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Letter From The Editor
THE TEAM EDITORIAL Julie Araica, Executive Editor
SILVER LININGS So you may be wondering why this issue is only out online. I could lie and say that this is a special issue of Cooglife, but the truth is, none of us saw this coming. Hurricane Harvey affecte everyone in the city of Houston in some way, and preventing Cooglife from having a print issue this month was probably the least it did. In fact, having our issue be exclusively online this month gave us the chance to have a lot of fun with the content in this magazine. Fashion, while it might be nothing more than second thought for some, is all around us. In its various shapes and forms, it is wearable art that can touch people, or merely inspire them. In this issue, we wanted to express that. Seeing the way that various fashion retailers have extended a hand toward our community has deeply touched me. Both local efforts such as various thrift stores donating a large 1
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chunk of their profit to Harvey relief — and national efforts, suc as retailers like Urban Outfitters donating portion of their profit to Harvey or even e-commerce platforms like Depop pushing items with the hashtag #HurricaneHarvey to their front page — have inspired myself and many others to give back to the community we serve. We here at Cooglife hope that this issue is a fun and informative read for you, and that it helps relieve you of even the slightest bit of stress you may be feeling. I know that for me at least, fashion has always been both an escape, but also a way to express myself and navigate the world around me. Fashion touches everything in our world, whether that be culture, art or even politics. In the aftermath of all that has happened, it’s always important to think about silver linings, and for us, this issue was one of them. No, we don’t get the satisfaction of seeing our work go from a screen to a tangible object, but
we did get to create something different something interactive and something more accessible to anyone who might be reading this right now. So in a way, I guess this is a special issue of Cooglife, and whether we have future issues like this or not, only time will tell. All we know is that making this issue was a joy, and we hope it’s just as much fun reading it.
karin keller, Assistant Editor
firstname.lastname@example.org erin davis, Assistant Editor email@example.com
DESIGN sonny singh, Creative Director
WRITING ANA GONZALEZ RUTH FRAUSTO CEDRIC MATHIS TIFFANY BROWN
PHOTOGRAPHY TIFFANY BROWN PETER MCCONNOCHIE
RADIO greg fails
ADVERTISING Callista Brown, Sales Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org 713–743–5340 larissa Jimenez Muhammad ali
CONTENTs FASHION AND ART
FASHION AND POLITICS
THE STREETWEAR SCENE 7
CAMPUS FASHION SELF-LOVE
5 FASHION RULES TO BREAK FAST FASHION ALTERNATIVES CLOTHING RECYCLING
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Fashion and art
The relationship between the two, and examples of how they’ve crossed paths STORY BY KARIN KELLER // ART BY SONNY SINGH
Some people view art as this far away concept that they can’t reach — unattainable, outdated and distant. The truth is, it’s none of those things. Art is the most important insight into our present and our past; I know this sounds dramatic but just go with me on this. Before written language existed, there was art. It was how people communicated, and it is still how people communicate today. Most people, even after the invention of writing, were illiterate up until the 20th century. As a result, governments, religious leaders and the aristocracy used art to communicate their ideals and desires to the people. The pope used art to bring people 3
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back to the catholic church after the reformation. Napoleon and the revolutionaries used art as a form of propaganda during the revolutionary wars in France. And the reason we have political cartoons isn’t because someone decided they’re fun to draw, but because they make us think. But then, how does fashion fit in to all of this? Fashion (if you hadn’t noticed) is art — it’s the art we live our lives in, the art of the everyday and mundane. Fashion is inspired by art and vice versa. The same way in which we are given insight into our history, we are given insight through past fashions and styles. Specific articles of clothing didn’t just manifest themselves, they were
created for a purpose — sometimes practical, and usually misogynistic when it came to women’s fashion. For example, chokers can were used to identify prostitutes in the 19th century, and in western Europe the higher the height of your heel, the higher you were in the social order. Now, we wear clothes because they’re trendy or comfortable or we just feel good in them. But art and fashion are always intermixing so here are a few of my favorite pieces that represent the relationship between the two. The Mondrian Dress A style by Yves Saint Laurent that first hit runways in the Fall/Winter of 1965, the Mondrian dress was
inspired by Piet Mondrian a Modern artist known for his primary color cubism. The dress, and styles like it, was wildly popular in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Simple in form featuring dramatic color blocking, the dress perfectly represents the style of that time. Art Deco Fashion and Jewelry When we think of the ‘20s, we think of flappers and beaded shift dresses, and lots and lots of pearls. But where did the shapes and silhouettes of the ‘20s come from? Skyscrapers. The intricate lines and curves of modern architecture inspired designers to mimic those shapes in clothing. Both simple and eye catching, Art Deco remains one of the most loved eras for fashion and architecture.
