Author Archives: Danielle Moore

About Danielle Moore

Danie Moore is the Web Editor-in-Chief for The WALK. She is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania studying Communication, English, & Creative Writing.
  1. Alternative College Jewelry with Penn Collection Designer Kyle Garcia

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    The Kyle Cavan Penn Collection Iconic Bangle ($395.00), inspired by College Hall

    letter-For seniors at Penn and across the country, the time to order graduation announcements, regalia, and commemorative class rings will come all too quickly. If clunky rings aren’t your thing, though, fret not: there are options outside of the bookstore’s paltry, poorly lit display.

    One option Penn students will find designed just for them? The Penn Collection by Kyle Cavan, a jewelry startup that crafts school-specific bangles and other commemorative pieces that feature iconic architectural details of their respective campuses.

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    Kyle Cavan founder & designer Kyle Garcia on Locust

    As an undergrad at Duke searching for a college accessory that would suit her style, Kyle Cavan founder Kyle Garcia decided to ditch the traditional class ring in favor of the Hermès bangle de rigeur — in her school’s signature color, of course. “I told my mom, ‘I’ll wear it every day for the rest of my life!'” she recalls. Today, though, it’s not this bangle, but a stack of her own metal-and-colored-leather designs, that grace her wrist.

    Kyle first conceived the idea of a line of college jewelry that was both commemorative and wearable when she attended her 5-year college reunion, and was dismayed to find that she didn’t own a single piece of jewelry that truly represented her time in college.

    The solution? Design her own.

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    The front (left) and back (right) of the Fisher Fine Arts Library Shield Pendant ($145.00 )

    Her first piece was the Duke shield pendant, inspired by the University’s iconic chapel. It was also her “aha moment”: she realized that the architectural details of the diverse and regal buildings that grace American college campuses evoked fond memories of college days better than the school colors, crest, or logo featured on typical college jewelry ever could.

    From there, Kyle Cavan — named for both its founder and the county in Ireland from which her family hails — expanded on a grassroots basis to include 14 schools, with a collection constructed around each school’s iconic architecture.

    The Penn Collection

    The Penn Collection — one of the brand’s very first — features a bespoke brushed bangle, in gold or silver, embossed with the outline of College Hall, as well as shield pendant necklaces and cufflinks featuring the ornate window panes of the Fisher Fine Arts library. New to the line this fall is a dainty College Hall necklace, as well as a dainty deconstructed compass lariat likely to bring any Penn alumna back to her early freshman days of superstitious avoidance of stepping on the center of the compass for fear of failing midterms.

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    The College Hall Iconic Necklace ($125.00); The Deconstructed Compass Lariat ($95.00 )

    The American-made collection is designed to be worn alongside the heirloom pieces you cherish. The go-tos in Kyle’s own jewelry collection? An ornate, textured cross necklace from her Aunt Patsy that layers perfectly above the large gold Duke shield necklace she sports. Other favorite passed-down pieces include a men’s watch from her grandfather and earrings from her mom. Staying true to this tradition, Kyle Cavan, too, is a family affair, with Kyle’s sister Elizabeth managing the brand’s marketing.

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    Kyle & Elizabeth Garcia on Penn’s campus 

    A history major during her years at Duke, Kyle wears both the “designer” and “entrepreneur” mantels lightly. She’s always been more intrigued by, say, post-World World II Infrastructure than world-class art museums. Of the city she and her company call home, which offers ample opportunities to observe both, she says: “I’d rather walk the streets of New York, any day.” ✵

    Images courtesy of Elizabeth Garcia & Kyle Cavan

  2. Love in the Time of the Auteur Rom-Com

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    As The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani’s autobiographical rom-com, satisfies summer moviegoers like Trainwreck did several summers before it, are we entering the age of a new kind of romantic comedy, or hearkening back to an older one?

    On the eve of the release of his highly anticipated Twin Peaks reboot on Showtime, Academy Award-winning director David Lynch called cable TV “the new art house.” Living (and watching) in the age of “peak TV,” it’s hard to disagree with him, but cable TV isn’t the only area of the entertainment industry to have seen significant tonal shake-ups within the past few years. One trend that shows no sign of slowing? The auteur romantic comedy, a subgenre that, depending on how you look at it, could either be considered the rise of a new kind of film or the revival of an older kind.

