MAY 2014 NO 23
CONTENTS 2 MASTHEAD 4
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
5 CONTRIBUTORS 7
STYLE SPREAD “The New Classic”
15 FEATURE “Fashion Intern Profiles” 23 COLUMN “A Rebirth of the Freshman Mindset on Internships” 25 SHOOT “Impressionism” 31 FEATURE “Finding Your Signature Self” 35 SHOOT “Waa-Mu” 43
FEATURE “Understanding Anxiety”
45 REVIEW “Block Exhibit” 47
SHOOT “STITCH Seniors”
LAST WORD “Hey Guys, Does Size Really Matter?”
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Alaura Hernandez MANAGING EDITOR Sydney Lindsey CREATIVE DIRECTOR Alaura Hernandez TREASURER Peggy Garard DESIGN EDITORS Jen White & Drew Dain DESIGN TEAM Heiwon Shin, Kaylah Sosa, Susan Chen PHOTOGRAPHY EDITOR Alix Kramer CO-DIRECTORS OF PHOTOSHOOTS Sarah Spellings & Beatrice Hagney STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Christine Chang, Jalissa Gomez, Lily Allen, Marina Vernovsky, Alix Kramer, Katharine Carrault, Cindy Joo, Ina Yang, Nick Giancola, Victoria Zapater, Saskia Wieskbron STREET TEAM Sean Su STYLING TEAM Kate Camarata, Peggy Garard, Annalise Sundberg, Iman Gultson, Lauren Myers, Angelene Sun, Tori Latham, SalomĂŠ Lezhava MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Gemma Follari MULTIMEDIA STAFF Sarah Burton ONLINE EDITORS McKenzie Maxson & Erica Witte PRINT EDITOR Helen Zook STAFF WRITERS Carrie Shin, Elizabeth Johnson, Erica Witte, Jacob Roth, Luke Zhang, Mackenzie Broderick, Mackenzie Maxson, Steven Bennett, Steffanee Wang, Amy Xu, Savannah Birnbaum, Junnie Kwon, Victoria Castro DIRECTOR OF FUNDRAISING & ADVERTISING Lauren Myers DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS Diana Armacanqui & Chelsea Ferguson PUBLIC RELATIONS STAFF Maya Voelk, Prarthana Gupta, Stephanie Risler ADVERTISING & FUNDRAISING STAFF Ashley Peterson, Adele Kuforiji, Anna Schapiro, Ava Steir, Blair Darrell, Caroline Levy, Emma Feder, Grace Jaworski, Jackie Martinhouse, Jenny Reinsdorf, Jenny Sussna, Jessica Weil, Kaylah Sosa, Lily Orlan, Mallory Bell, Megan McDowell, Neha Kumar, Nicole Byron, Sarah Burton, Tori Latham EDITOR AT LARGE Alyssa Clough STITCH Magazine is published with support from Generation Progress & the Center for American Progress, found online at genprog.org
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
R -I N - C H I E
Sophomore • Journalism & History • Powell, Ohio Fav spring trend? 50s-inspired sundresses • Fav spot in Evanston? The antique store on Chicago by Jewel Osco • Fav spring beauty product? Nailene oval-shaped French nails • Guilty pleasure? I have more protein, pre-workout, and supplements than most guys I know • Worst fashion mistake you’ve made this year? Trying to ignore my 5’11 frame by wearing pants and skirts that are clearly too short on me.
t has been one rocky end-of-the-year! Just when we thought things were looking up Spring Quarter, we were smacked in the face with that ridiculous day of snow in May. We basked in the delight of wearing shorts and tank tops one day and were confronted with bitter Chicago reality and cold rain the next. Morale was low. However…I think it’s safe to say that we are officially done with cold weather! And, what’s more, classes are almost over! Summer is so close; we can almost reach out and grasp it. I don’t know about you, but this summer is going to be particularly life changing for me. I’m moving into my first big-girl apartment on my own, I’m getting a cat (of course this is important), and I’m getting serious about my career. I plan on reinventing myself this summer, and coming back in the fall better and brighter than ever. Call it a summer of rebirth — a Renaissance, if you will. After that harsh Winter Quarter, I think this summer will be a bit of a Renaissance for everyone. Clear out the old, bring in the new. Wipe off the dust, polish and shine. Reinvent, be creative and discover new perspectives. Summer is your time to focus on yourself and let loose! This issue is dedicated to that Renaissance spirit. The end of finals mark the beginning of a new chapter in your life, and we hope these pages inspire you to get out, try new things and learn something new!
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CONTRIBUTORS: STAFF SPOTLIGHTS
PE G G Y
Littleton, CO Major: Psychology Must-have Dillo item: Kiehl’s sunscreen and ray-bans Best memory from Dillo: What memories?
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R O SH F PH OTO
Dallas, TX Major: Journalism Must-have Dillo item: My game face. Or my shoes with my friends’ numbers all over them in case I get lost. Best memory from Dillo: I forced my friends to go get a Slurpee with me around 3. I paired it with a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and ate both in about 15 minutes.
