A NOTE FROM THE EDI TOR
the fashion issue
recent centuries, the democratization of art has rendered almost every sophisticated field accessible to the average person. Breathtaking paintings hang in affordable museums; brilliant literature lies waiting in free libraries; inspiring music is just a Google search away and innovative architecture dots the landscape of nearly every major city. Indeed, it seems with the exception of the fashion industry, the haute has come home. In the world of clothing, however, not only is there a stark difference between high and quotidian couture, there is a palpable sense of exclusion. Fashion shows are often closed to the public, and even local outposts of leading designers are rarely inviting. Often decried for their pretention, many a shopper has vicariously shared in Julia Roberts’ sense of vindication in “Pretty Woman,” when, after being rebuffed by the sartorial gatekeepers of Rodeo Lane, she returns, dressed exquisitely, to tell the boutique retail workers what a big mistake they made by previously expelling her. Ironically, the scene is less heartening than it might appear, as it reveals an unpleasant truth: There is no changing the culture of high fashion; there is only buying your way into it. As a result, though the industry takes many of its cues from the top-down inf luence of its icons, the fashion world has always relied on the innovation of sartorial mid-
// DECEMBER 2016
dlemen to translate the exclusive, unrealistic designs of haute couture into friendlier, more accessible forms. Specifically for students, who are often strapped of cash and time, the world of fashion comes primarily through these adapted forms, which means these fashion mediators, whether bloggers, street stylists or vintage curators, have just as much impact on the world of fashion as its scions do. In putting together our fashion issue, then, we knew that both camps must be present. We needed the innovators, the people who are moving clothing forward conceptually, and we needed the adapters, the people making those nebulous concepts into wearable outfits. In our feature, read about Fashion Institute of Technology’s Lara Tabak (pg. 28), a visionary mind who may be the most talented student designer in the country. And though they may have been scattered across the world, Texas State’s Julia Dixon helped curate some of the most creative student influencers so we could pick their brains for for some fashion tips (pg. 43). A little closer to home, Houston student De’Andre Wigfall talks handmade design and making it New York (pg. 46). If fashion isn’t your style, check out NYU student Gianna Leo Falcon’s haunting monochromatic stills on page 10; or, if you’re not sick of thinking about finals yet, head to page 20 to read UTSA student Daniel Wilcox’s story on the failure of universities to provide effective stress relief during exams week. Finally, from all of us at Study Breaks, good luck on finals and enjoy Winter Break. You deserve it.
MARK STENBERG EDITOR IN CHIEF @MarkStenberg3