Lindsay Lohan for Ungaro

Famously controversial actress Lindsay Lohan recently decided to expand her reach into the fashion world by partnering with fashion house Emanuel Ungaro’s new head designer, Estrella Archs.  But it looks like this attempt is as much of a failure as her attempts to clean up her reputation.  Ungaro CEO Mounir Moufarrige hired Lohan as “artistic advisor” for his fashion house, firing Esteban Cortezar, the head designer at the time, in the process.  Ungaro himself is finally beginning to renounce his connections with the collection.  After the line received horrible reviews from critics at Paris Fashion Week, Ungaro has been very vocal about his exasperation with Lohan’s lack of fashion knowledge and inability to design a wearable, or even sellable, line of clothing.  Ungaro is so furious that the fashion house bearing his name is connected with the line that some critics called a “disaster” that he told reporters at the International Film Festival in Estoril, Portugal, “I have absolutely no connection with that house.”  Harsh?  After taking a look at some of Lohan’s designs, tell us what you think.

Bad economy hits fashion industry

Versace announced Wednesday that it has decided to close all of its boutiques in Japan, saying that the stores no longer represent the brand image.

In a statement Wednesday the company said the closings are part of a grander plan and that the brand is looking for new locations. However, publications like the Wall Street Journal say the luxury market is beginning to lose its appeal.

I attribute this to how the bad economy is globally affecting the fashion industry. So far it has seemed that the high fashion portion of the industry has been spared, but these conspicuous closings tend to allude to the greater problem of a world-wide recession. What are your thoughts? I think if high fashion brands like Versace are experiencing lack of  interest, then that doesn’t bode well for the rest of us!

Grade Inflation?

If you read yesterday’s Daily Tar Heel, you saw the front page article on grade inflation.  UNC’s Faculty Council is currently discussing the university’s grading policy, mostly because the oh so coveted A is being seen more and more on transcripts across campus.  I don’t know about you, but I kind of like that trend.  But, I’m forcing myself to think a little deeper on the issue.  If more and more people are getting A’s in their classes, the perceived value of the grade is diminished.  If grade inflation at UNC continues, an A will eventually come to signify something less extraordinary than it has in the past.  So when we’re competing against students from universities who don’t suffer from the problem of rampant grade inflation, our A’s hold less value than their’s.   What do you think?  Is a super high GPA that’s been padded by grade inflation worth the potential costs it could inflict?  Or would you rather put in more effort to make the grade and possibly gain a more competitive edge after your undergraduate career is over?

To ignite or not to ignite…

Despite the fact that basketball season is still painfully far away, I’ve been pretty obsessed with the recent arguments concerning post-victory bonfires on Franklin. On the one hand, I understand the obvious danger involved in lighting a large fire in the middle of an extremely crowded street (I also understand it is illegal), but I still can’t seem to picture Franklin without fires. We may even go (knock on wood) an entire year without bonfires on Franklin, but that doesn’t make it any less a part of our culture. To eliminate fires is a clear breach of tradition… for what? To prevent the twelve or so people who were too drunk to jump from falling in? What about all these freshman who may never get to see a fire on Franklin?! If our concern is for safety on Franklin after basketball victories, then we should also forbid crowd-surfing. And we should probably limit the amount of people allowed out there. No running, either. Definitely no drinking because that just leads to disaster. And then what do we have? Franklin on any other night. As far as I can see, we’re all adults here, and we all know the dangers of being on Franklin after a big win. Maybe a better solution would be to make students more aware of the dangers so that they can better plan their nights around safety.

Fires on Franklin- are you for or against? Image courtesy of justinsomnia.

Fires on Franklin- are you for or against? Image courtesy of justinsomnia.

Airbrushing in Fashion

It’s a well known fact that the fashion industry uses technology like Photoshop and airbrushing to make models look, well, more beautiful in advertisements than they actually are in real life.  For women with a healthy amount of self-confidence, this usually isn’t a problem.  But there is a growing movement to ban this activity in the fashion industry because of the potential effect it can have on teen girls.  This push for more realistic representations of women is especially pronounced in Britain, where it is led by a well known Liberal Democrat politician named Jo Swinson.  MP Swinson states that the airbrushed images that we see on billboards, in magazines, and on TV are encouraging not only an unbelievablly idealistic view of beauty, but also fostering feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem in young girls today.  Airbrushing is commonly used to erase skin blemishes, lengthen legs, and flatten stomachs.  Dove has started their own campaign against this falsifying of images.  They’ve even created a video showing the transformation of an average girl who is airbrushed to perfection and placed on a roadside billboard. (Watch it here:

So, what do you think?  Does airbrushing distort women’s idea of beauty and lower their self confidence? Or do we need to thicken our skin and strive to find beauty within ourselves, not in society’s views of us?