UNHEMMED November 2012
UNHEMMED model: Eugenia Zobel photographer: MJ Batson
mj batson & april zhang editors-in-chief rachel watson layout editor
victor ha & tiffany mendoza fashion editors
vivian carlson & audrey cho & madeleine luckel fashion features editors
elaine kuckertz street style editor
dominik halas menswear editor
marissa petteruti beauty editor
mo hy do-it-yourself editor
marissa bergman entertainment editor
chelsea english & catherine gao art editors
lauren chanen layout assistant
lily sykes web assistant
ashlyn koga web beauty editor
becca gevertz web fashion features editor
dani grodsky web health & fitness editor
liz kelley & valery scholem business managers
heidi dong photography coordinator
LETTERS FROM THE EDITORS
THE COMING END
December has so kindly began and the overwhelming feeling of schoolwork and stress has taken over most of our lives in a most likely familiar way. As most classes end and finals commence we all know what we are on the brink of: freedom. So before you throw your backpack to the furthest corner of your closet, return all your overdue library books, and ditch this town for the next month or so, I hope you take a few minutes to look through the latest issue of Unhemmed. We went trudging through a graveyard, boutique scouting, and all the while featuring quite a few stylish students. So I hope you take your coffee break (or in my case apple juice break) with us and if the apocalypse is upon us you of course want to have read the most recent issue right? Right. Alright well, I wish you the best of luck with finals and when you do make it through (which you will) I hope you celebrate the coming end with your best foot forward. And donâ€™t worry, we all trip now again. Just keep going as if no one was looking. Until next year.
WISHING YOU A COLORFUL WINTER
Today is the last day of classes for the semester. I don’t know why I’m always surprised that the semester goes by so fast and that I never anticipate the stress of a hectic finals period. This is only the seventh time I’ve done this. Hopefully, you are reading this issue because you recognize that study breaks are so necessary to make it through this busy time (and because reading Unhemmed is the best way to procrastinate on that final paper that’s due in 12 hours). It’s also winter, which means the cold weather and dreary days are causing people to hide in their coats and dress to match the sad weather. But why? If the weather is bringing you down, why wouldn’t you counter that with bright colors? On a rainy day, why do black umbrellas even exist? In my perfect world, all umbrellas would come in bright colors and fun prints. All winter coats would be fabulous (and let’s be real, many of them already are - just look at our street style photos and our two features on coats!) but also colorful and happy. If the weather is going to bring you down, the least we can do is help ourselves and others by wearing our best (and brightest!). I hope you enjoy this issue as you embark on this inevitable journey of late nights at the Sci Li, hours upon hours of studying, and hopefully some fun too as you say goodbye to your friends for the long winter break. And I hope you remember that color and good style and reading this magazine you’re looking at right now is the best way to relieve the seemingly endless stress of finals! Love always,
street style best of Brown style
NMRKT: Julia Jacobson ‘07 on wearing velvet bundle up // who what (outer)wear Paloma/Lola style tips: holidays & fInals
beauty vintage holiday glam holiday gift guide Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show
diy polaroid magnets
entertainment Next To Normal: an interview with Alex Lee behind the album: Lianne La Havas inside the wardrobe: Les Misérables
art student art work
on the cover: Alexandra Wardlaw, photographed by MJ Batson additional layout assistance: Bella Norvig
that girl meet Alex Wardlaw
noir a Bond-esque adventure
annabel lee graveyard romance
e KATY WINDEMUTH ‘15
SEBASTIAN CLARK ‘15
LILY MEYER ‘13
CHARLOTTE SEABERRY ‘14
GABI MAKARI ‘15
ERIKA PARK ‘15
ALEJANDRO GARCIA-MORALES ‘15
MAGGIE HIRE ‘15
NINGFEI OU ‘14
MARO CRAWFORD ‘16
PA VUE ‘14
resh out of Brown as a Comparative Literature concentrator, Julia Jacobson ‘07 was swiftly swiped up by Bloomingdale’s for her unique and young style as a buyer for the Men’s Department. She was always allured by the glamour of the fashion industry and after several summers of interning in various companies, Julia dove into the intern program at Bloomie’s, part of the department store echelon that boasts a prestigious and rigorous summer program for those lucky and aspiring fashionistas who one day hope to devote their lives to the industry. However, the glamorous side of the industry quickly dissipated and Julia became weary of what many
promising potential to revolutionize the fashion industry. NMRKT stands for “in market,” a term used to signify the time when buyers visit various designers and fashion houses around
insiders refer to as the “other side” of fashion. Julia attempted to confront Bloomie’s about the discrepancies in orders, specifically how many articles of clothing and accessories are ordered extremely in advance and over-ordered, attempting to satisfy consumer demand. Often these over-ordered fashion treasures end up on the sale rack, a reoccurring phenomenon that is alluring to consumers but in the end can be detrimental to smaller fashion companies. After both observing and working in the dysfunctional buying culture, Julia sought to ameliorate the system and started her own company NMRKT. The company is still in testing mode currently, but once up and running has
A VISIT FROM JULIA JACOBSON ‘07 the major cities of the world to place orders for the upcoming season. Buyers are often required to forecast trends and styles up to six months in advance, and this often leads to the conundrum of over-ordering goods that will sit on the shelves and racks of stores everywhere. The concept behind NMRKT is that members can participate in a social-network shopping platform in which they can more efficiently discover a specific article of clothing or accessory that they desire. For instance, a member can post a status that says “I am in the market for… a velvet equestrian jacket” and other members, style consultants, and stores can recommend specific items that match this
