- Fashion Blogging Goes Global
- Fashion’s “Tribal Revolution”
- Lululemon: Summer casual wear of choice for chic Dallas women
- A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN FD LUXE PHOTO SHOOT
- What’s Trending in Weddings
Category Archives: Articles
By Chandler Broadrick
Neiman Marcus’ flagship store, on the corner of Main Street in downtown Dallas, brings shopaholics around the world to our city. But quite frankly, there’s really not much more to do downtown.
Timothy Headington, No. 206 on Forbes magazine’s list of United States billionaires, hopes to change all that. Headington is determined to jumpstart downtown Dallas’ image by revamping it with a $78 million renovation of The Joule hotel. The Joule’s new lobby will have upscale shopping like downtown has never seen. Among the add-ons are clothing stores Traffic Los Angeles and TenOverSix, another spinoff.
Traffic Los Angeles started on Hollywood Boulevard in the ‘70s. The boutique’s first store outside of California, the Joule men’s store opened its doors March 7. “It has nice dark hardwood floors and the back has real exposed bricks. It’s really industrial looking,” says Megan Yeaman, the assistant boutique’s manager. Currently the men’s store carries Daniel Patrick + Knomadik, Dolce & Gabbana, and Rick Owens.
The women’s store and specialty shop, Commes des Garcons Play, are soon to follow. Traffic Los Angeles website says that they pride themselves with always being on the cutting edge of fashion and finding the next best thing.
TenOverSix will launch its Dallas store in the lobby, too, along with a specialty store and co-owned coffee shop. Kristen Lee, cofounder of TenOverSix says on the store’s blog: We love the people we are working with at the Joule, and we’re all falling in love with Dallas! TenOverSix carries women’s apparel, shoes, bags and jewelry with designer brands such as Acne, Alexander Wang and Vena Cava. Right next-door, the specialty shop TenOverSix Presents will offer gifts, home design pieces, industrial design, artwork, and beauty products.
“We have a built-in customer with the hotel guests, and have carefully selected some amazing gift items for them. The amazing new group of retailers and restaurants the Joule has put together will also be a draw, and will find us in great company,” Lee says.
Both stores are all-white spaces with terrazzo flooring and custom lighting and carry work by a total of 80 designers. They will rotate different artists, pop-up shops and trunk shows throughout the year. TenOverSix and the hotel are collaborating to create a coffee shop, Weekend Coffee, as well.
As far as the hotel’s revamp, interior designer Adam Tihany leads the project. At the renovation’s completion there will be an additional 21 room, eight suites, three penthouses, new ballrooms and a rooftop terrace and garden. The new spa designed by ESPA will stretch 8,000 square fteet and includ six deluxe treatment rooms, an ice fountain, steam room, sauna, geothermal pool, and experience showers.
A new restaurant and lounge are coming to The Joule as well. The restaurant, CBD Provisions, will serve American comfort food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The new lounge, Mirth & Refuge, is a subterranean cocktail lounge including many cool digital facilities.
Besides The Joule’s expansion, Headington is creating a retailer’s haven between his hotel and Neiman Marcus on Main and Commerce streets. Over the past five years Headington has purchased the five tenant spaces between the two buildings.
By Ashley Stainton
Once-barren clothing racks are now filled with sequined blouses, vibrantly colored dresses and freshly pressed skirts. The staging lights have been checked, the sound of heels clicking against the cement floor drown out the hip music playing in the background, and the “who’s who” of the city’s fashion world are all gathered under one roof.
It’s a sight seen only a few times a year in Dallas.
This is one of FIG’s bigger markets, says FIG’s Carman Thompson, with 61 temporary vendors participating, in addition to the 38 permanent vendors who have showrooms located in the FIG building. Hundreds of collections from Dolce Vita to J Brand were showcased for buyers representing boutiques and stores around the country.
Christy Munger, sales director for Akola Jewelry, had a booth at the show. “Everyone is really excited,” Munger says. “It’s the first time some of these designers and brands get the chance to make their merchandise available to the public. We are interested to see what is popular, what stores think will sell – essentially what gets picked up.”
