Blush Magazine - Fall/Winter 2021

Page 1

The Real Issue

COVER Model Yu Sun Photographer Alyssa Latella Stylist Hannah Brower Makeup Artist Francesca Byrd Hair Hannah Rongo Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio

Garment Vane Bon

Fall/Winter 2021

The Real Issue Editor in Chief

Hannah Brower

Creative Director

Hannah Brower

President Art Director Photo Director Fashion Director Beauty Director Photo Editors Managing Editor Senior Fashion Editor

Rylee Hanson Colette Antonaccio Alyssa Latella Raelen Todd Francesca Byrd Caro Scarimbolo, Olivia-Siena Caroline Levine Viviana Harris

Senior Beauty Editor

Lisa Hahner

Senior Culture Editor

Payton Bierk

Editorial Assistant Public Relations Manager Web Director

Alfonso Badillo Charlotte Harding Kaitlyn Foley

Art and Design

Adiba Tamboli, Alezzandra Tesorio, Alexis Brabender, Colette Antonaccio, Erin Kidd, Esther Lim, Gianna Cubero, Jiana Santos, Julianna Vicente, Kaili Woop, Lily Kotz, Marin Jurgens, Matthew Anderson, Molly Davis, Riya Panjwani, Robyn Lemieux, Rui Sun, Samantha Thomas, Sonya Bakst, Wei Zheng, Jason Reitsma


Danikah Chartier, Charlotte Longworth, Felicia Disalvo, Alyssa Latella, Athina Sonitis, Kendyl Woodruff, Megan O’Rourke, Ryan Brown, Mia Murphy, Olivia-Siena, Josh Rivera, Caro Scarimbolo, Karyna Maldonado, Sarah Heditish, Julie Tu, April Bowden


Julianne Sferrazza, Moon Dang, Raelen Todd, Hannah Brower, Sofia Dominguez, Endya Pagan, Christina St. Clair, Thomas Richards, Muskan Manzoor, Adiba Tamboli, Alfonso Badillo, Ciara Gibaldi, Tyanna Francois, Lorry Lang, Victoria Panzella, Julia Wettreich, Sydney Avery, Jia Kim, Caroline Levine, Pilar Bradley, Nadia Sobczak, Ryan Jacobs, Taylor Davis


Sweekriti Dahal, Francesca Byrd, Hannah Rongo, Sarah McGill, Sydney Beggins, Jessica Mayfield, Karlee Ingegno, Jennie Segedin, Bella Suleymanova, Liberty Ackerman

Blush is produced by the students of the Fashion Institute of Technology, part of the State University of New York, with funds provided by the FIT student government association. FIT is committed to prohibiting discrimination in its programs, activities, and employment, whether based on race, color, nation origin, sex, gender, gender identity, religion, ethnic background, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military service status, genetic information, pregnancy, familial status, citizenship status (except as required to comply with law), or any other criterion prohbibted by law. Inquires regarding the nondiscrimination policy may be directed to the affirmative action officer/title IX coordination, (212) 217-3360,



exec team 2


f / w 2021 Editor in Chief Hannah Brower

President Rylee Hanson

Art Director Colette Antonaccio

Photo Director Alyssa Latella

Fashion Director Raelen Todd

Beauty Director Francesca Byrd

Photo Editor Caro Scarimbolo

Photo Editor Olivia-Siena

Managing Editor Caroline Levine

Senior Fashion Editor Viviana Harris

Senior Beauty Editor Lisa Hahner

Senior Culture Editor Payton Bierk

Editorial Assistant Alfonso Badillo

PR Manager Charlotte Harding


006 Editor-in-Chief Letter

CONT culture 052 48 Hours in NYC 054 Girls Night Out 060 Commitment 064 Ladies First 066 Do YOU 072 Angel Numbers 074 Alter Ego 086 It’s Speaking to You, Have You Been Listening? 088 Redefining Realness


fashion 008 Music and Fashion 016 Let’s Get Personal 024 Emerging Designers 030 The Archives 040 Men in Fashion 044 For Rent 050 The Blueprint

ENTS beauty & wellness 092 Love Language Quiz 096 Beauty Imposters 098 Hypnotized 108 Holistic Winter Skin Guide 110 Crystals 112 Drinks, Anybody? 116 Tooth Gems 120 Top Priority



Photographer Alyssa Latella Stylist Hannah Brower Makeup Artist Hannah Brower Hair Hannah Rongo Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio


Dress Mirror Palais ( from RNTL) Jewelry D’Deco

EDITOR’S LETTER Welcome to the Real Issue. It never gets old watching each issue of Blush come to life. The Real issue is here and more than I ever imagined it to be. I love this theme because it takes on so many layers, leaves room for individual interpretation, and is actually a double entendre when we talk about Real issues. This issue dives into the question: What even is real? We talk about being real to ourselves. Real deals. Real fashion. How my real is different from your real. “Real” does not have a single definition and means something different depending on you. As life remains unpredictable, we’ve cut the unnecessary and replaced it with what truly matters. There is no time to waste on what sets us back. We have subconsciously refined life to be more human and to prioritize ourselves. Self reflection has led us to develop into our highest, most real state. The Fall 2021 issue of Blush is something I am extremely proud of as should everyone else who contributed. The dedication and passion that went into this magazine is what makes it so valuable, so beautiful, and so real. Our executive team worked exceptionally hard for a smooth semester. We had dozens of hoops to jump through being back in person, but it was all worth it because look what we created! I am so grateful for every second of this process—even the multi-hour long photo select meetings, last-minute mishaps, and late nights in the studio. Stylists, photographers, hair stylists, graphic designers, makeup artists, writers—thank YOU. Each of you put in nothing but pure love. Looking through this magazine, I feel inspired by the art we made. The Real Issue is truly...unreal.






If you look back on monumental moments in music history, you’ll discover that every incredible musician is accompanied by a killer outfit. Music and fashion exist in an intimate ecosystem, giving life and inspiration to each other. When you like an artist’s music, you immediately invest in their image. Each genre of music builds a community historically bonded, not just through the beloved sounds, but also through fashion subcultures. The Jazz Age What do you think of when you hear the Roaring Twenties? Glitz, glamour, extravagant nightlife, and, of course, jazz. Jazz stars dazzled us with their contagious melodies while dressed to the nines in double-breasted suits and sharp patterned ties. The women of the genre similarly did not disappoint. “Flappers” defined the era with their rebellious, “unladylike” behavior. The dresses they wore were slinky, loose, and shorter than ever, swinging scandalously to the jazzy beats. These dresses were accompanied by gaudy pearl necklaces and decorated fascinators that draped across their bodies as they danced the night away in a bold rejection of tradition. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebellion Rock ‘n’ roll’s infectious beat and rhythm attracted the likes of many who found empowerment in the genre’s electrifying melodies. The war was over, the economy was booming, and suburban life was thriving. While most parents disapproved of its juvenile delinquency and sexual undertones, younger crowds embraced the music’s let-loose attitudes in poodle skirts and leather jackets. The “father of rock and roll,” Chuck Berry, knew what this crowd wanted to listen to and rocked out with his cherry-red guitar and white-tailored suit. The Birth of the Hippie Peace, love, and rock ‘n’ roll were three pillars of the hippie movement—an era in the midst of a political and fashion revolution. This new, free-spirited counterculture fused together folk, blues, and, of course, psychedelic rock. The rejection of the mainstream defined the hippie aesthetic, and flowy silhouettes, shaggy hair, tie-dye shirts, floral headbands, and intricate patchwork designs became the uniform of these rebellious flower children.

Color was in surplus, its overwhelming use a direct correlation to the growing psychedelic movement as young people pushed for peace over war. The iconic Jimi Hendrix was not only known for his music, but was a testament to this new wave of eclectic fashion with his trademark military-style jacket and bright bell-bottoms. The Modern Revolution While America’s youth was swing dancing during the 50s and 60s, London music lovers formed a group called the “Mods.” Fans of The Who, The Jam, and The Smiths were interested in modern jazz and dipped their toes into Ska and R&B. This subculture, entrenched in rebellion, grew as the new generation yearned for a modern approach to life. Known for their put-together appearance, male mods wore tailor-made suits, narrow lapels, bomber jackets, and Chelsea boots, while female mods gravitated toward miniskirts, knee-high boots, and generous layers of eyeliner. From colourful swing coats, space age fashions, to Peter Pan collars, Mod fashion had it all. Anarchist Aesthetic Punk rock was the new genre on the block. The youth in the UK was fearless when it came to criticizing their government and rioting for change, using punk rock music and fashion to do so. The Clash, Ramones, and Sex Pistols were a few of the iconic bands, birthed in an era that traded in the mainstream for the avant-garde. Decked out in leather, piercings, and a controversial graphic tee, designer Vivienne Westwood pioneered the punk uniform. She originally made clothes for Sex Pistols’ lead singer, Malcolm McLaren, and later the two combined their talents to create the punk rocker identity. Westwood’s designs inspired a concrete aesthetic for this new genre, solidifying its prominent place in music history. The Bigger the Better Glam rock thrived off of glitter, eyeliner, and platform shoes. This new genre of music built itself around flamboyant and camp fashion interpretations. Performers weren’t afraid to break gender norms with andrognyous or gasp-worthy looks. David Bowie became a glam rock icon with his hardto-miss orange hair and over-the-top clothing. Glam rock fashion had no rules—heels were for men, suits were for women, and makeup was for everyone.

Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio 10


Model Monica Robles

Garment Sparklebabygem FASHION



Model Hunter Tribus

Leather Vest H&M Bodysuit Steven Panoncillo 13

Model Phillip White Photographer Danikah Chartier Stylists Julianne Sferrazza, Moon Dang, Hannah Brower, Raelen Todd Makeup Artists Jessica Mayfrield, Francesca Byrd Nails Sydney Beggins Hair Hannah Rongo, Jessica Mayfield

Jacket H&M Pants Bandit Studioz Shoes Nike Necklace Chrome Hearts 14

The Rise of Rap Hip-hop is more than just music, it was (and still is) a way of life—a culture. The genre was started by the Black communities in New York City who fused rap, DJing, and lyrical poetry. Since the genre’s inception, fashion has played a prominent role in the hip-hop identity, evolving from the streets to high fashion. The Notorious B.I.G. was notoriously fashionable, rarely seen without a pair of Versace “Medusa” shades or a tilted Kangol hat. However, it was hip-hop group, Run-D.M.C., that solidified the tracksuit “street” aesthetic that many high-end designers borrow from today. As the music evolved so did the fashion; late 90s hip-hop saw an emphasis on baggier garments, sneakers and baseball caps—all popular trends today. For the success of music and fashion, their existence must remain in symbiosis. Without the support of each other, these vastly dynamic elements would lose their vitality. The ecosystem in which they both thrive has witnessed the flourishing of subcultures and the emergence of tight-knit communities. This only leaves us wondering, what does music and fashion have in store for us next?


Models Lindsey Kaplan, Hana Ibrahim Photographer Charlotte Longworth Stylists Sofia Dominguez, Hannah Brower, Raelen Todd, Alyssa Latella Makeup Artists Karlee Ingegno, Francesca Byrd Hair Hannah Rongo

Top Incredible Britney Jeans Frame 16

let’s get personal.

by gabrielle swenton

Ditch those tired trends once and for all—it’s time to channel your own inner-style.

can allow you to hone in what you like and what you don’t. It’s all about experimenting and embracing whatever you gravitate towards!

Following fashion trends is exhausting, unfulfilling, and environmentally harmful. Fast fashion brands infamously mass-produce clothing at an alarming rate so that trends are obsolete soon after they hit the shelves. Engaging in this problematic cycle of purchase, disposal, and repeat strips you away from your own personal style while also creating a ton of waste.

Thrifting is a cornerstone of experimentation; rather than shopping mass-produced duplicates off a rack, buying vintage clothing means you’re getting a “one of a kind” piece. And that’s not all—when you buy second-hand, you’re giving a garment a second life and saving it from being thrown in a landfill. Talk about a win-win! This treasure-hunt quality is what makes the shopping experience all-the-more special. It’s also what makes thrifting a great way to help find your personal style, as what you find is hand-selected by none-other than you!

Rather than following the stream and supporting irresponsible industry practices, forgo the carbon copy phenomena and embrace a look that is uniquely yours. Why keep up with trends when you can cultivate your own look? Finding Your Own Personal Style 101 Discovering your own unique sense of style is not easy and entails ongoing exploration. In order to start this journey, you must be self aware and willing to break out of your comfort zone. How? The answer is simple: listen to yourself. Self expression goes hand-in-hand with embracing your individuality. Forget about what’s “in season,” or what Pantone claims to be the color of the year, and pay closer attention to how you feel. What hues and silhouettes make you feel like the best version of yourself ? What is something that you love but are too afraid to try? Exploring different silhouettes, experimenting with minimalism and maximalism, and parting with what’s “on-trend” are all good places to start. Think about getting dressed as a way to embrace the different layers of yourself. Confidence comes with clothing. When you’re in an outfit that personifies you, fitting you not just physically, but also metaphorically, an otherwise everyday outfit can become an outlet for self expression and creativity. Psychology and fashion are more closely linked than you may realize: what we wear is a reflection of how we see ourselves and communicate this identity to the outside world. Your Style, Your Way The key to evolving your personal style is trying new things. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone Graphic Designers Colette Antonaccio, Esther Lim 17


Jeans Boy London Boots Jeffrey Cambell Belt Harley Davidson Tee Vintage


Top Hysteric Glamour



Top Victoria’s Secret Pants Veronica Beard Shoes Jeffrey Campbell



Jean Jacket True Religion Tie Charles Tyrwhitt

“self embracing 22


goes your




Skirt Desil Tank Basic Edition Blue Sneakers Unif

Reinvent Your Closet Do you ever find yourself wanting to wear something that’s on-trend, but make it your own at the same time? DIY it! There are so many ways to give another life to a garment by changing it up into something new. Sometimes all you need is some scissors and your imagination. These projects not only help you explore your creativity, but will also help you show-off your personal flare. Styling what you already own is another great way to put a twist on your look. Investing in versatile pieces (that can be used to suit the evolving iterations of your style) will allow you to do just that! It’s liberating when you begin to try new things and break past the fear of what people might think. You’re able to discover what you truly like, and staying true to yourself becomes far more appealing than conforming to a certain “in” look. Don’t feel pressured to stick to one aesthetic or style, rather stick to what you love and honor who you genuinely are. So, go out, try new things, and explore what makes you feel like the best version of you. Trends may die, but the feeling of being unapologetically you will stay forever.




