Saturday, January 30, 2010

When I get a job... | The Fashion Dungjen

I am buying this bag. I have been eyeing it for at least a year. It's a little expensive for my current income, $91 plus shipping. I'm motivated to get a job anyway, but this definitely would be an extra bonus.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

No, Cincinnati doesn't suck | The Fashion Dungjen

I do this thing where I listen to other people’s conversations when I am near them. I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily a problem — I’ve learned some interesting things about campus happenings and it’s actually led to a story or two on the news page.

Sure, there are times I hear things I’d rather forget — like the guy with a three-week old rash and the very confused and concerned first-year student, “How many guys do I have to sleep with before I’m considered a slut?”

(Can someone answer that question? Seriously.)

And sometimes I hear things that get me thinking and fired up. Last week I overheard two women in Tangeman University Center talking about Cincinnati’s lacking fashion scene. I didn’t catch the entire conversation, but it seemed their overall consensus and generalization was that they can’t wait to get the heck out of Cincinnati and b-line it to New York. In their eyes, Cincinnati’s fashion scene is dead and they’re sick of being surrounded by people who don’t dress well.

I can’t say that my idea of Cincinnati was much different when I started at UC. But at that point I felt determined to get out and explore, to see what was outside of the constraints of campus. I admit, the idea of leaving campus was kind of intimidating. I didn’t know where I was going, didn’t know what to expect or who I might encounter.

But, I did it. I mustered up the courage, asked my Cincinnati-native roommates to join me, and we explored. And when we did, I was surprised at what I saw. There were independent boutiques out the wazoo and I could almost afford to shop at them. The people manning the stores were young, hip, trendy and had a pleasant personality that made shopping and visiting the stores more comfortable.

I started to feel a little bit better about Cincinnati. Year after year I’ve kept exploring areas around campus. At this point, I’ve cast inhibition aside and I’m willing to explore even the sketchiest neighborhoods just in case I’m missing out on something fantastic.

As I kept searching, I began to notice just how fabulous Cincinnatians are. Look around campus, for example. In the last three years, there has definitely been a positive shift in the ratio of people who couldn’t dress themselves well in Vogue’s fashion closet and people who could make anything look good. It would seem Cincinnati has caught the fashion bug.

I mean, in 2008, Esquire named Cincinnatian Kenyatte Nelson, a brand manager, as one of the most well-dressed “real men” in America.

Last season on “Project Runway” one of the contestants was a graduate of the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Plannings fashion program. Laura Dawson, who graduated from DAAP in 2002, was a contestant on Bravo’s reality TV show, “The Fashion Show.”

Whatever your fashion philosophy or personal aesthetic, there’s probably something in Cincinnati that fits your fancy. (That will mean you have to look outside of the immediate borders of campus though.)

And if you really can’t find anything among the myriad of independent fashion boutiques to entertain your fashion whimsy, every year, during DAAP Works, the end-of-the-year senior showcase for DAAP students, graduating seniors in the fashion program produce an on-campus fashion show highlighting their work. Although I’ve never made it to the show, I’ve seen the pictures. It’s worth the ticket price.

So you might argue that New York has Fashion Week. Yeah, they do, but now so does Cincinnati. Cincinnati native and fashion designer Nathan Hurst is organizing the city’s First Week of Fashion. The show is being hosted April 19 to April 23. It’s a five-day extravaganza of local, high-end fashion and promotional events. What more could you ask for?

It took me awhile to notice how abundant and unique Cincinnati’s fashion ideology is. And true, Cincinnati isn’t New York or Milan or London. But isn’t that what makes it so great?

To prove Cincinnati is fashion savvy, I’m on a hunt for the most fashionable people on campus. You can nominate yourself or someone you know who does it right, send me an e-mail with at least two pictures, your contact information, the nominees contact information and why you think the person you’re nominating has what it takes. Send information to

Friday, January 15, 2010

Clothing donations for Haiti | The Fashion Dungjen

It's a long weekend. Sure, you probably have some homework to do, maybe you have to work or have other obligations. But, if you have an extra half hour, consider those affected by the earthquake in Haiti and how you can help.

