FEATHERS & FUR
volume one, issue one
UT $4.50 ET $5.00 00
Aliquis 8, 2008
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS Feathers & Fur is the first and only guide to style in the Bi-Co. As students of Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges, we came together with the common goal of bringing the big world of fashion to our small suburban community. Inspired by current trends, bi-college style and local stores, Feathers & Fur is the culmination of our interest in the industry. At liberal arts colleges like our own, daily fashion is not always on the top of our to-do lists. Luckily, we are surrounded by creative individuals with unique styles and edgy clothing, and we took it upon ourselves to feature it. In our very first issue, we feature on-campus street fashion, updates on the lives of alumni working in the field and new ways to spice up our college gear. We include a staff profile and highlights of local boutiques on the Main Line. One of our most beloved accomplishments is shooting four fashion spreads featuring our fellow students as models. We hope to inspire you to be fearless and decide to put on that extra something before you leave for class. We would like to thank everyone who helped us with this endeavor, including models, professors, the Bi-College News, Jason McGraw, James Weissinger, the local community and everyone else who supported us along the way.
With love, Rachel Oliner Juliana Reyes Simran Singh Elizabeth Svokos Darren White
table of contents letter from the editor the fashion show in first position haver-goddess the couturier around the corner finals week is a breeze a blossom on ardmore avenue on the prowl simple & chic david sedley: economist of pleasure wednesday night lights charlie rubin: picturing a model life glam up your gear diary of a night out
1 3 5 15 17 27 30 31 39 41 49 53 54
The Fashion Show in First Position It’s not how well you pirouette, but how good you look doing it. Ballet classes used to have a mandatory dress code: pink shoes, pink tights, black leotard and a skirt that ties directly around your waist so your teacher can tell when you’re not “engaging your core.” But dance evolved and grew into new forms. Jazz, lyrical, contemporary, modern, hip hop, interpretive, whatever. With those new dance forms came a new way of expression, not only in the movements but also in what the dancers wore. “At first I really didn’t care what I wore,” says Bryn Mawr sophomore Alex Kaplan. “But all of the sudden there was this whole etiquette: rip your tights at your ankles, wear your dance sweater a certain way, there was something you did with the leg warmers.” Fashion in dance classes can be influenced by the other dancers’ trends, and to stay hip and look fresh, you gotta jeté onto the bandwagon. Bryn Mawr freshman Aliza Rothstein had similar experiences in her dance classes. “The cool thing was to have a leotard with a cool pattern on the back,” she says. “Seriously, all my friends would do that and we’d show them off like, ‘Check out this one!’”
Written and photographed by Elizabeth Svokos
“I started cutting the necks off t-shirts,” Kaplan says. “I picked it up from Israeli dancers I danced with. It was a lot more comfortable to dance in and it just looked sweet.” Inspiration can also be drawn from where you dance. Darcy Kottler, a Bryn Mawr College sophomore, takes dance classes in New York City during the summer. “It was ballet with an urban edge,” she says. “New York style street wear translated over to the dance classes. In the open classes you’d have professional dancers with ribbons in their hair, and
other people would just walk in from the street in their street clothes.” Street style in dance classes became more prevalent as new varieties of dancing emerged. Myra Bazell, dance teacher at Bryn Mawr and life-long dancer, trained during the early roots of hiphop. “We started to be able to wear anything we wanted, it was the fashion of performance,” she says. She wore flared pants when she trained in jazz during the ‘70s and flared skirts when she studied flamenco in her teens. Soon her style on the dance floor began to permeate her everyday style. “My mom was a costume designer, so that shaped fashion for me.” Like dance, Bazell saw fashion as “a way of communicating.” “Having the freedom to be sensual and shape-shift plays into how you dress,” she says. But ballet is a different story. The body must be shown off, and street pants will cover that killer
turn out. “Ballet is more refined,” says Kottler. “There’s an emphasis on creating lines that are aesthetically pleasing. I was trained to wear a skirt so you can see the waistline.” Tights, a perfectly fitted skirt and a plain leotard work together to highlight the dancer’s body as it stretches and turns and jumps and bends in that perfect and polished technique. “Leotards, in my opinion, are attractive,” Kottler laughs. “They just make me feel prettier.” From first to fifth position, dancers have got style covered. Some dances require certain outfits, and others inspire fashion. (How many of you have ballet flats in your closet?) Dance is expression through movement but as Myra believes, “it’s all about enjoying the freedom of dress.”
