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La Femme Soignée GIRL IN SHINING ARMOR Tracey Belbin brings edge to the world of accessories


Awaken your spring style

“ACCIDENTS HAPPEN SOMETIMES THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL.” Sam Donovan, Boston’s Project Runway Contestant

Letter from the EDITOR Getting your hands dirty. It’s daunting. It’s anxiety inducing. But it’s creative. Getting your hands dirty may be the most horrifying process when developing something new, but it’s exhilarating nonetheless. Getting your hands dirty means experiencing what’s around you. It’s about trying a Cowboy Salad, wearing a cloche hat, or styling chain mail. It’s about going beyond monotony. This issue was not easy. We had hiccups, we had setbacks, but in the end, getting our hands dirty is what brought the magazine together and made it better. Not only did the writers and designers learn new things, but I did, too. I got out onto the street, immersed myself in what my writers do on a weekly basis, and it was eye opening. I got back to my roots and that is what makes us better. Sometimes we get lost in the hustle of life and forget what got us to where we are now. But letting ourselves tackle new problems with the knowledge of what worked in the past brings beautiful things. For the fall issue, we have combined the tried-and-true with the new ideas of a new staff. We made mistakes, we got messy, and we grew from the experience. The result: a magazine that effortlessly combines the new with the old.



Lasell College

Bailey Sherwin



Sophie Weidhaas

Melissa Gaffey



Emily Kochanek

Julie Pomphrett

ART DIRECTOR Elise Cronlund


Mission STATEMENT The mission of POLISHED Magazine is to promote and highlight the diverse and vibrant culture and fashion scene of Boston and the surrounding area.

Ashleigh Copeland

Alejandra Carrero



Krystal B. -Makeup Thandiwe Muse -Hair James Peltier -Hair

Danielle Cutillo



Shawn Ridley


Grace Tweedie Jenna Mucci

Shafia West: Maggie Inc. Paisley Gilbert: Maggie Inc. Kristin McDonough: Maggie Inc. Julissa Pinckney: Bella Life Obscura

EDITORS Emily Kochanek Managing Editor


Ashleigh Copeland Mandy Abbatiello Miranda McCrea



Richard Bath Lynn Blake Stephen Fischer Becky Kennedy

Adam Palmer

STYLISTS Maria Talamo - Lead Stylist Danielle Sojka Mary Jean Chiulli

On the Cover 1844 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton, MA 02466 | Outfit: Beige A Line Blanket Skirt, $148, PINKYOTTO. Cream Fitted & Sheer POLISHED Magazine is produced Polka Dot Top, $68, PINKYOTTO. White with graphic design support from the Brimmed Hat, GALVINIZED HATS. Graphic Design League at Lasell College. Makeup: Krystal B. Visit us at: Hair: Thandiwe Muse.

POLISHED Magazine is printed by Wing Press

Table of CONTENTS TRENDS 2 Trend Forecasting:

COMMUNITY 7 Hats Off to Salmagundi

Spring 2015

Writer: Emily Kochanek and Emma Hoey Graphic Designers: Katelynn Staples and Elise Cronlund

3 Street Style:

Fashion on the Run

Writer: Emma Landegren and Janet Zhou Graphic Designer: Jenna Mucci

HOTSPOTS 4 Scissors and Pie

Writer: Jessie Bowens and Rakia Achab Graphic Designer: Rebecca Llanes

9 Bella Life Models

Writer: Damilola Gilbert Graphic Designer: Rebecca Llanes

11 A Woman Born to Live Through Her Art

Writer: Ashleigh Copeland Graphic Designer: Sam Solomon

ART 13 Artsy on Etsy:

Writer: Marisa Gubler Graphic Designer: Nicole Baez

5 Trina’s Starlite Delight

Writer: Julie Pomphrett Graphic Designer: Christina Fernandez

Moss and Blue

Writer: Meagan Pariseau Graphic Designer: Chelsea Scannell

22 Recycling the Shore Writer: Tina Nalepa Graphic Designer: Adam Palmer

27 24

ON THE COVER 16 La Femme Soignée Makeup: Krystal B. Hair: Thandiwe Muse Photographer: Oliver Klink Clothing: Pinkyotto Accessories: Galvinized Hats

FASHION 24 Girl in Shining Armor Writer: Sara Wailgum Graphic Designer: Grace Tweedie

26 All That Sparkles

Writer: Tallie Grasmuck Graphic Designer: Elise Cronlund

27 Not Your Grandma’s Knitted Sweater

Writer: Kaitlin McCarthy Graphic Designer: Jenna Mucci

30 From the Catwalk to the Closet

Writer: Alexandra Fazweski Graphic Designer: Elise Cronlund


Trend Forecasting

Pantone Colors: Ranging from tropical ocean blues to dusty pinks and lavenders, this spring’s colors come straight from Mother Earth herself.

Spring 2015

By Emma Hoey and Emily Kochanek

With another fashion week behind us, fashion mavens and hobbyists alike look forward to strutting the upcoming trends of spring/summer 2015. These trends include 1970s-inspired looks, chic embellishments, tropical prints, pastel gingham, and suede.