A LY S S A
R AT L A R G
Omaha, NE Major: Journalism, International Studies Must-have Dillo item: Bendy straws and Flash Tattoos Best memory from Dillo: Shaking Mayor Tisdahlâ€™s hand as she broke up a party
SI G N
E DIT O
Syracuse, NY Major: Journalism/IMC Must-have Dillo item: Sunscreen! Possibly could have prevented this full-body sunburn. Best memory from Dillo: Briefly fell in love with a bag of Cheddar & Sour Cream chips.
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Top left: Superga Mirrored Shoes; $74.90, Delia’s Top right: Vintage, no designer Bottom left: Aveda’s Blue Oil Balancing Concentrate; $18.00, aveda.com Bottom right: Maserati Stainless Steel Women’s Watch; $392.00, forzieri.com
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UR STAFF’S PICKS
Top left: Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray; $5.99, CVS Top right: Silk Headscarf, vintage Bottom left: Dunkin Donuts Unsweetened Peach Iced Tea; $2.69, Dunkin Donuts Bottom right: Dior ‘Addict Lip Glow’ Color Reviver Balm; $32.00, Nordstrom
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RUNWAY RECAP RESORT 2015 COLLECTIONS BY STEFFANEE WANG ILLUSRATIONS BY JACQUELINE YANG #| STITCH
Raf Simons took Brooklyn by storm with his 2015 Resort collection for Dior. It’s the first time the French fashion house has debuted a collection there, but the collection was still classic Raf. The pieces were sleek, smart, and modern—clean with just a touch of floral. Pants, coats and dresses were cinched loosely at the waist, giving Dior’s old “New Look” a modern twist. Everything was very wearable, which goes to show how Simons is slowly but surely combining his signature minimalistic look with the traditional Dior style, finding a comfortable compromise that still breaks fashion’s boundaries.
“I can’t show you a stretch pant and a T-shirt,” said Tomas Maier, Creative Director of Bottega Veneta. Maier definitely kept his word, showing the world a much more sophisticated take on a lazy weekend wardrobe. His collection – a series of pastel sweaters, shorts, and jackets – incorporates a much more subtle design element: bleaching. It’s like a reverse tie-dye, extracting color instead of putting in. What was left after the artistic process was a refreshing line of loose, flowy dresses and shirts with subtle spotted and blotched patterns. It may seem like a lot of work, but the effort is worthwhile: every piece is refreshingly unique.
OSCAR DE LA RENTA
“Resort means nothing. Who buys clothes exclusively for going to a resort?” Oscar de la Renta asked. That being said, it’s no shock this year’s collection exuded the luxury of high-end designer clothing. There was absolutely no loungewear here. Looks were modern and sleek, with understated floral prints, or no patterns at all. Everything was cool, sophisticated, and versatile. What really stole the show was Oscar’s finale of evening gowns. The dresses were all bold – some fuchsia, some light blue, and many novel, ankle-length hemlines.
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CLASSIC BY LAUREN MYERS
Fashion is a revolving door. Trends are ushered in and then before long swept back out, only to be recycled and introduced years later in some slightly revamped way. Supermodel Heidi Klum of Project Runway fame is known for her slightly cynical mantra, “one day you’re in and the next day you’re out.” But the reality of the fashion world is that it’s only a matter of time before you’re back in style. This season it’s all about MOD. The fashion world is channeling the swinging sixties – a time of hip Brits, rock and roll, and funky fashion. Marc Jacobs’s checkerboard collection for Louis Vuitton may have made its runway debut back in 2012, but brands like Saint Laurent, Gucci and Dsquared2 are still embracing retro silhouettes, drop waists and dangerously short hemlines. STITCH staffers Helen Zook, Angelene Sun and Nicholas Giancola sported some graphic ensembles in the spirit of the sixties and we suggest you do the same. Make like Twiggy, dig out your miniskirts and rock a graphic cat eye. Going retro has never been so modern.
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PHOTO BY ALIX KRAMER
ANGELENE SUN: SHIRT AND PANTS BY MILLAU FOR LF SHOES BY FRYE
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PHOTOS BY ALIX KRAMER
NICHOLAS GIANCOLA: SHIRT BY MARNI SHORTS AND SUNGLASSES BY ACNE STUDIOS VINTAGE SHOES BY GUCCI HAIR AND MAKEUP BY BEATRICE HAGNEY & SARAH SPELLINGS
PHOTO BY ALIX KRAMER
HELEN ZOOK: DRESS BY SAINTS SECRETS FOR LF HAIR AND MAKEUP BY BEATRICE HAGNEY & SARAH SPELLINGS
NORTHWESTERN W H ave you ever wanted to go behind the scenes of the worldâ€™s most stylish careers? Here, three Northwestern women tell STITCH about their intern experiences within various facets of the fashion industry. From buying to InDesign-ing, each girl stuck her stilettos into the choppy waters of the industry. Theyâ€™re here to tell it all, for better and worse.
