Fashion, Shopping

Exposure

 

A months or so ago, Fashionista.com published an article entitled “Free the Nipple: How the NSFW Runway Trend Translates to Retail”, a story about how nipples are prominent on the runway, often exposed through sheer fabrics or implied via the whole no-bra look, and how this movement has now reached¬†fast-fashion stores and mass-acceptance. I’d agree with this. Perhaps it’s just living in New York and attending a very liberal school, but I’d say this is definitely the case. Most people aren’t afraid to go braless anymore, something that was frowned upon just a few years ago, and some people go even further. I remember watching a Seinfeld episode where Elaine buys her friend a bra as a gift because her friend always goes braless and gets so much attention. In turn, her friend then wears just the bra and no shirt to make a point. It was funny and classed as totally scandalous at the time, yet nowadays it is totally normal.

I created a few looks on Polyvore, as shown above, which feature either bras as shirts, bralets, mesh shirts, or lacy sheer bodysuits. I wanted to show the various different ways you could style this look for different occasions. I find myself wearing similar outfits on the regular and not feeling risque in the slightest. It’s funny how quickly things become norms.

The Fashionista article was particularly interesting because it was in the long form, something that they don’t do too often, and featured an interview with a trend forecaster who offered further insight into the matter. I’m always interested in what trend forecasting agencies have to say because they are meant to be the people who know what is happening in fashion before it even happens. At my school, we have access to databases like WGSN where we can see trend forecasts for the upcoming seasons, the same level of access that brands and other organizations can pay for. I find it fascinating to see if they are actually right or not. Often they are.

Read the article that I linked above and let me know what you think about this “trend”, if you can even call women’s body parts a trend (which is a whole other talking point).

Further reading

“Free the Nipple” – information from the organization pioneering the current version of the movement

“Free the Nipple founder Lina Esco on fighting the fight for gender equality” – i-D magazine

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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: June 3rd 2017

Can a faded fashion house reclaim its 1970s glory? Inside the effort to save Anne Klein РThe Washington Post

Robin Givhan’s latest piece¬†delves into the reinvention of the Anne Klein brand and its latest revival. Speaking with the current creative director, Sharon Lombardo, Givhan delivers an interesting and information-heavy profile of the brand and it’s current challenges. Lombardo took the helm of the brand two years ago and has spent her tenure trying to redefine the brand, asking “who is the Anne Klein woman today?”. Lombardo has made many subtle and strategic changes to the brand in an effort to recapture the brand’s former position in the marketplace as the go-to for working women. She has redesigned the logo, began using fit models who are older and larger than the standard, and has changed the materials used in their products (real leather instead of PVC, for one example).

I personally didn’t know a lot about the Anne Klein brand until reading Givhan’s book The Battle of Versailles¬†which tells the story of the lead-up to and the events revolving around the Battle of Versailles, a fundraising fashion show held in 1970s France that was a “battle” between French and American designers. Anne Klein was one of the most commercially successful designers at the time who made sophisticated, wearable sportswear. Soon after the fashion show, Klein succumbed to cancer, leaving Donna Karan, her longtime assistant, as the co-creative leader of her brand. Reading the article about what the brand is doing now to try to recapture their former glory is interesting as the brand has always survived but it has not thrived. They are now taking measures to modernize. I’ll be interested to see how things turn out.

“The Most Influential Stylist of the ’90s on Building a Cult Brand” – The Business of Fashion

Continuing with the brand building theme, Business of Fashion conducted an interview with Melanie Ward who is the stylist responsible for creating some of the most iconic images of Kate Moss back in the 1990s. Ward still works as a stylist now, taking on other responsibilities like creative direction as well. The biggest takeaway from this interview for me was about branding. Ward emphasizes the importance of having your own personal brand but toning it down when working for a client, realizing that you need to suit their brand and speak to their customer when working for them.

The word ‘brand’ is a bit of a buzzword nowadays anyway, with everyone wanting to curate their own brand via Instagram. Something that Ward mentioned was hiring designers based on their following versus their talent, reiterating the (should-be) common sense fact that talent and technical skill is more important than following. I think this theory should apply for all professions, but especially creative jobs in fashion. Overall, I found the interview super interesting, especially the part where Ward lays out her 6 key points of advice for building a brand. I encourage you to read it!

