Saying Hello To Spring

Saying Hello To Spring As the cold gloomy cover of winter slowly dwindles away, Spring’s soft touch is drifting in. While we take time to either reminisce on our ultra-layered cold weather looks, or happily packaway our bulky coats, Spring is working overtime to bring vibrance back to our world. The least we could do is bring the same to our wardrobes.    Springtime shows us that all can be reborn again, it reminds us how much life the world has to give. As the days turn warmer, and the sun washes the world in yellow once again, the opportunities to rediscover our style are endless. While mother nature is busy bringing reblooming nature, we can plant new seeds within our closets to help our personal style grow.  This Spring show off your ultra feminine pieces, or that one dress that looks straight out of ‘Pride And Prejudice’. Lace, declotage, and vintage nightgowns are some key elements that we will be seeing this season. Sofia Coppola films like ‘The Virgin Suicides’, or ‘Marie Antoinette’, exude the essence of spring, and they are huge inspirations for this Springs’ fashion.    This season, focus on taking life slowly, touching grass in the literal sense, and maybe switch out your Spring cleaning for some Spring thrifting. Nature is thriving with abundance, it’s only natural for our closets to follow suit! 

Far Out in the 60s

Far Out In The Sixties Vibrant and bold colors, silhouettes that catch the eye seemingly without trying, and patterns that make you question what time period you’re really in – these are all aspects of the infamous 1960s Mod Fashion.  A bright sunny day in Richmond was nothing short of ideal for the shoot – the blue sky posed as an accessory in the perfect blue hue for this era. It’s ironic though, considering the birth of Mod fashion was in London, a city commonly known for its rainy weather.  The Start of “Mod”  60s Mod Fashion can be described as a revolution that originated in London, driven by the youth. Mod, an abbreviation from “Modernist”, was coined in the 1950s. Despite the fashion, it’s associated with having its moment the following decade.   During the tumultuous decade, politics were changing, young people wanted to be seen and be able to express themselves in a new way, and they were attempting to free themselves of the traditional expectations from previous generations. What better way to express a change of attitude than with fashion? Instead of muted and pale tones that were seen in the 50s, bright colors and bold patterns were making their way onto the scene.   Infamous Trailblazers   A trailblazer of the time and of the whole Mod fashion insurgence is none other than Mary Quant. She opened up a boutique in Chelsea in 1955, shortly after this would be the birth of the “London Look”.  Her simple designs of A-line style dresses, in shorter lengths than had been seen before and in brighter colors, were soon everywhere. She styled these dresses with colored tights as well, another fashion piece that was introduced in the 60s, saying goodbye to stockings and garters.    Other designers that are contributors similar to Quant in the Mod Fashion scene are Barbara Hulanicki, Pierre Cardin, Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, as well as André Courrèges, and Michael Fish.  A Closer Look At Styling   For this shoot, we had the privilege of styling the models with a local business – Bygones. A vintage clothing store located in the heart of Carytown. The internal setup of Bygones is something similar to a fashion lover’s dream – vintage pieces separated by the decade lining the walls.   Each piece chosen takes us back in time to the far out 60s. Each one is paired with the necessities for a Mod look: tights, sunglasses or belts, and effortlessly cool hairstyles and makeup looks.   As the warm spring weather makes a staggering entrance this season, there is no doubt the trends of the 60s will be sneaking into our closets. Embrace all the funky accessories, asymmetrical silhouettes, colored tights and the fun that comes with the styles of decade known for peace, love, and rock and roll.  Contributors:  Creative Director: Carolina GomezJunior Creative Director: Alyssa CarmanPhotoset Assistant/Outreach: Kristina Wise Photography: Summer Deciucis and Carolina Gomez Makeup & Hair: Amaris Bowers, Summer DeciucisModels: Jaylyn Johnson, Julia Sweeney, Ella Crowe, Grace Blair

