Are Your Fashion Choices Impacting Your Health?

By Kelly Fleming, Lifestyle Editor

Skinny jeans, belts, and high heels; what do these staple fashion items have in common? They all may pose a threat to your health. While certain articles of clothing can make you feel good about yourself, they can also affect your body in negative ways. People have been wearing harmful clothing items in pursuit of a fashionable look for hundreds of years.  In the Victorian era, women wore corsets so restricting that they caused fainting and organ damage, and women practiced painful foot binding in China as early as the 12th century. We’ve moved on from these beauty extremes in modern times, but some of our fashion choices can still be problematic. While we’re often told that “beauty is pain,” but perhaps we should draw a line when what we do for the sake of beauty impacts our well-being.

Skinny Jeans

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Skinny jeans are seen as a closet necessity for women, with the ability to be dressed up or down for almost any occasion. However, multiple studies have found that your go-to pants may be an unhealthy fashion choice in some cases. Skinny jeans, particularly those that are high-waisted, can lead to heartburn and bloating. This happens when the pants constrict your abdomen, relaxing the lower end of the esophagus and allowing the contents of your stomach to shift upwards, impeding the digestion of food. Some studies have even found evidence that too-tight skinny jeans can constrict blood flow in your legs, causing swelling and damaged muscle and nerve fibers in severe cases. This extreme only happens in rare cases, but is an indication that tight pants may be more harmful than we think.  In order to avoid negative health effects from skinny jeans, make sure to buy a pair that doesn’t feel too snug, and experiment with looser fitting styles of pants.

High Heels

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

You’re probably already aware of the pain that comes from your favorite pair of high heels, and the relief that comes with taking them off at the end of a long night out. Heels can injure more than just your feet, though, extending to your ankles, knees, hips, and lower back. When you’re wearing these shoes, you take shorter strides that extend more stress to the rest of your body because your heel is not absorbing the impact of your step. This extra impact causes immediate shock to the ball of your foot, wearing out the plantar fat pad, which protects the inner workings of your feet. Wearing narrow-toed high heels can also pinch nerves that connect with the lower half of your foot, possibly leading to a condition called Morton’s Neuromas, which decreases sensation in the toes. While taking off your heels may be the best feeling in the world, removing your heels suddenly stretches out an Achilles Tendon that has been shortened all day, increasing susceptibility to Achilles Tendonitis. There is a myriad of problems associated with high heels, so it is best for women to take some precautions when wearing them. Try a shorter pair of heels for more frequent use, and make sure to switch it up with shoes with better arch support such as sneakers, which spread the stress of each step through your arches. If you wear heels to work every day, try wearing more comfortable shoes on your commute and changing when you arrive.  

Flip Flops

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

On the flip side, flip flops can also lead to muscle soreness and lower back pain.While the extreme angle of heels causes stress, the flatness of flip flops hurts your feet because of the utter lack of arch support. The absence of arch support can cause you to change your posture and stride in an unhealthy way and make tripping and falling more likely. You interrupt your natural stride due to the strain on your toes, and also receive less impact absorption when your heel strikes the ground. This leads a similar risk to the fat pad as was previously discussed with high heels. Flip flops also cause you to clench your toes when you walk to keep them on. When worn for very long periods of time, this clenching can in extreme cases lead to a deformity called hammer toes, where the toes are curved downwards and must be corrected with surgery. If you live in an area where flip flops are always an option, make sure to switch it up with sneakers. Flip flops, often made out of porous materials that hold moisture, can also lead to bacterial infections, causing infections like athlete’s foot and warts. To avoid this possibility, buy flip flops made out of plastic or other materials that will not absorb moisture so easily. Try to buy flip flops with some arch support, replace them every few months, and don’t wear them every day of the summer.

Belts

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

A belt can be the finishing touch on any outfit, creating a polished look and the illusion of a smaller waist. However, be sure not to secure your belt too tightly, especially when eating a big meal. A too-tight belt can cause acid reflux by constricting your stomach during the digestive process, and a study has even found that it can increase the risk of throat cancer. The belt puts pressure on a valve between the stomach and throat, allowing stomach acid to move upwards. Stomach acid can damage throat cells and increase the risk of cancer, especially in those who are overweight. Loosening your belt after dinner can help diminish this risk, and a good rule of thumb is to check and see if you can comfortably fit two fingers between your stomach and waistband. If you can’t, it’s time to loosen your belt.

Handbags

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

This one may come as a surprise, but even handbags can have a negative effect on your health. Many women’s bags exceed 6 pounds, causing them to lean to compensate for the extra weight. This leaning posture involves curving your spine in a way that can increase back, neck, and shoulder pain, and even increase the risk of herniated disks. Try limiting what you carry in your bag, and frequently switching the side you carry it on.

Many of our favorite fashion items can have negative effects on our bodies when used incorrectly. It is most important to prioritize comfort, because any pain you experience indicates a change needs to be made to pursue healthier style choices. Remember that healthy is beautiful, and what you wear should make you feel good and look good.

Calling For Diversity After Insensitive Fashion Decisions

By Maxine An

In an industry where designers are constantly taking risks, ill-informed clothing and advertisements unleash hate and backlash from the general public. High-end brands such as Burberry and Gucci have been targeted for certain products in their runway shows, putting the brands in the spotlight. However, behind this problem lies a bigger question: Why is it important to fashion designers to continue taking risks even when they know the probable likelihood of dislike from the public?

