Dry Clean Only was my personal fashion blogging experiment. It began in Spring of 2014 and carried on through to 2015. It halted due to my increasing lack of time to regularly post new articles, but I still have a passion for fashion. And cliches.
Flashback to 2006. “Hannah Montana” debuted on Disney Channel, Britney Spears divorced Kevin Federline and a little known 16-year-old with one hell of a curly hairdo released her first, self-titled album, “Taylor Swift.”
The young country singer was featured on the album cover in a white dress with her face extremely photoshopped and butterflies edited around her curly mane.
Flash forward to a few weeks ago, and T. Swizzle has risen up the charts again, this time with a shorter, wavy hair style and her new signature shade of red lipstick. Her clothes are all high-waisted, all designer and she’s cementing as a modern style star.
Swift is a prime example of how, with age, success and independence, a pop star’s style can evolve past the bubblegum beginnings into true, enviable fashion sense.
Pop star’s beginnings tend to share a common thread. They all write or sing a catchy, repetitive song that gains them excessive radio play and a devoted, curious fan base. Along with this fame usually comes a perfected, sculpted image by their PR teams that tries to depict them as innocent, bubblegum celebrities, with cookie cutter costuming and bright smiles on their faces.
But, as their albums’ sounds evolve and they start to take control of their decision-making, fans can see their clothes slowly start to reflect the change.
Take One Direction as another example. Their new album, “Four” will be released on Nov. 17. The boys have been through a slew of press functions to promote their fourth album. In each interview and in each promotional photo for the album, the boys are respectively rocking a distinct, hip style. Whether it’s Harry Styles in denim shirts and black pants with Chelsea boots, Zayn Malik brooding in black pants and a gray sweater or Liam Payne in an athletic jersey-style jumper and Timberlands, they have all struck out on their own to wear a style of clothing that defines them as individuals.
This is a huge leap from their first album after winning “The X-Factor,” when they could be seen rocking matching suits in every shade of the rainbow and with perfectly coiffed hair. It’s meant to show more unison and uniformity in the emerging group, but it’s hard to believe any of the guys would wear this if the choice was theirs.
As with Swift, their increased success and age makes it harder for their management to dictate as many of their decisions, including ones surrounding their clothes. They now have the credibility to be more free with their music and their style.
It’s an evolutionary process that has changed drastically from the great boy bands and pop stars of the ’90s. Looking back at albums from the Backstreet Boys, even ones released in their later years, the group can be seen matching almost entirely. Their musical image was crafted around uniform looks. If one Backstreet Boy was wearing leather, then they all had to.
Pop stars define style in ground breaking ways. Whether it was Madonna and her cone bra or the Spice Girls and their crop tops, fans flock to dress like their favorite stars and emulate them in every way possible. A star’s style can determine whether a whole generation of fans dress well. At least until the star in question grows up and starts dressing for themselves and not their manager.
It’s almost a commentary as to how much the music industry has changed when it comes to the freedom they allow their biggest, most-played stars. It seems as though the industry is slowly ready for pop stars, at least later in their careers, to define themselves.
Only time will tell how much more freedom the industry will allow their pop stars, and how pop stars will fight against the industry to allow their true selves to shine through.
This story originally appeared in the Nov. 13 edition of the College Heights Herald
photos by Alyssa Pointer
clothing: Grey Kenneth Cole suit with a narrow stripe, Tommy Hilfiger tie and white Modern Fit Van Heusen shirt
As December draws closer and closer, more students are preparing to enter the big wide world of adulthood. Their freshly updated resumes are stacked next to their research papers, and they’re looking for jobs that aren’t part-time at the library.
Taking steps into the career world, however, won’t involve just a polished resume and a well-written cover letter. It will involve a well-polished, professional wardrobe. As the old adage says, it’s time to learn to dress for success.
Those beloved and well worn yoga pants and basketball shorts that got you through your 8 a.m. comfortably will have to be saved for nights and weekends.
Dressing for success, though the phrase is archaic and almost cliche, doesn’t have to translate to archaic clothing. Holding true to your style can make dressing for a day on the job a little more exciting.
As a standard for both genders, a good white button up and a solid pair of black or khaki slacks with nice shoes can do the job, but there’s no fun in that.
If you consider your style edgier, infuse some leather looks into your work day attire. Zip up a leather pencil skirt (preferably knee length or only an inch above) with your button ups to keep your punk vibe alive. If skirts aren’t your thing, opt for a leather jacket in the cooler months.
If you love a bit more of a baggy look (i.e. oversized shirts, dresses, sweaters, etc.), get button ups that are just a bit too big and style them with loose blazers and dark pants. Depending on the material, button ups can be much more comfortable than you’d think.
Updating your wardrobe may also involve changing your favorite store, or at least finding a store that carries your professional needs.
Sure, stores like Forever 21 will occasionally get in a few blazers, but the rest of their merchandise is typically too short, too cheaply made or covered in images or slogans that are inappropriate for the workplace. You don’t have to graduate to your grandparents’ stores by any means, but find your professional niche in stores like Zara or COS, that carry trendy clothes for the working woman or man.
