Blue Jeans

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Lana Del Rey is quickly becoming a name to be reckoned with. Feelings are mixed about her sultry voice and unique music. Some say she is a manufactured artist that doesn’t deserve what has come. Even if this is true, I’m sure these people like someone that has had help and influence.  I find that her story is quite interesting and the mystery behind her, makes her even more appealing. Her look is what made me instantly attracted to her. She has a classic 60’s look, with big lips and big fabulous hair. Her recent debut album, Born to Die, has had mixed reviews. The songs are filled with heartfelt messages of love and hardship. Whether you like her or not she is something to behold.

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Embellish My Relish

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If you were to even watch one of the recent fashion week shows, you would notice the numerous amounts of embellished garments. Embellishments are anything, from beads and sequins to embroidery and metals. Many of this seasons designers made many dresses with embellishments all over. Givenchy, Gucci, Alexander McQueen and Chanel are just a few that have come to this recent trend. They are on shoulders, seams and just about anywhere you could put some sequins! If i were you i would update your closet with some key pieces with embroidery or do it yourself and get some studs, and stud your favorite shirts collar.

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A Fashion Standoff

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Early last semester, in one of my classes we were assigned to interview, Samantha Cortes, one of the last embroiders in New York City. As many know, the fashion industry in New York was once flourishing through the streets. Now many of these manufacturers and suppliers have been bought out and moved, to make room for luxury apartments and condos. Below i have placed my paper i wrote on Samantha and the ever increasing crisis happening in New York and the fashion industry. Maybe you, as did I, will learn how crazy this has become.

 

A Fashion Standoff

            Up on 7th avenue and west 37th street a lone ranger in the standoff between fashion and condos is evolving to a narrow battle. Samantha Cortes is one of the only embroiders left in NYC, but with her innovative techniques in her spring line she stays alive in this tough town.

            “I was squeezed out of Puerto Rico, and I will not be squeezed out of New York.” Samantha Cortes is one of the last surviving embroiders in New York and is one of the last surviving New York fashion workers left. With the apartment industry taking over the fashion district, and even raised her rent 35%, how does she stay afloat? If you look at her spring collection, you will know why.

            Cortes is specialized in a machine called a Shiffili. These are large machines that can be programmed to do numerous amounts of different techniques to any fabric. In her new spring collection you can see how she has set herself apart and made it hard for others to copy her unique designs.

            In the collection she describes it as “refined deconstruction.” Mixing soft with harsh and took inspiration from the economy, as it is softening up but is still harsh. She combines different fabrics and uses a mix of laser and deconstructed fabrics to pull off such effects. Her fabrics can be seen in recent collections of Bill BlassJen Kao and Zac Posen. But this industry is brutal and with some, as soon as a fabric is created, it can be replicated somewhere cheaper. Cortes prevents this by being an expert in her equipment and knowing her fabrics.

            When Cortes conceptualizes a collection she researches fabrics of the past. In the past fabrics were hand made and every one was unique. Cortes observes these fabrics and uses them to help create unique fabrics that are impossible to recreate. She commented that she has to make them complicated other wise some would send the design to India and try to recreate it. But thanks to her knowledge of fabrics and her machines, it’s very difficult to copy her designs. She said if they were able to do so, by the time they figured it out, the season will have past and there is no point anymore.

            So standing back to back, slowly stepping away from one another, who will take the first shot? Cortes is very passionate about what she does and like she says, “You have to love what you do to succeed in this business.” And hopefully Cortes will stand strong and survive this standoff taking over New York.

 

Marilyn

Marilyn


What happened to photographers?

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Today anyone can be a photographer. With today’s computers and digital cameras, photography has become accessible to everyone.  I remember the thrill and excitement of owning my first camera. Now with cameras on our phones and digital cameras being so inexpensive and accessible, I feel the excitement of being a photographer is gone.

Photography’s use over the years has been for everything from studies of animals, record keeping and even surveillance by the military, police and security.  Families use it to capture and record special events and moments in their lives.  However, there are always a few special people who can use photography to make something beautiful and artistic.  These are the people who inspire me and make me want to do the same.

The glamour I once associated with these few artists and visionaries is being lost. The art of processing and developing photos takes talent, time and patience.  To get the chemicals and light exactly right to create the perfect picture is a true art form and not just anyone can accomplish it.  Thanks to the internet, we now just go online and download one of the many available computer applications or websites that do it all for us.  With access to digital photography and the easy ways to create special effects, people have lost the appreciation of old techniques of developing and printing photographs.

Not only can anyone take a decent picture, they can also post them online for everyone to see.  I’m not saying people shouldn’t be able to take photos and share them, I just think all of these factors are contributing to the process and the art largely being lost.

A few artists and photographers give me hope that the art of photography is not dead yet. As some new and revamped cameras and equipment of the past come on the market, I am hopeful photography will once again have the glamour and talent that is exciting to me.


A Struggle to Survive

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Polaroid came out with the instant film camera in 1948, dominating the market and becoming a household name.  That is all changing in recent years and the development of digital cameras is making it even harder for Polaroid to hang on to their once dominant role in the camera market.  They are now seeking ways to come back, will they be able to do it?

Polaroid is struggling in the market, competing with such brands as Sony, Nikon and Canon.  Polaroid’s halting production of its once famous instant camera, and the film for it, leaves people around the world with mixed feelings as they try to hold on to the nostalgia of this classic camera. With a large fan base, demand is getting higher, but without profit, Polaroid is being forced to stop production of the film for these cameras, causing what is left of the film to become very expensive.

Polaroid is fighting back, holding a press conference in January of 2011, with their new Creative Director, Lady GaGa, and introducing three new products hoping to bring back the instant camera.  The first of these products is one the company has been developing since their beginning, eyewear. But this is no regular eyewear; within the glasses is a camera enabling you to capture and record what you see. Another product is a small printer, the size of the original Polaroid camera, which can be wirelessly connected to your mobile device and instantly print a photograph.  At the press conference Lady GaGa asked, “What is the camera of the future? This is, your cell phone.”  Emphasizing that many of us don’t even use digital cameras to take pictures anymore, instead we use our cell phones.  Having a way to print these pictures instantly is a throwback to the instant camera and this is an exciting product they are introducing to the market.  The last product Lady GaGa introduced directly reverts back to the instant Polaroid camera we are all familiar with. The new camera has a similar style and shape to the old one, but now has a screen and you are able to save your pictures for later or print them instantly.

As we can see by these three new radical products they are introducing, Polaroid is trying to gain back a share of the market they once dominated.  There are mixed reactions; some feel the new products do not have the same feel as the older ones, while some find them exciting. I asked Alex Woo, 20, a Communications major at New York University, if she feels this is a positive or negative step for the company.  Her reply?   “Positive, because that’s what makes it so alluring, the fact that it’s new with a hint of the past.”

In the next few months we will see if the products are a success or not. The revamping of the company, Lady GaGa as their Creative Director, and introducing these new products, they are sure to make a splash in the market and hopefully bring the company back to the forefront.


Gucci Ready-to-Wear Fall 2012

Silk dress with green flower at bottom

Fur Coat

Yet again Gucci has brought out another collection that will be seen throughout the fashion world. Whether it is on a celebrity, in a magazine or at an award show, these dark prints and fabulous embellishments are sure to be seen in no time. It was an amazing collection, with so much you could wear from boots, pants, tops, dresses and jackets.

Ever since Frida Ginani took over as creative director, every season has been consistent in wowing and being even more amazing than the last. This season she brought out the dark fabrics and continued with the embellishments that have been so on trend lately.  She also used such opulent velvets of green and maroon, while also using furs. Some would think it would be too heavy but the clothes seemed not to wear you down but glam you up. And these materials followed through to the bags, showing velvet flower accents and brocade leathers of midnight blue and dark red. The collection showed a sense of romantics while also being dark and mysterious. Some said it was as if you walked out of scar face.