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TIFFANY CHAN Editor-in-Chief

Managing Editor ELLIE WENDLAND Art Director DANIELLE FENSON Assistant Art Director MOSES LEE Business Director JUNE LOH Head of Advertising & Marketing MARILYN ARTEAGA Head Event Coordinator TIFFANI LE Head of Public Relations MADI DONHAM Assistant Head of Public Relations KALPANA SATISH Creative Director LILY ROCHA Head Hair and Makeup Artist MAIYA EVANS Head Model TONY REDMER Head Photographer HANNAH LAAMOUMI Head Stylist KARINNA LOPEZ Assistant Head Stylist IXCHÉL HERNANDEZ Writing Director KATHERINE KYKTA Head Copy Editor LAUREN HODGES







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THE MINIMALIST UNIFORM How the minimalistic trend is affecting fashion today GOING VEGAN As people are becoming more environmentally friendly, they are turning their heads to vegan leather UNZIPPING MIZRAHI A look into the eccentric designer’s life in his documentary, “Unzipped” DO THE MATH Math and fashion have more in common than it seems at first glance


PLUS SIZE IN HIGH FASHION Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. We discuss how the plus size industry is beginning to grow








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COLOR POP NATION Color has always been very important in fashion. We discuss how color trends have changed throughout time OUT FROM THE SHADOWS How the topic of women’s sexuality is becoming normalized RUSSIA RISING A discussion about the fascinating the unique fashion culture of Russia THE IMMORTALITY OF CLOTHING The fashion industry is infamous for creating waste. How can improve the situation?


LADY NOIR We pay tribute to the legendary Edith Head who combined film and fashion


COLOR THE RUNWAY Why are the runways today less diverse than the ones of the past? We discuss how diversity is still an issue in fashion

THE RAVEN THE EVOLUTION OF SNEAKERS How sneakers entered the fashion scene and introduced comfort and casualness to the world



MOVING FORWARD A look at the journey of travel fashion over the last century


1970 Fashion rules were thrown out the window during the exciting 70s


WORK IT OUT Fashion is beginning to embrace a healthier standard of models


FAST & FURIOUS We all enjoy fast fashion for its stylish yet affordable clothing. But what are the resulting impacts of fast fashion?




NORMCORE Wearing plain clothing is becoming the new chic


FASHION FIT FOR QUEENS Most of the designs on the runway are too bold for everyday fashion. We discuss possible alternatives


SWAPPING STORIES Clothing swaps make it easy to be fashionable and eco friendly


FEMINISM & FASHION How the idea of feminity has changed as women’s fashion has evolved


FASHION UP We discuss the world of upcycling fashion




CHIPPER JONES A conversation with the extremely talented local band





PUSHING LIMITS Millennials are all about freedom of expression. How has that affected fashion? SEXISM & STYLE How women are unfairly held to a higher standard of fashion than men

Z IN K M I N I B OXC A R WW W. Z I N KE V ER Y DAY.CO M 10% of the proceeds from this special Burnt Orange edition goes to Spark Magazine

1 6 0 1 WE S T 38 TH STREET, AUSTI N, TX 7873 1


S PA R K / Spark Magazine is a student-run fashion publication at The University of Texas at Austin that aims to cultivate a creative space for individuals to develop as young professionals and to engage the community in an ongoing dialogue about the role of fashion in everyday life.

EDITOR’S LETTER This fall, we experienced an incredible amount of growth and kicked off our professional development endeavors with a training boot camp that culminated in a test shoot. During the following months, we hosted peer-led skill building workshops and speaker sessions featuring industry professionals. Additionally, we have increased our engagement with the larger community through our new Spark blog as well as our SPARK for Humanity initiative. The blog provides another platform for members to publish their work while SPARK for Humanity offers staff an opportunity to utilize their creative skill sets to give back. From the beginning, Spark has been about much more than just the magazine. Our core purpose and the real heart of this organization is the foundation of a creative community. Through a series of Spark-hosted socials ranging from kickboxing to celebrating National Coffee Day and the establishment of our alumni network, we have worked to strengthen our internal community. To my staff and leadership team, it has been an absolute joy collaborating with you all. You have such creative minds and an inspiring amount of drive. Without each of your individual contributions, Spark would not be what it is today. Thank you so very much for letting me be a part of your creative journey and for an amazing semester. This will be my last issue as Editor-in-Chief of Spark Magazine. To those who took a chance on Spark when it was merely a collection of thoughts, I cannot thank you enough. It has been a privilege learning and growing alongside this organization. When I set out a little over a year ago to develop the idea of Spark Magazine, I could not have possibly anticipated that we would operate at the level we do now and think that this is just the beginning. Cheers,

the minimalist uniform Writer: Katherine Kykta, Copy Editor: Lauren Hodges, Stylist: Tony Redmer, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Models: Rachel Real, Sam Adams, HMUA: Whitney Chen, Layout: Hillary Henrici


here are a number of different conceptions floating around as to what exactly minimalism is. Minimalism can be defined in fashion, art, and architecture or minimalism can be defined as a lifestyle. Both ideas delve from the same core, but are played out in complex and different manners. One does not have to be entirely entrenched one or the other or even both to thrive in a minimalist wardrobe. For further clarification, a minimalist piece, in fashion, art, or architecture, is not overly complicated. Minimalism is a movement where a work is shown or displayed with only its most fundamental features…its bare bones. For a movement so ingrained in society today, it is interesting to note that it only began in the early 1960s in New York. Before abstract expressionism was the dominant movement, but the art underground was itching for something new, so with their lead the art community did a 180 and pursued a path of simplicity. Artists collected basic industrial materials and emphasized anonymity over unique and symbolic expression. Minimalism in fashion began with French designers André Courréges and Pierre Cardin. They were the creators of the mod shift dresses in the 1960s like that which Twiggy wore. Now some minimalist designers to be noted are Jil Sander, The Row, Alexan-

der Wang, Mario Cornejo, and Calvin Klein. Formally, minimalism steered away from displaying the human figure. Design was focused on miraculous and transitional lines and shapes. Think the famous single seam Balenciaga wedding dress introduced in 1967 with the Darth-Vader-like seamless vail. Both the dress and the vail-hood tent around the model’s body in a way where the viewer cannot help, but stare in awe and wonder. This masterpiece might as well be considered ideal minimalism. In fact, this kind of pure minimalism is more than just simplicity, the elimination of nonessentials, and clean lines. It consists of technological advances in form and function that manage to express a refined garment so seamless that its actual complexity is a mystery to any viewer. Today the standards for minimalism in fashion have shifted their course and the interpretation of minimalism has increasingly become more literal. If it is monochromatic the media considers it minimalist. There is nothing wrong with this, but it should be noted that this is a different kind of minimalism, a sort of post-minimalism. In this morphed form there are considerable casual references to the body frame. Natural curves are displayed through simple lines. A designer in this post-minimalism category would be Calvin Klein. Think the infamous Klein jersey underwear with the thick elastic bands. The design is so simple and clean, yet the piece is rightfully body forming. Whereas in traditional ►


minimalism, clothing was created to be worn, but the shape of the body was in no way a dominant design feature. That is not to say post-minimalist fashion does not have a superb cut, quiet colors, or a defined shape, it is just not quite as idealistic as the movement started. Closely related to this visual minimalism, whether it is in the category of ideal or post-minimalistic, is minimalism as a way of life. A minimalistic lifestyle can mean so many things, but the best way to define it would be a life that simplifies daily routine, work, relationships, money, and possessions to enable less stress and a more content state of being due to a less convoluted world. This minimalist lifestyle trend is all around us. Society today wants less. This could be reactionary towards being inundated and bombarded with information, advertisements, options, anything really. Now many people value a life that is simple and purposeful over consumeristic and messy lifestyles. Consolidation is key. A basic example of this is how the iPhone replaced huge purses stuffed with address books, cameras, calendars, calculators, and books. Even advertisements have transitioned into simplicity. Think the iconic “Think Small” Volkswagen ad campaign or “Just do it” for Nike. Websites over the past decade have been reinvented as well. Pages are no longer overwhelming and cluttered, but streamlined

and visually clear. The transition in social media from Myspace, to Facebook, to Twitter may be the best example of how this trend has evolved. Interestingly minimalism in fashion and as a lifestyle have merged in a very public way. High profile people like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are wearing capsule wardrobes, meaning they are wearing extremely versatile and consistent pieces all the time. Reasons for this may be less time and energy wasted, fewer decisions, being ensured of a put together outfit, iconic, less expensive, and on a more conceptual level the consistency embodies the “uniform” one may see on a protagonist on television or in literature. The modern person may have been driven towards a minimalist wardrobe and lifestyle for practical or moral motives. In today’s world there is financial turmoil and personal debt surrounding everyone in some manner. Life is getting increasingly complex. There is heightened concern on waste and the environment and there is a renewed focus on relationships rather than consumerism. Because of reasons like these the quiet luxury that minimalism provides is increasingly attractive and people all around the world are creating their own minimalist uniforms. ■

JACKET | Frock On Vintage DRESSES | Frock On Vintage


Writer: Sunny Kim, Copy Editor: Kaylee Sims, Stylist: Rachel Spross, Photographer: Kristin Evans, Model: Hillary Henrici, HMUA: Melinda Taylor, Illustrator: Candice Asare, Layout: Kimberly Hafner


eather tanning is nearly as old as civilization itself In Mesopotamia between the fifth and third millennium B.C., Sumerians used animal skins to create long dresses and diadems for women. The Romans used leather for footwear, clothing, and to make shields and harnesses. Egyptians used leather for gloves and luxurious ornaments. Even today, the idea of having and wearing animal skin symbolizes power and wealth. In addition, leather is considered a highquality, classic material, especially for bags and shoes. Leather and its distinct texture therefore remain fashionable season after season. However, people are beginning to focus more on protecting the environment due to concerns about climate change, pollution, and animal welfare. For this reason, “vegan” leather substitutes are flying off the shelves. It has become cool, chic, and modern to have something that has the general qualities of real leather but is made of a more Earth- and animal-friendly material. We are seeing famous fashion designers such as Stella McCartney, Tory Burch, and Givenchy creating high-end lines of bags and accessories from vegan leather, with more affordable retailers not far behind. Although faux leather has existed for ages, it is becoming more than a cheap substitute for the real thing- it is becoming vegan leather, a purposeful alternative to what many see as an environmentallydestructive and unethical material. Vegan leather is simply plastic coated in fabric. It can be made from a variety of different materials. There are two common types of vegan leather: vinyl and polyurethane upholstery. Vinyl is made with strong polyester fibers and polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC, along with additional plasticizers. Although vinyl is affordable, durable, and uniform, there are harmful aspects that come into play when creating vinyl. Dioxins and other harmful chemicals are released into the air when vinyl is created. And once it is created, it can’t be easily recycled. The products break down into lead, mercury, phthalates,and chlorine that can leak into groundwater, threatening landfills and water supplies. Polyurethane upholstery on the other hand, is less damaging to the environment as it is made by coating a backing fabric such as cotton, polyester, or shredded leather with a flexible polymer that does not create dioxins when produced. PU is softer, easier to decorate, and has a more realistic imitation of real leather as it breaks and creates wrinkles. However, it is more costly ►


FEDORA | Frock On Vintage SKIRT | Frock On Vintage PURSE | Frock On Vintage CUFFS | Frock On Vintage BOOTS | Frock On Vintage

to produce when compared to vinyl. Vegan leather can also be created with unexpected materials such as cork or vegetables. One such material is a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast known as SCOBY. SCOBY is one of the major ingredients in Kombucha, a popular tea that can help with digestion. Amy McDonnold, a fourth-year graduate student in the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin used SCOBY as her starter material to create vegan leather that would be safe for the environment. She partnered with Amy Witte, a secondyear graduate student in Interior Design. They were both in Professor Igor Siddiqui’s Advanced Interior Design Studio course, which focused on discovering how specific sets of edible ingredients can be used as renewable materials for design. Professor Siddiqui arranged his 16 students into pairs, resulting in eight different groups working on a different starter material such as agar, SCOBY, mycelium, salt, gelatin, starch, gums, and food waste. Their goal? To create sustainable materials for revamping crumbling buildings in East Austin. Professor Siddiqui was approached by leaders of thinkEAST (a participatory sustainable development project in East Austin) because his own research is centered on bioplastics using starch and yeast to make plastics using gelatin. He thought this would be a great opportunity for his students to get a hands-on experience and learn how different materials can create synthetic leather. The students’ projects were presented in April at FuseBox, which is an international art and design festival that brings together new, forward-thinking ideas in these spheres. McDonnold and Witte began their experiments in January of 2015 and attended the FuseBox Festival to showcase their results. They presented their proposals in May. “At FuseBox and thinkEAST, we had made a prototype sample of dried out cellulous and it was like a fabric.” McDonnold said. “It was really interesting. No matter how thick the cellulose mats would grow, after the drying process the water molecules would dehydrate and the cellulose would just collapse to create a thin layer.” In order to create this synthetic leather, McDonnold used SCOBY, black tea, sugar, and plastic containers. She would mix all of the ingredients into the plastic containers and leave it in a room that was 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, where it would ferment over a couple of weeks. This


would result in a one-inch layer of a damp cellulose matt, which can be taken out and dried for a couple of days tocreate synthetic leather. “When it ferments, there is an off-gas and it smells like really strong apple cider vinegar,” McDonnold said, laughing. McDonnold explained the fascinating process of how synthetic leather is created using SCOBY. “After the fermentation process, the bacteria and yeast will dry together to become one and it literally bonds with each other at a molecular level,” McDonnold said. “You can get a lot of variety with the textures like thin tissue paper stuff or thick leather-like stuff and it’s really translucent so the light comes through really beautifully.” McDonnold and Witte drew inspiration from Suzanne Lee, who is a fashion designer in London who created a clothing line all made out of SCOBY. Her work represents a revolution in the world of fashion and design. With SCOBY, she has already created jackets, shoes, vests, dresses, and more- blazing a new trail for sustainable vegan leather. There are pros and cons to vegan leather created by SCOBY material. The advantage is that SCOBY is all-natural and biodegradable. People can even digest SCOBY. It can also grow to any size and shape and its translucency can be adjusted, making it a fitting material for fashion designers. The main disadvantage would be figuring out the conditioning process. Just like real leather, vegan leather made out of SCOBY needs to be produced through a specific conditioning process, or else the material will become brittle and unusable. Plus, the material can crack very easily if it gets too dry. Another downside is that SCOBY can be difficult to work with when the cellulose mats are wet because they are very heavy. It’s also important to note the specific temperature conditions during the fermentation process. If the temperature is not around 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, mold pockets can envelope the cellulose mats, rendering them useless. Although more experimentation is needed for SCOBY-based vegan leathers to become mainstream, I believe people should invest money in this project because it can change the way we produce vegan leather. Instead of using vinyl, which can contaminate the environment, SCOBY can make vegan leather especially sustainable and Earth-friendly. This futuristic version of vegan leather has the potential to be the next big thing for conscious fashionistas everywhere. ■

LEFT TOP | Frock On Vintage CHOKER | Frock On Vintage SHIRT | Raven + Lily SKIRT | Frock On Vintage NECKLACE | Frock On Vintage GLOVES | Frock On Vintage

CORAL CARDIGAN | Frock On Vintage SEAFOAM SWEATER | Frock On Vintage TAPESTRY SKIRT | Frock On Vintage


Writer: Aiden Park, Copy Editor: Rebekah Edwards, Stylist: Rachel Spross, Photographer: Moses Lee, Model: Cristelle Martins, HMUA: Rachel Spross, Layout: Moses Lee, Illustrator: Yuchen Sha


ORANGE MAXI DRESS | Frock On Vintage


raven pecks its way through an abandoned New York street, moving unwaveringly into oncoming snow. Bundled up in an ebony black trench coat, the raven finds a newspaper with a review of his spring clothing line. Isaac Mizrahi, the subject of the classic documentary Unzipped, reads his dismal critiques. The criticism stings just as much as the biting wind. Devastation sinks in as the question of what to do next glints through the bitter wind like a feather, swirling and tumbling, unsure of where it will land. It is 1994, and from the ashes of his failed spring line rises Unzipped, a film chronicling Mizrahi’s next season-long process of designing clothes. Fortunately, Isaac Mizrahi is as tough as the New York grit and grime that surrounds him. The havoc of a bad review momentarily deters Mizrahi before he dusts himself off and advises endearingly to the camera, “Ignore it if you don’t like it.” Swathed in black and white, Unzipped delightfully paints a tale of creativity and inspiration with Mizrahi’s impossibly fast wit and incandescent charm as its own unique brand of color. What Unzipped offers is a compelling behind-the-scenes look at what it is like to create clothes from the eyes and soul of fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi. Uncovering inspiration from the likes of puffy Eskimo furs and the pastels of the quintessentially 70’s Mary Tyler Moore Show, Mizrahi conjures a blazingly original and fresh line of fall clothing. It is mesmerizing to see where Mizrahi draws his inspiration. From strolling down a New York street with supermodels to his lively conversations with his typical Brooklyn mother, everything around Mizrahi is a source of revelation. A true creator, he perceives all things as a geyser of inspiration and Mizrahi’s magnificent line reflects his pure artist’s eye. The fashion fantasia he

builds is subsumed into his clothing, mixing pop culture references and eloquent designs. In one instance, Mizrahi takes the faux furs from the movie The Call of the Wild and reimagines them as ornately colored, airy fits. Mizrahi’s utterly intriguing creative process of designing clothes is captivating to witness the moody shots of Mizrahi playing Clair de Lune in his apartment, the blurry tendrils of his cigarette smoke, his hand on his mouth in frustration, squishing his cheeks to his eyes, the almost visible gears in his head, whirring. The true magic of Unzipped, however, is realized when Mizrahi’s work is showcased at New York Fashion Week. The desaturated scrim of the film is theatrically raised when his line glosses down the catwalk in full, dazzling color. Without the sense of tint, the spry character of the furs, coats and pants are tragically overlooked. But with pigment, the clothes are buzzing with vibrancy. The sensation of this sudden contrast mirrors a dazed Dorothy stumbling into the technicolor land of Oz, senses overloaded in a fresh and crisp utopia. The clothes that scintillate down the runway are not beautiful. They are not rich or sophisticated; rather, they exude originality and confidence. In one memorable scene, Naomi Campbell stalks down the runway slathered in a charcoal ankle-long fur coat. Her silhouette is slinky and elegant. She holds her coat together closely, implying something more lurks underneath. Suddenly, at the end of the runway, suspense mounting, Campbell rips off the coat to reveal a luminous sunshine-yellow sequined romper. The austere silhouette breaks to form an image of a fearless, quirky and a nonconforming girl. The stark contrast echoes the rest of the film. The desaturated first half of Unzipped is carried entirely by Mizrahi’s charming quips and narrative; the final glitzy product is carried by his clothes and is strikingly brilliant. ►


Mizrahi holds nothing back from the cotton candy pink and powdered baby blue of the furs, the plaid skirts of jazzy color, and the otherworldly purple plastic raincoats. The purpose of this show is not to try and make money. It is to play dress up, revel in a childlike sense of make believe, and showcase the brilliancy of being different. This callow and unadulterated inspiration glissades down the runway in a parade of color, leaving streaks of dazzling swatches engraved in the audience’s memory.

professor in the University of Texas at Austin in the Textiles and Apparel department, admires the individual courageous enough to wear the bubblegum-pink fur donned in Mizrahi’s show by musing, “I always applaud the people that are different. Not the followers. To me, people should live their life as they want to, not by looking at somebody else and thinking ‘what do they think?’” The intrepid Mizrahi brazenly flies a flag encouraging individuality in Unzipped.

