IN THIS ISSUE 1
y&i clothing boutique
Letter from the Editor
Fashion’s Night Out
Why We Love Fall
A Peek into the Closet of...
York Fashion Week
Levels of Mercury
OUR TEAM CHELSEA DUNIVAN Editor-in-Chief
JONATHAN OCHART Head of Writing
ELIZABETH JONES Head of Public Relations
JARIE MALDONADO Head of Production
EDUARDO CAMACHO Graphic Design
BECTON MORGAN BATLI JOSELEVITZ Photography
Madison Edgar Kristen Raines
Taylor Prewitt Rachel Solomon Tyler Kilby Ronit Joselevitz Tyler Neal
Ronit Joselevitz Rebekah Camp
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR As a young girl I spent hours dressing my dolls and poring over glossy pages of magazines in the hopes of understanding what it is that gives a person that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. Over the years I realized that fashion isn’t just some vain attachment to a person, it is a tool to convey who you are and what you are all about. Some people express themselves through their paintbrushes, instruments or even telescopes – I find my source of passion in the realization that fashion can encourage a woman (or man, for that matter,) to believe that they truly are beautiful, valued and loved. Years later, I now see that it isn’t the clothes that make the person happy; it’s how they feel when they wear them. My hope is that you will read Spark and see that we are so passionate about not only fashion, but also its implications in many aspects of life. Whether it be Jessica Honneger’s dream of adopting her child in “Accessory Alert,” or Robyn and Robin’s vision in creating a space for the contemporary woman, in “y&i clothing boutique” – fashion has a way of bringing this big world together in a really unique way. I can’t even convey how excited I am to be this year’s editor-in-chief of Spark. I’m so proud of my team and how hard they have worked to create this issue. I can only imagine how fashion will act as a tool in leading to the fulfillment of each and every one of their lives.
One of my favorite aspects of fashion is that you can be completely covered up while still retaining sex appeal. Donning a decadent color like oxblood, you may have a hard time fending off the wolves!
oxblood Peter Som blew me away with his use of this seductively deep red hue.
Infinity scarves are the easiest way to add a trendy color to any outfit in seconds.
The trend also looks beautiful as a lipstick â€“ on virtually every skin tone! Nars and Dior offer up the perfect options.
These flats are the perfect blend of ladylike and va va voom! Note: oxblood plays well with animal prints.
I saved up many a paycheck to afford this satchel from Madewell.
Used on a prim and proper shape from H&M, oxblood truly shines.
editorâ€™s obsessions EAST VILLAGE, NEW YORK CITY - WILD WESTERNS VS. SUBTLE FLORALS Jonathan Ochart
ff g time o n i r u d e ag East Vill Week with the e h t h g n throu k Fashio an urban r o o t Y Strolling e w m e d e rking N up expos ast Side, I felt o r G from wo n o i rE ty Fash he Lowe t g n Universi i es, local r r e o t d s r o e B g a tion int nd. dreamla ce discovering v ge store, No Rela ta la d right in p cafes. In one vin rl snap shirts an le a b nd t afforda pping pe a a bistros a r s t p s u d n n to I fou nted but i r p Vintage, l a r o zing fl mesmeri prices.
CASUAL DRESSY Elizabeth Jones
sy sual dres a c a h g nd ng throu I am goi ny jeans, heels a kin to throw y s a e e r phase. S sa d blouse still feel I . p oversize i h s n y y inter can easil t u b , on for m p u outfit. ressing like it’s d weekday dinner sa double a
BAROQUE Jarie Maldonado
I am really digging the Baroque trend this season. It’s been an off and on again trend for a good while now, but we all deal fashion’s ever-recycling nature.
Each season brings its own joys, but the love of fall is unrivaled. Here, each of our team members takes a moment to reflect on why they love this season in particular.
