Project Runway, Season 13 Finalist, Sandhya Garg, Brings Fashion to Campus

In Gainesville, it is not too common that we get innovative designers coming to participate in a University of Florida fashion show. This is precisely why I was thrilled to interview “Project Runway” season 13 finalist, Sandhya Garg.

At only 29 years old, Sandhya has made her fashion dreams come true. While many young girls would simply play with their Barbie dolls, at 10 years old, Garg’s dolls set the stage for her life calling.

“I had a lot of creative energy, and I would watch movies and stuff, and then just make stuff for my dolls; I made these clothes for my dolls, and then I had boxes full of clothes for my Barbie doll, so I think it just developed from there,” Garg said.

In 2009, Garg started her fashion career at the London College of Fashion, (LCF), as a direct second-year entry to the three-year program that they have. Not long after finishing school, Garg went on to become a contestant-turned finalist on Project Runway, season 13, where she was happy to share her talent with the large “Project Runway” audience.

“You know, it is such a huge platform when you get on the show, and it reaches so many people. Everyone watches it all over the world,” Garg said.

Her unique ability to draw inspiration from other works of art has contributed to her original and enchanting aesthetic. For this particular fashion show, put on by the UF Pride Awareness Month, the theme was, “warriors”. Garg’s show consisted of 10 pieces, which were pulled from various collections.

“There are pieces that are really close to my heart. Some of them are from my LCF collection, the first collection that I ever did there,” The collection was inspired by a Russian ballet company, Garg said.

No matter where Garg’s future endeavors take her, there is no doubt that she will continue to work as a gifted designer.

“You want to do the whole process: You want to get your fabrics, or design your fabrics- be inspired by a story and then make clothes. The pure design process is what a designer does and enjoys, so I have always wanted to do that.”

Learn more about Sandhya Garg and her innovative designs at this link: http://www.sandhyagarg.com/

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What to Wear for the Festival Scene

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With plenty of musical festivals that are about to start this summer, one of the first things that comes to mind is what to wear to them. I think that so many people get excited over dressing for festivals or festival-themed events because it gives them the opportunity to dress like a boho hippie with no questions asked.

Interestingly enough, dressing like a hippie is not as economical as it used to be. Popular brands, such as Anthropology and Free People have marketed themselves as the creme de la creme of hippie fashion. I guess you could say that they create a more polished, intricate hippie that does not exactly tie dye his or her own t-shirts, which I have to say, is quite a relief. So the real question is a matter of where you are going to get your festival look from.

When the spring semester ends and you put away your textbooks, it will be time to break out the flower crowns, sandals and sunscreen for your “festival” endeavor. Whether you are like Vanessa Hudgens, and want to rock the retro, circle sunglasses with printed joggers and a delicate bralette, seen here, or your style is more similar to Gigi Hadid’s printed shorts and sneaker combo, shown here, there is always a way to alter festival-inspired trends to fit your personality.

While I admire both of these looks, I had a bit of fun creating my own festival look. To start off, I wore an off-shoulder, bell sleeve top with a daisy print. I loved the ’60s inspired sleeve and print. I combined it with a more structured pink short because I loved how the softness of this shade of pink contrasted with the dim, navy blue hue of the top. I added a small flower crown because, well, how can you be ready for a festival without one? I topped off my look with a pair of dusted blush gladiator sandals and a beaded fringe bag for a fun touch of glam.

Although my top is no longer available, I adore this bell-sleeve, off-shoulder top that comes in a similar shade of pink to my shorts. This navy blue, printed short would contrast beautifully with the pink top, and it reminds me a bit of the print that is on my top, from this post. Furthermore, these gladiators would be a perfect addition to this festival ensemble.

 

 

 

 

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Living Life, Barbie Style

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I have been obsessing over Jeremy Scott’s spring 2015, ready-to-wear collection that he designed for Moschino. If you have not seen it already, first of all, you are missing out. Secondly, you must check it out here

If you were anything like me, growing up, you probably idolized Barbie and wished that you could wear all of her too-cute-for-words outfits. Well, Jeremy Scott has quite literally pulled Barbie out of the box and onto the runway. The photos from the show remind me of a scene from the Disney original film, “Lifesize”, where Tyra Banks plays a doll like Barbie, named Eve, who comes to life.