request. The member can then proceed directly to the online store of a particular company and purchase it directly from the vendor. One important concept behind NMRKT is that the service simply wants to facilitate and foster business, and therefore it does not take any percentage of the purchases that a consumer makes. Instead, companies such as Bloomingdale’s pay NMRKT a monthly fee for access to the platform and customer database. Technicalities aside, the effervescent founder of NMRKT is a bourgeoning businesswoman with a savvy sense of style. He favorite places to shop include Opening Ceremony, Pixie Market, Zara and Dagny & Barstow, which she claims have the “most unique and fashion forward collections.” While she is immersed in the cutting-edge fashion industry, Julia often wears her vintage Fendi box purse, a classic accessory that will withstand the ever-evolving trends of today. Her inspirations derive from a plethora of sources including her avant-garde mom whose closet is a curated collection of clothing by Japanese and French designers, and a handful of fashion bloggers. Her favorite bloggers of the moment include WeWoreWhat FashionAce, Le City Kitty, Hearty Magazine and FashionIndie and for men’s fashion NOVH and Four Pins and of course the classics like Jak & Jil, Sartorialist and Hanelli. She encourages the aspiring fashionistas out there to “get involved in every way you can- stay up to date on fashion news and trends, follow blogs, and become an expert in the field. Once you live and breathe it- everything else falls into place.” -- Vivian Carlson
photos by MJ Batson
on wearing velvet
arking the official holiday season, deep shimmering golds, minty greens, and luxurious reds have been adorning the campus. With the onset of winter, some of us are rediscovering our love for glamorous fur vests while others are slipping into our favorite fleece-lined slippers to head for long SciLi nights. For me, winter breathes magic. Is it because of the angelic snow and the spunky Christmas lights? Partly, I’ll admit. But voila, ‘tis the season to wear velvet. Many of us underestimate or simply forget this sumptuous texture, but it’s really the perfect fabric to don for the holiday season. While keeping you warm and appropriately covered for the season, velvet is everversatile: a velvet dress can be seductive with pumps and tights, or romantic with twinkling earrings and a long scarf. A simple velvet blouse with flowing long-sleeves paired with
a pencil skirt, or billowing velvet pants with a monochrome fitted top and blazer both exude elegance with the perfect subtle amount of seasonal velvet spirit. For a comfortable yet stylish look for the classroom, a velvet vest can add unprecedented edge to a simple sweater. If you are still hesitant on fully committing to velvet pieces, delicate details such as velvet trim on a tall coat can sudden royalty to any ensemble. As for colors, any deep holiday hue will spark wonders for your wardrobe; that is the magic of velvet. As for myself, I’m dreaming of a forest green for festive family gatherings or a magnificent plum dress to catch eyes while standing under the mistletoe on New Year’s Eve. So it is time to step away from the repetitive sequins and glow through the holiday season wrapped in decadent velvet. -- Audrey Yongju Cho
his fall, as we strutted to class in our most stylish jackets with nothing but a pumpkin spice latte needed to warm our hands, we ladies of College Hill thanked Mother Nature for an unusually warm autumn— along with a few more weeks of bare knees and breezy fashion. Now, however, December is in full, chilly swing. I’m sure that many of you, like me, are a little bummed by the prospect of covering your stylish outfits with a drab coat. But have no fear! This winter, we will make a resolution together when we choose a coat: no longer should we languish over which to prefer: style or warmth. Here’s how you can have it all. Choose a style that flatters you. For the small-busted, the classic trench coat remains a staple. By contrast, if you’re curvy, the “belted” trench coming into style will especially flatter your figure. Another rising trend is the return of the knee-length coat, which can not only lengthen a short figure, but can provide an extra 8 inches of warmth for your legs. Military coats make a statement and play up narrow shoulders, while a loose, unstructured cocoon coat is the perfect sheath for broad ones. Consider color and detailing. As a rule, I always reach for plain black coats first – hey, they match everything! But this winter, I challenge you to don a coat in eye-catching bright red or a purple that pops to turn heads your way. Even some metallic silvers and golds have begun to make an appearance! Once your color grabs the
SAMANTHA ST. LAURENTS ‘14 Paired with her black boots, this coat could make any outfit professional and classy – and the heavy, textured fabric adds both detail and warmth! crowd’s attention, keep them looking with a sweet detail such as intricate buttons or unusual trim. Here comes the tricky part: time to think about warmth. Look for soft, heavy linings like fleece. If you’re daring, a faux fur collar or full coat can keep you warm while looking simply majestic. And please, when all else fails, don’t underestimate the power of the puffy coat! While it may make you feel like a cartoon eskimo, slipping into one in an unusual color, one that is belted, or one that tapers at the waist can still save your style. My final word of advice for this winter’s shopping— remember that a coat is an investment! Since you wear a coat every time you go out in the cold, each one you choose can easily become a trademark of your style. If it doesn’t at once flatter, stand out from the crowd, and keep you warm and toasty, put it back on the rack! Rest assured, the perfect coat is out there waiting to make you feel as hot as you look. -- Katherine Boorstein
JENNY GORELICK ‘14 A perfect example of the puffy coat done right! The belt flatters her figure while the leopard-print pattern makes the ensemble pop.
