Page 1










Fernanda DeSouza Editor-in-Chief Dianna Mazzone Miriam Lustig Deputy Editors Megan Venere Executive Editor Richard Gilmartin Hermina Sobhraj Senior Editors Dara Kenigsberg Managing Editor Amanda Baldwin Copy Editor Hermina Sobhraj Treasurer

Letter from the Editor

Molly Yarsike Community Manager

Advertising Nathan Sukonik Advertising Manager

Art Kevin Braine Art Director

Four years ago, I sat sheepishly in the back of the room at my first W27 meeting. Even though I was not quite sure what I was getting myself into, I vowed to snatch some section of the publication and make it my own. I started as a film columnist under Heather Viggiani, became Culture Editor and Executive Editor under Taisa Veras and served as Deputy Editor to the previous editor-in-chief, Caroline Nelson. Throughout these four years, my writing was threatened: it would no longer be accepted unless major improvements were made. How do those lyrics go? “Started from the bottom, now we’re here…” (Thanks, Drake!)

Kelly Millington Junior Designer Jessica Farkas David Moses Photographers Jessica Wu Stylist Sara Rabin Illustrations

Contributors Maddalena Alecce Francesca Beltran Raquel Rose Burger Chloe Dewberry Dana Heyward Marissa Mule Desiree Perez Zach Rosenbaum Emilie Schwenk Aaron Valentic Venus Wong

I’m looking forward to serving as editor-inchief during my final year at FIT and bringing a new editorial edge to the upcoming issues alongside the new Art Director, Kevin Braine. For September, W27 sought out individuals with “big ideas.” Maddalena Alecce covered the birth of FIT student Faye Asido’s online publication Obtrusiv Magazine and her team’s quest for exposing talent across America on page 16. We explored the history of the fashion within the LGBTQ community in the new Museum of FIT’s exhibition, the first museum to do so, on page 5. We also paid respect to a beloved professor

John Simone Editorial Faculty Advisor Albert Romano Advertising Faculty Advisor



Stylist Jessica Wu and Photographer David Moses teamed together to bring to life the dystopian designs of Designer Peter Do to kick off W27’s “Big Ideas” issue on the streets of Financial District.

for her big ideas and contributions to the college. Megan Venere honors Professor Elaine Stone’s legacy and her affinity for hats on page 4. If you haven’t stepped foot into Bushwick yet, then you’re missing out! Read Zach Rosenbaum’s column piece about the up-and-coming Brooklyn neighborhood in the FIT Speaks section on page 26, then do yourself a favor and hop on the L-train. We’re only in the first weeks of the semester and the pressure is already on. So to all, good luck and in the words of my all-time favorite film, may the Force be with you!




CONTENTS 4 4 5 6 7 7 8 9

Welcome to the Boardroom: FIT Student Association: A New Look for FITSA Faculty Spotlight: In Memory of Elaine Stone FIT Presents A Queer History of Fashion Legal Column: Street Art: Who Owns It? Style Shop Re-opens for Fall Semester What the Health? BEDIfferent: Your iPhone Case, Your Style Honoring Michael Kors: FIT Alum, Designer and Philanthropist

Dear Industry 10 10 11 12 12

Southern Hospitality on Ave A Williamsburg Fashion Weekend – Out of the Tents & Across the Bridge The College Start Up Boys Career Over Coffee: Irina Fernandes Chitas, Online Writer at Vogue Portugal Beauty Buzz: If The Foundation Fits… Wear It

Feature 13 14 16 17

Future Mode: Peter Do Fashion Editorial: Brave New World Obtrusiv Magazine: Discovering Talent In America The Dynamic Duo: XXBC Brand Revamps the Sweatsuit

Haute Culture 18 20 21 21 22 22 23 24

Moving West Museum Review: James Turrell at the Guggenheim Book Review: The Cuckoos Calling Film Review: Una Noche Concert Review: E-Zoo Theater Review: Kinky Boots OYB: Gowanus, Brooklyn Month in Review

FIT Speaks 26 26 27

How To Avoid Your Worst Miranda Priestly Nightmares Ballin’ in Bushwick Television: As Addictive As Walter White’s Meth


Style on 27

lETTER FROM THE art Director

On The Block

It’s hard to believe I’m really here as Art Director for W27. As I begin my fifth semester at FIT, I realize how much has been leading up to this point. I joined the W27 art team just last semester under the art direction of Christina Garcia. I want to thank her for all of her help teaching me the ropes of designing an entire newspaper in just one weekend. She designed some great issues and I hope to continue that success. It’s a great privilege to design for W27 and I’m very excited for the future of this publication. I have a lot of big plans and hope to bring a fresh perspective to the paper.

W27’s design is going to be more exciting than ever while still retaining its traditions of being clean and efficient. I love working on this paper and I hope each issue shows how excited my team and I are about providing a quality, welldesigned newspaper. This is only the beginning and I’m excited to share my ideas and provide W27’s readers with a great and aesthetically pleasing experience each month.



Welcome to the Boardroom FIT Student Association: A New Look for FITSA by Hermina Sobhra

FIT Student Association, formerly known as FITSA, is undergoing one of its largest transformations to date. As David Hamilton, president of the FIT Student Association explains, the organization is not only in charge of campus events, but also serves as a voice for over ten thousand students across campus.

will enhance FIT’s annual Homecoming event, something Hamilton hopes will leave an impression on students. Since its transformation, the FIT Student

Association has also taken on more responsibilities. Their budget and involvement with campus administration has increased tremendously according to Hamilton.

The Student Association is comprised of two boards: Executive and Programming. While the Executive Board oversees major changes, the Programming Board is responsible for developing surveys that aim to provide insight into the minds of FIT students. One of the major issues that Hamilton wants to address is students’ perception of the Student Association. In fact, the FIT Student Association decided to change its name from FITSA because a survey conducted by WFIT showed that a majority of students had no idea what it stood for at all. In addition to forthcoming surveys, Hamilton and the FIT Student Association are eager to unveil upcoming plans for new campus events. One such event is called Legacy Week. Legacy Week

One responsibility, as mentioned earlier, includes involving as many students as possible. The association now has weekly “Office Hours” in the Dining Hall, where students can come to student body representatives with concerns from 7-8 p.m. Likewise, the FIT Student Association will also host three Town Hall meetings that are open to all students. Town Hall meetings allow students to voice their opinions to the association or voice any pressing concerns they may have. “We wanted to develop a more mature, collegiate brand that will go on for years,” said Hamilton. FIT Student Association not only has a new name, but will also unveil its new logo during FIT’s Night Out. While rebranding does require a lot of internal attention, Hamilton insists that FIT Student Association’s primary focus is simply on the students, the heart of FIT. “One of our biggest initiatives is to get students excited about being at FIT,” claims Hamilton. “We’re here to work for you all.”

Photo courtesy of FIT Student Association

Faculty Spotlight:

In Memory of Elaine Stone by Megan Venere

For many years, Professor Elaine Stone has been a beloved and iconic figure on our 27th Street campus. All students have seen her making her way down the hall in one of her many designer hats, no matter what department they belong to. This past August, Professor Stone passed away, leaving an indelible legacy to not only the Fashion Merchandising department, but to the entire institution.

Fashion Industry, for which she wrote the textbook. Professor Stone also funded two scholarships for FMM students: the Elaine Stone Scholarship Award and the Minnie Mallov Stone Scholarship Award, in honor of her mother. The two awards are given annually to two FMM students who plan on pursuing the upper-division degree at FIT and plan on entering the retail business upon graduation.

“You walk into the classroom, you close that door, and you’re in a different world”. Professor Stone began her retail career at Macy’s where she eventually worked her way up to Vice President of the former Mangel Stores. Professor Stone joined the FMM department in 1975, and upon her retirement was Professor Emeritus. Although she retired in 2004, she continued to teach at FIT. Of the many classes she taught, she was most known for the FM114 class, Introduction to the

Professor Stone also was instrumental in developing the college’s connections and ties to universities and programs around the world. Professor Stone initiated some of the first visits by FIT faculty to establish these programs worldwide, especially in Asia. In addition, she spearheaded some of the first trips with FIT students to Hong Kong, Japan and Taiwan.

Professor Stone’s influence extended beyond the FMM department. Stone founded the Enterprise Center, a resource that trains industry professionals, artists and designers. She also founded the Women’s Business Owners Programs, which provides assistance to female entrepreneurs; the organization has helped over 1,500 female business owners. In her career, Professor Stone received many awards for her work, including the Small Business Leadership Award from the New York City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, along with a lifetime achievement award from the Department of Commerce. Stone also received the Paul L. Lomax Award from NYU for leadership in business education. Professor Stone was extremely passionate about teaching and inspiring students to pursue careers in the fashion and retail industry. In an interview for the FIT Diversity Council she said, “You can hurt. You can be upset. You walk into the classroom, you close that door, and you’re in a different world. It’s them and you, and that’s what it’s all about. [You] close that door and you say ‘Hi!’ and they go

‘Hi!’, and [for] the next three hours, leave me alone.” Professor Stone’s dedication, enthusiasm and love for teaching, retailing and FIT will be greatly missed this year and for years to come.

Photo courtesy of Hue Magazine




FIT Presents

A Queer History of Fashion by Aaron Valentic

When one thinks of the fashion industry, especially its designers, many often visualize a flamboyant, gay man reinterpreting the simplest of garments into an ensemble radiating drama and glamour. Aside from the allure and the pageantry, why has the gay community always had close ties with the world of fashion? The latest exhibition made its debut September 13th at The Museum at FIT, A Queer History of Fashion: From The Closet To The Catwalk, sets out to explain that and develop our collective understanding of the vitality of the LGBTQ community’s perennial contributions to fashion. The designer works that are shown range from Balenciaga and Dior to Alexander McQueen and those of lesser notoriety. Curated by Senior Curator of Costume, Fred Dennis, and Director and Chief-Curator, Dr. Valerie Steele, the exhibit features roughly 100 ensembles spanning more than two centuries.“I think it’s long past due,” said Steele about the opening of the exhibition, which took over two years to research and execute. “When you look at the show and realize how LGBTQ people have made so many contributions to fashion for so long, it’s just amazing to me that no one has done this show before... but I am proud we are the first to do it!” Award winning architect Joel Sanders also helped bring the exhibition to life, lending his expertise to the layout and presentation of the garments. The exhibition goes through a general chronological order, first explaining the presence of the gay community in fashion toward the end of the eighteenth century and early nineteenth century. The pieces on display include “mollies,” cross-dressing garments worn by both men and women. Next, the exhibition moves into the early twentieth century where unfussy creations by Chanel, as well as the famous tuxedo ensemble worn by Marlene Dietrich are on display. After the first

World War, anti-gay sentiment flourished and many famous designers became “discreet” about their sexual orientation for fear of being discriminated against or even arrested. Advancing into the 1960s and beyond, the exhibit showcases the way in which gay culture began to become more prevalent. With more gay-rights activists “coming out,” so did the garments made by designers, featuring more colorful and eccentric touches. But events such as the 1969 Stonewall Riots and later, the AIDS crisis drastically altered the fashions within the gay culture. Designers protested these tragic events by showcasing often risqué collections, even reinterpreting the basic t-shirt to feature slogans or motifs, taking an activist stance on what was shaping up to be a major tragedy. Last, but certainly not least, the exhibition closes with a wedding section comprised of gay and lesbian wedding attire. This serves as an homage to a recent and monumental appeal of Section 3 of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that was ruled unconstitutional. Next month, as part of the museum’s Fall Fashion Culture Lecture series, a symposium will be held boasting speakers ranging from Hal Rubinstein to Ralph Rucci. A multi-author book entitled “A Queer History of Fashion: From The Closet to the Catwalk” edited by Valerie Steele and publised by Yale University Press, will feature essays by Christopher Breward, Shaun Cole, Vicki Karaminas, Jonathan D. Katz, Peter McNeil and Elizabeth Wilson. In addition, there will be personalized tours, a lecture series and an educational website. Dr. Valerie Steele stresses the political implications of celebrating the LGBTQ culture in this way, saying, “I think it’s very important to keep emphasizing the importance of acceptance and diversity and the creative contributions of so many gay people.” The Museum at FIT’s A Queer History of Fashion opens on September 13th, 2013 and will run through January 4th, 2014. Photography by Aaron Valentic




Street Art: Who Owns It? by Miriam Lustig

Photo courtesy of

Graffiti as a form of creative expression has come a long way from petty tagging and vandalism and the art world has taken notice. Museums and galleries now open exhibits in homage to this genre of urban artistry. Street art may potentially fetch exorbitant prices in auction or private sale. For example, “Slave Labor,” an original Banksy mural, was controversially sold against the artist’s wishes for over $1 million. This begs the question, who actually owns street art? Banksy often seeks prior approval for his tagging by having a third party approach the owners of the property he intends to tag. This may render the circumstances surrounding the art legal, or less illegal at the very least, depending on state and municipal laws. (To be

clear, graffiti is illegal when it is composed on a surface without the surface owner’s consent, i.e. graffiti is more often than not done illegally.) Since the artist additionally provides the materials and other artistic inputs used in his work, nothing would theoretically preclude him from seeking a copyright or alternate form of artistic protection save for the fact that the property he “defaces” is not actually his own. Even if a mural is composed illegally, without prior consent of the property owners, as is the case in most instances, it still intuitively seems as though the artist should be able to claim some form of ownership that would enable him or her to protest any sale of their work, including unauthorized reproductions, without their permission. The truth is that despite the increasing

stature and value of street art, there still are no clear legal arguments or precedents protecting the artist, even given legal working conditions (e.g. the property owner’s consent). The artist could refuse to authenticate their work, which could potentially lead to a decrease in demand and therefore price. Beyond this, however, graffiti does not seem to benefit from the legal protections naturally attached to traditional artistic compositions, for example painting or screenplays. Of course, street art is generally meant as an antidisestablishment gesture that protests, among other things, the idea of private property and ownership. For a graffiti artist to claim their work, perhaps in order to garner commercial or cultural

recognition, would be a sell-out verging on hypocrisy. The idea of private ownership at all clashes with authentic graffiti culture. And of course a graffiti artist who owns up to their work faces possible criminal charges and other legal penalties, assuming their work is in violation of the law. Still, the hypothetical is an interesting one to examine, even if there are no clear conclusions to be reached. Author’s note: It goes without saying that neither W27 nor this author advocate the graffiti of public or private property, or any other acts of vandalism or defacement in the name of art. The purpose of this article is strictly to examine the legal circumstances pertaining to a specific artform.





Wake Up Without Coffee by Desiree Perez

Believe it or not, there was once a time when humans relied on stimulants other than caffeine to keep themselves up and energized-- and they may have had the right idea. The problem with caffeine is that it affects the adrenal cortex, which is located along the adrenal gland and is in charge of regulating stress. Caffeine makes the adrenal cortex work harder to produce energy which in return stresses the cortex. Instead of eliminating the stress, you’re actually building it up. Other alternatives like exercise, herbal supplements and certain foods give the adrenal cortex the energy it lacks without caffeine-induced consequences. So although caffeine is good for a short boost, don’t get into the routine of buying Starbucks every morning. Below are tips on how to save your money, and your health from suffering the side effects later on. Natural Beauty Awaken Your Skin

Move those Muscles

Drinking the Ginseng

If you develop an exercise routine, you’ll feel less tired and more alert. The best part? It doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. You can even just get in the habit of taking the stairs instead of an elevator or walking instead of driving or taking public transportation. Or, if you were always interested in taking up a sport or dance, now’s the time! Any of these options will prepare your body for a heavily loaded semester. Just remember not to overdo it.

Korean ginseng, also known as Panax Ginseng, doesn’t give you a short term boost of energy with consequences later, unlike caffeine. It actually provides the adrenal cortex the nutrients it needs to produce natural energy without forcing it to. Another herbal alternative to ginseng is Yerba mate which does the same. It also stimulates the immune system and helps to provide mental clarity.

Cut Carbs... the morning that is. Refined carbohydrates boost energy just the same as caffeine, for a short period. Sugar filled cereals will give you a short boost of energy-- but just like coffee, it will have a tiring effect when your blood sugar levels start to drop. Instead, try to include yogurt, cheese, nuts or even meat into your breakfast.

Smart Snacking Prepare smart snacks that will give you energy. Some snacking options to consider are apples, bananas, hummus and peanut butter. A good and energizing snack combination is peanut butter on wheat bread with sliced bananas. A smart yet simple energy boosting drink is lemon water, especially if you feel dehydrated and low on energy. But remember, watch out for those pesky pesticides and GMOs; choose the organic kind.

To naturally awaken and refresh your skin this semester, try a rose toner. A natural rose toner tightens your pores and makes your skin soft due to the phenylethanol and vitamin C fighting against acne and blemishes, resulting in a glowing look. Though rose toners are available at most major beauty retailers, make it yourself for a fun and wallet friendly experience.

ΩΩ Pick out two roses and remove the petals and place them inside the strainer. ΩΩ Give the rose petals a quick wash with purified water. ΩΩ Place a small bowl in the middle of a deep pot. ΩΩ Spread the rose petals around the bowl. ΩΩ Pour the two cups of boiled purified water inside the pot and cover it with a lid. ΩΩ Wait for the water to return to room temperature.


ΩΩ Use a funnel or strainer to pour the rose water into a mason jar.

2 roses (equals to a cup of rose petals) // 2 cups of boiled purified water // Funnel/ Strainer // Mason Jar // Small bowl // Pot

ΩΩ Store any excess rosewater in the refrigerator for a week or use it as a steam.

ΩΩ Boil two cups of purified water.

ΩΩ Apply the rosewater before moisturizing.

Style Shop Re-opens for Fall Semester by Megan Venere

On September 9th the Style Shop hosted its grand re-opening for the fall semester with a new theme, “New Style, New Year, New You,” which provides a clue to the new aesthetic and décor. Faculty and students gathered in the David Dubinsky Center lobby to celebrate, shop and, of course, snack. Local establishments Yogurtland and Argo Tea thoughtfully donated food and drink for the opening.

Macy’s, which has been an avid supporter of the Style Shop, also sent representatives to the opening event to chat with students about the industry and life at Macy’s. There was also a photo booth for shoppers to enjoy, along with a DJ to create a true celebratory atmosphere.

outlets. The assortment was varied yet cohesive, from home products and stationery to designer merchandise and tech accessories. That was if you could even get into the store--lines for shopping and food extended out of the store and through the Dubinsky lobby.

This new Style Shop was filled with fashionable merchandise curated from various

Courtney Divito, one of the Style Shop comanagers, was very happy with the results

from the opening. “I am so thrilled with the turnout,” she told W27. “This was the first time I ever saw such a long line, even before the store had officially opened!” She also credited her Style Shop team for all their help in creating this event. “I am super excited for this year and I think we will be really successful because we have such a great team. We would be nowhere without them and all of their hard work.”




BEDIfferent: Your iPhone Case, Your Style by Raquel Rose Burger

Meet Daniel Méndez, a seventh semester FMM student with his own line of iPhone cases named Bedi Phone Covers. W27 sat down with Méndez to get the scoop on how this iPhone accessory enterprise began.

Raquel Rose Burger: What sparked your interest in starting an iPhone cover line?

and so on, the process takes much longer. RRB: Are they compatible with both iPhones 4 and 5?

Daniel Méndez: I’m a person who likes to create things. It doesn’t have to necessarily be fashion-related, but anything where I can apply my creativity and taste. For example, I loved one class I took at FIT where I had to create a small-scale window every week. It is that innovative streak that pushes me to create things. Also, last semester I was studying abroad in Shanghai and I had the opportunity to meet phone case suppliers.

DM: Right now they are only available for iPhone 5. However, I already started working on some new designs for the iPhone 4, the new iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S4. I’m planning to bring them into my line very soon! RRB: What is your favorite Bedi design and why? DM: That’s a very tough question! I would say Golden Goddess and Fierce are the two most beautiful, Neon Fangs the most fun and Xtreme the most extreme. But me personally, I use XStreme on my phone. It’s cool, sexy and a little aggressive too.

RRB: What is the theme of the cases and the inspiration behind them? DM: Bedi Phone Covers starts from the basic idea that many people today want to show who they are by setting themselves apart from the rest. Essentially, what they want is to stand out in a cool way. You can call them weirdos, tacky, modern, punkie, extreme, or simply people who need to be different from you and I while keeping it very stylish, tasteful and sexy. They may like leather boots, just like you and I do, but they are going to wear them with some sort of golden metal detail on the tip and sides that will make the boots become closer to who they really want to be. I would say all these cool people are my inspiration! My cases represent them and they represent my cases. And I’m glad that I’m at FIT because FIT is filled with this great group of cool people! RRB: Where did the name Bedi Phone Covers come from? DM: I chose this name because it combines the words “be” and “different,” which is what all of this is about. “Phone

RRB: What makes your line of iPhone covers unique given that there’s so much competition in this market?

Photo courtesy of Daniel Méndez

Covers” is just to make clear what the product I’m marketing is. My dream in the future though would be offering a whole range of products that follow the same aesthetics and build a sort of “Bedi Lifestyle.” RRB: How long does it take to make each case?

DM: Each case goes through three major steps: making the holes, polishing the holes and screwing the spikes into the case. All of this could take up to one hour for the most complicated designs. However, if we included the time spent on the whole product development process, which includes sketching, pattern making, sampling, sourcing all materials,

DM: My cases are unique in a sense that they literally make your phone stop being a phone and become something really cool that reveal who you really are. They change the way the phone looks and feels, but most important, it makes the phone just as cool and awesome as the person him or herself. What also makes them unique is that they are cases with integrity. In other words, every design I have done is always consistent with who its target customer is. There is always cohesiveness between textures, colors, shapes and details. Yes, there are thousands of cases out there, but there are very few cases with such integrity.




Honoring Michael Kors: FIT Alum, Designer and Philanthropist by Raquel Rose Burger

“I don’t know a woman who doesn’t own a Michael Kors piece and who doesn’t feel amazing in it,” enthused Iman, fashion model and entrepreneur. Iman, who has known Kors for a 25 years, expressed one of the many compliments praising Kors on September 4th when the Couture Council of the Museum at FIT honored him with the 2013 Couture Council Award for Artistry of Fashion at a benefit luncheon held at Lincoln Center. The prestigious award is presented annually to a designer who has performed exceptional services in the fashion industry. Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at FIT, observed, “His clothing has a sporty yet glamorous look, his product is top quality and he is just all around funny, fabulous and fantastic.” Victoria’s Secret models Lily Aldridge and Doutzen Kroes both agreed, “His clothes are comfortable, wearable and make women feel sexy. He is a funny and nice man and the life of the party.” As Hilary Swank presented Kors with his award she added, “He’s come a long way since FIT. He is the king of American sportswear. He understands glamour and sex appeal, he understands the idea of being smart and pragmatic all at once.’’ Kors attended FIT in the late 1970s and has always proclaimed that he would be nowhere without the knowledge he acquired as a student here. He recently donated a cool one million dollars to FIT to establish the Michael Kors Scholarship. The merit-based endowment will be awarded to students who demonstrate extraordinary talent in Fashion Design. All costs associated with a bachelor’s degree program at FIT will be covered for the awardee. The scholarship also provides the opportunity to intern at Michael Kors. “This wonderful endowment reflects Michael’s characteristics: thoughtfulness, sense of purpose and spirit of generosity,” said FIT President Dr. Joyce

Photography by Raquel Rose Burger

Photo courtesy of

Brown. “He is creating an incomparable opportunity for the talented students who come to the college, as he did, to fulfill their dreams. We are deeply grateful.” This year’s award was granted to sophomore Kim Nguyen who was honored at

the luncheon as well. As Kors accepted his award, he said, “I design for women who all love comfort, all love style and all need to dress for the speed in their life. Sportswear is more than just jeans and a t-shirt. It’s sexy, luxurious and elegant.”

dear industry Southern Hospitality on Ave A by Dana Heyward

Here’s a scenario: you find yourself in the East Village one day hankering for some food. You’re tired of some of your usual spots, but you want something simple, quick and satisfying. Enter Empire Biscuit. The new 24-hour biscuit spot, slated to open this fall, will speak to foodies and college students alike. It’s safe to say Southern soul food has finally found its way into the East Village, all thanks to co-founders Yonada Tsnua and Jonathan Price.

Price and Tsuna met while working at the restaurant Bouley when Tsuna was in his sophomore year at NYU. From there, their friendship grew, and in 2012 the concept of Empire Biscuits came into being. The duo explains that their reasoning behind Empire Biscuit is simply that they couldn’t think of any reason not to do a biscuit spot in New York.

Photos courtesy of Empire Biscuit

The founders admit that they are inspired by other food-venture stories similar to that of Empire Biscuit, like those of Luke’s Lobster, Pomme Frites and Porchetta, all neighboring eateries. “The city itself is motivating because there are so many places out there like us. Just the fact that you can do these concept restaurants here in New York City is very inspiring,” said Price.

It’s a combination of European food traditions and Southern styles that create something “delicious and simple.” Price adds, “I believe there are some caricatures of some food in New York and even in the South. But I think the best cooking takes traditional Southern flavors and produces something really elegant and refined. We have a really straightforward approach that involves that.”

Head Chef Karl Wilder defines good Southern cooking as “complex simplicity.”

Tsuna admits that he didn’t have as strong a feeling towards Southern food until meeting Price and has since learned a lot from both he and Wilder in the process. Everything on the menu will be available 24-hours a day. Diners can expect a variety of sandwiches, jellies, butters, marmalades and gravy. Some of their interesting flavors include a gooseberry and apricot jam with duck fat and thyme butter or an apple jam with a candied spicy pecan compound butter. All these components will be freshly made in-house and customers will even be able to purchase a jar of their favorite flavor to take home with them.

“We want it to be a place where people end their night and start their morning,” said Price of their 24-hour concept. Being in the NYU vicinity, Empire Biscuit is bound to attract a lot of college students at all hours. However, the East Village is home to a variety of foodies, families and other vibrant individuals who can also be drawn to the idea and straightforwardness of Empire Biscuit.

To learn more about Empire Biscuit and their opening visit Photos courtesy of Dana Heyward

Williamsburg Fashion Weekend: Out of the Tents & Across the Bridge by Dara Kenigsberg

season is a mixture of disco and glam. He always brings the show.” A hot pink pleather ball gown, a knee length red leather skirt, a man in a corset and matching black skirt with a belt with a gun as a closure holding up a blue floor length skirt were just four of the pieces Marcello displayed.

As New York Fashion Week came to a close, another took its place across the bridge. Williamsburg Fashion Weekend (WFW) took place September 13th and 14th inside Villain, a 19th century textiles warehouse in the heart of Williamsburg. On a Saturday night in Williamsburg, artistically dressed people mingled and swayed back and forth, drinks in hand, to the pumping music, while patiently waiting for the show to begin. WFW Founder, Arthur Arbit, was the personification of Williamsburg cool. He sported silver shoes and matching blue and yellow pants with a jacket and a captain’s hat-but his little dog was certainly his best accessory by far. A fine artist, tailor and designer, he coordinated his first fashion weekend in the spring of 2006. His vision was to bring young, new designers together that all want to make the world a better place.

the background, the models, wearing flowered headpieces and frayed garments, threw glitter and danced around playfully.

Next was Melissa Lockwood’s line, IQ Test, which found a new way to be conscientious. All of her clothing was made from leftover fabric, yet nothing was altered. The pieces, both wearable and sexy, were sewn together so professionally that one would never know they were taken out of a trashcan (where she found her materials).

Marcus Hick’s SDN line was the closing colection. Made entirely in Brooklyn, each piece ran in shades of black or black and white. Matching the color scheme, the models all wore black wigs, sunglasses and lipstick. Of all the shows, this was the most tame and wearable. The line included wrap-dresses, capris with oversized, off-the-shoulder tops, and blouson pants. If you mixed and matched, you could wear them to the office or out at night, a very difficult feat, but one Hicks mastered beautifully.

Shute Organic kicked off the night with their collection. Each piece was organic and hand-dyed with a pink and yellow color scheme running throughout. As B15 Project’s “Girls Like Us” played in

Fourth was Geary Marcello’s line, Foxy Face Couture. Mr. Arbit introduced Marcello by saying, “he makes ‘clubwear’ and has been around New York forever and done everything there is to do. This

The presentation of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend was incredible. It was daring, sexy, fun and made you want to go out and dance. Mr. Arbit knows how to put on a performance, He called WFW an

The next show was ShocKVintage by Romano. “ShocKVintage basically recycles boring clothes into fabulousness,” said Mr. Arbit. In this presentation, the clothes were a show stopper. From orange and blue velour jumpsuits, to outrageously printed rompers, each piece was full of flare and looked like a raver’s uniform.

“incubator for young designers to sprout their wings and go out into the industry and hopefully change it for the better.” And that is exactly what Williamsburg Fashion Week did.

Photography by Jessica Farkas




CollegeStartUp: How Two Seniors Launched Their Own Business Using Their College Experience as a Platform by Dara Kenigsberg

Nathan Sukonik always knew he wanted to have his own business. At the age of 9, he had a recurring dream of opening and running his own candy shop. Six years later, while working at his town’s library, he realized that he didn’t like working for other people. It was then that he envisioned starting his own business. At 16, he was already providing small documentary, photography, and web design services to other small businesses in his town, and still works with some of those businesses today. Sukonik and his partner Jon Daniel El Kordi-Hubbard both started their college careers at Hofstra University. Before Mr. Sukonik transferred to FIT’s Entrepreneurship program, the two budding entrepreneurs were a part of the Hofstra University Startups, a club for students interested in starting their own businesses. Sukonik is from Long Beach, New York. But El KordiHubbard remained at Hofstra, studying Entrepreneurship and IT, originally from Virginia, “loving the hustle and bustle of New York, but hard pressed to find a more exciting and motivating place to work.” Their joint concept, which they named CollegeStartUp, was born from an idea the two had while still in a student entrepreneur club at Hofstra. One of the activities that the club was involved with was going to a competition in Albany for various startups. Their team came in 10th place, which, for a group of 8 guys with no funding to begin with, was actually pretty good. But there was no feedback, no help, no networking. Sukonik says, “It was basically like, come here, pitch your idea, and go away… ” It was at that competition when they first envisioned CollegeStartUp. They decided it would be a platform for people to actually build startups, rather than just pitch them, as they had at the competition. Their idea

included getting advice from professionals on how to make your startup better and from people who understand the market viability of whatever the product or idea is. This part was the most crucial aspect of it; the fact that people would get real advice that actually counted for something. The focus would be on regular people who want to create their own companies but just didn’t know how. It took three months to get it going. They joined the Hofstra club in March, went to the competition in April, and began working on CollegeStartUp in May. Sukonik sent a tweet to WixLounge (a free coworking space in Manhattan) and asked for help. In 140 characters or less, a business was brought to life. The first event that CollegeStartUp held was a competition much like the one they had been to previously; only they were able to incorporate their own ideas. At the competition, they had a very important keynote speaker, John Frankel who worked at Goldman Sachs in New York and is currently a partner at FF venture capital. He spoke about his investments, venture capital, and what it takes to be a start-upper. The winner of the competition was a Hofstra student who ended up building his own app without any outsourcing. He gave it away for free and within the first week got hundreds of thousands of downloads and now has deals with Apple and Amazon. He was a political science major with no knowledge of startups, who just happened to have a great idea; to have an app that reminded people of their loved ones’ birthdays and suggest gifts to get them. After the first competition, they got a call from Andrew Hazan, CEO of, which provides seed money for startups. Hazan promised to give them a space for their next event

Photography by Nathan Sukonik

if they would give him their time. They agreed after looking into Hazan’s impressive background. In fact, when El KordiHubbard got the call from Hazan, he was more than a little shocked. When asked how he had heard of them it turned out it was through a company that they had been involved with at Hofstra. The second event happened in February. They raised money for it and charged $30 a head. Fifty students attended and about 25 major tech entrepreneurs came to scout the talent. Additionally, they had three major venture capitalists come as judges. Despite the success of both competitions, they knew they weren’t really interested in continuing to host events like these. They knew that for their company to be a success and if they were going to continue to produce events, they needed to grow first. “In the future, we hope to grow the audience and roll out events again. For now, though, delivering interesting and valuable startup content to our readers is our focus,” said El Kordi-Hubbard. This is when the CollegeStartUp really began to take shape. “What you really need in the startup scene is to open your

eyes; to being a writer, to being a blogger, you don’t have to be a developer, although I would say, at this point, to make any real money you do have to be a computer science guy… there are over 1,200 tech start ups in NYC, but less than 5 years ago there were under 400. That just shows you how much this business is growing and the rate it’s growing at,” says Sukonik. The company is still very young, only 1 year-old and the two partners are currently looking for people to come write for them. More specifically, they want people to write about startups all over the United States. Their business is constantly growing, so who knows where they will be this time next year. “We are inspired by the passionate people and businesses we meet for We write articles to raise awareness about the great work they are doing and it deserves to be showcased to the world,” says El Kordi-Hubbard. At present, CollegeStartUp is covering college startup news throughout the USA. They cover Los Angeles, SF, NYC, Chicago, DC and others. If you would like to be a part of CollegeStartUp, or learn more about it, go to their website at www.CollegeStartUp.Org.




Career ‘N’ Coffee: Irina Fernandes Chitas, Online Writer at Vogue Portugal -As told by Venus Wong

One of the reasons journalism has captivated me so much as a vocation is the ability to connect with fascinating people and give expression to their stories. In “Career Over Coffee,” a brand new series for W27, I will chat with industry insiders and report their most intriguing career anecdotes-word for word, all over a cup of joe. On a scorching hot Friday afternoon, I met up with Irina in Lisbon’s Cofina Media building for lunch and a bica-the Portuguese equivalent of an espresso shot, to be had after the meal. Donning a perfect white tee and Converse sneakers (Lisbon is known for its hilly landscape and challenging marbled sidewalks), the delightful Irina opened up about Portugal’s fashion industry, her inspirations for writing and how she got her first big break as a fashion journalist. By the time I was in my sophomore year studying Communication Science, I mapped out an ideal career path by joining my writing skills with my interest in fashion: I have always enjoyed looking at couture and am fascinated by how people communicate. With a career in fashion journalism, I would get the best of both worlds. My final year project was a

research paper on how the fashion industry contributed to Portugal’s economy.

be inspired by movies, music and fashion, don’t they?

A mentor connected me with an editor at Vogue Portugal, and I went in for an interview in February 2011. The website was still in the works at the time, and she wanted interns to start in the fall. I was not done with my degree yet, so I followed up again in August and got the offer. Internships in Portugal are a bit different than the States: the companies want you there full-time for a three-month commitment, but you’re treated as a trusted employee and get assignments that really matter and help you grow. By November, they told me to stay on as a full-time writer.

People ask me all the time why I’m pursuing a fashion career in Lisbon. They would say, “Why not move to Paris? You have an EU passport, and there’s so much more going on over there.” But I don’t think I can ever leave Portugal. Sometimes, in the middle of the day I would go outside to clear my head and be reminded yet again how beautiful this city is. Lisbon is my favorite place in the world-it’s what keeps inspiring me to do more and I’m so proud to be working here. I often feel an obligation to champion and support local designers through my writing. It’s not enough for them to enjoy applause and adoration on an international level-they have to be welcomed at home too. We just did an all-Portuguese design spread in our August issue. To promote these creative minds as much as my abilities allow-that’s my unfinished duty here. That’s why Portugal is worth staying to fight for.

‘Til this day, I still cannot believe how lucky I was-friends that are much more talented than I are still struggling to find jobs. With the national unemployment rate at 17.6%, even getting hired at the supermarket is a big deal. I’m lucky to be employed at all, let alone in a job I’m so passionate about. It’s all just a game of being in the right place at the right time. It’s sad that in a recessionary economy, creative industry jobs are the first to go out the window: But people still need to

My advice to anyone looking to start out in fashion journalism would be to always keep your eyes open. Be aware of everything happening in this world beyond

Photo Courtesy of Venus Wong

fashion. There’s a stigma associated with this line of work that, if you are passionate about fashion, you are automatically a shallow person. When you write about $3,000 purses all day long while making a meager salary, it’s all the more important to constantly read about the world outside this closed-off industry. It keeps me grounded and protects me from the velvet coffin of luxury that some people have slipped into.

Beauty Buzz:

If The Foundation Fits…Wear It by Dianna Mazzone

In May, The New York Times cited a study that claimed a startling 8-outof-10 women were wearing the wrong bra size. Before heading out to your local Victoria’s Secret, we suggest you make a pit stop along the way at Sephora to come to terms with another more visible fit dilemma plaguing American women: their foundation. It’s a cringe-worthy sight: the jarring difference between a woman’s natural skin tone and the mismatched shade of foundation on her face. Thanks to a new technology by Sephora that launched across North America this summer, this all too familiar beauty blunder may become a thing of the past. The Sephora + Pantone Color IQ system is a device, the first of its kind, offering consumers a personalized technology-driven solution to finding their perfect foundation match. The handheld color-matching device, which resembles an advanced TV remote,

is capable of identifying even the finest shades of distinction between complexions to allow for the most seamless match. With the device, Sephora beauty experts scan the surface of the skin to determine one’s unique Pantone SkinTone number. Using that number, the system generates product recommendations plucked from the 1,000+ foundations, tinted moisturizers and BB creams available at Sephora stores. Beauty experts can further gauge the client’s best-fit foundation based upon their skin type and texture, as well as desired coverage. Sephora has long been an early adopter of technology-the beauty megastore boasts a successful smartphone app and mobile integration at point-of-sale. But the Sephora + Pantone Color IQ system is undoubtedly a game changer in a competitive retail arena where customer service, convenience and personalization reign supreme.

Photo courtesy of


Future Mode: Peter Do



You stop and stare at a woman walking down the street. You wonder, what is she wearing? Wait, is her jumpsuit made of a men’s khaki dress pant? Do those belt loops make up her bandeau top? Huh. They sure do. This month, I had the opportunity to interview Fashion Design major Peter Do who is strictly one-of-a-kind when it comes to his aesthetic, creating women’s clothing inspired by menswear. This “fashionisto” is more than just your average designer as his process is slow, steady, technique-based and process-oriented. Between juggling school, an internship and cooking in his free time, Peter continues to excel and carry out his vision through his collection.

by Marissa Mule

Marissa Mule: When did you first become interested in fashion design? Peter Do: I started designing in high school in my second year. I was the president of the art club, and always saw myself making art and becoming a fine artist. However, in high school, every senior had to do a project in which you reflect your best interest. I had a fashion show called “Junk to Funk,” in which I used recycled materials and trash bag papers, and made them into garments –- I made about ten garments. I learned how to sew, and made about 30 dresses for the show. After graduating, I went to Pratt for a year, then transferred to FIT for fashion design. MM: Do you have any specific inspirations when it comes to designing? PD: When I first began designing, I was really drawn to theatrical and crazy fashion, somewhat like that of Alexander McQueen. As I grew as a designer, and evolved over time, I began designing menswear as womenswear. I’m inspired by Benjamin Carbon, an artist who does abstract realism using violent brushstrokes of human anatomy and the male physique. I’m also very interested in Japanese designers, such as (Martin) Margiela.

The presentation side is too clean. I like the messiness and unfinished look of sketches. Whenever I see someone’s work, I’d rather see their sketchbook first. I’ve knit swatches for my sketchbook, and spent a lot of time developing before I actually make a design. MM: What are your weaknesses? PD: Oh man, this is a hard question! Well, my weakness is that I tend to do too much. I take on way too many projects and I can’t put my effort into all of them.

schools lack. In order to sell the clothes, they need to be functional, yet cool and new at the same time. I want to go abroad after I graduate, so I can focus more on creativity and give myself more time to process. FIT’s very fast –- you have to design a collection every 2-3 weeks. That’s a very fast market approach, which is why a lot of students become “copycats.” I spend a lot of my free-time developing techniques. I like to focus on things for a long time. MM: Where do you see yourself in the future?

MM: Are you interning anywhere? PD: I’m an intern at CG, a line by up and coming designer Chris Gelinas. He was working for Balenciaga and Marc Jacobs and now is doing his own thing. We just finished the latest collection last week. Working there I sell samples and drape and experiment with fabrics and techniques. It’s a very small company, so I learn the whole background, and prepare for buyers meetings. MM: What is your favorite thing about FIT and being in NYC? PD: I love how diverse FIT is. I feel like my aesthetic revolves around the New York woman. I have this sense of commercialism that a lot of European

PD: Well, I won the CFDA Scholarship, a fashion design competition as a sixth semester student. Every fashion school participated, and had to design a 12-15 looks collection where the inspiration is up to you. I won $10,000 and that kind of lifted me off and helped pay for my tuition. I’m slowly getting into construction where I take a men’s blazer and deconstruct it into a woman’s dress. Toward the end of this collection, I have this idea of a half blazer I want to bring into my thesis. I’ve also always wanted to have my own label in the future and gain experience from other companies. View Peter’s work and inspirations at

MM: Where did you come up with your idea to design menswear for womenswear? PD: My thesis is in designing menswear for womenswear. I am so drawn to the idea of not sexualizing women. Just because you’re a woman, doesn’t mean you have to reveal blatant sexiness. I’m moving toward androgyny –- a lot of my pieces are gender neutral. I’m also very into menswear fabrics like flannel and wool and combining them with new technologies such as bonding. MM: Do you use a specific medium? What is your palette like? PD: I use a muted color palette in my designs. My color choices really depend on my inspiration. When it comes to sketching, I normally use watercolor and gouache for quick rendering. Of course , I also use markers. I’ve also come up with this process using print technique – a heat transferred sheet that I iron onto fabrics then wait until it cools. You then proceed by pulling the sheet off and the design transfers onto the material. I’ve used leather, silk, lace and worked with neoprints. MM: How do you develop your designs? PD: You can see how my designs develop throughout my sketchbook.

Photo courtesy of Peter Do




Models Luke Dawson and Kim Koo star as a pair of starcrossed lovers living in a dystopian society. Both try to find their way in an emotionally barren Huxleyesque narrative--appropriately clad in futuristic skins--while trying to preserve the fraying threads of their past, including their timeless bond with one another.


Accessories: H&M white wedges Margiela tabis Margiela cuff Pamela Love ring Jeffrey Campbell boots




Clothes: Peter Do Photographer: David Moses Stylist: Jessica Wu Models: Luke Dawson, Kim Koo Hair/Make-Up Artist: Jha Villanueva Set Assistant: Lydia Sukato





Obtrusiv Magazine: Discovering Talent In America by Maddalena Alecce

These days it is not uncommon for a college student to be involved in multiple extracurricular activities. FIT has no shortage of students who take seven classes, intern three times a week, have part time jobs and play sports all the while maintaining a stellar GPA and excelling in everything. Take Keith Estiler, 22, and Faye Asido, 22, as examples. Keith, a student at Hunter College, and Faye, an AMC student at FIT, both pursue an intriguing endeavor alongside their academic programs: finding emerging artists and featuring their talent on a new online magazine called Obstrusiv Magazine.

With over a thousand followers on Twitter and hundreds of print readers, the Obtrusiv team is determined to give emerging artists an outlet to be discovered. “We meet creative people at spontaneous moments,” said Estiler. “Then we all communicate via Facebook, pitching stories and discussing possible features and visuals,” added Asido, creative director. Despite being a relatively new online publication, the Obtrusiv staff is large and includes on-staff writers, video editors, media directors and copy editors. “We all feed off each other’s talents and creativity and learn skills from one another,” explained Asido. “It’s very important to build a team that likes to network and be with whom you like to work,” continued Estiler. “We all pitch in and have a ‘no offense taken’ kind of attitude.”

“We are not making money; we are making connections.”

Launched October 2012, Obtrusiv’s mission is based on the idea that creativity can be hard to showcase and that creative individuals often have a hard time finding a foothold in displaying their work. This is why the magazine welcomes their creative pursuits and provides them with advice on how to succeed in competitive fields. “We not only want to give a good visual [of their work],” said Estiler, founder and editor-in-chief of Obtrusiv, “We also want to interview them and share their story.” “Obtrusiv derives from the original word obtrusive - and it means to stand out and impose. To prick out from the norm. The original definition has this negative connotation about it, like working in the creative industry does. But our mission is to shine a positive light on it. It’s goes along with the logo as well, the antlers are a symbolism of higher awareness and connection. The connection we make with other creatives and our awareness of their talents,” commented Asido.

With Obtrusiv’s one-year anniversary right around the corner, the team is planning on upping their online presence even more. Next on the agenda? Online newsletters. “Success comes with consistency,” said Estiler. “We are not making money; we are making connections.” Aside from networking and having a good team, Obtrusiv’s success, like any other start-up, is also due to hard work. Estiler cites French author Émile Zola to explain: “The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.”

Photos courtesy of Faye Asido




The Dynamic Duo: XXBC Brand Revamps the Sweatsuit by Chloe Dewberry

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, designers for Proenza Schouler and Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana are all well-known examples of dynamic design-duos who have left a mark on the fashion industry. FIT student Alex Lee and his design partner Will Thompson, currently a sales associates or “shop boys” at Opening Ceremony, are about to follow in these fashion legends’ footsteps with their athletic menswear brand XXBC (pronounced 20 BC). The boys plan on debuting their eclectic collection late this fall/early winter. The designers have built a collection that fits neatly into the growing genre of fashion-forward athletic wear. The collection is comprised of contemporary gray sweat suits meticulously paired and fabricated with out-of-production vintage patterned fabrics. The comfy sweatpants strike the perfect balance between chic and comfort. The sweatpants reassure the wearer that it’s okay to utilize that elastic waist if you look “fly.” The pieces (cohesive sweatshirts, sweatpants, and sweatshorts) can be worn as a set or separately, giving the wearer the option to wear the sweatshorts over the sweatpants. While the one-of-a-kind colorful prints incorporated into each piece are not for the meek, the contrasting gray sweatsuit fabric gives the conservative shopper a more classic feel. The vintage printed fabrics accurately reflect the pattern obsessed XXBC designers themselves and their personal style, which is injected into each garment. One may find Alex strolling through campus in bright NBA jerseys and tribal printed pants; while Will Thompson (featured in numerous street style blogs) is often decked in camo and bubble-gum colored kicks. The collection feels as though you’re borrowing pieces from the designers’ closets and the personal touch makes the clothing ever more unique. Alex sources everything from United Parcel Service winter uniforms and Coogi sweaters to grandma’s couch as inspiration for the collection. The brand name itself relates to the nostalgia of decades past. “The specific date doesn’t have too

much significance. It just relates to how Will and I are inspired by things from the past. The ‘80s and ‘90s were the heydays in personal style and everyone had an I-don’t-care-what-anyone-else-thinks’ attitude,” Alex said. The ‘80s played a large role in the current collection, largely inspired by Norma Kamali’s 1981 collection that was composed entirely out of gray sweatsuit material. The guys decided to revamp the look and put their own modern spin on it. “Sweats have been a staple item in men’s wardrobes since the mid-1900s when dudes started working out. Since then, they’ve been adopted by rappers and mobsters alike. We wanted to take a basic piece of clothing and make the sweatsuit better and more interesting,” Alex said. Photos courtesy of James Parker

While some may quickly throw XXBC into the ever-growing melting pot of streetwear brands, they need to check themselves. “I don’t like labeling XXBC as one genre because I think that can automatically turn people off. I think the line spans a few fashion categories such as streetwear, menswear and sportswear. The quality, attention to detail and fabrication and design elements take it above streetwear without entering into the stuffiness of a significant chunk of menswear. There’s also signs of sportswear and athletic wear that can’t really be ignored,” Alex said. The collection appeals to a mass audience ranging from trendy hipsters shopping at Supreme to those who have a more refined taste and might shop at Barney’s. With two separate designers throwing out inspiration lists that name everything from Scarface varsity jackets to school recess, one might suspect that creative differences arise. But Alex and Will’s personal attitudes and distinctive tastes overpower any stereotypical creative egos. “Will is like a brother to me so sometimes I love him and sometimes I hate him (jokingly). But overall we get along really well

and we both have the same ideas about what’s good and bad in fashion today as well as the culture and environment that we live in,” Alex said. Although price points are presently undetermined, this debut collection allows fashion-forward thinkers to be comfy while looking fly, creating a sense that XXBC can’t fail. Success and notoriety are always cool, but the designers still like to kick back and enjoy everything the big city that inspires them has to offer. “We’d love to try and present at Fashion Week next year. But for now we’re definitely trying to take our time, enjoy our youth in New York City and keep meeting all the cool folks this city has to offer,” said Alex.

HAUTE CULTURE Moving West by Francesca Beltran

our trip. We swam and sunbathed by the lake, hiked the area and explored Antelope Canyon –wow! We also visited the Horseshoe Bend twice to see the sunset – two of the most beautiful moments of my life, and on the third day we rented a boat (that neither of us knew how to drive) to explore the canyons by the river.

We reached Chicago on the second day and spent our time touring the city and partying with Erik (our host) and his roommates. They were incredibly nice and fun, and by the time we left, it kind of felt like leaving home. Their hospitality eased any apprehension we’ve had regarding couch surfing and has become an addition to our skill set since.

Our journey began with a song. Other Lives’ “Dust Bowl III” was playing on my record player when the lyric, “moving west may bring us better days,” suddenly triggered it all. We needed just that, better days, and with this new goal in mind, my friend Ady and I went right online and booked a car. We hardly had any money, so to prevent bankruptcy we decided to Couchsurf and camp in as many places as it was possible. The destination was set to be Banff in Alberta, Canada; I was thinking of Brad Pitt running around those meadows in Legends of the Fall, and a Google search revealed this was the place where the movie was shot. The rest of the route was slowly planned based on our mutual desires and friends’ suggestions.

June 26 finally came. We picked up our car at JFK and named him Sal Paradise (Jack Kerouac’s protagonist in On the Road) aka Sally. The first day was uneventful, but nice. It felt good to be back on the road. That night we slept in Cleveland, where we met our first host, Scott; a nice musician who kept urging us to make ourselves at home. The next morning we ate at the diner he had recommended, and ended up talking with all six customers about the journey ahead. The excitement shown by everyone we talked to about the trip was always an infusion of energy, and I often found myself looking out the car window hardly believing where I was.

After Chicago, it took us three days to drive across the Plains States through which we ate junk food, took photos and listened to loud music. We had been driving through miles and miles of flat land when suddenly, out of nowhere, the Rocky Mountains appeared in the distance, welcoming us to Colorado. It was a moment I’ll never forget. There are two things we loved about Denver: cheap books and cheap records. Following our host Jas’ advice, we made a detour and visited the Rocky Mountain National Park. This was our first deep contact with nature and it was rewarded with some deer spotting and spectacular mountain views. On day nine we entered Utah. There are hardly any words that would do justice to the beauty of the land. Miles of red rock spiked upward from arid desert that suddenly become pine forests and mountain valleys, always canopied with blue skies. We could almost forget the excruciating heat just by looking at the breathtaking scenery. Almost. We drove straight to Arches National Park and spent the day getting lost among its many natural wonders. Fulfilled, we left

and ventured onward to find the house of our next host, Mark, who lived four miles off the highway, on a dirt road, off grid (I didn’t know what that meant. I do now). After being lost for two hours at night in the middle of nowhere (literally), we finally gave up on our quest and drove back to Moab where we slept in the cheapest motel we could find. The next morning Mark joined us for breakfast and we learned about his adventurous life and of his current goal of creating a “food forest” in the middle of the desert-- still not sure what he meant. A farm perhaps? We spent that day driving through Utah and arrived to Lake Powell, Arizona around 9 p.m. We set up our tent –a smaller challenge than I had envisioned, and slept like babies underneath the desert sky. Our week in Lake Powell was one of the highlights of

On our way to Salt Lake City we stopped at Bryce Canyon –another wonder, and, in the Mormon capital we toured around Temple Square and saw the Mormon Tabernacle Choir practice for free. We then drove to the Bonneville Salt Flats, where once again we marveled at Utah’s landscape. Also, our host in SLC left us his home while he was away, completely restoring my faith in humanity. The next day we reached Portland. The moment we arrived, we knew we’d stay longer than planned. We were in love. Adorable houses, incredibly nice people, good food, cheap drinks and the best was yet to come. To sum up, I had the




opportunity to interview Jesse Tabish from Other Lives (the band whose song inspired this trip), and we have become good friends with them since. We also met great people, hiked a waterfall and enjoyed the local life. Sad to leave, we drove alongside the Pacific Ocean with our new friend Skeet, who decided to tag along to Seattle. We stopped to watch the sunset on the road and ended up camping somewhere. That night Skeet taught us how to build a fire from scratch. Seattle

and Vancouver were pretty and relaxing, but excitement really began to re-build when we reached the Rocky Mountains in Canada. Again, words and photos are not enough to describe the splendor. It took us ten hours to get to Banff, in which we stopped to admire the views, take photos and rest. Once there we set our tent in the forest and went from one turquoise lake to another. We saw mountains, glaciers, rivers, waterfalls and everything in between. Canoeing around Moraine Lake, taking the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain and driving through Icefields Parkway are three absolute musts if you go. A suggestion from a local took us to Kananaskis through a gravel road in the mountains which gave us seven hours of mind-blowing scenery. That night we slept in a tipi for the first time in our lives, and the next day we saw a bear cross the highway, fulfilling one of our deepest wishes. At some point in the mountains

we resolved not to go back to New York and instead, drive back to Portland. We chose to rent a room in a house with twelve people from Craigslist and sublet our rooms back home to afford the costs. We never looked back and we never regretted it. After one last stop at Wasa Lake, BC, we headed back to Portland. The three weeks spent there were perfect. We hung out with new friends, went to the river, read in parks and enjoyed good food and drinks on an everyday basis. Before we left, Ady, Jesse and I got matching tattoos, and the band threw us a farewell party at their place, where we sadly said goodbye to all the wonderful people we had met. Like any ending, the road to Reno was sad indeed. It’s hard to leave the road and all its wonders. On the last day we stopped at Burney Falls, CA for one last shot of the scenery, and on August 26, two months after leaving New York and approximately 6000 miles later, we dropped Sally at the airport and headed to a new adventure at Burning Man, a music festival that takes place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Although we do not count Burning Man as part of the road trip, it was definitely a very monumental way to end an already life-changing experience. We spent one week in an RV in the desert surrounded by thousands of people whose main purpose

was self-expression. A judgment-free environment, everywhere you looked was filled with art, freedom and extravagance, and the best is that it was all for free. Once inside the festival, it was forbidden to sell or purchase anything (except ice and coffee), as Burning Man is adamant on being a commerce-free event. Anywhere you went people shared food, drinks and

all kinds of items with others. Burning Man was like no place I’ve ever been to before, and the only possible way for me to describe the over-stimulating experience is with one word: surreal. Overall, the trip was a dream, perhaps the single best thing I’ve ever done in my life. And if there’s something I learned and would like to share from this experience is that plans change, often for the best. Just go with it. Lastly, I’ll give you an advice that changed my life: you can go anywhere.

Photography by Francesca Beltran




Museum Review:

James Turrell at the Guggenheim by Emilie Schwenk

When comparing artists, James Turrell and Frank Lloyd Wright are not a pair that one would normally think of as complementary. Nonetheless, Turrells’ current exhibition, “Aten Reign” at the Guggenheim Museum transforms Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic rotunda into an elliptic, almost hallucinogenic symphony of light. The Guggenheim is one of three museums currently celebrating Turrell, the groundbreaking artist, who turned 70 this year. The other two museums, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston each feature an extensive and inordinate accolade from the artist and his team. “Aten Reign” is the most comprehensive and ambitious installation the Guggenheim has ever tackled. In order to execute it, a complete clearing aside of one of the museum’s adjacent exhibits was required. Turrell’s display of light reimagines the famous rotunda and uses its openness and graceful curvature to transform the enormous space into a glowing, visually stimulating spectacle. Like most of Turrell’s work, the exhibition aims to give museum goers a profoundly sensory experience. The complete light cycle lasts about 60 minutes; “Aten Reign” moves colors entrancingly through the cylindrical space with seamless mini-spectrums of reds, oranges, blues and a lot of pink. The mystical flow of colors and lights could leave viewers with some deeply contemplative feelings that give rise to higher thoughts.

James Turrell is an American artist who is perhaps the most notable member of the innovative generation of space and light artists that originated in Los Angeles in the late 1960’s. Turrell is best known for his masterwork, “Roden Crater,” a natural volcanic crater located in the desert of Arizona that the artist began transforming into a massive naked-eye observatory in 1979, and is still in progress. Before receiving a master’s degree in art from the University of California Irvine, Turrell studied geology, astronomy and mathematics while pursuing a degree in perceptual psychology from Pomona College in 1965. As the son of an aeronautical engineer and a trained medical worker in the Peace Corps, Turrell’s Quaker upbringing and transcendental education undeniably add to his tendency for epiphanic manifestos. While you may or may not see God, “Aten Reign” at the Guggenheim is accurately titled. The name, “Aten” is an emblematic term for the radiant disks of the sun, said to be a direct manifestation of the sun god in Ancient Egypt. The exhibit itself resembles a divine contradiction in its simple elements that evoke hidden complexities. Nothing short of breathtaking, “Aten Reign” is on view at the Guggenheim Museum through September 25 for anyone looking for an intense introspective experience.

Photography by Fernanda DeSouza and




Book Review:

The Cuckoos Calling by Maddalena Alecce

J.K. Rowling has come a long way from her fantasy novels starring wizards, witchcraft and magic. Her latest novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, was published with acclaimed reviews last April under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith and is in fact a crime novel, a surprising switch from her successful Potter series. This is the type of book that will keep you hooked to your Kindle from page one. The first hundred pages could trick you into thinking you know exactly where the plot is headed. But the truth is, you couldn’t possibly imagine what lies in wait for your hungry eyes to feast on. When John Bristow hires private investigator Cormoran Strike to find out if his sister, supermodel Lula Landry, really committed suicide you might think, “There goes another novel about family and coping with death.” Wrong! The Cuckoo’s Calling is a page-turner whose narrative uncovers Lula’s life through Strike’s investigation. It forces you to question how well you truly know the people surrounding you and make you realize that sometimes dark thoughts can turn into dark actions.

In addition to having a gripping storyline, the novel also touches upon sensitive topics such as the war in Afghanistan and its consequences (with Strike suffering an injury during war) and the downsides of fame and wealth. Lastly, Rowling brings to light man’s necessity to feel part of a family, as Lula was adopted and searching for her biological parents before her sudden death. The characters are real and plausible. Strike is in a constant funk and living in his office after his recent breakup with his longtime girlfriend. His temporary assistant, Robin, is a newly engaged 25-year-old who turns out to be Strike’s most valuable asset. Lula shows the reader how imperfect a supermodel’s life can be, despite the fame, wealth and beauty. And finally there is John, the most intricate character of them all, who is doused in mystery and is a driving force in the story. All in all, this is a well-written and thrilling novel, which proves how starting over and reinventing one’s self time and time again is possible, even for a celebrated author like J.K. Rowling.

Photo courtesy of

Film Review:

Una Noche by Chloe Dewberry

There’s a scene in Lucy Malloy’s Cubanbased film “Una Noche” where a main character states that, “In Havana, nothing stops for anybody. Nothing changes.” In this film, Havana is painted as a rough city with little sympathy for its inhabitants. The culture, laws and troubles remain the same yet life-altering changes are found within the characters themselves.

Photos courtesy of Una Noche Films

Director Lucy Malloy’s riveting film debut captures the nervous and desperate spirit of teenage life in communist-ruled Havana, Cuba. The film centers around Lila (played by Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre) and her twin brother Elio (Javier Nunez Florian) who struggle with family matters and teenage hormones while growing up in a poverty-ridden area of Havana. Complications arise when Elio meets Raul (Dariel Arrechaga), who dreams of making the 90 mile sea voyage to Florida to find his absent father. Elio

longs to travel with him but cannot bear to leave his sister behind. An unexpected day of mishaps escalates into accidental crime and sets their unorganized escape plans into motion.

Malloy holds nothing back for her directorial debut and focuses on cinematography as a driving force in Una Noche. Malloy’s shots of colorfully impoverished Havana city life and its residents will leave viewers wondering if she got her start directing episodes of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.” In the film, Malloy vividly paints the crumbling city as a place with a rough past and even stronger culture.

Juxtaposing scenes of rich foreign tourists visiting the city save the film from crossing the “poverty porn” line. While the film will most likely be compared to other teenage-focused foreign films such as the Brazilian-hit City of God, what sets it apart are unexpected emotional and hormonal coming-of-age plot twists that befall each character. While some of the plot line may seem a tad ridiculous, the scenic cinematography and superb acting make up for any small flaws. Each performance, by a cast that includes mostly non professional actors, is so engaging and relatable, that it leaves viewers feeling as though they’re living through the complications that come from residing in Cuba. While the young stars give breakout performances that are at once gripping and sincere, the real star of the film is the cultural city of Havana itself.

Concert Review:

Electric Zoo




designs and builds its own live visuals, from LED lights to special effects. Electric Zoo ran for its fifth year this August, illustrating its addictive and massive appeal. “It was my first time at anything this big. It was exciting because it’s not like the music festivals we have in Singapore,” said Ananya Lalwani, an international student at New York University, proving that the festival easily holds a great influence over its attendees.

by Hermina Sobhraj

Immersed in a sea of neon lights and high-tech sounds, over 110,000 people came together for one of the East Coast’s largest concerts, Electric Zoo, that took place August 30th through September 1st. From Tiesto to Knife Party to Avicii, some of the biggest names in DJ history could be found ripping tunes on Randall’s Island. Scheduled for three days, Electric Zoo was filled with eager “ravers” ready to join one of the world’s largest karaoke fests. Ravers could pick between five

different stages, each featuring a specific DJ promoting a different genre of electronic music. Debuting at the concert, up-and-coming artist Kill Paris stood out amongst some of the big players. His exotic take on beats and vocals separated him from much of the mainstream phenomena. Likewise, the M Machine, an electronic music trio from San Francisco, California, also proved its distinctiveness. The group

However, Ishaan Benegal, another student at NYU, pointed out that with great power comes great responsibility, “Despite all of the good vibes and beats, some people decided to take things one step too far.” Ishaan is referring to the deaths of two concert-goers, Jeffrey Russ and Olivia Rotondo. Both died of MDMA overdoses, a tragic incident that obligated officials to cancel the third day of the event. “I just think it’s sad that people don’t know when to draw the line. And when they’re given the freedom to do it [drugs], they abuse it,” added Benegal. Despite its ups and downs, Electric Zoo has proven itself as a concert giant among some of the greatest raves like Tomorrowland and Electric Daisy Carnival. But please, rave responsibly. Photo courtesy of

Theater Review:

Kinky Boots by Raquel Rose Burger

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

The world of Broadway is going crazy over it’s newest addition: Kinky Boots. The off beat musical (with music and lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a script by Harvey Fierstein) with hits that include “Raise You Up/Just Be” and “Sex is in the Heel” recently took home six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Choreography and Best Actor. It’s no

surprise then that no matter the night, there’s never an empty seat at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. Kinky Boots is based on the true story behind the 2005 film of the same name, which tells the tale of a struggling shoemaker and his drag queen partner. The story revolves around Charlie Price (Stark Sands) whose father owns a shoe factory in Northampton, London. When his father dies, Charlie is forced to reinvent the business and the product. With the help of Lola (Billy Porter), a drag queen performer whom he meets by chance, Charlie realizes there is an untapped, niche market for cross dressers who need well-made footwear. He then sets his sights on fulfilling this unique need. And, of course, what would a show be without a love triangle? In Kinky Boots, it’s between Charlie, his controlling fiancé Nicola (Lena Hall) and his crush Lauren (Annaleigh Asford).

Though the storyline may be out of the box, the overarching theme of Kinky Boots fits in perfectly with what is going on with the fight for equality in today’s world-another reason for its unprecedented success. As the crowd exits from the theater each night, it’s clear they’ve immersed themselves in the world of Kinky Boots, with some members of the audience sporting boas and red shoes as they exit the doors. The show gives off such a fantastic vibe that viewers can’t help but get involved in their own way. Kinky Boots is truly about surpassing stereotypes, discovering your passion and overcoming prejudice. One person who also found themselves particularly inspired by the show is Kenneth Cole-- so much so that the designer is launching a limited edition shoe line this holiday season influenced by the boots featured in Kinky Boots. We’ll kick up our heels to that!




Outside Your Borough:


Gowanus, by Dana Heyward

Tucked between the brownstone-lined streets of Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, you’ll find the Brooklyn neighborhood of Gowanus. Gowanus is one of the few Brooklyn neighborhoods that hasn’t necessarily been affected by gentrification. Its industrial and shabby character, with vacant warehouses and graffitied factories, is somewhat endearing; however, there are small changes that are transforming this neighborhood into a destination for nightlife or even a place for a decent day-trip. To get the full neighborhood experience, one can take a stroll down Third Ave. and hit up a number of spots. For terrarium enthusiasts, or those just curious about them, check out Twig. This shop has some fairly awesome terrariums for sale. If you’re feeling like you possess the skills to create these mini indoor garden masterpieces, they offer classes where you can make your own with an instructor. Or if you’re a DIY type, you can purchase your own kit and create one in the freedom of your own home.

Photography by Dana Heyward

For a quick dessert, I headed over to Four and Twenty Blackbirds. The quaint pie shop is home to delicious flavors such as salted caramel apple, peach raspberry and honey fig. Pies are sold by the slice but don’t be ashamed to go back for seconds (or thirds, or fourths)! If you get tired of Third Ave., venture to Carroll Street Bridge to get a view of the infamous Gowanus Canal. While the canal has been declared a Superfund site, a title only given to the nation’s worst toxic waste areas, there’s something oddly charming about this body of water. Try to stick around until the evening, since most places here seem to open around 5 p.m on weekdays. If you’re feeling seafood and a New England beer combo, head over to Littleneck. This is a great post-work or after-school place that

won’t break the bank. The steamer-clams with garlic, cooked to perfection, paired with a Narragansett beer was a perfect way to top off the day. Gowanus definitely supports my argument that Brooklyn can feel like a

different state (or possibly even country) in comparison to the other boroughs. The industrial buildings and car lots are reminiscent of the South Bronx, but its canal-strolling and bike-riding residents will give you a taste of Portlandia in the middle of Brooklyn.




Month in Review by Dara Kenigsberg

What in the World is Going on in Syria? Sarin gas is an extremely dangerous, odorless, and colorless chemical toxin that has devastating effects. It is a nerve agent that when used as a weapon of mass destruction (which is how it is classified), “can be lethal even at very low concentrations, with death following within one minute after direct exposure due to suffocation from lung muscle paralysis, unless some antidotes...are quickly administered to a person. People who absorb a nonlethal dose, but do not receive immediate medical treatment, may suffer permanent neurological damage”[1]. During the Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, the United Nations made it illegal to produce and stockpile chemical weapons, sarin included. This did not stop the Syrian government from using it on its own people; on August 21st, near Damascus, the Syrian government declared war on its own people by poisoning them with sarin gas. No one was safe, no one was forewarned and over 1,400 men, women and children were killed. On September 1st, the Obama administration called this “the world’s gravest chemical weapons attack in 25 years.” Syria has been engaged in a civil war for the last 2 years, and President Assad said he, “feared an attack might degrade the Syrian military and tip the balance.” He also categorically denied that he used chemical weapons on his own people. The Syrian Civil War began in March of 2011, with protesters insisting that President Assad, whose family had held power since the early 70s, step down and that there be an end to the Ba’ath party which has ruled

SOURCes: 1. “Sarin.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 2. “National Security.” Washington Post. N.p., 01 Sept 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 3. Mohammed, John Whitesides and Arshad. Yahoo! News. Yahoo! 08 Sept. 2013.Web 15 Sept. 2013. 4. “National Security.” Washington Post. N.p., 01 Sept 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 5, 6, 7. “Obama’s Syria Speech: 10 Things You Need to Know.” USA Today. Gannet, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2013.

since the early 60s. What began as demonstrations turned into insurgence and mutiny and this has been going on ever since, with no change in sight, at least up until a few weeks ago. There have been to date over 100,000 casualties with some three million refugees which have fled to neighboring countries. As Americans and citizens of a democracy, we believe that our way is the right way and it is a long-held tradition for our country to step in and right the wrongs to the best of our ability. The problem that we face today is that we don’t want to start another war where thousands more will die, as happened under the Bush administration. Over the last two weeks, Obama has been struggling with whether or not to send missiles into Syria. On Fox News Sunday in early September, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “I can’t contemplate that the Congress would turn its back on all of that responsibility and the fact that we would have, in fact, granted impunity to a ruthless dictator to continue to gas his people…Those are the stakes.” It was believed by many that Obama was going to strike over Labor Day weekend which came and went and nothing happened. Instead, Obama decided that he would wait to get the proper support from Congress. On Tuesday, September 10th, Obama addressed many of the questions that the American people have been pondering since his first announcement. In his

speech, he told the nation he is, “exploring a Russian diplomatic plan to end a chemical weapons dispute in Syria, but reserves the right to take military action.” He also verified that Assad has not only admitted to having chemical weapons, but has also agreed to turn them over to Russia and join the Chemical Weapons Convention (which proscribes the use of any such weaponry). He went on to say that he is considering a “targeted military strike. The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime’s ability to use them and to make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use. That’s my judgment as commander in chief. Meanwhile, I’ve ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails.” He has no plans of putting boots on the ground, and is affirmatively standing by the assertion that our involvement is necessary because of Al-Qaeda. The President believes Al-Qaeda is using the conflict to strengthen their cause, which is a threat we Americans, and the majority of nations have been trying to weaken for over a decade. As his speech went on, one question stood out in many people’s minds: why do we have to police the world? To this, he responded, “America is not the world’s policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe, and it is beyond our means to right every wrong, but when with modest effort and risk we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act.”


The Leak


The Central Intelligence Agency is supposed to be a veritable fortress-impossible to break into, impervious to hacking and highly secretive. C.I.A. operatives are told that they can only share their position with their most immediate family, and that is only if it is necessary. The Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency enforce the safety of our country often in ways that us laypeople will never know, and might not even want to.

Enter Edward Snowden. He worked for both the C.I.A. and the N.S.A. Snowden leaked documents regarding mass-surveillance programs--both domestic and foreign-which were classified top secret, to The Guardian, a leading British newspaper. The Guardian published a succession of articles based on the leaks. The exact date that Snowden and The Guardian’s Barton Gellman joined forces is unclear, but it was sometime between February and April of this year, after Snowden made his first contact with them in late 2012. The fallout from this has been massive, claim

Snowden had applied for asylum in as many as 20 different countries, Venezuela being one of those that granted it without any conditions. On July 1st, Russia had also granted him asylum but on the basis that he “stop his work aimed at harming our American partners.” At first, he did not agree to these terms, but on July 12th changed his mind. Snowden decided to accept all offers of asylum and as of July 23rd, agreed to the terms set forth by The responses to what he did have been mixed. He has been called everything from Russia. As of now, despite the fact that President Putin called him “an unwanted a hero, to a traitor, to a whistleblower and Christmas gift” this is where he has choeverything in between. President Obama has unwaveringly stated that, “his adminis- sen to settle. tration is not spying on U.S. citizens--rather, it’s only looking for information on terrorists.” US authorities. Snowden said in interviews that, “Even if you are not doing anything wrong, you are being watched,” and, “I’m just another guy who sits there day to day in the office, watching what’s happening, and goes, ‘This is something that’s not our place to decide.’ The public needs to decide whether these programs or policies are right or wrong.”

At the time of the leak Snowden was living in Hawaii with his girlfriend and working at Booz Allen Hamilton, a government contractor. Since the leaks, he has left his job (or rather, was fired) and his home. He is currently wanted in the U.S. for espionage and recently was trying to fly from Moscow to Havana. However, he was unsuccessful and while in transit, was detained in Russia because Cuba decided not to let him into the country.


SOURCES: 1. Yan, Barbara Starr and Holly, CNNs Matt Smith, and Holly Yan. “Man behind NSA Leaks Says He Did It to Safeguard Privacy, Liberty.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 2. Yan, Barbara Starr and Holly, CNNs Matt Smith, and Holly Yan. “Man behind NSA Leaks Says He Did It to Safeguard Privacy, Liberty.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 3. Yan, Barbara Starr and Holly, CNNs Matt Smith, and Holly Yan. “Man behind NSA Leaks Says He Did It to Safeguard Privacy, Liberty.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 4. “Edward Snowden.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 5. “Edward Snowden.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013.

Two Overdoses Bring Electric Zoo to an Early End Electric Zoo is a massive, weekend long, electronic dance music party that takes place annually in Randall’s Island. People come from all over the country, some even from other parts of the world, just to be a part of it. It is in no way your average party, but rather a gathering of the top artists in the electronic genre and their evergrowing devoted followers. It is supposed to be a weekend of reverie, loud music and most of all, dancing and being around others with the same taste in music. This year’s E-Zoo, which took place over Labor Day weekend, started off just like that. It was said to be exciting and magical, the music being amazing and just what the partygoers had wanted. This all changed on the second day of the concert. Two

students, from two different schools, who might not have even known one another, overdosed on the club drug MDMA (methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine). Olivia Rotondo, now famously told EMT workers as they were taking her away, “I just took 6 hits of molly”[1]. The other student, Jeffrey Russ, had taken the same drug. Though it is unknown whether the two came with the drugs or bought them there (and if they did, whether they obtained them from the same person), they both overdosed and died. Rotondo, who died 45 minutes later, was a student from the College of New Hampshire, while Russ attended NYU. They were 23 and 20, respectively. The deaths do not come as a surprise. Such music festivals are infamous for drug use, which is why the companies that throw them have E.MT.s standing by and medical tents for attendees. Not to take away from these

tragedies, but their deaths were not the only problems that occurred that weekend. An estimated 31 people were arrested, mostly for possession charges, and on the first night of the concert, a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted. Music festivals like this have become a commonplace, and all over the world, they are a hotbed for drug use. Though most of these revelers go for the beats, they take the drugs because it enhances the sensation that the atmosphere and the music provide. Calling it an epidemic is pushing it but there is no doubt that the drug use at these festivals is rampant and there are calls for some type of change. The backlash on Twitter and Facebook due to the festival’s cancellation on the third day was undeniably harsh and at times disrespectful. In one thread, someone under the name @Deeken wrote, “6

Hits of molly? What kind of idiot does that much MDMA? If you are stupid enough to willingly take that much MDMA then you deserve what fate you got.” Another person, @85Dumbo, wrote, “Three cheers for Darwinism”[3]. Not everyone was as harsh; many posts reached out to the families of those who died and paid their respects, but because the third day of the concert was cancelled due to the drug overdoses, a lot of paying customers were annoyed, despite the deaths. Refunds are being offered to those who did not get to attend the final day of the concert, but while this may appease the partygoers, it does nothing for the Rotondo and Russ families. Geoffrey Croft, president of NYC Park Advocates, told the Daily News that, “These events are out of control, and they shouldn’t be happening on park property.”

SOURCES: 1. Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Student Who Died At Electric Zoo Allegedly Took 6 Hits Of Molly.” Huffington Post., 03 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 2, 3. “Woman Who Died At Electric Zoo Festival Took Six Hits Of “Molly” - Page 2 City-Data Forum.” Woman Who Died At Electric Zoo Festival Took Six Hits Of “Molly” Page 2 - City-Data Forum. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2013. 4. Sieczkowski, Cavan. “Student Who Died At Electric Zoo Allegedly Took 6 Hits Of Molly.” Huffington Post., 03 Sept. 2013. Web. 15 Sept. 2013.

FIT SPEAKS How To Avoid Your Worst Miranda Priestly Nightmares by Richard Gilmartin

Here you are, you’ve made it to FIT and decided to follow your dreams after watching rerun after rerun of The Hills on MTV (do people still watch that? Being a senior makes me feel so old and out of touch with today’s youth). Now that you’ve spent the past month properly adjusting to city life, you can begin your career as a fashion student. Not sure how to exactly go about doing that? 1. Take your schooling seriously. Most students can easily forget that they are just that, students. Between working, partying, networking and interning it can be easy to get caught in the glamour of it all. After all, you are working that internship that a million girls in America would kill to have, so you take it very, very seriously. School work at times can seem so easy and unimportant that it’s not worth it. The lesson you’re learning in class may not be as important as the ones you’re learning at work, but the degree that you will eventually receive is of the utmost importance. Without that degree, all your interning and hard work is worthless. 2. Know how to network. This is how you will get the things you want. If you want

to be part of the fashion industry, then find a way in. In all honesty, anyone has a chance to be part of the fun these days, especially with the advent of the Internet and social media. If you’re just starting out and aren’t sure where to start, begin by networking at school. FIT is full of students who are making it in the industry. These people know how to network and can often be found at school clubs. Try different clubs, find out what you like and make these people your friends. Upperclassmen can be a great resource when it comes to entering the industry and searching for a job on your own. 3.Be aware of your surroundings. Look around, take it all in. You, my friend, are a creative individual, and you are playing in the world’s greatest creative playground. Take the time to find out what really intrigues you. It could be the Museum of Sex on 6th Ave or it could be a coffee shop in SoHo. The possibilities are endless and you’d be insane not to take advantage of that.

to be wearing six-inch platform heels to class and work every day, but at least look like you try and pull it together when you have to. If you feel confident about how you look, then you will be more confident in other areas of your life. This also goes for your attitude-- always remember to be nice and grateful to everyone you meet because they’re more likely to have more power than you. Respect that. People love to talk and one bad move could cost you your reputation. 5. Don’t give up. You are going to get doors slammed in your face. Sometimes people won’t even respond at all, which can seem depressing. But you have to realize that this happens to everyone. The people who seem to have it so easy have probably had 1,000 “no’s” to every single “yes” that they’ve received. Just remember that all you need is that one yes. Even if it wasn’t the exact “yes” you were hoping for, take it if it seems like it’s going to be your best bet. Remember, everyone has to start somewhere.

4.Be aware of yourself. I hate to say it, but image is kind of everything in this industry. That’s not to say that you have

Ballin’ in Bushwick by zach Rosenbaum

Bushwick is everything that people liked about Williamsburg before it turned into a hipster Disneyland. Brooklyn is so upand-coming these days that, similar to the westward expansion of the early United States, New Yorkers who have had enough of the absurdly high prices of living in Manhattan are moving eastward by way of the L train. Having spent my junior year studying abroad in Italy, I’m now a senior balling on a budget. So like many others in similar situations, I’ve taken refuge in the lovely land of Bushwick. Living in an area like this is exciting because it’s in transition. It is constantly changing: old places are closing down and new things are opening up. It’s not going to look the same in five years-- I can’t even imagine what Bushwick will be like in 10 to 15 years. Today, the neighborhood is predominantly Hispanic but is diversifying exponentially. It’s a perfect combination of its three surrounding neighborhoods-East Williamsburg, Ridgewood, Queens and Bed-Stuy. It’s artsy and trendy, yet rough around the edges and with some real Brooklyn traditionalism and not to mention, a whole lot of families.

There are a lot of things I love about Bushwick. For one thing, drinks are cheap. The bars are booming with young people, and there are a handful of DIY bars where musicians come and perform without frills. I love the countless bodegas that are open 24/7 where I can buy Mamitas Mexican ice cream. In the summertime enjoyed running through the sprinkling fire hydrants, so symbolic to Bushwick. The area is also slowly but surely becoming gentrified. Bushwick has its own online news magazine, Bushwick Daily, launched from a photo blog in 2010. According to a report released by the NYPD, the crime rate has dramatically decreased, and property values are escalating. I’ve found that the police have a great presence, especially at night. With the new crowd comes new interests, and our (at least my) main interest is food. There are undoubtedly some absolutely fantastic eateries. Arancini Bros (940 Flushing Ave) sells Sicilian rice balls all through the night. If you want to get a little weird, go to King Noodle-- an American diner meets Korean BBQ meets roller disco meets the movie Spring Breakers. They have some bizarre but phenomenal dishes

like Kimchi Carbonara and Ma Po Tofu Fries. Bushwick really is a great place to live as a young adult-- I say this as a full time student and intern who commutes daily into Manhattan. With the L and J, M, Z lines running through the neighborhood (quite accessible, navigable, plus cell phone service!), the commute isn’t nearly as bad as I expected--and it’s really quite scenic as everything but the L is above ground. You can appreciate some pretty views of Brooklyn from above, plus a too-goodto-be-real view of the city when the train crosses over the Williamsburg Bridge. Overall, living in Bushwick sits well with me. I have a sense of pride in where I live. There is a visible transformation occurring, and periodically I’m blown away at how fast the area is developing. Just by the people who are moving out there, you can see that it’s becoming the new Williamsburg. It’s artsy, unpretentious and often really grimy-- but in a charming way. If you’re watching your money and like to live adventurously, I highly recommend calling Bushwick your new homeit’s filled with opportunity.




Television: As Addictive As Walter White’s Meth by Fernanda DeSouza

I’m sitting in a bar in East Williamsburg. Not Williamsburg per say and not quite Bushwick. In the back room at Tutu’s Restaurant/Bar (the consequence of not having cable or owning a television), in the midst of craft beers, burgers and the hipster species, I cling to my chair, the wall, my arms, holding my breath to the point where I forget that I am holding my breath. I begin to experience heart palpitations and start sweating from the unlikeliest places in my body. I finally let go and breathe at the commercial break. Holy shit. The excretion of excitement and anxiety is enough to drive me up a wall. “Breaking Bad” will be the death of me. There is no doubt that “Breaking Bad” has a cult following. The hit AMC show entered its second and final half of the fifth season late this summer and has since gained a growing audience. “You have GOT to watch this show,” demanded a close friend which is all it took to entice me. I was hooked after the first episode and abused my Netflix account, consuming as much of Walter and Jesse as I could. But that’s the case for most television shows I’ve picked up in the past three years. “Mad Men” was no different, and “Downton Abbey?” Forget it! I can’t help but wonder who Don Draper will lure into the bedroom next or what witty remark will spew out of the Dowager’s mouth and

whether or not it will cause a ripple effect in the plot of the episode. The realization of the attachment we develop to these television characters is frightening and I did not experience it in its full capacity until that night at Tutu’s with my neighbors. One did not stop exclaiming his concerns for the plot on the walk home. Another couldn’t help but sigh, “Man, do you think Walter’s dead?” George Gerbner and Larry Gross from the University of Pennsylvania developed what is known as the cultivation theory, a psychological study that examines the effects of television on humans’ (mis) perception of the real world. Although I’d like to think I’m not neurotic I looked to my “screen friends” for inspirations or instructions on how to act. I looked to Lady Sybil for a sense of grace, I compare myself to Jess from “New Girl” when hanging out with my male group of friends and I tried to achieve that ultimate Upper East Side attitude and lifestyle like in “Gossip Girl” my first year at FIT. The latter failed when I knew throwing druginduced parties and shopping at Barneys was not my top priority in life. Is our obsession giving us an excuse to dodge a sense of social isolation? Or is the obsession manifesting social isolation within our lives itself? Perhaps a

similar obsession we share is with our phones. Pretending to listen to a friend while at dinner when you’re really doubletapping your finger to the bone through Instagram, muttering, “uh huh, oh really? yup,” and suddenly lifting your face off the screen and blurt out, “Oh em gee, did you see what so-and-so posted on her Insta? You won’t believe it!” All the while, the food grows cold and you scoff at yourself for having invited this rude bitch. Television is the driving force of a conversation as much as our phones have become the monster that devours our time and attention. But rather, television, unlike a personal phone, is shared by a community and there is no doubt we don’t find an excuse to bring it up in conversation. “How’s the weather?” has met its competition. Despite the completion of “Breaking Bad” in a few weeks Walter White will always remain my favorite chemistry teacher. Time to find a new show to live by-vicariously or not.

Stephanie Schwartz | Fashion Design | Finding a happy medium of mixing evening with intimates without my designs looking trashy

Megan Madden | Photography | Translate my photos into video

Deja Jaes | Undeclared | Styling models to bring out their mood and personality

style on 27 Photography by Jessica Farkas

One of the most beautiful aspects of walking around the FIT campus is that the creativity and individuality of our students is so apparent that spectators are able to get a feel for our distinct perspectives just by the way we dress. W27 found eight stylish students and asked them for their interpretation of some “big ideas� on our radar this month. Patrick Rogers | Photography | Injecting a cinematic quality into my photos

Val Morgan | Fashion Design | Make the world prettier

Kimberlei McNamara | Fashion Design | Recycle more

Bianca Khan | FMM | Success is only brought on by ambition

Tiffany Lantigya | FMM | Follow your dreams, wherever they take you!

September 2013: the Big Ideas Issue