contributors Sarah Breen Spencer Cohen Lovedeep Dosanjh Sarah Gale Christian Gould Kosta Karakashyan Jacquelyn Klein Evan de Lara Anna Lochte Nico Lubkeman Maddie Molot Wynnie Newton Ogo Nwodoh Ava Ravich Aashna Singh Charlotte Spritz Caroline Wallis Sam Williger Emily Wong Kiera Wood Karen Yuan
additional thanks to Denise Boneta Frances Cocksedge Jenny Davis Liora Fishman Ethica Clothing Maria Pasquali Pima Doll Negative Underwear
Sponsored in part by the Arts Initiative at Columbia University. This funding is made possible through a generous gift from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
masthead Editor-in-Chief Anisa Tavangar Logistics Director Kaeli Streeter Photo Director Phoebe Jones Fashion Director Sloane Gustafson Features Director Rochelle Wilbun Design Director Luna Rey Copy Chief Najet Fazai Blog Director Luna de Buretel PR and Marketing Director Alicia Schleifman Web Director Sneha Silwal
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letter from the editor In our transient community where individuals are in and out in about four years, beginnings and endings are constant and inevitable. Whether it’s an NSOP friendship or a semester’s course load, nothing seems to last for too long. For this reason, and because many of Hoot’s editors are new to their positions this semester, the editorial team decided to focus this issue on origins. This theme enabled us to explore roots, traditions, staples, and blank slates. Translating these ideas into photoshoots and written pieces was the easy part. Ideas emerged as we heard about student art projects that fit so well into the framework of “origins” for the issue. These projects, including lavish necklaces, eye-catching pillows, and delicately embroidered canvasses, inspired more conceptual and explorative shoots. With a strong focus on creating a collaborative environment, placing just a couple names on shoot credits omits a large part of this issue’s history. Our friends, classmates, families, and professors played a large part in refining each idea. Taking influence from our own origins, the editorial team challenged self-imposed limitations and went above and beyond to produce a truly beautiful final product. I am excited for the issues to come during my remaining years at this university, and I hope that you, our reader, will continue to support our efforts to grow the magazine.
photographer Luna de Buretel model Kalpana Mohanty makeup Anisa Tavangar hair Sarah Breen assistant Emily Wong necklaces Lovedeep Dosanjh
the golden age of technology writer Anonymous illustrator Sarah Gale
Kevin holds a bright green iPhone inches in front of his face. His left hand grasps the fluorescent plastic device, while his right hand drags a number two pencil across a blank white page. Kevin is ten. “I am doing my homework,” he says, reading my condescending older-sister looks from across the kitchen counter. “The article is online. It’s easier to read on my iPhone. I can zoom in.” I glance down at my own paper notebook and pencil, feeling suddenly archaic, a hard copy of Plato’s Symposium resting on my lap. I glare at the device in his hand with disdain, the source of which I cannot place. I think about last night, and shudder; there is something utterly depressing about watching a foyer full of ten year olds sitting side-by side, each child occupied by his own buzzing cell phone, each child’s gaze contained within the five-by-two-inch screen in front of him. I sift through my own memories of “playdates,” watching my eight-year-old self and her friends braiding one another’s hair, creating imaginary lives for porcelain dolls, make-believing that we are doctors, or orphans, or princesses. But these boys in my foyer had hardly seemed to notice one another: paradoxically together and alone they sat, side-by-side, each consumed by his own device, unaware and uninterested in his “playmates”. I want to say something to Kevin and his little green iPhone. I scrunch my brows at him tapping away at the thing, searching for some eloquent lecture that will set him in his place. But I have nothing to say. The kid is doing his homework, minding his own, and I, embittered by what I am beginning to recognize as my own anachronism, have no fair reprimand to deliver. People say we are living in the Golden Age of technology. I am supposed to be a member of that technological generation, a lover of gadgets and computer screens and television shows like the rest of my American peers. But if you start talking to me about last night’s episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians or “hashtag” that is “trending” on Twitter (though I may nod and smile meekly in feigned understanding), I will almost certainly have no idea what you’re saying. Yes, I am one of those people: I refuse to read off of a Kindle, I breakfast over a hardcopy of the New York Times, I believe that television rots your brain, and I continue to handwrite papers before typing them up because computer screens hurt my eyes. For an eighty-year old woman, whose existence long outdates that of the modern computer, these habits are forgivable—endearing, even. But I am not eighty. I am twenty — a 1995 baby, born amidst of the rise of computer technology. My
