Monthly Archives: April 2013

Red, White, Blue and SMU

By Ashley Stainton & Ashley Anderson

& ashleyphoto

Red, white and blue were the colors to be seen in at the SMU Boulevard Block Party, one of many celebrations held this past week honoring the George W. Bush Presidential Center opening.

SMU students put Uncle Sam to shame, donning everything from flag inspired shoes to patriotic accessories.  Even those who didn’t come dressed in the colors were given American flags to make any ensemble fit the festive occasion.

“When else can you wear American flag pants and fit in with the crowd?” says SMU sophomore Rachel Finkbohner.

We especially like this student’s subtle yet chic way of incorporating the theme with her red Michael Kors clutch!


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Falling Whistles

By Caroline Slattery


Falling Whistles

Peace is the New Frontier
Photo courtesy of Falling Whistles

A young boy marches in the front line of the war in Congo armed with only a whistle. He is too small to carry a gun. He sees the enemy and blows his whistle so that those behind him have a chance to survive – where he couldn’t.

The War in Congo Photo courtesy of Falling Whistles

The War in Congo
Photo courtesy of Falling Whistles


This is the origin of Falling Whistles: a non-profit whose mission is to bring peace to the war in Congo. Falling Whistles sells literal whistles as a symbol to protest  the war. “Their weapon is our voice,” the narrator says in the videos posted on the group’s website. All proceeds from Falling Whistles go directly toward rehabilitating and providing hope to children in Congo.

Falling Whistles began in 2008 and raised more than $500,000 in its first two years. Since then it has recruited 35 Congress members, 16 senators, 200 retail partners and more than 55,000 whistle blowers to join the mission for peace in Congo. From here, Falling Whistle’s mission is to get more politicians involved and to educate more people about the war in Congo. Check out the celebrities they’ve already gotten on board:

Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a piece from Falling Whistles Photo courtesy of The Style Hero

Gwyneth Paltrow wearing a piece from Falling Whistles
Photo courtesy of The Style Hero


Queen B Wearing Her Protest to the War in Congo Photo courtesy of People Style Watch

Queen B Wearing Her Protest to the War in Congo
Photo courtesy of People Style Watch





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Walter Van Beirendonck Does Dallas

By Megan Tvrdik

Sitting at one of SMU Fashion Week’s panels, I was informed about a special guest making his way to Dallas. At the Dallas Contemporary Museum, Walter Van Bierendonck would have a special exhibit showing off his men’s fall 2012 and spring 2013 collections. This exhibit shows the designer’s interest in privacy and what isn’t always apparent on-screen. According to Nick Remsen, blogger for Style File, Biernendonck’s collection shows “themes of secret society dress codes, image copyright violations, reverse race misappropriation (black models in whiteface), Papua New Guinean voodooism, and more.”

I’ve never heard of Walter Van Bierendonck but once I saw the exhibit flyer, I was interested to see what this guy was all about. After I got home from the panel I immediately started searching for pictures of his work. Let’s just say he’s not your “normal” menswear designer… Take a look for yourself.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

On April 12, Walter Van Bierendonck finally made it to Dallas. His exhibit lasts until August 19. If you have a chance, you should check it out. Get your friends to go with you, too: call it a girl’s night. I know I will be making my way to take a peek very soon.


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Seeking Love, Finding Overalls

By Chelsea Parker

Man Repelling will soon come in novel form. My personal favorite fashion blogger, Leandra Medine, has filled an entire book with wit and style. The moment the news broke on her blog, the book earned itself a No. 1 spot on my list of must-reads.

You can see the post here.

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

Leandra Medine’s blog, Man Repeller, began in 2010 and has since launched Medine onto Forbes’ “30 Under 30” as well as TIME Magazine’s top 25 blogs of 2012. I have no doubt that these praises will be surpassed by the numerous rave reviews I expect to see for this book. After all, it has already made a name for itself by ranking No. 8 in humor essays on Amazon. For Medine coming in just below comedians Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling is a huge feat and surely foreshadows the success of the collections of essays “Man Repeller: Seeking Love. Finding Overalls.”

Photo Credit: Man Repeller’s Instagram, @manrepeller

Photo Credit: Man Repeller’s Instagram, @manrepeller


The book will not be released until Sept. 10, but is available for pre-order now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.

