La Bella Giovanna

Since I read my favorite photo blogs on a daily basis (I sometimes refresh the sites obsessively several times a day just so I don’t miss a post), I have grown to love the fashion editors and models that are often the subject of their posts. This time last year, I was being immersed into the fashion world in a way that i had never imagined with the coolest people alive. My fellow intern, little Korean love John Sohn, was the first to utter the words The Sartorialist in my presence.

If it weren’t for him, I would have never discovered the best thing that ever happened to me, Scott Schuman’s photo blog. And if it weren’t for Scott Schuman, Giovanna Battaglia would have just been another magazine editor at fashion week to the masses.

But apart from his introduction of Giovanna to the masses, she is a truly amazing woman whose hard work had been recognized long before he began photographing her. She began her journey at age 16 as a model and in house muse to Dolce and Gabbana. Years later she is still an active member of the fashion community as senior editor at Vogue Pelle and Vogue Gioello, under Franca Sozzani of course. With invites to the chicest fashion shows and events. Most recently she attended the AmfAR Cinema Against Aids Gala in Cannes, where she blew everyone away with a barely there vintage Stephen Sprouse dress.

Giovanna has been working her way up in the ranks as fashion royalty, which is fitting since she dates fashion’s prince, Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld, son of Carine Roitfeld, former editor of French Vogue. I suppose they like to keep it all in the family, the Condé Nast family, that is.

P.S. Big ups to Garance Doré, Rosella Degori, and  for the eye candy.

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Bigger is Better

As waistbands continue to expand across the world, fashion designers are beginning to take notice.

In the mid 90’s came the trend of the waif model: one that was extremely skinny and had no curves. Fast-forward almost 20 years later and plus size models such as Crystal Renn and Emme are gracing the covers of magazines and even the runway.

Renn’s weight has been fluctuating for years now but it is only now, as a full-figured model that she is receiving high praise from the fashion world. She started out a 14 year old who was told she would have to lose 1/3 of her total body weight and soon developed anorexia nervosa. At that size though, she was not happy and so she eventually gained back almost 70 pounds before entering back into the world that caused her illness.

Because of the confidence given to her by her then boyfriend, Gregory Vrecenak, Renn decided to try modeling again, but in a different market. She went back to her former agency, Ford Models, and was re-marketed to designers as a plus size model. The amount of offers that were coming in was so unexpected.

According to Renn, “Being beautiful has nothing to do with dress size.”

And with that attitude success soon followed. She is now gracing the covers of Vogue magazines across the world as well as filling up the pages in editorials of numerous other magazines. In addition to her print recognition, she also headed down the runway for Chanel, Gautier, and others. Without the weight gain, many often wonder if Renn would have become as in demand as she is now, but for her, it’s about the health.

Even Victoria’s Secret, the household name known for their ‘Bombshells’ and ‘Angels’ now employs a ‘curvier’ model, Kate Upton. Although she’s a far cry from plus size, her body is a throwback to the days of when lingerie and swimsuit models used to be all about the curves.

For the company, this comes at a perfect time, as they have recently been ridiculed for the scary skinny figures of Candice Swanpoel and Alessandra Ambrosio. The idea of Victoria’s Secret using a ‘curvier’ model for advertisements and in their catalogue is a positive thing.

Their catalogue can be found in almost every home in America and therefore is a ‘thinspiration’ to impressionable girls everywhere to become thin. With Kate Upton now gracing their pages, with real boobs, a big butt and curvy body, she would make a great role model for young girls.

Kim Kardashian, although not a role model for girls, has struggled with her weight because of the ideals of women portrayed in magazines. In a recent interview for the examiner, Kim Kardashian weighed in on body imagine and the pressure of the media.

Despite being criticized about her weight, she said, “I never aspired to be a size zero.”

It took her a long time to overcome that insecurity because that was the only representation of ‘pretty’ that she saw in the media. Now, at 30, she feels more comfortable in her own skin. Although she has been photographed in ways that shows off her cellulite and other imperfections, she makes it a point to not to let it bother her.

The entertainment and fashion industry are finally catching on to the fact that women do not like super skinny models and actresses but overall, will we see more change? In the future we can expect to see both sides of the spectrum but will we ever see magazines without skinny models? Only time will tell.

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It Gets Better…Promise

Recently, there has been an epidemic of teen suicides, mostly in the LGBT community. Because of harsh bullying and violence, some teens feel as though life is not worth living and that the bullying that they have endured during high school will never end. This is where It Gets Better Project comes in. The idea came about in September of last year from Dan Savage and since then, there have been hundreds of celebrities and over 10,000 YouTube users who have taken the time to send out a message to LGBT youth. The idea is to tell them that although they are going through a hard time in life, that in fact, things will turn around for them and things will get better. The message, “it gets better.” Simple, yet very effective.

About a week ago I tweeted about the newest video for It Gets Better, by the employees of Apple. To date, I think it sends out the most positive message. Here you have real people revealing such personal stories about times when they thought about giving up on life. To me, what makes it so good is that it was produced by a large corporation. Not only did Apple send out a positive message by making the video, but they chose employees from the LGBT community, making the video very relatable.

