Maria Hamilton Designs www.mariahamiltondesigns.com 3
IN THIS ISSUE 08 FROM THE EDITOR How time flies when you’re having fun!
THE LIFE 12 Bad Rabbits’ Salim Akram Talks Music & Fashion Band feature 14 Reality: There’s An App For That What effects have the technology boom had on us? 16 Boys Boys Boys The latest (and hottest) in menswear; photographed by Emily Byrom
BUZZWORTHY 26 Fashion Blogging in a Historical Context The blog craze continues 29 Why Do We Like Vintage? Miss At La Playa weighs in on the matter 30 Sweater Fever Modish blogger Jena Coray confesses her sweater addiction 32 Displaced Cozy looks for fall; photographed by Helen Tran 39 On The Verge: Three very unique and talented jewelry designers
FASHION FORWARD 46 Beyond Balmain: The real inspiration behind the never-ending military trend 50 Heroine In Ruins Add a little edge; photographed by Lindsay Adler 60 Kiss & Tell Punch up your pout; photographed by Remi Kozdra and Kasia Baczulis 66 Evigheden Abigail Stewart and Marianna Barksdale 79 A Tough Bite Masculinity at its prettiest 80 Smarter Spending Recession-proof tips & tricks 81 New York Chronicles Brooklyn’s finest hidden gems 83 WHERE TO BUY Find your favorites featured in this issue!
ON THE COVER
Photographed by REMI KOZDRA & KASIA BACZULIS
Makeup MARIANNA JURKIEWICZ Model KATARZYNA (REBEL MODELS) 02 >
BEAUTY NOTE: Katarzyna wears MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Lip Pencil, and lipstick in “To The Beach”
Papercut EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Hayley Maybury
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Nicole Bechard MARKETING AND TECHNICAL DIRECTOR Jamall Oluokun FASHION EDITOR Nicole Herzog WEB & COPY EDITOR Nora E. S. Gilligan GUEST BLOGGERS Jena Coray M贸nica Parga CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Nicole Bechard Erin Berry Brittnee Cann Nora E. S. Gilligan Nicole Herzog Christine Mastrangelo Billie D. McGhee Jamall Oluokun Ariana Shuris CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS/PHOTOGRAPHERS Lindsay Adler Kasia Baczulis Emily Byrom S. Fecho Julian Gilbert Justin Hogan David Kamm Remi Kozdra Billie D. McGhee Tim Renzi Spry Lee Scott R. Shawn Sarah Beth Smith Helen Tran Yutaka Tsutano
FROM THE EDITOR HOW TIME FLIES WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FUN...
Greetings Papercutters! Can you believe it’s November already? I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun, because the team here at Papercut has definitely been doing so! With all the September shows and events far behind us, we finally have a chance to reflect on all the great places we went, friends we made and wonderful creations we saw. Be sure to check out our website’s Photo/Video page to view pictures from the fall’s events. I think, more often then not, we get so caught up in having all the beautiful things we see that we tend to overlook the talented people who are actually creating them. Papercut not only features the work of new and emerging talent, but also gives our readers the chance to get to know and learn about the people— the artists—behind that work. This is what I love so much about the magazine; it’s such a thrill for us each time we get to feature a new creative mind. We have collaborated with some amazing individuals over the past couple months to bring you what I think is our best issue yet. First, I am super excited for you all to see our debut menswear editorial. Yes guys, we have you covered for your fall fashion looks. And I have to say, this is one editorial that I personally can’t keep my eyes off of! Our designer feature this month is also a must-see. Meet the creative geniuses of Evigheden; their unique collection will be sure to leave you breathless! Finally, as the holidays quickly approach we have some tips on how to handle your wallet and still have some leftover cash to buy yourself some presents! Enjoy, and keep the feedback coming. We love hearing from you! xoxo Hayley
TOP-BOTTOM: Editor-in-chief Hayley Maybury, Creative Director Nicole Bechard and Marketing/Technical Director Jamall Oluokun share the love at our release party back in September; Jamall, Hayley and our new Web Editor Nora Gilligan (yay!) at a Carmen Marc Valvo Ovations for the Cure runway show; Jamall and Hayley attend the preview of designer Nara Paz’s S/S 2011 collection.
P.S. As always, printed copies of Papercut Magazine are available for purchase on MagCloud ( www.magcloud.com )!
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BAD RABBITS’ SALIM AKRAM TALKS MUSIC & FASHION FROM LOCAL GIGS TO A TOUR WITH MIKE POSNER, THE BAD RABBITS ARE ON A ROLL. Interview by JAMALL OLUOKUN PHOTO BY JULIAN GILBERT
Members of Bad Rabbits from left to right: Santiago Araujo (guitar), Salim Akram (guitar), Fredua “Dua” Boakye (vocals), Sheel Dave (drums) and Graham Masser (bass).
About five years ago, during my time at Northeastern University in Boston, I came across a band called Eclectic Collective (EC). They had a great sound— new and refreshing, and I remember thinking I had never heard anything like it before. In addition to drums, bass and two guitarists, the group had a DJ, sax player, trumpet player, someone on the keys and two vocalists. I was blown away after hearing them for the first time, and supremely confident that I was listening to the next big thing. Much to my dismay, however, nothing ever materialized. Until… Unbeknownst to me, the group was secretly undergoing a transformation that would lead to something smaller and better. Like many bands before them, Eclectic Collective broke up. But in their place emerged the Bad Rabbits (BR), a game-changing group with their new Prince-inspired fusion of Hip-hop, 80s Funk, Pop and Soul. Bad Rabbits now includes a pared-down roster of Fredua “Dua” Boakye on vocals, Salim Akram and Santiago Araujo on guitar, Sheel Dave on drums and Graham Masser on bass. They always say “good things come to those to wait,” but I would say quicker yet to those who create. Out of what seemed like the end of something special, the bad boys of Bad Rabbits were able to move on to their next act. And, as an original fan, I’m excited to sit back and enjoy the show. Your sound is very unique; your bio has dubbed it “New Crack Swing”. How do you typically go about creating your music? Is it lyrics first, bass first, etc? Or do you just experiment and freestyle until something sticks? It’s a lot simpler [than] people would expect. There isn’t one main songwriter; we all contribute and put parts together. It could start with a drum, bass, guitar or vocal melody and we build off of that. We have [Protools] set up in our space, so we just demo ideas right there on the spot. After that we take the ideas home and just build on the idea, structure, etc. I remember the days when you were EC and performing at Northeastern’s Afterhours. How does it feel to go from that to being on tour with Mike Posner, and in the
studio collaborating with Kid Cudi and Travie McCoy? It’s a great feeling and it puts everything in perspective. It didn’t happen overnight, [and] it has been almost eight years and we have worked extremely hard for all of this. We had our ups and downs, but at the end of the day it finally started to pay off. For me personally it’s humbling because this opportunity is a privilege, not a right, and a lot of people don’t get to be in this position. We are just grateful to even have a shot to make music and have people listen to it. After struggling for so long with EC, was there ever a time when you thought about calling it quits? What kept you going? There [were] many times and it was tough; we spent two years writing and rebuilding. We literally have like, 15 seven-minute dark, indie-rock-progressive songs that never saw the light of day. People went bananas when we decided we wanted to stop doing EC and basically start fresh. We just stayed true to ourselves and wrote music that we enjoyed playing. Music is supposed to be fun and that’s what we did. Good friends make good music. A lot of people are applauding your cool sound, but something I think is overlooked is your brand. From your logo, to the merchandise—even your website. Bad Rabbits has a strong identity; how did this come about? We have been fortunate to work with Karmaloop and Merch Direct. They have worked with us to help us build a brand, [as well as] consistency with our music and merchandise. Our first run with merchandise was all over the place, and it was very hard to pinpoint a “brand,” if you will. But our newer stuff, with the gang hands and logo, has become our thing. We wanted something clean and timeless and classic. How exactly did your partnership with Karmaloop come about? Our drummer Sheel worked at Karmaloop for five years and has a great relationship with the CEO Greg Selkoe. Fashion and music have always gone together and Greg had always been interested in getting involved in music. Once BR got its foundation Greg jumped on board. We are the first [artists] to be fully affiliated and
backed by Karmaloop. That’s the short version of everything. Most groups usually have one or two pieces of merchandise, whereas you guys have a fairly robust line which includes hats, hoodies, tees and tanks. What are your thoughts on fashion and music; how important would you say fashion is to what you do and who you are? Our generation is what Greg Selkoe calls “The Verge Culture;” setting trends in music, fashion, media and technology, so I think it’s important to form consistency with fashion and our music. Bands and music have become more of a lifestyle as opposed to just records. On your site ( www.badrabbits.com ), people can either purchase the CD of your latest EP (for five dollars), or they can download it for free. Has this tactic been implemented in recognition that the music industry has changed? In light of falling CD revenue, what other avenues, beyond touring, are you pursuing. Ultimately, we just want people to hear the music. We realized that people will get music however they are comfortable getting it, whether it’s buying it on iTunes, buying the actual CD to “support the band” or downloading it for free via a torrent site or from our website. As long as people get it somehow, [that’s] all that matters. We focus on having a live show that makes people have a good time, which is what people need. People are tired, broke and all kinds of depression shit, [laughs] so focusing on CD sales for us at this stage in our career would have been foolish. It turned out that it worked really well to do both. What does the future hold for Bad Rabbits? Any interesting news/events people should be on the lookout for? We are just about finished with our album [that] we did with Teddy Riley (producer for Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Blackstreet, GUY). It should be ready to put out at some point in the early half of 2011. We are working on recording and writing more right now so we can hopefully put out a new single by the end of the year. We also have a remix record coming out in the next few weeks and we have some big tour news that we can’t announce just yet. It’s going to be a dope year. 13
REALITY: THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT JUST HOW MUCH HAS THE RAPID BOOM IN TECHNOLOGY AFFECTED OUR DAILY LIVES? Written by ERIN BERRY Every day we are bombarded with advertisements for what our world would be like if we owned a certain cell phone, computer, e-reader or any of those other funky digital gadgets that can fit into the palm of our hands. Commercials boast the ability to retrieve any bit of information instantaneously, be it a song, driving directions or the name of that actor in that movie you can’t think of. Almost anything, from viewing ancient Stonehenge to playing a musical instrument, has been compacted into a neat little digital experience for anyone to enjoy at the touch of a button. As positive and stimulating as this may sound, the accessible world we live in today does have its downfalls, which counterbalance—if not outweigh—the positive aspects. This rapid boom in technology has negatively affected our personal relationships and human interactions, our intelligence and our overall experience with the tangible world. We have all been frustrated by the attempt to reach a living, breathing customer service representative over the phone, only to be in communication with a computerized voice that thought we just said “Salad Bowl,” when we clearly said “Superbowl.” But, as annoying as these “phone robots” can be when we are trying to order something or pay a bill, we are rapidly moving our social lives onto the internet, to play out digitally rather than in the “so passe” third dimension. Jaron Lanier, computer scientist and musician, writes in his manifesto You Are Not a Gadget about his frustrations with the rise of technology and its negative effects on our society. Lanier comments about social networks and how we are lowering our standards of personal relationships in order to conform to the network: I know quite a few people...who are proud to say that they have accumulated thousands of friends on Facebook. Obviously this statement can only be true if the idea of friendship is reduced. A real friendship ought to introduce each person to unexpected weirdness in the other. Each acquaintance is an alien, a well of unexplored difference in the experience of life that cannot be imagined or accessed in any way, but through genuine interaction. The idea of friendship in database-filtered social networks is certainly reduced from that (Lanier, 53).
