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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Opulence is a heavy term Blanketed with rich fabrics Encrusted with jewels. But lift up the curtain and take off your rings Then what do you have left. Opulence is not a collection of objects Nor an antiquated idea of wealth But is a state of mind In which what was hidden away Becomes reality. Imperfections drive creation And the world is reborn. Opulence, repeated, through time Changes with us For us. In hopes of lifting the curtain Once and for all. With love,

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THEME To display opulence is to conceal what is lacking with what is desired; the desire often being as humble as a disparaged community seeking equality. In the words of American Youtuber Natalie Wynn, “Opulence is the aesthetic of abundance,” not the actual possession of it. Historically, the word opulence was popularized in the 1980’s through Ballroom Culture: the organizing of Black LGBTQ+ individuals who desired a safe space to express their extravagance. A common category of the event was “Executive Realness,” or dressing in a full suit, similar to what a CEO would wear. In the documentary about the movement, “Paris is Burning,” Junior LaBeija famously states, “Opulence! You own everything. Everything is yours.” In reality, the opposite was true. Those who participated in Ballroom culture had been systematically barred from reaching their full potential, so they gathered to prove to themselves that given the opportunity, they could accommodate the aesthetics of wealth as well as their oppressors do. While Ballroom Culture defined opulence as we know it today, the term fits many situations outside that circle: Families that wear their cultural clothing despite condemnation The illusions of wealth parents created for their children during The Recession The decaying displays of affluence our ancestors left behind The desperation to exhibit success in a material form Practically all of these phenomenons find their root in western capitalism. As Americans, we idealize the ultra-wealthy who show off their riches because they symbolize our desired status. They prove that the “American Dream” is actually achievable. Unfortunately, for most, the “American Dream” will forever remain a dream. So we, those foolishly still reaching for extravagance, will continue to worship the one-percent, don our fake jewels, and settle for opulence.

Varsha Anand


CONTENTS 1

Introduction

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Legendary Children

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Suburban Decay

27

so choice!

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Our American Dream

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High Pedigree

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TEAM ACCREDITATIONS EDITOR IN CHIEF | PAIGE VENTURI DEPUTY EDITOR IN CHIEF | ERIN HUSTON DIRECTORS DIRECTOR OF MERCH AND STYLING | ARJUN MADHAVAN DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE DESIGN | LIVVY REECE DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL | RIN MCNUTT DIRECTOR OF FINANCE | CARRICK MOON DIRECTOR OF MARKETING | CONNOR GARCIA DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS | LILY FRIEDRICH DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY | SARA MANTICH [MERCH & STYLING]

[MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS]

[CREATIVE DESIGN]

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Mackie Schroeter

VIDEO LIAISON: Madison Waliewski

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Kameryn Moore

STYLISTS: Robert Adams IV Varsha Anand Mikaela Blackwell Autumn Brandt Zee Brown Jack Boardman Sariah Borom Catie Cook Isabella Conner Arianne Dora Kate Mojica

EVENT PLANNER: Stanlee Yurks

GRAPHIC DESIGN: Maddie Arias Jade Kern

MERCHANDISE OFFICERS: Anna Gebhardt Karen Koak Beth Reynolds Kelsey Rike [FINANCE] FUNDRAISING COORDINATOR: Hali Lucas

SOCIAL MEDIA/COMMUNICATION OUTREACH: Cathy Sie SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER: Emily Kelly CONTENT CREATOR: Lauren Thompson WEBSITE CONSULTANT: Madison Godfrey [EDITORIAL] EDITORIAL WRITERS: Elissa Fertig Swarna Gowtham Avalon Husain Maura Johnson Charlize Tan Lim Rachael Moore Abe Plaut Bailey Roulo

LAYOUT DESIGN: Kimberly Flores Mackenzie Huber Coady Raab Nyssa Qiao Jordan Wallman [PHOTOGRAPHY] PHOTOGRAPHERS: Lucas Bishop Madelyn Knight Sara Mantich (Director) Lilly Thomas Isabelle Trusty VIDEOGRAPHERS: Anthony Gosling

Thanks to residents of the Rat House for use of their space in Legendary Children, Jaedyn Moore for clothing used in so choice!, and Brent Piscitelli for the car used in Suburban Decay.


