Monthly Archives: September 2012

“Rider” bag marries form & function

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Photos: courtesy of Loeffler

By Katie Castillo

Loeffler Randall recently debuted their fall collection, and one bag is already catching the eye of every stylish girl on campus. Properly named the “Rider” bag, it is specifically designed to fit into a bicycle basket– and relieve you of those awkward purse-is-falling-off-my-shoulder-while-riding-my-bike-past-cute-boy moments.

Besides being compatible with a college girl’s commuter dilemmas, the bag is schoolgirl chic. With its classic shape, all-leather exterior and functional top handle/shoulder strap combination, the “Rider” is both polished and functional. It opens to a spacious interior with separate slots that hold your tablet, phone and school supplies. With two discreet straps on the back, it conveniently attaches to a bicycle basket so it doesn’t fall out while you’re rushing to class. Let’s be honest though: This purse will spend more time on your arm than in your bicycle basket.

The bag can be ordered through Loeffler Randall.


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SPOTTED: Leopard Lovers

By Katie Castillo & Demi Stanley


As Elle magazine online notes, “Some of trendiest graphic prints come straight from mother nature herself.” And leopard seems to be mother nature’s most popular print this fall.  Anywhere you go, you’re sure to spot a fashionista wearing leopard.  On everything from skirts and bags to sandals and slippers, this bold look is invading the campus habitat.  And SMU girls know how to pull it off.

A classic staple, leopard is the most versatile print. The neutral blacks and browns complement most any color.  For autumn, try pairing it with rich navy, burgundy or forest green. Make a statement in ladylike leopard pumps or transform into a bohemian goddess in a flowing leopard dress — the possibilities are endless.

Photo credit: Katie Castillo


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New collection brings SoHo style to Target

By Ginna Wilbanks

Entering the Kirna Zabete boutique on Greene Street, located in New York City’s chic SoHo section, is like setting foot into fashionista Heaven.

Cheery red, yellow and pink structural accents, hip beats bumping from the speakers and the high likelihood of a celebrity run-in provide the ideal backdrop for a candy shop-like experience.

The rainbow rows of Stella McCartney, Azzedine Alaia, Erdem and Peter Pilotto garments are drool-worthy, and the clear cases stocked with a seemingly endless supply of gleaming Eddie Borgo, Lynn Ban and Shourouk bangles and baubles make it impossible to pick just one piece.

Faced with all this high-end eye candy, fashionistas on a college budget may find it difficult to resist temptation, despite Kirna Zabete’s equally high-end prices.

Happily, the famine may be over: Every girl can now be a part of the Kirna Zabete craze.

The Kirna Zabete for Target line debuted Sept. 9 as part of Target’s latest concept, “The Shops at Target.”

The collection gives you access to on-trend pieces similar to the bank-breaking ones sold at Kirna Zabete, but without the cost.

Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, co-owners of the exclusive and cutting-edge SoHo boutique, collaborated with Target designers to create a line of clothing with a high-end aesthetic but a low-end price range.

They produced a line with great basics as well as trendy pieces that will push buyers to stretch their fashion comfort zones.

Photo courtesy of

The best friends and co-owners discussed their motives behind the collection during an interview for “A Bullseye View,” Target’s behind-the-scenes sneak peak at upcoming collaborative collections.

“We wanted the collection to be an attitude. The inspiration is how to bring downtown cool to America,” Buccini says.

Easley adds that the collection is user-friendly, but “you’ll look different from everyone else.”

The style mavens suggest mixing prints, adding red lips or throwing on a vibrant and unexpected accessory for extra oomph.

The shimmering blue fireball earrings or the teal fedora, paired with an arm party of the red and pink rhinestone bracelets, will spice up any outfit.

Photo courtesy of

If you’ve been lusting after fashion-forward Peter Pilotto pieces, Buccini and Easley have created original prints with a similar look for $39.99. Favorites include the patterns “Parisian Night” and “Kirna Kiss” to mix and match.

SMU fashionista and Pi Beta Phi President Kimbrell Hughes is not one to shy away from holding court in a bold print or eye-catching color combination.

Hughes says, “I love the Parisian Night shirtdress because of the funky print and versatility of the piece.  During the day I need to dress somewhat conservatively for meetings, but the print takes this from a simple shirtdress into something I can spice up at night with heels, jewelry and possibly a red lip.”