This public network of friendship causes more problems in relationships than did the days of face-to-face interaction. Such frequent communication has put romantic relationships in jeopardy because every couple becomes a Brangelina on the cover of US Weekly. The reason celebrity relationships have a reputation of being short-lived is because they are constantly being scrutinized by the media. When this scrutiny is pulled out of Hollywood and into the world of “regular” people through social networks, we are likely to have more conflicts. The internet has also led to tragic, darker problems in some cases; digital harassment 14
PHOTO BY YUTAKA TSUTANO
has turned out fatal on more than one occasion. Teenagers and young adults (not to mention immature older adults) find it easy to insult and berate others when they are hiding behind a digital wall of anonymity. I fully understand that computers don’t kill people—people kill people—but it is far easier to hit one button on a hot-blooded, angry impulse in the privacy of one’s own home than it is to say the same insult in person. In that sense, someone who maybe just needed time to “cool off ” is given the opportunity to channel that anger immediately for all to see, which can have devastating results. Relationships would be stronger and much more amicable if we took the time to go out to lunch together; spent time sans-communication to allow the chance to miss each other; made the expression “I love you” really mean something by saying it to his or her smiling face instead of posting it on Facebook; and lastly, smiled at strangers just because, instead of keeping our eyes glued to our cell phones. Another observation is the effect technology has had on our intelligence—to put it bluntly, we are getting stupider. Technology has changed the way we do many of our day-to-day activities. For example, we used to pull out a
map before driving somewhere unfamiliar and write down directions, with the notion that if we did happen to get off track we could always ask a gas station attendant where to turn next. Now, with websites like MapQuest and GPS gadgets, we never have to fear getting lost again. This dependency has left many of us with a limited knowledge of local geography and clueless when it comes to reading a map. How many people do you know that still plug an address into their GPS even if it is a location they go to frequently? The joy of “getting lost” has been replaced by direct, straight-to-the destination routes that eliminate
IT SEEMS THAT A PERSON CAN NO LONGER GO OUT FOR A WALK ALONE, OR TO GRAB A BITE, WITHOUT FEELING THE URGE TO CALL SOMEONE TO TALK ABOUT NOTHING, OR TEXT JUST TO LOOK BUSY. IS THIS REALLY WHAT THE WORLD HAS COME TO, WHEN A PERSON CAN’T EVEN GO OUT IN PUBLIC WITHOUT BEING FUSED TO SOME GADGET? the possibility of finding interesting back roads and hidden gems only the locals know about, which we would have otherwise run into if we needed to ask for directions. After all, who needs an uncomfortable interaction with a complete stranger when we can just have a robotic woman tell us where to go, without even having to get out of our cars into the fresh air? Not only are paper maps going out of fashion, computers have also made dictionaries and other reference materials obsolete. Why teach proper spelling and grammar when we have a computer behind us with a broom, sweeping up all of our linguistic mistakes? Small little spelling mishaps are quickly cleared away by the computer before we can even catch them, making our brain assume what we typed was correct because we don’t see the trusty squiggly red line beneath it. Lanier comments about another word program feature that allows the computer to use past knowledge of your typing behavior to assume what you want to do with a particular document. He mentions how the feature changes the format of an entire document even if that was not the typist’s intent: From my point of view, this type of design feature is nonsense, since you end up having to work more than you would otherwise in order to manipulate the computer’s expectations of you. The real function of the feature isn’t to make life easier for people; instead, it promotes a new philosophy, that the computer is evolving into a life-form that can understand people better than people can understand themselves. (Lanier, 28)
Although this thought may sound like the work of popular science fiction, it parallels the direction in which our technological advances are heading. Computers are becoming so intuitive that we underestimate our own intellectual abilities. After all, if the computer says it’s right, it must be right. Right? Overall, technology has negatively affected the way we perceive, enjoy and experience the real world. Yes, it’s very convenient that we can take a virtual museum tour and play the piano on our iPad, but does that even com-
pare to the antique smell and hush of a museum, or the feel of cold white piano keys beneath our fingers? Almost everything has been entered into the digital world, but are we truly “experiencing” what we see on the computer screen? Are we really feeling the same way we would feel in its physical presence? Lanier expresses what I feel is the essence of a true “experience” of something, an experience that employs all five of our senses: A digital image of an oil painting is forever a representation, not a real thing. A real painting changes with time; cracks appear on its face. It has texture, odor, and a sense of presence and history (Lanier, 133).
There may be a time in the near future that these “representations” of real things become even more realistic than they already are, but I believe that nothing will ever beat the real thing. Next time you are in the city—or anywhere in public—look around and try to find someone who is not typing on a laptop, texting or holding a cell phone up to their ear as if it were biologically part of the body. How many do you see? Are people so wrapped up in their digital world that they are not noticing or participating in the physical world around them? It seems that a person can no longer go out for a walk alone, or to grab a bite, without feeling the urge to call someone to talk about nothing, or text just to look busy. Is this really what the world has come to, when a person can’t even go out in public without being fused to some gadget? Computers are not going to disappear any time soon, and honestly, I hope they don’t. I do hope, however, that people can learn to survive at least a few days without, and really enjoy the world around them. A recent advertisement for the new Windows phone embraces this attitude with the message, “a phone to save us from our phones.” In the commercials people are oblivious to accidents that they have caused on the street and to their friends and family calling for their attention because they are so focused on their cell phones. This is probably the most realistic mobile advertisement I have seen, and it’s quite effective. I am more likely to purchase a phone that pokes fun of the product, than one that practically fuses itself to my hands (Droid commercials, anyone?). The media will play a significant role in helping people wake from their computer comas and join the real world again. At the end of the day, humans and technology can live in harmony, so long as we realize that nothing can truly replicate the way we perceive ourselves and the world around us. We should not try to advance computers so much that we become obsolete, just like maps and books and instruments. Lanier sums up perfectly the uniqueness of human beings: “What is a person?’ If I knew the answer to that, I might be able to program an artificial person in a computer. But I can’t. Being a person is not a pat formula, but a quest, a mystery, a leap of faith” (Lanier, 5).
There is no digital copy for anticipation, for friendship, for knowledge, for culture, for awe or for love—those intangible concepts that we cannot recreate, but only experience with every individual nerve of our being. References Lanier, J. (2010). You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
BOYS BOYS BOYS Photography by EMILY BYROM Assistant NICCI CHAPMAN Make-up by LEAH MABE for MAC Hair by DARREN AGYEI-DUA Wardrobe/Styling by REEMÉ IDRIS 1st Styling Assistant EDDIE BLAGBROUGH 2nd Styling Assistant CIANNA CANNING Models ROB (OXYGEN), FREDRIK (M&P MODELS), ARTHUR (AMCKMODELS), DAVID (AMCKMODELS), WILL (AMCKMODELS)
OPPOSITE: Will wears JENNY SCHWARZ shirt, scarf and jacket THIS PAGE: Fredrik wears BOLONGARO TREVOR hooded sweater, jackets and wool trousers
THIS PAGE: Rob, David, Will and Arthur all wear MARK LORD BESPOKE suits, tail coats and shirts; Fredrik (center) wears MARK LORD BESPOKE waistcoat and neck tie and JENNY SCHWARZ shirt and trousers
OPPOSITE: Rob wears NICO DIDONNA jacket, coat and trousers THIS PAGE: David wears STEVE CORCORAN trousers and NICO DIDONNA shirt and jacket; waistcoat and belt are stylistâ€™s own
OPPOSITE: Will wears STEVE CORCORAN jacket and POSTHUMAN WARDROBE shirt; David wears STEVE CORCORAN jacket and JENNY SCHWARZ jumper; Fredrik wears: STEVE CORCORAN jacket and JENNY SCHWARZ top THIS PAGE: Arthur wears jumper by BOLONGARO TREVOR and trousers by JENNY SCHWARZ
BEAUTY NOTES: For the boys, make-up artist Leah Mabe used MAC Pro Longwear Foundation and Mineralize Skinfinish Powder.
