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S T. E DWA R D ’S U N IVE R S IT Y S PR IN G 2 0 1 6



In dedication to Nile, David, and the Ruf family.

Letter From The Editor The act of “spring cleaning” has never been more applicable to my life than throughout this semester. A rush of changes, both expected and unexpected, not only pushed me out of my comfort zone but also tested my ability to prosper. Rather than accepting these changes and mistakes as a hinderance to my success, I recognized them as lessons, opportunities to improve. Whether being challenged by my coursework, by issues in my personal life, or by the commitments that come with publishing a magazine, I resolved to find the silver lining in each situation. The second installment of CABRA began with an overwhelming pressure to live up to the standard we established last fall. After the release of the first issue, questions came from every direction regarding our next move. An influx of new members forced us to reconsider the structure of the organization and its goals to ensure that everyone’s voice was heard. All of these strenuous expectations made me question my ability to effectively lead this growing club. I myself am a communications major, I have very little experience in visual design, and until last fall I had certainly never put together a magazine. Initially, I felt like I had an idea that attracted a strong group of creatives at this university, but in time I struggled with the idea of leading such a profound collection of individuals. Everyone was looking at me for answers while I sat there asking myself what I was doing. As soon as I stepped away from those doubts, that mentality of inhibition, the magazine truly began to take shape. An unexpected inundation of new members brought new voices to the discussion and, more importantly, new ideas and concepts to the magazine. The flood of attention and support attracted by the first issue helped our members gain a newfound sense of confidence. We began to understand that what we were doing was positively received by the community and instead of letting the pressure intimidate us, we channeled it to shape the next chapter of our organization. Surprisingly enough, it was due to this pressure that we persevered in creating the second issue. I am undoubtedly proud of what our staff has created for you this semester. Their individuality and their dedication have helped mold this issue into what I consider to be a version of CABRA that better represents our community at St. Edward’s University. Of course there will be issues to come, but I can assure you that we tried our hardest to deliver something more refined, something more inclusive, something altogether better. Enjoy.

Ysenia Valdez Editor-in-Chief

CABRA from Left to Right Ysenia Valdez, Editor-in-Chief Katinka Barragan, Managing Editor Anthony Flores, Creative Director

special thanks to Mint Urban Apartments Oakwood Cemetery Mabel Davis District Park Justin Dean Thomas

from Left to Right Juliana Ramirez, Director of Marketing Faith Robbins, Director of Photography Mitchell Asanza, Director of Entertainment

CABRA from Left to Right Sharmeen Anjum, Director of Style Zachary Dupuis, Director of Style Christian Anhalt, Director of MUAH


Cover Model: Mahnoor Nadim Photographer: Miriam Vicente

from Left to Right Christopher Gonzales, Casting Director

staff Editorial

Ethan Cummins Corinne Bates Powell Bohler Erica Schomer Caroline Teck


Sabrina Smith Mali Tribune Regina Vargas Hayley Wood


Sandra Benkova Abril Delgado Kelsey Ford Aly Gorday Kara Haeussler Montana Hermes Isaiah Lange Tiffany Pritchett Bobby Robles Amy Tondre Xiaozhou Zhu


Ariadna Gonzalez John Griffin Fatima Sheikh Nile Ruf


Isabella Castro-Cota Evguenia Gololobova Margeaux Labat Hannah Lozano


Patricia Medina Brianna Moore Rowan Pruitt Adriance Rhoades Levi Thompson Miriam Vicente Sam Wyand

*Polaroids shot by Ethan Cummins


Evelyn CantĂş Kylie Garrett

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This Semester In / Zines

Animal Testing: The Ugly Side of Beauty /


Evelyn CantĂş Summer Heat /


Photo Series

38 Subconscious Spectrum: Our Subjective Perception of Everyday Colors / Christopher Gonzales

High Fashion and the Hijab: A Discussion with MSA President Mahnoor Nadim / Corinne Bates