Praise for Man Repeller:

“Both Medine’s style and her witty, irreverent observations have the fashion world hooked.”


“One of the most hilarious voices in fashion…”


“Medine has staked out a spot in the fashion world as head cheerleader…”

-New York Observer

“What differentiates The Man Repeller most is the way Medine marries impeccable high fashion aesthetics with a comedic approach that can literally make you laugh out loud.”

-The Business of Fashion

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SMU Fashion Week 2013

Here is a selection of snapshots from the many events that took place during the second annual SMU Fashion Week April 1-5 — from the Monday launch party to lectures by fashion professionals to the Retail Club fashion show on Friday. Hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!! — The editors

Launch party at Mockingbird Station. Photo by Valerie Exnicios.

Launch party at Mockingbird Station. Photo by Valerie Exnicios.

Fashion-blog monetization firm rewardStyle's president, Amber Venz, and CEO, Baxter Box, spoke Tuesday in session moderated by Journalism professor Jake Batsell. Photo by Hillary Schmidt.

Fashion-blog monetization firm rewardStyle’s president, Amber Venz, and CEO, Baxter Box, spoke Tuesday in session moderated by Journalism professor Jake Batsell. Photo by Hillary Schmidt.

Designers, PR professionals & retailers discuss "promoting a brand" Wednesday. Moderated by F/D Luxe editor Christina Geyer.

Designers, PR professionals & retailers discuss “promoting a brand” Wednesday. Moderated by F/D Luxe editor Christina Geyer.






Noted fashion historian Myra Walker was the Fashion Week keynote speaker Thursday at the Meadows Museum. Photo by Ashley Stainton

On the runway at the Retail Club fashion show Friday. Photo by Jordan Swensson.

On the runway at the Retail Club fashion show Friday. Photo by Chandler Broadrick.

Prepping for the big event -- the Retail Club fashion show. Photo by Paige Corwin.

Prepping for the big event — the Retail Club fashion show. Photo by Paige Corwin.

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)

(The models. Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)

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Luxe Spring Eyes by Bobbi Brown


By Catherine Stacke

As a longtime Bobbi Brown makeup user, I am always keeping an eye out for the brand’s newest products.  So naturally, when the cosmetics powerhouse came out with a new Limited Edition Luxe Eye Palette, I had to give it a try.

The palette provides the perfect mix of sparkle, metallic and shimmer shades, and even comes with an espresso eyeliner that beautifully complements this sassy set of six shadows.  In addition, the pocket-size set fits easily into a purse for fashionistas on the go.

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Invest in Yourself this Summer with Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer

By Courtney Spalten


Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, $70
Photo Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Some products are more effective than others at covering breakouts and redness.  Although Clé de Peau Beauté concealer has been a long-time favorite of professional makeup artists, I only recently discovered its benefits.

Why? I long hesitated to spring for the little stick of concealer due to the sizable price tag  ($70) but eventually gave in after trying a small sample that lasted three months.

The opaque formula requires very little product for smooth coverage. It works to flawlessly cover anything from dark under-eye shadows to sunburned spots. Best of all, the  concealer stays put all day long, even when skin starts to shine.

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Listen Up,Fashionistas: Career Advice from the pros

By Angelica Anderson

After 10 years of working in the fashion industry — from managing at Nordstrom to volunteering at NorthPark Fashion Week, I found myself here at SMU, continuing my education.

These past two years have been both challenging and fulfilling, but at least one part of my education brought me right back where I started: fashion.

Minoring in Fashion Media, I’ve rubbed shoulders with extraordinarily talented men and women. I am graduating this spring, and as a student who has paid some dues, I wanted to pass on advice from people who are succeeding in the fashion industry.

Work hard

Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom. At Nordstrom everyone had to start as a sales associate and work their way up to his or her desired position.  This was a company policy. Even the Nordstrom brothers worked in the back stockroom before running the company. It amazed me how many people came to work at Nordstrom with a lot of experience and a degree, but started in the same place as everyone else. What I recognized about starting from the bottom is those who were passionate and willing to work hard succeeded while climbing the ladder quickly.

Whether you are running the back of house at a fashion show, styling a client or writing for a fashion magazine you must be willing to work hard. In the fashion industry there are late nights and busy weekends. The only way you will survive them is by loving what you do.

