Apple MacBook Eco: A Greener Shade Of Black

Apple MacBook Eco: A Greener Shade Of Black

MacBook Eco & Nike Piezo Cross Trainers

As we get ready to usher in a new decade, we can’t begin to imagine what technological goodies will be in store for us.  After all, this decade introduced us to revolutionary life-changing inventions such as iPhones, iPods, iPads, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, HD TV, Blu-Ray, 3D films, etc.  MacLife Magazine has been reporting on Apple‘s plans for 2011-2020, including a new laptop in the works called the MacBook Eco.

Slated for release in 2015, Apple will be looking at a greener shade of black to replace their whites and silvers.  Painted jet black, these will be the greenest laptops to date.  MacBook Ecos will be coated in black solar paint made of nano-sized dye-sensitive cells and titanium oxide that will have the ability to look cool and charge the very laptops they coat.  This paint harnesses up to 40% of the sun’s energy, which is almost twice as effective as traditional photovoltaic solar cells.  Nice, but if you’re stuck in Canada, Scandinavia, and/or trapped behind a dark Matrix-like cubicle for most of your waking hours – solar power quickly loses its allure and viability.

The smart guys at Apple have thought this through, so in addition to solar power, they will also utilize the kinetic energy of your footsteps and your keystrokes to power the MacBook Eco.  Working in collaboration with Nike, they’ve designed Nike Piezo Cross-Trainers which contain piezoelectric pads in the soles that will charge the Eco.  Your footsteps will stimulate an asymmetrical array of crystalline cells to produce an electrostatic potential that will be converted into radio waves and transmitted wirelessly by radiofrequency to charge your laptop.  The same technology will line the bottom of the MacBook Eco keyboard channeling your every keystroke into raw laptop battery charging power.

Sounding all too Star Trek or Star Wars for you?  Look for greener electronics to be huge in the next decade.  Especially once they start pushing more corporate and even personal carbon taxation down our throats.

Luxury Ski Gear: Cool or Tacky?

Luxury Ski Gear: Cool or Tacky?

Luxury Ski Gear

For big name fashion houses, designing ski inspired apparel as part of their fall/winter collections is nothing new.  Lately however, a few have tried their hand at producing skis, snowboards, and related gear – a different animal altogether.  Navigating through uncharted waters could prove a risky gamble for couture labels.  It definitely leads us to question, “Is high fashion ski gear the pinnacle of sporting luxury or just plain tacky?”

Skiers and snowboarders tend to purchase their gear from brands that are established in the industry.  These brands have been around for a long time having sponsored both major ski/snowboard competitions and professional athletes.  Many of these corporations have also funded or carried out their own research that has resulted in major scientific innovations and technological advancements that we see in ski gear today.

It may be just as difficult for a Rossignol or K2 to take a pair of Gucci or D&G ski goggles seriously, as it would be for Gucci and D&G to respect a pair of Rossignol or K2 dress shoes or pumps.  Earlier this year, Ski Magazine was quick to mock Chanel’s $3,600 parabolic skis stating, “the term “parabolic” is a little outdated now. All skis now have a shape to them—nobody skis on French Fry-straight skis anymore..” and “although wood topsheets are making a comeback…did you really need to go with rosewood, a high-end wood used mainly for cabinetry?”  Astutely pointing out that at $3,600, you could buy an “entire quiver” of skis, or go on a “ski vacation with your entire family.”  (See full article)

It’s understandable that the ski world would be taken aback by high fashion’s attempt at ski gear and they would certainly balk at the audacity of fashion designers setting ski gear prices much higher than that of their own.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel that all designer ski gear is necessarily overpriced or technically sub par.  Just look at Indigo/Bogner.  This a great example of a German ski company that produces fashionable, yet state-of-the-art skis and snowboards.  Let’s face it though, there’s something to be said about someone hitting the slopes in a pair of ski goggles encrusted with 2,500 Swarovski crystals.  There are boundaries that even some Eastern Europeans wouldn’t cross, or so one would hope.

Instead of going it alone, it would have been nice to have seen more collaboration between the reputable ski gear companies and the high fashion labels.  Something along the lines of Ducati Motors and their collaboration with Burton Snowboards to create a limited edition snowboard.  The best of Italian motorcycle design meets the industry leader in snowboards gear to create a beautifully designed and supremely functional snowboard.  Definitely on the right track with that concept.  I should know, I bought one for myself and love it.

Please visit my Facebook page and judge for yourself.  Are these high fashion ski gear designs cool or tacky?  Let me know what you think.

