Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Entertainment Spotlight: Teen Wolf

I don't watch too many teen shows, but there's something about Teen Wolf that just makes it entrancing to watch. After re-watching the past few seasons to get prepared for the new season on MTV, I'm able to better understand how the cast's outfits fit into their own character's traits and development, especially looking at the implicit messaging with trend setting clothes.

Fashion may not be a focal point in the show, but Teen Wolf's costume designers and stylist do make the characters outfits reflect on the character. Queen Bee Lydia Martin, played by actress Holland Roden, is the only character who actively discusses fashion and uses it as a form of social status. There are scenes where she will go out of her way in the name of fashion, whether it is shopping for multiple party outfits, searching for the perfect winter formal dress, or giving her best friend a harsh critique of her date night outfit. Routinely decked out in trendy dresses and heels, Lydia comes across as someone who deliberately chooses her outfit every day in order to communicate to the world who she is. Or rather, what she wants to be.

With Lydia, there is more to learn about her character than what she presents to the world, even through her outfits. Although she pretends to be dumb to her friends and boyfriend -often covering up her seemingly random knowledge with "Um, I read it somewhere" - Lydia's teacher tell her parents that her advanced placement classes push her to a 5.0 GPA. Along with that, her character is often the one who helps out with research on unknown and supernatural subjects, such as translating Archaic Latin in order to stop a new bad guy. Instead of her clothes playing into who she truly is, her outfits instead show who she wants to be to make her life easier. She would rather be a dimwitted rich girl whose only concern is to wear the next trend in clothes than an intelligent woman with her own mysterious supernatural powers.

Costumers choosing for Lydia to wear purposefully trendy clothes make her outfit development interesting to see through the seasons. Whereas some characters will wear only certain colors to reflect their characters (Ex: Derek Hale only wearing dark colors, jeans, and leather jackets as a minimalist wardrobe and Allison Argent wearing functional clothes for her werewolf hunting), Lydia's closet reflects the real life fashion of the time. Her clothes move away from cleavage baring and ultra-short to looser fits and more delicate prints, just as it has on store racks of the juniors section over the past couple of years. This takes me back to Gossip Girl where Blair Waldrorf and Serena Van Der Woodsen purposefully wore the trendiest clothes, outfits designed more for the runway than a trip to a coffee house. For all three characters, fashion is important part of their lives and used for them to show their social status and popularity. The difference between the girls of GG and Lydia is that her fashion interest acts as a form of distraction from the harsh life and death realities she has to deal with on a regular basis. 

Catch Lydia Martin & Co. this January on Mondays on MTV.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Entertainment Spotlight: Scandal

Scandal has quickly become a media phenomenon. Created by Grey's Anatomy's Shonda Rhimes, the show originally was going to be cancelled after only one season. Fortunately, between large social media campaigns and addictive writing, the show was able to skyrocket its ratings and is now one of the most watched shows in its jaw dropping third season. Main character Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, plays a proud and independent political fixer in Washington, D.C. 

One of the greatest parts of the television show is the way fashion plays as an important role to the characters in the story. Even when doing a Google Image search for "Olivia Pope", the first suggestion to come up are her outfits. Olivia Pope is decked out episode by episode in polished, sophisticated outfits that display how important it is for her clients to take her seriously. In an interview for Cosmopolitain, costume designer Lyn Paolo reveals just how important outfits play for the character, even down to the hues. 

When she doesn't know what she's doing, she wears grey. If she's in a lot of trouble, and she's conflicted, she's in black and white. At Saks this week, they were showing me all of these dresses and I was like, ‘Olivia doesn't wear dresses. She only wears dresses in the past. That was when she was happy and in love with Fitz [married POTUS]. Now she wears the pants because that's who she has to be now.’

Besides center lady Olivia, there are also other characters whose outfits are important to their character. Viewers share a "love to hate" attitude towards First Lady "Mellie" Grant, who stops at nothing to make sure that her husband (and world leader) doesn't go back into the arms of Olivia. Even with this, watchers can agree that her outfits are always on point. She has a polished look that is the epitome of a politician's wife: quaffed hair, classic silhouettes, a toothy smile. All of it is used to put on a mask to the world that her life is perfect, when in reality it's anything but.


