Category Archives: Uc Style Files

#UCStyleFiles clothing with a cause

Founded in 2010, "Downs Designs" is the first company of its kind.

Founded in 2010, Downs Designs is the first company of its kind.

There are many niches in the fashion industry, from high fashion to costume wear, to performance-wear garments for people in the coal or oil industries.  But another very important market is for specially designed garments for people with disabilities who often have difficulty finding clothing that fits properly.

Based in Mentor, Ohio, Downs Designs is a local company that is the first and only company of its kind.  Downs Designs was founded to provide comfortable clothing to fit the unique body shape of a person with Down Syndrome.  Those with Down Syndrome typically have shorter legs and have less muscle tone which leads to a rounder belly.  Additionally, people with Down Syndrome also lack fine motor skills, which make it difficult to wear regular jeans with zippers and buttons.

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#UCStyleFiles what’s in store?

"Right now in our store emerald green is flying off the shelves. Everyone loves the ease this chevron blouse goes from day to night." $59.95 at The Limited

“Right now in our store emerald green is flying off the shelves. Everyone loves the ease this chevron blouse goes from day to night.” $59.95 at The Limited

Many fashion students and alumnae also work in retail and can offer insight into world of buying and selling in the fashion industry.

Vanessa Feldkamp is a senior majoring in Fashion Merchandising at Ursuline College.  She is also the sales lead manager at The Limited.  Vanessa explains that she applies a lot of what she learned in May Beard’s Retail Buying classes: “May Beard’s class taught me to take a deeper look into the psychology of the target customer. I’ve also learned to analyze why a product didn’t sell.”

This helps Vanessa and her team to assist the customer in her shopping experience. “Also, by knowing what our customers likes we can drive sales in our stores,” Vanessa said.

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#UCStyleFiles Manicure Monday

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Word on the street is that metallic is the new style trend for fashion and beauty. What I love about these looks is that they aren’t too far outside of my comfort zone.  I rarely venture away from the pinks, reds, and corals when it comes to my personal preference of nail polish—AND the craziest it’s ever going to get for me is a French mani (other than that one time I experimented with DIY laser printer decals) But a metallic-tipped French mani, or a nude and metallic color block look are simple and sophisticated, yet so fresh and cutting-edge.

So I had to try it myself.

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#UCStyleFiles Seen on the Red Carpet: Grammys 2014

Our favorite celebs dazzled us at The 56th Annual Grammy Awards.

And on this enchanted evening, the stars shined brightly in sequin gowns:

Image via People Magazine.

From left, Taylor Swift dazzles in Gucci, Rita Ora in Lanvin, and Ciara in Pucci.
Image via Us Weekly

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#UCStyleFiles Advice from Alumnae

In May Beard’s senior symposium class, students gain real world experience as guest speakers share their insight and experiences on job interviews, internships, and how they launched their careers.  No matter where you are in the process of a job search, a repeated notion was mentioned in many of the speakers’ presentations:  It is best to look for jobs prior to graduation–and you shouldn’t turn anything down, even if it is a bit outside of what you had in mind.  You’ll get there!  This idea was especially true for one speaker…

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What's your New Years resolution?
Image via Google Images.

#UCStyleFiles Become a More Beautiful You!

Have you made your New Years resolution yet?  With my fashion major, my goal is to help people look and feel beautiful inside and out.  Here are some easy to follow New Years resolutions you’ll want to continue!

What's your New Years resolution? Image via Google Images.

What’s your New Years resolution?
Image via Google Images.

1.)  Be humble: When someone asks you for help, don’t forget to compliment them on their strengths to build their confidence.  Make your friend feel like an expert and have them show you how to do something that they’re good at!

2.) Be confident:  Your style always makes the first impression!  Show your confidence during your next presentation or job interview by dressing up.

Having your own "production crew" for a day also doesn't hurt! Photo by Britney Edelman

Having your own “production crew” for a day also doesn’t hurt! Photo by Britney Edelman

3.)  Chase away a bad day and boost your confidence by putting on makeup or getting your makeup done if it’s not something you usually do–and trust me it makes a huge difference!  Sometimes the all-nighters spent in the apparel lab, or the end-of-the-semester late night study sessions can really take their toll.  So when you can’t quite cover up the dark under-eye circles, let a professional do it!  This occasional splurge will help you get back to feeling your best.

