FASHION NEWS: Jessica Stam; Model turned Designer

One of my favorite fashion phenomenons that I’ve seen popping up all over lately is model/designer collection collaborations. You hear designers all the time talk about the models that inspire them, and serve as their muses as they create their collections so its almost inevitable that many of these designer and model/muse duos have teamed up to create some amazing and one of a kind items.

One collaboration that I cannot wait for is the dynamic duo is designer Rachel Roy and supermodel Jessica Stam. I can’t help but stare at every photograph I see of the stunning model, Jessica Stam. From her legs that go on for days to her icy blue eyes that seem to stare into your soul, I knew from the first day I saw this girl in a magazine that she’d be a star. Not only has she proven herself as a model, she’s outdone herself once again with a stunning collection for Rachel Roy’s more affordable line, RACHEL.

Stam designed five essential pieces for RACHEL that will be debuting this month at Macy’s. The pieces include a navy bucket bag, a cozy cardigan sweater, a belt, and beautifully cut skinny jeans, all embodying the essence of a chic downtown girl. The pieces represent the uber cool Fashionista, like Stam, who enjoys classic pieces but is still a little rough around the edges. The best part of the collection? The price is so right! And that’s something this bargainista can appreciate.
So keep your eyes pealed this fall for Stam’s collection and other brilliant model/designer dynamic duos.

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FASHION NEWS: Fall Trends to Fall in Love with

It’s that time of year again when the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and textbooks fills the air. It’s back to school time! I don’t know if you were like me but I dreaded going back to school…. I mean don’t we all really? But the one glimmer of hope I found in going back to school was the fact that school starting, meant back to school clothes!

There’s nothing I love more than fall clothing. I love the feel of putting jeans on after a summer of shorts, skirts and dresses. It almost feels like they’re hugging your legs. Not to mention I can finally wear boots with every single outfit. Oh yeah!

I’m also loving that college students are starting to take more pride in what they wear to class. You’ll always have the people that look like they just rolled out of bed and put shoes on before class, but a hooded sweatshirt and sweat pants aren’t necessarily the staple anymore. So for all of you looking to step up your game when it comes to dressing for class, it’s important to know the trends and must have items for Fall 2010.

1) Camel colored everything!
-From chic leather skirts, to jackets and boots, camel is the new black for fall.

2) Menswear shirts
– This look is always classic and so comfortable yet effortlessly chic.

3) Vintage silk scarf
– Be scowering those thrift shops for this fall staple that looks worn around your neck, used as a head band, or even tied around your purse handle.

4) Classy leather gloves
– There’s nothing worse than chilly hands but toss your wool mittens and opt for something a little more chic and grown up.

5) Sportswear chic
– I love the trend of mixing sporty pieces with casual daywear. It has such a glamorous and relaxed feel all at the same time!

I hope all you Fashionistas are as excited for fall as I am!


Photo from here

Style Guru Bio: Molly Longest

My name’s Molly Longest, and I’m a sophomore at Purdue University currently double majoring in Communications and Retail Management with a minor in Art & Design. What can I say –  I like to keep myself busy!

My love of fashion goes all the way back to when I was little and would put together my own crazy outfits. I mixed polka dots with plaid and stripes but wasn’t afraid of taking fashion risks and making a statement, a quality I still have today. I’d rather wear an outfit that’s interesting and catches people’s attention than just blend in, (but you won’t catch me wearing anything too Lady Gaga-esque – an outfit made of bubbles just really isn’t my style). I love adding something unexpected to an outfit to always keep people guessing, and you’ll frequently find me in outfits that don’t match. I never like looking too perfect or like I’m trying too hard, and I like to keep things fun.

I’m also quite the bargainista and have trouble buying anything over $20, although I will splurge on my vices of boots and fancy perfume. I’m always scowering sales racks and damaged clothes boxes at stores to try and find the best deals. Plus you’ll sometimes buy things on sale you never would at a normal price because it’s so eccentric, but you buy it since it’s so cheap and end up loving it and taking a risk you never would. Ah, the beauty of fashion!

Although I’m cheap, I still admire and appreciate high end fashion, and some of my favorite designers are Matthew Williamson, Isabelle Marant, Diane Von Furstenburg, Michael Kors, Missoni, Miu Miu, Versace and Chloe. I have a million style icons, but some of my favorites are the Olsen twins, Camilla Belle, Margherita Missoni and Isabelle Lucas.
I look so forward to continuing on with CollegeFashionista this fall ,and I hope you enjoy what I have to say!