LYTISHA WYATT ‘15 This hot pink coat caught my eye from a mile away, and where her collar doesn’t keep her warm, she bundles up with a classic white scarf.
who what (outer)
wear from left to right: CHASE SHAFFAR-ROGGEVEEN ‘15 Coat: Single-breasted houndstooth, Banana Republic Favorite Starbucks holdiay drink: Peppermint Mocha Favorite class: Digital Nonfiction SEAN SIMONSON ‘15 Coat: Waxed cotton field jacket, J. Crew Winter break plans: visiting his brother in Chile Favorite holiday tradition: watching Love Actually JULIAN JIGGETS ‘16 Coat: Double-breasted wool, Kenneth Cole Looking forward to: first season of collegiate track Favorite holiday food: mashed potatoes
photos by: S. Blistein
Dear Man-at-Brown, I don’t mean to sound like your mother, but you should really put a coat on. I mean, I know this whole winter thing is still new to you west coasters, but trust me, you haven’t seen the worst of it yet. And it would be a real shame if your late night jaunts to Jo’s left you with a cold right in time for reading week. So with a little help from our friends, here’s how to stay warm, and stay classy, during this fierce New England winter. -- S. Blistein
Don’t just do it, do it right. 1. Check the weather. Don’t be the fool in the Patagonia half-zip the day that the weird run of 50° days ends. 2. With peacoats, if you’re short and slim, get a single-breasted coat. If you’re anything else, get it double-breasted. 3. Layers, layers, layers. There’s nothing wrong with wearing your hoodie under your jacket or a high-necked sweatshirt under an open-collared peacoat. 4. Invest. Outerwear, unlike your Brown State teeshirt, isn’t meant to be thrown out after a season. Get a good quali-
ty coat that will last you a couple of years. 5. Get a hat. Any premed (and their mother) will tell you that you lose heat through your head. Whether it’s your Red Sox cap or your Brown knit beanie, you won’t regret it. (You will regret anything with pom-poms, tassels, or braids. Seriously.) 6. What heat you don’t lose in your head goes out from your feet. Thick knit socks are in fashion for both ladies and gentleman. 7. The ladies love a scarf. Bonus, it will up your grown-up game.
Paloma & Lola
hen suddenly hit by the urge or necessity to shop for new clothes, Brown students often sigh at the strenuous trek that awaits us down and back up the seemingly eternal college hill. What many of us, myself included, haven’t realized is that this time-consuming journey is quite unnecessary. Rather, there are two (much closer) alternatives instead: Paloma Boutique, nestled on Wickenden Street for the cool hipsters who love a bargain, and Lola Boutique on North Main Street for the more glamorous, chic shoppers. While the two sister stores showcase an eclectic mix including local designers, imported pieces from far abroad, or estate items, Paloma and Lola vary according to their respective locations. Both stores carry clothes, shoes, and accessories appropriate for each store’s style. Taking inspiration from the edgy yet thrifty scholars of Brown and RISD, Paloma on Wickenden exudes more of a cool, hipster student vibe. Though it does sell new clothes, it is perhaps more enticing for us Brown students to know that we can easily find vintage pieces at Paloma for only $5 or $12. But don’t be fooled by the prices— storeowner Rachel is
Lola 120 N. Main St. Hours: Mon-Fri 10:30AM-6PM, Sat 10:30AM-5:30PM (401) 383-0021
Paloma 218 Wickenden St. Hours: Mon-Sat 10AM-6PM, Sun 11AM-4PM (401) 383-8832
adamant that each item is made well, maintained properly, and has a unique individuality that can set the wearer apart from others on college hill. But if you label your style as glitzy glamour rather than edgy student, then Lola on North Main is the shop for you. Lola has plenty of shimmery tops perfect for a night out, sophisticated peplum dresses, and lovely, delicate
blouses: if Paloma is the sweet, vintage store, then Lola is its sexy, colorful counterpart. Moreover, to the females looking for formal dresses for the upcoming months, I highly encourage Lola. The back of the store is entirely dedicated to gorgeous, one-of-a-kind pieces, in all colors, textures, and in both short and floor length. Wear one of Lola dresses, match it with one of many shimmery earrings
on display, and I guarantee you will be the envy of all. Above all, what really sets apart shopping at Paloma and Lola compared to the H&M or J.Crew of downtown isnâ€™t only the unique clothes; it is warm and personal ambiance created by the owner, Rachel. Full of energy and genuine kindness, Rachel puts you right at ease the moment you walk into her stores. Sheâ€™s excellent at recom-
mending pieces and styling customers with an honesty that helps you walk out with a purchase you wonâ€™t ever regret. So next time you have that itch to stock up on vintage, or are in the hunt for a perfect dress that is oh so you, drop by Paloma on Wickenden or Lola on North Main; Rachel and the stores will do wonders for your style. -- Audrey Yongju Cho
holiday style W
hile holiday party dressing may be a flicker of excitement as it comes up every year, it quickly gives way to standard looks that are everywhere you look. Festive green or red, dark blue, New Year’s Eve sparkle, or a Little Black Dress may be December classics and good investments, but there are more unique options and variations to truly stand out in. Timeless dressing – choosing the safest, most comfort-
able or flattering look - is for later in life. This age is for trying out every fun trend that appeals to you. Many of this season’s looks easily translate to a holiday party setting - but lace, polka dots, sparkly pumps, and pastels such as mint green no longer really read as fresh. Less popularized trends can be a great source of inspiration – unlikely to be ubiquitous in any scene while appearing to be your personal styling. -- Madeleine Luckel
Formal silk pajamas, velvet slippers, and minimalist leather – whether black shorts with sheer tights or a loose shift dress may be slightly more daunting trends to try, but they fit a fancy and cold setting well.
