Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Big Ten for the Big D

By Megan Rutledge

Photo Credit: Ray Ban, Halston Heritage via Marie Claire, Pencey via ShopBop, Isabel Marant via Barney’s, Céline, Etsy, Zara, Margiela via Forty-Five Ten, Manolo Blahnik via Barney’s, J.Brand via Inside Rainbow, Lauren Ralph Lauren via Bloomingdale’s

Miuccia Prada once said, “What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”

For the SMU girl, this language is one we speak fluently. In a world of ever-changing trends, timeless style is our aim. But each season we’re left to wonder: Are our favorite items from last year still legit? And what do we get rid of to make room in our closets for new additions?

Sometimes, the dilemma may be as simple as how to make that shirt or pant you impulsively splurged on work for the rest of your seriously stylish wardrobe. That’s why every SMU fashionista should take five and get back to basics– making sure she has pieces in her wardrobe that will work with anything in her closet, during any season, without fail.

For advice on these wardrobe essentials, I turned to the expertise of fashion guru Kristie Ramirez, style editor of Texas Monthly and creator of the blog Texas Style & Substance. Below is Ramirez’ list of “10 essentials” that every Texas girl should have.  But remember: The key to embracing your true style is adding a touch of personality to everything you wear.  So adapt these guidelines to your own personal fashion formula.

1) Sunglasses that frame your face should be in every SMU girl’s handbag if they are not already resting on her head. Try a bunch of different styles and shapes– and shamelessly spend some quality time checking them out in the mirror. A lady’s favorite shades act as herwardrobe’s “Dark Knight.” The right pair can “save face” in more ways than one—whether by covering signs of exhaustion, or shielding your eyes when you’ve had a night. If you’re looking for a long-term commitment, Ray Ban gold aviators. “They never go out of style,” says Ramirez.

2) A white dress, or all-white outfit. For dresses, think in terms of one you love that will look good next year, too (God forbid!). There’s nothing more stressful for Boulevard regulars than trying to find an outfit for a post-Labor Day game “white out.”  When buying a white dress, go for a clean, classic cut.  Above all,  look for a silhouette that complements your shape and style. As fun as frill can be, you’ll have less freedom to accessorize and personalize. And the last thing you want to have to ask yourself before strolling to the Boulevard: “Do I look like a doily?”  Ramirez recommends: “Pair a white dress with a denim jacket or blazer to update.”

3) Cowboy boots, y’all. Whether you’re a native Texan, New England prepster or California dreamer, these boots are a nod to the tokenism of going to school in the Big D. That said, they are a must.  Ramirez recommends trying out Dolly Python if you’re in the market for a vintage find. For the cowboy boot ideal, think Wild West meets high fashion — “with some modern flair, like the ones that came down the fall runway from Isabel Maran,” Ramirez explains.

4) Two bags every woman should own. One of these essential bags should be a structured, everyday tote.  The other should be a versatile evening clutch. For the evening bag, Ramirez notes, “A fun clutch would be a Céline multicolored zip-top pouch.”

5) Something monogrammed. Don’t overdo it. The perks of the monogram are countless. Plus, there’s no risk of it being borrowed by “that” friend — only to go MIA in the Narnia that is her closet. Ramirez borrows from the boys: “I’d have the cuff of a button down monogrammed with my initials.”

6) A classic blazer.  Preferably one that isn’t slim fit, since at times, collegiate life and fluctuating size seem to go hand in hand.  You want the jacket to be comfortable, but not so loose that you look like you borrowed it from a member of the football team. Ramirez suggests: “For something inexpensive, try Zara. They always carry them [blazers] no matter the season.”

7), A great pair of loafers or flats. Think of a timelessly classic pair (“Oh, these old things!?”). These flats should have “breaking-in” potential — see Prada, Gucci or Tod’s. Ramirez recommends mixing it up, “go modern with a mens-style lace-up brogue,” best done by Margiela and Lanvin. Or, for a similar pair that won’t blow your monthly budget, Ramirez suggests, head to Steve Madden or Nordstrom.

8) Heels you can walk in for more than three seconds.  For stems that won’t let you down, “I’d go with something super classic,” Ramirez says. “I’m obsessed right now with Manolo Blahniks. Simple heels that aren’t overly tricky take a person of an established confidence to wear. It says look at me, not my ridiculous shoes.” Well put, and I must add, preferably in black or nude.