Chances are you have clothes you don't wear -- things that don't fit, things that were totally so five minutes ago. Take a half hour, sort through your things and donate what you don't or can't wear to those who have lost everything in the earthquake.

From Tuesday, Jan. 19, through Friday, Jan. 22, the College Republicans at the University of Cincinnati are hosting a donations drive in front of Tangeman University Center, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The student organization will take the donated items (clothing, food, money, water, hand sanitizer, anything you can give) to Matthew 25 Ministries who will then send the goods on to Haiti.

Ignore party politics on this one, folks. This is something bigger than political and social agendas.

For many college students, money to spare might not be a realistic option. Donating clothing, however, is. I've already started to sort through my things, gathering shirts, skirts, pants and shorts that I haven't worn in years.

If you know of other organizations that are accepting donations in Cincinnati, or if you are doing something to aid in the effort, please let me know at Send photos of your clothing donations and text to accompany. I'll post it to the blog. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. Any little bit helps.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

V Magazine hilights curvy models | The Fashion Dungjen

Fashion magazine editors are having a love affair with plus-size models. In the last several months, they’ve been featured in more magazines than it would be worth counting.

Some might say it’s a step in the right direction.

Others would tip the scale differently.

The plus-size model featured in the average high-end glossy is about a size six, a size most American women dream of. A size that, if the average American woman was, would feel stick thin; some might even say too thin. The fashion industry’s plus-size beauty standard is Heidi Klum plus one extra large pizza and a few beers.

But what if a magazine dared to feature women with actual curves? Someone who would be more relatable than Rebecca Romijn, Naomi Campbell or Kate Moss?

That is exactly what V Magazine is trying to do. The magazine’s size issue, which hits newsstands Thursday, Jan. 14, doesn’t just measure up to previous attempts to include plus-size models, but blows those attempts out of the water. It is bigger and more beautiful than the Beth Ditto cover of Love magazine from nearly one year ago.

The women, some wearing nothing but stilettos, are beautiful.

The photos are striking and not just because they’re masterfully done. (The photographs of V’s plus-size models are available for preview on These women have curves and rolls and thighs and butts. They have breasts and calves and guts. What they don’t have, though, are dimples, uneven skin tones or any dermatological blemish to speak of. The amount of retouching on the images is disheartening and, in some ways, destroys the integrity of the shoot.

“It’s like they did so much [retouching] to make up for the fact they’re curvy,” said fourth-year journalism student Emily Lang. “Their faces, not their bodies are distracting, in a weird, unnerving way … They don’t even look real.”

But, the women are real. Favorable to all, they are not.

In an online forum, a reader wrote that they were disgusted by the images. Karl Lagerfeld previously said, “No one wants to see round women.” But in this issue he shot an editorial spread of Miss Dirty Martini, a voluptuous burlesque dancer for the size issue; it would appear he’s eating his words.

While I hardly doubt “no one wants to see a round woman” (the average American woman is a size 14, after all), some can’t shake the idea. When discussing the magazine’s campaign with a good friend, who has a few curves of her own, she said she’d rather see emaciated models who look like they have eating disorders instead of curvy, more healthy-looking women.

As a woman who has never been thin, as a woman with a great interest in fashion and the industry, I say it’s about damn time. Not only is the spread incredible, in time, this could dispel the common notion of what a plus-size model is. And, wait for it, if exercising patience is a skill of yours, you might see the term “plus-size” dissipate. Instead, maybe, they’ll just be models.

What a world that would be.

Thankfully, it would appear that I’m not the only one who welcomes the trend.

“Usually plus-size models are just thicker models, these women you can actually see their tummies and everything,” said Tifanei Moyer, a fourth-year communications and public relations student. “They look phenomenal.”

There are some separate modeling agencies for women who are considered to be

plus-size. One of those agencies is Ford+, which is headed by Gary Dakin. In an article by the Telegraph UK, Dakin had encouraging comments for what could come of the magazine’s feature.

