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02. masthead

22. a pop of color

06. from the desk of the editor-in-chief

30. chiara ferragni takes on motherhood and ceo position

08. fresh prints 20. fashion for the future

32. spring awakening 38. student spotlight




Our mission is to inform, inspire and engage deeply with the University of Michiga provide a marketable media platform for students to push the boundaries of what

Index | Volume 4 Issue 7

42. reduce, reuse, rebel

92. red carpet re-evaluation

52. u wear it well

96. springfest

66. jack hyland

102. everything i know about exfoliation

72. in their eyes .

104. interview susan mcleary of passionflower events .

an campus community at the intersection of student and professional life within the fashion industry. SHEI Digital is intended to t has traditionally been possible within print without compromising the level of quality associated with the SHEI brand.

FASHION Alexa DeFord Cat Marchenko Jenny Gryka Adam Van Osdol Molly Shulan Kamryn Abraskin Juan Marquez Paris Morris Alexandra Plosch FEATURES Amber Mitchell Livvy Gordon Madi Kantor Payton Watt Sophie Cloherty Susan McLeary PHOTO Mackenzie King Katie Corbett Olivia Gardella Sam Plouff Evan Parness Francesca Romano Julia Dean Mackenzie King Amanda Dumouchelle VIDEO Cat Marchenko Lauren Day

Jana Wilson Jess Peterkins Amreen Kanwal Robina Rranza Sean Tran Rosalie Li Jenny Ruan Olivia Gregg Elizabeth Haley

Kate Cammell Jack Hyland Aliya Falk Maggie O’Connor Sophie ReVeal Matisen Douglas Maya Ballester Lingene Yang Anurima Kumar Juan Marquez Robina Rranza Dana Dean Juan Marquez Maya Ballester Kristine Wang Mariana Ruiz Rosalie Li

DESIGN Aliya Falk Sara Groenke Carla Borkmann

Julia Margalit Manda Villarreal Elizabeth Marics

MODELS Amy Su Juan Marquez Eddie McQuillan Chandra Sahu Ashley Les Jodie Jarcho Kyle Coletta Emily Delius Ronuelle Teodoro Xaia Mode

Chloe Chung Robina Rranza Sally Butin Isabelle Moher Ariel Friedlander Anthony Krempa Summer Benton Luna Eclipse Ariana Grindr Kristine Wang


april contributors


Winter 2018 Print Issue is out now

THE SPARK ISSUE discovering passion; finding your fire

written by Maggie O’Connor photographed by Katie Corbett layout by Aliya Falk

Letter from the Editor | Volume 4 Issue 7


el l , w e’ ve ma d e i t to the en d of t he yea r. Af t e r sea so n s a n d stress es and s u c c esses we a re fi n a l l y a t the home s t re t c h o f o u r ti me on ca mp u s. For some o f yo u , yo u wi l l fi n d you rsel f b a ck here in a ma t t e r o f mon ths. For th o se o f us who are g r a d u a t i n g, I can on l y i ma g i ne how d if fe re n t t h i s pl a ce wi l l feel th e next t ime we a re h e re. As I h ave s a i d ti me a n d ti me again, I co u ld n o t b e mo re p ro u d of the growt h t hat th is o rg a n i z a t i on h a s seen throughout o n e s h o r t ye ar. O u r memb ers h ave an u n p rec ed e n t ed p a ssi on tha t dri ves t hem. T h e i r i n n er f i re, thei r sp a rk o f p a ssion is wh at i n s p i re d t h e th eme of o u r fi n al issue o f th e s c h o o l yea r. We wa nted to creat e an is su e t h a t un d erscored the i mpor t ance o f e xerc i si n g a l ove fo r the proj ects t hat yo u c o mmi t to , the peo p l e you spend your tim e w i t h , a n d the ca u ses you st rive to support. In p ro d u c i n g th i s i ssu e, we ex p l ored new ways to w ea r su sta i n a b l e fa shi on (Reduce, R e u s e, R eb e l p. 4 2 ). We i n ter viewed in s p i r i n g p eo p l e i n ou r co mmunit y, p e o p l e l i ke Pay ton Wa tt, co fou n der of n o n p ro f i t M i c hi g a n i s M y Home, whose wo r k h a s b e e n i n stru men ta l i n providing ai d a n d p ro fessi o n a l devel o p ment to th o se e x p e r i e n ci ng h o mel ess i n Ann Ar b o r (S t u d ent S po tl i gh t, p. 3 8) . We le ar ned a b o u t the a r t o f d ra g fro m t hree lo c al q u e e n s, Lun a Ecl i pse, X a i a Mode, an d A r i a n a G r i n d r (U Wear i t Wel l , p. 52) .

We highlight ed t he beaut y of th e fe m ale body, t he f reedom t hat f ollows e m b rac in g yourself (Spr ing Awakening, p. 32). In wr it ing t his f inal let t er, it i s d if f ic u lt not to feel sent iment al. This cam p u s h as seen so much of our lives. It ha s s e e n u s st umble and f ail and cr y and orde r a j u m b o cheesy bread at 3 A.M. and viole n tly e at t he whole t hing by ourselves. Bu t it h as also seen t he moment s t hat f o llo w —th e moment s of picking ourselve s u p an d pulling ourselves toget her. It is in th e s e moment s of rebound t hat we g ro w th e most . What is so beaut if ul abou t o u r tim e at t his universit y is t hat it allo w s u s to f igure ourselves out . College gi ve s u s th e space to discover what it is we c are ab o u t and who we want to be. We hope t hat t his issue ins p ire s yo u to discover your own passion s . Take risks; embrace f ailure; allow yo u rs e lf to be consumed by an insat iable d rive . Yo u have endless oppor t unit y and e n d le s s pot ent ial at your f inger t ips. Gr ab ah o ld o f it t ight ly bef ore it ’s too lat e.

