So this is a fashion column. What does that mean? Well, I talk about fashion, style and clothing and it’s printed in a columnar shape. Like any good social scientist, I say basically whatever I want, but try to back it up with some sort of solid evidence. With a substantial amount of vigorous wit and idiosyncrasies, I assert my opinions and analyses of trends past and present. But first and foremost I am here to help you look good, feel good and know your shit (like me, of course).
As this is my last column for this year, (sad face), in lieu of a single theme I am going to open my Mary Poppins-bag of fashion tips and tricks to get you through the rest of the semester and get you excited/ready for the summer with the clothes you already own.
With all the talk these days of what qualifies a pop star (Pussycat Dolls anyone?), Cornell’s own alumnus Jonathan Wong ’08 has returned to his alma mater to show us how it’s done. Wong was awarded the Cornell Council for the Arts Undergraduate Artist Award, which goes to an individual who demonstrates talent in multiple fields. Wong is currently living in Hong Kong where he is working on a pop album to be released this summer; in conjunction with the album, he is also choreographing his own routines and writing his own songs. Jon Wong sat down with the Sun to speak about his time here on the hill and his future as a dancer, singer and performer.
I have been waiting a long time to delve into the Spring 2009 Ready-to-Wear lines and to bring you the best and boldest looks and trends. The fashion world’s timeline is very confusing: These designs were dreamt of last spring, debuted and manufactured in the fall and finally shipped to stores for you to buy this season. So when I say waiting, I mean a long time. But sporadic Ithaca weather be damned: It’s April, and it’s time for spring.
“I thought when there’s a recession hemlines are supposed to go down,” was just one of the entertaining and informative comments I was privy to while sitting in the front row of Cornell Design League’s 25th Anniversary Fashion Show, Once Upon a Runway. I sat next to a woman who was trading insider secrets and approving nods with her neighbor throughout the show, and she and I had an interesting discussion of the show; for better or for worse, it turns out that we had very similar reactions. The above comment was a reaction to the ubiquity of above-the-knee (and above-the-mid-thigh) hemlines in the show.
It’s spring (purportedly) and there’s growth sprouting all around — and I don’t just mean on the Arts Quad, I mean on the faces of men, young and old, on campus and all around the world. Many news and celebrity outlets have been commenting on the resurgence of facial hair, especially among younger populations. Celebrities like Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Johnny Depp and Jake Gyllenhaal (the list goes on and on) are sporting various types of facial hair, and they are growing it on your average Joe -Plumber, -Hipster, and everything in between.
Over the break I was introduced to a whole genre of music and dance I had no idea existed. A friend told me about this movement called Kuduro (pronounced koo-doo-roo), which is centered in Angola, West Africa, a former Portuguese colony, and in Lisbon, where many Angolans are now living. There are conflicting stories about where the style got its name: kuduro purportedly means “hard ass” or “stiff bottom” in Portuguese, the official language of Angola. It is also said to have a meaning in the Northern Angolan language Kimbundu, but I’m not sure what that is.
This week I solidified several things about myself that I probably already knew: 1) I really truly am terrible at math and even though I understand the motivation I really would rather NOT have the math distribution requirements; 2) It is virtually impossible for me to not rock-out hardcore in Libe café while listening to John Legend feat. Andre 3000 right now; 3) Sunglasses + ordinary day = EXTRAordinary day. Seeing as the first two are highly irrelevant to this column, you can probably figure out what today’s topic is.
If you read my last column, which, unless you know me personally, is unlikely considering the incredibly un-alluring title it was given, you know I discussed various ways to stay warm and look good in the winter. Red Letter Daze’s fashion section that same week, by utter coincidence, also featured comments on winter dressing. So, you may wonder, is there more to say? Am I going to move on to greener pastures today? The answers are yes, and no respectively. This past Sunday’s near-heatwave temperatures (40 degrees, woo-hoo) notwithstanding, it is still very much winter here, and our pastures are all pretty white. So, this week, more on clothes for the current climate, including designer interpretations and some retail suggestions.
“Now is the winter of our discontent.” Well, it is winter, and though Shakespeare was astute about a lot of things, there are two he clearly failed to consider about this winter, both of which minimize discontent. First, the awesome dressing opportunities winter presents, and second, the momentous occasion taking place today, not to mention my first and probably only inauguration day press appearance ever (Go Obama!) For more information about number one, read on. For more about number two, tune in to CNN.