Cardigan weather! - Rebekah Camp
Falling leaves, new opportunities, boots, scarves and a little bit of rain make fall one of the kindest seasons of the year. - Rachel Solomon
Best thing about fall? The fashion! Fall fashion is my absolute favorite with the adorable sweaters and darker colors. I also love this time of year because it allows me wear all my fabulous scarves! - Madison Edgar
Iâ€™ve grown to love fall even more as a college student, because itâ€™s a chance to escape from the exams, projects and deadlines by losing yourself in the moments you had as a child, and recreating them as an adult. - Tyler Kilby
why we love fall... Rainy days and the crisp air of fall pave the way for my fall uniform of boots, leggings, chambray and soft woven sweaters. Oh, and salted caramel mochas aren’t too shabby either. - Chelsea Dunivan
Fall’s arrival means getting away with baking – and devouring – as many pumpkin pies as humanly possible. Anything pumpkinrelated, from Dunkin Donuts’ Pumpkin Spice Iced Coffee (sorry Starbucks) to jack-o-lanterns, carves lovely and warm impressions on me. - Jonathan Ochart
I love the smell of the air, the September issue and the pumpkin spice latte. - Kristen Raines
My favorite, nonexistent, color is black. So fall is usually one of my favorite seasons because of the heavy use of black. - Jarie Maldonado
why we love fall...
For the SWEATERS! I absolutely love sweater weather. And the trees! Seeing the leaves change colors always makes for beautiful scenery. - Elizabeth Jones
Boots, sweater dresses, tights and pine. - Taylor Prewitt
I love fall because I can wear endless layers, and bring out the sweater over collar combo! - Ronit Joselevitz
I love fall because there are always a lot of events happening around Austin and opportunities to wear layers, at least when it gets cold enough. - Tyler Neal
A Peek in the Closet of... Joanna Wilkinson from Keep Austin Stylish BY TAYLOR PREWITT PHOTOGRAPHY BY BECTON MORGAN
“I’ve had these high-waisted shorts for a really long time, much longer than I usually hold onto an item of clothing. I actually purchased them from an online store I think maybe when I was still in high school; it might have been the beginning of college. I loved them at the time because they were really different than most of the shorts that were around. Now, high-waisted shorts like that aren’t as difficult to find, but I still love the look. The hat is from Goodwill! The top is from Etcetera Etc. and the shoes are Steve Madden.” - Wilkinson
peek in the closet of...
oanna Wilkinson’s Keep Austin Stylish blog resembles a well-planned outfit. Bright, enthralling photo accessories and a recognizable logo-like antler emblem accent the website’s clean lines and classic layout. Wilkinson, Austin’s young style sweetheart, parallels her blog’s harmonious nature. While waiting for her at Feathers Boutique in Austin’s SoCo district, a stylish figure arrived in comfortable classics and an old flat brimmed cowboy hat, apparently a wardrobe staple.
The lovechild of Wilkinson’s creative spirit and fashion fanaticism, Keep Austin Stylish, began as the University of Texas radio-television-film grad wasn’t quite sure what she wanted to pursue. The fashion love affair began in her private high school when she donned blue tights or “interesting shoes” with her jumper uniform to make herself stand out. (Remnants of her private school style remain, as demonstrated in her actual high school “vintage” white button down she paired with black leather shorts for her shoot at Feathers). Graduating to bigger and better things, Wilkinson moved on to vintage preppiness, wearing hot pink, ‘80s heels to college classes with vintage pearl sets. Relocating to Austin set her present-day ever-fluid look into motion. “My style is always changing and going through different phases,” Wilkinson explained amid the welllit denim and retro gems studding Feathers boutique, where she is a regular customer and friend to employees. “I think it’s good to be constantly accepting change.” Despite perpetual closet revisions, vintage clothing has remained a stable component of the blogger’s closet. Picture a tiny, budding fashionista twirling in her grandmother’s petticoats falling in love with all things antique and unique - that includes the old movies she considers inspirational. Her first style stops in Austin were vintage boutiques she still frequents, such as Room Service, and her closet provides blasts from the past a welcoming haven. Wilkinson recently entered a black phase offset by floral prints that remain a constant favorite, mostly because of their accessorizing ease. When it comes to jewelry, she opts for meaningful, older pieces that make the outfit (turquoise reminds her of her “Grammy”). That, or anything elephant-related. Shoes must be comfortable and decidedly not vintage (who can fit in a size six anyway?). Overall, Wilkinson’s look definitely screams “Austin” by effortlessly combining coolness and comfort. Wilkinson’s Austincentric style is one reason why she chose to become so involved in the Austin fashion scene rather than aiming for a broader blog base. “I try to promote local stores and designers as much as I can,” Wilkinson said. “I think it’s really important to keeping Austin unique and the kind of Austin local vibe that we’ve got going on. I never want Austin to become mass-marketed.” Wilkinson’s style advice for college students? “Ditch the flip flops,” she said. “Oh, and you don’t always have to wear the free T-shirts you get… to class.” Amen.
