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On Cover: LACE DRESS | True Decadence EARRINGS | Express BRACELETS | H&M BOOTS | Steve Madden




























































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 Midway through my junior year of high school, when I toured the Division of Textiles and Apparel at the University of Texas, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be working and building a community with 160 other ut students to create a professional-grade fashion magazine every semester. Yet, that is exactly what Spark Magazine has enabled me to do. As an organization, we engage in the Austin fashion community and in our ut community by educating and encouraging students to pursue their creative interests while utilizing the backdrop of the city of Austin. Members of Spark’s leadership team hold weekly skills-based workshops and a “creative boot camp” once a semester to guide members of the creative department on how to execute a fashion shoot. In addition, we work with senior designers each spring to create a magazine dedicated to showcasing their fashion creations alongside a biography showcasing their design journey. This spring we had the incredible opportunity to create content and the layout for the ut Fashion Show program. This program is almost 30 pages and will be distributed to 2,500 people at the fashion show in April 2017. Art Director Ernest Chan, Assistant Art Director Ilana Grabarnik, and I met weekly with ut Fashion Show Director Professor Ockhee Bego to ensure this project’s success. None of this would be possible without the ceaseless passion and effort put forth by the Spark leadership team and staff. They have devoted early morning and late night hours to the success of Spark’s publications, and have done it all with creative passion. While this will be my last semester as Editor-inChief, working with the leadership team and staff has been the highlight of my experience. Thank you to all members – past and present – for taking a chance on Spark, allowing me to learn alongside you and share your creative journey. To the future leadership and staff of Spark, I wish the best in continuing Spark’s evolution. To all readers, I hope you enjoy the content and appreciate Spark’s unique portrayal of how fashion functions and impacts our lives. XOXO,

Katherine Kykta Editor-in-Chief



& tie

Writer: Nikki LaSalla, Copy Editor: Brook Lynn Decker, Stylist: Ethan Elkins, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Models: Austin Chevier, Chase Elwell, Eman Esfandi, Gobi-Kla Vonan, HMUA: Mariah Becerra, Maiya Evans, Layout: Tony Redmer 8

DINNER JACKET | Forever 21 WHITE SHIRT | Express





he dance floor come alive with the deep, brass sound of the trumpet and the twinkling step of dancers on the floor. Dark suits and sparkly dresses (sometimes even above the knee) litter a small speakeasy, awaiting a night of daring fun; rebellion; infamy. As much as the roaring twenties are appraised for novel fashion trends for women, specifically the flapper dress, men’s clothing options were limited to darkly colored suits, fedoras, and straight ties. The bow tie was a rarity for men during this time period as well as even a simple pair of shorts. While women were experiencing freedom in their clothing choices, men were stuck in society’s vision of them. Today, however, those choices are widely changing and evolving into a new market for men’s fashion. The variety of options and even the size of men’s sections in stores around the United States is changing. The colors that are “suitable” for men are changing. Even the classic suit and tie is changing. As the roaring twenties roared to an end, it wasn’t only women’s fashion that was evolving along with the times but men’s as well.

Men’s fashion in the 1900s was a selection of suits. With the departure of decadent suits lined with frill, these men were wearing not only one but two or three different suits a day tailored for the middle-class man. The tuxedo became the standard for luxury menswear but similarly styled items were worn throughout the day. While these “daytime appropriate” suits were styled with little detailed colors, the tuxedo was not nearly as flexible. With dark blue replacing gray in the 1920s as the most popular color for tuxedos, the colors considered acceptable for men during this time were restricted to those darker more “serious” colors. However, the 1950s introduced an entire world of color and choices to the men living in that time period. While the fashion didn’t change dramatically, the disappearance of World War II gave people in the United States a sense of leisure that they hadn’t had for years. With that leisure came the design of clothes built for leisure activities. Shorts and polo shirts in pastel colors became popular. Colors like light pink, which were generally used in women’s fashions of the time ►


also were occasionally acceptable for men. For teenage boys a simple fashion consisting of sleek pants and overcoats to the new “suit and tie” of the infamous greasers, leather jackets and jeans ruled the day. Even this new style was stigmatized, since this was the first time teenagers had veered from their adult counterparts. While not much freedom was gained, the beginning of a men’s fashion revolution began. The era of flowers and peace soon loomed over the United States and with it came the introduction of women’s tuxedos. Yves Saint Laurent broke down the boundaries of women’s fashion with the introduction of the Le Smoking, the first tuxedo for women, in 1966. And so, with this period came the purposeful feminization of men’s clothing. What could men wear if women could also wear similar styles? To many in the younger generations, there was the easy departure from restrictive suits and plain polos and shorts. The sixties and seventies allowed for men to experiment with colors, fabrics, and shapes. Ties gave way to low v-necks; dark textiles gave way to lighter, brighter colors.


With fashion icons like David Bowie and Mick Jagger, men’s “tuxedo” became an item that was malleable; fluid. There was not one specific item that identified the suit anymore, and men had the freedom to play with clothing While the suit and tie itself is timeless, today’s society is beginning to play with the look of the classic closet staple. Many celebrities such as Robert Downey Jr., who sported bright blue sneakers with a classic plaid suit, are beginning to set the example for a more comfortable, every day look. The time has come for Nike’s, Converse, and Adidas to be paired with suits on the runway and off. In the early and mid 1900s, a man would be caught dead with something as casual as a Chuck Taylor on his foot when sporting his pressed suit. Today, however, the landscape is changing. Just as sneakers are becoming more acceptable, men’s styles are expanding. In high fashion, names like Gucci and Carlos Campos are pushing the boundaries of what men’s fashion can be. Gucci’s latest menswear ►

NAVY TIE | Express NAVY SUIT JACKET | H&M PRINTED SHIRT | Stell & Jelly London


SHIRT | Denim & Flower


collection in 2016 was an escape from the traditional thought of what menswear should be. Featuring many outfits that looked as though they could be traditionally on the women’s runway, the collection channels the seventies with floral prints, ruffles, and bright pinks and yellows. A divergence from the norm but one that allows for a wider freedom of expression, especially when brands like Gucci are advocating such a change. Carlos Campos’ collection is more subtle than Gucci’s but the colors used are a bold statement in terms of gender norms. Pastels are a color that has traditionally been associated with women’s fashion and children’s fashion. They are softer, more delicate, and as such were thought to be better suited to a ladies needs. However, this collection’s main items all feature pastel pinks, yellows, and blues. While still paired with darker hues, the colors themselves bring out the difference in fashion now and in the past.

As these designers set the trends, stores listen, and what they’re hearing is a demand for a wider variety of men’s clothing. The suit is, of course, still in style, but as designers like Gucci have shown, there’s different ways to put them together. asos, for example, has many suits that feature palm trees and flowers lined all over the jacket and pants. Similarly, the bomber jacket is oftentimes embroidered with different designs, like sunflowers or animals. These designs are seen on suits, broadening the options that line the shelves of a men’s department store. Suits twirl about a ballroom, swirling in a colorful dance. The color in the room comes from the clothes and not from the chandelier, which is only illuminating the men on the floor. This era is known for its limitlessness; it’s ability to push boundaries and break down doors. While women’s fashion might have developed more quickly, men’s fashion is on it’s way to becoming more prominent one novel suit at a time. ■


Queens, Teens, Fashion Fiends

Writer: Joseph Wilson, Copy Editor: Nikki LaSalla, Stylist: Maiya Evans, Assistant Stylist: Mariah Becerra, Photographer: Sissy Martin, Models: Evanie Griffith, Aaron Smith, HMUA: Mariah Becerra, Maiya Evans, Layout: Ernest Chan 16

“Being able to see someone who’s living so fully and so fearlessly their own specific kind of gender fuck…is an inspiration to other people. And so it makes sense that a person like this would be at the start of this kind of rebellion.” —UT Professor Dr. Lyndon K. Gill on Marsha ‘Pay-It-No-Mind’ Johnson’s role in the Stonewall Riots



or many, self – and particularly gender – expression tread on treacherous territory. From broader cultural expectations of gender presentation to those same expectations’ place in the home, gender-expression can be dangerous and historically even criminal. But those who dare to dart astray from prescribed gender roles know that nothing short of a armed battalion could prevent their dutiful self-expression.

In the 2010s, lines dividing apparel by gender have certainly seen clearer days. Teen pop icons Willow and Jaden Smith have made it their prerogative to challenge gender roles in fashion, adopting articles of clothing and aesthetic choices which work to further blur the boundaries between masculine and feminine apparel. Jaden has made himself what some might consider a non-binary fashion front-man, maintaining skirts as well as dresses as integral parts of his wardrobe. Interview Magazine even went so far as to deem Willow and Jaden “the future of fashion” due to their “earnestness and general, as well as gender, nonconformity.” But Willow and Jaden are not the only two popular culture icons representative of a cultural shift in gender dynamics. “Rupaul’s Drag Race,” a tv pop culture phenomenon on VH1, has also been challenging gender performance since its initial air date in 2009. Drag Race, as it has come to be colloquially referred to, is host to a number of lgbtq individuals each season, and introduced its first openly transgender queen in its second season.


These pop culture trends represent a shift in national perceptions of gender, and are part of what National Geographic has deemed a “gender revolution”; but how, when, and where did this cultural shift begin? It’s no secret that self-expression can act as a form of resistance in and of itself, but some Americans may find it heartening to realize such a revolution’s roots. It is via these foundational forms of resistance that greater and grander liberation movements may rise to fruition. In late June of 1969, the political and social climate toward lgbtq Americans were turbulent to say the least, hostile at best. In New York City’s Greenwich Village, many lgbtq Americans found a place wherein their then-deemed “sexual deviance” could be expressed without fear of persecution: The Stonewall Inn. The Inn remained a haven for lgbtq people despite police raids of gay bars in the city being a regular occurrence. At the Stonewall Inn, people were free to dance with whomever and be whoever their hearts desired – a second home to many, including Marsha ‘Pay-It-No-Mind’ Johnson. Johnson was a local celebrity, drag queen, and proud trans woman. Her style today remains iconic, but her legacy is one of more than just her impeccable fashion sense. She was also an advocate, and alongside her fellow transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, Johnson is said to have thrown the first brick in the Stonewall Riots. ►

JUMPSUIT | Ermine Vintage ORANGE BLAZER | Forever 21 BLACK BLAZER | Zara Men



Dr. Lyndon K. Gill is a Queer and African Diaspora Studies professor at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Gill teaches a class on Fashion & Desire at the university, had this to say about Johnson’s role in the Stonewall Riots: “Marsha was a community figure who had a kind of generosity that you would see almost of a kind of public official in some ways, providing services to the lgbtq community … Because the community was ostracized in a lot of ways, people [had] been estranged from their families, [and] people like Marsha took on those roles and became sort of mother figures, elder figures in the community who would support people financially…offer someone emotional support. Just being able to see someone who’s living so fully and so fearlessly their own specific kind of gender fuck, just really pushing back against the kind of normative boundaries that are placed around [them]…is an inspiration to other people. And so it makes sense that a figure like that would be at the start of something like this kind of rebellion.”

On June 28th, 1969, the inn was subject to yet another police raid. Heretofore in these raids, Stonewall patrons and management were arrested and carted off to the local jailhouse on account of the now defunct law criminalizing their sporting less than three gender-appropriate articles of clothing. But in the wee hours of that Saturday morning, the people of the Stonewall Inn had made up their mind: they weren’t going. “Most people don’t realize how important clothing was,” said Gill. “You hear…anecdotes about…trans women and drag queens using their high heels in an effort to push back, fight back against the police for raiding the space, which had happened many, many times before, but it was just a moment where people felt fed up with that police harassment…There’s this on-

going narrative that maybe seems to not be so aligned with how some of these more conservative lgbtq organizations want to understand stonewall, but Stonewall is connected to a history of police violence against people of color…that Queer people continue to [experience] in contemporary space…Clothes, police brutality, and the centrality of transness, trans communities to that movement I think often gets lost.”

Said to have been the “Rosa Parks Moment” of Gay history, the Stonewall Riots represent a pivotal moment in the lgbtq fight for equality. It is said that prior to that Saturday morning, there had been no plan for retaliation or resistance; the people of the Stonewall Inn were simply collectively ‘fed up,’ and as such decided they would no longer yield to the officers who had come in pursuance of their arrest and subsequent physical abuse. This spirit of resistance embodied by those Stonewall Inn patrons that Saturday morning gave way to the magnificent displays of lgbtq pride we bear witness to each year around the world. Thus, due to the nature of their genesis and the similar conditions with which the lgbtq community is met today, the annual lgbtq Pride Parades are firmly rooted, daring displays of resistance and style. In the decades it took international pride parades to gain traction, similarly stylish displays of lgbtq pride took place series of underground parties known as drag balls. These balls gave way to new forms of dance such as “voguing,” and in the 1980s New York City drag balls functioned as a sort of home to many lgbtq African Americans, a large portion of whom happened to be homeless. ►


BLACK WOMEN’S JACKET | Ermine Vintage BLACK WOMEN’s PANTS | Revival Vintage BLACK MEN’S COAT | Zara Men




With such high rates of homelessness within the lgbtq community, drag balls responded by fostering familial units within the drag ball community. These families, known as houses, are and were a place where rejected lgbtq individuals could find a group of people who sought to support them in the ways that they had been denied due to circumstance. In fact, Stonewall posterwoman Marsha P. Johnson, while never having an official ‘house,’ took in many young lgbtq youth, and filled the role of parent, providing them with food, housing, and social support. Aesthetically speaking, NYC drag balls were a brilliant display of colors, fabrics, and modeling expertise. Attendees gathered around the edges of a room while the bravest souls made their way to the center one-by-one to vogue, dance, and sissy that walk. One documentary film archives a peak into 1980s NYC drag balls, titled “Paris is Burning.” Cited by American drag superstar Ru Paul as being one of the major inspirations for her drag, and subsequent multimillion dollar drag empire, “Paris is Burning,” offers an intimate look into


what the New York Times has called “a thoughtful exploration of race, class, gender, and sexuality in America.” Marsha P. Johnson, the Smith siblings, Rupaul contestants, and the subjects of Paris is Burning all have three things in common: their relentless challenges of gender-expectations; their cognizance of the volumes one’s own style can speak, and a dauntless refusal to be anything but their true selves. Johnson, the Smiths, and RuPaul represent 3 points along a cultural ‘feedback loop’ of style, gender, and flare with roots in drag and flare. It should come as no surprise that cultural phenomena such as voguing might arise from the lgbtq community – a group with enough staying power and pizzazz to transform the Stonewall Riots into an international yearly celebration of Pride. May the world of fashion continue to take note of lgbtq strides and implement their righteous ideals without hesitation, yet never without homage paid to the brave souls, to whom we owe such a vibrant and vivacious cultural muse. ■


RED PANTS | Macy's



Writer: Ramanika Upneja, Copy Editor: Sarah Thrash, Stylist: Ellie Bazil, Photographer: Andrew Byrne, Models: Maiya Evans, Hannah Shih, Carly Weiner, HMUA: Maiya Evans, Jessica Teran, Layout: Manuela Rincon, Artist: Maya Haws-Shaddock 27


ay hello to the quintessential Chinese woman. She is in a solid red coat. It covers her from her shoulders down to her knee. Her hair is straight and slicked back with a few wisps in her face. She isn’t wearing very much makeup, but bold eyeliner and has even bolder eyebrows. She is not wearing jewelry. Now, meet the model-Mexican woman, with wavy, think, old Hollywood-glam hair. Her dress is flowy, sultry and sexy. She is in a red, deep v-cut dress with an eyecatching, gold necklace. She is heavily contoured with daring lipstick and a smoky eye. Lastly, say hello to the benchmark for American women. She is risqué. Her hair is wavy and in front of her face. She has a masculine touch interwoven throughout her ensemble. She is wearing a red trouser pant and blazer, but her top underneath is cropped. She is provocative. She has on a statement necklace, and a mostly makeup-free face.