FASHION BLOGGING IN A HISTORICAL CONTEXT JUST HOW DO WE DEFINE THE “FASHION BLOG” AT THIS POINT IN TIME? Written by CHRISTINE MASTRANGELO Fashion and historical change are intrinsically linked. Eighteenth-century French revolutionaries defied order by dressing sans-culottes, women of the 1920s disrobed from full skirts and danced in sheath-like flapper dresses, girls of the 1960s bore their legs in miniskirts and in 2008 young Americans exchanged apathy for Obama t-shirts. In each case, what was worn was a way to communicate—larger than a badge, more of a symbol. As the year 2010 comes to a close, the fashion community looks back on the last decade as yet another period of momentous change, in which the blog was introduced, and proved to be quite tumultuous: “We love as much coverage of fashion as possible. We don’t care at all where it comes from, and we embrace bloggers and video and social networking, and anyone that’s talking about fashion is a good thing. And we now have our own website that incorporates all of that. But I think what’s interesting to us with this new phenomenon that ‘everyone’s a fashion editor, everyone’s a fashion writer’ is that all of that actually helps Vogue, because we have access and the understanding of fashion that, forgive me, but maybe some bloggers and some of the newcomers to this world have a little bit less experience of, but as I said, the more the merrier. We embrace it.”—Anna Wintour (New York Magazine, “The Cut”, April 20, 2010) “I don’t want us to become a nation of bloggers myself. I think we need editorial more than ever right now.”—Steve Jobs (The All Things D Conference 2010)
As old media struggled with accepting the new, bloggers continued to do what they loved and proved there was fun to be had along the way. Isn’t that why we read blogs anyway? A more interactive and personal source of tailored content, blogs have become a way for us to play-act the gathering and communication of information that is important to us. The powerhouse fashion bloggers who emerged have become like demigods. Think Rumi Neely, Susie Lau, Bryanboy, Garance Dore. They seem naturally brilliant, their images are magnetic and they possess articulation radiating with personality like some kind of sun goddess on a boring day. Their influence reaches tens of thousands of people. They have achieved the near impossible by harnessing time and making a name for themselves in the moment just before fashion blogging exploded. Many “followers” are fashion bloggers themselves, which begs the question: just how many “fashion bloggers” are out there? The search for the number of active fashion blogs in existence is inexhaustible; there is no true value. Instead, there are statistics taken from multiple reference points where said fashion bloggers converge. I asked Jennine Jacob of The Coveted (http://the-coveted.com), and founder of Independent Fashion Bloggers (IFB), for direction on how to begin to measure this number. She provided the following: there are “12,000 members” on IFB, “Bloglovin’ has 200,000 fashion
blogs registered” and, “Technorati said in 2008 there were two million.” The disparity of these numbers reflects the ocean-like vastness of the web, and the nature of the fashion blog itself, as a medium of expression. “Fashion blogger” is not unlike the term “artist.” What makes an artist is his or her audience, the reception that is received and how we define art itself. So, how do we define the fashion blog at this point in time? Anna Wintour and Steve Jobs state relevant points: if we are indeed becoming a “nation of bloggers,” where “everyone’s a fashion editor, everyone’s a fashion writer”—how is a blogger to set his or herself apart from the other 1,999,999 in existence? We are past the fashion blog’s in-utero state (e.g. Live Journal), infancy (e.g. Blogger and Word Press emerge) and adolescence (e.g. growing pains of traditional media versus new). Fashion blogging is now like a teenager—a beautiful and witty one—who has come into her own and is left to create her own future. The metrics are easy to identify. Bloggers know everything from the country to the subscribing habits of their readers. A blog’s success is measured by the number of page views, unique hits, followers, returning users, etc. “The more the better” is the usual adage. Yet, size has proven to be somewhat problematic. Those fashion bloggers who have made household names out of themselves (at least in the houses that pay attention to such things) are undoubtedly facing the challenges that come with their blog’s immense size. Many have hired publicists and managers to seek opportunities, collaborations and advertisements, which negate the act of the individual, personal discovery that makes blogs feel so adventurous and fun. There has always been a certain fear around the fashion blog, as if its potential magnitude would cause it to implode. Charlie Porter of the style journal Fantastic Man, said of Tavi Gevinson that he hopes “[Tavi] sees her blog as the thing, rather than as a path to somewhere else” (“Tavi Gevinson: the 13-year-old blogger with the fashion world at her feet,” Eva Wiseman, The Observer, 20 Sept. 2009). Yet bloggers don’t really know where that path will lead (I’m sure Tavi never expected to receive that invitation to sit on Oprah’s couch!) and everyone hopes they will not be compromised along the way. Jane Aldridge of Sea of Shoes had to shut down her readers’ comments, as a few of the hundred were bound to be negative and hurtful. By doing so, she ultimately compromised her fostered community and the dialogue around her style, which— as I was under the impression—is what made her popular in the first place. Is it better, then, for a blog to remain on a smaller, more manageable scale? In the end, fashion blogging is most like art in the importance of its content; what is presented to its audience creates the most significance. For now, it is the lesser-known fashion blogger who embodies the spirit of innovation, independence and creativity in its most primordial sense. At this stage of the blog’s evolution, writers must set themselves apart. In my
attempt to capture fashion blogging at this one moment in time, I’ve profiled the following three bloggers who personify their craft: Ashe Mischief of Dramatis Personae, Samantha of The Column of Samantha Tyler and Miguel of Beyond Fabric. What I have learned from them is this: the dialogue around fashion has the opportunity to reach the level of philosophy, fashion should be viewed as a pure form of self-expression and is thereby entirely attainable and though the majority of fashion bloggers are women, fashion is not inherently female. Ashe Mischief of Dramatis Personae http://www.mischiefmydear.com/ Dramatis Personae, as what we wear often reflects how we may feel on the inside, this fashion blog calls on its readers to “unveil your mischievous personae” through exploring one’s style. Ashe Mischief, the talented blogger behind Dramatis Personae, began blogging “in various forms” in 2001. She categorizes her blog as a blend of “lifestyle, plus-size, ‘outfit of the day,’ review and inspirational.” Her most commented-on posts seem to be those that foster creativity. Ashe recently asked readers to think about what they would wear if they had the luxury to be someone else, prompting inspired ways of rethinking not just one’s wardrobe, but one’s state of mind in that singular point in time. Has your blog evolved since you first started it? It really has evolved so much. I think it evolved between the idea of making a blog and the first post. Blogging needs to be a continually evolving process—changing and growing as a person really connects you with your readers, so you can share that much more with them. The more they can see of you on your journey, the more intimate you can become with your readership. My site changed to reflect the changes in my life—school, jobs, moving and my emotional and mental needs. Blogging has become a new way to communicate with others of the same interests and passions. What are your thoughts on this? I absolutely agree! I think one of the reasons I started my blog was because I was in a very academically-focused city. Many women treated me like I was below them because I worked in fashion retail. Blogging gave me an opportunity to reach out to other men and women who were intelligent, focused, witty, bright, hardworking and who loved fashion for all that it is. What advantages to blogging have you experienced? As I said, it’s an incredible way to meet people who share the same interests and who can sympathize with the growing pains of blogging. Really, it’s just being part of a fantastic community. It’s also a great way to learn more about business, work with companies and really diversify yourself as a business person! It seems like you see the fashion blogger community as supportive, rather than competitive. Thoughts? It’s a wonderful place filled with many witty, bright and creative men and women. It’s amazing how diverse the community is and it’s incredibly inspiring to be a part of it. Do you feel as if you have developed an online persona that is different from yourself? I think my online persona is a facet of my real personality. Our blogs are a place where we can be our best, so to speak. It’s not
a place where I have to show myself wearing my pajamas all the time or focus on a bad hair day. Blogs are a place where we can leave real life problems behind if we want. So while I think that my online persona may be focused on a few topics, I think she’s just a segment of myself, not different from. The Column of Samantha Tyler http://samsensibility.blogspot.com/ This blog is an open dialogue on the nature of the experience of fashion and—as Samantha herself describes,—is “more talkative” than image heavy. Samantha is an extreme creator; she is mainly a writer, but her blog also features her illustrations, which are vivid and full of life. One category on the blog is named “Decoding,” where she questions different aspects of style and fashion. In a recent Decoding post, she explores our fascination with the shoe and the pain that is often endured when wearing them. “I am no Cinderella,” she proclaims, and asks if it should be considered less feminine for a woman to not covet the heel. How long have you been blogging? I started blogging five years ago. I stopped for a moment, then plunged back [in] seven months ago, when I created The Column. Why did you begin to blog? I am a writer. I have always written, so when weblogs started to appear, it sounded like an obvious way to share my writings with others. I started writing on fashion by chance; I didn’t really have a fashion project in mind, but then I had one! Do you believe in types of fashion blogs? If so, what would your categories be? Yes, I think that there are different types of fashion blogs. I’ve visited thousands, and I think that there are at least two categories: the ones with pictures that show their love, and the ones that are more talkative and try to pick quarrels. I think mine is in the second category—at least it tries to be! Is it your experience that most of your readers are bloggers themselves? Most people have a blog now, so inevitably your readers are bloggers too. Ninety percent of my readers are. The ten percent remaining are people looking for information, for purchases or just pleasure. What do you think about fashion being an intellectual discussion? Where fashion and intellect merge? I think that each time something is discussed, it is indeed intellectual. Examples of where they merge: if you ask if a thing is good or bad, useful or not, if you try to understand the likes and dislikes of a person and if you think about what will happen next. The majority of fashion bloggers are female. Do you think that fashion is inherently female? Ten years ago, I would have said yes. But now, men are as interested in fashion as women. Many men are blogging on fashion, and not only on female clothes. Maybe it is the genuine male-female parity we were looking for? Miguel of Beyond Fabric http://beyondfabric.tumblr.com/ Men’s fashion is just as exciting and interesting as women’s fashion, proven by this menswear blog. Started just three months ago to the day that I am writing this, Beyond Fabric 28
has accumulated a growing readership, with opportunities for guest posts and partnerships with menswear stores. A recent post is about finding details in men’s clothing as a means to diversify the style of just a tie, pair of slacks and buttondown shirt. Miguel, the blogger behind Beyond Fabric, aims to “deliver original and meaningful content,” of which he certainly proves himself capable. Why did you begin to blog? I’ve always been in love with fashion, but took on a course in civil engineering. I believe the blog is a manifestation of my creative, fashion-related inner self. I would love to work in fashion and [this] seemed the right way to begin this endeavour. Has your blog evolved since you first started it? This is what has surprised me the most since I’ve started it. I’m aware that what I write might be interesting for a lot of people, but I never expected it to have such a repercussion— especially since in Portugal blogging isn’t given that much credit to begin with. That’s one of the reasons I’ve decided to write entirely in English instead of Portuguese, which I believe was one of the best decisions I could’ve made. My blog would never be where it’s at right now if I aimed for a national audience. Do you believe in types of fashion blogs? If so, what would your categories be? Well, despite the main focus being fashion and style, I do believe there are different approaches to the subject. Beyond Fabric, for instance, is more focused on delivering original and meaningful content, than it is about pictures or news. Without going into much detail I’d say you have: street style, inspirational, fashion news and content-based blogs. Beyond Fabric would fall under content-based. The majority of fashion bloggers are female. How do you see yourself as a male blogger in a predominantly female trade/art form? It’s interesting. No, really; I haven’t felt a bit “discriminated.” Most of my female friend bloggers are great and support me all the way. It’s great when I find other male bloggers though. Just this week I had a good laugh when the “Links à La Mode” from IFB came out as they congratulated another male blogger for entering the list, because before I was the only one. Things are starting to change though. You already have amazing menswear blogs like Street Etiquette, Sartorially Inclined, Unabashedly Prep and Prepidemic. Why do you think men should be interested in fashion? Idealisms aside, your image is the first perception people get of you. You might argue that what matters is what’s inside, and the true nature of the person, but on a daily basis people make decisions based on first impressions, be them conscious or unconsciously. This is true not only from a professional point of view, where you must be presentable to inspire confidence and responsibility to your peers, but also on a personal level since women admire and are drawn to men who take care of their image. In my case, besides all of that, I love fashion and dressing up. Thank you to these three bloggers who took time to answer these questions and do what bloggers do best—document the here and now. CHRISTINE MASTRANGELO is also a fashion blogger. Read her point of view over at http://un-stitched.com/.