“I am thrilled when I see these pictures,” Dakin said. ”Firstly, it shows that these girls can work with great photographers and amazing magazines like V and be taken more seriously for the work they do. For my girls, it means that the word ‘plus’ can hopefully go away soon, since they are now working in every major magazine in the world. It reinforces my belief that beauty comes in an assortment of sizes, shapes and colors.”

And now, what about diversifying the pool of plus-size models, to include women of all colors, ethnicities and backgrounds?

Or is that asking too much?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

WANTED | The Fashion Dungjen

There are some seriously fashionable people on the University of Cincinnati's campus. Seriously? Have you ever seen these people?

We, OK, I, spend a lot of time bashing other people's fashion choices in my weekly News Record column. So, I figured, it's time to recognize some of the work the well-dressed people put in. (Plus, then, maybe, the not-so-well-dressed folks could take some tips.)

Right now, The News Record and The Fashion Dungjen are looking for sponsors and people who would be willing to donate prizes for the well-deserving winners.

Interested? Know someone who might be interested? Send an e-mail to

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sales in Clifton | The Fashion Dungjen

Who doesn't love a good sale? Shoot, I know I do. Chances are, you probably have a little bit of money left from your holiday -- gift cards, money from aunts, uncles or grandparents -- so why not use it to spoil yourself and support a local business at the same time?

If that sounds OK to you, you're in luck. Pangea, Toko Baru and Toko Baru Kids are all having a 20 percent off sale. The sale isn't limited to old merchandise. Oh no. Signs advertise that the sale is on everything in the store. Sounds pretty sweet, huh?

Even better? All three stores are on the same street, Ludlow Avenue in Cincinnati (Better yet, they're practically neighbors.).

Happy shopping. Find something you can't live without? Share your new purchase with us!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Gingerbread boys and girls | The Fashion Dungjen

I wanted to make some seriously stylish gingerbread boys and girls today. I tried. I did not conquer. It's a lot harder to pipe on the clothes than I thought. Here are some of the results:

Here's Suzi, a little fashionista with a blue bow and matching belt.

My sister made this one. She says it's a tourist. That red blob is supposed to be a hat.

My sister made this one too. He's a "fellow in yellow."

Kasey made this Santa.

Kasey made this old lady, Dorothy.

She also made this "nerd."

This is Kasey's "ho" cookie.

Men in bow ties. Cute.

Fred the corporate amputee.


Kasey's bride. We were also watching Platinum Weddings while decorating. It might have been her inspiration.

The unsatisfied business man.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas cookies | The Fashion Dungjen

I bought a cookie press today. It's so excellent. So, to break it in, I made some Christmas tree spritzer cookies. They're delicious. And very buttery.

I brushed them with egg whites and added red, green and white sprinkles.

I wish I could share them with you all. Since I can't, I'll share this picture with you instead. Enjoy!

Bows, bows, bows! | The Fashion Dungjen

I'm not sure when it started, but lately I've had a thing for anything with a bow. Maybe it's because there's an almost really cute pair of white gold diamond bow earrings at work (I'd prefer them in yellow gold and without diamonds.) that turned me on to them. Maybe it was an old picture I'd seen of myself (high school) with a big coral bow in my hair. I wish I knew where that was.

Whatever it was, I'm obsessed. Here are some of my favorite bow accessories I found on Etsy.

a- Headband, $39
b- Red bow pin, $20
c- Three-bow pin, $55
d-Bow necklace, $12
e- Studded bow necklace, $34
f- Vintage pearl and bow necklace, $70
g- bow cuff, $42
h- bow and lace necklace, $27
i-coral bow pin, $32
j- huge bow, $10
k- floral bow necklace, $10
l- turquoise bow, $30
m- hair bow, $8.99
n- gloves, $28
o- hair pin, $8
p- bow and chain, $30

