â€œFashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life. To do away with fashion would be like doing away with civilization.â€? - Bill Cunningham.
in this issue 4 5 6 9 10 11 13 19
Letter from the Editors Menswear as Womenswear History of the Oxford #trendingfoods Fashion and Social Media DIY or DYE Prints on Prints Sustainable Style
21 25 26 31 33 34 35 37
Modern Day Dress Up All Crossed Out Study Abeard Spotlight: WashU Blogger Hair Rings Talkinâ€™ Bout My Generation On Eschewing Responsibility Keeping Up With the Times
7 The Piggy Club
27 The Comeback Kid
23 Ready to Wear . . . Again
armour. Editor-in-Chiefs Jacob Lenard Felicia Podberesky Chantal Strasburger
Director of Layout Ariella Elovic Layout Team Maria Burke Carmi Cioni Ariella Elovic Delaney Lundquist Erin McClear Alix Marson Kyle Newton Blake Rutledge Becca Shuman Mary Yang Amanda Zuckerman Photographers Hannah Blumer Alexander Haubold Sam Leder Jacob Lenard Contributers Mary Bishop Talia Brody-Barre Lindsay Callahan Monique Chan Reilley Dabbs Helena Hay Alexis Kirton Kennison Lay Neha Nair Catalina Ouyang Siya Patil Steven Perlberg Becky Savitt Chelsea Velaga Production Sofia Kraushaar Alix Marson Katherine Olvera Olivia Pineda Natalie Zises QUESTIONS? COMMENTS? WANT TO GET INVOLVED? E-MAIL US AT email@example.com
letter from the editors You may be holding this second issue having read the first or wondering what this is all about. Last year we started this magazine on a mission to encourage, connect, and cultivate a style culture on campus. We are still on that mission, pushing it even farther . . . This issue is about taking risks. It’s about looking at what you have and finding new ways to put it together, regardless of the implications. All three of us have begun to challenge the boundaries of “normal” style. There’s more to it than wearing this or that. Style is not static. It is a dynamic, evolving, contagious form of expression that pulses through this campus. This issue is about making an impact. What’s that? You’re clashing patterns? Oh, you’re channeling an androgynous vibe today? Boundaries are being pushed and opening up new opportunities for playfulness. We want you to go back to the days of dress up and be as fearless with your style choices as you were then. This issue is about feeling confident. Take note of that eclectic, artsy kid or put-together prepster in your class that you secretly admire and GO FOR IT. Find your quirks, embrace your sense of self, and get weird. Okay. So we know that all sounds nice and inspirational, but how do you realistically apply this to your life? Reach deep into the back of your closet and find that sweater that you wore to the 80’s party last year. You haven’t worn it since. But man, when it was on, you felt like a million bucks. It was crazy, it was different, it was risky. GO GET THAT SWEATER. Wear it to class tomorrow. Walk into the DUC during the 12 pm lunch rush strutting your stuff. See how you feel. We dare you. Take risks. Make an impact. Feel confident. And, as always, get your armour on.
Jacob Lenard Felicia Podberesky Chantal Strasburger (P.S. its pronounced AR-mour. Think that shiny stuff on knights.)
Me n swear as
Womenswear a s Menswear By: Chelsea Velaga
Womenswear continually borrows stereotypically masculine staples, such as the OXFORD SHOE, the blazer, and the button-down. Frequently, these menswear pieces are altered for women through cinching, to accentuate curves for a slimmer, more complimentary fit. Recently, these cuts have loosened, taking the androgynous look even further. It has allowed for experimentation with pieces like draped, starched shirts and oversized, chunky cardigans. Elements of volume add spontaneity to a look: balance oversized shirts and sweaters with a fitted pant or leggings to avoid looking like a giant rectangle. The TROUSER is another example of a classic, masculine piece that can be worn loosely in order to create volume. Case in point: the popular “boyfriend” cut is supposed to replicate that “I was running late and all I had was my boyfriend’s pants to throw on with my heels” look. Accessories like slouchy beanies, bowties, and oversized watches channel a manly edge, but can also adapt to classically feminine outfits.
Conversely, women have done their fair share of influence on men’s fashion. Stylistic choices for men have been widely broadened to include more stereotypically feminine cuts. Pants, shirts, and jackets have all been taken in, with many brands offering a slimmer alternative to the traditional straight silhouette. Scarves, hats, and jewelry are also becoming more unisex, signifying a more unified aesthetic. Influential brands such as American Apparel are known for applying the ‘unisex’ label to their clothes, blurring the line between what is acceptable for a man or woman to wear. Concurrently, bright and graphic prints have been reinvented, with applications on hats, collared shirts, and pants. There is no reason to stick to the navy, black, or grey suit anymore. While there is always a place for the classic black on Wall Street, John Galliano and Comme des Garçons have proved a place for prints in menswear.