WOMEN IN FASHION BY LIZZEY JOHNSON PHOTOS BY SEAN SU
YEAR: SENIOR HOMETOWN: WEST HARTFORD, CONN. INTERNSHIP/JOB: BUYER AT BLOOMINGDALE’S, NEW YORK
Describe a day in the life. No two days throughout my ten-week internship were the same. If I had to describe some sense of a typical day in the life, it would most likely start with a training session with the 37 other (impeccablydressed) interns. Following this session, the interns would retreat to our respective families of business – mine, rotating between Finance, Purchasing, Travel, Competitive Bidding, Capital Planning, the Creative Business Office, and Planning for RTW (Bloomingdale’s Outlet Stores) – leaving me with somewhat of an identity crisis but never a dull moment. In my office (otherwise known as a constantly-moving cubicle), I would divide my time between various projects, including calling and emailing clients, working on independent analysis within each respective area of business in order to determine where expenses could be minimized, and putting together my final intern presentation. The highlight of each day was the opportunity to attend (and occasionally participate in) a variety of meetings with executives all across the Bloomingdale’s business. These ranged from meeting with the Creative Director of Window Displays to going over expenses for the famous Bloomingdale’s windows at the 59th Street store, to sitting down with the Senior Vice President of Public Relations to project PR expenses for the rest of the fiscal quarter. What was the best/coolest part of your experience? While I loved each and every one of my rotations, for me, nothing compared to learning directly from the Manager of Capital Planning about the analysis that is necessary in order to make investment decisions regarding new store openings and store remodels. Specifically, I had the opportunity to examine the detailed Capital
Expenditure Request (CER) that went into the decision to remodel the North Michigan store right here in downtown Chicago. Learning the reasoning behind the decision (the highest performing stores and the areas with the highest margins are remodeled), understanding the meaning behind the numbers, and then seeing the completed renovation in person this fall was a tremendously rewarding opportunity. Maybe this is just because Women’s Shoes, my favorite department, was doubled in size (and more importantly held double the shoes) – but nevertheless, it was fascinating to see what goes into the process from start to finish. How did your experience shape your future career ambitions? I was lucky in that my 10-week internship experience confirmed the very career ambitions that led me to the internship program in the first place. As each day went by, I continued to question the fact that this dream job was considered “work.” Immediately following graduation, I will be beginning my participation in the three-year rotational Analyst Development Program at Bloomingdale’s. I hope to continue learning as much as I possibly can, gaining more and more responsibility within the business that I love so much, and maybe even someday starting my own business within the retail industry. Although I am still in a state of denial about graduation quickly approaching, I am excited to pursue my passion and I cannot think of a better city in which to begin the next chapter of my life. What are you most excited about, and what are you most nervous for? Most excited about? Getting my employee discount back. Most nervous for? Getting my employee discount back.
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Describe a day in the life. Just before 9 a.m., I would get to the office (which, by the way, sits above the downtown Dallas Neiman Marcus store – lunch break shopping was an all-too-frequent activity) and sign on to my computer to check emails. A couple of times a week, I’d go downstairs with one of the Assistant Buyers to get breakfast and chat about anything important that needed to happen that day. I ended up becoming really close with a few of the assistant buyers I worked with, and having those relationships made the workday much more relaxed and enjoyable. Aside from my little morning routine, every day was completely different. I was given a pretty cool price-branding project, so I’d work on that for a couple of hours each day, and I usually met with the director of my department at least once a day. She was really helpful in guiding me through my individual projects. More than anything, I learned a ton about Excel from working with her. I worked in the Contemporary or ‘CUSP’ department, and I rotated within the multiple offices in the department throughout the summer. By the middle of the summer, I was able to just float around and help whichever office needed me the most. I’d compile lookbooks, process purchase orders, and distribute new stock to the stores. I even organized the cashmere samples room one day. I tried to be a “Jill of all Trades” and make myself as available as possible for all the assistants – I received my to-do list from the buyers at the beginning of the week, but I worked more closely with the assistants because, as a Buying Intern, I was like an assistant to the assistants. How did your experience working in fashion influence your personal style? Let’s just say that walking through the Neiman Marcus shoe department every single day definitely elevates your taste in footwear. I did a lot of shopping this summer, but I’ve actually become better about buying more classic, well-made pieces. My mom always says that you wear 20 percent of your closet
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80 percent of the time, so I’ve been trying to carefully edit out what I don’t wear and only buy pieces that are versatile. Shopping all summer at Neiman taught me that quality is definitely better than quantity. Also, I really got into reading a ton of different fashion and beauty blogs this summer, which lead me to finally start my own blog at the end of last quarter (Shameless plug: it’s thedenimfox.com). I feel like my style is constantly evolving, and I still don’t really know how to define it. I’m this preppy, buttoned-up, chambray-wearing girl by day and leather-loving rocker by night. I also just started working at Madewell at Old Orchard, so now I’m incorporating more laidback and relaxed basics into my wardrobe. However, I am and always will be undeniably and irrevocably in love with all things leopard, leather, and denim. What did you learn from your internship? I learned that working in the business of luxury retail isn’t really about fashion at all. It’s obviously important to appreciate and understand current trends and designers, but it’s about 90 percent business, 10 percent creativity. It’s not really until you become a Buyer (Which takes about 8-10 years if you’re REALLY good at your job) that you get to fly to New York and Paris to sift through collections. Also, being an Assistant Buyer is probably the least glamorous job out there. It’s sitting at a computer on Excel all day long, running reports, calculating numbers and creating lookbooks – a lot of busy work. While the perks of the job, like the discounts and collection previews, are great, that wasn’t enough for me. I learned an incredible amount from my internship, but it showed me that I didn’t want to be a buyer at all. My favorite parts of my internship were the two big individual, analytical projects that allowed me to take complete ownership of different problems and generate solutions. The coolest part was that the Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM) who covered my department actually wanted to implement the strategy that I created.