From bold lips, to short hair, to more skin than many can bear, culture influences fashion publications in every way. China, Mexico, and the United States are three culturally distinct nations that drastically affect the way fashion magazines choose to represent the latest styles and trends in those corners of the world. Publications from Vogue to Harper’s Bazar are dramatically affected by the culture of each nation, which changes the style of the models makeup, clothes, jewelry and hair. China may be perceived as a traditional or conservative country. The simplistic and traditional values are illustrated in the way magazines portray models in China. According to the Thome Fang Institute, China’s orthodox and modest values are shaped by two primary cultural traits: agriculture and art.


Roughly half of China’s population lives in rural areas. Agriculture leads to a sense of stability and permanence; permanence leads to respect of tradition. The Thome Fang Institute explains when “later philosophers produced new philosophical ideas, still they modestly interpreted their own ideas as merely elucidation of some ancient doctrines.” Even with the introduction of new ideas and values, it is typical in Chinese culture to place importance in respecting tradition and paying tribute to elders. Art and literature masterpieces are always contemporary – no matter when they were created, their beauty remains fresh. New discoveries in science may support old facts but typically debunk what we thought was true. The Thome Fang Institute concluded that The Chinese outlook on life values artistry more than the sciences. It is typical in Chinese society to look back at history to find moral values, unlike a scientific perspective that would look forward for answers. A result of looking back to find values is a respect for the elderly. With 220 million people between the age of 22 and 30, hundreds of fashion designers and publications all over the world are moving to China. Textile Apparel Professor Ockhee Bego at the University of Texas at Austin describes China as, “the biggest customer market in the world.” She believes that China’s conservative style stems from respecting the traditional culture, but also explains things are changing. China is “not as conservative as you think. Models wear strapless dresses underneath their jackets. Think of it as Middle Eastern women wearing beautiful sparkling dresses underneath their burkas.” If trends continue this way, China will move toward a more provocative style. ►

RED DRESS | Macy's





Because of the budding eccentricism of China’s youth and the sheer size of China’s market, many designers in the Western world are moving to China. “The market is so big, the Western world is bringing influence,” Bego said. “[China is] bound to shift towards an American level of provocative in the next couple decades.” Mexico may be more progressive than China; however, it still maintains a certain level of conservatism and modesty. According to Livescience, “Most Mexican families are very traditional and paternalistic, where the father is the head. Mothers, on the other side, are highly valued and venerated, but their role may be seen as secondary.” Many scholars claim this patriarchal society stems from a “Catholic” or “conservative” Mexico. This orthodox value system leads to a slightly conservative style of dressing; however, this is changing and comes with a few exceptions. Typical slang in Mexico includes “belleza,” a word perpetuating the idea that Mexican women are obligated to “look good” for their husbands. This perception impels women to dress for their husbands, which in turn affects the way publications advertise in Mexico. Knowing it is important to balance a conservative look with a look for their husband, it is commonplace to see a dress with a slit in the leg or a low v-neckline. Mexico faces a bit of a mixed identity by being a Latin country as well as part of “Western culture.” Due to the influence of Western culture, scholarly blog DebatePoliticoMexico explains, “The number of single-parent families is growing, premarital sex is more accepted. Ninety percent of Mexico is Catholic, but only 25 percent is truly a serious practitioner.” Mexico is moving toward more progressive values, and with that comes riskier, tighter and “sexier” clothes. The entertainment industry is also playing a crucial role in fashion in Mexico. Textile Chemist Professor Louisa Gilfandino at the University of Texas explains, “Everything goes back to the entertainment industry. If the movie stars are getting riskier, the magazines will be-


come riskier, and the clothing will become riskier.” Novellas, a driving force in Mexico’s entertainment industry, play a large role in defining culture and contribute to the frequent trends across Mexico. Uniquely, the United States is known for pushing boundaries, paving pathways, and creating styles. From New York Fashion Week to the Met Ball, the U.S. is a trendsetting nation. It is common of American style and culture to push the envelope. Moreover, the U.S. is rich with body positivity movements. Campaigns ranging from the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, to the What’s Underneath Project are creating an environment where nudity is encouraged and seen as confidence. TIME Magazine indicates over 30 states in the U.S. have laws that allow women to be topless in some degree. The University of Chicago Press explains, “The tolerance of body expression from the mainstream, such as complete body tattoos or nudism, is strongly linked to location.” Nudity is a popular fashion statement in fashion hubs across the United States. The progressive laws that allow nudity, along with popular body positivity campaigns that society often supports are the reason publications feel that they are free to expose their models. Ultimately, every country is full of unique cultures which play a part in its clothing. Publications take cues for advertisement based on how the greater part of society will react. Just as Vogue China knows it is too risky to put nudity on the cover, Marie Claire knows not to put a turtleneck and coat on its American cover. All things considered, diversity and tradition play an important role in fashion; however, the world is shrinking. Fashion designers are moving to bigger, newer markets in China and Mexico, and when they move, they bring their Western influence with them. Whether in China, where the arrival of designers will lead to a riskier look, or in Mexico, where the entertainment industry will lead to a riskier look, cultures around the world are moving toward more progressive Western clothing styles. ■



Writer: Maddy Murray, Copy Editor: Sydney Mahl, Stylist: Victoria Bass, Photographer: Andy Medina, Models: Caitlin Topham, Joseph Wilson, HMUA: Amanda MacFarlane, Layout: Sanjana Jhaveri, Artist: Maya Haws-Shaddock 34


BLACK PURSE | Ermine Vintage



uring the height of the Great Depression, the renowned novelist, George Orwell noted, “The girl who leaves school and gets a deadend job can still look like a fashionplate for a pittance. You may have pennies in your pocket and not a prospect in the world, and only the corner of a leaky bedroom to go home to; but in your new clothes, you can stand on a street corner, indulging in a private daydream of yourself as Marlene Dietrich.” While there were few comforts to be found during such a terrifying time, the desire to dress well remained.

2008 was a year many have come to associate with financial instability and the worst economic disaster since Orwell’s observation in the 1930s. The effects of the recession are evident, as those who lived through the phenomena may recall well. Unemployment accelerated at a consistent rate, leaving the people with little hope and a lot of stress of finding an income. People did everything they could to cope with the recession, and naturally that included lifestyle changes. This equivocated luxury goods becoming largely unattainable for the average household. As an evening of dining out and seeing the latest movie at the theater began to seem like it could be the very thing standing between Americans and paid bills, people went out less and stayed in more. Those who were once footloose and fancy-free with lavish spending habits became close-fisted passersby, trekking past their favorite stores without a second glance. As such, apparel became a good that many people were forced to cut back on, and the fashion industry suffered along with the rest of the economy. However, instead of disappearing into nothingness due to dwindling demand, the fashion industry in fact found a way to evolve in parallel to the economic climate.

While stores’ sales figures can be indicative of the market at the time, the economy in turn may be one of the major influencers of trends. Fashion is like any other art: a part of living history, and as such exists as a function of the contemporary economic climate. As the magazine, Not Just a Label, wrote, “Fashion itself is a reflection of social, economic, political and cultural changes. It expresses modernity, symbolizing the spirit of the times.” Fashion is inspired by life, of which, the economy is an inherent component. Growing up during the height of the recession, the Millennial Generation developed a unique set of values that come from living in a time of tight budgets. This is a generation, Forbes Magazine claims, that is “more into the style of life than the stuff of life.” As such, this group clearly realizes the opportunity cost of buying material things. Instead, they prefer to spend their money on experiences. This, in turn, becomes quite threatening to the retail clothing industry. Forbes Magazine went on to say, “Aesthetic trends come and go, but value-based trends … they have staying power.” This staying power supersedes material desires, and retail marketers realizes this. However, instead of fashion industry dissipating into a void of defeat, the market transformed. Marketers decided to give the customers exactly what they needed and in a way that they desired: minimalism. The minimalist lifestyle focuses on living with less but feeling as though you have more. Ridding one’s life of excess helps to maintain focus on what is important. It is a lifestyle that, for many Millennials, allows them the freedom and satisfaction of living with less material goods. The first generation born after the technology revolution, Millennials find themselves highly adept with life on mobile devices. Posting the events of one’s ►



“The girl who leaves school and gets a dead-end job can still look like a fashion-plate for a pittance. You may have pennies in your pocket and not a prospect in the world, and only the corner of a leaky bedroom to go home to; but in your new clothes, you can stand on a street corner, indulging in a private daydream of yourself as Marlene Dietrich.” —George Orwell


life online and absorbing all the details of peers’ social media presence can become overwhelming, which is why Millennials aspire to have their personal life more structured with less clutter.

creasingly appealing to the modern consumer, as they help to keep material goods in circulation that would otherwise go directly to landfills. And modern brands can do this, too.

Technology, consequently, has affected the minimalist. With the new sharing economy, it is no longer necessary to purchase huge, expensive goods like cars whenever ride-sharing services are readily available. Millennials’ lack of obligation to partake in ownership has resulted in a more simplified lifestyle. Similarly, Millennials are often drawn to the concept of a “capsule wardrobe,” where instead of having a closet filled to the brim with clothing that largely goes unworn, Millennials keep a small number of garments that are interchangeable, that match their personality and lifestyle. Now enabled to spend less on apparel and more on traveling or an evening out, this wardrobe transformation is rapidly gaining popularity among this generational cohort. But this is not to say that Millennials are not fashionable; rather, they have found a way for fashion to fit their agenda. As a result, this sparked demand for the fashion industry to produce minimalist pieces that are more practical for everyday dress.

Millennial Marketing (mm), a website entirely devoted toward understanding the consumer trends of this generation, found that brands must create functional products, complimented by lower costs and environmental impacts. mm also accredits Urban Outfitters for their success in this, as shopping in their stores “mimics rummaging through a vintage shop in the East Village.” Additionally, Millennials are perhaps even more inspired by the engaging lifestyles that this clever branding promotes. That’s what it’s about with this generation: if you can’t make them want to buy the clothes, you make them want to buy the lifestyle. Brands that capitalize on these tactics score the Millennials’ approval and, thus, their business.

In order to successfully accomplish targeting Millennials, retail companies had to first understand the socioeconomic background from which the cohort originated. Trademark characteristics of the generation include budget-conscious, techcentric; high preference for experiences over goods; and environmental consciousness. Thrift stores and vintage boutiques are becoming in-


Perhaps it was the recession that forced minimalism upon the Millennials. Perhaps not, but the economy’s impact on where social climate and fashion trends are headed cannot be understated. It only makes sense that these personal consumer choices are intertwined with the spirits of the times. Or maybe these consumer trends are simply a state of mind that these people want to buy into (or rather buy out of). Either way, being less materialistic and more compelled to experience the greater joys of life is one trend that this generation can only hope will withstand the passing of time. ■

BLACK DRESS | Ermine Vintage


m o t o p e r f e c t o

Writer: Madeleine Munford, Copy Editor: Shafeen Qazi, Stylist: Jackie Ramirez, Photographer: Andrew Byrne, Models: Melina Perez, Gabby Tan, Caroline Tsai, HMUA: Jessica Teran, Layout: Caroline Rock 42

The silence of the stillness is broken by the humming of a motor and the roaring of an accelerator. Sparks fly from the gears. A passionate rider is poised and ready for the ride of their life as they thrust their heavy motorcycle into the horizon at full speed. In the background, rebellious rock n’ roll music plays along with the motorcycle’s unmistakable cry and dust is blown into the air, trailing behind the back wheel.


VINTAGE JUMPSUIT | Monkies Vintage



ccompanying this unique form of transportation, there is a massive, cult-like following of loyal daredevils who love the ride and live to experience the scene that the above imagery describes. In your mind, I can guarantee that you were picturing a sexy, badass biker, man or woman, donning the ubiquitous leather closet staple. This article of clothing exudes an intimidating vibe, which almost dares others to mess with its tough personality.

Motorcyclists have notoriously expressed their passion for riding through their outerwear, which has always been incredibly important in protecting their delicate skin from the possibilities of fatal crashes. Not only is the biker’s jacket a staple wardrobe choice and an outward display of expression, but the materials used are necessary protective gear for motorcycle riders. Typically a rider will have more gear, in addition to their jacket, including gloves, boots, pants, and a helmet. This equipment and these articles of clothing function as another layer of skin to completely protect against injuries while on the road. Unfortunately, a motorcycle accident can occur anywhere and at any time, whether it be traveling long distance or joyriding close to home. Motorcycle gear is extremely protective against the tragic realities and risks that motorcyclists take on. Yet, society has always strung together the fashion statement with the personality traits of an outlaw. What started this trend and how has it gained the connotation that society has for it today?