FASHION NEWS: Back to Cool

Two summers ago I was privileged enough to travel around Europe, stopping in Italy, Switzerland and France. I had the time of my life and loved everything about it except the fact that while I was clad in shorts, tennis shoes, and a dorky passport holder around my neck while strolling through the streets of Paris, the locals were dressed head to toe in perfect Parisian style. What I wouldn’t give to travel back to France again, but to this time do it in style.

Ever since that trip I have been infatuated with Parisian street style. I had never seen so much black and so many chic leather jackets. I admired the women’s understated hair and makeup and simply styled outfits. They always looked completely put-together without looking too perfect. Their taste and style seems almost unachievable until I discovered French designer Isabel Marant’s Fall 2010 runway collection.

The designer, who is known as the queen of cool, prefers a little imperfection when it comes to her clothing. She has drawn to her a strong following of fashionable young women, including Kirsten Dunst and Miranda Kerr, who strive to achieve a not-so-obvious glamorous look.

Her Fall collection embodies her aesthetic completely — she always features clothing that are impeccably tailored but still feel young at heart. Marant mixes sequined cropped pants with blazers, button-up blouses, mixed prints and a perfectly oversized striped sweater. And although it seems a little early to be thinking about fall clothing when it’s 85 degrees outside, now is the time to keep your eyes peeled for those perfect fall pieces. Taking a hint from Marant, here’s what is on my list and many other Fashionistas’ lists for fall.

1) Perfectly cropped pants
2) Oversized striped sweater
3) Men’s button down shirt
4) Leather jacket
5) Work style boots

Although I’ll have to be saving up my pennies in my piggy bank for many years to visit Paris again, I guess I can just pretend I’m there while walking around campus in my chic Parisian style. But hopefully one day I’ll make it back for real. A girl can only dream.

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FASHION NEWS: Rock the Converse

If you know one thing about me, you know I have an obsession with boots — high heeled, flat, over the knee, ankle, motorcycle, moccasin, name a style and I’ll take it. I even sometimes wish away the beautiful summer weather just so I can pull out my boot collection from storage. Now that’s true love, ladies and gents.

I have always struggled, though, with that awkward season transition time between summer and fall when it’s a bit too chilly to still be rocking your sandals, but not cool enough yet to pull out your boots. That’s when I met a man named Chuck Taylor.

You see I’m very picky when it comes to my footwear, especially my footwear for between summer and fall. It seems like everyone at Purdue owns five pairs of Sperry Topsiders, and don’t get me wrong, they look great on almost everybody, but I’ve never considered myself the preppy type. I don’t even own a pair of khakis or even a polo, so Sperry’s never seemed the right fit for me. In junior high it was all about the clogs and now I’ve seen clogs are coming back but in a platform-heeled, gold studded version, while although cute, not a practical everyday shoe. The perfect solution for me? A classic pair of Converse tennis shoes.

There is something so perfect about Converse tennis shoes, from their rubbery smell, to the way they almost hug your feet, to the way they look perfect with jeans but also a flowery sundress. They’re classic with a bit of edge and they fit my style perfectly.

You can imagine my excitement when I found out that two of my favorite things are being combined together; Converse tennis shoes and music! Well, rock 'n' roll music to be more specific, but I love music in all its forms.

Inspired by artists such as Nirvana, Blondie and The Clash, these shoes are the perfect compliment to any outfit to add a little edge or grunge. And if you hurry now you might be able to take home a pair while they’re still on sale! Ah the word sale, it’s like music to my ears.

So if you’re ever in a predicament like I was, trying to find some nice in-between shoes, look no further than the classic staple of Converse. You really can’t go wrong.

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WEEKEND FORECAST: Eat. Pray. Love, Love, Love.

Everybody mark your calendars for August 13th! Wondering why this day in history is so important? I’m a little insulted if you had to ask but I’ll let you know anyways. It’s the day that the New York Times' best selling book by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat. Pray. Love., premieres as a major motion picture, starring none other than the amazingly talented Julia Roberts! Okay so maybe everyone else isn’t quite as excited for this event as I am, but after I watched the trailer for the first time in theatres and got chills up my spine. I’ve been counting down the days till my girlfriends and I can have a girls' night out and go see it.

The adventure-crazed person inside of me fell in love with the plot of the book the first time I read it. The idea of just dropping everything in your life to travel around the world and discover yourself sounds so scary and thrilling at the same time. Then the Fashionista inside of me fell in love with Julia Robert’s laid-back, jetsetter style in the movie trailer. If you haven’t already watched the trailer, watch it now! I’ve done you a favor and provided the link here.