From social media to the runways, up-and-coming designers are taking over the fashion industry. This is the era of emerging talent. Whether you get your fashion fix from Tiktok styling challenges or op-eds in the Business of Fashion, you’ve probably noticed a surge in visibility of small designers. From Gigi Hadid sporting a custom Di Petsa dress in her maternity photos to the press gushing over Peter Do’s runway debut, emerging talent have stepped into a spotlight typically reserved for the established and powerful few.

Bodysuit Caro Chia

Historically, these designers have struggled to break into this hyper-competitive industry due to limited resources and financial restrictions. This reality has kept independent designers from the upper echelons of fashion success, engendering an industry in which wealth begets wealth. Now, a new wave of budding talent is upending this reality, with independent designers poised to lead the industry into the next era. So why are small designer brands garnering more visibility now than ever before? The fashion industry’s crowded marketing environment has notoriously reserved magazine spreads, flashy campaigns, and larger-than-life billboards for prominent brands that are not strapped for cash. But now, an array of social media platforms have made reaching and engaging with audiences far more accessible without sacrificing the financial bottom line. Vietnamese-American designer and FIT alum Peter Do is one rising talent who is capitalizing on the marketing potential of social media. The brand’s Instagram account showcases his impeccably-tailored designs, while process photos of garment creation and adorable content of Uni, Do’s Shiba Inu, impart a sense of authenticity.

Graphic Designer Alexis Brabender


Jacket Emily Omesi 26

Model Endya Pagan Photographer Felicia Disalvo Stylist Endya Pagan Makeup Artist Sweekriti Dahal Hair Jennie Segedin

Top Emily Omesi Pants Emily Omesi 27

Alighieri, a London-based jewelry line inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, similarly takes a meaningful and authentic approach to social media by highlighting the narrative-driven aspect of its creations. For their Spring 2022 collection, Inferno Unlocked, Alighieri launched each piece individually via Instagram, giving the story behind each creation space to shine. Memorial Day, a small knitwear brand, was conceived on Tiktok after creator and FIT alum Delsy Gouw took up crocheting amid the pandemic. She took advantage of the platform’s interactive format, using it to connect intimately with prospective customers. Gouw shared the intricate crocheting process online, quickly attracting a large following who similarly shared an interest in handmade, made-to-order products. Memorial Day’s resulting success is undeniable, boasting celebs including Bella Hadid and Kaia Gerber as fans. In recent years, consumer priorities and designer values have shifted tremendously. As ethics and sustainability have moved to the forefront of fashion discourse, consumers have been quick to break their loyalty to established brands in a defiant act against corporate dominance. This, of course, is great news for independent fashion designers, who benefit

from this heightened demand for sustainable, ethical, and innovative products. Bode, a New York-based menswear label, has ingrained these principles into its ethos, using small-scale production to create eccentric pieces constructed from vintage fabrics. The outcome? Wonderfully eclectic products made with exceptional quality and idiosyncratic fabrication. Fashion label Marine Serre similarly repurposes fabrics to create sportswearinspired clothing with vintage upholstery, deadstock scarves, and recycled fleece. Then there is Collina Strada, an independent brand whose whimsical designs are manufactured in New York and is working closely with The OR Foundation to engage in the circular economy. Another force driving the success of independent designers is the demand for innovative products, further propelled by media saturated with fashion content. Small brands are often more dedicated to experimentation, free from obligations to shareholders and conglomerates. This creative autonomy provides a distinct advantage over established fashion houses that put profit above all else. 28

Designer Emily Omesi wields this creative autonomy with flair, melding disparate inspirations into a distinctive design signature that was developed through her studies at FIT and Central Saint Martins. Utilizing couture techniques and complex construction, her designs are an intricate study in silhouette and form. Omesi’s graduate collection, entitled Green Fluorescent Protein, draws inspiration from medical research, pediatric medicine, and Victorian childrenswear, creating a collection consisting of twisting seams and organic shapes, simultaneously experimental yet entirely wearable. Another brand utterly committed to a distinctive design concept is Matty Bovan, who creates apocalyptic designs in a kaleidoscopic mishmash of technical jacquards and colorful knits. Chopova Lowena similarly takes full advantage of creative autonomy, drawing inspiration from traditional Bulgarian folklore and textiles to create bold looks in a medley of prints and patterns. With consumers increasingly aiming to stand out in a sea of trends on social media, independent designers have the distinct opportunity to provide truly unique pieces.


As this wave of upcoming designers breathes new life into a post-pandemic fashion industry, innovation in digital marketing and evolving consumer sentiments continue to disrupt the fashion establishment. With increasing power and visibility shifting to independent designers, it is safe to say that we are in an era characterized by the proliferation of emerging talent.


















Fashion from any given period in history serves as a reflection of the social, cultural, and political factors that define the era. Collections can capture the attitudes and cultures of designers and the world around them, and often communicate the designers’ inner sentiments. This, along with the rarity of certain garments today, makes these collections more sought after than ever. One era that is on the rise is the early 2000s. Following a decade of grunge chaos and minimalist chic on the runway, high fashion witnessed a cultural breakthrough at the turn of the century. Avant-garde designers like Raf Simons, Helmut Lang, Jean Paul Gaultier, Junya Watanabe, and Jun Takahashi of Undercover expanded upon the anti-fashion and punk influences they were known for, changing the future of designer fashion by communicating narratives about the world around them. The following collections have continued to receive praise throughout the 2010s for their cultural importance and expressive nature. Today, they’re considered some of the most important examples of archival fashion, attracting cult followings and becoming wearable memories of our generation.

Graphic Designers Gianna Cubero, Colette Antonaccio 31

Top Jean Paul Gaultier ( from RNTL) Skirt Christian Dior ( from LAL Vintage) Shoes Maison Margiela Tabi’s 32



Spring/Summer 2003

Jun Takahashi’s punk roots were made clearer than ever with Undercover’s Spring 2003 collection, titled “Scab.” The Japanese designer’s experience as the lead singer in the “Tokyo Sex Pistols” cover band as well as a co-founder of Nowhere, a Japanese fashion storefront, made him no stranger to mixing punk culture with fashion. With his brand Undercover’s Paris Fashion Week debut, Takahashi “got under your skin”. The pieces were trademarked by heavily-distressed patchwork motifs on both men’s and women’s garments that were uncannily reminiscent of the “crust punk” scene that evolved in London


Jacket Undercover Sweatshirt Raf Simons Pants Helmut Lang Boots Guidi

in the 1980s. This scene was characterized by a certain rawness that the show artfully depicted. Not only was this stitching method a reference to grimy punk culture, but it served as a visual representation of human pain. Each garment evoked the image of literal skin scabs, an unsettling reminder of the physical and emotional pain that we all experience in our lives. Essentially, every piece of clothing is a scab, covering our body and acting as armor against the harshness of the outside world. The pieces from this collection continue to attract avant-garde enthusiasts for their unique construction and do-it-yourself spirit.


Set Jean Paul Gaultier ( from Chérir Vintage) Choker Christian Dior (Archive Vintage) Shoes Julian Hakes Mojito

For Jean Paul Gaultier’s Fall 2001 Ready-To-Wear collection, the rebellious trailblazer opted to focus on deconstruction. Staged in the iconic Carrousel du Louvre, models strutted down the runway in long gowns that were slashed into tops and skirts and worn over lace-lined slip dresses. The collection made several references to the legendary musician, Prince, from the soundtrack of the show to the many “Purple Rain”-inspired looks. Detached sleeves hung from blazers and fur arm warmers seemingly made out of cutoff coat sleeves altered the silhouettes of the models’ bodies. Coats were also left with their entire backsides carved out. Gaultier officially announced his retirement in February of 2020 after 50 years in fashion, and collections like this one have stood the test of time, continuing to carry his legacy.


Model Trey Hemmings


Top Jean Paul Gaultier Pants Undercover Scab Boots Guidi


Model Viviana Harris Photographer Alyssa Latella Stylists Christina St.Clair, Thomas Richards Makeup Artist Sweekriti Dahal 36



Top Junya Watanabe Pants Helmut Lang

Spring/Summer 2002 “Poem” For Junya Watanabe’s first menswear collection under the Comme des Garçons MAN label, the Rei Kawakubo protégé spoke from the heart. Having designed for the label’s “Tricot” women’s line since 1987, which focused on deconstruction and knitwear, he looked outwards for inspiration for his menswear debut. Each member of Watanabe’s design team was tasked with writing a poem that described their view of the world around them, which created a deeply personal, candid display of emotion. Romance, morals, and relationships are among the topics the resulting


works explored. These poems were then roughly translated from Japanese to English and screenprinted onto garments in a bold Helvetica font. The pieces were kept simple and practical, modifying classic menswear silhouettes like button-up shirts and twill pants in solid colors. This allowed for each poem to speak for itself, and for each wearer to form a personal connection with the words. 20 years after the original runway show, Watanabe fans are still wearing their hearts on their sleeves, enamored by the emotions that the “Poem” collection communicated.


Jacket Issey Miyake (Archive Vintage) Jewelry Vivenne Westwood


Spring/Summer 2004 Helmut Lang’s Spring 2004 collection drew reference from the iridescent colors and structure of dragonflies, a rare step away from the minimalist uniforms and subversive basics that the designer was traditionally known for. In this runway show, Lang made a point to explore gender fluidity and androgyny, sending both men and women down the runway in revealing looks: asymmetrical tank tops with cutouts around the chest and sashes that altered the body’s silhouette by bunching together unconventional textiles like latex and nylon. The previous season’s trademark of tactical garments was given a breath of fresh air, birthing pieces like the now-iconic “mummy pants’’ featuring loose bondage-style straps that wrapped around the wearer’s legs, living up to their nickname. Among Lang’s many iconic shows, Fall 2004 is arguably one of the most memorable for its exploration of peculiar materials and blurring of gender norms on the runway. Although Helmut Lang left his brand and the world of fashion altogether in 2005, his name and garments continue to carry his legacy of redefining what can be considered luxury.

Fashion in the early 2000s showed us that designers can make so much more than just attractive clothing. These revolutionary examples prove that forwardthinking designers of the Y2K era influenced fashion’s future, pushing the boundaries of what can or can’t be done in a fashion show. These garments are not just clothes, but rather wearable artifacts that speak for an entire generation. These are the archives.





Blazer & Pants Asos Shirt & Shoes Zara Bag Designer Revival Jewelry Vintage

Model Raystter Alves Photographer Athina Sonitis Stylists Muskan Manzoor, Adiba Tamboli Nails Sydney Beggins 40

The new generation of male trendsetters is distinctly diverse, but they all have one thing in common: a desire to rewrite the rules.

Men In

Fashion By Evan Colacchio

When Jaden Smith appeared in a 2016 Louis Vuitton ad, outfitted in pieces from the brand’s most recent womenswear collection, it was clear that something was shifting. Men have always had a place in fashion, their presence never jeopardized and their successes always celebrated. Yet, at times, this presence has threatened to become stagnant. Met Galas and red carpets are notoriously filled with male celebrities donning the same blasé, black tuxedos, and the anticipation that once hung in the air at these events seems to repeatedly end in disappointment. A new day is on menswear’s horizon, carried by a blossoming generation of male trailblazers like Smith. While fear or indifference may have once barred men from pushing the boundaries of their style, these modern influences are clearing a new path forward. As younger generations begin to infiltrate the current zeitgeist, structures that previously existed in modern culture are being dismantled—notably in terms of fashion. The development of this newly-embraced sense of elevation has been slowly progressing in niche fashion circles, propelled by mainstream celebrities and influencers who have placed it firmly in the public eye. While some have questioned the level to which these figureheads deserve this recognition, the accessibility of their fashion statements is exactly what makes them so effective. A well-liked celebrity of Jaden Smith’s caliber wearing a skirt may not change the fashion landscape overnight, but it acts as an introductory step in the right direction, one that is welcoming enough to sway even the most conservative fashion purists.

Similarly-mainstream male celebrities, like trailblazer Lil Nas X, have further elevated the modern approach to menswear, having worn tradition-defying pieces from a structural skirt and corset by designer Andrea Gossi at the 2021 BET Awards to a Versace dress-suit ensemble at the 2021 VMAs, he has positioned himself as a primary figure responsible for widening the scope of men’s fashion. In the past, most men did not care about the messages they sent with their clothing, and the presence of these fresh influences have allowed menswear to finally stand on its own as a mainstream avenue of creative expression. Unlike some fashion phenomena, this does not mean that these concepts are in danger of being overused or slipping into the realm of cliché; it means that modern culture is taking a step forward in terms of acceptance. While this progression has gained particular momentum in recent years, the groundwork for its success runs much deeper than most realize. High fashion has been steadily breaking these boundaries, culminating in a modern array of designers for whom emboldening expectations is the focal point of their brand identities. For some, this means imbuing the industry with a sense of fluidity. Telfar Clemens, creator of popular brand Telfar, puts this at the forefront of his namesake: his most well-known design, the “Shopping Bag,” has become one of the most highly-demanded pieces on the market due to its unisex appeal and accessibility to diverse audiences. Telfar’s tagline, “Not for you—for Everyone,” is not only an indication of Clemens’ personal initiative, but a representation of the entire forwardthinking fashion movement; yet, while menswear may have once only been recognized as a subordinate extension of womenswear or a foundation of androgynous trends, modern indications prove otherwise.

Graphic Designer Lily Kotz 41


xplorations of themes like liberation and sexuality have also made contributions to this evolution. High fashion mavens like Ludovic de Saint Sernin appeal to these ideals through their designs, crafting collections that cultivate a sense of freedom in the wearer. His Fall 2020 collection was an ode to the “E-boy” online movement, further evidence of the rising catharsis in men’s fashion. In an industry that has often been associated with restriction, esotericism, and pain for the sake of art, men who are determined to promote a sense of welcome are paramount. Online menswear influencers cannot be discredited for their contributions either. Tyler Mazaheri, Wisdom Kaye, or Lexson Millington translate extravagant styles to social media platforms in simultaneously palatable and provocative ways, propelling these looks toward audiences who enthusiastically embrace them. A journey into the feeds of these influencers exemplifies the nuanced ways in which they are able to promote this movement: Millington casually shopping for plants, dressed in a crisp, monochromatic ensemble paired with a leather cross-body bag, Kaye posing simplistically on a sidewalk in a structural allblack ensemble and matching top hat, Mazaheri nonchalantly sipping coffee while donning a pleated skirt and Chanel purse. This sense of dignification is finally attainable, now that men truly want to try.

At one point in time, fashion had unwritten, yet clear, rules, and such strictness lent itself to a lack of space for mens’ creativity. Any deviation from these patterns was either cast off or falsely interpreted as some form of rebellion or statement. Experimentation in fashion can, of course, be designed to challenge viewers’ perceptions, but sometimes explorations of creativity are just that. Now that this space has been reclaimed, and ventures beyond the preconceived norms have been made, the room for elevation will only continue to grow. The influences responsible for disrupting these rules are widespread and diverse, but the role played by men is inarguable and indispensable.

