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Letter from the Editor As much as I love UCLA, during my two and a half years on campus I’ve had the unsettling feeling that something was missing. At the beginning of my freshman year, I followed two of my passions, fashion and journalism, by joining FAST and The Daily Bruin. Both were amazing learning experiences, and through each I was able to work with some of the most dedicated, creative and intelligent people at UCLA. But the two spheres were always separate, and I longed to bridge the gap between fashion and journalism and begin something new—something that UCLA had been missing. The thought of starting a campus magazine was daunting, but being surrounded by such talented peers made getting the idea off the ground significantly easier. The main goal of Denizen is to celebrate all of the incredible student writers, photographers, artists, stylists and designers in one well packaged publication. All of the content in the following pages was the result of the dedicated efforts of exceptional Bruins. We thought the theme for our inaugural issue, “Genesis,” was fitting given the number of firsts we had throughout

production. For the “The Rising Sun” we travelled to the Palm Desert (a first for me), and shot on picturesque sand dunes. Not only was it our first fashion editorial shoot, it was also the first time we learned that driving in soft sand was not a good idea. (Luckily, AAA is very good at finding motorists stranded in remote desert locations.) In our interview with DESMA student David Gao, we take a closer look at his new and innovative mix of geography and design in various mediums. His technique, which is heavily dependent upon both technology as well as technical skill, demonstrates the changing nature of this new frontier for the arts. Thanks to the hard work of everyone involved with production, we were able to create a clean finished product—but we still have so much to learn and so much potential for growth. As we move forward with our next issue, we look to showcase more of the talent at UCLA. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us, because this is only the beginning!





Editor-in-Chief: Sam Reed Managing Editor: Phoebe Neuman Photo Director: Arthur Pham Creative Director: Xiaoman Zheng Contributors: Kerianne Grant Phoebe Lai Isa Branas Michelle Liu Noor Gill




5 7 13 16 17 25 27 35 38 39

Style Spotting Bear Wear Closet Staples Intern Diaries A New Frontier for Art Flash The Rising Sun Androgyny is the New Black “My Soul” Plus-Size Style Inspiration


STYLE SPOTTING Eight AM class is no excuse for sweatpants. Take a cue from these fashionable Bruins who caught our eye with their great style. PHOTOS BY FAST AT UCLA

Addison, Second-Year, FINE ART

Rebecca, Elisa, Laura, All Third-Year DESMA Students




Elizabeth, Third-Year, ART

Christina, Fourth-Year, THEATER

Rachel, Christopher, Chelsea All Fourth-Year Theater Students

Brady, Grad Student, URBAN PLANNING










Make the Most of Your


The FLANNEL Our Pick:

Real Soft Epic Flannel Shirt ($20)





Staple #2:

The HIGHWAISTED DENIM Our Pick: Moto Jamie High Rise Skinny Jeans ($70)



FASHION Staple #3:

The SUNDRESS Our Pick: Roll Back Striped Ponte T-Shirt Dress ($32)







The Devil

Wears Prada


Last fall quarter, I was able to land an internship at a boutique fashion and lifestyle PR company within walking distance from campus. The company I interned for had a very small team, so I was able to do more important work than just going on coffee runs, which was a blessing and a curse. The upside to this responsibility is that my work was often more engaging and diverse than the tasks that most interns get assigned. I was able to edit press releases, take stock photos of products in the showroom, find new websites to reach out to, and help with event planning. The major downside was that I had never considered a career in public relations until I landed the internship, so I was jumping into the industry blindly. I had to learn to find the answers I needed without pestering my supervisors, which was often quite stressful. Despite my increased responsibility, I still spent hours doing tedious tasks, such as managing and updating what the PR world calls “blast lists,” which are huge lists of contacts in the fashion, beauty and editorial world, as well as putting together shipments of product samples, and searching through websites

to see if any of our clients had been featured. One of the hardest parts of my internship was learning how to manage and prioritize both small and large tasks. One of the biggest projects I did was putting together hundreds of gift bags of skincare product to send out to the audience of a daytime talk show. The other two interns and I spent multiple days pre-loading small, sample size bags that were included with the larger bags. This project was probably my closest en-