The show's deliberate intent on making fashion an internal part of the show is something I enjoy seeing unfold every week. Not only am I excited to see what crazy drama Olivia has to clean up or what desperate schemes Mellie has planned, but I am also excited to see what subliminal messages Lyn Paolo tries to display with the characters.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Entertainment Spotlight: The Mindy Project

I decided that if this is a fashion blog, it's not only important to post about new and emerging trends, but also seeing how those trends are seen through media like film and television. Since the ever fashionable teen show Gossip Girl has gone off air, I've been more apt at finding shows where fashion takes a central role in understanding the characters and setting. 

An unexpected contender: The Mindy Project. Going on it's second season this year on Fox, character Dr. Mindy Lahari (played by The Office star, writer, producer, and all-around girl genius Mindy Kaling) is constantly decked out in quirky clothes that show off her young, vibrant personality. Her outfits are always in good taste, showing that she's serious at her job as an OB/GYN, but still manages to find time to gossip about her celeb crush on her breaks. Kaling, who takes many roles behind the scenes of her show, has influence on her character's wardrobe. In an interview with Huffington Post and The Mindy Project costume designer Salvador Perez, Jr., it's revealed that Perez and Kaling work together on creating the great ensembles that are featured on the show, through  emailed ideas and sharing prospective materials. Whether it be a cardigan/printed blouse combo, or a simple, well-tailored dress with striking colors, the collaboration is definitely working. 

The show has been looked upon so much for its fashion that websites have even worked to find out where exactly the outfit pieces come from Worn On TV has an entire section devoted to the show and finding pieces that are exact or near matches to what's worn on the show. 

Personally, I like the fact that most all of these  outfits are seemingly daring and go against the usual fashion rules, but most always work. Mixed prints, clashing colors, and even 80s waist belts can all be seen in one outfit, which would typically make it look like an outfit is just doing too much. But when watching the show, it seems that Kaling is able to pull these looks off for her character. It reminds me that taking risks in fashion that go against the grain can payoff. 

You can catch the great outfits on The Mindy Project on Fox Tuesday nights at 9:30 EST and catch up to the season on Hulu.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Trend Spotter: Utility Jackets

Since I've been in France, I've noticed a lot of girls wearing these light fall jackets. They usually are a bit long, and usually in khaki or olive tones. I had no idea what to call the jacket, but I knew I wanted one. By the looks of them, they're lightweight and a little lose, making them the perfect jacket here in the every changing weather climate of Rennes, France (one morning, it's about 45 degrees F and pouring; by the afternoon, it's sunny and close to the 70s). 

Preparing to put something on The Hunt (if you haven't hear of this website and love fashion, where have you been?!), but I decided to check on F21 first. Now, I may have not been on the site in a while. but I certainly do not remember them having a section under "coats" specifically for utility jackets. That's a sure sign that what I've been seeing over here is a growing trend.

Utility jackets from F21, ASOS, and Missguided

I went through a bunch over on Polyvore, and most seem about the same; lightweight, loose, a little boyish in fit, but very functional. According to research (thanks, Google), the trend has at least been around since the late spring. Obviously, I must have been working to many hours in my uniform to notice. 

  • Leopard Utility Jacket in Olive/Black from Forever 21
  • Four Pocket Utility Jacket in Denim from ASOS
  • Klara Aztec Utility Jacket in Khaki from Missguided


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Braided Bun

This is one of my week two outfits. I paired my cut out Drake concert tee with some jeans and my pink boyfriend blazer. I thought the light shades in my flats and jacket went well with the darker tone of the shirt, making it an ideal summer to fall transition outfit.

I couldn't decide what to do with my hair since I didn't have the time to straighten it out, so I decided to do a bun that I saw on Pinterest awhile back. Of course, I can't find it anywhere right now, but if I do, I'll be sure to update the post!

All you do for the bun is 
  1. Put your hair up in a high ponytail
  2. Separate your hair into three sections
  3. Braid each section to the end of the hair
  4. Take one braid and wrap it loosely clockwise around the base of the ponytail, securing it with either a bobby pin or by putting the end of the braid into the elastic
  5. Take one braid and wrap it counter-clockwise around the base of the ponytail, securing it in the same fashion
  6. Take the last braid and wrap it so it goes on top of the other secured braids.
  7. Finally, take sections of hair in the bun and make the braid looser, making the bun have more volume

Voila! Braided bun! Hopefully the picture along with the description will be enough until I find that darn pin!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Classy French Fashion

This was the first week I had for my classes here at the Universite Rennes 2 in Rennes, France. Since arriving week ago, I've been slowly observing how people typically dress around the campus. As I had assumed, people were dressed a lot more formally than they would back home. Actually, since I've arrived here, I haven't seen not one pair of yoga pants/leggings worn as pants/sweats. At all.

