Thursday, December 17, 2015

New York Street Style

Ever wonder how "Street Style" became a thing?


    Look no further. 
In Decemeber 1978, the NY Times published a series of photographs by a Boston-born man named Bill Cunningham. Mr. Cunningham had previously worked as a writer at the Tribune and at Women's Wear Daily, which I imagine sparked his interest in photographing women on the street. His photos landed him a weekly column (& a lifelong career) in the NY Times called On the Street

He photographed women on the streets of Manhattan with great personal style. These women had no idea they would end up in the Times when they walked out of the house that day. He really changed the game for the paper. The Editor at the time, Arthur Gelb said "It was a turning point for the Times because it was the first time the paper had run pictures of well-known people without getting their permission." (

There is no doubt that Cunningham has paved the way for street fashion photographers, however there have certainly been some changes along the way aside from the clothing. 

Now, with all of the social media, 'street style' has flooded the fashion weeks, including New York's. The people that stood outside of the fashion shows were once known as 'rats', but are now what many people look forward to seeing. There are countless blogs, articles and entire website dedicated to photographing and criticizing these people of the streets. So much so that designers have taken notice and have jumped on the bandwagon. Many designers have been reported to strategically dress these people on the street so they would be photographed in their clothing. During New York, or Mercedes Benz fashion week, street style has become such a phenomenon that people come from near and far just in hopes they will be photographed for their wardrobe that day. It has become a real spectator sport.


Personally, I love looking at the street style during NY fashion week. There are so many crazy looks that people somehow make look effortless. I think that's what it is about. For all we know, these people could have been saving up for that outfit for months or thrifting for the perfect pieces over the years just in hopes they would be photographed outside a fashion show. However, if these people can manage to make it look like they casually threw their outfit together and they're just these amazingly styling people, they have a chance at getting their photo taken. Of course, I am not by any means implying that everyone walking around NY fashion week are some kind of posers, but it is what makes it so fun for me because we do not know these people. Their lives are not publicized and although they are like celebrities for the day, they are fresh faces that kind of make you feel like "wow I could wear that too!". 

     If I were to have a NY fashion week blog, I imagine that I would like to be more like Bill Cunningham. I love the idea that his photographs were of pictures of women in these impromptu outfits (in the sense that they didn't plan on being photographed). I feel like it gives a much more authentic vibe. Today, I imagine that it would be hard to capture a very impromptu photo with all of the social media and the expectations that come with NY fashion week. My philosophy would be something along the lines of try to capture the most authentically, unplanned photo. I also love the idea of picturing stylish older women like those pictured in advanced style. I think the way they dress is so fun and unique. It seems very personal and like nothing you would see on the streets on NY fashion week. The things that really catch my eye are what's different and not 'trendy'.

Monday, December 14, 2015


Michelle Phan is a beauty guru who started her journey of fame and success on Youtube. Shortly after gathering a significant amount of following, she started her own blog in the year 2007, which turned into a website through which she sells her products (Em Cosmetics, a book on makeup, and a beauty goodies box subscription), and gets paid for advertisements from various companies. Besides the business portion, Michelle blogs about 5 categories: Beauty, Fashion, Wellness, Knowledge, and Art.

I have no favorite, but I do gravitate more towards 2 categories over the rest, particularly the Beauty and Fashion sections. On Youtube, Michelle's channel's purpose and goal were to empower girls and women alike to be their best and to appreciate who and what they are by providing makeup tutorials, beauty remedies, beauty & fashion tips and advises, and outfit ideas. These are reflected on her website, as well. On her Beauty section, Michelle encourages self-love and expression. Like on her blog post entitled, Different Cultures & Their Beauty Perceptions, she talks about the differences in people, their looks and their beauty perceptions. She also talks about the perception of perfection in society, emphasizing the need to embrace what we love, what makes us happy, and what makes us confident- not what the world wants us to want. Nothing beats beauty when it comes to personal style :)

Now, the most fun part--> FASHION!

One post I really liked, which I reposted and shared on my Facebook profile, was one entitled How to  Rock Pastels in the Fall. She mentions how the common belief is that light colors are a no-no in the fall and winter seasons. However, she says, who's to say what you can and can't wear? This particular blog post teaches women/girls who like and/or want to wear light colors in the cooler seasons how to do so in a way that doesn't exactly scream 'rebel', but lets them show their style comfortably in public.

(Cozy, not springy! says Michelle)

(Pretty self-explanatory, but a great read nonetheless:

Now, if I were to create my own blog (OMG I would love that, BTW), I think I would copy Michelle's style. She just makes the reader feel so special that she (the reader) gets excited and anticipates the next upcoming blog. She even calls everyone dreamers, reminding us to follow our hearts, what we want to wear, what makes us stand tall, and what makes us smile. It shall be called Princess Material. Topics include, but aren't limited to, beauty, fashion, love, travels, interior designing, food (every lady wants to impress that guy, right?), arts & crafts, and everything in between!