46 Silhouettes / Photo Series Killer Women / Photo Series


74 In Praise of the Polaroid / Ethan Cummins

Fashion As Art / Caroline Teck


78 Lasting Influence: From the Levity of the 70s to the Smileys of the 90s / Evguenia Gololobova

Interview with: Justin Dean Thomas / Isabella Castro-Cota

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Photography / Adriance Rhodes

Juliana Ramirez

The Ugly Side of Beauty

Evelyn CantĂş

Creative Direction /

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beauty industry and all its products certainly make people look good and feel good, having an almost cult-like following nowadays. Celebrities get paid to endorse certain cosmetic brands, magazines and blogs publish advice and tutorials on new products and different techniques, and the wide variety of products and services available fit every person’s beauty needs more and more each day. High-end and low-end brands alike have substantial followings and make quite a bit of money off of our love for cosmetics. Nonetheless, beneath its appealing veneer the beauty industry has an ugly side, a side that many consumers either never see or, even worse, consciously choose to ignore. I’m speaking of course about the modern tragedy of animal testing. When strolling through Sephora, a department store, or the cosmetic aisle at the drugstore, it’s hard to focus our wandering eyes on the countless options before us. With a selection of this scale, it is difficult to be conscious of how the products were made. What crosses the mind of very few consumers is this: the possibility that in that process, scores of animals are brutally and mercilessly harmed. The truth is that for many years, beauty companies have conducted tests on animals to determine any potential toxic effects of their products, causing irreparable and traumatic harm to these creatures. And the cruelty doesn’t discriminate; animals from mice and hamsters to rabbits and guinea pigs are restrained in cages and subjected to countless excruciating procedures, causing them not only physical trauma but also severe stress. This stress often causes these animals to uncontrollably rock back and forth, spin around in circles, pull out their own fur, and even harm themselves, until their eventual cruel disposal. Before they are put out of their misery, animals that are tested on can be blinded or poisoned through cosmetic companies’ testing procedures. One of the excuses as to why cosmetic companies still adhere to this deplorable practice is the everlasting search for new and improved products that contain untested and potentially harmful ingredients. The sad truth is that ruling out ingredients that are harmful involves the blinding, poisoning, and killing of animals in these cosmetic labs. Another more surprising reason why animal testing endures is that some countries, such as

China, actually legally obligate that cosmetic companies test their products on animals prior to distribution. It may surprise you that it is entirely legal to test on animals in 80% of countries worldwide. In spite of this knowledge, there is hope in that many countries have turned away from the practice. More progressive countries such as Switzerland and New Zealand have outlawed animal testing altogether. Will we ever see such legislation in the United States? The answer is perhaps yes. A recent poll found that 73% of Americans showed public support for a ban on animal testing. Nonetheless, if any substantial change is to be made regarding this awful practice, people like you and me have to make it happen. In recent years, some cosmetic companies have responded to this public concern. Currently, there are over 600 companies worldwide that are “cruelty-free,” meaning they use established, safe ingredients in their products, thus eliminating the necessity of animal testing altogether. Some companies subvert animal testing by using alternative experimental methods. These companies often test on artificial human tissue that can predict skin irritation and other in-vitro methods that distinguish between toxic and non-toxic ingredients. Despite these advances, most large-scale cosmetic companies still turn a blind eye to the rudimentary practice of animal testing and refuse to adopt newer, cruelty-free alternatives. Aware of this travesty, consumers today are taking a stand against these companies by switching to true cruelty-free brands. The transition to these more conscious products can be challenging, but with so many cruelty-free brands on the market, from high-end to low-end, all you need is a little bit of research. There are countless websites and blogs dedicated to identifying companies that don’t test on animals, and many companies proactively include a cruelty-free label on their products. Keeping the importance of animals’ well-being in mind when buying cosmetics is, above all, the best way to start. So the next time you run out of foundation or mascara, look up some alternatives to that old L’Oreal or MAC you just finished. You’ll be surprised at the quality and satisfaction of products made by companies that are contributing to an ever-important cause: ending the cruelty of cosmetic animal testing.