The McDonald’s Collection In the Fall/Winter of 2014 Moschino stuck to its signature quirky style and came out with a collection using the iconic red and yellow color scheme of McDonalds and mimicking their “M” logo. At a first glance, this might just seem like a fun and silly collection made to poke fun at McDonalds. In reality, it’s heavily inspired by pop art and the overarching theme of consumerism at the time, which is increasingly relevant now. Murakami x Vans A very accessible line, Vans is one of the most popular sneaker companies for just about anyone. Murakami, on the other hand, is a Japanese artist known for his flower prints. All of Murakami’s artwork is
made to look printed but is actually precisely and meticulously handpainted. Vans came out with a collection of sneakers featuring the iconic Murakami designs. Murakami for Louis Vuitton If you couldn’t tell, I really love Murakami. Not only does he find time to paint larger than life paintings, he also manages to work with some of the biggest fashion giants in the world — including Louis Vuitton. If you still aren’t sure who Murakami is I’ll give you a hint, he designed the artwork for Kanye West’s album “Graduation.” Ever seen the Louis Vuitton’s with the rainbow-colored LV symbols or the pink flowers? That was him too.
STORY BY JULIE ARAICA In the 2016 Presidential election, no fashion statement was as bold as the iconic red hats with the slogan “Make America Great Again.” In that same year, t-shirts with slogans like “Girl Power” and “The Future is Female” were circulating waves around the net, ironically making their way in to countless fast fashion retailers. But the way that fashion and politics converged that year wasn’t limited to on the nose slogans. Beyonce’s Super Bowl performance of “Formation” featured backup dancers in outfits that paid homage to the
Black Panthers, making it a clear political, and fashion statement. And let’s not forget the white Ralph Lauren pantsuit that Hillary Clinton wore at the Democratic National Convention when she become the first woman major party nominee for president in U.S. History. The white suit was a clear callback to the suffragist movement of the 1913s, when white was adopted as one of their signature colors. The color white was also worn in 1978 by Gloria Steinam and Betty Friedan to the woman’s rights march in Washington, and later worn by Geraldine Ferraro when she was sworn in as the Democratic Vice Presidential nomination in 1984.
On Nov. 8, when you saw women go the polls in pantsuits or white to cast their votes, you already knew exactly who they were there for. But post election, fashion remains a large avenue for people to express their political beliefs. What we wear can be such a huge statement, and reveal so much about where our beliefs are grounded. Fashion has been and always will be a way for people to express the beliefs they want to share with the world. It’s a way for people to say “this is who I am and this is what I stand for” without saying anything at all.
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How the subculture takes a different approach to men’s fashion BY CEDRIC MATHIS The breadth of male fashion is different for most people and subsequently takes on many forms. From the classic old-fashion look of a well-tailored suit, to the easygoing business casual look reminiscent of a J Crew catalog, to even the blue-collar looks of Wranglers and cowboy boots. These archaic looks are typically reserved for how a “real man” is supposed to dress. However, there are many men out there who don’t necessarily subscribe to these tropes. Enter the urban subculture of fashion that bucks the status quo, better known as streetwear.
Photo Courtesy of: Peter McConnochie
Whether you realize it or not, streetwear is present in almost every facet of life; influencing everyone from teenagers mimicking their favorite rapper (whose name may or may not rhyme with Flanye) to the highly respected designers looking for the next way to reinvent high fashion. The culture and origin of streetwear is heavily rooted in counter culture, taking influence from various punk scenes, the hip hop scene in New York and even skate culture. Streetwear has evolved from an underground subculture to being one of the most recognizable styles seen today. Streetwear is also one of the few cultures that is universal within the
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world. Streetwear’s biggest scene is arguably located in Japan, where many design houses and looks are created and influencing people all across the world. With all this fanfare, people may ask, what clothes constitute streetwear?
