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contents: 5 6 8 10 20 28 34 38 40
letter from the editor looks pleasures profile: J is for Justin beauty shoot: Factory 2.0 photo shoot: Presidentâ€™s Day feature: Chicagoâ€™s Fashion Facelift to do last word
STITCH Editor-in-Chief Nadina Gerlach
Creative Director Sophie Friedman Senior Editor Sierra Tishgart Online Managing Editors Deborah Kim & Jaya Sah Assistant Editor Corinne White Online Assistant Editor Emily Ferber Director of Photo Shoots Erin Campbell Director Public Relations Logan Daum Director of Fundraising Alexandra Shanahan Director of Advertising Alexis Gui Treasurer Catherine Ning Online Design Editor Nicole Herman Multimedia Editor Diane Tsai Street Team Editor Justin Barbin Editor-at-Large Kathryn Cannady Copy Editors Emily Ferber, Simone Slykhous
Staff Photographers Justin Schuman, Gus Wezerek, Matt McDonald, Can Efeoglu Staff Writers Hanna Howard, Brenna McLean, Kendra Vaculin, Matt Grosinger Creative Team Catherine Clark, Belinda Daniel, Kirk Morrow, Kelley Schneider Online Design Alexandra Sifferlin, Rosalind Mowitt, Taylor Thomas Photo Shoot Coordinators Maggie Gorman, Gabrielle Hurwitz Bloggers and Staff Emerly Soong, Erin Ku, Ian Hendrickson, Brianna Keefe, Deanna Pai, Erin Ku, Sara Chernus, Sameeraa Pahwa, Jazmyn Tuberville, Kathryn Cannady, Emily Ferber, Jessica Kane, Jaya Sah, Alia Wilhelm Multimedia Diane Tsai, Jessica Kane Print Design Sandra Song, Zoe Maltby, Sophie Jenkins, Jenna Fugate, Christina Arreola, Eileen Hinckle Business Team Alexandra Davis, Zhongying Jiang, Alice Lin, Alison Lin, Alisha Varma, Tim Hughes, Clarke Humphrey, Gina Chang, Alyssa Clough, Danielle Pierre
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
>>> Behind the scenes with Austin & Ash (left) and FACTORY 2.0. For more behind the scenes coverage of these photoshoots, visit our website: www.stitchfashion.com
G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S As Fergie croons, the “flossy flossy” holds an irresistible allure for all of us. From the red carpet to the windows of Barneys, we are bewitched by the seductive powers of luxury and status, objects with a certain je ne se quois that we just have to have. However, when the trance is lifted, we must revaluate if this obsession with the finer things in life is acceptable. The recent firing of John Galliano from Dior awoke the Sleeping Beauty of the fashion industry and forced us to challenge our notions of what acceptable to idolize (Last Word, 40). Thus, it’s refreshing when what captivates us is just as meaningful and genuine as it is attractive.
Austin Young and Ash Jaidev, both veritable man-candy in their own right, are true leaders with visible, infectious passion for the student body (President’s Day ,28). Our own Justin Barbin, Northwestern’s friendly paparazzo, makes every-day style stunning, photographing students with an editorial eye and kind heart that will be missed upon his graduation this year (J is for Justin, 10). If we can learn anything from Justin’s photos, it is that everyone is glamorous in their own way.
N a d i n a G e rl a ch STITCH | 5
Runway Recap Simplicity ruled in Alexis Mabille’s couture runway show. Sheer shoulders and a lighter belt add a sense of drama to the look, while appealing to a more restrained woman’s sense of style.
Armani Privé’s space age, jeweltoned couture show was a hard edge contrast to his fall show. Tight satin silhouettes were accented with purple lips and a disk-shaped hat that showcased both Armani’s creativity and his skill in pairing while still flattering a woman’s figure.
Elie Saab’s couture show captured a sense of ethereal delicacy that can still be worn by any age. The delicately placed flowers and sheer fabrics of this piece capture the romanticism of a typical Saab show, while the cut flatters a more mature figure.
