Author Archives: Kalyxa Roman

  1. Tips on Creating the Perfect Wardrobe

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    N-Letter-PNG-Imageot to worry, this is not going to be another post about items your wardrobe must have. No wardrobe essentials here. Just a couple of tips you may want to keep in mind when building your wardrobe so that it truly feels like your safe space. Because, let’s face it, for anybody who loves fashion, your closet may be your favorite part of your room.

    For me, my clothes is an integral part of my persona. It helps me be expressive and allows people to perceive me the way I want them to. And at the same time, it helps me be self-reflexive in that I can focus on how I feel wearing certain things and, through that, explore new parts of my personality.

    For those of us who really love clothing and appreciate fashion fully as an art form, building our wardrobe is like creating ourselves. If your closet only has a few pieces that were not very thoughtfully chosen, you’re limited in the image you can portray.

    So here are a few tips on making your closet perfectly tailored to you:

    1. Make sure every piece can stand on its own.

    The key to being able to create an awesome outfit, is being able to artfully put pieces together. Sometimes a single aspect of the look may make or break it. But this can be avoided if every piece in your closet has value.Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 2.04.52 AM

    This doesn’t mean you should only have really fancy items in your closet. This can apply to something as simple as a white tee — the thing is to make sure that it’s a quality white tee with a great cut and comfortable fabric. If you’re putting together pieces that are great in themselves, there’s a very little chance of your outfit going wrong.

    2.  Only own things that look good on you.

    This seems like a really obvious one, but you’d be surprised at how many times I’ve asked myself why I even own something, because I hate the way it looks on me. And then I remember it’s because it looked good on the hanger.

    Trying things on is definitely an important part of shopping. It’s not a good idea to take something home without really knowing how it looks on you. If you do, you’ll just have a closet full of pieces that aren’t suited to your body. And similar to the first tip, your outfit is unlikely to fail if you’re working with pieces that you know will look good on you regardless of what they’re paired with.

    3. Decide how you feel about comfort.

    A big part of fashion is balancing comfort with appearance. We would all love to be 100% comfortable all the time, but there are some amazing outfits that just can’t be done without sacrificing a certain amount of comfort.

    Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 9.50.24 PMIf comfort is your #1 priority when getting dressed in the morning, then go for it. You should look forward to looking through your closet everyday, so if being comfy is what makes you happy then every item in your closet should be exactly that. And this doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice cute outfits. You can definitely look great and still be comfortable at the same time (see left).

    Hopefully these tips offered some insight to those of you seeking to revamp your wardrobe.  I can guarantee that if you choose items to suit your needs — from comfort to utility to aesthetic — you will love getting dressed in the morning. Good luck!

    Images courtesy of: Polyvore, Coveteur and YouTube

  2. The Big Question: Can Fashion be Sustainable?

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    letter__Let’s face it: the fashion industry is super powerful. It affects every single one of us. As long as you wear clothes you are involved in the industry. I always feel like Meryl Streep and her infamous speech in The Devil Wears Prada when I make this argument — “Okay, I see. You think this has nothing to do with you…you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry, when in fact, you’re wearing a sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.”

    What she says holds an enormous amount of truth. We are all participants in the fashion industry, even if some of us are more invested in it than others. So it is with sadness that the realization of the industry’s destruction hits. Because we are all implicit in it. BANGLADESH_TEXTILE_WASTE-1024x576

    Let me explain. The fashion industry, like any other industry, creates waste — textile waste, water waste. Our resources our being depleted, and at way too fast a rate. Factory waste, as well, along with the pesticides and herbicides going onto our genetically-modified cotton, are hurting our earth. According to the fashion documentary The True Cost, the industry is the second most polluting in the world, right behind the oil industry.

    Garment workers are also getting the short end of the stick. We now have this system known as “fast fashion,” in which, instead of stores selling for two seasons per year, they are selling for 52 seasons. Every week, retail stores bring in new clothes to satisfy our demands. With fashion gaining huge presence on social media, trends are more accessible to the public and so we are we constantly demanding something new. This fast fashion concept has caused the industry to center itself around mass, rapid manufacture, and at a low price.