I talked with one of my new friends I've made since arriving, and when she asked about what I saw differently, I described to her the typical uniform of people on my campus. She was nearly in shock when I described to her how informal we Americans are for class. But there's no use changing it; we just feel more comfortable, I suppose. 

At any rate, here are some pictures from my first two days of classes.
Besides people dressing more formally, I also noticed another thing with fashion: layers. Black tights, a blazer, and a scarf are essential to fitting in fashion wise here. Luckily I came with plenty in stock, and for my first outfit, I put together a T.J. Maxx dress and Zara blazer (both bought while I was in Atlanta) with a scarf my grandmother had bought me for Christmas and tights I already owned. Of course, I couldn't come here without my beloved oxfords, even though a few of the studs have begun to fall off one of the shoes. In this pic, you can also see my ombre hair in curls. 

Oh, and about dyed hair: I have yet to see a French person with it. The only people on campus who have dyed hair (as in with color that they were definitely not born with) have been American or people from the U.K. I'll get back to you as soon as I figure that out. 

This outfit was made with my ruffle blouse, Zara blazer and skirt, and of course my oxfords. Pretty preppy and a little more monotone than my usual outfits, but I still love how it came out.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Studying Abroad!

I have probably mentioned this before, but now its super official: I'm in Rennes, France for the semester!
I know I mentioned all the awesome clothes I got when I was here last time, but budgeting is a little different when you're here on a school trip compared to actually trying to live here. Not sure when I'll have any haul (probably not til October when I can figure out finances and such), but eventually, I'll put up pics of new clothes. 

I went out tonight with some other students and wore this outfit.
I combined my Macy's top with a scarf I got from NY&C for the last time I was here (seriously, everyone wears scarfs) and a new pair of pants that fit perfect from (of all places) Sears. Yeah, Sears. Nearly embarrassed to say it, but whatever. It's hard finding pants these days that re decently priced straight legs and not skinnys. These were parfait perfect. 

I've mostly been doing French braids while I was here, mainly because I was petrified to plug my straighter in. Last time, even with my adapters and voltage convertors, it blew out. Just plugged it in and *knock on wood* the light is on! Let's hope nothing awful happens...

Monday, September 2, 2013

New Hair: Red Ombre

If you weren't already aware of this, I have never had my hair dyed. Ever. But getting prepared to study abroad this semester (leaving in six days!) made me feel like I wanted to do something different. Even though the ombre trend seems to be slowly dying out, I couldn't help but still want it. At first, I was going to go the popular route and get blonde on the ends, but my older sister insisted I get red. So voila, here it is!

My sis did a great job on it. She separated my hair in half (top to bottom) and then separated those sections again (left to right). She inserted hair bands where I wanted the ombre to stop, and then separated the portions in thirds that were to be dyed. Working from the bottom to the top, she applied the dye and let it sit about twenty minutes and washed it out.

I love how it came out. It's something subtle, which was what I wanted.

My sister did a lot of research for the process, and here are some tutorials that were helpful:

Even though I did not dye my whole head red, it gave good tips on dying the dark hair read without bleaching it. I did not have to do it twice, though, since my hair had never been dyed before and the dark color lifted easier than hers. 

I first found this video on Pinterest after seeing her after pictures and adoring them. I used the same brand (L'Oreal HiColor) as she did for my ombre.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rockstar Part II

Meeting Fall Out Boy AND going to a Panic! at the Disco concert in one summer? My 14 year old would be squealing. My now 20 year old self just feels lucky she has access to a car.

Rock concerts are notorious for making you feel like you're going deaf, that you can't possibly get physically closer to the people next to you (but somehow you do), and walking out with your hair and make-up looking disgusting. The latter is a fashionista's worst nightmare.

Regardless, I made sure to go in style. I got a semi-sheer black top from Zara in Atlanta and paired it with the pants I wore to the FOB concert. I knew that wearing heels or open toe shoes was a no-no for a standing concert, so I instead went with my purple high tops. 