“Whether you realize it or not, streetwear is present in almost every facet of life.” Truthfully, there is no right answer as the styles within streetwear are dynamic; considering streetwear not only adheres to trends, but is constantly changing. Streetwear continuously breaks the molds of traditional menswear and allows men to explore styling in a creative manner. Color palettes, cuts and patterns are prominent aspects of the style but are seen as taboo, or too feminine for traditional menswear. But, arguably the biggest component of streetwear (especially in the U.S.) are brands. The brands range from
easily recognizable brands that you see every day on campus such as Nike and Adidas to the highly sought after garments of Supreme and Bape. But branding takes a backseat to design, as often times garments don complex and postmodernist designs based off of film, photography, art and pop culture. But there is almost never a constant aesthetic in streetwear, at any point a trend can die, and just as fast, a new one will replace it. One of the most satisfying adventures in shopping for clothes is thrifting. With ‘90s and early ‘2000s fashion being “revived” many stores sell clothes that once felt outdated, but are now in high demand. These clothes are sold at extremely reasonable prices, are authentic relics of the past, decrease the likelihood of someone else owning the same piece as you and give people access to diversify their wardrobe by experimenting. The biggest drawback is that since these pieces are rare, finding your size or finding what you like can be frustrating and very taxing on one’s patience. But, at the end of the day style is style, and style is your personality and a way for you to express yourself. Whether your wardrobe consists of a uniform that is often shared amongst a vast majority of your immediate peers, or whether you stand for hours for a certain “hyped” brand to release new merchandise. But streetwear is a special style that is so dynamic and unique. You can be influenced by anything, from walking the streets on campus, or from the latest curated fashion magazine. It allows men and their style to become more fluid and less stereotypical while fitting into a space that promotes and encourages this behavior.
10 streetwear brands to check out
BY JULIE ARAICA We’ve all heard of streetwear giants like Supreme and Stussy, but here are a few smaller brands that might not be on your radar. CAV EMPT A Japanese based label with urban appeal. UNDERCOVER Run by Jun Takahashi, who is widely known in the world of streetwear. NOAH NYC An American retailer focused on multi-utilitarian fashion. OFF WHITE Off-White labels itself as “defining the grey area between black and white as the color Off-White.” FEAR OF GOD A label with influences spanning from Hip-Hop to Grunge. GOSHA RUBCHINSKIY A Russian based label named after its founder. KITH A multifunctional lifestyle brand for men and women. BRAIN DEAD A creative collective of artists with a graphic-led approach. PALACE A brand for skaters, Palace is devoted to functional clothing. STONE ISLAND Research, experimentation and function are what define this brand. COOGLIFE // FALL 2017
STORY AND PHOTOS BY TIFFANY BROWN // LAYOUT BY JULIE ARAICA While all eyes are usually on the various fashion weeks of the world, the students at UH use the campus as their own personal catwalk daily. From vintage to classic, there is an array of personal style displayed on campus grounds. Featured below are a select few inspiring fashionistas not only learning, but expressing themselves with their own individual styles.
Name: Ali IG: @andycorvell “I’m originally from New York so I’d describe my style as a reflection of where I’m from: industrial, old school but also very modern.”
Name: Crayton “I’m a really more classy type of dresser. I like a lot of loafers and button downs compared to t-shirts. I feel like compared to t-shirts, button downs are more quality. I really like long-sleeves too and don’t like to show off my arms too much. And I just like to look different.”
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Name: Angelica IG: @thriftybones “I’d say my style is industrial and grunge. I really don’t do fast fashion because thrifting is the way to go. My husband and I are also very ecofriendly, so that’s another major reason why we are all about second-hand clothing.”
Names: Ann & Colton IGs: @weepingfern & @coltonriley6 “Honestly we were like screw everything and everyone today. And it’s our Monday since we only have class Tuesday’s and Thursday’s, so today we were feeling kinda like the first day waking up. We also never plan matching but it just kinda happens. We walk out of the door together and look at each other like dang.”
Name: Lucas IG: @tribblearts “I like to feel comfortable. That’s my style. I don’t like dressing up that much unless it’s for a special occasion. Also I’m a huge Star Wars fan and was named after a Star Wars character. And lastly, this beanie that I wear, I wear it every day.”
Name: Megan IG: @venusinfurrr “I really like the 70’s headscarves and porn sunglasses. I wanted to feel less crappy today than I usually do, so I figured doing little things like accessorizing with a headscarf and sunglasses could make a plain denim outfit stand out more. And my style is vintage more than anything else. From the 60’s to the 90’s is where I like to keep my style.”
