Make-A-Wish Gala

My Night with Clint Eastwood and George Lopez

  • Make-A-Wish Gala
  • Neiman Marcus Christmas Book 2013 Courtesy Neiman Marcus
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  • Launched as homage to the label’s workshop, Chanel’s 2011 Metiers d’Art Show in Paris featured a unique blend of Bombay-Paris theme in costume and ambience. Image via ibtimes

Stop and Smell the Peppermint

By Brielle Kuhn

Overly crowded malls.  Wrapping up the school year while trying to wrap Christmas presents.  Crazy family members coming to town.  The holidays can be a little overwhelming. According to SMU psychology professor Andrea Meltzer, “People have more responsibilities that are time-consuming, which may result in increased stress during the holidays.”

But thank goodness for places like day spas, blow dry bars and yoga studios to relieve some of that stress. D Magazine came out with its 2013 “Best of Big D” list and on it names some favorite spots for the ultimate in relaxation.








Best Facial: Joanna Czech

Facialist to the stars, Joanna Czech has clients such as Anna Wintour and Christy Turlington, and all of her treatments are customized…talk about 5 star treatment!


Best Blowout: La Bichette and Drybar

Possibly the best part of your night will be getting dolled up by the stylists at these blowout bars. Ask for any style and you’re sure to leave feeling “merry and bright.”

Best Place to Get a Massage: Exhale

Unlike most massages that leave you sleepy and ready for a nap, the Reiki massage at Exhale Spa will leave you feeling rejuvenated, blissful and ready to tackle the rest of your holiday.  According to one Exhale employee, “There is a definite increase in the amount of customers during the holidays, especially since people have more time off and more time to relax.”

Best Mani/Pedi: Onyx Nail Bar

Not only do they have a bar filled with nail polish colors, they have a beverage bar as well. With three rows of seats, Onyx is perfect for a quick girls trip getaway.

Best Sunless Tanning: Bronze & Beautiful

I know we haven’t seen much of the sun lately, but who says you can’t fake it? Jacy Rader at Bronze & Beautiful knows just how to give you the perfectly even tan in whatever shade you prefer. And to top it all off, she even comes to your house!

Best Fitness Program: Flywheel

Get ready to sweat! Flywheel is a mix of upper body toning with lower body cardio. Great music and interactive training accompany climbs, deciles, sprints and races.

Best Yoga: Sunstone Yoga

Sweat it all out in one of their advanced hot yoga classes, or maybe just take some time to stretch it out in their intro level class.

Best Day Spa: Hiatus + Retreat

Often it’s hard to find that perfect spa—but Hiatus + Retreat nails it. All natural and holistic, the spa offers top quality from the waiting room, to the unique services, to the end of the day tea. Maybe think about saving this special spot for the end of the holidays because once you head over to Hiatus + Retreat and you’ll never want to leave.

Quick Fixes:

I know we all don’t have time for hours at the salon. So here are some other ways to keep your spirits high and your stress low during the holiday season.

-Stretch it out or take a power nap—we all need a little recharge

-Exercise…even if it’s a quick 20-minute spin class it will get your endorphins up and keep your mood positive

-Go ahead…Indulge in some sweet treats. We all need some holiday cheer.

Amie Hazama, an SMU senior says, “I watch Christmas movies and drink peppermint lattes as a way to indulge in the holidays.”

-Get some fresh air—crisp, cool air helps energize and clear your mind

-Have a sanctuary…like your bedroom. Make it a no gift-wrapping, no computer and a to-do list free zone.


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The Pioneer of Islamic Fashion

By Emily Sims

As a child in Turkey, Elif Kavakci witnessed her mother, a university professor, forced to choose between her career and her religion when the Turkish government banned the wearing of the hijab — the headscarf worn by Islamic women — due to complete separation of church and state.

Today Kavakci, the founder of Kavakci Couture, is not only an internationally known fashion designer but also a pioneer for hijab fashion and an inspiration to Muslim women around the world.

“I would put outfits together as a teenager and later on that turned into a more serious hobby and then finally it became a professional job,” said Kavakci, who’s clientele consists of powerful women like the wife of Turkey’s prime minister.

After moving to the United States when she was 12, Kavakci appreciated the religious freedoms the country offered but realized finding clothes that were conservative yet fashionable was nearly impossible.

Kavakci’s fashion hobby led her to take fashion design classes over a period of 10 years in which she also married and had children. Her love of styling eventually turned into a job and she began styling for fashion shows. Although the conception of her label was unintentional, the revolution she wanted to cause was.

Elif Kavakci via Kavacki Couture

Elif Kavakci via Kavacki Couture

“I had a hard time being a Muslim girl who chooses to wear the religious headscarf, finding clothes that would cover my body. Living in the U.S. where fashion kind of means showing more skin and dressing sexier makes it a little difficult for girls who want to dress conservatively,” explained Kavakci.

“We wear knee-length dresses as tunics because all button down shirts come above the hips and we have to layer our clothes instead. I had a hard time finding something I could wear and still express myself and look chic but still abide by my religious dress code.”

It wasn’t until 2007 that Kavakci’s career really took off.  The Dallas-based women’s organization Peace Makers International approached Kavakci about showcasing her designs in a fashion show fundraiser. Even though she didn’t have a label, the organization liked Kavakci’s style and asked if she would be interested in featuring her designs.