YEAR: SENIOR HOMETOWN: ROSLYN, N.Y. INTERNSHIP: MERCHANDISING AND BUYING INTERN, NEIMAN MARCUS CORPORATE OFFICE INTERN, DALLAS, TX
YEAR: JUNIOR HOMETOWN: BETHANY BEACH, DEL. INTERNSHIP/JOB: ART INTERN AT COSMOPOLITAN, NEW YORK
How did you obtain your internship? Honestly, I was just really lucky to get my dream site! They were only supposed to take one editorial intern but I managed to get Desi [the Director of Undergraduate Journalism] to reach out to them about taking an art intern. They were unsure about it and literally the day before JR decisions were going to be announced, the site was still a maybe. Desi told me to keep my eye out for an email she’d be sending out that same night letting me know whether it was a definite yes or no. Naturally, when I got the email saying ‘yes,’ I screamed my head off. I was on a bus on the way to a date night and was checking my email every five minutes on my phone. I gave everyone a scare with my screaming but it was great getting to tell all of my friends and celebrate. I was just very, very lucky. Describe a day in the life. It’s extremely busy but also a lot of fun. My dad was a graphic designer so I grew up watching him do his job. I knew it would mean a lot of time sitting at my desk behind a computer and I really do spend most of my day there, but I could not love it more. It is so much fun getting to read stories a bit early and see the amazing pictures that ultimately make it into the magazine. I usually get in at around 9:30 a.m. and get coffee right away! Then I take a quick ten minutes to go over my emails, both on my Northwestern account (nothing is relevant anymore and it’s so sad!) and my work email, making sure the art team doesn’t need to me to do any quick tasks for them right away. I then set up a small to-do list with what I want to work on for that day and keep it in mind when the art team meets at 10:30 to go over our layout goals. After our meeting I open up whatever page I’m working on that given day and get to work! As I design I go back and forth with members of the art team who help make edits and give me advice or tweaks. If I’m lucky, my page will “board” that day--which essentially means it starts going around a chain of editors around the office--starting with our creative director and ending with the amazing Joanna Coles (Cosmo’s Editor-inChief)! I still get nervous when I realize that
she’s the one ultimately approving my layout, but it’s incredible! I work on one or two layouts at a time during the day and leave the office around 6 or 7, always tired and ready to finally step away from the page I’ve been staring at all day! Any advice for current students/other thoughts? Never be intimidated by these big publications, especially when it comes to applying for your JR or an internship. I was terrified of working at Cosmo because it was such a big-name magazine, but everyone here is so welcoming and interested in really helping you learn as much as possible. If you want to work at a fashion magazine, it is totally attainable. Apply anywhere and everywhere you can and be as excited as possible – it was my dream and it actually happened! Also, never hesitate to apply somewhere because of location and never be afraid of working in a new city. I was so nervous about moving to New York but it is amazing and I would have completely regretting staying in Chicago. If anything, I now feel like I can move anywhere at the drop of a hat and get accustomed quickly, which is going to be great when it comes to applying for jobs after graduation. This summer, you’re taking your Cosmo training to an internship at Cosmo for Latinas! Tell STITCH about your upcoming job. I will be interning for the creative director and helping the team design their fall and winter issues. When I met with Michael, he told me that because their art team is much smaller, I would have a lot more responsibility and assigned tasks. Aside from just helping design layouts, I’ll get to provide the team with inspiration as far as beauty trends or fashion trends we can highlight throughout the book. I’ll also get to accompany them on photo shoots and help out on set! Since there is a fairly large photo team at Cosmo, I would never really get the opportunity to do that as an art intern. It’ll be exciting to get to explore other parts of building a magazine!