5 ON STYLE – Manolo Ceron

Name: Manolo Ceron
Nationality: Canadian
Occupation: Fashion Photographer
Website: http://www.manolo.ca

Manolo Ceron

Manolo Ceron - http://www.manolo.ca

Last summer, I was scanning some 35mm slides of my artwork for a feature in Stigmes Magazine when I met a creative fashion photographer by the name of Manolo Ceron.  He was editing final photographic prints of his latest work at Pikto Studios in Toronto’s Distillery District. Based out of Toronto, Manolo keeps busy working on fashion magazine and model agency photo shoots both locally and out of New York City. He was nice enough to take some time out during a busy shoot for a magazine editorial and take part in a new video blog segment I call 5 ON STYLE. This segment features interesting and stylish men from all walks of life and asks them five questions on style in under five minutes. Enjoy!

Beyond H&M: A Closer Look At Swedish Fashion

Beyond H&M: A Closer Look At Swedish Fashion

Swedish Men's Fashion: Tiger of Sweden, Nudie Jeans, HOPE, Bjorn Borg, J. Lindeberg, 5th Ave Shoe Repair, Filippa K, Acne, Tretorn

Fashion is as much a part of the fabric of great cities like Milan, Paris, London, and New York as are pizza, brioche, crumpets, and hot dogs.  A closer look at Sweden and you might want to add Stockholm and meatballs to that list.

Over the past decade Sweden, a Scandinavian country with a population of less than ten million people, has left quite the footprint on the global fashion scene.  Their approach to fashion is very practical, of high quality, contemporary, muted in colour, almost Bauhausian in nature.  I had a chance to visit Stockholm in 2006 and can tell you that aside from the fact that the city is crawling with women that look like Barbie dolls, the Swedes are a very fashion and design conscious people.  They are indeed, the kings of understated sophisticated cool.* (http://www.thelocal.se, 2009)

Swedish fashion follows a relatively straight line where too dressy lies to the right and too casual to the left.  Versatility for the Swedes is key.  Work wear, casual wear, and party wear, are one in the same.  They want their fashion sophisticated, contemporary, chic, and cheap.  Guess what?  It works.

There is however, a lot more to Swedish fashion and design than just H&M and IKEA.  Practicing what I preach, I’ve been loyal to Swedish labels for the past decade and they haven’t let me down.  In alphabetical order, here are some of my favourites: Read more of this post

Dennis’ House of Vintage

Dennis' House of Vintage

Dennis' House of Vintage Toronto

In an earlier post, I spoke about the importance of vintage fashion in a man’s wardrobe.  Purchasing a few vintage pieces a) saves you money, b) enhances your wardrobe with something unique, and c) is environmentally friendly (reduce, reuse, recycle).  All vintage clothing stores however, are not created the same.  Some put out everything but the kitchen sink, while others have knowledgeable buyers/owners who study trends and stock vintage pieces that work with what’s in style today.

HOV

HOV Christmas Party (Click Here for Photos)

Dennis’ House of Vintage (HOV) definitely belongs to the latter.  His store is situated in the hipster hotbed of Parkdale, Toronto at 1239 Queen Street West.  HOV has also recently opened a shop in East London’s hip Brick Lane (God I miss the Old Truman Brewery), right by the Shoreditch train and tube stations at 4 Cheshire Street, E2 6EH.

HOV’s selection includes high-quality vintage pieces from the mid-60s to early-70s by Christian Dior, Burberry, Pierre Cardin, Saks on 5th, Lanvin, and Polo by Ralph Lauren all in excellent condition.  The store is roughly a third menswear and offers a great variety in men’s shoes, boots, furs, plaid & gingham shirts, coats, leather jackets, Cowichan sweaters, and sports coats / blazers.  Dennis threw a Christmas party last night, to thank all of his customers for their support.  With its eclectic combination of vintage clothing and furniture, the spacious retail store made for an attractive backdrop that could have easily been mistaken as a club.

A cute bartender managed a makeshift bar, as the DJ spun wicked tracks out of a pretty mean sound system.  A giant disco ball was anchored to the ceiling, the change rooms were converted to photo booths, festive hors d’oeuvres were served, and the place was jammed with Queen Street’s coolest.  Staffers Sophie and Chanel were also on hand to greet and mingle with guests, even tied up a mistletoe.  Sadly though Dennis, no takers under the mistletoe. – House of Vintage, 1239 Queen Street West, (416) 535-2142, house_of_vintage@hotmail.com

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