GODDESS Lust Lunt & Laundry
Jacket, Free People. Top, vintage. Skirt, American Apparel. Shoes, Jessica Simpson.
Photographs by Elizabeth Svokos
Silk vest, vintage. Blue dress, American Apparel. Grey dress, H&M. Shoes, Nine West. Belt, vintage.
Opposite page Top, H&M. Jacket, Gap. Necklace, vintage.
Silk vest, vintage. Blue dress, American Apparel. Grey dress, H&M. Belt, vintage.
Opposite page Top, H&M. Jacket, Gap. Skirt, American Apparel. Shoes, Nine West. Necklace, vintage.
Top, vintage. Skirt, American Apparel.
Top, H&M. Jacket, Gap. Skirt, American Apparel. Shoes, Nine West. Necklace, vintage.
Models Thea Rockwell, Ruben Alexis, Joakim Gr책nemo, Ben Porten, Drew Twitchell & Aidan Un Styled by Rachel Oliner, Juliana Reyes, Simran Singh & Elizabeth Svokos Makeup by Rachel Oliner
The Couturier around the Corner HOW FRANK AGOSTINO HAS BEEN DELIVERING HAUTE COUTURE TO THE MAIN LINE FOR ALMOST TWO DECADES. Written and photographed by Darren White
A stand out from Agostino’s line. One step into Agostino and a woman feels like she’s finally arrived. The cream walls, the fine art, beautiful lighting from picture windows, two decadent crystal chandeliers (a holiday season window treatment that has luckily stayed in place) – these decorative elements just ooze with sophisticated, modern romance. And unsurprisingly, native New Yorker Frank Agostino’s clothes do exactly the same thing. From black shifts with French lace insets to a tiered satin organza biascut cocktail dress that falls with the lightness of a feather in mid-air, these are cocktail dresses that
make an instant and timeless statement. All of these clothes are designed by a man who is clearly a New York transplant. Tall, witty and with an unmistakable accent, Frank Agostino makes it very clear what his clothes are about. “I design for every woman,” he says. “I like feminine clothes, and I like soft clothes. And they’re the most difficult to make. It has to be feminine and elegant.” Elegant is without question an elemental thread to Agostino’s work. He does ready-to-wear collections each season but also does couture creations for his clients. From gowns for benefit dinners to power suits for his working women, Frank Agostino is the go-to guy for Main Line women looking for that certain something to make them feel special – at the best friend’s wedding or at the all-important boardroom meeting. Agostino has over 20 years of experience doing both made-to-measure gowns and wholesale ready-to-wear for major stores. After leaving New York City for Philadelphia, Agostino got his start on the Main Line working as a buyer for a major department store merchandising contemporary sportswear throughout the ‘80s. After tiring of retail, he opened his own showroom in New York City, doing runway presentations during New York Fashion Week and selling wholesale to stores across the country. But as a young designer working independently in the city, fashion was not easy. “As a small company, a new designer, the abuse that the stores put us through was really just not worth it…just obscene things,” he says about his experience creating clothes during the decade of decadence. From chargeback to stocking issues, it was a classic case of independent fashion’s David taking on the retail giant’s Goliath. Agostino would soon close the doors to his New York showroom, but that would not stop him from serving his customers. His clients kept requesting couture dresses for special occasions and suits for work, and before long, he was presenting ready-to-wear collections again, but his time, he was in Philadelphia. To save himself from the cost of doing a seasonal show, he decided to open his store, which was originally in Ardmore. The original Ardmore store did double