“...I was able to do more than which was both a blessing and a curse.” counter to the “true intern” experience of doing hours upon hours of tedious work, but it was still an incredibly fun opportunity to bond with my fellow interns and see all of the work that goes into putting on these types of events. Being a part of a small team was an amazing way to begin my experience as an intern because it allowed me establish a close relationship with one of the higher-level employees. My relationship with the head of the lifestyle accounts was important as she proved to be an invaluable ally in the office and a great person to have as a reference when applying to future positions. While my internship ultimately taught me that public relations is not the industry for me, I’ve realized that is what is so great about being an intern. Interning gives you a chance to peek into careers that you may be interested in pursuing, and if you don’t like it there is absolutely no harm done.

Creating gift bags for guests of a daytime TV show.






DAVID GAO mapping a new frontier for art


BY NOOR GILL On David Gao’s computer there is a folder simply titled “ideas,” and within that one folder are at least 100 other folders of possible projects, concepts and designs. The endless amount of possibilities found on Gao’s computer are analagous to the possibilities he finds within his own life-- from constantly changing art styles or switching majors several times. Gao, a second-year Design Media Arts student, currently finds himself creating art pieces which are not easily classified into the identifiable styles of the past. “I think my style always changes…I guess it’s just where I am and what’s inspiring me at the moment,” Gao said. “Currently I’m into combining geography, design and technology-- that’s my style.” Developing an interest in the arts at an early age, Gao enrolled in a magnet arts high school, which helped cultivate his skills and led him to apply to UCLA as an art major his senior year. “It was completely different from a tradi-

"Tessellating Modular"


tional, typical high school,” Gao said. “It was really cool being around people who were so young but so passionate about the arts.” Although Gao’s passion for the arts never wavered, he soon discovered that his intensive arts background left him desirous to explore other fields. He dropped his art major during the third quarter of his first year and opted for something a bit more uncharted: geography. Gao said that although his intentions were to study the visual arts, some of the first classes he took at UCLA, including Design Culture and Geographic Information Systems, left him questioning his initial trajectory in favor of something that would involve the possibility of intertwining the subjects of design and geography. “I really like making things that are different and new, so finding geography was really exciting,” Gao said. “I saw it as sort of a new frontier for art and



design.” One piece that exemplifies Gao’s interest in geography is a map titled “Pyrocartography.” In this artwork, Gao contrasts the geometric outline of a map with vibrant organic shapes layered on top of each other, with each layer representing the monthly fire spread of the Los Angeles Station Fires. Another recent project of Gao’s is his work with design objects, which are structures showing geographical or architectural characteristics. One such object titled “Globalization or fragmentation” features a map taken from Google Maps that he separated into 18 divisions, printed, and then reconstructed into a model that contrasts the topography of the city with that of more natural areas. Gao also plans to try his hand at game creation. Specifically, he wants to alter the popular hide-andfind game known as geocaching, where participants use GPS technology to find a cache containing a prize

"Globalization or fragmentation"

that can then be replaced with a prize of their own and re-hidden for another to find. In Gao’s version, called “Geochronocache,” participants already have the box or cache but it will not open unless they can track down the particular location and time of day. “We wanted to make a geocache that unlocks at a certain time and location,” said Daniel Lin, a thirdyear cognitive science student and collaborator to the “Geochronochache” project. “Using something called an arduino, which is basically a motherboard, we want to be able to make it interactive with the environment.” Whether Gao is crafting a 3D object, editing an animation, or designing digital art, all of his recent projects involve technology in some way or another. “I always think of technology as related to fine art in that you can have different brushes, different mediums,” Gao said. “Technology is just another medium…learning a new program is like using a new brush.” Emil Chang, second-year history student and one of Gao’s friends, said that although Gao often uses

technology to convey his artistic message, he never uses it as a crutch. “His stuff doesn’t feel too mechanical,” Chang said. “Even though it’s all done through technology, it doesn’t feel too far from a painting, or something done by hand-- it’s all very personable and approachable.” Coming in as an art student, switching to a geography/environmental studies major and finally returning to the UCLA’s School of Art and Architecture as a Design Media Arts student, Gao has been through several changes to discover that maybe his artistic style lies in the combination of all the skills he has learned. “I think that there is so much in geography that can be used for art,” Gao said. “Geography encompasses so much-- there is environmental geography, political geography, economic geography …I also think that maps are really beautiful, but maybe that’s just me.”