WHY DO WE LIKE VINTAGE? MISS AT LA PLAYA BLOGGER MÓNICA PARGA WEIGHS IN ON THE MATTER. Posted by MÓNICA PARGA Fashion is experiencing a democratization phenomenon thanks to an inexhaustible list of high-street labels like Zara, H&M, Mango and Topshop. Everyone can now dress with style for less money—and that’s a great thing. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everybody dressed elegantly? The negative about low-cost stores is that you can easily find someone on the street, at work or at a party wearing the same outfit that you are. That’s when you wish you hadn’t bought that recognizable printed dress. In the end, all women have the same shops available to them and buy the same things. The trick is in knowing how to mix them, or having a good eye to detect which piece is going to be a hit (and avoid it). I once bought a sweater that every single one of my friends had purchased too; I never took it out of my closet. Being original implies being “different” to a certain extent, and not following trends. A trend is something many people do. And if style is about originality, why be trendy? Wouldn’t it be more logical to wear “old fashioned” clothes? So, when people ask me about what’s “in” this season, I offer my solution to the mainstream-or-not debate—vintage clothing. Vintage is always different, unique and original (i.e. a dress bought at H&M in 2002 is not vintage). It lets you buy fur coats without feeling guilty, find amazing skirts that make you look like a mix between your grandmother and Alexa Chung and wear the most awesome cat-eye sunglasses ever. Vintage clothes have aura; a story behind them. Who wore that cozy sweater before you? What things did she go through while wrapped up in it? The piece of clothing becomes more than a well-sewn fabric; it goes through generations, styles, countries…a Zara t-shirt hasn’t seen the world at all.
What if vintage clothing is a trend itself? Will it disappear...?
4 CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: 1. The men’s section at What Goes Around Comes Around (WGAC), a vintage/contemporary retail store; 2. A snapshot of a vintage store in Paris; 3. Bird Boutique in Brooklyn; 4. The women’s section of WGAC.
MODISH BLOGGER JENA CORAY PAYS HOMAGE TO THE CLASSIC WARDROBE STAPLE.
Posted and photographed by JENA CORAY I have a confession to make: I am a sweater addict. A hopeless hoarder of knits. A daily craver of cardigans. Wool makes me drool. Fall is not only my favorite season because of the crisp air, golden leaves and grey skies that it bringsâ€”it's my favorite because fall means sweater weather! Time to layer up and break out the old favorites (and an excuse to go hunting for more). With the fall weather finally arriving here in Portland, I thought I'd celebrate with an ode to some of my treasured closet companions. I did a photo shoot around my 1950s house starring me, my kitties and my most beloved sweaters.
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Photography by HELEN TRAN Hair/Make-up by HAYLEY ALYS Wardrobe/Styling by CHRISTOPHER MASSARDO Model KATE STAFFORD (ELITE) Clothing provided by VICTOIRE BOUTIQUE, Ottawa, Canada.
Dress by PRELOVED
THIS PAGE AND NEXT: Dress by EVE GRAVEL; shoes, pants and accessories are stylistâ€™s own
OPPOSITE: Dress by PRELOVED; gloves are stylist’s own. THIS PAGE: Top and sweater by PRELOVED
BEAUTY NOTES: FACE: MAKE UP FOR EVER Foundation #117; CHEEK: YABY COSMETICS Blush #015; EYES: MAKE UP FOR EVER eyeshadow in #24 “Cantaloupe”, #35 “Buff” and #101 “Lemon Shimmer”, YABY COSMETICS in #442 “Sand Dune”; MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Smoky Lash in“Rich Black”; BROWS: YABY COSMETICS Brow Powder #005; LIPS: YABY COSMETICS lip color in “Innocent Trap”.
Maria www.mariahamiltondesigns.com Hamilton Designs 38
VERGE THIS MONTH’S ON THE VERGE FEATURE BRINGS YOU THREE VERY TALENTED JEWELRY DESIGNERS WITH THREE VERY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS AND STYLES. 39
ETHICALLY PLEASING ANNA ALICIA PROVES YOU CAN LOOK GOOD WHILE DOING GOOD. Interview by NICOLE BECHARD
The basics: name and where you’re from? Anna Alicia, I live and work in East London, UK. Education credentials? For my first degree, I studied Art History and Theory. I then moved to London to do a MA in Fine Arts at Central St. Martins. Do you feel that your undergraduate study of art history has influenced your jewelry design at all? Definitely! It’s hard to pin it down exactly. I think just looking at so much art, from such diverse eras—I studied a really wide range of periods from Byzantine icons to Modernist architecture!—really gave me a deep well of inspiration to draw from.
Having an online store allows you the freedom to reach customers all over the globe. Have you noticed any interesting patterns in clientele and/or where your sales come from? In the UK I do sell a lot to Londoners, but I think that’s probably just because there are so many of us squeezed into this city! I also sell a lot to customers in the US, but I think a renewed interest in handmade products is growing worldwide.
Is there any particular time period or movement that inspires you the most? I’ve always had a particular fascination for Japanese craft. I think it’s something about the amazing skill and labor that goes into producing something that appears so simple and reserved.
What is your favorite piece and why? My favorite piece from the current collection is the “Encrusted Necklace” with vintage beads—it was inspired by memories of growing crystals on strings with my science kit as a kid (I was always a total geek).
Do you have any favorite contemporary artists? Who? I guess I should say my husband, Stuart Elliot, really! He makes beautiful abstract paintings. You can view his work here: http://www.dicksmithgallery.co.uk/ga/se_8.html.
Do you have any plans to expand your brand beyond jewelry/accessories? Wardrobe perhaps? I don’t have any intention to branch out into clothes, but I do love interiors and have long been thinking about home accessories. So maybe...
Ethical and environmental concerns are central to your collections; have these issues always been important to you? I’ve certainly been very aware of my own moral beliefs since an early age (I decided to become a vegetarian at the age of 8!) and I’ve tried to shop as ethically as possible for some time. In a sense, working these values into my collections felt like more of a necessity than a choice. I just couldn’t stomach the idea of making my living based directly on the exploitation of other people. How do you practice such beliefs in your designs? Do you find such methods restrictive? As all my accessories are handmade by me in my London
studio, this is more an issue of what materials I use. Wherever possible, I choose organic fair-trade fabrics, alongside vintage elements such as chains and beads. This can be restrictive in many ways, but I love the challenge of making the most of what I am able to get my hands on!
What can we expect from A Alicia in the future? I’m currently planning my S/S 2011 collection, which will be all about bright colors and vivid vintage fabrics, in contrast to my current softer, more pared-down winter collection. Apart from that, my aim is just to keep building up my business—I believe an increasing global interest in ethical fashion will result in more responsible production of materials, as well as a greater range of ethically-produced lines in stores. Links and other self-promotion: My main collection: www.aalicia.bigcartel.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
OPPOSITE: Macra Knitted Cord Necklace; THIS PAGE clockwise from top: Encrusted Necklace with vintage beads, Six Cord Knitted Necklace (available in other colors) and Contrast Knitted Cord Collar Necklace with vintage button. All photography by Anna Alicia.
ILEANA ROJAS-BENNETT IS INSPIRED BY THE COLORS OF THE RAINFOREST. Interview by NICOLE BECHARD
The basics: name and where you’re from? Ileana Rojas-Bennett. Born in San Jose Costa Rica; currently based in Greenville, NC. Education credentials? A Masters in Education/PanAmerican University, Costa Rica and [I was] taught art by my mother who was an established artist in Costa Rica. What is the inspiration behind your brand? I consider myself a child of nature. Growing up surrounded by rainforests and volcanoes, it gets in your blood. I take the colors and textures from my life experiences and turn them into jewelry. How did you become involved in jewelry design? What about this particular field drew you in? What woman doesn’t adore jewelry!? I have always loved all art forms and searched for the one medium that suited me. I worked with stained glass creating large and detailed panels for awhile, enjoying the glowing colors when the sun hit them just right. Next, I began to fuse smaller pieces of glass into pendants in my kilns, eventually creating fused glass earrings, bracelets and ring stones. When these items became popular locally, I decided to move forward and use semi-precious stones to create even more dazzling pieces. These were so popular I went into business selling them— and here I am! Your pieces are so beautiful and intricate! On average, how much time do you put into each piece? For my big pieces, the design process can take several hours to perfect. The actual making can take days, depending on whether I’m setting it in silver or stringing a necklace. Earrings generally take the least time, since I usually match them to a necklace. The color patterns are already established; it’s just a matter of putting it all together. What is your favorite part of the design process? My favorite part of the design process is choosing colors! I’m crazy about different color combinations and this is when I can really feel creative. I understand your mother is an artist and much of your inspiration draws upon her and her work. Have you ever collaborated on a project and/or would you like to? My mother is actually a painter, and although we painted together when I was a little girl, we have never collaborated on a project. I would love to have a gallery exhibition featuring her paintings and my jewelry pieces [together] someday. How do you feel your Maleku heritage has influenced your work? Well, I knew I was artistically developed beyond what my friends were. As I got older, I never left my art even though
PHOTO BY SPRY LEE SCOTT
L-R: Nolcha President Arthur Mandel, 2010 “Beyond The Runway” winner Ileana RojasBennett and Nolcha CEO Kerry Bannigan.
