2 Short Hairstyles: Do Haircuts Affect Your Love Life? 4 Watch Out Paris! Seoul Fashion Weekâ€™s Turning Ten & Making a Splash 5
Alexander McQueen A Noble Farewell
Patricia Field On Sex & the City 2
8 Which Regions Are Dominating Urban Fashion? 10
Zoe Kravitz Reveals Her Beauty Secrets! 12
Alexa Chung: Bird of Britain
Short Hairstyles: Do Haircuts Affect Your Love Life? by Johanna Cox
I tossed my bag on the counter, slipped off my heels, and walked toward the kitchen, where my boyfriend was leaning against the counter and staring at me with the kind of blank expression one can only manage when one is truly without words. “You don’t like it?” I asked. He attempted to run his fingers through my now-inch-long hair, opened his mouth to say something, decided against it, and then, for the first time in the two years we’d been together, looked at me without a single watt of sexual charge. It was in that moment I realized just how serious he’d been about this, that he’d actually meant it when he said he wasn’t attracted to women with short hair. “Not even Natalie Portman?” I’d ask. “Not even Natalie Portman,” he’d respond. “You’d really rather I gained 20 pounds?” I’d ask. “All in your ass,” he’d reply. I probably shouldn’t have expected to walk in the door and have him admire the cavalier spirit it took that morning to download a photo of a young, punk-pixied Swedish model posted on TheSartorialist.com and four hours later hand it to a stylist with the instructions: “Take me short. Take me this-girl short.”Liberating my bangs from his lingering hand, I asked him a more pointed question: “Are you less attracted to me now?”He took a few seconds, looked at me with the same love he had for me the day before when my hair was 10 inches longer, and said, “I feel bad, Johanna, but yeah, I am.”He no doubt felt that if I had the nerve to walk around looking like the Karate Kid, so too did I have the nerve to listen to the truth. And frankly, he was right. Having recently published my first scholarly article, completed my second marathon, and written my fashion blog’s 1,000th post, I felt more in control of my future than ever. I lived with a brilliant man who adored me, I had parents I spoke to every day, plus—and I owe this as much to my birth-control-stabilized complexion as I do to the long-distance running—I looked better than
ever, too. That boyfriend and I ultimately parted romantic ways, but we remain good friends. After all, it was his brutal honesty that prepared me for the next two years, when I would experience what it feels like to be consistently passed over by a majority of men simply because they, like him, believed they could never be attracted to a woman with supershort hair. “When I see awoman with short hair, it’s off-putting,” a male journalist in his late thirties tells me. “She’s making the statement that she doesn’t have to do what everyone else is doing.” A self-righteous attitude, as opposed to my body language or sense of style, was now the first impression I made on most men. As a result—and it was immediate—the nice guy, the skeevy married man, even the construction worker left me alone.
This reaction doesn’t surprise Tamás Bereczkei, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Pécs in Hungary, who performed a study in which images of female faces were given varying lengths of hair and then evaluated by men on their attractiveness. “Longer hair had a significant positive effect on the ratings of a woman’s attractiveness; shorter styles did not,” says Bereczkei, who notes that long hair increases the perception of good genes. “Hair is a track record of your health,” Jena Pincott, author of Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? (Delacorte), affirms. “It takes years to grow long, thick hair.”
Watch Out Paris! Seoul Fashion Week’s Turning Ten & Making a Splash by Alice Pfeiffer
This year’s Seoul Fashion Week has ten candles on its birthday cake, and over the past decade its grown into maturity. The event, which is coming to an end today, gathered the very best of international press and buyers and is possibly the most influential ‘alternative’ fashion week. Practically every city in the world has their own fashion week at this point, but Korea’s been ahead of the game, and today, many locally bred designers show in Paris and New York, from Moon Young Hee at Michèle Montagne (who also represents Demeleumesteer and Ackermann) and Juun J represented by Totem (alongside Bernard Willhelm and Damir Doma). But we flew off to Seoul and selected a few designers we thought you should know about, and who you’ll surely be wearing before you can say ‘Kim chi.’
The Centaur by designer Ye Ran Ji, is one of the week’s most eccentric, creative womenswear designers, and with the highest concentration of true to form hipsters. The show kicked off with an experimental film entitled ‘Taste of Kant’ by Hasisi Park, depicting an intense, playful friendship between two girls; as for the clothes, they mixed retro lines, with vintage fabric, denim and a hint of rock n’ roll. General Idea was a much awaited menswear show. The name refers to the conceptual art collective of the 70s of the same name. We especially liked the choice of colors and contrasts, like the repetition of beige with light blue. The modern dandy silhouette with a dash of retro sportswear resembles a Korean interpretation of APC. Kaale Suktae: This collection was influenced by Star Wars, the designer explained, a cheekier Felipe Oliveira Baptista. In a couture meet Sci-Fi feel (minus the spandex and lamé), the collection offered curved shoulders, primary colors mixed with neon shades, draped length and plenty of options for the Princess Leia-lovers amongst us. Expect to see one, if not more, of these names in New York in no time.