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YOUNG, WILD, FREE AVERAGE (AND OK WITH IT)
BY LIZZEY JOHNSON
ast December, armed with an OfficeMax legal pad, a pen, my computer and my dignity, I became a fiend. Worried that December was too late to sink my teeth into the prime real estate of summer internships, I sought out every opportunity on the Internet. I updated my spiffy resume, registered for a LinkedIn account and meticulously researched the people behind the print, hoping to find commonalities I could reference in my generic cover letter. I was willing to do anything to secure a sexy-sounding,Facebook-bio-friendly, Manhattan-based summer gig. In an unfortunate turn of events, I accidentally submitted my Hearst Magazines application to Refinery29. Legal Pad. Pen. Computer. Dignity. Quickly, my desire for an internship bourgeoned into an all-encompassing need. While many of my friends committed to spending their freshman summers at home, basking in the Californian glories of endless sun, house parties, and retail jobs, I remained committed to my bureaucratic conviction. I wouldn’t let myself entertain the thought of staying home, even though a large part of me yearned to. Ever since my trailblazing days of Internet entrepreneurship as an 11-year-old (R.I.P.,
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Lizzey.net), I have been transfixed by the thought of career womanhood. So, I told myself that if I wanted to be successful, I couldn’t let the pleas of my heart threaten the strength of my head. As the snow on Sheridan Road began to melt (at an excruciating pace, might I add), I anticipated an eager employer sweeping me off my hard-soled intern feet. But no one came. Some did respond to my application – When Hearst sent me a Statement of Non-Discrimination to sign back in February, I was so excited I ran outside sans-parka. Teaser emails asking if I could get school-credit (in other words, “Can we work you overtime and not pay you?”) received shamelessly ardent replies; frequent “I’m still interested!” reminders sleuthed their way into the inboxes of executives. People had told me how hard it was to get a great internship as a first-year, but in archetypal Lizzey fashion, I neglected to listen. If my dedication were strong enough, surely my application would be as well. As Winter Quarter turned to Spring, I started to comprehend a sobering reality: my internship attempts had failed. I felt discouraged, frustrated and disappointed. At the risk of sounding conceited, I was mildly surprised that my
fervent efforts had proved unfruitful. But as I started to internalize my reality, I began to reflect more on the reasons behind my obsession. Though trite and somewhat egocentric, the answer is simple: I am afraid of being average. I transferred to another high school my junior year. I initially blamed it on dwindling inspiration and a desire to go to school with my brother, but now I understand that my decision was a result of my inability to find happiness in normalcy. Now, like many Northwestern students, I have struggled to maintain the grades I enjoyed before college. When test after test proved just sub-par, I clung to a task at which I knew I could excel: finding an internship. There are no grades in the workforce – as a lowly intern, you’re as good as the hours you put in. I realized that in times of collegiate failure, I had been clinging on to some elusive prospect to validate my own worthiness. Although my transcript may be average, a fabulous internship in New York during my freshman summer certainly was not. Don’t get me wrong—I am blessed to attend Northwestern. I thrive under challenge; I love immersing myself in a place where the students are as dynamic as the opportunities it offers. But with this comes an intrinsic pressure to swim to the top, to stand out amongst a sea of brilliancy. In many ways, it helps us – it encourages us to work harder and set our sights higher. But if we don’t keep our pursuits in perspective, we can succumb to the pressure. When I first realized my Manhattan reverie wasn’t going to happen, I wasn’t sad – I was anxious. I worried my failure would impact my future and I was afraid of sinking into the West Coast waters of normalcy, far from my illusory existence along the Atlantic. Understanding the reason for my fervent pursuits has made me become more comfortable with rejection, but realizing that doesn’t actually say anything about
who I am is even better. I can’t control whether Anna Wintour decides to offer me an internship or discontinue the program altogether. I can’t refute employers wanting to hire students with prior experience. What I can control, however, is my response to rejection. We can use the time we would spend interning to develop our skills, so that by the time we land the internship, we barely even need it. We can learn to appreciate the summers when our lives are simple – when we can regretfully eat one too many scoops of ice cream and “forget” to apply sunscreen or rest our feet on the front dashboard and drive to nowhere – before we exchange the friendly warmth of the sun for the chilling air-conditioning of an office. We can’t all have Leandra Medine’s resume – the “Man Repeller” landed a gig at Valentino when she was 17 – but we can possess her mindset. “It is enlightening, albeit intimidating, to think how much control we have over our own lives,” she says in her first book, “Seeking Love, Finding Overalls.” “But understanding it and treasuring it—treating it like the powerful entity that it is—is the key to happiness.” Once I stopped aggressively caring about securing the perfect internship, everything started to fall into place. I was offered a great weekly writing opportunity from home; I realized that my life will be a hopeless place if I don’t hop on the programming train, and decided to take a coding class over the summer; I get to watch my dad build a company from the ground up, something I aspire to do one day; and best of all, each of my friends is coming back to California as well. It’s funny that the minute we make the most detailed of plans, the very opposite comes to fruition. I may not be jamming to “Put Me in a Movie” by Lana del Ray as I strut down Fifth Avenue, but I certainly won’t be sobbing to “Summertime Sadness,” either.