DIRECTOR Alexa DeFord STYLIST Cat Marchenko MAKEUP ARTIST Alexa DeFord LAYOUT Aliya Falk PHOTO EDITOR Mackenzie King

MODELS Robina Rranza Sally Butin VIDEOGRAPHER Cat Marchenko PHOTOGRAPHERS Katie Corbett Olivia Gardella




Pants - BDG Shirt - Jessica Intimates

Blue Shirt - Jessica Intimates Green Jacket - Southern Lady


agnetic levitation subways, holographic imaging, and bullet-proof suits that harness kinetic energy are commonplace in Wakanda, the Marvel kingdom ruled by the Black Panther. Though Wakanda and its other Marvel kingdom counterparts are fictional at their core, Jeremy Lasky, co-founder of the cinematic technology company behind the Black Panther film, explains that “science-fiction inspires science fact.” The technology he creates for his films is “just a little bit beyond what we already believe is possible,” so as not to lose the audience in outlandish, complex concepts. If he can argue that magnetic levitation railways and super-human suits are within reach for mankind, what are the limits of technology? Fashion, an industry and art constantly evolving through innovation, is quite similar to technology in this way-the creativity that propels the industry forward is seemingly boundless. Ruth Carter, the costume designer for the Black Panther film, experiments with the merging of these two areas in her groundbreaking designs. Carter employed her imagination and innovative mindset to create designs that were both rooted

in native African tribal wear, yet representative of a culture embedded in technology and progress. Among her designs are a perfectly symmetrical 3D printed head piece with an intricate lace pattern worn by the Wakandan queen and a breathable superhuman suit capable of harnessing kinetic energy and repurposing it, worn by T’Challa, otherwise known as the Black Panther. 3D printing is intersecting with fashion in more ways than Carter’s royal headwear. Adidas’ initiative, Futurecraft, utilizes 3D printing technology to print and customize a line of Ultra Boost sneakers. Though in its early stages, this concept allows for a level of personalization never before possible. With 3D printing, Adidas expects to be able to match each individual’s exact footprint elements to the sole of their shoe, allowing for maximum comfort. “Wearing in” a pair of shoes could soon become a concept of the past. 3D printing is an example of a technology used for fictional films and also real-life functionality in clothing, but Carter’s most compelling design, the Black Panther’s suit, incorporates a level

of technology that we can only imagine in our wildest dreams. Still, keeping with Lasky’s belief in the strong connection between science-fiction and fact, we might be much closer to realizing this idea than it seems. The Black Panther’s suit is made with vibranium, a fictional natural resource that powers the kingdom of Wakanda and all their technological inventions. The suit is ‘super-human’ in many ways. First, the vibranium-infused material enhances the bullet-proof capabilities of the suit. Second, the entire suit can shrink down to fit inside of the Black Panther’s necklace, only to be enlarged within a matter of seconds. Lastly, the vibranium allows the suit to capture kinetic energy when struck by an oncoming object and release the energy at a later time when the wearer strikes back. The tiny lights decorating the suit become brighter when energy is captured. Levi Strauss & Co teamed up with Google to create the ‘Commuter Jacket:’ the closest thing in fashion to the Black Panther’s vibranium suit. Google spearheaded Project Jacquard, an initiative that experiments with conductive

fabrics and the ways they can make fashion “smarter.” The Commuter Jacket utilizes the concepts engineered by the initiative to insert fifteen conductive threads into the denim through jacquard weaving techniques. The goal is to create a gesture-controlled surface on the left arm of the garment. A Bluetooth cuff is attached to the sleeve, which allows you to connect your jacket to your mobile device. With a simple swipe of your finger along the sleeve, you can check the time or play music. Though the jacket does not have the power to harness kinetic energy, these “smart fabrics” unleash an unthinkable number of possibilities for the future of apparel. Who knows? Maybe lightweight, bullet-proof t-shirts could be feasible in the not-so-distant future. The intersection of fashion and technology provides endless possibilities for the future of the industry. From cotton to conductive, the envelope is pushed further and further, until the impossible soon becomes possible.

written by Livvy Gordon layout by Sara Groenke



s a New Yorker, I was born and raised to wear all black everything all the time. Looking at my closet, you can see that I take that rule very seriously. My idea of color is gray and white, or maybe a muted blue if we’re lucky. While my color choice for clothing may not be too versatile, I always felt like buying black pieces was safe because it works with everything and clashes with nothing. Black works for every season, as it’s classy in the summer and cozy in the winter. But with the end of winter finally appearing, people’s moods are increasing, and color is slowly creeping back into our lives. Spring brings flowers and the first taste of warmer weather, but also increases the likelihood of wearing brighter colors. It’s no coincidence that spring lines are typically sprinkled with greens and pinks and bright blues. The fashion industry recognizes that with people looking ahead happily to spring comes an increased likelihood to branch out to new colors. And that pop of a bright color is much more important than you may realize.

When I say pop of color what do you think? A neon pink lipstick, bright yellow rain boots, or a lavender sweater? All of these can be descriptions of what a pop of color means in the fashion world. While there is no definition of what counts as a pop of color, the greater meaning of adding a pop of color to our boring black and gray filled closets is important. If you scroll through any fashion line from any season, you are guaranteed to find a black piece and a gray piece somewhere, and probably multiple. Those colors are, dare I say it, boring. They are easy for almost everyone to wear and are therefore repeated everywhere. While I’m not complaining that I can find a thousand black sweaters in any store I walk into, I match with everyone else in the world wearing black. Adding a little color takes a once generalized outfit to a different level and gives it a spark. Instead of just throwing on another outfit that can be copied by anyone, mix in something a bit brighter. Fashion is all about expressing individuality and wearing what helps us present ourselves to the world. Clothing is an individualized form of art where we get to decide what we put on ourselves, what color it is, and how we wear it. Looking to add a pop of color to your wardrobe or finding a new way to make an older outfit more fun is the best way to use clothing as self-expression. Playing with your makeup to make it more colorful or looking for some bright jewelry to add to one of your standby classics can make it seem like a whole new outfit. The best part is that almost everyone has some color in their closet already. So, if you have to walk through stores with blinders on because you can’t afford that new shirt, try shopping in your own closet. It’s easy to forget what you already own when you wear the same outfits for so long. Spring means we come out of our winter hibernation, and that means we can finally come out of our outfit hibernation, too. Gone are the bundled-up outfits of basic blacks and grays, and into new spring outfits we come.