9) A pair of jeans that can take you to the clubs or the library. This really comes down to the basics of what fits you best. The only advice in finding the right brand/pair is to try, try, try.

10) A signature jewelry piece. Whether it’s a string of pearls, Cartier love bracelet (if you’re that awesome), insignia ring, a David Yurman or stack thereof, a great watch, or something else that is uniquely you. For Ramirez, it’s her Cartier love bracelet. She also suggests: “Always have a pair of gold hoop earrings, gold studs and some kind of head-turning statement necklace. That, good shoes and a quality handbag — and the rest of your outfit will always work.”

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Fashion Blogs: Inspiration for Creative Style, Lifestyle, Life

By Hillary Johnson

You’re walking down the street.  Suddenly, your eye catches a woman wearing a stylish striped shirt, tall knee-high leather boots and a vibrantly colored patterned skirt.

The next day, you’re in your closet and find yourself thinking about that same outfit. Inspired, you pattern your outfit for the day after your new fashion “muse.”

Although Webster’s New World College Dictionary offers several defitions for “style,” the one best suited to this discussion is “the current fashionable way of dressing, speaking, acting.”  In turn, the best definition for “inspiration” found was “any stimulus to creative thought or action.”

But what exactly is style inspiration and where do we get it?  Following these definitions, style inspiration is when you are inspired to express yourself in a creative way through your choice of clothing and accessories.

In turn, the styles or fashions we choose to wear help define us.  They create the face we show to the world, and every little accessory contributes to the overall effect.

And style inspiration can come from anywhere: a family member, your best friend, a store window.  But many of those style inpirations come from media, fashion media.

Fashion Media & the Digital Age

For years, the “women’s” or “fashion” section of the daily newspaper or or a handful of magazines — most of which covered everything from recipes to cleaning tips as well as fashion — dominated the “fashion media” mass market.  There was, of course, one exception.

Vogue, the queen of high-fashion magazines, was founded in 1892.  It has been providing brilliant writing and creative vision to readers ever since. Every page offers fashion and style ideas as well the latest runway and “street style” trends and developments.

Vogue cover March 2011
(image from google images)

Each page offers something different to all readers, whether it be the high-fashion elegance of ads from designers like Louis Vuitton, Dior or Oscar de la Renta, or articles about up and coming fashion photographers featuring their remarkable work, each page of the magazine offers something to live by. Celebrities, models and inspirational women from politics and the arts grace the cover of Vogue each month, each one looking sensational.

“I can remember going to my Grandmother’s house and seeing issues of Vogue scattered on the coffee table,” SMU junior Audra Fulp reminisces.

And yes, Vogue and editor Anna Wintour still weild significant power in the fashion industry.  But for young men and women growing up in this digital age, the locus of power has shifted.  Young fashionistas are still inspired by the fierce, beautiful images in Vogue, whether they are scouring the print edition or the one on their iPad.  But it is the multimedia fashion icons, the bloggers, who have become this group’s true style inspiration, muse, friend.

For example, the celebrated French fashion blogger Garance Dore recently visited SMU to speak to members of the Fashion Media minor.  Currently based in New York, the petite, dark-haired Dore — wearing pants, layered shirts, a jacket and dynamite shoes — captivated the packed hall.  Then, after the lecture, the audience of mostly young women rushed the front of the room, eager to meet their idol and have a photo snapped — solid proof that each one had indeed met Dore.

“It was like Mick Jagger was in the room,” says Camille Kraeplin, director of the Fashion Media minor.  ” I knew she [Dore] was very popular, but I didn’t expect that level of excitement.”

In the past, that kind of excitement was usually reserved for TV or film stars, with whom people felt a certain level of intimacy.  I mean, we know so much about Jen (Aniston), it’s as if we know her, right?  Good bloggers create the same aura.  Not only do they share finformation, but they do so in a way that makes their fans feel like their friends.

Fashion, Lifestyle, Life

For today’s generation, the fashion blog has become the online bible for fashionistas to turn to for creative inspiration on everyday trends. Scrolling through page after page of any given style blog, it is not till you’ve reached the top of the blog AGAIN that you realize you’ve been sitting at your computer for hours, imprisoned by stunning images of timeless handbags and marvelously styled shots of pumpkin cheesecake.