Digital art (left) Photography (right)




FLASH Metallics make the move to the lips and brows this Spring for a bold beauty look that catches the light.



DIRECTED BY: Arthur Pham, Sam Reed PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Arthur Pham MODEL: Ashley Joseph MAKEUP: Emma Persson ASSITANTS: Noor Gill, Michelle Liu



Under the sweltering heat of the Palm Desert sun, we took refuge with nomad-chic styles from the online clothing boutique, Amies La Vie.

DIRECTED BY: Arthur Pham, Sam Reed PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Arthur Pham MODELS: Haley Glass, Samara Khalil STYLED BY: Kerianne Grant, Phoebe Lai, Arthur Pham, Sam Reed EDITORIAL ASSITANT: Phoebe Neuman


Gender-ambiguous styles explore the gray area between the sexes.

INDUSTRY BY SAMANTHA REED Model Andrej Pejic is in high demand. After beginning her career in 2008, Pejic has slowly but surely ascended the ranks of the uber-competitive model hierarchy. Building her resume with well-known fashion powerhouses such as Jean Paul Gautier and DKNY, Pejic’s path to supermodel status only continues to gain momentum. Called a “rising star” in the modeling world by New York Magazine, it’s clear that the face of Marc by Marc Jacobs’ 2011 campaign is one we’ll certainly be seeing a lot of in 2014. The Australian born stunner’s popularity is due to a versatility that comes from one important detail: Pejic is actually a man.

beyond a simple incorporation of menswear favorites such as blazers or oxfords. Rather than reworking traditionally feminine or masculine silhouettes or staples, designers have invented completely new pieces that bridge the gap between the sexes. An emphasis on neutral color palettes, neutral shapes and neutral styling demonstrate designers’ current infatuation with ambiguity. In the space of the gender continuum, where masculinity and femininity are perched at the extremes, it’s the gray area in the middle that is inspiring the fashion world. The timing of the fashion world’s choice to experiment with gender ambiguity is no coincidence. With the subject of the ever evolv-

“When styled with slicked-back hair and minimal makeup, viewers of their shows are sometimes left with the unsettling question of, ‘man or woman?’” Although she prefers the female pronoun, Pejic was born as (and still is) technically male. However, she considers herself neither completely male nor female, but rather “in between genders.” Because of her androgynous characteristics, Pejic’s agency, DNA, markets her to potential clients as both a male and female model. With sharp facial structure, waifish figure, and long blonde locks, her ambiguous look is one that designers and editorial directors alike can’t resist. Androgynous features like Pejic’s have recently become the go-to look in the fashion world. Modernist designers such as Alexander Wang, Thakoon Panichgul and Rick Owens have embraced the gender ambiguous aesthetic with curve-concealing and structured collections, prioritizing luxe materials and craftsmanship over “feminine” detail. When styled with slicked-back hair and minimal makeup, viewers of their shows are sometimes left with the unsettling question of, “man or woman?” While menswear for women is nothing new, the collections that have graced the 2014 Fashion Week runways around the world go

ing definitions of gender making headlines— including Facebook’s introduction of over 50 new gender identity options—it’s no surprise to see designers taking note and incorporating androgynous influences into their work. After all, contrary to popular belief, fashion isn’t all superficial glitz and glam. As artists, these designers and creative directors are taking note of the evolving social climate and expressing their beliefs through the one medium they love— clothing. The fashion industry’s well-established relationship with the LGBT community is no secret, so the extension of acceptance to the concept of a third gender, or, for that matter, “genderless” identity, should come as no surprise. Like the sexually liberating hemlines of the 1920’s or the feminist-inspired punk styles of the 1970’s, designers’ androgynous aesthetic of the present is charged with a message. Barneys New York’s Spring 2014 ad campaign also played into the androgynous trend by featuring transgendered models from the New York City community. However, the luxury retailer makes it clear that they weren’t just



selected for their unique look. Accompanying the campaign, which is titled “Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters,” is a short documentary film which details the struggles each of the 17 models faced as transgendered individuals. Coming at a time when the fashion industry has also been under intense criticism for a lack of diversity both on the runways and in print, the artistic shift in taste will hopefully

expand the current definitions and standards of beauty. While it’s safe to assume that the classically feminine “girly girl” looks, exemplified by designers such as Zac Posen and Diane von Furstenberg, won’t ever go out of style, androgynous looks certainly offer a an inspiring and welcomed change of pace.