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This Semester In:


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zines made by 12 - 13. Isaiah Lange 14 (Top). Camille Dollins 14 (Bottom). Abril Delgado 15. Unknown 16 - 17. Hannah Lozano 16. Isabella Castro-Cota 17 (Top). Kelsey Ford 17 (Bottom). Bobby Robles 18. Juliana Ramirez

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Photography / Ethan Cummins Juliana Ramirez

Jason Garcia ChloĂŤ Alison Swift Stylists / Christopher Gonzales Tiffany Pritchett Mali Tribune MUAH / Christian Anhalt Michael Johnson

Our Subjective Perception of Everyday Colors

Christopher Gonzales

Models /

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you’re looking at your outfit in the mirror, the trees outside, or the food on your plate, color is inescapable. Color stamps our world in wildly different shades, in patterns, and in mixtures that we perceive as visual input and to which our brains assign meaning. What is supremely fascinating is that these stimuli from color can not only influence our choice of food from a menu or clothes from the closet, but colors act in our minds on a completely different plane, in our latent emotional consciousness. One of the more intimidating examples of this phenomenon is how huge fast food franchises have identified and exploited our seemingly evolutionary analysis of color. The warm reds, oranges, and yellows that shine bright from the signs of McDonald’s, KFC, and Whataburger are all stimulating colors that provoke feelings of hunger. On the flip side, the cooler color pallet of blues tends to suppress these pangs of excessive hunger. Curious? Try eating off a blue plate versus a white plate. You might be surprised to find out that eating from the blue plate can reduce your appetite. So with all this hype about color, let’s get familiar with how these colors can influence our emotional perception of certain situations and how they relate to certain social constructs and binaries. As much as I’d like to tease out all the physical, mental, and emotional responses people have toward every color in the spectrum, I cannot. For the sake of brevity, the two colors I want to focus on are two that seem to hold a lot assumptions: the baby colors, light pink and pale blue. It is almost impossible to escape the color blue. Whether it be in the sky above our heads, on a pair of jeans, or simply in someone’s eyes, blue exists in almost every aspect of our day. As I sit here noticing the slight blue of my hair color and the blue table top of the desk I’m

sitting at, it’s easy to find a shade of blue by simply looking around the space you occupy. Yeah yeah yeah, cool, so blue is common, why should we care? Well, as a matter of coincidence, blue tends to be one of the most stimulating colors that we can perceive. In the emotional realm, when we are exposed to the color, associations of intelligence, calmness, logic, and a reflective persona surface in our minds. (Think Ravenclaw, all you Harry Potter lovers.) While all these seemingly positive descriptors are tied to the color blue, it can also bring up thoughts of coldness, detachment, or depression, as can be seen in Picasso’s The Old Guitarist, the famed painting of his own Blue Period. Though these two responses may seem at odds, it’s all a matter of how the colors are presented and intertwined. Take, for instance, water. One of my favorite chemistry professors always told me, “If you ever drank water the color we associate it with (bright blue), you’ll probably die.” So if it’s blue tones that keep us concentrated and logical, where does that leave pink? As it turns out, pink is one of the most enigmatic colors to exist. Pink is one of the few colors that has its own identity, despite being a hue of red. We call light blue light blue and pastel green pastel green but we don’t call pink light red. As Spring brings a new wave of life, many flowering species utilize the color pink to attract pollinators and other seed-dispersing critters. It’s hard to argue that the color pink isn’t a color of love and attraction, what with the candy and flowers of Valentine’s Day and such, but believe it or not the color pink does have the ability to invoke negative emotions. When constantly exposed to the color, it may seem soothing at first but eventually the tone of the color can lead to stress and exhaustion. This speaks to the fact that this nurturing color, itself a subset of the highly stimulating color red, is truly versatile color at it’s core. Alright, so now we know the colors we

