Blonde Ambition

Photo by Dara Schwartz

Photo by Dara Schwartz

By John Geraghty

Blonde, beauty, brains, and a whole lot of talent. She can bend and snap, too.

“Omigod you guys!” Jessica Hoffmann seems more similar to her upcoming leading role than the Carolina theater community could have ever imagined.

From November 22-24, UNC-Chapel Hill students will have the opportunity to see Hoffmann perform in Company Carolina’s fall main stage production of Legally Blonde: The Musical as leading role, Elle Woods.

If you’ve seen previous productions on campus, including The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and HAIR!, then you must be familiar with her massive talent.

What you probably did not know is that Hoffmann is a business major at the Kenan-Flagler Business School and has interned for AEG Live in Los Angeles. Although not pursuing theater as a career, she intends to combine her passion for the arts with her knowledge of business as a liaison between creatives and suits. That’s right, she’s an unexpectedly brilliant Southern California girl, just like her current role.

One thing is different, she’s chasing after her own dreams and not Warner’s. Additionally, she’s not a Delta Nu or part of the UNC Greek system, but has rather found her own “sorority or fraternity in a sense,” within the close-knit theater community.

Theater has taught Hoffmann focus, discipline and teamwork, all of which will ultimately benefit her in the long run within any professional arena she decides to pursue.

“I’m a little insane, but I honestly don’t think I’m crazy enough for theater,” Hoffmann said.

However, she is crazy enough to survive tech rehearsals, a competitive major, and a vibrant social life. How does she handle it all “so much better” than many other students?

“Good question. I drink a lot of coffee, and a lot of water so I don’t kill my vocal chords with the coffee.”

Photo by Dara Schwartz

Photo by Dara Schwartz

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SCOPE Blog Under Construction–New Issue to Hit Newsstands March 1st!

Hello,

We are working on a brand new SCOPE blog set to release in March along with our Great Expectations Issue! SCOPE will continue to be The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s cultural catalyst, giving you all the latest trends in pop, politics, food and style.

Keep on the lookout for our Great Expectations issue set to hit newsstands on March 1st! Our March cover star is… Skye Bolt, a top recruit for the #1 ranked UNC Baseball Team!

Thank you for stopping by! We look forward to seeing you again in March.

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Fashion Resolutions for the Year 2013

With every New Year, there come 365 new days—365 new chances for making a fashion statement. Three-hundred and sixty-five new days for confronting the world with an identity crafted by the precise tailoring of a skirt, by the unusual color of a blouse. For the year 2013, a year some people never imagined we would reach, I have made five resolutions that I intend to honor. My five resolutions focus on the ways I have worn clothing and the possibility for re-inventing certain elements of my style.

  1. Expand my color palette beyond a shade.
  2. Embrace at least one new texture: velvet.
  3. Try a T-Shirt.
  4. Go vintage without looking too far.
  5. Abide by the motto: “I am what I wear.”

Expand my color palette beyond a shade.  Whenever someone asks me about my favorite color, I always say black, an answer that would quickly be followed by a snarky comment, such as “Black is not a color. It’s a shade.” While I still maintain that black is and probably always will be my color of choice, I have noticed that my wardrobe has a redundant number of black dresses, shirts, and boots. To celebrate the New Year, I want to expand my color palette beyond black and indulge in some unexpected colors.

Papaya Vionnet Gown

Papaya Vionnet Gown

Bordeux Dress

Bordeux Dress

Images courtesy of http://www.shopbop.com

White-Gold Dress

White-Gold Dress

Image courtesy of http://www.lulus.com

Embrace at least one new texture: velvet. I’ve always played it safe when it comes to textures, and when I venture into new territories, I tend to choose the safer options. However, I’ve always wondered if velvet, which I usually associate with frumpy, less modern styles, can become new for me. After scouring the Internet, I’ve found that the best velvet looks are ones that emphasize the romance of velvet and downplay the formal nature of the texture, like this burgundy velvet dress and J.Crew t-shirt.