TROUSER Worn loosly in order to create volume
By: Felicia Podberesky OXFORD SHOE noun [oks-ferd shoo] This low-heeled clodhopper, also known as the Saddle shoe, features a plain toe with that saddle-shaped decorative panel (commonly in a contrasting color) we all know and love. The word “oxford” hails from the Oxonian, a boot made popular by the original bookworms of Oxford University, who received their degrees back in the 1800’s. Being the typical rebellious type, they revolted against ankle and knee-high boots and evolved the side slight into the laced instep of today. LEATHER with PERFORATED HOLES and NARROW LINES OF STITCHING give this full-brogue its distinct features. While the Oxford comma may no longer be in style, the shoe is in for all occasions!
OXFORD SHOE Also known as the Saddle shoe
LEATHER PERFORATED HOLES
NARROW LINES OF STITCHING
Article and above photograph by Reilley Dabbs
style is not unlike the jewelry line she has created: she
from circus themed to a glossy pink line of teacups with a large teapot.
sits across from me in a brightly striped shirt with her own created space themed necklace splayed
The ones she owns herself are truly loved, they carry an air of being worn yet they haven’t lost their brightness.
across her neck. My attention is conflicted between the bright green rocket ship that dances across the stripes and the large red bows that
They border on that excitingly thin line between art and fashion; worn atop bright patterns they bring a great element to any outfit.
tie her shoes; she’s all color and eclecticism. I don’t believe it when she says she grew up as a tomboy in Yankee shirts as I’ve rarely seen her
A: If you had to wear a single designer
not in an awesome, brightly colored ensemble. It’s unsurprising that her chosen meeting place is the art school, where we are surrounded by creation. Claudia’s creation is The Piggy Club: an online Etsy jewelry line of her and
for the rest of your life, which would it be?
CF: I’d have to say Marni, because the company has a quirky style without being costume-y. It’s not risqué, which is great because that’s not my style. The jewelry has great, plasticky, geometric shapes.
her sister’s homemade necklaces. The necklaces stay true to her quirky sense of style (and their quirky
A: Your line has great choices of color
name) in their assortments of fun
CF: I’ve always liked prints and
shapes and bright use of color. There’s an exciting innocence to the line- perhaps its their make, formed from shrinky dinks- an old childhood favorite, or their shapes, which range
whimsical things and I’ve never been afraid of color, particularly saturated
and shape, how do you choose them for each necklace?
ones. For shapes, I find things that are kind of cutesy and use colors that speak to that. Our website
monique chan Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Though Sir Isaac Newton was discussing the laws of motion, his third law is equally applicable to trends. Whether it is fashion or food, if it’s happening in New York City or Los Angeles, not only has it never been done before stateside, but its cool. However, we are in Saint Louis. We are literally in a different time zone. Seoul Taco? The watered down, Midwestern, Xerox copy of Los Angeles’s 2009 wondertrend Kogi.
This is not to deny the validity in taste, quality, or effort of the passé, just the “now” factor. [I do still love me some Yogurtland.] So as with any advice on #trending, take it with a lump of [coarse, grey, sea] salt.
your guide to this year’s noms and voms: VOM
Cupcakes, Mini Anything and Everything [even macarons].
Enough with the overpriced morsels of air. I live for novel flavors and experimental techniques, but when I’m hungry, I don’t want or need a 10-course meal composed of 1 ounce dishes. As much as I love getting In-N-Out for dinner no. 2, I would like to feel full after one stop at one restaurant.
Yes, these are classics in American and French cuisine, respectively, but stop with the cutesy colorful sweetness. What used to be known as a cupcake has devolved into a dry hunk of tasteless crumbs piled with an overcompensation of saccharine frosting—please.
Food? Just give it to me, straight up. Family style? Even better.
where it’s at. Perhaps not the most gussied-up girl at the party but hearty, flaky, juicy, buttery; just like Granny never made.
Frozen Yogurt, aka fro-yo-NO.
Yes the idea is clearly irresistible (cupcakes and Asian fusion tacos, but portable!) given the exponential increase of St. Louis food trucks in the last year, but really, how good can your food be if it’s coming out of a hectic 2x5 foot kitchen manned by 4 frazzled cooks?
As much of a scene as Chill may be on a Friday night, you have to remember that not all, but much, frozen yogurt is full of artificial nastiness and really not all that better for you than…
Pop up restaurants. If your restaurant moves every 4 weeks, that makes me less inclined to go stalk it down.
