Fashion

Bye

dsc_1016

dsc_0021

dsc_0028

dsc_0012

dsc_1022

dsc_0023

dsc_1031

dsc_0004

dsc_0033

dsc_0027Ragged Priest oversized denim jacket, HLZBLZ ‘Bye’ T-shirt, Calvin Klein jeans, Urban Outfitters boots, Alexander Wang ‘Rockie’ bag.

Happy October!!! This fall, I’m interested in color combinations that break the mold, and this outfit has a kind of funny source of inspiration…I may not admire all of Justin Bieber’s actions, but I have chaperoned my little cousin to two of his concerts (by which I mean I eagerly tagged along), and I honestly love his style. I’m into the way he wears tees that hang a little longer than a standard jacket. He also probably owns one of the most impressive denim collections in human history. Does Justin dress himself? Who’s to say? I for sure don’t care, and Bieber is not the first male, teenage heart throb whose street style seriously inspired my look (read: Robert Pattinson in my senior year of high school). This getup is a personal homage to the fashion icon that is the Biebs, right down to #MyCalvins. These limited edition Calvin Klein jeans have quickly become one of my favorite pieces in my entire wardrobe. I especially like using them as a canvas for more androgynous outfits. I ordered this inexplicably cool graphic tee from Dolls Kill in a size larger than usual to achieve my desired layering effect, and it lined up just right with my beloved reworked vintage Levi’s jacket by Ragged Priest. My favorite boots (many people have mistaken them for Prada) keep the look masculine, and make the outfit a little more upscale. My new Alexander Wang ‘Rockie’ bag (which comes with a cross body strap) also elevates this urban ensemble. I’m obsessed with the deep shade of burgundy-wine, and I’ve been having a lot of fun pairing it with unexpected colors. Something about the way the bag clashes with my tee is just delicious to me, and the burgundy definitely brings strong fall vibes.

Photos by Miranda Mu

Standard
Fashion, Humor, Pop Culture

“Pink is My Favorite Crayon”

DSC_0927

DSC_0976

DSC_0996

DSC_0933

DSC_0992Motel ‘Rosebud’ satin bomber jacket, Emma & Sam cropped tee, Calvin Klein x UO boyfriend jeans, Furla customized ‘Metropolis’ cross body bag in ‘Moonstone’ & ‘Petalo,’ Superga classic sneakers in white.

I have always loved the color pink. In case this post title doesn’t ring a bell, it’s a line from Aerosmith’s ’90s single “Pink,” which I liked so much that I named a pink teddy bear Stephen Tyler. (I was an interesting kid.) Given that I was seven or eight, I understand why no one felt compelled to tell me that, in this case, “pink” was being used a euphemism for the vagina. (Funnily enough, that’s also the story behind the singer Pink’s stage name…I like fun vaginal facts.) ANYWAY, I have always been into pink, but shied away from wearing lighter shades until recently. Considering my newfound confidence in wearing pastels and my affinity for bomber jackets, this one was a no-brainer. The pink jacket and purse give such feminine vibes, so I decided to balance this look out with these amazing Calvin Klein, khaki-colored, cropped boyfriend jeans. These jeans fit with unparalleled perfection, and I have a close relationship with denim. No one does it quite like Calvin, am I right? Unfortunately, these pants were designed exclusively for Urban Outfitters and are completely sold out. Their medium blue acid wash counterpart, however, is still available here.

Photos by Miranda Mu

Standard
Fashion, Travel

Labor Day Weekend

IMG_0237_2

IMG_0236_2

DSC_0516-Edit

DSC_0526

DSC_0566-Edit

DSC_0597-Edit

DSC_0603-Edit

DSC_0607

Photos by the amazing Miranda Mu of MuMuses.com

It’s incredible what social media can do. In April, I posted on Instagram in search of a local photographer, and shortly thereafter received an email from a girl named Miranda, a fellow Boston-based blogger and fashion-lover looking to expand her photography experience, and who seemed to have eerily similar personal style to my own. Since our first shoot in the spring, Miranda and I have become a strong professional team, as well as close friends, and we often stop and reflect upon how lucky we are that so many good things happen by chance. Miranda’s easy temperament combined with her perfectionist tendencies have really raised the bar for my work here on the Sauce, and her open-minded perspective on the world has expanded my own. So, we decided to spend Labor Day Weekend visiting my parents in New Hampshire to relax, enjoy the scenery, indulge in my mother’s cooking, and just celebrate our success as bloggers, as well as our friendship in general. We also wanted to capture some photos of our shared passion for a minimalist weekend wardrobe. (Nothing gets between us and our friendship…or our Calvins.)