In 1928, the leather motorcycle jacket was born. The once known World War II bomber jacket evolved and became integrated into common culture. From the inner workings of the genius mind of Irving Schott, co-founder for the Schott Bros outerwear company, a whole industry spawned. His innovative take on the bomber jacket was the first piece of outerwear to closely resemble the aviator jacket, as well as utilize a zipper to combat against the inevitable rushing, cold air during motorcycle rides. This new feature allowed for bikers to avoid losing their personal items and helped them safely lean over their bike without cutting into their bodies. The beloved, revolutionary piece was named, “The Perfecto,” after Schott’s favorite cigar brand. The Perfecto was sold to Harley Davidson in New York City for a mere $5.50, which is nothing compared to today, as a motorcyclist could easily invest $3,000 in one for the guaranteed warmth, safety, and quality. For the past 100 years, on the factory floor of the world renowned Schott’s Bros. NYC business, located in New Jersey, up to 30 to 40 motorcycle jackets are hand-cut by loyal employees, stitched together efficiently, and thoroughly inspected. The motorcycle jacket has been loved by generations of motorcyclists for its functional and protective use. Confirmed by Jason Schott, Chief Operating Officer for Schott NYC, in a bbc Culture interview, “We get jackets back that are 34 years old…Instead of getting a new jacket, they want that one, broken in just the way they want it. They don’t want to part ►


with it.” The bond between a motorcyclist and their jacket is incredibly strong and unique among other consumer to clothing relationships. However, the popularity of the Perfecto quickly expanded to other fascinated social groups and evolved from just functionality. Modifications of the Perfecto jacket have been coveted and worn by celebrities for so many years, even though the Schott Company had no intentions of this occurring while manufacturing their original design. According to Schott, his family, “has always focused on the factory, on the building of the jacket, rather than how they are perceived by the outside world,” as shared with bbc Culture. What started out as a functional piece of outerwear for motorcyclists had become a defining feature for personalities in Hollywood, integral to high fashion and art, and an icon for social movements. The tough topper made an iconic appearance in the 1953 film, The Wild One, which featured Marlon Brando as the leader of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in a story inspired by the 1947 Hollister Riot in California. Brando’s harrowing response to a fellow female lead asking him, “What are you rebelling against, Johnny?” was carelessly, “Whaddaya got,” as his character, Johnny Strabler, shrugged. Brando’s character portrayal was the introduction of the carefree, badass side of the motorcycle jacket. His performance signaled to society that the this jacket was now the defining image of a re-


bellious, wild, and dangerously free bad boy. Not long after, in 1955, another influential Hollywood actor, James Dean, furthered the bad boy aesthetic by adapting the motorcycle jacket as his second skin in every public appearance he made. Steve McQueen, with his cigarette between his teeth and his sunglasses resting on the ridge of his nose, brought his attitude to the jacket, as he was an experienced motorcycle rider in his personal life outside of his successful acting career. The association between the outlaw attitudes of these notable actors and the tough-looking biker jacket was all too much for American parents. As such, the Perfecto was continually banned from schools throughout the fifties. The functional and protective qualities of the biker jacket benefitting actual motorcyclists all but vanished with the new found stigma of a rough phenomenon in youth culture. The look reached a status of iconicity in the music industry, as bands adapted the jacket as an identifier for their punk and rock subcultures. The Sex Pistols’ bass and vocalist, Sid Vicious, famous for personalizing his leather biker jacket, was allegedly buried in his personal double riders biker jacket. In addition to this fact, he wore it in his police mugshot after infamously murdering his girlfriend. With the help from the revolutionary artists in these bands, Duran Duran, the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones, the motorcycle jacket took the stage as the universal sign of rebellion. The role that the motorcycle jacket had in shocking audiences ►

LEATHER JACKET | Monkies Vintage




was significant, as heard when Legs McNeil, cofounder of Punk Magazine, said, “They were all wearing these black leather jackets... They looked so striking. These guys were not hippies. This was something completely new,” after the Ramones made their debut at cbgb. However, this fashion statement was no longer just a symbol for masculinity. Many famous female musicians would show their non-conformity through the wear of their favorite ode to a rebel without a cause soon enough. Blondie and Joan Jett are some of the rock n’ roll women known for famously adding on various metals and pins to their, now unisex, jackets. Debbie Harry, also known as Blondie, can be seen in many photos wearing her sleeveless motorcycle jacket. Her adaptation could have been the possible inspiration for the later creation that Alexander Wang would design. In the onset of the strengthening and progressively enraged feminist movement of the 1970s and 1980s, the motorcycle jacket made an appearance yet again. This time, the symbolic outerwear sent a message to the nation that women were demanding their equality through the dominating and untamable personality given to the rebellious wardrobe staple previously asserted by men. It’s not a surprise that the chic biker jacket made its way onto the runway in its many forms. Yves Saint Laurent introduced an alligator skin version of the Perfecto for Christian Dior and received lots of backlash for his design in 1960, which was noted as

the first time it was seen in haute couture. Other pivotal designers contributed their own modifications of the garment in their fashion shows, including Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace, and Claude Montana. The motorcycle jacket has worked its way onto our radar from our growing fascination with off-duty models, like Kate Moss. With Moss’s expanding band of followers, the iconic model harnessed her power to wear the, once popular, tough guys’ jacket in a scaled down version of the Perfecto. She was seen in moto jackets with less streamlined silhouettes. The biker-chic trend was introduced to the fashion industry as models rocked the casual chic on and off the runway. All of us recognize the motorcycle jacket in some form. Most of us, even if we’ve never ridden a motorcycle, understand the look and adapt it as our own in our wardrobes. When the average person sees a biker jacket, they, “register emotions about the person wearing it…It’s so identifiably a tough jacket,” said Jason Schott in his interview with bbc Culture. Throughout history the motorcycle jacket has incited and survived lots of rebellion, exceeding its functionality. Trends and fads decline in popularity with time, but the motorcycle jacket remains a lifestyle choice. With that, the motorcyclists rides further off into the distance, becoming smaller and smaller in view. What’s on our minds even after the motorcyclist has left? The historically tough personality gripping the leather of the motorcyclist’s jacket. ■



Hype from the


Writer: Maddy Murray, Copy Editor: Sarah MuĂąoz, Stylist: Ashley Arreola, Photographer: Emiliano Zapata, Models: Alex Aguilar, Leonor Martins HMUA: Athena Sazesh, Layout: Cristianne Povoa 51

GREEN BOMBER JACKET | Monkies Vintage & Thrift



alking through the front door of Apparition Skateboards, I was greeted with rows of Vans, colorful skateboard decks, graphic tees, and everything else the avid skater could desire. Vibrant posters lined both the walls and ceiling. It was a place my eyes could wander and continually find new surprises. Entirely vacated, as the store was closing, a lone worker politely motioned toward the silver door at the back of the shop. I stepped out into the brisk evening air, and my eyes adjusted to the ambience of a dozen people casually chatting in the warm glow of the backyard’s lighting. A skate ramp lined a graffiti wall, as a few people were swapping out turns to ride and practice their tricks. Although I had been anxiously searching for Jonathan Hinguanzo, I was calmed by a sense of camaraderie and joined the group of guys and girls, bonded by a love of skating culture. In fact, it was this very atmosphere that I found myself in that led the creation of several cult clothing brands. In 1994, James Jebbia opened his first store in downtown Manhattan. Designed so that people could skate directly through the front doors, the Supreme flagship store became the hotspot of New York youth culture. In the years since, the trademark Supreme logo has become synonymous with limited lines that consistently sell out within minutes of being released. The inspiration for Supreme comes from an eclectic mix of punk and hip-hop music, skating, and other arts. While Jebbia is the

allusive creator, rarely consenting to interviews, he told the New York Times, “I feel a very important factor to our longevity is that, over the years, we have managed to create our own unique identity and aesthetics.” His refusal to “sell-out” is depicted in his decision not to sell through department stores. Instead, Supreme stays boutique and underground. Despite his aloof attitude toward Supreme becoming mainstream, it has flourished into the world’s coolest streetwear brand. Even so, he claims he would prefer the brand be “ignored by the masses than misunderstood,” meaning that he wants to sell his clothing only to those who relate to the brand’s style. It due to this resilience to maintain the quality and aesthetic that Supreme became loved for that has resulted in loyal masses of customers. Their uncompromising rise into high fashion serves as a compliment to the coolness factor of the label that people want to buy into. Thus, Supreme has cemented their status as a “cult brand.” A cult brand may be described as having a devoted customer base that may feel a sense of vested interest in the brand’s success. This coterie of fashion-fanatics go to extensive measures to seek out certain clothing lines that they relate most to. For that reason, underground and ecommerce retail stores have appeared as marketplaces for this high-end streetwear. “Grailed” is one of these curated sites that has provided an accessible platform for men to buy and sell secondhand designer clothing. There, people are sure to find their most sought-after brands like ►


Norse Projects, A.P.C. Denim, Our Legacy, and, of course, Supreme. It’s this incessant search to find the most impressive article of streetwear and the hype of discovering the next up-and-coming designers that enable these brands to achieve cult-status. This preoccupation with scouring streetwear is what led me to Apparition Skateboards. I diverted my attention away from the sharp-dressed skaters riding down the ramp back and forth in a hypnotic manner, and followed Jonathan Hinguanzo away from the group of people. Adorned with silver necklaces and a military style cap he scored at Buffalo Exchange that day, Hinguanzo reflected on how he became involved in fashion. It began three years ago with his own clothing line, Human Dior. Hinguanzo designs his own t-shirts, and already having released four collections, he says he is working on his fifth one currently. “The brand, Human Dior, has a political background,” he said. “I like repurposed designs to portray current events and social movements.” It’s like telling a story for him. He drops his lines in a specific order, claiming that if you look at the graphics in chronological order you can see the essence of his story unfold. Though Hinguanzo conveys that he expresses himself through his designs, he extends his interest in clothing to buying and selling. Consequently, Human Dior transitioned to encompass the name of his online and in-store designer consignment shop based in Dallas. He’s humored as he recalls how he got his start-up. “I hate passing up good deals,” he


said. “So if I found something that didn’t fit me, I would buy it anyways. And that’s how it came to be.” It eventually reached a point where people were coming to his house and buying clothes, and he wanted a safe marketplace for his customers. The store became both the next step and the solution for Hinguanzo to enter the fashion industry, and that’s where he invests the majority of his time now, constantly on the search for desirable designer pieces to stock his shop, in addition to working there. As he is interrupted by phone calls about a potential new location and one about buying pieces to make jewelry (another project he has in the works), his excitement is palpable. It is this high demand for designer streetwear that can lead to an occupation for fashion enthusiasts. With online forums making it easy to buy and sell streetwear and countless numbers of longing customers, reselling these highend pieces can be profitable. Perhaps it is the coolness factor that some people choose to buy into whenever they purchase these streetwear designer pieces. The impressive and elusive nature of these streetwear brands is concomitant to their high-end aesthetic. Nonetheless, that’s the surest way to be scoffed at from those who appreciate and relate to the brand. These clothing lines have a purpose behind them. It may be commenting on culture, such as Russian designer Gosha Rubchinskiy, whose collections provide an eclectic reflection on the post-Soviet state of the nation. Or a clothing line could be the start of a movement. In 1993, Kim Gordon, the frontwoman of the alternative band ►



Sonic Youth, paired up with stylist Daisy von Furth to create the clothing line XGirl. As a complement to the boys-only streetwear brand X-Large, the goal of the line was for girls to make clothes for girls that fit girls. The ‘90s were the birth of females who found themselves with anti-mainstream attitudes; these were the girls who would rather hang around skate parks and despised conventionality. Their only options of appropriate dress were ill-fitted men’s clothes and thrift finds. XGirl was made for these non-typical ladies in mind. In a pioneering manner, X-Girl went against the prevailing grunge themes of the decade, and what resulted was a blend of preppy-esque miniskirts and aline dresses mixed with graphic tees and fitted straight-leg jeans. The blend of inspirations was varied. Rather they did a play on the Harvard crest saying “X-Girl Prep” for a tee or designed a ‘60s modish dress, they wanted things to be original and fresh. Von Furth told Paper Mag, “It was all about taking things that were not punk rock, not indie rock, not hip-hop, and making them that.” X-Girl had a relatively short run, however, as they sold the line to a Japanese company in 1998. Nonetheless, X-Girl, as a clothing line, served its purpose: it helped to liberate the tomboy to be more in touch with her feminine side. As far as a X-Girl goes, it was, without a doubt, the ‘90s female cult brand. They neither tried nor cared to enter the fashion industry in any orthodox manner, as with most other cult brands. Instead, they fully embodied punk attitudes. With the young Chloë Sevigny as the most prominent face

of their brand, X-Girl had their first fashion show, guerrilla style. On the streets of Soho, intentionally right down the road from Marc Jacobs’ own runway show, the X-Girl crew facilitated the show through walkie talkies and managed to steal Jacobs’ audience with models strutting down bare sidewalks. As far as their clothing went, XGirl was never overpriced. Nonetheless, it clothed the backs of girls with threads that were the streetwear equivalent of highfashion. Sevigny, who originally worked across the street from X-Girl’s brick and mortar store in Lower Manhattan, told Paper Mag about all of the artists and musicians who hung around the store. “XGirl was more retro, a little more ‘too cool for school,’” Sevigny said. “And I really wanted to be across the street.” Although X-Girl is no longer, the label (as is true for all cult brands) always remained authentic to its brand while catering to loyal masses of customers. This is what cult brands are about. It’s the attitude, as Dazed Magazine put it, of being “unflinchingly aloof and uncaring of outsider opinions.” It’s about cultivating a company that is bonafide to their branding, something that comes so effortlessly, no amount of professional marketing can force. It’s about the brands that were made for fashion enthusiasts to set up camp outside the favorite stores. Patiently, they wait in line on the sidewalks for the morning doors to open at last and reveal the freshest line of clothes, that suddenly that level of unattainable cool has not only been attained – it was righteously earned. ■



Writer: Joanne Xu, Copy Editor: Aiden Park, Stylist: Emma Raney, Photographer: Marybeth Schmidt, Model: Angela Montalvo, HMUA: Rachel Cook, Layout: Natalie Berry, Artist: Natalie Berry 58


essi Afshin, owner of fashion blog The Darling Detail, strolls into Gearing Hall with a grace paralleling that of a ballerina. Though rather petite in frame, her mere presence seems to liven the room instantaneously; the murmuring chatters cease as she positions herself center stage. Right leg bent faintly, hip settled in comfortably to one side, head cocked ever so slightly – it is as if she is effortlessly ready for a photo at any moment. Afshin, a University of Texas alumni, is back on campus today to recount her rise to fame in the fashion blogging industry. Four years prior, the twentysomething merchandising major had established The Darling Detail merely as a means of creative escape from what she calls a “state of unfulfillment.”

