Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cosmetic Surgery Among Teens

Last year (2009) an estimated 400,000 teens had some form of cosmetic procedure, and an estimated 210,000 elective plastic surgeries!

The most common procedure among teenagers is breast enhancement and often the surgery is given as a "gift" to the teen for Christmas, her birthday or even graduation. Many of these teens have mothers who have had a breast enhancement procedure prior and feel it is ok for their teenage daughters to have them. Many of these teens are 16 or 17, but some are younger.

Most teens who start with plastic surgery at a young age, continue on to nose jobs, eye lips, ear tucks, liposuction and many others. Parents defend these decisions by stating that they would rather have the teen discuss the issues with them and be involved in the decision-making process.

Interestingly, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports a difference in the reasons teens give for having plastic surgery and the reasons adults do: Teens view plastic surgery as a way to fit in and look acceptable to friends and peers. Adults, on the other hand, frequently see plastic surgery as a way to stand out from the crowd.

The number of teens who choose to get plastic surgery is on the rise. According to the ASPS, over 333,000 people 18 years and younger had plastic surgery in 2005, up from about 306,000 in 2000. In a recent study done by the ASAPS (American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery), it was found that 18-24 year-olds of both genders were the highest rated group for approving of cosmetic surgery. The president of the ASAPS, Dr. Scott Spear, believes it’s because of the lowering costs and increasing social acceptability of talking openly about cosmetic surgery. Procedures that were once thought to be only possible for the wealthy is now becoming available for the common person.

At what age is too young? For decades, plastic surgery for teenage girls meant one thing -- a nose job, frequently performed during the summer between high school and college. While rhinoplasty remains the most common cosmetic operation for teenagers, doctors are performing an increasing number of procedures such as breast implants, liposuction and tummy tucks on young women and even girls as young as 14.

With the increase in cosmetic surgery among celebrities and the growing pressure among teenagers in an image-driven world, teens are more conscientious about their looks than ever and feel pressure to conform to the ideals set by society.

While some might understand the pressures, around the world, this is going to extremes. Australian teens are rushing to other countries for cosmetic surgery in an attempt to "reclaim" their youth, Australia's Herald Sun reports.

One 18-year-old single mother, Ambah Young, plans to head to Malaysia to have a tummy tuck, breast augmentation and a "designer" vagina procedure, according to the Herald Sun.

Approximately 400 Australians travel to Malaysia each year through Gorgeous Getaways, a group that books "cosmetic surgery holidays," and 80 percent of these individuals undergo two or more procedures, according to the report.

In the US, the most common cosmetic procedures among teens are:

  • · Rhinoplasty- 34,994 were performed on teens in 2009
  • · Ear pinning or an otoplasty- 7,909 procedures were done
  • · Breast Implants - more than 8000 surgeries
  • · Dermabrasion and Laser Resurfacing- Last year 9,563 microabrasions were done
  • · Liposuction procedures- 3,179 were performed
  • · Facial plastic surgery for eyelidswhich was performed 1,892 times

I just have to wonder what we are teaching teens in the home? What kind of values are being perpetuated from mother to daughter and what mother would encourage her daughter to have breast implants at 17 years of age?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"... Elle était placée sur le divan et fort près de lui. Il voyait ses cheveux et son cou d'albâtre ; un moment il oublia tout ce qu'il se devait; il passa le bras autour de sa taille, et la serra presque contre sa poitrine. Elle tourna la tête lentement ..."


"... It was placed on the couch and very close to him. He saw her hair and her alabaster neck, and a moment he forgot everything he had and he put his arm around her waist, and pressed almost against his chest. She turned her head slowly... "

Stendhal, Le Rouge et Le Noir, 1830, chap. LX

Rouge et Noir
Hélène de Saint Lager
Buntal and revered pheasant feathers
In exclusivity at the Bon Marché and Frank & Fils

Red and Black
Hélène de Saint Lager
Pheasant feathers and revered Buntal
In Exclusivity At The Bon Marche and Frank & Son

Japan Fashion Now

Japan Fashion Now

From September 16, 2010, to January 8, 2011

Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology
Seventh Avenue at 27 Street
New York City 10001-5992

Emerging from an economic and industrial boom in Japan in the 1960s, Japanese artists, designers, and architects found inspiration in the fusion between American pop culture and Japan's explosive consumer technologies. Placing great emphasis on an admiration for traditional Japanese art as well as the forms and ideologies of modernism via channels of fiber technology, visual imagery, and three-dimensional sculpture, Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto can be credited with the creation of the Japanese aesthetic in global fashion.

While these designers each have a unique perspective on cloth construction, they share a love for artistic collaboration in the development of their collections, marketing, and image. A distinct manufactured aesthetic is exaggerated, even hyperbolic, in the contemporary Japanese fashion house. This is particularly evident in the careers of Miyake and Kawakubo—the former has recruited a variety of textile and sculptural artists such as Yasumasa Morimura, Cai Guoqiang, painter Tadanori Yokoo, and architect Tadao Ando, and the latter partnered with Takao Kawasaki, an architect who conceived the majority of the designer's early Comme des Garçons boutique.

