Sunday, November 23, 2008

TRIPLE THREAT: Model Citizens

High fashion has gone granola. But don’t expect hemp couture dresses anytime soon. Think soft soy pants, silk blouses, and organic cotton dresses and consider these three items forerunners in breaking the crunchy mold by offering high-end, chic pieces that look good and sustain the earth.

1. Larsen Gray, a clothing line by Project Runway season one contestant Nora Caliguri and ex-Chanel alum Rachelyn Porter. Larsen Gray’s Zippered Pencil Skirt is made from 100 percent recycled wool. Available at for $260, this skirt offers a body-hugging fit for a sexy night out with a date or a modest dinner with co-workers.

2. Another new sustainable friendly company: Only Hearts. They live by their motto ‘inner outerwear’ and produce one-of-a-kind cocktail dresses. My pick: Organic Cotton Chemise. Don’t be fooled by the title though. The dress is the best little black dress you’ll ever own. With a deep v-neck, ruffled hem, and skinny spaghetti straps, it delivers knock-out sexiness. Made from 60 percent organic cotton and 40 percent organic hemp, this dress retails for $72 and is available online at

3. English Retreads Bags features the newest line of hip, trendy, eco-friendly bags. For a night out, choose the Mini Luxe because it’s large enough to hold all your essentials but small enough to fit under the arm. Available at t in green, toffee and chrome for $109.

OBSESSION: Queen of the Jungle Confessions

The dreams of children live and grow without real-world constraints: When I grow up I'm going to be a doctor. Fireman, Actress, Lawyer—you get the drift. As a young girl, my aspirations differed greatly from my playground companions, who dreamed of being veterinarians, teachers, musicians. My main goal in life: to become synonymous with the image of the leopard.

I don't remember what motivated me to seek out all things leopard. I just remember great moments of leopard influence.

1991, age 3: On my first trip to the cinema, I see 101 Dalmatians. I run up to the screen to touch Cruella DeVil.

1994, age 6: With my grandmother, I fall asleep watching The Nanny every week. In my mind, Fran Drescher's character Miss Fine (and her preference for all things animal print) epitomized my adult aspirations.

1996, age 7: I purchase my first leopard-print ensemble at the Children's Place: a leopard dress with a black-vinyl jacket. My life changed forever.

Ever since the second grade, I incorporated some form of the feline into my outfits. The cheetah and the tiger make cameos, but the leopard dominates my wardrobe. Confronting the wild, I challenge the conventionality of Hollister and Polo with my courageous fashion statements — leopard overalls, leopard pants, leopard skirts. I know these symbols of the primitive and the exotic walk a thin line between class and promiscuity, and I guard that line when I assemble my attire each day.

But regardless of my daily fashion decisions, I remain contemporary, current. Each season, animal print reappears on the runway. From Dolce and Gabanna advertisements in Vogue to synthetic tunics at Forever 21, spots possess a stronghold on the fashion industry and an appeal that transcends age limits. Adolescent girls and businesswomen alike flirt with my prized pet. However, nothing threatens my relationship with the animal. We share a secret understanding, a special bond. I like to think I did not choose the leopard. The leopard chose me.

CRUSH: Classic Clothes

Are we facing a fashion return to America's puritan roots?
Check out this sound slide to find out.

EXPERIENCE: Rhoda Dendron

Rhoda Dendron is easily one of the most trendy places to shop on the SU Campus. Check out this sound slide to see for yourself.