It is easy to wonder how Mizrahi’s outlandish (albeit wonderful) garments make it onto the global stage of such a prestigious event like New York Fashion Week. Although considered high fashion, Mizrahi’s Fall 1994 line stands out as innovative and liberatingly different. His vivid pieces are zany and bizarre. Eve Nicols, Distinguished Senior Lecturer and Director of the Apparel Design program at the University of Texas at Austin, comments on the over-the-top flamboyant quality that is a hallmark of the runway by explaining, “When you put on a fashion show, it’s an event. If you put on what you wear everyday, it may not be that much of a theatrical event. It’s an idea explored. A show is a show, just like you go to a movie.” Mizrahi’s ostentatious clothing in Unzipped is exactly the dramatics viewers and fashionistas crave when going to a runway show. The colorful quench Mizrahi offers is a satisfying and instant classic.

The uplift and crystalline inspiration Unzipped provides is unique and rare. The intriguing process of designing clothes, the blanket of black and white that is lifted to reveal gleaming garbs, and the witty narration from Mizrahi come together to create a piece of art. Mizrahi’s excitement to show the ebullient effects clothes have is apparent through his delightful designing. His joy for creating extends beyond the screen and is warmly touching. “Everything is frustrating,” reflects Mizrahi. “Every single thing is frustrating. Except designing clothes. That’s not frustrating. That’s really liberating and beautiful.”

To some, the originality that is interwoven in Mizrahi’s line can be off-putting. Realistically, no reasonable working person would want to wear the clothes shown in Unzipped. However, Mizrahi’s line has more to offer than just ornately colored items. Mizrahi’s show lightheartedly advises against staying inside the shelter of social norms. The popular trends of today can meld and mix into a mundane cocktail of lifeless beige; fads such as the ubiquitous boat shoes, oversized t-shirts, and khaki shorts. Ockhee Bego,


Isaac Mizrahi is a masterful artist who conveys a message that extends farther than the parameters of a documentary. Unzipped is a vessel of creativity and originality. The lustrous clothes and sincere tenor of the film beckon not just fashionistas, but anyone who is willing to listen. What is subtly encapsulated in this film is a tenet: fashion is more than what looks good or trendy, it is an essential form of self-expression and identity. The grit and grain of the black and white documentary eventually erodes away to expose a trove of glistening gems that are Mizrahi’s designs. But the vibrant treat at the end of the film is not the only takeaway. The true splendor of Unzipped is Mizrahi’s priceless and glamorously crafted affirmation of individualism. ■


IVORY SWEATER | Frock On Vintage

DO THE MATH From the development of the material, to the design of the whole garment, one aspect of the Fashion industry has been continuously understated: Mathematics. This is the story of just a few areas of Fashion wherein the importance of Mathematics has recently become more apparent.

Writer: Michael Bettati, Copy Editor: Briana Seidel, Stylist: Ixchel Hernandez, Photographer: Sissy Martin, Model: Alayna Enos, Caitlin Topham, Bonnie McEnnis HMUA: Shelby Hayes, Layout: Marilyn Arteaga, Illustrator: Ernest Chan

ROYAL BLUE DRESS | Frock On Vintage


STRIPED TROUSER | Frock On Vintage CROPPED MESH BLOUSE | Creatures Boutique LEATHER BOOTS | Creatures Boutique


he relationship between math and fashion is relentlessly understated. In a discipline that places such emphasis on form, patterning, and quality of material, it is quite ironic that the importance of mathematical analysis is rarely mentioned. Human intuition, rather than mathematical analysis, has largely dominated the design and fashion landscapes and will always have a major role in the design world. However, lately there has been an increasing interest in mathematics in relation to fashion. Mathematics, the governing discipline of our world, influences fashion on multiple levels. Math is a key factor influencing the development and creation of textiles, as well as the design of whole garments. Interestingly enough, fashion has also influenced our understanding of mathematics and computational analysis. One area of extreme interest is the mathematical modeling of textiles. Designers purchase sample fabric in the form of swatch books in order to evaluate their fabrics of choice for any given garment. Textile production companies invest billions of dollars into just the development of their textiles, with no real guarantee for their success. Since textile development has always required the making of samples to evaluate the properties of the textile, it has always been expensive to produce a new textile. Once a sample is created, there are a number of different tests that can be run to quantify some of its physical properties. Two of these tests are the draping and the ring test. In the draping test, a circular sample of known area is placed over a circular table of smaller area. As the material drapes over the table, nodes in the fabric are created, making the top view projection have a smaller area. Depending on the material, more or less nodes can occur, and the ratio in the original area to the projected area can be taken into account as a draping constant. This draping constant is specific to that textile, and can be used as a way to compare the relative ease with which the textile will become deformed. The ring test is generally used to compare very fine and easily deformable textiles, especially cashmere. The test involves passing a large sheet of material of known length and width through incrementally smaller rings. As the material passes through the rings, many complex deformations occur- twisting, bending, compression, and tension- all at once. As smaller and smaller rings are tested, at some point the material will not be able to fit. The area of the textile divided by the inner area of the smallest ring can be taken as a second deformation constant. With these two constants, one can get a decent feel for the texture and quality of a textile without even seeing or feeling the material itself. Recently, there has been a tremendous push to develop mathematical models to anticipate these properties before a textile even passes the design stage. However, the mathematical progress in this area has been rather slow because of the complexity of textiles, as well as the complexity of their possible deformations. Textiles are very complex materials due to the inconsistencies and variations of the individual strands as well as their complicated weave patterns.

Mathematical analysis of textiles has been rather slow as opposed to that of other materials such as steels, ceramics and plastics, which all have simple, repeated and crystalline atomic structures. There are well-developed series solutions for these sorts of materials, as well as many databases that make computer modeling rather straightforward. Modeling textiles is very difficult in comparison, since the mathematical infrastructure is currently somewhat lacking. Although the mathematical modeling of textiles is done today, it tends to involve many oversimplifications. One of these simplified models is the mass-spring model. In the mass-spring model, a textile is divided into several very small points in which the mass of a given rectangular area is concentrated. These masses are attached to each other by springs representing the tensile, shear, and bending forces that can be applied to the textile. Then, upon using Newton’s Second Law, and taking into account all internal and external forces, a suitable model can be found for very small and non-localized deformations. The main problem with this model is that it assumes that the fabric acts with linear elasticity, which is definitely not the case in the real world. For example, if this model is used to analyze the effect of hanging a piece of cloth at two of its endpoints, such as if it was hanging on a clothesline, the model completely falls out of reality. Some changes can be made to the design of the model in order to make it more realistic, such as adding severe stiffness to the springs and setting constraints on the expansion of the springs. However, these “enhancements” on the original model have no real scientific or mathematical basis, and are merely done by intuitively matching the model to real-life constraints. Another aspect of fashion deeply rooted in mathematics is the patterning of the textile once it is woven. Since a textile is basically a two-dimensional surface, tessellations are often used as embellishments. A tessellation is any repeating pattern used to completely cover a surface without any overlap. With this definition in mind, basically all non-random patterns on cloth are tessellations, including polka dots, plaid, tweed, windowpane checks and many more. The intricacies of these tessellations and their overall beauty lend themselves greatly to the look of the textile upon completion, so much so that a garment’s success is greatly dependent upon people’s attraction to its pattern. For this reason, clothing lines are hiring expert pattern designers; artists highly trained in mathematics. Examples include artist and designer Sam Kerr who uses single-element tessellations to create patterns for brands like Paul Smith and Marwood of England. Burton of London is also a very famous retailer that specializes in making intriguing tessellation patterns for many of their designs. Certainly the most famous of all tessellations is the “Houndstooth” tessellation. With its origins in Scotland in the early 1800’s,this pattern became popularized in Vogue in Jan 1934 when the Prince of Wales was photographed wearing the design. Now, “Houndstooth” is seen everywhere from suits to belts to duct tape! ►




The creation of a tessellation is surprisingly simple. A very basic repeatable unit is chosen, such as a square, rhombus, equilateral triangle, or hexagon. This repeatable unit is then modified through the geometric principles of translation, reflection, and rotation. For example, another famous tessellation, “The Reptile,” is created by making a cut on one of the original unit cell’s edges and rotating that figure along an adjacent vertex to another edge. This process is repeated for the remaining sides. Another method to pattern textiles is prints. Prints are also tessellations of sorts, because of the way that most prints are created: through the vertical and horizontal bisection of a repeatable unit (usually a square or rectangle) and then the subsequent translations of these cuts to their final locations. Since the unit can be embellished with illustrations and other designs prior and after these cuts are made, it is a great method to make a complex and intricate design continuous over a two dimensional surface. Mathematics is also vital to the creation of whole garments. Body proportions, angles, ratios, Bezier curves, arcs, and symmetry are all mathematical entities crucial to patternmaking, which is the intermediate step that designers use to translate their 2D sketches to a 3D body. Designers and tailors will either chose to create an entirely new pattern or take one off of another article and modify that pattern. However, patternmaking is a very labor-intensive and highly complex process, and is generally outsourced nowadays to specialized pattern-making companies. Mathematics is as integral to the creation of a garment as the designer’s creative vision. And as fashion technology becomes more sophisticated, we are certain to see mathematical processes play an even more significant role in design. In short, math and fashion are more integrated than people expect and are increasingly becoming more so. ■




rowing up, I was always been passionate about fashion and using it as a tool to express my own personality. I was also, coincidentally, a plus size girl, which meant that finding the perfect outfit was a bit more difficult for me. My style was often dictated not by what I wanted to wear, but by what I could find that would actually fit my above-average waist size. That meant a lot of ill-fitting pants and dowdy tops that somehow made my DDD breasts look flat. But 5 years ago, something really incredible happened. While surfing the Internet late one night, I happened upon a blog then called “Big Girl in a Skinny World”. It was written by a blogger named Gabi Gregg, who would go on to pen a column of the same name for Marie Claire. I immediately took note of all the places she shopped, and began to look into other bloggers that she mentioned in her posts. Almost overnight, I became exposed to an incredibly diverse and well-populated world of plus size fashion, which included models, designers, retailers and the bloggers that originally had attracted me. Since then, the plus size fashion industry has only continued to expand. Over the past 10 years, plus size fashion has grown from an unheralded niche dominated by dowdy, matronly garments into one filled with the modern styles demanded by today’s woman. With this industry now worth around $18 billion, it’s easy to see why retailers are finally starting to pay attention to the 67% of American women who identify as plus size (or over a size 14). These diverse women


are looking for fashions and styles just as diverse as they are, and as a result, the market is slowly beginning to reflect their wishes. Some of the greatest waves in the plus size industry have come from models and bloggers who are in the public eye, and are taking advantage of every opportunity presented to them. Gabi Gregg has since moved on from writing for Marie Claire to writing for InStyle, and is now known for her edgy, urban style. She has been credited with coining the term “fatkini”, or fat bikini, and has since had a successful collection of bikinis and one-pieces with the company, Swimsuits for All, in addition to collaborating with other brands such as Dove and Forever21+. Her blog name has since changed from Big Girl in a Skinny World to Gabi Fresh, and she remains one of the premier fashion consultants in the industry. Nicolette Mason, another well-known plus size blogger who originally took over the “Big Girl in a Skinny World” column from Gabi, has also become a voice for curvy women worldwide, as well as an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ+ rights. She has designed her own capsule collection with Modcloth, and has contributed to dozens of publications including Vogue Italia and Refinery29. Gabi and Nicolette alone have been featured in over 20 nationwide television broadcasts. As far as plus size models go, women like Candice Huffine, Ashley Graham, and Tess Holliday have all become synonymous with high-fashion beauty and boundary-pushing features. Candice Huffine ►

Writer: Brianna Seidel, Copy Editor: Michael Bettati, Stylist: Ixchel Hernandez, Photographer: Sissy Martin, Model: Alayna Enos, Caitlin Topham, Bonnie McEnnis, HMUA: Shelby Hayes, Layout: Marilyn Arteaga

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famously appeared on the all plus size model cover of Vogue Italia in June 2011, and has since modeled for Sophie Theallet, Lane Bryant, and ASOS Curve, among others. Ashley Graham is another world-famous model who first appeared in her own 3-page spread in Vogue’s 2008 Shape Issue. She famously starred in the Lane Bryant lingerie ad that was outlawed on television for being “too racy” and has modeled for companies ranging from Levi’s to Macy’s. In November 2013, she launched her own line of lingerie with the Canadian brand Addition Elle and has produced a soldout collection every year since. Tess Holliday became a household name this year when she became the first size-22 model to be signed to a major modeling agency. Among other things, she has appeared in her own cover spread for People Magazine, has modeled for Torrid and is a vocal supporter of the #bodypositivity movement. Of course, all of these trendsetters would be significantly less successful without the retail outlets that supply their wardrobes. While Lane Bryant has been a strong company for over a century, new plus size-specific brands like Torrid and SimplyBe have also cropped up over the last 15 years. Even more prolific are straight-size brands that have branched into the plus size market, with varying degrees of success. While brands like Eloquii, the plus-size extension of The Limited, and Curve, ASOS’s plus line, have hit a high note with consumers, some brands, such as Ava & Viv by Target are still in their early stages. High-end designers like Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Ralph Lauren have also found success by extending their lines into the 14-24 range. Rachel Pally’s line, White Label, was even one of the top overall sellers at Nordstrom in 2009. Plus-size specific designers have also found great success, due to their firsthand knowledge of how it feels to be a plus size woman shopping for clothing. Luxury clothing designer Anna Scholz started as a model in the 1980’s

before establishing her own line in 1996. Her line has since become one of the world’s premiere plus-size labels, catering to a high-end clientele of all ages. Another plus size designer, Monif C, has become famous for her edgy swimsuits and convertible dresses that appeal to women wanting to show off and celebrate their curves. Marina Rinaldi, a branch of the Italian brand, Max Mara, also continues to be a highly lucrative fashion house specializing in modern ready-to-wear fashions for the professional plus size woman. As a young girl growing up in clothes that never really felt like my they fit my style, I can’t even begin to express my excitement about the advancements in the plus size industry. I never could have imagined the selection of clothing now available, or the incredible role models that I have to look up to. However, there are still so many challenges to overcome. Often, plus size women feel disrespected and mistreated by companies that are more than happy to shove them to the back of the store and force them to shop in cramped and disorganized sections. In addition, many brands that do cater to larger sizes only extend the measurements of their straight-size clothing, creating issues with poor fit, and designs that are made for completely different body types. Furthermore, many designers wanting to break into the plus size market often have difficulty finding companies willing to invest in their products and give them the space needed on shelves. However, plus size women are beginning to stand up and demand more from the brands to which they give their money. No longer is it okay for 42-year-olds and 16-year-olds to shop from the same bland selection, and no longer will we be accept brands treating us as second-class buyers. While there are many more strides to make, the industry, and culture itself, is rapidly changing. I personally can’t wait to see where it goes next. ■




Stylist: Victoria Bass, Photographer: Anna Wang, Model: Alana Hernandez, HMUA: Ashely Bedford, Layout: Laura Hallas