in today’s world of fast fashion. He’s one of a few designers to construct in-house, and as some of the best design talent in New York ship their patterns out to other countries and factories to be produced, the craftsmanship of dressmaking is slipping away as the world’s best couturiers die out, in the case of Yves Saint Laurent, or retire, like Valentino. “We don’t have in our society today the design skills that enable talented young people to construct something,” says Agostino. He sees this happening yearly as a lecturer and guest critic for fashion programs at Moore College of Art, Philadelphia University and Drexel University. “I see a lot of talented young [designers], but unless young people realize that they have to know construction and how to put together things and be able to train people to do it, it’s gonna be a lost art.” Even our first lady isn’t immune to Handmade Parisian necklace designed and manufactured the loss of the craft of dressmaking. When Agostino saw Mrs. Obama’s inaugusolely for Agostino. ral ball gown, “the first thing I said to my wife is that an amateur made that dress – too much duty as an art gallery and a fashion boutique, since Agostino was both an avid lover and col- skirt, the bodice wasn’t fitting.” Agostino is old lector of art. After running both the gallery school in the best sense. His clothes are shining space and the fashion business for nearly seven examples of the craft of couture. If you’re lookyears, Agostino closed the Ardmore store and ing for a timeless investment in a piece that will headed for his current location in Bryn Mawr. make you feel like a ‘40s big screen siren but still The move was perfect for displaying Frank leave you looking like a modern goddess, you’ll Agostino’s delicate designs. The store is a testa- be hard-pressed to find any place like Agostino. ment to classic prettiness that is making a return for fall. One standout is a fuchsia cocktail dress in satin organza. One of Agostino’s favorites is a pleated silk taffeta red bubble dress that moves like water and feels incredibly light, despite the heavy detail and dense fabrication. Another highlight is a dress with a crewneck bodice of the softest cashmere with a golden taffeta skirt. The handcrafted pieces in the store are almost overwhelming in their beauty and internationalism – handsewn lace from Paris, knitted eyelet from Italy and fabrics from across the globe scream ageless glamour. The store also has handcrafted jewelry from Paris, India and local designers that is made exclusively for the boutique. The same goes for the handbags, most of which are made from antique frames and luxury animal skins, like python and ostrich, by Agostino’s wife. Nearly every piece you can pick up Locally hand-beaded clutch. in the store is handcrafted and constructed locally. Frank Agostino and his small staff make all the dresses, which is almost unheard of
finals week is a breeze style, self-scheduled.
On Cristina Overalls, stylist始s own. Bra, American Apparel. Shoes, Charles Albert, altered by stylist. On Amanda Shorts, Forever 21. Top, Marciano. Mesh body suit, American Apparel. Shoes, Doc Martens. Backpack, vintage.
Photographs by Elizabeth Svokos
On Shiv Dress, H&M. Belt, vintage. Hat, Urban Outfitters. Shoes, vintage. On David Top, Michael Kors. Vest, vintage On Liz Top, H&M. Skirt, Urban Outfitters. Bracelet, Target.
On Christina Vest, Urban Outfitters. Shorts, Urban Outfitters. Shoes, Miu Miu. On David Clothes, model始s own. On Tom Clothes, Model始s own.
Opposite page On Christina Dress as top, American Apparel.Vest, vintage. Skirt, vintage. Shoes, Payless. Socks, Express. On David Clothes, model始s own. On Tom Clothes, model始s own.
On Cristina Overalls, stylist始s own. Bra, American Apparel. Paper, Blackboard. On Amanda Shorts, Forever 21. White shirt, Marciano. Mesh body suit, American Apparel. Backpack, vintage.
On Joe Clothes, model始s own. On Amanda Clothes, model始s own.
Opposite page On Liz Top, Hanes, altered by stylist. Bra, American Apparel. Shorts, vintage Paris Blues. Belt, vintage. On David Clothes, model始s own. On Shiv Top, American Apparel.