Black pumps or mary janes can be made warmer with white ankle socks – giving a girly-yet classic-look.
An open back can be an easy DIY project - cut out a shape such as a heart, or cut strips that can be knotted or tied.
A baseball tee with a statement bottom half, such as an embellished skirt, is another nice inversion of plain and ornate, a la Oscar de la Renta. Slouchy but fancy trousers, with a blazer and pointed heels, or a long jumpsuit are both great ways to break away from dresses. Sequins on pants can also be as a surprising placement for flash.
For a more casual look, with nice minimalist color blocking, extend the baseball tee to a dress, or try a denim shirt dress, maybe tied at the bottom, to change it up from your usual chambray uniform. A twist on the popular waist peplum – a peplum at the hem of a loose frock, can make an unstructured dress more whimsical and – and loose layering in general is always a chic option. Grandma’s floral brocade, with more of a carpet weave, is a great way to make spring floral print winter appropriate and take a cue from Dolce and Gabbana.
Vintage Holiday Glam by Lorraine Limpahan
photography by Athena Huang
Weâ€™re bringing classy back â€“ and just in time for the holidays! Add a touch of glamour to your winter break with these cocktail appropriate, old-Hollywoodinspired classics.
The Pin-up Roll Gather a middle front section of hair and tease heavily with hairspray and a comb. Twist the section of hair forward, outlining a semi- circular shape (feel free to vary the shape, size, etc.). Guide a circular swirl with the end of the section swirling inwards, then backwards into hairline. Secure the end with bobby pins. Curl and volumize the remaining hair, applying bobby pins liberally to style finished look (e.x. pinning side sections of hair back, as shown).
The Classic Bun
Tie hair in a very high ponytail using a hair tie. Begin rolling ponytail into a section around a thick scrunchie or a sock-bun (tied into a circular sock) - make sure that whatever you use matches your hair color. Once the hair is fully wrapped around the sock-bun/scrunchie at the base of the ponytail, evenly spread the hair around so that it covers any visible areas of the bun. Secure loose flyaways with bobby pins.
The Side Chignon
Curl, tease, and volumize hair. Create a hair side-partition using a comb (approximately in line with your pupil) and tease the top layer with a very liberal amount of hairspray. Using a hair elastic, loosely tie the hair into a messy bun beneath the ear. Carefully gather a side bang (add more structure with hairspray) and secure it with a bobby pin behind the ear.
The Vintage Pouf Volumize hair and vigorously tease front and middle sections (from all sides). Take a teased middle section near the back of your head and tightly secure it into a small bun with a hair tie. Use this to create the â€˜bumpâ€™ and comb all remaining hair sections - the front, middle, and sides - over this bump. Secure sections over this bump with bobby pins (hide any visible gaps!). This creates the illusory effect of a very poofy half-updo.
The Sweet Side-Sweep This style works best with a lot of thick hair! Part hair far to the side, and save the frontmost section for sideswept bangs. Volumize hair and vigorously tease the front and middle sections (from all sides). Take a teased middle section near the back of the head and tightly secure it into a small bun with a hair tie. Take remaining front and middle sections of teased hair and comb them over this bun (hiding any visible areas and gaps). This creates the illusion of a voluminous ‘bump’ at the top of the head. Secure the sideswept bang behind the ear with a bobby pin. For a more delicate look, tie a ribbon between the sidesweep and ‘bump.’
holiday gift guide by Ashlyn Koga
HAIR ‘Tis the season every cosmetic company has manufactured something new for your loved ones to enjoy. Who can resist a cosmetic set valued at $200 selling for JUST $50? Although it is a steal for you, is it really the best gift to give? In my experience, people rarely use one of these sets in its entirety. Most people have three or four eyeshadow shades they LOVE (out of 50), so the rest just goes to waste. Also, the amount of mascara/lipstick/primer/etc. tends to be significantly smaller than the regular products. If your friend really loves a particular Tarte blush, wouldn’t he/she make more use of the full sized one? This year, I challenge you to go outside the box when purchasing an unconventional beauty gift for that special someone. Here are a few ideas…
Know someone who loves curls but doesn’t want heat damage? These foam rollers give you the same gorgeous curls overnight.