While the fall market is by appointment only, FIG also hosts a biannual FIG Finale – in January or February and again in August – which is open to the public. Over 2,000 people have attended the event in the past for the chance to shop FIG’s exclusive sales at up to 75 percent off retail prices.
The nationally recognized tradeshows FIG offers throughout the year have helped keep Dallas on the map as one of the premier fashion cities in the country, says SMU student Katie Roberts, who worked the FIG fall market.
“My favorite part about working at FIG is seeing what looks all the buyers and exhibitors show up in each day,” Roberts says. “These people are often very fashion-forward, so what they wear or what they choose to sell or buy helps me to visualize future trends. Right now patterned pants seems to be what’s in for next season and clothes with a lot of movement.”
This first fall show was deemed a success with a lot of positive feedback from buyers and exhibitors, says Thompson. The FIG team isn’t wasting any time, however. They are already getting ready for the next event.
“Once market is complete, it is just the cleanup process, and then we start preparing for the next upcoming market. It is a continuous cycle,” says Thompson.
“When we prepare for the next market we have what is called a ‘market checklist,’” she adds. “This checklist has anything and everything there is to setting up for market. So the planning begins about six weeks out. Some things have to be confirmed prior to that, but that is our starting point.”
The next FIG event, the second fall market and 2013 winter market, will be held May 30 to June 1, so planning is in the initial phases.
Roberts hopes to again be a part of it. “This is my second time working at FIG and, honestly, what keeps me coming back – besides the fun, fast-paced atmosphere and friendly staff – is the clothes! I wanted to see what went on behind-the-scene in fashion, which is why working at FIG has ended up being perfect for me.”
Listen up, fashionistas: Have a great idea for a fashion media-related app, but don’t have the technological know-how to create it yourself? Check out the latest from Dallas-based rewardStyle — a ”hackathon” the weekend of April 5-7 will pair stylish entrepreneurs with tech gurus to create new apps for the fashion industry.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, most of you probably know or have heard of SMU alum Amber Venz and her innovative fashion-monetization company rewardStyle. The rewardStyle hackathon will continue all weekend until Sunday when the winner is announced.
Now, I know I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but this idea really caught my eye. So what exactly is the rewardStyle hackathon? To find out, I spoke with another SMU alum — Meg Jones, a rewardStyle account strategist.
“It [the hackathon] is an opportunity for developers, designers and entrepreneurs to spend the weekend teaming up to build amazing apps for the fashion industry,” Jones says. “The challenge is to take a fresh idea and build out a prototype in one weekend. The team who executes their idea the best will take home the grand prize.”
FYI, that would be $3,000 in cash.
Jason LeBlanc, rewardStyle lead designer, says the team collaborated late last fall and the concept of the hackathon was born. “We released our API [application programming interface] in late 2012 for other companies to integrate with our platform. At this hackathon we wanted to release our API to local talent for them to do the same.
Or, in non-technical language, as Dallas continues to progress as a fashion-forward city, rewardStyle will stay true to their roots and continue to foster local talent. Now that you know exactly what the hackathon is, let’s get to the juicy stuff:
In addition to the cash prize, the winning team will have the chance to present their app at the rewardStyle conference on April 19, an event that will be attended by some of the world’s top fashion bloggers.
I spoke with one of the lead panel judges, Forrest Jordan, who described the prospects this will provide for the winning team.
“This opportunity will provide the winners the chance to pitch their newly built application to an audience capable of turning their weekend hack into a profitable venture,” Jorday says. “This is their target audience so it makes this time extremely valuable.”
So what will the judges be looking for? Jordan described some of the qualities judges would be looking for in the apps. “The value created by the application is most important. The app should provide publishers a more convenient way of accomplishing some task or provide them with the ability to do something that previously was not possible with existing tools. There are numerous ways to accomplish both goals.”
In the fashion and technology industry, where time and convenience is of the essence, it’s crucial to provide publishers with the most innovative and efficient tools to manage their business.
rewardStyle, being the ideal combination of fashion and technology is the perfect business platform for the hackathon. They have the experience, the tools and of course, the fashion. We cannot wait to see what the hackathon weekend will produce!
By Claire Kelley
You’re marching down a city street in your favorite pair of pumps and a perfectly trendy ensemble. Celebrities’ looks are being captured by countless desperate street-style photographers as you pass by. Nearby, bright lights illuminate a catwalk upon which tall, thin beauties pace while wearing a favorite designer’s brand new looks.