FOR EVERYONE - Telfar Clemens


Jacket Uniqlo Pants Levis Jewelry Vintage Shoes Nike Hat Ganni Glasses Balenciaga 43

BY ASHLEY WEIL What if you could wear designer looks for a fraction of the price and without the guilt of contributing to fast fashion? Clothing rental may be touted as the answer, but is the supposed future of fashion all that it’s cracked up to be? It’s no secret that clothing consumption has increased exponentially over the past 50 years. Today we consume more clothing than ever before. Our modern spending habits equate material objects with happiness, fueling a toxic cycle of overconsumption and environmental degradation. Younger generations are arguably the most passionate about the environment, pivoting their focus to sustainability. To be successful today, brands must appeal to a new wave of eco-conscious consumers who have made prioritizing the planet an industry standard. This commitment has led to the innovation of a new alternative: fashion rental. You may have noticed eye-catching ads from companies like Rent the Runway, NUULY, WearWardrobe, or Stitch Fix that offer affordable clothing rental services to consumers. It’s the best of both worlds—you have the opportunity to try a new garment commitment-free. If you love it, you keep it, if you hate it, you return it. Most famous for this innovation is Rent the Runway. Beginning as a special occasion rental service, their business model appealed to the likes of fashion-forward consumers. These consumers gained access to pricier pieces they otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. Why buy a $1,200 dress if it’s likely to be worn only once and contribute to the destructive, linear fast fashion cycle? While bands like Nuuly and Rent the Runway ship in reusable garment bags and share their sustainability efforts on

their sites, it’s important to also recognize their business models’ potential environmental detriments. With that being said, these companies look to address the problem holistically, compared to other clothing brands that have only adopted rental or recycling practices as surface level “improvements” to their not-so-planet-friendly business models (yes, I’m looking at you H&M). So, you’re probably wondering, what’s the catch? The environmental costs associated with the rental process are tucked away beneath surface-level environmental initiatives. “Sustainability” is the new buzzword in fashion, making consumers become more susceptible to greenwashing: brands are jumping on the “green” bandwagon via superficial marketing efforts rather than taking the necessary steps to truly disrupt the system. Rental companies claim to practice the concept of “circular fashion,” which, upon first glance, seems true. In theory, rewearing and sharing articles of clothing is more environmentally friendly than constantly buying new pieces, right? Wrong. While renting does have its upsides, it is by no means a flawless system. Due to huge stock, massive shipping endeavors, environmentally-detrimental dry cleaning practices, and excess packaging waste, renting may not be as “green” as we previously thought. Studies show that for some larger rental companies, the amount of returns and transportation— often on a gas-consuming truck or by plane—are responsible for even more carbon emissions than fast fashion delivery systems. Surprising, right? Supporting local and growing businesses, like ShopRntl and Wardrobe can help stay clear of the bigger brands’ industrialized approach and the carbon footprint that

Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio Title Print Kaili Woop 44

Dress Kim Shui Studio, Vintage Replay Heels Stuart Weitzman Provided by RNTL


comes with it. Rntl curates their collections locally in New York and focuses on quality over quantity. Wardrobe’s model is completely circular, from recycling boxes to eliminating single-use plastic. With highly-coveted designer and high fashion pieces, you may just find yourself eyeing (and perhaps renting) that iconic Gaultier or Fiorucci number. Rntl is committed to executing this circular economy, emphasizing innovation over mindless consumption. Although new garments are still introduced into the fashion cycle, the collective sharing of these pieces does offer a slower, more eco-friendly approach compared to rampant fast-fashion purchases that are only worn a handful of times. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to crave change. Fashion plays a significant role in many people’s self expression, and as we evolve, so does our style. Renting offers people the ability to try out new


looks while simultaneously promoting informed decision-making about what to purchase long term. However, it’s important to recognize the flaws in the rental model and realize that it’s not entirely the answer we’ve all been waiting for. So, if renting is not as sustainable as we thought, as consumers, what is the best way to shop responsibly? The biggest positive change we can make is to utilize what we already have, buy second-hand, and commit to making fewer purchases. Think, everything in moderation. Turn to rental when in need of an outfit for a sought-after occasion, whether it be a friend’s wedding or a last-minute birthday bash. Whether you thrift, invest in designer pieces, rent, shop small or buy local, just know—we all have the power to become sustainable fashion enthusiasts.


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Models Yu Sun, Brooke Oberlin Photographer Kendyl Woodruff Stylists Alfonso Badillo, Hannah Brower Makeup Artists Karlee Ingegno, Sweekriti Dahal Hair Liberty Ackerman



the blueprint by aubrey benthon

When we look to the future of fashion, we must look no further than its past. Believe it or not, fashion has a blueprint—a map detailing its history from start to finish. Fashion may not have a rulebook, but it sure has a guidebook. The styles donned on the runways today are interpretations from decades prior. Prominent designers and their muses have proven to be the architects of the industry, with their collective influence standing the test of time, becoming enduring reference points for the future.

the new look

mary’s mod

Let’s start at the very beginning with couturier Christian Dior and his “New Look.” This look was crafted with cinched waistlines, elegant full skirts, and rounded shoulders to accentuate an hourglass silhouette. Dior’s look spoke to the nostalgic mood of this post-war society that sought to reintroduce luxury and femininity and break free from the former rationed, utilitarian styles.

British designer, Mary Quant, is the brains and beauty behind the invention of the mini skirt. Quant’s desire to raise the hemline was inspired by the swinging 60s’ counter-cultural movement.

British actress and icon Audrey Hepburn embodied Dior’s New Look with her glamor and opulence. Think of her quintessential, sleek-black dresses; extravagant pearl jewelry; and polished makeup. Hepburn’s mark on fashion can be seen just about anywhere, with today’s Audrey walking down the streets of NYC wearing slim black trousers, an elevated blouse, and black kitten heels.


This cultural swing brought a new generation into the world of fashion, and these young rebels were eager to reject their parents’ conservative notions. The answer? Mod fashion—with Quant leading the charge. To bring her designs to life, she looked to the then-young supermodel, Twiggy. The collaboration was electric with Twiggy’s childlike, boyish look complementing Quant’s playful, androgynous designs.

moves like jagger Bianca Jagger—known famously as a socialite and wife to Mick Jagger, also left her mark on the fashion world. Unapologetic and unafraid, Jagger became a muse and confidant of her dear friends Andy Warhol and Roy Halston. In her Studio 54 era, she established her trademark look consisting of opulent hats, plunging necklines, and sequin disco dresses. Her wedding dress (or better said, wedding power suit) also went down in fashion history: Jagger famously traded in a traditional gown for a smoking-hot Yves Saint Laurent smoking jacket in white paired with a wide-brimmed, veiled hat.

Graphic Designer Alezzandra Tesorio

over the top The love affair with big shoulders, big accessories, and even bigger hair is one that continues to inspire us. Designers indulged in vibrant colors, outrageous patterns, and experimented with unconventional materials. While American designers like Donna Karen, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren were keeping it classic, others let loose, capitalizing on the 80s motto “bigger is better.” Fashion was over the top, and Thierry Mugler was there for it. Mugler deconstructed the classic silhouette and reconstructed it, adding angular lines into the mix. These signature design elements gave him the nickname the “prophet of futurism.”

the icons of all icons Lady Diana Spencer is a style legend on par with Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy. The Princess garnered attention not only because of her royal stature, but also because of her daring fashion choices. Paparazzi captured her in everything from biker shorts and oversized crewnecks to sequin ball gowns and matching bold blue eyeshadow. An entire generation of women idolized Princess Diana then, and many continue to emulate these iconic looks years later.

less is more The era of effortlessness was upon us. 90s supermodels Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell were in the spotlight both on and off the runway thanks to their famous “model off-duty” looks. Designers like Miuccia Prada departed from the vibrance and excess that came with 80s maximalism, honing in on a sharp, minimalist look instead. These chic styles included sheer slip dresses, crisp denim, natural makeup, and stylish sneakers— which still remain wardrobe staples.

how low can you go? Whether you love it or hate it, Y2K fashion is back in action. It girls of the era pioneered the notable 2000s aesthetic (think Paris Hilton, Brittney Spears, and Jennifer Lopez), and popularized low rise jeans, ittiebittie bra tops, trucker hats, and (of course) the velour tracksuit. High fashion took a back seat and sporty-chic brands like Juicy Couture and Baby Phat took center stage.

the fashion underdog Dapper Dan, the underdog of luxury fashion, paved the way forward through his fusion of urban culture and highend couture. Dan’s craft focused on creating outerwear garments that were characteristically emblazoned with bootleg designer logos—Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Fendi all got the insignia-everything treatment. His retrofit designs were embraced by some of the biggest names in R&B and hip-hop at the time, from Big Daddy Kane to LL Cool J. There’s no denying that Dan’s designs laid the foundation for the modern day intersection of luxury and streetwear. His influence in modern fashion can’t be missed, with celebrities like Billie Eilish embracing the logomania craze that Dan invented. The same famous balloonsleeved, fur-lined, and logo-matic bomber jacket that cost Dan his Harlem couturier strutted down the Gucci runway nearly thirty-years later. Iconic designers and their muses have undoubtedly influenced the way we dress. Modern designs have become nostalgic reflections of the past and will continue to evolve with time. Right now, a new style is in the midst of creation, likely drawing from an indispensable and highly-referenced tool: the blueprint.


48 You have only two days to explore the biggest city in the world…but how the hell are you going to spend them? Luckily for you, we’ve curated a list of some of the places that are absolutely essential to having the perfect NYC experience. From speakeasies to rooftop hideaways, these spots are a must.

1. Hi-Collar

This one-of-a-kind coffee shop on the LES (for any non-New Yorkers, LES=Lower East Side) is basically Build-A-Bear for coffee! From start to finish, customize your drink from the type of beans you like to the brewing method that you prefer. Hi-Collar pulls much of their inspiration from kissatens (Japanese-style tearooms), so be sure to also try their specialty, siphon coffee!

2. Elizabeth Street Garden

Have some time to kill, or finally want to catch up on some much-needed reading? This magical place in the heart of Nolita is for you! Covering one acre, this tranquil garden’s exquisite stone sculptures and abundance of greenery will transport you out of the bustling city for a couple of hours.

3. Chinatown- Icecream Factory

This family-run ice cream factory has been referred to as an “unofficial NYC landmark.” Rightfully so, it has been serving homemade ice cream since 1978! If you find yourself in Chinatown,be sure to hit up this delicious gem!

4. Iconic Magazines

Whether you’re a magazine junkie or just want to see the latest issue of Vogue, make sure to make your way to this 24-hour magazine store that also doubles as a convenience store. Located downtown right on Mulberry Street, this spot has everything from Harper’s Bazaar to more rare, independent reads! Get lost in the incredible pages and grab a coffee or a bite while you read! 52


5. Cecconi’s

This Italian restaurant is not only known for its wood-fired pizzas and amazing Italian dishes, it also boasts spectacular views of lower Manhattan! Cecconi’s is the ultimate place to dine with a view.

6. Comedy Cellar

This comedy club in the West Village is a mustvisit if you’re in NYC! Many iconic comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock have found their big breaks here. For planners, reservations can be made ahead of time, but feel free to wait on standby for those who are more go-withthe-flow! You may just come out with tears from laughing, but it’s well worth a visit!

7. Yonah Schimmel

If you’re on your way to the famous Katz Deli, stop while you’re ahead—just one block away liesa hidden treasure known as Yonah Schimmel. They have been serving their famous knishes and classic New York drinks like the “Egg Cream” since 1911.

8. Housing Works Thrift Shop

New York City is known for some of the best secondhand shopping, so it’s a no-brainer to include one of the best consignment shops right here in Manhattan. This Housing Works location has everything from incredible clothing finds to quality furniture for as cheap as $5.99! Located near the Upper East Side, you’ll be sure to find some fabulous treasures at an even more fabulous price.

9. Book Club

Not your average book club, this bookstorebar combo is the perfect place to quietly read a book with one hand, and have a delicious drink in the other (talk about multitasking)! Thought this spot couldn’t get any more eccentric? There’s a garden in the back if you prefer to read while drinking amongst the flowers.

By Carly Burstein

10. Rooftop of Nobleden Hotel

Want an amazing view but don’t want to pay a hefty price, or worse, feel like a tourist? Just walk into the Nobleden Hotel like you own it, and take the elevator up to the rooftop! We promise you won’t be disappointed. Equipped with couches and an incredible view, this spot is a go-to for any date or a girls’ night out. It’s even EIC-approved!

11. The Back Room

Tucked away between two restaurants and down an alley, you can hop back into “the roaring 20s” at this historical speakeasy. It’s one of the very few still open from the Prohibition era! On certain nights, they even have live jazz music.

12. Sour

Located in the LES, Sour Mouse is what one would call an “adult arcade.” Besides serving great ciders and beers, this boozy arcade has all of your favorite games like ping-pong, pool, beer pong, and many more! If you get lucky, you may just stumble in on one of their karaoke or comedy special nights.

13. All Night Skate

This roller skating-themed bar is tucked right between the border of Bed-Stuy and Bushwick. Even though you can’t actually roller skate here (sigh), you can dance all night long under a disco ball, play some retro arcade games, and jam to your most loved songs of the 70s on a jukebox!

Graphic Designer Rui Sun Illustrator Matt Anderson






BY DONNA HELLBERG Girls’. Night. Out. Separately, three quite ordinary words, but together, they are what movies are made of: the often scandalous “Girls’ Night Out.” As a freshman at FIT, I spent many Friday nights fascinated by the girls I saw exiting the dorms and lining West 27th Street. Dressed up in their sexiest dresses, possibly-fatal heels, and their most-glamorous makeup, they ventured out into the FREEZING cold to hit the town. Having always been partial to a “night-in with the guys” myself, witnessing this short runway between the dorms to the Ubers parked impatiently on the curb served as my weekend entertainment. Up until recently, my most scandalous story was getting into a bar with my REAL ID when under 21. (Lame, you say? Trust me, I know.) To truly uncover the inner workings of what a “girls’ night out” entails, field research and information from the girls’-night aficionados themselves was a must—I even ended up going on a GNO myself! Here’s how my research and personal experience compare through the lens of what I like to call, “The Anatomy of a Girls’ Night Out.” #1 - Getting Ready This first step to any girls’ night out is where the scene is set for the night. Like a proper theatrical production, the process involves a specific soundtrack, heat-treated hair, a full face of makeup, and the most meticulously-constructed outfit. “I listen to music with airpods, usually fast upbeat music, and I do my hair and makeup around 6 or 7 p.m. I really like to take my time, and if I’m really excited for something, I’ll pick out my outfit days in advance.” - Bri, 21, New York “My getting ready routine always starts with music. Once my roommates and I choose our outfits, we’re out dancing in our living room.” - Justine, 21, New York Most GNO outfits involve short dresses and heels. For my first proper GNO, I unwittingly did the exact OPPOSITE: a long-sleeved maxi dress paired with Air Force 1s! (Don’t get me wrong though, I looked CUTE!)