    I’ll explain what I mean in a moment by “auteur rom-com,” but first, a brief history lesson: auteur filmmaking is a school of film theory that emerged in France in the 1940s, in which the film was considered the singular vision of the director, named for the French word for “author.” Over the years, auteur in the filmic sense has been used more broadly to refer to films of an autobiographical nature for the director, writer, or star. Hence, an auteur rom-com is a film (or in these days, to Lynch’s point, a TV series) with romantic and comedic elements, that is based, at least loosely, on the experiences of its star (who is often also its writer).

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    Nanjiani and Kazan in The Big Sick

    The most recent example of this trend—and its critical and commercial success—is The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani’s semi-autobiographical rom com that follows him, as a young stand-up comedian, falling for his future therapist girlfriend (Zoe Kazan), only after she falls deathly ill and is placed in a medically induced coma, leading Kumail to experience the culture clash of meeting her white, Southern parents (a fabulous Ray Romano and Helen Hunt) for the first time. The movie was co-written by Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, based on their own love story. It has earned rave reviews from critics since its premiere at Sundance, not to mention a 97% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The film has also seen modest commercial success for an indie film that started in limited release, having grossed nearly $20 million to date.

    A similar scenario occurred in the summer of 2015, when Universal released Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck, a film based in part on her experience growing up with divorced parents and a father with multiple sclerosis. The R-rated rom com, which saw a Schumer’s journalist, also named Amy, falling for a sports doctor played by former SNL funnyman Bill Hader, grossed over $140 million worldwide.

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    Schumer and Hader in Trainwreck

    But The Big Sick and Trainwreck have something else important in common: their producer, Judd Apatow. In this sense, Apatow is arguably the trendsetter here, having written and directed This Is 40, a relationship comedy that starred both his wife, actress Leslie Mann, and their two young daughters (although, like his other rom-com hit Bridesmaids, it was not necessarily based on his own life, or anyone else’s). Still, whether it be the director or the writer-star, centering a romantic comedy around some real-life aspects of a major player in the creation the film is no small thing for a genre that not too long ago had devolved into cookie-cutter cliches, holiday-themed release gimmicks, and increasingly absurd attempts to pack as many stars as possible into one film to attract an audience. Even the late, great, Gary Marshall—director of the rom-com classics Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries—saw his career end with a tragic trilogy that might be dubbed “The Hallmark Card Ring Cycle”: Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Mother’s Day. Rather than venture to modify the formula in any way, recent rom-coms have rendered themselves the butt of the jokes rather than an effective vehicle for them.

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    Iris Apatow, Maude Apatow, Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in This is 40

    And while the “romantic comedy” may mean something different to today’s moviegoers than it did to those 20, 30, or 40 years ago—with the debates waged in Vogue’s attempt to list the top 51 romantic comedies providing ample evidence that what counts as a rom-com for one film fan might qualify as a Shakespearean tragedy for another—there are important predecessors to this trend, the most obvious of which are the comedies of Woody Allen, which often saw the writer-director starring as a version of his real-life neurotic standup comedy persona, as in Annie Hall, where he played a comedian attempting to decipher why he and the title character (Diane Keaton, debuting some of the most iconic ensembles in what would become her signature menswear look) broke up.

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    Keaton and Allen in Annie Hall

    The best thing that could be said for the auteur rom-com trend, however, is the fact that its emphasis on true stories, told by their own author appearing in the work, lends itself to an inclusion of more diverse voices in the genre. This is true not only on the big screen, as with The Big Sick’s focus on Nanjiani’s Pakistani-American upbringing, but on the silver screen as well. Though HBO’s Insecure—based on star and writer Issa Rae’s often awkward experiences navigating modern life and love as a woman of color—was snubbed in this year’s Emmy race, Aziz Ansari’s Master of None on Netflix has received Emmy love for two seasons in a row, and in its quest for authenticity, even cast Aziz’s parents, Shoukath and Fatima Ansari, to play his character’s parents in a particularly heartwarming episode.

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    Aziz and Shoukath Ansari on Master of None; Issa Rae on Insecure

    Images courtesy of: Film Still Moda, Rotten Tomatoes, The OdysseySlateChicago TribuneThe New York Times; Standard HotelsVoxLa Nacion

  3. Letter from the Editor: The BLUE Issue

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     The following letter from Editor-in-Chief Isabella Cuan first appeared in The BLUE Issue in print. Be sure to check out The WALK Web’s BLUE Issue content!