Written by Madi Kantor Layout by Julia Margalit


modeled and photographed by Kristine Wang



Chiara Ferragni



taly’s favorite glam queen and fashion icon Chiara Ferragni is thirty, flirty, and thriving. In the past year, Ferragni has gotten engaged to the famous Italian rapper Fedez and has become the President and CEO of her own company, TBS Crew, which is currently at a net worth of over six million dollars. On top of that, she is a new badass mom to her son Leo, who was born on March 20th of this year.

Ferragni’s luxurious lifestyle blossomed about nine years ago while she was still a student in law school and she started her blog “The Blonde Salad.” “When I started out with the blog, even my peers said ‘in six months nobody will know who you are.’ And at the time it was just a hobby. Now that it’s a profession, and there’s a company, I continue to be seen as a flash in the pan. That’s not a problem for me. Old-fashioned snobbery doesn’t work

anymore, and social media has broken down the barriers,” Ferragni said in an interview with Corriere Della Sera. Unlike the predictions of her friends, her success began to skyrocket. In 2011, she was recognized by New York Magazine as “One of the biggest breakout street-style stars of the year” and was profiled by Teen Vogue, which increased her visibility to an American audience. She dropped out of law school to dedicate all of her time to her growing brand and her success escalated from there: she shortly became an international hit on almost all fashion media outlets. On her blog, she documented her travel, outfits, inspiration, and more. Soon, she evolved to expanding her blog into selling products, such as clothing and accessories, and to employing a full-time staff to help run her site and to assist with business development. Since then, she has opened hundreds of stores across the globe featuring all of her original products. “I really started The Blonde Salad at the best time possible. That’s when the world started talking about the fashion blogger phenomenon, and brands started approaching me from the very beginning,” Ferragni said in an interview with Forbes, after being named the top fashion influencer by the publication in 2017. All of Ferragni’s fans know that she has an iconic and individualistic style, but that it’s almost impossible to describe. Her seemingly timeless, yet ever-changing paradox of a wardrobe is what keeps her fans on their toes. She is known for pairing eclectic accessories with modern pieces, embodying a style that no other fashion icon has. Her style is also translated into her company. Ferragni’s simplistic, yet eye-catching logo of an emoji-like winking eye with an old-world feel has been integrated into her pieces ranging from shoes to tops to phone cases. The blue eye paired with the long eyelashes resembles Ferragni’s bold yet calming sky-blue eyes. Ferragni’s style is just one of the paradoxes she entertains her fans with. This continuously growing icon has revealed that she can fight for having two great loves in her life: Fedez and her

career. Being busy with her new relationship hasn’t comprised her integrity or blurred her intentions for her company. If anything, her relationship hasn’t distracted her, but it has empowered her to reach her fullest potential. The couple started dating in 2016 and months later, they got matching cartoon-styled ravioli tattoos in between the thumb and index finger. Even though this ink was just a drop in the bucket for the duo, it was a meaningful moment which proved to fans that they were serious. Just under a year ago, Fedez proposed to Ferragni on stage at one of his performances. Just months later in December 2017, Ferragni announced that she was taking on the role of president and chief executive of her own company, TBS Crew. Co-founder and former chief executive Riccardo stepped down from the position and now holds a number of shares within the company. “This is no longer a game. And I have grown up. I realized that in TBS there were areas that didn’t work, workflows that needed to be organized better, unnecessary consultants and unjustified costs to be cut. I wanted to ‘get my hands dirty’ and refocus the business,” Ferragni shared in an interview with Corriere Della Sera. Ferragni’s ambitious and deterministic attitude is what has propelled her towards this abundance of success. The thirty-year-old plans to go back to law school to officially obtain her degree and to develop her brand even further. Lately, Ferragni’s lifestyle of hopping between her apartment in L.A. to Milan where her parents and younger sisters live has been keeping fans on the edges of their seats even more than ever. She continues to entice her fan base with mouthwatering pictures on her Instagram of classic Italian pastas at family gatherings and extravagant behind the scene glimpses at the latest runway shows. Recently, her social media accounts have been filled with updates about little Leo’s safety and her excitement in being a first-time mom. I know I’m excited to see what’s in store for Ferragni and The Blonde Salad.

written by Livvy Gordon layout by Manda Villarreal

Spring Awakening

DIRECTORS Jenny Gryka Adam Van Osdol STYLISTS Molly Shulan Kamryn Abraskin MODELS Isabelle Moher Ariel Friedlander VIDEOGRAPHER Lauren Day PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Plouff Evan Parness PHOTO EDITOR Mackenzie King LAYOUT Aliya Falk

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT PAYTON WATT KC: Tell SHEI readers a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? What do you study? PW: I’m from Ann Arbor. My major is biology health and society, and my minor is community action and social change. KC: What got you interested in those areas of study? PW: I’ve always been really interested in biology and physiology. Originally, I had a different biology major, but this semester they started the one I’m currently pursuing. This one is still focused on physiology, but more related to public health. Then through past volunteering, and some of the classes that I’ve taken through the RC in the beginning of my college career, I also got really interested in community action and social change. Taking classes on oppression, I found that I became really passionate about advocating for people that don’t have as many resources or the same opportunities because of luck and their situations. KC: You’re the cofounder of Michigan is My Home (MIMH), a nonprofit student org that focuses on helping people in Ann Arbor experiencing homelessness. What led you to start this? PW: I started the club in September of 2016 with Hussain Ali. He had the idea to form the club and

needed help running it. His vision was to create car packages for people experiencing homelessnes in the local area. Then we participated in th University of Michigan’s Optimize program for th 2016-2017 school year. Through there we did lot of leadership workshops, listening to speaker prototyping, envisioning, and goal setting. Tha was super helpful, and then at the end of tha social innovation challenge we pitched our ide and we ended up getting $10,000 to work on ou project over the summer. We were full time fellow summer 2017, and that was when MIMH starte to become more than just care packages.

