Monday, May 25, 2009

Sleek Summer Hair

Milla Jovovich, 2009

Simple, low-maintenance hair is essential for keeping cool in the summertime. There is nothing worse than limp curls or frizzy locks from all of the heat and humidity. Read on for some healthy-hair and easy-style tricks for hip summer hair:

Hair maintenance:

Although it is tempting to skip conditioner in hopes for less-greasy, longer-lasting fresh hair, don't do it. All of the dry, indoor heat dehydrates hair, and in the summer months your damaged hair could use the extra moisture. Another trick for healthy hair? Try taking a cold shower. If you can stand the shiver, a cold water rinse will smooth your hair cuticles and create more sheen.
If you are considering bangs or a short, cool summer cut be wary. Humidity often causes straight hair to take on a wavy texture. Your new bangs may not stay where you thought they would!
If you do have bangs, consider growing them out for a bit. Longer bangs ending below the brow are in style right now. Check out recent photos of Keira Knightley for a reference. Also, longer bangs are much easier to pin back into fun summer up-dos. In years past I have braided my short bangs towards the crown of my head, pulling longer hair into the braid for more secure strands. A braid adds detail to a basic pony-tail and sets you apart from other up-dos.

Cool Summer Hairstyles:

Wrap-Around Braid:
For an elegant braided look, tease your hair at the crown. Then gather your hair and secure it with a hair-tie. Next, divide the ponytail into two sections; braid both of these sections. Finally, bring the braids around your full, teased hair and secure the ends with bobby pins.
Another chic, braid trick? Part your hair-the center part may be easiest, but an off-center part might look fun and different. French braid each section and wrap the ends together to create a coiled bun.

Low Pony:
This look is incredibly easy and versatile. You can slick your hair smooth or leave it loose for a more carefree look. The ends can also be left alone; however, for a night out, try teasing your ends to create a full, modern style. If teased hair is too much for you, divide the tail into a few sections and curl. Loosen the tendrils by pulling your fingers through the curls.

Subtle, Beach Waves:
Wavy hair just says summer. Depending on the texture of your hair, a wavy look can easily be achieved. Purchase a beach spray (my favorite is made by Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray); squirt the spray on the ends of almost-dry (air-dried!) hair. Twist your hair into sections. To set the waves, finish by blow drying your hair--quickly, so you don't completely unfurl the curls. Tousel the ends to add more texture, too.

More ideas for long hair:
Mermaid waves-- 1940s, large, rolling waves, side part
Straight and sleek-- flat-iron, shiny, center part

Hair cut Trends:
Hair in 2009 is extreme. Mid-length bobs were increasingly popular in 2008, so to stand out avoid a shoulder or chin-length cut.
Cropped bobs--think Agnyss Denn--with severe angles; pixie cuts--extra short, like Victoria Beckham's current hairstyle; super long, flowing hair--mostly seen on the runways, Proenza Schouler and Anna Sui's models.
A hair cut is a dramatic way to change your look--just make sure you have the face-shape and confidence to pull off a new style (especially a super-short pixie). Hair takes awhile to grow back!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Southern Style

photo from; Lacoste, Trovata, Reyes - Spring 2009

When the heat rolls around, I always regret my normal position on temperature: I used to prefer being cold over hot, but I take that back! When it is 100 degrees and I have just showered to cool down, blow-drying my hair and putting on mascara seems counter-productive. Why did I waste my time? The minute I step outside, I have sweat between my cheeks and sunglasses, and my fresh, sleek hair is a frizzy mess!
How is it that the women of the South, the ideal Southern Belle, stay cool and look chic?

Picking cool items and light fabrics can make a scorching day feel like a breeze!
Combine the following and heat to 108 degrees fahrenheit:

Look for a bright or light colored sundress. If they fit right, sun dresses are comfortable and chic. Unlike pants or jeans--which feel constricting in the heat--your legs can breathe better. If you are purchasing a new dress, always make sure the fabric is quality. There is nothing worse than a dress that pills! Georgette is a great, lightweight summer fabric.
Do not pair your sundress with rubber or foam flip-flops (...please)! Your favorite flats or sandals with a 1/2" heel are key to making your dress look more sophisticated, less juvenile. For a super-casual summer look, pick out a gladiator or flip-flop like sandals, embellished with beads, dressed up with metallics or patterns, or created with more substantial material (like leather or light-colored suede, for example).
One last idea about your sundress: Think about how versatile the dress you are buying can become. If you pick a basic, bright color, you can easily create several outfits with one dress. Put on a long, lightweight cardigan and a skinny belt, booties, and a fedora for a completely different look. Even a flowy t-shirt cinched with a silk scarf around your waist can look great depending on the cut and pattern of the dress.

