A Walk to Remember: Anjali Lama

Transgender model Anjali Model makes strides in the fashion industry.

Born in Nepal, Nabin Waiba grew up as a young boy who was often bullied for his “feminine” and “girly” tendencies, and was criticized by classmates and family alike for preferring women’s clothing and having mostly female friends. Several years later, Nabin, now known as Anjali Lama, is strutting down the catwalks of Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai, amongst India’s most acclaimed models. The first transgender model to grace India’s grandest fashion event, Lama marks a change in history with every step she takes.

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Source: Anjali Lama Official

Lama was the fifth son in a farming family in the rural district of Nuwakot. Back then, she had never even dreamed of becoming a model, and only knew that “even as a child that [she] didn’t like being a boy, wearing those clothes,” (CBS News), describing her attempts to conform to the gender stereotypes as “mental torture”. Even after she moved to Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, to attend college, Lama continuously struggled with her identity and was even fired from her job working at a hotel. “They said I made the customers uncomfortable,” she told CNN. It wasn’t until she discovered the Blue Diamond Society- a support group for Nepal’s LGBTQ community- that she was able to come to terms with her identity and finally come out to her friends and family as transgender.

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Source: Elle India

To further overcome her identity issues, Lama, with the encouragement of her friends, decided to consider a career in modeling. After numerous small gigs she made her first break by landing the cover of Nepali magazine Voices of Women, but still struggled to develop her career in her home country- thus deciding to try her luck in India’s fashion industry. After two failed auditions, Lama finally made the cut in December 2016 and was able to walk her first major runway in 2017.

While the appearance of a new model may not seem like much, Lama’s success is one of the many of the industry’s beginning steps to opening up to diversity and inclusivity. According to the Spring 2017 diversity report by The Fashion Spot, more than 70% of the models cast for New York, London, Paris and Milan fashion weeks were white- and that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the industry’s lack of diversity. To see the value of such steps made forward in the industry, Blueprint decided to ask Sara S. Kim (’18), the founder of the Social Justice League, a few questions.

BP: Why is it important that we see figures like Lama in industries like fashion and the media?

Sara: Positive representation of minority in mainstream pop culture and media is one of the key steps in achieving social acceptance of differences. One of the struggles that many marginalized communities face is the lack of positive role models. With the favorable spotlight given to someone like Lama, I’m sure there are many others who would gladly identify with her and be able to own their identity with pride.

BP: Have you seen Korea make similar efforts in opening its doors to the LGBTQA community?

Sara: There are many pop and amateur artists in the Korean LGBTQ community that has been trying to start interactive projects. Unfortunately, they haven’t been gaining enough, or the right kind of attention. I think that comes with persistence and moderation to a degree. Korea is definitely making this cultural progress, but what we have right now is not enough. What we could do could be as simple as being open-minded.

It is thanks to models such as Ashley Graham and Anjali Lama that society has begun to challenge the traditional perceptions of beauty regarding race, body shape, sexuality and age, and help people around the world embrace their identities. In a growingly dark world with figures like Trump who oppose racial, gender, and LGBTQA equality, we need such mark-makers to prove that there is beauty in diversity, all of which should be celebrated and respected.

-Seiyeon Park (’17)

Featured Image by Hannah Kim (’19)

 

First Lady Fashion Icons

With the recent inauguration of Melania Trump, how has First Lady changed over the years?

The spotlight is on the historical First Ladies of the United States as several recent events bring attention to their fashion choices. The movie Jackie, released on December 2, 2016 (USA) starring Oscar nominee Natalie Portman, brought back the memories of former First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. First Lady of the US from 1961 until her husband John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, she has been hailed as a global fashion icon with her signature look of white gloves, tailored skirts, and perfectly coordinated pillbox hats. Channelling this Jackie O vibe, the current First Lady Melania Trump wore a specially designed piece from her collaboration with designer Herve Pierre for her inaugural wardrobe. Scroll through to learn more about some of the most fashionable First Ladies throughout history.

 

Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

A feminist, politician, mother, and activist, Eleanor Roosevelt is famous for dressing practically, accessorising her outfits with selections of fur and mid-calf length dresses. Moving away from the conservative and often restrictive Victorian clothing, her dresses called for feminism and well represented her independence.