Fusion restaurants. When you offer both sushi and burgers, I trust the excellence of neither.
Ice Cream. Recall memories of your childhood soda fountain with craggy but glistening scoops of ice cream, jam-packed with chocolate chunks, forcing the root beer foam to slide down your glass. Nothing but cream, eggs, and sugar. [Full fat please.]
Gastropubs. Gourmet beer and quality bar food? Holla. Locally Specific Restaurants. Though this should not be confused with slow food [which is a whole different article altogether], delicious food with an emphasis on local ingredients is the taste of the future.
so eat up, students of wash.u, and remember that style isn’t just limited to what you put on your body.
Fashion and Social Media by Kennison Lay
With the emerging presence of online fashion coverage and social media, fashion addicts around the world don’t need to fly to New York in order to see what hits the runways. The fashion industry has gained a newfound sense of immediacy and accessibility, bringing all its guts and glory to the everyday consumer. With today’s live-streaming runway shows and real-time coverage, what used to be available only to industry professionals can now be immediately critiqued and reviewed on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other social media platforms. This insider’s look into fashion weeks around the world allows a more direct interaction with consumers; increasing upcoming designers’ shot at fame. Over a decade ago, Style.com became the first website to post images from runway shows within twenty-four hours. Today, the website has tabs on hundreds of designer shows, with coverage of every look on the runway, an explanation of hair and makeup by beauty experts, and even entire collection reviews.
In recent years, brands have begun to rely on well-followed fashion bloggers for mass appeal, realizing their enormous influence on readers. Tavi Gevinson, the 15-year-old creator of The Style Rookie blog, achieved such prominence in the media that she was invited to attend New York Fashion Week and has collaborated with high-profile brands and served as inspiration for Rodarte’s Target line. Bloggers like Tavi give hope to girls everywhere, serving as a testament to social media’s modern ability to provide access to previously exclusive events and opportunities. Ultimately, social media and blog culture have permanently changed the way that people discover and experience fashion. Bridging the gap between designers and consumers, this modern arrangement finally gives the un-connected, fashion-conscious exclusive access: the increased interaction that they have always craved and, as the main supporters of the industry, quite frankly deserved.
This issueâ€™s DIY is all about bringing space down to earth. The design was first seen in British designer, Christopher Kaneâ€™s collection, but with a ticket price of $395, I realized Iâ€™d rather pay rent and I could just make it myself! Bonus: there are few things more satisfying than creating something with your own hands and you know it.
;/B3@7/:A Paint brush, sponges, black t shirt, soft fabric paint in various colors, diluted bleach This DIY is best done outside, as you will be throwing bleach and paint around, so donâ€™t confine yourself to some kind of indoor prison, alright?
AB3>A Squirt/spray/drip/drizzle bleach all over the shirt. Be aware that it takes a few minutes for the bleach spots to really show up, so maybe take a short dance break.
Take a couple colors you want to be in the background, put some on the sponge and onto the shirt. For best blending, aggressively spread it all around the shirt using your hands! Don’t be shy! Continue until satisfied, and feel free to come back to this step. It’ll give your design a cool, layered effect.
Time to create the stars! Put paint (I recommend white) on a paintbrush and splatter all over. How much and how big is your call— you are the master of this galaxy!
Let dry and voila! Now you finally own a piece of clothing that is literally out of this world. Wear it well. If you make one, show it off by posting it on the Armour Mag Facebook page!
PRINTS ON PRINTS By Alexis Kirton Mixing patterns used to be a faux pas. However, this dated guideline needs to be buried once and for all. This fall, drop your reservations about mixing animal prints with florals or stripes with paisleys and unleash your creative side for a chic, fashionforward style. “Matching” is in the eye of the beholder and a whole new world is opened when creating an outfit with interesting depth. For the daring and adventurous, mixing patterns is an excellent way to visually represent your personal style and give you that pop you’ve been looking for. One of the best parts of fall is slowly piling on more and more layers, fueling more exploration and constant change within your wardrobe. Each scarf and sweater is an opportunity to marriage two beautiful pieces together for the first time. Pair a striped blazer with a floral top or throw on long socks in interesting colors and textures to elevate an outfit. No matter how the mixing of different patterns is incorporated into your style, this trend allows you to have fun, explore, and constantly evolve your personal style into a unique collage of expression. Looking for these trends? Shop at Ziezo on the Delmar Loop, get a 20% student discount on Wednesdays and mention Armour Mag!