Models Cristina Morais, Amanda King, Joseph Shin, Christina Ardila, Tom Carroll, David Fischer, David Daise, Liz Hood & Shiv Nelson Styled by Simran Singh, Elizabeth Svokos & Juliana Reyes Makeup by Simran Singh
a blossom on ardmore avenue Lauren Handel realizes a lifelong dream with Petunia’s Consignment Boutique in Ardmore. Written and photographed by Darren White The first time I took serious notice of Petunia’s Consignment Boutique, a little gem on Ardmore Avenue, was on a late afternoon trip to Suburban Square to buy a new pair of pants. As I turned my head away from the burgeoning midday traffic coming off of Lancaster Avenue, two things caught my eye. The first: a huge sign that said “CONSIGNERS WANTED.” The second: a pair of stunning black leather and wood Chloé wedges from the spring 2006 collection, the last collection before the legendary Phoebe Philo left the company and left the brand in a rut that it has yet to emerge from. When I finally entered the store in early April, all of my senses were tended to. The lighting was soft and glowing, Eric Clapton was coming out of the speakers, the store smelled of fresh flowers and the first thing that struck me was a nearly new Mulberry Bayswater handbag in a brown leather patchwork. “I’m very particular when I call Petunia’s a boutique,” says store owner Lauren Handel, “because that’s really my vision for it. I think that I have been successful at accomplishing that here. It’s certainly not a thrift shop.” You’ll never find Mulberry at the Goodwill. That’s a guarantee. Born and raised in Elkins Park, a suburb of Philadelphia, Lauren Handel has made her first retail
Lauren Handel, owner of Petunia’s.
location a must-see destination for any lady looking for an original, high-end designer piece at a fraction of the original cost. Unlike many consignment shops in the area, the pieces in Petunia’s are new or barely used. With local shops getting rid of unsold items as consigners and some of the best-dressed women on the Main Line getting rid of things they’ve worn only a few times, Handel has handpicked each item in the store herself, enabling her to give each customer a personalized experience. All of the puzzle pieces have fit together to create a boutique that has been selling successfully since its opening in November 2008, despite the current economic crunch. But Petunia’s is a late, triumphant chapter in a life that reads like an epic novel. Before stepping into the world of retail, Handel started her adult life as a psychotherapist in Southern California. She found her work rewarding but desired to be closer to the people she helped. “If someone had a success and they came to share that with me, my most natural inclination would be to throw my arms around them and scream ‘Yay for you!’” says Handel. “But as a therapist you can’t touch.” Handel longed for what she calls “a more holistic approach” to working with people and soon left her job and SoCal to return to Pennsylvania, a move that was a lot easier than one might think. “The quality of life is much richer, more delicious and more substantial than it was out in California,” Handel says. “And I loved California.” Upon her return to the east coast, Handel bounced between a number of jobs that she loved dearly and equally, from being a life coach by phone to an international clientele, to working as a marketing director for the prestigious Pine Hill Golf Club in New Jersey. She dropped the job at Pine Hill after three years, baffling many of the people around her. But she dropped the position to pursue a new opportunity with her brother that would finally indulge her love of fashion. “He was riding in the back of a cab down Fifth Avenue several years ago. And he looked out at the city sidewalk and saw all of these beautifully dressed women walking along the sidewalk wearing sneakers and thought, ‘Oh man, there
has to be a much more attractive solution than that.’” With her brother handling the technical details and Handel handling the aesthetics, Lauren Handel began her short-lived career as a shoe designer for Camileon Heels©, the first ever line of designer adjustable high heels. The brand received press from all over, including Shape magazine and the Today Show. And the brand was even featured in Time’s “Best Inventions of the Year” in 2007. But complications soon caused the brand to be shelved at the height of its success, leaving Handel at a crossroads. “The thought of going back to work for someone again… I couldn’t do it. And so I knew that I need to find a way to create my density or destiny, whichever would come first.” A new chapter in Handel’s page-turner of
an existence would start after waking up one September morning, knowing exactly what she wanted to do with her life. Two weeks later, she moved into her location on Ardmore Avenue. “I wanted women to feel like they were walking into a full retail location, but to be able to enjoy the fashion and the accessories at a third of what it would normally cost them,” Handel says. “I wanted them to know that you can explore and discover new ways of expressing yourself through fashion and not have it cost you an arm and a
leg.” And that’s what she’s delivering to women. The well-furnished boutique is filled for women young and old. From short party dresses to great handbags, you’ll find something that will leave you speechless. “I never, ever want a woman walking out of this store with something she doesn’t feel great in. I want women to feel a little bit more,” she pauses and contemplates, “delicious.” How can a woman not feel great in a brand new, emerald green dress by Catherine Malandrino that’s marked down by two-thirds? Other standouts include a new silver sequined mini-dress by Alice & Olivia cut by almost $300, a BCBG Max Azria dress that resembles chainmail and a summery green Nanette Lepore halter dress. Accessories are another draw for customers. A pair of Ferragamo flats will surely be irresistible to most customers. Handel is also skilled at pulling in some great bags from Juicy Couture, Prada and Louis Vuitton. The ice blue Marc Jacobs handbag is sure to go quickly. “This is my field of dreams,” Handel says. “I always had the sense that if I built it they would come.” With a stick this fresh, the real job will be in keeping people out of the store at closing time.