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Writer: Kaylee Sims, Copy Editor: Sunny Kim, Stylist: Rachel Spross, Photographer: Kristin Evans, Model: Hillary Henrici, HMUA: Melinda Taylor, Layout: Kimberly Hafner

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neakers are like modern society: they’re fast-paced, dynamic, and bold. It is impossible to go a day without seeing a pair of these shoes whether they’re rocked by the person next to you on the street, the basketball player on television, or in your favorite rapper’s most recent post on Instagram. What we don’t see is the extensive journey this shoe has taken to become the ubiquitous wardrobe staple it is today. Sneakers stepped on to the scene in the early 1920’s with the timeless Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Prior to white high-top Converse becoming an essential in every sorority girl’s closet, the shoe was originally worn by professional basketball players. By employing basketball star Chuck Taylor as a designer and spokesperson, Converse revolutionized fashion marketing. Prior to Taylor’s collaboration with Converse, no celebrity had ever endorsed a shoe. After the undisputed success of the Chuck Taylor All-Stars, many companies adopted this approach. Converse dominated the basketball shoe industry until the 1970’s, with the emergence of competing shoe companies that offered contemporary designs. The decline of All-Stars’ dominance of the basketball shoe market could also be attributed to the sneaker’s changing image. Rock stars such as The Sex Pistols and George Harrison of The Beatles began to wear these shoes for aesthetic purposes, causing Converse to become the symbols of youth culture they are today. The 1985 debut of Michael Jordan’s Air Jordan 1 arguably made sneaker culture the phenomenon it is today. Initially Jordan was hesitant to sign with Nike because, at the time, they were not as popular as competing companies such as Adidas. However, Nike managed to seal the deal by making it clear they were willing to


make Jordan more than just a spokesperson. Instead, he was going to be their partner, playing a key role in the design of the shoe. Before the introduction of the Air Jordan, basketball shoes lacked originality and followed a monochromatic color scheme. Michael Jordan sparked a revolution when he began wearing loud red and black (the colors of his team, the Chicago Bulls) Air Jordans on the court. David Stern, the NBA commissioner at the time, attempted to banish Jordan’s outrageous footwear by mandating that all shoes worn during games be mostly white. Jordan defiantly continued to wear his signature shoe, and as a result, faced a hefty fine of $5000 per game from the NBA. Nike agreed to pay the considerable amount in return for the publicity they gained when Jordan rebelliously wore their designs on the court. Their investment paid off as kids across America lined up to purchase their very own Air Jordans. As this fad exploded, sneakers began being sold in varying bright colors and shifted from being seen as a bland article of sportswear to a symbol of individuality. The uniqueness of the Air Jordan can be exemplified through its inability to be categorized exclusively as an athletic shoe, since it was worn both on the court and on the street. Jordan continued to rule the sneaker market by releasing a new Air Jordan every season in order to prevent the shoe from becoming outdated and allow for it to evolve with technology and fashion trends. To the modern shoe consumer the idea of a new design of an already existing shoe may seem obvious, but up until this point it had never been done. The hype surrounding the Air Jordan persisted even after Jordan’s retirement from the NBA. This revolutionary quality of the Air Jordan brand can be attributed to its adaptability and the community of sneaker lovers that emerged after the birth of the Air Jordan 1. The sneaker craze continued to spread►

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in 1986 with Run-D.M.C.’s release of the song “My Adidas.” Today streetwear and hip-hop have become inseparable, but this is only because of the look Run-D.M.C. and their contemporaries introduced to the mainstream. The trio famously sported threestriped jumpsuits adorned with heavy gold chains and white unlaced Adidas sneakers to reflect the style of their hometown of Queens, New York. As a result of the rising popularity of RunD.M.C.’s track, sneakers became associated with hip-hop and, consequently, African-American culture. Young African-American boys bought sneakers in hopes of resembling the members of Run D.M.C, who came from a predominantly Black, impoverished neighborhood and achieved great success. For this reason the three stripes of Adidas sneakers began to symbolize more than a brand: they represented a culture, a dream, and a style of music that would soon take the entire country by a storm. The flourishing sneaker industry was so prevalent by the 90’s (due to the influence of athletes and rappers) that high fashion designers began to not only acknowledge these shoes, but also embrace them. Miuccia Prada debuted the high-end sneaker Prada PS0906, which was originally designed as a yachting shoe, in 1996. The acceptance of sneakers in high fashion officially marked the tran-

sition of the shoe’s identity being founded in aesthetics over athletics. In more recent years the sneaker has continued to be a recurring star of major runway shows. Both Chanel and Dior’s Spring/ Summer 2014 collections included couture sneakers. The debut of a shoe that permits comfort in high fashion strongly contrasted the high-heeled stilettos that customarily dominated the runway. High heels embody the idea of conventional attractiveness by portraying women as having longer legs and smaller waists. The adoption of sneakers as a fashion accessory contradicts this notion by suggesting that style and comfort are not mutually exclusive. Today, there’s a sneaker for every mood, style and occasion. Converse epitomize nostalgia and originality; Air Jordans embody innovation and creativity. But the meaning of these sneakers, and the many that have followed, is not restricted to a single definition. Two seemingly opposite individuals can wear the same shoe in entirely different ways, and yet the existence of sneakers in most closets unifies just about every person, regardless of age, gender or background. And furthermore, the beauty of sneakers can be revealed through the freedom of self-expression they offer to all of us. ■


in motion 50 I SPARK

Stylist: Ariana Garcia, Photographer: Langston Dillard, Models: Kathryn Holbert and Adam Redmer, HMUA: Amanda MacFarlane, Layout: Emily Jarvis, Illustrator: Alayna Enos

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Writer: Christy Agnello, Copy Editor: Alana Hernandez, Stylist: Avery Long, Photographer: Emily Robinson, Model: Cristina Torres, HMUA: Nikki LaSalla, Layout: Sunny Kim, Illustrator: Morgan Mack 56 I SPARK


olor is one of fashion’s longest lasting methods of making a statement. Over time, the use of color in the fashion world has fluctuated from one extreme to another, and with it, so have the rules that govern this usage. Specifically, when it comes to high fashion makeup, the use of big bold colors and neutrals has been a battle and the neutrals that have staked their claim. The cobalts and the fuchsias in the fashion world could be viewed as antitheses to the blacks and the whites, but instead they have developed a relationship that allows both ends of the color spectrum to be respected. What is fashionable is often regarded as what is classic and timeless, like the color black. While that is true, fashion is just as much about being innovative and up-to-date. This can be seen by the growing integration of vibrant color where beauty meets the fashion industry. The color black’s reign over fashion was cemented in the 1920s with Coco Chanel and the iconic Little Black Dress (LBD). Prior to this, black was a color mostly reserved for times of mourning, but the LBD helped transition black to a color representative of sophistication, sleekness, and style. Coco Chanel contributed greatly to the LBD becoming a staple indicative of what it meant to be chic. At the same time, and by the same cause, the color black became revered as both fashion’s most essential color, as well as one capable of making a statement. Black’s ability to remain an ‘it’ color throughout fashion’s vast timeline lies in the color’s ability to be a statement itself, as well as a backdrop that separate fashion statements can be made upon. Whether it be a classic Little Black Dress, a modern black jean, black tshirt and black leather jacket combo, an all black outfit can be the ultimate cool. Black’s constant relevance stems from its capability to visually convey powerful and striking ideals. According to color symbolism, an idea that colors are able to influence and project emotion, black is representative of themes including, but not limited to, power, sophistication, sexuality, style, and mystery. So, when in the mood to be powerful or mysterious, black is the color naturally gravitated toward. While it has the ability to present an emotional statement, black can also fall back, becom-


ing a perfect background for accessories. For example, the LBD became the ideal backdrop for a pearl necklace. From a single strand, like that worn by Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to a multitude of variously sized necklaces as Coco Chanel preferred; the combination is timeless. However, more recently, the pearl necklace as the perfect counterpart to the LBD was replaced with a bold red lip, and just as the fashion world saw the cementation of the color black as an unwavering norm, it also began to see the injection of color through use of makeup. Looking back on time, high fashion makeup was consistently simplistic. From fashion’s first notable influences in 1892, with the publication of the first issue of American Vogue, and throughout the 1950s, makeup has been relatively basic. The focus, in both high fashion and everyday makeup looks, was placed on beauty and, to a certain extent, naturalness. Eyebrows were neatly kept, usually skinny and dark, and eyeshadow and blush usage was minimal. The most dangerous part of a makeup look was the shade of red chosen for lips. In the 1950s, make up’s purpose was still to enhance natural features rather than make a statement on its own. But makeup was about to become so much more, an art form that would be appreciated separate from the clothing worn alongside it. In the 1960s, Pop Art, and the movement’s famous visionary, Andy Warhol, incorporated new color and shapes into the fashion industry’s use of makeup. When thinking of Andy, the first images that come to mind are the Marilyn Diptych and Campbell’s Soup Cans, two iconic works of art vibrating with color. In the Marilyn Diptych, Warhol took a picture of fashion and film icon, Marilyn Monroe, and distorted its colors, replacing her eye makeup with what was then considered to be unconventional shades like teal, fuchsia, and a vibrant violet. As often is the case, pop culture and art mingled with fashion, and high fashion makeup began to see a surge of color similar to what Warhol created with Marilyn. In the 60s, the eyelashes were huge, eyeliner created designs in unconventional places, like the popular cat eye or the crease lining, and eyeshadow was white and blue and even embellished with jewels and other unconventional mediums. ►

Make up also became about shapes. One of, if not the most iconic and recognizable models of the 60s, Twiggy, can be recognized by her signature eyelashes, spreading out and surrounding her eyes like petals on a flower. Famous for big hair and big makeup, the 60s were a time of experimentation, and whimsy, both executed through art and through high fashion makeup. Although beauty in the 70s was more minimalistic compared to its decadal predecessor, the 80s was one of fashion’s most colorful and visually alive decades. 70s makeup revisited the simplicity concept, favoring soft and subdued colors and an emphasis on classic beauty. Makeup in the 80s, however, amplified colors in new ways. This decade treated high fashion makeup almost like war paint. Lipstick was not restricted to one color, hot pink and electric blue eyeshadow was encouraged and no longer limited to use only on the eyes. Color was being used in mass quantities and high concentrations. It was functioning as more of a statement then it ever had before, because as social movements developed they carried these trends from the underground to the fashion mainstream.

As a continuation of the abstract color groundwork laid by the 80s, current high fashion makeup contrasts the pale beauty looks of the 90s with its innovative and inventive runway makeup. Today’s high fashion makeup looks are a compilation of all these past decades, whether they included bold colors or not. Today’s makeup looks are often simple and inventive, using a single bold color in a striking way, effortlessly blending the worlds of the classic and the innovative. If a look is to be minimal, it will be done with bold colors, like the bright white lines in Nanette Lepore’s FW15 looks, or the hot orange eye underscores showcased in Peter Som’s FW15 looks. Today’s runways also resume the movement of color usage in imaginative places, as exhibited by the colored eyebrows trend. The growing focus on eyebrows has lead them to be used as canvases for color, whether that be with pastel colors as used by Badgley Mischka for the SS15 collection, or exaggerated and adorned with glitter like Chromat’s FW15 looks. The makeup looks found on today’s high fashion runways demonstrate how the use of color is constantly evolving, from less is more, to more is more, to vibrant is more, and how our present trends are a compilation of our past.

The early 80s witnessed the emergence of the New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids, a cultural movement based in Europe. The Blitz Kids popularized the idea of makeup being used by men, much like what you would see on singer Boy George of Culture Club, or David Bowie. The 80s also saw the rise of what could be considered one of the most unique and fascinating uses of makeup in modern history, the Club Kid movement. An exaggerated version of the New Romantics, the Club Kid movement emerged in the late 80s in efforts to rejuvenate New York City nightlife after the death of Andy Warhol. The club kid movement saw the use of makeup in grandiose and avantgarde ways, men and women alike coloring themselves energetic hues, using makeup to turn themselves into abstract creatures and bright works of art. As these two subcultural movements rose and caught mainstream attention in the 80s, their innovative use of makeup and color was mimicked in the fashion industry, taking the “color movement” up a notch.

The use of color lives on a continuum, constantly going back and forth between what is fashionable or even acceptable. Along this continuum, high fashion makeup fluctuates between a focus on timelessness and a focus on creativeness. So, how can we fix this issue of fluctuation and what does its remedy mean going forward? The answer is simple; there is no issue to be resolved. We will always have elements of timelessness, as exhibited with the color black’s long term reign, and we will always have ingenuity as we continue to use makeup in inspired ways. In truth, the fashion world’s variation between the use of color maintains freshness of trends, and exhibits how something timeless (e.g. the color black) can be used as a canvas for expression in other, more original ways (e.g. makeup). Although there may be everlasting fashion norms, there are always ways to challenge said norms, ways that display originality as both accepted and encouraged, but also continue to respect fashion’s tried-and-true traditions. ■


out from the


Writer: Lauren Hodges, Copy Editor: Katherine Kykta, Stylist: Tony Redmer, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Rachel Real, HMUA: Whitney Chen, Layout: Hillary Henrici


e live in an age in which politicians are too squeamish to use the word “vagina,” abstinence-only sex education is still the norm in many parts of the country, and photos of women’s nipples are censored on Instagram. But at the same time, “sex-positive” has become a buzzword, realistic depictions of female sexuality are appearing in movies and television shows, and the first libido-boosting medication for women has penetrated the market (pun intended). The social conversation around women’s sexuality is shifting- slowly at times; seemingly overnight at others- and becoming more mainstream, more inclusive, and more radical than ever before. Women’s sexuality in America has always existed beneath the shadows. In their paper “Cultural Suppression of Female Sexuality,” psychologists Roy F. Baumeister and Jean M. Twenge assert that “the suppression of female sexuality can be regarded as one of the most remarkable psychological interventions in Western cultural history.” For centuries, women were raised to believe that sex is unpleasant, immoral, and potentially life-ruining- that is, if they were offered any sexual education at all. But in the 1960’s and 70’s, with the advent of the sexual revolution, women began to stand up to the suppression of their wants and needs. Fastforward a half-century and we now have scientific evidence that women’s sex drives are no weaker than men’s, vibrators in every size and color, and widespread, vocal promotion of sex-positive attitudes. The term “sex-positive” essentially describes the idea that sex between enthusiastically consenting adults should be both enjoyed

and considered a component of an individual’s physical, mental and emotional well-being. Sex-positivity is concerned with providing alternatives to repressive views while promoting unbiased sex education and fighting for inclusivity. Of course, there is plenty of controversy surrounding sex-positivity and many who argue that these ideals can actually be harmful to women. But in order to understand where the social conversations around women’s sexuality are going, it’s helpful to start with sex-positive thought and practice- and sex-positive spaces. The Sexology Institute and Boutique, located in San Antonio, is the brainchild of Dr. Melissa Jones, a sexologist concerned by the complaints of women she met within her Christian faith- women who had never orgasmed, dreaded sex, or felt emotionally disconnected from their partners. Driven by sex-positive values, Dr. Jones and Institute Director Diana Jimenez founded Sexology to offer women (of all ages, belief systems, and sexual orientations) a safe space to purchase products and learn how to build a more fulfilling sex life. To Dr. Jones and Ms. Jimenez, sex-positivity is the ability to “feel sexy” in one’s own skin, free of judgement. For this reason, Sexology’s goal is to empower women- while “getting the message out there that sex isn’t scary.” To Dr. Jones, empowerment comes from education. That’s why she’s all about both providing the women she serves with accurate information and, accordingly, listening carefully to their wants and needs without any air of judgement. I saw this in action by attending one of Sexology’s many classes (which are open to all genders and sexual orientations) and observing how Dr. Jones put her audience at ease with her informal- yet informative- manner. Participants were comfortable asking personal questions and practicing ►


their newly-learned tongue techniques on rubber penises (“Don’t worry- we wash them!” Dr. Jones joked as her students filed in). In this welcoming, women-centric space, sexuality is celebrated and discussed, fully out of the shadows. When asked if they’re noticing a shift in attitudes about women’s sexuality outside of the safe space of the Institute, both Dr. Jones and Ms. Jimenez agree that American culture is “making a dent.” Ms. Jimenez believes that we can attribute the thrusting of women’s sexuality into the mainstream in part to social media. More specifically, she believes that the attention social media has brought to “the dark side of sexuality”- like abuse, slut-shaming and campus rape- has inspired a women-led pushback against the factors that have created these problems, including miseducation about and warped social norms regarding women’s sexuality. Ms. Jimenez tells me a story about an aunt who instructed her, at the age of 16, to never let a “pirate” steal her “treasure.” It’s no wonder that this all-too-common view of female sex as a commodity has created the “dark side of sexuality” which women (and male allies) are rebelling against today. But these subversions to the prevailing views of women’s sexuality are not only about banishing the harmful effects of centuries in the shadows. They’re also about showing women how sex can have a positive impact on other parts of their lives. Dr. Jones and Ms. Jimenez love to remind their clients that a healthy sex life strengthens emotional bonds between partners and that orgasming on the regular can aid sleep, relieve stress, and improve body image. Additionally, Dr. Jones and Ms. Jimenez believe that learning to express sexual desires can make women more comfortable with