In a Forbes interview, Debra Hepburn, co-founder of the online store Young British Designers, said, “I’m a firm believer in taking risks; in not pursuing a linear career if that career isn’t making you happy.” In this sense, when she is taking risks, she believes she can find out what “definitely isn’t well, as well as what sets you right.” Fashion designers may enjoy taking risks in their designs as a way to separate themselves from their competitors, as well as determining the future design path for the brand from the public’s reactions to their products.

Being recognized as an individual brand is significant for a company’s reputation. That way, they can know that consumers know them by name for the quality and design of their products, and they can count on the future loyalty status of customers if they continue to like what they purchase. Having customers know them by logo, slogan and product design signifies a strong marketing strategy and consumer satisfaction of the brand.

The way the consumers react to the new clothes and accessories a brand releases allows the company to do research on the type of product, quality and design that are currently in demand. A fashion company would probably stop manufacturing and selling a certain handbag that is not selling well or out of style. However, in order for the company to know if a product is going obsolete, testing consumer reactions to it will definitely affect what is made and sold.

Source: Washington Post (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/)

“Suicide isn’t fashion,” commented Liz Kennedy, one of the models featured in Burberry’s Autumn/Winter 2019 runway collection during London Fashion Week. Referring to the infamous Burberry hoodie with a noose around the neck, Kennedy said “it is not glamorous nor edgy and...this show is dedicated to the youth expressing their voice.” According to Dr. Mark Stibich,  a former writer for Verywell Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death among teenagers between the ages of 15 and 24 today. Visuals such as the Burberry noose can potentially retraumatize those impacted by suicide or prompt thoughts of lynching that occurred in the past.

The concepts that designers have for their brand should be considered thoroughly, looking into any offensive or racist characteristics that might ignite backlash when the product is released. Burberry’s CEO, Marco Gobbetti, said he is “deeply sorry for the distress” the hoodie design caused. Creative director Riccardo Tisci also apologized for the insensitive product.

The problem continuously discussed in the fashion industry is that there is not a diverse range of designers. Without a large variety of identities and experiences, the same type of person is always running the fashion industry. These same people use similar mindsets and viewpoints to make consequential decisions.

It is likely no one working high up at Burberry has personally been impacted by suicide. Otherwise, they would hopefully have picked up on the offensive and insensitive detail of the noose placed around the neck. Like Liz Kennedy had explained, the knotted rope could have been placed anywhere, but having it placed around the neck evoked shame and insensitivity. Including the perspectives of people who have been impacted by serious issues such as these can help industry leaders look for any details that could be seen as offensive. While Burberry is currently under attack for this decision, it is not the only one to be currently facing this kind of response from the general public.

One of Gucci’s sweaters was recently taken off their online website and racks after a woman claimed that the sweater “resembled blackface”. After an image of the $890 balaclava jumper was released on social media, the ‘ski mask’ sweater faced criticism. The cut-out at the mouth framed by red lips was the part that triggered outroar from the public. The worst part of this product was that it was released during Black History month;  people pointed out that the month was off to an “ignorant start,” according to Sarah Young of The Independent UK. Others threatened to boycott the brand until it started hiring more employees of color, calling attention to the lack of diversity within the Gucci brand. Even though it has been taken out of Gucci stores and off the brand’s website, it can still be found in some third-party retail stores.

Source: Daily Mail (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/)

Since the backlash, Gucci has issued an apology for the offensive product. As reported by Eun Kyung Kim of Today, the company responded: “We consider diversity to be a fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make. We are fully committed to increasing diversity throughout our organization and turning this incident into a powerful learning moment for the Gucci team and beyond.” A brand like Gucci should have considered the parts of this sweater that could receive criticism, but they seem to turn a blind eye to the ideas that are offensive, whether it may be overlooking the derogatory meaning of this sweater or simply ignoring the potential negatives to all of their products.

Furthermore, as the brands continue to receive backlash, they are starting to see what’s wrong with their actions. According to Luisa Zargani of Women’s Wear Daily, Gucci recently announced the introduction of four initiatives to “foster diversity and cultural awareness” which includes hiring global and regional directors for diversity and inclusion, setting up a multicultural design scholarship program, launching a diversity and inclusivity awareness program, and launching a global exchange program. Even creative director Alessandro Michele said, “I look forward to welcoming new perspectives to my team and together working even hard for Gucci to represent a voice for inclusivity.”

It is about time that something is done about the inconsiderate cultural appropriation in not only the fashion industry but the world in general. Not one single group of people can be stereotyped as the same, so why should fashion be the exception? Fashion is a way to reach out to different kinds of people and bring them together, but taking differences literally to make similarities is not the way to accomplish that.  

It is clear that the lack of diversity both in the fashion industry and the individual brands themselves has created inconsiderate decisions and impetuous thinking. In order to prevent future brands from facing criticism due to racism and insensitivity, diversifying the work environment is the first step. With a more diverse workplace, different  people can work together and produce something amazing and mindful of all cultures, backgrounds and ethnicities.

The Future of Chanel: Post-Lagerfeld

by Julianne Lombardi

photos courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

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Karl Lagerfeld’s recent passing truly marks the ending of an era. As one of the most iconic names in the industry, Lagerfeld has left his mark on brands such as Fendi, Chloe, his eponymous Karl Lagerfeld and, perhaps most familiarly, Chanel.

