The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pamela Smith, managing editor.
Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter
By Pamela Smith, Managing Editor • April 20, 2024
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • April 19, 2024

Join our newsletter

Get Pitt and Oakland news in your inbox, three times a week.

Pamela Smith, managing editor.
Column | In the blink of an eye, in the click of a shutter
By Pamela Smith, Managing Editor • April 20, 2024
Fresh Perspective | Final Farewell
By Julia Smeltzer, Digital Manager • April 19, 2024

The Archives | From Lang’s 1994 collection to cover stars

The Archives is a biweekly blog about all things fashion, culture and lifestyle.
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TPN File Illustration

I want to introduce you to the spot in my heart that admires nostalgia and appreciates each step that leads the most successful people to where they are now. Of course, fashion is at the front of it all. Where would we be without clothes? Probably hiding! No one wants to do that for the brief time we have on Earth.

Constructing an outfit from recycled materials is not a foreign subject to me — after designing and creating multiple monthly issue outfits by hand, I would say my experience and eye for what appeals to everyone (whether it is their style or not) is on the advanced side of the spectrum. 

My personal favorite design came to life after thrifting four individual faux fur scarves, knowing I wanted to create a tubular outfit that combines futuristic and vintage elements from the winelike red hue of the scarves. Sewing it to become a glovelike structure on the model’s body was the last task after measurements. Dating back to the very first monthly issue of my editorial, I created the silk gown out of a bedding sheet. Naturally, my brain embraces its creative side more than its strategic side — as I believe fashion designers are more apt for innovation in the world of sweatsuits and workout garments.

A handmade piece worn by February 2022 cover star, Jordyn Basile. (Courtesy of Hannah Beil)

In last month’s issue, I had Jillian Rowan on as a cover star for the third anniversary of what she likes to call my “brainchild” — a word I now use every day.

We talked about all things fashion week and what the industry means to her personally. Down to the styling of each look, I pulled inspiration from vintage runways like Helmut Lang’s Fall 1994. 

Vogue’s definition of this iconic milestone: “Minimalism, boring? Not in Helmut Lang’s hands.” Take the Austrian designer’s fall collection of 1994, the star of which was a sleeveless shift almost elementary in its shape, but in a raspberry pink latex as shiny as a candy wrapper imprinted with lace. 20 years later and that simple, but decidedly not plain, little dress hasn’t aged a day. Lang retired in January of 2005, a few months after Prada bought the remainder of his company, but it’s no wonder his work remains a touchstone for fashion’s most influential designers.

I want each of the outfits the cover stars wear to communicate the fruitful art of fashion and the cover stars’ personalities themselves. Rowan, the 36th cover star, made it known that she was more than willing to appear in anything I thought felt right, clotheswise. She made the process even more of a love-backed activity for me. Wearing latex invited her into this new world she never had a chance to try, but would like more of. 

She even inquired, “Can I wear this to an event?”

Writing on this new platform for a niche topic like fashion archives specifically allows me to learn more and introduce others to more.

If you would like me to ramble on and on about certain times that you wish to know more about, or phases in fashion (trends, staples and stars), or who has the best of the best closets and moments in fashion, please email me at [email protected] for anything you want to read in an article.