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being assertive outside of the bedroom. After all, empowerment is about more than just having good sex- it’s about knowing your worth and feeling confident enough to express that to the world. Both Dr. Jones and Ms. Jimenez are mothers, and both can see the changing attitudes towards empowerment and sexuality between the generations of women in their families. As these attitudes change over time, so do the ways in which they are reflected in our cultural institutions- like the fashion industry. Women’s fashion and women’s sexuality are an inseparable cultural pair- and always have been. With “looser” sexuality came looser, shorter dresses in the 1920’s; as women moved into the workplace in the 1980’s they were expected to downplay their femininity with broad-shouldered blazers. So where does the complex relationship between sexuality and clothing stand today? On one hand, the way that women’s sexuality is depicted on the runway and in glossy advertisements is still less than realistic. For example, the version of sexuality sold by perfectly-proportioned models at the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, one of the industry’s biggest events, is more of a spectacle filtered through the lens of men’s desires than a legitimate expression of women’s wants. But on the other hand, a growing wave of women are taking control of their sexuality through fashion. Blogs like The Man Repeller have turned the idea of dressing for men into a joke, #FreeTheNipple is fighting for the rights of women to go shirtless without being censored, and high schoolers across the country are fighting back against their schools’ sexist dress codes. But the marriage of women’s sexuality and our wardrobes doesn’t end ►

with runway shows and hashtag activism- in fact, every woman has grappled with the sexual connotations of fashion while simply picking out the day’s outfit. Mary*, 20, admits that because she lives in a city and often finds herself walking or taking public transit alone, she feels that she has to “be a bit cautious expressing sexuality through fashion” in order to avoid unwanted harassment. The feeling of being catcalled while wearing a short skirt is something all women know too well. And when we still ask what a rape victim was wearing at the time of her attack, it’s clear that women’s wardrobes are under strict sexual scrutiny in the eyes of our society. This scrutiny is institutionalized by dress codes in schools and workplaces, which imply (or flat-out assert) that women’s exposed shoulders and kneecaps are “distractions” for their male counterparts. Caitlyn*, 22, perfectly sums up her frustration with her office’s rigid dress code: “I am under pressure to look attractive and simultaneously appear as if I would never have sex with anyone ever.” Perhaps fashion is the latest frontier for women looking to take control of their sexuality. Kara*, 21, believes that more open attitudes towards sexuality are being reflected in our sartorial standards: “as fashion continues to push the envelope, people become desensitized to what may have once been considered ‘slutty’ or ‘inappropriate’ and [feel] free to draw their own lines.” Ella*, 20, has learned that for our generation, confidence in clothing is far more important than the clothing itself. She rocks her favorite outfits without feeling any insecurity about how potential partners may perceive her- because, in her words, “why should what I wear determine how much sex I can have, or rather, the quality of that sex?” I doubt that we’ll stop sexualizing (and concurrently policing) women’s wardrobe choices anytime soon, and the industry itself may never cease to rely on sex appeal to move products through stores. But fashion is becoming more democratic than ever- and more open to alternative perspectives and means of expression. For this reason,we will continue to see fashion evolve to match modern ideas about gender, sexuality, and women’s bodies. This evolution- both within and outside of the fashion world- will be led by the women of our generation. So what are these women thinking about the cultural shifts in how we look at women’s sexuality? How are these shifts affecting our lives, in and out of the bedroom? To find out, I asked a group of college-aged women to share their stories and perspectives regarding sexuality. Kara struggled with the views imposed by her conservative private school, describing herself as “unknowledgeable about basic sex education and with unrealistic sexual boundaries” when she began having sex in high school. It took experiencing the more “liberal environment” of her university for Kara to “define sex in [her] own way.” Mary experienced a different kind of shift when she came to college. After attending a tiny high school with almost all female classmates, she felt “pressured” by the sexual and sartorial standards of other women in regards to interacting with men - from unspoken “going out” dress codes to slut-shaming

comments. It took time and experience for Mary to “[find] a happy middle ground of still dressing for [herself], but also expressing [her] sexuality at the same time.” In regards to fashion, the women I spoke with agree that they’re fed up with the unrealistic sartorial expectations they face. Ella remembers feeling pressured to wear “what [boys] liked to see on girls” in high school, even though her personal style was much different. Nina*, 19, notes that these fashion-related rules mean that women will always be judged based on appearance more than men- but unfortunately, this judgement is so deep-rooted that it often comes from fellow women. And Mary concludes that in spite of the “serious strides” we’ve made, “ women still face serious backlash when expressing their sexuality through fashion.” Part of the changing conversation around women’s sexuality is a newfound ease in, well, having conversations. Caitlyn notes that she feels “much more comfortable” now than in the past expressing that she has and enjoys sex. She feels that the ability to have these conversations with other women is “freeing and empowering.” Ella agrees, telling me that she is “super confident with [her] sex life and very open when talking about it” and believes that “women need to start making [sex] less taboo to talk about [because] it’s literally the foundation of life.” Nina echoes Dr. Jones and Ms. Jimenez, saying “The less you talk about sex, especially to younger people, the less they know- and that will come back to hurt them.” As for me- well, I really like talking about sex. I’m turned on by the subject of female sexuality (pun most definitely intended) for a number of reasons, one being the fact that I grew up in a not-so-sex-positive environment and am still trying to undo these teachings long after I stopped labeling sex as sinful. I’m also invested in this subject because, like every other woman I know, I’ve felt insecure about, judged based on, objectified because of and deeply empowered by my sexuality- sometimes all within the same day. And in spite of the unapologetically feminist, sex-positive lens through which I look at my life and my body, I don’t always feel completely in control when getting dressed (or undressed). But I’m working on it- and as I grow to understand myself and my sexuality, I know that I’ll be adding my voice to the chorus of women looking to change the conversation. We’re slowly crawling- no, strutting- out from beneath the shadows to answer the classic Carrie Bradshaw question of “can women have sex like men?” with a resounding “why the hell not?”. Or, better yet, we’re establishing our own definitions of sexuality outside of the existing frameworks with plenty of room for fluidity, conversation and inclusion. We’re experiencing this new sexuality in our politics, our art, and even in our wardrobes. Although the fashion industry as a whole may not consistently reflect this shift now, it is changing just as we are. For the first time in American history women’s sexuality is something to be discussed rather than hidden, researched rather than ignored, and celebrated rather than feared. And if you ask me, that’s pretty sexy. ■


Russia Rising

Writer: Avery Long, Copy Editor: Kristina Nguyen Stylist: Victoria Bass, Photographer: Anna Wang, Model: Alana Hernandez HMUA: Ashely Bedford, Layout: Laura Hallas


hen one ponders the fashion industry of Russia as a whole, a plethora of its varying contributions to the world may come to mind. For some people, noteworthy natives to the country such as supermodels Irina Shayk, Natalia Vodianova and Natasha Poly may be initially envisioned. For others, images of posh fur winter coats and accessories may be the first thoughts evoked upon the consideration of this subject. Regardless of the nature of its contributions, Russia’s fashion industry is undeniably an institution marked by prestige, dedication and ambition. In the primitive days of Russia’s fashion industry, Russian textiles were primarily produced within the home. Although the process behind the production was widely considered to be tedious and time consuming, most of the garments worn by Russian men and women during the era were made of homespun flax. First, the flax was to be broken apart and made soft immediately after harvesting. The fibers were then to undergo the most labor intensive aspect of production—hand-spinning. It was said of this task that it took an entire day for even the most skillful of spinners to produce enough flax thread to weave just nine inches of a standard linen towel. Despite the fatigue induced by such painstaking labor, Russian flax fiber was used by most French and English linen factories by the 18th century. An occupation dominated by women, girls as young as five or six began producing garments by spinning. The young girls were taught primarily by elders to spin, weave and create patterns of embroidery. In order to provide future generations with a tangible guide to embroidery, embroidered ends of tattered bed skirts and towels were often sewn together and preserved. Northern Russia’s embroidered work is characterized primarily by its solely crimson color scheme, abundance of geometric shapes and frequent references to equestrian culture. While the color red stood as a symbol of beauty during the era, other recurring ideas within the embroidered ►


works served as representations of the social environment in which they were created. In the same way Northern Russia used their embroidery to depict the contents of their lives through an extremely tangible medium, Central Russia accomplishes this visual representation by allowing birds, plants and other elements of nature to pervade their work. On the other hand, while artisans living in Northern Russia utilized a singular color palette within their work, Central Russia-based embroiderers used a variety of colors and patterns when making their embroidered pieces. Ultimately, regardless of the varying aspects of the regions’ work, Russian embroidery played an integral role in the lives of those it was created for while simultaneously paving the way for future Russian artisans and clothing designers alike. Fast-forward to the 1990s. In the same way early Russian consumers appreciated the elaborate work of textile makers and embroiderers, a new generation of affluent Russians generated by the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 found great interest in the market of luxury goods. The wealthy Russian population soon realized that through the purchasing of extravagant items and subsequent flaunting of high-end brands, they could establish themselves as sophisticated and somewhat superior to the middle class. Despite the glossy aspects of this opulent lifestyle, it was a shortlived manner of living nonetheless. While the first decade of the 21st century was characterized by copious spending and consumption within the Russian economy, 2010 marked a transition in the average shopper’s spending rituals. Since then, the modern Russian spender has gradually become more frugal and financially responsible, consequently expanding market potential beyond high-end, luxury brands and giving way to a new era of affordability in fashion. Detrimental fiscal occurrences such as global financial crises, in conjunction with the decline in oil prices, have been instrumental in the shrinking domestic economy and resulting alterations in consumer spending. According to, a website dedicated to connecting fashion brands and buyers to their appropriate business to business target markets, “Russia’s economy suffered its worst contraction in fifteen years in 2009, with the gross domestic product (GDP) declining by 7.9 % and the predicted growth of only 3.5 % in 2010.


Bloomberg calculated that the 25 richest Russians lost a combined $230 billion in 2008, and stated there are now only 27 billionaires left in Moscow, compared to 74 before “the crisis” took place”. Despite these unfortunate economic circumstances, the effects of these occurrences are not entirely damaging. In fact, Vladimir Gridin, fashion editor of a network that is the Russian frontrunner of shopping-guide publications, stated that the financial situation is “the greatest chance for medium-priced and mass-appeal brands; they will be absolute winners if it comes to retailing opportunities”. This idea is best embodied by the rise in popularity of affordable retailers like Zara and H&M among Russian consumers. Inditex, the fashion retail group that owns Zara among 7 other brands, described in its September 2015 quarterly report a net income of €1.17 billion (approximately $1.31 billion), 26% higher than the prior year. Also giving rise to these types of low-cost yet fashion forward retailers is the age of the fashion blogger. With millions of followers constantly viewing their content on social media platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr, bloggers have an unprecedented amount of influence over the popularization of brands and retailers. For example, Danielle Bernstein, the style savvy powerhouse behind the popular fashion blog, frequently features Zara garments in her posts and has even referred to the brand as a “high-street favorite of [hers]”. With a whopping 1.2 million followers on her Instagram, @weworewhat, Bernstein, like many of her fellow fashion bloggers, has indubitably played a key role in changing the way the general public views non-luxury retailers. Despite the Russian fashion industry’s transition from supporting an upscale, grandiose market to a more budget friendly and economical one, the desire for exceptional products has hardly been forsaken. Instead, Russian consumers are now combining the careful frugality of today’s economic climate with their historical pursuit of quality goods provided by the industry. In all, the fashion industry of Russia stands as a superb example of uniting established ideals with modern acuity. ■




Writer: Becky Phung, Copy Editor: Lauren Tran, Stylist: Channing Baker, Photographer: Jill Picou, Models: Lindsey Clanton, Rachel Lawson, HMUA: Elizabeth Pool, Layout: Vipasha Bansal


ou’re walking through the sunny streets of Austin. From the corner of your eye, you see your grandmother’s multicolored crocheted cardigan, a slouchy denim button-down cut and sewn together from a time when things were just a little bit simpler, and an old band tee that is just the right amount of distressed. Fashion has always recycled styles from past decades, and thrift stores help perpetuate these trends through hip, vintage clothing set at low prices. However, while the multiple racks of lightly-worn clothing one can find in the local Goodwill or Salvation Army might appear to stretch for miles to the backs of these massive stores, the majority of the clothes received by these charitable organizations do not actually end up on the rack. Instead, they are resold to textile recycling merchants, who then re-sort, grade, and export the clothes to other countries with larger markets for used clothing. There is a simple explanation for this global exchange—the demand for secondhand clothing in more-developed countries, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, is just not significant enough for charities to make a profit from domestically reselling donated clothes. In February 2015, Dr. Andrew Brooks, lecturer in Development Geography at King’s College London, released Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes. In the book, he writes that only around 10-30% of donated clothing in the UK (the figures are similar in the US and Canada) end up in thrift stores. For the

clothes that do not end up in thrift stores, there are three possible outcomes: they are sent to landfills because they are too worn to be recycled or resold, they are sent to be recycled and repurposed into a new product, or they are exported as secondhand clothing to other areas, such as Eastern Europe and Africa. However, donating clothes rather trashing them still yields many benefits for the environment. One trade association, Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles (SMART) states that only 5% of clothes sent to their textile recyclers are deemed unusable, whereas the rest is promptly recycled into products such as wiping and polishing cloths and fibers for upholstery, insulation, and furniture stuffing. In landfills, textiles decompose and release methane. Plus, harmful chemicals and dyes in the textiles can contaminate surface and groundwater. In developing countries, the importation of secondhand clothing creates an entirely new sector in the textiles industry. Secondhand clothing can create an opportunity for those disenfranchised by poverty in these areas to make a living by reselling the used clothing. At first glance, this situation appears to be a straightforward equivalent exchange: nonprofits can fund charitable projects and reduce textiles waste by way of reselling donated clothes they cannot sell domestically to other countries that can then benefit from quality clothing at a low cost. However, this situation is not so clear-cut. ►


In a 2012 article published in Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, the author, Dr. Andrew Brooks, relates his findings from a case study done on secondhand clothing vendors in Maputo, Mozambique. Brooks found that selling secondhand clothing did provide vendors with a somewhat viable livelihood to support themselves and their families, but several complications within their market prevented them from accumulating more. Clothing from bales they purchased from traders were often of variable quality, meaning that opening a bale of clothing to sell was like playing the lottery because vendors were never sure of the quality of clothes they would find in the bale. The style of the clothes also sometimes did not match local Mozambican needs because of the difference in Mozambican and Western fashion . Moreover, the existence of a large secondhand clothing industry has created a highly competitive atmosphere within the alreadyestablished textile industry in developing countries. Sub-Saharan African countries are hit the hardest by the competition as, according to an Oxfam report, secondhand clothes comprise more than 50% of the textiles industry. Due to the decline of domestic textile production, a few African countries, most notably South Africa and Nigeria, have banned secondhand clothes from entering the country altogether in an effort to protect their own textile industries. However, the increase in smuggling that inevitably occurs post-ban and the importation of cheap clothing from China


negate the effects of what these bans are intended to accomplish. In some parts of the developing world, secondhand clothing is gradually encroaching and replacing local textiles businesses. In the long run, what clothing donation and exportation achieves through lessening environmental impact and providing funding for charitable products might be canceled out by its particularly damaging role in preventing the growth of textiles industries in developing countries. Jodie Keane and Dirk Willem te Velde state in The Role of Textile and Clothing Industries in Growth and Development Strategies that textiles and clothing industries contribute a significant portion to GDP in many less-developed countries (for example, 12% in Cambodia) and can employ significant numbers of people- as another example, 75% of the population of Bangladesh is employed by that country’s textiles industry. There are obvious benefits and drawbacks to the current system of secondhand clothing exchange from developed countries to developing countries, but a solution cannot simply be found by seeing if the benefits outweigh the costs. In an era when globalization is becoming increasingly prevalent in our world, another person’s problem in a far-off country is no longer solely their own. Likewise, the growing environmental footprint that people are leaving on Earth cannot be ignored- and that means thinking long and hard about where our old clothing goes. â–

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Writer: Natasha Sabour, Copy Writer: Meghana Chappidi, Stylist: Alfonso Estrada, Photographer: Jordan Butler, Model: Greenley LittleJohn, HMUA: Ashley Bedford, Layout: Jackie Ramirez

Lady Noir Where Film Meets Fashion: the Legacy of Edith Head


nyone who watches the red carpet arrivals at the Academy Awards and salivates over the stunning designer gowns that float across the screen can testify to the presence of a dialogue between film and fashion. Designers have contributed their skills to the wardrobe departments on movie sets dating as far back to the partnership between Hubert de Givenchy and Audrey Hepburn to recent collaborations such as the one that took place between Miuccia Prada and Catherine Martin for the 2014 adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Therefore it is safe to say that the relationship between clothing design and costume design has always been a strong one. Nothing exemplifies this close bond better than the career of legendary costume designer Edith Head. The most celebrated and prolific designer in the history of film, Head was responsible for not only creating timeless designs projected on the silver screen but for also leaving a mark on the fashion world. Her designs for cultural artifacts like To Catch a Thief and Roman Holiday will go down in history, but what is truly fascinating is that her work on films like Notorious and Double Indemnity still resonate with current fashion designers. Hitchcock may be dead and film noir a thing of the past, but Edith Head is immortalized because of her trailblazing designs that serve as inspiration for today’s designers. To better understand how Edith Head became the film and style icon she is known as today, it is crucial to traverse down memory lane to when she was just Edith- the girl studying art and French at UC Berkeley. ► SPARK I 91