Today, Afshin heads a team of five in her brand new Austin office. Her Instagram has amassed over 200,000 followers and she has successfully shifted into a financially sustainable, full-time blogger. And she’s not the only one. These days, Afshin is one of many responsible for the most recent revitalization within the fashion industry: the new era of “style influencers.” It is not that fashion blogging is a new phenomenon by any means. Historically, the concept of independent writers who share their personal style opinions online is nothing unfamiliar to the industry. Nowadays, it’s the newfound respect and relevance that bloggers have earned from the industry’s formerly skeptical elites that has shaken the fashion world’s hierarchy of power to its core. Long before the rise of hot-shot digital mavens like Leandra Medine of Man Repeller

and Bryan Grey Yambao of BryanBoy, the blogging community was rather outcasted; highly-revered industry nobility regarded these creatives as “tryhards” and “wannabes,” unfit of esteemed acknowledgement amongst the weathered professionals. At the time not a serious full-time career option, bloggers were discredited by the seemingly mindless nature of their work. After all, anyone can start up a website and post random nonsense. Not until a new notion was coined, and then popularized, did this stigma around bloggers start to fade. The birth of the “style influencer” thus revolutionized blogging into a modern and very much real, round-the-clock force felt by the entire industry. Rapid rises in social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram were perfectly suited for the blogging type: an online, interactive community where casual documentation of your daily whereabouts, trend reports, and recommendations was not only encouraged, but essential. As Afshin said, “Instagram really changed the game.” In a time of information overload, where the average consumer is exposed to over 1000 advertisements per day, bloggers provide real time, honest, and seemingly intimate glimpses into the “normal” life of a sartorialist. While Vogue increased their September 2014’s ad page count to over 70 percent, the blogging community was investing in personalized, reachable relationships through easily navigated social mediums. As the number of self-made bloggers promptly escalated, so did the competition. Forerunners quickly emerged: on an international scale Aimee of Song of Style is chief amongst this exhaustive, exclusive list – her Instagram alone has garnered over four million regulars. “The hustle is real,” Afshin said. ►


BLOUSE | Blue Elephant Boutique PANTS | Blue Elephant Boutique JACKET | Blue Elephant Boutique


“Everyone’s blogging now, it’s the cool thing to do. You have to find a way to separate yourself from the rest.” Nonetheless, these newly minted “style influencer” types maintain one common objective. Despite the fierce competition to preserve and further cultivate an active following, the collective goal is to mesh high street and luxury fashion in an approachable, engaging context. In an effort to legitimize blogging as a fulltime pursuit, creatives have begun implementing business strategies into their editorial calendar. Affiliate programs like RewardStyle and ShopStyle, through which bloggers earn commission from clickable links on blog posts and Instagram captions, now account for a considerable portion of the full-time blogger’s revenue. Early designer endorsers of the blogging movement, like powerhouse Diane Von Furstenberg and all-American Levi’s, have also paved the way for an increase in brand sponsorships and collaborations. Once considered a rare sighting, well-established bloggers are now some of the most sought-after, tangible testaments of brand value and appeal. They populate coveted fashion week front rows, co-host collection launches and special events, address fashion icons on a first-name basis, and even walk the damn runway themselves (see: Aimee Song in Rebecca Minkoff, Spring 2017). A single, positively captioned Instagram review reaches an influencer’s own audience, their mutual connections, and newcomers all within a click’s reach. It is not only good but smart business to incorporate these mass-mediated, relatable, walking ad campaigns into a successful promotional strategy. Like any industry, however, blogging does not come without its personal sacrifices. The style influencer community projects a rosecolored-glass facade of glamour and effortless beauty. After all, it’s the so-close-yet-so-faraway lifestyle they’re selling, and we’re eating it up. The truth, however, is harder to digest:

a successful career in blogging is proving to be just as labor-intensive, cutthroat, and fastchanging as the likes of traditional modeling and design. Afshin has only recently been able to stop working week nights and weekends. “People tell me I have a dream job,” she said. “But in some ways it took away my youth. I mean, I wasn’t out getting margs, was I?” To gain a sliver of perspective, a single blog post typically takes a combined total of five hours to curate from top to bottom: conceptualize, write, incorporate affiliate linking and sponsored credits, edit, photograph, approve by any brand sponsors, post, promote via social media. And that’s being rather modest. Normally assumed to be a one person job, imagine the round-the-clock time commitment the modern blogger must uphold. Even so, many traditional fashion professionals still remain skeptics – or even cynics – about the relevancy of blogging within the industry. The largest obstacle of all proves to be the ambiguity in definition; how does one distinguish when an individual is deemed worthy of the “style influencer” title? Some say by profit. Achievement in full-time status is proof of sustainability, and thus influence, within the industry. Others argue by dialogue. After all, word of mouth is the driving force propelling any industry icon. Still, conservatives insist that neither are true – some are simply not convinced that seasoned experts should be replaced with these trendy “It Girl of the Moment” sorts. The blogging industry, with all of its improvements in reputation and worth, it seems, still has a long way to go with some nonbelievers. Whether you like it or not, however, the “style influencer” movement is just beginning its momentous conquest. One thing remains certain: the blogging lifestyle is most certainly attainable. “Do it because you love it – not because you want to be on crazy vacations in the Bahamas or because you want the money,” Afshin said. “That comes later.” ■





Writer: Brooke Lynn Decker, Copy Editor: Sami Bolf, Stylist: Natalie Sendukas, Photographer: Taylor Hall, Models: Rachel Real, Maria Tangarova, HMUA: Paola Mena, Layout: Maya Haws-Shaddock, Artist: Maya Haws-Shaddock 63



etting down on one knee to pop the question is in style every season. The bridal party and final ceremony that follow seem as if they are traditions reserved for the spring. There’s something sensual about springtime that makes it the most appealing time of year to begin a lifetime commitment to a forever love.

If spring was a woman, she would be a classic beauty that only wore delightful color palettes, alluring florals and detailed lace. Her lips would be pale pink, her winged eyeliner would be subtle and the highlight of her cheeks would boast a natural glimmer in the sunlight. If spring was a modern bride, she would choose an off-white wedding gown from Marchesa’s flawless Bridal Spring 2017 collection to pair with her burgundy hydrangea wedding bouquet. While this illustration encapsulates a modern bride’s taste, wedding gowns and the traditions they carry have greatly shifted during the past 100 years. While some women may wish to inherit their great grandmother’s art deco engage-

ment ring that holds sentimental value, it is a rarity that one considers dusting off a vintage wedding dress that saw the altar in the 1900s. The most abrupt change in wedding dresses over the decades is revealed by the silhouette. Before Gabrielle Bonheur Chanel introduced relaxed garments in women’s style, restricting corset silhouettes reigned supreme, almost expected. During the 1910s, a woman’s waist was confined by a corset and the floor-length skirt flared out, creating a ball gown silhouette. The 1920s, also known as the Jazz Age, introduced a new concept on wedding gowns. The waist line was typically lowered on the dress along with the neckline, revolutionizing the bodice of the gown. Loud embellishments and embroidery called for larger, more dramatic flower bouquets for the bride to carry down the aisle in complement. However, the tradition of wedding dresses temporarily yet drastically changed during the Great Depression and wartime era through the ‘30s and ‘40s. Silk was the most popular choice of fabric to incorporate into the design of a wedding gown, and is still prominent today. However, that luxury ►


was unattainable for many during the ‘30s. To economize, brides of the Depression era settled for cheaper fabrics, and some even chose to wear a formal dress they already owned. In contrast to Depression-era women, wartime brides usually entered wedlock without shopping for the perfect wedding gown to sweep the aisle as the pianist played the wedding march. It was common to abstain from planning a lavish wedding, for the women were focused on taking up the men’s jobs in the United States while their husbands fought overseas. A proper wedding reception almost seemed silly since during the time of second World War was taking place. Marnie Fogg described it best in her book “Vintage Weddings: One Hundred Years of Bridal Fashion and Style,” suggesting that wedding wear was so casual in the wartime era that “the dominant daytime silhouette was one that reflected the practical needs of the wartime woman. Skirts short enough to ride a bicycle, jackets buttoned high to the neck for warmth, lacy sweater to make the wool go further, sturdy shoes, and a shoulder bag”.


The late 1900s leading into the early 2000s adopted a sleeker silhouette and lace detailing was often incorporated on long sleeve wedding dresses especially. Many brides of this time adopted looks presented in pop culture films such as “The Wedding Singer” in 1994 and “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” in 2002. Romantic comedies seemed to hold influence over the fashion of wedding gowns. In modern time, many brides have taken unique approaches in order to astray from the universally traditional white wedding gown. Some brides have adopted floral accented gowns, and many a bride have even completely broke tradition to wear a black gown to the altar, choosing an unconventional route to fit their own aesthetic. While trends are constantly changing along with the decided silhouettes of wedding gowns of a specific era, one should focus on choosing a gown that best complements their figure and one that reflects their personal style. It is essential to express oneself on their special day, for sometimes, a fashion risk is worth taking. ■

PINK SEQUINED DRESS | Ermine Vintage PILLBOX HAT | Ermine Vintage GUNNE SAX DRESS | Ermine Vintage



Writer: Samira Abed, Copy Editor: Anel Gonzalez, Stylist: Arden Frank, Photographer: Taylor Hall, Models: Ebanie Griffith, Melina Perez, HMUA: Maiya Evans, Layout: Caroline Rock 68



omen walk a little taller, step a little stronger and stride with ease and comfort when wearing pants. What we view today as a simple garment is actually a forgotten statement that women used to make their voices heard. Women exude pride while holding onto their grace and femininity as they don typical men’s fashion. It is a rebellion against norms, stereotypes and outdated female roles. Women adopt this article of clothing as a stance against all that has held them back. Women prove that they can also wear the pants!

In the 19th century, French women wishing to wear pants would have to obtain a permit from a doctor allowing them to wear pants for health reasons because, logically, women would have to have some sort of health disability for them to want to wear such an unlady-like atrocity, right? This obvious public shaming experiment did not slow down women. We did, however, proceed with caution and thoughtfulness. One small step for [wo]man and, eventually, one giant leap (in comfortable, flexible trousers that would allow such agility) for [wo]mankind. One of our first statements against the resistance was stripping away corsets and crinolines. These uncomfortable metal contraptions not only made it easier for women to be objectified but also required women to purchase duplicate seats on trains and buses due to their size. What was considered a socially acceptable and required piece of a female’s wardrobe was a hindrance to not only women, but also to those around them and yet women’s comfort wear was still not allowed. Fast-forward a couple of historical decades and women were


chopping hemlines, slashing sleeves, burning bras and, ultimately, attempting the casual pant. Striving to simply be comfortable and mobile, women increasingly started wearing pants at home. This display of outright rebellion was a scandal and intentionally so. It had to be scandalous to ever become normal. Women wanted to be seen and not ignored. Some forms of the casual pant were accepted for only periods at a time. During World War II, it was acceptable for women to wear pants out because they adopted the role of industrial worker while the men of the country were at war. Our allowance was limited to a man’s occupation and status. We were dependent variables, pawns that were manipulated to adhere to the current society, never fully capable in our own right, until the 60s. Finally it was no longer a scandal to wear trousers out in a casual setting. No matter the circumstance, women could wear pants without being the talk of the town. With the final acceptance of pants as both men and women’s fashion, women pioneer a new frontier: pantsuits. Housewives, typists and assistants, three appropriate and suitable…well not [suit]able, but at least “able,” professions for women. We had small hands, slim waists and pretty faces, so the most we were capable of doing was simple, trivial tasks that wouldn’t wrinkle our skirts too much. Wrong! Women finally took a stand against these normative occupations and stomped on to government floors, Wall Street floors, theatre floors… really any kind of floor, all adorned in a twopanel garment designed for efficiency and comfort. The pantsuit became a symbol of power, ►


PLAID TROUSERS | Ermine Vintage


business and ownership; ideals that were never associated with women. Women were commonly viewed as small, demure figures capable of the valiant task of bearing a child but not heading a corporate meeting. By adopting the pantsuit, we were proving that we too could exercise dominance and control. The pantsuit is made for agility and comfort whilst remaining professional and sleek. Women such as Hillary Clinton, Janelle Monáe and even dating all the way back to Frida Kahlo, were founding members of the feminine pantsuit. They did not wait for society’s approval; rather they decided for themselves that this garment was applicable to women as well. They iconized the pantsuit as a feminist statement and a staple piece of any woman’s professional wardrobe. They made popular the idea that femininity is not only outfitted in a dress and heels but also in a clean, polished pantsuit. Donna Forsythe, a 70-year-old woman, who worked as a secretary for most of her life, is a living artifact of this momentous time. She was not a leading force in the movement, but rather a normal workingwoman in a patriarchal lead workforce. She was petite and hesitant, with a voice quivering to speak out. However, once the movement gained momentum she was ready to contribute. Her first act of defiance was in High School, “wearing jeans to a football game in the late 50s” knowing full well that she would get “called to the office” the next day for wearing that simple garment to a sporting event, Mrs. Forsythe was penalized and told to “not wear jeans to any school function” again, she said. This incident had an impact on her. She looked around at the women in her life. Her grandmother, who didn’t start wearing pants till the 60s and “only when working in the yard,” but for any other occasion,

even one as menial as “cleaning house,” to a more significant event like “to church she would be decked out in a suit with hat and gloves,” she said. She realized this was outrageous, outdated and archaic. However, when she finally had this epiphany she was accosted by corporate America. Rolling into the workforce in the 60s, she was expected to wear a mini skirt to work. “Wearing a mini I was always adjusting my skirt when sitting and bending,” she said, she was constantly uncomfortable and felt objectified; always worried about the professional face she was putting forward and how her appearance was affecting her overall role. Finally in the 70s the company she worked for started to allow women to wear pants to work, Mrs. Forsythe took full advantage of this. When she dressed professional in slacks it made her “look and feel good,” she said. Mrs. Forsythe was a normal woman in corporate America trying not to cause conflict but still aware of the inequality present. Like many women, she was hesitant yet empowered and excited to see what the future held for women and when we would finally wear the pants. Look, I get it, pants can be scary. Skinny jeans? Don’t even get me started. Skinny jeans right out of a shower…nightmare. But we need to remember the tenacity and determination that is behind each pair of women’s trousers. Women going back at least a century broke that antiquated dichotomy and fought for the right for women to wear a simple garment. A garment that we now slip on and go about our days comfortably, comfortably thanks to these monumental women. A woman in pants is claiming her body as her own. She is claiming her mind as her own. She is claiming her path as her own. ■


Writer: Rebecca Adams, Copy Editor: Haley Johnston, Stylist: Carlie Roberson, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Timothy Jolley, HMUA: Amanda MacFarlane, Layout: Tony Redmer 74

GLASSES | zeroUV BLACK WATCH | Top Drawer LEATHER JACKET | Ermine’s Vintage





dvisors tell us time is valuable. Business counterparts tell us time is money. The question that follows, is what actually is time who defines time? And to what extent does time exist? If you ask the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie they will have your answer to all these questions by showcasing the world’s finest watch creations every January during the Geneva Watch Festival. The sihh is the world’s premier watch group that composes of 18 different watchmakers such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arples and Harry Winston. To them, time is the breath of life to their tangible creation. The definers of the concept of time are the watch designers. To them, time transcends luxury and invests in anyone that wishes to enjoy this pre-renaissance manifestation. The stamp engraved on every watch, Fabriqué en Suisse, is known today as a sign of legitimacy for all Horlogerie; for Geneva is the true heart of today’s fine watch making. Geneva might seem obscure, but the history of Geneva’s horlogerie prestige dates back to 1410. As technology rapidly advanced, parts for weighted clocks could be made smaller than ever before. Therefore, with the exploration era of the world, a need for a wearable clock became imperative to its hasty environment. It is common knowledge that Switzer-

land is known for its history of neutrality and economical success, which is why inventors, bankers, merchants and jewelry designers flocked to the booming city of Geneva. Therefore, with Geneva’s abundant assemblage of wealth and diversity, it instinctively metamorphosed into the horlogerie capital of the world. Geneva’s flourishing advances obliged Switzerland to exceed twelve billion US dollars in watch exports in 2010 according to a report released by the Fondation de la Haute Holorgerie Therefore, with the watch’s success, how then did a watch develop into such a staple of culture, art and opulence? Although taken for granted, one has to remember that the invention of the watch singlehandedly changed the world. With the invention of the watch, people were able to measure time in a new dimension of precision and served as a beacon of hope for continuity and growth of worldly expansion. While with such a timepiece, people had the world in their hands, pockets and on their wrists. Watches not only give us perception of the space one is in, but it also gives us a feeling of power to control time and our actions. By conquering this feat of watchmaking it’s as if watchmakers found a way to tame time itself. They use this concept in the marketing of watches and exploit the idea that time is a luxury. They convey wasting time is more valuable than wasting money, therefore ►