Illustrations by Kerin Crowley

While every spring season sees many variations of floral patterning, spring 2015 is all about enlarged floral designs. From maxi dresses to hobo bags, bold floral prints will cover all of your favorite pieces, adding femininity to any look.

With pastels continuing to dominate the runways, gingham has taken over where plaid left off. A delicate print, the small checkerboard is perfect for spring days and lightweight for summer picnics. Pair it with a different-colored collar for a more sophisticated and preppy look.

Thanks to Iggy Azalea and subculture stores like Nasty Gal and Dolls Kill, tropical prints including toucans and palm trees have been seen most notably on onesies and two-piece sets of crop tops and miniskirts. We’re feeling a Miami vibe for this coming summer.

Street Style Fashion on the Run

By Emma Landegren and Janet Zhou


Allyson Hibbard from Boston derives her style from 90s grunge and her musical taste, including post-punk girl bands. Her relaxed plaid pairs nicely with the structure of her high-waisted shorts and 90s-style choker.

Micah Belyea from Boston finds his inspiration through hip hop and R&B music. Belyea says he doesn’t follow trends and likes style icons like Beyoncé and Kanye. “Music sets a tone for my life,” said Belyea. His favorite brands are Margiela and Alexander Wang. While Belyea is dressed in a distressed Margiela denim jacket with combat boots and a sensible comb-over, some favorite pieces are his white mesh shirt, a gold chain for accessorizing, and monochromatic outfits.

Michelle Mendes from Boston changes her personal style depending on her mood. Mendes’s effortlessly chic ensemble was hard to miss. When asked about her favorite fall trends, she stated that she likes “the big shirt, and the leggings, or what I’m wearing today – the sweater and the tights.” Her form-fitting, dark navy pea coat, from Macy’s, covered her heather grey sweater dress, from H&M. Paired with the sweater dress, she wore black fleece tights, from H&M, leopard scarf from Marshalls, and classic oxford heels, from DSW. She kept her jewelry simple with a pair of silver statement earrings. Zara, H&M, and Banana Republic are her favorite stores to shop at.

Rebecca M., a Boston University student from Toronto, takes biker girl to an ethereal level. While sporting the trendy moto jacket with knee-high boots, Rebecca pairs the hard-girl look with a ruffled blouse and gold details from her beaded headband to her delicate watch. She wears “whatever discomfortable and makes [her] feel beautiful” and loves to shop at No Rest for Bridget on Newbury Street.


Scissors and Pie


Newbury Street Gets a Roman-Style Revival

By Marisa Gubler


he pizza scene is no stranger to Boston’s tourist hot spot Newbury Street. So what sets the newest contender apart from the others? Scissors and Pie made its debut in March with an interesting new concept. This pizza shop is going old school with its food prep and presentation, delivering true Italian craftsmanship and taste to stand out among its competitors. Scissors and Pie founder Mitch DeRosa believes in bringing substance back to the slice. Bringing in chefs from Italy to train the staff in traditional Roman-style recipes was the first step. DeRosa got the idea for his first restaurant while eating in Paris. After his first experience with the Roman-style petzo, he realized what pizza was missing. “I saw the freshness from the street. Who wouldn’t love to eat like this? You could taste all the ingredients,” DeRosa said. Freshness has become a mission statement for Scissors and Pie.

Some of the traditional Italian toppings sold are Margherita, Formaggi, Salame, and Vegeteriana. If a customer is looking for an authentic Italian flavor, he or she can select a Radicchio Gorgonzola and Carciofini, a Pesto Gamberi and Pomodorini, or a Pancetta and Asparagi slice. The petzo is not the only interesting spin on dining at Scissors and Pie. The dining room is furnished with bamboo-finished tables on runners. The runners allow for all the tables to combine and pull apart. “What I wanted to do was create something special. I wanted families to get a communal feel,” DeRosa explained. Scissors and Pie is definitely a must visit for the Boston foodie, and if the experience isn’t enough, the Petzo is the perfect Italian standard!



The dough, carefully kneaded to perfection each day, is made from several wheat blends. “The dough is what really sets petzo aside from the typical deep-dish or Sicilian-style pizza,” said DeRosa. The airy dough is stretched out onto rectangular sheets and cut in square slices. Each petzo slice is sold by weight, ensuring that customers receive what

they pay for. After a sheet has been prepped, it is put out for costumer selection. Once the customer selects his or her petzo flavor and portion size, the dough is cut straight from the sheet with scissors, weighed, and sent into the oven. The pizzeria uses a traditional Italian electric oven that allows for three temperature variations throughout the cooking process.


Starlite D ELIGHT

By Julie Pomphrett


rina’s Starlite Lounge, located in Somerville, Mass., is a new addition to Somerville’s growing downtown area. The Starlite Lounge will keep its guests feeling hip and fashionable in this lively, retro restaurant and bar. The spot reflects the era of Marilyn Monroe and 1950s glam. The restaurant features eclectic menus and an exciting vibe and is home to the first Monday Service Industry Brunch, served 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Mondays and designed for food industry workers who do not work on Mondays.


