Bec & Bridge By: Karli Emma Smith
MOD had the lucky opportunity to speak with designers, Becky Cooper and Bridget Yorston, of the Australian fashion label Bec & Bridge. After appearing in Australian Fashion Week 2011 with their Spring/Summer Collection, the brand has gone from strength to strength and has achieved national as well as international success, with the label expanding into Europe, Asia and the United States, stocking their product throughout boutique s and online. It's little wonder this chic and modern fashion label is named after the designer duo; they've been inseparable ever since meeting on their first day of fashion school and have remained the best of friends for over a decade! MOD What was life like growing
up in Australia? BECKY I had an amazing childhood in Australia. The relaxed beach lifestyle and weather meant that weekends were spent at the beach with family and friends! We would often spend the entire day at the beach and even stay for dinner picnics there at night. MOD Were you always interested in fashion and what made you decide to become designers? BECKY We were both always interested in fashion but never knew we’d end up as fashion designers. BRIDGET Neither of us sat down and said we want to be fashion designers, it seemed to happen more organically for us. MOD Where did you complete your studies? How did the two of you meet? BRIDGET We met each other on our first day of fashion college at the University of Technology, Sydney. We became the best of friends, doing everything together. BECKY Our lives completely merged. It was like we were living in a little bubble for those 4 years. MOD How did you get your start in the fashion industry? MOD Spring 2012
BECKY Our first real start in the industry came about when we were only in our second year of studying fashion design. We’d been asked by a friend to revamp his old pair of jeans. We went to town ripping, printing, dyeing, stitching and spraying these jeans to give them new life. He wore them out that night and had so many compliments that orders started coming in from other friends. Before we knew it, we had stores calling us to place orders. BRIDGET We were forced to look into manufacturing our own men’s jean! MOD What was the biggest challenge you faced upon starting your own label? BECKY We were very naïve when we first started. We had no idea about basic business practices such as timelines, chasing money or charging tax. It was quite overwhelming! We’d also started our label without really realising it - we were not very prepared for what challenges were ahead. We were trying to juggle our studies whilst starting up a business. It was a big task for two 19 year olds. MOD Were there times when you felt like giving up?
BECKY Definitely! The early years were really hard work! We saw all our friends finish their studies and jet off on overseas adventures, while we were stuck here with barely an income, working long days and nights. It was no walk in the park! MOD How did you go about establishing the brand internationally? BRIDGET It was definitely a matter of timing. We always knew we wanted to be a well established brand in the Australian market before attempting to go global. This also meant that the interest from overseas came to us initially. Once we had a few major accounts show an interest, we knew we were ready to delve into this new area of our business. MOD Describe to us your individual styles and how they both work together to create your designs. BECKY We’ve been working together for so many years now that our style tends to overlap. We have very similar aesthetics in all areas of our lives – from fashion to home. BRIDGET We’re both perfectionists over slightly different things, so I guess this is one way that helps us work together to
determine the final edit for every collection. MOD What is the overall feel of your label? BECKY Polished, fresh & modern. MOD Did you have any other names for the brand before you decided on Bec & Bridge? BRIDGET Funnily enough, we didn’t. As friends, we were always together so we became known to everyone as Bec and Bridge. It seemed like the obvious name for our label. What or who inspires you when designing? BRIDGET We’re inspired by so many different things: art, architecture, travel - our sources are endless. BECKY We often look to the iconic women of the 1970’s when identifying our girl. Women such as Bianca Jagger with her nonchalant appeal and effortlessly chic style are always a point of reference. MOD What do you believe the key is to looking and feeling confident?