“My usual pregame involves a big dance party in our living room. Sometimes we’ll drink what we have in the fridge while other nights we’ll make fun cocktails. [...] The goal is to spend the least amount of money on drinks.” - Justine, 21, New York “Our usual meeting spot is at my friend Fanny’s place. We play fun drinking games such as ‘Most Likely Too’ and get a good buzz going before ugly-dancing around her apartment and taking silly photos.” - Ella, 20, Stockholm *Disclosure: This event took place in Sweden where the drinking age is 18. The pregaming strategy is evidently smarter than what I did (meeting at a restaurant for dinner first). Trust me when I say that it is FAR too expensive to get drunk in NYC (#mywalletisinpain). I will say though, that I did end up grabbing the guaranteed buzz, also known as a “Strawberita,” at a 7-Eleven right after dinner to help the process along. #3 - Picking a Spot (or Quite a Few) for the Night Picking the first stop is straightforward enough, but the night often involves more stops than one. The selection process of where the night should go is, more often than not, spontaneous and entirely made up on the spot. And, from what I understand, your choices only get gradually worse as the night progresses... “We ended up going to Le Bain thanks to an ad we stumbled upon on TikTok after dinner. The line was so long when we got there, but we decided to stick it out. Just as we were ready to give up on getting in that night, I miraculously saw an old friend of mine who’d been taken into the VIP line with some guy. She somehow managed to get us all in, and we stayed there all night.” - E, 22, New York “After pregaming we have a few go-to spots. Sometimes we’ll stay at the same place for a whole night but usually, depending on who else is out and where they are, we’ll hit up a few places in an evening.” Ella, 20, Stockholm During my own GNO, my girls and I also bar-hopped around the East and West Village. It was great seeing the abundance of options, but it ended up being more hit or miss. As it turns out, gauging the quality of a bar on the spot is harder than you’d think. #4 - Dancing! (In or ON the Bar)

#2 - Gather “The Girls” To be perfectly clear, “the girls” of a GNO are whoever you consider worthy companions for a night out on the town. There are two generally accepted ways to go about gathering your crew: you could meet at a designated restaurant or bar, or a bold member of the group can bravely volunteer up their apartment. Justine and Ella generally choose option #2 and pregame with their friends.

“When we finally got into LeBain, it was so much fun! The DJ was amazing and we were on the dance floor for the rest of the night.” - E, 22, New York “This one night when I was out dancing with my friends, the security actually took my hand and helped me up ON a bar table.” - Stefania, 22, New York

Graphic Designers Colette Antonaccio, Samantha Thomas 55

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Models Cecilia Acosta, Alivia Rivera, Nashalae Martin Photographer Megan O’Rourke Stylist Ciara Gibaldi Makeup Artists Sweekriti Dahal, Sarah McGill, Francesca Byrd Hair Jennie Segedin, Bella Suleymanova


I experienced very different bar vibes when I was out with the girls, and we ended up closing out the night in a place with stripper poles by the dance floor! I admittedly got a little frustrated by the lack of space, but there was something magnetic about being in a crowd of people with music loud enough to make any worried thoughts disappear by dancing the night away.

dom nice guy. It wasn’t until I was looking through my camera roll the day after that I realized that this dude was actually the professional NBA player, Lance Stephensson!” - Stefania, 22, New York My friends and I ran into Sal Volcano from the show Impractical Jokers outside of a bar in the West Village which made my friend B’s night!

#5 - Having Drinks Bought for You? #7 - Drunchies: Drunken Fast Food Runs Is it really a true GNO without some random stranger buying you a drink? (I sure as hell don’t think so.) “There was this one crazy night when my friends and I ended up getting free drinks on three separate occasions! My friend knew the owner of the first bar we went to, so he bought us a round of tequila shots. Then, this same owner paired us up with a table of guys who bought us a second round! The third time was at a different place when my friend befriended the people sitting at the bar who [all] ended up buying us drinks as well. All in all, it was a pretty wild night!” - Ella, 20, Stockholm I had all but given up on the concept of having a drink bought for me when I was out, but just as we were close to heading out of our last stop, a guy offered to buy me and my group a round of tequila shots (a likely regrettable decision... but who were we to turn down a free shot?). #6 - Meeting Celebrities? Apparently? I will admit, this tidbit was not part of my original idea of what GNOs are made up of, but the more people I talked to, the more I realized that running into a celebrity is kind of a staple of any successful GNO. “So, we were walking around the Meatpacking District, frantically looking for a bathroom for my friend, when Aminé and Kaytranada (two very popular hip hop artists) passed us by. My friend reacted appropriately by yelling ‘I love you!’ their way.” - E, 22, New York “It was the craziest thing. This guy bought me and my friend drinks, and even poured a shot into my mouth. At the time, he was just a ran-


The last act of a traditional GNO usually takes place at a fast food joint as partied-out participants succumb to “drunchies.” This last stop is usually a great moment to unwind and unpack the events of the night, which, if done right, should prompt an eventful conversation or two. For my interviewees, the choice of drunken food varied greatly; while E usually goes for a dollar slice of pizza, Ella is more of a fries and a milkshake kind of gal, and Bri stands out with a preference for crêpes. Frankly, I skipped this part during my GNO—I went straight home after our last stop of the night and fell asleep immediately (unfortunately, in a full face of makeup)! Having said this, there are also those nights that just happen, with no particular rhyme or reason to them. Bri recalls: “This one time on Halloween 2019 we didn’t know what to do in the East Village. We were gonna sneak into an apartment building that people were going into before realizing it was a Ukrainian restaurant. Despite that, we were like ‘screw it let’s see what’s inside’, and there was a whole rave.” All in all, my first GNO looked a lot like you would expect a GNO to look. Like the nightlife “debutante” that I am, I did miss some of the key elements: I wore an actually-comfortable outfit (which almost feels criminal tbh), and neglected the famed drunchies in favor of my bed. That being said, I had a great time and highly recommend that you hit the streets of NYC for your next GNO adventure. If anything, you’ll be sure to get a hell of a story out of it!


Dress Misha Collection, Versace, BCBG Provided by Wardrobe CULTURE


I do? I don’t?

Today, Today,commitment committing doesn’t doesn’talways alwayshave to mean ending in have to mean wedding weddingbells bells.


By Payton Bierk

That surreal start of any relationship can feel like you’re floating, with endless butterflies in your stomach and a high of intoxicating nerves that only keeps you coming back for more. Everything is perfect, in every sense of the word, but for some, it can change instantly when faced with the dreaded conversation of, “What are we?” (Subtext: to be serious or not.) Suddenly, you can find yourself dissecting them, uprooting every flaw and reason for things to not work, but is there actually anything wrong?


Commitment—a word that simultaneously strikes all-consuming fear into every impassive bachelor of the world, and undeniable hope into the yearning hearts of every hopeless romantic out there (guilty). For many though, commitment is an inherently intimidating concept. From getting “the ick” with every relationship that might prove to be something real, to hopping from job to job out of “boredom,” perhaps you’re simply just experiencing a case of “runaway bride.”

Graphic Designer Jason Reitsma

Runaway bride? Yes, like the 1999 film of the same name starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere (swoon), you no doubt pictured the famed altar escape of Roberts’, Maggie, as she fiercely rides away on horseback with her white, tulle train; veil; and long, chocolate-colored locks in tow. The Garry Marshall-directed rom-com may seem cliché and even trite in nature, but through the cheeky humor and many, many bizarre almost-nuptials, it depicts the true cause of “runaway bride”—the fear of commitment.

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From social media, to hookup culture, to online dating apps that evolve into ego-boosting games, no wonder we all feel like we’re getting the sh*t end of the stick. It’s hardly surprising we continue to face difficulties when deciding who or what to give our hearts to—our dating culture is ridden with insincerity.

instead fall into the “always the bridesmaid, never the bride” category, fear not, there is a silver lining—some people simply don’t desire being tied down to one person or thing. Instead, some truly are content with their own company or that of others without feeling the obligation of any deeper attachment.

Dating has always been tricky, but nothing like navigating romance today. We can all conceal our true selves behind our screens, pretend we’re someone we’re not on Hinge, or even camouflage our just-sex intentions behind some ever-so-polite compliments. Our world has evidently given way to the perfect formula for the world’s largest “broken hearts’ club.”

Modern commitment no longer means someone “popping the question.” It’s a far more fluid concept because it means many different things to many different people.

If you’re one of the lucky ones who has avoided joining this forsaken group and

Open relationships, couples who don’t find it necessary to walk down the aisle, no-strings-attached, relationship anarchy, polyamorous relationships, a relationship with a career, and even platonic friendships are only some of the entanglements that people find themselves committing to.

The fear of committing to something, or rather someone, often reflects the presence of past trauma. Perhaps an ex pulled the rug out from underneath you after you were sure that they were the one, or maybe you grew up watching and inadvertently learning from an unhealthy, parental relationship. Most often, it’s a combination of different precursors that lead to this anxiety about fully dedicating yourself to someone or something. This fear may seem irrational, but it’s a much more universal struggle than you may think. Just take the surprising 34% of millennials who say that they too find themselves struggling with commitment issues due to “being hurt in a past relationship” according to a recent survey by eHarmony. Now, we’ve all likely been hurt by an ex at one point or another and broke out the Ben and Jerry’s, popped on The Notebook, and cried our weight in tears to regain our bearings—it’s practically a rite in which we’ve all procured our own baggage. But exes or not, healing from past relationships that have caused you pain can lead to that “runaway bride,” indecisive panic. So, why now does it seem like so many of us find ourselves facing this same issue? Simply put: modern dating sucks. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.



Model Caroline Levine Photographer Ryan Brown Stylists Tyanna Francois, Lorry Lang Makeup Artist Francesca Byrd Hair Jennie Segedin


So, the question becomes: What does commitment mean to you?


It could mean having mutual love and respect for your partner and being there for them unconditionally, even if marriage isn’t a desire. It could mean supporting your partner or a friend through both times of triumph and times of hardship. It could even mean finally committing to yourself, and giving yourself the attention and time that you so deserve, because let’s face it, it’s okay to be a little selfish sometimes . In fact, giving yourself the time and energy to grow during periods of transition or moments of triumph is not subject to any less recognition. After all, the relationship you have with yourself is the one that, without a doubt, you’ll have for the rest of your life, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health. Whether you’re committing to one person, multiple people, or just yourself—which might just be one of the most important commitments to conquer—by finding the type of commitment you need or want, you

can slowly start to break down the protective walls that you’ve built for yourself. Commitment doesn’t have to be daunting and can mean whatever you want it to. It’s entirely personal. The truth is, by giving in to our own “Maggies,” our own runaway brides, are we cheating ourselves? You might not even know what you’re missing by running from the unknown (though, I’d run too if I was given a “#1” shaped engagement ring— clearly a red flag). Maybe that second date you flaked on would have led to something extraordinary, or that promotion you turned down for fear of uprooting all you know, could’ve been the change you needed? So, why the hesitation? Whether you’re eager to walk down the aisle sometime soon, or not at all, deciding to finally say “I do” can truly be a vow of your own design.


Ladies First An arbitrary phrase of good ol’ chivalry that we know all too well. Gallantry aside, does this social etiquette transcend civility, putting “ladies first” when it really matters?

Viviana Harris

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“Its relevance to social etiquette has shrunk; however, its prominence in the English vernacular holds firm.” At one point or another, you’ve no doubt experienced the awkward “who opens the door?” exchange. A split-second encounter in which you attempt to reach for a door’s handle and are, instead, met with a half-hearted smile and the all but predictable words: “After you, ladies first.” Sound familiar? This phrase of “graciousness,” ingrained into societies before us, might hold least true in today’s world. Its relevance to social etiquette has shrunk; however, its prominence in the English vernacular holds firm. Whether you take offense to this mere attempt of respect or mourn the reality that chivalry is once and for all dead, there’s no denying that “ladies first” is not all it’s cracked up to be. It makes one wonder whether this social nicety was ever really in favor of the ladies, or rather, was it conceived to cater to the needs of the men who created it? We’ve adhered to this unwritten rule for generations without question. But as complacent participants of this tradition, we might be causing ourselves more harm than we think. Like most, I’ve accepted this ancient rule for what it was, or at least for what I thought it to be: a civil courtesy that supposedly signified respect between the sexes. But as I’ve grown older, my doubts surrounding the relevance of “ladies first” have only intensified. In today’s context, the expression only perpetuates the belief that women are subservient beings, devoid of agency, and defined by our “inherent weakness.” How could this historical custom, deeply-rooted in outdated gender stereotypes, survive the test of time in a world where the social landscape has completely changed? A landscape in which gender binaries are on the way out and inclusivity is making its big debut. For years, “ladies first” bargained off the idea that men needed to protect women—something we can all agree they’ve underperformed on. But those days of the “damsel in distress” are long gone with the modern woman proving to be independent and successful in her own right.

Despite this, the same society that claims to put “ladies first” fails to do so in every sense of the word. It fails us when we walk home alone after dusk, it fails us in the workplace, and it fails us when it attempts to rule over what we can and can’t do with our bodies. To date, we’ve fought long and hard to remove the pink tax and continue to protest in defense of our right to choose. When we speak up and share our stories, we’re labeled as the “girl who cried wolf,” with more protection awarded to the perpetrator instead of the victim. And when we finally shatter glass ceilings to reach coveted positions of power, we are met with criticism about our appearance rather than critiqued on our performance. As it stands, more energy is invested into normalizing these issues rather than truly addressing them. Sexual harassment has become a part of our everyday commute so much so that pepper spray has become a purse-necessity and a literal accessory on our keychains. Even our reliance on these trivial self-defense weapons is capitalized on! Products are carefully designed to appeal to the “tastes of women.” Who knew there was a market for bedazzled pepper spray or stun-guns disguised as lipstick? (I’m guilty myself, sporting an embellished hot-pink and zebra printed spray. If I have to carry one it needs to be cute, right?) Take from it what you wish, but “ladies first,” at its core, does teach us one good ol’ fashion lesson of respect. Moving forward, let’s uphold this respect between one another, not because of one’s gender, but because it’s good human nature. So, what’s the consensus? If it’s still a “yes” to “ladies first,” the phrase must undergo a longoverdue makeover. We need to redefine its meaning, shifting its utility away from surfacelevel courtesy and towards national policy. If you wish to continue putting ladies first in social settings, go ahead, but be prepared to put us first when it really counts, by holding open doors that lead to a better quality of life for women everywhere. It’ll be far more chivalrous than any old phrase could ever be.