Fashion bloggers today take pictures of their own fabulous outfits as well as capturing “streetstyle” fashion, or photos of stylish women in their natural urban habitat – the city streets.

The style blog Cupcakes and Cashmere, launched in 2008 by Emily Schuman, is a favorite of chic young fashion-lovers.  Schuman says her blog is “a way to document the things that inspire [her], which [she’s] since turned into a book of the same name.”

Style blogger, Emily Schuman (taken from google images)

Named No. 9 in the top 99 fashion blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere is known as an influential style blog that keeps readers coming back.

Cupcakes and Cashmere is one of many blogs that not only document the author’s amazing style but also focus on many delicious seasonal recipes, sections on “how to” and “DIY” (do it yourself), as well as a section featuring décor.

The Sartorialist, currently ranked No. 1 among the top 99 blogs, has also generated a lot of interest among young trendsetters.  Founded by photographer Scott Schuman,   it caters to both men and women.  And the blog’s profile has risen along with Schuman’s, whose work been featured in national ad campaigns for brands like Gap and Verizon.

The Sartorialist blogger, Scott Schuman (picture taken from his blog)

Fashion blogs inspire us not only to spice up our dull wardrobes, but also to turn a dusty old bookshelf into a beautiful new centerpiece for a room. Offering a plethora of fashion ideas as well as home design tips, fashion and lifestyle blogs empower readers to be more creative with their style – and their lives.

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Pretty in Pink — Wedding Dresses

Margaret Brown

The traditional white wedding dress is quickly becoming a thing of the past, at least among fashion-forward celebrities and designers.  A decade ago Gwen Stefani rocked the world of bridal fashion when she donned a one-of-a-kind pink ombre Christian Dior by John Galliano gown for her nuptials. Fast-forward 10 years to 2012, and two high-profile celebrity brides have resurrected the trend.

Singer Gwen Stefani dons a one-of-a-kind pink ombre Christian Dior by John Galliano creation on her wedding day in 2002. Picture via

For Anne Hathaway’s September wedding in California, the actress enlisted couture designer Valentino, who came out of retirement for the occasion, to design her custom, off-the-shoulder tulle embroidered gown. A seamstress at Valentino’s couture atelier in Rome created the dress, which featured a hand-painted soft pink tint near the hem. The subtle pink hue complemented the natural colors of the outdoor sunset ceremony in Big Sur.

Anne Hathaway wears a custom Valentino gown that was hand-painted pink for her September nuptials in California. Photo via

A few weeks later, at an intimate ceremony in Italy, actress Jessica Biel wed pop superstar Justin Timberlake in a Giambattista Valli haute couture design. The pink, strapless mousseline and silk organza gown was completed with ruffles and a floral motif. Biel’s tulle veil included heirloom pearls and added to the princess-like silhouette of the gown.

Actress Jessica Biel wed actor/singer Justin Timberlake in a Giambattista Valli hatute couture gown at an intimate ceremony in Italy. Photo via

However, celebrities in custom gowns are not the only ones who are growing the trend. Bridal fashion powerhouses Monique Lhuillier and Isaac Mizrahi both featured pink-hued gowns in their spring 2013 bridal collections. Whether it is just a fad or a color change that will stand the test of time, I for one am all for a little color in bridal.

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Transition Dress

By Elizabeth Scotti

Right now we are in that awkward time between seasons in Texas when no one knows what to wear.

It’s no longer summer, when we wear light materials and short hemlines to minimize the heat.  And the cooler weather of fall, when we drop our hemlines a few inches and add some sleeves to keep the breeze out, has not yet arrived.

During this period between seasons, it is especially difficult to find that perfect dress.

Finding the perfect transition dress can be tricky. No girl wants to seem out of season.

You know you have a problem if you go to your closet and your choices are either a flower print tank dress made of loose cottons or the knee-length, long-sleeved wool plaid dress you got last winter.

Neither of those options will do for partly cloudy skies with a light breeze, and temperatures reaching a high of 67. Here you will need a dress that’s versatile and easily layered and constructed of material that, like Goldilocks’ ideal porridge, is neither too warm nor too cold.