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BY KARIN KELLER
Loving the skin you’re in STORY BY RUTH FRAUSTO // ART BY ERIN DAVIS In today’s society, body image issues and eating disorders are unfaltering and the definition of what is beautiful is often misconstrued by our daily exposure of the fashion, media and entertainment industry. Eating disorders are very prominent within the fashion industry because models are pressured to be extremely thin in order to stay employed. A survey done by The Model Alliance founder and researcher Sara Ziff revealed a glimpse into the reality of being in the fashion industry. In her research, Ziff found that 62 percent of models were told to lose weight. That’s from a sample of people who are already considered underweight by World Health Organization standards. Fifty-four percent who were told to lose weight were told that they wouldn’t be able to find more jobs if they didn’t. Twenty-one percent were told by their agency that they would stop representing them unless they lost weight. Over 9 percent had been recommended plastic surgery. According to the national eating disorders website, over 80 percent of Americans watch television every day. With commercials, music videos, shows and movies constantly choosing to portray men and women in a specific light, it is easy to have low self-esteem. The “perfect” woman is often portrayed as being able to fit into a size two with clear skin, long hair and just the right amount of curves at the top and bottom. 9
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The “perfect” man is shown as clear skinned, tall, and muscular. Low self-esteem is a factor that can contribute to the development of eating disorders, especially for those who are genetically predisposed toward developing one. It is a common misconception that eating disorders only affect woman. According to the national eating disorders website, 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. The number of males facing issues with bulimia, anorexia and binge eating disorders are on the rise. The media does not help to break this unhealthy cycle when it comes to the younger generation either. As stated by the national eating disorders website, 35 to 57 percent of adolescent girls participate in crash dieting, diet pills, fasting, laxatives and self-induced vomiting. The images of celebrities that manage to make the cover of a magazine tend to be airbrushed and photoshopped to meet the standards on what is considered beautiful. Constant exposure to these standards can lead to an unjust belief that individuals must change the way they look to be seen as attractive. Evidently, there is an issue within our society due to the constant obsession to exhibit only what is considered “beautiful.” However, this idea of “beautiful” is false. There is no perfect man or woman.
“Don’t Mix Prints” Mixing prints can be tricky if your sense of fashion falls under a preppy or casual umbrella. By mixing prints you can draw the eye to a certain area and create a point of interest in your outfit. If you’re having trouble but want to try it, florals or cheetah and stripes are an easy mix and you can always start by adding in a few printed accessories if you’re not ready for a whole ensemble. “Dress According to Your Body” While there are obviously silhouettes that work better on different body shapes and sizes, we all know this rule means if you’re anything over a size six you might as well dress in a tent. The truth is if you’re confident in something, you’re going to rock it — the way you carry yourself is significantly more important than the type clothes you’re wearing. “Don’t Wear Black and Brown” This rule is the one I truly don’t understand. We all know that brown and black match everything, so why not each other? Now, I’m not a fan of all browns and black, to be fair. I’d argue that the best way to pair the two is to wear a camel or chestnut brown with black — the contrast is stylish yet effortless. “DON’T MIx gOLD AND SILVER” Honestly, I’m terrible at this and I’m trying so hard to get better. This is just one of those things that’s been Ingrained in me and I can’t seem to shake it. Truthfully though, I love mixed metal jewelry, especially if it’s in one piece — by that I mean a silver and gold watch or a necklace with different metals. The only way I’ve found that works for me is to use one already mixed piece and that way anything else I wear automatically matches but I’m still working on it. “Older Women Shouldn’t Follow Trends” This is complete nonsense. If you don't know who Iris Apfel is you’re seriously missing out. Perhaps one of the sassiest, quirkiest and most fashionable women in the world, Apfel is a style icon at the ripe age of 96. This woman has been serving looks for almost a century and thankfully, she has no intention of stopping.