TEXT: KATHRYN CANNADY ILLUSTRATIONS: SOPHIE JENKINS 6| STITCH
ELIE SAAB STITCH | 7
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FRYE WOVEN BALLET FLATS $178, SHOPBOP.COM
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IS FOR JUSTIN >>> Northwestern’s favorite photographer looks back on his college years and Street Team days...
by nadina gerlach It’s 11:25 p.m. on a Friday night and April decided to throw a curveball into my ambitious party plans
by raining on my parade…literally. I call a Safe Ride, and in an effort to remain as dry as possible, wait until I see it arrive outside my window before running out to catch it from University Place to Ridge Avenue. In front of my destination apartment building, a slender figure in a maroon pea coat patiently waits outside in the downpour. With his exuberant smile and excess of camera bags, I know this must be most famous party hopper and social photographer: Justin Barbin. A senior theater major in the School of Communication, Justin Barbin has always had a passion for photography. “I’ve done this ever since I was in elementary school with
“Parties start waning around 1:30. At 2:00 a.m. you will rarely find a party that’s still hopping. Unless it’s a Boomshaka party that’s on Foster and Ridge,” says the expert.
disposable cameras. I got my first digital my freshmen year
Barbin leads me inside the Ridge apartments to our first
of high school. Then I just gradually moved up, and in col-
stop of the night: a small, unofficial get together celebrat-
lege I was that guy who always had that camera on and
ing Austin Young and Ash Jaidev’s recent presidential vic-
people just got used to it and really enjoyed what I had to
tory. As soon as we get into the kitchen, Barbin takes off his
share on Facebook,” he says.
jacket and starts unloading his equipment: an impressively
Many of his famous Facebook albums (all utilizing alliter-
large Canon and the infamous STITCH sign. My eyes im-
ation corresponding to the first letter of the month) feature
mediately glance past his mint green sweater, plaid button
STITCH Street Team photos. After becoming friends with
down shirt, and distressed brown denim jeans to a set of
STITCH’s founder and first Editor-in-Chief (Joyce Lee) in
flashy silver sneakers.
an economics class his freshman year, Barbin grew interested in the magazine. A year later, Barbin began helping
“These are my boogie shoes,” Barbin explains as we proceed to the main room.
Street Team take photos of STITCH-sponsored events. Af-
A handful of campaign workers mingle with the newly
ter the first head of Street Team graduated, Barbin took
elected president and vice-president, who graciously in-
over as Street Team Editor and transformed the team into
troduce themselves to me while I sheepishly follow Barbin
what it is today.
around. He knows everyone and makes a point to intro-
Tonight, Barbin is set to attend five parties in the short span of two and half hours.
duce me to every person in the room. We start discussing the night’s itinerary.
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“Where do you want to go tonight?” he asks me. “I don’t
Barbin obliges every request, only stopping to ask one car-
typically go to frat parties except for ZBT or Sigma Chi.” Six
rot to hide his beer before taking a picture. After thirty
minutes after arriving, our second Safe Ride of the night has
minutes of picture-snapping, Barbin decides it’s time to
arrived and it’s off to the next gathering.
go, pausing before he leaves to take a photo of the STITCH
In the car, Barbin tells me he did not receive an official invitation for the next soiree - a vegetable-themed fundraiser. “I’m just stopping by because I got one of those random invites on Facebook.”
sign against some of the crepe streamers, as a potential option for a featured image on the website. “That was such a pleasant surprise,” Barbin remarks as we exit the building. “I knew a few number of people there.
While his sophomore and junior years Barbin covered most-
And it goes to show you that Northwestern people are a
ly parties of people he knew, in his senior year, he’s made a
great community of people that are very busy, but at the
conscious effort to branch out with parties like this.
end of the day, we all get along.”
“I’m challenging myself to break out of my shell a little bit and go to parties where I know I don’t know as many people and I know I’d be slightly uncomfortable. It’s amazing how easy it is to connect with people.” Barbin typically avoids the two F’s: fundraising and frats. “Typically, unless a frat specifically asks me to photograph their registered party, I don’t go. Last year, I was invited to this unregistered frat party, and I got there, and I realized, all of these photos are going to be so incriminating. So I just put the camera away, and that was probably one of the nights I realized I am not meant to be a frat boy. […] I have nothing against the fraternity community. I really respect their brotherhood, and their service to the university, and a lot people really get a lot out of it, but I feel like it’s not my scene.” As for fundraising, Barbin attends parties only if he does not have to pay an entrance fee. “Hopefully I can get to talk them into letting me in just to take pictures.” He chuckles. “Hopefully they’ll let you in too because you’re with me.” Normally, paying entrance fees is not an issue for Barbin because he does not drink alcohol. When I ask why, he says, “I honestly get drunk and high through natural means, like… being around energetic people, especially live music.” That doesn’t mean that Barbin doesn’t stay hydrated in other ways throughout the night—part of his Street Team kit includes a water bottle and a snack. “The two year old in me gets hungry sometimes,” he jokes. Staged in a small, well-decorated apartment, the vegetable party is in full force by the time we find the venue. Hipster-interpretations of vegetables wander around the green crepe paper decorated mixer, as a decidedly jovial atmosphere permeates the main party room. Barbin succeeds in getting us into the party without paying the entrance fee, and immediately is greeted with pleas by partygoers for him to take their photo.