Where are you? New York. London, perhaps. Maybe Paris?
Wrong answer, fashionista. None of the above. You’re in Dallas, in the “SMU bubble” that you know and love.
Although only in its second year, and not yet at the capacity to host a huge Marc Jacobs show or foment frenzied street-style photography, SMU Fashion Week is already holding events that would impress many in the industry.
The week of April 1 – 5 promises to be an opportunity for SMU students, faculty and others in the community to learn about the art that is fashion, without flying across the country to do so.
Setting up with Style
The morning of the Fashion Week launch party, co-executive director Julia Eggleston, a senior Advertising major, is on the phone, again, tracking down parking permits for the week’s speakers.
The team member responsible for reaching out to the week’s keynote speaker, fashion historian and curator Myra Walker, Eggleston says she hopes the week will educate SMU students and the public to many facets of fashion.
“We’re excited, and we’re ready to go,” Eggleston says.
This year three students shared much of the responsibility for strategizing and planning – two co-executive directors, Eggleston and Rebecca Marin, a senior Communication Studies major and Fashion Media minor, along with Daniella Lopez, a senior Advertising major and Fashion Media minor and the Fashion Week event coordinator.
While Eggleston wraps up other details, Marin and Lopez double-check plans for the launch party itself.
The initial preparations for SMU Fashion Week, however, begin seven to 12 months before the event.
“It’s important to know what the audience is interested in and what is relevant or new to the fashion industry,” Marin says.
Adds Lopez: “We have basically started planning since last year and are even getting some connections for next year.”
Although this year’s Fashion Week is only the second in SMU’s history, the event is breaking new ground with this year’s lineup.
“Last year, Executive Director Grace Davis did an amazing job in setting the bar for following years,” says Lopez. “Since people heard about Fashion Week last year, this year we have had companies reach out to us and want to help.”
Both Marin and Lopez have high hopes for the future of SMU Fashion Week. Their dream guests of honor include Annie Leibovitz, Anna Wintour, Ken Downing, Diane von Furstenburg, Georgiana Chapman and Jenna Lyons.
And they are confident in SMU’s potential to reach these goals.
“Our team has worked very hard to raise the bar,” says Lopez, “and we hope to continue this exceptional tradition.”
As for Marin, her mantra is simple: “Aim big.”
SFW Schedule of Events
Monday, April 1
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Donation drop-off with Genesis Women’s Shelter at Owen Fine Arts Center lobby
6 to 8 p.m. – Kick-off party at Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station
Tuesday, April 2
6:30 p.m. – Fashion, Technology and Entrepreneurship Panel in the Ernst & Young Gallery in Cox School of Business. Panelists include president of rewardStyle Amber Venz and CEO of rewardStyle Baxter Box.
Wednesday, April 3
6:30 p.m. – Designing and Working for a Brand Panel in the Ernst & Young Gallery. Panelists include Neiman Marcus buyer Stacy Hicks and local Dallas designers. Moderated by Texas Monthly Style Editor Kristie Ramirez.
Thursday, April 4
6:30 p.m. – SMU Fashion Week Keynote Address by Balenciaga exhibit curator Myra Walker in the Meadows Museum’s Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium.
Friday, April 5
5 p.m. – SMU Retail Club Annual Spring Fashion Show on the median of Bishop Blvd.
For details and more information on SFW, go to
By Chelsea Harrison
When you think of modeling, what comes to mind? Victoria’s Secret Angels, flawless faces painted with cosmetics, sky-high stiletto-strapped feet. What do all of these have in common? They are meant for women.
But wait, don’t forget the six pack-clad, broad-shouldered men.
The world of modeling is changing. Today modeling is an arena where genders are beginning to see more equal representation.
Pick up any edition of GQ or Esquire. Yes, of course there are male models inside, men whom other men strive to look like. Sound familiar, girls? Then pick up this month’s Elle or Vogue. There are just as many perfectly built, shirtless males within the pages. After all, there is little difference between the buying inspiration derived from wanting to look like a model and wanting to find a mate who looks like the model’s partner. We are beginning to see these buff male models as often as their female counterparts. And their appearance is bringing about the same positive response.