Photography: Jacob Lenard Models: Ann Bullock, Alice He, Kathryn McCrum Apparel, Bags, & Shoes: Ziezo boutique
SUSTAINABILITY. It is a hard con-
SUSTAINABLE STYLE >> by becky savitt >> illustration by ariella elovic
cept to define and even harder to relate to clothes. Before researching the term, I thought it would translate to hippy and homemade, however when I began to understand what sustainable clothing is and isnâ€™t I decided that choosing clothing has major implications for the planet and personal style. Sustainable clothing means what it sounds like: it works to sustain the dwindling resources that our planet has. Instead of relying on antiquated production methods that encourage us to buy as much as possible, sustainable fashion encourages clothing that works with the planet instead of against it. Over the summer, I read the book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth Cline. She focuses on fast fashion, clothing companies like Forever 21, Zara, H&M etc., that manufacture on-trend clothing quickly. An article from slate.com explains how Zara has a turn-around of weeks (as short as two), making pieces in small batches to avoid trends going out of style. Furthermore, the small quantities encour-
age people to shop often, about 17 times a year, unsure if the style will exist in a week or two. Essentially, these stores create a culture of consumption in which shopping constantly is good. People buy and buy because the styles are trendy and cheap. The clothing then tends to get thrown away with the knowledge that there will be something else new to replace it with. This wasteful process leads to a variety of environmental and social costs. In Britain, citizens create 1.5 million tons of landfill waste from clothing every year. This clothing is usually made out of synthetic fabrics, which is inexpensive but unable to decompose. On the other hand, natural fibers may decompose but can also lead to the release of methane, adding to global warming. A social concern of fast fashion is the negative implication for US manufacturing. According to Cline’s website, “Only 3% of clothing bought in the U.S. is made in the U.S., down from
around 50% in 1990”. It is simply cheaper to make clothing overseas because minimum wage for workers is lower. As people continue to patronize fast fashion, there is less incentive for companies to keep manufacturing stateside.
to a status quo of dressing. Fast fashion is effective for consumers without a disposable income, but I firmly believe that if you have enough time to shop at Zara then you have enough time to do some “alternative” shopping.
For me, style is an individualized, unique approach to dressing. Style is not how much money you spend or how often you acquire new clothing but how you choose to display yourself to the world. I think fast fashion stores can hinder personal style, because the clothing relies on what is already popular, what other people dictate you should wear. Trends restrict people
Ignorance is not always bliss. Ignorance allows us to become lazy with our fashion choices. I propose you take charge of how you dress, have fun with it, and embrace the rewards of sustainability: for the planet and for you! h t t p : / / w w w. s l a t e . c o m / a r t i c l e s / a r t s / o p e r a tions/2012/06/zara_s_fast_fashion_how_the_company_gets_new_styles_to_stores_so_quickly_ http://www.ethicalinstyle.com/what-is-ethical-fashion/ ethical-issues-explained/impact-of-fast-fashion/
modern day dress (both)
By Neha Nair I don’t think I’ve ever grown out of playing dress-up. Occasionally, I still feel like that six year-old experimenting with clothing, rummaging through trunks of diaphanous, sparkly princess dresses. Dress-up was an escape from reality: trying on different personalities and creating fantastical contexts for ourselves during afternoon play-dates. Today my wardrobe is much more grounded in reality – that is, a multitude of realities spanning over time and across the globe, allowing me to escape and divulge into different worlds. As a third-culture kid born and raised in various parts of Asia, I have been lucky enough to travel around the world with my family. The exposure to local handicrafts and textiles in various country has embedded a strong attraction to intricate patterns, hand-woven cloth, and culturally distinct items of clothing within me. When I go back to India, I tend to spend time in the garment districts sifting through bolts of handmade fabric and finally finding the perfect material to turn into a dress or top. Usually, I can accomplish all of this in less than the equivalent of 10 US dollars, but it is hard to put a price on creating the dress of my dreams. I have a certain draw to articles that have their own history and are already rich in character. I unashamedly pocket many of my mother’s pieces of tribal Indonesian jewelry and block-printed Indian maxiskirts to add to my own collection. Necklaces that date back to long before I was born, that once adorned my mother and grandmother, feel like amulets when I put them on. I love the satisfaction of happening upon a vintage treasure in my mom’s closet, or a flea market or thrift store, knowing that I can breathe new life into an object that belonged to someone else before me. In a way, I treat the items in my closet like pieces of art or artifacts. Those visually stimulating pieces that are colored, textured, or structured in an interesting way can really empower an outfit no matter what year it was created. Choosing my day-to-day attire from the eclectic collection of clothing I have accumulated over the years gives me the same childlike pleasure that I used to experience while putting on frilly dresses from my costume box. Though my style has certainly changed since my kindergarten days, my style philosophy has not: do not take it too seriously. Just play dress-up.