BECKY Knowing what suits
your body shape and being true to your personal style. MOD Describe a day in the life of Bec & Bridge. BRIDGET There is no typical day in the office. It’s always a buzz of activity depending on the time of year. When we’re in the height of getting a collection together the whole office looks like it’s been struck by a tornado – fabrics, samples, trims and people everywhere. Then come sales period, it transforms into a heavenly oasis of fresh flowers, room spray and background music. BECKY That’s what we love about this industry – there is never a dull moment. MOD What are your hopes and goals for the future of the label? BRIDGET To continue doing what we love – designing clothes for beautiful women worldwide. Also, remembering to take the time to reflect on where we’ve come from and how we’ve grown and evolved into who the brand is today. MOD Who have you been most
flattered to see wearing your clothing? BECKY Miranda Kerr. MOD Have you ever seen someone wearing one of your designs and thought ‘’that’s really not how it’s supposed to be worn’?’ BRIDGET On a regular basis! But that’s OK with us…if we’re making women feel good in what they’re wearing, that’s the main thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s how we envisioned it to look. BECKY That’s the beauty of fashion – it’s open to interpretation. Never take yourself too seriously! MOD What has been your proudest and most cringe worthy moment in your careers? BRIDGET We regularly refer back to old collections from years gone by and cringe over a particular garment. Though on the flip side, we reflect back on significant moments in our career and are truly grateful. BECKY It’s hard to pin point the proudest moment as it’s always so relative to the time and stage we are at. For example, our first independent show at Australian Fashion Week was a huge moment for us at the time. Today, it might be praise from a wellrespected celebrity or a world-renowned department store picking up the collection. MOD Do you believe a girl should always take one thing off before leaving the house? BECKY I definitely think it depends on the girl! Though if in doubt, you’re probably safe to remove something – too many accessories can really kill a good thing. MOD Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you both. BRIDGET Bec and I are still best friends after 12 years! MOD Spring 2012
The Thrill of
REALITY TV Why It’s Not Going Anywhere, Any Time Soon By: Carrie Wittmer
The cast of CMT reality show, “Sweet Home Alabama”
CMT films its hit reality show, “Sweet Home Alabama,” in a small town in Alabama, where I’ve lived for the better part of a year. It’s a spin-off of The Bachelor/The Bachelorette, except the contestants are split among city folk and country folk. I recently attended a party where the show was discussed for a lengthy period of time. “Have you been watching Sweet Home Alabama?” “Yes! it is the only show I watch on television. Last night’s was so intense. I can’t believe how much everyone has changed!” These middle aged, young adult and teenage women continued to talk about how their fa-
MOD Spring 2012
vorite contestant has grown from a self-centered jock to a lovable gentleman. They also relished in their familiarization with setting locations. “They ate at my favorite restaurant! Remember when she kissed him? That was down the street from my house!” Since I have not lived in this particular place for a long time – nor watched more than one episode of “Sweet Home Alabama” – I had no say in or comprehension of this conversation. It made me understand, however, what’s so appealing about reality television. And it’s an easy answer: the reality of it all. If these women didn’t happen to live in this town, in this state, they might watch
the show, but would they be as attached? Probably not. What’s so appealing is the familiarity. They can drive their car and be at the place where their favorite scene happened, with their favorite contestant, who actually exists. Unfortunately, there are some shows---particularly “celebreality” shows---that give the genre a bad name, like a certain family whose last name rhymes with lesbian, or housewives who aren’t actually housewives and more than live up to the stereotypes of the area in which they live. How many twentysomethings (or thirty-somethings who still think they’re twentysomethings) will sacrifice their reputations for millions of dollars and allow cameras to follow them around as they make fools of themselves? Well, at the rate it’s going, some folks may live in a house with a duck phone on the New Jersey shore for a couple of
The cast of E’s “Keeping Up with the Kardashians
weeks, every year until they’re 40 - and people will still watch it. There will be a new housewives show about women who aren’t even housewives in every major city and county in every state until they run out of new places. But, the problem may not be the premises themselves. In its early
years throughout the 90s, “The Real World” was fun, engaging, and represented its generation. But the issue is a lack of original content, and a need to portray the worst things people say and do. While an entertaining, positive talent-based show like “The Voice” couldn’t have happened without the precedent of success established by “American Idol”, neither could all of the “Kardashian” spin-offs (of which is anyone actually keeping count?) And without “The Real
What’s turned into something sour is its negative spin on human lives. And in its later years, even “Idol” began to thrive on its drama more than the talent. Snooki, J-Woww, Pauly D and the gang, as crazy as we know them, are probably swell folks. But, what we see is what we get and we tend to judge because of that. We know the “Jersey Shore” crew as immature adults who like to tan, workout, and party. Part of the reason shows such as “Jersey Shore” are so appealing is because
The cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore”
World,” our televisions would not be blessed with the antics of seven obnoxious, alcoholic guidos. These shows, while acceptable as a guilty pleasure, really cross the line when taken too seriously. But we want to see people who are real, people we can relate to. Kelly Clarkson won “American Idol” which turned her from an unknown singer in Texas into a major pop star - and the hits are still coming. For people to witness that real success story is the basis of reality television.