It was 1983 when Lagerfeld took on the role of art director for Chanel at a rather precarious time in the brand’s history. Sales were down and the general perception of Chanel was that it was old fashioned and meant for your grandmother, not you. Lagerfeld changed everything. While paying homage to the iconic Chanel tweed, he updated silhouettes and designed for a more modern, bold woman, and began casting some of the most iconic supermodels of the decade. He introduced more provocative and flirtatious designs while remaining true to the Chanel ethos by keeping the tweed suits and double C’s; think tweed mini skirts, cropped blazers, and plenty of chain belts. ‘90s Chanel is so iconic it’s often referred in its own category of fashion, and is perhaps the most widely referenced period of Chanel by fashion bloggers and editors alike.

Lagerfeld was a true renaissance man in the industry; exploring photography and filmmaking, writing and publishing, illustrating for a well-known German newspaper, as well as designing for a multitude of brands throughout his career. What Lagerfeld accomplished for Chanel was extraordinary. He effectively reinvented Chanel as a brand and rejuvenated Chanel’s following, keeping the brand from becoming antiquated and forgotten.

With all his talent and genius, it is important to recognize that Lagerfeld expressed controversial views and made contentious remarks during his lifetime. Most recently, Lagerfeld had made comments about #MeToo movement, saying that he was “fed up” with the movement and suggesting that models who complained about being groped should “join a nunnery.” He was also noted saying that he did not want to see curvy women on the runway. He even warned people not to read his best-selling diet book unless they believed in being skinny for the sake of fashion. Though his immense talent deserves credit, these views should not be forgotten while honoring his life and career. Karl Lagerfeld was one of the most prominent names in fashion, and therefore his words carried immense weight. As a designer, his job was to empower women with his designs, however his words did not follow suit, which, to say the least, was a let-down.

So now, the remaining question: where does Chanel go from here? Chanel is confronting a post-Lagerfeld future at a time of heightened flux in the global fashion market. Chanel has named a relatively unknown company insider, Virgnie Viard, to carry on Lagerfeld’s work. She had worked as Lagerfeld’s “right-hand woman” throughout his time at Chanel. Viard would receive Lagerfeld’s sketches and coordinate teams and suppliers to begin bringing his designs to life. After working together for over 30 years, Viard and Lagerfeld had a very close friendship and he was quoted saying that she was perhaps the most important person for him, for the atelier, and for everything. We can only be curious of what Viard has in store for Chanel at this time when so many fashion houses are rebranding. Fashion is in a state of oscillation, and we as consumers can only wonder if Viard plans to continue Karl’s legacy or strike out and make her own mark on the brand. In this regard, only time will tell. However, in terms of honoring Lagerfeld’s career and time with Chanel, I recommend taking a look back at his work throughout the decades because it will never fail to impress.

Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board

What you missed if you skipped the Fashion and Retail Society’s yearly show

by Madelaine Millar, Deputy Editor

Photos courtesy of the Fashion and Retail Society

2400 years ago, Aristotle declared with absolute certainty that everything in the universe is made up of four elements — water, air, earth and fire. Last week, Northeastern’s Fashion and Retail Society declared with equal certainty that fashion can be just as elemental, with their 2019 runway show “The Fundamentals”. With one sections to represent each of Aristotle’s four elements, the show’s expansive theme left a lot of space for the stylists to flex their creative muscles.

“We decided to go with The Fundamentals because we wanted to choose a theme that left a little more room for creativity in every aspect of the show, from styling to hair and makeup to production,” said Aneri Shah. She and Josh Levanos are co-presidents of the Fashion and Retail Society, as well as the creative directors of the show. “Every year the theme has been pretty strict and specific and we felt like we wanted to switch that up. Fashion is art and we just wanted to be able to play that up a little more.”

Jennine Abramsky styled by Kerri Beck, shot by Aidan Cooke

Jennine Abramsky styled by Kerri Beck, shot by Aidan Cooke

The show started on a high note; the fringe on first model’s ultramarine skirt and bandeau set felt evocative without being on-the-nose, while her transparent rain jacket was modern and street-ready. Other highlights included a calf-length blue duster dripping in holographic raindrops and a turtleneck and ankle boots drenched in rhinestones; but between every look, the water element had a certain. The stylists felt in-their-element here, and played freely with textures and layers, which made for a visually interesting show that still felt organic and natural.

After the easy coolness of water, air felt stark and minimalist. In places it felt as though, in order to project themes of lightness and simplicity, the stylists came close to forgoing styling completely, but they never quite crossed that line. That’s not to say that the element didn’t have some gems; one of my favorite looks of the entire evening was a plain white bodysuit, covered by a dress that wouldn’t have looked out of place on the hot and windy prairies of the old West but for the fact that it was made entirely of blush-colored chiffon. The air element may have best embodied Aneri’s desire to create space for play; it offered up some looks that wouldn’t feel out of place at Coachella and others that wouldn’t feel out of place in the classroom with equal reverence.

Eseli Emasealu styled by Stella Westlake, shot by Aidan Cooke

Eseli Emasealu styled by Stella Westlake, shot by Aidan Cooke

There was a noticeable tone shift after the intermission; the stylists were done playing, and with earth on the runway they meant business. This theme was interpreted less strictly than its two predecessors; the entire natural world was fair game, and the stylists were sending out their best animal prints, furs, and camo. Some looks bordered almost on martial, but there was always an oversize pair of hoop earrings or a pair of chunky trainers to lend wearability. With an emphasis on deep colors and practical textures, earth felt refreshingly unpretentious and direct.