Last year, I was invited to this unregistered frat party, and I got there, and I realized, all of these photos are going to be so incriminating...
Upon entering our third destination (an eclectic Willard reunion) Barbin and I are met with Jay Z’s “On To The Next One” and high-pitched shrieks of “JUSTAAAAAAN!” It’s here that Barbin truly feels like a campus celebrity, a title he vehemently denies. “Celebrity has such negative connotations. I don’t want to be famous. I just want to be surrounded by caring people that I care about.” Whether he admits it or not, in this crowd, Barbin is certainly a rock star. Partygoers request Barbin not only to take their picture, but to pose with them while friends break out their digital cameras to capture the moment. I even begin taking photos of Justin with partygoers and the STITCH sign at their request. By the time we leave, seventy-five percent of partygoers have had their photo taken, and it’s nearing 1:15 a.m. Barbin purposefully scheduled the night so we would arrive to an a cappella group celebration around the ideal 1:00 a.m. spot. Though he photographs many student groups, Barbin admits that fellow theater students are those that he is closest too, and is most excited to attend this Gaffield shindig. “These are the people I’m closest too…they fill my albums with life. It’s so good to have friends and to be able to share something that I love that’s something they love as well.”
The theater community in particular rallied behind Barbin last year when two unidentified attackers mugged him outside of his apartment. (CONTINUED page 16)
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Name: ______________ My Personal Style is: A. B. C. D. E.
Bohemian Classic Casual Chic Downtown Other:___________
Favorite item in my closet right now: ___________________ ___________________
Biggest celebrity crush: ___________________ ___________________
Favorite breakfast food: ___________________ ___________________
If I were a pop song, I’d be: A. B. C. D. E.
Blow by Ke$ha E.T. (feat Kanye West) by Katy Perry Rolling in the Deep by ADELE Judas by Lady Gaga Other:___________
The place you’re most likely to find me on campus is: A. B. C. D. E.
Theater and Intrepreation Center The Library Norris The Lakefill Other:____________
Circle one: Deuce Keg McFadden’s Nevin’s Other
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In his own words, Barbin recounted what happened that
Through their efforts, the theater community raised enough money to buy Barbin a nicer camera than the one
night: “Actually, it was a hard time in my life…I was really de-
that was stolen. The love and support felt for Barbin can
pressed for like end of April, and then two weeks later, I
be witnessed from the second he walks into the Gaffield
was just really down. I was coming from a show, I decided
house party. Amidst the frenzied atmosphere, Barbin is in-
to treat myself with a slushy from 7/11 and there was this
stantaneously approached from all sides. Poses at the Gaf-
group of sketchy kids hanging outside. I had my camera
field house are more light-hearted and daring. Barbin takes
bag on me-I always do- and I had my earphones in. I was
photos of uncoordinated shoes, a set of two women and
walking, and then, literally five feet from my apartment
a man claiming to be triplets, an impromptu dance party
door, I was grabbed from behind. At first, I think it’s a
downstairs, a couple exuberantly making-out for the cam-
friend … but it got to a point where they were almost chok-
era, and two seemingly out of place frat boys playing beer
ing me so that I couldn’t scream and they shoved me to the
pong in the basement. After at least three rounds through
ground. All they had time for was to open [my camera bag],
the house, Barbin makes moves out the door to our fifth and
grab the camera, and run...I was just in shock. I don’t even
final destination - another fundraiser party.
know actually what I screamed but I just started shaking and I was bleeding a little bit, so [my neighbors] tended
On our way to the last house, I ask Barbin how he judges what makes one party better than another.
to my wounds, and their dog saw me crying and was lick-
“I judge it by how well the photos turn out at the end,”
ing my face trying to make me feel better…I needed to cry.
he responds, before guessing that this party is probably
I was holding so much in, and that was the last straw. I
broke down. It was the worst.”