“They felt it would be interesting to see conservative-wear on the runway,” said Kavakci. “At first I thought, I’ve done a lot of styling for fashion shows since 1993 and I’ll maybe put outfits together, but then I thought, I can’t put clothes that don’t belong to me on the runway–now that I’m a fashion designer I have to actually make my own collection and come up with my label.”

Over a period of six months, Kavakci designed her first collection and had the pieces made by a tailor in Turkey. Her first show, Covered in Fashion, took place on SMU’s campus in November of 2008.

According to Kavakci, Covered in Fashion received a lot of media attention since a fashion show where all the models wore hijabs had not been done before. Although Kavakci’s label received a lot of hype, she says the fashion show was not a business strategy but her start to making a difference.

“I was one of the first designers to put the headscarf on the runways,” said Kavakci. “There is so much negative coverage in the media about Muslim women and about women who dress conservatively so I wanted to send a positive image and do it through an art form. The models that walked the runway were not professional models but they were women from the community. So when the audience saw the outfits walk down the runway they knew this was a real Muslim girl.”

Photographer Nicole Queen met Kavakci after Imam Kavakci, Elif’s father, said her Shahada, her declaration of faith, when she converted to Islam. Kavakci approached Queen and asked if she would be willing to do a photo shoot of her designs and since then, the two have become close friends.

“Working with Elif is not work. It’s two friends who share a similar passion for Islamic fashion and feeling empowered through our faith.  I love Elif’s ideas and designs and her attention to detail.  Her clothing is always modest and always stylish, something that is rare in the Islamic fashion industry,” said Queen. “I feel inspired by her vision and empowered to use my abilities as a photographer in a way that also benefits my religious beliefs–this was all so new to me.”

Kavakci isn’t the only member of her family who receives a lot of media coverage.  Kavakci’s older sister, Merve, is an internationally renowned women’s rights activist. She returned to Turkey after finishing school in the United States to run for Parliament and lift the ban of the hijab. Although she won the election, the ban prevented her from taking her oath. Her refusal to back down keeps Merve regularly in the press and in need of styling, which she receives from Elif.

After news of Kavakci’s label spread to Turkey, Kavakci picked up another prominent client, the wife of the Turkish Prime Minister.

“I had styled and designed for my oldest sister who is in politics in Turkey. She’s in the media a lot and everyone automatically picked up the last name and recognized I dressed her. When [the Prime Minister’s wife] read about my fashion show at SMU she thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. I know her and I need outfits designed.’ They always have occasions where they need something to wear, and so she contacted me, and I have the pleasure of working with her and their daughters,” said Kavakci.

After her career took off, many Muslim women inquired about purchasing her clothes. However, Kavakci Couture is a couture fashion line–nothing is mass-produced and everything is made by hand. Currently, Kavakci has a private clientele that she styles and designs for. Although her line wasn’t available to the general public, Kavakci felt she needed to give something to these women who were reaching out.

Kavakci started her blog, Hijabitopia, as an arena where she could give fashion advice to Muslim women. What initially started as a fashion blog quickly turned into a lifestyle blog, filled with inspiration and role models for Muslim women.

Elif Kavakci via her blog Hijabitopia

Elif Kavakci via her blog Hijabitopia

Nazreen Hassan, co-editor of Hijabitopia and Kavakci’s best friend, moved to Dallas from Johannesburg, South Africa, when she was 7 and met Kavakci when they were little girls taking classes at their Mosque. When Kavakci came to her with the idea of the blog, Hassan was fully supportive.

“I consider [Kavakci’s] family, my family.  She’s been my best friend for over 20 years and we’ve experienced the ups and downs of life as hijab-wearing women together. So naturally, when she had this idea to start the blog, she pitched the idea to me, and I, of course, thought it was a fantastic idea and jumped onboard,” said Hassan.

Like Kavakci, Hassan grew up struggling to find conservative yet fashionable clothes and dealt with the prejudices that can come from being different.

“Wearing hijab is not easy,” said Hassan.  “I grew up being the first one to ever walk [into] my junior high school donning a headscarf.  It scared people, I think.  To be honest, it sometimes scared me, only because of reactions I got and mean kids.  But I knew in my heart that it’s what God wanted me to do, so I did it for Him.”

For Hassan, the only person she had to turn to was Elif. Now she feels as if the digital age has opened the door for Muslim women everywhere to find support, which is what she wants Hijabitopia to be.

“At the time, I didn’t have a big social network to turn to for encouragement or questions or help with what to wear [or] how to deal with mean kids who would pull my hijab off.  I really just had Elif,” said Hassan. “With today’s digital age, information, support groups, blogs, you name it, are readily available through the click of a mouse.  And there’s so much comfort in seeing other people like you out there, facing the same struggles and challenges.”

According to Queen, she believes the blog reaches out to women in a way that wasn’t previously done.

“[Elif] was a catalyst in that sense,” said Queen. “Now there are all types of Muslim fashion blogs and girls claiming to be Muslim designers, but Elif still continues to pave the way to be ‘the real deal.’  The blog connects with every woman’s instinct to want to be beautiful while also maintaining a balance between that beauty and our faith.  This is a line so fine you need a magnifying glass to see.  Hijabitopia never ‘sells out.’  They never push anyone towards making sexual appeal or materialistic things more important than their sense of faith. Plus, I love her segments like ‘Superhijabi’ that showcase powerful out-of-the-box veiled women.  It never ceases to impress.”

According to Hassan, she and Kavakci both write and edit pieces for Hijabitopia. The women post pieces that they hope will provide readers with information, advice or guidance.