Graphic Designer Wei Zheng CULTURE







What would happen if we allowed ourselves to be the version of So, we live in a society that emphasizes “me and mine” at variance ourselves that is free and unrestrained from the seemingly omniscient with “you and yours.” Living in the Digital Age, we are constantly reminding others of our existence through an ever-growing mass of grip of judgment? How would we prevail? Who would we become? social platforms. It’s incredibly easy to feel left out of the loop and Mental phantoms, or intangible fears of judgment, corrode and cloud forgotten if you hop off the constant barrage of connections we’re our sense of self until we are none other than a projection of insecurity. intertwined with, even for just a few days. It can quickly feel allAre we merely acting as shells of our genuine selves, performing for consuming. quiet, mediocre approval? By acting as “ourselves” through what we believe is deemed acceptable, are we limiting our true essence of Comparison feels inevitable within our “like-driven” climate, and cyberculture has practically determined the way that we participate being? in everyday society. Our own feelings of ostracization have evolved “Relatedness” is essential and integral to our survival—our most into the digital scheme of the world, where likes, comments, and fundamental sense of well-being is derived from the conscious feeling engagement rope us in and keep us connected to the web that is social and experience of belonging. The notion of universal belonging, that media. “we are all connected,” is even found at the core of a multitude of religions, ideologies, and traditions. Let’s face it, we’ve all felt the urge These likes, or lack thereof, naturally correlate to our sense of selfworth. As social animals, we’re innately motivated to evaluate our to fit in at some point in our lives. worth by comparing ourselves to anyone who appears to be better off. Isn’t it contradictory that we feel the urge to comfortably fit in but to (We were wired this way!) also to be brazen, bold, and have our own sense of self? This reflects a distinctive mode of identification observed in Western culture and AS WE’RE identity—we often identify as individuals belonging to ourselves, INNATELY MOTIVATED TO rather than belonging to that which is beyond us. This phenomenon has been coined the “big-pit self,” a reference to inflated avocado pits in novelist Gish Jen’s book, The Girl at the Baggage Claim. Western culture fosters a sense of self that prioritizes the individual—a hyper-inflated and self-contained avocado pit.


Graphic Designer Riya Panjwani


Knit Jennifer Chi Corset Amanda Rivera Pants Megan O’Cain


Model Kelsey Hartwell Photographer Mia Murphy Stylists Victoria Panzella, Julia Wettreich Makeup Artist Jessica Mayfield Hair Hannah Rongo Location Moxy Chelsea

Dress & Bodysuit @esthiliyt Heels Christian Dior Earrings The Style Shop 69

The customization and editability of our platforms allows us to always put our best foot forward and uphold a facade of inherent and total flawlessness. So, can authenticity and cyberculture coexist, or are they paradoxical by nature? We don’t have to let the unintended consequences of our cyberculture carry into our daily lives—keyword: let. What are we mentally giving power to, and does it serve us for the better? Authenticity is erasing the gap between what you firmly believe inside and what you allow the outside world access to. A hunger for authenticity guides us through every age and facet of life. It drives our exploration of self through so many aspects, whether that’s who we choose to be friends with, how we express our personal style, what we do for fun, the beliefs we hold, et cetera, et cetera...

IS BETWEEN WHAT YOU FIRMLY BELIEVE INSIDE AND WHAT YOU ALLOW THE OUTSIDE WORLD ACCESS TO. When we allow ourselves to express our genuine selves, the people who love us move in closer, and those who don’t move even further away. Let them. It’s a double edged sword. When we fear judgment and hold off on our true sense of self, we inevitably come from a place of nonexpression ruled by fear and trepidation. We have to get clear on who we want to be and how we’re going to express that to the world, or else we’ll find ourselves letting others determine it for us. The more we express ourselves, the sooner we find and attract like-minded individuals to be by our sides. When you come from a place of authenticity, of creative expression unhindered by the shallow perceptions of others, you’re leading with love, and when you lead with love, you live with love. It’s much easier said than done of course. It’s stepping into the unprecedented and uncharted territory of change, fresh-faced and unsure of what’s to come. As you shed your old self-concept and transform into the new, criticism is inevitable. How can others affirm what they can’t yet see? Only we can visualize our own final destinations and how we’re going to reach them. We can’t control the perception others have of us. So what, though? What’s so bad about that? We know ourselves, we know what we want out of life and how we’re taking action to get there, and that’s all that really matters. Giving power to perception beyond us is a mental purgatory, one that will keep us confined as long as we fuel it. How liberating is it to understand such a simple concept? Once we free ourselves from this corrosive mental phantom, we can nourish the seeds that we have so tediously planned for ourselves. We can nurture them with light and let them bloom. It’s our responsibility and our right to do so. The moment we recognize how trivial and hindersome it is to keep holding onto the shackles of judgement, our entire experience shifts in our favor. We, as individuals, are entitled to emancipate ourselves from these psychological prisons; none but ourselves can free our minds. Our digital multiverse of potential online personas has only amplified our culture’s collective individualistic pride, and the flip side of that coin is self-comparison. It’s up to us to determine which version of ourselves we are going to be. Is it a version that we’re proud to show up as?





Angel Numbers Here’s why you keep seeing repeating numbers—and what they mean 222 you.

by Zoey O’Neill

Your iced coffee totals $4.44. You look down to check the time— it’s 4:44 PM. As you’re passing by 444 West 44th Street, you’ve noticed a pattern of synchronicities, and, chances are, it may not be a coincidence.

The first step in learning how to interpret angel numbers is to know where to look for them. They may pop up on clocks, doors, receipts, letters, car license plates, or even in your dreams. Rather than an actual number, they might even be communicated via a number of objects.

Maybe you’ve noticed these “angel numbers,” or perhaps you’ve heard a friend mention them as if they were something we should all suddenly know about. Don’t worry if you feel late to the spiritual party; here are a few things to know about how these numbers can help provide clarity in our day-to-day lives. “Angel numbers are divine, recurring numbers or messages that are sent to us from our angels to help guide us,” says New Yorker and tarot card reader, Natalie Namaste (@natalienamaste on Instagram). “I believe that the angels use numbers to catch our attention in times where we are on the right path or when we need guidance. There are many meanings to all of the angel numbers, but the most important message that they all have in common is that our angels are with us and are guiding us through our life’s journey.” Each angel number is connected to certain vibrational energies or frequencies that carry meaning beyond its numeric value. Humanity has used, studied, and applied the significance of numbers since the dawn of time. But more recently, a rise in younger generations have begun to connect with spirituality, subsequently coining the term “angel numbers” in place of the pseudo-scientific term, “numerology.” These discoveries are all thanks to the famed mathematician, philosopher, and metaphysician, Pythagoras. Through his studies he found that specific numbers could be linked with mystical properties, leading him to conclude that “all is number,” or for those who aren’t esteemed mathematicians, that everything on our physical plane can be described in terms of numbers and measurements. Numerology, though, wasn’t formally studied until the 18th century by a woman named L. Dow Balliett. She went on to find that numbers have corresponding vibrations, music, and even colors. Balliett’s studies paved the way for modern day numerology by exploring the spiritual use and symbolic nature of numbers. Now, what do these numbers even mean? While seeing a repeating digit is most common, seeing a birthdate, lucky number, or other meaningful digits can hold power as well. Since their connotations are open to interpretation, it can take time to recognize the nuances in the numbers and patterns you see.


Knowing what to look for is key when starting to interpret the synchronicities you see. “Tap into your intuition, and see what kind of emotions you feel when you see [these] numbers,” explains Namaste. “Ask the angels directly, ‘What do you want to tell me?’ By asking directly, they will surely send you signs through more synchronicities of numbers, coins, feathers, or animals.” Namaste also urges the reminder that we’re all on our own journey and should take these signs as they come to us. “There are so many individual meanings to angel numbers,” she explains. “What is meant for you will find you.” Interpreting angel numbers may seem confusing at first, but once you begin to understand these numbers’ broader meanings, uncovering what they personally mean to you eventually becomes second nature. Make sure to keep a few numbers in mind at the start of your journey: “111” and “555” are both significant to one’s starting spiritual journey. The sequence “111” can represent abundance, happiness, or good fortune, so a sighting could mean something gratifying is coming your way or to stay open to possibilities. Seeing “555” can indicate a change in or release of patterns that are no longer serving you—like finally blocking that ex that keeps crawling back. Next time you see “11:11,” take a “screenshot” of where your emotions are at that moment. Are you happy? Anxious? Upset? Are you contemplating a decision, or are you content with where you are? Whatever’s going on, all of your thoughts, dreams, and visualizations, they’re going to manifest into reality. Ensuring your thoughts and energy are focused on what you want can help usher those positive vibes into existence. So consider this your well overdue invitation to finally tune into your own spiritual connection. If the angels are speaking—it’s time to listen.

Graphic Designers Erin Kidd, Colette Antonaccio



Too dark, too kinky, too unconventional, or too true? The alter ego is an enigma, yet its purpose is crystal clear: it is a source of confidence, a form of security, and an expression of fluid individuality. Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio 75


Dress Kim Mesches

Some hide it, while others hide from it. One may recognize theirs at a young age, while another may not discover theirs until their mid-life crisis. The alter ego is not characterized by any particular age, time, or form. It can come alive at a rave or in the sheets; in a wig or permanent dye; on-camera or in private. Though limitless, the alter ego is of one definition: an extension of one’s primary personality. An alter ego is empowering. Welcoming an alter ego acts as an identity boost; it procures a newfound sense of confidence. Queen of drag, RuPaul Charles, said: “When you become the image of your own imagination, it is the most powerful thing you could ever do.” An alter ego is designed by imagination, taking inspiration from various muses: drag queens, historical figures, fictional characters, rock stars, or superheroes. Although, unlike in Marvel Comics, the ordinary person does not need an armored unitard or glistening cape to unlock their fearlessness. 77

It can be as simple as defeating first-date nerves in a red lip, celebrating one’s first Pride parade in thigh-high boots, or bringing costumes to the bedroom. Suddenly, it is no longer the question of, “Do I wear this? Can I say this? Who should I be?”––it becomes, “Wear what I want, say what I want, be who I want.” Tapping into an alter ego is tapping into a limitless source of power. An alter ego is protection. An often unforeseen benefit of an alter ego is its protective nature.

One must test the elasticity of their identity to reveal what forms of expression work and which ones do not. It is trial and error. In the same way that Clueless’ Cher Horowitz sifts through her closet for the perfect two-piece, one can browse through potential egos until one fits just right. An alter ego is misunderstood.

Obtaining emotional safety is crucial in moments of passion when a sense of control is lost. Amid anxiety-inducing situations, psychologists have found that channeling an alter ego can provide rationality. This is because the act is a form of self-distancing. It enables one to recover perspective, deescalate the situation, and prevent experiencing further distress.

The adoption of an alter ego is voluntary controlled experimentation. Yet, the experience for some is anything but.

An alter ego can also protect an individual from themselves. Beyoncé met hers, “Sasha Fierce,” when seeking protection from the pressures and stresses often experienced with superstardom. “This alter ego that I’ve created...protects me and who I really am,” she said.

A common misconception is that developing an alter ego is the fourth symptom. However, DID is separate from the alter-ego phenomenon. An alter ego is not a personality disorder but rather a personality enhancer.

Alternating personalities is an effective coping strategy on a poor mental health day. The objective is the same: temporarily stepping back from the all-consuming present. Shifting to an alternative persona makes room for a more dispassionate perspective. Rather than ignoring the negative feelings, one can process them with a more sensible state of mind. An alter ego is experimentation. The cliché quotes on the importance of self-awareness are endless; yet, there is little-to-no guidance on how to actually achieve personal discovery. Fortunately, developing an alter ego is one step closer to unearthing just that. Roman Zolanski, Nicki Lewinsky, Cookie, and Queen Sleaze are not names belonging to real people but are the names of just a few personalities belonging to Nicki Minaj. It is not required to name each ego––much less have an entire roster––but it is encouraged to experiment with diverse identities in various settings.


An alter ego can be based on the mood of the hour, the event of the day, or the energy of the current company. Limitless experimentation is made possible––experimentation crucial to the process of self-discovery.

Those with Dissociative Identity Disorder, or DID, experience symptoms including gaps in memory, feelings of detachment, and a loss of control over multiple independent personas.

Take Euphoria character, Kat Hernandez. Her metamorphosis took her from middle-part and mild-mannered to side-part and sex-positive. Her newfound persona debuts at school in an underbust corset, fishnet tights, and a choker that spells out the name of her alter ego, “Kitty.” What if the alter ego is not an alternative self but a precursor of the true self ? Kat did not change herself but rather changed into herself. Her new appearance is merely a more accurate representation of who she really is. No matter the method, expression, or reason, anyone can benefit from shifting egos. An alter ego empowers when walking past judgemental eyes; it protects at a house party full of strangers; it liberates through the experimental journey of self-discovery. Shapeshifting is no longer a mythical, superhuman ability but a real skill, and mastering it marks the beginning of an illuminating personal adventure.

Outfit & Shoes Ava Zhou


Outfit & Shoes Ava Zhou


Dress Kim Mesches 81

“Though limitless, the alter ego is of one definition: an extension of one’s primary personality.”

Jewelry VITALY



Models Benjamin Rogovin, Rebecca Yoo, Lonnie Brown Photographer Olivia-Siena Stylists Jia Kim, Sydney Avery, Hannah Brower Makeup Artists Francesca Byrd, Sweekriti Dahal, Jennie Segedin Hair Jessica Mayfield, Hannah Rongo, Jennie Segedin, Francesca Byrd Nails Sydney Beggins




Outfit & Shoes Ava Zhou


speakingTO you HAVE YOU BEEN listening?




*If you have ever felt your thoughts take over your reality, you have experienced the effects of your internal vibrational frequencies. Our thoughts carry vibrations that project energy onto our external world. *The key to happiness and success is to surround yourself with people and activities that allow you to produce positive vibrations.

* The Law of Balance focuses on the two energies: yin and yang. These energies represent how all objects in the universe contain individual qualities but are capable of joining together. * This concept reminds you to keep a healthy balance within each aspect of your life to be a more complete you.

(12 UNIVERSAL Learn how to interpret the universe’s messages using the 12 Universal Laws for a more successful, complete you.

BY GABRIELLA GALLAND Graphic Designer Jiana Santos 86


* The Law of Attraction proposes that we can achieve our greatest desires by using our thoughts to drive ideal outcomes into existence. This law is centered around the concept that similar energies are attracted to one another. * Think about something you desire. Now, visualize yourself going through each step required to achieve your goal. The universe will work with you to match your internal energy with similar physical outcomes.