technological repugnance is unexcused by my generational status. I know that. But while my idiosyncrasies have no place among my tech-savvy peers, they are perfectly aligned with the nature of my admittedly old-fashioned upbringing. My mother is, like me, a paperback lover. A former English teacher and a self-proclaimed “book nerd”, her favorite line remains, “Reading is the key to academic success”; her favorite pastime involved a blanketed mesh of five needy children, cuddling as she read aloud chapters from Peter Pan or The Bernstein Bears. Every day, there was designated “reading hour”: a mandatory period of “reading for fun” that we all at first vehemently protested — and that, upon realizing the truism of a mother’s authority (and the subsequent futility of our efforts) — we ultimately accepted. Every night, there was the complimentary bedtime “family read-aloud”, which I suppose was, in a sense, my very tone-deaf mother’s substitution for a lullaby. Along with this emphasis on the value of books came the auxiliary denunciation of all things technologic. Television was not forbidden Monday through Friday, and on Sundays after dinner, and electronics, from Gameboys to Walkmen, were essentially never allowed other than on airplanes and roadtrips. My mother, too, had grown up without the comfort of Saturday morning cartoons. Her own antediluvian mother, distraught at finding her children staring wideeyed at the screen on a sunny summer afternoon, cut the wire to the one and only black-and-white television they owned. And that was the end of that. Throughout my middle school years, I resented this second-generation electronic embargo. I longed to participate in my friends’ impassioned conversations about Gossip Girl, to do more than nod my head and pretend to know who Blair was. But by high school, I had come to accept her view of television as a no-good, brain-rotting villain. I began to look with disdain upon the girls who wasted hours watching episodes of cult TV shows. I was shaped at a young age to treasure the tangible, the readable, and to condemn the digital. My mother is, like her mother, “technologically challenged”. Her version of typing is more like a battle between herself and the keypad; she bangs on the keys, one by one, the aggressive clacking sounds reverberating throughout the house. She did not know how to send emails until well into 2010, when her position as the Amherst Class of ’85 Secretary required it of her. Teaching her took my siblings and I two and a half very patient weeks. So, I guess it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise that I am so stymied by technology. My childhood itself belongs to an older generation — one that did, in fact, begin before the birth of the computer. For several years, I have clung desperately to these passé practices. Over at least the past few, I have found myself in a cycle of feigned ignorance: repeatedly bearing witness to little signs that my habits are dying arts, and then pretending not to notice. But sitting in my kitchen watching my little brother tap away, I am once again confronted by the truth that I have tried for so long to ignore: that the world of handwritten letters and paperbacks is over — and that maybe, despite my steadfast resistance, that isn’t such a bad thing.
uniform pho t ographer Chr istian Gould sty lists Sloane Gust afson, Anisa Ta vangar mode l W ilson Great on shir ts Nico L ubkeman t ex t Ty ler Allen canva s es Ava Ra v ic h
escaping the uniform
by Jacquelyn Klein
If you wore a uniform in high school, you probably yearned for the day that you could burn your knee length khaki skirts and hide your illfitting polo shirts in the back of your closet. At my school, expressing your individuality through more than socks and nail polish was a privilege. Because I didn’t need to wear regular clothes on a daily basis, my wardrobe was pretty limited. As a result, among the new beginnings associated with starting college, such as new friends and a new city-was a new closet. I was ecstatic to finally be able to wear my “style on my sleeve” so to speak. Now, my friends and I could show our outfits off in the “real world” rather than in the hundreds of online shopping tabs we’d curated over the course of high school. While other first years suffered through the cliche angst of “finding themselves”, I was tearing up the paper sleeves of my coffee cups over a more pressing matter: finding the crucial pair of above the knee boots to stride into my first real autumn in the city. Despite all of this, after a few weeks of wearing “normal people clothes” in college, I started to notice an alarming pattern. I had traded my well loved white converse for black leather boots, an itchy blazer for a crewneck cashmere sweater, and khakis for black high waisted jeans. I had become a cartoon character recognized by black, navy and grey. I had to ask myself, “Do my friends expect to see a row of identical outfits hanging side by side when they swing open my closet doors?” The only thing separating me and Spongebob are the color of our pants. But maybe uniforms aren’t as awful as I had made them out to be. They’re easy and eliminate the issue of having a full closet of clothing yet nothing to wear. When I’m running late, the first clothing items I throw on are a pair of my well loved black jeans and a simple colored sweater. These classic items can be transformed to fit a range of situations with the addition of a few carefully considered accessories. First, I determine what shoes the occasion calls for; heeled ankle boots or patent leather oxfords are perfect for a fancier outing. With a swipe of maroon lipstick, a statement bracelet, and my vintage Max Mara coat, I’m ready to head to a birthday dinner downtown. After changing out of my tennis shoes, knitted beanie, and a down puffer jacket, no one would expect that I just spent the last couple hours in the library reading the Bible for Literature Humanities.