After college, in 1924, she applied for a position with Paramount Studios in the costume department, and at age 26 she became a costume sketch artist. It was not until her first project with Mae West that her career took off. Her future work with West even influenced design titan and couturier Elsa Schiaparelli. During the course of 58 years, Head designed for over 1,100 films and worked with such screen legends as Grace Kelly, Marlene Dietrich, Bette Davis, and Elizabeth Taylor. Her most famous achievement is the number of Academy Award nominations and subsequent wins she has racked up over the years. With the invention of the costume design category in 1948 she has since received 35 nominations and 8 wins, which puts her at a record holding spot for most Oscar wins by any female. While the accolades are impressive and are a testament to her prowess as a costumer, her designs speak for themselves. It is true that the romantic gowns featured in To Catch a Thief induce a combination of awe and tears (due to their sheer radiance), but her work in the genres of thrillers and film noir pictures make her relevant in a current fashion context. Film noir was an aesthetic and style of filmmaking used in crime dramas of the early 1940s to the late 1950s. To compliment the


darker and mysterious tone surrounding these narratives, filmmakers adopted formal qualities that highlighted this shift in subject matter. The extreme contrast between light and shadow in these films’ cinematography is the quintessential marker of the aforementioned production techniques. A key piece equally important in relaying the story, however, is the costumes. Head’s close attention to character and story led her to craft unforgettable costumes for a noir staple: Double Indemnity. The clothes that Barbara Stanwyck wore to inhabit the role of Phyllis Dietrichson helped cultivate a strong, female villain that aided in making the film the classic that it is. The silk jumpsuit Stanwyck wears during the culmination of the film is the epitome of sleek, feminine strength with a hint of masculinity. No one else had ever designed clothes like that for the screen. It was truly groundbreaking. Not only was the creation of the femme fatale role new to the film scene, the clothes the character wore were novel too. It was this kind of forward thinking and creativity that made her designs so significant. Her work in Notorious (1946) is also of equal note. In a party scene that called for semi-formal attire, Head dressed Ingrid Bergman in a crop top. A crop top. In 1946. It worked ►


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within the landscape of the film because the character Bergman portrayed was another strong-willed, independent woman on a mission. Later in the film she is seen wearing a skirt and suit jacket accented by a tie and a fedora. Clearly, two accessories belonging to men’s fashion, they proved sensible allies in Edith Head’s design. Using a hint of masculinity with the accessories but pairing it with a fitted skirt and jacket helped send a very clear message that Bergman’s character, Alicia, was a woman to be reckoned with. She could be seductive and commanding. Even though these designs made their appearances a little after the close of World War II, their effect can be felt almost seven decades later. The resurgence of crop tops in the collections of today’s designers is proof of this alone. Just recently, Christian Dior’s Spring 2016 ready-to- wear collection featured not just one but a whopping 18 designs that employed crop tops as part of the ensemble. Skirt suits have always been a staple in designer collections and further reinforce Head’s long-lasting impact. These revivals are evidence of designs being catered to what is deemed the

modern woman. The modern woman is someone that can stand on her own two feet and strives to be an equal player in a game ruled by men. The clothes she wears serve as a tool (similar to the way costumes served actors in shaping characters) to express aspects of femininity, strength, and allure. Edith Head’s designs for film made her a beacon of taste for personal style. She provided advice on what to wear and how to wear it. If it carried the Edith Head stamp of approval, that article of clothing or that new trend was deemed stylish. But she was more than just a costume designer or ‘approver of trends’. Her work empowered women. She was one of the only few women in an occupation predominantly held by men, and yet she was still able to leave her mark. She created pieces for unforgettably strong heroines and it is no wonder that the woman is accredited for saying, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it”. Her work not only influenced the designers of yester-year but still serve as inspiration for today’s fashion climate, making her a relevant figure in the discourse between film and fashion. ■


Writer: Felicia Rodriguez, Copy Editor: Madi Donham, Stylist: Veronica Lozano, Photographer: Nathalie Elwood, Models: Melina Perez, Eman Esfandi, Kiera Tatum, HMUA: Alexa Ray, Layout: Fernanda Rodriguez

color the



eing in the “minority” defines individuals who are not considered Caucasian. Being in the “minority” can hinder individuals from a lot of things, including furthering themselves in their careers when compared to Caucasians in the same field. This trend is what society has been exposed to and has continued to follow. Despite how race in the fashion industry has come a long way the fact that minorities are not as widely represented is fairly noticeable in the fashion industry today. The world that we as a society inhabit is not represented on the runways, from our models to our fashion designers. The absence of racial diversity is a real issue especially in an industry that striving for creativity, imagination, progression, and differentiation. According to an article in New York Magazine, "Why Fashion Keeps Tripping over Race", the author of the article talks about an Elbaz fashion show she attended where the audience thunderously applauded a group of five African-American models that walked down the runway. Her confusion in the matter turned into a gross realization that these models were being applauded not because they were wearing pieces from Elbaz, but because they were African-Americans walking the runway. Robin Givhan, author of the New York Magazine article, explained that this reaction shows the gravity to which the fashion industry is failing to see that we do not exist in a non racial world. She states: “Fashion folks naïvely—bravely?—attempt to be racially blasé in a culture that still struggles with the burdens of prejudice and the wounds of history. As a result, the fashion community in general often comes across as bumbling on the topic of race.” Even more so, it would come as a shock to some individuals to note that in the 70s and 80s, racial diversity dominated the catwalk compared to today. Why is it that we are falling backward instead of racing forward? In a recent CNN article, Naomi Campbell, Iman Call for An End to Runway Racism, the author had

an interview with Campbell where she states that when she initially started modeling in the mid-80s, there were “Asians, blacks, whites, Indians, Chinese. It was very diverse.” Bring it back to present-day runways and the grotesque element is fashion designers are primarily choosing Caucasian models to wear their pieces over any other race. In the same news article, Carole White, modeling agent who managed Campbell’s career, said, “I think clients have this perception that black girls do not sell products, which goes way back to the 50’s. I think it’s engrained in every magazine editor. There are more products for blonde and blue-eyed girls. Everything is geared to that.” Olivia Whittaker, previously a model with CLUTTS Agency in Dallas, has been a victim to the unfortunate circumstances that there are more products for Caucasian models than there are for African-American models. One event in particular, a charity fashion show, had every Caucasian model with intricate and complex hairstyles, but when it came to Whittaker’s hair, the hairstylist did not know what to do. “When it came to do my hair, the hairstylist would try and get frustrated. He’d call over another stylist telling her he had no idea what to do with my hair and couldn’t work with it. All of this was at a volume more than loud enough for me to hear. It makes you feel slightly embarrassed sometimes, making you wish you were the same as all the others, but modeling, on the contrary, has grown to actually make me more confident about myself. Now, I think of a hairstylist’s inability to do ethnic hair a lack of training and huge weakness on their part,” Whittaker said. It is not only a cause for concern that models of color, or models of the minority in general, need to have a stronger place in fashion, but also, to have those hairstylists and makeup artists that work with these models to be more knowledgeable about ethnic hairs and skin tones.Their clients are not always going to be blonde, blue-eyed models and that understanding needs to happen now. ►


Beyond the models that wear the “looks” comes the people behind the “looks.” The same crazy phenomenon where racial diversity was greatly established on the runway for models back in the day was the same for fashion designers. African-American fashion designers were more prevalent back in the 70s and 80s compared to today. This goes to show what is happening on the runway is a true reflection of what the industry is structured like outside of the runway. For instance, although Kanye West is a big household name for his recent clothing line, he was already established and popular for his music. Stack his fashion line next to designers such as Ralph Lauren, Vivienne Westwood, Diane Von Furstenberg, Calvin Klein, and Marc Jacobs, and is a minority among fashion designers. Ask people who Willi Smith, Russell Simmons, Patrick Kelly and Stephen Burrows are and most will stand scratching their head. Willi Smith, Patrick Kelly, and Stephen Burrows were some of the top fashion designers back in the day! These are designers are all of color, and almost all their names are unrecognizable to greater society. According to a New York Times article, Fashion’s Racial Divide, back in 2012, Michelle Obama had worn a dress made by Tracy Reese at the Democratic National Convention. Up until that point, Tracy Reese was an African-American fashion designer unknown


to most customers. She gained monumental fame the second the First Lady put on her dress. Reese, whose clothing line can be seen at retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, made a statement in a NYT article that she has felt the challenges that comes with being an African-American designer. In the article, she said, “My parents always said, ‘You’re going to have to work twice as hard as a white person, so be prepared.’ It didn’t hurt my feelings.” Reese was made aware of the certain circumstances, so she worked hard to establish herself in the fashion industry. Fastforward to earlier this year at New York Fashion Week, where out of 260 shows that were presented, less than a handful of those designers were African-American. Furthermore, according to the same New York Times article, an estimated 12 out of 240 African-American fashion designers are affiliates with the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This astounding information displays the lack of ethnic diversity in fashion amongst people who are striving to make a name for themselves but are at a disadvantage based on their race. What should define a model on the runway is the way they walk the catwalk and what should define a designer outside of the runway is the way they craft their clothing. The change must start now to educate everyone that skin color is not a skill or talent, just a way of being. ■

moving forward the evolution of fashion travel

Writer: Caroline Otto, Copy Editor: Nikki LaSalla, Stylist: Linda Gomez, Photographer: Anna Wang, Models: Daniela Pachon, Alexa Ray, HMUA: Mariah Becerra, Layout: Emily Jarvis, Illustrator: Anna Fields

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orsets. T-shirts. Petticoats. Yoga pants. High heels. Sneakers. Diamond earrings. Headphones. Formal elegance, the epitome of high fashion. Glorified pajamas. The evolution of women’s travel fashion echoes society’s journey from the formal to the casual, mirroring the shift from the emphasis on the crucial nature of appearances to an emphasis on the necessity of comfort. Changing societal norms have allowed for the movement away from the confines of rigid wardrobe rules to loosely-drawn guidelines. Modern fashions, especially in the realm of travel fashions, celebrate the shift from the strict and structured, to the lenient and easy going, culminating in the liberation of jetsetters from any and all attire expectations. The Titanic was the zenith of luxury travel. It played stage to a showcase of wearable art. Haute couture reveled in the grandeur of the ship’s gilded halls and he honor of dressing the elite firstclass fashionistas was coveted by all. Paris, the city widely regarded as the fashion capital of the world, continued play host to the musings of trend pioneers like those aboard this ship. The creations of these Parisian designers traveled directly from their workshops to the closets and trunks of the wealthy elite. Parisian designers of the era crafted new articles of clothing and unique styles, such as long, flowing sleeves and elaborate hats, but these garments continued continued to cling to the ideals promoted by the fashions of the late nineteenth century. Society demanded that women’s wardrobes epitomize the elusive “s-curve” body shape. Corsets remained popular, constructed to create the illusion of the tiniest of waists coupled with the most voluminous of chests, and many dresses included padding intended to increase the prominence of one’s backside. Vastly uncomfortable, this silhouette strictly adhered to societal norms and expectations for women, valuing physical appearance over all other aspects of existence. The fashion exhibited on the Titanic consisted of stunning examples of superior craftsmanship and elegance that merely suggested the coming age of women’s wear. The flowing sleeves that graced the arms of fashion’s more daring followers marked

the loosest aspect of a woman’s wardrobe. The rigidity of early twentieth century clothing echoed the rigidity, the ritualism, of early twentieth century society. But as the Titanic sailed away from the English coast, the voyage from the conservative, unyielding fashion norms of the past to the freeform fashions of the modern era began. The drive for progressive clothing was near. Fast-forward forty years, after World War II, fashion launched in a new direction. The war had pushed artistic fashion to a back seat, and societal priorities had shifted dramatically. Clothing manufacturing focused on producing massive loads of get-thejob-done garments, and support surrounded providing uniforms to the soldiers of the frontlines. Laws limiting fabric consumption governed designers and stunted the development of new trends. The frontlines of fashion became a frivolous afterthought. The conclusion of the war left many factories adept at churning out massive amounts of clothing and this talent, previously focused on uniform manufacturing, found a home in the production of civilian clothing. Production of general consumer goods rose alongside the rocketing clothing manufacturing industry. Suddenly, society coveted uniformity in all facets of life, and fashion began to reflect the widespread push for stability. The desire for the orderly, the crisp, the clean, dictated the fashion trends of the early 1950s, and the plentiful production of these trends delivered fashion to the grasps of the common individual. Ready-to-wear clothing appealed to the masses. Trends previously accessible only to those wealthy enough to hire a private tailor flooded department stores, affordably priced to suit members of multiple income levels. The fashion mentality shifted from oneof-a-kind to one-for-all. Some designers even faced criticism due to the enormous price tags affixed to their couture garments despite widespread economic struggle following World War II. The Parisian artisans who had reigned over the fashion sphere faced an agile invader in off-the-rack clothing. A movement for accessibility through similarity dominated not only the fashion world but also society as a whole. The frills of early twentiethcentury dressing evolved into simple, clean silhouettes. These clean silhouettes, characterized by A-line skirts, simple ►


sweater sets, and crisp, conservative dresses, echoed demands for the practical over the frivolous. Soon after, the popularity of air travel soared, and ready-towear fashions continued to take flight. Passengers reveled in an abundance of luxuries. Lobster frequently gleamed atop an eager traveller’s plate; a team of flight attendants catered to any and all requests. Wardrobes of those lucky enough to travel aboard these fanciful flying fortresses reflected the formality of the proceedings of plane flight. Though women dressed in far simpler garments than their traveling counterparts of the past they still donned their finest. The best of hospitality warranted the best of one’s, often off-the-rack, wardrobe. Traveling remained a fashion event, similar to its role in the early twentieth century. Society still expected a certain degree of stylishness in all facets of life. Sophisticated elegance flew across the skies, bound for the sunset on traveling formality, ushering in the rise of a casual era. Jump to the present. Cue the running shoes, the running tights, and the individuals running across the airport, desperate to catch the last flights of the day. Cue the yoga pants, the tank tops, and the passengers requiring flexibility to cope with the intense demands of travel. Cue the sweatpants, sweatshirts, and exhausted jetsetters seeking comfort and respite amongst the hustle and bustle. Far away lies the time of traveling in a sleek A-line skirt and matching sweater. Farther still lies the era of corsets and backside padding.


Squeaks of sneakers dashing across tile has replaced the clickclack of heels. Patiently waiting in line for a last-minute latte at the airport coffee shop exists as the closest thing to a refined social ritual. Society has broken away from the formal, the strict rituals of the past. It now revels in the casual, the spontaneity of a fastpaced present. Many movers and shakers find that the best way to experience, to influence, the world is to wear clothing that allows them to move and shake. What is lost in formal elegance is gained in efficiency. What is found in speed reflects the outcome-oriented nature of the world. No longer a sophisticated event, no longer a fashion show, the journey is now a mere step on the way to the destination. Suddenly, traveling unfashionably has become most fashionable. Traveling practically, traveling independently of a structured dress code, reigns supreme. Clad in shorts, a T-shirt, and sneakers, a traveller races to catch the last flight for the fashion capital of the world. She runs to keep up in a fast-paced world, runs away from the strict wardrobe codes of yesteryear, runs towards the future’s informality. She is liberated from the wardrobe rules, instead free to focus on more personal desires to be comfortable and casual, desires to balance a demanding world with low-key style. The world keeps spinning faster and faster, and today’s travel fashions, or lack thereof, are chosen to keep up. ■

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Writer: Felicia Rodriguez, Copy Editor: Lizzey Hill, Stylist: Ashley Magenheimer, Photographer: London Gibson, Models: Ellie Wendland, Adriel Morgan, HMUA: Olivia Anderson, Layout: Tami Gumilar


he 1970s were one of the most iconic decades in fashion history. Catch a girl today walking down the street in a crop top? Thank the 70s for that. Loafers and Mary Janes? 70s. Floppy hats and headbands? All 70s, and that is just the beginning of this memorable fashion decade. The hippie look that is widely known was a continuation from 1960s fashion, and eventually transitioned into glam disco wear, tailored styles, and punk. Farrah Fawcett, University of Texas at Austin attendee and fashion icon of the 1970s, came to define an entire generation of women. She was well known for her buttoned-down shirts and the high-waisted denim flare pants which categorized the starlet as a sex symbol of the 70s. According to Glamour Magazine’s 70s Fashion Icons, Fawcett’s hair, known as the ‘Farrah Flick,’ became the first must have celebrity hairstyle in fashion history (so no, “The Rachel” was definitely not the first. Sorry FRIENDS fans). Her hair made its mark in the television program, Charlie’s Angels, and became a sensation for all women of the 70s who wanted a taste of the “Farrah Flick.”