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As the longest-serving First Lady in history, she had several inaugural ball dresses. In this picture, she is wearing a floor-length rose-white satin gown designed by Arnold Constable for her third inaugural ball in 1941.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

With her timeless outfits and signature hairstyle, Jacqueline Kennedy is still a global fashion icon today. Her signature pieces include oversized sunglasses, pearls, shift dresses, and,of course, low, block heeled Roger Viviers. In addition to her frequent purchase of pieces displayed on the Paris and Milan catwalks, she worked closely with designer Oleg Cassini, the official designer of her White House wardrobes, to create her personal, all-American style.

In the picture below, she is wearing the historical navy trim collared strawberry pink, wool Chanel suit.  This is November 22, 1963, the day her husband John F. Kennedy was assassinated. This suit has been frequently copied throughout American fashion and film industries, even being recreated by Italian designer Giorgio Armani. Today, the suit is kept somewhere in the National Archives in Maryland, although its specific location remains secret.
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Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama

Just like Jackie O, Michelle Obama was another First Lady with a distinct fashion sense that represents her persona. Mixing both high-end and street fashion brands, she showed her down-to-earth personality combined with formality in her always put together and polished look. One of her trademark looks was her sleeveless dress which received harsh criticism at first, many deeming her attire to be inappropriate. Yet she stuck to her style and along with her 50s style prom dresses, she showed women how to confidently wear dresses that society considers to be for the young.

The picture below shows the First Lady wearing a navy lace Jason Wu dress. As the man who designed both of her Inauguration Ball dresses, most notably her white one-shoulder gown that she wore back in 2009, and the dress she chose to wear last as a First Lady, Jason Wu’s pieces on the former First Lady holds great significance.

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Melania Trump

Moving away from her usual style of European designer pieces and sky-high stilettos, Melania Trump wore an extremely elegant, somewhat unexpected dress for her first inaugural wardrobe. Her designer Alice Roi revealed in an interview to Cosmopolitan magazine that despite recent media coverage, Melanie prefers a fifties, retro style that involves pieces such as black cropped cigarette pants, black heels, and a black shirt.

As for her inaugural ball dress, she collaborated with Frenchman Herve Pierre who moved to New York and is currently the creative director of Carolina Herrera. After designing Melania’s “architectural off-the-shoulder white crepe column” dress “with a thin burgundy ribbon as a belt”, the designer has now become an overnight sensation.

So far, Melania seems to have outfit choices that very closely resemble Jackie Kennedy’s. Will she be the future Jackie Kennedy? We’ll have to wait and see.
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Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Chanel_suit_of_Jacqueline_Bouvier_Kennedy

http://www.vanityfair.com/style/photos/2017/01/memorable-first-lady-fashion-moments

http://www.wsj.com/video/first-lady-fashion-in-the-melania-trump-era/49F82723-727D-401E-A828-04D58FE86D57.html

http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/trends/news/g8013/best-first-lady-fashion-moments/

http://www.allure.com/gallery/first-lady-inauguration-ball-gowns

http://time.com/4636471/first-lady-inaugural-dresses-trump-inauguration/

 

 

Supreme: Fashion and Exclusivity

Why is Supreme so expensive?

With its much-anticipated uncovering at Paris Fashion Week, the FW collaboration of NYC street label Supreme and French luxury house Louis Vuitton has thoroughly enraptured souls of many. Deemed a new era in fashion history, the coalescence of the two discrete worlds of street and luxury has been said to represent an unexpected coming together of the looks of the uptown and downtown. Emma Hope Allwood, Fashion Features Editor of Dazed Magazine, described the collaboration to be “At first, a kind of surprised disbelief…But the more [she] thought about it, the more it made sense.”

Despite the Supreme x Louis Vuitton collection not due to release until July, a rumored jaw-dropping price list (shown below) for the collection items has surfaced online. A denim jacket adorned with the famous LV and Supreme stamps is expected to cost around $2,000 USD, and a leather trunk also embellished with the two labels is expected to retail for more than $68,500 USD.

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Rumored Price List (PC: Nice Kicks)

For those loyal hypebeasts out there, the big-budget costs are conceived, for the prices for Supreme products have never been so friendly. However, many have expressed their dismay—how can a street brand cost a fortune?

With its founding year traced back to 1994, Supreme has established itself as a stalwart street brand garnering much notice among the fashion industry. Ever since, the label has proved its success, demonstrated through its frequent collaborations with renown brands such as Thom Browne, Vans, and Stone Island.