While Sunday brunches have become the norm, this restaurant suggests having an occasional Monday off is essential. Trina’s offers a variety of drinks and foods for the brunch. Sip a classic mimosa with a mango twist or choose from a long list of cocktails with names that will make you giggle. Try a Tow Truck with Old Monk Rum, Borghetti, coconut cream, and Harpoon Stout, or a Shrub a Dub Dub with smooth Ambler Rye, mulled apple shrub, and bitters.

chorizo-black beans, queso fresco, and corn tortillas. Feeling adventurous? Try a Brunch Burger with chocolate-covered bacon. Feeling like you want to throw on a pair of cowboy boots and hit the bull range? Try a Cowboy Salad, with top sirloin, baby iceberg, a sunny-side egg, Thousand Island dressing, and onion rings. Not only is the lounge a perfect spot for brunch, but it is also open late and is a whimsical place for a midnight snack. Some people say you can’t have it all, but at Trina’s Starlite Lounge, you can. This classy spot with comfort food and great cocktails is a great place to stop for a bite to eat in Somerville. Trina’s is open late Monday through Sunday. You can check out the menu at

The food at the lounge is unique. Trina’s offers Fruity Pebbles, homemade pop tarts, and breakfast pizza, just to name a few items. The restaurant also has an abundance of egg concoctions that are tasty and original. Choose from many selections such as the Good Ol’ Breakfast Sandy, which is a buttermilk biscuit with cheese, two eggs over easy, and a choice of bacon, sausage, or chipotle-tomato jam. Select the Huevos Rancheros, which brings you two fried eggs,


“It’s almost as if they traveled back in time to a 1940s jazz club.”

Hats Off to


By Jessie Bowens and Rakia Achab


ctober 20, 2014,

Owners and spouses Andria

shelves and shelves of hats. The

marks the seventh

Rapagnola and Jessen Fitzpatrick

hats can cost between $24 and $600,

anniversary of the

founded the store in 2007, a year

fitting anyone’s price range.

Jamaica Plain hat store

before the recession. Fitzpatrick,

Salmagundi. Located on 765 Centre

who first worked in finance, was

Street in Jamaica Plain, Mass.,

interested in moving toward the

the store bears a unique name

fashion industry. Before owning

that comes from a French word

the shop, the couple tested the

suggesting a melting pot of items.

market for six months at street fairs

The term represents a clientele as

across the state.

eclectic as the hats themselves. Businessmen, children, parents, and of course hat collectors all visit the store.

Salmagundi offers not only different varieties of hats but also a selection of clothing, handbags, and jewelry. A welcoming atmosphere and staff make the experience pleasant. The goal of the owners and staff is to help customers find a hat

In the front of the store alone, there

that is suitable for him or her at a

are a total of 3,000 hats, and there

comfortable price range.

are 9,000 more downstairs. The shop feels like a 1940s jazz club with




B e lla Life Mod e l s Models Beyond the Picture-Perfect Face By Damilola Gilbert

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ella Life Models is not your average modeling agency. It is a new type of modeling agency located in Quincy,

Mass., and it was launched in June 2013. “I want each model to stand out,” said Christine Cilano, the agency’s founder. Originally from New York, Cilano, a model herself, wanted to focus not only on the face but also on the life of a model, which is where the name Bella Life originated. Bella Life has created its presence through versatility. “Models can experience a lot more with Bella Life Models, within all aspects of the entertainment world. We pride ourselves on being an ever-evolving agency,” said Cilano. The models are able not only to showcase their personality but also to be a part of much more than the modeling industry. Working alongside Greenline Productions, Bella Life models have opportunities to try acting and to audition for movies.

working with a top designer; we support one another. It’s

but Bella Life looks beyond the face to develop models with

for the greater good for the girls,” said Cilano. Looks are

character, dreams, and individual life goals.

not primary factors when Cilano is choosing models. “It

“It is a way to showcase a person for who they are and not just for what they do,” said Cilano. At five o’clock in the morning, Bella Life models begin their day by traveling to photo shoots, where they are accompanied by a makeup artist. “The models are never alone, ensuring all girls are safe,” Cilano said. After the shoot they go out to eat and relax. “We are one big team; it’s like we are at summer camp together,” Cilano said. The models are between 18 and 30 years old, and height requirements vary from five to six feet tall. Bella Life utilizes a unique process when choosing a



model to become part of the company. “It’s not money or

Sample credit line for jewelry/clothing donations.

depends on what strikes me. If she fits, I will make her into a model… I want each model to stand out. Each model is her own brand,” said Cilano. The next casting call for Bella Life Models takes place in May 2015. In the near future, Cilano plans to extend Bella Life Models to different cities across the U.S. such as Miami and New York.