Women of the 70s made a name for themselves and for the fashion trends they brought into the decade. Diana Ross was indeed one of those women. Although she was well-known in the 1960s as a part of the female singing group, The Supremes, the 1970s was her decade and we love her for it. Ross was a powerhouse sensation, strutting her wildly big hair and her glittery gowns. She was full of glamour and glitz that her looks alone were a staple of the 70s. When people think of the sparkle of the 70s, they think of Diana Ross because no one brought sparkle the way she did. Diana was truly a diva with a capital D. Beyond all that was glamourous about the 1970s were the people who lived and truly epitomized the ‘70s by breaking all the fashion rules. Bianca Jagger was both a model and a muse in the decade, known for being a risk-taker when it came to fashion. From tube tops to turbans, Jagger brought the “it” factor to the table by wearing key pieces others only dreamed they could pull off. She went embrace the As Glamour Magazine’s article 70s Fashion Icons would put it, Jagger “rewrote the fashion rule book.” ►


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The fashion rule book changed yet again when the tie-dyed shirts and goddess long hair took a backseat to bring leather jackets and mussed hair onto center stage. StyleCaster’s 7 Icons of 1970s Style and How to Get Their Look defined Debbie Harry, Blondie’s leading lady, as “the godmother of the New York punk scene. [Harry] set the stage for the 1980s punk revolution in the 1970s with her iconic white-blonde hair, mini-dresses, and over-theknee latex boots.” During that time, animal print clothing and red lipstick were major fashion staples for Harry and along with all her iconic punk trademarks, her style was meant to personify this idea of being an individual and standing out among the crowd. Punk fashion was a shock to some people during that decade because although it introduced this idea of being an individual, it was not seen as traditional fashion. Punk clothing could be ripped up and beaten up clothing from thrift stores. But, punk fashion was something new and strange that people were not sure about because it epitomized this notion that being in clothes that drowned your appearance and looked ragged was actually something “cool” and “stylish.” There was something messy and eccentric to punk fashion that people did not completely understand but they could not deny they were intrigued by it. Punk fashion represented the ultimate rebellion in fashion. As people saw the 1970s fashion turn dark, so did the lifestyles of those who rocked the looks.


The rebellious side of fashion drew a liking with the rebellious side of life when drugs became a present factor in the lives of those who expressed themselves through punk fashion trends. According to’s A Social History of America’s Most Popular Drugs, in the 1970s, cocaine regained popularity as a recreational drug and was glamorized in the U.S. popular media. LSD, although not as widely used, did made an appearance in the 1970s and further favored the philosophy of “sex, drugs and rock and roll,” with punk/rock fashion being well established towards the mid-end of the decade. Marijuana usage doubled from the beginning of the decade to the end. As people chose to rock hard in their fashion styles, they rocked a little too hard in their personal life in the process. The 1970s were a “groovy” time where fashion boomed and transpired into different branches of style that helped build into the decade everyone knows and loves to this day. Although there came a point where the 70s were dark and daring, fashion from all sides of things allowed people to do the same thing every time: express themselves. Fashion is the most popular form of expression and the 70s established multiple forms of expression which made it such an iconic era. As fashion grew and transformed and drifted into different territories, so did the people that helped create those trends. ■

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FAST FURIOUS Writer: Zara Mizra, Copy Editor: Morgan Mack, Stylist: Abigail Diaz, Photographer: Hannah Laamoumi, Models: Ariana Gabas, Michael Tatolovich, HMUA: Alyssa Osheim, Layout: Marilyn Arteaga


acks of colorful garments fill the room for as far as the eye can see. Round tables display an assortment of festive jewelry- from intricate, delicate pieces to bold statement wear. The clean and well-organized space is simple to navigate and allows the eye to easily sweep over the hundreds of choices. Stores with this layout can be found in any mall across the country. The styles are trendy and the prices are agreeable. Fast fashion, or inexpensively-made designs based on the season’s runway looks, is a central part of today’s fashion industry. Companies such as Zara, Forever 21, and H&M are the most famous examples of fast fashion. The three are often referred to as the fast fashion ‘holy trinity’. They have maximized speed, minimized price and have their system down to a science. However convenient fast fashion may be, there are important drawbacks to this method of making, buying and selling clothing that make it less than desirable. On the surface level, fast fashion can be criticized for not encouraging individuality. However, more serious consequences are taking place behind the scenes. On top of having major environmental effects, fast fashion is also associated with human rights issues as well. In a sense, fast fashion’s most minor crime would be the cloning effect their products inadvertently produce. It is difficult to argue against the ease and accessibility of fast fashion stores. They offer trendy styles at a reasonable price tag. For those who do not want to commit to a season’s style but would like to experiment with it, stores like Forever 21 are the perfect an-

swer. However, because these stores are so easily accessible, it can be easy to continue purchasing every mass produced style that is put out. This mentality saps the originality out of fashion. While this effect is not the companies’ faults, the actual production of fast fashion has more serious and legitimate consequences that must be taken into consideration. Fast fashion companies are notorious for their negative impacts on the environment. Fast fashion encourages the rapid purchasing of clothes by constantly putting out new styles and abandoning older trends altogether. Additionally, the actual mass production of these clothes has negative environmental impacts. Ceri Heathcote with Ezine stated, “Many fast fashion clothes are made from synthetic fibers which are manufactured using petrochemicals in a process that is particularly energy intensive. Pollution from the textiles industry can be harmful to the environment and damaging to the health of humans in the vicinity. Carbon dioxide is also produced, as energy is used to manufacture clothing.” Even simply transporting these huge quantities of items to stores across the country is a factor in their environmental footprint. The outcry regarding the environmental impact of fast fashion is typically also accompanied by a criticism of suspected human rights violations. The mass production of clothing for these companies is an extensive process. They must provide their customers with speed and an attractive price point. In order to do this, companies often take their production efforts overseas to keep the costs low, thus allowing them to sell their products to the public at a reasonable price and still turn a profit. Critics of the system have called the conditions of the factories into question. ►


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According to Patrick Winn of the Global Post, “Outlets such as H&M can sell hoodies for as little as $25 because Cambodian women (almost all the workers are women) will sew for roughly 50 cents per hour. Cambodia’s clothing factories are notoriously unpleasant. They’re hot and loud. Workers routinely flop on the floor in mass fainting episodes. Last year, strikes for better pay were crushed by authorities who shot dozens dead.” A number of popular clothing brands have been accused of mistreating employees and placing them in sweatshop conditions. Gap, Wet Seal, and H&M are a few brands that have dealt with such scandals. The impacts of fast fashion are dramatic. Luckily, consumers have the power to hold companies responsible for their actions and the results of those actions. There are a number of ways a concerned consumer could actively try and alleviate these issues. First, buying clothing made of sustainable fibers such as bamboo, silk, or hemp is a great way to reduce your the environmental impact. These materials do not require as much energy to produce and eschew the use of any toxic chemicals. Another way to be more eco-friendly with fast fashion is by donating or selling unwanted clothing. Throwing clothing away negatively affects the environment by allowing synthetic materials to sit in a landfill and promoting wastefulness. Keeping clothing in circulation reduces waste and helps alleviate the negative environmental impacts of fast fashion. In order to try and put pressure on companies who have been accused of human rights violations, consumers can commit themselves to buying “sweatshop-free” clothing, typically made by a fair trade company or union. Being aware of brands and the scandals and lawsuits they have undergone is an important part of being an informed consumer. To protest sweatshop conditions, consumers can commit to buying clothing from companies who commit themselves to not using sweatshops. This pressure can show companies that customers will not tolerate human rights violations and cause a change. Because fast fashion is so prevalent worldwide, brands have huge impacts in multiple facets of society. Companies are seen as responsible for serious environmental and human rights issues. As consumers, we wield great power over these companies. They would not be able to continue their current practices if we did not allow them to. We can use our collective voice to tell huge brands that they must be held accountable for the impacts they have worldwide. Together, we can enact a complete change in the world of fast fashion. ■


CHIPPER Writer: Antonino Cummings, Copy Editor: Samantha Grove, Stylist: Karinna Lopez, Photographer: Sissy Martin, HMUA: Ernest Chan, Layout: Rachelle Allen, Illustrator: Ernest Chan




here is a sense of concern that permeates modern independent music. In a culture as commercialized and corporatized as ours, there is no greater preoccupation than the desire to be genuine. When even art has been industrialized, the concept of “real” often seems illusory. Everything seems “old hat,” after all, when over 12 hours of music are uploaded to SoundCloud every minute. Austin-based indie band Chipper Jones, however, does not care about any of this. By removing themselves from concerns about authenticity and purposefully standing out from the crowd, the band members’ art is allowed to shine. As a result, their identities become effortlessly apparent. In my time interviewing James Lambrecht and Charlie Martin, the two musicians who together form Chipper Jones, I felt like an intruder. Their house sits in a sleepy older neighborhood in north Austin. Scattered around were minutiae that betrayed their passion- a tuning device here, a stack of records there. A drum kit dominates the living room, and a makeshift recording studio makes its home in a back bedroom. Everything felt as if it had a place and a purpose - even if those things were not immediately obvious. Inspiration is hard to describe, and even harder to deliberately create, but their space seemed tuned to this goal. Even though they had only lived here for a year and a half, they admitted that it felt as if it had been their home for much longer. The pursuit of authenticity dominates Chipper Jones as a project - although not consciously. In my time as a consumer and writer, I’ve never encountered a more pure pursuit of music as an art. When I would try to probe or shine light on some sort of master plan, or high aspirations, it came back to a simple overarching concept. Lambrecht and Martin make music that makes them feel good, and they want their music to take care of other people. These are two guys who, deep down, sim-


ply want to express themselves. There is this sense that, come what may, at the very least they grew as people and artists during this time. And that is what matters. I’d be doing you a disservice if I did not adequately describe the men behind the band before I described their fashion. Chipper Jones sees fashion as an extension of themselves. It follows everything else. When asked to describe what they hope people see them as, they had no answer. Simply, “Whatever they see us as… I just… I just hope it’s genuine.” This shines through in their choice of clothing. These are two men who already know how to dress well. They are no longer concerned with that, though. Expressing and developing themselves as artists is, far and away, the primary goal. As a result, their process for choosing what to wear seems very natural. There is no great plan behind their ensembles or obsession with their choices. Well-fitted ripped jeans and worn t-shirts dominate their wardrobe. Hats that would not seem out of place at a neighborhood bar find their home with the band. Lambrecht’s and Martin’s style is carefree, in the truest sense of the word. The pursuit of their art touches every part of their life, and this includes clothing. Their choice of clothing is very raw. It balances comfort with a desire to be understood and identified The digital age we live in presents many opportunities and pitfalls for artists. There’s a sense of anxiety that comes the amount of control that is afforded to them. Lambrecht and Martin recognize this and have struggled with it personally. As such, they emphasize the pursuit of balance. The unexamined life is not worth living, yes, but a life plagued by obsessive inspection is nothing more than a study in the observer effect. Being confident in their identities as artists is what allows this attitude to work in terms of fashion. Rather than critiquing ►

each outfit they choose, all they need to do is simply ask “Is this something I’m comfortable in?” If the answer is yes, then the outfit fits their identity. There is no difference between their identities as artists and as regular people- they are one and the same. Whether or not it’s been acknowledged or accepted, the artist now has a uniform. It is not one dictated by labels or brands, but by fit and purpose. Identity is defined by context and attitude, more so than the style itself. Simply being in the presence of Chipper Jones, whether it is at a concert or at their home, communicates this idea. They are artists in the purest sense of the word. Paradoxically, this influences their style as much as it does not. Instinctual and exceptional, what they wear wouldn’t work on others. It comes through in attitude, demeanor, and composure. Simply another piece in a puzzle that is, for the most part, assembling itself.

Change is often associated with growth. Businesses plan how they’ll market themselves differently when they’re larger, just as children dream of what they’ll do when they leave primary school. The men of Chipper Jones have no such plans. It isn’t so much that they wouldn’t enjoy growth- after all, it’s a universal desire amongst artists to be heard, seen, and understood. Planning for growth implies change, which is something Chipper Jones has no interest in doing - at least not intentionally. Any change they undergo, they said, should be a part of their natural growth as artists. Any change otherwise would simply be to meet demand- tour more, produce more music, repeat. They have no dreams of high budget ensembles or elaborate concerts and even if growth comes naturally there is nothing fundamental about their music or style that would truly change. Lambrecht and Martin have ideas that they need to express, and if they can make you feel something in the process, well, mission accomplished. For that reason, in both their art and their fashion, Chipper Jones is raw. ■



Stylist: Lily Rocha, Photographer: Hannah Laamoumi, Models: Adriel Morgan, Ebanie Griffith, Tony Redmer, HMUA: Maiya Evans, Layout: Danielle Fenson

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or Millennials, freedom and fashion are interwoven: putting on a new outfit is like putting on a new persona, and freedom to wear anything is freedom to become anything. Fashion can no longer be defined as just skinny girls on elite runways in New York. Fashion has transcended industry boundaries and become a method of defining a person the way they want to be defined. Millennials do not linger on the possibility of freedom, but rather assert their rights as individuals in the new world, and enlist fashion as a tool to reshape their communities and their future. Although the fashion of today undoubtedly draws from generations past, Millennials have developed the habit of re-forming the ways that vintage fashion is worn. Modern young adults embrace the “borrowing” way of fashion, as seen by the wistful bohemian styles of the 1970s that graced runway shows like those of Dries Van Noten and Just Cavalli in the spring of 2015, while in the same season, designer J.W. Anderson released a line that embodied the girlish silhouettes and classic colors of the 1950s and 60s. While runway shows such as these flaunt plays on the distinct styles of decades past, the fashion industry fearlessly experiments with said familiar styles, resulting in looks so unique they are entirely of the current age. For example, Gucci’s spring 2016 collection showcased the high-necked button-down tops characteristic of the early 1900s alongside clunky, large accessories associated with 1980s fashion. However, typical structures were transformed with sheer fabrics and mixes of wild patterns, while creative uses of texture morphed

the once-predictable silhouettes, and the traditional 1900s were dragged into the millennium, resulting in a runway wholly reinvented for contemporary fashion taste. The past affects the ways in which the fashion industry draws its inspiration, but breakthroughs in technology enlarge fashion’s influence and create a new world of cooperation and idea-sharing. The sharp contrast between the old and the new has transformed communication in a revolution that mimics that of the printing press in the 15th century, although in no past instance has a world been able to communicate so efficiently without limitations of time or space as we can today. The effect of mass communication and the rise of the internet has led to an increased pressure for people to create a “persona” with which to identify themselves to others. Fashion, as the original physical form of expressing individuality, has found new outlets for its new market — technologysavvy young adults. Fashion blogs have broadened fashion’s reach from those wealthy enough to shop at Bergdorf Goodman’s and attend New York Fashion Week to anyone with access to a computer or smartphone. Some of the more successful bloggers like Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad and Christina Bazan of Kayture boast millions of followers on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter, utilizing the space of the Internet for marketing themselves as well as creative communication. The fashion industry has changed with the inclusion of the Internet, becoming much more accessible to the everyday fashionista, as well as adding to the forms in which creative ideas are shared and expressed. ►

Writer: London Gibson, Copy Editor: Maria Rodriguez, Stylist: Inez Hicks, Photographer: Langston Dillard, Models: Griffin Hanson, Carly Weiner, Kaitlyn Dages, HMUA: Julia McKnight, Layout: Moses Lee

As a result of current influxes in connection and communication, fashion has become more than just a personal statement, it has become a political statement. Mass communication allows Millennials to express social ideas across international lines. Crosscultural communication creates a platform for young adults to use fashion as a tool for promoting social and political change. Alexander Wang, a designer well-known for his androgynous pieces and creator of one of the decade’s most influential brands, declares, “Fashion is so much more about conversations now than trends,” in an interview featured in The Guardian online. Fashion has traveled through the past and towards the technology of the future, and continues straight into the realm of social issues, acknowledging gender equality and fluidity, especially in the domain of menswear. What has for centuries been a never-ending stream of grays and browns has suddenly erupted into colors that are now incorporated into classic menswear styles. Designers like Dolce and Gabbana and Walter Van Beirendonck are redefining the niche into which men’s fashion has fallen. Both designers’ Spring 2016 collections showcase menswear that is vibrant and fun, as well as featuring innovative shapes and textures. Redefining roles of masculinity and femininity has opened a new door for expression, and Millennials are implementing the fight for equality and acceptance in every aspect of their lives, including their closets. Taking advantage of every resource available, Millennials have invented a new form of fashion that influences societal norms as much as it decides which accessories will fly off the shelves. Today’s world embraces the flawed individual over preconceived notions of perfection. Particularly, one of the primary movements of the modern era is body acceptance. Fashion has long been considered an industry that harms the self-worth of young girls and boys, but is now taking steps to change that. Chromat’s runway show in the fall of 2014 featured all plus-size models in a collection designed to promote body-peace, and just one year later, plus-size model Ashley Graham rocked the runway with her lingerie line for the curvy body type. The fashion industry’s movement to become more inclusive and representative

is a response to the changing ways of the millennia. What used to be an industry that portrayed only one type of woman or man is transforming into an industry that depicts the population as a whole, celebrating every body type and featuring styles for every kind of individual. Fashion is giving its followers permission to be anybody they want to be, no matter what size and regardless of gender identity. One of the most respected names in fashion, Vivienne Westwood, released a collection titled “Unisex” that features traditional women’s-style clothing for the male body. The designer stated her beliefs on gender stereotypes in an interview with Elle magazine with the statement “Everyone has a masculine and feminine side… and clothes can tell that story.” Westwood’s designs are just one example of the fashion industry using clothes to make social commentary. In addition to Westwood’s message, recent season’s runway shows exhibited globally representative styles in an attempt to make international fashion more emblematic. Rising star Reem Al Kanhal, a Saudi fashion designer who features Arabic styles in her woman’s clothing lines, is breaking ground in the fashion industry; Al Kanhal was chosen by Vogue Italia to present her designs during the 2014 Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience. Al Kanhal’s fashion presence is evidence of fashion’s disintegrating boundaries, as inclusivity and acceptance become primary themes celebrated by the people of today. Millennials have never been known for their passive acceptance of the world as it is; changing times are a result of the generation’s tenacity in questioning everything around them. No longer are women or men confined to what they can wear or taunted by preconceived roles, and no longer are the views of society dominated by the views laid out before them. Mass communication has connected the youth and the fashion of the world, offered them tools to share information and ideas, and promoted cultural acceptance and creativity. The Millennial Generation is unique in its unabashed acceptance, unapologetically deconstructing limits, pushing through barriers until all that remains is the freedom brought by the promise of tomorrow. ■


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Writer: Lizzey Hill, Copy Editor: Felicia Rodriguez, Stylist: Ashley Magenheimer, Photographer: London Gibson, Models: Ellie Wendland, Adriel Morgan, HMUA: Olivia Anderson, Layout: Tami Gumilar


t doesn’t have to start by opening a magazine. Or turning on the TV. Or checking out NYFW’s newest show. It can start by going to class. Even walking to class, the prevalence of sexism in fashion is apparent. The number of stares a girl can elicit in her biggest t-shirt while walking to class cannot be calculated on a standard scale. Day after day, hundreds stomp across campus in this uniform- the “I’m a sorority/spirit group/activity oriented girl and am proud of it”yet the ubiquitous question never ceases: are you wearing pants? Though the uniform of men vary slightly, many subscribe to a similar uniform and yet go uncontested. This type of sexism has been taught from a young age. In elementary schools, the girls were reprimanded for wearing spaghetti straps and shorts that did not hit the knee. The rules only got stricter entering middle school and high school. The sight of a stray shoulder can ignite a frenzy amongst school officials and in the minds of every male in class. Or that’s what girls have been told. Yet, the same rules were not applied for males: whether in the classroom, at sporting events, or at summer camp. Men were given far less fashion rules than their female counterparts. Their rules consisted of small details such as: don’t grow a beard. Even this was meant for their own benefit, not to help those around them.