everyone else went on to other things. After discovering my ancestry, I realized how art for the Maleku Indians isn’t just a form of expression but a way of life. Obviously it has to be in our genes after being passed down from generation to generation. Do you feel that your cause has brought more awareness to the Maleku tribes? I surely hope so. They ask for so little but need so much. I’ll find out when I get back to Costa Rica because I haven’t visited since my last donation. [Editor’s note: part of the proceeds from all Maleku Jewelry Designs’ sales are donated to the Maleku Indians.] You recently received the 2010 “Beyond the Runway Award” at the conclusion of New York Fashion Week this year. That must’ve been so exciting for you! You just can’t imagine how it felt to see so much talent in one event, and be chosen. I honestly wasn’t even considering the possibility that I had a chance. I am very proud of my ability and what I can do, but I was in the running with established clothing designers! It was a proud, proud moment for me. What can we expect to see from the Maleku brand in the future? My priorities include launching a matching line that can be easily carried in fine boutiques and stores country-wide that will appeal to the fashionista in all women. A new website is also on the horizon, and even bigger and more dazzling statement pieces are on the drawing board. Links and other self promotion: www.malekujewelry.com
PHOTO BY S. FECHO
PHOTO BY S. FECHO
PHOTO BY R. SHAWN
I CONSIDER MYSELF A CHILD OF NATURE. GROWING UP SURROUNDED BY RAINFORESTS AND VOLCANOES, IT GETS IN YOUR BLOOD. SO I TAKE THE COLORS AND TEXTURES FROM MY LIFE EXPERIENCES AND TURN THEM INTO JEWELRY. 43
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED AZHAND SHOKOHI’S PIECES ARE ANYTHING BUT ORDINARY. Interview by NICOLE BECHARD
The basics: name and where you’re from? Azhand Shokohi, born in Tehran, Iran. Education: Dual Bachelor of Science in Fashion Design (BS in both Design and Product Development) from University Of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP), 2002. As a Persian-born designer, do you feel that your heritage heavily inspires your work? Without a doubt. I absolutely believe my creativity lies upon my heritage. Persia is one of the oldest cultures in the world and has always been an influence globally as well as personally. Many designers follow the Middle East in their work as much as I do. Your parents acknowledged your talents as an artist; however you had to persuade them to accept your vocation as a designer. How do they feel about your work now? I knew I wanted to design the day my mother taught me to knit and sew at the age of 10. I designed jewelry and clothing just for myself. I couldn’t wait to wear them to see the reactions in family and friends. My father and mother were very creative and artistic, which leads me to believe that I got my dexterity from them. I followed their wishes to try and become a respectable, professional doctor. After a few years in college I decided to take the plunge and follow what I was born to do. My parents realized my struggle and unhappiness and wished me the best because they knew I was creative; there was never any doubt. Sadly, I have lost both my parents in the last seven years. My mother had a chance to attend the DAAP College fashion show my senior year and was overwhelmed. She said, “I knew you were good but I didn’t expect this. You are a designer.” My father did get to see pictures, and said that he always knew I was talented and was very proud of what I had become. I think if they were here now, they wouldn’t be so surprised by my creations. How was working for Ralph Lauren? Do you find your job there influenced your work at all? I worked for Warnaco Group with the Chaps® collection. You might say it was a colorful experience, as I assisted with colorcoding for the Polo Men’s division, including other duties. I have always admired the Ralph Lauren brand. Ralph is the pioneer of classy and timeless designs.
see [their] facial expressions. I like to see happiness, admiration, surprise and unexpectedness in their faces. So, the answer to your question is yes; I love the unexpected! You use such a variety of materials! Do you feel that they dictate the design of your pieces or are you more in control? I am in control. I am more creative when I don’t have the mediums available to me. I think of a material and what I could design with it, then I imagine all the possibilities and combinations. This was exactly the concept behind my jewelry designs. I wanted to design a jewelry line that would stand out from any other designs in the market. I didn’t want to do the traditional gold, silver, chains and pearls. Do you find your materials or do they find you? I find them. I’m not exactly sure when or how an inspiration comes to mind. I might be thinking about something not even relevant to a design concept, and then it just comes. Do you enjoy the opportunity to have clients play a role in the design process of your personalized, madeto-order pieces? Absolutely. I like hearing different ideas and understanding the client’s desire. I want to reach their expectations. The client’s reaction, happiness and satisfaction is what’s most rewarding. Have you ever collaborated with other artists/designers? Would you like to? No I haven’t. I hope to get that opportunity someday; I think it would be a fantastic revolution. What can we expect from your brand in the future? Well, my brand is expanding as I write this. I just came out with my first clothing line collection for Spring 2011, Made in USA. This collection is elegant, chic and fashionable with a combination of red, ivory, mustard and gold colors. I am also getting ready to come out with a new and fashionable clutch purse design. I will, of course, continue with my jewelry line and who knows what is next! Links and other self-promotion: Please visit www.azhandshokohi.com and http://www.facebook.com/pages/azhand-shokohi/149271050717
Your pieces are both sculptural and conceptual; has this always been the nature of your work or was it more of an evolution in process? I always say that I am an artist who happens to be a designer. I like to create. I like to push the boundaries. I want to create something different that will attract the observer. I love to OPPOSITE TOP CENTER: Photography by Sarah Beth Smith, model is Courtney Myers, hair by Rachel Osborn and clothing by Azhand Shokohi
A VISIT TO THE SOURCE OF MILITARY’S INFLUENCE ON THE RUNWAY. Written by NORA E. S. GILLIGAN
The entire Design, Pattern and Prototype Team (DPPT) from L-R: Cara Tuttle, Christine Reffel, Team Leader Annette LaFleur, Magdalena Mulherin, Carrie Rutkowski (admin. and design assistant), Lynne Hennessey, design intern John Daly, and Nicole Killian (seated). All photos by David Kamm US Army NSRDEC.
Annette LaFleur is not who I expected. With her long, blonde hair, matte pink lips and form-fitting black dress, some might wonder what she’s doing behind the heavy security of a U.S. Army facility, when I envision her somewhere more glamorous, say, designing for Gucci or another high-fashion house. A graduate of Lasell College’s Fashion Design program, Annette’s not going anywhere anytime soon: “[the] more time I spent [with the military], the more I enjoyed my career and how it’s progressed here. I like the whole general idea of research and development for the Soldier. I plan on staying.” Good thing, because the girl knows what she’s doing. Annette is the Design, Pattern and Prototype Team (DPPT) Leader at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), a global forerunner in military protective clothing located just outside Boston. On a mission to dig a little deeper into the military trends currently dominating the runway, I had the opportunity to meet with this energetic beauty and her team of eight rockstar designers—Heather, Lynne, Nicole, Christine, Magdalena, Cara, John and Carrie. A studio tour and interview session left me a little overwhelmed, a lot in awe, and with a newfound respect for the people, processes and innova46
tions behind the combat boots and bomber jackets that have worked their way into civilian fashion legacy. The DPPT team: on a mission to empower, unburden and protect Annette comes from an ancestry of New England corsetieres and wedding gown designers. Creativity runs in her family, and though she knew she would put her talents in clothing illustration, flat-pattern making and sewing knits to use, she never imagined it would be with the military. I was curious as to what drew the DPPT members to Natick—it was hard to imagine that designing chemical garments and helmet covers was high on the list for most aspiring fashion graduates. Whether coming right out of school or from work experience, most on the team described how they initially “fell into the job,” and then found a truly unique and fulfilling opportunity. Work at Natick allows designers to push their boundaries and maximize their strengths; it also offers them a crucial role in the mission to “empower, unburden and protect America’s Warfighters.” Each designer under Annette’s supervision is chosen for their ultra-creativity, comprehensive understanding of clothing production and expert sewing skills. Team members
are versatile, and learn the ins and outs of all the technical aspects of design more than they might otherwise. In the standard fashion industry you are typically working in just one area (e.g. pattern-making, sample-grading, sewing, etc.); DPPT designers are able to see their projects through to the end—from the idea stage to mass production. Annette comments, “As a young person out of school, you think you can sew until you’ve worked here. Government truly teaches you to think outside the box.” I am distracted by Nicole’s adorable headband and forget for a second that I’m not in, say, Marc Jacobs’ studio. Then the group fires off a list of the products they work on and I’m shot back to reality: “Army Combat Uniforms (ACU), Joint Chemical/Biological Coverall Suits (JC3), ballistic items, cold weather clothing, field dress, Explosive-Ordinance Disposal Suits (EOD)…” Although difficult to keep up with the acronyms and terminology, it’s obvious that the team’s responsibilities are high-level and critical to the safety and well-being of human lives. The team recalls emails and feedback they have received from soldiers saying that what they worked on affected a life —or saved it—in some way. Again, Marc’s studio this is not. The process: from visionary ideas to the Warfighter’s solution I wish we had taken a picture. While sitting in on a demonstration of DPPT’s Computer-Aided Design (CAD) equipment, Retired Lieutenant Colonel David Accetta walks through, holding a massive vest (rather, body armor). He tells me to put it on, and after struggling in with some assistance, it’s all I can do not to fall over on my face. “Heavy, huh,” David remarks, matterof-factly. I learn that I am wearing the Improved Outer Tactical Vest (IOTV), which weighs approximately 20 pounds as I have it on. Insert the vest’s ballistic plates (or Enhanced Small Arms Protective Inserts (ESAPI), to the initiated), and the vest weighs in at 33 pounds. “Once a Soldier has all his weapons, ammunition, first aid and other survival and protective equipment for combat, the vest and associated equipment can weigh roughly 75 pounds or more.” How’s that for perspective? The production process for a garment like the IOTV is comprehensive and each step critical. Every piece designed by Annette’s team begins as a conversation with military or contracted project managers, who provide guidelines of what needs to be created or modified (sometimes DPPT works to improve upon existing items). After multiple sketches, collaboration with subject matter experts and research on relevant commercial items, technologies, fabrics and closures, the first pattern is drafted either by hand or CAD. Sample sizes are produced and evaluated by the customer. Given the go-ahead, Natick goes out to have limited numbers produced for fit tests and user-evaluation; these will be tweaked and modified until the “100 percent design solution” is reached. Patterns are then sized out, (graded) in the CAD system, and sent to the selected manufacturing plant for production. DPPT sometimes remains involved at this stage, assisting manufacturers with specific sewing operations. “[Our] design requirements are at such a high level— every single piece of equipment and clothing has such a specific size tariff and purpose,” states Annette, reminding me of the higher purpose here. Fit and functionality will dictate whether a sniper overheats in hot desert climates or if an EOD technician will survive a bomb detonation. Annette continues: “I can’t just walk into Donna Karan and decide, ‘I want to copy that dress pattern.’ It may take long periods of time for certain technologies [and] designs to be incorporated into fielded garments…[so at the end stage], it is very rewarding to see one of our designs fielded.” Each DPPT designer’s skill set fits a criti-
Designer Nicole Killian (above); A Soldier in body armor and Army Combat Helmet.
