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The Presidential Look

· Style, Trends & Shopping · , , , , ,

Although Republican presidential nominee (LOL!) Donald Trump once said, “she doesn’t have the look” (or was is “stamina?”) in regards to his competitor, Secretary Hillary Clinton, we beg to differ. Whether or not you’re #withher, it’s hard to deny that HRC has the potential to pull some seriously stellar looks. And if there’s one thing she’s mastered, it’s tailoring, whether in a more formal sense, a more professional setting, or even as an upgrade to an otherwise casual ensemble. Many of us are feeling pretty inspired by our possible first female president, especially sartorially. So check out some presidential looks we threw together for you to try at home. Who knows, maybe we could even see Hillary Clinton herself in a couple of these outfits (hey, girl!).

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Looking Forward

· Runway · , , , , , ,

There’s so much out there in terms of fashion, and it’s up to today’s designers to provide women with choices, whether it’s a character she could become via a brand’s propositions or a message that a collection presents. Sure, sometimes the clothes are left to speak for themselves. But in that case, the pieces should carry the strength of re-presenting typical garb.

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Vacation Wear

· Style, Travel & Culture · , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Summer might be winding down, but there are definitely still a few weeks left to savor. And what better way to enjoy the remainder of summer than with a vacation? Maybe you’ve already got something planned, or maybe you’re more of the last-minute type. Regardless, refer to our top vacation destinations, book your flight, and most importantly, pack your bags. And if you’re struggling to figure out what exactly to pack, have no fear; here are just a few style suggestions for both men and women, a cohesive guide to help you curate the perfect wardrobe during your time off. Whether you’re heading to Baja, Greece, the Amalfi Coast, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, or elsewhere, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy!

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De-Code

· Editorial, Thoughts · , , ,

 

We often tend to misinterpret the differences between gender and biological sex; gender is not intrinsic, but something acquired and learned, something we do and perform. And in our culture, gender is constructed as a binary, where masculinity and femininity are placed as polar opposites. So how does fashion fit into this?

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BOLD

· Editorial · , , , , , ,

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Marc Jacobs fall 2015 ready-to-wear; Photo Courtesy John Minchillo, AP

Women of New York

· Runway, Thoughts · , , , ,

New York Fashion Week fall/winter 2015 finally came to a close, and although we’ve still got London, Milan, and Paris to keep an eye on, the industry is definitely breathing a collective sigh of relief. So, what did we take away from the whirlwind of these hundreds of shows from the past week, and what does it mean for fashion-conscious females? We’re not going to go into trends for the new season quite yet. Instead, let’s take a look at New York designers’ visions for the modern woman and what messages are being presented.

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Photo Courtesy NU Icons

The New Couture

· Runway · , , , ,

Right on the heels of the fall 2015 menswear shows, the spring 2015 haute couture shows came in strong. The pinnacle of luxury, these collections tend to cater more to a very specific client, while some of the pieces are true works of art. But just because this isn’t the influx of clothes, trends, and beauty moments that come with ready-to-wear doesn’t mean it should go unnoticed; in a way, this is the best way to see the strongest codes and abilities from the top maisons. 

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Holiday Dressing

· Style · , , , , ,

The tree is up, the menorah is ready. You’ve got gifts for all of your loved ones, and plans on plans on plans. But then there’s the crucial, ubiquitous problem: what are you going to wear?

Probably the best aspect of the holiday season is all of the parties. And whether you’re going big and formal or just hanging out with friends and family, you’ll need to look your best while staying festive. Maybe it all lies in a fun, seasonably appropriate color scheme, or maybe you opt for sparkles, shine, and other lively elements for your ensembles. Whatever the occasion, check out some holiday outfit ideas for ladies and gents here!

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Photo Courtesy: Jezebel

Don’t be Basic

· Style · , , ,
Photo Courtesy: Jezebel

Photo Courtesy: Jezebel

The basic bitch is a real thing. And while yes, those girls running around your college campus in their UGG boots with their venti lattes certainly fit the bill, there’s more to this epidemic of conformity than you might think. Believe it or not, even “fashion girls” can fall into this category if they aren’t careful. And don’t think this is just an issue for females; guys are just as guilty – if not even more so – of being basic. So, how exactly do you define a “basic?”

Think outside of just an obsession with fro-yo, yoga (and yoga pants), kale, pumpkin spice, and other clichés. From a fashion standpoint, you might be a basic female if:

There’s plenty more that could define you accordingly, but that’s just a start. Oh, and don’t think we forgot about the guys. Common traits amongst male “basic fashion” include:

But there’s way more that can diminish a fashion person’s character besides just their personal taste (or lack thereof). Most importantly, a “fashion basic” is crucially guilty of having no true sense of style. Following trends too closely could be more detrimental than you think, while having no clear vision of your own sense of style is just a major bummer for yourself and everyone else. On that note, here are a few tips to help you avoid being “basic.”

  1. Learn about new cultures, brands, arts, and other subjects. Expanding your tastes is probably the first step away from basic land, even if your sense of style still falls behind.
  2. Incorporate editorial into the every day. Of course, this should be done sparingly. But in case anyone forgot, fashion spreads were initially intended to sell the clothes. So while you don’t necessarily have to go absolutely batshit with your outfit, editorial styling could definitely help put a creative twist on an otherwise drab ensemble (especially for guys).
  3. Switch up your repertoire. If your go-to ensemble tends to be a crop top with a pair of high-waisted bottoms, then you’re verging on basic territory. This style wouldn’t be so prevalent if it truly sucked; there’s nothing totally wrong with it. But it’s time to embrace the good ol’ button-down and trousers combo. That is, unless you’re a guy. Some dudes need to learn that there are other outfits out there.
  4. Step it up in the eveningwear department. There’s nothing sexier than a woman in a good suit. Think Coco Rocha in the “Elle” by Yves Saint Laurent fragrance ads (Google it if you don’t know). A pair of cropped trousers, a slicked-back updo, and le smoking blazer (sans shirt, of course) make for the most daring evening ensemble. And gentlemen, don’t hesitate to experiment with different colors, lapel shapes and widths, and other tailoring elements, all while keeping your evening look appropriately fit.
  5. Try some new footwear. It’s easy for everyone to fall into their habitual kicks, but it’s important to remember that shoes are pivotal in making or breaking a look. Wedges are almost always a terrible idea (keyword: almost), and guys, your painfully plain dress shoes are ruining everything. In case anyone forgot, sneakers are often the way to go these days, and contrasting the right style with an otherwise put-together look can automatically make you the coolest kid at the party.
  6. Change your hair. You really can’t forget about this. Everyone has his or her “signature style,” but you’re not Anna Wintour. There’s plenty of room to play around with different colors and cuts, and yes, that goes for guys, too. A dude who’s confident enough to embrace a dye job is only trumped by a woman with the balls to chop her into a pixie cut. Why not give it a try?

Again, there’s so much more that goes into being defined as “basic,” especially in the ever-changing fashion context, while there are so many more tips that some people could use. But just think about these ideas, and remember, being fashionable doesn’t negate being basic.

 

So what do you think? Share your thoughts on this piece below (but try not to be basic).

Photo: Tiziana Fabi. Source: AFP

The Casting Catastrophe

· Models, Runway, Thoughts · , , , , , ,
Photo: Tiziana Fabi. Source: AFP

Photo: Tiziana Fabi. Source: AFP

The lights dimmed, and the first statuesque figure turned the corner around the massive purple sand dunes at the spring 2015 Prada show. There she was. After six long years since a runway appearance, and even after she allegedly quit modeling for good, Gemma Ward was back. Many could state that her appearance suggests a restoration of the days when models had recognizable names, faces, and personas. Sure, the era of the supermodel was long-gone by the time Ward and her contemporaries had peaked in the mid-2000s, but memorable, unique, and multifaceted beauty was still in. These days, that’s not the case.

Sure, some other notable industry icons walked the runways this season besides just Gemma Ward. Lara Stone made a rare runway appearance at Prada, too, as did Jessica Stam. Stam also popped up at Public School in New York, Mugler in Paris, and many more shows this season. Meanwhile, Naomi Campbell, Mariacarla Boscono, Natasha Poly, Jourdan Dunn, Karlie Kloss, and other established mannequins counteracted the larger trend of the “blank slate.” But aside from a handful of girls who embody what it means to be a model, this season’s casting was the saddest yet.