KC: How has the club evolved since its founding

PW: We wanted to make more of a sustainab difference. After that summer we started program where, through the grants that we get, w go out and buy household items for Alpha House Every month they send us a wish list based on th families that are there. We drop off two bins ever month of household items as the families ar transitioning from shelter to permanent housing We also realized there’s a huge gap between th students and the community. There’s a stigm between people who may be selling newspaper on the street, panhandling, or people of low socio economic status in general. So now we voluntee at Mercy House every week, where we make foo with people, not serving it across a counter, bu

T: T

re ss he he a rs, at at ea ur ws ed


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actually eating and talking with them for three hours every Saturday. I like going to Mercy House because it allows our volunteers to actually talk to people. Hearing personal stories really does make you realize that people want to do better, there are often just so many barriers to getting out of a situation. In the future, we’re also trying to think about how we can involve more lowincome students and advocate for affordable housing. We’re going to start collaborating with a new student org that’s dedicated to helping students at the university that come from low income backgrounds. Now we want to translate what we’ve done in the community to campus, and see how we can best help students. It’s a lot more now than it was intended to be, and in the future we have hopes for relating it to healthcare and health disparity because that’s a big issue, and something that Hussian and I are both really passionate about. KC: Getting to interact with community members so often, have you met someone with a really inspiring story that’s challenged or changed the way you view homelessness? PW: Over the summer I volunteered in the Groundcover News office every week. I thought it would give me a better idea of what people were going through. Well, working there I met a vendor named Lit. She was a teacher in the Detroit public school system and then, through budget cuts, she was laid off. She’s technically homeless, but she works really hard. She came from a middle class background, grew up well-educated, attended college, and then worked for a while after. She’s also started her own business. She has her own t-shirt company, where she sells t-shirts on her own website in the attempt to get an additional source of income. She’s also writing a book on her experiences of being homeless in Ann Arbor, and about the homelessness epidemic in the nation. I asked her how she thinks MIMH can best help the community and she was saying that a lot of the agencies in the area don’t listen to individuals as much as the community would like. She said that we should start by empowering individuals and work with people on a one-on-one basis. For

example, she said she needed help with computer skills for writing her book and getting her website going. So she said that by creating empowerment on the individual level, we’d be doing much more than working in mass. Lit’s philosophy is why we’re establishing a program where people can get help with what they need most, like building a resume or technical skills. KC: I noticed that when you’re talking about homelessness and referring to people you use the word “experiencing” instead of “are,” is that an intentional choice? PW: It is intentional. Homelessness is a certain point in someone’s life, but it doesn’t define them. While some people are chronically in and out of homelessness, that’s not the majority of the cases. Most people are just experiencing a series of bad luck. The term experiencing homelessness encompasses everyone, and it shows that you are not your situation. It’s a point in life, and it can be overcome. There’s also a huge stigma with the term homeless people. But when it’s rephrased, it becomes more humane. KC: MIMH just won the TEDX Award for Innovation. What did that entail? PW: We basically pitched MIMH in general, but we put a lot of emphasis on our new program that I mentioned earlier about working with individuals on professional development and designing apparel. As of right now it’s called empowering design. I still don’t know how I feel about the word empower, it’s tricky because there’s always a power complex associated with it. But what we’re trying to do is give people the tools to change their own lives. KC: Is there a specific problem that people within the Ann Arbor area bring up about experiencing homelessness within this city in particular? PW: Yes, invisibility is the main complaint. The problem with Ann Arbor is that it consistently gets ranked as one of the most educated cities in America. It makes it easier for people to forget

about the population experiencing homelessness. Often when people think about Ann Arbor, they just think of the university. Ann Arbor is actually one of the most economically segregated cities in the US. It can feel hard to find opportunities to move up here because of the structure of the city, and University of Michigan’s place within it. KC: When you’re not doing MIMH, what are some things you like to do in your free time? PW: I teach classes for Group-X, which has become a bigger part of my life than I thought it would be. To me it’s not just working out. I really enjoy helping people in general. I have regulars in my classes and I love seeing how excited they get by the progress they make in their health over the semester. I’m super passionate about giving people the motivation to reach their goals. This is really nerdy, but I also spend a lot of time reading news articles and doing research. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and have been treated for SIBO a couple of times. The problem with both of these is that there is basically no funding because they’re considered functional disorders. There’s not actual damage being done to the body, but the symptoms are really bad. Because there are no bio markers, nothing can really be seen, so it results in a lack of funding for research. Since there’s no effective treatment, I spend a lot of my time looking into the limited research that is being done and what they’re coming up with. KC: You’re already so busy with everything, but this health issue and research has led you to start another student org. Can you tell readers more about the newest club you’re founding, U of M’s Student Gastroenterological association (GASTRO)? PW: I have spent so much time researching all these things and encountered so many people in academic settings, healthcare providers, and students trying to find treatments. I want a way to connect people. The goal of the club is to create conversation and community. From what I’ve found recently, 70% of people have GI issues. Obviously a lot of people have this issue, but no

one wants to talk about it because no one wants to talk about the symptoms. But it can be really debilitating for people, so there needs to be dialogue. It’s been debilitating for me, affecting my grades and causing me to miss work shifts. I want to inform people about what’s out there. There are so many types of disorders. I want to address that what people are experiencing is valid. KC: What do you see yourself doing after undergrad? PW: I for sure want to do something in the realm of public health. I transitioned from medicine because I want to be on the preventative side and be able to advocate for larger populations. As of right now I’m thinking about going to grad school to study Health Management and Policy through the School of Public Health. I’d also like to get an MBA to be able to use business with a public health mindset. I don’t know what’s to come in the future, but I could see myself working for a company focused on healthcare innovation, or working for some type of business with a product that helps people medically. KC: As you know, this is SHEI’s Spark Issue. Any advice for other students looking to create change, to make sparks on campus and beyond? I think the biggest thing is finding something that you’re passionate about, if you find that passion you’re pretty much willing to do anything to make it happen. If you don’t know where your passion lies, I recommend going out and trying as many things as possible, just experience different things. If you do already know about a passion, my advice is to get comfortable talking about it, because if it’s just in your head, it’s not going to get anywhere. KC: Any final words? PW: I’m a firm believer in people not just focusing on school. I’ve found that some of the things I’m most passionate about, some of the greatest learning happens from experience. Just going out in the world.