A reason for its steady success can be searched for in the surface—hype. Hype is the instant boost of publicity. Let’s say, Kanye West or Rihanna, idol of many, is spotted wearing a Supreme box logo tee. That’s surely cool and so is the T-shirt; that’s why such exposure encourages people to forage for the same item.

Charles Park (‘20), an avid follower of fashion labels at KIS had his say, attaching a widely different reason to its popularity, one conceivably many fellow hypebeasts would agree with:

“I like Supreme because of their general character as a brand. The unique attitude and voice that comes out with every season is what I’m attracted to. I think that the reason why Supreme is loved by so many and has stood the test the time in terms of trends, is that they’re not afraid to try something new. Many of their items appeal to different demographics, which is how I think Supreme was elevated from a small New York skateshop to a icon in streetwear and street culture. To put it simply, I like Supreme because as a brand, their political messages, their skate references, and their musical influences have been authentic and true to itself.”

Yet, the ultimate and the true key to success of Supreme, throughout its 23 years has been consistent—exclusivity. By making a limited amount of product for every release, Supreme plants exclusivity. Although the online shop selling out in minutes after a new release and resellers mass purchasing products, Supreme never fails to keep the supply low. The demand is yet more or less assumed. That brings us to buying director of concept store MACHINE-A, Stavros Karelis, who left a rather interesting yet questionable comment that the Supreme x LV collaboration, “from a retail and marketing point of view, I find it brilliant!”

It seems to be Supreme’s cerebral play of economics—supply and demand—that has fueled its sustained successes and has allowed it to stay high in budgets all throughout. The exclusivity and rareness, which people naturally seek to differentiate themselves, have led to its unfailing popularity and attention.

– Yoo Bin Shin (‘18)
Featured Image: Highsnobiety

Sources:

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/supreme-and-the-psychology-of-brand-devotion

https://www.businessoffashion.com/articles/fashion-show-review/louis-vuittons-protean-new-york

http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/01/24/supreme-louis-vuitton-reactions/

 

The 21st Century Definition of “Supermodel”

Do we need to rethink our definition of modern “models”?

Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin- all three are names impossible to not recognize, faces not to recall. On all forms of social media possible – from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram – one can’t scroll past for more than a minute without having these recently raging models pop up on their screen. They’ve starred on the covers of well-respected magazines such as Vogue, opened and closed the runways of brands worth millions of dollars, like Chanel and Calvin Klein, rising to success after what seems like a mere week.

However, a “prank” (more like a borderline assault) on Gigi Hadid called into question the legitimacy of their sensation. On September 22, 2016, former Ukrainian television reporter and infamous celebrity prankster Vitalii Sediuk grabbed Gigi Hadid from behind and lifted her into the air, before being elbowed in the face and running off. Not long after the incident, Sediuk replied in a response to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that while he considered Gigi Hadid beautiful, “she and her friend Kendall Jenner have nothing to do with high fashion”. He instead wanted the fashion industry to use “true talents” rather than “well-connected cute girls from Instagram.” He additionally titled his actions as “a wake-up call for Anna Wintour, who turned Vogue into a tabloid by putting Kardashians and other similar celebrities on a cover of a well respected magazine”.

This isn’t the first time the validity of today’s models careers have been called into question. Earlier, in April 2016, former model Rebecca Romijn called the new generation of models “not true supermodels,” saying that she was “disappointed that fashion magazines” such as Vogue were “supporting this trend of social media stars to set our style standards”. Also, in June 2016, Stephanie Seymour, one of the six most iconic models of the 90s, claimed that Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid did not deserve the title of supermodels and instead were “b*tches of the moment”. Many have criticized modern-day models for having it easier, with the ability and comfort of rising to fame by snapping a few stunning selfies in their luxurious homes, while those like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell had to rush between shows, putting in hours of networking and working before landing a gig with a brand.

However, while these models may have not had to go through the same struggles of the models of the past, one can’t deny that their long, lithe figures and steady gazes contain the same allure that Gisele Bündchen held in the early 2000s. As social media platforms are clearly beginning to hold larger and larger roles in the determination of popularity of models, is it really the models to blame? Or society’s growing focus on simply what the media puts out for us?

-Seiyeon Park (’17)

Featured Image: TODAY News

How to Transition Your Wardrobe Effortlessly From Fall To Winter

Is it too cold yet? Is it only a little chilly? It’s a good idea to pay attention to this guide for f/w wardrobe transition.