Caroline Connelly BMC ‘10
Hilary Schwartz HC ‘12
Dylan Gasperik HC ‘09
Andrew Wee HC ‘11
Katie Shetterly BMC ‘10
Jenine Abbassi HC ‘12
simple & chic Summer 2009 ushers in comfort in the form of slouchy pocket tees, the boyfriend jean and sleek white denim. National Jean Company, a chain of east coast high-end contemporary boutiques, specializes in the newest and hottest designer fashions. Thanks to their generous donations, we are able to bring you the freshest looks of the season.
Pants, 7 for All Mankind bootcut jeans, $158, www.nationaljeancompany.com. Top, model始s own.
Photographs by Darren White
Top, Wildfox by White Horse open-back tank, $78. Pants, Current/Elliott 1957 boyfriend jean, $229, www. nationaljeancompany.com. Shoes, Nine West.
Top, Twen-Tee sheer luxe tank, $72, www.nationaljeancompany.com. Skirt, J. Crew.
Top, David Lerner organic pocket tee, $66. Jeans, Current/Elliott 1957 boyfriend jean, $229, www. nationaljeancompany.com.
Pants, 7 for All Mankind bootcut jeans, $158, www.nationaljeancompany. com. Necklaces, vintage and Target.
Model Danielle Simpson Styled by Rachel Oliner & Darren White Makeup by Rachel Oliner
Economist of Pleasure Interview conducted by Rachel Oliner
David Sedley, a French and English professor at Haverford, can add another hole to his belt: fashion extraordinaire. Sedley, a self-described “dandy,” is meticulous about his outward portrayal, even matching his blazer’s pinstripes to his silk pocket squares. Daring as he is with his fashion sense, Sedley manages to encapsulate the notion of old-school professionalism. He never falters in his fashion choices, creating a great look with berets, colorful ascots and clean-lined suits. To those signed up for his classes next semester, make sure to sneak a peek at his cuff links and his color-coordinating skills. How would you describe your style? One description that would apply is “retro.” My fascination started when I discovered the clothes pictured in my grandmother’s photo albums and then the ones hanging in her attic.
“I got the sense that it was decadent, selfish, unrighteous to pay attention to clothing because what you should really be paying attention to ‘is the soul.’” Who do you dress for? I dress because I like it, period. I tend to like colors that are sort of fun and a little flamboyant. One can get into all kinds of thoughts about what one’s philosophy of fashion is, such as, “Oh, I need to express my creativity.” I do think there is an economy of pleasure that goes on with fashion. When you dress, it is a very selfcentered thing where you do it to please yourself, but you’re also in a way doing it for other people who can appreciate it. If you could own one piece of clothing, what would it be and why? I would like to have a bespoke suit from Saville Row [a street in central London famous for its bespoke tailoring, which creates a suit from scratch]. I would like that experience of having a piece of clothing built from the ground up. It’s not made to measure, it’s bespoke. You go in not just for one fitting, you go in for many fittings; it’s a long arduous process that for me would be fun, too.
Who are your favorite designers? It depends on years. Some years you walk into Prada and everything looks great; other times, you wonder on what planet the stuff is supposed to be worn. I like Etro and Paul Smith, both of which follow more or less the dandy tradition. You know, the old stand-bys are things like J. Press. I’ll buy a jacket from J. Press and wear it every week for ten years, it’s fantastic. There’s an English brand called Hackett that makes corduroy suits that suit my version of the professor concept. Thrifting is definitely part of the look, part of the fun, and part of what’s necessary for me as a professor with tastes beyond what I can afford. Slowly one can collect pieces that one has for years and years.