Well ladies, I have found the dress for you. This season Madewell offers great “transition” dress options in different styles and colors.

Madewell’s striped nightbell dress in dark blue is perfect for class with boots or flats.   As it gets colder, add tights and an overcoat.

For those chilly fall nights, try Madewell’s serenade lace dress with a short jacket over it.

Both options are perfect for this time of year. With the neutral coloring, perfect length and longer sleeves, you are sure to feel confident wearing either one of these looks during our fall/summer season in Texas.

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Who is a Nasty Gal?

By: Thalia Pedrotti

Skeptics might never believe that a community college dropout with little fashion experience could build a successful online retail business in just six years. But Sophia Amoruso did just that. The 28-year-old founder and chief executive behind Nasty Gal began selling one-of-a-kind vintage clothing on eBay from her San Francisco apartment in 2006. She personally styled, photographed, and shipped all her clothing.

Photo Credit: Forbes

The far from sweet name, Nasty Gal, comes from the album and song title of American funk, rock and soul singer Betty Davis. The singer’s confident attitude and sexy lyrics inspired Amoruso and epitomized her vision of femininity.

Amoruso believes one of the key factors to her success on eBay was the unique way she styled and presented her clothing. She believes that by putting a piece of clothing on the right girl and showing people how to wear it, she created a vision that customers wanted to have.

After a year and a half of working on eBay, Amoruso launched Nasty Gal in June 2008 as a website where customers could find affordable pieces of clothing. The site now offers vintage and trendy clothing, accessories, and shoes- as well as its own clothing line and luxury designer items such as Dolce & Gabbana dresses.

Isabella Sanchez, a senior at SMU, has keenly followed the brand since its beginnings. “When I first started shopping on the website it was a very beginner website,” Sanchez says. “It didn’t have key features that it offers today to its shoppers. Even the delivery packages were different.”  She says she never would have imagined that the site would offer its own clothing line as well as designer items.

In its short four years of existence, Nasty Gal has attracted over 150,000 shoppers in more than 50 countries.

Today, Nasty Gal is the 11th largest fastest-growing private company in the U.S. according to the Inc. 500 magazine list. It is also the fastest-growing company based in Los Angeles with total revenue of $22.9 million in 2011.

Nasty Gal’s business model challenges the way online retailers do business. The site offers a limited number of pieces and 93 percent of its inventory is sold at full price, which sets itself apart from its competitors.

Nasty Gal’s innovative marketing methods defy the status quo. The brand does not use traditional strategies to reach customers and promote its products. It relies solely on word-of-mouth and social media.

This approach has proven to be successful for the brand, as evidenced by the brand’s 521,778 Facebook likes and 65,996 Twitter followers. In addition, Nasty Gal has an Instagram, Tumbler and Pinterest profiles to promote its products.

To increase its presence online and create a closer relationship with its clients, Nasty Gal also maintains a blog that reflects its clienteles’ cool quality. The blog has unusual titles for its different offerings, like the “Artsy Fartsy” section where viewers can find all types of edgy and creative photos. Blog visitors also find numerous opportunities to explore everything from style, favorite places, music and more.

This September, Nasty Gal launched its first biannual print magazine publication. For this first edition, famous fashion photographer Terry Richardson shot the Nasty Gal Fall 2012 Collection. The magazine contains articles on fashion, music and culture and is distributed with customers’ orders.

Photo Credit: Eve without Adam

Lucia Lopez, a senior at SMU, got the magazine’s first issue and describes it as being artistic and unique. She says the magazine is appealing to young girls who want to be trendy and cool and have a love for fashion.

Kate Egan, an SMU senior, describes a Nasty Gal as being “a girl looking for unique and interesting articles of clothing without splurging or paying exorbitant amounts of money.”

So, are you a “Nasty Gal?”

Photo Credit: LadyLux

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The Ultimate Eye

By Natalie Konstant

Laura Mercier’s 2012 holiday collection has created the solution to every girl’s struggle with natural looking eyeliner. These three new additions to the Laura Mercier line are this season’s must have makeup items.

1)    Graphic Liquid Eyeliner- This ultimate liquid eyeliner is super easy to apply and will last you all day and night!