“Our readers want to read about any superhijabi in the news, such as Ibtihaj Muhammad, the U.S. World Fencing Champion, convert stories or interesting things relating to Muslim women in the media, and finally, fashion trends and how you can modify them to fit into your hijab-wearing wardrobe,” said Hassan. “Our goal is to inspire our readers and the world by showing them that it is possible to be modern and stylish while still following the tenets of our beautiful faith, Islam.”

Hassan and Kavakci both feel that it is hard for young Muslim women, especially in the U.S., to have a prominent female figure to look up to. By posting stories about Muslim women in the media around the world, they hope to give young women now what they didn’t have.

“I feel in America they don’t really see role models on TV that have their religious views.  When they see Miley Cyrus on the TV, they can’t relate to anything,” said Kavakci. “I thought, what if I start a blog where we can share some information and promote being a good Muslim girl and being religious but at the same time it’s fun.”

Queen has lived on both sides since she grew up as a non-Muslim.  She says that deciding to wear the hijab after converting to Islam changed her life for the better.

“I was invited to stay a month in Jordan and I had this idea that everyone there would be dressed in hijab and that if I wanted to fit in I needed to wear it, too. So I packed my bags full of Islamic attire and took off for Jordan,” said Queen. “For 30 days I wore hijab and spent my time with Muslims. By the time my trip was finished I knew there was no way I could detach myself from my new modest image. It felt too good to give up. I felt respected as a woman, like I didn’t have to compete anymore, I was just a modest religious girl now. It was a good feeling, coming from someone who was very vain and physically obsessed with attention and opinions of my image.”

Now as a Muslim woman who chooses to wear the hijab, Queen believes that wearing the hijab is important for more than just following religious practice.

“It’s important because our society is completely breaking down all around us. Yeah, wow, that’s quite a reason.  Well, look back in history and women’s clothing compared to the amount of respect given.  Women of history fought hard and sacrificed everything so we could have rights in the ‘free world.’  They picketed and were arrested and persecuted so we could have the right to vote, own corporations, get a college degree in the same school a man could. The list is endless and slowly we are just walking around naked, with endless freedom and no sense of when we have gone too far,” said Queen.

“They fought for our right to be heard, but today our voices are clouded by our desire to ‘twerk’ our way to the top in the most revealing way possible.  If you want to be at the top, you have to be willing to go as far as any other.  I ran away from all of this and into the arms of my faith, and dressing modestly never made more sense.  The real question: Why wouldn’t someone want to wear it?”

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Kick Up Your Heels

Stacy Radley


Image via Up Scale Hype

Stilettos can make an intimidating impression.  So how did stilettos go from being worn solely to intimidate to being worn for fun as well?  Two words: Carrie Bradshaw.

Although Carrie, our heroine of Sex and the City, is not the sole fashionista to contribute to the stiletto’s popularity, she will forever be associated with the shoe. Carrie helped put designer Manolo Blahnik on the map and made a single pair of sapphire Manolo Blahniks famous. Now that’s power!

Stiletto heels got their name from a stiletto dagger, a short dagger with a tapering blade, while stiletto heels are similarly defined as a “thin, high, tapering heel on a women’s shoe.”  You definitely don’t want to be on the wrong side of that heel.


High heels – any shoe in which the heel is elevated to a point higher than the toe — have played a role in society for centuries.  High heels have been traced back to Catherine de Medici in the late 16th  century, who claimed she required some extra height to be considered beautiful by men.

Others have attributed the high heel’s conception to horseback riders who were having difficulty keeping their feet in the stirrups. So, a small heel was added to the riding boots.


Image via Dover Saddlery

Michelle Reyes, curator at Toronto’s Bata Shoe Museum, has traced heels all the way back to the 9th century because of art depictions on Persian pottery.  The high heels in 9th century Persia are believed to have been created for horseback riding as well.  Then, as time went on, an elevated heel became a stylish look.

Both men and women have been known to work the high heel.  Great European leaders wore shoes with less than a subtle heel, even when they stood for their most significant portraits.  Since their conception, society has viewed high heels as a sign of wealth and status.  In the early years, only royals and aristocrats wore high heels—so only people with an absurd amount of money, power and status.

The stiletto on the other hand, is still a fairly new phenomenon.


Stilettos are much younger than their general high heel relatives.  They were born in the late 1940s when women wanted more height in their shoes and got their first public mention in London’s Daily Telegram in September 1953.

The stiletto took heels in a new direction, with a chic and sexy look.  Their popularity took a dip during the late 20th century when heels became thick and block-like, especially during the 1990s.  But the stiletto made a comeback at the beginning of the 21st century.


Image via Fooyoh

Chelsea Bell of SMU’s Fashion Media department, expects the dip in the stiletto trend to definitely happen again once another style becomes popular, just as it did in the 1990s.

Stilettos are such a popular shoe, women will wear them religiously no matter what the cost—no matter if they are uncomfortable or outrageously expensive.  Stilettos make a statement that women are willing to pay the price — literally and figuratively — since our stilettos may be detrimental to our health. Not only could a misstep cause a sprained ankle or a broken bone but, in the long run, arthritis in the foot and ankle.

Stilettos Today

There are many forums in society today in which one glance toward the ground will reveal a sea of stilettos.  Stilettos by definition are worn by a wide variety of women.  Any thin tapering heel is considered a stiletto; the height of the shoe is not a factor.  This means even slender, little 1-inch heels and have even the slightest taper are considered stilettos.  But societal standards have dictated a stiletto also needs to be high, approximately 3 inches or greater.