John Zhang styled by Jackson Wang, shot by Athel Rogers

John Zhang styled by Jackson Wang, shot by Athel Rogers

Fire walked last, and fire (we learned) means streetwear. Almost every look incorporated some traditional streetwear pieces, be they chunky trainers, bucket hats, or baggy athletic pants. Although the handful of classically streetwear looks that the stylists sent out were obviously well crafted, they didn’t feel revolutionary; the stylists shone when they mixed those streetwear elements with high fashion fabrics or business-appropriate cuts.

Ruby Jenkins styled by Jackson Wang and Alessandra Nagar, shot by Katie Margiotta

Ruby Jenkins styled by Jackson Wang and Alessandra Nagar, shot by Katie Margiotta

I have almost nothing but praise for the order in which the stylists chose to present; their water looks grabbed our attention from the start, the intermission felt like a natural tone shift, and fire felt like a powerful high note on which to end. That said, anyone who is familiar with couture runway shows knows that it’s customary to present a bridal look as the last look; this is because it’s typically the flashiest, the most over-the top, the most breathtaking and heart-stopping look of the show. Although it wasn’t in any way matrimonial, it was clear that the stylists’ bridal look was the one presented second to last. The long camel duster coat, black mesh shirt, gold sequin flares, and chunky black platforms were absolutely show-stopping, especially when carried with such absolute self-possession, and yet for some reason the show did not stop. When you’ve created a moment like that one, please let it ring; we in the audience need a moment to take it in.

If it’s a surprise to anyone that The Fundamentals went off so well, it’s only because they haven’t been paying attention. The vision of the creative directors, the imagination of the stylists, and the dedication of everyone involved makes for a consistently stunning show, and if you’ve never spent the $0 for a ticket, the only person you’re cheating is yourself. The annual Fashion and Retail Society shows have set the bar very high for themselves, and yet every year they continue to step neatly over it, one spike heel at a time.

How to Layer Without Looking Like a Michelin Man

By Kristine Aleksandrovica and Wendy Zhen
Photography by Sydney Lerner

“I LOVE DRESSING FOR THE COLD,” said no university student ever. Although it all looks cute and cozy on Pinterest, dressing for cold weather can be challenging. It can take a lot of courage to break away from the same old jeans and sweaters. However, with the help of a few pieces of thermal layers and statement accessories, you have the potential to express your unique style without sacrificing comfort.

Before we begin, there are a few key pieces that make up the foundation of any winter outfit: thermal under layers. The HeatTech range from Uniqlo is especially renowned for its cutting edge Japanese technology that maintains body temperature without bulky materials. But any thin t-shirt or legging can be substituted to achieve the desired effect.

The first outfit is a perfect example of how versatile you can be with winter fashion and how summer pieces can be utilized with appropriate layering. To get the look started, put on a basic long sleeve turtleneck and thermal leggings — stick to black for a sleek outline. Add tights or knee-high socks on top of the thermal leggings for additional warmth. Then throw on your favorite floral dress, and maybe a black belt with a gold accent to create more shape. I’d recommend adding a cool oversized blazer to modernize and add a masculine edge to the feminine print of the dress, and to make your outfit more interesting. This combination allows you to appear put together without compromising on style. To finish everything up, throw on a coat and scarf to keep you extra warm and safe from the wind.

  • HeatTech turtleneck (Uniqlo)

  • HeatTech leggings (Uniqlo)

  • Tights

  • Floral dress (Old Zara)

  • Belt (Thrifted)

  • Blazer (Old Zara)

  • (Boots)

  • Coat

  • (Scarf)

If you’re trying to go for a more casual look, you might be interested in this one. The first layer will be the same HeatTech leggings and turtleneck. If that’s not enough, you might want to put on some tights underneath the leggings and a tank top underneath the turtleneck. Next, throw on some of your favorite jeans or fabric trousers — with all the layers you’ll be warm even in those super thin ones. For your upper body, you can go for a blouse or one of your favorite sweaters. To make your outfit extra warm, add the puffiest coat you have, a beanie and a scarf. To prevent those toes from freezing, put on some thick socks underneath your boots.

  • Tights

  • HeatTech leggings (Uniqlo)

  • pants/ jeans

  • Tank top

  • HeatTech turtleneck (Uniqlo)

  • Sweater

  • Jacket

  • (Beanie)

  • Warm socks

  • Boots

With these outfits, you’re guaranteed to stay warm and be fashionable without looking like the Michelin Man. But let’s be honest, I’d totally wear a puffy white jacket like that. There are only a few more weeks of cold weather to go, you got this!

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Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board

The Devil Works Hard, Fast Fashion Works Harder

By Victoire Cointy, Communications Director

A couple of weeks ago, media mogul Kim Kardashian posted a photo of herself clad in a gold dress, with a caption asking fast fashion brands to “wait until [she wore the dress] in real life before [knocking] it off.” Less than three hours later, fast fashion brand Missguided posted a since-deleted post with a model wearing a copy of the dress, informing the mogul that she had “a few days” before the item dropped online. A post from Diet Prada, the internet’s favorite fashion whistleblower, was among the first to point out the connection between the two posts and to call attention to the speed of Missguided’s hasty turnaround.