We’ve all heard “sex sells,” and that is a theory on which advertisers have heavily relied, and still do. In the past, male consumers had the advantage. They were the breadwinners, so the magazines were full to the brim with classically gorgeous women with large bust-to-waist ratios, telling them to buy the best new product. As women became more powerful consumers in the 1970s and ’80s, the advertising focus changed. Just as men respond to images of beautiful women, rugged, statuesque men can motivate females to spend. Male modeling gained an opportunity, and since this shift, there has been a slow evening of the industry playing field.
Jan Strimple of Jan Strimple Productions is a fashion producer and model trainer. She says that the industry today has very specific requirements for a male model. Regardless of his age, the model’s height must be around 6 foot 1. He must have a 31-inch to 32-inch waist and a 32-inch to 33-inch inseam and wear a size 40 jacket, a tighter fit than earlier generations of male models.
Strimple says, “The silhouette of menswear is closer to the body than it used to be, a trend which we adopted from Europe.”
There’s an exception to every rule. In modeling, however, a young man must be truly exceptional to succeed if he deviates at all from industry standards, says James Williford, an agent with the Kim Dawson Agency.
“If a man is under 6 feet tall, he has to have something special: an amazing body, a wonderful face, something extraordinary that overcomes his height disadvantage.”
Unlike female models, male models have good career longevity. Agencies can embrace an aging male’s features “as long as he stays fit,” says Strimple. A 30-something male model can portray a sporty, mature bachelor as well as a handsome, family-oriented businessman. Female models’ careers, on the other hand, tend to peak in their early 20s.
Venus Versus Mars
There’s an obvious assumption today that the majority of models are female. Female models are, in fact, still the prevailing gender. Once a model herself, Strimple estimates that today about 70 percent of models nationwide are female and 30 percent are male, a larger gender gap than in the past. Williford cites the ratio at Dallas’ Kim Dawson Agency as two female models for every one male.
The fact is that females simply have more job opportunities in the industry. The cosmetics and lingerie markets are exclusively female — and even secure a higher rate. Men must find their niche. Although Dallas is a female-heavy market for models, Strimple recognizes markets where males thrive.
“When you think of fine menswear, what comes to mind? Seville row, fine Italian sportswear, Spanish leather,” she says. “That [European] market is made for men.”
Strimple says that internationally, male models have huge potential. The equestrian styles and strong leather pieces many European countries, for instance, produce are very masculine and require a display to match. Men have to fill this niche — a small but important advantage.
Discovery is an extremely familiar word in modeling. An agency will “discover” a model, either inadvertently or actively. James Williford says that often this is simply a matter of luck.
“You can find good candidates anywhere from the grocery store to a baseball game, but it is a matter of what catches your eye.”
Of course, beyond certain size requirements, the characteristics that make someone a “good candidate” are generally opinion-based. Most agencies have a certain agreed-upon “look” they favor or are known for. This is then used as a main factor in determining which modeling prospects they will follow through with.
“Just because I like someone, doesn’t mean everyone will,” says Williford.
Orchestrated model “searches,” of course, provide many new faces. But the stories that hold our interest are organic “sighting” stories, tales that continue to give hope to aspiring models everywhere. Mark Huntley, a senior at Southern Methodist University and former Abercrombie and Fitch model, tells about the day he caught a modeling scout’s eye at a crew competition.
“I was just warming up with my team and these two scouts approached me. I still remember their names. They said, ‘Hey, you kinda’ got the look we’re looking for.’”
This is a classic story about the making of a male model: Unlike females, who often seek out modeling opportunities, modeling opportunities often find young men. These boys are found for the look, and scouts know where to find that and how to spot it.
Most male models may be found by scouts on the street, but some seek fame on their own. Myles Crosby, a Calvin Klein model and incoming SMU freshman, is a case of this success in Dallas. Crosby came to the Kim Dawson Agency with known potential and a strong drive.
“His photographer took his portfolio back to New York, Calvin Klein picked Myles out of the pictures, and just like that, he got the campaign,” James Williford remembers.