But back to the fashion! This summer my aesthetic has been all about keeping things simple. My daily outfit normally consists of a simple strapless maxi dress, aviators, leather wrap bracelets and sandals, which isn’t too far off from Julia Robert’s character in Eat. Pray. Love. I also love in the movie how they mix in a few ethnic touches to her simple outfits in order to help her blend in with the local color.

So in preparation for the movie, you and your gal pals can keep your eyes peeled for the perfect lounge-y maxi dress, a lightweight anorak, classic aviator sunglasses, and in honor of the countries in the movie (drum roll please), flat leather sandals from Italy, a gold bracelet from India, and a beautiful batik silk scarf from Indonesia. Top off your look with a spritz of Eat., Pray., or Love., the new fragrances from Fresh inspired by the movie.

Now since you probably haven’t already, GO MARK YOUR CALENDAR, cause this is one movie you won’t want to miss out on. Ciao!

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WEEKEND FORECAST: Shop for Now, and Later

I love summer shopping! I mean what Fashionista or Fashionisto doesn’t? I always seem to be more daring in my purchases in the summer. Something about the sunshine and nice weather always puts me in the mood to be adventurous in my dressing. Not to mention all the AMAZING summer sales (cause I’m also a Bargainista). Sometimes though, I’m a little too adventurous in the items I buy in the summer and buy things that are super trendy and cute but won’t have a long life in my wardrobe. So as we’ve journeyed past the halfway point of summer (tear), it’s important to be conscience of your clothing purchases. Make sure you’re buying items that you can wear now, but also in the fall at school. Doing this will assure that you’re getting your moneys worth and your clothes won’t end up in a trash bag on their way to meet their fate at Goodwill.
Here are the items I recommend you keep your eye out for when shopping this weekend. I’ll also tell you how to wear them now, and later. Easy enough?! I’d say so!

1) Cut off shorts
For Summer: Wear them however you heart desires to keep cool in the blistering heat! My recommendation is to pair them with an easy flowing tank top, sandals, and a straw fedora. Summer is all about keeping things simple for me.
For Fall: Yes you can wear shorts in the fall! Thanks to the comeback of the tights, wearing cutoffs when it’s chillier out can now be possible. Pair your Daisy Dukes with black tights and motorcycle boots to keep you looking cool when the weather’s cool. People will be asking where you parked your Harley.

2) Maxi Dresses and Long Skirts (in solid colors and tasteful stripes, no tropical floral prints please!)
For Summer: I’m staying with my motto of keeping things simple for summer and recommending just sandals and a simple wrap bracelet to finish off your maxi dress, add a tank top to the long skirt and you’re ready to go!
For Fall: Pair your dress with a blazer and boots or belt a cardigan over it with a skinny belt to extend the life of your maxi. People will be wondering, “why didn’t I think of that?!”. Fashion is all about thinking outside of the box.

3) Short sleeved crop tops
For Summer: I’m loving the crop top trend this summer but only when executed correctly. Make sure if you’re wearing a crop top that you’re pairing it with high-waisted skirts and shorts that cover your belly button or come up to a tasteful level.
For Fall: I’m loving the look of a crop top layered over a simple, tight, black tank dress, paired with black tights and boots. The juxtaposition of the flowy and voluminous top against the tight dress creates a balanced look.

4) Chunky wedges
For Summer: Pair them with your favorite sundress and gold bangles for a date night or a night out to dinner with friends. They’re even backyard barbecue appropriate since they won’t puncture your friends’ lawns!
For Fall: This fall it’s all about the knee socks! Pair your summer wedges with knee socks of a contrasting color with your favorite skirt or dress for a playful look. This outfit is perfect for those days when it’s not quite legging weather yet, but you’ve already lost the summer tan on your legs and mini skirts just won’t do it.

5) Anything turquoise!
For Summer or For Fall: Stock up on turquoise cause it’s the color of the year! Bright colors are no longer reserved just for summer. This fall, combat all the gray and black you see around you by being bold and sporting bright beautiful colors. Also stock up on lots of natural turquoise jewelry. This color’s gonna be hot. Trust me on this.

So print out this article and keep it in your pocket with you for your next shopping outing in order to get the most bang for your buck!

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FASHION NEWS: Chan Who? Chan Luu!

