mj batson & april zhang editors-in-chief rachel watson layout editor vivian carlson & audrey cho & madeleine luckel fashion features editors victor ha & tiffany mendoza fashion editors dominik halas menswear editor elaine kuckertz street style editor marissa petteruti beauty editor marissa bergman entertainment editor mo hy do-it-yourself editor dani grodsky health & fitness editor chelsea english & catherine gao art editor liz kelley & valery scholem business managers lauren chanen layout assistant lily sykes web assistant becca gevertz web fashion features editor ashlyn koga web beauty editor heidi dong photography coordinator
LETTERS FROM THE EDITORS
BE OUR GUEST
n this issue, I hope you find a sort of permanence with Unhemmed. I like to think each issue is like asking the whole Brown community over for dinner, trying to be a good hostess to whomever shows up, and hoping afterward everyone leaves that they’ll come back again. I’ve been asked why I am a part of Unhemmed and it’s because of this. I would like your eyes to see the pages that the amazing Unhemmed staff have worked hard to put together. You’re our guests. Saying that, the magazine has undergone some remodeling and we’ve spruced up the place a bit with a little layout feng shui. So please, have a look around. Have a seat. Drink your coffee. And let us know what you think. If it’s no good let us know! If you love it, then let us know! I just want Unhemmed to be a good representation of Brown students at their finest in as many endeavors as our pages can hold. And on another note, I’m very excited for the launching of our web division (which I hope is up and running at that this very moment). It will be updated quite frequently in-between issues and allow us to be more present. It is of course a much larger task than I anticipated, but what can you do? Keep it truckin’. So the website will be under construction for the next couple weeks (issues?) but I hope it will make its way onto your weekly (or maybe daily) list. I mean we’re getting to be good friends and once a month isn’t good enough. So I hope you drop on by whenever you feel like it so we can catch up. And as always, it’s our privilege to have you as our guest. Best,
t’s the beginning for everyone; for some, it’s the beginning of college, and for others, it’s the beginning of the end. How depressing! But we seniors who are either looking forward to or completely dreading graduation at the end of the year (or semester) should be excited, because we’ll experience another new beginning, and those are always promising. While I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for me and my friends in the post-grad real world, I’m also extremely excited for what senior year has to offer. At Unhemmed, we are always trying to improve, and this year is no exception. We’ve welcomed some new staff members this year, including some 2016ers (congrats!), and have so much planned (including developing our new website, featuring more menswear, and trying our best to feature as many Brown students as possible!). And in looking towards the future, I can’t help but look back and reminisce fondly. Unhemmed has come a long way since our first issue a year and a half ago (seriously, check it out - we’ve grown up). To celebrate how far we, as students, have come, we went back to the playground for our cover shoot, a nod to the back to school frenzy and the trend of nostalgia, while also paying homage to that classic fall trend: rich jewel tones. Our featured art centers around the ideas of stories and imagination, concepts that also draw us back to our days on the playground, and That Guy, Whiting Tennis, tells us about his childhood, growing up all over the world in places like Egypt and Taiwan. Welcome to all the incoming first-years, and welcome back to everyone else! Welcome to the issue.
Brown students dress to impress
all about NMRKT + runway coverage
leopard print nails + brow shaping
behind the wardrobe of Anna Karenina + Girls + Rita Ora
meet Pallavi Das + curated student work
color outside the lines unleash your inner child
get to know Whiting Tennis on the cover: Siri Olson, photographed by Katie Cusumano additional layout assistance: Marina Camim, Diane Zhou
JESSICA FISHER â€˜16 photographed by Becca Gevertz, Elaine Kuckertz, Lauren Stewart, and Taylor Williams
MICHELLE MIGLIORI ‘14
INDIA ENNENGA ‘16
LINH DAO ‘13
KARWAI NG ‘13
VANSHIKA GOENKA ‘16
TIFFANY CHANG ‘16
E-SOO KIM ‘15
DIANA BAI ‘16
NATALIE VILLANCORTA ‘13
ADRIENNE TRAN ‘14
HAILEY TRAN ‘16
JESSICA LOPEZ ‘13
MARIKA BALTSCHEFFSKY ‘13
JULIA LONGORIA ‘13
MIMI CABELL GS
ANDREW BROWN ‘15
NMRKT What are you in the market for?