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putting time on a pedestal. The importance of a watch doesn’t come from the watch itself. The watch is our only way of actually seeing time. The watch is all about perception and balance; therefore making way for diversity in watch designs and versatility in wear-ability. Even with the watch’s distinct and abundant history, watches are still the bolstering factor to a booming economy and are a distinguished subject of every couture fashion house. Marketing campaigns are still driven on promoting various lifestyles and are seen as the staple piece of a lifestyle and finally still after six hundred years of hologerie, Geneva is still dedicated to making this artifact. Today, watches are evolving outside the high fashion that they were first constructed. Swatch, Seiko and even Rolex have created watches that go far beyond diamonds, opulent stones and gold. Watches are now even made out of plastic or metal substitutes and carry the capacity to withstand the depths of the ocean. Anyone today can wear a watch and have it not cost a fortune. In the 21st century, phones have taken the place of watches. Although the habit is to look at a


phone even with a watch on, the fact that we still wear that neglected timepiece is significant. Just because other devices tell us time, does not make a watch immaterial. Take for example the Apple Watch and smart watches. Watches changed the world by being the most substantial invention of its time. People evolve with time while one’s expression changes over time. Just look at music, art, fashion and literature. It is the society that transforms over time, and it is only human nature for one to continually innovate. We strive to fulfill our need to innovate by adapting this creation of a watch to fit our needs in this modern world, just as we do with art. There are no limits to creation; therefore, there are no limits to what someone can create. Time is only a tool for our minds to describe our well-being and actions, yet the watch itself is the actual extension of time as well as our self-representation. By combining the two, this is where the value of the watch comes to play. Therefore, even though the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie thrives off of luxury, the watch in today’s society reaches further into the future and remains an important staple of style, personal expression and poised applicability. ■







the Good,

the Baddie, and the


Writer: April Owusu, Copy Editor: Iris Zamarripa, Stylist: Megan Shuetz, Photographer: Kevin Hwang, Models: Alana Hernandez, Tatiana Roberts, HMUA: Saumya Gupta, Layout: Olivia Brady 84



he Kardashians and the Jenners are the latest fashion media darlings. From runways, to web articles, to Snapchat stories, they’re virtually inescapable; these socialites have taken the fashion world by storm – but not without controversy. While many media sources hail them as trendsetters, many people have called out Kylie and company for appropriating existing trends from communities of color on many occasions. The Jenner-Kardashian crew are at the forefront of a movement mainstreaming fashion trends from low-income communities of color to a whiter, more privileged society.

While the most popular example as of late, Kylie Jenner is not nearly the trendsetter of this style movement. Hip-hop culture – the most recognizable form of low-income poc (people of color) culture – and its clothes have become increasingly synonymous with American pop culture. In 2015, a study declared the advent of hip hop into the mainstream as the most influential music revolution in chart culture. But science isn’t needed to see the cultural impact. The genre sprang from the impoverished borough of the Bronx in the 1970s; three decades later, hip hop and its descendant genres are playing in nearly every American household – rich or poor, black or white. A form of music once counter to the status quo is now accepted and cool; for people outside black communities, listening to hip hop and other urban genres is a sign of being “with it.” To some, however, you aren’t truly “with it” unless you dress the part. For example, sneaker culture, a trend that grew from hip-hop culture in the 20th


century, has exploded beyond old school NYC sneakerheads to nearly anyone and everyone. Timberlands, shoes completely rebranded by young consumers from places like the Bronx (and rappers like Jay Z), have now seen a new mainstream revival thanks to the mainstreaming of hip hop culture. The borderline-impractical stiletto acrylics and the elaborate, just-for-show nail art from nail salons in The Hood have been trickling into suburban homes through subdued imitations pinned on Pinterest. However, if you are from The Hood or other places in which these styles were originated, you aren’t seen as edgy or trendy if you have sneakers to match every outfit or have stiletto nails; you are stigmatized by the racist, classist stereotypes associated with any low income community of color in the U.S. Inevitably, styles take on new looks and angles as they’re adopted by different people, but their origins are still easy to identify. What is noticeable about lowincome trends becoming mainstream is that the trends have only become accepted because who is wearing the clothes has changed. Yet while this happens, street fashion brands such as Hood By Air bring hip hop to high fashion while Yeezy, Golf Wang and Fenty x Puma quite literally put hip hop on the runway. Established fashion houses like Givenchy, Alexander Wang and Louis Vuitton look to hip hop culture to inspire their collections, their runways, and even their public images. In a turn of irony, trends like baby hairs once labeled ‘ghetto’ are now runway novelties, while traditionally white Louis Vuitton and Polo are flaunted by rappers and lowermiddle class youths (when they can get their hands on them). Hip-hop culture has been woven into the American millennial identity, nearly ►





regardless of race and socioeconomic status. For the last decade or more, social media has been the fastest, most effective means of embedding inner city culture into the mainstream, for better or for worse. Social media, namely Instagram, has played a large role in marketing the hairstyles, makeup and nail art from inner cities to the mainstream audience. Social media has allowed the creative viewpoints of low-income young adults be seen by an unprecedented number of people outside their communities, resulting in a unique renaissance of comedy, language and fashion. For example, social media birthed and raised a new fashion archetype for the 21st century: the Instagram Baddie. Her name epitomizes social media’s infatuation with ‘hood’ culture; ’Instagram’ is her birthplace, and ‘baddie’ is an aave (African American Vernacular English) term for a sexually attractive woman. She’s characterized by full lips, strong “fleeky” eyebrows, voluptuous curves, and often has her hair in ‘boxer braids’, the gentrified term for cornrows. The Instagram Baddie is a product of low-income black communities, but the viral nature of social media spread the style to women far removed from that culture. This is where the Jenner-Kardashian crew comes in. Kylie championed the Instagram Baddie trend; and with her name attached, Baddie fashion went from ratchet to Vogue. After Kylie and her sisters started sporting over-injected lips and boxer braids, fashion media couldn’t report these “new” looks fast enough, ignoring the low-income minorities behind the innovative looks. As models wearing shirts sporting quotes such as “on fleek” and cornrows now fill up the Forever21 website, it seems as if inner city trends have become ubiquitous. These styles are no longer restricted to impoverished communities, but now belong to everyone; but for many people from low-income communities, the propagation of their identity into the mainstream is a sore spot. The argument that this trend is inspired by and not appropriated from low-income communi-

ties of color is harmful to the actual members of these communities. People of color have noticeably been left out of popular examples of these styles in favor for women like the Kardashians and Jenners: white or white-passing but slightly ambiguous, curvy in all the right places – naturally or surgically – and vaguely resembling black women with actually being black. While the Kardashian-Jenner crew profit from their appropriation of inner-city women, those very women who set these trends continue to face discrimination for their identities. Black women still have their natural hairstyles – cornrows included – policed in the workplace,and are shamed for their natural curves. The mainstreaming of street and hip hop culture to the mainstream has allowed the inner cities to be seen and heard to an extent, yet unfortunately the fashion world largely refuses to give black people agency over the innovative looks for which they are responsible. Time and time again, designers debut blatantly appropriative looks on the runway without a single black model and defend themselves with the claim that inspiration can come from anywhere. Why is it, however, that their inspiration from black people does not include black bodies? If the Kardashians are hailed for their “ground-breaking” styles, is it not only fair that the originators of said trends see the same level of praise from the fashion world? The movement of styles from lowincome communities to the mainstream could be a genuinely beneficial movement if it uplifted designers, models and other creatives from said communities to levels of fame. Yet, fashion media has decided to remove the identity of the movement and replace it with its own richer, whiter, less authentic image. The omnipresence of Kylie and her sisters has become a constant reminder of what could have been for people of color behind the movement: instant model status and the rapt attention of the globe, not to mention the monetary benefits accompanying their fame. Instead, these people have been shown the same treatment society tends to give impoverished people: turning a blind eye and staying deafeningly silent. ■


Nothing Ever Lasts Forever

Stylist: Adriana Celli, Photographer: Harrison Xue, Model: Sarah Thrash, HMUA: Tulsi Patel, Layout: Allison Fitzgerald 90



“In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” —Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook coo



Is That a Fad or a


Writer: Sami Bolf, Copy Editor: Nikki LaSalla, Stylist: Natalie Sendukas, Photographer: Michelle Chiou, Models: Michael Tatalovich, Madeline Wells, HMUA: Allegra Gonzalez-Abreu, Layout: Ernest Chan 94

RED SUEDE VEST | Revival Vintage WRANGLER SHIRT | Ermine Vintage RED BLOOMER SHORTS | Ermine Vintage


RED JACKET | Ermine Vintage


“If I love you, is that a fact or a weapon?” —Margaret Atwood, Power Politics


o quote Christian Louboutin in a 2011 interview with the Hollywood Reporter: “Women are happy to wear painful shoes.” Louboutin bases this statement on a theory of his: for women, shoes possess an “element of seduction” that isn’t there for men. While men wear expensive shoes to demonstrate their status, wealth, even “elegance,” women – apparently – wear painful shoes in order to know and empower themselves.

“High heels are pleasure with pain,” Louboutin reiterated, just a year later, in a different interview. But why must women feel pleasure only after suffering for it? If one looks toward historical trends in fashion, pain does crop up again and again in trends popular with women, certainly more often than it does with men. Throughout history, across different cultures and countries, women have endured unimaginable pain in the name of beauty – from the corset to lead-tainted makeup to foot-binding to the contemporary stiletto high-heeled shoe. Pain and women’s fashion have been bedfellows since ancient history, perhaps, even before what we know of history; and that relationship is not something of the past. For women, pain remains the inevitable consequence of style. In 2009, abc published a news article with the title, “In Pain? Skinny Jeans Can Cause Nerve Damage.” In 2010, cnn foreshadowed the comments Louboutin would make in the following years, in an article entitled, “Women risk snapped ligaments for shoe fashion.” An online moma exhibit, “Design and Violence,” theorized that the stiletto is the natural evolution of the “tight-laced Victorian corset.”

Eerily, the two have a surprisingly amount in common. In Bound to Please: A History of the Victorian Corset, Leigh Summers explores the tortuous and objectifying ways corsets were historically used to trap women – not only physically, but sexually and psychologically as well. “Design and Violence” discusses the stiletto in a similar manner, starting with its origin as a weapon. The “stiletto,” before it was an infamously difficult heel, was a dagger favored by Italian assassins. The stiletto blade was ideal for “killing invisibly while barely leaving a drop of blood.” Today, a stiletto conceals a sliver of steel, in a subtle reference to its dangerous past. Or is the hidden blade meant to symbolize something darker? Both the stiletto and the corset have become increasingly sexualized in Western societies; a similarity between the two that cannot be ignored as mere coincidence, but must be recognized as something much more ominous. In the stiletto, as with the corset, there is an element of sadism that is impossible to truly ignore. The definition of sadism, from the French sadisme, is “to derive pleasure, especially sexual gratification, from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.” The general usage of sadism is “deliberate cruelty.” What the corset and the stiletto have in common is that hidden dagger of sadism: they are creations, torture devices, which allow men to derive sexual pleasure from women while simultaneously dominating them physically. Summers describes the slow evolution of the corset from a violent symbol of social status to one of women’s sexual subjugation. “As the nineteenth century progressed,” she writes, “the corset and female sexuality became inextricably intertwined.” By 1890, nearing the end of the Victorian era, ►


a “pornographic genre concerned with sadomasochistic tight lacing,” had sexualized corsets irreversibly. An article in the “Design and Violence” series presents the “eroticization of high heels” as something that gained traction in the 1920s with the “rising hemlines of flappers,” though the author points out that their heels had not yet reached stiletto-esque heights. The “Design and Violence” series also included a spotlight artist Leanie van der Vyver’s exhibit, “Scary Beautiful.” In an artistic experiment, Van der Vyver has a model wear a grotesque facsimile of the stiletto heel. The curators of museum explained that Van der Vyver’s “Scary Beautiful,” is constructed so that the shoe, “…requires its wearer to insert pointed toes into the shoe openings,” and rests the wearer’s shins “on extensions that tower upward from the heels, forcing the body forward into a taxing semi-squat position. The traditional position of the heel is effectively reversed, moving from the back of the shoe to the front.” This monstrous mirror subverts the sexual element of the heel; instead of appearing provocative, the model who wears Van der Vyver’s alien stilettos looks awkward and decidedly unsexy. More than just a showcase of the absurdity of contraptions like the stiletto and the corset, Van der Vyver’s art helps us to realize something else, equally strange and subversive. That, in spite of centuries upon centuries of pain, of subjugation – women persevered. They found ways to transform their fashionable torture devices into weapons, which they used to fight for freedom over their own bodies. Just as Louboutin claimed pain must be dealt with to achieve pleasure, women suffered immeasur-


able pain, and they rebelled in spite of it. Men created corsets to rearrange women’s bodies, even while pregnant, and women wore them and often died in them. But women used them, as well, to escape another kind of binding. The 1870s saw the popularization of a “specially designed maternity corset,” which required placing an “enormous pressure on the abdomen” and caused thousands of miscarriages. So why would women continue to wear corsets while pregnant? In Bound to Please, Summers explains that women “were aware of the dangers corsetry presented to the fetus,” and often used that knowledge to perform self-abortions. Of course there were many women who miscarried tragically, but in parallel situations, other women used the corset’s violent design to reclaim autonomy over their own bodies. Stilettos, too, had the potential to be reclaimed. “Design and Violence” mentions that “drag queens, harassed on the street, would whip off their high heels and ferociously wield them against assailants,” in New York City before the Stonewall Riots. The article also draws attention to a scene from the 1960 film Butterfield 8, in which Elizabeth Taylor’s character reacts to a male character grasping her arm by grinding “her phallic spike heel into his finely leathered foot.” As Atwood writes, love can be either “a fact or a weapon,” and fashion has that same potential for reinterpretation. Men trap women in a multitude of prisons, in the shape of corsets and stilettos, tainted make-up and bound, mutilated feet. Still, women escape. ■


WHITE BUSTIER | Ermine Vintage SLIP DRESS | Ermine Vintage WAIST BELT | Ermine Vintage



she looked at me in a curious way

Writer: Ernest Chan, Stylist: Natalie Sendukas, Photographer: Sissy Martin, Models: Alayna Enos, Caitlin Topham, HMUA: Mariah Becerra, Maiya Evans, Layout: Ernest Chan 102

LEFT: FLOWER HAT | Revival Vintage BOTH: WHITE DRESS | Ermine Vintage

…and said, “it was meant to be.”