Everything, from the bubblegum-pink outfits, to the candy colored pumps and the over-exaggerated accessories are reminiscent of Barbie. Although Barbie has been brought to life a few times in the past, by Bob Mackie specifically, as Cher’s go-to designer, his version of Barbie was a bit more exotic and abstract. Whereas Jeremy Scott’s collection pays tribute to the platinum-blonde doll that has made toy store shelves her home since 1959. I can’t help but muse over this collection by Jeremy Scott for Moschino. It just makes you feel like you are being transported to Barbie’s dream house in Malibu, and you really do not want to leave.

My favorite piece is this trench coat. The large, gold buttons, the black trim, the light, mocha-colored fabric and the black cuffs are the definition of adorable. I especially adore how it is styled on the model, with the foulard, gold cat-eye sunglasses and the metallic gold pumps.

In light of this collection, I felt inspired to adopt my own Barbie world with a few favs from my closet.

The dress that I am wearing is a white Betsey Johnson cocktail dress with gingham trim and crinoline lining. Not only did the silhouette and detailing remind me of Barbie, but gingham is very much on trend this season. If you look at the Diane von Furstenberg spring 2015, ready-to-wear collection, hereyou will see what I am talking about. I also wore a pink lip, which can be bought here, to brighten up my Barbie look.

All in all, if you ever want to play dress up, Barbie is a fabulous icon to follow!

Florals for Spring: Always Expected, but Never Outdated

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Every fashion-obsessed person has seen “The Devil Wears Prada”, and we all love to quote Miranda Priestly, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, Runway, from the book-turned film. Of course we can all remember the scene where a staff meeting is held, and someone pitches the idea to include florals in a spring issue of the magazine, only to hear Priestly say, “Florals? For spring? Ground breaking.”

There is no denying that this statement is completely relevant. Of course, everyone, and I mean everyone, breaks out florals for spring. Whether it is your four-year-old cousin, your grandmother, your soccer-mom neighbor or the oh-so-fashionable you, everyone has a something floral hanging in their closet. What makes all of us different, however, is how we wear the print.

Of course, when it comes to prints, there are stunning ones and heinous ones. While Carolina Herrera may come out with a beautifully ornate floral print, the one that your aunt pulled off of the sales rack at Kmart is probably meant to stay tucked away somewhere, where no one will see it- ever.

It is not only the layout of the print, but the type of clothing that has the print that needs to be considered. For instance, you probably would not want to wear a cocktail dress with a layered tulle skirt that had a print, as well. It is extremely easy for a print to become overwhelming, and even nauseating if it is splashed on a garment that is already flamboyant.

It is hard to describe an exact formula for finding the perfect floral. We wear prints because they are fun, so there shouldn’t be too many restrictions, right? While one may say, “Just go with your instincts,” our instincts are not always correct. In fact, especially when it comes to fashion, they can lead us into a place of embarrassment. For instance, when I was in sixth grade, I had the “instinct” that bright, knee-high socks were cute with my uniform;  boy, was I ever wrong! Not to mention. I wore my hair in pigtails at least three days a week. Granted, this was sixth grade, and if any of you are a fan of the ’90s movie, “Clueless”, you know that knee-high socks were not always a fashion faux pas. Now, as young women, however, it may not be as easy to laugh off those fashion missteps because, well, we are not exactly supposed to be in that awkward phase anymore. So, I guess the best advice that I can give, is to try on everything before you buy it.

This principle is especially useful when buying a print because, while it may look amazing on the rack, it may overwhelm the person wearing it. Another question that I ask myself when buying a floral is, “Does it look like it was designed by a person, or a computer?” If the print seems to be redundant or too “perfect”, it probably will not do anything to spice up your outfit, so I would probably put it back on the rack.