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 1.26.05 PM

(L-R) Images via Yasmine Blog, D Best Style, D Best Style

Stilettos have a place in many different niches of society.  Women wear them in both professional and social settings. Male business professionals have agreed that in a professional environment, wearing a pair of stilettos makes a woman seem more credible and good at her job.  When these female professionals need to make their way in a man’s world their stilettos can help them show their male counterparts that they are a force to be reckoned with.  On the other hand, Bell says, “as much as [we] love[s] high heels, they are not a practical footwear choice for most occasions.”

Carrie Bradshaw rocking the stiletto. Photo via Living the Dream

Carrie Bradshaw rocking the stiletto. Photo via Living the Dream

When we’re all staring into our closets each morning pondering our outfit, imitating Carrie Bradshaw’s style is not the first thing that pops into our heads.  But her look of style, class, and personal flare almost always seems to be important. We want to look both credible at work and attractive at play.  Cue the stilettos.

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Dress to Impress Yourself

By Cassie Mlynarek

In May of 2005, Paris Hilton appeared in a wearing a racy string bikini while she soaped up a Bentley and took a huge bite out of the “Spicy BBQ Six Dollar Burger” and proclaimed her signature phrase, “That’s Hot.” Hilton’s ad was later banned from television it was so lewd.

The commercial received, unsurprisingly, a lot of attention and, while her performance did not do much to improve burger sales, it created a debate over whether or not images like this one encourage negative stereotypes of women regarding how they should look and dress.

Paris Hilton in the infamous Carls Junior ad. Photo via YouTube

Paris Hilton in the infamous Carls Junior ad.

Thin frame, glowing tan skin, curves in the right places — and sexy outfits: This is the description that defines women we see every day in movies, magazines and essentially all media outlets. In one day, the average person sees up to 5,000 advertising images. That means that 5,000 times a day, your head is filled with ideas and portrayals that affect you mentally whether you know it or not.

In movies like the James Bond series, women wear sexy gowns with plunging necklines that would put Jennifer Lopez to shame — only to later lose their frocks in a scene of heated passion. These images give society, especially men, the idea that this is how women should dress. But do women really dress like this today? Is the definition of sex appeal changing?

Eva Green in James Bond movie Casino Royale. Photo via Fashion and Pop Culture Magic

Eva Green in James Bond movie Casino Royale. Photo via Fashion and Pop Culture Magic

In the past, men have often controlled the way women presented themselves. Until the 20th century, women could not wear pants. They couldn’t show their legs at all because they had to present themselves as pure in order to have any chance at marrying.

As history progressed and women gained more independence, men had less and less say about what women could wear, but their influence has never faltered. Today, however, less has become more. Scantily clad women are used in commercials as sex symbols to attract men to certain products. The Paris Hilton ad is a perfect example of this.

Cara Jacocks, a professor of communication studies at SMU, agrees that the media’s influence on how women should look and dress is overwhelming. “Advertisements, television and film portrayals of women consistently remind us that women should behave and work in particular ways. Even today we are rarely exposed to images of women who maintain powerful leadership positions in our communities and organizations,” Jacocks says. “The absence of these types of images in mainstream media is a powerful message.”

Women Who Break the Sartorial Stereotypes

Tastemakers such as Leandra Medine, creator of the blog The Man Repeller, have spoken out against the skin-tight dresses and declared their individuality through fashion. Medine started her blog to give other women confidence in their eccentric fashion decisions. Medine herself has been known to wear all denim outfits with fur vests. She encourages these unconventional ways of dressing because she believes fashion is not about pleasing men, but about dressing in a way that represents who you are. Medine, along with her millions of followers, is defying all media stereotypes and creating a new kind of sexy.

Leandra Medine. Photos via Man Repeller

Leandra Medine. Photos via Man Repeller

But it isn’t just bloggers who are embracing this fashion phenomenon. Leading designers such as Miuccia Prada have been pursuing this idea as well. Prada told Women’s Wear Daily that she is “always trying to do something that is…never to please men in the most banal way.”  “But of course, to please men or whatever your preference in sex is—seduction is very important for all people.”

This fashion icon has always embraced the idea of femininity and her designs reflect how the real woman dresses. She acknowledges that sex appeal is still very important to most people but her designs do not attract members of the opposite sex in predictable ways.

Smaller boutiques have also noticed the trend of individuality in fashion and have begun catering their styles to a more fashion-forward, subtly sexy woman. Allison Treadway, store manager at The Impeccable Pig boutique, tries to follow this idea closely.

“I think we always try to get to know our clientele when they come in, what they’re looking for. What kind of styles they tend to go for.  We always try to spice it up,” she says.  “Even though a more sexual side of fashion is covered in the media, I don’t think that is accurate with boutiques and the real day-to-day woman. Obviously what’s in the media or latest celebrity wear is not what an everyday woman is wearing.”

The store’s style features over-sized sweaters, potato sack dresses, flannel tops and eccentric prints of all shapes and colors. Women are becoming more and more attracted to the idea of pleasing themselves, and the fashion world itself is reflecting this change. Sam Perry, a model from Chicago and SMU student, has experienced this trend firsthand.

“Sexy just isn’t about the skin of a woman’s or a man’s body anymore. Rather it’s how they represent themselves, which is shown through clothes,” Perry says. “I show my personality through baggy T-shirts, classic band shirts, a nice pair of boyfriend or skinny jeans, and a pair of black boots.”