    Isabella Blue Issue Headshot

    Look around. Keep looking. What do you see?

    I spy something blue. Something oxford blue, royal blue, steel blue. The washed-out denim fading your blue jeans into serenity. The pops of deep blue bringing life to your favorite blueberry muffin. The purple-tinted blue peeking through the clouds.

    Blue is defined as the color between violet and green on the visible spectrum. It is no surprise then that we tend to think of color as a descriptor, a way to explain what we see in front of us. We view blue as a passive bystander in our life that we happen to encounter when we plunge into the ocean, or when we buy slightly avant-garde palazzo pants, or when we take the perfect Instagrammable photo in our go-to hipster (but not too hipster) cafe. We may appreciate its aesthetic beauty, but given its pervasiveness in the world around us, isn’t there more to color than meets the eye?

    The WALK went blue this spring in hopes of revitalizing our understanding of the color. For the first time in its history, a single color dictated its production, from start to finish, from front cover to back cover. We chose We chose blue, not solely for its universal beauty, but rather for its universal presence – literally and figuratively. Unlike in the past, we wanted to begin with the tangible, as opposed to the abstract, and see where that took us. We found blue in both the most obvious of places and the most obscure of places, and we discovered that blue – in every hue, tint, and tone – is inescapable in the best possible way. From the blue of our environment (“Waste Not, Water Not”) to the blue of empowerment (“Declarations in Denim”), we explore how blue is far more ubiquitous than we could have ever thought.

    Blue holds newfound significance in the 21st century. Amanda Kwon shows us through her political analysis, “Red & Blue & Nothing Inbetween?” that blue is more than the antithesis of red, while Emily Schwawrtz addresses blue as an important symbol of mental health in “How Fashion Takes Its Toll.” Karis Stephen’s student profile on Blue Bookhard proves that blue even makes for a pretty cool name. And in this day and age where a technological solution seems to exist for any and every problem, Emily Cieslak, in an in-depth analysis of Neutrogena’s Blue Light Therapy, finds that these miracle products aren’t always what they seem.

    Blue came alive in its most visual form in this issue’s photo features. In “RGB,” blue became a means for transporting us to an alternate, sci-fi inspired world. “Girls Wear Blue” adopted a refreshing approach to gender norms by offering a subtle commentary on the way society still stigmatizes color. We danced with blue in the earliest of hours in “L’heure Bleue” and found that the truest of blues are often the ones to which we never bear witness. Our featured student group, Omar’s Hat, showed us a different kind of blue – the kind that cannot and should not be defined.

    Through our experimentation with blue as our color palette of choice this spring, we have learned, above all, that color is anything but passive. Rather, it is a highly influential actor in our lives. It is what makes us feel the deepest of emotions and see the most breathtaking of sights. Blue is more than a product of our visual perception, more than the physical color we see with our eyes. Blue is the tranquility that soothes our souls, the late-night sadness that washes over us, and the rhythm that reverberates deep within us. From the smooth sounds of John Coltraine’s “Blue Train” to the haunting cinematography of David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet,” blue is what we can see, feel, and hear – all at the same time.

    And so let us paint our lives with blue – with any color for that matter. Because to feel these senses, in the most intense of ways, in the deepest of shades, is what makes life anything but boring.

      Isabella Signature

    Image courtesy of Nadia Kim

  4. Capture That Challenge: The BLUE Issue

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    In the fourth installment of our “Capture That Challenge,” teams of WALK photographers and stylists competed to articulate their own interpretations of our theme, BLUE, for a chance to have their photos featured in our Spring Issue. Photographer Madison Kahn, and stylists Julien Advancey  and Noel Zheng, were chosen not only for their highly experimental approach, but also for their multi-layered study of the color blue. “Inspired by the late Chinese artist, Ren Hang, we wanted to push the boundaries of beautifying the grotesque,” the team wrote of their winning photograph, which featured Audrey Goldberg. “The notion of postmodernism plays in the space between what is considered disturbing, playful, and haute couture, unlike the agendas that Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Cosmopolitan seek to entertain.”

