TREND: Summer Love

As hard as we tried to make Summer ’10 last forever, its fleeting character never ceased to unnerve our most laborious efforts. For my last CollegeFashionista post, I wanted to find someone so inspiring, someone who paired their beliefs, their existence, their image into a dangerous contrivance. I wanted an affirmation, a declaration of devotion to mirroring one’s attire to their own personal proverb. Dare I raise the stakes? I’m glad I did. This week’s Fashionista rose to the challenge, almost selfishly spiritually stimulating my own rooted beliefs.

As the weather slowly plunges, accessories such as knee-highs become obligatory for those who continue to rock the shorter hemlines. The fashion behind wearing socks beneath heeled shoes may seem somehow like lavish accessorizing. In reality, it’s actually a fortuitous pairing. While shoes can create a certain manifesto, socks can actually create a light trim, kind of like icing on the Manolo cake. I especially like these Free People socks with frills that would only lightly change the silhouette on top of a shoe. This Fashionista coupled her knee-highs with boots. I can always appreciate a mid-calf boot with a vintage zest. Wearers of the mid-calf boots need to be careful of its illusory effect. These boots tend to cut off at the spot where your calves are its thickest. To prevent this effect, this Fashionista ingeniously tucked in knee-highs to elongate her legs. For vintage inspired boots, The Frye Company always produces boots with a little bit of a rustic flavor. My favorite is the Dorado Lows. These boots feature the worn-in wrinkles, naturally bringing out the duo tone of the leather.

The outline of this Fashionista’s kimono-style jacket was also something so unexpected. The Lucky Brand kimono wrap featured a hood, like that of a hoodie, with an overlaying wrap, like that of a robe. This Fashionista utilized the non-categorical layer in ways besides to differ. While the undertones of this outfit may seem monochromatic, this Fashionista layered the wrap to not only alter the straight forwardness, but interestingly tie in all the undertones into a seamless outfit.

For back to school fashion, try reflecting your own credence. Can this be seen as disobedient? Maybe. Can this lead to straying from fads? Sure. But the end result is so worth it. As the bittersweet ending of summer closes in, I implore each Fashionista to fight against fashion conformity. This just can’t be a summer love.

TREND: Turban Glamour

During the 1940’s, women typically wore headscarves in a turban-esque technique, known as an imperative staple for wartime fashion. Eventually, this style traversed into the elite of old Hollywood, such as the famous Joan Crawford. Later on, starlets like Elizabeth Taylor went on to wear the turban headscarf on the cinema screen, while modern celebrities infiltrated the streets donning the brightly colored scarves.

Our Fashionista this week enveloped her head with a tinsel-meshed patterned headscarf. This little piece of accessory allowed for a little bit of glamour to an otherwise relaxed outfit. The turban style headscarf especially leaves room for improvisation. While this U of M Fashionista only showcased the ethereal tracks of texture by twining the fabric, the turban can also be climaxed with a twisted knot on top.

This Fashionista had a couple other points of emphasis that I would like to point out. While chatting with her, her explanation on her outfit choice and her wearing each piece was truly enlightening. She told me that she liked to make accents on her outfits with the color red, rather than a gaudy jewelry piece or with obvious patterns. While the fashion-conscious usually readily jump to statement making pieces, the fiery red color of her dress certainly did its job in making an assertion without having to suffer for the price of fashion. Try this Rebecca Minkoff dress with a short-sleeved drawstring jacket to go for this Fashionista’s look.

Her refreshing tiny spandex shorts that peaked from underneath her dress, though delicately subtle, were surprisingly also noteworthy. I always thought that the too-short dresses were eternally condemned as hand-me-downs, but the revamped biker shorts allows you to keep them for yourself. It’s the refined modern take on the biker shorts clad with a baggy top piece of the 80s and 90s. Try American Apparel for some lace trimmed spandex shorts. They also feature an abundance of other colors without the lace. The next time you wear a shorter dress, try wearing a pair of spandex shorts underneath. This not only gives you an edgy look, it will save you from any accidental clothing revelations.

TREND: Feminine Not Fragile

I always found the gender distinctions, especially that veiled boundary that prevents us from fully understanding the opposite sex, enthralling. Boys particularly like to complain about how girls are frustratingly complicated. Let’s get one thing straight… girls are not complicated, we just like to complicate things. Some ground rules include the following: 1). Girls are passive aggressive, 2). Most all girls have a little crazy in them, and 3). Girls are extremely competitive, especially in an all girls setting.