Sex appeal is just as important as it has always been, but women are redefining what it means to be sexy. It is true that men appreciate a plunging neckline but they also appreciate a woman’s confidence. Let’s give them a little credit.

The media has a profound impact on the way society views how women should dress but it does not define the way women have dress. So wear a fur vest with denim jeans and the effervescent prints, it’s time to break the sartorial stereotypes.

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Where are the Weirdos?

By Ashley Nicola Wali

 “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different” – Coco Chanel

They wear effervescent hats, sublime maquillage, gravity-defying heels and phantasmagoric ensembles. They are the fashion eccentrics. They are the gods of style—occult, irrational and ineffable. They are the spirited tastemakers who are willing to transcend trends and color outside of the lines. They are true fashion savants, integral to the advancement of style, who valiantly stand out in the sea of sameness. They break rules that we didn’t even know existed.

Marchesa Casati (Vogue September 1970)

Marchesa Casati (Vogue September 1970)

Simon Doonan has written a book about them, T Magazine has devoted an entire article to them and nearly every fashion blog has lauded their individuality, so who exactly are these mesmerizing creatures? True eccentrics are people like Marchesa Casati and Elsa Schiapparelli, who gave way to style setters by the likes of Anna Piaggi and Quentin Crisp. Eccentricity is an elusive concept that means so much more than airbrushed perfection. Eccentricity is not just a way of dressing or a type of person—it is the combination of the two.

Why do we need eccentrics in fashion, you ask? Eccentrics force us to ponder our willingness to push the envelope and act out the sartorial desires well hidden within the confines of our minds. Bronwyn Cosgrave, a best-selling author, broadcaster and luxury brand consultant, notes that being a fashion eccentric “requires a certain degree of confidence.” Eccentrics shape the landscape of fashion and show us that art and life depend on spontaneity.

Isabella Blow

Isabella Blow (Vogue July 2002)

Take, for example, veteran British fashion editor Isabella Blow, who single handedly launched the careers of sartorial wunderkinds like Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy. Blow was held together by a thread of eccentricity—with an unmatched penchant for outlandish ensembles (see: pink burka) and a blatant disregard for societal conventions.

Italian fashion editor Anna Piaggi was another striking portrait of eccentricity— always sporting heavy rouge, candy-colored hair and intensely cultivated style. Piaggi is a genuine muse in a world of sartorial charlatans, a mind numbingly extraordinary figure that lived for fashion that existed at its own margins.

While Cosgrave notes fashion blogger Susanna Lau as an individual who could lead the next generation of eccentrics, she says, “I would classify her style as quirky rather than eccentric.” Lau, who has an affinity for vivacious prints, is notorious for her blunt cut bangs and kaleidoscopic ensembles.

Anna Dello Russo (Vogue December 2010)

Anna Dello Russo (Vogue December 2010)

While eccentrics continually embrace the odd, the ugly and the over-the-top, they’re on the wane. Today, instead of these stylistic geniuses, we have the ephemeral street style stars. “These women who you see posing outside fashion shows, so many of them are paid to wear a head-to-toe designer look,” says Bronwyn, “rarely do these women wear an interesting mix of clothes. Back in the day, Anna and Issy just turned up in their own clothes.”

These are the assassins of eccentricity—the cookie-cutter, celebrity-obsessed herd that trapeze on the streets of any given fashion capital in their prosaic couture confections. They’re the kind of people who primp and preen outside of fashion shows—teetering on their vertiginous heels, adjusting their side-cocked hats. The showoffs that dress purely for the camera are nothing more than prepackaged subversion. Eccentricity isn’t about cultivating a look with a surgical precision—you need intelligence beyond the aesthetic. Eccentrics don’t care about what people think, and these faux eccentrics care about nothing else.

While fashion is known for saluting eccentrics, they have gone by the wayside in recent years. Morgan Ward, a marketing professor at SMU, says that, “As we have more homogenization of fashion across domains, there is less of an ability to find things that feel very unique.”

Big name brands could very well be contributing to the decline of oddball apparel. “As the big brands start to dominate, you have less special garments or less things that appeal to more divergent taste,” Ward says.

The future of fashion is in the hands of the designers who dare to dream and the women bold enough to wear their designs. The biggest mistake people make is taking fashion too seriously. If there is anything we can learn from eccentrics, it’s that clothing doesn’t have to be conceptual, outrageous or shocking to be memorable, it just has to be a reflection of you. Nevertheless, as any eccentric worth her weight in Hussein Chalayan knows, a lament of the end is a signal of the beginning. So where exactly is the second age of the eccentrics?


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R.I.P. Condé Nast Internship Program

Melanie Galindo-Huaume

“To say that working for a fashion publication in New York City had always been a dream of mine is an understatement and definitely a cliché. To me, it had always been much more than that. It wasn’t a dream, it was a goal. And I knew I was going to do it.” – Rebecca Marin, SMU Fashion Media student and previous intern at Condé Nast’s Vogue.

Internships have become de rigueur for ambitious students like Rebecca Marin hoping to break into the world of fashion magazines. So you could practically hear an audible groan from these Anna Wintours-to-be when Condé Nast announced it would terminate its internship program at the end of this academic semester.

Image via Red Alert Politics

Image via Red Alert Politics

The decision stems from two lawsuits filed by former student interns this summer who claimed that the company failed to pay them minimum wages for their respective positions at W magazine and The New Yorker. These cases, still pending, are only one of several recent lawsuits filed by low-paid and unpaid interns in the media field.