    1305632549bangladeshsweatshop-w1928Consumers expect their clothing to be affordable. Most of the profit that the fashion industry gains is not from high-priced designer brands, as we would assume. It actually comes from fast fashion retailers that are able to reach more customers with their low prices. The problem is, in order to sell cheap, you have to manufacture cheaper. This results in retailers outsourcing to developing countries in which labor laws are lax. This means that a woman in Bangladesh that is being paid $3/hour is making your clothing, and mine.

    Of course this is heartbreaking to hear. I get waves of guilt every time I think about it. We have all been making unconscious choices that play a role in the endangerment of someone’s life. I think one thing that makes me feel guiltier is that this is the industry that I want to work in. I love fashion and I think that it can stand for so much. But I also think it can and should stand on a better foundation than it is currently.

    The way we achieve this is by making our choices conscious ones. Consumers are the driving force of the fashion industry. Whatever we say, goes. So it’s going to have to end up being a compromise between retailers and their customers. Retailers will have to pay manufacturers more if it means ensuring the safety of the people making our clothing. This means that consumers will likely have to pay more. On the other hand, if retailers cut back on branding and advertising, like Primark is currently doing, they can deliver a lower price to us.

    Who knows how this compromise will pan out, but in the meantime we can make choices that better the situation. Thrift shopping is a great option because you’re not using up the resources it would take to make a new item of clothing. Giving your clothes more wear-time before throwing it out is beneficial, and it is even more beneficial if you recycle that clothes rather than simply tossing it. Rewarding ethically and environmentally responsible brands is always great, too. I’ve been boycotting Forever 21, the epitome of a fast fashion retailer. Rather brands like Reformation, People Tree, and even H&M with their Conscious line, are the brands that really deserve our money.

    It may be difficult at first, but if we are willing to do these things, we are taking a step towards a better fashion industry. And we have to remember that change happens when we speak up. If we acknowledge the harm, if we acknowledge the things we are doing wrong, we can begin taking the steps to fix it.

    Images courtesy of: The True Cost, The Plaid Zebra and  Good on You

  3. BTS: Thierry Mugler

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    Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 12.53.32 AM

    37292-letter-a-text-variants another installment of Behind the Show, I’d like to explore Thierry Mugler’s Autumn 2017 collection. As this semester’s theme of The WALK is The Blue Issue, it’s a fitting choice, since Mugler’s collection is dripping with blue.

    Thierry Mugler is actually not currently the head designer of the brand. David Koma was appointed creative director in 2013. He was the mastermind of this whole blue operation. So what inspired it? I’d like to find out.

    First steps to understanding, of course, is looking. So feast your eyes:

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    First thoughts: David Bowie meets Star Trek. The Thierry Mugler brand is known for its structural silhouettes and almost avant-garde shapes. It dresses a strong, sexy and sophisticated woman. This collection was definitely no different. Structure was present with sharp shoulders and skewed skirts. There was an attractive mix of texture — patent leather, metallic pleats and soft sweaters. Colors included pitch black, frosty green, bright yellow and, of course, electric blue.  Bad-ass suits and a David Bowie-esque lightning pattern was featured.

    The inspiration behind this collection seemed to be quite simple. Luke Leitch of Vogue Runway claims that Koma translated directly one of Mugler’s trademarks — the star design and jagged shape that can be seen on the Angel and Alien perfume bottles. Essentially, Koma was just echoing the brand image: cold, menacing and sexy.


    Although it is comforting to see Koma keeping true to the identity of the Mugler brand, some critics have found the show a bit flat, with no “wow” factors. Koma may be playing it too safe in order to not disappoint the Mugler fanbase by straying from what they know. Angelo Flaccavento of the Business of Fashion finds the collection a bit reflective of Saint-Laurent and Balmain. On the other hand, Leitch says the collection did have a straightforward concept, but with a powerful effect.

    Overall, I thought the Thierry Mugler collection was still inspiring. If anything, it takes a lot of confidence to pull off such a bold and powerful look. This show may not have been particularly innovative, but it still encouraged fearless fashion.

    Images courtesy of: Business of Fashion, Vogue Runway.


  4. How to be Trendy Without Being Mainstream

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    flat,800x800,075,ff there’s one thing I’ve always disliked, it’s looking like everyone else. What’s the fun in wearing your clothes if it could have been plucked out of anyone’s closet? The thing about fashion is that it allows you to express yourself — YOURself — and not anyone else.