Photo courtesy of the Target Lookbook

And those who worry that a lower price point could mean shoddy construction need not fear: The leather legging, tuxedo-boyfriend blazer and floral trench could all easily be mistaken for duds sporting designer labels.

When SMU senior and self-proclaimed shopaholic Tracy Giesler plucked the KZ for Target black leather skirt from a recently opened Kirna Zabete box, she proclaimed, “Good god, how much money did you blow buying this skirt?”

The look on her face when she found out it cost a whopping $39.99 was priceless.

Photo courtesy of the Target Lookbook

Whether you pair the collection pieces with combat boots or ballet flats, you’ll reach true stylista status without maxing out your credit card.

So when you’re rocking the Boulevard with the typical SMU fashionista swagger, no one will be able to tell the difference between your KZ for Target leather jacket and the pricey Rick Owens piece hanging on the rack at Kirna Zabete.

Now that is something every college girl can appreciate.

The collection can be bought at various Target stores or online.

Buccini and Easley rocking fearless fashion
Photo courtesy of




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Ralph Lauren hires first plus-size model

By Daniella Lopez

Robyn Lawley for Ralph Lauren campaign

Ralph Lauren has come a long way from using Photoshop on advertisements to make models look thinner than their already size 0 figures.

Model Filippa Hamilton — extremely retouched to look skinnier than her already size-0 figure

The brand recently hired a plus-size model for an advertising campaign.

Australian beauty Robyn Lawley is the first plus-size model to appear in an ad for the high-end fashion designer.  The 6-foot-2, size-12 model has already graced the cover of magazines such as Vogue Italia and French Elle.

On Good Morning America, Lawley said she once struggled to keep up with the skinny demands of the modeling industry and, at age 16, needed to take a break.

Critics have long argued that the constant appearance of rail-thin, flawless models has affected the body image of young American women, in particular.

And statistics certainly suggest that young women and girls are obsessed with being thin.  According to the South Carolina Department of Mental Health:

  • Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents
  • 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25
  • 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight
  • 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight

Now, at the age of 23, Lawley’s confidence in her own body image is clearly visible.

Can this plus-size beauty help change Americans’ perceptions of beauty? Maybe the days of Marilyn Monroe’s coveted size 12 figure can be recaptured.  We can all hope.

Marilyn Monroe, size 12

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Philip Treacy returns to the runway in colorful style

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by Tanisha Boyd

After a 13-year hiatus from the runway, milliner Philip Treacy made a splash at London Fashion Week with his whimsical designs featuring a cast of all black models (including Jourdan Dunn and Alek Wek), a first of its kind.

Wearing hat designs inspired by the late King of Pop, 25 women strutted the runway clad in Michael Jackson’s fashion-forward clothing, all borrowed from his costume designers.

Lady Gaga, who once interned for Treacy, kicked off the awe-inspiring show dressed head-to-toe (literally) in a pink-tinted sheer frock — as only a pop diva can:  “Ladies and gentlemen, the greatest milliner in the world, Philip Treacy.”

Courtesy of Getty Images


Treacy does have quite a following.  His designs were recently spotted outfitting the heads of notable guests at the royal wedding.

Treacy spoke to The London Evening Standard about the inspiration for his Fashion Week extravaganza:  “The show was a homage to the African woman and their sensibility to dress up.”

Catherine Kallon, founder of fashion blog, writes that the diverse moments on the runway represented by Treacy’s show are still few and far between.

“I would love for there to be a day when these moments are considered the norm,” Kallon says.  “We’ve had the Vogue ’all black’ issue, and the first six models to take to the runway for the Bottega Veneta Spring 2012 show were all black, but these moments are few and far between.  It is hard to judge whether they truly have impact on the industry as a whole or are just seen as a gimmick. I fear the latter.”

While diversity on the runway has a long road to travel, Treacy’s statement-making show was certainly a welcome step in the right direction.

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These boots are made for boulevarding

By Natalie Konstant

I was getting my nails done in my hometown of Chicago when the manicurist asked where I went to college.  “I go to SMU… in Dallas,” I replied.  The woman giggled and said, “So you’re a cowgirl?” I laughed.

