Sunday, September 1, 2013

It's all about the IMAGE

What exactly is fashion to you? 

   The way I've always looked at it... fashion is whatever makes you feel good about yourself, and who you are as a person. Fashion is self- expression. Fashion is the IMAGE that you are trying to portray regarding who you are, or maybe who you WANT to be.

   Nowadays people are constantly concerned with the idea of self promotion-- especially women. Throughout high school, and at the start of college I've found that the very first impressions that you make on others are often based upon what you wear. Are you classy or trashy? Girly or sporty? Rich or poor? Your clothes will speak VOLUMES, and give people the answers to these questions before you even get the chance to open your mouth. That is why self- image through clothing is so important to society today.

    Now I have heard many negative comments in regards to the current messages that the media is trying to portray when considering self image. Weight specifically tends to be a very touchy topic. The celebs and models on magazine covers, and in movies and TV shows are size 00, while most of us have a hard enough time maintaining a size 6. Yes. Society today encourages people to be skinny. Yes. Many people don't agree with that image because they consider it to be "unhealthy". Some may even get offended at the thought of pursuing that image. But what people have to understand is... the media is portraying that specific image because, right now, that is the current image that society finds attractive! That is the image that gets attention. That is the image that sells.

   From a marketing standpoint, it makes sense. Fashion is constantly changing, but with that, the female standard of beauty and self image changes along with it! For example, did you know that during the Renaissance Era (1400's - early 16th century) only the most voluptuous women were found attractive? During this time weight symbolized wealth. So, the more overweight you were, the more $$$ you had. And who doesn't love money? It wasn't until 1837, at the start of the Victorian Era, when itty bitty waists started to come into acceptance.

   No matter what is considered the "accepted" image, however; people are always going to obsess over looking a certain way. During the 1600's, in the era of Louis XIV, fashion and dressing aesthetically was specifically vital among the elites. Fashion was a symbol of wealth, luxury, and power. I like to think that King Louis XIV was the ULTIMATE diva of the 16th century. He demanded fashion and good company. Whether pregnant, ill, less than 6 weeks after a delivery, and whatever the ferocity of the weather, women HAD to be dressed and laced into their corsets, dance, stay up, attend festivities, eat, and be in good company. Sounds like a drag, right? But the royal court followed every fashion the King set-- no matter how inconvenient, and how ugly. If he encouraged men to shave off their beards, they did so without question. In the 1690's, as the king got older, he began to lose his hair. Afraid that his baldness would diminish his image of authority, he began wearing white haired wigs. Soon after, other court members followed, and white haired wigs emerged as a way to honor the King.

   If the nobility did not embrace their wealth and luxurious lifestyle, King Louis XIV believed their political standpoint would be diminished. Therefore, he was very careful when it came to crafting his image. He was very successful in staging his character, and portraying that image to the public so that his authority would not weaken. To get to the bottom line here, the king was all about the IMAGE, which, I believe, is why he was considered the ultimate leader of fashion and taste in 16th century France.

   If you really think about it, we are extremely lucky to have the freedom to embrace self- expression in today's society-- particularly with fashion. During the reign of Louis XIV, sumptuary laws were implemented with the intention of limiting peoples' private expenditures. The French had laws about how many dresses one could own, the value of materials people could use for clothes, how much cloth one could use, and even who could wear what style! Fabric types were assigned by class. For example, silk cloth, and any kind of red or purple garments were strictly reserved for nobility figures, and anyone dressing out of class would be penalized. This ensured that the most fashionable items could only come from the wealthy, and as long as the wealthy were more fashionable, they were viewed as more powerful.
   I don't know about you... but I love my silk. I love my reds. And I love my purples. And I sure as HELL don't like it when people tell me what to wear. So I really appreciate the fact that we don't have to put up with this garbage.

   But it is examples in history like these that proves that fashion is SO much more than aesthetic pleasure! It has purpose, and it has meaning. And most of all, it has power.

   Image can be used to reinforce existing positive images, change unfavorable ones, or create completely new images where one does not already exist. Image is everything. So ask yourself--

Who do you want to be?


Fashion Fox

Notes: The historical information written in this blog was taken out of Yuniya Kawamura's book, The Japanese Revolution in Paris Fashion

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Dressing in hoodies and sweatshirts for college classes? Not at Marist!

     HELLOOOO my fellow bloggers! Fashion Fox has just arrived here in the beautiful New York, and man am I getting a taste of college life! Yeah, yeah the parties are great- WHATEVER. But the STYLE is even better!
     Who says you need to go to FIT if you want to meet some serious fashion students? Pshhh! Don't make me laugh. I am attending the beautiful Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York-- a college that is well known for its elite fashion program, might I add. Yes, the only difference between here and FIT is that Marist is full of hot straight men too. ;) I'm telling you, Marist is where its at!