    Of course, people express themselves in different ways, and clothing may not be their first choice. Some people either don’t care about sending a message through their clothing (which, by the way, you do whether you want to or not), or don’t know how.

    My friend recently said to me, “I’m not very naturally fashionable, so I try to just follow trends. But I hate looking like a clone of everyone else who is doing the same thing.” Her dilemma was that she couldn’t feel stylish without feeling mainstream.

    So I figured I’d try to help her out, along with any of you who feel the same way. Here are a couple of new ways to look at the current trends:

     1. Doc Martens

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    Don’t go classic. Instead of the black leather Docs we’ve all come to know and love, try a pair in a different color. You might even want to try moving away from the original lace-up versions. Both still offer the tough, utilitarian look.

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    Dress them up. Instead of going with the predictable grunge look, try combining these sturdy boots with delicate lace, or a feminine skirt or dress.

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    Mix trends. One of the biggest trends right now is athleisure, so pairing an athleisure look with Doc Martens can bring something entirely new to the table.

    2. Plaid, flannel shirts

    Similar to the Doc Martens trend, this is 90s grunge reincarnating itself. Here are some ideas for adding a twist to the plaid, flannel shirt trend.

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    Take a cue from Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine and layer it up. Flannels have been seen as an outer layer, but why not wear one under a jacket? If you’re a preppier type, wear it under a blazer (left). To maintain the grunge look, try it under a denim jacket (right).

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    Play with proportions. Juxtaposing long and short draws the eye. Try pairing an untucked flannel with a cropped sweater.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 11.51.17 PMTry it as something other than a shirt. The plaid print looks just as trendy in skirt form. Plaid pants are also an option.


    If you really want to be unique, and get a little crafty, DIY it. Chiara Ferragni, above, wears a fringed plaid shirt.

    3. Mom jeans

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    Your first instinct may be to pair these with a slouchy, thrift store sweater or a t-shirt. Make them formal, and pair them with a blazer and some loafers.


    Try switching up the proportions and combine the high waist of mom jeans with a cropped sweater.


    If you really want to embrace your true inner mom, get out your craft kit and patch em up! DIY is always a good way to make something your own.

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    Make them feminine. Why not wear mom jeans with heels? It’s a killer juxtaposition, and it says “I’m carefree but put-together.” You can also pair these with a silk, lingerie-inspired top for a sexier vibe.

    4. Stan Smiths/Adidas

    Both Stan Smiths and Adidas Originals have become very popular, for both their look and their comfort. These aren’t usually worn in a specific way, but here are some ideas that aren’t too predictable.

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    Once again, dressing them up is always an option. Wearing Stan Smiths with a dress or skirt creates a casual yet feminine effect.

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    Suit up — channel Ellen by pairing a tailored suit with practical sneakers. This combo makes for a cool and effortless look.


    You could always try a different version of Adidas, and possibly start a new sneaker trend. These Adidas Gazelles with inverted colors are not something we usually see, but they hold the same appeal as the Originals and Stan Smiths.

    5. Chokers

    Another trend inspired by the 80s and 90s, chokers have become the go-to accessory for many, specifically in the form of a thin, black band.

    Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 12.20.33 AM

    You may want to try something less traditional: How about a blingy choker? Or a fringy one?


    Stray from the typical black band and wear your choker in another color. Lily Rose Depp wears a beautiful red sash that can be recreated by tying a ribbon or a neck scarf around your neck.

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    Typically chokers are worn with either a grunge look or a going out look. Try this trend with a clean, pristine, put-together look to create a unique combination.

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    On the other hand, you could pair your choker with a fun, colorful look, if it is more your taste.

    Hopefully I have provided you with some idea of how to wear current trends without looking like everyone else. It must be kept in mind, though, that the most important thing is to adapt the things you see to your personal style. You should never feel obligated to wear something just because it’s “trending.” If you do decide to adopt trends, adopt ones that you genuinely like, and inject a little bit of your own personality into it. This way, you will be building a style that is completely your own.

    Images courtesy of Man Repeller, The Blonde Salad, Laia Magazine, Glam Radar, Elle, Veja-Du, Collage VintageFront Row, Who What Wear, The I Corner, Where to Get and Song of Style

  5. BTS: Christopher Kane

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    letter_Each season we see new collections come down the runway, and we’re blessed with fashion inspo and ideas for the coming year. Some looks and trends seem like pure genius, while we seriously question who would ever wear others. Either way, every look and every collection has an idea and a message behind it.