Indeed, by the time we arrive at the party, barely any partygoers are left. Still, Barbin takes the time to go
through and photograph the remaining attendees, also
I have to live it up as much as I can, getting to know as many people… getting to see old friends, and photographing Northwestern at its finest. We’re young, we’re beautiful, we go to this amazing school, why not remember it through photographs and video? That’s why I love what I do.”
“But then,” he says positively, “it made me realize how much people cared about me. By that Sunday or Monday, there was already a website to raise money for a new camera then seven days later they had an event at The Keg and groups performing and throughout the week people were canning for me. And every time I think about that I just start tearing up just because of the incredible generosity and kindness. There are incredible people here at Northwestern and I’m so proud to be here.”
pausing to dance to Afrojack’s “Take Over Control,” our final song of the night. Walking back down toward south campus, Barbin tells me he has to be up in three hours. “I’m filming a movie, which is up at Tech, and I live at Ridge and Davis, so its like a 20 minute walk. Right after that, I have rehearsals, right after that I have a meeting to go to about another photo shoot. This is college. I’m graduating soon. It’s breaking my heart, but it’s inevitable. I have to live it up as much as I can, getting to know as many people… getting to see old friends, and photographing Northwestern at its finest. We’re young, we’re beautiful, we go to this amazing school, why not remember it through photographs and video? That’s why I love what I do.”
>>> Photographs courtesy of: Justin Barbin and Ethan Caldwell
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by matt mcdonald
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models: jen lima, valerie king makeup: brianna keefe nail designs: patrycja antuszewska hair: timea katona for RED 7 SALON
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Austin & Ash t a k e o f f i c e w i t h s t y l e STITCH: If you were meeting the President of the United States, but the dress code said casual, what would you wear?
STITCH: What are your favorite places to shop?
Austin: I would wear what I’m wearing right now: an oxford with the sleeves rolled up and a nice pair of slacks and boat shoes. Ash: Khakis definitely, I’d wear a button-down and nice shoes. That’d probably be it. I’d just keep it simple.
Austin: I mean, I shop most often at J. Crew, but I love going to Rugby and Ralph Lauren. On very special occasions I like to go to Biconte Arthur and La Martina. Ash: I frequent the Gap pretty often, but I buy my nice shirts and pants from Brooks Brothers. I actually recently bought clothes from J. Crew, but yeah, that’s where I pretty much buy everything.
STITCH: Do you think your personal style affects how people see you politically?
STITCH: What’s the best thing to wear on a date?
Austin: Someone once asked what I was wearing and was like, “So are you dressing like that now because you’re ASG president?” No, I’ve actually been wearing this every day for the last couple of years. So I think I’ve just grown up wearing preppy clothes ever since I was little, since that’s how my mom dressed me when I was a toddler. I keep wearing clothes like this because they look nice and remind me of the East Coast, where I’m from. Well, some people won’t consider Florida the East Coast, but I do. Ash: I didn’t change my personal style now that I am somewhat political, but yeah, I think that’s how people get first impressions, and that’s important, so they are important.
Austin: A super nice pair of slacks. I’d wear a really nice pair of Nantucket Reds with like an oxford and a blazer. Ash: Jeans and a nice shirt with the shirt tucked into the jeans is my go-to outfit.
STITCH: What is the most embarrassing outfit you’ve ever worn? Austin: Whatever I wore when the ripped, distressed jean look was in session, around eighth and ninth grade. I quickly got over those. The American Eagle, like, tiny little holes, you know? Ash: Freshman year of college when I was running to be on the Student Organizations Finance Committee on ASG, I showed up in a full suit while everyone else was wearing a T-shirt and shorts. I was really embarrassed. STITCH: Describe your style…in middle school. Ash: Lots of polos. And jeans. And sneakers. I would always wear blue, so a blue or white polo usually, and then blue jeans. Austin: I went to a private school, so I wore khaki shorts and a white polo or a blue polo every day. But I never wore navy. I haven’t worn navy bottoms since like, the middle of elementary school. I’m just not a fan of navy shorts, at least not navy school uniform shorts. Maybe if I bought a non school-uniform pair that would be okay.