4.) Don’t keep stress or anxiety bottled up for the entire semester.  We are lucky enough to have an on-campus psychologist covered in our tuition and Dr. Anita is such an amazing resource for students to have, and I could not be more thankful that she is always there to listen!

5.) Look for ways to channel your negativity.  Do something fun, challenging, or creative.  Invest your energy into something that will be rewarding when it’s finished.

Photo by Marissa Fisco Photography

Photo by Marissa Fisco Photography

6.)  Find the beauty in the world. Beauty is all around us in the world, you just have to look for it.  Feel inspired by nature and our beautiful surroundings on campus.

9.)  Meet people who can help you in the future.  It’s never too late to begin networking!  Look for networking events to attend and you’ll never know who you’ll meet or what amazing opportunities will come out of the experience.

8.) Do something for others:  Fashion Focus is just one of many student clubs which has many volunteer opportunities.  If you need to get rid of old clothes, keep organizations like “Share What You Wear” in mind!

"Share What You Wear" 2013 Clothing Drive sponsored by Fashion Focus.

“Share What You Wear” 2013 Clothing Drive sponsored by Fashion Focus.

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#UCStyleFiles Surround Yourself in Beauty!

Feeling inspired? One way to insure a bright, beautiful new year is to surround yourself in beautiful things that inspire you.

Surround yourself in what inspires you for a beautiful new year! Image via Pinterest

Surround yourself in what inspires you for a beautiful new year! Image via Pinterest

Typically in fashion design, designers construct a mood board to express the message, look, and feel of their design. Mood boards may include the customer profile–who inspired this look? What does she do for a living? Where can she wear this garment?, inspiration pieces, such as photos that depict the target customer or pictures that inspired the look, words that capture the design or the person wearing the outfit.  Designers are required to present their boards before a product development team to make necessary decisions.

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Mood boards can also be used by interior designers to coordinate the look of a room and express the ideas to client in a manner that makes it easy to visual the end product.

Interior designers utilize mood boards to capture the look of the room in a way that is easy for client to visualize. Image via Pinterest.

Interior designers utilize mood boards to capture the look of the room in a way that is easy for client to visualize.
Image via Pinterest.

You can choose anything from positive words, pretty pictures, or whatever speaks to you. Below are some great examples from Pinterest.

Get in the holiday spirit by remembering what makes the holidays so important! Image via Pinterest

Get in the holiday spirit by remembering what makes the holidays so important! Image via Pinterest

What speaks to you? Feel beautiful by surrounding yourself in beautiful things.

What speaks to you? Feel beautiful by surrounding yourself in beautiful things.

Stay tuned for more style tips and trends!

-xoxo

The Beatles also had an influence on fashion--the shaggy Mod hairstyles worn by the band quickly spread to the US following their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

#UCStyleFiles 60′s Style Inspo

Currently, I’m finishing up my US 401 culminating seminar class, “Those Fab 60′s.” As a perspective grad student, I decided to take the opportunity to receive grad school credit by writing an extra research paper, so naturally I chose to write about the impact the sixties counterculture had on fashion.

Denim was popularized in the sixties and seventies due to it's association with the antiwar movement.  Via Google Images.

Denim was popularized in the sixties and seventies due to it’s association with the antiwar movement.
Via Google Images.

As a general rule, we know fashion is influenced by the values and beliefs of the times, as well as the current events that impacted the way society reacted. Of particular importance would be the Vietnam war and the youth rebellion against the draft, President JFK and first lady Jacqueline Kennedy’s fashion influence, the “British Invasion” in music talent, and the women’s liberation movement.

For the first time in history, people used clothing to express themselves and share their beliefs with the world. Specifically, denim, which became the symbol of antiwar activism, was worn to show solidarity with the working class AND became a blank canvas to embellish with decorations that expressed peace, love, and rebellion. Hippie fashion also shifted toward Asian inspired garments as the world focused on Vietnam and China. Hippies also became fascinated with the teachings of Asian religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism.