Many modeling agencies pick models solely based on looks,

It is not every day you meet someone who is pursuing her destiny. However, award-winning artist, filmmaker, and writer Geena Matuson is doing just that. With a catalog of films that have won everything from Boston’s Local Student Spotlight in 2013, to Texas’s Red Wasp Film Festival’s One to Watch award, Matuson is establishing herself as an artist to watch. Matuson, a Medfield, Mass., native, is best known for her versatile work in film, with titles like My Big Bad Wolf, Ice Cream for Breakfast, and The Box, as well as for her illustrations. But Matuson also said her true passion is writing: “I like to write because essentially I will be immortalized. Even in the words, someone could read them in 50 years from now. But I’m still alive in that book. My thoughts and everything.” Her intense passion for writing shines through her films’ unique story lines. When asked where she draws her inspiration from, she

says there are three sources: “My really screwed up childhood, my dreams: I lucid dream. A lot of them are really good stories. And time.” Time gives her the most inspiration because it is so abstract. As a filmmaker with a Bachelor of Fine Arts for Film and Video from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Matuson is acutely aware of time’s effect on her life and creativity: “You’re watching a film and it’s always existing in the present. So you have to understand how time works.” She also draws constant inspiration from her past work in shortstory writing and script writing. Currently, she is writing a book from the perspective of a sixth-grade boy. This upcoming book, with an undisclosed title, is based on her first major piece of writing. Matuson said, “The first book I wrote in high school was actually a script. But it was like a 250-page script, so I turned it into a book.” Even before picking up a video camera in her sophomore year of college, Matuson said she had a clear point of view for her art. She emphasized the clear path drawn for her to self-expression: “You know how parents are like, ‘you’re going to be a doctor, and a lawyer, and you’re going to do all this amazing cubicle work.’ They’re like, ‘you’re going to go to college for that.’ My parents did the same thing to me, but it was always art school... So that’s why I think it never registered I should go for writing. Even my parents planned it.” Matuson said she has been writing since she was 10 and has stockpiled her short stories: “I’ve been saving all my writing since I could write,” said Matuson. She has documented her life through storytelling, through the illustrations she posts on her website, www., and through her modeling work. In order to capture everything around her, Matuson is motivated to stay close to Boston. When asked what she adored most about Boston, she said, “Going from the suburbs to the city, it’s like you’re going from blah, to fashion world. I love the style. I love drawing people.” Geena Matuson also enjoys connecting with admirers of her art and fans of her films and writing. She can be reached on her numerous social media pages, including Facebook, Twitter (@geenamatuson), Pinterest, Tumblr, her blog, and her website.


POLISHED Fall 2014 | COMMUNITY PHOTO/ILLUSTRATION CAPTIONS: First Page; Top, “Psychology In Pointillism,” Bottom, “2014 DVD of Big Bad Wolf” & Print “Alps in 3D”(2014); Second Page; Top Left, “Christina’s Nightmare,”, Top Right, “Geena Matuson 2013,” Middle Left, Geena Matuson “Teeth,” Middle Middle, Geena Matuson “The Parisian,” Middle Right, Geena Matuson “3 Moons In Her Hair,” Bottom Left, “My Big Bad Wolf Reflection,”(2013) Bottom Right, Geena Matuson “Giraffe World”(2010-2013).


By Meagan Pariseau


ulianne Strom, a native of Newton, Mass., has created a name for herself with her Etsy business, Moss and Blue. This elementary school art teacher has created the company to sell her acrylic paintings through an international database. Discovering her interest in painting during her college years, Strom is fully satisfied with her calling. Strom received a Master’s degree in art education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in December 2013. She started to take painting seriously while in her final year as an undergraduate and decided during graduate school that she would pursue art as a career. While working as a full-time art instructor, Strom uses Etsy as the perfect platform for her to create her own pieces at her own pace. Moss and Blue launched on Etsy over a year ago, and owner Strom says she loves the strong community and the idea of small businesses helping each other. There is a “homemade feeling,” she said. Etsy allows Moss and Blue paintings to be bought and shipped both nationally and internationally. Her clientele are primarily from the West Coast, but many of her paintings are sold throughout the East Coast. Strom’s inspiration for her pieces comes primarily from architecture and fashion. The architecture gives a sense of shape and construction, while fashion inspires her choices of colors, shades, and textures. The name Moss and Blue derives from the Clorox and textures Strom uses. “I use a lot of blues and greens in my color palette and tried to think of a way I could incorporate that,” Strom said about her business’s title. “Moss” comes from her green palette but still suggests texture. When asked about her technique, Strom said, “Some paintings paint themselves and it takes three hours, and others I wrestle with for weeks.” Strom also explained that when she paints, she likes to “dance with it,” a term used by one of her professors in college to describe an artist’s movement toward and away from a painting to assess it. Strom always uses acrylic, as it has a quick drying time and allows the painter to “dance with it” all in one sitting. Strom explained that the colors and designs are thrown on quickly, the paint will dry, and then she can go back in to fine-tune areas. During her process, Strom’s

concentration is crucial. She works in a small studio room with plenty of natural lighting and often listens to soft, Zen-type music to ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Strom is a habitual self-critic and therefore will not hang her paintings on her own walls.