Alexander McQueen: Noble Farewell by Hamish Bowles
Quintessentially McQueen, his final, magisterial collection was a poignant coda to a career characterized by ceaseless invention, curiosity, and lightning flashes of absolute brilliance. The collection was presented in a stately room of white and gold Louis XV boiserie, in what was once the hôtel particulier of the noble ClermontTonnerre family. The models appeared one by one, to the hauntingly beautiful accompaniment of Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (the music that McQueen had been listening to as he created this collection). Their faces were powdered by Peter Philips as wan as van Eyck Madonnas, their heads were bound by Guido Palau like medieval wimples and crowned with bristling Mohican plumes, and they struck attitudes that recalled the iconic images of the Byzantine empress Theodora. McQueen himself had worked on each of the sixteen looks, elaborately draping each on the stand (“He hated too many seams,” explained Sarah Burton, the designer’s long-term collaborator and
now head of design of the house that bears his name). McQueen saw this collection as “going back to craft” after the übermodernity of his spring/summer 2010 “Plato’s Atlantis” show; the shoe heels, worked like Grinling Gibbons carvings, and the embroideries, as heavy as crusader armor or as light as spiderwebs, all revealed his easy command of magnificent embellishment. But he also harnessed modern technology to ancient craft tradition, translating Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights into a digital print and then using that as the template to create a handloomed jacquard. The wondrous clothes provided in some ways a summation of everything that McQueen had learned throughout his career, from his days padstitching collars for a Savile Row bespoke tailor, to the lessons absorbed from the great technicians of the Givenchy haute couture ateliers, to his own hands-on experiments. “He always started with the form and knew everything about how to construct a garment,” said Burton. “He felt he had to know everything about tailoring, everything about dressmaking. He’d always surprise us in fittings. We would tell him something was technically impossible—and in the morning there would be something amazing on the mannequin, even if he had to work all night to achieve it.”
Patricia Field on Sex and the City 2 by Erin Clements
Patricia Field’s much-buzzed-about wardrobe for Sex and the City 2, which sends the girls on a decadent romp through Abu Dhabi, is as much reason to see the sequel as Aidan’s unlikely reappearance in a souk and Liza Minelli’s “Single Ladies” cover. While on promotional rounds for a special-edition Skyy Vodka bottle she designed, Field talked to me about her favorite costumes for Carrie and the girls.
What was your first reaction to doing the sequel? It was a script that was almost just written for me. Once I read it, I totally figured out the broad strokes of the clothes. People ask me, if they make a third movie are you going to do it? I can’t answer that until I see the script. If I read the script and I get a motivation, an inspiration, of course I’m going to do it. But if I’m not inspired, I wouldn’t do it, because I wouldn’t do something that has no meaning. What were your favorite looks for Carrie in the film? The long skirt with the Dior T-shirt. And all the Halston. I love the outfit she wore when she went to dinner with Aidan—it was just a soft crepe jacket in a putty color and this long skirt that’s slit
all the way. I felt it was time for nice, chic, simple stuff instead of all these crazy designs. And the other girls? One of my favorites for Samantha appears in a scene that got edited out—it was a gorgeous Gaultier robe that was, like, ten-feet-long in the back. There’s one funny scene that takes place in New York where she’s wearing a little tube dress that flares at the bottom. She looked really fresh in that simple little dress. And for Charlotte, there was a red jeweled gown that looked great. When Miranda went to the wedding, she had a gorgeous Julien MacDonald gown that I originally got for Samantha. It didn’t fit her and was hanging there and Cynthia and I were trying things on for the wedding. I just grabbed it and said “try this on.” It looked gorgeous. It was the best look at the wedding. What was your inspiration for the ‘80s flashback? I went back in time and tried to imagine who they were back then. Samantha worked at CBGB’s at the bar. What would Charlotte have worn? Lily Pulitzer. Miranda, when the show started, was always wearing suits. And for Carrie I was, like, “Flashdance.” What was different about the accessories in this film? I could use hats freely for the first time, without having to justify them. The lighting people don’t like hats because they cast shadows. It’s always a nightmare. But this demanded the use of hats because people wear hats there—they have to cover their heads. So the camera and lighting people had to deal with it. Why did you want to team up with Skyy Vodka? I love the opportunity to design something other than clothing. Not that I don’t love clothing, but that’s what I do all the time. If you told me to design a car, I’d be happy.