“It almost feels like the people who sued kind of ruined it for everyone else. If they were that unhappy with their internship, they could have gracefully resigned instead of opting to sue their previous employer,” said Sara Steinfield, a senior at Colgate University and former intern at Glamour.

Many in both the publishing and academic worlds were caught off guard by Condé Nast’s decision. Some believe it is wrong to deny future students the opportunity to work for publications like Vogue, GQ and countless other award-winning magazines. At the same time, this decision is detrimental to the company as interns fill important needs, like transcribing interviews and keeping track of samples in the fashion closet.

Image Via Lipstiq

Image Via Lipstiq

Condé Nast publications would not comment on the change to the internship policy.

Optimists believe Condé Nast’s decision may create an influx of entry-level positions down the road. According to a current Condé Nast intern who wished to remain anonymous, many are speculating that freelancers will be hired to absorb the general administrative work of various intern tasks. But the possibility of additional jobs in the increasingly competitive industry has not yet tempered the shock of Condé Nast’s bold move.

“It is sad to hear that my experience has now become a rarity and students will not be able to experience that type of learning environment,” said Marin. “However, I am positive that Condé Nast has made a decision that best reflects their mission and efforts. To me, an internship at Condé Nast is priceless and something I would gladly even invest in. To have an amazing experience like that is to have found your soul mate: a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

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Giving back is the new black

By Brooke Bordelon

There was once a time when the words “conscious consumer” conjured images of either hemp-wearing hippies or crazy-eyed PETA activists, dousing fur-clad celebrities in blood.

Today a conscious consumer is anyone who recognizes that what they purchase and where it was made can have a profound effect on the earth.


As people increasingly seek out more socially responsible products, companies are striving to meet consumers’ demands by holding themselves to a higher standard of ethically responsible practices. More and more consumers are abandoning their “out of sight, out of mind” attitude toward sustainable living.  It’s no longer cool not to care.

Roza Essaw, a recent SMU grad, is currently working toward a master’s degree in human rights in London. According to an SMU Meadows spotlight on the young humanitarian, she has “evolved into a globetrotting advocate for overlooked populations in places like Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Africa.”

In an interview with me, Essaw said she believes that changing the face of modern consumerism requires both companies and shoppers to rethink their bottom line. “The more we put our money in factories that exploit workers, the more we are exacerbating workers’ rights,” she said. “Companies must put ethical concerns at the forefront to set an example for others to follow.”

Problems with the fast fashion craze

Media coverage of poor labor conditions – especially in Asia and Africa– has many concerned consumers and human rights activists pointing the finger of blame at “fast fashion” chains such as H&M, Forever 21, and Zara. Due to constant coverage via the Internet and social media, trends now change within weeks rather than months, creating pressure on retailers to churn out the latest fashions at record speed.

According to Elizabeth L. Cline in her book Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion, the wages in many of the factories that fast fashion retailers utilize in developing countries fall below the World Bank poverty line, and workers earn an estimated 1 percent of the garment’s value. According to Cline, in the 1950s and ‘60s, nearly 100 percent of clothing in the U.S. was produced stateside.  In 1990 that number had dropped to 50 percent – today it is 2 percent. In the wake of the controversy surrounding such practices, retailers and consumers alike have begun to push back against the fast fashion craze.

At a Women’s Wear Daily conference in October, famed fashion designer Micheal Kors said as teens grow they will begin to develop an aversion to the concept of fast, disposable fashion:  “We’re going to see it circle back to a very old-school term, the idea of fashion as an investment. Because guess what? The least green thing you can do is engage in disposable fashion.”

Who suffers from bad business?

A 2007 consumer research study by the Natural Marketing Institute, a market research and business development company that focuses on health and wellness, found that knowing a company is mindful of its impact on the environment and society makes consumers 58 percent more likely to buy its products and services.

Tragedies like the April 24 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh– which killed over 1,000 people– have many consumers concerned about the origin of their clothing. The factory housed clothing manufacturers, a bank, apartments, and other shops. Walmart and Children’s Place labels were found among the factory’s rubble.

SMU senior Courtney Curtsinger, an avid shopper herself, believes the factory collapse in Bangladesh was an avoidable travesty brought on by Western consumerism.

“We’re so caught up in the labels and fashion at the time that we never really slow down to consider where they are made and the potential harm to which people are exposed,” she said. “I feel like people should die for a reason and not as a result of consumerism.”

This September, following the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the global trade union industriALL called a meeting of some of the world’s largest retailers in Geneva to discuss a long-term compensation fund for the 2,500 workers injured in the factory’s collapse and the families of those killed. Only nine of the 23 brands produced in the factory at the time of the accident were present. Noticeably absent from the corporate conference were Walmart and Benetton.

Essaw believes that the factory collapse allows us a glimpse into deeply rooted gender issues associated with garment factories abroad. According to her, the bulk of textile workers in the factory at the time were women, a fact supported by the British newspaper The Telegraph, which reported in April of 2013 that a website for one of the Bangladeshi garment factories indicated that at least half of those dead and injured were women.

“While poor men also work in these industries, female employees remain highly segregated,” said Essaw. “Due to these poor conditions reserved primarily for women, it’s not a surprise that female employees find themselves as likely targets of dangerous working conditions.”

Legislation calling for change       

It isn’t only consumers who are pushing for change, however. On July 17, Delaware became the 19th state to sign the benefit corporation legislation into law, doing away with the previous legislation that recognized maximizing profits as the sole corporate purpose. According to Benefit Corps Information Center, under the new law, a company that elects to become a benefit corporation has a duty to meet a statutory purpose of creating general public benefit, defined as “a material positive impact on society and the environment, taken as a whole, from the benefit operations of the benefit corporation.”