However, she is thrilled to sell her pieces. Strom explained, “There is nothing like the feeling you get after the first sale. It gives you a whole new type of confidence.” The customer who made the first purchase with Moss and Blue was completely satisfied with her piece. She left rave reviews on the Etsy page and even convinced her interior designer to look into the company and leave reviews. Since then, Strom has received requests for custom pieces and has responded to her clients’ needs. Custom sales have been a great way to get customers involved with the paintings, as they decide what goes into the piece. “I get motivation when a piece sells,” she said. Strom often takes time off from painting to focus on her full-time job, but she really gets inspired when she sees the satisfaction of her customers. The Etsy community seems to have taken a liking to this business and continues to support Strom. She explained, “Art is so subjective and you don’t know if other people will like your work as much as you do.” Her dream is to support herself one day through her artwork. She agrees that “everything seems to be working well with Etsy right now and there is no need to rock the boat now.” Strom’s pieces accommodate all buyers; her paintings range from $100 to $800. Look for her art on her Etsy website,


La Femme Soignée

Pleats & Plaid Dress, $145, PINKYOTTO. Black Wide-Brimmed Hat, GALVINIZED HEADWEAR. Makeup by Krystal B. Hair by Thandiwe Muse.

Lowback Sexy Jumpsuit, $148, PINKYOTTO. Black Birdcage Headband, GALVINIZED HEADWEAR. Pearl Necklaces, POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL BOUTIQUE. Makeup by Krystal B. Hair by James Peltier

Black Pencil Skirt, $68, PINKYOTTO. Racey Lace Skirt, $108, PINKYOTTO. Black Checkered Hat, GALVINIZED HEADWEAR. Pearl Necklaces, POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL BOUTIQUE. Makeup by Krystal B. Hair by Thandiwe Muse.

Octogon Shift Dress, $168, PINKYOTTO. Black Spiral Hat, GALVINIZED HEADWEAR. Black Clutch, POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL. Makeup by Krystal B. Hair by Thandiwe Muse.

Polka Dot Pin Up Blouse, $98, PINKYOTTO. Black Cool Culottes, $148, PINKYOTTO. White Checkered Hat, GALVINIZED HEADWEAR. Makeup by Krystal B. Hair by Thandiwe Muse.

Checkered Modern Women Shift Dress, $148, PINKYOTTO. Makeup by Krystal B. Hair by James Peltier.

Recycling the Shore In 2010

Rebecca Long, founder and owner of Rubbish Revival, took an interest in crafting mobiles out of sea glass. She later expanded her hobby into a career, crafting homemade jewelry, accessories, and home goods from sustainable materials. With a wide range of options to choose from, her work can be found and purchased on the popular craft website Etsy and in numerous stores across the United States. While living in California, this Martha-Stewartinspired mother of one wanted to look for an avenue to satisfy her artistic abilities. As Long began crafting mobiles, time passed and a friend mentioned the idea of selling the mobiles in local boutiques in Santa Barbara as well as on Etsy. “At first, the owner of where I wanted my mobiles sold told me to change the style and bring it back. That pushed me to work harder to make a better product and showed that I really wanted it,� said Long.

by Tina Nalepa

POLISHED Fall 2014 | ART

After Long began selling the mobiles at Plum Goods Boutique in Santa Barbara, she was immediately contacted by storeowners and boutiques across the country to have her crafts sold in their shops in locations such as Sarasota, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; and Boulder, Colorado. With over 11 boutiques nationwide carrying her sustainable jewelry, accessories, and famed mobiles, Long has gained several loyal customers around the globe.

What sets Rubbish Revival apart from other small businesses is that all the materials used in each project are sustainable. For example, all sea glass is real sea glass. Even the smallest treasures, such as silver earrings, are crafted from recyclable materials. The tins in which the jewelry and accessories are packaged are reusable as well and can be used for the safekeeping of an array of small items.

“After my first sale to my friend… my first big sale was to a woman in Australia, who bought five mobiles and has ordered from me several times after,” said Long.

Prices range from $9 to $200, depending on the item and the materials used to craft the treasure. Besides earrings, Rubbish Revival sells necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, sea glass shadow boxes, and the original mobiles.

Being a stay-at-home mom, Long works out of her own home studio filled with sea glass and crafting equipment. With all the work that goes into one piece, she isn’t working alone. Long has three other employees crafting with her for Rubbish Revival. All the employees work from home, and Long said they are a huge help in the crafting process.

Rubbish Revival also offers classes in Santa Barbara where Long originally taught the mobile-making classes. The class is $45 and includes both the materials and the lesson. A typical class consists of women over 20 who love sea glass and want the opportunity to learn the craft, while gaining an appreciation of the time and patience that goes into the crafting of each mobile.

