No Valentine? Treat yourself instead

By Alison Glander

aglander@smu.edu

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day has been about celebrating that special someone in your life.     If you find yourself with no love prospects this Valentine’s Day, however, that special someone should be, well, you.  So if you don’t have a date, don’t fret.  Make it an occasion to pamper yourself.

 

Fresh Cocoa Body Exfoliant

 

Nothing feels better than having smooth legs under a warm blanket on a cozy night in. Make your legs extra soft with this all-natural body scrub.  Made with real cocoa beans and their shells, this exfoliant will make you smell irresistible. Shawna Athy helps manage the Fresh skin care shop at NorthPark and recommends this product. “It smells like a box of chocolates – real cocoa that gives it that scent,” Athy says. “When it came out, we knew it would blow out of here on Valentine’s Day.” $45, available at Fresh, Sephora and Nordstrom.

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Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

 

L’Agent by Agent Provocateur eye mask

 

Sometimes sleeping alone means sleeping better. This silky lace-lined eye mask is the trick to helping you get a full night’s snooze. Angie Prosise, a physician’s assistant at Dallas Sleep, recommends sleep masks to her patients who have trouble falling asleep. “It blocks out any distraction and light,” Prosise says. “Good sleep hygiene is important.” The mask is secured by a picot-trimmed elastic band, which will keep the light from disturbing your beauty rest. $36, available at Nordstrom.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

 

UGGpure Alena suede slipper bootie

 

Keep your feet warm and your pedicure protected with these ultra-warm slippers. These booties are made from UGGpure, a wool textile with the super-soft feel of shearling. Slather some lotion on your tootsies, put some socks on, and slip into these shoes to give yourself the ultimate at-home spa treatment. The cuff can be worn up or down, too, making them cute enough to wear on a run to the grocery store for some Ben & Jerry’s. $119.95, available at Nordstrom.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

 

Voluspa French Cade Lavender embossed jar candle

 

Nothing is more relaxing than burning a candle on a quiet night in. This coconut-wax candle rests in a beautifully embossed floral glass jar and features a cotton wick for a clean burn. Caroline Mendes, a sales associate at the Gypsy Wagon boutique, says that candles are a popular seller around Valentine’s Day. She recommends this one to customers for its light, relaxing scent. “It’s always fun to pamper yourself with a candle and a good movie. When you do things for yourself, you are reminded that it’s so important to love yourself first.” $24 for 16 oz., available at Nordstrom and The Gypsy Wagon.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

 

Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy satin kimono

 

This satin kimono is a must for any woman’s wardrobe. Not only will it make you feel cozy on a night in, but it can also be your go-to cover-up when you’re getting ready for a fun night out. This kimono comes in a range of shades, but the bright red is festive for Valentine’s Day. Plus, it has pockets. Everything with pockets is better. $49.50, available at Victoria’s Secret.

 

Photo courtesy of Victoriassecret.com

Photo courtesy of Victoriassecret.com

 

Wildfox Up All Night boxed camisole short pajamas

 

Planning on enjoying some wine in your pajamas? There’s nothing wrong with that – Olivia Pope does it all the time. These pajamas are festive and perfect for the nights you want to be alone but still feel cute. All that’s missing now is a nice bottle of red. $98, available at Nordstrom.

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

Photo courtesy of Nordstrom.com

 

Rouseabout Rousey Barossa Shiraz 2012

 

Looking for the perfect red wine to drink with a good movie? Try this one. Medium-bodied and well-rounded, this Shiraz is bursting with flavors like blackberry and dark chocolate. It pairs well with any Valentine candy and will have you reaching for another glass. $14.99, available at Central Market and ABC Fine Wine & Spirits.

Photo courtesy of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Photo courtesy of ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

 

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5 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

By Page Walker

prwalker@smu.edu

Let’s be real: Valentine’s Day is never everything you had hoped it would be. So why not embrace a new day of love with your gal pals who never let you down? Well, someone has already come up with this idea and it’s called Galentine’s Day.

Leslie Knope GIF  Courtesy of Buzzeed.com

Courtesy of buzzfeed.com

What is Galantine’s Day, you ask?  “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year,” according to Leslie Knope, the quirky, feminist politician, who coined the holiday in Season 2 of “Parks & Rec.”

“Ladies celebrating ladies” is the reason for marking your calendar on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect excuse to get your best girl friends together just for the heck of it.

Knope isn’t the only one who has big plans this Saturday. SMU student Katie Smith says she’ll mark the occasion. “Everyone’s schedules are so busy, it’s important to take a day to celebrate your friends.” You can eat your way into a food coma, binge watch Beyonce music videos and leave your Lulus on all day with no judgement. If you feel like dressing up and hitting the town, that’s cool, too. Whatever your crew feels like doing this Saturday, make the best of it. Here are some ideas to help you feel the love this Galentine’s Day.

Takeout and TBT Netflix

Why settle for pizza delivery when there are so many amazing restaurants in Dallas? You and your friends can have your favorite meal delivered right to your door with apps like Favor and Postmates. Chill out on a comfy couch with Pad Thai and binge watch your favorite throwback TV series. Re-watch “Gossip Girl,” “Sex and the City” or “Laguna Beach”. These classic shows are something you and your friends can all appreciate.

Courtesy of quotesgraam.com

Courtesy of quotesgram.com

Blowouts and Brunch 

If you tend to think ahead, make reservations for friend group blowouts at Dry Bar. “Getting a blowout makes me feel like a new woman, like I can take on anything,” says SMU senior Kira Becker. Blowouts are indeed a magical experience. Once your hair is on fleek, head to brunch at your favorite Dallas spot. Henry’s Majestic has a sparkle bar where you can build your own mimosas. Sounds like a girl date to me.

