For Your Fashion [2]

Andrea Maeng (’09)/ For Eastside

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Note: Look at the album of pictures at the end to get a richer understanding of the recent fashion trends.

Is Fashion Frivolous?

friv·o·lous (adj.)

1. Unworthy of serious attention; trivial: a frivolous novel.
2. Inappropriately silly: a frivolous purchase.

[Middle English, probably from Latin frīvolus, of little value, probably from friāre, to crumble.]

If you’re reading this right now, I’m assuming that you have some interest in fashion. However, there are others who simply do not understand why people care about clothes, style and fashion in general. These people may think that fashion doesn’t deserve a whole industry devoted to it where people are sold things they don’t “need”. But don’t we all need clothes on our backs? It’s ok to walk around naked when you’re a baby or in a nudist colony but in a normal society, everyone is affected by fashion whether he/she likes it or not.

In the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” Andrea “Andy” Sachs (played by Anne Hathaway), dreams of becoming a journalist. A simple and naïve graduate of Northwestern University, Andrea gets a job in the fashion industry through Runway magazine, the best of its type, in order to make ends meet. In one part of the movie, as the editor-in-chief’s assistant, she takes notes during a presentation and foolishly calls designer clothing “stuff.” Miranda Priestly, the merciless, posh and cruel woman who is the editor-in-chief, retorts:

“This… ‘stuff’? I see, you think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select that lumpy blue sweater because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s actually cerulean. You’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar De La Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. Then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. Then it filtered down through the department stores, and trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. From a pile of stuff.”

So as much as you may want to believe that fashion has nothing to do with you, and that it’s frivolous, it’s irrefutable that fashion affects our lives and is here to stay.

From Runway to Hallway

Something I’ve noticed is that almost everyone has been wearing slogan t-shirts. Whether it’s a tee saying “this is why I’m hot” or “peace, love and freedom,” this trend was undoubtedly started by House of Holland, a brand that creates t-shirts with cheeky slogans like “UHU GARETH PUGH” and “GET YER FREAK ON, GILES DEACON.” This trend, as mentioned in the quote above, was shown on the runway, and then filtered through department stores, and now everyone has access to something that originated from “high fashion.” If you’ve seen people wearing t-shirts with a saying in bold, capitalized letters, you’re seeing fashion doing its job being fun and far from frivolous.

Now for your weekly fashion report:

– Apparently the Australian version of Top Model has a lot more credibility and influence than the original. Unlike the American version, in which “top” models get a short-lived cosmetics deal and a photoshoot in Seventeen Magazine, the Australian winner, Alice Burdeu, has landed a September Vogue cover. Have you heard anything about previous America’s next Top Models? I’ve only heard of controversial blogs written by Adrienne Curry, movies with YaYa and some gigs with Eva Pigford, but thats about it. As much as I like the show, the contestants look like catalogue models at best and it’s good to see a top model make it somewhere big.

– Italian designer Nolita is celebrating Milan Fashion week with a number of billboard and newspaper advertisements featuring a nude anorexic woman to warn to public of the effects of the disease.

– Italian designer Giorgio Armani has teamed up with Samsung Senior VP Youngcho Chi and Samsung electronics to design a television, mobile phone and other electronic devices. This reminds me of when Juicy Couture and Diane Von Furstenburg created their own sidekick faceplates and when D&G created a gold razr phone.

Naomi Campbell, famed british model, appeared on the italian version of “Dancing with the stars” or better known as “Ballando con le stelle” and received an impressive 33/40.

America’s Next Top Model goes green and the cast travels in a 100% biodiesel green machine from gig to gig. The seats of the van are made of recycled tires and the inside is decorated with green related things. The green theme can be found throughout the house in pictures of jungle inspired pictures and with a natural ambience.

– Fashion designers Abaete and Lela Rose designed for Payless chic but cheap shoes and it is said that Alice + Olivia (a brand I LOVE) is to be designing for spring.

Rihanna, the 19 year old hit singer, can now add “model” to her resume since she made a surprise appearance on the Milan Catwalk modeling for the DSquared^2 Spring-Summer 08 collection in a black baby doll dress while her song “shut up and drive” was playing.

– As reported in the preview article, Valentino is entering retirement after 45 years in the fashion industry. He completed his term with the Paris couture show. His successor and named Creative director is said to be Alessandra Facchinetti, the former head of women’s wear at Gucci.

Cynthia Rowley adds a touch of whimsy to everything she produces and her new make-up line with Avon is no exception. Rowley, who is the first high-end designer to partner up with the beauty powerhouse, has created a covetable collection of powder, lip gloss, blush, and more in soft shades of purple, pink, beige and grey for a limited time.

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony kicked off their tour on September 28th in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Designer Roberto Cavalli designed all the outfits for J.Lo. Does his name sound familiar? He’s designing for H&M as mentioned before.

John Galliano, over the top designer for Dior and his own brand, has partnered with Diesel to create a line of childrenswear. John Galliano has signed a five-year licensing agreement with the Italian label for an as-yet unnamed collection, which is aimed at girls and boys aged four to 14. I’m kind of worried because sometimes his clothes are too extravagant and not too wearable.

Roberto Cavalli will design the stage outfits for the Spice Girls’ reunion tour. “They are mind-blowing,” said Victoria Beckham.

Oh, and I drew a comic for Eastside. But if you want to fully understand it, you might want to look at the picture album, specifically at Amy Winehouse, and listen to her song “Rehab.”

By the way, For Your Fashion will be up every Saturday, not Friday; sorry for any inconvenience!

Fashion for thought:
“Beauty gets the attention. Personality gets the heart.”