Monthly Archives: February 2013

Rag & Bone Opens its Doors in Dallas

By Farah Abdelqader

Lights illuminated the corner of the Rag & Bone boutique as I approached the store on the night of its opening in Highland Park Village. That was one way to attract attention — but it got better.  As I got close enough for a good view, I realized just what was lighting up the night: The Rag & Bone Spring/Summer 2013 Collection fashion show had been projected onto the storefront for all bystanders to see.

The British founders of Rag & Bone, Marcus Wainwright and David Neville, had one very clear vision in mind when they started the company in 2002: To make clothes that they and their friends would love to wear every day.  Some 11 years and 12 store openings later, Rag & Bone has set the standard for fine casual wear.

With concrete floors, exposed bricks and brass elements used as racks and hangers, the store’s modern interior seems to reflect the company’s edgy aesthetic. It is also the only Rag & Bone boutique to feature a double floor rotunda decked with mannequins for onlookers to view through the store windows.

The simple approach extends to the store’s products.  Sure, Rag & Bone sells jeans and other basics – but with classic tailoring and the finest fabrics.  The specificity of the designs is what makes Rag & Bone unique and exclusive from other brands that sell jeans.

Brandy Harris serves as sales supervisor at the Highland Village boutique. “The thing that’s interesting about Rag & Bone is that the designers are two men that come from no fashion experience,” she says. “They wanted to make a product that they loved, and a product that people will wear. Something that’s a staple, but still has a unique cutting edge.”  The Spring/Summer 2013 collection –in which the campaign features the talented and stunning Kate Moss—includes this seasons hottest trends that focus on minimalism, contrasting colors and combined textures and fabrics.

The women’s Spring 2013 collection is now featured in stores.
Photo credit: Farah Abdelqader

With Barney’s New York – which carries Rag & Bone — planning to close its NorthPark store, the company saw an opportunity for expansion in Dallas when an offer came their way. Store manager Zoe Koupiaris explains: “Actually, the Highland Park Village owners sought after Rag & Bone to come here. They wanted something new, fun and urban.”

Rag & Bone will provide an interesting addition to Highland Park Village, which features such high-end boutiques as Dior, Escada, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, just to name a few.

The new handbag collection
Photo credit: Farah Abdelqader

During my visit to the boutique, a 40-something male shopper purchased a pair of jeans and a belt to go along with it. Since the Dallas store does not carry the entire men’s collection yet, they have also included their first ever Mac station, where men can shop the collection online with the assistance of a stylist and have it sent to their front door. Luckily for male shoppers, that won’t be the case for long, the Rag & Bone boutique will be moving to a larger space in The Highland Park Village in mid-April and will feature the full men’s line.

Photo credit: Farah Abdelqader


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Picture-Perfect Princesses

By Jade Reichman

The former Kate Middleton, now the Duchess of Cambridge, has become one of the most-watched women in the world.  Like her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, Kate exudes confidence while wearing some of the biggest names in design. Fashion-lovers keep a constant watch on Kate, as they did with Diana, to see what she’ll be wearing next.

Diana’s stylish shoes would be hard to fill — not that anyone could ever replace the beloved “people’s princess.” As Kate’s husband, Prince William, once told Diane Sawyer: “No one is going to try to fill my mother’s shoes. What she did was fantastic. It’s about making your own future and your own destiny, and Kate will do a very good job of that.”

But how do the two women stack up, style-wise, in their early days as royal brides and, now, mothers-to-be?  Yes, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge has achieved style-icon status like the late Lady Di, but in a very different way. The two women’s styles reflect two separate eras and two distinct personalities.

Young & in love

As a young schoolteacher dating a prince, Diana often looked shy when photographed with Charles. Married at 20, she generally dressed conservatively and only began to evolve into the stylish woman we remember after her oldest son, William, was born.

Princess Diana pregnant with William in 1982
Photo credit: Paper Mag

In contrast, Kate appears comfortable and confident around William. Unlike Diana, she had completed college and traveled extensively before she married at 29.