written by Kate Cammell layout by Aliya Falk

reduce reuse rebel DIRECTOR Juan Marquez STYLISTS Jana Wilson Jess Peterkins Amreen Kanwal CLOTHING DESIGNER Robina Rranza MODELS Amy Su Chloe Chung VIDEOGRAPHER Mariana Ruiz PHOTOGRAPHERS Maya Ballester Lingene Yang Juan Marquez PHOTO EDITOR Juan Marquez LAYOUT Aliya Falk

I r

l l e W t

a e W U DIRECTOR Sean Tran STYLISTS Rosalie Li Juan Marquez MODELS Luna Eclipse Ariana Grindr Xaia Mode VIDEOGRAPHER Rosalie Li PHOTOGRAPHERS Mackenzie King Anurima Kumar Juan Marquez Robina Rranza PHOTO EDITOR Mackenzie King LAYOUT Aliya Falk

Luna Eclipse ST: How long have you been doing drag? LE: 2 years, started in Ann Arbor. ST: Why did you start doing drag? LE: It’s just kinda fun. It’s a good way to explore the feminine side of your personality and manifest it in a physical way. ST: Describe your drag aesthetic. LE: Spooky, dumb, slut. ST: What does drag mean to you? LE: Drag means making people uncomfortable by exploring the outer fringes of culture and championing a persona that is less emphasized by society. ST: Where do you think drag is going in the future? LE: Drag is definitely becoming more mainstream, but the purpose of drag is to not be mainstream—it’s to subvert culture. I think there’s some part of drag that’s always gonna be weird to society, and I think drag queens are always gonna continue to push the envelope as the world becomes more tolerant. ST: What advice do you have for others who want to start doing drag? LE: Just dive in. Drag is an investment, so unless you’re willing to dish out some money, you’re not gonna be able to try some of your ideas. But more importantly, you want to find your own niche and not to follow what everyone else is doing. Instagram: @_lunaeclipse_ Performances: Live in Ann Arbor (becomes Cherry Pop on Thursdays)

Dress - Kill Star

Skirt - Doll’s Kill Fishnets - Hot Topic

Xaia Mode ST: How long have you been doing drag? XM: Since November 2017 in Ann Arbor, so about 5 months. ST: Why did you start doing drag? XM: Back in 2015, I had seen RuPaul’s Drag Race in my first year of college and it helped me with coming out as gay. I always had more of an interest in female characters, whether that be in movies or TV shows or video games because that was the only representation of anything feminine for guys. But drag isn’t really something that’s accepted where I went to college in England. So, when I came here to America, I found Will (Ariana) on Grindr and she helped me get into it. ST: Describe your drag aesthetic. XM: It’s futuristic, but also kinda slummy, slutty, bad bitch. ST: What does drag mean to you? XM: Drag, to me, is two things. Number one: it’s an art form. I’m an artist. And to me, it’s another art form where I can go out and perform and paint my face and create looks. And it’s also a way to express my feminine side in a way that I normally couldn’t. ST: Where do you think drag is going in the future? XM: I don’t really know, but I’m excited to see where it goes because it’s gone through phases in the past where it’s disappeared and came back. With RuPaul’s Drag Race moving to VH1, I think it’s gonna be around for awhile, so I can only see drag moving up and up in the world. ST: What advice do you have for others who want to start doing drag? XM: Just do it, if you can. Don’t stress about, “I’m not gonna look good” or “I’m not gonna know how to do it” because you’re gonna learn. Also, figure out your drag character when you’re starting out and commit to it. Instagram: @xaiamode Performances: Live in Ann Arbor

Ariana Grindr ST: How long have you been doing drag? AG: 2 years, started in Chicago before moving to Ann Arbor. ST: Why did you start doing drag? AG: When I was first coming out at 18, I would go to drag bars in Cincinnati. Just seeing these queens celebrate something that was so dark, so repressing to me—my femininity—was so empowering. Since then, I’ve loved drag. Then one of my friends in Chicago started doing drag, got really good at it, and then got me into it, and I’ve been doing it ever since. ST: Describe your drag aesthetic. AG: I try to be both sexy and silly. My performances are usually comedic and/or political. I don’t take myself too seriously, but I love the glamour of drag. ST: What does drag mean to you? AG: Drag means embracing the feminine part of myself, for one. It’s about going against any sort of box that society wants to put you in. You can embody any kind of gender despite what your body looks like. Drag is freedom. It allows you to do whatever you want. Drag is also an act of creation. I think our identities are often placed onto us and drag is a way to create identities from scratch, which I think is so empowering. ST: Where do you think drag is going in the future? AG: Where I see drag going is really playing with the idea of gender in a non-binary way. I see it also expanding and becoming more wellknown, which I think can help people who might not otherwise explore their gender, be able to do so. ST: What advice do you have for others who want to start doing drag? AG: Get someone to help you because it’s hard. Watch lots of YouTube videos. Get into drag. You will not look great the first time—go out anyway. Drag is about learning to let go and that means learning to let go of always looking a certain way or meeting a certain beauty standard. So, just try it and go out and keep trying again. It’s all trial and error. Instagram: @the_ariana_grindr Performances: Live in Ann Arbor and Bona Sera in Ypsilanti