Photo’s taken from

2)     Caviar Eyeliner- After applying the Graphic Liquid Eyeliner apply the semi-crème Caviar Eyeliner between your lashes for a polished look. We love it in the color Midnight!

Photo’s taken from

3)    Tightline Activator- Don’t forget to apply the Tightline Activator on your eyeline brush for a clean and smudge-free look!

Photo’s taken from

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France’s Garance Doré: A Fashion Success Story

By Floriane Leger

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Although I’m spending a year at SMU as an exchange student, France is my home. And for quite awhile now, as some of my friends would say, I’ve had a massive “girl crush” on the French blogger Garance Doré. So I could not believe it when I heard she would be speaking at SMU. It has been my dream to meet her for years, and now it would happen in the last place I thought it would: Dallas.

Doré has relocated from Paris to New York, but she is not yet as famous in the United States as she is in France, so let me introduce her.

Who is Garance Doré?

Born in a small village in Corsica, Doré found her first job in the movie industry in Marseille, South of France, though she knew little about the business. Doré says this experience helped her realize that it’s possible to succeed in a job, even if you don’t have the right background, when you commit to work. This first experience also helped her decide that she should try to do what she really wanted to do: draw. Doré gave herself one year to become a self-taught illustrator, and it worked. “I never dared to dream before, and so I knew just how precious it was. My dream gave me life… It gave me courage.As she started working as an illustrator for magazines, the lack of interaction with her viewers disappointed Doré. 2006 marked the beginning of the blogging era and she thought, “Why not me?” This is where the adventure begins.

Photo courtesy of Garance Doré

At first Doré’s blog showcased her illustrations. Over time she started to write more – and in a style that her readers gravitated toward. Her tone is very conversational, and you feel as if you’re reading a note from a friend when reading her blog. The next year, in 2007, Doré realized that she wielded real influence on the Internet when a salesperson told her that an item had sold out thanks to one of her posts. Doré quickly become a star of the French fashion blogging world.

That same year, Doré met the man behind the famous fashion blog The Sartorialist, Scott Schuman. We met at a fashion show in Paris. It really wasn’t a big deal. We just started talking and talking and we had a lot of stuff in common and an appreciation for what we both did.” They became friends, and Schuman recognized Doré’s potential. He gave her his back-up camera, and she started adding photos to her blog. Their relationship evolved into more than friendship, and they become one of the most influential couples within the growing field of “street style” fashion photography. Schuman’s influence on Doré made her view photography differently: Who cares about perfection when you can capture a moment saturated with life? 

Photo courtesy of Garance Doré

In 2010, Doré moved to New York while continuing to develop her blog. Now at the head of a budding fashion empire, Doré covers fashion weeks all over the world and works for some of the most prestigious fashion names such as French Vogue, J. Crew, Kate Spade, Dior, Tiffany & Co. and many others.

Oh Garance, you’re so shallow!” 

Exerting a vast influence over the fashion world is not an easy task every day. Doré has endured some biting criticism for writing a blog focused almost exclusively on fashion. To these critics, Doré always responds honestly.

She is always very direct about her life, and I think most people enjoy this honesty. The conversational tone on her blog makes it easy for readers to identify with her, even if she seems to live a life most of us can only dream about. Doré’s high fashion moments could inspire anyone to fantacize. But to me, her best moments are when she shares a story that could happen to anyone. In the end, she is just like me. One of her more relatable posts focused on public toilet struggles. Clearly, Doré is not shy!

Photo courtesy of Garance Doré

Moving to NY

In August 2010, Doré moved to New York to live with her boyfriend, Scott Schuman. Many of her French readers feared this would change her blog’s content as Paris was a main character in Doré’s adventures. But she managed to master the change.

Moving to New York increased her readership. Her French fans stuck with Doré, and she developed an even stronger following in the U.S.

I asked Doré to pinpoint the biggest change on her blog after her move to the Big Apple. She answered that her approach to blogging was massively influenced. Ambition is not something you can easily admit to in France, whereas it is celebrated in the U.S. French people tend to look down on anyone who discusses success and commitment. In America, you are allowed to want something and to reach for your dream. She added that living in New York gave her more freedom, and she finally let herself think big.