legendary children


The 21st century: A time where queer identity has never been more accepted, present, and even celebrated. Looking back, it was not too long ago that being anything but heterosexual was frowned upon. Queer people often had to hide their ways of self-expression in order to not be scrutinized by society. Stepping outside of the box in the later 20th century, celebrities started showing a little more of their queer identity. Think about icons who identified as gay, such as David Bowie, Elton John, or Freddie Mercury. They wore pieces and styled themselves in a way much different than others. Though many people were against their looks, the stars stayed true to themselves and refrained from conforming with society’s perspective. Coming back to present day, the queer community continues to create these personas, looks, or styles more than ever before. To start, nineteen year old Carlos Jaymz DeJesus living in Chicago, Illinois is a recent graduate from Douglas J. Aveda Institute. Growing up in a small Indiana town, he expressed himself in things like theater and doing his friend’s and family member’s makeup. DeJesus found himself wanting to try things such as drag or simply wearing makeup in public, but it was hard living in such a small, narrow- minded town. “Different types of people in the LGBTQ+ community express their own individuality in different ways,” DeJesus said. Finally breaking free from his hometown, DeJesus was able to fully embrace his identity and express himself in arts and beauty more than ever before. As someone who has loved fashion and beauty from a young age, it was no surprise when DeJesus decided to become a cosmetologist. “The beauty and fashion industry to me is something that influences my everyday life,” DeJesus said. “I can express myself through makeup, hair styling, and editorial work.” DeJesus explains that his style icons are Ariana Grande, Troye Sivan, and Billy Porter. His mother,

Maegan DeJesus, is a huge inspiration, as well. The young cosmetologist has created his own style that incorporates all of these influencers, “My fashion and style defines who I am,” DeJesus said. “I’ve always found myself to dress more formal and playful, I like to take pride in my style to make me feel like a boss ass bitch.” DeJesus stated that the LGBTQ+ community certainly impacts fashion. “We can demand equality and change through our style choices,” DeJesus said. “There is more gender fluidity in this society now than ever, blending the line between men’s and women’s clothing.” Eighteen year old Yanna Sophia is a freelance

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model from Indianapolis, Indiana. The young woman spends a large amount of her time traveling across the country for meetings and shoots with agencies such as Mother Model, IMG NYC, and Nomad LA. Though Sophia is heavily invested in her work, she is also extremely passionate about fashion, the LGBTQ+ community, and ultimately, owning her identity. “I‘m Yanna, a lesbian, gender ambiguous model,” Sophia said. “I identify as genderqueer seeing as I’m constantly playing with identity and I use she/they pronouns interchangeably, and am honestly comfortable with any.” For as long as she could remember, Prince has always been one of her biggest style icons. She described his style as “timeless and ever-inspiring” and pays homage to the musician with her multiple pairs of third eye sunglasses,

which he was seen wearing for several events. Along with the glasses, Sophia also favors her vintage blouses, animal prints, leather pieces, and rainbow accents. “I’ve always loved leather and the power it seems to hold, especially when I’m wearing it,” Sophia said. “Leather has strong roots in gay history, and I feel like wearing it so over-the-top-ly is the greatest way to embody the energy of and pay homage to that. I love tiny rainbow things and accents as a tell to other queers who see me out in public, but I think that everything about how I present myself does that job anyway.does that job anyway. Growing up, Sophia was intimidated when people would stare and felt uncomfort--able when she would turn heads.

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As she became more confident, the eighteen year old found complete comfort in her own skin and is unapologetically herself. “I remember when I first started dressing myself exactly how I wanted to and going out and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life,” Sophia said. “This coincides with me also cutting all of my hair off, and going from having hair long and flowing down my back to a freshly shaved head, which brought me a newfound confidence and comfort in my identity. I enjoy and revel in the ability to spark curiosity in others, to maybe even make them look deeper in themselves. Or maybe to just laugh or give a weird look.”