written by Sean Tran layout by Aliya Falk

Bodysuit - Doll’s Kill


AF: Can you tell me a little about yourself? JH: My name’s Jack Hyland, I’m a senior in the art school, and I’m from Cleveland Ohio. I took art classes in high school, didn’t have anything else I wanted to study. So I submitted a portfolio to Michigan, got accepted, realized this is what I was gonna do. I came in as a drawer, painter, [someone who is] good at visual stuff, but didn’t really have the experience of building things. And then taking courses at Michigan, I’ve been able to explore product design and sustainable design. This IP project your senior year you get to incorporate all your academic studies and studio studies into an independent project, and that’s kind of how I got to where I am right now. AF: What inspires your art? JH: This year, big inspiration has been a couple books I’ve read and just a lot of work that’s been happening around the world in terms of reducing the scale of manufacturing. So trying to disrupt that hierarchy of industrial product design where big corporations can control all the products we consume and to reduce it back down to a local level where people are crafting things and making things in their own communities. That’s what I’ve been doing with these guitars. The body of these guitars has been constructed with 100% recycled plastic from Ann Arbor. There’s a group in Detroit (Thing Thing) that does stuff with recycled plastic. They make art and architectural objects. They’ve been pretty successful in making a name for themselves in the art community. I was really inspired by that work. Also, there’s a company in Detroit right now that’s making guitars out of reclaimed lumber from abandoned buildings. I saw those two things happening simultaneously, and I was really, really interested in that. I play guitar, and I had done experiments with recycled plastic as a sophomore, and so I was like, how can I merge these two ideas into something that is unique and plays into this greater system of thinking about scales and manufacturing and recycled materials? AF: Can you briefly explain your process of creating the guitars? JH: A lot of the work I’m doing, there’s not much research behind it. There’s a handful of people doing work like this around the world, and everyone does it really differently. I collect plastic, a ton comes from the scrap box, a ton I get from people just dropping it off in my studio. I’m recycling HDPE plastic, high density polyethylene. Then I use this paper shredder that I disassembled and exposed the blades to shred the plastic. I can sort the plastic by color, then I put it in a mold and I melt it in an oven at its melting temperature, which is like 375 degrees Fahrenheit. After it’s melted, I plane it, so it becomes a crispy board. You get really cool textures and patterns with manipulating the little granules of plastic. Then I cut into the form of the guitar. Anyone can do this. That’s the purpose of it, to prove that we don’t need factories to make products. The CNC Router is a pretty high tech piece of equipment, but you actually don’t need it to do what I’m doing, it just makes my process a lot easier. It routes the form of the body. I make a drawing, then I put it into the computer in Illustrator. I’ll make a vector of the form and then I’ll put the vector into Rhino. In Rhino, I can send this model of what I want to do to the board, to the CNC router. It takes this information and it carves this form out of that block. So it goes from a hand drawing, to a vector, to this greater form. And then the router cuts it. AF: How many trials and errors did you have to go through? JH: Oh I could show you like a dozen different prototypes that are all failures. The original way that I was doing this was I was trying to form the plastic into the mold of a guitar. I wasn’t making blocks and then building a guitar. That was really challenging because of the way the material shrinks and warps after it heats and cools.

AF: If you could pick one item in your studio that you couldn’t live without, what would it be? JH: The book Cradle to Cradle is probably the most informative thing I own. It’s about design thinking and the scales of our economy and the functions of human civilization as it interacts with the natural world. And how we’ve totally disrupted our life in nature’s circular systems, and how we need to go back to that. AF: What advice do you have for other students who are trying to innovate and do something new/start their own projects? JH: Read a lot. Understand the context that you’re working in. It won’t be innovative or new or unique if you don’t already have a bunch of research done and understand who’s already done what and what you’re bringing to the table. Everyone has something to bring to the table, even if you’re just tweaking the process of something. You’re still making it your own and putting your own creativity into it. Think about your place in the world and how it will change things.

written, photographed, and designed by Aliya Falk


DIRECTOR Paris Morris STYLISTS Alexandra Plosch Elizabeth Haley Jenny Ruan Olivia Gregg MODELS Juan Marquez & Eddie McQuillan Chandra Sahu & Ashley Les Jodie Jarcho & Kyle Coletta Emily Delius & Ronuelle Teodoro Anthony Krempa & Summer Benton PHOTOGRAPHERS Francesca Romano Julia Dean Dana Dean Juan Marquez Mackenzie King LAYOUT Aliya Falk



n the pages of British Vogue’s February 2018 issue, photographer Juergen Teller and stylist Edward Enninful see in every dimension. Their project: capturing the arresting inner energy of Hollywood’s Oscar-nominated names. The theme is controlled color and genuine abandon: Hong Chau in an orchid pink Entro dress with her hair caught mid flip, Michelle Williams in a structured green shift by Louis Vuitton comically reaching for the sun, Mary J Blige looking down and out in head to toe gold patterned Versace, Nicole Kidman in a hands to hips power stance and a metallic Prada crop top. The women, frankly, outdo the men (Gary Oldman standing solemn in blue Canali and shadow). In Vogue’s review, the portfolio, entitled “Best Performances,” “celebrates the stars whose Oscar-worthy roles embody cinema’s new mood and Hollywood’s reevaluation of itself.” Teller details that the shoot’s drive was her feeling that particularly in the post-Weinstein world “...the mood needed to change. That it was time for honesty.” The shoot follows a particularly vocal time for fashion’s relationship with Hollywood. At the Golden Globes in January, an overwhelming amount of female celebrities showed up dressed in all black to show their solidarity with the #MeToo movement. Designers scrambled to rework custom designs and interviewers hustled to come up with questions other than “Who are you wearing?” In her acceptance speech, Oprah Winfrey, in black velvet Versace, articulated to the audience: “Each of us in this room are celebrated because of the

stories that we tell. And this year we became the story.” She concluded in exclamation: “A new day is on the horizon!” This is not the first time Hollywood has undergone a transformation. In the 1960s, an influx of young filmmakers exchanged Old Hollywood’s westerns, musicals, and slapstick comedies for what was later dubbed New Hollywood’s art house and international New Wave cinema. This transition can be visually traced on the covers of fashion magazines. The full bodied matte sketches and heavily stylized images of unidentified women gave way to up close and personal shots of Brooke Shields and captions like: “The American Look at it’s Best!” Hollywood’s current transition, of course, is much more direct and seems to be happening in real time -- already sure of how it wants to be seen by history. Fashion is predicated on its attention to time and context. Politics depend on context. Therefore, as both a reflection of our current personal preferences or as residue of a cultivated image, fashion has always been political. If Hollywood understands anything, it’s visual literacy and how to convey a particular message at the right time. Fashion has forever been a favored topic, if not the topic of Red Carpet events. But what happens when the use of fashion at such levels of visibility is only political? Is it still “fashion?” It’s a difficult topic to address. Is high fashion interpreted only as a particular message? How does fashion strike a balance between the aesthetics of an industry and the context in which it operates?