MAKEUP Unless you really know the person you’re shopping for, I would stay away from eyeshadow palettes (they may have similar colors) and foundation (you may not know skin type or shade). If you have an option to do a custom palette, I would definitely go for that. For example, M.A.C. allows you to pick smaller pots of their eyeshadows ($11 rather than $18 for a regular pot) and combine them into a unique quad or a larger size if you so desire.
Conair Foam Rollers ($8.99 on Amazon)
Various prices (under $4 each)
Help someone de-stress with these all-natural face masks from The Face Shop. Your loved ones will be thankful to have healthy and moisturized skin this winter season!
NAILS Nail art has become a trend, and if you know someone who always sports a new manicure, they will enjoy honing their nail-art skills it with this tool kit.
Bundle Monster Nail Art Tool Kit Set ($14.99 on Amazon)
Bonus Protip: To me, thereâ€™s nothing more rewarding than someone telling me they love my gift and are actually making use of it. Watch YouTube haul videos to get informed about the products so you can actually see where your money is going. Happy shopping!
2012 VICTORIA’S SECR
he annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is a highly anticipated event for a variety of reasons that appeal to a vast range of viewers, but one thing is certain: the supermodels are the main attraction, no matter your demographic. Making the models look good is not a difficult task, per se – in fact, Victoria’s Secret hair and makeup strives to enhance natural beauty instead of create something shocking and edgy. High fashion makeup artists often use the models’ face as a canvas for an independent work of art, while VS makeup artists have chosen to celebrate the model herself. Because of this, the overall look is easy to pull off for the average person on a day-to-day basis. -- Marissa Petteruti
If you want the VS look, you should definitely invest in a large-barrel curling iron. All the models donned soft, tousled waves that looked effortlessly beautiful.
RET FASHION SHOW
The lips and face remained very natural, while the eyes were the central focus. Matte, earthy tones were used, including taupes, golds, and browns. Some models even sported a more dramatic cat eye. Darker colors were used on the upper lids, while the lower lids were either thinly lined or not at all. There was almost no shimmer, which lent itself to creating a more sophisticated look.
by Mo Hy
A simple, nostalgic, giftable DIY for December.
White cardstock Craft knife Straightedge Spray mount/Double-sided tape Adhesive-backed magnet tape Adobe Photoshop (Online alternative: Pixlr) Photo paper Printer
Template and original concept courtesy of Ambrosia Creative, http://www.ambrosiagirl.com/
1 2 3 4 5 6
Download the template >>here<< Within your editing software, place your scaled images into the designated photos folder, behind the frames layer. Print those tiny bad boys out.
Adhere the photo sheet to the cardstock. Protip: For added durability, carefully laminate your images with clear packing tape.
Using your knife and straightedge, cut out each individual Polaroid with its cardstock backing.
Measure out pieces that are the length of each Polaroid from the roll of magnet tape, and attach them individually to the backs of your photos. Flatten out your new Polaroid magnets overnight by putting them some under some textbooks. Not like youâ€™re using those to study for finals anyways.
Congratulations, your fridge is substantially cooler.
The photos I used are from my Instagram feed since they were already formatted into convenient squares. Thereâ€™s a Providence theme going. See if you can guess where each one was taken!
PERFECT FOR YOU:
NEXT TO NORMAL
photos by Allison Schaaff
ven if you’re not a musical theatre kid, you know you’ve heard some buzz about it around campus. Yes, I’m talking about Musical Forum’s (Brown’s only entirely student run group dedicated to producing musical theatre) production of Next to Normal opening tonight, December 7th, with performances through Monday, the 11th. So, what is it exactly? Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt’s edgy rock opera with explosive music and an exhilarating script, one of the most popular musicals of the past decade, even picking up a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2010. The complex show explores issues of mental illness and its effect on family dynamics, through the lens of the Goodman family’s struggle to cope and survive in a world that’s far from normal. At its base, Next to Normal is a story of love, ghosts of the past, and how the two interact in a fight for hope out of the dark.
Better yet, for you Unhemmed fashion lovers; the show is full of gorgeous costumes – so make sure to head over to TF Green this weekend to catch this free, brilliant show. Often, costume design is a low priority in shows that are set in modern times, but this production of Next to Normal, directed by Zach Rufa ’14, with musical direction by Ben Kutner ’14, was eager to embrace the importance of costuming. The ridiculously talented Alex Lee ’14, a dual degree student at Brown and RISD, created a fabulous costume wardrobe that matched the electrifying nature of the play. She was generous enough to take time out of her crazy schedule to answer some questions for Unhemmed about her experience costume designing, her work on Next to Normal, and her own flawless style.