Denim was used as a canvas for to express the wearer's beliefs of peace, love, and rebellion.

Denim was used as a canvas for to express the wearer’s beliefs of peace, love, and rebellion.

British designer Mary Quant revolutionized Mod fashion, and specifically the mini skirt!

British designer Mary Quant revolutionized Mod fashion, and specifically the mini skirt!

The Beatles also had an influence on fashion--the shaggy Mod hairstyles worn by the band quickly spread to the US following their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles also had an influence on fashion–the shaggy Mod hairstyles worn by the band quickly spread to the US following their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Another example of wearable art evolved from the emergence of the “British Invasion,” the trend toward British culture, the Mod movement and British performing artists such as The Beatles and The Doors. Like the hippies, the Mods had very similar interests and a love of brightly colored clothing for men and women.  Mod fashion however, was more sleek and cutting edge than the hippies’. Mod styles were adorned with geometric shapes and lines and sometimes were constructed out of unconventional materials such as metallic fabrics and plastics–which were reminiscent of the Space Race.

From Ursuline College's Historical Costume Collection, student Susan Hayley Fox is pictured in a mod-inspired dress from the sixties.

From Ursuline College’s Historical Costume Collection, student Susan Hayley Fox is pictured in a mod-inspired dress from the sixties.

Yves Saint Laurent took wearable art to a new level by designing the Mondrain dress which was inspired by the contemporary work of art by the dutch painter.

Yves Saint Laurent took wearable art to a new level by designing the Mondrain dress which was inspired by the contemporary work of art by the dutch painter.

Lastly, the President and the first lady were viewed as style icons. The media allowed the public to have an inside look into the life of the first family and the public fell in love with the Kennedy’s. While JFK’s refusal to wear a hat was detrimental to the haberdashery industry, the first lady’s signature pillbox hat was a blessing for the millinery industry! But Jackie Kennedy’s style was owed to designer Oleg Cassini, with whom she trusted to make her look her best when in the public eye.

To learn more about first lady fashion, check out Dr. Connie Korosec’s fabulous presentation on Live on Lakeside. The interview features items from Ursuline College’s Historical Costume Collection.

Jackie Kennedy was the "It Girl" of the sixties, women wanted to emulate the style and grace she known for. Andy Warhol's lithograph painting indicates her popularity.

Jackie Kennedy was the “It Girl” of the sixties, women wanted to emulate the style and grace she known for. Andy Warhol’s lithograph painting indicates her popularity.

The first lady is pictured in an Oleg Cassini gown with her husband John.

The first lady is pictured in an Oleg Cassini gown with her husband John.

Jacqueline Kennedy also popularized the polished look of a two piece dress suit.

Jacqueline Kennedy also popularized the polished look of a two piece dress suit.

A look inside the Cleveland garment industry: Joseph & Feiss employees are pictured at work. (Image via Google Images).

#UCStyleFiles On Location: The History of the Cleveland Garment Industry

J&F workers

Joseph & Feiss employees pose for a photo around their sewing machines. FACT: the work in garment factories was gendered, women typically did the sewing/construction jobs, while men did the pressing. (Image via Google Images)

 

A look inside the Cleveland garment industry: Joseph & Feiss employees are pictured at work. (Image via Google Images).

A look inside the Cleveland garment industry: Joseph & Feiss employees are pictured at work. (Image via Google Images).

You might not know it, but Cleveland was once considered the center of the American garment industry as it was one of the largest garment manufacturing cities next to New York. What is also little known is the importance of the Jewish community to the success of Cleveland’s garment industry.

Maltz Museum

Located in Beachwood, OH–This amazing resource gives us a look into not only the history of the Jewish community, but also serves a an insight into Cleveland’s history as a whole.

 

#UCStyleFiles went on location to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage for Dr. Connie Korosec’s FH 300 Color and Presentation Board class to learn history of Cleveland’s (and the Jewish community’s) role in the garment manufacturing industry as we viewed a very special lecture from Sean Martin, associate curator for Jewish history at the Western Reserve Historical Society. (Martin is the author of several articles about Cleveland and Polish Jewish history, and is currently working on his next project–a history of Cleveland’s garment industry).