    Designers have so much creative freedom in deciding what that message is. It is important for them to be innovative, while still maintaining a signature aspect that allows us to identify them and their brand. The creative process is a taxing one, and it is difficult to constantly have to bring something new to the table. So where do all of these designers get their ideas?

    One designer I’d like to focus on is Christopher Kane, in celebration of his so-called “comeback.” After taking a break due to family tragedy, he’s back on the scene and his Autumn/Winter 2017 has brought a lot of attention from fashion critics and the like. So what’s behind this renewed creative energy?

    Just to get an idea of what he’s brought to us, here are a couple of key looks:

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    Initial feelings: Like granny took a trip back in time to the 70s and then to outer space. Don’t know if that makes any sense, but then again neither does his mixture of materials and silhouettes. The collection is an eclectic concoction of metallics, florals, uniquely-placed folds, pleats and fur.

    Tim Blanks from the Business of Fashion claims that Kane was inspired by the industrial processes that go into making luxury material. For this reason, we can see the way that Kane deconstructs and reconstructs traditionally opulent fabrics. For example, his folding of the damask (look 1), and the cashmere that he layered foil on top of to make an oil-slick cardigan (look 2).


    Ionel Talpazan, “Future UFOs Diverse Diagrame: 22 Modele Advanced Exstra Terestriale Technology for Planeta Earth,” 2000

    Women’s Wear Daily’s Nina Jones interpreted it a bit differently. She claimed that Kane was inclined to create a type of uniform that a factory worker might wear, rather than being inspired by the factory processes themselves. Either way, we see stiff, sharp edges and angles that serve to create a contrast between feminine fabrics and historic prints and tough, futuristic silhouettes.

    Kane was also heavily influenced by artist Ionel Talpazan, and this can be seen in his silk smock dresses. Talpazan is known for his colorful, sci-fi paintings, and Kane uses his work in his prints.

    Also worth pointing out is his obsession with Crocs. Can we talk about this for a second? His last collection featured these:

    06-christopher-kane-crocs.w710.h473This new collection now adds fur trim rather than rhinestones (see looks 3 and 4). His attempt to make them a luxury shoe is admirable. I think adding fur and jewels is an interesting take, but in the end, they are still Crocs. Although I don’t think it’s the prettiest trend, it does demonstrate Kane’s fascination with combining utility and luxury.

    Overall, Christopher Kane works against the fashion grain, and pushes the boundaries with his daring combinations. He does not play it safe, and he does not care about getting rave reviews. He simply combines imagination and the technical aspects of design to deliver a thrilling and unexpected show.

    Images courtesy of Business of Fashion, Artforum, New York Magazine and The West Effect.

  6. 4 Times Michelle Obama Looked Like Literal Art

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    Anonymous Drop Cap 1f you don’t live under a rock, then you know that today’s political atmosphere is buzzing like never before. Not only has this past election been one of the most controversial, but it has also been one of the most broadcast. Social media is at its peak, and that means it’s played a huge role in politics. For the first time in history, voters are getting information from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat. Our politicians have never been more accessible and publicized.

    This has its ups and downs, but I’m trying to stay positive post-election, so let’s focus on the ups. Social media has allowed us to get to know our POTUS, FLOTUS and VPOTUS (?) better than we ever thought we would. I’m talkin’ tweets, Snapchat stories (@michelleobama), vacation pictures, and most importantly, Joe-and-Barack best friend memes.

    The Obamas have been so successful at really connecting with and establishing themselves amongst the people of this nation. Michelle Obama, specifically, has become an icon among American women, serving as a role model and a maternal figure. She is strong, she is passionate, she is kind, and she is, let’s face it, kind of hot.

    For this reason I’ve dedicated this post to the queen that she is. And because the recent Obama vacation pics are making me feel some type of way. Also when will there ever be an appropriate time to stop being sad to say goodbye? Never.

    So here are four times Michelle Obama looked like literal art, inspired by Instagram page @artlexachung.