e’ve all heard of how terribly interns in fashion can get treated. It seems as though fourteen hours of the day will consist of grabbing coffee and answering phone calls, but the reality could not be further from that; at least that’s how this past summer was for me. I had the pleasure of working at NMRKT, a fashion-tech start-up founded by Brown alum Julia Jacobson ’07. A former buyer at both Bloomingdale’s and INVENTORY, Julia started NMRKT to address issues involving overproduction and the time lag in buying . How does it work? When launched at the end of September, NMRKT will be a shopping suggestion machine that turns your friends into your style advisors and personal shoppers. You will set your “status” by answering the question “what are you in the market for?” and your friends and NMRKT will give you suggestions. Working at NMRKT has been a life changing experience. Not even counting the industry people I was around, NMRKT’s core team is compromised of some of the most hardworking and driven individuals I have ever encountered. For starters, Julia is a workaholic and has success running through her veins; her father is Walter Jacobson, Chicago’s premiere newscaster of the past half century, and her brother Peter Jacobson (Brown ’87) is better known as Dr. Chris Taub of the primetime show House. Our chief technical officer is Ian Fosbery, former guitarist of the indie band The Coast, which played with everyone from Tokio Police Club to Ra Ra Riot. Brand Manager Brendan Fallis is DJ for emerging indie rapper Theophilus London and Vogue Magazine, in addition to becoming a coconut water entrepreneur when he launched his very own brand Waiola. On the daily, I would write and publish blog posts, research industry people, competition, and run general errands. I was occasionally handed a leading role in whatever projects we were doing, and was lucky enough to manage a professional video shoot and help run our pop-up shop in collaboration with Playdate Bike Club and FAMNYC. We also organized several “Fashion Series” parties for bloggers like FashionIndie and labels like Dr. Martens, at the Mondrian SoHo’s Mister H club and 25th floor penthouse paradise Soaked. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of international pop star Natalia Kills, NY Times Style online editor Simone Oliver, and blogger William Yan, was a surreal experience. Just this past week, NMRKT staged the first ever tastemaker curated fashion show, featuring the likes of editors from Selectism and Bloomingdale’s, in addition to some of the industry’s leading bloggers. A big part of NMRKT’s social push is its chalkboard
campaign, which brings the idea of NMRKT beyond the web. I would be given the task of picking out the most stylish people at our parties or on the street, asking them what they are in the market for, and then snapping their picture with the chalkboard. These photographs will eventually be collaged and form the background of our website when it launches. Shoot me an email if you want to tell us what you are in the market for! Want to get involved in NMRKT more directly? We are launching a college delegate program soon and need willing participants to help promote the brand at campuses across the world. Send me an email, or wait until Julia comes to visit campus in October to talk to her about it in person. --Dominik Halas
by Vivian Carlson
by Madeleine Luckel
LEOPARD PRINT NAILS by Marissa Petteruti photos by Meghan Koushik
Calypso Blue by Sally Hanson
Havana Dreams by OPI
What you’ll need: - Two shades of the same color - Black liquid eyeliner (Black nail polish on a toothpick also works.)
Urban Decay Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion
STEP 1 Shape your nails as needed and apply a bottom coat. Then apply two coats of the lighter shade of nail polish.
STEP 2 When the nails are almost dry, scatter dots of the darker shade across the nail. They don’t have to be precise, but leave a good amount of space between each dot.
STEP 3 When the nails are dry, partially outline the dots with the black liquid eyeliner (a bit of black nail polish on a toothpick will also do the trick).
STEP 4 When you are sure that the eyeliner is completely dry, apply the top coat. If you don’t wait until it’s dry, you will smudge the eyeliner, and you MUST apply a topcoat – otherwise, the eyeliner will wash off.
THE RESULT Quick and easy leopard print nails that are sure to impress.
power brows: How to get perfectly shaped eyebrows in 5 simple steps by Marissa Petteruti
Take a ruler or any sort of straightedge and measure vertically from each side of the tip of your nose. This is where your eyebrows should start. Lightly mark this point with an eyebrow or eyeliner pencil.