Even state-of-the art weather forecast apps aren’t accurate enough for Mother Nature’s whims, just like every one of you who probably stepped out in a lightweight fall ensemble the very day it decided to switch to winter. Without warning, a silk scarf, a skimpy corduroy mini skirt, and a denim jacket wouldn’t cut it — even if the combo is #OOTD gold. Because thin, barely-there layers won’t stand a chance against the thick sweaters and fur coats as we start plowing through the chilling months, it’s time to bulk up your arsenal with winter-proof upgrades, and ditch the classic fall standbys. Once you start incorporating these seasonable wardrobe changes, you’ll be ready to face winter’s most frigid days while still being able to remain chic as ever. And fortunately, it only takes a few key pieces of clothing accessories to easily make that fashion transition. Who said change is hard?
Out with: Thin pullovers
In with: Chunky sweater
Leave light layers behind in favor of lush, chunky sweaters – it’s now cold enough to stash all your sheer, thin clothing in the back of your closet. If cotton frocks are your go-to, consider swapping in the dresses with a more substantial texture, like velvet or corduroy.

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PC: https://ohmaidarling.com/tag/chunky-knit-sweater/

Out with: Flimsy sandals
In With: Chelsea boots
It’s time you put away your thin, sleek ballet flats for lace-up oxfords or even better, black ankle boots that will prep you to deal with slick, icy street grounds. They can range from thick Doc Martens to clunky steppers – everything that you own from the autumn season already!

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PC: http://www.footwearpedia.com/chelsea-boots-jeans-women.html/chelsea-boots-jeans-women-cdyqc

Out with: Warm Earth Tones
In with: Deeper Color Palate
The warm earth tones of fall are typically replaced during winter with deep indigo, crimson, shimmery gold and crisp iPod-white to complement the season. Add a charcoal gray wool tunic, a navy blue peacoat or a pair of orchid-purple pumps to your wardrobe to represent the current color trends and to get through the winter blahs.

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PC: http://www.fashiontrendsetter.com/v2/2016/02/12/pantone-fashion-color-report-fall-2016/

Out with: Single-piece Cardigan
In with: A Staple Statement Coat
Much of your wardrobe works for both seasons, but your winter coat is your statement piece and serves as a canvas for broadcasting your personal style, so take full advantage of it. Unlike fall when you can get away with donning a lightweight knitwear or cardigan on colder occasions, you probably need a proper coat that is wearable everywhere even in the coldest months. Opt for a neutral shade that goes with everything, such as matte black or slate gray, or take this chance to sprinkle some color over your normally muted winter wardrobe, such as indian pink or a toned down mustard.

2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
PC: https://kr.pinterest.com/katchavez1696/grande-coats/

Whenever the seasons shift, the vast majority of us find ourselves fumbling through our closets, plagued by confusion, not sure whether we should dress for the current season, the upcoming season, or some weird hybrid of the two (if that is even possible). Because transitional seasons are always so difficult, we always come up with a series of questions: do you dress for the weather or the season? How do you look fashionable and timely when the temperature and season of the year seems to be clashing? Don’t sweat it, mind your fabrics, work those wool, and say goodbye to fall. After all, a smooth transition to winter comes down to identifying how you want to spend your time and creating wise new style habits for the next four months.

– Ashley Kim (’18)

PC: Lady.Day.az

A Face on a Billboard, A Step Forward for Millions

Many of us pass by billboards, barely taking notice of the faces depicted on them. But it’s time we started taking notice not only of the visages, but the changes that they represent.

November, 2015. Vogue Italia releases a sneak peek of its November issue, with Gigi Hadid staring steadily with stunning blue eyes. The problem? The obviously fake and electric blue afro, the strategically overdrawn lips, the tanned skin.

Valentino, Spring/Summer 2016. Flowy, ankle-grazing silk. Studded leather paired with black lace. Intricately hand-painted and beaded bags. The only thing keeping the public from appreciating the rows and rows of beautiful gowns- the utter lack of black models strutting on the runway, the cornrow buns, and the title of “wild, tribal Africa”.

Cultural misrepresentation has always been present in the fashion industry. From the domination of white models on runways and cover stories, to the outrageous treatment of ethnic styles as “trends”, the industry never seems to learn.