the audience gets to watch relationships and friendships unfold - and ultimately fall apart. No matter how fabricated, it shows real people making real mistakes, just like we do. Snooki and JWoww are best friends, and while they have sacrificed their reputations with their overexposure on the MTV hit, they never would have met had this show not happened. Snooki has even mentioned how watching episodes of “Jersey Shore” helped her realize the horrible, unhealthy place she was in
her life. It’s incredible to see the journey of a real person losing weight, turning their lifestyle around and maintaining healthier relationships. All of the stories we watch on reality shows may not be completely real, but the people still are. It’s much different than actors. Yes, Daniel Radcliffe (of the Harry Potter series) is a real person, but no, he did not spend his teenage years defeating an evil wizard. However, Lauren Conrad of “The Hills” did have an internship with Teen Vogue, failed romances, and rocky friendships. She overcame situations many girls (and boys) can relate to, right in front of our eyes. No matter how scripted and dramatized “The Hills” hypothetically was, its success relies fully on the nonfiction element. They go to the grocery store. We’ve seen them cry. They win, and they lose. Most importantly, they go by the same name as they did on television. So no matter when they got voted off the island, auf’d, or canceled, it’s kind of cool knowing they are literally out there in the world, doing what we saw them do, being who we know they are. There’s no finality to reality television, and people are naturally attracted to stories that are real and continuous. With reality television, it never really ends because these characters continue their lives as we know it, which is the most appealing factor. But we, as viewers, just can’t let ourselves get too caught up in it and allow it control our lives. And perhaps, limit the exposure, along with the number of housewives and Kardashian shows. MOD Spring 2012
“La Mode” Milieu By: Ashlyn R. Hill
BILL CUNNINGHAM NEW YORK This 2010 documentary film covers the New York Times and street-style photographer Bill Cunningham, capturing the fashion trends of NYC. Bill Cunningham New York is full of eccentric beings and everyone in between. His vast body of work seizes the past, present and future of fashion along with his individual personal life, friends and fans. He is renowned for riding his bicycle, dashing through the city’s traffic, nonchalant about the yellow cabs - Just to get a photo. Later, the documentary gives us insight from Mr. Cunningham’s point of view on his lifetime stories about friends like Iris Apfel and great credit from Anna Wintour. He also talks about the subjects of his photos like socialites, editors, models, “dandies,” artist and curators. Everything that Bill Cunningham encompasses exudes fashion, talent, entertainment and personality.
JUNE AMBROSE: “STYLES BY JUNE” June Ambrose, known for her big sunnies, red lips and floral turbans - stylist to some of the most famous people like R. Kelly, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige and many more heavy hitters. She owns a full-service creative styling firm called Mod Squad. Ambrose not only dresses celebs but also helps them take their career to the next level, by helping
them build a brand around their name. She still hasn’t become a household name, but, that will all change when people get hip to Ambrose’s VH1 reality show. “Styled By June,” which debuted on February 27, is a quite entertaining journey through Ambrose’s fun, hysterical and fashion filled world - which she refers to as the “Juniverse.” Viewers will get a glimpse at how Ambrose works her fashion magic on a host of celebrities, all while juggling a family life. And that’s not all. This year, Ambrose is set to launch a capsule collection of sunglasses for Selima Optique and plans to start an accessories, apparel and home furnishings collection.