“Kate appears both confident and feminine alongside William,” says Jenna Norris, an SMU senior – and Kate-watcher.  “Women should feel confident standing next to their man.”

Royal brides

The day of her wedding, Kate stunned the world in a form-fitting Sarah Burton wedding dress. Kate’s gown was remarkably similar to the one worn years earlier by the iconic Princess Grace of Monaco. Kate not only looked regal in her lace dress, it was reported that she even did her own makeup the day of her wedding.

SMU senior Lauren Parma remembers staying up all night to watch the royal wedding. “I remember getting chills when I first saw Kate step out of the car. Sometimes brides overdo it, but Kate looked like she always does — timeless and natural.”

Princess Diana’s dress, on the other hand, was embellished with a 25-foot train, 10,000 pearls, and sequins. In The Diana Chronicles, journalist Tina Brown writes that 20-year-old Diana Spencer was “insistent in her demand for [the dress's] puffy sleeves and floating silk, its 25-foot taffeta train, its nipped waist, and its antique lace embroidered with pearls and sequins.”

Diana’s voluminous crinoline gown represents a style few women would wear in this decade. However, Kate did attribute the hand-tatted Carrick macross lace on her dress to a similar lace pattern from Diana’s wedding gown.

In true royal style, both Diana and Kate wore tiaras on their wedding days.
Photo credit: Getty Images

Royal mothers-to-be

Until July 2013, all eyes will be on Kate, if they aren’t already. The Duchess, pregnant with her first child, was spotted out and about in London, shopping for maternity clothes. While Kate had time to grow into her own style before becoming pregnant, Princess Diana became pregnant at 20, shortly after she and Charles were married. This didn’t give Diana much time to develop a personal style.

Princess Diana kept to her signature demure pastels during her pregnancy, although she felt the eyes of the nation following her every move.  According to The Huffington Post, Diana was once quoted as saying that she felt “the whole country was in labor” with her.

Kate is sure to feel the same way. And with all eyes on her, Kate doesn’t want to let her “look” go as her belly grows. Thus, like any princess, Kate has commissioned professionals – in this case Natasha Rufus Isaacs and Lavinia Brennan — to design her maternity wear. Isaacs and Brennan are the British design duo behind the Beulah line.

The first picture of Kate taken since her announcement that she is pregnant.
Photo credit: Radar Online

Without a doubt, Kate, like Diana, will continue to inspire the fashion world for many years to come.


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Oscars Recognize ‘Best-Dressed’

By Chelsea Harrison

The Oscars have come and gone, but the media are still gossiping about not only who took home a golden statue, but also what they wore. In fact, in recent years, the Oscars seem to have developed a secondary focus to rival their primary: fashion.

Media outlets devote significant time and coverage to awards show season. News and entertainment sources have even dedicated complete sections of their websites to the red carpet. Every major news outlet covers each awards show and sometimes releases an entire red carpet fashion edition. And when those anchors and commentators report at the shows, the first question they ask often is not about an actor’s nomination. Instead, they want to know: “Who are you wearing tonight?”

What accounts for this increasing focus on fashion? The networks are working with viewers who seek constant entertainment, much more than the generations they informed in the past. The public has access to around-the-clock Internet information and a flexible television-viewing schedule. Perhaps the red carpet fashion emphasis presents an opportunity for these media to fill the time gap.

There are many different outlets that focus mainly on red carpet fashion during awards show season. One of the majors, E! Entertainment, has paved the way for fashion critique news. With multiple fashion programs, its own red carpet news team, and groundbreaking innovations—like unique camera angles—within its reporting, the network has become the go-to source for red carpet fashion news.

“E! has created an entire show [Fashion Police] devoted to talking about the actors’ red carpet styles. That is a pretty big stride for something that used to be considered a side note,” says Molly McKone, broadcast journalism major and SMU Daily Update anchor.

Viewers who pay attention will likely spot the new basics of red carpet coverage—quirky add-ons, like manicure cameras and 360-degree cameras—more often than golden statues throughout Oscar night. The E! Network has incorporated some of these novelties to set itself apart from the rising red carpet clutter.