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LIGHT BLUE DRESS | Revival Vintage LIGHT GREEN SHIRT | Revival Vintag




The First Monday In May

Writer: Aiden Park, Copy Editor: Joanne Xu, Stylist: Ethan Elkins, Photographer: Sylvia Yang, Models: Hannah Seavey, Sarah Tran, HMUA: Natalie Arriaga, Layout: Izy Scott 111


very first Monday of May in New York City, a red waterfall of stairs cascades from the doors of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The fuzzy, crimson tongue is flecked with Oscar winners, best-selling musical artists, fashion royalty and social elite alike. A national holiday of sorts, the annual Met Gala is a highly publicized aquarium of different industries joining to celebrate fashion as an art form. But while the Gala functions as an effective yearly fundraiser and festive kickoff for the Met’s Costume Institute’s spring exhibition, its true worth lies behind the curtain of celebritism. Changing themes and content at the start of each May, the exhibit is home to hundreds of intricately designed garments, placidly sitting behind lacquered museum walls, cloaked in dim, amber lighting. “It’s an honor to be a part of [it],” said André Leon Talley, former Vogue’s editor-atlarge. “The Met Ball is the Super Bowl of social fashion events.” In the past, much of the Met Gala has been shrouded in mystery. The 600 or so celebrities invited to attend the event are banned from posting anything inside the actual celebration on social media. The only afforded peep for the public is the much-anticipated red carpet event when guests arrive, flaunting their garments, matching the exhibit’s theme. But when invitees inevitably move toward the inside ceremony, cocooned behind the golden-gilded doors of the museum, the fleet of cameras has only a barren red carpet to photograph. However, 2016 documentary “The First Monday in May” permits


outsiders an unprecedented look at the process of assembling the Costume Institute’s annual exhibit, as well as the party that for so long endured as a secret. “The First Monday in May” documents the process of creating the Costume Institute’s exhibit, which houses the largest collection of fashion in the world. Each year, a new theme is selected. The film captures the construction of 2015’s “China: Through the Looking Glass,” an exhibit confronting Orientalism as well as a look at how the East so heavily influenced the West. However, the enthralling narrative of curating a multimillion-dollar exhibit acts as only one storyline; the assertion that fashion is a respectable art form mixes throughout the film’s hustle and bustle. The Costume Institute’s Head Curator, Andrew Bolton, vehemently contends fashion’s place among art. “Fashion is still considered more in the female domain than something like painting,” Bolton said. “I think that’s the reason why people are quick to dismiss fashion as art.” The film picks up eight months before the opening of the Met’s exhibit. Rolls and flows of China-inspired coats, dresses and gowns are retrieved from the vaults of fashion greats such as Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. Museum staffers steeped in stiff, white lab jackets and latex gloves manage each garment as if handling precarious explosives. Just from the preliminary clothing selections alone, it’s obvious China’s history is jam-packed full of resonant tradition and enduring inspiration that touches countless designers. Daffodil-yellow ►

BRALETTE | Ethan Elkins


CAPE | Natalie Arriaga


beads, seafoam ruffled skirts and jet-black dyed fabrics mold around mannequins in a tableau of Chinese archetypes. While creating “China: Through the Looking Glass,” museum curators struggle balancing the importance of fashion with spectacle. Much of the headache comes from executives mulling over what type of flowers to use for the entrance or how many poles of bamboo should be intermixed throughout the exhibition – not the garments themselves. However, the biggest hassle proves to be planning the Met Gala itself, with its seemingly endless parade of celebrities. While it seems counterproductive to associate an already marginalized art from with the trivial nuances of celebritism, the attention proves to be vital in publicizing the newly constructed art instillation. Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief, notes when fashion is paired with celebrity, “that movement is unstoppable.” Wintour’s role as a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the documentary’s most riveting subplots. Spurring a worldwide fascination when actress Meryl Streep parodied an ice queen-esque Wintour in the film “The Devil Wears Prada,” Wintour has since earned a reputation as being guarded and mysterious as the Met Gala itself. However, the documentary grants a behind-the-scenes

glimpse into Wintour, her life, and her tourde-force leadership ability. A driving authority behind the success of the Costume Institute, Wintour helped turn the Met Gala into fashion’s biggest night. She has successfully raised millions of dollars through the splashy Gala, funding the Costume Institute’s existence. Yet, the documentary shows reporters’ ongoing preoccupation with Wintour as forbidding; nearly 11 years after Wintour’s depiction as Miranda Priestly, she is still asked about the defamatory “The Devil Wears Prada,” and why she comes off as ice-cold. The documentary parallels Wintour’s public persona with a notable Chinese cliché: the dragon lady. The obsession over Wintour’s steely aura coincides with the assertion that fashion is often looked down upon due to its feminine connotations. “If Anna was a man, there would be less fuss over her [being a Dragon Lady],” film director and Met Gala creative consultant Baz Luhrmann said. The onslaught of sexist questions Wintour endures doesn’t hinder the exhibit’s masterful construction. As the night of the Met Gala rapidly approaches, the pressures to produce a profitable installation swell. The fever of an approaching deadline pounds its way into the hearts of directors, constructors and consultants. The suspense that unfolds around ►


the drama of building a multimillion-dollar project is a delicious extravaganza. But alas, Wintour and her army of curators once again manage to cultivate a home run, ultimately pulling in over 800,000 people by the time it closed its doors in the fall. “China: Through the Looking Glass” is one of the museum’s most popular and highly attended exhibits to date. When the last mini-pagoda and stalks of bamboo are put in place, the exhibit gears for the Met Gala. The first day of its operation is marked with the gaudy red carpet event. The night crescendos to its climax when Rihanna steps out sporting a 55 pound sunshine-yellow cape-gown designed by Chinese couturier Guo Pei. According to Pei, the dress took 20 months to complete. Although the documentary veers into a love affair with the march of celebrities, it quickly goes back to the guts of the completed installation in a moment of quiet introspection. A fish floating through an ornate coral reef, Head Curator Andrew Bolton stalks the glossy exhibit checking for any imperfections, as the Met Ball’s party rages mere feet away. The viewer is finally given the true breadth of the installation, with each room tackling a different Chinese stereotype. In one room, crystalline-blue, porcelain-inspired garments serenely settle. Another room flaunts pea-green military jackets, reminiscent of Tiananmen Square-era suits. While the pageantry of celebritism threatens to lower the reputation of fashion, the film suggests it’s a necessary evil to bring awareness to an already scorned art form. Through laboriously crafted garments displayed in “China: Through the Looking Glass,” the film hotly contends fashion’s importance. The affirmation of fashion’s place at the table is demonstrated by the sumptuous pieces in the exhibit, toured by nearly a million visitors. “Fashion should be recognized when you see it touch people, or move people,” Wintour said. “How can you not say that’s art?” ■




fashion of the


Writer: Mattison Gotcher, Copy Editor: Kevin Valdez, Stylist: Ellie Bazil, Photographer: Andy Medina, Models: Julienne Bajusz, Taylor Courtney, Kathryn Holbert, HMUA: Jessica Teran, Layout: Maya Haws-Shaddock 119



leanor Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, Lady Bird Johnson, Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama. With these names come an image, usually of politics, which leads to a taste or distaste of the person who fits the name. Whatever the image may be, it is guaranteed to come fully dressed in an inaugural gown, a Chanel tweed suit, or sleeveless dress. The perception of these names goes strategically with how the women behind them are dressed. This combination is the power of first lady fashion. The history of these conventions have been around for centuries. The earliest days most likely began with imperial power. The clothes of the emperor’s family determined how the country or kingdom saw them and their level of power. Throughout the history of the United States, the President has displayed power in a similar way. Suits are ubiquitous. They represent a formal attire and a power for men that has not changed for generations. However, while these presidents wore their powerful suits,, the first ladies took their fashion and used it to display their own power and personality. The first ladies of the United States have created a trend of exploratory and endlessly changing trends to show a political alliance with the president’s ideology. Nancy Reagan often wore red, the color of her husband’s party, which turned the color into a symbol of hope for many Americans. Lady Bird Johnson wore a bright yellow dress during Lyndon B. Johnson inauguration to show support for the country, and bring peace after the murder of John F. Kennedy. Many first la-

dies used their outfit choices to convey political or other meaningful messages. Most notably we look to no other than Jackie Kennedy, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama. The ‘60s were the era of visualizing politics. Television helped JFK win over the election with his performance in the first ever televised debate. This new White House family was young and attractive and JFK’s presidency was about bringing a new age and change to America. This shift to youth showed through Jackie Kennedy’s wardrobe. Kennedy was known for bringing expensive taste and thus, designer clothing, into the White House. Through her wardrobe choices, she created a whole new way for a first lady to dress. For example, Jackie wore statement pieces like pillbox hats (a small hat with a flat crown, named after a cylindrical cases pills used to be sold in), designed for her by an American fashion designer, Halston. Chanel tweed suits, long elbow length gloves, capes, sleeveless dresses, big sunglasses, head scarves, and more established a precedent for first ladies to come. Even Hillary Clinton tried to follow in Kennedy’s footsteps by wearing a cape to Bill Clinton’s second inaugural ball. This gold cape was not particularly Clinton’s style, but more of a nod to the style of Kennedy. Mostly, Clinton was blasé about high-end clothing. She made her wardrobe carefree and simple, with loose tailored suits, big studded earrings, and headbands. This chic way of dressing got her on the main article of Vogue, the first of the first ladies ►


to be featured on the cover. Her clothing choices also signify the politics of a new administration. Instead of worrying about dressing to impress, she tried to focus on putting the American people first while still focusing on tomorrow.. She had no time to play around with clothing, such as Kennedy. This style without trying to be stylish, makes her first lady fashion iconic. Michelle Obama followed Clinton’s mindset of effortless style, but in a fresh way. With the Obama administration came a message of hope for the everyday people. Michelle Obama did not spend her time being a flashy first lady in her choice of wardrobe, but one, who like many women in America, was an educated mother and wife. However, Michelle was still a woman in the public eye and so carefully calculated her outfits and who she wore. Yet, she did so in a way to establish her alignment with the president’s politics. Often using designers such as J.Crew, an affordable clothing brand, Michelle always brought small designers into the spotlight like Tracy Reese, Jason Wu, Thakoon, and Sophie Theallet. Her staple pieces included sleeveless dresses, sheath dresses, patterns, and bright colors. Obama used her wardrobe to take away from the superficial aspect of the first lady’s attire and turned the wardrobe into something of substance. She emulated the everyday American woman. Our fashion has become less about clothes and more about affordability and comfort, but she blended the two with elegance and ease.


These women are just a few of the most iconic first ladies who have used clothes to impact politics.The new first lady, Melania Trump, aligns herself with the new administration’s motto of “America First.” At times, Trump acknowledges this motto, while other times she has also been called out for her lack of channeling this principle through her wardrobe. Trump has been shown to wear more European designers and expensive clothing, unlike predecessor Obama, and most American people. In some ways, this could be a nod to Kennedy’s style. For example, Melania’s inaugural outfit, a baby blue tweed suit, resembled the same type of outfit Jackie Kennedy wore on JFK’s inauguration. This outfit could have also been Trump’s attempt to show designers, and the fashion world how stylish, and how much like Mrs. Kennedy, she can be. Many designers have come out against supporting Trump and dressing her, such as Sophie Theallet, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Phillip Lim, and more. Even if designers have not stated their political sides involving Trump, all of them are not posting outfits of theirs that she has wore on their social medias or websites. This controversy poses a question: what will become of fashion’s love affair with first ladies? Time will tell whether Trump can use her clothes as a statement of politics and a statement to prove to the fashion world that she can be a first lady of style. Until then, nostalgia runs rampant for the ladies that have impacted these fashion trends the most. ■

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The Invisible Accessory

Writer: Iris Zamarripa, Copy Editor: April Owusu, Stylist: Ashley Arreola, Photographer: Emiliano Zapata, Models: Phyllis Gong, Elias Hinojosa, Andrew Tran, HMUA: Saumya Gupta, Layout: Kathleen De La Llata 125


n warm spring days, farmers pick roses from France, orange blossoms from the U.S., and jasmine from China. After these ingredients leave their primitive state, the olfactory process, a fancy word for the smelling process, begins. Their sweet smells prompt fashion and perfume houses to immortalize rose, jasmine, and orange by trapping their wonderful elixirs in a bottle. After their transformation from solid to liquid, they will adorn the beauty counters of women’s and men’s department, striving to leave an impression on the world. These flowers will become perfume. They will become someone’s invisible accessory.

After their trek, rose, orange blossom, and jasmine make a stop at a factory where their juices are extracted through two processes: steam distillation or enfleurage. Coincidentally, these are ingredients found in the famous perfume Chanel No. 5. Thus, Chanel No. 5 will serve as the archetype through which the odyssey of the three muses will be illustrated. The first method, steam distillation, uses a complex apparatus of twisted glass tubes. In this apparatus, the roses are mixed with water and sectioned into different flasks. Once heat is added, the water and oil from the rose runs its way into a separate flask. From this separate flask the essential oils are extracted. Another, more tedious, method is enfleurage. According to the website Aromaworld4u, enfleurage uses vegetable or animal fat to absorb the essential oils of delicate flowers.