Image courtesy of Business Insider

Image courtesy of Business Insider

This instant design theft is nothing new. Brands like Missguided, Fashion Nova and Pretty Little Thing — dubbed ultrafast fashion brands — have been operating like this for the past decade. With social media platforms as storefronts, an uncanny ability to offer celebrity looks for less and a constant stream of new products, their place in the overall fashion marketplace has grown by 20 percent in the last three years. In its year in review, Google reported that Fashion Nova was the most searched brand in the United States in 2018, leaving fashion mainstays like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Givenchy and Gucci in the dust. In the age of influencers and swipe-up links, the ultrafast fashion business model is king.

In the past few decades, the fashion industry has seen seasonality increase from the top down. The highest level initially released two standout seasons — fall/winter and spring/summer; it has now moved to include pre-fall and resort. Meanwhile, the retail sector and fast fashion space has moved into hyperdrive, with a weekly model where stock is replenished weekly with a new collection. This, effectively, has created 52 microseasons, bookmarked at one end by a flourish of new items hitting the shelves and on the other by the previous weeks’ remnants moving to the sale section.

It is estimated that, globally, about 80 billion new pieces of clothing are consumed a year, a staggering 400 percent increase from a mere two decades ago. These accelerated seasons are, for the most part, driven by social media, which confronts consumers with trends at a faster pace than ever before. In fact, for ultrafast fashion brands like Missguided, collections now come out on a daily basis, allowing for replicas of Kardashian clothing to appear online in less time than it takes for them to post it to their social media.

With these changes come a number of harms, both to the environment and to the livelihood to the people who produce the clothing we purchase in just a couple clicks. All one needs to do to see these impacts is look closely at garments’ labels. For example, Pretty Little Thing has entire section on its website dedicated to $8 dresses. Typically, retailers apply a 50 percent markup to clothing in order to make sufficient profit on the item. That leaves only $4 for Pretty Little Thing to purchase fabric and hardware, produce the garment, pay their labor and transport it to retail locations. This begs the question: how do brands keep those costs so low?

Image courtesy of Films for the Earth

Image courtesy of Films for the Earth

Across the board, most of the clothing from fast fashion brands — Pretty Little Thing’s dresses included — is made from polyester, a synthetic fiber derived from petroleum. With such a tie to the oil industry, it’s no surprise that the production of polyester has an undeniably large carbon footprint. In 2015 alone, more than 706 billion kilograms of CO2 were used to produce polyester textiles for the garment industry, which translates about 5.5 kilograms per t-shirt. Not only that, but the material isn’t biodegradable and takes about 200 years to decompose in landfill, emitting methane — a powerful greenhouse gas — as it does so. With the rapid trend turnaround promoted by microseasons, over 60 percent of clothing ends up in landfill in a single calendar year.

Image courtesy of True Cost Movie

Image courtesy of True Cost Movie

A majority of the clothing sold online by those same brands is produced by garment workers in third world countries, where labor laws offer them few protections. Despite working interminable days and producing billions of dollars worth of apparel, garment workers worldwide remain the lowest paid. Not only that, but the conditions in which they work are often abysmal. In 2013, Bangladesh saw one of the deadliest contemporary garment industry accidents happen on its soil when Rana Plaza, an eight-story apparel factory, crumbled to the ground. The injury toll rose to 2,500 and more than 1,100 were killed by the catastrophe. The companies operating the manufacturing complex later revealed that their clients included retail giants like Wal-Mart and Primark. Despite the gravity of the incident, both brands continue to operate and grow at alarming rates year over year, giving little thought to those who lost their lives keeping their businesses afloat.

Ultimately, although fast fashion allows consumers to mimic trends more quickly than ever before, it simply isn’t sustainable. With prices for items fixed so low, customers’ perceptions of fair pricing are distorted, urging them to overlook moral and ethical issues in their search for something new to wear. Little value is associated with the clothing, which in turn promotes a throwaway mentality and makes the item’s disposal painless, especially with new trends emerging at such a fast pace. Thus a vicious cycle in born, forcing companies to cut corners and consumers to accrue clothing they may not even end up wearing.


Kardashian has since decided to sue Missguided for trademark infringement and violation of her right of publicity. in California federal court. The case is Kimsaprincess, Inc.; and Kim Kardashian West v. Missguided USA (Finance) Inc., and Missguided Limited, 2:19-cv-01258 (C.D.Cal).

Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board

Sunny Clothes in Dreary Weather

Written and modeled by Natalie Hill
Photographed by Anita Goharfar

Winter is usually marked by a few months of consistently grey skies, cranked-up heaters, and waterproof boots and coats that are meant to get you to from point A to point B without freezing. Especially in Boston, it can be difficult to break out of the fashion cycle of black boots, dark jeans, a grey sweater, and navy scarf. Sometimes, though, a pop of color — or an entire outfit of color — can be a good reminder that the sun still exists behind that blanket of grey clouds. People are increasingly wearing sunny colors during the most frigid and bleak time of the year; look to any store and you’re sure to find millennial pink on the racks. This year’s New York Fashion Week just wrapped up, and runways of color appeared across the board: a green satin blouse by Sies Marjan, yellow ensembles by Sally LaPointe, and Nanushka’s purple knee-high boots are a few examples.

Anything bright and unexpected counts, and in any quantity: whether it be a pop of color from an accessory or an entire monochrome outfit. You probably already have pieces in your closet that you can use — unexpected items like socks, belts, and summer clothes layered up can come together to create a fun yet coordinated look. While it’s hard to go wrong with this trend, there are five key recommendations to keep in mind for wearing sunny colors in the winter.

