Friday, October 29, 2010

Health In Fashion

   It's always been an issue and it'll continue to be an issue for ages to come: weight in fashion. Many models live stressful lives of everyday photo shoots and one runway show after another and tend to leave food out of the picture. A lot of these models are anorexic and don't eat the food that their bodies need to function correctly. When asked, designers always tell magazine reporters that their models would never do such a thing. But if that's the case, why are the statistics so high?
   In March of 2010, I attended a fashion forum, Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in Fashion, at Harvard Business School. The event was held by Vogue editor Anna Wintour, notorious designer and Project Runway judge Michael Kors and model Natalia Vodianova and it discussed the importance of staying healthy in the fashion industry. A lot of models are perfectly healthy but some are wasting away day by day due to eating disorders. These three individuals talked about new rules put in place for models that are trying to reduce disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Some of the newly instated regulations include no tobacco or alcohol products backstage at fashion shows, working hours are required to be less for young models and setting age requirements for young models.
   Sponsored by the Harris Center for eating disorders at Massachusetts General Hospital, the forum was very informative and deeply saddening at the same time. If you're lucky enough to be a model, then you don't have to be any thinner than you already are. So many young girls starve themselves then end up getting dropped by designers due to their unhealthy weight. Michael Kors told the audience that he has cookies and snack foods backstage at his shows and he won't hire models under eighteen because it's more likely for them to develop eating disorders than older models.
   It was a huge wake up call that designers need to take precautions to avoid situations involving easting disorders. Vodianova explained the difficulties she went through as a young model working in foreign cities, she told the audience that eating disorders are used as an escape. Like I said before, it will continue to be an issue for years to come but prevention forums like this one will reach out to suffering models and help them seek recovery. Natalia Vodianova ended the conference on a high note informing the audience that, "It's in fashion now to be healthy."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Animal Prints Fall 2010 Season

   Who would've guess that animal print would actually be style worthy. Girls overuse prints like zebra and cheetah to the point where it's just plain trashy. But this season, adding small bits of prints such as those can add a touch of class to your outfit.

   So how can you wear animal prints? Like I said, in small amounts. This pattern in clothing has the potential to add a touch of style or can land you on an episode of TLC's What Not to Wear. Go for an effortless look, add small accessories of prints to stand out. Don't try to match everything because then you'll come across foolish and you'll defeat the whole purpose of trying to be trendy. Although the runways have safari themes, do you want to go out in public like a jungle cat? Didn't think so. So keep it minimal, and most importantly keep it classy. 
   When you're out shopping and you see animal prints, it doesn't mean you have to buy it just because it's in style. Even though it's fashionable right now, it won't look good on everything. If you're looking for stylish animal prints, stop by J Crew for cute, elegant ones that will last forever due to their quality. To top it off, when the cold weather comes around, a pair of cheetah mittens or gloves is acceptable. And never forget that when in doubt, you can do without! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

White After Labor Day

   No white after Labor Day? Not this year. Just as white can make a statement in the summertime, it's in style this fall and winter. While incorporating white into fall and winter clothes, keep in mind that white during these seasons needs more substance and must be heavier than bright summer whites. Bright white such as linen dresses and thin tops must be put away but there's no crime in wearing your cream colored coats, dresses,tops, etc.

   White with gold jewelry is also a very popular trend this season. This combination has been seen on countless numbers of celebrities and it's simple to add to your wardrobe. Pick up a regular white shirt at a store like H&M of Forever 21 and add a gold necklace, bangles, earrings or a brooch to it. This look will make you look white and fluffy as snow and the gold will stand out and complete the sophisticated yet simple look.
   Never forget to add texture while sporting winter whites and be sure to check that it's not too bright. When stepping out in your favorite white cardigan, add some darker colors such as army greens, maroon, brown or black underneath to avoid looking like you've just stepped off of a cruise ship. And always remember, white shoes can wait till spring- don't make that mistake this winter!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sionara Skinny Jeans?

   Are skinny jeans slowing dying out? Fashion experts are starting to see a rise in sales of flare, boot cut and trouser-leg styles and less sales of skinnies. The vice president of retail at Diesel, Francis Pierrel, indicates that while the skinny jean will not be vanishing forever, new options such as the skinny boot cut are picking up fast. 
   "Women are starting to look for other fit options. The skinny boot cut, a fit with the same look as a skinny jean but with a trumpeted leg opening, is going to be an important transition piece," says Pierrel.
   Women all over argue that the skinny jean is limited only to thinner women, showing off the shape of the leg and usually being tighter than flare jeans.
   Jenna Lonstein tells StyleList that, "People needed a break from their skinnies... nothing is more flattering on a woman than a great-fitting denim trouser or flare-leg jean. It really balances out your proportions and makes you look taller and leaner."
   Designers like 7 For all Mankind, Diesel, Rock & Republic, True Religion and Rich n Skinny won't be doing away with skinny jeans but you will notice more advertisements for flare jeans since they're said to be more practical for women. Even going into stores now, mannequins are sporting all different kinds of jeans because designer's are trying to incorporate variety in their denim by creating versions other than skinnies.
   Also slowly leaving clothing racks are jeggings. I was never a fan of the jean legging combo but now more and more people are starting to feel the same way. While many like this style jean, they're hard to get into if you're not stick thin and they don't fit the needs of all buyers therefore why they're starting to become less popular. To get the jeggings on, it's as if you have to do a dance to get them past your calves which can be a hassle if you plan to wear them to school, work, etc. 
   The more universal and practical flare jean is now back in style- so women, you can take them out of your attic and put them on again! Flares will match flowy tanks and really any long sleeve shirts matched up with comfy boots or flats This winter they're sure to make a comeback and an impact on fashion.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Maria Dionisiou Photo Shoot

   If you think the process of putting together a look book is easy, you're sadly mistaken. On Saturday, Ada Mitchev, Skyler Oates, Mariah Janos and I were featured in Maria Dionisiou's fall/winter 2010-11 photo shoot for her line of coats. We worked from about noon to eight at night and it was one of the most tiring days I've ever withstood. We shot 32 looks all together in Carsten Fleck's Brooklyn studio and outside in a local park. You wouldn't think posing and changing outfits would be too much work, but by the end of the day everyone wanted to go home and be done with it.

   The process of hair and make up also took forever and it was difficult to sit in a chair for long periods of time. Mariah and I woke up around 7:30 in the morning, showered did hair and make up for about an hour then left for Brooklyn. Traffic was backed up so much and it took us forever to get through the Holland Tunnel. By the time we arrived at the studio, we were already tired but it was just getting started. Hair needed to be redone and make up needed to be touched up before we could even change into Maria D's designs. The stylist had to fit us and then coordinate outfits which took a long time also. By the time we actually started shooting with the photographer it was 2:00, and we had been getting ready 8 hours prior to the start of the shoot.
   Once the camera started rolling, we started to have a blast. I was paired up with Skyler, a 5'9" experienced model who taught me so much. She was one of the nicest people you could ever work with and she was extremely gorgeous and such a great model. Ada and Mariah were paired up and they made a great pair because of their similar heights. Of course the shoot was hectic, and it got tense every once and a while when the models became argumentative towards Maria and complained about the clothes she was dressing us in. 
   As the day progressed, everyone began to know each other and become familiar with the way all of the girls were modeling. Carsten made everyone feel so comfortable in front of the camera as if it were your thousandth time modeling. He would dance with us and tell us just to be ourselves and he would photograph that. I can't wait to see the pictures Maria and Carsten select for her look book!

   All in all, it was a great weekend in NYC and I learned that modeling is a lot harder than most people think. I went in with the idea we'd be out of the studio in 2 hours - wrong. Staying with Maria (the designer) was a fun experience because we got to see what she does when she goes to work, what a designer's apartment looks like and we most importantly got to experience New York City in a whole new way. I'm crossing my fingers that all of us models will be able to reunite soon because we all connected so well. 
   Overall, New York is amazing and the fashion there is impeccable. Every corner you turn you see people in unique clothing and you see models everywhere. On the way back from my shoot, there was a shoot going on on Park Avenue with professionals who looked so cool. I hope to experience that all again and now I know how difficult a career in modeling actually is. That's all for now.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Originality in Fashion

   When asked about Lady Gaga, Tim Gunn commented, "Who would want to emulate that? It's not even fashion. Those are costumes." Not even any props for Lady Gaga’s meat dress? Or what about her Alexander Mcqueen Armadillo shoes? Tim Gunn, Project Runway's delightful host, along with many others think Gaga's fashion is utterly ridiculous and over the top, while many fashion gurus and other celebs praise Gaga's ambitious style and over the top trends.

   Is she trying to make a statement, portray a message, be herself or just trying to stand out? If you ask a crowd of people they would all answer differently. If you're a true Gaga fan like I am, you know she's expressing herself in a unique way- through her fashion. The meat dress, the outrageous heels, the masks, the hats, the leotards, the wigs, you name it she's worn it - and done it justice. Being at the top of the pop charts and having four top 10 songs on iTunes charts at once, Gaga is an all around sensation. She can work the strangest things and have a reason behind why she's sporting it. Sure her outfits are risque and confusing but the deciding factor about if her outfits are fashion or not is her originality. She isn't typical and she's not like anyone else, she's Lady Gaga.

   Originality entails fashionistas to have the quality of being new and original, and not have ideas derived from something else, however most people generally have inspiration for their ideas, but does this mean their ideas aren't original? Inspiration initiates creativity, but originality means having the creativity in the first place. They both have different meanings, but can come together and create a sensation. Lady Gaga gets her inspiration from experiences, and average people obtain inspiration through experiences also. Inspiration can come from anything you can relate to. In Gaga's case her inspiration comes from her fans (or her "Little Monsters"), life lessons and from her music/lyrics. Many critics don't see the creativity behind her mayhem which causes them to judge based on what they see.
   Tim Gunn might not have understood what Gaga was trying to portray in that meat dress, or in the Armadillo shoes, but that doesn't mean he had to conclude that she has no fashion sense. So for Gaga, and for anyone else with a unique sense of style, people can assert their opinions and criticize, but there's always a story behind an outfit- especially for Gaga.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Home of Hope Orphanage Kigali, Rwanda T-shirts!

    Support the Home of Hope Orphanage in Kigali, Rwanda -- Buy a stylish t-shirt designed by high school junior, Molly Burchard for just $40. Styles include crop tops, reversible shirts, tanks and more. She'll size and cut the shirt however you please. Molly has traveled to Rwanda numerous times on mission trips and has started her own fund for the Home of Hope. It's a great charity to support especially since 85% of Rwandans live on less than a dollar a day and would especially benefit from these t-shirt sales. As an owner of a Rwanda shirt, you can wear it with just about anything. They're comfortable, convenient, stylish and most importantly they're for a wonderful cause. For more info message Molly Burchard on Facebook.

xx ZM

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Maria Dionisiou

   It was a long trip on a cold, February day. The trek to Attitash MT in New Hampshire was a long, and quite boring one to say the least. Accompanied by my best friend, Mariah, and her mom, Georgia, there was someone else was tagging along for the weekend ski resort getaway. Georgia's friend, Maria, had come to their house the night before we left, and when we picked her up from the train station in Westwood, MA I learned she had come from NYC and was a fashion designer. I didn't really think much of it and I thought that she probably worked in a designer's office, designing clothes that would never have her own name on the label. On that snowy, long car ride, I learned otherwise.
   Maybe one or two hours into the trip, Mariah was telling me about her mother's friend's profession. She mentioned how she lived in Jersey City and worked in New York City and she in fact did have her own line. Mariah explained that Maria designed coats and her and her mother even had coats by Maria. Being the fashion fanatic I am, I was so interested and began interrogating Maria about her job. Maria had the humor of a world class comedian and knowing her for about twenty hours, I felt like I had known her my entire life.
   The rest of that weekend was pure bliss. I don't think I've ever come home with better stories about how much fun I had. Maria was an excellent snowboarder and we were afraid to tell her otherwise. She always had a story to tell, and we never lost sight of her in her plaid and white snowboarding suit. She was equipped with an attitude and an opinion to match. Every conversation with Maria was a debate filled with laughs. When Mariah and I would tease her about her style, she would defend herself saying that she had the coolest Nike IDs in town- which was true.
   I later learned that Maria is a BU Graduate and went to school for Business Administration but had followed family tradition and chose to become a clothing designer. She began designing outerwear and coats and made her name known amongst many famous designers. Maria has designed many coats that have appeared in off Broadway shows, television shows, and in numerous music videos. She designed pieces for the Oscar Awards Fashion Shows and was recognized in the credits among famous designers such as Gianfranco Ferre, Jean Paul Gaultier, Gianni Versace, Anna Sui and many more. Maria also consulted and produced clothing, outerwear and accessories for celebrities and designers such as Patti LaBelle, Freddy Star, Fred Hayman, Adrienne Vittadini, Kimora Lee Simmons, Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Anne Klein and more.

   She's a talented women who's an easy person to make a connection with. Next weekend, October 22-24, I'll be in New York City with Mariah and Georgia to to model Maria's Fall/Winter 2010-2011 line. We're all so excited to travel to NYC and especially to see Maria again. I hope this trip is as memorable as our ski vacation and I'll have many pictures to put up after the shoot. Check out Maria's site at - you'll be speechless! That's all forxx ZM


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Military Fashion Trend

   With Fashion Week behind us and new seasons approaching, military clothing seems to find its way into many runway designs. But for Fall and Winter 2010-2011, it’s an ongoing trend that will become very popular very quickly. It won't only be on runways and in magazines, but on every chic woman craving new style.

   It’s not just military jackets that have made a mark on the fashion world, but all sorts of other clothing too. When it comes to military clothing, all you need to do is add a hint of buttons, chains or stiffened collars and you’ll look as if you’ve come straight out of an issue of Harper's Bazaar. Commonly used colors for this trend are brown and green, while grey and green are the shades that take over the scene. Adding black and blue color schemes can also give your outfit that modelesque effect. Bulky jackets with high, stiffened collars, gold chains, leather or combat boots, and bold socks are what make a statement this season. Army green in coats and oversized cargo pants dominated the runways in New York's Fashion Week this September and will be seen throughout the fall and winter on stylish streetwalkers and trendy starlets. Leather jackets, which offer an edgy, yet stylish look, can be seen on mannequins, models, people and most commonly on the designers themselves. Bulky shoes, like clogs or Doc Martens, with simple black or distressed jeans worn with a normal army green shirt can really make a fashion statement.
   While designer clothes may be too expensive to afford, stores like Forever 21, Topshop and H&M are both packed with chic military style clothing for the average fashionista to strut around town!
xx ZM
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