For instance, jasmine is placed on top of a solid layer of warm fat where it is left for several days until all the essential oils of the flower are absorbed. This method is repeated several times until the fat is completely saturated with the jasmine’s essential oil. Eventually, a solvent is used to separate the fat and oil. Once the flowers’ oils are extracted it is sent off to fulfill its destiny in a laboratory. Next, the masters of olfaction (aka perfumers) grab ahold of the flower’s essence and attempt to produce new wonderful elixirs. The perfumer’s responsibility is to choose the fragrances that will make up the perfume. During this multi-year process, over 100 mixtures are created until a final product is reached. Keep in mind that perfumes are made up of multiple ingredients, not just a single ingredient. For instance, Chanel No.5, created by Perfumer Ernest Beaux, is made up of may rose, jasmine, orange blossom, bourbon vanilla, Aldehydes (synthetic material) and about eighty other ingredients. The complexity of perfumes continues . Final versions of perfumes have different levels of smells and each smell has a lifespan. These levels of smell are known as top, middle, and base notes. The book “Perfume Engineering,” unravels the levels. Top notes, or the initial scent, persists for several minutes upon application. The middle notes last a few hours and are recognized after the top note fades. The base note is the strongest, which is detected ►


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after the middle note fades, lasting hours the sophisticated older woman. The conor even days. To illustrate, according to sumer may overlook the design of a perthe website Fragrantica, Chanel No. 5’s fume bottle, but the bottle is designed just top notes include aldehydes and Ylang- for you! But keep in mind that the bottle Ylang; middle notes include rose and Jas- is also designed to complement its liquid mine; bottom notes include Civet musk and companion. Once again, Chanel No. 5’s sandalwood. fame isn’t coincidental, it’s fame is due to its attractive bottle design. Chanel No. 5 is Once the notes have been determined, per- inspired by The Plaçe Vendome, which is a fumers select the concentrate of flower es- square in Paris, France. According to Chasence in the perfume. There are two differ- nel, the topper of Chanel No. 5 reflects the ent types of perfume concentrates: eau de diamond geometry of the Plaçe. Its fame is parfum and eau de toilette. The difference accredited to the simple design of its bottle, is strictly due to the amount of oil/essence Chanel No. 5 was designed to be a classic, (recall the oils extracted from the rose in the thus it’s timeless. Since Paris inspired Chasecond stage) added during the formulation nel No. 5, it is not misguided to assume that process of the perfume. In eau de parfum Coco Chanel was attempting to capture the There is 10 to 20 percent of pure oil/essence, essence of Paris. Chanel’s ability to encapwhile eau de toilette is made up of 4 to 15 sulate the vitality of a city in one perfume percent of pure oil/essence. After all of the made it tempting for people to take a piece elements of the perfume are chosen, alcohol of Paris back home – making Chanel No. is added so that people have the choice to 5 an emblem. So it only makes sense that drink their perfume if they run out of co- a perfume that represents an old, sophistignac. Just kidding! Actually, the essential cated, and elegant city is made for an older oils are mixed into a combination of water sophisticated and elegant woman or man. and alcohol. Water and alcohol help perfectly blend the ingredients, and the alcohol Thus ends the journey of three flowers helps bring out the wonderful notes of the from France. Although perfume is one of flowers in the perfume. After the perfume the most overlooked accessories, it has the has been finalized, the liquid begins its jour- power to change a mood. Scents produce ney into a shrine. nostalgia, love, passion, and most importantly, confidence. Through this liquified After its character is chosen, the perfume flower, women and men are able to take begins its journey into a new dwelling. fashion beyond visual pleasures. Through Before reaching the end of the perfume’s perfume, individuals are able to “wow” journey, let’s look at the architecture of this other people through olfaction. Perfumes home: the bottle. Every perfume is created create mystery. They beg the question: for someone. Chanel No. 5 was created for “what are you wearing?” ■



Writer: Sarah Thrash, Copy Editor: Ramanika Upneja, Stylist: Veronica Lozano, Photographer: Sylvia Yang, Models: Kathryn Holbert, Bonnie McEnnis, HMUA: Allegra Gonzalez-Abreu, Layout: Ilana Grabarnik 130





n the midst of the bustling era that is fast fashion, there is finally found a company that represents an ethical way to make quality clothing. After talking to Rebecca Layton, textile designer for Rekh & Datta, it was clear to see how passionate she is about every part of her business. She let me in on the journey that led her to where she is today, how passionate she is about India, and how much her time there has impacted her work. She also let me in on what she found to be the hardest part about starting a business, and what her next step is going to be.

Picking Layton’s brain about textile design now, you would never know that she got her undergraduate degree in English literature. It wasn’t until after she finished graduate school and received her mfa that Layton visited India, and found herself falling in love with their textiles. However, she did always have a passion for art, and especially found inspiration in infrastructure. When I asked her about what inspires her most Layton said, “In India, I was struck by the mashup of several centuries simultaneously – camel drivers on mobile phones, lots of crazy electrical wires, infrastructure in general was a bit more chaotic…The patterns I came up with were based on a lot of these images.” In regard to how these inspirations transform into patterns, Layton answered that, “When I decided to produce clothing with the fabric, I went with the more abstract patterns. But all of my prints have a literal counterpoint in the imagery that they started with.” Hearing the inspirations that drive Layton allows you to see her work in a new light, one more appreciative of how much work and thought goes into each new pattern that is printed onto her textiles. After learning about how Rekh & Datta got started, I knew that this was a story I wanted to dive straight into. First, I asked Layton what in particular made her fall in love with the idea of Rekh & Datta, and why she chose to build this brand. She said that she “fell in love with the traditional block printing and ended up going back to India several years later to live, work, and re-

search for several years. Unlike screen printing, which tends to be fairly flat, block printing has a great variety of tones.” Her admiration for the technique led her to pursue learning how to block print. “It’s more alive, and you can really see the ‘hand’ in it,” she said, adding that, “the printers there are such masters…I ended up collaborating more.” Because her business started with admiration for one certain technique, and has now blossomed into an entire collection of garments created using said technique, Rekh & Datta has a refreshingly creative and unique business model. This shows how important establishing a set of values and techniques are to building a brand image. I began to wonder if Layton’s personal style intersects with Rekh & Datta’s image. When I asked her to describe her personal style, she said, “I love natural fibers, especially the cotton that comes from India. It has a particular lightness and it works well to be layered. As I get older, I’m more and more interested in classic style and comfort.” Looking at Rekh & Datta’s style, there is a lot of crossover between Layton’s personal style, and it seemed fitting that her personal style falls in line with that of her company. On style in general, Layton made a great observation. She said, “Style adapts depending on where you are. When I lived in New York, I wore more black and grey. When in India, colors and light clothing feels right. Austin has a very casual feel, I think people can dress down much more in Austin than in other cities.” Manufacturing ethically is something that both Layton and Monika Jakubiak, the clothing designer for Rekh & Datta, have always been passionate about. In 2014, Layton and Jakubiak held a community art project called Sewn on the Street. It was an interactive display featuring a pop-up sweatshop, which they used to raise awareness and to try to get people to think about the cost of the clothing that they wear everyday and the “true cost of fast fashion” (Layton). They paid people in pennies, a usual wage for each of the countries represented, for their time spent making the shirts, causing people to realize how little workers in fast fashion are paid for their hard work. When ►


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asked what provoked them to think of such an out of the box idea, Layton said, “I love it when people get some meaning out of everyday objects they use. Clothing is so intimate – we wear it on our bodies, it touches us literally and also defines our identity…After living in India, and getting out of the American bubble for a spell, I was struck by how deceptive the retail side of manufacturing is, and how disposable our clothing has become. We as a society are addicted to ‘fast’ clothes, at a huge cost to the global community, our own local communities, and the planet’s ecosystem.”

This idea of clothing as something other than disposable and temporary, but instead as a longlasting garment with a story and a purpose, is a meaningful one – something that needs to be thought about more often by the average consumer, as well as fashion designers and companies. Embarking on the journey to create a fashion brand is a daunting task. There are many pieces that go into building a brand that no one ever tells you about beforehand. Curious as to whether or not Layton stumbled upon any obstacles while creating Rekh & Datta, I asked her if there anything about starting her own company that she was blindsided by that was extremely difficult. She responded that she “[loves] the design process and [loves] making things, and being involved in every step. However, I’m not the best with marketing, sales, and promotion.…I still enjoy being in charge of my own designs, but wish that I had had more experience on the business and marketing side of things…It helps to have some realistic idea before starting out, but if you know too much then maybe you would never try!” This seems to be a common dilemma for the majority of designers when first starting out; not having given much thought beforehand to the business side of things. With that conundrum in mind, I asked Layton share the experience of living out her dream everyday. “It is an emotional roller coaster!” she said, describing it as, “great one day and really hard the next. I think it helps to keep remembering why I’m doing this – otherwise it feels overwhelming.” Layton noted that, however difficult, she thought it was a worthwhile venture.


“I have to be my own cheerleader on many days, which can be lonely, but having a good support system of friends and family helps so much. It is both the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, and the most gratifying. If I’m still around in 5 years, I will consider that to be a huge success.” Seeing that she pursued her dreams in spite of her obstacles and ended up successful for it should be a motivator for anyone who is hesitant to go after their dreams. It should push you to challenge yourself to always take that extra step that you may be tentative about in reaching for your dreams. Sure, not everyone has the same path. But if you do not follow your gut and go for what you are truly passionate about, you’ll never be satisfied no matter how well you do. If anything, talking to Layton motivated me, and reminded me that our passions require dedication. I decided to start taking a small step toward my goals every day. To do one simple thing per day, like reading an article about design, or sketching a few outfits I have ideas for. No matter how daunting or impossible your goals may seem, you should always work towards conquering them. After all, even successful designers still have to work at what they love. Even Layton is always finding something to tweak, change, expand, in Rekh & Datta. “I love clothing,” she said, “But it’s really hard to sell, especially online…Monika is taking a break from our collaboration to focus on her own work in London, [and] so I’m taking this opportunity to do a bit of a re-brand. Keeping the focus on prints, I’m slowly expanding into housewares, linens, bags, and scarves. I’d love to also just sell yardage and see what others come up with on their own.” That kind of ability to continually dream of new possibilities and inspirations, even after having established a brand, encompasses Layton’s openminded outlook, but it also reiterates that work is required for any dream to come true. If you ever lose sight of your goals, just remember that amazing things may come out of a dream you never even believed you could pursue. ■


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through the eye of the designer:

Paul Tazwell


n a Broadway show, the plot is not solely told through auditory elements such asdialogue and song, but the storyline is also illustrated through visual elements such as the costumes. Broadway costume designer Paul Tazewell, who is most famously known for winning the Tony Award for his work on designing the costumes for the cultural phenomenon, “Hamilton,” does an incredible job at creating costumes that enhance the actors’ ability to clearly communicate a story. Tazewell has made a huge impact on the Broadway community by designing costumes for the theater that are original, yet serve a distinctive purpose in the storytelling process.

Tazewell’s extensive educational background and experience in the arts paved the way for him to become the esteemed costume designer that he is today. For his college education, Tazewell left his hometown of Akron, Ohio to pursue art degrees at North Carolina School of the Arts and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Attending these prestigious art schools gave him the foundational skills he needed to be successful throughout all of his future creative endeavors. Following graduation, Tazewell was employed as an artist and Associate Professor of Costume Design at Carnegie Mellon University. After being

the costume designer for numerous offBroadway productions, Tazewell made his debut on the Great White Way as the costume designer for the 1996 production of “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk.” Not only did Tazewell receive a Tony Award nomination in costume design for his work in this show, but also he received the attention of many producers who eventually brought him on to design their shows. Besides “Hamilton,” some of his most notable works include the costumes for “In The Heights,” “The Color Purple” and “Memphis.” One of the most remarkable things about the costumes for “Hamilton” is how they illustrate the 18th century setting of the musical, while still feeling modern and fresh. In a 2016 interview with Business Insider, Tazewell called “Hamilton” his proudest project, which is a true testament to all of the hard work and extraordinary detail that went into the creation of the costumes. Even though he had designed costumes for other musicals that revolved around historical time periods, designing for “Hamilton” was a whole new beast for Tazewell to attack due to the unique nature of the musical. The mastermind behind the musical’s script and music, now three-time Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, chose hip-hop music as the primary medium for telling the story of ►

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“the ten dollar founding father without a father,” Alexander Hamilton. Using modern day music to illustrate events that occurred over 200 years ago is what separates Hamilton from other Broadway musicals and is one of the main qualities that “Hamilton’s” success can be attributed to. In the aforementioned Business Insider article, Tazewell describes his process of researching popular Revolutionary era clothing styles while carefully integrating them into present day trends to correspond with the musical’s hip-hop soundtrack. Similar to most Americans, Tazewell had been familiar with late 18th century fashions since he was in grade school; consequently, the challenge for creating the costumes from “Hamilton” didn’t come from creating historically accurate pieces, but the challenge was designing costumes that embodied both Alexander Hamilton’s time and the present day. To resolve this challenge, Tazewell and Miranda agreed that apparel in the show would resemble the Revolutionary era, while the hair, makeup, and some accessories would be traditional of the 21st century. This meant that no white powdered wigs would be used for the male actors and female actors would have their natural hair flow free. After this general theme for the costumes had been agreed upon between the two creative, Lin-Manuel only made one request to Tazewell for the costumes: that Hamilton had to be dressed in green to reflect money, as Hamilton was the one who built America’s financial system and was the first secretary of the treasury. Another challenge that comes along


with creating apparel for the stage is that the costumes have to allow the actors to have full range of motion while they’re wearing them. In order to achieve designs that also were practical for executing the show’s demanding choreography and singing, Tazewell chose not to incorporate the intricate details, such as embroidery, and silhouettes, such as numerous layers of undergarments for the women, that were common in the 18th century. Tazewell told the LA Times in June 2016 that these simplifications allowed his work to “breathe more.” By combating the many challenges that came with designing the costumes for a show of this magnitude, Tazewell exemplified to the world his incredible attention to detail and impeccable skills in costume design. Tazewell has distinguished himself amongst other Broadway costume designers by primarily designing costumes for cutting-edge shows starring mostly African-American or Latino actors. By utilizing cultural inspirations, Tazewell is able to produce costume pieces that are difficult for other costume designers to replicate. His uniqueness and ability to tastefully represent various cultures on the stage led him to receive five Tony Award nominations and win one. Tazewell has greatly impacted the theater industry with his cutting edge designs and his ability to tell a story through costume. He is one of the most influential costume designers of modern times and will continue to further impact audiences with his work in the years to come. ■

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Sold or Shattered


ashion is quite often a controversial subject where beauty is not always in the eye of the beholder. Instead, the beauty of the clothing is subjective, sometimes dependent on who is wearing or designing the garments. Designers jump at the chance to clothe celebrities, socialites and so-called it girls because at the end of the day, the public at large will look to the covers of fashion magazines and the innards of tabloid magazines plastered with photographs of their favorite celebrities to decide what to buy next.