The eighteen year old admits that fashion impacts the queer community in many powerful ways. She explained that for many LGBTQ+ people, fashion and getting dressed up is the first time they feel like they can truly express themselves, or the first time they truly can look in the mirror and really see themselves for who they know themselves to be on the inside. Sophia explains that fashion is so deeply rooted in the LGBTQ+ culture and history and queer. “Fashion has only brought me closer to my LGBTQ+ family, as we all live to pull a look and many of us share the same passion for it,” Sophia said. “Queer fashion is revolutionary and it is also survival. It’s a story and a language. Queer fashion can truly be anything you want it to be, and along the way it teaches you that you can be too.” Rachael Moore

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Photographer: Lucas Bishop. Models: Rin McNutt, Dav Graham, and Shelton Meyers. Stylists: Isabella Conner, Jack Boardman, Kate Mojica, Robert Adams IV, Varsha Anand, and Zee Brown. Merchandise Officers: Karen Koak


SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY SUBURBAN DECAY IN THE MODERN ERA, WE’VE SEEN A DEPLETION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS, HALLMARKS OF SUBURBAN ABUNDANCE; SHOPPING MALLS, STRIP CENTERS AND MCMANSIONS... ALL BEGINNING TO CRUMBLE. ALONG WITH THIS, A NEW GOTHIC AESTHETIC EMERGES- ONE THAT MAKES USE OF THE DETERIORATING MONUMENTS OF VAPID, LATE20TH CENTURY CONSUMERISM TO BRING FORTH A NEW ANTI-LUXURY.


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Photographer: Isabelle Trusty. Models: Katie Laughlin & Decker Pope. Stylists: Arianne Dora, Autumn Brandt, Robert Adams IV, and Varsha Anand. Merchandising Officers: Karen Koak & Kelsey Rike.


so choice!


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The Security of Being Young Our generation is living in a time where nostalgia is felt with every inch of our platform sandals. We don’t want to cook our own food or worry about rent this month. We want to come home and watch Disney Channel every day. With every generation comes a sense of longing for what used to be to come back, but in today’s social atmosphere, with the threat of global climate catastrophe heavy and the political state of our country fracturing, it’s no wonder this generation feels a strong desire to live in a time where the only thing we had to worry about was getting a snack before the commercial break ended. No more so is this desire seen than in the youthful fashion of teenagers and young adults.

Now that youthful fashion is embraced and encouraged by society for those typically too old to wear it, much of our generation is flocking to it. From scrunchies on “VSCO girls” to jelly shoes on the runway, we’re seeing another rise in the clothing of the early 2000s when many of us were too young to know what a 401k was. Why is this happening? For now we can only have theories, but perhaps this generation is doing it because there’s a sense of security in being and feeling young. The last time society accepted us in this clothing was back when we didn’t feel like we had to fight for our country, our planet, and ourselves. We could simply exist exactly as we wanted to without fear of what the next news headline would say. With things around us changing faster than we can get a hold of, part of our security blanket is found in the things that bring us back to our most sheltered time. This “nostalgia era” isn’t just in fashion though. Pop culture has latched onto the trend and now more than ever old television shows are

coming back or being remade in a modern fashion (i.e. Fuller House and the new High School Musical series). These shows remind us of the tween magazines we’d pour over and pop stars we’d celebrate at face value, before interacting with them on social media. Companies are profiting off nostalgia, by the likes of Disney+ and their collection of old movies and TV shows, and stores like Forever 21 releasing graphic tees with beloved childhood characters on them. Society is profiting too, as Twitter is filled with nostalgic memes and commentary to the point where it’s become trendy to feel this way. We’re simultaneously mourning the loss of our innocence while hoping we can bring some of it with us into adulthood. There comes a point where nostalgia changes our mindset, with old feelings and joys making us lighter, a well-invited break from the occasionally daunting present. We want to go back to when time was simpler, but how simple it was requires cleaning off our rose-tinted glasses to see what life was really like back then. Psychology even proves that the past looks more desirable than the present in an instance called “rosy retrospection.” This isn’t to say the past was better than the present or not, though many may argue it was, but if you really look closely, it might just be that the past was no better than right now; it was just different. Whatever the reason it’s come back around again, it’s a relief to know that our present circumstances allow us to reach back into the past, where our childhoods live permanently and are not too difficult to find. When the world is too much, may we always remember to embrace nostalgia for what it is, and the present and future for what it could be.