STITCH: Hot or Not? Jeggings? Austin: I think they should maybe pick one or the other. Like either wear the leggings, or wear the jeans. They just look a little synthetic. Like, either wear skinny jeans so they look like jeans, or leggings so they look like leggings. Ash: Hot. Positive. I feel positive about them. I am in favor of them. I like the creativity involved.
Rompers? Austin: Yeah, I think they’re kind of fun. One of my friends had a seersucker romper and it was the coolest thing. She could pull it off so well, so that put rompers in good standing. Ash: Not.
Combat boots? Austin: Are they my personal favorite? Not really. They kind of remind me of Bucktown, which is the hipster capital of the world, practically. I definitely think certain people can pull them off, though. Ash: I like those. Those are nice. I’m a fan of boots.
Menswear on women? Austin: I think certain blazers and, um, the oxford shirtesque dresses are kind of cool. Ash: I like it. I’m a fan.
Interview by Jaya Sah Photographed by Can Efeoglu Clothes: Models’ own STITCH | 31
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CHICAGO’S FA S H I O N FAC E L I F T BY EMILY FERBER
my Creyer stands at the corner of Rush and Oak streets in an imposing Mongolian-fur coat and Ray-Ban aviators. It is spring in Chicago but hardly feels that way. Despite the inclement weather, Creyer has been out with her camera for roughly two hours, walking loops around the Magnificent Mile. Passersby seem slightly taken aback by her petite figure roughly resembling Chewbacca with a hawklike gaze. “I feel like I’m starting to cultivate an image of myself,” Creyer says of her unique look. “People are definitely starting to recognize the coat.” Unfazed by their glances, she continues to scour the streets for the city’s most fashionable to feature on her blog. Creyer’s blog, ChicagoStreetstyle.com, where she posts her photographs of chic shoppers around Chicago, has received national press since she began blogging in June 2010. Since then, she has attended exclusive parties at New York Fashion Week and has been asked to host parties for Chicago’s fashion luminaries. And she is not the only one receiving attention for having a keen eye for layering, color and style. Creyer, 24, is a part of Chicago’s ever-increasing online community of fashion photographers, writers and designers. 34| STITCH
Chicago’s style reconstruction Style bloggers are a new breed of fashion elite, gaining invitations to the most exclusive events the fashion world has to offer. Creyer says the fame is a product of their accessibility. “If I say a product fit into my life well, people are going to respond to it because I’m a real person,” she said, contrasting her blog to sites like Vogue-owned style.com. This personal touch has come to define Chicago’s growing fashion scene. Once thought to take a back seat to cities like New York and Los Angeles, Chicago is establishing itself as an incubator for budding designers, stylists and writers. “It is starting to gain focus in a very cottage industry manner, and it is maybe not completely focused on fashion, but more about garment,” said School of the Art Institute of Chicago Professor Conrad Hamather. “And there is a difference between fashion and garment without hesitation.” Embodying Chicago’s growing fashion reputation, Weinberg freshman Zoe Demacela designs and manufactures her own clothing line out of Chicago. “I think Chicago is special because it’s the perfect environment to get started,” Damacela said. Damacela began her fashion line at 14 years old and won the nationwide Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge in 2009. She said she may end up in New York one day but for now she is content to be designing from Chicago. “There are so many programs here where artists get the skills that they need to start without the competition. There is less press than in New York but the press that we do have people really read and pay attention to, so it doesn’t mean you’ll get less attention,” she said. Without the big brands taking over the small fashion community, fashion publications like
>>> Amy Creyer of ChicagoStreetstyle.com. Photo by Kimberle Salter. Chicago Social have taken a different approach to publicizing fashion. “Everything’s a lot more local here,” said Samantha Saifer, director of marketing at Chicago Social. “As much as we’d love to work with brands like Chanel and Gucci, I think it’s a lot more realistic to work with local brands.” At Chicago Social, editorial photo shoots and fashion shows feature clothing from smaller fashion lines and the magazine focuses on developing a relationship with the Chicago fashion community. “It’s about bringing your neighbors to your neighbors,” said Talia Pines, an account executive at Chicago Social.