Have you costumed designed before? Yes! I’ve done a few shows at Brown before, but this is my first time designing for Musical Forum, so that’s exciting. The most recent show I’ve costumed was Twelfth Night, directed by (the wonderful) Austen Hyde. How did you first get involved with costume designing? When I was a sophomore I ran crew for Pippin on the main stage, which – as anyone who saw it would tell you – simply had the BEST costumes. No exaggeration there. I was so blown away, I just started stalking Ron (the department costume designer) and bothered him a lot. From there, my first real costuming job was for the Brown Noser’s production of The Storm of Mystery, which I basically just volunteered myself for. After that I did Your Majesty, The Elephant, which consisted of me going through my closet and picking out things for the actors to wear. And the list goes on...but I never knew I’d get to costume my favorite musical! Can you describe the themes for your Next to Normal designs? I’d say for me as well as a lot of the other designers, the title of the show provided a good anchoring point. I wanted to present a subtly skewed reality, where the characters seem to be dressed in a “normal” fashion, but there are a few off-things that reflect their state of mind or relationship with others. Another big thing was the idea of doubling - two characters mirroring, or changing in relation to each other in some way. Diana and Natalie (mother and daughter), Dan and Henry (their respective husband and boyfriend), and the two Doctors were designed with this in mind. What were your inspirations? Most of my inspiration I drew directly from the show. I love this show so much – I basically
listened to the soundtrack on repeat until I got an idea. No, really. And of course I’m always inspired by the actors and directors, as well as the other designers. How did you use the costumes to help enhance characterization? Aside from the doubling I mentioned above, something I tried to pay close attention to was the varying types/levels of “craziness” that each character reaches in the show. To differentiate Diana and Natalie, I decided that Diana’s insanity would be portrayed through symmetry and Natalie’s through asymmetry. All of their costumes are expressions of that. There are also very specific color choices for each character. Diana wears white – the color of weddings, hospitals, insanity, and death. Natalie wears grey, almost fading to white, before she discovers her own color (literally). Dan and Henry have the same color scheme, with Henry’s being more saturated. The Doctors have poisonous colors because those are the opposite of Dan and Henry’s colors, but mostly because Doctor Madden is a rockstar. Where are most of the costumes from? Did you make any? Actually, I’m super self-conscious about my construction skills – so making anything from scratch is a last resort. I almost always do little repairs and touch-ups and I have made clothes for myself, but not for a show. I know it’s silly and I do want to make costumes eventually, but as of now my job mostly consists of thrifting and borrowing. Which is great, because that’s the fun part for me! I enjoy shopping for characters because I get to really think about what they would like and what kind of places they would shop at. For example, Diana would be totally into Ann Taylor or J.Crew. I see Natalie as not really having a brand preference, but owning a lot of things from Gap or Talbots. Dan probably started getting things from J.Crew by looking through Diana’s catalogs, but I’m sure he used to be an Old Navy guy. Henry seems also like he doesn’t care much for clothes, so maybe he’s a Kohl’s kind of guy, who from time to time drops by a Zumiez or something. Doctors Fine and Madden? Why, Express, of course. Which was your favorite (and why)? I’ve gotta say, Natalie’s entire wardrobe is definitely my favorite. I really enjoy how she changes dynamically as a character over the course of the show, and I had a lot of fun trying to portray that experience through her clothes. What was the hardest part of costume designing this show? Riding the line between realistic and too pedestrian. I didn’t want the costumes to distract from the experience of the show, but at the same time didn’t want it to look like the actors are
just wearing their own clothes. I also had to constantly resist the urge to get blue horn-rimmed glasses for everyone. What was the best part? The actors. How could you not enjoy dressing such beautiful people? What are your personal fashion inspirations? Aw, I don’t know. Dr. Seuss. I quite enjoy colors. Will you be costume designing any shows next semester? I don’t have any plans for costume designing at the moment but I’m always looking for more opportunities! Who knows, maybe I’ll take a break and try something different! If you didn’t want to see Next to Normal before reading this interview, you know you want to go see Alex’s designs now – especially after such cryptic allusions to her brilliant costumes. So I’ll see you there! -- Marissa Bergman
BEHINDTHEALBUM: LIANNE LA HAVAS
“Hey Lianne, this is Stevie and this is my number. It was really nice to meet you and I’m looking forward to hearing more of your project.”
hose are the words that Stevie Wonder left on Lianne La Havas’s voicemail. He then proceeded to sing her song, “Is Your Love Big Enough,” the title track of her debut album. That’s not too shabby a story to tell when you’re at lunch with your girlfriends, is it? Lianne La Havas is half Greek, half Jamaican, bred in London. She’s the “band to watch” on rollingstone. com and is nominated for BBC’s Sound of 2012, which was won by Azealia Banks last year. She plays guitar and piano, wrote her first song at eleven, and has performed with indie-favorites
Bombay Bicycle Club, Erykah Badu, and Bon Iver. Her album, released in August, has caused quite a stir. Then again, her dad was an amateur jazz musician and her grandmother gave her singing lessons at age seven, so music is in her blood. Writing about her is a sweet deal for me. You’d think I’d be more efficient now that finals are looming, but I’m in even more of a zen-taking, naps-eating chocolate kind of situation. And Lianne is exceptionally conducive to my lethargy. Her album is like warm honey on brie. Or a nap in a hammock. Or Spotify with no commercials. Her
harmonies and light guitar strums led me to take a twenty minute nap while writing this. Her duet with Willy Mason, “No Room For Doubt,” is cutesy in the She & Him vein, but refreshing because unlike She & Him, this song is not a rehash of every other song she’s made. She gets huge brownie points for her cover of “Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye,” which is one of the top five Leonard Cohen songs in my book. It’s almost a good enough cover of a Cohen song to deserve a place in a Shrek montage, like Rufus Wainright’s famous “Hallelujah.” Still, the highlight of the record is definitely “Lost and Found.” The song (and accompanying black and white music video) is simple, stripped, and blunt. “You broke me, and taught me to truly hate myself,” she sings. I relate completely.