Ready to Wear... Again By Mary Bishop
You see someone wearing something that you really like. The piece speaks for itself yet compliments its owner. It looks one-of-a-kind, with a special, understated history. You ask the person where they got it and it’s always the same answer- their mother’s closet or… a thrift store! You exhale and ask something along the lines of, “Ugh, I’ve been meaning to go to Goodwill, tell me the next time you go?” But here’s the catch, you can’t just go to a thrift store and magically wind up with an article of clothing that gives you an aura of originality, heritage, and style. Instead you have to look amongst a mess of ugly, dated, worn out clothes and find the gems that give thrift stores their good name.
And to know how to shop in a thrift store takes three simple steps:
1. Know what to take from the rack. 2. Know what will work for your taste and style.
3. Try it on. (Even if there is no dressing room and the mirror in the bathroom is only from the waist up, try it on.)
Unlike the Abercrombie that created the Middle-schooler, the Banana Republic that created the mom, or the J Crew that created your roommate, it’s you, the shopper, who creates the thrift stores.
The first step is the hardest because it is really more inherent than learned. Some kids are good at soccer, make tons of friends, and have a wonderful and active childhood, and others grow up to be good thrift shoppers. Accept what you’re good at.
Photography: Sam Leder
Vintage Boutiques (Tried & True: Retro 101/Cherry Bomb Vintage/ The Green Shag/ Avalon Exchange)
On the bright side, an institution was created to help those who hate to rummage. It’s called the ‘Vintage Store’. And it comes at a price – which is higher prices. Honestly when it comes to the Vintage stores there’s not much to say because you’ve been and know what they’re about. The store is small and fun, everything is well-organized, and the clothes are either costume-y or retro. Also the t-shirts are ridiculously expensive and definitely not worth buying unless you make an extreme personal connection.
Second-Hand Stores (Tried & True: Value Village)
For those who want to save money and search a little harder there are second-hand stores. You know you are in a second-hand clothing store when you see a linoleum floor, florescent lighting, and racks of clothing all of which you recognize from 7th Heaven. There typically are no bathrooms, but the employees are usually friendly and there are mirrors. Finding fun pieces at second-hand stores is harder because you have to search amongst a lot of clothing that doesn’t interest you at all, i.e. originally from Target in an XL. However what you do find is way cheaper and subtler than what you would find at a Boutique. When in a second-hand store, it is important to pay close attention to the third rule of thrifting- try it on. These clothes have been washed, stretched, and shrunk. Size labels have no meaning.
The Bins The Bins, officially known as ‘Goodwill Outlet’, is a single warehouse but it deserves its own category. Not for the faint of heart, the Bins is where thrifting shifts from hobby to sport. There are no mirrors, there are no racks, there are no rules. Clothing, shoes, books, utilities, toys, linens, skateboards, artwork, everything that was not sold at a regular Goodwill is thrown, at random, into one of the many bins at the Bins. While the process of finding clothes is daunting, its worth it when you learn that everything is sold for 79 cents per pound. Meaning, you can leave with a jacket, two t-shirts, a pair of overalls, and a skateboard having spent 6 dollars 39 cents. But make no mistake, when at the Bins, wear your game face because you will be shopping with the big leaguers. When a new bin is rolled onto the warehouse floor people are not above shoving and yelling in order to get their hands on the merchandise. Think of trying to get into Sig Ep’s ‘Back to School’. Except you leave with more clothes rather than less.
by Siya Patil We are well into the new decade, and fresh trends have started to take shape. From studs to flannel, it seems that grunge revival is the name of the game. One particularly interesting comeback that has taken center stage is crosses. This may be puzzling, as crosses usually belong on nuns, priests, and anyone religious. However, crosses stood for something much more in the 90â€™s: rebellion. Over twenty years ago, cross jewelry was everywhere; women often sported large, gold crosses dangling from their ears as well as heavy chains around their neck. In 2012, not only do crosses appear on jewelry, but also on clothing and accessories, giving an eye-catching graphic to any outfit. Inverted crosses have also been a recent trend, a new spin on the once-popular punk symbol. Although controversial, inverted crosses are actually a very Christian symbol. It represents the cross of Saint Peter and follows the tradition of the Peter the Apostle. When he was crucified, Peter requested his cross be turned upside down so that he would not be alike to Jesus in death. So, if you wanted to rock this trend but were worried about what people would think, here is your chance to give them style with a side of history! Crosses work on a multitude of levels and can fit into everyoneâ€™s style: the bold, the preppy, the grunge, and even the sleek. Simply wear a gold cross necklace, which can be found almost anywhere these days, and pair it with something unexpected. You can also try wearing tops with cross cutouts or structural designs, which can be found easily these days on sites such as nastygal.com. If you are feeling crafty, it can also become a great DIY project! All you need is a pair of scissors, a drab t-shirt, and a lazy afternoon. Either way, remember to take the trend and make it your own: fit it into your style before you become crossed out.