At the expense of the magazines But as blogs become more prevalent, magazines have noticed a decrease in interest in certain areas. STITCH | 35
“We still list sales in our calendar section of the magazine, but we miss a lot because we’re not given the sale information as far in advance because stores rely on blogs to get the word out quicker,” said Korey Huyler, editor-in-chief of Chicago Social. In addition to losing content, magazines are facing the prospect of losing advertisers looking for a quicker, cheaper way to reach a younger and broader audience. “The blogs have certainly become a pivotal source for fashion in Chicago. The blogs are sidestepping the magazines and media world that mostly revolve around paid advertisements,” Hamather said. Blogs hold a unique position in the industry because of their immediacy and frugality. It is the old adage, “There’s a little something for everyone.” This is exactly what advertisers are seeing. While spending on apparel and accessories increased by 7 percent among affluent consumers from 2009 to 2010, according to research conducted by American Express, this increase is not nearly as attractive to businesses as the potential of blogs. According to JupiterResearch, a market research company, corporate spending on online advertisements is expected to reach $4.9 billion in 2011, surpassing the $2.9 billion expected for text advertisements. With the high traffic now directed towards fashion blogs, bloggers such as Creyer are hoping to capitalize on the trend.
Exposure is everything Just because Chicago’s fashion scene isn’t center stage, does not mean it is not ever-present. “New York offers immediacy and may add to a bit of ease or complacency, whereas, Chicago has a bit more of a premeditated directive,” Hamather said. “You have to know what you’re looking for.” 36| STITCH
To make the community more accessible, the government has taken the city’s fashion profile into its own hands. Former Mayor Richard M. Daley founded the Mayor’s Fashion Council Chicago to establish Chicago as a fashion destination and develop a pool of resources for the burgeoning fashion industry. Those in the fashion community say they hope that the governmental support will continue. “I think first we need exposure and second, the politics of this city need to make people aware of what’s going on,” said Ryan Beshel of the blog, The Bowtie Memoirs. “We have this new mayor now so we’re all just waiting to see what he does. Mayor Daley did a lot to help elevate fashion in this city but you can’t imagine that’s the first thing Rahm’s going to do.”
Still on the fast track Despite a smaller fashion scene than New York and Los Angeles, Creyer has no problem finding subjects for her photos. Even on a day with freezing rain, wind, and snow, Creyer documents the looks of six different people. “It’s hard when everyone is out in those coats that look like sleeping bags. I get it, but I can’t photograph it,” she says. After four hours of prowling the Gold Coast, Creyer hops on the “L” to Bucktown. “I have to pick up the dress I wore to the Cynthia Rowley party,” she mentions. After hosting the Cynthia Rowley party on Thursday, she still has several other events to attend before the weekend is up. Even in Chicago, it seems, the fashion scene is as fast paced as it is anywhere.
all hairstyles from FACTORY 2.0 provided by:
CHICAGO: 210 W. Kinzie Street 2nd Floor, Chicago IL 60654 phone: 312.644.7337 EVANSTON: 816 Dempster Street, Evanston, IL 60202 phone: 847.866.7337
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to satisfy those with non-Kiss FM tastes, as well as those who just want a tune that they can recognize. Lolla knows how to appeal to the broadest possible audience. The lineup has the ability to create that perfect summer festival vibe, one where the entire crowd emotes vibrant energy and a unified feeling generates between every body standing underneath the skyscrapers. But don’t get too hyped, Lolla states that no crowd surfing or moshing is allowed. The enjoyment should stay at ground level. - Liv Jaeger
It’s cold. It’s raining. It may seem as if those sunny days
spent by the lake in cutoff jeans will never come, but we can at least begin to dream about some of the most vibrant, outrageous, and cherished memories of summer: the summer music festival. In particular, the 20th anniversary year of Lollapalooza. Lolla’s web site boasts that it brings “nonstop action over three magical days”. And it does: Lolla brings artists you hear on popular radio and in low-key coffee shops and vintage clothing boutiques. From August 5-7, a widely appealing range of bands will perform in Grant Park. Whether the festival heralds music diehards, or those purely seeking entertainment, the lineup is noteworthy. The headliners range from each end of the music genre spectrum. Uncensored Eminem releases raw emotion, Coldplay lulls the audience into a lyrical state of comfort, Muse emotes dramatic beats and theatrical verses, and the Foo Fighters blast on untreated and rough guitar riffs and