“I got the dress from Dog & Pony back when it was still a retail store. I purchased it somewhat on a whim and wasn’t sure if I would end up wearing it that often and it has turned out to be one of my favorite dresses. I love that it can be dressed up or down: it’s perfect for an outdoor festival or a night out. The hat is a vintage Stetson from Laced with Romance. I oftentimes have a hint of cowgirl in my clothing being from Fort Worth and growing up in Texas.” - Wilkinson
peek in the closet of... Spark: Where are you originally from? Joanna: Fort Worth, Texas. Spark: What inspired you to start your blog? Joanna: It was mostly just a creative outlet. Spark: When did your obsession with all things vintage begin? Joanna: I think the first kind of start was when I was really little and would twirl around in my grandmaâ€™s petticoats. Spark: Who would you say your style icon is? Joanna: Gwen Stefani Spark: Do you follow any blogs yourself? Joanna: Sea of Shoes
“The white button down is the actual uniform shirt that I wore from 1st grade through my senior year of high school. I recently started wearing it again because I’ve become a big fan of wearing collared white button down shirts again and this one is the only one that actually fits me correctly to this day. I wore that shirt almost every day for 13 years, and now 10 years later I am wearing it again. I guess it represents my prep school side, but now I pair it with black leather shorts and black skinny jeans.” – Wilkinson
y&i clothing boutique: Where the Fashion World and Wall Street Collide BY RACHEL SOLOMON
y&i clothing boutique
alk through y&i clothing boutique’s doors on South Congress and you will find yourself immersed in a land of California-chic sweaters and jeans, the hottest trends in jewelry and dresses for everything from a barbecue to a formal. The owners, Robin Boesch and Robyn Sribhen White, opened their first location six years ago in San Francisco, California. After finding great success in the boutique industry, they opened their doors in Austin two years ago and in Dallas May 2012. Ask them who their target customer is and they will both tell you “Lauren Conrad” without giving it a second thought. The boutique carries clothes geared toward simple, trendy, working women in their late twenties. After two years of working as a sales associate for Boesch and Sribhen White, Fallon McHenry has watched y&i Austin grow from the new kid on the block to an experienced veteran. She has learned a great deal not only about clothes, but also about what it takes for a small boutique to maintain success. Between sips of coffee from a tall ceramic mug and quick changes to try on all the newest merchandise, McHenry discussed her experience at y&i. Spark: Why did you decide to work for y&i clothing boutique? McHenry: I saw an ad for a clothing boutique and I have a lot of experience in retail [editor’s note: she has worked for Aldo, Guess and Marciano]. I thought a boutique would be great because it’s different. I wanted to be in an environment that was more unique and offered more flexibility to be creative.
Spark: What is your favorite part of working here? McHenry: Learning about fabrics and fits and designers, which has helped me even outside of the store. When you understand fabrics and see people try things on enough times, you can get an idea of how things are going to fit and how quality is reflected in price. So, I really enjoy more of the merchant aspects of working here. Spark: What do you think is absolutely essential for the store’s success? McHenry: Cute clothes and stylish women. Our sweet spot is going to be women who are in their upper twenties or early thirties. We get a lot of professional women looking for clothes to wear to work, or even to wear to happy hours, cocktails or nights out on the town. We have a lot of breezy, fun clothes. And in the wintertime we’ll have snuggly clothes that will be fun to wear on the weekends. After chatting with McHenry, walk past past belts, tanks, dresses, skirts and fitting rooms to open a door leading to walls covered in torn-out pages from fashion magazines. Further in the room stands a fridge stocked with champagne, a large wooden table and one young store owner asking a Steve Madden sales representative about her overdue product’s status. In a matter of minutes, hear Robin Boesch’s successful journey from Wall Street to Chestnut Street, y&i’s first store location in San Francisco.