cal piece of the whole; as Heather puts it: “[we start with] a vision and actually design concepts into a tangible and functional reality, which eventually improves the life of a Soldier.” Inspiration and innovation: the fashion engineers In 2004, DPPT’s updated version of the Army Combat Uniform won an award as one of the top ten inventions for the U.S. Army (annual nominations most often go to war machinery, such as aircraft carriers; the fact that a clothing item won was huge). Prior to this year, the Army had been using the same battledress uniform since the early 1980s; soldiers had to have one uniform each for desert, urban and woodland areas. With the introduction of “universal camouflage,” one uniform was sufficient for any war environment. The Natick team is currently working in conjunction with Crye Associates on the next camouflage style called MultiCam® (currently being issued to soldiers in Afghanistan as its seven-color, multi-environment pattern is advantageous for the different types of terrain in the country). Research and development (R&D) is a majorly exciting component of work at Natick, and Annette says at times her work is “more like being an engineer than in high fashion.” Indeed, the team has a close relationship with military engineers, and when presented with a design problem the groups work together to analyze and think through solutions. Lieutenant Colonel Accetta recalls a paratrooper’s recent visit from Fort Bragg, NC, for special assistance fitting his helmet: This young Soldier had difficulty comfortably wearing the standard helmet and came to see some of our engineers to adjust the inside pads to make it fit properly and safely. The engineers determined that he needed a special custom-made helmet pad configuration, and we went to Annette and her team to see what they could do. Even though DPPT was decisively engaged in
DPPT Team Leader Annette LaFleur.
some other missions, they realigned their priorities for the day so they could help out the Soldier and get him back to Fort Bragg with a solution in hand. They found the right material and then designed and fabricated a number of special pockets to hold the pads and make this trooper’s helmet fit correctly and comfortably.
Another example is an extraction harness that the team played a role in developing. Used to pull a soldier out of a tank in case of danger or injury, the previous harness design would pull up on the soldier’s uniform and potentially choke him or her; the new pulley system allows for an easy slide out. Says Lynne, “we often get our best ideas just driving in a car.” Natick has every type of textile technology available to them, from seam-sealers that stitch perfect seams with chemical-leak resistant Gortex, to an ultrasonic machine that cuts and seals synthetic webbing. An entire room is dedicated to the studio’s massive CAD system, which masters Christine and Nicole use to create and alter patterns. At the time of my visit, the team was looking forward to the delivery of a new multi-ply “cutter.” Linked to CAD, the machine receives data and cuts patterns; the multi-ply version will allow the designers to cut into heavier fabrics, like the ballistic material Kevlar. Exotic textiles such as this play a large role in R&D. Annette’s team travels a few times a year to U.S. tradeshows and sport and hunting arenas to see what commercial materials are out there and how they can be tweaked for military use (under the Berry Amendment, all garments, fabrics, fibers and other components must be domestically produced, manufactured or grown). Like any industry design team, DPPT keeps an archive of fabric swatches and can commission a one-of-a kind material when necessary. Of course, sometimes it’s the simplest materials that create the most effective solution. For example, the Army is gradually replacing some Velcro closures with buttons, as buttons are easier for a soldier to quickly repair in the field. “[Industry] designers look to current events (war), automotive design, music and other things to inspire their lines. [Our inspiration is] the Warfighter, [who] constantly drives my team and I to design the best possible uniforms and protective clothing,” states Annette. Soldiers themselves have proven to be a great resource for innovation and improvement ideas. The Ghillie Base Layer, for example, is a flame-resistant coat and trouser worn by the sniper community. Field reports stated that soldiers were cutting the backs and underarms out from their suits, as they were too hot sitting still for long stretches of time. Natick translated this feedback by incorporating a breathable mesh fabric into a new Ghillie base layer, minimizing the soldiers’ need to alter their own suits and allowing them to focus more on customization for their environment (snipers attach custom camouflage, such as leaves and twigs, to rows of oneinch wide nylon webbing on the back of their suits). The Female Army Combat Uniform is another project that DPPT is working on, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Product Manager for Soldier Clothing and Individual Equipment. ACUs are currently unisex and ill-fitting for women; the new female-specific design will have a slightly larger hip and hourglass jacket with an elastic waist. Presently in the fit-test stage, Natick’s goal is to alter patterns to fit 99 percent of the female soldier population; the challenge is in what the team can change while staying within compliance of standards. While Balmain’s Christophe Decarnin can design pockets as small as he chooses, Annette’s team has to ensure that their soldier can fit all the things she needs for the job. The “sexy factor” In the past week alone, my inbox has been flooded with invitations to shop Junya Watanabe’s “military chic look” at Barneys;
DPPT design intern John Daly (left); designers Cara Tuttle (in front) and Magdalena Mulherin (in back) work at a bartack machine.
suggestions on how to “get the trend” from Piperlime as they salute their love for all things military; and promotions from theOutnet.com on their “new model army” pieces. There’s no question that military is (once again) the trend of the year—sales of J Brand’s Houlihan pants at Intermix and Bergdorf will quickly speak to that. Both Spring and Fall 2010 seasons sent military-inspired fashion marching down the catwalk, from Balmain’s skinny leather cargos and embellished band jackets to Rag & Bone’s camouflage anorak and stacked combat boots. “Military trends in ready-to-wear are always covered by at least one designer; [they] are functional and carry a strong image,” says John, DPPT’s Student Intern Design Assistant. I was curious as to the Team’s opinion of military on the runway, especially after a controversial Vogue editorial in the magazine’s March 2010 issue. Reader comments on “Military Issue,” photographed by Mario Testino, expressed concern over “the trivialization of the uniform of American soldiers”; did DPPT designers think that such a spread was disrespectful to their hard work, especially during wartime? The crew thinks on it for a minute, and I’m sure I’ve hit a nerve—until Annette mentions a W spread featuring a Dolce and Gabbana jacket with military webbing, a dress made of digicam and body-armor jewelry, and describes it as both, “chic and cool, [and] interesting.” Magdalena coyly chimes in: “military-inspired high fashion is very much in style, and yes it’s interesting and cool…but it’s also kind of sexy!” Given the background (and obvious personal style) of DPPT’s designers, I wonder how much aesthetic freedom they have with their military designs while maintaining practicality. I learn that soldiers are given a bag with all needed items upon reporting to duty, but that some try to swap military issue for a commercial brand with more style appeal. So Annette instated the “sexy factor”: “Soldiers take pride in their appearance, and [the] Army is competing with commercial industry sometimes. We like to design things that are practical but with
a cool factor, [like] backpacks, breathable t-shirts. Sand goggles [are a good example]. It is critical that Soldiers wear good eye protection; the ‘sexy factor’ ensures aesthetic.” Cool enough. “All The Way” Lieutenant Colonel Accetta signs off on all his email correspondence with this classic U.S. Army Airborne Division motto; the phrase could just as well be used to sum up DPPT’s hard work, creative expertise and dedication. I left my visit to the Team with a fresh take on the garment design industry, wholly taken-in and intrigued by an area of textiles concerned with neither trends nor the creation of a cohesive collection, but with a real-life mission. As I navigate out of the Natick visitor parking lot that day, I start to brainstorm on how to best frame this story. I think about how the fashion world lauds industry leaders for their take on army appeal: Marc Jacobs for making tartan cool—sexy, even—and Christopher Bailey for updating the classic Burberry trench coat with metallics, silks and studs. I think about how Annette and her team are the source of these and other military fashion influences all the world over, and have the immense vision and skill to rival any industry talent. I also think that recognition for either of these things may be the last thing on their minds. In a follow-up email to Annette, I ask her to reach out to her team for any last insights or messages that they hope to get across. She gets back to me quickly, with a few words from each designer describing their passion for what they do. All are thoughtful and substantive, but I can only select one with which to end the story. I choose a sentiment from Lynne, hoping to leave readers with a sense of why DPPT deserves to be in the spotlight, and of why day after day, they do what they do. Says Lynne, “seeing the young Soldiers so anxious to go over and fight and hoping that we see them again…our job saves lives. What a warming thought on my occupation.” Indeed.
heroine in ruins
Photography by LINDSAY ADLER at www.lindsayadlerphotography.com Wardrobe/Styling by JAMMIE SEAN SMITH Makeup by KRISTIN MIRABELLE for MAKEUP FOREVER Hair by LEO CREWS for CREWS 360 Model KARA ERWIN
THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS: Sequined dress by TWENTY CLUNY
Boots by RAPHAEL YOUNG
OPPOSITE: One-piece nude bustier by CAMILLA AND MARC; necklace by ROBERTA FREYMANN; boots by RAPHAEL YOUNG THIS PAGE: Dress by NPRPA
Dress by GUISHEM; necklace by ROBERTA FREYMANN; boots by RAPHAEL YOUNG
Dress by GRACE SUN; necklace by ROBERTA FREYMANN; gloves by MANGO
KISS TELL ADD SOME PUNCH TO YOUR POUT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
Photography by REMI KOZDRA & KASIA BACZULIS Make-up by MARIANNA JURKIEWICZ Model KATARZYNA (REBEL MODELS)
MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Lip Pencil and Dame Edna lipstick in “Kanga-Rouge”
MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Lip Pencil and lipstick in “Lavender Violet”
MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Lip Pencil and lipstick in “Show Orchid”
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Lip Pencil and lipstick in “Lady Danger”
MAC Prep + Prime Lip, Lip Pencil and lipstick in “Victorian”
ADDITIONAL BEAUTY NOTES: FACE: MAC Strobe Cream, MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation, BOBBI BROWN Corrector, YSL Touche Éclat, ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE Precious Velvet Flawless Face Powder in“Piano”, SMASHBOX Step-by-Step Contour Kit; CHEEK: MAC Sheertone Shimmer Blush in “Plum Foolery” and “Well Dressed”, NARS Highlighting Blush Powder; EYES: ESTÉE LAUDER Signature Silky Eyeshadow Duo, MAC Palace Pedigreed Eye Shadow X4, ROUGE BUNNY ROUGE Feline Gaze Eye Kohl in “Salome”, LANCÔME Hypnôse Custom Volume Mascara; BROWS: MAC Impeccable Brow Pencil and Brow Finisher.