I can’t control whether Anna Wintour decides to offer me an internship....What I can control, however, is my response to rejection. STITCH | 24
Impressions Photographer: Alaura Hernandez Directors: Sarah Spellings and Beatrice Hagney Models: Sara Kase, Jenna Levin, Emmy Rees Assistants: Alix Kramer, Tori Latham, SalomĂŠ Lezhava Makeup: Peggy Garard Dress (right): Free People
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Navy dress: Forever 21 Cream Dress: Crossroads Trading Company Flower Crown: The Halo
Left dress: Free People Middle dress: Free People Right dress: Crossroads Trading Company Flower Crowns: The Halo
SIGNATURE SELF BY ERICA WITTE
arrie Bradshaw. Shoes. The two are inextricably laced together, without question. Whether they be Manolo Blahniks, Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choos, Bradshaw’s shoes took on a leading role in the “Sex and the City” series, garnering nearly as much fame as the four leading ladies themselves. The unbreakable connection between Bradshaw and her coveted shoe collection suggests a deeper relationship between the woman and her stilettos; they are a part of her extended self. The extended self is comprised of “external objects that consumers consider a part of themselves,” according to Northwestern University Integrated Marketing Communications professor Su Jung Kim. In other words, these objects have meaning, memories or associations that extend beyond their utilitarian purposes, or in Bradshaw’s case, coverings for the feet. Just as Sarah Jessica Parker’s character has her shoes, Nancy DaSilva has her backpacks. DaSilva, a funky brunette hailing from New York, is the kind of person you meet and instantly know is a big deal. She’s a senior who studies art history, authors a blog devoted to selfies and possesses a backpack collection to rival Bradshaw’s shoe closet. With over sixteen unique styles, it’s a stretch to say her backpacks merely exist for slugging around some books. “They all really mark specific points in my life or specific memories,” DaSilva said. “So for that, they definitely are a composite of myself.” Her life as a backpack collector —“It’s a polite way
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of saying I’m a hoarder” —naturally began in grade school, but escalated to a point of “addiction” just before her career at Northwestern began. DaSilva sees her backpacks as a way to harbor physical memories, whether they are connected to the purchases, uses or people who gifted them. “Each backpack tells a different story,” she explained. “They all serve different functions.” For library use, there’s the “big cat backpack,” a golden yellow bag with beady eyes, pointed fangs and clawed pockets. For class, the “embroidered custom Jansport backpack, a black book bag with rainbow-colored stitching forming an outdoorsy scene — a handmade gift from her roommate. For fancier days with a little sunshine, it’s the “Timo Weiland backpack,” a navy blue creation with black pony hair and light brown leather accents, designed specially by a talented friend. “I choose them according to my outfit, I choose them according to the weather, I choose them according to the things I need to carry.” Sounds suspiciously similar to how the styleconscious choose their footwear for the day. However, as we all know, Bradshaw unfailingly picks out sky-high heels regardless of conditions. Beyond shoes and backpacks, surely most people can think of an external object that helps to define them. For sophomore Emma Svoboda, her excitement over a signature style of pants compelled her entire sorority to associate her with them. “They’re called ‘day-to-night’ pants,” she explained. After online shopping at American
PHOTO BY ALIX KRAMER
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Eagle Outfitters, Svoboda became captivated by the unusual name and even tweeted at the company to inquire further about the so-called “pajamas you can wear to class,” before ordering them. “Everyone in my house was really excited when they came, because I’d been talking about them so much,” Svoboda said. Fast-forward a few months, and she now proudly owns several pairs of the so-called “dayto-night” pants. Svoboda admits they’ve become a running joke among her friends due her literal interpretation of their name. “I sleep in these pants, I go to class in these pants, I go out in these pants.” When something as commonplace as pants becomes so strongly linked to a person’s character, you know they’ve become a part of the extended self. Though I’d love to point to an enviable collection of shoes, beautifully crafted backpacks or incredibly versatile pants as part of my extended self, there’s no doubt I’ve become known for my glasses. Because I never knew there was a clearer world out there, I didn’t realize I needed glasses until middle school. With the addition of glasses and braces — yes, I had both at once, and yes, it was a horrendous look — your appearance drastically changes in seconds. As a virgin to the wonderful world of frames and lenses, I quickly chose an obnoxiouslycolored pair by Juicy Couture and proceeded to
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hide them in a case in the hallways during school. At that point, if you weren’t sitting next to me in algebra, you didn’t know I wore glasses. I squinted and struggled, but I didn’t care – I hated them. Eventually, I got a pair that I deemed worthy to sport in public. Before I knew it, every conversation started with, “cool glasses,” and I became known for the purple specks resting on my nose. Soon enough, people were visibly alarmed when I wasn’t wearing my glasses. They panicked and claimed not to recognize me. The reactions may have been over-dramatic, but they had a point. While I didn’t necessarily embrace my extended self, which admittedly made the world quite a bit sharper, I came to realize how cool it was to have such a defining external characteristic. Now, I’m not advising you wear your favorite shirt for the next five days straight so that it magically transforms into a part of your extended self, but having a signature something is an innovative way to express yourself. As Bradshaw, DaSilva and Svoboda can attest to, it’s a great conversation starter as well. If you’ve already found that distinctive quality, whether it be a jaw-dropping hair color, an eclectic bow tie collection or even two-inch neon nails, embrace it. Even though it’s one of your external components, chances are it says something about you as a person internally. If who you are happens to be synonymous with Manolo Blahnik, that’s not a bad thing either.