For an idea of how influential Doré is, just look at the Signature 9 ranking of top fashion bloggers. She is ranked number 11 out of 99 bloggers and is the first French blogger to appear on the list. Dore’s boyfriend is currently beating her, ranked in first place.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Are bloggers the future of the fashion industry?

Nowadays, bloggers are an important part of the fashion industry. In only a couple of years, they have become the ultimate reference. Some brands would do anything to appear on a blog of Doré’s status. Many examples show us that bloggers are investing in print publications as well. Doré, for example, is now writing for the fashion “bible,” French Vogue.

A few years ago there were not as many fashion bloggers as there are now, so it was easier to achieve success. Does it seem that everyone you know writes a fashion or lifestyle blog these days? Yes, but that should not stop anyone from trying. As Doré would say, “Follow your dream, or face a life of regrets.”

SMU TV’s  Mercedes Owens had a chance to sit down with Garance Dore. Check out the Q&A with the fashionista
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New jewelry boutique brings fashion fun to Snider Plaza

By Brooke Reagan

Adriane Sack had been working in the finance field as a vice president in equity sales for four and half years. After a layoff at her firm, Sack found herself at a crossroads. She could either move to New York to continue a financial career or start from the ground up and focus on a career she could be passionate about. Sack knew in her heart that she wanted to finally do something she loved.

On the eye of her 29th birthday, Sack opened in Snider Plaza to offer high-end jewelry at low price points.

“I realized there was a gap in the market place,” Sack says. “There wasn’t a store in Dallas that had mid-priced jewelry that wasn’t junk. Other cities had a mix of affordable and semiprecious, but in Dallas there wasn’t that aesthetic at a midrange price.”

Gemma Collection carries over 30 different jewelry lines, ensuring the shop will offer something for everyone, including ethnic, tribal, bohemian, dainty, and feminine pieces.

The bulk of merchandise in Gemma Collection is priced between $75 to $150. With a large and mixed assortment of jewelry, Gemma Collection caters to SMU students, young professionals, and Highland Park socialites.

“My goal was for a mom, her college-age daughter, and the grandma to come into my store and find pieces they love,” Sack says.

An Austin native, Sack grew up appreciating her hometown’s emphasis on local food, designers, etc. Emulating her Austin roots in her newfound home, Sack makes sure to support local designers.

Taylor Custer is a local Dallas jewelry designer and her line, , is sold at Gemma Collection.

“I wanted to display my jewelry at Gemma Collection because Adriane cares about promoting local Dallas designers who work hard to make handmade items,” Sack says.

Custer is also an SMU alumna so she knows when students stop by Snider Plaza, they’re looking for unique shops they wouldn’t come across at NorthPark.

Taylor Custer Jewelry Design
Photo courtesy of Adriane Sack

Custer offers designs SMU fashionistas would crave to have in their jewelry boxes. “My jewelry at Gemma Collection offers unique, classic pieces that are perfect for day or night,” Custer says. She continues, “I use 14k gold filled or gold vermeil findings with beautiful gemstones from all over the world.”

Lauren Kellersman bought a pair of Taylor’s earrings at Gemma’s opening party in September.

“It’s a beautiful boutique,” Kellersman says. She continues, “There’s something in every price range and the owner is super friendly and gives out great fashion advice.” Kellersman plans to shop at Gemma Collection the next time she needs a gift for a friend or even to pamper herself! Kellersman also appreciates that most of Gemma’s vendors are fellow Dallasites.

Lexie LaRae is another Dallas-based designer and her company, , is a featured line at Gemma Collection.

Lexie LaRae Jewelry
Photo by Brooke Reagan

“I chose to display my jewelry line at Gemma Collection because of its eye for quality and attention to detail… I wanted to associate with a boutique close to SMU because of the caliber of traffic that Gemma will draw. My line appeals to all age groups as well as makes great gifts,” LaRae says.

Sack acknowledges starting her own small business has been no easy feat, but she’s proud of the work she has accomplished in such a short time. Sack also daydreams of designing her own jewelry line in the future and opening more Gemma Collection locations.

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Get the Gear that will take you from the Gym to the Boulevard, No Sweat

By Mia Castillo

Going to the gym in faded, baggy sweat pants and an oversized tee is a thing of the past (thank God).