Childhood Revamped Go big or go home: a saying that has been used for decades to explain that bigger is usually better. This idea of more being better has started to take shape in this new wave of fashion with newer generations taking what used to be considered over the top and tacky and turning them into everyday outfits and accessories. As children we thought candy necklaces, costume jewelry and bright colors were the peak of fashion. As we grew older our ideas of excellence shifted and so did our sense of fashion. Our ideas of abundance changed as we started to go through different changes in our lives. With the rebirth of many of our childhood shows like That’s So Raven, Boy Meets World and Full House, memories we cherished in our childhood along with the fashion we thought couldn’t get any better is making its comeback with slight alterations. Plastic princess shoes from Walmart were no longer the best thing you could get but instead it is those white boots you have been looking for everywhere and you finally found them in the thrift store you have been meaning to check out. The clip on earrings with a giant fake jewel were replaced with the $5 hoops you bought from Claire’s. The beret your parents got from France may not be as lavish as the sequin beret you got from Justice but they are what you consider to be luxury now. When used in the right way, the unfashionable turns fashionable. Tube tops, scrunchies, and big earrings were what we wore as kids to feel like we were royalty. Now, these items are what most college students wear when they go out to a party. These things have started to

re-emerge and take shape to be the new idea of luxury for the newer generations. Bright colors are being added to outfits and big barrets are being added to hair to put just a small touch of pop to outfits. One underrated accessory is the use of makeup to put the final touches on a look. A statement lipstick or perfectly winged eyeliner can change the entire mood of an outfit. In the HBO hit show Euphoria, all of the characters are given stunning makeup that gives the show a whole different atmosphere. In the dark atmosphere of this show, the makeup brings a beauty and childlike innocence to the screen. They take things like rhinestones and glitter that you would use as a child when putting on makeup and transferred those items to the more mature lifestyle that is shown in the show. With the idea of more extravagant makeup with less extravagant clothing becoming more popular in society, it is starting to develop into more of a necessary accessory like earrings and necklaces than just a way to cover up a blemish. These accessories and colors are what we used as children to express ourselves. The crazy mismatch of patterns and use of over the top colors are becoming ever more popular in today’s fashion. Taking small sources of our childhood riches and putting them into everyday outfits for adult life is becoming the go to way to express oneself through fashion. In the words of a woman who’s outfits are almost as iconic as the work she did, “Life is a party. Dress like it.” - Audrey Hepburn. Maura Johnson & Bailey Roulo


Photographer: Sara Mantich. Models: Sariah Borom, Arianne Dora, and Yaggy Srikumar. Stylists: Varsha Anand, Arianne Dora, Catie Cook, Sariah Borom, and Mikaela Blackwell Merchandise Officers: Kelsey Rike, Anna Gebhardt, and Beth Reynolds


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our american dream.

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What does the American Dream look like to us? Is it illusionary or is it real? Does it mean more to some than it does to others? Regardless of how we perceive it, it’s a part of how we are shaped and how we move through our world as Americans and American residents. A goal that this country holds above us looms through our minds and our desires no matter our wealth, our race, our age, or our gender. The children who belong to the late 90s and 2000s aren’t children anymore. And we start to realize the harsh realities of what that American Dream means to us versus what it meant to our parents or grandparents. It’s amazing to think about what we wanted versus what we have now. When I was younger my firstgrade teacher asked us what we wanted to be when

we grew up and she had us write it down on a worksheet and read it aloud to the class and our parents. We were some of the biggest dreamers you can find in a group of middle-class American children. Every little boy dreamed of being a basketball or football star and every little girl wanted to be Hannah Montana. When we were a little older we wanted to be CEOs or badass lawyers. We wanted to be broadway stars or influencers. The beauty of Generation Z is that we always dreamed big and dreamed loud. We all hoped we were going to have a life filled with opulence and flashy excitement and this was inevitable considering we grew up with reality tv and social media. Our American dream encompassed more than just a white-picket fenced house and a car, for a lot of us our dreams craved the impossible. Season Magazine explored the American Dream through the minds of the young Generation Z woman with a strong connection to their heritage while still knowing what it’s like to live in America with the American Dream. “My Eritrean culture is something I take pride in for multiple reasons. My parents taught me to have pride in the nation because many, many people fought and lost their lives to get that title of being Eritrean... Being Eritrean not only comes with language, food, clothes, and other symbols and materials but also the morals and guiding principles that my parents raised me on. There have definitely been both highs and lows to being part of “the first generation born in the US” and even highs and lows within the nation itself, but alas being Eritrean is a high” says Eritian-American IU student Salina Tesfagioris. “The American Dream in a broad sense has been the idea to come to America to have this ideal, picture-perfect life... sadly however it is a dream that is short-lived. It has become something unattainable and truly just a dream that won’t come true”, Tesfagiorgis continues.

our american dream.