    Look #1

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    Michelle in a rich red, Jason Wu coat and heeled boots for Inauguration Day 2017, juxtaposed next to Ignacio Zuloaga’s “Retrato de Doña Carmen Arconda.”

    Look #2

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    Barack and Michelle being the cutest at the 2010 Inaugural Ball. Michelle wearing, once again, Jason Wu and looking gorgeous in one-shoulder white with floral details. Juxtaposed next to Auguste Renoir’s “Dance in the City.”

    Look #3

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    Here Michelle looks absolutely stunning in a turquoise, off-the-shoulder Marchesa gown for the Kennedy Center Honors Gala 2013. Juxtaposed with Auguste Maurice Cabuzel’s “The Accomplice.”

    Look #4

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    Last but not least, my personal favorite look — this beautiful liquid-gold gown by Versace that Michelle wore to her final State Dinner. Juxtaposed with another one of my personal favorites, Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.” What a beauty.

    Michelle had such an impact on me and many of my fellow female Americans throughout the Obama administration. She features such grace and poise, as well as such strength and courage. She and the Obamas will truly be missed. Here’s to them.


    Images courtesy of: Pinterest, Wikipedia, US Magazine, Elle, Fine Art America and Buzzfeed

  7. Inside the Brain of a Fashion Lover

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    Advancey Drop Cap 1s a fashion lover myself, I can speak from experience when I say that your brain operates a bit differently from normal folks if you have a particular interest in clothing. It never became clear to me until a few years ago, but fashion occupies a different space in my head than it does in the heads of my friends who don’t really care for it.

    It’s the feeling I have when I’m wearing the wrong shirt, or when my shoes aren’t vibing with the rest of my outfit. I carry a sense of wrongness with me, like I’m walking around with one eyebrow or something. In my world, if your outfit ain’t right, your day ain’t right. It’s like your living space. If you love the space you’re in, you are more productive. If you love the clothes you’re in, you are more confident and ready to handle the day.

    Roman Pull Quote 2

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    Fashion is an art, and art is a form of self-expression. For fashion lovers, clothing is the highest form of self-expression. It’s like poetry. Drawing on the words of Tim Gunn, “If you have a limited range of outfits, it’s as though you have a limited range of words in your vocabulary.” Clothing helps you say what you want to say.

    But aside from its function a creative outlet, what is so important about the aesthetic pleasure that we get from a good outfit? Why do I get the chills when I see a pair of Jimmy Choos? What about a great pair of jeans makes me literally want to cry tears of joy?

    My best guess is that I am simply amazed at how works of art can be wearable. Imagine your favorite painting in your favorite museum, one that you can’t help but say “wow” to every time you see it. A painting that you love because it is intrinsically reflective of some part of you. Now imagine it in a form that you can wear and carry around with you forever. For me, that’s what it feels like.

    Screen Shot 2016-11-12 at 9.13.57 PMAs for fashion lovers in general, clothing is just an emotional thing. It’s about identity and it’s about creating a persona. For some of us, it’s the most powerful way to express ourselves and form who we want to be. As an industry, fashion is one of the most influential. Not only does it touch the lives of everybody on the planet (nudists excluded), it is both catalyzed by and a catalyst of cultural change. It is derivative and innovative at the same time.

    It’s difficult to differentiate whether this dedication to fashion is a preference or an intuition. My belief is that anyone can learn to be stylish and use clothes to their advantage. Everyone can be appreciative of fashion if they want to be. But there exists a special relationship between a fashion lover and her/his wardrobe, and this stems from the deep connection between fashion and the aesthetic sense of self so ingrained in our brains.

    -Kalyxa Roman

    Images courtesy of Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube

  8. The Real Way to Watch a Fashion Show

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    Chances are that 50% of the reason you go to a fashion show is to dress up. The other 50% is simply to see what other people are wearing (including the models on the runway). Fashion shows are fun and glamorous, and a perfect event to go to if you’re looking to be creatively and aesthetically nourished.