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Graphic by Crescentia Jung

Just last week, Khloé Kardashian made the mistake of trying out the “hottest beauty trends” from the Spring runway shows, which included the much controversial, pastel-coloured dreadlocks worn by white models at the Marc Jacobs show.

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Marc Jacobs SS17 (Credit: IMAXTREE)

Completely ignoring Rasta culture, the Kardashian instead noted how she “[despised]” the look on herself, and praised her younger sister, Kendall Jenner, for wearing the look. And this isn’t the only time that the reality TV personality has been accused of cultural appropriation. On one episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Khloé was spotted wearing Bantu knots in her hair. It’s not that other ladies aren’t ever permitted to wear these styles- that’s perfectly fine. But the fact that figures like the Kardashians take hairstyles like Bantu knots, completely ignore how they’ve been worn by Black ladies for years, and call them their own original style is unacceptable. 

What stars and public influencers like Khloe Kardashian and Marc Jacobs are completely forgetting is that culture is not a fashion trend. It never was and never will be acceptable for people to wear dreadlocks without acknowledging the Rastafari movement, or the style’s historical significance in counterculture movements in the 70s, and then to mark themselves as “trendy” or stylish” because they’re white. It never will be okay for designers to claim that they were inspired by Africa, only to label an entire continent as “wild” or “tribal”, and hire 8 black models out of a total 87 who would go on the catwalk.

And so when on November 1st, US-based makeup brand Covergirl announced its #LashEquality campaign in part of the promotion of the “So Lashy” mascara, thousands cheered. This isn’t any campaign- it’s a movement featuring seven brand ambassadors, all of different races, striving for diversity in beauty- even for genders, with the brand’s first ever #CoverBoy James Charles. One of the ambassadors is beauty blogger Nura Afia- a Muslim, hijab-wearing woman- a huge step in representation for Muslim girls. In an interview with CNN, Afia was clearly excited about the campaign, saying that it was an opportunity for “little girls that grew up like [her]” to “have something to look up to”. To some, Afia’s feature on a Covergirl ad may be nothing more than another pretty face; but to millions, people like Afia represent a step towards proper representation of all cultures, all ethnicities in entertainment and in society.

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Credit: Covergirl

While so many disregard fashion as a shallow topic, the industry holds a far greater effect on our mindsets than we think. Without showing more body types or skin colours in magazines, on TV, or on posters, children can’t help but grow up feeling insecure or insignificant about themselves when society tells them that they aren’t the norm.  

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

Featured Image: Nura Afia’s Instagram- @nuralailalove

Meet the 2016 Emmys Best Dressed

Here are some of the best and brightest Hollywood styles that simply blew us away.

This just in: Hollywood’s leading TV personalities have officially brought on the heat. The awards season is approaching, which calls for primetime perfection and an ideal excuse for the biggest stars to flaunt their best looks down the red carpet. From sequined, sheer, tiered, vivid, draped, and ruched, the 2016 Emmy Awards brought out some of the top-notch fashion on the red carpet, thanks to the nominees from respectfully acclaimed and celebrated programs such as “Empire”, “Game of Thrones”, and “Orange Is the New Black”.

Some celebs opted for a classic and demure look, while others spiced theirs up with slightly more risque silhouettes. Judging from the outlook, the 68th Annual Primetime Emmys not only brings together television’s best and brightest to celebrate their hard work and success, but it also motivates the entertainment industry to show off their style A-game. As the floor-dusting gowns and textured tuxedos constantly captured people’s hearts, it is time to seek for the stars who totally owned the red carpet. After all, there is nothing wrong with honoring those who put their Jimmy Choos forward and impressed everyone with their eye-catching looks.

Take a look at the five stellar ensembles of the night that instantly made jaws drop.

  • Tom Hiddleston
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PC: E! Online

Tom Hiddleston was one seriously sexy sight to see when he hit the red carpet that night, looking absolutely dapper as he posed in a fitted Gucci suit, flashing his baby blue eyes at the cameras, which in turn, caused many girls’ hearts to beat just a little faster from that sultry eye-lock. His minimalist look paired with a simple slicked-back hairstyle were more than enough to be qualified as “dashing” among the many preened actors.