Which Regions are Dominating Urban Fashion? by Ashley Pettaway
For those of us who are products of the early 90s, we know first-hand the severe fashion risks our parents took on us, that not even singer/fashionista Rihanna would attempt to try on. I’m sure you all vividly remember the overalls, excessive use of primary colors, high wasted jeans, and countless other catastrophes that made the 90s a decade to remember. These risks have produced a generation that has taken the fashion industry by storm, focusing less on trends and more on self-expres-
sion. While trends still tend to dictate what we pull off of the rack at the latest store or boutique, different regions have embraced certain styles, which influence the fashion choices that individuals make everyday. In 2006, a group of young men
known as the Retro Kids took New York City by storm, and started the wave of the 80s retro revolution. New York, known for its deep roots in the origins of hip-hop, was the inspiration for a new culture, which eventually spread across the globe. The eight members of the Retro Kids went back to this time period, and turned the innovative hip-hop culture of the 80s into a lifestyle, which immediately caught attention in the city. Soon after, kids throughout the U.S were trading in their baggy jeans and t-shirts for newly purchased and used vintage dookie ropes and Reebok track jackets for the first day of school. Needless to say, location has a large impact on many of the fashion decisions that we make. From 80s revival to a classic pair Vans partnered with a flannel shirt, every region has a style which reflects its environment, and the surrounding culture of the people. When asked about her personal style, Florida State University junior, Kendyl Bressant, a native of Long Island, New York stated, “I wear what I want to wear, I don’t care what people think, but I do follow some trends.” Many youth of this generation share the same belief. Like many other New Yorkers, you will often find hipsters such as Bressant shopping at vintage stores and trendy urban boutiques, to find the latest undiscovered trend, or anything else that catches the eye. YSL, Marc Jacobs, and True Blue Vintage being some of her favorite designers, Bressant claims to always strive to take fashion risks, and stand out amongst a crowd. Branching out to a region where individualism has been taken to the next level, members of the mid-Atlantic region have embraced Maryland and the District of Columbia for its innovative style and risky choices in fashion. Hampton University Junior Erin Phillips, a resident of Woodstock, Maryland, is also a believer of this lifestyle, and dresses according to her personal liking. Often finding her in an outfit accompanied by a high-heeled lace-up boot and a scarf, Erin, like many other Marylanders, is always looking something new to set herself apart from the competition. “I’ve always taken my inspiration from what’s new on the runways and turned it into my own. Fashion is something that I’ve always taken seriously, which is partially because of where I’m
from.” In a location that has been overlooked by the fashion industry, many mid-Atlantic residents have taken charge by innovating their own trends, which has caught the attention of other regions across the states. Finding a unique and unduplicated style has become a trend in urban fashion which has increased the popularity of vintage shopping and hand-me-downs. Celebrities such as Sienna Miller have been known for matching classic designer pieces with retro accessories to take an outfit from ordinary to chic. Hailing from the hometown of the infamous icon Kanye West, Hampton University junior Kendall Waller shared similar sentiments on his taste in fashion. Waller states, “I think that the way I dress is a good representation of where I’m from. Not a lot of people dress like me at Hampton. People that do dress the same way are usually from Chicago.” However, Waller admits that he has incorporated some of the popular trends from the “Hamptonian culture” into his own personal style such as Ralph Lauren Polo and Jordans. It’s safe to say that while trends will always exist, location continues to have an influence on individual style. These differences are what continue to change the fashion industry and have a positive change on self-expression. Distinctions in style will continue to bring the Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueens of tomorrow. While no specific region may necessarily have the best dressed men and women, regions such as the North, Midwest, and the Mid-Atlantic have been the forerunners in innovative urban fashion, and have been the inspiration for many of the trends in pop culture. Location has always been a prominent influence for many of the world’s leading designers, and will continue to dictate the decisions of the majority. Often times, designers search for the unique fashion choices made by young ristakers in fashion that can be found in unexpected locations, and transform their findings into what can be seen on the runways, and eventually into popular retail stores. When the Retro Kids of New York first began sporting their vintage 80s clothing, they never imagined that their appreciation for classic hiphop streetwear would create such a wave that remained in the fashion industry for years to come.