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are working with, or more specifically how they can play with our perception and emotions, it’s time to jump into the constructs that we wrap up with these colors. I mean, the baby colors, being baby colors, absolutely introduce a gender association from the get-go. When we see blue or pink coupled in any way with pregnancy or infancy, we bring up gender binaries: boy or girl. When we see a man head to toe in pink some may raise a brow in confusion. Because pink has so much feminine emphasis, when a male wears an outfit covered in pink, we are taught to see it as a dilution of his masculinity. At the same time, the refrain “real men wear pink” comes to mind. It’s kind of interesting that we associate the “feminine” color of pink with the negative masking of a male-associated trait, while the opposite effect doesn’t seem to exist. This negative association with femininity is just one of the many subtle constructs that divides and compartmentalizes people based on gender. I think everyone looks good in pink, but that’s just me. Nonetheless, it’s pretty frightening that this kind of manipulation can occur through something as simple as color. Now, I’m not here to try and solve all the tangles and snags that get wrapped up

with color; I’m here to offer a new avenue to analyzing the stuff, and to identify what type of associations we subconsciously tie to them. When we train our eyes to notice these hidden yet nonetheless unjust associations, we are finally able to dismantle them, removing any sort of propensity for harm, making the subconscious, well, conscious. Maybe it’s evolutionary, maybe it’s trained, maybe it’s the quinine in the water. Regardless, color is virtually inescapable. Through the explanation of how colors affect our emotions and the discussion of a few of the sociocultural associations we have with them, it becomes easier to examine color in a veritable spectrum of ways. To boot, even pure white and pure black are technically mixtures of color (depending on which theory of color you subscribe to). So don’t feel too blue or get to red in the face when you notice colors affecting your mood or swaying your opinion, because the grass isn’t greener on the other side. That might not have been fitting but I just had to ensure you met your color pun daily quota.

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Photography / Rowan Pruitt Faith Robbins Levi Thompson Models / Bryan Garza Jessica Guajardo Naïs Louisor Tiffany Pritchett Stylists / Sharmeen Anjum Abril Delgado Zachary Dupuis Aly Gorday Montana Hermes Mali Tribune MUAH / Christian Anhalt Evelyn Cantú Kylie Garrett

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Photography / Miriam Vicente

Mahnoor Nadim

A Discussion with MSA President Mahnoor Nadim

Corinne Bates

Model /

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January of this year, Dolce & Gabbana debuted a new collection unlike any other. The Abaya Collection: The Allure of the Middle East is comprised of abayas and hijabs, the traditional garments that many of us are accustomed to seeing Muslim women wear. The pieces are true to Dolce & Gabbana’s typically ornate style with jewel encrusted fabrics and luxurious details. With this introduction, the storied fashion house stepped into a market that most designers consciously or unconsciously ignore. In spite of this commercial development, Muslim women have had their own style long before designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana ever even existed. For centuries they have taken the manner of dress required by their religion and turned it into a form of self-expression. To get a better understanding of the importance of the hijab and its place in fashion, I sat down to chat with Mahnoor Nadim, president of the Muslim Student Association at St. Edward’s University. It was one of the hotter springs days that we met outside Jo’s Meadows Coffee Shop, amid the buzzing of busy students. Growing uncomfortably warm in my shorts and t-shirt, I could feel my skin turning pink from the sun. Across the table, Nadim looked perfectly content in her black leggings, long-sleeve shirt, and black hijab. This prompted me to ask the question that always seems to come to mind when I see Muslim women completely covered in the Texas heat, “How do you survive during the summer?” “I grew up in a hot place so I love the heat,” she said with a laugh. Nadim would later tell me she was born in Pakistan but moved to California, before finally settling in Texas. I asked her what she thought about designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana coming out with collections tailored towards Muslim women. “I think it’s great except I can’t afford any of it,” she joked. She went on to explain to me the relative ease of making her clothing hijab-friendly; “Like, thanks for adding sleeves to it,” she remarked about Dolce & Gabbana’s line. Taking a step back, she did mention that it takes a bit more creativity to put an outfit together with the hijab in mind. When it’s hot outside, getting dressed for Nadim isn’t as simple as throwing on a pair of shorts and a t-shirt.