The network’s Glam Cam takes a photo of an actor from every angle then puts in into motion, allowing a 360-degree view of his or her outfit. Another E! Network innovation is the Mani Cam, a camera set in front of a mini red carpet so celebrities can show off their elaborate nails for the night. These standout examples have increased E! Entertainment’s ratings and moved the network to the forefront of red carpet fashion news.

Photo credit: E! Online

“I have seen an overwhelming fashion influence on print media,” notes Debra Benton, Denver-based international image consultant and executive coach. “I cannot pick up a magazine during awards show season without outfit critiques starting my read.”

Within print and website media, People magazine’s Oscar coverage reports on the evening’s wins and upsets—but rarely before each gown is critiqued. In the early 1990s, People began devoting covers to the Oscars and other awards shows. With attention grabbers like “what they wore” and “who they brought” labeling the actors, the concentration of the magazine shifts to more of a visual spectacle.

SMUstyle’s fashion blogger Schuyler Mack weighed in on the worry of fashion-focused news pieces. “Nowadays it is not the nominees and winners getting prime coverage, but how high a slit Angelina Jolie was rocking. It takes the focus away from what’s really important, what the awards shows are about, and turns them almost superficial.”


Photo credit: Pro Stores

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A Balenciaga and a Blog: The New Fashion Influencers

By Ashley Stainton

The Coveteur, Jak and Jil, Studded Hearts, Garance Dore, A Piece of Toast, Tuula Vintage, Man Repeller and Style by Kling.

These are not the names of trendy clothing stores, designer labels or magazine publications.  They are the popular fashion blogs where Christie Devine, SMU senior and self-proclaimed fashion enthusiast, says she finds style inspiration.

Blogging has taken the fashion world by storm, with fashionistas across the globe embracing this hot, new trend.

Today, fashion consumers do not have to rely on traditional fashion media like Vogue magazine or leading retailers such as Dallas’ own Neiman Marcus for their news and style inspiration.  Independent fashion bloggers – all with different backgrounds and personal tastes – now influence fashion through their blogs.

Allison Edwards, co-creator of the popular fashion and lifestyle blog Where Wear in the City, has witnessed the fashion blogging revolution firsthand.

Photo credit: Where Wear in the City

“Without fashion bloggers and other social media outlets, the fashion world would not ensue the popularity and importance it has on our overall culture,” says Edwards.

Blogging has helped the fashion industry stay relevant.  Today, the 20-something blogger posting personal fashion picks and creating collages of purses, shoes and clothing has become the major player in the fashion industry.

The fashion news cycle, trend forecasting and advertising have all transformed because of blogs, and the impact extends well beyond a blogger’s Internet followers. One reason for this shift can be attributed to the immediacy of the Web, says Krystal Schlegel, SMU graduate and creator of the fashion blog The Style Book.

Photo credit: Krystal Schlegel The Style Book

“It used to take months for the public to see a designer’s collection on the runway because they had to wait until the shows were shown in a magazine,” says Schlegel. “Now bloggers and editors post while at the fashion shows and the collections are visible everywhere.”

Blogging is instantaneous because bloggers have capitalized on the use of Internet and mobile phone uploads to get information posted quickly.  News coverage, including fashion news, has evolved into a 24-hours cycle.

Recently, at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, bloggers were not only invited to the events, but some were also given access behind the scenes.  Today’s new style of press, which includes bloggers, is going to places “older-style” press did not usually go.  Bloggers provide content that is not only immediate, but also reported from virtually anywhere: on the street, at a fashion show or backstage.

Fashion consumers used to wait for monthly fashion magazines to arrive in the mail to get their fashion fix.  Blogs, in contrast, provided fashion updates as often as bloggers post, says Jacyln Welch creator of the fashion blog Streets of Sparkle.

Photo credit: Streets of Sparkle

“Because fashion bloggers create daily content, the public starts craving more of the moment to moment reporting, which has resulted in fashion publications changing their own digital site, design and approach,” says Welch.