What do you think about fashion on Haverford’s campus? When I got here, I had a lot of people say, “Why are you wearing a tie? What’s with the jacket?” I got the sense that it was decadent, selfish, unrighteous to pay attention to clothing because what you should really be paying attention to “is the soul.” Clothes are the outward signs of one’s soul if you want to put it that way, at least that’s what people in the Renaissance thought. People say appearances aren’t important, but that’s BS. Ideas are always packaged through the senses. I definitely see some fashion here. At Bryn Mawr, I have always sensed sartorial creativity, and at Haverford Photograph by Darren White I see more of it than before. Compared to ten years ago, there’s more room for people who march to their own beat a little bit. People should do what they want, I don’t care whether people dress well or not, whatever that means; I think people should feel okay making a concerted effort to create a look. Or not - of course, so long as they realize that not creating a look is also creating a look.
wednesday night lights
Photographs by Elizabeth Svokos & Darren White
Stole, handmade. Dress, Reiss.
Dress, BCBG Max Azria. Bracelets, stylist始s own.
Dress, Rebecca Taylor.
Stole, handmade. Dress, Reiss. Necklace, vintage.
Model Pinky Farnum Styled by Rachel Oliner, Juliana Reyes, Simran Singh, Elizabeth Svokos & Darren White Makeup by Rachel Oliner
PICTURING A MODEL LIFE Charlie Rubin: from Haverford to High Fashion By Juliana Reyes
Photographs by Charlie Rubin
It was a cold, rainy Wednesday night at Haverford College but everyone in Apartment 14 2A was feeling warm. Jadakiss blasted from the speak-
ers, filling the room with a slight rasp and pumping bass. Solo cups filled with cheap beer lined the periphery of the cluttered common room table, ping pong balls bouncing off their rims. Charlie Rubin squinted through the viewfinder of his 35mm camera, striving to capture the night with one flash. “What was really fun about Charlie was that his photographs were a view into his life,” said Rebecca Robertson, who taught Rubin in her Color Photography class at Haverford in the spring of 2008. “He was reserved in class but you got to see hints of this other part of him.” Now Rubin squints through the viewfinder of his 35mm on the roof of the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills, aiming for that familiar snapshot aesthetic, but this time his subject is a model from Click Model Management, her image perfected by his team of stylists and makeup artists. “It’s pretty cool to see him go from taking pictures of me drinking beers to aspiring models,” said Haverford graduate Matt Handel, who lived in Apartment 14 with Rubin his senior year. Rubin, 23, a Growth and Structure of Cities major, graduated from Haverford in 2008. He played varsity soccer up until his senior year of college. Handel called Rubin an “atypical talent” in their group of sports player friends. He took two photography classes during his time at Haverford. He credits his Introduction to Photography professor, William Williams, with showing him that he could create a career out of photography, something he previously hadn’t thought about. Rubin said these classes gave him an excuse to take pictures every week. His favorite subjects were “the people in [his] crazy dorm room” whom he called his friends. “I was the resident documenter, for better or for worse,” Rubin said. Though his friends’ interests were different from his own, he said they pushed him to stick with photography. Even now, Handel said he would like to see Rubin open up a gallery. Maybe in one of the vacant stores in Ardmore, he suggested. “He could just kill it in a gallery.” After Rubin graduated, he thought he might want to work in photography, so he spent his summer days
scouring Craigslist for a job. He eventually found a spot as famed fashion photographer Andrea Blanch’s assistant. He worked in New York City, doing everything from photo editing to scanning old negatives to going on photo shoots with Blanch. Watching her put together photo shoots was his first taste of the professional photography world. Blanch, whose work spans Valentino ads to spreads in Vogue, said that as a photographer, “you absorb things.” This held true for Rubin, who absorbed as much as he could while he worked for Blanch. “It was a big help for me,” he said, “because unknowingly, I would have to do the same thing by myself in L.A.” Rubin said that working with Blanch made him think he could actually be a photographer. When summer ended, it was his turn. He packed up and left his hometown, New Rochelle, N.Y., for Los Angeles. Rubin, who thrives on being independent, wanted to do something on his own. He had no set plans. Rubin decided to continue to pursue photography in Los Angeles, working as an assistant to photographers and photographer’s agents. Though he learned firsthand about all that went