As with most aspects of one’s religion, the hijab has different meaning for different women when it comes to accessorizing. Some more conservative Muslims believe that wearing any type of revealing or flashy clothing, such as tight leggings or loud prints, contradicts the central tenets of wearing the hijab. Nadim’s opinion on this matter was measured, but genuine. “To me, anything to do with religion is very, very personal. Anything to do with it, tangible, not tangible, spiritual, physical, it is still very personal. So how a person dresses, even if you’re not religious, is not anybody’s business.” This falls in line with much of the social commentary today about people feeling comfortable wearing what they want without fear of what others may say. Fashion is meant to be a form of self-expression, and that is no different for women who wear the hijab. “This is just one of the choices I have made for my religion and for myself.” Nadim said, speaking about her choice to wear the hijab. She explained that wearing the hijab is an outward representation of her own spirituality, and that nobody in her family told her to wear it. Nadim made the choice when she lived in California. “When I started wearing the hijab, I felt no different. I was treated the same. It wasn’t until my plane landed in Texas that I noticed people looking at me differently” she observed. While Texas may harbor a demographic more judgmental of her faith than those in California, Nadim assured me that she has never felt judgment at St. Edward’s. “There is no one way to explain the hijab. For me it is empowering and it is a tangible aspect of my faith, which I accepted when I became an adult. But I cannot explain it to a third person because it could mean something completely different for someone else. Everyone attaches their own meaning to it.” Choosing to wear the hijab is just like any other spiritual choice. It is extremely personal, and in no way determines what a person is like. Many non-Muslims see the hijab as a sign of oppression. Although this claim may have standing in nations where women are legally obligated to wear the garment, it is certain that Nadim, like countless Muslim American women, chooses to wear the hijab for herself.

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Photography /

Style /

Models /

Brianna Moore

Sharmeen Anjum

Zwiesineyi Cindorichininga

Sam Wyand

Xiaozhou Zhu

Gabriel Ortega

MUAH / Christian Anhalt

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Killer W Photography /

Models /

Katinka Barragan

Fiona Balleret Micky Benthall Amarie Gipson Sarah Knight

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Women Stylists /


Sharmeen Anjum

Christian Anhalt

Zachary Dupuis

Evelyn CantĂş

Kelsey Ford

Kylie Garrett

Amy Tondre

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They call them cold-blooded killers. They say they’re heartless and mean. From heartbreak some people have suffered. From weariness some people have died.

- Bonnie Parker

in praise of the


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Photography / Ethan Cummins Anthony Flores

Ethan Cummins

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no doubting that we live in a digital age. From engineering to entertainment, from manufacturing to music, the pervasive influence of digital means of production seem veritably inescapable. Surprisingly enough, not even fine art has been able insulate itself from this growing wave of digital reformation. The obvious proliferation of graphic design and digital painting, for instance, have been clear harbingers of the rise of digital art and the growing relegation of more traditional artistic media. Nonetheless, what digital media offer in terms of efficiency and reliability is, arguably, expediting and trivializing the creative process.

One facet central to this struggle between digital and analog artistic technology is photography. Before the advent of the digital single-lens reflex camera at the turn of the century, photographers were limited to analog means, namely shooting and developing film. The postcreative sequence of development, manual editing, and printmaking executed by these photographers would seem, to the casual observer, laborious at the very least. This observation piqued the curiosity of Edwin Land, an American scientist and inventor with a particular interest in optics. Later, he would go on to produce his namesake invention, the Land Camera, as the crown jewel of his newly christened enterprise, the Polaroid Corporation. What the Land Camera brought to the table was an unparalleled imaging system coupled with an new form of film that autonomously developed photos within minutes. This technical innovation and the veritable pantheon of Polaroid cameras to come would revolutionize photography throughout the twentieth century, permeating the creative world and eventually finding itself a mainstay among the the spheres of art, culture, and high fashion.