You did break me, Cajun Chicken Pasta, you did. Onto greener pastures and happy cows, her video for “Forget” is very sixties, with pastel backdrops, paper shape cutouts, and hippie shake shaking. She wears a bold and quirky hot pink sequined crew-neck shirt over a collared white button-up. The vibe has been done before, yet is welcome, and encouraged, during these trying times of sleet and slumping. Her style exudes confidence: suede wedges, peter pan collars, costume necklaces, plaid, dots, stripes, colors, and high-waisted pants. Girlfriend, in a world of combat boots and black crop tops, you do you. This girl’s got a lot ahead of her. To think, a call from Stevie is just the beginning. -- Nicole Salvador
INSIDE THE WARDROBE:
LES MISÉRABLES S ince its 1985 debut on the London stage, Les Misérables has been a favorite among lovers of musicals worldwide. Known colloquially among its innumerable die-hard fans as Les Mis, the play is a brilliant portrayal of poverty, passion, spirit, sacrifice, and unrequited love, all inspired by a bestselling 1862 text by Victor Hugo, the same man who brought us Quasimodo and Esmerelda. And it’s set in Paris! And it features wonderfully catchy music! Really, what’s not to love? Bringing the beloved musical to the big screen is clearly a daunting task, but based on the trailers released throughout the past year, it seems that director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) was up to the challenge. Les Misérables promises to be a stunning visual display of life
in the streets of Paris in the early 1800s. A key element in creating the look of the film lies, of course, in the costume design. For this role, Hooper enlisted Paco Delgado, known for his work in Spanish films such as Biutiful, The Skin I Live In, and Bad Education. For a period piece like Les Misérables, authenticity was crucial, so Delgado drew inspiration from clothing directly from early 19th century France, as well as works by artists like Eugene Delacroix, who lived and painted during that tumultuous era. As Delgado told Entertainment Weekly, “The first thing Tom said was that he wanted to be very faithful to the period and Victor Hugo’s story. The costumes are 90 percent authentic, and then we changed little details to make them more appealing for a musical.”
Paco Delgado’s faithfulness to Hugo’s original text manifests itself quite clearly in the press photographs released of Hugh Jackman in costume as protagonist Jean Valjean. By some miracle, Delgado managed to make Jackman look less…jacked. Sporting filthy clothing, a scraggly beard, messily shaven head, and a rather gaunt-looking face, the Aussie actor is a far cry from Wolverine in his depiction of a starving French prisoner. For his character’s transformation from impoverished beggar to town mayor, Jackman’s appearance followed suit, not only with his bourgeuois clothing but also with his body. In fact, the actor specifically asked for padding “to make it look like he had a little bit of a belly,” said Delgado. Beyond the principal actors’ appearances, Delgado accomplished an incredibly large-scale task in his work for Les Mis. The costumer hired tailors in England, France, Spain, and Italy to create over 2,000 costumes for the sizeable crop of extras, most of whom portrayed street beggars, the titular “miserable ones.” Then there was further
work to be done. “We had to make the costumes and then destroy them to make them look old, like they had been worn for 10 years,’’ Delgado told EW. ‘’We used chemical processes like bleaching them and fading, then mechanical processes like sanding or making holes. Sometimes we even used blowtorches to burn them. We tried to re-create very quickly what would happen to a garment over years.’’ From blowtorches to big bellies, the excitement of the production of Les Mis is sure to translate onto the silver screen. With an all-star cast boasting the likes of Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, and Amanda Seyfried, the film is one of the most highly anticipated of the holiday season. A movie of this scale and quality promises to transport audiences back in time. As costumer Paco Delgado has stated, ‘’our goal was always to make clothes, not costumes.’’ I don’t know about you, but after gift exchanges and time with family, I know how I’ll be spending this Christmas Day. --Caroline Bologna
alking into the bedroom of Alexandra Wardlaw ’13 for her interview was like stepping into vintage fashion heaven. Three walls of white floral paper and one of mirror panels accentuated the centerpieces of the room, two silver clothing racks displaying her chic closet with simple grace. A 30’s purse from a flea market in Paris and some vintage candelabras were just a few of the items dotting her table and shelf. In the middle of the room sat the most stylish piece in sight – Alex, dressed in a sheer black blouse paired with black skinnies with a gold fleur-de-lis pattern. “I combine a few modern touches with a lot of antique and vintage,” she said about her room décor. “My environment has always been really important to me, and I think that what I dress myself in is part of that.” Alex defines her style as fluid; at the moment, it is classic, centering on vintage pieces. “Basically, my entire wardrobe is limited to black, red and tan,” she said. “I definitely like bold lines and designs. And I think that texture is way more important than any other aspect of clothing in terms of creating a nice outfit.” One of her greatest influences is rock-and-roll. She counts among her style icons Kate Moss and Alison Mosshart of the Kills— Alex even dressed up as Alison for Halloween last year. But by far the greatest current