This type of situation is quite rare. Even when male models secure an important campaign, like Calvin Klein, they must keep attending castings and push for their career, but “people just started calling for Myles and booking him,” Williford adds.
However, Crosby still did not follow the typical path of a newly successful model. He is dedicated to his role as a football player and puts it before modeling. When he started with Calvin Klein, Steven Klein, the brand’s lead photographer, requested a meeting in New York, an invitation most new models would jump at. Crosby, however, turned down the invitation because he had an existing football commitment.
“I’ve committed to this team. If this ruins the chance of getting the job, so be it,” was Crosby’s response.
Williford notes that this is typical Crosby behavior. “It speaks volumes of the type of person he is,” Williford says. “He is an example of someone who overrides people’s preconceived notions of how models are.”
Crosby intends to keep football a priority and play for SMU in the upcoming season.
By Kelly Matthews
As Meryl Streep glides gracefully toward the stage to accept her Best Actress Award at the 2012 Oscars, audiences everywhere notice how beautifully she has aged, without the help of extreme surgical procedures. She has an air of confidence about her– something that says she is comfortable with her age and appearance. Of course, I would be, too, if I’d just won an Oscar for Best Actress.
Of course, the next step is to see what E!’s Fashion Police host Joan Rivers has to say about the night’s stars and their ensembles. It’s hard not to compare Joan and Meryl. Though Joan Rivers is nearly 15 years Meryl Streep’s senior (gasp!), her taut, seemingly lineless face may fool us into thinking otherwise. Numerous cosmetic procedures have altered and molded it into the façade we recognize today.
Joan Rivers is not so different from the rest of us though. Sure, she has taken anti-aging to a level beyond what most of us would consider rational or attractive. But how many women today wear sunscreen to ward off wrinkles or buy lotions that promise to keep us looking young? This all stems from a culture that has made youth and beauty synonymous.
Dr. Mary Lupo is well-versed in the youth-is-beauty trend. A board-certified dermatologist and nationally known educator in the field of cosmetic dermatology, Lupo has 29 years of experience under her belt. In that time, she says she has seen a dramatic upward shift in the number of cosmetic patients. She attributes this increase to the FDA’s approval of Botox to prevent wrinkles in 2002. Lupo estimates that today 85 percent of her patients come to her specifically for cosmetic anti-aging treatments, including Botox and fillers, laser resurfacing and skin tightening.
“On the face, women first start showing signs of aging with the fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and dark spots,” says Lupo. “When a woman wants to look younger, I focus on correcting volume loss, skin laxity and skin discoloration.”
Lupo says she uses Botox, filler and lasers to help corect most of these skin conditions, and that some of her patients start on the regimen in their 20s as a “cumulative” or preventive treatment.
Botox in your 20s? That’s right. It’s not just middle-aged women investing in these procedures anymore.
Deborah Blumka, a medical aesthetician at Aqua Medical Spa in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood, has noticed a generation of 20-somethings using Botox. Even though this is simply preventive, it can make a real difference in the way women age, she says.
Of course, a 25-year-old wouldn’t be getting the same quantity of, say, a filler, injected into her skin that a 48-year-old would. Different products are utilized for different parts of the face, and every face is different, so each treatment is chosen for that patient specifically.
In August 2010, Town & Country magazine published an article titled “Speaking Volume.” The article focused on injectable “fillers” and how they are “reshaping faces as well as ideas about beauty at every age.”
Well, they are doing a lot more than that. By 2010, the amount of money generated from 10 million injections of the filler Restylane, at $550 a prick, added up to $5.5 billion. That price may sound steep, but the filler can make a woman look an average of 7.3 years younger after one session, experts say.
The other side of a woman’s anti-aging regimen incorporates topical creams and ointments, some used in a preventive capacity, others in corrective, and still others in an effort to slow the aging process overall.
Tracy Giesler is a 22-year-old SMU senior who realizes the value of taking care of her skin now in order to slow the aging process later. Not only does she make sure to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, but she also uses Clinique Super Defense Age Defense Moisturizer, Lâncome Absolute Night Precious Cells and Olay Age Defying Night Cream.
Sure, it may seem like a lot for someone whose face is still wrinkle-free, but there’s something to be said for those women who have the foresight and discipline to protect and take care of their skin from an early age.