Treat Yourselves to Tapas

Nothing says “love” like sharing your food. There are a handful of Dallas restaurants that specialize in small bites, perfect for group dinners where you can indulge in new tastes. Sangria Tapas y Bar brings Mediterranean flavors from Spain and other neighboring countries straight to your table. Victor Tangos is another great option if you want to stick to an American cuisine that features amazing flatbreads.

Match Made in Heaven Manicures 

Indulging in manicures is something you can only do with your girl friends. Ditch your go-to color this time and opt for sweet themed nails. Reds and pinks in any shade with fun details like hearts, kisses or “x’s and o’s” are perfect for Galentine’s Day. Most nail salons offer wine or champagne, so you can sip and chat with the gals while you enjoy your mani.

 

Courtesy of pinterest.com

Courtesy of pinterest.com

Have a Paint Party 

It may come as a surprise to you that painting and wine make a fabulous combination. There are classes offered at Painting with a Twist and Pinot’s Palette that specialize in the art of painting and getting a buzz. If you haven’t already tested out this new trend, Galantine’s Day is the perfect excuse.  No expertise required to get some friends together and create your own masterpieces. Pinot’s Palette customer Tatum Johnson says, ”It was a great activity to do with my mom when she was in town. We got wine and appetizers to take with us and had such a fun time trying to be artistic. She wouldn’t let me hang them in the house after though.”

 

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Trunk Club Opens its Doors to Women

By Diane Hogenkamp

dhogenkamp@smu.edu

Women these days are busier than ever.  From working professionals to stay-at-home moms, few of us have time to sift through racks of clothing to build the perfect wardrobe.

If you find yourself in that position, Trunk Club may be your saving grace.  The company recently started offering its styling services to women.

Trunk Club began in Chicago in 2009 but has expanded to four other cities including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New York City and Dallas.  Although it started as a personal styling company for men, it began adding women’s apparel in January.

The rustic, yet upscale man-cave-like Trunk Club locations are changing to appeal to a new female clientele.  The styling process, however, remains the same.

Stylist Erin Olsen of the Los Angeles Trunk Club says, “Clients are assigned to a personal stylist where they can connect, learn about their style and fit, and then receive a trunk full of amazing clothing catered to them.”

Trunk Club has standing inventory so that trunks can be mailed to customers within a couple of days.  There is no obligation to buy any of the items.  Customers have 10 days to try items on, keep what they like, and return whatever they don’t want to purchase.

Through this process, Trunk Club is able to serve over 3,000 customers nationwide.  For customers who prefer to be styled in person, Trunk Club also has showrooms called Clubhouses.

Nordstrom acquired Trunk Club in July of 2014. With the acquisition came an increase in brands available and a reduction in logistical costs. According to Women’s Wear Daily, Trunk Club was able to transition into women’s styling with the help of Nordstrom. Some of the brands they now carry include Theory, Vince, Diane von Furstenberg, Rag & Bone and Joie.

“We opened up the flood gates for women in January, but have been testing it since last May,” says Chelsea Parker, a Dallas Trunk Club stylist.

Photo Courtesy of Trunk Club

An example of a women’s trunk assembled by a Trunk Club stylist. Photo Courtesy of Trunk Club

Trunk Club has built its female clientele through a variety of methods. According to Women’s Wear Daily, wives of male clients were fairly easy to attract. Many of them had coveted the Trunk Club services while they were only available to men.

“I have almost met all of my male client’s significant others, sisters, moms, friends,” Olsen says. “It helps me develop my relationships even further with my clients.”

Trunk Club Dallas has also sent representatives to events and raffled off gift cards or hosted other promotions to attract new female customers.

Following its original business model, Trunk Club caters primarily to female customers who do not have the time, patience or expertise to shop for their own clothing.  The stylists aim to wardrobe customers from head-to-toe on a monthly basis.

“Someone that can do it on their own is fun to work with, but is not necessarily my ideal client,” Parker says.

As for the laid-back atmosphere of Trunk Club?  The company is making minor changes while sticking with its simple, modern look for the most part.

“We do have more women’s focused fitting rooms. Think shaggy rugs, gold framed mirrors, plush couches,” Olsen says.

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Brown

Interior of the new women’s section in the Chicago Clubhouse.  Photo Courtesy of Lauren Brown

Trunk Club has been experimenting with the idea of women’s services since last March to work out any kinks and make the transition as smooth as possible.  As Dallas Trunk Club human resources employee Caroline Mason expected, the biggest obstacle has been adapting to the different preferences of women and men, while still functioning as one coherent company.

“Women are more knowledgeable customers,” Mason says, “whether it be about brands, fit, quality, prices, sales, etc., and our men, we’ve found, are majorly focused on looking good in a convenient way.”

While the company is just settling into women’s styling, employees expect even more growth in the future.

“New cities will 100 percent happen,” Mason says.

It seems that opening the doors to women is just the beginning.  Mason says, for instance, they already offer additional perks to customer such as cigar rolling and scotch tastings for men and blowouts for ladies.

“I can never tell the future here at Trunk Club,” Olsen says, “and just when I think I have seen it all, something new and exciting happens.”

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Marriage Material

By Miranda Zsigmond

mzsigmond@smu.edu

Right after Thanksgiving, I found myself sitting on my couch, trying to console my roommate whose boyfriend had decided to end the relationship that weekend. Yes, she’d been turkey-dumped.