Oh the grunge. And we wonder why we have to bribe and then reward ourselves with a Pinkberry treat just to get on a treadmill! Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never experienced an energy boost after throwing on some sneaks that looked sadly similar to a pair my mother owns.

Motivate yourself to have a wonderful workout full of neon colors. Who couldn’t use a bold and bright tank top with an inspirational graphic to pump them up: “As long as you’re sweating, you’re still alive!”

Hot Pink. Lime Green. Neon Orange. Highlighter Yellow. Do colors get any happier than this? Nike Free 3.0 running shoes come in every color of the rainbow.

And it isn’t just the pop of color on your feet that will get you going. Fashionable workout gear that you can wear ANYWHERE is taking over. Girls on campus might be coming from the gym, or might just be proactive about their workout after class.

But one thing is for certain — that mint-colored tennis shirt and those tight-fit running capris will look FAB in the gym as well as on the Boulevard. Grab some breakfast. Take a test. Meet up with friends. And dominate your workout — all in the same outfit.

Now that’s what I’m talking about!

Mia Castillo is a Southern Methodist University Class of 2014 Journalism major, with minors in Fashion Media and Advertising. She can be reached at

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Infinite Looping with Love

By: Lexie Hammesfahr

For the non-creative, the concept of selling something handmade might seem foreign. Who but your mother would ever want all those art projects from middle school? (I know mine wouldn’t.)

But for Justine McGregor, this concept is pretty normal. Her handmade items have been selling well, in fact, well enough to grow into a business.

Loop with Love was born because of McGregor’s frustration with the ever-popular elastic hair ties that promise to never leave a crease in your hair.

“I have always bought these kinds of ties at boutiques that I shopped at, but I noticed that they always frayed and started looking grungy,” the 20-year-old says.

“I just located the material and made my own, and of course, I burnt the edges so they wouldn’t fray.”

The SMU sophomore started making hair ties with her best friend during her junior year of high school. But McGregor didn’t found Loop until the second semester of her freshman year of college.

“I actually came up with the logo first because I love the infinity symbol, particularly in the context of infinite love,” she says. “Because the line of the symbol loops like hair ties do, I thought it would be a perfect name.”

As McGregor started creating and wearing the ties, people began asking where she bought them. She literally sold them off her wrists in the beginning.

Besides burnt edges, McGregor’s ties offer another difference that catches the consumer’s eye: They are customized with charms.

“I thought that because people usually put them on their wrists when they weren’t in their hair, there had to be a way to make them more ‘jewelryesque,’” she says. “The charms looked best and didn’t get tangled in hair at all!”

McGregor estimates that she sold a few thousand homemade hair ties annually when she started selling them individually. But with the influx of orders, she now sells her ties in packs of five.

Durig McGregor’s years at SMU, Loop ties have become popular on campus.  “I really like them because they hold their shape a lot better than the other ones. They aren’t tight on your wrist,” says SMU sophomore Kate Roberts.

Sophomore Dale Potts likes the ease of buying Loop ties in packs, while sophomore Caroline Maples says she likes the ties because they’re both fun and functional. “They stay in my hair whether I’m studying or running.”

McGregor, of course, loves all her creations, but she admits to a favorite “child.”  “I love the pastel set because pale colors are my favorite,” she says. “That one comes with the evil eye charm that supposedly protects you, which is always good.”

The neon loops are the most popular of McGregor’s creations. “They are also great for when you want to add just a touch of trendiness to your look without going overboard,” she says.

But after starting a business at such a young age, what will come next for this young entrepreneur?

“I guess I will see where it (Loops) takes me, but hopefully . . .  moving on to bigger things,” she says. “I have a knack for always trying to do the next best thing whether it’s in the hair-tie business or maybe clothing one day.”

McGregor’s parents have also supported Loop because of the opportunities that come with running a business. Her mom even enjoys helping out: “My mom loves to come with me to pick out the charms and colors for the sets, and I love her input.”

McGregor’s creations are currently sold at several Los Angeles boutiques and fitness centers. Though they aren’t sold in Dallas yet, you can always find them online here.

The regular Loop sets sell for $15, the Single Neon Loops are $10, and the Triple Neon Set is $25 and is available through PayPal.


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