When looking for business partners, Long advertises her business on Craig’s List. After she finds potential workers, she likes to meet them at Starbucks to grab coffee, and she gives them a mock mobile to make in front of her. This allows Long to see how well they can construct a mobile and to observe the quality and skills they add to the crafting process. Long picks the mobile as a test craft for possible new hires because it is Rubbish Revival’s most popular item.

“The mobiles are very hard to make. I have had people walk out on my class before because it was so hard,” said Long.


Now living in the Boston area, Long is hoping to find a studio where she can sell her crafts and host classes similar to those she held in California.


LEFT PHOTO: Versatility is key for T*Racy. This piece can be worn several ways - as a statement necklace, shawl, or hood (as shown). RIGHT PHOTO: An American flag is created by handlinking different tones and types of chain together.



By Sara Wailgum

Architect Tracy Belben began experimenting with handmade jewelry when she first picked up a pair of pliers and some scrap metal pieces back in 2009. After digging through her old architecture school studio supplies and using fragments of broken jewelry, she began testing out different techniques and ideas she had about wearable art. Since then, Belben has launched her own Bostonbased jewelry line, T*Racy (pronounced Tee-Racy), featuring fashionable handmade earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and body armor. The name T*Racy is a representation of Belben’s alter ego that comes out when she is creating a piece. “While working, I get into an intensely focused, peaceful trance,” said Belben. “When the piece is completed (and the sun comes up), I have a moment of shock and disbelief that I created it. It’s as though my alter ego takes over.” Despite her suburban, private school upbringing, Belben says she has always been fascinated with urban subcultures, such as punk, rock, and goth. Although this side of Belben was not particularly expressed in her professional and social circles, creating pieces for the T*Racy line has allowed this aspect of her personality to shine through. Belben uses lightweight steel, aluminum, wire, beads, wood, and her personal favorite- mixed metal chains- in her creations. When creating pieces, Belben says she “typically gravitates towards darker metallic and eye-catching materials to create sexy yet sophisticated jewelry and body armor.” Each piece in the collection, handmade by Belben herself and unique,

is often considered to be a limited edition. According to Belben, “The goal of T*Racy is to create wearable and comfortable pieces that make a statement whether it’s a punk-inspired, ready-to-wear bracelet or a sexy, over-the-top body armor piece.” The T*Racy jewelry line has been featured in a variety of events, including Boston Fashion Week, Latinista Fashion Week (NYC), and Brooklyn Fashion Weekend. The collection was also showcased in a fashion installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston by MLR Artist Management and stylist Kathy Benharris. Belben has recently teamed up with handbag creator Helena Thorne Marrin Grant of The Kitchen Sink Bag (TKSB) to create a collection, Race & Grant, of handbags and accessories handcrafted in Boston by the designers themselves. The collaboration was featured at Refinery29 and Simon Malls’ “The Shopping Block” event at South Shore Plaza, Styleweek Northeast, and Fashionably Late at the Liberty Hotel, where Belben’s designs were featured with designs by fashion designer Julie Kontos. In the future, Belben hopes to place her work in fashion-forward shops across the U.S. and wants to create extravagant pieces for the red carpet, for major high-fashion editorials, and for film. Belben’s incredible designs are currently available for purchase on the T*Racy website (


All That by Tallie Grasmuck Swarovski crystals are the finest crystals

available today for their quality, clarity, and color. They are also the signature material used by independent jewelry designer Josie Marten, better known to friends and clients as JoJo, founder and creator of her own company JoJo Loves You. However, despite her success, Marten never intended to become a jewelry designer. “Growing up, I wanted to be a model or a movie star! I had no idea I would end up owning my own business,” she said. Marten started designing jewelry while attending Hobart College in upstate New York. Although she majored in advertising, Marten took an independent course in jewelry design. The semester ended with a trunk show of all the jewelry the students had created. All of Marten’s jewelry pieces sold out. That was the moment Marten realized that she could make a career out of jewelry design. She went home that summer of 2002 and continued creating jewelry that, to her surprise, kept selling. She has not stopped since. “I love what I do,” Marten explained, “and it’s just amazing how many different paths your life could take.” Designing jewelry involves more than the inspiration to create. It is necessary to keep up with current and upcoming trends, watch Fashion Week, read Vogue, learn the Pantone colors for the season, and create color boards. All of this research goes into predicting what will sell and what will not.

“Growing up, I wanted to be a model or a movie star! I had no idea I would end up owning my own business.” Marten’s favorite jewelry piece that she has designed so far is the Party Bling earring in “Barbie hot pink.” Marten loves everything pink, sparkly, and ostentatious. It’s how she lives her life. Her studio walls are painted bright pink, accented