I have lived in Chicago my entire life and it’s true I hadn’t owned a pair of cowboy boots until I ventured west to SMU.

But as I rushed to get ready for the first home football game this fall, you can be sure I was wearing them.  And I wasn’t the only one.

On game day, Western-style boots of every height, color and print made a mark on the lawn in front of Dallas Hall. “I think students are embracing the fact that they go to school in Texas,” says junior Layne Rissolo.

The good news: Whether we have adopted a cowgirl aesthetic, or are just embracing Texas culture, SMU girls are at the forefront of a trend.  In fact, cowboy boots are the new “must have” item.

Top style makers such as Jimmy Choo, Isabel Marant and Michael Kors, as well as celebrity trendsetters Ashley Oslen, Kate Bosworth and Jessica Simpson have incorporated this Western-inspired trend into their lines and looks. And I think we would all agree that Ashley Olsen doesn’t scream cowgirl  — although Simpson did grow up here in Dallas.

So where can you get a pair?

Scoop, located in Highland Park Village, carries some of the latest cowboy-inspired boots, including designers Rag & Bone, Matt Bernson and Pedro Garcia.

Scoop stylist Rachel Norris says she loves mixing the rugged boots with designer wear. For instance, “You can put these [Rag & Bone boots] with a Stella McCartney dress, ” she says.

Norris describes this look as “music festival chic.” “Girls want to look like they just left Coachella,” says Norris.

The “it” boot of the moment is Rag & Bone’s “Harrow” in burgundy. However, if the ankle boot isn’t for you, Matt Bernson’s “Sloane Suede Fringe Boots” are perfect for day and night. Check out both boots at any Scoop store or online.

So as you can see, this latest trend is here to stay– and not just in Texas.



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A guys’ guide to fall fashion

By Mercedes Owens & Jared Monmouth


It’s no secret that the men of SMU love their pastel khakis, Polo button-downs and Sperry Topsider boat shoes.

But with the new fall trends out for 2012, now is the time to trade the pastels of summer for deep greens, bordeauxs and the ever popular blues.

For some guys, adapting the latest fashion trends to suit their own unique look isn’t the easiest thing to do.

Salvador Martinez, a mensware stylist at Dallas’ terribly chic Stanley Korshak, says it’s all about making choices that complement your own personal style.  Martinez says a sense of style is developed over time.

“You’ve got to be thinking all the time,” he says.

So guys:  Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and try something new.  Martinez believes that it’s extremely important to “switch it around, switch it around and switch it around.”

What’s another one of Martinez’ crucial fashion rules?

“You’ve got to be creative.”

Of course, creativity can be interpreted in many different ways.

SMU graduate student Faron Vassen doesn’t think that his style can be categorized.

“I try to be timeless. I don’t try to fit into a category,” Vassen says.

While Vassen has no labels for his personal style, he knows exactly what fashion label he would put on SMU.

“It’s pretty preppy,” says Vassen. “There’s not a lot of hipsters around.  Everybody is pretty traditional.”

Sam Lee is a freshman at SMU.  He says he’s not sure how to define his style, but Lee says he recognizes the role fashion plays at SMU.

“I’ve talked about fashion more here at SMU than I have in my entire life,” Lee says. “I just put on whatever I can grab closest to me,” says Lee, clad in cargo shorts, a cotton tee and flip-flops.

Gabriel Towles, a senior advertising major, says his style diverges from the SMU norm.

“I would definitely say my style is a lot different,” Towles says.

Towles has a flair for what many would call “street style.”  A typical outfit: a cream-colored, button-up polo shirt under a crimson cardigan, navy blue Levi jeans and Nike “Dunk” sneakers with just a hint of purple to match Towles’ MLB “All-Star Game ‘99” hat.

“I think the people around me are a lot more preppy and calculated with their style, which is cool sometimes,” Towles said. ”But, as for me, I’m trying to be as eclectic and different as possible, while still trying to be tasteful.”

Despite their differences, it’s safe to say that Vassen, Lee and Towles all agree that fashion is a dominant force at SMU and is unique for every clique.

 With this in mind, we’ve put together a few fall looks for each school on campus.