JANE BY DESIGN Premiered in early January, Jane by Design has taken fashion on TV to a whole new dimension. Jane, played by Erica Dasher, is a high schooler who was misidentified and landed a job at a high fashion design studio. Jane portrays this chic, flirtatious person with a wardrobe to follow. Her fashion sense is exposed to us through cute sundresses, structured blazers, and of course plenty of stilettos. But it’s not just Jane who shows off her trendy style, as her castmates (like her co-workers India Jourdain and Gray Chanker) follow suit. Jane by Design is a teenage look into the adult life, creating a fashion-based soap opera yet being truly aspirational and
MAD MEN This TV series is an American drama, set in the 1960s. The focal point of the show is the advertising agency Sterling Cooper, located in NYC. It showcases the changing moods and social customs of America at the time. Mad Men is known for its accurate historical authenticity and visual style, particularly with regards to fashion. Floral dresses, 60s silhouettes and full-piece suits all play a part in the realm of Mad Men. The women are truly beautiful and the men are sure like the “dandies in the past.
IT’S A BRAD BRAD WORLD Just premiering the day after New Years, Brad Goreski, known for his bright colored clothing and boy tie, has made a splash in both the TV and fashion worlds. Branching out from under the wing of former boss Rachel Zoe, Brad is trying to make a name for him in the competitive stylist world. The show captures his growing business, his life with his partner Gary Janetti, and his witty and vivacious personality. At the beginning of his show he had one client, Jessica Alba, but had now grown the client list to include Keri Hilson, Target, InStyle, and Kate Spade, just to name a few. Brad Goreski has a eye for style and will go far in his career to become a well recognized stylist. MOD Spring 2012
WHY HE LOOKS BUT DOESN’T BUY
An Examination of Why Many Men Date Yet Refuse to Commit By: Candace Cliatt
I. Miss Margarita
Let’s face it, on any given Friday night, even the least cosmopolitan of women can be spotted browsing a drink menu for that perfect margarita to close a hectic week. There’s something about the sexy silhouette of the glass, the eye-catching fruit lounging amid the rim, adorned with olives or umbrellas that just screams, “Tonight’s gonna be a good night.” But sometimes, looks can be deceiving. If you’re yearning for that shot of alcohol to take you there, but the margarita fails to meet your expectations because it is watered down, you’re prone to send it back to the bar, or, like the sweet little thing you are, you’ll drink it, but you won’t dare purchase another one. Surprise! Men are the same way. First, ladies, fix yourself up. There isn’t a man alive who doesn’t value physical attraction. Just like the margarita glass, you too need to be sexy, eye-catching, and adorned with all things pretty. Spend a little more time in the gym this week. Try something different with your hair – pull your bangs back so he can admire those big, beautiful brown eyes of yours. Buy a gorgeous pair of feather earrings - after all, who doesn’t like something new? Stay pretty. Take no days off! Once you have his attention, you have to keep it. Don’t give him any reason to send you back to the bar. Because beauty depreciates, confidence and a great personality ultimately keep a man begging for more. Confidence starts on the inside and
shines outwardly. If you do not think you’re beautiful or deserving of his time, then neither will he. Cheers, we should all drink to that!
II. Over the Heels We Go
Okay, so he thinks you’re beautiful and you have a great personality. What now? Why won’t he commit? Well, put in woman’s terms: your shoes just aren’t comfortable. Have you ever seen a really hot pair of heels, tried them on in the store for two minutes, and bought them because they felt great? Sure, we all have! Yet, the plot thickens. How many times have a really great pair of heels turned out to be cheap imitators when, after an hour’s wear, our feet are screaming for help?! Unhappy? You bet! Same thing with guys. You attracted his attention and he invested a little time (and money) in you. But, somewhere along the line, you began to make him feel uncomfortable. Men like women who make them happy and cause them the least amount of drama (if any at all). If you’re constantly doing things like nagging, sneaking peeks at his phone, and rudely subtweeting him on Twitter, then you are not being conducive to his happiness or comfort level. Just like we like heels that don’t restrict our movement and make our feet uncomfortable, men like women who don’t put restraints on them or make them uncomfortable. It’s just that simple ladies, can he walk a mile in your shoes? Yes or no?
III. Makeup or Break Up
Alright, we’re getting him even closer to signing the dotted line. He’s attracted to you and your confidence, you make him happy and he’s comfortable around you, so what’s next? Compatibility. Can the two of you successfully move past the “friends” stage? In woman’s terms: does your makeup blend with his skin? Applying makeup comes second nature to most women. It’s an art – the ability to exercise good judgment when choosing colors, create a natural highlight, perfect a straight eyeline, and appear as if you’re glowing from the inside out (and not as if your face fell into your blush)! Makeup is an enhancer. When applied correctly, it blends perfectly and does not change the way the person looks. That’s why we buy makeup, to cover up small lacks and deficiencies and enhance our look. Men want the same things from women. Characteristics of a girl who is classified as “wifey material” include someone who is loving, caring, independent, able to prioritize, loyal, understanding, focused, and most of all other-oriented. A man wants you to enhance him, not try to change him. He wants you to blend perfectly with him, help him to accomplish his goals and be as supportive as possible. Have something to offer him as opposed to merely taking from him. It’s just that easy ladies. You were born with what it takes to be his Cover Girl!
COMING BACK HOME Songwriter, recording artist and actress, Zoe Myers stays true to herself By: Terry Check
NBC interview with Zoe Myers during the premiere of the “Destiny Knows My Name” music video (Photographed by Terry Check) For Zoë Myers, nothing is better than coming back to her southern roots. Growing up in Rome, Georgia, Zoe dreamed that someday she would be on stage - singing, dancing and acting. After years of dance classes and performing in local theater and musicals, Zoë began to appear in independent films. She received her first big break with a role in Warner Brothers’ film, ATL, produced in Atlanta. “I fell in love with [the film industry],” Myers said. And this was only the beginning. She packed her bags and headed to Los Angeles to pursue acting. With roles in Dance of the Dead, Isolation, and the series My Mother/Agent, her casting calls became more frequent and somewhat easier. However, Georgia was always on her mind. “In LA,
it’s easy to lose yourself,” she said. “I stayed grounded by keeping in touch with my family and friends, often calling my mother several times a day - stay true to who you are.” To get back to the east coast, she auditioned for Destiny Road, filmed in Wake Forest, NC. The producer, Michael Davis of Uptone Pictures, casted Zoë for the leading role as Elizabeth. Scheduled for release this year, Destiny Road is a drama feature film that follows the lives of three people, brought together by one common destiny. The film is about salvation, forgiveness and faith in God. During the filming of the movie, Zoë wrote the lyrics of her latest song, released in January, called Destiny Knows My Name. “Writing lyrics is like writ-
ing in my the diary,” she continues: “Tired of feeling out of place - Filling empty space. - I’m headed home. - Keepin’ up this frantic pace - Can’t find a trace of - The girl I know.” Zoë’s diary is full of lyrics, which helped to create eleven singles, including Love Me Hate Me, Mirror, Robot Boy and Hurricane. Though her earlier music was described as pop/rock and dance/club, she describes her new music as “a little Southern, a bit pop, maybe a bit rock - always staying true to my Georgia roots.” Zoë’s sultry voice and extraordinary emotional acting landed her the role in Truth Seekers: The Music of Souls, as Marci Maze, a remarkable intellectual seeking world peace.
Getting ready for the premiere (Photographed by Terry Check) When asked where she sees her career in 3 to 5 years, she responds, “continually progressing in film and music - selecting my roles - enjoying the journey.” As a song writer, recording artist, and actress with core values of family, friends and God, Zoë Myers is a role model to all. Georgia is happy that she is back home. For more information about Zoë, visit zoemyers.com.