into a shoot, he quickly realized that it was not what he wanted to do and found himself at square one. Alexander Reid, Rubin’s close friend and roommate, remembers having long conversations about which path Rubin should choose. When Rubin would say he just didn’t know what he wanted to do, Reid would encourage him to do what everyone said he was good at, what he loved: photography. “I’d say, ‘Don’t be an assistant. Don’t get coffee for photographers,’” Reid said. Rubin’s family was also supportive, as he comes from a family of artists. His great-grandfather was the celebrated Danish sculptor and silversmith Georg Jensen. His mother, Ea Georg Jensen, is a textile artist and his sister is a graphic designer. He said that the strong presence of art in his family made him feel like photography was an accepted form of expression. “I didn’t want him to stay [in Los Angeles] forever and ever,” Ea Georg Jensen said. “But I’m very for what he’s doing.” In order to start doing photo shoots, Rubin had to be a little sneaky. In November he put out a fake casting call on sites like Craigslist and Model Mayhem, asking for models to be featured in an editorial he was doing. After they sent him their photos, he would tell them the booking was already filled, but would they like to do a test shoot for his portfolio? It always worked.
Left, one of Rubin’s favorite shots from Color Photography at Haverford College. Right, Rubin’s favorite models in his apartment senior year. “I made them believe I was already an established photographer,” he said. “So that’s a good trick.” As he started doing his own shoots, Rubin said his photographs began to lean towards “the fashion side of things.” It was never what he intended. Rubin, who is more interested in photojournalism, sort of fell into fashion photography. He knew that in order to get his foot in the door, he first needed to create a strong portfolio. Fashion photography was the answer. The first shoot was a little bewildering for Rubin, who was used to taking shots of scenery or candids of his friends. He struggled with keeping his photographs natural even though he knew the whole scene was orchestrated. With each click of the shutter, he learned more and more. But even if his photographs turned out great, he realized he needed to step up his subject matter. “He would get girls that were 5’2” and chubby,” Reid said. “The photos were incredible but the models weren’t it.” So Rubin built up his portfolio and in February, he contacted local modeling agencies, asking if they needed any photographers to do test shoots. Click Model Management responded. They were struck by his unique post-processing style. Rubin uses brightly colored paint pens to add contours over his photos, producing a whimsical, urban pop-art feel. Royce Mitchell, a hairstylist who frequently works with Rubin, said that out of all the photographers he considered working with, Rubin was the one he remembered because of that distinctive quality of his work. “I told him that could be his ticket,” Mitchell said. “I’ve never seen that, I thought it was amazing.” Rubin knew he needed to find a way to set himself apart from the many aspiring photographers in Los Angeles. “So I just started doodling on my photos,” he said. “I’ve always been a doodler.” After the call from Click Model Management, everything else followed. “It was a big break for me,” he said. Suddenly Rubin
didn’t need to trick anyone into working with him. He was able to choose what stylist, makeup artist and hairstylist he wanted to work with on location. Reid recalls the swift progression of Rubin’s work, which occurred almost overnight. “I’d come home and there were models in my kitchen,” Reid said. “I was like, ‘O.K., this is getting legit.’” Reid watched as his kitchen transformed into a studio and dressing room all at once. Rubin’s behind-thescenes team was impressed with his work ethic and professionalism but also his ability to always keep things fun. Mitchell said that a lot of photographers have attitude, but there was no hint of drama with Rubin. “It makes the environment more creative,” Mitchell said.
“At first I was like, ‘I have to get a paid job.’ But then I realized I could treat photography like an art.” Kaitlin Painter, 20, Rubin’s regular makeup artist for shoots, said if she had the choice, she would always choose to work with Rubin because she knows she’d get quality photos. Vana White, 25, a stylist who has worked on Rubin’s set multiple times, remarked on his accuracy. “Out of 100 frames, 90 are excellent,” she said. “A lot of photographers just start clicking away. Looking through his photos, it’s hard because I have to choose. And I like all of them.” All the work Rubin had been doing, though educational, was unpaid. He admits it was hard financially; he kept a waiting job at a restaurant to pay the bills. “Most people get discouraged doing free work,” Reid said, “but it’s all his portfolio to him.”