influence on Alex’s style is the time she has spent in Paris. After studying there for a semester, she took another sojourn this summer working on an organic farm in Provence. “I’d never lived in a big city before, but I kind of fell in love with the cosmopolitan look. That definitely influenced my love of red-and-black. Also, wearing a lot of layers and not exposing too much skin is something that I picked up in Paris. I hate going out without tights, because I feel too exposed.” Of course, true to her “fluid” form, Alex has not always had the Parisian inspiration, and a few fabulous relics of her past phases remain on her clothing racks. From her self-dubbed “intense Western phase,” she showed me a pair of red leather cowboy boots and a red suede jacket with fringe. She also pulled three well-loved BB Dakota skirts she has had since high school. “I haven’t really changed sizes since high school, so I have a couple items that have stayed through the years…. I have a hard
photos by MJ Batson
time letting things go when I like them!” When she does shop for new items, Alex looks everywhere from the Rhode Island Antique Store to European flea markets. Her favorite store in the area is NAVA on Thayer. Not surprisingly, Alex finds it hard to label any pieces as her fashion staples: “I like to buy dramatic pieces instead of basics. Staples would be the few items that I can get away with wearing more than once a week!” One such item is her leopard print fur coat, a piece that drew me to pick her as this month’s “that girl” in the first place. Other favorites include a pair of Valentino leather pants she scored for 15 euros at a flea market in Bologna and a beautiful aqua kimono with dragon embroidery that she uses as a robe. Do trends play a role in Alex’s closet? “I don’t actually follow trends that much, so I can’t really say. I go shopping and I just pick out things that I like!” Alex does have signature finishing touch, however— red lips. “I think red lipstick can make any outfit. It’s perfect for an off day when I’m feeling like a mess.” Laughing, she added, “It’s like a disguise! And I have to recommend Dior— it really is the best.” When Alex isn’t vintage shopping, she enjoys a variety of academic activities. She is a political science concentrator, works as a writing fellow, and has modeled for
fashion@brown. In addition, she is on the mock trial team, where she has had a unique opportunity to express her style by playing character witnesses. “I started out wearing things as witnesses that I wouldn’t wear in real life, but I incorporated those eventually into my real wardrobe. So I guess in an odd way, mock trial was a venue for me expressing my fashion sense.” Alex is also an editor for Bluestockings Magazine, and she recently hosted a drag party for the organization at her house. “It was really fun to see all these different people expressing their ideas of gender through clothing.” While her concentration is political science, she doesn’t see it as a career path. “If anything, I feel like I’ve become a little jaded with the political system at too young an age. I recently decided that I want to attempt to pursue a career in design instead, because I realize that no matter how busy I am or what else I have going on, that’s a thing that I’ll always put time into because it makes me really happy. I guess putting together outfits and decorating my room are emblematic of that. I have to start networking, but that’s the plan!” With her passion for vintage and her eye for style, I have no doubt that Alex will make her way in the design industry (always dressed in black and gold, of course! -- Kat Boorstein
Fine snowflakes cling to wisps of smoke in the piercing winter air. Church bells sound in the distance, but closer by are the clicks and clacks of crimson heels against the cold pavement. Fade in to a mysterious belle, her jacket as white as snow and her lips as red as blood.
by Victor Ha and Tiffany Mendoza photographed by Dan Fethke select womenswear courtesy of Lola Boutique additional styling by Dominik Halรกs makeup by Liliana Sykes models: Cherise Morris and Aiden Dunbar
Charmed The two spies meet, him under the guise of an off-duty pilot, her the lady of the bar. CachĂŠ ivory fringe jacket, $100.
Bloody Mary She may don the color of innocence, but sheâ€™s no stranger to sharp objects. Alessandra Gold ivory spike top, $79.
On the Rocks The only delicate thing about her seems to be the dusting of gold on her frock. Max Studio gold and black dress, $125.
Ladies First He tries the door while she stands guard in a sumptuous coat. 1960s vintage ivory coat with mink collar, $148.
Asphalt Jungle Armed with a faux fur coat, our lioness is unstoppable.
Red-Handed Because if you want something done right, you have to do it well accessorized. Fownes red leather gloves, $32.
The Spy Who Saved Me After becoming separated at a gala, she finds her lover held captive. Betsey Johnson burnout maxi dress, $198; Lord & Taylor dyed rabbit shawl, $70.
Unbound Entranced by the curves of her figure, he swears that he doesnâ€™t know how heâ€™ll repay her. Vivienne Tam red zip dress, $84.
Killer Both are drop-dead as the credits begin to roll. Custom red & crystal gown, $110.
It was many and many a year ago, In a kingdom by the sea, That a maiden there lived whom you may know By the name of Annabel Lee; And this maiden she lived with no other thought Than to love and be loved by me.
by Dominik Halรกs photographs by MJ Batson additional styling by S. Blistein, Sofia Kadeiva, Jaemun Park models: Sawyer Thompson and Eugenia Zobel
Unhemmed November 2012 issue - More than just a fashion magazine. Celebrating Brown University style, arts, and culture.