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Social Media’s Evolving Influence on the Fashion Industry

Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, Blogspot and Wordpress... all are among the  growing list of free mass media communication tools used to keep companies on the pulse of online retail development. While magazines still hold pull in the industry with their access to a larger subscriber base, the benefits of partnering with digital, individual voices are becoming increasingly attractive. “[Blogs] are the future of advertising,” states Erin Griffith of AdWeek, addressing the matter. Anyone can easily start a blog, but those who succeed at doing so have to bring something new to the field, fill a niche among the daunting number of already existing bloggers out there. They must forge a connection with the reader. Make reading your blog feel like readers are talking to a trusted friend and you can have as much pull as a magazine in terms of opinions on fashion. While a magazine’s readers know that there is an authentic, knowledgeable voice behind their words, personal style bloggers put a face and a personality behind their words. They probably don’t understand the industry or have even a fraction of the experience as their editorial counterparts, but they are able to communicate with their readers on a more personal level.

The internet offers even journalists and photographers an outlet for their work that didn’t quite make the cut into physical publications. The appeal lies in the lack of constraint that can be shared, uploaded, posted, pinned, or reblogged onto the various websites. The role of bloggers is to share their own opinions, styles, and experiences with their readers to make it a more personable interaction rather than the sometimes forced intimacy of a magazine, Julia Frakes of “Bunny Bisous” explained to Teen Vogue. "The spirit and camaraderie don't come across from just looking at a snapshot in a magazine, and I want to share that energy with my readers."

Alternative, new age communication methods have ushered the brand and consumer relationship into the social networking era. “I think that with social media, we can do everything that television cannot do,” Erika Bearman of OscarPRGirl said at the WWD Digital Forum, “and that is talk to them [consumers].” There was once a time where critics’ reviews were the only ones that mattered, and designers would have to appear on public broadcasting or be profiled in a magazine to communicate with their audiences. Now, thanks to the immediacy of websites like,, and, fashion has become a two-sided conversation. Magazines don’t yet need to feel threatened (though some malicious statements from high powered editors like Franca Sozzani and Cathy Horyn say otherwise) by the occasional elimination of the middleman as seen in Rag & Bone’s sales effective flyer-style Spring/Summer 2011 ads. They should, however, rethink their approach to presenting fashion and reaffirm their online presence in context with the social media revolution.

Kate at the Ritz

images via studded hearts

Kate Moss, Vogue US April 2012
photographed by Tim Walker and styled by Grace Coddington
Shot at the Ritz Hotel in Paris

Beauty Is So Much More Than Skin-Deep

mystery shoot, flatiron NYC, May 20, 2012

Everyone knows that looking good can improve how you feel, despite whatever
kind of day you happen to be having or what happens to be on your to-do list.
That instant little lift a woman gets when she trades another coat of lackluster
clear lip balm for a swipe of rosy red lipstick is proof of that. Having a bad day
can change in a blink of any eye when she walks past a department store
window and spots a gorgeous new set of bright red soled pumps.

Cancer patients can have an especially difficult time with self-confidence and
finding the strength to feel good. But one thing's for sure, from a young girl
with leukemia to middle aged women undergoing mesothelioma treatments, all
women have the right and the ability to have their outside match their confident,
beautiful insides.

A little moisturizer, concealer, blush and lip gloss can be enough to make that
shabby old jogging suit look like it needs to go back into the pajama drawer it
was pulled out of. Before long, that cute lacy spring blouse and those darling
floral skirt that have been waiting in the closet for months start seeming a lot
more is the smile beginning to spread across that bright-eyed young
lady's face. She's not going to let cancer define her today...she's going to let her
unique style, that was almost forgotten, do that for her.

Imagine a 15-year-old girl. She's wearing a breezy light blue sundress with peony
pink toenails peeking out from a pair of jeweled sandals. She has a flawless
complexion with a few light colored freckles sprinkled over her cheeks. Her
bright blue eyes are rimmed in a smoky light gray ensemble of eye shadow and
eyeliner, seeming to smile along in unison with her rosy pink lips that just keep
spreading wider and wider as she lets out a contagious little giggle. She's not
twirling her hair though, because she doesn't have any.