In an industry such as fashion, usually considered to be a politically correct, open, and liberating field of work, this type of separation seems odd. The same kind of free spirit- breaking the bonds of what is considered acceptable wear- that appears on high fashion runways does not translate to everyday life. Though the problem starts early on, it progressively gets worse as women get older. A certain danger accompanies dressing how one wants as early as high school and increases in college. Dressing as one wants while going out, whether dancing with friends or going on a date, involves a certain risk. A woman has to consider whether what she is wearing will attract attention that is possibly unwanted or dangerous. Especially at parties, a woman is taught to dress down or cover up while men are not warned similarly: particularly as fraternity pledges, men’s themed outfits can be ridiculous, tight, or revealing without any consequences that a woman might face. At UT alone, more than 18% of female undergraduate students have reported a sexual assault. Most occur at night and can be anywhere: whether alone on an empty street or with a group of friends at a bar. Though this is less than the national average, even one assault is too many. Additionally, 38% of students surveyed believed that a sexual assault on campus would not be dealt with appropriately. Both of these statistics lend terrifying support to the overarching problem: respect. The respect between students and the respect for women, their bodies, and their decisions to clothe it, is not high enough. ►

PLEATED PENCIL SKIRT | Big Bertha’s Paradise GOLD NECKLACE | Big Bertha’s Paradise

Since college doesn’t employ a particular dress code, shouldn’t the act of deciding what one wears be up to the individual? The truth is, society enforces its own dress codes, whether through strange looks or the implied question of immodesty. Whether going to class or going out, there is always a fear that one is not quite up to code. This fear doesn’t stop when college ends. Sexism translates to the workplace as well: a woman’s clothing can affect jobs, promotions, or opinions by fellow colleagues. Though appropriate business attire is usually enforced across both genders, the idea of a uniform is a problem that women often face in a work environment. Men may wear the same black suit everyday, but the same courtesy of monotony is often not translated to their female colleagues. Finding a balance in work dressing can be challenging: a uniform can often convey the intense “Iron Lady” quality of Margaret Thatcher- whose steadfast style lent her an air of authority- or can far too far on the other side of the spectrum, where dressing down is considered lazy. Perceived first impression is a crucial component of deciding on what one is wearing. The worries women have – is this too much skin showing? Too short of a skirt, too low of a blouse? - do not translate to men. They risk being considered by either extreme: either too stuffy or too slutty. The issue of sexism becomes prevalent when considering modern attire. Even makeup comes into play: a bare face on a man means he’s subscribing to typical male norms. A bare face on a woman can be assumed to mean that she has not slept or is sick.


Women have historically been the fairer sex and their clothing was assumed to fulfill this role. But now, women are playing a larger part in society than ever before. They occupy jobs, make more than their male superiors, and even have a higher acceptance rate at the University of Texas! Women are now fulfilling the same roles as men and they should be given the same freedoms of dress. Though sexism is clearly present, there are other lenses to see it through. Fashion is a female-centric industry with most everyday clothing and high fashion style dedicated to women. They are left with the freedom to choose wherein men are much more confined in how they dress. Society gives them less chance to break the rules, so they stay within its boundaries. However, the definition of what is appropriate is still under fire: the choice should be specific to each individual and, unless in an environment where people are payed to dress to a code, should not be a group discussion. Women are gaining more and more freedoms. Every one of their gains is earned by hard work and assertion- why should fashion be any different? The way to deconstruct sexism in fashion is to not operate under its boundaries. To be safe, to dress for oneself, and to start teaching people that a woman’s outfit does not define her character. Sexism cannot continue if no one conforms to its stereotypes. The next time a woman in a large t-shirt strolls down the street, do not stare, but clap. Her outfit is operating for her comfort and hers alone; her outfit applies only to herself and no else. That is what fashion is for. ■



work it out

Writer: Abigail Rosenthal, Copy Editor: Tre Miles, Stylist: Wilfrido Rodriguez, Photographer: Aiden Park, Models: Inez Hicks, Alexandra Dumitru, HMUA: Mariah Becerra, Layout: Danielle Fenson


ew can sport a six-pack, run a mile in under six minutes, or lift over two hundred pounds in one motion. But people are beginning to take notice of the strong women who do; high fashion designers have been working with athletic styles of clothing, inside and outside of gym wear. Emulating the power of athleticism with a dash of femininity is no easy feat, yet designers are doing just that in more ways than one. Pushed by the prominence of female athletes and their accomplishments while defying gender norms, athleticism has taken on a prominent spot in fashion in more than one setting. Going to the gym is no longer an occasion for old t-shirts and Nike Tempo running shorts. Fairly recently, designers began addressing the market for high fashion athletic wear. Stella McCartney began working with Adidas in 2004 to create pieces that she said one could “stick a pair of heels on, and wear the same outfit to the pub.” Actress Kate Hudson recently launched her own line of gym wear that encompasses casual yet fashionable shapes and patterns instead of the usual spandex and solid colors. Spring and summer of 2015 held the height of athletic inspired high fashion, with many shows in during Fashion Week incorporating sporty characteristics. Carven drew inspiration from Formula 1 racing, featuring bold stripes mixed with high fashion snakeskin or Japanese art patterns. Public School took a more blended route, pairing slouchy athletic style pants and sneakers with structured business-like jackets. Alexander Wang’s Spring/ Summer 2015 collection was based in a more classic form of athleticism, featuring neon colors, structured foam pieces, and dresses inspired by sneakers like Nike Flynits and Stan Smith for Adidas. Brands like Lacoste have built their collections solely off athletic fit, featuring bold colors and patterns, sneakers, and crop tops in their Spring 2016 collection. The silhouettes and fits of these collections gave and continue to add momentum to athletic inspired clothes in everyday wear, even for those who cannot afford the expensive lines seen during fashion week.

as varsity jackets, bodysuits, large jersey style tops and sweatshirts, and football socks. Khloe Kardashian’s shoot for Complex played off of gym style, showing her in multiple tight, “sweaty” athletic outfits while sampling gym equipment. Rihanna most recently released a Creeper style suede sneaker thanks to her partnership with Puma. Thanks to all the hype of athletic wear in fashion the athletic body type has become more acceptable on the runway. There were always criticisms over the typical unhealthy body type in modeling, however in the past fit models and normal women were also condemned for looking too masculine, despite being in good health. Designers participating in the movement for body positivity have begun casting more muscular and fit models, despite the supposed unattractive masculinity that comes from a fit body. In April 2015 during Australian Fashion Week, We are Handsome, tired of the stick-thin, unhealthy standard of models, used real life athletes with a more muscular frame for their active wear collection. Oiselle, a sports apparel line, presented a fashion show in September 2014 where models were cast based on record running times and medals won in races to showcase the first part of the collection. The show was praised as being relaxed and functional, featuring Olympian and marathoner Kara Goucher wearing the ensemble she would wear later that year to run in the New York City Marathon. Yet in the next part of the show, Oiselle reverted back to the usual standard of thin, waifish models, with less impact than the athletes. It seems almost possible that female athletes have now become more impressive than thin women in fashion.

Boxier silhouettes, jumpsuits, and track pants have made their way into fashion from casual wear to business wear. The fashion movement of “streetwear” is largely based off of athletic wear. Bands like Nike and Adidas are popular in the trend, with sports bras as tops, joggers, windbreakers, and varsity jackets used as statement pieces.

Top athletes Serena Williams and Ronda Rousey have begun making headlines for their athletic prowess and for challenging usual body standards for women. Williams is often criticized for her muscular arms and legs but proudly displays them on and off the tennis court and even has her own line of clothes. Rousey is often called too masculine and unattractive, yet has modeled for Sports Illustrated twice while being able to take down men in less than a minute. The power these women display in their respective sports has gained attention, giving designers and women alike something to admire. In Stella McCartney’s research for her partnership with Adidas, she went to top women athletes such as tennis player Steffi Graf, boxer Laila Ali, and track star Jade Johnson in order to cater to their desire for fashion as well as functionality.

Even celebrities have sampled these looks in music videos, concerts, and interview shoots. Beyoncé often sports sequined jersey bodysuits in concerts and videos, representing sports teams such as the Houston Rockets. The music video for “Feeling Myself” featured Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé in multiple athletic looks, such

No longer is fashion solely meant to uphold timid femininity; there is an undeniable power in looking stylish while putting in work in the gym, on the track, or even at home. The femininity of high fashion now coexists with the traditionally masculine view of sports, no matter the wearer. ■


DRESS | Revival Vintage

THE SPACE BETWEEN Stylist: Komal Charania, Photographer: Aleksa Diaz, Models: Ariana Gabas, HMUA: Zara Mirza, Layout: Hayden Pigott

DRESS | Revival Vintage NECKLACE | Revival Vintage


Writer: Samantha Bolf, Copy Editor: Anshuman Singhal, Stylist: Ellie Bazil, Photographer: Michael Tatalovich, Models: Alayna Enos, Caitlin Topham HMUA: Shelby Hayes, Illustrator: Whitney Chen, Layout: Hillary Henrici


t’s not often you see a fashion show lauded for feats in mediocrity. When people think of fashion, they picture anything from over the top designers flinging sketchbooks at overworked interns to haughty models strutting down a runway, clad in elaborate costumes. Despite this perception, mediocrity is exactly what Karl Lagerfield strove for when he chose a supermarket as the backdrop for his Fall/Winter 2014 show for Chanel. As Vogue pointed out, the image of model Cara Delevingne “tripping down the aisles in distressed joggers,” caught the attention of fashion gurus everywhere. And with the now infamous definition from the publication K-Hole, which gave a name to this style of mediocrity and classified it as “adaptability, not exclusivity,” a movement was born. Normcore had arrived. Normcore is unlike any fashion movement that has preceded it. While each movement is unique in its own way, normcore may be one of the most blatantly original and unsettling that we have seen in recent years. What makes normcore interesting is the fact that it has achieved such originality through an utter lack of origi-

nality. Normcore is a “blank slate and an open mind,” according to Fiona Duncan’s article “Normcore: Fashion for Those Who Realize They’re One in 7 Billion.” It draws a certain amount of inspiration from the nineties (one of the icons of normcore is Jerry Seinfeld), but the primary objective of normcore is to dress without any inspiration at all. Jeremy Lewis, founder of Garmento, defines normcore as “one facet of a growing anti-fashion sentiment,” a movement that makes the conscious choice to neglect style and substance. Normcore means dressing in plain clothes without labels in order to send a message to the rest of society: clothes do not define a person’s individuality or personhood, nor do they need to. However, it is in this lack of purpose that normcore goes against the norm. After all, fashion has historically been a means of expression. While it may be devalued by the masses as a shallow pastime, only important to those who do not possess the capacity for deeper thought or reflection, creating an outfit is often an act of rebellion. Looking critically at social movements throughout ►

history shows that fashion has been utilized as a weapon in multiple revolutions of culture. The sixties were characterized by youth rebelling against the strictly conformist attitudes (and outfits) of the previous decade. The seventies espoused debauchery with devil-may-care clothing that reflected a desire for peace and harmony. Even the era of nineties grunge was epitomized by anti-fashion looks meant to send a message to corporate America. Without the influence of artists like Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, perpetuated by the messages in their music, the nineties grunge movement in fashion would have meant something very different to the youth culture of the decade. Fashion is meant to have a message. Fashion is meant to speak to someone, against someone, or for someone- which is why the arrival of normcore as a fashion movement coincides perfectly with the emergence of social media as routine and its effect on the millennial generation. A significant number of millennials greeted normcore enthusiastically, and where normcore was not embraced with open arms, it was obsessed over by baffled mem-


bers of the fashion community. The New York Times published an article questioning whether normcore was a “style revolution” or just a “giant in-joke,” unable to comprehend what may be one of the most counterproductive fashion movements in history. They found no concrete answer, either. Even the individuals at K-Hole who coined the term disagree on its definition. What is concrete is the fact that it is mostly young adults embracing normcore, as more and more of them choose to blend in with non-descript wardrobes rather than assert their individuality through clothing. Before normcore, young people had no choice but to turn to their clothes to publicly link themselves to their beliefs and passions. Today the abundance of platforms with which to express themselves directly to their peers has distinctly altered their culture and their fashion choices. Counterculture exists at their fingertips: on their phones, their profiles, and in the online articles they can peruse around the clock. The possibility for free expression is everywhere, and all anyone has to do is embrace it. However, when there are so many opportunities with which to express ►

TOP | Frock On Vintage JEANS | Top Drawer

it begins to feel difficult to stand out at all. According to The Independent’s fashion editor, Alexander Fury, “when everything’s so elaborate… the most interesting thing you can do is pull back away from that and do the opposite.” Normcore, therefore, posits uninteresting fashion as an almost radical rebellion- just like the punk, goth, and grunge cultures of revolutions past. However, that idea of rebellion contradicts the entire point of normcore, which relies on its lack of substance to differentiate itself as a subculture. Normcore is a movement epitomized by the idea of blending in as opposed to standing out. Like Fiona Duncan noted, normcore is “embracing sameness deliberately,” a message that starkly contrasts the decades of counterculture and rebellion that have come before it. The reason normcore has confused so many tastemakers and critics is because it steadfastly refuses to adopt any sort of creed. As opposed to the historical tradition High Snobiety cites in their

article, in which “movements like punk, goth and grunge had specific dress codes that were inextricably tied to their music, values and beliefs,” normcore is for the sake of aesthetics- or lack thereof- alone. This is where the true message of normcore lies, and why this movement has stood out to today’s youth. If your Twitter says more than your clothes do about who you are, then what does it really mean to be yourself in the 21st century? Ironically, normcore is a form of counterculture. It may even be the most potent form of counterculture in an age saturated with technological innovation and never-ending News Feed updates. Normcore epitomizes a specific choice: the choice to forgo being unique in order to remind society what being unique means. Though normcore runs on a platform that Dazed asserts is based in a “willingness to forgo a consistent individuality,” it is, in fact, the very choice to forgo individuality that helps those who embrace normcore stand out in a crowd. ■


TOP | Frock On Vintage HAT | Top Drawer

MAROON JACKET | Top Drawer BLACK DRESS | Top Drawer WHITE BLOUSE | Solid Gold DARK RED JEANS | Solid Gold BLACK CLUTCH | Revival Vintage


Fashion Fit for


Writer: Elisa Garcia, Stylist: Shelby Stebler, Photographer: Ashley Herr Models: Melinda Stammer, Paola Jimenez, HMUA: Kristen Melberg, Layout: Demi Kelly SPARK I 169


rands such as Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and Givenchy are masters when it comes to recreating dramatic pieces that are influenced by history. Any fashion lover, could easily see the revival of Victorian fashion in their collections this past season. Ruffles, embroidered flowers, lace and high necklines—to name a few—are Victorian trends that could be seen walking down the runway.

for his fashion gowns at The Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1855. And three years later, Worth opened his fashion house, The House of Worth, in Paris.

Season by season, designers amaze audiences with their beautiful collections and leave the crowd wondering ‘How on earth can I wear that?’ Sure, designers are experts when it comes to impressing fashion junkies, but runway fashion is a bit bold for the everyday person. The good news is; these Victorian ‘high fashion’ trends can now be seen hanging in the closets of fashionistas across the globe.