  1. Pick a sunny color and a coordinating neutral

In order to draw attention to the color, contrast with a good coordinating neutral, like grey, tan, black, brown, or cream. Aim to pick two shades that don’t clash with each other and instead balance each other out in terms of tone, intensity, and temperature.

I paired this cozy pink turtleneck with tan as my coordinating neutral, with an oversized corduroy jacket and Fenty x Puma cleated creepers. I pulled the look together with white pinstripe flares. Aside from the shoes, I thrifted everything I’m wearing!

2. Focus on layering

Since it is winter, use layering to your advantage! Add high-neck tops under lower-neck sweaters and top it off with necklaces and a puffy coat. Don’t be afraid to layer lighter jackets and sweatshirts under a bigger coat, too.

I added a white turtleneck under this pink sweater, pairing it with my favorite thrifted sequin-covered Skechers D’Lites. My trusty grey Aritzia Super Puff was the perfect final layer to insulate against the wind.

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3. Consider a statement winter coat

Going shopping for the winter? Arguably the most-used winter item is a coat, which makes it tempting to pick a more versatile neutral tone. But don’t rule out the option of a statement color — you’d be surprised how much you’ll reach for a coat that spices up any and every outfit. Look in your closet and take note of which colors you tend to wear often, which can inform your statement coat color choice. My recommendations: a strong red or pastel blue.

4. Keep in mind your shoes and the weather

If it’s raining or snowing, pick your shoes first (waterproof boots!), then choose the rest of the outfit around those. Tip: if you’re wearing sneakers or shoes that expose your ankle, choose thicker, longer socks. Socks are also a great way to add another pop of color!

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I started with my heavy-duty Puma x Outlaw Moscow Ren Boots, for a snowier day. I chose this turquoise sweater, layering it over a black turtleneck for an extra layer of insulation before topping it with a fun silver puffer (from an old season at Target!).

5. Use accessories to play up the look

Another awesome way to add your sunny color is through shoes, belts, jewelry, scarves, hats, hair clips, and even socks! This is also a great way to incorporate more pops of color into your wardrobe without breaking the bank, and can appear more subtle if you choose.

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I paired this blue sweater with tan corduroy flares, a distressed medium-wash denim jacket, and pink belt for another pop of color. Layering a lighter jacket under a bigger puffer adds another shield against the cold and looks adorable.

Whether you simply switch out your black scrunchie for a pink one, or try a full-monochrome look, wearing a pop of color will surely brighten your day (and maybe someone else’s, too!). Why wait until spring to go shopping for a sunny yellow, orange, blue, purple or green? Pick out some pops of color and get to layering!








Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board

The Year of the Double G

By Donatella Mancinone

Walking around the busy city streets of Boston, there is a lot of scenery for the eyes to take in, especially for a new resident like myself. I look up; the beautiful lights are hugging the trees on Newbury Street. I look down; my brand new winter boots are stomping across the unexplored ground beneath me. Lastly, I find my eyes glancing straight ahead at the crowd coming towards me. Wrapped around their waists, I see the infamous Double G. Is it true? Are they all wearing… Gucci?!

Image courtesy of Architectural Digest

Image courtesy of Architectural Digest

It seems like everywhere you look, someone is wearing a Gucci belt, Ace trainers, the GG Marmont shoulder bag. This simple ‘slap the logo on a basic item’ mentality is leading Gucci to a major comeback. It is unorthodox to have customers pay nearly $500 for a basic white t-shirt with the word “GUCCI” written on it, but they are still being sold at a rapid pace. To fully grasp the situation at hand, I decided to take a trip to the Gucci store in Copley Place. Walking around the store it is clear that creative director Alessandro Michele has worked hard to change the face of this brand. With vibrant colors and unconventional looks, each display was rather simple so as to not take away from the piece of art it was holding. I strode through the entrance and was staggered by the excessive use of the Gucci logo. Then it hit me; Gucci is not the only brand doing this. I looked down at the woman next to me — were those Fila sneakers?

The relatively large logo on the front of the belt perfectly follows along with the ‘90s fashion. The ‘90s were full of graphic t-shirts, stonewashed jeans, Doc Martens, high top sneakers, tiny backpacks, cat eye sunglasses, fanny packs, scrunchies and white sneakers, to name a few. Evidently, ‘90s fashion is illuminating in the late 2010’s. Today, designer brands are catching on to this ‘’90s is the new black’ attitude. It is difficult to miss all of these fashion trends when walking down Newbury Street, but yet again the Gucci belt dominates the fashion industry for herds of urban fashionistas. But why?

As the use of the logo is making a comeback in fashion with brands such as Gucci, Calvin Klein, Levi’s, and Tommy Hilfiger, there is no question that the Gucci belt has fueled its brand’s comeback. According to Business Insider, in April of 2018, “Gucci’s parent company Kering SA reported a 48.7 percent jump in same-store sales during the first quarter of 2018.” The basic belt with a width of 1.5” runs for $450, and $350 for a width of 0.8”. Essentially, this statement accessory can be worn with jeans from Walmart and still appear trendy.

Photo courtesy of Who What Wear

Photo courtesy of Who What Wear

A majority, if not all, millennials and teens appear on social media, but this isn’t news to anyone. Running a so-called ‘successful’ social media page is all about the aesthetic. Today, many are turning to Instagram to create an entire page of someone’s identity, or at least what they want outsiders to think of them. Essentially, social media allows someone to create an image of themself. Because it is a relatively “Instagram-able” article of clothing, the Gucci belt’s appearance on posts demands recognition. In addition to its unique and simple design, there is an unbelievable list of icons who have been spotted sporting this hip accessory, such as Jennifer Aniston, Chrissy Teigen, Kendall Jenner, and Kourtney Kardashian.