During the retail event Wednesday night at SMU Fashion Week, the panelists offered advice to those attending.

Designer and owner of Dallas-based Finley Shirts Finley Moll told the group: “You have to be prepared to work really hard and don’t do it unless you love it.”

Added Dallas designer Prashi Shah: “You have to realize it takes an enormous amount of hard work.”




One of the biggest lessons I have learned is you cannot do it on your own, especially in the fashion industry.

Lady Fuller, owner of the Blue Jean Bar, has successfully opened 14 retail stores and five mobile stores since 2004. Her advice to any student interested in a career in the fashion industry? “Be Humble,” she says. “Life is circular. Sometimes you are on top and sometimes at the bottom. It can change daily. It’s a small world and you will encounter the same people over and over. You may need their help one day, and everyone has long memories.”

Last year I had the opportunity to interview Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications for Neiman Marcus, as part of a class project. The one thing Reeder said that I will never forget: She acquired each job in her life through relationships she’d formed at other companies. “It is all about networking, staying connected and saying yes to opportunity.”



Stay true to you

When I was growing up, my mother would continually say: “Always be the person you are when you are in the comfort of your own home.”

It is hard not to get caught up in all the glitz and glamour of the fashion industry. And it is even harder not to conform to what you think others expect you to be. Staying true to who you are as a person is much harder than you may think.

Designer/entrepreneur Moll addressed this when she said: “You need to have our own vision and stay true to whom you are. Don’t be afraid to have your own point of view.”

I am reminded of how in The Devil Wears Prada, Andy, played by Anne Hathaway, must find a balance between the person she was and who she’s becoming. It is OK to change and adapt to your surroundings. This is a natural process of socialization — but we all have that inner voice telling us when we may have gone too far. Listen to it!

Remember: Always try to be the person you are when no one is looking.

Don’t be afraid to fail

Put yourself out there, and if you fail at least fail trying.

We have all heard the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed try, try, try again.” This statement is true on so many levels. It doesn’t particularly have anything to do with the fashion industry, but with your life.

We have trained ourselves to do only what we know we can succeed at, and this limits what we do with our lives. Sometimes we have to break out of what is comfortable in order to achieve our dreams.

As Fuller of the Blue Jeans Bar noted: “Don’t be afraid to make decisions. If you make the right one, great, and if you make the wrong one you learn something and move on.”

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A Model’s Look Inside an SMU Fashion Show

By Chelsea Parker

The second annual SMU Fashion Week ended with student models walking down a catwalk created by students, with student fashionistas looking on.

This year the five-day-long Fashion Week ran from April 1 through April 5.   The fashion show, sponsored by SMU Retail Club, began at 5 on on a sunny Friday afternoon on the Boulevard.

For my first SMU fashion show experience I chose to skip sitting as a spectator and went straight to playing the role of model.

3:40 p.m.

As I stroll to my scheduled hair and makeup time, I expect to sit and relax as hairstylists teased and makeup artists work their magic. Surely it would be a breeze since each model had been sized and styled previously in the week.  I quickly learn that this will not be the case.

Backstage preparations had begun at 2 that afternoon, but hair products are still flying and makeup brushes moving when I arrive.  With nearly an hour and a half until show time, blood pressures begin to rise.  Instead of falling in line with the rest of the waiting models, I make a quick decision to become a part of the process by grabbing a curling iron and helping the frantic hair stylist.

4 p.m.

Twenty minutes later, the models who are ready start moving their second outfits to the tent. With only one hour to spare, I start to get as nervous as everyone around me. The show is fast approaching — and I still haven’t sat in the stylists’ chairs. I’m taking in the hurried looks on the faces of each coordinator as she runs back and forth between our makeshift dressing room and the event tent.

I grab my first “look” for the show off the clothing rack and gaze longingly at my contemporary Clover Canyon blazer the same way I had at my fitting session.  The models’ “first looks” are all based on the theme of what SMU fashionistas will be wearing to their summer internships. My look included black strappy heels, white JBrand jeans with a blue pinstripe down the side, a white Equipment Femme blouse and a highlighter-orange Tory Burch bag — all pulled together with my new must-have Clover Canyon piece.


(Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)









4:45 p.m.