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I want more | The Fashion Dungjen

a - key necklace, This sold before I could post it.
b - bow earrings, $5.50
c - elephant necklace, This sold before I could post it.
d - fork and spoon necklace, $9
e - dandelion pillow, $28
f - dress, $124
g - question mark necklace, $40
h - Esmeralda worry doll, $6
i - octopus necklace, $14
j - letter necklace, $32 (I would want a 't.')
k - floral collar pin, $45
l - rainy necklace, $24
m - satchel, I can't find where I found this. :(

Friday, December 11, 2009

Pantyhose fail | The Fashion Dungjen

Whoever thought these waistband-free pantyhose were a good idea was obviously delusional. I accidentally bought a couple of this particular style a couple weeks ago when I needed them for work. I didn't realize they weren't my usual type until I needed to wear them. The box boasts them as being "roll resistant" which, for the record, is not true. I've never had so many issues with a pair of pantyhose. Maybe they're roll resistant if the person wearing them stands straight with little to no movement for the duration of wear.

I say these pantyhose are a fail.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I want ... | The Fashion Dungjen

I need one of three things:
a) A lot of money.
b) People with money who want to buy me things.
c) Someone to give me their money so I can buy me things.

My most current desire, aside from anything to furnish an apartment, is a satchel. Mmm.

And scarves.
Bigger really is better.

I first thought this was listed on Etsy as 'The accidental cow.' Oops. The accidental cowl.

Circle cowl scarf in lemongrass.

And anything to keep me warm.
Owl fingerless gloves.Take a bow ear warmer.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Guest Blogger: Skip the splurge

I’m Jessica, but my friends call me Jess, and even people who aren’t my friends call me Jess. I grew up living in closer proximity to cows and cornfields than any establishment that could be considered a mall. An admitted sucker for accessories, I’m also a firm believer that there is nothing wrong with wearing black on any occasion. My favorite things include quotes and YouTube videos. The quickest way to my heart is through a John Mayer song or a great pair of shoes.

I have been cursed with an infatuation with designer fashion. This obsession was much easier to satisfy when Hollister qualified as “designer” and my parents still thought it was their parental duty to buy me clothes. I soon realized SoCal hoodies wouldn’t feed the hunger forever.

In high school I found myself with a lot of spare time (like every day during physics and calculus), which only encouraged my addiction to reading fashion magazines. Thanks to Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, my eyes opened to the real world of designer fashion.

I began referring to Michael Kors, Betsey Johnson, Stella McCartney and Marc Jacobs by first name, as if we were old friends. (Too bad we weren’t actually old friends; maybe I could have scored a discount.) While this fashion rebirth was occurring, something else happened. My parents stopped thinking it was fun to buy all my clothes. Now, as a first-year student at the University of Cincinnati, I have come to an unfortunate but inevitable realization: I have no (OK, very little) money.

Still, to a die-hard fashionista, being poor is only a minor setback. Thankfully, the design gods came to my rescue. Many of my dear, name-brand friends began creating more affordable guest lines for major retailers. The emergence satisfies the need to experience the bliss of wearing a beautiful, well-made garment, while keeping me far from over-drafting my bank account or maxing out my AmEx. I’ll even let you in on the best thing to happen to fashion since Diane Von Furstenberg’s wrap dress. Here are my current top five favorite designer guest lines:

1. Jimmy Choo for H&M – The lust-worthy stilettos and handbags arrived just in time for the holiday party season! Every girl should own a pair of Jimmy Choos and now we can. Let’s all smile as we torture our feet in the name of fashion, knowing that we didn’t torture our bank accounts.

2. Jemma Kidd for Target – Her line is always on trend with the hottest color palettes and most wearable makeup. The fun cosmetic products are long lasting and an affordable luxury. Plus, who doesn’t love an excuse to go to Target?

3. Miley Cyrus and Max Azria for Wal-Mart – At first, the thought of this collaboration made me a bit nervous. Actually, it made me cringe. But I must admit, there are some insanely cute pieces in this collection and with everything priced at $20.00 or less, you can try out several of the rock star-inspired garments.

