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!