To keep up with independent bloggers, notable fashion businesses and designers have had to produce the same types of instant and constant content through a blog medium.  Saks Fifth Avenue’s “Saks POV,” Seventeen Magazines’ “Seventeen Fashion” and Tory Burch’s “The Tory Blog” are just a few of the companies and designers who have capitalized on this growing trend.

Designers cannot only rely on unveiling their new line on the web anymore.  Now, readers have grown accustomed to active conversations about the fashion pieces along with interactive texts and images, which blogs provide.

“Fashion bloggers created a demand for the everyday girl becoming just as interesting.  We now can see what the whole country is wearing, not just what fashion magazines publish,” says Welch. “Fashion blogging has broadened the public’s awareness of style beyond celebrities, high-end designer editorials and runway.”

According to WordPress, a popular blog creating software, an estimated 4.1 billion new blog pages are posted each month.  In the fashion industry, this impact is seen in the influx of individual styles and voices being expressed by bloggers.  If a blogger is prominent and has a lot of followers, he or she can actually influence what trend becomes popular.

Shelby Foster, SMU senior and creator of the blog The Southernista, says fashion bloggers are just as much a part of setting trends as the designers themselves.  The only difference is that the bloggers often do not produce the content they display and discuss on blogs.

Photo credit: The Southernista

“I would compare fashion bloggers to magazine editors before I would compare them to designers.  Designers produce the clothing the bloggers wear, so that is a different type of relationship,” says Foster.  “Magazine editors used to be the final word in deciding the trends for each season.  Now, bloggers are able to take that task into their own hands and create trends in a more accessible and relatable way to the reader.”

This new, more accessible style can translate into a big payoff for popular bloggers.  The fashion blogging industry brought in an estimated $10 billion last year, according to a report from Kelsey Group, an advertisement forecasting company.  Additionally, the industry is expected to grow 22 percent annually as more advertisers flock to get their product placement on notable blogs.

With sites like rewardStyle – which provides bloggers who are members of the site commissions on items sold on their blogs – bloggers can not only capitalize on advertisements displayed on their pages, but also receive compensation for the products and designers featured in posts.

Fashion blogging – in addition to being a lucrative business for those who gain a larger audience of followers, post often and entice advertisers – has also become a starting point to getting a job in the fashion business.

“Over the years, fashion bloggers have shown that you did not have to wait for the chance to be a part of the industry.  You could put your passions and talents out there, gain as big of following as the larger publications and even make a living doing it,” says Welch of Streets of Sparkle. “It has become the new fashion industry resume and launching pad to getting the job you want.”

Fashion bloggers are a community within a community in the fashion world.  They have changed the industry indefinitely, starting an ongoing conversation about fashion and transforming the way fashion is conveyed to the public.

“Some people read the newspaper. I read blogs,” says Foster of The Southernista. “They serve as a point of inspiration.  It’s enjoyable to catch up with the girls I follow, many of whom I’ve come to be friends with in real life.  I want to see what they’re thinking about and talking about, and they follow my blog, which is my creative outlet.”

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The Dallas Market Center offers Texas-Size Shopping

By Hillary Schmidt

As you walk into the Dallas Market Center, you’re greeted by a security guard who trades your name and information for an access pass. He forces a glossy brochure into your hands, assuming you’ll be able to navigate on your own through the 15 floors that comprise the DMC.   Left to wander, you continue walking until you reach the atrium, with its seemingly endless view. Look up, and the building appears to go on forever.

The 15 floors of the DMC tower above its entrance atrium. Photo credit: Hillary Schmidt

Filling more than 5 million square feet in the northern corridor of Dallas, the DMC may look like a Texas-size mall, but it is so much more.

The Dallas Market Center is the world’s most complete wholesale merchandise resource, offering retailers across the globe exclusive access to consumer products.

By leasing out its showrooms to companies and individuals, the DMC is able to turn a tidy profit, bringing in $8 billion worth of the U.S.’s wholesale transactions. This business generates $383 million in sales that directly benefit the local economy each year through salaries, local advertising, etc. It generates an additional $1.1 billion in indirect benefits through the sale of the raw materials that help produce items such as the leather purses and granite kitchen countertops sold during each market.