by lime-green furniture, gold-gilded mirrors, and of course jewelry materials as far as the eye can see. There are strands of beads of every shape, color, texture, and size hanging on the wall. Swarovski crystals are everywhere: on every desk, in every box, even on top of the mini fridge—which is also adorned with glitter decals—in every imaginable color, sparkling from across the room. While JoJo Loves You offers a wide selection of various types of jewelry, the most in-demand items are her Bling earrings. The earrings are circular Swarovski crystals set in sterling silver. The Bling earrings should be a staple in every woman’s closet; they are the perfect accent to any outfit and transition seamlessly from day to night. JoJo Loves You does not have a storefront, and Marten said she does not want one, adding, “I love selling to boutiques; I always have.” Her jewelry is sold in over two hundred boutiques around the United States, from Oklahoma to Florida to Connecticut. Selling her jewelry through other stores and not opening up one of her own has allowed her to continue doing the thing she loves most: creating. “Opening a storefront is a huge time suck,” Marten commented offhandedly. “Once you own a store, you become more of a manager; it adds on a lot of responsibilities, financial burdens, and time commitments.” But selling online and through other boutiques permits Marten to spend her day designing jewelry, while still getting home in time to be with her family. Since business has been going so well, Marten is looking for a new location for her studio in order to have more room. Her studio used to be in Boston, but since having a child, she and her family have moved outside the city. “Once you have a child, it changes everything,” Marten said, “If you had asked me five years ago, I would have said of course I want to have my own store. But priorities change, and if I had the option of owning a billion-dollar business or being able to see my son’s weird little school play, I would choose his play. There are so many things so much more important than money and working.” When asked if she had any advice to offer to students, Marten laughed and shook her head, exclaiming that there were too many things she could say. She went on to say, “Do your best. It may sound stupid, but it’s true. Success is measured in many different ways. You may never be an Alex and Ani or a Diane Von Furstenberg, but you don’t have to be. Always work hard, and never give up after hearing ‘no.’ Someday it might just turn into a ‘yes.’”

Not Your Grandma’s Knitted Sweater Emerging Knitwear Designer Dylan Uscher Brings Warmth to Boston By Kaitlin McCarthy



xactly how does a linguistics major at the University of Toronto end up becoming a successful knitwear designer out of Boston? Traffic, apparently. For designer Dylan Uscher, the man behind Dylanium Knits, fashion was not the career direction he thought he would take.

market and began hand-knitting scarves and hats that could be sold. But it was Uscher’s friend, a journalist at a local magazine, who put Uscher in touch with other local and national magazine and newspaper editors, as well as other designers. He encouraged Uscher to work within the fashion industry.

“I’m definitely not a person who grew up in fashion. My grandparents are academics, my mother is a teacher who runs a Sunday school program, [and] my stepfather is an engineer. So we come from that kind of background, where you know you want to look nice but clothing and fashion was just not a huge deal for us,” said Uscher.

“I made lots of friends in the yarn shops and would, like, hang out with the mommies and their kids and just sit around and knit. And a lot of that was my inspiration to pursue this as a career,” said Uscher.

“You’re never there. And I don’t think that you should ever think that you’re there, because I think that’s when you stop challenging yourself.” While his family did not see fashion as important, Uscher found a place for it in his life. After graduating high school, Uscher moved from Cambridge to Toronto, where he received a bachelor’s and master’s in linguistics. However, his career in linguistics did not extend far beyond education. When asked about his unforeseen passion for fashion, Uscher explained that it simply stemmed from a hobby.

Previous Page: Rowen Mobius Scarf Grey Heather ($169) Beacon Wrap Sweater Red Brick ($199)

“I’ve been knitting basically since I’ve moved to Canada, [but] it was just a hobby like it is for anyone else. It was completely unceremonious. A friend of mine and I were sitting on a bus in South Toronto sitting in traffic, and she was knitting and I asked her what she was doing and she showed me, and that was it. Like, it wasn’t some big moment,” said Uscher. Uscher began to realize that his talents could be put to better use. He designed pieces for himself that he did not see on the knitwear

Like many industry professionals, Uscher got his break from networking and pursuing various job opportunities. During his first year of professionally designing, he had pieces showing in Toronto Fashion Week— twice. However, Uscher still had to work his way to the top. “I made a bunch of dog sweaters for a local dog show. Which is funny because, you know, that show, which is, like, roll-your-eyes-at-it kinda thing, but that brand that I worked for ended up getting picked up for a provincial charity fashion show for the Ontario SPCA for animal protection and they did a big fashion gala with Canadian celebrities who walked dogs dressed in these clothes. The Canadian celebrities were dressed by designer Philip Sparks, who I then met at that show and two months later I was working for. You never know who you’re gonna meet, and my advice to people is take every job you can get,” said Uscher. Uscher’s career began to expand as he created knitwear for designers and was credited with his work. He worked with independent Toronto designers and fashion houses that wanted knits in their collections but didn’t have the resources to make them. This gave Uscher recognition in the industry before he even started his own brand. Uscher emailed the designers behind Greta Constantine, an established Canadian brand looking for a knitwear designer. He was then able to secure a position designing the knitwear for an upcoming show. He also helped design and produce pieces for MAC Cosmetics Style Seeker Collection of Fall 2012 that were distributed to the brand’s store events around the world.

“You never know who you’re gonna meet, and my advice to people is take every job you can get.”