Also, before adding another piece to you wardrobe, think of how it will fit in with the other items in your closet. Are you a festival hippie or a New England prep? Are you an Audrey or a Marilyn? While you can experiment with different styles as much as you want, if you know that something is just not you, there is probably a better option out there.

If you are wondering how you can identify with a floral print this spring, I have links to a few different floral styles below that may represent the stylish young woman in you!

1. The Princess- Is anyone else as obsessed with this this skirt as I am? Not only is the simple print on this skirt exquisitely scattered across the fabric, but the pink satin material is polished and feminine. And, I mean, how can you resist the large bow in front? If you would describe yourself as being pink-obsessed, posh and elegant, this adorable skirt would be perfect for you.

2. The Eclectic Artist- If you are the type of girl who is always ready to take a fashion risk, this blazer/trouser combo is perfect for you. While it is certainly not a look that you would see every day, this is precisely why you are willing to try it. The delicate shade of blue that is prominent throughout the print is perfect for any complexion and nearly any occasion.

3. The Charmer- If the words that you use to describe yourself include, cute, bubbly and bright, this is the perfect romper for you. The off-shoulder neckline is flattering and slightly flirtatious, but it is anything but desperate. This floral print is one of my favorites because looks as if someone painted it onto the fabric. Like the authentic you, no one could mistake this print for being computer generated.

4. The Retro Diva- If you are this girl, you are probably already a fan of large florals and bell bottoms, or the next thing closest to bell bottoms, palazzo pants. If this is you, then these would make a perfect addition to your funky spring wardrobe.

5. The Bombshell- If this is you, then you are probably the Beyonce of your friend group. You are not afraid to take a risk, but when you do take one, it only serves to make you look even more stunning. I adore how the model has this skirt paired with a sweetheart-neckline crop top, which has the same print. Although this is definitely a more daring look, it works because the delicacy of the print forms a refreshing paradox with the streamlined silhouette.

Black, White and Coral All Over

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If you do not have a pencil skirt in your wardrobe, it is most definitely time to invest in one. In fact, the clock is ticking for you to start building up your collection.

A pencil skirt is not made exclusively for a basic blazer and briefcase, anymore. While our mothers used to wear them in the ’80s with matching blazers, which had way too much shoulder padding, some of our favorite fashionistas and designers are proving that they are not just for the cubicle any more.

The pencil skirt is more mature than a miniskirt, but still youthful enough if you wear it with the appropriate top and accessories. The sleek silhouette of it is optimal for pairing with almost any top that you could possibly dream of wearing. Whether you go traditional with a white button-up blouse or push the envelope in a leather crop top, you can make almost anything work as long as it is properly fitted and the proportions line up correctly.

What is even more spectacular is that many of our favorite designers are jumping on the pencil-skirt bandwagon and revamping it in their own way. While some designers, such as Zac Posen, are bringing nostalgia to the garment with 1940s glam, shown here, others, like Tom Ford, are bringing an avant-garde identity to the skirt.

I love how Taylor Swift achieved a conservative look here. The belted, gingham blouse that she wore with it was perfection, and when paired with the pencil skirt, reminded me of the ’40s-inspired ensemble from the Zac Posen, spring 2015 ready-to-wear collecion. Likewise, I am obsessed with Gigi Hadid’s modern crop-top/pencil skirt combo seen hereproving that a sharp pencil skirt is more fashion-forward than the sequined mini that you found in your roommate’s closet, especially when paired with a stunning crop top.

In lieu of these fantastic looks, I thought, why not experiment with the trend myself?

The pencil skirt that I am wearing is from Bebe. Although the exact version of this skirt is no longer available, there is a similar one hereOne thing that I find unique is the black stitching that is woven in various patterns throughout the white fabric. The white base is perfect for springtime and is refreshing in coalition with the vibrant hue of the crop top, found here.