by steven perlberg
There’s a certain time in every young man’s life when he becomes the scruffiest he’s ever been, and he wonders, what kind of fun can I have with my face? Sure, you can always spice up your wardrobe, you can go out and buy new kicks, but in the course of human history, facial hair has always been every man’s ace in the hole. Wash U men, I’m here to tell you that there’s no better time to take advantage of a dapper mustache than when you are studying abroad. Months of whisker-growing time combined with an unusual degree of anonymity make facial hair an absolute must for the abroad student. I left for my semester in Europe with nothing but a duffle bag and starry-eyed zeal, but I came back with the sickest handlebar mustache you’ve ever seen. I mean that thing was good. I walked the London streets with a reinvigorated spirit. I exchanged a furtive nod with every single one of my mustachioed brethren. I even stared into the Icelandic wilderness with nothing but my brute masculinity and a freaking handlebar mustache. Friends, I promise you that all it takes is a little dedication and some mustache wax. For most of twentieth century, the mustache reigned among options for a follicular visage. From Charlie Chaplin to Teddy Roosevelt, mustachioed men emblazoned popular culture and
epitomized the spirit of American individualism and machismo. The man was the mustache, and the mustache the man. Now, despite some vestiges of sexy stubble and sideburns, facial hair – particularly the mustache – has been relegated to 1970s porn quips and ironic hipsterism. But a mustache can be so much more – power, style confidence, the list goes on. Here’s some advice for male students thinking about studying abroad. Most people will tell you that should do it for the rich cultural experience, the travel, and the lifelong friends you’ll make. Do it for the mustache. There’s no better time in your life to grow one. It took me a good three months of mountain man beard to get to the point where my mustache could stand alone in all its glory. To be sure, the beard was gross, and nobody really wanted to spend much time close to my face. But with any good mustache, the ends justify the means. And make no mistake, when that handlebar mustache emerged from its lumberjacking antecedents, I was the life of the party again. There is truly no better conversation starter than neatly groomed bewhiskerment. Gents, if you want to make a statement, if you want your friends back home to marvel at the Facebook pictures of your hirsute upper lip, consider growing an abroad ‘stache. And wax that thing up.
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Marissa Pomerance By: Lindsay Callahan Photography: Hannah Blumer
You have most likely seen her on campus, wearing her signature blazer and favorite black booties. Maybe youâ€™ve caught a glance of her posing in front of Olin Library in a chic leather skirt, dripping in silver necklaces. She is Marissa Pomerance, the WashU junior behind the style blog, Style by MJ. It is rare to meet someone so passionate and expressive about their interests, which is clearly fashion for Marissa. Hailing from LA, she is no stranger to the business, as reflected in her modish persona and insight displayed in textual and photograph form. 34
While understanding the extravagant and materialistic side of clothing, Marissa makes the somewhat intimidating industry accessible and realistic for fashion savvy college students. She reveals her favorite items, preferred beauty products, and practical interpretations of runway trends. This fashionista has picked it out for you and has made the process of tracking it down a whole lot easier. Check out her blog at www.stylebymj.blogspot.com!
LC: When did you start your blog? MP: I started my blog a little over a year ago, during the summer before my sophomore year here at Wash U. I rededicated myself to it this summer, and I think I’m constantly improving. LC: What prompted you to start your blog? What were your aspirations for it at the time? MP: It was really the prompting of my friends and family, who told me that I should start my own fashion blog that made me do it. I already followed other blogs by that time and was really interested in the growth of the presence of fashion bloggers in the industry. At first, it was just sort of a creative outlet. I definitely have always had aspirations about becoming a top-tier blogger that has some industry credibility, but realistically, I know that it would have to be a full time job for that to happen. There is [surprisingly] a lot of pressure when you start a fashion blog to make it into a business. I’ve definitely found a little niche on the Wash U campus, and my friends tell me that they read it all the time and like what I have to say, which is more than enough to keep me going.
LC: Has your blog changed as you have evolved and matured? If yes, how?
LC: What pieces of clothing best reflect your personal style?
MP: My blog has definitely evolved. I think it started out a bit fantastical; I would make outfit spreads with, like, couture items! I’m constantly redesigning and streamlining the blog and study the different reactions to posts. I’ve found that my readers really respond to things that are accessible. Its great to be a fashion fanatic and aspire to dress like Lady Gaga or Daphne Guiness, but the majority of people are looking for realistic ways to dress. My blog has evolved as I have discovered more about my readership and what they are looking for. I’m all about finding ways to elevate your style realistically.