4. Christian Siriano for Payless – Project Runway fans: rejoice! The designer lends his talent and impeccable fashion sense to this collaborative line of shoes and handbags. With edgy zipper details and gold accents the Elisa Sandal and Carolina Pump are, dare I say it, fierce.

5. Vera Wang for Kohl’s – The sophistication of Vera is now available to the masses. The collection is perfect worn in individual pieces or as an entire outfit. Plus, Vera offers apparel, shoes and handbags to make any wardrobe complete and completely affordable.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dillards discount for UC students

Hey University of Cincinnati students,

Black Friday is over but the deals and savings are not. I just got a heads up about a special deal for you. Tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 2, if you present your UC ID, you can receive a 20 percent discount on your purchase ONLY at the Kenwood location. That could be some serious savings if you need to pick up something for your holiday party outfits or a gift for someone else.

Happy shopping, friends!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Threading | The Fashion Dungjen

Before Veterans Day, it had been quite some time since I had my eyebrows done. Actually, it was right before I finished my summer internship in Portland, Ore.

Missy, one of my Portland roommates, was going for a bikini wax at a quaint, one-room shop, The Wax Shack. I sat in the 90-degree hallway for about 30 minutes waiting so we could hit up the Portland Beavers baseball game.

When they were finally finished and came to find me, the woman who runs the Shack took one look at my eyebrows (which had not been waxed since before I went to Portland about 11 weeks prior), and said “You cannot leave here like that.”

Long story short, that was toward the end of August. Veterans Day was last week. That’s a pretty long time to go without any sort of eyebrow grooming or upkeep. My eyebrows, to say the least, were a little out of control. So, when I went home, Mom offered to pay to have my eyebrows threaded.

Because Mom was buying, I was game. Over the river and through the suburbs of Dayton to the mall we go.

If you’ve never had your eyebrows threaded, it’s quite the experience.

Threading is an old practice traditionally used in Eastern countries, like India and Egypt. In the last couple of years it’s become more popular in the United States. You can even get your eyebrows threaded in Cincinnati. Maison De Sourcils in Kenwood Towne Centre offers threading. One session with them takes about 10 to 15 minutes, but costs a pretty penny: $32.10 plus tax.

(I went to Nirvana, a shop in Dayton Mall – the price there was $8, four times less than Maison De Sourcils, but also not an eyebrow specialty location.)

It’s a fairly simple process – the only thing the stylist uses is a piece of cotton thread and steady, precise hands. The lack of chemicals or anything else touching the skin means it’s super sterile, which is a plus for a germaphobe or anyone with allergies.

The cotton is wrapped around unwanted hairs, kind of like a lasso. The hair is pulled from the follicle, which means the threading is supposed to last longer than something more common like waxing or plucking.

Because the thread has to lasso the unwanted hairs, it’s ridiculously precise. Even after waxing or plucking with my favorite stylist I usually have to go back through and pluck
a few stray hairs. This time, no such thing.

It sounds pretty cool, right? Sounds like it might be worth your $8 for a simple procedure that lasts up to six weeks. (The hair removal can become permanent if you have it done often enough.)

But I, for one, will never have my eyebrows threaded again.

Threading took about five times longer than waxing and was at least 1,000 times more excruciatingly painful. I’ve since read testimonials that say the opposite, but, in those testimonials, they also say they were given a numbing spray or had a warm cloth compressed on their eyebrows to make it easier to remove the hairs.

Perhaps it was my anxiety that prevented me from finding any redeeming quality about my experience, but I could feel every hair being yanked from my face and the sound of the thread twisting was too much to handle.

My toes curled. My hands were sweating. I wanted to reach up, grab the woman who was threading my eyebrows and throw her to the ground.

I may or may not have cried.

My younger sister Kasey was next in line to have her eyebrows done. After watching me struggle to maintain composure she opted out of the experience. I wish she had volunteered to go first.

No more threading for me, but if you’re into some sadistic-type of pain, you might want to try it for yourself.

Wild about waxing or would you rather admire your flawless – but throbbing – threaded brows? Tell Taylor at