  • Priyanka Chopra
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PC: US Magazine

The Quantico actress showed up looking resplendent in a crimson one-shouldered Jason Wu number, the smoldering presence completed with Brian Atwood heels and a swipe of ruby red lips to match. Lets face it: everybody loves to twirl around in their favorite dress when occasion allows, and Priyanka has the every little right to sashay down the red carpet with her daring ensemble. Even so, her bright, confident smile does seem to add the final accessorizing touch to her look, as she flashes her pearly-whites in front of the cameras because well, she knows she looks that good herself.

    • Kristen Bell
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PC: IB Times

With the plunging neckline, intricate floral details and a billowing skirt, Kristen Bell effortlessly captured the right-out-of-the-fairytale look with her stunning Zuhair Murad gown. To top it all off, she paired it with natural blow-dried honey blonde locks, neutral makeup, and Harry Winston jewels. The audience cannot suss out what more they are taken aback from: the curvy silhouette or the sexy-yet-elegant backless demeanor.

  • Emilia Clarke
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PC: Tom and Lorenzo

Amidst the flashy beaded frocks down the A-list runway, Emilia Clarke clearly stole the show in a nude strapless Atelier Versace floor-length gown with ruched detail at the bust and delicate diamond jewelry. Keeping things to the bare minimum, the British star sported a tied back chignon and taupe lip color which heightened her glamor-level to something off the charts. Perhaps it’s the way the star carries herself — confident and exuding power, just like a queen — which made her look extra-regal, to the point of seeing her Game of Thrones alter ego Daenerys Targaryen come to life.

  • Millie Bobby Brown
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PC: Vanity Fair

If stepping onto the red carpet and turning heads was a challenge, Millie Bobby Brown of Stranger Things (aka Eleven) would forever be unobstructed, always rising to the occasion. The night was all about the razzle-dazzle and she brought a hearty dose of it in an embroidered Valentino Red sheer gown. She managed to pull off an age appropriate look while still staying on-trend with the metallic bird appliqués to express her adorably chic style- making her first major award show appearance a massive success. If there is anyone worthy of looking up to as an epitome of a style icon rocking the fearless buzz cut, it would be Millie – something that even adults can’t get right sometimes.

In short, wherever the red carpet is concerned, the spirit and courage is what packs a punch. Each position along the crimson path, where on-camera reporters await to flatter and wolf-whistle, render a shining new moment to make an entrance and strut down the catwalk in an outfit best suited for endless posing. The attendees can’t all be Emmy winners, of course, but for those who boldly decided to go where few would tag along, they’ll have a victorious marking on the best-dressed lists in the end. From sleek, gilded column dresses to handcrafted jewels in the most imaginable collection possible, a handful of celebrities stood out from the rest thanks to their styling choices — and often, their sartorial risks scrutinized by panels and critics paid off in a sizable way.

What looks were your personal favorite, and what do you anticipate for the next year’s Emmy Awards?

– Ashley Kim (‘18)

Featured Image: Vanity Fair

Seoul Fashion Week Recap

A recap on the stylish week of the year

With the cooling fall weather and falling leaves, while others are bringing out their autumn sweaters and heavy jackets, some are strutting out in their brightest clothing designed for summer and spring. What for?

It’s Seoul Fashion Week; the time for designers to display their latest collections for the coming seasons ahead. This time, the models are walking down the runways in the new Summer/Spring 2016 collections.

As South Korea continues to grow as a cultural hub for tourists and creative artists all around the globe, it’s inevitable that Korean fashion has been widely noted for its innovative and quirky style, unseen in other well known Western brands. Here are the top five Korean brands that stood out in this year’s SS 16 Seoul Fashion Week.

 

Photos by InDigital
Photos by InDigital

Kim Seo Ryong

Titled “Hey, Good Looking”, Kim’s SS16 menswear collection displays a range of aesthetics, from colorful abstract prints to more classic silhouettes. Kim established his brand in 1996, and is most well known for his finely tailored suits with his occasional touch of “rock star excess”. By using tougher materials such as leather and unconventional colours, Kim made even the most classic pinstriped shirt or plaid blazer look bold and outstanding. Contrastingly, Kim stuck to more neutral colours such as beige or black for louder prints. The stars of the show, however, were his colourful geometric pants and blazer, maintaining Kim’s signature eclectic rocker look.