Cleveland's rich history comes alive for FH 300 students at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Cleveland’s rich history comes alive for FH 300 students at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Martin’s lecture outlined the growth and decline of the local garment industry. As quoted in the Cleveland Jewish News, Martin states, “Jews immigrated to America in the 1880s and 1920s when consumer goods were taking off, and they were able to get into the garment industry” (Cleveland Jewish News). Further, Martin reveals,  “As Jewish families brought more family members to the U.S., they went into business with them or established enterprises of their own which supported the garment industry” (CJN).

knitting machine

Advancements in technology such as this knitting machine allowed manufacturing companies to efficiently create intricate fabrics for garments, and produce sweater knits.

 

Compex, woven textiles were made possible with the emergence of new technology in Cleveland's manufacturing companies.

Compex, woven textiles were made possible with the emergence of new technology in Cleveland’s manufacturing companies.

As noted in the Cleveland Jewish News article, Cleveland’s garment manufacturing companies included Joseph and Feiss on West 53rd Street, which lasted until the 1990s; Richman Brothers, on 55th Street, one of the largest clothing chains in America in the 1950s; Work Wear, which manufactured and rented out uniforms; and Ohio Knitting Mills–it is noted that this company had more than 1,000 workers in it’s heyday. Moreover, Ohio Knitting Mills now exists on Perkins Avenue in Cleveland.

 

My great-grandfather, Harry Blank was an employee of Joseph & Feiss, which makes this part of Cleveland history a family legacy for my family.

My great-grandfather, Harry Blank was an employee of Joseph & Feiss, which makes this part of Cleveland history a family legacy for me and my family.

Joseph & Feiss holds particular importance to me, as I have a personal connection to the rich history of Cleveland’s garment industry: my great-grandfather, Harry Blank (a tailor from a long line of tailors) immigrated from Montreal, Quebec, Canada to work at Joseph & Feiss (as a tailor, of course, his job was to cut and measure cloth). In fact, my great-grandfather wasn’t my only family member involved in the garment industry: His brother, (great-uncle Sam) was a master tailor at Bullocks in Beverly Hills, who designed and made clothes for actors and actresses and very wealthy people.

Joseph & Feiss was once a booming business, a leading manufacturing company.

Joseph & Feiss was once a booming business, a leading manufacturing company.

Though the Joseph & Feiss building is a shell of what it once was, the building remains as an important landmark, a reminder of our successful history in the garment industry. (image via Google Images)

Though the Joseph & Feiss building is a shell of what it once was, the building remains as an important landmark, a reminder of our successful history in the garment industry. (image via Google Images)

 

Originally a dry goods store (they sold the cloth and raw materials) from Meadville, PA, Joseph & Feiss began under the name Koch & Loeb before changing its name to Kaufman Koch–they established a wholesale store on 82 Superior Street in Cleveland after realizing the demand for ready-to-wear clothing had increased during the war. Eventually the name was changed again to Joseph & Feiss in 1907 after partners Isaac and Moritz Joseph and Julius Feiss. The company relocated again to 2149 W. 53 Street in 1920. Joseph & Feiss owed their success to heavily advertising its $14 blue serge suit, which was dubbed the “Model T” of the clothing industry, a staple piece for the “Clothcraft” company. According to the Encyclopedia of Cleveland, Joseph & Feiss improved its efficiency “by introducing new methods, machines, and scientific management to improve its production and to cut costs.” Fast forward a few years, and Joseph & Feiss went on to merge with Phillips-Van Heusen Corp. in 1966 while still under the same name and Cleveland operations. Joseph & Feiss continued produce and sell tailored men’s apparel under the Cricketeer and Country Britches label and in 1980, it add tailored clothes for women to its line. In 1989,Joseph & Feiss was acquired by Hugo Boss AG, a West German clothing and accessory firm and it became a division of its subsidiary, T.J.F.C. Inc. of New York (Encyclopedia of Cleveland).