Gingham Print:
Gingham is a light-weight woven cotton cloth, making this fabric ideal for hot weather. It is a traditional American fabric normally consisting of checks in white and bold shades. Typically, a gingham pattern is small, which makes wearing gingham less flamboyant. Sometimes, the checks are so tiny that your shirt or skirt may look like one single, bold color until observed close-up; however, a large-checked gingham print delivers a bold, graphic look. Check out Trovata's Spring 2009 Collection for inspiration on large-scale gingham checks. And, a word on height: watch out for large-checked gingham (or any large-patterned clothing) if you are on the shorter side. Such an oversize pattern is often times overwhelming on smaller frames.

Sun Hat:
Although hats are now more of a fashion statement (or shield for a bad-hair day!), they will continuously serve as a protective shield from the sun's scorching rays. A panama hat will always be traditional in the South. They are created from high-quality straw and designed in innumerable colors and styles. These beautiful Derby-style hats can get pricey though--original panama hats can cost over $1000. Perhaps a more affordable, everyday option might be a straw hat, a fedora, or a floppy hat. Look for a hat with unique details that make it stand out. A bright color, pretty ribbon, feathers, buttons, interesting pins, lace, and other intricacies can be purchased on a hat, or you can get creative and attach your own favorites. Many people have one favorite hat for years--attaching your own personal accessories will make the hat feel lived in and your own--this is truly the essense of personal style.

Southern Gentlemen:
Incorporate these fashion essentials of the South into your wardrobe for a stand-out look that will surely have those sweet, Southern ladies crooning:

seer sucker shirt
navy blazer

Tight Jeans

photo by Nick Krug; BDG Jeans


This year, blue jeans are more multifaceted than ever. Explore all of the great new shapes created in jean materials--fitted blazers, wide-leg trousers, and pleated skirts. Tailored denim can be dressy or casual--I say, wearing jeans to work beats business attire any day (not saying it's allowed...)! The trend doesn't stop merely at clothing--check out funky clutches, heels, and bangles all wrapped up in this cotton twill fabric.

I often receive questions about jeans and jean-jackets, cut-offs and denim vests. How do we make wearing two parts denim look decent, look classy?
Vests featuring studs, faded washes, and paint splotches put a spin on double-denim. Denim hardly washes the same, and an exact match is tricky—and too well planned. The best feature of denim is its personality, versatility, and spontaneity. Don’t attempt to coordinate too much—you’ll end up looking hokey, cowboy, and far too up-tight. Try wearing black jeans or skirts with a faded-out vest, or a light denim jumper with a punk-rock, studded jacket. Denim caters to far more genres than cowboys—don’t be ashamed to mix-and-match for the perfect look.

…speaking of…

Distressed Denim:
All I have to say is, “Already, so soon??!” I feel like an eighth grade student at Abercrombie and Fitch all over again.
Watch out, this trend can be fabulously 80s with a poof-sleeved jacket and spectacular pumps. Or, it may end up looking like you worked too many days on the farm and ripped up your jeans pulling weeds and feeding cows.
Wearing distressed denim dressed up is one of the easiest things to do. If you wear ripped jeans, flip-flops, and a t-shirt, your outfit doesn't look stylish, it just looks raggedy; however, ripped jeans with big hair and a glam-rock top speaks true to this trend.

Styling your denim:
As Americans have recognized for decades, jeans can be worn all different ways--preppy, rock-n-roll, dressy.
Look for speckled, spotted jeans to stand out. Pair your denim with a blue, chambray shirt or a gingham patterned top for an old-fashioned look.
Darker denim is easily dressed up--it looks more sophisticated than washed out, dirty-denim (sometimes jeans that are distressed almost appear green-ish).

The right cut is key. Belted trouser jeans, harem jeans, and cigarette jeans are my favorite pant shapes right now. A trouser jean is an excellent nod to menswear, and fitted, cigarette jeans feel sexy with your favorite going-out shoes.
Still, recognize that a popular style you like may not be figure-flattering. Trend or no trend--above all, choose a jean in which you feel comfortable and one that flatters your individual figure.

For more denim ideas...