Follow it the It Gets Project @ItGetsBetter and go to their website to take the pledge if you support the cause.

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Muse of the Moment

The first time I ever heard of Arizona Muse (yes, that is her real name), was during my time at The Row. She had just been cast in the show for their Spring 2011 collection and I was immediately struck by her beauty. Sometimes in fashion, the more of a strange factor you have, the more popular you are, but with Arizona, there’s nothing strange about her. Her striking eyebrows are what draw you in but it’s her slight smile that keeps you staring.

I thought I was going a little too model crazy at first but as it turns out, the fashion industry is just as captivated as I am. She has been featured in Vogue magazines all over the globe and recently appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia. This past season she was cast in shows for Chanel, Stella McCartney, Celine, Christian Dior, Lanvin,  Balmain and countless more. So not only does she work almost every runway, but she is the face of Yves Saint Laurent and Prada for their current campaigns.

When Arizona started modeling in 2008, she had long blond tresses and wasn’t getting much attention. Then she left the industry to have her son, Nikko. Shortly after she came back with a new ‘do and the rest is history.

In my post title, I make it seem as though she won’t last very long, but with her striking appearance, i’m sure the 22 year old will be the industry’s muse for quite some time to come.

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The Hunt

I can’t think of one person that looks forward to applying for jobs. It’s such a daunting task that takes up more time that you’d ever expect, so how can you make it easier on yourself? Attend career events that your school offers. A little over a week ago, Monmouth held its annual Communications Event on campus. There were panels of industry professionals all in attendance for the benefit of students. The theme seemed to be how students can be better prepared when it comes time to interviewing for a job.

Now everyone who attended can check a few things off of their list because at the event, they answered everything from a to z about applying for a job. While each employer is different, there were a few key things that I took away from the day.

1). Always make your cover letter personal to the person that will be reading it. By going on the company website, you can easily find out who in HR will be going over it.

2). When finishing up your resumé spell check once, then twice, then have someone else proof read it, and then read it over again. If there is even one error, most employers will toss your resume to the side into the FU pile.

3.) A little creativity goes a long way. Whether your resumé is online or has a personal touch to it, you will stand out more than the rest. Plus, it shows your work in a fun yet professional way.

4). Do not under-estimate the value of a good hand shake. It can set the tone for the entire interview and may leave the interviewer feeling a bit underwhelmed about your time together.

Now that you all know what to do to prepare yourself for an interview, I have full confidence that you will all be able to land your perfect job. Good luck to everyone!

*As a side note, the picture is of the amazing stained glass windows in Woodrow Wilson Hall which sits at the heart of Monmouth’s campus

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Switching Things Up

When my Professors tell me that social media is an important part of our lives, they’re not kidding. Today over 175 million people log into Facebook each day and according to SocialMarketingExpert.org, Twitter has over 14 million users. You’re all probably thinking, who cares, but evidently, employers do. Today many companies use social media as a way to recruit new talent. Silly as it may seem, your fun can turn into employment.

I went to a Communications event at my school, Monmouth University, this past week, and nearly all the employers on the panel I sat in on said that social media is very important to them. One woman said that she likes to see recruits come in having an active blog for the main reason that it allows her to see your writing style and character. My blog begun out of a requirement for my Social Media class but knowing that it may help me stand out in a crowd drives me to update long after the semester is over.

Although social media is a fun way to make connections, an even more crucial way to finding a job is through LinkedIn. If you are looking for a job and haven’t already signed up, DO IT. It can connect you with friends, classmates, and former employers, which one day will more than likely lead you to a job. You would be surprised as to where your connections can lead to, even if it’s just an interview. That sure beats sitting on your couch in the middle of the week eating cereal wondering why you don’t have a job. And the best part, you can do all of this from sitting around, being proactive only involves typing and keeping your eyes open.

Social media has changed the way that the world works. Now change the way you get your self out there and let’s all do some ‘shameless self promotion’ everyone.

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The Fashion World’s Mel Gibson

I’m not sure what to make of the controversy surrounding John Galliano, the now suspended head designer of Dior. The Sun, a British tabloid has now released a video of a very intoxicated Galliano saying more anti-Semitic remarks, it’s never-ending! He was already suspended from his position at the fashion house, does he want to be canned all together? In the video he ranks about how he loves Hitler and other extremely offensive remarks. But I’m confused with all of this because 1) he was just arrested last week on counts of assault and anti-Semitic remarks, 2) these people weren’t even Jewish, they were Italian and French. What do you all think of this? Will Dior take him back? As is they have not been very supportive of him so it wouldn’t surprise me if they kick him to the curb. I’m very curious as to whether or not this end in jail time or a heavy fine. Let’s hope he gets the help he needs.

UPDATE 1 Dior has officially fired Galliano. Paris Fashion Week will go on with both the John Galliano and Christian Dior shows both with Galliano’s creations, not with that of another designer as it was previously speculated. Considering that Galliano has made Christian Dior the modern couture house it is today and has made the company very profitable. I’m surprised that they would fire him and not send him to rehab or counseling before making such a harsh decision. Quite harsh, don’t you think?

UPDATE 2 Galliano has issued an apology and is headed to rehab.

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