Since it was such a beautiful day, I thought that it would be fitting to create more of a daytime look. For instance, instead of going for a striking stiletto sandal, I decided to go with a relaxed black wedge. Additionally, I chose to stick with black accessories because they brought out the detailing in the skirt and contrasted very well with the coral crop top. 

Whether your style is “girly-girl”, as outlined in this Ralph Lauren outfit, sporty, as exemplified in this Tommy Hilfiger look, or timeless like this piece from Oscar de la Renta, the pencil skirt offers something for everyone.  Since there are so many fabulous versions of this skirt, why not have fun with the trend, and try out the different variations that the fashion world has to offer?

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The Valentine’s Day Look Book

Instead of falling for a cheesy heart-printed sweater or bright pink eye shadow this Valentine’s Day, I used my better judgment to stick with more subtle Valentine’s Day looks that were still as “charming” as that heart-antennae headband that seemed so tempting. When picking out these looks, I wanted the apparel to bring out hints of the holiday while still being wearable for other days of the year.

In my first look, my friend, Sara, is wearing a floral romper, a beige cardigan, pale pink pearls, nude pumps and a pink lip for a sweet and refined look. This look could be perfect for Valentine’s Day brunch or any upcoming spring occasion. I adore the rose print on her romper and love the subtle mix of various pastels and blush tones throughout the fabric. The trick to pulling off a print like this in an ensemble is to pair it with other neutrals and muted hues that will serve to enhance the print instead of clashing with it.

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For my second look, I am wearing palazzo pants, a lace crop top, black wedges and and loose waves that could be appropriate for any casual outing such as an outdoor concert or fun picnic. In lieu of Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be appropriate to add a pink flower crown that convincingly went with the festival-chic vibe of my outfit.

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For my third daytime look, I have a textured, blush peplum top, white capris, a floppy hat, pointed-toe kitten heels, a kate spade new york tote and a black onyx necklace with a heart detail. In my book, you can never have too many bows, which is obviously why I have four of them in this outfit. This flirty bow detailing and petite tote make this outfit a perfect candidate for a light afternoon on the town!

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For the final look, Sara is wearing a vertical-striped dress that is cinched around the waist with a light brown microbelt, black stockings, light brown booties, a gold watch and a black floppy hat for added style. I thought that the color blocking with the brown booties and belt made the look more youthful and fabulous, while the classic silhouette of the dress in combination with the black floppy hat reminded me of something that Amal Alamuddin would wear, making me love the look even more.

I also admired the subtle, yet glamorous details that glinted throughout the outfit. For instance, there were gold buttons on the cuffs of each sleeve, and Sara wore a dainty, embellished gold watch to match. She added an extra bit of sparkle with off-white, rose shaped ceramic earrings that were surrounded by rein stones.

With the effortless flow and elegance of this outfit, this look is ready for a lively night out.

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The Midi Skirt

Midi Skirt

Every Carrie Bradshaw aficionado knows that the full, A-line midi skirt is the most effective way to draw the eyes while being cute, classy, and fabulous all at one time. There are so many ways to wear this skirt as we segue into the winter season. For the cooler climate, you could add a cropped blazer and black stockings. And if you feel like adding more accessories, you could garnish your look with a cute beret or a feminine scarf. For me, this skirt is the epitome of chicness and elegance. It has gone from the 1950s to Carrie Bradshaw, to now, and every fashionista should have one hanging in their closet.

Today, I paired my black midi from Express with a Betsey Johnson bracelet, a rose-colored clutch from Forever 21, a black top from H&M, and black pumps from Target. Since the climate was more moderate today, there was no need for me to add much more to my ensemble. However, if you live in a more chilly area, I would embrace it as an opportunity to be more creative with your accessories and overall look. You could even add a long coat to your look if you wanted to be more adventurous. Whatever your case may be, I hope that you embrace this trend while it is still at its peak and always remember to have fun!

Items to add to your Midi

Items to add to your Midi

Polka Party

Polka Party

Giambattista Valli black mini skirt
$1,135 – net-a-porter.com

RED Valentino satin purse
$300 – theoutnet.com