Gucci versus Dapper Dan controversy –¬†various sources

This past week Gucci showed their Resort 2018 collection. Similar to the previous seasons collections, I spotted quite a few pieces going down the runway that I know are either going to sell out in stores, be worn by celebrities, or be the buzziest pieces all over Instagram. It’s impossible not to fall for the Gucci hype nowadays. Even if you don’t care for the clothing, the strength of the shoes and accessories is undeniable.

For the resort season, the collection got slightly more attention on mainstream social media than it normally would, crossing over from the fashion community into the masses. The reason for this being¬†that Alessandro Michele, the creative head of the brand, paraded a jacket down the runway that was a direct copy of a piece Dapper Dan had made in the 1980s for Olympic medalist Diane Dixon. The jacket in question featured puffy, logo-covered sleeves and a fur vest. Dapper Dan’s version has the Louis Vuitton monogram whereas Michele’s has the Gucci pattern. Rightly so, people are calling out for Dapper Dan to get the credit he deserves. Gucci responded, offering slight credit to Dapper Dan but not really acknowledging the issue at hand and only after countless memes were shared and articles published on various outlets.

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Editorial, Fashion

Bella Hadid for Vogue Italia – June 2017

I love this cover. The colors, the font, the styling, the prop – everything works. Vogue Italia’s new EIC¬†Emanuele Farneti has been at the helm of the publication for a mere matter of months but already the direction of the magazine has started to change. Since his tenure began, the covers have been fun, with attention to typography and colors. His first cover, the e-commerce themed spread which I felt was a fun take on the future of fashion, and this cover (his fourth) are my favorites so far. I’m excited to see the rest of the editorial when it is released.

  • Photography– Inez & Vinoodh
  • Styling – Alex White
  • Model – Bella Hadid
  • Art Direction – Giovanni Bianco
  • Hair – Ward
  • Makeup – Wendy Rowe
  • Set Design – Jill Nichols
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Fashion, Weekly Words

Weekly Words: May 20th 2017

“A Day in the Life of Kim Kardashian’s Right-Hand Woman, Stephanie Shepherd” – Refinery29

I hate to admit it but recently I’ve found myself watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians on a semi-regular basis. I will just watch random repeats on E! on a lazy weekday morning if I don’t have class. My newfound interest is funny because apparently the national interest in the infamous family is wavering. Kim’s robbery, Kendall’s myriad PR mishaps, Kylie’s ongoing plastic surgery rumours, Kourtney’s relationship drama, and Khloe’s latest break-up with another NBA star, Kris’s heartbreak over C(K)aitlyn’s book – all big moments yet failing to make the same impact as before. Charlamagne actually talked about this on a recent episode of The Brilliant Idiots, his podcast with Andrew Schulz, saying that in a world where Donald Trump is president, we no longer need reality tv. However, the point of highlighting this Refinery29 article was not to mention the Kardashians but to put a spotlight on Stephanie Shepherd, or Steph Shep as most of us know her. Shepherd is Kim Kardashian’s assistant, but, as the interview proves, she is so much more than that, encompassing the role of brand manager, friend, and general all-around helper. I find her job interesting because it is such a 24 hour role. I know that in most companies, the executive assistants work the same hours as their bosses which often means very early mornings and late nights, plus constantly being on call in the evenings, checking emails and messages. However, they get the weekend off when their boss isn’t in the office. Working for a celebrity is so different because there’s no such thing as a traditional work week. They don’t take the weekends off. They may be travelling constantly. It seems to me that Shepherd has given up much of her personal life for her job. Regardless, she comes across as genuine, earnest, and eager. Often profiles of people make them sound vapid, especially those who are in Hollywood, but the Refinery29 profile of Shepherd was fair and actually a really interesting read. I might end up becoming one of her 600k+ followers on Instagram. Not bad for an assistant. And remember, Kim started off as Paris Hilton’s assistant. How they rise!

