrows.

Metal group Black Label Society will visit Metropolis on Oct. 20. Instead of supporting a new album, they’re touring to promote a new acoustic DVD entitled Unblackened. Their latest album The Song Remains Not The Same was released in May 2011.

Billy Corgan and the Pumpkins will tour North America starting in October 2012 in support of their newest album Oceania. Their upcoming concert on October 28 at the Bell Centre will be split into two parts; the band will play all 13 songs off their latest album and then a mix of hits from over the years. Osheaga 2007 marked the last time the band was in town.

Fans can start believing again Nov. 5 at the Bell Centre when Journey takes the stage to perform their hits from as far back as the 1970’s. Pat Benatar and Loverboy will accompany the band in the first part of the show.

For a taste of Celtic rock, check out the Dropkick Murphys playing at Metropolis on Nov. 18. The band last visited Montreal in August, after playing at the Festival d’Été de Québec in Quebec City. The band is touring in support of their latest album, Going Out In Style.


Quickspins + Retroview

Little Chords – Afterlife (Lefse Records; 2012)

When B.C.-based singer-songwriter Jamison is not producing records under his other monikers, Teen Daze and Two Bicycles, he is churning out music as Little Chords, an ‘80s drum-based, lo-fi, indie pop project from Vancouver. His new record Afterlife was released for download on March 20 on Bandcamp.
Chiming guitars, bathed in reverb and delay effects, synths, drum machines and quiet, almost haunting vocals lead the listener through the journey of the record.
It’s a welcome excursion, as some of the songs, such as “Firsts,” seem as if they could come right off the soundtrack of an eighties flick—think The Karate Kid (no, not the one with Jaden Smith). Others, such as “Afterlife,” are quieter introspectives, giving the album balance and contrast.
The record runs just over 36 minutes long and treats listeners to a scenic, pop-psych drive. While it won’t bring back glam rock bands on cassettes, inline skates or Atari games, it will surprise listeners looking for a little something nostalgic.

Trial track: “Afterlife”

Rating: 8.5/10

– A.J. Cordeiro

Mark Stewart – The Politics of Envy (Future Noise Music; 2012)

Mark Stewart has burst back on the scene after a four-year break, with his raw and dangerously sexy album The Politics of Envy. I have a feeling Stewart would spit in my face if he knew what I’m about to say, but here it goes: This album is like TV on the Radio and Nine Inch Nails bonding at a dubstep-fuelled afterparty. Trust me, it’s a good thing. Stewart keeps alive the experimental, industrial, hip-hop sound that he’s been celebrated for since his first band, The Pop Group, split in the early ‘80s. The tunes are moody and rife with anti-“corporate cocksucker” messages and the album features a handful of punk’s and post-punk’s most respected pioneers such as Keith Levene of early Clash fame, Slits bassist Tessa Pollitt and The Raincoats’ Gina Birch. Birch’s deep, robotic voice makes “Stereotype” one of the most haunting pop songs I’ve heard this year.

Trial track: “Want”

Rating: 9.0/10

– Lindsay Briscoe

Tanlines – Mixed Emotions (True Panther Sounds; 2012)

What’s a better way to end the academic year than with something as overtly non-academic as Tanlines?
After years of teasing with endless singles and EPs, Brooklyn duo Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm have finally released their full-length debut album Mixed Emotions. Best described as electro-pop with a tropical flavour, this album is like a piña colada in a test tube: fun and refreshing, but completely synthetic.
At times influenced by Paul Simon’s Graceland, the production has a strong emphasis on dance floor beats and catchy pop melodies, with a heavy reliance on synthesizers and an afropop veneer. Emm’s muffled baritone vocals both accentuate and compliment the artificiality of the soundscape constructed entirely of relentlessly upbeat rhythms and repetitive drum patterns.
Like a coconut-wielding caricature imprisoned in a souvenir shop snowglobe, Mixed Emotions may ultimately be the desperate plea of a man trapped in a kitschy tropical dystopia.

Trial track: “Real Life”

Rating: 7.0/10

– Paul Traunero

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Axis: Bold As Love (Track Records; 1967)

Late legendary musician Jimi Hendrix has never failed to impress with any of his releases. Following the success of his debut album Are You Experienced?, Hendrix was keen on expanding his musical horizons. Axis: Bold as Love, recorded in 1967, combines elements of rock, blues, psychedelic and jazz, creating a beautiful hodgepodge of sound.
Out of the three albums Hendrix recorded, Axis is often the most underrated, largely due to the fact that it was released in between his two most commercially successful albums. With Axis, the late rock ‘n’ roll icon displayed remarkable growth as a tunesmith, asserting his position as a multifaceted and highly-skilled musician.
The album features one of Hendrix’s finest performances on the guitar, as well as his most emotional. “Little Wing,” a two-minute odyssey through sound, showcases his versatility and superior songwriting skills, forging a sound that no other artist could replicate.
All of Hendrix’s albums are definite must-haves for any music enthusiast, but Axis stands out as his most experimental and original record.

Trial track: “Little Wing”

– Gabriel Fernandez

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