y&i clothing boutique
Spark: Where did your interest in fashion originate? Boesch: When Robyn and I were in college, we always talked about owning our own store one day because we thought fashion was fun. I like owning my own business. That’s the piece I like – being an entrepreneur and having my own business. Spark: Why did you decide to make the transition from Wall Street to the world of fashion? Boesch: I feel like there are pockets in life when you get to do different things. I had been at Goldman Sachs for five years, I didn’t have kids and I wasn’t married. So I felt like that was my opportunity to try something else, and I did it. Spark: What is your favorite part of owning a small boutique? Boesch: Making it a big boutique. Spark: Were there any unexpected challenges you faced at the start? Boesch: We didn’t really have any at the beginning, because you never imagine your business is going to fail and don’t know what any of the negative things that will happen are. So you jump off a cliff and you don’t even look back and you’re not scared at all because you can’t even imagine the worst that could happen. The first year was great. Our store was super successful and fun. Our only challenge was trying to figure out who our customer was and what they wanted.
Spark: What is absolutely essential to the success of the company? Boesch: Dedication. Spark: Any plans for the future? Boesch: We’d like to open a couple more stores near the ones that we have [editor’s note: y&i currently has locations in San Francisco, Austin and Dallas]. We’ve thought about opening a concept store with shoes and accessories. We also want to focus on our online business because that’s a whole world of opportunity. Walk back through bright racks holding new fall dresses and leather pants as Boesch and her co-owner, Robyn Sribhen White, discuss inventory and celebrity gossip. With an impressive background in the fashion industry and a closet to show for it, Sribhen White embraces any opportunity to discuss her love of shopping and how it manifested itself into a career as a buyer for large retailers and then as the co-owner of a small boutique. Spark: Where did your interest in fashion originate? Sribhen White: I’ve always enjoyed fashion, but it was during the summer between my junior and senior year of college that I started really to pay attention. My best friend was interning at Neiman Marcus, and would get first dibs on the items going to Last Call. So we shopped, a lot, and I found that I really enjoyed discovering awesome clothes for myself and for others too. When I landed a position in merchandising, my interest definitely grew, because in order to predict what people want to wear, you have to know what you love from what the designers are showing.
y&i clothing boutique Spark: What are some of the main differences between buying for a larger chain, like the Gap, and owning a small boutique? Sribhen White: The main difference is the level of check and balances. In a large organization, every decision has a meeting. As a boutique owner, when I make a decision, it is done. Robin and I have one conversation for the bigger picture items and move forward – and we make our own calls on the smaller things. We are able to move quickly and react to trends or best sellers and get them to our stores immediately. Spark: What is the most challenging aspect of running y&i? Sribhen White: At the end of the day, everything is Robin’s and my responsibility. We don’t get to clock out and leave things at the office. Sometimes the workload gets a bit much and I can’t get to everything, which is frustrating since I hate having loose ends. Spark: Were there any unexpected challenges you faced at the start? Sribhen White: I think that we were lucky, because our San Francisco store was pretty successful from the start. The hardest part was finding the lines that we were going to carry, since vendor distribution is, and continues to be, something that we are always working on. We are constantly searching for new brands either to replace a struggling one or because they offer something new to our assortment – and sadly, we are still on the waiting list for some of our favorites. Spark: What do you think is absolutely essential to the company’s success? Sribhen White: Commitment and passion. You have to be willing to work, and at the non-glamorous jobs too, because it all is important. Robin and I joke that we are both the CEO and intern at our company. And you have to have passion because if you don’t love what you do, then it stops being fun. Who wants to go to work every day and do something tedious? I know I don’t. After ending the phone call with Sribhen White, walk back outside through y&i’s front doors with a whole new perspective. It no longer seems to be yet another trendy store on South Congress. Rather, it is a world ruled by two best friends: one Wall Street trader and one seasoned buyer. It is a world populated by dedicated and knowledgeable employees - a world of style, celebrities and opportunities galore. Come see for yourself.