Mink Pink Snow Palace Cutout Burgundy Velvet Dress

Mink Pink Snow Palace Cutout Burgundy Velvet Dress

Image courtesy of http://www.lulus.com

Deep Blue Velvet Tee

Image courtesy of http://www.jcrew.com

Speaking of t-shirts, I’ve decided that for my third resolution, I am going to try a t-shirt.  Aside from the gym and the airplane, I refrain from wearing t-shirts in public. I suppose they always seem so basic and boring to me. And if I do wear a t-shirt, I’ve usually added two or three layers on top of the initial garment. This year, however, I want to try wearing a t-shirt and letting it speak for itself. I’ve recently found some t-shirts that express both my inner book-nerd and love for Game of Thrones.

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Images courtesy of http://www.threadless.com

Go vintage without looking too far. By vintage, I mean old, and by old, I mean the past three or four years. Recently, a friend of mine pointed out a dress that I hadn’t worn in at least two years. Paired with some cowboy boots and a necklace, the dress became a new look. Instead of buying a whole new wardrobe, I’ve decided to re-asses what I never wear and create new looks from my old apparel.

Abide by the motto: “I am what I wear.” After attending UNC’s fall sustainable fashion show, I’ve been thinking more pointedly about the ways in which my clothes are made. I’ve started to search for sustainable or environmentally friendly clothing stores in the area that don’t sacrifice style for a conscious soul. I came upon a small store in Brightleaf, Durham, named vert &vogue, and I immediately fell in love with their super-chic, environmentally friendly clothing.

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Images courtesy of http://www.vertandvogue.com/index.php

Now that I’ve made my New Years fashion resolution, what are yours? They don’t have to be drastic resolutions, and some of the fashion elements can already exist in your wardrobe. Just think about the concept of re-shaping your style for all the days left in 2013.

 

One Dollar Slice

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Name: Mary Feddeman
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC
Concentration: Journalism major, Creative Writing and Urban Studies & Planning double minor

JK: What’s the inspiration behind your outfit today?
MF: I think I was just looking for something comfortable and kind of interesting, and definitely something autumn-ish.  In the winter, I wear tights pretty often, and I love loose, soft sweaters. The combat boots are my favorite shoes.  I feel powerful when I wear them, and the heels make a ton of noise when I walk, so they’re perfect for walking around on the eighth floor of Davis or on bricks in the Pit.  I like the disruption.

So I guess my inspiration was my own passive-aggressive personality.

JK: How would you describe your personal style?
MF:
My style is probably most influenced by where I am, so I’d cite Chapel Hill as the main inspiration for what I wear daily because I’ve been here so long, which means it’s pretty earthy and relaxed.  Lots of jeans.

New York has also had a strong influence on my style.  I stayed in the city for a few months this past summer, and I was definitely influenced by some of the styles I saw on subways, where I worked, and in parks.  While I lived there, I wound up dying the tips of my hair bright red and getting a tattoo one day: two things I probably wouldn’t have done before.  So yeah, I think the city hardened me and my style a little.

Lately, I’ve been mixing hard and soft elements a lot – a little bit of urban and a little bit of small town.

JK: What are your favorite trends?
MF:
Growing up in Chapel Hill, I’ve been raised to love Birkenstocks, though I don’t think that’s so much of a trend anywhere else.  I really like hats, though I don’t really wear many.  And brown leather jackets, though I don’t (yet) own one.  I like florals, especially floral scarves.  And I love intricate earrings.  I also really appreciate it when someone loves a piece so much they wear it to death.  I like when you can tell it’s been worn.

I think honestly my favorite trend right now is that anything seems to fly – I like that people are borrowing so much from the styles of other decades, while at the same time coming up with original pieces and ways to wear them.

And I especially like that older styles are considered semi-fashionable because I’m extremely cheap, so I can buy old things at the thrift store and still feel like a college student when I wear them.

____________________

My suede brogues shuffled along the sidewalks of north campus, obscured by the fallen autumn leaves.  By the light of the setting sun, my eyes scanned the grounds for a fashionista.  Then Mary caught my eye, a small town girl with big city dreams.  Mary’s outfit was the apple of my eye…well, I should say the “Big Apple” of my eye. It combined the hard element of the city with small town class.  She began with a light grey cord sweater from Old Navy.  Cord sweater are staple in preppy fashion.  What set Mary’s apart from a normal cord sweater was that it revealed a bit more than one would imagine.  She paired it with a dark grey skirt from PTA Thrift Shop.  A pair of white textured socks that she got from her mom hugged her feet, and Mary finished with a pair of black boots that she bought from Macy’s.  Combat boots, a year-round favorite, gave her a tough appearance.

Subtleties offset her neutral-toned outfit.  These small details mimicked the foliage in color.  Mary’s burnt orange tights from Target, her orange feather earring from Top Shop, and red lipstick really gave her outfit a fiery quality.  She continued to accessorize with a bronze triangle stud and golden bracelet from Top Shop.  Bronze and gold jewelry is perfect for the summer and autumn seasons.  Mary completed her outfit with tortoise shell browline sunglasses, which she haggled for in Chinatown.  Without a doubt, Mary showed us how to bring the big city to a small town.

Managing Stress During Exams

With exams beginning this week, stress levels are rising to an all time high. While it is a well-known fact that stress is harmful to your overall well-being, many people often do not know how to cope with it. During this time of year avoiding stress is nearly impossible, but there are easy ways to reduce its negative impacts.

When managing stress, exercise plays a key role. Staying active daily is not only good for your body, but it causes the release of endorphins. Endorphins are essentially your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Take a study break and squeeze in 30 minutes or an hour of exercise. It can help clear your mind and let go of the tension that your body builds throughout the day. Making room in your hectic schedule to exercise may not be easy but it is definitely worth it.

Image courtesy of trialx.com

Image courtesy of trialx.com

I am sure that we have all fell victim to the evil known as procrastination at least once, but time management can help a great deal in preventing stress. Some people like to make lists or write everything down on a calendar to stay organized and allot their time efficiently. While this sounds nice, in reality, it does not always work out the way you want it to. However, beginning that final paper a few days before the due date or not cramming for that chemistry final can certainly reduce your stress levels during exam time.

Talking about your problems, in moderation, to your family or close friends can provide the advice or reassurance that you may need during this time. Having a strong support system is important in coping with stress because it gives you the comfort of knowing that people are there for you when you need them. If the stress of finals becomes too much to bear, or you just need someone to talk to, counselors UNC-Chapel Hill’s Counseling and Wellness Services are always there to listen.

Fashion Inspiration of the Day: Lillian Bassman

Around this time of year, I find myself settling into the mundane cycle of school life. School has been in session for months already, Christmas break rife with relaxation and twinkling lights is almost here, and the weight of impending exams and papers has significantly increased. As a result, my sense of fashion has also fallen into a rut. I’ve found myself settling into a daily pattern: boots, jeans, sweater, and scarf. It’s not that I don’t have time to think about an outfit—I just feel uninspired. So in the hope of curing an enduring sense of ennui, I looked to fashion idols, photographs, and the people around me. After searching for a source of inspiration, I found mine in a series of photographs by Lillian Bassman.

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Image courtesy of http://nytimes.com

Bassman died earlier this year at the age of 94, and for most of her life, she was known as a master of fine-art photography. Bassman was a true New York woman: she was born in Brooklyn, grew up in the Bronx, and studied in Manhattan. Her life changed when she became an unpaid apprentice at Harper’s Bazaar in 1941, as she would go on to become one of the magazine’s top photographers. A true artist, Bassman experimented with lighting, contrast, and the willowy forms of her models to create beautiful, dreamy portraits of women who seem almost abstracted.

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Images courtesy of http://www.coolhunting.com

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Image courtesy of http://mediabistro.com

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Images courtesy of http://ananasamiami.com

Bassman, however, was known most famously, or infamously, for destroying almost all of her commercial negatives in 1969 after becoming disgusted by the models and changing aesthetics of the fashion industry. Later in life, Bassman would re-interpret her remaining negatives with further experimentation and revisit what made her so popular in the first place.

Despite the vicissitudes of her career, I have felt the power of her photography. Many of the images are simply breathtaking, and looking at them is like stumbling upon a hazy dream of remarkable fashion and remarkable women. Hopefully, these photographs can serve to inspire anyone who is currently suffering from this listless sense of ennui.