 

Photos by InDigital
Photos by InDigital

Flea Madonna

Inspired by the term Prima-Donna, meaning the first woman in Italian, the womenswear brand is renown for its girly and quirky prints, combining dollish and edgy elements in the clothing. This season’s collection had a combination of extra girly pieces, with its sheer lace tops and flowing silk robes, and bolder, more manly articles, such as the slit leather culottes and varsity sweatshirts. Jei Kim, the designer of Flea Madonna, even paired the two together, with hooded jumpers and fluffy tulle skirts, creating an interesting juxtaposition between the casual tops and the more feminine bottoms. With slicked back hair and classic red lips, the models paraded down the catwalk, truly like prima-donnas.

 

Photos by InDigital
Photos by InDigital

Cres. E Dim.

Short for “crescendo e diminuendo,” the gradual increase and the gradual softening of sound, the brand Cres. E Dim. was launched in 2009 by Hong Bum Kim. Kim created unconventional silhouettes by having the fabric “overlapping the body…cut into fragments to add rhythm” (Cres. E Dim. official site). Pinstripes were all over Kim’s pieces, from trousers to collars, thick and thin. Playful icons, reflective of a circus, were spotted on many of the tops, and the models also sported trendy thin scarves around their necks. The colour palette was youthful, borderline tacky, with louder, elementary colours paired with muted denim and pastel tones. Silhouettes were either loose and boxy, with irregular necklines and extra wide lapels, or short and flirty, with high slits and body-hugging skirts.

 

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 9.24.41 PMKYE

Kathleen Kye’s high-end street style brand KYE is adored and worn regularly not only by Korean celebrities, but also by others around the globe. She has held shows at the New York Fashion Week event, and has showrooms in other global fashion hubs, such as Paris and Milan. This season, a common print was the continuous serpentine loops. The models bore midriffs, shoulders, and leg, in sheer mesh, short skirts, and cropped shirts, that all bore Kye’s signature black and gold or sweeter candy-coloured hues.

 

Photos by Benu Studio
Photos by Benu Studio

BAEMIN X KYE

A collaboration between one of Korea’s top delivery service systems, Baedal Minjok, and a world renown fashion label produced some of the most whimsical and edgy clothing seen at this year’s spring/summer SFW. The collection featured fun and comical phrases, such as “Please don’t lean on the door” and “Entrance forbidden: Officials only”.  The combination of Korean typography and fashion was unexpected, yet ultimately refreshing and original, as seen on the oversized sweatshirts, sporty bomber jackets, and flowing silk shirts. Many of the pieces were almost a collage-work of multiple Korean texts, from newspapers to street shop signs, creating novel graphic designs that have captivated fashion moguls from all around the world, including British fashion blogger Susanna Lau.

 

While New York, Milan, and Paris are all well-respected global fashion capitals that carry some of the world’s most recognized brands, it’s nice to come back to our roots and appreciate the great style that surrounds us today: in Seoul.

Which designs or brands allured to you the most this Fashion Week? Let us know in the comments below!

 

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

 

The Anatomy of the Sports Luxe Trend

For decades, couture fashion has seen the most ornate and intricate styles. On runways and streets (especially during Fashion Week) alike, high-fashion icons and moguls strut around in high-heels and flowing skirts. Now, designers have taken classic sports-wear to the spotlight, with upgraded footwear and clothing.

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The iconic Adidas Stan Smiths are worn by off-duty models and every day people alike, and its rising popularity has made this shoe almost a fashion-staple. (Laia Magazine)

We all recognize the classic Adidas Stan Smiths, a shoe originally launched in 1963 by the brand Adidas, which has most recently hit its peak in popularity. It’s been worn by bloggers, models, and celebrities all over the world, even in the world’s famed fashion hub Paris. However, items like these weren’t always so sought after. The Stan Smiths had been taken down from Adidas’s market in 2012 due to its unsuccessful performance in the markets. So what did start this sudden desire for comfortable yet stylish wear?

 

With the current rage over living new and healthy lifestyles, many have taken on different aspects of their lives to adopt habits help people balance between a work and social life. What better way to do that than exercise? Everyday there are advertisements for new workout regiments like cross-fit and yoga, new diets consisting completely of greens, and of course, sportswear for people to wear during their work-outs.

 

Just a few years ago it would be considered condemnable in the fashion industry to be seen wearing a hoodie and sneakers in public. While of course designers have taken such staples up a notch, it is now considered highly stylish and sensible to be walking around in a pair of Nike Roshes. The idea of sports luxe clothing is that we are all so busy, so occupied that there is little time to change from work to athletic clothing- so why not purchase attire that can function as both?