Kawakubo's empire combines an industrially inspired socialist work ethic with a nearly fanatical desire to purvey clothing as an ever-changing product of its sociocultural environment, citing both Neo-Realism and Futurism in runway collections and advertising. Miyake forms garments that celebrate the vitality and movement of the human body, particularly referencing Sudanese, Japanese, and American modes and overlaying them with the dictates of couture tailoring to communicate a liberated global aesthetic. Yamamoto exhibits the most loyalty to Japanese cloth traditions, famed for his 1990s kimono-inspired trenchcoats and shirts. Though clearly influenced by the pure geometric forms of such indigenous garments, Yamamoto finds methods of incorporating contemporary sportswear constructions and finishing details into his designs to evoke a postmodern street chic, imbued with functions of protection and durability.

Tools of Design
An interest in the evolution of fiber technology and a devotion to tonal and textural eclecticism prompts these designers to repeatedly emphasize the importance of their raw materials. Aspirations of continual movement in both fabric and structure governed the conception of the iconic pleat-setting of Miyake's "Pleats Please" series, the enigmatic twisting, piecing, and drapery of Yamamoto's designs, and the planar manipulation of Kawakubo's shrouding, texturing, and layering techniques. While Miyake has consistently employed various heat-embossing and synthetic coating textile processes to effect more modern sculptural forms, Kawakubo nods to the romantic subtleties of historic fashion, yet champions cold synthetic fibers in her executions. Most emblematic of this tendency toward ironic juxtaposition, the "lace" sweaters of the famed Comme des Garçons fall/winter 1982–83 collection featured black wool knits distressed with gaping holes to invoke the composition of lace. While Yamamoto often experiments with innovations in technical textiles and new synthetics, he also fondly executes his designs with unconventional natural materials. A vest and skirt ensemble made entirely of hinged wood slats from his fall/winter 1991 collection demonstrates a dedication to communicating the raw visual distinctions of planar form.

The New Traditions of Japanese Fashion
Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto have all contributed to the rise of Japanese fashion by communicating its aesthetic to the global market, thereby fostering an awareness of peer and successive generations of avant-garde Japanese creators such as Junya Watanabe, Junko Koshino, and Junichi Arai. Each is celebrated for fusing age-old couture tailoring with Japanese design ethos. Though the respective collections of these designers are often inextricably linked to their derivations of or deviations from Western fashion, each has used Japan's rich visual heritage as a foundation for aesthetic, social, and sometimes political collages of cultures worldwide. Much like the costumes of the
Japanese Noh, the runway designs of Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto strive toward theatricality, visual splendor, and organic movement.


Miyake, Kawakubo, and Yamamoto: Japanese Fashion in the Twentieth Century | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

For more info:


Check out this video that takes you behind the scenes of fashion week in NY.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Gift of Giving- IN FASHION


As I survive this year's shopping experience, I have to wonder how I can make my "gifts" matter in this world of commerce and big business. This past semester, my students had to put together presentations on "ethical brands' and ethical retailers and their eyes were opened to so many amazing retailers and brands that inspire the ART of giving, the true realization of a GIFT!

A gift is not a package, a toy, a sweater, a piece of jewelry... it is something that someone would not have if it wasn't for the GIVER... so the giver of the gift matters, his.her motives and values are important in the impact of the gift. So, how does one make a GIFt matter... I beg consumers of this world to challenge themselves to seek out retailers and brands whose products and sales make a REAL difference in this world.... so I thought I share of few that I feel are truly important n making a difference.

Please check them out. I believe that giving matters. And, when American consumers spend over $200 billion each year on apparel goods, shouldn't those dollars matter to make this world a better place, a more compassionate and artistic place?

Please check these out: - where shopping gives back. This site is close to my heart. Started by Ramona Russel, who created this in memory of her sister, Liz, who lost her life to breast cancer at the young age of 29. Uptown Liz also supports causes other than cancer, including autism, domestic violence, the military and so many more! Please check out the amazing products, from men's ties to beautiful candles, apparel, books, dvds, accessories and so much more!

NAU- - started by former Nike folk, and 5% of all sales go back to any organization you designate.


There are also so many great brands that give back tp specific purposes. A few of my favorites are:

TOM'S SHOES: TOMS was founded on a simple premise: For every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in need. One for One.

BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads. Women in Northern Uganda gather shea nuts and press them into shea butter for cosmetics and soaps. And people who care open their hearts,homes and communities to buy and sell both products.

The 3/50 PROECT

Also think about how your dollars can affect your local economy.
Think about it this way:
If you buy a gift from a bog box chain retailer, only a small percentage of the profits of that gift go back into the local economy, because only the store workers rent apartments or homes in the area, shop grocery stores in the area and live locally. Those within the company who make the big bucks, who live near the corporate headquarters spend in their own cities or town. But, if you buy from a local retailer, a mom-an-pop so to speak, an independent retailer who loves in the same community in which he/she does business will spend their money in that same community. So, if you spend your money locally, shopping in an independent retailer (a non-chain retailer) your money spent will help to bolster your local economy!