fast fashion alternatives
BY ERIN DAVIS
So your favorite retailer is probably a fast fashion brand, meaning that production costs are cut through the use of unfair compensation and damaging chemical treatments that go unregulated. As a student, it can be hard to know there’s a problem but not know what to do about it. If you’re set on moving away from fast fashion and want to steer toward ethical but affordable clothing options, then here are a few ideas to think about. BUY SECONDHAND, INCLUDING UPSCALE RESALE. This one is a no-brainer, but often times shopping at places like Goodwill and Family Thrift isn’t for everyone. Some people are averse to sifting through worn clothing, and it’s true that it’s not always the most enjoyable shopping experience. It can be overwhelming when everything is mixed together, and the quality of certain items is up for debate. Luckily, especially in cities like Houston, there are a variety of “upscale resale” shops like Buffalo Exchange, or Plato’s closet. These stores offer cash for new and used items that have been well-takencare-of and are often organized in a
way that’s easy to navigate. Online options include apps such as Depop and Polyvore, where you can contact the seller directly and make sure that the item is going to fit and is in good condition, without having to sift through chaotic racks. SWAP SOME OF YOUR CLOTHING WITH OTHERS. While it’s not a common practice outside of families, swapping clothing with friends can be an interesting experience. It helps if your friends have a similar size and taste, but if that’s not the case, there are usually public events that can involve a similar concept. Often found online through social media, community or city-wide swaps are a way to both socialize and trade something that you have for something that you need. TRY MAKING YOUR OWN CLOTHES OR CHANGING THE ONES THAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. A needle and thread, glue gun or a simple alteration can go a long way. Instead of replacing something that doesn’t fit the way that you would like, having it taken in or reworked by a professional can cost a lot less
than replacing it all together. There are a multitude of online resources that offer patterns if you want to try making something yourself, or DIY suggestions that can take just a few minutes. If you find something outrageously cheap at the thrift store, there are a number of blogs that show you how to turn an existing garment into something wearable. For inspiration, it can help to take a look at current runway shows, and you can pick the looks you like. BUY FROM SUSTAINABLE BRANDS. While there are a lot of sustainable brands out there, especially online, most of them are not affordable for the average student. Not only is money an issue, but items that are made sustainably are seldom trendy and there’s not a great deal of variety. Everlane, a transparent and ethical company, offers a wide variety of sustainably made basics that last forever and are not quite as expensive as other options, such as PeopleTree. Buying from smaller brands, such as on Instagram or Etsy, is a great way to support ethical artisans and hopefully find a competitive price. COOGLIFE // FALL 2017
an inside look at a houston textile recycling plant BY ANA GONZALEZ If you have any old clothes, youâ€™re probably thinking about throwing them away. But, have you ever thought your clothes could be recycled? That is the idea behind American Rags, a Houston business that started 30 years ago. Located in Northeast Houston and ten minutes away from the Ship Channel, this business is working toward reducing the number of clothes in landfills. Nazia Mirza inherited this business from her father five years ago, and thinks that if more people recycled their clothes our environment would be very different. 11
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Mirza is not wrong. According to the Council for Textile Recycling, out of the 25 billion pounds of textiles each year, only 15 percent is donated or recycled, and the rest ends up in landfills. But, how does this happen? The process starts in second hand stores. These stores sell what they can, but what they canâ€™t sell is bought by American Rags. When this is done, the clothes come in by the thousands. Maria De Leon is the quality control supervisor, and knows this process by heart. She started 16 years ago sorting out the clothes, but slowly
climbed up the ladder and is now in charge of the recycling process. When the clothes arrive, they are put in a conveyor belt and the employees quickly sort them out in different categories like baby clothes, shirts, blouses, etc. Then, it is further sorted out by materials and size. The third step is the packaging. Packaging is done in different weights. They have packages ranging from 100lbs to 1000lbs. When the packages are done, they are put in trailers which can carry up to 35,000 pounds.
"We sort through 70,000 pounds a day, which is about 2 trailer loads. Each trailer has about 35,00 pounds. It's a lot, but that's how many clothes (there) are,” Mirza said. Mirza said that it is two trailer loads per day, which are brought to the Houston Ship Channel and exported throughout the world. The clothes are distributed to different parts of the world. This includes Central and South America, South Asia and Africa. Mirza wishes more people would donate their clothes. She thinks that climate change is pretty bad already, and she wants to stop furthering the problem.
When the clothes first arrive, they are sorted on a conveyer belt. | Ana Gonzalez/Cooglife
“If people started throwing away all of their clothes…only God knows what would happen if everybody started doing that. But, thankfully we have these centers where people are donating clothes," Mirza said. You can recycle almost anything, even if it’s torn or stained, it just has to be an absorbent material (polyester, for example, is not recyclable). The clothes are then sold to another business that cuts them and turns them into wiping rags. After they are cut and packaged, they are sold to paint and hardware stores, or automobile stores where they can be used. For people who want to help their environment, this is one way to help. In some U.S. cities, they have already started a post-consumer textile recycling initiative to reduce the millions of clothes that end up in the trash. As for Mirza, she has high hopes for the future. She has even thought about setting up a drop off box where people can come and give their clothes. “That is something I am looking forward to” Mirza said.
Clothing is sorted by the type of material and size that they are. | Ana Gonzalez/Cooglife
Packets can be a number of different sizes. This is what a 1,000 pound packet looks like. | Ana Gonzalez/Cooglife COOGLIFE // FALL 2017
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