As I attempted to tie back together the unraveled pieces of her life, my Facebook news feed was blowing up with news of new engagements.

The holidays do strange things to people.

Currently I am in a pretty committed relationship of almost two years.  Admittedly thoughts of marriage have crossed my mind — and then meandered away.  After all, if I’m apprehensive about graduating college in the spring, I’m clearly not ready for marriage, right?

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My mother (left) on her wedding day with her bridesmaid

Even though I grew up with divorced parents, the idea of finding someone who I liked enough to spend every holiday with is something I’m still interested in. I remember looking at pictures of my mom on her wedding day, with bright eyes and a big smile, a hopeful 24-year-old, only three years my senior. In her gaudy, early ‘90s white mess of a wedding dress, with its long lace sleeves, my mom posed with my dad. I found out later that she hated the dress, but she was pregnant with me and didn’t have a lot of options.

My mom has taught me a lot. Some of the most important things I’ve learned were what I don’t want in life, in relationships and in a wedding. Thankfully wedding trends have evolved since the dark and satirical days of ‘90s fashion. Even in the past 10 years, weddings have persistently pulled away from tradition as couples have begun focusing more on each other and less on over-the-top opulence.

It’s an exciting time to be a modern bride. The modern or alternative bride is the result of the independent woman who makes her own happiness, writes her own story, and is able to take traditional storybook ideals and morph them to her preference.

Naked cake

Naked Cake courtesy of Pinterest

Cake Walk

Bridal trends – including everything from cakes to venues to dresses — have undergone a minimalist and unique make-under, as an earthy, deconstructed wedding with lux details is the current norm.

The lavishness of the wedding cake had dwindled as cakes have shed their white frosting coats to reveal a negligée of light florals layered in between buttercream.

“Naked cakes are stacked cakes with only filling and a crumb coat with no external frosting,” explains Chef Jeremy Peters of Cypress College in Cypress, Calif.. “It is a step away from the traditional white layered cake that our mothers and grandmothers had before us, and it has simply never been done before, similar to when impressionism became an art movement and upset the traditionalists.”

Though this spin on tradition has shaken up the pastry world, the naked cake fits into the trendy rustic vibe of so many weddings. It also is significantly cheaper as it cuts out approximately 70 percent of labor costs, allowing it to be produced more quickly. For once, nude isn’t rude.

Alternative Wedding Style

Alternative Wedding Style courtesy of LOHO Bride

 

(un)traditional style

While cakes are being dressed down, more brides are choosing to dress up and walk down the aisle in some color or an alternative design, incorporating their personal style and pulling away from traditional white.

“If I decide on a colored dress it would have to be very special,” said Kaitlyn Tice-Leco a newly engaged modern bride. “I’m all for a unique dress but something in me can’t stray from a white dress. It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little girl.”

More designers are filling the gap between the bride who wants to hold on to some tradition and the more adventurous bride with a variety of unconventional styles.

LOHO, which stands for League of Her Own, is a bridal boutique aiming to fill that void. Located in San Francisco’s design district, LOHO goes beyond being just a shop to fulfill a very specific niche for women who don’t identify with the mainstream aesthetic. The boutique offers dresses from designers who specialize in organic, comfortable and free-flowing alternative dresses and features ready to wear brands like Stone Fox Bride and Callahan as well as custom-order dresses.

“I’ve always considered myself ‘fashion forward’ and trendy. I wear pantsuits,” jokes Tice-Lecou. “So I’ve been really thinking about a flowy and laced wedding ensemble. There is something edgy and daring . . . in a sweetly feminine way that I think really fits my personality.”

Unique Engagement Ring

Unique Engagement Ring courtesy of Digby and Iona

Things that Sparkle

Engagement rings are also having an evolutionary moment, or more like an apt resurgence of style. In the recent past, high jewelry design was not defined by color, and clean crisp platinum and white diamonds were the rage. Within the past five years, designers have been incorporating more colored stones into their creative designs, prefect for the unconventional bride who is looking for something timeless and extraordinary, but with a twist.

Jewelry designer Aaron Ruff is the creative force behind the increasingly popular Digby and Iona engagement rings. These designs are based in tradition but take subtle modifications and unexpected embellishments, turning the ring into a one-of-a-kind piece.  Digby and Iona creates whimsical rings that seemingly tell an individual story through the use of textured metals, raw and peppered diamonds, as well as other precious gemstones like sapphire and tourmaline.

“I feel like non-traditional rings are becoming more common among all brides,” said SMU grad and newlywed Samantha Landon. “Every couple feels like their love is the most powerful and unique, thus couples want to find a ring as crazy and one of-a-kind as possible . . . that fits their special story.”

Though it may be off in the distance, I feel some comfort knowing that when I do decide to get married I will have numerous options to choose from to fit my independent style as a bride.

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Casper-spiration

blogkalb

Photo courtesy of Lazy Oaf.

By Madeleine Kalb

mkalb@smu.edu

Every season or at least every year, Lazy Oaf produces a line featuring a different nostalgia-inducing cartoon character. These eccentric collections include items like Garfield’s face on beanies, Casper patches on a sheer dress, Bugs Bunny’s face blown up on sweatshirts, a seemingly intoxicated Taz’ face on a T-shirt, and a “that’s all folks” Porky the Pig crop-top sweatshirt.