 

Granted, no average man or woman would wear $400 leggings on a run– just imagine the sweat that would ruin the clothing! But such apparel does help convey the idea that we all live in such productive, engaged, and robust lives- an image that is undeniably alluring.

 

The trend has also meant an increased number of designs inspired by varsity sportswear- on skirts, button downs, and especially on school jackets, are the classic double-lines and contrasting colours that signify of athleticism. Even in KIS, many sport their navy and white varsity jackets with pride, not only for their symbols of accomplishment but also for their simultaneous versatility and comfort.

 

There are multiple ways to easily incorporate this trend into your wardrobe. Here are some of Blueprint’s favorite tips:

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  • Sport Fanciful Sneakers

One of the easiest ways to take on the sports luxe trend is to wear a pair of sneakers. They don’t have to be your classic wear-and-tear canvas shoes- brands like Chanel and Ash have turned this casual piece into some of the most intricate parts of an outfit, by using rich materials like tweed and leather, and adding special details like studs and glitter. Pair these sneakers with a simple tee and jeans, and you’ll be done with your look.

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  • Refurbish Your Casual Sweatshirts

Sweatshirts are arguably the comfiest tops one could wear on a casual day in- but that doesn’t mean you have to wear your old, torn, and faded grey shirt from a few years ago. High and low end brands from Kenzo to Forever 21 have released the classic terry-cloth sweatshirts with a few major modifications, like bright neon colours and quirky emblems. Some brands like Alexander Wang have even taken them a step further, by using materials like mesh and sequins to further glamorize their sweatshirts. Now, sweatshirts aren’t just for days in, but can also be worn on formal occasions out.

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  • Refuse to Sacrifice Comfort with Joggers

Who ever said baggy pants were meant to be pajamas? One truly can go creative with this style. From all out sequins to bohemian prints to tough leather, several designers have reproduced this baggy pant using different materials, allowing for people to strut in comfort while keeping their edge.

London Fashion Week SS16, Day 1

  • Look for Graphic Cuts and Stretchy Materials

Halter necks and high-neck-but-short-sleeve tops instantly give an outfit a sports-chic touch. But to further enhance the look, search for color-blocking or materials like neoprene, mesh, or jersey- anything normally related to activewear and athletics. When done right, such details will not only give off a cool laid-back vibe, but will also instantly give the impression of sleek class.

  • Sports Luxe Doesn’t Mean to Abandon, But to Upgrade!

Embracing the sports luxe trend doesn’t mean to ditch all of your fanciest clothing and wear ragged sweatpants 24/7. Sports luxe means to compromise comfort with style, adorning your more lax pieces with little details that make them high-fashion. Pair your joggers with heels, or Nikes with a dress, because mixing the different styles really is what gives an outfit dimension and interest, and after all, we all like to be a bit fancy and comfy at the same time.  

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

Featured Image: Opsh

Fall Fashion Tips

Fall in to fall with these fashion tips.

Whip out your scarves and knee-high boots, it’s fall fashion season! The dos and don’ts of autumnal clothing.

1. Scarves

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There’s no better way to dress up any outfit and keep warm than a nice woolen scarf.

2. BOOTS BOOTS BOOTS!

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Whether your favorite pair of casual army boots to the classic knee-high boots, fall fashion is defined by the comfortable footwear. Easily layered with slightly longer, wooly socks, one can never go wrong sporting a pair of boots

3. Gold Eyes and Berry Lips

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To match the falling leaves, makeup colors become darker, with an emphasis on berry (or dark red) lipstick.

4. Overabundance of Burgundy, Mustard Yellow and Brown

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Mimicking the colors of the turning leaves, a staple of fall fashion is its color palet. As the more vibrant summer colors get packed away in the closet, the darker shades make its comeback.

5. Wooly Sweaters

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A simple outfit for the colder days, layer an oversized sweater (extra points for autumnal colors) over a pair of jeans or leggings.

6. Hats

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Whether beanies, berets or bowler hats, you can never go wrong with tucking your bedhead into a comfortable hat.

7. Return of the Tights/Long Socks

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Continue to wear your summer dresses! Keep the cute shorts/skirts look and keep warm by wearing a pair of patterned black tights. Or wear a pair of long wooly socks to keep your toes warm and add a cute extra layer to your boots.

– Juyon Lee (’18)