High Fashion

It's through our style and sartorial choices that we tend to tell our stories to the world: express a mood, capture an essence, declaring our selves outwardly (boldly, or otherwise).
In truth our daily wearables are some of the more tangible, tactile choices we make in telling the world who it is we are. How we feel that day. Our point of view on the matter. The vibe inside.
It should come as no surprise then that we've seen cannabis crop up within the world of mainstream fashion and style by way of the weed leaf; elegant expressions of the plant peeking through to the mainstream cultural pulse over the past few years, as societal temperament around the plant begins to shift.
From that undeniable visual symbol (that this stoner once swore she'd never wear) to the utilization of the hemp plant as a garment's raw material (which we can all expect all the more of after the 2018 Farm Bill), weed's presence in the realm of high fashion is contributing to the overall cultural reframing of the plant as part of a luxur life/style experience.
Fashion is as fashion does, and just like the flower—this shit's cyclical. However, it's not the styles of Cheech, Chong, Nelson nor Marley that represented cannabis' first roll-up onto the cultural fashion scene.
Newton rocking a robe from Art of Marina
The cannabis lifestyle is an attitude; a true style of expression directly related to activism.
The leaf actually makes its first notable appearance in a stylistic and symbolic sense adorned atop the crown of the Ancient Egyptian Goddess Seshat, thought to be the goddess of the written word, scribe and record-keeper. Through it’s often referred to as a ‘seven-pointed star’ in texts, the hieroglyph looks curiously like a pot leaf to many cannabis enthusiasts.
That same infamous fan print pops up in more recent years on high fashion runways as the muse of Mara Hoffman’s S/S 2015 collection, which was fully devoted to the weed leaf and brought to life using hemp-based textiles. It bloomed again in iconic black & white print in Alexander Wang’s F/W 2016 presentation (made all the more mainstream when donned by Margot Robbie on SNL, and later by lovable David Rose on award-winning Schitt’s Creek). And most recently the flower crept up in Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf’s SS 2019 nod to their Holland homestead by way of an Amsterdam-themed, electric green weed leaf-emblazoned ballgown.
This is high-high fashion.
But the wearing of the weed leaf (and other 420-proud gear) stands for more than simply the symbolic waving of one’s own stoner flag. Symbolism is all about subtext, after all.
“The cannabis lifestyle is an attitude; a true style of expression directly related to activism. It looks and feels like: freedoms from the norm” says Toronto-based trend forecaster and cannabis enthusiast Carly Stosjic. “Designers who cue cannabis as inspiration use the fashion arts as a uniform to depict newness, diversity, transformation and sustainability. These are key elements to cannabis as they relate to fashion in our collective.”
As it has for decades, if not throughout the ages, cannabis-as-style has come to symbolize and conjure feelings of freedom, self-expression, happiness, love and healing for the wearer - and hopefully ultimately the collective. A sureness, non-conformist kind of attitude. Sounds like a cannabis lover to me.
And in this new iteration of our reality (where our mouths are mostly masked, forced to say less than ever as we witness leaders weaving stories so well-removed from the truth) it feels more important than ever to use our choices with intention. To say more with our motives, our money, and perhaps even our style about what it is we stand for - and the type of world we’d like to help to grow.
Freedom, self-expression, happiness, love and healing.
Florals for spring may not be groundbreaking - but the weed leaf very well may be.
Founded in 2007 with a luxury line of fine jewelry, handbags and leather goods that have always featured that sweet leaf, LA-based Jacque Aiche is an original trailblazer in the cannabis as style movement, as one of the first luxury brands to boldly and unapologetically present cannabis in the fashion space. The collection now reads like a chic stoner’s dreamscape, with gold and diamond leaf jewelry and body-jewelry, snakeskin and leather doobtubes, lighters and carrying cases, plus a range of style-forward, cozy sweats and wearables worthy of wearing on the daily.
Leisure Luxe is inevitably set to become the key trend for the rest of 2020 and beyond as we face continued time spent indoors - so finding ways to infuse elegance, indulgence and perhaps a dash of extravagance into our daily lives and self-care rituals will be a vital aspect of feeling lifted and empowered.
I’ve spent a lifetime preferring to be found lounging en-robe, and consider myself a strong proponent of robe-wear as outerwear - so the silk-kimono expressions of Canadian artist Marina Billinghurst of Art by Marina struck a chord deep in the heart of my inner style muse. This is luxurious, wearable art. The line’s distinct aesthetic offers an ethereal, watercolored take on the beauty of nature - a dreamy sheen that appears almost as if you’re taking it in high. The cannabis-printed kimonos are this ganja girl’s clear favourite - adding an excellent dramatic elegance to outfits and stoned sessions alike. Meet my F/W uniform.
Anchoring the leisure-luxury notion is footwear’s move to high-end slippers and houseshoes. True comfort knows no price, after all. Italian men’s footwear designer Del Toro (known for their symbol-adorned velvet slippers) delivered some European flavour to the cannabis-fashion landscape, offering weed-leaf emblazoned lace-up chukkas and hot-pink velvet slippers for the boys. Talk about gas slippers.
Founded in 2010 in NYC by a woman named Brett Heyman, Edie Parker began as a line of acrylic bags born from the designers’ obsession with thrifting handbags in the iconic 1950’s/60’s style. The brand took off, as did Brett’s vision for how it could express itself in our daily lives. The ‘homewares’ spinoff Flower by Edie Parker in 2016: a cannabis accessories line created for the enjoyment of the high - with a vision to be a trusted source in the mainstreamification of the cannabis plant for consumers. Inspired by that same 1960’s aesthetic, the brand’s lineup of glass pipes, smoking tips, ashtrays with tabletop lighters (and even their lovable pink and green flowered papers) lend a romance to stoner tabletops everywhere.