Lazy Oaf designs is out of London and appeared in early 2000. I discovered the brand a few years ago when I saw a Mickey Mouse-inspired dress on the Urban Outfitters website. I was overwhelmed with excitement — it was the most creative use of licensing I’ve ever seen. Instead of printing Mickey Mouse on cheap fabric, Gemma Oaf, the brand’s founder and designer, uses the character as an inspiration to create contemporary and hip garments.

The black dress I purchased from Lazy Oaf has a cutout around the waist that connects the top to the skirt with white fabric cut-outs of Mickey Mouse gloves. Whenever I wear this dress, half the people I see ask what the white cut-outs are.  The other half freak out and fanboy at the discrete Mickey Mouse reference. I continue to mend and keep this dress in great condition because it is truly a novelty item.

Popular alternative retailer Urban Outfitters briefly carried Lazy Oaf and would sell out online almost immediately after posting new products. Lazy Oaf pulled their business from Urban Outfitters in 2014 to retool the brand.  Since then, Lazy Oaf has collaborated with several Japanese fashion designers as well as denim label Ragged Priest and, most recently, Dirty Needle Embroidery.

Today you can find Lazy Oaf on web sites including Dolls Kill, Nasty Gal and ASOS as well more than 200 stores worldwide. Their flagship store is located on Ganton Street in London.

The 2015 fall collection featured Casper and I shamelessly spent my entire paycheck on two T-shirts, a button-down blouse, and a dress adorned with Casper and Casper-spiration. Secretly praying for a second Casper line!

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FIG 2.0

By Molly Ogden

mogden@smu.edu

For a clothes-hording fashionista, walking into FIG is like walking into Willy Wonka’s Factory for a sweet-toothed kid. Rows and rows of booths filled with delicious new fashions fill the halls.

Courtesy of dfwlifestyledaily.com

Courtesy of dfwlifestyledaily.com

FIG has become a Dallas staple in the fashion industry due to the close relationships they keep with their costumers, but with a big move in the works Dallas is wondering how this will change things.

Not to be mistaken for the fruit

Fashion Industry Gallery, FIG for short, is a Dallas hot spot for all things fashion. FIG is a boutique wholesale marketplace exclusive to vendors and buyers. It features the best in women’s contemporary apparel, footwear and accessories. It is open five time a year for market, following the national standards for the seasonal fashion shows, and once a year to the public for what they call FIG finale. FIG is basically the checkpoint between the runway or sewing table and the clothing rack.

 

Booth at FIG courtesy of FIG website

Booth at FIG courtesy of FIG website

FIG is a giant warehouse-like space filled with booths. The booths are unlike any state fair or carnival booth that usually comes to mind. These booths are decked out with designs that can’t be found in stores. Designers like BCBG and Chan Luu have permanent showrooms in the downstairs space, but other booths, on the second floor, change season to season. The changing vendors bring new up-and-coming clothing designers like Mare Mare and well-known brands like Style Stalker.

Change is coming

FIG was initially founded by Brook Partners, Inc., and a group of agents. Starting with only a dozen permanent showrooms in 2004, they now house over 60 of the top contemporary showrooms. With a constantly growing clientele, the seemingly large amount of space, at 28,000 square feet, has gotten cramped. What they are calling FIG 2.0 is a plan to move into a building of their own that is much bigger.

Carman Thompson, operations coordinator at FIG, is on of the many employees excited about the big move.

“It will be a great move for us to our own building, a new and upcoming area in the Design District,” Thompson said. “We are busting at the seams currently, so this building will allow us to increase the number of showrooms and allow for more space in our juried tradeshow, SHOP.”

They are expected to move by the fall of 2016.

Competition

Previously located in downtown Dallas, FIG was not close to other fashion wholesale venues. But now, with the move to the Design District, they will be sharing a zip code with one of Dallas’ biggest wholesale venues.

Dallas Market Center is an enormous wholesale trade center measuring 5 million square feet. Not only does the DMC cover the fashion wholesale market, but it also sells lighting, home décor, floral and holiday. More than 200,000 buyers and sellers come through the doors for market.

This would worry some businesses, but Thompson explains how FIG sets itself apart from the competition.

“We specialize in collections with a higher price point, so most buyers and exhibitors choose to purchase or show at FIG,” Thompson said. “We do have buyers who visit our location as well as the Dallas Market Center. We consider it ‘sharing buyers’ rather than competition.”

The Dallas Market Center is not considered one of their competitors, but if they were to say they had a competitor it would be the markets in Los Angeles and New York.

New York and Los Angeles are always going to be the top competitors in the fashion industry. The 60 permanent show rooms FIG has have other showrooms in those fashion capitals. Most buyers choose to attend those markets.  Therefore, the vendors at FIG cannot always be in Dallas.

Maria Salcino, the designer for the Miami-based fashion line Mare Mare, is one of those vendors who cannot always be at FIG for market.

“We are always traveling to different markets. It is important for the designer to be there to showcase their work, but it is not always possible when most markets happen around the same time,” Salcino said.

Despite the conflicting market dates with big competitors, FIG is able to keep a reputation for being more involved with buyers because of the Dallas-based designers they feature.

Ten of FIG’s showrooms feature Dallas based designers. The people who work in these showrooms are there on a daily basis and can come in and out at a moment’s notice. These designers make the buyers feel that special “FIG hospitality” and customer service. There is a more customized and close experience when you can talk to the actual designers, says Taylor Lewis, a former employee of the WBC showroom who loved his experience working closely with buyers.

FIG show room courtesy of FIG website

FIG show room courtesy of FIG website

These permanent showrooms also have year-round employees and brand reps who are from the area and can offer the same experience for the buyers.