Central to the Polaroid’s popularization were certain key pioneers and provocateurs who not only utilized the medium, but pushed it beyond its own boundaries. Love him or hate him, it’s undeniable that Andy Warhol and his Factory played an indispensable role in popularizing Polaroid not only with respect to its novelty, but also, more importantly, as a credible artistic medium. Simultaneously, naturalist Ansel Adams, himself a close friend of Edwin Land, took advantage of the Polaroid to produce inimitable landscapes as a testament to the awe-inspiring beauty of nature. This premature popularity of the Polaroid would increasingly make inroads into fine art in the decades to come. Visual artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Nobuyoshi Araki documented huge swaths of their enticingly erotic compositions on Polaroid film; fashion photographers such as Helmut Newton took advantage of the Polaroid with stunning and iconic test shots while Bruno Bisang snapped Polaroids of Naomi Campbell; others, such as David Hockney with his huge Polaroid mosaics, or David Levinthal with his intricately beautiful still life, or Dash Snow with his raw and hedonistic documentation of the blood and bruises of youth culture in New York would push the boundaries of the medium beyond all previous expectation.

It’s clear that the pioneering work of artists such as these brought Polaroid, as a medium, to the forefront of cultural and artistic consciousness. However, what continues to elude audiences and consumers of art is this: what makes these images so captivating? Is it a sense of novelty, of informality, of spontaneity? I can promise you that anyone who shoots Polaroid will give you a unique reason as to why they are faithful to an artistic medium that is, at least in recent years, seemingly disappearing. Nonetheless, the allure is difficult to explain. I’ve been shooting Polaroid for years now and I’m not quite sure what keeps me using these old things. Yet, not until you hold a Polaroid in your hands, load the film, look through the viewfinder, hit the shutter,

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and hear the little motor spitting out your photo can you truly realize what it’s all about. It’s the care you have to put into your composition, knowing how few shots you have. It’s the apprehension of knowing you won’t be able to throw the image into Photoshop and touch up the light. It’s the spontaneity of capturing the essence of a moment, creating a physical analog of a memory. It’s the anticipation of seeing the image develop in your hand. It’s the surprise of the unpredictable smudges and imperfections on the image. It’s the painterly feel that you can see as the emulsion moves through the film. It’s the novelty of sharing the picture with your friends, some of whom may have never even seen a Polaroid (trust me, there are some). This is why I shoot Polaroid.

Although the future of the medium is largely uncertain, especially since the Polaroid Corporation discontinued production of their instant film back in 2008, a select few organizations and a growing body of creatives are committed to preserving instant photography. With the introduction of the Impossible Project, a company dedicated to engineering new instant film for use with original Polaroid cameras, and the popularization of more affordable imitations such as Fujifilm’s Instax cameras, it’s undoubtable that the allure of instant photography endures. One can only hope that a new generation of photographers doesn’t ignore the indelible influence Polaroid has exerted and continues to exert in the world of fine art, high fashion, and popular culture.

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Photography /

Stylists /

Anthony Flores

Sharmeen Anjum

Models /

Zachary Dupuis

Karizma Carrion

Montana Hermes

Michelle Clarke Shannon Lowry Daniel Moyel Mykaelah Ortega Neal Thompson MUAH / Christian Anhalt Evelyn CantĂş Kylie Garrett

From the Levity of the 70s to the Smileys of the 90s

Evguenia Gololobova

Sandra Benkova

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goes without saying: fashion trends are constantly changing and only a select few last a lifetime. Typically, popular trends throughout time are used as a reference to highlight and remember each decade. however, it’s safe to state that in this current era, people are turning back the clock and reviving iconic pieces from the 1970s to the 1990s back to style. For some, this trend is puzzling; why go back to the past? What is so particularly fascinating and inspiring about clothes that were popular more than 20 years ago? Well, for individuals who recognize and embody the vintage revival movement, the answer all has to do with influence, quality, and bold statements.