MP: My favorite pieces, or the ones that best represent my style, are constantly in flux. However, I have always been a blazer person. I also have a pair of black booties that I wear all the time that I think perfectly represent my style: they’re polished, they’re trendy, they have a high enough heel, and they’re actually very comfortable. I wear them with everything.
LC: Where do you draw your inspiration? MP: A lot of my inspiration comes straight from runway trends or street style. Most of it, though, comes from my everyday problems that I encounter trying to look stylish and portray my sartorial point-of-view while in a college campus setting. As much as I would love to wear 6-inch heels everywhere, I know that isn’t really possible. Instead, I try to find other ways to look polished and put together while not feeling uncomfortable or looking ridiculously out of place, even though I sometimes still do.
LC: What are you favorite blogs? MP: I love The Man Repeller, Atlantic-Pacific, Brooklyn Blonde, Fashiontoast, and many more. LC: Any advice for other bloggers? MP: I guess my advice for other bloggers would be to not get too caught up in the pressure to have 100,000 Twitter followers, brand sponsorships, and invitations to every event during fashion week. That pressure can almost ruin the fun of blogging. However, you should try to find whatever it is that makes your readers keep coming back. Stick with it and expand on it. If you feel like you are significantly helping the few readers you have, you may be doing a better job than bloggers who have stopped inspiring their thousands of followers.
hair rings by chantal strasburger
When we think heavy metal accessories (throw back Spring 2012 issue) we typically think bling that wraps around our neck or fingers. But why limit ourselves? If this fall season is all about taking risks, why not take our golden accessories north? Enter hair rings. Barrettes and headbands are adequate, but too pragmatic to push fashion boundaries. Hair rings are 100% pure and unadulterated superfluousness. There-in lies their greatness. They can adorn any braid and instantly embellish any look. So next time you’re headed out the door, but that last-minute mirror check is underwhelming, unclamp some hair rings and stick ‘em on. Our faves? Regal Rose’s £9 gold medium-hair pack (ooh European prices. . . fancy) at regalrose.co.uk. Model: Lorelei Strasburger
Music and fashion are forms of self-expression that define generations through their constant evolution. Innovative musicians lend aesthetic inspiration to not only their fans, but also designers’, which in turn inspire other musicians. Style influenced by music influenced by style characterize the rebellious “kids these days”, whose contemporary norm-defying fashions then eventually become future trends that are later usurped by their children’s records and outfits. New musicians and genres usher in new trends, new garments, and most importantly, a new meaning of why we wear what we’re wearing. To define the music or bands of our generation becomes more and more challenging as more
musical genres exist now then ever before. If the 60’s had The Beatles, and the 70’s had Zepplin and Pink Floyd, who, then, would define us? The generation of the 90’s and 00’s? Who are OUR lyrical style muses? Identity crisis aside, with the increase in variety of music comes more diverse, exciting innovations in clothing and style. So who will be your muse? The bold and bad Gaga? The romantic She and Him? Perhaps a bit of Ke$ha on a Friday night? We encourage you to keep listening, watching, and wearing to build the style of our generation. Peace out and Rock on.
Where Fashion and Music Have Gone Before: Some examples of musicians and looks from the past.
1983. Shout at the Devil, Mötley Crüe. Big hair and glam metal popularized their namesake style.
1984. Like a Virgin. Madonna. Propagated classic 80’s fads, including big jewelry, high-volume hair, and spandex.
1990. U Can’t Touch This. M.C. Hammer. Initially an early-nineties fad, hammer pants have recently regained popularity.
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It’s an ego trip. Stripping yourself of universal appeal turns you into walking evidence that you don’t need the standard costume of “prettiness” in order to be a bauss. Since buzzing/bleaching my hair over the summer, I finally got around to working the look I’ve always wistfully admired in the likes of Sam Ronson (a fellow fake blonde!) and the heroin-chic anarchists of earlier decades. Ugly as the better pretty. It’s all about clunky flat shoes with platforms that weigh 4 pounds, mismatched patterns, bomber jackets, sheer or mesh fabrics, and tight pants. The toothpaste figure of the 1920s, the anemic antithesis to bodacious mamacitas like Beyonce and Adrianna Lima. All it takes is a shock of pink lipstick to remind everyone that I’m still a girl--plus my shining personality, of course, by which I mean biting sarcasm. Ideally, then, I can wear what I want while maintaining a degree of conventional attractiveness. That’s a bold and potentially narcissistic statement, and it doesn’t always hold true. Regardless of how confidently you pull off a drastic style development, you’ll probably still get flack for it. You have Momsen being called a tramp, Wood being labeled a poseur, Cyrus being compared to an “albino skunk.” But that’s exactly it—the point of wearing absurd garments or hairstyles is to evoke certain absurd associations and own them without question or reserve. Why is it that these broads and I get such a kick out of marring our prettiness with androgynous or trashy alterations and [projected] unruly behavior? Perhaps because otherwise, it’s both too easy and too impossible. Too easy to look accessible, appealing, undeniably adequate--and too impossible to stand out in a split-second glance. Why blend in if you’re bored enough to put in the time and effort not to? It’s about working an inherent element of outlandishness to subvert other people’s bewilderment, demonstrating that your comfort in your decisions trumps their contempt.