     Although Marist has a phenomenal fashion program, I didn't know what to expect when it came to what students were wearing on campus! While I packed my 3 suitcases to prepare for the next year I'd be spending in college, my mom explained to me that college attire is all about comfort. "Everybody wears sweats; no one ever wears heels on campus; and nobody cares what they look like." Although I told her that her wisdom was duly noted, I did not hesitate to pack all of my most fashionable outfits. All I can say is, thank god I did because I was in for a pleasant surprise when I stepped onto the Marist grounds.
     Every day as I walk to class, I am surrounded by girls my age who seem to care about their appearance as much as I do! No Toto, we are definitely not in Kansas anymore. Now you can always tell who is on the sports teams by the sport specific t-shirt and shorts that athletes wear day in and day out. Don't get me wrong-- I love the athletic look! However, if I tried to pull off the look myself, I'd probably offend someone.
     But other than these spirited athletic teams, people are dressing up for class! I am happier than a slinky on an escalator to look around and see boys in unwrinkled collared shirts, and girls in elegant maxi skirts, and even heels! Here at Marist, we care.
     Today I was walking back from class when I ran into a good friend of mine that lives on my floor. Although, instead of hearing the normal "Hey! How are you?" that we always exchange, we both looked at each other and stopped as we realized we were wearing the same exact thing. Immediately we burst into laughter. I don't even care that we were caught together in the same outfit! This girls got style! #twinning

    So as you can see, we both went for the high-waisted shorts/ tank top look on this hot August day. I love this look because its casual enough to wear to class, but it still gives off the impression that you care about your appearance! And as if this look wasn't great enough on its own, there are SO many things that you can add as a nice personal touch. If you notice on the left, she went with the statement necklace, and slicked her hair back into an elegant sock bun. Then on the right, you can see that I complimented my outfit with a cheetah print scarf; leaving my hair down, and kept out of my face with a glitzy gold headband. 
    I definitely recommend this look whether you're going to class or just to the mall! Do what we did and add some of your own style choices to make this classic look more unique! The possibilities are endless!

Want this look? Heres where you can get it!

     - Black high-waisted shorts: Charlotte Russe - $24.99
     - Cheetah Print Scarf: Charlotte Russe - $9.99
     - White tank top: Old Navy - $5.97
     - Ivory statement necklace: Francesca's - $28.00

Stay foxy ladies! It's 2013! Wearing sweatsuits to class just isn't acceptable anymore. 


Fashion Fox

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Career Aspirations-- What exactly am I doing?

"Tell us your career aspirations in 100 words or less."

Does anyone else reach a standstill when faced with this question, or is it just me? In high school, teachers and guidance counselors alike never pressured you to have a specific career goal in mind when selecting a college. They even encouraged students to go in as "undeclared" and figure it out from there. It's no wonder why high school graduates studder when asked what they hope to do with the rest of their lives. WE DON'T KNOW.

"Tell us your career aspirations in 100 words or less."
"Umm.... I'd like to be involved in the fashion industry somehow."
"What specific career path are you most interested in?"

.....Career path?! WHAT are you talking about?! My senior year I decided to pursue a career in fashion after having a heart to heart with my mom. We talked about life. Her life. My future. She told me that she loves the life she lives now, but if she could go back and do it all over again, she'd study fashion. I thought, boy would she be good at it! I've always admired my mom for her incredible sense of style. She has always been, and always will be the perfect partner in crime when I hit up my favorite stores at the mall. Before that talk, I had never considered a fashion career. Yet when she brought it up, it seemed like the obvious path to take! I am obsessed with clothing and shoes (but honestly, what girl ISN'T?) Still. It seemed appropriate.

But do I really know anything about the fashion industry? I can tell you what looks good and what doesn't but that's about it! I don't know big designer names! I don't have a fashion role model or a favorite trendsetter! I don't read blogs or fashion magazines to find inspiration! And I certainly can't tell you what specific career paths exist in the fashion industry. It's astounding to me how little I know. Needless to say, I need to do some extensive research if I want to be taken seriously by all the other fashion majors and professors in college. I will NOT be the weakest link.

So that's what I did. I bought books. I read vogue. Blogs. Google. I'm learning, but I've got a long way to go. When I go to school in the fall, I am sure I will be surrounded by girls who know 100,000 more things about fashion than I. But at least now I have a better idea of the path I want to take.

Career paths in fashion:
    1. Design
    2. Buying
    3. Marketing
    4. Styling
    5. Public Relations
    6. Editorial
    7. Other

Right now, Public Relations sounds the best to me. I love the idea of being an event planner for a big named company. Ie. Victoria's Secret (my favorite <3) I want to be the girl that makes the Victoria's Secret fashion show happen. SO much fun, I can't even handle it!

While attending Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, I will explore all the career paths of the fashion industry.

"Tell us your career aspirations in 100 words or less."

I will attend school to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry. I will explore each and every career path in the field, and I will know everything there is to know about fashion. I will make connections with people currently in the industry. I will be a powerhouse. I will be unstoppable. 

Fashion Fox