With this statement accessory comes status. The brass finished logo is large and essentially begging to be seen, which is quite obvious on my walk in the city; I notice all of the Express sweaters tucked into this lavish logo. I am now coming to the end of my walk on Newbury street, lights glimmering, boots still clunking away. I feel a sense of breaking from the ordinary; I feel different, free. I now look down onto myself, and what is that I see? I’ll give you one hint, it is not the Double G.

Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board

Binaries on the Runway

By Kathy Villa

The fashion and modeling industries have long been places of exclusivity, elitism and the seemingly unfaltering aesthetic of the thin white person. Until recently, the industry has had little to no diversity, particularly lacking in queer or LGBT representation. Today, it appears the industry has begun to embrace a multitude of gender identities as we see a revival of androgynous and genderqueer models — but how extensive is this inclusivity, and how are the models in question affected by it?

Photo courtesy of @raindovemodel on Instagram

Photo courtesy of @raindovemodel on Instagram

In fashion, the term “androgyny” is used to describe an aesthetic that “combines both masculine and feminine characteristics” according to Teen Vogue. It is often used loosely, some people using it to describe their gender, with others using it as a descriptor of style. This is where models such as Rain Dove (@raindovemodel) come into play. Standing at 6’2” with a fierce, masculine expression, their androgynous physicality swiftly brought them popularity in 2014. Born female, Rain Dove prefers gender neutral pronouns, but is accepting of every pronoun. Because agencies only seemed to be interested in them for men’s wear campaigns, they ended up pursuing different interests.

That being said, more people are coming to understand the fluidity of gender and clothing, yet high end designers have a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity.

Thanks to those in Hollywood who identify outside of the gender binary the fashion industry is desperate to maintain, the entire industry has shifted towards bigger and better things. Caitlyn Jenner’s public transition was widely celebrated across the internet, and contributed to the LGBT community’s up and coming era of social acceptance and celebration. Genderqueer and non-binary stars like Ruby Rose and Amandla Stenberg have contributed to queer visibility in the entertainment industry. Jaden Smith put everyone in awe when his Louis Vuitton Womenswear campaign in 2016 depicted him in a skirt, and Young Thug broke boundaries when he chose to wear a billowing purple gown for the cover art of his 2016 album No, My name is Jeffery.

But what about the runways of major fashion houses? Despite the increasing number of gender-nonconforming and transgender models being hired by higher end designers, non-binary individuals continue to be used in binary forms. Enter Oslo Grace, the 21-year-old trans non-binary model ruffling everyone’s feathers in the fashion industry. Based in New York, Grace had appeared on plenty of catwalks in the fashion industry, but made their first popular appearance at Jeremy Scott’s Moschino show in January of 2018, closing it alongside Rupaul’s Drag Race winner Violet Chachki in Milan. Impossible to miss, they garnered the attention of Alessandro Michele, who then tasked them with carrying the signature baby dragon for Gucci’s Spring/Summer 2018 fashion week.

Photo Courtesy of Vogue

Photo Courtesy of Vogue

Photo Courtesy of W Magazine

Photo Courtesy of W Magazine

Under their agency, Grace appears under both menswear and womenswear boards, and continues to make appearances for other big name fashion companies. More recently, they were deemed the highlight of Kenzo’s Fall/Winter 2019–2020 show striking multiple looks in one show. In only four minutes, the model transitioned from a compelling pink suit with side-swept bangs to a lavender eye look paired with a fringe-laden pink dress to end the show. When asked about their journey through modeling and why they choose to appear in both mens and womens wear, Grace told Refinery29 “I usually present very binary on the runway because runways aren’t usually nonbinary.” While they continue to work within the traditional limitations of runway culture, they are pushing the boundaries of what it means to be a model by being themselves. Grace is clearly on their way to becoming one of the fashion industry’s hidden gems, in more ways than one. More importantly, they are testing the limits and proving it’s time the fashion industry stopped thinking of fashion as a matter of strictly male or female altogether.

Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board

On the Basis of Fashion

By Salma Falah

When you think about Ruth Bader Ginsburg, you think lawyer, Supreme Court Justice, mother, and wife. But what about fashionista? RBG dedicated her life to fighting for gender equality, and looked amazing doing it. This year we got to see Ginsburg on the big screen twice, in On the Basis of Sex and Notorious RBG. These two films highlighted different parts of her life, but they both gave justice to her timeless style.

Still from On the Basis of Sex, 2018

Still from On the Basis of Sex, 2018

Felicity Jones starred as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On the Basis of Sex this fall. This film highlighted Ginsburg’s time as a law student and her career as a young lawyer. Growing up primarily in the 21st century, it is hard to imagine how sexist American society was when RBG was a young lawyer. In the fall of 1956, when Ruth began her time at Harvard Law, she was one of nine women in a class with 500 men. Watching a young Ruth walk into Harvard in a vibrant blue Dior power suit surrounded by typical black suits made that inherent sexism palpable. During this time, Ginsburg follows many of the ‘50s trends such as a beautiful emerald tea length swing dress for an elegant dinner and a plaid Peter Pan collared dress for class.