The law will give the over 1 million businesses, including 50 percent of all publicly traded companies and 64 percent of Fortune 500 companies, the freedom to implement positive social policies as well as satisfy their bottom line. To recognize this historic shift, on Aug.1., nearly 600 businesses signed an Open Letter inviting their peers to join the conscious commerce movement.  (B Corporation)

How the average consumer can make a difference

Due to the rarity and craftsmanship required of many luxury brands, these companies are often more sustainable than their fast fashion counterparts. Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy –a corporation comprising over 60 luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Celine and Gucci—employs a proactive approach to protecting the environment. According to its website, the chic company has issued an environmental charter since 2001. The document sets out key principles for “best-in-breed” environmental practices for the company and encourages collective environmental initiatives.

Unfortunately, however, the average shopper can’t afford to drop thousands of dollars on pricey luxury goods. That’s where  ratings systems such as The Better World Shopping guide and Alonovo step in. These websites rate thousands of companies on their social responsibility to help a concerned consumer make wise purchasing decisions without breaking the bank.

Moreover, reasonably priced, sustainable fashion companies are becoming increasingly popular. Although there is not a cut- and-dry definition for “sustainable,” these companies strive to create and market goods that foster social and environmental responsibility.  A quick Google search for sustainable fashion brands will yield hundreds of socially responsible e-commerce websites committed to ethical business practices.

Curtsinger believes sustainable fashion brands are the future of clothing production and consumption. She sees the growing interest in ethically buying and selling goods as a natural reaction to the horrors such as the one in Bangladesh.

“I definitely think it’s getting harder for people to justify their purchases when there are so many different options nowadays for buying sustainably,” she said. “People are beginning to become much more aware of how they’re shopping, which I think is the first step to changing the industry for good.”

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Holiday Gift Guide 2013

By Hayley Harrison

With the holidays just around the corner, college students everywhere are pinching pennies in preparation for Christmas shopping. With a lengthy list of recipients, Christmas is not a cheap time for anyone living on a budget. However, there can be a happy medium between cheap and chic. Below is a list of fabulous, clever and fun gift ideas for everyone from your little brother to your coworker or teacher, and nothing for more than $65. Happy giving!


Nordstrom Ultimate Essentials Beauty Palette

For: Sister

Price: $45

Details: The perfect gift for your makeup-obsessed sister, featuring 150 shades for your eyes, lips and face that combine to create an infinite number of possibilities. Available at

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Fossil Classic iPhone 5 Case

For: Brother

Price: $35

Details: Beautiful creamy leather in the color “Cognac,” this case screams polished and professional, yet is simple enough for the pickiest tastes. Available at

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Guinevere Crystal Statement Necklace

For: Mom

Price: $58

Details: A gorgeous accessory for any outfit, this necklace is handcrafted and available in blue/pink and green/brown. Perfect for any mom’s collection, this piece is ideal for holiday parties. Available at

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Hammered Stainless Steel Bar Set

For: Dad

Price: $59

Details: Both sleek and contemporary, this stainless steel bar set is the perfect addition to dad’s collection. The set includes a serving tray, ice bucket, cocktail shaker, strainer, double jigger, bottle opener, stirrer, cheese knife and stand. Available at

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Ultimate Bathtub Caddy

For: Grandparent

Price: $59.99

Details: This caddy is ideal for a grandmother (or grandfather) in need of relaxation. With a chrome tray, candleholder, wine glass holder, reading rack and mirror, your grandparent will have everything she (or he) needs for the perfect bath-time break. Available at

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Nasty Gal Dee Quilted Backpack

For: Best Friend

Price: $58

Details: The most rad quilted, vegan leather backpack for the coolest of friends. Featuring a front pocket, drawstring closure, adjustable straps and cell phone compartment, this backpack is the perfect way to look fashion-forward in the upcoming semester. Available at

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Armitron Round Bracelet Watch

For: Boyfriend

Price: $65

Details: Cool details give this manly watch a super-rugged feel, which will please even the manliest of boyfriends. Available at

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Leather Coin Purse

For: Coworker

Price: $25

Details: Simple and chic – and at a price that makes it appropriate for coworkers – this little coin purse is sure to impress. Available at

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Cathy’s Concepts Personalized Glass Drinking Jars

For: Professor

Price: $36

Details: Say thanks to your teacher with an adorable set of four customized hand blown-glass drinking jars. With their initial featured on each rustic jar, your profs will feel the love.  Available at

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Chanel in Dallas

By Allie Zoranski

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Stanley Marcus gives the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion to Gabrielle Chanel
Source: ©DeGolyer Library, SMU, Marcus Papers

When Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel came to Dallas in 1957, she attended a Western-themed party thrown by Stanley Marcus in her honor. According to Marcus, she did not enjoy the meal and dumped her plate under the table, accidently dropping her food on Elizabeth Arden’s shoes.

This account is one of Chanel’s Dallas connections, and the hallowed fashion house added  one more with the Chanel Métiers d’Art show Dec. 10 at Fair Park.  The “m’étiers d’art” is a yearly pre-fall collection and runway show that honors Chanel’s history and the ateliers that the company owns.

They celebrate the history of Chanel, including the fashion house’s connection with whatever location is chosen for that year, in this case a connection that led Karl Lagerfeld to hold the big show in the heart of Texas.

