October 20, 2015

TALK IS CHIC | Something Borrowed

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By GRETA OHAUS and ELENI TOUBANOS

ET:  I would say that roughly 60 percent of the time I’m wearing something that belongs to Greta.

GO: I absolutely love when you borrow my clothes! Of course there are some special things I don’t lend out borrowing someone else’s sentimental jewelry is kind of weird anyway but I like my closet to get as much exposure as possible.

ET: It still baffles me how we can borrow from one another despite our four inch height difference. Very Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants of us.

GO: I know it’s weird, but I think that’s the magic about lending and borrowing clothes they can have a totally different vibe or style depending on who’s wearing them. Borrowing and lending clothes is a great part of friendship.

ET: I’m a bit more selfish than you are. I only lend out my clothes to people I trust. Shocked I still let you borrow my clothes after the whole red dress thing sophomore year…

GO: Oh God… Still so sorry about that. It’s one thing to get a little stain here and there, that’s what dry cleaning is for after all, but I can’t believe it was ripped at the sides seams and stained all down the front. Shoutout to the boy who poured half a handle of Svedka on me.  

ET: For future reference, you’re supposed to soak the stain out. I’m actually glad you decided to be innovative and return the dress as a cool top. You re-invented it, isn’t that kind of what fashion is about?

GO: Trying to make it into something wearable, like a cool shirt, was the least I could do because you INSISTED I didn’t buy you a replacement dress. Still offering to get you one btw.

ET: Don’t worry about it. Can I just have eternal borrowing privileges?

GO: Of course! You can keep borrowing from me even when I’m 97 living in a retirement home somewhere really chic like Switzerland. You’ve got great borrowing etiquette!

Greta and Eleni’s Guide to Borrowing:

  1. You should ask first. Unless you have secured a symbiotic relation like the one we have established.
  2. Don’t expect to borrow if you aren’t willing to lend out yourself.
  3. Don’t borrow anything that you don’t feel comfortable replacing (i.e. a family heirloom).
  4. Don’t hesitate to let the whole party know exactly who you borrowed from!
  5. Return the borrowed article in the same condition. Here is where things get tricky:
    1. Ask the lender if and how they would like it cleaned (standard washer and dryer, dry cleaned or colonial wash board)
    2. If the item you borrowed requires a little more attention (ie: stained, ripped, zipper problems, missing buttons or just goes missing) there are a couple of things you can do:
      1. Buy the lender an equivalent replacement
      2. Fix it yourself, ask a friend or even a stranger for help (Greta has actually been approached by someone to fix a ripped dress #fashionmajorthings)
      3. If a borrowed item cannot be revived, be honest and discuss a compromise. If it’s a good lender and friend, they should be understanding.

Borrowing extends past the less-than-glamorous lives of two college girls. Magazines borrow from stylists. Stylists borrow from designers. Designers borrow ideas from history, art and culture. The exchange is multi-faceted and controversy can follow; however, if the world is not willing to share, nothing new and debatably beautiful would be created. Tread carefully though, as seen a la Valentino’s Spring 2016 RTW Collection.

We share a major, we share a house, we share clothes. So why not share a column? Eleni Toubanos and Greta Ohaus are both Fiber Science & Apparel Design majors in the College of Human Ecology. Their column is intended to be a conversation between their two unique perspectives as a designer and fiber scientist. They can be found lounging around campus, on their porch sharing a bottle of wine or at et326@cornell.edu and geo8@cornell.edu. Talk is Chic appears on alternate Tuesdays this semester.

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