Although Worth’s designs were well-known among royals, his works were also popular with everyday people. Hawkins, a retail merchandising alumna of UT Austin, believes it is important to keep Worth’s idea of ‘fashion for everyone’ alive in the fashion industry today. “It is essential for designers to remember that the everyday person’s life differs than that of a celebrity,” she says. “[Designers] should keep in mind what sort of outfits an everyday person would want to buy.”

The Victorian Era began in 1837 when Alexandrina Victoria, commonly known as Queen Victoria, was announced ruler of England. Much like society today, the Victorian era was a time of great progress and change. During this time, the first world’s fair, which later became known as The Great Exhibition of 1851, was created by Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert. Just 10 years later, Prince Albert unexpectedly passed away leaving Queen Victoria in distraught causing her to wear black the remainder of her life. Unknowingly, the queen set the theme of the Victorian era to be rather dark and gloomy. Today, the first thing that jumps to mind when we think ‘Victorian’ are enchanting dresses and accessories that hold a gothic aesthetic. The goth style has been recreated in numerous and various ways, some of which can be seen on New York City fashion blogger, Rachel-Marie Iwanyszyn and on the streets of Japan. Natalia Cop, a sales associate at Blue Elephant Boutique, is a fan of Victorian era clothing and finds ways to strut outfits that incorporate velvet, lace and choker necklines. Whether she’s wearing a killer black knee-length dress paired with five-inch black zip-up boots or high-waisted velvet shorts with lace-up boots, Cop believes “they are the kind of accessories that can go with any trend, and have gone on and evolved with fashion throughout the years.” But besides Queen Victoria herself, perhaps one of the most impacting figures on fashion was a man by the name of Charles Frederick Worth. In 1845 Worth, an Englishman, moved to Paris where he began his career in fabric houses. He later gained recognition


Worth’s gowns were worn by popular figures such as Empress Eugenie, wife of Emperor Napoleon III, as well as Princess Metternich of Austria which ensured Worth’s success as a dressmaker for years to come.

Assistant Manager and Clothing Designer of Blue Elephant Boutique, Irene Carter, had the pleasure of seeing her mother collect Victorian antiques such as hair pins, brooches, purses and lace fans. Having grown up with an appreciation for the era, Carter now integrates Victorian fashion into her designs. For the upcoming season, she is working on producing the perfect blouse with tie-necks that could easily fit the everyday woman. “ I would also like to work on a very voluminous maxi skirt. It will be fitted at the waist and very voluminous at the bottom, but without the bustle aspect,” she says. “I also love the idea of fitted sleeves with ruffles at the wrist. It's so romantic.” Nearly 115 years after the decline of the Victorian era, Austinites don’t have to look far to see the Victorian inspired clothing walking down the street. Brands such as Moschino and The Row, can definitely be considered the best of the best in the realm of street fashion. They easily incorporate high-necklines and puffed sleeves into their trench coats, dresses and blouses that could add a sophisticated look to any outfit. According to Carter, runway fashion is mystical and beautiful, but it is not relatable to the everyday woman or man. “Runway fashion is more like wearable art,” she says. “It's the stuff that comes from the imagination. It comes to us from some of the best artists and creative minds in the world. It influences the trends in ready-to-wear fashion, and in that way it connects to the every man/woman.” ■


SWAPPING STORIES Writer: Channing Baker, Copy Editor: Sophie Lidji, Stylist: Afreen Charania, Photographer: Kaylee McKeny, Models: Caroline Otto, Jessica Norris, HMUA: Gemma Galvan-Martinez, Layout: Moses Lee


he yearning for unique clothing items, coupled with the need to not break the bank while doing so, and the desire for a social experience while finding these new clothes has led to the popularization of events known as clothing swaps or clothing exchanges. In a clothing swap, participants bring their unwanted, gently-used clothes to trade with others.Everyone wins at a clothing swap- these fun and funky events have many economic, environmental, social, and fashion benefits. Clothing swaps have extensive economic benefits for participants. The growing success and popularity of clothing exchanges can be largely attributed to these financial advantages.Mimicking the ways of early human civilizations, clothing swaps employ a bartering system: items are obtained by exchanging one article of clothing for another. No money is involved- and consequently, the economic advantages are extensive. Finances are a major factor that often prevent individuals (especially students like us) from purchasing new clothes. Through the bartering and trading methods utilized by clothing swaps and exchanges, people are able to obtain new items of clothing without spending a penny. In addition, clothing swaps are good for the planet. The textile industry has a significant impact on the environment due to the discarding of clothing to landfills, and clothing swaps help minimize this negative impact. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that waste from textile products occupies five percent of all landfill space in the United States alone. By participating in a clothing swap, people are being environmentally conscious in regards to how they dispose of their unwanted clothing items. Of course, people can’t control how the person who claims their old

clothing will dispose of it, but in general, taking last year’s jeans to a swap meet is a great way to keep them out of the landfill. If you type in “clothing swaps” into the search bar on Pinterest, you will find a multitude of suggestions for planning the perfect clothing swap. From the décor to the hors d’oeuvres, fashionistas and social butterflies everywhere are planning elaborate, exciting clothing swap parties. Clothing exchanges have become the ideal event for people who love socializing while shopping. Outside of the house party realm, larger corporations and even cities have worked together to organize clothing swaps. Here in our backyard, The Austin Clothes Exchange works to organize citywide clothing swaps. These clothing exchanges can have different themes or revolve around specific items, like womenswear or shoes. Once a year this organization hosts an event where all types of clothing and accessories can be exchanged. People of all socioeconomic statuses are able to find unique pieces while barely spending any money (most Austin Clothes Exchange events cost $5 to attend). These events are accessible, affordable, and most of all, fun. With vintage, old-school clothing and secondhand shopping becoming more popular than ever, clothing swaps have increased in popularity because they represent an easy way to acquire unique, oler clothing that cannot be purchased in stores.Many people have older clothing sitting in the back of their closets, and clothing swaps are the perfect avenue to give these clothes to people who crave them. It’s easy to see why clothing swaps perfectly embodies the old cliché of “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” ■



Writer: Channing Baker, Copy Editor: Emily Robinson, Stylist: Michelle Akhtarzad, Photographer: Maria Andrade, Models: Kaitlyn Dages, Carly Weiner, HMUA: Maiya Evans, Layout: Madison Donham


ashion has always been a reflection of the times. Women’s fashion in particular carries a social significance, indicating the status of a woman in a particular period. Progressions in the roles of the woman in the political, social, and business worlds have incited major sartorial changes among the women’s apparel industry. Throughout the course of history, as women have taken on new rights or roles, the popular styles have directly reflected their newfound freedoms. Women have made significant advancements in their social, political, and economic roles over the centuries. Prior to the twentieth century, women were largely confined to the home and viewed as incapable of played meaningful roles in the societal, political, or economic spheres. In the late nineteenth century, the women’s rights movement began gaining momentum, focusing on obtaining the right to vote in federal elections. However, the momentum of the women’s rights movement didn’t stop when these early feminists achieved their goal of voting rights with the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. Gaining the right to vote was only one of many milestones in the female species journey towards complete equality.


This drastic change in American politics had significant impacts on women’s clothing. The passage of the Nineteenth Amendment coincided with the advent of the flapper era. In the 1920s, women began expressing their political gains through the liberating, rebellious flapper look. The traditional hemlines of women’s dresses, which had never reached above the ankles, became increasingly shorter. To complete the freer aesthetic, many women participated in the fad of “bobbing” or chopping off their hair to contrast with the traditionally long tresses women were expected to possess. A decade later, the divided skirt took women’s fashion by a storm. This garment, designed in 1931 by Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, was another symbol of this new wave of female liberation in fashion. It was an early version of shorts for women and many were taken aback by this startling change in fashion norms. The rapidly-evolving world of women’s fashion during the early twentieth century was mirroring women’s advancements in the political sphere. Flash forward to the 1960s: the era of love, peace, and the beginning of women taking control of their sexual health, thanks to the introduction of the first contraceptive pill. With this advancement in modern medicine, women gained a grasp ►



on their personal lives that, for many, was unattainable before. This new freedom was expressed through a free-spirited style of dressing including loose bell-bottom pants, crop tops, and dresses that flowed in the wind. Popular women’s clothing during this time period often had little structure and was free of constraints, reflecting the loosening restrictions on women’s social roles. Women made a significant advancement in American society when they began branching out from their homemaker roles and stepping into the business world. Another huge step forward occurred when women started obtaining highly coveted executive positions in major companies. These women, including Katherine Graham, the first female CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, were strong, powerful women who needed to make a statement through their outfits while keeping the focus on their abilities as leaders. The women’s power pantsuit that became popular in the 1980s was the perfectly wardrobe choice for exhibiting feminine strength in the business environment. With strong shoulder pads

and bold, solid colors, these pantsuits helped women show off their authority in the business world while also making a significant impact on the fashion world. The women’s pantsuit became the inspiration for menswear-inspired androgynous dressing that is popular with women today. This style is symbolic of women’s fight for complete gender equality in this day and age. The struggle for gender equality has introduced strength and audacity in the way that women dress, while also giving women more space for personal expression in their outfits. By making a powerful statement with clothing, women can simultaneously do so in other aspects of life. Like women’s roles, freedoms and power, the women’s fashion scene is always evolving. In both fashion and society at large, women have come so far over the last century- and there is so much more progress to be anticipated in the next. ■




CORSET | Jinxedaposed

Writer: Lindsay Stewart, Copy Editor: Danielle Ransom, Stylist: Lily Rocha, Photographer: Jamila Raja, Model: Ebanie Griffith, HMUA: Sophia Quiroga, Layout: Manuela Rincon

CROWN | Jinxedaposed


ith the rise of green culture around the world claims of eco-friendly trends that will “save the world” are a regular occurrence. For the skeptics, it is difficult to know which of these trends can make a difference, and which are desperately grasping at compostable straws. In recent years, one of these new green trends has found its way onto the fashion scene: upcycling. You know, like recycling, but…upward. In case this term is new to you, here’s a definition to get you up to speed: Upcycle v. The reuse of discarded objects or materials in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original. In terms of fashion, this means repurposing and/or altering previously used, vintage, or leftover textiles and materials to form new designs with virtually zero waste. The idea is to look fabulous without leaving an environmental footprint. But as a movement that simultaneously claims to have earth-healing potential AND finds itself in the cutthroat world of fashion, where does upcycling fall into the grand scheme of things? Is it a fleeting trend, soon to be forgotten along with floral crowns and pastel-colored hair, or a significant movement with potential to make permanent changes in the world of fashion and sustainability? First of all, there’s a reason that eco-trends are creeping into the fashion world.The clothing industry is wasteful – like, really wasteful. Globalization has made clothing cheap, fast, and incredibly accessible. So much in fact, that society tends to view clothing as disposable from the get-go. According to Waste Couture: Environmental Impact of the Clothing Industry, the EPA Office of Solid Waste estimates that “Americans throw away more than 68 pounds of clothing and textiles per person per year”. With over 320 billion people currently living in the United States, this comes in around 21,760,000,000 pounds of textiles a year. In addition to the physical waste, the environmental consequences of mass produced clothing are frightening. As stated by the Environmental Health Perspectives: “…Fashion leaves a footprint, with each step of the clothing life cycle generating potential hazards”. These hazards include excessive crude oil use, significant water waste and pollution, toxic chemical emissions, and a fat carbon footprint – the 5th largest contributor to CO2 emissions in the United States. Currently, the majority suggests finding more sustainable means of manufacturing clothing. Using less, polluting less, destroying less, harming less…but in the long run, “less bad” is still bad. As stated in the pro-upcycling manifesto Cradle

to Cradle by chemist Michael Braungart and Architect William McDonough: "The ‘be less bad’ environmental approaches to industry have been crucial in sending important messages of environmental concern…. [But] instead of presenting an inspiring and exciting vision of change, conventional environmental approaches focus on what not to do… This is the ultimate failure of the ‘be less bad’ approach: a failure of the imagination.” Here, it is important to note the difference between upcycling and recycling: methods of recycling are often downcycling: reuse that decreases value of materials. One example is the breakdown of plastic bottles to create clothing fiber. The issue with these methods is that often, the steps needed to downcycle require toxic practices such as chemical additives and excess energy consumption that ironically make eco-friendly intentions futile. This is what makes upcycling different from other eco-trends. It’s not about being less bad; it’s about being good and creative. It’s about designing in a way that replenishes environmental health, restores the billions of textiles destined for a landfill, and nourishes the creative psyche. Valeri Abrego - fellow Austinite and owner of Jinxedaposed – is a freelance designer who practices upcycling. As a teenager, Abrego began upcycling her own clothing as a way to save money while keeping up with the fashions of her youth. “… I didn’t have the money to go buy my punk rock bondage pants, I had to make them myself…I used to make my own clothing based off styles I’d see off Vogue and Sassy… I would use thrift store finds and just replicate them as best as I could”. Today – after many years of professionally designing for film, theatre, runway, and drag – Abrego’s couture is 75 to 80% upcycled materials. For example, her men’s bowties are 95% upcycled from vintage silk kimonos previously used in a NYC theatre.Creating upcycled designs does not come void of challenges though: “Unfortunately for designers like us, we’re competing with cheap labor and fast fashions. We hope that our clientele is ethical in their purchase choices…this isn’t a hobby for me, this is how I support my family”.However, Abrego has never thought of her choice to upcycle designs as a hindrance to her success. She finds great reward in contributing to environmental friendliness and sharing it with others:“I think people are very interested in conserving resources and the creative uses of upcycling products… I’m always going to be using upcycled material, it would be a waste not to”. ►


According to Laura Pifer – DIY fashionista, entrepreneur, tailor, and creative mind behind upcycling blog Trash to Couture – upcycling is “self-taught and you can figure it out as you go”. As a young girl, it made more sense to Pifer to refashion rather than to start from scratch. Today, she upcycles both as a hobby and as part of a fulfilling career. Pifer has done guest blogging for Lauren Conrad, worked with several fashion publications, and enjoys helping eco-friendly start up brands. When Pifer began Trash to Couture, the idea of an upcycling blog was novel; but today, social media is a goldmine for DIY reuse posts. Searching #upcycling on Instagram yields almost 150,000 results and craftoriented sites like Pinterest are overflowing with upcycling ideas. This growth in popularity is encouraging to those who support eco-fashion. As Pifer pointed out, even small steps toward conscious dressing are promising:“Thrifting is another way of shopping eco-friendly… you can find quality items that may [only] need a little altering here and there… These simple things will make an impact on global waste reduction.” For Pifer, environmental improvement and artistic fulfillment are the greatest rewards of fashion upcycling.“Fashion is the third most polluting industry in the world. By redesigning/altering your clothing you aren’t contributing and that is a reward in itself. There is [also] something rewarding about creating your own designs… Most people take pride in the fact they made something and it’s one-of-a-kind.” While popularity of fashion upcycling has increased among creative individuals, it is illogical to assume everyone has the time and ability to upcycle their wardrobe. However, it is less farfetched to imagine a world where upcycled fashions are widely purchased from popular clothing brands. It boils down to this: Can the use of upcycled textiles/materials be incorporated into


mainstream clothing industry production? In small percentages, it already has. A recent article by Danielle L. Vermeer, 7 Upcycling Companies that are Transforming the Fashion Industry, points to businesses like Reformation,, TRMTAB, Looptworks, Kallio, and Sword & Plough: all brands using various materials – old dress shirts, surplus military fabric, vintage/deadstock fabric, leather scraps - to create upcycled designs. Arguments of cost ineffectiveness and inconvenience come to mind – Valeri Abrego said herself that it is difficult competing with fast fashion. However, these businesses are all thriving and offer reasonable prices. Although “slower” fashions cost more to produce, the use of existing textiles/materials significantly cuts out time and cost associated with raw material production. With a well-planned business model, upcycling has the potential to SAVE time and money for producers and consumers. Fashion upcycling is not just a trend – it’s the start of a revolution. With designs appearing on the runway, rapid growth of internet-wide popularity, and the current success of multiple businesses, it seems safe to say that fashion upcycling is more than a fleeting trend. Although the movement is still relatively small, the creative simplicity of upcycling along with an undeniable need for sustainable alternatives is sure to continue drawing attention. If more companies begin taking eco-friendly initiative and consumers are continually educated about the impact of the clothing lifecycle, this movement has the potential to permanently alter fashion industry practices and significantly decrease environmental impact.Trends will come and trends will go, but fashion upcycling is here to stay. And who knows, just maybe it will help us save the world – and look fabulous while doing it. ■

DRESS | Jinxedaposed


GREY DRESS | Top Drawer

UMBRA Stylist: Wilfrido Rodriguez, Photographer: Aiden Park, Models: Inez Hicks, Alexandra Dumitru, HMUA: Mariah Becerra, Layout: Danielle Fenson


GREY DRESS | Top Drawer BLACK DRESS | Top Drawer

ROMPER | Frock On Vintage LEATHER SKIRT | Frock On Vintage TOP l Frock On Vintage



Profile for Spark Magazine

Spark Magazine No. 4  

Spark Magazine is a student-run fashion publication at The University of Texas at Austin.

Spark Magazine No. 4  

Spark Magazine is a student-run fashion publication at The University of Texas at Austin.