Brandi Lynne has turned humble beginnings into a powerful voice and huge stature in the Toronto fashion scene. The twenty-something blogger is using her intimate knowledge of the sartorial arts to cultivate a following based on fashion practicality. Her site Form and Function encourages people to bring luxury into their day-to-day lives through straightforward outfit choices and smart wardrobe investments. Watch out for this thoughtful innovator as she puts her stamp on the world of fashion.
How did you get into the world of fashion blogging?
I was first introduced to blogging around three or four years ago, when street style “stars” Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast, Alice Zielasko of Alice Point and Olivia Lopez of Lust for Life were really the only major bloggers around. I liked what they did and after living in the middle of nowhere for the majority of my life, I wanted a way to share my outfits with others outside of my small town. Just last year I got serious about my blog and bought a theme, domain, hosting etc. I feel like I’ve always had this way of thinking about clothes that I have always wanted in greater conversation. It’s more than just dressing.
“Form follows Function.” Can you elaborate on why you chose this term to represent in your blog?
Form and Function was basically the term drawn from a principle used across 20th century modernist architecture. “Form Follows Function” to be put in the simplest of terms was a way that an object or building was constructed in direct correlation to it’s function. I chose this term to best represent my blog because everyday we wake up and dress ourselves according to our days primary function or events to ensue – clothing is a representation of our lifestyle and what we do. I wanted to share the fact that we can still be functional in our everyday lives while still paying close attention to quality, production, comfort and the literal act of dressing.
Very cool, how did you come up with your own unique style? And what would you recommend for people looking to create their own?
There’s such a cliché saying that floats around the internet and pinterest boards of ~Fashionistas~ internationally, and it’s “Fashions fade, style is eternal.” I do believe in taking trends with a grain of salt and being confident in what you love as opposed to being completely overtaken with the amount of “newness” that’s thrown at you a season. Truly knowing yourself is the key to personal style and I think that’s how you differentiate yourself in this day and age. Sure I’ll take on a trend from one season, but it’s often a trend I feel will push well into my future wardrobe and something I can adapt to my personal vision of who I am. For finding your own sense, explore and never stop learning. If you feel uncomfortable wearing it, don’t wear it just because it’s trendy. If you feel on top of the world when you put it on and someone else says you look ridiculous, wear it even more – because their opinion should not reflect your own.
Clothing is a representation of our lifestyle and what we do
Is it possible to be a part of the high fashion world on a tight budget?
On a tight budget you can absolutely still be apart of the “High-Fashion World” but it comes down to knowing your personal style and choosing what to save for and what your wardrobe needs. It comes down to changing our mind-set on a tight budget and learning to value quality over quantity. I think the “high-fashion” is such an overused term that is just thrown around in thought that this luxury hierarchy still exists today. Sure there are individuals with a lot of money that buy to showcase their wealth, but I do believe luxury has been redefined with the blogging industry. Luxury is no longer for events or dinner parties; it’s more or less used for street style. I truly believe blogging has lessened that prude stuck up mentality that the “high-fashion world” has come to be noted for. The average woman consumer can be adorned in designer, but simply be running to grab a coffee. That’s real and that’s accessible.
What are some essential pieces of clothing people need to have for this summer? (Men and women)
Women – a quality pair of denim, a pair of mules and a neck scarf for versatility.
Men – a good quality pair of sneakers because it brings an entire outfit together.
In your opinion, who is the most important designer of our time?
This is actually a really hard question – I don’t actually believe there is an important designer of our time because there are constantly new designers coming into light with a new voice or sense of direction. Picking just one would be valuing one’s voice over another and I think everyone is producing collections in regards to a personal matter, struggle or perception of the world in this current moment. I do however find Virgilabloh of Off-White incredibly fascinating. He’s redefining the industry standard, and has gained so much momentum because he’s such a real person. Starting with printed tee’s during his label Pyrex Vision to now expanding a full Womenswear collection with Off-White, he’s proving people wrong and is like “hey, I grew up on street wear and love graphic tee’s and supreme, but guess what I can do this too” it’s kind of like modern day fashion rebellion. You keep seeing him getting better and growing every collection, but he’s giving street a voice. It’s cool. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if Karl Lagerfeld is sleeping in Off-White Tee’s.
How important is a post-secondary degree to being successful in the world of fashion? What was your scholastic experience like?
I honestly think it depends on your end career goals. Design, I think you really need to go to school for and learn the in’s and out’s of the creative process as well as construction to truly find a voice for your own label, but I also think that getting involved with the industry is equally as important. Being involved and understanding the shifts that are happening and redefining the industry is going to allow you to adapt much quicker than those who aren’t. I studied Fashion Business Management for three years, and would see A students prioritizing their homework to industry knowledge and to be honest it needs to be equally balanced. Just because you get A’s in school doesn’t mean you’ll do “A” work in real life. My program, I honestly could have learned the majority of it working retail, but I do believe it gave me a leg up for my personal goals and confidence navigating the industry today.
When you’re not blogging about fashion you work in a Kit and Ace storefront in Toronto, what have you learned about the world of fashion from working retail? And how does Kit and Ace compare to other brands you’ve worked with?
I’ve learned a lot about company processes, logistics, production and management through working retail, but what I’ve taken away most is consumer shopping behaviour. Shopping behaviour is something I’m trying to change where I work now and eventually in the development of my own shop. People come in and are shocked by the pricing they see for a simple tee, because everyone is so accustomed to face-value of garments now with the surge of Fast Fashion – we don’t actually take the time to understand the fabric content or production behind the pieces. I originally applied to work with Kit and Ace because they were shaking up the industry of retail and putting just as much focus on their surrounding community and creatives, as they were putting on their business – it isn’t just about money with them. Compared to other companies, they place a lot of development into you personally AND professionally. It’s balanced and it’s refreshing.
God forbid we be photographed in the same pieces twice.
What is the state of the fashion industry in 2016?
It’s funny because as I write the answer for this question we’re experiencing an industry backlash against corporate giants such as Zara. The reason consumers are so probed to pay less for more is because these giants are able to mass produce garments from sketch to hanger within a short span of two weeks and offer no sense of education on how and where those were produced. We’re seeing many designers experiencing burnout with large houses backlashing against this offering the, “See Now, Buy Now” strategy that so many are refusing to accept with open arms. It’s a very large open argument with many sides, but I’m all for it. I’m very interested to see where the industry ends up in relation to this even six months from now.
How has technology affected the consumption and production of hi-end clothing?
I feel like because we’re so used to convenience now, that it has drastically altered every form of the development process. Production we’re now having to speed up, but the expectation is still quality. You cannot speed up production and expect the same high quality detailing or longevity. Consumption-wise I feel like in this era of blogging, many just buy to buy – sometimes even just to show they own it. It’s sad. We are no longer considering brand/designers morals and values when choosing what brands best represent us and our personal selves – everything is almost a show for those we don’t even know via social media. Saddest part of it is the amount of waste created because we are buying more and more just to take these pictures that only garner someone’s attention for (statistically) 0.8 seconds. God forbid we be photographed in the same pieces twice.
Why is fashion important in today’s society?
Fashion is important because as always, it’s about personal expression. We’re challenging gender norms and pushing boundaries in numerous other controversial forms – as every form of art always has and always will. It’s about giving a voice without actual speech, a reflection of the generation and current values or cultural shifts. There’s a lot more to clothing than just a materialistic possession, you just have to look a lot further than face value to see it.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and opinions of the industry!
Heed the advice of http://www.theformandfunction.com/ and you’ll be lookin’ great and feelin’ even better.
Griffin J. Elliot