You may also find that you have more professional attire in your closet than anticipated. Those nice boots Santa got you for Christmas are entirely appropriate for the water cooler. That striped dress or shirt you love? Throw it on with a cardigan or blazer and some tights or slacks, respectively, and you’re good for your meeting at noon.
Dressing for that job you’re starting after you shake Gary Ransdell’s hand doesn’t have to be scary or hard. Find small ways to keep your style alive and have fun with dressing for success.
This story originally appeared in the Oct. 23 edition of the College Heights Herald
The title of style icon is an honor given to a select few who have been deemed by peers, fans and magazines as consistently having killer style. Whether it’s a Bohemian style like Stevie Nicks or an adventurous spirit like Rihanna, people have always looked to celebrities for style advice.
Having a go-to style icon helps when you just can’t decide what fits your changing personality, but finding one that closely relates to your wardrobe can be tricky. Use this analysis to guide you to your icon.
RiRi has experienced a remarkable style evolution since her “Pon de Replay” days. Lately, the Barbadian songstress has been known for her revealing, adventurous fashion choices.
People who want to dress like Rihanna must exude an otherworldly amount of confidence. Rihanna turns heads and keeps on walking, and you've got to do the same.
Don't try walking down the Hill in a crystal-encrusted dress that shows off all the goods. But do try to infuse a little more leather and be ready to show a little more skin. Embrace your inner good-girl-gone-bad.
The gypsy queen has been donning flowing kimonos and cardigans since her cocaine-filled days recording “Rumors.” She has been epitomized as the fairy godmother of rock and the poster child for Bohemian style.
Nicks’ followers must be carefree and free-spirited. They tend to have an effortless vibe to their style, as if they just stumbled out of a dream and onto the Hill. It’s advised to skip out on the cocaine though.
Invest in a few black shapeless dresses with batwing sleeves and some knit shawls to portray a truly witchy woman.
The Californian singer-song writer slayed the world in 2012 with a little album called “Channel Orange,” and he did it all in a freshly-pressed, striped bandana.
Ever since then, he’s left everyone clamoring for more. He’s probably investing in more bandanas and continuing to be cooler than anyone can handle.
Ocean fans must channel that nonchalant attitude while remaining incredibly cool and slightly idolized by those around them.
Know how to rock a really cool printed button up or cardigan to dress like Ocean, and rock bandanas daily.
In just a few short years, and with just a few short roles, James Dean managed to secure himself a place in cinematic and fashion history for decades to come.
The Hollywood bad boy had an iconic staple: a red leather jacket. He wore it with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth and cuffs on his jeans to suggest he didn’t care much what was thought of him. It’s an attitude that must be carried with caution, but a little bit of bad ass never hurt anyone.
Dressing like Jimmy Dean is simple. Cuff your jeans, throw on a white shirt and don a leather jacket. Cigarettes are optional.
This story originally appeared in the Sept. 25 edition of the College Heights Herald
On May 4, 1970, four Kent State students were killed, after the National Guard opened fire on a group of students protesting the Vietnam War.
On Sept. 15, 2014, Urban Outfitters was put under fire for selling an article of clothing that appears to reference the tragedy. The blood stains seen across the internet.Red splatters were located on the upper corners of a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt sold online.
The Internet took action, shaming the fast-fashion retailer. Tweets flooded in, urging others to boycott the store.
Kent State took their stance, too. In a statement released earlier that morning, they stated they “take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity.”
The store apologized by the day’s end and claimed they never meant to offend anyone. They claimed the “stains” on the sweatshirt were simply part of the “vintage” fading of the item. It’s no longer available to purchase.
So yes, the store apologized. But this adds to a growing laundry list of graphic T-shirt scandals from the “hipster” store.
Just a few months ago, they came under fire for a graphic crop top with the word ‘depression’ written in large black letters, repeated across the shirt. Months before, a gray graphic tee with “Eat Less”, written in cursive letters across the chest, sent the internet into a frenzy.
Urban isn't the only retailer guilty in this chain of graphic tee scandals. Zara, Forever 21, Abercrombie & Fitch and JC Penney have also been forced to pull offensive materials from their shelves this year.
It’s truly an emerging issue among retailers and poses some serious questions. Why are design teams giving offensive shirts the green light? Why does it take a social media hate storm for them to be taken down? What are they doing to prevent this issue in the future?
Consumers deserve an answer. They deserve retailers who show a little common sense when choosing what they're trying to sell to their audiences. It isn't difficult to hold up a shirt before you start selling it and contemplate if it will offend a consumer.
Simply run through a checklist, of sorts, to double check the clothing for offensive phrases, references to religions or blood stains. Stick to that and maybe you'll be able to rebuild your customer base and improve declining sales averages.
Since this seems to be an issue, here’s a checklist to use the next time you, or any of your partner retailers, are going to put something on your shelves:
1. Are there any sort of expletives or slang words for racial slurs on the shirt?
2. Are there any symbols referencing any form of religion?
3. Are there any slogans or words that promote any kind of mental or physical disorder?
4. Can the shirt be seen as offensive to genders and belittle their intelligence?
5. Are there blood stains anywhere on this piece of clothing?
Did you answer yes to any of the above? If so, scrap it. Don’t sell it. Honestly, probably burn every copy of it and hit the design books again.
Did you answer no to all of the above? Great. You’ve got a great, probably overpriced, graphic tee for your customers.
Stick to this checklist, retailers, and maybe you’ll be able to rebuild your customer base and improve your declining sales averages.
This story originally appeared in the Sept. 16 edition of the College Heights Herald
Contrary to the belief of certain pumpkin spice latte pushing coffee shops, fall is not here yet.
With temperatures rising into the 80s and 90s daily, it is just not yet time to sip your autumn roast from Einstein’s and kick up colored leaves in soft flannels and boots.
While it’s too early to wear those fall staples, it’s not too early to talk about them. Although not to the point of ad nauseam that pumpkin spice is already approaching.
This fall, leather will be king. Leather jackets, pants, skirts and vests will be everywhere and in every color. The punk classic gained in popularity last fall and winter, but stores such as H&M, Forever 21 and more have greatly increased their faux-leather supply.
Entire tables in Nashville’s H&M are devoted to leather skirts and pants in different cuts and styles. Entire racks in Forever 21 are devoted to jackets that range from traditional, Ramones-inspired black to Michael Jackson red.
Flannels, as always, will make their cozy return. Honestly, it’s impossible to foresee a fall without those idyllic images of dressing in flannel, sipping coffee and watching “Hocus Pocus.” It reached a peak with grunge bands of the 1990s and hasn’t left yet. Although the jury’s out if Kurt Cobain drank copious amounts of coffee and watched “Hocus Pocus” while wearing his.
This fall, ankle boots will stomp their way up and down the Hill. Gone (hopefully) are the days of mid-calf brown leather boots. Fashion bloggers and stylists have been pushing for ankle boots for several seasons, and this fall may be their true time to shine.
Ankle boots are typically cheaper because they use less material, and come in just as many neutral colors as the mid-calf boots. They are easily paired with the same dresses, jeans and skirts as before. The only downside: more of your tight-clad legs will be exposed to the elements.
There are still several weeks until fall, giving you plenty of time to pull out or purchase the aforementioned products. These three only merely graze the surface of all the clothes, shoes and accessories that will color your fall.
This story originally appeared in the September 11 edition of the College Heights Herald
Starting on Sept. 14, a mere 10 days after you read this little slice, the world of fast fashion stores will be shaken up again by the high fashion world.
This fall, three designers are working to bring their styles, normally reserved for those in the upper echelon of wealth and status, to the price ranges of middle America.
Joseph Altuzarra is leading the pack with his exclusive line for Target hitting the racks on Sept. 14, the aforementioned date of high fashion revolution.
Prices will start at roughly $17.99 and go as high as $89.99 and feature an array of dresses, tops and business-ready blazers, along with a fabulous patent leather belt that’s featured on the majority of the models for the collection.
Taking a turn for the smallest of fashion divas, Karl Lagerfeld is getting into this fall fashion designer trend by partnering with Barbie to release a doll built and dressed in his likeness. Though not clothes one can wear on their back, he’s still lending his signature style to the original fashion queen. This doll will hit toy stores and waiting lists everywhere Sept. 29.
The pièce de résistance for many fashion fiends is the final line rounding out the list. Alexander Wang announced via cryptic Instagram video last spring that he would be releasing an exclusive line for Swedish retailer H&M. The countdowns are winding to a much anticipated close as the line hits racks on Nov. 6, only a few months away.
Not many details have been released about his much-anticipated collection. A picture of a key chain and another of a mysterious object emblazoned with Louis Vuitton-inspired AWs across its black fabric are all that Wang has teased since his original insta-video. Either way, the collection promises that everyone, at least for the month of November, can be Kanye and spend everything on Alexander Wang.
This story originally appeared in the September 4 edition of the College Heights Herald
Just a few short days before the start of this lovely, humid semester at WKU, I was flying to a lovely, yet more humid, city in the south known as Charleston, South Carolina — although this time I don’t mean ‘lovely’ sarcastically.
I went to Charleston with an open mind. What I learned, what I saw and what I purchased gave me a new perspective on style in the Holy City, particularly those that were preppy, touristy and unique to the city. None were styles I necessarily felt compelled to adopt daily, but it all held a deep variety and quaintness that, as my Nana said many times, would make me want to jump into an island dress and run back to this little slice of the South.
The wealthy prep
Wealthy and preppy takes on new meaning in Charleston. Belmond Charleston Place’s grand staircase leads directly to a Gucci and Louis Vuitton. That just screams wealthy.
To use a southern term, folks are crowding through museums, browsing through markets and clutching palmetto roses wearing their Sunday best every single day. Or they look like they just came from a fraternity or sorority recruitment for 40-year-olds.
The pastels of the men’s Ralph Lauren polo shirts and the women’s Lilly Pulitzer sun dresses pair perfectly with pastel buildings on every cobblestone street.
In Charleston, where the streets are stone instead of concrete and the buildings are bubble gum-colored instead of uniform red brick, it fits like a breeze from the Atlantic.
The two staples to spot a tourist are immediate to pick up on. They usually have a folded up map or pamphlet of paper acting as a fan and a long maxi dress that was mistakenly packed. Charleston days are the equivalent of being in a sauna for six hours. It’s beautiful and it’s charming, but it is hot as hell.
Don’t be the tourist in Charleston. Prepare for the heat and pack your shorter dresses, tank tops, shorts and sandals for the day. Save your long dresses for late night dinners or theater shows.
The true Charlestonian
Of course there were big, corporate chain stores. King Street was lined with historical buildings that had been transformed into an expansive H&M and a multi-story Urban Outfitters. Gaggles of tourists lined the street to explore the stores, regardless of them being available in every major city. Just a few blocks over, however, lay a tie to the roots of old Charleston style and traditions that couldn’t be found in the fluorescent lights of Forever 21.
People dress with a certain ease I haven’t seen in other cities. The vibrant, hand-dyed, sewn dresses, paired with accessories either weaved from palm trees or sculpted from metals and turquoise, made their southern drawls and outgoing personalities even more special.
Their easy-going presence and style make it feel as if they are about to offer you a glass of sweet tea and let you sit on the porch a spell, not try to sell you a dress similar to the one on their back, or a bracelet slightly different from the one on their wrist.
The true heart of Charleston, however, was found in the people making unique handmade baskets, jewelry, scarves and dresses, surrounded by the marble and pastel buildings and palm trees.
If you ever visit the charming and humid Holy City, go beyond the wealthy or chain storefronts and search for these unique, one of a kind little places. You’ll find bracelets, dresses and more that you’ll love for years, and it’ll have more meaning than finding it on a clearance rack at J. Crew.
See a Storify of some of my instas from the trip below:
This story originally appeared in the August 28 edition of the College Heights Herald
As a way to celebrate the man behind so many iconic looks and gowns, here are a few of my favorite de la Renta moments, in no particular order:
Sarah Jessica Parker at the 2014 Met Gala
SJP was an early arrival to this year's Gala in this beautiful, Charles James inspired de la Renta creation. Now, I know this dress was controversial amongst the critics of this night, but I loved it. And I loved the tribute to the designer, stitched in large red letters on the train. There was so much Oscar on this red carpet, and this was one of my favorites.
Amy Adams at the 2013 Oscars
Amy Adams looked like she waltzed straight out of Cinderella's castle in this gorgeous gown for last year's Oscars. Oscar at the Oscars. Bad jokes aside, I love this gown. It's a gown that makes a girl dream,(or guy, cause hey, guys can rock it too.
Carrie Underwood at the 2012 Billboard Awards
Sarah Jessica Parker's Sex and the City tutu and years of ballet started my love of tulle at an early age. Carrie Underwood's Oscar gown in 2012 made me realize I don't have to leave a love of tulle behind after I leave my twenties. I may not be a big country music fan (read: I loathe it), but I am a big fan of this gown.
Tina Fey at the 2011 SAG Awards
I love seeing a good red dress, mainly because it's a color I'm always scared to wear and prefer to admire from afar. My red insecurities aside, Tina looks absolutely stunning in this and empowers brunettes everywhere to embrace comedy, feminism and the color red.
Anne Hathaway at the 2009 Tony Awards
I love a chic, different interpretation of the classic LBD, and that's exactly what this is. The skirt of this dress gives it a unique texture and pattern that's fantastic. And Anne Hathaway is wearing it, aka my celeb role model since she was Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Renaldi in the Princess Diaries. I'm still obsessed with her transformation scene.
Devil Wears Prada: Cerulean
Speaking of Anne Hathaway... okay, so this isn't really a clothing "moment", but this is one of the most iconic scenes in one of the best fashion movies that's come out in the last decade. And Oscar gets a shout out for a cerulean ball gown collection.
Summer this year is for covering shootings, bug festivals and the occasional farmer's market. But on those glorious, sunny days off I get to explore familiar places with familiar faces. Today was one of those days. Packed with a car full of clothes, a playlist full of Miniature Tigers songs and a camera, we set off on an adventure. The result was the first shoot I've done this summer, and it was pretty, well, rad. Here are a few of my favorites. There's more in the gallery below.
Like the immortal NBC Page straight from Kentucky Mountain Bible College so wisely put it,
For all you fellow TV lovers, Netflix bingers and small screen-ophiles (okay I'm done with the bad nicknames), we've reached the preliminary rounds for one of the biggest nights for our beloved shows: the Emmy nominations. While we were all cheering over our favorite nominations, screaming over the harsh snubs (hello academy, Mindy Kaling?) and speculating over just who would take home the gold, another burgeoning thought came to my mind: what and who will they be wearing? Red carpet fashion is just around the corner. Celebrities are just that much closer to donning couture and making us fashion fiends drool with envy.
But while we wait to see who wears Dior, Armani or Chanel... why not look back at some of the best fashion moments of some of the nominees?
I love Girls. Repeat. LOVE. GIRLS. My friends and I are obsessed. Every Sunday, we crowd around laptops and watch the events of the girls and their respective (probably insane) guys unfold. Lena Dunham is the voice of my generation... or maybe a voice of a generation. This comedy-drama HBO series, which follows the lives of a group of 20-somethings, was nominated in two categories: best actress in a comedy series (Lena Dunham) and best supporting actor in a comedy series (Adam Driver).
This show, set in modern day Brooklyn and Manhattan, has the advantage of being set in a time where clothing and hair styles are adaptable from the small screen and able to be a reflection of what you'd see on the streets in Williamsburg. It doesn't have to work around the medieval fashions of Game of Thrones, or the static fashions of Orange is the New Black (It's either khaki or orange, ladies). The show has had it's fair share of fashion moments, ranging from Jessa's see through maxi dress and Shoshanna's odd little buns, pinned sideways on her head.
This season didn't disappoint. Here are some of my favorite fashion moments from Season Three:
Veep, another HBO series, stars the hysterical Julia Louis-Dreyfus as foul-mouthed female vice president Selina Meyer. I have loved JLD since her Seinfeld days as the granny dress rocking, dancing queen Elaine Benes, so when a friend turned me onto Veep, I knew it would be great. The last season was entirely focused on the team trying to get Selina Meyer elected President and entirely focused on the same hilarious quips and insults of last season. Seriously, I wish more people watched the show just to enjoy the laundry list of names given to Jonah. This show is vastly underrated by the general public, but clearly the Emmy's aren't deaf to it's hilarious one liners.
This being a show set in the professional political world, it has less casual freedoms than Girls, but that didn't stop Selina from rocking some great blazers, squeaky Louboutins and accidentally matching her daughter. Here are some of the best moments from last season:
The show was nominated for best comedy series, outstanding sound mixing, outstanding casting and best writing for a comedy series. Julia snagged a nomination for best actress. Anna Chlumsky snagged a best supporting actress nom, Gary Cole for outstanding guest actor and Tony Hale was nominated for best supporting actor, all in a comedy series.
Game of Thrones:
Press play and join me on a journey through Westeros and across the Narrow Sea as we explore the fashions that killed us in a season that made us all swear George RR Martin's name. As any good GoT fan knows, never get safe with characters, story lines... anything. Don't even trust the blades of grass they walk on because somehow, someway George will find a way to kill everyone you love like a literary Rambo. Except with more blood, some incest and probably poison. The season had me on the edge of my seat in more ways than one. The twists and turns made me chew my nails off, while the intricate gowns had me longing for a reason to wear the medieval and Grecian styles featured in the show. I had to limit myself from putting everything in the slide show, but here are some of my favorite Game of Thrones looks *spoilers not included* **click the images for a bigger picture**
The show was nominated for best drama series. Peter Dinklage was nominated for best supporting actor, Lena Headey for best supporting actress and Diana Rigg snagged outstanding guest actress nom for her role as the sassy Lady Olenna Tyrell.
Think another show deserves to be on the list? Leave the name in the comments and I'll add it!
Couture week is treating us to extensive, fabulous Instagram feeds from the front row, long feature recaps on The Cut and several teasing previews of Alexander Wang x H&M. But what's been most important to me this week hasn't been the flowing dresses, the long jackets, the wedding dresses... it's been the shoes. I'm obsessed, and curious to see how these new shoe trends will trickle down to my price range.
Last spring, it was couture sneakers adorning models in flowing and shifting white gowns, with glittered eyeliner winging from their focused eyes. This week, it's sandals. It seems Karl Lagerfeld has a different idea on shoes than famed shoe designer Christian Louboutin, who was quoted saying that there will never be a heel high enough, and that shoes (heels especially) are a pleasure with pain. Karl is adding comfort to couture in these flat, chic slides and flip flops. I love a simple spin on extravagant clothing. And I love flip flops.
This entire show was intoxicatingly beautiful, with softer colored gowns being paired with vibrant, interestingly cut heels. The orchids were a nice touch, too. I have no idea how or where I would ever wear some of these shoes, but I'm drooling over them all the same. The point of the toe and the curve of the heel make them unique to this show and the bright colors add a little whimsy to the more muted, yet still fabulous color scheme.
I can't wait to see what other shoes and accessories start exciting new trends this week.
So, let's get some shoes. And see what other styles walk the runways this week.
So happy to announce that starting last week, I began collaborating with Evansville Woman magazine's Essentials section! In EWoman terms, Essentials translates to fashion. The magazine celebrates women, their careers, ambitions and their clothes. This summer, I will be helping to pitch ideas for fashion spreads and stories, helping choose the stores for photo shoot clothing/footwear/jewelry/etc, help style the shoots and whatever else is needed to be done! This is one intern who isn't looking down upon potentially being a coffee girl. I'm excited to contribute to my first magazine, and I'll be sure to post when my first issue hits the stands!
While waiting for assignments and phone calls, I've had a considerable amount of time to spend on the internet. This, paired with my slowly recovering bank account and love of new summer clothes, has become almost deadly. Hours have been spent browsing store after store, adding new shorts, sandals and shirts to wish lists. In my own little head, I imagine they sit there like the aliens in the claw machine in Toy Story, waiting for my next payday to free them to arrive on my doorstep. Needless to say, I've formed quite a bad habit, quite extensive wish lists and quite the material imagination.
One product, however, has really caught my eye. While cruising for a potential new purse, I found this beauty of a shopper bag in Zara's online stock.
This fun, summery white bag is everything I never knew I wanted. The perforated look gives it the retro feel I was searching for and the color makes it different from any other bag I've owned. As basic of a color as it is, white anything is always adventurous to someone known for accidentally spilling coffee or having pens burst in the dark crevices of my purses. Call it a journalist's curse.
Either way, this bag just jumped to the top of my list. I can't wait to tote it to work, the pool and the lake this summer. The bag costs a pretty penny for a college kid, sitting at a cool $79. But shipping and returns are free, and the use of the bag will outweigh the price in the long run.
One of the best, most blissful parts of summer is getting to spend your rainy days in bed, curled up with either a good book, a few good movies or, like last weekend, 13 new episodes of "Orange is the New Black."
Those hours you spent debating on whether class was really that crucial or not have turned into hours spent debating on whether moving from the couch is really that crucial. And if it's a gloomy, rainy day like both of my days off were, you're probably going to decide it's not.
This list, inspired by BuzzFeed and fashion throughout the decades, is for those days. Those days when you've decided your pajamas are as glamorous as you're going to get, but still need to feed the fashion fiend in your soul. Oh, and for the days when you've already marathoned 13 episodes of "OITNB" in a blaze of sleep deprived glory.
These fashionable movies could make you laugh, could make you cry and will make you want to reach for your laptop and do some online shopping.
1. Every Audrey Hepburn movie ever. Period.
You might as well spend a whole day just watching all 31 movies Hepburn made in her lifetime. Every movie I've seen, from "Charades" to "Breakfast at Tiffany's," has been dripping with glamour, Givenchy and her effortless grace. Hepburn was truly a jewel in American cinema. Even when playing the chauffeur's daughter in Sabrina, she did it with more elegance than I can ever dream of having.
Any of her movies will make you want to throw on your best dress, chop off your hair into a cute boy cut (or swoop it all on top like Holly Golightly) and eat croissants outside of a jewelry store (assuming there's not a Tiffany's near you).
2. Devil Wears Prada
Okay, this may be a cop out, but any time I want to feel inspired and faux-immersed in the buzzing fashion world, I pop this in. From Stanley Tucci's loveable, sassy and unforgettable Nigel, to Meryl Streep's infamous, ice cold Miranda Priestly, this movie is, in a word, fabulous. The premise, if you still haven't heard, is about Andrea Sachs, an aspiring journalist in a frumpy cerulean blue cable knit sweater and her grandmother's skirt. She lands a job as fashion assistant to the editor in chief of the biggest fashion magazine in this fictional world, Runway, and it goes from there.
I might have every word memorized, and every outfit, from this movie. A million girls would kill for Andy Sachs job, and I'm definitely one of them. Sure, it's a book-to-movie adaptation of one former assistant's not so subtle jabs at Anna Wintour, but it's just so good.
3. September Issue
This documentary paints Vogue in a different light than "Devil Wears Prada," but it still packs in the thrill, adrenaline and style that goes into producing and running a successful fashion magazine. Excuse me, the most successful fashion magazine.
Camera crews followed around editors, stylists and directors from Vogue as they put together the September issue of the magazine. For anyone who knows Vogue, the September issue is the biggest issue of the magazine every year. It's full of fall fashion ads, stories and, well, more ads. Last year's September alone, featuring actress Jennifer Lawrence as the cover story, was 655 pages of ads.
The documentary is a great peak into the inner workings of a magazine a million girls (and guys) dream of writing, editing or styling for some day. The movie also brought fame to creative director Grace Coddington. Her fiery red hair and love of cats was not so easily missed by the camera crew, launching her back into the spotlight a little.
4. Bill Cunningham New York
This documentary, still available on Netflix, tells the story of Bill Cunningham, the New York Time's prized fashion possession. The photographer, now 85, is considered one of the fathers of street style photography. He's made a career out of photographing stylish people in New York, and sometimes Paris, and spotting trends for his "On the Street" column. He also photographs select charity and gala events for his "Evening Hours" column. His documentary tells his story and paints a heart warming picture of the man behind the camera. After watching this, you will want to fly to New York, walk down 5th Ave in your fanciest duds and search for the little old man in the bright blue jacket.
Seriously, is there any fashion photog more adorable than Bill? I toured the Times in the spring and almost got a little teary with excitement thinking he might be there.* He wasn't, but I did meet the producer of his "On the Street" videos. Speaking of, if you watch the documentary and love it, his "On the Street" videos are just as great. A selection of his photos fly across the screen as he improvises a narrative for each slide before you. The video I embedded is more evening than street, but it's one of my recent favorites.
*I have a tendency to get really, really excited about things, like meeting people I highly admire and watching Doctor Who.
5. Coco before Chanel
I managed to stumble upon this beauty of a film the other day. It depicts the early life of legendary designer Coco Chanel, founder of the French fashion label Chanel. Audrey Tautou, known also for her performance in "Amélie," plays a young Gabrielle Chanel, searching for her place in French society and climbing the designing ladder. It's fascinating to see such a famous designer's rise from her orphan home beginnings to unbelievable fashion heights. It's funny, it's sad and it will make you long for French cities and countrysides you've never actually been to or seen.
6. The Return
Okay so it's not a full length movie, but this short film, directed by Karl Lagerfeld, is still fantastic. It depicts an older Coco, after the war and all her controversies associated with it. Lagerfeld uses his eye and artistic abilities to tell the story of how the designer of the 1920s staged the comeback of the decade in the '50s.
Lagerfeld is the current cat-loving creative director of Chanel, along with his own namesake brand and Fendi. So needless to say, with my shared love of cats, Chanel, Fendi's baguette bag and Choupette beanies, I fan-girled to see a favorite designer direct a movie about one of the most legendary females in fashion. It was beautifully shot, well acted and, best of all, Lagerfeld directing it meant lots of vintage Chanel costumes, a privilege not always warranted to fashion films. Lagerfeld, however, holds the keys to the Chanel Kingdom. Decades of Chanel clothing are available and ready at his fingerless-gloved hands.
This movie is available on Vimeo for your viewing pleasure.
7. Rear Window
This Alfred Hitchcock classic starring Grace Kelly and James Stewart tells the story of an injured photographer (Stewart) who spies on his neighbors and begins to suspect one of murder. Now, Stewart is confined to a wheelchair in the film and wears little else than his light blue pajamas. But Kelly is the essence of 50s elegance and class. Her perfectly coifed and curled hair and enviable closet of stunning gowns are spectacular. It's old Hollywood glamour at its finest and makes me wish full tulle skirts and pearls were still a daily staple in this decade.
The movie itself is captivating. I had never seen a Hitchcock movie before this, but after watching I feel as though it was a good one to start with. It's themes have been repeated in films and television shows for years since it's 1954 release, and it's scenes have been replicated in fashion spreads everywhere.
Now now now, before you start shaking your head at me for putting a cartoon about cats on this list, hear me out. This movie is set in one of the most fashionable countries in the world: France. AND part of it takes place in the most fashionable city in the world: Paris. These fine felines are trotting around in the glamour, the jazz, the fashion of Paris. Considering the movie is set somewhere closer to the 1920s or earlier, the fashion is a little dated for this day and age. However, there's glamour in Madame's French Villa, in her long dresses and feather boas, and in her well accessorized cats. It's a classic. Plus, doesn't everybody want to be a cat?
McQueen and I
This documentary, while something that made me both laugh and cry, didn't quite make my top eight. It does very well in telling the story of McQueen's life, from fashion beginnings to his untimely suicide. Production value, however, just doesn't meet the levels of the top eight. It was filmed in 2011, but it looks a little more early 2000s. Now this did NOT stop me from tearing up when it began to touch on his suicide. McQueen was a visionary, adventurous designer. His runway shows blew me away and reminded me why I loved fashion so much. If you love the designer, I still highly recommend watching it. The film is available in its entirety on YouTube.
Hold on to your ears and bows, fellow Minnie Mouse fans. Nylon has just reported that ASOS and Disney are teaming up to release mouse ear headbands inspired by our childhood fashion queen.
These headbands are fun, summery and bring out the Disney fan in all of us. Well, the Disney fan in me is pretty prominently on display already, but I digress. There's fun, patterned and sparkling ears, with flowers where the ears should be and sequins instead of the classic felt. And, for the classic, tried and true Minnie or Mickey Mouse look, there's also the standard black ears and black ears with a sequined red bow.
In my book, and my bank account, I'm declaring this the summer of mouse ears. Sorry, flower crowns.
See a full gallery below and shop the collection here:
~forewarning: this is not about fashion~
Amidst fighting the maze of moving boxes, finding odd things I thought I lost and lugging box after box up and down stairs, I haven't had time to update, or really consider what to wear other than my trusty high waisted shorts and a tank top. However, I have had time to keep up with the recent hashtag trend #YesAllWomen.
After Elliot Rodgers penned a manifesto of misogyny, killing six based on his hatred for women and rejection, women had enough. We had enough. Enough being told we can't show our shoulders in school, while men aren't told to just ignore a harmless shoulder. Enough being called a bitch for not being interested. In true 2014 form, we took to social media. Tumblr and Twitter blew up with posts and tweets supporting women and calling out the misogynistic ways. #YesAllWomen trended and some powerful tweets came in. It's hard to believe that there are those who can argue against some of these tweets.
If you, like me, are feeling discouraged by the need for these tweets, and the need to recognize the struggles women STILL face in 2014, my best advice is to soothe with laughter. And not just laughter, but women empowering laughter. Lift the spirits, feel proud of your fellow woman and watch "The Women of SNL." The hour and nineteen minute long special highlights the best female centered sketches of the live comedy show. Everyone character from Gilda Radner's Roseanne Roseannadanna to Kristin Wiig's Target lady, and every impression from Radner's Babwa Wawa (Barbara Walters) to Tina Fey's iconic Sarah Palin are packed into this hysterical, wonderful show. It's an old special, yes, and there are new women trailblazing paths in comedy on SNL, but it's worth every second. Yay women, and yay for women comedians who make us laugh and empower us.
Finals are out of the way, summer is here and babes, I'm back. After a week of no posts, no updates and no time for anything but finals, I'm starting back up and bringing you my week(s) in review.
I wish I could say that not much has gone on in the fashion world in the weeks of my hiatus. It would certainly picking and choosing what to share much easier, but alas, that is not the case. With resort shows starting, Cannes underway and new stores opening, there has been so much going on.
Resort lines have strutted catwalks worldwide
From Chanel in Dubai, to Dior in Brooklyn, Louis Vuitton in Monaco and more, catwalks everywhere have been celebrating warmer weather by debuting their resort and cruise collections. The shows have been star studded, the looks have been luxe and it's all made me long for this cold spell here in Kentucky to get out, JoJo style. It's also made me long for a little more income per year, but that's another matter entirely.
Now sadly, for resort shows there's not some great catalogue of all collections à la the New York Times runway page, so investigating the looks require only slightly more googling efforts. I highly recommend exploring the Chanel show, it's complete with a new gas can Chanel bag and it's absolutely fabulous. I also want to applaud Nicholas Ghesquière for his fantastic job with Louis Vuitton. The new looks from the historic line are absolutely beautiful, and the star of the red carpet at Cannes this week. Everyone is wearing Louis Vuitton.
Grace Coddington got an Instagram for a day
That's right, friends. Grace Coddington, Vogue creative director, cat lover and nude photograph curator, took a leap into 2014 and started her very own Instagram. Her first post and only? A nude sketch of her, lounging with her fiery red hair splaying every which way and wearing a killer pair of shades. Apparently, however, the filters, the insta-size, the #vscocam just wasn't for her. As of, well, probably five minutes ago, my searches for @therealgracecoddington have been in vain, as Instagram reports that this user no longer exists.
Saint Laurent premieres at Cannes
The much anticipated biopic about designer Yves Saint Laurent finally premiered in Cannes earlier today. The film stars Pierre Niney as the famous designer and follows his story from the beginning of his career in 1958, when he met his lifetime lover Pierre Burge, played by Guillaume Gallienne. From the previews and stills I've seen, this movie seems like it will be overflowing with vintage YSL, infamous Studio 54-style parties and enough fashion and glamour to make my head spin. So far, reviews have been so-so, but being the biased fan that I am, it'll be a five Manolo movie in my heart.
I've been following this movie since pre-production, after snooping through actress Lea Seydoux's IMDB profile. Seydoux plays Loulou de la Falaise, a muse for Laurent during his lifetime. Granted, this movie won't come anywhere near me for a few months, but it's at least out. And because of that, I get an overwhelming amount of press photos and reviews and that's enough for me... for now.
COS opens online American E-Commerce site
COS, H&M's sister store, has finally opened it's world wide webbed door to the States. The retailer is a sleeker, slightly more expensive version of H&M's fast fashion, with styles closer to Zara. Clothes are chic, minimal and effortless.
This is great news for all of us unable to flock to Opening Ceremony's pop up COS shops, or flock across the pond to visit a flagship store. This is horrible news for girls like me who don't get paid again until June and have to pay rent at a new apartment. I swear, my credit card grabbing, shopping cart adding fingers are shaking with need to purchase some of my favorites from this shop. I'm so excited about this that I even made a gallery of my favorite pieces and shoes on my wish list.
Ah, here we are. We’ve made it to the end of another semester of sleepless nights, endless papers and awkward advising appointments. The only thing separating us from a blissful summer away from the Hill is finals week — the last dark, sleepless week of exams.
Many use finals week as an excuse to throw their best casual duds into the far reaches of their closet for sports shorts, yoga pants and any other kind of workout clothing or pajama wear imaginable. My advice to you this week is to avoid that cliche like the plague. Finals week doesn’t have to mean sacrificing sleep AND style.
Now, don’t just roll your eyes and ignore me on this. Even the leggings look can be done stylishly enough that I would wear them. Okay, not really, but hey, trying to appeal to an audience here.
Good style during finals week is all about comfort and class. Try wearing some of your lighter sundresses and some slip-on sandals as you trek uphill for that final. Dresses are my favorite way to be comfortable and stay stylish. For one, there are no pants involved. Who actually likes wearing jeans on a hot spring day anyway? Sundresses are easy, breezy and a simple piece to throw on before you walk out the door.
If dresses aren’t your cup of tea, try for skirts and a comfortable tee instead. A big trend in street style this spring has been pairing colorful skirts with graphic tees. The shirt gives the outfit a more casual look, while the skirt adds a fun, playful edge to your band shirt.
If you’re totally opting for the leggings look, just make sure your shirts are long enough.
Good clothes doesn’t have to translate to full hair and make up. This is where you get your slack.
Opt for messy, tousled hair and no make up for those 8 a.m. finals, or throw your hair back in a neat ponytail and dry shampoo your bangs if an early shower is out of the question.
If you’re not comfortable without make up, go for light blush on the apples of your cheeks, a light swipe of mascara and Chapstick or a nude gloss across the lips.
These hair and make up combos will add to your wardrobe to give you a natural, laid back and stylish look, even in the midst of finals week.
With that, I wrap up my last column of the spring. Until next semester, fashion fiends, may the curves be ever in your favor.
This story originally appeared in the May 8 edition of the College Heights Herald