A man I tried to chat up once replied: “Sorry, I don’t do dudes.” This is when I had the mohawk. It’s times like these that I get a little frustrated before remembering that this is part of the reason I look the way I look--it’s a filtering system to weed out the people who wouldn’t ends up liking the type of person I am anyway. It says, if I don’t care about what you want me to look like, I sure as hell will not care what you want me to think, what you want me to do and what you don’t want me to do. A certain aesthetic projects an idea of an attitude and has the capacity for establishing communication in a glance. Apart from getting flack from people and potential dates, you’ll have others who won’t buy your newfound identity as an alternative fashion risk-taker among the ranks of Agyness Deyn or Jessie J. But once the initial wave of indignation passes from people who insist you look moronic or they don’t like how you’ve changed or whatever other nonsense, you are met with a remarkable sense of freedom, cut off from prior associations. For my high-school self, those were responsibility, propriety, pragmatism, neatness. My outfits at age 16 were as deliberate as my meticulously fetching hair and sleek 5-inch pumps. Pressed lines, neutral staples, color-blocking. Flawless grammar and impeccable test performance. Humility and civility around parents, teachers, and figures of authority. I was a model of hyper-self-consciousness and stifling social neuroticism. It was incredible how much less burdened I felt once I started chopping my hair off and my clothes apart. Almost nonsensical--how is it that a purely superficial change of appearance could so alter the way people treat you, before you’ve changed inwardly at all? But the aesthetic reinvention frees you, shuts people up for a bit as they wallow in their confusion over what you’re trying to do, and then you have space to actually figure out what you want to do, what you want from college or wherever you are, what you’d like in your friends, what you expect from yourself. In the cases of our dynamic trio—Momsen, Wood, Cyrus—there must be some refreshing component of alienating close-minded fans. Oh—a third of you all won’t support me anymore because I’m looking provocative, or screwing Marilyn Manson, or messing with the law? Fine, that just proves you’re worthless people anyway. That’s an immensely satisfying feeling, and I can respect that.
I tend to roll my eyes at celebrities like Evan Rachel Wood, Taylor Momsen, Miley Cyrus—who enter their industry with one sort of pristine girl-next-door/role-model image, then get it in their heads that they are suddenly “rebellious” and “edgy,” and essentially start looking like fools in their haphazard exploration of a sartorial identity. That said, I can relate to the act of trying to shed what many people would deem an already attractive and desirable skin, and replacing it with something less universally appealing, much more polarizing. It’s essentially what I set out to do my senior year of high school, and since coming to college it has become an operation of reinvention more dramatic than I could have intended initially; because really I couldn’t have conceived it at the time in my responsible H&M getup and Beckham bob.
Keeping Up With the Times by Jacob Lenard watches by Nixon
If you are like me, you’ve been “searching” for the right watch for about two years now, always exclaiming one is too casual and childish while another is too serious and professional. Selecting a wristwatch that accompanies you daily and fits your personality is no easy task. My advice: select a watch that is simple. Gears and flashy wristbands can only get you so far. Brands like Skagen, Swatch, Nixon, and Uniform Wares all offer affordable, colored, and monochromatic watches. A sleek, monochromatic watch will have your wrist saying something like, “Hey! I’m casual, yet mature. Also, I try to be very punctual.” If the whole watch thing seems iffy, head to the dollar store. Pick out a snazzy 99-cent watch and give it a test drive. I personally went for a bright yellow one to see just how far I could go with wearing color everyday. My last piece of advice is to shop around for the best deal. Department stores are a good place to try on a few and see if it’s the perfect arm candy. Take note of the brand, model, and price—then do some research on the interweb to see if another price will suit you better. Don’t break a sweat while picking one out. Let the watch choose you. Style your arm the way you style the rest of your wardrobe and make watch-wearing part of your daily routine this fall!