hajar ahmed photographed by michal koziniski
art. fashion. film. culture.
life imitates art v magazine | v10 issue no. 2 | autumn 2013
On Elly: cream shift “Peebles” dress from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: Candy Cigarette, Sally Mann (1989).
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
PHILOSOPHY OF FASHION
BEHIND THE GAGA
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
MISS TEEN USA
RUNWAY TO RACK
28 SPOTLIGHT: MAEVE HOYT 30
LIFE IMITATES ART
Brendan Rijke and Vanessa Cao EXECUTIVE EDITORS Gloria Roh ART DIRECTOR Meredith Wadsworth FASHION DIRECTOR
On Hajar, Gragg’s of Witchita pearl mink cape from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: Knives, Andy Warhol (1981).
Michal Kozinski PHOTOGRAPHER
Niki Afsar Dorothy Akers-Pecht Shane Dutta Kelsey Field Amy Miller Thao Nguyen Tobe Okocha Paula-Anne Omiyi Gloria Roh Ashlin Royer Sharon Wolbarsht WRITERS
Katherine Budorick Caitlin Fischer Elly Leavitt Alex Lumain Chris Lumain Sara Neel Jordan Stuger DESIGN
LETTER FROM THE EDITORS
n our Autumn 2013 issue of V Magazine, we are striving to widen our scope of coverage, both on the topics we delve into, and in terms of social media. In this issue, we highlight art, fashion, film, and culture at and outside the University -- not only reflecting phenomena, but probing further into analysis and questions of controversy. As with every issue, we put a great amount of work into our fashion spread, with the dedication and support of our models and fashion team. This season’s fashion spread, entitled “life imitates art,” explores the degree to which art constructs the aesthetic frameworks by which we perceive reality. By integrating the work of artists from a range of periods, mediums, and backgrounds, the series aims to blur and cross the boundaries of art movements and eras. Inspired by Andy Warhol and Lana Del Rey, we projected artwork on our models in effort to challenge the commonly held notion that art is finite, static, and unchanging -- perpetuating the dichotomous relationship between artist and viewer. In the series, art is living and breathing, the camera gives these pieces new and perhaps provocative meaning. In the spread, we are excited to highlight three pieces designed by our very own fasion director Meredith Wadsworth and Maeve Hoyt from the Fashion Design Club on grounds. We are also very grateful for our
continued partnership with Vintage Vixen, a boutique located in Downtown Charlottesville. For our fifth consecutive fashion spread, they have generously provided breathtaking vintage pieces for our student models. Each season, we hope to inform, to enrich, and to inspire. This being our goal, we’ve launched and renewed a number of social media platforms run by our talented team here at V Magazine, to bring our readers and followers fresh imagery, inspiration, and information throughout the entire year. Visit our website at www.vmagazineuva.com to check out our brand new blog and Instagram. On our website you will also find a larger online edition of this publication with three additional articles. Happy reading!
Brendan Rijke, Co-Executive Editor
Vanessa Cao, Co-Executive Editor
FASHION “The mythogenetic zone today is the individual in contact with his own interior life, communicating through his art with those ‘out there.’ But to this end communicative signs must be employed: words, images, motions, rhythms, colors, and perfumes, sensations of all kinds, which, however, come to the creative artist from without and inevitably bear associations not only colored by the past but also relevant to the commerce of the day.” -- JOSEPH CAMPBELL, THE MASKS OF GOD
by Amy Miller Modern language has its limits in the realm of communication. It is insufficient in expressing all scopes of the human psyche. Since the dawn of mankind, the most potent form of communication, persisting through ancient worlds into present-day, has been that of symbol and metaphor—an abstract form of expression that encompasses both conscious and unconscious knowledge. In an individualistic society, we find ourselves caught up in the cyclical nature of individuation—the creation and evolution of the self. Like that of symbol and metaphor, fashion is a medium through which we can communicate these abstract underworlds, acting as a metaphorical vessel through which we create, recreate, and evolve. Fashion’s abstract nature ascends to light with its ability to invoke tension between dichotomies. It hinges upon the masculine and feminine, the orderly and chaotic, the light and dark, and the simple and complex, all of which are characteristics of our intrinsic nature. What we choose to drape our bodies with, the bare canvas of flesh and bone, is our most direct medium of self-transfiguration. It is our tangible poetry, our communication without words. It is not what we say that represents who we are, but what we don’t say—the answers that are found in the silence. Fashion expresses our ideals about ourselves and the world we perceive. This comes through in the textiles we’re inclined toward, the structure of a piece, and even the color that speaks to us intellectually, symbolically, or emotionally.
Take for example the notorious textile of leather. It is a highly durable, luxe, and natural fabric that singularly represents power, dominance, and masculinity, as well as an animalistic and corporeal nature. One does not wear leather to convey the essence of a dainty and frail being; one wears leather to let people know that he or she is in control (whether consciously or subconsciously). On the other hand, delicate fabrics such as silk often represent purity, femininity, and spirituality. It is an elegant fabric that drapes very naturally and is often worn to convey delicacy. This kind of symbolism does not only hold true to fabrics, but also in the way patterns are draped or constructed. For example, a garment that is very tailored and structured, such as a blazer, often represents the aspect of discipline; clean-cut, organized, focused design translating into a message the individual wishes to convey about him or herself. This is why “professionalism” is typically marked by clean-cut, structured, and tailored clothing. When I see a well-dressed man in a nice, structured pea-coat, I typically think he’s got it together. Draped garments, on the other hand, typically represent the aspect of spirituality—free-flowing, unrestricted, and undefined. More complex ideas are represented in the juxtaposition of these various characteristics. A draped leather jacket, for example, can invoke the dichotomies of masculinity and femininity, laziness and discipline, as well as corporeal nature and spiritual nature. Colors alone are also known to have emotional effects on people (i.e. visual art) and each hold a myriad of mean-
ings across various cultures and individuals within those cultures. Red is said to evoke feelings ranging from warmth and comfort to anger and hostility; after all it is the color of human blood. Cool colors often evoke feelings of calm and clarity like that of water, but also sadness. It is all highly subjective. Symbolically, colors are given even deeper meaning. White for example traditionally falls along the lines of simplicity, purity, innocence, “the good”, and perfection, but also sterility, in contrast to black which is traditionally a color of adversary and evil, but also mystery, wisdom, elegance, and depth. Opaque versus muted colors add to a color’s meaning, as well; physical and “black and white” ideas (no pun intended) versus the “gray areas” and the in-betweens; the absolute and concrete versus the indefinite and obscure. An infinite scope of these elemental combinations pervades our existence, which inevitably makes up the world of fashion and gives birth to individual style. It is easy to see how a work of fashion becomes very complex in nature, mirroring the complexity of the human psyche and human existence. Ultimately, the self is one’s magnum opus. Fashion is a very physically present tool through which we create and evolve our beings, individually and collectively. It calls upon the mystery, the esoteric, and the unconscious. It is the metaphysical made physical and vice versa. As humans, we will always grasp toward the mysterious, and thus, we will always grasp toward fashion.
Insights Yohji Yamamoto
Jean Paul Gaultier
“Black is modest and arrogant at the same time. Black is lazy and easy - but mysterious. But above all black says this: ‘I don’t bother you don’t bother me.’”
“Black is not sad. Bright colors are what depress me. They’re so… empty. Black is poetic. How do you imagine a poet? In a bright yellow jacket? Probably not.”
“What I do is more than just the clothes. It’s getting out whatever is inside that’s screaming the loudest. I wouldn’t call it therapeutic. It’s not that conscious.”
“Fashion has a reason ‘to be’ because in fashion you can find new kinds of expressions about human beings.”
“It’s always the badly dressed people who are most interesting.”
S PR I NG
STREE T BOUTIQUE
by Ashlin Royer
Fashion doesn’t have to be pretentious, material-
istic, or over-the-top flashy. To me, fashion is simply a means of expressing myself through presentation, and this type of expression centers around bringing me a sense of confidence. This doesn’t mean wearing luxury brand names and sky-high heels to boost my sense of self-worth. On the contrary, I thrive in whatever makes me comfortable. Comfort doesn’t always mean a t-shirt and sweats; comfort is a feeling of ease, but also a feeling of being put together. Because of this, one of my main fashion inspiration cities is New York City. The thing I love about New York City is the myriad of people on the street that not only embrace the power of fashion to express themselves, but also manage to pull it off with effortless grace while trekking their way through the concrete jungle and doing their part in making the world go ‘round. Upon setting foot in Charlottesville, and with the winter looming on the horizon, one of my top priorities was finding a store that could cater to my need for effortlessly stylish clothing. That’s when I stumbled across a chic little boutique on the Downtown Mall called Spring Street. Being on a college budget, I naturally wasn’t just shopping for clothes with effortless pizzazz—I had my eyes peeled and nostrils flared for a good deal! Spring Street didn’t disappoint. As soon as I walked in, I immediately noticed some of my favorite brands displayed around the store, and a lot of them were haloed in the glory of a 75% off rack! No, this is not a joke. Being the shopaholic that I am, I went a little crazy. I left Spring Street that day with an armful of beautifully comfortable clothes that were also impressively easy on my wallet. After getting home that day, I did some research on Spring Street and stumbled across the fact that the name was also that of a great shopping street in NYC that offered affordable and interesting fashion. I wanted to know more about this quaint little shop situated in the heart of the downtown mall, and ventured back to learn more — and I’m really glad I did. I met the owner,
Cynthia Schroeder, and took a peek into her life as a boutique owner, as well as her thoughts and ideas on fashion in Charlottesville. New Yorker Cynthia Schroeder is a true Virginian at heart. Since the age of six, Schroeder had wanted to work with her greatest passion: clothes. After attending Parson’s School of Design she had her sights set on opening up her own boutique. Her vision for Spring Street was to bring the urban style of New York City to a quaint college town filled with its unique culture and southern lifestyle. And thank goodness she did! Spring Street is now a leading boutique in Charlottesville for fashion without the NYC price. With brands like French Connection, Hunter, Three Dots, Velvet, Privy Jeans, Alice Trixie, Johnny Was, and much more, it’s no wonder Cynthia Schroeder is so successful.
Can you tell me a little bit about the history of your store? CS: I opened up Spring Street Boutique in a little space behind the tavern in 2002. It was so much fun there! We had fashion shows, parties, you name it, but we quickly outgrew it and I was forced to look for another location. In May of 2006 I bought our current store location on W. Main Street in downtown Charlottesville. It was a spontaneous decision that required a lot of work and renovation, but it was worth it! Why did you name your boutique Spring Street? CS: Spring Street is one of the most fun shopping locations in New York City. I wanted to bring a little New York to Charlottesville. How would you describe your style? Who or what are you inspired by? CS: People have always said that I have a very classy, elegant, and chic style. I have a sixth sense for color and composition so that makes it easy to envision and put together outfits. My inspirations are Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel. Chanel really revolutionized the way women dress today! Does your store reflect your personal style? CS: I have to try to please everyone that comes through my store. When I go to trade shows I choose things that I would wear, but also what
others would wear. I have to make clothes that people tend to gravitate towards high in value. This kind of value that people seek is very important to me. I want people to be able to feel good and look good at a good price. That’s value. People have said that my store has a yoga style—meaning casual hip. I strive to provide comfortable but cute clothing that people come in looking to buy. I want my customers to come into my store looking for something special. I do think that the store as a whole reflects my style and me as a person. What fashion advice would you give anyone who walks through your store? CS: Get the first thing that draws your attention! Usually when I am at trade shows and something catches my eye, I end up getting that first thing after looking at tons of other merchandise. Also, be open to trying new things. Know yourself and what looks good on you, but don’t be afraid to experiment too! What is your best-selling item(s)? CS: This season, bangles and stacked bracelets have been huge. We sell handcrafted bracelets from artisans in Nepal that are a guilt free buy. In our cold season we sell a lot of ponchos and Bordeaux shawls that go with everything! In any season, our hunter boots are always a bestseller.
What is your favorite thing about owning a boutique? CS: I am truly doing what I love everyday—working with clothes, business, and people. In addition, owning a boutique allows me to do the extra things that I love to do like putting on fashion shows, throwing art shows, working with the Alliance Français, raising money for medical research to help sick animals, and of course, meeting new people is always so much fun. What makes Spring Street unique? CS: Spring Street is the cutting edge of everything! We have so much variety to offer and great clothes, accessories, and shoes for a great price. We have so much fun and are usually in the middle of a project that helps us interact with our customers and the Charlottesville community. We pride ourselves in great customer service and today in particular we are unique because we’re finding well-priced merchandise that is fabulous. What advice would you give young entrepreneurs that are interested in opening up their own boutique? CS: An essential piece of advice is to listen to what people really want. You have to know your customers to be able to provide things that they would buy.
contouring by Thao Nguyen
Imagine a world where everyone’s head is the same shape and their eyes are in the same relative position, with cheekbones protruding at the same angle, casting shadows of the same depth. Imagine their noses are the same height and their lips are the same thickness. While this colony of identical people may be fit for some utopian society in some distant galaxy, it isn’t realistic to generalize the human face this way. So, why do beauty tutorials do it? That’s right, they shouldn’t. They need to take into account different face shapes and features, because one look isn’t for everybody. Precisely for that reason, this highlighting and contouring guide will spotlight four basic face shapes that are applicable to most people. With the knowledge of the right techniques for your face shape, it will be easy to enhance your unique features. Unfortunately, not everyone has a good night’s sleep every night or perfect skin void of discoloration and hormonal imbalances. So, perhaps going au naturale isn’t always an option for some of us. By highlighting and contouring, you can achieve a perfect no-makeup look for everyday wear that is catered to your individual needs. Makeup application is quite counterintuitive. Contrary to popular belief, there is no “secret” way to do makeup correctly that involves mysteriously complex methods.
With the right tools and techniques along with awareness of your own unique features, you will have all the knowledge you need to enhance your beauty to any desired degree. The quantity of makeup you wear doesn’t determine your beauty. It is the way you use your makeup to emphasize your favorite features that allows you to present your best look. Makeup application is about using more knowledge, not using more makeup. Achieving the look of a flawless bare face is an art and a science, but it’s easy; and I’ll guide you through it using the basic concepts of highlighting and contouring catered to a variety of different face shapes. Where the light naturally hits your face is where it should be highlighted. These points are located at the highest points that protrude outward, including your forehead, nose, cheek bones, Cupid’s bow, and chin. Light colors bring out features, making them appear more prominent and bright. Highlighting colors should be 2 to 3 shades lighter than your skin tone. Where shadows naturally form on your face is where it should be contoured. This includes the temples, the hollows of your cheeks, around your nose, and your jaw. Darker colors bring in the face, giving it more depth or even a chiseled, defined look. This effect slims features similar to the way dark clothing slims our bodies. Contour colors should be 3-4 shades darker than your skin tone.
As noted, an oval shaped face consists of soft curves, where the face gets increasingly narrower as it reaches the chin. It is considered the average shape due to its softness and versatility. It can easily be strengthened or further toned down into a circular shape. 8
A round shaped face is often regarded as the most youthful. The cheeks are likely the widest points on the face. While the face may seem shortened, there are ways of elongating it to achieve a more mature look. As the pictures suggest, contouring the cheeks will strengthen them, making the chin and jaw to appear thinner. Highlighting the forehead and top half of the face will make the area appear brighter and
larger, creating the illusion of more definition.
A heart shaped face is one where the forehead is the widest point of the face, while the chin is notably the thinnest. Here, highlighting and contouring only needs to focus on the upper region of the face, since the bottom is already emphasized.
Both of these methods rely entirely on your face shape, unique features, and personal preferences. Want something to appear slimmer and more defined? Contour it! Want something to stand out? Highlight it! Different face shapes yield a variety of unique features. As you will notice, application will vary depending on what features you decide to emphasize. An oval shaped face has been arguably deemed as the most versatile shape due to its medley of soft features. However, using these highlighting and contouring tips, you will be able to both soften and strengthen features to achieve the same effect. Furthermore, you can use your natural face shape to emphasize features that other face shapes don’t allow for.
What’s also noteworthy is the technique. After applying the contour shade where you want to add depth, grab a small, dense round brush. Using little circular motions will help seamlessly blend the contour shade into the skin. Proceed with the highlight shade in areas that you want to brighten. Use a small fluffy brush to blend outwards, meshing the highlight shade into the contour shade for a smooth transition. With your ring finger, dab around the eye area to ensure even coverage. Using cream-based products will help achieve a seamless finish, and foundation sticks in various shades ease the process.
A rectangular shaped face has the same features of an ovular face, with the exception of a more pronounced jaw line. This face shape also has a softer chin, similar to that of the round face shap size the depth of the cheekbones, as well as elongate the chin. Highlighting the forehead, nose, and chin will also help complete the look.
As a disclaimer, this tutorial isn’t meant to generalize the perception of beauty or perpetuate it in any way. I don’t personally advise the use or disuse of makeup. Wear what makes you happy!
T H E M E D R A C E S by Kelsey Field
The recent hysteria over themed races has generated an entirely new spin on exercising. Instead of endlessly running on a treadmill that leads you nowhere or on the same old trails you visit every day, themed races add adventure and color (sometimes quite literally) to our lives. Zombie Runs, Mud Runs, Rave Runs, Hot Chocolate Runs, Krispy Kreme Challenges, and even holiday inspired races like the Jingle Bell Run/ Walk, Turkey Trot, and Cupid’s Undie Run stimulate the exercise experience by incorporating fun in a completely unique way. Yet sometimes the puffs of colored powder, charging zombies, mud pits, and donuts can deter runners from the path of deeper understanding. An undeniably strong business market and even controversy lies behind these themed races. According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS), there are currently over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the United States. In order to raise money, many of these organizations host or sponsor themed races. For example, the Tough Mudder has raised over $6 million to date in support of the Wounded Warrior Project. Beginning in 2010, the Tough Mudder accumulated 20,000 participants but jumped to over 460,000 participants in 2012. While the Tough Mudder works specifically with one
charity, the Color Run has a much more different business model. The Color Run is an LLC (Limited Liability Company) that claims to be the “Happiest 5k on the Planet,” but has created a lot of controversy throughout the nation. The Color Run’s official website itself states, “In 2012, [we] raised more than $600,000 for local and national charities. In 2013, we plan to donate at least $1 million!” Raising money for a charity and donating money to a charity are not exactly one in the same. Donating insinuates that the donor holds the power to choose how much to give and that is exactly what The Color Run does. The official website also claims that the race is “now the single larg est event series in the nation” and “is exploding since our debut event inJanuary 2012 and will grow from over 50 events and 600,000 participants in 2012, to over 100 events and over a million participants in 2013.” That creates a large donation gap. If the race is projected to accumulate over one million participants paying about $35-$40 (rates differ based on individual or group runners) and the race only expects to donate at least $1 million to charities, which leaves The Color Run with about a $36,000,000 profit. Yet The Color Run, LLC does in fact give three options to help raisefunds for their charity partners. One option is “Post Race Dona tions” where The Color
Run, LLC donates a certain amount of money to the charities before the race begins registration. Another option is “Embedded Giving,” where participants can add donations directly to the charity when registering. And finally there is “Charity Registrations” where The Color Run, LLC gives the charity a limited number of registrants that are sold through their own websites. The only question is whether the charitable partners have only one option to choose from. Regardless of the amount that The Color Run, LLC gives to charity after each race, this business is still commendable due to its dedication to donating to charity. The official website stresses that the race is “less about your 10-minute-mile and more about having the time of your life.” Therefore these themed races are for everyone. They’re fun and they just so happen to raise money for charities, even if what is eventually donated is not the entirety of the money that is raised. This may be why so many UVA CIO’s, fraternities, and sororities have already utilized themed races to raise money for various charities. UVA’s Dance Marathon hosted a 5k Color Run benefiting the Children’s Miracle Network at the UVA Children’s Hospital this past September. The Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA) co-sponsored with Student Council to host a Lakas 5k: Mad Glow Edition in October that benefited Relay for Life and the He Cares Foundation which helps combat poverty stricken children in the Philippines. To take a closer look at how themed races are being utilized and held on UVA grounds, I interviewed OYFA cocommunity chairs Rachel Zaragoza and Kimberly Hall, as well as sports chair Richard Lay for their insight and personal involvement with execution of themed races. Rachel Zaragoza, co-community chair for OYFA explains, “Our goal for this year was to spread more awareness about our specific charity, He Cares. Most people know about Relay for Life, but this was intended to be a larger scale event to share what He Cares
is about. This year we wanted to focus on the He Cares Foundation’s backto-school program that buys kids supplies, books, etc. for underprivileged children in the Philippines.” “Hosting this race with Student Council was a great idea! We originally set out to recruit around 50 runners, since that was how many runners signed up last year. But as more people started registering we moved it up to 75, then 100, to the point where we finally got over 200 runners to participate,” says Kimberly Hall, also co-community chair for OYFA. Unlike The Color Run, LLC, Hall explains, “We had to cover our expenses to host the race with the profit, but none of it went to OYFA as a group.” “Our expenses included hiring a DJ, purchasing glow materials, black light rental, and the Nameless Field rental,” adds Richard Lay, sports chair for OYFA “We planned this race since the summer. We put a lot of work into this
and it turned out perfectly.” Here is some valuable advice for hosting themed races on grounds, given by the three experienced executive board members of OYFA: “I definitely recommend hosting a race for other CIO’s to raise money for charity! My only advice is to focus on planning the timing. Right now, everyone is holding a race. It feels like almost every weekend there is a 5k around grounds,” informs Zaragoza. “Also, don’t be afraid to co-sponsor and work with other groups around grounds,” Hall adds. “The key is to be innovative! In order to recruit runners, you have to make yours different,” advises Lay. For more information on hosting a themed race, don’t hesitate to contact other CIO’s that have organized one or contact Student Council for the option of co-sponsorship.
F R O M T H E R U N WAY
TO T H E R AC K F I N D I N G N E W YO R K FA S H I O N W E E K T R E N D S A LITTLE CLOSER TO HOME AND TO BUDGET
Miranda Priestly reminds us in The Devil Wears Prada that no one is exempt from
the decisions of the fashion industry. Even if we dig out a horribly lumpy cerulean sweater from some hole-in-the-wall bargain basement, our choice in style still reflects the visions of the mighty designer gods at the top of the fashion hierarchy. Being a college student, it’s difficult to find the balance between designer runways and clearance bin. Some weeks it’s a matter of finding the time to escape the confines of Alderman to shop (#Englishmajorproblems), and other weeks it’s a matter of priorities (grocery fund ≠ shoe fund… I learned that one the hard way). Luckily for you, I’ve hunted down designer-inspired trends from the spring runway in Charlottesville boutiques so that you don’t have to. Just think of me as your own personal Stacy London. If I have my way, no one will ever accuse you of wearing your grandmother’s skirt, a la Andrea Sachs premakeover. I haven’t even told you the best part yet: each of the featured merchandise items is under $60.
MILITARISTIC IN METALLICS
For me, the key to pulling off a militaristic look is a great, structured jacket. I dug this one out of Plato’s Closet for $10 (no, you didn’t read that wrong). The button details and asymmetrical collar give this piece some extra flair to its function. Who says you can’t wear white after Labor Day?
Runway: Proenza Schouler Rack: Plato’s Closet (Forever 21), $10
by Dorothy Akers-Pecht
I never know what I’ll come out with when I go into Target, but today it was this scoop neck slate grey maxi dress with studded details. I feel like Joan of Arc in it…in the best possible way. Runway: Proenza Schouler Rack: Target, $29.99
PATTERNS ON PATTERNS: THE NEW MAXIMALISM
Patterns – and lots of them – are taking over this season’s trends. The key to pairing patterns is ensuring they aren’t too overwhelming together; we can’t have you looking like Ugly Betty, no matter how endearing she is. The sale section in Banana Republic is a great place to look for unique prints for under $60.
Runway: Reem Acra Rack: Sweater - Banana Republic, $40. Pants - Talbots, $53.70
The runway also showcased global inspired prints in earthy tones. These (super comfy) green harem pants were a steal at $11.48 from (where else?) Target, and this Duo dress is a wearable take on Anna Sui’s nymph goddess runway. Runway: Proenza Schouler Rack: Target, $11.48
Emerging Notable Designers
from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2014 by Sharon Wolbarsht
Mercedez-Benz Fashion Week makes most people think of the classics: Chanel, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent … the list goes on. There was the expected and popular commentary on how BCBG Max Azria’s display of boxy-mod dresses, pants and blazers were nothing like Ana Sui’s hippie-esque collection of earth-tone shifts. And, Betsey Johnson’s outrageously punk line was nothing like Ralph Lauren’s “Clueless” throw back looks of Aline skirts and knee high blacks socks. What isn’t often realized is that fashion week is a platform for emerging designers to take off into the competitive world of design. Among notable up-and-coming designers is the contemporary chic Clover Canyon’s Rozae Nichols and the extravagant bridal couturier, Monique Lhuillier. Nichols, designer of the brand Clover Canyon, has created a brand that was praised to be “a celebration of beauty.” Clover Canyon is deeply rooted in Los Angeles, inspired by the landscape and architecture in Southern California. The garments are reminiscent of scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: bold, geometric patterns warp the simple lines of the clothing—an interesting twist on classic garments. Each jaw-dropping look was complimented by a pair of classic pointed-toe stilettos. Need I say fabulous? I was first introduced to Nichols’s pieces while interning at a high-end women’s contemporary boutique named Rowe. Unpacking new shipment from Clover Canyon was always exciting. Steaming was a pleasure, tagging was a treat and styling the mannequins was a dream. The spring 2014 collection moves away from their typically more fitted looks to something looser and somehow more feminine. Some dresses are even made with sheer material, creating an ethereal, yet still edgy look. The brand is definitely one to watch and also easily shoppable at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave., Lane Crawford and online sites like Shop Bop and Net-a-Porter.
Another eye-catcher for me was Monique Lhuillier. As her Ready-to-Wear models began parading down the catwalk, I wasn’t sure how I felt. The first few cotton-candy colored top and pant sets came and went and I was underwhelmed. Then, out came the collars. And boy, am I a sucker for collars. My initial skepticism faded as the lace inset dresses and classic ball-gown skirts paired with the oh-so trendy crop tops came parading down the runway. When a fantastically embellished cream romper emerged, I was sold. Lhuillier began her fashion career designing bridal gowns and ever since expanding her clothing lines, has established herself as America’s leading bridal and ready-towear designer for women. Her focus on fashionable bridal gowns began after setting out on a mission to find her own dress eighteen years ago. After setting her sites on changing the world of bridal wear, Lhuillier and her husband joined forces, establishing the luxurious couture design house. Without a doubt, Lhuillier’s company will continue to inspire a glamorous lifestyle, especially after the display of spring 2014 looks.
Examining the Orient in “Aura” by Shane Dutta Ever since she released her single “Born this Way” in early 2011, Lady Gaga has been known for her attempts to fuse catchy pop music with deeper, controversial political messages, attempts which were often met with mixed public response. Although the single “Born this Way” was a commercial hit that supported a successful album, Gaga’s visual representations of the single—its music video and performance at the Grammy’s – were often regarded by critics and listeners as overly abstract and incoherent. The song’s lyrics and political message of self-acceptance, however, were crystal clear. In contrast, Gaga’s first promotional single “Aura” fails to create a coherent message of Muslim female empowerment that it seeks to deliver. The single’s message is blurred by an ironic attempt to liberate Muslim female stereotypes by replacing them with Western norms. However, the retelling of an Eastern narrative in “Aura” is intriguing in its possibilities for future pop music syncretism and representation; the song is a problematic though certainly valiant attempt to push Western pop music in a new direction. Gaga sets up her political mission in the very first line of the first verse as she screeches, “I’m not a wandering slave; I am a woman of choice.” Gaga’s argument is quite clear as she emulates a female follower of Islam: even if you are a Muslim woman who wears a traditional burqa, you can live life on your own (sexual) terms. This is a strong assertion that works against oversimplifying Muslim female stereotypes. What follows this assertion, however, is a quick Western simplification. As Gaga sings to her lover and asks him if he wants to see her naked, she implores him to “peek underneath
the cover” to “see the girl who lives behind the aura.” Gaga’s lyrics fall prey to exoticizing the Orient female. She portrays the burqa as an object used to conceal a highly eroticized and perhaps mysterious body existing in a region that Westerners can’t quite understand. The burqa, then, is fetishized throughout. It signifies an obsession with the sexual potential of the woman who wears the burqa, rather than the traditional religious context of this piece of clothing. However, Gaga seems to recognize this possible interpretation. She responds in one lyric-heavy swoop: “Enigma popstar is fun, she wear burqa for fashion / It’s not a statement as much as just a move of passion.” Although this move in no way erases the exocitized imagery overarching the entire piece, it acknowledges the medium of the message. In the end, “Aura”, a song that has had critics up in arms, is just catchy pop music. It’s the same stuff that gets played on the radio and mass-marketed to the general public. This is where Gaga’s genius lies: “Aura” gives a voice to a culture traditionally silenced in the Western top-40 pop pantheon. In “Aura,” this voice is inaccurately portrayed and wrongfully re-contexualized for a Western palate, but the attempt is there. Like an early anthropologist, Gaga gets the politics of representation wrong, but her song represents a step in a new musical direction towards greater inclusion and possibility for musical syncretism.
LORDE P URE HERO INE ALBUM REVIEW
PENSIVE. YOUNG. POISED. Sometimes it takes a sixteen-year-old like Lorde to wake us all up. In her chart-topping single “Royals” (March 2013), the gifted schoolgirl from New Zealand reminds young adults that we don’t have the luxuries that are so often chanted out in song lyrics, and yet still reassures us that that’s okay, and perhaps even for the better. With her hit single setting the stage, Lorde puts forth her debut album “Pure Heroine,” which not only showcases her velvety vocals but also demonstrates her incredible writing abilities. The imagery in the album varies between dark and troubled (“Ribs”, “A World Alone”) to youthful and fearless (“400 Lux”, “Still Sane”). Her songs emanate a natural confidence, which is cleverly juxtaposed by a sense vulnerability. For example in “Ribs,” she exposes her fears about growing up through an up-tempo electro pop instrumental: “This dream isn’t feeling sweet/We’re reeling through the midnight streets/And I’ve never felt more alone/It feels so scary getting old.” Lorde uses an effortless minimalistic approach to her music, focusing on harmony and simple yet stylish beats. This is particularly evident in the titles “Team” and “Tennis Court” that merge hip-hop drum sequences and gritty voice distortions with alternative synth-sounds in quite an agreeable way. The album is a stunning demonstration of her knowledge of musicality and the songs are unique but work together cohesively. It is capable of appealing to a large and diverse audience and raking in some Grammy nominations while it’s at it. Lorde has been ceaselessly compared to Florence Welch and Lana Del Rey, but this album proves that Lorde is a force to be reckoned with, and may very well deserve the title of “Queen Bee” she crowns herself with. There is a unique sense of power emanating from every track, even through her darkest songs, that truly allows Lorde to rule over other seemingly similar artists of the same genre.
J US TIN TIMBERL AK E TH E 20/20 EXPER IEN CE ALBUM REVIEW
GLOSSY. MATURE. FAMILIAR. To contrast with this fresh face, comes the seasoned entertainer Justin Timberlake who was once in Lorde’s shoes as a promising beginner, and has since grown and thrived in the business. In all honesty, any year that Justin Timberlake releases an album is his year. In 2013 we were blessed with two of those albums—and rightly so, considering the long break he took from music to focus on acting. While “The 20/20 Experience Pt. 1” was filled with both energetic and mellow summertime tunes as well as the heartfelt ballad “Mirrors,” he delivers its sequel, “The 20/20 Experience Pt. 2,” which is just as smooth and a tad bit sexier. The Timbaland-produced album is in true JT fashion, complete with the necessary ten-minute tracks and dulcet vocals. The feel-good radio hit, “Take Back the Night” is homage from the Prince of Pop paid to the King himself, Michael Jackson. Justin also includes another Jay-Z feature in “Murder” and a verse from Drake in “Cabaret,” both of which are fun and sultry. The album also includes some bluesy songs where he shows off more of his vocal ability, like the soulful and despairing “Drink You Away,” where he implores, “Tell me, baby/Don’t they make a medicine for heartbreak?” The themes of the record range from lost love (“Amnesia”, “TKO”) and allure (“Gimme What I Don’t Know”) to the warm devotion expressed in “Not a Bad Thing.” Of course, it wouldn’t be a Justin Timberlake album without a badass post-breakup anthem that he does all too well. This instalment’s version of this JT tradition is “Only When I Walk Away,” a standout track oozing with anger and attitude, his vocal cadence illustrating the turmoil of an emotional rollercoaster, laced with a brilliant electric guitar. All in all, Mr. Timberlake ushers us into the colder seasons with a solid album that is artistically vibrant and current, while proving that he’s still the same incredible JT as he always was. Like we needed any convincing.
by Paula-Anne Omiyi 17
a burst of color
OR A N G E I S T H E NEW B L AC K by Niki Afsar
What makes Orange is the New Black work, and why is its success important? This summer, it wasn’t easy to go online and not find some mention of Netflix’s latest original hit series, Orange is the New Black. The show has been largely popular with viewers and critics alike, and for good reason. The show stands out in today’s mainstream media as a nuanced, inclusive show, well written and political, but also comical and entertaining. Available for instant streaming online, the show is based on the 2010 memoirs of the same name by Piper Kerman, when a privileged, welloff bride-to-be who finds herself in a women’s federal prison after her drug dealing, post-college, sexuallyexperimental past catches up to her. While this high-stakes setting already sets the show up for great drama and wonderfully sharp comedy, head writer Jenji Kohan of Weeds also uses it in order to tackle issues of race, sexuality, gender, and class head on, with results equally hilarious and heartbreaking. This isn’t the first comedy starring a woman, written by a woman, featuring women of color, LGBTQ women, religious women, and elderly women. What makes OTNB stand out from other note-worthy, female centric comedic television shows today? First of all, most obviously perhaps, is the sheer amount of diversity that the show offers. In a media culture that doesn’t seem to know how to include diverse yet fully formed female characters, OTNB succeeds across the board with its exploration of racial, sexual, gendered, and religious issues both inside and outside the prison walls. While the main character, Piper, is a privileged white woman, the show also
features a diverse cast primarily made up of women and men of color. After a summer full of blockbusters featuring almost exclusively white male protagonists, this diversity alone comes as a breath of fresh air. Most mainstream television often fails to give us wellwritten, nuanced female leads, but OTNB provides a multi-dimensional female protagonist in addition to spotlighting a strong supporting cast who prove to be just as flawed and equally, if not more, intriguing as Piper. These women do not remain stuck in tropes or as comic relief, but each comes with a unique and worthy storyline. Perhaps even more importantly, in featuring diverse characters, the show does not ignore difference but tackles stereotypes and clichés, something that the prison setting facilitates. In confronting the stark racial, sexual, gendered, political lines that occur in the prison, OTNB presents stereotypes that we are familiar with, giving us their truths as well as their inaccu-
racies. Problems arise not necessarily when characters fulfill their pronounced identities, but when others try to confine them there, so that there are many other self-made prisons both inside and outside of the actual prison. Another aspect of the show that makes it work so well is the plurality of viewpoints and stories that we see. We don’t see just visual diversity, but diversity in history and background as well. The show acknowledges that each character has a past, a story, and that each woman breaks from the confines of their stereotypes in unique and very human ways. One of the show’s best lines comes from Piper’s brother during a pep talk to her fiancé outside of the prison: “… One of the issues here is your need to say a person is exactly anything.” This bit of Zen is key to the show’s successful portrayal of human characters. Through well-integrated and often poignant flashbacks, we are often taken out of the prison to see not
just Piper’s past, but also other inmates’ backstories. An inmate with an attitude problem is not just another angry black woman, but a high school track star who desperately wants to fit in; a transgender woman is not just good at doing hair but has a son from whom she craves acceptance; the Russian cook is not just power hungry but has felt ostracized by her own community. For almost all of these women, we see that what drives them is the very human desire for acceptance, self-worth, and to find their place in the world—even if that place is inside a federal prison. Each of these specific, individual stories then, speaks to the human experience, further valorizing each character. Writer Jenji Kohan has herself called Piper “a gateway drug” into exploring other characters. While Piper is the protagonist and the most privileged member of the prison, her experiences give us windows into the lives of women whom society has largely rejected or ignored, both in the world of the show and in our mainstream me-
dia. They play into Piper’s story, but she also plays into theirs. While a lot of television and film presents minority characters as props in the main, primarily white, character’s development, in OTNB we see multiple character arcs and moments of growth, pain, weakness, and joy. Everyone, including Piper, makes mistakes, hurts, gets hurt, triumphs one day, and suffers the next. We see them as flawed human beings who meet our expectations and then fail them, and that allows us to see their humanity beyond the labels they embrace or project. No character is “exactly anything.” Finally, what makes the show so strong is that it situates comedy in the most difficult places—not just within a women’s federal prison, but in complex racial relations, questions of sexuality, issues of prison reformation, poverty, power inequalities between men and women. Comedy has the power to reveal truths that we might otherwise ignore—we laugh because we recognize something, often in new, unexpected
ways. In OTNB, we laugh when we recognize stereotypes, when characters willingly embrace them. But we also laugh when they fail to meet those stereotypes, when the Prison librarian expresses equal knowledge of Harry Potter and Ulysses, or when an inmate demands she be allowed to perform Shakespeare. We laugh when we see the good and the ugly side of humanity in these characters, the humanity that connects the viewers to them all the more, and which makes us more upset when they fail or when society fails them. Sometimes it is not enough for a show to make us laugh or for a show to have a lot of diversity; what makes a show great is when it can simultaneously show us the humanity behind each character, and the value in acknowledging and exploring everyone’s story.
diggin’ DOTY by Tobe Okocha
So your favorite teen idol has reached the “end.” Either their show has been cancelled, they have entered rehab to grapple with their demons, or their face is plastered on the front-page cover of People’s Magazine announcing they will be engaging in the dire duty of repopulating the world at the tender age of sixteen. For the roughly 5% who stick around, they go on to being tomorrow’s iconic Hollywood stars, or shaking their rump on Dancing with the Stars as a futile attempt to resurrect their forgotten careers. Rarely do we hear of teen celebrities taking a step out of the limelight to enter college, and squeeze in a few years of “normalcy.” Two years ago, Danielle Doty won the coveted title of Miss Teen USA. For an entire year, her boss was Donald Trump, she attended various red carpets, was invited to sit front row at Fashion Week, volunteered with Project Sunshine, just to name a few of the wide range of activities and events that girls can only dream about being a part of. On July 28, 2012 that all came to an end as Danielle crowned the new year’s titleholder. The question you probably have is, “Well, whatever happened to Danielle Doty?” The answer: she enrolled in Texas Christian University. This past October, I reached out to Danielle, and had the opportunity to talk about what she has been up to these last two years as a typical American college student, figuring out life, taking the necessary steps to making the life changing decisions towards a bright future. Specifically, we discussed what the transition has been like from “Danielle Doty, Miss Teen USA” to “Danielle Doty, college junior at TCU.” I have always been a fan of her fashion taste since her Miss Teen USA days, so of course we talked about what she has been rocking lately and her take on today’s fashion trends. She even gave me the inside scoop on her awesome partnership with Alyce Paris, the leading dress manufacturer in the prom dress industry! I feel fortunate to have been able to Skype one on one with a girl I have admired from afar for quite a time. I find it remarkable that following our hour-long talk, I have gained even more respect for Danielle. She is genuinely sweet, intelligent, inspiring, and simply put, “one of a kind.” Check out what she had to say!
Name: Danielle Doty Hometown: Harlingen, Texas Sport: Pageantry! Titles held: Miss Texas Teen USA 2011, Miss Teen USA 2011 College: Texas Christian University (TCU)—Go Frogs! Major/Minor: Sports Broadcast/ Communications 20
Why TCU? DD: Before winning Miss Teen USA, I had already been accepted to Baylor, made the cheerleading squad, bought my books, had a roommate—everything. I initially planned on majoring in fashion merchandising (we’ll get back to that later). Then I ended up winning Miss Teen USA in July, and my whole life changed. I had to withdraw from Baylor, and was flown to New York to begin the adventure of a lifetime. As Miss Teen USA, I had the opportunity of working with a lot of athletes, and quickly discovered that my true passion was sports and being on T.V. What I believe sets me apart is that although a good number of girls can feel comfortable being in front of a camera, not every girl can talk about sports! After my reign as Miss Teen USA ended, I visited TCU and fell in love with the school. What I love most about TCU is the size of my classes. I had to apply to my major’s program and get accepted, so my classes are pretty small. I love being a “teacher’s pet.” I prefer that my professors know my name versus being a face in the crowd of a huge lecture. TCU is such a perfect fit! What are your thoughts on today’s harsh and misleading pageant stereotypes? DD: It is actually unfortunate. I feel as if reality shows such as “Toddlers and Tiaras” falsely portray pageant life and place pageants in a bad light. Do not get me wrong, some girls are solely focused on winning, but just like most things in life you have a mixture of everything—certainly more good than bad. Personally, from the age of seven I did it for the confidence and people skills. I am not a manufactured Barbie doll. Right now, I have on no make-up and I am skyping with you. I am the same Danielle Doty from Harlingen Texas 24/7. How was the transition from Miss Teen USA, national recognition, public volunteering, red carpets etc. to being a college student at TCU? DD: It was hard! Before TCU, I forgot how long 24 hours actually was. As Miss Teen USA, I always had something to do. I was either in school (New York Film Academy), working at the office, volunteering, or on a red carpet. My biggest adjustment has been time management. It took me a while to get used to having so much free time, and figuring out what to do with it. Have you experienced any “fan girl” moments on campus? What have been a few of your favorite, “Hey you’re Danielle Doty!” interactions? DD: Yes, I do from time to time. Typically it goes like this, “Oh you’re Danielle Doty!” It’s never just “Danielle,” my last name is always attached. Also people never straight up ask me if I was Miss Teen USA. They always go around to asking. For example, “What were you up to before TCU?” I answer, “Working.” The next question is, “Where?” I reply, “New York.” “For who?” “Donald Trump.” It takes them forever to get to Miss Teen USA. When this happens when I am with a group of friends, they try so hard not to laugh, which makes it even more awkward. My biggest pet peeve is getting the vibe that people want to be my friend just because of my pageant past, and not really for who I am. Going off of that, how was your rush experience (Danielle’s in Tri Delta)? In your case, that must have been really interesting with girls clearly showing their eagerness to befriend you and have you pledge their sorority because of your celebrity status. DD: Rushing a sorority was a totally new experience for me. My mom was not in a sorority, I did not know too much about Greek life, and honestly, entering TCU I could not care less about being in a sorority. I rushed to have the experience. Yes, going through the whole process was interesting. A lot of people were pursuing me because I was “Danielle Doty,” which made it hard because I felt as if they were not seeing my true self. I ended up pledging Tri-Delta, but funny enough I still consider my sisters to be my pageant sisterhood. I love Tri-Delt life, but I know I have made true lifelong friends and sisters in my pageant sisters. Reflecting on your experiences competing in pageants, especially during your year as the reigning Miss Teen USA, how would you
say that you have grown from a personal standpoint, and from a fashion standpoint? DD: I have learned more about myself. I can clearly recognize what is important to me in life, and uphold my personal values and beliefs no matter the situation I find myself in. This also relates to just sticking to my true identity regardless of media influence. You have to own yourself and your identity. Most importantly, pageants have taught me to be confident in who I am. On a daily basis, you will encounter people who either judge you or do not appreciate you. However, if you are happy with who you are, and living life to the fullest, why should that matter? You’re winning! Today, I live life with no regrets. If I can try it and do it, I go for it. I am a firm believer in facing all of my fears. DD: Looking back, I laugh at my 18-year-old self for thinking she could take on fashion merchandising. I really did not know
anything about fashion. As Miss Teen USA, I loved having a stylist and watching her come up with options. It taught me to play around and have fun! For example, if I see a shirt and I think it looks cooler worn backwards, I wear it backwards! Why not? Today I am a huge bargain and sale shopper, and a color lover. I am all about creating different looks. When coming up with an outfit, I ask myself, “What look can I create?” I consider myself to be multidimensional. I can rock a pair of Vans, heels or boots. Right now my favorite look has been pairing up a dress with a fitted blazer and high top wedge sneakers! What are a few of your favorite looks and labels? DD: I am a fall girl! I am all about being comfortable, so oversized sweaters, leggings and boots are a classic “Danielle Doty look.” When the weather’s nice out, you can catch me in a graphic tee, cut-off shorts and a pair of Vans. I used to be afraid of cowboy boots because as a Texas girl I considered it to be “so Texas,” but today boots and a dress is my go-to look for going out. I also love browsing for different looks and the latest trends on Pinterest! How would you describe your personal style? DD: I am big on boots and jewelry—especially gold jewelry. I wear my gold cross necklace all day, every day. I also love my ring collection. I would love to hear more about your partnership with Alyce Paris. Can you tell me more about that? DD: Long story short, I borrowed an Alyce Paris dress from Muzzie’s, which is a couture shop in Houston for an event when I was Miss Teen USA. I tweeted about the dress later that night, and apparently because of my tweet, the traffic to Alyce Paris’ skyrocketed. I have kept a great relationship with the company ever since, and over the summer I was asked to be the face of the company on social media. Of course I said yes! Every two months or so, I get flown out to their headquarters in Chicago to shoot a series of videos and photographs. I am so thankful for my relationship with Alyce Paris and feel fortunate to work for such an amazing company. Moral of the story: social media is powerful! Any final shout-outs? DD: “TCU Frogs! Let’s Go!”
by Tobe Okocha
want to work in the fashion industry. Honestly, I am not completely sure where I want to start out after college. I just want to work in the fashion industry. If I could, I would love to do everything. I want to be the designer, the CEO, the stylist, the editorialist, the cinematographer and the idea machine. Whenever I try to key my mother in on my aspirations, she simply laughs at me. “You’re just going through a phase.” “Be realistic.” “Keep dreaming.” Hopefully the following words from recent UVA alumni who have found success in their respective positions in the fashion industry will help my case out a bit. Either way, I am sorry Mom but I am still 110% percent committed to pursuing my dreams. Over the course of this semester, I interviewed three alumni who have dedicated their lives to different aspects of the fashion world. Colin Hunter (Arts and Sciences ’00) is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of the highly acclaimed suit company Alton Lane.
NAME: Beckett Fogg YEARS AT UVA: 2006-2010 fashion MAJOR/MINOR: Architecture/Studio p r o f e s s i o n a l Art p r o f i l e CURRENT JOB POSITION: Assistant Designer for the Calvin Klein Collection. Currently working on a new fashion labelwith partner Piotrek Pansczyczk, which will be launching later this winter. YEARS AT CURRENT JOB: Calvin Klein: 2012-2013, area.: Fall 2013-present HIGHLIGHT OF CAREER: Showing her pieces at MILK Studios during Fashion Week, seeing the results of months of labor walk down the runway, and dancing on stage this past Fashion Week with Pharrell Williams.
Following graduation, Beckett Fogg (Architecture ’10) was accepted into Donna Karan’s prestigious M.F.A program in fashion design at Parsons, in which only 18 students were selected (she was the only American), and has since worked as a designer for Calvin Klein. This October she left Calvin Klein to start her own fashion line called “area.” Finally, Dega Tufts (Commerce ’08) currently works as the Chief Operating Officer of TopShelf Clothes, which is combining fashion and technology to produce a wholesome shopping experience for the future. It was an honor to have the opportunity to talk with and befriend Colin, Beckett and Dega. I hope that their words are not only inspiring, but also provide my readers with golden nuggets of professional insight regarding their career paths. Colin, Beckett and Dega once walked through New Cabell, studied at Alderman Library and took game day pictures on the lawn. They were once undergraduate students like we are, figuring out what the next step in life should be. Today, they have gone onto outfit former President George W. Bush, dance on stage with Pharrell Williams, and be featured in Women’s Wear Daily (WWD). Their stories are a testament to the fact that as students of the University of Virginia, we are all in the fortunate position to be able to pursue our dreams. So what are you waiting for? Go for it!
From what I have been told, you have always had an itch for fashion. Did you take any fashion related classes, or were you involved in any fashion-based organizations during your years at UVA? How did your experiences play an active role in getting you to where you are today?
You scored the dream internship working for Badgley Mischka during the summer following your third year. How did you end up there?
BF: I interned for Badgley Mischka in their PR department. Mark Badgley and James Mischka have a farm in Lexington, Kentucky, which is about a mile down the road from where my family lives. Our parents have mutual friends, which is how I ended up applying. I knew I wanted to live in New York after this internship, but was not dead set on working in fashion. Can you briefly describe the process of applying to Donna Karan’s prestigious M.F.A. program in fashion design at Parsons?
BF: The process was very portfolio driven, so I spent a lot of time putting that together during my fourth year. I chose not to present anything fashion related in my portfolio, because it would have been forced. After the initial application, there was an interview and essay portion.
How stressed and confident were you of being accepted into the program?
BF: I like to think that everything works out as it should. Sometimes I wish I could stress out a bit more…my grades might have been a bit better in college (but F.Y.I. not one person has asked for my GPA or grades since graduat-
Life at Parsons What were your days like?
literal research at a library or archive, sketching out ideas, or it could involve developing a textile through finishing details. It really depends on the time of year and where we are each season.
BF: My days (and nights) were long, but extremely rewarding. I was constantly challenged and pushed outside of my boundaries by my professors and classmates.
Beckett’s Future’s Forecast: 100% Sunshine, 0% “Fogg”
America’s top fashion design school?
Taking a moment to reflect, how has UVA prepared you for such a promising future, and for the great things you have accomplished so
Considering your architecture background, do you believe that it played to your advantage as a design student? Was there an air of competition as a student in arguably
BF: I think coming from an architectural background was both an advantage and a disadvantage. I did not have the technical skills that many of my classmates had, but because I did not know the “right” way to do something, I figured it out in my own way, which sometimes resulted in a new and more exciting approach. There was not an air of competition really, because everyone came from such drastically different backgrounds and focused on very different aspects of design. I learned as much from my classmates as I did from my professors. Did the pressure ever get to be too much at any point?
BF: It was definitely a high stress environment but whenever I felt the pressure I would stop and put everything into perspective. Fashion is such a high stress environment, and I think there is a real lack of perspective. Sometimes I just want to tell people to calm down when they are freaking out about how the world is going to end...over a shirt. I just want to be like, “Calm down, that sleeve is not going to save anyone’s life, because it is in fact just a sleeve.”
Her Time at Calvin Klein
How did you land your first job as a fashion designer for Calvin Klein after graduating from Parsons?
BF: Again, it is always about timing. I spent a lot of time developing my portfolio so that the second something opened up I would be ready. How has life been working for Calvin Klein?
What do you hope the future holds for Beckett Fogg? What is next?
BF: I have recently started a line with my classmate, Piotrek Panszczyk. We are now designing for our first collection, which we will be debuting this upcoming February.
far in such little time?
BF: UVa is such a well-rounded environment, and it has definitely shaped me into the person that I have become. I came into college without a real direction, but I never felt pressure to take a specific path. The community and professors are so encouraging, and I think students graduate with ambition and confidence. Sometimes I run into U.Va graduates who are much older than I am at parties or events, and we always get caught up discussing “the good old days.” There is a definite vibe that stays with you. It doesn’t matter what you studied or who your friends were, the connection is just there. For aspiring fashion designers reading this piece, can you provide them with a few
golden nuggets of advice for their journey?
BF: Just focus on what is most important to you and really GO for it. Growing up, my dad would always tell me that if I was not going to do something right, then I should not do it at all. I especially appreciate this very straightforward and honest piece of advice. Also, never underestimate the power of connections, and use them wisely. Even if you believe that you do not have any, reach out to anyone and everyone and make some connections, because there is not one person in the industry who made it where they are today without them. Can you hook me up with a job when I gradu-
BF: Inspiring, and very, very busy.
ate this spring? Pretty please?
What are your days typically like?
BF: I am on it (laughs).
BF: There is not really a typical day, which I love. I would say most of my time is spent in development and research. Sometimes this involves
getting to know Beckett
BF: I was not one of those kids saying they wanted to be a fashion designer when they grew up. I loved art, which grew into a love of design. I actually was pretty far removed from the fashion scene before starting at Parsons. I studied Architecture undergrad, so my daily conversations revolved around a different design world. However, I do believe that my studies in college provided me with a much better foundation compared to what other students receive from most fashion undergraduate programs. My Architecture courses and professors taught me how to think critically about my surroundings, which I find more relevant than anything I could have learned in a fashion course. I did take a couple of courses in the Drama department that were somewhat “fashion” related; “History of Dress,” and also a costume design course.
ing). Other people end up stressing over my lack of stress which I feel bad about sometimes.
from a customer’s viewpoint [laughs]. I also was not trying to be a designer. Rather, I was starting a platform that would allow customers to be his/her own designer.
NAME: Colin Hunter YEARS AT UVA: fashion 2000-2004 professional MAJOR/MINOR: profile Pre-Med/Religious Studies CURRENT JOB POSITION: CEO Alton Lane YEARS AT CURRENT JOB: January 2009-present HIGHLIGHT OF CAREER: Opening his second show room, having an article on the front page of the Boston Globe, outfitting former President of the United States, George W. Bush, regularly working with professional athletes such as Yankees, Patriots, and Red Sox players
getting to know Colin
Did you graduate from UVA with any interest or aspirations at all towards the fashion industry?
CH: I never thought I would enter the fashion industry. However, I was certainly interested in changing an industry. Turns out you can change a lot in the fashion industry. I sought to disrupt an industry where I felt that there was room for disruption (by disruption I’m referring to innovation).
The Ascent Can you briefly summarize your journey after UVA to your position of CEO at Alton Lane?
CH: After graduation, I worked as a strategy consultant for Bain and Company. My tenure there lasted for five years in which I spent most of my time in our Atlanta office, but I also spent a year working for them in South Africa before making the permanent move to New York. In 2009, I left Bain and Company to fully focus on Alton Lane. The first quarter of 2009 was spent setting up our business. We worked on our supply chain, establishing relationships, and our branding and marketing strategies. In November of 2009, our website went live, and we opened our first showroom. Ever since then, we have been expanding Alton Lane with the mindset of producing a better inner process, which will lead to a better shopping experience. How do you believe UVA has especially prepared you, or played a role in the success that
The Alton Lane Life What has been your “low point” and “high point” working in fashion?
you have achieved in such short time?
CH: The work hard play hard mentality from my college days is still a big part of my identity today. It is essential to maintain that balance of working hard, yet remaining an interesting person and having fun. However, what I believe makes UVA unique from other top schools is that you are pushed to think in a different way. There is an entrepreneurial culture at the University that encourages students to pursue a leadership role and simply be involved; whether it is establishing your own start up while at college, or founding a new club. Leadership opportunities at UVA show that you can successfully accomplish feats, and build things from the ground up, which takes the fear away from it. Without having a solid, concrete fashion background, was it intimidating in the beginning—or even today, are you intimidated at times working within such an evolving, competitive industry?
CH: No, not really. There is a way in which, “what you don’t know, you don’t know.” If I had a few years of fashion experience, it probably would have been far more intimidating. I had an air of confidence from my consulting days being able to come into a company and knowing what to expect. I had also been wearing clothes for the previous 26 years of my life so I was familiar with the shopping experience
CH: The whole ride is filled with lows and highs. My first year starting was hard both emotionally and socially, but it was also really fun and energizing. I was starting something, while simultaneously garnering a ton of press. Sleeping in the office 3 or 4 nights a week does take a toll on you. Finally, I will never forget the 2010 volcano in Iceland. It grounded all efforts in our supply chain for three weeks! This is because planes were unable to fly from Italy back to the country. It was frustrating, and I felt as if I was giving my customers, who were waiting on paid orders, a big excuse telling them that their orders would be delayed. The high points have been opening our second showroom. This signified that Alton Lane was accepted and becoming big. We have also been featured in an assortment of media fashion magazines, but my favorite feature has been our article on the front page of the Boston Globe. I also had the opportunity to suit up President George W. Bush for an event. I believe the biggest challenge of any start up is learning how to find that balance between the highs and lows. If you do not strike that balance, the constant ups and downs can wear people out. Can you recall and describe your first, “Aha, I’ve made it!” moment?
CH: Just the simple conversations with family and friends sitting at the Thanksgiving table and hearing comments like, “Dude, Alton Lane’s crushing it!” I typically have my head down so I miss out on reflecting on Alton Lane’s success until family and friends remind me. At the end of our first year we had $1 million in sales, which served as great reassurance. It is the reassurance of knowing that, “Okay, we are not going out of business. This idea works, now we just have to grow and expand.” It is all very exciting! For students such as myself who are interested in pursuing a fashion career, what are one or
two golden nuggets of advice that you would be willing to share with us?
CH: There are a lot of paths you can take to get there. The best thing that you can do for yourself to better your chances of making it is gaining experience in becoming excellent at something. This does not necessarily have to be related to fashion. Bain taught me how to think in a strategic way, and this is what I brought to the table. Without having this experience, it would have been a lot harder founding Alton Lane. At some point, you can hire people who can do what you cannot (fashion designers for example). You must gain experience doing anything! Learn, learn, learn! Put yourself out there! Get your foot in the door by being willing to do anything. Come to work with the mentality that no task is too small for you. Working hard and putting yourself out there will tell you what you really like about your job, and what your strengths are.
work at, and become really excited about their job to truly love it. I want to establish “the new standard.” If you look at the industry, there is a “current standard” out there. Our goal is to be the “new standard” that never settles and raises the bar. As an undergraduate student here at UVA, what did fashion mean to you then, and today as CEO of Alton Lane, what does fashion mean to you now?
that you have either stood by from day 1 or
CH: I was a Charlottesville kid who did not have the slightest clue about fashion. My girlfriend at the time took care of that aspect. However, overtime, especially during my tenure as CEO of Alton Lane, I have discovered that fashion is all about self-expression and confidence. Fashion directly provides one with a certain sense of confidence. I love that you can create your own style, which shows not only a bit of who you are, but also how confident you are. Through fashion, you are provided an outlet to express yourself in different ways. Looking back, my fashion awareness has grown exponentially through Alton Lane.
As I gear up for job interviews, think you can
To find success in the fashion industry, can you list 2 or 3 “musts,” and 2 or 3 “do nots”
CH: The biggest thing is to never let ego drive your business. I never assume that just because I love this design, customers will love it. Engage in customer service before launching new products. For example, ask family and friends for feedback. I will talk to other people, but not necessarily be swayed from my opinion. However, being openminded is key. In the fashion industry especially, it is imperative to remain humble and confident.
Past, Present and the Future What do you hope, or anticipate that the future holds for Alton Lane?
CH: From a market viewpoint, I want to grow into a national brand, and maybe one day international. I want to provide new products for guys to be excited about, and overall create a better shopping experience for them. I wish to have Alton Lane be an innovator in the field and a pioneer in the industry. From a reflective viewpoint, I want to build a company that I am proud of, and one that sticks around for a long time. I want Alton Lane to be an incredible place for people to
DT: Not necessarily! I have always been interested in consumer-facing business models, and was able to learn a lot about “the business of fashion” as an investor. There is so much room for disruption in this space right now given technology innovations, particularly in online retailing. Eventually, I decided to take a break from investing to learn how to run a business myself.
send me over a free suit?
CH: If you are ever in New York, swing by our showroom and I got you!
NAME: Degelis f a s h i o n (Dega) Tufts YEARS AT UVA: professional 2004-2006 profile MAJOR/MINOR: BS in Commerce, Concentrations in Finance and International Business/Studio Art CURRENT JOB POSITION: Chief Operating Officer at Top-Shelf Clothes YEARS AT CURRENT JOB: June 2013 - Present HIGHLIGHT OF CAREER: Although TopShelf Clothes was only conceived this past Spring, we have already recieved press from major fashion media outlets such as Women’s Wear Daily (WWD), InStyle, and Lucky magaine amongst many more
Dega and TopShelf founder Katie Nadler posing on the red carpet of New York City’s Ballet Fall Gala.
Making Her Way to the Top Can you briefly summarize your journey after UVA to your position as COO at TopShelf Clothes?
DT: I was an analyst at J.P. Morgan Investment Banking from 2008-2010, where I worked on M&A and capital markets deals in healthcare. From there, I joined Sands Capital’s Global Consumer Team. Our investments included Amazon, MercadoLibre, Nike, Starbucks, Prada and Coach. In this role, I learned a lot about e-commerce operations, and how important digital technology is becoming to fashion brands. How was TopShelf Clothes founded?
Did you graduate from UVA with any inter-
DT: Our CEO, Katie Nadler, founded TopShelf after graduating from Harvard Business School during DreamIt Ventures, an elite start-up incubator in NYC.
est or aspirations at all towards the fashion
How does TopShelf Clothes operate? What
getting to know Dega
sets TopShelf Clothes apart?
future may hold for online styling and shop-
DT: Unlike other e-commerce sites, the shopping experience on TopShelf is highly personalized and interactive. We automatically collect past purchase data through your email receipts to generate an online closet for members, who also fill out a survey indicating their style, needs and preferred price points across categories. Our Stylist Team creates weekly “Lookbooks” for you, scouring the web for the best items (we have access to over 200 retailers). Opposed to holding our own inventory, we earn a commission from retailers on anything you purchase, which vastly increases the selection we can offer our members and reduces business risk such as back-end fulfillment and markdowns.
What are the company’s goals?
prepared you, or played a role in the success
DT: Our mission is to make shopping online more fun and efficient for the time-starved woman.
that you have achieved in such short time?
What is your specific role in the company’s wellbeing?
DT: With a lean team, everyone’s contributions are extremely important. As COO, I have the opportunity to “wear all hats” – strategy, business development, hiring, marketing, finance. We have an amazing team both in Soho, NYC as well as a Stylist Network, which works remotely.
When Tuft’s Gets Going How has the overall general reception been since TopShelf Clothes’ inception?
DT: We’ve gotten great feedback from customers, and have started to get significant press coverage from publications such as Women’s Wear Daily, Lucky, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, fashion blogs, and V Magazine! How has your experience been so far working in a multidimensional company that is simultaneously centered on the innovative nature of both technology and fashion?
DT: It has been an adventure – many people say their job is different every day, but when you are working at a dynamic start-up in a fast growing space, that really is the case. I am constantly learning something new. Do you have any predictions on what the
DT: There is a paradigm shift in the way people are shopping, but the experience online is becoming overwhelming. We are huge believers in optimizing data and real-time feedback to create a more personalized experience. Why should readers check out TopShelf Clothes’ site when they have finished reading this article?
DT: Think of TopShelf Clothes as a fashion boutique where everything in the store was picked to fit your own style and budget, and your “storefront” is different from every other member’s. That is the ultimate vision and why you should check us out! How do you believe UVA has especially
DT: UVA was an incredible growth experience and absolutely changed my life. McIntire was particularly special; UVA is a large school, but my professors at McIntire still know my name and are there for advice and business connections. While at school, everything from the nature of the coursework (mostly case studies) to how we tackled them (in groups) was realistic and could be directly translated to my future jobs. Although TopShelf Clothes is still relatively
changing⎯everything from sourcing, logistics and design to merchandising and retailing. The rules are changing every day, so try and think about where things might be 10 years from now and what part of the value chain you want to develop a skill-set in.
Look Out World, Here Comes Dega! What do you hope, or anticipate that the future holds for TopShelf Clothes?
DT: We hope that we will be a standard household name years from now as one of the premier online retailers, and that women can use our services to save time shopping so they can spend their Saturdays doing something else, such as having brunch with friends, reading a book, going to yoga or playing with their kids. We already have a lot to juggle and the mall just does not fit in anymore! As an undergraduate student here at UVA, what did fashion mean to you then, and today as COO of TopShelf Clothes, what does fashion mean to you now?
DT: When I was an undergrad I was putting myself through school, so I was an unbelievably skilled discount shopper. Today, I appreciate fashion as a form of self-expression more than I ever have. It is basically art you can wear, which I had not previously given as much thought to.
new, what has been your “low point” and “high point” working in fashion?
DT: My high point has been receiving customer feedback that indicates we’re meeting a real and unmet need, and at the end of the day, it is all about helping your customers. Our low point has been when the site temporarily crashed. Nothing is worse than having to turn excited customers away because of a technology glitch! This happens to even the biggest companies, though, and we are thankful for our talented engineers who step in to save the day. For students such as myself who are interested in, and considering pursuing a fashion career, what are one or two golden nuggets of advice that you would be willing to share with us?
DT: The “business of fashion” is
Thanks so much for granting me the opportunity of being a Campus Style Ambassador for Topshelf Clothes Dega! You are the best!
DT: No problem!
M A E V E HOY T
CROSSING ART’S BORDERS by Gloria Roh
hile attempting to seek out a student designer to feature in the “life imitates art” photo spread in this issue of V Magazine, we came across Maeve Hoyt, who’s simple yet striking pieces instantly caught our eye. As with most everything, behind each piece of art is a story. After sitting down with this aspiring designer, I unraveled some of her story and her journey, and how she came to be where she is now, as well as the transformation process she went through to get here.
Originally a pre-medical student at McGill University in Montreal, Maeve transferred to UVA two years ago looking to study more than just science. “I’m a very sensitive person. I think it was my artistic sensibility that couldn’t deal with that conflict and competition, so I came to UVA thinking I wanted a more well-rounded background.” Despite her parents’ wish for her to pursue a well-paying career in medicine, Maeve ended up dropping biology and now studies Art History and Studio Art with a concentration in print-making. A serious interest in fashion was something Maeve developed in college. When she arrived on grounds, she was especially inspired by the members of UVA’s Fashion Design Club who didn’t come from fashion backgrounds. “There is one member in particular who is working for Alexander Wang now. I think she inspired me the most because she was also studying some sort of science before she switched.” Maeve is seizing her opportunity as president of the Fashion Design Club to open the organization to people of all backgrounds. “I think the way the club was run in the past intimidated a lot of new designers, so I try to run it as more of a forum or free creative group,” explained Maeve. “I’m always thinking and brainstorming, but not so much sketching. Sketching is not my strongpoint, so I try to teach fashion design club alternative methods since UVA is not a very fashion-centric campus. For example, I like to take pictures to get me inspired.” Maeve’s own designs are featured in this issue’s fashion spread and give us a taste of what she experiences here at UVA and in Charlottesville. “I’ve got quite a basic mind. I see what I see around me and that’s what I make, instead of researching outside designs and bringing them in and trying to be innovative in that way.” A notable piece is a set of scarves that also functions as a blouse with color-blocked floral prints. “In Charlottesville, I became more concerned with nature, which is where this floral pattern comes from. The prints are from woodblocks I made for a scents project. For me, it was easy, and for the wearer, it is versatile.” The Charlottesville-inspired piece grace-
fully weaves together Maeve’s vision for both art and fashion design. “I have to struggle with a lot of people who say fashion isn’t art, and I say it is: it’s an intersection of craft and art.”
“I have to struggle with a lot of
people who say fashion isn’t art, and I say it is: it’s an intersection of craft and art.” While Maeve has modeled her own designs before, she notes that her designs are intended for a certain group. “For me personally, these are things I wouldn’t wear in everyday life. I was thinking of what a person here at UVA would wear.” And what are Maeve’s thoughts on the fashion scene at UVA? “I think it’s about conformity. In general, a lot of people here are Type A students… we want to be right, we want to be accepted. But, I can’t really make a generalization. There are the sorority girls at rush who are all wearing the same thing—the Barbour jackets. You might see a variation in color. But if you walk around UVA, you can see quite a difference; the arts grounds are completely different from what you might see around science buildings or even by the gym.” For Maeve and others who may be pursuing a career in fashion, it’s hard to say that the scene on grounds is personally fulfilling. When asked where she sees herself in ten years, Maeve responded with a laugh. “Great question. I have no idea. I’m at this point where I’m applying to lots of different jobs and can’t say where I see myself. Hopefully I will have lived in a few cities and will be somewhere abroad because I do want to have a diverse background. If I wanted to be a professional designer, I feel like it would come to me like Comme des Garcons, which she started when she was fortysomething. It will come through a lot of experience since I don’t have a lot of technical training.” Even without the technical training, Maeve’s unconventional experiences are well on their way to providing her with a diverse background. She worked in Paris for BCBG just last summer and hopes to move to New York after college. Maeve would like to give a shoutout to the Fashion Design Club’s conceptual lookbook this semester, which will include sketches from its talented members.
life imitates art Brendan Rijke and Vanessa Cao CREATIVE DIRECTORS Michal Kozinski PHOTOGRAPHER Meredith Wadsworth FASHION DIRECTOR Morgan Toliver MAKEUP ARTIST Hajar Ahmed Rebecca Cui Elly Leavitt Alex Webb MODELS
On Alex, shirt modelâ€™s own. Artwork: The Garden of Eden, Jan Brueghel (ca. 1610-1612). On Rebecca, dress designed by Meredith Wadsworth. Artwork: Sunrise in Nicaragua, Martin Johnson Heade (1869).
On Elly, dress designed by Meredith Wadsworth. Artwork: Christina's World, Andrew Wyeth (1948). On Alex, Ryan Michael button down from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: Badlands, Terrence Malick (1973).
On Hajar, Induyco trench coat and Fgianfranco ferret silk scarf from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: 2 1/4, William Eggleston (1999). On Elly, Salon Moderne jacket and Eight Degrees South skirt from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol (1977).
On Hajar, Scaasi black and white dress from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: Blue Jackie, Andy Warhol (1964).
On Rebecca, Laila Azhar black dress from Vintage Vixen and scarf designed by Maeve Hoyt. Artwork: Flowers, Andy Warhol (1964).
On Rebecca, black dress designed by Maeve Hoyt. Artwork: US 285, New Mexico, Robert Frank (1955-6).
On Elly, Harold Powell black dress from Vintage Vixen. Artwork: Carmen, Lana Del Rey (2012).
A U T U M N 2 013 www.vmagazineuva.com 42