Perricone products go through extensive testing before production. They are stronger than many non-prescription products and will yield faster results. This makes Perricone ideal for both corrective and preventive treatments.
Fresh, on the other hand, is a softer, gentler line of skincare products. It was among the first skincare companies to pioneer the use of natural ingredients — sugar, milk, soy and rice — in modern beauty treatments.
Whether it’s an over-the-counter night cream or a $550-per-treatment injection, there’s no doubt that the anti-aging industry is doing well. The website predicts that the value of the anti-aging industry will “reach $114 billion by the year 2015 if current trends continue.” That’s a whole lot of money spent on youth.
Every woman, of course, wants to look her best, and great skin never goes out of style. Whether the goal is to look 10 years younger or slow the aging process, there’s no denying that women today have more power over that process than ever before.
By Ashley Anderson
“Be inquisitive. Learn everything you can.” These simple, wise words come from Jim Gold, the 48-year-old retail lover, businessman and current president of specialty retail at Neiman Marcus. This talented entrepreneur’s 2012 total calculated compensation was nearly $5 million according to Bloomberg Businessweek – an amount that seems foreign to most of us college students. And where did Gold’s career, which ultimately led to his incredible and elite position, begin? The Executive Development Program at Neiman Marcus.
The Executive Development Program is an intensive 12-week training program that, once completed, leads to placement as an assistant buyer with one of the business divisions of Neiman Marcus. And, lucky for interested SMU grads, the EDP is based right here in metropolitan Dallas/Fort Worth.
The EDP first arrived on the Dallas fashion scene over 30 years ago as a way to grow and build future executives. In this exclusive program, aspirant store buyers and fashionistas spend time in the classroom learning theories and analytical approaches to running a business. Students are able to practice these techniques hands-on during their buying-offices rotations.
Kelly Knez is an assistant manager of human resources for Neiman Marcus. She explains that students select a store to shadow and follow the store’s current managers to understand each manager’s role and relationship to the buying office. “Detailed training is provided in regards to the actual buying process and understanding of where you begin as an assistant buyer,” Knez says.
Knowing you’ll be trained so extensively should help ease your nerves, allowing your inner confidence to shine through during the interview.
Now that you know what the EDP entails, it’s time to take that leap of faith and apply. What’s the worst that can happen? Natalie Bornowski, who completed a BBA double major in Marketing and Spanish at SMU, went through the program shortly after graduating. She says the EDP includes a number of different segments: “First, there is an online application that is split into a personality test and then a quantitative/math section.”
The next step toward becoming a Neiman Marcus EDP student? “If you pass this, then an on-campus interview is held,” Boronowski says. ”After this you can advance to the onsite two-day interview at NM corporate offices where you will participate in group projects, interviews and tours.” She says that after this process is complete, you’ll be notified if you have been selected for the EDP class. Jodi Kahn, manager of college relations at Neiman Marcus, says that job experience of any kind and leadership are two qualities they look for in a candidate.
Well…you did it! If you are one of the lucky ones offered a spot in the newest EDP class, congratulations – you deserve it. Typically, a class includes between 25 and 30 specially selected students, most of them recent college graduates. In addition, men comprise about 35 percent of each group – always a bonus for fashionistas used to working in a predominantly female fashion environment! Bornowski explains that throughout the 12-week program, students will be in class completing projects, homework and tests as well as rotating part-time in a buying office.
During this time, another interview process begins to find the best buying fit for each candidate. “Some students will be placed in a buying office while still in EDP, others will be placed directly at the end of EDP, and others will still continue to rotate after EDP has finished,” Bornowski says.“It all depends on the interview process and finding the right buyer/assistant fit.”
Tayler Lee graduated from the EDP and now is the assistant manager for fine apparel at the Neiman Marcus NorthPark store. Lee believes the program has equipped her to one day achieve her goal of becoming a buyer for the store: “The program teaches you about the ins and outs of assistant buying as well as the history and traditions of Neiman Marcus.”