A week ago, she woke up and every bit of blonde hair she had was on her pillow.
But you wouldn't know this, looking at her now in this moment. She doesn't care
that she's bald...because the makeover session her mom and her best friend
gave her made her see the strong, gorgeous young woman they still see every

For years, women have used fashions, cosmetics, wigs, and accessories to
vamp up their looks and imbue confidence, strength, power and beauty. They
want the world to see them as they see themselves. This is even more important
for those struggling with cancer and the real damage it does to their bodies, and

Check out the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog for more information on

Good Morning New York

Before I move into the NYU dorms for the rest of my summer, I've been staying at my friend's apartment uptown. For me there are two different New Yorks: uptown and downtown. As anyone who has ever been to New York knows, the two areas could be considered foils- intrinsically linked by land but occupying completely different cultural landscapes. Since I'm from the Upper East Side, its more homely and familiar to me. But since I had the typical UES parents (investment banker dad, stay at home mom) I very rarely ventured below 50th street before the age of 13. So while I'm looking forward to exploring the village this summer, I always enjoy strolling along 5th, Madison, and Park while I can.
So for the past few mornings I've been getting up at 7:30, grabbing a cup of coffee from one of the many cafes and bagel shops and establishing a little area for myself to properly wake up in central park.  I've gotten quite accustomed to this ritual but I don't think I'll ever grow tired of this view. What do you think?

Dark Shadows

Chloe Moretz as Alice

Chloe has recently replaces Dakota Fanning as the girl I love to hate. I mean on one hand, she is ridiculously cool and, I'll admit it, a pretty talented actress. But then I consider the fact that she stole the MTV movie award for best breakout star from basically the entire Harry Potter cast (I take these things very personally), in conjunction with the fact that I want to steal practically everything she wears (Marc, Proenza, . Then I remember that if she went to my school she would be a freshman. Every now and then I'll read an interview and she seems down to earth and level headed, and the she'll say things like: "I'm just so competitive and driven that I know I'm going to get into college because I want to." and "I've met a couple of people who are so fun for like a month, and then they get weird! And you're like, Oh god, here we go! We've got a freak-a-leak. They start asking me if they can go to a premiere with me. And I'm like, Really? You're gonna ask me that right now? Ugh." 
and then you just want to throw something at her. 

You thought this was going to be a post about how much I love her style, didn't you?
But if you were wondering, the first photo is from the London premiere of Dark Shadows and she is wearing McQ Alexander McQueen. Doesn't it remind you of this famed photo of Emma Watson arriving at the Burberry show a few seasons ago?

WAH Brand

What Makes a Brand? Click to Find Out

Have you ever wanted to really feel what it would be like to become a part of a brand, to become immersed in their vision and see what makes them tick? Welcome to, the online branch We Are Handsome, the brainchild of Australian design duo Jeremy Somers and Indhra Chagoury. A visit to the site will undoubtedly leave you tempted to buy at least one of their signature prints. Side effects include the unquenchable urge to snap up the entire fall collection and an uncontrollable desire to go to the beach. You have been warned.
The brand itself was initially launched in 2009 by Somers and Chagoury as a swimwear collection via the warm shores of sunny Australia. With the ability to transform the ordinary maillot into something covetable and fierce, the brand quickly took off after gaining publicity from the likes of Rihanna, Florence Welsh, and Miranda Kerr, all of whom have been spotted both on and off the beach in We Are Handsome. 

Their success might have something to do with the comfortable materials they are made out of, or the universally flattering cuts, (The Italian lycra used on each suit specializes in highlighting the natural lines of the body, without that dreaded look of squishing anything up or down.) but the real cause of their instant popularity comes mostly as the result of their imaginative dream-like HD prints. Beware though, these prints are not for the timid among us. 
Somers, who has a background in graphic design, says that prints are “designed to take you back to memories, sights, sounds, and smells of younger years and simpler times.” Not that there is anything simple about these prints. Peacocks, the wild west, a chilly mountain village, fields of flowers,  and psychedelic hot air balloons are among  the killer options that past collections have offered. Clearly, inspiration comes from a wide variety of sources, but mainly out of “ our wild imaginations. Each season is different of course, but we try to pull out as much information and inspiration from out heads as we can.” 