MARIANNA BARKSDALE AND ABIGAIL STEWART
Interview by NICOLE HERZOG & NICOLE BECHARD 66
Evigheden is run by Marianna Barksdale and Abigail Stewart—how did you two meet? We studied fashion design together at Parsons. We met in a portfolio design class, where we both used David Bowie in our presentations. Love at first sight. How did you two decide to come together and start a fashion label? We each had skills the other didn’t, and we were studying the same beautiful things... Where does the name “Evigheden” come from? What does it mean? Evigheden means eternity, or everlasting, in archaic Danish. In the story of The Snow Queen—which we used to inspire our first collection—“evigheden” is the magic keyword solution to an epic puzzle. It is considered the perfect word; the perfect emblem of a perfect idea. According to legend, the reward for discovering this magic word is freedom—plus a new pair of ice skates, which are a symbol of joy. You make textiles from scratch, work with local artists and buy from farms to get materials. Amazing! Can you tell us a little more about this process and how it affects your overall work? For us to make something unique, even our materials need to be genuinely new. In some cases we combine existing fabrics to create a different one through quilting, felting, burning and other hand-done processes…we also ask artisans to make materials for us. Weavers, knitters and specialized craftspeople have provided us with gorgeous work that we can then plug into a high-fashion aesthetic. We like buying fiber from American farms—in particular those in the Hudson Valley and New England—where farmers care about their products and animals enough that they name each of their individual sheep! It’s important that a farm can tell us how their fiber is made. A client buying a luxury garment should feel she’s bought art, as if from a gallery. Everything about the dress ought to be extra-ordinary. In ten words or less: how would you describe the Evigheden style/aesthetic? Ziggy Stardust goes to a garden party. You mentioned the tale of The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen. Can you tell us a little more about how this story inspired your collection, “A Thousand Pieces,” and how the garments themselves relate? The Snow Queen is about a little boy, Kai, who is kidnapped and imprisoned by the lonely Queen. Kai’s best friend Gerda makes a strenuous journey across the world to rescue him. Kai
is trapped in a frozen castle, forced by the Queen to play an endless mind game with shards of broken ice, while Gerda’s character is archetypically nature-oriented. She finds Kai with help from a reindeer, a fish-skin map, a pair of red river-soaked shoes and a garden of flowers. The two children represent the story’s opposing yet related themes: the cerebral and the natural. “A Thousand Pieces” is designed to mirror this relationship. The ten dresses are sequenced to follow the story’s arc, beginning with Gerda and the natural and ending with Kai and his mind games. The first five garments have softer, bigger silhouettes; they reference plants and highlight body parts (the spine, the hips). The last five are abstract echoes of the former, falling away from the body with sharper shapes. Each dress gets its name from a corresponding chapter. What type of customer are you thinking about when you design? Our lady has an imagination; self-expression is important to her. These garments are designed for a customer who genuinely dresses for herself, for her own happiness—which is why we pay attention to the inside of the garments as much as to the outside. What is the name of your collection you are working on right now? Our new collection for Spring/Summer 2011 is called “Operaland.” Its theme is thirteen princesses who sneak off from their bedroom every night to attend a secret ball, where they dance until their shoes literally fall to pieces on their feet. We’re dying to know more! The story is an 18th century allegory to sexual expression, so we went for sensuality. We were inspired by the extreme understructures and decorative elements of Rococo ball gowns and the lingerie of the period. A Boston fiber artist made our upholstery-like bamboo fabric, which became a focal point of the collection. The material represents the drapes and blankets of royal bedchambers. We wanted the collection to contain elements of surprise—hidden trim, neon-airbrushed lining, layers of hand-tacked ruffles (that are actually transparent). Some design details are only for the customer herself to see or know about. Which garment is your favorite? In our minds, the garments are each part of a larger story, designed for a specific set of moments in a customer’s life. Our favorites change with our moods. What can we expect to see from Evigheden in the future? New stories and inspiration, interesting materials, extreme shapes, more risks. Diffusion. And, yes—menswear.
FOR US TO MAKE SOMETHING UNIQUE, EVEN OUR MATERIALS NEED TO BE GENUINELY NEW... A CLIENT BUYING A LUXURY GARMENT SHOULD FEEL SHE’S BOUGHT ART, AS IF FROM A GALLERY. EVERYTHING ABOUT THE DRESS OUGHT TO BE EXTRA-ORDINARY. 67
EVIGHEDEN “Leaves of Glass” dress
as cold as ice Photography by TIM RENZI Hair/Make-up by JANEEN JONES Styling by NICOLE HERZOG Model ANNA MOULTON (CLICK) All garments are from the EVIGHEDEN “A Thousand Pieces” collection.
THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS: EVIGHEDEN “Lapland” dress
THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS: EVIGHEDEN “I Can See Myself” dress
THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS: EVIGHEDEN “Use of Your Legs” dress
THIS PAGE AND PREVIOUS: EVIGHEDEN “Basselurre” dress
EVIGHEDEN “Haberdine” dress
A TOUGH BITE MASCULINITY AT ITS PRETTIEST. Written by ARIANA SHURIS Toughening up a feminine look is like dipping a pretty, red apple into a rich layer of caramel. You can still see the beauty, but the structured coating gives the fruit a “harder” exterior. Many celebrities—past and present— have stood unafraid to add masculine pieces to their wardrobes, whether with a sleek tuxedo, a thin tie or a loose-fitting pant. Hollywood icons and models placed within the pages of our favorite magazines are all embracing the trend, which began when Amelia Jenks Bloomer introduced her namesake to the public in the mid-1800s. It’s true—fashions often echo styles of the past. Bloomer avidly promoted her postVictorian idea that women should abandon their voluminous, heavy petticoats and wear looser trousers, similar to those of Turkish women. The “bloomer” would reach the ankle, and be completed with a frill cuff and knee-length skirt on top. Although this look didn’t gain popularity until after Bloomer’s death in 1884, the style allowed for women to finally feel comfortable taking part in activities, and to take charge of their femininity by taking fashion-chances. Now that we’ve taken a step back, we can see clearly where we are today. Fashion has absolutely no limitations. If Lady Gaga woke up and threw on military pants and a bowtie, we wouldn’t question her taste but, rather, run out to the local mall to find our own versions of the ensemble. We all think, “Hey, if my favorite celebrity can lose the femininity for a day and still look flawlessly gorgeous, what’s the big issue?” Society is no longer shocked, but accepting of the masculine touches on the outfits of these stunning stars. A woman is not expected to wear a figure-hugging gown in a delicate hue, because she can still attract some stares with a simple black suit and closedtoe jazz shoes with detailed stitching. And, at the end of a red carpet night, the paparazzi will be snapping stills of the newest award show winner, even if her hair is gelled into a tight bun, ball gown nowhere to be found.
What are the current basic menswear-inspired fashion statements? This fall and winter we will be seeing tuxedo and military trends, both freshened with large collars, buttons and undeniable structure. Think Diane Keaton as Annie Hall, but with sharper tailoring made to flatter the female form. Then, think British, particularly the Regency era fashion— cropped double- or single-breasted jackets, fob chains, tailcoats and highwaisted jodhpurs. A brooch can help display the androgynous feel more. Think Amelia Earhart—an aviationinspired look—well-tailored menswear with a feminine fit. Earhart introduced her own signature look with
and conduct are determined by the clothing wrapped over our skin. This is not to say that wearing pocketed slacks elicits more confidence, but that the structured, more conservative feel we get from them helps to give us that extra boost without always having to depend on sex-appeal. Incorporating menswear into a delicate feminine wardrobe can help us to re-define ourselves. Not through our sexuality—in lipstick, skirts and feathery embellishments—but through our missions, impressions and messages, which are more often than not set immediately upon first encounters. It’s simple enough to transform your fall or winter closet
a leather bomber jacket, simple button-up shirt and neck-tie scarf. The list goes on, but these inspired looks from various eras are coming back full circle onto the runway, and will stick around well into the new year. Some might say that women feel impelled to wear the clothing of men not to imitate him, but to compete with him. Men are often considered stronger and more independent; what we wear is how we wish to be portrayed. Often our gestures, attitude
into a more “tomboyish” wardrobe. Two staples every woman should invest in are a blazer and a fitted button-down vest. Black and brown take masculinity to the extreme; if you’re more comfortable sticking with your ultra-feminine side, find these pieces in super girly colors—violet, burgundy or magenta. Whichever shade you choose, these two items give the structure you need to look undeniably powerful while remaining unmistakably stunning.
SMARTER SPENDING RIDE OUT THE RECESSION WITH THIS EASY FIVE-STEP PROGRAM. Written by BILLIE D. MCGHEE We all know that people are really tight on cash these days. It doesn’t matter who you are—when it comes to splurging on fashion versus paying for things like food, gas or rent, it’s fashion that usually loses the battle. For some of us, however, old habits die hard, and we’re still maxing out our credit cards in pursuit of the latest trends of the season. So what’s a girl to do? The sale racks are still as tempting as before, and sometimes I find myself spending more on items I’m not completely in love with just to take advantage of a 50 percent off discount. Is it time I cut myself off entirely, or is there a method to my shopping madness that has yet to be learned? I know that I don’t have the money to spend on things like new shoes, bags and jackets when I have a closet full of perfectly fine things already, so I try to resist shopping completely. But for me (and other reckless types), no shopping at all is truly unsatisfying. Over time, the hiatus inevitably leads to a relapse, where I end up spending $100 at Forever 21. The items I purchase always seem to be more of the same things that I already own, and my rationale is always that, “the price was too good to pass up for the amount I was getting.” To stop shopping cold turkey just wasn’t an option; instead, I took a closer look at my spending habits. I learned that I was constantly committing careless cash to cheap items. What I needed to start was smarter, spaced-out purchases of quality pieces that enhance my wardrobe—not only expand it. Now let’s say I saved myself from that shopping spree at Forever 21 and put some of the money towards things I really needed and the rest to the side. Over time I could have used my savings for a more satisfying purchase, say a black designer handbag I could use all year round, or a tailored trench coat that will always make me look polished, instead of several more cotton v-neck t-shirts that look scrubby after five washes. Looking through my closet I realized that although I own a lot of clothes, I only wear about 20 percent on heavy rotation. Looking closer still, I see that all of these items possess the same qualities: they are each well-made, versatile and not over-the-top. It looked like subconsciously I already knew the steps I had to take to develop the perfect closet. There are plenty of ways you can ensure your next purchase is a good one, but here are five of the simplest guidelines to stick to, that will help you save money and grow a more fantastic wardrobe over time: 1. Do the math.