Tips To Take Home
Though this process may seem overwhelming, it is one that many students in the Dallas area and across the country go through to be part of one of the world’s most prestigious and well-known luxury department stores. The program is offered exclusively in Dallas, so why not take a chance? Follow the advice from employees at Neiman Marcus and current EDP graduates and you’ll be one step ahead of other applicants:
Tip #1: Knez says her primary role at Neiman Marcus is interviewing candidates for positions and promoting the EDP. Fashion-loving students should start learning about the store and how it works before they even apply,” she says. “Build your career from the ground up to establish knowledge of the industry, customers and retail environment.”
Tip #2: A graduate of the EDP, Bornowski says: “Be yourself! I suggest you take in everything you learn and conduct your own set of interviews. Don’t be nervous – just breathe and smile.” The SMU graduate compares the process to greek “rush,” or recruitment: “You want to be sure to find the right fit for you in terms of a job, just like you want to find the right sorority.”
Tip #3: Tayler Lee, a graduate of the EDP Program, currently works as the assistant manager for fine apparel at Neiman Marcus. Lee advises potential candidates to try out many different aspects of the program. “The program is a direct feed into an assistant- buying position. But, after you are an assistant buyer, the program can launch your career at NM in many different directions,” Lee explains.
By Veronica Phillips
In the photograph, Karl Lagerfeld sits casually on a sleek low-rise sofa as the light beams in behind him from the windows of his Paris Lemarié atelier boutique. The sound of a classical symphony fills the display parlor as an image of an ivory tutu and 2,500 hand-stitched feathers flutter across the floor. His outlined silhouette focuses on the graceful figure of Elena Glurdjidze, lead principal for English National Ballet, as she performs an impromptu solo from Swan Lake.
For decades the fashion industry and dance world have shared a certain respect for each other. The two crafts are exquisite art forms with production revolving solely around the human body. One utilizes the body as a physical instrument while the other explores the finest ways to present and decorate that body. At their absolute highest form, both professional concert dance and haute couture are incredibly elite and seemingly untouchable. Without one another, sure, each can thrive; however, when the two combine, the power and authority is chilling.
As a dance major and fashion media minor, I’ve discovered the multiple parallels that lie between these art forms through my college studies. Factors from dancers posing as magazine fashion models to designers handcrafting costumes to choreographed runway shows today suggest that dance and fashion are more like sisters than distant cousins in the art realm.
In the 1920s Coco Chanel was the first to design costumes for the Ballet Russe. Bringing the prima ballerinas into to her store for a personal fitting was just another appointment in her planner. This budding friendship between dance and fashion became significantly attractive because Chanel and other multi-billion dollar brands were established close to the time that world-renowned ballet companies were beginning to form. As each enterprise grew more powerful, both found delight in their flourishing success.
Chanel and Prada were founded in 1913, followed by Gucci in 1921 and Fendi in 1925. Just a few years later, The Royal Ballet began in England in 1931. American ballet companies followed — the American Ballet Theater in 1937 and Balanchine’s New York City Ballet in 1948.
The brewing art scene during this pre- and post-war setting was crucial to the two industries’ development. The masterminds behind the designer brands surely relished their exclusive new partnerships with the artistic elite. I envision them sitting at a local coffee shop and saying, “And on Wednesdays we wear pink!”
This connection has similarly inspired designers’ runway shows. Totally outrageous and there to entertain, the runway became the models’ stage. A performance is critical for a professional dancer. It is her means of reward, her moment to shine after months, years of preparation. The same applies to a couture fashion designer. The art he works to produce every season is impeccably displayed to brand his signature into the public psyche.
Jean Paul Gautier and Alexander McQueen are quite possibly my favorite examples of extravagant runway spectacles. McQueen, commonly known for splatter paint and laser beams during runways shows, absolutely projects his line as performance-worthy material. Gautier simply houses exhibits now at many national museums. I can’t speak for the general public, but if I were front row at a McQueen show, I’d be absorbed and transformed as an audience member. Ultimately, once that line between viewer and performer is drawn, the exclusivity factor kicks in. A model in a beautiful gown or a dancer wrapped in tulle is something perceived as elite.
Mikhail Ovchinnikov — director of Erata, Russia’s largest museum collection of contemporary art — sums up the love story when asked about a feature in Russian Vogue: “There has always been a strong chemistry between ballet and fashion,” she says. “Still, the greatest romance of the century happened between ballet and fashion photography. Prima ballerinas established fashion trends in high society, designers looked for inspiration in the works of famous choreographers … and fashion designers made costumes for ballet performances.” That sounds like a captivating and accurate summary to me.