Expansion has come naturally over the years. What started as brand built solely on women’s swimsuits, has transitioned smoothly into ready to wear and men’s without losing any of their eccentric identity. In addition to the full collection available on their own website, We Are Handsome bathing suits can be found online at major sites such as Net-a-Porter, Opening Ceremony, and Intermix.
Fall 2011 gave us piece to keep cozy and stay warm in all winter. Never one to disappoint, the collection, titled ‘The Vintage,’ includes head turning motifs screen printed onto everything from leggings to cap sleeved dresses. Following along the likes of other rising star designer pair, Jack and Lazarro over at Proenza, the collection was inspired by a vacation,  a summer vacation to the luxurious coasts of Europe to be exact. Usually such detailed bathing suits are only suited for lounging by the pool, but WAH suits are fully functional, whether that means splashing around in the pool or surfing a major wave. 

Utilizing social media to effectively promote their brand and communicate their vision, WAH made a video, featuring their Fall 2011 collection. This proved an effective marketing strategy as bloggers all around the world have been reposting and building brand awareness at no extra charge. 
But, back to the website. is like a trip into the minds of it’s founders, the equivalent of say, an interactive documentary explaining exactly what goes through their minds when creating a collection and what types of things hang on the walls of their bedrooms. Somers’ and Chagoury’s ability to bring their customers into their world gives shoppers the chance to truly appreciate the concept behind each piece. Tabs include where to buy, past campaigns, inspirations, mix tapes,  explore, and video. They use their own rising status to support other young people in need of recognition through the Handsome Project. The online project features an open contest each month for anyone to shoot a story featuring one of their swimsuits. They give the photographer complete creative freedom and even supply the suits to work with. 
It’s difficult to make swimwear cool again, especially in an age where it seems as though everything has been done before. We Are Handsome succeeds in combining the frivolous and the functional in quirky, original ways. Careful now, you might even see hipsters at the beach again. 

Buying Jeans: You Get What You Pay For

With money being tighter these days than it was a few years ago for many of us, and the economy showing few signs of recovery, it’s probably a good idea to try and save money wherever you can. But could all this scrimping actually be costing you money in the long term? 

Of course, saving money where you can is a good idea and cutting out or cutting down on unnecessary expenditure is something we can all do. It’s amazing how much you can save if you take a look at where you are spending your money. But when you’re buying essentials like clothes and furniture for the house, if you ‘cheap out’ you could simply end up paying more in the long run. 

You’re paying for the quality
Clothes are the perfect example of the idea that you ‘get what you pay for’. It might be tempting to go to those shops on the high streets that sell discount clothes. With such low prices, it might seem like you’re getting a bargain. But are you really? Firstly, the clothes are often poorly made. They may not fit too well and the craftsmanship is terrible. The materials they use are also poor quality in a lot of cases, which you can spot from a mile off. The bill might be small, but if you have to come back next month and the month after that to keep buying more, you could end up spending more than you need to.

Stick to names you can trust
This is especially true of jeans and shoes. Purchase cheap jeans and you’ll definitely have to buy several more pairs. But if you buy one quality pair of jeans from a trusted manufacturer then they will hopefully last for years. They won’t lose their shape and they will still look good after hundreds of washes. In fact, a really good pair of Firetrap jeans will look even better when they have been ‘worn in’ a little. The jeans will have adjusted to fit you better and the worn look that you only get with good jeans will start to come through.

It really does make good financial sense to buy good quality clothes. It’s something we all know deep down, we just need to stop being tempted by the price tags. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. It’s better to stick to names you know. Plus, you can check out my favorite pair: the super skinny purple Skyler Jegger!


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Caroline Mason: 21. Native New Yorker (and one time North Carolinian). Assistant to Derek Blasberg. Just a girl who is OCD about all things fashion, drinks way too much coffee, and has an affinity for late night talk shows and travel books. FIT class of 2016. Previously with Karla Otto PR, Lori Goldstein and Lester Garcia.

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