 Who can object? Dedman School of Law

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What jury won’t vote in your favor if you’ve got all your checks and balances in order? Don’t forget your denim button-down shirts and light khaki pants. When these are paired with a textured sweater or checkered sport coats, you can’t go wrong. For a more relaxed look, stick with bordeaux cable knit sweaters — and don’t forget a parka with a fur-lined hood for a touch of luxury.

 Lyle in style

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 Lyle may get a nerdy rep, but engineering majors can be as sophisticated as they are smart.  Looking smooth in Lambswool cardigans and striped sweaters, these guys look just as cool in cashmere. Olive barn jackets from J. Crew complement the engineering look perfectly, and you can’t forget the beanies and trendy men’s bags. (LEFT Burberry Prorsum, MIDDLE J.Crew RIGHT Gant Rugger)

 Strictly business in Cox

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 Business majors, for this fall season it’s time to embrace these three little words: Three piece suit. This is an essential for every guy’s wardrobe this year. The traditional look brings a fresh and cool vibe while displaying what a little bit of good tailoring can do.  Not to mention it’s versatile: Remove the vest and you’ve got an entirely new look.

 Perfection in Perkins

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Plaids, checks, and tweeds are all over the fall trend reports, showing that the Summer Olympic Games weren’t all that London influenced this year. These looks from J.Crew, Maison Kitsuné and Ami give a perfect balance of class and sophistication with a little bit of fun. What better way to keep warm during those long nights of studying in Bridwell Library then to layer a sleek sweater underneath a Euro-inspired sport coat.

 Show-stoppin’ Simmons

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 Simmons students are cool, but not over the top.  This cotton-cashmere zip hoodie is excellent for layering with jackets and coats.  Fitted baseball caps and snapbacks can accentuate the outfit, especially in a complementary color. Add a pair of Converse, Vans or even Sperrys to finish off the look.  (TOP LEFT Maison Kitsuné BOTTOM LEFT Converse RIGHT J.Crew)

 Dedman fashion: Down to a science

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 Dedman Life Sciences students have a lot to wrap their heads around in class, but style is a problem with an easy solution.  Navy is easy, so weave it into your outfit’s pallet with a toggle jacket.  Jeans are always in season and accessible, just make sure they match your loafers.  Basic fleeces and broken-in pocket polo shirts are also trendy and casual.

 Meadows, Thou ART so trendy

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 Meadows students are busy, but in the school of the arts, fashion is almost never put on the backburner. Puff pieces and scarves are in season, coupled with a sweater and Levi 501’s.  For the hipster types, Navajo-print anything can work well, as long as it’s not overdone, combined with “nerdy” frames from Urban or Super Sunglasses. Shoes are simple: Common Projects, Brogues and even tasteful sneakers.  Think vintage.

Playin’ it cool with the Jocks

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Athletes are always on the go, usually coming from workouts, practice or class. But the athletic type can still look nice while strolling across campus. For those  who want both comfort and style,  sneakers like New Balance 998’s or Nike Air Max 1’s will easily get the job done. For “sneakerheads” and those who know how to wear them, you can never count out a pair of Jordan’s. But for the more casual athlete, the Common Projects shoe brings classic elements to mind with its patent leather and white sole. As far as dressing for the fall, you can never go wrong with a black Bape jacket, J. Crew hoodie and some  Levi’s khaki commuters. Button-ups can work, but a tasteful tee can work just as well.

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SMU creates new generation of fashion bloggers

Meg Jones, SMU alum and creator of the blog Styled, Spotted, Snapped, poses for an outfit post to feature on her blog.

By Margaret Brown

When strolling the Boulevard on a typical school day at Southern Methodist University, it’s not uncommon to see girls adorned in designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, David Yurman and Chanel.

A strong fashion presence is hard to ignore on campus, and many stylish co-eds seem to have found that the world of fashion and lifestyle blogging is a genre that fits seamlessly into our collegiate landscape.

“I think what sets SMU apart from other schools is the quality of the blogs that are coming out of SMU,” says Meg Jones, SMU alum and creator of the blog Styled, Spotted, Snapped. “We are lucky to have an amazing Fashion Media program that helps shape the fundamentals of blogging.”