Accessory Alert: Noonday Collection A Story of How Fashion Really Can Change the World By Tyler Kilby 22
ue to a strong focus on defining external beauty, the fashion industry falls prey to several stereotypes. Individuals unfamiliar with the fashion world may consider runways, models and biannual collections a superficial matter—an egocentric and dispassionate realm. Jessica Honegger, a University of Texas alumna and founder of Noonday Collection, proves this assumption wrong. The clock reads 9:07 a.m. as I rush around my cluttered apartment trying to gather thoughts and questions for an interview with Honegger, a local entrepreneur and mother of three. Deciding against one more cup of coffee, I pick up the phone and dial the 10 digits standing between Honegger and me. “Hello?”, a woman’s voice says. “Hi, Jessica? This is Tyler from Spark Magazine.” “Hey, Tyler! Forgive me, I’m still feeling a little sick, so I’m sitting in bed for this interview.” Despite the confession, her voice resonates professionalism and refinement. I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the mirror hanging across my living room and pray that Honegger cannot see my appearance through the receiver. “Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself and we’ll take it from there?”, I ask. I feel like a kid in a candy shop as Honneger treats me to a story of how her life-long interest in foreign cultures culminated. She graduated from UT with a degree in Latin American Studies. Somehow,
she knew what my next question was as she provided a small anecdote describing how she believed she was of Mexican heritage until age eight. Her grandparents grew up near the Mexican border, and having grown up in the San Antonio area, the Latino culture surrounded her as well. To augment her cultural experiences, she traveled to Africa for the first time at age 15, an experience she considers eye-opening. “While all my friends were getting BMW’s for their birthdays, I got to walk through the slums and really experience another side of the world,” Honneger recalls. Honneger returned home realizing that education usually comes along with financial costs in third-world countries, and as a result, many children are denied the opportunity to attend school. She then organized a fundraiser at her high school that raised money to send back to Kenya. With this spark of passion, Honneger traveled to Guatemala and Bolivia after college, where she worked with women who made yarns, clothes and sheets by hand. Upon returning to the United States, Honneger married and built a career in real estate with her husband. Despite their “normal” lives, the newlyweds continued traveling the world to visit impoverished countries. During one of these travels, the couple decided to adopt their third child. The Honegger’s are a beautiful family—a picturesque modern American family. Achieving this
radiance, however, roots from a strenuous journey. “When we came back to the U.S., the real estate market crashed, and we didn’t have $20,000 to adopt our son, so we knew we needed to do something to bring our little boy home,” Honneger recalled. At this point, I am amazed at how certain people’s lives appear to have a set path—everything that Honneger experienced thus far seemed like training for upcoming challenges when creating her family. She goes on to say that she had a friend in Uganda who worked to provide Ugandans with entrepreneurial opportunities. For example, many Ugandan women made designs and materials much like the women she worked with in Guatemala and Bolivia. Ugandan women, however, faced a severe business problem: an absent market and demand for their work. This is how Noonday Collection was born, Honneger points out. “So, all of this took place because of your desire to adopt? There was no premeditation, it was simply a spur-of-the-moment concept?”, I inquire. “Noonday really was the brainchild of this adoption,” she admits. Family is a hugely influential role in Honneger’s life, especially as she mentions her father and how he offered temporary jobs to the homeless so they could get back on their feet. “Work brings people dignity,” she says. “With Noonday, I wanted to bring justice to places where there wasn’t justice.”
“You graduated with a major in Latin American Studies, so it’s easy to understand your interest in foreign cultures, but how did you get into the fashion industry?”, I ask. Honneger’s response reverberates for an innumerable amount of people in today’s fashion industry. “I’ve always loved fashion,” she says. “I honestly had no formal business plan, [I] just literally opened my home one night to 60 women and started merchandising goods. Fair trade is not known for fashion-relevant designs, but I really believe that there is a design aesthetic in comparison to others—each product has a story of how it organically came about.” The entrepreneur took her love for fashion and the business model she instituted and hit the ground running with Noonday Collection’s concept. She then begins telling me how Noonday Collection started with an exchange of just 10 handmade goods a month. Now, with 90 other women known as “ambassadors” operating their own branches of Noonday Collection throughout the country, monthly sales reach the hundreds. When I asked how her company compares to other local businesses, Honneger proudly explains a collaborative effort between her and hundreds of artisans in 12 countries across the world. She works hard to relay current fashion trends and help brainstorm how to incorporate these trends into the artisan’s
designs. This collaborative effort leads to the unique and trendy products Noonday Collection offers. Looking at the online catalog, something organic about each and every piece catches the eye—you can tell these products are not mass-produced, but reveal utmost dedication to quality and detail. Even still, their trendy aesthetic shows Honneger’s competitive edge in Austin’s fashion scene. Two years have passed since Honneger first began building her company, and she has expanded with 90 female employees possessing similar visions. “Do you believe that the fashion and nonprofit industries mesh well together, from your experience?”, I ask. “The challenge is that fashion is handmade and not mass-produced, but there are so many designers working [overseas] — Kate Spade, Nicole Miller, Anthropologie — buying products and materials from these countries,” she replies. Honneger continues on saying that despite these examples of outsourcing, many members within the fashion industry go beyond designing for the runway, utilizing their fame to raise awareness and help those in need. The clothing and culture aficionado has built her entire life around putting others first, but she cannot do it alone.