After World War II was declared, Chanel closed her salon, deciding that this was not the time for fashion. During the war, her affair with a Nazi officer in Occupied France led many of her countrymen to question her integrity.  Not surprisingly, when Chanel reopened her Paris salon in 1953, she struggled to sell her designs – except in the U.S., and specifically in Texas, where Stanley Marcus served as her personal ambassador.

“I love Texas. I love Texans. When Chanel reopened, the French press was beyond nasty. The only press that understood it immediately was the American press – so I think it’s a nice thing to go there,” Lagerfeld told UK Vogue early this year.

It took Chanel three years before she was back on top again, and she owed much of her success to American women.

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A copy of the speech given by Stanley Marcus when Gabrielle Chanel received the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion
Source: ©DeGolyer Library, SMU, Marcus Papers

“When Chanel received the Neiman Marcus Award in 1957, it coincided with the 50th anniversary of the company, which was celebrated extravagantly. Chanel’s visit to Dallas was an important turning point in her career as she was Neiman Marcus’ guest of honor for the golden anniversary festivities and the positive press helped bolster her popularity back home,” said Chelsea Bell, a fashion media professor at SMU.

In the same year as the reopening of her salon, Chanel sold her villa, La Pausa, on the French Riviera to Emery Reves. He was a Hungarian journalist, publisher and advocate of world peace. His wife, Wendy, was from Marshall, Texas, and collected many works of art, according to the Dallas Museum of Art.

“After her husband’s death in 1981, Wendy Reves decided to seek a museum re-creation of La Pausa as a means by which to honor the memory of Emery Reves. There were a number of conditions with her proposed gift one of which included the re-creation, or partial re-creation, of the Villa La Pausa. The DMA first met with Wendy Reves in 1982 to discuss the possibility of her gift. The gift was finalized in May 1983,” said Kimberly Daniell, manager of communications and public affairs for the DMA.

The DMA has used original furniture to re-create rooms in the villa including the library, dining room, salon, bedroom and great hall, as well as a patio built around a central courtyard.

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photos via:

The gallery is a popular attraction within the DMA year-round, according to Daniell. Visit the gallery to get your Chanel fix if you did not get one of the coveted tickets to the Chanel Métiers d’Art show.

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The most important paper you’ll ever write. Or is it?

By Ashley Gross

I’m looking at a photo of a girl sprawled along gritty sand and covered in faint white polka dots. A name and address sketched in pink bubble writing and a skill list ranging from Photoshop CS3 to typesetting to sketching float above her like a quote bubble. Yes, I am describing a résumé.

Who’s going to hire someone with this format? Creatives.

Resume via

Resume via

If you’re applying to creative fields you need a creative resume. Black and white won’t suffice.

According to Refinery29, the largest independent fashion and style website in the US, employers spend only six seconds browsing your résumé until they decide if you fit their position or not.  Employers are said to look at your name, current job title, current position start and end dates, previous position start and end dates, and education.

That’s it. Just six seconds. With that in mind, how do you hold their attention?

Simply search “business résumés” and “creative résumés” and click the image bar. It’s a clear and shocking visual difference. From a screen of black and white ant-like letters on the page to a vibrant splash of color and design — creative résumés clearly make a more wowing first impression than their business counterparts. But it’s important to understand: Business companies would never consider someone with a résumé with such vivacity.

Resume screenshot via Google

Resume screenshot via Google


Resume screenshot via Google

Resume screenshot via Google

The first thing to think about when creating your résumé is your field of work. Business companies and creative companies are on two separate spheres of the work world. SMU Cox Business School accounting major Michelle Navarre says its very apparent what the business field is looking for.

“Business students résumés are very black and white,” she says. “There is little room for any style or creativity.” Navarre goes on to say that business résumés like her own “are expected to be highly professional and most résumés follow a very similar format.”

Although creative and business companies look for different traits when hiring, they still need to see what each potential employee could bring to the table. The best way to do this is by putting your core skills first. Bob Gio, director of sales at Sprint, says keywords that describe your core skills may be the most important thing on résumés these days. “Using keywords in a résumé is vitally important in todays competitive environment of job hunting.”

Gio has seen thousands of resumes flow in for a single job and says, “Most HR departments download the resumes into a system and then search for key words that are compatible with the job opening.” His words of advice for getting a job: Get to know the hiring manager and to substitute the objectives paragraph with keywords. “You really do only have six seconds,” says Gio.

Example of a business resume template via

Example of a business resume template via

Morgan O’Hare, SMU Temerlin creative advertising major, has a different approach. “I want my resume to stand out if I’m applying to creative positions. It’s hard to know where to draw the line between making it look professional and making it too clustered.” O’Hare says you can never know how a potential employer will interpret your résumé format. “I want to make it unconventional, but professional at the same time,” she says. She wants her personality to be reflected on the page, whether that be with her own logo, colors or formatting.

Willie Baronet, head of SMU’s Temerlin Advertising Creative Department, once worked in the creative field. “I have hired many dozens of professionals, many creative and some in other positions,” he says.

He maintains that like a resume, your cover letter is key to getting your foot in the door with employers.  “I can get a sense about someone’s personality, aesthetic sensibilities and abilities as soon as I see it (the cover letter),” he says.

Baronet remembers one cover letter that stood out — and helped the candidate get the position. “It was handwritten and was about how he was willing to do anything we might want him to, including sweeping the floors. He then proceeded to do an in-depth analysis of different types of brooms and his personal experience with each of them. It was hilarious and we hired him as an intern.”

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