The was a central time for second-wave feminism, chic hippie vibes, and psychedelic patterns. Some of the key muses of this electrifyingly defining decade were Joni Mitchell, Cher, David Bowie, Diana Ross, and Swedish pop group Abba. From wide leg jeans and denim dresses to epic prints and suede fabric, the 1970s were most definitely an era of inspiration for future fashion choices presented on the runway and exhibited by many folk musical artists.


Moving on to the , this decade was by far the most memorable and defining times in history, in regards to fashion. Icons such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, Boy George, and Molly Ringwald were some of the first few figures to experiment with bright colors, shoulder pads, bold cut outs, and leather fabric. This era focused on breaking conventional gender-assigned style boundaries and allowed young people to express themselves as colorful art pieces without any aesthetic rules.


As far as the go, this era was a collection of stylish and, at times, less than stylish fashion choices. On one hand we had stars such as The Spice Girls embrace girl power all through the powers of glitter and platform shoes. Gwen Stefani made her iconic 90s mark performing

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in cargo shorts and crop tops. Drew Barrymore created her own look with a mix of delicate fabric and dark makeup. The one and only Britney Spears first introduced the concept pasty miniskirts and low rise flared jeans. On the opposite side of the spectrum, the 1990s was also the period of staples that didn’t quite make the iconic cut to fame such as plastic slap bracelets and butterfly hair clips. Nonetheless, the retro choices of the 90s are a part of runway, cinema, and music business history slowly reappearing in people’s wardrobes. Over the period of just 30 years, trends between the 1970s and 1990s were created, transformed, and revived. Whether it was a soft, faded dresses, a brightly colored oversize jacket with shoulder pads, or denim jeans with multi colored patches, the three decades were some of the most creative years in fashion history influenced and made possible by many celebrity pop stars and talented artists. The looks created by a few individuals many years ago have inspired young adults to take on those iconic pieces and recreate them to fit their own image.

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Artwork /

Caroline Teck

Regina Vargas


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picking up this magazine and thumbing through the glossy pages you see stunning photographs, absorb beautifully worded pieces of writing, and, whether consciously or not, you are perpetuating the work of each individual that put even an ounce of effort into this magazine as art. You see, while some view fashion as art and others see fashion in art, the beauty of the human mind combines these two forms of work and provides us with something that appeals to us at a level above the banality of our normality. That is what I see fashion as. However that is also what I see art as. So then are fashion and art synonymous? Would you say art resides within fashion? Or does fashion reside within art? Or maybe fashion is a part of art just as much as art is a part of fashion. No matter what variety of words you may use to describe these two beautiful constructions of the human mind, there is no way to avoid the inherent connection between them. You would be hard pressed to find a designer that would not say that art is what inspires them; you cannot have fashion without art and, as such, fashion itself must be an art. From Dior to Yves Saint Laurent and countless other classic and contemporary names in fashion, designers, stylists, and photographers alike turn to art to inspire their work, with some designers going so far as to take pieces of art and directly translate them into whatever medium with which they are working. Whether they are interpreting an artwork in the design of a dress, printing an artwork directly onto the cloth, or using the structure of an artwork in the style of a collection, it is always astoundingly beautiful when pieces of art are used to make the art of fashion even more prominent. You see a skirt that is so perfectly and delicately dyed that it almost exactly mimics a Monet