vocals. True, the bands are hardly new and innovative for 2011, but they appeal to the vast majority of festival-goers. Even though some are disappointed with the ‘mainstream’ and ‘datedness’ of the headliners, they may find condolence in the plethora of up-and-coming and innovative artists from a range of developing genres. Not just a festival featuring generic rock groups, Lolla also hits the electronic genre. In addition to well-known band Deadmau5, the more indie electronic band Savoy and dubstep mixer Skrillex will also take the stage. In the rock genre, Lolla will gather ‘60s resurgence rock groups such as Local Natives, Beirut, Best Coast, and Black Lips. They’ve even thrown in the token Irish rock band, Flogging Molly, as well as less mainstream hip-hop artists like Atmosphere and Jay Electronica. Needless to say, there are more under-the-radar bands that could have been featured, but Lolla certainly has incorporated a healthy ratio of ‘indie enough’ artists
paris club Living in Chicago all my life has taught me several
things: it’s never really spring, a perfect day can include nothing more than a trip to Michigan Avenue, and anything owned by the Melman family is sure to be a goldmine. The latest venture from this ambitious restaurateur family comes from sons RJ and Jerrod, owners of hotspot Hub 51. Paris Club is located two doors down from Hub at 59 W. Hubbard St. in the über-trendy River North. The Melman brothers, aside from having a who’s-who of Chicago clientele, excel at “why-didn’t-Ithink-of-that?” conceptual dining. The genius of Hub 51 is its selection of eclectic haute bar food, including sushi, Mexican, and burgers—foods that we crave at all hours of the day and night. Paris Club is catered to a slightly more sophisticated crowd, and it has the menu and atmosphere to prove it. My dining experience, as a celebration of my 22nd birthday (a veritable move into real adulthood) began with a Kir Royale cocktail, a combination of champagne and blackcurrant liqueur. This mixture of fun and elegance followed throughout the entirety of the meal. The menu is a tongue-in-cheek approach to classical Parisian cuisine, perfect for its target audience of twenty and thirty-something’s with refined palettes and a sense of humor. After being forced to wait an hour past our reservation by exactly the kind of hostess one would expect inch a locale— haughty and extremely well-dressed— my party was given a round of free drinks to make up
for the confusion. Mad bonus points. The food however would have been worth twice as long of a wait. As a table we ordered the drippings on toast, French onion fondue, two kinds of frites, roasted eggplant, pacific king salmon, and copious amounts of wine on tap. Yes, you read that right: Wine. On. Tap. I personally ordered, and demolished, the vegetarian entree, a casserole of too many delicious ingredients to remember. Everyone at the table was obsessed with their own dish, and forks were flying everywhere to try what someone else had just declared “the best dish ever.” Between courses I admired the ambiance and backdrop of exposed brick walls lined with mirrors. It mimicked the hole-in-the-wall bistros that are omnipresent in Paris. Despite the wait, everything about Paris Club was perfect. I felt surprised to walk outside and find an adult bookstore rather than the Eiffel Tower, though after a few glasses of wine on tap, one shined as brightly as the other. - Dana Farber
Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer is available at Barnes and Noble for $29.82, www.barnesandnoble.com
book review What would happen if the entire female population
of a town stopped having sex? This is (kind of) the question that Meg Wolitzer’s latest novel, The Uncoupling, answers. Really, though, it’s an examination into what sex means; specifically, women’s desire and all its fickle complexities. The novel takes place in a fictional, everyday American town in New Jersey, and centers around a set of relatively unremarkable but delightfully believable characters. Wolitzer wisely keeps things simple so that the fantastical spell that the novel rests upon, the erosion of women’s desire, can really shine. We are introduced to Dory and Robby Lang, a happily married pair of well-loved teachers who both work at the local high school. Their 16-year-old daughter, Willa, attends the school where they teach. A new drama teacher arrives and pushes for the next school play to be Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, a story of women refusing to have sex with men in an attempt to end a war. The play is cast and practice begins. Meanwhile, a “stunning bolt of cold air” strikes women’s bodies throughout the town. In Dory and Robby’s typically sex-filled bedroom, something happens: “Her body momentarily shook—a brief death rattle, a death-of-sex rattle, technically—and then stopped.” The rest of the novel follows the trajectory of emotions of the reluctantly abstinent men. So why did Wolitzer write a book about women losing their sexual desire? The message of The