Prep Culture

By Emily Grant

Like many style tribes, to be a “prep” isn’t simply classified by the clothing you wear, but rather the life you lead.  It’s a lifestyle, not a mall trend.  This culture was borne of east-prep1coast elites who attended private college preparatory schools (hence “prep”) that often fed into the Ivy League.  The uniforms worn at school, paired with the attire of your typical extra-curriculars such as polo, sailing, and equestrian pursuits all influence the wardrobes of WASPs old and new.  These factors, mixed with conservative protestant values, an emphasis on social climbing, and a strong sense of entitlement come together to form what it means to be a true prep (Off the Cuff, 2010).  

In 1980, Lisa Birnbach’s Official Preppy Handbook hit the shelves, and suddenly everyone wanted a piece of prep (Off the Cuff, 2010).  Layered polos with popped collars anyone?  Pictures of my dad from college are pure gold.  The tongue-in-cheek “handbook” was meant to be a satire of the privileged East Coast collegiates, but was seen as preppy gospel by the general public (Preppy, n.d.).  The style that had been the norm forprep2 generations of Blue Bloods was now moving into the mass market (Off the Cuff, 2010).  These were the people doing Ralph Lauren before Ralph Lifshitz had even left the Bronx.  Now, a spiky haired kid with poor manners and an Abercrombie polo might be considered a prep, but don’t be fooled!

Brands like Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Gant by Michael Bastian, and L.L. Bean are absolute emporiums of all things preppy and can be a one-stop shop for someone looking to emulate the lifestyle, as the essentials of a preppy wardrobe are many.  Historically, a prep3preppy male could be found in his school blazer, a rumpled white button down topped with a repp-stripe tie, chinos, and Weejun penny loafers worn without socks (Chemsvold, 2013).  This look still exists among the true prep devotees, but can be easily translated into any wardrobe (Off the Cuff, 2010).  Why not try for a classic fit polo, club shorts secured with a needlepoint belt, and Sperry top-siders?  For the ladies, try a nautical inspired dress, your grandmother’s pearls and some Jack Rogers sandals.  Need more inspiration?  Check out the various and sundry preppy blogs that have sprung up in recent years like Ivy Style, or Unabashedly Prep.  Though this style tribe might seem inherently exclusive (because it is), it’s easy to blend in, and even you can have a taste of the prep culture. 

Work Cited

C. Chemsvold. (2013, January 7). The rise and fall of the Ivy League look. Retrieved from http://www.ivy-style.com/the-rise-and-fall-of-the-ivy-league-look.html

 Off the Cuff. (2010, September 9). The roots of American preppy – redux. Retrieved from http://offthecuffdc.com/roots-american-preppy-redux

 F.E. Castleberry. (2013, July 29).  Back to school giveaway.  Retrieved from http://www.unabashedlyprep.com/site/topic/category/Style/

 Preppy. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2013 from the Preppy Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preppy

 S. Vickers.  (2013, August 19).  Some girls have all the sun.  Retrieved from http://www.classygirlswearpearls.com/2013/08/some-girls-have-all-sun.html

 Vanity Fair.  (2011, September 23).  Photos: from J.F.K. to Ralph Lauren models, the hallmarks of preppy style.  Retrieved from http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2011/10/preppy-slideshow-201110

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Bronycon

By Abbey McNeill

Imagine a place without judgment, a happy place embracing ponies and rainbows: a place where friendship is cultured and a place where wearing wings and a unicorn spike is acceptable and normal. This is BronyCon: a society of adults who frequently gather to discuss all matters pertaining to My Little Pony.

brony1Some would consider it a fan club; others consider it a cult. You may be thinking how this club came to be; so a little background. Hasbro is a world famous toy producing company who produced My Little Pony in the 1980’s, targeted at girls ages 2-7. Hasbro’s first hit was Mr. Potato Head; following were many well known toy lines such as: GI Joe, Transformers, Easy-bake oven, Cabbage patch kids, Furby, Lincoln logs, Pokémon, Tinkertoys, and last but not least, My Little Pony. You get the idea: this company has had tremendous effect on the toy industry. They launched a My Little Pony TV show in October of 2010 in hopes to reach children and promote a new line of pony toys. They were successful in reaching the children and parents, but the show also attracted a much unexpected audience of people as well.brony4

Three-day conferences are held annually and are comprised of men, woman, little boys and girls who are My Little Pony enthusiasts. There’s a twelve hour concert for entertainment, and plenty of vendors selling pony-phernalia. So come one, come all, with brightly colored hair, body glitter, face paint and a pony costume, you’ll fit right in.

The anything-but-ordinary movement has been labeled “men’s version of feminism”.  Founded in the metropolitan area of New York in 2011, the fans consist primarily of male teenagers and adults.  The term “brony” was adopted by the group, which is a married expression of the brony2words “bro” and “pony”.  Some critics say that these men, who are sometimes upwards of age 25, have perverted motivations, to which a brony answered; “they just don’t understand. Ponies bring happiness to my usually stressful life” Another said; “The show is about friendship and happiness and life lessons. There aren’t many positive shows on these days, this is a show that families can sit down and enjoy together”. 

Being a brony is about adopting a lifestyle. The people that are really involved in BronyCon often dress up like ponies regularly to attend meetings and congregate all around the city to socialize about the show and their favorite ponies. This is what qualifies them as a style tribe: they dress in a distinctive manner to portray their membership. It is definitely nothing less than distinctive and memorable.BronyCon1

This groupie fan club is actually getting quite popular in the northeast. The very first BronyCon conference had around 100 attendees and has grown immensely. Don’t believe me? The most recent event in August of this year had over 8,000 attendants. Certain aspects of their culture seemed to have made it to mainstream style, such as their brightly colored hair: which many celebrities and others have adapted. The bronies have inspired several independent styles, perhaps even your next Halloween costume

Works Cited

 Amy, L. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/08/style-tribe-the-grown-up-kids-of-bronycon.html

 BronyCon. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved August 10, 2004, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BronyCon

Chavs

By Ashley Frost

chavs1Ah Burberry, the iconic look of elegant trench coats, warm scarfs and of course plaid. A little over a decade ago a group of working class youths in England became obsessed with the classic Burberry plaid print. Now I don’t mean obsessed as in ‘ask for Burberry for every birthday and Christmas’ way, but these people started wearing mass quantities of fake Burberry. I’m talking Burberry hats, strollers, jackets, pants and even cars and houses were starting to be painted plaid. Soon Burberry had a total PR crisis on their hands.

Chav is a stereotypical name for young people in Britain who are not well educated, typically violent and wear fake designer clothing. When Burberry was experiencing a huge revival in popularity in the early 2000s a group of young and rowdy citizens began wearing massive amounts of beige plaid in an attempt to look cool. And thus Chav “culture” was born.  chavs2Soon after this cult-like obsession with the print began, Burberry responded. In 2002 the beige plaid was visible on one fifth of Burberry’s products, three years later in 2005 the classic check was only visible on around 5% of products.

It didn’t help Burberry’s problem that pubs started banning people wearing the pattern, in fear that they might be violent offenders. As a response Burberry stopped selling the plaid baseball caps that had become a Chav favorite. When a Welsh band tried to auction off a plaid car, Burberry took legal action and demanded that the car be destroyed. One man even had his house painted plaid, and no I am not kidding. He really thought that was a good idea.  It isn’t just knockoff plaid that makes these thugs so recognizable, they have a pension for large gold jewelry, and are almost alwayschavs4 wearing some kind of sportswear. Track suits, sweat pants, wife beaters, fake Nike tennis shoes, they basically look likeAmerican rappers but with fake Rolexes.

In the Unites States, Chavs could easily be compared to the Guidos of Jersey Shore.  Both groups love a good track suit, designer goods (either real or fake), have a tendency to look a little trashy and have anger management problems. Chavs are currently much more disrespected in the UK than Guidos are in the US, several books have been written and movies created about the rise of these designer-loving thugs. All his does make me wonder; if the cast of Jersey Shore were a tad more violent or a little trashier would Americans still love them? Or would our government learn from Britain and try to find ways to keep them off the streets?