You may be wondering the significance of the name in my so-cleverly-rhymed post title, Chan Luu. Many of my fellow Fashionistas probably know exactly who I am talking about, and many may not, but chances are you’ve seen products by this Vietnamese designer in countless magazines and on celebrities. The designer, who moved from her home country of Vietnam to study fashion design at the Fashion Institute of Design in 1975, has become famous for her wildly popular wrap bracelets (side note: I almost named this post “It’s a Wrap”, but I thought it would be a little too cliché, although I have to admit, I thought it was clever). Her beautiful arm adornments that combine semi-precious stones, beads, fresh water pearls, and sturdy leather cording, have been seen on numerous celebrities from the likes of Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, Megan Fox, Kate Hudson and many more (I even noticed Ali Fedotowsky wearing one of her bracelets in an episode of The Bachelorette!). Now I hope most of you are nodding your heads and agreeing with me and saying to yourself, “Oh I know what bracelets she’s talking about now”.

One of the summer’s hottest trends that I keep seeing around is layering lots and lots of beaded bracelets and wrap bracelets. It reminds me of a grown-up, more sophisticated version of when you used to wear piles of homemade friendship bracelets on your wrist and vow to never take them off. I love this trend because I think it gives a casual look to any outfit when you don’t want to go without accessories, but you’re not quite feeling like piling on gold bangles or colorful cuffs. This accessories trend gives any get-up the Jennifer-Aniston-I’m-not-trying-at-all-but-I-still-look-super-fashionable-simple-and-laid-back look.

So when is it appropriate to rock the Chan Luu, piles of wrap bracelets look? For the summer, I’d say there’s no better place to try this trend out than at your next backyard barbecue get-together with your friends. With the weather being so hot and sticky lately, it’s best just to keep things low maintenance and simple, including your accessories. Stick to a lightweight sundress or a tank top and shorts and sandals, and of course, your piles of Chan Luu wrap bracelets. They look great and won’t jingle or fall off when you’re playing a little flag football or ultimate Frisbee (depending on how athletic your barbecues get).

Not ready to drop a pretty penny though on beautifully crafted jewelry from Chan Luu? You’re in luck! You can find similar bracelets at cheaper prices all over like this one from

Hint: If you’re crafty like myself, try making your own wrap bracelet while lounging by the pool. I did using these directions and so it’s so easy and cheap!

Photos courtesy of Chan Luu, and Chan Luu Blog.


FASHION NEWS: Philanthropy and Fashion, a Match Made in Heaven

In 2006, Blake Mycoskie, ventured to the beautiful yet poverty stricken country of Argentina where, after befriending the local vibrant young children, he came up with an idea that would soon change his life as well as the world of fashion. Seeing his young new Argentinean friends running around with no shoes and no way to protect their feet, Mycoskie came up with the brilliant idea of creating TOMS Shoes, a company that would donate a pair of shoes for those in need for every pair of shoes purchased by a customer; a campaign they call, "One for One." Mycoskie’s idea was wildly popular and people couldn’t get enough of TOMS Shoes with their laid back and cool style. But what drew most people in was the assurance of knowing that they didn’t only buy a pair of shoes, they helped someone. Since its humble beginning in May 2006, TOMS Shoes has donated over 600,000 pairs of shoes to those in need. Now that’s something to celebrate!

Companies like TOMS Shoes empower your average Jane or Joe who feels they want to do something in the world to make an impact but they just don’t know how. Sometimes it feels like there is so much injustice and so much poverty that it becomes defeating and we think, “I’m just one person. I can’t make a difference.” WRONG! With so many designer and charity collaborations and philanthropic fashion projects popping up right and left, any Fashionista or Fashionisto can make a difference simply by choosing where to use their purchasing power (you can hit your big red EASY button now). The key is staying informed and always having your eyes peeled and ears open. You’d be surprised how many designers, stores, and organizations have items you can purchase that contribute to a great cause. Now lucky for you, I’ve done a little bit of the work and researched some great charitable purchases you make this summer to do your part.

Edun, described by Elle Magazine as an eco-American Apparel minus the jailbait marketing campaign, takes 100% organic cotton, farmed by men and women in Africa, and turns it into organic clothing in a green factory in Uganda. By purchasing clothing from Edun, you’re helping provide jobs for the impoverished in the war torn country of Uganda and you’re also helping provide hope for men and women who can now provide for their families. Not to mention the clothing is totally chic!