“How Rachel Zoe is building an empire with female empowerment in mind” – Fashionista.com

Continuing on the theme of careers, Fashionista sat down and did an in-depth interview with Rachel Zoe. It’s impossible to think of the 2000s without thinking of Zoe. Her style was definitive of the decade with the army of Zoebots. Now she has transitioned into building her brand, moving away from celebrity styling almost completely. I just enjoyed reading this article so much because I have such a fondness for Rachel Zoe. She seems like a good person, she has perhaps my dream life, a wonderful family, and she has worked so hard. I find her inspirational and can only hope that I reach her level of success someday.

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Editorial, Fashion

“Starker Vereinigt: Stronger United” in Blush Magazine – Spring 2017

My friend and I worked together on this editorial (which got cut down, unfortunately) and article for Blush Magazine at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT for short). It took inspiration from Berlin street style, the fashion collective GmbH, and the whole postmodernism movement that has taken place. The article discusses this in much more detail.

I decided to put together a little video with some further background on the brand plus some outtakes and behind the scenes clips from the day of the shoot. See below some grainy scans of the actual spread. In due time I will update this once the online edition of the magazine is available as a pdf so you can read it clearer. Until then, pick up a free issue if you’re on campus and get in touch with Blush Magazine on Instagram if you can’t get your hands on a copy!

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Fashion, Personal

Career Inspiration – Patti Wilson

Covers styled by Patti Wilson over the years, from models.com

Covers styled by Patti Wilson over the years, from models.com

The idea of editorial styling is of great interest to me at the moment. It’s something I’ve always been interested in but never thought was possible. I always find it inspiring to read about how top stylists got their start. In Patti Wilson’s interview with Models.com, she tells the story of how she was waitressing then was recommended to style and it all began to fall into place. I wonder if a similar thing could happen for me or if I would have to actively pursue things alone. I think times have changed and serendipitous moments like that are becoming even more rare.

Patti has worked with some of the greatest photographers (she is a frequent Meisel collaborator), as well as some of the greatest publications (Vogue Italia, for one) and she shows no signs of stopping. Read the article (linked) to find out more about her career path.

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Personal

Further Thoughts – Current Career Musings/Social Media Strategy Combo

I’M GOING TO COMBINE TWO POSTS HERE BECAUSE I WROTE THEM ONE DAY AFTER ANOTHER AND THEY’RE ON A SIMILAR TRAIN OF THOUGHT :)

New York is the place to be for creativity I think. Since getting here I have become further inspired to do something really cool, to push myself outside of the boundaries I had previously set; whether that is communicated via my style of dress (which is rather conservative and put-together compared to many people here surprisingly), a set of images that I could create (or at least assist on), or the way I carry myself. I want to be somebody successful, but not necessarily¬†somebody. I feel like I’m stuck in a little bit of a dilemma right now. In this social media age the easiest (and most common) path to success is forged on a high online following, yet I have a private Instagram account. In my opinion, it’s not even about who you know but¬†who knows you.¬†I want to be successful and create a career for myself without having to put my whole life on the internet. Is that possible in this day and age?

Honestly, I’m very interested in styling at the moment. Working at a fashion magazine was always my dream when I was a kid but I always told myself no. It’s not possible. But why isn’t it possible? I could make it happen if I really tried hard enough. I know that when you look at the American Vogue masthead almost everyone is a socialite or related to someone powerful/wealthy/influential. I am neither of these things, nor do I know anybody who is. But does that mean I should give up? Or should I find another path to success? Or another magazine to aspire to? Or another aspect of styling? I feel like I’m at a stage in life where I have so many questions that I’d like to find answers to and I’m not exactly sure how to do it.

Celebrity styling appeals to me too. For example, Rachel Zoe’s empire is extremely admirable. She lives a great life and loves what she does, and that’s very important to me. Another, perhaps more current, example would be Monica Rose who styles the Kardashians. The effect of her styling is very real and pronounced on pop-culture nowadays. I’d love to wield that influence one day but then again I’d also love to do more conceptual, creative things. Shiona Turini has a career that I’d like to replicate somehow. She has a good mix of styling (editorials), magazine work (for example, picking products for certain themes on “trend” pages), and music video/celebrity work (Beyonce’s Formation, Solange’s Cranes in the Sky).