Marc by Marc Jacobs for a great denim dress
Report Signature for platform denim sandals
Banana Republic for fitted denim blazer and (my favorite) Heritage Collection belted jeans
Earnest Sewn for 'Wellesley' super high rise full trouser and 'Zazo' super high rise straight leg

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lawrence Runways: Art on the Green & The Drunken Sailor's Tailor

photo by Caitlin Donnelly, Special to the Journal-World

Last Thursday two fashion shows featuring the styling and design of brilliant locals took place back to back.

Around 7:00 PM, models at the Spencer Museum of Art walked through the main gallery. "Art on the Green" featured sustainable clothing styled by local companies or created by designers with ties to the University of Kansas. Store participants included White Chocolate, Eco Boutique, and Magic Carpet Traveler; two individuals also took part--Liz Kowalchuk, Associate Professor of Design and Meghan Arthur, Columbia, MO. Sierra Falter, President of the Student Advisory Board was excited about the show's success: "At least one portion from each of the outfits included organic fabric or vintage, recycled, second-hand clothing. We wanted to visually show students the dressing possibilities a partially green wardrobe can lend, not just lecture." The style was everything from casual, everyday to tailored chic, and outfits were dressed up with accessories like scarves and hats. The show rang true to me: I love thrifting and promote it. Purchasing vintage clothing is an easy way to maintain individual style and support local businesses by thinking globally, going green.

After changing out of my wide-leg trousers equipped with matching suspenders (both made by my fabulously creative friend, Meghan Arthur), I left the Spencer Museum of Art and headed downtown to catch a glimpse of another high-energy show--The Drunken Sailor's Tailor. It was the first fashion show I had seen as a spectator, and it was fun to see the final outcome still knowing some of the goings on behind the curtain.

A Drunken Sailor's Tailor featured 15 acts, each one capturing unique trends that can easily be worn on a daily basis.
Read on for my thoughts about the show's trends, some of my favorite acts, and advice to incorporate a little style from a Lawrence runway into your own wardrobe:

"Uptown Monkey," styled by Tricia Rock, was edgy, sexy, rock-and-roll. Think corsets, ripped tights, and big hair. Or, hair was slicked back--high pony tails twisted into a stumpy knot. Shoes were anything from chunky to strappy and super-high.

For a sweeter look, "So Quaint," clothing by Monica Gundelfinger, featured a gorgeous neutral palette. Bernadette Peters, the jewelry expert at Goldmakers commented, "The mustard mix on (one) red-headed model was spot-on. Kylie's hair was fabulous and larger than life in a way that offset the neutrals nicely. Big hair is where it's at right now!"

Even the ushers and announcers looked hot--decked out in red, white, and blue--this great sailor look made me think high-waist pants and red lips meet Rosie the Riveter, fabulous.

Pangaea Artspace and Gallery showed off a creative line of clothing. Gregory Thomas--the artist known as Rex--described the event as "Corn fed and fabulous!!" Their models walked out in drunken undies and tank tops complete with anchor stencils and audacious spray-paint colors that truly complied with the show's motif.

Another favorite group dolled up feathers and fringe for a 'Buffalo Goddess' look. Incorporating beads and moccasins with a simple skirt or pair of cut-offs can instantly change your look from average to stand-out.

The very last set by Jeremy Rockwell was stand-out. In recessions, every aspect of life seems to turn to fantasy and escapism. This fantastical group followed that very sentiment.

Take home points:
Debbie Harry punk/polish
menswear with sweet, pink or pastel palettes
Native American finishing touches
"Big Hair!"
Rock & Roll
layered, long necklaces that reveal personalities of the wearer

Program's Acts:
Uptown Money
styled by Tricia Rock

Beyond the Door

Prodigy Apparel

Kitty Reese
Styled by Jeannie Reed

Hot Tea Clothing
by Amanda Kapfer

Pangaea Artspace and Gallery
by Rex

Steffani Day

So Quaint
by Monica Gundelfinger

Missfortunes Creation Station

Kate E. Burke
styled by Kate E. Burke and Suzannah Johannes

Wild Man Vintage
styled by Nicole Edwards

by Loni Hosking

Vintage Van
styled by owner Martha Pierce

Another Man's Treasure
by Fresh Produce Art Collective
styled by Charles Ray, Josie Wrath, Eroc Johonsson, Adam Dorssom,
Jeromy Morris, Paul Flinders, Robert Gandy, Whit Bones, Ostaf Heller, Aaron Storck

Jeremy Rockwell