“ After working there for a while, you would start to recognize the regulars at every market,” Lewis said. “ I would know their store and their style and could pull pieces I knew they would be interested in so I could sell the brands rather than trying to have the brand sell itself. ”

FIG has created a close-knit network through customer care. They have created a Fashion community that you could not find in bigger cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Community love

Fig draws supporters when they open their doors once a year to the Dallas community during what they call FIG finale. It’s an opportunity, after market, for non-buyers to come and shop the newest trends at wholesale prices. This is an event Dallas always has its calendar marked for.

FIG also has close ties with students in Dallas.  Every market FIG offers students the opportunity to be what they call a “FIGlet.”

A FIGlet is basically an intern who works with the FIG team during market. Each day the FIGlets are outfitted and accessorized head to toe by featured designers. Calla Boeckman, a junior at Highland Park High School, has worked as a FIGlet and loved the perks.

Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 1.10.47 PM

FIGlets courtesy of FIG Instagram

“ My favorite part was that we got to keep the clothes. The clothes are always gorgeous and they are pieces no one else will have because they have not gotten to stores yet,” Boeckman said.

FIGlets go around during market and serve drinks, hors d’oeuvres and meals. In their off time they are able to mingle and get to know different vendors and designers.

Madison Marchetti, a junior as SMU, has worked as a FIGlet and keeps going back for more.

“ I love being in the environment, all the clothes are amazing,” Marchetti said. “ I have met so many designers that I want to work for and some I still keep in touch with. It’s a great way to network.”

This is a coveted opportunity FIG offers. It allows students who are interested in fashion to meet people who are in the business and explore the different aspects of it all.

According to Thompson, these students are also a huge part of FIGs success.

“We obviously couldn’t continue to be open without all our long-term FIG supporters and our amazing interns who help us at every market,” Thompson said. “They are what keep our business thriving every year.”

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BALMINATION

By Brittany Angiuli

bangiuli@smu.edu

Mergers between designer brands and franchised retail stores are normal to every shopper, but the newest merger between H&M and Balmain, released in November, is more than just a clothing collaboration — it’s a “Balmain Army, featuring fashion’s hottest models.

Oliver Rousteing, Balmain’s head designer, alongside muses Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn first announced the merger on May 17, by wearing token pieces from the collection on the red carpet at the Billboard Music Awards.

Soon after the brand began teasing the collection through multiple forms of “Balmination” propaganda – social media featuring top models in a series of urban “action” vignettes.

Press for the collaboration has been keeping shoppers interested and engaged ever since.  Following the unveiling of the merger at the Billboard Music Awards, Elle France gave shoppers another sneak peak at what was to come from the line. Soon after the brand campaign was released, which featured today’s hottest models Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Finally a hot campaign video starring Jenner was released.

H&M x Balmain campaign advertisement. Photo courtesy of Fashionista.com.

H&M x Balmain campaign advertisement. Photo courtesy of Fashionista.com.

When H&M x Balmain finally released the line on Nov. 5, shoppers loved it. If you thought waking up for Black Friday deals was insane, then you will be appalled to know that shoppers started lining up at 4 a.m. for the H&M x Blamain collection.

“We started lining up at around 4 a.m. and then it started to drizzle. Even after all that though it was still worth it,” SMU senior Alex Wippler says.

The collection includes a mixture of edgy accessories, crisp-cut blazers, delicate trousers and detail-oriented dresses that range from $100 to $500. Shortly after the line launched on the H&M website at 8 a.m., the website crashed due to the number of shoppers, and the entire stock was sold out within the hour.

A shortened look of the H&M x Balmain collection. Photo courtesy of H&M. Photo collage courtesy of Brittany Angiuli.

A shortened look of the H&M x Balmain collection. Photo courtesy of H&M. Photo collage courtesy of Brittany Angiuli.

H&M isn’t new to designer collaborations.  For example, they launched Alexander Wang for H&M in fall 2014. So what makes this collaboration so special?

The Kardashian-Jenner clan has generated lots of attention for the brand.  In addition, model Kendall Jenner is the face of the H&M x Balamin collaboration. Likewise, current “it” girls Gigi Hadid, Alessandra Ambrosio, Karlie Kloss and more are the models who debuted the line in the runway show and are drawing more attention to the line than any other merger.

Hollywood’s hottest models join the “Balmain Army” for the H&M x Balmain Fashion Show. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com. Photo collage courtesy of Brittany Angiuli.

Hollywood’s hottest models join the “Balmain Army” for the H&M x Balmain Fashion Show. Photo courtesy of Vogue.com. Photo collage courtesy of Brittany Angiuli.

“The it models have helped. I don’t watch Keeping Up with the Kardashian’s, but I saw Kendall Jenner wearing that jacket and I knew I needed it,” SMU student and early morning H&M x Blamain shopper Chandler Helms says. “That also speaks to the quality of it that celebrities are wearing it.”

Some, however, were inspired by the designs done by Olivier Rousting and the ability to buy designer clothes they usually can’t afford.

“This collection was based off the previous runway collection so all the designs at one point were off the runway,” says Gianna Scorinto, who starting standing in line at 4 a.m. “A lot of people admired the brand, but most people can’t afford that so this was a way that it was reachable.”

Whether it be due to the publicity or the affordability, the H&M x Balmain collaboration is creating mass amounts of buzz among the fashion world. This highly exclusive line is what every girl dreams to have in her closet so that was she can dress like she is walking on the runway alongside the “Balmain Army.”