Cole Daugherty, vice president of customer relations for the DMC, notes that the DMC’s economic impact reaches far beyond Dallas. “This is really an interesting economic engine for the Dallas economy, but it’s also an interesting economic engine for the apparel and accessories industry right here in Dallas,” he says. “There are so few places in the United States where buyers and sellers come together and an amazing amount of commerce happens.”

A transaction between a buyer and seller takes place in a permanent showroom at the DMC on January 25, 2013.
Photo credit: Hillary Schmidt


Founded in 1957, the DMC is home to 2,000 permanent and 500,000 temporary showrooms.  Every year, more than 200,000 buyers from all 50 states and over 80 countries travel to Dallas to purchase wholesale goods. These goods — from children’s clothing to lighting fixtures — are what you would see, and perhaps purchase, if you visited their retail shops and stores.

The DMC is made up of four buildings: the Trade Mart, the World Trade Center, the International Trade Plaza and the Market Hall.  All of these buildings are dedicated to different categories of consumer goods, which helps buyers find what they are looking for.  However, the most activity takes place on the six floors of the World Trade Center, also referred to as FashionCenterDallas, that are dedicated to fashion.

Seller’s standpoint

The DMC allows for two types of sellers, both individual vendors and corporate entities, to set up shop. Some are permanent residents, while others come temporarily for the major markets that occur five times a year — in January, March, May, August and October.

Daugherty says that a corporate showroom “would be a manufacturer like Diane von Furstenberg… and they have their room only devoted to that product.”

On the other hand, an individual showroom is one without a recognizable name. This individual has a contract with multiple manufacturers to be their regional representative

JC Hayne works for a permanent seller, Brad Hughes & Associates, which sells women’s clothing and accessories for specialty stores such as Nicole Miller and SPANX. When potential buyers walk into the showroom, Hayne welcomes the buyers and proceeds to bring them to a designated area. After getting to know the buyer and what will best fit his or her needs, Hayne disappears into a room overflowing with racks of clothing.  She emerges moments later, arms full of samples.  She hangs them on a wall for the buyer to see, and even try on.  Vendors usually follow up with buyers who make purchases — as well as those who don’t to encourage future purchases.

As for individual vendors who don’t have a permanent showroom, they have the opportunity to set up their own shop in a showroom dedicated to temporary vendors. These showrooms are custom-assembled to complement the sellers’ preferences.

Ross Martin, vice president of wholesale sales and owner of Wa Bags, is a temporary seller and has about 25 shows a year. Five of these shows are at the DMC when the DMC’s major markets take place. Martin loves what the DMC has to offer. “The DMC is my favorite to be at because of the amount of exposure I get,” he says. “A lot of people enjoy coming to temporary markets because they think of what we sell as ‘limited editions’ since we’re not here year round.” Before Martin goes to market, he makes appointments with his key buyers, but he is also visited by walk-ins. “It’s mostly locals that come in to see me, but I also see a lot from the Midwest and Latin America.”

Buyer’s standpoint

The majority of buyers are representatives of small boutiques, but buyers for larger department stores like Neiman Marcus shop at the DMC as well.

Daugherty says that to become a buyer, a company must “have a retail store front.”  ”You have to meet certain criteria, and show that to [the DMC,] like a picture of your store, your website, receipts, etc.,” he says.

The buyers have the freedom to visit the markets whenever they like, free of charge. While shopping, buyers can check an item’s tag to see not only see the price, but the minimum number of any one item they must purchase in an order. If an order is placed, it will ship from the warehouse anywhere between one and eight weeks. Therefore, it is crucial for buyers to plan accordingly. To have everything they need for the holidays, buyers need to place their orders around June.

When a buyer comes to the DMC, he or she must devote between two and three days to ensure they visit all of the showrooms that offer what they are looking for.