“How do you manage to balance it all? Your own business, a husband, three kids?”, I ask. She admits the difficulties behind her responsibilities, but she expresses gratitude for the people in her life who make it possible. Her daughter, Amelie, is six, and her two sons, Jack and Holden, are two and three. Jack was able to join Honneger’s family because of Noonday Collection, the tie between fashion and charity and her determination to make her family’s dream a reality. “It’s worth it—the challenges are worth it,” Honneger concludes. “This is living out a dream.”
JESSICAâ€™S MUST HAVES
Stacked Arrows Necklace
Cross Shoulder Boho
Bengali Sunset Earrings
Embroidered Lace Belt
Burnt Triangles Bracelet
FASHION’S NIGHT OUT BY JONATHAN OCHART
henever sauntering about Fifth Avenue, I recall Audrey Hepburn’s delicate black velvet-covered hand picking a pastry out of a white paper bag in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. With early morning fog devouring the glamorous New York street, however, the scene evoked a sense of desolateness, where canary yellow taxi cabs put forth lonely glows. After participating in Vogue’s fourth annual Fashion’s Night Out while on the University Fashion Group’s New York Fashion Week trip Sept. 6-10, however, new images come to mind when pondering the posh lane. Bright lights, alluring displays and stylish crowds deeply contrasted with the sweet yet phantomlike ambience featured in the 1960s film’s introduction. I commenced my fashion odyssey with three other UFG members at Bergdorf Goodman, which celebrated its 111th anniversary. Magical window displays fit for princesses and their royal friends illuminated the pavement with violet light, making the wait for entry tolerable. Once inside the extravagant emporium, orange and purple mini vanilla cupcakes appeared in our hands. I must admit, I have never tasted such a moist, rich cupcake in a store before (and it was free!). After hobnobbing with exquisite looks hanging on racks and searching for free refreshments, we ventured out for more. Louis Vuitton’s boutique offered various treasures, with Vogue’s contributing editor, André Leon Talley, plopped comfortably on the upper deck. Interior designers gained inspiration from the house’s fall 2012 collection featuring looks fit for the sophisticated traveler. Models clad in train conductor outfits with Louis Vuitton luggage in hand permitted visitors an escape from busy New York streets. Of
course, seeing several models standing around seemed like the perfect photo opportunity, and to our luck, photographers on staff took our photos instantly. More than 700 stores throughout New York kept their doors open late for the event. Additional celebrities scattered throughout the city included Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Cyndi Lauper, stylist and now designer Rachel Zoe, hip rapper Azealia Banks and Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. We then sashayed toward other charming locations, including SAKS Fifth Avenue, Prada and Chanel. Failing to find additional baked goods and beverages, we decided to stop by Barney’s, where Fashion’s Night Out T-shirts abounded. After purchasing souvenirs, our well-dressed feet gave in and the hairspray began wearing off. So, what better place to end the night than on Times Square? Well, more like McDonald’s on Times Square. At that moment, nothing sounded tastier than Chicken McNuggets and creamy ranch dressing. Stuffing ourselves with fast food satiated our starving stomachs, while providing us energy to make it back to our hotel in the Upper West Side. Too bad the hamburgers, fries and soda’s revitalizing properties failed to linger on to help awaken us for our 5 a.m. call time the next morning...