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Blog on Point

By Bridger Warlick

bwarlick@smu.edu

Blogging – what a funny-looking word. According to Dictionary.com, blogging is defined as “a website containing a writer or group of writers’ own experiences, observations, opinions, etc., and often having images and links to other websites.”

Since computers have started taking over the world, so have blogs.  Today many well-known bloggers are being sponsored and paid by different brands and companies, some earning six figures for a single appearance.

There are several different types of blogs that cover a range of topics. These blogs include lifestyle, fashion, food, sports, how-to, photo, professional and blogs that are just for fun. Often writers come together to create a blog. For example, Southern Methodist University students like Conor Lane and Sara Mullaly use their skills to contribute to sport and fashion group blogs.  Other bloggers take on the task themselves.

Blogs encourage creative individuals to write, post and share their personal experience all around the world or in their own backyard. Dallas locals dominate the blog scene and keep their followers up to date on the latest styles, the current scores and the top lifestyle trends.

SMUStyle – Fashion Blog

Sara Mullaly, a junior at Southern Methodist University started writing for SMUStyle her freshman year. She and nine other students work to keep the blog up to date and always relevant.

Sara Mullaly. Image Courtesy of Instagram.

Sara Mullaly. Image Courtesy of Instagram.

Mullaly says the group meets about once a week, and they pitch ideas to each other for their stories. Their goal is to post about two items a week in order to keep all of their followers happy. Mullaly, a fashion-ista herself, had several blogs on her own when she was in high school. But with SMUStyle she hasn’t had time to keep up with them. Mullaly checks two blogs, The Everygirl and Who What Wear, every day as part of her morning routine.

The Hilltopics– Sports Blog

Journalism senior Conor Lane has been writing for SMU’s sports blog called Hilltopics for about six months.

Lane started blog writing after he took a sports journalism class with Jean-Jacques Taylor, the Dallas Morning New’s Dallas Cowboys beat writer. One of Lane’s classmates, Adam Grosbard, read some of his work and asked him if he would be interested in writing for Hilltopics. “I’ve always loved sports, and since I know what it’s like to be both a player and a spectator, I think I have an interesting perspective to offer a publication like Hilltopics,” says Lane.

Conor Lane. Image Courtesy of Instagram.

Conor Lane. Image Courtesy of Instagram.

Lane receives a list of players being recruited by SMU – they’ve either committed or have been offered – and he interviews a few of them each week to get a sense of where they’re at in their recruitment.

“My favorite part is getting the inside scoop on what’s going on with SMU sports. All the kids that I’ve interviewed have one thing in common — they love the school and the coaching staffs. Getting to hear these players speak so highly of my school is a very cool thing, and I cherish the opportunity Hilltopics has given me,” says Lane.

Donuts and Dior – Fashion and Photo Blog

“Donuts and Dior can (hopefully!) be a source of inspiration for fashion, lifestyle, design and fitness for you. I created this site as [a] place to catalogue the growth of my own personal style and taste but as it’s grown, I’ve loved seeing how others have used my content as inspiration.” – Shelly Knutson

 ”This site is a destination for natural, relatable, and quirky inspiration for girls around the world seeking a life full of fashion, fitness, and most importantly, fun.”

– Shelly Knutson

SMU senior and California girl Michelle Knutson started her blog Donuts and Dior her sophomore year of high school. She started her blog on Tumblr, a photo site, before domain sites such as BlogSpot and WordPress became so insanely popular.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Knutson was in for a temperature shock when she moved to Massachusetts for boarding school. She jokes that she started her blog because she didn’t want to venture outside into the cold.

“I did so honestly because I was bored and freezing my butt off in boarding school,” Knutson says, laughing, “and figured it would be a fun, inventive hobby I could pick up while staying indoors.”

Shelly Knutson. Image Courtest of Donuts and Dior.

Shelly Knutson. Image Courtest of Donuts and Dior.

Knutson says her favorite blogs include FashionToastCupcakes and CashmereWeWoreWhat and College Prepster.

As they’ve attracted followers, many bloggers have branched out to other platforms.  Knutson herself has dabbled in different social media, but she never stuck to one besides her blog.

“I find bloggers these days who are seeking profit constantly try to tackle the next big thing when it comes to social media, but my blog’s never been about that.”

Instead, Knutson updates her blog daily, in most cases,  with new content rather than  bombard her loyal followers with the same information on different social media platforms.

“The most rewarding part is when I get reminders from friends or even random people around campus to post more,” she say. “People get more excited and behind my content than I do myself sometimes, and it definitely encourages me to want to post more.”

 

 Sanford Standard – Fashion and Style Blog

“With a passion for fashion, my sources of inspiration are endless. I’m continuously influenced by architecture, interior design and my surroundings. I am a student at Southern Methodist University studying Fashion Media and Business and plan to pursue a career in fashion. This blog reveals my ever-changing personal style and the constant standards by which I live my life.”

– Mary Sanford McClure 

Mary Sanford McClure. Image Courtesy of Sanford Standard.

Mary Sanford McClure. Image Courtesy of Sanford Standard.

Memphis native Mary Sanford McClure has always been interested in fashion. A junior at SMU, she started her blog, Sanford Standard, about eight months ago. She was inspired by another blogger, Justine McGregor, who told her to just bite the bullet and make one.

McClure’s ultimate dream job would be styling, so she uses her blog not to show off her clothes but as a portfolio. She says that if she is one day applying for a job, she can use her blog to show her potential employer what she has done.

