James and the Giant Tee

     In 1955, James Dean not only played a major role as Jim Stark in Rebel Without A Cause but also in the popularization of the white t-shirt. Dean's character Jim made the blue jeans and white shirt look iconic (cue Lana Del Rey). Teens all over America could relate to Jim for his angst and daring demeanor, and tried to emulate the rebel by wearing white t-shirts too. 
     At first glance, a colorless tee doesn't appear to evoke rebelliousness. However, in the 1950s it did exactly that. Simply donning a plain white tee as outerwear was an act of rebellion in and of itself because typically the shirt was worn as men's underwear. Plus, colorless clothing allowed one's true personality to shine through, which in the case of Jim Stark and even James Dean himself, screamed rebel.


Drawing the Line at NYFW

Bill Cunningham at the Jeremy Scott Fashion Show, Milk Studios

Press at the Jeremy Scott Fashion Show, Milk Studios

Anna Wintour and Alexa Chung at Edun Fashion Show, Skylight Modern

     While I could rave about the crocodile kimonos at The Row and the bouclé culottes at Tibi for days, the thing I treasure most about this past New York Fashion Week doesn't even involve clothing. Throughout the fashion frenzied week, artist Jason Polan illustrated fantastic line drawings of characters at the collections for his blog Every Person in New York. From sweet old Bill to queen Anna and it-girl Alexa, Polan's illustrations capture quite a marvelous crowd.


Straighten Up

Anna Selezneva backstage at Balmain Fall 2010

Young Vanessa Paradis in 1991

     For years I've been on the search for the perfect straightening product to help tame my naturally frizzy locks - sprays, oils, creams, you name it. Finally, I've found my hair's holy grail, and owe it all to Kiehl's. Their (concisely named) Stylist Series Heat-Protective Silk Straightening Cream is the ultimate game-changer. This sounds way too much like an infomercial, but I truly feel like I have salon smooth hair when I use the cream to blow out or flat iron my strands. You've seriously got to try this stuff out for yourself... And call me a maneiac if your hair doesn't look as sleek as the cheveux of the beauties above. 


Augusta Chapman, Model

     Augusta Chapman is undeniably cool. I was immediately awestruck with the model (and fellow student) when I met her while assisting a photo shoot for Hoot Magazine. Augusta's unique beauty, with her tall porcelain figure and choppy blonde locks, along with her charming personality make for both a marvelous model and an enchanting girl. Intrigued about her career, I interviewed the inspiring lady to learn a bit more...

How did you get into modeling - were you scouted or was it something you pursued independently?
     I was in a nail salon when a woman stopped me and asked if I had ever thought about modeling. I said the truth, which is that I always thought models had to diet a lot more than I was willing to, and she said that she thought I would be perfect for it and gave me her card. I went down to the agency a week later and they signed me on the spot.

While watching you pose for the Hoot editorial, you were completely natural in front of the camera. Have you ever felt camera shy?
     Posing is a totally learned skill - I don’t know anyone who started out knowing how to pose. If you look back at my first couple tests they’re incredibly awkward and forced, I don’t know where to look, I can’t figure out what to do with my hands. Also, I cracked my rib the day before my agency took my first couple of polaroids, so I’m really stiff because I literally can’t move. I figured out pretty quickly that posing is just a matter of letting go of the embarrassment that comes with watching yourself. You develop a really strong sense of where your body is at all times through modeling. In front of the camera I know exactly where every part of my body is, from the angle of my chin to all of my toes. That awareness makes you lose embarrassment really fast.

As a model you're always dressed by others, how would you describe your personal style?
     For everyday I like sort of a Scandinavian clean lines feeling combined with a Pacific Northwest normcore vibe, lots of work boots, androgynous silhouettes, minimal makeup. I have to go from class to castings so my outfits are often variations on the model uniform of skinny jeans + simple dark top + ratty sweater + cool boots. For going out, I dress exclusively like a hot stepmom.

What's one of your favorite photo shoots you've done?
     When I was in Seattle I got to shoot with the incredible Heather Hazzan, who’s a plus model as well as a photographer doing really cool things in the industry. Not only is she so warm and easy to pose for, she let me wear my own clothes and we styled them together. The collaborative aspect was so valuable to me and now I look at those photos and feel a real sense of ownership over them.

Who is your dream photographer to work with or designer to wear?
     I dream of bringing plus / “middie” modeling to catalogues that I always felt excluded from when I was younger, like Urban Outfitters, Madewell, etc. Those cooler, younger, middle-price-point brands are really close to my heart and I would love for them to have photos that look more like the girls actually buying the clothes.

What is the best piece of modeling advice that you've received?
     Pretend you’re looking in your mirror at home. Also, if your picture is being taken, someone is already looking at you, so it’s okay to act like it.

Any et cetera?
     It’s really, really nice to like the way you look, and you don’t have to change anything about yourself to do that. Just know that you’ve got your own thing going on and that’s really fucking cool.

Images via Heffner Management


All Tied Up

Catherine Deneuve

Françoise Dorléac

     Baby pink grosgrain bows immediately come to mind when I first think of bow hair accessories. As a young girl, my mother loved to style my hair with bows in a rainbow of colors. This surely explains my association with hair bows as youthful, rather than something more avant-garde (I'm talking about you, Lady Gaga).
     Sporting hair bows hasn't appealed to me since my elementary school years, but now thanks to a couple of femmes françaises I'm inspired to put a bow on it. In the 60s, sisters and fellow starlets Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac could often be seen with bow-tied locks. Eager to emulate the looks of the two, I'm adding black velvet ribbon to my shopping list to get my tresses all tied up.