Hollywood’s reckoning is a response not only to a institutional history of abuse and silence, but also to recent research. In February, the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA issued a diversity report that detailed the institution’s gains and shortcomings. The report details that while the trend lines for women and people of color on screen in general are slowly headed in a positive direction, the trends of women and minorities in film are much lower than in broadcast television. The report goes on to suggest “there is a myth promoted by Hollywood decision makers that foreign audiences will automatically reject films centered around people of color.” The release of “Black Panther,” which toppled box office statistics worldwide, refutes this fallacy. At the Hollywood premier, Lupita Nyong’o wore a Atelier Versace gown. The plunging neckline was interrupted by a jewel encrusted belt and shoulder piece reminiscent of armor. In pictures she is almost exactly the warrior she plays on screen. This is nothing new. In promotion, unlike at award shows, actors must become their characters in order to sell their product. However, with Hollywood’s new self-sought obligation to create characters that embody its own political awakening, this character-centric fashion is the means with which the industry seeks to breath new life into an archaic system. Lupita’s gown

and the looks of her fellow castmates were not just a movie promotion, but also a movement in themselves. Their visual presence explained, just like lead actor Chadwick Boseman that “What you’re African people not explaining themselves based upon European structure or according to a European timeline.” There is, of course, the fact that Hollywood’s stunts of solidarity and political messaging often come in the form of thousand dollar gowns. There is the fact that many actors and actresses now speaking out are the same who have participated in long standing cultures of silence. There are questions about genuinity: what is a publicity stunt and what is an attempt to be recorded on the right side of history? Promotional tours walk a thin line between culture and costume. In short, it’s terrifying how much of what our culture understands is centered on the lips and hip bones that float across that red runway. Yet Hollywood as an idea is the essence of publicity. Though it may be some time before Hollywood’s re-evaluating may be called an evolution, the high profile culture of accountability the industry is promoting is forcing fashion to evolve in the best way possible. It’s forcing fashion to be fearless. Hollywood’s self-awareness has sparked a call for the overtly conscious designer. There’s a new question being pushed: no longer do announcers only question taste when they

ask about who made the gown, but their question implies an alignment of values to a brand. Hollywood is prioritizing designers like Calvin Klein and Sachin & Babi who wholeheartedly agree to take a back seat at their biggest stage of the year and to step up to donate to funds like Time’s Up, as well as brands like Versace who are not afraid of scrutiny and plurality. In an open letter published before the Golden Globes, designer Prabal Gurung writes, “It is a moment where these admirable, strong, and brave actresses have decided to use fashion as a means of protest. We—the fashion industry—should be proud to help amplify and visually communicate such a powerful agenda.” When fashion becomes aware of itself as symbol it inevitability becomes aware of itself as political and in that space—between art and voice—is progress. While Hollywood is unabashedly driving the fashion industry to weaponize its own power of advocacy—a power that has always been there, to be rediscovered time and time again—the fashion industry as a whole is experiencing a similar reawakening about honesty and accountability. The plain spoken Margot Robbie and Nicole Kidman stare down and out from the pages of British Vogue. They’re wearing debutante gloves in solid, corresponding pinks. They could have been photographed in any era, but they’ve chosen the color of this one. Their eyes see through everything and they want you to know it.

written by Sophie Cloherty layout by Carla Borkmann

springfest springfest springfest springfest springfest


springfest springfest springfest springfest springfest


photographed by Maya Ballester layout by Aliya Falk


H t T Y ou

R w ab N E o V O n I E Ik T A I L O F X E


h, spring. The time for rejuvenation. As I look at my scaly skin, I am ready for a new, smoother image. And maybe you are too. The way forward is through…exfoliation! Exfoliants are broken down into two categories: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliants are products involving granules that scrape away dead skin. They tend to be cheaper, but some people find that they cover a surface less evenly than a chemical exfoliant. However, you will rarely have an allergic reaction to a physical exfoliant, as you’re just scraping the dead skin away. Chemical exfoliants have a more sophisticated way of breaking down dead skin, and cover a more even amount of surface, but allergies to products containing those chemicals are fairly common. Since products with these fancy acids and enzymes tend to be more expensive, you might lose more money if you turn out to be allergic to one of those products. Exfoliating the face, which for many of us is the battleground between us and our skin complaints, is no simple matter. Many people prefer to use chemical ingredients because they are gentler for the skin. Those ingredients mostly fall into two groups: alpha hydroxy acids, which act on the surface of your skin, and beta hydroxy acids, which dive deeper into your skin. AHAs tend to be better for dry skin, peeling away the first layer of dead cells, whereas BHAs work better on oily skin, because they can burrow down farther and work on clogged pores and over productive oil glands. Here’s a bit more info on acids, and here is one of my favorite toners from Glossier! At the extreme end of the chemical scale, there are retinoids. Some of the most popular ingredients in skincare right now, retinoids aren’t technically exfoliants. They work by causing your skin to make new skin faster. Retinoids are categorized into Retin-a, which is only available by prescription, and retinols, which are easy to find on the market and can be super expensive, but also very affordable. However, you shouldn’t use products with higher concentrations of lactic acid, BHAs, or any retinoids before sun exposure, because they are possibly linked to higher photosensitivity and sun damage. Ultimately, it is best to use those products at night. Here’s one of the most popular and cheap retinoids available.