Trend Tuesday: Leopard Print

Trend Tuesday: Leopard Print This week we’re highlighting the never-ending phenomenon of animal print, specifically, leopard. Critics and lovers of the iconic pattern have argued throughout the decades whether or not leopard deserves to come back into cycle season after season. We’re here to say it rightfully deserves its place in fashion, and it’s something we’re excited to see even more of as the years go on. While cheetah and leopard are commonly grouped together and sometimes confused, this week’s Trend Tuesday aims to highlight leopard print and how it’s been worn throughout fashion history. In more recent times, leopard print has been seen everywhere. From the runway to trending sneakers, wallpapers and room decor, makeup looks and haircuts, handbags and tights, it’s guaranteed to be everywhere. Is there such a thing as too much? Or could there never be enough?   A Brief Overview of Leopard Throughout the Years “If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it.” – Christian Dior   Animal prints have been worn and imitated long before fashion designers and runways became a thing. One of the most noted examples of this is Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of wisdom who is frequently depicted wearing a leopard skin dress. Many kings and queens from ancient times would wear leopard print skins because of its powerful meaning. It signifies power and wealth, which stems from the fierce animals themselves, as well as who the print was available to.  In regards to the runway, leopard print first debuted in Christian Dior’s “New Look” collection in 1947. Christian Dior’s “New Look” leopard-print dress Leopard print carried on its exclusive and powerful reputation throughout the mid 1900s. Only the elite were spotted wearing it. Some even went as far as to purchase actual leopards, cheetahs, and jaguars to walk on leashes. Throughout the 50s and 60s, leopard print became even bigger, specifically for rich wives who sported it through their fur coats. Jackie Kennedy’s extravagant ensembles pushed leopard print even more into the public eye, in turn also amping up the movement for animal rights. In 1968, designer Rudi Gernreich had launched a collection entirely made of faux animal print designs. It was a turning point that showed leopard print was here to stay and that the empowerment of the print still carried onto faux fabrics, leaving the animals themselves alone.  Christian Dior 1969 By the time the 1970s rolled around, leopard print had made its rounds through the fashion world and it was more easily accessible. It was around this time that leopard print was seen as tacky and trashy, and this distinction it earned so long ago still follows it to this day. It became huge in the punk-rock and nightlife scene, earning a seductive reputation.  Rod Stewart 1973 The 80s and 90s were a turning point in animal print in fashion, and fashion in general. It was more acceptable to wear things that were out there, specifically in the music scene and nightlife backgrounds. Some designers attempted to reclaim and re-elevate leopard print on the runway, Gianni Versace in the 90s is a prime example of this. While some were trying to make it exclusive again, a bigger group of people were taking leopard print to a different level and making it even more punk and rebellious than before; Kurt Cobain is another example of this.  Gianni Versace 1990 The 2000s through the present has seen many different ways of wearing leopard print as well as mixed opinions on it. The print was huge in the early 2000s and it was shown on everything from items of clothing to any and all accessories. In neon and bright colors and in different silhouettes than had been seen before, the early 2000s were something completely unique in the fashion world.  As the timeline nears closer to the 2020s, leopard print has been seen on the runway numerous times. It’s now something that is worn by everyone. Its reputation still lingers and there are still mixed reactions to bold animal print pieces, but if we’ve learned anything from fashion history and the cycles it goes through – it’s to wear what you like, when you like it. Trends come and go, and everything within the fashion realm is subjective. What is trashy and too bold to one person can be chic and classy to another. Leopards are fierce, powerful, and courageous. Next time you pick out a leopard print piece, remember that you are too! 