– Look out for a one of a kind fashion collaboration this fall by R&B superstar Mary J. Blige and the ever cool designer Catherine Malandrino. The two will be launching a fashion collection inspired by some of their favorite musicians including Billie Holiday, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, and Al Green. Best part of the collection? One hundred percent of the proceeds from the collection will go towards college scholarships for graduating seniors at the Women’s Academy of Excellence, a public high school in the Bronx. This is one collaboration I cannot wait to see!

– As I had mentioned in my previous post, FASHION NEWS: Fashion that Fights Back, H&M has launched a line, inspired by summer festivals, where 25% of the sales will be donated to youth HIV/AIDS awareness projects. Read more about it on my previous post.

– The former OC star and Fashionista Rachel Bilson has teamed up with Coach to raise funds for the children’s charity The Art of Elysium. The actress has chosen three bags, a sparkling Poppy Sequin Spotlight purse, a cross-body evening Poppy Sequins Disco Bag and a Poppy Leather Bella tote, and with their purchase, proceeds will go towards The Art of Elysium charity until July 28th. This specific charity encourages working artists, actors and musicians to help children battling serious illnesses. Check out Bilson’s picks here.

– The beautiful Lauren Bush and her team at FEED have taken on a lofty cause but are impacting the world in an amazing way. The FEED Foundation raises money for one simple reason: to reach hungry children around the world and simply (you guessed it) feed them. They generate funds by selling FEED bags, that are produced with 100% organic cotton and natural burlap. The simple and sturdy bags are perfect for travel and carrying books around campus. Help feed and educate hungry children by buying your own FEED bag here.

Now don’t stop here with just my suggestions. Log onto Google, read EVERYTHING in your fashion magazines, ask around, and see who else is doing something good and charitable in the fashion world.

Using your buying power for good is an easy way to make a difference but I challenge you not to stop there. Get involved in organizations on your campus or start your own, because fashion and philanthropy go hand-in-hand and if all of us Fashionistas and Fashionistos join together for a cause, we could do amazing things in the world. Just look at Blake Myscoskie. It all started with just a pair of shoes.


It seems like it has been one of the hottest summers yet in Indiana. I won’t complain though, I’m a sucker for super sunny days and feeling heat on my back. With forecasts for the Fourth of July showing temperatures in the mid 80s to 90s, looks like it’s gonna be a hot one. Never fear though, there are plenty of ways to look your best while keeping cool when celebrating our country's birthday. So grab your red, white and blue popsicle and a sparkler or two and get ready to look your best this Fourth of July. Just stick to this list of summery trends and you’ll be good to go. God bless America!

1) Something Shady
Every Fashionista knows that there’s nothing worse than makeup dripping down your face and tomato red cheeks thanks to sunburn. That’s why you should never go to any outdoor event without a summery hat to keep the sun away from your face and keep you looking fly. So opt for a wide brimmed floppy hat or even better, a preppy straw fedora.

2) Something Wedgie
No not like a wedgie you get from wearing the wrong underwear, but the wedgy like the hottest summer shoe, wedge sandals. If you’re going to something a little dressier than flip flops for a Fourth of July bash, reach no further than a pair of red, white, or blue wedge sandals. They’re super cute, easy to walk in, and won’t puncture your neighbor’s lawn like a pair of stilettos.

3) Something Flirty
Every Fashionista knows that the go-to outfit this summer has got to be the romper. They’re so easy to throw on just like a sundress, but unlike a sundress, you can do cartwheels in them. So while you’re cartwheeling 'cause you just love America so much, try a ruffly version of this summer’s staple outfit.

4) Something Blue (and white striped)
This just in, Breton Stripes are all the rage this summer. There’s something so crisp and simple about navy blue and white stripes. Not only is this trend Hamptons ready and fabulous, it’s also patriotic! My recommendation: try a navy-blue-and-white striped skirt paired with a simple tank or tube top.

5) Something Nautical
There’s nothing sweeter than a little sailor girl dress and the A-line silhoutte is perfect for catching the breeze on a sweltering hot day. Not to mention red, white and blue are the staple colors of nautical wear. Ahoy mates!

6) Something Naughty (well not that naughty)
One trend I’m loving this summer is crop tops and tied up shirts with high waisted shorts and skirts. There’s something so pin-up-esque about this look but also something so innocent. So if you’re traveling off to a lakehouse or heading to a backyard barbecue, be daring and pair a vintage swimsuit top (one with a little more coverage than your average string bikini) with a high waisted skirt. Just make sure the skirt reaches above your belly button so you don’t take the look from Marilyn Monroe to Panama City spring break.

Well I hope these tips have helped you and I wish you all a safe and very very happy Fourth of July!