A picture-perfect life is something different for all of us, but the reason people our age may feel like the American Dream is just a fairytale isn’t just


because we expect more from it materialistically, but because we also expect more from it socially and politically. Especially for modern-day American people, the things we want and expect from our life feel so out of reach due to our political climate and the struggles women and minorities still face despite the rising social demand for our generation to succeed. For another IU student, heritage is also something she passionately takes pride in. “There are about 29 states in India and each state has people from various cultures living in it. Most of these cultures have Saree’s and Kurtis, salwar, lehengas, etc. as their traditional wear for the female and Sherwani and salwars as the traditional wear worn by the male, but what matters is how these cultures wear these particular outfits. Like for Sarees, there are various different types of Sarees, like banarasi sari, silk sari, etc. Another thing that is of utmost importance is the work done on these particular clothing items. The work is mostly handwoven by the weavers and that’s what makes it so precious. All these dresses have intricate design details on them, this work is known as the embroidery work. Working and making designs on these suits and sarees is a very difficult task and needs a lot of patience and all of that credit goes to the hardworking weavers of India. Indians mostly wear these dresses on the different festivals that take place in India to showcase the diversity, culture, and beauty of their country! As the times are changing a lot of new styles for these dresses have come into existence. One of them being the Indo western patterns. me, I love wearing my ethnic wear, be it back in my hometown or in any other country for that matter. This not only reminds me of my traditional roots but also gives me an opportunity to showcase the beauty of my country to the other parts of the world”, Indian student Jesica R. Lumba says as she describes the importance and culture behind Indian garments. “Coming from a country like India into a whole different world can definitely be a challenging task keeping in mind the varying cultures, mindsets, etc. The American dream, however, gives people like us the opportunity to share loving bonds with people of diverse ethnicities and also allows us to become the budding artists we only dreamt of becoming.”

our american dream. dreamt of becoming.” Lumba states when asked about what the American Dream means to her. These ladies are exemplary of what I feel is important to this country’s dynamic. They are individuals who wear their heritage on their sleeves in a country where that wasn’t easy for people in the previous generations and still isn’t easy for people in our generation. That quite frankly gives me hope for what our American Dream will look like. Yeah, we want big things and we crave impossible. But we have already achieved some of these big and impossible things. We are the generation of badass activists Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg. Award-winning performers, Billie Eilish, and Maddie Zeigler. Olympic medalists, Simone Biles and Red Gerard. We are a young but powerful and there is so much out there for us. Our American Dream is possible, so please keep dreaming and doing. Swarna Gowtham


Photographer: Lilly Thomas. Models: Salina Tesfagiorgis, Jessica Lumba, and Tiffany Lu. Stylists: Catie Cook, Isabella Conner, and Jack Boardman


high pedigree

WHAT IS A MAN’S BEST FRIEND? IT CAN BE BORZOI, A KINGSNAKE, OR A REX RABBIT– YOU NAME IT. OUR PETS ARE NOT JUST ANIMALS THAT LIVE IN OUR SPACE RENT FREE, BUT ARE RATHER OUR COMPANIONS OR FAMILY. THE YOUNGER GENERATIONS HAVE BEEN OPTING OUT OF THE “TRADITIONAL” PARENTING EXPERIENCE AND INSTEAD OF HAVING CHILDREN, ARE RESCUING AND ADOPTING ANIMALS. OF COURSE, WHILE NOT AS EXPENSIVE AS HUMANS, THEY’RE JUST AS SPOILED. DIAMOND COLLARS, ORGANIC FOOD, AND OTHER LAVISH GIFTS. ONLY THE BEST FOR OUR BABIES!


THANKS TO ANDREW HEIN - KARMA THE DOBERMAN - JACK DIRENZIO - JD THE HAMSTER - AND AUTUMN BRANDT - PASCAL THE PYTHON


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Photographer: Madelyn Knight. Models: Megan Crass & Lewis Chube. Stylists: Varsha Anand, Arianne Dora, Autumn Brandt, Kate Mojica, Zee Brown, and Mikaela Blackwell Merchandise Officers: Karen Koak, Kelsey Rike, and Anna Gebhardt


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Profile for SEASON Magazine

Opulence: W/S 2020