Standard
Essays, Fashion, Feminism, Humor, Pop Culture

Talking Fashion

During a recent pause my in my anthropology class, a female classmate and I got into an enthusiastic conversation about fashion—about how street style culture in Boston is definitely on the rise, and about some of our favorite designers. One of the boys in class (who, by the way, wears one dangly earring, and in my opinion has a pretty distinct sense of style) interjected to patronize us, saying, “I don’t get why anyone cares about designer labels. I rip the labels off my clothes.” (I guess he’s never considered that some underprivileged children might have worked really hard to sew those labels in. But like, what could be worse than adhering to labels!? Oh, wait—being the person who says, “I don’t adhere to labels” out loud.) I looked at him and asked, “Do you like music?” and because he is a living, breathing human, he said yes. So I explained to him that being a fan of a fashion designer is no different than being a fan of a musician (or a painter, or a writer, etc.). I explained that I wear certain labels because I appreciate their work—because it speaks to me on a personal level. If their work were to become shitty (poor in quality or simply not relevant to my personal style), I wouldn’t keep buying their stuff…the same way people reject musicians or authors or movie directors when their work goes down the toilet. A designer’s body of work is like any other artist’s, and those of us who understand fashion reference it similarly. Specific collections and eras in fashion are just like albums and eras in music, and all other artistic media. (1950s Christian Dior, “Led Zeppelin II,” 1990s Helmut Lang, Picasso’s blue period…You get it.) And I added, “Music, and all art forms, are just as superficial as fashion, and I’m amused by people who think it’s any different.” He shifted his weight awkwardly from one foot to the other and grumbled, “Well, now it’s like that…” as if the music industry was molested by its drunk uncle and then ran away with its already corrupt friend, the fashion industry, to self-destruct and destroy all our souls—as if music hasn’t had a strong superficial side since long before this kid was even born. In my opinion, mainstream music has become more about image and less about artistic integrity while fashion has strived to exponentially push creative boundaries. But because fashion is so directly linked with physical appearances, people constantly assume it’s a shallow and artless industry, and that people who take an interest in fashion are empty, superficial people. This…is bullshit, and an ironically judgmental and superficial point of view.

I was struggling in my sixth grade science class, so the teacher pulled me out of the classroom not to ask how she could help me better grasp the material, but to tell me that I was “just like Cher in Clueless” and that I viewed school as “nothing but a fashion show.” Forget the fact that everyone has a different learning style—I liked clothes, so obviously this was the source of my academic difficulty, right? It’s been ten years, and I have more than a few cute outfits to put on my résumé. And yet, there will always be people who dismiss me for loving fashion—for “caring about designer labels.” Designing clothes, constructing garments, and putting outfits together are extremely artistic, labor-intensive processes. For me, getting dressed is a liberating form of self-expression that’s actually devoid of labels—I can be a different version of myself every day. It helps me get out of bed in the morning, and I’m never going to let anyone put me down for taking joy in that.

Yes, fashion has its superficial qualities: money, intimidation, popularity, sex appeal, harsh criticism, and some other deadly sins play major roles in the whole fashion scene (not to mention the issue of manufacturing), and these aspects of the industry have presented some moral conflicts for me at times. People tend to automatically respect artistic media such as writing or what you might find in art exhibits and galleries because they expect that kind of work to represent larger moral concepts, while fashion is vilified because it presumably only represents “what’s hot right now.” However, the fact that society tells us it’s okay to spend thousands of dollars on a painting and shames those who invest in clothing is problematic—because this has caused me to ask myself, Can I be a good person if I pursue a career in fashion?; If I follow that path, am I automatically anti-feminist? I took a women’s studies course in which we read a book called The Cult of Thinness, which compared America’s obsession with weight and appearances to some of the most dangerous religious cults. The cover of the book was a photo of a fashion show finale (—judging by the nude-colored sheaths, I would venture to guess it was a Calvin Klein ’90s catwalk), and I felt a pang of guilt for knowing more than one of the models by name. I had a momentary identity crisis, and then I realized that feminism means exerting my power to pursue whatever career I want, and that I can have a positive impact on this so-called “cult.” I can remind people that fashion is an art, and encourage everyone to embrace their unique beauty and to wear what makes them happy, not what the media claims is cool. Though fashion may seem like the most exclusive club, it’s actually wildly inclusive: it’s all about celebrating the weird (i.e. that high fashion stuff that is often categorically unwearable), drawing inspiration from different cultures, uniting those cultures, and, of course, unconditional acceptance. What would the fashion industry be without the LGBT community?

There are countless movements within the fashion world to right its wrongs—more and more companies/designers are sweatshop free, make stylish plus-sized collections, and collaborate with stores like Target to offer high-end looks at affordable prices. And everyone who actually understands fashion knows that those who do buy and wear designer labels for the sake of status just don’t get it. Plus, if you’re going to attack the fashion industry for being a “cult” that pressures people into an unhealthy obsession with appearances, you might also want to examine the whole “sex, drugs, and rock and roll” thing…and if you think trends don’t play into music, movies, TV shows, and the whole “real” art scene, well, you’re pretty fucking delusional. Fashion might appear to revolve around trends and putting people down, but I’ve witnessed fashion’s power to raise spirits. I spent the last year working in fashion retail, and helping women piece together ensembles that visibly boosted their confidence was so rewarding, and definitely restored my faith in the positive nature of fashion and personal style. Ultimately, fashion is just like anything else: an exciting and contradictory combination of good and evil. Love it or hate it, fashion brings people together and makes the world a little more colorful. With that said, stay saucy my friends (and watch this quintessential scene from The Devil Wears Prada)…

Standard