The Big Box have a place, but the Mom and Pops are the ones that keep our LOCAL economies alive! Visit the 3/50 Project to learn more:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010



“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”
~ Coco Chanel

When one thinks of an ICON, religious iconographic images of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary may come to mind, or musical icons like Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. But, in Fashion, the icons are alive and well, living in their brands and fans.

Coco Chanel is one of the first icons of fashion, one who revolutionized the fashion world, turned women's fashion around in a period when women were corseted into their clothes. She is one of the most revolutionary designers in the fashion, freeing women of corsetry and liberating them into trousers and more comfortable fashion.

She abhorred logos and the bourgoisie (rich). Raised in an orphanage, she didn't understand the world or the way society operated in the early 1900s. She started, literally, by accident as a hat designers (for hookers, well for high-paid call girls) and became known for her hats among the socialites of Paris.

She began to create revolutionary designs by the 1920's, which included men's wear influences in women's wear, dresses above the ankles and jewelry known as "paste" or fake, most notably long ropes of pearls. She was scandalous and arrogant and was often referred to as a "pit bull," according to Andre Leon Tally.

Upon her death, Karl Lagerfeld, who was one of her designers, took the helm of Chanel and brought it into the light that it is shown today. He added the two "C" logo and the bling that is associated with Chanel. Some say that, because of Chanel's love of simplicity in fashion, she is rolling in her grave at what has been done to her name.

The original Chanel suit was made of wool jersey, with unfinished edged, not lined, featuring a box cut jacket with no buttons or closures and a straight skirt cut to below the knee. It was simple and understated and practical for women of the time. In the 40's she did add some rope trim detail, but it still remained very simple. She continued to design until her death in 1969.

She is known for her pink Chanel suit and pillbox hat that Jacqueline Kennedy wore the day of the infamous parade in which her husband, President John F. Kennedy was killed. Jackie Kennedy was a fan and made her fashion popular among the elegant women of the 60s, when other designers began to make their mark.

Chanel's designs have remained classic since the 1920s, including her "little black dress," her No. 5 parfum, her classic Chanel suit, ropes of pearls, trousers and men's tweeds for women, the drop waist, and many other styles for which she is known.

Here are a few other tid bits about this icon of fashion:

She loved pockets!

Coco Chanel was so enchanted with pockets that this would prove to be the main focus of her designs in handbags for women!

For Chanel, design started as a hobby.

Chanel started her career by designing hats which later became popular among the aristocratic Parisians within her friends' social circles. At first, they were for her friends who were the high-class call girls of the time, and she soon made a name for herself among the bourgoisie.

From Hosiery to high fashion:

Coco Chanel used to work as a clerk in a small hosiery shop. Her sister was the real seamstress and got Coco a job with her in a shop sewing hosiery, among other things. It was hosiery that revolutionized her fashion world, taking her boyfriends' wool jersey long johns and turning them into warm wool dresses. Her boyfriend of the time was a coal broker and knew that WWI would change the world and told her to make warm clothes for women. Though she designed prior to WWI, she took his advice and produced knit dresses for women, under which they couldn't wear corsets. This was considered risque at the time, but she literally revolutionized women from the corset!

Coco made the sun tan fashionable!

It was Coco Chanel who made a tan seem fashionable when she got burnt by sun's rays in 1923 on a cruise towards Cannes! It soon became associated with those who had time to "leisure" on the beach!

Coco wanted to be an actress, and even auditioned on the stage.

Coco was her "stage name." Her real name was Gabrielle. She thought she could sing and dance, however, never really made it past the vaudeville stage and clubs. These clubs did turn out to be quite lucrative, introducing her to some powerful Parisians who helped launch her career.

“Innovation! One cannot be forever innovating.
I want to create classics.”
~Coco Chanel

Hotel Ritz was her home, with her first shop on the Rue de Cambon.

For more than 30 years Coco Chanel made the mighty hotel Ritz in Paris her home! It was rumored that German officer Dincklage (with whom she was having an affair) made arrangements for her to stay in the hotel.

She opened her first salon on the Rue de Cambon. The salon was modest, with living quarters above. It soon became the showroom and the exclusive location for her fashion showings for her private clientele. She would position herself on the top of the stairs, down which the models would walk wearing her latest creations.

“There are people who have money and people who are rich.” ~ Coco Chanel

5 was her favorite number

She believed there was something special in the number 5 - enough that Chanel No. 5 was introduced on 5th May 1921!

She never got married

Coco Chanel might have dated and had affairs with plenty of men but she never married.

Not only did she make “black” the black it is today,
but she also created the wardrobe classic the little black dress.

“A fashion that does not reach the streets is not a fashion.” ~ Coco Chanel

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

“It’s very rustic, so when it’s time to decorate for Christmas, you have to be really careful. You don’t want to overglamorize it,” says I Love Your Style authorAmanda Brooks of the winter wonderland her family has created in the forests of the Adirondack mountains. published a collection of gorgeous photos from Brook's mountain home decorated for the holidays.

Photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank