All About the Symbols

By Lindsey Pounds

It’s no secret that we live in a chaotic world. We live in a time of fast-paced changes. These changes have been good, but some have not. Our grandparents would never have thought that some of the current changes our world is experiencing would ever come about. Our world is constantly being shaped by the spirit of the times, also known as the Zeitgeist. The changes we experience not only help to frame the world around us, but these events create symbols that we will always remember. Let’s take a look at the dominating events that are shaping the spirit of our times.
The world can be a very scary place at times. For example, the Charlie Hebdo shooting taught us that things such as our freedoms of speech and press are no longer necessarily safe. This event made a lot of people more cautious about what they say or print, even though we as U.S. citizens have these freedoms. Another alarming event that sent us all into a time of terror occurred in June when a shooting occurred at a Charleston church. It was impossible not to notice pictures of the shooter and how he proudly displayed the Confederate flag. This goes to show that symbols may have multiple and different meanings to different people, whether we realize it or not.

As chaos is happening in our world, our boundaries are slowly coming down and we are becoming more open-minded to the change around us. Bruce Jenner grabbed the nation’s attention with his televised interview with Diane Sawyer about his male-to-female transition. When Caitlyn Jenner was introduced for the first time, it held the attention of the world. For the first time ever, people started thinking about this topic. This event symbolized the blurring of the line between masculinity and femininity and was a major advancement for the transgender community.

All this change we experience around us begins to filter down into big events in our lives. Back in June when gay marriage was legalized, this symbolized progress for our country. The advent of gay marriage may impact more people on a daily basis than any event that has occurred this year. This type of chaos brought about progress in areas we never considered before, like cherished institutions such as weddings.

Living in a scary time in a scary world, let’s take a look at how apparel copes in this time. After the Charleston shooting, states began to ban the Confederate flag because of the negative symbolism it represents.  Not only are states banning it, but retailers such as Wal-Mart and Amazon as well. With the rise of Caitlyn Jenner, we are also noticing a rise in the tomboy style, representing androgyny.  Lastly, the legalization of gay marriage has increased the profile of the rainbow pride symbol, giving everyday apparel a boost of color. The rise of gay weddings will surely make bright colors very prominent in weddings as well. The events of our time help give these symbols meaning.

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Fall Fashion 2015

By Sarra Verona

Ahhh, fall is in the air! We all know what that means! Football season! Jk! Fall fashion of course!  Fashion week is over and the fashion gods have spoken! We all rush out to pick up our copy of the September issue to get our fashion fix! As we flip through hundreds of advertisements and try to decipher between the fresh trends and the stale ones, we all have two lingering questions… What will the cool people really be wearing this season? And how can I incorporate those trends into my wardrobe while maintaining my individuality? Well, I can’t tell you exactly how to answer those questions, but I can supply you with a few top trends to keep in mind.

What to Wear Girl

Source: thethreetomatoes.com

Victorian Flair

This trend is a modern take on Victorian luxury and sophistication. It embraces femininity while leaving a little something for the imagination. It is most likely in response to the recent androgyny and excessive bodily exposure we have been seeing for several seasons. However, this look is not meant to be perfectly poised and proper, but a tad more rough around the edges. You can even go for a darker vibe or punk it up a little if you like. Whichever direction you prefer, keep a lookout for blouses with high necklines, even turtlenecks and collars with ascot ties, sheer flowy lace, floor-sweeping lengths, sexy silhouettes, and luxurious brocades.

Victorian Girl

Source: Rum Diary: Valentino. (September 2015). Marie Claire, 335

Just Rosy

                When it comes to color this season, choosing between red and pink may be your most difficult decision, but whether you choose a sexy scarlet or a sweet blush, you can’t go wrong! Much like the Victorian trend, it’s ladylike finesse with a modern twist. Women in the 1800s who wore red were said to be lacking in good taste and pink was a masculine color that represented strength and stamina. These days, there is a definite femininity correlated with these colors. Women are looking to stand out from the men, embrace their sexuality, and show a little girl power. This fall try a lovely pastel pink pant suit, a bright red coat to off-set your neutrals, or maybe just some deep red lipstick and/or accessories.

Pink Girl

The New Season: Colors. (2015, September 1). Harper’s Bazaar, 629-637.

Time for Tweed

                Of course tweed naturally has a fall/winter feel, but this fabrication trend is especially popular this season! With tweed’s history with the Scottish Tartan, plaids certainly have a place within this trend, but designs like houndstooth, check, and herringbone are being used to create edgier garments. Blazers and coats, wide-lapel vests, cropped and wide-legged trousers, asymmetrical dresses, and unique accessories. So, if you are longing for Chanel-style sophistication or punk rocker chic, tweed can help you achieve your look.

Mod Girl

Source: @Work: #CAREERHACKS (September 2015). Marie Claire, 240

So, as you rummage through your last year’s fall wardrobe and head out to choose those perfect pieces to pep up your look, keep these three crucial trends in mind… Victorian femininity, shades of red and pink, and tweed anything and everything. Happy hunting