When you’re on a retinoid, you may find yourself more sensitive to other chemical products, and in this case you might want to use a physical exfoliant to remove the dead skin. I also recommend physical exfoliants because, like I said, you don’t tend to have allergies to them. They work in a way that is cruder, but is less likely to give you a bad reaction. With physical exfoliants, I can tell pretty soon when to stop, because my skin feels a bit tender. However, with some acid products and especially retinoids, I won’t feel any negative effects until a few hours later, usually the next day. My favorite particles to use in exfoliating scrubs are sugar granules, because they dissolve after a short amount of time and you can’t over scrub. I also like charcoal and ash products, because they are so fine and loosen up the skin without digging in too much. One of my favorite ones is the volcanic ash and sugar scrub from MAC. Dermatologists differ in how often you should exfoliate, with their answers ranging from once a week to every day. The right answer is something only you can determine, and it depends on how much dead skin you produce. Some people produce a lot of dead skin, while others don’t. The trial and error to discover what is right for you can be unpleasant, but your skin heals quickly if you go too far. Technique is crucial when removing dead skin. Many people press too hard, trying to work the product into their skin, but keep in mind that you’re treating an issue very close to the surface of the skin. You’re trying to remove the surface layer, so don’t press in or you can damage your skin. Finally: exfoliation is known to cause “purging,” where skin breaks out one to three days after the fact. This is the only kind of skincare that should ever cause a temporary worsening of the skin, much like laser treatments. If you have a bit of a breakout, you’re probably fine, but if it really hurts or is worse than you expected, do not use that product again. Like with everything exfoliation related, be careful about what you think is right for your skin. Happy sloughing!

written by Sophie ReVeal layout by Elizabeth Marics

Interview with

Susan McLeary

of Passionflower Events


usan Mcleary is the designer and creator of Passionflower Events, a floral design studio in Ann Arbor that specializes in striking floral fashion and jewelry. Passionflower has been attracting major attention among local and editorial platforms since its beginnings in 2010, including features in publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Fusion Flowers Magazine, and the websites of Buzzfeed and Refinery 29. The floral design studio recently expanded by opening classes for professional and beginning florists, which are offered both in-studio and online. We spoke with Susan about her work at Passionflower and in floral fashion design, her achievements and inspirations as an artist, and a very exciting upcoming project. MD: First of all, what is it that you do at Passionflower Events? SM: It’s changed over the years, but now I primarily teach in the studio for professional florists. Online, I have two course series, and I also travel to teach at various conferences and workshops. MD: How long ago did you start teaching? SM: I’ve been teaching [floral design] informally for about five years, and formally for the last three. This year, I’ve been doing very little event work and have been mostly teaching and doing other projects related to Passionflower. MD: What is your background, and how did you get into floral design? SM: I was in college for sociology, and I’d always been vaguely artistic and hadn’t really found my medium yet. I had a hobby making jewelry, and one friend of mine ordered jewelry for her wedding, and I made her wedding jewelry. Then, she asked me if I would design her wedding flowers. I said yes, but I didn’t think I would particularly like the project that much—I wasn’t quite sure, it just sounded like a fun challenge! I said yes, and when I was designing her flowers, I just knew I was supposed to be a florist. It was just an instant connection. MD: When did you start Passionflower, and what was that process like? SM: It took a while. My friend’s wedding was in about 2003, and from there, I knew I needed experience. So, I pretty much took every class and read every book and did everything I could on my own, and I eventually got a job at a flower shop and worked there for a few years before finally launching off on my own in 2010. MD: As you’re known for your iconic, wearable floral designs, could you tell me about that process and how those projects came into being? SM: I’d always been interested in fashion, the natural world, and jewelry making, but I guess I fell in love with flowers and remembered I had this other hobby of making jewelry. Over the years and after studying with different people and being exposed to different inspirations, I fused the two. Once I did that, it felt like I’d found what really excites me. Floral fashion came about in about 2013 after studying with one of my mentors, Françoise Weeks, and it reminded me that I have this whole other toolbox that I can employ and fuse flowers and fashion or jewelry design. Instagram: @passionflowersue

MD: You’ve mentioned your interest in the natural world and I read that you’ve been praised for the sustainability of your designs; could you tell me about that? SM: I think the sustainability is mostly referring to my succulent jewelry. The fun thing about the living jewelry or the succulent jewelry is that you can wear the piece for your wedding, or prom, or any event, and then the plants are still alive so you can actually repot them after and keep them going. That was a really fun thing to share with people, because florists know that you can do that, but the general public was very intrigued with that idea, and it really took off. Beyond that, I like to buy in-season as much as I can and from multiple growers, and I try to limit the chemicals and unnatural elements in my work. I also compost and simply try to follow the rules of nature as much as I can! MD: What was the first wearable design you ever made? SM: What all started this was I was at a workshop in 2013, and I made a three-finger ring, and the photographer covering the workshop noticed it and asked me if I wanted to collaborate. They were in California, and I was in Michigan, so I had to figure out a way to make things and ship them, and so that’s how the succulent jewelry came about. But that was really the first time someone said, “What you’re doing is interesting,” and it ignited this spark where I told myself I was going to explore this. MD: What’s next from you and Passionflower? SM: Well, the most exciting thing that’s happened so far is I actually have a book project with Chronicle Books that I just signed on for, so that’s what I’ll be focusing on in the next six to eight months! MD: That’s so exciting! Are you making all new designs for that? SM: Oh yeah, all new! MD: Finally, what is the best part about what you do? SM: Well, I don’t want to sound cheesy, but now that I’ve found flowers—my artistic medium—it makes me feel so happy and so excited about everything. It’s really a kind of reverence, a kind of pausing and enjoying the moment and what’s beautiful in that moment, and I love being able to share that sentiment. It’s something that people have said they come away with after we spend time together, that they’re a little more curious and a little more amazed by how beautiful flowers are. I just try to share my crazy love for flowers and hope that it brings a little more joy to people!

written by Matisen Douglas photographed by Amanda Dumouchelle layout by Aliya Falk



SHEI Digital // Vol. 4 Iss. 7  
SHEI Digital // Vol. 4 Iss. 7