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Capping off your summer wardrobe…by Alexandra George

The fashion industry has long been borrowing aspects of men’s clothing to create unique styles made solely for women. With the introduction of pants, Chanel’s invention of the woman’s suit, and other male-inspired women’s outfits the face of women’s fashion has changed over the years. The most recent style constructed by combining a traditional piece of men’s outerwear: the baseball cap, with women’s fun, summer prints, to create a summer ball cap made especially for women. The designer is Kate Spade.

The caps are part of her new line: Kate Spade Saturday. The less-expensive line launched this past spring and incorporates a mix of ’80s prints, ’70s flare, and more modern designs. The line has a more tom-boy look, the hats fitting right in. But it does not mean your style has to be more edgy to wear these. They are a fun summer accessory to dress up shorts, jeans, t-shirts, or even casual skirts. The prints are fun and give a regular ball cap a more feminine look. They run about $35. What do you think? Will you add a cap to your summer wardrobe?

 

 

Duck Tape: A Multipurpose Medium by Alexandra George

You’re creative, artsy, and don’t feel like shopping for a dress. You’d rather make a dress but don’t really have the time to sew. So the solution: you make one out of Duck Tape.

This is a fad that has been around for a couple of years now and many people have decided to take their creations and wear them to prom. In fact, so many people have begun to that Duck Tape created a scholarship contest for people who decide to wear Duck Tape fashions to prom.

This fashion has become so popular that Project Runway challenged their contestants to make prom fashions out of Duck Tape. The theme was inspired by the Stuck at Prom scholarship contest. Only one dress was floor-length, the rest about knee-length or hi-low. Designs did not really feature brilliant, bright colors, but instead blacks, silvers, dark blues, and golds. The winner’s dress was red and black giant hounds tooth.

This was my favorite dress out of the few that were presented on the show. I like the zig-zag zipper-like lines. However, I think the dress is a little too low in the front. It doesn’t look like it’s going to stay on very well. Compared to other dresses I’ve seen made from duck tape, I think I like the high school designs better. But the high school students aren’t on a time crunch like the designers on project runway and don’t have limited resources and other limiting factors. What do you think? Which was your favorite dress? Comment below!

Red Carpet, Black Dress by Alexandra George

While the Oscars are exciting for the performances and revelation of the winners of the Academy Awards, they are also extremely well known for actors and actresses in attendance. But it is not just a gathering of famous people. It is an opportunity to show off their finest wear and surface beauty and deciding who is best dressed is just as much a nominee and award process as the real Academy Awards are, except that we, the viewers, get to decide.

This year, with many good movies nominated and many wonderful actors and actresses up for awards as well, there were many in attendance. There were some common themes among the dresses as well. Black and white were the two most popular colors. Only a few bold faces decided to stand out, but they did so, in my opinion, in a less than desirable way. Bright yellow and red deeply contrasted with the more demure whites, blacks, grays, and golds.

Both Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence stunned in simple, but elegant white dresses. Anne’s was form-fitted and worked very well with her short hairstyle. Form-fitted at the top and full at the bottom, Jennifer’s dress radiated her elegance and star power.

Many dresses were black, but there were many interesting patterns to make them a little more interesting. I noticed lots of lines going from top to bottom, side to side, and a combination of the two. Norah Jones, whose dress consisted of a variety of lines, looked edgy but graceful in her Tadashi Shoji. There was also some of the traditional black lace over a more solid sheath underneath.

Although many sites like to rate the dresses and the suits, I think mostly all the gentlemen looked the same with their black tuxedos. The Oscars provide fashion lovers with a one-stop shop for fashion, analyzing red carpet outfits, performance outfits, and the ones of those in the audience.

Fall into Spring? by Alexandra George

With Punxsutawney Phil’s recent prediction of an early spring, we can look forward to warmer weather. With this means no more hats, coats, and mittens, but lovely sundresses, sunglasses, and brighter colors. But, Mercedes-Benz is so excited for the new and upcoming fashions that they are already debuting fashions for the Fall 2013 season.

But this is not unusual. Every year, the fashion weeks for the next season happen during the other season. So Spring fashion week 2013 happened in the Fall of 2012 and Fall fashion week is currently happening. Scheduled from February 7-14 in New York City, designers from all over the world will take part in fashion week showing off their newest designs and trends with chic models strutting down the catwalk. These designers include Michael Kors, Marc by Marc Jacobs, J. Crew, Juicy Couture, and Concept Korea.

Happening currently, the photos which I have seen thus far have some things in common. There are lots of long, form-fitting dresses. Floral prints and other-nature inspired patterns seem to be popular. Vintage-inspired seems to be evident in most of the designs as well. The sixties solid, bright-colored, short dresses were part of Nina Skarra’s collection. Most of the dresses also seemed like something that I might like to wear. Not many designs were too gaudy or out there that someone would preposterous wearing it in any situation, which seems to be typical of many runway designs.

If anything, Fashion week gives us something fun to just browse through and, for any fashion-lover, some inspiration for our own designs or ensembles.

Visit www.mbfashionweek.com for more photos and videos of the event.

 

2013… With a Splash of 1920 by Alexandra George

If any of you enjoy period dramas and 1920s fashion, you are probably familiar with the popular BBC series Downton Abbey. But, if you are not, you’ve probably seen more of it than you think.

Downton Abbey is a TV series set in England during the 1920s. It begins with the sinking of the Titanic and progresses through WWI and the events following. The series focuses on the wealthy and prominent Crawley family who live in the beautiful and grand Downton Abbey. The show displays the relationships and differences between the wealthy lords and ladies and the less fortunate servants who live downstairs.

The costumes of the lords and ladies, which are all grandeur and opulence, reflect the styles of the time. These styles are silently coming back with a modern twist. Downton, because of its popularity and beauty, has definitely been an influence.

I have seen these styles in hats, which are usually felt and have a ribbon above the brim. Empire waist dresses with lace and beaded embroidery are often seen on the show and these same trends have been evidenced on the runway and the red carpet. Other styles include long necklaces and beaded headbands, worn low, on the hairline.

Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2012 collection mirrored the styles on Downton almost perfectly. The florals, pastels, dress coats, trench coats, ankle-length hemlines and gloves, all resembled the styles of the show. Visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/downton-abbey-fashion-from-costume-to-the-runway/2012/01/05/gIQAkrrZfP_gallery.html to see the styles in the show versus the runway collection.

The 1920s feathery and flapper style is also coming back. These styles tend to be connected with the Great Gatsby type of clothing. I have seen these styles in stores like Forever 21 and others.

 

Princess for a Day? by Alexandra George

After recently getting into the “Once Upon a Time” TV series, I’ve had princesses, fairy-tales and castles on my mind. I also had some time to start thinking about prom dresses and what the newest trends are for this year. Though it’s a bit soon to start thinking about for some people, I’m eagerly anticipating the spring and I always think it fun to browse dresses. As I was searching, I happened upon something which I found exciting and unlike anything I’ve seen in prom dresses before: Disney has released their own line of princess-inspired prom dresses.

Being a Disney-enthusiast and for any of you Disney princess lovers out there, the dresses do not disappoint. The line released is based on Snow White. There are about 75 styles ranging from $350-$800 and include themes inspired by the red apple, the mirror, the woodland setting, and of course “The Fairest One of All” Snow herself. The line is titled “Forever Enchanted.” Most of the dresses seem to be appropriate, also (though a few of them could use some altering).. It made me excited to just look at the dresses and imagine either wearing them or what it was like to design them. Just to get you in the mood, here are a few of my favorites:

To view more visit http://xciteprom.com/forever-enchanted/disney-forever-enchanted-prom-dress-collections.php?p=4

 

 

For the Love of Fashion… By Alexandra George

Do you love the creativity of creating fashion and do not feel the need to be limited by ordinary medium? Do you also feel passionate about the American Heart Association and the Go Red for Women campaign? Well, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, in conjunction with the Monroeville Mall have meshed these two things together in a contest called the “Newspaper Fashion Challenge.” Contestants of 18 years or older who live within the Trib Total Media coverage area are invited to create an accessory or an apparel item made from 90% of newspaper. The item must be primarily red to go along with the Go Red for Women theme. The deadline is Friday January 25.

Once all entries are submitted, starting February 1, National Wear Red Day, the Monroeville Mall will put the items on display in store windows for the public to enjoy. During the two week period that they are showcased, both a team of judges will critique them, as well as you, the public, who can vote for their favorites by making a small donation to the American Heart Association. The People’s Choice winner, the judge’s favorite, as well as one lucky voter, will all receive prizes. This is a great way to support the American Heart Association, whether you love creating fashion or admiring it. The items will be on display at Monroeville Mall from February 1 to the 14.

To learn more visit http://sportstalk.triblive.com/images/contests/fashion.pdf

 

New York City by Eva Floreak, 2012

Over the weekend I had to opportunity to travel to New York City, where fashion dominates the city with the amazing shopping, store headquarters, and some of the best fashion schools in the world. New York City even has their own fashion district, which is full of fabric stores, beading stores, and so many unique shops. I have traveled to New York before, but it was before I was really interested in the subject, and before I knew I wanted to make a career out of it. I was in awe when I saw what New York fashion had to offer, and had a great appreciation for what was there. The first thing I did in New York was, I actually had the opportunity to have a personal tour of the headquarters of Jovani Fashions, which is the biggest prom dress distributor in the country. I got to meet with the head designers, and the other people who do office work for the company. It was an amazing opportunity because I realized this was definitely what area I wanted to work in when I am older. The coolest thing that happened at the headquarters was, when they took me on a tour of the building, they took me to the back warehouse where they store all the clothes, and they let me pick three designer pieces of my choice. I did not even know how to react when they told me this, I was overwhelmed with the selection of clothing they had. Next on my trip we traveled to Fifth Avenue, where all the high-end designer stores are located. The street was full of colorful store windows that made me want to look inside the store. I went the famous designer store called Barney’s, and the ladies that worked there made me try on a pair of earrings that were $29,000… I didn’t get them. The earrings cost more than a full year of college tuition for me. Though I couldn’t really afford to buy anything of Fifth Avenue, it was so interesting to see all the collections by the top designers, and also to see how much these collections cost. Next on the trip, we visited the fashion district and all the top fashion schools. I looked at Parsons New School for Design and the Kent State New York Campus. I loved looking at the Kent Campus because I will be spending a whole semester there in my junior year of college. Next on the trip, my dad and I shopped around New York and our favorite shopping spot was Soho. They had so many cute boutiques with and affordable and fashionable clothing. We spent an entire day shopping in Soho and a whole day wasn’t even long enough to get through all the stores there. Also, they had so many good restaurants, and our favorite was a small Chinese noodle shop. Though we did a lot of fashion activities in New York, we did a lot of touristy things like visiting Times Square and going to see Mama Mia on Broadway. The trip was so much fun, and I was not looking forward to coming home. I can’t wait for my next trip to New York City; it is one of my favorite places.

Further your Fashion Knowledge by Eva Floreak, 2012

If you are interested in taking your love of fashion to the next level, there are many universities and institutes around the area that you could attend. West Virginia University was recently added to the list of schools that offer the areas of Fashion Merchandising and Fashion Design.  Other Schools that offer these degrees are Kent State University, The Art Institute in Pittsburgh, Drexel University and Mercyhurst College.  Most of these schools offer excellent opportunities like studying abroad in places like New York City, Paris, or Italy, sewing machines always available for students to use, and many schools bring in guest fashion icons to speak at the school.  Kent State is actually ranked as one the third best fashion school in the country and the thirteenth in the world.  If you are willing to travel for your degree, many of the top fashions schools in the country are located in New York City, where the heart of fashion is in the U.S.  The top schools in New York include Parsons The New School of Design, The Fashion Institute of Technology, and Pratt Institute.  All of these schools have unique qualities that provide excellent opportunities for the students while they are in school, and after they graduate and enter the real fashion world.


    

Prom…5 Tips for Saying “Yes to the Dress” by Eva Floreak, 2012

With Prom season quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to start looking for your perfect dress.  There are so many different styles that are in this year, including the mermaid dress, high-low dresses, and dresses with iridescent stones. When picking out your prom dress, you want to follow a few guidelines before you say yes to the dress.

First, you want to find the right size, which can be difficult sometimes. If you are really unsure of your size, most stores can measure you to find the perfect fit. It is always better to go bigger than smaller because seamstresses are always able to take dresses in, but never able to take dresses out. Dont ever be worried about the length of the dress! All dresses are made to fit 5 ‘8″ girls, so most of us will have to get the bottom hemmed.

Second, make sure the color compliments your hair color and your skin color. For example, a girl with blonde hair and light skin should never get a nude colored dress. A nude colored dress will just blend in with the skin and hair, which will not compliment the girl in anyway. When picking a color, you want to pick a dress that makes your face looks bright and exuberant.

Third, you want to be comfortable in your dress. When deciding on a dress, try walking around and sitting down. During the night you will be walking around, sitting down, dancing, getting in and out of a limousine or car, and many other movements, so be sure the dress will be able to stand all of these motions.

Fourth, get others opinion’s. Though your mom and your friends will not be wearing the dress, it is important that other people approve of your choice and keep school policies in mind.

Fifth, even though most girls don’t want this to be a factor in her decision-making process, the price does matter. Make sure the dress is worth what you are paying for. The quality of the dress should match up with the price and if you don’t absolutely love the dress, don’t spend a lot of money.

With these tips, I hope these tips help you find the perfect prom dress! Here are some online prom dress stores to get a first look at the Prom 2012 collection. Make sure to take a look at the Sherri Hill and Jovani dresses because they are the most popular designers for the prom season.

http://www.promgirl.com/

http://oneenchantedeveningonline.com/

http://www.peachesboutique.com/Prom-Dresses-2012.aspx

http://www.henris.com/

http://www.thewinneroutlet.com/prom-homecoming.htm

 

Warm Up to Winter Fashion by Eva Floreak, 2012

Winter is time to layer on the fashion.   Some of the trends this year include fur, lots of layers, matching scarves with accessories, bold colors, and much more.  The article at this link provides the latest trends and shows various ways to express your fashion voice in everyday life, not just on the runway.

http://www.elle.com/Fashion/Street-Chic/Street-Talk-Winter-Trends#mode=base;slide=0;
 Thinking Spring?  by Eva Floreak, 2012
Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is coming up, taking place in New York City.  Though it is only winter, the week of high fashion will introduce the trends for the spring, summer, and fall of 2012.  The top ten trends of the spring are unveiled by Elle magazine.  The fashion world is always one season ahead, predicting what is going to be popular next.  The top ten trends are previewed, and you can click on each of them to find out more detail.
http://www.elle.com/Fashion/Trend-Reports/New-York-Fashion-Week-Spring-2012-Trend-Report?cid=obinsitePinterested? By Eva Floreak, 2012

Pinterested? by Eva Floreak, 2012

Though I use this website to primarily look up fashion topics, it works great for anything you are interested in.  Pinterest, is a site that can be used for a lot of things… especially if you do not enjoy reading because the site is very visual.

To receive an account to pinterest, you have to request an invite.  Once you receive the invitation, you are free to search any of your interests. With this account comes your very own “pin board” where you can “re-pin” anything that strikes you.  This pin board usually consists of all your favorite things from fashion to films, and the latest trends that interest you.  Pinterest is a very creative and fun way to explore many topics in the world.

Check it out…

http://pinterest.com/search/?q=fashion

 

 

 

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