In every society, in every country and in every era there is going to be a group of working class citizens whom the rest of the social sphere looks down upon. I cannot think of a group more fascinating and with so much character than Britain’s Chavs and I am eagerly looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this fascinating group.chavs3

References

 Bothwell, C. (n.d.). Burberry versus The Chavs. BBC News . Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4381140.stm

 Burberry fashion brand reports 40% profit rise. (n.d.). BBC . Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13557085

 Burberry perfume, burberry clothes, seen Burberry HOUSE before?. (n.d.). sianTown.net. Retrieved September 22, 2013, from http://news.asiantown.net/r/12133/burberry-perfume–burberry-clothes–seen-burberryhouse-before

 Nostalgia for Old Labour . (n.d.). The Commune. Retrieved September 22, 2013, fro http://thecommune.co.uk/2012/02/02/nostalgia-for-old-labour/

Katharine Hepburn

By Lauren Crook

katharine hepburnKatharine Hepburn wore the pants, and this isn’t just a figure of speech. She actually wore pants. You may be wondering why in the world that makes her a style icon, women wear pants every day. What makes Katharine so special is that she wore pants when long skirts, corsets, and Hollywood glam were all the rage. She was wearing pants when it was considered morally wrong for women to do so. Katharine was a true trend setter, and not a follower of fashion. When deciding what to wear comfort was Katharine’s priority. However, she didn’t sacrifice style to be comfortable. Her button down shirts, high waisted pants (usually khakis), and tailored blazers were from cutting edge designers such as Valentina and Muriel King.

Her signature look was very controversial, so much so that movie executives tried to prevent Katharine from wearing her beloved pants on the lot. In an effort to get her to not wear her pants they took them from her dressing room and hid them.katharine hepburn However, I don’t think they took into account the fact that Katharine was a very independent and stubborn woman. Katharine told them that she would walk around the lot naked until they gave her the pants back. And she wasn’t bluffing; she stripped down all the way to her silk underwear before they decided to give her the pants back. Now how many of us would be willing to walk around in our underwear if we weren’t allowed to wear our signature style anymore? That is what makes Katharine so great. It’s not just her style that makes her an icon it is also her attitude. Any woman can wear pants and a button down, but to channel Katharine you must have her independent attitude.

katharine hepburn3Katharine’s style and attitude were a real influence in women’s ready to wear fashions. She challenged the women of her time to rethink what they were wearing. She showed women that you don’t have to wear dresses and tons of makeup to be feminine; you can look fabulous in pleated pants and loafers too! Katharine’s look is still an influence today. Without her we might not be able to wear our jeans out in public. She is also credited with being the first to wear the androgynous style which has become so popular over the years. Her androgynous style has even influenced other fashion icons such as Diane Keaton and her famous suits. This style is seen on other celebrities both on and off screen such as Cate Blanchett and Cynthia Nixon who plays Miranda Hobbes on Sex and the City. But this style isn’t just for the celebrities; you can achieve this look by wearing wide legged pants that hit the narrowest part of your waist, pair them with collared shirt and a blazer. Remember, fit is key to achieve this look, Katharine had every pair of pants made to fit her 20” waist. Go out and show your Katharine inspired look with style.

 

Works Cited

CJ..style notes…: Channeling Wide Trousers and Katharine Hepburn Style [Web log post]. (n.d.).

Retrieved from http://cashmerejeans.blogspot.com/2011/03/channeling-wide-trousers-       and-katharine.html (colored picture of Katharine standing in her pants)

Fashion Icon: Katharine Hepburn | Vintage Fashion London. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://vintagefashionlondon.co.uk/fashion-icon-katharine-hepburn/

From androgynous trousers with a 20-inch waist to showstopping goddess gowns, Katharine

Hepburn’s style celebrated in new exhibition | Mail Online. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2219667/From-androgynous-trousers-20-inch-waist-showstopping-goddess-gowns-Katharine-Hepburns-style-celebrated-new-exhibition.html

Gas Station [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://gasstation.tumblr.com/post/32194251274 (Katharine’s hair is up, in a light colored button down)

Katharine Hepburn Photo : Katharine Hepburn 2556. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://www.qpicture.com/artist/katharine-hepburn/image-katharine-hepburn-2556 (Katharine in her blazer)

“Our inspiration when dressing her…” – Style Secrets from the Set – Sex and The City 2 –

Fashion – InStyle. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos/0,,20364084_20365021_20780085,00.html (Miranda Hobbes in a white blazer and white hat)

 The Hoot Blog » Style Icon: Katharine Hepburn [Web log post]. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://www.hootmag.org/blog/2012/11/08/style-icon-katharine-hepburn/

The Kardashian Christmas Card Inspires These Chic Winter White Party Looks: Dressed:

glamour.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.glamour.com/fashion/blogs/dressed/2012/12/the-kardashians-christmas-card.html?mbid=twitter_fashion (Cate Blanchett in white suit)

Elizabeth Taylor

By Abbey McNeill

elizabeth taylor        Stunning violet eyes, sexy curves, red lips, luscious eyebrows and a renowned diamond collection, what woman doesn’t wish they could live a day in the life of Elizabeth Taylor?  Few people on earth can attest to a film career, or any career for that matter, that spanned over six successful decades and were still revered and praised at the end of it all. Born in London, England to parents that were well off in society, the Taylor family moved to Los Angeles while Elizabeth was still young. It wasn’t too long after, that both MGM and Universal studios were fighting over rights to contract the natural beauty. Universal ended up the victor and contracted her for seven years. She was a star by the time she was 12-made famous by her role in National Velvet, a role that embedded a magical and mysterious infatuated bond between young girls and horses. By seventeen she was dating a millionaire and by 18 she was married for the first time and divorced nine months later. She was married seven times and was very open with her love affairs, making her personal life as dramatic as her roles on stage.

elizabeth taylorElizabeth claimed several roles that plunged her into iconic fame. Most recognized for her stunning natural beauty, she actually had a mutation called Distichiasis that gave her two rows of eyelashes. Her role in Butterfield 8 she hated, claiming it was the most pornographic script she’d ever read: but even so, the mink coat she wore in the movie made quite the statement – and has been a statement ever since. In the 1950’s, women everywhere appeared in dresses that resembled a white slip – a trend accidentally invented by Taylor in the film, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Elizabeth’s role in Cleopatra had the most profound statement of all for woman everywhere. Basically, if you wear cat eye liner, you can thank Elizabeth for making that happen. For the movie, she applied the eyeliner herself because her make-up artist threw out his back before filming began and so she studied his technique and copied everything she had seen him do.elizabeth taylor

          Elizabeth’s close friend Michael Jackson wrote a song called “Elizabeth, I Love You” proving that Elizabeth inspired more than just cat eyes and mink coats, but lyrics as well. Along with lyrical adoration by MJ, designer and Taylor enthusiast, MK (as in Michael Kors) designed his 2006 Spring line of fashion forward western wear after Elizabeth’s style, made famous in thelizabeth taylor2e movie, Giant. In even more recent times, reality TV star, Kim Kardashian was lent Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra robe for a “sexy shoot”, keeping Elizabeth’s style contemporary as well as ancient.

        How could you incorporate signature Taylor taste into relevant personal style? Mink coats, plunging necklines, red lipstick, cleavage, cat like eyeliner and 64 carat diamonds are a good place to start. “Taylor lived the kind of grandiose, larger-than-life existence that we are not likely to see again in our lifetime. Her influence will be with us for a long, long time.”

Works Cited 

http://www.clubfashionista.com/2013/01/elizabeth-taylor-as-cleopatra.html (Cleopatra)

http://coleypugtalksoldmovies.blogspot.com/2013/03/cat-on-hot-tin-roof.html   (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof)

 http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/elizabeth-taylor/images/20809674/title/national-velvet-wallpaper (National Velvet)

 http://heartbreakerfashion.com/blog/pin-up-cowgirl-and-country-style-with-heartbreaker-fashion/ (Western picture taken from Giant)

Michael , K. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.harpersbazaar.com/fashion/fashion-articles/elizabeth-taylor-jewlery-hair

 http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/butterfield%208?before=38  (Butterfield 8)

Can Grace be your Salvation?

By Preston Blackburn

gracejonesImagine a stage. Quiet. Dark. Eerie almost. The crowd flutters with anticipation and you can hear a low, electro pop beat filter through the air. Suddenly, a beam of light pierces through the sky only to land on a fuzzy, womanly silhouette on stage. You quickly realize that this is no ordinary woman. An intimidating figure standing just under seven feet with a long mane of hair flowing down her back, just barely touching the floor. As her shape becomes more visible, you notice that she’s dressed in a tight, cat woman inspired bodysuit, ten inch leather boots, and a headdress so mesmerizing you would think she was from an ‘80s Vegas primetime attraction. The crowd rips into applause. You may not know who this woman is but she was the Rihanna before Rihanna went bad, the Beyonce before she was Sasha Fierce, and the Lady Gaga before Stefani had a chance to bleach her brunette roots and dance with a disco stick. Grace Jones, woman extraordinaire, paved the way for all these women to have the gumption to grace the magazines and television shows of today one squeaky, latex boot at a time.

grace jones2Beverly Grace Jones was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica before moving to New York where she began her career as a high fashion model. Appearing on the covers of Elle and Vogue magazine, Grace began to achieve supermodel status due to her dark, bold skin and androgynous appeal. Grace was not afraid to be overly sexual while blurring gender lines (10 Things You Never Knew). She even credited attending a party nude as her best outfit. Grace’s inescapable allure propelled her into other creative mediums such as music and acting, as well as being the muse for painters such as Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. Though she rose to fame within the modeling world, Grace found commercial success in music, releasing nine albums before 1990 with five number one singles and one Grammy nomination (An audience with Grace Jones). Her constant desire to march against the grain inspired fellow musician Annie Lennox as she modeled the early stages of her career after Grace’s aesthetic.  Grace single-handedly influenced the cross-dressing movement of the 1980s inspiring women that it never pays to be afraid. Sometimes you just have to paint your face purple, staple some barbwire to your fro, and cut up your sheets into a slinky, low-cut toga in order to grab a drink at the downtown hotspot.grace jones3

Today, designers are continuously looking for new ways to inject androgyny into their collections. From Emilio Pucci to Lanvin, androgynous fashion is a revolving door that continues to spit out new ways for women to strut their stuff to the beat of a man. Grace Jones continues to inspire fashion spreads in W magazine and Italian Vogue. Always constant, Grace’s style transcends through time. Lady Gaga may be asking for our applause, but the true praise belongs to the woman who never saw a boundary her stiletto couldn’t break.

References

10 things you never knew about…Grace Jones. (2010, June 22). Retrieved from http://www.clashmusic.com/feature/10-things-you-never-knew-about-grace-jones

Osborn, M. (2008, November 26). An audience with Grace Jones. Retrieved from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/7747522.stm

September Issue – Fall/Winter Trends

By Kimberly Hackler

Need some help staying on trend this fall? Luckily, I have three great trends that are sure to update your closet and help you stay fresh this season. You’re guaranteed to turn heads with these fabulous styles, from shocking pastels to punk-rock spikey accessories. With a little help from us here at Lucky, you’ll be the talk of the town, rocking the latest fashions before anyone else.Pastels

The first trend is the unexpected pastel presence. Pinks, baby blues, pale yellows, and creams were seen all over the fall RTW runway collections. They were seen mainly in the form of coats, but also in jackets, skirts, and sweaters. Seems a little odd to pair pastels with our usual drab winter colors doesn’t it? Well, it turns out that pastels are the new neutrals, and we are to pair them with simple black and white pieces. Pastels are said to be more flattering than brights, so wear them closer to the face with darker colors on the bottom. This unexpected trend will make you the chicest girl around. Find more examples of this trend in “How to Pull Off Pastels.”

Secondly, we’ve been seeing tons of spikes to go along with the well-established motorcycle trend. However, we are now seeing a dominance of spikes in several accessories. A spikedNecklace2 necklace is a great way to complete a motorcycle look, or even to simply add a little edginess to a feminine look. Either way, these funky spikes are here to stay so get on board with this glam-punk trend. Find more about these necklaces in the “25 Street Style Stars – And Why We Love Them” article.

The last big trend this fall will be over-the-knee boots. Don’t worry, your knee-highs are still in style, but we’ve been seeing more and more of those chic over-the-knee boots that everyone’s been raving about since they were seen on Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Get them tall and wear them with a Bootsshort skirt for a night out, or buy them flat and wear them with skinny jeans and a comfy sweater. Either way, give your knee-highs a break and grab a pair of these fun, chic boots while you still can.

 Overall, I think the trends for fall are moving in a great direction. You’ve got feminine flares with the pastels, edginess in the spiked necklaces and a high-fashion feel with the over-the-knee boots. These trends can all be worn a number of different ways, which means now it’s your turn to get creative and add your own personal style each. Goodbye summer, hello fall 2013!

 Works Cited

(2013, September). Lucky, (September), Retrieved from http://www.luckymag.com/