On a practical note, uniforms allow you to save money by investing where it counts. Instead of collecting multiple cheap and arbitrary pieces ordered from Forever 21 at two in the morning, I shop with intent. For daily wear, I try to buy items that are both classic, comfortable, and functional in order to have outfits that will last for more than one season. Having a general color scheme also allows you to pare down your closet. If almost every item you own can be paired with at least three other items, you’ll never struggle to to look put together. Owning fewer pieces also justifies purchasing better quality pieces. Each month, I save money by not buying that “trendy” shirt that doesn’t have matching bottoms and, instead, treat myself to that pair of shoes I’ve coveted for months.
Having a uniform prompts you to explore and define your personal style. Are you a preppy minimalist? A grungy vintage chic? What would you pick if you had to wear one outfit for the rest of this year? People may look at me and wonder how many pairs of black jeans one girl can possibly own (five or more apparently). But I’ve decided to embrace my inner cartoon character. Who knew my high school headband and knee high sock wearing days would have such an influence on my current approach to dressing myself?
monochrome photographer Phoebe Jones stylists Charlotte Spritz, Anisa Tavangar models Rosy Brown
Julia Pissarro Amy Rosales Atsede Assayeghen Julia Mok Alekhya Mukkavilli
select clothing Pima Doll
select clothing Pima Doll
sustainability meets fashion by Hayley Mendelson The fashion industry has become an indispensable part of our lives. We interact with some form of it everyday through clothing. This involvement leads us to question where our clothing comes from, who makes it, and what conditions make it more sustainable. These questions have presented themselves to students on the Columbia and Barnard campuses, as growing number of students have expressed interest in the intersection of sustainability and style. To find out how we as students and consumers can make an impact, Hoot sat down with Becca Ruiz, a Columbia graduate student at the School of Professional Studies, and Liora Fishman, a sophomore at Barnard College, to learn about their involvement in the sustainable fashion movement and how they keep their sartorial decisions ethical and eco-friendly. Ruiz currently works at Hiptipico, a sustainable and eco-friendly clothing company and follows her passion for sustainable initiatives through fashion. Her interest began in an anthropology class at the University of Kentucky, during which the professor discussed fair trade coffee in her father’s native country of Guatemala. At the same time, her friends maintained an interest in high fashion. These two seemingly opposite interests coincided when Ruiz started thinking about the sustainability of clothing production. In tracing the making of clothing, she realized the pollution created by the shocking, impoverished conditions of sweatshops. Yet, consumers have just as great of an impact. Ruiz urges that, “as consumers, we need to keep in mind the people who make our clothes, the ones who are doing the same stitch, in the same color, everyday, for years on end.” If we are going to advocate for sustainable and green fashion, we need to better understand this factor along with the pollution that sweatshops produce. Fishman finds deep concern in this area as well. As an intern for Ethica, she not only learns, but also helps to spread the word, about sustainable fashion. She emphasizes, “The more you learn about fast fashion, the more you understand how unbelievably toxic the industry is. The fashion industry is second to oil when you consider the total environmental impact.” Fishman also warns against the charitable initiatives of large brands, noting that, “charitable gimmicks that a lot of fast fashion brands organize (think: H&M Conscious Collection, or any type of charitable sale that provides aid to a cause) are great, but they promote immediate relief and long term dependency on charity. It doesn’t foster independence.” By
select clothing Pima Doll
relying on charity, lines such as H&M Conscious Collection cannot effectively support and promote green practices or self-sustainability. Students can make sustainable choices and help improve the sustainability of the industry as a whole. People generally assume that sustainable fashion is exclusively high end with expensive price tags, but that isn’t always the case. Consider two affordable alternatives: thrifting and hand-me-downs. These options becomes especially fun when pairing new clothing with old because, as Ruiz notes, “the life cycle of clothes does not have to end with the season or after the first consumer.” Ruiz’s involvement with sustainable fashion partially began when her friends and she had clothing swaps. Every holiday season, they would bring the clothes that they no longer wanted to swap with friends. Before starting, they would tell a little story or fun fact about the piece of clothing so that the new owner could add to its story. “I kept the clothing swaps in mind to help remind me of not only the importance of sustainability, but also how much fun and rewarding it can be!” To break down sustainable fashion, Ruiz explained three crucial aspects - being environmentally conscious, remembering the people behind the clothing, and considering economic factors. The clothing should be priced correctly and fairly, and those who create the clothing should be treated equitably. At Hiptipico, Ruiz sees firsthand what fair trade for clothing means. The company’s owner is an entrepreneur who keeps her workers in mind by paying good wages and working her employees, as well as other entrepreneurs, in co-ops to promote fair trade while keeping their clothing fun. Most notably, Hiptipico uses Guatemalan techniques for embroidering their bags with beautiful bright colors and designs. For consumers, making a direct impact can be as easy as getting educated and reaching out. Fishman’s interest began by teaching herself about the “most ethical and sustainable fashion sources that source their materials from artisans or have ‘factory standards,’ which require a certain amount of pay and security within the factory on behalf of the workers – something we should ask of all our favorite stores.” The more Fishman learned, the more impassioned she became. Ruiz insists, “I know it sounds cliché, but don’t underestimate the power of social media. If your passions align with a sustainable brand, such as Hiptipico, then give it a try!” Ruiz found Hiptipico on social media and became involved after emailing the owner. Now, she is helping the owner coordinate and film a video about sustainable fashion. She explains, “I love what I am doing because I reached out expressing how my interest is similar with hers, the owner, and she helped me to find something that fit.” The fashion industry is ubiquitous in our everyday lives. Yet, despite the strength of its giant and fast fashion corporations, fashion will and must inevitably meet sustainability. As students, we represent the next generation of consumers. By being careful where we shop, thrift, or swap with friends, we can create this change.