sunset. You see a suit that is made up entirely of blocks of color and lines so straight they don’t even bend as the clothing moves, you know that the designer modeled it after a modern Piet Mondrian painting. You cannot help but be drawn to a dress all gold and shimmering, with almost mosaic like patches of color and you instantly recognize Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss as the inspiration of such splendor. As you notice how these stunning works of art were twisted and translated to form a another beautiful work of art it makes that fine line between art and fashion even finer and just a little bit blurred until you cannot truly distinguish the difference between the two anymore. Art is not simply the act of slapping some paint on a canvas and putting a pretty frame around it. It is the act of expressing your own individual creativity and causing every person that looks at it to have a different reaction and perspective on it. We do not only make art as humans, but we absorb it into our minds every second of the day, allowing it to change our perspective on life as we recognize something we may not have ever noticed before. Fashion does the same, except with fashion we acknowledge that it changes our perspective and allows us at least a degree of creativity in our day-to-day lives that most people do not appreciate or utilize. Fashion allows us to portray ourselves however we want, to change and shape others’ opinions and perceptions of us. We take it for granted that the clothes on our back have the power to put thoughts into other people’s minds, whether we like it or not. So why not take that opportunity and use it the way artists do, to inspire something beautiful and thoughtful in the minds of those that may not know exactly what or who they are looking at until you show them.

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Isabella Castro-Cota


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Justin Dean Thomas

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years of playing small New York club shows, singer-songwriter Justin Dean Thomas is re-introducing simplicity into the music industry. His upcoming untitled album will feature collaborations with people like Andy Rourke of The Smiths as well as other special surprise guests. “I made a lot of my previous recordings on cassette tape because I was hearing so much over-processed stuff coming out and it was my response to that. I wanted the song and melody and simplicity to be preeminent, no gimmicks. I think some people really want honesty in music right now. On the album there will be a lot of that mindset and analog touch.” Originally from Boston, Thomas grew up with the likes of Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, The Clash, and George Harrison. Notable albums including The Beach Boys Pet Sounds and Dylan’s The Basement Tapes so he naturally gravitates towards older generations of music, evident in the raw and pure quality of his songs. “I saw King Creole with Elvis when I was about 6 or 7 and I knew I was interested in playing music. A couple years later my parents put on the Woodstock film and I saw Jimi Hendrix play and I knew that is what I’d do for the rest of my life.” Serendipitously, his latest single, “Anytime I’m Feelin,” features The Smiths bassist Andy Rourke. They followed each other on social media and he discovered that Rourke and his wife listened to his music at home. They had lunch shortly after and discussed a possible collaboration. “I had Been Talking to Andy Rourke

about playing bass on some of the album and he really loved the track so we went right into the studio with it...we only rehearsed once before recording... when we started playing, everyone in the control room was in awe.” Although his latest single is more rock n roll, the album will also feature more folk music reminiscent of his earlier work. “The album will be comprised of a little of both. But the production will be consistent. I don’t think the Rock n Roll and folk/blues tunes are disparate but the production has to flow and the energy has to be cogent. You could listen to December’s Children by the Stones and hear “Satisfaction” and “As Tears Go By” on the same album and it makes sense.” Despite his recent successes, Thomas acknowledges the need to be gracious and humble since fame is so sensitive and can be pulled away at any moment. “I’m glad I came from a working class background. It teaches you no matter what gift you’re granted, you were serving pizza to someone or cleaning someone’s toilet and you could be doing it again and that’s fine. You’re not special and the gift is not yours. It’s just in your pocket for the time’re here to serve. Not to be served.” Besides singing and songwriting, he is generally wiser than most stumbling twenty-year-olds, offering me his own two cents from what he has learned thus far. “Always carry a pocket knife, immerse yourself in whatever it is you’re doing, find inspiration in things well outside your wheelhouse and medium. You meet the same people on the way up as you

do on the way down.” You can listen to Thomas’ new single on Spotify, Soundcloud, or Apple Music and keep up to date with him on Twitter @ JustinDeanNYC, Instagram @ justindeanthomas, or Facebook.

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Back Cover Photo / Ethan Cummins

CABRA | 2016

CABRA Spring 2016  

St. Edward's University Fashion Magazine / Issue No. 2

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