Next, use the ruler to measure a line that extends outwards from the edge of your nostril to the corner of your eye, all the way to the edge of your brow. This is where your eyebrows should end. Again, mark this point.
Still using the ruler, measure outwards from your nostril across the center of your eye and mark this point. This is where the arch should be.
Now that you have a general idea of the shape, you can start plucking the hairs that lay outside these boundaries. If you’re worried about removing too much hair, you can first cover these areas with concealer to see how the end product will look. Remember, bold brows are in – don’t go crazy with your tweezers, because super-thin eyebrows can look strange. Try to follow your eyebrow’s natural shape and only remove the rogue hairs.
Optional: If your brows are a bit unruly, you can dab on some eyebrow gel to keep the hairs in place throughout the day.
If you have very thick eyebrows, you’re probably all set! But if yours are a bit patchy, you’ll probably have to fill them in. Use an angled brush to dust the right shade of eyebrow powder onto the sparser areas. If you don’t have eyebrow powder, eyeshadow works just fine, too – just make sure it’s the same color as your hair/ brows and doesn’t have any shimmer. Another alternative is an eyebrow pencil, which you can then soften with an eyebrow brush or your finger. Not only does this step even out your brows, it also helps define the shape.
MARQUEE LETTER by Mo Hy
see your name in lights
YOU WILL NEED: cardboard letter exacto knife globe lights ruler tape
STEP 1 Using the exacto knife, remove the back of the cardboard letter by cutting along the seam.
STEP 2 Unscrew the bulbs from the string of lights, and position them on the front of the letter as you see fit. Use a ruler to space them evenly.
STEP 3 Trace the smallest part of the bulb onto the cardboard letter. Draw asterisks in the circles you just drew.
STEP 4 Cut using the asterisks as guidelines. Push the bottom of the bulb through the other side.
STEP 5 Screw the bulbs back into the string of lights. Tuck the loose wires into the back of the letter, and secure with tape if necessary. Plug it into a power source, step back, and admire your handiwork.
BEHIND THE WARDROBE: ANNA KARENINA
he story of a high-ranking Russian government official’s wife and her affair with a young cavalry officer, Anna Karenina examines the power of adultery, aristocracy, and perhaps most importantly, appearances. Drawing on the latter theme, Joe Wright’s 2012 film adaptation adds a strong visual element to Tolstoy’s 800-page masterpiece, and nowhere is this more evident than in the characters’ wardrobes. In true Tolstoy style (pun much intended), each character in the film is dressed to the nines, with every small detail reflecting his or her personality and social rank. Tolstoy
“Why nowadays there’s a new fashion every day” – Leo Tolstoy
believed he had the power to reveal personal qualities like extravagance and sexual promiscuity, and costume designer Jacqueline Durran worked diligently to bring this insight to the screen. No stranger to period piece costumes, Durran is famous for her Oscar-nominated designs for Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, for which she worked with both Joe Wright and Anna Karenina star Keira Knightley. (Which means that yes; this is indeed the woman responsible for the Knightley’s iconic emerald green satin dress in Atonement.) For this film, Wright and Durran opted to forgo complete historical accuracy in favor of characterization, and the result was an entire wardrobe of elaborate costumes for the 1870s Russian aristocracy in the style of 1950s French couture. Although Russian noble society, and especially high-class fashion, was subject to strong French influence, the production team took liberties with the time period. For her research, Durran looked at period photographs and old fashion plates for Balenciaga and Dior, which led her to declare about her director’s vision: “I thought that Joe’s idea was genius because a lot of 1950s couture was itself looking back to an earlier time. We looked at some images from the time next to fashion pictures from the 1870s and although they were eight decades apart, the two periods meshed together very well.” Dressing the film’s heroine in rich colors and very feminine silhouettes, the award-winning costume designer was faithful to Tolstoy’s depiction of luxurious and elegantly chic aristocrats. As Leo Tolstoy placed a great deal of emphasis on wardrobe in the novel, the costume department followed suit by building off the author’s detailed descriptions. Most notable is the ball scene, which highlights the contrast between innocent Kitty Shtcherbatsky and the intensely alluring title character: “Anna was not in lilac, as Kitty had absolutely wanted, but in a low-cut black velvet dress, which revealed her full shoulders and bosom, as if shaped from old ivory, and her