Zoe Kravitz Reveals Her Beauty Secrets! by Gina Kelly
What girl doesn’t want to be treated like a modern day princess? Zoe Kravitz, daughter of music legend Lenny Kravitz, gets to do just that every day as the face of the best-selling Vera Wang Princess fragrance. Zoe stars in the fun and free-
spirited ad campaign, which includes the brand’s first ever TV spot and features her band, Elevator Fight. The up and coming actress sat down at the Vera Wang Princess Tweet Up last week to answer questions about beauty, style, and her upcoming projects. Find out what she had to say! Zoe’s favorite place to wear perfume is behind the ears and on her wrists. She likes to keep her beauty routine simple by using coconut oil as a skin and hair moisturizer. As for makeup, she’s a fan of MAC and NARS, but grabs her mascara from the local drugstore. Overall, she likes the natural look and doesn’t wear foundation, unless she has a zit, but goes all out with smokey eyes or a bright lip when attending a big event. Her #1
princess-like indulgence is getting her nails done, which she always does with a friend in tow. Zoe lists her style icons as Jimi Hendrix and Carrie Bradshaw so as you can imagine, her style is eclectic. She says what she wears really depends on what she’s watching or listening to. For instance, she’s been known to throw on a 1940s dress after watching an old movie or rock a leather jacket when listening to some of her favorite bands (The Smiths, Radiohead, and Feist, btw!). Where does she do most of her shopping? Flea markets. She loves anything that has character and a story behind it. In fact, she picked up some of her favorite rings from the flea market and makes them her own by stacking them into one giant “monster ring.” Her vintage shopping might have to be put on hiatus for a bit since 2010 is sure to be her busiest year yet. She has four(!) films coming out later this year including her first leading role in Yelling To The Sky with Gabourey Sidibe who starred in the movie Precious, and the movie Twelve with costars Chace Crawford and Emma Roberts. To learn more about Zoe and see the behindthe-scenes photos from her Vera Wang Princess shoot, check out the fragrance’s official site at verwangprincess.com.
Alexa Chung: Bird of Britain by Sally Singer
Last February, 26-year-old Alexa Chung could be found at J.Crew headquarters in downtown New York, fine-tuning looks from her first capsule collection for Madewell. She wore a boy’s shetlandwool crewneck in navy with a jeweled cat brooch, cutoff Levi’s microshorts, thick woolly tights, and black lace-up ankle boots by Hermès. She said to the narrow gray mid-rise trousers: “Imagine those in a button fly? You’d be set for life.” To the black mini-overalls cut high on the sides of the thighs: “That’s the most dangerous bit of ass there.” To a thirties-y romper: “A few nights ago I dreamed that this would be in a crepe, and it would hang better.” To a tee: “Is that a bat wing? Am I sensing a bat wing? I can’t handle the eighties at all.” And to the stripy engineer jeans: “All the kids who are going to be ordering these from Shoreditch and Dalston will be going mad.” Are you thoroughly bewildered? Relax. If you have not heard of Shoreditch and Dalston, then it only means that you don’t hang your hat in London’s East End. If you have not heard of Madewell, then it only means that you haven’t visited one of the J.Crew niche brand’s few shops for a “skinny low worker” jean or a yummy, sexy sweater. And if you have not heard of Alexa Chung, then it only means that you didn’t spend 2009 watching MTV for live music, you don’t read best-dressed lists, you’re not an Arctic Monkeys fan (or not so obsessed that you follow the band members’ girlfriends), you don’t read the British tabloids that clock her every ensemble, you haven’t put your name down for the coolest satchel bag Mul-
berry has ever released (the Alexa), and you are not holding your breath for the Target version due in stores this October. And you are not Karl Lagerfeld, who says, “I love Alexa! If someone asks me who is a modern girl for me today, Alexa should be the one! The way she looks, the way she talks and acts. She does a lot of things at the same time; she is very talented and does it in a perfect way. She is beautiful and clever!” Every generation—indeed, every micro-generation—the United Kingdom unleashes a style bombshell on the world who flattens the best efforts of any American counterpart with the indescribable force of her courageous chic. There was Sienna, and before her Kate Moss. There were Twiggy and Shrimpton. There were Julie Christie and Liz Taylor. In 2010 there’s Chung, a string-beany, part-Chinese girl from the village of Privett in Hampshire, who grew up riding ponies and trying to decide whether to study literature or art at university. She has a big sister who listened to the Spice Girls and two older brothers who teased her for her large ears and skinny limbs. She wore riding clothes, her school uniform, and the occasional floral overall. As an adolescent she was into vivid monochromatics: all orange (for listening to Blur), then all purple, then all brown. At sixteen, Chung was scouted in the comedy tent at the Reading Festival—she thought the woman was “eviling me out”—and thus began a career as a model. With London calling, college was put to one side. She became a television presenter for youth-centric, music- and style-oriented shows, and a star in what is known as “hangover TV. It’s big in Britain because everyone’s wasted from the night before.” She also became known for her look, which invariably involves juxtaposing something quite classic—Chung favors “proper British fabrics” and, says her friend Tennessee Thomas, of the band the Like, “has single-handedly made the