I'd make everything pink, elegant like Audrey Hepburn, and Sixteen Candles-themed. Sixteen Candles meaning my posts dive into what all girls and women have gone through and relate to, like our most anticipated Sweet Sixteen parties and adolescence. I wanna make it interactive, giving my subscribers the option to post, repost, reply, and perhaps even edit some of my posts (Wikipedia-style). It'll be our own little world, girlies ---> NO BOYS ALLOWED! ;)

It shall be inspirational!


Man Repeller is a blog created by Leandra Medine and at first mention of the title, if you've never read it, you're probably thinking oh a feminist male bashing point of view with daily rants posted on the internet...gee we've never seen that before!  However although Man Repeller is defined as "Good fashion is about pleasing women, not men, so as it happens, the trends that we love, men hate.  And that is fantastic".  So this blog isn't about loathing men as it is about pleasing ourselves.  We are taught as a society that young women from an early age should dress to "flatter" and "dress to impress" and we are programmed to think will men find me attractive in this or that?  The point is that most fashion, the kind that we like anyway, has nothing to do with men.  Leandra Medine proved that with her brainchild...the blog Man Repeller.  Her fashion is gutsy and makes a statement "here I am!  love it or hate I don't care either way."  The exact opposite of what society imposes on women from a fashionable perspective.  Even in today's blogs women are made up and a lot of these young bloggers have clothes fit to accentuate curves...Leandra Medine accentuates her personality in every photo which makes her attractive, real, and pretty hot if you ask me!  I mean anyone that can pull off a motorcycle jacket (and not in a biker gang) for her wedding day is cool by any fashion standard.  Man Repeller also is now a collaborative effort of different writers featuring articles, not just pretty pictures (like some blogs! offense to you cute bloggers with your boyfriends (/photographer) in tow), that are socially not just fashionably relevant.  One article featured under Culture publicizes an essay written "Women Come in All Shapes and Sizes", and Leandra Medine takes a no holds bard approach where nothing is off limits for example, when she got engaged she faced some backlash from fans now that the Man Repeller herself was getting married would she stay true to herself and more recently revealing her "Pregnancy Pause" the fears and frustrations that come along with the "we're trying" to conceive.  But that is what this blog is, a conversation, a relationship with a woman (and her "team") that seems real and approachable and reminds us women that fashion is supposed to be fun and about "us" not them (your boyfriend, husband, get the idea)
not to mention Man Repeller also has its own dictionary where words and terms such as "Fay-Sexual" are defined and the words such as "Tacky" are debunked.  We all have a little, well hopefully a lot of man repelling in us, and Leandra Medine reminds us to celebrate it and show off our a pair of overalls hopefully!

Personal Style Blog- Final assignment

Upon starting my personal style blog I would have to go deep into my spirit and see what truly moves me in clothing.  What is it that makes me feel "confident", secure, sexy and free?  I would have to describe my personal style as having influences from nature, art, and life.  Some may call it funky yet classy, others would say it is influenced with a bohemian twist.  I would want to express my feminine goddess that lives inside, and unleash her onto the world. Although my vibe would be one where I want to express freedom and creativity, I also would like my outfits to be constructed in such a way, that if I added a jacket or different accessories, I would be able to make most of them professionally suitable, when necessary.
My style would not be confined to a specific
garment or overall "look".
I would prefer to have my clothing
be recognized by the vibe that it
projects onto the world.
I would also be very socially conscious as to where and how my clothes were made. 
With the "hippie spirit", it would only make sense for my blog to have a social justice component to it. 
My philosophy would emphasize the fact that we only have one planet, and one body, we need to treat both of them with love and care.  All wild things tend to be more beautiful. 


Flowering Canopy
Rainbow Mountains of China

Calling all Models- Assignment 5

If your looking for bright lights, big personalities and a city that never sleeps New York comes to mind.  If your looking for fashion in New York, you can always find it but, for that explosive collection of new designs from all over the world you would want to attend New York Fashion Week.  New York Fashion week is a semi-annual event which is held in the months of September and February generally taking place for 7-9 days.  It is a time were international fashion collections are put on display for buyers, the general public and the press.  It is not surprising that New York Fashion Week is home of one of the worlds four major fashion weeks.  Other cities in the "Big 4 Include Paris, Miami, and London. 