The film then jumps to the early ’70s and RBG’s wardrobe shifts with the times. Her style becomes a little funkier and more colorful, including the iconic Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. What really caught my eye was her hair ties. You might have assumed that hair ties are for little kids, but after watching this film RBG will convince you that they are the coolest accessory yet. After watching the film, I even bought myself some. Even though RBG’s style evolved throughout the film, one thing remained constant: her wardrobe always perfectly combined trendiness and professionalism.

Still from On the Basis of Sex, 2018

Still from On the Basis of Sex, 2018

Photo courtesy of author

Photo courtesy of author

Photo courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States website

Photo courtesy of Supreme Court of the United States website

In Notorious RBG, a documentary about Ginsburg’s life, you see her personal style progress and evolve. In the film, she shows the many collars she wears with her Supreme Court Justice robe. As the second female Supreme Court Justice, Ginsburg explained that the standard black robe was created for a man, leaving a place by the neckline for a man's tie and shirt to show. RBG and Sandra Day O'Connor decided to add collars to their robes to represent their style. Ginsburg added an extra element of playfulness to each collar she wore by establishing a ‘majority opinion’ collar and a ‘dissenting opinion’ collar. Most would think there is no way to style a plain black robe, but RBG found one. In many points in her life, Ginsburg was the only woman in a room surrounded by men, all with their own preconceived notions about her. By adding small personal touches to all of her looks, she helped the world to see her idea of femininity: resiliency. So, are you struggling to find your “Co-op style”? Channel RBG.

What Is Next for Dolce (& Gabbana) After Their Racist Advertisement?

By Maxine An

Dolce & Gabbana may be without a Gabbana in years to come. Their recent marketing campaign started a huge controversy in China; Dolce & Gabbana were due to host their debut fashion show in China December of 2018. However, their show, titled “The Great Show”, was cancelled after their promotional video, a Chinese model attempting to eat Italian food with chopsticks, was released (and taken down less than 24 hours later). The Chinese were extremely upset, taking offense to the brand’s portrayal of the Chinese culture and its mockery of the Chinese accent while speaking English. How could the directors and producers not have caught that this was a racist advertisement?

Image courtesy of The Guardian

Image courtesy of The Guardian

Not only was the commercial offensive to the Chinese, what made it worse were the insulting comments about the Chinese people made from Stefano Gabbana’s personal Instagram account. In an Instagram conversation with a model, Gabbana called her “China Ignorant Dirty Smelling Mafia,” as well as implying that the Chinese were inferior if they were offended by a girl eating pasta or pizza with chopsticks. These are audacious remarks, especially for someone with a reputation to uphold. Although Gabbana denied having made those comments, it was already too late and the Italian brand was forced to cancel their show in Shanghai. The duo, having realized their mistake, issued a video apology.

In the video, Dolce said, “We also want to apologize to all of the many Chinese people throughout the world. We take this apology very seriously as well as this message.” Gabbana added, “We will never forget this experience and it will certainly never happen again. In fact, we will work to do things better. We will respect the Chinese culture in every way possible.” The video concludes with Dolce & Gabbana both saying, “From the bottom of our hearts, we ask for forgiveness. Sorry.”

However, it does not look like an apology will be enough for this brand to get back its reputation in China. Some crazy ideas have been thrown out as to how to save the Dolce and Gabbana brand from disappearing. The craziest ones have involved the removal of Gabbana from the brand name itself; everything would be owned by Domenico Dolce. Removing Gabbana might save the brand in the eyes of the Chinese, but the whole company is at fault. The advertisement was surely was not just the fault of Gabbana, but  Dolce and the rest of their team as well. Everyone on their side is at fault for their misinterpretation and misuse of the Chinese culture. Gabbana leaving the brand could severely impact their image, but it is definitely understandable given that he was the one who had an indescribable conversation with someone on Instagram. Is it really possible for Dolce & Gabbana to become just Dolce?

Image courtesy of the South China Morning Post

Image courtesy of the South China Morning Post

Moreover, according to Women’s Wear Daily, about 30 percent of the brand’s sales are in China, and this recent fallout could have a disastrous impact on their future revenue. The Chinese spend over $7 billion on luxury brands annually, according to the consultancy McKinsey. The Shanghai Dolce & Gabbana show could have won over possible Chinese consumers, but unfortunately, that did not happen. In fact the very opposite happened, as Chinese e-commerce sites such giant.JD.com boycotted the brand and pulled the Dolce & Gabbana brand from their brick and mortar shops.

Because Dolce & Gabbana has realized the enormous fault in the direction of their advertisement, they can use this bad press as an opportunity to take action and do something good. The press and reporters will be on their tails following their mishap, and they have an opportunity to show the press how they are trying to be more aware of their cultural surroundings. Their apology was very much needed, but obviously it was not enough. Turning bad press into good press can make the brand bounce back, not only in China but around the world.

It is hard to predict what will eventually happen to the Dolce & Gabbana name. What can they do to fix this mess? Where will they end up after all of this is over? Perhaps, if time allows this huge mistake to blow over, the brand will get back on its feet, or maybe drastic measures will have to be taken in order to keep the brand from losing its reputation from the public eye forever.

Dolce & Gabbana may never be the same again, but they have a reputation to uphold and a name to live up to. They surely cannot be stopped by their mistake, and will be looking for ways to overcome this obstacle. Of course, there will still be people who will continue to dislike them for their slip-up, but they have to start back up on the right foot if they want their brand to continue to flourish all over the world.


Week in Review: The Avenue's Favorite Looks

By The Avenue’s Editorial Board