Friends and family were McClure’s initial following. However, one day she decided it was time to put herself out there and post on Facebook. Since that day her following base has continued to grow, and she noted that her largest post had about 1,000 people looking at it from all over the world.

“I like to be visual,” says McClure. “I don’t like to read a lot of mess, so I will write a couple sentences, but I try to keep the pictures as the main focus of the blog and each post.”

McClure notes she was very good about posting on her blog last year, but with her busy schedule this semester she hasn’t had as much time as she would like to post. She says being consistent is the hardest part.

“It’s hard to find time to devote to writing and taking pictures. People who write blogs professionally have people to take photos for them. But for me, I have to find friends to take photos, and I have to find time to set aside for myself to work on it as well.”

McClure says she enjoys exploring with her blog. She loves playing with the clothes that she has. “A lot of times you wear the same outfits and you need to mix and match,” says McClure. “It’s fun experimenting what would look good and working with what you have.”

She would love for her blog to become successful, but for now she will continue working toward her goal to become a stylist.

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Sarah Fun – Lifestyle and Food Blog

 “I have found that if you love life, it will love you back”

–       Sarah Fun

Sarah Fun. Image Courtesy of Local Dreamer.

Sarah Fun. Image Courtesy of Local Dreamer.

Currently studying Art Therapy at SMU, Sarah Fun is a project-based artist for Susan Graham Designs and in-house photographer for Rachel Nash Gallery. Fun, who identifies herself as a “coffee drinker, picture taker, and life liver,” has had her blog Local Dreamer since February of 2015. She started her lifestyle and food blog because many of her friends wanted to see more of what she likes to do.

Being a photographer, Fun has filled her blog with colorful, bright and artsy photos that people love to look at. She has over 2,000 followers from multiple countries, and her base continues to grow every day.

Fun herself follows mainly fashion bloggers, but she decided to make her blog mostly lifestyle and food based. She explores restaurants all over Dallas and posts photos of the treats she enjoys.

Fun promotes her blog through her Instagram, HeySarahFun, and she also has her own personal website where she displays more of her photos.

“I like that it’s more personal and I can write the way I speak so my readers feel like we’re having a conversation,” she says about her blog.

“The Real- Life Serena Van Der Woodsen bringing stylish to a whole new level”

–     Town and Country

 “If you like ladylike looks with a touch of edge, this girl’s for you”

–   Who What Wear

 

Krystal Schlegel. Image Courtesy of  Krystal Schlegel.

Krystal Schlegel. Image Courtesy of Krystal Schlegel.

SMU graduate Krystal Schlegel started her fashion blog Krystal Schlegel in 2010 while still a student.  Today the site has over 400,000 unique viewers who visit it every day.

“My personal style is pretty simple.  Classic but modern.  Southern but edgy.  Comfortable and casual.  I keep my home decorated in all white and my closet full of neutrals,” says Schlegel.

Schlegel has remained up to date with ever changing social media. Instagram was not around when she started her blog, but now it is Schlegel’s main form of social media.

Like many other student bloggers, Schlegel started as a young woman with a dream.  Now she enjoys working at her ultimate job. “I have met so many amazing people and love being my own boss,” she says.  ”I am putting in more hours than when I had a 9 to 5 job, but I love what I do, so it is all very exciting and worth the hard work.”

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Calling all Girl Bosses

By Emily Ward

eward@smu.edu

Create + Cultivate is a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space founded by Jaclyn Johnson in 2012.

Create + Cultivate is a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space founded by Jaclyn Johnson in 2012. Courtesy of Create + Cultivate.

Your “she-roes” are the women who launched Nasty Gal, Net-A-Porter and rewardStyle, and you hope someday to follow in their well-heeled footsteps.   Well, help is on the way.

Create + Cultivate’s tagline is “Not your average conference,” and this  statement could not be truer.

Started in 2012 by blogger-turned-CEO Jaclyn Johnson, Create + Cultivate is a creative conference and online platform for female entrepreneurs in the digital space. The imaginative workshop and speaking series has taken place in Portland, Brooklyn, Palm Springs and Los Angeles and, this January, will be visiting Dallas for the first time.

Johnson created No Subject, a digital and events agency, in 2010 and has since established it as one of the go-to agencies in Los Angeles, servicing clients such as Nasty Gal, Levi’s and Urban Decay. Two years later, it struck her that fashion and lifestyle brands were lacking environments where women in this field could come together to creatively entertain and inspire one another, both online and off.

Thus, Create + Cultivate, a 365-day conversation about entrepreneurship and being a woman in the modern digital world, was created. Its team strives to gather the next generation of curious thinkers, entrepreneurs and girl bosses to spark conversations around the topics they are passionate about – from influencer marketing and brand building to raising money.

The conference is held three times a year and past speakers include best-in-the-business names such as Whitney Port. Create + Cultivate has also been called a must-attend event for women in the digital industry by popular fashion sites such as refinery29, The Zoe Report and Who What Wear.

The first conference of 2016 will be held in Dallas on Saturday, Jan. 30, and is expected to include 60 speakers and more than 400 attendees. The keynote speakers are Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr, the co-founders of Clique Media Group, as well as Emily Schuman of Cupcakes & Cashmere. Prominent panelists Julia Engel of Gal Meets Glam and Tina Craig of Bag Snob are also set to speak.

The first Create + Cultivate conference of 2016 will be held in Dallas on Saturday, Jan. 30, and is set to include 60 speakers. Courtesy of Create + Cultivate.