rounded arms with their very small, slender hands. The dress was all trimmed with Venetian guipure lace. On her head, in her black hair, her own without admixture, was a small garland of pansies, and there was another on her black ribbon sash among the white lace. Her coiffure was inconspicuous. Conspicuous were only those willful little ringlets of curly hair that adorned her, always coming out on her nape and temples. Around her firm, shapely neck was a string of pearls.” Durran was loyal to this passage in the novel as she dressed Keira Knightley in a luxurious, show-stopping jet-black taffeta ball gown. To add to the sumptuousness, Knightley also wore $2 million diamonds, a special loan from Chanel. The male characters also conform to their descriptions and personalities, as Jude Law even shaved part of his head to portray the balding Karenin. Count Vronsky sports a stylish military uniform in shades of blue and white to compliment his light hair and eyes. The loose, liberal, and rather cruel socialite Princess Betsy was meant to stand out from the other aristocrats, so Wright was inspired by a very different aesthetic: the geisha. Commenting on the process of dressing Betsy, Durran stated, “we converted 1870s shapes into Japanese ideas, and there came again our marvelous link to 1950s couture because Balenciaga was always playing with the kimono neck. It was like a continuous circle.” If visions of beautiful, aristocratic couture are filling you with desire, you’re in luck. In late October, Banana Republic will release its own 56-piece Anna Karenina capsule collection, completely designed and curated by none other than Jacqueline Durran herself. With prices ranging from $59 to $500, the line will feature a variety of military jackets, pearl necklaces, and course, fabulous faux fur hats. Commenting on the modernization of her 1870s era wardrobe inspired by 1950s couture, Durran stated, “So that’s been the trick really, to take fur, to take jewels, to take different textures of fabric, lace, velvet, chiffon, and to mix them up together.” Can’t go wrong with that. -- Caroline Bologna
PRECOCIOUS GIRLS L
adies, I know you’ve seen it. The so-called next Sex and the City, but created to cater to the 20-somethings audience. You know what I’m talking about, HBO’s comic yet edgy new phenomenon, Girls. Created by funny lady Lena Dunham, the first ten-episode season premiered this past spring, and is soon to be followed by a second season starting in January. Set in New York City and following four friends and their romantic (and sexual) encounters, it’s understandable how the show has garnered such comparisons to Sex and the City. Except, not really, because that’s where the similarities end. Girls is a creation unique to this decade and our generation, focusing on struggling postgraduates as they come into their own through the heartbreak, unemployment, and bad decisions of their 20s. Inspired by Dunham’s actual experiences, it’s understandable why audiences find it so relatable. While the show may not be everyone’s new favorite obsession (though I do highly encourage making it through a few episodes before giving up), it’s impossible to deny the intrigue of Girls’ gritty, genuine portrayal of life as a young
adult in the 2010s. This realistic representation is perhaps most evident in the show’s costume design, which eagerly embraces dressing its actresses in granny-panties and baggy sweatpants (don’t cringe; we’ve all had those days). Okay – so maybe I lied before. There is one more parallel between Sex and the City and Girls: the importance of wardrobes in the show. However, while Sex and the City was all about drool-worthy, cutting-edge haute couture that a freelance writer like Carrie Bradshaw could never afford, Girls is highly aware of its characters lifestyles. As in, the unemployed protagonist, Hannah (portrayed by Dunham) can’t pay her rent, and therefore will not be shopping at Saks or Bergdorf, but rather at thrift and vintage stores. This may sound like an incredibly easy show to costume design, just raiding a Salvation Army and being set for the season, but Jenn Rogien, the show’s fabulous costume designer, puts infinite research into creating distinct, realistic, and trendy wardrobes for all four girls. It’s convenient that Rogien resides in Brooklyn, where the fictional girls live in Greenpoint, so by trekking through Williamsburg, she was able to study the street style of real-life
Girls and use them as inspiration. She also became a fashion blog addict, looking at everyone’s favorite site, The Sartorialist, and then discovering hand-made unique pieces at hipster favorite Etsy. From here she added a dash of that TV magic to the finished looks, like alterations for perfect fits, the one little white lie in the realistic costume design. Struggling writer Hannah’s wardrobe, for example, actually developed from Rogien scouring through famous Brooklyn thrift stores to perfect her look, like the 5000 square foot Atlantic Attic and small New York chain Beacon’s Closet (which has as online shop if you want to get the look yourself). Her style is clearly contrasted by that of her Manhattan working girl roommate, Marnie, whose subdued professional look was purchased mostly from department stores like Lord & Taylor. So, whose style do you best embody? Are you the wild bohemian? Or the sweet girly-girl? Watch the show and decide for yourself. -- Marissa Bergman
Working girl Marnie is all class.
et’s spit some fun facts about Rita Ora. She is a seasoned Londoner by way of Kosovo. She wears her bleach blonde hair in undulating curls. She puts Tabasco sauce on everything and is running smoothly on the Imelda Marcos track, owning over one hundred and fifty pairs of sneakers. She was signed to Roc Nation by Jay Z himself when she was 17. She made cameos in Hova’s “Young Forever” and Drake’s “Over” videos. Oh, and she has three number-one hits. Who exactly is this girl? When I first listened to her music, I wasn’t too impressed. Her single, “How We Do,” smartly samples Biggie’s “Party and Bull-” and her collaboration “Hot Right Now” with DJ Fresh is adequately upbeat enough to get you through a post-Jo’s comatose workout. But listening to tracks from her debut album, Ora, didn’t really get me on the Rita bandwagon. Obviously, songs like “Love and War” aren’t intended to be grand opuses. So what really intrigued me about this up-andcoming artist was her style. Now get your popcorn ready, we’re going to break down her killer cotton on leather combinations and electric kicks. Rita’s favorite city is Las Vegas, which is perfectly reflected in her clothing choices. In no way does the interplay between kitschy flag print skirts and gold brocade suits reveal any trace of her prestigious education background. She graduated from The Sylvia Young Theater
School in London, but didn’t fit into the jazz square circuit because her voice was too raspy and her attitude too scrappy. She mixes vintage Yankee jerseys with Louboutins, Jeremy Scott leggings with Marni jackets, and white tank tops with thick gold chains. Gwen Stefani, Tina Turner, Daphne Guinness, and David Bowie are understandably heavy hitters in her book. Her style is a perfect maelstrom of 90s denim overalls, fire-engine lipstick, sequined hot pants, and Rastafarian corsets. Just a peek at her “How We Do” video shows a definitive encapsulation of her confident style. She starts off in a typical house party setting, except one where people wear animal masks and play with light sabers. She is wearing a black Where the Wild Things Are-esque crown, parading around with stacks on stacks of gold rings and beanies. Her video for “Hot Right Now” features her dancing around in a junkyard, her ferocity showcased when she sings through a megaphone. Her essence is a nebula of vintage, high-octane high-waisted shorts, combat boots, and edgy hair. This brass, ballsy attitude is completely in line with what Brown fashion is known for. And it’s not a bad thing. It’s just how we do. -- Nicole Salvador
HOW SHE DO
WATCH: “How We Do” Video WATCH: “Hot Right Now” Video
submit your work Unhemmed publishes online, which means we not only can publish your paintings, drawings, and photographs, but we can also publish other media, including video, sound, and performance. Send your work to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
show off your stuff
If you’re a musician and/or you’re in a band, show us what you do! Send us links to your music or email us songs and videos, and we’ll showcase your talents at unhemmedmagazine.com. Send it all to firstname.lastname@example.org
ART an interview with
a RISD Film, Animation & Video major from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Why are you an artist? How did you become involved in art? I sort of started off in high school. I’ve never actually had formal training in art, but it was just something that was a passion, so every time I would take a break from work, I’d make pieces by myself. Even though I’ve been creating this work just for fun, and without any training, it was something I felt strongly about, so I ended up applying to art schools, and I was really fortunate that I managed to get into a good set of them. Art is just something that has always been a passion and expresses me really well. That’s why I’m an artist.
polo pants, worn during polo games, but I am wearing it with a colorful top. So I like mixing things up, putting my own spin on things.
How has being at RISD and Brown affected your creativity? RISD really changed how I view things. I can no longer see a piece or a painting and be like, “Oh, this is pretty.” It has become a lot more than that. Now, art requires a closer inspection. I’m taking a class at Brown on film and anthropology, and I can see that even the way we watch movies requires a lot of close attention to details and little nuances. My outWhat inspires you? look has broadened by the Brown-RISD environment. I’ve I am inspired by observations from daily life and my own ex- become more critical and analytical. periences: living in Malaysia, living overseas, and living in India. Embedded in them are themes that I really identify What does your creative process involve? with of culture, and identity. They are recurrent themes in I get a lot of inspiration from experiences from my life. I my work. have a journal, and I take down a lot of notes. I feel like my best ideas always come at night, so before I sleep I’m always Do you have a preferred medium? writing stuff down. Before I sort of start a piece or do anyI haven’t really studied art, per se, when it came to apply- thing, I brainstorm on a sheet and make sure I have all these ing to universities, I put together as varied a portfolio as I ideas down. Then I just allow myself to let loose on whatcould. I had a lot of works which were paintings, others that ever I’m working on. I try not to be too nit-picky, and just were sculptures and made from clay. I also designed a sari, let form take its own toll, rather than being too controlling so that was quite interesting. Film is actually something I over my piece. haven’t really done before, but I’m interested in the idea of art and narrative. I think that reflects in my medium because Do you have any opinions on current art or fashion I always try to tell stories in my work. trends you’d like to share or comment on? I really feel like art is something that constantly changes over Do you have a favorite artist? time. It’s something that’s so subjective. What I like could I do -- I have a couple actually. I love the classical, Renais- be vastly different from what you might like. But, that’s the sance period, I love Leonardo da Vinci. I really like Frida fun of it. What I really like is stuff from the past coming back Kahlo, and I really, really like a lot of Indian folk artists. into fashion, and into the art world. For example, we take so much from historic periods or experiences from our parDoes your interest in art influence the way you dress? ents. You see so many fashion trends that existed before like The way I dress is something that is constantly evolving, re- this [referring to jodhpurs] which were worn in polo games, flecting my mood and how I feel that day. I wouldn’t say I and are now being worn today. And, even something like have a particular style, I like to keep it, like my work, as var- buttoned-up shirts or high-waisted pants are artifacts of anied as possible. There are some days where I’ll wear formal other time that are becoming trendy again. So I think that’s clothing, and other days where it’s more funky. However, I exciting, and it’s also something to try to keep up with. I try love like mixing Indian pieces with a Western look. So, what not to follow trends too much, but it’s nice to sort of look I am wearing now are jodhpurs which are a sort of Indian out for it. -- Anisa Khanmohamed
BOURGEOIS, EMILY BONEY
SERENITY IN BLACK, DAN ZHANG
CASTLE OF DREAMS, DAN ZHANG
GONE FISHING, DAN ZHANG
A FRAGMENT OF PRAYER, DAN ZHANG
THE IRON PRICE, CHRISTOPHER CATOYA
THE NIGHT I NEVER LEFT, DAN ZHANG
editors: Victor Ha, Tiffany Mendoza, Dominik Halas photographer: Katie Cusumano models: Siri Olson, Rosa Congdon, Ben Vila hair/makeup: Liliana Sykes, Nati Hyojin Kim, Becca Gevertz
For many, the end of summer marks the end of cheeky corals and tangerines and the return of a much darker palette. But who said a season has to be defined by one or the other? With this in mind, we leave behind the back-to-school dread of the classroom and return to the playscape. Get ready to unleash your inner child.
“You want to interview me for a fashion magazine?” His eyes widen as
he forms one of those distraught smiles caught between laughter and unease. When he realizes that I’m intent on featuring him as our That Guy for this issue, Whiting Tennis shifts in his go-to khaki cargo shorts and feels obligated to explain his frustrating relationship with clothes. “For shoes, having size 17 feet makes it tough. Basically I get to choose between ugly New Balance white sneakers or big leather loafers… but I found these pair of pumas that fit!” he exclaims triumphantly. He adds, “Online shopping is the way to go if you’re big.”
Towering over most of us at 6 ft 9 inches, Whiting is “that very tall, big blonde boy on campus.” He explains that his height isn’t a nuisance, but just another “variable to deal with.” “You can’t have a normal conversation without my height being addressed at some point,” he says. “It’s something that always comes up.” Though his height is a repetitive topic, Whiting has found that it is a great icebreaker when meeting strangers— perhaps ideal for someone who has grown up around the globe in Taiwan, Egypt, and South Africa. Most of Whiting’s childhood memories come from Egypt. Scratching his blonde hair while searching for a way to describe Egypt before Arab spring, his Egypt, Whiting tries to explain: “The heart of the country is really in the people. It’s this idea that people are living their lives; there’s not much constraint on your everyday life,” he says of his childhood city as he continues, “You can jump on the back of a taxi and ride your skateboard around the city, or pile 20 people in the back of a pick-up truck.” Whiting laughs as he remembers his envy of the other American kids who brought pop tarts and fruit roll ups in their lunchboxes to school: “They were still living the American life while in Egypt which I thought was kind of cheating.” Instead, he preferred to interact with the city and people, struggling through the language barrier at times. He describes that his skating and biking around the streets of Cairo without a worry as a young white boy
“I took Persuasive Communication over the summer. I learned so much about how our self-perceptions contrast our actual perception; it’s a very scientific breakdown about how we interact with one another. I loved it because it was a class where you are just eager and excited for the next class, mainly because you are doing so much learning.
he explains, characterized the Egypt of his childhood, the one where “the people who own the streets.” But then came Arab spring, and although Whiting wasn’t present for the uprising, he hears rumors that things are not the same anymore— that his childhood community in Maadi (a suburb of Cairo), and Cairo both are struggling to hold on to their close-knit traditions. “I heard that all the Americans living in the school community left for their safety and went back home,” he says. “When they came back, it changed for the worse because the government was in turmoil and things were volatile towards non-Egyptians.” And although violence from Egypt pervades headlines each day, Whiting maintains a singular optimism for the country: “I still have faith that the Egyptian spirit that I remember is still there and that they are just going through a developmental faze in the country’s history.” He says with the assurance of a native speaking of his hometown, “I’m hopeful that it turns out for the better.” Having parents who are international teachers (hence the traveling), Whiting would attend the schools at which his parents taught. “I loved it,” he says of the situation, “because growing up, most families go separate ways and convene at dinner.” Instead, for Whiting, “I grew up embodied Egypt and its people— at least when he was there having the whole family go to school, and experience exbefore Arab spring. “It’s so open and free. Everyone is welperiencing the same thing such as a festival on campus.” coming, even if you are white. [The kindness] is part of the Though at Brown he has left the traveling life behind to row Egyptian culture.” This freedom, autonomy, and warmth,
“I don’t mind when girls curl their hair or when they have spunky streaks of red or ink. But when they dye a big blonde streak in the back of their dark hair, it feels a bit too unnatural, or I guess not unnatural enough.”
“In terms of comfort, I go for the lazy morning dress of cargo shorts and a t-shirt. In terms of style, I like wearing long sleeve button downs, untucked. I want to pull off a look without seeming as I’ve thought for than a second.”
crew, Whiting’s plan to concentrate in English or journalism points to the influence of his worldly upbringing. Exposure to the streets of the developing world and “[meeting] people that are different from you in almost every single way,” his childhood explains his interest in storytelling— unraveling the stories of others. As for a potential career, “I’ve thought a lot about education because of my parents,” he says. “They lead such an attractive lifestyle with summer and winters off in between jobs that are so fulfilling because you learn so much from young people and you’re making a difference.” At Brown, Whiting has found a new home within the crew team. “It’s about getting gritty, doing hard work, but it’s also all about the team,” he says. “Out of any competitive rowing team in the U.S., Brown has the best spirit and attitude from what I have seen, and I love that we recruit --Audrey Cho people not machines.”
Nominate your friends for
that girl/that guy Email email@example.com to suggest a student or faculty member for us to profile in an upcoming issue. Be sure to include his/her name and why you think they deserve to be featured!
calling all songwriters Are you a musician or artist interested in songwriting or collaborating? Or performing at an on-campus open mic? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if youâ€™re interested!
The September 2012 issue of Unhemmed Magazine!