In 1995 the company had 800 workers in the Cleveland area. “The following year, facing stiff competition from lower-priced imports and a growing acceptance among Americans for casual clothing, Joseph & Feiss discontinued production of its Cricketeer and Country Britches labels and subsequently layed off over 200 workers” (Encyclopedia of Cleveland). In 1997, Joseph & Feiss again relocated its manufacturing operations from its W. 53rd St. plant to its distribution center on Tiedeman Road in BROOKLYN. Today, Joseph & Feiss, and its nearly 450 employees, continues to produce suits, sport coats, and slacks for the upscale Hugo Boss brand (Encyclopedia of Cleveland).

Fortunately, there are continuing efforts to bring the garment industry back to Cleveland, including The Factory 2.0, an incubator company founded by Clevelander Devin Vandermaas. The Factory 2.0 helps manage local fashion designers who are trying to break into the growing industry.

Click to read more about Joseph & Feiss and Cleveland’s History:

 http://ech.case.edu/cgi/article.pl?id=JFC

http://www.clevelandjewishnews.com/news/local/article_ca874980-47e9-11e3-9ea2-0019bb2963f4.html

Photo via: http://jenesequa.com
The Met Ball has come along way from it's (humble) beginnings.

#UCStyleFiles The History of the Met Ball

beyonce-vogue-7may13-rex_b_240x360You’re Cordially Invited:

Fashion Focus is pleased to announce that we will be hosting our first ever Met Ball fashioned after the annual event which is hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. This event will take place on Saturday, November 23, 2013 from 7:00 P.M-11:00 P.M and centers around a “Retro” theme, a tribute to fashion from the 1930′s-50′s. This amazing event will allow students to show off their skills either as fashion designers or stylists for the event–with entry submissions due November 16th—with a chance to win our Best Dressed Award. The proceeds raised at the Met Ball will go to our annual Toys for Tots collection drive. The event is open to all Ursuline students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Tickets are $10.00 and will be sold on Wednesday November 20 from 12:00 P.M. (Noon) until 5:00 P.M. in the Besse Library hallway. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the night of the ball, so arrive dressed for the ball and purchase a ticket at the door! We hope to see you there! -xoxo

Below is a brief history as we honor the roots of the most spectacular event of the year.

The History of the Met Gala:

Guests attending the Met Ball arrive in original designed wearable pieces of art that are designed to correspond with each year’s theme. The public interest and success of the Met Ball is of course dependent on its A-list attendees, stunning museum exhibition, as well as what is so elloquently described as “the masses of couture, vintage, and fashion-forward designs worn by the well-groomed attendees,” thus all of these elements make this event a rival to the Oscars (History of the Met Ball).

Photo via: http://jenesequa.com The Met Ball has come along way from it's (humble) beginnings.

Photo via: http://jenesequa.com
The Met Ball has come along way from it’s (humble) beginnings.

The first Ball was held in December 1948 and women paid $50 for the chance to wear gowns from the Costume Institute’s archive. In 1960, the event was coined the “Metropolitan Museum Fashion Ball” which hosted a select group of celebs and Manhattan’s elite members of society.

In 1971, Diana Vreeland helped transform The Met Gala into the extravagant event it is today.

In 1971, Diana Vreeland helped transform The Met Gala into the extravagant event it is today.

Another change came along in 1971, Vogue alumn Diana Vreeland took the position as the consultant to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum and took the annual gala to a new level, charging $150 for the extravagant event such as Romantic and Glamorous Hollywood Design and Fashions of the Hapsburg Empire which allowed for guests to dress accordingly in elaborately constructed outfits to illustrate the theme of the event. The success of the event was evident as it was called “The Party of the Year.” Today, the Met Gala continues to transform with the scariest–yet most powerful and influential woman at the helms, Anna Wintour. As Vogue took on a new look putting celebrities on its front covers, Anna Wintour transformed the look of the Met Gala into what is called the “Tour du Force” that it has become today (History of the Met Gala).

The Devil Wears--themed, wearable art? The Met Gala was placed in good hands as Anna Wintour took over as chair of the committee in 1995.

The Devil Wears–themed, wearable art? The Met Gala was placed in good hands as Anna Wintour took over as chair of the committee in 1995.

“Today, Wintour’s prominent place in the fashion industry has turned the Met Ball into a major fundraising event for the museum and her clout brings in an estimated 9 million dollars a year of donations” (History of the Met Gala).