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    Another team sought a more natural setting in which to explore the concept, linking the color blue to the water of a reflecting pool. “For our interpretation of ‘blue,’ we decided to create a magical, creepy wonderland, with our model getting lost in blue drips and reflections,” wrote the team, which was comprised of Arjun Doshi, Karen Yang, Nadira Berman, and Shirley Liu, whose work featured model Pearl Banjurtrungkajorn. “The confusing reflections create an optical illusion, further adding to the fantasy. What is the reflection and what is reality? We invite you to get lost in our fairytale world of blue.”

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    Yet another team, comprised of Miru Osuga and Irena Xia, tapped into blue’s presence in certain forms of light, employing a blacklight to allow models Aizhaneya Carter and David Thai to “[wear] the cloak of the universe on our skin.”

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    Images courtesy of Madison Kahn, Julien Advaney, and Noel Zheng; Arjun Doshi, Karen Yang, Nadira Berman, and Shirley Liu: Miru Osuga and Irene Xia

     

     

  5. Video: La La Land’s Many Musical Antecedents

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    La La Land Article Cover Photo
    Mitchell Drop Cap 1he undisputed critical darling of the 2016 Awards season, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land is the first original movie musical that Hollywood has seen in years. The film wowed audiences worldwide with its spectacular choreography and eye-popping color palette, but it was the jazz-infused musical numbers that constituted the film’s beating heart. While some critics praised the film for its originality, eagle-eyed musical theater fans have noted the movie musical allusions peppered throughout the numbers.

    Rather than seeing the film as a complete cinematic innovation, then, the view of The Evening Standard‘s David Sexton is perhaps the most apt: “They don’t make films like this anymore? [Chazelle] just did.” With several near-replications of scenes from movie musicals from several decades of Hollywood – among them Top Hat (1935), Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940), Singin’ in the Rain (1952), West Side Story (1961), Sweet Charity (1969), and Moulin Rouge (2009), – is La La Land innovative in its intertextuality, or derivative in its repetition? Watch our video below and decide for yourself.

    Final Cut 1 from Danie Moore on Vimeo.

  6. The BLUE Issue: Final Teaser

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    The Blue Issue Final Teaser
    What’s in a hue? Found out in Spring 2017, when The WALK releases The Blue Issue! Take a behind-the-scenes look at the second photo shoot in the exclusive teaser below, and keep watching the site for more updates!

    Video courtesy of Karen Yang

  7. Penn Fashion Week 2017: Neo-Renaissance Show

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    Neo-Renaissance Cover Photo 2

    On April Fool’s Day, Penn Fashion Week pulled a style switch-up: the Neo-Renaissance Fashion Show, which mixed streetwear with high fashion. The result was an evening of unexpected pairings, set against the sleek backdrop of the Penn Dental School. The WALK‘s Jessica Lu was on site to capture the action. Click through the photos below to see all the looks!

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    Images courtesy of Jessica Lu

  8. The Blue Issue: Teaser 5

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    The Blue Issue Teaser 5
    What’s in a hue? Found out in Spring 2017, when The WALK releases The Blue Issue! Take a behind-the-scenes look at the fifth photo shoot in the exclusive teaser below, and keep watching the site for more updates!

    Video courtesy of Karen Yang

  9. The Blue Issue: Teaser 3

    Leave a Comment The Blue Issue Teaser 3

    What’s in a hue? Found out in Spring 2017, when The WALK releases The Blue Issue! Take a behind-the-scenes look at the third photo shoot in the exclusive teaser below, and keep watching the site for more updates!

     

     

    Video courtesy of Karen Yang

     

  10. The Blue Issue: Teaser 2

    Leave a Comment The Blue Issue Teaser 2 Screenshot What’s in a hue? Found out in Spring 2017, when The WALK releases The Blue Issue! Take a behind-the-scenes look at the second photo shoot in the exclusive teaser below, and keep watching the site for more updates!

     

    Video courtesy of Karen Yang

     

  11. The Blue Issue: Teaser 4

    2 Comments The Blue Issue Teaser 4 W

    hat’s in a hue? Found out in Spring 2017, when The WALK releases The Blue Issue! Take a behind-the-scenes look at the fourth photo shoot, showcasing featured student group Omar’s Hat, in the exclusive teaser below, and keep watching the site for more updates!

     

    Video courtesy of Karen Yang