PHOTO BY ALIX KRAMER
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WAA-MU DOUBLE FEATURE AT HOLLYWOOD AND VINE Directors: Sarah Spellings and Beatrice Hagney Photographer: Sean Su Clothes: Melissa Torchia and Robert S. Kuhn Hair: Beatrice Hagney Makeup: Sarah Spellings Models: Ryan Bernsten, Zachary Freier-Harrison, Kylie Mullins, Eliza Palasz, Kyle Sherman, Betsy Stewart and Laura Winters
MORE THAN JUST STRESS: UNDERSTANDING ANXIETY BY VICTORIA CASTRO
s students at one of the world’s most prestigious universities, we are often considered a privileged population. We may find that our parents, our peers and our closest friends regard us – and our achievements – with such high-esteem that it is sometimes difficult for them to understand us if we show signs of struggle. As someone who has never experienced what it is like to have a mental illness such as anxiety or depression, I, too, am guilty of not always understanding. My sister is one of the most beautiful, well-liked and intelligent people I know. When she was diagnosed was Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), I thought it was the most absurd thing in the world. I simply could not wrap my head around why someone who had a loving family, great group of friends and successful academic career would have anything to be anxious about. Looking back, I’m embarrassed to admit to my lack of compassion and inability to see that her anxiety was entirely out of her control. I now know how important it is for people who suffer from mental illnesses
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to have a supportive network of educators, family and friends to guide them in such times of need. According to the American College Health Association’s (ACHA) 2012 National College Health Assessment II, 20 percent of the university students who participated in their survey reported that anxiety affected their individual academic performances. The report also showed that 56 percent of surveyed females had experienced overwhelming anxiety in the previous year. “College Students Speak: A Survey Report on Mental Health,” a 2012 study conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) revealed that 11 percent of respondents were diagnosed with anxiety and 27 percent with depression. However, only 50 percent of respondents chose to disclose their diagnoses with their universities, as many participants stated concern for the impact disclosing such information would have on others’ perceptions of them. Although a former Northwestern University student, who requested to remain anonymous because of privacy concerns,
also chose not to discuss her anxiety issues with her professors, she said she found it extremely effective to seek professional help. She began experiencing overwhelming anxiety after a break-up with a long-term boyfriend. Sometimes her anxiety even made it difficult for her to get through classes and everyday activities. “I almost crumbled within myself. My personality in my classes totally changed, and that doesn’t just happen – that’s a sign that something bigger is going on,” she said. Upon discussing her situation with her mother, the senior decided to seek help from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at Northwestern. She was able to schedule an appointment with a psychologist within two days. The recent college graduate said she didn’t really fear being stigmatized, but instead chose not to discuss the issue with many peers because she believes most people don’t really understand what anxiety is. “It’s very hard for someone who hasn’t gone through anxiety to understand what it feels like,” she said.
56% OF SURVEYED COLLEGE FEMALES HAD EXPERIENCED OVERWHELMING ANXIETY IN THE PAST YEAR AMERICAN COLLEGE HEALTH ASSOCIATION
The 22-year-old added that at times she even felt “silly” and “embarrassed” that she was having such crippling anxiety over a break-up. Although she was hesitant to take anti-anxiety medication for fear of becoming dependent on the drugs, she realized her preoccupation was spiraling out of control. “If you can’t really maintain a healthy mental state on your own, even using the methods like working out or reading, then anti-anxiety medication can really help you get to that point,” she explained. Like 79 percent of NAMI’s survey respondents, the recent Northwestern graduate stressed the importance of offering mental health training for faculty and staff as the most valuable awareness activity colleges can provide. “People, especially at a school like Northwestern, should at least be sensitive to the possibility of a student struggling with anxiety or depression, and knowing what the signs are – for example, my change in class participation.” A Northwestern University junior, who also requested to remain anonymous for privacy concerns, suffers from GAD, but her anxiety truly manifests itself during the planning process for big exams, tests, or projects. She was diagnosed in her junior year of high school after being so nervous during the ACT that she forgot her own name. After seeing a doctor who recommended she take a small dose of Xanax before the test, her ACT score jumped six points. While she finds professors are understanding of her condition when she alerts them beforehand, many of her peers are not so accommodating. “When I tell people in my classes – even some of my closest friends – that I have extended time for tests, they say, ‘what a joke, everyone gets anxious.’ But if I didn’t take something
“IT’S VERY HARD FOR SOMEONE WHO HASN’T GONE THROUGH ANXIETY TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.”
or acknowledge the fact that I have anxiety, I would totally blank out on a test,” said the engineering student. What many of us don’t always recognize is how common mental health issues are within our age group and especially in a high stress environment like Northwestern. We are all victims to the occasional sleepless night, the butterflies in our stomach before checking our grades on an assignment, and the nerve-wracking process of finding an internship or job, but the majority of us can quickly and successfully overcome most of our worries. It is our duty as members of a high-ranking university to gain a better understanding of mental health, so that we are better equipped to offer the support, compassion and patience our peers need. If you are someone who may be struggling from anxiety, depression, or any other mental illness, do not hesitate to seek help or reach out to family and friends. As the recent Northwestern graduate said during our interview, “It doesn’t matter why you feel this way, but it does matter to fix it.”
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WAGECHI MUTU: A FANTASTIC JOURNEY BY STEVEN BENNETT
WANGECHI MUTU, RIDING DEATH IN MY SLEEP, 2002. INK AND COLLAGE ON PAPER, 60 X 44 INCHES (152.4 X 111.76 CM). COLLECTION OF PETER NORTON, NEW YORK. © WANGECHI MUTU.
WANGECHI MUTU, THE END OF EATING EVERYTHING (STILL), 2013. ANIMATED VIDEO (COLOR, SOUND), 8:00 MINUTE LOOP, EDITION OF 6. COURTESY OF THE ARTIST. COMMISSIONED BY THE NASHER MUSEUM OF ART AT DUKE UNIVERSITY, DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA. © WANGECHI MUTU.