Never Too Old to Play With Dolls

Never Too Old to Play With Dolls After a brief childhood of being taught to scorn the concept of girlishness, we as a generation are finally ready to embrace and love the color pink. This theme of the childlike innocence of the doll has been highly present in this spring’s couture shows- predominantly with Maison Margiela’s Parisian nod to porcelain dolls and Marc Jacob’s 1960’s paper doll inspiration. The concept of the “doll” not only celebrates all things in cotton candy shades and frilly silhouettes, but speaks to the idea of self autonomy, consciousness, and reclamation of innocence. “With the Barbie movie there’s been a narrative flip where women are coming together to embrace their femininity in their own ways and not caring what society has to say. That’s mainly what I was inspired by when I was concepting this photoshoot in the winter and seeing that [luxury] designers had the same inspiration is very telling of how impactful this almost “movement” was,” said our Creative Director Carolina Gomez. Posing the models at stiff angles with gleaming white smiles, we hoped to convey both the fakeness and the joy of the doll. This shoot illustrated the journey towards the healing of the inner child; learning again to have fun and to remember that, as said by Gomez, “fashion is art.” In lavender silk, knee socks, and Mary Janes, we incidentally pay homage to the couturiers who speak to a larger crowd- reverberating their imaginings of what a human doll may look like. Odd proportions? Chic stilettos? Perfect glass-like skin? Inhuman. Just like the expectation of the little girls who play with dolls and suddenly grow into women. While progress in this front is undeniable, America Ferrara echoes this notion in “Barbie” by saying, “it is literally impossible to be a woman.” But with small things like dressing up how our 8-year-old self would and experimenting with color and pattern, we can reteach ourselves that when it comes to fashion, it can be joyous.

Bag Galore!

Bag Galore! From the dawn of time, bags have been used to carry the most vital necessities from coins to phones to the latest Fenty lip gloss. As pockets shrink and expand through trend cycles, bags adapt to carry varying accessories. While bags were originally made for practically, they have turned into an individualistic fashion choice that makes one stand out from others.  Over the last couple of years, purse sizes have touched all ends of the spectrum from Louis Vuitton’s micro purses to the extra large slouchy totes made popular by Bottega Veneta and Cult Gaia. Wearability, material, color schemes, patterns, and style are all crucial traits of a bag which could make or break your outfit. Bags, of all sorts, add dimension and texture to a once plain outfit. Although bags are seemingly the smallest aspect to an outfit, they can leave a lasting impression.  Not only has interest in thrifted clothing gained popularity, so has the desire for vintage bags. As trends revitalize every few years, thrifting has become the most economical and environmentally-friendly way to source these prized possessions. Lived in, good quality bags have charm you just can’t buy new. There is something special about owning a bag that has lived multiple lives, helping so many people before you carry all their favorite things.   Finding one-of-a-kind pieces has translated into creating these bags from scratch. An overall increased demand of crochet and knitted bags has hit the market after the hobby was taken up by many in a time of isolation. Brands, like Lucky Loves, have revolutionized tote bags by creating bow straps, making it an online must-have. Adding charms, ribbons, bows and pins to elevate bags have been a recent trend, heavily inspired by icon Jane Birkin. Clothing is art and accessories are the paint; we are meant to make things our own. While bags don’t define an individual, they can be a bold form of self expression. 

Wardrobe Wednesday: Meghna’s Spin On Sleek Style

Wardrobe Wednesday: Meghna’s Spin On Sleek Style Virginia Commonwealth University alum, Meghna Vemuri, proudly shared her meticulously crafted collection of clothes, shoes and accessories. Describing her style as playful, eclectic and sleek, Vemuri checks all the boxes as someone inspired by Bella Hadid and the Y2K Bollywood scene. Mixing textures, styles, and patterns are the key elements to perfecting her day to day look.  Every piece hanging in her closet is purposeful, and every shoe displayed holds great value; at least, I think being pretty to look at is valuable enough. Meghna’s closet is full of fun, glitzy pieces, which fit perfectly with her daily basics, and her most cherished jewelry.  Encapsulating delicate, feminine energy in her style is something that comes naturally to Meghna. Playing with flirty fabrics and hues of pink is a treasured pass time. With her highly worn black knee high boots, she easily can diversify and add a tone of grunge to any girly outfit.  Having an overpopulated closet is not something easily done on your own; it often takes a village, or friends who also have too many clothes. Meghna often shops from her friends’ stockpiles, and finds herself scoring in clothing swaps and student closet sales. Meghna’s wardrobe is full of life and versatility. She has love and admiration for each piece occupying her space, and understands the value of beloved items, such as her leather jacket from middle school.  She exudes vibrant cool-girl energy; a modern Carrie Bradshaw if you will, and she does it effortlessly.