If you’re a Dallasite you’ll know how much our city idolizes fashion. The cover of a recent issue of F!D Luxe – a fashion publication — featured the Dallas-Fort Worth professional ballet company, Texas Ballet Theater. The arts scene may still need funding in our little sparkle city, but the Luxe team took the bold step of demonstrating their support for ballet and the mutual fascination between dance and fashion.
Principal dancers Betsy McBride and Heather Kotelenets were two of the few TBT-ers featured in the shoot. “We respect each other so much because we blend so well together,” says McBride as she described the aesthetic behind the FD Luxe photo shoot. “The fashion editors seemed in awe of the way we used our bodies to create different shapes for the pictures. As dancers, we were amazed with how tediously they [F!D Luxe stylists and photographaers] put all the pieces together and produced the perfect makeup, hair and lighting to go with each particular piece and outfit.”
The beauty of the situation was that both the dancers and editors beamed with excitement whenever a new pose or highly sought-after accessory was presented at the photo shoot, McBride notes. “We respect each others’ creative input and mesh the two groups together.”
Prima ballerina influence is splashed all over window displays, magazine covers and even a more accessible avenue, Pinterest. It isn’t required to be high “haute” society to crave a pair of ballerina flats or want to rock a sock bun. Even tutu trends are sold in department stores accompanied by slender tights.
The senior vice-president of Elle Publishing Group, Carol A. Smith, has said: “Dance and fashion go hand in hand. To me, it’s a perfect synergy.” Both dancers and designers are artists. Both art forms perfect reflections of women’s femininity. Both are elite. I think it’s safe to say these similarities aren’t entirely coincidental. They each pay homage to the other, yet both art forms vie for our attention and patronage. After all, even best friends compete for center stage, and there’s only one spotlight.
By Valerie Rhomberg
Shoe designer Christian Louboutin has been quoted saying that the right shoes can transform one’s body language and attitude, providing a physical and emotional lift. But what if wearing the right shoes could help “lift up” your community, too? At the Neiman Marcus Stiletto Strut, they can.
On April 25, Dallas women will strap on their most coveted heels to take part in the sixth annual Stiletto Strut at the flagship Neiman Marcus store downtown.
The event will benefit The Family Place, a Dallas nonprofit established in 1978 to help end domestic violence. In 2012 alone, the Family Place served 12,398 clients, providing everything from a 24-hour counseling service to after-school snacks for kids through its Safe Campus program.
The evening of the Stiletto Strut, participants “strut” once around the block of the flagship store. The event will also include drinks, food and music — as well as lots of amazing shoes.
The Stiletto Strut was recently added to the list “The 10 Most-Anticipated Spring Events On the Dallas Social Scene” by CultureMap Dallas, and 500 participants are expected to attend this year’s event.
Lacy Ball covers style and the Dallas social scene for PaperCity. She says the Stiletto Strut is one of the events she looks forward to each year. “We’ve been partnering [sponsors] for several years, and it’s an event that resonates with our readers,” Ball says. The Family Place, she adds, “is an incredible organization that we are proud to support.”
Mackenzie Campbell, a shoe-lover and junior at Southern Methodist University, has attended the Stiletto Strut in the past. She says she loved the fact that she could strut down the street in her favorite pair of Prada heels — all while supporting a good cause. “It was a very fun, glamorous and organized event,” she says.
Gentleman, don’t think that Stiletto Strut is an event just for the ladies. This year, for the first time ever, men are invited to join in what is being called the Loafer Lounge. The “Lounge,” which is exclusively for men, will take place at the Joule Hotel, which will provide a rooftop view of the Stiletto Strut as it takes place. The Lounge will offer music, food and drinks– and provides men with the perfect vantage point to watch their friends and significant others strut their stuff on the downtown streets of Dallas.
Registration starts at $75 forthe Stiletto Strut, and $100 for the Loafer Lounge party. For more information about the Stiletto Strut visit http://stilettostrutdallas.org/. To learn more about the Family Place, visit http://www.familyplace.org/.