So what’s the best way to start doing all of this? That’s what I’m currently trying to work out. I mentioned this a little bit in my previous post and since then I have been thinking a little bit more. I still don’t have it all worked out yet (but who does?) but I do feel like I have a rough idea at least. Logically, it’s interning. I think when it comes to looking for internships next summer I will focus on PR/Editorial and maybe showrooms. For now, buying is out. In the meantime, I’m going to try and assist people on photoshoots and shadow them so I can learn how this is done. It’s hard to find people to reach out to and also kind of scary (what if they don’t reply? what if they think you’re dumb?) but it’s the only way for me to start. Also, should I start taking photos for my blog? Should I begin YouTube (but I don’t want to speak so that’s probably a bad idea)? I know that I don’t want to turn this into a style blog. That would be extremely hypocritical for me given that I’ve been rather skeptical of them in the past and have also never regularly read or looked at once myself. But do I want to start doing shoots of other people? Or taking photos of products? I’m not sure.

Whatever path I take, I’m excited to see what happens. I’m in New York City. If there’s anywhere to try something new it’s here. This is the land of opportunity. Sometimes I forget that. Also, if I never try something I’ll never know. Stay tuned to see what happens. I hope I can make something really cool happen.


Social media, privacy, and oversharing; three ideas that I think all go hand-in-hand. In this digital age all of the aforementioned are of increased importance. Somehow I’ve been social media shy. It’s strange because a few years ago, during high school, I loved social media. I used Twitter so often that I was put on tweet limit a bunch of times. I had thousands of followers from all over the world and I interacted with people I didn’t know every single day. One day I got spooked. I don’t even know why. I turned all of my accounts to private, I blocked people I didn’t know on Instagram just so they couldn’t follow me, and I deleted Twitter. I couldn’t even give you a valid reason as to why I did this. Genuinely, I have no idea. Nothing bad happened to me, no one bullied me, no one stalked me, nothing crazy. I just got very into this idea that I shouldn’t put my life out there for people to see.

Now that I’m in New York my attitude is beginning to change. I’m starting to realise that you need to use social media as a tool. And hey, it is actually fun. For example, I use Instagram as a bit of a moodboard. If you look at my feed I post mainly pictures that inspire me or that I aspire to be like. There are also a few selfies (literally 6 since 2012) and lots of random shots of scenery and buildings. It’s scary to me that social media can literally land you – or cost you – a job. The fact that your Instagram could have an impact on your career is bizarre. But that’s the modern world.

#GlamourGoals #8

A post shared by Eve Gardiner (@bigbabyeve) on

This weekend (15th October) I’m helping out on a photoshoot. I’m learning the ins and outs of styling because I think it’s something I would actually like to pursue and make something out of. Today I went to pick up the pulls from a showroom. This was a fun experience as I got to have a look around and meet people who worked there, plus I got to leave with a garment bag filled with samples. Tomorrow we are doing the actual shoot, super early (5:30am call time!) but also super fun. This is a genuine immersive learning experience for me. It’s all good googling things and finding out information that way but until you’ve tried it yourself you really never know.

I know that if I tried hard enough with styling I could do something with it. I may not make it to Rachel Zoe’s level of empire (although celebrity styling is an entirely different field), but I may also make something really cool out of this. I keep forgetting that I’m only 18 and I still have a whole life ahead of me to figure everything out. It’s probably because I seem to surround myself in the company of others who are at different stages in life and different stages in their careers that I sometimes forget how young I actually am or how much time I do have. Now is the time to experiment and New York is the place to do that.

In celebration of all things new and open, I made my Instagram account public. Feel free to follow me – @_evegardiner – and keep updated with what I’m thinking at that point in time. I do feel like I have neglected this blog a little bit since getting here and honestly I don’t have an excuse. I’m just so caught up in life and thinking about other things that this has been on the backburner. However, I think I should make a more pronounced effort to develop this blog into something I’d gladly promote to the world and create content that is worth reading. Imagine a Man Repeller style website. If only I could create content quite like that. My dream would be the same mix of humour and writing as those girls have, a little bit of intellectual fashion posts (a la Alexander Fury), and some images from photoshoots if I ever get around to doing any. One thing is for sure, this will not become a style blog. I promise.

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