“It was a lot of hard work, I would say the first six months, of just calling everyone, emailing everyone, trying to get a network, and finally some of those things have started panning out,” said Uscher. Despite a challenging transition, Uscher’s work has become popular in the New England area. His current fall/winter collection, inspired by his recent trip to Florence, consists of beautiful handmade pom-pom hats, chunky scarves, intricate sweaters, and wraps. The collection features darker hues, such as maroon and grey, but welcomes some hints of the lighter value of cream.


In September 2013, Uscher started his own label, Dylanium Knits, limiting his products to accessories. In November, he left Canada and moved back to the U.S., which proved a difficult transition, because creating new networks and finding a consumer base in the U.S. is not an easy feat.

“I’m always really interested in architecture, and so pretty much all of the pieces were inspired by Renaissance architecture. The Duomo is a famous cathedral in Florence… it’s beautiful. I spent a few hours just walking around it. A lot of the texture and the color, especially, in this collection was inspired by the brickwork, the stonework, even the sky,” said Uscher.


Uscher’s work on his own label has just begun. He is already working on his upcoming fall/ winter 2015 collection and will debut in a runway show at StyleWeek Northeast in Providence, Rhode Island. This is Uscher’s first show in the U.S, as well as his first show exclusively of his own brand. “It’s funny because I’m constantly going back and forth between feeling like I’ve made it and feeling like I’m just starting,” said Uscher. Uscher explained that some moments have made him feel established as a designer. Most times, however, his work is a constant climb to the top of the ladder. “You’re never there. And I don’t think that you should ever think that you’re there, because I think that’s when you stop challenging yourself,” said Uscher.

Newbury Wrap Vest Midnight ($149) and Exeter Hat Midnight ($99)

Sample credit line for jewelry/clothing donations.


Catwalk Closet FROM THE


By Alexandra Faszweski

Boston-based designer Sam Donovan is on the fast track. At

just 24, he has competed on Lifetime’s Project Runway: Under the Gunn, graduated from Parsons, and completed high-profile internships. Donovan has been practicing fashion his entire life; he began designing as a way to express feelings without talking about them and as a way to purge negative or overwhelming energy. He did not immediately realize it was something he would pursue as a career. In fact, he originally believed he would be a doctor. Now he knows that fashion was the right decision. When asked why he chose fashion, Donovan mused, “Why not fashion? I have dreams about it. It just consumes my entire being some days.” At Parsons, Donovan learned both skills and the importance of punctuality. He quickly realized that even the most talented designer would not succeed in the industry if he could not deliver on time. Donovan’s internships, including stints at Anna Sui, Gap, and fellow Bostonian designer Sara Campbell, taught him how the fashion industry functions.

Donovan’s hand-printed look for the Pompeii inspired team challenge.

“I learned that people who often do best in the fashion world are the people with the most money or the people with the fewest inhibitions,” said Donovan. As a young independent designer, however, Donovan has cited Project Runway as the most valuable experience on his path; it gave him the atmosphere to explore and discover his voice. Unable to present his senior thesis to a Parsons panel as planned, Donovan found himself responding to an open casting call for Project Runway and presented to their panel. The Project Runway judges had a positive response to his work, and Donovan soon received a call asking him to be a part of the show. “If you ever fail at something, use that as a stepping stone to get somewhere even better,” said Donovan.


Donovan’s senior thesis at Parsons implemented a sustainable technique called zero waste cutting, which involves cutting the fabric in such a way that it is all put to use. This gives his clothes a relaxed, earthy vibe. He also showcases all sorts of seaming in his work—whether it’s an exposed seam, a French seam, or a selvage seam—as he has a special appreciation for seams. Donovan’s work often incorporates graphic prints and varieties of texture in his signature soft geometry.


The design process for Project Runway differs from that on a normal day. In fact, Donovan laughed when trying to explain his design process. Generally, he focuses on the mindset of a client and finds something that resonates with how he’s feeling. Donovan seeks women who are inspirational figures and will in turn inspire other women. He also profited from his days as a Gap fitting room attendant, where he was able to learn how women wanted their clothes to look and fit. He believes that his design approach is very anthropological.

Donovan’s first look on Project Runway.

“If you ever fail at something, use that as a stepping stone to get somewhere even better.” In October, Donovan showed a spring capsule collection at Boston’s Liberty Hotel. This collection focused on graphic mixed prints in his classic American silhouettes; Donovan also used waxed prints in his garments. A model was styled “not too gaudy, but sexy in her confidence.” Makeup was natural, which added a bit of tone and glow, and hair was styled in an “urban warrior” spin on each model’s natural hair. In November, Donovan will be showing the collection in Denver as well, and he has been invited back to showcase at the Liberty Hotel. “Accidents happen. Sometimes they’re beautiful,” said Donovan of his recent experiences. His drive, however, is no accident; passion and hard work characterize his work. Sam Donovan has a deep well of creativity that does not appear to be in danger of drying up.

Donovan’s winning red carpet look.


POLISHED Magazine Fall 2014  

Student-produced, Boston-based magazine covering fashion and culture.

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