At the 15 minute mark before the show,  most of the models have begun making their way to the tent, ready to walk to runway — which, for now, sits at the center of the Boulevard. I am dressed but still patiently waiting for hair and make up. I’m the last one in the stylist’s chair, and by the time my lips have been painted red and my hair has been braided into a Taylor Swift-style up-do, the rest of the models are long gone.

(Photo Credit: Zoe Mattioli)

(Photo Credit: Zoe Mattioli)

5 p.m.

My run from the dressing room to the outdoor tent magically leaves my freshly styled hair and makeup intact, but as the last model to arrive in the tent, my nerves are frayed.  Realizing I’ve arrived with no time to spare doesn’t help. The show is on!

SMU junior and life-long fashionista Lacey Crisler, who attended the show both to admire the clothes and cheer for friends on the runway, says there’s something almost magical about the first few moments of a fashion show. “As a spectator, the excitement rises at the start of the show,” she says. “Music pumps up the crowd as we get ready to pick out our favorite pieces off the models.”

After a quick announcement thanking the show’s sponsor (Tootsies boutique) and a brief introduction of the event coordinators, the DJ fired up and the first model took her step onto the elevated runway. The rest of us models danced in line  backstage as we waited for our 10-second walk down the runway.  My turn approached. I pushed aside my fear of tripping down the catwalk and stepped out of the tent to show off my first look.

(Photo Credit: Stacey Parker)

(Photo Credit: Stacey Parker)

Fifteen internship ready outfits down the runway later, every model was back in the tent changing into her second look. This time the theme was “summer play.”  For instance, my second look was one piña colada away from a beach vacation. The combination of strappy brown wedges and a red-striped Parker dress left me feeling ready to spend a week in the sun.

(Photo Credit: Stacey Parker)

(Photo Credit: Stacey Parker)

6 P.M.

I was relieved to end my modeling career after one short afternoon of catwalk chaos. The fashion show ended with a round of applause from the audience, the DJ playing an upbeat mash-up, and a finale walk of all the models’ second looks.


(Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Reynolds)

Mackenna Scripps was in charge of overseeing the SMU Retail Club’s fashion show for 2013.  She says she has been working with Fashion Week event planner Daniella Lopez for months to pin down all the many details.  The result: “Maybe I’m biased,” Scripps says, “but I thought the clothes were amazing, the models were great, and the weather was perfect. I loved everything about it!”

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SMU Trendsetter: Abby Caulkins

By Jade Reichman

In order to be a trendsetter, it is essential tha you are confident in everything you wear. Abby Caulkins, a senior Art History major, exudes this confidence. Abby knows how to add a unique twist to her personal style — and does so in the most elegant yet current ways.

The New York native spent time in Paris where she adapted the idea of having a basic outfit that revolves around three colors. Parisians follow an unwritten “rule” to never wear more than three colors at a time. While Abby admits that she never followed this rule prior to spending a semester abroad, she now finds herself instinctively adhering to it most of the time.

Two pairs of Abby’s stylish shoes Photo courtesy of

Two pairs of Abby’s stylish shoes
Photo by Jade Reichman


Q&A with Abby Caulkins:

How would you describe your style?

I don’t think I have a clear, distinct stylistic category, but I’d say something like modern classic. I love new takes on old ideas, such as conservatively cut blazers in gold, bright colors, or accented with leather, or a flannel shirt and motorcycle boots with a fur vest and pearls.

A collection of Abby’s blazers Photo courtesy of

A collection of Abby’s blazers
Photo by Jade Reichman

What is one accessory you can’t live without?

A gold snake bracelet from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museum jewelry is the best-kept secret. They’re usually replicas of actual jewelry in the museum and have such rich history that makes it so much more meaningful to wear…plus it goes with everything.

Some of Abby’s best-kept pieces Photo courtesy of

Some of Abby’s best-kept pieces
Photo by Jade Reichman

What is your “go-to” outfit?

My go to outfit consists of my red wine colored jeans, black silk top, and black booties with either a black fur vest or one of several blazers. (In the photo below Abby wears her “go-to” red wine-colored Rag & Bone jeans, Jay Ahr black silk bow-tip top and white with black-leather accented Aridza Bross blazer.)

Abby in her “go to” outfit Photo courtesy of

Abby in her “go- to” outfit
Photo by Jade Reichman

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