xhibitions often offer retrospective understandings of artists’ entire careers long after they have ended. However, starting this July, the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art at Northwestern will exhibit a mid-career retrospective of the works of Wangechi Mutu, a Brooklynite born in Nairobi, Kenya in 1972. Mutu draws inspiration for her artwork from her identity as a member of the African Diaspora. Her collages are comprised of snippets from National Geographic, Vogue, and more licentious magazines, which are then mixed with media like watercolor and makeup. These collages often depict the body of a black woman and are “metaphorical in nature,” according to curator Elliot Reichert. “These could represent the continent of Africa and the legacy of colonial exploitation, as well as physical abuse inflicted on the female body in many cultures across time. The science fiction elements in her work can be seen as not only a damning look at humankind’s reliance on technology and environmentally harmful industries but also the hope for a better future.” The exhibit will also prominently feature her drawings, sketchbooks and sculptures, as well as a video within an immersive wall-to-wall installation of Mutu’s artistic vision. The exhibit has made its way to three other venues before arriving in Evanston, including Duke University’s Nasher Museum
of Art. In September, the full exhibit will be on display at the Block, but come this July, the museum will preview “Wangechi Mutu: A Fantastic Journey”. The summer preview will consist of Mutu’s first animated video, “The End of eating Everything,” commissioned by the Nasher Museum itself. The video echoes Mutu in both style and message. Singer-songwriter Santigold plays a woman eating crows, whose body is connected to a giant, mechanical amalgam that produces a lingering cloud of industrial smog. The reference to environmentalism is immediately clear, as is the idea of the bloating of modern society. Mutu’s method of drawing provides another fascinating component; the animation is far from smooth, and the Medusa-like creature feels almost two-dimensional. Although it might sound impossible, the video takes a turn for the even stranger towards the end, but you’ll have to see it for yourself – no explanation would quite do it justice. Although in the past, “The End of eating Everything” has been screened in conjunction with the rest of Mutu’s exhibit, it will debut before the rest of her work at the Block to generate a bit of interest and intrigue. If you’re staying in Evanston over the summer, make sure to check it out in person, but if not, peek an excerpt of the video on YouTube. Even if the strange doesn’t typically satiate your appetite for art, the eight-minute video is sure to serve as an incredible conversation starter.
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PHOTOS BY CHRISTINE CHANG
ALEX ADELI AS LEANDRA MEDINE BLOGGER, “THE MAN REPELLER”
ALYSSA CLOUGH AS ANNA WINTOUR EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, VOGUE
NICK ARCOS AS ANDRE LEON TALLEY EDITOR AT LARGE, VOGUE
CARLY SHAPIRO AS ALEXA CHUNG CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, BRITISH VOGUE
SAM BRODY AS GRACE CODDINGTON CREATIVE DIRECTOR, VOGUE
THE LAST WORD:
HEY GUYS, DOES
BY LUKE ZHANG
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“For men, fashion and practicality are often synonymous. However, some of us still feel the need to look spiffy and somehow ‘keep up’ with the latest fashion trends.”
he other day, I was talking to a friend – or, rather, getting a talking-to. He was letting me have it about the clothes he was and wasn’t fit to wear. He wanted the world to know that he felt like he just couldn’t pull off certain types of clothing with his bigger stature. Our conversation got me thinking – concerns with physical appearance stem farther than female body dysmorphia. They affect males just as well, but our response can be entirely different. Let’s be honest: come summer, the chiseled and tanned men with windswept beach hair will be plastered on advertisements everywhere. They’ll be sporting pastel oxford shirts or floral ties or statement shoes. The beachwear ads may pack an even bigger punch to the gut (especially if ours aren’t quite as toned) because it’ll be six-pack after six-pack dotting the periodicals. For men, fashion and practicality are often synonymous. However, some of us still feel the need to look spiffy and somehow “keep up” with the latest fashion trends. Fashionconscious men who don’t fit into sample sizes, much like my friend, sometimes feel like they simply can’t pull off the clothes that fill the billboards. Although it certainly can be done, it becomes much harder to have swagger when you put a floral Topman shirt on a larger frame. This isn’t a call for a bulkier cast of models on the fashion scene. This isn’t a competition against women who face similar struggles to keep up with fashion standards. And this is not a statement that bigger guys can’t wear nice clothes, too. I recently read Kat Stoeffel’s piece, “You Can Call a Man Fat But You Can’t Fat-Shame Him,” on The Cut. It was a response to the
recent, degrading articles about Leonardo DiCaprio’s weight gain and brought up the discrepancy between calling out men and shaming women for putting on a few pounds. Stoeffel brings up a great point: “none of these men later break their silence about the emotional suffering the media scrutiny had caused them, as female celebrities so often do.” It’s true, but just because men don’t speak out about being fat-shamed doesn’t mean they don’t endure the same psychological damage as women. It is the discouraged silence of such male figures that creates this “fat-shaming gap.” So how does this apply to the topic of making clothes for larger men? It’s still about practicality, but in a different light. It’s about realizing you don’t have to sacrifice style in going up a few sizes. It’s about knowing that there are clothes out there meant to make someone with a larger frame fashionable. Sometimes the search for clothing can feel degrading. The impractical trends, impeccably toned and trim models and constant talk of fat-shaming can make shopping an entirely unappealing experience for both men and women. Sometimes we become so determined to dress ourselves a certain way that we search within a higher price range, but even then, we might find discouragement. All the while, we feel like we can’t talk about such obstacles. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I have a solution. Instead, what I want to offer is an opportunity for conversation amongst us men. Fat-shaming, no matter who’s talking and who’s listening, is always unacceptable; but while we try to find a resolution, let’s try to not let it affect our closets, or our outlooks on fashion.
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