Divide the price of the item by how many times you think you’ll wear it. One hundred dollars for a denim jacket you’re only going to wear two or three times is a waste of your hard-earned money, but if you end up wearing it every weekend for three months the price will be worth it. The key is to be honest with yourself and to think realistically. I would have loved a pair of Miu Miu heels from the Spring 2010 collection, for example. There was one pair in particular that was pink, covered in birds and encrusted with enough jewels to make me delirious. I considered cashing in my savings to own them. But with a price tag of $1,500, the only way that would happen was if I was going to wear them every single day for the rest of my life.
2. Quality over quantity.
Just because something is more expensive doesn’t always mean it’s going to be well made, and vice versa. Whatever the cost, good craftsmanship is worth it. If you intend to make a piece a heavy-rotation item, you might like to have it survive a few runs through the washing machine without aging it three seasons.
3. Think to the future.
When purchasing an item, it’s smart to think of the “fad factor.” Would you still wear this piece in five years? One year? Next season? I’m not saying that you can’t purchase anything that falls outside the categories of “timeless” or “classic,” but these are good places to start when creating your dream wardrobe. Build on high quality basics—a little black dress, a structured bag or a crisp white button up—pieces you’ll want to spend a long time with. When it comes to the crazy trends, save them for less expensive accessories, and maybe even try a D.I.Y. project. Stud a pair of your old jeans, thrift shop for vintage tees or create your own jeweled headband. You’ll end up with more original outfits and will be less likely to break the bank.
4. “Sale” doesn’t mean “sold”.
When you see that “70 percent off” sign, it doesn’t mean you have to buy something for the sake of saving money. Spend time and pick through the entire selection to find if something is truly worth adding to your wardrobe. If it comes down to deciding between two items, one on sale and one full price, consider the previous rules. If you know you’ll wear the full-priced item more than the item on sale, then maybe the discount isn’t in your best interest for this particular occasion.
5. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
It takes a while to achieve your dream wardrobe—be patient. I’m not encouraging you to go start spending and accumulating all at once, but I am encouraging you to think about spending smarter over time. A great way to start is to go through your closet to make way for your future purchases. Don’t just discard items you haven’t worn since high school, but also consider tossing things that you haven’t worn in the past four months. Still can’t part with your precious goods? Hold a fashion swap with some of your friends, and maybe you’ll gain a new coveted piece while seeing your items find a happy home in a friend’s closet. Donate the leftovers to The Salvation Army or Goodwill. Remember these items can be used as tax write-off, so you can save more money in the future!
ALL PHOTOS BY JUSTIN HOGAN
THE NEW YORK CHRONICLES IS BROOKLYN THE NEW MANHATTAN? Written by BRITTNEE CANN Brooklyn is New York City’s largest borough, home to more than two-anda-half million of the city’s eight million plus inhabitants. If each borough of New York were its own separate city, Brooklyn would be the third largest in the world, just behind Los Angeles and Chicago (crazy, right?). Considering its sheer size it only makes sense that “BK”, as it is casually called, has many hidden gems to offer visitors. Many “Manhattanites” rarely leave the island. Sad but true, and a real shame for those folks that limit themselves to only the most famed sector of New York because Brooklyn is a happening place completely flooded with great vintage stores, boutiques, salons, restaurants, parks and more. In terms of fashion, Manhattan and Brooklyn offer two different points of view. The former is lined with every high-end retailer imaginable, specialty boutiques and luxury shops whereas the
latter holds more of a low-maintenance, casual, street-cool type of attitude. I offer the two next short stories as anecdotal evidence… Manhattan: My dad came to visit over the summer and stayed at a hotel in midtown Manhattan. During his weekend visit we packed in all of the fun and cliché New York stuff we could. We went to the top of Rockefeller Center, toured Strawberry Fields in Central Park, saw the Empire State Building, walked through Times Square and shopped a bit on Fifth Avenue. It was here, around Fifth and 57th, where we saw a woman strutting around ever so slowly in an outfit that was turning tourist heads everywhere. This creature had on an impeccably tailored, tea-length dress that allowed her to step only about four inches ahead at a time, a pair of ornate art deco style pumps, round oversized sunglasses, a large derby-like hat and a small boxy bag carried in the crook of her arm. My dad
offered his opinion when he said, “some women will go great lengths to look good.” But look good she did. This Manhattan lady was a perfect vision of upscale luxury, reminiscent of Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Brooklyn: I’m a big advocate of doit-yourself manicures and pedicures, but on a particular Sunday a few weeks ago I felt like treating myself to the full salon works. I walked down to a nail joint just off the train stop near my apartment in Brooklyn and took a chair next to two women already soaking their feet. The women were wearing sweatpants, illfitting sportswear tops and messy-bun hair, complete with plastic grocery bags in tow. They were not, on first impression, the picturesque fashionista types. But, listening in on their conversation, there was no denying their knowledge and appreciation for sartorial greatness. The two gabbed about a single pair of vintage Gucci shoes for quite a 81
while. They described the shoes in great depth—their shape, mix of textiles, logo placement, heel height, weight, what clothes they’d look best with, whether or not they thought the price was fair, etc. Usual salon talk is related to the pages of US Weekly but in that Brooklyn salon on that Sunday morning, the conversation was serious about fashion. Those women made it clear that you don’t have to live in New York City proper to know what’s up with style. So, is Brooklyn the new Manhattan, like Charlotte once told Miranda? Well, last month Barney’s opened a CO-OP store in Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill, and this season Kate Spade is selling a bangle bracelet that reads, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” Hell, if Brooklyn fever keeps up (and if Jay-Z has anything to do with it) pretty soon NY Fashion Week will be here too. Brooklyn’s Finest: Atlantis Attic: 771 Metropolitan Avenue
My most beloved thrift shop in all of New York, Atlantis Attic serves up a bevy of goods for both men and women. It’s definitely a thrift store (rather than a vintage store) because sifting through piles and racks of polyester goods is necessary in order to find the few special items in between. Most things are priced between $5 and $10 (including shoes and bags) so the hunt is always worth it. Stella Dallas: 285 North 6th Street
This place is lined both floor-to-ceiling and wall-to-wall with inventory. Perhaps the most organized thrift store I’ve ever been to, everything is so well sorted and labeled that you can breeze through the racks rather speedily. Not much in
the way of shoes and accessories, but a whole slew of unique dresses, skirts, tops and pants. Made: 441 Metropolitan Avenue
This tiny little boutique is a mixed bag of new, vintage and consignment goodies. Tiny, yes, but not a single item in the store is a bad one. No need to sort through any riff raff to find a unique one-of-a-kind piece, as there are dresses, tops, pants, jackets and accessories aplenty. Whoever does their buying deserves a trophy. High Horse: 103 Havemeyer Street
This hair salon opened in the beginning of the year and they’ve had a steadily increasing clientele ever since. Prices are mid-range ($60 for a wash-cut-dry) and their stylists are masterful hair specialists! The interior of the salon is decked out with sepia-toned antiques that make you feel like you’re in a vintage photograph. I recommend seeing Bella. The Bagel Store: 754 Metropolitan Avenue
A true mom-and-pop operation, you’re greeted upon entering by a gang of sweet, hip-hop loving Brooklyn boys ready to serve you up any kind of bagel and schmear combo you could ever dream up. The place is open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m., and if you live in the neighborhood they’ll deliver right to your door. Coffee and a hot bagel delivered? Now that’s an ideal Saturday morning. Williamsburg Hall of Music: 66 North 6th Street
It’s no secret that Brooklyn is home to a lot of cool and up-coming bands, so it only makes sense that the borough offers a home for these people to play at.
Williamsburg Hall is a cozy venue with an intimate setup. There’s a small stage looking into a large floor space, surrounded by balcony standing room and seating one floor above. The floor down from the stage offers a full bar, more seating sections and surprisingly nice bathrooms (always a plus for us lady folk). Royal Oak: 594 Union Avenue
A dressed up dive bar, this place has a richly styled interior with felted wallpaper and tufted red leather booths. There’s a back room area for dancing, but what really keeps me a regular is the bar’s special drink, called the “Liz Lemon.” Yes, it’s named after Tina Fey’s quirky character on the popular NBC show 30 Rock, and it’s a delicious blackberry and lemon spritzer. Union Pool: 484 Union Avenue
Ever seen Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist? This is one of that movie’s locations. It is an old pool supply store, turned into a fun bar with a huge outdoor patio space and shack for live music. Outside there’s a taco truck parked, where you can curb your late night munchies with all kinds of great Mexican treats. Try the chips and queso and you won’t be disappointed. Brooklyn Adorned: 376 Bedford Avenue
This tattoo parlor slash jewelry shop is a one-of-a-kind place. I had some ink done by their artist Daniel Albrigo, and I can’t rave enough about his skills—clean, gentle and an absolutely incredible artist. Everyone in this place is so sweet. Those who say New Yorkers are a bunch of rude jerks have never been here. Their jewelry selection is unique as well. Offerings include some cool girl brands, such as Sea Unearthen.
WHERE TO BUY:
THIS ISSUE FEATURED TOO MANY GOOD DESIGNERS, BRANDS AND BOUTIQUES; HERE’S WHERE TO FIND YOUR FAVORITES! SIMPLY CLICK THE LINKS BELOW AND VOILÀ! INSTANT SHOPPING.
ANNA ALICIA www.aalicia.bigcartel.com
CAMILLA AND MARC http://www.camillaandmarc.com/
EVIGHEDEN DESIGN STUDIO http://www.evigheden.com/
NICO DIDONNA http://www.nicodidonna.com/ MARK LORD BESPOKE http://mark-lord.co.uk/ JENNY SCHWARZ http://www.jennyschwarz.com/ BOLONGARO TREVOR http://www.bolongarotrevor.com/ STEVE CORCORAN http://showtime.arts.ac.uk/scorcoran
RAPHAEL YOUNG http://raphaelyoung.com/ ROBERTA FREYMANN http://www.robertafreymann.com/ MANGO http://www.mango.com/ GUISHEM http://guishem.com/
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