    However, there is a certain way to watch fashion shows to get the most out of them. This is the method that fashion editors, bloggers, and journalists use to ensure they’re picking out the important aspects of the shows and making the looks more digestible and accessible to the general public. Because honestly, no one’s really going to walk out of the house looking like this:


    These kind of “high fashion” looks are all part of the entertainment value of fashion shows and the creative/art value of fashion. Fashion shows are designers’ chances to make a statement, so they’re not going to send something totally average down the runway. There may be some crazy ensembles, but rather than looking at them as outfits, one should look at them as statements – what are they saying, and how could this be applied to the average fashion-lover’s wardrobe? Here are some tips on how to properly watch a fashion show:

    1. Document what you see

    Take pictures of the looks coming down the runway, especially what inspires you and what shocks you. This seems really obvious, but it’s so beneficial to be able to look back at the pieces that really struck a chord with you. Add notes to your pictures, to capture your thoughts in those moments. Record the vibe you get from the show to determine the general theme. What do the clothes remind you of? What are they trying to say?

     2. Find commonalities

    You can use the aforementioned notes and pictures to find commonalities among designers’ shows. One should look for similar themes, colors, and silhouettes. The general rule is that it takes at least three designers to establish a trend. This season’s Paris Fashion Week has bestowed upon us an array of looks that will govern “what’s in” for Spring/Summer 2017.

    Let’s take a look at Louis Vuitton, Givenchy and Saint Laurent (below, left to right). These designers all sent one sleeve down the runway. Kind of an adaptation of the off-the-shoulder trend from last year, but with an attempt at making it more elegant.


    Sleeves have also manifested themselves in puffy, 19th-century-looking things. Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Giambattista Valli (below, left to right) displayed these medieval silhouettes, all with dark colors and heavy leather.

    MCQUEEN - sleeves SAINTLAURENT-sleeves GIAMBATTISTA-sleeves

    There were also many designers that featured ruffles in their collections. Here’s a collage of several: Giambattista Valli, Altuzarra, Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Saint Laurent and Marc by Marc Jacobs (below, left to right). It’s quite obsessive, really.


    3. Become psychic

    You can use these commonalities to determine trends and vibes of the upcoming season. You can be the first to wear one-sleeved tops or ruffled skirts, and everyone will think you’re a trendsetter (although, really, the designers set the trends…but no one has to know).

    Everything we see above is dramatic and theatrical. There is exaggerated volume in sleeves and skirts. There is emphasis on asymmetrical silhouettes – sleeves on one side, ruffles haphazardly placed. The feel that designers are trying to portray is a new sense of romanticism, with an edge to it. There are florals, there are flowy fabrics, and there are feminine silhouettes, but all are accompanied by leather, combat boots, the color black, and misplaced additions like sleeves and ruffles.

    4. Be inspired

    Here is where you can adapt what you see to your own wardrobe. Now that these “high fashion” looks are more understandable to you because you’re not taking them at face value, it’s easy to incorporate them into your own style. Invest in a ruffled skirt or a puffy-sleeved top. Or, if you don’t want to be too literal, adopt the theme these designers are portraying. Mix more romantic pieces (like an off-the-shoulder, flowy dress) with edgier/artsier pieces (like a structured leather jacket).

    Or do something totally your own! Fashion should never be dictatorial. It is simply an art form through which one can express themselves, so if the looks from PFW 2016 inspire you to take a completely different direction, don’t hesitate to follow it.

    -Kalyxa Roman

    Images courtesy of: The Telegraph and Vogue Runway.


  9. Inside the Blog: The Blonde Salad

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    Advancey Drop Cap 1nother edition of Inside the Blog awaits, with featured blog The Blonde Salad. Most of you may know the face behind the blog more than the blog itself – Chiara Ferragni.

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    Chiara is an international fashion icon, hailing from Italy and making significant impact in Europe and America. Similar to the previously featured Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, Chiara is a celebrity blogger. Her presence in the front row of fashion shows is desired by all types of designers. Her style has gained her front-cover photoshoots on Vogue and collaborations with designers such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Chanel.

    Chiara actually got her start in law school. She had a passion for clothes and dressing up and simply enjoyed sharing her pictures online. She started her blog in October 2009 to do just that – share pictures. Less than two years later, it had reached more than one million visitors and she was receiving offers for partnerships with major brands. She dropped out of law school a few years later – only three exams away from completing her degree – in order to put all of her energy into her blossoming blog.