classic Barbour coat fashionable”—with something amusingly off, like a vintage short-short or an Isabel Marant romper (“I buy everything Isabel Marant ever looked at”). She wears belowthe-knee skirts and vintage sweaters to channel Betty Draper (“I love Betty’s at-home outfits”) but adds boyish boots (“I have a real problem with black ankle boots,” she says, staring at a stack of near-identical pairs in her closet in Brooklyn) to ground the look in 2010. She wants a “really welltailored camel coat” because she just lost a navy version from Rag & Bone at LAX, in transit from Argentina to Spain and speaking on the phone to boyfriend Alex Turner. She wants a new mac because her favorite Burberry one was in a suitcase that she lost in a taxi on the way to Coachella, along with a Christopher Kane dress, a 3.1 Phillip Lim top, Chanel ballet pumps, and her most recent Marants—in Chung’s reckoning, “everything I liked in life!” What she wouldn’t have minded losing: navy blazers, studded clogs, and lumberjack plaids (“I can’t really bother with them at the moment”). The thing about English style icons is that they are invariably more compelling than any single item on their résumé. Do we love Kate Moss because of her modeling, or is it because she walked the red carpet with Johnny Depp all those years ago, or because she makes cool clothes for Topshop, or because she gives no interviews, has a cute daughter, and revived Vivienne Westwood’s accessories business? Chung, for her part, can sketch wicked and adorable graphics for Madewell tees (e.g., Alex in I Love You sunglasses, on holiday in Turks and Caicos). She can be a fashion journalist, writing terrific stories for British Vogue. She can present a live television show daily without being at a loss for words. She can be a DJ, a rock chick, a Chanel ambassador, a face of a brand, and a face behind a brand. But what makes her so mesmerizing is that none of that sticks to her with any nasty residue of ambition or self-promotion or exclusion. Says Phillip Lim, who met Chung because she was a customer at his SoHo store, “She is gifted with this really amazing presence but chooses to enhance it by pursuing what is not obvious.” He adds, “She is just strange. She is like that weird science project—a really annoying mix of a boy in a girl’s body with a penchant for girly things: flowers, bows,
hearts. But when you talk to her, it’s like talking to your best boy friend, someone with whom you could chug beer, tell jokes. . . . All the girls want to be her best friend. All the boys have a secret crush on her.” Says Mickey Drexler, J.Crew’s CEO and the person who picked her to put a face to Madewell, “She’s so cool she could be intimidating, but she’s not.” In 2009, Chung moved to New York for her own MTV show, It’s On with Alexa Chung. She and Turner traded a flat on London’s Columbia Road (known in the East End for its weekly flower market) for a two-bedroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They live with flea-market furnishings, heaps of clothes (polka-dot scarves, leopard-print coats, stripy sweaters, and cutoff jeans), and suitcases half-unpacked from recent travels. There are pictures everywhere, of other rock icons and looks snipped from magazines, and friends and family mugging in photo booths and on holiday. Nothing is fancy or self-conscious, and everything has a patina of the lovely and lived-in. It’s an apartment of a couple in their 20s, fame and iconicity be damned. Dev Hynes, who performs as Lightspeed Champion and first met Chung in a Dalston chicken shop when she had long hair and wore leather jackets, lives five minutes away. “We play Ping-Pong and pool. We do stuff like that— and eating and drinking. When she moved here, she didn’t know many people. She’d be invited to events, and I’d go along with her: two weird English people at these odd types of affairs.” Says her pal Nick Grimshaw, a popular UK radio personality, “It was rubbish when she went to America. It’s death. I came out to visit in October. We went to see the Horrors play and to a Knicks game and got foam fingers.” Now it looks as though Chung and Turner will be returning to London this fall. The Monkeys may record their next album there, and Chung is cohosting a style show called Frock Me. Her Madewell collection enters stores this month, and she is already working on the next (think midcalf lengths and oversize tops) and the next, and shooting the Lacoste fragrance campaign. She may be across the pond, but don’t count on her to be out of the swim of New York. The thing about these English bombshells is they can drop in anytime, losing a suitcase on the way, and leave the rest of us in the dust. Call it frock and awe.