However, long before the Fashion Media program reached fruition, alumnae including Amber Venz creator of VenzEdits, Merritt Beck of The Style Scribe and Mary Summers of M.A.S. Fashion were making a name for themselves in the Dallas fashion world through their personal blogs. Now they are helping a new generation of SMU fashion bloggers create a path for themselves.

“Those girl have been so helpful in helping me start my own blog,” says Madison Eberenz, SMU alum and creator of the blog Fifth & Madison. “They’ve recommended graphic designers, shared what makes them so successful and helped us get off on the right foot.”

While getting advice from veterans can help, a young blogger may still face a challenge creating consistent content that is relevant, interesting and visually appealing. Young professionals or college students may also have trouble finding the time to maintain all facets of a blog while balancing it with a new career or schoolwork.

“I try and keep my blog fresh and exciting, but that is a constant battle,” says Allison Hollins, an SMU alum and creator of the blog Love You, Mean It.  “A few months ago my blog went under a major re-design. I was so excited to give it a new look that was clean and pretty.

“The one thing people don’t understand is how long it takes to create one post. Blogging is very time consuming. It is hard to find the time to create fun, exciting new posts and still have a life.”

Brooke Reagan, an SMU junior journalism major and founder of the blog Brooke du Jour, says she uses her blog as a way to escape the demands of schoolwork and schedules time to blog into her day. However, Reagan realizes that her blog could one day be used not only as a creative outlet but also as a tool in acquiring an internship or job.

“I would really like to use it to get a great internship,” Reagan says. “Ultimately I would like to work at a fashion magazine. I would love to work at Marie ClaireGlamour or InStyle because I feel like my voice aligns with those publications. They’re all fun and flirty.”

Jones, who was the editor of the campus fashion and lifestyle blog, SMUStyle last year,  is now an account consultant along with Hollins and Eberenz at rewardStyle, a company founded by Venz, which is designed to help fashion and lifestyle bloggers monetize their online content. Through her experience with other bloggers, Jones has gained insight and knowledge into the keys of a successful blog.

“Anyone who is looking for a creative outlet to showcase ideas should absolutely start a blog, but make sure you go into it with a game plan,” Jones says. “What are you going to post about? What is your voice? How frequently are you going to post? Having a blog is so much more than just a URL. It’s curating an entire digital brand.”

The new generation of SMU bloggers is coming into a market where the growth of social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter demands they become expert at utilizing many different social media outlets. In addition to maintaining their own site, bloggers have found that establishing a presence on these platforms can help them build a cohesive online brand.

“Social media is so important,” Eberenz says. “You might have a completely different audience on Pinterest than the audience that keeps up with your blog. I’ve found that Pinterest has been more successful for me. I think people are more apt to click through on a beautiful image than a link on someone’s Twitter.”

Thus, as the social media landscape changes due to technological advances and the creation of new platforms, so does the blogosphere. Even though Eberenz, Jones, Reagan and Hollins are relatively new to the fashion blogging scene, they realize that blogging will continue to mold and shift in the future.

“In the past five years, fashion blogging has transformed dramatically,” Hollins says. “Five years ago it was an untapped market and now it’s super saturated. In the next five years I think we will see even more changes in blogging.”

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“Red out” on the Boulevard

By:  Thalia Pedrotti and Megan Rutledge


Photo Credit: Thalia Pedrotti and Megan Rutledge


SMU students rallied for the Mustangs with a fashion “red out” for the A&M game. Fun pants were a staple, whether in the form of colored jeans, Nantucket reds, or crazy patterns. Girls topped their red pants with a great belt, paired simply with a blue or muted blouse. The best looks were both casual and elegant. These ensembles were effortlessly jazzed up with a statement necklace and a classic handbag or fun clutch. The boys of the boulevard played up their classic preppy look with patriotic patterns and color combinations. All ingredients for a great- looking pre-game show.

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Lace shorts: Feminine and fun for any season

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By Thalia Pedrotti and Megan Rutledge



It seems like nobody can get over lace shorts this season. These Spanish lace shorts by Nightcap add a feminine touch to any outfit and can be dressed up or down. If ultra-feminine is not your style, pair your lace shorts with combat boots to add a more edgy look to your outfit.  It is this versatility that makes lace shorts so great and easy to wear. As we prepare for fall, keep these shorts in your closet. They can be  season appropriate when paired with a sweater.

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