A colorful rack of clothes presents itself to potential buyers at the DMC.
Photo Credit: Hillary Schmidt

Due to the immense number of stores, it is important to come prepared when you go into the DMC. Mallory Harrison owns the local store Haven Boutique. “Being a buyer, you have to know your target market, and just what their style is, what their price point is,” she says. “And you obviously have to do your research before you go and meet with all the vendors because you don’t just want to go in there blindly.”

As big as it is, the DMC doesn’t necessarily have everything a buyer is looking for. If a line the buyer wants is not available, the seller, upon request, will send a “look book” for the buyer to choose items from.

Harrison notes that viewing a look book versus seeing an item in person is “night and day.” But occurrences like that are few and far between at the DMC. “That’s what is so great about the DMC… because you can see everything in person.”

The Dallas Market Center is located at 2100 North Stemmons Freeway.

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Fashion Week Around the World

By Jordan Moore

From the gulf shores of Dubai to the northern regions of Moscow, fashion has found its way to areas outside the four major fashion capitals. Perhaps a fashionista’s eye wouldn’t have fluttered toward these exotic locations years ago, but it might now. Beauty is, after all, in the eye of the beholder, and heads are beginning to turn toward more distant horizons.

One of the most established fashion hot spots set the fashion media afire recently, as it does so every year in February and September.

“Fashion is what designers put out there on the runway,” says Chelsea Bell, designer and adjunct instructor at the University of North Texas.

For Bell, this explains exactly why New York Fashion Week monopolizes the media twice a year.

New York Fashion Week features both the vets and newcomers of the industry. Fashion followers wipe their calendars completely clean for this event, allowing everything to be put on pause while the runway plays out the premiere of the upcoming season’s wardrobe.

This year the event was held at Lincoln Center, making 2013 Fashion Week’s third year out of the Bryant Park Era that Fashion Week was tented under for more than 15 years. Bryant Park’s grass was not the first turf that the industry began treading its heels on, however.

A History

Fashion Week’s foundation was set not on American soil but in French territory. Before World War II, the northeastern U.S. was not the home of a major fashion capital. In fact, America did not revere fashion much at all. If there were any fashion-followers, they looked toward Paris for haute couture. These designs gained attention overseas so much that journalists felt led to witness the works for themselves. In 1943, however, with World War II raging on, these weekend reports were unmanageable. This is the year one journalist decided to bring the fashion showcase back home to the states: A woman by the name of Eleanor Lambert organized the first American fashion event called “Press Week.” This alternative provided those same journalists to still obtain their weekend reports, only from a different location. Thus, Fashion Week found its way into the Concrete Jungle.

Now title-sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, New York Fashion Week has grown to luxurious proportions.

There is proof that luxury goes a long way. From the small shops of Paris to the post-war pop of New York City, people can in fact associate quality with quantity.



In the Dubai Mall – the largest mall in the world – there is an entire strip called “Fashion Avenue,” dedicated to world-renowned brands like Burberry, McQueen, Prada and Dior, just to name a few. Farah Abdelqader, an SMU junior and former Dubai resident, says that fashion plays a prominent role in her hometown.

“I have lived in Dubai for 15-plus years and trust me, everybody dresses as if they’re about to walk [the] catwalk,” she says.

Although Dubai has not hosted a Dubai Fashion Week since October of 2011, the city’s initial intention had been to rival the fashion weeks of New York, London, Milan and Paris. It is unclear as to if or when there will be another Dubai Fashion Week. However, says Abdelqader, “There is no doubt that the city of Dubai has great interest and potential in the fashion world.”

Dubai serves as one of the locations of ESMOD, an acronym for the first fashion school, which originated in France. Students strive to make a name for themselves in the hopes that their own garments will be featured on the runway one day.



One SMU student is already living her dream of having her name as a label.

Kira Plastinina, a junior communication studies major, has earned her title as the youngest fashion designer in the world.

Plastinina, who grew up in Russia, shows primarily at Moscow Fashion Week, which is sponsored by Volvo and is one of the two fashion weeks held in Russia. The other, Russia Fashion Week, is sponsored by Mercedes.