* The way you feel on the inside sets the tone for your external aura. So, when you hit a roadblock and feel discouraged, remember that you have the power to channel positive energy into even the worst of situations. By doing this, you’re welcoming positive reactions.

* Each choice you make generates an outcome that impacts the energies surrounding you.

* The Law of Compensation says that you will be compensated for your efforts and contributions. If you lend a hand to others, you can expect to be rewarded (also known as good karma).



* The energies within our bodies are constantly moving and working to manifest into something physical. * Since each of your thoughts can transfer into your outside reality, it is important to work hard to eliminate any pessimism you may put forth.


* Everything in the universe has an opposite. When you experience negativity, the Law of Polarity reminds you to center your attention towards any positivity that may exist within unpleasant scenarios.

* Because you’re connected to everything around you, your movements and words create vibrations that move beyond you, colliding with other beings or objects.

* Energy in your universe moves like a pendulum, keeping a constant flow of movement. Every form of life experiences ups and downs, but this law always proves that any unfavorable moments will always come to an end. * When you enter a low point, the universe’s natural rhythm is there to remind you to remain calm and to go with the flow.

* Allow yourself to engage in efforts that will fill our collective environment with positive energy.


* Everything in the universe is interconnected. Your thoughts and actions hold the power to impact your surroundings. * With this in mind, take time to reflect on the energy you project into the world, and make an effort to dispel any negative energy you may possess.



* If there is something you desire, your being will always possess the power to obtain it. The law of action tells us that we can achieve anything as long as we take active steps towards our goals.

* When you experience selfdoubt, find comfort in visualizing your situation in isolation. In other words, you cannot compare yourself or your actions to those around you. Focus on your personal growth and achievements for a stronger self-development journey. 87

“Realness“ redefining


Jem Catalano

“You’ve never lived a day in your life as a woman.” But who gets to decide?


To minimize my entire life with a single phrase is willful blindness, as words alone cannot begin to describe my journey or the life that I live. I reclaimed my power after hearing these words by finally challenging their validity. There’s a history behind trans women being measured for their “realness,” measuring traits like how we look, walk, talk, and how we carry ourselves. The true realness comes from every step we’ve taken to fully own who we are. As transgender women, our existence is measured by these traits— causing harm in more ways than one. Common, invasive encounters I experience can be summed up by the man who recently exclaimed to me, “You really look like a girl. Whatever you’re doing is working.” Are these the only kind of compliments that will be afforded to me? Will I always be measured against this supposed “realness”? To become truly empowered, I needed to reexamine the ingrained societal constructs of realness. Companies, media, and society as a whole ultimately shaped and continue to perpetuate a narrative that didn’t allow us to be seen. We were intentionally neglected in all forms of visibility and education. Did you ever venture outside of the confines of gender binaries in health class?

The documentary Disclosure dissects the historical erasure of transgender people in media, explaining that a staggering 80% of people do not personally know someone who is transgender. The lack of trans representation is based on the prominence of very narrow-minded ideals, creating an undeniably damaging disconnect. As transgender and non-binary people lacked many places to be able to see themselves reflected and celebrated, we unconsciously sought to emulate these singular gender expectations. The meaning of “real,” however, becomes tricky when it’s recognized to signal conformity to the gender binary. Predisposed upon us as soon as we are born, gender is a construct that people continuously misinterpret. The expected role which people will play in this life is decided for them daily. For some, the standard perfectly aligns with who they are and grow to be, but for others, it’s not a perfect fit. Ballroom, known as Ballroom Culture, is one of the safe spaces where those marginalized by society have created familial bonds, connecting through the shared experience of being Black, Brown, and/or Queer. The parents, mothers, and fathers of Ballroom are the elders who have taken in children of the LGBTQ+ community to give them

Dress Abraham Azamy

Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio 89

Model Jem Catalano Photographer Josh Rivera Makeup Artist Francesca Byrd

better lives. These parents provide both homes and families for those who are left without them. The children become part of houses named after the founders, walking the floors and showcasing their truths from various walks of life. Their expressions of authentic identity create reputations that they were barred from fully accessing in other spheres of society. This dynamic relates to “realness” as we were prevented from living up to our potentials in the way that others could. The concept of “realness” permeates history: institutions uphold and promote these roles that are expected of us. Structuring individuality to fit the binary leaves little space for the vast spectrum that is gender. Deciding what is “real” subsequently defines what is “fake.” For far too long, people have often chased after this idea of “realness” as an act of survival. The questions we must ask ourselves are: What is real? What is feminine? What is masculine? These terms are expressed by each person individually, but they have been recognized as stereotypical roles to fill. These roles stigmatize inherently human traits. Cooking and cleaning is not a “feminine” trait, nor is mowing the lawn or fixing a car a “masculine” one. It’s important to recognize and acknowledge the harm these labels have caused.


The key to realness is recognizing everything you are, a unique mix of masculinity and femininity according to your individual nature. We honor our realness by appreciating every step that it has taken to be the people we’ve become, acknowledging the impact we’ve had on people, and having confidence in ourselves—even if it means dismantling societal norms. If being real is confused with the desire to blend with cisgender people, more erasure of trans identity occurs, and fewer people hear our voices. When we look in the mirror, working to accept who we are and how we express our individualities, there is an opportunity to find authentic realness. We are different like each other, not from each other. There is no one way to be any one person. There is no one way to live the life we are given. By embracing who you are, looking past all of the noise, that’s when your truth can thrive. Realness is standing for yourself and breaking these gender roles for all people. I am everything I was taught that I was not, or couldn’t be: beautiful, sophisticated, and most importantly, deserving. My name is Jem. I am a transgender woman. I am real.

“Structuring individuality to fit the binary leaves little space for the vast spectrum that is gender.”


what’s your ! IZ

QU 1




lovelanguage? If you’re dying to find out, this quiz holds all the answers you’re searching for

The day you had at work was say the least. After eight hours that consisted of spilling coffee on your new white trousers, forgetting to save your Excel sheet (forcing you to skip lunch and redo it), and getting stuck on the nevertrustworthy 5 p.m. L train, the only thing that would make you feel better upon arriving home is:

Your significant other giving you a pep talk about how we all have bad days and assuring you you’ll be on your A-game tomorrow.

Immediately flopping on the couch to have a much-needed cuddle sesh with your partner to release the stress.

Your significant other surprising you with a bouquet of baby pink flowers and a thoughtful card!



2 After a hectic few months of wedding planning, it’s finally time to go on a relaxing tropical honeymoon with your spouse. The part of the trip that you are most looking forward to is:

Unplugging from technology and going on a leisurely sunset stroll with your partner to unwind.

A hit of spicy marinara sauce and buttery garlic bread engulfing you as soon as you walk in the door and realizing your partner has made dinner for you.

Taking surfing lessons with your partner—you love to try out new adventures together!

Waking up to a complimentary breakfast in bed every morning. Your significant other always knows the most delicious breakfast foods to order for you! 92

By Lisa Hahner

The endless compliments from your partner about the wardrobe you curated for the getaway...that swimsuit was expensive enough, it deserves some praise!



Unlimited amount of time in the privacy of your cabana—“do not disturb” signs are a lifesaver!

A shopping spree in a foreign country! Not only are you excited about perusing the never-before-seen aisles, but you know your partner would never let you pay.






The halls are decked, the season is merry, and a crisp white blanket of snow covers the ground. As the holiday season is approaching, the only gift you want this year is:


A snuggly holiday afternoon of watching movies in bed where you two sip hot cocoa and mostly keep your eyes on the screen...


A sappy poem written by your partner about how much you mean to them (because handmade presents are always better, right?)

An offer from your partner to clean up the dishes (the task you dread every year) after the family holiday get-together at your house.



A laid back (but romantic) evening spent baking cookies and sweets with your significant other in matching ugly Christmas sweaters.


Those new Fendi sunglasses you’ve been eyeing—your partner better not disappoint!

Although you’re excited to travel to Greece for your older sister’s destination wedding, there’s just one problem: your paralyzing fear of planes. Thankfully, your partner will be traveling with you on this overnight flight. The best thing they can do to calm your nerves is:

Whisper words of encouragement in your ear during take off. “I’m right by your side!” “Think about the sandy white beaches of Mykonos!”


Remind you that this flight will be eight straight hours of spending precious time together. No distractions and unlimited movies? Your fear of flying is long forgotten!

Take care of the flight arrangements and travel plans so you don’t have to. The less time spent thinking about air travel, the better.



Hold your hand during take off and not let go until the plane lands. You are looking forward to many uninterrupted hours of their reassuring touch!

Buy you a new pair of AirPods and a silk eye mask. Flying in style with your favorite necessities will undoubtedly make the flight more bearable!



Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio 93


It’s 7 p.m. on a warm summer Friday, and that can only mean one thing: it’s date night! Your idea of the perfect evening consists of:

6 A

Your partner gushing about how great of a cook you are during dinner. Your lasagna was indeed delectable, but there is nothing more satisfying than being showered with compliments!



Taking a spicy salsa dancing class together. Partner dancing is something you’ve always wanted to try!



Anything—literally anything. As long as you’re spending adoring time with your significant other, you’re happy.

Staying in while munching on the tasty salted caramel brownies your partner spent two hours making from scratch. They know brownies are the key to your heart! “I love to verbally let someone know how special they are to me. No more guessing or mind games—it’s better to be open and honest.”

Being gifted a dainty gold necklace over a romantic meal. Who said you could only receive presents on your birthday?

“My ideal first date is a picnic in the park where we can talk about our lives and truly get to know each other. What better way to get to know someone than one-on-one time?”

“I’m the type of person who will Doordash you you’re favorite meal when you’ve had a bad day. Nothing says true love like Shrimp Lo Mein, am I right?”


You’ve been a little lonely (and unlucky) in the love department lately so you hesitantly decide it’s time to redownload an old guilty pleasure—Hinge. As you’re tapping through profiles, the one prompt response that really catches your eye is:



“The one thing you should know about me is that I’m big on PDA. If we’re together, I won’t be able to keep my hands off of you!”

“To my future spouse: I’m a big memory-saver. I’ll keep the movie ticket from our first date and the first picture we took together in a box and maybe unexpectedly surprise you with a time-capsule one day...”




The results are in If you answered mostly A…. It’s likely your love language is Words of Affirmation. Words of Affirmation are verbal or written words that have a positive, uplifting impact on your mood. You love when your partner makes you feel loved and cared for through their communication.

If you answered mostly b…. There is no doubt Quality Time is your love language. This consists of spending cherished, dedicated time with one another. Whether it’s baking a cake or learning how to ski, anything you and your partner can do together to express this affection is right up your alley.

If you answered mostly C…. Physical Touch is your number one love language. Physical Touch consists of, well, exactly what it sounds like. Whenever you and your partner are physically connected, whether that just be holding hands or a quick peck on the cheek, your heart is full.

If you answered mostly d…. Your love language is a classic: Acts of Service. Acts of Service are things (little or big) your partner can do—whether that be scraping the ice off your windshield or helping you with your taxes—to show you how much they value you. When your partner does these acts they know you’ll appreciate, it shows how much they pay attention to you.

If you answered mostly E…. The way to your heart is through Receiving Gifts. The love language of Receiving Gifts celebrates just how much time, effort, and attention to detail your partner puts into knowing what you love. Not only do you get a physical present out of it, but your gift represents a priceless symbol of love. (No matter the price!)


By Francesca Byrd

Are celebrity brands diluting the authenticity of the beauty industry? Picture yourself walking into a Sephora on the hunt for a new concealer: immediately, you’re bombarded by brands fronted by Addison Rae, Selena Gomez, Emma Chamberlain, and many more familiar faces. But which do you buy, if any? With celebrity beauty brands popping up left and right, it has become clear that creating cosmetic lines is a fast-pass ticket to success (and whopping profits) in the beauty world. The beauty industry used to consist of the cream of the crop with trailblazers like Estée Lauder and Madam C.J. Walker who recognized real consumer needs and fulfilled them with a burning passion. Now, the industry’s overwhelmed by what feels like every public figure jumping on the beauty bandwagon simply because they can. Many stars already established in their respective fields are launching brands for one of two reasons (or both): they’re incentivized by how lucrative this business is, or they actually give a damn. Consumers should feel confident that the products they pick up will actually meet their needs. The performance of the products should speak for themselves and not just rely on the recognizable face on the packaging. So, how do we distinguish authenticity from the disingenuous? Let’s take a look at the current most-trending celebrity brands and understand how to determine the masters from the imposters.

Item Beauty by Addison Rae Catapulted to fame by dancing to popular songs on TikTok, Addison Rae has emerged in an arguably random range of other media forms from film to broadcasting. Earlier this year, the 20-year-old influencer entered the beauty game with her own makeup and skincare line, Item Beauty. The brand was curated in partnership with Madeby Collective who works with passionate individuals to develop innovative and creative products. Prior to the partnership, Rae wouldn’t exactly have been considered a connoisseur of cosmetics. Now, her face and products can be found at every Sephora—but does that mean they’re worth the hype? Item Beauty may be following industry standards by using clean, vegan, sustainably-sourced ingredients and crueltyfree formulations. Yet, very little truly differentiates the influencer’s brand from any other on the market. What makes Item Beauty unique from a brand like Kosas, which strives to revolutionize the meaning of beauty? Take a look at the striking differences between the founders: Sheena Yaitanes, the founder of Kosas, was exposed to beauty brands from a young age. She learned the ropes alongside her mother, a representative of Clarens and Clinique. Yaitanes fused her educational background in chemistry with her deeply-ingrained industry knowledge to develop clean beauty products that gave the same desired look without all of the harmful ingredients. The key difference between the founders? Passion. Addison Rae claims that makeup has always been her form of expression and that her brand supports expressing individuality. But how compelling is this common company mission in the industry to make Item Beauty not just another cash-grab? The verdict? A likely beauty imposter.

Pattern Beauty by Tracie Ellis Ross Actress. Producer. Daughter of Diana Ross. CEO of Pattern Beauty. Tracie Ellis Ross made her debut in the hair care sector roughly two years ago with her wide array of products made specifically to celebrate and nourish natural and textured hair.