How can we overcome these complexes as girls, especially the overtly competitive side? By winning the competition. I happened upon this Fashionista amongst a group of girls on their way to a raucous social affair, I’m sure. Though each girl was dressed more elaborately than the next, the fusion of the delicate patterned dress and the rocker-studded vest on this Fashionista undeniably drew my attention. The contradictions of genres on this outfit was definitely understated, thus the most attractive. By debilitating the dramatic attention-getting attitude, this Fashionista was able to get the most glances.

This floral dress on this Fashionista, which she purchased from Pitaya, reminded me of a Diane von Furstenberg dress that really captured the same flavor of femininity. The Fashionista’s dress had a coquette appeal, due to the silhouette. The billowy looseness of the dress contrasting with the short hem length teased on-lookers, leaving a hunger for more. In other words, the shape of the dress left the outline of the body ambiguous, heightening the desire, while the upper thigh hemline was barely able to save on-lookers from dying with curiosity. The studded vest, though edgy and hard, did not take away from the feminine and flirty demeanor of the dress. Studs are this season’s must-have ornamental appliqué. They are found everywhere, even on these rain boots from Pour la Victoire. The studs on this Fashionista’s vest easily did its job in giving a wink towards the rebellious 80s punk era. My favorite studded item is this denim vest from Seneca Rising. This vest proves the girly tomboy aesthetic that is of the company, which happens to be the same appeal this Fashionista featured.
While we all love our girlfriends, I am familiar and am definitely guilty of the feeling of topping my friends’ outfits. During your next girls’ night out, try combining daring bold pieces on a feminine backdrop. Then count who gets the most glances – I promise you won’t lose.

TREND: The Pickup Artist

The seduction community features an association of men who dubbed themselves as “Pickup Artists.” Through understanding the social psychology and a better self-awareness, they believe they can be more successful with women. While nowadays, most women are bombarded with terribly unctuous pickup lines, these suave men who promote a more cultured form of seduction are deviating from standard social protocol. Through undermining the traditional mode of enticement, the Pickup Artists are able to clandestinely attack directly at a woman’s psyche.

Today’s Fashionisto dressed the part of a Pickup Artist. Without even laying out a line that encroached on someone’s comfort, he was able to lure in sly glances from a cluster of passing-by ladies. The confident stance and piercing sunglass-ed gaze aside, the attention definitely was attributed to his overall look. I love a man with a popped collar. Sadly, I had to let this obsession die when Abercrombie produced a subculture of overly popped collared men. To my delight, this Fashionisto composed a beautiful technique to the popped collar. Instead of a stiff collared polo, he let the collar of his Burberry jacket stand and left the inside button-up shirt opened and relaxed. His jacket also featured a funnel neck that allowed for a thicker collar to accentuate. The plaid shirt also added a geeky character that played with the aspect of the non-threatening motto of the seduction community. This endearing facet can be highlighted with an addition of a bowtie or even thickly framed glasses.

Sneakers have always been a huge movement in the street scene. Recently in the past decade, sneakers transcended the street scene into everyday wear. This Fashionisto’s ornate hot pink/navy blue Pumas were just the right amount of gaudy to his outfit. If you are into a more flamboyant footwear, I’m partial to Nike SB Dunk high tops. They have a skateboarding feel to them, yet are accessible to all wearers. For an even louder, showier taste, Alexander McQueen is teaming up with Puma to combine the ostentatious fashion that is of the Alexander McQueen brand and the sporty street world of Puma. This collection caters to sneaker fanatics, especially Sneaker Freaker followers, who support a coalescence of high fashion and sportswear.

Don’t get me wrong; the new generation of seductionists are not perpetrating a woman’s mind in a saboteur fashion. They strive to sense a woman’s social cues and psychology. A Pickup Artist’s fashion follows the same concept except through a tempting appearance. But, if it were so that men are dressing the part to become authentic Pickup Artists, such as this Fashionisto, I sure wouldn’t mind being lured in.

TREND: Jungle Love

Ever since I was little, my utmost favorite movie was Disney’s The Lion King. My obsession finally reached to a level where I demanded people call me Nala. Eventually I grew out of my nativity, but, fortunately, not out of my captivation with safari animals. I happened across this Fashionista, who just came back from studying abroad in Tanzania. Although my jealousy peaked while she recounted her safari adventures, I was lucky to be distracted by her attire. Though I’m sure she probably brought back many souvenirs from her trip, she also seemed to bring back the style of the safaris. This Fashionista exuded fierce jungle fashion, which allows those who were just as obsessed with The Lion King as me an example of how to translate childish mentality into sophisticated fashion.