Plastinina points out how she believes fashion weeks in Russia differ from those in New York and other fashion capitals:

“In general, Fashion Week has more of a recreational atmosphere and less of a business [or] work environment.”

Whereas in New York, Fashion Week is a scheduled 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, Moscow is scheduled a little differently.

“People come to shows like they’re going to an event after work,” says Plastinina.

The shows in Russia are after-work events rather than at-work events, essentially.

Why is this so? According to Plastinina, most of the designers of Moscow Fashion Week have already shown buyers their collections. 

“A fashion show has less commercial value and is more promotional in its nature,” she says.

Ah, what a luxury then! Slipping out of–well, maybe just into lower heels for a night out at the runway.



Despite what some may have heard, Dallas may not be a must-go location on Fashion Week’s bucket list.

Although Dallas plays host to fashion events, there is speculation as to whether or not D-Town would ever truly host a Fashion Week at the caliber of the Big Apple.

SMU adjunct professor in Fashion Media, Kevin Willoughby, votes no.  According to Willoughby, “Proximity is everything.”

When it comes to creating those beginning pieces of a collection, specialty stores are essential in the execution of original designs. Materials need to be readily available. In New York, there is of course the Garment District, which is dedicated to providing this array of materials needed for the production of a collection. Mood, the designer fabric store that is well known for its appearances on the show “Project Runway,” is located here.

In regards to the unfulfilled need for proximity to fabrics and supplies, Willoughby says simply, “Dallas just doesn’t have that.”

So, despite the rumors, Dallas may not have the Fashion Week that some might hope for, but there are still fashion events in the area that a runway observer might attend, including SMU Fashion Week this upcoming spring. Then again, who knows what will happen in the future?


Where to next?

Although Dallas may not be in the running for the runway of the next Fashion Week, there are plenty of others contenders around the world that may be ready for the limelight.

Willoughby offers something special that makes the location a good fit for fashion.

Looking to the big names first, Willoughby identifies Paris as “high end,” Milan as “fabric-driven,” London as the “oddball” with its “millinery and creative environment,” and New York as “fast market-oriented” with an emphasis on “commercial[ism].”

These are some suggested labels for the fashion capitals, but what about the others around the world?

Willoughby notes that the beaches of Brazil and Australia have inspired the creation of one-of-a-kind swimwear as well as lingerie.

The textiles in Japan, particularly denim, makes Tokyo a possible powerhouse in this area of clothing.

In sum, it’s about identity. What makes a location identifiable? Is it something that will allow others to make themselves identifiable as well?

Fashion is on the move and there’s no telling where Fashion Week will hit next, but it is fun to follow the trends.


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The World Is Our Canvas

By Caroline Slattery

For me, street art is seduction. It’s been this way since I can remember, but my fascination heightened the first time I saw Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop, a documentary that follows the anonymous street artist’s life and work. About the same time, Louis Vuitton paid homage to Stephen Sprouse, a fashion designer known for his punk work and graffiti.

If you’re looking for creative inspiration, here are some of my favorite street-art moods.

Photo credit clockwise from bottom left:
The Dihzahyner’s Project: Beirut, Lebanon
Steven Sprouse: Louis Vuitton Collection (background)
Caroline Slattery: created through Graffiti Creator
David Walker: London, England
Zevs: Chanel Liquidated

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Tell Me About It, Stud

By Caroline Slattery

I admit it. I have fallen victim to whom I consider to be the Pinterest gods. I am obsessed with DIY, however sketchy my masterpieces might turn out. My latest fixation is studs. Studded belts, rings, handbags, shoes and shirts fill my dreams nightly. In one particular fantasy, Olivia Newton John struts toward me as “Sandy” from Grease. She throws down her cigarette, stamps it into the ground with the heel of her pump and says, “Tell me about it, stud.” Then a catwalk of variously “studded” models comes out from behind her, walking to the sounds of John Travolta. “I got chills, they’re multiplying,” he sings.

Each model in this dream has a different look; each one I want to copy…hence, my fixation on DIY studs.

Here’s where I’ve found all things studs.