Two of Rubin’s signature photo drawings, right image featuring Ambreal Williams of America’s Next Top Model fame. For Rubin, as long as he could bartend or wait and still have time to work on his photography, he knew he’d be happy. “At first I was like, ‘I have to get a paid job,’” he said. “But then I realized, ‘No, I can treat photography like an art.’” But one day all the free work paid off. Four test shoots later, Click Model Management contacted Rubin to inform him that he was now on their paid photographer list. “It made me feel like an accomplished photographer,” Rubin said. Still, he didn’t sit back. He contacted Elite Model Management to begin a relationship with another modeling agency. But just when things are falling into place, Rubin is again doing the unexpected. He’s heading back home. He’s setting up a meeting with the New York office of Click Model Management. He’s not quite sure what he’s going to do, no set plans. He may have to trick some more models into working with him. But Rubin said he knows the only way to get anything done is just to do it. He’s not too worried. “After graduating you sometimes get lost trying to figure out what you want to do,” he said. “I think I found it. I’m going in a really good direction.”
Above, Rubin playing soccer at college. Left, image from Rubin’s photo shoot on the roof of the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills.
For more of Rubin’s work: www.usualpolitics.net
glam up your gear thatʼs so college
By Simran Singh
As college students, we are known to shower rarely, eat constantly and roll out of bed in our sweatpants. But why? College is a place where we can transform from teenagers to adults. We need to start looking, dressing and being in the fabulous twenties that our New Jersey driver’s licenses say we are. Not to say that appearance is our first priority (or maybe it is?), but it is the first thing people see. Yes, we want to be comfortable. Yes, we want to represent our respective schools. And most importantly, yes, we want to dress with some style. So with that said, here are some tips to glam up your gear. Let’s take those hoodies and crew neck t-shirts to the next level.
TIP #1: Cut it out! Hoodies are comfortable, but boy, are they tight around the neck. Take some scissors and make a little slit in between the drawstrings. Your hood will still work for those windy days walking up the HCA path, but it’ll give you a more laid back look. No one wants to see you choke on those garlic knots in Haffner. Cut it up.
TIP #2: Layer it up Crew neck t-shirts adorned with our college name. BRYN MAWR COLLEGE EST. 1886, HAVERFORD SQUIRRELS, GOT NUTS? We are all proud. But with a little layering, our tees will be tens. Wear your heather gray college tee under a tailored blazer for a relaxed look. Or add a leather jacket to a baggy BMC rugby t-shirt or zip-up Haverford track jacket; pair with leggings and flats and you’re out the door.
TIP #3: Accessorize Oh, those dreaded sweatpants. You know the ones with the HC/BMC logo on the pocket, the college name running down the left leg? Yes, they are comfortable. Yes, I guess I can tolerate them. Pair with some Minnetonka booties but please don’t cut the seam up the leg. Pair with some L.L. Bean moccasins. You’ll look warm and cozy on a rainy day in the D.C., but please do not sweat-suit it. Add a scarf and a fitted tshirt. Add a bangle to your crewneck t-shirt and solid colored legging. Accessorize ladies and gentlemen. Please accessorize.
It’s not like we only try to look hot at a Drinker party on Saturday night. Everyday is a day to be glamorous. So hear me out Mawrtyrs and Fords and glam up your gear. Samantha O’Gara BMC ‘12
strike a pose, genna!
DIARY OF A NIGHT OUT photographs by darren white
xoxo, gossip girl 54
“FASHION IS NOT SOMETHING THAT EXISTS IN DRESSES ONLY. FASHION IS IN THE SKY, IN THE STREET. FASHION HAS TO DO WITH IDEAS, THE WAY WE LIVE, WHAT IS HAPPENING.”
Feathers & Fur - S/S 09 - Volume 1 - Issue 1 Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges