Queen of Disco: Donna Summer

Written By: Caitlin ThompsonPhotographed by: Adriana Brown When we look back on the ‘70s most of us think about disco balls, fun outfits, and great music. LaDonna Adrian Gaines, more known by her stage name Donna Summer is considered by many as the “Queen of Disco”. Donna Summer has had a very successful music career, she got big in the late 1970s. In her entire career, she has had a total of 42 singles on US Billboards Hot 100, 14 of which made it to the top ten. She is also a renowned actor, acting in the traveling cast of Hair. Overall, Donner Summer has a powerful presence.  Donna Summer has always had a strong fashion presence in her time of fame. Her style was ever-changing, she never stuck to one style for too long. She could wear a flowy simple outfit one day then the next, have a floor-length sequined dress. She never strayed away from trying new looks, many of her fashion risks became bookmarks in major fashion styles of the ‘70s. As her career continued on past the ‘70s she continued to take fashion risks. Many of her styles are praised and continue to be iconic. In the first outfit, the model is wearing a long-sleeve white shirt with light blue ripped jeans with darker blue denim covering where the rips are. The outfit is accessorized by the white flower in her hair and a variety of necklaces. This showcases Donner Summer’s simpler fashion style. The white shirt is reminiscent of Summer’s earlier fashion with its simple shape but a bit of flair with its design.  With this outfit, the model is showing Summer’s unique and fun side. The model is wearing a nude color top with a short-haired fur coat and this outfit is accessorized with a beautiful white flower crown and a few simple necklaces.  Donna Summer has shown us it is okay to explore our own idea of fashion. Summer’s fierceness and fearlessness to try new styles have influenced many of the fashion styles we see from her time. I cannot say it better than Donna herself, “I don’t really try to predict what can and will happen with things. Sometimes you think something’s gonna be a huge success, and it isn’t. And sometimes you pay no attention to something whatsoever.” Modeled by Rickaya Sykes

The One Who Can Do It All, Stevie Nicks

Photography by: Adriana BrownWritten by: Caitlin ThompsonModel: Annie Miller The ‘70s was a time of free spirits, good music, and political change. Stevie Nicks was a revolutionary presence in many aspects. She was a renowned singer in Fleetwood Mac while also pursuing a successful soloist career, writing her first song at 15 to winning three Grammys. She is also the only woman to have been inducted to the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame, which she has been inducted into twice now. Nicks has also ventured out into a few acting roles including “American Horror Story”. Her music and presence is still felt today.  Back in the early ’70s when Stevie was becoming a household name, her fashion was distinctive and unique to her. She was known for her flowy clothes with organic patterns and a hint of spunk in them. Even as the years changed, Nicks never strayed from her own unique style. She was never afraid of adding ruffles or fringe to any outfit. Many of her styles are bookmarked as the pinnacle point of ‘70s fashion.  In the first outfit, the model is wearing a white cropped long sleeve top with light denim jeans. The outfit is accessorized by a light brown belt, yellow moon earrings, and two necklaces. Her outfit encases Stevie Nicks’s fashion style in many aspects. The moon earrings are a subtle tribute to Nicks’ iconic yellow moon necklace which she still wears today. The fluidity of the top is reminiscent of Nicks’s love for flowy clothes.  In this outfit, the model is showcasing the darker side of Nicks fashion sense with a long dark patterned skirt and a black strappy tank top. This outfit was also paired with a white cardigan. She accessorized by adding a black short-brimmed hat, two necklaces, and yellow moon earrings.  From Stevie Nicks music to her fashion there is a lot we can learn from her. Nicks always had a free flow and uniqueness to her that inspired many. She has shown us being yourself is something important and can be shared through music or fashion. In the wise words of Stevie Nicks herself, “I hope you find a love. Your own designs of love.”

Eartha Kitt: The Woman Who Taught Us It’s Okay to be Evil

Photography: Adriana BrownStory: Adriana Brown “My recipe for life is not being afraid of myself, afraid of what I think or of my opinion.”– Eartha Kitt As we look back on fashion decades’ past, we tend to revel in the retro styles that our parents and grandparents wore. We love the yellowed pages of family photo albums and the vintage soda pop advertisements that depict glamorous people who are way too dressed-up for a diner scene. When vintage style comes up, the 1950’s and 1960’s are some of the most considered eras. The polka dots, tailored pencils skirts, the shin-length dresses: the women of these decades definitely set a standard of grace and beauty. But one woman decided that this prim and proper style just wasn’t exciting enough, and that was singer, songwriter, actress, author, and advocate Eartha Kitt. Relocating from rural South Carolina to New York as a teenager, Eartha discovered the world of entertainment in which she would thrive greatly. Her passion for performance was nurtured when she joined the Katherine Dunham Company, which gave immense opportunities to African-American entertainers. After this ambitious start, Eartha went on to succeed in the performing arts with her distinctive sultry voice, theatrical acting style, and bold manner of speaking. Aside from achievements such as being a Tony Award nominee and releasing hit songs such as “Santa Baby”, “C’est Si Bon”, and “I Wanna Be Evil”, Eartha accomplished the objective of captivating multiple generations. This breakout star who began her career in the 1940s is also well known to today’s generation as the voice behind Ezma, the eccentric villain from “The Emperor’s New Groove,” and the mystical Madame Zeroni from the 2003 movie “Holes”. With the first outfit, the model wears a pale yellow, cropped, three-quarters-length sleeved sweater with beaded details matched with a brown pencil skirt. Her accessories include a leopard-print beret, gold triangular earrings, cat-eye sunglasses, a mini pocketbook, and strappy heels. We see hints of Eartha’s personal fashion taste in the tight, yet tasteful, fit that accentuates the womanly figure. Small touches such as the sunglasses and low heels are especially reminiscent of the ‘50s and ’60s.  For the second outfit, the model is showing off some softer lines that would be perfect for a vintage-inspired weekend look. On top, she is wearing a white vest with beaded accents. This is paired with an ankle-length floral-printed skirt with slits on both sides. We paired this outfit with a faux-fur jacket fit for chilly nights. For accessories, the model is adorned with the gold triangular earrings, a pearl necklace that peeks out from the neckline, a black belt with a gold buckle to accentuate her waist, and the black strappy heels. If we fashion enthusiasts have learned anything from the legendary Eartha Kitt, it’s that nothing is off-limits. Animal prints, sequins, and high slits: Eartha pushed the boundaries with countless looks in an era where women were expected to hide their curves as well as their individuality. This starlet was not only a fashion icon, but also an important voice in the advancement of minority groups in the entertainment industry. With her bold style and even bolder opinions, we remember Eartha as the woman who taught us that it’s okay to be blunt and expressive…maybe even a little evil.

The Grace to our Frankie: Jane Fonda

It’s never too late – never too late to start over, never too late to be happy.-Jane Fonda Story by: Aayesha PoudelPhotography by: Anna Debald As we grow older, we often question if we are still able to accomplish the goals that we want to do, or if we should just stick with our current path because it may be too late to change your life. And this stems from the problem of thinking we all have a conventional path that we must follow. Jane Fonda uses her career to prove that we have a long life to live, and can do as much as we want to do with it. Because, it is never too late to do what makes you happier. Along with being an Academy Award winning actress, Jane Fonda is an inspiration for modern women because of her devotion to political activism. She showed her support in the Civil Rights Movement and showed her opposition for the Vietnam War. She was also an activist for causes such as Native American rights and women’s rights. Even recently, Fonda has protested issues such as the creation of the Dakota Access Pipeline in the Standing Rock. When it comes to the Dakota Access Pipeline, Fonda said, “It has been 45 years since the Occupation of Alcatraz. At Standing Rock we are witnessing the flowering of the seeds that were planted there and, again, it is the youth who seem to be leading the way.” Fonda has always used her fame as an actress to make light on real-world issues that are really important to her. And this is something that she continues to do because she knows that it is never too late to fight for what you believe in. To channel her elegantly chic style, we first created an outfit that mixed the 60s polka dot in a modern twist. We paired a red polka dot peplum skirt with a black halter top. Then, added in a metallic bag with white heels. For the second look, we went for a chic dress, pairing a rose pink baby doll dress with a purple bandana that matched the funky purple heels. It was a mix of innocence with the heels adding a pop of excitement. For the last look, we went for a more casual outfit. In this look, we paired a pink top with pearl details with a pair of straight leg jeans and purple heels. This look symbolizes Fonda laid-back and relatable personality traits. She doesn’t ever come off too stiff or unapproachable, but instead someone you can treat like a friend. Fonda has spent her career as an actress, an influencer and an activist. She has stood out in the public eye because of her devotion to causes that are important to her, and for being an inspiration for all women. She teaches us to fight for what we believe in, and to never use age as an excuse. Stylist: Anna DebaldModel: Celeste Chaves

Women’s HERstory Month: On the Basis of Style

Story by: Aayesha PoudelPhotos by: Dalvida Palmer Imagine being a female graduate from a top tier law school during a time where the career field is completely dominated by men. Imagine majority of employers are reluctant to hire you because they believe that women are too weak, maternal or generally incapable. Now imagine, you are told that women who are intelligent and career driven come off as too intimidating and therefore un-likeable. This was life for Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the late 1950’s. Ruth Bader Ginsburg broke glass ceilings for American women throughout her career. But she didn’t do so without facing tremendous struggle in order to eventually earn her position as Supreme Court Justice. Ginsburg finished top of her class at Columbia Law School in 1959. After graduating, she spent some time in her career as a professor at Rutgers University. Following this, Ginsburg worked for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as a volunteer lawyer and furthered her career advocating for gender equality. From there, she helped repeal laws that striped the freedom of women across the country. She was then appointed to the U.S Court of Appeals for the D.C Circuit by President Carter, and continued the rest of her career in law as Supreme Court Justice where she remains today. Ginsburg spent her entire career fighting for women’s rights. To this day, she continues to have millions of admirers which led to two movies that recently came out about her career: RBG Documentary and On the Basis of Sex. To ensure that everything from the story-line to the wardrobe was RBG approved, Ginsburg played a critical role in supervising the movie On the Basis of Sex because she wanted to help preserve the authenticity of the story. Ginsburg wore a lot of chic patterns, so we started the outfit with a cheetah print top. Then, we wanted to use the color green as another major piece to the outfit because that was a color that RBG wore a few times throughout the movie. It is also a color that can symbolize ambition. Many of the outfits RBG wore in the movie were very bright and colorful, therefore we paired the green pants with a mustard yellow bow and green and yellow earrings. RBG’s hair was styled with bows and headscarves quite a few times, so it was a great match for the outfit. So channel one of our favorite SHEroes today! Stylist: Aayesha Poudel Model: Eve Mclernon

Women’s HerStory Month: We Copied Rihanna’s Cool Girl Street Style

Story by: Aayesha PoudelPhotos by: Dalvida PalmerWorld renowned musician, actress, fashion icon, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. Rihanna or “Ri-Ri” encompassed all of these roles in her career in the public eye. Rihanna rose to fame as one of the most celebrated musicians of the 21st century. Currently, Rihanna is the third most awarded female artist in history, earning her first Grammy Award for her hit song Umbrella. Alongside this, she’s been in movies such as Ocean’s 8 and has been a cover-girl for numerous magazines and brands. But recently, she’s challenged the beauty industry to create more makeup products that are inclusive to all women of color with her line, Fenty Beauty. For years, makeup companies have offered a very minimal selection of foundation shades for their consumers. To make matters worse, most of these companies create an even more limited range of shades for women with darker skin tones. For most companies, it’s not a matter of if they can offer more colors, but really if they care enough to. Fenty beauty pioneered the industry with the focus of offering over 40 foundation colors from their launch. Not surprisingly, this created a ripple effect where companies such as Cover FX, Cover Girl, and Revlon created their own inclusive foundation lines. In just the launch of Fenty Beauty, Rihanna challenged the beauty industry to include more women of color. Rihanna diversified her career in order to break barriers in both her personal businesses and the entertainment industry. But something else that Rihanna has always stood out on is her sense of style. RCFU was inspired by her daring, now iconic street style, and put together some looks to pay tribute to the Bag Gal herself. In the first outfit, our model wears camouflage pants with a grey tube top and a blue-orange color block puffer jacket. For her accessories, she pairs the outfit with white chunky dad shoes and some rad sunglasses. For her second outfit, the model wears a graphic t-shirt of the band Kiss which is paired with a grey camouflage jacket, black sweatpants and white chunky dad shoes. This time for her sunglasses, she wears neon blue sport sunglasses. Both of the looks resonate with Rihanna’s personal style. She wears a lot of streetwear trends with bright colors, and is never afraid to go above and beyond with her style. Her style is very reflective of her personality and work. Rihanna is often seen as an unapologetic woman who is expressive and optimistic. She pushes boundaries, and this is often shown in her music and her brand Fenty Beauty along with in her personal style. The queen of music, makeup and fashion- Ri-Ri continues to prove that she can conquer just about anything. Stylist: Jerrell FuntilaModel: Malanee Erenna