XOXO, Gossip Girl’s Final Fashion Show

Gossip Girl’s sixth and final season is coming to a close, signaling the end of an era characterized by schoolgirl headbands and scandalous affairs. While the show’s drama has been the main source of attraction, many of us come back for the clothes. Eric Damian, the show’s stylist, has cultivated the wardrobes of each star to perfection over the past six seasons. And even if the outfits border on ridiculous at times, causing many to question whether or not a seventeen-year-old in high school would ever wear such clothes, this is the Upper East Side. And the two queen bees of the Upper East Side, Serena and Blair, rule their fashion empire. From their time at Constance Billard School for Girls, to their trip to Paris, and to their final appearances in season six, it’s clear that their clothes have become characters of their own. Although Serena and Blair’s love lives may take center stage at times, their friendship has always been the strongest and most compelling relationship of the show. In celebration of that friendship and the final season, let’s take a look back at the stories their clothes have created.

Image courtesy of http://www.collegefashion.net/fashion-tips/how-to-dress-like-blair-waldorf/

Image courtesy of http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/serena-van-der-woodsen?before=1335876784

In the early days, Serena and Blair were restricted to wearing uniforms, but the two put their own spin on the classic plaid and starched white shirt. Blair defined her style through ladylike tailored blouses and colorful headbands while Serena opted for a sexier, more laidback style.

Image courtesy of http://jolie-petitefille.blogspot.com/2010/09/introduction.html

Image courtesy of http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/serena-van-der-woodsen/images/1321045/title/serena-van-der-woodsen-photo

Even outside of school, both Serena and Blair used their clothes to showcase their personalities. Blair stuck to classic silhouettes that reflected her obsession with Audrey Hepburn, and Serena chose more casual yet effortlessly cool clothes to represent her free-spirited personality.

Image courtesy of http://www.instyle.com/instyle/package/general/photos

Image courtesy of http://lifeisroyalty.blogspot.com/2010/11/you-know-you-love-this-d.html

By the time season two rolled around, the girls were still choosing clothes that matched their styles from season one. Always youthful and fun, their outfits at the White Party in the first episode of season two were particularly memorable.

Image courtesy of http://www.buddytv.com/articles/gossip-girl/gossip-girl-season-3-premiere-30920.aspx

Image courtesy of http://coffeefashionandtv.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-dress-like-serena-van-der-woodsen.html

Season three was a confusing time for these two ladies, as they settled into college, Serena indulged in an affair with a married man, and Blair had incredibly dramatic relationship problems with a certain Chuck Bass. Their wardrobes reflected this fluctuating state, as Blair lost the headband but still retained some of her immaturity from high school. And Serena started wearing more sophisticated looks but maintained her upper-crust boho-chic vibe.

Image courtesy of http://www.posh24.com/gossip_girl/gossip_girl_takes_on_paris

Image courtesy of http://neverenuffstuff.com/2010/09/gossip-girl-fashion-episode-1-season-4.html

By season four, however, there was a change. The dresses became more sophisticated, the accessories more impressive, and the shoes even higher. Perhaps this reaction stems partially from their amazing style during their trip to Paris. While Blair perfected her use of color and patterning without ever seeming gauche, Serena balanced dressing sexy with tailored blazers or funky accessories.

Image courtesy of http://screencrave.com/2011-11-22/gossip-girl-season-5-episode-8-all-the-pretty-sources-tv-review/

The clothing of season five showcased Blair as a princess-to-be and Serena in more sophisticated dresses. Take a look at their evolved styles with this snapshot of the two at Blair’s wedding shower.

Image courtesy of http://www.wetpaint.com/gossip-girl/articles/gossip-girl-season-6-will-blair-and-serena-ever-be-friends-again-poll

Flash-forward to season six and it’s apparent that Blair and Serena are no longer teenagers. Blair still mixes her colors and patterns but in more demure silhouettes. Serena, on the other hand, still dresses in her customary sexy style, but the more bohemian aspect of her style has disappeared and in its place is a more sophisticated taste.

Image courtesy of http://coffeefashionandtv.blogspot.com/2011/12/how-to-dress-like-serena-van-der-woodsen.html

Images courtesy  of http://fashionasliterature.wordpress.com/tag/style/

And finally, my two favorite outfits from the show’s entire run. Nothing makes a statement quite like Serena’s grey lace Zuhair Murad dress or Blair’s red ruffled Oscar de la Renta gown.