Model Andrej Pejic (left). Katie Arin (right) for Barneys New York’s Spring campaign. Left: Alexander Wang, Fall 2014

Right: Rick Owens, Fall 2014




My Soul Poem by Jennifer Bui, a fourth-year philosophy student and member of The Writer’s Den.

“My Soul”, A phrase commonly uttered. The meaning? The essence of one’s self. The complexity and wholeness of one’s self.

Expression and understanding of the world that produces the Aesthetics take account, but perspective is what I’m really at.





PLUS SIZED STYLE ICONS BY DOMINIQUE SILVA While the fashion world has made strides in increasing the visibility of all different races and shapes, they haven’t gotten to complete equality yet. Women who have been deemed plus size by the fashion industry rarely make the covers or appear in editorials of high fashion magazines and are featured only sparingly in catalogues. Luckily, plus sized fashionistas have been able to make their mark on the fashion industry through Instagram and blogging. The long overdue takeover of the blogosphere by the plus size community has made discovering

UCLA alumna Dominique Silva shares how

items that look good on someone who isn’t a sample size infinitely easier. Not only have these bloggers taken on the responsibility of inspiring women who have denied themselves trendy fashion staples, but they have also opened up a whole new world for those who previously thought they could only make selections from the hideous plus size sections of department stores. Here are my picks for the top four bloggers that will have you leaving quarter sleeves, elastic bands and shame-ridden faces behind.

FRANCETA JOHNSON Franceta, with her wardrobe consisting mainly of black and neutrals, is a girl after my own heart. This six foot plus lifestyle blogger, fashion designer and Toronto native knows what looks good on her body and makes living in the snow look completely effortless. Franceta is living proof that wearing black isn’t because you have something to hide-- an all black wardrobe just makes it nearly impossible to not look like a rock star (invest, ladies!). She was also the blogger who introduced me to ASOS’ life-changing Curve Collection with her constant Twitter discussions about their sales, free shipping and new collections.



GABI GREGG The creator of the popular term “fatkini,” Gabi, a.k.a. GabiFresh, breaks the status quo of needing to eschew trends in order to dress for your body and offers a variety of kickass, colorful and cropped outfit choices. Of the group, she has the most diverse style, giving a mixture of urban and sophisticated outfits. Besides honing her sense of style on her blog, Gabi has also dipped her toes into the design world and, using the self-coined “fatkini” as inspiration, has created a collection of beautiful bikinis for plus-size women. With her striped, neon and high-waisted choices, she has broken down the stereotype that big girls need to be covered up in matronly bathing suits.

NICOLETTE MASON Nicolette Mason, the pastel princess, is all about girly-girl attire; you will rarely catch a post with her rocking a pair of jeans. Nicollete is your girl if you need some guidance in finding the best midi skirts, lip prints, pink beanies or cutest accessories on the market. While her wardrobe can deal with more high end designers, she perfects the high/low combination in every outfit. From Forever 21 to Chanel, Nicolette’s closet, as well as her life (hello, adorable fiancé), is what dreams are made of.

NADIA ALBOULHOSN Nadia is a bad bitch. She shows off her curves at every chance she gets, proving that bigger bodies aren’t something to hide or be ashamed of, but something to celebrate instead. While body-hugging attire may be her norm, her looks are anything but predictable. She rocks anything from T-shirt dresses with thigh-high gladiator sandals to monochromatic vintage looks, encompassing almost anyone’s style. Her twitter account is equally as inspiring as her blog. Her tweets leave you feeling like the most confident, badass and polished woman in the room-- its almost life changing, I promise.





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Denizen, Winter 2014  

The Genesis Issue.