SMU professor Jake Batsell teaches courses in digital journalism and media entrepreneurship. He is quick to comment on the the barrierless relationship between famous bloggers and their fans.

“Certainly within the fashion world, and many other industries as well, what the Web has done is eliminate some of the hierarchies that traditionally governed these professions,” Batsell says. “No one is saying anymore that you have to pay your dues to gain admission to the club.”

Taylor Miller, founder and owner of Hazen Jewelry, is excited for the chance to attend Create + Cultivate in her home state next month. She knows the conference is highly recognized for bringing like-minded, creative and ambitious women together in one place.

“I am just thrilled that this event is in Dallas, and I look forward to meeting and networking with my neighbors,” Miller says. “I think something really unique happens when communities work together towards a common goal.”

Miller says she is most looking forward to hearing from Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rise of SoulCycle.

“They have clearly created an incredible brand, business and business model,” Miller says, “and I am curious to see what insight they have to add.”

Hazen Jewelry social media intern and student blogger Molly O’Connor is counting down the days until Create + Cultivate as well. She views the conference as an invaluable learning experience taught by successful woman who were once at the same starting point where she is now.

“As a recent creator of a blog, I would love to hear all the tricks and words of wisdom that all of these phenomenal women have to offer,” O’Connor says. “I hope to not only sharpen existing skills, but also learn to think about my craft from different, and much more advanced, perspectives.”

Tickets for the event may seem pricey at $285, but include workshops, mentor sessions, cocktails, food, pop-up shops, photo booths and gift bags. Create + Cultivate will be held in the popular event space, Lofty Spaces, on Montgomery Street starting at 8 a.m.

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Black Friday v. Cyber Monday

Shoppers line the aisles waiting to purchase their items. Photo courtesy of Business Insider

Shoppers line the aisles waiting to purchase their items. Photo courtesy of Business Insider

By Ashley Almquist
aaalmquist@smu.edu

As I walk down the corridor of Wesfield Topanga in Los Angeles, swerving in and out of a sea of people, I glance to my left at store windows adorned with signs promoting major sales of the season. To my right, I see women testing their upper body strength by carrying at least five shopping bags, all stuffed to the brim, on each arm.

When I finally duck into the nearest store it is packed with people, leaving me no room to actually look at the items on the shelves.

This is the typical scene of any Black Friday.  And while I usually enjoy the experience, some people might ask: Are the crowds and hassle of leaving the house around the holiday really worth it?

Black Friday is a tradition that has been around since the 1960s.  Once a term used by the Philadelphia Police Department to describe the overwhelming crowds in the streets and stores, retailers took over the term in the 1980s.  Black was then referring to switching from red to black ink in retailer’s accounting books to indicate a profit.

Peter Noble, professor of practice at the SMU Temerlin Advertising Institute, says that Black Friday is based on loss leaders which are products that are majorly discounted to attract customers. “Retailers have a limited number of those items and once they are gone everything else is discounted [to] much less,” said Noble.

Retailers realize they can draw large crowds through these “door buster” deals on Black Friday.  Shoppers are looking to score great deals on Christmas gifts, so retailers start advertisements for the long-awaited day weeks in advance.

Shoppers wait to enter the Macy’s in New York City. Photo courtesy of the International Business Times

Shoppers wait to enter the Macy’s in New York City. Photo courtesy of the International Business Times

“We’ve ended up with a tradition and frenzy where people perceive there are must-have bargains,” said Noble. “The purpose is basically to bring people into the store to kick of the Christmas buying season.”

Some stores such as Macy’s or Walmart even start the sales early at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.  And that’s not the earliest – stores like Target even offer Black Friday preview sales on Wednesday.

Shopper Christian Bender said she does not enjoy the crowds on Black Friday. “I would rather pay full price for anything than ever go to Black Friday.”

Many of these deals are available with the click of a mouse.  Cyber Monday, a term coined by Shop.org, a division of the National Retail Federation, originated in 2005. The day of online shopping on the Monday following Black Friday reached record sales of over $2 billion in 2014, according to comscore.

Great deals are available online on Cyber Monday. Photo courtesy of the Washington Post

Great deals are available online on Cyber Monday. Photo courtesy of the Washington Post

Cyber Monday has deals just like Black Friday all from the comfort of your home.  While you do run the risk of items going out of stock, you can experience the same problems shopping in a mall on Black Friday.

The only catch – shipping can be free, but sometimes online shoppers do have to pay that extra fee to get the products they purchase. The fee may be worth not having to drive to your favorite stores and transport all of the items you want home.

Bender seems to think so. “Cyber Monday sounds less stressful unless it’s one of those websites that people stalk for hours and then crashes because so many people are buying stuff,” said Bender.

But not everyone spends the day shopping.

Mallory Paul, an employee at Equinox, spent her Cyber Monday on the seller’s side. “On Cyber Monday my company was offering two $100 gift cards for joining our club, so I spent the day selling memberships,” she said.

I personally enjoy tradition, and Black Friday is a long-standing one for my mom and me.  Although the parking is a challenge and the crowds can be overwhelming, I like being part of the crowd and making memories with her.  I also prefer going into the store and trying things on before making a purchase – something you can’t do online.

In my opinion, the very American experience of heading to any mall or retail store on Black Friday is something we should all try at least once.  That being said, I also shop on Cyber Monday because who can resist those amazing deals, all at your fingertips with just the click of a mouse?  Not me.

Black Friday or Cyber Monday? The choice depends on the type of shopper and her buying habits and needs.  Or you can be like me and choose both — because great deals are always nice when holiday shopping.

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