    Evidently, she made the right decision, because she has skyrocketed to fame. However, she’s not a celebrity or a model. Some argue that she’s not even really a blogger – she’s a brand. She’s a digital entrepreneur who knows how to market her lifestyle. She works with a team of 18 personal friends, rather than just an agent or publicist, and this is what makes her impact extra powerful. In fact, the way she built this brand and business model is so innovative and unique that it has been examined by students at Harvard Business School, and she has also been named one of the 30 most influential people under 30 by Forbes.

    Her secret behind the popularity of her brand is that she is always true to herself. She never tries too hard, and she never tries to be something that she’s not. She doesn’t conform to the traditional “fashion blogger” mold. Chiara simply does what appeals to her. She’s known for her wild and fun look and, because of this, targets a more youthful, sartorially-bold audience. Her followers are able to find her relatable and aspirational at the same time, in the sense that the fame she holds in the fashion world seemed to have come upon her suddenly. She was simply being herself, living her life, and sharing her own style, and is now doing amazing things. Today she’s making significant impact in the industry with her shoe line and brand.


    To follow in Chiara’s footsteps the rules are simple: be yourself and don’t mold to anything. You attract attention if you’re different, and that’s what you want. Be appreciated for your uniqueness.

    -Kalyxa Roman

    Images courtesy of Instagram and Chiara Ferragni.

  10. Inside the Blog: Man Repeller

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    man_repeller_interview_01 Roman Drop Cap 1

    ashion bloggers have become their own pocket of the fashion industry. Blogging operates as a career in and of itself. This is similar to how modeling has become a full-time job — Instagram has allowed models to extend their face time beyond the runway. They market their looks, their style and their lifestyle. Just like models, fashion bloggers have become their own celebrity. Instead of Cara Delevigne, Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner we have Chiara Ferragni, Aimee Song and Tavi Gevinson. People look for them at fashion shows, covet their style advice and buy out their merchandise.

    I’d like to take a deeper look into one very popular fashion blogger, Leandra Medine, and her blog Man Repeller.


    The blog was started 6 years ago, while Leandra was a junior at The New School. She was studying journalism, and the blog was meant to supplement her resume, which she was planning on handing in to New York Magazine and The New Yorker. The name, “Man Repeller,” stems from the idea that women dressing to their own personal preferences repels men, because they are not trying to appear attractive to men, only to themselves.


    In Leandra’s case, her personal preferences are very eccentric. Her quirky outfit choices are known to be questionable to men (and to toher people in general), and she doesn’t hesitate to acknowledges this. Her blog and Instagram (dubbed “Manstagram”) are ripe with self-deprecating humor.

    This comic approach to her sartorial wonderings resonates strongly with women, and is relevant to the way fashion is portrayed in today’s society. There exists a stigma that having an interest in fashion is superficial. People don’t see fashion and professionalism as compatible and, to quote feminist Chimamanda Adichie, “women who wanted to be taken seriously were supposed to substantiate their seriousness with a studied indifference to appearance.” Leandra mocks this stigma by supplementing her wacky taste with even wackier rhetoric, all the while being a style icon and running a website worth thousands of dollars.

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    Besides her writing and comic savvy, her outfits, despite being somewhat bizarre, have a certain creativity and artsiness to them that make them actually likeable. It’s the same way you look at a Picasso and think ‘I don’t know what that is, but I never would have thought of doing it.” It may not be something that you would copy exactly, but it does serve as inspiration and definitely encourages one to be bold with their wardrobe.

    "Just because there's not a single grain of sand in sight doesn't mean you can't swaddle your loins in a bikini bottom!!!"

    “Just because there’s not a single grain of sand in sight doesn’t mean you can’t swaddle your loins in a bikini bottom!!!”

    "Fuchsia polar bear"

    “Fuchsia polar bear”


    "What to wear to a paintball tournament"

    “What to wear to a paintball tournament”









    In terms of blog inspiration, Leandra is definitely one whose footsteps can be followed. She did everything she could to be noticed – tweeting, Instagramming, posting videos on YouTube. If you aspire to rise among these blogger-celebrities, Leandra’s lesson is to take every opportunity to wedge yourself into the industry. Spread your brand across all social media platforms. Don’t be shy about it, and definitely don’t be shy about your style.

    “Don’t be something for everyone, be everything for someone” – Leandra Medine

    -Kalyxa Roman

    Images courtesy of Tumblr, Instagram, The New Trendsetters and Man Repeller.