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK From a Backstage Perspective BY TYLER NEAL
thrilling adventure around the Big Apple for Fashion’s Night Out was only the beginning, and quite frankly, a small fraction of the New York Fashion Week trip itself. Despite the glitz and glamour of sleek runways, impeccably dressed front-row guests and thin models donning dazzling designs, those working front-of-house or backstage faced early call times among other responsibilities. This year, as University Fashion Group vice president, I organized the trip and led a group of 24 UFG members to New York City for one of the most vital weeks in contemporary fashion. The exact moment we arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport, we hit the ground running with no time to accustom to New York’s hustling, bustling scene. After all, a logistics meeting with Project Runway Season 10 finale’s backstage producers loomed ahead - no big deal. Let’s fast forward a bit—it’s 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 7 at the Marrakech Hotel on Broadway, and our alarms begin ringing loudly. Our call time is at 5 a.m. at the Lincoln Center, and 12 UFG members slowly, but surely, dress themselves for morning duties at the Project Runway show. Clad in black, members drag themselves to the nearest subway station and embark on the day’s journey. As some may know, subway stations fail to inspire with their less-than-glamorous ambiences, which is something difficult to witness that early in the morning (or in general). Cheryl Bemis from Fashionably Austin and Audrea Diaz from The Horn accompany us, ready to report on our day for their media outlets. For the Project Runway show, we manage to stay energized for our tasks before the show, which include updating guest lists and seating arrangements, checking guests in at the front gate and organizing gift bags for audience members. All tasks require diligence and put our professionalism to the test, and like always, we succeed. If there’s one thing that I learned from this trip, it’s that you cannot just dream big - you must be willing to put in hard work to nurture your dream and make things happen. In addition to working Project Runway, Lela Rose and Timo Weiland made it onto our agenda—both on Sunday, Sept. 9. Therefore, we looked forward to a full day of dressing models backstage at the Lincoln Center. Much to our relief, our call time was at 8 a.m. this time, giving us a moment to at least see the sunrise before arriving backstage. First show on the agenda: Lela Rose. Rose’s dog, Stitch, runs around playfully while hair and makeup artists perfect models’ looks, including Shanina Shaik, Ajak Deng and Chantal Stafford-Abbott among others. After Rose’s staff assigns us to models, we examine our runway looks and cards to know exactly how the garment must appear on the runway. It’s no shock that the show is carefully organized—after all, we are at New York Fashion Week. Success befell the show, and afterward, we even see TV personality Lauren Conrad leaving the show with her publicist. Timo Weiland turned out much more differently than Lela Rose’s show. I did not receive a call time until 30 minutes before backstage preparations began. To my concern, all of us are around the city and must madly race back to the Lincoln Center. Talk about high stress! This time, I work with a male model beaming a playful personality who speaks with a strong African accent: David Agbodji. He even jokes with me, saying I have “huge feet” after staring at my boots. The show itself ran smoothly, and the Timo Weiland team thanks us for our help. At this point, I’m relieved yet incredibly proud. Not only am I proud that I successfully organized this trip, but that my team pulled together to work at three shows with an unmatchable sense of professionalism. Watch out for us next season, New York—we’ll be back!
Kaidon Ho and Ivan Bontchev, fashion editor and stylist for Lâ€™officiel Hommes. Ivan was drawn to Hoâ€™s eye-catching sense of style and bright orange hair.
Wearing sunglasses a la Lady Gaga and a bold floral print, I interrupted this woman while she was applying her lipstick to capture this street style photo.
Ajak Deng waits with other models in beautiful designs by Lela Rose.
LEVELS OF MERCURY
Raise the temperature with this seasonâ€™s metallics and velvets
Hair and Makeup by Propaganda Hair Group Photography by Batli Joselevitz Styling by Ronit Joselevitz Assistant Coordinating by Roberta Izquierdo and Rebekah Camp
Arm candy adds volume around the wrists while augmenting metallic hues.
A draped metallic scarf is dressed down with denim and a pop of burgundy.
A painted denim jacket atop a waxed sweater, over a studded collar button down amount to endless layering.
A denim collar peeking from a velvet dress and abstract metal jewelry juxtaposes casual wear with elegance.
CREDITS We’d like to send out a big thank you to Honest Tea for sponsoring our event, Feathers Boutique for the use of their space in “ A Peek in the Closet of…,” y&i clothing boutique for the use of their space for our event, Jessica Honneger, Joanna Wilkinson, Robin Boesch, Robyn Sribhen White, Fallon McHenry, Becton Morgan and Batli Joselevitz for their photography, Jimena Cardenas for being our model in “Levels of Mercury” and Roberta Izquierdo for her contributions. We couldn’t have created this issue without each and every one of you! Be sure to come out to our fall issue release party, Thursday, October 4 at y&i clothing boutique from 6:00-8:30 pm! Check out our Follow Us page to keep in touch until our next issue!