Is this really what the fashion industry is coming to? While the idea of a model being a “blank slate” was originally intended to place a higher emphasis on the clothes, all-white casts of – for lack of a better word – strikingly unattractive teenagers has become an even bigger distraction.

Of course, the biggest problem with the casting this season was the lack of diversity. It comes as a major shock that after a couple seasons of mild improvements, casts have been seemingly more whitewashed than ever before. The bad habits reared their ugly heads once again: one or two black models was the norm at most shows, with even less Asian models on the runways, and almost no models of South Asian, Middle Eastern, or Latina descent. Some even thought it would be okay to send all of their models of color down the runway at once.

Did we all forget about Bethann Hardison‘s amazing work in an attempt to diversify the runways less than a year ago? Hardison just received a CFDA award a few months ago for her efforts. Has that just been erased from everyone’s memory? The usual perpetrators were back at it this season. Casts appeared whiter than ever at Calvin Klein, Rodarte, Jil Sander, Céline, John Galliano, Dior, Proenza Schouler, and more. Meanwhile, Simon Porte Jacquemus deleted comments and blocked users on Instagram who criticized his all-white cast, stating offense because of his supposed obsession with women who look like his mother. Sorry, but the Oedipus Complex doesn’t qualify as a valid excuse for racist casting.

Even labels with typically diverse casts fell behind this season. Riccardo Tisci previously mentioned his advocacy of diversity on the runway, but at his latest show for Givenchy, that didn’t translate. Nor did Tom Ford’s penchant for a cast of multiethnic sex bombs; does Natalie Westling’s excruciating hobble really represent this label?

This issue poses an even bigger problem that people might not be conscious of. Again, models aren’t the household names that they once were, save Cara, Karlie, Gisele, and their contemporaries. But models are still everywhere. The girls that walk all of these shows will be the ones to snatch up the advertisements, and these large-scale visions of what is beautiful will perpetuate and even worsen the already twisted beauty standards around the globe. Why would a brand want to be seen as a bastion of white supremacy, represented by a hard-to-look-at 16-year-old nonetheless? And for the casting supposedly “based on socioeconomics,” why would you want to alienate yourself completely from certain groups?

On the bright side, there are still a few brands whose presentations should be commended. Of course, there’s always room to be improved in this department, but labels like Balmain, Burberry Prorsum, Diane von Furstenberg, and Rick Owens showed that it is possible to cast a more diverse range of models, while recognizable faces of all ethnic backgrounds don’t take away from the clothes. Meanwhile, relative newcomers like Malaika Firth, Issa Lish, Binx Walton, Bhumika Arora, Leila Nda, and Aya Jones provided a hopeful view of the multiethnic runways and memorable figures to come. The struggle towards diversifying the runway isn’t about all-black, all-Asian, or all-any other type of show. Instead, it shouldn’t be seen as some type of major surprise if a lineup consists of a proportionate amount of models from various ethnicities. There’s a time and a place for Harleth Kuusik, and there’s no reason why she can’t walk the runway alongside girls like Dylan Xue and Emely Montero.

Of course, there is so much more to this issue; we haven’t even touched menswear, and we could get way more in-depth from a sociological and historical framework. To the people getting annoyed by the incessant discussion of this topic in the fashion sphere: it’s just as annoying to have to keep bringing it up. This piece isn’t meant to call out a bunch of designers, cyber-bully models, or cause unnecessary Internet drama within the industry. None of the designers’ immense talent is in question, as even some of the most disappointing casts carried some insanely beautiful work. But it’s time to wake up. If calling out racist actions causes a stir, then maybe that’s what the industry needs. This isn’t the 1950s (not that racism was ever okay), and it’s time for the fashion industry to catch up to the rest of the world. And while this type of change won’t happen overnight, we could at least start seeing more unique beauties like in years past. Let’s hope that Gemma Ward’s return will usher in a resurgence of inspiring, immensely beautiful fashion models, and let’s hope that diversity comes along with it.

 

Tell us how you feel about the current climate of the modeling industry, and don’t hesitate to repost and share this article.