gather & pull photographer
Marie-Pierre Guiraud Simi Olagundoye Mai Lehaunna Thiam Naomi Tewodros
don’t worry by Karen Yuan when the yellow taxi strikes me it’s seven a.m. and raining the driver mouths a seismic O the girls in the backseat cry out or maybe they’re three dogs I lay there quivering like an egg on asphalt someone says you’ll be okay! you’ll be okay! to which I say I am okay, I am okay in fact obliteration is a homecoming consider the clam plunged into a boiling pot while it’s still asleep dreaming of being a bird an albatross flying into the sea consider the peach with luminous pink flesh the happiest nectar like sweet tiny anarchy only because it is overripe consider the young sunflower always facing the sun but turning east when old toward the great invisible beginning how the universe crashes onto Isaac Newton’s head he holds it up to the sky sees little droplets on its skin wet grass licking it green because the morning is dewy and lovely it’s dying as he stares at it but this isn’t an obituary
verity photographer Giulia Olsson makeup Anisa Tavangar model Dunni Oduyemi assistants Evan de Lara, Kaeli Streeter underwear Negative Underwear pillows Sam Williger
feelingbeautiful beautiful feeling writer Rochelle Wilbun writer Rochelle Wilbun
As a little girl, my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world to me. In those days, I worshipped her every move. I have memories of times when she took my breath away - when she wore a sparkling black gown to a gala with my father or an elaborate floor-length orange and black ensemble to a family Kwanzaa ceremony, her hair wrapped up in a matching scarf. She looked like a queen and, amazingly, that queen looked like me. It wasnâ€™t only my motherâ€™s incredible fashion sense and glamour that mesmerized me, but also the grace and poise she brought to every situation. Her warm support and belief in everything I did made me feel like a champion. In the world she and my father crafted for me and my siblings, we could do anything to which we set our minds. In my world, black women went to the Ivy League, traveled to outer space, worked as lawyers and doctors and scientists, won Grammys and Oscars, and were kick-ass mothers and lovers. They did everything. And I had no doubt that, one day, I would too. Saying that my mother and every other black woman in my life have influenced my concept of beauty understates their impact. Rather, their embodiment of grace, style, elegance, strength, and sophistication define beauty for me. When I was younger, I took having these incredible women in my life for granted. I did not realize the gift of growing up in a community where blackness was treated as beautiful and inevitable. Being surrounded by people who looked like my family and me was part of my reality. Seeing those individuals take the world by storm was routine.
Only after I grew older and left Memphis for school in the Northeast did I experience living in a community with completely different standards of beauty than those with which I had been raised. Gradually, I realized that, as a black woman, I am symbolically the most devalued being in society. Hegemonic standards of beauty render us undesirable, invisible, or as exotic objects. But my world growing up gave me all the tools to recognize my worth even if this new one refuses to do so. In my world, black women are magic: heroes, queens, artists, and visionaries. When it comes down to it, I still ascribe to this belief, but it is harder now. Distance has prevented me from depending on my community at home. So, learning to reaffirm and love my blackness has been essential in the process of loving myself and feeling beautiful. I credit my upbringing for raising me to recognize the strength and beauty of othersâ€™ and my own blackness. For me, self-love and self-care means surrounding myself with other women of color and creating a community for myself modeled after that of my childhood. For me, feeling beautiful can sometimes be as simple as being around others who relate to my experiences and my cultural origins. Other times, I may express my sense of identity through what I wear or how I style my hair, always with the hope that the world will see I am unapologetic for who I am and what I look like. Feeling beautiful as a black woman is a radical act, but a very necessary one that I am still exploring.
me and you photographer Caroline Wallis stylist Sloane Gustafson makeup Anisa Tavangar
models Sophia Marina, Criss Moon assistant Luna de Buretel