And here are my “top picks” for inspiration:

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Do the Harlem Shake

By Mackenna Scripps

Gangnam style is out, and the newest dance craze is taking the world by storm.  Even models during the recent London Fashion Week were catching on to the trend.

If you haven’t heard of it, you may be living under a rock – or simply need to check out the thousands of “Harlem Shake” videos that have been going viral.

The “Harlem Shake” is an upbeat techno song by Baauer. The eponymous dance is choreographed like a flash-mob production.  One person begins dancing in the middle of a crowd.  No one pays attention until a heavy  beat begins, and the whole crowd adopts the dance’s quirky moves.

Everyone is interpreting their own version of the “Harlem Shake.”  Fraternities, offices, swim teams and all types of people are making these videos and posting them onto YouTube.

Even the TopShop Unique AW13 fashion show in London has models doing the “Harlem Shake” backstage. Models Jourdan Dunn, Cara Delevingne and Rosie Tapner actually made their own “Harlem Shake” video.

Who knew the Harlem Shake could be done with so much style?

Photo credit: TopShop

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Junior Diversifies SMU Style Scene

By Brooke Reagan

Mary Sze, a junior from South Florida majoring in Marketing with a minor in Fashion Media, won the SMU Trendsetter Contest for her grunge, hippy style. You’ll probably find Mary wandering around campus in her staple short black combat boots and flowing maxi skirts.

“In a school filled with fashionistas, her style has always managed to stick out to me. What makes Mary a trendsetter is the effortless sense of style she exhibits that seems to live deep within her skin,” says Sze’s roommate and friend Hillary Hirschfeld, who nominated her for the Trendsetter contest.

“It’s easy for a girl to follow a blog or read a magazine to see what the season’s upcoming trends are, then go out and splurge on the popular brand names,” Hirschfeld continues. “However, what separates a trendsetter and a trendfollower is the simple reality of maintaining one’s individual style. Mary finds ways to take current trends and make them unique to her personal fashion rather than blending in with the rest.”

You won’t ever catch Sze donning Lululemon workout gear for class, that’s for sure. She credits Helmut Lang as her favorite designer but doesn’t define herself as a name-brand kind of shopper.

“I don’t like Tory Burch. I don’t have the kind of things everyone else has. I like what I like and when I see something on everyone, it turns me off,” Sze says.  ”That’s why it pissed me off when everyone else started wearing maxi skirts and combat boots.”

Ironically, Sze landed an enviable internship at Tootsies, the retail hot spot that sponsored the Trendsetter contest, where she’s pursuing an interest in styling.

Although it’s safe to say that Sze’s “it girl” sense of style helped her land the job, it was actually Sze’s tenacity that got her fashionable foot in the door. Sze made her first connection at Tootsies when she interviewed Tamar Minassian, Tootsies stylist, for a school assignment in Spring 2012. As fate would have it, Minassian and Jan Strimple, the D-town fashion event planner, were dining at Penne Pomodoro where Sze worked as a hostess the following fall.

“I knew I had to introduce myself again,” Sze says. “I wanted to not only say hello but to make an impression as well. Within that five-minute conversation, I brought up my past visual design internship at Anthropologie. Jan asked for me not to let her leave without getting my contact information.”

Sze spent the rest of Fall 2012 volunteering at events and model fittings for both Minassian and Strimple. Sze interviewed at Tootsies in December and was offered an official internship on the spot.

Sze now works four to five times a week prepping for fashion shows and assisting with sales and merchandising. “They said they need someone who is self-sufficient and doesn’t need to have their hand held. That’s the kind of worker I am. I would rather be doing everyone else’s tasks than doing nothing.”

Sze hopes the many hours of experience at Tootsies will help her find work as a stylist in New York or California after graduation. “As busy as I am,” she says, “this is what I want to do.”

Nerissa Von Helpenstill, Tootsies store director, envisions a bright future for Mary. “I think she’s a very talented stylist. She has a great eye and sense of style. It takes not only a great eye but a great work ethic to succeed as a stylist.”


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