Friday, December 12, 2008

LOOK BOOK: Porcelain Girl

At 16, Aussie model Gemma Ward was the youngest model to grace the cover of Vogue in the September 2004 issue highlighting the “models of the moment.” With her porcelain doll-face and alien-like features, Gemma’s is a face you can’t forget. We’ve loved watching her strut the runways, but she recently took a leave of absence to pursue an acting career. Her film debut in The Black Balloon opens just in time for the Oscar season, and we can’t wait to see if her acting skills match up to her brazen beauty.

OBSESSION: A Mighty Mini

Finding the perfect bandage-esque skirt is a challenge. We’re all body-conscious. Anything super-tight and skinny must look irresistible (the line between sophisticated snug and tramp tight is a very thin one). Thankfully American Apparel created the perfect solution. Their Herve Ledger knockoff bandage skirt, the Interlock Mini Skirt, is cute and comes with a friendly price tag ($25). But beyond price, it deserves adoration because of its versatility: It does fashion duty on a night out with four inch stilettos or tucked in to a tank or longer tunic (tip: look for one that hits about an inch or two above the bottom of the skirt). For a day look, throw on a loose-fitting white tank or graphic-print shirt and add a pair of t-strapped sandals. Either way, the skirt looks fabulous. Other notables: It’s made from 100 percent cotton and comes in six different colors. Visit to purchase.

STREET STYLE: Baby, It's Cold Outside

Mere Littas fuses practicality and style to keep warm on this chilly Syracuse night. The junior television, radio and film major wears a Moncler coat stylishly cinched at the waist, American Apparel leggings, Ugg boots, and a Victor Osborne hat. 

Favorite item she's wearing: Her hat, $150, which she purchased at Intermix in Boston. 

Fashion Icons: Nicole Richie and Rachel Bilson.

Trend she loves to hate: Any "jean on jean" combo, but especially denim jackets paired with jeans.

EXPERIENCE: Annie Leibovitz's Wonderland

Memory is a funny thing with a will all its own. We forget something told to us 10 minutes ago, or even the mission that brought us to a room. Then there are other times. Precise, small moments that seem unimportant but stay imprinted on us like a photograph we carry in our minds. These powerful memories often attach to the first time we heard a favorite song or read the final pages in our most beloved novel. For me that moment is the first time I saw my favorite fashion editorial.

In December of 2003, I was a junior in high school. I always enjoyed fashion and the latest trends such as chandelier earrings and the Hard Tail pants craze. But something in me changed when I first saw Annie Leibovitz's “Alice in Wonderland” fashion editorial spread for Vogue's December issue. The 12-page editorial featured a 21-year-old Natalia Vodianova, the doe-eyed Russian model with a fairytale rags-to-riches story of her own. Each page delivered an adventure unto its own. Staying true to Alice's signature color, Vodianova dons a new breathtaking blue couture gown in each photo, and the designer of each dress poses alongside the model as a character from Lewis Carroll's whimsical story. In one scene, John Galliano poses as the Queen of Hearts; in another, Tom Ford and Vodianova fall down the rabbit hole together. Apart from the beautiful imagery and the decadence of the dresses, what I realized that day was that fashion isn't just clothes. Fashion possesses the power to tell a story, to reveal something about a person that escaped you before. It reflects human emotions and desires, and the best part is, fashion unlocks the imagination. At least that's what it did for me that day in my high-school library.

A-LIST: Top 5 Fashion Photographers

Professor Lawrence Mason founded and directs a summer program in fashion photography at Syracuse University's London Centre and teaches classes in fashion and portrait photography at the Newhouse School. Here, he gives Salty his top picks for the world's best fashion photographers and why:

1. Albert Watson. “For his phenomenal lighting ability,” Mason says. “His images are powerful and he's passionate about all genres of photography.”

2. Richard Avedon. “For the same reasons that I like Albert Watson. He's passionate about all kinds of photography including portraits, and photojournalism. He is most known for the motion he brought to fashion photography.”

3. Paolo Roversi. “For the outstanding dimensionality and contrast in his images,” Mason says. “His images are not totally sharp because of his long shutter speed making the quality of light in his images very romantic and very Italian.

4. Helmut Newton. “Extremely controversial and very misunderstood. He was able to create a world of photography by being true to himself,” Mason says. “Many people don't realize that he was actually afraid of women, and by using his sly humor and unique vision he was able to create a fantasy of himself.”

Self-portrait with Wife June and Models.

5. Jeffrey Licata. “He's my best friend, and I was his first photography teacher,” says Mason. “He does more for students than any other photographer. He's near to my heart plus he's amazingly talented.” Licata has shot advertising campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Liz Claiborne and directed TV commercials for retail stores in the U.S. and fashion videos for Valentino and Nicole Miller.

Check out Professor Mason and Professor Chessher's new book Looking for Lockerbie!

All images from Google Images.

OBSESSION: Hanky Panky

If you had asked me what Hanky Pankys were a few months ago, I would have probably given you a dirty look and walked away. Little did I realize that those two little words would turn my underwear world upside down and transform me into a true believer in the notion that thongs and comfort really can co-exist.

I embrace lingerie just as much as the next girl, but I never understood the difference between my $6.99 pair from GapBody and my friend’s $18 lacey contraption from Nordstrom. Why spend a fortune on underwear when it looks the same, serves the same purpose, and tends to ride up in all the same places?

Then I received a three-piece thong set of Hanky Panky underwear for my birthday. The lingerie company Hanky Panky offers one-size-fits-all, low-rise thongs, which The Wall Street Journal called “lace butter.” These underwear wonders come in every color imaginable (teaberry, waterfall grape, and coco for example) and offer girls a comfortable choice without entering granny-panty territory.

Magazines from Baazar to Vanity Fair and Modern Bride featured the life-changing undergarment, which boasts a celebrity following that includes Jennifer Aniston, Eva Longoria, Cameron Diaz, Katherine Heigl Kate Hudson… and now me.

SNAPS: Winter Wonder

Senior Public Relations major Katie Green puts a summer sundress to good use for a snowy night out on Marshall Street by pairing it with brown tights and knee-high leather boots.

A-LIST: Sophisticated Chic

Leading ladies with style and class. For years, throughout the 1950s and 1960s particularly, Jackie O., Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly ran the show. These women epitomized what every female wanted to be. They had elegance and sophistication that could not be learned. Today, with the exception of a few, most women cannot emulate the essence of these past beauties.

1.) Scarlet Johanson as Grace Kelly.

2.)Natalie Portman as Audrey Hepburn

3.)Michelle Obama as Jackie O.

HOW TO: Look the Part

Next semester, a number of Syracuse’s juniors will be jetting to foreign countries for a semester abroad. When surrounded by fashionable Europeans, it’s easy to stick out like an American sore thumb. Follow these simple steps, and look the part while gallivanting across Europe.

1.) Rock the trench coat and look chic and sophisticated while out at a club or sightseeing (Wool-cashmere Dana coat, $340,
2.) Slip into a pair of fabulous leather boots (that aren’t UGGs) and attract attention as you prance around a foreign place (Long Brewster leather boots, $198,
3.) Frame your face with an ultra fashionable hat that will add flash to any outfit (Zoe Beret in black, $148,
4.) Lastly, add some sophistication to your wintertime European garb, with a pair of leather gloves (Women’s Three Button Glove in Black, $158,