When Kate Middleton stepped out in L.K. Bennett’s classic Sledge Pumps in 2011, the shoes sold out immediately. For example, a basic nude pump – albeit well designed – when worn by commoner-turned-princess Kate Middleton, the shoe became iconic. The simple act of wearing the shoe caused a 17 percent increase in profits for L.K. Bennett in 2012. People want to be Kate, and since that is an unattainable goal, commoners turn to the next best thing. They decide to try to emulate her sense of style, so much so that there’s a Wikipedia page titled the “Kate Middleton Effect,” a trend effect the duchess has over others. Newsweek hypothesizes the Kate Effect was responsible for contributing around one billion pounds to the UK fashion industry in 2012. It seems everything Kate touches turns to sold. The trend effect doesn’t just stop with Kate; celebrities have also used their influence over the public to build brands of their own. Kanye West began his foray into the fashion scene in 2011, debuting his first collection on the runways of

Paris Fashion Week. After a few rocky first years, his Yeezy brand has soared in popularity. When his wife, Kim Kardashian West, posted a photograph of herself wearing Yeezy Boost 360 sneakers on Instagram, the pricey shoes sold out in 15 minutes. The brand includes clothing in drab neutrals that, despite their pure plainness, manage to sell with a hefty price tag, due to the name behind the brand. Kanye’s already cemented celebrity status soared after the release of his latest album “The Life Of Pablo,” and therefore, his clothing is the brand to own. Similarly, Kardashian family member Kylie Jenner has been using her celebrity platform, as undeserved as it may be, to push her new line of cosmetics. In November 2015, Jenner launched her notorious Lip Kits. The nearly $30 lip kits sold out in 30 seconds. Since the success of her lip kit launch, Jenner has pursued other cosmetics, such as lip glosses, eyeshadows and highlighters, eventually developing her brand, Kylie Cosmetics. Designer-led fashion brands haven’t failed to notice celebrity influence on the market, often pairing with stars to launch capsule collections. H&M partnered with David Beckham, Madonna and Beyoncé to market its clothes, while Puma recently paired with Rihanna to design a highly successful line of clothing and footwear which sold out in minutes. Following that collaboration, Puma’s profits increased 7.3 percent to $937 million in the first few months of 2016. Controversial singer and actress Miley Cyrus even teamed up with unconventional designer Jeremy Scott to help design his 2015 spring fashion show thatgraced headlines for its strangeness and eccentric style. ►

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Perhaps more contemporary is the controversy over Ivanka Trump’s eponymous fashion line. It’s hard for the public to separate her name from that of her father’s; the politics in fashion are even more apparent in her case than most. Nordstrom stopped carrying her brand, citing a decline in consumer demand, and Neiman Marcus no longer sells her jewelry on its website. This sharp decline follows on the heels of her father’s presidential election, resulting in many people boycotting her brand. It stands to be asked: why act now and not sooner? Ivanka has always been a Trump, but with the media firestorm from the election causing the Trump name to possess more celebrity notoriety, her fashion brand became collateral damage in a country reeling from the election. However, what would be the effect on these brands and ventures once their celebrity factor is removed? The profusion of celebrity products in the market is overwhelming: it seems everyone deemed worthy of celebrity standing has a perfume, a fashion line or collaboration, or a brand they swear by. The fashion industry is rarely about the clothing; rather, it can be boiled down to politics. There stands a cycle; one which plays the game of who will sell the most of what, leading us to forget the beautiful art of fashion. Once we’re caught up in the fast-paced consumerism of it all, it’s difficult to leave and break the spell of fast fashion’s instant gratification. It’s oddly reminiscent of a scene from “The Devil Wears Prada” when protagonist Andy scoffs at two seemingly similar blue belts, only to be severely lectured on how even her “lumpy blue sweater” has been influenced by several couture designers. No matter how we distance ourselves from the

couture fashions with splashy celebrity lines and fast fashion, we’re ultimately and inseparably linked to the influences of the high-fashion gods. The trends that grace Paris and New York runways are unexplainably and inextricably woven into our daily lives, but the way we appreciate that is entirely our own. I choose to appreciate fashion for its pure beauty and inventiveness, but I’ll admit – I’m often swayed by the celebrity effect. It’s challenging to separate myself from a sensationalized way of consuming fashion because I’ve ingrained it in my daily life, from endless fashion magazine subscriptions, to pursuing a career in fashion media. There is value, however, in stepping back from the ostentatious world of celebrity-endorsed fashion and instead appreciating the craftsmanship of a gossamer Marchesa gown or a sharp seam on a Chanel tweed suit. There’s value in appreciating a couture garment for what it is, rather than who’s body it’s on. If Kate Middleton and Ivanka Trump wore the same high-fashion piece, there would be two different reactions due to the weighty connotations of their names. What Kate touches turns to sold, what Ivanka touches turns to soiled. It’s time to take a breath, step back and question what we’re buying and why. Clothing ourselves is one of the most personal and intimate things we do; it’s deciding who we want to present to the world. If we look to celebrities to tell us how to dress, then we’ve lost all sense of individuality and become a puppet in the game of fashion politics. Fashion is more than the name on the label and the celebrity posing on the red carpet – fashion is who we are as individuals. ■


The Precibus

Writer: Joseph Wilson, Stylist: Ethan Elkins, Photographer: Michelle Chiou, Models: Kathryn Holbert, Addison Hollensed, Gabriela Tan, Sarah Tran, HMUA: Paola Mena, Jessica Teran, Layout: Ilana Grabarnik 146

Their youth tiptoes out the door as their gaze fixates on the challenges lain before them. A worthy distraction from a subject traitorous, deserving of inaction; she catches glimpse of the door, springs for ignorance – she defers – dashes, rising to the challenge. They stay, stoic, stolid, still and unwavering, not stagnant. It is they who reason, synthesize new meaning while two worlds collide; it is they who deceive deceit, rectify – realize what lies beyond; it is they who lead the expedition to decolonize, we who inherit the world through their eyes. Their sighs depict a world that’s left behind to find a home for all mankind.










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organ Myers doesn’t consider herself creative in a conventional sense. To prove it, she pulls out a pair of paintings she and her husband did while watching Bob Ross.

“It’s supposed to be a wave, you can’t even tell,” she laughs, pointing to the colorful blobs of paint. “I mean, mine you can kind of tell it’s a wave, but…I’m not a painter, let’s just say that.” But with over 26,000 followers on Twitter, @dirtyteacups, and 22,000 on Instagram, @jahdefinitelyfeel, it doesn’t matter if Myers’ painting skills aren’t at Bob Ross’ level. Her makeup looks have earned a place in the “makeup Twitter” community. “I’m not artistically inclined; I can’t draw, I can’t sing, I can’t play music, so makeup is sort of like my creative outlet,” Myers said. “Makeup was something I felt I was able to get better at, so it was a fun hobby for me.” When Myers decides to construct a look, she sits at the bar cart that holds all her makeup and spends the next two hours putting together a “creative glam” look, the term she uses to describe the majority of her work. She then takes photos with her iPhone 6, chooses which photos will go on which social media account, lists the products she used and then sets aside 20 minutes to an hour to respond to followers. “I like testing what I can and can’t do and I like trying new things within makeup,” Myers said. “I don’t always like to do wearable looks; sometimes if I feel


like I’ve been doing a lot of the same, I’ll try to do something non-wearable just because it pushes me to do more than I would normally do.” Non-wearable makeup, makeup often not meant to wear out and mostly focusing on the skill of the artist, has propelled many makeup artists to social media fame. Makeup artists have used eyeliner, eye shadow, lipstick and other tools to create literal art on eyelids or lips, recreating famous artworks like “Starry Night” or drawing inspiration from tv, album art, movies or even everyday objects. Social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have opened a new outlet for hometaught makeup artists to be creative and share looks or to use as a business venture. Jaclyn Hill, one of the social media makeup community’s biggest success stories, started her YouTube channel in 2011 and has amassed millions of followers and multiple business deals since then. More often than not, these makeup artists are selftaught. Their following can be at least partially credited for pushing makeup as a fun, creative outlet instead of a necessity while still creating success for themselves. Vibrant eye shadows, bright highlighters, and sharp eyeliner have replaced products that were once marketed as remedial tools to cover up flaws. Operating within the conventional boundaries of makeup is no longer necessary. In the few months she has been actively working on her makeup and posting it on her social media ►



accounts, Myers’ looks have been featured on the Anastasia Beverly Hills, NYX and Laura Geller social media accounts multiple times. After her first time being featured on Anastasia Beverly Hills’ main Instagram account, she noticed her follower count jump. “My Instagram went from 300 followers to 3,000 in a day,” Myers said. “Pretty much every time I get features from big brands, I get anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 new followers.” Even though she has since been added to the Anastasia Beverly Hills PR list and gained thousands of followers, Myers makes sure to take time to respond to those that recreate or compliment her looks. “I try to make sure that everyone who tags me in a look or is inspired by me, make sure they feel seen,” Myers said. “Because when I first started doing makeup, I felt like it was super hard to get noticed on social media and I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere and it’s hard to reach out to makeup people when you don’t have those followers.” Despite sometimes appearing to be an encouraging and inclusive space for aspiring makeup artists, competition is alive and well in the makeup community. As its capital has grown and more people find success, it has stirred some hostility between makeup artists. Myers cites a controversy involving “Coverboy” James Charles’ rise to fame as an example. Thomas Halbert, another makeup artist, had exposed Charles for editing his senior yearbook photos that caused Charles to go viral. Halbert later apologized, but the damage was done.

“I just want everyone to succeed honestly,” Myers said. “I don’t like the competition that exists so heavily it feels like within the makeup community, at least in the groups I’m in.” While makeup artists are using social media for creative or business purposes, makeup’s presence has influenced brands in different ways. Brighter, more vibrant makeup has become extremely popular, and influencers have found and spread new ways to use existing products. Critiques of brands have also been influential in making a more inclusive and diverse range of makeup available, according to Myers. “I definitely think that social media has made a lot of brands be called out on the lack of [inclusivity] and the lack of diversity in brands,” Myers said. “I definitely see a lot more brands showing a wider skin tone of foundation now, which is great because it’s so frustrating to go in a store and see five shades of white and nothing else for anyone else.” With tutorials and inspiration everywhere and makeup artists using affordable products as well as high-end products, social media platforms have created a place where anyone with the time and desire to learn can be a makeup artist. Utilizing these tools has offered a new medium for those who might not consider themselves conventionally creative. “I enjoy art, I just can’t create it, other than makeup I would say,” Myers said. Makeup has evolved and allows those who create, even if they can’t draw, sing, or play music, to be artists themselves. ■



Writer: Shafeen Qazi, Copy Editor: Madeleine Munford, Stylist: Natalie Berry, Veronica Lozano, Photographer: Michelle Chiou, Models: Isaiah Garcia, Addison Hollensed, Madeline Wells, Naili Woelper, HMUA: Natalie Arriaga, Layout: Ilana Grabarnik 160






rom the epic campaigns waged by Napoleon during the War of the Third Coalition, to the newly mechanized conflicts of the First World War, aspects of the uniforms worn by the courageous armies involved have been passed down to the rest of society. Military uniforms developed out of function originally, but their practicality in the heat of battle was paramount to the success of the soldier wearing it. However, when the war was done and the surviving soldiers returned home, their uniforms were not retired. Instead, the uniform took on a new role and was appropriated from its use on the battlefield to its use in regular life. As soldiers adapted their uniforms, so too did the general populace. Aspects of their garb became integrated with the rest of the society and found a new sartorial function. This new relationship developed between the military and fashion and would continue to change and evolve over the centuries, but the core elements would remain the same. From the streets of SoHo to the runway, and even to the gargantuan skyscrapers overlooking major cities, the sartorial influence of the military is absolutely undeniable. While the advent of streetwear is a contemporary invention, the actual styles associated with the term are steeped with a rich and deep military influence. This influence ranges from head to toe, integrating itself in the garments, patterns and even materials worn. The military influence on streetwear is also unique, in the sense that much of the elements incorporated into the look originate from the recent twentieth century. One of the most iconic and recognizable motifs of casual streetwear is the usage of camouflage as a pattern. This pattern has been utilized in every aspect of streetwear: from camo jackets, shirts, and pants, and to even camo on shoes. It is one of the sartorial staples of streetwear, but camouflage as we know it has only been widely used since the turn of the twentieth century.

With the advent of the first World War, the days of single shot muskets and lever action rifles were long gone. The modern, fully automatic weaponry of the war decimated the European armies that used their traditional, brightly colored uniforms, such as the French. This required the armies to adapt to this new type of warfare, and thus the seeds of modern day camo were planted. While the armies of the first World War did not wear full camo as is done now, their helmets and vehicles were inundated with it. Camo was used to break up the visual sight lines of the enemy. The varying splotches of color all combine in a way that an enemy’s eye would have a hard time distinguishing the camouflaged soldier from his surroundings. Another massive influence that the garments used in the military has on modern streetwear is found in two other staples used in current streetwear. Namely, the MA-1 flight jacket, widely known as the “bomber” jacket, and Dr. Marten combat boots. There are two variants of the contemporary MA-1, the very slim version, and the puffier version. The original MA-1 jacket was of the large and puffy variety, and for good reason. The bomber jacket was namely worn by the pilots of bombing aircrafts of the various air forces of the second World War. During the duration of World War II, aviation technology became advanced enough that pilots could perform bombing runs at altitudes of roughly twenty-five thousand feet, which could reach a temperature of -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the cockpits of their planes were not insulated and were basically a hull of metal, they needed something that could keep them warm in the air while they flew, and thus the bomber jacket was invented. The jacket was also cropped short, and cut tight to the body, so that the pilots could enter the cockpits easier, and with less hassle. Another sartorial invention that arose from the other side of World War II was the advent of the ►







brand, Dr. Martens, and their instantly recognizable combat boot. The German doctor Klaus Martens was injured during a ski trip in the Bavarian Alps and later found that his military issued combat boots were no longer able to provide him the comfort necessary to travel. This prompted him to develop a new, more comfortable boot that he could wear with his bum ankle. He began to tinker with different leather and sole combinations, until he decided to use the softened leather and air cushioned soles of the contemporary design. Ironically, Dr. Martens boots are currently associated with the counterculture and an anti-authoritative stance, despite the fact they originated from Nazi Germany.

uniformity that was present in the armies of any given conflict. The monarchs of the empires involved in the War of the Third Coalition were all incredibly obsessed with their soldier’s uniforms. Everything had to be perfect, and this same sense of regularity can be found in the suiting and formalwear of today. From the rule that your tie should end at your belt buckle or that your suit jacket sleeves should be short enough so that one can see and inch of the dress shirt you’re wearing underneath, there are guiding principles that most men are told to adhere to. Without the military, these guiding principles would not have existed, and without these guidelines, modern formalwear would be a completely different beast.

While streetwear owes a great deal to the military for the garments and styles that have been incorporated into the look, it is not so obvious that contemporary formal wear has the same debt to pay. However, when one looks closer to the evolution of suiting in the history of western fashion, it becomes clear that the military and formal attire are inseparable.

During the heat of battle, when you are surrounded by a hailstorm of bullets and facing off against an opponent whose only goal in life is to make sure you and your comrades don’t make it out alive, it is paramount that the gear you are using is flawlessly crafted. If your uniform made you stick out of your surroundings or couldn’t keep you warm when you were flying in the freezing altitudes of the sky, you were not going to survive. Thus, it was tantamount to an army’s success that their soldiers were fitted in the best possible gear that money could buy. The garments used by the military were designed with function in mind, but the march of war does not keep the same cadence. With every new terrain or weapon that an army faced, their uniform had to adapt or perish. That is the very reason the military has such a great sartorial influence. Every new advent of war led to another article of clothing that was later passed down to the civilian masses. No matter which style you adhere to, no matter what your dress code is, no matter where you are in the world, the military has done it first. ■

Arguably the most iconic piece in western menswear is the necktie. The tie is one of the few items ubiquitous both in the realms of the fashion conscious and the fashion illiterate. If you are old enough to walk you know what a necktie is and looks like. One of the staples of men’s formal attire for centuries owes its inception to the battlefields of seventeenth century Europe. During the Thirty Years War between the Habsburg allies, into the brown color we know today. The color also derived its name from the Persian word “Khak” which means earth or dust. While the tie and the colored khaki were garments that arose from the machinations of the military, the most important contribution to modern formal wear was the strict adherence to



Creative Director: Tony Redmer, Art Director: Maiya Evans, Stylist: Veronica Lozano, Photographer: Tony Redmer, Model: Alayna Enos, HMUA: Mariah Becerra Layout: Tony Redmer 168

BOOTS | Steve Madden









PLEATED DRESS | True Decadence EARRINGS | Express


LACE DRESS | True Decadence EARRINGS | Express BRACELETS | H&M




sometimes all it takes is a spark. 178

Profile for Spark Magazine

Spark Magazine No. 8  

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

Spark Magazine No. 8  

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