Models walk down the runway as the press, public, and buys enjoy the collection.
Fashion productions take place all over the city some are independent while others are branded events such as Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. A calendar of the city wide events that tale place is kept by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  With all the commotion and prestige it is no coincidence that there is a huge influx of hundreds of models trying to earn there way on the catwalk. 

The models are the canvas to the fashion designs.  Without models clothes would merely be shown on a rack and what fun would there be in that.  However, not everyone can be a model for New York Fashion Week and there are certain criteria and high standards you have to meet before you can even think about going on a casting call. 

There are requirements each model has to meet before she can be casted.  Women must be at least 5'9 or taller in bare feet. Dress size 0-4, Age 18-25, must be healthy in good physical shape, have clear unblemished skin (on the face and body), straight white teeth, no tan lines, no obvious scars, no excessive tattoos or piercings, you will be asked to walk, and you will be asked to show your legs, arms, and back to see if you can model open back gowns.
Let's not forget the competition is fierce with hundreds of woman from all over the world looking for their shot to rock the runway.

If you are called for the casting call, you are required to bring composite cards.  Composite cards are cards that hold information about the model such as: height, weight, waist size, hip size, dress size, shoe size, hair color, eye color, and bust.
Models arrive at the casting calls with simple outfits and no make up, so the casting team can see them in their most bare form. They also must bring a pair of high heels so they can show off the casting team their walk.
Casting Team meets to discuss requirements and what there clients are looking for in their models.
Model at a casting call.  No make up and simple clothes.

Models take head shots, at the casting calls.  Headshots along with their composite cards, and casting directors notes are collected and used as reference material over the next couple of months.

Models are then expected to walk in front of the casting team.  Sometimes being critiqued and given direction as to how they should be walking on a New York runway.  Which is known for a fast-paced, staccato walk.

Even in a room filled with beautiful women, there are certain models who seem to stand out from the rest.  The presence that they carrying is something that can be felt and is undeniable.  During one casting call Andrew Weir  owner of ACW Worldwide, describes Vika Falileeva as  "rare combination of all things good — all things that make a model a model. Strength, height, symmetry, confidence, an amazing walk, an amazing presence, beautiful skin, beautiful hair, perfectly proportioned — an amazing girl."

Vika Falileeva- The "IT Factor"
After the New York Fashion Week Casting, models will be scene going to their next audition.  There bookers will keep them busy throughout the city.  Best of luck to all the lovely ladies looking to make it big in the Big Apple.



Assignment 4- NIKE

     Nike is a company that was founded in 1964 by a track coach and a runner Bill Bowerman and Phillip Knight as Blue Ribbon Sports.  In 1978 the company changed its name to Nike Inc.  The name was chosen as a reference to the Greek Goddess of Victory.  Nike is apparel that is geared towards athletes so the choice to have the brand named after a reference to victory makes a lot of sense.  What athlete ever wants defeat?  

It's mission statement is "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world." 

Bill Bowerman the co-founder and University of Oregon field and track coach said "If you have a body, you are an athlete."
A Nike Advertisement in Paris
Nike is known world wide by its "check mark like" logo, which in fact is not a check mark at all.  The Nike logo is known as the Nike Swoosh, and it is a representation of motion and speed.  The simplicity and symbolism of their logo has made the company recognizable internationally.
Nikes world wide motto is "Just do it".  Just do it has been their motto for over three decades.  Another simple yet effecting marketing tool. It was used to reach their original target market of 18-40 year old males.  It happened to stick and now is a synonym for Nike. No excuses, just get up and do it because you can.  I think those three small worlds are also very psychologically motivating.
Nike is known to have celebrity endorsements.  The celebrities superstar "bad ass" athletes.  If the greatest people in a sport are wearing the brand then maybe there is something about the brand that is also great.  (At least this is how people look at it.)  The fact that their bodies are in perfect shape and their personas are known to conquer doesn't hurt either. 
Micheal Jordan Endorsing Nike

Nike has managed to become an internally recognized brand.  Reflecting athleticism, speed, motivation and victory onto the world.  Nike continues to use celebrity endorsements and I believe always will you the most elite of athletes to show the value of their company.  The company can also be seen as using motivational quotes to gear to the appeal of their audience.

Epic Dunk Shot
However the brand has promoted itself so much over the past couple decades that the symbols alone and products are enough to get their message across.  Sometimes they use faceless models and other times just their product.

Faceless ad- with motivational quote
Notice how the shadow illustrates
strength, and the tiny swoosh on her shorts
Nike has become a master of getting their image across onto the world.  From their use of motivational quotes, to the endorsement of top athletes.  Their name in and of itself mean victory, and that is what they are portraying onto the consumer.  Even there simple symbol is able to make be want to "just do it."