Graphic Designer Colette Antonaccio 96

This dream—years in the making—was first conceptualized when Ross starred on the sitcom, Girlfriends, from 2000-

“Let’s take a look at the current most-trending celebrity brands and understand how to determine the masters from the imposters.” 2008. In a 2019 Refinery29 interview, she expressed that she would wake up three hours before call time to style her hair because the hairstylists on set weren’t trained to work with her natural hair. Recognizing a pain-point that millions of other women also dealt with, Ross knew she wanted to make a change. Fast forward to 2019, and Pattern Beauty entered the scene. Ross’s brand was released online and in Ulta Beauty stores for the world to see. On the company’s second anniversary, Ross announced it would expand to Sephora and be included in the retailer’s 15% Pledge, an initiative dedicated to highlighting black creators and businesses. With each milestone, Tracie Ellis Ross and Pattern Beauty continue to open up the conversation about embracing the beauty of natural hair in the Black community. The verdict? Likely not a beauty imposter.

Kylie Skin by Kylie Jenner As the youngest of the Kardashian-Jenner clan, Kylie Jenner threw her hat into the ever-growing world of skincare in 2019 with the launch of Kylie Skin. In that year alone, the global skincare market was valued at $130 billion, so it only made sense that she took a piece of the pie as well. But did she genuinely create this brand to commit to the clean beauty wave, or was it just another business venture to monetize her fame? Owned by the beauty giant, Coty, Kylie Skin has a strong backing of industry experts and unlimited funds to support her goals. However, this alone doesn’t give her brand an automatic stamp of approval from skincare fanatics worldwide. Many criticized Jenner’s Walnut Face Scrub for being incredibly abrasive on the skin, some going as far as saying it left them with microtears. The poor execution left consumers feeling duped by the millionaire entrepreneur because they believed she was someone they could trust.

Shop Small to Support Big Dreams Predictably, these aforementioned brands will be successful, whether you like the founders or not, simply because of their celebrity status. The lack of innovation is severely outweighed by the fact that these celebrities have the money and pre-established prestige to produce unoriginal offerings and still turn massive profits. They completely discredit the hard work and dedication that small, indie beauty brands possess and will never have to struggle to break even. While small brands are still finding niche markets and cultivating support, even in this oversaturated industry, they are becoming increasingly overshadowed by many celebrity companies. The CEOs behind beauty lines like Topicals, Atolla, and Snif would kill for the exposure and revenue that the Item Beauty’s of the world receive. Rather than giving smaller brands the chance they deserve, the sad truth is that consumers flock to these big celebrity brands without questioning their integrity or reputability. Whether you buy from an established brand like Esteé Lauder or a trendy celebrity brand like Kylie Skin, you should know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s always a plus to see an icon you love as the face of the company, but research is vital. Makeup isn’t one size fits all, and just because a line is created by the next big star doesn’t mean the products will be worth your precious dollars. Beauty products are meant to cater to YOUR needs and what will work best for YOU. So, the next time you want to purchase cosmetics, remember to seek the masters of the trade and beware of the beauty imposters.

This goes to show that seeing a familiar face on a product shouldn’t be the defining factor when it comes to purchasing skincare. Thoroughly researching the brand’s reputability and commitment to product performance is what truly matters. At the end of the day, you’re taking a gamble, and they’re making a profit. The verdict? A likely beauty imposter. 97

BY RACHEL CROSS Try to separate yourself from the taxing prospect of achieving and maintaining a lavish life. Now, what are you really searching for?


Graphic Designers Colette Antonaccio, Marin Jurgens 99

Waking up to her iPhone blaring the incessant Radar alarm sound, Taylor grudgingly rolls over to quickly silence the noise. At the same time, she unplugs her phone from its charger and tightly grasps its acrylic marble case she recently purchased using an influencer’s promo code. Turning back to her left side and squinting from the phone’s brightness, she drags one gel-tipped nail across the screen to preview the notifications that accumulated over the past eight hours while she restfully slumbered. She held her breath as she anxiously anticipated the amount of likes on her new Instagram photo—her ego needed at least 1,000 hearts to feel worthy. But, on this particular morning, Taylor started her busy day with a disappointment: She only got 640 likes. Obviously, this was a major let-down. This, by the way, was how she usually started her days—consciously or subconsciously criticizing herself through the ever-demanding lens of social media. Some days were better than others, like last Friday when Taylor had opened the Instagram app and received over 2,000 likes on a previous post. Painfully true as it was, it had made her more proud than the day she graduated college with high honors. Interestingly enough, her sense of social pride lasted only a few seconds until she started scrolling again. Despite this like count milestone, her expectations of fame and fortune perpetually grew. Eventually, a feeling of resentment would take over, allowing jealousy to lead her through the apps’ feeds. After checking all of her platforms, Taylor closed her eyes for one last deep breath before reluctantly emerging from her bed. She was already overwhelmed with the thought of beginning her laborious morning routine. As usual, she had exactly 48 minutes to shower, eat breakfast (and post an aesthetically pleasing picture of it, duh), then pick out an outfit that emulated her corporate ego as the senior manager of a PR firm. Today, she opted for a sleek black turtleneck, a pink plaid midi skirt, and a 100

sensible velvet kitten heel. The whole ensemble was the epitome of Instagram-style. As she glanced at herself in the mirror, Taylor knew something was missing. She had seen an outfit similar on her explore page, but they had styled it with a chunky purse and statement necklace. Perusing her accessories, she opted for gold hoops—better to keep it classy for today’s weekly meeting. While she scarfed down the remainder of her low-fat strawberry parfait, she mentally pat herself on the back for styling an outfit that perfectly encompassed the approachable “boss babe” look she was going for. She twisted up her hair in a claw clip, curled her eyelashes, and lined her upper lids with a thin cat-eye. Grabbing her Vanity Fair tote on her way out the door, Taylor scurried down her four-story walk up and entered the nearby subway station just in time for a Downtown 1 train to arrive. Once inside the train, she clung to the overhead railing as her brain began to mull over the copious amount of work awaiting her. First, she needed to get in contact with Hilary Duff’s agent—a task that should have been done weeks ago. If she sealed this perfume deal and landed Hilary an advertisement spot in Glamour, her bonus for the following season would cover the costs for her best friend’s bachelorette party in Prague next summer. And there was no question about it—Taylor absolutely had to go. Carly was a good friend, sure, but Taylor’s deceptive thoughts reminded her that Prague had gorgeous, Instagram-worthy restaurants and beaches. She marveled at the idea of unsuspecting followers vi-

Bodysuits @esthiliyt

cariously living through her posts. For once, she’d be on the other side of the wonderstruck. Deep down, Taylor knew these excessive social, financial, and psychological pressures were not healthy. She constantly compared herself to others which left her feeling like she was never enough, especially at work. It seemed as though no matter how many impressive accomplishments she had with her company, she consistently paled in comparison to something or somebody else. Taylor still felt inferior no matter which hot, new celebrity she posted a story with, however many ring lights she bought for selfies, or whatever fancy apps she edited with. In striving to be what she perceived as desirable, she had forgotten who she really was. But, despite all the negativity, her obsessive addiction to her virtual life did come with some positives. Taylor could instantly learn about local events or hip, new restaurants 101

to check out after work (if she miraculously left before happy hour concluded), through social media platforms. While it took over the relationship she had with herself, it did give her the ability to connect with almost anyone and cultivate relationships with others in a matter of just a few taps. How could these apps, which brought her so much fulfillment, simultaneously be ruining her perception of herself ? Taylor yearned to execute the sacred trick to living happier on social media. The trick she learned about in all of those influencer vlogs? Balance. Yes, there must be a balance between 102

the amount of time she spent critically scrolling and the amount she spent actually living and being present in her life. Taylor could barely picture a life without social media, but she knew her childhood days were filled with creative thoughts, exciting adventures, and meaningful bonds with friends and family—sans the technology. When did everything become so superficial? It was not difficult for Taylor to be overly consumed by the scrutinous eye of others. But even after she realized she was hypnotized by the money, social media, work, and fame, she still found herself wrapped up in social media feeds HYPNOTIZED

Photographer Karyna Maldonado




or overtaken by the demanding pressures of her corporate position. The temptation was always there, and, of course, there were instances where she surrendered to her urges, allowing the higher-ups to undermine her work. Despite her tireless efforts to do her best, she did not feel recognized or, by any means, appreciated by her company. Soon, Taylor realized an important distinction: The act of scrolling itself was not the problem, nor was working full-time at a renowned company in the media industry; it was the mindset with which she scrolled and worked that left her feeling incomplete. Taylor was hesitant to recognize this phenomenon. She could, however, feel this energy every time she was judging herself after enviously snooping on the exciting lives of her connections, or whenever she resentfully compared her notable accomplishments to that of her coworkers. For some unknown reason, this toxic mindset came instinctively to her. Maybe she felt threatened, or perhaps, she was just jealous. But as soon as she recognized how this mentality was proven to hurt instead of help her, she vowed to once again take control of her life. She’d be damned if she let the hypnosis win.

*This story is fictional and inspired by the real-life phenomenon of hypnosis. Taylor’s character is not based on any one person or event. 104


Models Nadia Sobczak, Julia Shook



Photographer Caro Scarimbolo Stylists Pilar Bradley, Nadia Sobczak, Hannah Brower Makeup Artists Sarah McGill, Francesca Byrd Hair Jennie Segedin Nails Sydney Beggins



holistic winter 108

skin guide

Model Mia Piazzi Photographer Sarah Heditish Makeup Artist Karlee Ingegno Hair Hannah Rongo

By kira strong

Graphic Designer Adiba Tamboli 109

A Beginner’s Guide to

Crystals By Cristina German

With a little bit of history knowledge, a refresher on energy, and some enchanting recommendations, you’ll be an expert in no time.

They’re all over your social media feeds, no doubt. It’s no surprise that these exquisite-looking rocks with explosions of various colors and shapes pique your inquisitive mind. Have you ever wondered why some swear that wearing a rose quartz necklace brings luck with romantic interests? Or why others wouldn’t dare to go anywhere without the believed-to-be- purifying pearl-colored rock of selenite? There is a bountiful amount of power and history hidden inside these simple rocks, and entering their captivating world is not as complicated as it may seem.

How Does Crystal Healing Work?

So, You Want to Get Started

We are energy. Almost everything around us is energy. A simple concept, right? To be more specific, we are vibrating energy because of the oscillating and vibrating movement of atoms and particles that all energy contains. Everything moves, and nothing rests– this is one of the universal laws that should be looked into prior to beginning your crystal journey. This concept is known as The Law of Vibration.

A Little History Behind the Practice

Every movement we make sets up vibrational patterns in our bodies. The difference between the vibrations of brain cells and those of crystals is the rate at which they vibrate. Basically, different vibrational rates project different frequencies.

Now that you understand the history behind the practice and you’ve gleaned some insight into the universal laws, you may be thinking that crystal healing is something you’d be willing to try. It’s common for newcomers to think there is a specific way to start, but this is false. You can simply begin at your local botanica: pick out whatever crystals you’re intuitively guided to, do your research at home, or simply ask a shop worker if you’re looking for something specific.

Crystal healing was around way before Katy Perry shared she sleeps with one in her hand or when Kim Kardashian West explained she has been using them ever since her traumatic Paris robbery. This practice traces back to Ancient Sumer in the 4th millennium BC where Ancient Sumerians used them for magic potions to heal and counteract negative occurrences. Crystals were more popularized 5000 years ago when the Chinese started using them in medicine. Meanwhile, in Ancient Egypt, they began establishing different properties for crystals, such as protection, health, and beauty. It’s important to note that this practice isn’t just a modern aesthetic hobby, but a beloved practice in many cultures that can be traced back throughout the centuries.


As one of the most brilliant people to ever live, Albert Einstein explained, “Everything is energy, and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want, and you cannot help but get that reality.” The rationale used to defend crystal healing from pseudoscience claims that the energy of crystals is made up of varieties of atoms and particles that vibrate at different frequencies than the atoms found in our bodies. The atoms contained in crystals are believed to impact and absorb frequencies, therefore, affecting our vibrations. To put it into perspective, the next time you’re stressed about an upcoming exam, try clutching onto a crystal that projects powerful stress-relieving frequencies. It is said that the crystal of amethyst aids in easing anxiety.

(FIT tip: In between classes, try checking out Rock Star Crystals on W 26th; Emerald is always glad to help and answer any questions!) There is no printed guideline to follow when it comes to this practice. Still, it is essential to be mindful and be properly informed about other cultures. Crystal healing may be something you’re trying out for your personal journey– which is valid– but, for others, this practice has been taught through many ancestors and generations. Showing respect to other cultures’ traditions is essential. What are you waiting for? Head over to your local metaphysical shop and start your journey!

Rose Quartz:

Besides its healing powers, this crystal is known for its beauty and love properties. It’s most commonly used for self-love, attracting romantic love, and manifesting beauty. This is why rose quartz is utilized in various beauty products, one being facial rollers. Rose Quartz best pairs with Amethyst, Citrine, and Carnelian.


Nicknamed the artist stone, Carnelian is great for enhancing creativity, confidence, and motivation. Another one of its uses is to boost fertility, so be mindful of this before running to go pick it up! Working in conjunction with Ruby This rock is another staple in every crystal or Red Garnet can give you a much-needed owner’s collection because of its versatility. This natuboost of energy or help attract money ral tranquilizer is ideal for beginners because it doesn’t require and abundance. as much maintenance as other crystals. Its many uses include This crystal is considered enhancing the immune system, aiding with stress management, a must-have in every collection regulating hormones, strengthening intuition, activating spiritual because of its purification features. awareness, providing protection, and cleansing. With all these benefits, it Selenite is used to cleanse other crystals by may be in every college student’s best interest to invest in one. simply resting next to them and their spaces. This crystal is also commonly used for meditation, clarity, and forgiveness. Selenite is best paired with other clear-quartz crystals, but it works well with practically anything! Be careful where you place it, though; this is a crystal that can’t get wet.



The Eight Dos and Don’ts of Crystal Healing



Cleanse and recharge your crystals with incense, moonlight, other crystals (such as selenite), or any other method you find works for you. Wear crystals, create crystal grids (arrangements of crystals with specific intents), and research combinations that work well together for the purposes you seek. Research on where you are buying from because fake crystals exist. Have fun and match your desired vibrations!

Use sacred plants from indigenous cultures, such as white sage or palo santo, to cleanse if you aren’t a part of them. Let other people touch your crystals. They are believed to absorb energy. Buy from places that have red flags, such as cultural appropriation, unethically sourced products, or inflated prices. Stress out if you lose a crystal. It is believed lost crystals have served their purpose.

Graphic Designer Julianna Vicente 111

Drinks, Anybody? Fresh and flirty cocktails to add to your mixology menu

By Avery Herodes There is something truly special about a carefully crafted cocktail that brings a flair to an otherwise ordinary evening. The cocktail we choose says a lot about who we are and what we love. Are you flirty and fruity? Or maybe you’re a little spicy and seductive? Cocktails reflect our personalities through selections of ingredients that create enticing brews of delight. So, next time you’re blankly staring at your bar cart with no inspiration in mind, come back to this list of tasty drinks—we promise they won’t disappoint!


Blushing Bradshaw

When Carrie Bradshaw first held a stunning, vibrant Cosmopolitan in her hand in a trendy downtown NYC restaurant, the world knew they needed to join her. With the upcoming 2021 revival of the iconic show, Sex and the City, it seems it’s time to also revive this classic cocktail. But, this time, we’re adding a twist: the bubbly!


1½ ounces of vodka 2 ounces of cranberry Juice ½ ounce of lime juice ½ ounce of simple syrup 1 bottle of prosecco

Directions: Add 1 ½ ounces of your favorite vodka, 2 ounces of cranberry juice, ½ ounce of lime juice, and ½ ounce of simple syrup to your cocktail shaker and mix her up. Pour the mixture into a martini glass and top it off with a splash of your most bubbly prosecco. Curl up a lime peel to give your concoction a tarte garnish and enjoy this flirty and fabulous drink. (And don’t forget to channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw!)

Where Have You Been, Loca?

To those who love tequila equally as much as they love the heat (like the heat that radiates off Mr. Jacob Black), this cocktail is calling your name. Far from the ordinary drink, this cocktail will have you grinning with warmth and feeling as invincible as a werewolf in Twilight.


1½ ounces of jalapeño tequila 1 ounce of mezcal ½ ounce of simple syrup 1 ounce of grapefruit juice 1 ounce of orange juice A dash of club soda

Directions: Take 1½ ounces of jalapeño tequila, 1 ounce of mezcal, ½ ounce of simple syrup, 1 ounce of grapefruit juice, and 1 ounce of orange juice and shake it all up in a cocktail shaker with fresh ice. Strain the mixture into a low glass with crunchy ice and, for a refreshing bite, top everything off with a hint of club soda. To really amp it up, rim the glass with salt and skewer an orange and jalapeño slice together on a mini kabob for garnish. Give this sweet and spicy cocktail a try if you think you can handle the heat. Graphic Designer Molly Davis 113

Girls Have More Fun

A classic cocktail lover will have had their fair share of mojitos in their day, so why not take it to the next level with the addition of some delicious candy-like strawberries? This refresher is the perfect addition to any ladies’ night and will have you singing along with Cindy Lauper; she couldn’t have said it better when she sang, “Girls Just Want To Have Fun!”


2 ounces of white rum 1 ounce of lime juice ½ ounce of simple syrup 1 generous handful of strawberries A hint of club soda

Directions: Start by adding the classic mojito ingredients to a cocktail shaker: 2 ounces of white rum, 1 ounce of lime juice, 1 ⁄ 2 ounce of simple syrup, and ice. On the side, begin muddling some fresh mint. When the mint is beautifully fragrant, take two ripe strawberries and mash them together to infuse them into the mint. The berry complements the mint to give this drink a complex sweetness. Strain the shaker into your glass containing the fruity mixture, top with club soda, and garnish with a fresh strawberry.

Martinis in the Afternoon

Those who are invincible and have the power to rule the world usually have one thing in common: they enjoy a sharp and intense martini moment. If martinis are your vice, this afternoon martini will have you radiating classy energy, all the while letting everyone know who’s in charge.


2 ½ ounces of vodka 1 ounce of pineapple juice ½ ounce of lemon juice

Directions: Add 2 ½ ounces of your favorite vodka, 1 ounce of pineapple juice, and ½ ounce of lemon juice into a cocktail shaker. Pour the contents into a martini glass, then finish it off with the squeeze of a lemon peel and a run around the rim. All that’s left to do is sit back and sip in style!


Harry’s Babe

The generation of the 21st century, for the most part, has one thing in common: an infinite adoration of Harry Styles. It has become nearly impossible to hear the names of several fruits without our minds immediately recalling our favorite British singer. With tracks like “Cherry,” “Watermelon Sugar,” and “Kiwi,” there’s no doubt in our minds that Harry may have a slight obsession with fruits—and we’re not complaining! This cocktail is for those of us who will always be Harry’s babe in our hearts.


2 ounces of gin 1 ounce of lime juice ½ ounce of simple syrup 1 fresh watermelon

Directions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, add 2 ounces of gin, 1 ounce of lime juice, and a ½ ounce of simple syrup. Next, muddle a couple pieces of juicy watermelon into the bottom of a tall glass and strain the contents of the shaker into the same glass. Embellish with a fresh slice of watermelon, a curl of a lime peel, a vibrant red cherry, and feel the watermelon sugar high!


Photographer Caro Scarimbolo Model Ann-Marie Kamau Nails Sydney Beggins

Cocktails can be an enlivening way to celebrate the little pleasures of life. The next time you’re about to make a vodka cranberry, step up your game a little and create one of these stunning cocktails. Upon sipping one of these delightful concoctions, you’ll never want to go back to a basic vodka cran ever again!



TOOTH the latest accessory! @toothcharm New York City-based artist, Clarissa Hurst, gives Blush an illuminating insight behind her charming craft of tooth gems. Interview by Blush Magazine How did you get interested in the art of tooth gems? I first got into tooth gems a few years ago, giving them to friends at school. I also work with professional dental products to create unique tooth pieces. I create tooth illusions that last a few hours for photo/video work, and tooth gem sets that last 6 months to a year on average. Basically, I realized how much there was to explore within the tooth beauty field, and it intrigued me to do more with it. What inspired you to create your Instagram page for tooth gems? I started my Instagram page when I officially opened up a professional studio. At first, it was just to connect with clients more efficiently and grow my business. But now, I use it as a marketing tool, a gallery of work, and a place where I feel comfortable expressing my art in addition to connecting to people. What can you tell us about the background surrounding tooth gems and their origin? Tooth gems have a very complex background. If you Google their history, you are bombarded with endless articles that recycle the same couple of facts—and they never really tell the whole story. In fact, a lot of dental history is tough to access. I feel like it’s really critical to have a complete understanding of something when it’s introduced into the mainstream. To talk about the history of tooth gems, we first have to start with the history of braces. Many cultures from all over the world value straight teeth. The Etruscans, an ancient group from Italy, would use a gold mouth guard for deceased women to keep their teeth in place for the afterlife. Teeth with metal wires wrapped around them were also found in Egypt, telling us some Egyptians were concerned with straightening their smile—including Cleopatra. Romans would manually apply pressure with their fingers in continuous intervals to move their teeth around.


It wasn’t until the 1700s when a French man named Pierre Fauchard created a horseshoe-like contraption to straighten teeth. After this innovation, which was basically the beginning of contemporary braces, dentists worldwide adapted this process. It wasn’t until the 1970s when the light-curing ceramic braces were created. (This light-curing process is also what we use for applying tooth gems today.) The earliest known form of decorating teeth with metals was around 1300 A.D. in the Philippines. They would use gold pegs with disks at the end and hammer them into teeth to embellish. Mayan teeth were found later in 800 A.D. and onward. They would drill holes into their teeth to inlay jade, turquoise, serpentine, etc. But in terms of tooth modification, this is also just scratching the surface. Many cultures decorated teeth, filled teeth with gold, filed them down, painted them, among other art techniques. This all plays a role in influencing what we know as teeth beauty and teeth adornment today. The first tooth gem ever placed was done in Sweden at a festival in the late 1990s. They started to become a fad in Europe for people of many different backgrounds. The trend spread to America in the early 2000s. Tooth Kandy in LA was one of the first companies to try and monopolize the trend, but it actually wasn’t too popular at first. Around that time, people in the US did not even know about tooth gems unless they were from California—and even then, the accessory was pretty unheard of. In the early 2000s, only simple gold designs and clear crystals were available as tooth decorations. It really wasn’t until 2019 that new crystal shapes, colors, and designs started becoming more widely available. Even the selection of gold has grown substantially. Tooth gemming is definitely a very new industry that is growing as time goes on. I believe more and more people are growing out of the typical white, straight, and bare teeth narrative that is idolized today. I just hope it can continue to thrive and reach more people as a form of self-expression.

Graphic Designer Sonya Bakst


Jacket Marc Jacobs

Model Arlenys Peña Photographer Julie Tu Stylist Ryan Jacobs Tooth Gems Clarissa Hurst Makeup Artists Francesca Byrd, Jessica Mayfield


Model Francesca Byrd

Jacket Bowery Showroom 118

What if someone wants a tooth gem but wants to avoid cultural appropriation? Do you think there are any such issues with tooth gems? I think tooth gems can be an expressive outlet for anyone as long as it is done in a respectful manner. Tooth gems have a rich history, and it is important to recognize their origins.

What kind of gems do you use? How do you decide what gems are best for particular looks? I use genuine Swarovski and solid 18/22k gold pieces. Swarovski doesn’t lose its shine or scratch, and both materials are non-toxic.

materials and a similar process to braces. After they are applied, you should be able to brush and floss normally.

When choosing tooth gems for a specific look, I like to pick out designs that suit the person and their style, similar to picking out a makeup look to match an outfit. There is definitely something for everyone.

Stay cautious about online kits with unbranded dental supplies; I have yet to find one that is trustworthy. Also, be careful not to go to an artist that uses mixed metals or nonSwarovski crystals. These are toxic to be in your mouth for long periods.

What is your favorite tooth gem look you have ever created, and what inspired it?

Some people worry about discoloration, but you should not have any issues if you keep up with brushing your teeth.

It would have to be a tie between two—it’s so hard to pick!

How do you think tooth gems allow you to express your creativity?

The first would be the “Tooth Piercing” look with acrylic belly button bars. It created the perfect Kitsch reaction I like to get from the other artwork I do, which is accessory design and sculpture painting. Whether the reaction is good or bad, it motivates me to keep pushing out more designs. That look was inspired by pierced nails and plastic children’s toys. My second favorite design would have to be the two-tooth/ three-tooth heart design—this is when I lay Swarovski crystals in the shape of a heart between multiple teeth. I started doing these hearts when I first opened my studio, and I feel like they have definitely influenced many people—it even landed on Tooth Kandy’s official website. It’s such a simple little design, so cute! Are there any risks or negative effects you should be aware of when getting a tooth gem? If you go to the right artist, there shouldn’t be any risks involved! They are placed safely, using the same

Personally, I love to change my tooth gem look daily to match my outfit, makeup, or accessories. I love to play around with extreme looks, and I feel like tooth gems can be a creative outlet for all types of aesthetics. I can dress like a drag 1950s housewife and wear a gap-tooth illusion (using black crystals), or I can embody a vampire with sparkly red fangs. The possibilities are endless. How do you tend to get inspiration for your tooth gem designs? I get inspiration from things that intrigue me. I find obscure cartoons, video games, the absurdity of gendered toys, and rubber doll clothing alluring. Other sources that spark creativity come from casino games, tea parties, race car beds, castles, or board games with complex pieces. I also find inspiration from reality TV shows and the tackiness that comes from early 2000s commercials. I look at what is made and what can be made, and I just have fun with it. What is one thing you wish people could truly understand about tooth gems? Anyone can rock them! *This interview has been edited for length and clarity


by Nadia Sobczak


Take Your Time, Use Your Time Here it is: the effortless four-step, magical guide to self care! 1. Put on a hydrating face mask! 2. Soak in a relaxing bubble bath! 3. Post an aesthetically-pleasing photo on IG to prove that you are, in fact, taking care of yourself.

Thinking about self-care in more holistic terms is essential to personal wellness. In other words, you must consider all of the aspects of your life to effectively care for yourself. Sometimes, this means dealing with problems or acknowledging the true reason for why you need a break. Other times, instead of lounging on the couch munching on a charcuterie board (which is lovely, no doubt), rejuvenation can also be taking time to stretch out your muscles, go grocery shopping for delicious food that will fuel your body, or tackling that mounting laundry pile you’ve been avoiding. Every so often, you need to complete tasks that your present self does not want to do but that your future self will be grateful for. Think of yourself down the road as another person you love and care about; how would you treat them?

4. Feel better… tada! Unfortunately, there is not one streamlined, step-by-step

process for self-care that works for everyone. Self-care extends beyond rose petal-filled baths and clay face masks. In reality, these pampering acts typically serve as bandaids for the real problems that lie underneath. We are often told that this one product or action will make us feel better, but it’s not always that simple. Truly taking care of yourself is not the glamorous, well-packaged practice it’s often marketed as. While a spa night can inarguably be relaxing and delightful, wellness is more complex and has several factors that need to be considered. Personal care is continuous and multi-layered—not something that can be cramped into a simple fourstep process.

But, here’s the complex thing about prioritizing for yourself— sometimes you need to take a break and not do anything. This could mean leaving behind actions or tasks that may seem like they could help you out down the road. Say you get asked to pick up an extra shift at work or go out with friends. However, you have been feeling drained and stressed lately. Though you could earn extra money or possibly make a fun memory, if you’re stretching yourself too thin instead of taking time to recharge, the adverse effects may outweigh the possible good ones. While staying in alone and relaxing is not necessarily an active action, you’re still looking out for future you. If you decided to just push through the exhaustion, you could end up burning out and hurting yourself even more. When you push too hard, you do not perform your best—resulting in worse outcomes compared to forgoing activity. But when you take the time to care for yourself, you can work to your full potential and be completely present in the moment.

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Acts of self-love don’t have to be monumental feats. Simply doing something small—like brewing yourself a coffee at night for the morning—is an act of self-love because it makes life easier for the future you.

A great way to check in and see if you need to take a break is by asking yourself a few questions:

Too often, we approach self-care as doing lots of tasks all at once and expecting it to fix our troubles. It’s usually better to take little, but nonetheless effective, steps toward bettering your life and your relationship with who you are. To truly have an effective self-care ritual, it’s vital to be in touch with who you are. This means actually spending time with yourself. Connecting with yourself is an aspect of self-care that’s not always advertised in the media—probably because it doesn’t fit into the vision we’re fed that includes buying fancy beauty products. Plus, not everyone has the luxury to check out and focus entirely on self-care for a whole weekend.

» How will I feel after I do this action? Will it improve my well-being at the moment? » How will this act benefit me down the road? What can I do now to look out for myself in time to come? » Why am I feeling this way? What is causing me to feel like I need to take a break or like I need to do something? » What can I change in my day-to-day life that will help me feel more at peace? What actions can I do now to help me in the long term?

The concept of self-care is challenging to interpret because there is not a one-size-fits-all recipe for success that suits everyone. Really, it’s a sacred practice that changes according to your specific needs at the time. Being able to gauge what is best for you is not a simple task, but with knowing yourself (and maybe a little pampering), you can be on a path towards true self-care. And the most satisfying reward? Your future self will thank you. 122

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To truly look after yourself, you must put yourself first. Self-care is more than just a spa night. 123

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what is your real?

The Real Issue Fall/Winter 2021