March 22, 2016

TALK IS CHIC | Fashion Forward or Fashion Backward

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Cuddling in Eleni’s queen sized bed recounting a fun evening, we began discussing our lack of photo documentation this year.  By the time you reach senior year, is taking a #selfie in your novel mixer costume lame/sad/pathetic/overdone? Or were we having too much fun dancing and twirling? Either way, we’re getting nostalgic and sappy as our time at Cornell comes to an end:

GO:  Won’t we want to look back at pictures of us in our Brandy Melville crop tops and LF chokers, which are likely to be painfully outdated?

ET: Or the body contouring, mini dresses that may only be acceptable and flattering in this realm of our lives?

GO: But I’m sure my beloved moon choker will hold a little spot in my heart, just as my Paul Frank t-shirts from 6th grade do.

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Wow did not even remember I wore chokers then too! Also, sorry to my little sister and cousin who are in this picture… but if I’m publicizing  my lack of photogenic-ness throughout all our family vacations in Europe, I’m taking them down with me.

ET:  I get goosebumps when I think about my blue suede clogs with flower embellishments from the first grade. I wore them everyday until Michael Chimenti stole one singular clog off my foot on the bus ride home. Even though I never got the other clog back, I still to this day have the saved lone shoe. They were my signature shoes and I was excited to see a similar pair featured in last month’s Vogue.

GO: I’m not sure Paul Frank will ever be in style or featured in Vogue, but fashion seems to be constantly repeating itself.  Is it possible that there is nothing new?

ET: That’s a distressing thought. Our generation is supposed to be innovative and forward-thinking, but it is important to look back. The past, both historical and your own, has shaped so much of where we stand today.

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Eleni circa 5th grade in a pink furry scarf FROM GYMBOREE (hey! Gymboree had great stuff okay)

GO: I think it’s important to hold onto clothes, even if they “go out of style” because styles are bound to repeat. I hold onto almost everything!

ET: You mean hoarding?!?

GO: Merg… I like to think of it as being sustainable. I think fashion items are recycled, but how we style them is where the innovation steps in. It’s not like I hold onto things I grow out of (R.I.P. my true religion jeans with the gold pockets).

ET: I think if I could still fit in the only Marc Jacobs dress I ever owned– given it was on sale in the children’s section– I would never buy another dress. It had unique details- the smoothest purple silk, zig zagged hem, and the perfect Mandarin collar. I mourned growing out of that dress.

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Vallar

Photo Courtesy of Alyssa Vallar

The last time my mom allowed me to wear that dress out of the house… at least everyone else was wearing purple

GO: But I guess you’re right about our past fashions helping us figure out who we are today.   I’ve yet to outgrow the instantaneous joy that polka dots bring, but I can no longer feel fully dressed in a T-shirt and jeans.

ET: I’m ashamed of some of the phases I went through- my sparkly headband phase, my dresses only phase, my denim only phase, the tie-dye sweatsuit phase– but it’s important to remember these polarized moments in our fashion historical timeline.

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Sparkly headband phase (with early 2000’s sunglasses) in full effect


GO: So as laughable as our fashion timelines may seem, without each phase, we wouldn’t be the fashionable, confident girls we are today.

ET: I don’t regret buying the Limited Too shirt with the velcro letters that you could change during recess, but I do regret not having a picture of me in it. Although these distinct fashion moments are more likely to come back to haunt us, they could inspire us in other ways.

Photo Courtesy of Buzzfeed

Photo Courtesy of Buzzfeed

Eleni wishes this was a picture of her, alas we stole this from Buzzfeed to remind you all of these amazing Velcro shirts.

Wait… so does this mean we should be documenting more? Do we want pictures to look back at our fashion choices… that are sure to seem like fashion crimes by 2025?

We share a major, we share a house, we share clothes. So why not share a column? Eleni Toubanos and Greta Ohaus are both Fiber Science & Apparel Design majors in the College of Human Ecology. Their column is intended to be a conversation between their two unique perspectives as a designer and fiber scientist. They can be found lounging around campus, on their porch sharing a bottle of wine or at [email protected] and [email protected]. Talk is Chic appears on alternate Tuesdays this semester.