The survival kit to a jungle/safari look includes donning neutral whites to khakis to military greens. This Fashionista wore crisp white shorts with clean hemlines from Express. Her blouse featured a zebra pattern but basically any animal/tribal print will work for this style. The safari style allows for being inventive and inspired. A military vest could look great on top of a tribal blouse, accessorized with a python belt, complete with a wooden bangle. The vast amount of prints and accessories that represent jungle garments is astounding. My favorite part of this Fashionista’s outfit was her fearless attitude in accessorizing. The profusion of wooden beads in a million different colors created a camouflaging effect similar to an animal’s biological protective coloration. In a way, it could be seen as animalistic. The colors especially seemed so tribal, so organic to that of Africa. While making a plethora of necklaces look carelessly tousled may appear as taxing as an art form, these necklaces from Zuba Africa and Harajuku Lovers take the frustration out of assembling a jewelry piece, while still percolating the carefree safari aura.

This summer, take a stroll on the wild side and embrace the safari fever. The cool neutrals will keep you refreshed to enjoy the day-to-day adventures, even in your own backyard for a summer barbecue. Give the out-of-Africa look a deserving chance to transition from daytime grilling to the nighttime parties. This season, it’s a jungle out there. Dress the part.

TREND: Black Out

When I think of summer fashion, I often visualize glowing, radiant colors, only to be enhanced by the sun. The Sartorialist recently spotlighted a woman who wore all white, using only her shoes to promote another color. This idea was very mesmerizing. The dramatic block of a single neutral color was not only powerful, but expressive. The color black is rarely worn nor incorporated into our summer wardrobe, almost in a forbidden sense. Today’s Fashionista proved that state of mind wrong, establishing the chicness of wearing all black in the summer time.

The Little Black Dress does not have to be restricted to elaborate occasions. This Fashionista slipped a turtleneck underneath to bring down the high-brow tone of her LBD. While the weather is often unbearably hot, J.Crew has a tissue thin turtleneck to help stave off the heat. If that’s still too extreme for your summer weather, this idea can be executed with a fitted tee or a tank of a different fabric such as chiffon or even lace. The contrast between the different fabric materials can give the outfit more depth below the vastness of black. The only other color this Fashionista chose to integrate was the white in her shoes. These spectator peep-toe pumps had a splash of white against a black instep. Her choice to add a hint of another color from her spectators certainly drew attention, heightening a tailored spirit to her already Victorian look. There are these tantalizing spectator peep-toe pumps from Charles David. The intrigue is in the wingtips, which are usually only showcased on men’s Oxfords, combined with the dainty ribbon of the lacing. This Fashionista demonstrated that the dramatization of a single color set against her pale, fair skin was one to turn heads.

As I knelt down to take a picture of this Fashonista’s shoes, she heartily confessed to her boyfriend her relief in recently getting a pedicure, evident through her peep-toes. I took this little innocent confession as a piece of advice. Along the same idea as adding a splash of color, if you want to continue the black out all the way to your shoes, why not let your toes be highlighted with a bright color? Essie always produces the hottest, freshest colors each season, packaged in whimsical names. Their newest Resort Collection features a magenta pink polish, Splash of Grenadine. While your attire can feature a taste of black, Victorian elegance, your toes can stay in the illumination of summer 2010.

TREND: Nautical Voyage

While most of us can’t even manage to change the rudders or hoist the sails on a boat, let alone sail one, it doesn’t stop us Michiganders from enjoying the breeze over the Great Lakes during the Fourth of July, even while being on a docked boat. When Alexander Graham Bell first invented the telephone, he wanted the answering salutation to be “ahoy” instead of “hello.” Although his coined term was deemed too nautical back in the 1800’s, he would have been well received in our day and age.

The nautical trend cycles around every few years or so, and is especially popular during the summer. This Fashionista vaguely channeled a boater, without the over-the-top theatrics. Think of it more as yacht chic than a full-blown fleet week. Her Sperry boat shoes were paired with crisp white shorts, held up by a woven rope-like belt. While wearing boat shoes became a big scene outside of the sailing world, their original practicality and purpose for around the boat wear are still intact. The added plaid patterns only give the sensible shoes more flair. The Sperry Top-Sider Company recently even added a leopard print to their boat shoes collection. They continue to produce more versatile patterns for the already versatile shoe.

The Fashionista’s billowy chiffon top goes to offer the outfit more dimension. Consider donning a thin blouse top with ruffles to epitomize that of a marine uniform. The structural components of the ruffles will reflect the precision of the navy blue collar on a naval rig. The best part of this Fashionista is her transition of the noteworthy sailor scarf from the neck to the head. The best scarves to wear in your hair are square silk scarves, like this Belisi sapphire scarf. While we are all proud to be Americans, the Fourth of July does not necessarily mean having to wear all three colors of our beloved flag. For more ideas on nautical fashion, refer to J.Crew’s collection, built on preppy boat-inspired wear.

TREND: Heartbreaker

It’s enormously exhilarating to discover someone whose carefree mannerism projects an oblivious attitude towards his or her own striking looks. It’s almost as if every movement is calculated for the shuttering and flashing of a camera, if it wasn’t for their total unawareness to their dynamic maneuvers. This particularly Fashionisto happens to be a model. Immediately, a shot was coaxed out of him. Though his strong demeanor was enough to bestow a double take, it did not cast a shadow on his stylish fashion. When I saw him, I immediately thought this Fashionisto was channeling a hybrid of William Beckett from The Academy Is and an indie rock heartbreaker.

With major music festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo already past us, summer still beckons more concerts and festivals, like Lollapalooza, held at the end of the summer in Chicago. To better immerse yourself into the music is to specifically take part as a music junkie in every aspect. In terms of fashion, this means dressing up for the part. This Fashionisto’s attire proved every part of a rock star, without the cost of feeling an artist’s emotional agony and drug abuse.

While accessories on men can sometimes border indelicacy, the nonchalant, disheveled tone of the draped loose scarf projected a streak of rebellion on this Fashionisto. It’s almost an art to provoke and maintain a natural unkempt look. The best choice is to opt for a scarf made out of a crinkly material, like this one from French Connection. This Fashionisto chose to perch the scarf on top of a tank top. Men in tank tops were formally only allowed at the gym or after hours, since tank tops were intentionally designed for women. Recently, tank tops on men have undermined the concept of sexual partisan. In other words, proving your masculinity can only come about if you’re sure enough in it to negate it. This Fashionisto established this rebellion by wearing this American Apparel tank. Skinny jeans are also essential to a rock star’s ensemble. While the fit on a particular guy can be debatable, especially due to the comfort factor, J. Crew offers many different selections and fits that flatter almost any guy’s body. Their 484 Slim collection particularly resonates well with many body types. What other ways are there to break a woman’s heart than to incase your legs in something so provocative?

TREND: Avant-Garde Attire

The avant-garde movement, originally restricted to describe art and culture in the early twentieth century, was first personified in fashion through French couture. This couture embodied a morose mystique that was manifested through the over-the-top embellishments, overemphasized ruffled layers and the actual architectural shape to the clothing, creating an aberrant silhouette. Thus, the innovative inclusion of darkness and cryptic means became readily visible.

While this flamboyantly editorial style can only belong to that of a runway, certain designers, like Christian LaCroix and the late Alexander McQueen, have contemporized the avant-garde style in order to resonate with the audiences’ perception of tolerable norms. The oversized, and possibly engrossing clutch of this Fashionista paralleled the avant-garde style, in a modernized world. Though the clutch was exceedingly generous in size, the neutral color was able to annul the large size. I found this Fiorelli mini clutch and immediately fell in love with it. The faded mint hue and ruffles only further accentuate the avant-garde characteristic. The draping of pearls on this Fashionista also proved her avant-garde ambition. The exaggerated neckline provoked a nostalgic feeling towards the Baroque period, immersing the on-lookers into the old world.

Androgyny is an integral part to the avant-garde fashion. The latest boyfriend blazer and the boyfriend cut-off shorts were coalesced into a flawless ensemble on this Fashionista. While her visage exuded femininity, her attire proved otherwise. Sexual ambiguity happens to be just risqué enough, while still radiating sex appeal. Whereas the popularity of the shorts makes them easily obtainable, the organic authenticity of the boyfriend shorts can be preserved by simply stealing a pair of your boyfriend’s jeans and creating them for yourself, making sure to allow a glimpse of the pocket lining from underneath the cut-off line for a rustic feel.

TREND: Oxford Shoes

Although the trend in Japan eccentrically embraced men wearing leggings underneath shorts, we Americans have adopted a less controversial style of our own, pairing this summer's rising hemlines of men's shorts with the classic Oxford shoes. This particular Fashionisto showcased his Oxfords without the distraction of pant legs covering the delicate designs of his leather shoes. Oxfords come in many different shapes and colors. I'm particularly infatuated with the pale brown to espresso coloring with the pointed toe, which, I think, is reminiscent of the old English.

The play on proportional lengths also lured in glances. If women can get away with vacillating between hemline lengths, men should too. The best way to compensate for the extra leg skin is to atone for it up top, with either full sleeves or even a thicker fabric. I also encourage layering pieces of clothing. The Fashionisto exemplified this method by allowing the collar of his button up to peak out from underneath his sweater. Though his sweater boasted bold stripes, the little collared detail created an interesting charm.

The beginning of summer always welcomes the start of internships. While business American may not allow such outfits as this, if a job allows for a less conservative ensemble, this Fashionisto perfected the blend between personal style and professionalism.