Uncoupling seems to say that the loss of libido is a result of our technology-based culture. The most explicit support for this thesis is Wolitzer’s focus on “The Cumfy”: “part comforter, part two-person bathrobe—the whole item postmodern in that it had been designed to be worn by couple as they watched television.” As the Langs spiral into unhappiness in their sexless life, “The Cumfy” arrives just in time to try and save them from their misery. The Uncoupling may be about sex, but is never titillating in its descriptions of the deed. If you’re looking for a Cosmo juicy reads-style book, this title isn’t for you. The Uncoupling manages to be consistently entertaining—fascinating, even—without the explicit descriptions of sex that the reader might expect. I’m always leery of “book club books”—Oprah books, if you will, or books that seem like every middle/upper class mother in America has read. But The Uncoupling is a well-written novel that is sure to spark compelling conversations in the same types of towns in which the book is set. - Corinne White
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making statements on and off the runway
By Sierra Tishgart
My vintage Christian Dior satchel had a tear. The rip was right on the leather strap, nearly detaching it from the gold hardware. My beloved bag, which I spent my entire study abroad term in London saving up my pounds to purchase, was damaged. My bag isn’t the only part of Dior that is injured. Christian Dior recently fired designer John Galliano for his anti-Semitic behavior. After two people accused Galliano of making an anti-Semitic slur in a Parisian café, a video surfaced of Galliano going off on a pro-Hitler rant at a bar. Sidney Toledano, Dior’s chief executive, said in a statement that the words and conduct of Galliano were in “total contradiction to the longstanding core values of Christian Dior.” Surprisingly, the fashion industry has been overwhelmingly supportive of Galliano. According to New York magazine, Diane von Furstenberg, the daughter of a Holocaust survivor, said she believed he was “not in a normal state” and that he was provoked. Giorgio Armani said, “I’m very, very sorry for him… I’m also very sorry that they videotaped him without him knowing.” Italian Vogue editor Franca Sozzani said, “While I condemn John’s words, I think they were said in a certain moment when he wasn’t lucid. I am frightened by how quick these young people were to try to gain notoriety or money while destroying the image of a genius.” These sympathetic reactions upset me. Galliano destroyed his own image; it was not the fault of the victims of the hate crime. Perhaps I am particularly sensitive to anti-Semitism since I am Jewish, but Galliano’s remarks stung. I felt betrayed. This was a designer who I had long 40| STITCH
admired, praised, and even financially supported. How could this hate and ugliness come out of a man who created such beauty? I wanted nothing to do with him, the Christian Dior brand, or my favorite handbag. I believe that everyone deserves a chance at redemption. But even if Galliano takes all of the requisite celebrity steps to earn forgiveness-owning up to his behavior (he has denied accusations of anti-Semitism), apologizing (still waiting), and rehab in Arizona (check!)—I do not think I could ever support him again. His behavior is so deplorable that he is undeserving of a second chance. Galliano’s tirade was not indicative of a drunken behavioral mistake; it reflected a deep-seeded attribute of his personality. “I love Hitler” and
“people like you would be dead” are not drunken slurs. They are words that carry thought and meaning. Creative genius he may be, but at his core, Galliano is a human being who harbors vile, discriminatory beliefs. I want to give him a second chance. I really do. But no amount of time in rehab can remedy a prejudice that is so ingrained. John Galliano has come to define Christian Dior in recent years. The two are practically synonymous; since Galliano joined Dior in 1996, he has turned it into a multimillion-dollar brand. What we must remember, however, is that Christian Dior means far more than Galliano. The closing bows of the Dior seamstresses and craftsmen at the Fall 2011 Dior collection embody the collective hard work that goes into the label. It is hard to see the Dior logo and not associate it with Galliano’s rant. But Christian Dior is a label defined by history, passion, and beauty, and not the remarks of one man. I came home to find my Dior satchel sitting propped up on my pillow with a note attached. “Looks as good as new,” wrote my mother, who had kindly taken my bag to the leather maker to get it fixed. I thought about giving the bag away, but I decided that I would keep it since it is so old that Galliano had surely not designed it. My handbag is now in perfect condition, but when I carry it from time to time, I have a habit of looking down at the mended strap. It is still so fragile. >>>photo credit: thecreator.blogspot.com
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