Store Profile: Duross & Langel

For last week's store profile, the Style section covered Duross & Langel. I was first introduced to this Philadelphia-based soapmaker this past spring by a good friend of mine. We ducked into the store to take cover from a crazy Cinco de Mayo celebration that had taken over 13th Street and he insisted I try their Moroccan Cedar scented soap. I was hooked. Further investigation revealed that many of their all-natural products are produced in the second level of their storefront. According to the owner, Steve Duross, the demand for their products is so big they have moved most of their production to local family operated laboratories, where the recipes can be carefully followed. Read my full article on Duross & Langel over at The Triangle.


Street Style: Ayanna

Ayanna Harris, senior in Digital Media 
Wearing:Forever 21 jacket, Papaya Clothing pants, Wet Seal boots, DSW bag 

My goal for next week is to shoot people for street style who I don't already know. It's a bit of a cop-out, isn't it?
On this afternoon I had lunch with my good friend Ayanna, who I've known since early in my freshman year of school. She always dresses with a point of view, but today I was particularly drawn to her vintage-inspired purse, high-waisted pants and her Rosie the Riveter-esque scarf. She was giving me a bit too much of her serious model face and it took of bit of unsuccessful banter from behind the camera to make her crack a smile. I think she was mostly just confused by the random things I was shouting at her, but once I explained I was trying to get a genuine smile, she laughed at how much of a dork I was being about it. Why didn't you just tell me? Note to self: don't try to fool your subject, you'll just end up looking like a fool.

Who or what do you look to for style inspiration?
I find myself following the styles of dancers (things that are easy to move in). I also find inspiration from ‘90s hip-hop styles and pin-up fashion.

What trend, if any, are you looking forward to trying this fall?
I am really getting into long-sleeved dresses this fall (maxi and skater). I know the weather is getting colder, so usually I stray away from outfits that show my legs, but I am still on the hunt for a long-sleeved black skater dress.

Your jacket is such an awesome ‘80s print. What print or pattern would you never wear?
I usually avoid thick vertical black-and-white stripes and thin horizontal black-and-white stripes. Thick vertical stripes make your legs look longer (if you wear them on the bottom). I am already tall, so I don’t need the illusion of looking tall. Thin horizontal stripes look bad on camera (looks like things are moving on your shirt). If I am ever randomly caught on camera, I don’t want my shirt to look like bugs are crawling all over [it].

You’re part of a K-pop dance team. How do you translate your personal style into your costume choices?
After we all agree on a color or pattern, I usually look for a crop top or high-waist shorts (recently obsessed with both) that would fit that. And then I always bling it out with a big, chunky necklace or big, sparkly earrings just to set my outfit or style apart from the others.


DIY: Madewell Paris Tee

In case you haven't noticed, I'm a bit of a self-proclaimed Madewell fangirl. I spotted this tee in the brand's fall lookbook and for some reason, I just had to have it. If you know me at all, I'm not one to often don a tee and pair of jeans. Sadly, not only is this tee $45, it's also back-ordered until January of next year! Yeah right! Within a day I was off to the store to gather everything I needed to make this incredibly simple piece for myself.

What you'll need:
  • a grey heather tee (mine was $6 from Target)
  • cardstock
  • an Exacto knife and blades
  • black fabric paint
  • a paint brush or sponge
  • tape
  • a piece of cardboard and newspaper

First, print out your text on a piece of cardstock. I recognized this font immediately as Impact, a standard font in Microsoft Office, which was what initially inspired me to make this tee on my own. I made the text as large as I could without it overflowing onto a second line in the word document.

Next, cut out your letters carefully using your Exacto knife. Save the inside pieces of the "P" and "R", you'll be using them later.

Next, insert a piece of cardboard or newspaper inside your tee. This will keep the fabric paint from seeping through to the back of the shirt.

Tape your stencil down across the chest of your tee, including the inside pieces of some of the letter "P", "A" and "R".

Then apply your paint. I used a drybrush technique to create a distressed look. I knew I wouldn't be able to create clean and exact lines that would look as good as a professionally screen printed shirt, so I just decided to work with it.

I let the first coat dry for about twenty minutes and then refined and darkened certain areas. Following the directions on the fabric paint bottle, I let the tee dry for 36 hours and then washed it inside out.

That's it! My text ended up being a little off center, so I regret no taking the time the align it more accurately. So far I've worn this to class several times and no one has been able to tell the difference. Good luck!


Roman Holiday: Part II

Ah, my beautiful Rome. I promised you I would unearth the embarrassing touristy pictures before long. Despite how boiling hot it was on this particular weekend, I can't help but recall how joyously stress-free this trip was. I think it was pure luck, having chosen the perfect location to stay in and effectively planning our days where we even accounted for about an hour of nap time to rejuvenate ourselves before dinner. 

Being in the Colosseum was almost unnerving, considering its age and current state of disarray. I was a bit afraid that the stone would crumble away beneath my feet with each step I took. Of course, that fear wasn't great enough to keep me from (illegally!) posing on the remnants of an Ionic column capital. 

I was dutifully informed by my friend Sam that the best gelato in all of Rome was to be found in a shop just around the corner from the Trevi Fountain. For some reason, I found myself incredibly addicted to pistachio ice cream this summer, so I indulged myself in a scoop of the aforementioned flavor. Our friend, who sent us a massively helpful email prior to our trip, told us to look out for pistachio gelato that was lime green in color, because that is a tell-tale sign that it's made with artificial ingredients.

One thing that struck me the most about Rome is how closely everything was set together. The only prior exposure I had to the city was through movies (Roman Holiday, The Lizzie McGuire Movie) and so I assumed everything was spread out, for some reason. Little did I know, the Trevi Fountain is not even a free-stranding structure but the back end of a building.

On our was to the airport early Sunday morning, we took the scenic route and bid our little Italian retreat farewell with a stop on the Spanish Steps.