For my hair, I did a simple braid around a high ponytail. I eventually made it into a bun when it got suffocating at the concert since my hair was getting stuck to my neck, but at least my hair is growing!
If interested, head on over to my Instagram (iluvme21) to see more pics from the concert!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Peaches and Cream

Pretty Neutral

Even though summer is known to be the time for neons and bright clothing, neutrals are not to be forgotten. I was inspired to do this set by the image included in the set featuring Demi Lovato from the November 2012 Teen Vogue photo shoot. These neutral peaches and cream patterns/shades can give a soft feel and reminds me of a girly meets boho trend.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summer Heat: Wardrobe

It's heating up here in Rochester, and that means a lot of different fashion transitions for me. Gone are the jeggings, jeans, and leggings of spring; it's time for skirts! 

I've probably have said this before, but I'll say it again: I don't like shorts. I don't find them flattering on me and have had issues finding a pair that isn't too short but also not made for middle aged women. Since I can't spend the whole of hot weather living off of jeans, I decided last year to instead spend money on skirts. It worked great last year, and I'm doing the same this summer.

I wore this little ensemble to Eastview Mall the other day. Around here, it's the closest to an upscale shopping center that we have. I originally was just going to throw on something not as cute because I didn't think I would see anyone while I was there... Of course, I ran into about 6 different familiar faces (some I did want to see, like a girl I graduated with; others I made sure to avoid all eye contact and hide in the aisles of Forever 21), so it's a good thing I reconsidered.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Date with Summer

Date with Summer

A night summer date can sometimes prove to be challenging. Even if it gets warm out in the sun during the day, a cool summer evening next to the beach can be a bit chilly. I put this set together using hot summer trends -flowy skirt, crop top -along with something that may still be in your closet from fall and winter. A boyfriend cardigan can come handy to keep the concentration on the date instead of how chilly you are in your outfit.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ombre Nails

Because I work admissions to a children's museum, I'm often times dealing with money. I didn't realize til then that my nails are something that people will look at more often then the average person. Why not take the oppotunity to try out different nail looks?

Out of the many ones I've tried so far, I must confess... I'm in love with ombre nails. I've been experimenting with a number of different color combos, and fell in love with this one immediately. I combined a cobalt blue with a Tiffany teal and got this great seaside combination. It's a great look for the beach and I can't wait to show it off!

There are a few key tips to making ombre nails work, and three items that are needed in order to make it as easy as possible: foundation sponges, Vaseline, and hand held nail polish remover.

For right now, I'll put in some pins of what I've combined together in order to get the look. The next time I do the ombre look, I'm hoping to put together a picture tutorial so that it'll all be put together in one place!                           

One of the first things I learned from Pinterest was how helpful Vaseline can be. Besides it being a great substitute for mascara, it also helps it easier to get nail polish off of fingers. This becomes especially important when using ombre. Because you're using a sponge to put the polish on, there may be more on your fingers than on the actual nail. Vaseline saves tons of time on the process of removing it from unwanted places.

As mentioned before, sponges are your friend when it comes to ombre nails. Its nearly impossible to get the look without it. After carefully blending the two colors in the middle, a sponge helps to blend them even more to give it the effortless look.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rocker Chic @ Meet and Greet

Tough & Pretty

I have a thing for winning giveaways. I have won concert tickets, movie memorabilia, and the latest one adds a meet and greet to the list. Though I have been to my share of rock concerts, I wanted to put a little more thought into the outfit since I knew I was going to meet my favorite band of all time.

Being me, I of course was over-thinking the entire thing. Exploring Polyvore, I created the above set in order to get some inspiration. I wanted something that would still look girly, but not to the point where I was going to glances because I obviously didn't belong at the venue. Unfortunately, I didn't have anything in my closet to replicate the set. Did I really need to buy a whole new outfit? According to my logic: yes. According to my bank account: um, no. Luckily, I was able to pick and choose between my own clothes and my sister's, who was also going with me.

 I came up with wearing a VSPink black tank and patterned black and white jeans. Yeah, I may have been the only one wearing Pink anything there -let alone sequins -but at least it was black. And what can be better than sequins??

Regardless of what I was wearing, I met Fall Out Boy, got Patrick's autograph, and pictures with all of them. What's better than that? Well, besides sequins.