Playing with Purpose

Recognized for being the former No. 1 ranked tennis player and the first female athlete to win over $100,000 in prize money, King was also one of the first openly gay athletes, as well as an outspoken feminist. King’s most renowned matches, called “Battle of the Sexes” was against the former No. 1 ranked tennis player, Bobby Riggs, who claimed that the women’s game was inferior. Needless to say, King proved him wrong when she won the match, making history with millions of people cheering her on. This empowering woman didn’t stop there, but went on to found both the Women’s Tennis Association and the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative. Eventually, her dedication to equality earned her the Medal of Freedom in 2009. Are you inspired, or what? It’s amazing that King used her athletic talent as a platform for her to draw attention to social injustices and for her to actively fight against that inequality. We are so excited to channel this queen- or rather, “King”- this month! This shoot took place on a tennis court (of course!), our lovely model’s feminine look contrasted with bold poses might just inspire you to head to the court for a match, if only for the outfits. But, there’s no need! We’ve got you covered with a few tips to help you channel King’s style on the daily, without needing to hit the tennis court (unless you wanted to, of course). learn this here now Tips for channeling Billie Jean King in your style: Chic glasses – In this shoot, the stylist chose a white pair of sunglasses, but any color and style will do. Billie Jean King wore her glasses during matches. Over the years she has sported different ones in colors like hot pink and red which are also cute color options. Pretty pastels – Pastels are not for the faint of heart. The beautiful irony is, it takes a bold person to work pastel colors. It is so much easier to put on dark neutrals that easily pair together. In this look, even though the dusty blue and pale pink might not “go” with each other, they still contrast to create a pretty, yet strong look. King’s ideas for how women should be seen, treated, and paid didn’t “go” with what was the norm in the world of tennis, but she didn’t change. She was not faint of heart. Billie  wore her womanhood the way she wanted. If you dare, break away from neutrals and wear your pastels the way you want this spring! A uniquely draped sweater – King was a woman like no other, especially in the world of tennis, and she wore her uniqueness boldly. A small way to add a unique touch to your own style is by tying your own sweatshirt around your shoulders, in typical tennis style, and perhaps by pulling one side under an arm, in not-so-typical tennis style. It’s different, but it’s a look. Plus, it’s essential for these colder days. A pleated skirt – It’s a little bit tennis star and a little bit private school girl, but our model works it perfectly. These skirts are fun and flouncy, highlighting the waist to create a classic hourglass figure. It’s an easy way to channel King in your own style. What says “tennis legend/social activist” more than a pleated skirt, right? “Everybody’s wearing white shoes, white socks, white clothes, playing with white balls, everybody who plays is white. Where is everybody else? That was the moment I decided to fight for equality and freedom and equal rights and opportunities for everyone. Everyone. Not just girls. Everyone.” -Billie Jean King This quote by Billie Jean King displays her heart for equality, for both the LGBTQIA+ community and for women of every color. The quote encompasses the work she has done to challenge the athletic world and beyond to be more aware of inequality and to do something about it. This is a woman who overcame barriers and did what she could to help others with their own social hurdles. This is the kind of woman that we are not only excited to celebrate, but use as an inspiration for our personal styles. And especially to let inspire our views on equal rights for not just women, but everyone.